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2.  RAGE is a nucleic acid receptor that promotes inflammatory responses to DNA 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2013;210(11):2447-2463.
Receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) detects nucleic acids and promotes DNA uptake into endosomes, which in turn lowers the immune recognition threshold for TLR9 activation.
Recognition of DNA and RNA molecules derived from pathogens or self-antigen is one way the mammalian immune system senses infection and tissue damage. Activation of immune signaling receptors by nucleic acids is controlled by limiting the access of DNA and RNA to intracellular receptors, but the mechanisms by which endosome-resident receptors encounter nucleic acids from the extracellular space are largely undefined. In this study, we show that the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) promoted DNA uptake into endosomes and lowered the immune recognition threshold for the activation of Toll-like receptor 9, the principal DNA-recognizing transmembrane signaling receptor. Structural analysis of RAGE–DNA complexes indicated that DNA interacted with dimers of the outermost RAGE extracellular domains, and could induce formation of higher-order receptor complexes. Furthermore, mice deficient in RAGE were unable to mount a typical inflammatory response to DNA in the lung, indicating that RAGE is important for the detection of nucleic acids in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3804942  PMID: 24081950
3.  Noncanonical Autophagy Is Required for Type I Interferon Secretion in Response to DNA-Immune Complexes 
Immunity  2012;37(6):986-997.
Toll-like receptor-9 (TLR9) is largely responsible for discriminating self from pathogenic DNA. However, association of host DNA with autoantibodies activates TLR9, inducing the pathogenic secretion of type I interferons (IFNs) from plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Here, we found that in response to DNA-containing immune complexes (DNA-IC), but not to soluble ligands, IFN-α production depended upon the convergence of the phagocytic and autophagic pathways, a process called microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3 (LC3)-associated phagocytosis (LAP). LAP was required for TLR9 trafficking into a specialized interferon signaling compartment by a mechanism that involved autophagy-related proteins, but not the conventional autophagic preinitiation complex, or adaptor protein-3 (AP-3). Our findings unveil a new role for nonconventional autophagy in inflammation and provide one mechanism by which anti-DNA autoantibodies, such as those found in several autoimmune disorders, bypass the controls that normally restrict the apportionment of pathogenic DNA and TLR9 to the interferon signaling compartment.
PMCID: PMC3786711  PMID: 23219390
4.  Protective Properties of Radio-Chemoresistant Glioblastoma Stem Cell Clones Are Associated with Metabolic Adaptation to Reduced Glucose Dependence 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80397.
Glioblastoma stem cells (GSC) are a significant cell model for explaining brain tumor recurrence. However, mechanisms underlying their radiochemoresistance remain obscure. Here we show that most clonogenic cells in GSC cultures are sensitive to radiation treatment (RT) with or without temozolomide (TMZ). Only a few single cells survive treatment and regain their self-repopulating capacity. Cells re-populated from treatment-resistant GSC clones contain more clonogenic cells compared to those grown from treatment-sensitive GSC clones, and repeated treatment cycles rapidly enriched clonogenic survival. When compared to sensitive clones, resistant clones exhibited slower tumor development in animals. Upregulated genes identified in resistant clones via comparative expression microarray analysis characterized cells under metabolic stress, including blocked glucose uptake, impaired insulin/Akt signaling, enhanced lipid catabolism and oxidative stress, and suppressed growth and inflammation. Moreover, many upregulated genes highlighted maintenance and repair activities, including detoxifying lipid peroxidation products, activating lysosomal autophagy/ubiquitin-proteasome pathways, and enhancing telomere maintenance and DNA repair, closely resembling the anti-aging effects of caloric/glucose restriction (CR/GR), a nutritional intervention that is known to increase lifespan and stress resistance in model organisms. Although treatment–introduced genetic mutations were detected in resistant clones, all resistant and sensitive clones were subclassified to either proneural (PN) or mesenchymal (MES) glioblastoma subtype based on their expression profiles. Functional assays demonstrated the association of treatment resistance with energy stress, including reduced glucose uptake, fatty acid oxidation (FAO)-dependent ATP maintenance, elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and autophagic activity, and increased AMPK activity and NAD+ levels accompanied by upregulated mRNA levels of SIRT1/PGC-1α axis and DNA repair genes. These data support the view that treatment resistance may arise from quiescent GSC exhibiting a GR-like phenotype, and suggest that targeting stress response pathways of resistant GSC may provide a novel strategy in combination with standard treatment for glioblastoma.
PMCID: PMC3832364  PMID: 24260384
5.  Apolipoprotein B100 Secretion by Cultured ARPE-19 Cells is Modulated by Alteration of Cholesterol Levels 
Journal of neurochemistry  2010;114(6):1734-1744.
