8-Oxoguanine-DNA glycosylase-1 (OGG1) is the primary enzyme for repairing 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (8-oxoG) via the DNA base excision repair pathway (OGG1-BER). Accumulation of 8-oxoG in the genomic DNA leads to genetic instability and carcinogenesis and is thought to contribute to the worsening of various inflammatory and disease processes. However, the disease mechanism is unknown. In this study, we proposed that the mechanistic link between OGG1-BER and proinflammatory gene expression is OGG1's guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity, acquired after interaction with the 8-oxoG base and consequent activation of the small GTPase RAS. To test this hypothesis, we used BALB/c mice expressing or deficient in OGG1 in their airway epithelium and various molecular biological approaches, including active RAS pulldown, reporter and Comet assays, small interfering RNA-mediated depletion of gene expression, quantitative RT-PCR, and immunoblotting. We report that the OGG1-intiated repair of oxidatively damaged DNA is a prerequisite for GDP?GTP exchange, KRAS-GTP-driven signaling via MAP kinases and PI3 kinases and mitogen-stress-related kinase-1 for NF-?B activation, proinflammatory chemokine/cytokine expression, and inflammatory cell recruitment to the airways. Mice deficient in OGG1-BER showed significantly decreased immune responses, whereas a lack of other Nei-like DNA glycosylases (i.e., NEIL1 and NEIL2) had no significant effect. These data unveil a previously unidentified role of OGG1-driven DNA BER in the generation of endogenous signals for inflammation in the innate signaling pathway.
The development of accurate classification models depends upon the methods used to identify the most relevant variables. The aim of this article is to evaluate variable selection methods to identify important variables in predicting a binary response using nonlinear statistical models. Our goals in model selection include producing non-overfitting stable models that are interpretable, that generate accurate predictions and have minimum bias. This work was motivated by data on clinical and laboratory features of Helicobacter pylori infections obtained from 60 individuals enrolled in a prospective observational study.
Signaling via programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) and PD-L2 is crucial for maintaining peripheral tolerance. CD90(+) myofibroblasts/fibroblasts (CMFs) are major programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) ligand-expressing cells in normal human colonic mucosa. CMFs suppress activated CD4(+) T cell proliferation via PD-1 ligands. It is not known whether signaling through TLRs contribute to the regulation PD-1 ligands on CMFs upon colonic mucosal tolerance. In this study, we demonstrated that stimulation of TLR4 on human CMFs upregulates PD-L1, but not PD-L2, and reinforces CMF-mediated suppression of CD4(+) T cell proliferation and IFN-? production. TLR4-mediated upregulation of PD-L1 on CMFs involved NF-?B pathways and was JAK2 and MyD88 dependent. MyD88-dependent stimulation of TLR1/2 and TLR5 also upregulated PD-L1 expression on CMFs in culture. PD-L1 expression was drastically decreased in vivo in the colonic mucosa of mice devoid of MyD88. Induction of MyD88 deficiency in CMFs in fibroblast-specific MyD88 conditional knockout mice resulted in a strong increase in a mucosal IFN-? expression concomitantly with the abrogation of PD-L1 expression in CMFs under homeostasis and epithelial injury induced by dextran sodium sulfate. Together, these data suggest that MyD88-dependent TLR stimulation of CMFs in the normal colonic mucosa may reinforce these cells' anti-inflammatory capacity and thus contribute to the maintenance of mucosal tolerance.
Ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM), a member of the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase-like kinase family, is a master regulator of the double strand DNA break-repair pathway after genotoxic stress. Here, we found ATM serves as an essential regulator of TNF-induced NF-kB pathway. We observed that TNF exposure of cells rapidly induced DNA double strand breaks and activates ATM. TNF-induced ROS promote nuclear IKK? association with ubiquitin and its complex formation with ATM for nuclear export. Activated cytoplasmic ATM is involved in the selective recruitment of the E3-ubiquitin ligase ?-TrCP to phospho-I?B? proteosomal degradation. Importantly, ATM binds and activates the catalytic subunit of protein kinase A (PKAc), ribosmal S6 kinase that controls RelA Ser 276 phosphorylation. In ATM knockdown cells, TNF-induced RelA Ser 276 phosphorylation is significantly decreased. We further observed decreased binding and recruitment of the transcriptional elongation complex containing cyclin dependent kinase-9 (CDK9; a kinase necessary for triggering transcriptional elongation) to promoters of NF-?B-dependent immediate-early cytokine genes, in ATM knockdown cells. We conclude that ATM is a nuclear damage-response signal modulator of TNF-induced NF-?B activation that plays a key scaffolding role in I?B? degradation and RelA Ser 276 phosphorylation. Our study provides a mechanistic explanation of decreased innate immune response associated with A-T mutation.
Molecular classification using robust biochemical measurements provides a level of diagnostic precision that is unattainable using indirect phenotypic measurements. Multidimensional measurements of proteins, genes, or metabolites (analytes) can identify subtle differences in the pathophysiology of patients with asthma in a way that is not otherwise possible using physiological or clinical assessments. We overview a method for relating biochemical analyte measurements to generate predictive models of discrete (categorical) clinical outcomes, a process referred to as "supervised classification." We consider problems inherent in wide (small n and large p) high-dimensional data, including the curse of dimensionality, collinearity and lack of information content. We suggest methods for reducing the data to the most informative features. We describe different approaches for phenotypic modeling, using logistic regression, classification and regression trees, random forest and nonparametric regression spline modeling. We provide guidance on post hoc model evaluation and methods to evaluate model performance using ROC curves and generalized additive models. The application of validated predictive models for outcome prediction will significantly impact the clinical management of asthma.
Asthma is an idiopathic disease associated with episodic inflammation and reversible airway obstruction that is triggered by environmental agents. Allergic and infectious agents trigger asthmatic exacerbations through the innate immune response (IIR). The IIR is activated by sentinel cells in the airways to elaborate inflammatory cytokines and protective mucosal interferons whose actions are designed to limit the spread of the organism, as well as to activate the adaptive immune response. We address the structure of the IIR pathway in sentinel cells of the airway and describe observations on its dysregulation. The IIR is triggered in a cell-type specific manner by germline-encoded pathogen recognition receptors (PPRs) including plasma membrane Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and the cytoplasmic Retinoic Acid-inducible Gene (RIG)-I-like RNA helicases, and protein kinase R (PKR). Although their mechanisms of intracellular signaling differ, both pathways converge on a small group of transcriptional effectors, nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B), IFN regulatory factor (IRF), and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT). We describe several distinct techniques to quantitate the IIR including assays based on quantitative real-time PCR (Q-RT-PCR) of NF-?B and IRF3-regulated genes, multiplex bead-based analysis of secreted proteins/cytokines and more recent developments in targeted, quantitative selected reaction monitoring (SRM)-mass spectrometry (MS). Application of these methods for quantitation of the IIR will further our understanding of the role of the IIR in asthma and its contribution to disease heterogeneity.
Histone acetylation and methylation play an important role in the regulation of gene expression. Irregular patterns of histone global acetylation and methylation have frequently been seen in various diseases. Quantitative analysis of these patterns is of high value for the evaluation of disease development and of outcomes from therapeutic treatment. Targeting histone acetylation and methylation by selected reaction monitoring (SRM) is one of the current quantitative methods. Here, we reported the use of the multiplexed parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) method on the QExactive mass spectrometer to target previously known lysine acetylation and methylation sites of histone H3 and H4 for the purpose of establishing precursor-product pairs for SRM. 55 modified peptides among which 29 were H3 K27/K36 modified peptides were detected from 24 targeted precursor ions included in the inclusion list. The identification was carried out directly from the trypsin digests of core histones that were separated without derivatization on a homemade capillary column packed with Waters YMC ODS-AQ reversed phase materials. Besides documenting the higher-energy c-trap dissociation (HCD) MS(2) spectra of previously known histone H3/H4 acetylated and methylated tryptic peptides, we identified novel H3 K18 methylation, H3 K27 monomethyl/acetyl duel modifications, H2B K23 acetylation, and H4 K20 acetylation in mammalian histones. The information gained from these experiments sets the foundation for quantification of histone modifications by targeted mass spectrometry methods directly from core histone samples.
