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See detailIsolation and characterization of Ts19 Fragment II, a new long-chainpotassium channel toxin from Tityus serrulatus venom
Cerni, Felipe Augusto; Pucca, Manuela Berto; Amorim, Fernanda Gobbi et al

in Peptides (2016), 80

Ts19 Fragment II (Ts19 Frag-II) was first isolated from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Ts). It is aprotein presenting 49 amino acid residues, three disulfide bridges, Mr5534 Da and was ... [more ▼]

Ts19 Fragment II (Ts19 Frag-II) was first isolated from the venom of the scorpion Tityus serrulatus (Ts). It is aprotein presenting 49 amino acid residues, three disulfide bridges, Mr5534 Da and was classified as a newmember of class (subfamily) 2 of the -KTxs, the second one described for Ts scorpion. The -KTx familyis composed by two-domain peptides: N-terminal helical domain (NHD), with cytolytic activity, and aC-terminal CS domain (CCD), with Kv blocking activity. The extensive electrophysiological screening(16 Kv channels and 5 Nav channels) showed that Ts19 Frag-II presents a specific and significant blockingeffect on Kv1.2 (IC50value of 544 ± 32 nM). However, no cytolytic activity was observed with this toxin.We conclude that the absence of 9 amino acid residues from the N-terminal sequence (compared to Ts19Frag-I) is responsible for the absence of cytolytic activity. In order to prove this hypothesis, we synthesizedthe peptide with these 9 amino acid residues, called Ts19 Frag-III. As expected, Ts19 Frag-III showed tobe cytolytic and did not block the Kv1.2 channel. The post-translational modifications of Ts19 and itsfragments (I–III) are also discussed here. A mechanism of post-translational processing (post-splitting) issuggested to explain Ts19 fragments production. In addition to the discovery of this new toxin, this reportprovides further evidence for the existence of several compounds in the scorpion venom contributing tothe diversity of the venom arsenal. [less ▲]

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See detailProteomic landscapes of Pachycondila villosa ant venom by nano-scale chromatography and high resolution mass spectrometry
Cologna Takeno, Camila; Degueldre, Michel; Shibao, Priscilla et al

Poster (2016)

Introduction: It is estimated that the total number of molecules present in animal venoms is a collection of 40 million different compounds and, despite the efforts made, less than 0,01% of those ... [more ▼]

Introduction: It is estimated that the total number of molecules present in animal venoms is a collection of 40 million different compounds and, despite the efforts made, less than 0,01% of those compounds was identified and characterized to date. However, recent progresses in proteomic, in parallel with the advances of mass spectrometry have contributed to the study of those bio-libraries. The sensitivity improvement of these instruments allows the study of minimal amounts of sample still yielding a wealth of information. The present work aimed to perform a deep proteomic analysis of the venom from the ant Pachycondilyla villosa focusing on the de novo sequencing and the characterization of post translational modifications using high resolution mass spectrometers. Methods: The crude venom (0,5 ug) of P. villosa ants collected on Panga Natural Reserve (Uberlandia-Minas Gerais- Brazil) was diluted in 0,2% of formic acid and injected into a nanoACQUITY ULPC equipped with a monolithic PepSwift Capillary column 100µm x 25, hyphened to a Q Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer. The elution of the compounds was performed with a gradient of 3 to 50% of solution B in 80 minutes (A: H2O/FA 0.1%; B: ACN) at flow rate of 1 µL/min. All mass spectrometry analyses were performed in data dependent analysis (DDA) mode that automatically triggers the MS/MS experiments. The top 10 most intense peaks of each MS scan was fragmented by high-energy dissociation (HCD) and their corresponding MS/MS spectra were acquired. Preliminary data: Animal venoms are considered a rich source of biologically active compounds, which has been constantly selected and refined by the processes of natural evolution, in which each molecule is endowed with pharmacological properties highly valuable for scientific purposes. Despite the commitment, the exploration of these bio-libraries remains limited which might be related to the technological limitations that prevent full-scale investigation of these venoms. In addition, the conventional methods used to explore animal venoms are still time-consuming and require large amounts of samples, which restrict the studies for a few species. Unquestionably, the advances of proteomics and mass spectrometry instrumentations benefited a great deal the research on hymenoptera venom. Mostly due to their small size and therefore scarcely collected venom, this order has always been neglected and considered unfeasible to be studied through the known strategies. The present work represents the first report concerning the venom composition of P. villosa ant. The preliminary results already highlight the complexity of this venom, which showed to be composed by over 5000 different molecules. Most of those components fall into the 800- 4000 Da range, which is in agreement with other studies regarding ant´s venom composition. Most of the proteomics studies concerning ant venoms already revealed the presence of linear peptides below 5000 Da as major components. Those small peptides usually display antimicrobial activity and some of them hold additional insecticidal activity. Novel aspect: The results obtained already point out the biotechnological potential of P. villosa venom and highlight’s its complexity [less ▲]

