Andrew C Keates

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (54)529.4 Total impact

  • L. Ghisolfi · A. C. Keates · D.-k. Lee · C. J. Li ·

    Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 01/2014; 12(11_Supplement):A52-A52. DOI:10.1158/1535-7163.TARG-13-A52 · 5.68 Impact Factor
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    Laura Ghisolfi · Andrew C Keates · Xingwang Hu · Dong-ki Lee · Chiang J Li ·
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    ABSTRACT: The cancer stem cell (CSC) model posits the presence of a small number of CSCs in the heterogeneous cancer cell population that are ultimately responsible for tumor initiation, as well as cancer recurrence and metastasis. CSCs have been isolated from a variety of human cancers and are able to generate a hierarchical and heterogeneous cancer cell population. CSCs are also resistant to conventional chemo- and radio-therapies. Here we report that ionizing radiation can induce stem cell-like properties in heterogeneous cancer cells. Exposure of non-stem cancer cells to ionizing radiation enhanced spherogenesis, and this was accompanied by upregulation of the pluripotency genes Sox2 and Oct3/4. Knockdown of Sox2 or Oct3/4 inhibited radiation-induced spherogenesis and increased cellular sensitivity to radiation. These data demonstrate that ionizing radiation can activate stemness pathways in heterogeneous cancer cells, resulting in the enrichment of a CSC subpopulation with higher resistance to radiotherapy.
    PLoS ONE 08/2012; 7(8):e43628. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0043628 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies indicate that cancer stem cells (CSCs) exist in most hematological and solid tumors. CSCs are characterized by their ability to self-renew and their capacity to differentiate into the multitude of cells that comprise the tumor mass. Moreover, these cells have been shown to be intrinsically resistant to conventional anticancer therapies. Despite their fundamental role in cancer pathogenesis, the cellular origin of CSCs remains highly controversial. The aim of this study was to examine whether heterogeneous cancer cells can acquire stem cell-like properties in response to chemotherapy. We demonstrate that carboplatin can induce the self-renewal (spherogenesis) and pluripotency (Sox2 and Oct3/4 expression) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells grown under stem cell culture conditions. Moreover, we show that non-CSC cells, obtained by side population flow cytometric sorting using Hoechst 33342, can acquire stem-like properties after exposure to carboplatin. Finally, we show that knockdown of Sox2 and Oct3/4 gene expression in HCC cells can reduce carboplatin-mediated increases in sphere formation and increase cellular sensitivity to chemotherapy. Taken together, our data indicate that bulk cancer cells may be an important source of CSCs during tumor development, and that targeting Sox2 and/or Oct3/4 may be a promising approach for targeting CSCs in clinical cancer treatment.
    Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.) 07/2012; 11(14):2691-8. DOI:10.4161/cc.21021 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Infection with genus beta human papillomaviruses (HPV) is implicated in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer. This was first evidenced for HPV5 and 8 in patients with epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV), a genetic skin disease. So far, it has been unknown how these viruses overcome cutaneous immune control allowing their persistence in lesional epidermis of these patients. Here we demonstrate that Langerhans cells, essential for skin immunosurveillance, are strongly reduced in HPV8-positive lesional epidermis from EV patients. Interestingly, the same lesions were largely devoid of the important Langerhans cells chemoattractant protein CCL20. Applying bioinformatic tools, chromatin immunoprecipitation assays and functional studies we identified the differentiation-associated transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein β (C/EBPβ) as a critical regulator of CCL20 gene expression in normal human keratinocytes. The physiological relevance of this finding is supported by our in vivo studies showing that the expression patterns of CCL20 and nuclear C/EBPβ converge spatially in the most differentiated layers of human epidermis. Our analyses further identified C/EBPβ as a novel target of the HPV8 E7 oncoprotein, which co-localizes with C/EBPβ in the nucleus, co-precipitates with it and interferes with its binding to the CCL20 promoter in vivo. As a consequence, the HPV8 E7 but not E6 oncoprotein suppressed C/EBPβ-inducible and constitutive CCL20 gene expression as well as Langerhans cell migration. In conclusion, our study unraveled a novel molecular mechanism central to cutaneous host defense. Interference of the HPV8 E7 oncoprotein with this regulatory pathway allows the virus to disrupt the immune barrier, a major prerequisite for its epithelial persistence and procarcinogenic activity.
