[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A lack of patient response to alpha interferon (α-IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV) treatment is a major problem in eliminating hepatitis C virus (HCV). We screened chemical libraries for compounds that enhanced cellular responses to α-IFN and identified a triterpenoid, toosendanin (TSN). Here, we studied the effects and mechanisms of action of TSN on HCV replication and its effect on α-IFN signaling. We treated HCV genotype 1b replicon-expressing cells and HCV-J6/JFH-infected cells with TSN, with or without α-IFN, and the level of HCV replication was quantified. To study the effects of TSN on α-IFN signaling, we detected components of the interferon-stimulated gene factor 3 (ISGF3), phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), and STAT2 by Western blotting analysis; expression levels of mRNA of interferon regulatory factor 9 using real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR); and interferon-stimulated response element reporter activity and measured the expression levels of interferon-inducible genes for 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetase, MxA, protein kinase R, and p56 using real-time RT-PCR. TSN alone specifically inhibited expression of the HCV replicon (50% effective concentration = 20.6 nM, 50% cytotoxic concentration > 3 μM, selectivity index > 146). Pretreatment with TSN prior to α-IFN treatment was more effective in suppressing HCV replication than treatment with either drug alone. Although TSN alone did not activate the α-IFN pathway, it significantly enhanced the α-IFN-induced increase of phosphorylated STATs, interferon-stimulated response element activation, and interferon-stimulated gene expression. TSN significantly increased baseline expression of interferon regulatory factor 9, a component of interferon-stimulated gene factor 3. Antiviral effects of treatment with α-IFN can be enhanced by pretreatment with TSN. Its mechanisms of action could potentially be important to identify novel molecular targets to treat HCV infection.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 03/2011; 55(6):2537-45. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously demonstrated that IL-7 is essential for the persistence of colitis as a survival factor of colitogenic IL-7Rα-expressing memory CD4(+) T cells. Because IL-7Rα is broadly expressed on various immune cells, it is possible that the persistence of colitogenic CD4(+) T cells is affected by other IL-7Rα-expressing non-T cells. To test this hypothesis, we conducted two adoptive transfer colitis experiments using IL-7Rα(-/-) CD4(+)CD25(-) donor cells and IL-7Rα(-/-) × RAG-2(-/-) recipient mice, respectively. First, IL-7Rα expression on colitic lamina propria (LP) CD4(+) T cells was significantly higher than on normal LP CD4(+) T cells, whereas expression on other colitic LP immune cells, (e.g., NK cells, macrophages, myeloid dendritic cells) was conversely lower than that of paired LP cells in normal mice, resulting in predominantly higher expression of IL-7Rα on colitogenic LP CD4(+) cells, which allows them to exclusively use IL-7. Furthermore, RAG-2(-/-) mice transferred with IL-7Rα(-/-) CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells did not develop colitis, although LP CD4(+) T cells from mice transferred with IL-7Rα(-/-) CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells were differentiated to CD4(+)CD44(high)CD62L(-) effector-memory T cells. Finally, IL-7Rα(-/-) × RAG-2(-/-) mice transferred with CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells developed colitis similar to RAG-2(-/-) mice transferred with CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells. These results suggest that IL-7Rα expression on colitogenic CD4(+) T cells, but not on other cells, is essential for the development of chronic colitis. Therefore, therapeutic approaches targeting the IL-7/IL-7R signaling pathway in colitogenic CD4(+) T cells may be feasible for the treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.
The Journal of Immunology 02/2011; 186(4):2623-32. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Double balloon endoscopy (DBE) enables the observation and collection of viable specimens from the entire intestine, thereby allowing more detailed investigation of how the structure and function of the human small intestine are regulated. The present study aimed to elucidate the regulation of cell formation in the human small intestine using biopsy specimens collected from an entire individual small intestine by DBE.
The expression and the localization of representative genes for the differentiation program were analyzed in the entire small intestine of 10 patients. The functional correlation between Hath1 and Klf4 was analyzed in an intestinal cell line by using a Tet-On system.
In longitudinal cell formation in the small intestine, it was shown that goblet cells, but not Paneth cells, increased toward the ileum in each individual small intestine. Immunohistochemistry showed that Hath1-expressing cells migrated from the base of the crypt to the top of the villi in the terminal ileum, while Klf4-expressing cells migrated from the top of the villus, resulting in the colocalization of Hath1 and Klf4 in the terminal ileum. Coexpression of Hath1 and Klf4 upregulated the expression of phenotypic genes for goblet cells following the downregulation of those for Paneth cells.