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See detailForce measurements reveal how small binders perturb the dissociation mechanisms of DNA duplex sequences
Burmistrova, Anastasia; Fresch, Barbara ULg; Sluysmans, Damien ULg et al

in Nanoscale (2016), 8

The force-driven separation of double-stranded DNA is crucial to the accomplishment of cellular pro- cesses like genome transactions. Ligands binding to short DNA sequences can have a local stabilizing or ... [more ▼]

The force-driven separation of double-stranded DNA is crucial to the accomplishment of cellular pro- cesses like genome transactions. Ligands binding to short DNA sequences can have a local stabilizing or destabilizing effect and thus severely affect these processes. Although the design of ligands that bind to specific sequences is a field of intense research with promising biomedical applications, so far, their effect on the force-induced strand separation has remained elusive. Here, by means of AFM-based single mole- cule force spectroscopy, we show the co-existence of two different mechanisms for the separation of a short DNA duplex and demonstrate how they are perturbed by small binders. With the support of Mole- cular Dynamics simulations, we evidence that above a critical pulling rate one of the dissociation pathways becomes dominant, with a dramatic effect on the rupture forces. Around the critical threshold, we observe a drop of the most probable rupture forces for ligand-stabilized duplexes. Our results offer a deep understanding of how a stable DNA–ligand complex behaves under force-driven strand separation [less ▲]

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See detailStructural analysis of ruthenium–arene complexes using ion mobility mass spectrometry, collision-induced dissociation, and DFT
Cserwinska, Izabella; Far, Johann ULg; Kune, Christopher ULg et al

in Dalton Transactions (2016), 45

Ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS) and collision-induced dissociation (CID) techniques were used to investigate the influence of the phosphine ligand on the physicochemical properties of [RuCl2(p ... [more ▼]

Ion mobility mass spectrometry (IM-MS) and collision-induced dissociation (CID) techniques were used to investigate the influence of the phosphine ligand on the physicochemical properties of [RuCl2(p-cymene)(PCy3)] (1), [RuCl2(p-cymene)-(PPh3)] (2), and [RuCl2(p-cymene)(PTA)] (3) in the gas phase (PTA is 1,3,5-triaza-7-phosphaadamantane). Electrospray ionization of complexes 1 and 2 led to the corresponding [RuCl(p-cymene)(PR3)]+ ions via the dissociation of a chlorido ligand, whereas RAPTA-C (3) afforded two molecular ions by in-source oxidation ([RuIIICl2(p-cymene)(PTA)]+) or protonation ([RuCl2(p-cymene)(PTA+H)]+). Control experiments showed that the balance between these two ionization paths was strongly influenced by the nature of the solvent used for infusion. Collision cross sections (CCSs) of the four molecular ions accurately reflected the variations of steric bulk inferred from the Tolman steric parameters (θ) of the phosphine ligands. Moreover, DFT calculations combined with a model based on the kinetic theory of gases (the trajectory method of the IMoS software) afforded reliable CCS predictions. The almost two times higher dipole moment of [RuCl2(p-cymene)-(PTA+H)]+ (μ = 13.75 D) compared to [RuIIICl2(p-cymene)(PTA)]+ (μ = 7.18 D) was held responsible for increased ion-induced dipole interactions with a polarizable drift gas such as N2. Further experiments with He and CO2 confirmed that increasing the polarizability of the buffer gas improved the separation between the two molecular ions derived from complex 3. The fragmentation patterns of complexes 1–3 were determined by CID. The sequence of collision voltages at which 50% of a precursor ion dissociates (V50) recorded for the molecular ions derived from compounds 1–3 was in good agreement with simple electronic considerations based on the donor strength of the phosphine ligand. Thus, the CCS and V50 parameters used to determine the shape and stability of ionic species in the gas phase are complementary to the Tolman steric and electronic parameters (θ and TEP) commonly used by organometallic chemists in condensed phases. [less ▲]

