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See detailA rare loss-of function variant of ADAM17 is associated with late-onset familial Alzheimer disease
Hartl, Daniela; May, Patrick UL; Gu, Wei UL et al

in Molecular Psychiatry (2018)

Common variants of about 20 genes contributing to AD risk have so far been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, there is still a large proportion of heritability that might ... [more ▼]

Common variants of about 20 genes contributing to AD risk have so far been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, there is still a large proportion of heritability that might be explained by rare but functionally important variants. One of the so far identified genes with rare AD causing variants is ADAM10. Using whole-genome sequencing we now identified a single rare nonsynonymous variant (SNV) rs142946965 [p.R215I] in ADAM17 co-segregating with an autosomal-dominant pattern of late-onset AD in one family. Subsequent genotyping and analysis of available whole-exome sequencing data of additional case/control samples from Germany, the UK and the USA identified five variant carriers among AD patients only. The mutation inhibits pro-protein cleavage and the formation of the active enzyme, thus leading to loss-of-function of ADAM17 α-secretase. Further, we identified a strong negative correlation between ADAM17 and APP gene expression in human brain and present in vitro evidence that ADAM17 negatively controls the expression of APP. As a consequence, p.R215I mutation of ADAM17 leads to elevated Aß formation in vitro. Together our data supports a causative association of the identified ADAM17 variant in the pathogenesis of AD. [less ▲]

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See detailRare ABCA7 variants in 2 German families with Alzheimer disease
May, Patrick UL; Pichler, Sabrina; Hartl, Daniela et al

in Neurology Genetics (2018), 4(2),

Objective The aim of this study was to identify variants associated with familial late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) using whole-genome sequencing. Methods Several families with an autosomal dominant ... [more ▼]

Objective The aim of this study was to identify variants associated with familial late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) using whole-genome sequencing. Methods Several families with an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern of AD were analyzed by whole-genome sequencing. Variants were prioritized for rare, likely pathogenic variants in genes already known to be associated with AD and confirmed by Sanger sequencing using standard protocols. Results We identified 2 rare ABCA7 variants (rs143718918 and rs538591288) with varying penetrance in 2 independent German AD families, respectively. The single nucleotide variant (SNV) rs143718918 causes a missense mutation, and the deletion rs538591288 causes a frameshift mutation of ABCA7. Both variants have previously been reported in larger cohorts but with incomplete segregation information. ABCA7 is one of more than 20 AD risk loci that have so far been identified by genome-wide association studies, and both common and rare variants of ABCA7 have previously been described in different populations with higher frequencies in AD cases than in controls and varying penetrance. Furthermore, ABCA7 is known to be involved in several AD-relevant pathways. Conclusions We conclude that both SNVs might contribute to the development of AD in the examined family members. Together with previous findings, our data confirm ABCA7 as one of the most relevant AD risk genes. [less ▲]

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See detailItaconic acid indicates cellular but not systemic immune system activation
Meiser, Johannes; Kraemer, Lisa; Jäger, Christian UL et al

in Oncotarget (2018), 9(63),

Itaconic acid is produced by mammalian leukocytes upon pro-inflammatory activation. It appears to inhibit bacterial growth and to rewire the metabolism of the host cell by inhibiting succinate ... [more ▼]

Itaconic acid is produced by mammalian leukocytes upon pro-inflammatory activation. It appears to inhibit bacterial growth and to rewire the metabolism of the host cell by inhibiting succinate dehydrogenase. Yet, it is unknown whether itaconic acid acts only intracellularly, locally in a paracrine fashion, or whether it is even secreted from the inflammatory cells at meaningful levels in peripheral blood of patients with severe inflammation or sepsis. The aim of this study was to determine the release rate of itaconic acid from pro-inflammatory activated macrophages in vitro and to test for the abundance of itaconic acid in bodyfluids of patients suffering from acute inflammation. We demonstrate that excretion of itaconic acid happens at a low rate and that it cannot be detected in significant amounts in plasma or urine of septic patients or in liquid from bronchial lavage of patients with pulmonary inflammation. We conclude that itaconic acid may serve as a pro-inflammatory marker in immune cells but that it does not qualify as a biomarker in the tested body fluids. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Gut Microbiota and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation: Challenges and Potentials.
Noor, Fozia UL; Kaysen, Anne UL; Wilmes, Paul UL et al

in Journal of innate immunity (2018)

