Ulrike Protzer

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Current antiviral agents can control but not eliminate hepatitis B virus (HBV), because HBV establishes a stable nuclear covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA). Interferon-α treatment can clear HBV but is limited by systemic side effects. We describe how interferon-α can induce specific degradation of the nuclear viral DNA without hepatotoxicity and(More)
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a key role in detecting pathogens by producing large amounts of type I interferon (IFN) by sensing the presence of viral infections through the Toll-Like Receptor (TLR) pathway. TLR9 is a sensor of viral and bacterial DNA motifs and activates the IRF7 transcription factor which leads to type I IFN secretion by pDCs.(More)
Effector CD8(+) T cells (CD8 TE) play a key role during hepatotropic viral infections. Here, we used advanced imaging in mouse models of hepatitis B virus (HBV) pathogenesis to understand the mechanisms whereby these cells home to the liver, recognize antigens, and deploy effector functions. We show that circulating CD8 TE arrest within liver sinusoids by(More)
Hepatitis B virus (HBV), because of its error-prone viral polymerase, has a high mutation rate leading to widespread substitutions, deletions, and insertions in the HBV genome. Deletions may significantly change viral biological features complicating the progression of liver diseases. However, the clinical conditions correlating to the accumulation of(More)
Polyfunctional CD4 or CD8 T cells are proposed to represent a correlate of immune control for persistent viruses as well as for vaccine mediated protection against infection. A well-suited methodology to study complex functional phenotypes of antiviral T cells is the combined staining of intracellular cytokines and phenotypic marker expression using(More)
Therapeutic vaccines are currently developed for chronic viral infections, such as human papillomavirus (HPV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpesvirus and hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) virus infections. As an alternative to antiviral treatment or to support only partially effective therapy a therapeutic vaccine shall activate the patient's immune(More)
Chisari et al. challenge our central conclusion that the hepatitis B virus (HBV) persistent form, the covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA), is degraded in a noncytotoxic and specific fashion in the nucleus of infected hepatocytes. Specificity of the assays used, exclusion of cell division or death, and activity of APOBEC3 deaminases in the nucleus,(More)
Localization of memory CD8(+) T cells to lymphoid or peripheral tissues is believed to correlate with proliferative capacity or effector function. Here we demonstrate that the fractalkine-receptor/CX3CR1 distinguishes memory CD8(+) T cells with cytotoxic effector function from those with proliferative capacity, independent of tissue-homing properties.(More)
BACKGROUND & AIMS HMG-CoA-reductase-inhibitors (statins) have been shown to interfere with HCV replication in vitro. We investigated the mechanism, requirements and contribution of heme oxygenase-1(HO-1)-induction by statins to interference with HCV replication. METHODS HO-1-induction by fluva-, simva-, rosuva-, atorva- or pravastatin was correlated to(More)
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) reflects the 5 th most common cause for cancer related deaths worldwide with approximately 800.000 deceases per year and is the third most frequent cause for death worldwide [1]. In African or Asian countries HCC has become the most common cause for cancer-related death, mainly as a consequence of viral infections with(More)