E W Pirok

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, United States

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Publications (8)22.64 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To examine the efficacy of ziprasidone vs. placebo for the depressive mixed state in patients with bipolar disorder type II or major depressive disorder (MDD). 73 patients were randomized in a double-blinded, placebo-controlled study to ziprasidone (40-160 mg/d) or placebo for 6 weeks. They met DSM-IV criteria for a major depressive episode (MDE), while also meeting 2 or 3 (but not more nor less) DSM-IV manic criteria. They did not meet DSM-IV criteria for a mixed or manic episode. Baseline psychotropic drugs were continued unchanged. The primary endpoint measured was Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) scores over time. The mean dose of ziprasidone was 129.7±45.3 mg/day and 126.1±47.1 mg/day for placebo. The primary outcome analysis indicated efficacy of ziprasidone versus placebo (p = 0.0038). Efficacy was more pronounced in type II bipolar disorder than in MDD (p = 0.036). Overall ziprasidone was well tolerated, without notable worsening of weight or extrapyramidal symptoms. There was a statistically significant benefit with ziprasidone versus placebo in this first RCT of any medication for the provisional diagnostic concept of the depressive mixed state. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00490542.
    PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e34757. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Expression of the extracellular proteoglycan aggrecan is both cell-specific and developmentally regulated. Previous studies identified six functionally defined cis elements in the aggrecan promoter region which were shown to repress aggrecan gene expression (1). Using competition electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) we have now identified in nuclear extracts a functional repressor cis element, (T/C)TCCCCT(A/C)RRC, which occurs at multiple locations within the chick aggrecan regulatory region. We purified the factor that binds to this cis element and established that it, APBP-1 (aggrecan promoter-binding protein-1), is a 19-kDa protein that has significant homology to CIRP (cold inducible RNA-binding protein). Recombinantly expressed APBP-1 mimics the native cis element-trans factor interaction in EMSAs. In situ hybridization demonstrates that aggrecan and APBP-1 RNA expression are restricted to complementary tissues in the developing limb, and Northern blot analysis of chick limb bud mRNA shows that APBP-1 mRNA expression is inversely correlated with aggrecan mRNA expression. Functional analyses by transient transfections and Northern blot analyses suggest APBP-1 has the capacity to repress aggrecan expression, indicating that this factor may be important regulator of aggrecan gene expression.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2005; 280(42):35606-16. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • E W Pirok, J Henry, N B Schwartz
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    ABSTRACT: Aggrecan is a large chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan whose expression is both cell-specific and developmentally regulated. Cloning and sequencing of the 1.8-kilobase genomic 5'-flanking sequence of the chick aggrecan gene revealed the presence of potential tissue-specific control elements including a consensus sequence found in the cartilage-associated silencers, CSIIS1 and CSIIS2, that were first characterized in the type II collagen promoter sequences, as well as numerous other cis elements. Transient transfections of chick sternal chondrocytes and fibroblasts with reporter plasmids bearing progressively deleted portions of the chick aggrecan promoter and enhancer region demonstrated cell type-specific promoter activity and identified a 420-base pair region in the genomic 5-flanking region responsible for negative regulation of the aggrecan gene. In this report, three complementary methods, DNase I footprinting assays, transient transfections, and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA), provided an integral approach to better understand the regulation of the aggrecan gene. DNase I footprinting revealed that six regions of this genomic sequence bind to nuclear proteins in a tissue-specific manner. Transient transfection of reporter constructs bearing ablations of these protected sequences showed that four of the six protected sequences, which contain the sequence TCCTCC or TCCCCT, had repressor activities in transfected chick chondrocytes. Cross-competition EMSA using nuclear protein extracted from chondrocytes or fibroblasts explored the contributions of the different sequence elements in formation of DNA-protein complexes specific to cell type. This is the first parallel examination of the EMSA patterns for six functionally defined cis elements with highly similar sequences, using protein from primary cultured cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2001; 276(20):16894-903. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aggrecan is a complex multidomain macromolecule that undergoes extensive processing and post-translational modification. A thorough understanding of the events and signals that promote translocation of aggrecan through the secretory pathway is lacking. To investigate which features of the C-terminal G3 region are necessary for successful translocation of the core protein, a number of deletion constructs based on the chick aggrecan cDNA sequence were prepared and transiently expressed in COS-1 cells and the natural host, embryonic chick chondrocytes; stable cell lines were established as well. The present results clearly establish a precise requirement for that portion of the G3 C-lectin domain encoded by exon 15 for: (i) translocation from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi, (ii) secretion from the cell, (iii) galactosylation of chondroitin sulfate (CS) chains, (iv) generation of Ca(+2)-dependent galactose binding ability. Furthermore, in the absence of this subdomain there is excess accumulation in the ER of expression products leading to a stress-related response involving the chaperones Grp78 and protein disulfide isomerase, followed by degradation via a ubiquitin-proteosome pathway. All of these events in the model system faithfully mimic the naturally occurring nanomelic mutant, which also elicits a ubiquitin-mediated degradation response due to the accumulation of the truncated core protein precursor. This study represents the first report of the mode of degradation of overexpressed or misfolded proteoglycans and suggests that, although proteoglycans follow different glycosylation pathways from other glycoproteins, they are monitored by an ER surveillance system similar to that which detects other misfolded proteins.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2000; 275(45):35098-105. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Proteoglycans are complex macromolecules, consisting of a polypeptide backbone to which are covalently attached one or more glycosaminoglycan chains. Molecular cloning has allowed identification of the genes encoding the core proteins of various proteoglycans, leading to a better understanding of the diversity of proteoglycan structure and function, as well as to the evolution of a classification of proteoglycans on the basis of emerging gene families that encode the different core proteins. One such family includes several proteoglycans that have been grouped with aggrecan, the large aggregating chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan of cartilage, based on a high number of sequence similarities within the N- and C-terminal domains. Thus far these proteoglycans include versican, neurocan, and brevican. It is now apparent that these proteins, as a group, are truly a gene family with shared structural motifs on the protein and nucleotide (mRNA) levels, and with nearly identical genomic organizations. Clearly a common ancestral origin is indicated for the members of the aggrecan family of proteoglycans. However, differing patterns of amplification and divergence have also occurred within certain exons across species and family members, leading to the class-characteristic protein motifs in the central carbohydrate-rich region exclusively. Thus the overall domain organization strongly suggests that sequence conservation in the terminal globular domains underlies common functions, whereas differences in the central portions of the genes account for functional specialization among the members of this gene family.
    Progress in Nucleic Acid Research and Molecular Biology 02/1999; 62:177-225. · 0.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aggrecan is a large chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, the expression of which is both tissue-specific and developmentally regulated. Here we report the cloning and sequencing of the 1.8-kilobase genomic 5' flanking sequence of the chick aggrecan gene and provide a functional and structural characterization of its promoter and enhancer region. Sequence analysis reveals potential Sp1, AP2, and NF-I related sites, as well as several putative transcription factor binding sites, including the cartilage-associated silencers CIIS1 and CIIS2. A number of these transcription factor binding motifs are embedded in a sequence flanked by prominent inverted repeats. Although lacking a classic TATA box, there are two instances in the 1.8-kb genomic fragment of TATA-like TCTAA sequences, as have been defined previously in other promoter regions. Primer extension and S1 protection analyses reveal three major transcription start sites, also located between the inverted repeats. Transient transfections of chick sternal chondrocytes and fibroblasts with reporter plasmids bearing progressively reduced portions of the aggrecan promoter region allowed mapping of chondrocyte-specific transcription enhancer and silencer elements that are consistent with the sequence analysis. These findings suggest the importance of this regulatory region in the tissue-specific expression of the chick aggrecan gene.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/1997; 272(17):11566-74. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Edward Warren. Pirok
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    ABSTRACT: Thesis (Ph. D.(Pathology))--Chicago, IL, August 2000. Includes bibliographical references (210-238). Photocopy.