The human gut microbiota gained tremendous importance in the last decade as next-generation technologies of sequencing and multiomics analyses linked the role of the microbial communities to host ... [more ▼]

The human gut microbiota gained tremendous importance in the last decade as next-generation technologies of sequencing and multiomics analyses linked the role of the microbial communities to host physiology and pathophysiology. A growing number of human pathologies and diseases are linked to the gut microbiota. One of the main mechanisms by which the microbiota influences the host is through its interactions with the host immune system. These interactions with both innate and adaptive host intestinal and extraintestinal immunity, although usually commensalistic even mutualistic with the host, in some cases lead to serious health effects. In the case of allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), the disruption of the intestinal microbiota diversity is associated with acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Causing inflammation of the liver, skin, lungs, and the intestine, GvHD occurs in 40-50% of patients undergoing allo-HSCT and results in significant posttransplantation mortality. In this review, we highlight the impact of the gut microbiota on the host immunity in GvHD and the potential of microbiota in alleviation or even prevention of GvHD. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrated meta-omic analyses of the gastrointestinal tract microbiome in patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
Kaysen, Anne UL; Heintz-Buschart, Anna UL; Muller, Emilie UL et al

in Translational research : the journal of laboratory and clinical medicine (2017)

In patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), treatment-induced changes to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiome have been linked to adverse outcomes, most ... [more ▼]

In patients undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), treatment-induced changes to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiome have been linked to adverse outcomes, most notably graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). However, it is presently unknown whether this relationship is causal or consequential. Here, we performed an integrated meta-omic analysis to probe deeper into the GIT microbiome changes during allo-HSCT and its accompanying treatments. We used 16S and 18S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to resolve archaea, bacteria, and eukaryotes within the GIT microbiomes of 16 patients undergoing allo-HSCT for the treatment of hematologic malignancies. These results revealed a major shift in the GIT microbiome after allo-HSCT including a marked reduction in bacterial diversity, accompanied by only limited changes in eukaryotes and archaea. An integrated analysis of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data was performed on samples collected from a patient before and after allo-HSCT for acute myeloid leukemia. This patient developed severe GvHD, leading to death 9 months after allo-HSCT. In addition to drastically decreased bacterial diversity, the post-treatment microbiome showed a higher overall number and higher expression levels of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs). One specific Escherichia coli strain causing a paravertebral abscess was linked to GIT dysbiosis, suggesting loss of intestinal barrier integrity. The apparent selection for bacteria expressing ARGs suggests that prophylactic antibiotic administration may adversely affect the overall treatment outcome. We therefore assert that such analyses including information about the selection of pathogenic bacteria expressing ARGs may assist clinicians in "personalizing" regimens for individual patients to improve overall outcomes. [less ▲]

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See detailIDENTIFICATION OF A RARE GENE VARIANT THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH FAMILIAL ALZHEIMER DISEASE AND REGULATES APP EXPRESSION
Hartl, Daniela; May, Patrick UL; Gu, Wei UL et al

in Alzheimer's & Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association (2017), 13(7, Supplement), 648

Background Genetic mutations leading to familial forms of Alzheimer disease (AD) have so far been reported for a few genes including APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2, UNC5C, PLD3, ABCA7, TTC3, and possibly ADAM10 ... [more ▼]

