• ChIP-on-chip analysis identifies IL-22 as direct target gene of ectopically expressed FOXP3 transcription factor in human T cells

      Jeron, Andreas; Hansen, Wiebke; Ewert, Franziska; Buer, Jan; Geffers, Robert; Bruder, Dunja (2012-12-17)
      Abstract Background The transcription factor (TF) forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) is constitutively expressed at high levels in naturally occurring CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (nTregs). It is not only the most accepted marker for that cell population but is also considered lineage determinative. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) of TFs in combination with genomic tiling microarray analysis (ChIP-on-chip) has been shown to be an appropriate tool for identifying FOXP3 transcription factor binding sites (TFBSs) on a genome-wide scale. In combination with microarray expression analysis, the ChIP-on-chip technique allows identification of direct FOXP3 target genes. Results ChIP-on-chip analysis of the human FOXP3 expressed in resting and PMA/ionomycin–stimulated Jurkat T cells revealed several thousand putative FOXP3 binding sites and demonstrated the importance of intronic regions for FOXP3 binding. The analysis of expression data showed that the stimulation-dependent down-regulation of IL-22 was correlated with direct FOXP3 binding in the IL-22 promoter region. This association was confirmed by real-time PCR analysis of ChIP-DNA. The corresponding ChIP-region also contained a matching FOXP3 consensus sequence. Conclusions Knowledge of the general distribution patterns of FOXP3 TFBSs in the human genome under resting and activated conditions will contribute to a better understanding of this TF and its influence on direct target genes, as well as its importance for the phenotype and function of Tregs. Moreover, FOXP3-dependent repression of Th17-related IL-22 may be relevant to an understanding of the phenomenon of Treg/Th17 cell plasticity.
    • Evaluation of a microarray-hybridization based method applicable for discovery of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Pseudomonas aeruginosa genome

      Dötsch, Andreas; Pommerenke, Claudia; Bredenbruch, Florian; Geffers, Robert; Häussler, Susanne (2009-01-19)
      Abstract Background Whole genome sequencing techniques have added a new dimension to studies on bacterial adaptation, evolution and diversity in chronic infections. By using this powerful approach it was demonstrated that Pseudomonas aeruginosa undergoes intense genetic adaptation processes, crucial in the development of persistent disease. The challenge ahead is to identify universal infection relevant adaptive bacterial traits as potential targets for the development of alternative treatment strategies. Results We developed a microarray-based method applicable for discovery of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in P. aeruginosa as an easy and economical alternative to whole genome sequencing. About 50% of all SNPs theoretically covered by the array could be detected in a comparative hybridization of PAO1 and PA14 genomes at high specificity (> 0.996). Variations larger than SNPs were detected at much higher sensitivities, reaching nearly 100% for genetic differences affecting multiple consecutive probe oligonucleotides. The detailed comparison of the in silico alignment with experimental hybridization data lead to the identification of various factors influencing sensitivity and specificity in SNP detection and to the identification of strain specific features such as a large deletion within the PA4684 and PA4685 genes in the Washington Genome Center PAO1. Conclusion The application of the genome array as a tool to identify adaptive mutations, to depict genome organizations, and to identify global regulons by the "ChIP-on-chip" technique will expand our knowledge on P. aeruginosa adaptation, evolution and regulatory mechanisms of persistence on a global scale and thus advance the development of effective therapies to overcome persistent disease.
    • Gene expression profiling of macrophages: implications for an immunosuppressive effect of dissolucytotic gold ions

      Seifert, Oliver; Matussek, Andreas; Sjögren, Florence; Geffers, Robert; Anderson, Chris D (2012-11-09)
      Abstract Background Gold salts has previously been used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis but have been replaced by biologicals such as TNF-α inhibitors. The mechanisms behind the anti-inflammatory effect of metallic gold ions are still unknown, however, recent data showed that charged gold atoms are released from pure metallic gold implants by macrophages via a dissolucytosis membrane, and that gold ions are taken up by local macrophages, mast cells and to some extent fibroblasts. These findings open the question of possible immunomodulatory effects of metallic gold and motivate efforts on a deeper understanding of the effect of metallic gold on key inflammatory cells as macrophages. Methods Human macrophage cells (cell line THP-1) were grown on gold foils and intracellular uptake was analysed by autometallography. The impact of phagocytised gold ions on viability of THP-1 cells was investigated by trypan blue staining and TUNEL assay. The global gene expression profile of THP-1 cells after incorporation of gold ions was studied using microarray analysis comprising approximately 20,000 genes. The gene expression data was confirmed by measurement of secreted proteins. Results Autometallography showed intracellular uptake of gold ions into THP-1 cells. No significant effect on viability of THP-1 cells was demonstrated. Our data revealed a unique gene expression signature of dissolucytotic THP-1 cells that had taken up gold ions. A large number of regulated genes were functionally related to immunomodulation. Gold ion uptake induced downregulation of genes involved in rheumatoid arthritis such as hepatocyte growth factor, tenascin-C, inhibitor of DNA binding 1 and 3 and matrix metalloproteinase 13. Conclusion The data obtained in this study offer new insights into the mode of action of gold ions and suggest for the investigation of effects on other key cells and a possible future role of metallic gold as implants in rheumatoid arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.
    • Haplotypes of the porcine peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta gene are associated with backfat thickness

