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    ABSTRACT: Diisocyanates (dNCOs) are potent chemical allergens utilized in various industries. It has been proposed that skin exposure to dNCOs produces immune sensitization leading to work-related asthma and allergic disease. We examined dNCOs sensitization by using a dermal murine model of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) exposure to characterize the disposition of TDI in the skin, identify the predominant haptenated proteins, and discern the associated antigen uptake by dendritic cells. Ears of BALB/c mice were dosed once with TDI (0.1% or 4% v/v acetone). Ears and draining lymph nodes were excised at selected time points between 1 hr and 15 days post-exposure and were processed for histological, immunohistochemical, and proteomic analyses. Monoclonal antibodies specific for TDI-haptenated protein (TDI-hp) and antibodies to various cell markers were utilized with confocal microscopy to determine co-localization patterns. Histopathological changes were observed following exposure in ear tissue of mice dosed with 4% TDI/acetone. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated TDI-hp localization in the stratum corneum, hair follicles and sebaceous glands. TDI-hp were co-localized with CD11b(+) (integrin αM/Mac-1), CD207(+) (langerin), CD103(+) (integrin αE) cells in the hair follicles and in sebaceous glands. TDI-hp were also identified in the draining lymph nodes (DLN) 1 hr post exposure. Cytoskeletal and cuticular keratins along with mouse serum albumin were identified as major haptenated species in the skin. The results of this study demonstrate that the stratum corneum, hair follicles and associated sebaceous glands in mice are dendritic cell accessible reservoirs for TDI-hp and thus identify a mechanism for immune recognition following epicutaneous exposure to TDI.
    Toxicological Sciences 05/2014; · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diisocyanates (dNCOs) used in industrial applications are well known low molecular weight allergens. Occupational exposure is associated with adverse health outcomes including allergic sensitization and occupational asthma. In this study, we report the production and initial characterization of a dNCO-hapten specific murine IgM monoclonal antibody (mAb). Female BALB/c mice were immunized intraperitoneally with 25 μg of 4,4'-methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI)-keyhole limpet hemocyanin. Following six biweekly booster immunizations, splenocytes were recovered and fused to Sp2/0-Ag14 murine myeloma cell line for hybridoma production. Hybridomas were then screened in a solid-phase indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) against 40:1 4,4'-MDI- human serum albumin (HSA). mAb reactivity to dNCO-HSA conjugates and dNCO-HSA spiked human serum were characterized using a sandwich ELISA. One hybridoma produced a multimeric IgM mAb (15D4) that reacted with 4,4'-MDI-HSA. Sandwich ELISA analysis demonstrated comparable reactivity with other occupationally relevant dNCO-HSA adducts, including 2,4-toluene diisocyanate (TDI)-HSA, 2,6-TDI-HSA, and 1,6-hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI)-HSA, but not other electrophilic chemical HSA conjugates. The limit of quantification (LOQ) of 4,4'-MDI-HSA, 2,4-TDI-HSA, 2,6-TDI-HSA, and 1,6-HDI-HSA sandwich ELISAs were 567.2, 172.7, 184.2, and 403.5 ng/mL (8.67, 2.60, 2.77, and 6.07 pmol/mL), respectively. In contrast, experiments using dNCO-supplemented human sera showed an increase in the detectable limit of the assay. A mAb has been produced that has potential utility for detecting mixed diisocyanate exposures in occupational environments. The mAb may have additional utility in the standardization of specific IgE detection immunoassays as well as chromatographic-mass spectrometric methods to enrich dNCO adducted HSA in the plasma of occupationally exposed workers.
    Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 02/2014; 11(2):101-10. · 1.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diisocyanates (dNCOs) are potent chemical allergens utilized in various industries. It has been proposed that skin exposure to dNCOs produces immune sensitization leading to work-related asthma and allergic disease. We examined dNCOs sensitization by using a dermal murine model of toluene diisocyanate (TDI) exposure to characterize the disposition of TDI in the skin, identify the predominant haptenated proteins, and discern the associated antigen uptake by dendritic cells. Ears of BALB/c mice were dosed once with TDI (0.1% or 4% v/v acetone). Ears and draining lymph nodes (DLNs) were excised at selected time points between 1 h and 15 days post-exposure and were processed for histological, immunohistochemical, and proteomic analyses. Monoclonal antibodies specific for TDI-haptenated protein (TDI-hp) and antibodies to various cell markers were utilized with confocal microscopy to determine co-localization patterns. Histopathological changes were observed following exposure in ear tissue of mice dosed with 4% TDI/acetone. Immunohistochemical staining demonstrated TDI-hp localization in the stratum corneum, hair follicles, and sebaceous glands. TDI-hp were co-localized with CD11b+ (integrin αM/Mac-1), CD207+ (langerin), and CD103+ (integrin αE) cells in the hair follicles and in sebaceous glands. TDI-hp were also identified in the DLN 1 h post-exposure. Cytoskeletal and cuticular keratins along with mouse serum albumin were identified as major haptenated species in the skin. The results of this study demonstrate that the stratum corneum, hair follicles, and associated sebaceous glands in mice are dendritic cell accessible reservoirs for TDI-hp and thus identify a mechanism for immune recognition following epicutaneous exposure to TDI.
    Toxicological Sciences 01/2014; · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Aspergillus fumigatus is a filamentous fungus that produces abundant pigmented conidia. Several fungal components have been identified as virulence factors, including melanin; however, the impact of these factors in a repeated exposure model resembling natural environmental exposures remains unknown. This study examined the role of fungal melanin in the stimulation of pulmonary immune responses using immunocompetent BALB/c mice in a multiple exposure model. It compared conidia from wild-type A. fumigatus to two melanin mutants of the same strain, Δarp2 (tan) or Δalb1 (white). Mass spectrometry-based analysis of conidial extracts demonstrated that there was little difference in the protein fingerprint profiles between the three strains. Field emission scanning electron microscopy demonstrated that the immunologically inert Rodlet A layer remained intact in melanin-deficient conidia. Thus, the primary difference between the strains was the extent of melanization. Histopathology indicated that each A. fumigatus strain induced lung inflammation, regardless of the extent of melanization. In mice exposed to Δalb1 conidia, an increase in airway eosinophils and a decrease in neutrophils and CD8(+) IL-17(+) (Tc17) cells were observed. Additionally, it was shown that melanin mutant conidia were more rapidly cleared from the lungs than wild-type conidia. These data suggest that the presence of fungal melanin may modulate the pulmonary immune response in a mouse model of repeated exposures to A. fumigatus conidia.
    Journal of Immunotoxicology 08/2013; · 1.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Allergic sensitization to Cannabis sativa is rarely reported, but the increasing consumption of marijuana has resulted in an increase in the number of individuals who become sensitized. To date, little is known about the causal allergens associated with C sativa. To characterize marijuana allergens in different components of the C sativa plant using serum IgE from marijuana sensitized patients. Serum samples from 23 patients with a positive skin prick test result to a crude C sativa extract were evaluated. IgE reactivity was variable between patients and C sativa extracts. IgE reactivity to C sativa proteins in Western blots was heterogeneous and ranged from 10 to 70 kDa. Putative allergens derived from 2-dimensional gels were identified. Prominent IgE reactive bands included a 23-kDa oxygen-evolving enhancer protein 2 and a 50-kDa protein identified to be the photosynthetic enzyme ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase. Additional proteins were identified in the proteomic analysis, including those from adenosine triphosphate synthase, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, phosphoglycerate kinase, and luminal binding protein (heat shock protein 70), suggesting these proteins are potential allergens. Deglycosylation studies helped refine protein allergen identification and demonstrated significant IgE antibodies against plant oligosaccharides that could help explain cross-reactivity. Identification and characterization of allergens from C sativa may be helpful in further understanding allergic sensitization to this plant species.
    Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology: official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology 07/2013; 111(1):32-37.e4. · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein haptenation by polyurethane industrial intermediate methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) is thought to be an important step in the development of diisocyanate (dNCO)-specific allergic sensitization; however, MDI haptenated albumins used to screen specific antibody are often poorly characterized. Recently, the need to develop standardized immunoassays using a consistent, well characterized dNCO-haptenated protein to screen for the presence of MDI-specific IgE and IgG from workers' sera has been emphasized and recognized. This has been challenging to achieve due to the bivalent, electrophilic nature of dNCO leading to the capability to produce multiple cross-linked protein species and polymeric additions to proteins. In the present study, MDI was reacted with human serum albumin (HSA) and hemoglobin (Hb) at molar ratios ranging from 1:1 to 40:1 MDI: protein. Adducts were characterized by (1) loss of available trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) binding to primary amines, (2) electrophoretic migration in polyacrylamide gels, (3) quantification of methylene diphenyl diamine following acid hydrolysis and (4) immunoassay. Concentration dependent changes in all the above noted parameters were observed demonstrating increase in both number and complexity of conjugates formed with increasing MDI concentration. In conclusion, a series of bio-analytical assays should be performed to standardize MDI-antigen preparations across lots and laboratories for measurement of specific antibody in exposed workers which in total indicate degree of intra- and inter-molecular cross-linking, number of dNCO bound, number of different specific binding sites on the protein and degree of immuno-reactivity.
    Analytical Biochemistry 06/2013; · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 02/2013; 131(2):AB214-AB214. · 12.05 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Airway fluid glutathione (GSH) reactivity with inhaled vapors of diisocyanate, a common occupational allergen, is postulated to be a key step in exposure-induced asthma pathogenesis. METHODS: A mixed (vapor/liquid) phase exposure system was used to model the in vivo reactivity of inhaled HDI vapor with GSH in the airway fluid. HDI-GSH reaction products, and their capacity to transfer HDI to human albumin, were characterized through mass spectrometry and serologic assays, using HDI-specific polyclonal rabbit serum. RESULTS: HDI vapor exposure of 10 mM GSH solutions resulted in primarily S-linked, bis(GSH)-HDI reaction products. In contrast, lower GSH concentrations (100 μM) resulted in mainly mono(GSH)-HDI conjugates, with varying degrees of HDI hydrolysis, dimerization and/or intra-molecular cyclization, depending upon the presence/absence of H(2)PO(4)(-)/HPO(4)(2-) and Na(+)/Cl(-) ions. The ion composition and GSH concentration of the fluid phase, during HDI vapor exposure, strongly influenced the transfer of HDI from GSH to albumin, as did the pH and duration of the carbamoylating reaction. When carbamoylation was performed overnight at pH 7, twenty-five of albumin's lysines were identified as potential sites of conjugation with partially hydrolyzed HDI. When carbamoylation was performed at pH 9, more rapid (within 3 hours) and extensive modification was observed, including additional lysine sites, intra-molecular cross-linkage with HDI, and novel HDI-GSH conjugation. CONCLUSIONS: The data define potential mechanisms by which the levels of GSH, H(2)PO(4)(-)/HPO(4)(2-), and/or other ions (e.g. H(+)/OH(-), Na(+), Cl(-)) affect the reactivity of HDI vapor with self-molecules in solution (e.g. airway fluid), and thus, might influence the clinical response to HDI respiratory tract exposure.
