Sle1c is a sublocus of the NZM2410-derived Sle1 major lupus susceptibility locus. We have previously shown that Sle1c contributes to lupus pathogenesis by conferring increased CD4+ T cell activation and increased susceptibility to chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD), which mapped to the centromeric portion of the locus. In this study, we have refined the centromeric sublocus to a 675Kb interval, termed Sle1c2. Mice from recombinant congenic strains expressing Sle1c2 exhibited increased CD4+ T cell intrinsic activation and cGVHD susceptibility, similar to mice with the parental Sle1c. In addition, B6.Sle1c2 mice displayed a robust expansion of IFNγ expressing T cells. NZB complementation studies showed that Sle1c2 expression exacerbated B cell activation, autoAb production, and renal pathology, verifying that Sle1c2 contributes to lupus pathogenesis. The Sle1c2 interval contains two genes, only one of which, Esrrg, is expressed in T cells. B6.Sle1c2 CD4+ T cells expressed less Esrrg than B6 CD4+ T cells, and Esrrg expression was negatively correlated to CD4+ T cell activation. Esrrg encodes for an orphan nuclear receptor that regulates oxidative metabolism and mitochondrial functions. In accordance with a reduced Esrrg expression, B6.Sle1c2 CD4+ T cells present reduced mitochondrial mass and altered mitochondrial functions, as well as altered metabolic pathway utilization when compared to B6. Taken together, we propose Esrrg as a novel lupus susceptibility gene regulating CD4+ T cell function through their mitochondrial metabolism.
We investigated the impact of PININ (PNN) and epithelial splicing regulatory protein 1 (ESRP1) on alternative pre-mRNA splicing in the corneal epithelial context.
Isoform-specific RT-PCR assays were performed on wild-type and Pnn knockout mouse cornea. Protein interactions were examined by deconvolution microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation. For genome-wide alternative splicing study, immortalized human corneal epithelial cells (HCET) harboring doxycycline-inducible shRNA against PNN or ESRP1 were created. Total RNA was isolated from four biological replicates of control and knockdown HCET cells, and subjected to hGlue3_0 transcriptome array analysis.
Pnn depletion in developing mouse corneal epithelium led to disrupted alternative splicing of multiple ESRP-regulated epithelial-type exons. In HCET cells, ESRP1 and PNN displayed close localization in and around nuclear speckles, and their physical association in protein complexes was identified. Whole transcriptome array analysis on ESRP1 or PNN knockdown HCET cells revealed clear alterations in transcript profiles and splicing patterns of specific subsets of genes. Separate RT-PCR validation assays confirmed successfully specific changes in exon usage of several representative splice variants, including PAX6(5a), FOXJ3, ARHGEF11, and SLC37A2. Gene ontologic analyses on ESRP1- or PNN-regulated alternative exons suggested their roles in epithelial phenotypes, such as cell morphology and movement.
Our data suggested that ESRP1 and PNN modulate alternative splicing of a specific subset of target genes, but not general splicing events, in HCET cells to maintain or enhance epithelial characteristics.
Genome-wide PNN- and ESRP1-regulated alternative pre-mRNA splicing events were identified in human corneal epithelial cells through whole transcriptome array analysis. The study suggests specific roles of PNN and ESRP1 in the regulation of epithelial-specific alternative splicing.
Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, and Tannerella forsythia are consistently associated with adult periodontitis. This study sought to document the host transcriptome to a P. gingivalis, T. denticola, and T. forsythia challenge as a polymicrobial infection using a murine calvarial model of acute inflammation and bone resorption. Mice were infected with P. gingivalis, T. denticola, and T. forsythia over the calvaria, after which the soft tissues and calvarial bones were excised. A Murine GeneChip® array analysis of transcript profiles showed that 6997 genes were differentially expressed in calvarial bones (P < 0.05) and 1544 genes were differentially transcribed in the inflamed tissues after the polymicrobial infection. Of these genes, 4476 and 1035 genes in the infected bone and tissues were differentially expressed by upregulation. Biological pathways significantly impacted by the polymicrobial infection in calvarial bone included leukocyte transendothelial migration (LTM), cell adhesion molecules, adherens junction, major histocompatibility complex antigen, extracellular matrix-receptor interaction (ECM), and antigen processing and presentation resulting in inflammatory/cytokine/chemokine transcripts stimulation in bone and soft tissue. Intense inflammation and increased activated osteoclasts was observed in calvarias compared to sham-infected controls. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis confirmed mRNA level of selected genes corresponded with the microarray expression. The polymicrobial infection regulated several LTM and extracellular membrane (ECM) pathway genes in a manner distinct from monoinfection with P. gingivalis, T. denticola, or T. forsythia. To our knowledge, this is the first definition of the polymicrobial induced transcriptome in calvarial bone and soft tissue in response to periodontal pathogens.
