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Meyer A.J.,University of Texas at Austin | Garry D.J.,University of Texas at Austin | Hall B.,Altermune Technologies | Byrom M.M.,University of Texas at Austin | And 4 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2015

On average, mutations are deleterious to proteins. Mutations conferring new function to a protein often come at the expense of protein folding or stability, reducing overall activity. Over the years, a panel of T7 RNA polymerases have been designed or evolved to accept nucleotides with modified ribose moieties. These modified RNAs have proven useful, especially in vivo, but the transcriptional yields tend to be quite low. Here we show that mutations previously shown to increase the thermal tolerance of T7 RNA polymerase can increase the activity of mutants with expanded substrate range. The resulting polymerase mutants can be used to generate 2'-O-methyl modified RNA with yields much higher than enzymes currently employed. © 2015 The Author(s).

Kristian S.A.,Altermune Technologies | Kristian S.A.,University of California at San Diego | Hwang J.H.,University of California at San Diego | Hall B.,Altermune Technologies | And 10 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Medicine | Year: 2015

Abstract: The ever-increasing threat of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections has spurred renewed interest in alternative approaches to classical antibiotic therapy. In contrast to other mammals, humans do not express the galactose-α-1,3-galactosyl-β-1,4-N-acetyl-glucosamine (α-Gal) epitope. As a result of exposure of humans to α-Gal in the environment, a large proportion of circulating antibodies are specific for the trisaccharide. In this study, we examine whether these anti-Gal antibodies can be recruited and redirected to exert anti-bacterial activity. We show that a specific DNA aptamer conjugated to an α-Gal epitope at its 5′ end, herein termed an alphamer, can bind to group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria by recognition of a conserved region of the surface-anchored M protein. The anti-GAS alphamer was shown to recruit anti-Gal antibodies to the streptococcal surface in an α-Gal-specific manner, elicit uptake and killing of the bacteria by human phagocytes, and slow growth of invasive GAS in human whole blood. These studies provide a first in vitro proof of concept that alphamers have the potential to redirect pre-existing antibodies to bacteria in a specific manner and trigger an immediate antibacterial immune response. Further validation of this novel therapeutic approach of applying α-Gal technology in in vivo models of bacterial infection is warranted. Key Messages: • α-Gal-tagged aptamers lead to GAS opsonization with anti-Gal antibodies. • α-Gal-tagged aptamers confer phagocytosis and killing of GAS cells by human phagocytes. • α-Gal-tagged aptamers reduces replication of GAS in human blood. • α-Gal-tagged aptamers may have the potential to be used as novel passive immunization drugs. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Altermune Technologies | Date: 2012-07-06

The present invention is related to methods and compositions that are capable of immediately immunizing a human or animal against any molecule or compound. The present invention comprises an immunity linker molecule with at least two sites; (1) a first binding site that binds to an immune system molecule in a human or animal that has been preimmunized against the first binding site, and (2) one or more second binding sites that bind specifically to a desired compound or molecule. The first binding site and the second binding site(s) are linked by a linker portion of the molecule.

Stovall G.M.,University of Texas at Austin | Bedenbaugh R.S.,University of Texas at Austin | Singh S.,University of Texas at Austin | Meyer A.J.,University of Texas at Austin | And 3 more authors.
Current Protocols in Nucleic Acid Chemistry | Year: 2014

Incorporation of modified nucleotides into in vitro RNA or DNA selections offers many potential advantages, such as the increased stability of selected nucleic acids against nuclease degradation, improved affinities, expanded chemical functionality, and increased library diversity. This unit provides useful information and protocols for in vitro selection using modified nucleotides. It includes a discussion of when to use modified nucleotides; protocols for evaluating and optimizing transcription reactions, as well as confirming the incorporation of the modified nucleotides; protocols for evaluating modified nucleotide transcripts as template in reverse transcription reactions; protocols for the evaluation of the fidelity of modified nucleotides in the replication and the regeneration of the pool; and a protocol to compare modified nucleotide pools and selection conditions. © 2014 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Altermune Technologies | Date: 2012-08-06

Methods and compositions for immediately immunizing an individual against any molecule or compound. The present invention comprises an immunity linker with at least two sites; (1) at least one first binding site that binds to an immune response component in an individual that has been pre-immunized with a universal immunogen, and (2) at least one second binding site that binds specifically to a desired compound or molecule, the target.

Altermune Technologies and Altermune LLC | Date: 2010-02-16

Therapeutic pharmaceutical preparation used to improve a users immune system.

Altermune Technologies | Date: 2011-06-29

A bivalent molecule comprised of an aptamer linked to an epitope attracting the immune system.

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