Research, Innovation and Commercialisation - Research Publications
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Effect of cochlear implantation on middle ear function: A three-month prospective study
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: To determine if cochlear implantation has a delayed effect on the middle ear conductive hearing mechanism by measuring laser Doppler vibrometry (LDV) of the tympanic membrane (TM) in both implanted and contralateral control ears preoperatively and 3 months postoperatively, and then comparing the relative change in LDV outcome measures between implanted and control ears. STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. METHODS: Eleven preoperative adult unilateral cochlear implant recipients in previously unoperated ears with normal anatomy and aerated temporal bones were included in this study. The magnitude and phase angle of umbo velocity transfer function in response to air- conduction (AC) stimulus, and the magnitude of umbo velocity in response to bone- conduction (BC) stimulus were measured in the implant ear and the contralateral control ear preoperatively and 3 months postoperatively and compared. RESULTS: No significant changes in the magnitude or phase angle of TM velocity in response to either AC or BC stimulus were observed in the implanted ear relative to the contralateral control ear 3 months following cochlear implantation. CONCLUSIONS: From the results of LDV measurements, it can be said that cochlear implantation has no significant delayed effect on the middle ear conductive mechanism. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 4. Laryngoscope, 128:1207-1212, 2018.
Novel microsatellite markers suggest the mechanism of parthenogenesis in Extatosoma tiaratum is automixis with terminal fusion
Parthenogenetic reproduction is taxonomically widespread and occurs through various cytological mechanisms, which have different impact on the genetic variation of the offspring. Extatosoma tiaratum is a facultatively parthenogenetic Australian insect (Phasmatodea), in which females oviposit continuously throughout their adult lifespan irrespective of mating. Fertilized eggs produce sons and daughters through sexual reproduction and unfertilized eggs produce female offspring via parthenogenesis. Here, we developed novel microsatellite markers for E. tiaratum and characterized them by genotyping individuals from a natural population. We then used the microsatellite markers to infer the cytological mechanism of parthenogenesis in this species. We found evidence suggesting parthenogenesis in E. tiaratum occurs through automixis with terminal fusion, resulting in substantial loss of microsatellite heterozygosity in the offspring. Loss of microsatellite heterozygosity may be associated with loss of heterozygosity in fitness related loci. The mechanism of parthenogenetic reproduction can therefore affect fitness outcomes and needs to be considered when comparing costs and benefits of sex versus parthenogenesis.
Proteomic analysis reveals novel proteins associated with the Plasmodium protein exporter PTEX and a loss of complex stability upon truncation of the core PTEX component, PTEX150
The Plasmodium translocon for exported proteins (PTEX) has been established as the machinery responsible for the translocation of all classes of exported proteins beyond the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane of the intraerythrocytic malaria parasite. Protein export, particularly in the asexual blood stage, is crucial for parasite survival as exported proteins are involved in remodelling the host cell, an essential process for nutrient uptake, waste removal and immune evasion. Here, we have truncated the conserved C-terminus of one of the essential PTEX components, PTEX150, in Plasmodium falciparum in an attempt to create mutants of reduced functionality. Parasites tolerated C-terminal truncations of up to 125 amino acids with no reduction in growth, protein export or the establishment of new permeability pathways. Quantitative proteomic approaches however revealed a decrease in other PTEX subunits associating with PTEX150 in truncation mutants, suggesting a role for the C-terminus of PTEX150 in regulating PTEX stability. Our analyses also reveal three previously unreported PTEX-associated proteins, namely PV1, Pf113 and Hsp70-x (respective PlasmoDB numbers; PF3D7_1129100, PF3D7_1420700 and PF3D7_0831700) and demonstrate that core PTEX proteins exist in various distinct multimeric forms outside the major complex.
