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Global outbreaks caused by emerging or re-emerging arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses) are becoming increasingly more common. These pathogens include the mosquito-borne viruses belonging to the and genera. These viruses often cause non-specific or asymptomatic infection, which can confound viral prevalence studies. In addition, many acute phase diagnostic tests rely on the detection of viral components such as RNA or antigen. Standard serological tests are often not reliable for diagnosis after seroconversion and convalescence due to cross-reactivity among flaviviruses. In order to contribute to development efforts for mosquito-borne serodiagnostics, we incubated 137 human sera on individual custom peptide arrays that consisted of over 866 unique peptides in quadruplicate. Our bioinformatics workflow to analyze these data incorporated machine learning, statistics, and B-cell epitope prediction. Here we report the results of our peptide array data analysis, which revealed sets of peptides that have diagnostic potential for detecting past exposure to a subset of the tested human pathogens including Zika virus. These peptides were then confirmed using the well-established ELISA method. These array data, and the resulting peptides can be useful in diverse efforts including the development of new pan-flavivirus antibodies, more accurate epitope mapping, and vaccine development against these viral pathogens.
Copyright: © 2020 Martinez Viedma MdP et al.
OBJECTIVE - To characterize the phenotype and function of fibroblasts derived from airway scar in idiopathic subglottic stenosis (iSGS) and to explore scar fibroblast response to interleukin 17A (IL-17A).
STUDY DESIGN - Basic science.
SETTING - Laboratory.
SUBJECTS AND METHODS - Primary fibroblast cell lines from iSGS subjects, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis subjects, and normal control airways were utilized for analysis. Protein, molecular, and flow cytometric techniques were applied in vitro to assess the phenotype and functional response of disease fibroblasts to IL-17A.
RESULTS - Mechanistically, IL-17A drives iSGS scar fibroblast proliferation ( P < .01), synergizes with transforming growth factor ß1 to promote extracellular matrix production (collagen and fibronectin; P = .04), and directly stimulates scar fibroblasts to produce chemokines (chemokine ligand 2) and cytokines (IL-6 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor) critical to the recruitment and differentiation of myeloid cells ( P < .01). Glucocorticoids abrogated IL-17A-dependent iSGS scar fibroblast production of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor ( P = .02).
CONCLUSION - IL-17A directly drives iSGS scar fibroblast proliferation, synergizes with transforming growth factor ß1 to promote extracellular matrix production, and amplifies local inflammatory signaling. Glucocorticoids appear to partially abrogate fibroblast-dependent inflammatory signaling. These results offer mechanistic support for future translational study of clinical reagents for manipulation of the IL-17A pathway in iSGS patients.
The elicitation of autologous neutralizing responses by immunization with HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimers conformationally stabilized in a prefusion closed state has generated considerable interest in the HIV-1 vaccine field. However, soluble prefusion closed Env trimers have been produced from only a handful of HIV-1 strains, limiting their utility as vaccine antigens and B cell probes. Here, we report the engineering from 81 HIV-1 strains of soluble, fully cleaved, prefusion Env trimers with appropriate antigenicity. We used a 96-well expression-screening format to assess the ability of artificial disulfides and Ile559Pro substitution (DS-SOSIP) to produce soluble cleaved-Env trimers; from 180 Env strains, 20 yielded prefusion closed trimers. We also created chimeras, by utilizing structure-based design to incorporate select regions from the well-behaved BG505 strain; from 180 Env strains, 78 DS-SOSIP-stabilized chimeras, including 61 additional strains, yielded prefusion closed trimers. Structure-based design thus enables the production of prefusion closed HIV-1-Env trimers from dozens of diverse strains.