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See detailEffet inflammatoire des extraits de Cupressus sempervirens planté dans l’Est de l’Algérie : du modèle murin à la stimulation des cellules BEAS-2B par l’allergène majeur Cup s 1
Bouguenoun, Imene; De Pauw-Gillet, Marie-Claire ULg; Bensakhri, Z et al

in Revue Française d'Allergologie (2016), 56

Cupressus sempervirens est l’une des espèces les plus répandues en Algérie ayant une capacité allergénique très élevée. Nous avons étudié,d’abord, comment l’instillation nasale des différentes fractions ... [more ▼]

Cupressus sempervirens est l’une des espèces les plus répandues en Algérie ayant une capacité allergénique très élevée. Nous avons étudié,d’abord, comment l’instillation nasale des différentes fractions de l’extrait pollinique de cette espèce peut moduler la réponse immunitaire chez les souris, et, ensuite, la stimulation des cellules épithéliales bronchiques humaines (BEAS-2B) par l’allergène majeur, identifié par spectrométrie de masse et purifié par chromatographie échangeuse d’ions. La sensibilisation des souris a révélé, d’une part, une diminution du nombre de neutrophiles et une augmentation des éosinophiles, et, d’autre part, une augmentation significative du total cellulaire dans le liquide du lavage bronchoalvéolaire.L’étude histologique des poumons a montré une présence d’infiltrat inflammatoire et d’oedème péri-bronchique. La spectrométrie de masse nous a permis de mettre en évidence la présence de l’allergène majeur Cup s 1 dans toutes les fractions avec une présence spécifique du Cup s 3 et Cupa 1 dans la fraction 4. Cet allergène avait le potentiel pour stimuler la libération de l’IL-8 et l’IL-6 par la ligné cellulaire, BEAS-2B, in vitro d’une manière dose-dépendante [less ▲]

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See detailAn Improved Molecular Histology Method for Ion Suppression Monitoring and Quantification of Phosphatidyl Cholines During MALDI MSI Lipidomics Analyses.
Jadoul, Laure ULg; Smargiasso, Nicolas ULg; Pamelard, Fabien et al

in OMICS : A Journal of Integrative Biology (2016), 20(2), 110-21

Tissue lipidomics is one of the latest omics approaches for biomarker discovery in pharmacology, pathology, and the life sciences at large. In this context, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization ... [more ▼]

