Publications by authors named "Leena Valmu"

40 Publications

Osteoclasts secrete osteopontin into resorption lacunae during bone resorption.

Histochem Cell Biol 2019 Jun 14;151(6):475-487. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Cancer Research and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, Aapistie 5, 90014, Oulu, Finland.

Osteopontin (OPN) is a non-collagenous extracellular sialylated glycoprotein located in bone. It is believed to be one of the key components in osteoclast attachment to bone during resorption. In this study, we characterized OPN and other glycoproteins found in the resorption lacunae to confirm the role of osteoclasts in OPN secretion using electron microscopy and mass spectrometry. Additionally, we examined the glycan epitopes of resorption pits and the effects of different glycan epitopes on the differentiation and function of osteoclasts. Osteoarthritic femoral heads were examined by immunohistochemistry to reveal the presence of OPN in areas of increased bone metabolism in vivo. Our results demonstrate that human osteoclasts secrete OPN into resorption lacunae on native human bone and on carbonated hydroxyapatite devoid of natural OPN. OPN is associated with an elevated bone turnover in osteoarthritic bone under experimental conditions. Our data further confirm that osteoclasts secrete OPN into the resorption pit where it may function as a chemokine for subsequent bone formation. We show that α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialic acids have a role in the process of osteoclast differentiation. OPN is one of the proteins that has both of the above sialic residues, hence we propose that de-sialylation can effect osteoclast differentiation in bone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00418-019-01770-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6542781PMC
June 2019

An immunocapture-LC-MS-based assay for serum SPINK1 allows simultaneous quantification and detection of SPINK1 variants.

Anal Bioanal Chem 2018 Feb 9;410(6):1679-1688. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Haartmaninkatu 8, 00014, Helsinki, Finland.

Pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor Kazal type 1 (SPINK1) is a 6420 Da peptide produced by the pancreas, but also by several other tissues and many tumors. Some mutations of the SPINK1 gene, like the one causing amino acid change N34S, have been shown to confer susceptibility to recurrent or chronic pancreatitis. Detection of such variants are therefore of clinical utility. So far SPINK1 variants have been determined by DNA techniques. We have developed and validated an immunocapture-liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric (IC-LC-MS) assay for the detection and quantification of serum SPINK1, N34S-SPINK1, and P55S-SPINK1. We compared this method with a time-resolved immunofluorometric assay (TR-IFMA) for serum samples and primer extension analysis of DNA samples. We used serum and DNA samples from patients with acute pancreatitis, renal cell carcinoma, or benign urological conditions. With the help of a zygosity score calculated from the respective peak areas using the formula wild-type (wt) SPINK1/(variant SPINK1 + wt SPINK1), we were able to correctly characterize the heterozygotes and homozygotes from the samples with DNA information. The score was then used to characterize the apparent zygosity of the samples with no DNA characterization. The IC-LC-MS method for SPINK1 was linear over the concentration range 0.5-1000 μg/L. The limit of quantitation (LOQ) was 0.5 μg/L. The IC-LC-MS and the TR-IFMA assays showed good correlation. The median zygosity score was 1.00 (95% CI 0.98-1.01, n = 11), 0.55 (95% CI 0.43-0.61, n = 14), and 0.05 (range 0.04-0.07, n = 3) for individuals found to be wt, heterozygous, and homozygous, respectively, for the N34S-SPINK1 variant by DNA analysis. When DNA samples are not available, this assay facilitates identification of the N34S- and P55S-SPINK1 variants also in archival serum samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-017-0803-yDOI Listing
February 2018

Extracellular o-linked N-acetylglucosamine is enriched in stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood.

Biores Open Access 2014 Apr;3(2):39-44

Finnish Red Cross Blood Service , Helsinki, Finland .

Stem cells have a unique ability to self-renew and differentiate into diverse cell types. Currently, stem cells from various sources are being explored as a promising new treatment for a variety of human diseases. A diverse set of functional and phenotypical markers are used in the characterization of specific therapeutic stem cell populations. The glycans on the stem cell surface respond rapidly to alterations in cellular state and signaling and are therefore ideal for identifying even minor changes in cell populations. Many stem cell markers are based on cell surface glycan epitopes including the widely used markers SSEA-3, SSEA-4, Tra 1-60, and Tra 1-81. We have now discovered by mRNA analysis that a novel glycosyltranferase, epidermal growth factor (EGF) domain-specific O-linked GlcNAc transferase (EOGT), is highly expressed in stem cells. EOGT is responsible for adding O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) to folded EGF domains on extracellular proteins, such as those on the Notch receptors. We were able to show by immunological assays that human umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stromal cells display O-GlcNAc, the product of EOGT, and that O-GlcNAc is further elongated with galactose to form O-linked N-acetyllactosamine. We suggest that these novel glycans are involved in the fine tuning of Notch receptor signaling pathways in stem cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/biores.2013.0050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3995142PMC
April 2014

Extracellular membrane vesicles from umbilical cord blood-derived MSC protect against ischemic acute kidney injury, a feature that is lost after inflammatory conditioning.

J Extracell Vesicles 2013 10;2. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are shown to have a great therapeutic potential in many immunological disorders. Currently the therapeutic effect of MSCs is considered to be mediated via paracrine interactions with immune cells. Umbilical cord blood is an attractive but still less studied source of MSCs. We investigated the production of extracellular membrane vesicles (MVs) from human umbilical cord blood derived MSCs (hUCBMSC) in the presence (MVstim) or absence (MVctrl) of inflammatory stimulus.

Methods: hUCBMSCs were cultured in serum free media with or without IFN-γ and MVs were collected from conditioned media by ultracentrifugation. The protein content of MVs were analyzed by mass spectrometry. Hypoxia induced acute kidney injury rat model was used to analyze the in vivo therapeutic potential of MVs and T-cell proliferation and induction of regulatory T cells were analyzed by co-culture assays.

