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1.  Autotaxin expression from synovial fibroblasts is essential for the pathogenesis of modeled arthritis 
Synovial fibroblasts from patients and mice with arthritis express autotaxin, and ablation of autotaxin in fibroblasts ameliorates disease.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a destructive arthropathy characterized by chronic synovial inflammation that imposes a substantial socioeconomic burden. Under the influence of the proinflammatory milieu, synovial fibroblasts (SFs), the main effector cells in disease pathogenesis, become activated and hyperplastic, releasing proinflammatory factors and tissue-remodeling enzymes. This study shows that activated arthritic SFs from human patients and animal models express significant quantities of autotaxin (ATX; ENPP2), a lysophospholipase D that catalyzes the conversion of lysophosphatidylcholine to lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). ATX expression from SFs was induced by TNF, and LPA induced SF activation and effector functions in synergy with TNF. Conditional genetic ablation of ATX in mesenchymal cells, including SFs, resulted in disease attenuation in animal models of arthritis, establishing the ATX/LPA axis as a novel player in chronic inflammation and the pathogenesis of arthritis and a promising therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC3348105  PMID: 22493518
2.  Development and application of versatile high density microarrays for genome-wide analysis of Streptomyces coelicolor: characterization of the HspR regulon 
Genome Biology  2009;10(1):R5.
Development of high-density microarrays for global analysis of gene expression and transcription factor binding in Streptomyces coelicolor suggests a novel role for HspR in stress adaptation.
DNA microarrays are a key resource for global analysis of genome content, gene expression and the distribution of transcription factor binding sites. We describe the development and application of versatile high density ink-jet in situ-synthesized DNA arrays for the G+C rich bacterium Streptomyces coelicolor. High G+C content DNA probes often perform poorly on arrays, yielding either weak hybridization or non-specific signals. Thus, more than one million 60-mer oligonucleotide probes were experimentally tested for sensitivity and specificity to enable selection of optimal probe sets for the genome microarrays. The heat-shock HspR regulatory system of S. coelicolor, a well-characterized repressor with a small number of known targets, was exploited to test and validate the arrays for use in global chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-chip (ChIP-chip) and gene expression analysis.
In addition to confirming dnaK, clpB and lon as in vivo targets of HspR, it was revealed, using a novel ChIP-chip data clustering method, that HspR also apparently interacts with ribosomal RNA (rrnD operon) and specific transfer RNA genes (the tRNAGln/tRNAGlu cluster). It is suggested that enhanced synthesis of Glu-tRNAGlu may reflect increased demand for tetrapyrrole biosynthesis following heat-shock. Moreover, it was found that heat-shock-induced genes are significantly enriched for Gln/Glu codons relative to the whole genome, a finding that would be consistent with HspR-mediated control of the tRNA species.
This study suggests that HspR fulfils a broader, unprecedented role in adaptation to stresses than previously recognized - influencing expression of key components of the translational apparatus in addition to molecular chaperone and protease-encoding genes. It is envisaged that these experimentally optimized arrays will provide a key resource for systems level studies of Streptomyces biology.
PMCID: PMC2687793  PMID: 19146703
3.  Analysis of gene expression in operons of Streptomyces coelicolor 
Genome Biology  2006;7(6):R46.
Analysis of the relative transcript levels of intra-operonic genes in Streptomyces coelicolor suggests significant levels of internal regulation.
Recent studies have shown that microarray-derived gene-expression data are useful for operon prediction. However, it is apparent that genes within an operon do not conform to the simple notion that they have equal levels of expression.
To investigate the relative transcript levels of intra-operonic genes, we have used a Z-score approach to normalize the expression levels of all genes within an operon to expression of the first gene of that operon. Here we demonstrate that there is a general downward trend in expression from the first to the last gene in Streptomyces coelicolor operons, in contrast to what we observe in Escherichia coli. Combining transcription-factor binding-site prediction with the identification of operonic genes that exhibited higher transcript levels than the first gene of the same operon enabled the discovery of putative internal promoters. The presence of transcription terminators and abundance of putative transcriptional control sequences in S. coelicolor operons are also described.
Here we have demonstrated a polarity of expression in operons of S. coelicolor not seen in E. coli, bringing caution to those that apply operon prediction strategies based on E. coli 'equal-expression' to divergent species. We speculate that this general difference in transcription behavior could reflect the contrasting lifestyles of the two organisms and, in the case of Streptomyces, might also be influenced by its high G+C content genome. Identification of putative internal promoters, previously thought to cause problems in operon prediction strategies, has also been enabled.
PMCID: PMC1779546  PMID: 16749941

Results 1-3 (3)