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See detailResearch of New Enzyme Producing Strains in the Gut of the Termite Reticulitermes santonensis
Tarayre, Cédric ULg; Bauwens, Julien ULg; Mattéotti, Christel et al

Poster (2013, June)

Termites contain a complex microflora inside of their guts. Inferior termites contain bacteria, mycetes and protists that interact to degrade vegetable components. These strains act as consortia to break ... [more ▼]

Termites contain a complex microflora inside of their guts. Inferior termites contain bacteria, mycetes and protists that interact to degrade vegetable components. These strains act as consortia to break natural materials by secreting various enzymes. Our aim was the isolation and cultivation of microorganisms in order to produce new enzymes that can be further used in green chemistry. Termites were fed with different diets: pinewood, microcristalline cellulose (added with lignin or not), α-cellulose (added with lignin or not) and birchwood xylan. Then, dissections were realized to isolate interesting strains. All the microorganisms were subjected to enzyme assays. That technique allowed us to isolate and to cultivate various strains of bacteria, molds and protists. Three strains of bacteria, two strains of molds and one strain of protist were isolated and displayed different enzymatic activities. The bacteria Bacillus subtilis strain ABGx, Bacillus sp. strain CTGx and Chryseobacterium sp. strain CTGx displayed amylase, cellulase and xylanase activities. The molds Trichoderma virens strain CTGx and Sarocladium kiliense strain CTGx were also able to produce those enzymes. However, the protist Poterioochromonas sp. was found to produce only amylase. In conlusion, the termite gut is a complex culivation medium that provides a habitat for many microorganisms that show interesting enzymatic activities. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a quantitative approach to measure phospholipids in dried drops by Raman spectroscopy
Malherbe, Cédric ULg; Jadoul, Laure ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2013, May 24)

Phospholipids, PL, such as the phosphatidylcholine PC(18:0/18:1), play a role in the structure of living cells and are suspected to be part of the development of some diseases, for example cancers. Mass ... [more ▼]

Phospholipids, PL, such as the phosphatidylcholine PC(18:0/18:1), play a role in the structure of living cells and are suspected to be part of the development of some diseases, for example cancers. Mass spectrometry enables the structural analysis of PL in complex biological media but imaging mass spectrometry by MALDI-MS is rather limited for quantification purposes. Complementarily, Raman spectroscopy as a non invasive and non destructive method is a potential candidate to quantify and visualise the spatial distribution of the PL by molecular imaging. Unfortunately, the lack of specific chemical function in PL, compared to others biomolecules, limits the use of Raman spectroscopy in the identification process of those PL in complex biological samples. The results presented here belong to a first study of the application of the Raman analyses on dried residues of PL and mice brain tissue performed in the lab. [less ▲]

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See detailLes venins d'animaux, nouvelle panacée?
Echterbille, Julien ULg; Quinton, Loïc ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg

in Athena (2013)

Araignées, serpents, scorpions,… autant d’animaux ayant une place particulière dans l’imaginaire collectif. Fascinants, horripilants voire même terrifiants, les adjectifs ne manquent pas pour qualifier ... [more ▼]

Araignées, serpents, scorpions,… autant d’animaux ayant une place particulière dans l’imaginaire collectif. Fascinants, horripilants voire même terrifiants, les adjectifs ne manquent pas pour qualifier les réactions qu’ils suscitent auprès des populations. Que dire alors de la peur engendrée par leur venin. Une simple piqûre, morsure ou contact peut s’avérer extrêmement dangereux voire létal... [less ▲]

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See detailIntraocular lenses with functionalized surfaces by biomolecules in relation with lens epithelial cell adhesion
Huang, Yi-Shiang ULg; Alexandre, Michaël ULg; Bozukova, Dimitriya et al

Poster (2013, April 25)

A cataract is pathology opacity of the lens or capsule of the eye, causing impairment of vision or even blindness. Surgery, with lens extraction and intraocular lens implantation, is still the only ... [more ▼]

