Trueperella pyogenes isolated from a brain abscess of an adult roebuck (Capreolus capreolus)

Jörn-Peter Wickhorst, Abdulwahed Ahmed Hassan, Omar Hashim Sheet, Tobias Eisenberg, Osama Sammra, Mazen Alssahen, Christoph Lämmler, Ellen Prenger-Berninghoff, Michael Zschöck, Markus Timke, Amir Abdulmawjood
The present study was designed to characterize phenotypically and genotypically a Trueperella pyogenes strain isolated from a brain abscess of an adult roebuck (Capreolus capreolus). The species identity could be confirmed by phenotypical investigations, by MALDI-TOF MS analysis, and by sequencing the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene, the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer region (ISR); by sequencing the target genes rpoB, gap, and tuf; and by detection of T. pyogenes chaperonin-encoding gene cpn60 with a previously developed loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay. The T. pyogenes strain could additionally be characterized by PCR-mediated amplification of several known and putative virulence factor-encoding genes which revealed the presence of the genes plo encoding pyolysin and nanH and nanP encoding neuraminidases; the genes fimA, fimC, and fimE encoding the fimbrial subunits FimA, FimC, and FimE; and the gene cbpA encoding collagen-binding protein CbpA. The present data give a detailed characterization of a T. pyogenes strain isolated from a brain abscess of a roebuck. However, the route of infection of the roebuck remains unclear. Folia Microbiol (Praha). 2018 Jan;63(1):17-22. doi

Glycan-Based Cell Targeting To Modulate Immune Responses

T. Johannssen, B. Lepenies
Glycosylation is an integral post-translational modification present in more than half of all eukaryotic proteins. It affects key protein functions, including folding, stability, and immunogenicity. Glycoengineering approaches, such as the use of bacterial N-glycosylation systems, or expression systems, including yeasts, insect cells, and mammalian cells, have enabled access to defined and homogenous glycoproteins. Given that glycan structures on proteins can be recognized by host lectin receptors, they may facilitate cell-specific targeting and immune modulation. Myeloid C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) expressed by antigen-presenting cells are attractive targets to shape immune responses. Multivalent glycan display on nanoparticles, liposomes, or dendrimers has successfully enabled CLR targeting. In this review, we discuss novel strategies to access defined glycan structures and highlight CLR targeting approaches for immune modulation. Trends Biotechnol. 2017 Apr;35(4):334-346. doi: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2016.10.002. Epub 2016 Oct 27.

Receptor Mincle promotes skin allergies and is capable of recognizing cholesterol sulfate

A.V. Kostarnoy*, P.G. Gancheva, B. Lepenies, A.I. Tukhvatulin, A.S Dzharullaeva, N.B. Polyakov, D.A. Grumov, D.A. Egorova, A.Y. Kulibin, M.A. Bobrov, E.A. Malolina, P.A. Zykin, A.I. Soloviev, E. Riabenko, D.V. Maltseva, D.A. Sakharov, A. Tonevitsky, L.V. Verkhovskaya, D.Y. Logunov, B.S. Naroditsky, A.L. Gintsburg
Sterile (noninfected) inflammation underlies the pathogenesis of many widespread diseases, such as allergies and autoimmune diseases. The evolutionarily conserved innate immune system is considered to play a key role in tissue injury recognition and the subsequent development of sterile inflammation; however, the underlying molecular mechanisms are not yet completely understood. Here, we show that cholesterol sulfate, a molecule present in relatively high concentrations in the epithelial layer of barrier tissues, is selectively recognized by Mincle (Clec4e), a C-type lectin receptor of the innate immune system that is strongly up-regulated in response to skin damage. Mincle activation by cholesterol sulfate causes the secretion of a range of proinflammatory mediators, and s.c. injection of cholesterol sulfate results in a Mincle-mediated induction of a severe local inflammatory response. In addition, our study reveals a role of Mincle as a driving component in the pathogenesis of allergic skin inflammation. In a well-established model of allergic contact dermatitis, the absence of Mincle leads to a significant suppression of the magnitude of the skin inflammatory response as assessed by changes in ear thickness, myeloid cell infiltration, and cytokine and chemokine secretion. Taken together, our results provide a deeper understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying sterile inflammation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Mar 28;114(13):E2758-E2765. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1611665114. Epub 2017 Mar 14.

Myeloid C-Type Lectin Receptors in Viral Recognition and Antiviral Immunity.

J.T. Monteiro, B. Lepenies.
Recognition of viral glycans by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in innate immunity contributes to antiviral immune responses. C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) are PRRs capable of sensing glycans present in viral pathogens to activate antiviral immune responses such as phagocytosis, antigen processing and presentation, and subsequent T cell activation. The ability of CLRs to elicit and shape adaptive immunity plays a critical role in the inhibition of viral spread within the host. However, certain viruses exploit CLRs for viral entry into host cells to avoid immune recognition. To block CLR interactions with viral glycoproteins, antiviral strategies may involve the use of multivalent glycan carrier systems. In this review, we describe the role of CLRs in antiviral immunity and we highlight their dual function in viral clearance and exploitation by viral pathogens. Viruses. 2017 Mar 22;9(3). pii: E59. doi: 10.3390/v9030059.

The Interaction of Pneumocystis with the C-Type Lectin Receptor Mincle Exerts a Significant Role in Host Defense against Infection

T.J. Kottom, D.M. Hebrink, P.E. Jenson, M. Wüthrich, H. Wang, B. Klein, S. Yamasaki, B. Lepenies, A.H. Limper
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality within immunocompromised patients. In this study, we examined the potential role of macrophage-inducible C-type lectin (Mincle) for host defense against Pneumocystis Binding assays implementing soluble Mincle carbohydrate recognition domain fusion proteins demonstrated binding to intact Pneumocystis carinii as well as to organism homogenates, and they purified major surface glycoprotein/glycoprotein A derived from the organism. Additional experiments showed that rats with PCP expressed increased Mincle mRNA levels. Mouse macrophages overexpressing Mincle displayed increased binding to P. carinii life forms and enhanced protein tyrosine phosphorylation. The binding of P. carinii to Mincle resulted in activation of FcRγ-mediated cell signaling. RNA silencing of Mincle in mouse macrophages resulted in decreased activation of Syk kinase after P. carinii challenge, critical in downstream inflammatory signaling. Mincle-deficient CD4-depleted (Mincle-/-) mice showed a significant defect in organism clearance from the lungs with higher organism burdens and altered lung cytokine responses during Pneumocystis murina pneumonia. Interestingly, Mincle-/- mice did not demonstrate worsened survival during PCP compared with wild-type mice, despite the markedly increased organism burdens. This may be related to increased expression of anti-inflammatory factors such as IL-1Ra during infection in the Mincle-/- mice. Of note, the P. murina-infected Mincle-/- mice demonstrated increased expression of known C-type lectin receptors Dectin-1, Dectin-2, and MCL compared with infected wild-type mice. Taken together, these data support a significant role for Mincle in Pneumocystis modulating host defense during infection. J Immunol. 2017 Mar 15. pii: 1600744. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.1600744