Signal Transducers and Activator of Transcription-3 (STAT3) are latent transcription factors that are regulated by post-translational modifications (PTMs) in response to cellular activation by the IL-6 superfamily of cytokines to regulate cell cycle progression and/or apoptosis. Here we observe that STAT3 is inducibly mono-ubiquitinated and investigate its consequences. Using domain mapping and highly specific selected reaction monitoring-mass spectrometric assays, we identify lysine (K) 97 in its NH2-terminal domain as the major mono-ubiquitin conjugation site. We constructed a mono-ubiquitinated mimic consisting of a deubiquitinase-resistant monomeric ubiquitin fused to the NH2 terminus of STAT3 (ubiquitinated-STAT3 FP). In complex assays of ectopically expressed ubi-STAT3-FP, we observed enhanced complex formation with bromodomain-containing protein 4 (BRD4), a component of the activated positive transcriptional elongation factor (P-TEFb) complex. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments in STAT3(+/-) and STAT3(-/-) MEFs showed BRD4 recruitment to STAT3-dependent suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 gene (SOCS3). The effect of a selective small molecule inhibitor of BRD4, JQ1, to inhibit SOCS3 expression demonstrated the functional role of BRD4 for STAT3-dependent transcription. Additionally, ectopic ubiquitinated-STAT3 FP expression upregulated BCL2, BCL2L1, APEX1, SOD2, CCND1 and MYC expression indicating the role of ubiquitinated STAT3 in anti-apoptosis and cellular proliferation. Finally we observed that ubiquitinated-STAT3 FP suppressed TNF?-induced apoptotic cell death, indicating the functional importance of mono-ubiquitinated STAT3 in antiapoptotic gene expression. We conclude that STAT3 mono-ubiquitination is a key trigger in BRD4-dependent antiapoptotic and pro-proliferative gene expression programs. Thus, inhibiting the STAT3 mono-ubiquitination-BRD4 pathway may be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of STAT3-dependent proliferative diseases.
Modulators (Ms) are proteins that modify the activity of transcription factors (TFs) and influence expression of their target genes (TGs). To discover modulators of NF-?B/RelA, we first identified 365 NF-?B/RelA-binding proteins using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We used a probabilistic model to infer 8349 (M, NF-?B/RelA, TG) triplets and their modes of modulatory action from our combined LC-MS/MS and ChIP-Seq (ChIP followed by next generation sequencing) data, published RelA modulators and TGs, and a compendium of gene expression profiles. Hierarchical clustering of the derived modulatory network revealed functional subnetworks and suggested new pathways modulating RelA transcriptional activity. The modulators with the highest number of TGs and most non-random distribution of action modes (measured by Shannon entropy) are consistent with published reports. Our results provide a repertoire of testable hypotheses for experimental validation. One of the NF-?B/RelA modulators we identified is STAT1. The inferred (STAT1, NF-?B/RelA, TG) triplets were validated by LC-selected reaction monitoring-MS and the results of STAT1 deletion in human fibrosarcoma cells. Overall, we have identified 562 NF-?B/RelA modulators, which are potential drug targets, and clarified mechanisms of achieving NF-?B/RelA multiple functions through modulators. Our approach can be readily applied to other TFs.
Among the insidious DNA base lesions, 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoG) is one of the most abundant, a lesion that arises through the attack by reactive oxygen species on guanine, especially when located in cis-regulatory elements. 8-oxoG is repaired by the 8-oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (OGG1)-initiated DNA base excision repair pathway. In this study, we investigated whether 8-oxoG repair by OGG1 in promoter regions is compatible with a prompt gene expression and a host innate immune response. For this purpose, we used a mouse model of airway inflammation, supplemented with cell cultures, chromatin immunoprecipitation, small interfering RNA knockdown, real-time PCR, and comet and reporter transcription assays. Our data show that exposure of cells to TNF-? altered cellular redox, increased the 8-oxoG level in DNA, recruited OGG1 to promoter sequences, and transiently inhibited base excision repair of 8-oxoG. Promoter-associated OGG1 then enhanced NF-?B/RelA binding to cis-elements and facilitated recruitment of specificity protein 1, transcription initiation factor II-D, and p-RNA polymerase II, resulting in the rapid expression of chemokines/cytokines and inflammatory cell accumulation in mouse airways. Small interfering RNA depletion of OGG1 or prevention of guanine oxidation significantly decreased TNF-?-induced inflammatory responses. Taken together, these results show that nonproductive binding of OGG1 to 8-oxoG in promoter sequences could be an epigenetic mechanism to modulate gene expression for a prompt innate immune response.
Development of thoracic aortic aneurysms is the most significant clinical phenotype in patients with Marfan syndrome. An inflammatory response has been described in advanced stages of the disease. Because the hallmark of vascular inflammation is local interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion, we explored the role of this proinflammatory cytokine in the formation of aortic aneurysms and rupture in hypomorphic fibrillin-deficient mice (mgR/mgR).
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are activators of cell signaling and modify cellular molecules, including DNA. 8-Oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxoG) is one of the prominent lesions in oxidatively damaged DNA, whose accumulation is causally linked to various diseases and aging processes, whereas its etiological relevance is unclear. 8-OxoG is repaired by the 8-oxoguanine DNA glycosylase-1 (OGG1)-initiated DNA base excision repair (BER) pathway. OGG1 binds free 8-oxoG and this complex functions as an activator of Ras family GTPases. Here we examined whether OGG1-initiated BER is associated with the activation of Rho GTPase and mediates changes in the cytoskeleton. To test this possibility, we induced OGG1-initiated BER in cultured cells and mouse lungs and used molecular approaches such as active Rho pull-down assays, siRNA ablation of gene expression, immune blotting, and microscopic imaging. We found that OGG1 physically interacts with Rho GTPase and, in the presence of 8-oxoG base, increases Rho-GTP levels in cultured cells and lungs, which mediates ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA) polymerization into stress fibers and increases the level of ?-SMA in insoluble cellular/tissue fractions. These changes were absent in cells lacking OGG1. These unexpected data and those showing that 8-oxoG repair is a lifetime process suggest that, via Rho GTPase, OGG1 could be involved in the cytoskeletal changes and organ remodeling observed in various chronic diseases.
A pathological hallmark of asthma is chronic injury and repair, producing dysfunction of the epithelial barrier function. In this setting, increased oxidative stress, growth factor- and cytokine stimulation, together with extracellular matrix contact produces transcriptional reprogramming of the epithelial cell. This process results in epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a cellular state associated with loss of epithelial polarity, expression of mesenchymal markers, enhanced mobility and extracellular matrix remodeling. As a result, the cellular biology of the EMT state produces characteristic changes seen in severe, refractory asthma: myofibroblast expansion, epithelial trans-differentiation and subepithelial fibrosis. EMT also induces profound changes in epithelial responsiveness that affects innate immune signaling that may have impact on the adaptive immune response and effectiveness of glucocorticoid therapy in severe asthma. We discuss how this complex phenotype is beginning to be understood using systems biology-level approaches through perturbations coupled with high throughput profiling and computational modeling. Understanding the distinct changes induced by EMT at the systems level may provide translational strategies to reverse the altered signaling and physiology of refractory asthma.
Junin virus (JUNV) is the etiological agent of Argentine hemorrhagic fever (AHF), a human disease with a high case-fatality rate. It is widely accepted that arenaviral infections, including JUNV infections, are generally non-cytopathic. In contrast, here we demonstrated apoptosis induction in human lung epithelial carcinoma (A549), human hepatocarcinoma and Vero cells upon infection with the attenuated Candid#1 strain of, JUNV as determined by phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation, Caspase 3 (CASP3) activation, Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage and/or chromosomal DNA fragmentation. Moreover, as determined by DNA fragmentation, we found that the pathogenic Romero strain of JUNV was less cytopathic than Candid#1 in human hepatocarcinoma and Vero, but more apoptotic in A549 and Vero E6 cells. Additionally, we found that JUNV-induced apoptosis was enhanced by RIG-I signaling. Consistent with the previously reported role of RIG-I like helicase (RLH) signaling in initiating programmed cell death, we showed that cell death or DNA fragmentation of Candid#1-infected A549 cells was decreased upon siRNA or shRNA silencing of components of RIG-I pathway in spite of increased virus production. Similarly, we observed decreased DNA fragmentation in JUNV-infected human hepatocarcinoma cells deficient for RIG-I when compared with that of RIG-I-competent cells. In addition, DNA fragmentation detected upon Candid#1 infection of type I interferon (IFN)-deficient Vero cells suggested a type I IFN-independent mechanism of apoptosis induction in response to JUNV. Our work demonstrated for the first time apoptosis induction in various cells of mammalian origin in response to JUNV infection and partial mechanism of this cell death.
