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Mcintyre D.C.,Duke University | Mcintyre D.C.,Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine | Lyons D.C.,Duke University | Martik M.,Duke University | Mcclay D.R.,Duke University
Genesis | Year: 2014

Summary: It is a challenge to understand how the information encoded in DNA is used to build a three-dimensional structure. To explore how this works the assembly of a relatively simple skeleton has been examined at multiple control levels. The skeleton of the sea urchin embryo consists of a number of calcite rods produced by 64 skeletogenic cells. The ectoderm supplies spatial cues for patterning, essentially telling the skeletogenic cells where to position themselves and providing the factors for skeletal growth. Here, we describe the information known about how this works. First the ectoderm must be patterned so that the signaling cues are released from precise positions. The skeletogenic cells respond by initiating skeletogenesis immediately beneath two regions (one on the right and the other on the left side). Growth of the skeletal rods requires additional signaling from defined ectodermal locations, and the skeletogenic cells respond to produce a membrane-bound template in which the calcite crystal grows. Important in this process are three signals, fibroblast growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor, and Wnt5. Each is necessary for explicit tasks in skeleton production. genesis 52:173-185. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Foley P.L.,Cornell University | Foley P.L.,Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine | Wilson D.B.,Cornell University | Shuler M.L.,Cornell University
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications | Year: 2010

The shape and compaction of the bacterial nucleoid may affect the accessibility of genetic material to the transcriptional machinery in natural and synthetic systems. To investigate this phenomenon, the nature and contribution of RNA and protein to the compaction of nucleoids that had been gently released from Escherichia coli cells were investigated using fluorescent and transmission electron microscopy. We propose that the removal of RNA from the bacterial nucleoid affects nucleoid compaction by altering the branching density and molecular weight of the nucleoid. We show that a common detergent in nucleoid preparations, Brij 58, plays a previously unrecognized role as a macromolecular crowding agent. RNA-free nucleoids adopt a compact structure similar in size to exponential-phase nucleoids when the concentration of Brij 58 is increased, consistent with our hypothesis. We present evidence that control and proteinfree nucleoids behave similarly in solutions containing a macromolecular crowding agent. These results show that the contribution to DNA compaction by nucleoid-associated proteins is small when compared to macromolecular crowding effects. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

Mulligan C.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Fitzgerald G.A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Wang D.-N.,Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine | Wang D.-N.,New York University | Mindell J.A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health
Journal of General Physiology | Year: 2014

The SLC13 transporter family, whose members play key physiological roles in the regulation of fatty acid synthesis, adiposity, insulin resistance, and other processes, catalyzes the transport of Krebs cycle intermediates and sulfate across the plasma membrane of mammalian cells. SLC13 transporters are part of the divalent anion:Na+ symporter (DASS) family that includes several well-characterized bacterial members. Despite sharing significant sequence similarity, the functional characteristics of DASS family members differ with regard to their substrate and coupling ion dependence. The publication of a high resolution structure of dimer VcINDY, a bacterial DASS family member, provides crucial structural insight into this transporter family. However, marrying this structural insight to the current functional understanding of this family also demands a comprehensive analysis of the transporter's functional properties. To this end, we purified VcINDY, reconstituted it into liposomes, and determined its basic functional characteristics. Our data demonstrate that VcINDY is a high affinity, Na+-dependent transporter with a preference for C4- and C5-dicarboxylates. Transport of the model substrate, succinate, is highly pH dependent, consistent with VcINDY strongly preferring the substrate's dianionic form. VcINDY transport is electrogenic with succinate coupled to the transport of three or more Na+ ions. In contrast to succinate, citrate, bound in the VcINDY crystal structure (in an inward-facing conformation), seems to interact only weakly with the transporter in vitro. These transport properties together provide a functional framework for future experimental and computational examinations of the VcINDY transport mechanism.

Zanin-Zhorov A.,Kadmon Research Institute | Weiss J.M.,Kadmon Research Institute | Nyuydzefe M.S.,Kadmon Research Institute | Chen W.,Kadmon Research Institute | And 18 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

Rho-associated kinase 2 (ROCK2) regulates the secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and the development of autoimmunity in mice. Data from a phase 1 clinical trial demonstrate that oral administration of KD025, a selective ROCK2 inhibitor, to healthy human subjects down-regulates the ability of T cells to secrete IL-21 and IL-17 by 90% and 60%, respectively, but not IFN-γ in response to T-cell receptor stimulation in vitro. Pharmacological inhibition with KD025 or siRNA-mediated inhibition of ROCK2, but not ROCK1, significantly diminished STAT3 phosphorylation and binding to IL-17 and IL-21 promoters and reduced IFN regulatory factor 4 and nuclear hormone RAR-related orphan receptor γt protein levels in T cells derived from healthy subjects or rheumatoid arthritis patients. Simultaneously, treatment with KD025 also promotes the suppressive function of regulatory T cells through up-regulation of STAT5 phosphorylation and positive regulation of forkhead box p3 expression. The administration of KD025 in vivo down-regulates the progression of collagen-induced arthritis in mice via targeting of the Th17-mediated pathway. Thus, ROCK2 signaling appears to be instrumental in regulating the balance between proinflammatory and regulatory T-cell subsets. Targeting of ROCK2 in man may therefore restore disrupted immune homeostasis and have a role in the treatment of autoimmunity.

Xiong H.,Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine | Xiong H.,New York University | Dolpady J.,Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine | Wabl M.,University of California at San Francisco | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Experimental Medicine | Year: 2012

IgE antibodies with high affinity for their antigens can be stably cross-linked at low concentrations by trace amounts of antigen, whereas IgE antibodies with low affinity bind their antigens weakly. In this study, we find that there are two distinct pathways to generate high and low affinity IgE. High affinity IgE is generated through sequential class switching (μ→γ→ε) in which an intermediary IgG phase is necessary for the affinity maturation of the IgE response, where the IgE inherits somatic hypermutations and high affinity from the IgG1 phase. In contrast, low affinity IgE is generated through direct class switching (μ→ε) and is much less mutated. Mice deficient in IgG1 production cannot produce high affinity IgE, even after repeated immunizations. We demonstrate that a small amount of high affinity IgE can cause anaphylaxis and is pathogenic. Low affinity IgE competes with high affinity IgE for binding to Fcε receptors and prevents anaphylaxis and is thus beneficial. © 2012 Xiong et al.

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