Helicobacter pylori is a major etiologic agent associated with the development and maintenance of human gastritis. The goal of this study was to develop novel antibiotics against H. pylori, and we thus targeted H. pylori phosphopantetheine adenylyltransferase (HpPPAT). PPAT catalyzes the penultimate step in coenzyme A biosynthesis. Its inactivation effectively prevents bacterial viability, making it an attractive target for antibacterial drug discovery. We employed virtual high-throughput screening and the HpPPAT crystal structure to identify compounds in the PubChem database that might act as inhibitors of HpPPAT. d-amethopterin is a potential inhibitor for blocking HpPPAT activity and suppressing H. pylori viability. Following treatment with d-amethopterin, H. pylori exhibited morphological characteristics associated with cell death. d-amethopterin is a mixed inhibitor of HpPPAT activity; it simultaneously occupies the HpPPAT 4'-phosphopantetheine- and ATP-binding sites. Its binding affinity is in the micromolar range, implying that it is sufficiently potent to serve as a lead compound in subsequent drug development. Characterization of the d-amethopterin and HpPPAT interaction network in a docked model will allow us to initiate rational drug optimization to improve the inhibitory efficacy of d-amethopterin. We anticipate that novel, potent, and selective HpPPAT inhibitors will emerge for the treatment of H. pylori infection.
Time-course microarray experiments have been widely used to identify cell cycle regulated genes. However, the method is not effective for lowly expressed genes and is sensitive to experimental conditions. To complement microarray experiments, we propose a computational method to predict cell cycle regulated genes based on their genomic features – transcription factor binding and motif profiles.
Through integrating gene-expression data with ChIP-chip binding and putative binding sites of transcription factors, our method shows high accuracy in discriminating yeast cell cycle regulated genes from non-cell cycle regulated ones. We predict 211 novel cell cycle regulated genes. Our model rediscovers the main cell cycle transcription factors and provides new insights into the regulatory mechanisms. The model also reveals a regulatory circuit mediated by a number of key cell cycle regulators.
Our model suggests that the periodical pattern of cell cycle genes is largely coded in their promoter regions, which can be captured by motif and transcription factor binding data. Cell cycle is controlled by a relatively small number of master transcription factors. The concept of genomic feature based method can be readily extended to human cell cycle process and other transcriptionally regulated processes, such as tissue-specific expression.
Cell cycle regulated genes; Genomic features; Prediction
Genetic alterations of transcription factors (TFs) have been implicated in the tumorigenesis of cancers. In many cancers, alteration of TFs results in aberrant activity of them without changing their gene expression level. Gene expression data from microarray or RNA-seq experiments can capture the expression change of genes, however, it is still challenge to reveal the activity change of TFs.
Here we propose a method, called REACTIN (REgulatory ACTivity INference), which integrates TF binding data with gene expression data to identify TFs with significantly differential activity between disease and normal samples. REACTIN successfully detect differential activity of estrogen receptor (ER) between ER+ and ER- samples in 10 breast cancer datasets. When applied to compare tumor and normal breast samples, it reveals TFs that are critical for carcinogenesis of breast cancer. Moreover, Reaction can be utilized to identify transcriptional programs that are predictive to patient survival time of breast cancer patients.
REACTIN provides a useful tool to investigate regulatory programs underlying a biological process providing the related case and control gene expression data. Considering the enormous amount of cancer gene expression data and the increasingly accumulating ChIP-seq data, we expect wide application of REACTIN for revealing the regulatory mechanisms of various diseases.
Transcription factor; ChIP-seq; Gene expression
Cell cycle is a complex and highly supervised process that must proceed with regulatory precision to achieve successful cellular division. Despite the wide application, microarray time course experiments have several limitations in identifying cell cycle genes. We thus propose a computational model to predict human cell cycle genes based on transcription factor (TF) binding and regulatory motif information in their promoters. We utilize ENCODE ChIP-seq data and motif information as predictors to discriminate cell cycle against non-cell cycle genes. Our results show that both the trans- TF features and the cis- motif features are predictive of cell cycle genes, and a combination of the two types of features can further improve prediction accuracy. We apply our model to a complete list of GENCODE promoters to predict novel cell cycle driving promoters for both protein-coding genes and non-coding RNAs such as lincRNAs. We find that a similar percentage of lincRNAs are cell cycle regulated as protein-coding genes, suggesting the importance of non-coding RNAs in cell cycle division. The model we propose here provides not only a practical tool for identifying novel cell cycle genes with high accuracy, but also new insights on cell cycle regulation by TFs and cis-regulatory elements.