P. gingivalis; T. denticola; T. forsythia; polymicrobial infection; gene expression; calvarial bone; tissue; microarray
We determined whether postburn hyperglycemia and insulin resistance are associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress/unfolded protein response (UPR) activation leading to impaired insulin receptor signaling.
Inflammation and cellular stress, hallmarks of severely burned and critically ill patients, have been causally linked to insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes via induction of ER stress and the UPR.
Twenty severely burned pediatric patients were compared with 36 nonburned children. Clinical markers, protein, and GeneChip analysis were used to identify transcriptional changes in ER stress and UPR and insulin resistance–related signaling cascades in peripheral blood leukocytes, fat, and muscle at admission and up to 466 days postburn.
Burn-induced inflammatory and stress responses are accompanied by profound insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. Genomic and protein analysis revealed that burn injury was associated with alterations in the signaling pathways that affect insulin resistance, ER/sarcoplasmic reticulum stress, inflammation, and cell growth/apoptosis up to 466 days postburn.
Burn-induced insulin resistance is associated with persistent ER/sarcoplasmic reticulum stress/UPR and subsequent suppressed insulin receptor signaling over a prolonged period of time.
Anthrax lethal toxin (LT), produced by the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is a highly effective zinc dependent metalloprotease that cleaves the N-terminus of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MAPKK or MEKs) and is known to play a role in impairing the host immune system during an inhalation anthrax infection. Here, we present the transcriptional responses of LT treated human monocytes in order to further elucidate the mechanisms of LT inhibition on the host immune system.
Western Blot analysis demonstrated cleavage of endogenous MEK1 and MEK3 when human monocytes were treated with 500 ng/mL LT for four hours, proving their susceptibility to anthrax lethal toxin. Furthermore, staining with annexin V and propidium iodide revealed that LT treatment did not induce human peripheral monocyte apoptosis or necrosis. Using Affymetrix Human Genome U133 Plus 2.0 Arrays, we identified over 820 probe sets differentially regulated after LT treatment at the p <0.001 significance level, interrupting the normal transduction of over 60 known pathways. As expected, the MAPKK signaling pathway was most drastically affected by LT, but numerous genes outside the well-recognized pathways were also influenced by LT including the IL-18 signaling pathway, Toll-like receptor pathway and the IFN alpha signaling pathway. Multiple genes involved in actin regulation, signal transduction, transcriptional regulation and cytokine signaling were identified after treatment with anthrax LT.
We conclude LT directly targets human peripheral monocytes and causes multiple aberrant gene responses that would be expected to be associated with defects in human monocyte’s normal signaling transduction pathways and function. This study provides further insights into the mechanisms associated with the host immune system collapse during an anthrax infection, and suggests that anthrax LT may have additional downstream targets outside the well-known MAPK pathway.
To determine clinical and genomic characteristics and in-hospital mortality risk associated with acute kidney injury (AKI) in the multicenter prospective cohort of patients with blunt trauma.
Summary Background Data
Less severe stages of AKI characterized by small changes in serum creatinine (sCr) are inadequately studied among trauma patients.
We performed a secondary analysis of the “Inflammation and the Host Response to Injury” (GlueGrant) database to include adult blunt trauma patients without history of kidney disease. AKI was defined by the RIFLE (Risk, Injury, Failure, Loss, and End-stage Kidney) classification, which requires a 50% increase in sCr and stratifies patients into three severity stages: risk, injury, and failure. Association between all stages of AKI and in-hospital mortality was analyzed using a multivariable logistic regression analysis. Genome-wide expression analysis was performed on whole blood leukocytes obtained within 12 hours of trauma.
AKI occurred in 26% of 982 patients. The adjusted risk for hospital death was three times higher for patients with AKI compared to patients without AKI (odds ratio [OR] 3.05 (95% confidence interval [CI], (1.73, TO 5.40). This risk was evident in a dose-response manner and even patients with mild AKI had OR for dying of 2.57 (95% CI, 1.19 to 5.50) compared to patients without AKI. Genome-wide expression analysis failed to show a significant number of genes whose expression could discriminate among patients with and without AKI.
