TDI Publications 2018

Lee R, Charles PD, Lapolla P, Cassimjee I, Huang H, Kessler B, Fischer R, Handa A, Oxford Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Study, the Oxford Regional Vascular Services. 2018. Integrated Physiological and Biochemical Assessments for the Prediction of Growth of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms in Humans. Ann Surg, | Read more

Nishi R, Wijnhoven PWG, Kimura Y, Matsui M, Konietzny R, Wu Q, Nakamura K, Blundell TL, Kessler BM. 2018. The deubiquitylating enzyme UCHL3 regulates Ku80 retention at sites of DNA damage. Sci Rep, 8 (1), pp. 17891. | Show Abstract | Read more

Non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ), which can promote genomic instability when dysfunctional, is a major DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair pathway. Although ubiquitylation of the core NHEJ factor, Ku (Ku70-Ku80), which senses broken DNA ends, is important for its removal from sites of damage upon completion of NHEJ, the mechanism regulating Ku ubiquitylation remains elusive. We provide evidence showing that the ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase L3 (UCHL3) interacts with and directly deubiquitylates one of the Ku heterodimer subunits, Ku80. Additionally, depleting UCHL3 resulted in reduced Ku80 foci formation, Ku80 binding to chromatin after DSB induction, moderately sensitized cells to ionizing radiation and decreased NHEJ efficiencies. Mechanistically, we show that DNA damage induces UCHL3 phosphorylation, which is dependent on ATM, downstream NHEJ factors and UCHL3 catalytic activity. Furthermore, this phosphorylation destabilizes UCHL3, despite having no effect on its catalytic activity. Collectively, these data suggest that UCHL3 facilitates cellular viability after DSB induction by antagonizing Ku80 ubiquitylation to enhance Ku80 retention at sites of damage.

Heidenreich D, Moustakim M, Schmidt J, Merk D, Brennan PE, Fedorov O, Chaikuad A, Knapp S. 2018. Structure-Based Approach toward Identification of Inhibitory Fragments for Eleven-Nineteen-Leukemia Protein (ENL). J Med Chem, 61 (23), pp. 10929-10934. | Show Abstract | Read more

Lysine acetylation is an epigenetic mark that is principally recognized by bromodomains, and recently structurally diverse YEATS domains also emerged as readers of lysine acetyl/acylations. Here we present a crystallography-based strategy and the discovery of fragments binding to the ENL YEATS domain, a potential drug target. Crystal structures combined with synthetic efforts led to the identification of a submicromolar binder, providing first starting points for the development of chemical probes for this reader domain family.

Yuzhalin AE, Gordon-Weeks AN, Tognoli ML, Jones K, Markelc B, Konietzny R, Fischer R, Muth A, O'Neill E, Thompson PR et al. 2018. Colorectal cancer liver metastatic growth depends on PAD4-driven citrullination of the extracellular matrix. Nat Commun, 9 (1), pp. 4783. | Citations: 3 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Citrullination of proteins, a post-translational conversion of arginine residues to citrulline, is recognized in rheumatoid arthritis, but largely undocumented in cancer. Here we show that citrullination of the extracellular matrix by cancer cell derived peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) is essential for the growth of liver metastases from colorectal cancer (CRC). Using proteomics, we demonstrate that liver metastases exhibit higher levels of citrullination and PAD4 than unaffected liver, primary CRC or adjacent colonic mucosa. Functional significance for citrullination in metastatic growth is evident in murine models where inhibition of citrullination substantially reduces liver metastatic burden. Additionally, citrullination of a key matrix component collagen type I promotes greater adhesion and decreased migration of CRC cells along with increased expression of characteristic epithelial markers, suggesting a role for citrullination in promoting mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition and liver metastasis. Overall, our study reveals the potential for PAD4-dependant citrullination to drive the progression of CRC liver metastasis.

Buono M, Thézénas M-L, Ceroni A, Fischer R, Nerlov C. 2018. Bi-directional signaling by membrane-bound KitL induces proliferation and coordinates thymic endothelial cell and thymocyte expansion. Nat Commun, 9 (1), pp. 4685. | Show Abstract | Read more

The ligand for the c-Kit receptor, KitL, exists as a membrane-associated (mKitL) and a soluble form (sKitL). KitL functions outside c-Kit activation have not been identified. We show that co-culture of c-Kit- and mKitL-expressing NIH3T3 cells results in signaling through mKitL: c-Kit-bound mKitL recruits calcium-modulating cyclophilin ligand (CAML) to selectively activate Akt, leading to CREB phosphorylation, mTOR pathway activation, and increased cell proliferation. Activation of mKitL in thymic vascular endothelial cells (VECs) induces mKitL- and Akt-dependent proliferation, and genetic ablation of mKitL in thymic VECs blocks their c-Kit responsiveness and proliferation during neonatal thymic expansion. Therefore, mKitL-c-Kit form a bi-directional signaling complex that acts in the developing thymus to coordinate thymic VEC and early thymic progenitor (ETP) expansion by simultaneously promoting ETP survival and VEC proliferation. This mechanism may be relevant to both normal tissues and malignant tumors that depend on KitL-c-Kit signaling for their proliferation.

Thompson AG, Gray E, Mager I, Fischer R, Thézénas M-L, Charles PD, Talbot K, El Andaloussi S, Kessler BM, Wood M, Turner MR. 2018. UFLC-Derived CSF Extracellular Vesicle Origin and Proteome. Proteomics, 18 (24), pp. e1800257. | Show Abstract | Read more

Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) extracellular vesicles (EVs) show promise as a source of neurological disease biomarkers, although their precise origin is poorly understood. Current extraction techniques produce disappointing yield and purity. This study describes the application of ultrafiltration LC (UFLC) to CSF-EVs, compared with ultracentrifugation (UC), and explores CSF-EV origin. EVs are extracted from human CSF by UC and UFLC and characterized using nanoparticle tracking analysis, electron microscopy, and immunoblotting. EV and CSF proteomes are analyzed by LC-MS/MS. UFLC-isolated particles have size, morphology, and marker expression characteristic of EVs. UFLC provides greater EV yield (UFLC 7.90 × 108  ± SD 1.31 × 108 EVs mL-1 CSF, UC 1.06 × 108  ± 0.57 × 108 p < 0.001). UFLC enhances purity, proteomic depth (UFLC 622 ± 49, UC 298 ± 50, p = 0.001), and consistency of quantification (CV 17% vs 23%). EVs contain more intracellular proteins (Odds ratio [OR] 2.63 p < 0.001) and fewer plasma proteins than CSF (OR 0.60, p < 0.001). CSF and EV-enriched proteomes show overrepresentation of brain-specific proteins (EV OR 3.18, p < 0.001; CSF OR 3.37, p < 0.001). Overrepresentation of cerebral white matter (OR 1.99, p = 0.015) and choroid plexus proteins (OR 1.87, p<0.001) is observed in EVs. UFLC improves yield and purity of CSF-EVs. The EV-enriched proteome better reflects the intracellular and white matter proteome than whole CSF.

Howells A, McGouran JF, Kessler BM, Luhn K. 2018. Dengue virus stimulation of dendritic cells induces phosphorylation- and proteolysis-dependent signalling Malaysian Journal of Microbiology, 14 (Specialissue6), pp. 474-482. | Show Abstract | Read more

© 2018 Universiti Sains Malaysia. Aims: Dengue virus (DENV) infection is commonly observed in countries with tropical climates and remains a significant health hazard. No real cure has been established for the infection to date. Methodology and results: To better understand the very early molecular events during the initial infection process, we exposed primary dendritic cells with Dengue virus and analysed proteins with increased phosphorylation signatures in the first 10 min using phospho-protein enrichment and tandem mass spectrometry analysis. Upon initial viral interaction, strong phosphorylation was observed for Endoplasmin, BiP, BID, Dok-2, GEF-H1 and Calpain-2. Reduced phosphorylation was noted for Importin-5, ERp72 and Rho-GDI. Knockdown of Calpain-2, a protease activated by calcium flux, reduced DENV infection rates of primary dendritic cells as measured by focus-forming units (FFUs). Conclusion, significance and impact of study: We conclude that Calpain-2, BID, Importin 5 and ATP/GTPases are all active along the apoptosis pathway axis, indicating that dendritic cells commit to early signalling steps of cell death upon initial viral contact.

Jailani NM, Abdu Sani AA, Fischer R, Huang H, Aizat WM, Nathan S, Kramer HB, Kessler BM, Mackeen MM. 2018. Comparison of gel-aided sample preparation (GASP) and two in-solution digestion workflows for proteomic analysis using Saccharomyces cerevisiae lysate Malaysian Journal of Microbiology, 14 (Specialissue6), pp. 579-584. | Show Abstract | Read more

© 2018 Universiti Sains Malaysia. Using Saccharomyces cerevisiae lysate, two in-solution trypsin digestions (chloroform-methanol-water precipitation and RapiGest) were compared to the recently reported gel-aided sample preparation (GASP) workflow. Our proteomic results showed that GASP afforded the highest number of overall protein identifications and peptide spectrum matches without systematic bias towards peptide or protein size.

Wang Y, Zhong S, Schofield CJ, Ratcliffe PJ, Lu X. 2018. Nuclear entry and export of FIH are mediated by HIF1α and exportin1, respectively. J Cell Sci, 131 (22), pp. jcs219782-jcs219782. | Citations: 1 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Hypoxia plays a crucial role at cellular and physiological levels in all animals. The responses to chronic hypoxia are, at least substantially, orchestrated by activation of the hypoxia inducible transcription factors (HIFs), whose stability and subsequent transcriptional activation are regulated by HIF hydroxylases. Factor inhibiting HIF (FIH), initially isolated as a HIFα interacting protein following a yeast two-hybrid screen, is an asparaginyl hydroxylase that negatively regulates transcriptional activation by HIF. This study aimed to define the mechanisms that govern transitions of FIH between the nucleus and cytoplasm. We report that FIH accumulates in the nucleus within a short time window during hypoxia treatment. We provide evidence, based on the application of genetic interventions and small molecule inhibition of the HIF hydroxylases, that the nuclear localization of FIH is governed by two opposing processes: nuclear entry by 'coupling' with HIF1α for importin β1-mediated nuclear import and active export via a Leptomycin B-sensitive exportin1-dependent pathway.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

D’Ascenzio M, Pugh K, Konietzny R, Berridge G, Tallant C, Hashem S, Monteiro O, Thomas J, Schirle M, Knapp S et al. 2018. An Activity-based Probe Targeting Non-catalytic, Highly Conserved Amino Acid Residues Within Bromodomains | Show Abstract | Read more

<b>Bromodomain-containing proteins are epigenetic modulators involved in a wide range of cellular processes, from physiological recruitment of transcription factors to pathological disruption of gene regulation and cancer development. Since the druggability of these acetyl-lysine reader domains was established, efforts were made to develop potent and selective inhibitors across the entire family. Here we report the development of a small molecule based approach to covalently modify recombinant and endogenous bromodomain-containing proteins by targeting a conserved lysine and a tyrosine residue in the variable ZA or BC loops. Moreover, the addition of a reporter tag, via copper-catalyzed alkyne azide coupling, to an alkyne handle on the probe allowed in-gel visualization and selective pull-down of the desired bromodomains using both recombinant and endogenous proteins.</b>

Moustakim M, Christott T, Monteiro OP, Bennett J, Giroud C, Ward J, Rogers CM, Smith P, Panagakou I, Díaz-Sáez L et al. 2018. Discovery of an MLLT1/3 YEATS Domain Chemical Probe. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 57 (50), pp. 16302-16307. | Citations: 1 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

YEATS domain (YD) containing proteins are an emerging class of epigenetic targets in drug discovery. Dysregulation of these modified lysine-binding proteins has been linked to the onset and progression of cancers. We herein report the discovery and characterisation of the first small-molecule chemical probe, SGC-iMLLT, for the YD of MLLT1 (ENL/YEATS1) and MLLT3 (AF9/YEATS3). SGC-iMLLT is a potent and selective inhibitor of MLLT1/3-histone interactions. Excellent selectivity over other human YD proteins (YEATS2/4) and bromodomains was observed. Furthermore, our probe displays cellular target engagement of MLLT1 and MLLT3. The first small-molecule X-ray co-crystal structures with the MLLT1 YD are also reported. This first-in-class probe molecule can be used to understand MLLT1/3-associated biology and the therapeutic potential of small-molecule YD inhibitors.

