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Rijswijk, Netherlands

Kifer I.,Agilent Technologies | Ben-Dor A.,Agilent Technologies | Yakhini Z.,Agilent Technologies | Yakhini Z.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | And 3 more authors.
Proceedings - 2014 IEEE International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedicine, IEEE BIBM 2014

IEF LC-MS/MS (Iso-Electric-Focusing Liquid-Chromatography Tandem-Mass-Spectrometry) is an analytical method that incorporates a two-step sample separation prior to MS identification of proteins. When analyzing complex samples this preparatory separation allows for higher analytical depth and improved quantification accuracy of proteins and PTMs. IEF fractionation builds upon isoelectric point (pI) differences between peptides or proteins. In standard IEF LC-MS/MS, each fraction is separately profiled using LC-MS/MS. The cost of the complete assay, therefore, is strongly dependent on the number of pI fractions being analyzed. Commonly, studies are focused on a specific group of proteins. We propose an approach that selects a subset of fractions for LC-MS/MS analysis that is highly informative in the context of the proteins of interest. Specifically, our method allows a significant reduction in cost and instrument time as compared to the standard protocol of running all fractions, with little compromise to coverage. We develop algorithmics to optimize the selection of the IEF fractions on which to run LC-MS/MS. We translate the fraction optimization task to Minimum Set Cover (MSC), a well-studied NP-hard problem. We develop heuristic solutions and compare them in terms of effectiveness and of practical running times. We provide examples to demonstrate advantages and limitations of each algorithmic approach. Finally, we test our methodology by applying it to experimental data obtained from IEF LC-MS/MS analysis of yeast and human samples. We demonstrate the benefit of this approach for analyzing complex samples with a focus on different protein sets of interest. © 2014 IEEE. Source

Ham C.,UK National Institute for Biological Standards and Control | Srinivasan P.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Thorstensson R.,SIIDC | Verschoor E.,BPRC | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology

An international multicenter study was conducted to assess the performance of a panel of simian immuno-deficiency virus (SIV) RNA reference materials for plasma viral load determinations. Reliable quantification was demonstrated across an ∼6 log10 dynamic range. Availability of external reference materials will enable independent calibration of SIV plasma viral load assays. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

Varela M.,University of Cambridge | Verschoor E.,BPRC | Lai R.P.J.,University of Cambridge | Hughes J.,BPRC | And 8 more authors.

Understanding the genetic, antigenic and structural changes that occur during HIV-1 infection in response to pre-existing immunity will facilitate current efforts to develop an HIV-1 vaccine. Much is known about HIV-1 variation at the population level but little with regard to specific changes occurring in the envelope glycoprotein within a host in response to immune pressure elicited by antibodies. The aim of this study was to track and map specific early genetic changes occurring in the viral envelope gene following vaccination using a highly controlled viral challenge setting in the SHIV macaque model. We generated 449 full-length env sequences from vaccinees, and 63 from the virus inoculum. Analysis revealed a different pattern in the distribution and frequency of mutations in the regions of the envelope gene targeted by the vaccine as well as different patterns of diversification between animals in the naïve control group and vaccinees. Given the high stringency of the model it is remarkable that we were able to identify genetic changes associated with the vaccination. This work provides insight into the characterization of breakthrough viral populations in less than fully efficacious vaccines and illustrates the value of HIV-1 Env SHIV challenge model in macaques to unravel the mechanisms driving HIV-1 envelope genetic diversity in the presence of vaccine induced-responses. © 2013 Varela et al. Source

de Groot N.G.,BPRC | Blokhuis J.H.,BPRC | Blokhuis J.H.,Stanford University | Otting N.,BPRC | And 3 more authors.
Immunological Reviews

Summary: Researchers dealing with the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and killer immunoglobulin receptor (KIR) multi-gene families in humans are often wary of the complex and seemingly different situation that is encountered regarding these gene families in Old World monkeys. For the sake of comparison, the well-defined and thoroughly studied situation in humans has been taken as a reference. In macaques, both the major histocompatibility complex class I and KIR gene families are plastic entities that have experienced various rounds of expansion, contraction, and subsequent recombination processes. As a consequence, haplotypes in macaques display substantial diversity with regard to gene copy number variation. Additionally, for both multi-gene families, differential levels of polymorphism (allelic variation), and expression are observed as well. A comparative genetic approach has allowed us to answer questions related to ancestry, to shed light on unique adaptations of the species' immune system, and to provide insights into the genetic events and selective pressures that have shaped the range of these gene families. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Osier F.H.A.,Center for Geographic Medicine Research | Osier F.H.A.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Weedall G.D.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Weedall G.D.,University of Liverpool | And 10 more authors.
Infection and Immunity

Although Plasmodium falciparum apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) is a leading malaria vaccine candidate, extensive allelic diversity may compromise its vaccine potential. We have previously shown that naturally acquired antibodies to AMA1 were associated with protection from clinical malaria in this Kenyan population. To assess the impact of allelic diversity on naturally acquired immunity, we first sequenced the ectodomainencoding region of P. falciparum ama1 from subjects with asymptomatic, mild, and severe malaria and measured allele frequency distributions. We then measured antibodies to three allelic AMA1 proteins (AMA1-3D7, AMA1-FVO, and AMA1-HB3) and used competition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) to analyze allele-specific antibodies. Seventy-eight unique haplotypes were identified from 129 alleles sampled. No clustering of allelic haplotypes with disease severity or year of sampling was observed. Differences in nucleotide frequencies in clinical (severe plus mild malaria) versus asymptomatic infections were observed at 16 polymorphic positions. Allele frequency distributions were indicative of balancing selection, with the strongest signature being identified in domain III (Tajima's D = 2.51; P < 0.05). Antibody reactivities to each of the three allelic AMA1 proteins were highly correlated (P < 0.001 for all pairwise comparisons). Although antibodies to conserved epitopes were abundant, 48% of selected children with anti-AMA1 IgG (n = 106) had detectable reactivity to allele-specific epitopes as determined by a competition ELISA. Antibodies to both conserved and allele-specific epitopes in AMA1 may contribute to clinical protection. Copyright © 2010, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Source

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