Cell cycle is a complex and highly supervised process that must proceed with regulatory precision to achieve successful cellular division. Microarray time course experiments have been successfully used to identify cell cycle regulated genes but with several limitations, e.g. less effective in identifying genes with low expression. We propose a computational approach to predict cell cycle genes based on TF binding data and motif information in their promoters. Specifically, we take advantage of ChIP-seq TF binding data generated by the ENCODE project and the TF binding motif information available from public databases. These data were processed and utilized as predictor for predicting cell cycle genes using the Random Forest method. Our results show that both the trans- TF features and the cis- motif features are predictive to cell cycle genes, and a combination of the two types features can further improve prediction accuracy. We apply our model to a complete list of GENCODE promoters to predict novel cell cycle driving promoters for both protein-coding genes and non-coding RNAs such as lincRNAs. We find that a similar percentage of lincRNAs are cell cycle regulated as protein-coding genes, suggesting the importance of non-coding RNAs in cell cycle division.
Specific chromatin structures are associated with active or inactive gene transcription. The gene regulatory elements are intrinsically dynamic and alternate between inactive and active states through the recruitment of DNA binding proteins, such as chromatin-remodeling proteins.
We developed a unique genome-wide method to discover DNA motifs associated with chromatin accessibility using formaldehyde-assisted isolation of regulatory elements with high-throughput sequencing (FAIRE-seq). We aligned the FAIRE-seq reads to the GM12878 diploid genome and subsequently identified differential chromatin-state regions (DCSRs) using heterozygous SNPs. The DCSR pairs represent the locations of imbalances of chromatin accessibility between alleles and are ideal to reveal chromatin motifs that may directly modulate chromatin accessibility. In this study, we used DNA 6-10mer sequences to interrogate all DCSRs, and subsequently discovered conserved chromatin motifs with significant changes in the occurrence frequency. To investigate their likely roles in biology, we studied the annotated protein associated with each of the top ten chromatin motifs genome-wide, in the intergenic regions and in genes, respectively. As a result, we found that most of these annotated motifs are associated with chromatin remodeling, reflecting their significance in biology.
Our method is the first one using fully phased diploid genome and FAIRE-seq to discover motifs associated with chromatin accessibility. Our results were collected to construct the first chromatin motif database (CMD), providing the potential DNA motifs recognized by chromatin-remodeling proteins and is freely available at http://syslab.nchu.edu.tw/chromatin.
The nuclear factor Y (NF-Y), which is a ubiquitous transcription factor found in eukaryotes, is composed of three distinct subunits, namely, NF-YA, NF-YB, and NF-YC. Here, we firstly characterized the detailed function of the Arabidopsis NFYA1 factor. It is found that the 35S::AtNFYA1-overexpressed lines were hypersensitive to salt stress and Abscisic acid (ABA) during the early-postgermination growth stages. The transgenic lines exhibited a severe postgermination growth arrest compared with the wild-type (WT) under salt stress and ABA treatment. Interestingly, sodium tungstate, which is an ABA synthesis inhibitor, restored the salt-sensitive phenotype of the 35S::AtNFYA1 lines. Results of the qRT-PCR analysis showed that the mRNA levels of ABI3 and ABI5, as well as their downstream genes AtEM1 and AtEM6, were more greatly upregulated under salt stress during seed germination in the transgenic lines compared with those in WT. On the other hand, the NFYA1-RNAi lines were found to be insensitive to salt stress and exhibited decreased levels of ABI3, ABI5, EM1, and EM6 transcripts. Our results provide clear evidence supporting a role of AtNFYA1 in regulating postgermination growth arrest under salt stress.