Cholesteryl ester rich apolipoprotein B100 (apoB100) lipoproteins accumulate in Bruch’s membrane before the development of age-related macular degeneration. It is not known if these lipoproteins come from the circulation or local ocular tissue. Emerging, but incomplete evidence suggests that the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) can secrete lipoproteins. The purpose of this investigation was to determine 1) whether human RPE cells synthesize and secrete apoB100, and 2) whether this secretion is driven by cellular cholesterol, and if so, 3) whether statins inhibit this response. The established, human derived ARPE-19 cells challenged with 0–0.8mM oleic acid accumulated cellular cholesterol, but not triglycerides. Oleic acid increased the amount of apoB100 protein recovered from the medium by both Western blot analysis and 35S-radiolabeled immunoprecipitation while negative stain electron microscopy showed lipoprotein-like particles. Of nine statins evaluated, lipophilic statins induced HMG-CoA reductase mRNA expression the most. The lipophilic Cerivastatin (5µM) reduced cellular cholesterol by 39% and abrogated apoB100 secretion by 3-fold. In contrast, the hydrophilic statin Pravastatin had minimal effect on apoB100 secretion. These data suggest that ARPE-19 cells synthesize and secrete apoB100 lipoproteins, that this secretion is driven by cellular cholesterol, and that statins can inhibit apoB100 secretion by reducing cellular cholesterol.
PMCID: PMC3791521  PMID: 20598021
age-related macular degeneration; apolipoprotein B100; basal deposits; Bruch’s membrane; drusen; retinal pigmented epithelium
6.  RAGE inhibits human respiratory syncytial virus syncytium formation by interfering with F-protein function 
The Journal of General Virology  2013;94(Pt 8):1691-1700.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of severe lower respiratory tract infection. Infection is critically dependent on the RSV fusion (F) protein, which mediates fusion between the viral envelope and airway epithelial cells. The F protein is also expressed on infected cells and is responsible for fusion of infected cells with adjacent cells, resulting in the formation of multinucleate syncytia. The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a pattern-recognition receptor that is constitutively highly expressed by type I alveolar epithelial cells. Here, we report that RAGE protected HEK cells from RSV-induced cell death and reduced viral titres in vitro. RAGE appeared to interact directly with the F protein, but, rather than inhibiting RSV entry into host cells, virus replication and budding, membrane-expressed RAGE or soluble RAGE blocked F-protein-mediated syncytium formation and sloughing. These data indicate that RAGE may contribute to protecting the lower airways from RSV by inhibiting the formation of syncytia, viral spread, epithelial damage and airway obstruction.
PMCID: PMC3749528  PMID: 23559480
Aging Cell  2012;11(3):456-466.
RECQL4 is associated with Rothmund-Thomson Syndrome (RTS), a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by premature aging, genomic instability and cancer predisposition. RECQL4 is a member of the RecQ-helicase family, and has many similarities to WRN protein, which is also implicated in premature aging. There is no information about whether any of the RecQ helicases play roles in mitochondrial biogenesis, which is strongly implicated in the aging process. Here, we used microscopy to visualize RECQL4 in mitochondria. Fractionation of human and mouse cells also showed that RECQL4 was present in mitochondria. Q-PCR amplification of mitochondrial DNA demonstrated that mtDNA damage accumulated in RECQL4-deficient cells. Microarray analysis suggested that mitochondrial bioenergetic pathways might be affected in RTS. Measurements of mitochondrial bioenergetics showed a reduction in the mitochondrial reserve capacity after lentiviral knockdown of RECQL4 in two different primary cell lines. Additionally, biochemical assays with RECQL4, mitochondrial transcription factor A and mitochondrial DNA polymerase γ showed that the polymerase inhibited RECQL4’s helicase activity. RECQL4 is the first 3′ to 5′ RecQ helicase to be found in both human and mouse mitochondria and the loss of RECQL4 alters mitochondrial integrity.
PMCID: PMC3350572  PMID: 22296597
RecQ helicase; mtDNA; Rothmund-Thomson Syndrome
8.  The expression of advanced glycation endproduct receptors in rpe cells associated with basal deposits in human maculas 
Experimental Eye Research  2005;82(5):840-848.
