Publications 2014

Bowles EJ, Schiffner T, Rosario M, Needham GA, Ramaswamy M, McGouran J, Kessler B, LaBranche C, McMichael AJ, Montefiori D et al. 2014. Comparison of neutralizing antibody responses elicited from highly diverse polyvalent heterotrimeric HIV-1 gp140 cocktail immunogens versus a monovalent counterpart in rhesus macaques. PLoS One, 9 (12), pp. e114709. | Citations: 8 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Eliciting neutralizing antibodies capable of inactivating a broad spectrum of HIV-1 strains is a major goal of HIV-1 vaccine design. The challenge is that envelopes (Envs) of circulating viruses are almost certainly different from any Env used in a vaccine. A novel immunogen composed of a highly diverse set of gp140 Envs including subtypes A, B, C, D and F was developed to stimulate a more cross-neutralizing antibody response. Env heterotrimers composed of up to 54 different gp140s were produced with the aim of focusing the response to the conserved regions of Env while reducing the dominance of any individual hypervariable region. Heterotrimeric gp140 Envs of inter- and intra-subtype combinations were shown to bind CD4 and a panel of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies with similar affinity to monovalent UG37 gp140. Macaques immunized with six groups of heterotrimer mixtures showed slightly more potent neutralizing antibody responses in TZM-BL tier 1 and A3R5 tier 2 pseudovirus assays than macaques immunized with monovalent Env gp140, and exhibited a marginally greater focus on the CD4-binding site. Carbopol enhanced neutralization when used as an adjuvant instead of RIBI in combination with UG37 gp140. These data indicate that cross-subtype heterotrimeric gp140 Envs may elicit some improvement of the neutralizing antibody response in macaques compared to monovalent gp140 Env.

Yang M, Ternette N, Su H, Dabiri R, Kessler BM, Adam J, Teh BT, Pollard PJ. 2014. The Succinated Proteome of FH-Mutant Tumours. Metabolites, 4 (3), pp. 640-654. | Citations: 18 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Inherited mutations in the Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) predispose to hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC). Loss of FH activity in HLRCC tumours causes accumulation of the Krebs cycle intermediate fumarate to high levels, which may act as an oncometabolite through various, but not necessarily mutually exclusive, mechanisms. One such mechanism, succination, is an irreversible non-enzymatic modification of cysteine residues by fumarate, to form S-(2-succino)cysteine (2SC). Previous studies have demonstrated that succination of proteins including glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) and mitochondrial aconitase (ACO2) can have profound effects on cellular metabolism. Furthermore, immunostaining for 2SC is a sensitive and specific biomarker for HLRCC tumours. Here, we performed a proteomic screen on an FH-mutant tumour and two HLRCC-derived cancer cell lines and identified 60 proteins where one or more cysteine residues were succinated; 10 of which were succinated at cysteine residues either predicted, or experimentally proven, to be functionally significant. Bioinformatic enrichment analyses identified most succinated targets to be involved in redox signaling. To our knowledge, this is the first proteomic-based succination screen performed in human tumours and cancer-derived cells and has identified novel 2SC targets that may be relevant to the pathogenesis of HLRCC.

Heim A, Grimm C, Müller U, Häußler S, Mackeen MM, Merl J, Hauck SM, Kessler BM, Schofield CJ, Wolf A, Böttger A. 2014. Jumonji domain containing protein 6 (Jmjd6) modulates splicing and specifically interacts with arginine-serine-rich (RS) domains of SR- and SR-like proteins. Nucleic Acids Res, 42 (12), pp. 7833-7850. | Citations: 27 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