In a multi-center prospective cohort of blunt trauma patients, AKI characterized by small changes in sCr was associated with an independent risk of hospital death.
trauma; inflammation; genomics; leukocytes
Multilevel analysis of transcription is facilitated by a new array design that includes modules for assessment of differential expression, isoform usage, and allelic imbalance in Drosophila. The ∼2.5 million feature chip incorporates a large number of controls, and it contains 18,769 3′ expression probe sets and 61,919 exon probe sets with probe sequences from Drosophila melanogaster and 60,118 SNP probe sets focused on Drosophila simulans. An experiment in D. simulans identified genes differentially expressed between males and females (34% in the 3′ expression module; 32% in the exon module). These proportions are consistent with previous reports, and there was good agreement (κ = 0.63) between the modules. Alternative isoform usage between the sexes was identified for 164 genes. The SNP module was verified with resequencing data. Concordance between resequencing and the chip design was greater than 99%. The design also proved apt in separating alleles based upon hybridization intensity. Concordance between the highest hybridization signals and the expected alleles in the genotype was greater than 96%. Intriguingly, allelic imbalance was detected for 37% of 6579 probe sets examined that contained heterozygous SNP loci. The large number of probes and multiple probe sets per gene in the 3′ expression and exon modules allows the array to be used in D. melanogaster and in closely related species. The SNP module can be used for allele specific expression and genotyping of D. simulans.
The importance of the 2′-5′ oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS)/RNase L and double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-dependent protein kinase (PKR) pathways in host interferon induction resulting from virus infection in response to dsRNA has been well documented. In poxvirus infections, the interactions between the vaccinia virus (VV) genes E3L and K3L, which target RNase L and PKR, respectively, serve to prevent the induction of the dsRNA-dependent induced interferon response in cell culture. To determine the importance of these host genes in controlling VV infections, mouse single-gene knockouts of RNase L and PKR and double-knockout mice were studied following intratracheal infection with VV, VVΔK3L, or VVΔE3L. VV caused lethal disease in all mouse strains. The single-knockout animals were more susceptible than wild-type animals, while the RNase L−/− PKR−/− mice were the most susceptible. VVΔE3L infections of wild-type mice were asymptomatic, demonstrating that E3L plays a critical role in controlling the host immune response. RNase L−/− mice showed no disease, whereas 20% of the PKR−/− mice succumbed at a dose of 108 PFU. Lethal disease was routinely observed in RNase L−/− PKR−/− mice inoculated with 108 PFU of VVΔE3L, with a distinct pathology. VVΔK3L infections exhibited no differences in virulence among any of the mouse constructs, suggesting that PKR is not the exclusive target of K3L. Surprisingly, VVΔK3L did not disseminate to other tissues from the lung. Hence, the cause of death in this model is respiratory disease. These results also suggest that an unanticipated role of the K3L gene is to facilitate virus dissemination.
Porphyromonas gingivalis has been associated with subgingival biofilms in adult periodontitis. However, the molecular mechanisms of its contribution to chronic gingival inflammation and loss of periodontal structural integrity remain unclear. The objectives of this investigation were to examine changes in the host transcriptional profiles during a P. gingivalis infection using a murine calvarial model of inflammation and bone resorption.
P. gingivalis FDC 381 was injected into the subcutaneous soft tissue over the calvaria of BALB/c mice for 3 days, after which the soft tissues and calvarial bones were excised. RNA was isolated from infected soft tissues and calvarial bones and analyzed for transcript profiles using Murine GeneChip® arrays to provide a molecular profile of the events that occur following infection of these tissues.
After P. gingivalis infection, 5517 and 1900 probe sets in the infected soft tissues and calvarial bone, respectively, were differentially expressed (P ≤ 0.05) and up-regulated. Biological pathways significantly impacted by P. gingivalis infection in tissues and calvarial bone included cell adhesion (immune system) molecules, Toll-like receptors, B cell receptor signaling, TGF-β cytokine family receptor signaling, and MHC class II antigen processing pathways resulting in proinflammatory, chemotactic effects, T cell stimulation, and down regulation of antiviral and T cell chemotactic effects. P. gingivalis-induced inflammation activated osteoclasts, leading to local bone resorption.
This is the first in vivo evidence that localized P. gingivalis infection differentially induces transcription of a broad array of host genes that differed between inflamed soft tissues and calvarial bone.