Oral cancer, which is the fourth most common male cancer, is associated with environmental carcinogens in Taiwan. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C, an angiogenic/lymphangiogenic factor with high expression levels in tumor tissues, plays important roles in the development of several malignancies. This study was designed to examine associations of five VEGF-C gene polymorphisms with the susceptibility to and clinicopathological characteristics of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of VEGF-C were analyzed by a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 470 male patients with oral cancer and 426 cancer-free controls. In this study, we found that the VEGF-C rs7664413 and rs2046463 polymorphisms were associated with oral-cancer susceptibility but not with any clinicopathological parameters. The GGACA or GACTG haplotype of five VEGF-C SNPs (rs3775194, rs11947611, rs1485766, rs7664413, and rs2046463) combined was also related to the risk of oral cancer. Among 611 male smokers, VEGF-C polymorphism carriers who also chewed betel quid were found to have a 14.5–24.2-fold risk of having oral cancer compared to the VEGF-C wild-type carrier who did not chew betel quid. Among 461 male betel-quid chewers, VEGF-C polymorphism carriers who also smoked had a 2.7–18.1-fold risk of having oral cancer compared to those who carried the wild type but did not smoke.
Our results suggest that the two SNPs of VEGF-C (rs7664413 and rs2046463) and either of two haplotypes of five SNPs combined have potential predictive significance in oral carcinogenesis. Gene-environmental interactions among VEGF-C polymorphisms, smoking, and betel-quid chewing might alter one's susceptibility to oral cancer.
Constitutive activation of nuclear factor (NF)-κB is frequently observed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The current study examined associations of polymorphisms within promoter regions of NFKB1 encoding NF-κB1 and NFKBIA encoding IκBα with the susceptibility of developing HCC and clinicopathological characteristics of the tumors.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Genetic polymorphisms of NFKB1 and NFKBIA were analyzed by a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 135 HCC patients and 520 healthy controls. The genotypic frequency of the NFKB1 -94 Ins polymorphism in HCC patients was significantly higher than that of the controls (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 2.23; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.32∼3.77). No statistical significance was observed for the distribution frequency of the NFKBIA −-519 C/T, -826 C/T, or -881 A/G genotype and haplotype polymorphisms between HCC patients and controls. Furthermore, female HCC patients carrying the NFKB1 -94 Ins polymorphism were associated with lower clinical stages and smaller tumor sizes.
Our results indicate that the NFKB1 -94 Ins promoter polymorphism increased the risk of HCC, and may be applied as a predictive factor for the clinical stage and tumor size in female HCC patients.
Drosophila melanogaster crammer is a novel cathepsin inhibitor involved in long-term memory formation. A molten globule-to-ordered structure transition is required for cathepsin inhibition. This study reports the use of alanine scanning to probe the critical residues in the two hydrophobic cores and the salt bridges of crammer in the context of disorder-to-order transition and cathepsin inhibition. Alanine substitution of the aromatic residues W9, Y12, F16, Y20, Y32, and W53 within the hydrophobic cores, and charged residues E8, R28, R29, and E67 in the salt bridges considerably decrease the ability of crammer to inhibit Drosophila cathepsin B (CTSB). Far-UV circular dichroism (CD), intrinsic fluorescence, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies show that removing most of the aromatic and charged side-chains substantially reduces thermostability, alters pH-dependent helix formation, and disrupts the molten globule-to-ordered structure transition. Molecular modeling indicates that W53 in the hydrophobic Core 2 is essential for the interaction between crammer and the prosegment binding loop (PBL) of CTSB; the salt bridge between R28 and E67 is critical for the appropriate alignment of the α-helix 4 toward the CTSB active cleft. The results of this study show detailed residue-specific dissection of folding transition and functional contributions of the hydrophobic cores and salt bridges in crammer, which have hitherto not been characterized for cathepsin inhibition by propeptide-like cysteine protease inhibitors. Because of the involvements of cathepsin inhibitors in neurodegenerative diseases, these structural insights can serve as a template for further development of therapeutic inhibitors against human cathepsins.
Motivation: ChIP-seq and ChIP-chip experiments have been widely used to identify transcription factor (TF) binding sites and target genes. Conventionally, a fairly ‘simple’ approach is employed for target gene identification e.g. finding genes with binding sites within 2 kb of a transcription start site (TSS). However, this does not take into account the number of sites upstream of the TSS, their exact positioning or the fact that different TFs appear to act at different characteristic distances from the TSS.
Results: Here we propose a probabilistic model called target identification from profiles (TIP) that quantitatively measures the regulatory relationships between TFs and target genes. For each TF, our model builds a characteristic, averaged profile of binding around the TSS and then uses this to weight the sites associated with a given gene, providing a continuous-valued ‘regulatory’ score relating each TF and potential target. Moreover, the score can readily be turned into a ranked list of target genes and an estimate of significance, which is useful for case-dependent downstream analysis.
