Browsing by Subject "innate immunity"

Sort by: Order: Results:

Now showing items 1-18 of 18
  • Zusinaite, Eva; Ianevski, Aleksandr; Niukkanen, Diana; Poranen, Minna M.; Bjoras, Magnar; Afset, Jan Egil; Tenson, Tanel; Velagapudi, Vidya; Merits, Andres; Kainov, Denis E. (2018)
    There are dozens of approved, investigational and experimental antiviral agents. Many of these agents cause serious side effects, which can only be revealed after drug administration. Identification of the side effects prior to drug administration is challenging. Here we describe an ex vivo approach for studying immuno- and neuro-modulatory properties of antiviral agents, which may be associated with potential side effects of these therapeutics. The current approach combines drug toxicity/efficacy tests and transcriptomics, which is followed by mRNA, cytokine and metabolite profiling. We demonstrated the utility of this approach with several examples of antiviral agents. We also showed that the approach can utilize different immune stimuli and cell types. It can also include other omics techniques, such as genomics and epigenomics, to allow identification of individual markers associated with adverse reactions to antivirals with immuno- and neuro-modulatory properties.
  • Lokki, A. Inkeri; Kaartokallio, Tea; Holmberg, Ville; Onkamo, Paivi; Koskinen, Lotta L. E.; Saavalainen, Paivi; Heinonen, Seppo; Kajantie, Eero; Kere, Juha; Kivinen, Katja; Pouta, Anneli; Villa, Pia M.; Hiltunen, Leena; Laivuori, Hannele; Meri, Seppo (2017)
    Preeclampsia (PE) is a common vascular disease of pregnancy with genetic predisposition. Dysregulation of the complement system has been implicated, but molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. In this study, we determined the potential linkage of severe PE to the most central complement gene, C3. Three cohorts of Finnish patients and controls were recruited for a genetic case-control study. Participants were genotyped using Sequenom genotyping and Sanger sequencing. Initially, we studied 259 Finnish patients with severe PE and 426 controls from the Southern Finland PE and the Finnish population-based PE cohorts. We used a custom-made single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping assay consisting of 98 SNPs in 18 genes that encode components of the complement system. Following the primary screening, C3 was selected as the candidate gene and consequently Sanger sequenced. Fourteen SNPs from C3 were also genotyped by a Sequenom panel in 960 patients with severe PE and 705 controls, including already sequenced individuals. Three of the 43 SNPs observed within C3 were associated with severe PE: rs2287845 (p = 0.038, OR = 1.158), rs366510 (p = 0.039, OR = 1.158), and rs2287848 (p = 0.041, OR = 1.155). We also discovered 16 SNP haplotypes with extreme linkage disequilibrium in the middle of the gene with a protective (p = 0.044, OR = 0.628) or a predisposing (p = 0.011, OR = 2.110) effect to severe PE depending on the allele combination. Genetic variants associated with PE are located in key domains of C3 and could thereby influence the function of C3. This is, as far as we are aware, the first candidate gene in the complement system with an association to a clinically relevant PE subphenotype, severe PE. The result highlights a potential role for the complement system in the pathogenesis of PE and may help in defining prognostic and therapeutic subgroups of preeclamptic women.