P. gingivalis; gene expression; calvarial tissue; bone; microarray
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1)–based vectors readily transduce neurons and have a large payload capacity, making them particularly amenable to gene therapy applications within the central nervous system (CNS). Because aspects of the host responses to HSV-1 vectors in the CNS are largely unknown, we compared the host response of a nonreplicating HSV-1 vector to that of a replication-competent HSV-1 virus using microarray analysis. In parallel, HSV-1 gene expression was tracked using HSV-specific oligonucleotide-based arrays in order to correlate viral gene expression with observed changes in host response. Microarray analysis was performed following stereotactic injection into the right hippocampal formation of mice with either a replication-competent HSV-1 or a nonreplicating recombinant of HSV-1, lacking the ICP4 gene (ICP4−). Genes that demonstrated a significant change (P < .001) in expression in response to the replicating HSV-1 outnumbered those that changed in response to mock or nonreplicating vector by approximately 3-fold. Pathway analysis revealed that both the replicating and nonreplicating vectors induced robust antigen presentation but only mild interferon, chemokine, and cytokine signaling responses. The ICP4− vector was restricted in several of the Toll-like receptor-signaling pathways, indicating reduced stimulation of the innate immune response. These array analyses suggest that although the nonreplicating vector induces detectable activation of immune response pathways, the number and magnitude of the induced response is dramatically restricted compared to the replicating vector, and with the exception of antigen presentation, host gene expression induced by the non-replicating vector largely resembles mock infection.
gene therapy; host response; HSV; vector
The cytolethal distending toxin (CDT) of the oral pathogen Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in various cell types. Western analysis, pharmacological inhibition and siRNA silencing were performed in human immortalized gingival keratinocytes (HIGK) to dissect the functional role of the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) pathway in the signal transduction steps triggered by the CDT. Infection of HIGK was associated with a time-dependent induction of cytoplasmic histone-associated DNA fragmentation. However, in the absence of CDT, infected HIGK underwent reversible DNA strand breaks but not apoptosis, while caspase 3 activity, p21 levels, and HIGK viability were unaffected. Caspase 9 activity was attenuated in the CDT mutant-infected HIGK compared to wild-type infected cells. Pharmacological inhibition and siRNA-silencing of the ATM downstream effector, the protein kinase checkpoint kinase 2 (Chk2), significantly impacted CDT-mediated apoptosis. Together, these findings provide insight on the specificity of the ATM-Chk2 pathway in response to the CDT of A. actinomycetemcomitans in oral epithelial cells, which ultimately leads to apoptosis. We further propose the existence of an unidentified factor that is distinct from the CDT, and involved with a reversible DNA fragmentation that does not trigger terminal apoptosis in oral epithelial cells. This model potentially explains conflicting reports on the biological activity of the A. actinomycetemcomitans CDT.
The human microflora is known to be extremely complex, yet most pathogenesis research is conducted in mono-species models of infection. Consequently, it remains unclear whether the level of complexity of a host's indigenous flora can affect the virulence potential of pathogenic species. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether the colonization by commensal species affects a host cell's response to pathogenic species beyond the direct physical saturation of surface receptors, the sequestration of nutrients, the modulation of the physico-chemical environment in the oral cavity, or the production of bacteriocins. Using oral epithelial cells as a model, we hypothesized that the virulence of pathogenic species may vary depending on the complexity of the flora that interacts with host cells.
This is the first report that determines the global epithelial transcriptional response to co-culture with defined complex microbiota. In our model, human immortalized gingival keratinocytes (HIGK) were infected with mono- and mixed cultures of commensal and pathogenic species. The global transcriptional response of infected cells was validated and confirmed phenotypically. In our model, commensal species were able to modulate the expression of host genes with a broad diversity of physiological functions and antagonize the effect of pathogenic species at the cellular level. Unexpectedly, the inhibitory effect of commensal species was not correlated with its ability to inhibit adhesion or invasion by pathogenic species.
Studying the global transcriptome of epithelial cells to single and complex microbial challenges offers clues towards a better understanding of how bacteria-bacteria interactions and bacteria-host interactions impact the overall host response. This work provides evidence that the degree of complexity of a mixed microbiota does influence the transcriptional response to infection of host epithelial cells, and challenges the current dogma regarding the potential versus the actual pathogenicity of bacterial species. These findings support the concept that members of the commensal oral flora have evolved cellular mechanisms that directly modulate the host cell's response to pathogenic species and dampen their relative pathogenicity.