Conclusion: We show the advantages of TIP by comparing it to the ‘simple’ approach on several representative datasets, using motif occurrence and relationship to knock-out experiments as metrics of validation. Moreover, we show that the probabilistic model is not as sensitive to various experimental parameters (including sequencing depth and peak-calling method) as the simple approach; in fact, the lesser dependence on sequencing depth potentially utilizes the result of a ChIP-seq experiment in a more ‘cost-effective’ manner.
Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Transcription factors function by binding different classes of regulatory elements. The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project has recently produced binding data for more than 100 transcription factors from about 500 ChIP-seq experiments in multiple cell types. While this large amount of data creates a valuable resource, it is nonetheless overwhelmingly complex and simultaneously incomplete since it covers only a small fraction of all human transcription factors.
As part of the consortium effort in providing a concise abstraction of the data for facilitating various types of downstream analyses, we constructed statistical models that capture the genomic features of three paired types of regions by machine-learning methods: firstly, regions with active or inactive binding; secondly, those with extremely high or low degrees of co-binding, termed HOT and LOT regions; and finally, regulatory modules proximal or distal to genes. From the distal regulatory modules, we developed computational pipelines to identify potential enhancers, many of which were validated experimentally. We further associated the predicted enhancers with potential target transcripts and the transcription factors involved. For HOT regions, we found a significant fraction of transcription factor binding without clear sequence motifs and showed that this observation could be related to strong DNA accessibility of these regions.
Overall, the three pairs of regions exhibit intricate differences in chromosomal locations, chromatin features, factors that bind them, and cell-type specificity. Our machine learning approach enables us to identify features potentially general to all transcription factors, including those not included in the data.
Previous work has demonstrated that chromatin feature levels correlate with gene expression. The ENCODE project enables us to further explore this relationship using an unprecedented volume of data. Expression levels from more than 100,000 promoters were measured using a variety of high-throughput techniques applied to RNA extracted by different protocols from different cellular compartments of several human cell lines. ENCODE also generated the genome-wide mapping of eleven histone marks, one histone variant, and DNase I hypersensitivity sites in seven cell lines.
We built a novel quantitative model to study the relationship between chromatin features and expression levels. Our study not only confirms that the general relationships found in previous studies hold across various cell lines, but also makes new suggestions about the relationship between chromatin features and gene expression levels. We found that expression status and expression levels can be predicted by different groups of chromatin features, both with high accuracy. We also found that expression levels measured by CAGE are better predicted than by RNA-PET or RNA-Seq, and different categories of chromatin features are the most predictive of expression for different RNA measurement methods. Additionally, PolyA+ RNA is overall more predictable than PolyA- RNA among different cell compartments, and PolyA+ cytosolic RNA measured with RNA-Seq is more predictable than PolyA+ nuclear RNA, while the opposite is true for PolyA- RNA.
Our study provides new insights into transcriptional regulation by analyzing chromatin features in different cellular contexts.
Membranous nephropathy (MN) is a leading cause of adult nephrotic syndrome but lacks adequate treatment. Different extracts of Angelica sinensis (AS) and one of its active compounds, ferulic acid (FA), were used to evaluate the therapeutic effects in a MN mouse model. The MN model was grouped into three subgroups: no treatment (N-T), treatment at induction of MN (Pre-T), and treatment after full-blown MN (Post-T). The results showed that the methanol (ME) layer of AS extract exhibited a therapeutic effect on MN-induced proteinuria. The ME layer-enriched compound, FA, improved the hypoalbuminemia, hyperlipidemia, and proteinuria in both Pre-T and Post-T groups. Ferulic acid also reduced the formation of oxidative protein products and increased the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes in groups Pre-T and Post-T. Regarding angiogenesis factors, the antiangiogenic factors in renal glomeruli were increased in group N-T, but, after FA treatment, only one of the antiangiogenic factors, thrombospondin-1, showed a significant decrease. Furthermore, the expression of Th2 predominant showed significant decrease in both Pre-T and Post-T groups when compared to that of N-T group. In summary, FA retarded the progression of MN, and the mechanisms involved the regulation of oxidative stresses, angiogenic and antiangiogenic factors, and attenuation of Th2 response.
