Doctor of Philosophy, University of Manitoba (2010)
Samuel So, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Interleukin-12 receptor ?1 (IL-12R?1) deficiency is the most common form of Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD). We undertook an international survey of 141 patients from 102 kindreds in 30 countries. Among 102 probands, the first infection occurred at a mean age of 2.4 years. In 78 patients, this infection was caused by Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG; n = 65), environmental mycobacteria (EM; also known as atypical or nontuberculous mycobacteria) (n = 9) or Mycobacterium tuberculosis (n = 4). Twenty-two of the remaining 24 probands initially presented with nontyphoidal, extraintestinal salmonellosis. Twenty of the 29 genetically affected sibs displayed clinical signs (69%); however 8 remained asymptomatic (27%). Nine nongenotyped sibs with symptoms died. Recurrent BCG infection was diagnosed in 15 cases, recurrent EM in 3 cases, recurrent salmonellosis in 22 patients. Ninety of the 132 symptomatic patients had infections with a single microorganism. Multiple infections were diagnosed in 40 cases, with combined mycobacteriosis and salmonellosis in 36 individuals. BCG disease strongly protected against subsequent EM disease (p = 0.00008). Various other infectious diseases occurred, albeit each rarely, yet candidiasis was reported in 33 of the patients (23%). Ninety-nine patients (70%) survived, with a mean age at last follow-up visit of 12.7 years ± 9.8 years (range, 0.5-46.4 yr). IL-12R?1 deficiency is characterized by childhood-onset mycobacteriosis and salmonellosis, rare recurrences of mycobacterial disease, and more frequent recurrence of salmonellosis. The condition has higher clinical penetrance, broader susceptibility to infections, and less favorable outcome than previously thought.
View details for DOI 10.1097/MD.0b013e3181fdd832
View details for Web of Science ID 000283840300002
View details for PubMedID 21057261
Expression of pituitary and placental members of the human GH and chorionic somatomammotropin (CS) gene family is directed by an upstream remote locus control region (LCR). Pituitary-specific expression of GH requires direct binding of Pit-1 (listed as POU1F1 in the HUGO database) to sequences marked by a hypersensitive site (HS) region (HS I/II) 14.6 kb upstream of the GH-N gene (listed as GH1 in the HUGO database). We used human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK293) cells overexpressing wild-type and mutant Pit-1 proteins as a model system to gain insight into the mechanism by which Pit-1 gains access to the GH LCR. Addition of Pit-1 to these cells increased DNA accessibility at HS III, located 28 kb upstream of the human GH-N gene, in a POU homeodomain-dependent manner, as reflected by effects on histone hyperacetylation and RNA polymerase II activity. Direct binding of Pit-1 to HS III sequences is not supported. However, the potential for binding of ETS family members to this region has been demonstrated, and Pit-1 association with this ETS element in HS III sequences requires the POU homeodomain. Also, both ETS1 and ELK1 co-precipitate from human pituitary extracts using two independent sources of Pit-1 antibodies. Finally, overexpression of ELK1 or Pit-1 expression in HEK293 cells increased GH-N RNA levels. However, while ELK1 overexpression also stimulated placental CS RNA levels, the effect of Pit-1 appeared to correlate with ETS factor levels and target GH-N preferentially. These data are consistent with recruitment and an early role for Pit-1 in remodeling of the GH LCR at the constitutively open HS III through protein-protein interaction.
View details for DOI 10.1677/JME-10-0017
View details for Web of Science ID 000278807500003
View details for PubMedID 20395397
Piccolo and bassoon are highly homologous multidomain proteins of the presynaptic cytomatrix whose function is unclear. Here, we generated piccolo knockin/knockout mice that either contain wild-type levels of mutant piccolo unable to bind Ca(2+) (knockin), approximately 60% decreased levels of piccolo that is C-terminally truncated (partial knockout), or <5% levels of piccolo (knockout). All piccolo mutant mice were viable and fertile, but piccolo knockout mice exhibited increased postnatal mortality. Unexpectedly, electrophysiology and electron microscopy of piccolo-deficient synapses failed to uncover a major phenotype either in acute hippocampal slices or in cultured cortical neurons. To unmask potentially redundant functions of piccolo and bassoon, we thus acutely knocked down expression of bassoon in wild-type and piccolo knockout neurons. Despite a nearly complete loss of piccolo and bassoon, however, we still did not detect an electrophysiological phenotype in cultured piccolo- and bassoon-deficient neurons in either GABAergic or glutamatergic synaptic transmission. In contrast, electron microscopy revealed a significant reduction in synaptic vesicle clustering in double bassoon/piccolo-deficient synapses. Thus, we propose that piccolo and bassoon play a redundant role in synaptic vesicle clustering in nerve terminals without directly participating in neurotransmitter release.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1002307107
View details for Web of Science ID 000276374400068
View details for PubMedID 20332206
The human GH family consists of five genes, including the placental chorionic somatomammotropins (CS), within a single locus on chromosome 17. Based on nuclease sensitivity, the entire GH/CS locus is accessible in pituitary chromatin, yet only GH-N is expressed. Previously, we reported a P sequence element (263P) capable of repressing placental CS-A promoter activity in transfected pituitary (GC) cells, and our data indicated a possible role for nuclear factor-1 (NF-1) and regulatory factor X1 in this repression. In this study we show the formation of two independent pituitary complexes in vitro: a repressor complex containing NF-1 and a nonfunctional complex containing regulatory factor X1. In vitro repressor function is stabilized by the presence of P sequence element C (PSE-C), downstream of the previously characterized PSE-A and PSE-B. Repressor function is also dependent on an intact Pit-1 binding site in the CS-A promoter. EMSAs with PSE-C reveal binding of the hepatocyte nuclear factor-3/forkhead (HNF-3/fkh) family of transcription factors in rat pituitary GC cells. This observation is extended to human pituitary tissue, where HNF-3alpha's association with P sequences is confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Furthermore, protein-protein interactions between HNF-3alpha and NF-1 family members are demonstrated. These results identify HNF-3alpha as an additional member of the pituitary P sequence regulatory complex, implicating it in tissue-specific expression of the human GH/CS family.
