David K Crossman

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, United States

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Publications (14)94.34 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Historically, in order to study microbes, it was necessary to grow them in the laboratory. It was clear though that many microbe communities were refractory to study because none of the members could be grown outside of their native habitat. The development of culture-independent methods to study microbiota using high-throughput sequencing of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene variable regions present in all prokaryotic organisms has provided new opportunities to investigate complex microbial communities. In this unit, the process for a microbiome analysis is described. Many of the components required for this process may already exist. A pipeline is described for acquisition of samples from different sites on the human body, isolation of microbial DNA, and DNA sequencing using the Illumina MiSeq sequencing platform. Finally, a new analytical workflow for basic bioinformatics data analysis, QWRAP, is described, which can be used by clinical and basic science investigators. Curr. Protoc. Hum. Genet. 82:18.8.1-18.8.29. © 2014 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Current protocols in human genetics / editorial board, Jonathan L. Haines ... [et al.] 01/2014; 82:18.8.1-18.8.29.
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    ABSTRACT: Constitutional SMARCB1 mutations at 22q11.23 have been found in ∼50% of familial and <10% of sporadic schwannomatosis cases. We sequenced highly conserved regions along 22q from eight individuals with schwannomatosis whose schwannomas involved somatic loss of one copy of 22q, encompassing SMARCB1 and NF2, with a different somatic mutation of the other NF2 allele in every schwannoma but no mutation of the remaining SMARCB1 allele in blood and tumor samples. LZTR1 germline mutations were identified in seven of the eight cases. LZTR1 sequencing in 12 further cases with the same molecular signature identified 9 additional germline mutations. Loss of heterozygosity with retention of an LZTR1 mutation was present in all 25 schwannomas studied. Mutations segregated with disease in all available affected first-degree relatives, although four asymptomatic parents also carried an LZTR1 mutation. Our findings identify LZTR1 as a gene predisposing to an autosomal dominant inherited disorder of multiple schwannomas in ∼80% of 22q-related schwannomatosis cases lacking mutation in SMARCB1.
    Nature Genetics 12/2013; · 35.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: Neoplastic transformation provides one of the few existing opportunities to analyze molecular changes in real time during the initiation and progression of breast cancer. Materials & methods: Human mammary epithelial cells underwent neoplastic reprogramming, generating one line of semitransformed, premalignant cells and two separate, temporal lines of fully transformed human mammary epithelial cells (THMECs). An Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip was used to analyze DNA methylation alterations in 27,578 CpG loci at three consecutive time points over an 80-day (d) transformation period. Results: The mean β value for semitransformed human mammary epithelial cells CpG loci (0.245) was much greater than for either THMEC-40d (0.055) or THMEC-80d (0.066), indicating a large loss of methylation after neoplastic induction. In addition, 54% of CpG loci were hypermethylated during the THMEC-40d to THMEC-80d transition. We observed that the CpG loci exhibiting DNA methylation changes during early oncogenesis were enriched for biological functions like cellular movement; this was distinctly different than in the later, more progressive stages of the transformation process enriched for processes involving differentiation. Conclusion: The timing of major methylomic changes may be important in directing the cell toward a more cancerous phenotype. In addition, gene-specific hypermethylation appears to silence developmentally related genes, leading to dedifferentiation.
    Epigenomics 04/2013; 5(2):155-65. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wnt5a is a non-canonical signaling Wnt. Low expression of WNT5A is correlated with poor prognosis in breast cancer patients. The highly invasive breast cancer cell lines, MDA-MB-231 and 4T1, express very low levels of WNT5A. To determine if enhanced expression of WNT5A would affect metastatic behavior, we generated WNT5A expressing cells from the 4T1 and MDA-MB-231 parental cell lines. WNT5A expressing cells demonstrated cobblestone morphology and reduced in vitro migration relative to controls. Cell growth was not altered. Metastasis to the lung via tail vein injection was reduced in the 4T1-WNT5A expressing cells relative to 4T1-vector controls. To determine the mechanism of WNT5A action on metastasis, we performed microarray and whole-transcriptome sequence analysis (RNA-seq) to compare gene expression in 4T1-WNT5A and 4T1-vector cells. Analysis indicated highly significant alterations in expression of genes associated with cellular movement. Down-regulation of a subset of these genes, Mmp13, Nos2, Il1a, Cxcl2, and Lamb3, in WNT5A expressing cells was verified by semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Significant differences in transcript splicing were also detected in cell movement associated genes including Cd44. Cd44 is an adhesion molecule with a complex genome structure. Variable exon usage is associated with metastatic phenotype. Alternative spicing of Cd44 in WNT5A expressing cells was confirmed using RT-PCR. We conclude that WNT5A inhibits metastasis through down-regulation of multiple cell movement pathways by regulating transcript levels and splicing of key genes like Cd44.