Hendy J, Colonese AC, Franz I, Fernandes R, Fischer R, Orton D, Lucquin A, Spindler L, Anvari J, Stroud E et al. 2018. Ancient proteins from ceramic vessels at Çatalhöyük West reveal the hidden cuisine of early farmers. Nat Commun, 9 (1), pp. 4064. | Citations: 1 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

The analysis of lipids (fats, oils and waxes) absorbed within archaeological pottery has revolutionized the study of past diets and culinary practices. However, this technique can lack taxonomic and tissue specificity and is often unable to disentangle signatures resulting from the mixing of different food products. Here, we extract ancient proteins from ceramic vessels from the West Mound of the key early farming site of Çatalhöyük in Anatolia, revealing that this community processed mixes of cereals, pulses, dairy and meat products, and that particular vessels may have been reserved for specialized foods (e.g., cow milk and milk whey). Moreover, we demonstrate that dietary proteins can persist on archaeological artefacts for at least 8000 years, and that this approach can reveal past culinary practices with more taxonomic and tissue-specific clarity than has been possible with previous biomolecular techniques.

Mavrommati I, Faedda R, Galasso G, Li J, Burdova K, Fischer R, Kessler BM, Carrero ZI, Guardavaccaro D, Pagano M, D'Angiolella V. 2018. β-TrCP- and Casein Kinase II-Mediated Degradation of Cyclin F Controls Timely Mitotic Progression. Cell Rep, 24 (13), pp. 3404-3412. | Show Abstract | Read more

Orderly progressions of events in the cell division cycle are necessary to ensure the replication of DNA and cell division. Checkpoint systems allow the accurate execution of each cell-cycle phase. The precise regulation of the levels of cyclin proteins is fundamental to coordinate cell division with checkpoints, avoiding genome instability. Cyclin F has important functions in regulating the cell cycle during the G2 checkpoint; however, the mechanisms underlying the regulation of cyclin F are poorly understood. Here, we observe that cyclin F is regulated by proteolysis through β-TrCP. β-TrCP recognizes cyclin F through a non-canonical degron site (TSGXXS) after its phosphorylation by casein kinase II. The degradation of cyclin F mediated by β-TrCP occurs at the G2/M transition. This event is required to promote mitotic progression and favors the activation of a transcriptional program required for mitosis.

Moussa EM, Huang H, Thézénas ML, Fischer R, Ramaprasad A, Sisay-Joof F, Jallow M, Pain A, Kwiatkowski D, Kessler BM, Casals-Pascual C. 2018. Proteomic profiling of the plasma of Gambian children with cerebral malaria. Malar J, 17 (1), pp. 337. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Cerebral malaria (CM) is a severe neurological complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection. A number of pathological findings have been correlated with pediatric CM including sequestration, platelet accumulation, petechial haemorrhage and retinopathy. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to death in CM are not yet fully understood. METHODS: A shotgun plasma proteomic study was conducted using samples form 52 Gambian children with CM admitted to hospital. Based on clinical outcome, children were assigned to two groups: reversible and fatal CM. Label-free liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was used to identify and compare plasma proteins that were differentially regulated in children who recovered from CM and those who died. Candidate biomarkers were validated using enzyme immunoassays. RESULTS: The plasma proteomic signature of children with CM identified 266 proteins differentially regulated in children with fatal CM. Proteins from the coagulation cascade were consistently decreased in fatal CM, whereas the plasma proteomic signature associated with fatal CM underscored the importance of endothelial activation, tissue damage, inflammation, haemolysis and glucose metabolism. The concentration of circulating proteasomes or PSMB9 in plasma was not significantly different in fatal CM when compared with survivors. Plasma PSMB9 concentration was higher in patients who presented with seizures and was significantly correlated with the number of seizures observed in patients with CM during admission. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that increased tissue damage and hypercoagulability may play an important role in fatal CM. The diagnostic value of this molecular signature to identify children at high risk of dying to optimize patient referral practices should be validated prospectively.

Stefaniak J, Lewis AM, Conole D, Galan SRG, Bataille CJR, Wynne GM, Castaldi MP, Lundbäck T, Russell AJ, Huber KVM. 2018. Chemical Instability and Promiscuity of Arylmethylidenepyrazolinone-Based MDMX Inhibitors. ACS Chem Biol, 13 (10), pp. 2849-2854. | Show Abstract | Read more

Targeting the protein-protein interaction between p53 and MDM2/MDMX (MDM4) represents an attractive anticancer strategy for the treatment of p53-competent tumors. Several selective and potent MDM2 inhibitors have been developed and entered the clinic; however, the repertoire of MDMX antagonists is still limited. The arylmethylidenepyrazolinone SJ-172550 has been reported as a selective MDMX antagonist; yet, uncertainties about its mechanism of action have raised doubts about its use as a chemical probe. Here, we show that, in addition to its unclear mode of action, SJ-172550 is unstable in aqueous buffers, giving rise to side products of unknown biological activity. Using an SJ-172550-derived affinity probe, we observed promiscuous binding to cellular proteins whereas cellular thermal shift assays did not reveal a stabilizing effect on MDMX. Overall, our results raise further questions about the interpretation of data using SJ-172550 and related compounds to investigate cellular phenotypes.

Bailey J, Davis S, Shaw A, Diotallevi M, Fischer R, Benson MA, Zhu H, Brown J, Bhattacharya S, Kessler BM et al. 2018. Tetrahydrobiopterin modulates ubiquitin conjugation to UBC13/UBE2N and proteasome activity by S-nitrosation. Sci Rep, 8 (1), pp. 14310. | Show Abstract | Read more

Nitric Oxide (NO) is an intracellular signalling mediator, which affects many biological processes via the posttranslational modification of proteins through S-nitrosation. The availability of NO and NOS-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) from enzymatic uncoupling are determined by the NO synthase cofactor Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). Here, using a global proteomics "biotin-switch" approach, we identified components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system to be altered via BH4-dependent NO signalling by protein S-nitrosation. We show S-nitrosation of ubiquitin conjugating E2 enzymes, in particular the catalytic residue C87 of UBC13/UBE2N, leading to impaired polyubiquitylation by interfering with the formation of UBC13~Ub thioester intermediates. In addition, proteasome cleavage activity in cells also seems to be altered by S-nitrosation, correlating with the modification of cysteine residues within the 19S regulatory particle and catalytic subunits of the 20S complex. Our results highlight the widespread impact of BH4 on downstream cellular signalling as evidenced by the effect of a perturbed BH4-dependent NO-Redox balance on critical processes within the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). These studies thereby uncover a novel aspect of NO associated modulation of cellular homeostasis.

Vazquez-Rodriguez S, Wright M, Rogers C, Cribbs A, Velupillai S, Philpott M, Lee H, Dunford J, Huber K, Robers M et al. 2018. Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Covalent KDM5 Inhibitors | Show Abstract | Read more

Histone lysine demethylase (KDMs) are involved in the dynamic regulation of gene expression and they play a critical role in several biological processes. Achieving selectivity over the different KDMs has been a major challenge for KDM inhibitor development. Here we report potent and selective KDM5 covalent inhibitors designed to target cysteine residues only present in the KDM5 sub-family. The covalent binding to the targeted proteins was confirmed by MS and time-dependent inhibition. Additional competition assays show that compounds were non 2-OG competitive. Target engagement and ChIP-seq analysis showed that the compounds inhibited the KDM5 members in cells at nano- to micromolar levels and induce a global increase of the H3K4me3 mark at transcriptional start sites.

Hrdinka M, Schlicher L, Dai B, Pinkas DM, Bufton JC, Picaud S, Ward JA, Rogers C, Suebsuwong C, Nikhar S et al. 2018. Small molecule inhibitors reveal an indispensable scaffolding role of RIPK2 in NOD2 signaling. EMBO J, 37 (17), pp. e99372-e99372. | Citations: 4 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

RIPK2 mediates inflammatory signaling by the bacteria-sensing receptors NOD1 and NOD2. Kinase inhibitors targeting RIPK2 are a proposed strategy to ameliorate NOD-mediated pathologies. Here, we reveal that RIPK2 kinase activity is dispensable for NOD2 inflammatory signaling and show that RIPK2 inhibitors function instead by antagonizing XIAP-binding and XIAP-mediated ubiquitination of RIPK2. We map the XIAP binding site on RIPK2 to the loop between β2 and β3 of the N-lobe of the kinase, which is in close proximity to the ATP-binding pocket. Through characterization of a new series of ATP pocket-binding RIPK2 inhibitors, we identify the molecular features that determine their inhibition of both the RIPK2-XIAP interaction, and of cellular and in vivoNOD2 signaling. Our study exemplifies how targeting of the ATP-binding pocket in RIPK2 can be exploited to interfere with the RIPK2-XIAP interaction for modulation of NOD signaling.

Zhang T, Wei G, Millard CJ, Fischer R, Konietzny R, Kessler BM, Schwabe JWR, Brockdorff N. 2018. A variant NuRD complex containing PWWP2A/B excludes MBD2/3 to regulate transcription at active genes. Nat Commun, 9 (1), pp. 3798. | Show Abstract | Read more

Transcriptional regulation by chromatin is a highly dynamic process directed through the recruitment and coordinated action of epigenetic modifiers and readers of these modifications. Using an unbiased proteomic approach to find interactors of H3K36me3, a modification enriched on active chromatin, here we identify PWWP2A and HDAC2 among the top interactors. PWWP2A and its paralog PWWP2B form a stable complex with NuRD subunits MTA1/2/3:HDAC1/2:RBBP4/7, but not with MBD2/3, p66α/β, and CHD3/4. PWWP2A competes with MBD3 for binding to MTA1, thus defining a new variant NuRD complex that is mutually exclusive with the MBD2/3 containing NuRD. In mESCs, PWWP2A/B is most enriched at highly transcribed genes. Loss of PWWP2A/B leads to increases in histone acetylation predominantly at highly expressed genes, accompanied by decreases in Pol II elongation. Collectively, these findings suggest a role for PWWP2A/B in regulating transcription through the fine-tuning of histone acetylation dynamics at actively transcribed genes.

Motnenko A, Liang C-C, Yang D, Lopez-Martinez D, Yoshikawa Y, Zhan B, Ward KE, Tian J, Haas W, Spingardi P et al. 2018. Identification of UHRF2 as a novel DNA interstrand crosslink sensor protein. PLoS Genet, 14 (10), pp. e1007643. | Show Abstract | Read more

The Fanconi Anemia (FA) pathway is important for repairing interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) between the Watson-Crick strands of the DNA double helix. An initial and essential stage in the repair process is the detection of the ICL. Here, we report the identification of UHRF2, a paralogue of UHRF1, as an ICL sensor protein. UHRF2 is recruited to ICLs in the genome within seconds of their appearance. We show that UHRF2 cooperates with UHRF1, to ensure recruitment of FANCD2 to ICLs. A direct protein-protein interaction is formed between UHRF1 and UHRF2, and between either UHRF1 and UHRF2, and FANCD2. Importantly, we demonstrate that the essential monoubiquitination of FANCD2 is stimulated by UHRF1/UHRF2. The stimulation is mediating by a retention of FANCD2 on chromatin, allowing for its monoubiquitination by the FA core complex. Taken together, we uncover a mechanism of ICL sensing by UHRF2, leading to FANCD2 recruitment and retention at ICLs, in turn facilitating activation of FANCD2 by monoubiquitination.

