The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science

West Jerusalem, Israel

The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science

West Jerusalem, Israel
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Tal-Gan Y.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Freeman N.S.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Klein S.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science | Levitzki A.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science | Gilon C.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2010

Elevated levels of activated Protein Kinase B (PKB/Akt) have been detected in many types of human cancer. In contrast to ATP site inhibitors, substrate-based inhibitors are more likely to be selective because of extensive interactions with the specific substrate binding site. Unfortunately, peptide-based inhibitors lack important pharmacological properties that are required of drug candidates. Chemical modifications of potent peptide inhibitors, such as peptoids and Nα-methylated amino acids, may overcome these drawbacks, while maintaining potency. We present a structure-activity relationship study of a potent, peptide-based PKB/Akt inhibitor, PTR6154. The study was designed to evaluate backbone modifications on the inhibitory activity of PTR6154. Two peptidomimetic libraries, peptoid and Nα-methylation, based on PTR6154, were synthesized and evaluated for in vitro PKB/Akt inhibition efficiency. All the peptoid analogs reduced potency significantly, as well as most of the members of the N-methyl library, suggesting that the backbone conformation and/or hydrogen bond interactions of PTR6154 derivatives are essential for inhibition activity. Two N-terminal members of the N-methyl library did not decrease potency and can be used as future drug leads. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Levin A.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science | Hayouka Z.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Friedler A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Loyter A.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science
Nucleus | Year: 2010

In the current study we show that the Rev protein of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) inhibits nuclear import and mediates nuclear export of the HIV-1 integrase (IN) protein, which catalyzes integration of the viral cDNA. Interaction between IN and Rev in virus infected cells, resulting in the formation of a Rev-IN complex, has been previously described by us. Here we show that nuclear import of the IN, is inhibited by early expressed Rev. No nuclear import of IN was observed when Rev-overexpressing cells were infected by wild-type HIV-1. Similarly, no translocation of IN into nuclei was observed in the presence of Rev-derived peptides. On the other hand, massive nuclear import was observed following infection by a Δ Rev virus or in the presence of peptides that promote dissociation of the Rev-IN complex. Our results show that IN is only transiently present within the nuclei of infected cells. Treatment of infected cells with leptomycin B caused nuclear retention of the Rev-IN complex. Removal of the leptomycin from these treated cells resulted in nuclear export of both Rev and IN. On the other hand, disruption of the nuclear located Rev-IN complex resulted in export of only the Rev protein indicating Rev-mediated nuclear export of IN. Our results suggest the involvement of Rev in regulating the integration process by limiting the number of integration events per cell despite the presence of numerous copies of viral cDNA. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.


Levin A.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science | Hayouka Z.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Friedler A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Loyter A.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science
AIDS Research and Therapy | Year: 2010

A correlation between increase in the integration of Human Immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) cDNA and cell death was previously established. Here we show that combination of peptides that stimulate integration together with the protease inhibitor Ro 31-8959 caused apoptotic cell death of HIV infected cells with total extermination of the virus. This combination did not have any effect on non-infected cells. Thus it appears that cell death is promoted only in the infected cells. It is our view that the results described in this work suggest a novel approach to specifically promote death of HIV-1 infected cells and thus may eventually be developed into a new and general anti-viral therapy.© 2010 Levin et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Schweiger R.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science | Linial M.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science | Linial M.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Linial N.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science
Bioinformatics | Year: 2011