We present an integrated dynamical cross-talk model of the epithelial innate immune response (IIR) incorporating RIG-I and TLR3 as the two major pattern recognition receptors (PRR) converging on the RelA and IRF3 transcriptional effectors. bioPN simulations reproduce biologically relevant gene-and protein abundance measurements in response to time course, gene silencing and dose-response perturbations both at the population and single cell level. Our computational predictions suggest that RelA and IRF3 are under auto- and cross-regulation. We predict, and confirm experimentally, that RIG-I mRNA expression is controlled by IRF7. We also predict the existence of a TLR3-dependent, IRF3-independent transcription factor (or factors) that control(s) expression of MAVS, IRF3 and members of the IKK family. Our model confirms the observed dsRNA dose-dependence of oscillatory patterns in single cells, with periods of 1-3 hr. Model fitting to time series, matched by knockdown data suggests that the NF-?B module operates in a different regime (with different coefficient values) than in the TNF?-stimulation experiments. In future studies, this model will serve as a foundation for identification of virus-encoded IIR antagonists and examination of stochastic effects of viral replication. Our model generates simulated time series, which reproduce the noisy oscillatory patterns of activity (with 1-3 hour period) observed in individual cells. Our work supports the hypothesis that the IIR is a phenomenon that emerged by evolution despite highly variable responses at an individual cell level.
A case report illustrates how multidisciplinary translational teams can be assessed using outcome, process, and developmental types of evaluation using a mixed-methods approach. Types of evaluation appropriate for teams are considered in relation to relevant research questions and assessment methods. Logic models are applied to scientific projects and team development to inform choices between methods within a mixed-methods design. Use of an expert panel is reviewed, culminating in consensus ratings of 11 multidisciplinary teams and a final evaluation within a team-type taxonomy. Based on team maturation and scientific progress, teams were designated as (a) early in development, (b) traditional, (c) process focused, or (d) exemplary. Lessons learned from data reduction, use of mixed methods, and use of expert panels are explored.
Arenaviruses are enveloped, negative-stranded RNA viruses that belong to the family Arenaviridae. This diverse family can be further classified into OW (Old World) and NW (New World) arenaviruses based on their antigenicity, phylogeny, and geographical distribution. Many of the NW arenaviruses are highly pathogenic viruses that cause systemic human infections characterized by hemorrhagic fever and/or neurological manifestations, constituting public health problems in their endemic regions. NW arenavirus infection induces a variety of host innate immune responses, which could contribute to the viral pathogenesis and/or influence the final outcome of virus infection in vitro and in vivo. On the other hand, NW arenaviruses have also developed several strategies to counteract the host innate immune response. We will review current knowledge regarding the interplay between the host innate immune response and NW arenavirus infection in vitro and in vivo, with emphasis on viral-encoded proteins and their effect on the type I interferon response.
Although hypertension is the most common risk factor for thoracic aortic diseases, it is not understood how increased pressures on the ascending aorta lead to aortic aneurysms. We investigated the role of angiotensin II type 1 receptor activation in ascending aortic remodeling in response to increased biomechanical forces using a transverse aortic constriction (TAC) mouse model.
Asthma is an idiopathic disease characterized by episodic inflammation and reversible airway obstruction triggered by exposure to environmental agents. Because this disease is heterogeneous in onset, exacerbations, inflammatory states, and response to therapy, there is intense interest in developing personalized approaches to its management. Of focus in this review, the recognition that a component of the pathophysiology of asthma is mediated by inflammation has implications for understanding its etiology and individualizing its therapy. Despite understanding how Th2 polarization mediates asthma exacerbations by aeroallergen exposure, we do not yet fully understand how RNA virus infections produce asthmatic exacerbations. This review will summarize the explosion of information that has revealed how patterns produced by RNA virus infection trigger the innate immune response (IIR) in sentinel airway cells. When the IIR is triggered, these cells elaborate inflammatory cytokines and protective mucosal interferons whose actions activate long-lived adaptive immunity and limit organismal replication. Recent work has shown the multifaceted way that dysregulation of the IIR is linked to viral-induced exacerbation, steroid insensitivity, and T helper polarization of adaptive immunity. New developments in quantitative proteomics now enable accurate identification of subgroups of individuals that demonstrate activation of IIR ("innate endotype"). Potential applications to clinical research are proposed. Together, these developments open realistic prospects for how identification of the IIR endotype may inform asthma therapy in the future.
The high mass accuracy and resolution of modern mass spectrometers provides new opportunities to employ theoretical peptide distributions in large-scale proteomic studies. We used theoretical distributions to study noise filtering and mass measurement errors and to examine mass-based differentiation of phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated peptides. Only the monoisotopic mass of the experimental precursor ion was necessary for this analysis. We found that peak deviations can be used to characterize the modification states of peptides in a sample. When applied to large-scale proteomic data sets, the peak deviation distribution can be used to filter chemical/electronic noise for singly charged species. Using peak deviation distributions, it is possible to separate the phosphorylated peptides from the nonphosphorylated peptides, enabling evaluation of the phosphoproteome content of a sample. Because this approach is simple, with light computational requirements, the analysis of theoretical peptide distributions has a significant potential for application to phosphoproteome analyses. For our studies we used publicly available data sets from three large-scale proteomic studies.
Using nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) ChIP-Seq data, we present a framework for iterative learning of regulatory networks. For every possible transcription factor-binding site (TFBS)-putatively regulated gene pair, the relative distance and orientation are calculated to learn which TFBSs are most likely to regulate a given gene. Weighted TFBS contributions to putative gene regulation are integrated to derive an NF-?B gene network. A de novo motif enrichment analysis uncovers secondary TFBSs (AP1, SP1) at characteristic distances from NF-?B/RelA TFBSs. Comparison with experimental ENCODE ChIP-Seq data indicates that experimental TFBSs highly correlate with predicted sites. We observe that RelA-SP1-enriched promoters have distinct expression profiles from that of RelA-AP1 and are enriched in introns, CpG islands and DNase accessible sites. Sixteen novel NF-?B/RelA-regulated genes and TFBSs were experimentally validated, including TANK, a negative feedback gene whose expression is NF-?B/RelA dependent and requires a functional interaction with the AP1 TFBSs. Our probabilistic method yields more accurate NF-?B/RelA-regulated networks than a traditional, distance-based approach, confirmed by both analysis of gene expression and increased informativity of Genome Ontology annotations. Our analysis provides new insights into how co-occurring TFBSs and local chromatin context orchestrate activation of NF-?B/RelA sub-pathways differing in biological function and temporal expression patterns.
The respiratory mucosa is a major coordinator of the inflammatory response in chronic airway diseases, including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Signals produced by the chronic inflammatory process induce epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) that dramatically alters the epithelial cell phenotype. The effects of EMT on epigenetic reprogramming and the activation of transcriptional networks are known, its effects on the innate inflammatory response are underexplored. We used a multiplex gene expression profiling platform to investigate the perturbations of the innate pathways induced by TGF ? in a primary airway epithelial cell model of EMT. EMT had dramatic effects on the induction of the innate pathway and the coupling interval of the canonical and noncanonical NF- ? B pathways. Simulation experiments demonstrate that rapid, coordinated cap-independent translation of TRAF-1 and NF- ? B2 is required to reduce the noncanonical pathway coupling interval. Experiments using amantadine confirmed the prediction that TRAF-1 and NF- ? B2/p100 production is mediated by an IRES-dependent mechanism. These data indicate that the epigenetic changes produced by EMT induce dynamic state changes of the innate signaling pathway. Further applications of systems approaches will provide understanding of this complex phenotype through deterministic modeling and multidimensional (genomic and proteomic) profiling.