Berridge G, Menassa DA, Moloney T, Waters PJ, Welding I, Thomsen S, Zuberi S, Fischer R, Aricescu AR, Pike M et al. 2018. Glutamate receptor δ2 serum antibodies in pediatric opsoclonus myoclonus ataxia syndrome. Neurology, 91 (8), pp. e714-e723. | Citations: 3 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVE: To identify neuronal surface antibodies in opsoclonus myoclonus ataxia syndrome (OMAS) using contemporary antigen discovery methodology. METHODS: OMAS patient serum immunoglobulin G immunohistochemistry using age-equivalent rat cerebellar tissue was followed by immunoprecipitation, gel electrophoresis, and mass spectrometry. Data are available via ProteomeXchange (identifier PXD009578). This generated a list of potential neuronal surface cerebellar autoantigens. Live cell-based assays were used to confirm membrane-surface antigens and adsorb antigen-specific immunoglobulin Gs. The serologic results were compared to the clinical data. RESULTS: Four of the 6 OMAS sera tested bound rat cerebellar sections. Two of these sera with similar immunoreactivities were used in immunoprecipitation experiments using cerebellum from postnatal rat pups (P18). Mass spectrometry identified 12 cell-surface proteins, of which glutamate receptor δ2 (GluD2), a predominately cerebellar-expressed protein, was found at a 3-fold-higher concentration than the other 11 proteins. Antibodies to GluD2 were identified in 14/16 (87%) OMAS samples, compared with 5/139 (5%) pediatric and 1/38 (2.6%) adult serum controls (p < 0.0001), and in 2/4 sera from patients with neuroblastoma without neurologic features. Adsorption of positive OMAS sera against GluD2-transfected cells substantially reduced but did not eliminate reactivity toward cerebellar sections. CONCLUSION: Autoantibodies to GluD2 are common in patients with OMAS, bind to surface determinants, and are potentially pathogenic.

Martello A, Mellis D, Meloni M, Howarth A, Ebner D, Caporali A, Al Haj Zen A. 2018. Phenotypic miRNA Screen Identifies miR-26b to Promote the Growth and Survival of Endothelial Cells. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids, 13 pp. 29-43. | Citations: 2 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Endothelial cell (EC) proliferation is a crucial event in physiological and pathological angiogenesis. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as important modulators of the angiogenic switch. Here we conducted high-content screening of a human miRNA mimic library to identify novel regulators of EC growth systematically. Several miRNAs were nominated that enhanced or inhibited EC growth. Of these, we focused on miR-26b, which is a conserved candidate and expressed in multiple human EC types. miR-26b overexpression enhanced EC proliferation, migration, and tube formation, while inhibition of miR-26b suppressed the proliferative and angiogenic capacity of ECs. A combinatory functional small interfering RNA (siRNA) screening of 48 predicted gene targets revealed that miR-26b enhanced EC growth and survival through inhibiting PTEN expression. Local administration of miR-26b mimics promoted the growth of new microvessels in the Matrigel plug model. In the mouse model of hindlimb ischemia, miR-26b was found to be downregulated in endothelium in the first week following ischemia, and local overexpression of miR-26b improved the survival of capillaries and muscle fibers in ischemic muscles. Our findings suggest that miR-26b enhances EC proliferation, survival, and angiogenesis. miR-26b is a potential target for developing novel pro-angiogenic therapeutics in ischemic disease.

Ghezraoui H, Oliveira C, Becker JR, Bilham K, Moralli D, Anzilotti C, Fischer R, Deobagkar-Lele M, Sanchiz-Calvo M, Fueyo-Marcos E et al. 2018. 53BP1 cooperation with the REV7-shieldin complex underpins DNA structure-specific NHEJ. Nature, 560 (7716), pp. 122-127. | Citations: 14 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

53BP1 governs a specialized, context-specific branch of the classical non-homologous end joining DNA double-strand break repair pathway. Mice lacking 53bp1 (also known as Trp53bp1) are immunodeficient owing to a complete loss of immunoglobulin class-switch recombination1,2, and reduced fidelity of long-range V(D)J recombination3. The 53BP1-dependent pathway is also responsible for pathological joining events at dysfunctional telomeres4, and its unrestricted activity in Brca1-deficient cellular and tumour models causes genomic instability and oncogenesis5-7. Cells that lack core non-homologous end joining proteins are profoundly radiosensitive8, unlike 53BP1-deficient cells9,10, which suggests that 53BP1 and its co-factors act on specific DNA substrates. Here we show that 53BP1 cooperates with its downstream effector protein REV7 to promote non-homologous end joining during class-switch recombination, but REV7 is not required for 53BP1-dependent V(D)J recombination. We identify shieldin-a four-subunit putative single-stranded DNA-binding complex comprising REV7, c20orf196 (SHLD1), FAM35A (SHLD2) and FLJ26957 (SHLD3)-as the factor that explains this specificity. Shieldin is essential for REV7-dependent DNA end-protection and non-homologous end joining during class-switch recombination, and supports toxic non-homologous end joining in Brca1-deficient cells, yet is dispensable for REV7-dependent interstrand cross-link repair. The 53BP1 pathway therefore comprises distinct double-strand break repair activities within chromatin and single-stranded DNA compartments, which explains both the immunological differences between 53bp1- and Rev7- deficient mice and the context specificity of the pathway.

Robbins JP, Perfect L, Ribe EM, Maresca M, Dangla-Valls A, Foster EM, Killick R, Nowosiad P, Reid MJ, Polit LD et al. 2018. Clusterin Is Required for β-Amyloid Toxicity in Human iPSC-Derived Neurons. Front Neurosci, 12 pp. 504. | Citations: 1 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Our understanding of the molecular processes underlying Alzheimer's disease (AD) is still limited, hindering the development of effective treatments, and highlighting the need for human-specific models. Advances in identifying components of the amyloid cascade are progressing, including the role of the protein clusterin in mediating β-amyloid (Aβ) toxicity. Mutations in the clusterin gene (CLU), a major genetic AD risk factor, are known to have important roles in Aβ processing. Here we investigate how CLU mediates Aβ-driven neurodegeneration in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons. We generated a novel CLU-knockout iPSC line by CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing to investigate Aβ-mediated neurodegeneration in cortical neurons differentiated from wild type and CLU knockout iPSCs. We measured response to Aβ using an imaging assay and measured changes in gene expression using qPCR and RNA sequencing. In wild type neurons imaging indicated that neuronal processes degenerate following treatment with Aβ25-35 peptides and Aβ1-42 oligomers, in a dose dependent manner, and that intracellular levels of clusterin are increased following Aβ treatment. However, in CLU knockout neurons Aβ exposure did not affect neurite length, suggesting that clusterin is an important component of the amyloid cascade. Transcriptomic data were analyzed to elucidate the pathways responsible for the altered response to Aβ in neurons with the CLU deletion. Four of the five genes previously identified as downstream to Aβ and Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) proteins in an Aβ-driven neurotoxic pathway in rodent cells were also dysregulated in human neurons with the CLU deletion. AD and lysosome pathways were the most significantly dysregulated pathways in the CLU knockout neurons, and pathways relating to cytoskeletal processes were most dysregulated in Aβ treated neurons. The absence of neurodegeneration in the CLU knockout neurons in response to Aβ compared to the wild type neurons supports the role of clusterin in Aβ-mediated AD pathogenesis.

Hendy J, Warinner C, Bouwman A, Collins MJ, Fiddyment S, Fischer R, Hagan R, Hofman CA, Holst M, Chaves E et al. 2018. Proteomic evidence of dietary sources in ancient dental calculus. Proc Biol Sci, 285 (1883), pp. 20180977-20180977. | Citations: 2 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Archaeological dental calculus has emerged as a rich source of ancient biomolecules, including proteins. Previous analyses of proteins extracted from ancient dental calculus revealed the presence of the dietary milk protein β-lactoglobulin, providing direct evidence of dairy consumption in the archaeological record. However, the potential for calculus to preserve other food-related proteins has not yet been systematically explored. Here we analyse shotgun metaproteomic data from 100 archaeological dental calculus samples ranging from the Iron Age to the post-medieval period (eighth century BC to nineteenth century AD) in England, as well as 14 dental calculus samples from contemporary dental patients and recently deceased individuals, to characterize the range and extent of dietary proteins preserved in dental calculus. In addition to milk proteins, we detect proteomic evidence of foodstuffs such as cereals and plant products, as well as the digestive enzyme salivary amylase. We discuss the importance of optimized protein extraction methods, data analysis approaches and authentication strategies in the identification of dietary proteins from archaeological dental calculus. This study demonstrates that proteomic approaches can robustly identify foodstuffs in the archaeological record that are typically under-represented due to their poor macroscopic preservation.

Li L, Friedrichsen HJ, Andrews S, Picaud S, Volpon L, Ngeow K, Berridge G, Fischer R, Borden KLB, Filippakopoulos P, Goding CR. 2018. A TFEB nuclear export signal integrates amino acid supply and glucose availability. Nat Commun, 9 (1), pp. 2685. | Citations: 1 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

How cells coordinate the response to fluctuating carbon and nitrogen availability required to maintain effective homeostasis is a key issue. Amino acid limitation that inactivates mTORC1 promotes de-phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of Transcription Factor EB (TFEB), a key transcriptional regulator of lysosome biogenesis and autophagy that is deregulated in cancer and neurodegeneration. Beyond its cytoplasmic sequestration, how TFEB phosphorylation regulates its nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling, and whether TFEB can coordinate amino acid supply with glucose availability is poorly understood. Here we show that TFEB phosphorylation on S142 primes for GSK3β phosphorylation on S138, and that phosphorylation of both sites but not either alone activates a previously unrecognized nuclear export signal (NES). Importantly, GSK3β is inactivated by AKT in response to mTORC2 signaling triggered by glucose limitation. Remarkably therefore, the TFEB NES integrates carbon (glucose) and nitrogen (amino acid) availability by controlling TFEB flux through a nuclear import-export cycle.

Wright M, Martínez-Lamenca C, Leenaerts JE, Brennan PE, Trabanco AA, Oehlrich D. 2018. Bench-Stable Transfer Reagent Facilitates the Generation of Trifluoromethyl-sulfonimidamides. J Org Chem, 83 (16), pp. 9510-9516. | Citations: 1 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Sulfonimidamides are an emerging bioisosteric replacement in medicinal chemistry projects, and therefore new chemistries are necessary to access this functionality. The general synthesis of CF3-sulfonimidamides from an activated bench-stable transfer reagent is described. A diverse reaction scope is demonstrated, with a wide range of nucleophilic amines being tolerated in this transformation. The CF3-sulfonimidamides obtained contain an additional diversity point, in the form a protected imine, that could be unmasked to allow late stage modifications.

Moustakim M, Riedel K, Schuller M, Gehring AP, Monteiro OP, Martin SP, Fedorov O, Heer J, Dixon DJ, Elkins JM et al. 2018. Discovery of a novel allosteric inhibitor scaffold for polyadenosine-diphosphate-ribose polymerase 14 (PARP14) macrodomain 2. Bioorg Med Chem, 26 (11), pp. 2965-2972. | Citations: 1 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

The polyadenosine-diphosphate-ribose polymerase 14 (PARP14) has been implicated in DNA damage response pathways for homologous recombination. PARP14 contains three (ADP ribose binding) macrodomains (MD) whose exact contribution to overall PARP14 function in pathology remains unclear. A medium throughput screen led to the identification of N-(2(-9H-carbazol-1-yl)phenyl)acetamide (GeA-69, 1) as a novel allosteric PARP14 MD2 (second MD of PARP14) inhibitor. We herein report medicinal chemistry around this novel chemotype to afford a sub-micromolar PARP14 MD2 inhibitor. This chemical series provides a novel starting point for further development of PARP14 chemical probes.

Markolovic S, Zhuang Q, Wilkins SE, Eaton CD, Abboud MI, Katz MJ, McNeil HE, Leśniak RK, Hall C, Struwe WB et al. 2018. Publisher Correction: The Jumonji-C oxygenase JMJD7 catalyzes (3S)-lysyl hydroxylation of TRAFAC GTPases. Nat Chem Biol, 14 (10), pp. 988. | Show Abstract | Read more

In the version of this article initially published, authors Sarah E. Wilkins, Charlotte D. Eaton, Martine I. Abboud and Maximiliano J. Katz were incorrectly included in the equal contributions footnote in the affiliations list. Footnote number seven linking to the equal contributions statement should be present only for Suzana Markolovic and Qinqin Zhuang, and the statement should read "These authors contributed equally: Suzana Markolovic, Qinqin Zhuang." The error has been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions of the article.

