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Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology

Stylianos Bournazos
Immunoglobulins (Ig), a critical component of the adaptive immune system, are present in all jawed vertebrates and through sophisticated diversification mechanisms are able to recognize antigens of almost infinite diversity. During mammalian evolution, IgG has emerged as the predominant Ig isotype that is elicited upon antigenic challenge, representing the most abundant isotype present in circulation. Along with the IgG molecule, a family of specialized receptors has evolved in mammalian species that specifically recognize the Fc domain of IgG...
February 10, 2019: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Mary K McCarthy, Bennett J J Davenport, Thomas E Morrison
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus that has caused both small- and large-scale epidemics of incapacitating musculoskeletal disease across the globe. A substantial proportion of infected individuals experience debilitating arthralgia and/or arthritis that can persist in relapsing or continuous forms for months to years, an occurrence that appears independent of viral strain and outbreak location. Due to the lack of CHIKV-specific vaccine or therapeutics, treatment of chronic CHIKV disease is limited to supportive care...
January 18, 2019: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
I Frolov, E I Frolova
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) was discovered more than six decades ago, but has remained poorly investigated. However, after a recent outbreak of CHIK fever in both hemispheres and viral adaptation to new species of mosquitoes, it has attracted a lot of attention. The currently available experimental data suggest that molecular mechanisms of CHIKV replication in vertebrate and mosquito cells are similar to those of other New and Old World alphaviruses. However, this virus exhibits a number of unique characteristics that distinguish it from the other, better studied members of the alphavirus genus...
January 1, 2019: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Rocío García-Rodas, H C de Oliveira, Nuria Trevijano-Contador, Oscar Zaragoza
Cryptococcus neoformans is a human pathogenic yeast that causes hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide among susceptible individuals, in particular, HIV+ patients. This yeast has developed several adaptation mechanisms that allow replication within the host. During decades, this yeast has been well known for a very peculiar and unique structure that contributes to virulence, a complex polysaccharide capsule that surrounds the cell wall. In contrast to other fungal pathogens, such as Candida albicans or Aspergillus fumigatus, the role of morphological transitions has not been studied in the virulence of Cryptococcus neoformans since this yeast does not form hyphae during infection...
November 9, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Christopher Whidbey, Aaron T Wright
Microorganisms living in community are critical to life on Earth, playing numerous and profound roles in the environment and human and animal health. Though their essentiality to life is clear, the mechanistic underpinnings of community structure, interactions, and functions are largely unexplored and in need of function-dependent technologies to unravel the mysteries. Activity-based protein profiling offers unprecedented molecular-level characterization of functions within microbial communities and provides an avenue to determine how external exposures result in functional alterations to microbiomes...
November 9, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Virginia Basso, Christophe d'Enfert, Sadri Znaidi, Sophie Bachellier-Bassi
Candida albicans is a commensal yeast of most healthy individuals, but also one of the most prevalent human fungal pathogens. During adaptation to the mammalian host, C. albicans encounters different niches where it is exposed to several types of stress, including oxidative, nitrosative (e.g., immune system), osmotic (e.g., kidney and oral cavity) stresses and pH variation (e.g., gastrointestinal (GI) tract and vagina). C. albicans has developed the capacity to respond to the environmental changes by modifying its morphology, which comprises the yeast-to-hypha transition, white-opaque switching, and chlamydospore formation...
October 28, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Marc Maresca, Philippe Pinton, El Hassan Ajandouz, Sandrine Menard, Laurent Ferrier, Isabelle P Oswald
The intestine is a complex organ formed of different types of cell distributed in different layers of tissue. To minimize animal experiments, for decades, researchers have been trying to develop in vitro/ex vivo systems able to mimic the cellular diversity naturally found in the gut. Such models not only help our understanding of the gut physiology but also of intestinal toxicity. This review describes the different systems used to evaluate the effects of drugs/contaminants on intestinal functions and compares their advantages and limitations...
September 28, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Luis F Larrondo, Paulo Canessa
Tic-tac, tic-tac, the sound of time is familiar to us, yet, it also silently shapes daily biological processes conferring 24-hour rhythms in, among others, cellular and systemic signaling, gene expression, and metabolism. Indeed, circadian clocks are molecular machines that permit temporal control of a variety of processes in individuals, with a close to 24-hour period, optimizing cellular dynamics in synchrony with daily environmental cycles. For over three decades, the molecular bases of these clocks have been extensively described in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, yet, there have been few molecular studies in fungi other than Neurospora, despite evidence of rhythmic phenomena in many fungal species, including pathogenic ones...
September 26, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Suravi Chakrabarty, Jan Pascal Kahler, Merel A T van de Plassche, Roeland Vanhoutte, Steven H L Verhelst
The activity of proteases is tightly regulated, and dysregulation is linked to a variety of human diseases. For this reason, ABPP is a well-suited method to study protease biology and the design of protease probes has pushed the boundaries of ABPP. The development of highly selective protease probes is still a challenging task. After an introduction, the first section of this chapter discusses several strategies to enable detection of a single active protease species. These range from the usage of non-natural amino acids, combination of probes with antibodies, and engineering of the target proteases...
September 23, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Geneviève F Desrochers, John Paul Pezacki
Successful viral infection, as well as any resultant antiviral response, relies on numerous sequential interactions between host and viral factors. These interactions can take the form of affinity-based interactions between viral and host macromolecules or active, enzyme-based interactions, consisting both of direct enzyme activity performed by viral enzymes and indirect modulation of the activity of the host cell's enzymes via viral interference. This activity has the potential to transform the local microenvironment to the benefit or detriment of both the virus and the host, favouring either the continuation of the viral life cycle or the host's antiviral response...
