Publications by authors named "Grant C Bullock"

18 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Interleukin-6 mediates neutrophil mobilization from bone marrow in pulmonary hypertension.

Cell Mol Immunol 2021 Feb 8;18(2):374-384. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Center for Pulmonary Vascular Biology and Medicine, Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213, USA.

Myeloid cells, such as neutrophils, are produced in the bone marrow in high quantities and are important in the pathogenesis of vascular diseases such as pulmonary hypertension (PH). Although neutrophil recruitment into sites of inflammation has been well studied, the mechanisms of neutrophil egress from the bone marrow are not well understood. Using computational flow cytometry, we observed increased neutrophils in the lungs of patients and mice with PH. Moreover, we found elevated levels of IL-6 in the blood and lungs of patients and mice with PH. We observed that transgenic mice overexpressing Il-6 in the lungs displayed elevated neutrophil egress from the bone marrow and exaggerated neutrophil recruitment to the lungs, resulting in exacerbated pulmonary vascular remodeling, and dysfunctional hemodynamics. Mechanistically, we found that IL-6-induced neutrophil egress from the bone marrow was dependent on interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF-4)-mediated CXCR1 expression in neutrophils. Consequently, Cxcr1 genetic deficiency in hematopoietic cells in Il-6-transgenic mice significantly reduced neutrophil egress from bone marrow and decreased neutrophil counts in the lungs, thus ameliorating pulmonary remodeling and hemodynamics. In summary, these findings define a novel mechanism of IL-6-induced neutrophil egress from the bone marrow and reveal a new therapeutic target to curtail neutrophil-mediated inflammation in pulmonary vascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41423-020-00608-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8027442PMC
February 2021

Apoptosis of hematopoietic progenitor-derived adipose tissue-resident macrophages contributes to insulin resistance after myocardial infarction.

Sci Transl Med 2020 07;12(553)

Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.

Patients with insulin resistance have high risk of cardiovascular disease such as myocardial infarction (MI). However, it is not known whether MI can initiate or aggravate insulin resistance. We observed that patients with ST-elevation MI and mice with MI had de novo hyperglycemia and features of insulin resistance, respectively. In mouse models of both myocardial and skeletal muscle injury, we observed that the number of visceral adipose tissue (VAT)-resident macrophages decreased because of apoptosis after these distant organ injuries. Patients displayed a similar decrease in VAT-resident macrophage numbers and developed systemic insulin resistance after ST-elevation MI. Loss of VAT-resident macrophages after MI injury led to systemic insulin resistance in non-diabetic mice. Danger signaling-associated protein high mobility group box 1 was released by the dead myocardium after MI in rodents and triggered macrophage apoptosis via Toll-like receptor 4. The VAT-resident macrophage population in the steady state in mice was transcriptomically distinct from macrophages in the brain, skin, kidney, bone marrow, lungs, and liver and was derived from hematopoietic progenitor cells just after birth. Mechanistically, VAT-resident macrophage apoptosis and de novo insulin resistance in mouse models of MI were linked to diminished concentrations of macrophage colony-stimulating factor and adiponectin. Collectively, these findings demonstrate a previously unappreciated role of adipose tissue-resident macrophages in sensing remote organ injury and promoting MI pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aaw0638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7813555PMC
July 2020

Nrf2 deficiency in mice attenuates erythropoietic stress-related macrophage hypercellularity.

Exp Hematol 2020 04 6;84:19-28.e4. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA. Electronic address:

Erythropoiesis in the bone marrow and spleen depends on intricate interactions between the resident macrophages and erythroblasts. Our study focuses on identifying the role of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) during recovery from stress erythropoiesis. To that end, we induced stress erythropoiesis in Nrf2 and Nrf2-null mice and evaluated macrophage subsets known to support erythropoiesis and erythroid cell populations. Our results confirm macrophage and erythroid hypercellularity after acute blood loss. Importantly, Nrf2 depletion results in a marked numerical reduction of F4/80/CD169/CD11b macrophages, which is more prominent under the induction of stress erythropoiesis. The observed macrophage deficiency is concomitant to a significantly impaired erythroid response to acute stress erythropoiesis in both murine bone marrow and murine spleen. Additionally, peripheral blood reticulocyte count as a response to acute blood loss is delayed in Nrf2-deficient mice compared with age-matched controls (11.0 ± 0.6% vs. 14.8 ± 0.6%, p ≤ 0.001). Interestingly, we observe macrophage hypercellularity in conjunction with erythroid hyperplasia in the bone marrow during stress erythropoiesis in Nrf2 controls, with both impaired in Nrf2 mice. We further confirm the finding of macrophage hypercellularity in another model of erythroid hyperplasia, the transgenic sickle cell mouse, characterized by hemolytic anemia and chronic stress erythropoiesis. Our results revealed the role of Nrf2 in stress erythropoiesis in the bone marrow and that macrophage hypercellularity occurs concurrently with erythroid expansion during stress erythropoiesis. Macrophage hypercellularity is a previously underappreciated feature of stress erythropoiesis in sickle cell disease and recovery from blood loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exphem.2020.02.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7237317PMC
April 2020

Cardiac expression of HMOX1 and PGF in sickle cell mice and haem-treated wild type mice dominates organ expression profiles via Nrf2 (Nfe2l2).

Br J Haematol 2019 12 6;187(5):666-675. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Haemolysis is a major feature of sickle cell disease (SCD) that contributes to organ damage. It is well established that haem, a product of haemolysis, induces expression of the enzyme that degrades it, haem oxygenase-1 (HMOX1). We have also shown that haem induces expression of placental growth factor (PGF), but the organ specificity of these responses has not been well-defined. As expected, we found high level expression of Hmox1 and Pgf transcripts in the reticuloendothelial system organs of transgenic sickle cell mice, but surprisingly strong expression in the heart (P < 0·0001). This pattern was largely replicated in wild type mice by intravenous injection of exogenous haem. In the heart, haem induced unexpectedly strong mRNA responses for Hmox1 (18-fold), Pgf (4-fold), and the haem transporter Slc48a1 (also termed Hrg1; 2·4-fold). This was comparable to the liver, the principal known haem-detoxifying organ. The NFE2L2 (also termed NRF2) transcription factor mediated much of the haem induction of Hmox1 and Hrg1 in all organs, but less so for Pgf. Our results indicate that the heart expresses haem response pathway genes at surprisingly high basal levels and shares with the liver a similar transcriptional response to circulating haem. The role of the heart in haem response should be investigated further.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bjh.16129DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8007233PMC
December 2019

Diagnostic Utility of Isolated Tube C Positivity in T-Cell Receptor β Testing Using BIOMED-2 Primers.

Am J Clin Pathol 2019 03;151(4):386-394

Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA.

Objectives: T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangement studies are widely used for assessing T-cell clonality. The frequency and significance of clonal peaks restricted to TCR β (TCRB) tube C are uncertain. We retrospectively reviewed 80 TCR studies performed on bone marrow/peripheral blood.

Methods: TCRB and TCR γ (TCRG) analyses were performed using BIOMED-2 primers. A peak was considered clonal or atypical if it was reproducible and 5× or more or 3× to 5× polyclonal background, respectively.

Results: TCRB analysis demonstrated 12 (15%) of 80 cases with one to four isolated peaks in tube C (>3×) with polyclonal pattern in tubes A and B. TCRG analysis was monoclonal in two cases (both definite T-cell neoplasms), polyclonal in four, and oligoclonal in six. Of the 10 cases without clone in TCRG, six had autoimmune disorder and none had T-cell neoplasm.

Conclusions: Peaks restricted to TCRB tube C in the TCR analysis may be misleading, as it is often not indicative of an overt T-cell neoplasm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcp/aqy157DOI Listing
March 2019

Nitric Oxide-Independent Soluble Guanylate Cyclase Activation Improves Vascular Function and Cardiac Remodeling in Sickle Cell Disease.

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 2018 05;58(5):636-647

2 Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute, Department of Medicine.