Basal deposits within Bruch's membrane are associated with aging and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) although the factors causing their formation are incompletely understood. Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) accumulate in Bruch's membrane including basal deposits and drusen with aging. One mechanism by which AGEs alter a cell's phenotype is via AGE receptors. The purpose of this study was to immunolocalize and quantify the expression of AGE receptors by RPE cells associated with basal deposits or normal Bruch's membrane that were microdissected from human maculas. Postmortem eyes from 14 aged control donors and five donors with non-neovascular AMD were cryopreserved. RPE cells associated with normal Bruch's membrane or basal deposits were laser capture microdissected. The RNA was extracted and used for RT-qPCR to quantify the expression of RAGE, AGE R1, AGE R2, and AGE R3. Streptavidin alkaline phosphatase immunohistochemistry for these receptors was also performed and sections were bleached from 14 normal and nine AMD donors. RT-qPCR showed significant upregulation of RAGE, AGE R1, and AGE R3 in RPE cells overlying basal deposits compared to cells attached to morphologically normal Bruch's membrane. Immunohistochemical analysis for RAGE, AGER1, R2, and R3 showed diffuse, light staining of RPE cells and strong choriocapillaris staining in areas of normal Bruch's membrane. In areas of basal deposits, the RPE had more intense staining for RAGE and AGER1 compared to regions of normal Bruch's membrane. These results suggest that AGE receptors could influence the formation of basal deposits during aging and AMD.
PMCID: PMC3266699  PMID: 16364296
age-related macular degeneration; advanced glycation endproducts; advanced glycation endproduct receptor complex; aging; basal deposits; Bruch's membrane; receptor for advanced glycation endproducts; retinal pigment epithelium
9.  RAGE-Independent Autoreactive B Cell Activation In Response To Chromatin And HMGB1/DNA Immune Complexes 
Autoimmunity  2010;43(1):103-110.
Increasing evidence suggests that the excessive accumulation of apoptotic or necrotic cellular debris may contribute to the pathology of systemic autoimmune disease. HMGB1 is a nuclear DNA-associated protein, which can be released from dying cells thereby triggering inflammatory processes. We have previously shown that IgG2a-reactive BCR transgenic AM14 B cells proliferate in response to endogenous chromatin immune complexes (ICs), in the form of the anti-nucleosome antibody PL2-3 and cell debris, in a TLR9-dependent manner, and that these ICs contain HMGB1. Activation of AM14 B cells by these chromatin ICs was inhibited by a soluble form of the HMGB1 receptor, RAGE-Fc, suggesting HMGB1/RAGE interaction was important for this response [1]. To further explore the role of HMGB1 in autoreactive B cell activation, we assessed the capacity of purified calf thymus HMGB1 to bind dsDNA fragments and found that HMGB1 bound both CG-rich and CG-poor DNA. However, HMGB1/DNA complexes could not activate AM14 B cells unless HMGB1 was bound by IgG2a and thereby able to engage the BCR. To ascertain the role of RAGE in autoreactive B cell responses to chromatin ICs, we intercrossed AM14 and RAGE-deficient mice. We found that spontaneous and defined DNA ICs activated RAGE+ and RAGE− AM14 B cells to a comparable extent. These results suggest that HMGB1 promotes B cell responses to endogenous TLR9 ligands through a RAGE-independent mechanism.
PMCID: PMC2929824  PMID: 20014975
HMGB1; RAGE; AM14 B cells; TLR9; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; autoreactive B cell activation
10.  Knockdown of FABP5 mRNA decreases cellular cholesterol levels and results in decreased apoB100 secretion and triglyceride accumulation in ARPE-19 cells 
To maintain normal retinal function, retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells engulf photoreceptor outer segments (ROS) enriched in free fatty acids (FFAs). We have previously demonstrated fatty acid-binding protein 5 (FABP5) down-regulation in the RPE/choroidal complex in a mouse model of aging and early age-related macular degeneration. FABPs are involved in intracellular transport of FFAs and their targeting to specific metabolic pathways. To elucidate the role of FABP5 in lipid metabolism, the production of the FABP5 protein in a human RPE cell line was inhibited using RNA interference technology. As a result, the levels of cholesterol and cholesterol ester were decreased by about 40%, whereas FFAs and triglycerides were increased by 18 and 67% after siRNA treatment, respectively. Some species of phospholipids were decreased in siRNA-treated cells. Cellular lipid droplets were evident and apoB secretion was decreased by 76% in these cells. Additionally, we discovered that ARPE-19 cells could synthesize and secrete Apolipoprotein B100 (apoB100), which may serve as a backbone structure for the formation of lipoprotein particles in these cells. Our results indicate that FABP5 mRNA knockdown results in the accumulation of cellular triglycerides, decreased cholesterol levels, and reduced secretion of apoB100 protein and lipoprotein-like particles. These observations indicated that FABP5 plays a critical role in lipid metabolism in RPE cells, suggesting that FABP5 down-regulation in the RPE/choroid complex in vivo might contribute to aging and early age-related macular degeneration.
