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    Keywords: SYSTEM ; PROGRESSION ; tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes ; OUTCOMES ; ANTITUMOR IMMUNITY ; ADJUVANT ; REGULATORY T-CELLS ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; SUPPRESSOR-CELLS ; PREDICT RESPONSE
    Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Tumor lymphocyte infiltration is associated with clinical response to chemotherapy in estrogen receptor (ER) negative breast cancer. To identify variants in immunosuppressive pathway genes associated with prognosis after adjuvant chemotherapy for ER-negative patients, we studied stage I-III invasive breast cancer patients of European ancestry, including 9,334 ER-positive (3,151 treated with chemotherapy) and 2,334 ER-negative patients (1,499 treated with chemotherapy). METHODS: We pooled data from sixteen studies from the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC), and employed two independent studies for replications. Overall 3,610 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 133 genes were genotyped as part of the Collaborative Oncological Gene-environment Study, in which phenotype and clinical data were collected and harmonized. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression was used to assess genetic associations with overall survival (OS) and breast cancer-specific survival (BCSS). Heterogeneity according to chemotherapy or ER status was evaluated with the log-likelihood ratio test. RESULTS: Three independent SNPs in TGFBR2 and IL12B were associated with OS (P 〈10(-)(3)) solely in ER-negative patients after chemotherapy (267 events). Poorer OS associated with TGFBR2 rs1367610 (G 〉 C) (per allele hazard ratio (HR) 1.54 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22 to 1.95), P = 3.08 x 10(-)(4)) was not found in ER-negative patients without chemotherapy or ER-positive patients with chemotherapy (P for interaction 〈10-3). Two SNPs in IL12B (r(2) = 0.20) showed different associations with ER-negative disease after chemotherapy: rs2546892 (G 〉 A) with poorer OS (HR 1.50 (95% CI 1.21 to 1.86), P = 1.81 x 10(-)(4)), and rs2853694 (A 〉 C) with improved OS (HR 0.73 (95% CI 0.61 to 0.87), P = 3.67 x 10(-)(4)). Similar associations were observed with BCSS. Association with TGFBR2 rs1367610 but not IL12B variants replicated using BCAC Asian samples and the independent Prospective Study of Outcomes in Sporadic versus Hereditary Breast Cancer Study and yielded a combined HR of 1.57 ((95% CI 1.28 to 1.94), P = 2.05 x 10(-)(5)) without study heterogeneity. CONCLUSIONS: TGFBR2 variants may have prognostic and predictive value in ER-negative breast cancer patients treated with adjuvant chemotherapy. Our findings provide further insights into the development of immunotherapeutic targets for ER-negative breast cancer.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25849327
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    Keywords: antigen presentation ; MHC MOLECULES ; innate immunity ; GENE-THERAPY ; RETROVIRAL VECTORS ; BROADLY NEUTRALIZING ANTIBODIES ; LEUKOCYTE ADHESION DEFICIENCY ; CROSS-SPECIES TRANSMISSION ; T-LYMPHOCYTE EPITOPE ; FELINE FOAMY
    Abstract: The use of whole viruses as antigen scaffolds is a recent development in vaccination that improves immunogenicity without the need for additional adjuvants. Previous studies highlighted the potential of foamy viruses (FVs) in prophylactic vaccination and gene therapy. Replication-competent FVs can trigger immune signaling and integrate into the host genome, resulting in persistent antigen expression and a robust immune response. Here, we explored feline foamy virus (FFV) proteins as scaffolds for therapeutic B and T cell epitope delivery in vitro. Infection- and cancer-related B and T cell epitopes were grafted into FFV Gag, Env, or Bet by residue replacement, either at sites of high local sequence homology between the epitope and the host protein or in regions known to tolerate sequence alterations. Modified proviruses were evaluated in vitro for protein steady state levels, particle release, and virus titer in permissive cells. Modification of Gag and Env was mostly detrimental to their function. As anticipated, modification of Bet had no impact on virion release and affected virus titers of only some recombinants. Further evaluation of Bet as an epitope carrier was performed using T cell epitopes from the model antigen chicken ovalbumin (OVA), human tyrosinase-related protein 2 (TRP-2), and oncoprotein E7 of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16E7). Transfection of murine cells with constructs encoding Bet-epitope chimeric proteins led to efficient MHC-I-restricted epitope presentation as confirmed by interferon-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot assays using epitope-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) lines. FFV infection-mediated transduction of cells with epitope-carrying Bet also induced T-cell responses, albeit with reduced efficacy, in a process independent from the presence of free peptides. We show that primate FV Bet is also a promising T cell epitope carrier for clinical translation. The data demonstrate the utility of replication-competent and -attenuated FVs as antigen carriers in immunotherapy.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26397953
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    Keywords: RETROVIRAL VECTORS ; IMMUNODEFICIENCY-VIRUS ; BET FUSION PROTEIN ; INTERNAL PROMOTER ; FUNCTIONAL-CHARACTERIZATION ; LEUKOCYTE ADHESION DEFICIENCY ; CIS-ACTING SEQUENCES ; CALICIVIRUS INFECTION ; POTENT NEUTRALIZATION ; PRIMATE SPUMAVIRUSES
