• The Dual Role of TNF in Pulmonary Edema

      Yang, Guang; Hamacher, Jürg; Gorshkov, Boris A; White, Richard E.; Sridhar, Supriya; Verin, Alexander D.; Chakraborty, Trinad; Lucas, Rudolf; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology; Vascular Biology Center (2010)
      Abstract: Pulmonary edema, a major manifestation of left ventricular heart failure, renal insufficiency, shock, diffuse alveolar damage and lung hypersensitivity states, is a significant medical problem worldwide and can be life-threatening. The proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF) has been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis and development of pulmonary edema. However, some recent studies have demonstrated surprisingly that TNF can also promote alveolar fluid reabsorption in vivo and in vitro. This protective effect of the cytokine is mediated by the lectin-like domain of the cytokine, which is spatially distinct from the TNF receptor binding sites. The TIP peptide, a synthetic mimic of the lectin-like domain of TNF, can significantly increase alveolar fluid clearance and improve lung compliance in pulmonary edema models. In this review, we will discuss the dual role of TNF in pulmonary edema.
    • hElp3 Directly Modulates the Expression of HSP70 Gene in HeLa Cells via HAT Activity

      Li, Fen; Ma, Jixian; Ma, Yu; Hu, Yanyan; Tian, Shujuan; White, Richard E.; Han, Guichun; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology (2011-12-21)
      Human Elongator complex, which plays a key role in transcript elongation in vitro assay, is incredibly similar in either components or function to its yeast counterpart. However, there are only a few studies focusing on its target gene characterization in vivo. We studied the effect of down-regulation of the human elongation protein 3 (hELP3) on the expression of HSP70 through antisense strategy. Transfecting antisense plasmid p1107 into HeLa cells highly suppressed hELP3 expression, and substantially reduced expression of HSP70 mRNA and protein. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay (ChIP Assay) revealed that hElp3 participates in the transcription elongation of HSPA1A in HeLa cells. Finally, complementation and ChIP Assay in yeast showed that hElp3 can not only complement the growth and slow activation of HSP70 (SSA3) gene transcription, but also directly regulates the transcription of SSA3. On the contrary, these functions are lost when the HAT domain is deleted from hElp3. These data suggest that hElp3 can regulate the transcription of HSP70 gene, and the HAT domain of hElp3 is essential for this function. These findings now provide novel insights and evidence of the functions of hELP3 in human cells.
    • RhoA/Rho-kinase signaling: a therapeutic target in pulmonary hypertension.

      Barman, Scott A; Zhu, Shu; White, Richard E.; Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology (2009-08-26)
      Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a devastating disease characterized by progressive elevation of pulmonary arterial pressure and vascular resistance due to pulmonary vasoconstriction and vessel remodeling as well as inflammation. Rho-kinases (ROCKs) are one of the best-described effectors of the small G-protein RhoA, and ROCKs are involved in a variety of cellular functions including muscle cell contraction, proliferation and vascular inflammation through inhibition of myosin light chain phosphatase and activation of downstream mediators. A plethora of evidence in animal models suggests that heightened RhoA/ROCK signaling is important in the pathogenesis of pulmonary hypertension by causing enhanced constriction and remodeling of the pulmonary vasculature. Both animal and clinical studies suggest that ROCK inhibitors are effective for treatment of severe PAH with minimal risk, which supports the premise that ROCKs are important therapeutic targets in pulmonary hypertension and that ROCK inhibitors are a promising new class of drugs for this devastating disease.