Journal Roundup

Third generation biosensor for blood glucose monitoring

Diabetes mellitus is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the world. The large number of diabetes cases makes glucose by far the most frequently measured analyte. The strive for smaller, simpler and more reliable glucose biosensors led to the recent application of a glucose-oxidizing biorecognition element, cellobiose dehydrogenase, which does not depend on redox mediators/redox polymers. In these third generation biosensors, electrons are transferred by direct electron transfer from the enzyme's catalytic site to the electrode surface. Wolfgang Harreither and Alfons Felice and colleagues (Vienna, Austria) demonstrate the first recombinant expression of glucose-converting cellobiose dehydrogenase. This opens the door for the optimization of this third generation biosensor component by protein engineering techniques.

Harreither et al., Biotechnol J 2012;7:1359–1366.

Metabolism meets infection: ApoB100 inhibits the response to Staphylococcus aureus

Hypercholesterolemia is a serious problem in Western countries and is associated with a plethora of metabolic and vascular complications. Sigel and coworkers discover a link between low density lipoprotein (LDL) and the inflammatory response to Staphylococcus aureus. Based on the finding that serum can diminish the inflammatory response to lipoteichoic acid (LTA) from S. aureus, the authors identify selected lipoproteins that bind LTA. Functional studies reveal that ApoB100, the main lipoprotein found in LDL, associates with LTA and prevents the cytokine-inducing capacity of LTA. Further confirming the biological relevance of these observations, the sera of hyper-cholesterolemic patients and mice are found to reduce the cytokine response to S. aureus and LTA, while LDL-lowering measures restore the inflammatory response. Together, these data highlight that serum lipid profiles affect the antibacterial response.

Sigel et al., Eur J Immunol 2012;42:2983–2989.