Fielding JW, Hodson EJ, Cheng X, Ferguson DJP, Eckardt L, Adam J, Lip P, Maton-Howarth M, Ratnayaka I, Pugh CW et al. 2018. PHD2 inactivation in Type I cells drives HIF-2α-dependent multilineage hyperplasia and the formation of paraganglioma-like carotid bodies. J Physiol, 596 (18), pp. 4393-4412. | Citations: 1 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

KEY POINTS: The carotid body is a peripheral arterial chemoreceptor that regulates ventilation in response to both acute and sustained hypoxia. Type I cells in this organ respond to low oxygen both acutely by depolarization and dense core vesicle secretion and, over the longer term, via cellular proliferation and enhanced ventilatory responses. Using lineage analysis, the present study shows that the Type I cell lineage itself proliferates and expands in response to sustained hypoxia. Inactivation of HIF-2α in Type I cells impairs the ventilatory, proliferative and cell intrinsic (dense core vesicle) responses to hypoxia. Inactivation of PHD2 in Type I cells induces multilineage hyperplasia and ultrastructural changes in dense core vesicles to form paraganglioma-like carotid bodies. These changes, similar to those observed in hypoxia, are dependent on HIF-2α. Taken together, these findings demonstrate a key role for the PHD2-HIF-2α couple in Type I cells with respect to the oxygen sensing functions of the carotid body. ABSTRACT: The carotid body is a peripheral chemoreceptor that plays a central role in mammalian oxygen homeostasis. In response to sustained hypoxia, it manifests a rapid cellular proliferation and an associated increase in responsiveness to hypoxia. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying these processes is of interest both to specialized chemoreceptive functions of that organ and, potentially, to the general physiology and pathophysiology of cellular hypoxia. We have combined cell lineage tracing technology and conditionally inactivated alleles in recombinant mice to examine the role of components of the HIF hydroxylase pathway in specific cell types within the carotid body. We show that exposure to sustained hypoxia (10% oxygen) drives rapid expansion of the Type I, tyrosine hydroxylase expressing cell lineage, with little transdifferentiation to (or from) that lineage. Inactivation of a specific HIF isoform, HIF-2α, in the Type I cells was associated with a greatly reduced proliferation of Type I cells and hypoxic ventilatory responses, with ultrastructural evidence of an abnormality in the action of hypoxia on dense core secretory vesicles. We also show that inactivation of the principal HIF prolyl hydroxylase PHD2 within the Type I cell lineage is sufficient to cause multilineage expansion of the carotid body, with characteristics resembling paragangliomas. These morphological changes were dependent on the integrity of HIF-2α. These findings implicate specific components of the HIF hydroxylase pathway (PHD2 and HIF-2α) within Type I cells of the carotid body with respect to the oxygen sensing and adaptive functions of that organ.

Markolovic S, Zhuang Q, Wilkins SE, Eaton CD, Abboud MI, Katz MJ, McNeil HE, Leśniak RK, Hall C, Struwe WB et al. 2018. The Jumonji-C oxygenase JMJD7 catalyzes (3S)-lysyl hydroxylation of TRAFAC GTPases. Nat Chem Biol, 14 (7), pp. 688-695. | Citations: 4 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Biochemical, structural and cellular studies reveal Jumonji-C (JmjC) domain-containing 7 (JMJD7) to be a 2-oxoglutarate (2OG)-dependent oxygenase that catalyzes (3S)-lysyl hydroxylation. Crystallographic analyses reveal JMJD7 to be more closely related to the JmjC hydroxylases than to the JmjC demethylases. Biophysical and mutation studies show that JMJD7 has a unique dimerization mode, with interactions between monomers involving both N- and C-terminal regions and disulfide bond formation. A proteomic approach identifies two related members of the translation factor (TRAFAC) family of GTPases, developmentally regulated GTP-binding proteins 1 and 2 (DRG1/2), as activity-dependent JMJD7 interactors. Mass spectrometric analyses demonstrate that JMJD7 catalyzes Fe(II)- and 2OG-dependent hydroxylation of a highly conserved lysine residue in DRG1/2; amino-acid analyses reveal that JMJD7 catalyzes (3S)-lysyl hydroxylation. The functional assignment of JMJD7 will enable future studies to define the role of DRG hydroxylation in cell growth and disease.

Psallidas I, Kanellakis NI, Gerry S, Thézénas ML, Charles PD, Samsonova A, Schiller HB, Fischer R, Asciak R, Hallifax RJ et al. 2018. Development and validation of response markers to predict survival and pleurodesis success in patients with malignant pleural effusion (PROMISE): a multicohort analysis. Lancet Oncol, 19 (7), pp. 930-939. | Citations: 5 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of malignant pleural effusion is increasing worldwide, but prognostic biomarkers to plan treatment and to understand the underlying mechanisms of disease progression remain unidentified. The PROMISE study was designed with the objectives to discover, validate, and prospectively assess biomarkers of survival and pleurodesis response in malignant pleural effusion and build a score that predicts survival. METHODS: In this multicohort study, we used five separate and independent datasets from randomised controlled trials to investigate potential biomarkers of survival and pleurodesis. Mass spectrometry-based discovery was used to investigate pleural fluid samples for differential protein expression in patients from the discovery group with different survival and pleurodesis outcomes. Clinical, radiological, and biological variables were entered into least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression to build a model that predicts 3-month mortality. We evaluated the model using internal and external validation. FINDINGS: 17 biomarker candidates of survival and seven of pleurodesis were identified in the discovery dataset. Three independent datasets (n=502) were used for biomarker validation. All pleurodesis biomarkers failed, and gelsolin, macrophage migration inhibitory factor, versican, and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP1) emerged as accurate predictors of survival. Eight variables (haemoglobin, C-reactive protein, white blood cell count, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status, cancer type, pleural fluid TIMP1 concentrations, and previous chemotherapy or radiotherapy) were validated and used to develop a survival score. Internal validation with bootstrap resampling and external validation with 162 patients from two independent datasets showed good discrimination (C statistic values of 0·78 [95% CI 0·72-0·83] for internal validation and 0·89 [0·84-0·93] for external validation of the clinical PROMISE score). INTERPRETATION: To our knowledge, the PROMISE score is the first prospectively validated prognostic model for malignant pleural effusion that combines biological and clinical parameters to accurately estimate 3-month mortality. It is a robust, clinically relevant prognostic score that can be applied immediately, provide important information on patient prognosis, and guide the selection of appropriate management strategies. FUNDING: European Respiratory Society, Medical Research Funding-University of Oxford, Slater & Gordon Research Fund, and Oxfordshire Health Services Research Committee Research Grants.

Huang H, van Dullemen LFA, Akhtar MZ, Faro M-LL, Yu Z, Valli A, Dona A, Thézénas M-L, Charles PD, Fischer R et al. 2018. Proteo-metabolomics reveals compensation between ischemic and non-injured contralateral kidneys after reperfusion. Sci Rep, 8 (1), pp. 8539. | Show Abstract | Read more

Ischaemia and reperfusion injury (IRI) is the leading cause of acute kidney injury (AKI), which contributes to high morbidity and mortality rates in a wide range of injuries as well as the development of chronic kidney disease. The cellular and molecular responses of the kidney to IRI are complex and not fully understood. Here, we used an integrated proteomic and metabolomic approach to investigate the effects of IRI on protein abundance and metabolite levels. Rat kidneys were subjected to 45 min of warm ischaemia followed by 4 h and 24 h reperfusion, with contralateral and separate healthy kidneys serving as controls. Kidney tissue proteomics after IRI revealed elevated proteins belonging to the acute phase response, coagulation and complement pathways, and fatty acid (FA) signalling. Metabolic changes were already evident after 4 h reperfusion and showed increased level of glycolysis, lipids and FAs, whilst mitochondrial function and ATP production was impaired after 24 h. This deficit was partially compensated for by the contralateral kidney. Such a metabolic balance counteracts for the developing energy deficit due to reduced mitochondrial function in the injured kidney.

Ternette N, Olde Nordkamp MJM, Müller J, Anderson AP, Nicastri A, Hill AVS, Kessler BM, Li D. 2018. Immunopeptidomic Profiling of HLA-A2-Positive Triple Negative Breast Cancer Identifies Potential Immunotherapy Target Antigens. Proteomics, 18 (12), pp. e1700465. | Citations: 3 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

The recent development in immune checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells in the treatment of cancer has not only demonstrated the potency of utilizing T-cell reactivity for cancer therapy, but has also highlighted the need for developing new approaches to discover targets suitable for such novel therapeutics. Here we analyzed the immunopeptidomes of six HLA-A2-positive triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) samples by nano-ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (nUPLC-MS2 ). Immunopeptidomic profiling identified a total of 19 675 peptides from tumor and adjacent normal tissue and 130 of the peptides were found to have higher abundance in tumor than in normal tissues. To determine potential therapeutic target proteins, we calculated the average tumor-associated cohort coverage (aTaCC) that represents the percentage coverage of each protein in this cohort by peptides that had higher tumoral abundance. Cofilin-1 (CFL-1), interleukin-32 (IL-32), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), syntenin-1 (SDCBP), and ribophorin-2 (RPN-2) were found to have the highest aTaCC scores. We propose that these antigens could be evaluated further for their potential as targets in breast cancer immunotherapy and the small cohort immunopeptidomics analysis technique could be used in a wide spectrum of target discovery. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD009738.

Dimitrova E, Kondo T, Feldmann A, Nakayama M, Koseki Y, Konietzny R, Kessler BM, Koseki H, Klose RJ. 2018. FBXL19 recruits CDK-Mediator to CpG islands of developmental genes priming them for activation during lineage commitment. Elife, 7 | Citations: 1 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

CpG islands are gene regulatory elements associated with the majority of mammalian promoters, yet how they regulate gene expression remains poorly understood. Here, we identify FBXL19 as a CpG island-binding protein in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and show that it associates with the CDK-Mediator complex. We discover that FBXL19 recruits CDK-Mediator to CpG island-associated promoters of non-transcribed developmental genes to prime these genes for activation during cell lineage commitment. We further show that recognition of CpG islands by FBXL19 is essential for mouse development. Together this reveals a new CpG island-centric mechanism for CDK-Mediator recruitment to developmental gene promoters in ES cells and a requirement for CDK-Mediator in priming these developmental genes for activation during cell lineage commitment.

Walter A, Chaikuad A, Helmer R, Loaëc N, Preu L, Ott I, Knapp S, Meijer L, Kunick C. 2018. Molecular structures of cdc2-like kinases in complex with a new inhibitor chemotype. PLoS One, 13 (5), pp. e0196761. | Citations: 1 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Cdc2-like kinases (CLKs) represent a family of serine-threonine kinases involved in the regulation of splicing by phosphorylation of SR-proteins and other splicing factors. Although compounds acting against CLKs have been described, only a few show selectivity against dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation regulated-kinases (DYRKs). We here report a novel CLK inhibitor family based on a 6,7-dihydropyrrolo[3,4-g]indol-8(1H)-one core scaffold. Within the series, 3-(3-chlorophenyl)-6,7-dihydropyrrolo[3,4-g]indol-8(1H)-one (KuWal151) was identified as inhibitor of CLK1, CLK2 and CLK4 with a high selectivity margin towards DYRK kinases. The compound displayed a potent antiproliferative activity in an array of cultured cancer cell lines. The X-ray structure analyses of three members of the new compound class co-crystallized with CLK proteins corroborated a molecular binding mode predicted by docking studies.

Bowkett D, Talon R, Tallant C, Schofield C, von Delft F, Knapp S, Bruton G, Brennan PE. 2018. Identifying Small-Molecule Binding Sites for Epigenetic Proteins at Domain-Domain Interfaces. ChemMedChem, 13 (10), pp. 1051-1057. | Citations: 1 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Epigenetics is a rapidly growing field in drug discovery. Of particular interest is the role of post-translational modifications to histones and the proteins that read, write, and erase such modifications. The development of inhibitors for reader domains has focused on single domains. One of the major difficulties of designing inhibitors for reader domains is that, with the notable exception of bromodomains, they tend not to possess a well-enclosed binding site amenable to small-molecule inhibition. As many of the proteins in epigenetic regulation have multiple domains, there are opportunities for designing inhibitors that bind at a domain-domain interface which provide a more suitable interaction pocket. Examination of X-ray structures of multiple domains involved in recognising and modifying post-translational histone marks using the SiteMap algorithm identified potential binding sites at domain-domain interfaces. For the tandem plant homeodomain-bromodomain of SP100C, a potential inter-domain site identified computationally was validated experimentally by the discovery of ligands by X-ray crystallographic fragment screening.

