A genetic algorithm for simulating correlated binary data from biomedical research.

J. Kruppa, B. Lepenies, K. Jung.
Correlated binary data arise in a large variety of biomedical research. In order to evaluate methods for their analysis, computer simulations of such data are often required. Existing methods can often not cover the full range of possible correlations between the variables or are not available as implemented software. We propose a genetic algorithm that approaches the desired correlation structure under a given marginal distribution. The procedure generates a large representative matrix from which the probabilities of individual observations can be derived or from which samples can be drawn directly. Our genetic algorithm is evaluated under different specified marginal frequencies and correlation structures, and is compared against two existing approaches. The evaluation checks the speed and precision of the approach as well as its suitability for generating also high-dimensional data. In an example of high-throughput glycan array data, we demonstrate the usability of our approach to simulate the power of global test procedures. An implementation of our own and two other methods were added to the R-package ‘RepeatedHighDim’. The presented algorithm is not restricted to certain correlation structures. In contrast to existing methods it is also evaluated for high-dimensional data. Comput Biol Med. 2018 Jan 1;92:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2017.10.023. Epub 2017 Oct 31.

Glycopeptides as Targets for Dendritic Cells: Exploring MUC1 Glycopeptides Binding Profile toward Macrophage Galactose-Type Lectin (MGL) Orthologs.

G. Artigas, J.T. Monteiro, H. Hinou, S.I. Nishimura, B. Lepenies, F. Garcia-Martin
The macrophage galactose-type lectin (MGL) recognizes glycan moieties exposed by pathogens and malignant cells. Particularly, mucin-1 (MUC1) glycoprotein presents an altered glycosylation in several cancers. To estimate the ability of distinct MGL orthologs to recognize aberrant glycan cores in mucins, we applied evanescent-field detection to a versatile MUC1-like glycopeptide microarray platform. Here, as binding was sequence-dependent, we demonstrated that not only sugars but also peptide region impact the recognition of murine MGL1 (mMGL1). In addition, we observed for all three MGL orthologs that divalent glycan presentation increased the binding. To assess the utility of the glycopeptide binders of the MGL orthologs for MGL targeting, we performed uptake assays with fluorescein-MUC1 using murine dendritic cells. A diglycosylated MUC1 peptide was preferentially internalized in an MGL-dependent fashion, thus showing the utility for divalent MGL targeting. These findings may be relevant to a rational design of antitumor vaccines targeting dendritic cells via MGL. J Med Chem. 2017 Nov 9;60(21):9012-9021. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b01242. Epub 2017 Oct 31.

Arcanobacterium wilhelmae sp. nov., isolated from the genital tract of a rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)

O. Sammra, J. Rau, J.P. Wickhorst, M. Alssahen, A.A. Hassan, C. Lämmler, P. Kämpfer, S.P. Glaeser, H.J. Busse, T. Kleinhagauer, T. Knauf-Witzens, E. Prenger-Berninghoff, A. Abdulmawjood, G. Klein
A taxonomic study using a polyphasic approach was performed on an unidentified Arcanobacterium-like Gram-stain-positive bacterium isolated from the genital tract of a rhinoceros. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed that the bacterium belonged to the genus Arcanobacterium and was most closely related to the type strains of Arcanobacterium canis (98.8 % 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity), Arcanobacterium phocisimile (97.8 %), Arcanobacterium phocae (97.7 %), Arcanobacterium haemolyticum (97.4 %), Arcanobacterium hippocoleae (96.6 %), Arcanobacterium pinnipediorum (96.4 %) and Arcarnobacterium pluranimalium (95.4 %). DNA-DNA hybridization values between strain 647T and Arcanobacterium canisDSM 25104T were very low, 13.4 % (reciprocal 15.9 %). The genomic DNA G+C content of strain 647T was 58.7 mol%. The presence of the major menaquinone MK-9(H4) supported the affiliation of this strain to the genus Arcanobacterium. The polar lipid profile consisted of the major components diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylcholine and an unidentified phosphoglycolipid. The results of physiological and biochemical testing clearly distinguished the unknown bacterium from other species of the genus Arcanobacterium. Based on these tests, it is proposed that the unknown bacterium should be classified as a representative of a novel species of the genus Arcanobacterium named Arcanobacterium wilhelmaesp. nov. The type strain is 647T (=DSM 102162T=LMG 29418T). Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001784.

