Achim Frauenschuh

Merck Serono, Genève, Geneva, Switzerland

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Publications (3)18.91 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bloodsucking parasites such as ticks have evolved a wide variety of immunomodulatory proteins that are secreted in their saliva, allowing them to feed for long periods of time without being detected by the host immune system. One possible strategy used by ticks to evade the host immune response is to produce proteins that selectively bind and neutralize the chemokines that normally recruit cells of the innate immune system that protect the host from parasites. We have identified distinct cDNAs encoding novel chemokine binding proteins (CHPBs), which we have termed Evasins, using an expression cloning approach. These CHBPs have unusually stringent chemokine selectivity, differentiating them from broader spectrum viral CHBPs. Evasin-1 binds to CCL3, CCL4, and CCL18; Evasin-3 binds to CXCL8 and CXCL1; and Evasin-4 binds to CCL5 and CCL11. We report the characterization of Evasin-1 and -3, which are unrelated in primary sequence and tertiary structure, and reveal novel folds. Administration of recombinant Evasin-1 and -3 in animal models of disease demonstrates that they have potent antiinflammatory properties. These novel CHBPs designed by nature are even smaller than the recently described single-domain antibodies (Hollinger, P., and P.J. Hudson. 2005. Nat. Biotechnol. 23:1126-1136), and may be therapeutically useful as novel antiinflammatory agents in the future.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2008 · Journal of Experimental Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Ticks are blood-feeding parasites that secrete a number of immuno-modulatory factors to evade the host immune response. Saliva isolated from different species of ticks has recently been shown to contain chemokine neutralizing activity. To characterize this activity, we constructed a cDNA library from the salivary glands of the common brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus. Pools of cDNA clones from the library were transfected into HEK293 cells, and the conditioned media from the transfected cells were tested for chemokine binding activity by chemical cross-linking to radiolabeled CCL3 followed by SDS-PAGE. By de-convolution of a single positive pool of 270 clones, we identified a full-length cDNA encoding a protein of 114 amino acids, which after signal peptide cleavage was predicted to yield a mature protein of 94 amino acids that we called Evasin-1. Recombinant Evasin-1 was produced in HEK293 cells and in insect cells. Using surface plasmon resonance we were able to show that Evasin-1 was exquisitely selective for 3 CC chemokines, CCL3 and CCL4 and the closely related chemokine CCL18, with KD values of 0.16, 0.81, and 3.21 nm, respectively. The affinities for CCL3 and CCL4 were confirmed in competition receptor binding assays. Analysis by size exclusion chromatography demonstrated that Evasin-1 was monomeric and formed a 1:1 complex with CCL3. Thus, unlike the other chemokine-binding proteins identified to date from viruses and from the parasitic worm Schistosoma mansoni, Evasin-1 is highly specific for a subgroup of CC chemokines, which may reflect a specific role for these chemokines in host defense against parasites.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: One of the important steps in developing protein therapeutics is the determination of their preliminary PK in vivo. These data are essential to design optimal dosing in animal models prior to progressing to clinical trials in man. The quantitative detection of protein therapeutics in serum is traditionally performed by ELISA, which has the prerequisite of the availability of the appropriate monoclonal antibodies. We have developed an alternative method using polyclonal antibodies immobilized on ProteinChip Arrays and SELDI-TOF mass spectrometry. This method has an advantage over ELISA since it provides simultaneously information on the clearance rate of the protein and it's in vivo processing. We compared these two methods using a RANTES variant, [(44)AANA(47)]-RANTES as the test protein in this study. Using SELDI-TOF mass spectrometry, we were able to establish that the protein is readily oxidized in serum, and moreover is processed in vivo to produce a truncated 3-68 protein, and undergoes a further cleavage to produce the 4-68 protein. These modifications are not identified by ELISA, whilst the serum exposure profiles determined by the two methods show essentially similar protein concentration values.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2007 · Journal of Immunological Methods