Publications by authors named "Abdellatif Bouazzaoui"

29 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Next Generation Exome Sequencing of Pediatric Asthma Identifies Rare and Novel Variants in Candidate Genes.

Dis Markers 2021 8;2021:8884229. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

Human Development and Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

Multiple genes have been implicated to have a role in asthma predisposition by association studies. Pediatric patients often manifest a more extensive form of this disease and a particularly severe disease course. It is likely that genetic predisposition could play a more substantial role in this group. This study is aimed at identifying the spectrum of rare and novel variation in known pediatric asthma susceptibility genes using whole exome sequencing analysis in nine individual cases of childhood onset allergic asthma. DNA samples from the nine children with a history of bronchial asthma diagnosis underwent whole exome sequencing on Ion Proton. For each patient, the entire complement of rare variation within strongly associated candidate genes was catalogued. The analysis showed 21 variants in the subjects, 13 had been previously identified, and 8 were novel. Also, among of which, nineteen were nonsynonymous and 2 were nonsense. With regard to the novel variants, the 2 nonsynonymous variants in the gene (: p.C519W and : p.G520W) were presented in 4 cases, and a nonsynonymous variant in the gene (: p.A45V) was identified in 3 cases. The variants we found in this study will enrich the variant spectrum and build up the database in the Saudi population. Novel eight variants were identified in the study which provides more evidence in the genetic susceptibility in asthma among Saudi children, providing a genetic screening map for the molecular genetic determinants of allergic disease in Saudi children, with the goal of reducing the impact of chronic diseases on the health and the economy. We believe that the advanced specified statistical filtration/annotation programs used in this study succeeded to release such results in a preliminary study, exploring the genetic map of that disease in Saudi children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2021/8884229DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7888305PMC
February 2021

Strategies for Vaccination: Conventional Vaccine Approaches Versus New-Generation Strategies in Combination with Adjuvants.

Pharmaceutics 2021 Jan 22;13(2). Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Biology Department, Aljumum University College, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia.

The current COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has raised significant economic, social, and psychological concerns. The rapid spread of the virus, coupled with the absence of vaccines and antiviral treatments for SARS-CoV-2, has galvanized a major global endeavor to develop effective vaccines. Within a matter of just a few months of the initial outbreak, research teams worldwide, adopting a range of different strategies, embarked on a quest to develop effective vaccine that could be effectively used to suppress this virulent pathogen. In this review, we describe conventional approaches to vaccine development, including strategies employing proteins, peptides, and attenuated or inactivated pathogens in combination with adjuvants (including genetic adjuvants). We also present details of the novel strategies that were adopted by different research groups to successfully transfer recombinantly expressed antigens while using viral vectors (adenoviral and retroviral) and non-viral delivery systems, and how recently developed methods have been applied in order to produce vaccines that are based on mRNA, self-amplifying RNA (saRNA), and trans-amplifying RNA (taRNA). Moreover, we discuss the methods that are being used to enhance mRNA stability and protein production, the advantages and disadvantages of different methods, and the challenges that are encountered during the development of effective vaccines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pharmaceutics13020140DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7911318PMC
January 2021

Fluorescent Nanoparticles Coated with a Somatostatin Analogue Target Blood Monocyte for Efficient Leukaemia Treatment.

Pharm Res 2020 Oct 9;37(11):217. Epub 2020 Oct 9.

Department of Pharmaceutical Technology Department, Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Regensburg University, 93040, Regensburg, Germany.

Background: Leukaemia is the most prevalent form of cancer-causing death in a large number of populations and needs prompt and effective treatment. Chemotherapeutics can be used to treat leukaemia, but their pronounced killing effects to other living cells is still an issue. Active targeting to certain specific receptors in leukaemic cells is the best way to avoid damage to other living cells. Leukaemic cells can be targeted using novel nanoparticles (NPs) coated with a specific ligand, such as octreotide (OCD), to target somatostatin receptor type 2 (SSTR), which is expressed in leukaemic cells.

Methods: Amino-PEGylated quantum dots (QDs) were chosen as model NPs. The QDs were first succinylated using succinic anhydride and then coated with OCD. The reactivity and selectivity of the formulated QDs-OCD were studied in cell lines with well-expressed SSTR, while fluorescence was detected using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and flow cytometry (FACS). Conclusively, QD-OCD targeting to blood cells was studied in vivo in mice and detected using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry and CLSM in tissues.

Results: Highly stable QDs coated with OCD were prepared. FACS and CLSM showed highly definite interactions with overexpressed SSTR in the investigated cell lines. Moreover, the in vivo results revealed a higher concentration of QDs-OCD in blood cells. The fluorescence intensity of the QDs-OCD was highly accumulated in blood cells, while the unmodified QDs did not accumulate significantly in blood cells.

Conclusion: The formulated novel QDs-OCD can target SSTR overexpressed in blood cells with great potential for treating blood cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11095-020-02938-1DOI Listing
October 2020

Xanthomas Can Be Misdiagnosed and Mistreated in Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia Patients: A Call for Increased Awareness Among Dermatologists and Health Care Practitioners.

Glob Heart 2020 02 28;15(1):19. Epub 2020 Feb 28.

Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah Al Mukarramah, SA.

Background: Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant inherited genetic disorder and results in the development of coronary artery disease (CAD). Clinical diagnosis of homozygous HH patients is usually straightforward because persistent hypercholesterolemia can produce xanthoma and corneal arcus. However, xanthoma may also be misdiagnosed as skin lesions and could therefore be mistreated. The aim of this case study report is to highlight the plight of patients with FH as means of raising awareness of the condition among dermatologists and health care practitioners, also to determine the genotype-phenotype correlation in severely affected homozygous FH proband patients.

Methods: Genetic screening of FH associated genes was performed by Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing and cascade screening by capillary sequencing.