Many plant and animal viruses counteract RNA silencing-mediated defense by encoding diverse RNA silencing suppressors. We characterized HVT063, a multifunctional protein encoded by turkey herpesvirus (HVT), as a silencing suppressor in coinfiltration assays with green fluorescent protein transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana line 16c. Our results indicated that HVT063 could strongly suppress both local and systemic RNA silencing induced by either sense RNA or double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). HVT063 could reverse local silencing, but not systemic silencing, in newly emerging leaves. The local silencing suppression activity of HVT063 was also verified using the heterologous vector PVX. Further, single alanine substitution of arginine or lysine residues of the HVT063 protein showed that each selected single amino acid contributed to the suppression activity of HVT063 and region 1 (residues 138 to 141) was more important, because three of four single amino acid mutations in this region could abolish the silencing suppressor activity of HVT063. Moreover, HVT063 seemed to induce a cell death phenotype in the infiltrated leaf region, and the HVT063 dilutions could decrease the silencing suppressor activity and alleviate the cell death phenotype. Collectively, these results suggest that HVT063 functions as a viral suppressor of RNA silencing that targets a downstream step of the dsRNA formation in the RNA silencing process. Positively charged amino acids in HVT063, such as arginine and lysine, might contribute to the suppressor activity by boosting the interaction between HVT063 and RNA, since HVT063 has been demonstrated to be an RNA binding protein.
Stemlike cells have been isolated by their ability to efflux Hoechst 33342 dye and are called the side population (SP). We evaluated the effect of axitinib on targeting cancer stemlike cells and enhancing the efficacy of chemotherapeutical agents. We found that axitinib enhanced the cytotoxicity of topotecan and mitoxantrone in SP cells sorted from human lung cancer A549 cells and increased cell apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutical agents. Moreover, axitinib particularly inhibited the function of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette subfamily G member 2 (ABCG2) and reversed ABCG2-mediated multidrug resistance (MDR) in vitro. However, no significant reversal effect was observed in ABCB1-, ABCC1- or lung resistance–related protein (LRP)-mediated MDR. Furthermore, in both sensitive and MDR cancer cells axitinib neither altered the expression of ABCG2 at the mRNA or protein levels nor blocked the phosphorylation of AKT and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2. In nude mice bearing ABCG2-overexpressing S1-M1-80 xenografts, axitinib significantly enhanced the antitumor activity of topotecan without causing additional toxicity. Taken together, these data suggest that axitinib particularly targets cancer stemlike cells and reverses ABCG2-mediated drug resistance by inhibiting the transporter activity of ABCG2.
Background & Aims
Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune effector cells first characterized by their ability to lyse susceptible tumor cells. Recent studies demonstrated their role in initiating and modulating adaptive immunity. NK cells represent a larger percentage of the lymphoid population in liver than other organs suggesting that hepatic NK cells express some unique function. Here, we examined the response of NK cells to liver injury that occurs in a mouse model of biliary obstruction.
Bile duct ligations (BDL) were performed on mice previously depleted or not depleted of NK cells. NK cell activation, interleukin (IL)-6 mRNA expression and protein production by Kupffer cells, and the ability of exogenous IL-6 to ameliorate liver injury in NK cell-depleted mice were determined.
The number of activated hepatic NK cells increased markedly following BDL. Activation was suppressed in mice rendered Kupffer cell-depleted prior to ligation. Increased liver injury occurred in NK cell-depleted mice correlating with a reduction in IL-6 production. Purified Kupffer cells obtained from NK cell-depleted or anti-interferon (IFN)-γ monoclonal antibody-pretreated mice following BDL produced less IL-6 in culture than did Kupffer cells derived from control animals. In culture, hepatic NK cells derived from BDL mice stimulated IFN-γ-dependent IL-6 production by Kupffer cells; splenic NK cells obtained from the same animals had a negligible effect. Treatment with recombinant murine IL-6 reduced liver injury in BDL, NK cell-depleted mice.