Hinrichs A, Kessler B, Kurome M, Blutke A, Kemter E, Bernau M, Scholz AM, Rathkolb B, Renner S, Bultmann S et al. 2018. Growth hormone receptor-deficient pigs resemble the pathophysiology of human Laron syndrome and reveal altered activation of signaling cascades in the liver. Mol Metab, 11 pp. 113-128. | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVE: Laron syndrome (LS) is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder in humans caused by loss-of-function mutations of the growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene. To establish a large animal model for LS, pigs with GHR knockout (KO) mutations were generated and characterized. METHODS: CRISPR/Cas9 technology was applied to mutate exon 3 of the GHR gene in porcine zygotes. Two heterozygous founder sows with a 1-bp or 7-bp insertion in GHR exon 3 were obtained, and their heterozygous F1 offspring were intercrossed to produce GHR-KO, heterozygous GHR mutant, and wild-type pigs. Since the latter two groups were not significantly different in any parameter investigated, they were pooled as the GHR expressing control group. The characterization program included body and organ growth, body composition, endocrine and clinical-chemical parameters, as well as signaling studies in liver tissue. RESULTS: GHR-KO pigs lacked GHR and had markedly reduced serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) levels and reduced IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) activity but increased IGFBP2 levels. Serum GH concentrations were significantly elevated compared with control pigs. GHR-KO pigs had a normal birth weight. Growth retardation became significant at the age of five weeks. At the age of six months, the body weight of GHR-KO pigs was reduced by 60% compared with controls. Most organ weights of GHR-KO pigs were reduced proportionally to body weight. However, the weights of liver, kidneys, and heart were disproportionately reduced, while the relative brain weight was almost doubled. GHR-KO pigs had a markedly increased percentage of total body fat relative to body weight and displayed transient juvenile hypoglycemia along with decreased serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Analysis of insulin receptor related signaling in the liver of adult fasted pigs revealed increased phosphorylation of IRS1 and PI3K. In agreement with the loss of GHR, phosphorylation of STAT5 was significantly reduced. In contrast, phosphorylation of JAK2 was significantly increased, possibly due to the increased serum leptin levels and increased hepatic leptin receptor expression and activation in GHR-KO pigs. In addition, increased mTOR phosphorylation was observed in GHR-KO liver samples, and phosphorylation studies of downstream substrates suggested the activation of mainly mTOR complex 2. CONCLUSION: GHR-KO pigs resemble the pathophysiology of LS and are an interesting model for mechanistic studies and treatment trials.

Müller S, Ackloo S, Arrowsmith CH, Bauser M, Baryza JL, Blagg J, Böttcher J, Bountra C, Brown PJ, Bunnage ME et al. 2018. Donated chemical probes for open science. Elife, 7 | Citations: 4 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Potent, selective and broadly characterized small molecule modulators of protein function (chemical probes) are powerful research reagents. The pharmaceutical industry has generated many high-quality chemical probes and several of these have been made available to academia. However, probe-associated data and control compounds, such as inactive structurally related molecules and their associated data, are generally not accessible. The lack of data and guidance makes it difficult for researchers to decide which chemical tools to choose. Several pharmaceutical companies (AbbVie, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Janssen, MSD, Pfizer, and Takeda) have therefore entered into a pre-competitive collaboration to make available a large number of innovative high-quality probes, including all probe-associated data, control compounds and recommendations on use (<ext-link ext-link-type="uri" xlink:href=""></ext-link><ext-link ext-link-type="uri" xlink:href="">/</ext-link>). Here we describe the chemical tools and target-related knowledge that have been made available, and encourage others to join the project.

Partridge T, Nicastri A, Kliszczak AE, Yindom L-M, Kessler BM, Ternette N, Borrow P. 2018. Discrimination Between Human Leukocyte Antigen Class I-Bound and Co-Purified HIV-Derived Peptides in Immunopeptidomics Workflows. Front Immunol, 9 (APR), pp. 912. | Citations: 2 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Elucidation of novel peptides presented by human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I alleles by immunopeptidomics constitutes a powerful approach that can inform the rational design of CD8+ T cell inducing vaccines to control infection with pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) or to combat tumors. Recent advances in the sensitivity of liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry instrumentation have facilitated the discovery of thousands of natural HLA-restricted peptides in a single measurement. However, the extent of contamination of class I-bound peptides identified using HLA immunoprecipitation (IP)-based immunopeptidomics approaches with peptides from other sources has not previously been evaluated in depth. Here, we investigated the specificity of the IP-based immunopeptidomics methodology using HLA class I- or II-deficient cell lines and membrane protein-specific antibody IPs. We demonstrate that the 721.221 B lymphoblastoid cell line, widely regarded to be HLA class Ia-deficient, actually expresses and presents peptides on HLA-C*01:02. Using this cell line and the C8166 (HLA class I- and II-expressing) cell line, we show that some HLA class II-bound peptides were co-purified non-specifically during HLA class I and membrane protein IPs. Furthermore, IPs of "irrelevant" membrane proteins from HIV-1-infected HLA class I- and/or II-expressing cells revealed that unusually long HIV-1-derived peptides previously reported by us and other immunopeptidomics studies as potentially novel CD8+ T cell epitopes were non-specifically co-isolated, and so constitute a source of contamination in HLA class I IPs. For example, a 16-mer (FLGKIWPSYKGRPGNF), which was detected in all samples studied represents the full p1 segment of the abundant intracellular or virion-associated proteolytically-processed HIV-1 Gag protein. This result is of importance, as these long co-purified HIV-1 Gag peptides may not elicit CD8+ T cell responses when incorporated into candidate vaccines. These results have wider implications for HLA epitope discovery from abundant or membrane-associated antigens by immunopeptidomics in the context of infectious diseases, cancer, and autoimmunity.

Dimitrova E, Kondo T, Feldmann A, Nakayama M, Koseki Y, Konietzny R, Kessler B, Koseki H, Klose R. 2018. FBXL19 recruits CDK-Mediator to CpG islands of developmental genes to prime them for activation during lineage commitment | Show Abstract | Read more

CpG islands are gene regulatory elements associated with the majority of mammalian promoters, yet how they regulate gene expression remains poorly understood. Here, we identify FBXL19 as a CpG island-binding protein in mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells and show that it associates with the CDK-Mediator complex. We discover that FBXL19 recruits CDK-Mediator to CpG island-associated promoters of non-transcribed developmental genes to prime these genes for activation during cell lineage commitment. We further show that recognition of CpG islands by FBXL19 is essential for mouse development. Together this reveals a new CpG island-centric mechanism for CDK-Mediator recruitment to developmental gene promoters in ES cells and a requirement for CDK-Mediator in priming these developmental genes for activation during cell lineage commitment.

Aaboud M, Aad G, Abbott B, Abdinov O, Abeloos B, Abidi SH, Abouzeid OS, Abraham NL, Abramowicz H, Abreu H et al. 2018. Combination of inclusive and differential tt¯ charge asymmetry measurements using ATLAS and CMS data at √s = 7 and 8 TeV Journal of High Energy Physics, 2018 (4), | Citations: 2 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

© CERN, for the benefit of the ATLAS-CMS Collaboration. This paper presents combinations of inclusive and differential measurements of the charge asymmetry (A C ) in top quark pair (tt) events with a lepton+jets signature by the ATLAS and CMS Collaborations, using data from LHC proton-proton collisions at centreof- mass energies of 7 and 8TeV. The data correspond to integrated luminosities of about 5 and 20 fb –1 for each experiment, respectively. The resulting combined LHC measurements of the inclusive charge asymmetry are A CLHC7 = 0:005±0:007 (stat) ±0:006 (syst) at 7TeV and A CLHC7 = 0:0055 ± 0:0023 (stat) ± 0:0025 (syst) at 8TeV. These values, as well as the combination of A C measurements as a function of the invariant mass of the [formula presented] system at 8TeV, are consistent with the respective standard model predictions.

Sepil I, Hopkins B, Dean R, Thezenas M-L, Charles P, Konietzny R, Fischer R, Kessler B, Wigby S. 2018. Quantitative proteomics identification of seminal fluid proteins in male Drosophila melanogaster | Show Abstract | Read more

Seminal fluid contains some of the fastest evolving proteins currently known. These seminal fluid proteins (Sfps) play crucial roles in reproduction, such as supporting sperm function, and particularly in insects, modifying female physiology and behaviour. Identification of Sfps in small animals is challenging, and often relies on samples taken from the female reproductive tract after mating. A key pitfall of this method is that it might miss Sfps that are of low abundance due to dilution in the female derived sample or rapid processing in females. Here we present a new and complementary method, which provides added sensitivity to Sfp identification. We applied label-free quantitative proteomics to Drosophila melanogaster male reproductive tissue, where Sfps are unprocessed, and highly abundant, and quantified Sfps before and immediately after mating, to infer those transferred during copulation. We also analysed female reproductive tracts immediately before and after copulation to confirm the presence and abundance of known and candidate Sfps, where possible. Results were cross-referenced with transcriptomic and sequence databases to improve confidence in Sfp detection. Our data was consistent with 124 previously reported Sfps. We found 8 high confidence novel candidate Sfps, which were both depleted in mated versus unmated males and identified within the reproductive tract of mated but not virgin females. We also identified 31 more candidates that are likely Sfps based on their abundance, known expression and predicted characteristics, and revealed that four proteins previously identified as Sfps are at best minor contributors to the ejaculate. The estimated copy numbers for our candidate Sfps were lower than for previously identified Sfps, supporting the idea that our technique provides a deeper analysis of the Sfp proteome than previous studies. Our results demonstrate a novel, high sensitivity approach to the analysis of seminal fluid proteomes, whose application will further our understanding of reproductive biology.

Aldeghi M, Ross GA, Bodkin MJ, Essex JW, Knapp S, Biggin PC. 2018. Large-scale analysis of water stability in bromodomain binding pockets with grand canonical Monte Carlo. Commun Chem, 1 (1), | Citations: 3 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Conserved water molecules are of interest in drug design, as displacement of such waters can lead to higher affinity ligands and in some cases, contribute towards selectivity. Bromodomains, small protein domains involved in the epigenetic regulation of gene transcription, display a network of four conserved water molecules in their binding pockets and have recently been the focus of intense medicinal chemistry efforts. Understanding why certain bromodomains have displaceable water molecules and others do not is extremely challenging, and it remains unclear which water molecules in a given bromodomain can be targeted for displacement. Here we estimate the stability of the conserved water molecules in 35 bromodomains via binding free energy calculations using all-atom grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations. Encouraging quantitative agreement to the available experimental evidence is found. We thus discuss the expected ease of water displacement in different bromodomains and the implications for ligand selectivity.

Preuß F, Mathea S, Knapp S. 2018. A Pseudo-Kinase Double Act. Structure, 26 (4), pp. 527-528. | Citations: 2 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Pragmin is a catalytically inactive pseudo-kinase that is important in regulating cellular growth and adhesion. In this issue of Structure, Lecointre et al. (2018) present the structure of Pragmin, illustrating a dimerization domain flanking its pseudo-kinase domain that is important for Pragmin-mediated activation of the non-receptor tyrosine kinase CSK.

Rohm M, Savic D, Ball V, Curtis MK, Bonham S, Fischer R, Legrave N, MacRae JI, Tyler DJ, Ashcroft FM. 2018. Cardiac Dysfunction and Metabolic Inflexibility in a Mouse Model of Diabetes Without Dyslipidemia. Diabetes, 67 (6), pp. 1057-1067. | Citations: 2 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Diabetes is a well-established risk factor for heart disease, leading to impaired cardiac function and a metabolic switch toward fatty acid usage. In this study, we investigated if hyperglycemia/hypoinsulinemia in the absence of dyslipidemia is sufficient to drive these changes and if they can be reversed by restoring euglycemia. Using the βV59M mouse model, in which diabetes can be rapidly induced and reversed, we show that stroke volume and cardiac output were reduced within 2 weeks of diabetes induction. Flux through pyruvate dehydrogenase was decreased, as measured in vivo by hyperpolarized [1-13C]pyruvate MRS. Metabolomics showed accumulation of pyruvate, lactate, alanine, tricarboxyclic acid cycle metabolites, and branched-chain amino acids. Myristic and palmitoleic acid were decreased. Proteomics revealed proteins involved in fatty acid metabolism were increased, whereas those involved in glucose metabolism decreased. Western blotting showed enhanced pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 4 (PDK4) and uncoupling protein 3 (UCP3) expression. Elevated PDK4 and UCP3 and reduced pyruvate usage were present 24 h after diabetes induction. The observed effects were independent of dyslipidemia, as mice showed no evidence of elevated serum triglycerides or lipid accumulation in peripheral organs (including the heart). The effects of diabetes were reversible, as glibenclamide therapy restored euglycemia, cardiac metabolism and function, and PDK4/UCP3 levels.

