Articles by Kristen M. Werner in JoVE
Other articles by Kristen M. Werner on PubMed
Cigarette Smoke Induces Anaphase Bridges and Genomic Imbalances in Normal Cells Mutation Research. Oct, 2004 | Pubmed ID: 15450433 Exposure to cigarette smoke has long been linked to carcinogenesis, but the emphasis has been placed on mutational changes in the DNA sequence caused by the carcinogens in smoke. Here, we report an additional role for cigarette smoke exposure in contributing to chromosomal aberrations in cells. We have found that cigarette smoke condensate (CSC) induces anaphase bridges in cultured human cells, which in a short time lead to genomic imbalances. The frequency of the induced bridges within the entire population decreases with time, and this decrease is not dependent upon the p53-mediated apoptotic pathway. Additionally, we show that CSC induces DNA double stranded breaks (DSBs) in cultured cells and purified DNA. The reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavenger, 2' deoxyguanosine 5'-monophosphate (dGMP) prevents CSC-induced DSBs, anaphase bridge formation and genomic imbalances. Therefore, we propose that CSC induces bridges and genomic imbalances via DNA DSBs. Furthermore, since the amount of CSC added to the cultures was substantially less than that extracted from a single cigarette, our results show that even low levels of cigarette smoke can cause irreversible changes in the chromosomal constitution of cultured cells.
Early Alpha/beta Interferon Production by Myeloid Dendritic Cells in Response to UV-inactivated Virus Requires Viral Entry and Interferon Regulatory Factor 3 but Not MyD88 Journal of Virology. Aug, 2005 | Pubmed ID: 16051830 Alpha/beta interferons (IFN-alpha/beta) are key mediators of innate immunity and important modulators of adaptive immunity. The mechanisms by which IFN-alpha/beta are induced are becoming increasingly well understood. Recent studies showed that Toll-like receptors 7 and 8 expressed by plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) mediate the endosomal recognition of incoming viral RNA genomes, a process which requires myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88). Here we investigate the requirements for virus-induced IFN-alpha/beta production in cultures of bone marrow-derived murine myeloid DCs (mDCs). Using recombinant Semliki Forest virus blocked at different steps in the viral life cycle, we show that replication-defective virus induced IFN-alpha/beta in mDCs while fusion-defective virus did not induce IFN-alpha/beta. The response to replication-defective virus was largely intact in MyD88-/- mDC cultures but was severely reduced in mDC cultures from mice lacking IFN regulatory factor 3. Our observations suggest that mDCs respond to incoming virus via a pathway that differs from the fusion-independent, MyD88-mediated endosomal pathway described for the induction of IFN-alpha/beta in pDCs. We propose that events during or downstream of viral fusion, but prior to replication, can activate IFN-alpha/beta in mDCs. Thus, mDCs may contribute to the antiviral response activated by the immune system at early time points after infection.
Genome-wide P-element Screen for Drosophila Synaptogenesis Mutants Journal of Neurobiology. Mar, 2006 | Pubmed ID: 16408305 A molecular understanding of synaptogenesis is a critical step toward the goal of understanding how brains "wire themselves up," and then "rewire" during development and experience. Recent genomic and molecular advances have made it possible to study synaptogenesis on a genomic scale. Here, we describe the results of a screen for genes involved in formation and development of the glutamatergic Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We screened 2185 P-element transposon mutants representing insertions in approximately 16% of the entire Drosophila genome. We first identified recessive lethal mutants, based on the hypothesis that mutations causing severe disruptions in synaptogenesis are likely to be lethal. Two hundred twenty (10%) of all insertions were homozygous lethal. Two hundred five (93%) of these lethal mutants developed at least through late embryogenesis and formed neuromusculature. We examined embryonic/larval NMJs in 202 of these homozygous mutants using immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. We identified and classified 88 mutants with altered NMJ morphology. Insertion loci in these mutants encode several different types of proteins, including ATP- and GTPases, cytoskeletal regulators, cell adhesion molecules, kinases, phosphatases, RNA regulators, regulators of protein formation, transcription factors, and transporters. Thirteen percent of insertions are in genes that encode proteins of novel or unknown function. Complementation tests and RT-PCR assays suggest that approximately 51% of the insertion lines carry background mutations. Our results reveal that synaptogenesis requires the coordinated action of many different types of proteins--perhaps as much as 44% of the entire genome--and that transposon mutageneses carry important caveats that must be respected when interpreting results generated using this method.