Motivation: Much of the large-scale molecular data from living cells can be represented in terms of networks. Such networks occupy a central position in cellular systems biology. In the protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, nodes represent proteins and edges represent connections between them, based on experimental evidence. As PPI networks are rich and complex, a mathematical model is sought to capture their properties and shed light on PPI evolution. The mathematical literature contains various generative models of random graphs. It is a major, still largely open question, which of these models (if any) can properly reproduce various biologically interesting networks. Here, we consider this problem where the graph at hand is the PPI network of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We are trying to distinguishing between a model family which performs a process of copying neighbors, represented by the duplication-divergence (DD) model, and models which do not copy neighbors, with the Barabási-Albert (BA) preferential attachment model as a leading example. Results: The observed property of the network is the distribution of maximal bicliques in the graph. This is a novel criterion to distinguish between models in this area. It is particularly appropriate for this purpose, since it reflects the graph's growth pattern under either model. This test clearly favors the DD model. In particular, for the BA model, the vast majority (92.9%) of the bicliques with both sides ≥4 must be already embedded in the model's seed graph, whereas the corresponding figure for the DD model is only 5.1%. Our results, based on the biclique perspective, conclusively show that a naïve unmodified DD model can capture a key aspect of PPI networks. © The Author(s) 2011. Published by Oxford University Press.


Levin A.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science | Hayouka Z.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Friedler A.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Loyter A.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science
Nucleus | Year: 2010

Unlike other retroviruses, Human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) can infect terminally differentiated cells, due to the ability of its pre-integration complex (PIC) to translocate via the host nuclear pore complex (NPC). The PIC Nuclear import has been suggested to be mediated by the viral integrase protein (IN), via either the importin α or transportin 3 (TNPO3/transportin-SR2) pathways. We show that in virus-infected cells, IN interacts with both importin α and TNPO3, simultaneously or separately, suggesting a multiple use of nuclear import pathways. Disruption of either the IN-importin α or IN-TNPO3 complexes in virus-infected cells by specific cell-permeable-peptides resulted in inhibition of IN and viral cDNA nuclear import. Here we show that peptides which disrupt either one of these complexes block virus infection, indicating involvement of both pathways in efficient viral replication. Formation of IN-importin α and IN-TNPO3 complexes has also been observed in IN-transfected cultured cells. Using specific peptides, we demonstrate that in transfected cells but not in virus infected cells the importin α pathway overrides that of TNPO3. The IN-importin α and IN-TNPO3 complexes were not observed in virus-infected Rev-expressing cells, indicating the Rev protein's ability to disrupt both complexes. Our work suggests that IN nuclear import requires the involvement of both importin α and TNPO3. The ability to inhibit nuclear import of the IN-DNA complex and consequently, virus infection by peptides that interrupt IN's interaction with either importin α or TNPO3 indicates that for efficient infection, nuclear import of IN should be mediated by both nuclear-import receptors. © 2010 Landes Bioscience.


PubMed | Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991) | Year: 2016

Early representations of auditory features often involve neuronal populations whose tuning is substantially wider than behavioral discrimination thresholds. Although behavioral discrimination performance can be sometimes achieved by single neurons when using the appropriate part of their (wide) tuning curves, neurons that encode the resulting high-acuity representations have rarely been described. Here we demonstrate the existence of neurons with extremely narrow tuning for interaural time differences (ITDs), a major physical cue for the azimuth of sound sources. The tuning width of ITD-tuned brainstem neurons is mostly determined by the properties of their acoustic input, and may be 10-100 times wider than behavioral thresholds. In contrast, we show that tuning widths of some neurons in the primary auditory cortex in the cat high-frequency auditory cortex (measured using transposed stimulus) can be very sharp and approach behavioral thresholds. Furthermore, while best ITDs of brainstem neurons often lie outside the range of naturally encountered ITDs (the ethological range), the range of best ITDs of the narrowly tuned cortical neurons corresponds well to the ethological range. Thus, our results suggest that the auditory cortex contains a high-resolution representation of ITDs that explicitly decodes the widely tuned brainstem representations.


PubMed | Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nucleic acids research | Year: 2016

Pluripotent self-renewing embryonic stem cells (ESCs) have been the focus of a growing number of high-throughput experiments, revealing the genome-wide locations of hundreds of transcription factors and histone modifications. While most of these datasets were used in a specific context, all datasets combined offer a comprehensive view of chromatin characteristics and regulatory elements that govern cell states. Here, using hundreds of datasets in ESCs, we generated colocalization maps of chromatin proteins and modifications, and built a discovery pipeline for regulatory proteins of gene families. By comparing genome-wide binding data with over-expression and knockdown analysis of hundreds of genes, we discovered that the pluripotency-related factor NR5A2 separates mitochondrial from cytosolic ribosomal genes, regulating their expression. We further show that genes with a common chromatin profile are enriched for distinct Gene Ontology (GO) categories. Our approach can be generalized to reveal common regulators of any gene group; discover novel gene families, and identify common genomic elements based on shared chromatin features.


