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1.  Intracellular CD24 disrupts the ARF–NPM interaction and enables mutational and viral oncogene-mediated p53 inactivation 
Nature Communications  2015;6:5909.
CD24 is overexpressed in nearly 70% human cancers, whereas TP53 is the most frequently mutated tumour-suppressor gene that functions in a context-dependent manner. Here we show that both targeted mutation and short hairpin RNA (shRNA) silencing of CD24 retard the growth, progression and metastasis of prostate cancer. CD24 competitively inhibits ARF binding to NPM, resulting in decreased ARF, increase MDM2 and decrease levels of p53 and the p53 target p21/CDKN1A. CD24 silencing prevents functional inactivation of p53 by both somatic mutation and viral oncogenes, including the SV40 large T antigen and human papilloma virus 16 E6-antigen. In support of the functional interaction between CD24 and p53, in silico analyses reveal that TP53 mutates at a higher rate among glioma and prostate cancer samples with higher CD24 mRNA levels. These data provide a general mechanism for functional inactivation of ARF and reveal an important cellular context for genetic and viral inactivation of TP53.
P53 is a tumour suppressor that is frequently mutated or downregulated in cancer. Here, Wang et al. show that CD24, a molecule frequently overexpressed in cancer, promotes p53 degradation by disrupting a regulatory ARF–MDM2 interaction, and silencing CD24 prevents the downregulation of p53.
doi:10.1038/ncomms6909
PMCID: PMC4300525  PMID: 25600590
2.  Genome-Scale Transcriptome Analysis of the Alpine “Glasshouse” Plant Rheum nobile (Polygonaceae) with Special Translucent Bracts 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e110712.
Background
Rheum nobile is an alpine plant with translucent bracts concealing the inflorescence which produce a “glasshouse” effect promoting the development of fertile pollen grains in such conditions. The current understanding of the adaptation of such bracts to alpine environments mainly focuses on the phenotypic and physiological changes while the genetic basis is very limited. By sequencing the upper bract and the lower rosulate leaf from the same R. nobile stem, we identified candidate genes that may be involved in alpine adaption of the translucent bract in “glasshouse” plants and illustrated the changes in gene expression underlying the adaptive and complex evolution of the bracts phenotype.
Results
A total of 174.2 million paired-end reads from each transcriptome were assembled into 25,249 unigenes. By comparing the gene expression profiles, we identified 1,063 and 786 genes up-regulated respectively in the upper bract and the lower leaf. Functional enrichment analyses of these genes recovered a number of differential important pathways, including flavonoid biosynthesis, mismatch repair and photosynthesis related pathways. These pathways are mainly involved in three types of functions: 9 genes in the UV protective process, 9 mismatch repair related genes and 88 genes associated with photosynthesis.
Conclusions
This study provides the first comprehensive dataset characterizing Rheum nobile gene expression at the transcriptomic scale, and provides novel insights into the gene expression profiles associated with the adaptation of the “glasshouse” plant bracts. The dataset will be served as a public genetic resources for further functional and evolutionary studies of “glasshouse” plants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110712
PMCID: PMC4208811  PMID: 25343261
3.  SUMOylation of FOXM1B Alters Its Transcriptional Activity on Regulation of MiR-200 Family and JNK1 in MCF7 Human Breast Cancer Cells 
Transcription factor Forkhead Box Protein M1 (FOXM1) is a well-known master regulator in controlling cell-cycle pathways essential for DNA replication and mitosis, as well as cell proliferation. Among the three major isoforms of FOXM1, FOXM1B is highly associated with tumor growth and metastasis. The activities of FOXM1B are modulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs), such as phosphorylation, but whether it is modified by small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) remains unknown. The aim of the current study was to determine whether FOXM1B is post-translationally modified by SUMO proteins and also to identify SUMOylation of FOXM1B on its target gene transcription activity. Here we report that FOXM1B is clearly defined as a SUMO target protein at the cellular levels. Moreover, a SUMOylation protease, SENP2, significantly decreased SUMOylation of FOXM1B. Notably, FOXM1B is selectively SUMOylated at lysine residue 463. While SUMOylation of FOXM1B is required for full repression of its target genes MiR-200b/c and p21, SUMOylation of FOXM1B is essential for full activation of JNK1 gene. Overall, we provide evidence that FOXM1B is post-translationally modified by SUMO and SUMOylation of FOXM1B plays a functional role in regulation of its target gene activities.
doi:10.3390/ijms150610233
PMCID: PMC4100150  PMID: 24918286
FOXM1; SUMOylation; transcriptional activity; MiR-200b/c; JNK1
4.  FOXP3 Regulates Sensitivity of Cancer Cells to Irradiation by Transcriptional Repression of BRCA1 
Cancer research  2013;73(7):10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-2481.