September 23, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Sebastiaan T A Koenders, Berend Gagestein, Mario van der Stelt
Lipids perform a wide range of functions inside the cell, ranging from structural building block of membranes and energy storage to cell signaling. The mode of action of many signaling lipids has remained elusive due to their low abundance, high lipophilicity, and inherent instability. Various chemical biology approaches, such as photoaffinity or activity-based protein profiling methods, have been employed to shed light on the biological role of lipids and the lipid-protein interaction profile. In this review, we will summarize the recent developments in the field of chemical probes to study lipid biology, especially in immunology, and indicate potential avenues for future research...
September 22, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Sharon de Toledo Martins, Paulo Szwarc, Samuel Goldenberg, Lysangela Ronalte Alves
The comprehension of fungal biology is important for several reasons. Besides being used in biotechnological processes and in the food industry, fungi are also important animal and vegetal pathogens. Fungal diseases in humans have a great importance worldwide, and understanding fungal biology is crucial for treatment and prevention of these diseases, especially because of emerging antifungal resistance that poses great epidemiological risks. Communication through extracellular vesicles is a ubiquitous mechanism of molecule transfer between cells and is used to transport proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and other biologically active molecules...
September 22, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Ilsa T Kirby, Michael S Cohen
Over the last 60 years, poly-ADP-ribose polymerases (PARPs, 17 family members in humans) have emerged as important regulators of physiology and disease. Small-molecule inhibitors have been essential tools for unraveling PARP function, and recently the first PARP inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of various human cancers. However, inhibitors have only been developed for a few PARPs and in vitro profiling has revealed that many of these exhibit polypharmacology across the PARP family. In this review, we discuss the history, development, and current state of the field, highlighting the limitations and opportunities for PARP inhibitor development...
September 22, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Nagesh Sardesai, Subhashree Subramanyam
By mistake the chapter was published with incorrect author name. The chapter has now been corrected.
September 20, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Shabnam Sharifzadeh, Joshua D Shirley, Erin E Carlson
ABPP methods have been utilized for the last two decades as a means to investigate complex proteomes in all three domains of life. Extensive use in eukaryotes has provided a more fundamental understanding of the biological processes involved in numerous diseases and has driven drug discovery and treatment campaigns. However, the use of ABPP in prokaryotes has been less common, although it has gained more attention over the last decade. The urgent need for understanding bacteriophysiology and bacterial pathogenicity at a foundational level has never been more apparent, as the rise in antibiotic resistance has resulted in the inadequate and ineffective treatment of infections...
September 20, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Astrid Hendriks, Ana Rita Cruz, Elisabetta Soldaini, Andrea Guido Oreste Manetti, Fabio Bagnoli
The use of human organotypic models for biomedical research is experiencing a significant increase due to their biological relevance, the possibility to perform high-throughput analyses, and their cost efficiency. In the field of anti-infective research, comprising the search for novel antipathogenic treatments including vaccines, efforts have been made to reduce the use of animal models. That is due to two main reasons: unreliability of data obtained with animal models and the increasing willingness to reduce the use of animals in research for ethical reasons...
September 20, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Ilia Belotserkovsky, Philippe J Sansonetti
Shigella and enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC) are gram-negative bacteria responsible for bacillary dysentery (shigellosis) in humans, which is characterized by invasion and inflammatory destruction of the human colonic epithelium. Different EIEC and Shigella subgroups rose independently from commensal E. coli through patho-adaptive evolution that included loss of functional genes interfering with the virulence and/or with the intracellular lifestyle of the bacteria, as well as acquisition of genetic elements harboring virulence genes...
September 15, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Yekaterina Kovalyova, Stavroula K Hatzios
Activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) is a technique for selectively detecting reactive amino acids in complex proteomes with the aid of chemical probes. Using probes that target catalytically active enzymes, ABPP can rapidly define the functional proteome of a biological system. In recent years, this approach has been increasingly applied to globally profile enzymes active at the host-pathogen interface of microbial infections. From in vitro co-culture systems to animal models of infection, these studies have revealed enzyme-mediated mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity, host immunity, and metabolic adaptation that dynamically shape pathogen interactions with the host...
September 11, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Fernanda L Fonseca, Flavia C G Reis, Bianca A G Sena, Luísa J Jozefowicz, Livia Kmetzsch, Marcio L Rodrigues
Pathogenic species of Cryptococcus kill approximately 200,000 people each year. The most important virulence mechanism of C. neoformans and C. gattii, the causative agents of human and animal cryptococcosis, is the ability to form a polysaccharide capsule. Acapsular mutants of C. neoformans are avirulent in mice models of infection, and extracellularly released capsular polysaccharides are deleterious to the immune system. The principal capsular component in the Cryptococcus genus is a complex mannan substituted with xylosyl and glucuronyl units, namely glucuronoxylomannan (GXM)...
September 11, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
Venkatesh V Nemmara, Paul R Thompson
Protein arginine deiminases (PADs) catalyze the post-translational deimination of peptidyl arginine to form peptidyl citrulline. This modification is increased in multiple inflammatory diseases and in certain cancers. PADs regulate a variety of signaling pathways including apoptosis, terminal differentiation, and transcriptional regulation. Activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) probes have been developed to understand the role of the PADs in vivo and to investigate the effect of protein citrullination in various pathological conditions...
September 11, 2018: Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology
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