Using mapping biopsy by DBE, we have demonstrated, for the first time, the molecular basis of the villus structure in the entire human small intestine in vivo. The present study showed that longitudinal cell formation was regulated by the colocalization of Hath1 and Klf4 that converted Paneth cell differentiation into goblet cell differentiation.
Journal of Gastroenterology 02/2011; 46(2):191-202. · 3.79 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mechanisms of difference in interferon sensitivity between hepatitis C virus (HCV) strains have yet to be clarified. Here, we constructed an infectious genotype2b clone and analyzed differences in interferon-alpha sensitivity between HCV-2b and 2a-JFH1 clones using intergenotypic homologous recombination. The HCV-2b/JFH1 chimeric virus able to infect Huh7.5.1 cells and was significantly more sensitive to IFN than JFH1. IFN-induced expression of MxA and 25-OAS was significantly lower in JFH1 than in 2b/JFH1-infected cells. In JFH1-infected cells, expression of SOCS3 and its inducer, IL-6, was significantly higher than in 2b/JFH1-infected cells. The IFN-resistance of JFH1 cells was negated by siRNA-knock down of SOCS3 expression and by pretreatment with anti-IL6 antibody. In conclusion, intergenotypic differences of IFN sensitivity of HCV may be attributable to the sequences of HCV structural proteins and can be determined by SOCS3 and IL-6 expression levels.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: HCV-JFH1 yields subclones that develop cytopathic plaques (Sekine-Osajima Y, et al., Virology 2008; 371:71). Here, we investigated viral amino acid substitutions in cytopathic mutant HCV-JFH1 clones and their characteristics in vitro and in vivo. The mutant viruses with individual C2441S, P2938S or R2985P signature substitutions, and with all three substitutions, showed significantly higher intracellular replication efficiencies and greater cytopathic effects than the parental JFH1 in vitro. The mutant HCV-inoculated mice showed significantly higher serum HCV RNA and higher level of expression of ER stress-related proteins in early period of infection. At 8 weeks post inoculation, these signature mutations had reverted to the wild type sequences. HCV-induced cytopathogenicity is associated with the level of intracellular viral replication and is determined by certain amino acid substitutions in HCV-NS5A and NS5B regions. The cytopathic HCV clones exhibit high replication competence in vivo but may be eliminated during the early stages of infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IL-2 and IL-7 share a common gamma-chain receptor and are critical for T-cell homeostasis. We aimed to clarify the reciprocal roles of IL-2 and IL-7 in the development and persistence of chronic colitis. We performed a series of adoptive transfers of IL-2(-/-) CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells into RAG-2(-/-) mice and assessed the role of IL-2 in the induction of IL-7R alpha on colitogenic CD4(+) T cells and the development of chronic colitis. RAG-2(-/-) mice transferred with WT but not with IL-2(-/-) CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells developed Th1/Th17-mediated colitis. Consistently, re-expression of IL-7R alpha was severely impaired on IL-2(-/-) but not on WT CD4(+) T cells from the transferred mice. To exclude a contribution of the preclinical autoimmunity of IL-2(-/-)mice, WT Ly5.1(+) or IL-2(-/-) Ly5.2(+) CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells from GFP mice previously transplanted with the same number of WT and IL-2(-/-) BM cells were transferred into RAG-2(-/-) mice. RAG-2(-/-) mice transferred with IL-2(-/-)-derived CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cells did not develop colitis, but their splenic CD4(+) T cells changed from effector-memory to central-memory type. These results show that IL-2 is critically involved in the establishment and maintenance of IL-7-dependent colitogenic memory CD4(+)IL-7R alpha(high) T cells.
