Quickscan scientific publications September 2015

7 October 2015
#TNF #Inflammation
SPRET/Ei is a mouse strain that is resistant to inflammation. The Libert lab has mapped this
resistance to two loci, one being the TNFR1 coding locus and the other, which was positionally cloned, being a micro-RNA (miR511) which down-regulates TNFR1 expression. Since this miR511 is intronic and spliced out of Glucocorticoid-induced gene mRNA, they also found a new mechanism whereby these steroids have anti-inflammatory functions.

Puimège et al.
EMBO Ml. Med. 2015

#Medicinal #Sustainable production
The Alain Goossens lab has identified a transcription factor, BIS1, which activates the biosynthesis of the iridoids, the precursors of the alkaloids and anticancer drugs vinblastine and vincristine from the medicinal plant Catharanthusroseus. BIS1 overexpression was sufficient to boost production of iridoids and alkaloids in C. roseus suspension cell cultures, paving the way to sustainable production of these high-value compounds in plants.

Van Moerkercke et al.
Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2015

#Anxiety #Gastrointestinal infection
The Adrian Liston Lab has identified the factors that control the severity of diarrhoea. In collaboration with Guy Boeckxstaens (KU Leuven), they studied a mass outbreak of gastroenteritis in Hemiksem and Schelle, and found that high levels of anxiety preceding gastrointestinal infection induced the development of more severe diarrhoea during infection and increased the risk of long-term complications.

Wouters et al.
Gut 2015

#Stool consistency #Microbiome
The Jeroen Raes Lab demonstrated that stool consistency influences major gut microbial parameters such as enterotypes, bacterial diversity and growth rate. They showed that healthy people with loose stools more often have the Prevotella enterotype, thus resolving the mystery about the linkage of this enterotype to both disease and a healthy fibre-rich diet, which are both regularly associated with fast transit and soft stool. Their insights can help filter out disease signals in microbiome datasets.

Vandeputte et al.
Gut 2015

#Hepatic disease #Monocytes
Alain Beschin of the Patrick De Baetselier lab (currently the Jo Van Ginderachter lab) revealed that augmenting the Ly6C- monocyte subset functionality represents a therapeutic strategy complementing anti-infective medication in conditions of chronic liver injury. Ly6Cmonocyte
prevented hepatic disease progression by secreting anti-inflammatory molecules and by forcing the inflammation-promoting Ly6C+ monocytes to differentiate into tissue-healing macrophages through direct contact.

Morias et al.
PLoSPatho, 2015

#Trypanosomosa #Anemia
African Trypanosomosis causes a range of chronic clinical symptoms that include anemia. The Stefan Magez lab has unraveled the inflammatory pathway that drives infection-associated anemia and pinpointed the initiation of the problem to the excess production of IFN-gamma by NK cells, followed by NKT and CD8T cells. Subsequently, activation of the phagocytosis pathways combined with remodeling of the RBC surface membrane, leads to accelerated erythrophagocytosis.

Cnopt et al.
PLoS Pathog 2015

#Roots #Auxin
Plants rely on a branched root system to take up water and nutrients from the soil. Regular spacing
of lateral organs along the root axis is guaranteed by a pre-patterning mechanism involving oscillatory gene expression. The Tom Beeckman lab has shown that this mechanism is regulated by a source of auxin derived from the root cap. A targeted transcript profiling study identified novel components of this early phase of root branching.

Xuan et al.
Curr Biol. 2015

@ VIB, 2012