The inner ear proteome of fish
The mechanisms that underpin the formation, growth and composition of otoliths, the biomineralized stones in the inner ear of fish, are largely unknown, as only a few fish inner ear proteins have been reported. Using a partial transcriptome for the inner ear of black bream (Acanthopagrus butcheri), in conjunction with proteomic data, we discovered hundreds of previously unknown proteins in the otolith. This allowed us to develop hypotheses to explain the mechanisms of inorganic material supply and daily formation of growth bands. We further identified a likely protein mediator of crystal nucleation and an explanation for the apparent metabolic inertness of the otolith. Due to the formation of both daily and annual increments, otoliths are routinely employed as natural chronometers, being used for age and growth estimation, fisheries stock assessments, and the reconstruction of habitat use, movement, diet and the impacts of climate change. Our findings provide an unprecedented view of otolith molecular machinery, aiding in the interpretation of these essential archived data.
Cyclic Hexapeptide Mimics of the LEDGF Integrase Recognition Loop in Complex with HIV-1 Integrase
(WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2018-08-10)
The p75 splice variant of lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF) is a 75 kDa protein, which is recruited by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to tether the pre-integration complex to the host chromatin and promote integration of proviral DNA into the host genome. We designed a series of small cyclic peptides that are structural mimics of the LEDGF binding domain, which interact with integrase as potential binding inhibitors. Herein we present the X-ray crystal structures, NMR studies, SPR analysis, and conformational studies of four cyclic peptides bound to the HIV-1 integrase core domain. Although the X-ray studies show that the peptides closely mimic the LEDGF binding loop, the measured affinities of the peptides are in the low millimolar range. Computational analysis using conformational searching and free energy calculations suggest that the low affinity of the peptides is due to mismatch between the low-energy solution and bound conformations.
Blood-Catalyzed RAFT Polymerization
(WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2018-08-06)
The use of hemoglobin (Hb) contained within red blood cells to drive a controlled radical polymerization via a reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) process is reported for the first time. No pre-treatment of the Hb or cells was required prior to their use as polymerization catalysts, indicating the potential for synthetic engineering in complex biological microenvironments without the need for ex vivo techniques. Owing to the naturally occurring prevalence of the reagents employed in the catalytic system (Hb and hydrogen peroxide), this approach may facilitate the development of new strategies for in vivo cell engineering with synthetic macromolecules.
Specificity and affinity of neuraminic acid exhibited by canine rotavirus strain K9 carbohydrate-binding domain (VP8*)
The outer capsid spike protein VP4 of rotaviruses is a major determinant of infectivity and serotype specificity. Proteolytic cleavage of VP4 into 2 domains, VP8* and VP5*, enhances rotaviral infectivity. Interactions between the VP4 carbohydrate-binding domain (VP8*) and cell surface glycoconjugates facilitate initial virus-cell attachment and subsequent cell entry. Our saturation transfer difference nuclear magnetic resonance (STD NMR) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) studies demonstrated that VP8*64-224 of canine rotavirus strain K9 interacts with N-acetylneuraminic and N-glycolylneuraminic acid derivatives, exhibiting comparable binding epitopes to VP8* from other neuraminidase-sensitive animal rotaviruses from pigs (CRW-8), cattle (bovine Nebraska calf diarrhoea virus, NCDV), and Rhesus monkeys (Simian rhesus rotavirus, RRV). Importantly, evidence was obtained for a preference by K9 rotavirus for the N-glycolyl- over the N-acetylneuraminic acid derivative. This indicates that a VP4 serotype 5A rotavirus (such as K9) can exhibit a neuraminic acid receptor preference that differs from that of a serotype 5B rotavirus (such as RRV) and the receptor preference of rotaviruses can vary within a particular VP4 genotype.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are cross-sectionally associated with insulin secretion in healthy subjects
(SPRINGER WIEN, 2014-02-01)
It has been postulated that chronic exposure to high levels of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), in particular from dietary sources, can impair insulin secretion. In the present study, we investigated the cross-sectional relationship between AGEs and acute insulin secretion during an intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) and following a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in healthy humans. We report the cross-sectional association between circulating AGE concentrations and insulin secretory function in healthy humans (17 F: 27 M, aged 30 ± 10 years) with a wide range of BMI (24.6-31.0 kg/m(2)). Higher circulating concentrations of AGEs were related to increased first phase insulin secretion during IVGTT (r = 0.43; p < 0.05) and lower 2-h glucose concentrations during OGTT (r = -0.31; p < 0.05). In addition, fasting (r = -0.36; p < 0.05) and 2-h glucose concentrations were negatively related to circulating levels of soluble receptor for AGE (RAGE) isoforms (r = -0.39; p < 0.01). In conclusion, in healthy humans, we show a cross-sectional association between advanced glycation end products and acute insulin secretion during glucose tolerance testing.