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and members of the interferon (IFN) family have been shown to independently inhibit the replication of a variety of viruses. In addition, previous reports have shown that treatment with various combinations of these antiviral cytokines induces a synergistic antiviral state that can be significantly more potent than addition of any of these cytokines alone. The mechanism of this cytokine synergy and its effects on global gene expression, however, are not well characterized. Here, we use DNA microarray analysis to demonstrate that treatment of uninfected primary human fibroblasts with TNF plus IFN-β induces a distinct synergistic state characterized by significant perturbations of several hundred genes which are coinduced by the individual cytokines alone, as well as the induction of more than 850 novel host cell genes. This synergy is mediated directly by the two ligands, not by intermediate secreted factors, and is necessary and sufficient to completely block the productive replication and spread of myxoma virus in human fibroblasts. In contrast, the replication of two other poxviruses, vaccinia virus and tanapox virus, are only partially inhibited in these cells by the synergistic antiviral state, whereas the spread of both of these viruses to neighboring cells was efficiently blocked. Taken together, our data indicate that the combination of TNF and IFN-β induces a novel synergistic antiviral state that is highly distinct from that induced by either cytokine alone.
We have previously described the transcriptional changes that occur in the hippocampal CA1 field of aged rats following a Morris Water Maze (MWM) training paradigm. In this report we proceed with the analysis of the dentate region from the same animals. Animals were first identified as age learning-impaired or age-superior learners when compared to young rats based on their performance in the MWM. Messenger RNA was isolated from the dentate gyrus of each animal to interrogate Affymetrix RAE 230A rat genome microarrays. Microarray profiling identified 1129 genes that were differentially expressed between aged and young rats as a result of aging, and independent of their behavioral training (p<0.005). We applied Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) algorithms to identify the significant biological processes underlying age-related changes in the dentate gyrus. The most significant functions, as calculated by IPA, included cell movement, cell growth and proliferation, nervous system development and function, cellular assembly and organization, cell morphology and cell death. These significant processes are consistent with age-related changes in neurogenesis, and the neurogenic markers were generally found to be downregulated in senescent animals. In addition, statistical analysis of the different experimental groups of aged animals recognized 85 genes (p<0.005) that were different in the dentate gyrus of aged rats that had learned the MWM when compared to learning impaired and a number of controls for stress, exercise and non-spatial learning. The list of learning-related genes expressed in the dentate adds to the set of genes we previously described in the CA1 region. This long list of genes constitutes a starting tool to elucidating the molecular pathways involved in learning and memory formation.
aging; hippocampus; learning and memory; Morris water maze; nervous system; gene expression; learning impaired; superior learner; dentate gyrus; microarray; class prediction; pathway analysis; neurogenesis
In many instances, the encounter between host and microbial cells can be, through a longstanding evolutionary association, a balanced interaction whereby both cell types co-exist and inflict a minimal degree of harm on each other. In the oral cavity, despite the presence of large numbers of diverse organisms, health is the most frequent status. Disease will only ensue when the host-microbe balance is disrupted on a cellular and molecular level. With the advent of microarrays, it is now possible to monitor the responses of host cells to bacterial challenge in a global scale. However, microarray data are known to be inherently noisy, which is caused in part by their great sensitivity. Hence, we will address a number of important general considerations required to maximize the significance of microarray analysis in order to faithfully depict relevant host-microbe interactions. Several advantages and limitations of microarray analysis that may directly impact the significance of array data are highlighted and discussed. Further, this review revisits and contextualizes recent transcriptional profiles that were originally generated to specifically study intricate cellular interactions between gingival cells and four important plaque microorganisms. This is, to our knowledge, the first report that systematically investigates the cellular responses of a cell line to challenge by 4 different microorganisms. Of particular relevance to the oral cavity, the model bacteria span the entire spectrum of documented pathogenic potential from commensal to opportunistic to overtly pathogenic. These studies provide a molecular basis of the complex and dynamic interaction between the oral microflora and its host, which may lead, in the long run, to the development of novel, rational and practical therapeutic, prophylactic and diagnostic applications.
microarray; transcriptional profiling; oral epithelium; commensal; pathogen; transcriptomic
Aldehyde dehydrogenase isozymes ALDH1A1 and ALDH3A1 are highly expressed in non small cell lung cancer. Neither the mechanisms nor the biologic significance for such over expression have been studied.
We have employed oligonucleotide microarrays to analyze changes in gene profiles in A549 lung cancer cell line in which ALDH activity was reduced by up to 95% using lentiviral mediated expression of siRNA against both isozymes (Lenti 1+3). Stringent analysis methods were used to identify gene expression patterns that are specific to the knock down of ALDH activity and significantly different in comparison to wild type A549 cells (WT) or cells similarly transduced with green fluorescent protein (GFP) siRNA.
