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1.  ADAMTS13 Predicts Renal and Cardiovascular Events in Type 2 Diabetic Patients and Response to Therapy 
Diabetes  2013;62(10):3599-3609.
In patients with diabetes, impaired ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin and metalloprotease with thrombospondin type 1 repeats, member 13) proteolysis of highly thrombogenic von Willebrand factor (VWF) multimers may accelerate renal and cardiovascular complications. Restoring physiological VWF handling might contribute to ACE inhibitors’ (ACEi) reno- and cardioprotective effects. To assess how Pro618Ala ADAMTS13 variants and related proteolytic activity interact with ACEi therapy in predicting renal and cardiovascular complications, we genotyped 1,163 normoalbuminuric type 2 diabetic patients from BErgamo NEphrologic DIabetes Complications Trial (BENEDICT). Interaction between Pro618Ala and ACEi was significant in predicting both renal and combined renal and cardiovascular events. The risk for renal or combined events versus reference Ala carriers on ACEi progressively increased from Pro/Pro homozygotes on ACEi (hazard ratio 2.80 [95% CI 0.849–9.216] and 1.58 [0.737–3.379], respectively) to Pro/Pro homozygotes on non-ACEi (4.77 [1.484–15.357] and 1.99 [0.944–4.187]) to Ala carriers on non-ACEi (8.50 [2.416–29.962] and 4.00 [1.739–9.207]). In a substudy, serum ADAMTS13 activity was significantly lower in Ala carriers than in Pro/Pro homozygotes and in case subjects with renal, cardiovascular, or combined events than in diabetic control subjects without events. ADAMTS13 activity significantly and negatively correlated with all outcomes. In patients with diabetes, ADAMTS13 618Ala variant associated with less proteolytic activity, higher risk of chronic complications, and better response to ACEi therapy. Screening for Pro618Ala polymorphism may help identify patients with diabetes at highest risk who may benefit the most from early reno- and cardioprotective therapy.
PMCID: PMC3781447  PMID: 23733198
2.  Comparative Transcriptional Network Modeling of Three PPAR-α/γ Co-Agonists Reveals Distinct Metabolic Gene Signatures in Primary Human Hepatocytes 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(4):e35012.
To compare the molecular and biologic signatures of a balanced dual peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α/γ agonist, aleglitazar, with tesaglitazar (a dual PPAR-α/γ agonist) or a combination of pioglitazone (Pio; PPAR-γ agonist) and fenofibrate (Feno; PPAR-α agonist) in human hepatocytes.
Methods and Results
Gene expression microarray profiles were obtained from primary human hepatocytes treated with EC50-aligned low, medium and high concentrations of the three treatments. A systems biology approach, Causal Network Modeling, was used to model the data to infer upstream molecular mechanisms that may explain the observed changes in gene expression. Aleglitazar, tesaglitazar and Pio/Feno each induced unique transcriptional signatures, despite comparable core PPAR signaling. Although all treatments inferred qualitatively similar PPAR-α signaling, aleglitazar was inferred to have greater effects on high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels than tesaglitazar and Pio/Feno, due to a greater number of gene expression changes in pathways related to high-density and low-density lipoprotein metabolism. Distinct transcriptional and biologic signatures were also inferred for stress responses, which appeared to be less affected by aleglitazar than the comparators. In particular, Pio/Feno was inferred to increase NFE2L2 activity, a key component of the stress response pathway, while aleglitazar had no significant effect. All treatments were inferred to decrease proliferative signaling.
Aleglitazar induces transcriptional signatures related to lipid parameters and stress responses that are unique from other dual PPAR-α/γ treatments. This may underlie observed favorable changes in lipid profiles in animal and clinical studies with aleglitazar and suggests a differentiated gene profile compared with other dual PPAR-α/γ agonist treatments.
PMCID: PMC3325914  PMID: 22514701
3.  DNA methylation profiling of human chromosomes 6, 20 and 22 
Nature genetics  2006;38(12):1378-1385.
DNA methylation constitutes the most stable type of epigenetic modifications modulating the transcriptional plasticity of mammalian genomes. Using bisulfite DNA sequencing, we report high-resolution methylation reference profiles of human chromosomes 6, 20 and 22, providing a resource of about 1.9 million CpG methylation values derived from 12 different tissues. Analysis of 6 annotation categories, revealed evolutionary conserved regions to be the predominant sites for differential DNA methylation and a core region surrounding the transcriptional start site as informative surrogate for promoter methylation. We find 17% of the 873 analyzed genes differentially methylated in their 5′-untranslated regions (5′-UTR) and about one third of the differentially methylated 5′-UTRs to be inversely correlated with transcription. While our study was controlled for factors reported to affect DNA methylation such as sex and age, we did not find any significant attributable effects. Our data suggest DNA methylation to be ontogenetically more stable than previously thought.
PMCID: PMC3082778  PMID: 17072317

Results 1-3 (3)