Toll-Like Receptor 2 and Mincle Cooperatively Sense Corynebacterial Cell Wall Glycolipids.

J. Schick, P. Etschel, R. Bailo, L. Ott, A. Bhatt, B. Lepenies, C. Kirschning, A. Burkovski, R. Lang
Nontoxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae and Corynebacterium ulcerans cause invasive disease in humans and animals. Host sensing of corynebacteria is largely uncharacterized, albeit the recognition of lipoglycans by Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) appears to be important for macrophage activation by corynebacteria. The members of the order Corynebacterineae (e.g., mycobacteria, nocardia, and rhodococci) share a glycolipid-rich cell wall dominated by mycolic acids (termed corynomycolic acids in corynebacteria). The mycolic acid-containing cord factor of mycobacteria, trehalose dimycolate, activates the C-type lectin receptor (CLR) Mincle. Here, we show that glycolipid extracts from the cell walls of several pathogenic and nonpathogenic Corynebacterium strains directly bound to recombinant Mincle in vitro Macrophages deficient in Mincle or its adapter protein Fc receptor gamma chain (FcRγ) produced severely reduced amounts of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and of nitric oxide (NO) upon challenge with corynebacterial glycolipids. Consistently, cell wall extracts of a particular C. diphtheriae strain (DSM43989) lacking mycolic acid esters neither bound Mincle nor activated macrophages. Furthermore, TLR2 but not TLR4 was critical for sensing of cell wall extracts and whole corynebacteria. The upregulation of Mincle expression upon encountering corynebacteria required TLR2. Thus, macrophage activation by the corynebacterial cell wall relies on TLR2-driven robust Mincle expression and the cooperative action of both receptors. Infect Immun. 2017 Jun 20;85(7). pii: e00075-17. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00075-17. Print 2017 Jul.

Pedobacter lusitanus sp. nov., a new bacterial species isolated from sludge of a deactivated uranium mine in Portugal

C. Covas, T. Caetano, A. Cruz, T. Santos, L. Dias, G. Klein, A. Abdulmawjood, L. Rodríguez-Alcalá, L. Pimentel, A. Gomes, A.C. Freitas, A. Garcia-Serrano, J. Fontecha, S. Mendo
Strain NL19T is a Gram-stain-negative, aerobic bacterium that was isolated from sludge of a deactivated uranium mine in Portugal. 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis revealed that strain NL19T is a member of the genus Pedobacter and closely related to the strains Pedobacter himalayensis MTCC 6384T, Pedobacter cryoconitis DSM 14825T, Pedobacter westerhofensis DSM 19036T and Pedobacterhartonius DSM 19033T. It had a DNA G+C content of 40.8 mol%, which agreed with the genus description. The main fatty acids included C16 : 1ω7c, C14 : 1ω5c, C4 : 0, iso-C17 : 0, iso-C17 : 0 3-OH, C16 : 0, anteiso-C15 : 0 and iso-C15 : 0 3-OH. The main lipids present were phospholipids (60 %) and sphingolipids (35 %). The most abundant phospholipids included phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylinositol and phosphatidylcholine. Menaquinone-7 (MK-7) was the only isoprenoid quinone detected. DNA-DNA hybridization similarities between strain NL19T and Pedobacter himalayensis MTCC 6384T, Pedobacter cryoconitis DSM 14825T, Pedobacter westerhofensis DSM 19036T and Pedobacter hartonius DSM 19033T were 15.3 , 16.2 , 11.5 and 16.0 %, respectively. Strain NL19T can also be distinguished from these four species based on gyrB and intergenic transcribed spacers (ITS) sequences and by some phenotypic traits such as NaCl tolerance, pH, growth temperature and carbon source utilization. Strain NL19Trepresents a novel species of the genus Pedobacter, for which the name Pedobacter lusitanus sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is NL19T (=LMG 29220T=CECT 9028T). An amended description of Pedobacter himalayensis is also included. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. doi: 10.1099/ijsem.0.001814.