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Köln, Germany

Cornejo Castro E.M.,University of Tubingen | Waak J.,University of Tubingen | Waak J.,Nexigen GmbH | Weber S.S.,University of Tubingen | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Neural Transmission | Year: 2010

DJ-1 is a neuroprotective gene mutated in recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). In addition to direct protective functions in neurons, DJ-1 regulates neuroinflammatory signaling in primary mouse brain astrocytes. To assess the influence of DJ-1 on innate immunity signaling in vivo, we have generated djr-1 knockout Caenorhabditis elegans. When grown on pathogenic gram-negative bacteria, djr-1 -/- worms showed stronger phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (PMK-1) and hyper-induction of PMK-1 target genes. Thus, PD-associated DJ-1 contributes to regulation of innate immunity. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Rommler F.,TU Munich | Hammel M.,TU Munich | Waldhuber A.,TU Munich | Muller T.,TU Munich | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Activation of TLR7 and TLR9 by endogenous RNA- or DNA-containing ligands, respectively, is thought to contribute to the complicated pathophysiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). These ligands induce the release of type-I interferons by plasmacytoid dendritic cells and autoreactive antibodies by B-cells, both responses being key events in perpetuating SLE. We recently described the development of inhibitory oligonucleotides (INH-ODN), which are characterized by a phosphorothioate backbone, a CC(T)XXX3-5GGG motif and a chemical modification of the G-quartet to avoid the formation of higher order structures via intermolecular G-tetrads. These INH-ODNs were equally or significantly more efficient to impair TLR7- and TLR9-stimulated murine B-cells, macrophages, conventional and plasmacytoid dendritic cells than the parent INH-ODN 2088, which lacks G-modification. Here, we evaluate the inhibitory/therapeutic potential of our set of G-modified INH-ODN on human immune cells. We report the novel finding that G-modified INH-ODNs efficiently inhibited the release of IFN-α by PBMC stimulated either with the TLR7-ligand oligoribonucleotide (ORN) 22075 or the TLR9-ligand CpG-ODN 2216. G-modification of INH-ODNs significantly improved inhibition of IL-6 release by PBMCs and purified human B-cells stimulated with the TLR7-ligand imiquimod or the TLR9-ligand CpG-ODN 2006. Furthermore, inhibition of B-cell activation analyzed by expression of activation markers and intracellular ATP content was significantly improved by G-modification. As observed with murine B-cells, high concentrations of INH-ODN 2088 but not of G-modified INH-ODNs stimulated IL-6 secretion by PBMCs in the absence of TLR-ligands thus limiting its blocking efficacy. In summary, G-modification of INH-ODNs improved their ability to impair TLR7-and TLR9-mediated signaling in those human immune cells which are considered as crucial in the pathophysiology of SLE. © 2015 Römmler et al.

Kokkola T.,Universitatsklinikum Hamburg Eppendorf | Kokkola T.,University of Eastern Finland | Kruse C.,Forschungsinstitut Caesar | Kruse C.,Nexigen GmbH | And 7 more authors.
FEBS Letters | Year: 2011

Many G-protein coupled receptors are palmitoylated in their C-terminal, intracellular regions. So far no enzymes responsible for this modification have been described. We identified an interaction of the membrane proximal helix 8 of somatostatin receptor 5 (SSTR5) with the N-terminal region of the putative palmitoyltransferase ZDHHC5 using the Ras recruitment interaction screening system. ZDHHC5 and SSTR5 are colocalized at the plasma membrane and can be efficiently coimmunoprecipitated from transfected cells. Coexpression of ZDHHC5 in HEK293 cells increased palmitoylation of SSTR5 whereas knock-down of endogenous ZDHHC5 by siRNAs decreased it. Our data identify the first palmitoyltransferase for a G-protein coupled receptor. © 2011 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Krebiehl G.,University of Tubingen | Ruckerbauer S.,University of Tubingen | Burbulla L.F.,University of Tubingen | Kieper N.,University of Tubingen | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Mitochondrial dysfunction and degradation takes a central role in current paradigms of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease (PD). Loss of DJ-1 function is a rare cause of familial PD. Although a critical role of DJ-1 in oxidative stress response and mitochondrial function has been recognized, the effects on mitochondrial dynamics and downstream consequences remain to be determined. Methodology/Principal Findings: Using DJ-1 loss of function cellular models from knockout (KO) mice and human carriers of the E64D mutation in the DJ-1 gene we define a novel role of DJ-1 in the integrity of both cellular organelles, mitochondria and lysosomes. We show that loss of DJ-1 caused impaired mitochondrial respiration, increased intramitochondrial reactive oxygen species, reduced mitochondrial membrane potential and characteristic alterations of mitochondrial shape as shown by quantitative morphology. Importantly, ultrastructural imaging and subsequent detailed lysosomal activity analyses revealed reduced basal autophagic degradation and the accumulation of defective mitochondria in DJ-1 KO cells, that was linked with decreased levels of phospho-activated ERK2. Conclusions/Significance: We show that loss of DJ-1 leads to impaired autophagy and accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria that under physiological conditions would be compensated via lysosomal clearance. Our study provides evidence for a critical role of DJ-1 in mitochondrial homeostasis by connecting basal autophagy and mitochondrial integrity in Parkinson's disease. © 2010 Krebiehl et al.

Ries M.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Schuster P.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Thomann S.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Donhauser N.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Leukocyte Biology | Year: 2013

This study tested the hypothesis that mtDNA fragments carry immunostimulatory motifs that naturally induce immune activation by PDC. Genomic and mtDNA induced similar IFN-α production after transfection into PBMCs using the liposomal transfection reagent DOTAP. Shortening of mtDNA to CpG islands enhanced the immunostimulatory activity, based on the presence of unmethylated CpG DNA. Further fragmentation into mtODN, which exhibited similarities to published CpG ODN, resulted in a strong immunostimulatory activity in addition to PDC maturation and migration. The addition of the human cathelicidin LL-37 to CpG islands induced spontaneous PDC IFN-α production. Notably, one phosphodiester mtODN with a double-palindromic structure induced PDC IFN-α production in the absence of DOTAP. Flow cytometry, life-cell, and confocal imaging revealed attachment and spontaneous uptake into PDC, colocalizing, in part, with TLR9 in early endosomal vesicles. This process was accompanied by a moderate but significant PDC maturation in addition to B cell and NK cell activation (P<0.05). Altogether, our data indicate that fragmented mtDNA, which may be released as a consequence of apoptotic, necrotic, and necroptotic cell death, can act as a DAMP. For the first time, our study provides a mechanism how longer and shorter mtDNA fragments can be taken up naturally by the PDC and thus, may contribute to acute and chronic immune activation. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.

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