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Katoh H.,Hokkaido University | Zheng P.,University of Michigan | Liu Y.,Center for Cancer and Immunology Research
Journal of Autoimmunity | Year: 2013

FOXP3 plays an essential role in the maintenance of self-tolerance and, thus, in preventing autoimmune diseases. Inactivating mutations of FOXP3 cause immunodysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, and enteropathy, X-linked syndrome. FOXP3-expressing regulatory T cells attenuate autoimmunity as well as immunity against cancer and infection. More recent studies demonstrated that FOXP3 is an epithelial cell-intrinsic tumor suppressor for breast, prostate, ovary and other cancers. Corresponding to its broad function, FOXP3 regulates a broad spectrum of target genes. While it is now well established that FOXP3 binds to and regulates thousands of target genes in mouse and human genomes, the fundamental mechanisms of its broad impact on gene expression remain to be established. FOXP3 is known to both activate and repress target genes by epigenetically regulating histone modifications of target promoters. In this review, we first focus on germline mutations found in the FOXP3 gene among IPEX patients, then outline possible molecular mechanisms by which FOXP3 epigenetically regulates its targets. Finally, we discuss clinical implications of the function of FOXP3 as an epigenetic modifier. Accumulating results reveal an intriguing functional convergence between FOXP3 and inhibitors of histone deacetylases. The essential epigenetic function of FOXP3 provides a foundation for experimental therapies against autoimmune diseases. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Geng X.,University of Arkansas at Little Rock | Wu W.,University of Arkansas at Little Rock | Li N.,Center for Cancer and Immunology Research | Sun W.,University of Arkansas at Little Rock | And 5 more authors.
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2014

The hydrogen evolution reaction in an alkaline environment using a nonprecious catalyst with much greater efficiency represents a critical challenge in research. Here, a robust and highly active system for hydrogen evolution reaction in alkaline solution is reported by developing MoS2 nanosheet arrays vertically aligned on graphene-mediated 3D Ni networks. The catalytic activity of the 3D MoS2 nanostructures is found to increase by 2 orders of magnitude as compared to the Ni networks without MoS2. The MoS2 nanosheets vertically grow on the surface of graphene by employing tetrakis(diethylam inodithiocarbomato)molybdate(IV) as the molybdenum and sulfur source in a chemical vapor deposition process. The few-layer MoS2 nanosheets on 3D graphene/nickel structure can maximize the exposure of their edge sites at the atomic scale and present a superior catalysis activity for hydrogen production. In addition, the backbone structure facilitates as an excellent electrode for charge transport. This precious-metal-free and highly efficient active system enables prospective opportunities for using alkaline solution in industrial applications. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Brown N.K.,University of Michigan | Brown N.K.,Center for Cancer and Immunology Research | Zhou Z.,University of Michigan | Zhang J.,University of Michigan | And 5 more authors.
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology | Year: 2014

Perivascular adipose tissue (PVAT), long assumed to be nothing more than vessel-supporting connective tissue, is now understood to be an important, active component of the vasculature, with integral roles in vascular health and disease. PVAT is an adipose tissue with similarities to both brown and white adipose tissue, although recent evidence suggests that PVAT develops from its own precursors. Like other adipose tissue depots, PVAT secretes numerous biologically active substances that can act in both autocrine and paracrine fashion. PVAT has also proven to be involved in vascular inflammation. Although PVAT can support inflammation during atherosclerosis via macrophage accumulation, emerging evidence suggests that PVAT also has antiatherosclerotic properties related to its abilities to induce nonshivering thermogenesis and metabolize fatty acids. We here discuss the accumulated knowledge of PVAT biology and related research on models of hypertension and atherosclerosis. © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.

Zheng P.,University of Michigan | Chang X.,La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology | Lu Q.,Central South University | Liu Y.,Center for Cancer and Immunology Research
Journal of Autoimmunity | Year: 2013

A long-standing but poorly understood defect in autoimmune diseases is dysfunction of the hematopoietic cells. Leukopenia is often associated with systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) and other autoimmune diseases. In addition, homeostatic proliferation of T cells, which is a host response to T-cell lymphopenia, has been implicated as potential cause of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in human and experimental models of autoimmune diabetes in the NOD mice and the BB rats. Conversely, successful treatments of aplastic anemia by immune suppression suggest that the hematologic abnormality may have a root in autoimmune diseases. Traditionally, the link between autoimmune diseases and defects in hematopoietic cells has been viewed from the prism of antibody-mediated hemolytic cytopenia. While autoimmune destruction may well be part of pathogenesis of defects in hematopoietic system, it is worth considering the hypothesis that either leukopenia or pancytopenia may also result directly from defective hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). We have recently tested this hypothesis in the autoimmune Scurfy mice which has mutation Foxp3, the master regulator of regulatory T cells. Our data demonstrated that due to hyperactivation of mTOR, the HSC in the Scurfy mice are extremely poor in hematopoiesis. Moreover, rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor rescued HSC defects and prolonged survival of the Scurfy mice. Our data raised the intriguing possibility that targeting mTOR dysregulation in the HSC may help to break the vicious cycle between cytopenia and autoimmune diseases. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Li W.,University of Michigan | Katoh H.,Hokkaido University | Wang L.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Yu X.,University of Michigan | And 4 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

FOXP3 is an X-linked tumor suppressor gene and a master regulator in T regulatory cell function. This gene has been found to be mutated frequently in breast and prostate cancers and to inhibit tumor cell growth, but its functional significance in DNA repair has not been studied. We found that FOXP3 silencing stimulates homologous recombination-mediated DNA repair and also repair of g-irradiation-induced DNA damage. Expression profiling and chromatin- immunoprecipitation analyses revealed that FOXP3 regulated the BRCA1-mediated DNA repair program. Among 48 FOXP3-regulated DNA repair genes, BRCA1 and 12 others were direct targets of FOXP3 transcriptional control. Site-specific interaction of FOXP3 with the BRCA1 promoter repressed its transcription. Somatic FOXP3 mutants identified in breast cancer samples had reduced BRCA1 repressor activity, whereas FOXP3 silencing and knock-in of a prostate cancer-derived somatic FOXP3 mutant increased the radioresistance of cancer cells. Together our findings provide a missing link between FOXP3 function and DNA repair programs. © 2012 American Association for Cancer Research.

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