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author:("Long, aiden")
1.  RACK(1) to the future – a historical perspective 
This perspective summarises the first and long overdue RACK1 meeting held at the University of Limerick, Ireland, May 2013, in which RACK1’s role in the immune system, the heart and the brain were discussed and its contribution to disease states such as cancer, cardiac hypertrophy and addiction were described. RACK1 is a scaffolding protein and a member of the WD repeat family of proteins. These proteins have a unique architectural assembly that facilitates protein anchoring and the stabilisation of protein activity. A large body of evidence is accumulating which is helping to define the versatile role of RACK1 in assembling and dismantling complex signaling pathways from the cell membrane to the nucleus in health and disease. In this commentary, we first provide a historical perspective on RACK1. We also address many of the pertinent and topical questions about this protein such as its role in transcription, epigenetics and translation, its cytoskeletal contribution and the merits of targeting RACK1 in disease.
doi:10.1186/1478-811X-11-53
PMCID: PMC3750812  PMID: 23915285
2.  Regulating the Regulator: Phosphorylation of PKC θ in T Cells 
doi:10.3389/fimmu.2012.00227
PMCID: PMC3409363  PMID: 22870074
3.  Molecular footprints reveal the impact of the protective HLA-A*03 allele in hepatitis C virus infection 
Gut  2011;60(11):1563-1571.
Background and aims
CD8 T cells are central to the control of hepatitis C virus (HCV) although the key features of a successful CD8 T cell response remain to be defined. In a cohort of Irish women infected by a single source, a strong association between viral clearance and the human lecucocyte (HLA)-A*03 allele has been described, and the aim of this study was to define the protective nature of the associated CD8 T cell response.
Methods
A sequence-led approach was used to identify HLA-A*03-restricted epitopes. We examine the CD8 T cell response associated with this gene and address the likely mechanism underpinning this protective effect in this special cohort, using viral sequencing, T cell assays and analysis of fitness of viral mutants.
Results
A strong ‘HLA footprint’ in a novel NS3 epitope (TVYHGAGTK) was observed. A lysine (K) to arginine (R) substitution at position 9 (K1088R) was seen in a significant number of A*03-positive patients (9/12) compared with the control group (1/33, p=0.0003). Threonine (T) was also substituted with alanine (A) at position 8 (T1087A) more frequently in A*03-positive patients (6/12) compared with controls (2/33, p=0.01), and the double substitution of TK to AR was also observed predominantly in HLA-A*03-positive patients (p=0.004). Epitope-specific CD8 T cell responses were observed in 60% of patients three decades after exposure and the mutants selected in vivo impacted on recognition in vitro. Using HCV replicons matched to the viral sequences, viral fitness was found to be markedly reduced by the K1088R substitution but restored by the second substitution T1087A.
Conclusions
It is proposed that at least part of the protective effect of HLA-A*03 results from targeting of this key epitope in a functional site: the requirement for two mutations to balance fitness and escape provides an initial host advantage. This study highlights the potential protective impact of common HLA-A alleles against persistent viruses, with important implications for HCV vaccine studies.
doi:10.1136/gut.2010.228403
PMCID: PMC3184218  PMID: 21551190
(MeSH); T cells; viral fitness; footprints; cellular immunity; chronic viral hepatitis; hepatitis c; HLA; immune response
4.  Statistical Methods for Analysis of High-Throughput RNA Interference Screens 
Nature methods  2009;6(8):569-575.
RNA interference (RNAi) has become a powerful technique for reverse genetics and drug discovery and, in both of these areas, large-scale high-throughput RNAi screens are commonly performed. The statistical techniques used to analyze these screens are frequently borrowed directly from small-molecule screening; however small-molecule and RNAi data characteristics differ in meaningful ways. We examine the similarities and differences between RNAi and small-molecule screens, highlighting particular characteristics of RNAi screen data that must be addressed during analysis. Additionally, we provide guidance on selection of analysis techniques in the context of a sample workflow.
doi:10.1038/nmeth.1351
PMCID: PMC2789971  PMID: 19644458
5.  Deoxycholate induces COX-2 expression via Erk1/2-, p38-MAPK and AP-1-dependent mechanisms in esophageal cancer cells 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:190.
Background
The progression from Barrett's metaplasia to adenocarcinoma is associated with the acquirement of an apoptosis-resistant phenotype. The bile acid deoxycholate (DCA) has been proposed to play an important role in the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma, but the precise molecular mechanisms remain undefined. The aim of this study was to investigate DCA-stimulated COX-2 signaling pathways and their possible contribution to deregulated cell survival and apoptosis in esophageal adenocarcinoma cells.
Methods
Following exposure of SKGT-4 cells to DCA, protein levels of COX-2, MAPK and PARP were examined by immunoblotting. AP-1 activity was assessed by mobility shift assay. DCA-induced toxicity was assessed by DNA fragmentation and MTT assay.
Results
DCA induced persistent activation of the AP-1 transcription factor with Fra-1 and JunB identified as the predominant components of the DCA-induced AP-1 complex. DCA activated Fra-1 via the Erk1/2- and p38 MAPK while Erk1/2 is upstream of JunB. Moreover, DCA stimulation mediated inhibition of proliferation with concomitant low levels of caspase-3-dependent PARP cleavage and DNA fragmentation. Induction of the anti-apoptotic protein COX-2 by DCA, via MAPK/AP-1 pathway appeared to balance the DCA mediated activation of pro-apoptotic markers such as PARP cleavage and DNA fragmentation. Both of these markers were increased upon COX-2 suppression by aspirin pretreatment prior to DCA exposure.
Conclusion
DCA regulates both apoptosis and COX-2-regulated cell survival in esophageal cells suggesting that the balance between these two opposing signals may determine the transformation potential of DCA as a component of the refluxate.
doi:10.1186/1471-2407-9-190
PMCID: PMC2704223  PMID: 19534809
6.  The deubiquitinating enzyme USP17 is essential for GTPase subcellular localization and cell motility 
Nature Communications  2011;2:259-.
Deubiquitinating enzymes are now emerging as potential therapeutic targets that control many cellular processes, but few have been demonstrated to control cell motility. Here, we show that ubiquitin-specific protease 17 (USP17) is rapidly and transiently induced in response to chemokines SDF-1/CXCL12 and IL-8/CXCL8 in both primary cells and cell lines, and that its depletion completely blocks chemokine-induced cell migration and cytoskeletal rearrangements. Using live cell imaging, we demonstrate that USP17 is required for both elongated and amoeboid motility, in addition to chemotaxis. USP17 has previously been reported to disrupt Ras localization and we now find that USP17 depletion blocks chemokine-induced subcellular relocalization of GTPases Cdc42, Rac and RhoA, which are GTPases essential for cell motility. Collectively, these results demonstrate that USP17 has a critical role in cell migration and may be a useful drug target for both inflammatory and metastatic disease.
Deubiquitinating enzymes are involved in multiple cellular processes, including cell viability. The authors reveal a role for the deubiquitinating enzyme, USP17, in the migration of cells in response to chemokines and show that USP17 is required for the relocalization of GTPases involved in cell motility.
doi:10.1038/ncomms1243
PMCID: PMC3072070  PMID: 21448158

Results 1-6 (6)