Background. Although human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART) affect mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content and function, comprehensive evaluations of their effects on mitochondria in muscle, adipose tissue, and blood cells are limited.
Methods. Mitochondrial DNA quantification, mitochondrial genome sequencing, and gene expression analysis were performed on muscle, adipose tissue, and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) samples from untreated HIV-positive patients, HIV-positive patients receiving nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)–based ART, and HIV-negative controls.
Results. The adipose tissue mtDNA/nuclear DNA (nDNA) ratio was increased in untreated HIV-infected patients (ratio, 353) and decreased in those receiving ART (ratio, 162) compared with controls (ratio, 255; P < .05 for both comparisons); the difference between the 2 HIV-infected groups was also significant (P = .002). In HIV-infected participants, mtDNA/nDNA in adipose tissue correlated with the level of activation (CD38+/HLA-DR+) for CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes. No significant differences in mtDNA content were noted in muscle or PMBCs among groups. Exploratory DNA microarray analysis identified differential gene expression between patient groups, including a subset of adipose tissue genes.
Conclusions. HIV infection and ART have opposing effects on mtDNA content in adipose tissue; immune activation may mediate the effects of HIV, whereas NRTIs likely mediate the effects of ART.
Summary: The DOMIRE web server implements a novel, automatic, protein structural domain assignment procedure based on 3D substructures of the query protein which are also found within structures of a non-redundant protein database. These common 3D substructures are transformed into a co-occurrence matrix that offers a global view of the protein domain organization. Three different algorithms are employed to define structural domain boundaries from this co-occurrence matrix. For each query, a list of structural neighbors and their alignments are provided. DOMIRE, by displaying the protein structural domain organization, can be a useful tool for defining protein common cores and for unravelling the evolutionary relationship between different proteins.
In limited samples of valuable biological tissues, univariate ranking methods of microarray analyses often fail to show significant differences among expression profiles. In order to allow for hypothesis generation, novel statistical modeling systems can be greatly beneficial. The authors applied new statistical approaches to solve the issue of limited experimental data to generate new hypotheses in CD14+ cells of patients with HIV-related fatigue (HRF) and healthy controls.
We compared gene expression profiles of CD14+ cells of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-treated HIV patients with low versus high fatigue to healthy controls (n = 5 each). With novel Bayesian modeling procedures, the authors identified 32 genes predictive of low versus high fatigue and 33 genes predictive of healthy versus HIV infection. Sparse association and liquid association networks further elucidated the possible biological pathways in which these genes are involved.
Relevance for nursing practice
Genetic networks developed in a comprehensive Bayesian framework from small sample sizes allow nursing researchers to design future research approaches to address such issues as HRF.
Implication for practice
The findings from this pilot study may take us one step closer to the development of useful biomarker targets for fatigue status. Specific and reliable tests are needed to diagnosis, monitor and treat fatigue and mitochondrial dysfunction.
CD14; genetic network; Bayesian inference; liquid association; HIV
Pheochromocytomas (PHEOs) and paragangliomas (PGLs) related to mutations in the mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) subunits A, B, C, and D, SDH complex assembly factor 2, and the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) genes share a pseudohypoxic expression profile. However, genotype-specific differences in expression have been emerging. Development of effective new therapies for distinctive manifestations, e.g., a high rate of malignancy in SDHB- or predisposition to multifocal PGLs in SDHD patients, mandates improved stratification. To identify mutation/location-related characteristics among pseudohypoxic PHEOs/PGLs, we used comprehensive microarray profiling (SDHB: n = 18, SDHD-abdominal/thoracic (AT): n = 6, SDHD-head/neck (HN): n = 8, VHL: n = 13). To avoid location-specific bias, typical adrenal medulla genes were derived from matched normal medullas and cortices (n = 8) for data normalization. Unsupervised analysis identified two dominant clusters, separating SDHB and SDHD-AT PHEOs/PGLs (cluster A) from VHL PHEOs and SDHD-HN PGLs (cluster B). Supervised analysis yielded 6937 highly predictive genes (misclassification error rate of 0.175). Enrichment analysis revealed that energy metabolism and inflammation/fibrosis-related genes were most pronouncedly changed in clusters A and B, respectively. A minimum subset of 40 classifiers was validated by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction vs. microarray: r = 0.87). Expression of several individual classifiers was identified as characteristic for VHL and SDHD-HN PHEOs and PGLs. In the present study, we show for the first time that SDHD-HN PGLs share more features with VHL PHEOs than with SDHD-AT PGLs. The presented data suggest novel subclassification of pseudohypoxic PHEOs/PGLs and implies cluster-specific pathogenic mechanisms and treatment strategies.