FOXP3 is an X-linked tumor suppressor gene and a master regulator in T regulatory cell function. This gene has been found to be mutated frequently in breast and prostate cancers and to inhibit tumor cell growth, but its functional significance in DNA repair has not been studied. We found that FOXP3 silencing stimulates homologous recombination-mediated DNA repair and also repair of γ-irradiation-induced DNA damage. Expression profiling and chromatin-immunoprecipitation analyses revealed that FOXP3 regulated the BRCA1-mediated DNA repair program. Among 48 FOXP3-regulated DNA repair genes, BRCA1 and 12 others were direct targets of FOXP3 transcriptional control. Site-specific interaction of FOXP3 with the BRCA1 promoter repressed its transcription. Somatic FOXP3 mutants identified in breast cancer samples had reduced BRCA1 repressor activity, while FOXP3 silencing and knock-in of a prostate cancer-derived somatic FOXP3 mutant increased the radioresistance of cancer cells. Together our findings provide a missing link between FOXP3 function and DNA repair programs.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-2481
PMCID: PMC3815443  PMID: 23319807
5.  Acidic Residue Glu199 Increases SUMOylation Level of Nuclear Hormone Receptor NR5A1 
Steroidogenic factor 1 (NR5A1/SF1) is a well-known master regulator in controlling adrenal and sexual development, as well as regulating numerous genes involved in adrenal and gonadal steroidogenesis. Several studies including ours have demonstrated that NR5A1 can be SUMOylated on lysine 194 (K194, the major site) and lysine 119 (K119, the minor site), and the cycle of SUMOylation regulates NR5A1’s transcriptional activity. An extended consensus negatively charged amino acid-dependent SUMOylation motif (NDSM) enhances the specificity of substrate modification by SUMO has been reported; however, the mechanism of NDSM for NR5A1 remains to be clarified. In this study, we investigated the functional significance of the acidic residue located downstream from the core consensus SUMO site of NR5A1. Here we report that E199A (glutamic acid was replaced with alanine) of NR5A1 reduced, but not completely abolished, its SUMOylation level. We next characterized the functional role of NR5A1 E199A on target gene expression and protein levels. We found that E199A alone, as well as combination with K194R, increased Mc2r and Cyp19a1 reporter activities. Moreover, E199A alone as well as combination with K194R enhanced NR5A1-mediated STAR protein levels in mouse adrenocortical cancer Y1 cells. We also observed that E199A increased interaction of NR5A1 with CDK7 and SRC1. Overall, we provide the evidence that the acidic residue (E199) located downstream from the core consensus SUMO site of NR5A1 is, at least in part, required for SUMOylation of NR5A1 and for its mediated target gene and protein expression.
doi:10.3390/ijms141122331
PMCID: PMC3856066  PMID: 24232453
NR5A1/SF1; SUMOylation; transcriptional activity; NDSM
6.  Discovery and SARs of Trans-3-Aryl Acrylic Acids and Their Analogs as Novel Anti- Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) Agents 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e56475.
A series of trans-3-aryl acrylic acids 1–27 and their derivatives 28–34 were prepared and evaluated for their antiviral activity against tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) for the first time. The bioassay results showed that most of these compounds exhibited good antiviral activity against TMV, of which compounds 1, 5, 6, 20, 27 and 34 exhibited significantly higher activity against TMV than commercial Ribavirin both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, these compounds have more simple structure than commercial Ribavirin, and can be synthesized more efficiently. These new findings demonstrate that trans-3-aryl acrylic acids and their derivatives represent a new template for antiviral studies and could be considered for novel therapy against plant virus infection.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0056475
PMCID: PMC3572066  PMID: 23418574
7.  First Discovery and Stucture-Activity Relationship Study of Phenanthroquinolizidines as Novel Antiviral Agents against Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e52933.
