DUX4 activates germline genes, retroelements, and immune mediators: implications for facioscapulohumeral dystrophy.
ABSTRACT Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy (FSHD) is one of the most common inherited muscular dystrophies. The causative gene remains controversial and the mechanism of pathophysiology unknown. Here we identify genes associated with germline and early stem cell development as targets of the DUX4 transcription factor, a leading candidate gene for FSHD. The genes regulated by DUX4 are reliably detected in FSHD muscle but not in controls, providing direct support for the model that misexpression of DUX4 is a causal factor for FSHD. Additionally, we show that DUX4 binds and activates LTR elements from a class of MaLR endogenous primate retrotransposons and suppresses the innate immune response to viral infection, at least in part through the activation of DEFB103, a human defensin that can inhibit muscle differentiation. These findings suggest specific mechanisms of FSHD pathology and identify candidate biomarkers for disease diagnosis and progression.
Article: Annotation, nomenclature and evolution of four novel homeobox genes expressed in the human germ line.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The homeobox genes comprise a large gene superfamily characterised by a conserved DNA motif encoding the homeodomain. Most homeodomain proteins function as transcription factors, and many have important roles in embryonic development and cell differentiation. Here we describe, annotate and name four novel homeobox genes in the human genome: ARGFX, DPRX, TPRX1 and DUXA. Each has generated multiple retrotransposed (processed) pseudogenes; these are reliable indicators of germ-line expression because only in germ-line cells can retrotransposition result in inheritance to the next generation. The retrotransposed sequences were exploited here as a novel means to deduce exon-intron boundaries. All four novel genes show accelerated rates of protein sequence evolution. This fast rate of sequence change may be connected with roles in human reproductive biology. Deducing the evolutionary origins of these genes is not straightforward, but we propose that TPRX1, DPRX and DUXA are highly divergent derivatives of the CRX gene, itself a member of the Otx homeobox gene family.Gene 02/2007; 387(1-2):7-14. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Defensins contribute to host defense by disrupting the cytoplasmic membrane of microorganisms. This report shows that human beta-defensins are also chemotactic for immature dendritic cells and memory T cells. Human beta-defensin was selectively chemotactic for cells stably transfected to express human CCR6, a chemokine receptor preferentially expressed by immature dendritic cells and memory T cells. The beta-defensin-induced chemotaxis was sensitive to pertussis toxin and inhibited by antibodies to CCR6. The binding of iodinated LARC, the chemokine ligand for CCR6, to CCR6-transfected cells was competitively displaced by beta-defensin. Thus, beta-defensins may promote adaptive immune responses by recruiting dendritic and T cells to the site of microbial invasion through interaction with CCR6.Science 11/1999; 286(5439):525-8. · 31.20 Impact Factor