The mouth is a complex biological structure inhabited by diverse bacterial communities. The purpose of this study is to describe the effects of allogeneic stem cell transplantation on the oral microbiota and to examine differences among those patients who acquired respiratory complications after transplantation.
All patients were consented at the National Institutes of Health, Clinical Center. Bacterial DNA was analyzed from patients' oral specimens using the Human Oral Microbe Identification Microarray. The specimens were collected from four oral sites in 45 allogeneic transplantation patients. Specimens were collected at baseline prior to transplantation, after transplantation at the nadir of the neutrophil count and after myeloid engraftment. If respiratory signs and symptoms developed, additional specimens were obtained. Patients were followed for 100 days post transplantation. Eleven patients' specimens were subjected to further statistical analysis. Many common bacterial genera, such as Streptococcus, Veillonella, Gemella, Granulicatella and Camplyobacter were identified as being present before and after transplantation. Five of 11 patients developed respiratory complications following transplantation and there was preliminary evidence that the oral microbiome changed in their oral specimens. Cluster analysis and principal component analysis revealed this change in the oral microbiota.
After allogeneic transplantation, the oral bacterial community's response to a new immune system was not apparent and many of the most common core oral taxa remained unaffected. However, the oral microbiome was affected in patients who developed respiratory signs and symptoms after transplantation. The association related to the change in the oral microbiota and respiratory complications after transplantation will be validated by future studies using high throughput molecular methods.
Sjögren’s syndrome(SS) represents a chronic autoimmune disease of unknown etiology that targets salivary and lacrimal glands and may be accompanied by multi-organ systemic manifestations. To further an understanding of immunopathology associated with SS and uncover therapeutic targets, we compared gene expression profiles of salivary glands with severe inflammation to those with mild or no disease.
Using microarray profiling of salivary gland tissues from SS patients and controls, we identified target genes that were further characterized in tissues, serum and in cultured cell populations by real time PCR and protein analyses.
Among the most highly expressed SS genes were genes associated with myeloid cells, including members of the mammalian chitinase family, not previously associated with exocrinopathies. Both chitinase-3-like-1(CHI3L1/YKL-40) and chitinase 1(CHIT1), highly conserved chitinase-like glycoproteins, one with and one lacking enzymatic activity, were evident at the transcriptome level, and detected within inflamed tissues. Chitinases are expressed during monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation, and augmented by cytokines, including IFNα.
Since elevated expression of these and other macrophage-derived molecules corresponded with more severe SS, these observations suggest potential immunopathologic macrophage involvement and furthermore, that the tissue macrophage transcriptional profile reflects multiple genes induced by IFNα.
Proteasome inhibition disrupts protein homeostasis and induces apoptosis. Up to 50% of patients with relapsed mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) respond to bortezomib. We used gene expression profiling to investigate the connection between proteasome inhibition, cellular response, and clinical efficacy.
We assessed transcriptional changes in primary tumor cells from five patients during treatment with bortezomib in vivo, and in 10 MCL cell lines exposed to bortezomib in vitro, on Affymetrix microarrays. Key findings were confirmed by Western blotting.
MCL cell lines exposed to bortezomib in vitro showed upregulation of endoplasmic reticulum and oxidative stress response pathways. Gene expression changes were strongest in bortezomib sensitive cells and these cells were also more sensitive to oxidative stress induced by H2O2. Purified tumor cells obtained at several timepoints during bortezomib treatment in five previously untreated patients with leukemic MCL showed strong activation of the antioxidant response controlled by NRF2. Unexpectedly, activation of this homeostatic program was significantly stronger in tumors with the best clinical response. Consistent with its pro-apoptotic function we found upregulation of NOXA in circulating tumor cells of responding patients. In resistant cells gene expression changes in response to bortezomib were limited and upregulation of NOXA was absent. Interestingly, at baseline, bortezomib resistant cells displayed a relatively higher expression of the NRF2 gene expression signature than sensitive cells (P<0.001).