Bed rest induces significant loss of leg lean mass in older adults. Systemic and tissue inflammation also accelerates skeletal muscle loss, but it is unknown whether inflammation is associated to inactivity-induced muscle atrophy in healthy older adults. We determined if short-term bed rest increases toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling and pro-inflammatory markers in older adult skeletal muscle biopsy samples. Six healthy, older adults underwent seven consecutive days of bed rest. Muscle biopsies (vastus lateralis) were taken after an overnight fast before and at the end of bed rest. Serum cytokine expression was measured before and during bed rest. TLR4 signaling and cytokine mRNAs associated with pro- and anti-inflammation and anabolism were measured in muscle biopsy samples using Western blot analysis and qPCR. Participants lost ?4% leg lean mass with bed rest. We found that after bed rest, muscle levels of TLR4 protein expression and interleukin-6 (IL-6), nuclear factor-?B1, interleukin-10, and 15 mRNA expression were increased after bed rest (P < 0.05). Additionally, the cytokines interferon-?, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1?, were elevated in serum samples following bed rest (P < 0.05). We conclude that short-term bed rest in older adults modestly increased some pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in muscle samples while systemic changes in pro-inflammatory cytokines were mostly absent. Upregulation of TLR4 protein content suggests that bed rest in older adults increases the capacity to mount an exaggerated, and perhaps unnecessary, inflammatory response in the presence of specific TLR4 ligands, e.g., during acute illness.
Dysregulated angiotensin II (Ang II) signaling induces local vascular interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion, producing leukocyte infiltration and life-threatening aortic dissections. Precise mechanisms by which IL-6 signaling induces leukocyte recruitment remain unknown. T-helper 17 lymphocytes (Th17) have been implicated in vascular pathology, but their role in the development of aortic dissections is poorly understood. Here, we tested the relationship of IL-6-signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 signaling with Th17-induced inflammation in the formation of Ang II-induced dissections in C57BL/6 mice.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus responsible for lower respiratory tract infections. During infection, the presence of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) activates the interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) transcription factor, an event triggering expression of immediate early, IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs). We examine the role of transcriptional elongation in control of IRF3-dependent ISG expression. RSV infection induces ISG54, ISG56, and CIG5 gene expression in an IRF3-dependent manner demonstrated by IRF3 small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing in both A549 epithelial cells and IRF3(-/-) MEFs. ISG expression was mediated by the recruitment of IRF3, CDK9, polymerase II (Pol II), and phospho-Ser(2) carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) Pol II to the IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) binding sites of the IRF3-dependent ISG promoters in native chromatin. We find that RSV infection enhances the activated fraction of cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9) by promoting its association with bromodomain 4 (BRD4) and disrupting its association with the inhibitory 7SK small nuclear RNA. The requirement of CDK9 activity for ISG expression was shown by siRNA-mediated silencing of CDK9 and by a selective CDK9 inhibitor in A549 cells. In contrast, RSV-induced beta interferon (IFN-?) expression is not influenced by CDK9 inhibition. Using transcript-selective quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR (Q-RT-PCR) assays for the ISG54 gene, we observed that RSV induces transition from short to fully spliced mRNA transcripts and that this transition is blocked by CDK9 inhibition in both A549 and primary human small airway epithelial cells. These data indicate that transcription elongation plays a major role in RSV-induced ISG expression and is mediated by IRF3-dependent recruitment of activated CDK9. CDK9 activity may be a target for immunomodulation in RSV-induced lung disease.
The NF-?B transcription factor mediates the inflammatory response through distinct (canonical and non-canonical) signaling pathways. The mechanisms controlling utilization of either of these pathways are largely unknown. Here we observe that TNF stimulation induces delayed NF-?B2/p100 processing and investigate the coupling mechanism. TNF stimulation induces TNF-associated factor-1 (TRAF-1) that directly binds NF-?B-inducing kinase (NIK) and stabilizes it from degradation by disrupting its interaction with TRAF2·cIAP2 ubiquitin ligase complex. We show that TRAF1 depletion prevents TNF-induced NIK stabilization and reduces p52 production. To further examine the interactions of TRAF1 and NIK with NF-?B2/p100 processing, we mathematically modeled TRAF1·NIK as a coupling signaling complex and validated computational inference by siRNA knockdown to show non-canonical pathway activation is dependent not only on TRAF1 induction but also NIK stabilization by forming TRAF1·NIK complex. Thus, these integrated computational-experimental studies of TNF-induced TRAF1 expression identified TRAF1·NIK as a central complex linking canonical and non-canonical pathways by disrupting the TRAF2-cIAP2 ubiquitin ligase complex. This feed-forward kinase pathway is essential for the activation of non-canonical pathway.
The choice of selection methods to identify important variables for binary classification modeling is critical to produce stable models that are interpretable, that generate accurate predictions and have minimum bias. This work is motivated by data on clinical and laboratory features of severe dengue infections (dengue hemorrhagic fever, DHF) obtained from 51 individuals enrolled in a prospective observational study of acute human dengue infections.
The innate immune response (IIR) is a coordinated intracellular signaling network activated by the presence of pathogen-associated molecular patterns that limits pathogen spread and induces adaptive immunity. Although the precise temporal activation of the various arms of the IIR is a critical factor in the outcome of a disease, currently there are no quantitative multiplex methods for its measurement. In this study, we investigate the temporal activation pattern of the IIR in response to intracellular double-stranded RNA stimulation using a quantitative 10-plex stable isotope dilution-selected reaction monitoring-MS assay. We were able to observe rapid activation of both NF-?B and IRF3 signaling arms, with IRF3 demonstrating a transient response, whereas NF-?B underwent a delayed secondary amplification phase. Our measurements of the NF-?B-I?B? negative feedback loop indicate that about 20% of I?B? in the unstimulated cell is located within the nucleus and represents a population that is rapidly degraded in response to double-stranded RNA. Later in the time course of stimulation, the nuclear I?B? pool is repopulated first prior to its cytoplasmic accumulation. Examination of the IRF3 pathway components shows that double-stranded RNA induces initial consumption of the RIG-I PRR and the IRF3 kinase (TBK1). Stable isotope dilution-selected reaction monitoring-MS measurements after siRNA-mediated IRF3 or RelA knockdown suggests that a low nuclear threshold of NF-?B is required for inducing target gene expression, and that there is cross-inhibition of the NF-?B and IRF3 signaling arms. Finally, we were able to measure delayed noncanonical NF-?B activation by quantifying the abundance of the processed (52 kDa) NF-?B2 subunit in the nucleus. We conclude that quantitative proteomics measurement of the individual signaling arms of the IIR in response to system perturbations is significantly enabled by stable isotope dilution-selected reaction monitoring-MS-based quantification, and that this technique will reveal novel insights into the dynamics and connectivity of the IIR.
Quantitative measurement of the major regulatory proteins in signaling networks poses several technical challenges, including low abundance, the presence of post-translational modifications (PTMs), and the lack of suitable affinity detection reagents. Using the innate immune response (IIR) as a model signaling pathway, we illustrate the approach of stable isotope dilution (SID)-selected reaction monitoring (SRM)-mass spectrometry (MS) assays for quantification of low abundance signaling proteins. A work flow for SID-SRM-MS assay development is established for proteins with experimentally observed MS spectra and for those without. Using the interferon response factor (IRF)-3 transcription factor as an example, we illustrate the steps in high responding signature peptide identification, SID-SRM-MS assay optimization, and evaluation. SRM assays for normalization of IIR abundance to invariant housekeeping proteins are presented. We provide an example of SID-SRM assay development for post-translational modification (PTM) detection using an activating phospho-Ser modified NF-?B/RelA transcription factor, and describe challenges inherent in PTM-SID-SRM-MS assay development. Application of highly qualified quantitative, SID-SRM-MS assays will enable a systems-level approach to understanding the dynamics and kinetics of signaling in host cells, such as the IIR.