Background Genetic mutations leading to familial forms of Alzheimer disease (AD) have so far been reported for a few genes including APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2, UNC5C, PLD3, ABCA7, TTC3, and possibly ADAM10. With the advent of whole exome and whole genome sequencing approaches new genes and mutations are likely to be identified. Methods We analyzed the genetic cause of AD in a large multiplex family with an autosomal-dominant pattern of inheritance with LOAD. The family lacked pathogenic mutations of known AD genes. We performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in six family members (two affected and four unaffected) and prioritized rare, potential damaging, variants that segregated with disease. Variants were further characterized by subsequent molecular analyzes in human brain and cell culture models. Results We identified a single rare nonsynonymous variant co-segregating with AD. The mutation inhibits pro-protein cleavage and the formation of the active enzyme, thus leading to a loss-of-function of the gene. We further found a strong negative correlation between the identified gene and APP gene expression in human brain and in cells over-expressing the gene. The negative regulation of APP expression was only observed for the wt gene, but not for mutated forms, thus causing beside the loss of enzyme function a decoupling of both APPexpression and subsequent beta-amyloid formation. The identity of the gene will be presented on the conference. Conclusions This novel pathway strongly supports a causative association of the identified gene with the pathogenesis of AD. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrated multi-omics of the human gut microbiome in a case study of familial type 1 diabetes.
Heintz-Buschart, Anna UL; May, Patrick UL; Laczny, Cedric C. et al

in Nature microbiology (2016), 2

The gastrointestinal microbiome is a complex ecosystem with functions that shape human health. Studying the relationship between taxonomic alterations and functional repercussions linked to disease ... [more ▼]

The gastrointestinal microbiome is a complex ecosystem with functions that shape human health. Studying the relationship between taxonomic alterations and functional repercussions linked to disease remains challenging. Here, we present an integrative approach to resolve the taxonomic and functional attributes of gastrointestinal microbiota at the metagenomic, metatranscriptomic and metaproteomic levels. We apply our methods to samples from four families with multiple cases of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Analysis of intra- and inter-individual variation demonstrates that family membership has a pronounced effect on the structural and functional composition of the gastrointestinal microbiome. In the context of T1DM, consistent taxonomic differences were absent across families, but certain human exocrine pancreatic proteins were found at lower levels. The associated microbial functional signatures were linked to metabolic traits in distinct taxa. The methodologies and results provide a foundation for future large-scale integrated multi-omic analyses of the gastrointestinal microbiome in the context of host-microbe interactions in human health and disease. [less ▲]

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See detailErratum: Integrated multi-omics of the human gut microbiome in a case study of familial type 1 diabetes.
Heintz-Buschart, Anna UL; May, Patrick UL; Laczny, Cedric C. et al

in Nature microbiology (2016), 2

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See detailStatic Output Feedback H-infinity Control for a Fractional-Order Glucose-Insulin System
N'Doye, Ibrahima; Voos, Holger UL; Darouach, Mohamed et al

in International Journal of Control, Automation, and Systems (2015), 13(4), 798-807

This paper presents the H∞ static output feedback control of nonlinear fractional-order systems. Based on the extended bounded real lemma, the H∞ control is formulated and sufficient conditions are ... [more ▼]

This paper presents the H∞ static output feedback control of nonlinear fractional-order systems. Based on the extended bounded real lemma, the H∞ control is formulated and sufficient conditions are derived in terms of linear matrix inequalities (LMIs) formulation by using the fractional Lyapunov direct method where the fractional-order α belongs to 0 < α < 1. The control approach is finally applied to the regulation of the glucose level in diabetes type 1 treatment. Therefore, it is attempted to incorporate fractional-order into the mathematical minimal model of glucose-insulin system dynamics and it is still an interesting challenge to show, how the order of a fractional differential system affects the dynamics of the system in the presence of meal disturbance. Numerical simulations are carried out to illustrate our proposed results and show that the nonlinear fractional-order glucose-insulin systems are, at least, as stable as their integer-order counterpart in the presence of exogenous glucose infusion or meal disturbance. [less ▲]