A series of phenanthroquinolizidine alkaloids 1–24 were prepared and first evaluated for their antiviral activity against tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). The bioassay results showed that most of these compounds exhibited good to excellent in vivo anti-TMV activity, of which compounds 1, 2, 15 and 16 displayed significantly higher activity than (R)-antofine and commercial Ningnanmycin at the same test condition. The substituents on the phenanthrene moiety play an important role for maintaining high in vivo antiviral activity. The introduction of 6-hydroxyl, which is proposed to interact with TMV RNA, did increased anti-TMV activity. The 14aR-configuration was confirmed to be the preferred antiviral configuration for phenanthroquinolizidine alkaloids. Introduction of hydroxy group at 15-position of phenanthroquinolizidine alkaloids increased activity for S-configuration but decreased activity for R-configuration. Present study provides fundamental support for development and optimization of phenanthroquinolizidine alkaloids as potential inhibitors of plant virus.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052933
PMCID: PMC3532156  PMID: 23285230
8.  FOXP3 Orchestrates H4K16 Acetylation and H3K4 Tri-Methylation for Activation of Multiple Genes through Recruiting MOF and Causing Displacement of PLU-1 
Molecular cell  2011;44(5):770-784.
SUMMARY
Both H4K16 acetylation and H3K4 tri-methylation are required for gene activation. However, it is still largely unclear how these modifications are orchestrated by transcriptional factors. Here we analyzed the mechanism of the transcriptional activation by FOXP3, an X-linked suppressor of autoimmune diseases and cancers. FOXP3 binds near transcriptional start sites of its target genes. By recruiting MOF and displacing histone H3K4 demethylase PLU-1, FOXP3 increases both H4K16 acetylation and H3K4 tri-methylation at the FOXP3-associated chromatins of multiple FOXP3-activated genes. RNAi-mediated silencing of MOF reduced both gene activation and tumor suppression by FOXP3, while both somatic mutations in clinical cancer samples and targeted mutation of FOXP3 in mouse prostate epithelial disrupted nuclear localization of MOF. Our data demonstrate a pull-push model in which a single transcription factor orchestrates two epigenetic alterations necessary for gene activation and provide a mechanism for somatic inactivation of the FOXP3 protein function in cancer cells.
doi:10.1016/j.molcel.2011.10.012
PMCID: PMC3243051  PMID: 22152480
9.  A hypermorphic SP1-binding CD24 variant associates with risk and progression of multiple sclerosis 
A large number of risk alleles have been identified for multiple sclerosis (MS). However, how genetic variations may affect pathogenesis remains largely unknown for most risk alleles. Through direct sequencing of CD24 promoter region, we identified a cluster of 7 new single nucleotide polymorphisms in the CD24 promoter. A hypermorphic haplotype consisting of 3 SNPs was identified through association studies consisting of 935 control and 764 MS patients (P=0.001, odds ratio 1.3). The variant is also associated with more rapid progression of MS (P=0.016, log rank test). In cells that are heterozygous for the risk allele, chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that risk allele specifically bind to a transcription factor SP1, which is selectively required for the hypermorphic promoter activity of the variant. In MS patients, the CD24 transcript levels associate with the SP1-binding variant in a dose-dependent manner (P=7x10-4). Our data revealed a potential role for SP1-mediated transcriptional regulation in MS pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3426393  PMID: 22937211
Multiple sclerosis (MS); SP-binding CD24; promoter; risk alleles; single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP)
10.  Identification of a Tumor Suppressor Relay between the FOXP3 and the Hippo Pathways in Breast and Prostate Cancers 
Cancer research  2011;71(6):2162-2171.