The Fe(II) and 2-oxoglutarate dependent oxygenase Jmjd6 has been shown to hydroxylate lysine residues in the essential splice factor U2 auxiliary factor 65 kDa subunit (U2AF65) and to act as a modulator of alternative splicing. We describe further evidence for the role of Jmjd6 in the regulation of pre-mRNA processing including interactions of Jmjd6 with multiple arginine-serine-rich (RS)-domains of SR- and SR-related proteins including U2AF65, Luc7-like protein 3 (Luc7L3), SRSF11 and Acinus S', but not with the bona fide RS-domain of SRSF1. The identified Jmjd6 target proteins are involved in different mRNA processing steps and play roles in exon dependent alternative splicing and exon definition. Moreover, we show that Jmjd6 modifies splicing of a constitutive splice reporter, binds RNA derived from the reporter plasmid and punctually co-localises with nascent RNA. We propose that Jmjd6 exerts its splice modulatory function by interacting with specific SR-related proteins during splicing in a RNA dependent manner.

Kessler B, Knupp M, Graber P, Zwicky L, Hintermann B, Zimmerli W, Sendi P. 2014. The treatment and outcome of peri-prosthetic infection of the ankle: a single cohort-centre experience of 34 cases. Bone Joint J, 96-B (6), pp. 772-777. | Citations: 13 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

The treatment of peri-prosthetic joint infection (PJI) of the ankle is not standardised. It is not clear whether an algorithm developed for hip and knee PJI can be used in the management of PJI of the ankle. We evaluated the outcome, at two or more years post-operatively, in 34 patients with PJI of the ankle, identified from a cohort of 511 patients who had undergone total ankle replacement. Their median age was 62.1 years (53.3 to 68.2), and 20 patients were women. Infection was exogenous in 28 (82.4%) and haematogenous in six (17.6%); 19 (55.9%) were acute infections and 15 (44.1%) chronic. Staphylococci were the cause of 24 infections (70.6%). Surgery with retention of one or both components was undertaken in 21 patients (61.8%), both components were replaced in ten (29.4%), and arthrodesis was undertaken in three (8.8%). An infection-free outcome with satisfactory function of the ankle was obtained in 23 patients (67.6%). The best rate of cure followed the exchange of both components (9/10, 90%). In the 21 patients in whom one or both components were retained, four had a relapse of the same infecting organism and three had an infection with another organism. Hence the rate of cure was 66.7% (14 of 21). In these 21 patients, we compared the treatment given to an algorithm developed for the treatment of PJI of the knee and hip. In 17 (80.9%) patients, treatment was not according to the algorithm. Most (11 of 17) had only one criterion against retention of one or both components. In all, ten of 11 patients with severe soft-tissue compromise as a single criterion had a relapse-free survival. We propose that the treatment concept for PJI of the ankle requires adaptation of the grading of quality of the soft tissues.

Blackledge NP, Farcas AM, Kondo T, King HW, McGouran JF, Hanssen LLP, Ito S, Cooper S, Kondo K, Koseki Y et al. 2014. Variant PRC1 complex-dependent H2A ubiquitylation drives PRC2 recruitment and polycomb domain formation. Cell, 157 (6), pp. 1445-1459. | Citations: 270 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Chromatin modifying activities inherent to polycomb repressive complexes PRC1 and PRC2 play an essential role in gene regulation, cellular differentiation, and development. However, the mechanisms by which these complexes recognize their target sites and function together to form repressive chromatin domains remain poorly understood. Recruitment of PRC1 to target sites has been proposed to occur through a hierarchical process, dependent on prior nucleation of PRC2 and placement of H3K27me3. Here, using a de novo targeting assay in mouse embryonic stem cells we unexpectedly discover that PRC1-dependent H2AK119ub1 leads to recruitment of PRC2 and H3K27me3 to effectively initiate a polycomb domain. This activity is restricted to variant PRC1 complexes, and genetic ablation experiments reveal that targeting of the variant PCGF1/PRC1 complex by KDM2B to CpG islands is required for normal polycomb domain formation and mouse development. These observations provide a surprising PRC1-dependent logic for PRC2 occupancy at target sites in vivo.