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See detailTurn up the heat: circulating serotonin tunes our internal heating system.
Schneider, Jochen UL; Nadeau, Joseph H.

in Cell metabolism (2015), 21(2), 156-8

Serotonin acts as neurotransmitter in the brain and as a multifaceted signaling molecule coordinating many physiological processes in the periphery. In a recent issue of Nature Medicine, Crane et al ... [more ▼]

Serotonin acts as neurotransmitter in the brain and as a multifaceted signaling molecule coordinating many physiological processes in the periphery. In a recent issue of Nature Medicine, Crane et al. (2014) find that peripheral serotonin controls thermogenesis in adipose tissue by modulating beta-adrenergic stimulation of UCP-1, thereby affecting glucose homeostasis and weight gain. [less ▲]

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See detailNecrotizing Sarcoid Granulomatosis (NSG): A Diagnostic Pitfall to Watch Out For!
Schiekofer, Stephan; Zirngibl, Christina; Schneider, Jochen UL

in Journal of clinical and diagnostic research : JCDR (2015), 9(7), 02

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See detailPlatelet activation and aggregation promote lung inflammation and influenza virus pathogenesis.
Le, Vuong Ba; Schneider, Jochen UL; Boergeling, Yvonne et al

in American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine (2015), 191(7), 804-19

RATIONALE: The hallmark of severe influenza virus infection is excessive inflammation of the lungs. Platelets are activated during influenza, but their role in influenza virus pathogenesis and ... [more ▼]

RATIONALE: The hallmark of severe influenza virus infection is excessive inflammation of the lungs. Platelets are activated during influenza, but their role in influenza virus pathogenesis and inflammatory responses is unknown. OBJECTIVES: To determine the role of platelets during influenza A virus infections and propose new therapeutics against influenza. METHODS: We used targeted gene deletion approaches and pharmacologic interventions to investigate the role of platelets during influenza virus infection in mice. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Lungs of infected mice were massively infiltrated by aggregates of activated platelets. Platelet activation promoted influenza A virus pathogenesis. Activating protease-activated receptor 4, a platelet receptor for thrombin that is crucial for platelet activation, exacerbated influenza-induced acute lung injury and death. In contrast, deficiency in the major platelet receptor glycoprotein IIIa protected mice from death caused by influenza viruses, and treating the mice with a specific glycoprotein IIb/IIIa antagonist, eptifibatide, had the same effect. Interestingly, mice treated with other antiplatelet compounds (antagonists of protease-activated receptor 4, MRS 2179, and clopidogrel) were also protected from severe lung injury and lethal infections induced by several influenza strains. CONCLUSIONS: The intricate relationship between hemostasis and inflammation has major consequences in influenza virus pathogenesis, and antiplatelet drugs might be explored to develop new antiinflammatory treatment against influenza virus infections. [less ▲]

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See detailSuppression of beta3-integrin in mice triggers a neuropilin-1-dependent change in focal adhesion remodelling that can be targeted to block pathological angiogenesis.
Ellison, Tim S.; Atkinson, Samuel J.; Steri, Veronica et al

in Disease models & mechanisms (2015), 8(9), 1105-19

Anti-angiogenic treatments against alphavbeta3-integrin fail to block tumour growth in the long term, which suggests that the tumour vasculature escapes from angiogenesis inhibition through alphavbeta3 ... [more ▼]

