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1.  Differential regulation of SOCS genes in normal and transformed erythroid cells 
Oncogene  2003;22(21):3221-3230.
The SOCS family of genes are negative regulators of cytokine signalling with SOCS-1 displaying tumor suppressor activity. SOCS-1, CIS and SOCS-3 have been implicated in the regulation of red blood cell production. In this study, a detailed examination was conducted on the expression patterns of these three SOCS family members in normal erythroid progenitors and a panel of erythroleukemic cell lines. Unexpectedly, differences in SOCS gene expression were observed during maturation of normal red cell progenitors, viz changes to CIS were inversely related to the alterations of SOCS-1 and SOCS-3. Similarly, these SOCS genes were differentially expressed in transformed erythoid cells –erythroleukemic cells immortalized at an immature stage of differentiation expressed SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 mRNA constitutively, whereas in more mature cell lines SOCS-1 and CIS were induced only after exposure to erythropoietin (Epo). Significantly, when ectopic expression of the tyrosine kinase Lyn was used to promote differentiation of immature cell lines, constitutive expression of SOCS-1 and SOCS-3 was completely suppressed. Modulation of intracellular signalling via mutated Epo receptors in mature erythroleukemic lines also highlighted different responses by the three SOCS family members. Close scrutiny of SOCS-1 revealed that, despite large increases in mRNA levels, the activity of the promoter did not alter after erythropoietin stimulation; in addition, erythroid cells from SOCS-1−/− mice displayed increased sensitivity to Epo. These observations indicate complex, stage-specific regulation of SOCS genes during normal erythroid maturation and in erythroleukemic cells.
PMCID: PMC2396148  PMID: 12761492
2.  Generation and Characterization of Neuregulin-2-Deficient Mice 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(18):8221-8226.
The neuregulins (NRGs) are a family of four structurally related growth factors that are expressed in the developing and adult brain. NRG-1 is essential for normal heart formation and has been implicated in the development and maintenance of both neurons and glia. NRG-2 was identified on the basis of its homology to NRG-1 and, like NRG-1, is expressed predominantly by neurons in the central nervous system. We have generated mice with the active domain of NRG-2 deleted in an effort to characterize the biological function of NRG-2 in vivo. In contrast to the NRG-1 knockout animals, NRG-2 knockouts have no apparent heart defects and survive embryogenesis. Mutant mice display early growth retardation and reduced reproductive capacity. No obvious histological differences were observed in the major sites of NRG-2 expression. Our results indicate that in vivo NRG-2 activity differs substantially from that of NRG-1 and that it is not essential for normal development in utero.
PMCID: PMC515040  PMID: 15340081
3.  Modulation of LIGHT-HVEM Costimulation Prolongs Cardiac Allograft Survival 
LIGHT (TNFSF14), a tumor necrosis factor superfamily member expressed by activated T cells, binds to herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) which is constitutively expressed by T cells and costimulates T cell activation in a CD28-independent manner. Given interest in regulating the effector functions of T cells in vivo, we examined the role of LIGHT-HVEM costimulation in a murine cardiac allograft rejection model. Normal hearts lacked LIGHT or HVEM mRNA expression, but allografts showed strong expression of both genes from day 3 after transplant, and in situ hybridization and immunohistology-localized LIGHT and HVEM to infiltrating leukocytes. To test the importance of LIGHT expression on allograft survival, we generated LIGHT−/− mice by homologous recombination. The mean survival of fully major histocompatibility complex–mismatched vascularized cardiac allografts in LIGHT−/− mice (10 days, P < 0.05) or cyclosporine A (CsA)-treated LIGHT+/+ mice (10 days, P < 0.05) was only slightly prolonged compared with LIGHT+/+ mice (7 days). However, mean allograft survival in CsA-treated LIGHT−/− allograft recipients (30 days) was considerably enhanced (P < 0.001) compared with the 10 days of mean survival in either untreated LIGHT−/− mice or CsA-treated LIGHT+/+ controls. Molecular analyzes showed that the beneficial effects of targeting of LIGHT in CsA-treated recipients were accompanied by decreased intragraft expression of interferon (IFN)-γ, plus IFN-γ–induced chemokine, inducible protein-10, and its receptor, CXCR3. Treatment of LIGHT+/+ allograft recipients with HVEM-Ig plus CsA also enhanced mean allograft survival (21 days) versus wild-type controls receiving HVEM-Ig (mean of 7 days) or CsA alone (P < 0.001). Our data suggest that T cell to T cell–mediated LIGHT/HVEM-dependent costimulation is a significant component of the host response leading to cardiac allograft rejection.
PMCID: PMC2193745  PMID: 11901205
transplantation; allograft rejection; T cell activation; costimulation; TNF superfamily

Results 1-3 (3)