Results: Both MVstim and MVctrl showed similar T-cell modulation activity in vitro, but only MVctrls were able to protect rat kidneys from reperfusion injury in vivo. To clarify this difference in functionality we made a comparative mass spectrometric analysis of the MV protein contents. The IFN-γ stimulation induced dramatic changes in the protein content of the MVs. Complement factors (C3, C4A, C5) and lipid binding proteins (i.e apolipoproteins) were only found in the MVctrls, whereas the MVstim contained tetraspanins (CD9, CD63, CD81) and more complete proteasome complex accompanied with MHCI. We further discovered that differently produced MV pools contained specific Rab proteins suggesting that same cells, depending on external signals, produce vesicles originating from different intracellular locations.

Conclusions: We demonstrate by both in vitro and in vivo models accompanied with a detailed analysis of molecular characteristics that inflammatory conditioning of MSCs influence on the protein content and functional properties of MVs revealing the complexity of the MSC paracrine regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/jev.v2i0.21927DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3860334PMC
December 2013

Comparison of the glycosylation of in vitro generated polyclonal human IgG and therapeutic immunoglobulins.

Mol Immunol 2014 Feb 1;57(2):255-62. Epub 2013 Nov 1.

Advanced Therapies and Product Development, Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Kivihaantie 7, FI-00310 Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

We have recently developed an in vitro culture model enabling the large-scale expansion of switched-memory B lymphocytes, producing a polyclonal human IgG repertoire. Given the importance of glycosylation for the functions of immunoglobulins, we analyzed the N-glycosylation profiles of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) in this model. Switched-memory B cells were cultured for 38 days and, using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, we analyzed IgGs' glycosylation profiles which were then compared to the glycosylation patterns of commercial intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). We observed a reproducible proliferation rate, high viability through the cultures as well as a good maintenance of the switched-memory B cells repertoire. The glycosylation pattern analyses revealed a variety of the typical biantennary N-glycan structures with diverse terminal monosaccharides. While many similarities were detected in comparison to the glycosylation profile of IVIG, in vitro-produced polyclonal IgGs were bearing higher levels of bisecting GlcNAc known to affect the effector functions of therapeutic antibodies. This data highlights the need for monitoring of the glycoform distribution in antibodies produced in vitro.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2013.10.005DOI Listing
February 2014

Production of a recombinant antibody specific for i blood group antigen, a mesenchymal stem cell marker.

Biores Open Access 2013 Oct;2(5):336-45

Finnish Red Cross Blood Service , Helsinki, Finland .

Multipotent mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) offer great promise for future regenerative and anti-inflammatory therapies. Panels of functional and phenotypical markers are currently used in characterization of different therapeutic stem cell populations from various sources. The i antigen (linear poly-N-acetyllactosamine) from the Ii blood group system has been suggested as a marker for MSCs derived from umbilical cord blood (UCB). However, there are currently no commercially available antibodies recognizing the i antigen. In the present study, we describe the use of antibody phage display technology to produce recombinant antibodies recognizing a structure from the surface of mesenchymal stem cells. We constructed IgM phage display libraries from the lymphocytes of a donor with an elevated serum anti-i titer. Antibody phage display technology is not dependent on immunization and thus allows the generation of antibodies against poorly immunogenic molecules, such as carbohydrates. Agglutination assays utilizing i antigen-positive red blood cells (RBCs) from UCB revealed six promising single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibodies, three of which recognized epitopes from the surface of UCB-MSCs in flow cytometric assays. The amino acid sequence of the VH gene segment of B12.2 scFv was highly similar to the VH4.21 gene segment required to encode anti-i specificities. Further characterization of binding properties revealed that the binding of B12.2 hyperphage was inhibited by soluble linear lactosamine oligosaccharide. Based on these findings, we suggest that the B12.2 scFv we have generated is a prominent anti-i antibody that recognizes i antigen on the surface of both UCB-MSCs and RBCs. This binder can thus be utilized in UCB-MSC detection and isolation as well as in blood group serology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/biores.2013.0026DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3777189PMC
October 2013

Phosphorylation regulates FOXC2-mediated transcription in lymphatic endothelial cells.

Mol Cell Biol 2013 Oct 22;33(19):3749-61. Epub 2013 Jul 22.

Department of Oncology, CHUV, and Department of Biochemistry, University of Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland.

One of the key mechanisms linking cell signaling and control of gene expression is reversible phosphorylation of transcription factors. FOXC2 is a forkhead transcription factor that is mutated in the human vascular disease lymphedema-distichiasis and plays an essential role in lymphatic vascular development. However, the mechanisms regulating FOXC2 transcriptional activity are not well understood. We report here that FOXC2 is phosphorylated on eight evolutionarily conserved proline-directed serine/threonine residues. Loss of phosphorylation at these sites triggers substantial changes in the FOXC2 transcriptional program. Through genome-wide location analysis in lymphatic endothelial cells, we demonstrate that the changes are due to selective inhibition of FOXC2 recruitment to chromatin. The extent of the inhibition varied between individual binding sites, suggesting a novel rheostat-like mechanism by which expression of specific genes can be differentially regulated by FOXC2 phosphorylation. Furthermore, unlike the wild-type protein, the phosphorylation-deficient mutant of FOXC2 failed to induce vascular remodeling in vivo. Collectively, our results point to the pivotal role of phosphorylation in the regulation of FOXC2-mediated transcription in lymphatic endothelial cells and underscore the importance of FOXC2 phosphorylation in vascular development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MCB.01387-12DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3811871PMC
October 2013

Interlaboratory study on differential analysis of protein glycosylation by mass spectrometry: the ABRF glycoprotein research multi-institutional study 2012.

Mol Cell Proteomics 2013 Oct 13;12(10):2935-51. Epub 2013 Jun 13.

Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118;

One of the principal goals of glycoprotein research is to correlate glycan structure and function. Such correlation is necessary in order for one to understand the mechanisms whereby glycoprotein structure elaborates the functions of myriad proteins. The accurate comparison of glycoforms and quantification of glycosites are essential steps in this direction. Mass spectrometry has emerged as a powerful analytical technique in the field of glycoprotein characterization. Its sensitivity, high dynamic range, and mass accuracy provide both quantitative and sequence/structural information. As part of the 2012 ABRF Glycoprotein Research Group study, we explored the use of mass spectrometry and ancillary methodologies to characterize the glycoforms of two sources of human prostate specific antigen (PSA). PSA is used as a tumor marker for prostate cancer, with increasing blood levels used to distinguish between normal and cancer states. The glycans on PSA are believed to be biantennary N-linked, and it has been observed that prostate cancer tissues and cell lines contain more antennae than their benign counterparts. Thus, the ability to quantify differences in glycosylation associated with cancer has the potential to positively impact the use of PSA as a biomarker. We studied standard peptide-based proteomics/glycomics methodologies, including LC-MS/MS for peptide/glycopeptide sequencing and label-free approaches for differential quantification. We performed an interlaboratory study to determine the ability of different laboratories to correctly characterize the differences between glycoforms from two different sources using mass spectrometry methods. We used clustering analysis and ancillary statistical data treatment on the data sets submitted by participating laboratories to obtain a consensus of the glycoforms and abundances. The results demonstrate the relative strengths and weaknesses of top-down glycoproteomics, bottom-up glycoproteomics, and glycomics methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/mcp.M113.030643DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3790302PMC
October 2013

Transient proteolytic modification of mesenchymal stromal cells increases lung clearance rate and targeting to injured tissue.

Stem Cells Transl Med 2013 Jul 3;2(7):510-20. Epub 2013 Jun 3.

Advanced Therapies and Product Development, Finnish.

Systemic infusion of therapeutic cells would be the most practical and least invasive method of administration in many cellular therapies. One of the main obstacles especially in intravenous delivery of cells is a massive cell retention in the lungs, which impairs homing to the target tissue and may decrease the therapeutic outcome. In this study we showed that an alternative cell detachment of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) with pronase instead of trypsin significantly accelerated the lung clearance of the cells and, importantly, increased their targeting to an area of injury. Cell detachment with pronase transiently altered the MSC surface protein profile without compromising cell viability, multipotent cell characteristics, or immunomodulative and angiogenic potential. The transient modification of the cell surface protein profile was sufficient to produce effective changes in cell rolling behavior in vitro and, importantly, in the in vivo biodistribution of the cells in mouse, rat, and porcine models. In conclusion, pronase detachment could be used as a method to improve the MSC lung clearance and targeting in vivo. This may have a major impact on the bioavailability of MSCs in future therapeutic regimes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5966/sctm.2012-0187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697819PMC
July 2013

Metabolic glycoengineering of mesenchymal stromal cells with N-propanoylmannosamine.

Glycobiology 2013 Aug 25;23(8):1004-12. Epub 2013 May 25.

Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, 00310 Helsinki, Finland.

There is an increasing interest in the modification of cell surface glycosylation to improve the properties of therapeutic cells. For example, glycosylation affects the biodistribution of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Metabolic glycoengineering is an efficient way to modify the cell surface. The mammalian biosynthetic machinery tolerates the unnatural sialic acid precursor, N-propanoylmannosamine (ManNProp), and incorporates it into cell surface glycoconjugates. We show here by mass spectrometric analysis of cell surface N-glycans that about half of N-acetylneuraminic acid was replaced by N-propanoylneuraminic acid in the N-glycans of human umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs supplemented with ManNProp. In addition, the N-glycan profile was altered. ManNProp-supplemented cells had more multiply fucosylated N-glycan species than control cells. The fucosylated epitopes were shown in tandem mass spectrometric analysis to be Lewis x or blood group H epitopes, but not sialyl Lewis x (sLex). The amounts of tri- and tetra-antennary and polylactosamine-containing N-glycans also increased in ManNProp supplementation. In accordance with previous studies of other cell types, increased expression of the sLex epitope in ManNProp-supplemented MSCs was demonstrated by flow cytometry. In light of the N-glycan analysis, the sLex epitope in these cells is likely to be carried by O-glycans or glycolipids. sLex has been shown to target MSCs to bone marrow, which may be desirable in therapeutic applications. The present results represent the first structural analysis of an N-glycome of ManNProp-supplemented cells and demonstrate the feasibility of modifying cell surface glycosylation of therapeutic cells by this type of metabolic glycoengineering.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/glycob/cwt039DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3695754PMC
August 2013

Nanoscale reversed-phase liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry of permethylated N-glycans.

Anal Bioanal Chem 2013 Mar 11;405(8):2469-80. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, Finland.

Reversed-phase liquid chromatography on the nanoscale coupled to electrospray tandem mass spectrometry was used to analyse a mixture of four commercial glycan standards, and the method was further adapted to N-glycans enzymatically released from alpha-1-acid glycoprotein and immunoglobulin gamma. Glycans were permethylated to enable their separation by reversed-phase chromatography and to facilitate interpretation of fragmentation data. Prior to derivatization of glycans by permethylation, they were reduced to cancel anomerism because, although feasible, it was not desired to separate α- and β-anomers. The effect of supplementing chromatographic solvent with sodium hydroxide to guide adduct formation was investigated. Raising the temperature in which the separation was performed improved chromatographic resolution and affected retention times as expected. It was shown by using the tetrasaccharides sialyl Lewis X and sialyl Lewis A that reversed-phase chromatography could achieve the separation of methylated isobaric glycan analytes. Isobaric glycans were detected among the N-glycans of immunoglobulin gamma and further analysed by tandem mass spectrometry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00216-012-6680-5DOI Listing
March 2013

Cell surface structures influence lung clearance rate of systemically infused mesenchymal stromal cells.

Stem Cells 2013 Feb;31(2):317-26

Advanced Therapies and Product Development, Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, Finland.