Results: We present two clinical cases with prominent skin lesions seen in a dermatology clinic that were referred to plastic surgery for excision. Genetic testing was performed later, and confirmed common single nucleotide deletion variant (c.2027delG) in the alleles consequent to a frameshift mutation p.(G676Afs*33). In addition to the variant, two possibly damaging variants p.(L3313I) and p.(L1212M) and three damaging variants p.(R19*), p.(G83Q) and p.(S474*) in and genes respectively were identified. The gene variant p.(G83Q) was found to be novel, while others have been previously reported. Both patients were refractory to pharmacological therapies and are currently on lipoprotein apheresis (LA).

Conclusions: The present report indicates the need for increased awareness of FH, among the public and healthcare practitioners and supports the need for diagnostic screening and cascade genetic testing of this high-risk condition, which could ultimately lead to better prevention of CHD in this lethal condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/gh.759DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7218775PMC
February 2020

Anthocyanins rich pomegranate cream as a topical formulation with anti-aging activity.

J Dermatolog Treat 2020 Feb 5:1-8. Epub 2020 Feb 5.

Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, Qassim University, Buraydah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Anthocyanins are antioxidant compounds constitute the primary dyes of the pomegranate arils. Anthocyanins could protect the aged skin induced by oxidant exposure as a major role in aging processing and skin degeneration. The study aimed to evaluate the anti-aging activity of anthocyanins rich pomegranate () after formulated into a topical cream. Also, its effect on human dermal fibroblast function and epidermal keratinocyte were evaluated. Anthocyanins were extracted from fresh pomegranate arils using acidified methanol and were purified by Sephadex LH-20 gel-column chromatography. Further, the fusion method was used to prepare cold cream containing pomegranate anthocyanins. The formulated cream was evaluated for their compatibility study, irritation, homogeneity, drug content, drug release, and stability tests. Furthermore, permeation study through abdominal rabbits, as well as Human application was performed. Compatibility study showed the absence of any interaction between anthocyanins and the used polymers. The formulated cream was nonirritant, homogenous and potentially reduced skin aging when applied to Human volunteers' skin. Furthermore, the skin permeation displayed a good permeation of 43.16% after 210 min. Pomegranate anthocyanins could be used as a safe, stable, homogeneous, nonirritant and effective topical anti-aging drug formulation for aged human people.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09546634.2020.1721418DOI Listing
February 2020

Molecular Dynamics Simulation Reveals Exposed Residues in the Ligand-Binding Domain of the Low-Density Lipoprotein Receptor that Interacts with Vesicular Stomatitis Virus-G Envelope.

Viruses 2019 11 15;11(11). Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, P.O. Box 715, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia.

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant disease most often caused by mutations in the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene, which consists of 18 exons spanning 45 kb and codes for a precursor protein of 860 amino acids. Mutations in the LDLR gene lead to a reduced hepatic clearance of LDL as well as a high risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and sudden cardiac death (SCD). Recently, LDLR transgenes have generated interest as potential therapeutic agents. However, LDLR packaging using a lentiviral vector (LVV) system pseudotyped with a vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-G envelope is not efficient. In this study, we modified the LVV system to improve transduction efficiency and investigated the LDLR regions responsible for transduction inhibition. Transduction efficiency of 293T cells with a 5'-LDLReGFP-3' fusion construct was only 1.55% compared to 42.32% for the eGFP construct. Moreover, co-expression of LDLR affected eGFP packaging. To determine the specific region of the LDLR protein responsible for packaging inhibition, we designed constructs with mutations or sequential deletions at the 3' and 5' ends of LDLR cDNA. All constructs except one without the ligand-binding domain (LBD) (pWoLBD-eGFP) resulted in low transduction efficiency, despite successful packaging of viral RNA in the VSV envelope, as confirmed through RT-PCR. When we evaluated a direct interaction between LDLR and the VSV envelope glycoprotein using MD simulation and protein-protein interactions, we uncovered Val119, Thr120, Thr67, and Thr118 as exposed residues in the LDLR receptor that interact with the VSV protein. Together, our results suggest that the LBD of LDLR interacts with the VSV-G protein during viral packaging, which significantly reduces transduction efficiency.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v11111063DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6893590PMC
November 2019

Next generation DNA sequencing of atypical choroid plexus papilloma of brain: Identification of novel mutations in a female patient by Ion Proton.

Oncol Lett 2019 Nov 19;18(5):5063-5076. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Umm-Al-Qura University, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia.

Choroid plexus papilloma (CPP) is a rare benign tumor of the central nervous system that is usually confined to the cerebral ventricles. According to the World Health Organization, CPP corresponds to a grade I atypical CPP (a-CPP); however, it can become more aggressive and reach grade II, which can rarely undergo malignant transformation into a choroid plexus carcinoma (grade III). To the best of our knowledge, identification of these tumors mutations by next generation DNA sequencing (NGS) has not been yet reported. In the present study, NGS analysis of an a-CPP case was performed. Data were analyzed using Advaita Bioinformatics i-VariantGuide and Ion Reporter 5.6 programs. The results from NGS identified 12 novel missense mutations in the following genes: NOTCH1, ATM, STK36, MAGI1, DST, RECQL4, NUMA1, THBS1, MYH11, MALT1, SMARCA4 and CDH20. The PolyPhen score of six variants viz., DST, RECQL4, NUMA1, THBS1, MYHI1 and SMARCA4 were high, which suggested these variants represents pathogenic variants. Two novel insertions that caused frameshift were also found. Furthermore, two novel nonsense mutations and 14 novel intronic variants were identified in this tumor. The novel missense mutation detected in ATM gene was situated in c.5808A>T; p. (Leu1936Phe) in exon 39, and a known ATM mutation was in c.5948A>G; p. (Asn1983Ser). These novel mutations had not been reported in previous database. Subsequently, the quality statistics of these variants, including allele coverage, allele ratio, P-value, Phred quality score, sequencing coverage, PolyPhen score and alleles frequency was performed. For all variants, P-value was highly significant and the Phred quality score was high. In addition, the results from sequencing coverage demonstrated that 97.02% reads were on target and that 97.88% amplicons had at least 500 reads. These findings may serve at determining new strategies to distinguish the types of choroid plexus tumor, and at developing novel targeted therapies. Development of NGS technologies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be used in molecular pathology laboratories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ol.2019.10882DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6781611PMC
November 2019

Whole exome sequencing detects novel variants in Saudi children diagnosed with eczema.