    PLoS Pathogens 07/2012; 8(7):e1002833. DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002833 · 7.56 Impact Factor
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    Charles Li · Linda Li · Andrew C Keates ·
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    ABSTRACT: Recent advances in cancer genomics have opened up unlimited potential for treating cancer by directly targeting culprit genes. However, novel delivery methods are needed in order for this potential to be translated into clinically viable treatments for patients. Magnetic nanoparticle technology offers the potential to achieve selective and efficient delivery of therapeutic genes by using external magnetic fields, and also allows simultaneous imaging to monitor the delivery in vivo. Compared to conventional gene delivery strategies, this technique has been shown to significantly increase gene delivery to human xenograft tumors models, as well as various internal organs (e.g. liver, kidney) and the central nervous system. Magnetic nanoparticle technology, therefore, has the potential to turn the challenge of gene therapy in vivo into a new frontier for cancer treatment.
    Oncotarget 05/2012; 3(4):365-70. DOI:10.18632/oncotarget.490 · 6.36 Impact Factor
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    H Guo · J Zhang · C Inal · T Nguyen · J H Fruehauf · A C Keates · C J Li ·
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    ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) has been established as an important research tool that carries great potential for gene therapy. However, targeted induction of RNAi in vivo has met with significant challenges. In this study, a novel pSLS plasmid capable of expressing short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) was transformed into attenuated Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium strain 7207 (SL). In vitro infection studies with the transformed S. enterica containing pSLS (SL-pSLS-CAT) demonstrated that expression of shRNA targeting the CTNNB1 gene induced potent and specific silencing of CTNNB1 expression in cultured SW480 cells. CTNNB1 knockdown in SW480 cells was associated with markedly reduced proliferation and cell death compared with that of control infected cells. In addition, SL-pSLS-CAT-mediated CTNNB1 knockdown markedly reduced tumor growth in SW480 xenograft mice. These tumors exhibited reduced levels of CTNNB1, as well as c-Myc and cyclin D1. Finally, SL-pSLS-CAT treatment also resulted in reduced expression levels of these genes in polyps, mucosal tissues and in small intestines of APCMin mice. Taken together, these data suggest that attenuated shRNA-expressing Salmonella may be a powerful new tool for in vitro gene silencing, functional genomics, and the development of RNAi-based anticancer or human immunodeficiency virus therapeutics.
    Gene therapy 03/2011; 18(3):318. DOI:10.1038/gt.2011.9 · 3.10 Impact Factor
  • Andrew C. Keates · Richard M. Peek · Simon C. Robson · Sarah E. Keates ·

    Gastroenterology 05/2009; 136(5). DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(09)60716-2 · 16.72 Impact Factor

  • Gastroenterology 05/2009; 136(5). DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(09)61194-X · 16.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RNA interference (RNAi) is a potent and specific mechanism for eliminating the mRNA of specific genes. This gene silencing mechanism occurs naturally and is highly conserved from plants to human cells, holding promise for functional genomics and for revolutionizing medicine due to its unlimited potential to treat genetic, epigenetic, and infectious disease. However, efforts to unleash the enormous potential of RNAi have met with significant challenges. Delivery is problematic because short interfering RNAs (siRNA) are negatively charged polymers that inefficiently enter cells and undergo rapid enzymatic degradation in vivo. In addition, the synthesis of siRNAs is expensive for long-term research and therapeutic applications. Recently, we have shown that nonpathogenic bacteria can be engineered to activate RNAi in mammalian cells (TransKingdom RNA interference; tkRNAi). This new approach offers several advantages and has significant implications. First, this method allows the establishment of a long-term stable gene silencing system in the laboratory against genes of interests in vitro and in vivo, and enables high-throughput functional genomics screening in mammalian systems. RNAi libraries can be constructed, stored, reproduced, amplified, and used with the help of E. coli as currently done with gene cloning. Second, this technology provides a clinically compatible way to achieve RNAi for therapeutic applications due to the proven clinical safety ofnonpathogenic bacteria as a gene carrier, tkRNAi also eliminates the siRNA manufacture issue, and may circumvent or mitigate host interferon-like responses since siRNA is produced intracellularly.