  • Kakkola, L.; Denisova, O. V.; Tynell, J.; Viiliainen, J.; Ysenbaert, T.; Matos, R. C.; Nagaraj, A.; Öhman, Tiina; Kuivanen, S.; Paavilainen, H.; Feng, L.; Yadav, B.; Julkunen, I.; Vapalahti, O.; Hukkanen, V.; Stenman, J.; Aittokallio, T.; Verschuren, E. W.; Ojala, P. M.; Nyman, T.; Saelens, X.; Dzeyk, K.; Kainov, D. E. (2013)
  • Bulanova, Daria; Ianevski, Aleksandr; Bugai, Andrii; Akimov, Yevhen; Kuivanen, Suvi; Paavilainen, Henrik; Kakkola, Laura; Nandania, Jatin; Turunen, Laura; Ohman, Tiina; Ala-Hongisto, Hanna; Pesonen, Hanna M.; Kuisma, Marika S.; Honkimaa, Anni; Walton, Emma L.; Oksenych, Valentyn; Lorey, Martina B.; Guschin, Dmitry; Shim, Jungmin; Kim, Jinhee; Than, Thoa T.; Chang, So Young; Hukkanen, Veijo; Kulesskiy, Evgeny; Marjomaki, Varpu S.; Julkunen, Ilkka; Nyman, Tuula A.; Matikainen, Sampsa; Saarela, Jani S.; Sane, Famara; Hober, Didier; Gabriel, Guelsah; De Brabander, Jef K.; Martikainen, Miika; Windisch, Marc P.; Min, Ji-Young; Bruzzone, Roberto; Aittokallio, Tero; Vaha-Koskela, Markus; Vapalahti, Olli; Pulk, Arto; Velagapudi, Vidya; Kainov, Denis E. (2017)
    Viral diseases remain serious threats to public health because of the shortage of effective means of control. To combat the surge of viral diseases, new treatments are urgently needed. Here we show that small-molecules, which inhibit cellular anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 proteins (Bcl-2i), induced the premature death of cells infected with different RNA or DNA viruses, whereas, at the same concentrations, no toxicity was observed in mock-infected cells. Moreover, these compounds limited viral replication and spread. Surprisingly, Bcl-2i also induced the premature apoptosis of cells transfected with viral RNA or plasmid DNA but not of mock-transfected cells. These results suggest that Bcl-2i sensitizes cells containing foreign RNA or DNA to apoptosis. A comparison of the toxicity, antiviral activity, and side effects of six Bcl-2i allowed us to select A-1155463 as an antiviral lead candidate. Thus, our results pave the way for the further development of Bcl-2i for the prevention and treatment of viral diseases.
  • Bösl, Korbinian; Ianevski, Aleksandr; Than, Thoa T.; Andersen, Petter I.; Kuivanen, Suvi; Teppor, Mona; Zusinaite, Eva; Dumpis, Uga; Vitkauskiene, Astra; Cox, Rebecca J.; Kallio-Kokko, Hannimari; Bergqvist, Anders; Tenson, Tanel; Merits, Andres; Oksenych, Valentyn; Bjørås, Magnar; Anthonsen, Marit W.; Shum, David; Kaarbø, Mari; Vapalahti, Olli; Windisch, Marc P.; Superti-Furga, Giulio; Snijder, Berend; Kainov, Denis; Kandasamy, Richard K. (2019)
    Viruses are one of the major causes of acute and chronic infectious diseases and thus a major contributor to the global burden of disease. Several studies have shown how viruses have evolved to hijack basic cellular pathways and evade innate immune response by modulating key host factors and signaling pathways. A collective view of these multiple studies could advance our understanding of virus-host interactions and provide new therapeutic perspectives for the treatment of viral diseases. Here, we performed an integrative meta-analysis to elucidate the 17 different host-virus interactomes. Network and bioinformatics analyses showed how viruses with small genomes efficiently achieve the maximal effect by targeting multifunctional and highly connected host proteins with a high occurrence of disordered regions. We also identified the core cellular process subnetworks that are targeted by all the viruses. Integration with functional RNA interference (RNAi) datasets showed that a large proportion of the targets are required for viral replication. Furthermore, we performed an interactome-informed drug re-purposing screen and identified novel activities for broad-spectrum antiviral agents against hepatitis C virus and human metapneumovirus. Altogether, these orthogonal datasets could serve as a platform for hypothesis generation and follow-up studies to broaden our understanding of the viral evasion landscape.
