Irmgard Neumaier

Technische Universität München, München, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (6)41.58 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Lack of permissive mechanisms and abundance of inhibitory molecules in the lesioned central nervous system of adult mammals contribute to the failure of functional recovery, which leads to severe disabilities in motor functions or pain. Previous studies have indicated that the neural cell adhesion molecule L1 constitutes a viable target to promote regeneration. Here, we describe the cloning, functional expression in E. coli and purification of a recombinant αL1 Fab fragment that binds to L1 with comparable activity as the function-triggering monoclonal antibody 557 and induces neurite outgrowth and neuronal survival in cultured neurons, despite its monovalent function. Infusion of αL1 Fab into the lesioned spinal cord of mice enhanced functional recovery after thoracic spinal cord compression injury. αL1 Fab treatment resulted in reduced scar volume, enhanced number of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive axons, and it increased linear density of VGLUT1 on motoneurons. Furthermore, number and soma size of ChAT-positive motoneurons and linear density of ChAT-positive boutons on motoneurons as well as parvalbumin-positive interneurons in the lumbar spinal cord were elevated. Stimulation of endogenous L1 by application of the αL1 Fab opens new avenues for recombinant antibody technology, offering prospects for therapeutic applications after traumatic nervous system lesions.
    Biochemical Journal 03/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The last step in the biosynthetic pathway of the key strawberry flavor compound 4-hydroxy-2,5-dimethyl-3(2H)-furanone (HDMF) is catalyzed by Fragaria x ananassa enone oxidoreductase (FaEO), earlier putatively assigned as quinone oxidoreductase (FaQR). The ripening-induced enzyme catalyzes the reduction of the exocyclic double bond of the highly reactive precursor 4-hydroxy-5-methyl-2-methylene-3(2H)-furanone (HMMF) in a NAD(P)H dependent manner. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of this peculiar reaction, we determined the crystal structure of FaEO in altogether six different states or complexes at resolutions of ≤ 1.6 Å, including those with HDMF as well as with three substrate analogs. Our crystallographic analysis revealed a monomeric enzyme whose active site is largely determined by the bound NAD(P)H cofactor, which is embedded into a Rossmann fold. Considering that the quasi-symmetric enolic reaction product HDMF is prone to extensive tautomerization, whereas its precursor HMMF is chemically labile in aqueous solution, we used the asymmetric and more stable surrogate product 2-ethyl-4-hydroxy-5-methyl-3(2H)-furanone (EHMF) and the corresponding substrate (2E)-ethylidene-4-hydroxy-5-methyl-3(2H)-furanone (EDHMF) to study their enzyme complexes as well. Together with deuterium-labeling experiments of EDHMF with [4R-2H]-NADH and chiral phase analyses of the reaction product EHMF, our data reveal that the 4R-hydride of NAD(P)H is transferred to the unsaturated exocyclic C6 carbon of HMMF, resulting in a cyclic non-chiral enolate intermediate that subsequently becomes protonated, eventually leading to HDMF. Apart from elucidating this important reaction of the secondary metabolism in plant fruit our study provides a foundation for protein engineering of enone oxidoreductases and their application in biocatalytic processes.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present the crystal structure and biophysical characterization of a human V(L) [variable domain immunoglobulin (Ig) light chain] single-domain intrabody that binds to the huntingtin (Htt) protein and has been engineered for antigen recognition in the absence of its intradomain disulfide bond, otherwise conserved in the Ig fold. Analytical ultracentrifugation demonstrated that the αHtt-V(L) 12.3 domain is a stable monomer under physiological conditions even at concentrations >20 μM. Using peptide SPOT arrays, we identified the minimal binding epitope to be EKLMKAFESLKSFQ, comprising the N-terminal residues 5-18 of Htt and including the first residue of the poly-Gln stretch. X-ray structural analysis of αHtt-V(L) both as apo protein and in the presence of the epitope peptide revealed several interesting insights: first, the role of mutations acquired during the combinatorial selection process of the αHtt-V(L) 12.3 domain-initially starting from a single-chain Fv fragment-that are responsible for its stability as an individually soluble Ig domain, also lacking the disulfide bridge, and second, a previously unknown mode of antigen recognition, revealing a novel paratope. The Htt epitope peptide adopts a purely α-helical structure in the complex with αHtt-V(L) and is bound at the base of the complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) at the concave β-sheet that normally gives rise to the interface between the V(L) domain and its paired V(H) (variable domain Ig heavy chain) domain, while only few interactions with CDR-L1 and CDR-L3 are formed. Notably, this noncanonical mode of antigen binding may occur more widely in the area of in vitro selected antibody fragments, including other Ig-like scaffolds, possibly even if a V(H) domain is present.