J Infect Public Health 2020 Jan 15;13(1):27-33. Epub 2019 Jun 15.

Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, PO Box-10219, Riyadh 11433, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address:

Background: Eczema is also known as atopic dermatitis is well-known for the skin disease globally. In Saudi Arabia, exome sequencing studies have not been documented. The purpose of this study was to scrutinize the disease causing mutations in children affected with eczema with exome sequencing in the Saudi population.

Methods: We recruited randomly three sporadic cases of children diagnosed with eczema and simultaneously, three more cases were adopted for control samples. Exome sequencing was carried out by applying a pipeline that captures all the variants of concern related to the samples by using the Ion torrent.

Results: In this study, we have documented 49 variants, among which 37 variants were confirmed through eczema children and remaining 30 variants through control children. However, from the analysis of the 6 samples, we have identified rs10192157 (1646C>T; Thr549Ile), rs2899642 (27C>G; Asn9Lys), chr1:152127950 (1625G>A; Gly542Asp) and chr1:152128041 (1534C>G; Gly512Arg) variants which are rarely linked to the disease eczema. In the rs10192157, we have documented these mutations in all three eczema children and one in the control; the rs2899642 mutation appeared in only a couple of eczema children, whereas the mutation in the chr1:152127950 regions appeared in only one eczema patient. However, the chr1:152128041 mutations appeared in only one case of eczema and also in two control children.

Conclusion: Our study revealed four mutations which had not previously been connected with eczema within the database. However, the rs10192157 and rs2899642 mutations were documented with asthma disease. The remaining mutations such as chr1:152127950 and chr1:152128041 have not been reported anywhere else. This study recommends screening these 4 mutations in eczema cases and their relevant controls to confirm the prevalence in the Saudi population. It is recommended that future studies examine the 4 mutations in detail.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2019.05.020DOI Listing
January 2020

Mutation profiling of anaplastic ependymoma grade III by Ion Proton next generation DNA sequencing.

F1000Res 2019 2;8:613. Epub 2019 May 2.

Department of Medical Genetics and Science and Technology Unit, Umm-Al-Qura University, Makkah, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Ependymomas are glial tumors derived from differentiated ependymal cells. In contrast to other types of brain tumors, histological grading is not a good prognostic marker for these tumors. In order to determine genomic changes in an anaplastic ependymoma, we analyzed its mutation patterns by next generation sequencing (NGS). Tumor DNA was sequenced using an Ion PI v3 chip on Ion Proton instrument and the data were analyzed by Ion Reporter 5.6. NGS analysis identified 19 variants, of which four were previously reported missense variants; c.395G>A in , c.1173A>G in , c.1416A>T in and c.215C>G in . The frequencies of the three missense mutations ( c.1173A>G, c.1416A>T, , c.215C>G) were high, suggesting that these are germline variants, whereas the variant frequency was low (4.81%). However, based on its FATHMM score of 0.94, only the variant is pathogenic; other variants , and had FATHMM scores of 0.22, 0.56 and 0.07, respectively. Eight synonymous mutations were found in , , , , , , and genes. The mutation in p.(Val592Val) was the only novel variant found. Additionally, two known intronic variants in were found and intronic variants were also found in and . A known splice site mutation at an acceptor site in , a 3'-UTR variant in the gene and a 5'_UTR variant in the gene were also identified. The p-values were below 0.00001 for all variants and the average coverage for all variants was around 2000x. In this grade III ependymoma, one novel synonymous mutation and one deleterious missense mutation is reported. Many of the variants reported here have not been detected in ependymal tumors by NGS analysis previously and we therefore report these variants in brain tissue for the first time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.18721.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7317822PMC
October 2020

Modifying inter-cistronic sequence significantly enhances IRES dependent second gene expression in bicistronic vector: Construction of optimised cassette for gene therapy of familial hypercholesterolemia.

Noncoding RNA Res 2019 Mar 22;4(1):1-14. Epub 2018 Nov 22.

Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, P.O. Box 715, Makkah, 21955, Saudi Arabia.

Internal ribosome entry site (IRES) sequences have become a valuable tool in the construction of gene transfer and therapeutic vectors for multi-cistronic gene expression from a single mRNA transcript. The optimal conditions for effective use of this sequence to construct a functional expression vector are not precisely defined but it is generally assumed that the internal ribosome entry site dependent expression of the second gene in such as cassette is less efficient than the cap-dependent expression of the first gene. Mainly tailoring inter-cistronic sequence significantly enhances IRES dependent second gene expression in bicistronic vector further in construction of optimised cassette for gene therapy of familial hypercholesterolemia. We tailored the size of the inter-cistronic spacer sequence at the 5' region of the internal ribosome entry site sequence using sequential deletions and demonstrated that the expression of the 3' gene can be significantly increased to similar levels as the cap-dependent expression of the 5' gene. Maximum expression efficiency of the downstream gene was obtained when the spacer is composed of 18-141 base pairs. In this case a single mRNA transcriptional unit containing both the first and the second Cistron was detected. Whilst constructs with spacer sequences of 216 bp or longer generate a single transcriptional unit containing only the first Cistron. This suggests that long spacers may affect transcription termination. When the spacer is 188 bp, both transcripts were produced simultaneously in most transfected cells, while a fraction of them expressed only the first but not the second gene. Expression analyses of vectors containing optimised cassettes clearly confirm that efficiency of gene transfer and biological activity of the expressed transgenic proteins in the transduced cells can be achieved. Furthermore, Computational analysis was carried out by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to determine the most emerges as viable containing specific binding site and bridging of 5' and 3' ends involving direct RNA-RNA contacts and RNA-protein interactions. These results provide a mechanistic basis for translation stimulation and RNA resembling for the synergistic stimulation of cap-dependent translation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ncrna.2018.11.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6404380PMC
March 2019

Identification of six novel factor viii gene variants using next generation sequencing and molecular dynamics simulation.

