Y Weinstein

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er Sheva`, Southern District, Israel

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Publications (82)394.76 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: N-glycosylation is one of the most important post-translational modifications that influence protein polymorphism, including protein structures and their functions. Although this important biological process has been extensively studied in mammals, only limited knowledge exists regarding glycosylation in algae. The current research is focused on the red microalga Porphyridium sp., which is a potentially valuable source for various applications, such as skin therapy, food, and pharmaceuticals. The enzymes involved in the biosynthesis and processing of N-glycans remain undefined in this species, and the mechanism(s) of their genetic regulation is completely unknown. In this study, we describe our pioneering attempt to understand the endoplasmic reticulum N-Glycosylation pathway in Porphyridium sp., using a bioinformatic approach. Homology searches, based on sequence similarities with genes encoding proteins involved in the ER N-glycosylation pathway (including their conserved parts) were conducted using the TBLASTN function on the algae DNA scaffold contigs database. This approach led to the identification of 24 encoded-genes implicated with the ER N-glycosylation pathway in Porphyridium sp. Homologs were found for almost all known N-glycosylation protein sequences in the ER pathway of Porphyridium sp.; thus, suggesting that the ER-pathway is conserved; as it is in other organisms (animals, plants, yeasts, etc.).
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: The group of Arad has taken up the challenge of exploiting the potential of the sulfated polysaccharides of red microalgae for biotechnological applications. To this end, they are conducting an integrated investigation, which initially involved chemical, physiological, and biochemical studies of the polysaccharide and the development of large-scale production technologies. However, as the group became more and more familiar with the subject, it became clear that the sulfated polysaccharides that characterize the red microalgae comprise a unique and very complex group of molecules and that biotechnology development would be correspondingly complex. KeywordsSulfated polysaccharides-red microalgae- Porphyridium sp.-cell factories-ESTs- Dixoniella grisea -Arf1-transformation-protoplast fusion-oral vaccines
    Full-text · Chapter · Dec 2009
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    ABSTRACT: The enzyme 20alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20alpha-HSD) is a progesterone-catabolizing enzyme that is highly expressed in mouse ovaries and adrenals. Although the functional significance of ovarian 20alpha-HSD for the induction of parturition has been defined, regulation and distribution of 20alpha-HSD in the adrenal gland has not been determined. We demonstrate that the expression of adrenal 20alpha-HSD is restricted to the X-zone, a transient zone between the adrenal cortex and the medulla of yet unknown function. Adrenal 20alpha-HSD activity in male mice peaks at 3 wk of age and disappears thereafter, whereas 20alpha-HSD enzyme activity is maintained in adrenals from nulliparous female animals. Testosterone treatment of female mice induces rapid involution of the X-zone that is associated with the disappearance of the 20alpha-HSD-positive cells. Conversely, reappearance of 20alpha-HSD expression and activity in male animals is evident after gonadectomy. Moreover, pregnancy, but not pseudopregnancy, is accompanied by X-zone regression and loss of 20alpha-HSD activity. Pregnancy-induced X-zone regression and -abolished 20alpha-HSD expression is partially restored in animals that were kept from nursing their pups. We found that in addition to its progesterone-reducing activity, 20alpha-HSD also functions as an 11-deoxycorticosterone-catabolizing enzyme. The unaltered growth kinetics of the X-zone in 20alpha-HSD knockout animals suggests that 20alpha-HSD is not required for the regulation of X-zone growth. However, 20alpha-HSD expression and enzymatic activity in all experimental paradigms is closely correlated with the presence of the X-zone. These findings provide the basis for 20alpha-HSD as a reliable marker of the murine X-zone.