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 09/2011; 414(3):337-55. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inflammatory cytokines have been proposed to regulate epithelial homeostasis during intestinal inflammation. We report here that interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) regulates the crucial homeostatic functions of cell proliferation and apoptosis through serine-threonine protein kinase AKT-beta-catenin and Wingless-Int (Wnt)-beta-catenin signaling pathways. Short-term exposure of intestinal epithelial cells to IFN-gamma resulted in activation of beta-catenin through AKT, followed by induction of the secreted Wnt inhibitor Dkk1. Consequently, we observed an increase in Dkk1-mediated apoptosis upon extended IFN-gamma treatment and reduced proliferation through depletion of the Wnt coreceptor LRP6. These effects were enhanced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), suggesting synergism between the two cytokines. Consistent with these results, colitis in vivo was associated with decreased beta-catenin-T cell factor (TCF) signaling, loss of plasma membrane-associated LRP6, and reduced epithelial cell proliferation. Proliferation was partially restored in IFN-gamma-deficient mice. Thus, we propose that IFN-gamma regulates intestinal epithelial homeostasis by sequential regulation of converging beta-catenin signaling pathways.
    Immunity 03/2010; 32(3):392-402. · 19.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt signaling pathways regulate proliferation, motility, and survival in a variety of human cell types. Dickkopf-1 (Dkk-1) is a secreted Wnt antagonist that has been proposed to regulate tissue homeostasis in the intestine. In this report, we show that Dkk-1 is secreted by intestinal epithelial cells after wounding and that it inhibits cell migration by attenuating the directional orientation of migrating epithelial cells. Dkk-1 exposure induced mislocalized activation of Cdc42 in migrating cells, which coincided with a displacement of the polarity protein Par6 from the leading edge. Consequently, the relocation of the microtubule organizing center and the Golgi apparatus in the direction of migration was significantly and persistently inhibited in the presence of Dkk-1. Small interfering RNA-induced down-regulation of Dkk-1 confirmed that extracellular exposure to Dkk-1 was required for this effect. Together, these data demonstrate a novel role of Dkk-1 in the regulation of directional polarization of migrating intestinal epithelial cells, which contributes to the effect of Dkk-1 on wound closure in vivo.
    Molecular biology of the cell 09/2009; 20(22):4816-25. · 5.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antibodies against the neurite outgrowth inhibitor Nogo-A enhance axonal regeneration following spinal cord injury. However, antibodies directed against myelin components can also enhance CNS inflammation. The present study was designed to assess the efficacy of DNA vaccination for generating antibodies against Nogo-A and to study their pathogenic potential in a mouse model for multiple sclerosis. Mice were immunized by a single i.m. injection of a plasmid expression vector encoding either full length membrane-integral Nogo-A equipped with a signal peptide or two versions of its large N-terminal extramembrane region. The presence of serum antibodies to Nogo-A was measured 4 weeks after injection by ELISA, Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. DNA vaccination efficiently induced production of Nogo-A-specific antibodies that recognized recombinant, intracellular Nogo-A in cell culture but also stained native Nogo-A on the oligodendrocyte surface. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis was induced in DNA-vaccinated mice by immunization with proteolipid peptide (a.a. 139-154). In contrast to vaccination with DNA encoding myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein that exacerbates this disease, Nogo-A DNA vaccination did not enhance clinical severity of disease. In summary, DNA vaccination is a simple and efficient method for generating an antibody response to Nogo-A. No pathogenicity was observed even during a full-blown inflammatory response of the central nervous system.
    European Journal of Pharmacology 07/2008; 588(1):99-105. · 2.59 Impact Factor