Bortezomib triggers an oxidative stress response in vitro and in vivo. High cellular antioxidant capacity contributes to bortezomib resistance.
Domains are basic units of protein structure and essential for exploring protein fold space and structure evolution. With the structural genomics initiative, the number of protein structures in the Protein Databank (PDB) is increasing dramatically and domain assignments need to be done automatically. Most existing structural domain assignment programs define domains using the compactness of the domains and/or the number and strength of intra-domain versus inter-domain contacts. Here we present a different approach based on the recurrence of locally similar structural pieces (LSSPs) found by one-against-all structure comparisons with a dataset of 6,373 protein chains from the PDB. Residues of the query protein are clustered using LSSPs via three different procedures to define domains. This approach gives results that are comparable to several existing programs that use geometrical and other structural information explicitly. Remarkably, most of the proteins that contribute the LSSPs defining a domain do not themselves contain the domain of interest. This study shows that domains can be defined by a collection of relatively small locally similar structural pieces containing, on average, four secondary structure elements. In addition, it indicates that domains are indeed made of recurrent small structural pieces that are used to build protein structures of many different folds as suggested by recent studies.
domain parsing; structure comparisons; clustering; LSSP; secondary structures; symmetric matrix factorization; singular value decomposition; pairwise correlation method
Blood-based biomarkers of atherosclerosis have been used to identify patients at high risk for developing stroke. We hypothesized that patients with carotid artery disease would have a distinctive proteomic signature in blood as compared to a healthy control population without carotid artery disease. In order to discover protein biomarkers associated with increased atherosclerotic risk, we used two different strategies to identify biomarkers from patients with clinically defined atherosclerosis who were undergoing endarterectomy for atherosclerotic carotid artery disease. These patients were compared with healthy matched controls.
Serum was obtained from patients undergoing endarterectomy (EA; n = 38) and compared to a group of age-matched healthy controls (n = 40). Serum was fractionated using anion exchange chromatography and three different surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI) chip surfaces and then evaluated with mass spectrometry (MS) and two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE).
A random forest (RF) analysis of the SELDI-MS protein peak data distinguished these two groups with 69.2% sensitivity and 73.2% specificity. Four unique SELDI peaks (4.2, 4.4, 16.7 and 28 kDa, all p< 0.01) showed the greatest influence in the RF model. The EA patients with a history of prior clinical atherosclerotic plaque rupture manifested as either stroke or transient ischemic attack (symptomatic; n = 16) were compared to patients with carotid atherosclerosis but no clinical evidence of plaque rupture (asymptomatic; n = 22). Analysis of the SELDI spectra did not separate these two patient subgroups. A subgroup analysis using 2D-DIGE images obtained from albumin-depleted serum comparing symptomatic (n = 10) to asymptomatic EA patients (n = 10) found 4 proteins that were differentially expressed (p < 0.01) in the symptomatic patients. These proteins were identified as α1-antitrypsin, haptoglobin and vitamin D binding protein that were downregulated and α2-glycoprotein precursor that was upregulated in the symptomatic EA group.
SELDI-MS data analysis of fractionated serum suggests that a distinct protein signature exists in patients with carotid atherosclerosis compared to age-matched healthy controls. Identification of 4 proteins in a subset of patients with symptomatic and asymptomatic carotid atherosclerosis suggests that these and other protein biomarkers may assist in identifying high-risk patients with carotid atherosclerosis.
Asymptomatic patients; Atherosclerosis; Biomarker; Difference gel electrophoresis; Proteomics; Surface-enhanced laser desorption/ionization; Symptomatic patients
RNA splicing is required to remove introns from pre-mRNA and alternative splicing generates protein diversity. Topoisomerase I (Top1) has been shown to be coupled with splicing by regulating SR splicing proteins. Prior studies on isolated genes also showed that Top1 poisoning by camptothecin (CPT), which traps Top1 cleavage complexes (Top1cc), can alter RNA splicing. Here we tested the impact of Top1 inhibition on splicing at the genome-wide level in human colon carcinoma HCT116 and breast carcinoma MCF7 cells. The RNA of HCT116 cells treated with CPT for various times was analyzed with ExonHit Human Splice Array. Unlike to other exon array platforms, the ExonHit arrays include junction probes that allow the detection of splice variants with high sensitivity and specificity. We report that CPT treatment preferentially affects the splicing of splicing-related factors, such as RBM8A, and generates transcripts coding for inactive proteins lacking key functional domains. The splicing alterations induced by CPT are not observed with cisplatin or vinblastine, and are not simply due to reduced Top1 activity as TOP1 downregulation by siRNA did not alter splicing like CPT treatment. Inhibition of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) hyperphosphorylation by DRB blocked the splicing alteration induced by CPT, which suggests that the rapid Pol II hyperphosphorylation induced by CPT interferes with normal splicing. The preferential effect of CPT on genes encoding splicing factors may explain the abnormal splicing of a large number of genes in response to Top1cc.
