[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alveolar macrophages (AMs) phagocytose Bacillus anthracis following inhalation and induce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines to mediate the activation of innate immunity. Ames, the virulent strain of B. anthracis, contains two plasmids that encode the antiphagocytic poly-γ-d-glutamic acid capsule and the lethal toxin. The attenuated Sterne strain of B. anthracis, which lacks the plasmid encoding capsule, is widely adapted as a vaccine strain. Although differences in the outcome of infection with the two strains may have originated from the presence or absence of an anti-phagocytic capsule, the disease pathogenesis following infection will be manifested via the host responses, which is not well understood. To gain understanding of the host responses at cellular level, a microarray analysis was performed using primary rhesus macaque AMs infected with either Ames or Sterne spores. Notably, 528 human orthologs were identified to be differentially expressed in AMs infected with either strain of the B. anthracis. Meta-analyses revealed genes differentially expressed in response to B. anthracis infection were also induced upon infections with multiple pathogens such as Francisella Novicida or Staphylococcus aureus. This suggests the existence of a common molecular signature in response to pathogen infections. Importantly, the microarray and protein expression data for certain cytokines, chemokines and host factors provide further insights on how cellular processes such as innate immune sensing pathways, anti-apoptosis versus apoptosis may be differentially modulated in response to the virulent or vaccine strain of B. anthracis. The reported differences may account for the marked difference in pathogenicity between these two strains.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e87201. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Innate immune sensors such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) differentially utilize adaptor proteins and additional molecular mediators to ensure robust and precise immune responses to pathogen challenge. Through a gain-of-function genetic screen, we identified the gamma catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1-γ) as a positive regulator of MyD88-dependent proinflammatory innate immune activation. PP1-γ physically interacts with the E3 ubiquitin ligase TRAF6, and enhances the activity of TRAF6 towards itself and substrates such as IKKγ, whereas enzymatically inactive PP1-γ represses these events. Importantly, these activities were found to be critical for cellular innate responses to pathogen challenge and microbial clearance in both mouse macrophages and human monocyte lines. These data indicate that PP1-γ phosphatase activity regulates overall TRAF6 E3 ubiquitin ligase function and promotes NF-κB-mediated innate signaling responses.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e89284. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathogens commonly utilize endocytic pathways to gain cellular access. The endosomal pattern recognition receptors TLR7 and TLR9 detect pathogen-encoded nucleic acids to initiate MyD88-dependent proinflammatory responses to microbial infection. Using genome-wide RNAi screening and integrative systems-based analysis, we identify 190 cofactors required for TLR7- and TLR9-directed signaling responses. A set of cofactors were crossprofiled for their activities downstream of several immunoreceptors and then functionally mapped based on the known architecture of NF-κB signaling pathways. Protein complexes and pathways involved in ubiquitin-protein ligase activities, sphingolipid metabolism, chromatin modifications, and ancient stress responses were found to modulate innate recognition of endosomal nucleic acids. Additionally, hepatocyte growth factor-regulated tyrosine kinase substrate (HRS) was characterized as necessary for ubiquitin-dependent TLR9 targeting to the endolysosome. Proteins and pathways identified here should prove useful in delineating strategies to manipulate innate responses for treatment of autoimmune disorders and microbial infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is unique among the TLRs in its use of multiple adaptor proteins leading to activation of both the interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) pathways. Previous work has demonstrated that TLR4 initiates NF-κB activation from the plasma membrane, but that subsequent TLR4 translocation to the endosomes is required for IRF3 activation. Here we have characterized several components of the signaling pathway that governs TLR4 translocation and subsequent IRF3 activation. We find that phospholipase C γ2 (PLCγ2) accounts for LPS-induced inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) production and subsequent calcium (Ca(2+)) release. Blockage of PLCγ2 function by inhibitors or knockdown of PLCγ2 expression by siRNAs in RAW 264.7 macrophages lead to reduced IRF3, but enhanced NF-κB activation. In addition, bone marrow-derived macrophages from PLCγ2-deficient mice showed impaired IRF3 phosphorylation and expression of IRF3-regulated genes after LPS stimulation. Using cell fractionation, we show that PLCγ2-IP(3)-Ca(2+) signaling cascade is required for TLR4 endocytosis following LPS stimulation. In conclusion, our results describe a novel role of the PLCγ2-IP(3)-Ca(2+) cascade in the LPS-induced innate immune response pathway where release of intracellular Ca(2+) mediates TLR4 trafficking and subsequent activation of IRF3.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2011; 287(6):3704-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways form the backbone of signal transduction in the mammalian cell. Here we applied a systematic experimental and computational approach to map 2,269 interactions between human MAPK-related proteins and other cellular machinery and to assemble these data into functional modules. Multiple lines of evidence including conservation with yeast supported a core network of 641 interactions. Using small interfering RNA knockdowns, we observed that approximately one-third of MAPK-interacting proteins modulated MAPK-mediated signaling. We uncovered the Na-H exchanger NHE1 as a potential MAPK scaffold, found links between HSP90 chaperones and MAPK pathways and identified MUC12 as the human analog to the yeast signaling mucin Msb2. This study makes available a large resource of MAPK interactions and clone libraries, and it illustrates a methodology for probing signaling networks based on functional refinement of experimentally derived protein-interaction maps.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a highly aggressive form of brain cancer associated with a very poor prognosis. Recently, the initiation and growth of GBM has been linked to brain tumor-initiating cells (BTICs), which are poorly differentiated and share features with neural stem cells (NSCs). Here we describe a kinome-wide RNA interference screen to identify factors that control the tumorigenicity of BTICs. We identified several genes whose silencing induces differentiation of BTICs derived from multiple GBM patients. In particular, knockdown of the adaptor protein TRRAP significantly increased differentiation of cultured BTICs, sensitized the cells to apoptotic stimuli, and negatively affected cell cycle progression. TRRAP knockdown also significantly suppressed tumor formation upon intracranial BTIC implantation into mice. Together, these findings support a critical role for TRRAP in maintaining a tumorigenic, stem cell-like state.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV-1 and HIV-2) rely upon host-encoded proteins to facilitate their replication. Here, we combined genome-wide siRNA analyses with interrogation of human interactome databases to assemble a host-pathogen biochemical network containing 213 confirmed host cellular factors and 11 HIV-1-encoded proteins. Protein complexes that regulate ubiquitin conjugation, proteolysis, DNA-damage response, and RNA splicing were identified as important modulators of early-stage HIV-1 infection. Additionally, over 40 new factors were shown to specifically influence the initiation and/or kinetics of HIV-1 DNA synthesis, including cytoskeletal regulatory proteins, modulators of posttranslational modification, and nucleic acid-binding proteins. Finally, 15 proteins with diverse functional roles, including nuclear transport, prostaglandin synthesis, ubiquitination, and transcription, were found to influence nuclear import or viral DNA integration. Taken together, the multiscale approach described here has uncovered multiprotein virus-host interactions that likely act in concert to facilitate the early steps of HIV-1 infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe a statistical analysis methodology designed to minimize the impact of off-target activities upon large-scale RNA interference (RNAi) screens in mammalian cells. Application of this approach enhances reconfirmation rates and facilitates the experimental validation of new gene activities through the probability-based identification of multiple distinct and active small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeting the same gene. We further extend this approach to establish that the optimal redundancy for efficacious RNAi collections is between 4-6 siRNAs per gene.