Microbiological Research Group

Budapest, Hungary

Microbiological Research Group

Budapest, Hungary
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Salamon D.,Karolinska Institutet | Salamon D.,Microbiological Research Group | Adori M.,Karolinska Institutet | Ujvari D.,Karolinska Institutet | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Virology | Year: 2012

We report that type I interferons (IFNs) upregulate latent membrane protein 1 (LMP-1) expression by direct activation of the ED-L1 promoter in several Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-carrying Burkitt's lymphoma lines. In EBV-infected primary B cells, IFN-_ transiently upregulates LMP-1 mRNA, but not protein levels, followed by downregulation of both, suggesting a novel antiproliferative mechanism of type I IFNs. Furthermore, our results may explain the expression of LMP-1 in memory B cells of systemic lupus erythematosus patients. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.


Minarovits J.,Microbiological Research Group | Banati F.,Microbiological Research Group | Niller H.H.,University of Regensburg
Future Virology | Year: 2011

Evaluation of: Stevenson PG, May JS, Connor V, Efstathiou S: Vaccination against a hit-and-run viral cancer. J. Gen. Virol. 91, 2176-2185 (2010). Viral hit-and-run oncogenesis scenarios suggest that transient acquisition of viral genomes can induce a permanent change in the gene expression pattern of the host cell, resulting in malignant conversion. Stevenson et al. developed an in vivo model system based on the introduction of a Cre-recombinase positive murid herpesvirus into genetically engineered mice. They demonstrated that the Cre recombinase could switch on a silent oncogene and inactivate a tumor suppressor gene resulting in sarcomagenesis. However, some of the tumors lacked herpesvirus genomes, suggesting a hit-and-run type oncogenesis. The authors also observed that vaccination could prevent sarcomagenesis in their model. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.


Stanojevic M.,University of Belgrade | Gokengin D.,Ege University | Mezei M.,Microbiological Research Group | Minarovits J.,Microbiological Research Group | And 5 more authors.
AIDS Reviews | Year: 2012

The Balkans is a gateway between Europe, Asia, and the African continent, a fact with potential important consequences on the epidemiology of HIV-1 infection in the region. The duration of the HIV-1 epidemics in many countries of the Balkans is similar to the one in the Western European countries. However, striking differences exist in several countries of the region in both the epidemic situation and, even more so, in our knowledge about it. In particular, the molecular epidemiology of HIV in the Balkans is largely unknown. In order to gain some preliminary insight into HIV-1 diversity in the region, we reviewed the available molecular epidemiology data about HIV-1 diversity in 10 countries of the region: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia, Turkey, and Hungary, a neighboring country to four Balkan countries. The data were obtained either from published studies or in direct communication with the participating members. The existing molecular epidemiology data revealed a broad diversity in subtype distribution among Balkan countries. In several countries, subtype B is predominant (e.g. Serbia, Slovenia, and Hungary), while in others the proportion of non-B subtypes is much larger (Albania subtype A, Romania subtype F). In some areas, HIV-1 subtype distribution is marked by divergence between different risk groups or transmission routes (e.g. Croatia). Recently, HIV-1/AIDS epidemics in Eastern Europe have been among the fastest growing in the world. Many major contributing factors for the breakout and spread of these epidemics are present in many of the Balkan countries, as reflected through the process of social transition, wars, unemployment, extensive drug use, high sexual risk behavior, as well as other factors. Yet, in the Balkan countries the prevalence rate of HIV-1 infection is low, under 0.1 percent. Concomitantly, the molecular epidemiology of HIV-1 in the Balkans has not been thoroughly studied so far. The review and analysis of the available data indicate a broad diversity of circulating HIV-1 subtypes in the region, with the predominance of non-B clades in some countries, underscoring the need for an ongoing surveillance of HIV-1 diversity. The setup of a collaborative network might provide important information for the better management and control of the HIV-1 epidemic in the area.


PubMed | Karolinska Institutet, University of Szeged, RT Europe Nonprofit Research Ltd and Microbiological Research Group
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2014

The EBV carrying lines MEC1 and MEC2 were established earlier from explants of blood derived cells of a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patient at different stages of progression to prolymphocytoid transformation (PLL). This pair of lines is unique in several respects. Their common clonal origin was proven by the rearrangement of the immunoglobulin genes. The cells were driven to proliferation in vitro by the same indigenous EBV strain. They are phenotypically different and represent subsequent subclones emerging in the CLL population. Furthermore they reflect the clinical progression of the disease. We emphasize that the support for the expression of the EBV encoded growth program is an important differentiation marker of the CLL cells of origin that was shared by the two subclones. It can be surmised that proliferation of EBV carrying cells in vitro, but not in vivo, reflects the efficient surveillance that functions even in the severe leukemic condition. The MEC1 line arose before the aggressive clinical stage from an EBV carrying cell within the subclone that was in the early prolymphocytic transformation stage while the MEC2 line originated one year later, from the subsequent subclone with overt PLL characteristics. At this time the disease was disseminated and the blood lymphocyte count was considerably elevated. The EBV induced proliferation of the MEC cells belonging to the subclones with markers of PLL agrees with earlier reports in which cells of PLL disease were infected in vitro and immortalized to LCL. They prove also that the expression of EBV encoded set of proteins can be determined at the event of infection. This pair of lines is particularly important as they provide in vitro cells that represent the subclonal evolution of the CLL disease. Furthermore, the phenotype of the MEC1 cells shares several characteristics of ex vivo CLL cells.


