Biomolecules2014, 4(4), 1102-1139; doi:10.3390/biom4041102 - published 16 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: IMGT®, the international ImMunoGeneTics information system® (CNRS and Montpellier University) is the global reference in immunogenetics and immunoinformatics. By its creation in 1989, IMGT® marked the advent of immunoinformatics, which emerged at the interface between immunogenetics and bioinformatics. IMGT® is specialized in the immunoglobulins (IG) or antibodies, T cell receptors (TR), major histocompatibility (MH), and IgSF and MhSF superfamilies. IMGT® has been built on the IMGT-ONTOLOGY axioms and concepts, which bridged the gap between genes, sequences and three-dimensional (3D) structures. The concepts include the IMGT® standardized keywords (identification), IMGT® standardized labels (description), IMGT® standardized nomenclature (classification), IMGT unique numbering and IMGT Colliers de Perles (numerotation). IMGT® comprises seven databases, 15,000 pages of web resources and 17 tools. IMGT® tools and databases provide a high-quality analysis of the IG from fish to humans, for basic, veterinary and medical research, and for antibody engineering and humanization. They include, as examples: IMGT/V-QUEST and IMGT/JunctionAnalysis for nucleotide sequence analysis and their high-throughput version IMGT/HighV-QUEST for next generation sequencing, IMGT/DomainGapAlign for amino acid sequence analysis of IG domains, IMGT/3Dstructure-DB for 3D structures, contact analysis and paratope/epitope interactions of IG/antigen complexes, and the IMGT/mAb-DB interface for therapeutic antibodies and fusion proteins for immunological applications (FPIA).
Biomolecules2014, 4(4), 1093-1101; doi:10.3390/biom4041093 - published 12 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Recently, there has been a great deal of remarkable interest in finding bioactive compounds from nutritional foods to replace synthetic compounds. In particular, ortho-dihydroxyisoflavones and glycitein are of growing scientific interest owing to their attractive biological properties. In this study, 7,8-ortho-dihydroxyisoflavone, 6,7-ortho-dihydroxyisoflavone, 3',4'-ortho-dihydroxyisoflavone and 7,4'-dihydroxy-6-methoxyisoflavone were characterized using microorganism screened from soybean Doenjang. Three ortho-dihydroxyisoflavones and glycitein were structurally elucidated by 1H-NMR and GC-MS analysis. Furthermore, bacterial strains from soybean Doenjang with the capacity of biotransformation were screened. The bacterial strain, identified as Bacillussubtilis Roh-1, was shown to convert daidzein into ortho-dihydroxyisoflavones and glycitein. Thus, this study has, for the first time, demonstrated that a bacterial strain had a substrate specificity for multiple modifications of the bioactive compounds.
Biomolecules2014, 4(4), 1070-1092; doi:10.3390/biom4041070 - published 12 December 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: A sensitive, versatile and economical method to extract and quantify cyclic nucleotide monophosphates (cNMPs) using LC-MS/MS, including both 3',5'-cNMPs and 2',3'-cNMPs, in mammalian tissues and cellular systems has been developed. Problems, such as matrix effects from complex biological samples, are addressed and have been optimized. This protocol allows for comparison of multiple cNMPs in the same system and was used to examine the relationship between tissue levels of cNMPs in a panel of rat organs. In addition, the study reports the first identification and quantification of 2',3'-cIMP. The developed method will allow for quantification of cNMPs levels in cells and tissues with varying disease states, which will provide insight into the role(s) and interplay of cNMP signalling pathways.
Biomolecules2014, 4(4), 1045-1069; doi:10.3390/biom4041045 - published 24 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Although lymphocyte-like cells secreting somatically-recombining receptors have been identified in the jawless fishes (hagfish and lamprey), the cartilaginous fishes (sharks, skates, rays and chimaera) are the most phylogenetically distant group relative to mammals in which bona fide immunoglobulins (Igs) have been found. Studies of the antibodies and humoral immune responses of cartilaginous fishes and other cold-blooded vertebrates (bony fishes, amphibians and reptiles) are not only revealing information about the emergence and roles of the different Ig heavy and light chain isotypes, but also the evolution of specialised adaptive features such as isotype switching, somatic hypermutation and affinity maturation. It is becoming increasingly apparent that while the adaptive immune response in these vertebrate lineages arose a long time ago, it is most definitely not primitive and has evolved to become complex and sophisticated. This review will summarise what is currently known about the immunoglobulins of cold-blooded vertebrates and highlight the differences, and commonalities, between these and more “conventional” mammalian species.
Biomolecules2014, 4(4), 1026-1044; doi:10.3390/biom4041026 - published 21 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The proteasome is a large self-compartmentalized protease complex that recognizes, unfolds, and destroys ubiquitylated substrates. Proteasome activities are required for a host of cellular functions, and it has become clear in recent years that one set of critical actions of the proteasome occur on chromatin. In this review, we discuss some of the ways in which proteasomes directly regulate the structure and function of chromatin and chromatin regulatory proteins, and how this influences gene transcription. We discuss lingering controversies in the field, the relative importance of proteolytic versus non-proteolytic proteasome activities in this process, and highlight areas that require further investigation. Our intention is to show that proteasomes are involved in major steps controlling the expression of the genetic information, that proteasomes use both proteolytic mechanisms and ATP-dependent protein remodeling to accomplish this task, and that much is yet to be learned about the full spectrum of ways that proteasomes influence the genome.
Biomolecules2014, 4(4), 994-1025; doi:10.3390/biom4040994 - published 18 November 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The proteasome is responsible for the breakdown of cellular proteins. Proteins targeted for degradation are allowed inside the proteasome particle, where they are cleaved into small peptides and released in the cytosol to be degraded into amino acids. In vertebrates, some of these peptides escape degradation in the cytosol, are loaded onto class I molecules of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and displayed at the cell surface for scrutiny by the immune system. The proteasome therefore plays a key role for the immune system: it provides a continued sampling of intracellular proteins, so that CD8-positive T-lymphocytes can kill cells expressing viral or tumoral proteins. Consequently, the repertoire of peptides displayed by MHC class I molecules at the cell surface depends on proteasome activity, which may vary according to the presence of proteasome subtypes and regulators. Besides standard proteasomes, cells may contain immunoproteasomes, intermediate proteasomes and thymoproteasomes. Cells may also contain regulators of proteasome activity, such as the 19S, PA28 and PA200 regulators. Here, we review the effects of these proteasome subtypes and regulators on the production of antigenic peptides. We also discuss an unexpected function of the proteasome discovered through the study of antigenic peptides: its ability to splice peptides.