[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), critical regulators of protein-coding genes, are likely to be coexpressed with neighboring protein-coding genes in the genome. How the genome integrates signals to achieve coexpression of lncRNA genes and neighboring protein-coding genes is not well understood. The lncRNA Tmevpg1 (NeST, Ifng-AS1) is critical for Th1-lineage-specific expression of Ifng and is coexpressed with Ifng. In this study, we show that T-bet guides epigenetic remodeling of Tmevpg1 proximal and distal enhancers, leading to recruitment of stimulus-inducible transcription factors, NF-κB and Ets-1, to the locus. Activities of Tmevpg1-specific enhancers and Tmevpg1 transcription are dependent upon NF-κB. Thus, we propose that T-bet stimulates epigenetic remodeling of Tmevpg1-specific enhancers and Ifng-specific enhancers to achieve Th1-lineage-specific expression of Ifng.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detection of brain lesions disseminated in space and time by magnetic resonance imaging remains a cornerstone for the diagnosis of clinically definite multiple sclerosis. We have sought to determine if gene expression biomarkers could contribute to the clinical diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
We employed expression levels of 30 genes in blood from 199 subjects with multiple sclerosis, 203 subjects with other neurologic disorders, and 114 healthy control subjects to train ratioscore and support vector machine algorithms. Blood samples were obtained from 46 subjects coincident with clinically isolated syndrome who progressed to clinically definite multiple sclerosis determined by conventional methods. Gene expression levels from these subjects were inputted into ratioscore and support vector machine algorithms to determine if these methods also predicted that these subjects would develop multiple sclerosis. Standard calculations of sensitivity and specificity were employed to determine accuracy of these predictions.
Our results demonstrate that ratioscore and support vector machine methods employing input gene transcript levels in blood can accurately identify subjects with clinically isolated syndrome that will progress to multiple sclerosis.
We conclude these approaches may be useful to predict progression from clinically isolated syndrome to multiple sclerosis.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of Clinical Bioinformatics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcriptional activation and repression of genes that are developmentally regulated or exhibit cell-type specific expression patterns is largely achieved by modifying the chromatin template at a gene locus. Complex formation of stable epigenetic histone marks, loss or gain of DNA methylation, alterations in chromosome conformation, and specific utilization of both proximal and distal transcriptional enhancers and repressors all contribute to this process. In addition, long non-coding RNAs are a new species of regulatory RNAs that either positively or negatively regulate transcription of target gene loci. IFN-γ is a pro-inflammatory cytokine with critical functions in both innate and adaptive arms of the immune system. This review focuses on our current understanding of how the chromatin template is modified at the IFNG locus during developmental processes leading to its transcriptional activation and silencing.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Frontiers in Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are considered to be of autoimmune origin, but the etiology of irritable bowel syndrome remains elusive. Furthermore, classifying patients into irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel diseases can be difficult without invasive testing and holds important treatment implications. Our aim was to assess the ability of gene expression profiling in blood to differentiate among these subject groups.
Transcript levels of a total of 45 genes in blood were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). We applied three separate analytic approaches; one utilized a scoring system derived from combinations of ratios of expression levels of two genes and two different support vector machines.
All methods discriminated different subject cohorts, irritable bowel syndrome from control, inflammatory bowel disease from control, irritable bowel syndrome from inflammatory bowel disease, and ulcerative colitis from Crohn’s disease, with high degrees of sensitivity and specificity.