Niller H.H.,University of Regensburg | Wolf H.,University of Regensburg | Ay E.,Microbiological Research Group | Minarovits J.,Microbiological Research Group
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2011

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a human herpesvirus that persists in the memory B-cells of the majority of the world population in a latent form. Primary EBV infection is asymptomatic or causes a self-limiting disease, infectious mononucleosis. Virus latency is associated with a wide variety of neoplasms whereof some occur in immune suppressed individuals. Virus production does not occur in strict latency. The expression of latent viral oncoproteins and nontranslated RNAs is under epigenetic control via DNA methylation and histone modifications that results either in a complete silencing of the EBV genome in memory B cells, or in a cell-type dependent usage of a couple of latency promoters in tumor cells, germinal center B cells and lymphoblastoid cells (LCL, transformed by EBV in vitro). Both, latent and lytic EBV proteins elicit a strong immune response. In immune suppressed and infectious mononucleosis patients, an increased viral load can be detected in the blood. Enhanced lytic replication may result in new infection? and transformation-events and thus is a risk factor both for malignant transformation and the development of autoimmune diseases. An increased viral load or a changed presentation of a subset of lytic or latent EBV proteins that cross-react with cellular antigens may trigger pathogenic processes through molecular mimicry that result in multiple sclerosis (MS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). © 2011 Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media.


Minarovits J.,Microbiological Research Group | Niller H.H.,University of Regensburg
Patho-Epigenetics of Disease | Year: 2012

In multicellular organisms the establishment, maintenance, and programmed alterations of cell-type specific gene expression patterns are regulated by epigenetic mechanisms. Thus, epigenetic alterations (DNA methylation, DNA associated Polycomb-Trithorax protein complexes, histone modifications) ensure the unique transcriptional activity and phenotypic diversity of diploid cells that carry identical or nearly identical DNA sequences.Because DNA methyltransferase I (DNMT1) associates with replication foci during S phase and prefers hemimethylated DNA as a substrate, DNMT1 ensures the clonal propagation of cytosine methylation patterns (maintenance methylation). Thus, DNA methylation may provide a memory function by helping progeny cells to "remember" their proper cellular identity.An alternative system of epigenetic memory, the Polycomb and Trithorax groups of protein complexes, that may operate both independently from and in concert with DNA methylation, ensures the heritable regulation of gene expression viamodification of histone tails.The complex interplay of epigenetic regulatory mechanisms permits both the dynamic modulation of gene expression and the faithful transmission of gene expression patterns to each progeny cell upon division. These carefully orchestrated processes can go wrong, however, resulting in epigenetic reprogramming of the cells that may manifest in pathological changes, as it was first realized during the studies of epigenetic alterations in malignant tumors. By now it became a well established fact that not only genetic changes, but also the disruption of epigenetic regulation can result in carcinogenesis and tumor progression. Scientists working in other fields soon followed the pioneering work of cancer researchers, and revealed that epigenetic dysregulation forms the basis of a wide spectrum of human diseases. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media New York. All rights are reserved.


Ay E.,Microbiological Research Group | Banati F.,Microbiological Research Group | Mezei M.,Microbiological Research Group | Bakos A.,Microbiological Research Group | And 5 more authors.
AIDS Reviews | Year: 2013

We surveyed current trends in epigenetics in general and epigenetics of HIV infection and AIDS in particular to pinpoint promising areas for translational research. Epigenetic mechanisms mark and affect the structure of chromatin, thereby controlling the activity of promoters. Because epigenetic changes are reversible, epigenetic drugs can be used to modulate gene activity. At present, silenced HIV genomes, the latent HIV reservoir, is a major obstacle for a curative treatment of AIDS patients. Epigenetic therapy aims at the purging of the latent reservoir by switching on transcription of silent HIV genomes. The basic idea is that the cytopathic effect of the replicating virus and the immune system may eliminate the reactivated cells, whereas HAART may block the infection of new target cells. Although current efforts concentrate on long-lived resting memory CD4+ T-cells, dormant HIV proviruses also reside in other cell types. Thus, epigenetic characterization of the various HIV-infected host cells and host cell-dependent HIV latency mechanisms is a promising research area and may facilitate the development of cell type-specific epigenetic drugs. HAART itself affects the epigenotype of host cells. This may contribute to the development of drug resistance and unwanted side effects. A pharmacoepigenetic approach may help to elucidate and revert such phenomena. In addition to latent reservoir purging, epigenetic research offers alternative therapeutic tools as well; although not aimed at the elimination of the virus, targeted silencing of HIV transcription by epigenetic regulators may help HAART to minimize virus replication. © Permanyer Publications 2013.


