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Ntumngia F.B.,University of South Florida | King C.L.,Veterans Affairs Research Service | King C.L.,Case Western Reserve University | Adams J.H.,University of South Florida
International Journal for Parasitology | Year: 2012

Plasmodium vivax Duffy binding protein region II (DBPII) is an essential ligand for reticulocyte invasion, thereby making this molecule an attractive vaccine candidate against asexual blood-stage P. vivax. Similar to other Plasmodium blood-stage vaccine candidates, strain-specific immunity due to DBPII allelic variation may complicate vaccine efficacy. Targeting immune responses to more conserved epitopes that are potential targets of strain-transcending neutralising immunity is necessary to avoid induction of strain-specific responses to dominant variant epitopes. In this article, we focus on different approaches to optimise the design of DBP immunogenicity to target conserved epitopes, which is important for developing a broadly effective vaccine against P. vivax. © 2012 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc.

Menard D.,Institute Pasteur Of Madagascar | Menard D.,Institute Pasteur Paris | Barnadas C.,Institute Pasteur Of Madagascar | Barnadas C.,Case Western Reserve University | And 15 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2010

Malaria therapy, experimental, and epidemiological studies have shown that erythrocyte Duffy blood group-negative people, largely of African ancestry, are resistant to erythrocyte Plasmodium vivax infection. These findings established a paradigm that the Duffy antigen is requiredfor P. vivax erythrocyte invasion. P. vivax is endemic in Madagascar, where admixture of Duffy-negative and Duffy-positive populations of diverse ethnic backgrounds has occurred over 2 millennia. There, we investigated susceptibility to P. vivax blood-stage infection and disease in association with Duffy blood group polymorphism. Duffy blood group genotyping identified 72% Duffy-negative individuals (FY*BES/*BES) in community surveys conducted at eight sentinel sites. Flow cytometry and adsorption-elution results confirmed the absence of Duffy antigen expression on Duffy-negative erythrocytes. P. vivax PCR positivity was observed in 8.8% (42/476) of asymptomatic Duffy-negative people. Clinical vivax malaria was identified in Duffy-negative subjects with nine P. vivax monoinfections and eight mixed Plasmodium species infections that included P. vivax (4.9 and 4.4% of 183 participants, respectively). Microscopy examination of blood smears confirmed blood-stage development of P. vivax, including gametocytes. Genotyping of polymorphic surface and microsatellite markers suggested that multiple P. vivax strains were infecting Duffy-negative people. In Madagascar, P. vivax has broken through its dependence on the Duffy antigen for establishing human blood-stage infection and disease. Further studies are necessary to identify the parasite and host molecules that enable this Duffy-independent P. vivax invasion of human erythrocytes.

Zheng C.L.,Oregon Health And Science University | Wilmot B.,Oregon Health And Science University | Walter N.A.R.,Oregon Health And Science University | Oberbeck D.,Oregon Health And Science University | And 5 more authors.
BMC Genomics | Year: 2015

Background: The Collaborative Cross (CC) is a large panel of genetically diverse recombinant inbred mouse strains specifically designed to provide a systems genetics resource for the study of complex traits. In part, the utility of the CC stems from the extensive genome-wide annotations of founder strain sequence and structural variation. Still missing, however, are transcriptome-specific annotations of the CC founder strains that could further enhance the utility of this resource. Results: We provide a comprehensive survey of the splicing landscape of the 8 CC founder strains by leveraging the high level of alternative splicing within the brain. Using deep transcriptome sequencing, we found that a majority of the splicing landscape is conserved among the 8 strains, with ~65% of junctions being shared by at least 2 strains. We, however, found a large number of potential strain-specific splicing events as well, with an average of ~3000 and ~500 with ≥3 and ≥10 sequence read coverage, respectively, within each strain. To better understand strain-specific splicing within the CC founder strains, we defined criteria for and identified high-confidence strain-specific splicing events. These splicing events were defined as exon-exon junctions 1) found within only one strain, 2) with a read coverage ≥10, and 3) defined by a canonical splice site. With these criteria, a total of 1509 high-confidence strain-specific splicing events were identified, with the majority found within two of the wild-derived strains, CAST and PWK. Strikingly, the overwhelming majority, 94%, of these strain-specific splicing events are not yet annotated. Strain-specific splicing was also located within genomic regions recently reported to be over- and under-represented within CC populations. Conclusions: Phenotypic characterization of CC populations is increasing; thus these results will not only aid in further elucidating the transcriptomic architecture of the individual CC founder strains, but they will also help in guiding the utilization of the CC populations in the study of complex traits. This report is also the first to establish guidelines in defining and identifying strain-specific splicing across different mouse strains. © 2014 Zheng et al.