Abdi K, Singh NJ, Spooner E, Kessler BM, Radaev S, Lantz L, Xiao TS, Matzinger P, Sun PD, Ploegh HL. 2014. Free IL-12p40 monomer is a polyfunctional adaptor for generating novel IL-12-like heterodimers extracellularly. J Immunol, 192 (12), pp. 6028-6036. | Citations: 19 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

IL-12p40 partners with the p35 and p19 polypeptides to generate the heterodimeric cytokines IL-12 and IL-23, respectively. These cytokines play critical and distinct roles in host defense. The assembly of these heterodimers is thought to take place within the cell, resulting in the secretion of fully functional cytokines. Although the p40 subunit alone can also be rapidly secreted in response to inflammatory signals, its biological significance remains unclear. In this article, we show that the secreted p40 monomer can generate de novo IL-12-like activities by combining extracellularly with p35 released from other cells. Surprisingly, an unbiased proteomic analysis reveals multiple such extracellular binding partners for p40 in the serum of mice after an endotoxin challenge. We biochemically validate the binding of one of these novel partners, the CD5 Ag-like glycoprotein, to the p40 monomer. Nevertheless, the assembled p40-CD5L heterodimer does not recapitulate the biological activity of IL-12. These findings underscore the plasticity of secreted free p40 monomer, suggesting that p40 functions as an adaptor that is able to generate multiple de novo composites in combination with other locally available polypeptide partners after secretion.


Kaisaki PJ, Otto GW, McGouran JF, Toubal A, Argoud K, Waller-Evans H, Finlay C, Caldérari S, Bihoreau M-T, Kessler BM et al. 2014. Genetic control of differential acetylation in diabetic rats. PLoS One, 9 (4), pp. e94555. | Citations: 2 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Post-translational protein modifications such as acetylation have significant regulatory roles in metabolic processes, but their relationship to both variation in gene expression and DNA sequence is unclear. We address this question in the Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rat inbred strain, a model of polygenic type 2 diabetes. Expression of the NAD-dependent deacetylase Sirtuin-3 is down-regulated in GK rats compared to normoglycemic Brown Norway (BN) rats. We show first that a promoter SNP causes down-regulation of Sirtuin-3 expression in GK rats. We then use mass-spectrometry to identify proteome-wide differential lysine acetylation of putative Sirtuin-3 protein targets in livers of GK and BN rats. These include many proteins in pathways connected to diabetes and metabolic syndrome. We finally sequence GK and BN liver transcriptomes and find that mRNA expression of these targets does not differ significantly between GK and BN rats, in contrast to other components of the same pathways. We conclude that physiological differences between GK and BN rats are mediated by a combination of differential protein acetylation and gene transcription and that genetic variation can modulate acetylation independently of expression.

Trudgian DC, Fischer R, Guo X, Kessler BM, Mirzaei H. 2014. GOAT--a simple LC-MS/MS gradient optimization tool. Proteomics, 14 (12), pp. 1467-1471. | Citations: 5 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Modern nano-HPLC systems are capable of extremely precise control of solvent gradients, allowing high-resolution separation of peptides. Most proteomics laboratories use a simple linear analytical gradient for nano-LC-MS/MS experiments, though recent evidence indicates that optimized non-linear gradients result in increased peptide and protein identifications from cell lysates. In concurrent work, we examined non-linear gradients for the analysis of samples fractionated at the peptide level, where the distribution of peptide retention times often varies by fraction. We hypothesized that greater coverage of these samples could be achieved using per-fraction optimized gradients. We demonstrate that the optimized gradients improve the distribution of peptides throughout the analysis. Using previous generation MS instrumentation, a considerable gain in peptide and protein identifications can be realized. With current MS platforms that have faster electronics and achieve shorter duty cycle, the improvement in identifications is smaller. Our gradient optimization method has been implemented in a simple graphical tool (GOAT) that is MS-vendor independent, does not require peptide ID input, and is freely available for non-commercial use at