The molecular mechanisms behind the pathogenesis of postburn hypertrophic scar (HS) remain unclear. Here, we investigate the role of the IL-6 trans-signaling-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)3 pathway in HS fibroblasts (HSFs) derived from post-burn HS skin. HSF showed increased Tyr 705 STAT3 phosphorylation compared with normal fibroblast (NF) after IL-6•IL-6R? stimulation by immunoassays. The endogenous STAT3 target gene, SOCS3, was upregulated in HSFs and showed increased STAT3 binding on its promoter relative to NFs in a chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. We observed that the cell-surface signaling transducer glycoprotein 130 is upregulated in HSFs by quantitative real-time reverse-transcriptase-PCR and flow cytometry. The production of excessive extracellular matrix (ECM), including the expression of alpha2 (1) procollagen (Col1A2) and fibronectin 1 (FN), was seen in HSFs. A STAT3 peptide inhibitor abrogated FN and Col1A2 gene expression in HSFs indicating involvement of STAT3 in ECM production. The cellular proliferation markers Cyclin D1, Bcl-Xl, and c-Myc were also upregulated in HSF, and knockdown of STAT3 by small interfering RNA attenuated c-Myc expression indicating the essential role of STAT3 in fibroblast proliferation. Taken together, our results suggest that the IL-6 trans-signaling-STAT3 pathway may have an integral role in HS pathogenesis, and disruption of this pathway could be a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of post-burn HS.
Biological experiments in the post-genome era can generate a staggering amount of complex data that challenges experimentalists to extract meaningful information. Increasingly, the success of an appropriately controlled experiment relies on a robust data analysis pipeline. In this paper, we present a structured approach to the analysis of multidimensional data that relies on a close, two-way communication between the bioinformatician and experimentalist. A sequential approach employing data exploration (visualization, graphical and analytical study), pre-processing, feature reduction and supervised classification using machine learning is presented. This standardized approach is illustrated by an example from a proteomic data analysis that has been used to predict the risk of infectious disease outcome. Strategies for model selection and post hoc model diagnostics are presented and applied to the case illustration. We discuss some of the practical lessons we have learned applying supervised classification to multidimensional data sets, one of which is the importance of feature reduction in achieving optimal modeling performance.
Nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) is an inducible cytoplasmic transcription factor that plays a role as a master regulator of airway mucosal inflammation. The prototypical ("canonical") NF-?B pathway controls cytoplasmic to nuclear translocation in response to stimulation by the mononuclear cytokine, TNF. Despite intensive investigation, the spectrum of kinases involved in the canonical NF-?B pathway has not yet been systematically determined. Here we have applied a high throughput siRNA-mediated loss-of-function screening assay to identify novel kinases important in TNF-induced NF-?B signaling. Type II A549 epithelial cells stably expressing an IL-8/luciferase reporter gene optimized for high throughput siRNA format (Z score of 0.65) and siRNAs for 636 human kinases were reverse-transfected and screened in the assay. 36 candidate genes were identified that inhibited TNF signaling with a Z score deviation of <-1.3 in replicate plates. From this group, 11 kinases were selected for independent validation, of which eight were successfully silenced. Six kinases were validated, including ATM, CDK2, -5, and -7, CALM3, MAPAKP5, and MAP3K/MEKK3. The surprising function of ATM in TNF signaling was confirmed where reduced NF-?B/RelA translocation and Ser-276 phosphorylation were seen in ATM(-/-) mouse embryo fibroblasts. These data indicate that ATM is a key regulatory kinase that may control global NF-?B activation in the TNF-induced canonical pathway.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus responsible for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) in humans. In experimental models of RSV LRTI, the actions of the nuclear factor ?B (NF-?B) transcription factor mediate inflammation and pathology. We have shown that RSV replication induces a mitogen-and-stress-related kinase 1 (MSK-1) pathway that activates NF-?B RelA transcriptional activity by a process involving serine phosphorylation at serine (Ser) residue 276. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which phospho-Ser276 RelA mediates expression of the NF-?B-dependent gene network. RelA-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) complemented with the RelA Ser276Ala mutant are deficient in CXCL2/Gro?, KC, and interleukin-6 (IL-6) expression, but NFKBIA/I?B? is preserved. We show that RSV-induced RelA Ser276 phosphorylation is required for acetylation at Lys310, an event required for transcriptional activity and stable association of RelA with the activated positive transcriptional elongation factor (PTEF-b) complex proteins, bromodomain 4 (Brd4), and cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9). In contrast to gene loading pattern of PTEF-b proteins produced by tumor necrosis factor (TNF) stimulation, RSV induces their initial clearance followed by partial reaccumulation coincident with RelA recruitment. The RSV-induced binding patterns of the CDK9 substrate, phospho-Ser2 RNA polymerase (Pol) II, follows a similar pattern of clearance and downstream gene reaccumulation. The functional role of CDK9 was examined using CDK9 small interfering RNA (siRNA) and CDK inhibitors, where RSV-induced NF-?B-dependent gene expression was significantly inhibited. Finally, although RSV induces a transition from short transcripts to fully spliced mRNA in wild-type RelA (RelA WT)-expressing cells, this transition is not seen in cells expressing RelA Ser276Ala. We conclude that RelA Ser276 phosphorylation mediates RelA acetylation, Brd4/CDK9 association, and activation of downstream inflammatory genes by transcriptional elongation in RSV infection.
The canonical nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) signaling pathway controls a gene network important in the cellular inflammatory response. Upon activation, NF-?B/RelA is released from cytoplasmic inhibitors, from where it translocates into the nucleus, subsequently activating negative feedback loops producing either monophasic or damped oscillatory nucleo-cytoplasmic dynamics. Although the population behavior of the NF-?B pathway has been extensively modeled, the sources of cell-to-cell variability are not well understood. We describe an integrated experimental-computational analysis of NF-?B/RelA translocation in a validated cell model exhibiting monophasic dynamics. Quantitative measures of cellular geometry and total cytoplasmic concentration and translocated RelA amounts were used as priors in Bayesian inference to estimate biophysically realistic parameter values based on dynamic live cell imaging studies of enhanced GFP-tagged RelA in stable transfectants. Bayesian inference was performed on multiple cells simultaneously, assuming identical reaction rate parameters, whereas cellular geometry and initial and total NF-?B concentration-related parameters were cell-specific. A subpopulation of cells exhibiting distinct kinetic profiles was identified that corresponded to differences in the I?B? translation rate. We conclude that cellular geometry, initial and total NF-?B concentration, I?B? translation, and I?B? degradation rates account for distinct cell-to-cell differences in canonical NF-?B translocation dynamics.
This work describes the mass distribution of all theoretically possibly tryptic peptides made of 20 amino acids, up to the mass of 3 kDa, with resolution of 0.001 Da. We characterize regions between the peaks of the distribution, including gaps (forbidden zones) and low-populated areas (quiet zones). We show how the gaps shrink over the mass range and when they completely disappear. We demonstrate that peptide compositions in quiet zones are less diverse than those in the peaks of the distribution and that by eliminating certain types of unrealistic compositions the gaps in the distribution may be increased. The mass distribution is generated using a parallel implementation of a recursive procedure that enumerates all amino acid compositions. It allows us to enumerate all compositions of tryptic peptides below 3 kDa in 48 min using a computer cluster with 12 Intel Xeon X5650 CPUs (72 cores). The results of this work can be used to facilitate protein identification and mass defect labeling in mass spectrometry-based proteomics experiments.