Salian-Mehta S.,Aurora University | Xu M.,Aurora University | Knox A.J.,Aurora University | Plummer L.,Massachusetts General Hospital | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2014

Context: Prior studies showed that Axl /Tyro3 null mice have delayed first estrus and abnormal cyclicity due to developmental defects in GnRH neuron migration and survival. Objective: The objective of the study was to test whether the absence of Axl would alter reproductive function in mice and that mutations inAXLare present in patients with Kallmann syndrome (KS) or normosmic idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (nIHH). Design and Setting: The sexual maturation of Axl null mice was examined. The coding region of AXL was sequenced in 104 unrelated, carefully phenotyped KS or nIHH subjects. Frequency of mutations was compared with other causes of GnRH deficiency. Functional assays were performed on the detected mutations. Results: Axl null mice demonstrated delay in first estrus and the interval between vaginal opening and first estrus. Three missense AXL mutations (p.L50F, p.S202C, and p.Q361P) and one intronic variant 6 bp upstream from the start of exon 5 (c.586-6 C>T) were identified in two KS and 2 two nIHH subjects. Comparison of the frequencies of AXL mutations with other putative causes of idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism confirmed they are rare variants. Testing of the c.586-6 C-T mutation revealed no abnormal splicing. Surface plasmon resonance analysis of the p.L50F, p.S202C, and p.Q361P mutations showed no altered Gas6 ligand binding. In contrast, GT1-7 GnRH neuronal cells expressing p.S202C or p.Q361P demonstrated defective ligand dependent receptor processing and importantly aberrant neuronal migration. In addition, the p.Q361P showed defective ligand independent chemotaxis. Conclusions: Functional consequences of AXL sequence variants in patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism support the importance of AXL and the Tyro3, Axl, Mer (TAM) family in reproductive development. Copyright © 2014 by the Endocrine Society.

Siddiqui A.A.,Case Western Reserve University | Xainli J.,Case Western Reserve University | Schloegel J.,University of South Florida | Carias L.,Case Western Reserve University | And 7 more authors.
Infection and Immunity | Year: 2012

Plasmodium vivax invasion of human erythrocytes requires interaction of the P. vivax Duffy binding protein (PvDBP) with its host receptor, the Duffy antigen (Fy) on the erythrocyte surface. Consequently, PvDBP is a leading vaccine candidate. The binding domain of PvDBP lies in a cysteine-rich portion of the molecule called region II (PvDBPII). PvDBPII contains three distinct subdomains based upon intramolecular disulfide bonding patterns. Subdomain 2 (SD2) is highly polymorphic and is thought to contain many key residues for binding to Fy, while SD1 and SD3 are comparatively conserved and their role in Fy binding is not well understood. To examine the relative contributions of the different subdomains to binding to Fy and their abilities to elicit strain-transcending binding-inhibitory antibodies, we evaluated recombinant proteins from SD1+2, SD2, SD3, and SD3+, which includes 24 residues of SD2. All of the recombinant subdomains, except for SD2, bound variably to human erythrocytes, with constructs containing SD3 showing the best binding. Antisera raised in laboratory animals against SD3, SD3+, and SD2+3 inhibited the binding of full-length PvDBPII, which is strain transcending, whereas antisera generated to SD1+2 and SD2 failed to generate blocking antibodies. All of the murine monoclonal antibodies generated to full-length PvDBPII that had significant binding-inhibitory activity recognized only SD3. Thus, SD3 binds Fy and elicits blocking antibodies, indicating that it contains residues critical to Fy binding that could be the basis of a strain-transcending candidate vaccine against P. vivax. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.

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