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1.  Signature MicroRNA expression patterns identified in humans with 22q11.2 deletion/DiGeorge syndrome 
Patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome have heterogeneous clinical presentations including immunodeficiency, cardiac anomalies, and hypocalcemia. The syndrome arises from hemizygous deletions of up to 3 Mb on chromosome 22q11.2, a region that contains 60 genes and 4 microRNAs. MicroRNAs are important post-transcriptional regulators of gene expression, with mutations in several microRNAs causal to specific human diseases. We characterized the microRNA expression patterns in the peripheral blood of patients with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (n=31) compared to normal controls (n=22). Eighteen microRNAs had a statistically significant differential expression (p<0.05), with miR-185 expressed at 0.4× normal levels. The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome cohort exhibited microRNA expression hyper-variability and group dysregulation. Selected microRNAs distinguished patients with cardiac anomalies, hypocalcemia, and/or low circulating T cell counts. In summary, microRNA profiling of chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome/DiGeorge patients revealed a signature microRNA expression pattern distinct from normal controls with clinical relevance.
doi:10.1016/j.clim.2013.01.011
PMCID: PMC3748608  PMID: 23454892
22q11.2 deletion syndrome; microRNA profiling; miR-185; DiGeorge syndrome; Primary immunodeficiency disease
2.  Immune System as a Sensory System 
As suggested by the well-known gestalt concept the immune system can be regarded as an integrated complex system, the functioning of which cannot be fully characterized by the behavior of its constituent elements. Similar approaches to the immune system in particular and sensory systems in general allows one to discern similarities and differences in the process of distinguishing informative patterns in an otherwise random background, thus initiating an appropriate and adequate response. This may lead to a new interpretation of difficulties in the comprehension of some immunological phenomena.
PMCID: PMC3113540  PMID: 21686066
lateral inhibition; receptor specificity; uncertainty; affinity
3.  Immune System as a Sensory System 
As suggested by the well-known gestalt concept the immune system can be regarded as an integrated complex system, the functioning of which cannot be fully characterized by the behavior of its constituent elements. Similar approaches to the immune system in particular and sensory systems in general allows one to discern similarities and differences in the process of distinguishing informative patterns in an otherwise random background, thus initiating an appropriate and adequate response. This may lead to a new interpretation of difficulties in the comprehension of some immunological phenomena.
PMCID: PMC3113540  PMID: 21686066
lateral inhibition; receptor specificity; uncertainty; affinity
4.  Intraclonal Complexity in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia: Fractions Enriched in Recently Born/Divided and Older/Quiescent Cells 
Molecular Medicine  2011;17(11-12):1374-1382.
The failure of chemotherapeutic regimens to eradicate cancers often results from the outgrowth of minor subclones with more dangerous genomic abnormalities or with self-renewing capacity. To explore such intratumor complexities in B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), we measured B-cell kinetics in vivo by quantifying deuterium (2H)-labeled cells as an indicator of a cell that had divided. Separating CLL clones on the basis of reciprocal densities of chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) and cluster designation 5 (CD5) revealed that the CXCR4dimCD5bright (proliferative) fraction contained more 2H-labeled DNA and hence divided cells than the CXCR4brightCD5dim (resting) fraction. This enrichment was confirmed by the relative expression of two cell cycle–associated molecules in the same fractions, Ki-67 and minichromosome maintenance protein 6 (MCM6). Comparisons of global gene expression between the CXCR4dimCD5bright and CXCR4brightCD5dim fractions indicated higher levels of pro-proliferation and antiapoptotic genes and genes involved in oxidative injury in the proliferative fraction. An extended immunophenotype was also defined, providing a wider range of surface molecules characteristic of each fraction. These intraclonal analyses suggest a model of CLL cell biology in which the leukemic clone contains a spectrum of cells from the proliferative fraction, enriched in recently divided robust cells that are lymphoid tissue emigrants, to the resting fraction enriched in older, less vital cells that need to immigrate to lymphoid tissue or die. The model also suggests several targets preferentially expressed in the two populations amenable for therapeutic attack. Finally, the study lays the groundwork for future analyses that might provide a more robust understanding of the development and clonal evolution of this currently incurable disease.
doi:10.2119/molmed.2011.00360
PMCID: PMC3321822  PMID: 21968788
5.  Internal standard-based analysis of microarray data2—Analysis of functional associations between HVE-genes 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;39(18):7881-7899.
