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1.  Transcription Factor Runx3 Regulates Interleukin-15-Dependent Natural Killer Cell Activation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2014;34(6):1158-1169.
Natural killer cells belong to the family of innate lymphoid cells comprising the frontline defense against infected and transformed cells. Development and activation of natural killer cells is highly dependent on interleukin-15 signaling. However, very little is known about the transcription program driving this process. The transcription factor Runx3 is highly expressed in natural killer cells, but its function in these cells is largely unknown. We show that loss of Runx3 impaired interleukin-15-dependent accumulation of mature natural killer cells in vivo and under culture conditions and pregnant Runx3−/− mice completely lack the unique population of interleukin-15-dependent uterine natural killer cells. Combined chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and differential gene expression analysis of wild-type versus Runx3-deficient in vivo activated splenic natural killer cells revealed that Runx3 cooperates with ETS and T-box transcription factors to drive the interleukin-15-mediated transcription program during activation of these cells. Runx3 functions as a nuclear regulator during interleukin-15-dependent activation of natural killer cells by regulating the expression of genes involved in proliferation, maturation, and migration. Similar studies with additional transcription factors will allow the construction of a more detailed transcriptional network that controls natural killer cell development and function.
doi:10.1128/MCB.01202-13
PMCID: PMC3958033  PMID: 24421391
2.  Runx3-mediated Transcriptional Program in Cytotoxic Lymphocytes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e80467.
The transcription factor Runx3 is highly expressed in CD8+ T and NK cytotoxic lymphocytes and is required for their effective activation and proliferation but molecular insights into the transcription program regulated by Runx3 in these cells are still missing. Using Runx3-ChIP-seq and transcriptome analysis of wild type vs. Runx3-/- primary cells we have now identified Runx3-regulated genes in the two cell types at both resting and IL-2-activated states. Runx3-bound genomic regions in both cell types were distantly located relative to gene transcription start sites and were enriched for RUNX and ETS motifs. Bound genomic regions significantly overlapped T-bet and p300-bound enhancer regions in Runx3-expressing Th1 helper cells. Compared to resting cells, IL-2-activated CD8+ T and NK cells contain three times more Runx3-regulated genes that are common to both cell types. Functional annotation of shared CD8+ T and NK Runx3-regulated genes revealed enrichment for immune-associated terms including lymphocyte activation, proliferation, cytotoxicity, migration and cytokine production, highlighting the role of Runx3 in CD8+ T and NK activated cells.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080467
PMCID: PMC3827420  PMID: 24236182
3.  Transcriptional Reprogramming of CD11b+Esamhi Dendritic Cell Identity and Function by Loss of Runx3 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77490.
Classical dendritic cells (cDC) are specialized antigen-presenting cells mediating immunity and tolerance. cDC cell-lineage decisions are largely controlled by transcriptional factor regulatory cascades. Using an in vivo cell-specific targeting of Runx3 at various stages of DC lineage development we show that Runx3 is required for cell-identity, homeostasis and function of splenic Esamhi DC. Ablation of Runx3 in DC progenitors led to a substantial decrease in splenic CD4+/CD11b+ DC. Combined chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and gene expression analysis of purified DC-subsets revealed that Runx3 is a key gene expression regulator that facilitates specification and homeostasis of CD11b+Esamhi DC. Mechanistically, loss of Runx3 alters Esamhi DC gene expression to a signature characteristic of WT Esamlow DC. This transcriptional reprogramming caused a cellular change that diminished phagocytosis and hampered Runx3-/- Esamhi DC capacity to prime CD4+ T cells, attesting to the significant role of Runx3 in specifying Esamhi DC identity and function.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077490
PMCID: PMC3817345  PMID: 24204843
4.  Genome-Wide Survey of Cold Stress Regulated Alternative Splicing in Arabidopsis thaliana with Tiling Microarray 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e66511.
Alternative splicing plays a major role in expanding the potential informational content of eukaryotic genomes. It is an important post-transcriptional regulatory mechanism that can increase protein diversity and affect mRNA stability. Alternative splicing is often regulated in a tissue-specific and stress-responsive manner. Cold stress, which adversely affects plant growth and development, regulates the transcription and splicing of plant splicing factors. This can affect the pre-mRNA processing of many genes. To identify cold regulated alternative splicing we applied Affymetrix Arabidopsis tiling arrays to survey the transcriptome under cold treatment conditions. A novel algorithm was used for detection of statistically relevant changes in intron expression within a transcript between control and cold growth conditions. A reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of a number of randomly selected genes confirmed the changes in splicing patterns under cold stress predicted by tiling array. Our analysis revealed new types of cold responsive genes. While their expression level remains relatively unchanged under cold stress their splicing pattern shows detectable changes in the relative abundance of isoforms. The majority of cold regulated alternative splicing introduced a premature termination codon (PTC) into the transcripts creating potential targets for degradation by the nonsense mediated mRNA decay (NMD) process. A number of these genes were analyzed in NMD-defective mutants by RT-PCR and shown to evade NMD. This may result in new and truncated proteins with altered functions or dominant negative effects. The results indicate that cold affects both quantitative and qualitative aspects of gene expression.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066511
PMCID: PMC3679080  PMID: 23776682
5.  Genome Sequence of the Pattern-Forming Social Bacterium Paenibacillus dendritiformis C454 Chiral Morphotype 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(8):2127-2128.