  • Jozsi, Mihaly; Barlow, Paul Nigel; Meri, Seppo (2022)
  • Burwick, Richard M.; Lokki, A. Inkeri; Fleming, Sherry D.; Regal, Jean F. (2021)
  • Deger, Aysin Guzel; Scherzer, Sönke; Nuhkat, Maris; Kedzierska, Justyna; Kollist, Hannes; Brosche, Mikael; Unyayar, Serpil; Boudsocq, Marie; Hedrich, Rainer; Roelfsema, M. Rob G. (2015)
    During infection plants recognize microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs), and this leads to stomatal closure. This study analyzes the molecular mechanisms underlying this MAMP response and its interrelation with ABA signaling. Stomata in intact Arabidopsis thaliana plants were stimulated with the bacterial MAMP flg22, or the stress hormone ABA, by using the noninvasive nanoinfusion technique. Intracellular double-barreled microelectrodes were applied to measure the activity of plasma membrane ion channels. Flg22 induced rapid stomatal closure and stimulated the SLAC1 and SLAH3 anion channels in guard cells. Loss of both channels resulted in cells that lacked flg22-induced anion channel activity and stomata that did not close in response to flg22 or ABA. Rapid flg22-dependent stomatal closure was impaired in plants that were flagellin receptor (FLS2)-deficient, as well as in the ost1-2 (Open Stomata 1) mutant, which lacks a key ABA-signaling protein kinase. By contrast, stomata of the ABA protein phosphatase mutant abi1-1 (ABscisic acid Insensitive 1) remained flg22-responsive. These data suggest that the initial steps in flg22 and ABA signaling are different, but that the pathways merge at the level of OST1 and lead to activation of SLAC1 and SLAH3 anion channels.
  • Kaivola, Juha; Nyman, Tuula Anneli; Matikainen, Sampsa (2021)
    SARS-CoV-2 is a new type of coronavirus that has caused worldwide pandemic. The disease induced by SARS-CoV-2 is called COVID-19. A majority of people with COVID-19 have relatively mild respiratory symptoms. However, a small percentage of COVID-19 patients develop a severe disease where multiple organs are affected. These severe forms of SARS-CoV-2 infections are associated with excessive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, so called "cytokine storm". Inflammasomes, which are protein complexes of the innate immune system orchestrate development of local and systemic inflammation during virus infection. Recent data suggest involvement of inflammasomes in severe COVID-19. Activation of inflammasome exerts two major effects: it activates caspase-1-mediated processing and secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 beta and IL-18, and induces inflammatory cell death, pyroptosis, via protein called gasdermin D. Here, we provide comprehensive review of current understanding of the activation and possible functions of different inflammasome structures during SARS-CoV-2 infection and compare that to response caused by influenza A virus. We also discuss how novel SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines activate innate immune response, which is a prerequisite for the activation of protective adaptive immune response.
  • Haapakoski, Rita; Ebmeier, Klaus P.; Alenius, Harri; Kivimäki, Mika (2016)
    The inflammation theory of depression, proposed over 20years ago, was influenced by early studies on T cell responses and since then has been a stimulus for numerous research projects aimed at understanding the relationship between immune function and depression. Observational studies have shown that indicators of immunity, especially C reactive protein and proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 6, are associated with an increased risk of depressive disorders, although the evidence from randomized trials remains limited and only few studies have assessed the interplay between innate and adaptive immunity in depression. In this paper, we review current knowledge on the interactions between central and peripheral innate and adaptive immune molecules and the potential role of immune-related activation of microglia, inflammasomes and indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase in the development of depressive symptoms. We highlight how combining basic immune methods with more advanced 'omics' technologies would help us to make progress in unravelling the complex associations between altered immune function and depressive disorders, in the identification of depression-specific biomarkers and in developing immunotherapeutic treatment strategies that take individual variability into account.