Heroven C, Georgi V, Ganotra GK, Brennan P, Wolfreys F, Wade RC, Fernández-Montalván AE, Chaikuad A, Knapp S. 2018. Halogen-Aromatic π Interactions Modulate Inhibitor Residence Times. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 57 (24), pp. 7220-7224. | Citations: 2 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Prolonged drug residence times may result in longer-lasting drug efficacy, improved pharmacodynamic properties, and "kinetic selectivity" over off-targets with high drug dissociation rates. However, few strategies have been elaborated to rationally modulate drug residence time and thereby to integrate this key property into the drug development process. Herein, we show that the interaction between a halogen moiety on an inhibitor and an aromatic residue in the target protein can significantly increase inhibitor residence time. By using the interaction of the serine/threonine kinase haspin with 5-iodotubercidin (5-iTU) derivatives as a model for an archetypal active-state (type I) kinase-inhibitor binding mode, we demonstrate that inhibitor residence times markedly increase with the size and polarizability of the halogen atom. The halogen-aromatic π interactions in the haspin-inhibitor complexes were characterized by means of kinetic, thermodynamic, and structural measurements along with binding-energy calculations.

Mills EL, Ryan DG, Prag HA, Dikovskaya D, Menon D, Zaslona Z, Jedrychowski MP, Costa ASH, Higgins M, Hams E et al. 2018. Itaconate is an anti-inflammatory metabolite that activates Nrf2 via alkylation of KEAP1. Nature, 556 (7699), pp. 113-117. | Citations: 71 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

The endogenous metabolite itaconate has recently emerged as a regulator of macrophage function, but its precise mechanism of action remains poorly understood. Here we show that itaconate is required for the activation of the anti-inflammatory transcription factor Nrf2 (also known as NFE2L2) by lipopolysaccharide in mouse and human macrophages. We find that itaconate directly modifies proteins via alkylation of cysteine residues. Itaconate alkylates cysteine residues 151, 257, 288, 273 and 297 on the protein KEAP1, enabling Nrf2 to increase the expression of downstream genes with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities. The activation of Nrf2 is required for the anti-inflammatory action of itaconate. We describe the use of a new cell-permeable itaconate derivative, 4-octyl itaconate, which is protective against lipopolysaccharide-induced lethality in vivo and decreases cytokine production. We show that type I interferons boost the expression of Irg1 (also known as Acod1) and itaconate production. Furthermore, we find that itaconate production limits the type I interferon response, indicating a negative feedback loop that involves interferons and itaconate. Our findings demonstrate that itaconate is a crucial anti-inflammatory metabolite that acts via Nrf2 to limit inflammation and modulate type I interferons.

Fye HKS, Mrosso P, Bruce L, Thézénas M-L, Davis S, Fischer R, Rwegasira GL, Makani J, Kessler BM. 2018. A robust mass spectrometry method for rapid profiling of erythrocyte ghost membrane proteomes. Clin Proteomics, 15 (1), pp. 14. | Citations: 1 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Background: Red blood cell (RBC) physiology is directly linked to many human disorders associated with low tissue oxygen levels or anemia including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congenital heart disease, sleep apnea and sickle cell anemia. Parasites such as Plasmodium spp. and phylum Apicomplexa directly target RBCs, and surface molecules within the RBC membrane are critical for pathogen interactions. Proteomics of RBC membrane 'ghost' fractions has therefore been of considerable interest, but protocols described to date are either suboptimal or too extensive to be applicable to a larger set of clinical cohorts. Methods: Here, we describe an optimised erythrocyte isolation protocol from blood, tested for various storage conditions and explored using different fractionation conditions for isolating ghost RBC membranes. Liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) analysis on a Q-Exactive Orbitrap instrument was used to profile proteins isolated from the comparative conditions. Data analysis was run on the MASCOT and MaxQuant platforms to assess their scope and diversity. Results: The results obtained demonstrate a robust method for membrane enrichment enabling consistent MS based characterisation of > 900 RBC membrane proteins in single LC-MS/MS analyses. Non-detergent based membrane solubilisation methods using the tissue and supernatant fractions of isolated ghost membranes are shown to offer effective haemoglobin removal as well as diverse recovery including erythrocyte membrane proteins of high and low abundance. Conclusions: The methods described in this manuscript propose a medium to high throughput framework for membrane proteome profiling by LC-MS of potential applicability to larger clinical cohorts in a variety of disease contexts.

Suh JL, Watts B, Stuckey JI, Norris-Drouin JL, Cholensky SH, Dickson BM, An Y, Mathea S, Salah E, Knapp S et al. 2018. Quantitative Characterization of Bivalent Probes for a Dual Bromodomain Protein, Transcription Initiation Factor TFIID Subunit 1. Biochemistry, 57 (14), pp. 2140-2149. | Citations: 2 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Multivalent binding is an efficient means to enhance the affinity and specificity of chemical probes targeting multidomain proteins in order to study their function and role in disease. While the theory of multivalent binding is straightforward, physical and structural characterization of bivalent binding encounters multiple technical difficulties. We present a case study where a combination of experimental techniques and computational simulations was used to comprehensively characterize the binding and structure-affinity relationships for a series of Bromosporine-based bivalent bromodomain ligands with a bivalent protein, Transcription Initiation Factor TFIID subunit 1 (TAF1). Experimental techniques-Isothermal Titration Calorimetry, X-ray Crystallography, Circular Dichroism, Size Exclusion Chromatography-Multi-Angle Light Scattering, and Surface Plasmon Resonance-were used to determine structures, binding affinities, and kinetics of monovalent ligands and bivalent ligands with varying linker lengths. The experimental data for monomeric ligands were fed into explicit computational simulations, in which both ligand and protein species were present in a broad range of concentrations, and in up to a 100 s time regime, to match experimental conditions. These simulations provided accurate estimates for apparent affinities (in good agreement with experimental data), individual dissociation microconstants and other microscopic details for each type of protein-ligand complex. We conclude that the expected efficiency of bivalent ligands in a cellular context is difficult to estimate by a single technique in vitro, due to higher order associations favored at the concentrations used, and other complicating processes. Rather, a combination of structural, biophysical, and computational approaches should be utilized to estimate and characterize multivalent interactions.

Nithichanon A, Rinchai D, Buddhisa S, Saenmuang P, Kewcharoenwong C, Kessler B, Khaenam P, Chetchotisakd P, Maillere B, Robinson J et al. 2018. Immune Control of Burkholderia pseudomallei--Common, High-Frequency T-Cell Responses to a Broad Repertoire of Immunoprevalent Epitopes. Front Immunol, 9 pp. 484. | Citations: 2 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bp) is an environmental bacterial pathogen that causes potentially lethal sepsis in susceptible individuals and is considered a Category B, Tier-1 biothreat agent. As such, it is crucial to gain an improved understanding of protective immunity and potential vaccine candidates. The nature of immune correlates dictating why most exposed individuals in endemic regions undergo asymptomatic seroconversion while others succumb to life-threatening sepsis is largely uncharted. Bp seroreactive, immunogenic proteins have previously been identified by antigen microarray. We here set out to conduct an analysis of T-cell recognition of the Bp immunome using serodominant antigens represented in the original antigen microarray, examining immune correlates of disease in healthy seropositive individuals and those with acute disease or in convalescence. By screening a library of 739 overlapping peptides representing the sequences of 20 different Bp antigens, we aimed to define immune correlates of protection at the level of immunoprevalent T-cell epitopes. Responses to a large number of epitopes were common in healthy seropositive individuals: we found remarkably broad responsiveness to Bp epitopes, with 235 of 739 peptides recognized by ≥80% of all tested donors. The cumulative response to Bp epitopes in healthy, seropositive, donors from this endemic region were of the order of thousands of spot forming cells per million cells, making Bp recognition a significant component of the T-cell repertoire. Noteworthy among our findings, analysis revealed 10 highly immunoprevalent T-cell epitopes, able to induce Bp-specific IFNγ responses that were high in responding T-cell frequency within the repertoire, and also common across individuals with different human leukocyte antigen types. Acute melioidosis patients showed poor T-cell responses to the immunoprevalent epitopes, but acquired responsiveness following recovery from infection. Our findings suggest that a large repertoire of CD4 T cells, high in frequency and with broad coverage of antigens and epitopes, is important in controlling Bp infection. This offers an attractive potential strategy for subunit or epitope-based vaccines.

Knapp S. 2018. New opportunities for kinase drug repurposing and target discovery. Br J Cancer, 118 (7), pp. 936-937. | Show Abstract | Read more

Protein kinases are major drug targets for oncology. The large size of the kinome, active site conservation and the influence of activation states on drug binding complicates the analysis of their cellular mode of action. In a recent article in Science, Klaeger et al. analysed cellular targets of 243 drug candidates providing a large repository of data for drug repurposing.

Rahm F, Viklund J, Trésaugues L, Ellermann M, Giese A, Ericsson U, Forsblom R, Ginman T, Günther J, Hallberg K et al. 2018. Creation of a Novel Class of Potent and Selective MutT Homologue 1 (MTH1) Inhibitors Using Fragment-Based Screening and Structure-Based Drug Design. J Med Chem, 61 (6), pp. 2533-2551. | Citations: 4 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Recent literature has both suggested and questioned MTH1 as a novel cancer target. BAY-707 was just published as a target validation small molecule probe for assessing the effects of pharmacological inhibition of MTH1 on tumor cell survival, both in vitro and in vivo. (1) In this report, we describe the medicinal chemistry program creating BAY-707, where fragment-based methods were used to develop a series of highly potent and selective MTH1 inhibitors. Using structure-based drug design and rational medicinal chemistry approaches, the potency was increased over 10,000 times from the fragment starting point while maintaining high ligand efficiency and drug-like properties.

Eaton JRO, Alenazi Y, Singh K, Davies G, Geis-Asteggiante L, Kessler B, Robinson CV, Kawamura A, Bhattacharya S. 2018. The N-terminal domain of a tick evasin is critical for chemokine binding and neutralization and confers specific binding activity to other evasins. J Biol Chem, 293 (16), pp. 6134-6146. | Citations: 2 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Tick chemokine-binding proteins (evasins) are an emerging class of biologicals that target multiple chemokines and show anti-inflammatory activities in preclinical disease models. Using yeast surface display, we identified a CCL8-binding evasin, P672, from the tick Rhipicephalus pulchellus We found that P672 binds CCL8 and eight other CC-class chemokines with a Kd < 10 nm and four other CC chemokines with a Kd between 10 and 100 nm and neutralizes CCL3, CCL3L1, and CCL8 with an IC50 < 10 nm The CC chemokine-binding profile was distinct from that of evasin 1 (EVA1), which does not bind CCL8. We also show that P672's binding activity can be markedly modulated by the location of a StrepII-His purification tag. Combining native MS and bottom-up proteomics, we further demonstrated that P672 is glycosylated and forms a 1:1 complex with CCL8, disrupting CCL8 homodimerization. Homology modeling of P672 using the crystal structure of the EVA1 and CCL3 complex as template suggested that 44 N-terminal residues of P672 form most of the contacts with CCL8. Replacing the 29 N-terminal residues of EVA1 with the 44 N-terminal residues of P672 enabled this hybrid evasin to bind and neutralize CCL8, indicating that the CCL8-binding properties of P672 reside, in part, in its N-terminal residues. This study shows that the function of certain tick evasins can be manipulated simply by adding a tag. We conclude that homology modeling helps identify regions with transportable chemokine-binding functions within evasins, which can be used to construct hybrid evasins with altered properties.

Ong J, Serra MP, Segal J, Cujba A-M, Ng SS, Butler R, Millar V, Hatch S, Zimri S, Koike H et al. 2018. Imaging-Based Screen Identifies Laminin 411 as a Physiologically Relevant Niche Factor with Importance for i-Hep Applications. Stem Cell Reports, 10 (3), pp. 693-702. | Citations: 2 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Use of hepatocytes derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (i-Heps) is limited by their functional differences in comparison with primary cells. Extracellular niche factors likely play a critical role in bridging this gap. Using image-based characterization (high content analysis; HCA) of freshly isolated hepatocytes from 17 human donors, we devised and validated an algorithm (Hepatocyte Likeness Index; HLI) for comparing the hepatic properties of cells against a physiological gold standard. The HLI was then applied in a targeted screen of extracellular niche factors to identify substrates driving i-Heps closer to the standard. Laminin 411, the top hit, was validated in two additional induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines, primary tissue, and an in vitro model of α1-antitrypsin deficiency. Cumulatively, these data provide a reference method to control and screen for i-Hep differentiation, identify Laminin 411 as a key niche protein, and underscore the importance of combining substrates, soluble factors, and HCA when developing iPSC applications.

