Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences Collected Works - Research Publications

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    Identification, distribution and molecular evolution of the pacifastin gene family in Metazoa.
    Breugelmans, B ; Simonet, G ; van Hoef, V ; Van Soest, S ; Broeck, JV (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2009-05-12)
    BACKGROUND: Members of the pacifastin family are serine peptidase inhibitors, most of which are produced as multi domain precursor proteins. Structural and biochemical characteristics of insect pacifastin-like peptides have been studied intensively, but only one inhibitor has been functionally characterised. Recent sequencing projects of metazoan genomes have created an unprecedented opportunity to explore the distribution, evolution and functional diversification of pacifastin genes in the animal kingdom. RESULTS: A large scale in silico data mining search led to the identification of 83 pacifastin members with 284 inhibitor domains, distributed over 55 species from three metazoan phyla. In contrast to previous assumptions, members of this family were also found in other phyla than Arthropoda, including the sister phylum Onychophora and the 'primitive', non-bilaterian Placozoa. In Arthropoda, pacifastin members were found to be distributed among insect families of nearly all insect orders and for the first time also among crustacean species other than crayfish and the Chinese mitten crab. Contrary to precursors from Crustacea, the majority of insect pacifastin members contain dibasic cleavage sites, indicative for posttranslational processing into numerous inhibitor peptides. Whereas some insect species have lost the pacifastin gene, others were found to have several (often clustered) paralogous genes. Amino acids corresponding to the reactive site or involved in the folding of the inhibitor domain were analysed as a basis for the biochemical properties. CONCLUSION: The absence of the pacifastin gene in some insect genomes and the extensive gene expansion in other insects are indicative for the rapid (adaptive) evolution of this gene family. In addition, differential processing mechanisms and a high variability in the reactive site residues and the inner core interactions contribute to a broad functional diversification of inhibitor peptides, indicating wide ranging roles in different physiological processes. Based on the observation of a pacifastin gene in Placozoa, it can be hypothesized that the ancestral pacifastin gene has occurred before the divergence of bilaterian animals. However, considering differences in gene structure between the placozoan and other pacifastin genes and the existence of a 'pacifastin gene gap' between Placozoa and Onychophora/Arthropoda, it cannot be excluded that the pacifastin signature originated twice by convergent evolution.
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    CAN VIRAL ENVELOPE GLYCOLIPIDS PRODUCE AUTOIMMUNITY, WITH REFERENCE TO THE CNS AND MULTIPLE-SCLEROSIS
    WEBB, HE ; FAZAKERLEY, JK (BLACKWELL SCIENCE LTD, 1984-01-01)
    Many viruses, with lipid envelopes derived from the host cell membranes, have been implicated in the aetiology of multiple sclerosis (MS), and epidemiological studies support an infectious agent. Alternatively the disease is thought by other workers to be auto-immune in nature, and recently much attention has been focused on immunological sensitivity to glycolipids in MS patients. In this paper it is proposed that CNS demyelination could arise in susceptible individuals (HLA type) from an immune response to glycolipids, triggered by the carrier effect of one or more enveloped neurotropic viruses.
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    DO HUMAN T-LYMPHOTROPHIC VIRUSES (HTLVS) AND OTHER ENVELOPED VIRUSES INDUCE AUTOIMMUNITY IN MULTIPLE-SCLEROSIS
    DALGLEISH, AG ; FAZAKERLEY, JK ; WEBB, HE (WILEY, 1987-07-01)
    A virally induced autoimmune reaction may be important in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. The role that glycolipids and myelin basic protein presented to the virus may play in this process is considered. The most likely cells to be the source of autoantigens are neurons, myelin and oligodendrocytes. Viral infection of class II-expressing cells and association of the viral envelope autoantigens and the class II molecules could trigger an autoimmune reaction. It is suggested that for MS to develop following a virus infection the virus will need to cause expression of class II antigens on brain cells as well as fulfill the same role as an antigen presenting cell. The part which T-lymphotrophic viruses (HTLVs) and other enveloped viruses may play in this phenomenon is discussed.