Tissue lipidomics is one of the latest omics approaches for biomarker discovery in pharmacology, pathology, and the life sciences at large. In this context, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is the most versatile tool to map compounds within tissue sections. However, ion suppression events occurring during MALDI MSI analyses make it impossible to use this method for quantitative investigations without additional validation steps. This is especially true for lipidomics, since different lipid classes are responsible for important ion suppression events. We propose here an improved lipidomics method to assess local ion suppression of phospatidylcholines in tissues. Serial tissue sections were spiked with different amounts of PC(16:0 d31/18:1) using a nebulization device. Settings for standard nebulization were strictly controlled for a detection similar to when using spiked tissue homogenates. The sections were simultaneously analyzed by MALDI MSI using a Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance analyzer. Such a spray-based approach allows taking into account the biochemical heterogeneity of the tissue for the detection of PC(16:0 d31/18:1). Thus, here we present the perspective to use this method for quantification purposes. The linear regression lines are considered as calibration curves and we calculate PC(16:0/18:1) quantification values for different ROIs. Although those values need to be validated by a using a different independent approach, the workflow offers an insight into new quantitative mass spectrometry imaging (q-MSI) methods. This approach of ion suppression monitoring of phosphocholines in tissues may be highly interesting for a large range of applications in MALDI MSI, particularly for pathology using translational science workflows. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of serum fractionation methods by data independent label-free proteomics
Baiwir, Dominique ULg; Mazzucchelli, Gabriel ULg; Smargiasso, Nicolas ULg et al

in EuPA Open Proteomics (2015), 9

Off-line sample prefractionations applied prior to biomarker discovery proteomics are options to enable more protein identifications and detect low-abundance proteins. This work compared five commercial ... [more ▼]

Off-line sample prefractionations applied prior to biomarker discovery proteomics are options to enable more protein identifications and detect low-abundance proteins. This work compared five commercial methods efficiency to raw serum analysis using label-free proteomics. The variability of the protein quantities determined for each process was similar to the unprefractionated serum. A 49% increase in protein identifications and 12.2% of reliable quantification were obtained. A 61 times lower limit of protein quantitation was reached compared to protein concentrations observed in raw serum. The concentrations of detected proteins were confronted to estimated reference values. [less ▲]

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See detailGender differences in responses in Gammarus pulex exposed to BDE-47: a gel-free proteomic approach
Gismondi, Eric ULg; Mazzucchelli, Gabriel ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg et al

in Ecotoxicology & Environmental Safety (2015), 122

Very few ecotoxicological studies have considered differences in toxic effects on male and female organisms. Here, we investigated protein expression differences in caeca of Gammarus pulex males and ... [more ▼]

Very few ecotoxicological studies have considered differences in toxic effects on male and female organisms. Here, we investigated protein expression differences in caeca of Gammarus pulex males and females under control conditions (unexposed) and after 96 h exposure to BDE-47. Using gel-free proteomic analysis, we have identified 45 proteins, of which 25 were significantly differently expressed according to sex and/or BDE-47 exposure. These proteins were involved in several biological processes such as energy metabolism, chaperone proteins, or transcription/translation. In unexposed amphipods, 11 proteins were significantly over-expressed in females, and 6 proteins were over-expressed in males. Under BDE-47 stress, 7 proteins were differently impacted according to sex. For example, catalase was over-expressed in exposed females and under-expressed in exposed males, as compared to respective controls. Conversely, proteins involved in energy metabolism were up-regulated in males and down-regulated in females. Our proteomic study showed differences in responses of males and females to BDE-47 exposure, emphasizing that sex is a confounding factor in ecotoxicological assessment. However, due to the limited information existing in databases on Gammarids, it was difficult to define a BDE-47 mechanism of action. The gel-free proteomic seems to be a promising method to develop in future ecotoxicological studies and thus, to improve our understanding of the mechanism of action of xenobiotics. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of Regiella insecticola infection on EBF production in Acyrthosiphon pisum Harris
Bauwens, Julien ULg; Mazzucchelli, Gabriel ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg et al

Conference (2015, November 06)

Symbionts of aphids influence their host from many points of view. We investigate the potential influence of bacterial symbionts on the production and emission of the aphid alarm pheromone, E-β-franesene ... [more ▼]