Hepatic NK cells suppress cholestatic liver injury by stimulating Kupffer cell-dependent IL-6 production.
biliary obstruction; NK cell; Kupffer cell; interleukin-6
Drosophila melanogaster crammer is a novel cathepsin inhibitor that is involved in LTM (long-term memory) formation. The mechanism by which the inhibitory activity is regulated remains unclear. In the present paper we have shown that the oligomeric state of crammer is pH dependent. At neutral pH, crammer is predominantly dimeric in vitro as a result of disulfide bond formation, and is monomeric at acidic pH. Our inhibition assay shows that monomeric crammer, not disulfide-bonded dimer, is a strong competitive inhibitor of cathepsin L. Crammer is a monomeric molten globule in acidic solution, a condition that is similar to the environment in the lysosome where crammer is probably located. Upon binding to cathepsin L, however, crammer undergoes a molten globule-to-ordered structural transition. Using high-resolution NMR spectroscopy, we have shown that a cysteine-to-serine point mutation at position 72 (C72S) renders crammer monomeric at pH 6.0 and that the structure of the C72S variant highly resembles that of wild-type crammer in complex with cathepsin L at pH 4.0. We have determined the first solution structure of propeptide-like protease inhibitor in its active form and examined in detail using a variety of spectroscopic methods the folding properties of crammer in order to delineate its biomolecular recognition of cathepsin.
cathepsin; crammer; long-term memory (LTM); molten globule; propeptide-like protease inhibitor; ANS, 8-anilinonaphthalene-l-sulfonic acid; BMRB, BioMagResBank; DTT, dithiothreitol; E-64, trans-epoxysuccinyl-L-leucylamido-(4-guanidino)butane; HSQC, heteronuclear single quantum correlation; IPTG, isopropyl β-D-thiogalactopyranoside; LTM, long-term memory; NOE, nuclear Overhauser effect; hetNOE, heteronuclear NOE; NOESY, nuclear Overhauser enhancement spectroscopy; SEC, size-exclusion chromatography
Plant non-specific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs) are small and basic proteins. Recently, nsLTPs have been reported involved in many physiological functions such as mediating phospholipid transfer, participating in plant defence activity against bacterial and fungal pathogens, and enhancing cell wall extension in tobacco. However, the lipid transfer mechanism of nsLTPs is still unclear, and comprehensive information of nsLTPs is difficult to obtain.
In this study, we identified 595 nsLTPs from 121 different species and constructed an nsLTPs database -- nsLTPDB -- which comprises the sequence information, structures, relevant literatures, and biological data of all plant nsLTPs http://nsltpdb.life.nthu.edu.tw/.
Meanwhile, bioinformatics and statistics methods were implemented to develop a classification method for nsLTPs based on the patterns of the eight highly-conserved cysteine residues, and to suggest strict Prosite-styled patterns for Type I and Type II nsLTPs. The pattern of Type I is C X2 V X5-7 C [V, L, I] × Y [L, A, V] X8-13 CC × G X12 D × [Q, K, R] X2 CXC X16-21 P X2 C X13-15C, and that of Type II is C X4 L X2 C X9-11 P [S, T] X2 CC X5 Q X2-4 C[L, F]C X2 [A, L, I] × [D, N] P X10-12 [K, R] X4-5 C X3-4 P X0-2 C. Moreover, we referred the Prosite-styled patterns to the experimental mutagenesis data that previously established by our group, and found that the residues with higher conservation played an important role in the structural stability or lipid binding ability of nsLTPs.
Taken together, this research has suggested potential residues that might be essential to modulate the structural and functional properties of plant nsLTPs. Finally, we proposed some biologically important sites of the nsLTPs, which are described by using a new Prosite-styled pattern that we defined.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is characterized by the degradation of articular cartilage, marked by the breakdown of matrix proteins. Studies demonstrated the involvement of chemokines in this process, and some may potentially serve as diagnostic markers and therapeutic targets; however, the underlying signal transductions are not well understood.
We investigated the effects of the CC chemokine eotaxin-1 (CCL11) on the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression and secretion in the human chondrocyte cell line SW1353 and primary chondrocytes.
Eotaxin-1 significantly induced MMP-3 mRNA expression in a dose-dependent manner. Inhibitors of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and p38 kinase were able to repress eotaxin-1-induced MMP-3 expression. On the contrary, Rp-adenosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate (Rp-cAMPs), a competitive cAMP antagonist for cAMP receptors, and H-89, a protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor, markedly enhanced eotaxin-1-induced MMP-3 expression. These results suggest that MMP-3 expression is specifically mediated by the G protein-coupled eotaxin-1 receptor activities. Interestingly, little amount of MMP-3 protein was detected in the cell lysates of eotaxin-1-treated SW1353 cells, and most of MMP-3 protein was in the culture media. Furthermore we found that the eotaxin-1-dependent MMP-3 protein secretion was regulated by phospholipase C (PLC)-protein kinase C (PKC) cascade and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathways. These data indicate a specific regulation of MMP-3 secretion also by eotaxin-1 receptor activities.
