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Publications (2)8.06 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To discuss recent developments in the molecular basis of several hereditary recurrent fever syndromes, specifically the cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes, familial Mediterranean fever and the tumor necrosis factor receptor associated periodic syndrome. Mutations of CIAS1, the gene encoding cryopyrin/NALP3, lead to a spectrum of disease states termed the cryopyrinopathies. Recently, cryopyrin-deficient mice have been used to show that the protein is a key regulator of interleukin-1beta production that functions by recognizing stimuli such as bacterial RNA and infectious agents. Tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome was initially thought to be caused by deficient metalloprotease-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor shedding, however new findings suggest that mutations in this receptor may result in inappropriate protein folding, leading to a host of other functional abnormalities that may cause inflammatory disease. Finally, data are emerging that address the possible function of the C-terminal B30.2 domain of pyrin, the familial Mediterranean fever protein. This motif has recently been shown to interact with and inhibit caspase-1, and the modeled structure of this complex highlights how mutations may affect the binding interface. Recent reports have advanced our understanding of the structural and functional biology underlying the hereditary recurrent fevers, and are beginning to suggest possible mechanisms by which specific mutations cause disease.
    Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology 01/2007; 6(6):428-33. · 3.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The human transthyretin (TTR) gene encodes a protein composed of four identical subunits with an important role in the plasma transport of thyroid hormone T4 and retinol. TTR spans 7.6 kilobases and consists of four exons. Two independent open reading frames (ORFs) with putative regulatory sequences have been described in the first and third introns, but their function--if any--is unknown. We have screened human cDNA libraries to determine if these sequences are transcribed. Transcripts of both ORFs were found in liver, pancreas and brain. Hybridization of the two sequences with multiple-tissue Northern blots further confirmed these results and revealed transcript sizes of approximately 1.5 and approximately 2.2 kb for ORF 1, and approximately 5.2 and approximately 7.8 kb for ORF 2. Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (RACE) was performed to characterize the full-length cDNAs containing each sequence. All products containing the ORFs were continuous in the genomic sequence corresponding to unspliced or partially spliced TTR. No evidence was found for novel transcripts containing productively spliced products of either ORF, or for shorter transcripts using the promoter and polyadenylation signals associated with them. ORF 1 RACE products identified in liver, pancreas and brain correspond to TTR transcripts in which intron 1 had not been removed; the transcripts containing ORF 2 may represent TTR hnRNA. Neither ORF is productively expressed as part of a larger transcript, or as an independent polypeptide.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2003; 1626(1-3):65-74. · 4.66 Impact Factor