[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liver failure resulting from chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause for liver transplantation worldwide. Recurrent infection of the graft is universal in HCV patients after transplant and results in a rapid progression to severe fibrosis and end-stage liver disease in one third of all patients. No single clinical variable, or combination thereof, has, so far, proven accurate in identifying patients at risk of hepatic decompensation in the transplant setting. A combination of longitudinal, dimensionality reduction and categorical analysis of the transcriptome from 111 liver biopsy specimens taken from 57 HCV-infected patients over time identified a molecular signature of gene expression of patients at risk of developing severe fibrosis. Significantly, alterations in gene expression occur before histologic evidence of liver disease progression, suggesting that events that occur during the acute phase of infection influence patient outcome. Additionally, a common precursor state for different severe clinical outcomes was identified. CONCLUSION: Based on this patient cohort, incidence of severe liver disease is a process initiated early during HCV infection of the donor organ. The probable cellular network at the basis of the initial transition to severe liver disease was identified and characterized.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease by infecting over 170 million people worldwide. Recent studies have shown that microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding regulatory RNAs, are involved in the regulation of HCV infection, but their functions have not been systematically studied. We propose an integrative strategy for identifying the miRNA-mRNA regulatory modules that are associated with HCV infection. This strategy combines paired expression profiles of miRNAs and mRNAs and computational target predictions. A miRNA-mRNA regulatory module consists of a set of miRNAs and their targets, in which the miRNAs are predicted to coordinately regulate the level of the target mRNA.
We simultaneously profiled the expression of cellular miRNAs and mRNAs across 30 HCV positive or negative human liver biopsy samples using microarray technology. We constructed a miRNA-mRNA regulatory network, and using a graph theoretical approach, identified 38 miRNA-mRNA regulatory modules in the network that were associated with HCV infection. We evaluated the direct miRNA regulation of the mRNA levels of targets in regulatory modules using previously published miRNA transfection data. We analyzed the functional roles of individual modules at the systems level by integrating a large-scale protein interaction network. We found that various biological processes, including some HCV infection related canonical pathways, were regulated at the miRNA level during HCV infection.
Our regulatory modules provide a framework for future experimental analyses. This report demonstrates the utility of our approach to obtain new insights into post-transcriptional gene regulation at the miRNA level in complex human diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The "Spanish influenza" of 1918 claimed an unprecedented number of lives, yet the determinants of virulence for this virus are still not fully understood. Here, we used functional genomics and an in vitro human lung epithelial cell infection model to define the global host transcriptional response to the eight-gene 1918 virus. To better understand the role of the 1918 virus NS1 gene, we also evaluated the host response to a reassortant 1918 virus containing the NS1 gene from A/Texas/36/91 (a seasonal isolate of human influenza virus), as well as the host response to a reassortant of A/Texas/36/91 containing the 1918 NS1 gene. Genomic analyses revealed that the 1918 virus blocked the transcription of multiple interferon-stimulated genes and also downregulated a network of genes associated with lipid metabolism. In contrast, the expression of genes encoding chemokines and cytokines, which serve to attract infiltrating immune cells, was upregulated. Viruses containing the NS1 gene from A/Texas/36/91 induced a significant increase in type I interferon signaling but did not repress lipid metabolism. The 1918 NS1 gene may therefore have contributed to the virulence of the 1918 pandemic virus by disrupting the innate immune response, inducing hypercytokinemia, and by blocking the transcription of certain lipid-based proinflammatory mediators that function as part of the host antiviral response.
Journal of Virology 09/2009; 83(20):10557-70. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection leads to AIDS in experimentally infected macaques, whereas natural reservoir hosts exhibit limited disease and pathology. It is, however, unclear how natural hosts can sustain high viral loads, comparable to those observed in the pathogenic model, without developing severe disease. We performed transcriptional profiling on lymph node, blood, and colon samples from African green monkeys (natural host model) and Asian pigtailed macaques (pathogenic model) to directly compare gene expression patterns during acute pathogenic versus non-pathogenic SIV infection. The majority of gene expression changes that were unique to either model were detected in the lymph nodes at the time of peak viral load. Results suggest a shift toward cellular stress pathways and Th1 profiles during pathogenic infection, with strong and sustained type I and II interferon responses. In contrast, a strong type I interferon response was initially induced during non-pathogenic infection but resolved after peak viral load. The natural host also exhibited controlled Th1 profiles and better preservation of overall cell homeostasis. This study identified gene expression patterns that are specific to disease susceptibility, tissue compartmentalization, and infection duration. These patterns provide a unique view of how host responses differ depending upon lentiviral infection outcome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic immune activation and progression to AIDS are observed after SIV infection in macaques but not in natural host primate species. To better understand this dichotomy, we compared acute pathogenic SIV infection in pigtailed macaques (PTs) to non-pathogenic infection in African green monkeys (AGMs). SIVagm-infected PTs, but not SIVagm-infected AGMs, rapidly developed systemic immune activation, marked and selective depletion of IL-17-secreting (Th17) cells, and loss of the balance between Th17 and T regulatory (Treg) cells in blood, lymphoid organs, and mucosal tissue. The loss of Th17 cells was found to be predictive of systemic and sustained T cell activation. Collectively, these data indicate that loss of the Th17 to Treg balance is related to SIV disease progression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mechanisms of liver injury associated with chronic HCV infection, as well as the individual roles of both viral and host factors, are not clearly defined. However, it is becoming increasingly clear that direct cytopathic effects, in addition to immune-mediated processes, play an important role in liver injury. Gene expression profiling during multiple time-points of acute HCV infection of cultured Huh-7.5 cells was performed to gain insight into the cellular mechanism of HCV-associated cytopathic effect. Maximal induction of cell-death-related genes and appearance of activated caspase-3 in HCV-infected cells coincided with peak viral replication, suggesting a link between viral load and apoptosis. Gene ontology analysis revealed that many of the cell-death genes function to induce apoptosis in response to cell cycle arrest. Labeling of dividing cells in culture followed by flow cytometry also demonstrated the presence of significantly fewer cells in S-phase in HCV-infected relative to mock cultures, suggesting HCV infection is associated with delayed cell cycle progression. Regulation of numerous genes involved in anti-oxidative stress response and TGF-beta1 signaling suggest these as possible causes of delayed cell cycle progression. Significantly, a subset of cell-death genes regulated during in vitro HCV infection was similarly regulated specifically in liver tissue from a cohort of HCV-infected liver transplant patients with rapidly progressive fibrosis. Collectively, these data suggest that HCV mediates direct cytopathic effects through deregulation of the cell cycle and that this process may contribute to liver disease progression. This in vitro system could be utilized to further define the cellular mechanism of this perturbation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known at the molecular level concerning the differences and/or similarities between alcohol and hepatitis C virus induced liver disease. Global transcriptional profiling using oligonucleotide microarrays was therefore performed on liver biopsies from patients with cirrhosis caused by either chronic alcohol consumption or chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Global gene expression patterns varied significantly depending upon etiology of liver disease, with a greater number of differentially regulated genes seen in HCV-infected patients. Many of the gene expression changes specifically observed in HCV-infected cirrhotic livers were expectedly associated with activation of the innate antiviral immune response. We also compared severity (CTP class) of cirrhosis for each etiology and identified gene expression patterns that differentiated ethanol-induced cirrhosis by class. CTP class A ethanol-cirrhotic livers showed unique expression patterns for genes implicated in the inflammatory response, including those related to macrophage activation and migration, as well as lipid metabolism and oxidative stress genes.
Stages of liver cirrhosis could be differentiated based on gene expression patterns in ethanol-induced, but not HCV-induced, disease. In addition to genes specifically regulating the innate antiviral immune response, mechanisms responsible for differentiating chronic liver damage due to HCV or ethanol may be closely related to regulation of lipid metabolism and to effects of macrophage activation on deposition of extracellular matrix components.