Acta Biochim Pol 2019 Feb;66(1):23-31

1Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, P.O. Box 715, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia; 2Science and Technology Unit, Umm Al Qura University, P.O. Box 715, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia.

Hemophilia A is an X-linked recessive hemorrhagic disorder caused by variants in the F8 gene. To identify known and novel causative variants in hemophilia A, we have carried out genetic analysis among Saudi patients. Twenty-one patients, who were negative for inv-1/inv-22, were selected for analysis by next generation sequencing, thereafter confirmed by Sanger sequencing. In addition, the functionality and structural changes in the variant proteins were assessed using Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and compared with wild-type and native proteins. In the samples we analyzed, we found 10 variants in 12 individuals; among them, five were novel and five were previously reported. The novel variants were located at positions: c.6130_6131insC, c.5815G>C, c.5493C>G, c.3734_3740delinsATTTCT and c.3744A>T. With the exception of one variant which was silent, the MD simulation revealed that the observed variants were causing severe structural changes when compared to the native protein and resulted in a loss of the protein's function. The MD analysis is in line with clinical data of patients who had <1% Factor VIII levels (severe hemophilia) with episodic bleeding, and were on more than one treatment. Moreover, some patients presented with chronic joint disability. These results will enrich the spectrum of variants and enlarge the factor VIII protein's database in the Saudi Arabian population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18388/abp.2018_2339DOI Listing
February 2019

Targeting of somatostatin receptors expressed in blood cells using quantum dots coated with vapreotide.

Saudi Pharm J 2018 Dec 20;26(8):1162-1169. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

Science and Technology Unit, Umm Al Qura University, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia.

Cancer may be difficult to target, however, if cancer targeted this provides the chance for a better and more effective treatment. uantum dots (Qdots) coated vapreotide (VAP) as a somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) agonist can be efficient targeting issue since may reduce side effects and increase drug delivery to the target tissue. This study highlights the active targeting of cancer cells by cells imaging with improving the therapeutic outcomes. VAP was conjugated to Qdots using amine-to-sulfhydryl crosslinker. The synthesized Qdots-VAP was characterized by determination of size, measuring the zeta-potential and UV fluorometer. The cellular uptake was studied using different cell lines. Finally, the Qdots-VAP was injected into a rat model. The results showed a size of 479.8 ± 15 and 604.88 ± 17 nm for unmodified Qdots and Qdots-VAP respectively, while the zeta potential of particles went from negative to positive charge which proved the conjugation of VAP to Qdots. The fluorometer recorded a redshift for Qdots-VAP compared with unmodified Qdots. Moreover, cellular uptake exhibited high specific binding with cells which express SSTRs using confocal microscopy and flow cytometry (17.3 MFU comparing to 3.1 MFU of control, P < 0.001). Finally, an study showed a strong accumulation of Qdots-VAP in the blood cells (70%). In conclusion, Qdots-VAP can play a crucial role in cancer diagnosis and treatment of blood cells diseases when conjugated with VAP as SSTRs agonist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsps.2018.07.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6260484PMC
December 2018

Novel combined variants of LDLR and LDLRAP1 genes causing severe familial hypercholesterolemia.

Atherosclerosis 2018 10;277:425-433

Cardiovascular Prevention Unit, Department of Adult Cardiology, Prince Sultan Cardiac Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Background And Aims: Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is a predominantly autosomal dominant hereditary disorder with significant potential for expansion of coronary artery disease.

Methods: To identify candidate variant/s in FH phenotype implicated genes, next-generation sequencing was performed using a targeted customized gene panel.

Results: We recognized a 45-year-old Saudi female FH patient with double variants in the LDLR [c.1255 T > G, p.(Y419D)] and LDLRAP1 genes [c.604_605delTCinsA, p.(S202Tfs*2)]. The proband was found to be homozygous for the LDLR variant and heterozygous for the LDLRAP1 variant. Three of the proband's children were found to be double heterozygous for the LDLR/LDLRAP1 gene variant. While her other three children were heterozygous for the same single LDLR variant. Both variants were not previously reported. The variants segregation pattern correlated with the clinical picture and with the patient's lipid profile. FH severity was greater in the proband while her children did not show any clinical manifestations. The missense variant p.(Y419D) was found to be deleterious and clinically significant based on prediction identified by PolyPhen-2 and Proven. Molecular dynamics simulation was used to further analyze the effect of the variant p.(Y419D) on the structure and function of the LDLR protein. The secondary structure was investigated, as well as the solvent accessibility and stabilizing residues. The frameshift variant of the LDLRAP1 gene results in a truncated peptide that could affect the cellular internalization of LDLR/LDL complex.

Conclusions: The finding of the combined variants in LDLR/LDLRAP1 genes triggering a severe FH phenotype is essential to elaborate the spectrum of variants causing FH and to understand the genotype-phenotype correlation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2018.06.878DOI Listing
October 2018

Acute Renal Graft-Versus-Host Disease in a Murine Model of Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplantation.