      Meidtner, Karina; Schwarzenbacher, Hermann; Scharfe, Maren; Severitt, Simone; Blöcker, Helmut; Fries, Ruedi (2009-11-30)
      Abstract Background Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta belongs to the nuclear receptor superfamily of ligand-inducible transcription factors. It is a key regulator of lipid metabolism. The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta gene (PPARD) has been assigned to a region on porcine chromosome 7, which harbours a quantitative trait locus for backfat. Thus, PPARD is considered a functional and positional candidate gene for backfat thickness. The purpose of this study was to test this candidate gene hypothesis in a cross of breeds that were highly divergent in lipid deposition characteristics. Results Screening for genetic variation in porcine PPARD revealed only silent mutations. Nevertheless, significant associations between PPARD haplotypes and backfat thickness were observed in the F2 generation of the Mangalitsa × Piétrain cross as well as a commercial German Landrace population. Haplotype 5 is associated with increased backfat in F2 Mangalitsa × Piétrain pigs, whereas haplotype 4 is associated with lower backfat thickness in the German Landrace population. Haplotype 4 and 5 carry the same alleles at all but one SNP. Interestingly, the opposite effects of PPARD haplotypes 4 and 5 on backfat thickness are reflected by opposite effects of these two haplotypes on PPAR-δ mRNA levels. Haplotype 4 significantly increases PPAR-δ mRNA levels, whereas haplotype 5 decreases mRNA levels of PPAR-δ. Conclusion This study provides evidence for an association between PPARD and backfat thickness. The association is substantiated by mRNA quantification. Further studies are required to clarify, whether the observed associations are caused by PPARD or are the result of linkage disequilibrium with a causal variant in a neighbouring gene.
    • Identification of a lineage specific zinc responsive genomic island in Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis

      Eckelt, Elke; Jarek, Michael; Frömke, Cornelia; Meens, Jochen; Goethe, Ralph (2014-12-06)
      Abstract Background Maintenance of metal homeostasis is crucial in bacterial pathogenicity as metal starvation is the most important mechanism in the nutritional immunity strategy of host cells. Thus, pathogenic bacteria have evolved sensitive metal scavenging systems to overcome this particular host defence mechanism. The ruminant pathogen Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (MAP) displays a unique gut tropism and causes a chronic progressive intestinal inflammation. MAP possesses eight conserved lineage specific large sequence polymorphisms (LSP), which distinguish MAP from its ancestral M. avium ssp. hominissuis or other M. avium subspecies. LSP14 and LSP15 harbour many genes proposed to be involved in metal homeostasis and have been suggested to substitute for a MAP specific, impaired mycobactin synthesis. Results In the present study, we found that a LSP14 located putative IrtAB-like iron transporter encoded by mptABC was induced by zinc but not by iron starvation. Heterologous reporter gene assays with the lacZ gene under control of the mptABC promoter in M. smegmatis (MSMEG) and in a MSMEG∆furB deletion mutant revealed a zinc dependent, metalloregulator FurB mediated expression of mptABC via a conserved mycobacterial FurB recognition site. Deep sequencing of RNA from MAP cultures treated with the zinc chelator TPEN revealed that 70 genes responded to zinc limitation. Remarkably, 45 of these genes were located on a large genomic island of approximately 90 kb which harboured LSP14 and LSP15. Thirty-five of these genes were predicted to be controlled by FurB, due to the presence of putative binding sites. This clustering of zinc responsive genes was exclusively found in MAP and not in other mycobacteria. Conclusions Our data revealed a particular genomic signature for MAP given by a unique zinc specific locus, thereby suggesting an exceptional relevance of zinc for the metabolism of MAP. MAP seems to be well adapted to maintain zinc homeostasis which might contribute to the peculiarity of MAP pathogenicity.