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with intravascular hemolysis and oxidative inhibition of nitric oxide (NO) signaling. BAY 54-6544 is a small-molecule activator of oxidized soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC), which, unlike endogenous NO and the sGC stimulator, BAY 41-8543, preferentially binds and activates heme-free, NO-insensitive sGC to restore enzymatic cGMP production. We tested orally delivered sGC activator, BAY 54-6544 (17 mg/kg/d), sGC stimulator, BAY 41-8543, sildenafil, and placebo for 4-12 weeks in the Berkeley transgenic mouse model of SCD (BERK-SCD) and their hemizygous (Hemi) littermate controls (BERK-Hemi). Right ventricular (RV) maximum systolic pressure (RVmaxSP) was measured using micro right-heart catheterization. RV hypertrophy (RVH) was determined using Fulton's index and RV corrected weight (ratio of RV to tibia). Pulmonary artery vasoreactivity was tested for endothelium-dependent and -independent vessel relaxation. Right-heart catheterization revealed higher RVmaxSP and RVH in BERK-SCD versus BERK-Hemi, which worsened with age. Treatment with the sGC activator more effectively lowered RVmaxSP and RVH, with 90-day treatment delivering superior results, when compared with other treatments and placebo groups. In myography experiments, acetylcholine-induced (endothelium-dependent) and sodium-nitroprusside-induced (endothelium-independent NO donor) relaxation of the pulmonary artery harvested from placebo-treated BERK-SCD was impaired relative to BERK-Hemi but improved after therapy with sGC activator. By contrast, no significant effect for sGC stimulator or sildenafil was observed in BERK-SCD. These findings suggest that sGC is oxidized in the pulmonary arteries of transgenic SCD mice, leading to blunted responses to NO, and that the sGC activator, BAY 54-6544, may represent a novel therapy for SCD-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension and cardiac remodeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1165/rcmb.2017-0292OCDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946331PMC
May 2018

Platelet-derived HMGB1 is a critical mediator of thrombosis.

J Clin Invest 2015 Dec 9;125(12):4638-54. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Thrombosis and inflammation are intricately linked in several major clinical disorders, including disseminated intravascular coagulation and acute ischemic events. The damage-associated molecular pattern molecule high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is upregulated by activated platelets in multiple inflammatory diseases; however, the contribution of platelet-derived HMGB1 in thrombosis remains unexplored. Here, we generated transgenic mice with platelet-specific ablation of HMGB1 and determined that platelet-derived HMGB1 is a critical mediator of thrombosis. Mice lacking HMGB1 in platelets exhibited increased bleeding times as well as reduced thrombus formation, platelet aggregation, inflammation, and organ damage during experimental trauma/hemorrhagic shock. Platelets were the major source of HMGB1 within thrombi. In trauma patients, HMGB1 expression on the surface of circulating platelets was markedly upregulated. Moreover, evaluation of isolated platelets revealed that HMGB1 is critical for regulating platelet activation, granule secretion, adhesion, and spreading. These effects were mediated via TLR4- and MyD88-dependent recruitment of platelet guanylyl cyclase (GC) toward the plasma membrane, followed by MyD88/GC complex formation and activation of the cGMP-dependent protein kinase I (cGKI). Thus, we establish platelet-derived HMGB1 as an important mediator of thrombosis and identify a HMGB1-driven link between MyD88 and GC/cGKI in platelets. Additionally, these findings suggest a potential therapeutic target for patients sustaining trauma and other inflammatory disorders associated with abnormal coagulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI81660DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4665785PMC
December 2015

Multiple cutaneous lymphoproliferative disorders showing a retained tumor clone by T-cell receptor gene rearrangement analysis: a case series of four patients and review of the literature.

Int J Dermatol 2016 Feb 12;55(2):e62-71. Epub 2015 Aug 12.

Departments of Pathology, Dermatopathology, Dermatology, and Clinical Pathology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Background: Mycosis fungoides (MF) is the most common primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), followed by CD30+ lymphoproliferative disorders, including lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP) and primary cutaneous anaplastic large cell lymphoma (pcALCL). The objective was to report on a series of patients with different types of CTCL at different times in their clinical course, with a focus on clonality studies.

Methods: Four patients with multiple diagnoses of CTCLs were identified. The clinical information, treatment interventions, and histopathology were reviewed. T-cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangement studies were performed on all available specimens.

Results: The four patients carried diagnoses of: (1) pcALCL and MF; (2) pcALCL, LyP, and pcALCL; (3) LyP, MF, and pcALCL; (4) LyP, pcALCL, and MF; each with characteristic presentation and histopathologic findings. The results of the TCR polymerase chain reaction showed that all tumors expressed and retained a TCR clone(s) as follows: (1) biallelic clone; (2) single clone; (3) biallelic clone with additional clone; and (4) single clone, respectively.