Summary
Defective expression of LATS2, a negative regulator of YAP onco-protein, has been reported in cancer of prostate, breast, liver, brain and blood origins. However, no transcriptional regulators for the LATS2 gene have been identified. Defective expression of LATS2, a negative regulator of YAP oncoprotein, has been reported in prostate, breast, liver, brain and blood cancers. However, the basis for LATS2 dysregulation in cancer is undefined. Here we report that spontaneous mutation of the transcription factor FOXP3 reduces expression of the LATS2 gene in mammary epithelial cells. shRNA-mediated silencing of FOXP3 in normal or malignant mammary epithelial cells of mouse and human origin repressed LATS2 expression and increased YAP protein levels. LATS2 induction required binding of FOXP3 to a specific sequence in the LATS2 promoter, and this interaction contributed to FOXP3-mediated growth inhibition of tumor cells. In support of these results, reduced expression and somatic mutations of FOXP3 correlated strongly with defective LATS2 expression in microdissected prostate cancer tissues. Thus, defective expression of LATS2 is attributable to FOXP3 defects and may be a major independent determinant of YAP protein elevation in cancer. Our findings identify a novel mechanism of LATS2 downregulation in cancer and reveal an important tumor suppressor relay between the FOXP3 and HIPPO pathways which are widely implicated in human cancer.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-3268
PMCID: PMC3070402  PMID: 21278236
prostate cancer; breast cancer; Hippo pathway; FoxP3; tumor suppressor genes
11.  X-linked Tumor Suppressors: Perplexing Inheritance, a unique Therapeutic Opportunity 
Trends in genetics : TIG  2010;26(6):260-265.
Unlike autosomal genes, the majority of X-linked genes are subject to dosage compensation. As a result, female tissues are comprised of cells exclusively expressing X-linked genes from one or the other parent. The implication of having only one allele of active X-linked genes in cancer pathogenesis, i.e. somatic single-hit inactivation and dominant inheritance has not been explored extensively. Recent studies identified FOXP3 and WTX as two X-linked tumor suppressor genes that are somatically inactivated by single genetic hits. Because the predicted dominant inheritance of cancer risk has not been demonstrated in human, we discuss possible conditions that might prevent such dominant inheritance. We also argue that the existence of a genetically intact allele in cancer cells in women, together with apparent abnormal X-inactivation in cancer cells, might provide an opportunity to selectively reactivate tumor suppressor genes for cancer therapy.
doi:10.1016/j.tig.2010.03.004
PMCID: PMC2901104  PMID: 20434787
12.  Crystalloid and colloid preload for maintaining cardiac output in elderly patients undergoing total hip replacement under spinal anesthesia 
Journal of Biomedical Research  2011;25(3):185-190.
The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of colloid and crystalloid preload on cardiac output (CO) and incidence of hypotension in elderly patients under spinal anesthesia (SA). A randomized, double-blinded study was conducted including 47 elderly patients undergoing scheduled total hip replacement (THR), who were randomized to three groups: the control group (C group, n = 15), crystalloid (RS group, n =16) and colloid group (HES group, n = 16). An intravenous preload of 8 mL/kg of either lactated Ringer's solution in the RS group or 6% hydroxyethyl starch in the HES group was infused within 20 min before SA induction, while no intravenous preload was given in the C group. There was a trend of decrease in CO and systolic blood pressure after SA with time in the C group. In the RS and HES groups, CO increased significantly after fluid preloading as compared with baseline (P < 0.01). Thereafter, CO remained higher than baseline until 30 min after SA in the HES group. The change of systolic blood pressure was similar to CO, but no significant difference from baseline was observed in each group. Hypotension occurred in 3 patients in the C group and one each in the RS and HES group, respectively (P = 0.362). Intravascular volume preload with colloid is more effective than crystalloid solution in maintaining CO, which may be improved the hemodynamic stability in elderly patients during SA.
doi:10.1016/S1674-8301(11)60024-9
PMCID: PMC3597059  PMID: 23554688
anesthesia; spinal; cardiac output; aged; arthroplasty; replacement; hip
13.  Somatic Single-hits Inactivate the X-linked Tumor Suppressor FOXP3 in the Prostate 
Cancer cell  2009;16(4):336-346.
Despite clear epidemiological and genetic evidence for X-linked prostate cancer risk, all prostate cancer genes identified are autosomal. Here we report somatic inactivating mutations and deletion of the X-linked FOXP3 gene residing at Xp11.23 in human prostate cancer. Lineage-specific ablation of FoxP3 in the mouse prostate epithelial cells leads to prostate hyperplasia and prostate intraepithelial neoplasia. In both normal and malignant prostate tissues, FOXP3 is both necessary and sufficient to transcriptionally repress cMYC, the most commonly over-expressed oncogene in prostate cancer as well as among the aggregates of other cancers. FOXP3 is an X-linked prostate tumor suppressor in the male. Since the male has only one X chromosome, our data represents a paradigm of “single-genetic-hit” inactivation-mediated carcinogenesis.