Cell Transplant 2017 08;26(8):1428-1440

1 Department of Internal Medicine 2-Cardiology, University Medical Center, Regensburg, Germany.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a very common complication after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) and is associated with a poor prognosis. Generally, the kidneys are assumed to not be no direct targets of graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), and renal impairment is often attributed to several other factors occurring in the early phase after BMT. Our study aimed to prove the existence of renal GvHD in a fully major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-mismatched model of BALB/c mice conditioned and transplanted according to 2 different intensity protocols. Syngeneically transplanted and untreated animals served as controls. Four weeks after transplantation, allogeneic animals developed acute GvHD that was more pronounced in the high-intensity protocol (HIP) group than in the low-intensity protocol (LIP) group. Urea and creatinine as classic serum markers of renal function could not verify renal impairment 4 weeks after BMT. Creatinine levels were even reduced as a result of catabolic metabolism and loss of muscle mass due to acute GvHD. Proteinuria, albuminuria, and urinary N-acetyl-beta-d-glucosaminidase (NAG) levels were measured as additional renal markers before and after transplantation. Albuminuria and NAG were only significantly increased after allogeneic transplantation, correlating with disease severity between HIP and LIP animals. Histological investigations of the kidneys showed renal infiltration of T cells and macrophages with endarteriitis, interstitial nephritis, tubulitis, and glomerulitis. T cells consisted of CD4+, CD8+, and FoxP3+ cells. Renal expression analysis of allogeneic animals showed increases in indoleamine-2,3 dioxygenase (IDO), different cytokines (tumor necrosis factor α, interferon-γ, interleukin 1 α [IL-1α], IL-2, IL-6, and IL-10), and adhesion molecules (intercellular adhesion molecule 1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1), resembling findings from other tissues in acute GvHD. In summary, our study supports the entity of renal GvHD with histological features suggestive of cell-mediated renal injury. Albuminuria and urinary NAG levels may serve as early markers of renal impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0963689717720295DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5680976PMC
August 2017

Molecular Analysis of Factor VIII and Factor IX Genes in Hemophilia Patients: Identification of Novel Mutations and Molecular Dynamics Studies.

J Clin Med Res 2017 Apr 21;9(4):317-331. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Background: Hemophilias A and B are X-linked bleeding disorders caused by mutations in the factor VIII and factor IX genes, respectively. Our objective was to identify the spectrum of mutations of the factor VIII and factor IX genes in Saudi Arabian population and determine the genotype and phenotype correlations by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation.

Methods: For genotyping, blood samples from Saudi Arabian patients were collected, and the genomic DNA was amplified, and then sequenced by Sanger method. For molecular simulations, we have used softwares such as CHARMM (Chemistry at Harvard Macromolecular Mechanics; http://www.charmm-gui.org) and GROMACS. In addition, the secondary structure was determined based on the solvent accessibility for the confirmation of the protein stability at the site of mutation.

Results: Six mutations (three novel and three known) were identified in factor VIII gene, and six mutations (one novel and five known) were identified in factor IX gene. The factor VIII novel mutations identified were c.99G>T, p. (W33C) in exon 1, c.2138 DelA, p. (N713Tfs*9) in eon14, also a novel mutation at splicing acceptor site of exon 23 c.6430 - 1G>A. In factor IX, we found a novel mutation c.855G>C, p. (E285D) in exon 8. These novel mutations were not reported in any factor VIII or factor IX databases previously. The deleterious effects of these novel mutations were confirmed by PolyPhen2 and SIFT programs.

Conclusion: The protein functional and structural studies and the models built in this work would be appropriate for predicting the effects of deleterious amino acid substitutions causing these genetic disorders. These findings are useful for genetic counseling in the case of consanguineous marriages which is more common in the Saudi Arabia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2876wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5330775PMC
April 2017

Compound heterozygous LDLR variant in severely affected familial hypercholesterolemia patient.

Acta Biochim Pol 2017 23;64(1):75-79. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is most commonly caused by mutations in the LDL receptor (LDLR), which is responsible for hepatic clearance of LDL from the blood circulation. We described a severely affected FH proband and their first-degree blood relatives; the proband was resistant to statin therapy and was managed on an LDL apheresis program. In order to find the causative genetic variant in this family, direct exon sequencing of the LDLR, APOB and PCSK9 genes was performed. We identified a compound heterozygous mutation in the proband with missense p.(W577C) and frameshift p.(G676Afs33) variants at exons 12 and 14 of the LDLR gene respectively. DNA sequencing of LDLR gene from the parents demonstrated that the missense variant was inherited from the mother and frameshift variant was inherited from the father. The frameshift variant resulted in a stop signal 33 codons downstream of the deletion, which most likely led to a truncated protein that lacks important functional domains, including the trans-membrane domain and the cytoplasmic tail domain. The missense variant is also predicted to be likely pathogenic and affect EGF-precursor homology domain of the LDLR protein. The segregation pattern of the variants was consistent with the lipid profile, suggesting a more severe FH phenotype when the variants are in the compound heterozygous state. The finding of a compound heterozygous mutation causing severe FH phenotype is important for the genotype-phenotype correlation and also enlarges the spectrum of FH-causative LDLR variants in the Arab population, including the Saudi population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18388/abp.2016_1283DOI Listing
April 2017

Functional alterations due to amino acid changes and evolutionary comparative analysis of ARPKD and ADPKD genes.

Genom Data 2016 Dec 3;10:127-134. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

King Salman Armed Forces Hospital, P.O. box 100, Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

A targeted customized sequencing of genes implicated in autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) phenotype was performed to identify candidate variants using the Ion torrent PGM next-generation sequencing. The results identified four potential pathogenic variants in gene [c.4870C > T, p.(Arg1624Trp), c.5725C > T, p.(Arg1909Trp), c.1736C > T, p.(Thr579Met) and c.10628T > G, p.(Leu3543Trp)] among 12 out of 18 samples. However, one variant c.4870C > T, p.(Arg1624Trp) was common among eight patients. Some patient samples also showed few variants in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) disease causing genes and such as c.12433G > A, p.(Val4145Ile) and c.1445T > G, p.(Phe482Cys), respectively. All causative variants were validated by capillary sequencing and confirmed the presence of a novel homozygous variant c.10628T > G, p.(Leu3543Trp) in a male proband. We have recently published the results of these studies (Edrees et al., 2016). Here we report for the first time the effect of the common mutation p.(Arg1624Trp) found in eight samples on the protein structure and function due to the specific amino acid changes of PKHD1 protein using molecular dynamics simulations. The computational approaches provide tool predict the phenotypic effect of variant on the structure and function of the altered protein. The structural analysis with the common mutation p.(Arg1624Trp) in the native and mutant modeled protein were also studied for solvent accessibility, secondary structure and stabilizing residues to find out the stability of the protein between wild type and mutant forms. Furthermore, comparative genomics and evolutionary analyses of variants observed in , , and genes were also performed in some mammalian species including human to understand the complexity of genomes among closely related mammalian species. Taken together, the results revealed that the evolutionary comparative analyses and characterization of , , and genes among various related and unrelated mammalian species will provide important insights into their evolutionary process and understanding for further disease characterization and management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gdata.2016.10.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5099264PMC
December 2016

Next-generation sequencing for molecular diagnosis of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease.