Takacs M.,National Center for Epidemiology | Banati F.,Microbiological Research Group | Koroknai A.,Microbiological Research Group | Segesdi J.,Microbiological Research Group | And 4 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms | Year: 2010

Epigenotypes are modified cellular or viral genotypes that differ in transcriptional activity in spite of having an identical or nearly identical DNA sequence. Restricted expression of latent, episomal Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) genomes is a consequence of a series of epigenetic modifications. In tight latency, there is no virus production (lytic viral replication, associated with the expression of all viral genes), and only a limited set of viral promoters is activated in a host-cell-dependent manner. The latent EBV promoters control the expression of growth-transformation-associated viral genes. The role of major epigenetic mechanisms in the regulation of latent EBV promoters is variable. DNA methylation contributes to silencing of Wp and Cp (alternative promoters for transcripts coding for nuclear antigens EBNA 1-6) and LMP1p, LMP2Ap and LMP2Bp (promoters for transcripts encoding transmembrane proteins). DNA methylation does not control, however, Qp (a promoter for EBNA1 transcripts only) in B lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs, immortalized by EBV in vitro), although in vitro methylated Qp-reporter gene constructs are silenced. The invariably unmethylated Qp is probably switched off by binding of a repressor protein in LCLs. Histone modifications may also contribute to the regulation of latent EBV promoters because the active Cp, Qp and LMP2Ap promoters that are marked by strong binding of cellular regulatory proteins are located on "acetylation islands" enriched in diacetylated histone H3 and tetraacetylated histone H4. We speculate that binding of the chromatin insulator protein CTCF to 3 distinct sites (within, close to and far from the matrix attachment region) may contribute to the three-dimensional organization of the viral episomes. We also raise the point that latent EBV episomes may relocate to new nuclear subcompartments before the start of lytic EBV replication. We propose that a similar relocation of EBV episomes may result in a promoter switch (from Qp to Cp) due to the access of Cp to a B-lymphoblast-specific transcription factory when in vitro cultivated Burkitt's lymphoma cells undergo a phenotypic drift. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Szenthe K.,Microbiological Research Group | Szenthe K.,Europe Nonprofit Research Center | Koroknai A.,Microbiological Research Group | Banati F.,Microbiological Research Group | And 10 more authors.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2013

Although the microRNA miR-146a is an important regulator of immunological processes and contributes to the pathogenesis of certain B cell lymphoma types, in B cells the epigenetic regulation of miR-146a expresion has not been studied yet. To elucidate the mechanisms controlling miR-146a expression in B lymphoid cells we analysed epigenetic marks, including CpG methylation and histone modifications, at the miR-146a promoter in well characterized Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) positive and EBV negative B cell lines. In addition, EBV positive epithelial cell lines were also studied as controls. In cells with a silent miR-146a promoter the 5' regulatory sequences comprising a CpG island were devoid of activating histone modifications, independently of the methylation pattern of the regulatory region. The regulatory sequences flanking the inactive miR-146 promoter were hypermethylated at CpG dinucleotides in the EBV positive Burkitt's lymphoma (BL) cell lines of memory B cell phenotype (Rael and Akata), partially methylated in the mammary carcinoma cell lines C2G6 and C4A3, and completely unmethylated in the nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line C666-1. In contrast, in EBV positive cell lines of activated B cell phenotype, and EBV negative BL cell lines the invariably unmethylated 5' regulatory sequences of active miR-146a promoters were enriched in the euchromatic histone modification marks acetylated histone H3, acetylated histone H4, and histone H3 dimethylated at lysine 4. The euchromatic histone modification marks extended over the immediate vicinity of the transcriptional initiation site to the 3' intron, too. We concluded that similarly to the promoters of protein coding genes, both DNA methylation and histone modifications contribute to the host cell dependent expression of miR-146a. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


PubMed | Microbiological Research Group and Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Archives of virology | Year: 2016

A phage infecting Mycobacterium phlei was isolated in 1958 from a soil sample in Hungary. Some physicochemical and biological properties of the virus were described in independent studies over the years. Here, we report the genome sequence of this early mycobacteriophage isolate. The Phlei phage genome measured 50,418bp, had a GC content of 60.1% and was predicted to encode 81 proteins and three tRNAs. Phylogeny of the tape measure protein revealed genetic relatedness to other early isolates of mycobacteriophages within subcluster A2. The genomic organization and genetic relationships to other strains showed that the Phlei phage belongs to a novel genetic cluster, designated A13.

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