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1.  Microfluidics-Based Capture of Human Neutrophils for Expression Analysis in Blood and Bronchoalveolar Lavage 
Gene expression analysis can be a powerful tool in predicting patient outcomes and identifying patients who may benefit from targeted therapies. However, isolating human blood neutrophils (PMNs) for genomic analysis has been challenging. We employed a novel microfluidic technique that isolates PMNs by capturing CD66b+ cells and compared it to dextran-Ficoll gradient isolation. We also employed microfluidic isolation techniques to blood and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples of patients with ARDS to evaluate PMN genomic alterations secondary to pulmonary sequestration. PMNs obtained from ex vivo lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated or unstimulated whole blood from five healthy volunteers were isolated by either dextran-Ficoll gradient, microfluidics capture, or a combination of the two techniques. Blood and BAL fluid PMNs were also isolated using microfluidics from seven hospitalized patients with ARDS. Gene expression was inferred from extracted RNA using Affymetrix U133 Plus 2.0 GeneChips™. All methods of PMN isolation produced similar quantities of high-quality RNA, when adjusted for recovered cell number. Unsupervised analysis and hierarchal clustering indicated that LPS stimulation was the primary factor affecting gene expression patterns among all ex vivo samples. Patterns of gene expression from blood and BAL PMNs differed significantly from each other in the patients with ARDS. Isolation of PMNs by microfluidics can be applied to both blood and BAL specimens from critically ill, hospitalized patients. Unique genomic expression patterns are obtained from the blood and BAL fluid of critically ill patients with ARDS, and these differ significantly from genomic patterns seen after ex vivo LPS stimulation.
PMCID: PMC3957199  PMID: 21931299
Neutrophil isolation; microfluidics; genomics; dextran; ficoll
2.  Polymicrobial periodontal pathogens transcriptomes in calvarial bone and soft tissue 
Molecular oral microbiology  2011;26(5):303-320.
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.
PMCID: PMC3170131  PMID: 21896157
P. gingivalis; T. denticola; T. forsythia; polymicrobial infection; gene expression; calvarial bone; tissue; microarray
3.  Bacillus anthracis’ lethal toxin induces broad transcriptional responses in human peripheral monocytes 
BMC Immunology  2012;13:33.
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.
PMCID: PMC3475123  PMID: 22747600
4.  Incidence, clinical predictors, genomics, and outcome of acute kidney injury among trauma patients 
Annals of Surgery  2010;252(1):158-165.
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.
PMCID: PMC3357629  PMID: 20562612
trauma; inflammation; genomics; leukocytes
5.  Porphyromonas gingivalis infection-induced tissue and bone transcriptional profiles 
Molecular oral microbiology  2010;25(1):61-74.
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.
PMCID: PMC3001241  PMID: 20331794
P. gingivalis; gene expression; calvarial tissue; bone; microarray
6.  The Addition of Tumor Necrosis Factor plus Beta Interferon Induces a Novel Synergistic Antiviral State against Poxviruses in Primary Human Fibroblasts▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2008;83(2):498-511.
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.
PMCID: PMC2612348  PMID: 18971273
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.
PMCID: PMC2530823  PMID: 18234529
aging; hippocampus; learning and memory; Morris water maze; nervous system; gene expression; learning impaired; superior learner; dentate gyrus; microarray; class prediction; pathway analysis; neurogenesis
8.  ALDH isozymes downregulation affects cell growth, cell motility and gene expression in lung cancer cells 
Molecular Cancer  2008;7:87.
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.
PMCID: PMC2605459  PMID: 19025616
9.  Kaposi's Sarcoma-Associated Herpesvirus Encodes an Ortholog of miR-155▿ †  
Journal of Virology  2007;81(23):12836-12845.
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.
PMCID: PMC2169101  PMID: 17881434
10.  Gingival Epithelial Cell Transcriptional Responses to Commensal and Opportunistic Oral Microbial Species▿ †  
Infection and Immunity  2007;75(5):2540-2547.
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.
PMCID: PMC1865734  PMID: 17307939
11.  Identification of Cellular Genes Targeted by KSHV-Encoded MicroRNAs 
PLoS Pathogens  2007;3(5):e65.
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.
Author Summary
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.
PMCID: PMC1876501  PMID: 17500590

Results 1-11 (11)