The promising clinical effects of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) rely especially on paracrine and nonimmunogenic mechanisms. Delivery routes are essential for the efficacy of cell therapy and systemic delivery by infusion is the obvious goal for many forms of MSC therapy. Lung adhesion of MSCs might, however, be a major obstacle yet to overcome. Current knowledge does not allow us to make sound conclusions whether MSC lung entrapment is harmful or beneficial, and thus we wanted to explore MSC lung adhesion in greater detail. We found a striking difference in the lung clearance rate of systemically infused MSCs derived from two different clinical sources, namely bone marrow (BM-MSCs) and umbilical cord blood (UCB-MSCs). The BM-MSCs and UCB-MSCs used in this study differed in cell size, but our results also indicated other mechanisms behind the lung adherence. A detailed analysis of the cell surface profiles revealed differences in the expression of relevant adhesion molecules. The UCB-MSCs had higher expression levels of α4 integrin (CD49d, VLA-4), α6 integrin (CD49f, VLA-6), and the hepatocyte growth factor receptor (c-Met) and a higher general fucosylation level. Strikingly, the level of CD49d and CD49f expression could be functionally linked with the lung clearance rate. Additionally, we saw a possible link between MSC lung adherence and higher fibronectin expression and we show that the expression of fibronectin increases with MSC culture confluence. Future studies should aim at developing methods of transiently modifying the cell surface structures in order to improve the delivery of therapeutic cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.1271DOI Listing
February 2013

Lectin from Erythrina cristagalli supports undifferentiated growth and differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells.

Stem Cells Dev 2013 Mar 21;22(5):707-16. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Research Programs Unit, Molecular Neurology and Biomedicum Stem Cell Center, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins, which occur ubiquitously in nature and are abundant in all living organisms from bacteria to mammals. They have several biological functions among which cell adhesion is well known and characterized. Based on the characterization of the glycome of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), we have investigated the properties of glycan-binding lectins as a novel class of culture support matrices supporting hESC culture. We report that an Erythrina cristagalli lectin (agglutinin) (ECA) matrix supported the undifferentiated growth and significantly increased the plating efficiency of both hESC and human induced pluripotent stem cells when used in conjunction with pinacidil, an antihypertensive drug with ROCK inhibition activity. As a matrix, ECA maintained pluripotency, robust proliferation with a normal karyotype, and the ability to differentiate both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, our findings indicate that lectins are potential candidates for design of culture and differentiation methods, and that ECA is a potent simple defined matrix for human pluripotent stem cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2012.0365DOI Listing
March 2013

An optimized isolation of biotinylated cell surface proteins reveals novel players in cancer metastasis.

J Proteomics 2012 Dec 17;77:87-100. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

Research Programs Unit, Molecular Cancer Biology, Biomedicum Helsinki, University of Helsinki, Finland.

Details of metastasis, the deadliest aspect of cancer, are unclear. Cell surface proteins play central roles in adhesive contacts between the tumor cell and the stroma during metastasis. We optimized a fast, small-scale isolation of biotinylated cell surface proteins to reveal novel metastasis-associated players from an isogenic pair of human MDA-MB-435 cancer cells with opposite metastatic phenotypes. Isolated proteins were trypsin digested and analyzed using LC-MS/MS followed by quantitation with the Progenesis LC-MS software. Sixteen proteins displayed over twofold expression differences between the metastatic and non-metastatic cells. Interestingly, overexpression of most of them (14/16) in the metastatic cells indicates a gain of novel surface protein profile as compared to the non-metastatic ones. All five validated, differentially expressed proteins showed higher expression in the metastatic cells in culture, and four of these were further validated in vivo. Moreover, we analyzed expression of two of the identified proteins, CD109 and ITGA6 in 3-dimensional cultures of six melanoma cell lines. Both proteins marked the surface of cells derived from melanoma metastasis over cells derived from primary melanoma. The unbiased identification and validation of both known and novel metastasis-associated proteins indicate a reliable approach for the identification of differentially expressed surface proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jprot.2012.07.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3508169PMC
December 2012

Novel data analysis tool for semiquantitative LC-MS-MS2 profiling of N-glycans.

Glycoconj J 2013 Feb 17;30(2):159-70. Epub 2012 Jun 17.

Applied Numerics Ltd, Nuottapolku 10 A 8, 00330 Helsinki, Finland.

Despite recent technical advances in glycan analysis, the rapidly growing field of glycomics still lacks methods that are high throughput and robust, and yet allow detailed and reliable identification of different glycans. LC-MS-MS(2) methods have a large potential for glycan analysis as they enable separation and identification of different glycans, including structural isomers. The major drawback is the complexity of the data with different charge states and adduct combinations. In practice, manual data analysis, still largely used for MALDI-TOF data, is no more achievable for LC-MS-MS(2) data. To solve the problem, we developed a glycan analysis software GlycanID for the analysis of LC-MS-MS(2) data to identify and profile glycan compositions in combination with existing proteomic software. IgG was used as an example of an individual glycoprotein and extracted cell surface proteins of human fibroblasts as a more complex sample to demonstrate the power of the novel data analysis approach. N-glycans were isolated from the samples and analyzed as permethylated sugar alditols by LC-MS-MS(2), permitting semiquantitative glycan profiling. The data analysis consisted of five steps: 1) extraction of LC-MS features and MS(2) spectra, 2) mapping potential glycans based on feature distribution, 3) matching the feature masses with a glycan composition database and de novo generated compositions, 4) scoring MS(2) spectra with theoretical glycan fragments, and 5) composing the glycan profile for the identified glycan compositions. The resulting N-glycan profile of IgG revealed 28 glycan compositions and was in good correlation with the published IgG profile. More than 50 glycan compositions were reliably identified from the cell surface N-glycan profile of human fibroblasts. Use of the GlycanID software made relatively rapid analysis of complex glycan LC-MS-MS(2) data feasible. The results demonstrate that the complexity of glycan LC-MS-MS(2) data can be used as an asset to increase the reliability of the identifications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10719-012-9412-3DOI Listing
February 2013

Comparative metaproteomics and diversity analysis of human intestinal microbiota testifies for its temporal stability and expression of core functions.

