Binding of effector molecules

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  • The transfer of genetic information from the level of the nucleic acid sequence of a gene to the level of the amino acid sequence of a protein or to the nucleotide sequence of RNA is termed gene expression. The entire process of gene expression in eucaryotes includes the following steps:

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  • Antimicrobial peptides are effector molecules of the innate immune system. We have recently shown that peptides containing multiples of the heparin-binding Cardin and Weintraub motifs AKKARA and ARKKAAKA exert antimicrobial activities. Here, we show that replacement of lysine and arginine in these motifs by histidine abrogates the antibacterial effects of these peptides.

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  • Antimicrobial peptides are effector molecules of the innate immune system. We recently showed that the human anti-microbial peptidesa-defensin and LL-37 bind to glycos-aminoglycans (heparin and dermatan sulphate). Here we demonstrate the obverse, i.e. structural motifs associated with heparin affinity (cationicity, amphipaticity, and con-sensus regions)may confer antimicrobial properties to a given peptide.

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  • Collectins are effector molecules of the innate immune system that play an important role in the first line of defence against bacteria, viruses and fungi. Most of their interactions with microorganisms are mediated through their carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD), which binds in a Ca 2+ -dependent manner to glycoconjugates. Molecular

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  • Twenty-five years ago, Georges Köhler and César Milstein invented a means of cloning individual antibodies, thus opening up the way for tremendous advances in the fields of cell biology and clinical diagnostics (1). However, in spite of their early promise, monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were largely unsuccessful as therapeutic reagents resulting from insufficient activation of human effector functions and immune reactions against proteins of murine origin.

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  • Drosophilais a powerful model system to study the regula-tory and effector mechanisms of innate immunity. To iden-tify molecules induced in the course of viral infection in this insect, we have developed a model based on intrathoracic injection of the picorna-like DrosophilaCvirus(DCV).We have used MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry to compare the hemolymph of DCV infected flies and control flies. By contrast with the strong humoral response triggered by injectionof bacteriaor fungal spores, we have identifiedonly one molecule induced in the hemolymph of virus infected flies....

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