A cataract is pathology opacity of the lens or capsule of the eye, causing impairment of vision or even blindness. Surgery, with lens extraction and intraocular lens implantation, is still the only currently available treatment. The most common complication after implantation of intraocular lenses (IOLs) is the posterior capsular opacification (PCO) or secondary cataract. This is the result of lens epithelial cells (LECs) proliferation and their transition to mesenchymal cells. In 1997, a Sandwich theory was proposed to elucidate the developmental process of PCO. [1] According to this model, an IOL with higher affinity to LECs will induce a less PCO. In our research, the pHEMA (Poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate)) based acrylic hydrophilic polymer is subjected to the surface modification by conjugating with the bioactive peptides. The RGD sequence, known for its excellent biocompatibility, is designed to stimulate the biointegration between the LECs and the polymer implant. [2]. From our research, The RGD peptide immobilized onto pHEMA surfaces significantly facilitates the adhesion of the porcine LEC. The peptide immobilized surface retains its biological function even after 10 times of autoclave. On the other hand, the immobilized peptide does not alter the hydrophobicity of the surface, the light transmission, as well as the cytotoxicity of the material. This functionalized biomaterial would possibly prevent the formation of PCO. [1] J Cataract Refract Surg. 1997 Dec;23(10):1539-42 [2] Trends Biotechnol. 2008 Jul;26(7):382-92 [less ▲]

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See detailAdvances in proteomics for the FP7 Venomics project
Degueldre, Michel ULg; Quinton, Loïc ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg

Scientific conference (2013, April)

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See detailDevelopment of an analytical method to detect metabolites of nitrofurans. Application to the study of furazolidone elimination in Vietnamese black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon)
Douny, Caroline ULg; Widart, Joëlle ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg et al

in Aquaculture (2013), 376-379

Nitrofurans, banned antibiotics in European Union (EU), have often been found in imported aquaculture products in the past and are still found nowadays according to the Rapid Alert System for Feed and ... [more ▼]

Nitrofurans, banned antibiotics in European Union (EU), have often been found in imported aquaculture products in the past and are still found nowadays according to the Rapid Alert System for Feed and Food (RASFF) of the European Commission. A quantitative method based on liquid chromatography coupled to isotopic dilution tandem mass spectrometry (LC–IDMS/MS) was developed for the determination of the residues of four nitrofuran antibiotic residues in shrimps. The experimental protocol consisted of an acid-catalysed release of protein-bound metabolites, followed by derivatisation with 2-nitrobenzaldehyde (NBA). Then, a double liquid–liquid extraction with ethyl acetate was performed before LC–IDMS/MS analysis by positive electrospray ionisation (ES+) with multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) of two transitions per compound. An “in-house” validation of the method for shrimp analysis was conducted according to the EU criteria for the analysis of veterinary drug residues in foods. The decision limits (CCalpha) were 0.08–0.36 µg kg -1 and the detection capabilities (CCbeta) were 0.12–0.61 µg kg-1, which are both below the minimum required performance limit (MRPL) set at 1 µg kg -1 by the EU. The developed method was applied to evaluate the elimination of furazolidone residues in shrimp muscles after a contamination experiment. After 28 days of decontamination, a concentration of 115 µg kg-1 of furazolidone metabolite 3-amino-2-oxazolidinone (AOZ) was still measured in shrimp muscle. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscrimination of Isobaric Leu/Ile Residues by MALDI In-source Decay Mass Spectrometry
Asakawa, Daiki; Smargiasso, Nicolas ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg

in Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry (2013), 24(2), 297-300

MALDI in-source decay (ISD) has been used for the top-down sequencing of proteins. The use of 1,5-diaminonapthalene (1,5-DAN) gave strong intensity of w ions, which are informative fragments and can be ... [more ▼]

MALDI in-source decay (ISD) has been used for the top-down sequencing of proteins. The use of 1,5-diaminonapthalene (1,5-DAN) gave strong intensity of w ions, which are informative fragments and can be helpful for the distinction of the isobaric amino acids, Leu and Ile. Our data suggests that the w fragments are formed from z* radical fragment by unimolecular dissociation and high abundance of w ions in MALDI-ISD with 1,5-DAN can be understood as resulting from the low collision rate in the MALDI plume. The MALDI-ISD with 1,5-DAN could be a useful method for the top-down sequencing of proteins including discrimination of Leu and Ile near the C-terminal end. [less ▲]

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See detailUltraviolet Laser Induced Hydrogen Transfer Reaction: Study of the First Step of MALDI In-Source Decay Mass Spectrometry
Asakawa, Daiki; Calligaris, David ULg; Smargiasso, Nicolas ULg et al

in Journal of Physical Chemistry B (2013), 117(8), 2321-2327

The early mechanisms of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization in-source decay (MALDI-ISD) are described herein. MALDI-ISD is initiated by the hydrogen transfer from excited matrix molecules to the ... [more ▼]