PubMed | University Utrecht, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science
Type: | Journal: Nature communications | Year: 2016

Aneuploidy is a hallmark of cancer and underlies genetic disorders characterized by severe developmental defects, yet the molecular mechanisms explaining its effects on cellular physiology remain elusive. Here we show, using a series of human cells with defined aneuploid karyotypes, that gain of a single chromosome increases genomic instability. Next-generation sequencing and SNP-array analysis reveal accumulation of chromosomal rearrangements in aneuploids, with break point junction patterns suggestive of replication defects. Trisomic and tetrasomic cells also show increased DNA damage and sensitivity to replication stress. Strikingly, we find that aneuploidy-induced genomic instability can be explained by the reduced expression of the replicative helicase MCM2-7. Accordingly, restoring near-wild-type levels of chromatin-bound MCM helicase partly rescues the genomic instability phenotypes. Thus, gain of chromosomes triggers replication stress, thereby promoting genomic instability and possibly contributing to tumorigenesis.


Levin A.,The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science
Nucleus (Austin, Tex.) | Year: 2010

In the current study we show that the Rev protein of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) inhibits nuclear import and mediates nuclear export of the HIV-1 integrase (IN) protein, which catalyzes integration of the viral cDNA. Interaction between IN and Rev in virus infected cells, resulting in the formation of a Rev-IN complex, has been previously described by us. Here we show that nuclear import of the IN, is inhibited by early expressed Rev. No nuclear import of IN was observed when Rev-overexpressing cells were infected by wild-type HIV-1. Similarly, no translocation of IN into nuclei was observed in the presence of Rev-derived peptides. On the other hand, massive nuclear import was observed following infection by a ΔRev virus or in the presence of peptides that promote dissociation of the Rev-IN complex. Our results show that IN is only transiently present within the nuclei of infected cells. Treatment of infected cells with leptomycin B caused nuclear retention of the Rev-IN complex. Removal of the leptomycin from these treated cells resulted in nuclear export of both Rev and IN. On the other hand, disruption of the nuclear located Rev-IN complex resulted in export of only the Rev protein indicating Rev-mediated nuclear export of IN. Our results suggest the involvement of Rev in regulating the integration process by limiting the number of integration events per cell despite the presence of numerous copies of viral cDNA.


PubMed | The Alexander Silberman Institute of Life science
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nucleus (Austin, Tex.) | Year: 2011

In the current study we show that the Rev protein of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) inhibits nuclear import and mediates nuclear export of the HIV-1 integrase (IN) protein, which catalyzes integration of the viral cDNA. Interaction between IN and Rev in virus infected cells, resulting in the formation of a Rev-IN complex, has been previously described by us. Here we show that nuclear import of the IN, is inhibited by early expressed Rev. No nuclear import of IN was observed when Rev-overexpressing cells were infected by wild-type HIV-1. Similarly, no translocation of IN into nuclei was observed in the presence of Rev-derived peptides. On the other hand, massive nuclear import was observed following infection by a Rev virus or in the presence of peptides that promote dissociation of the Rev-IN complex. Our results show that IN is only transiently present within the nuclei of infected cells. Treatment of infected cells with leptomycin B caused nuclear retention of the Rev-IN complex. Removal of the leptomycin from these treated cells resulted in nuclear export of both Rev and IN. On the other hand, disruption of the nuclear located Rev-IN complex resulted in export of only the Rev protein indicating Rev-mediated nuclear export of IN. Our results suggest the involvement of Rev in regulating the integration process by limiting the number of integration events per cell despite the presence of numerous copies of viral cDNA.

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