Conclusion: We report a series of four cases of individual patients with coexisting diagnoses of some combination of MF, LyP, and pcALCL, whose lesions presented in nontraditional sequence and demonstrated a retained clone by gene rearrangement analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijd.12847DOI Listing
February 2016

Isocitrate ameliorates anemia by suppressing the erythroid iron restriction response.

J Clin Invest 2013 Aug 25;123(8):3614-23. Epub 2013 Jul 25.

Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

The unique sensitivity of early red cell progenitors to iron deprivation, known as the erythroid iron restriction response, serves as a basis for human anemias globally. This response impairs erythropoietin-driven erythropoiesis and underlies erythropoietic repression in iron deficiency anemia. Mechanistically, the erythroid iron restriction response results from inactivation of aconitase enzymes and can be suppressed by providing the aconitase product isocitrate. Recent studies have implicated the erythroid iron restriction response in anemia of chronic disease and inflammation (ACDI), offering new therapeutic avenues for a major clinical problem; however, inflammatory signals may also directly repress erythropoiesis in ACDI. Here, we show that suppression of the erythroid iron restriction response by isocitrate administration corrected anemia and erythropoietic defects in rats with ACDI. In vitro studies demonstrated that erythroid repression by inflammatory signaling is potently modulated by the erythroid iron restriction response in a kinase-dependent pathway involving induction of the erythroid-inhibitory transcription factor PU.1. These results reveal the integration of iron and inflammatory inputs in a therapeutically tractable erythropoietic regulatory circuit.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI68487DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3726169PMC
August 2013

Protein kinase D-HDAC5 signaling regulates erythropoiesis and contributes to erythropoietin cross-talk with GATA1.

Blood 2012 Nov 14;120(20):4219-28. Epub 2012 Sep 14.

Department of Pathology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

In red cell development, the differentiation program directed by the transcriptional regulator GATA1 requires signaling by the cytokine erythropoietin, but the mechanistic basis for this signaling requirement has remained unknown. Here we show that erythropoietin regulates GATA1 through protein kinase D activation, promoting histone deacetylase 5 (HDAC5) dissociation from GATA1, and subsequent GATA1 acetylation. Mice deficient for HDAC5 show resistance to anemic challenge and altered marrow responsiveness to erythropoietin injections. In ex vivo studies, HDAC5(-/-) progenitors display enhanced entry into and passage through the erythroid lineage, as well as evidence of erythropoietin-independent differentiation. These results reveal a molecular pathway that contributes to cytokine regulation of hematopoietic differentiation and offer a potential mechanism for fine tuning of lineage-restricted transcription factors by lineage-specific cytokines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2011-10-387050DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3501719PMC
November 2012

Aconitase regulation of erythropoiesis correlates with a novel licensing function in erythropoietin-induced ERK signaling.

PLoS One 2011 22;6(8):e23850. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Department of Pathology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America.

Background: Erythroid development requires the action of erythropoietin (EPO) on committed progenitors to match red cell output to demand. In this process, iron acts as a critical cofactor, with iron deficiency blunting EPO-responsiveness of erythroid progenitors. Aconitase enzymes have recently been identified as possible signal integration elements that couple erythropoiesis with iron availability. In the current study, a regulatory role for aconitase during erythropoiesis was ascertained using a direct inhibitory strategy.

Methodology/principal Findings: In C57BL/6 mice, infusion of an aconitase active-site inhibitor caused a hypoplastic anemia and suppressed responsiveness to hemolytic challenge. In a murine model of polycythemia vera, aconitase inhibition rapidly normalized red cell counts, but did not perturb other lineages. In primary erythroid progenitor cultures, aconitase inhibition impaired proliferation and maturation but had no effect on viability or ATP levels. This inhibition correlated with a blockade in EPO signal transmission specifically via ERK, with preservation of JAK2-STAT5 and Akt activation. Correspondingly, a physical interaction between ERK and mitochondrial aconitase was identified and found to be sensitive to aconitase inhibition.

