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1.  Glutathione S-Transferases Interact with AMP-Activated Protein Kinase: Evidence for S-Glutathionylation and Activation In Vitro 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e62497.
AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a cellular and whole body energy sensor with manifold functions in regulating energy homeostasis, cell morphology and proliferation in health and disease. Here we apply multiple, complementary in vitro and in vivo interaction assays to identify several isoforms of glutathione S-transferase (GST) as direct AMPK binding partners: Pi-family member rat GSTP1 and Mu-family members rat GSTM1, as well as Schistosoma japonicum GST. GST/AMPK interaction is direct and involves the N-terminal domain of the AMPK β-subunit. Complex formation of the mammalian GSTP1 and -M1 with AMPK leads to their enzymatic activation and in turn facilitates glutathionylation and activation of AMPK in vitro. GST-facilitated S-glutathionylation of AMPK may be involved in rapid, full activation of the kinase under mildly oxidative physiological conditions.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062497
PMCID: PMC3669356  PMID: 23741294
2.  Dendritic Cell Depletion and Repopulation in the Lung after Irradiation and Bone Marrow Transplantation in Mice 
Dendritic cells (DCs) are essential for innate and adaptive immunity, but are purported to exhibit variable radiosensitivity in response to irradiation in various bone marrow transplantation (BMT) protocols. To address this controversy, we analyzed the magnitude of depletion and repopulation of both lung CD11bpos DC and CD103pos DC subsets in response to irradiation and BMT in a murine model. In our study, CD45.2pos donor bone marrow cells were transplanted into irradiated CD45.1pos recipient mice to examine the depletion of recipient DC subsets and the repopulation of donor DC subsets. We observed an apoptosis-mediated and necrosis-mediated depletion (> 90%) of the recipient CD103pos DC subset, and only a 50–60% depletion of recipient CD11bpos DCs from lung parenchymal tissue on Days 3 and 5, whereas recipient alveolar and lung macrophages were much less radiosensitive, showing an approximately 50% depletion by Days 14–21 after treatment. A repopulation of lung tissue with donor DC subsets had occurred by Days 10 and 28 for CD11bpos DCs and CD103pos DCs, whereas alveolar and lung macrophages were repopulated by 6 and 10 weeks after treatment. Furthermore, the infection of mice with Streptococcus pneumoniae further accelerated the turnover of lung DCs and lung macrophage subsets. Our data illustrate the vulnerability of lung CD103pos DCs and CD11bpos DCs to irradiation, and indicate that an accelerated turnover of lung DC subsets occurs, relative to pulmonary and lung macrophages. Our findings may have important implications in the development of adjuvant immune-stimulatory protocols that could reduce the risk of opportunistic infections in patients undergoing BMT.
doi:10.1165/rcmb.2010-0279OC
PMCID: PMC3361352  PMID: 21177980
dendritic cell; macrophage; pneumonia; Streptococcus pneumoniae; CD103
3.  Cathepsin G and Neutrophil Elastase Play Critical and Nonredundant Roles in Lung-Protective Immunity against Streptococcus pneumoniae in Mice ▿  
Infection and Immunity  2011;79(12):4893-4901.
Neutrophil serine proteases cathepsin G (CG), neutrophil elastase (NE), and proteinase 3 (PR3) have recently been shown to contribute to killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae in vitro. However, their relevance in lung-protective immunity against different serotypes of S. pneumoniae in vivo has not been determined so far. Here, we examined the effect of CG and CG/NE deficiency on the lung host defense against S. pneumoniae in mice. Despite similar neutrophil recruitment, both CG knockout (KO) mice and CG/NE double-KO mice infected with focal pneumonia-inducing serotype 19 S. pneumoniae demonstrated a severely impaired bacterial clearance, which was accompanied by lack of CG and NE but not PR3 proteolytic activity in recruited neutrophils, as determined using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) substrates. Moreover, both CG and CG/NE KO mice but not wild-type mice responded with increased lung permeability to infection with S. pneumoniae, resulting in severe respiratory distress and progressive mortality. Both neutrophil depletion and ablation of hematopoietic CG/NE in bone marrow chimeras abolished intra-alveolar CG and NE immunoreactivity and led to bacterial outgrowth in the lungs of mice, thereby identifying recruited neutrophils as the primary cellular source of intra-alveolar CG and NE. This is the first study showing a contribution of neutrophil-derived neutral serine proteases CG and NE to lung-protective immunity against focal pneumonia-inducing serotype 19 S. pneumoniae in mice. These data may be important for the development of novel intervention strategies to improve lung-protective immune mechanisms in critically ill patients suffering from severe pneumococcal pneumonia.
doi:10.1128/IAI.05593-11
PMCID: PMC3232647  PMID: 21911460

Results 1-3 (3)