Deserters on the atopic march: Risk factors, immune profile and clinical outcomes of food sensitized-tolerant infants
BACKGROUND: A few studies have investigated the antecedents and outcomes of infants who demonstrate IgE sensitization to foods that they clinically tolerate. Improved understanding of this sensitized-tolerant phenotype may inform strategies for the prevention of food allergy. METHODS: In an Australian birth cohort (n = 1074), assembled using an unselected antenatal sampling frame, participants were categorized as nonsensitized (NS), sensitizedtolerant (ST), or food allergic (FA) based on skin prick testing and food challenge at 12 months of age. Environmental exposures were recorded throughout. Cord blood regulatory T-cell populations were measured at birth. Subsequent childhood allergic disease was assessed by parent report, clinical examination, and repeat skin prick testing. RESULTS: The covariates of interest varied between NS (n = 698), ST (n = 27), and FA (n = 61) groups as follows, suggesting that across these measures, the ST group was more similar to the NS than the FA group: family history of eczema NS 44.6%, ST. 44.6%, FA 65.6%; pet ownership at 12 months: NS 71.5%, ST 81.5%, FA 45.8%; eczema during the first 12 months: NS 19%, ST 32%, FA 64%; and aeroallergen sensitization at 4 years: NS 19.1%, ST 28.6%, FA 44.4%. At birth, a higher proportion of activated regulatory T cells was associated with ST (OR = 2.89, 95% CI 1.03-8.16, P = .045). CONCLUSION: Food-sensitized-tolerance in infancy appears to be associated with a similar pattern of exposures, immunity, and outcomes to nonsensitized infants. In addition, we found some evidence that an elevated proportion of activated regulatory T cells at birth was specific to the sensitized-tolerant infants, which may be relevant to suppression of clinical disease.
CD8+TISSUE-RESIDENT MEMORY T CELLS ARE TUMOUR REACTIVE AND INCREASE AFTER IMMUNOTHERAPY IN A CASE OF METASTATIC MUCOSAL MELANOMA
(BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-11-01)
Background Mucosal melanoma is a rare subtype of melanoma originating from mucosal tissues (1), metastases are very aggressive and respond poorly to therapy, including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) such as anti-CTLA4 and anti-PD1 antibodies (2–5). CD8+ T cells constitute the most abundant immune infiltrate in metastatic melanoma, of which the Tissue Resident Memory subset (TRM) is of particular interest (6). CD8+ TRM cells express the highest levels of immune checkpoint receptors, proliferate in response to ICI and correlate with longer disease-free and overall survival (6–8). The immune landscape in mucosal melanoma remains poorly characterized. We aimed to: 1) phenotype CD8+ T cells and TRM infiltrating metastatic mucosal melanoma, 2) characterize the clonality of TRM in relation to other CD8+ T cell subsets and 3) define the capacity of CD8+ T cells and TRM to respond to melanoma cells and to in vivo and in vitro anti-PD1 treatment. Methods We investigated the CD8+ T and TRM cells infiltrating two temporally- and spatially-distant subcutaneous metastases, these originated from a primary vaginal mucosal melanoma. One metastasis was excised prior to anti-PD1 treatment and one was anti-PD1 refractory, having progressed on treatment. We used mass cytometry and single-cell RNA and TCR sequencing to characterise the phenotype and clonality of the T cells, multiplex immunohistochemistry to define their spatial relationship with tumour cells and other T cells, and functional assays to determine TRM response to