Huang H, Ideh RC, Gitau E, Thézénas ML, Jallow M, Ebruke B, Chimah O, Oluwalana C, Karanja H, Mackenzie G et al. 2014. Discovery and validation of biomarkers to guide clinical management of pneumonia in African children. Clin Infect Dis, 58 (12), pp. 1707-1715. | Citations: 24 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children globally. Clinical algorithms remain suboptimal for distinguishing severe pneumonia from other causes of respiratory distress such as malaria or distinguishing bacterial pneumonia and pneumonia from others causes, such as viruses. Molecular tools could improve diagnosis and management. METHODS: We conducted a mass spectrometry-based proteomic study to identify and validate markers of severity in 390 Gambian children with pneumonia (n = 204) and age-, sex-, and neighborhood-matched controls (n = 186). Independent validation was conducted in 293 Kenyan children with respiratory distress (238 with pneumonia, 41 with Plasmodium falciparum malaria, and 14 with both). Predictive value was estimated by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). RESULTS: Lipocalin 2 (Lpc-2) was the best protein biomarker of severe pneumonia (AUC, 0.71 [95% confidence interval, .64-.79]) and highly predictive of bacteremia (78% [64%-92%]), pneumococcal bacteremia (84% [71%-98%]), and "probable bacterial etiology" (91% [84%-98%]). These results were validated in Kenyan children with severe malaria and respiratory distress who also met the World Health Organization definition of pneumonia. The combination of Lpc-2 and haptoglobin distinguished bacterial versus malaria origin of respiratory distress with high sensitivity and specificity in Gambian children (AUC, 99% [95% confidence interval, 99%-100%]) and Kenyan children (82% [74%-91%]). CONCLUSIONS: Lpc-2 and haptoglobin can help discriminate the etiology of clinically defined pneumonia and could be used to improve clinical management. These biomarkers should be further evaluated in prospective clinical studies.

Loenarz C, Sekirnik R, Thalhammer A, Ge W, Spivakovsky E, Mackeen MM, McDonough MA, Cockman ME, Kessler BM, Ratcliffe PJ et al. 2014. Hydroxylation of the eukaryotic ribosomal decoding center affects translational accuracy. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111 (11), pp. 4019-4024. | Citations: 59 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

The mechanisms by which gene expression is regulated by oxygen are of considerable interest from basic science and therapeutic perspectives. Using mass spectrometric analyses of Saccharomyces cerevisiae ribosomes, we found that the amino acid residue in closest proximity to the decoding center, Pro-64 of the 40S subunit ribosomal protein Rps23p (RPS23 Pro-62 in humans) undergoes posttranslational hydroxylation. We identify RPS23 hydroxylases as a highly conserved eukaryotic subfamily of Fe(II) and 2-oxoglutarate dependent oxygenases; their catalytic domain is closely related to transcription factor prolyl trans-4-hydroxylases that act as oxygen sensors in the hypoxic response in animals. The RPS23 hydroxylases in S. cerevisiae (Tpa1p), Schizosaccharomyces pombe and green algae catalyze an unprecedented dihydroxylation modification. This observation contrasts with higher eukaryotes, where RPS23 is monohydroxylated; the human Tpa1p homolog OGFOD1 catalyzes prolyl trans-3-hydroxylation. TPA1 deletion modulates termination efficiency up to ∼10-fold, including of pathophysiologically relevant sequences; we reveal Rps23p hydroxylation as its molecular basis. In contrast to most previously characterized accuracy modulators, including antibiotics and the prion state of the S. cerevisiae translation termination factor eRF3, Rps23p hydroxylation can either increase or decrease translational accuracy in a stop codon context-dependent manner. We identify conditions where Rps23p hydroxylation status determines viability as a consequence of nonsense codon suppression. The results reveal a direct link between oxygenase catalysis and the regulation of gene expression at the translational level. They will also aid in the development of small molecules altering translational accuracy for the treatment of genetic diseases linked to nonsense mutations.

