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    ABSTRACT: Chemokines are a family of low molecular weight proteins with an essential role in leukocyte trafficking during both homeostasis and inflammation. The CC class of chemokines consists of at least 28 members (CCL1-28) that signal through 10 known chemokine receptors (CCR1-10). CC chemokine receptors are expressed predominantly by T cells and monocyte-macrophages, cell types associated predominantly with chronic inflammation occurring over weeks or years. Chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and metabolic syndrome are characterized by continued leukocyte infiltration into the inflammatory site, driven in large part by excessive chemokine production. Over years or decades, persistent inflammation may lead to loss of tissue architecture and function, causing severe disability or, in the case of atherosclerosis, fatal outcomes such as myocardial infarction or stroke. Despite the existence of several clinical strategies for targeting chronic inflammation, these diseases remain significant causes of morbidity and mortality globally, with a concomitant economic impact. Thus, the development of novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease continues to be a priority. In this review we introduce CC chemokine receptors as critical mediators of chronic inflammatory responses and explore their potential role as pharmacological targets. We discuss functions of individual CC chemokine receptors based on in vitro pharmacological data as well as transgenic animal studies. Focusing on three key forms of chronic inflammation-rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, and metabolic syndrome-we describe the pathologic function of CC chemokine receptors and their possible relevance as therapeutic targets.
    Pharmacological reviews 12/2013; 65(1):47-89.
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophage infection is considered to play an important role in HIV-1 pathogenesis and persistence. Using a primary cell-based co-culture model we show that monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) efficiently transmit a high multiplicity HIV-1 infection to autologous CD4(+) T cells through a viral envelope glycoprotein (Env)-receptor and actin-dependent virological synapse (VS), facilitated by interactions between ICAM-1 and LFA-1. VS-mediated transmission by MDM results in high levels of T cell HIV-1 integration and is 1-2 orders of magnitude more efficient than cell-free infection. This mode of cell-to-cell transmission is broadly susceptible to the activity of CD4 binding site (CD4bs) and glycan or glycopeptide epitope-specific broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bNmAbs), but shows resistance to bNmAbs targeting the Env gp41 subunit membrane-proximal external region. These data define for the first time the structure and function of the macrophage-to-T cell VS and have important implications for bNmAb activity in HIV-1 prophylaxis and therapy.
    Journal of Virology 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: CP110 is a conserved centriole protein implicated in the regulation of cell division, centriole duplication, and centriole length and in the suppression of ciliogenesis. Surprisingly, we report that mutant flies lacking CP110 (CP110Δ) were viable and fertile and had no obvious defects in cell division, centriole duplication, or cilia formation. We show that CP110 has at least three functions in flies. First, it subtly influences centriole length by counteracting the centriole-elongating activity of several centriole duplication proteins. Specifically, we report that centrioles are ∼10% longer than normal in CP110Δ mutants and ∼20% shorter when CP110 is overexpressed. Second, CP110 ensures that the centriolar microtubules do not extend beyond the distal end of the centriole, as some centriolar microtubules can be more than 50 times longer than the centriole in the absence of CP110. Finally, and unexpectedly, CP110 suppresses centriole overduplication induced by the overexpression of centriole duplication proteins. These studies identify novel and surprising functions for CP110 in vivo in flies.
    The Journal of Cell Biology 12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Polymorphisms in the intracellular pattern recognition receptor gene NLRP3 (NLR family, pyrin domain containing 3) have been associated with susceptibility to Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease. Following tissue damage or infection, NLRP3 triggers the formation of inflammasomes, containing NLRP3, ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD domain), and caspase-1, that mediate secretion of interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18. However, the precise role of NLRP3 inflammasomes in mucosal inflammation and barrier protection remains unclear. Here we show that upon infection with the attaching/effacing intestinal pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, Nlrp3(-/-) and Asc(-/-) mice displayed increased bacterial colonization and dispersion, more severe weight loss, and exacerbated intestinal inflammation. Analyses of irradiation bone marrow chimeras revealed that protection from disease was mediated through Nlrp3 activation in nonhematopoietic cells and was initiated very early after infection. Thus, early activation of Nlrp3 in intestinal epithelial cells limits pathogen colonization and prevents subsequent pathology, potentially providing a functional link between NLRP3 polymorphisms and susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 27 November 2013; doi:10.1038/mi.2013.94.