Gene 2016 Oct 9;591(1):214-226. Epub 2016 Jul 9.

Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, P.O. Box 715, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia; Science and Technology Unit, Umm Al -Qura University, P.O. Box 715, Makkah 21955, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address:

Autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD) a rare genetic disorder, described by formation of cysts in the kidney. A targeted customized sequencing of genes implicated in ARPKD phenotype was performed to identify candidate variants using the Ion torrent PGM next-generation sequencing. The results identified likely pathogenic disease causing variants during the validation process. Four potential pathogenic variants [c.4870C>T, p.(Arg1624Trp)], [c.5725C>T, p.(Arg1909Trp)], c.1736C>T, p.(Thr579Met)] and [(c.10628T>G), p.(Leu3543Trp)] were observed in PKHD1 gene among 12 out of 18 samples. The rest of the patient samples also showed few variants in ADPKD (Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease) disease causing genes PKD1 and PKD2 i.e. [c.12433G>A, p.(Val4145Ile)] and [c.1445T>G, p.(Phe482Cys)], respectively. All causative variants were validated by capillary sequencing, confirming the presence of a novel homozygous variants [c.10628T>G, p.(Leu3543Trp)] found in exon 61 of a male proband. All potentially deleterious variants identified in PKHD1, PKD1, and PKD2 gene, also exhibited pathologically or clinically significance based on the computational predictions involved in predicting the impact of non-synonymous SNPs (nsSNPs) on protein function such as Sorting Intolerant From Tolerant (SIFT) and Polymorphism Phenotyping (PolyPhen2). SIFT classified 50% of our nsSNPs as "deleterious", while PolyPhen2 identified 45% of our nsSNPs as "Probably damaged" and the results from both programs were largely complementary. Taken together, these results suggest that the NGS strategies provide a fast, accurate and cost-effective molecular diagnostic tool for identifying mutations in targeted genes sequence analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2016.07.021DOI Listing
October 2016

Vascular Alterations in a Murine Model of Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease Are Associated with Decreased Serum Levels of Adiponectin and an Increased Activity and Vascular Expression of Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase.

Cell Transplant 2016 11;25(11):2051-2062

Department of Internal Medicine 2-Cardiology, University Medical Center Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is the limiting complication after bone marrow transplantation (BMT), and its pathophysiology seems to be highly influenced by vascular factors. Our study aimed at elucidating possible mechanisms involved in vascular GVHD. For this purpose, we used a fully MHC-mismatched model of BALB/c mice conditioned according to two different intensity protocols with total body irradiation and transplantation of allogeneic (C57BL/6) or syngeneic bone marrow cells and splenocytes. Mesenteric resistance arteries were studied in a pressurized myograph. We also quantified the expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), endothelial (eNOS), and inducible NO synthase (iNOS), as well as several pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. We measured the serum levels of tryptophan (trp) and kynurenine (kyn), the kyn/trp ratio (KTR) as a marker of IDO activity, and adiponectin (APN). The myographic study showed a correlation of GVHD severity after allogeneic BMT with functional vessel alterations that started with increased vessel stress and ended in eccentric vessel remodeling, increased vessel strain, and endothelial dysfunction. These alterations were accompanied by increasing IDO activity and decreasing APN levels in the serum of allogeneic animals. The mRNA expression showed significantly elevated IDO, decreased eNOS, and elevation of most studied pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. Our study provides further data supporting the importance of vessel alterations in GVHD and is the first to show an association of vascular GVHD with hypoadiponectinemia and an increased activity and vascular expression of IDO. Whether there is also a causative involvement of these two factors in the development of GVHD needs to be further investigated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368916X691646DOI Listing
November 2016

Identification of a recurrent frameshift mutation at the LDLR exon 14 (c.2027delG, p.(G676Afs*33)) causing familial hypercholesterolemia in Saudi Arab homozygous children.

Genomics 2016 Jan 11;107(1):24-32. Epub 2015 Dec 11.

Department of Medical Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Science and Technology Unit, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address:

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant disease, predominantly caused by variants in the low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor gene (LDLR). Herein, we describe genetic analysis of severely affected homozygous FH patients who were mostly resistant to statin therapy and were managed on an apheresis program. We identified a recurrent frameshift mutation p.(G676Afs*33) in exon 14 of the LDLR gene in 9 probands and their relatives in an apparently unrelated Saudi families. We also describe a three dimensional homology model of the LDL receptor protein (LDLR) structure and examine the consequence of the frameshift mutation p.(G676Afs*33), as this could affect the LDLR structure in a region involved in dimer formation, and protein stability. This finding of a recurrent mutation causing FH in the Saudi population could serve to develop a rapid genetic screening procedure for FH, and the 3D-structure analysis of the mutant LDLR, may provide tools to develop a mechanistic model of the LDLR function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2015.12.001DOI Listing
January 2016

Endothelial dysfunction and altered mechanical and structural properties of resistance arteries in a murine model of graft-versus-host disease.

Biol Blood Marrow Transplant 2014 Oct 9;20(10):1493-500. Epub 2014 May 9.

Medical Clinic 2, Cardiology, University Hospital Regensburg, Germany.

