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PNAS Papers on Nipah Virus, Mammalian Brain Glycome Profiles, Hodgkin Lymphoma Screen

An EcoHealth Alliance- and Columbia University-led team takes a look at genetic diversity, phylogenetics, host antibody features, ecology, and more in Nipah viruses found in Pteropus medius bats in Bangladesh in an effort to understand the risk of future spillover events into nearby human populations. The researchers searched for Nipah viruses and related antibodies in almost 2,100 P. medius bats sampled from sites across Bangladesh from early 2006 to mid-2012, uncovering Nipah virus RNA in just 11 bats and a handful of pooled oropharyngeal swab samples. They also tracked Nipah virus seroprevalence in thousands of bats from one population over around five years to better understand local transmission of the virus, and corresponding bat immunity patterns. Among other things, the authors saw signs that Nipah virus outbreaks in the Pteropus bats considered in Bangladesh "are driven by increased population density, loss of immunity over time, and viral recrudescence, resulting in multiyear inter-epizootic periods."

An international team led by investigators at the Chungnam National University in Korea reports on results from a glycome expression study focused on several regions of the human brain and mouse mammalian brain model. With the help of a glycome capture and nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry approach, the researchers tracked N-glycan patterns in nine brain regions from five adult mice, along with dozens of prefrontal cortex region samples from developing and adult mouse and human brains. "Our findings reveal high levels of diversity in a glycosylation program underlying brain region specificity and age dependency," they find, "and may lead to new studies exploring the role of glycans in spatiotemporally diverse brain functions."

Researchers from the Fox Chase Cancer Center and National Cancer Institute share findings from a high-throughput CRISPR-based screening and protein interaction study aimed at characterizing Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines, known as A20 Hodgkin lymphoma lines, that are Epstein-Barr virus-negative, but do contain inactivating nonsense or missense mutations affecting the tumor suppressor, ubiquitin editing protein TNFAIP3. "Our CRISPR screening highlights the essential oncogenic role of the linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex (LUBAC) in [Hodgkin lymphoma] lines, which overlaps with A20 inactivation status," the authors report, noting that mechanistic insights gained from the screen suggest it may be therapeutically beneficial to target a TAK1 kinase enzyme involved in activating the NF-kappa-B pathway in those cell lines.