  • Lahtinen, Emilia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    The early life gut microbiota plays a major role in establishing neonatal immunity and child’s long-term health. However, relatively little is still known about the role of individual bacteria as most studies so far have focused on characterizing the diversity and the individual and temporal variations of the infant gut microbiome. The genus Bacteroides is of particular interest since its abundance is remarkably decreased in infants born via C-section, and relatively little is known about the genomic and phenotypic characteristics of early Bacteroides colonizers despite their anticipated role in the increased morbidity following C-section birth. This thesis aims to contribute to the isolation and characterization of Bacteroides strains from infant and mother stool samples from the Health and Early Life Microbiota (HELMi) cohort study using culture-based and metagenomic approaches. Gram-negative bacteria were isolated from stool samples of 9-week-old infants and identified by Sanger sequencing. In total, seven isolates identified as unique species of Bacteroides, isolated from infant samples or previously from mother samples in late pregnancy, were then characterized for their potential to activate innate immunity in vitro by using HEK-Blue™ hTLR2-hTLR6 reporter cells either as live cells or filtered culture media. Whole genome shotgun sequenced stool metagenomes obtained from 88 infants during the first year of life were leveraged as well. A computational pipeline able to scale to the large size of the dataset was developed to obtain metagenome assembled genomes (MAGs) from the metagenomes. MAGs obtained from Bacteroides species were further taxonomically and functionally annotated. Among the seven Bacteroides spp. isolated from HELMi mother and infant samples, the majority were able to activate the TLR2/6 receptor in vitro. The isolates varied in their potential to activate the receptor via their cell surface molecules and substances they excreted to the culture media. In addition, over 2500 MAGs could be retrieved from the infant metagenomes, of which 18 belonged to Bacteroides spp. Based on predicted open reading frames, majority of the identified proteins of these MAGs were involved in housekeeping functions. Most of predicted proteins involved in cellular metabolism were, however, related to carbohydrate metabolism, amino acid metabolism, and glycan metabolism, stressing the role of Bacteroides spp. in the gut as important and versatile carbohydrate consumers. The results indicate that the Bacteroides spp. colonizing infant gut have an immunologically and metabolically active role. Further work is needed to characterize the molecules responsible for the TLR2/6 activation as well as the nature of the downstream immune responses elicited by the isolated Bacteroides spp.
  • Nyman, Tuula A.; Lorey, Martina B.; Cypryk, Wojciech; Matikainen, Sampsa (2017)
    Introduction: The immune system is our defense system against microbial infections and tissue injury, and understanding how it works in detail is essential for developing drugs for different diseases. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics can provide in-depth information on the molecular mechanisms involved in immune responses.Areas covered: Summarized are the key immunology findings obtained with MS-based proteomics in the past five years, with a focus on inflammasome activation, global protein secretion, mucosal immunology, immunopeptidome and T cells. Special focus is on extracellular vesicle-mediated protein secretion and its role in immune responses.Expert commentary: Proteomics is an essential part of modern omics-scale immunology research. To date, MS-based proteomics has been used in immunology to study protein expression levels, their subcellular localization, secretion, post-translational modifications, and interactions in immune cells upon activation by different stimuli. These studies have made major contributions to understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in innate and adaptive immune responses. New developments in proteomics offer constantly novel possibilities for exploring the immune system. Examples of these techniques include mass cytometry and different MS-based imaging approaches which can be widely used in immunology.