Conclusions/significance: Direct aconitase inhibition interferes with erythropoiesis in vivo and in vitro, confirming a lineage-selective regulatory role involving its enzymatic activity. This inhibition spares metabolic function but impedes EPO-induced ERK signaling and disturbs a newly identified ERK-aconitase physical interaction. We propose a model in which aconitase functions as a licensing factor in ERK-dependent proliferation and differentiation, thereby providing a regulatory input for iron in EPO-dependent erythropoiesis. Directly targeting aconitase may provide an alternative to phlebotomy in the treatment of polycythemia vera.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0023850PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3161794PMC
February 2012

Posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disease involving the pituitary gland.

Hum Pathol 2010 Nov 24;41(11):1641-5. Epub 2010 Jul 24.

Department of Pathology, University of Virginia Health System, PO Box 800214, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Posttransplantation lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD) are heterogeneous lesions with variable morphology, immunophenotype, and molecular characteristics. Multiple distinct primary lesions can occur in PTLD, rarely with both B-cell and T-cell characteristics. Lesions can involve both grafted organs and other sites; however, PTLD involving the pituitary gland has not been previously reported. We describe a patient who developed Epstein-Barr virus-negative PTLD 13 years posttransplantation involving the terminal ileum and pituitary, which was simultaneously involved by a pituitary adenoma. Immunohistochemistry of the pituitary lesion showed expression of CD79a, CD3, and CD7 with clonal rearrangements of both T-cell receptor gamma chain ([email protected]) and immunoglobulin heavy chain ([email protected]) genes. The terminal ileal lesion was immunophenotypically and molecularly distinct. This is the first report of pituitary PTLD and illustrates the potentially complex nature of PTLD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.humpath.2010.02.015DOI Listing
November 2010

Iron control of erythroid development by a novel aconitase-associated regulatory pathway.

Blood 2010 Jul 20;116(1):97-108. Epub 2010 Apr 20.

Department of Pathology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Human red cell differentiation requires the action of erythropoietin on committed progenitor cells. In iron deficiency, committed erythroid progenitors lose responsiveness to erythropoietin, resulting in hypoplastic anemia. To address the basis for iron regulation of erythropoiesis, we established primary hematopoietic cultures with transferrin saturation levels that restricted erythropoiesis but permitted granulopoiesis and megakaryopoiesis. Experiments in this system identified as a critical regulatory element the aconitases, multifunctional iron-sulfur cluster proteins that metabolize citrate to isocitrate. Iron restriction suppressed mitochondrial and cytosolic aconitase activity in erythroid but not granulocytic or megakaryocytic progenitors. An active site aconitase inhibitor, fluorocitrate, blocked erythroid differentiation in a manner similar to iron deprivation. Exogenous isocitrate abrogated the erythroid iron restriction response in vitro and reversed anemia progression in iron-deprived mice. The mechanism for aconitase regulation of erythropoiesis most probably involves both production of metabolic intermediates and modulation of erythropoietin signaling. One relevant signaling pathway appeared to involve protein kinase Calpha/beta, or possibly protein kinase Cdelta, whose activities were regulated by iron, isocitrate, and erythropoietin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-10-251496DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2904585PMC
July 2010

Cross-talk of GATA-1 and P-TEFb in megakaryocyte differentiation.

Blood 2008 Dec 9;112(13):4884-94. Epub 2008 Sep 9.

Department of Pathology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, USA.

The transcription factor GATA-1 participates in programming the differentiation of multiple hematopoietic lineages. In megakaryopoiesis, loss of GATA-1 function produces complex developmental abnormalities and underlies the pathogenesis of megakaryocytic leukemia in Down syndrome. Its distinct functions in megakaryocyte and erythroid maturation remain incompletely understood. In this study, we identified functional and physical interaction of GATA-1 with components of the positive transcriptional elongation factor P-TEFb, a complex containing cyclin T1 and the cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (Cdk9). Megakaryocytic induction was associated with dynamic changes in endogenous P-TEFb composition, including recruitment of GATA-1 and dissociation of HEXIM1, a Cdk9 inhibitor. shRNA knockdowns and pharmacologic inhibition both confirmed contribution of Cdk9 activity to megakaryocytic differentiation. In mice with megakaryocytic GATA-1 deficiency, Cdk9 inhibition produced a fulminant but reversible megakaryoblastic disorder reminiscent of the transient myeloproliferative disorder of Down syndrome. P-TEFb has previously been implicated in promoting elongation of paused RNA polymerase II and in programming hypertrophic differentiation of cardiomyocytes. Our results offer evidence for P-TEFb cross-talk with GATA-1 in megakaryocytic differentiation, a program with parallels to cardiomyocyte hypertrophy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2008-03-145722DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2597596PMC
December 2008

Celiac disease refractory to a gluten-free diet?