    Mucosal Immunology 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: The inflammasomes have an important role in connecting the detection of endogenous and microbial danger signals to caspase-1 activation and induction of protective immune responses. NLRC4 is a cytosolic NOD (nucleotide binding and oligomerization domain)-like receptor (NLR) that can trigger inflammasome formation in response to bacterial flagellin, an immunodominant antigen in the intestine. To characterize the role of NLRC4 in bacterially triggered intestinal inflammation, we used the murine pathogen Citrobacter rodentium, an extracellular, attaching/effacing bacterium similar to enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli and enteropathogenic E. coli. Following infection with C. rodentium, we found that Nlrc4(-/-) mice developed more severe weight loss, increased bacterial colonization levels, and exacerbated intestinal inflammation compared with wild-type counterparts. Nlrc4(-/-) mice mounted robust adaptive immune responses but were unable to control early colonization by C. rodentium, suggesting that a defect in innate immunity was responsible. Experiments using bone marrow (BM) chimeras revealed that the protective effects of NLRC4 were dependent on its expression in non-hematopoietic cells, and quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) analyses revealed that NLRC4 was highly expressed in epithelial crypts but not in intestinal stroma. Thus, early NLRC4 sensing in intestinal epithelial cells regulates colonization by an extracellular bacterial pathogen and limits subsequent intestinal damage.Mucosal Immunology advance online publication, 27 November 2013; doi:10.1038/mi.2013.95.
    Mucosal Immunology 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: In this issue of Molecular Cell, Castellano-Pozo et al. (2013) describe a connection between R loop structures and histone 3 S10 phosphorylation (H3S10P), a mark of chromatin compaction. Their results constitute a significant advance in our understanding of the role of R loops in genomic instability.
    Molecular cell 11/2013; 52(4):470-472.
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    ABSTRACT: Cell shape is one, often overlooked, way in which protozoan parasites have adapted to a variety of host and vector environments and directional transmissions between these environments. Consequently, different parasite life cycle stages have characteristic morphologies. Trypanosomatid parasites are an excellent example of this in which large morphological variations between species and life cycle stage occur, despite sharing well-conserved cytoskeletal and membranous structures. Here, using previously published reports in the literature of the morphology of 248 isolates of trypanosomatid species from different hosts, we perform a meta-analysis of the occurrence and limits on morphological diversity of different classes of trypanosomatid morphology (trypomastigote, promastigote, etc.) in the vertebrate bloodstream and invertebrate gut environments. We identified several limits on cell body length, cell body width and flagellum length diversity which can be interpreted as biomechanical limits on the capacity of the cell to attain particular dimensions. These limits differed for morphologies with and without a laterally attached flagellum which we suggest represent two morphological superclasses, the 'juxtaform' and 'liberform' superclasses. Further limits were identified consistent with a selective pressure from the mechanical properties of the vertebrate bloodstream environment; trypanosomatid size showed limits relative to host erythrocyte dimensions. This is the first comprehensive analysis of the limits of morphological diversity in any protozoan parasite, revealing the morphogenetic constraints and extrinsic selection pressures associated with the full diversity of trypanosomatid morphology.
    PLoS ONE 11/2013; 8(11):e79581.
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    ABSTRACT: In this issue of Molecular Cell, two studies (Chen et al., 2013; Schröder et al., 2013) describe how posttranslational modification of RNA polymerases (Pol) I and II by acetylation mediates the transcriptional response to either stress or growth factors.
    Molecular cell 11/2013; 52(3):287-8.
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    ABSTRACT: CD47 is a broadly expressed membrane protein that interacts with the myeloid inhibitory immunoreceptor SIRPα (also termed CD172a or SHPS-1). SIRPα is the prototypic member of the SIRP paired receptor family of closely related SIRP proteins. Engagement of SIRPα by CD47 provides a downregulatory signal that inhibits host cell phagocytosis, and CD47 therefore functions as a "don't-eat-me" signal. Here, we discuss recent structural analysis of CD47-SIRPα interactions and implications of this for the function and evolution of SIRPα and paired receptors in general. Furthermore, we review the proposed roles of CD47-SIRPα interactions in phagocytosis, (auto)immunity, and host defense, as well as its potential significance as a therapeutic target in cancer and inflammation and for improving graft survival in xenotransplantation. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Immunology Volume 32 is March 21, 2014. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/catalog/pubdates.aspx for revised estimates.
    Annual Review of Immunology 11/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Microbial-lipopolysacharide (LPS), interleukin 4 (IL-4) and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) polarise macrophages into "innate", "alternative" and "classical", activation states by selective gene regulation. Expression of MARCO, CD200, CD200R1 (innate), MRC1 (alternative) and H2-Eb1 (classical) selectively marks these distinct activation states. Epigenetic events drive such activation upon stimuli and here we study one such mechanism, chromatin conformation signatures implicated in long-range chromatin interactions that regulate transcriptional switch and gene expression. The EpiSwitch™ technology was used to identify and analyse potential markers bordering such conformational signatures for these genes and juxtaposition of markers was compared between resting and activated macrophages. LPS, IL-4 and IFN-γ selectively altered chromatin conformations of their responsive genes in wild type, but not in MyD88(-/-), IL-4R(-/-) and IFN-γR(-/-) macrophages. In addition, two distinct conformations were observed in CD200R1 after LPS and IFN-γ stimulation. In summary, signal-specific alterations in chromatin conformation provide biomarkers that identify and determine distinct gene expression programmes during macrophage activation.
    International immunopharmacology 11/2013;
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