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(3):e58329. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) mimetic peptide 4F favors the differentiation of human monocytes to an anti-inflammatory phenotype and attenuates lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory responses. We investigated the effects of LPS on the Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathway in 4F-differentiated monocyte-derived macrophages. Monocyte-derived macrophages were pretreated with 4F or vehicle for 7 days. 4F downregulated cell-surface TLRs (4, 5, and 6) as determined by flow cytometry. 4F attenuated the LPS-dependent upregulation of genes encoding TLR1, 2, and 6 and genes of the MyD88-dependent (CD14, MyD88, TRAF6, interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 4, and inhibitor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells, kinase beta) and MyD88-independent (interferon regulatory factor 3, TANK-binding kinase 1, and Toll-interleukin 1 receptor domain-containing adaptor-inducing interferon-β) pathways as determined by microarray analysis and quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Functional analyses of monocyte-derived macrophages showed that 4F reduced LPS-dependent TLR4 recycling, phosphorylation of nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha, activation and translocation of nuclear factor-κB and inhibited the secretion of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 induced by LPS or lipoteichoic acid. These changes were associated with depletion of cellular cholesterol and caveolin, components of membrane lipid rafts. These data suggest that disruption of rafts by 4F alters the assembly of TLR-ligand complexes in cell membranes and inhibits proinflammatory gene expression in monocyte-derived macrophages, thus attenuating the responsiveness of macrophages to LPS.
    Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 09/2012; 32(11):2631-9. · 6.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism, which often occurs in response to environmental stimuli and is crucial in regulating gene expression. It is likely that epigenetic alterations contribute to pathogenesis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Objectives: To determine the DNA methylation changes in IPF and their effects on gene expression. Methods: Total DNA methylation and DNA methyltransferase expression were compared in IPF and normal control lung tissues. IPF and normal tissues were subjected to comparative analysis of genome-wide DNA methylation and RNA expression using DNA hybridization to the Illumina HumanMethylation27 BeadChip and RNA hybridization to Illumina HumanHT-12 BeadChip. Functional analyses of differentially expressed and differentially methylated genes were done. Selected genes were validated at DNA, RNA, and protein levels. Measurements and Main Results: DNA methylation status was altered in IPF. IPF samples demonstrated higher DNA methyltransferase expression without observed alterations in global DNA methylation. Genome-wide differences in DNA methylation status and RNA expression were demonstrated by array hybridization. Among the genes whose DNA methylation status and RNA expression were both significantly altered, 16 genes were hypermethylated in DNA associated with decreased mRNA expression or vice versa. We validated CLDN5, ZNF467, TP53INP1, and DDAH1 genes at the level of DNA methylation status, RNA, and protein-level expression. Conclusions: Changes in DNA methylation correspond to altered mRNA expression of a number of genes, some with known and others with previously uncharacterized roles in IPF, suggesting that DNA methylation is important in the pathogenesis of IPF.
    American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 06/2012; 186(6):525-35. · 11.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Renal injury induced by brain death is characterized by ischemia and inflammation, and limiting it is a therapeutic goal that could improve outcomes in kidney transplantation. Brain death resulted in decreased circulating nitrite levels and increased infiltrating inflammatory cell infiltration into the kidney. Since nitrite stimulates nitric oxide signaling in ischemic tissues, we tested whether nitrite therapy was beneficial in a rat model of brain death followed by kidney transplantation. Nitrite, administered over 2 h of brain death, blunted the increased inflammation without affecting brain death-induced alterations in hemodynamics. Kidneys were transplanted after 2 h of brain death and renal function followed over 7 days. Allografts collected from nitrite-treated brain-dead rats showed significant improvement in function over the first 2 to 4 days after transplantation compared with untreated brain-dead animals. Gene microarray analysis after 2 h of brain death without or with nitrite therapy showed that the latter significantly altered the expression of about 400 genes. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis indicated that multiple signaling pathways were affected by nitrite, including those related to hypoxia, transcription, and genes related to humoral immune responses. Thus, nitrite therapy attenuates brain death-induced renal injury by regulating responses to ischemia and inflammation, ultimately leading to better post-transplant kidney function.