Rieblinger B, Fischer K, Kind A, Saller BS, Baars W, Schuster M, Wolf-van Buerck L, Schäffler A, Flisikowska T, Kurome M et al. 2018. Strong xenoprotective function by single-copy transgenes placed sequentially at a permissive locus. Xenotransplantation, 25 (2), pp. e12382. | Citations: 2 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Multiple xenoprotective transgenes are best grouped at a single locus to avoid segregation during breeding and simplify production of donor animals. METHODS: We used transgene stacking to place a human CD55 transgene adjacent to a human heme oxygenase 1 construct at the porcine ROSA26 locus. A transgenic pig was analyzed by PCR, RT-PCR, droplet digital PCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometry. Resistance to complement-mediated cell lysis and caspase 3/7 activation were determined in vitro. RESULTS: The ROSA26 locus was retargeted efficiently, and animals were generated by nuclear transfer. RNA and protein analyses revealed abundant expression in all organs analyzed, including pancreatic beta cells. Transgenic porcine kidney fibroblasts were almost completely protected against complement-mediated lysis and showed reduced caspase 3/7 activation. CONCLUSION: Step-by-step placement enables highly expressed single-copy xenoprotective transgenes to be grouped at porcine ROSA26.

Tuppi M, Kehrloesser S, Coutandin DW, Rossi V, Luh LM, Strubel A, Hötte K, Hoffmeister M, Schäfer B, De Oliveira T et al. 2018. Oocyte DNA damage quality control requires consecutive interplay of CHK2 and CK1 to activate p63. Nat Struct Mol Biol, 25 (3), pp. 261-269. | Citations: 11 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

The survival rate of cancer patients is steadily increasing, owing to more efficient therapies. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of chemotherapy-induced premature ovarian insufficiency (POI) could identify targets for prevention of POI. Loss of the primordial follicle reserve is the most important cause of POI, with the p53 family member p63 being responsible for DNA-damage-induced apoptosis of resting oocytes. Here, we provide the first detailed mechanistic insight into the activation of p63, a process that requires phosphorylation by both the priming kinase CHK2 and the executioner kinase CK1 in mouse primordial follicles. We further describe the structural changes induced by phosphorylation that enable p63 to adopt its active tetrameric conformation and demonstrate that previously discussed phosphorylation by c-Abl is not involved in this process. Inhibition of CK1 rescues primary oocytes from doxorubicin and cisplatin-induced apoptosis, thus uncovering a new target for the development of fertoprotective therapies.

Scheer S, Ackloo S, Medina T, Schapira M, Li F, Ward J, Lewis A, Northrop J, Richardson P, Kaniskan HU et al. 2018. A Chemical Biology Toolbox for the Study of Protein Methyltransferases and Epigenetic Signaling | Show Abstract | Read more

Protein methyltransferases (PMTs) comprise a major class of epigenetic regulatory enzymes with therapeutic relevance. Here we present a collection of chemical probes and associated reagents and data to elucidate the function of human and murine PMTs in cellular studies. Our collection provides inhibitors and antagonists that together modulate most of the key regulatory methylation marks on histones H3 and H4, providing an important resource for modulating cellular epigenomes. We describe a comprehensive and comparative characterization of the probe collection with respect to their potency, selectivity, and mode of inhibition. We demonstrate the utility of this collection in CD4+ T cell differentiation assays revealing the remarkable potential of individual probes to alter multiple T cell subpopulations with important implications for T cell-mediated processes such as inflammation and immuno-oncology. In particular, we demonstrate a role for DOT1L in limiting Th1 cell differentiation and maintaining lineage integrity.

Zheng Y, Sethi R, Mangala LS, Taylor C, Goldsmith J, Wang M, Masuda K, Karaminejadranjbar M, Mannion D, Miranda F et al. 2018. Tuning microtubule dynamics to enhance cancer therapy by modulating FER-mediated CRMP2 phosphorylation. Nat Commun, 9 (1), pp. 476. | Citations: 6 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Though used widely in cancer therapy, paclitaxel only elicits a response in a fraction of patients. A strong determinant of paclitaxel tumor response is the state of microtubule dynamic instability. However, whether the manipulation of this physiological process can be controlled to enhance paclitaxel response has not been tested. Here, we show a previously unrecognized role of the microtubule-associated protein CRMP2 in inducing microtubule bundling through its carboxy terminus. This activity is significantly decreased when the FER tyrosine kinase phosphorylates CRMP2 at Y479 and Y499. The crystal structures of wild-type CRMP2 and CRMP2-Y479E reveal how mimicking phosphorylation prevents tetramerization of CRMP2. Depletion of FER or reducing its catalytic activity using sub-therapeutic doses of inhibitors increases paclitaxel-induced microtubule stability and cytotoxicity in ovarian cancer cells and in vivo. This work provides a rationale for inhibiting FER-mediated CRMP2 phosphorylation to enhance paclitaxel on-target activity for cancer therapy.

Schrade K, Tröger J, Eldahshan A, Zühlke K, Abdul Azeez KR, Elkins JM, Neuenschwander M, Oder A, Elkewedi M, Jaksch S et al. 2018. An AKAP-Lbc-RhoA interaction inhibitor promotes the translocation of aquaporin-2 to the plasma membrane of renal collecting duct principal cells. PLoS One, 13 (1), pp. e0191423. | Citations: 5 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Stimulation of renal collecting duct principal cells with antidiuretic hormone (arginine-vasopressin, AVP) results in inhibition of the small GTPase RhoA and the enrichment of the water channel aquaporin-2 (AQP2) in the plasma membrane. The membrane insertion facilitates water reabsorption from primary urine and fine-tuning of body water homeostasis. Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) interact with RhoA, catalyze the exchange of GDP for GTP and thereby activate the GTPase. However, GEFs involved in the control of AQP2 in renal principal cells are unknown. The A-kinase anchoring protein, AKAP-Lbc, possesses GEF activity, specifically activates RhoA, and is expressed in primary renal inner medullary collecting duct principal (IMCD) cells. Through screening of 18,431 small molecules and synthesis of a focused library around one of the hits, we identified an inhibitor of the interaction of AKAP-Lbc and RhoA. This molecule, Scaff10-8, bound to RhoA, inhibited the AKAP-Lbc-mediated RhoA activation but did not interfere with RhoA activation through other GEFs or activities of other members of the Rho family of small GTPases, Rac1 and Cdc42. Scaff10-8 promoted the redistribution of AQP2 from intracellular vesicles to the periphery of IMCD cells. Thus, our data demonstrate an involvement of AKAP-Lbc-mediated RhoA activation in the control of AQP2 trafficking.

Fung E, Richter C, Yang H-B, Schäffer I, Fischer R, Kessler BM, Bassermann F, D'Angiolella V. 2018. FBXL13 directs the proteolysis of CEP192 to regulate centrosome homeostasis and cell migration. EMBO Rep, 19 (3), pp. e44799-e44799. | Citations: 2 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Aberrant centrosome organisation with ensuing alterations of microtubule nucleation capacity enables tumour cells to proliferate and invade despite increased genomic instability. CEP192 is a key factor in the initiation process of centrosome duplication and in the control of centrosome microtubule nucleation. However, regulatory means of CEP192 have remained unknown. Here, we report that FBXL13, a binding determinant of SCF (SKP1-CUL1-F-box)-family E3 ubiquitin ligases, is enriched at centrosomes and interacts with the centrosomal proteins Centrin-2, Centrin-3, CEP152 and CEP192. Among these, CEP192 is specifically targeted for proteasomal degradation by FBXL13. Accordingly, induced FBXL13 expression downregulates centrosomal γ-tubulin and disrupts centrosomal microtubule arrays. In addition, depletion of FBXL13 induces high levels of CEP192 and γ-tubulin at the centrosomes with the consequence of defects in cell motility. Together, we characterise FBXL13 as a novel regulator of microtubule nucleation activity and highlight a role in promoting cell motility with potential tumour-promoting implications.

Kanellopoulos AH, Koenig J, Huang H, Pyrski M, Millet Q, Lolignier S, Morohashi T, Gossage SJ, Jay M, Linley JE et al. 2018. Mapping protein interactions of sodium channel NaV1.7 using epitope-tagged gene-targeted mice. EMBO J, 37 (3), pp. 427-445. | Citations: 7 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

The voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 plays a critical role in pain pathways. We generated an epitope-tagged NaV1.7 mouse that showed normal pain behaviours to identify channel-interacting proteins. Analysis of NaV1.7 complexes affinity-purified under native conditions by mass spectrometry revealed 267 proteins associated with Nav1.7 in vivo The sodium channel β3 (Scn3b), rather than the β1 subunit, complexes with Nav1.7, and we demonstrate an interaction between collapsing-response mediator protein (Crmp2) and Nav1.7, through which the analgesic drug lacosamide regulates Nav1.7 current density. Novel NaV1.7 protein interactors including membrane-trafficking protein synaptotagmin-2 (Syt2), L-type amino acid transporter 1 (Lat1) and transmembrane P24-trafficking protein 10 (Tmed10) together with Scn3b and Crmp2 were validated by co-immunoprecipitation (Co-IP) from sensory neuron extract. Nav1.7, known to regulate opioid receptor efficacy, interacts with the G protein-regulated inducer of neurite outgrowth (Gprin1), an opioid receptor-binding protein, demonstrating a physical and functional link between Nav1.7 and opioid signalling. Further information on physiological interactions provided with this normal epitope-tagged mouse should provide useful insights into the many functions now associated with the NaV1.7 channel.

Thompson AG, Gray E, Thézénas M-L, Charles PD, Evetts S, Hu MT, Talbot K, Fischer R, Kessler BM, Turner MR. 2018. Cerebrospinal fluid macrophage biomarkers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Ann Neurol, 83 (2), pp. 258-268. | Citations: 17 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVE: The neurodegenerative disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a heterogeneous clinical syndrome involving multiple molecular pathways. The development of biomarkers for use in therapeutic trials is a priority. We sought to use a high-throughput proteomic method to identify novel biomarkers in individual cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples. METHODS: Liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry with label-free quantification was used to identify CSF proteins using samples from a well-characterized longitudinal cohort comprising patients with ALS (n = 43), the upper motor neuron variant, primary lateral sclerosis (PLS; n = 6), and cross-sectional healthy (n = 20) and disease controls (Parkinsons' disease, n = 20; ALS mimic disorders, n = 12). RESULTS: Three macrophage-derived chitinases showed increased abundance in ALS: chitotriosidase (CHIT1), chitinase-3-like protein 1 (CHI3L1), and chitinase-3-like protein 2 (CHI3L2). Elevated CHI3L1 was common to ALS and PLS, whereas CHIT1 and CHI3L2 levels differed. Chitinase levels correlated with disease progression rate (CHIT1, r = 0.56, p < 0.001; CHI3L1, r = 0.31; p = 0.028; CHI3L2, r = 0.29, p = 0.044). CHIT1, CHI3L1, and CHI3L2 levels correlated with phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain (pNFH; r = 0.62, p < 0.001; r = 0.49, p < 0.001; r = 0.41, p < 0.001). CHI3L1 levels, but not CHIT1 or CHI3L2, increased over time in those with low initial levels (gradient = 0.005 log abundance units/month, p = 0.001). High CHIT1 was associated with shortened survival (hazard ratio [HR] 2.84; p = 0.009). Inclusion of pNFH in survival models left only an association of pNFH and survival (HR 1.26; p = 0.019). INTERPRETATION: Neuroinflammatory mechanisms have been consistently implicated through various experimental paradigms. These results support a key role for macrophage activity in ALS pathogenesis, offering novel target engagement and pharmacodynamic biomarkers for neuroinflammation-focused ALS therapy. Ann Neurol 2018;83:258-268.

