[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by the accumulation of lipid-loaded macrophages in the arterial wall. We demonstrate that macrophage lipid body formation can be induced by modified lipoproteins or by inflammatory Toll-like receptor agonists. We used an unbiased approach to study the overlap in these pathways to identify regulators that control foam cell formation and atherogenesis. An analysis method integrating epigenomic and transcriptomic datasets with a transcription factor (TF) binding site prediction algorithm suggested that the TF ATF3 may regulate macrophage foam cell formation. Indeed, we found that deletion of this TF results in increased lipid body accumulation, and that ATF3 directly regulates transcription of the gene encoding cholesterol 25-hydroxylase. We further showed that production of 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-HC) promotes macrophage foam cell formation. Finally, deletion of ATF3 in Apoe(-/-) mice led to in vivo increases in foam cell formation, aortic 25-HC levels, and disease progression. These results define a previously unknown role for ATF3 in controlling macrophage lipid metabolism and demonstrate that ATF3 is a key intersection point for lipid metabolic and inflammatory pathways in these cells.
Journal of Experimental Medicine 04/2012; 209(4):807-17. DOI:10.1084/jem.20111202 · 12.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a microfluidic immunoassay device that permits sensitive and quantitative multiplexed protein measurements on nano-liter-scale samples. The device exploits the combined power of integrated microfluidics and optically encoded microspheres to create an array of approximately 100-microm(2) sensors functionalized with capture antibodies directed against distinct targets. This strategy overcomes the need for performing biochemical coupling of affinity reagents to the device substrate, permits multiple proteins to be detected in a nano-liter-scale sample, is scalable to large numbers of samples, and has the required sensitivity to measure the abundance of proteins derived from single mammalian cells. The sensitivity of the device is sufficient to detect 1000 copies of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in a volume of 4.7nl.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although iron is required to sustain life, its free concentration and metabolism have to be tightly regulated. This is achieved through a variety of iron-binding proteins including transferrin and ferritin. During infection, bacteria acquire much of their iron from the host by synthesizing siderophores that scavenge iron and transport it into the pathogen. We recently demonstrated that enterochelin, a bacterial catecholate siderophore, binds to the host protein lipocalin 2 (ref. 5). Here, we show that this event is pivotal in the innate immune response to bacterial infection. Upon encountering invading bacteria the Toll-like receptors on immune cells stimulate the transcription, translation and secretion of lipocalin 2; secreted lipocalin 2 then limits bacterial growth by sequestrating the iron-laden siderophore. Our finding represents a new component of the innate immune system and the acute phase response to infection.