PLoS One 2012 18;7(1):e29913. Epub 2012 Jan 18.

Department of Veterinary Biosciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

The human intestinal tract is colonized by microbial communities that show a subject-specific composition and a high-level temporal stability in healthy adults. To determine whether this is reflected at the functional level, we compared the faecal metaproteomes of healthy subjects over time using a novel high-throughput approach based on denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The developed robust metaproteomics workflow and identification pipeline was used to study the composition and temporal stability of the intestinal metaproteome using faecal samples collected from 3 healthy subjects over a period of six to twelve months. The same samples were also subjected to DNA extraction and analysed for their microbial composition and diversity using the Human Intestinal Tract Chip, a validated phylogenetic microarray. Using metagenome and single genome sequence data out of the thousands of mass spectra generated per sample, approximately 1,000 peptides per sample were identified. Our results indicate that the faecal metaproteome is subject-specific and stable during a one-year period. A stable common core of approximately 1,000 proteins could be recognized in each of the subjects, indicating a common functional core that is mainly involved in carbohydrate transport and degradation. Additionally, a variety of surface proteins could be identified, including potential microbes-host interacting components such as flagellins and pili. Altogether, we observed a highly comparable subject-specific clustering of the metaproteomic and phylogenetic profiles, indicating that the distinct microbial activity is reflected by the individual composition.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0029913PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3261163PMC
July 2012

The i blood group antigen as a marker for umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

Stem Cells Dev 2012 Feb 2;21(3):455-64. Epub 2011 Nov 2.

Department of Advanced Therapy and Product Development, Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, Finland.

Multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) offer great promise for future regenerative and anti-inflammatory therapies. However, there is a lack of methods to quickly and efficiently isolate, characterize, and ex vivo expand desired cell populations for therapeutic purposes. Single markers to identify cell populations have not been characterized; instead, all characterizations rely on panels of functional and phenotypical properties. Glycan epitopes can be used for identifying and isolating specific cell types from heterogeneous populations, on the basis of their cell-type specific expression and prominent cell surface localization. We have now studied in detail the cell surface expression of the blood group i epitope (linear poly-N-acetyllactosamine chain) in umbilical cord blood (UCB)-derived MSCs. We used flow cytometry and mass spectrometric glycan analysis and discovered that linear poly-N-acetyllactosamine structures are expressed in UCB-derived MSCs, but not in cells differentiated from them. We further verified the findings by mass spectrometric glycan analysis. Gene expression analysis indicated that the stem-cell specific expression of the i antigen is determined by β3-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase 5. The i antigen is a ligand for the galectin family of soluble lectins. We found concomitant cell surface expression of galectin-3, which has been reported to mediate the immunosuppressive effects exerted by MSCs. The i antigen may serve as an endogenous ligand for this immunosuppressive agent in the MSC microenvironment. Based on these findings, we suggest that linear poly-N-acetyllactosamine could be used as a novel UCB-MSC marker either alone or within an array of MSC markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2011.0405DOI Listing
February 2012

Mitochondrial function and energy metabolism in umbilical cord blood- and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

Stem Cells Dev 2012 Mar 20;21(4):575-88. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Institute of Biomedicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland.

Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are an attractive choice for a variety of cellular therapies. hMSCs can be isolated from many different tissues and possess unique mitochondrial properties that can be used to determine their differentiation potential. Mitochondrial properties may possibly be used as a quality measure of hMSC-based products. Accordingly, the present work focuses on the mitochondrial function of hMSCs from umbilical cord blood (UCBMSC) cells and bone marrow cells from donors younger than 18 years of age (BMMSC <18) and those more than 50 years of age (BMMSC >50). Changes of ultrastructure and energy metabolism during osteogenic differentiation in all hMSC types were studied in detail. Results show that despite similar surface antigen characteristics, the UCBMSCs had smaller cell surface area and possessed more abundant rough endoplasmic reticulum than BMMSC >50. BMMSC <18 were morphologically more UCBMSC-like. UCBMSC showed dramatically higher mitochondrial-to-cytoplasm area ratio and elevated superoxide and manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) levels as compared with BMMSC >50 and BMMSC <18. All hMSCs types showed changes indicative of mitochondrial activation after 2 weeks of osteogenic differentiation, and the increase in mitochondrial-to-cytoplasm area ratio appears to be one of the first steps in the differentiation process. However, BMMSC >50 showed a lower level of mitochondrial maturation and differentiation capacity. UCBMSCs and BMMSCs also showed a different pattern of exocytosed proteins and glycoproteoglycansins. These results indicate that hMSCs with similar cell surface antigen expression have different mitochondrial and functional properties, suggesting different maturation levels and other significant biological variations of the hMSCs. Therefore, it appears that mitochondrial analysis presents useful characterization criteria for hMSCs intended for clinical use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/scd.2011.0023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3280604PMC
March 2012

The binding specificity of the marker antibodies Tra-1-60 and Tra-1-81 reveals a novel pluripotency-associated type 1 lactosamine epitope.

Glycobiology 2011 Sep 15;21(9):1125-30. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Kivihaantie 7, 00310 Helsinki, Finland.