A putative involvement of the vasculature seems to play a critical role in the pathophysiology of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). We aimed to characterize alterations of mesenteric resistance arteries in GVHD in a fully MHC-mismatched model of BALB/c mice conditioned with total body irradiation that underwent transplantation with bone marrow cells and splenocytes from syngeneic (BALB/c) or allogeneic (C57BL/6) donors. After 4 weeks, animals were sacrificed and mesenteric resistance arteries were studied in a pressurized myograph. The expression of endothelial (eNOS) and inducible nitric oxide (NO)-synthase (iNOS) was quantified and vessel wall ultrastructure was investigated with electron microscopy. The myograph study revealed an endothelial dysfunction in allogeneic-transplant recipients, whereas endothelium-independent vasodilation was similar to syngeneic-transplant recipients or untreated controls. The expression of eNOS was decreased and iNOS increased, possibly contributing to endothelial dysfunction. Additionally, arteries of allogeneic transplant recipients exhibited a geometry-independent increase in vessels strain. For both findings, electron microscopy provided a structural correlate by showing severe damage of the whole vessel wall in allogeneic-transplant recipient animals. Our study provides further data to prove, and is the first to characterize, functional and structural vascular alterations in the early course after allogeneic transplantation directly in an ex vivo setting and, therefore, strongly supports the hypothesis of a vascular form of GVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbmt.2014.05.002DOI Listing
October 2014

Cytostatic conditioning in experimental allogeneic bone marrow transplantation: Busulfan causes less early gastrointestinal toxicity but Treosulfan results in improved immune reconstitution.

Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol 2014 Apr 4;36(2):158-64. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University of Regensburg Medical School , Regensburg , Germany and.

Background: Acute graft versus host disease (aGVHD) after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT) is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. We evaluated the impact of the conditioning regimen on aGVHD comparing Treosulfan (Treo) and Busulfan (Bu) with total body irradiation (TBI).

Methods: Using a haploidentical murine model, B6D2F1 mice conditioned with Bu (100 mg/kg)/Fludarabine (Flu, 500 mg/kg) or Treo (6000 mg/kg)/Flu (500 mg/kg) or TBI with 14 Gy received bone marrow cells and splenocytes (20 × 10(6)) from either syngeneic (B6D2F1) or allogeneic (C57BL/6N) donors in order to analyze aGVHD outcome.

Results: Conditioning with Bu/Flu or Treo/Flu resulted in significantly reduced aGVHD severity and improved survival (p < 0.05) after allo-BMT compared to TBI. On day 5 after allo-BMT, the organ damages of Bu/Flu conditioned animals were significantly reduced in association with diminished expression of tumor necrosis factor in serum compared to Treo/Flu. Interestingly, the early toxicity of Treo/Flu did not result in significantly higher aGVHD severity; furthermore, a significantly improved immune reconstitution of B220-positive B cells was observed at day 42 after Treo/Flu conditioning compared to Bu/Flu.

Conclusion: Conditioning with Treo/Flu or Bu/Flu results in decreased aGVHD severity compared to TBI. Moreover, Treo/Flu was associated with improved immune reconstitution despite the early toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/08923973.2014.895743DOI Listing
April 2014

Identification of a novel nonsense variant c.1332dup, p.(D445*) in the LDLR gene that causes familial hypercholesterolemia.

Hum Genome Var 2014 20;1:14021. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Department of Pediatrics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre , Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) is an autosomal dominant disease predominantly caused by a mutation in the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) gene. Here, we describe two severely affected FH patients who were resistant to statin therapy and were managed on an apheresis program. We identified a novel duplication variant c.1332dup, p.(D445*) at exon 9 and a known silent variant c.1413A>G, p.(=), rs5930, NM_001195798.1 at exon 10 of the LDLR gene in both patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/hgv.2014.21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4785512PMC
April 2016

The Nlrp3 inflammasome regulates acute graft-versus-host disease.

J Exp Med 2013 Sep 26;210(10):1899-910. Epub 2013 Aug 26.

Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, CH-8091 Zürich, Switzerland.

The success of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation is limited by acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), a severe complication accompanied by high mortality rates. Yet, the molecular mechanisms initiating this disease remain poorly defined. In this study, we show that, after conditioning therapy, intestinal commensal bacteria and the damage-associated molecular pattern uric acid contribute to Nlrp3 inflammasome-mediated IL-1β production and that gastrointestinal decontamination and uric acid depletion reduced GvHD severity. Early blockade of IL-1β or genetic deficiency of the IL-1 receptor in dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells improved survival. The Nlrp3 inflammasome components Nlrp3 and Asc, which are required for pro-IL-1β cleavage, were critical for the full manifestation of GvHD. In transplanted mice, IL-1β originated from multiple intestinal cell compartments and exerted its effects on DCs and T cells, the latter being preferentially skewed toward Th17. Compatible with these mouse data, increased levels of active caspase-1 and IL-1β were found in circulating leukocytes and intestinal GvHD lesions of patients. Thus, the identification of a crucial role for the Nlrp3 inflammasome sheds new light on the pathogenesis of GvHD and opens a potential new avenue for the targeted therapy of this severe complication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20130084DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3782050PMC
September 2013

Steroid treatment alters adhesion molecule and chemokine expression in experimental acute graft-vs.-host disease of the intestinal tract.

Exp Hematol 2011 Feb 22;39(2):238-249.e1. Epub 2010 Nov 22.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University of Regensburg Medical School, Regensburg, Germany.

Objective: Acute graft-vs.-host disease (aGVHD) is a major complication after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT) that is characterized by high morbidity and mortality. Systemic treatment with steroids has been the mainstay of first-line therapy of aGVHD, although controlled experimental data in this context are limited.

Materials And Methods: Using a haploidentical murine BMT model, steroid effects on hepatic and intestinal inflammation during aGVHD have been investigated. Lethally irradiated B6D2F1 mice received bone marrow cells and splenocytes from either syngeneic (B6D2F1) or allogeneic (C57BL/6) donors.

