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1.  STAT3 or USF2 Contributes to HIF Target Gene Specificity 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e72358.
The HIF1- and HIF2-mediated transcriptional responses play critical roles in solid tumor progression. Despite significant similarities, including their binding to promoters of both HIF1 and HIF2 target genes, HIF1 and HIF2 proteins activate unique subsets of target genes under hypoxia. The mechanism for HIF target gene specificity has remained unclear. Using siRNA or inhibitor, we previously reported that STAT3 or USF2 is specifically required for activation of endogenous HIF1 or HIF2 target genes. In this study, using reporter gene assays and chromatin immuno-precipitation, we find that STAT3 or USF2 exhibits specific binding to the promoters of HIF1 or HIF2 target genes respectively even when over-expressed. Functionally, HIF1α interacts with STAT3 to activate HIF1 target gene promoters in a HIF1α HLH/PAS and N-TAD dependent manner while HIF2α interacts with USF2 to activate HIF2 target gene promoters in a HIF2α N-TAD dependent manner. Physically, HIF1α HLH and PAS domains are required for its interaction with STAT3 while both N- and C-TADs of HIF2α are involved in physical interaction with USF2. Importantly, addition of functional USF2 binding sites into a HIF1 target gene promoter increases the basal activity of the promoter as well as its response to HIF2+USF2 activation while replacing HIF binding site with HBS from a HIF2 target gene does not change the specificity of the reporter gene. Importantly, RNA Pol II on HIF1 or HIF2 target genes is primarily associated with HIF1α or HIF2α in a STAT3 or USF2 dependent manner. Thus, we demonstrate here for the first time that HIF target gene specificity is achieved by HIF transcription partners that are required for HIF target gene activation, exhibit specific binding to the promoters of HIF1 or HIF2 target genes and selectively interact with HIF1α or HIF2α protein.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072358
PMCID: PMC3749168  PMID: 23991099
2.  Dynamic Regulation of Hepatic Lipid Droplet Properties by Diet 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e67631.
Cytoplasmic lipid droplets (CLD) are organelle-like structures that function in neutral lipid storage, transport and metabolism through the actions of specific surface-associated proteins. Although diet and metabolism influence hepatic CLD levels, how they affect CLD protein composition is largely unknown. We used non-biased, shotgun, proteomics in combination with metabolic analysis, quantitative immunoblotting, electron microscopy and confocal imaging to define the effects of low- and high-fat diets on CLD properties in fasted-refed mice. We found that the hepatic CLD proteome is distinct from that of CLD from other mammalian tissues, containing enzymes from multiple metabolic pathways. The hepatic CLD proteome is also differentially affected by dietary fat content and hepatic metabolic status. High fat feeding markedly increased the CLD surface density of perilipin-2, a critical regulator of hepatic neutral lipid storage, whereas it reduced CLD levels of betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase, an enzyme regulator of homocysteine levels linked to fatty liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Collectively our data demonstrate that the hepatic CLD proteome is enriched in metabolic enzymes, and that it is qualitatively and quantitatively regulated by diet and metabolism. These findings implicate CLD in the regulation of hepatic metabolic processes, and suggest that their properties undergo reorganization in response to hepatic metabolic demands.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067631
PMCID: PMC3708958  PMID: 23874434
3.  Genomic and proteomic characterization of the large Myoviridae bacteriophage ϕTMA of the extreme thermophile Thermus thermophilus 
Bacteriophage  2011;1(3):152-164.
A lytic phage, designated as ϕTMA, was isolated from a Japanese hot spring using Thermus thermophilus HB27 as an indicator strain. Electron microscopic examination showed that ϕTMA had an icosahedral head and a contractile tail. The circular double-stranded DNA sequence of ϕTMA was 151,483 bp in length, and its organization was essentially same as that of ϕYS40 except that the ϕTMA genome contained genes for a pair of transposase and resolvase, and a gene for a serine to asparagine substituted ortholog of the protein involved in the initiation of the ϕYS40 genomic DNA synthesis. The different host specificities of ϕTMA and ϕYS40 could be explained by the sequence differences in the C-terminal regions of their distal tail fiber proteins. The ΔpilA knockout strains of T. thermophilus showed simultaneous loss of sensitivity to their cognate phages, pilus structure, twitching motility and competence for natural transformation, thus suggesting that the phage infection required the intact host pili. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis analysis of the ϕTMA and ϕYS40 genomes revealed that the length of their DNA exceeded 200 kb, indicating that the terminal redundancy is more than 30% of the closed circular form. Proteomic analysis of the ϕTMA virion using a combination of N-terminal sequencing and mass spectrometric analysis of peptide fragments suggested that the maturation of several proteins involved in the phage assembly process was mediated by a trypsin-like protease. The gene order of the phage structural proteins was also discussed.
doi:10.4161/bact.1.3.16712
PMCID: PMC3225780  PMID: 22164349
Thermus thermophilus; myovirus; genomics; antagonistic coevolution; proteomics

Results 1-3 (3)