doi:10.1016/j.ccr.2009.08.016
PMCID: PMC2758294  PMID: 19800578
14.  FOXP3 Up-regulates p21 Expression by Site-specific Inhibition of Histone Deacetylase 2/4 Association to the Locus 
Cancer research  2009;69(6):2252-2259.
p21-loss has been implicated in conferring oncogenic activity to known tumor suppressor gene KLF4 and cancer drug tamoxifen. Regulators of p21 therefore play critical roles in tumorigenesis. Here we report that X-linked tumor suppressor FOXP3 is essential for p21 expression in normal epithelia and that lack of FOXP3 associated with p21 down-regulation in breast cancer samples. A specific FOXP3 binding site in the intron 1 is essential for p21 induction by FOXP3. FOXP3 specifically inhibited binding of histone deacetylase (HDAC) 2 and 4 to the site and increased local histone H3 acetylation. ShRNA silencing of either HDAC2 or HDAC4 is sufficient to induce p21 expression. Our data provides a novel mechanism for transcriptional activation by FOXP3 and a genetic mechanism for lack of p21 in a large proportion of breast cancer.
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-3717
PMCID: PMC2715174  PMID: 19276356
15.  Laforin Negatively Regulates Cell Cycle Progression through Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3β-Dependent Mechanisms▿ §  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(23):7236-7244.
Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) represses cell cycle progression by directly phosphorylating cyclin D1 and indirectly regulating cyclin D1 transcription by inhibiting Wnt signaling. Recently, we reported that the Epm2a-encoded laforin is a GSK-3β phosphatase and a tumor suppressor. The cellular mechanism for its tumor suppression remains unknown. Using ex vivo thymocytes and primary embryonic fibroblasts from Epm2a−/− mice, we show here a general function of laforin in the cell cycle regulation and repression of cyclin D1 expression. Moreover, targeted mutation of Epm2a increased the phosphorylation of Ser9 on GSK-3β while having no effect on the phosphorylation of Ser21 on GSK-3α. In the GSK-3β+/+ but not the GSK-3β−/− cells, Epm2a small interfering RNA significantly enhanced cell growth. Consistent with an increased level of cyclin D1, the phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (Rb) and the levels of Rb-E2F-regulated genes cyclin A, cyclin E, MCM3, and PCNA are also elevated. Inhibitors of GSK-3β selectively increased the cell growth of Epm2a+/+ but not of Epm2a−/− cells. Taken together, our data demonstrate that laforin is a selective phosphatase for GSK-3β and regulates cell cycle progression by GSK-3β-dependent mechanisms. These data provide a cellular basis for the tumor suppression activity of laforin.
doi:10.1128/MCB.01334-08
PMCID: PMC2593373  PMID: 18824542
16.  Broad expression of the FoxP3 locus in epithelial cells: A caution against an early interpretation of fatal inflammatory diseases following in vivo depletion of FoxP3-expressing cells1 
Dogma that the Treg prevents catastrophic autoimmunity throughout the lifespan relies on the assumption that the FoxP3 locus is transcribed exclusively in Treg. To test the assumption, we used the Rag2−/− and the Rag2−/− mice with the Scurfy mutation (FoxP3sf/y or FoxP3sf/sf) to evaluate FoxP3 expression outside of lymphoid system. Immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR revealed FoxP3 expression in breast epithelial cells, lung respiratory epithelial cells and in prostate secretory epithelial cells, although not in liver, heart and intestine. The specificity of the assays is confirmed as the signals were ablated by the Scurfy mutation of the FoxP3 gene. Using mice with green fluorescence protein (GFP) open-reading frame knocked into the 3′ untranslated region of the FoxP3 locus, we showed that the locus is transcribed broadly in epithelial cells of multiple organs. These results refute an essential underlying assumption of the dogma and question the specificity of FoxP3-based Treg depletion.
PMCID: PMC2527697  PMID: 18390696
17.  FOXP3 is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor gene and an important repressor of the HER-2/ErbB2 oncogene 
Cell  2007;129(7):1275-1286.