The expression of the epitopes recognized by the monoclonal antibodies Tra-1-60 and Tra-1-81 is routinely used to assess the pluripotency status of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Although it is known that the epitopes recognized by Tra-1-60 and Tra-1-81 are carbohydrates, the exact molecular identity of these epitopes has been unclear. Glycan array analysis with more than 500 oligosaccharide structures revealed specific binding of Tra-1-60 and Tra-1-81 to two molecules containing terminal type 1 lactosamine: Galβ1-3GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4GlcNAc and Galβ1-3GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4GlcNAcβ1-6(Galβ1-3GlcNAcβ1-3)Galβ1-4Glc. The type 1 disaccharide in itself was not sufficient for binding, indicating that the complete epitope requires an extended tetrasaccharide structure where the type 1 disaccharide is β1,3-linked to type 2 lactosamine. Our mass spectrometric analysis complemented with glycosidase digestions of hESC O-glycans indicated the presence of the extended tetrasaccharide epitope on an O-glycan with the likely structure Galβ1-3GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4GlcNAcβ1-6(Galβ1-3)GalNAc. Thus, the present data indicate that the pluripotency marker antibodies Tra-1-60 and Tra-1-81 recognize the minimal epitope Galβ1-3GlcNAcβ1-3Galβ1-4GlcNAc, which is present in hESCs as a part of a mucin-type O-glycan structure. The exact molecular identity of Tra-1-60 and Tra-1-81 is important for the development of improved tools to characterize the pluripotent phenotype.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/glycob/cwq209DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150112PMC
September 2011

Are globoseries glycosphingolipids SSEA-3 and -4 markers for stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood?

J Mol Cell Biol 2011 Apr 12;3(2):99-107. Epub 2010 Dec 12.

Research and Development, Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, R&D, Kivihaantie 7, FIN-00310 Helsinki, Finland.

Umbilical cord blood (UCB) is an efficient and valuable source of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) for transplantation. In addition to HSCs it harbours low amounts of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). No single marker to identify cord blood-derived stem cells, or to indicate their multipotent phenotype, has been characterized so far. SSEA-3 and -4 are cell surface globoseries glycosphingolipid epitopes that are commonly used as markers for human embryonic stem cells, where SSEA-3 rapidly disappears when the cells start to differentiate. Lately SSEA-3 and -4 have also been observed in MSCs. As there is an ongoing discussion and variation of stem-cell markers between laboratories, we have now comprehensively characterized the expression of these epitopes in both the multipotent stem-cell types derived from UCB. We have performed complementary analysis using gene expression analysis, mass spectrometry and immunochemical methods, including both flow cytometry and immunofluoresence microscopy. SSEA-4, but not SSEA-3, was expressed on MSCs but absent from HSCs. Our findings indicate that SSEA-3 and/or -4 may not be optimal markers for multipotency in the case of stem cells derived from cord blood, as their expression may be altered by cell-culture conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jmcb/mjq041DOI Listing
April 2011

Proteomic analysis of pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor/tumor-associated trypsin inhibitor from urine of patients with pancreatitis or prostate cancer.

Methods Mol Biol 2010 ;641:347-57

Department of Clinical Medicine, Division of Clinical Chemistry, Biomedicum, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

The development of proteomic methods, especially mass spectrometry, has brought new possibilities to tumor marker research. Pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor (PSTI), a common known biomarker for various malignancies, occurs on genetic variants that we are able to detect at the protein level with proteomic techniques using immunoaffinity capture prior to liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). We also show that PSTI can be detected in urine from cancer patients using a two-step peptide enrichment technique and LC-MS. These results show that tumor-associated peptides can be detected in urine by proteomic techniques.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-60761-711-2_19DOI Listing
August 2010

Human CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase is a novel stem cell marker linked to stem cell-specific mechanisms.

Stem Cells 2010 Feb;28(2):258-67

Research and Development, Finnish Red Cross Blood Service, Helsinki, Finland.

Human stem cells contain substantial amounts of the xenoantigen N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), although the levels of Neu5Gc are low or undetectable in human body fluids and most other human tissues. The lack of Neu5Gc in human tissues has been previously explained by the loss of hydroxylase activity of the human CMP-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylase (CMAH) protein caused by a genetic error in the human Cmah gene. We thus wanted to investigate whether the human redundant Cmah gene could still function in stem cell-specific processes. In this study, we show that CMAH gene expression is significantly upregulated in the adult stem cell populations studied, both of hematopoietic and mesenchymal origin, and identify CMAH as a novel stem cell marker. The CMAH content co-occurs with higher levels of Neu5Gc within stem cells as measured by mass spectrometric profiling. It seems that despite being enzymatically inactive, human CMAH may upregulate the Neu5Gc content of cells by enhancing Neu5Gc uptake from exogenous sources. Furthermore, exposure to exogenous Neu5Gc caused rapid phosphorylation of beta-catenin in both CMAH overexpressing cells and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, thereby inactivating Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. The data demonstrate the first molecular evidence for xenoantigen Neu5Gc-induced alteration of crucial stem cell-specific signaling systems for the maintenance of self renewal. These results add further emphasis to the crucial need for completely xenofree culturing conditions for human stem cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/stem.250DOI Listing
February 2010

Glycomics of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells can be used to evaluate their cellular differentiation stage.

Glycoconj J 2009 Apr 27;26(3):367-84. Epub 2008 Nov 27.

Glykos Finland Ltd., Helsinki, Finland.

Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult multipotent progenitor cells. They hold an enormous therapeutic potential, but at the moment there is little information on the properties of MSCs, including their surface structures. In the present study, we analyzed the mesenchymal stem cell glycome by using mass spectrometric profiling as well as a panel of glycan binding proteins. Structural verifications were obtained by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometric fragmentation, and glycosidase digestions. The MSC glycome was compared to the glycome of corresponding osteogenically differentiated cells. More than one hundred glycan signals were detected in mesenchymal stem cells and osteoblasts differentiated from them. The glycan profiles of MSCs and osteoblasts were consistently different in biological replicates, indicating that stem cells and osteoblasts have characteristic glycosylation features. Glycosylation features associated with MSCs rather than differentiated cells included high-mannose type N-glycans, linear poly-N-acetyllactosamine chains and alpha2-3-sialylation. Mesenchymal stem cells expressed SSEA-4 and sialyl Lewis x epitopes. Characteristic glycosylation features that appeared in differentiated osteoblasts included abundant sulfate ester modifications. The results show that glycosylation analysis can be used to evaluate MSC differentiation state.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10719-008-9217-6DOI Listing
April 2009

Structural characterization and anti-angiogenic properties of prostate-specific antigen isoforms in seminal fluid.

