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Weng C.-H.,Cornell University | Gupta S.,Hospital for Special Surgery | Geraghty P.,SUNY Downstate Medical Center | Foronjy R.,SUNY Downstate Medical Center | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Immunology | Year: 2016

Gene-environment interactions are known to play a key role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Exposure to cigarette smoke (CS) is one of the strongest environmental risk factors associated with RA and has been shown to mediate a range of complex immunomodulatory effects from decreased T and B cell activation to depressed phagocytic function. The effects of CS on the function of TH17 cells, one of the key TH effector subsets implicated in RA pathogenesis, are not fully understood. IRF4 is one of the crucial transcription factors involved in TH-17 differentiation and is absolutely required for the production of IL-17 and IL-21 but, interestingly, inhibits the synthesis of IL-22. The production of IL-17 and IL-21 by IRF4 can be augmented by its phosphorylation by the serine-threonine kinase ROCK2. Given that CS has been reported to increase ROCK activity in endothelial cells, here we investigated the effects of CS on the ROCK2-IRF4 axis in T cells. Surprisingly, we found that CS leads to decreased ROCK2 activation and IRF4 phosphorylation in T cells. This effect was associated with increased IL-22 production. Using a GEF pull-down assay we furthermore identify ARHGEF1 as a key upstream regulator of ROCK2 whose activity in T cells is inhibited by CS. Thus CS can inhibit the ROCK2-IRF4 axis and modulate T cell production of IL-22. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Wang S.,Comprehensive Care | Deng Z.,Comprehensive Care | Deng Z.,Shenzhen ENT Institute | Seneviratne C.J.,National University of Singapore | And 5 more authors.
Innate Immunity | Year: 2015

Enterococcus faecalis is considered a major bacterial pathogen implicated in endodontic infections and contributes considerably to periapical periodontitis. This study aimed to investigate the potential mechanisms by which E. faecalis accounts for the bone destruction in periapical periodontitis in vitro. Osteoclast precursor RAW264.7 cells were treated with E. faecalis ATCC 29212 and a wild strain of E. faecalis derived clinically from an infected root canal. The results showed that, to some extent, E. faecalis induced the RAW264.7 cells to form tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive multinucleated osteoclast-like cells. This pathogen markedly stimulated RAW264.7 cells to express semaphorin 4D (Sema4D), which inhibits bone formation. Once RAW264.7 cells were primed by low-dose receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL), E. faecalis could significantly increase the production of TRAP-positive multinucleated cells and up-regulate the expression of osteoclast-specific markers, including NFATc1, TRAP and cathepsin K. Both p38 and ERK1/2 MAPK signaling pathways were activated by E. faecalis in RANKL-primed RAW264.7 cells, and meanwhile the expression of Sema4D was highly increased. In conclusion, E. faecalis may greatly contribute to the bone resorption in periapical periodontitis by promoting RANKL-dependent osteoclastogenesis and expression of Sema4D through activation of p38 and ERK1/2 MAPK signaling pathways. © SAGE Publications.

Liu Y.,Ansary Stem Cell Institute | Liu Y.,Rockefeller University | Giannopoulou E.G.,New York City College of Technology | Giannopoulou E.G.,David sensweig Genomics Research Center | And 6 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2016

Spermatogonial stem and progenitor cells (SSCs) generate adult male gametes. During in vitro expansion, these unipotent murine cells spontaneously convert to multipotent adult spermatogonial-derived stem cells (MASCs). Here we investigate this conversion process through integrative transcriptomic and epigenomic analyses. We find in SSCs that promoters essential to maintenance and differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are enriched with histone H3-lysine4 and-lysine 27 trimethylations. These bivalent modifications are maintained at most somatic promoters after conversion, bestowing MASCs an ESC-like promoter chromatin. At enhancers, the core pluripotency circuitry is activated partially in SSCs and completely in MASCs, concomitant with loss of germ cell-specific gene expression and initiation of embryonic-like programs. Furthermore, SSCs in vitro maintain the epigenomic characteristics of germ cells in vivo. Our observations suggest that SSCs encode innate plasticity through the epigenome and that both conversion of promoter chromatin states and activation of cell type-specific enhancers are prominent features of reprogramming.

Chakravarty D.,Cornell University | Sboner A.,Cornell University | Nair S.S.,George Washington University | Giannopoulou E.,New York City College of Technology | And 24 more authors.
Nature Communications | Year: 2014

The androgen receptor (AR) plays a central role in establishing an oncogenic cascade that drives prostate cancer progression. Some prostate cancers escape androgen dependence and are often associated with an aggressive phenotype. The oestrogen receptor alpha (ERα) is expressed in prostate cancers, independent of AR status. However, the role of ERα remains elusive. Using a combination of chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and RNA-sequencing data, we identified an ERα -specific non-coding transcriptome signature. Among putatively ERα -regulated intergenic long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), we identified nuclear enriched abundant transcript 1 (NEAT1) as the most significantly overexpressed lncRNA in prostate cancer. Analysis of two large clinical cohorts also revealed that NEAT1 expression is associated with prostate cancer progression. Prostate cancer cells expressing high levels of NEAT1 were recalcitrant to androgen or AR antagonists. Finally, we provide evidence that NEAT1 drives oncogenic growth by altering the epigenetic landscape of target gene promoters to favour transcription. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Donlin L.T.,David sensweig Genomics Research Center | Jayatilleke A.,David sensweig Genomics Research Center | Jayatilleke A.,Drexel University | Giannopoulou E.G.,David sensweig Genomics Research Center | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Immunology | Year: 2014

Mesenchymal stromal cells have emerged as powerful modulators of the immune system. In this study, we explored how the human macrophage response to TNF is regulated by human synovial fibroblasts, the representative stromal cell type in the synovial lining of joints that become activated during inflammatory arthritis. We found that synovial fibroblasts strongly suppressed TNF-mediated induction of an IFN-β autocrine loop and downstream expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), including chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10 that are characteristic of classical macrophage activation. TNF induced the production of soluble synovial fibroblast factors that suppressed the macrophage production of IFN-β, and cooperated with TNF to limit the responsiveness of macrophages to IFN-β by suppressing activation of Jak-STAT signaling. Genome-wide transcriptome analysis showed that cocultured synovial fibroblasts modulate the expression of approximately one third of TNF-regulated genes in macrophages, including genes in pathways important for macrophage survival and polarization toward an alternatively activated phenotype. Pathway analysis revealed that gene expression programs regulated by synovial fibroblasts in our coculture system were also regulated in rheumatoid arthritis synovial macrophages, suggesting that these fibroblast-mediated changes may contribute to rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis. This work furthers our understanding of the interplay between innate immune and stromal cells during an inflammatory response, one that is particularly relevant to inflammatory arthritis. Our findings also identify modulation of macrophage phenotype as a new function for synovial fibroblasts that may prove to be a contributing factor in arthritis pathogenesis. Copyright 2014 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

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