The X-linked Foxp3 is a member of the forkhead/winged helix transcription factor family. Germ-line mutations cause lethal autoimmune diseases in males. Serendipitously, we observed that Foxp3sf/+ heterozygous mice developed cancer at a high rate. The majority of the cancers were mammary carcinomas in which the wild-type Foxp3 allele was inactivated and ErbB2 was over-expressed. Foxp3 bound and repressed the ErbB2 promoter. Deletion, functionally significant somatic mutations and down-regulation of the FOXP3 gene were commonly found in human breast cancer samples and correlated significantly with HER-2 over-expression, regardless of the status of HER-2 amplification. In toto, the data demonstrate that FOXP3 is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor gene and an important regulator of the HER-2/ErbB2 oncogene.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2007.04.034
PMCID: PMC1974845  PMID: 17570480
18.  FOXP3 is a novel transcriptional repressor for the breast cancer oncogene SKP2  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2007;117(12):3765-3773.
S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (SKP2) is a component of the E3 ubiquitin ligase SKP1-Cul1-Fbox complex. Overexpression of SKP2 results in cell cycle dysregulation and carcinogenesis; however, the genetic lesions that cause this upregulation are poorly understood. We recently demonstrated that forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) is an X-linked breast cancer suppressor and an important repressor of the oncogene ERBB2/HER2. Since FOXP3 suppresses tumor growth regardless of whether the tumors overexpress ERBB2/HER2, additional FOXP3 targets may be involved in its tumor suppressor activity. Here, we show that mammary carcinomas from mice heterozygous for a Foxp3 mutation exhibited increased Skp2 expression. Ectopic expression of FOXP3 in mouse mammary cancer cells repressed SKP2 expression with a corresponding increase in p27 and polyploidy. Conversely, siRNA silencing of the FOXP3 gene in human mammary epithelial cells increased SKP2 expression. We also show that Foxp3 directly interacted with and repressed the Skp2 promoter. Moreover, the analysis of over 200 primary breast cancer samples revealed an inverse correlation between FOXP3 and SKP2 levels. Finally, we demonstrated that downregulation of SKP2 was critical for FOXP3-mediated growth inhibition in breast cancer cells that do not overexpress ERBB2/HER2. Our data provide genetic, biochemical, and functional evidence that FOXP3 is a novel transcriptional repressor for the oncogene SKP2.
doi:10.1172/JCI32538
PMCID: PMC2075479  PMID: 18008005
19.  Plants Attract Parasitic Wasps to Defend Themselves against Insect Pests by Releasing Hexenol 
PLoS ONE  2007;2(9):e852.
Background
Plant volatiles play an important role in defending plants against insect attacks by attracting their natural enemies. For example, green leaf volatiles (GLVs) and terpenoids emitted from herbivore-damaged plants were found to be important in the host location of parasitic wasps. However, evidence of the functional roles and mechanisms of these semio-chemicals from a system of multiple plants in prey location by the parasitoid is limited. Little is known about the potential evolutionary trends between herbivore-induced host plant volatiles and the host location of their parasitoids.
Methodology/Principal Findings
The present study includes hierarchical cluster analyses of plant volatile profiles from seven families of host and non-host plants of pea leafminer, Liriomyza huidobrensis, and behavioral responses of a naive parasitic wasp, Opius dissitus, to some principal volatile compounds. Here we show that plants can effectively pull wasps, O. dissitus, towards them by releasing a universally induced compound, (Z)-3-hexenol, and potentially keep these plants safe from parasitic assaults by leafminer pests, L. huidobrensis. Specifically, we found that volatile profiles from healthy plants revealed a partly phylogenetic signal, while the inducible compounds of the infested-plants did not result from the fact that the induced plant volatiles dominate most of the volatile blends of the host and non-host plants of the leafminer pests. We further show that the parasitoids are capable of distinguishing the damaged host plant from the non-host plant of the leafminers.
Conclusions/Significance
Our results suggest that, as the most passive scenario of plant involvement, leafminers and mechanical damages evoke similar semio-chemicals. Using ubiquitous compounds, such as hexenol, for host location by general parasitoids could be an adaptation of the most conservative evolution of tritrophic interaction. Although for this, other compounds may be used to improve the precision of the host location by the parasitoids.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000852
PMCID: PMC1955833  PMID: 17786223
20.  A Dinucleotide Deletion in CD24 Confers Protection against Autoimmune Diseases 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(4):e49.