PMCID: PMC2879160  PMID: 19434059
apoB; cholesterol; lipid metabolism; FABP5; RPE; siRNA; triglycerides
11.  Cell-type specific recognition of human Metapneumoviruses by RIG-I and TLR7 and viral interference of RIG-I ligand recognition by HMPVB1 Phosphoprotein 
Human Metapneumoviruses (HMPV) are recently identified Paramyxoviridae that contribute to respiratory tract infections in children. No effective treatments or vaccines are available. Successful defense against virus infection relies on early detection by germline encoded pattern recognition receptors and activation of cytokine and type I interferon genes. Recently, the RNA helicase Retinoic acid inducible gene (RIG-I) has been shown to sense HMPV. In this study, we investigated the ability of two prototype strains of HMPV (A1 [NL\1\00] and B1 [NL\1\99]) to activate RIG-I and induce type I interferons (IFN). Despite the ability of both HMPV-A1 and B1 to infect and replicate in cell lines and primary cells, only the HMPV-A1 strain triggered RIG-I to induce IFNA/B gene transcription. The failure of the HMPV-B1 strain to elicit type I IFN production was dependent on the B1 phosphoprotein, which specifically prevented RIG-I-mediated sensing of HMPV viral 5’ triphosphate RNA. In contrast to most cell types, plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC) displayed a unique ability to sense both the A1 and B1 strains and in this case sensing was via Toll-like receptor (TLR)-7 rather than RIG-I. Collectively, these data reveal differential mechanisms of sensing for two closely related viruses, which operate in cell-type specific manners.
PMCID: PMC2834787  PMID: 20042593
Viral; Signal Transduction; Knockout mouse
12.  Cc Chemokine Receptor (Ccr)3/Eotaxin Is Followed by Ccr4/Monocyte-Derived Chemokine in Mediating Pulmonary T Helper Lymphocyte Type 2 Recruitment after Serial Antigen Challenge in Vivo 
Isolated peripheral blood CD4 cells from allergic individuals express CC chemokine receptor (CCR)3 and CCR4 after expansion in vitro. In addition, human T helper type 2 (Th2) cells polarized in vitro selectively express CCR3 and CCR4 at certain stages of activation/differentiation and respond preferentially to the ligands eotaxin and monocyte-derived chemokine (MDC). However, controversy arises when the in vivo significance of this distinct expression is discussed. To address the functional role of CCR3/eotaxin and CCR4/MDC during the in vivo recruitment of Th2 cells, we have transferred effector Th cells into naive mice to induce allergic airway disease. Tracking of these cells after repeated antigen challenge has established that both CCR3/eotaxin and CCR4/MDC axes contribute to the recruitment of Th2 cells to the lung, demonstrating the in vivo relevance of the expression of these receptors on Th2 cells. We have shown that involvement of the CCR3/eotaxin pathway is confined to early stages of the response in vivo, whereas repeated antigen stimulation results in the predominant use of the CCR4/MDC pathway. We propose that effector Th2 cells respond to both CCR3/eotaxin and CCR4/MDC pathways initially, but that a progressive increase in CCR4-positive cells results in the predominance of the CCR4/MDC axis in the long-term recruitment of Th2 cells in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2195756  PMID: 10637271
chemokines; effector T helper type 2 cells; migration; allergic airway disease; chemokine receptors
13.  Crucial Role of the Interleukin 1 Receptor Family Member T1/St2 in T Helper Cell Type 2–Mediated Lung Mucosal Immune Responses 
T1/ST2 is an orphan receptor of unknown function that is expressed on the surface of murine T helper cell type 2 (Th2), but not Th1 effector cells. In vitro blockade of T1/ST2 signaling with an immunoglobulin (Ig) fusion protein suppresses both differentiation to and activation of Th2, but not Th1 effector populations. In a nascent Th2-dominated response, anti-T1/ST2 monoclonal antibody (mAb) inhibited eosinophil infiltration, interleukin 5 secretion, and IgE production. To determine if these effects were mediated by a direct effect on Th2 cells, we next used a murine adoptive transfer model of Th1- and Th2-mediated lung mucosal immune responses. Administration of either T1/ST2 mAb or T1/ST2-Ig abrogated Th2 cytokine production in vivo and the induction of an eosinophilic inflammatory response, but failed to modify Th1-mediated inflammation. Taken together, our data demonstrate an important role of T1/ST2 in Th2-mediated inflammatory responses and suggest that T1/ST2 may prove to be a novel target for the selective suppression of Th2 immune responses.
PMCID: PMC2195643  PMID: 10510079
inflammation; eosinophil; asthma; cytokines; immunoglobulin superfamily

Results 1-13 (13)