Kiely-Collins HJ, Sechi I, Brennan PE, McLaughlin MG. 2018. Mild, calcium catalysed Beckmann rearrangements. Chem Commun (Camb), 54 (6), pp. 654-657. | Citations: 3 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

A mild calcium catalysed Beckmann rearrangement has been realised, which forgoes the more traditional harsh reactions conditions associated with the transformation. The catalyst system is shown to be tolerant towards a wide variety of functional groups relevant to natural product synthesis and medicinal chemistry and the synthetic utility of the reaction has also been investigated. A preliminary mechanistic investigation was performed to understand the nature of the incoming nucleophile and a possible reaction pathway is described.

Nyagwange J, Tijhaar E, Ternette N, Mobegi F, Tretina K, Silva JC, Pelle R, Nene V. 2018. Characterization of the Theileria parva sporozoite proteome. Int J Parasitol, 48 (3-4), pp. 265-273. | Citations: 1 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

East Coast fever is a lymphoproliferative disease caused by the tick-borne protozoan parasite Theileria parva. The sporozoite stage of this parasite, harboured and released from the salivary glands of the tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus during feeding, invades and establishes infection in bovine lymphocytes. Blocking this initial stage of invasion presents a promising vaccine strategy for control of East Coast fever and can in part be achieved by targeting the major sporozoite surface protein p67. To support research on the biology of T. parva and the identification of additional candidate vaccine antigens, we report on the sporozoite proteome as defined by LC-MS/MS analysis. In total, 4780 proteins were identified in an enriched preparation of sporozoites. Of these, 2007 were identified as T. parva proteins, representing close to 50% of the total predicted parasite proteome. The remaining 2773 proteins were derived from the tick vector. The identified sporozoite proteins include a set of known T. parva antigens targeted by antibodies and cytotoxic T cells from cattle that are immune to East Coast fever. We also identified proteins predicted to be orthologs of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite surface molecules and invasion organelle proteins, and proteins that may contribute to the phenomenon of bovine lymphocyte transformation. Overall, these data establish a protein expression profile of T. parva sporozoites as an important starting point for further study of a parasitic species which has considerable agricultural impact.

Vasta JD, Corona CR, Wilkinson J, Zimprich CA, Hartnett JR, Ingold MR, Zimmerman K, Machleidt T, Kirkland TA, Huwiler KG et al. 2018. Quantitative, Wide-Spectrum Kinase Profiling in Live Cells for Assessing the Effect of Cellular ATP on Target Engagement. Cell Chem Biol, 25 (2), pp. 206-214.e11. | Citations: 19 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

For kinase inhibitors, intracellular target selectivity is fundamental to pharmacological mechanism. Although a number of acellular techniques have been developed to measure kinase binding or enzymatic inhibition, such approaches can fail to accurately predict engagement in cells. Here we report the application of an energy transfer technique that enabled the first broad-spectrum, equilibrium-based approach to quantitatively profile target occupancy and compound affinity in live cells. Using this method, we performed a selectivity profiling for clinically relevant kinase inhibitors against 178 full-length kinases, and a mechanistic interrogation of the potency offsets observed between cellular and biochemical analysis. For the multikinase inhibitor crizotinib, our approach accurately predicted cellular potency and revealed improved target selectivity compared with biochemical measurements. Due to cellular ATP, a number of putative crizotinib targets are unexpectedly disengaged in live cells at a clinically relevant drug dose.

Nielsen M, Connelley T, Ternette N. 2018. Improved Prediction of Bovine Leucocyte Antigens (BoLA) Presented Ligands by Use of Mass-Spectrometry-Determined Ligand and in Vitro Binding Data. J Proteome Res, 17 (1), pp. 559-567. | Citations: 2 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Peptide binding to MHC class I molecules is the single most selective step in antigen presentation and the strongest single correlate to peptide cellular immunogenicity. The cost of experimentally characterizing the rules of peptide presentation for a given MHC-I molecule is extensive, and predictors of peptide-MHC interactions constitute an attractive alternative. Recently, an increasing amount of MHC presented peptides identified by mass spectrometry (MS ligands) has been published. Handling and interpretation of MS ligand data is, in general, challenging due to the polyspecificity nature of the data. We here outline a general pipeline for dealing with this challenge and accurately annotate ligands to the relevant MHC-I molecule they were eluted from by use of GibbsClustering and binding motif information inferred from in silico models. We illustrate the approach here in the context of MHC-I molecules (BoLA) of cattle. Next, we demonstrate how such annotated BoLA MS ligand data can readily be integrated with in vitro binding affinity data in a prediction model with very high and unprecedented performance for identification of BoLA-I restricted T-cell epitopes. The prediction model is freely available at . The approach has here been applied to the BoLA-I system, but the pipeline is readily applicable to MHC systems in other species.

Shadrick WR, Slavish PJ, Chai SC, Waddell B, Connelly M, Low JA, Tallant C, Young BM, Bharatham N, Knapp S et al. 2018. Exploiting a water network to achieve enthalpy-driven, bromodomain-selective BET inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem, 26 (1), pp. 25-36. | Citations: 5 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Within the last decade, the Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal domain family (BET) of proteins have emerged as promising drug targets in diverse clinical indications including oncology, auto-immune disease, heart failure, and male contraception. The BET family consists of four isoforms (BRD2, BRD3, BRD4, and BRDT/BRDT6) which are distinguished by the presence of two tandem bromodomains (BD1 and BD2) that independently recognize acetylated-lysine (KAc) residues and appear to have distinct biological roles. BET BD1 and BD2 bromodomains differ at five positions near the substrate binding pocket: the variation in the ZA channel induces different water networks nearby. We designed a set of congeneric 2- and 3-heteroaryl substituted tetrahydroquinolines (THQ) to differentially engage bound waters in the ZA channel with the goal of achieving bromodomain selectivity. SJ830599 (9) showed modest, but consistent, selectivity for BRD2-BD2. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we showed that the binding of all THQ analogs in our study to either of the two bromodomains was enthalpy driven. Remarkably, the binding of 9 to BRD2-BD2 was marked by negative entropy and was entirely driven by enthalpy, consistent with significant restriction of conformational flexibility and/or engagement with bound waters. Co-crystallography studies confirmed that 9 did indeed stabilize a water-mediated hydrogen bond network. Finally, we report that 9 retained cytotoxicity against several pediatric cancer cell lines with EC50 values comparable to BET inhibitor (BETi) clinical candidates.

Tiana M, Acosta-Iborra B, Puente-Santamaría L, Hernansanz-Agustin P, Worsley-Hunt R, Masson N, García-Rio F, Mole D, Ratcliffe P, Wasserman WW et al. 2018. The SIN3A histone deacetylase complex is required for a complete transcriptional response to hypoxia. Nucleic Acids Res, 46 (1), pp. 120-133. | Citations: 3 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Cells adapt to environmental changes, including fluctuations in oxygen levels, through the induction of specific gene expression programs. To identify genes regulated by hypoxia at the transcriptional level, we pulse-labeled HUVEC cells with 4-thiouridine and sequenced nascent transcripts. Then, we searched genome-wide binding profiles from the ENCODE project for factors that correlated with changes in transcription and identified binding of several components of the Sin3A co-repressor complex, including SIN3A, SAP30 and HDAC1/2, proximal to genes repressed by hypoxia. SIN3A interference revealed that it participates in the downregulation of 75% of the hypoxia-repressed genes in endothelial cells. Unexpectedly, it also blunted the induction of 47% of the upregulated genes, suggesting a role for this corepressor in gene induction. In agreement, ChIP-seq experiments showed that SIN3A preferentially localizes to the promoter region of actively transcribed genes and that SIN3A signal was enriched in hypoxia-repressed genes, prior exposure to the stimulus. Importantly, SINA3 occupancy was not altered by hypoxia in spite of changes in H3K27ac signal. In summary, our results reveal a prominent role for SIN3A in the transcriptional response to hypoxia and suggest a model where modulation of the associated histone deacetylase activity, rather than its recruitment, determines the transcriptional output.

Chaikuad A, Koch P, Laufer SA, Knapp S. 2018. The Cysteinome of Protein Kinases as a Target in Drug Development. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 57 (16), pp. 4372-4385. | Citations: 18 (Scopus) | Show Abstract | Read more

Drugs that function through covalent bond formation represent a considerable fraction of our repository of effective medicines but safety concerns and the complexity of developing covalent inhibitors has rendered covalent targeting a less attractive strategy for rational drug design. The recent approval of four covalent kinase inhibitors and the development of highly potent covalent kinase probes with exceptional selectivity has raised significant interest in industry and academic research and validated the concept of covalent kinase targeting for clinical applications. The abundance of cysteines at diverse positions in and around the kinase active site suggests that a large fraction of kinases can be targeted by covalent inhibitors. Herein, we review recent developments of this rapidly growing area in kinase drug development and highlight the unique opportunities and challenges of this strategy.

Shao W, Pedrioli PGA, Wolski W, Scurtescu C, Schmid E, Vizcaíno JA, Courcelles M, Schuster H, Kowalewski D, Marino F et al. 2018. The SysteMHC Atlas project. Nucleic Acids Res, 46 (D1), pp. D1237-D1247. | Citations: 19 (Web of Science Lite) | Show Abstract | Read more

Mass spectrometry (MS)-based immunopeptidomics investigates the repertoire of peptides presented at the cell surface by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. The broad clinical relevance of MHC-associated peptides, e.g. in precision medicine, provides a strong rationale for the large-scale generation of immunopeptidomic datasets and recent developments in MS-based peptide analysis technologies now support the generation of the required data. Importantly, the availability of diverse immunopeptidomic datasets has resulted in an increasing need to standardize, store and exchange this type of data to enable better collaborations among researchers, to advance the field more efficiently and to establish quality measures required for the meaningful comparison of datasets. Here we present the SysteMHC Atlas (, a public database that aims at collecting, organizing, sharing, visualizing and exploring immunopeptidomic data generated by MS. The Atlas includes raw mass spectrometer output files collected from several laboratories around the globe, a catalog of context-specific datasets of MHC class I and class II peptides, standardized MHC allele-specific peptide spectral libraries consisting of consensus spectra calculated from repeat measurements of the same peptide sequence, and links to other proteomics and immunology databases. The SysteMHC Atlas project was created and will be further expanded using a uniform and open computational pipeline that controls the quality of peptide identifications and peptide annotations. Thus, the SysteMHC Atlas disseminates quality controlled immunopeptidomic information to the public domain and serves as a community resource toward the generation of a high-quality comprehensive map of the human immunopeptidome and the support of consistent measurement of immunopeptidomic sample cohorts.

Moussa E, Huang H, Ahras M, Lall A, Thezenas ML, Fischer R, Kessler BM, Pain A, Billker O, Casals-Pascual C. 2018. Proteomic profiling of the brain of mice with experimental cerebral malaria. J Proteomics, 180 pp. 61-69. | Citations: 1 (European Pubmed Central) | Show Abstract | Read more

Cerebral malaria (CM) is a severe neurological complication of malaria infection in both adults and children. In pursuit of effective treatment of CM, clinical studies, postmortem analysis and animal models have been employed to understand the pathology and identify effective interventions. In this study, a shotgun proteomics analysis was conducted to profile the proteomic signature of the brain tissue of mice with experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) in order to further understand the underlying pathology. To identify CM-associated response, proteomic signatures of the brains of C57/Bl6N mice infected with P. berghei ANKA that developed neurological syndrome were compared to those of mice infected with P. berghei NK65 that developed equally high parasite burdens without neurological signs, and to those of non-infected mice. The results show that the CM-associated response in mice that developed neurological signs comprise mainly acute-phase reaction and coagulation cascade activation, and indicate the leakage of plasma proteins into the brain parenchyma. SIGNIFICANCE: Cerebral malaria (CM) remains a major cause of death in children. The majority of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Even with adequate access to treatment, mortality remains high and neurological sequelae can be found in up to 20% of survivors. No adjuvant treatment to date has been shown to reduce mortality and the pathophysiology of CM is largely unknown. Experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) is a well-established model that may contribute to identify and test druggable targets. In this study we have identified the disruption of the blood-brain barrier following inflammatory and vascular injury as a mechanism of disease. In this study we report a number of proteins that could be validated as potential biomarkers of ECM. Further studies, will be required to validate the clinical relevance of these biomarkers in human CM.

Total publications on this page: 72

Total citations for publications on this page: 273