Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-5 of 5
  • Ottman, Noora; Huuskonen, Laura; Reunanen, Justus; Boeren, Sjef; Klievink, Judith; Smidt, Hauke; Belzer, Clara; de Vos, Willem M. (2016)
    Akkermansia muciniphila is a common member of the human gut microbiota and belongs to the Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae superphylum. Decreased levels of A. muciniphila have been associated with many diseases, and thus it is considered to be a beneficial resident of the intestinal mucus layer. Surface-exposed molecules produced by this organism likely play important roles in colonization and communication with other microbes and the host, but the protein composition of the outer membrane (OM) has not been characterized thus far. Herein we set out to identify and characterize A. muciniphila proteins using an integrated approach of proteomics and computational analysis. Sarkosyl extraction and sucrose density-gradient centrifugation methods were used to enrich and fractionate the OM proteome of A. muciniphila. Proteins from these fractions were identified by LC-MS/MS and candidates for OM proteins derived from the experimental approach were subjected to computational screening to verify their location in the cell. In total we identified 79 putative OM and membrane-associated extracellular proteins, and 23 of those were found to differ in abundance between cells of A. muciniphila grown on the natural substrate, mucin, and those grown on the non-mucus sugar, glucose. The identified OM proteins included highly abundant proteins involved in secretion and transport, as well as proteins predicted to take part in formation of the pili-like structures observed in A. muciniphila. The most abundant OM protein was a 95-kD protein, termed PilQ, annotated as a type IV pili secretin and predicted to be involved in the production of pili in A. muciniphila. To verify its location we purified the His-Tag labeled N-terminal domain of PilQ and generated rabbit polyclonal antibodies. Immunoelectron microscopy of thin sections immunolabeled with these antibodies demonstrated the OM localization of PilQ, testifying for its predicted function as a type IV pili secretin in A. muciniphila. As pili structures are known to be involved in the modulation of host immune responses, this provides support for the involvement of OM proteins in the host interaction of A. muciniphila. In conclusion, the characterization of A. muciniphila OM proteome provides valuable information that can be used for further functional and immunological studies.
  • Choi, Jaeyoung; Detry, Nicolas; Kim, Ki-Tae; Asiegbu, Fred O.; Valkonen, Jari P. T.; Lee, Yong-Hwan (2014)
  • Viluksela, Matti; Pohjanvirta, Raimo (2019)
    Dioxins are ubiquitous and persistent environmental contaminants whose background levels are still reason for concern. There is mounting evidence from both epidemiological and experimental studies that paternal exposure to the most potent congener of dioxins, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), can lower the male/female ratio of offspring. Moreover, in laboratory rodents and zebrafish, TCDD exposure of parent animals has been reported to result in reduced reproductive performance along with other adverse effects in subsequent generations, foremost through the paternal but also via the maternal germline. These impacts have been accompanied by epigenetic alterations in placenta and/or sperm cells, including changes in methylation patterns of imprinted genes. Here, we review recent key studies in this field with an attempt to provide an up-to-date picture of the present state of knowledge to the reader. These studies provide biological plausibility for the potential of dioxin exposure at a critical time-window to induce epigenetic alterations across multiple generations and the significance of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) in mediating these effects. Currently available data do not allow to accurately estimate the human health implications of these findings, although epidemiological evidence on lowered male/female ratio suggests that this effect may take place at realistic human exposure levels.
  • Raffaello, Tommaso; Asiegbu, Fred O. (2017)
    The basidiomycete Heterobasidion annosum sensu lato (s. l.) is considered to be one of the most destructive conifer pathogens in the temperate forests of the northern hemisphere. H. annosum is characterized by a dual fungal lifestyle. The fungus grows necrotrophically on living plant cells and saprotrophically on dead wood material. In this study, we screened the H. annosum genome for small secreted proteins (HaSSPs) that could potentially be involved in promoting necrotrophic growth during the fungal infection process. The final list included 58 HaSSPs that lacked predictable protein domains. The transient expression of HaSSP encoding genes revealed the ability of 8 HaSSPs to induce cell chlorosis and cell death in Nicotiana benthamiana. In particular, one protein (HaSSP30) could induce a rapid, strong, and consistent cell death within 2 days post-infiltration. HaSSP30 also increased the transcription of host-defence-related genes in N. benthamiana, which suggested a necrotrophic-specific immune response. This is the first line of evidence demonstrating that the H. annosum genome encodes HaSSPs with the capability to induce plant cell death in a non-host plant.
  • Havula, Essi; Hietakangas, Ville (2018)
    Animals regulate their physiology with respect to nutrient status, which requires nutrient sensing pathways. Simple carbohydrates, sugars, are sensed by the basic-helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factors ChREBP/Mondo, together with their heterodimerization partner Mlx, which are well-established activators of sugar-induced lipogenesis. Loss of ChREBP/Mondo-Mlx in mouse and Drosophila leads to sugar intolerance, that is, inability to survive on sugar containing diet. Recent evidence has revealed that ChREBP/Mondo-Mlx responds to sugar and fatty acid-derived metabolites through several mechanisms and cross-connects with other nutrient sensing pathways. ChREBP/Mondo-Mlx controls several downstream transcription factors and hormones, which mediate not only readjustment of metabolic pathways, but also control feeding behavior, intestinal digestion, and circadian rhythm.