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1.  Regulation of A Disintegrin And Metalloprotease-33 Expression by Transforming Growth Factor-β 
The asthma susceptibility gene, a disintegrin and metalloprotease-33 (ADAM33), is selectively expressed in mesenchymal cells, and the activity of soluble ADAM33 has been linked to angiogenesis and airway remodeling. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β is a profibrogenic growth factor, the expression of which is increased in asthma, and recent studies show that it enhances shedding of soluble ADAM33. In this study, we hypothesized that TGF-β also affects ADAM33 expression in bronchial fibroblasts in asthma. Primary fibroblasts were grown from bronchial biopsies from donors with and those without asthma, and treated with TGF-β2 to induce myofibroblast differentiation. ADAM33 expression was assessed using quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting. To examine the mechanisms whereby TGF-β2 affected ADAM33 expression, quantitative methylation-sensitive PCR, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and nuclear accessibility assays were conducted on the ADAM33 promoter. We found that TGF-β2 caused a time- and concentration-dependent reduction in ADAM33 mRNA expression in normal and asthmatic fibroblasts, affecting levels of splice variants similarly. TGF-β2 also induced ADAM33 protein turnover and appearance of a cell-associated C-terminal fragment. TGF-β2 down-regulated ADAM33 mRNA expression by causing chromatin condensation around the ADAM33 promoter with deacetylation of histone H3, demethylation of H3 on lysine-4, and hypermethylation of H3 on lysine-9. However, the methylation status of the ADAM33 promoter did not change. Together, these data suggest that TGF-β2 suppresses expression of ADAM33 mRNA in normal or asthmatic fibroblasts. This occurs by altering chromatin structure, rather than by gene silencing through DNA methylation as in epithelial cells. This may provide a mechanism for fine regulation of levels of ADAM33 expression in fibroblasts, and may self-limit TGF-β2–induced ectodomain shedding of ADAM33.
PMCID: PMC3359905  PMID: 22227561
a disintegrin and metalloprotease-33; myofibroblast; transforming growth factor-β; histone modification
2.  Array-based DNA methylation profiling in follicular lymphoma 
Leukemia  2009;23(10):1858-1866.
Quantitative methylation profiling was performed using the Illumina GoldenGate Assay in untreated Follicular Lymphoma (FL) (164), paired pre- and post-transformation FL (20), benign haematopoietic (24) samples and purified B & T cells from two FL cases. Methylation values allowed separation of untreated FL samples from controls with one exception based primarily on tumour-specific gains of methylation typically occurring within CpG islands. Genes which are targets for epigenetic repression in stem cells by Polycomb Repressor Complex 2 were significantly overrepresented among hypermethylated genes. Methylation profiles were conserved in sequential FL and t-FL biopsies suggesting that widespread methylation represents an early event in lymphomagenesis and may not contribute substantially to transformation. Significant (p<0.05) correlation between FL methylation values and reduced gene expression was demonstrated for up to 28% of loci. Methylation changes occurred predominantly in B cells with variability in the amount of non-malignant tissue between samples preventing conclusive correlation with survival. This represents an important caveat in attributing prognostic relevance to methylation and future studies in cancer will optimally require purified tumour populations to address the impact of methylation on clinical outcome.
PMCID: PMC2762475  PMID: 19587707
Methylation; follicular lymphoma; gene expression; polycomb; transformation
3.  Allele-Specific Binding of CTCF to the Multipartite Imprinting Control Region KvDMR1▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2007;27(7):2636-2647.
Paternal deletion of the imprinting control region (ICR) KvDMR1 results in loss of expression of the Kcnq1ot1 noncoding RNA and derepression of flanking paternally silenced genes. Truncation of Kcnq1ot1 also results in the loss of imprinted expression of these genes in most cases, demonstrating a role for the RNA or its transcription in gene silencing. However, enhancer-blocking studies indicate that KvDMR1 also contains chromatin insulator or silencer activity. In this report we demonstrate by electrophoretic mobility shift assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation the existence of two CTCF binding sites within KvDMR1 that are occupied in vivo only on the unmethylated paternally derived allele. Methylation interference and mutagenesis allowed the precise mapping of protein-DNA contact sites for CTCF within KvDMR1. Using a luciferase reporter assay, we mapped the putative transcriptional promoter for Kcnq1ot1 upstream and to a site functionally separable from enhancer-blocking activity and CTCF binding sites. Luciferase reporter assays also suggest the presence of an additional cis-acting element in KvDMR1 upstream of the putative promoter that can function as an enhancer. These results suggest that the KvDMR1 ICR consists of multiple, independent cis-acting modules. Dissection of KvDMR1 into its functional components should help elucidate the mechanism of its function in vivo.
PMCID: PMC1899897  PMID: 17242189

Results 1-3 (3)