Symbionts of aphids influence their host from many points of view. We investigate the potential influence of bacterial symbionts on the production and emission of the aphid alarm pheromone, E-β-franesene. Some trends could be observed in the total EβF production. Particularly, aphid strains infected by Buchnera only seemed to produce less alarm pheromone. By contrast, the presence of Regiella insecticola seemed to increase EβF production. Mevalonate pathway was investigated by RT-qPCR. This analysis showed a slightly lower transcription level o mIPPS in Regiella-infected strains. This enzyme is involved in the last step of EβF production. By contrast, two enzymes involved respectively in the linkage and release of farnesyl moeities on proteins c-terminal ends. Escape tests were conducted to assay if these results were traduced by differential behavior in front of a predator. Preliminary results showed significantly higher dropping behavior for Regiella-infected strains. [less ▲]

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See detailSTUDY OF FURAN FORMATION DURING COFFEE BREWING
Alsafra, Zouheir ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

Poster (2015, November 05)

Furan (C4H4O) is a small cyclic ether, classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as possibly carcinogenic to human (group 2B) [1,2]. It has been found in many foodstuffs ... [more ▼]

Furan (C4H4O) is a small cyclic ether, classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as possibly carcinogenic to human (group 2B) [1,2]. It has been found in many foodstuffs processed by heat treatments [3], where it is formed through multiple pathways, such as Maillard reaction, carbohydrates degradation or lipid oxidation [4,5]. A very popular beverage that is also known as the most contaminated foodstuff by furan is coffee. The high contamination level is known to be related to the bean roasting process occurring at high temperature in anaerobic conditions. Macrae and coworkers in 1985, showed that a small amount of furan precursors remain in coffee even after the roasting and grounding process. The aim of this work is to study the possibility of furan formation in coffee beverages and related cross-products from the remaining traces of precursors within the brewing process conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-throughput sequencing of toxins with pharmacological interest: proof of concept and first applications
Echterbille, Julien ULg; Degueldre, Michel ULg; Boulanger, Madeleine ULg et al

Conference (2015, September 28)

Animal venoms are complex chemical cocktails, comprising wide ranges of biologically active reticulated peptides that target with high selectivity and efficacy varieties of membrane receptors. Assuming ... [more ▼]

Animal venoms are complex chemical cocktails, comprising wide ranges of biologically active reticulated peptides that target with high selectivity and efficacy varieties of membrane receptors. Assuming the fact that each of the 170,000 venomous species reported can produce more than 250 bioactive toxins, at least 40,000,000 bioactive peptides and proteins may be discovered. Among the four described species of mambas, Eastern Jameson’s mamba (Dendroaspis jamesonii kaimosae) venom is the less characterized since only 9 peptides are referenced in database. This work aims at developing a new strategy devoted to the deep analysis of animal venoms. Our approach consists in a first separation of the venom using cation exchange chromatography. Each primary fraction is then purified a second time by classical RP-HPLC. A total of 328 fractions, containing amongst 1 and 4 toxins, are finally collected. MALDI-MS analysis of each fraction is done in order (1) to obtain information about masses and (2) to obtain sequences of toxins thanks to MALDI-In Source Decay (ISD) dissociation coupled with on MALDI target plate reduction of the peptides. ISD has already been demonstrated efficient for toxin sequencing1, and especially when using 1,5-DAN as reducing matrix2. ISD yields to sequences that cover more than 50% of peptide sequences by series of singly charged c-type ions. Thanks to this methodology, we were able to obtain 85% of satisfactory results i.e. spectra giving quite long tags of amino acids (up to 20 residues). As a way to validate our method, a tag coming from ISD spectrum interpretation has found a match in database for an Eastern Jameson’s mamba toxin. The global sequence has then been obtained by extrapolation on the ISD spectrum. Since ISD spectra are simpler than classical MS/MS spectra, automation of spectra interpretation, difficult with other fragmentation techniques (CID, ETD…), is implementable. In the near future, sequences obtained with this approach will be used to direct tests of biological activity through sequence homologies with already known ligands for different kinds of membrane receptors. [less ▲]

