International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cell Biology IMPRS MCB

Freiburg, Germany

International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cell Biology IMPRS MCB

Freiburg, Germany
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Mahlakoiv T.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Hernandez P.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Hernandez P.,International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cell Biology IMPRS MCB | Hernandez P.,University of Mainz Medical Center | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2015

Epithelial cells are a major port of entry for many viruses, but the molecular networks which protect barrier surfaces against viral infections are incompletely understood. Viral infections induce simultaneous production of type I (IFN-α/β) and type III (IFN-λ) interferons. All nucleated cells are believed to respond to IFN-α/β, whereas IFN-λ responses are largely confined to epithelial cells. We observed that intestinal epithelial cells, unlike hematopoietic cells of this organ, express only very low levels of functional IFN-α/β receptors. Accordingly, after oral infection of IFN-α/β receptor-deficient mice, human reovirus type 3 specifically infected cells in the lamina propria but, strikingly, did not productively replicate in gut epithelial cells. By contrast, reovirus replicated almost exclusively in gut epithelial cells of IFN-λ receptor-deficient mice, suggesting that the gut mucosa is equipped with a compartmentalized IFN system in which epithelial cells mainly respond to IFN-λ that they produce after viral infection, whereas other cells of the gut mostly rely on IFN-α/β for antiviral defense. In suckling mice with IFN-λ receptor deficiency, reovirus replicated in the gut epithelium and additionally infected epithelial cells lining the bile ducts, indicating that infants may use IFN-λ for the control of virus infections in various epithelia-rich tissues. Thus, IFN-λ should be regarded as an autonomous virus defense system of the gut mucosa and other epithelial barriers that may have evolved to avoid unnecessarily frequent triggering of the IFN-α/β system which would induce exacerbated inflammation. © 2015 Mahlakõiv et al.

Weinberg F.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Weinberg F.,Center for Biological Systems Analysis | Schulze E.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Fatouros C.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | And 8 more authors.
Gene Expression Patterns | Year: 2014

Rio kinases are atypical serine/threonine kinases that emerge as potential cooperation partners in Ras-driven tumors. In the current study, we performed an RNAi screen in Caenorhabditis elegans to identify suppressors of oncogenic Ras signaling. Aberrant Ras/Raf signaling in C. elegans leads to the formation of a multi-vulva (Muv) phenotype. We found that depletion of riok-1, the C. elegans orthologue of the mammalian RioK1, suppressed the Muv phenotype. By using a promoter GFP construct, we could show that riok-1 is expressed in neuronal cells, the somatic gonad, the vulva, the uterus and the spermatheca. Furthermore, we observed developmental defects in the gonad upon riok-1 knockdown in a wildtype background. Our data suggest that riok-1 is a modulator of the Ras signaling pathway, suggesting implications for novel interventions in the context of Ras-driven tumors. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lindner J.M.,Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics | Lindner J.M.,International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cell Biology IMPRS MCB | Lindner J.M.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Wong C.S.F.,QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2013

Bob1 (Obf-1 or OCA-B) is a 34-kDa transcriptional coactivator encoded by the Pou2af1 gene that is essential for normal B-cell development and immune responses in mice. During lymphocyte activation, Bob1 protein levels dramatically increase independently of mRNA levels, suggesting that the stability of Bob1 is regulated. We used a fluorescent protein-based reporter system to analyze protein stability in response to genetic and physiological perturbations and show that, while Bob1 degradation is proteasome mediated, it does not require ubiquitination of Bob1. Furthermore, degradation of Bob1 in B cells appears to be largely independent of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Siah. We propose a novel mechanism of Bob1 turnover in B cells, whereby an acidic region in the C terminus of Bob1 regulates the activity of degron signals elsewhere in the protein. Changes that make the C terminus more acidic, including tyrosine phosphorylation-mimetic mutations, stabilize the instable murine Bob1 protein, indicating that B cells may regulate Bob1 stability and activity via signaling pathways. Finally, we show that expressing a stable Bob1 mutant in B cells suppresses cell proliferation and induces changes in surface marker expression commonly seen during B-cell differentiation. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.

Fatouros C.,Institute of Biology III | Fatouros C.,Center for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Research | Fatouros C.,Center for Biological Systems Analysis | Fatouros C.,International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cell Biology IMPRS MCB | And 15 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2012

Increased Tau protein amyloidogenicity has been causatively implicated in several neurodegenerative diseases, collectively called tauopathies. In pathological conditions, Tau becomes hyperphosphorylated and forms intracellular aggregates. The deletion of K280, which is a mutation that commonly appears in patients with frontotemporal dementia with Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17, enhances Tau aggregation propensity (pro-aggregation). In contrast, introduction of the I277P and I308P mutations prevents β-sheet formation and subsequent aggregation (anti-aggregation). In this study, we created a tauopathy model by expressing pro- or anti-aggregant Tau species in the nervous system of Caenorhabditis elegans. Animals expressing the highly amyloidogenic Tau species showed accelerated Tau aggregation and pathology manifested by severely impaired motility and evident neuronal dysfunction. In addition, we observed that the axonal transport of mitochondria was perturbed in these animals. Control animals expressing the anti-aggregant combination had rather mild phenotype. We subsequently tested several Tau aggregation inhibitor compounds and observed a mitigation of Tau proteotoxicity. In particular, a novel compound that crosses the blood-brain barrier of mammals proved effective in ameliorating the motility as well as delaying the accumulation of neuronal defects. Our study establishes a new C. elegans model of Tau aggregation-mediated toxicity and supports the emerging notion that inhibiting the nucleation of Tau aggregation can be neuroprotective. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

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