    Toxicology in Vitro 11/2012; · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The nitrosation of cysteamine (H 2 NCH 2 CH 2 SH) to produce cysteamine-S-nitrosothiol (CANO) was studied in slightly acidic medium by using nitrous acid prepared in situ. The stoichiometry of the reaction was H 2 NCH 2 CH 2 SH + HNO 2 → H 2 NCH 2 CH 2 SNO + H 2 O. On prolonged standing, the nitrosothiol decomposed quantitatively to yield the disul-fide, cystamine: 2H 2 NCH 2 CH 2 SNO → H 2 NCH 2 CH 2 S–SCH 2 CH 2 NH 2 + 2NO. NO 2 and N 2 O 3 are not the primary nitrosating agents, since their precursor (NO) was not detected during the nitrosation process. The reaction is first order in nitrous acid, thus implicating it as the major nitrosating agent in mildly acidic pH conditions. Acid catalyzes nitrosation after nitrous acid has saturated, implicating the protonated nitrous acid species, the nitrosonium cation (NO +) as a contributing nitrosating species in highly acidic environments. The acid catalysis at constant nitrous acid concentrations suggests that the nitroso-nium cation nitrosates at a much higher rate than nitrous acid. Bimolecular rate constants for the nitrosation of cysteamine by nitrous acid and by the nitrosonium cation were deduced to be 17.9 ± 1.5 (mol/L) –1 s –1 and 6.7 × 10 4 (mol/L) –1 s –1 , re-spectively. Both Cu(I) and Cu(II) ions were effective catalysts for the formation and decomposition of the cysteamine nitro-sothiol. Cu(II) ions could catalyze the nitrosation of cysteamine in neutral conditions, whereas Cu(I) could only catalyze in acidic conditions. Transnitrosation kinetics of CANO with glutathione showed the formation of cystamine and the mixed di-sulfide with no formation of oxidized glutathione (GSSG). The nitrosation reaction was satisfactorily simulated by a simple reaction scheme involving eight reactions. Résumé : Opérant en milieu légèrement acide et utilisant de l'acide nitreux préparé in situ, on a étudié la réaction de nitro-sation de la cystéamine (H2NCH2CH2SH) conduisant à la cystéamine-S-nitrosothiol (CANO). La stoechiométrie de la réac-tion est H2NCH2CH2SH + HNO2 → H2NCH2CH2SNO + H2O. Laissé longtemps au repos, le nitrosothiol se décompose quantitativement avec formation du disulfure, cystamine : 2H2NCH2CH2SNO → H2NCH2CH2S–SCH2CH2NH2 + 2NO. Le NO 2 et le N 2 O 3 ne sont pas les agents de nitrosation primaires puisque leur précurseur, le NO, n'a pas été détecté au cours du processus de nitrosation. La réaction est du premier ordre en acide nitreux, ce qui implique qu'il est l'agent de nitrosa-tion majeur dans des conditions de pH légèrement acides. L'acide catalyse la nitrosation après une saturation par l'acide ni-treux et ceci implique que, dans des environnements d'acidité élevée, le cation nitrosonium (NO +) peut agir comme espèce nitrosante. La catalyse acide, à des concentrations constantes d'acide nitreux, suggère que le cation nitrosonium provoque la nitrosation avec une constante de vitesse beaucoup plus élevée que ce l'acide nitreux. On a déduit que les constantes de vi-tesse bimoléculaires pour la nitrosation de la cystéamine, par l'acide nitreux et par le cation nitrosonium, sont respective-ment de 17,9 ± 1,5 (mol/L) –1 s –1 et 6,7 × 10 4 (mol/L) –1 s –1 . Les ions Cu(I) ainsi que Cu(II) sont tous les deux efficaces comme catalyseurs pour la formation et la décomposition du nitrosothiol de la cystéamine. Les ions Cu(II) catalysent la ni-trosation de la cystéamine dans des conditions neutres alors que les ions Cu(I) ne la catalysent que dans des conditions aci-des. La transnitrosation du CANO avec du glutathion donne lieu à la formation de cystamine et du disulfure mixte, sans formation du produit doxydation du glutathion (GSSG). On peut simuler d'une façon satisfaisante la réaction de nitrosation par un schéma réactionnel simple impliquant huit réactions.
    Canadian Journal of Chemistry 08/2012; 90:724-738. · 0.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to toluene diisocyanate (TDI), an industrially important crosslinking agent used in the production of polyurethane products, can cause asthma in sensitive workers. Albumin has been identified as a major reaction target for TDI in vivo, and TDI-albumin reaction products have been proposed to serve as exposure biomarkers and to act as asthmagens, yet they remain incompletely characterized. In the current study, we used a multiplexed tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) approach to identify the sites of albumin conjugation by TDI vapors, modeling the air/liquid interface of the lung. Vapor phase TDI was found to react with human albumin in a dose-dependent manner, with up to 18 potential sites of conjugation, the most susceptible being Lys351 and the dilysine site Lys413-414. Sites of vapor TDI conjugation to albumin were quantitatively limited compared with those recently described for liquid phase TDI, especially in domains IIA and IIIB of albumin. We hypothesize that the orientation of albumin at the air/liquid interface plays an important role in vapor TDI conjugation and, thus, could influence biological responses to exposure and the development of in vitro assays for exposure and immune sensitivity.