We confirmed significant and specific down regulation of ALDH1A1 and ALDH3A1 in Lenti 1+3 cells and in comparison to 12 other ALDH genes detected. The results of the microarray analysis were validated by real time RT-PCR on RNA obtained from Lenti 1+3 or WT cells treated with ALDH activity inhibitors. Detailed functional analysis was performed on 101 genes that were significantly different (P < 0.001) and their expression changed by ≥ 2 folds in the Lenti 1+3 group versus the control groups. There were 75 down regulated and 26 up regulated genes. Protein binding, organ development, signal transduction, transcription, lipid metabolism, and cell migration and adhesion were among the most affected pathways.
These molecular effects of the ALDH knock-down are associated with in vitro functional changes in the proliferation and motility of these cells and demonstrate the significance of ALDH enzymes in cell homeostasis with a potentially significant impact on the treatment of lung cancer.
The SerB protein of Porphyromonas gingivalis is a HAD family serine phosphatase that plays a critical role in entry and survival of the organism in gingival epithelial cells. SerB is secreted by P. gingivalis upon contact with epithelial cells. Here it is shown by microarray analysis that SerB impacts the transcriptional profile of gingival epithelial cells, with pathways involving the actin cytoskeleton and cytokine production among those significantly overpopulated with differentially regulated genes. Consistent with the transcriptional profile, a SerB mutant of P. gingivalis exhibited defective remodeling of actin in epithelial cells. Interaction between gingival epithelial cells and isolated SerB protein resulted in actin rearrangement and an increase in the F/G actin ratio. SerB protein was also required for P. gingivalis to antagonize interleukin-8 accumulation following stimulation of epithelial cells with Fusobacterium nucleatum. SerB is thus capable of modulating host cell signal transduction that impacts the actin cytoskeleton and cytokine production.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that posttranscriptionally regulate gene expression by binding to 3′-untranslated regions (3′UTRs) of target mRNAs. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), a virus linked to malignancies including primary effusion lymphoma (PEL), encodes 12 miRNA genes, but only a few regulatory targets are known. We found that KSHV-miR-K12-11 shares 100% seed sequence homology with hsa-miR-155, an miRNA frequently found to be up-regulated in lymphomas and critically important for B-cell development. Based on this seed sequence homology, we hypothesized that both miRNAs regulate a common set of target genes and, as a result, could have similar biological activities. Examination of five PEL lines showed that PELs do not express miR-155 but do express high levels of miR-K12-11. Bioinformatic tools predicted the transcriptional repressor BACH-1 to be targeted by both miRNAs, and ectopic expression of either miR-155 or miR-K12-11 inhibited a BACH-1 3′UTR-containing reporter. Furthermore, BACH-1 protein levels are low in cells expressing either miRNA. Gene expression profiling of miRNA-expressing stable cell lines revealed 66 genes that were commonly down-regulated. For select genes, miRNA targeting was confirmed by reporter assays. Thus, based on our in silico predictions, reporter assays, and expression profiling data, miR-K12-11 and miR-155 regulate a common set of cellular targets. Given the role of miR-155 during B-cell maturation, we speculate that miR-K12-11 may contribute to the distinct developmental phenotype of PEL cells, which are blocked in a late stage of B-cell development. Together, these findings indicate that KSHV miR-K12-11 is an ortholog of miR-155.