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2007 · Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: Fc gammaRIIA expressed on neutrophils and monocytes has a fundamental role in combating bacterial infections. In the present study, the requirement of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) for induction of Fc gammaRIIA expression was studied in a model of cPLA2-deficient PLB-985 cells (PLB-D cells). Fc gammaRIIA was acquired only during differentiation of PLB but not of PLB-D cells induced by either 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, retinoic acid, or interferon gamma. Addition of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) to PLB-D cells undergoing differentiation restored the expression of Fc gammaRIIA protein, whereas addition of indomethacin to PLB cells during differentiation inhibited both the production of PGE2 and the expression of Fc gammaRIIA. Inhibition of PKA during PLB differentiation prevented Fc gammaRIIA expression, whereas dibutyryl cAMP (dbcAMP) induced its expression in both PLB and PLB-D cells. CREB phosphorylation and CREB-CRE interaction were detected only in differentiated PLB cells and not PLB-D cells and were inhibited by indomethacin. A reporter gene containing a Fc gammaRIIA gene promoter fragment with the CRE element was sufficient for CREB activation. Our results are the first to show that CREB activation is involved in up-regulation of Fc gammaRIIA expression in myeloid lineages. PGE2 formed via cPLA2 activates CREB through PKA and this process is dependent on development of PGE2 receptor 4.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2006 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) is a polypeptide precursor that undergoes extensive processing to yield a range of peptides with biologically diverse functions. POMC-derived ACTH is vital for normal adrenal function and the melanocortin alpha-MSH plays a key role in appetite control and energy homeostasis. However, the roles of peptide fragments derived from the highly conserved N-terminal region of POMC are less well characterized. We have used mice with a null mutation in the Pomc gene (Pomc(-/-)) to determine the in vivo effects of synthetic N-terminal 1-28 POMC, which has been shown previously to possess adrenal mitogenic activity. 1-28 POMC (20 mug) given s.c. for 10 days had no effect on the adrenal cortex of Pomc(-/-) mice, with resultant cortical morphology and plasma corticosterone levels being indistinguishable from sham treatment. Concurrent administration of 1-28 POMC and 1-24 ACTH (30 mug/day) resulted in changes identical to 1-24 ACTH treatment alone, which consisted of upregulation of steroidogenic enzymes, elevation of corticosterone levels, hypertrophy of the zona fasciculate, and regression of the X-zone. However, treatment of corticosterone-depleted Pomc(-/-) mice with 1-28 POMC reduced cumulative food intake and total body weight. These anorexigenic effects were ameliorated when the peptide was administered to Pomc(-/-) mice with circulating corticosterone restored either to a low physiological level by corticosterone-supplemented drinking water (CORT) or to a supraphysiological level by concurrent 1-24 ACTH administration. Further, i.c.v. administration of 1-28 POMC to CORT-treated Pomc(-/-) mice had no effect on food intake or body weight. In wild-type mice, the effects of 1-28 POMC upon food intake and body weight were identical to sham treatment, but 1-28 POMC was able to ameliorate the hyperphagia induced by concurrent 1-24 ACTH treatment. In a mouse model which lacks all endogenous POMC peptides, s.c. treatment with synthetic 1-28 POMC alone can reduce food intake and body weight, but has no impact upon adrenal growth or steroidogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2006 · Journal of Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: The molecular phylogeny of red algal actin genes, with emphasis on the paraphyletic "Bangiophyceae," was examined and compared to the rhodophyte SSU rDNA phylogeny. Nineteen new genomic actin sequences and seven SSU rDNA sequences were obtained and subjected to diverse phylogenetic analyses (maximum likelihood, distance/neighbor-joining, maximum parsimony, Bayesian analyses, and, with respect to protein sequences, also quartet puzzling). The actin trees confirmed most of the major clades found in the SSU rDNA phylogenies, although with a lower resolution. An actin gene duplication in the florideophycean lineage is reported, presumably related to an increased complexity of sexual reproduction. In addition, the distribution and characteristics of spliceosomal introns found in some of the actin sequences were examined. Introns were found in almost all florideophycean actin genes, whereas only two bangiophyte sequences contained introns. One intron in the florideophycean actin genes was also found in metazoan, and, shifted by one or two nucleotides, in a glaucocystophyte, a cryptophyte, and two fungal actin genes, and thus may be an ancient intron.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2005 · Journal of Molecular Evolution