    Kidney International 04/2012; 82(3):304-13. · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To identify endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-induced microRNAs (miRNA) that govern ER protein influx during the adaptive phase of unfolded protein response, we performed miRNA microarray profiling and analysis in human airway epithelial cells following ER stress induction using proteasome inhibition or tunicamycin treatment. We identified miR-346 as the most significantly induced miRNA by both classic stressors. miR-346 is encoded within an intron of the glutamate receptor ionotropic delta-1 gene (GRID1), but its ER stress-associated expression is independent of GRID1. We demonstrated that the spliced X-box-binding protein-1 (sXBP1) is necessary and sufficient for ER stress-associated miR-346 induction, revealing a novel role for this unfolded protein response-activated transcription factor. In mRNA profiling arrays, we identified 21 mRNAs that were reduced by both ER stress and miR-346. The target genes of miR-346 regulate immune responses and include the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I gene products, interferon-induced genes, and the ER antigen peptide transporter 1 (TAP1). Although most of the repressed mRNAs appear to be indirect targets because they lack specific seeding sites for miR-346, we demonstrate that the human TAP1 mRNA is a direct target of miR-346. The human TAP1 mRNA 3'-UTR contains a 6-mer canonical seeding site for miR-346. Importantly, the ER stress-associated reduction in human TAP1 mRNA and protein levels could be reversed with an miR-346 antagomir. Because TAP function is necessary for proper MHC class I-associated antigen presentation, our results provide a novel mechanistic explanation for reduced MHC class I-associated antigen presentation that was observed during ER stress.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2011; 286(48):41862-70. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant activation of the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway is implicated widely in both pediatric and adult malignancies. Inactivation of the Hh regulator PTCH is responsible for the Gorlin cancer predisposition syndrome. The spectrum of tumors found in Gorlin Syndrome includes basal cell carcinoma, medulloblastoma, and rarely, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). A previous report utilizing in situ hybridization has provided initial evidence for the expression of Hh targets GLI1 and PTCH in RMS tumors. To investigate the role of Hh pathway signaling in pediatric RMS and undifferentiated sarcoma (US) tumors, the expression of Hh pathway targets GLI1 and PTCH was measured. RNA was extracted from archival human tumor specimens collected from pediatric patients enrolled on Intergroup Rhabdomyosarcoma Study III and IV, and subjected to quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Expression of GLI1 with or without PTCH was detected in substantial subsets of embryonal RMS (ERMS) and US tumors but only rarely in alveolar RMS tumors. Neither PTCH mutations nor activating SMO mutations were detected in ERMS tumors with high GLI1 expression. Microarray analysis demonstrated relative overexpression of downstream Hh targets in ERMS tumors with high or intermediate GLI1 expression. Unlike a recent report, Hh pathway activity in ERMS tumors did not correlate with a unique clinical phenotype. Our findings support a role for Hh pathway activation in the genesis of a subset of ERMS and US tumors. Hh signaling may represent a novel therapeutic target in affected tumors.
    Pediatric Blood & Cancer 05/2011; 57(6):930-8. · 2.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Drusen are extracellular lesions characteristic of aging and age-related maculopathy, a major retinal disease of the elderly. We determined the relative proportions of lipids and proteins in drusen capped with retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and in RPE isolated from non-macular regions of 36 human retinas with grossly normal maculas obtained <6 hr after death. Druse pellets were examined by light and electron microscopy. Component proteins were extracted using novel methods for preserved tissues, separated, subjected to tryptic digestion and LC-MS(MS)(2) analysis using an ion trap mass spectrometer, and identified with reference to databases. Lipid classes were separated using thin layer chromatography and quantified by densitometry. Major druse components were esterified cholesterol (EC), phosphatidylcholine (PC), and protein (37.5+/-13.7, 36.9+/-12.9, and 43.0+/-11.5 ng/druse, respectively). Lipid-containing particles (median diameter, 77 nm) occupied 37-44% of druse volume. Major proteins include vitronectin, complement component 9, apoE, and clusterin, previously seen in drusen, and ATP synthase subunit beta, scavenger receptor B2, and retinol dehydrogenase 5, previously seen in RPE. Drusen and RPE had similar protein profiles, with higher intensities and greater variability in drusen. C8, part of the complement membrane attack complex, was localized in drusen by immunofluorescence. At least 40% of druse content is comprised by lipids dominated by EC and PC, 2 components that are potentially accounted for by just one pathway, the secretion of lipoproteins by RPE. Manipulating genes encoding apolipoprotein pathways would be a fruitful approach to producing drusen with high EC content in laboratory animals. Therapies that directly mitigate drusen should prepare for the substantial volume of neutral lipids. The catalog of major druse proteins is nearing completion.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(4):e10329. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • Free Radical Biology and Medicine - FREE RADICAL BIOL MED. 01/2010; 49.