    Methods in Molecular Biology 02/2009; 487:147-60. DOI:10.1007/978-1-60327-547-7_7 · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chronic infection with the gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori significantly increases the risk of developing atrophic gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and gastric adenocarcinoma. H. pylori strains that possess the cag pathogenicity island, which translocates CagA into the host cells, augment these risks. The aim of this study was to determine the molecular mechanisms through which H. pylori upregulates the expression of plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1), a member of the urokinase activator system that is involved in tumor metastasis and angiogenesis. Levels of PAI-1 mRNA and protein were examined in tissues from H. pylori-infected patients and in vitro using AGS gastric epithelial cells. In vitro, cells were infected with toxigenic cag-positive or nontoxigenic cag-negative strains of H. pylori or isogenic mutants. The amount of PAI-1 secretion was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and mRNA levels were determined using real-time PCR. The regulation of PAI-1 was examined using the extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) inhibitor and small interfering RNA. Analysis of human biopsy samples revealed an increase in both PAI-1 mRNA and protein levels in patients with H. pylori gastritis compared to those of uninfected controls. Infection of AGS cells with H. pylori significantly increased PAI-1 mRNA expression and the secretion of PAI-1 protein. Moreover, PAI-1 mRNA and protein production was more pronounced when AGS cells were infected by H. pylori strains carrying a functional cag secretion system than when cells were infected by strains lacking this system. PAI-1 secretion was also reduced when cells were infected with either cagE-negative or cagA-negative mutants. The ectopic overexpression of CagA significantly increased the levels of PAI-1 mRNA and protein, whereas blockade of the ERK1/2 pathway inhibited H. pylori-mediated PAI-1 upregulation. These findings suggest that the upregulation of PAI-1 in H. pylori-infected gastric epithelial cells may contribute to the carcinogenic process.
    Infection and immunity 09/2008; 76(9):3992-9. DOI:10.1128/IAI.00584-08 · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    Andrew C Keates · Johannes Fruehauf · Shuanglin Xiang · Chiang J Li ·
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    ABSTRACT: Since its discovery in 1998 RNA interference (RNAi), a potent and highly selective gene silencing mechanism, has revolutionized the field of biological science. The ability of RNAi to specifically down-regulate the expression of any cellular protein has had a profound impact on the study of gene function in vitro. This property of RNAi also holds great promise for in vivo functional genomics and interventions against a wide spectrum of diseases, especially those with "undruggable" therapeutic targets. Despite the enormous potential of RNAi for medicine, development of in vivo applications has met with significant problems, particularly in terms of delivery. For effective gene silencing to occur, silencing RNA must reach the cytoplasm of the target cell. Consequently, various strategies using chemically modified siRNA, liposomes, nanoparticles and viral vectors are being developed to deliver silencing RNA. These approaches, however, can be expensive and in many cases they lack target cell specificity or clinical compatibility. Recently, we have shown that RNAi can be activated in vitro and in vivo by non-pathogenic bacteria engineered to manufacture and deliver silencing shRNA to target cells. This new approach, termed TransKingdom RNAi (tkRNAi), has several key advantages. First, tkRNAi may provide a viable means to accomplish therapeutic RNAi since non-pathogenic bacteria have a proven safety record in clinical applications. Second, tkRNAi eliminates the cost of siRNA manufacture since silencing shRNA are produced inside bacteria. Moreover, the intracellular mechanism of shRNA release inherent to tkRNAi may circumvent, or mitigate, the activation of host immune responses. Finally, tkRNAi may facilitate high-throughput in vivo functional genomics screening since bacteria-based RNAi libraries can be easily constructed, stored, reproduced and amplified, thereby allowing for the creation of a stable gene silencing system.
    Biotechnology & genetic engineering reviews 01/2008; 25:113-27. DOI:10.5661/bger-25-113 · 1.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cequent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a recently established biopharmaceutical company that aims to develop clinically compatible therapies based on RNAi, a potent gene-silencing mechanism discovered in 1998. The company's proprietary technology, transkingdom RNAi (tkRNAi), uses nonpathogenic bacteria to produce and deliver shRNA into target cells to induce RNAi. Our initial focus is on the development of a tkRNAi-based therapy for familial adenatomous polyposis, an inherited form of colon cancer. Cequent's first tkRNAi-based drug for familial adenatomous polyposis, CEQ501, is currently in advanced preclinical testing. As part of its ongoing activities, Cequent plans to develop additional tkRNAi-based products for indications within and outside the GI tract. Our overall goal is to establish tkRNAi as a platform for developing a wide range of RNAi-based therapies.
    Pharmacogenomics 08/2007; 8(7):867-71. DOI:10.2217/14622416.8.7.867 · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori infection increases the risk of gastric carcinogenesis. The aim of the present study was to determine whether H. pylori could up-regulate the expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), a critical gene in the carcinogenic process. AGS gastric epithelial cells were infected with cag(+) toxigenic or cag(-) nontoxigenic strains of H. pylori or isogenic mutants. EGFR protein expression was determined by Western blotting and immunofluorescence. EGFR mRNA levels were evaluated using real-time polymerase chain reaction. The signaling pathways leading to EGFR up-regulation were examined using the ERK1/2 inhibitor PD98059, the Src inhibitor pp2, the nuclear factor- kappa B inhibitor caffeic acid phenethyl ester, EGFR neutralizing antibodies, and the EGFR kinase inhibitor AG1478. Infection of AGS cells by H. pylori significantly increased EGFR mRNA and protein levels. We found that this effect was limited to cag(+) H. pylori strains and that mutants with a defective type IV secretion system were unable to cause EGFR up-regulation. Increased EGFR expression was found to be dependent on EGFR receptor transactivation, ERK1/2 phosphorylation, and Src activation. Infection of gastric epithelial cells by H. pylori triggers an autocrine loop whereby EGFR transactivation leads to the up-regulation of EGFR expression. This, in turn, may contribute to unrestrained epithelial cell proliferation and carcinogenesis.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 08/2007; 196(1):95-103. DOI:10.1086/518440 · 6.00 Impact Factor
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    Sarah Keates · Xinbing Han · Ciarán P Kelly · Andrew C Keates ·
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    ABSTRACT: Previously, we reported that normal colonocytes produce the memory CD4(+) T cell-directed chemokine MIP-3alpha, and that epithelial MIP-3alpha levels are elevated in inflammatory bowel disease. Interestingly, the unique receptor for MIP-3alpha, CCR6, is expressed by a variety of cell types including colonocytes, suggesting that MIP-3alpha may regulate additional biological activities in the intestine. The aim of this study was to determine whether MIP-3alpha can induce intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and to examine the signaling mechanisms that mediate this response. We show that nonstimulated Caco-2 and HT-29 colonic epithelial cells express CCR6, and that stimulation of Caco-2 cells by MIP-3alpha can dose dependently increase cell proliferation as well as activate the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and ERK1/2 MAPK. MIP-3alpha-mediated ERK1/2 activation in Caco-2 cells appeared to require metalloproteinase-dependent release of the endogenous EGFR ligand amphiregulin and transactivation of the EGFR. Moreover, blockade of amphiregulin bioactivity using a neutralizing polyclonal Ab significantly reduced MIP-3alpha-mediated, but not EGF-mediated Caco-2 cell proliferation. Taken together, our findings indicate that MIP-3alpha can regulate mitogenic signaling in colonic epithelial cells and thus may serve an important homeostatic function in the intestine by regulating tissue turnover and maintenance of the epithelium, in addition to its role in regulating leukocyte recruitment.
    The Journal of Immunology 07/2007; 178(12):8013-21. DOI:10.4049/jimmunol.178.12.8013 · 4.92 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A characteristic feature of human inflammatory bowel disease, particularly Crohn's disease, is the presence of activated CD4(+) T cells. Recently, we have shown that colonic epithelial cell production of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-3alpha, a CD4 T cell-directed chemokine, is elevated in inflammatory bowel disease. However, the functional relevance of MIP-3alpha production during intestinal inflammation is poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether MIP-3alpha production is increased during murine 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis and to examine the effect of anti-MIP-3alpha neutralizing monoclonal antibody administration in this model. We found that the administration of TNBS significantly increased colonic MIP-3alpha protein levels in Balb/c mice. Consistent with this, a marked increase in the number of CCR6-bearing lamina propria CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells was also observed in TNBS-treated animals. Treatment of mice with an anti-MIP-3alpha neutralizing monoclonal antibody significantly reduced TNBS-mediated increases in colonic weight-to-length ratio, mucosal ulceration, histological damage, and myeloperoxidase activity. TNBS-mediated increases in the number of CCR6-bearing lamina propria T cells were also substantially reduced by anti-MIP-3alpha neutralizing monoclonal antibody treatment. Taken together, our findings indicate that blockade of MIP-3alpha bioactivity can significantly reduce TNBS-mediated colonic injury and T cell recruitment, suggesting a role for this chemokine in the pathophysiology of intestinal inflammation.
    AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 06/2007; 292(5):G1263-71. DOI:10.1152/ajpgi.00409.2006 · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial neutrophil-activating peptide-78 (ENA-78), a member of the CXC chemokine subfamily, is induced by inflammatory cytokines in human colonic enterocyte cell lines and increased in the colon of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Lipopolysaccharide-induced CXC-chemokine (LIX) was recently identified as the murine homolog of ENA-78. Here we show that, similar to ENA-78, inflammatory cytokine stimulation of a murine colonic epithelial cell line, MODE-K, results in increased LIX expression. Consistent with the expression pattern of ENA-78 in IBD, LIX expression is significantly increased in mice with colitis induced by the ingestion of dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). Treating mice with antisense oligonucleotides to LIX via rectal enema delivery before DSS treatment results in colonic enterocyte uptake and a significant reduction in neutrophil infiltration and severity of colitis. These findings indicate that LIX plays an integral role in the pathogenesis of DSS-induced colitis. Similarly, enterocyte-derived CXC chemokines may play a key role in regulating neutrophil recruitment and intestinal injury in IBD. The intracolonic administration of ENA-78 antisense oligonucleotides may be effective in treating distal ulcerative colitis in humans.
    AJP Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology 01/2006; 289(6):G1075-83. DOI:10.1152/ajpgi.00073.2005 · 3.80 Impact Factor
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    S Keates · A C Keates · S Nath · R M Peek · C P Kelly ·
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    ABSTRACT: Helicobacter pylori, in particular cytotoxin associated gene (cag)+ strains, have been shown to enhance gastric epithelial cell proliferation in vivo, an effect that likely contributes to gastric carcinogenesis. Early growth response gene 1 (Egr-1) is a crucial regulator of cell growth, differentiation, and survival, which is known to play a role in carcinogenesis and cancer progression. The aims of this study were to: (1) examine whether H pylori could upregulate Egr-1 in gastric epithelial cell lines; (2) determine whether there was a differential response to infection with different strains; (3) examine the role of the cag pathogenicity island in this process; and (4) elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to Egr-1 upregulation. We found that infection of AGS cells with cag+H pylori resulted in a rapid (1-2 hours) but transient increase in Egr-1 mRNA and protein levels whereas coculture with cag- isolates did not elicit this response. Furthermore, two independent cagE- isogenic mutants of H pylori also demonstrated impaired ability to upregulate Egr-1. Upregulation of Egr-1 protein was inhibited by the extracellular regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 inhibitor PD98059 and overexpression of dominant negative MEK1 downregulated Egr-1 luciferase reporter gene activity. Treatment of AGS cells with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) kinase inhibitors PD153035 and AG1478 resulted in a reduction in H pylori mediated Egr-1 upregulation, demonstrating that EGFR transactivation plays a role in this early cellular process. Our findings show that cag+H pylori cause rapid induction of Egr-1 in gastric epithelial cells which may contribute to H pylori mediated pathogenesis.
    Gut 11/2005; 54(10):1363-9. DOI:10.1136/gut.2005.066977 · 14.66 Impact Factor
  • Sang Hoon Rhee · Andrew C Keates · Mary P Moyer · Charalabos Pothoulakis ·
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    ABSTRACT: Flagellin, a specific ligand for Toll-like receptor 5 (TLR5), is a molecular pattern associated with several bacterial species. Recently, TLR signaling has been intensively studied. However, TLR5-associated signaling in non-transformed colonocytes has not been investigated. Here we studied the expression of cytokines induced by flagellin in non-transformed human colonic NCM460 cells and the signaling mechanisms mediating these responses. Cytokine expression array experiments showed that exposure of the cells to flagellin (100 ng/ml) for 12 h increased the expression of interleukin (IL)-8 and macrophage-inflammatory protein 3alpha (MIP3alpha) in a TLR5-specific manner. Flagellin also activated MAP kinases (ERK1/2, JNK, and p38) and degraded IkappaBalpha. Dominant negative MEK1 (a kinase that activates ERK1/2) blocked flagellin-stimulated IL-8 and MIP3alpha transcriptional activity, while the MEK-specific inhibitors PD98059 and U0126 reduced protein production of these cytokines. Conversely, transfection with a constitutively active MEK1 increased IL-8 and MIP3alpha transcriptional activity in a NFkappaB-independent manner. Furthermore, overexpression of the constitutively active MEK1 induced IL-8 and MIP3alpha protein production. We also demonstrated that C-terminal coiled-coil and TRAF-C domains of TRAF6, unable to mediate NFkappaB activation, are involved in MEK-mediated IL-8 and MIP3alpha expression. Thus, in non-transformed human colonocytes, MEK activation following flagellin/TLR5 engagement is a key modulator for NFkappaB-independent, IL-8 and MIP3alpha expression.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2004; 279(24):25179-88. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M400967200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
  • John H. Kwon · Andrew C. Keates · Ciaran P. Kelly ·

    Gastroenterology 04/2003; 124(4). DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(03)80785-0 · 16.72 Impact Factor

  • Gastroenterology 04/2003; 124(4). DOI:10.1016/S0016-5085(03)80213-5 · 16.72 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
529.40 Total Impact Points


  • 1998-2012
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Medicine
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • Boston University
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1997-2012
    • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Division of Gastroenterology
      Boston, MA, United States
  • 1995
    • Boston Medical Center
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States