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1.  A novel mechanism for target gene-specific SWI/SNF recruitment via the Snf2p N-terminus 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;39(10):4088-4098.
Chromatin-remodeling complexes regulate the expression of genes in all eukaryotic genomes. The SWI/SNF complex of Saccharomyces cerevisiae is recruited to its target promoters via interactions with selected transcription factors. Here, we show that the N-terminus of Snf2p, the chromatin remodeling core unit of the SWI/SNF complex, is essential for the expression of VHT1, the gene of the plasma membrane H+/biotin symporter, and of BIO5, the gene of a 7-keto-8-aminopelargonic acid transporter, biotin biosynthetic precursor. chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analyses demonstrate that Vhr1p, the transcriptional regulator of VHT1 and BIO5 expression, is responsible for the targeting of Snf2p to the VHT1 promoter at low biotin. We identified an Snf2p mutant, Snf2p-R15C, that specifically abolishes the induction of VHT1 and BIO5 but not of other Snf2p-regulated genes, such as GAL1, SUC2 or INO1. We present a novel mechanism of target gene-specific SWI/SNF recruitment via Vhr1p and a conserved N-terminal Snf2p domain.
PMCID: PMC3105400  PMID: 21278159
2.  Outcome of patients with acute, necrotizing pancreatitis requiring drainage-does drainage size matter? 
AIM: To assess the outcome of patients with acute necrotizing pancreatitis treated by percutaneous drainage with special focus on the influence of drainage size and number.
METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of 80 patients with acute pancreatitis requiring percutaneous drainage therapy for infected necroses. Endpoints were mortality and length of hospital stay. The influence of drainage characteristics such as the median drainage size, the largest drainage size per patient and the total drainage plane per patient on patient outcome was evaluated.
RESULTS: Total hospital survival was 66%. Thirty-four patients out of all 80 patients (43%) survived acute necrotizing pancreatitis with percutaneous drainage therapy only. Eighteen patients out of all 80 patients needed additional percutaneous necrosectomy (23%). Ten out of these patients required surgical necrosectomy in addition, 6 patients received open necrosectomy without prior percutaneous necrosectomy. Elective surgery was performed in 3 patients receiving cholecystectomy and one patient receiving resection of the parathyroid gland. The number of drainages ranged from one to fourteen per patient. The drainage diameter ranged from 8 French catheters to 24 French catheters. The median drainage size as well as the largest drainage size used per patient and the total drainage area used per patient did not show statistically significant influence on mortality.
CONCLUSION: Percutaneous drainage therapy is an effective tool for treatment of necrotizing pancreatitis. Large bore drainages did not prove to be more effective in controlling the septic focus.
PMCID: PMC2683999  PMID: 18205262
Acute necrotizing pancreatitis; Percutaneous drainage; Drainage size; Interventional radiology; Percutaneous necrosectomy
3.  Morphological characterisation of Crohn’s disease fistulae 
Gut  2004;53(9):1314-1321.
Background: Fistulae are a common complication in up to 35% of all patients with Crohn’s disease. Their therapy is difficult and frequently unsatisfactory. To date, no histological comparison of Crohn’s disease fistulae with non-inflammatory bowel disease fistulae has been performed. In addition, Crohn’s disease fistulae have not been well characterised morphologically.
Methods: Eighty four fistulae from Crohn’s disease patients were compared with 13 fistulae from controls. Haematoxylin-eosin staining, electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry for panCytokeratin (epithelial cells), CD20 (B cells), CD45R0 (T cells), and CD68 (macrophages) were performed according to standard techniques. In addition, histopathological findings were compared with clinical and laboratory data.
Results: In 31.0% of controls and 27.4% of Crohn’s disease specimens, fistulae had a lining of flattened intestinal epithelium without goblet cells or, in the case of cutaneous/perianal disease, narrow squamous epithelium. Non-epithelialised fistulae were covered by a thin layer of (myo)fibroblasts, focally forming a new basement membrane, as demonstrated by electron microscopy. All fistulae were surrounded by granulation tissue. Crohn’s disease fistulae presented with central infiltration by CD45R0+ T cells, followed by a small band of CD68+ macrophages and dense accumulation of CD20+ B cells. In contrast, in controls, there was dense infiltration by CD68+ macrophages with only few CD20+ B cells and CD45R0+ T lymphocytes.