Transcriptional profiling and ontology tools were utilized to define the biological pathways of gingival epithelial cells modulated by coculture with the oral commensal Streptococcus gordonii and the opportunistic commensal Fusobacterium nucleatum. Overall, F. nucleatum and S. gordonii perturbed the gingival epithelial cell transcriptome much less significantly than the oral pathogens Porphyromonas gingivalis and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans perturbed the transcriptome, indicating that there was a greater degree of host adaptation by the commensal species (M. Handfield, J. J. Mans, G. Zheng, M. C. Lopez, S. Mao, A. Progulske-Fox, G. Narasimhan, H. V. Baker, and R. J. Lamont, Cell. Microbiol. 7:811-823, 2005). The biological pathways significantly impacted by F. nucleatum and S. gordonii included the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Toll-like receptor signaling pathways. Differential regulation of GADD45 and DUSP4, key components of the MAPK pathway, was confirmed at the protein level by Western blotting. Modulation of the MAPK pathway is likely to affect host cell proliferation and differentiation. In addition, both the MAPK and Toll-like receptor pathways ultimately converge on cytokine gene expression. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of secreted interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-8 demonstrated that F. nucleatum induced production of these cytokines, whereas S. gordonii inhibited secretion from the epithelial cells. Stimulation of secretion of proinflammatory cytokines from epithelial cells may reflect the invasive phenotype of F. nucleatum and contribute to the greater pathogenic potential of F. nucleatum than of S. gordonii.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are 19 to 23 nucleotide–long RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression. Human cells express several hundred miRNAs which regulate important biological pathways such as development, proliferation, and apoptosis. Recently, 12 miRNA genes have been identified within the genome of Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus; however, their functions are still unknown. To identify host cellular genes that may be targeted by these novel viral regulators, we performed gene expression profiling in cells stably expressing KSHV-encoded miRNAs. Data analysis revealed a set of 81 genes whose expression was significantly changed in the presence of miRNAs. While the majority of changes were below 2-fold, eight genes were down-regulated between 4- and 20-fold. We confirmed miRNA-dependent regulation for three of these genes and found that protein levels of thrombospondin 1 (THBS1) were decreased >10-fold. THBS1 has previously been reported to be down-regulated in Kaposi sarcoma lesions and has known activity as a strong tumor suppressor and anti-angiogenic factor, exerting its anti-angiogenic effect in part by activating the latent form of TGF-β. We show that reduced THBS1 expression in the presence of viral miRNAs translates into decreased TGF-β activity. These data suggest that KSHV-encoded miRNAs may contribute directly to pathogenesis by down-regulation of THBS1, a major regulator of cell adhesion, migration, and angiogenesis.
Kaposi sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is a gamma-herpesvirus associated with Kaposi sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma, and a subset of muticentric Castleman disease. Recently, it was found that KSHV encodes 12 microRNAs (miRNAs) within its latency-associated region. miRNAs are small ∼22 nucleotide-long single-stranded RNA molecules that act to inhibit gene expression by binding to target messenger RNAs (mRNAs). Because miRNAs bind to these targets with limited base pairing, it has been difficult to find targets. The goal of our study was to identify cellular mRNAs targeted by KSHV-encoded miRNAs. Microarray analysis of cells expressing the KSHV miRNAs revealed a set of 81 genes that were changed. Several genes are regulators of important functions such as blood vessel growth, cell proliferation, and cell death. One target, thrombospondin 1, is a potent inhibitor of blood vessel growth and is known to be down-regulated in Kaposi sarcoma tumors. Thrombospondin 1, which is targeted by multiple miRNAs, also showed reduced protein levels in our study. To our knowledge, our data describe the first targets for tumorvirus-encoded miRNAs and suggest that these novel regulators may have roles in pathogenesis.
The phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS) is the major carbohydrate transport system in oral streptococci. The mannose-PTS of Streptococcus mutans, which transports mannose and glucose, is involved in carbon catabolite repression (CCR) and regulates the expression of known virulence genes. In this study, we investigated the role of EIIGlc and EIIABMan in sugar metabolism, gene regulation, biofilm formation, and competence. The results demonstrate that the inactivation of ptsG, encoding a putative EIIGlc, did not lead to major changes in sugar metabolism or affect the phenotypes of interest. However, the loss of EIIGlc was shown to have a significant impact on the proteome and to affect the expression of a known virulence factor, fructan hydrolase (fruA). JAM1, a mutant strain lacking EIIABMan, had an impaired capacity to form biofilms in the presence of glucose and displayed a decreased ability to be transformed with exogenous DNA. Also, the lactose- and cellobiose-PTSs were positively and negatively regulated by EIIABMan, respectively. Microarrays were used to investigate the profound phenotypic changes displayed by JAM1, revealing that EIIABMan of S. mutans has a key regulatory role in energy metabolism, possibly by sensing the energy levels of the cells or the carbohydrate availability and, in response, regulating the activity of transcription factors and carbohydrate transporters.
