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1.  POLYMORPHISMS IN THE SUPEROXIDE DISMUTASE-3 GENE ARE ASSOCIATED WITH EMPHYSEMA IN COPD 
COPD  2010;7(4):262-268.
Superoxide dismutase-3 (SOD3) is a major extracellular antioxidant enzyme, and previous studies have indicated a possible role of this gene in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We hypothesized that polymorphisms in the SOD3 gene would be associated with COPD and COPD-related phenotypes.
We genotyped three SOD3 polymorphisms (rs8192287 (E1), rs8192288 (I1) and rs1799895 (R213G)) in a case-control cohort, with severe COPD cases from the National Emphysema Treatment Trial (NETT, n=389) and smoking controls from the Normative Aging Study (NAS, n=472). We examined whether the SNPs were associated with COPD status, lung function variables, and quantitative CT measurements of emphysema and airway wall thickness. Further, we tried to replicate our initial findings in two family-based studies, the International COPD Genetics Network (ICGN, n=3061) and the Boston Early-Onset COPD Study (EOCOPD, n=949).
In NETT COPD cases, the minor alleles of SNPs E1 and I1 were associated with a higher percentage of emphysema (%LAA950) on chest CT scan (p=0.029 and p=0.0058). The association with E1 was replicated in the ICGN family study, where the minor allele was associated with more emphysema (p=0.048). Airway wall thickness was positively associated with the E1 SNP in ICGN; however, this finding was not confirmed in NETT. Quantitative CT data were not available in EOCOPD. The SNPs were not associated with lung function variables or COPD status in any of the populations.
In conclusion, polymorphisms in the SOD3 gene were associated with CT emphysema but not COPD susceptibility, highlighting the importance of phenotype definition in COPD genetics studies.
doi:10.3109/15412555.2010.496821
PMCID: PMC2923920  PMID: 20673035
2.  BH3-only protein BIK induces caspase-independent cell death with autophagic features in Bcl-2 null cells 
Oncogene  2007;27(10):1366-1375.
The BH3-only protein BIK normally induces apoptotic cell death. Here, we have investigated the role of BCL-2 in BIK-induced cell death using Bcl-2+/+ and Bcl-2−/− mouse embryo fibroblasts. Ectopic expression of BIK in Bcl-2−/− cells resulted in enhanced cell death compared to Bcl-2+/+ cells. In these cells, while caspase-8 was activated, there was no significant activation of caspase-9 and 3. There was no detectable mitochondrial to cytosolic release of cytochrome-c. However, there was significant redistribution of AIF from mitochondria to the nucleus. The extent of BIK-induced cell death was augmented by treatment with the pancaspase inhibitor, zVAD-fmk. The Bcl-2 null cells expressing BIK exhibited autophagic features such as cytosolic vacuoles, punctate distribution of LC3 and enhanced expression of Beclin-1. The survival of BIK-expressing Bcl-2−/− cells was enhanced in the presence of PI3 kinase inhibitors 3-methyladenine and Wortmannin and also by depletion of Atg5 and Beclin-1. Death of BIK-expressing Bcl-2−/− cells treated with zVAD-fmk was increased under caspase-8 depletion. Our results suggest enhanced expression of BIK in the Bcl-2 deficient cells leads to cell death with autophagic features and the extent of such cell death could be increased by inhibition of caspases.
doi:10.1038/sj.onc.1210783
PMCID: PMC2928058  PMID: 17873911
BIK; Bcl-2; autophagy; Beclin-1; LC3

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