Paenibacillus dendritiformis is a Gram-positive, soil-dwelling, spore-forming social microorganism. An intriguing collective faculty of this strain is manifested by its ability to switch between different morphotypes, such as the branching (T) and the chiral (C) morphotypes. Here we report the 6.3-Mb draft genome sequence of the P. dendritiformis C454 chiral morphotype.
doi:10.1128/JB.00158-12
PMCID: PMC3318481  PMID: 22461558
7.  Genome sequence of the pattern forming Paenibacillus vortex bacterium reveals potential for thriving in complex environments 
BMC Genomics  2010;11:710.
Background
The pattern-forming bacterium Paenibacillus vortex is notable for its advanced social behavior, which is reflected in development of colonies with highly intricate architectures. Prior to this study, only two other Paenibacillus species (Paenibacillus sp. JDR-2 and Paenibacillus larvae) have been sequenced. However, no genomic data is available on the Paenibacillus species with pattern-forming and complex social motility. Here we report the de novo genome sequence of this Gram-positive, soil-dwelling, sporulating bacterium.
Results
The complete P. vortex genome was sequenced by a hybrid approach using 454 Life Sciences and Illumina, achieving a total of 289× coverage, with 99.8% sequence identity between the two methods. The sequencing results were validated using a custom designed Agilent microarray expression chip which represented the coding and the non-coding regions. Analysis of the P. vortex genome revealed 6,437 open reading frames (ORFs) and 73 non-coding RNA genes. Comparative genomic analysis with 500 complete bacterial genomes revealed exceptionally high number of two-component system (TCS) genes, transcription factors (TFs), transport and defense related genes. Additionally, we have identified genes involved in the production of antimicrobial compounds and extracellular degrading enzymes.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that P. vortex has advanced faculties to perceive and react to a wide range of signaling molecules and environmental conditions, which could be associated with its ability to reconfigure and replicate complex colony architectures. Additionally, P. vortex is likely to serve as a rich source of genes important for agricultural, medical and industrial applications and it has the potential to advance the study of social microbiology within Gram-positive bacteria.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-11-710
PMCID: PMC3012674  PMID: 21167037
8.  Whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) genome project: analysis of sequenced clones from egg, instar, and adult (viruliferous and non-viruliferous) cDNA libraries 
BMC Genomics  2006;7:79.
Background
The past three decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in interest in the whitefly Bemisia tabaci, owing to its nature as a taxonomically cryptic species, the damage it causes to a large number of herbaceous plants because of its specialized feeding in the phloem, and to its ability to serve as a vector of plant viruses. Among the most important plant viruses to be transmitted by B. tabaci are those in the genus Begomovirus (family, Geminiviridae). Surprisingly, little is known about the genome of this whitefly. The haploid genome size for male B. tabaci has been estimated to be approximately one billion bp by flow cytometry analysis, about five times the size of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. The genes involved in whitefly development, in host range plasticity, and in begomovirus vector specificity and competency, are unknown.
Results
To address this general shortage of genomic sequence information, we have constructed three cDNA libraries from non-viruliferous whiteflies (eggs, immature instars, and adults) and two from adult insects that fed on tomato plants infected by two geminiviruses: Tomato yellow leaf curl virus (TYLCV) and Tomato mottle virus (ToMoV). In total, the sequence of 18,976 clones was determined. After quality control, and removal of 5,542 clones of mitochondrial origin 9,110 sequences remained which included 3,843 singletons and 1,017 contigs. Comparisons with public databases indicated that the libraries contained genes involved in cellular and developmental processes. In addition, approximately 1,000 bases aligned with the genome of the B. tabaci endosymbiotic bacterium Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum, originating primarily from the egg and instar libraries. Apart from the mitochondrial sequences, the longest and most abundant sequence encodes vitellogenin, which originated from whitefly adult libraries, indicating that much of the gene expression in this insect is directed toward the production of eggs.
Conclusion
This is the first functional genomics project involving a hemipteran (Homopteran) insect from the subtropics/tropics. The B. tabaci sequence database now provides an important tool to initiate identification of whitefly genes involved in development, behaviour, and B. tabaci-mediated begomovirus transmission.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-7-79
PMCID: PMC1488848  PMID: 16608516
9.  Identification of a Novel Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1-Responsive Gene, RTP801, Involved in Apoptosis 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(7):2283-2293.
Hypoxia is an important factor that elicits numerous physiological and pathological responses. One of the major gene expression programs triggered by hypoxia is mediated through hypoxia-responsive transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). Here, we report the identification and cloning of a novel HIF-1-responsive gene, designated RTP801. Its strong up-regulation by hypoxia was detected both in vitro and in vivo in an animal model of ischemic stroke. When induced from a tetracycline-repressible promoter, RTP801 protected MCF7 and PC12 cells from hypoxia in glucose-free medium and from H2O2-triggered apoptosis via a dramatic reduction in the generation of reactive oxygen species. However, expression of RTP801 appeared toxic for nondividing neuron-like PC12 cells and increased their sensitivity to ischemic injury and oxidative stress. Liposomal delivery of RTP801 cDNA to mouse lungs also resulted in massive cell death. Thus, the biological effect of RTP801 overexpression depends on the cell context and may be either protecting or detrimental for cells under conditions of oxidative or ischemic stresses. Altogether, the data suggest a complex type of involvement of RTP801 in the pathogenesis of ischemic diseases.
doi:10.1128/MCB.22.7.2283-2293.2002
PMCID: PMC133671  PMID: 11884613

Results 1-9 (9)