Topoisomerase I; splicing; camptothecin; transcription; RNA polymerase II
Microarray analysis has provided a new understanding of pineal function by identifying genes that are highly expressed in this tissue relative to other tissues and also by identifying over 600 genes that are expressed on a 24-hour schedule. This effort has highlighted surprising similarity to the retina and has provided reason to explore new avenues of study including intracellular signaling, signal transduction, transcriptional cascades, thyroid/retinoic acid hormone signaling, metal biology, RNA splicing, and the role the pineal gland plays in the immune/inflammation response. The new foundation that microarray analysis has provided will broadly support future research on pineal function.
Bone marrow-derived progenitor cells are under investigation for cardiovascular repair, but may be altered by disease. Our purpose was to identify differences in gene expression in CD133+ cells of patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) and healthy controls, and to determine whether exercise modifies gene expression.
CD133+ cells were flow-sorted from 10 CAD patients and 4 controls, and total RNA was isolated for microarray-based gene expression profiling. Genes that were found to be differentially regulated in patients were further analyzed to investigate if exercise has any normalizing effect on CD133+ cells in CAD patients following 3 months of an exercise program.
Improvement in effort tolerance and increase in the number of CD133+ cells was observed in CAD patients after 3 months of exercise. Gene expression analysis of the CD133+ cells identified 82 differentially expressed genes (2-fold cutoff, 25% false-discovery rate and present calls) in patients compared with controls, of which 59 were found to be up-regulated and 23 down-regulated. These genes were found to be involved in carbohydrate metabolism, cell cycle, cellular development and signaling, and molecular transport. Following completion of the exercise program, gene expression patterns resembled those of controls in 7 of 10 patients.
The present study finds alterations in gene expression of bone marrow-derived CD133+ progenitor cells in CAD patients, which in part may be normalized by exercise.
progenitor cells; gene expression; coronary artery disease; exercise; vascular repair
Human parvovirus B19 (B19V) is the only human pathogenic parvovirus. It causes a wide spectrum of human diseases, including fifth disease (erythema infectiosum) in children and pure red cell aplasia in immunocompromised patients. B19V is highly erythrotropic and preferentially replicates in erythroid progenitor cells (EPCs). Current understanding of how B19V interacts with cellular factors to regulate disease progression is limited, due to a lack of permissive cell lines and animal models. Here, we employed a recently developed primary human CD36+ EPC culture system that is highly permissive for B19V infection to identify cellular factors that lead to cell cycle arrest after B19V infection. We found that B19V exploited the E2F family of transcription factors by downregulating activating E2Fs (E2F1 to E2F3a) and upregulating repressive E2Fs (E2F4 to E2F8) in the primary CD36+ EPCs. B19V nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) was a key viral factor responsible for altering E2F1–E2F5 expression, but not E2F6–E2F8 expression. Interaction between NS1 and E2F4 or E2F5 enhanced the nuclear import of these repressive E2Fs and induced stable G2 arrest. NS1-induced G2 arrest was independent of p53 activation and increased viral replication. Downstream E2F4/E2F5 targets, which are potentially involved in the progression from G2 into M phase and erythroid differentiation, were identified by microarray analysis. These findings provide new insight into the molecular pathogenesis of B19V in highly permissive erythroid progenitors.
Dietary nitrate, found in abundance in green vegetables, can be converted to the cytoprotective molecule nitrite by oral bacteria, suggesting that nitrate and nitrite may represent active cardioprotective constituents of the Mediterranean diet.