These results suggest these approaches may provide clinically useful prediction of the presence of these gastro-intestinal diseases and syndromes.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of Clinical Bioinformatics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recombination-activating gene 1 (Rag1) and Rag2 enzymes are required for T cell receptor assembly and thymocyte development. The mechanisms underlying the transcriptional activation and repression of Rag1 and Rag2 are incompletely understood. The zinc-finger protein, Zfp608, represses Rag1 and Rag2 expression when expressed in thymocytes blocking T-cell maturation. Here we show that the related zinc-finger protein, Zfp609, is necessary for Rag1 and Rag2 expression in developing thymocytes. Zfp608 represses Rag1 and Rag2 expression indirectly by repressing the expression of Zfp609. Thus, the balance of Zfp608 and Zfp609 plays a critical role in regulating Rag1 and Rag2 expression, which may manifest itself not only during development of immature thymocytes into mature T cells but also in generation of the T-cell arm of the adaptive immune system, which does not fully develop until after birth.Genes and Immunity advance online publication, 18 October 2012; doi:10.1038/gene.2012.47.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Genes and immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Certain groups of physically linked genes remain linked over long periods of evolutionary time. The general view is that such evolutionary conservation confers 'fitness' to the species. Why gene order confers 'fitness' to the species is incompletely understood. For example, linkage of IL26 and IFNG is preserved over evolutionary time yet Th17 lineages express IL26 and Th1 lineages express IFNG. We considered the hypothesis that distal enhancer elements may be shared between adjacent genes, which would require linkage be maintained in evolution. We test this hypothesis using a bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic model with deletions of specific conserved non-coding sequences. We identify one enhancer element uniquely required for IL26 expression but not for IFNG expression. We identify a second enhancer element positioned between IL26 and IFNG required for both IL26 and IFNG expression. One function of this enhancer is to facilitate recruitment of RNA polymerase II to promoters of both genes. Thus, sharing of distal enhancers between adjacent genes may contribute to evolutionary preservation of gene order.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous studies have identified multiple conserved noncoding sequences (CNS) at the mouse Ifng locus sufficient for enhancer activity in cell-based assays. These studies do not directly address biology of the human IFNG locus in a genomic setting. IFNG enhancers may be functionally redundant or each may be functionally unique. We test the hypothesis that each IFNG enhancer has a unique necessary function using a bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic model. We find that CNS-30, CNS-4, and CNS+20 are required at distinct stages of Th1 differentiation, whereas CNS-16 has a repressive role in Th1 and Th2 cells. CNS+20 is required for IFN-γ expression by memory Th1 cells and NKT cells. CNS-4 is required for IFN-γ expression by effector Th1 cells. In contrast, CNS-16, CNS-4, and CNS+20 are each partially required for human IFN-γ expression by NK cells. Thus, IFNG CNS enhancers have redundant necessary functions in NK cells but unique necessary functions in Th cells. These results also demonstrate that distinct CNSs are required to transcribe IFNG at each stage of the Th1 differentiation pathway.
Preview · Article · Feb 2012 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Identification of biomarkers contributing to disease diagnosis, classification or prognosis could be of considerable utility. For example, primary methods to diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS) include magnetic resonance imaging and detection of immunological abnormalities in cerebrospinal fluid. We determined whether gene-expression differences in blood discriminated MS subjects from comparator groups, and identified panels of ratios that performed with varying degrees of accuracy depending upon complexity of comparator groups. High levels of overall accuracy were achieved by comparing MS with homogeneous comparator groups. Overall accuracy was compromised when MS was compared with a heterogeneous comparator group. Results, validated in independent cohorts, indicate that gene-expression differences in blood accurately exclude or include a diagnosis of MS and suggest that these approaches may provide clinically useful prediction of MS.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Genes and immunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genes, such as IFNG, which are expressed in multiple cell lineages of the immune system, may employ a common set of regulatory elements to direct transcription in multiple cell types or individual regulatory elements to direct expression in individual cell lineages. By employing a bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic system, we demonstrate that IFNG employs unique regulatory elements to achieve lineage-specific transcriptional control. Specifically, a one 1-kb element 30 kb upstream of IFNG activates transcription in T cells and NKT cells but not in NK cells. This distal regulatory element is a Runx3 binding site in Th1 cells and is needed for RNA polymerase II recruitment to IFNG, but it is not absolutely required for histone acetylation of the IFNG locus. These results support a model whereby IFNG uses cis-regulatory elements with cell type-restricted function.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · The Journal of Immunology