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    ABSTRACT: Citral, 3,7-dimethyl-2,6-octadien-1-al, a key component of the lemon-scented essential oils extracted from several herbal plants such as lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), melissa (Melissa officinalis), verbena (Verbena officinalis) is used as a food additive and as a fragrance in cosmetics. In this study, we investigated the anti-cancer potential of citral and its mode of action. Concentrations of 44.5 muM, comparable to the concentration of citral in a cup of tea prepared from 1 g of lemon grass, induced apoptosis in several hematopoietic cancer cell lines. Apoptosis was accompanied by DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 catalytic activity induction. Citral activity (22.25 microM) was compared to a reference compound like staurosporine (0.7 microM), in respect to DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 enzymatic activity. The apoptotic effect of citral depended on the alpha,beta-unsaturated aldehyde group.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2005 · Planta Medica
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    ABSTRACT: The two highly related signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stats), Stat5a and Stat5b, are major mediators of prolactin signaling in both the mammary gland and in the ovary. Deficiencies in Stat5b, or in both Stat5a and Stat5b, result in loss of pregnancy during midgestation and are correlated with an increase in ovarian 20alpha-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (20alpha-HSD) and a decrease in serum progesterone, which normally declines only immediately before parturition. To determine the relative contribution of 20alpha-HSD to progesterone metabolism and Stat5 function during pregnancy and parturition, we created a 20alpha-HSD-deficient strain of mice by gene disruption. Mice deficient for 20alpha-HSD sustain high progesterone levels and display a delay in parturition of several days demonstrating that 20alpha-HSD regulates parturition downstream of the prostaglandin F2alpha receptor in an essential and nonredundant manner. Moreover, 20alpha-HSD deficiency partially corrected the abortion of pregnancies associated with Stat5b deficiency, supporting the concept that prolactin activation of Stat5b is important in suppressing 20alpha-HSD gene expression and thereby allowing the maintenance of progesterone levels that are required to sustain pregnancy.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2005 · Molecular Endocrinology
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    ABSTRACT: To determine whether soluble HLA-G1 (sHLA-G1) concentrations in maternal serum and in amniotic fluid are lower at term than in the second trimester. In this prospective study amniotic fluid and maternal serum samples were aspirated from 21 pregnant women during genetic amniocentesis at 16-20 weeks' gestation, and from 19 women undergoing a cesarean section at term. In the latter group arterial umbilical cord blood was aspirated as well. sHLA-G1 levels were determined using ELISA assay. This assay included the anti-HLA-G monoclonal antibodies 87G and 16G1, both as capture antibodies and horseradish-peroxidase-labeled rabbit anti-human beta(2)-microglobulin antibodies, as the detection antibody. The relative concentrations of sHLA-G1 were measured from the absorbancy of the blue product at 650 nm. Student's t test was used for statistical analysis. sHLA-G1 levels in amniotic fluid were significantly lower at term than in the second trimester (0.160 +/- 0.05 vs. 0.272 +/- 0.150 OD units; p < 0.05). Levels of sHLA-G1 in maternal serum declined toward term, but the difference from the second trimester was not statistically significant (0.266 +/- 0.157 vs. 0.205 +/- 0.120 OD units; p = 0.193). There was a strong correlation of sHLA-G1 concentrations between cord serum and maternal serum (R(2) = 0.79; p < 0.001), but not between cord serum and amniotic fluid (R(2) = 0.00004) or amniotic fluid and maternal serum (R(2) = 0.02). sHLA-G1 antigen expression is higher in amniotic fluid than in maternal-fetal compartments and significantly decreases toward term. We speculate that the declining amniotic fluid sHLA-G1 levels may stimulate a maternal immunological response against the fetus and contribute to the initiation of parturition.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2004 · Fetal Diagnosis and Therapy
