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Acinetobacter baumannii is an emerging bacterial pathogen that causes nosocomial pneumonia and other infections. Although it is recognized as an increasing threat to immunocompromised patients, the mechanism of host defense against A. baumannii infection remains poorly understood. In this study, we examined the potential role of macrophages in host defense against A. baumannii infection using in vitro macrophage culture and the mouse model of intranasal (i.n.) infection. Large numbers of A. baumannii were taken up by alveolar macrophages in vivo as early as 4 h after i.n. inoculation. By 24 h, the infection induced significant recruitment and activation (enhanced expression of CD80, CD86 and MHC-II) of macrophages into bronchoalveolar spaces. In vitro cell culture studies showed that A. baumannii were phagocytosed by J774A.1 (J774) macrophage-like cells within 10 minutes of co-incubation, and this uptake was microfilament- and microtubule-dependent. Moreover, the viability of phagocytosed bacteria dropped significantly between 24 and 48 h after co-incubation. Infection of J774 cells by A. baumannii resulted in the production of large amounts of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, and moderate amounts of nitric oxide (NO). Prior treatment of J774 cells with NO inhibitors significantly suppressed their bactericidal efficacy (P<0.05). Most importantly, in vivo depletion of alveolar macrophages significantly enhanced the susceptibility of mice to i.n. A. baumannii challenge (P<0.01). These results indicate that macrophages may play an important role in early host defense against A. baumannii infection through the efficient phagocytosis and killing of A. baumannii to limit initial pathogen replication and the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines for the rapid recruitment of other innate immune cells such as neutrophils. Source

Kim D.Y.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)

Solubility and stability are amongst the factors contributing to the therapeutic efficacy of biologics. Human antibody heavy chain variable domains, VHs, are one class of biologics; improving VH biophysical properties is the focus of significant protein engineering efforts. Here, we describe an efficacy engineering approach which involves the introduction of a disulfide linkage in the VH core and which improves both VH solubility and stability. More specifically, we describe protocols for generation of disulfide engineered human VHs and their characterization in terms of disulfide linkage formation, non-aggregation, and stability. Our solubility/stability engineering approach may be applied to other VHs. Source

Conlan J.W.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences
Future Microbiology

Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen of humans and other mammals. Its inhaled infectious dose is very low and can result in very high mortality. Historically, subsp. tularensis was developed as a biological weapon and there are now concerns about its abuse as such by terrorists. A live attenuated vaccine developed pragmatically more than half a century ago from the less virulent holarctica subsp. is the sole prophylactic available, but it remains unlicensed. In recent years several other potential live, killed and subunit vaccine candidates have been developed and tested in mice for their efficacy against respiratory challenge with subsp. tularensis. This article will review these vaccine candidates and the development hurdles they face. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd. Source

Baral T.N.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences
Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology

Trypanosomiasis is one of the major parasitic diseases for which control is still far from reality. The vaccination approaches by using dominant surface proteins have not been successful, mainly due to antigenic variation of the parasite surface coat. On the other hand, the chemotherapeutic drugs in current use for the treatment of this disease are toxic and problems of resistance are increasing (see Kennedy (2004) and Legros et al. (2002)). Therefore, alternative approaches in both treatment and vaccination against trypanosomiasis are needed at this time. To be able to design and develop such alternatives, the biology of this parasite and the host response against the pathogen need to be studied. These two aspects of this disease with few examples of alternative approaches are discussed here. Copyright © 2010 Toya Nath Baral. Source

Yan H.,Brock University | Chen W.,NRC Institute for Biological Sciences | Chen W.,Brock University
Chemical Society Reviews

3′,5′-Cyclic diguanylic acid (c-di-GMP) is a naturally occurring small cyclic dinucleotide found in bacteria. There has been a recent surge of interest in the two-component signalling networks involving this molecule. This tutorial review introduces the biosynthesis of c-di-GMP, particularly the conserved domain features involved in its enzymatic synthesis and degradation, cellular functions and phenotypes regulated by c-di-GMP through c-di-GMP-binding proteins. The chemical synthesis and structural studies of c-di-GMP are also summarized. Two potential applications of c-di-GMP, i.e. bacterial biofilm formation and immunostimulation, are surveyed. Recent observations on c-di-GMP-binding riboswitches are also introduced. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source

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