The early mechanisms of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization in-source decay (MALDI-ISD) are described herein. MALDI-ISD is initiated by the hydrogen transfer from excited matrix molecules to the carbonyl oxygen of the peptide backbone, which is followed by a radical-induced cleavage, producing the c′/z• fragment pair. As expected, the use of 2,5-DHB or 1,5-DAN was efficient to induce MALDI-ISD, and the strongest intensity of MALDI-ISD fragments was observed when laser shots were performed on matrix crystals. In contrast, the hydrogen radical transfer reaction was suppressed by using ionic liquid and amorphous structure of 2,5-DHB and 1,5-DAN mixture as a matrix. Our results suggest that the hydrogen transfer occurs on the matrix crystal during the dissipation of the laser energy and before desorption, following ISD fragments formed in the MALDI plume. [less ▲]

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See detailBcsTx3 is a founder of a novel sea anemone toxin family of potassium channel blocker
Orts, Diego; Moran, Yehu; Cologna, Camila et al

in FEBS Journal (2013), 280

Sea anemone venoms have become a rich source of peptide toxins which are invaluable tools for studying the structure and functions of ion channels. In this work, BcsTx3, a toxin found in the venom of a ... [more ▼]

Sea anemone venoms have become a rich source of peptide toxins which are invaluable tools for studying the structure and functions of ion channels. In this work, BcsTx3, a toxin found in the venom of a Bunodosoma caissarum (population captured at the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, Brazil) was purified and biochemically and pharmacologically characterized. The pharmacological effects were studied on 12 different subtypes of voltage-gated potassium channels (KV1.1–KV1.6; KV2.1; KV3.1; KV4.2; KV4.3; hERG and Shaker IR) and three cloned voltagegated sodium channel isoforms (NaV1.2, NaV1.4 and BgNaV1.1) expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. BcsTx3 shows a high affinity for Drosophila Shaker IR channels over rKv1.2, hKv1.3 and rKv1.6, and is not active on NaV channels. Biochemical characterization reveals that BcsTx3 is a 50 amino acid peptide crosslinked by four disulfide bridges, and sequence comparison allowed BcsTx3 to be classified as a novel type of sea anemone toxin acting on KV channels. Moreover, putative toxins homologous to BcsTx3 from two additional actiniarian species suggest an ancient origin of this newly discovered toxin family. [less ▲]

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See detailMALDI In-Source Decay, from sequencing to imaging
Debois, Delphine ULg; Smargiasso, Nicolas ULg; Demeure, Kevin ULg et al

in Topics in Current Chemistry (2013), 331

MALDI is now a mature method allowing the identification and, more challenging, the quantification of biopolymers (proteins, nucleic acids, glycans…). MALDI spectra show mostly intact singly charged ions ... [more ▼]

MALDI is now a mature method allowing the identification and, more challenging, the quantification of biopolymers (proteins, nucleic acids, glycans…). MALDI spectra show mostly intact singly charged ions. To obtain fragments, the activation of singly charged precursors is necessary, but not efficient above 3.5 kDa thus making MALDI MS/MS difficult for large species. In-source decay (ISD) is a prompt fragmentation reaction that can be induced thermally or by radicals. As fragments are formed in the source, precursor ions cannot be selected; however, the technique is not limited by the mass of the analyzed compounds and pseudo MS/MS can be performed on intense fragments. The discovery of new matrices that enhance the ISD yield, combined with the high sensitivity of MALDI mass spectrometers, and software development, opens new perspectives. We first review the mechanisms involved in the ISD processes, then discuss ISD applications like top-down sequencing and post-translational modifications studies, and finally review MALDI-ISD tissue imaging applications. [less ▲]

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See detailOrganized Proteomic Heterogeneity in Colorectal Cancer Liver Metastases and Implications for Therapies
Turtoi, Andrei ULg; Blomme, Arnaud; Debois, Delphine et al

in Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.) (2013)

Tumor heterogeneity is a major obstacle for developing effective anticancer treatments. Recent studies have pointed to large stochastic genetic heterogeneity within cancer lesions, where no pattern seems ... [more ▼]