It is generally believed that susceptibility to both organ-specific and systemic autoimmune diseases is under polygenic control. Although multiple genes have been implicated in each type of autoimmune disease, few are known to have a significant impact on both. Here, we investigated the significance of polymorphisms in the human gene CD24 and the susceptibility to multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We used cases/control studies to determine the association between CD24 polymorphism and the risk of MS and SLE. In addition, we also considered transmission disequilibrium tests using family data from two cohorts consisting of a total of 150 pedigrees of MS families and 187 pedigrees of SLE families. Our analyses revealed that a dinucleotide deletion at position 1527∼1528 (P1527del) from the CD24 mRNA translation start site is associated with a significantly reduced risk (odds ratio = 0.54 with 95% confidence interval = 0.34–0.82) and delayed progression (p = 0.0188) of MS. Among the SLE cohort, we found a similar reduction of risk with the same polymorphism (odds ratio = 0.38, confidence interval = 0.22–0.62). More importantly, using 150 pedigrees of MS families from two independent cohorts and the TRANSMIT software, we found that the P1527del allele was preferentially transmitted to unaffected individuals (p = 0.002). Likewise, an analysis of 187 SLE families revealed the dinucleotide-deleted allele was preferentially transmitted to unaffected individuals (p = 0.002). The mRNA levels for the dinucleotide-deletion allele were 2.5-fold less than that of the wild-type allele. The dinucleotide deletion significantly reduced the stability of CD24 mRNA. Our results demonstrate that a destabilizing dinucleotide deletion in the 3′ UTR of CD24 mRNA conveys significant protection against both MS and SLE.
Author Summary
When an individual's immune system attacks self tissues or organs, he/she develops autoimmune diseases. Although it is well established that multiple genes control susceptibility to autoimmune diseases, most of the genes remain unidentified. In addition, although different autoimmune diseases have a common immunological basis, a very small number of genes have been identified that affect multiple autoimmune diseases. Here we show that a variation in CD24 is a likely genetic factor for the risk and progression of two types of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), an organ-specific autoimmune disease affecting the central nervous system, and systemic lupus erythematosus, a systemic autoimmune disease. Our data indicated that if an individual's CD24 gene has a specific two-nucleotide deletion in the noncoding region of CD24 mRNA, his/her risk of developing MS or SLE is reduced by 2- to 3-fold. As a group, MS patients with the two-nucleotide deletion will likely have a slower disease progression. Biochemical analysis indicated that the deletion leads to rapid decay of CD24 mRNA, which should result in reduced synthesis of the CD24 protein. Our data may be useful for the treatment and diagnosis of autoimmune diseases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030049
PMCID: PMC1847692  PMID: 17411341
21.  Ecological trade-offs between jasmonic acid-dependent direct and indirect plant defences in tritrophic interactions 
The New Phytologist  2011;189(2):557-567.
Recent studies on plants genetically modified in jasmonic acid (JA) signalling support the hypothesis that the jasmonate family of oxylipins plays an important role in mediating direct and indirect plant defences. However, the interaction of two modes of defence in tritrophic systems is largely unknown.In this study, we examined the preference and performance of a herbivorous leafminer (Liriomyza huidobrensis) and its parasitic wasp (Opius dissitus) on three tomato genotypes: a wild-type (WT) plant, a JA biosynthesis (spr2) mutant, and a JA-overexpression 35S::prosys plant. Their proteinase inhibitor production and volatile emission were used as direct and indirect defence factors to evaluate the responses of leafminers and parasitoids.Here, we show that although spr2 mutant plants are compromised in direct defence against the larval leafminers and in attracting parasitoids, they are less attractive to adult flies compared with WT plants. Moreover, in comparison to other genotypes, the 35S::prosys plant displays greater direct and constitutive indirect defences, but reduced success of parasitism by parasitoids.Taken together, these results suggest that there are distinguished ecological trade-offs between JA-dependent direct and indirect defences in genetically modified plants whose fitness should be assessed in tritrophic systems and under natural conditions.
doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2010.03491.x
PMCID: PMC3039750  PMID: 21039561
ecological trade-off; genetically modified tomato plants; jasmonic acid; Liriomyza huidobrensis; Opius dissitus; plant defences; Solanum lycopersicum; tritrophic interactions

Results 1-21 (21)