Eotaxin-1 not only induces MMP-3 gene expression but also promotes MMP-3 protein secretion through G protein-coupled eotaxin-1 receptor activities. Chemokines, such as eotaxin-1, could be a potential candidate in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis.
osteoarthritis; chemokine; cartilage degradation; chondrocyte; MMP-3; eotaxin-1
We present a network framework for analyzing multi-level regulation in higher eukaryotes based on systematic integration of various high-throughput datasets. The network, namely the integrated regulatory network, consists of three major types of regulation: TF→gene, TF→miRNA and miRNA→gene. We identified the target genes and target miRNAs for a set of TFs based on the ChIP-Seq binding profiles, the predicted targets of miRNAs using annotated 3′UTR sequences and conservation information. Making use of the system-wide RNA-Seq profiles, we classified transcription factors into positive and negative regulators and assigned a sign for each regulatory interaction. Other types of edges such as protein-protein interactions and potential intra-regulations between miRNAs based on the embedding of miRNAs in their host genes were further incorporated. We examined the topological structures of the network, including its hierarchical organization and motif enrichment. We found that transcription factors downstream of the hierarchy distinguish themselves by expressing more uniformly at various tissues, have more interacting partners, and are more likely to be essential. We found an over-representation of notable network motifs, including a FFL in which a miRNA cost-effectively shuts down a transcription factor and its target. We used data of C. elegans from the modENCODE project as a primary model to illustrate our framework, but further verified the results using other two data sets. As more and more genome-wide ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq data becomes available in the near future, our methods of data integration have various potential applications.
The precise control of gene expression lies at the heart of many biological processes. In eukaryotes, the regulation is performed at multiple levels, mediated by different regulators such as transcription factors and miRNAs, each distinguished by different spatial and temporal characteristics. These regulators are further integrated to form a complex regulatory network responsible for the orchestration. The construction and analysis of such networks is essential for understanding the general design principles. Recent advances in high-throughput techniques like ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq provide an opportunity by offering a huge amount of binding and expression data. We present a general framework to combine these types of data into an integrated network and perform various topological analyses, including its hierarchical organization and motif enrichment. We find that the integrated network possesses an intrinsic hierarchical organization and is enriched in several network motifs that include both transcription factors and miRNAs. We further demonstrate that the framework can be easily applied to other species like human and mouse. As more and more genome-wide ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq data are going to be generated in the near future, our methods of data integration have various potential applications.
Deregulation of biological pathways has been shown to be involved in the turmorigenesis of a variety of cancers. The co-regulation of pathways in tumor and normal tissues has not been studied in a systematic manner.
In this study we propose a novel statistic named AR-score (average rank based score) to measure pathway activities based on microarray gene expression profiles. We calculate and compare the AR-scores of pathways in microarray datasets containing expression profiles for a wide range of cancer types as well as the corresponding normal tissues. We find that many pathways undergo significant activity changes in tumors with respect to normal tissues. AR-scores for a small subset of pathways are capable of distinguishing tumor from normal tissues or classifying tumor subtypes. In normal tissues many pathways are highly correlated in their activities, whereas their correlations reduce significantly in tumors and cancer cell lines. The co-expression of genes in the same pathways was also significantly perturbed in tumors.
The co-regulation of genes in the same pathways and co-regulation of different pathways are significantly perturbed in tumors versus normal tissues. Our method provides a useful tool for better understanding the mechanistic changes in tumors, which can also be used for exploring other biological problems.
It was our objective to study the role of mechanical stimulation on fibronectin (FN) reorganization and recruitment by exposing fibroblasts to shear fluid flow and equibiaxial stretch. Mechanical stimulation was also combined with a Rho inhibitor to probe their coupled effects on FN. Mechanically stimulated cells revealed a localization of FN around the cell periphery as well as an increase in FN fibril formation. Mechanical stimulation coupled with chemical stimulation also revealed an increase in FN fibrils around the cell periphery. Complimentary to this, fibroblasts exposed to fluid shear stress structurally rearranged pre-coated surface FN, but unstimulated and stretched cells did not. These results show that mechanical stimulation directly affected FN reorganization and recruitment, despite perturbation by chemical stimulation. Our findings will help elucidate the mechanisms of FN biosynthesis and organization by furthering the link of the role of mechanics with FN.
