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Gow N.A.R.,University of Aberdeen | Hube B.,Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology | Hube B.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Hube B.,Center for Sepsis Control and Care
Current Opinion in Microbiology | Year: 2012

An imbalance of the normal microbial flora, breakage of epithelial barriers or dysfunction of the immune system favour the transition of the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans from a commensal to a pathogen. C. albicans has evolved to be adapted as a commensal on mucosal surfaces. As a commensal it has also acquired attributes, which are necessary to avoid or overcome the host defence mechanisms. The human host has also co-evolved to recognize and eliminate potential fungal invaders. Many of the fungal genes that have been the focus of this co-evolutionary process encode cell wall components. In this review, we will discuss the transition from commensalism to pathogenesis, the key players of the fungal cell surface that are important for this transition, the role of the morphology and the mechanisms of host recognition and response. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Zipfel P.F.,Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology
Advances in experimental medicine and biology | Year: 2013

The complement system is a central homeostatic system of the vertebrate organism and part f innate immunity. When activated, complement has multiple functions and drives homeostasis and the elimination of infectious microbes (Walport MJ (2001) N Engl J Med 344:1140-1144; Zipfel PF, Skerka C (2009) Nat Rev Immunol 9:729-740). Several inflammatory disorders are caused by defective complement action, and the growing, detailed understanding of the underlying pathophysiological principles translate into therapy with complement inhibitors. As complement inhibitors have been pproved for treatment of the complement-mediated disorders hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), there is a growing interest to extended and improve the options for other complement-mediated diseases. Here, we summarize the current understanding and concepts how defective complement action at biological surfaces lead to pathology and disease, and how this understanding can be used for the development of surface targeting complement inhibitors. Source

Kniemeyer O.,Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology
Proteomics | Year: 2011

Fungal species of the genus Aspergillus play significant roles as model organisms in basic research, as "cell factories" for the production of organic acids, pharmaceuticals or industrially important enzymes and as pathogens causing superficial and invasive infections in animals and humans. The release of the genome sequences of several Aspergillus sp. has paved the way for global analyses of protein expression in Aspergilli including the characterisation of proteins, which have not designated any function. With the application of proteomic methods, particularly 2-D gel and LC-MS/MS-based methods, first insights into the composition of the proteome of Aspergilli under different growth and stress conditions could be gained. Putative targets of global regulators led to the improvement of industrially relevant Aspergillus strains and so far not described Aspergillus antigens have already been discovered. Here, I review the recent proteome data generated for the species Aspergillus nidulans, Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus oryzae. © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

Hertweck C.,Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology | Hertweck C.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena
Trends in Biochemical Sciences | Year: 2015

Bacterial modular type I polyketide synthases (PKSs) represent giant megasynthases that produce a vast number of complex polyketides, many of which are pharmaceutically relevant. This review highlights recent advances in elucidating the mechanism of bacterial type I PKSs and associated enzymes, and outlines the ramifications of this knowledge for synthetic biology approaches to expand structural diversity. New insights into biosynthetic codes and structures of thiotemplate systems pave the way to rational bioengineering strategies. Through advances in genome mining, DNA recombination technologies, and biochemical analyses, the toolbox of non-canonical polyketide-modifying enzymes has been greatly enlarged. In addition to various chain-branching and chain-fusing enzymes, an increasing set of scaffold modifying biocatalysts is now available for synthetically hard-to-emulate reactions. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Hertweck C.,Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2010

Genetic manipulation of the LuxR-type quorum sensing regulator system in Burkholderia thailandensis caused a significant change in the metabolic profile: it led to activation of the thailandamide biosynthesis gene cluster, dramatically increased thailandamide production, and induced strong pigmentation. A novel polyketide metabolite, thailandamide lactone (2), which cannot be detected in the wild type, was isolated from the mutant broth, and its structure was elucidated by high-resolution mass spectrometry and IR and NMR spectroscopy. In a biological assay using tumor cell lines, 2 showed moderate antiproliferative activities. This finding not only points to complex regulation but also serves as a proof of concept that engineering quorum sensing mutants may enable the discovery of novel bioactive natural products encoded by silent or only weakly expressed biosynthetic pathway genes. © 2010 American Chemical Society. Source

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