We therefore tested the hypothesis that dietary nitrate and nitrite levels modulate tissue damage and ischemic gene expression in a mouse liver ischemia-reperfusion model. We found that stomach content, plasma, heart and liver nitrite levels were significantly reduced after dietary nitrate and nitrite depletion, and could be restored to normal levels with nitrite supplementation in water. Remarkably, we confirmed that basal nitrite levels significantly reduced liver injury after ischemia-reperfusion. Consistent with an effect of nitrite on the post-translational modification of complex I of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, the severity of liver infarction was inversely proportional to complex I activity after nitrite repletion in the diet. The transcriptional response of dietary nitrite after ischemia was more robust than after normoxia, suggesting a hypoxic potentiation of nitrite-dependent transcriptional signaling.
Our studies indicate that normal dietary nitrate and nitrite levels modulate ischemic stress responses and hypoxic gene expression programs, supporting the hypothesis that dietary nitrate and nitrite are cytoprotective components of the diet.
Choroideremia (CHM) is a progressive X-linked retinopathy caused by mutations in the CHM gene, which encodes Rab escort protein-1 (REP-1), an escort protein involved in the prenylation of Rabs. Under-prenylation of certain Rabs, as a result of loss of function mutations in REP-1, could affect vesicular trafficking, exocytosis and secretion in peripheral cells of CHM patients.
To evaluate this hypothesis, intracellular vesicle transport, lysosomal acidification and rates of proteolytic degradation were studied in monocytes (CD14+ fraction) and primary skin fibroblasts from the nine age-matched controls and thirteen CHM patients carrying 10 different loss-of-function mutations. With the use of pHrodo™ BioParticles® conjugated with E. coli, collagen I coated FluoSpheres beads and fluorescent DQ™ ovalbumin with BODYPY FL dye, we demonstrated for the first time that lysosomal pH was increased in monocytes of CHM patients and, as a consequence, the rates of proteolytic degradation were slowed. Microarray analysis of gene expression revealed that some genes involved in the immune response, small GTPase regulation, transcription, cell adhesion and the regulation of exocytosis were significantly up and down regulated in cells from CHM patients compared to controls. Finally, CHM fibroblasts secreted significantly lower levels of cytokine/growth factors such as macrophage chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), pigment epithelial derived factor (PEDF), tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha, fibroblast growth factor (FGF) beta and interleukin (lL)-8.
We demonstrated for the first time that peripheral cells of CHM patients had increased pH levels in lysosomes, reduced rates of proteolytic degradation and altered secretion of cytokines. Peripheral cells from CHM patients expose characteristics that were not previously recognized and could used as an alternative models to study the effects of different mutations in the REP-1 gene on mechanism of CHM development in human population.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an endogenous messenger that suppresses inflammation, modulates apoptosis and promotes vascular remodeling. Here, microarrays were employed to globally characterize the CO (250 ppm) suppression of early (1 h) LPS-induced inflammation in human monocytic THP-1 cells. CO suppressed 79 of 101 immediate-early genes induced by LPS; 19% (15/79) were transcription factors and most others were cytokines, chemokines and immune response genes. The prototypic effects of CO on transcription and protein production occurred early but decreased rapidly. CO activated p38 MAPK, ERK1/2 and Akt and caused an early and transitory delay in LPS-induced JNK activation. However, selective inhibitors of these kinases failed to block CO suppression of LPS-induced IL-1β, an inflammation marker. Of CO-suppressed genes, 81% (64/79) were found to have promoters with putative NF-κB binding sites. CO was subsequently shown to block LPS-induced phosphorylation and degradation of IκBα in human monocytes, thereby inhibiting NF-κB signal transduction. CO broadly suppresses the initial inflammatory response of human monocytes to LPS by reshaping proximal events in TLR4 signal transduction such as stress kinase responses and early NF-κB activation. These rapid, but transient effects of CO may have therapeutic applications in acute pulmonary and vascular injury.