Conclusions: Fistulae in Crohn’s disease differ markedly from non-Crohn’s disease fistulae with regard to their cellular composition. The presence of an epithelial lining in a subgroup of fistulae may be important for the therapeutic approach and healing process.
PMCID: PMC1774207  PMID: 15306592
Crohn’s disease; fistulae; histology; immunohistochemistry; electron microscopy
4.  Alterations in p53 predict response to preoperative high dose chemotherapy in patients with gastric cancer 
Molecular Pathology  2003;56(5):286-292.
Aims: To evaluate the usefulness of molecular markers in predicting histopathological and clinical response to preoperative high dose chemotherapy (HDCT) and survival of patients with advanced gastric cancer.
Methods: In a phase II trial, 25 patients with metastatic gastric cancer received preoperative tandem HDCT consisting of etoposide, cisplatin, and mitomycin, followed by autologous bone marrow transplantation to achieve surgical resectability. Samples before and after treatment, from normal and tumour tissue, were characterised histopathologically, and both p53 and BAX expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry. Pretreatment formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded samples from normal and tumour tissue were microdissected, and the extracted DNA was preamplified using improved primer extension preamplification polymerase chain reaction. Detection of microsatellite instability (MSI) or loss of heterozygosity (LOH) was performed using markers for p53, BAX, BAT25, BAT26, D2S123, D17S250, and APC. Exons 5–9 of the p53 gene were sequenced directly on ABI 373.
Results: Four parameters were significantly associated with response to chemotherapy and prolonged overall survival: positive p53 immunostaining, positive p53 mutation status before chemotherapy, strong histological regression induced by preoperative HDCT, and surgical treatment. Patients’s sex or age, tumour location or stage, lymph node status, Lauren classification, MSI, or LOH did not influence duration of survival significantly in this high risk population.
Conclusion: Positive p53 immunostaining and p53 mutation status in pretreatment tumour biopsies might be useful molecular predictors of response and prognosis in patients with advanced gastric cancer treated by preoperative HDCT.
PMCID: PMC1187340  PMID: 14514923
gastric cancer; preoperative high dose chemotherapy; molecular parameters; histological regression; p53
5.  Purification and characterization of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae BGL2 gene product, a cell wall endo-beta-1,3-glucanase. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1993;175(7):2102-2106.
One of the major proteins of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall, a beta-glucanase (BGL2 gene product), has been isolated and purified to homogeneity under conditions for preserving enzyme activity. The study of enzyme properties of the protein revealed that it is an endo-beta-1,3-glucanase and not an exoglucanase as reported previously (F. Klebl and W. Tanner, J. Bacteriol. 171:6259-6264, 1989). The examination of the glucanase structure showed that the lower apparent molecular mass of the protein (29 kDa) compared with what was calculated from the amino acid sequence of the enzyme (33.5 kDa) is due to anomalous migration in sodium dodecyl sulfate gels and not to posttranslational processing of the polypeptide chain. Of two potential N glycosylation sites at Asn-202 and Asn-284, only the latter site is glycosylated. The overproduction of the beta-glucanase from the high-copy-number plasmid brought about a significant decrease in the growth rate of transformed yeast cells.
PMCID: PMC204315  PMID: 8458852
6.  Molecular cloning of a cell wall exo-beta-1,3-glucanase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1989;171(11):6259-6264.
A major protein of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell walls is a 29-kilodalton glycoprotein which shows lectinlike binding to beta-1,3-glucan and chitin. It was solubilized by heating isolated cell walls at 90 degrees C and purified to homogeneity by running two high-pressure liquid chromatography columns. With the sequence information of the N terminus and seven peptides, two oligonucleotides were synthesized and the gene was cloned. Its sequence is similar to those of two plant beta-glucanases, and the protein was shown to possess beta-1,3-exoglucanase activity with laminarin as substrate. Haploid yeast cells contained one copy of the gene (BGL2). Gene disruption did not result in a phenotype.
PMCID: PMC210497  PMID: 2509432

Results 1-6 (6)