Clin Chem 2008 Feb;54(2):441-4; discussion 444-5

Department of Pathology , Department of Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2007.095984DOI Listing
February 2008

Genotyping of hepatitis C virus by melting curve analysis: analytical characteristics and performance.

Clin Chem 2004 Dec;50(12):2405-7

Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1373/clinchem.2004.041673DOI Listing
December 2004

Hepatitis C genotype determination by melting curve analysis with a single set of fluorescence resonance energy transfer probes.

Clin Chem 2002 Dec;48(12):2147-54

Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.

Background: The genotype of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a predictor of antiviral therapeutic response. We describe an approach for HCV genotype determination by real-time PCR and melting curve analysis.

Methods: After automated nucleic acid extraction, we used reverse transcription-PCR in a block cycler to amplify nucleotides 6-329 of the 5'-untranslated region of HCV. The product was further amplified by single-tube real-time seminested PCR in a LightCycler instrument (Roche). The final product was analyzed by melting curves with the use of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) probes. The FRET sensor probe was directed at nucleotides 151-170 of type 1 HCV and was designed to distinguish types 1a/b, 2a/c, 2b, 3a, and 4, with melting temperatures (T(m)s) predicted to differ by 1 degrees C. Genotypes were compared in a blinded fashion with those of the INNO-LiPA(TM) test (Bayer Diagnostics) on 111 serum samples.

Results: In preliminary experiments, the Mg(2+) concentration was found to be critical in allowing clear separation of melting points, with the best separation at a Mg(2+) concentration of 2 mmol/L. The results for 111 samples clustered at expected T(m)s for genotypes 1a/b (n = 78), 2a/c (n = 2), 2b (n = 11), 3a (n = 14), and 4 (n = 2). Of the 111 samples, results for 110 were concordant with the comparison method at the level of type 1, 2, 3, or 4. Subtyping results were discordant for two samples, both of type 2. For 108 samples concordant with INNO-LiPA at the genotype and subtype levels, the mean T(m)s were 64.1, 59.5, 54.2, 52.6, and 50.1 degrees C for types 1a/b, 2a/c, 4, 2b, and 3a, respectively, with SDs of 0.2, 0.3, 0.3, 0.2, and 0.3 degrees C. All 78 samples identified as type 1 were concordant with results of the comparison method.

Conclusions: Melting analysis with a single pair of FRET probes can rapidly provide information about HCV genotypes and identifies type 1 samples with high specificity.
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December 2002

Cellular proteins bind to sequence motifs in the R1 element between the HCMV immune evasion genes.

Exp Mol Pathol 2002 Jun;72(3):196-206

Program in Molecular Biology, College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.

The viral US3 and US6 gene products of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) are sequentially expressed at immediate-early and early times after infection, respectively. They downregulate the surface expression of HLA class I molecules. There are two repeat-containing regulatory regions between the US3 promoter and the US6 transcription unit designated R1 and R2. R2 contains repetitions of the NF-kappa B responsive element and enhances the immediate-early expression of the US3 gene. R1 contains 19 repetitions of a 5'-TRTCG-3' pentanucleotide arranged as everted repeats, inverted repeats, and variably spaced single pentanucleotides. In the context of the viral genome, R1 also enhances immediate-early US3 gene expression by an unknown mechanism (G. C. Bullock, et al., 2001, Virology 288, 164-174). We report a sequence motif within the R1 element that binds a human cell nuclear protein which is antigenically related to the Drosophila boundary element-associated factor (BEAF). The potential role of a 35-kDa cellular protein that binds to sequence motifs within the R1 element in regulating the expression of the CMV US3 immune evasion gene is discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/exmp.2002.2428DOI Listing
June 2002