Global transcriptome analysis of whole blood RNA using microarrays has been proven to be challenging due to the high abundance of globin transcripts that constitute 70% of whole blood mRNA. This is a particular problem in patients with sickle cell disease, secondary to the high abundance of globin-expressing nucleated red blood cells and reticulocytes in the circulation. In order to accurately measure the steady state blood transcriptome in sickle cell patients we evaluated the efficacy of reducing globin transcripts in PAXgene stabilized RNA for genome-wide transcriptome analyses using microarrays. We demonstrate here by both microarrays and Q-PCR that the globin mRNA depletion method resulted in 55–65 fold reduction in globin transcripts in whole blood collected from healthy volunteers and sickle cell disease patients. This led to an improvement in microarray data quality by reducing data variability, with increased detection rate of expressed genes and improved overlap with the expression signatures of isolated peripheral blood mononuclear (PBMC) preparations. Analysis of differences between the whole blood transcriptome and PBMC transcriptome revealed important erythrocyte genes that participate in sickle cell pathogenesis and compensation. The combination of globin mRNA reduction after whole-blood RNA stabilization represents a robust clinical research methodology for the discovery of biomarkers for hematologic diseases.
An assay proposed to quantify endothelial progenitor cell (EPC) colonies in humans was investigated to determine the phenotype of recovered cells and their relevance to in vivo endothelial function.
Methods and Results
Twelve sedentary subjects participating in a worksite wellness program underwent endothelial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) testing of the brachial artery and blood sampling for EPC colony assay. Microarray-based genotypic characterization of colonies showed surface markers consistent with T lymphocyte phenotype, but not with an EPC (CD34, CD133, VEGFR-2) or endothelial (CD146) phenotype. Gene expression patterns more closely matched T lymphocytes (r=0.87) than endothelial cells (r=0.66) in our microarray database. Flow cytometry of colonies confirmed large populations of CD3+CD45+ T cells (>75%) and few CD146+CD45− endothelial cells (<1%). Further, there was no correlation between colony number and the magnitude of FMD (r= −0.1512, P=0.6389). After exercise training, subjects improved FMD, from 6.7±2.0 to 8.7±1.9% (P=0.0043). Colonies also increased (P=0.0210), but without relation to FMD (r=0.1074, P=0.7396). T lymphocyte phenotype persisted after exercise (r=0.87).
Cells in a commonly used EPC colony assay have a gene expression and cell surface marker profile consistent with a predominance of T lymphocytes and have an unclear relevance to endothelial function, either before or after exercise training.
exercise; gene expression; endothelial function; endothelial progenitor cell; T lymphocyte
In sickle cell disease, ischemia-reperfusion injury and intravascular hemolysis produce endothelial dysfunction and vasculopathy characterized by reduced nitric oxide and arginine bioavailability. Recent functional studies of platelets in patients with sickle cell disease reveal a basally activated state, which suggests that pathological platelet activation may contribute to sickle cell disease vasculopathy.
Methods and Results
Studies were therefore undertaken to examine transcriptional signaling pathways in platelets that may be dysregulated in sickle cell disease. We demonstrate and validate in the present study the feasibility of comparative platelet transcriptome studies on clinical samples from single donors by the application of RNA amplification followed by microarray-based analysis of 54 000 probe sets. Data mining an existing microarray database, we identified 220 highly abundant genes in platelets and a subset of 72 relatively platelet-specific genes, defined by >10-fold increased expression compared with the median of other cell types in the database with amplified transcripts. The highly abundant platelet transcripts found in the present study included 82% or 70% of platelet-abundant genes identified in 2 previous gene expression studies on nonamplified mRNA from pooled or apheresis samples, respectively. On comparing the platelet gene expression profiles in 18 patients with sickle cell disease in steady state to those of 12 black control subjects, at a 3-fold cutoff and 5% false-discovery rate, we identified ≈100 differentially expressed genes, including multiple genes involved in arginine metabolism and redox homeostasis. Further characterization of these pathways with real-time polymerase chain reaction and biochemical assays revealed increased arginase II expression and activity and decreased platelet polyamine levels.
The present studies suggest a potential pathogenic role for platelet arginase and altered arginine and polyamine metabolism in sickle cell disease and provide a novel framework for the study of disease-specific platelet biology.
platelets; genes; enzymes; metabolism; thrombolysis; polymerase chain reaction; signal transduction
Formal classification of a large collection of protein structures aids the understanding of evolutionary relationships among them. Classifications involving manual steps, such as SCOP and CATH, face the challenge of increasing volume of available structures. Automatic methods such as FSSP or Dali Domain Dictionary, yield divergent classifications, for reasons not yet fully investigated. One possible reason is that the pairwise similarity scores used in automatic classification do not adequately reflect the judgments made in manual classification. Another possibility is the difference between manual and automatic classification procedures. We explore the degree to which these two factors might affect the final classification.
We use DALI, SHEBA and VAST pairwise scores on the SCOP C class domains, to investigate a variety of hierarchical clustering procedures. The constructed dendrogram is cut in a variety of ways to produce a partition, which is compared to the SCOP fold classification.
Ward's method dendrograms led to partitions closest to the SCOP fold classification. Dendrogram- or tree-cutting strategies fell into four categories according to the similarity of resulting partitions to the SCOP fold partition. Two strategies which optimize similarity to SCOP, gave an average of 72% true positives rate (TPR), at a 1% false positive rate. Cutting the largest size cluster at each step gave an average of 61% TPR which was one of the best strategies not making use of prior knowledge of SCOP. Cutting the longest branch at each step produced one of the worst strategies.
We also developed a method to detect irreducible differences between the best possible automatic partitions and SCOP, regardless of the cutting strategy. These differences are substantial. Visual examination of hard-to-classify proteins confirms our previous finding, that global structural similarity of domains is not the only criterion used in the SCOP classification.
Different clustering procedures give rise to different levels of agreement between automatic and manual protein classifications. None of the tested procedures completely eliminates the divergence between automatic and manual protein classifications. Achieving full agreement between these two approaches would apparently require additional information.
CD146 is a well described homotypic adhesion molecule found on endothelial cells and a limited number of other cell types. In cells from the peripheral circulation, CD146 has also been reported to be on activated lymphocytes in vitro and in vivo. The function associated with CD146 expression on lymphoid cells is unknown and very little information is available concerning the nature of CD146+ lymphocytes. In the current study, lymphocytes from healthy donors were characterized based upon the presence or absence of CD146 expression.
CD146 was expressed on a low percentage of circulating T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, and NK cells in healthy individuals. CD146 expression can be induced and upregulated in vitro on both B cells and T cells, but does not correlate with the expression of other markers of T cell activation. CD146 positive T cells do not represent clonal expansions as determined with the use of anti Vβ reagents. Data suggest that CD146 positive cells have enhanced adherence to endothelial monolayers in vitro. Gene profiling and immunophenotyping studies between CD146+ and CD146- T cells revealed several striking genotypic distinctions such as the upregulation of IL-8 and phenotypic differences including the paucity of CCR7 and CD45RA among CD146 positive T cells, consistent with effector memory function. A number of genes involved in cell adhesion, signal transduction, and cell communication are dramatically upregulated in CD146+ T cells compared to CD146- T cells.
CD146 appears to identify small, unique populations of T as well as B lymphocytes in the circulation. The T cells have immunophenotypic characteristics of effector memory lymphocytes. The characteristics of these CD146+ lymphocytes in the circulation, together with the known functions in cell adhesion of CD146 on endothelial cells, suggests that these lymphocytes may represent a small subpopulation of cells primed to adhere to the endothelium and possibly extravasate to sites of inflammation.
Nitric oxide (NO•) can stabilize mRNA by activating p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Here, transcript stabilization by NO• was investigated in human THP-1 cells using microarrays. After LPS pre-stimulation, cells were treated with actinomycin D and then exposed to NO• without or with the p38 MAPK inhibitor SB202190 (SB). The decay of 220 mRNAs was affected; most were stabilized by NO•. Unexpectedly, SB often enhanced rather than antagonized transcript stability. NO• activated p38 MAPK and Erk1/2; SB blocked p38 MAPK, but further activated Erk1/2. RT–PCR confirmed that NO• and SB could additively stabilize certain mRNA transcripts, an effect abolished by Erk1/2 inhibition. In affected genes, these responses were associated with CU-rich elements (CURE) in 3′-untranslated regions (3′-UTR). NO• stabilized the mRNA of a CURE-containing reporter gene, while repressing translation. Dominant-negative Mek1, an Erk1/2 inhibitor, abolished this effect. NO• similarly stabilized, but blocked translation of MAP3K7IP2, a natural CURE-containing gene. NO• increased hnRNP translocation to the cytoplasm and binding to CURE. Over-expression of hnRNP K, like NO•, repressed translation of CURE-containing mRNA. These findings define a sequence-specific mechanism of NO•-triggered gene regulation that stabilizes mRNA, but represses translation.