Streptococcus mutans, the primary etiological agent of human dental caries, has developed multiple mechanisms to colonize and form biofilms on the tooth surface. The brpA gene codes for a predicted surface-associated protein with apparent roles in biofilm formation, autolysis, and cell division. In this study, we used two models to further characterize the biofilm-forming characteristics of a BrpA-deficient mutant, strain TW14. Compared to those of the parent strain, UA159, TW14 formed long chains and sparse microcolonies on hydroxylapatite disks but failed to accumulate and form three-dimensional biofilms when grown on glucose as the carbohydrate source. The biofilm formation defect was also readily apparent by confocal laser scanning microscopy when flow cells were used to grow biofilms. When subjected to acid killing at pH 2.8 for 45 min, the survival rate of strain TW14 was more than 1 log lower than that of the wild-type strain. TW14 was at least 3 logs more susceptible to killing by 0.2% hydrogen peroxide than was UA159. The expression of more than 200 genes was found by microarray analysis to be altered in cells lacking BrpA (P < 0.01). These results suggest that the loss of BrpA can dramatically influence the transcriptome and significantly affects the regulation of acid and oxidative stress tolerance and biofilm formation in S. mutans, which are key virulence attributes of the organism.
The type III secretion system (T3SS) of Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an important virulence factor. The T3SS of P. aeruginosa can be induced by a low calcium signal or upon direct contact with the host cells. The exact pathway of signal sensing and T3SS activation is not clear. By screening a transposon insertion mutant library of the PAK strain, mutation in the mucA gene was found to cause repression of T3SS expression under both type III-inducing and -noninducing conditions. Mutation in the mucA gene is known to cause alginate overproduction, resulting in a mucoid phenotype. Alginate production responds to various environmental stresses and plays a protective role for P. aeruginosa. Comparison of global gene expression of mucA mutant and wild-type PAK under T3SS-inducing conditions confirmed the down regulation of T3SS genes and up regulation of genes involved in alginate biosynthesis. Further analysis indicated that the repression of T3SS in the mucA mutant was AlgU and AlgR dependent, as double mutants mucA/algU and mucA/algR showed normal type III expression. An algR::Gm mutant showed a higher level of type III expression, while overexpression of the algR gene inhibited type III gene expression; thus, it seems that the AlgR-regulated product inhibits the expression of the T3SS genes. It is likely that P. aeruginosa has evolved tight regulatory networks to turn off the energy-expensive T3SS when striving for survival under environmental stresses.
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) impacts multiple lineages of hematopoietic cells, including lymphocytes and macrophages, either by direct infection or indirectly by perturbations of cell networks, leading to generalized immune deficiency. We designed a study to discover, in primary human macrophages, sentinel genetic targets that are impacted during replication over the course of 7 days by a CCR5-using virus. Expression of mRNA and proteins in virus- or mock-treated macrophages from multiple donors was evaluated. Hierarchical agglomerative cluster analysis grouped into distinct temporal expression patterns >900 known human genes that were induced or repressed at least fourfold by virus. Expression of more than one-third of the genes was induced rapidly by day 2 of infection, while other genes were induced at intermediate (day 4) or late (day 7) time points. More than 200 genes were expressed exclusively in either virus- or mock-treated macrophage cultures, independent of the donor, providing an unequivocal basis to distinguish an effect by virus. HIV-1 altered levels of mRNA and/or protein for diverse cellular programs in macrophages, including multiple genes that can contribute to a transition in the cell cycle from G1 to G2/M, in contrast to expression in mock-treated macrophages of genes that maintain G0/G1. Virus treatment activated mediators of cell cycling, including PP2A, which is impacted by Vpr, as well as GADD45 and BRCA1, potentially novel targets for HIV-1. The results identify interrelated programs conducive to optimal HIV-1 replication and expression of genes that can contribute to macrophage dysfunction.
Sepsis caused by gram-negative bacteria and that caused by gram-positive bacteria often manifest similar clinical features. We investigated plasma proinflammatory cytokine profiles in patients with sepsis due to gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and studied the cytokine production and differential gene regulation of leukocytes stimulated ex vivo with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide or heat-killed Staphylococcus aureus. Concentrations of tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), IL-8, IL-10, IL-18 binding protein, procalcitonin, and protein C in plasma did not differ between patients with sepsis due to gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. However, plasma IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-18 concentrations were significantly higher in patients with sepsis due to gram-positive bacteria. Ex vivo stimulation of whole blood with heat-killed S. aureus markedly increased IL-1β and IL-18 levels more than E. coli lipopolysaccharide stimulation. Microarray analysis revealed at least 359 cross-validated probe sets (genes) significant at the P < 0.001 level whose expression discriminated among gram-negative-organism-stimulated, gram-positive-organism-stimulated, and unstimulated whole-blood leukocytes. The host inflammatory responses to gram-negative and gram-positive stimuli share some common response elements but also exhibit distinct patterns of cytokine appearance and leukocyte gene expression.