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1.  Genome-Wide Analysis of Epstein-Barr Virus Rta DNA Binding 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(9):5151-5164.
The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) lytic transactivator Rta activates promoters through direct binding to cognate DNA sites termed Rta response elements (RREs). Rta also activates promoters that apparently lack Rta binding sites, notably Zp and Rp. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) of endogenous Rta expressed during early replication in B95-8 cells was performed to identify Rta binding sites in the EBV genome. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis showed strong enrichment for known RREs but little or no enrichment for Rp or Zp, suggesting that the Rta ChIP approach enriches for direct Rta binding sites. Rta ChIP combined with deep sequencing (ChIP-seq) identified most known RREs and several novel Rta binding sites. Rta ChIP-seq peaks were frequently upstream of Rta-responsive genes, indicating that these Rta binding sites are likely functioning as RREs. Unexpectedly, the BALF5 promoter contained an Rta binding peak. To assess whether BALF5 might be activated by an RRE-dependent mechanism, an Rta mutant (Rta K156A), deficient for DNA binding and RRE activation but competent for Zp/Rp activation, was used. Rta K156A failed to activate BALF5p, suggesting this promoter can be activated by an RRE-dependent mechanism. Rta binding to late gene promoters was not seen at early time points but was specifically detected at later times within the Rta-responsive BLRF2 and BFRF3 promoters, even when DNA replication was inhibited. Our results represent the first characterization of Rta binding to the EBV genome during replication, identify previously unknown RREs, such as one in BALF5p, and highlight the complexity of EBV late gene promoter activation by Rta.
PMCID: PMC3347379  PMID: 22379087
2.  Impact of AT2 Receptor Deficiency on Postnatal Cardiovascular Development 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47916.
The angiotensin II receptor subtype 2 (AT2 receptor) is ubiquitously and highly expressed in early postnatal life. However, its role in postnatal cardiac development remained unclear.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Hearts from 1, 7, 14 and 56 days old wild-type (WT) and AT2 receptor-deficient (KO) mice were extracted for histomorphometrical analysis as well as analysis of cardiac signaling and gene expression. Furthermore, heart and body weights of examined animals were recorded and echocardiographic analysis of cardiac function as well as telemetric blood pressure measurements were performed. Moreover, gene expression, sarcomere shortening and calcium transients were examined in ventricular cardiomyocytes isolated from both genotypes. KO mice exhibited an accelerated body weight gain and a reduced heart to body weight ratio as compared to WT mice in the postnatal period. However, in adult KO mice the heart to body weight ratio was significantly increased most likely due to elevated systemic blood pressure. At postnatal day 7 ventricular capillarization index and the density of α-smooth muscle cell actin-positive blood vessels were higher in KO mice as compared to WT mice but normalized during adolescence. Echocardiographic assessment of cardiac systolic function at postnatal day 7 revealed decreased contractility of KO hearts in response to beta-adrenergic stimulation. Moreover, cardiomyocytes from KO mice showed a decreased sarcomere shortening and an increased peak Ca2+ transient in response to isoprenaline when stimulated concomitantly with angiotensin II.
The AT2 receptor affects postnatal cardiac growth possibly via reducing body weight gain and systemic blood pressure. Moreover, it moderately attenuates postnatal vascularization of the heart and modulates the beta adrenergic response of the neonatal heart. These AT2 receptor-mediated effects may be implicated in the physiological maturation process of the heart.
PMCID: PMC3483305  PMID: 23144713
3.  Epstein-Barr Virus LF2 Protein Regulates Viral Replication by Altering Rta Subcellular Localization▿†  
Journal of Virology  2010;84(19):9920-9931.
The switch from Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent infection to lytic replication is governed by two viral transactivators, Zta and Rta. We previously reported that the EBV protein LF2 binds Rta, inhibits Rta promoter activation, and blocks EBV replication in cells. In addition, LF2 induces SUMO2/3 modification of Rta. We now show that this modification occurs at four lysines within the Rta activation domain (426, 446, 517, and 530) and that sumoylation of Rta is not essential for its repression. Coexpression studies demonstrated that Rta is sequestered to the extranuclear cytoskeleton in the presence of LF2. We mapped the LF2 binding site to Rta amino acids (aa) 476 to 519 and showed that LF2 binding is critical for Rta relocalization and repression. The core of this binding site, Rta aa 500 to 526, confers LF2-mediated relocalization and repression onto the artificial transcription factor GAL4-VP16. Mutational analysis of LF2 provided further evidence that Rta redistribution is essential for repression. Rta localization changes during replication of the LF2-positive P3HR1 genome, but not during replication of the LF2-negative B95-8 genome. BLRF2 protein expression was decreased and delayed in P3HR1 cells compared with B95-8 cells, consistent with reduced Rta activity. By contrast, BMRF1 expression, regulated primarily by Zta, did not differ significantly between the two cell lines. Our results support a model in which LF2 regulates EBV replication by binding to Rta and redistributing it out of the nucleus.
PMCID: PMC2937793  PMID: 20631124
4.  Properties of microcrystalline cellulose and powder cellulose after extrusion/spheronization as studied by fourier transform Raman spectroscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy 
AAPS PharmSci  2003;5(4):77-89.
In this study, the effect of powder cellulose (PC) and 2 types of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC 101 and MCC 301) on pellet properties produced by an extrusion/spheronization process was investigated. The different investigated types of cellulose displayed different behavior during the extrusion/spheronization process. Pure PC was unsuitable for extrusion, because too much water was required and the added water was partly squeezed during the extrusion process. In contrast, MCC 101 and MCC 301 were extrudable at a wide range of water content, but the quality of the resulting products varied. In the extrusion/spheronization process, MCC 101 was the best substance, with easy handling and acceptable product properties. The properties of the extrudates and pellets were determined by Fourier transform (FT) Raman spectroscopy and environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). FT-Raman spectroscopy was able to distinguish between the original substances and also between the wet and dried extrudates. The particle sizes of the raw material and of the extrudates were determined by ESEM without additional preparation. For MCC, the size of the resulting particles within the extrudate or pellet was smaller. However, in the extrudates of PC, changes in particle size could not be observed.
PMCID: PMC2750993  PMID: 15198519
powder cellulose; microcrystalline cellulose; pellet; Raman spectroscopy; environmental scanning electron microscopy; extrusion/spheronization

Results 1-4 (4)