Anti-angiogenic treatments against alphavbeta3-integrin fail to block tumour growth in the long term, which suggests that the tumour vasculature escapes from angiogenesis inhibition through alphavbeta3-integrin-independent mechanisms. Here, we show that suppression of beta3-integrin in mice leads to the activation of a neuropilin-1 (NRP1)-dependent cell migration pathway in endothelial cells via a mechanism that depends on NRP1's mobilisation away from mature focal adhesions following VEGF-stimulation. The simultaneous genetic targeting of both molecules significantly impairs paxillin-1 activation and focal adhesion remodelling in endothelial cells, and therefore inhibits tumour angiogenesis and the growth of already established tumours. These findings provide a firm foundation for testing drugs against these molecules in combination to treat patients with advanced cancers. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of a healthy miRNome with melanoma patient miRNomes: are microRNAs suitable serum biomarkers for cancer?
Margue, Christiane UL; Reinsbach, Susanne UL; Philippidou, Demetra UL et al

in Oncotarget (2015), 6(14), 12110-27

MiRNAs are increasingly recognized as biomarkers for the diagnosis of cancers where they are profiled from tumor tissue (intracellular miRNAs) or serum/plasma samples (extracellular miRNAs). To improve ... [more ▼]

MiRNAs are increasingly recognized as biomarkers for the diagnosis of cancers where they are profiled from tumor tissue (intracellular miRNAs) or serum/plasma samples (extracellular miRNAs). To improve detection of reliable biomarkers from blood samples, we first compiled a healthy reference miRNome and established a well-controlled analysis pipeline allowing for standardized quantification of circulating miRNAs. Using whole miRNome and custom qPCR arrays, miRNA expression profiles were analyzed in 126 serum, whole blood and tissue samples of healthy volunteers and melanoma patients and in primary melanocyte and keratinocyte cell lines. We found characteristic signatures with excellent prognostic scores only in late stage but not in early stage melanoma patients. Upon comparison of melanoma tissue miRNomes with matching serum samples, several miRNAs were identified to be exclusively tissue-derived (miR-30b-5p, miR-374a-5p and others) while others had higher expression levels in serum (miR-3201 and miR-122-5p). Here we have compiled a healthy and widely applicable miRNome from serum samples and we provide strong evidence that levels of cell-free miRNAs only change significantly at later stages of melanoma progression, which has serious implications for miRNA biomarker studies in cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular and Clinical Evidence for an ARMC5 Tumor Syndrome: Concurrent Inactivating Germline and Somatic Mutations are Associated with both Primary Macronodular Adrenal Hyperplasia and Meningioma
Eibelt, Ulf; Trovato, Alissa; Kloth, Michael et al

in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2014)

Context:Primary macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (PMAH) is a rare cause of Cushing's syndrome (CS), which may present in the context of different familial multitumor syndromes. Heterozygous inactivating ... [more ▼]

Context:Primary macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (PMAH) is a rare cause of Cushing's syndrome (CS), which may present in the context of different familial multitumor syndromes. Heterozygous inactivating germline mutations of armadillo repeat containing 5 (ARMC5) have very recently been described as cause for sporadic PMAH. Whether this genetic condition also causes familial PMAH in association with other neoplasias is unclear. Objective: The aim of the present study was to delineate the molecular cause in a large family with PMAH and other neoplasias. Patients and Methods: Whole genome sequencing and comprehensive clinical and biochemical phenotyping was performed in members of a PMAH affected family. Nodules derived from adrenal surgery and pancreatic and meningeal tumor tissue were analysed for accompanying somatic mutations in the identified target genes. Results: PMAH presenting either as overt or subclinical CS was accompanied by a heterozygous germline mutation in ARMC5 (p.A110fs*9) located on chromosome 16. Analysis of tumor tissue showed different somatic ARMC5 mutations in adrenal nodules supporting a “second hit” hypothesis with inactivation of a tumor suppressor gene. A damaging somatic ARMC5 mutation was also found in a concomitant meningioma (p.R502fs) but not in a pancreatic tumor suggesting biallelic inactivation of ARMC5 as causal also for the intracranial meningioma. Conclusions: Our analysis further confirms inherited inactivating ARMC5 mutations as a cause of familial PMAH and suggests an additional role for the development of concomitant intracranial meningiomas. [less ▲]

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