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    PATHOGENESIS OF VIRUS-INDUCED DEMYELINATION
    FAZAKERLEY, JK ; BUCHMEIER, MJ ; Maramorosch, K ; Murphy, FA ; Shatkin, AJ (ELSEVIER ACADEMIC PRESS INC, 1993-01-01)
    Demyelination is a component of several viral diseases of humans. The best known of these are subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). There are a number of naturally occurring virus infections of animals that involve demyelination and many of these serve as instructive models for human demyelinating diseases. In addition to the naturally occurring diseases, many viruses have been shown to be capable of producing demyelination in experimental situations. In discussing virus-associated demyelinating disease, the chapter reviews the architecture and functional organization of the CNS and considers what is known of the interaction of viruses with CNS cells. It also discusses the immunology of the CNS that differs in several important aspects from that of the rest of the body. Experimental models of viral-induced demyelination have also been considered. Viruses capable of producing demyelinating disease have no common taxonomic features; they include both DNA and RNA viruses, enveloped and nonenveloped viruses. The chapter attempts to summarize the important factors influencing viral demyelination, their common features, and possible mechanisms.
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    Virus demyelination
    Fazakerley, JK ; Walker, R (SPRINGER, 2003-04-01)
    A number of viruses can initiate central nervous system (CNS) diseases that include demyelination as a major feature of neuropathology. In humans, the most prominent demyelinating diseases are progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, caused by JC papovirus destruction of oligodendrocytes, and subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, an invariably fatal childhood disease caused by persistent measles virus. The most common neurological disease of young adults in the developed world, multiple sclerosis, is also characterized by lesions of inflammatory demyelination; however, the etiology of this disease remains an enigma. A viral etiology is possible, because most demyelinating diseases of known etiology in both man and animals are viral. Understanding of the pathogenesis of virus-induced demyelination derives for the most part from the study of animal models. Studies with neurotropic strains of mouse hepatitis virus, Theiler's virus, and Semliki Forest virus have been at the forefront of this research. These models demonstrate how viruses enter the brain, spread, persist, and interact with immune responses. Common features are an ability to infect and persist in glial cells, generation of predominantly CD8(+) responses, which control and clear the early phase of virus replication but which fail to eradicate the infection, and lesions of inflammatory demyelination. In most cases demyelination is to a limited extent the result of direct virus destruction of oligodendrocytes, but for the most part is the consequence of immune and inflammatory responses. These models illustrate the roles of age and genetic susceptibility and establish the concept that persistent CNS infection can lead to the generation of CNS autoimmune responses.
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    Computer analysis suggests a role for signal sequences in processing polyproteins of enveloped RNA viruses and as a mechanism of viral fusion.
    Fazakerley, JK ; Ross, AM (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 1989-05)
    We have used a computer program to scan the entire sequence of viral polyproteins for eucaryotic signal sequences. The method is based on that of von Heijne (1). The program calculates a score for each residue in a polyprotein. The score indicates the resemblance of each residue to that at the cleavage site of a typical N-terminal eucaryotic signal sequence. The program correctly predicts the known N-terminal signal sequence cleavage sites of several cellular and viral proteins. The analysis demonstrates that the polyproteins of enveloped RNA viruses--including the alphaviruses, flaviviruses, and bunyaviruses--contain several internal signal-sequence-like regions. The predicted cleavage site in these internal sequences are often known cleavage sites for processing of the polyprotein and are amongst the highest scoring residues with this algorithm. These results indicate a role for the cellular enzyme signal peptidase in the processing of several viral polyproteins. Not all high-scoring residues are sites of cleavage, suggesting a difference between N-terminal and internal signal sequences. This may reflect the secondary structure of the latter. Signal sequences were also found at the N-termini of the fusion proteins of the paramyxoviruses and the retroviruses. This suggests a mechanism of viral fusion analogous to that by which proteins are translocated through the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum at synthesis.
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    THE V5A13.1 ENVELOPE GLYCOPROTEIN DELETION MUTANT OF MOUSE HEPATITIS-VIRUS TYPE-4 IS NEUROATTENUATED BY ITS REDUCED RATE OF SPREAD IN THE CENTRAL-NERVOUS-SYSTEM
    FAZAKERLEY, JK ; PARKER, SE ; BLOOM, F ; BUCHMEIER, MJ (ACADEMIC PRESS INC JNL-COMP SUBSCRIPTIONS, 1992-03-01)
    Following intracerebral inoculation of adult Balb/c Byj mice, the MHV-4 strain of mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) had an LD50 of less than 0.1 PFU, whereas its monoclonal antibody resistant variant V5A13.1 had an LD50 of 10(4.2) PFU. To determine the basis for this difference in neurovirulence we have studied the acute central nervous system (CNS) infection of these two viruses by in situ hybridization. Both viruses infected the same, specific neuroanatomical areas, predominantly neurons, and spread via the cerebrospinal fluid, along neuronal pathways and between adjacent cells. The neuronal nuclei infected and the spread of virus within the brain are described. The main difference between the parental and variant viruses was the rate at which the infection spread. MHV-4 spread rapidly, destroying large numbers of neurons and the animals died within 4 days of infection. The variant virus spread to the same areas of the brain but at a slower rate. This difference in the rate of virus spread was also apparent from the brain virus titers. The slower rate of spread of the variant virus appears to allow intervention by the immune response. Consistent with this, the variant virus spread slowly in athymic nu/nu mice, but in the absence of an intact immune response, infection and destruction of neurons eventually reached the same extent as that of the parental virus and the mice died within 6 days of infection. We conclude that the V5A13.1 variant of MHV-4 is neuroattenuated by its slower rate of spread in the CNS.