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    ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis EsxA and EsxB proteins are founding members of the WXG100 (WXG) protein family, characterized by their small size (approximately 100 amino acids) and conserved WXG amino acid motif. M. tuberculosis contains 11 tandem pairs of WXG genes; each gene pair is thought to be coexpressed to form a heterodimer. The precise role of these proteins in the biology of M. tuberculosis is unknown, but several of the heterodimers are secreted, which is important for virulence. However, WXG proteins are not simply virulence factors, since nonpathogenic mycobacteria also express and secrete these proteins. Here we show that three WXG heterodimers have structures and properties similar to those of the M. tuberculosis EsxBA (MtbEsxBA) heterodimer, regardless of their host species and apparent biological function. Biophysical studies indicate that the WXG proteins from M. tuberculosis (EsxG and EsxH), Mycobacterium smegmatis (EsxA and EsxB), and Corynebacterium diphtheriae (EsxA and EsxB) are heterodimers and fold into a predominately alpha-helical structure. An in vivo protein-protein interaction assay was modified to identify proteins that interact specifically with the native WXG100 heterodimer. MtbEsxA and MtbEsxB were fused into a single polypeptide, MtbEsxBA, to create a biomimetic bait for the native heterodimer. The MtbEsxBA bait showed specific association with several esx-1-encoded proteins and EspA, a virulence protein secreted by ESX-1. The MtbEsxBA fusion peptide was also utilized to identify residues in both EsxA and EsxB that are important for establishing protein interactions with Rv3871 and EspA. Together, the results are consistent with a model in which WXG proteins perform similar biological roles in virulent and nonvirulent species.
    Journal of bacteriology 10/2009; 192(1):326-35. · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The metabolic events associated with maintaining redox homeostasis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) during infection are poorly understood. Here, we discovered a novel redox switching mechanism by which Mtb WhiB3 under defined oxidizing and reducing conditions differentially modulates the assimilation of propionate into the complex virulence polyketides polyacyltrehaloses (PAT), sulfolipids (SL-1), phthiocerol dimycocerosates (PDIM), and the storage lipid triacylglycerol (TAG) that is under control of the DosR/S/T dormancy system. We developed an in vivo radio-labeling technique and demonstrated for the first time the lipid profile changes of Mtb residing in macrophages, and identified WhiB3 as a physiological regulator of virulence lipid anabolism. Importantly, MtbDeltawhiB3 shows enhanced growth on medium containing toxic levels of propionate, thereby implicating WhiB3 in detoxifying excess propionate. Strikingly, the accumulation of reducing equivalents in MtbDeltawhiB3 isolated from macrophages suggests that WhiB3 maintains intracellular redox homeostasis upon infection, and that intrabacterial lipid anabolism functions as a reductant sink. MtbDeltawhiB3 infected macrophages produce higher levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, indicating that WhiB3-mediated regulation of lipids is required for controlling the innate immune response. Lastly, WhiB3 binds to pks2 and pks3 promoter DNA independent of the presence or redox state of its [4Fe-4S] cluster. Interestingly, reduction of the apo-WhiB3 Cys thiols abolished DNA binding, whereas oxidation stimulated DNA binding. These results confirmed that WhiB3 DNA binding is reversibly regulated by a thiol-disulfide redox switch. These results introduce a new paradigmatic mechanism that describes how WhiB3 facilitates metabolic switching to fatty acids by regulating Mtb lipid anabolism in response to oxido-reductive stress associated with infection, for maintaining redox balance. The link between the WhiB3 virulence pathway and DosR/S/T signaling pathway conceptually advances our understanding of the metabolic adaptation and redox-based signaling events exploited by Mtb to maintain long-term persistence.
    PLoS Pathogens 09/2009; 5(8):e1000545. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanisms that allow Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) to persist in human tissue for decades and to then abruptly cause disease are not clearly understood. Regulatory elements thought to assist Mtb to enter such a state include the heme two-component sensor kinases DosS and DosT and the cognate response regulator DosR. We have demonstrated previously that O(2), nitric oxide (NO), and carbon monoxide (CO) are regulatory ligands of DosS and DosT. Here, we show that in addition to O(2) and NO, CO induces the complete Mtb dormancy (Dos) regulon. Notably, we demonstrate that CO is primarily sensed through DosS to induce the Dos regulon, whereas DosT plays a less prominent role. We also show that Mtb infection of macrophage cells significantly increases the expression, protein levels, and enzymatic activity of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1, the enzyme that produces CO), in an NO-independent manner. Furthermore, exploiting HO-1(+/+) and HO-1(-/-) bone marrow-derived macrophages, we demonstrate that physiologically relevant levels of CO induce the Dos regulon. Finally, we demonstrate that increased HO-1 mRNA and protein levels are produced in the lungs of Mtb-infected mice. Our data suggest that during infection, O(2), NO, and CO are being sensed concurrently rather than independently via DosS and DosT. We conclude that CO, a previously unrecognized host factor, is a physiologically relevant Mtb signal capable of inducing the Dos regulon, which introduces a new paradigm for understanding the molecular basis of Mtb persistence.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2008; 283(26):18032-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor