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1.  Regulation of GAD65 expression by SMAR1 and p53 upon Streptozotocin treatment 
BMC Molecular Biology  2012;13:28.
GAD65 (Glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 KDa isoform) is one of the most important auto-antigens involved in Type 1 diabetes induction. Although it serves as one of the first injury markers of β-islets, the mechanisms governing GAD65 expression remain poorly understood. Since the regulation of GAD65 is crucial for the proper functioning of insulin secreting cells, we investigated the stress induced regulation of GAD65 transcription.
The present study shows that SMAR1 regulates GAD65 expression at the transcription level. Using a novel protein-DNA pull-down assay, we show that SMAR1 binding is very specific to GAD65 promoter but not to the other isoform, GAD67. We show that Streptozotocin (STZ) mediated DNA damage leads to upregulation of SMAR1 and p53 expression, resulting in elevated levels of GAD65, in both cell lines as well as mouse β-islets. SMAR1 and p53 act synergistically to up-regulate GAD65 expression upon STZ treatment.
We propose a novel mechanism of GAD65 regulation by synergistic activities of SMAR1 and p53.
PMCID: PMC3459802  PMID: 22978699
SMAR1; Diabetes; GAD65; p53; Streptozotocin
2.  Disabling complement regulatory activities of vaccinia virus complement control protein reduces vaccinia virus pathogenicity 
Vaccine  2011;29(43):7435-7443.
Poxviruses encode a repertoire of immunomodulatory proteins to thwart the host immune system. One among this array is a homolog of the host complement regulatory proteins that is conserved in various poxviruses including vaccinia (VACV) and variola. The vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP), which inhibits complement by decaying the classical pathway C3-convertase (decay-accelerating activity), and by supporting inactivation of C3b and C4b by serine protease factor I (cofactor activity), was shown to play a role in viral pathogenesis. However, the role its individual complement regulatory activities impart in pathogenesis, have not yet been elucidated. Here, we have generated monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that block the VCP functions and utilized them to evaluate the relative contribution of complement regulatory activities of VCP in viral pathogenesis by employing a rabbit intradermal model for VACV infection. Targeting VCP by mAbs that inhibited the decay-accelerating activity as well as cofactor activity of VCP or primarily the cofactor activity of VCP, by injecting them at the site of infection, significantly reduced VACV lesion size. This reduction however was not pronounced when VCP was targeted by a mAb that inhibited only the decay-accelerating activity. Further, the reduction in lesion size by mAbs was reversed when host complement was depleted by injecting cobra venom factor. Thus, our results suggest that targeting VCP by antibodies reduces VACV pathogenicity and that principally the cofactor activity of VCP appears to contribute to the virulence.
PMCID: PMC3195257  PMID: 21803094
Smallpox vaccine; Vaccinia virus; VCP; Complement; Immune evasion
3.  Kinetic Analysis of the Interactions between Vaccinia Virus Complement Control Protein and Human Complement Proteins C3b and C4b 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(17):9446-9457.
The vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP) is an immune evasion protein of vaccinia virus. Previously, VCP has been shown to bind and support inactivation of host complement proteins C3b and C4b and to protect the vaccinia virions from antibody-dependent complement-enhanced neutralization. However, the molecular mechanisms involved in the interaction of VCP with its target proteins C3b and C4b have not yet been elucidated. We have utilized surface plasmon resonance technology to study the interaction of VCP with C3b and C4b. We measured the kinetics of binding of the viral protein to its target proteins and compared it with human complement regulators factor H and sCR1, assessed the influence of immobilization of ligand on the binding kinetics, examined the effect of ionic contacts on these interactions, and sublocalized the binding site on C3b and C4b. Our results indicate that (i) the orientation of the ligand is important for accurate determination of the binding constants, as well as the mechanism of binding; (ii) in contrast to factor H and sCR1, the binding of VCP to C3b and C4b follows a simple 1:1 binding model and does not involve multiple-site interactions as predicted earlier; (iii) VCP has a 4.6-fold higher affinity for C4b than that for C3b, which is also reflected in its factor I cofactor activity; (iv) ionic interactions are important for VCP-C3b and VCP-C4b complex formation; (v) VCP does not bind simultaneously to C3b and C4b; and (vi) the binding site of VCP on C3b and C4b is located in the C3dg and C4c regions, respectively.
PMCID: PMC506936  PMID: 15308738

Results 1-3 (3)