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Vaccinia virus (VACV) envelope protein D8 is one of three glycosaminoglycan adhesion molecules and binds to the linear polysaccharide chondroitin sulfate (CS). D8 is also a target for neutralizing antibody responses that are elicited by the smallpox vaccine, which has enabled the first eradication of a human viral pathogen and is a useful model for studying antibody responses. However, to date, VACV epitopes targeted by human antibodies have not been characterized at atomic resolution. Here, we characterized the binding properties of several human anti-D8 antibodies and determined the crystal structures of three VACV-mAb variants, VACV-66, VACV-138, and VACV-304, separately bound to D8. Although all these antibodies bound D8 with high affinity and were moderately neutralizing in the presence of complement, VACV-138 and VACV-304 also fully blocked D8 binding to CS-A, the low affinity ligand for D8. VACV-138 also abrogated D8 binding to the high-affinity ligand CS-E, but we observed residual CS-E binding was observed in the presence of VACV-304. Analysis of the VACV-138- and VACV-304-binding sites along the CS-binding crevice of D8, combined with different efficiencies of blocking D8 adhesion to CS-A and CS-E allowed us to propose that D8 has a high- and low-affinity CS-binding region within its central crevice. The crevice is amenable to protein engineering to further enhance both specificity and affinity of binding to CS-E. Finally, a wild-type D8 tetramer specifically bound to structures within the developing glomeruli of the kidney, which express CS-E. We propose that through structure-based protein engineering, an improved D8 tetramer could be used as a potential diagnostic tool to detect expression of CS-E, which is a possible biomarker for ovarian cancer.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
OBJECTIVES - The aim of the study was to assess the extent to which misoprostol alters mucosal or systemic immune responses following either buccal or vaginal administration.
METHODS - This was a prospective, crossover pilot study of 15 healthy, reproductive-age women. Women first received 800 μg misoprostol either via buccal or vaginal administration and were crossed over 1 month later to receive the drug via the other route. Cervicovaginal lavage samples, cervical Cytobrush samples, cervicovaginal swabs, urine and blood were obtained immediately prior to drug administration and the following day. Parameters assessed included urine and cervicovaginal misoprostol levels, whole blood cytokine responses (by ELISA) to immune stimulation with lipopolysaccharide, peripheral blood and cervical lymphocyte phenotyping by flow cytometry, cervicovaginal antimicrobial peptide measurement by ELISA and vaginal microbial ecology assessment by 16S rRNA sequencing.
RESULTS - Neither buccal nor vaginal misoprostol significantly altered local or systemic immune and microbiological parameters.
CONCLUSION - In this pilot study, we did not observe significant alteration of mucosal or systemic immunology or vaginal microbial ecology 1 day after drug administration following either the buccal or vaginal route.
Shared VH1-46 gene usage has been described in B cells reacting to desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) in the autoimmune disease pemphigus vulgaris (PV), as well as B cells responding to rotavirus capsid protein VP6. In both diseases, VH1-46 B cells bearing few to no somatic mutations can recognize the disease Ag. This intriguing connection between an autoimmune response to self-antigen and an immune response to foreign Ag prompted us to investigate whether VH1-46 B cells may be predisposed to Dsg3-VP6 cross-reactivity. Focused testing of VH1-46 mAbs previously isolated from PV and rotavirus-exposed individuals indicates that cross-reactivity is rare, found in only one of seven VH1-46 IgG clonotypes. High-throughput screening of IgG B cell repertoires from two PV patients identified no additional cross-reactive clonotypes. Screening of IgM B cell repertoires from one non-PV and three PV patients identified specific cross-reactive Abs in one PV patient, but notably all six cross-reactive clonotypes used VH1-46. Site-directed mutagenesis studies indicate that amino acid residues predisposing VH1-46 Abs to Dsg3 reactivity reside in CDR2. However, somatic mutations only rarely promote Dsg3-VP6 cross-reactivity; most mutations abolish VP6 and/or Dsg3 reactivity. Nevertheless, functional testing identified two cross-reactive VH1-46 Abs that both disrupt keratinocyte adhesion and inhibit rotavirus replication, indicating the potential for VH1-46 Abs to have both pathologic autoimmune and protective immune functions. Taken together, these studies suggest that certain VH1-46 B cell populations may be predisposed to Dsg3-VP6 cross-reactivity, but multiple mechanisms prevent the onset of autoimmunity after rotavirus exposure.
Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Noroviruses (NoV) are the most common cause of non-bacterial acute gastroenteritis and cause local outbreaks of illness, especially in confined situations. Despite being identified four decades ago, the correlates of protection against norovirus gastroenteritis are still being elucidated. Recent studies have shown an association of protection with NoV-specific serum histo-blood group antigen-blocking antibody and with serum IgA in patients vaccinated with NoV VLPs. Here, we describe the isolation and characterization of human monoclonal IgG and IgA antibodies against a GI.I NoV, Norwalk virus (NV). A higher proportion of the IgA antibodies blocked NV VLP binding to glycans than did IgG antibodies. We generated isotype-switched variants of IgG and IgA antibodies to study the effects of the constant domain on blocking and binding activities. The IgA form of antibodies appears to be more potent than the IgG form in blocking norovirus binding to histo-blood group antigens. These studies suggest a unique role for IgA antibodies in protection from NoV infections by blocking attachment to cell receptors.
RATIONALE - Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a fatal disease, and pulmonary microvascular remodeling is an important contributor to PAH development. Therefore, we hypothesized that a circulating angiogenic factor could predict disease severity and survival.
OBJECTIVES - We sought to assess the relationship of serum hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) with PAH disease severity and survival.
METHODS - Using a newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, we evaluated circulating HDGF levels in two independent PAH cohorts and two different characterized control cohorts. Clinical and laboratory data were also used to assess the value of HDGF as a PAH prognostic biomarker.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS - Serum HDGF levels were significantly elevated in two independent PAH cohorts. Importantly, serum HDGF levels were not elevated in a noncardiac chronic disease cohort. Further, patients with elevated HDGF had significantly lower exercise tolerance, worse New York Heart Association functional class, and higher levels of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide. HDGF was a strong predictor of mortality, with an unadjusted hazard ratio of 4.5 (95% confidence interval, 1.9-10.3; P = 0.003 by log-rank test). In multivariable Cox proportional hazards models, elevated HDGF levels predicted decreased survival after being adjusted for age, PAH subtype, invasive hemodynamics, and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide.
CONCLUSIONS - Elevated HDGF was associated with worse functional class, exertional intolerance, and increased mortality in PAH, suggesting HDGF as a potential biomarker for predicting mortality and as having possible diagnostic value for distinguishing PAH from non-PAH. HDGF may add additional value in PAH risk stratification in clinical trials and may represent a potential target for future PAH drug development.
PURPOSE - No biomarker is available for pancreatic cancer early detection, but a small prospective European study involving 16 cases and 32 controls raised the possibility that anti-Ezrin autoantibodies may be associated with risk of pancreatic cancer. We aimed to validate this finding in a case-control study nested within a prospective study in the USA.
METHODS - Levels of anti-Ezrin autoantibodies were examined using ELISA in pre-diagnostic plasma samples of 73 cases and 145 matched controls. Paired t test and paired signed rank tests were used to determine the difference between two groups, and conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between anti-Ezrin autoantibody levels and risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
RESULTS - No association was found between levels of anti-Ezrin plasma autoantibodies and subsequent risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
CONCLUSION - Anti-Ezrin autoantibodies did not appear to be useful as a plasma biomarker for early detection of pancreatic cancer.
In Alzheimer's disease (AD), most hippocampal and cortical neurons show increased staining with anti-transthyretin (TTR) antibodies. Genetically programmed overexpression of wild type human TTR suppressed the neuropathologic and behavioral abnormalities in APP23 AD model mice and TTR-Aβ complexes have been isolated from some human AD brains and those of APP23 transgenic mice. In the present study, in vitro NMR analysis showed interaction between the hydrophobic thyroxine binding pocket of TTR and the cytoplasmic loop of the C99 fragment released by β-secretase cleavage of AβPP, with Kd = 86±9 μM. In cultured cells expressing both proteins, the interaction reduced phosphorylation of C99 (at T668) and suppressed its cleavage by γ-secretase, significantly decreasing Aβ secretion. Coupled with its previously demonstrated capacity to inhibit Aβ aggregation (with the resultant cytotoxicity in tissue culture) and its regulation by HSF1, these findings indicate that TTR can behave as a stress responsive multimodal suppressor of AD pathogenesis.