  • Elieh Ali Komi, Daniel; Shafaghat, Farzaneh; Kovanen, Petri T.; Meri, Seppo (2020)
    Abstract The emergence and evolution of the complement system and mast cells (MCs) can be traced back to sea urchins and the ascidian Styela plicata, respectively. Acting as a cascade of enzymatic reactions, complement is activated through the classical (CP), the alternative (AP), and the lectin pathway (LP) based on the recognized molecules. The system's main biological functions include lysis, opsonization, and recruitment of phagocytes. MCs, beyond their classic role as master cells of allergic reactions, play a role in other settings, as well. Thus, MCs are considered as extrahepatic producers of complement proteins. They express various complement receptors, including those for C3a and C5a. C3a and C5a not only activate the C3aR and C5aR expressing MCs but also act as chemoattractants for MCs derived from different anatomic sites, such as from the bone marrow, human umbilical cord blood, or skin in vitro. Cross talk between MCs and complement is facilitated by the production of complement proteins by MCs and their activation by the MC tryptase. The coordinated activity between MCs and the complement system plays a key role, for example, in a number of allergic, cutaneous, and vascular diseases. At a molecular level, MCs and complement system interactions are based on the production of several complement zymogens by MCs and their activation by MC-released proteases. Additionally, at a cellular level, MCs act as potent effector cells of complement activation by expressing receptors for C3a and C5a through which their chemoattraction and activation are mediated by anaphylatoxins in a paracrine and autocrine fashion.
  • Loeven, Markus A.; Rops, Angelique L.; Lehtinen, Markus J.; van Kuppevelt, Toin H.; Daha, Mohamed R.; Smith, Richard J.; Bakker, Marinka; Berden, Jo H.; Rabelink, Ton J.; Jokiranta, T. Sakari; van der Vlag, Johan (2016)
    Complement factor H (FH) inhibits complement activation and interacts with glomerular endothelium via its complement control protein domains 19 and 20, which also recognize heparan sulfate (HS). Abnormalities in FH are associated with the renal diseases atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome and dense deposit disease and the ocular disease age-related macular degeneration. Although FH systemically controls complement activation, clinical phenotypes selectively manifest in kidneys and eyes, suggesting the presence of tissue-specific determinants of disease development. Recent results imply the importance of tissue-specifically expressed, sulfated glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), like HS, in determining FH binding to and activity on host tissues. Therefore, we investigated which GAGs mediate human FH and recombinant human FH complement control proteins domains 19 and 20 (FH19-20) binding to mouse glomerular endothelial cells (mGEnCs) in ELISA. Furthermore, we evaluated the functional defects of FH19-20 mutants during complement activation by measuring C3b deposition on mGEnCs using flow cytometry. FH and FH19-20 bound dose-dependently to mGEnCs and TNF- treatment increased binding of both proteins, whereas heparinase digestion and competition with heparin/HS inhibited binding. Furthermore, 2-O-, and 6-O-, but not N-desulfation of heparin, significantly increased the inhibitory effect on FH19-20 binding to mGEnCs. Compared with wild type FH19-20, atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome-associated mutants were less able to compete with FH in normal human serum during complement activation on mGEnCs, confirming their potential glomerular pathogenicity. In conclusion, our study shows that FH and FH19-20 binding to glomerular endothelial cells is differentially mediated by HS but not other GAGs. Furthermore, we describe a novel, patient serum-independent competition assay for pathogenicity screening of FH19-20 mutants.
  • Barreto, Goncalo; Manninen, Mikko; Eklund, Kari K. (2020)
    Osteoarthritis (OA) has long been viewed as a degenerative disease of cartilage, but accumulating evidence indicates that inflammation has a critical role in its pathogenesis. In particular, chondrocyte-mediated inflammatory responses triggered by the activation of innate immune receptors by alarmins (also known as danger signals) are thought to be involved. Thus, toll-like receptors (TLRs) and their signaling pathways are of particular interest. Recent reports suggest that among the TLR-induced innate immune responses, apoptosis is one of the critical events. Apoptosis is of particular importance, given that chondrocyte death is a dominant feature in OA. This review focuses on the role of TLR signaling in chondrocytes and the role of TLR activation in chondrocyte apoptosis. The functional relevance of TLR and TLR-triggered apoptosis in OA are discussed as well as their relevance as candidates for novel disease-modifying OA drugs (DMOADs).