    Analytical Biochemistry 12/2011; 421(2):706-11. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diisocyanates (dNCOs) are highly reactive low molecular weight chemicals used in the manufacture of polyurethane products and are the most commonly reported cause of occupational asthma. Mechanistic disease studies and development of biomonitoring and research tools, such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been hampered by dNCOs' ability to self-polymerize and to cross-link biomolecules. Toluene diisocyanate (TDI)-specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), with potential use in immunoassays for exposure and biomarker assessments, were produced and reactivities characterized against mono- and diisocyanate and dithioisocyanate protein conjugates. In general, TDI reactive mAbs displayed stronger recognition of isocyanate haptenated proteins when the NCO was in the ortho position relative to the tolyl group, and were capable of discriminating between isocyanate and isothiocyanate conjugates and between aromatic and aliphatic dNCOs. Preliminary studies using TDI vapor exposed cells suggest potential utility of these mAbs for both research and biomonitoring.
    Journal of immunological methods 08/2011; 373(1-2):127-35. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    Adam V Wisnewski, Justin M Hettick, Paul D Siegel
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    ABSTRACT: Glutathione has previously been identified as a reaction target for toluene diisocyanate (TDI) in vitro and in vivo, and has been suggested to contribute to toxic and allergic reactions to exposure. In this study, the reactivity of reduced glutathione (GSH) with TDI in vitro was further investigated using a mixed phase (vapor/liquid) exposure system to model the in vivo biophysics of exposure in the lower respiratory tract. HPLC/MS/MS was used to characterize the observed reaction products. Under the conditions tested, the major reaction products between TDI vapor and GSH were S-linked bis(GSH)-TDI and to a lesser extent mono(GSH)-TDI conjugates (with one N═C═O hydrolyzed). The vapor-phase-generated GSH-TDI conjugates were capable of transcarbamoylating human albumin in a pH-dependent manner, resulting in changes in the self-protein's conformation/charge, on the basis of electrophoretic mobility under native conditions. Specific sites of human albumin-TDI conjugation, mediated by GSH-TDI, were identified (Lys(73), Lys(159), Lys(190), Lys(199), Lys(212), Lys(351), Lys(136/137), Lys(413/414), and Lys(524/525)) along with overlap with those susceptible to direct conjugation by TDI. Together, the data extend the proof-of-principle for GSH to act as a "shuttle" for a reactive form of TDI, which could contribute to clinical responses to exposure.
    Chemical Research in Toxicology 08/2011; 24(10):1686-93. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aspergillus terreus has been difficult to identify in cases of aspergillosis, and clinical identification has been restricted to the broad identification of aspergillosis lesions in affected organs or the detection of fungal carbohydrates. As a result, there is a clinical need to identify species-specific biomarkers that can be used to detect invasive A. terreus disease. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were developed to a partially purified preparation of cytolytic hyphal exoantigens (HEA) derived from A. terreus culture supernatant (CSN). Twenty-three IgG1 isotype murine MAbs were developed and tested for cross-reactivity against hyphal extracts of 54 fungal species. Sixteen MAbs were shown to be specific for A. terreus. HEA were detected in conidia, hyphae, and in CSN of A. terreus. HEA were expressed in high levels in the hyphae during early stages of A. terreus growth at 37°C, whereas at room temperature the expression of HEA peaked by days 4 to 5. Expression kinetics of HEA in CSN showed a lag, with peak levels at later time points at room temperature and 37°C than in hyphal extracts. Serum spiking experiments demonstrated that human serum components do not inhibit detection of the HEA epitopes by MAb enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Immunoprecipitation and proteomic analysis demonstrated that MAbs 13E11 and 12C4 immunoprecipitated a putative uncharacterized leucine aminopeptidase (Q0CAZ7), while MAb 19B2 recognized a putative dipeptidyl-peptidase V (DPP5). Studies using confocal laser scanning microscopy showed that the uncharacterized leucine aminopeptidase mostly localized to extracellular matrix structures while dipeptidyl-peptidase V was mostly confined to the cytoplasm.