tumour cells (figure 1). Results CD8+ TRM frequency increased with time and anti-PD1 treatment, forming clusters at the tumour margin. T cells in the anti-PD1 refractory lesion were more activated than T cells in the first tumour and were bound by anti-PD1 antibody in vivo. T cells could not be stimulated by anti-PD1 directly ex vivo. Both metastatic lesions shared common T cell clusters including TRM. Furthermore, TRM in each tumour shared T cell clones, suggesting the presence of common antigens between metastatic sites. Indeed, the two metastases had a similar mutational profile. In vitro expanded tumour infiltrating lymphocytes from both lesions recognized tumour cells from both lesions and the same neoantigen generated from a single point mutation in the gene CDKN1C. Finally, tumour cells stimulated TRM cells more robustly than other T cells subsets. Abstract 548 Figure 1Graphical depiction of the methods used to characterise T cells in mucosal metastatic melanoma Conclusions In this patient with vaginal mucosal melanoma, subsequent melanoma metastases of clonal origin attracted CD8+ T cells of similar specificity, among which TRM cells responded more vigorously to tumour cells than other T cells subsets. Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge imCORE La Hoffmann- Roche Ltd. for funding. Ethics Approval Patients diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 metastatic melanoma and undergoing clinically indicated surgery were enrolled in prospective studies approved by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre human ethics research committee (13/141). All experimental protocols have been approved and clinical data has been collected prospectively. References Carvajal RD, Hamid O, Ariyan C. Mucosal Melanoma. [cited 2020 Apr 1]; Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/mucosal-melanoma Del Vecchio M, Di Guardo L, Ascierto PA, Grimaldi AM, Sileni VC, Pigozzo J, et al. Efficacy and safety of ipilimumab 3 mg/kg in patients with pretreated, metastatic, mucosal melanoma. Eur J Cancer Oxf Engl 1990; 2014 Jan;50(1):121–7. Postow MA, Luke JJ, Bluth MJ, Ramaiya N, Panageas KS, Lawrence DP, et al. Ipilimumab for patients with advanced mucosal melanoma. The Oncologist 2013 Jun;18(6):726–32. D’Angelo SP, Larkin J, Sosman JA, Lebbé C, Brady B, Neyns B, et al. Efficacy and safety of nivolumab alone or in combination with ipilimumab in patients with mucosal melanoma: a pooled analysis. J Clin Oncol Off J Am Soc Clin Oncol. 2017 Jan 10;35(2):226–35. Hamid O, Robert C, Ribas A, Hodi FS, Walpole E, Daud A, et al. Antitumour activity of pembrolizumab in advanced mucosal melanoma: a post-hoc analysis of KEYNOTE-001, 002, 006. Br J Cancer 2018;119(6):670–4. Boddupalli CS, Bar N, Kadaveru K, Krauthammer M, Pornputtapong N, Mai Z, et al. Interlesional diversity of T cell receptors in melanoma with immune checkpoints enriched in tissue-resident memory T cells. JCI Insight [Internet]. 2016 Dec 22 [cited 2019 Apr 24];1(21). Available from: https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/88955 Edwards J, Wilmott JS, Madore J, Gide TN, Quek C, Tasker A, et al. CD103+ Tumor-resident CD8+ T cells are associated with improved survival in immunotherapy-naïve melanoma patients and expand significantly during anti-PD-1 treatment. Clin Cancer Res Off J Am Assoc Cancer Res 2018 Jul 1;24(13):3036–45. Savas P, Virassamy B, Ye C, Salim A, Mintoff CP, Caramia F, et al. Single-cell profiling of breast cancer T cells reveals a tissue-resident memory subset associated with improved prognosis. Nat Med 2018 Jul;24(7):986–93.