    Abstract: New-generation retroviral vectors have potential applications in vaccination and gene therapy. Foamy viruses are particularly interesting as vectors, because they are not associated to any disease. Vector research is mainly based on primate foamy viruses (PFV), but cats are an alternative animal model, due to their smaller size and the existence of a cognate feline foamy virus (FFV). The potential of replication-competent (RC) FFV vectors for vaccination and replication-deficient (RD) FFV-based vectors for gene delivery purposes has been studied over the past years. In this review, the key achievements and functional evaluation of the existing vectors from in vitro cell culture systems to out-bred cats will be described. The data presented here demonstrate the broad application spectrum of FFV-based vectors, especially in pathogen-specific prophylactic and therapeutic vaccination using RD vectors in cats and in classical gene delivery. In the cat-based system, FFV-based vectors provide an advantageous platform to evaluate and optimize the applicability, efficacy and safety of foamy virus (FV) vectors, especially the understudied aspect of FV cell and organ tropism.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23857307
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    Keywords: IN-VIVO ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; DENDRITIC CELLS ; HUMAN-IMMUNODEFICIENCY-VIRUS ; VIF PROTEIN ; CYTIDINE DEAMINASES ; EDITING ENZYME APOBEC3G ; ANTIRETROVIRAL ACTIVITY ; HIV-1 REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION ; RESTRICTION FACTORS
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: APOBEC3 (A3) proteins restrict viral replication by cytidine deamination of viral DNA genomes and impairing reverse transcription and integration. To escape this restriction, lentiviruses have evolved the viral infectivity factor (Vif), which binds A3 proteins and targets them for proteolytic degradation. In contrast, foamy viruses (FVs) encode Bet proteins that allow replication in the presence of A3, apparently by A3 binding and/or sequestration, thus preventing A3 packaging into virions and subsequent restriction. Due to a long-lasting FV-host coevolution, Bet proteins mainly counteract restriction by A3s from their cognate or highly related host species. RESULTS: Through bioinformatics, we identified conserved motifs in Bet, all localized in the bel2 exon. In line with the localization of these conserved motifs within bel2, this part of feline FV (FFV) Bet has been shown to be essential for feline A3 (feA3) inactivation and feA3 protein binding. To study the function of the Bet motifs in detail, we analyzed the ability of targeted deletion, substitution, and chimeric FFV-PFV (prototype FV) Bet mutants to physically bind and/or inactivate feA3. Binding of Bet to feA3Z2b is sensitive to mutations in the first three conserved motifs and N- and C-terminal deletions and substitutions across almost the complete bel2 coding sequence. In contrast, the Bel1 (also designated Tas) domain of Bet is dispensable for basal feA3Z2b inactivation and binding but mainly increases the steady state level of Bet. Studies with PFV Bel1 and full-length FFV Bel2 chimeras confirmed the importance of Bel2 for A3 inactivation indicating that Bel1 is dispensable for basal feA3Z2b inactivation and binding but increases Bet stability. Moreover, the bel1/tas exon may be required for expression of a fully functional Bet protein from a spliced transcript. CONCLUSIONS: We show that the Bel2 domain of FV Bet is essential for the inactivation of APOBEC3 cytidine deaminase restriction factors. The Bel1/Tas domain increases protein stability and can be exchanged by related sequence. Since feA3 binding and inactivation by Bet are highly correlated, the data support the view that FV Bet prevents A3-mediated restriction of viral replication by creating strong complexes with these proteins.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 23880220
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    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; NETWORK ; RISK ; DISCOVERY ; SCHIZOPHRENIA ; FRAMEWORK ; COPY-NUMBER VARIATION ; SPECTRUM DISORDERS ; DE-NOVO MUTATIONS ; NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS
    Abstract: The genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorder involves the interplay of common and rare variants and their impact on hundreds of genes. Using exome sequencing, here we show that analysis of rare coding variation in 3,871 autism cases and 9,937 ancestry-matched or parental controls implicates 22 autosomal genes at a false discovery rate (FDR) 〈 0.05, plus a set of 107 autosomal genes strongly enriched for those likely to affect risk (FDR 〈 0.30). These 107 genes, which show unusual evolutionary constraint against mutations, incur de novo loss-of-function mutations in over 5% of autistic subjects. Many of the genes implicated encode proteins for synaptic formation, transcriptional regulation and chromatin-remodelling pathways. These include voltage-gated ion channels regulating the propagation of action potentials, pacemaking and excitability-transcription coupling, as well as histone-modifying enzymes and chromatin remodellers-most prominently those that mediate post-translational lysine methylation/demethylation modifications of histones.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25363760
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    Abstract: Immunosuppression plays a pivotal role in assisting tumors to evade immune destruction and promoting tumor development. We hypothesized that genetic variation in the immunosuppression pathway genes may be implicated in breast cancer tumorigenesis. We included 42,510 female breast cancer cases and 40,577 controls of European ancestry from 37 studies in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (2015) with available genotype data for 3595 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 133 candidate genes. Associations between genotyped SNPs and overall breast cancer risk, and secondarily according to estrogen receptor (ER) status, were assessed using multiple logistic regression models. Gene-level associations were assessed based on principal component analysis. Gene expression analyses were conducted using RNA sequencing level 3 data from The Cancer Genome Atlas for 989 breast tumor samples and 113 matched normal tissue samples. SNP rs1905339 (A〉G) in the STAT3 region was associated with an increased breast cancer risk (per allele odds ratio 1.05, 95 % confidence interval 1.03-1.08; p value = 1.4 x 10-6). The association did not differ significantly by ER status. On the gene level, in addition to TGFBR2 and CCND1, IL5 and GM-CSF showed the strongest associations with overall breast cancer risk (p value = 1.0 x 10-3 and 7.0 x 10-3, respectively). Furthermore, STAT3 and IL5 but not GM-CSF were differentially expressed between breast tumor tissue and normal tissue (p value = 2.5 x 10-3, 4.5 x 10-4 and 0.63, respectively). Our data provide evidence that the immunosuppression pathway genes STAT3, IL5, and GM-CSF may be novel susceptibility loci for breast cancer in women of European ancestry.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 26621531
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  • 9
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: Foamy viruses (FVs) of the Spumaretrovirinae subfamily are distinct retroviruses, with many features of their molecular biology and replication strategy clearly different from those of the Orthoretroviruses, such as human immunodeficiency, murine leukemia, and human T cell lymphotropic viruses. The FV Gag N-terminal region is responsible for capsid formation and particle budding via interaction with Env. However, the critical residues or motifs in this region and their functional interaction are currently ill-defined, especially in non-primate FVs. RESULTS: Mutagenesis of N-terminal Gag residues of feline FV (FFV) reveals key residues essential for either capsid assembly and/or viral budding via interaction with the FFV Env leader protein (Elp). In an in vitro Gag-Elp interaction screen, Gag mutations abolishing particle assembly also interfered with Elp binding, indicating that Gag assembly is a prerequisite for this highly specific interaction. Gradient sedimentation analyses of cytosolic proteins indicate that wild-type Gag is mostly assembled into virus capsids. Moreover, proteolytic processing of Gag correlates with capsid assembly and is mostly, if not completely, independent from particle budding. In addition, Gag processing correlates with the presence of packaging-competent FFV genomic RNA suggesting that Pol encapsidation via genomic RNA is a prerequisite for Gag processing. Though an appended heterogeneous myristoylation signal rescues Gag particle budding of mutants unable to form capsids or defective in interacting with Elp, it fails to generate infectious particles that co-package Pol, as evidenced by a lack of Gag processing. CONCLUSIONS: Changes in proteolytic Gag processing, intracellular capsid assembly, particle budding and infectivity of defined N-terminal Gag mutants highlight their essential, distinct and only partially overlapping roles during viral assembly and budding. Discussion of these findings will be based on a recent model developed for Gag-Elp interactions in prototype FV.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27549192
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  • 10
    Keywords: human ; INFORMATION ; SUPPORT ; SYSTEMS ; GENE-EXPRESSION ; GENOME ; RECOGNITION ; HUMAN GENOME ; PROJECT ; CLINICAL INFORMATICS ; GENOMIC MEDICINE ; HEALTH-CARE ; bioinformatics,medical informatics,genomics,genomic medicine,biomedical informatics ; BIOMEDICAL INFORMATICS ; DRUG DISCOVERY ; EXTENSIBLE MARKUP LANGUAGE ; PERSONALIZED MEDICINE ; PHARMACOGENETICS ; TELEMEDICINE
    Abstract: In this paper. we review the results of BIOINFOMED, a study funded by the European Commission (EC) with the purpose to analyse the different issues and challenges in the area where Medical Informatics and Bioinformatics meet. Traditionally, Medical Informatics has been focused on the intersection between computer science and clinical medicine, whereas Bioinformatics have been predominantly centered on the intersection between computer science and biological research. Although researchers from both areas have occasionally collaborated, their training, objectives and interests have been quite different. The results of the Human Genome and related projects have attracted the interest of many professionals, and introduced new challenges that will transform biomedical research and health care. A characteristic of the 'post genomic' era will be to correlate essential genotypic information with expressed phenotypic information. In this context, Biomedical Informatics (BMI) has emerged to describe the technology that brings both disciplines (BI and MI) together to support genomic medicine. In recognition of the dynamic nature of BMI, institutions Such as the EC have launched several initiatives in support of a research agenda. including the BIOINFOMED Study. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 15016384
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