    Clinical and vaccine Immunology: CVI 07/2011; 18(9):1568-76. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to soy antigens has been associated with asthma in community outbreaks and in some workplaces. Recently, 135 soy flake processing workers (SPWs) in a Tennessee facility were evaluated for immune reactivity to soy. Allergic sensitization to soy was common and was five times more prevalent than in health care worker controls (HCWs) with no known soy exposure. To characterize sensitization to soy allergens in SPWs. Sera that were positive to soy ImmunoCAP (n=27) were tested in IgE immunoblots. Wild-type (WT) and transgenic (TG) antigens were sequenced using nanoscale Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry (nanoUPLC MS/MS). IgE reactivity towards 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (CP4-EPSP), a protein found in TG soy, was additionally investigated. De-identified sera from 50 HCWs were used as a control. Immunoblotting of WT and TG soy flake extracts revealed IgE against multiple soy antigens with reactivity towards 48, 54, and 62 kDa bands being the most common. The prominent proteins that bound SPW IgE were identified by nanoUPLC MS/MS analysis to be the high molecular weight soybean storage proteins, β-conglycinin (Gly m 5), and Glycinin (Gly m 6). No specific IgE reactivity could be detected to lower molecular weight soy allergens, Gly m 1 and Gly m 2, in soybean hull (SH) extracts. IgE reactivity was comparable between WT and TG extracts; however, IgE antibodies to CP4-EPSP could not be detected. SPWs with specific IgE to soy reacted most commonly with higher molecular weight soybean storage proteins compared with the lower molecular weight SH allergens identified in community asthma studies. IgE reactivity was comparable between WT and TG soy extracts, while no IgE reactivity to CP4-EPSP was observed. High molecular weight soybean storage allergens, Gly m 5 and Gly m 6, may be respiratory sensitizers in occupational exposed SPWs.
    Clinical & Experimental Allergy 07/2011; 41(7):1022-30. · 4.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Traditionally, fungal identification has largely been based on the subjective micro- and macroscopic examination of morphological and culture characteristics. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF MS) was used to generate reproducible mass spectral “fingerprints” for 76 fungal species, particularly from the medically important genera, Penicillium and Aspergillus. The mass spectra contain abundant mass signals and allow unambiguous discrimination between species. Species identification error rates were determined to be 0% and 1.4% using resubstitution and cross-validation methods, respectively. The ability of MALDI TOF MS to differentiate fungal strains was additionally examined for the aflatoxin producing species, Aspergillus flavus. Identification error rates for 40 tested A. flavus cultures from five unique strains were determined to be 0% and 5% using resubstitution and cross-validation methods, respectively. Analysis of dematiaceous (dark-pigmented) fungi has been observed to yield poor MALDI-TOF mass spectra. Results demonstrate this was due to the presence of melanin in the cell wall of fungal spores and hyphae. Strategies to overcome this limitation are presented. These results indicate that MALDI-TOF MS data may be a useful diagnostic tool and alternative to available immunodiagnostic and molecular methods for the objective identification of environmental, industrial and clinically important fungal species.
    06/2011: pages 35-50; , ISBN: 978-0-8412-2612-8
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    ABSTRACT: Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) has been used to discriminate moniliaceous fungal species; however, darkly pigmented fungi yield poor fingerprint mass spectra that contain few peaks of low relative abundance. In this study, the effect of dark fungal pigments on the observed MALDI mass spectra was investigated. Peptide and protein samples containing varying concentrations of synthetic melanin or fungal pigments extracted from Aspergillus niger were analyzed by MALDI-TOF and MALDI-qTOF (quadrupole TOF) MS. Signal suppression was observed in samples containing greater than 250ng/μl pigment. Microscopic examination of the MALDI sample deposit was usually heterogeneous, with regions of high pigment concentration appearing as black. Acquisition of MALDI mass spectra from these darkly pigmented regions of the sample deposit yielded poor or no [M+H](+) ion signal. In contrast, nonpigmented regions within the sample deposit and hyphal negative control extracts of A. niger were not inhibited. This study demonstrated that dark fungal pigments inhibited the desorption/ionization process during MALDI-MS; however, these fungi may be successfully analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS when culture methods that suppress pigment expression are used. The addition of tricyclazole to the fungal growth media blocks fungal melanin synthesis and results in less melanized fungi that may be analyzed by MALDI-TOF MS.