Nuclear Factor-?B (NF-?B) is a family of inducible transcription factors regulated by stimulus-induced protein interactions. In the cytoplasm, the NF-?B member RelA transactivator is inactivated by binding inhibitory I?Bs, whereas in its activated state, the serine-phosphorylated protein binds the p300 histone acetyltransferase. Here we describe the isolation of a ssDNA aptamer (termed P028F4) that binds to the activated (I?B?-dissociated) form of RelA with a K(D) of 6.4 × 10(-10), and its application in an enrichment-mass spectrometric quantification assay. ssDNA P028F4 competes with cognate duplex high affinity NF-?B binding sites for RelA binding in vitro, binds activated RelA in eukaryotic nuclei and reduces TNF?-stimulated endogenous NF-?B dependent gene expression. Incorporation of P028F4 as an affinity isolation step enriches for serine 536 phosphorylated and p300 coactivator complexed RelA, simultaneously depleting I?B?·RelA complexes. A stable isotope dilution (SID)-selected reaction monitoring (SRM)- mass spectrometry (MS) assay for RelA was developed that produced a linear response over 1,000 fold dilution range of input protein and had a 200 amol lower limit of quantification. This multiplex SID-SRM-MS RelA assay was used to quantify activated endogenous RelA in cytokine-stimulated eukaryotic cells isolated by single-step P028F4 enrichment. The aptamer-SID-SRM-MS assay quantified the fraction of activated RelA in subcellular extracts, detecting the presence of a cytoplasmic RelA reservoir unresponsive to TNF? stimulation. We conclude that aptamer-SID-SRM-MS is a versatile tool for quantification of activated NF-?B/RelA and its associated complexes in response to pathway activation.
Asthmatic patients are currently classified as either severe or non-severe based primarily on their response to glucocorticoids. However, because this classification is based on a post-hoc assessment of treatment response, it does not inform the rational staging of disease or therapy. Recent studies in other diseases suggest that a classification which includes molecular information could lead to more accurate diagnoses and prediction of treatment response. We therefore measured cytokine values in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples of the lower respiratory tract obtained from 83 asthma patients, and used bipartite network visualizations with associated quantitative measures to conduct an exploratory analysis of the co-occurrence of cytokines across patients. The analysis helped to identify three clusters of patients which had a complex but understandable interaction with three clusters of cytokines, leading to insights for a state-based classification of asthma patients. Furthermore, while the patient clusters were significantly different based on key pulmonary functions, they appeared to have no significant relationship to the current classification of asthma patients. These results suggest the need to define a molecular-based classification of asthma patients, which could improve the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
An important problem in realizing personalized medicine is the development of methods for identifying disease subtypes using quantitative proteomics. Recently we found that bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cytokine patterns contain information about dynamic lung responsiveness. In this study, we examined physiological data from 1,048 subjects enrolled in the US Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP) to identify four largely separable, quantitative intermediate phenotypes. Upper extremes in the study population were identified for eosinophil- or neutrophil-predominant inflammation, bronchodilation in response to albuterol treatment, or methacholine sensitivity. We evaluated four different statistical ("machine") learning methods to predict each intermediate phenotype using BAL A-cytokine measurements on a 76 subject subset. Comparison of these models using area under the ROC curve and overall classification accuracy indicated that logistic regression and multivariate adaptive regression splines produced the most accurate methods to predict intermediate asthma phenotypes. These robust classification methods will aid future translational studies in asthma targeted at specific intermediate phenotypes.
The respiratory epithelium plays a central role in innate immunity by secreting networks of inflammatory mediators in response to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. Previous proteomic studies focusing on the host cellular response to RSV indicated the existence of a nuclear heat shock response and cytoplasmic depletion of antioxidant proteins in model type II-like airway epithelial cells. Here, we increased the depth of nuclear proteomic interrogation by using fluorescence difference labeling followed by liquid isoelectric focusing prefractionation/two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) to identify an additional 41 proteins affected by RSV infection. Surprisingly, we found inducible oligomers and shifts in isoelectric points for peroxiredoxin 1 (Prdx-1), Prdx-3, and Prdx-4 isoforms without changes in their total abundance, indicating that Prdxs were being oxidized in response to RSV. To address the role of Prdx-1 and Prdx-4 in RSV infection, isoforms were selectively knocked down by small interfering RNA (siRNA) transfection. Cells lacking Prdx-1, Prdx-4, or both showed increased levels of reactive oxygen species formation and a higher level of protein carbonylation in response to RSV infection. Using a novel saturation fluorescence labeling 2-DE analysis, we showed that 15 unique proteins had enhanced oxidative modifications of at least >1.2-fold in the Prdx knockdowns in response to RSV, including annexin A2 and desmoplakin. Our results suggest that Prdx-1 and Prdx-4 are essential for preventing RSV-induced oxidative damage in a subset of nuclear intermediate filament and actin binding proteins in epithelial cells.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a negative-strand RNA virus, is the most common cause of epidemic respiratory disease in infants and young children. RSV infection of airway epithelial cells induces the expression of immune/inflammatory genes through the activation of a subset of transcription factors, including Nuclear Factor-?B (NF-?B). In this study we have investigated the role of the non canonical I?B kinase (IKK)? in modulating RSV-induced NF-?B activation. Our results show that inhibition of IKK? activation results in significant impairment of viral-induced NF-?B-dependent gene expression, through a reduction in NF-?B transcriptional activity, without changes in nuclear translocation or DNA-binding activity. Absence of IKK? results in a significant decrease of RSV-induced NF-?B phosphorylation on serine 536, a post-translational modification important for RSV-induced NF-?B-dependent gene expression, known to regulate NF-?B transcriptional activity without affecting nuclear translocation. This study identifies a novel mechanism by which IKK? regulates viral-induced cellular signaling.
The role of adventitial fibroblasts in the vascular inflammation observed in the adventitia of large vessels in numerous cardiovascular diseases remains unclear. Our objective was to explore the contribution of these cells to angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced aortic inflammation and adventitial expansion.
Vascular inflammation is a common pathophysiological response to diverse cardiovascular disease processes, including atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and aortic aneurysms/dissection. Inflammation is an ordered process initiated by vascular injury that produces enhanced leucocyte adherence, chemotaxis, and finally activation in situ. This process is coordinated by local secretion of adhesion molecules, chemotactic factors, and cytokines whose expression is the result of vascular injury-induced signal transduction networks. A wide variety of mediators of the vascular injury response have been identified; these factors include vasoactive peptides (angiotensin II, Ang II), CD40 ligands, oxidized cholesterol, and advanced glycation end-products. Downstream, the nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) transcription factor performs an important signal integration step, responding to mediators of vascular injury in a stimulus-dependent and cell type-specific manner. The ultimate consequence of NF-kappaB signalling is the activation of inflammatory genes including adhesion molecules and chemotaxins. However, clinically, the hallmark of vascular NF-kappaB activation is the production of interleukin-6 (IL-6), whose local role in vascular inflammation is relatively unknown. The recent elucidation for the role of the IL-6 signalling pathway in Ang II-induced vascular inflammation as one that controls monocyte activation as well as its diverse signalling mechanism will be reviewed. These new discoveries further our understanding for the important role of the NF-kappaB-IL-6 signalling pathway in the process of vascular inflammation.
The zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP) is an interferon-stimulated gene that restricts the replication of retroviruses, alphaviruses, and filoviruses. Relatively little is known, however, regarding the detailed mechanism of ZAP induction during viral infections. We show that, although being inducible by either interferon or virus, expression of ZAP is more efficiently activated by virus than are several other classical interferon-stimulated genes and that viral induction of ZAP occurs under the direct control of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) independent of interferon paracrine/autocrine signaling. ZAP was up-regulated in cells unresponsive to type I and III interferons upon engagement of TLR3, retinoic inducible gene I/melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 pathways, or ectopic expression of a constitutively active IRF3 mutant. Conversely, induction of ZAP by virus or dsRNA was severely impaired in cells expressing a dominant-negative mutant IRF3 and completely abrogated in cells lacking IRF3. In contrast to IRF3, ZAP induction was independent of NF-kappaB activity. Mutational analysis of the human ZAP promoter revealed that multiple interferon-stimulated response elements far distal to the transcription start site serve redundantly to control IRF3-dependent induction of ZAP transcription. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that IRF3 selectively binds the distal interferon-stimulated response elements in human ZAP promoter following viral infection. Collectively, these data suggest that ZAP is a direct target gene of IRF3 action in cellular antiviral responses.
The signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3) is a latent IL-6 inducible transcription factor that mediates hepatic and vascular inflammation. In this study, we make the novel observation that STAT3 forms an inducible complex with the apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1)/redox effector factor-1 (APE1/Ref-1), an essential multifunctional protein in DNA base excision repair, and studied the role of APE1/Ref-1 in STAT3 function. Using a transfection-coimmunoprecipitation assay, we observed that APE1 selectively binds the NH(2)-terminal acetylation domain of STAT3. Ectopic expression of APE1 potentiated inducible STAT3 reporter activity, whereas knockdown of APE1 resulted in reduced IL-6-inducible acute-phase reactant protein expression (C-reactive protein and serum amyloid P) and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 expression. The mechanism for APE1 requirement in IL-6 signaling was indicated by reduced STAT3 DNA binding activity observed in response to small interfering RNA-mediated APE1 silencing. Consistent with these in vitro studies, we also observed that lipopolysaccharide-induced activation of acute-phase reactant protein expression is significantly abrogated in APE1 heterozygous mice compared with wild-type mice. IL-6 induces both STAT3 and APE1 to bind the suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 and gamma-fibrionogen promoters in their native chromatin environment. Moreover, we observed that APE1 knockdown destabilized formation of the STAT3-inducible enhanceosome on the endogenous gamma-fibrionogen promoter. Taken together, our study indicates that IL-6 induces a novel STAT3-APE1 complex, whose interaction is required for stable chromatin association in the IL-6-induced hepatic acute phase response.
Vascular inflammation contributes to cardiovascular diseases such as aortic aneurysm and dissection. However, the precise inflammatory pathways involved have not been clearly defined. We have shown here that subcutaneous infusion of Ang II, a vasopressor known to promote vascular inflammation, into older C57BL/6J mice induced aortic production of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-6 and the monocyte chemoattractant MCP-1. Production of these factors occurred predominantly in the tunica adventitia, along with macrophage recruitment, adventitial expansion, and development of thoracic and suprarenal aortic dissections. In contrast, a reduced incidence of dissections was observed after Ang II infusion into mice lacking either IL-6 or the MCP-1 receptor CCR2. Further analysis revealed that Ang II induced CCR2+CD14hiCD11bhiF4/80- macrophage accumulation selectively in aortic dissections and not in aortas from Il6-/- mice. Adoptive transfer of Ccr2+/+ monocytes into Ccr2-/- mice resulted in selective monocyte uptake into the ascending and suprarenal aorta in regions of enhanced ROS stress, with restoration of IL-6 secretion and increased incidence of dissection. In vitro, coculture of monocytes and aortic adventitial fibroblasts produced MCP-1- and IL-6-enriched conditioned medium that promoted differentiation of monocytes into macrophages, induced CD14 and CD11b upregulation, and induced MCP-1 and MMP-9 expression. These results suggest that leukocyte-fibroblast interactions in the aortic adventitia potentiate IL-6 production, inducing local monocyte recruitment and activation, thereby promoting MCP-1 secretion, vascular inflammation, ECM remodeling, and aortic destabilization.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a human pathogen that induces airway inflammation, at least in part, by modulating gene expression programs in airway epithelial cells. The presence of RSV replication is detected by the intracellular retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) RNA helicase that forms a productive signaling complex with the mitochondrion-anchored MAVS protein, resulting in nuclear translocation of the NF-kappaB transcription factor. Although nuclear translocation is a prerequisite for activation of the innate inflammatory response, recent studies show that separate pathways governing RelA activation are also required for target gene expression. In this study, we examine the mechanism of RelA phosphorylation and its requirement for RSV-induced gene expression. RSV infection produced a time-dependent RelA phosphorylation on serine (Ser) residues Ser-276 and Ser-536 in parallel with enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) stress. Inhibition of RSV-induced ROS inhibited formation of phospho-Ser-276 RelA without affecting phospho-Ser-536 RelA formation. RSV potently induced activation of cytoplasmic mitogen- and stress-related kinase 1 (MSK1) in an ROS-dependent manner. Inhibition of MSK1 using H89 and small interfering RNA knockdown both reduced RSV-induced phospho-Ser-276 RelA formation and expression of a subset of NF-kappaB-dependent genes. Direct examination of the role of phospho-Ser-276 in target gene expression by expression of a RelA Ser-276-to-Ala site mutation in RelA(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts showed that the mutation was unable to mediate RSV-induced NF-kappaB-dependent gene expression. We conclude that RSV induces RelA activation in the innate inflammatory response via a pathway separate from that controlling RelA cytoplasmic release, mediated by ROS signaling to cytoplasmic MSK1 activation and RelA Ser-276 phosphorylation.
Single stranded RNA (ssRNA) virus infection activates the retinoic acid inducible gene I (RIG-I)- mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) complex, a complex that coordinates the host innate immune response via the NF-kappaB and IRF3 pathways. Recent work has shown that the IkappaB kinase (IKK)gamma scaffolding protein is the final common adapter protein required by RIG-I.MAVS to activate divergent rate-limiting kinases downstream controlling the NF-kappaB and IRF3 pathways. Previously we discovered a ubiquitous IKKgamma splice-variant, IKKgammaDelta, that exhibits distinct signaling properties.
Acute otitis media (AOM) results from a complex interplay between the infectious agents and host immune responses. Cytokines play a major role in the pathogenesis of AOM, but there are few studies on the systemic cytokine response during AOM.
Hyperspectral confocal fluorescence microscopy, when combined with multivariate curve resolution (MCR), provides a powerful new tool for improved quantitative imaging of multi-fluorophore samples. Generally, fully non-negatively constrained models are used in the constrained alternating least squares MCR analyses of hyperspectral images since real emission components are expected to have non-negative pure emission spectra and concentrations. However, in this paper, we demonstrate four separate cases in which partially constrained models are preferred over the fully constrained MCR models. These partially constrained MCR models can sometimes be preferred when system artifacts are present in the data or where small perturbations of the major emission components are present due to environmental effects or small geometric changes in the fluorescing species. Here we demonstrate that in the cases of hyperspectral images obtained from multicomponent spherical beads, autofluorescence from fixed lung epithelial cells, fluorescence of quantum dots in aqueous solutions, and images of mercurochrome-stained endosperm portions of a wild-type corn seed, these alternative, partially constrained MCR analyses provide improved interpretability of the MCR solutions. Often the system artifacts or environmental effects are more readily described as first and/or second derivatives of the main emission components in these alternative MCR solutions since they indicate spectral shifts and/or spectral broadening or narrowing of the emission bands, respectively. Thus, this paper serves to demonstrate the need to test alternative partially constrained models when analyzing hyperspectral images with MCR methods.
Translational science requires that scientists from multiple disciplines work together to improve the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of human disease. Although a literature exists on the design and management of multidisciplinary teams, little has been written on multidisciplinary translational teams (MTTs). MTTs are distinct hybrid entities, with goals taken from both industry and academic models. We identified 30 design factors in 10 domains from a literature survey relevant to our MTT model: specific goals, structures, and processes. These dimensions were adapted to our own institutional environment in the selection and management of 11 MTTs that exploited resources of University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards (CTSA). Case illustrations of two specific MTTs illustrate some of the challenges encountered and opportunities realized in terms of education and scientific advances. Network depiction of disciplinarity indicated that CTSA KRs and CTSA leadership contributed to discipline diversity especially in small (or nascent) MTTs. A separate depiction of MTT-KR utilization indicated that data analysis, translational technologies, and novel methods were heavily utilized by MTTs, whereas other KRs contributed significant effort to infrastructure development. We conclude that the CTSA can provide a rich infrastructural framework and scientific environment for the development of successful MTTs.
Junín virus, the etiological agent of Argentine hemorrhagic fever, causes significant morbidity and mortality. The virus is spread through the aerosolization of host rodent excreta and endemic to the humid pampas of Argentina. Recently, significant progress has been achieved with the development of new technologies (e.g. reverse genetics) that have expanded knowledge about the pathogenesis and viral replication of Junín virus. We will review the pathogenesis of Junín virus in various animal models and the role of innate and adaptive immunity during infection. We will highlight current research regarding the role of molecular biology of Junín virus in elucidating virus attenuation. We will also summarize current knowledge on Junín virus pathogenesis focusing on the recent development of vaccines and potential therapeutics.