Singleton RS, Liu-Yi P, Formenti F, Ge W, Sekirnik R, Fischer R, Adam J, Pollard PJ, Wolf A, Thalhammer A et al. 2014. OGFOD1 catalyzes prolyl hydroxylation of RPS23 and is involved in translation control and stress granule formation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 111 (11), pp. 4031-4036. | Citations: 46 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

2-Oxoglutarate (2OG) and Fe(II)-dependent oxygenase domain-containing protein 1 (OGFOD1) is predicted to be a conserved 2OG oxygenase, the catalytic domain of which is related to hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylases. OGFOD1 homologs in yeast are implicated in diverse cellular functions ranging from oxygen-dependent regulation of sterol response genes (Ofd1, Schizosaccharomyces pombe) to translation termination/mRNA polyadenylation (Tpa1p, Saccharomyces cerevisiae). However, neither the biochemical activity of OGFOD1 nor the identity of its substrate has been defined. Here we show that OGFOD1 is a prolyl hydroxylase that catalyzes the posttranslational hydroxylation of a highly conserved residue (Pro-62) in the small ribosomal protein S23 (RPS23). Unusually OGFOD1 retained a high affinity for, and forms a stable complex with, the hydroxylated RPS23 substrate. Knockdown or inactivation of OGFOD1 caused a cell type-dependent induction of stress granules, translational arrest, and growth impairment in a manner complemented by wild-type but not inactive OGFOD1. The work identifies a human prolyl hydroxylase with a role in translational regulation.

Feng T, Yamamoto A, Wilkins SE, Sokolova E, Yates LA, Münzel M, Singh P, Hopkinson RJ, Fischer R, Cockman ME et al. 2014. Optimal translational termination requires C4 lysyl hydroxylation of eRF1. Mol Cell, 53 (4), pp. 645-654. | Citations: 48 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Efficient stop codon recognition and peptidyl-tRNA hydrolysis are essential in order to terminate translational elongation and maintain protein sequence fidelity. Eukaryotic translational termination is mediated by a release factor complex that includes eukaryotic release factor 1 (eRF1) and eRF3. The N terminus of eRF1 contains highly conserved sequence motifs that couple stop codon recognition at the ribosomal A site to peptidyl-tRNA hydrolysis. We reveal that Jumonji domain-containing 4 (Jmjd4), a 2-oxoglutarate- and Fe(II)-dependent oxygenase, catalyzes carbon 4 (C4) lysyl hydroxylation of eRF1. This posttranslational modification takes place at an invariant lysine within the eRF1 NIKS motif and is required for optimal translational termination efficiency. These findings further highlight the role of 2-oxoglutarate/Fe(II) oxygenases in fundamental cellular processes and provide additional evidence that ensuring fidelity of protein translation is a major role of hydroxylation.

Kessler BM. 2014. Selective and reversible inhibitors of ubiquitin-specific protease 7: a patent evaluation (WO2013030218). Expert Opin Ther Pat, 24 (5), pp. 597-602. | Citations: 12 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

The invention described in this review (WO2013030218) relates to compounds based on the quinazolin-4-one scaffold, their process of preparation and applications to inhibit the ubiquitin-specific protease 7 (USP7), a deubiquitinating enzyme (DUB), which is considered a potentially important new drug target for treating cancer and immunological disorders. Data are presented indicating that these small-molecule compounds are useful as selective and reversible inhibitors of USP7 in vitro and also in a cellular context, although the panel of other enzymes tested was limited. The synthesis strategy allows for the generation of a considerable variety of compounds, although similar properties of selective USP7 inhibition were reported for other related compound classes, thereby increasing the complexity of the patenting process. However, structural patterns that contribute to the selectivity of USP7 and other DUB enzyme inhibition are starting to emerge. Practical implications involve the treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, immunological disorders, diabetes, bone and joint diseases, cardiovascular diseases and viral and bacterial infections. The quality of these findings and a comparison to other compound classes with similar properties, as well as the potential for further development toward clinical exploitation are discussed.