We propose a method to predict yeast transcription factor targets by integrating histone modification profiles with transcription factor binding motif information. It shows improved predictive power compared to a binding motif-only method. We find that transcription factors cluster into histone-sensitive and -insensitive classes. The target genes of histone-sensitive transcription factors have stronger histone modification signals than those of histone-insensitive ones. The two classes also differ in tendency to interact with histone modifiers, degree of connectivity in protein-protein interaction networks, position in the transcriptional regulation hierarchy, and in a number of additional features, indicating possible differences in their transcriptional regulation mechanisms.
Systematic annotation of gene regulatory elements is a major challenge in genome science. Direct mapping of chromatin modification marks and transcriptional factor binding sites genome-wide 1,2 has successfully identified specific subtypes of regulatory elements 3. In Drosophila several pioneering studies have provided genome-wide identification of Polycomb-Response Elements 4, chromatin states 5, transcription factor binding sites (TFBS) 6–9, PolII regulation 8, and insulator elements 10; however, comprehensive annotation of the regulatory genome remains a significant challenge. Here we describe results from the modENCODE cis-regulatory annotation project. We produced a map of the Drosophila melanogaster regulatory genome based on more than 300 chromatin immuno-precipitation (ChIP) datasets for eight chromatin features, five histone deacetylases (HDACs) and thirty-eight site-specific transcription factors (TFs) at different stages of development. Using these data we inferred more than 20,000 candidate regulatory elements and we validated a subset of predictions for promoters, enhancers, and insulators in vivo. We also identified nearly 2,000 genomic regions of dense TF binding associated with chromatin activity and accessibility. We discovered hundreds of new TF co-binding relationships and defined a TF network with over 800 potential regulatory relationships.
β-Lapachone has antitumor and wound healing-promoting activities. To address the potential influences of various chemicals on heart development of zebrafish embryos, we previously treated zebrafish embryos with chemicals from a Sigma LOPAC1280™ library and found several chemicals including β-lapachone that affected heart morphogenesis. In this study, we further evaluated the effects of β-lapachone on zebrafish embryonic heart development.
Embryos were treated with β-lapachone or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) at 24 or 48 hours post fertilization (hpf) for 4 h at 28°C. Heart looping and valve development was analyzed by whole-mount in situ hybridization and histological analysis. For fractional shortening and wall shear stress analyses, AB and Tg (gata1:DsRed) embryos were recorded for their heart pumping and blood cell circulations via time-lapse fluorescence microscopy. Dextran rhodamine dye injection into the tail reticular cells was used to analyze circulation. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) was analyzed by incubating embryos in 5-(and 6-)-chloromethyl-2',7'-dichloro-dihydrofluorescein diacetate (CM-H2DCFDA) and recorded using fluorescence microscopy. o-Dianisidine (ODA) staining and whole mount in situ hybridization were used to analyze erythrocytes. TUNEL assay was used to examine DNA fragmentation.
We observed a linear arrangement of the ventricle and atrium, bradycardia arrhythmia, reduced fractional shortening, circulation with a few or no erythrocytes, and pericardial edema in β-lapachone-treated 52-hpf embryos. Abnormal expression patterns of cmlc2, nppa, BMP4, versican, and nfatc1, and histological analyses showed defects in heart-looping and valve development of β-lapachone-treated embryos. ROS production was observed in erythrocytes and DNA fragmentation was detected in both erythrocytes and endocardium of β-lapachone-treated embryos. Reduction in wall shear stress was uncovered in β-lapachone-treated embryos. Co-treatment with the NQO1 inhibitor, dicoumarol, or the calcium chelator, BAPTA-AM, rescued the erythrocyte-deficiency in circulation and heart-looping defect phenotypes in β-lapachone-treated embryos. These results suggest that the induction of apoptosis of endocardium and erythrocytes by β-lapachone is mediated through an NQO1- and calcium-dependent pathway.
The novel finding of this study is that β-lapachone affects heart morphogenesis and function through the induction of apoptosis of endocardium and erythrocytes. In addition, this study further demonstrates the importance of endocardium and hemodynamic forces on heart morphogenesis and contractile performance.
zebrafish; β-lapachone; heart morphogenesis; erythrocyte deficiency; endocardium; apoptosis