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    ABSTRACT: The cells of the red microalga Porphyridium sp. (UTEX 637) are encapsulated in a cell wall of a negatively charged mucilaginous polysaccharide complex composed of 10 different sugars, sulfate, and proteins. In this work, we studied the proteins associated with the cell-wall polysaccharide. A number of noncovalently associated proteins were resolved by SDS-PAGE, but no covalently bound proteins were detected. The most prominent protein detected was a 66-kDa glycoprotein consisting of a polypeptide of approximately 58 kDa and a glycan moiety of approximately 8 kDa containing N-linked terminal mannose. In size-exclusion chromatography, the 66-kDa protein was coeluted with the polysaccharide and could be separated from the polysaccharide only after denaturation of the protein, indicating that the 66-kDa protein was tightly bound to the polysaccharide. Western blot analysis revealed that the 66-kDa protein was specific to Porphyridium sp. and P. cruentum, because it was not detected in the other species of red microalgae examined. Indirect immunofluorescence assay confirmed the location of the protein in the algal cell wall. The sequence of cDNA clone encoding the 66-kDa glycoprotein, detected in our in-house expressed sequence tag database of Porphyridium sp., revealed that this is a novel protein with no similarity to any protein in the public domain databases and our in-house expressed sequence tag database of the red microalga Rhodella reticulata. The 66-kDa protein bound polysaccharides from red algae but not from those of other origins tested. Possible roles of the 66-kDa protein in the biosynthesis of the polysaccharide are discussed.
    Full-text · Article · May 2004 · Journal of Phycology
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    Preview · Article · Jan 2004
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    R Ofir · R Seidman · T Rabinski · M Krup · V Yavelsky · Y Weinstein · M Wolfson
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    ABSTRACT: Taxol is used in chemotherapy regimens against breast and ovarian cancer. Treatment of tumor model cell lines with taxol induces apoptosis, but exact mechanism is not sufficiently understood. Our results demonstrate that in response to taxol, various cell types differentially utilize distinct apoptotic pathways. Using MCF7 breast carcinoma cells transfected with caspase-3 gene, we showed that taxol-induced apoptosis occurred in the absence of caspase-3 and caspase-9 activation. Similar results were obtained with ovarian SKOV3 carcinoma cells, expressing high level of endogenous caspase-3. In contrast, staurosporine-induced apoptosis in these cells was accompanied by proteolytic cleavage of pro-caspase-3 and induction of caspase-3 enzymatic activity. The effect of taxol appears to be cell type-specific, since taxol-induced apoptosis in leukemia U937 cells involved caspase-3 activation step. We conclude that a unique caspase-3 and caspase-9 independent pathway is elicited by taxol to induce apoptosis in human ovarian and breast cancinoma cells.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2002 · Cell Death and Differentiation
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    ABSTRACT: Expression of cytokines in malignant cells represents a novel approach for therapeutic treatment of tumors. Previously, we demonstrated the immunostimulatory effectiveness of interleukin 1alpha (IL-1alpha) gene transfer in experimental fibrosarcoma tumors. Here, we report the antitumor and immunotherapeutic effects of short-term expression of IL-1alpha by malignant T lymphoma cells. Activation in culture of T lymphoma cells with lipopolysaccharide-stimulated macrophages induces the expression of IL-1alpha. The short-term expression of IL-1alpha persists in the malignant T cells for a few days (approximately 3-6 days) after termination of the in vitro activation procedure and, thus, has the potential to stimulate antitumor immune responses in vivo. As an experimental tumor model, we used the RO1 invasive T lymphoma cell line. Upon i.v. inoculation, these cells invade the vertebral column and compress the spinal cord, resulting in hind leg paralysis and death of the mice. Activated RO1 cells, induced to express IL-1alpha in a short-term manner, manifested reduced tumorigenicity: approximately 75% of the mice injected with activated RO1 cells remained tumor free. IL-1 was shown to be essential for the eradication of activated T lymphoma cells because injection of activated RO1 cells together with IL-1-specific inhibitors, i.e., the IL-1 receptor antagonist or the M 20 IL-1 inhibitor, reversed reduced tumorigenicity patterns and led to progressive tumor growth and death of the mice. Furthermore, activated RO1 cells could serve as a treatment by intervening in the growth of violent RO1 cells after tumor take. Thus, when activated RO1 cells were injected 6 or 9 days after the inoculation of violent cells, mortality was significantly reduced. IL-1alpha, in its unique membrane-associated form, in addition to its cytosolic and secreted forms, may represent a focused adjuvant for potentiating antitumor immune responses at low levels of expression, below those that are toxic to the host. Further assessment of the immunotherapeutic potential of short-term expression of IL-1alpha in activated tumor cells may allow its improved application in the treatment of malignancies.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 1999 · Cancer Research