Tumor heterogeneity is a major obstacle for developing effective anticancer treatments. Recent studies have pointed to large stochastic genetic heterogeneity within cancer lesions, where no pattern seems to exist that would enable a more structured targeted therapy approach. Because to date no similar information is available at the protein (phenotype) level, we employed matrix assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) image-guided proteomics and explored the heterogeneity of extracellular and membrane subproteome in a unique collection of eight fresh human colorectal carcinoma (CRC) liver metastases. Monitoring the spatial distribution of over 1,000 proteins, we found unexpectedly that all liver metastasis lesions displayed a reproducible, zonally delineated pattern of functional and therapeutic biomarker heterogeneity. The peritumoral region featured elevated lipid metabolism and protein synthesis, the rim of the metastasis dis- played increased cellular growth, movement, and drug metabolism, whereas the center of the lesion was characterized by elevated carbohydrate metabolism and DNA-repair activity. From the aspect of therapeutic targeting, zonal expression of known and novel biomarkers was evident, reinforcing the need to select several targets in order to achieve optimal coverage of the lesion. Finally, we highlight two novel antigens, LTBP2 and TGFBI, whose expression is a consistent feature of CRC liver metastasis. We demon- strate their in vivo antibody-based targeting and highlight their potential usefulness for clinical applications. Conclusion: The proteome heterogeneity of human CRC liver metastases has a distinct, organized pattern. This particular hallmark can now be used as part of the strategy for developing rational therapies based on multiple sets of target- able antigens. [less ▲]

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See detailThe proline-rich motif of the proDer p 3 allergen propeptide is crucial for protease-protease interaction.
Dumez, Marie-Eve ULg; Herman, Julie; Campisi, Vincenzo ULg et al

in PloS one (2013), 8(9), 68014

The majority of proteases are synthesized in an inactive form, termed zymogen, which consists of a propeptide and a protease domain. The propeptide is commonly involved in the correct folding and specific ... [more ▼]

The majority of proteases are synthesized in an inactive form, termed zymogen, which consists of a propeptide and a protease domain. The propeptide is commonly involved in the correct folding and specific inhibition of the enzyme. The propeptide of the house dust mite allergen Der p 3, NPILPASPNAT, contains a proline-rich motif (PRM), which is unusual for a trypsin-like protease. By truncating the propeptide or replacing one or all of the prolines in the non-glycosylated zymogen with alanine(s), we demonstrated that the full-length propeptide is not required for correct folding and thermal stability and that the PRM is important for the resistance of proDer p 3 to undesired proteolysis when the protein is expressed in Pichia pastoris. Additionally, we followed the maturation time course of proDer p 3 by coupling a quenched-flow assay to mass spectrometry analysis. This approach allowed to monitor the evolution of the different species and to determine the steady-state kinetic parameters for activation of the zymogen by the major allergen Der p 1. This experiment demonstrated that prolines 5 and 8 are crucial for proDer p 3-Der p 1 interaction and for activation of the zymogen. [less ▲]

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See detailSymbiont Diversity in Reticulitermes santonensis (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae): Investigation Strategy Through Proteomics.
Bauwens, Julien ULg; Millet, Catherine ULg; Tarayre, Cédric ULg et al

in Environmental entomology (2013), 42(5), 882-7

The complex microbial community living in the hindgut of lower termites includes prokaryotes, flagellates, yeasts, and filamentous fungi. Many microorganisms are found in the termite gut, but only a few ... [more ▼]

The complex microbial community living in the hindgut of lower termites includes prokaryotes, flagellates, yeasts, and filamentous fungi. Many microorganisms are found in the termite gut, but only a few are thought to be involved in symbiotic association to participate in cellulose digestion. Proteomics provides analyses from both taxonomical and functional perspectives. We aimed to identify symbiont diversity in the gut of Reticulitermes santonensis (Feytaud), via complementary electrospray ionization associated to ion trap tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis associated to matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry analysis. One specific challenge to the study of lower termites is the relatively few data available on abundant symbiotic flagellates. Analysis based on LC-MS/MS revealed few protein families showing assignments to eukaryotes and the taxonomic origin of highly represented actins could not be established. Tubulins proved to be the most suitable protein family with which to identify flagellate populations from hindgut samples using LC-MS/MS, compared with other protein families, although this method targeted few prokaryotes in our assay. Similarly, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis associated to matrix-assisted laser desorption-ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry did not succeed in identifying flagellate populations, but did permit the identification of most of the prokaryotic components of the symbiotic system. Finally, fungi and yeasts were identified by both methods. Owing to the lack of sequenced genes in flagellates, targeting tubulins for LC-MS/MS could allow fingerprints of flagellate populations to be established. Experimental and technical improvements might increase the efficiency of identification of prokaryotic populations in the near future, based on metaproteomic development. [less ▲]

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