Prostate 2008 Jun;68(9):945-54

Department of Clinical Chemistry, Biomedicum Helsinki, Helsinki University Central Hospital and University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Background: The prostate produces high levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which has been shown to exert anti-angiogenic properties and thus might slow down prostate tumor growth. It has been suggested that the protease activity of PSA is not needed for its anti-angiogenic function. We have previously shown that seminal fluid contains both active and inactive, internally cleaved forms of PSA. The precise structural differences between these isoforms and their function are not known.

Methods: To elucidate the structures, we purified PSA from seminal fluid and separated it by anion-exchange chromatography into six different isoforms, which were characterized by mass spectrometry. The anti-angiogenic activity of these PSA-isoforms was analyzed by human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) tube formation assay.

Results: The enzymatically active PSA-isoforms had an intact peptide moiety but could be separated into three isoforms based on differences in glycosylation. The major isoform contained PSA with a biantennary carbohydrate with terminal sialic acids on both antennae. The other active isoforms showed significant carbohydrate heterogeneity, containing one or no sialic acid. The inactive isoforms were internally cleaved at several different positions, but the fragments were held together by disulphide bonds. The enzymatic activity of PSA correlated with its inhibitory effect on the endothelial cell tube formation and the inhibition was dose-dependent at physiological concentrations, whereas enzymatically inactive internally cleaved PSA-isoforms had no effect.

Conclusions: Our results show that the anti-angiogenic effect of PSA is based on its proteolytic activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pros.20751DOI Listing
June 2008

Mass spectrometric detection of tyrosine sulfation in human pancreatic trypsinogens, but not in tumor-associated trypsinogen.

FEBS J 2008 Jan 10;275(2):289-301. Epub 2007 Dec 10.

Department of Clinical Chemistry, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.

Trypsinogen-1 and -2 are well-characterized enzymes that are expressed in the pancreas and also in several other tissues. Many cancers produce trypsinogen isoenzymes that differ from the pancreatic ones with respect to substrate specificity and isoelectric point. These tumor-associated trypsinogens play a pivotal role in cancer progression and metastasis. The differences between these and the pancreatic isoenzymes have been suggested to be caused by post-translational modification, either sulfation or phosphorylation of a tyrosine residue. We aimed to elucidate the cause of these differences. We isolated trypsinogens from pancreatic juice and conditioned medium from a colon carcinoma cell line. Intact proteins, and tryptic and chymotryptic peptides were characterized by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. We also used immunoblotting with antibody against phosphotyrosine and N-terminal sequencing. The results show that pancreatic trypsinogen-1 and -2 are sulfated at Tyr154, whereas tumor-associated trypsinogen-2 is not. Detachment of a labile sulfogroup could be demonstrated by both in-source dissociation and low-energy collision-induced dissociation in a tandem mass spectrometer. Tyrosine sulfation is an ubiquitous protein modification occurring in the secretory pathway, but its significance is often underestimated due to difficulties in its analysis. Sulfation is an almost irreversible modification that is thought to regulate protein-protein interactions and the activity of proteolytic enzymes. We conclude that the previously known differences in charge, substrate specificity and inhibitor binding between pancreatic and tumor-associated trypsinogens are probably caused by sulfation of Tyr154 in pancreatic trypsinogens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2007.06200.xDOI Listing
January 2008

DNA-PK contributes to the phosphorylation of AIRE: importance in transcriptional activity.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2008 Jan 4;1783(1):74-83. Epub 2007 Oct 4.

Molecular Pathology, University of Tartu, Tartu 50411, Estonia.

The autoimmune regulator (AIRE) protein is a key mediator of the central tolerance for tissue specific antigens and is involved in transcriptional control of many antigens in thymic medullary epithelial cells (mTEC). Mutations in the AIRE gene cause a rare disease named autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED). Here we report using GST pull-down assay, mass-spectrometry and co-immunoprecipitation that a heterotrimeric complex of DNA-Dependent Protein Kinase (DNA-PK), consisting of Ku70, Ku80 and DNA-PK catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs), is a novel interaction partner for AIRE. In vitro phosphorylation assays show that the residues Thr68 and Ser156 are DNA-PK phosphorylation sites in AIRE. In addition, we demonstrate that DNA-PKcs is expressed in AIRE positive mTEC cell population and that introduction of mutations into the AIRE phosphorylation sites decrease the capacity of AIRE to activate transcription from reporter promoters. In conclusion, our results suggest that phosphorylation of the AIRE protein at Thr68 and Ser156 by DNA-PK influences AIRE transactivation ability and might have impact on other aspects of the functional regulation of the AIRE protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2007.09.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2225445PMC
January 2008

The density of negative charge in the cell wall influences two-component signal transduction in Bacillus subtilis.

Microbiology (Reading) 2007 Jul;153(Pt 7):2126-2136

Vaccine Development Laboratory, Department of Vaccine, National Public Health Institute, Mannerheimintie 166, FIN-00300 Helsinki, Finland.

