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1.  Upstream Stimulatory Factor-2 Mediates Quercetin-Induced Suppression of PAI-1 Gene Expression in Human Endothelial Cells 
Journal of cellular biochemistry  2010;111(3):720-726.
The polyphenol quercetin (Quer) represses expression of the cardiovascular disease risk factor plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) in cultured endothelial cells (ECs). Transfection of PAI-1 promoter-luciferase reporter deletion constructs identified a 251-bp fragment (nucleotides −800 to −549) responsive to Quer. Two E-box motifs (CACGTG), at map positions −691 (E-box1) and −575 (E-box2), are platforms for occupancy by several members of the c-MYC family of basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper (bHLH-LZ) proteins. Promoter truncation and electrophoretic mobility shift/supershift analyses identified upstream stimulatory factor (USF)-1 and USF-2 as E-box1/E-box2 binding factors. ECs co-transfected with a 251 bp PAI-1 promoter fragment containing the two E-box motifs (p251/luc) and a USF-2 expression vector (pUSF-2/pcDNA) exhibited reduced luciferase activity versus p251/luc alone. Overexpression of USF-2 decreased, while transfection of a dominant-negative USF construct increased, EC growth consistent with the known anti-proliferative properties of USF proteins. Quer-induced decreases in PAI-1 expression and reduced cell proliferation may contribute, at least in part, to the cardioprotective benefit associated with daily intake of polyphenols.
PMCID: PMC3521593  PMID: 20626032
2.  Perlecan domain 1 recombinant proteoglycan augments BMP-2 activity and osteogenesis 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:60.
Many growth factors, such as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2, have been shown to interact with polymers of sulfated disacharrides known as heparan sulfate (HS) glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which are found on matrix and cell-surface proteoglycans throughout the body. HS GAGs, and some more highly sulfated forms of chondroitin sulfate (CS), regulate cell function by serving as co-factors, or co-receptors, in GF interactions with their receptors, and HS or CS GAGs have been shown to be necessary for inducing signaling and GF activity, even in the osteogenic lineage. Unlike recombinant proteins, however, HS and CS GAGs are quite heterogenous due, in large part, to post-translational addition, then removal, of sulfate groups to various positions along the GAG polymer. We have, therefore, investigated whether it would be feasible to deliver a DNA pro-drug to generate a soluble HS/CS proteoglycan in situ that would augment the activity of growth-factors, including BMP-2, in vivo.
Utilizing a purified recombinant human perlecan domain 1 (rhPln.D1) expressed from HEK 293 cells with HS and CS GAGs, tight binding and dose-enhancement of rhBMP-2 activity was demonstrated in vitro. In vitro, the expressed rhPln.D1 was characterized by modification with sulfated HS and CS GAGs. Dose-enhancement of rhBMP-2 by a pln.D1 expression plasmid delivered together as a lyophilized single-phase on a particulate tricalcium phosphate scaffold for 6 or more weeks generated up to 9 fold more bone volume de novo on the maxillary ridge in a rat model than in control sites without the pln.D1 plasmid. Using a significantly lower BMP-2 dose, this combination provided more than 5 times as much maxillary ridge augmentation and greater density than rhBMP-2 delivered on a collagen sponge (InFuse™).
A recombinant HS/CS PG interacted strongly and functionally with BMP-2 in binding and cell-based assays, and, in vivo, the pln.247 expression plasmid significantly improved the dose-effectiveness of BMP-2 osteogenic activity for in vivo de novo bone generation when delivered together on a scaffold as a single-phase. The use of HS/CS PGs may be useful to augment GF therapeutics, and a plasmid-based approach has been shown here to be highly effective.
PMCID: PMC3485628  PMID: 22967000
Osteogenesis; BMP-2; Heparan sulfate; Chondroitin sulfate; Proteoglycan; TCP; Bone graft; Implant; Osteoblast; Perlecan
Cytokine gene polymorphisms regulate cytokine expression. We analyzed TGF-β allelic variation in codon 25 in susceptibility to acute rejection episodes in cardiac transplant recipients.
Between June 1997 and December 2001, 123 de novo heart transplants were performed at UAB with analysis based on 109 patients. Clinical and laboratory data were recorded at intervals up to 1 year post transplant. Recipient genotypes for TGF-β (codon 25) were determined using PCR sequence specific primers. Correlations between TGF-β genotypes and acute rejection were made using Kaplan-Meier plots and parametric hazard models.
Of those enrolled, 72% had ≥1 rejection and 46% had multiple rejections in the first year post transplant. Among those ≥ 55 years of age at transplant, patients with the GG genotype had significantly fewer rejections as compared to those with the CC or GC genotype (1.25 vs 2.5, p < 0.01). There was no difference in the risk of rejection between the genotype groups among patients < 50 years of age at transplant (p=0.43). Similar results were observed when we used time to cumulative 2R or greater rejection as the outcome.
The GG TGF-β genotype may protect against acute rejection in older recipients during the first year post transplantation.
PMCID: PMC2796559  PMID: 19782287
Polymorphism; TGF; cardiac rejection

Results 1-3 (3)