Miriam Corti

Research Institute for Children at Children's Hospital New Orleans, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States

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Publications (5)18.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We have studied the role of the antibody (Ab) Fc region in mediating protection from ricin toxicity. We compared the in vitro and in vivo effects of intact Ig and of Fab fragments derived from two different neutralizing Ab preparations, one monoclonal, the other polyclonal. Consistent results were obtained from each, showing little difference between Ig and Fab in terms of antigen binding and in vitro neutralization, but with relatively large differences in protection of animals. We also studied whether importing Ab into the cell by Fc receptors enhanced the intracellular neutralization of ricin toxin. We found that the imported Ab was found in the ER and Golgi, a compartment traversed by ricin, as it traffics through the cell, but intracellular Ab did not contribute to the neutralization of ricin. These results indicate that the Fc region of antibody is important for in vivo protection, although the mechanism of enhanced protection by intact Ig does not appear to operate at the single cell level. When using xenogeneic antibodies, the diminished immunogenicity of Fab/F(ab')2 preparations should be balanced against possible loss of protective efficacy.
    Toxins 01/2014; 6(5):1512-25. · 2.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Mechanisms of antibody-mediated neutralization are of much interest. For plant and bacterial A-B toxins, A chain mediates toxicity and B chain binds target cells. It is generally accepted and taught that antibody (Ab) neutralizes by preventing toxin binding to cells. Yet for some toxins, ricin included, anti-A chain Abs afford greater protection than anti-B. The mechanism(s) whereby Abs to the A chain neutralize toxins are not understood. METHODOLOGYPRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We use quantitative confocal imaging, neutralization assays, and other techniques to study how anti-A chain Abs function to protect cells. Without Ab, ricin enters cells and penetrates to the endoplasmic reticulum within 15 min. Within 45-60 min, ricin entering and being expelled from cells reaches equilibrium. These results are consistent with previous observations, and support the validity of our novel methodology. The addition of neutralizing Ab causes ricin accumulation at the cell surface, delays internalization, and postpones retrograde transport of ricin. Ab binds ricin for >6hr as they traffic together through the cell. Ab protects cells even when administered hours after exposure. CONCLUSIONSKEY FINDINGS: We demonstrate the dynamic nature of the interaction between the host cell and toxin, and how Ab can alter the balance in favor of the cell. Ab blocks ricin's entry into cells, hinders its intracellular routing, and can protect even after ricin is present in the target organelle, providing evidence that the major site of neutralization is intracellular. These data add toxins to the list of pathogenic agents that can be neutralized intracellularly and explain the in vivo efficacy of delayed administration of anti-toxin Abs. The results encourage the use of post-exposure passive Ab therapy, and show the importance of the A chain as a target of Abs.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(4):e62417. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein-protein interactions (PPI) play a crucial role in many biological processes and modulation of PPI using small molecules to target hot spots has therapeutic value. As a model system we will use PPI of human epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs). Among the four EGFRs, EGFR-HER2 and HER2-HER3 are well known in cancer. We have designed a small molecule that is targeted to modulate HER2-mediated signaling. Our approach is novel because the small molecule designed disrupts dimerization not only of EGFR-HER2, but also of HER2-HER3. In the present study we have shown, using surface plasmon resonance analysis, that a peptidomimetic, compound 5, binds specifically to HER2 protein extracellular domain and disrupts the dimerization of EGFRs. To evaluate the effect of compound 5 on HER2 signaling in vitro, Western blot and PathHunter assays were used. Results indicated that compound 5 inhibits the phosphorylation of HER2 kinase domain and inhibits the heterodimerization in a dose-dependent manner. Molecular modeling methods were used to model the PPI of HER2-HER3 heterodimer.
    Journal of biomolecular structure & dynamics 06/2012; 30(5):594-606. · 4.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Anti-HIV immunoconjugates targeted to the HIV envelope protein may be used to eradicate the latent reservoir of HIV infection using activate-and-purge protocols. Previous studies have identified the two target epitopes most effective for the delivery of cytotoxic immunoconjugates the CD4-binding site of gp120, and the hairpin loop of gp41. Here we construct and test tetravalent double variable domain immunoglobulin molecules (DVD-Igs) that bind to both epitopes. Synthetic genes that encode DVD-Igs utilizing V-domains derived from human anti-gp120 and anti-gp41 Abs were designed and expressed in 293F cells. A series of constructs tested different inter-V-linker domains and orientations of the two V domains. Antibodies were tested for binding to recombinant Ag and native Env expressed on infected cells, for neutralization of infectious HIV, and for their ability to deliver cytotoxic immunoconjugates to infected cells. The outer V-domain was the major determinant of binding and functional activity of the DVD-Ig. Function of the inner V-domain and bifunctional binding required at least 15 AA in the inter-V-domain linker. A molecular model showing the spatial orientation of the two epitopes is consistent with this observation. Linkers that incorporated helical domains (A[EAAAK](n)A) resulted in more effective DVD-Igs than those based solely on flexible domains ([GGGGS](n)). In general, the DVD-Igs outperformed the less effective parental antibody and equaled the activity of the more effective. The ability of the DVD-Igs to deliver cytotoxic immunoconjugates in the absence of soluble CD4 was improved over that of either parent. DVD-Igs can be designed that bind to both gp120 and gp41 on the HIV envelope. DVD-Igs are effective in delivering cytotoxic immunoconjugates. The optimal design of these DVD-Igs, in which both domains are fully functional, has not yet been achieved.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(10):e46778. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Disseminated candidiasis is the third leading nosocomial blood stream infection in the United States and is often fatal. We previously showed that disseminated candidiasis was preventable in normal mice by immunization with either a glycopeptide or a peptide synthetic vaccine, both of which were Candida albicans cell wall derived. A weakness of these studies is that, unlike humans, mice do not have a C. albicans GI flora and they lack Candida serum antibodies. We examined the influence of C. albicans GI tract colonization and serum antibodies on mouse vaccination responses to the peptide, Fba, derived from fructose bisphosphate aldolase which has cytosolic and cell wall distributions in the fungus. We evaluated the effect of live C. albicans in drinking water and antimicrobial agents on establishment of Candida colonization of the mouse GI tract. Body mass, C. albicans in feces, and fungal-specific serum antibodies were monitored longitudinally. Unexpectedly, C. albicans colonization occurred in mice that received only antibiotics in their drinking water, provided that the mice were housed in the same room as intentionally colonized mice. The fungal strain in unintentionally colonized mice appeared identical to the strain used for intentional GI-tract colonization. This is the first report of horizontal transmission and spontaneous C. albicans colonization in mice. Importantly, many Candida-colonized mice developed serum fungal-specific antibodies. Despite the GI-tract colonization and presence of serum antibodies, the animals made antibodies in response to the Fba immunogen. This mouse model has potential for elucidating C. albicans horizontal transmission and for exploring factors that induce host defense against disseminated candidiasis. Furthermore, a combined protracted GI-tract colonization with Candida and the possibility of serum antibody responses to the presence of the fungus makes this an attractive mouse model for testing the efficacy of vaccines designed to prevent human disseminated candidiasis.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(7):e22030. · 3.73 Impact Factor