Results: Intraperitoneal administration of prednisolone (2 mg/kg body weight every day) early after onset of GVHD from day +10 until day +42 resulted in reduced clinical GVHD severity and improved survival of allogeneic recipients. Although the liver was barely affected by prednisolone treatment, aGVHD-related histopathologic injury of the gastrointestinal tract was strongly reduced in association with diminished expression of interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor, CXCL 9-11, CCL2-3, mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule-1, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1. Prednisolone-induced reduction of adhesion molecule expression in the gut manifested earlier than seen for cytokines or chemokines. Interestingly, when starting steroid treatment on day +28, the course of GVHD was unchanged and no major differences in cyto- or chemokine expression in gastrointestinal tract or liver on day +42 were seen.

Conclusions: When started early after GVHD onset, prednisolone-related beneficial effects can affect aGVHD target organs differently, involving divergent regulation of inflammation and leukocyte migration. Specifically, a change in adhesion properties between leukocytes and endothelial cells in the gastrointestinal tract may be one of the initial steps in a cascade of steroid-related aGVHD-attenuating events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exphem.2010.11.006DOI Listing
February 2011

Preventive usage of broad spectrum chemokine inhibitor NR58-3.14.3 reduces the severity of pulmonary and hepatic graft-versus-host disease.

Int J Hematol 2009 Apr 14;89(3):383-397. Epub 2009 Mar 14.

Department of Hematology and Oncology, University of Regensburg Medical Center, Franz-Josef-Strauß Allee 11, 93053, Regensburg, Germany.

Pulmonary graft-versus-host disease (pGVHD) is a major complication after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT), which involves donor leukocyte migration into the lung along chemokine gradients, leading to pulmonary dysfunction and respiratory insufficiency. As broad spectrum chemokine inhibitor (BSCI) NR58-3.14.3 suppresses leukocyte migration in response to various chemokines, including CCL2, CCL3, CCL5, we investigated the effects of NR58-3.14.3 on the evolution of pGVHD. Lethally irradiated B6D2F1 mice received BMT from syngeneic (B6D2F1) or allogeneic (C57BL/6) donors, and animals were treated with either NR58-3.14.3 or vehicle control from day -1 to day +14. At week 6, in allogeneic recipients that received BSCI, inflammatory cell infiltrates in the lung were decreased, and reduced histopathologic changes translated into improved pulmonary function when compared to allo-controls. Acute GVHD of the liver was also diminished, whereas no differences were seen in the gut. Alloantigen-dependent splenic T cell expansion and systemic TNF-alpha and IFN-gamma levels were comparable in NR58-3.14.3-treated animals and allo-controls. No suppressive effect of NR58-3.14.3 on CTL cytotoxicity was found, and diminished cellular infiltrates in lung and liver were most likely due to decreased migration of mononuclear cells. Therefore, novel approaches involving BSCIs may provide a promising tool in the management of pGVHD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12185-009-0272-yDOI Listing
April 2009

Stimulated trans-acting factor of 50 kDa (Staf50) inhibits HIV-1 replication in human monocyte-derived macrophages.

Virology 2006 Dec 5-20;356(1-2):79-94. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Georg-Speyer-Haus, Institute for Biomedical Research, 60596 Frankfurt/M., Germany.

In order to identify cellular genes which interfere with HIV-1 replication in monocyte-derived macrophages (MAC), cells were stimulated with interferon (IFN) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) leading to a pronounced inhibition of HIV-1 infection in these cells, and the resulting gene expression was analyzed. Using the microarray technology we identified a gene named Stimulated Trans-Acting Factor of 50 kDa (Staf50), which is known to repress the activity of the HIV-1 LTR. Analysis of the Staf50 expression by real-time PCR showed an overexpression in IFNalpha (up to 20-fold) and LPS (up to 10-fold)-stimulated MAC as well as in infected cells (up to 3-fold). For stable overexpression, 293 T cells and primary macrophages were transduced with Staf50-IRES-GFP bicistronic pseudotype viruses. After transduction, 293 T CD4/CCR5 and MAC were infected with HIV-1, and virus replication was monitored by p24 ELISA. Overexpression of Staf50 inhibited the HIV-1 infection between 50% and 90% in 293 T CD4/CCR5 as well as in MAC. Our findings suggest that host genetic effects in combination with viral properties determine the susceptibility of an appropriate target cell for HIV-1 infection as well as the replication potential of the virus in the cell resulting in an overall productive infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2006.07.025DOI Listing
January 2007

Intracellular tracking of protamine/antisense oligonucleotide nanoparticles and their inhibitory effect on HIV-1 transactivation.

J Control Release 2004 May;96(3):497-507

Department of Virology and Cell Biology, Chemotherapeutisches Forschungsinstitut Georg-Speyer-Haus, Paul-Ehrlich-Strasse 42-44, D-60596 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Membrane transport of antisense oligonucleotides (ODN) is an inefficient process which requires special carriers for their intracellular delivery. We have developed a delivery system for AS-ODN and their phosphorothioate analogues (AS-PTO) directed against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) tat mRNA for efficient transfection of HIV-1 target cells. Protamine was used to complex AS-ODN and AS-PTO to form nanoparticles with diameters of about 180 nm and surface charges in the range of -18 to +30 mV. Cellular uptake of these nanoparticles was significantly enhanced compared to naked oligonucleotides. A double labeling technique with fluorescently tagged protamine and AS-ODN was used to follow the intracellular fate of the nanoparticles. Protamine/AS-ODN nanoparticles showed release of the antisense compound leading to specific inhibition of tat mediated HIV-1 transactivation. In contrast, protamine/AS-PTO complexes were stable over 72 h, and failed to release AS-PTO. These results demonstrate that protamine/AS-ODN nanoparticles are useful for future therapeutical application to inhibit viral gene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jconrel.2004.02.020DOI Listing
May 2004