    Analytical Biochemistry 04/2011; 411(1):122-8. · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • Justin M Hettick, Paul D Siegel
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    ABSTRACT: Diisocyanates are highly reactive chemical compounds widely used in the manufacture of polyurethanes. Although diisocyanates have been identified as causative agents of allergic respiratory diseases, the specific mechanism by which these diseases occur is largely unknown. To better understand the chemical species produced when diisocyanates react with protein, tandem mass spectrometry was employed to unambiguously identify the binding sites of the industrially important isomers, 2,4- and 2,6-toluene diisocyanate, on human serum albumin at varying diisocyanate/protein ratios. The 2,4-isomer results in approximately 2-fold higher conjugation product ion abundances than does the 2,6-isomer, suggesting that the 2,4-isomer has a higher reactivity toward albumin. Both isomers preferentially react with the N-terminal amine of the protein and the ε-NH(2) of lysine. At a low (1:2) diisocyanate/protein ratio, five binding sites are identified, whereas at a high (40:1) ratio, near-stoichiometric conjugation is observed with a maximum of 37 binding sites identified. Binding sites observed at the lowest conjugation ratios are conserved at higher binding ratios, suggesting a subset of 5-10 preferential binding sites on albumin. Diisocyanate-protein conjugation results in a variety of reaction products, including intra- and intermolecular crosslinking, diisocyanate self-polymerization, and diisocyanate hydrolysis.
    Analytical Biochemistry 03/2011; 414(2):232-8. · 2.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fungal hemolysins are potential virulence factors. Some fungal hemolysins belong to the aegerolysin protein family that includes cytolysins capable of lysing erythrocytes and other cells. Here, we describe a hemolysin from Aspergillus terreus called terrelysin. We used the genome sequence database to identify the terrelysin sequence based on homology with other known aegerolysins. Aspergillus terreus mRNA was isolated, transcribed to cDNA and the open reading frame for terrelysin amplified by PCR using specific primers. Using the pASK-IBA6 cloning vector, we produced recombinant terrelysin (rTerrelysin) as a fusion product in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein was purified and using MALDI-TOF MS determined to have a mass of 16,428 Da. Circular dichroism analysis suggests the secondary structure of the protein to be predominantly β-sheet. Results from thermal denaturation of rTerrelysin show that the protein maintained the β-sheet confirmation up to 65°C. Polyclonal antibody to rTerrelysin recognized a protein of approximately 16.5 kDa in mycelial extracts from A. terreus.
    Mycopathologia 01/2011; 171(1):23-34. · 1.65 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology - J ALLERG CLIN IMMUNOL. 01/2011; 127(2).
  • Justin M. Hettick, Paul D. Siegel
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    ABSTRACT: Diisocyanates are industrially important chemicals that serve as polymerizing agents in a variety of polyurethane products. In addition to their many industrial uses, diisocyanates have been implicated as causative agents of occupational allergic respiratory disease, although the specific mechanism(s) by which these diseases occur remains unknown. In this study the sites of conjugation of the two most industrially important monomeric diisocyanates, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI) on human serum albumin are identified utilizing multiplexed tandem mass spectrometry on a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Analysis of human albumin reacted with MDI and TDI over the range of 1:1–40:1 (isocyanate:protein) mol ratio reveals that MDI and TDI react with a maximum of 20 and 37 residues, respectively. Conjugation of diisocyanates to albumin proceeds in a concentration-dependant manner with MDI and TDI reacting at a preferred subset of 5 and 10 residues, respectively, in the limiting case of a 1:1mol ratio. MDI reacts at fewer residues than does TDI, and is not observed to react with any residues exclusive of TDI. These results cannot be explained on the basis of simple sterics or hydrophobicity, but rather on the basis of increased reactivity of one TDI isocyanate moiety due to electron withdrawing character of the second isocyanate moiety. Furthermore, reaction of diisocyanates with albumin in a phosphate buffered saline (PBS) solution provides three additional reactive sites that are not observed in ammonium bicarbonate buffer. Two lysine residues, Lys199 and Lys525, are observed to be reactive to both diisocyanates at all concentrations and in all solvent systems employed in this study. This study presents a comprehensive conjugation map of MDI and TDI on human albumin. The results suggest that several albumin residues are reactive toward both MDI and TDI and may be useful for biomonitoring of diisocyanate exposures.
    International Journal of Mass Spectrometry - INT J MASS SPECTROM. 01/2011;

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