Glinka T, Alter J, Braunstein I, Tzach L, Wei Sheng C, Geifman S, Edelmann MJ, Kessler BM, Stanhill A. 2014. Signal-peptide-mediated translocation is regulated by a p97-AIRAPL complex. Biochem J, 457 (2), pp. 253-261. | Citations: 10 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Protein homoeostasis is a fundamental requirement for all living cells in order to survive in a dynamic surrounding. Proper levels of AIRAPL (arsenite-inducible RNA-associated protein-like protein) (ZFAND2B) are required in order to maintain cellular folding capacity in metazoans, and functional impairment of AIRAPL results in acceleration of aging and protein aggregation. However, the cellular roles of AIRAPL in this process are not known. In the present paper, we report that AIRAPL binds and forms a complex with p97 [VCP (valosin-containing protein)/Cdc48], Ubxd8 (ubiquitin regulatory X domain 8), Npl4-Ufd1, Derlin-1 and Bag6 on the ER (endoplasmic reticulum) membrane. In spite of the fact that AIRAPL complex partners are involved in the ERAD (ER-associated degradation) process, AIRAPL knockdown does not show any impairment in ERAD substrate degradation. However, translocation into the ER of a subset of ERAD- and non-ERAD-secreted proteins are regulated by AIRAPL. The ability to regulate translocation by the p97-AIRAPL complex is entirely dependent on the proteins' signal peptide. Our results demonstrate a p97 complex regulating translocation into the ER in a signal-peptide-dependent manner.

Chen L, Fischer R, Peng Y, Reeves E, McHugh K, Ternette N, Hanke T, Dong T, Elliott T, Shastri N et al. 2014. Critical role of endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 in determining the length and sequence of peptides bound and presented by HLA-B27. Arthritis Rheumatol, 66 (2), pp. 284-294. | Citations: 43 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVE: HLA-B27 and endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 (ERAP1) are the two strongest genetic factors predisposing to ankylosing spondylitis (AS). A key aminopeptidase in class I major histocompatibility complex presentation, ERAP1 potentially contributes to the pathogenesis of AS by altering HLA-B27 peptide presentation. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of ERAP1 on the HLA-B27 peptide repertoire and peptide presentation to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). METHODS: ERAP1-silenced and -competent HeLa.B27 and C1R.B27 cells were isotope-labeled, mixed, lysed, and then immunoprecipitated using W6/32 or ME1 antibodies. Peptides bound to HLA-B27 were eluted and analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry. Selected peptides were synthesized and tested for HLA-B27 binding ability. The effect of ERAP1 silencing/mutation on presentation of an immunodominant viral HLA-B27 epitope, KK10, to CTLs was also studied. RESULTS: In both HeLa.B27 and C1R.B27 cells, the proportion of 9-mer HLA-B27-bound peptides was decreased by ERAP1 silencing, whereas the percentages of longer peptides (11-13 mer) were increased. Surprisingly, following ERAP1 silencing, C-terminally extended peptides were readily identified. These were better able to bind to HLA-B27 than were N-terminally extended peptides lacking an arginine at position 2. In both HeLa.B27 cells and mouse fibroblasts expressing HLA-B27, the absence of ERAP1 reduced peptide recognition by HLA-B27-restricted KK10-specific CTLs following infection with recombinant vaccinia virus or transfection with minigenes expressing KK10 precursors. Presence of an AS-protective variant of ERAP1, K528R, as compared to wild-type ERAP1, reduced the peptide recognition by KK10 CTLs following transfection with extended KK10 minigenes. CONCLUSION: These results show that ERAP1 directly alters peptide binding and presentation by HLA-B27, thus demonstrating a potential pathogenic mechanism in AS. Inhibition of ERAP1 could potentially be used for treatment of AS and other ERAP1-associated diseases.

Total publications on this page: 16

Total citations for publications on this page: 604