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See detailProbing the conformational changes during desolvation of ions using orthogonal mobility methods (CE-IMS)
Far, Johann ULg; Kune, Christopher ULg; Delvaux, Cédric ULg et al

Poster (2015, July 29)

The transfer of ions from the solution to the gas phase is a critical step to produce « native species ». Coming from a highly solvating medium, ionic species will tend to find a new equilibrium ... [more ▼]

The transfer of ions from the solution to the gas phase is a critical step to produce « native species ». Coming from a highly solvating medium, ionic species will tend to find a new equilibrium conformation in the gas phase. The pathway to reach the thermodynamically stable conformation involves crossing potential barriers of different heights. When these barriers are too high compared to the internal energy of the ions, it will result in “partial memories” (as structural preservation) of the conformation in solution. In order to evaluate the effect of the solvent evaporation and of the various collision processes encountered by the ions in the mass spectrometer, we developed two strategies: The first strategy consists in comparing in a single experiment the shape of the ions in solution and in the gas phase. Data are obtained by coupling capillary electrophoresis with Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry. Drift times in solution and in the gas phase are directly compared. Deviations from their correlation points out changes in folding upon desolvatation. Preliminary results show that among peptides issued from tryptic digest of BSA some of them clearly change their conformation during desolvatation. The second strategy consists in probing changes of conformation once the ions are in the gas phase. The ions are rapidly heating by collisions ions during their transfer to the IMS. The heating is obtained by increasing their collision energy, rapidly followed by thermalisation in the IMS cell. The ions may be kinetically trapped in their new conformations. This allows comparing barriers between different ions geometries. In summary this work intends to evaluate the extent of conformational “memory” of the ions of different nature for best experimental condition allowing “native mass spectrometry” [less ▲]

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See detailCONTRIBUTION OF ION MOBILITY FOR STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY: THE USE OF PROBE LIGANDS AND SELECTIVE IMS SHIFT REAGENTS
Kune, Christopher ULg; Far, Johann ULg; Delvaux, Cédric ULg et al

Conference (2015, July 28)

Ion mobility is a gas phase separation technique sensitive to the Collisional Cross Section (CCS) difference of ions (as CCS/ΔCCS). It discriminates isobaric and isomeric ions when CCS difference is ... [more ▼]

Ion mobility is a gas phase separation technique sensitive to the Collisional Cross Section (CCS) difference of ions (as CCS/ΔCCS). It discriminates isobaric and isomeric ions when CCS difference is larger than the instrumental resolution (roughly 50). To overcome the usual resolution of ion mobility (IM), it is necessary to use new strategies in addition to the optimization of the ion mobility parameters. This work proposes a new method to bypass this limitation while providing additional structural information by the use of Selective Shift Reagents (SSR). A SSR can specifically bind with a target ion depending of their physicochemical properties like chemical groups, steric hindrance, polarity, space charge effects… In this strategy, the choice of SSR is fundamental. SSR could be empirically selected or assisted and designed by computational chemistry prediction. SSR can be used as a chemical probe which can support physicochemical properties and help or confirm hypotheses for structural elucidation. They can also drastically change the CCS of a target ion present in a complex mixture (e.g. biological origin sample) as shifting reagent for e.g. quantification purpose. Models used for the proof of concept have been selected in order to lead to an expected or predictive result. Firstly crown ethers have been used as SSR in IMS to shift the protonated valine drift time from the protonated proline drift time according to their chemical groups and especially amino groups. The selectivity of SSR leads to an improved separation between valine and proline. Secondly three structural isomers of diaminonaphthalene were investigated experimentally and theoretically using computational chemistry support after the addition of different crown ethers or β-cyclodextrin as SSR to improve the separation of these isomers by IMS. Finally, the concept of SSR was successfully applied to biological origin samples to elucidate structure and allows the quantification of selenium (Se) containing compounds present in an aqueous extract of Se rich yeast. [less ▲]

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