  • Huang, Xin; Schuppan, Detlef; Tovar, Luis E. Rojas; Zevallos, Victor F.; Loponen, Jussi; Ganzle, Michael (2020)
    The ingestion of gluten-containing foods can cause wheat-related disorders in up to 15% of wheat consuming populations. Besides the role of gluten, alpha-amylase/trypsin inhibitors (ATI) have recently been identified as inducers of an innate immune response via toll-like receptor 4 in celiac disease and non-celiac wheat sensitivity. ATI are involved in plant self-defense against insects and possibly in grain development. Notably, they are largely resistant to gastrointestinal proteases and heat, and their inflammatory activity affects not only the intestine, but also peripheral organs. The aim of this study was to understand the changes of ATI throughout the sourdough and yeast-fermented bread-making processes. ATI tetramers were isolated, fluorescein-labelled, and added to a mini-dough bread-making system. When the pH decreased below 4.0 in sourdough fermentation, the ATI tetramers were degraded due to the activation of aspartic proteases, whilst in yeast fermentation, ATI tetramers remained intact. The amylase inhibitory activity after sourdough fermentation decreased significantly, while the concentration of free thiol groups increased. The glutathione reductase activity ofFructilactobacillus sanfranciscensisdid not contribute to the reduction of ATI tetramers. Compared to the unfermented wheat, sourdough fermentation was able to decrease the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) in quantitative ATI extracts added to the human monocytic cell line THP-1. The current data suggest that sourdough fermentation can degrade ATI structure and bioactivity, and point to strategies to improve product development for wheat sensitivity patients.
  • Syed, Shahan; Viazmina, Larisa; Mager, Riccardo; Meri, Seppo; Haapasalo, Karita (2020)
    Streptococci are a broad group of Gram-positive bacteria. This genus includes various human pathogens causing significant morbidity and mortality. Two of the most important human pathogens areStreptococcus pneumoniae(pneumococcus) andStreptococcus pyogenes(group A streptococcus or GAS). Streptococcal pathogens have evolved to express virulence factors that enable them to evade complement-mediated attack. These include factor H-binding M (S. pyogenes) and pneumococcal surface protein C (PspC) (S. pneumoniae) proteins. In addition,S. pyogenesandS. pneumoniaeexpress cytolysins (streptolysin and pneumolysin), which are able to destroy host cells. Sometimes, the interplay between streptococci, the complement, and antistreptococcal immunity may lead to an excessive inflammatory response or autoimmune disease. Understanding the fundamental role of the complement system in microbial clearance and the bacterial escape mechanisms is of paramount importance for understanding microbial virulence, in general, and, the conversion of commensals to pathogens, more specifically. Such insights may help to identify novel antibiotic and vaccine targets in bacterial pathogens to counter their growing resistance to commonly used antibiotics.
  • Lundberg, Rickard; Melen, Krister; Westenius, Veera; Jiang, Miao; Österlund, Pamela; Khan, Hira; Vapalahti, Olli; Julkunen, Ilkka; Kakkola, Laura (2019)
    The Zika virus (ZIKV) is a member of the Flaviviridae family and an important human pathogen. Most pathogenic viruses encode proteins that interfere with the activation of host innate immune responses. Like other flaviviruses, ZIKV interferes with the expression of interferon (IFN) genes and inhibits IFN-induced antiviral responses. ZIKV infects through epithelial barriers where IFN-lambda 1 is an important antiviral molecule. In this study, we analyzed the effects of ZIKV proteins on the activation of IFN-lambda 1 promoter. All ZIKV proteins were cloned and transiently expressed. ZIKV NS5, but no other ZIKV protein, was able to interfere with the RIG-I signaling pathway. This inhibition took place upstream of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) resulting in reduced phosphorylation of IRF3 and reduced activation of IFN-lambda 1 promoter. Furthermore, we showed that ZIKV NS5 interacts with the protein kinase IKK epsilon, which is likely critical to the observed inhibition of phosphorylation of IRF3.