View details for Web of Science ID 000235501300011
View details for PubMedID 16239259
The somatic cells of a multicellular organism contain an identical complement of genes that need to be expressed specifically and appropriately to allow the normal development and functions associated with an organism. In the eukaryotic cell nucleus, genes are packaged with nucleoprotein histones into chromatin. The human growth hormone (GH)/chorionic somatomammotropin (CS) gene family offers an excellent model to study the relationship between chromatin structure and transcription factor binding in terms of tissue-specific gene expression. The GH/CS gene family consists of five genes (GH-N, GH-V, CS-A, CS-B and CS-L), contained in a single locus on chromosome 17. Although they share approximately 94% sequence similarity, GH-N expression is restricted to pituitary somatotropes while the four placental GH/CS genes are expressed in the villus syncytiotrophoblast. Appropriate expression in vivo is dependent on remote sequences found 14-32 kb upstream of GH-N in the loci of adjacent genes, and these sequences are characterized by five (I-V) nuclease-hypersensitive sites (HS). Pituitary-specific factor Pit-1 binds at HS I/II and plays an essential role in chromatin remodeling and GH-N expression; however, the processes that lead to HS I/II accessibility are unknown. We discuss the possibility that Pit-1-driven remodeling at HS III may precede that at HS I/II in the pituitary. Also, in pituitary chromatin, all five GH/CS genes share similar nuclease sensitivity, suggesting that the conformation of the placental genes is not inhibitory to transcription. Given that the promoters of both GH-N and the placental GH/CS genes contain Pit-1-binding sites, possible mechanisms to restrict placenta GH/CS promoter activity in the pituitary are discussed, including active repression via P sequences located upstream of each of the placental GH/CS genes. Positively or negatively influencing those components known to be important for pituitary transcription may link epigenetic events to key transcription factors in the overall picture of tissue-specific control of gene expression.
View details for DOI 10.1159/000095522
View details for Web of Science ID 000241280100004
View details for PubMedID 17047377
The human GH gene family is specifically expressed in somatotrophs of the anterior pituitary and placental syncytiotrophoblast. Two nuclease-hypersensitive sites, HS III and HS V, are associated with a region of chromatin located 28 and 30 kb upstream of the pituitary GH gene transcription initiation site (+1) in both pituitary and placenta nuclei. A role for this region in pituitary GH gene expression has been reported, but the potential relevance to placental gene expression has not been determined. Deletion analysis of a 5.2-kb region (nucleotides - 27,568/-32,746) containing HS III to V-related sequences localized significant enhancer activity to a 574-bp HS III fragment (nucleotides -27,676/-28,249) in multiple transfected cell lines. Four nuclease-protected regions [footprints (FP) 1-4] were identified in the 574-bp fragment. FP2 and FP3 were detected with placenta cell nuclear protein, whereas FP1 and FP4 were observed with placental and nonplacental cell nuclear extract. Disruption of FP1 had no effect on heterologous promoter activity in transfected pituitary and placental cells, whereas loss of FP2 and FP3 resulted in modest increases in placental cells, reflecting the presence of repressor activity associated with these regions in vitro. In contrast, disruption of the FP4 region by mutation or deletion significantly reduced enhancer activity. As a result, 30-fold enhancer activity was localized to a 41-bp region in transfected placental tumor cells. Binding of candidate proteins, activator protein (AP)-2 (FP3) and Elk-1 (FP4), was confirmed using competition assays with specific oligonucleotides and antibodies. Moreover, these factors were associated with the hyperacetylated HS III region in human pituitary [activator protein 2 (AP-2) and Elk-1] and term placenta (AP-2) chromatin. These data implicate AP-2 and ETS-domain family members in the regulation of the GH/CS locus and raise the possibility that different complexes form in the HS III region in placenta and pituitary cells.
View details for DOI 10.1210/me.2003-0405
View details for Web of Science ID 000189299100008
View details for PubMedID 14673137
The human GH family consists of five genes, including the placental chorionic somatomammotropins (CS), within a single locus on chromosome 17. Based on nuclease sensitivity, the entire GH/CS locus is accessible in pituitary chromatin, yet only GH-N is expressed. Previously, we reported a P sequence element (263P) capable of repressing placental CS promoter activity in transfected pituitary (GC) cells. Regions of protein binding within 263P include P sequence elements A and B (PSE-A and PSE-B), and we reported nuclear factor-1 (NF-1) recognition of PSE-B. We now provide evidence for multiple interactions on PSE-A, including binding of the regulatory factor X (RFX) family. Disruption of the RFX site within 263P blunts repressor activity in transfected GC cells; however, repression is only abolished when both PSE-A/RFX and PSE-B/NF-1 sites are mutated. The capacity of RFX and NF-1 to participate in a novel common complex is further suggested by coimmunoprecipitation of RFX1 and epitope-tagged NF-1 family members. Finally, we confirm the association of NF-1 and RFX1 with P sequences in human pituitary tissue by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Taken together, our data suggest that an inverse relationship exists between 263P and CS promoter histone hyperacetylation and the association of these factors in vivo.
View details for DOI 10.1210/me.2003-0025
View details for Web of Science ID 000183152000005
View details for PubMedID 12624117