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    A bioreactor model of mouse tumor progression
    Thouas, GA ; Sheridan, J ; Hourigan, K (HINDAWI PUBLISHING CORPORATION, 2007-01-01)
    The present study represents an investigation of a novel stirred bioreactor for culture of a transformed cell line under defined hydrodynamic conditions in vitro. Cell colonies of the EL-4 mouse lymphoma cell line grown for the first time in a rotating disc bioreactor (RDB), were observed to undergo changes in phenotype in comparison to standard, static flask cultures. RDB cultures, with or without agitation, promoted the formation of adherent EL-4 cell plaques that merged to form contiguous tumor-like masses in longer-term cultures, unlike the unattached spheroid aggregates of flask cultures. Plaques grown under agitated conditions were further altered in morphology and distribution in direct response to fluid mechanical stimuli. Plaque colonies growth in RDBs with or without agitation also exhibited significant increases in production of interleukin-4 (IL-4) and lactate, suggesting an inducible "Warburg effect." Increases in cell biomass in RDB cultures were no different to flask cultures, though a trend toward a marginal increase was observed at specific rotational speeds. The RDB may therefore be a suitable alternative method to study mechanisms of tumor progression and invasiveness in vitro, under more complex physicochemical conditions that may approximate natural tissue environments.
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    A Genome Wide Survey of SNP Variation Reveals the Genetic Structure of Sheep Breeds
    Kijas, JW ; Townley, D ; Dalrymple, BP ; Heaton, MP ; Maddox, JF ; McGrath, A ; Wilson, P ; Ingersoll, RG ; McCulloch, R ; McWilliam, S ; Tang, D ; McEwan, J ; Cockett, N ; Oddy, VH ; Nicholas, FW ; Raadsma, H ; Ellegren, H (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2009-03-03)
    The genetic structure of sheep reflects their domestication and subsequent formation into discrete breeds. Understanding genetic structure is essential for achieving genetic improvement through genome-wide association studies, genomic selection and the dissection of quantitative traits. After identifying the first genome-wide set of SNP for sheep, we report on levels of genetic variability both within and between a diverse sample of ovine populations. Then, using cluster analysis and the partitioning of genetic variation, we demonstrate sheep are characterised by weak phylogeographic structure, overlapping genetic similarity and generally low differentiation which is consistent with their short evolutionary history. The degree of population substructure was, however, sufficient to cluster individuals based on geographic origin and known breed history. Specifically, African and Asian populations clustered separately from breeds of European origin sampled from Australia, New Zealand, Europe and North America. Furthermore, we demonstrate the presence of stratification within some, but not all, ovine breeds. The results emphasize that careful documentation of genetic structure will be an essential prerequisite when mapping the genetic basis of complex traits. Furthermore, the identification of a subset of SNP able to assign individuals into broad groupings demonstrates even a small panel of markers may be suitable for applications such as traceability.
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    A presentation of the differences between the sheep and goat genetic maps
    Maddox, JF (E D P SCIENCES, 2005-01-01)
    The current autosomal version (4.2) of the sheep genetic map comprises 1175 loci and spans approximately 3540 cM. This corresponds to almost complete coverage of the sheep genome. Each chromosome is represented by a single linkage group, with the largest gap between adjacent loci being 19.8 cM. In contrast the 1998 goat genetic map (the most recently published) is much less well developed spanning 2737 cM and comprising only 307 loci. Only one of the goat chromosomes appears to have complete coverage (chromosome 27), and 16 of the chromosomes are comprised of two or more linkage groups, or a linkage group and one or more unlinked markers. The two maps share 218 loci, and the maps have been aligned using the shared loci as reference points. Overall there is good agreement between the maps in terms of homologous loci mapping to equivalent chromosomes in the two species, with only four markers mapping to non-equivalent chromosomes. However, there are lots of inversions in locus order between the sheep and goat chromosomes. Whilst some of these differences in locus order may be genuine, the majority are likely to be a consequence of the paucity of genetic information for the goat map.