In this work we apply the Internal Standard-based analytical approach that we described in an earlier communication and here we demonstrate experimental results on functional associations among the hypervariably-expressed genes (HVE-genes). Our working assumption was that those genetic components, which initiate the disease, involve HVE-genes for which the level of expression is undistinguishable among healthy individuals and individuals with pathology. We show that analysis of the functional associations of the HVE-genes is indeed suitable to revealing disease-specific differences. We show also that another possible exploit of HVE-genes for characterization of pathological alterations is by using multivariate classification methods. This in turn offers important clues on naturally occurring dynamic processes in the organism and is further used for dynamic discrimination of groups of compared samples. We conclude that our approach can uncover principally new collective differences that cannot be discerned by individual gene analysis.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkr503
PMCID: PMC3185418  PMID: 21715372
6.  A Comprehensive and Universal Method for Assessing the Performance of Differential Gene Expression Analyses 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(9):e12657.
The number of methods for pre-processing and analysis of gene expression data continues to increase, often making it difficult to select the most appropriate approach. We present a simple procedure for comparative estimation of a variety of methods for microarray data pre-processing and analysis. Our approach is based on the use of real microarray data in which controlled fold changes are introduced into 20% of the data to provide a metric for comparison with the unmodified data. The data modifications can be easily applied to raw data measured with any technological platform and retains all the complex structures and statistical characteristics of the real-world data. The power of the method is illustrated by its application to the quantitative comparison of different methods of normalization and analysis of microarray data. Our results demonstrate that the method of controlled modifications of real experimental data provides a simple tool for assessing the performance of data preprocessing and analysis methods.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012657
PMCID: PMC2936572  PMID: 20844739
7.  Identification of Unique MicroRNA Signature Associated with Lupus Nephritis 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(5):e10344.
MicroRNAs (miRNA) have emerged as an important new class of modulators of gene expression. In this study we investigated miRNA that are differentially expressed in lupus nephritis. Microarray technology was used to investigate differentially expressed miRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-transformed cell lines obtained from lupus nephritis affected patients and unaffected controls. TaqMan-based stem-loop real-time polymerase chain reaction was used for validation. Microarray analysis of miRNA expressed in both African American (AA) and European American (EA) derived lupus nephritis samples revealed 29 and 50 differentially expressed miRNA, respectively, of 850 tested. There were 18 miRNA that were differentially expressed in both racial groups. When samples from both racial groups and different specimen types were considered, there were 5 primary miRNA that were differentially expressed. We have identified 5 miRNA; hsa-miR-371-5P, hsa-miR-423-5P, hsa-miR-638, hsa-miR-1224-3P and hsa-miR-663 that were differentially expressed in lupus nephritis across different racial groups and all specimen types tested. Hsa-miR-371-5P, hsa-miR-1224-3P and hsa-miR-423-5P, are reported here for the first time to be associated with lupus nephritis. Our work establishes EBV-transformed B cell lines as a useful model for the discovery of miRNA as biomarkers for SLE. Based on these findings, we postulate that these differentially expressed miRNA may be potential novel biomarkers for SLE as well as help elucidate pathogenic mechanisms of lupus nephritis. The investigation of miRNA profiles in SLE may lead to the discovery and development of novel methods to diagnosis, treat and prevent SLE.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010344
PMCID: PMC2867940  PMID: 20485490
8.  Replication of the BANK1 genetic association with systemic lupus erythematosus in a European-Derived Population 
Genes and immunity  2009;10(5):531-538.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease with highly variable clinical presentation. Patients suffer from immunological abnormalities that target T cell, B cell and accessory cell functions. B cells are hyperactive in SLE patients. An adaptor protein expressed in B cells called BANK1 (B-cell scaffold protein with ankyrin repeats) was reported in a previous study to be associated with SLE in a European population. The objective of this study is to assess the BANK1 genotype-phenotype association in an independent replication sample. We genotyped 38 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in BANK1 on 1892 European-derived SLE patients and 2652 European-derived controls. The strongest associations with SLE and BANK1 were at rs17266594 (corrected p-value=1.97 × 10−5, OR=1.22, 95% C.I.(1.12–1.34)) and rs10516487 (corrected p-value=2.59 × 10−5, OR=1.22, 95% C.I.(1.11–1.34)). Our findings suggest that the association is explained by these two SNPs, confirming previous reports that these polymorphisms contribute to the risk of developing lupus. Analysis of patient subsets enriched for hematological, immunological and renal ACR criteria or the levels of autoantibodies, such as anti-RNP A and anti-SmRNP, uncovers additional BANK1 associations. Our results suggest that BANK1 polymorphisms alter immune system development and function to increase the risk for developing lupus.
doi:10.1038/gene.2009.18
PMCID: PMC2736873  PMID: 19339986
systemic lupus erythematosus; replication; association; European; BANK1

Results 1-8 (8)