The Dlt system modulates the density of negative charge in the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria by substituting anionic polymers (wall and lipoteichoic acids) with d-alanine. The htrA and htrB genes, regulated by the CssRS two-component system (TCS) and encoding membrane-associated protein quality control proteases, were expressed at strongly decreased levels in a mutant with defective Dlt (dltD : : miniTn10) as compared to the dlt(+) wild-type strain under a secretion stress condition (hypersecretion of AmyQ alpha-amylase). The level of HtrA protein in the extracellular proteome of the dltD mutant was decreased consistently. Expression from the promoter of the liaIHGFSR (yvqIHGFEC) operon (P(liaI)) is dependent on the LiaRS TCS. The Dlt defect increased the expression from P(liaI) under two stress conditions, AmyQ hypersecretion and treatment with a cationic antimicrobial peptide (LL-37), but decreased the expression in vancomycin-treated cells. Furthermore, Dlt inactivation enhanced the expression of the YxdJK-regulated yxdL gene in LL-37-treated cells. The increased net negative charge of the cell wall seems to cause varied and opposite effects on the expression of CssRS-, LiaRS- and YxdJK-regulated genes under different stress conditions. The results suggest that TCSs which sense misfolded proteins or peptides are modulated by the density of negative charge in the cell wall. The density of negative charge on the outer surface of the cell membrane did not have a similar effect on TCSs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/mic.0.2007/008680-0DOI Listing
July 2007

Pivotal advance: analysis of proinflammatory activity of highly purified eukaryotic recombinant HMGB1 (amphoterin).

J Leukoc Biol 2007 Jan 15;81(1):49-58. Epub 2006 Sep 15.

Neuroscience Center, and Institute of Biotechnology, Viikinkaari 4, PL 56, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00014, Finland.

HMGB1 (amphoterin) is a 30-kDa heparin-binding protein that mediates transendothelial migration of monocytes and has proinflammatory cytokine-like activities. In this study, we have investigated proinflammatory activities of both highly purified eukaryotic HMGB1 and bacterially produced recombinant HMGB1 proteins. Mass analyses revealed that recombinant eukaryotic HMGB1 has an intrachain disulphide bond. In mass analysis of tissue-derived HMGB1, two forms were detected: the carboxyl terminal glutamic acid residue lacking form and a full-length form. Cell culture studies indicated that both eukaryotic and bacterial HMGB1 proteins induce TNF-alpha secretion and nitric oxide release from mononuclear cells. Affinity chromatography analysis revealed that HMGB1 binds tightly to proinflammatory bacterial substances. A soluble proinflammatory substance was separated from the bacterial recombinant HMGB1 by chloroform-methanol treatment. HMGB1 interacted with phosphatidylserine in both solid-phase binding and cell culture assays, suggesting that HMGB1 may regulate phosphatidylserine-dependent immune reactions. In conclusion, HMGB1 polypeptide has a weak proinflammatory activity by itself, and it binds to bacterial substances, including lipids, that may strengthen its effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1189/jlb.0306200DOI Listing
January 2007

Proteome analysis of B-cell maturation.

Proteomics 2006 Oct;6(19):5152-68

Institute of Medical Technology, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.

Proteins affected by anti-mIgM stimulation during B-cell maturation were identified using 2-DE-based proteomics. We investigated the proteome profiles of stimulated and nonstimulated Ramos B-cells at eight time points during 5 d and compared the obtained proteomic data to the corresponding data from DNA-microarray studies. Anti-mIgM stimulation of the cells resulted in significant differences (> or =twofold) in the protein abundance close to 100 proteins and differences in post-translational protein modifications. Forty-eight up- or down-regulated proteins were identified by mass spectrometric methods and database searches. The identities of a further nine proteins were revealed by comparing their positions to the known proteins in other lymphocyte 2-DE databases. Several of the proteins are directly related to the functional and morphological characteristics of B-cells, such as cytoskeleton rearrangement and intracellular signalling triggered by the crosslinking of B-cell receptors. In addition to proteins known to be involved in human B-cell maturation, we identified several proteins that were not previously linked to lymphocyte differentiation. The results provide deeper insights into the process of B-cell maturation and may lead to novel therapeutic strategies for immunodeficiencies. An interactive 2-DE reference map is available at http://bioinf.uta.fi/BcellProteome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pmic.200600156DOI Listing
October 2006

Site-specific glycan analysis of human chorionic gonadotropin beta-subunit from malignancies and pregnancy by liquid chromatography--electrospray mass spectrometry.

Glycobiology 2006 Dec 31;16(12):1207-18. Epub 2006 Jul 31.

Department of Clinical Medicine, Division of Clinical Chemistry, Biomedicum, University of Helsinki, PO Box 63 (Haartmaninkatu 8), Helsinki FIN-00014, Finland.

Glycosylation is an important posttranslational modification in proteins, and aberrant glycosylation occurs in malignancies. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a glycoprotein hormone produced in high concentrations during pregnancy. It is also expressed as particular glycoforms by certain malignancies. These glycoforms, which are called "hyperglycosylated" hCG (hCGh), have been reported to contain more complex glycan moieties. We have analyzed tryptic glycopeptides of the beta-subunit of hCG of various origins by liquid chromatography (LC) connected to an electrospray mass spectrometer. Site-specific glycan structures were visualized by the use of differential expression analysis software. hCGbeta was purified from urine of two patients with testicular cancer, one with choriocarcinoma, one with an invasive mole, two pregnant women at early and late gestation, from a pharmaceutical preparation and culture medium of a choriocarcinoma cell line. N-glycans at Asn-13 and Asn-30 as well as O-glycans at Ser-121, Ser-127, Ser-132, and Ser-138 were characterized. In all samples, the major type of N-glycan was a biantennary complex-type structure, but triantennary structures linked to Asn-30 as well as fucosylation of the Asn-13-bound glycan are increased in cancer-derived hCGbeta. There were significant site-specific differences in the O-glycans, with constant core-2 glycans at Ser-121, core-1 glycans at Ser-138, and putative sites unoccupied by any glycan. Core-2 glycans at either Ser-127 or Ser-132 were enriched in cancer. The glycans of free hCGbeta were larger and had a higher fucose content of Asn-13-linked oligosaccharides than intact hCG. This may facilitate the detection of this malignancy-associated variant by a lectin assay. Analysis of hCGh affinity purified with antibody B152 confirmed that this antibody recognizes a core-2 glycan on Ser-132.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/glycob/cwl034DOI Listing
December 2006
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