  • R Ofir · S Horowitz · Q Wu · Y Weinstein
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    ABSTRACT: Mycoplasma fermentans was reported as a common contaminant of cell cultures, and was shown to either induce or suppress several immunological functions. A strain of M. fermentans was recently isolated from a mouse T-lymphoma cell line, which differs from other M. fermentans strains by its growth characteristics and was designated (in the authors' records) as strain 609. Using the differential display technique (DD), a differentially expressed gene that was identified as the M. fermentans 609 ftsZ gene was isolated. Comparison of the nucleotide sequence of the M. fermentans 609 ftsZ gene to other ftsZ genes showed a 98% homology with Mycoplasma fermentans strain K7 and approximately 50% homology with Mycoplasma pulmonis and Mycoplasma genitalium. Comparison of the putative amino acid sequences of the FtsZ proteins showed similar homology. A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect the presence of this ftsZ gene was established; it is a fast and convenient assay to detect infection of cells by the M. fermentans species. This work demonstrates that: (i) DD can be used as a useful technique to identify and isolate mycoplasmal genes from infected cells; and (ii) the ftsZ gene can be a useful marker to distinguish between different species of mycoplasma.
    No preview · Article · May 1998 · Molecular and Cellular Probes
  • R Ofir · W Qing · M Krup · Y Weinstein
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    ABSTRACT: Cytokines mediate their effects on growth and maturation of hematopoietic cells by binding to their cognate receptors and activating target genes. Interleukin-3 (IL-3) and erythropoietin (Epo) induce signal transduction via the Jak-Stat pathway. We report here on the identification of several known and novel genes induced by IL-3 and Epo, using a modified version of the PCR-based technique, enhanced differential display (EDD). We modified the technique to facilitate the screening and verification of the differential expression of the genes by using reverse Southern blotting (RS) and PCR-Southern blotting, and we called it EDD-RS. From the initial 110 genetags that were identified as differential expressed genes, 14 contained more than one gene. Among the differentially expressed genes, 24 are known genes and 39 are novel genes. Several of the known genes, such as IRF-1 and P21waf, were previously observed by others to be induced by IL-3 and Epo, but their dependence on Stat5 activation in cytokine-dependent cells was unknown. Other known genes, such as crp and Mssp2/1, were not described previously as target genes for cytokine induction. The results demonstrate that EDD-RS is an efficient method to identify cytokine-induced genes and can be productive in delineating the signal required for their induction.
    No preview · Article · Jun 1997 · Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research
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    ABSTRACT: The cytoplasmic domain of the erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) contains a membrane-distal region that is dispensable for mitogenesis but is required for the recruitment and tyrosine phosphorylation of a variety of signaling proteins. The membrane-proximal region of 96 amino acids is necessary and sufficient for mitogenesis as well as Jak2 activation, induction of c-fos, c-myc, cis, the T-cell receptor gamma locus (TCR-gamma), and c-pim-1. The studies presented here demonstrate that this region is also necessary and sufficient for the activation of Stat5A and Stat5B. The membrane-proximal domain contains a single tyrosine, Y-343, which when mutated eliminates the ability of the receptor to couple Epo binding to the activation of Stat5. Furthermore, peptide competitions demonstrate that this site, when phosphorylated, can disrupt Stat5 DNA binding activity, consistent with a role of Y-343 as a site of recruitment to the receptor. Cells expressing the truncated, Y343F mutant (a mutant with a Y-to-F alteration at position 343) proliferate in response to Epo in a manner comparable to that of the controls. However, in these cells, Epo stimulation does not induce the appearance of transcripts for cis, TCR-gamma, or c-fos, suggesting a role for Stat5 in their regulation.