Current classification of protein folds are based, ultimately, on visual inspection of similarities. Previous attempts to use computerized structure comparison methods show only partial agreement with curated databases, but have failed to provide detailed statistical and structural analysis of the causes of these divergences.
We construct a map of similarities/dissimilarities among manually defined protein folds, using a score cutoff value determined by means of the Receiver Operating Characteristics curve. It identifies folds which appear to overlap or to be "confused" with each other by two distinct similarity measures. It also identifies folds which appear inhomogeneous in that they contain apparently dissimilar domains, as measured by both similarity measures. At a low (1%) false positive rate, 25 to 38% of domain pairs in the same SCOP folds do not appear similar. Our results suggest either that some of these folds are defined using criteria other than purely structural consideration or that the similarity measures used do not recognize some relevant aspects of structural similarity in certain cases. Specifically, variations of the "common core" of some folds are severe enough to defeat attempts to automatically detect structural similarity and/or to lead to false detection of similarity between domains in distinct folds. Structures in some folds vary greatly in size because they contain varying numbers of a repeating unit, while similarity scores are quite sensitive to size differences. Structures in different folds may contain similar substructures, which produce false positives. Finally, the common core within a structure may be too small relative to the entire structure, to be recognized as the basis of similarity to another.
A detailed analysis of the entire available protein fold space by two automated similarity methods reveals the extent and the nature of the divergence between the automatically determined similarity/dissimilarity and the manual fold type classifications. Some of the observed divergences can probably be addressed with better structure comparison methods and better automatic, intelligent classification procedures. Others may be intrinsic to the problem, suggesting a continuous rather than discrete protein fold space.
Regulatory functions of nitric oxide (NO•) that bypass the second messenger cGMP are incompletely understood. Here, cGMP-independent effects of NO• on gene expression were globally examined in U937 cells, a human monoblastoid line that constitutively lacks soluble guanylate cyclase. Differentiated U937 cells (>80% in G0/G1) were exposed to S-nitrosoglutathione, a NO• donor, or glutathione alone (control) for 6 h without or with dibutyryl-cAMP (Bt2cAMP), and then harvested to extract total RNA for microarray analysis. Bt2cAMP was used to block signaling attributable to NO•-induced decreases in cAMP.
NO• regulated 110 transcripts that annotated disproportionately to the cell cycle and cell proliferation (47/110, 43%) and more frequently than expected contained AU-rich, post-transcriptional regulatory elements (ARE). Bt2cAMP regulated 106 genes; cell cycle gene enrichment did not reach significance. Like NO•, Bt2cAMP was associated with ARE-containing transcripts. A comparison of NO• and Bt2cAMP effects showed that NO• regulation of cell cycle genes was independent of its ability to interfere with cAMP signaling. Cell cycle genes induced by NO• annotated to G1/S (7/8) and included E2F1 and p21/Waf1/Cip1; 6 of these 7 were E2F target genes involved in G1/S transition. Repressed genes were G2/M associated (24/27); 8 of 27 were known targets of p21. E2F1 mRNA and protein were increased by NO•, as was E2F1 binding to E2F promoter elements. NO• activated p38 MAPK, stabilizing p21 mRNA (an ARE-containing transcript) and increasing p21 protein; this increased protein binding to CDE/CHR promoter sites of p21 target genes, repressing key G2/M phase genes, and increasing the proportion of cells in G2/M.
NO• coordinates a highly integrated program of cell cycle arrest that regulates a large number of genes, but does not require signaling through cGMP. In humans, antiproliferative effects of NO• may rely substantially on cGMP-independent mechanisms. Stress kinase signaling and alterations in mRNA stability appear to be major pathways by which NO• regulates the transcriptome.
A series of programs has been written in the BASIC language for the IBM Personal Computer to perform data acquisition, reduction, storage, manipulation, and display for radioimmunoassays (and related procedures) in the clinical chemistry laboratory. The programs incorporate good numerical algorithms with appropriate weighting, 95% confidence limits on the standard curve, a formal error model with pooled statistics, and a “precision profile” for each run. They also provide a convenient user interface, reasonably modular structure, short- and long-term data storage facilities, automatic handling of quality control specimens, and graphic plots of the standard curve and QC data.