European Journal of Immunology 09/2010; 40(9):2423-36. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Splicing of messenger RNAs is regulated by site-specific binding of members of the serine-arginine-rich (SR) protein family, and SR protein kinases (SRPK) 1 and 2 regulate overall activity of the SR proteins by phosphorylation of their RS domains. We have reported that specifically designed SRPK inhibitors suppressed effectively several DNA and RNA viruses in vitro and in vivo. Here, we show that an SRPK inhibitor, SRPIN340, suppressed in a dose-dependent fashion expression of a hepatitis C virus (HCV) subgenomic replicon and replication of the HCV-JFH1 clone in vitro. The inhibitory effects were not associated with antiproliferative or nonspecific cytotoxic effects on the host cells. Overexpression of SRPK1 or SRPK2 resulted in augmentation of HCV replication, while small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of the SRPKs suppressed HCV replication significantly. Immunocytochemistry showed that SRPKs and the HCV core and NS5A proteins colocalized to some extent in the perinuclear area. Our results demonstrate that SRPKs are host factors essential for HCV replication and that functional inhibitors of these kinases may constitute a new class of antiviral agents against HCV infection.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 05/2010; 54(8):3179-86. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Notch signaling has previously been implicated in the regulation of the cell fate of intestinal epithelial cells. However, the expression and function of Notch ligands in the human intestine remain largely unknown. In the present study, we showed that Notch ligands Delta-like 1 (Dll1) and Delta-like 4 (Dll4) are expressed in a goblet cell-specific manner in human colonic tissue. Additionally, we found that Dll1 and Dll4 expression was regulated in-parallel with Atoh1 and MUC2, which are both under the control of the Notch-Hes1 signaling pathway. Because knockdown of Dll1 expression completely abrogated the acquisition of the goblet cell phenotype in Notch-inactivated colonic epithelial cells, we postulate that Dll1 might function as a cis-acting regulatory element that induces undifferentiated cells to become goblet cells. Our results suggest a link between Dll1 expression and human goblet cell differentiation that might be mediated by a function that is distinct from its role as a Notch receptor ligand.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 02/2010; 393(4):662-7. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication is affected by several host factors. Here, we screened host genes and molecular pathways that are involved in HCV replication by comprehensive analyses using two genotypes of HCV replicon-expressing cells, their cured cells and naïve Huh7 cells.
Huh7 cell lines that stably expressed HCV genotype 1b or 2a replicon were used. The cured cells were established by treating HCV replicon cells with interferon-alpha. Expression of 54,675 cellular genes was analyzed by GeneChip DNA microarray. The data were analyzed by using the KEGG Pathway database.
Hierarchical clustering analysis showed that the gene-expression profiles of each cell group constituted clear clusters of naïve, HCV replicon-expressed, and cured cell lines. The pathway process analysis between the replicon-expressing and the cured cell lines identified significantly altered pathways, including MAPK, steroid biosynthesis and TGF-beta signaling pathways, suggesting that these pathways were affected directly by HCV replication. Comparison of cured and naïve Huh7 cells identified pathways, including steroid biosynthesis and sphingolipid metabolism, suggesting that these pathways were required for efficient HCV replication. Cytoplasmic lipid droplets were obviously increased in replicon-expressing and cured cells as compared to naïve cells. HCV replication was significantly suppressed by peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha agonists but augmented by PPAR-gamma agonists.
Comprehensive gene expression and pathway analyses show that lipid biosynthesis pathways are crucial to support proficient virus replication. These metabolic pathways could constitute novel antiviral targets against HCV.
Journal of Gastroenterology 12/2009; 45(5):523-36. · 3.79 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To understand the perpetuation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it is important to clarify whether the colitogenic CD4(+) T cells are self-limited effector or long-lived memory T cells. We here investigate the latency of colitogenic CD4(+) T cells in the remission stage of colitis under germfree (GF) conditions. We isolated splenic (SP) CD4(+) T cells from colitic CD4(+)CD45RB(high) T cell-injected SCID mice maintained under specific pathogen-free (SPF) conditions and transferred them into SPF or GF SCID mice. Donor colitic SP CD4(+) T cells have a characteristic CD44(high)CD62L(-)IL-7Ralpha(high) effector-memory T-type phenotype. Six weeks after transfer of cells to GF SCID mice, one group of mice was continued in GF conditions (GF-->GF), and the other was transferred into SPF conditions (GF-->SPF). GF-->SPF but not GF-->GF SCID mice developed colitis with elevated production of Th1 and Th17 cytokines at 4 wk after transfer. Surprisingly, a large number of CD4(+) effector-memory T cells and a small but substantial number of central-memory T cells remained resident in SP and bone marrow, but not in lamina propria, of the GF-->GF SCID recipients. Consistent with this, GF-->SPF but not GF-->GF SCID mice rapidly developed colitis. Taken together, these findings suggest that long-lived colitogenic memory CD4(+) cells can be established even in the presence of commensal Ags, reside outside the intestine in the absence of commensal bacteria, and participate in the perpetuation of colitis. Thus, blocking a stimulus of colitogenic memory CD4(+) cells such as IL-7 may have therapeutic benefit for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
The Journal of Immunology 10/2009; 183(8):5059-68. · 5.52 Impact Factor