    Full-text · Article · May 1996 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • R Parvari · R Carmi · J Weissenbach · G Pilia · S Mumm · Y Weinstein

    No preview · Article · Feb 1996 · American Journal of Medical Genetics
  • R Carmi · R Parvari · S Ehrlich · B Cwikel · Y Weinstein

    No preview · Article · Feb 1996 · Birth defects original article series
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    ABSTRACT: Replication and encapsidation of measles virus (MV) requires the interaction between the nuclear protein (N) and the phosphoprotein (P). It is known that both proteins are phosphorylated on serine and threonine residues. Recently we have shown that N is phosphorylated on tyrosine in persistently-infected mouse neuroblastoma cells (NS20Y/MS). Here, we show that P in NS20Y/MS is also phosphorylated on tyrosine. To investigate whether cellular tyrosine kinases can bind and phosphorylate P, a solid phase kinase assay was employed. We show that bacterially-expressed MV P fragments, were phosphorylated on tyrosine by purified mouse c-Src protein-tyrosine kinase and when mixed with uninfected neuroblastoma cell (NS20Y) extracts, these P fragments were phosphorylated on tyrosine in addition to serine and threonine. These results imply that MV P is a substrate for tyrosine phosphorylation by cellular tyrosine kinase(s).
    No preview · Article · Feb 1996 · Virus Genes
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    ABSTRACT: The expression of the germ-line gene V gamma 1.1-C gamma 4 of the T cell receptor (TcR) gamma chain depends on interleukin (IL)-3 induction in hematopoietic cells, while in T cells, the rearranged gene is expressed constitutively. To understand the mechanism that controls TcR gamma gene expression, we cloned and characterized the structure and function of the V gamma 1.1-C gamma 4 TcR promoter. IL-3-dependent cell lines and T cell lines utilized the same transcriptional start sites. In chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) assays, the minimal 70-bp promoter confers strong transcriptional activity which is 50-60% of the Moloney long terminal repeat promoter activity. The 500-bp promoter region linked to the CAT gene exhibits IL-3 dependency similar to the endogenous TcR gamma gene. The immediate 3' and 5' flanking sequences inhibit the promoter activity two- to fourfold. The promoter lacks an obvious TATA box or CAAT box sequences, but contains a GC box in the untranslated region 3' to the promoter. The GC box is the core sequence of the element which binds Sp1-like proteins. Cloning of this Sp1 binding element in front of the thymidine kinase (TK) promoter and mutations generated in this site demonstrate its function as a silencer. Ultraviolet cross-linking analysis with the Sp1 binding site from the TcR gamma promoter revealed binding of a 90-100-kDa protein in a T cell line (EL-4) and 40-50 and 90-100-kDa proteins in FDC-P1 cells. The possible function of the Sp1-like protein in silencing the minimal promoter activity is discussed.
    No preview · Article · Nov 1995 · European Journal of Immunology

Publication Stats

3k Citations
394.76 Total Impact Points


  • 1984-2014
    • Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
      • • Faculty of Health Sciences
      • • Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology
      Be'er Sheva`, Southern District, Israel
  • 1986
    • Leidos Biomedical Research
      Фредерик, Maryland, United States
  • 1969-1979
    • Weizmann Institute of Science
  • 1977
    • National Institutes of Health
      Maryland, United States
  • 1974-1977
    • University of California, San Francisco
      • • Department of Clinical Pharmacy
      • • Cardiovascular Research Institute
      San Francisco, California, United States
    • Johns Hopkins University
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 1975
    • Stanford University
      Stanford, California, United States