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that leads to various degrees of recurrent respiratory symptoms affecting patients globally. Specific subgroups of asthma patients have severe disease leading to increased healthcare costs and socioeconomic burden. Despite the overwhelming prevalence of the asthma, there are limitations in predicting response to therapy and identifying patients who are at increased risk of morbidity. This syndrome presents with common clinical signs and symptoms; however, awareness of subgroups of asthma patients with distinct characteristics has surfaced in recent years. Investigators attempt to describe the phenotypes of asthma to ultimately assist with diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Approaches to asthma phenotyping are multifold; however, it can be partitioned into 2 essential groups, clinical phenotyping and molecular phenotyping. Innovative techniques such as bipartite network analysis and visual analytics introduce a new dimension of data analysis to identify underlying mechanistic pathways.
Prediction of mortality in severely burned patients remains unreliable. Although clinical covariates and plasma protein abundance have been used with varying degrees of success, the triad of burn size, inhalation injury, and age remains the most reliable predictor. We investigated the effect of combining proteomics variables with these three clinical covariates on prediction of mortality in burned children. Serum samples were collected from 330 burned children (burns covering >25% of the total body surface area) between admission and the time of the first operation for clinical chemistry analyses and proteomic assays of cytokines. Principal component analysis revealed that serum protein abundance and the clinical covariates each provided independent information regarding patient survival. To determine whether combining proteomics with clinical variables improves prediction of patient mortality, we used multivariate adaptive regression splines, because the relationships between analytes and mortality were not linear. Combining these factors increased overall outcome prediction accuracy from 52% to 81% and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve from 0.82 to 0.95. Thus, the predictive accuracy of burns mortality is substantially improved by combining protein abundance information with clinical covariates in a multivariate adaptive regression splines classifier, a model currently being validated in a prospective study.
Junín virus (JUNV), an arenavirus, is the causative agent of Argentine hemorrhagic fever, an infectious human disease with 15-30% case fatality. The pathogenesis of AHF is still not well understood. Elevated levels of interferon and cytokines are reported in AHF patients, which might be correlated to the severity of the disease. However the innate immune response to JUNV infection has not been well evaluated. Previous studies have suggested that the virulent strain of JUNV does not induce IFN in human macrophages and monocytes, whereas the attenuated strain of JUNV was found to induce IFN response in murine macrophages via the TLR-2 signaling pathway. In this study, we investigated the interaction between JUNV and IFN pathway in human epithelial cells highly permissive to JUNV infection. We have determined the expression pattern of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) and IFN-? at both mRNA and protein levels during JUNV infection. Our results clearly indicate that JUNV infection activates the type I IFN response. STAT1 phosphorylation, a downstream marker of activation of IFN signaling pathway, was readily detected in JUNV infected IFN-competent cells. Our studies also demonstrated for the first time that RIG-I was required for IFN production during JUNV infection. IFN activation was detected during infection by either the virulent or attenuated vaccine strain of JUNV. Curiously, both virus strains were relatively insensitive to human IFN treatment. Our studies collectively indicated that JUNV infection could induce host type I IFN response and provided new insights into the interaction between JUNV and host innate immune system, which might be important in future studies on vaccine development and antiviral treatment.
The NF-?B family plays a prominent role in the innate immune response, cell cycle activation or cell apoptosis. Upon stimulation by pathogen-associated patterns, such as viral RNA a kinase cascade is activated, which strips the NF-?B of its inhibitor I?B? molecule and allows it to translocate into the nucleus. Once in the nucleus, it activates transcription of approximately 90 genes whose kinetics of expression differ relative to when NF-?B translocates into the nucleus, referred to as Early, Middle and Late genes. It is not obvious what mechanism is responsible for segregation of the genes timing of transcriptional response.
The formation of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) brings new promise for moving basic science discoveries to clinical practice, ultimately improving the health of the nation. The Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) sites, now housed with NCATS, are organized and prepared to support in this endeavor. The CTSAs provide a foundation for capitalizing on such promise through provision of a disease-agnostic infrastructure devoted to clinical and translational (C&T) science, maintenance of training programs designed for C&T investigators of the future, by incentivizing institutional reorganization and by cultivating institutional support.
Improvements in the mass accuracy and resolution of mass spectrometers have greatly aided mass spectrometry-based proteomics in profiling complex biological mixtures. With the use of innovative bioinformatics approaches, high mass accuracy and resolution information can be used for filtering chemical noise in mass spectral data. Using our recent algorithmic developments, we have generated the mass distributions of all theoretical tryptic peptides composed of 20 natural amino acids and with masses limited to 3.5 kDa. Peptide masses are distributed discretely, with well-defined peak clusters separated by empty or sparsely populated trough regions. Accurate models for peak centers and widths can be used to filter peptide signals from chemical noise. We modeled mass defects, the difference between monoisotopic and nominal masses, and peak centers and widths in the peptide mass distributions. We found that peak widths encompassing 95% of all peptide sequences are substantially smaller than previously thought. The result has implications for filtering out larger stretches of the mass axis. Mass defects of peptides exhibit an oscillatory behavior which is damped at high mass values. The periodicity of the oscillations is about 14 Da which is the most common difference between the masses of the 20 natural amino acids. To determine the effects of amino acid modifications on our findings, we examined the mass distributions of peptides composed of the 20 natural amino acids, oxidized Met, and phosphorylated Ser, Thr, and Tyr. We found that extension of the amino acid set by modifications increases the 95% peak width. Mass defects decrease, reflecting the fact that the average mass defect of natural amino acids is larger than that of oxidized Met. We propose that a new model for mass defects and peak widths of peptides may improve peptide identifications by filtering chemical noise in mass spectral data.
Secondary dengue viral infection can produce capillary leakage associated with increased mortality known as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Because the mortality of DHF can be reduced by early detection and intensive support, improved methods for its detection are needed. We applied multidimensional protein profiling to predict outcomes in a prospective dengue surveillance study in South America. Plasma samples taken from initial clinical presentation of acute dengue infection were subjected to proteomics analyses using ELISA and a recently developed biofluid analysis platform. Demographics, clinical laboratory measurements, nine cytokines, and 419 plasma proteins collected at the time of initial presentation were compared between the DF and DHF outcomes. Here, the subjects gender, clinical parameters, two cytokines, and 42 proteins discriminated between the outcomes. These factors were reduced by multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS) that a highly accurate classification model based on eight discriminant features with an area under the receiver operator curve (AUC) of 0.999. Model analysis indicated that the feature-outcome relationship were nonlinear. Although this DHF risk model will need validation in a larger cohort, we conclude that approaches to develop predictive biomarker models for disease outcome will need to incorporate nonparametric modeling approaches.
A series of epidemiologic studies have identified the fungus Alternaria as a major risk factor for asthma. The airway epithelium plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of allergic asthma. These reports suggest that activated airway epithelial cells can produce cytokines such as IL-25, TSLP and IL-33 that induce Th2 phenotype. However the epithelium-derived products that mediate the pro-asthma effects of Alternaria are not well characterized. We hypothesized that exposure of the airway epithelium to Alternaria releasing cytokines that can induce Th2 differentiation.
Dengue virus infections are a major cause of morbidity in tropical countries. Early detection of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) may help identify individuals that would benefit from intensive therapy. Predictive modeling was performed using 11 laboratory values of 51 individuals (38 DF and 13 DHF) obtained on initial presentation using logistic regression. We produced a robust model with an area under the curve of 0.9615 that retained IL-10 levels, platelets, and lymphocytes as the major predictive features. A classification and regression tree was developed on these features that were 86% accurate on cross-validation. The IL-10 levels and platelet counts were also identified as the most informative features associated with DHF using a Random Forest classifier. In the presence of polymerase chain reaction-proven acute dengue infections, we suggest a complete blood count and rapid measurement of IL-10 can assist in the triage of potential DHF cases for close follow-up or clinical intervention improving clinical outcome.
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