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1.  Combinations of immunostimulatory antibodies with synergistic effects against spontaneous cancer 
Oncoimmunology  2014;3:e27812.
Immunostimulatory monoclonal antibodies can be given in combinations, hence modulating the activity of 2 or more receptors of the immune system. Some of these combinations have been shown to synergize at the elicitation of therapeutically relevant immune responses in transgenic mice developing spontaneous, oncogene-driven tumors, including multifocal hepatocellular carcinomas expressing ovalbumin as a surrogate tumor-associated antigen.
PMCID: PMC4091451  PMID: 25061546
B7-H1 (PD-L1); CD137 (4-1BB); immunotherapy; OX40 (CD134); T lymphocytes
2.  Alterations of global histone H4K20 methylation during prostate carcinogenesis 
BMC Urology  2012;12:5.
Global histone modifications have been implicated in the progression of various tumour entities. Our study was designed to assess global methylation levels of histone 4 lysine 20 (H4K20me1-3) at different stages of prostate cancer (PCA) carcinogenesis.
Global H4K20 methylation levels were evaluated using a tissue microarray in patients with clinically localized PCA (n = 113), non-malignant prostate disease (n = 27), metastatic hormone-naive PCA (mPCA, n = 30) and castration-resistant PCA (CRPC, n = 34). Immunohistochemistry was performed to assess global levels of H4K20 methylation levels.
Similar proportions of the normal, PCA, and mPCA prostate tissues showed strong H4K20me3 staining. CRPC tissue analysis showed the weakest immunostaining levels of H4K20me1 and H4K20me2, compared to other prostate tissues. H4K20me2 methylation levels indicated significant differences in examined tissues except for normal prostate versus PCA tissue. H4K20me1 differentiates CRPC from other prostate tissues. H4K20me1 was significantly correlated with lymph node metastases, and H4K20me2 showed a significant correlation with the Gleason score. However, H4K20 methylation levels failed to predict PSA recurrence after radical prostatectomy.
H4K20 methylation levels constitute valuable markers for the dynamic process of prostate cancer carcinogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3323457  PMID: 22413846
Histone; Methylation; H4K20; Prostate cancer; Epigenetics
3.  Deep Sequencing of MYC DNA-Binding Sites in Burkitt Lymphoma 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e26837.
MYC is a key transcription factor involved in central cellular processes such as regulation of the cell cycle, histone acetylation and ribosomal biogenesis. It is overexpressed in the majority of human tumors including aggressive B-cell lymphoma. Especially Burkitt lymphoma (BL) is a highlight example for MYC overexpression due to a chromosomal translocation involving the c-MYC gene. However, no genome-wide analysis of MYC-binding sites by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by next generation sequencing (ChIP-Seq) has been conducted in BL so far.
Methodology/Principal Findings
ChIP-Seq was performed on 5 BL cell lines with a MYC-specific antibody giving rise to 7,054 MYC-binding sites after bioinformatics analysis of a total of approx. 19 million sequence reads. In line with previous findings, binding sites accumulate in gene sets known to be involved in the cell cycle, ribosomal biogenesis, histone acetyltransferase and methyltransferase complexes demonstrating a regulatory role of MYC in these processes. Unexpectedly, MYC-binding sites also accumulate in many B-cell relevant genes. To assess the functional consequences of MYC binding, the ChIP-Seq data were supplemented with siRNA- mediated knock-downs of MYC in BL cell lines followed by gene expression profiling. Interestingly, amongst others, genes involved in the B-cell function were up-regulated in response to MYC silencing.
The 7,054 MYC-binding sites identified by our ChIP-Seq approach greatly extend the knowledge regarding MYC binding in BL and shed further light on the enormous complexity of the MYC regulatory network. Especially our observations that (i) many B-cell relevant genes are targeted by MYC and (ii) that MYC down-regulation leads to an up-regulation of B-cell genes highlight an interesting aspect of BL biology.
PMCID: PMC3213110  PMID: 22102868
4.  Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha- and Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase-Producing Dendritic Cells Are Rapidly Recruited to the Bladder in Urinary Tract Infection but Are Dispensable for Bacterial Clearance▿  
Infection and Immunity  2006;74(11):6100-6107.
The role of dendritic cells (DC) in urinary tract infections (UTI) is unknown. These cells contribute directly to the innate defense against various viral and bacterial infections. Here, we studied their role in UTI using an experimental model induced by transurethral instillation of the uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC) strain 536 into C57BL/6 mice. While few DC were found in the uninfected bladder, many had been recruited after 24 h, mostly to the submucosa and uroepithelium. They expressed markers of activation and maturation and exhibited the CD11b+ F4/80+ CD8− Gr-1− myeloid subtype. Also, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)- and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS)-producing CD11bINT DC (Tip-DC) were detected, which recently were proposed to be critical in the defense against bacterial infections. However, Tip-DC-deficient CCR2−/− mice did not show reduced clearance of UPEC from the infected bladder. Moreover, clearance was also unimpaired in CD11c-DTR mice depleted of all DC by injection of diphtheria toxin. This may be explained by the abundance of granulocytes and of iNOS- and TNF-α-producing non-DC that were able to replace Tip-DC functionality. These findings demonstrate that some of the abundant DC recruited in UTI contributed innate immune effector functions, which were, however, dispensable in the microenvironment of the bladder.
PMCID: PMC1695502  PMID: 16966414

Results 1-4 (4)