- Research Associate Professor, Medicine
- MWAFMR Regional Scholar Award
- American Federation for Medical Research (AFMR), Spring 2016
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- Sun, X., Sun, B. L., Babicheva, A., Vanderpool, R., Oita, R. C., Casanova, N., Tang, H., Gupta, A., Lynn, H., Gupta, G., Rischard, F., Sammani, S., Kempf, C. L., Moreno-Vinasco, L., Ahmed, M., Camp, S. M., Wang, J., Desai, A. A., Yuan, J. X., & Garcia, J. G. (2020). Direct eNAMPT Involvement in Pulmonary Hypertension and Vascular Remodeling: Transcriptional Regulation by SOX and HIF2α. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology.More infoWe previously demonstrated involvement of nicotinamide phosphoribosyl-transferase in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and now examine NAMPT regulation and extracellular NAMPT's role in PAH vascular remodeling.
- Lynn, H., Sun, X., Casanova, N., Gonzales-Garay, M., Bime, C., & Garcia, J. G. (2019). Genomic and Genetic Approaches to Deciphering Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Risk and Mortality. Antioxidants & redox signaling, 31(14), 1027-1052.More infoAcute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a severe, highly heterogeneous critical illness with staggering mortality that is influenced by environmental factors, such as mechanical ventilation, and genetic factors. Significant unmet needs in ARDS are addressing the paucity of validated predictive biomarkers for ARDS risk and susceptibility that hamper the conduct of successful clinical trials in ARDS and the complete absence of novel disease-modifying therapeutic strategies. The current ARDS definition relies on clinical characteristics that fail to capture the diversity of disease pathology, severity, and mortality risk. We undertook a comprehensive survey of the available ARDS literature to identify genes and genetic variants (candidate gene and limited genome-wide association study approaches) implicated in susceptibility to developing ARDS in hopes of uncovering novel biomarkers for ARDS risk and mortality and potentially novel therapeutic targets in ARDS. We further attempted to address the well-known health disparities that exist in susceptibility to and mortality from ARDS. Bioinformatic analyses identified 201 ARDS candidate genes with pathway analysis indicating a strong predominance in key evolutionarily conserved inflammatory pathways, including reactive oxygen species, innate immunity-related inflammation, and endothelial vascular signaling pathways. Future studies employing a system biology approach that combines clinical characteristics, genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics may allow for a better definition of biologically relevant pathways and genotype-phenotype connections and result in improved strategies for the sub-phenotyping of diverse ARDS patients molecular signatures. These efforts should facilitate the potential for successful clinical trials in ARDS and yield a better fundamental understanding of ARDS pathobiology.
- Liu, P., Rojo de la Vega, M., Sammani, S., Mascarenhas, J. B., Kerins, M., Dodson, M., Sun, X., Wang, T., Ooi, A., Garcia, J. G., & Zhang, D. D. (2018). RPA1 binding to NRF2 switches ARE-dependent transcriptional activation to ARE-NRE-dependent repression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(44), E10352-E10361.More infoNRF2 regulates cellular redox homeostasis, metabolic balance, and proteostasis by forming a dimer with small musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma proteins (sMAFs) and binding to antioxidant response elements (AREs) to activate target gene transcription. In contrast, NRF2-ARE-dependent transcriptional repression is unreported. Here, we describe NRF2-mediated gene repression via a specific seven-nucleotide sequence flanking the ARE, which we term the NRF2-replication protein A1 (RPA1) element (NRE). Mechanistically, RPA1 competes with sMAF for NRF2 binding, followed by interaction of NRF2-RPA1 with the ARE-NRE and eduction of promoter activity. Genome-wide in silico and RNA-seq analyses revealed this NRF2-RPA1-ARE-NRE complex mediates negative regulation of many genes with diverse functions, indicating that this mechanism is a fundamental cellular process. Notably, repression of , which encodes the nonmuscle myosin light chain kinase, by the NRF2-RPA1-ARE-NRE complex disrupts vascular integrity in preclinical inflammatory lung injury models, illustrating the translational significance of NRF2-mediated transcriptional repression. Our findings reveal a gene-suppressive function of NRF2 and a subset of negatively regulated NRF2 target genes, underscoring the broad impact of NRF2 in physiological and pathological settings.
- Siegler, J. H., Garcia, J. G., Wang, T., Casanova, N., Gonzalez-Garay, M. L., Karnes, J. H., Ayshiev, D., Sun, X., & Lynn, H. D. (2018). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the MYLKP1 pseudogene are associated with increased colon cancer risk in African Americans. PLOS ONE.More infoWe previously reported that MYLKP1, the pseudogene of MYLK that encodes myosin light chain kinase (MLCK), is highly expressed in lung and colon cancer cell lines and tissues but not in normal lung or colon. The MYLKP1 promoter is minimally active in normal bronchial epithelial cells but highly active in lung adenocarcinoma cells. In this study, we further validate MYLKP1 as an oncogene via elucidation of the functional role of MYLKP1 genetic variants in colon cancer risk
- Siegler, J. H., Lynn, H. D., Garcia, J. G., Sun, X., Ayshiev, D., Wang, T., Casanova, N., Karnes, J. H., Gonzalez-Garay, M. L., Gonzalez-Garay, M. L., Karnes, J. H., Casanova, N., Ayshiev, D., Wang, T., Garcia, J. G., Sun, X., Siegler, J. H., & Lynn, H. D. (2018). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the MYLKP1 pseudogene are associated with increased colon cancer risk in African Americans. PLOS ONE, 13, 13(8):e0200916.
- Sun, X., Mathew, B., Sammani, S., Jacobson, J. R., & Garcia, J. G. (2017). Simvastatin-induced sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 expression is KLF2-dependent in human lung endothelial cells. Pulmonary circulation, 7(1), 117-125.More infoWe have demonstrated that simvastatin and sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) both attenuate increased vascular permeability in preclinical models of acute respiratory distress syndrome. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. As Krüppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) serves as a critical regulator for cellular stress response in endothelial cells (EC), we hypothesized that simvastatin enhances endothelial barrier function via increasing expression of the barrier-promoting S1P receptor, S1PR1, via a KLF2-dependent mechanism. S1PR1 luciferase reporter promoter activity in human lung artery EC (HPAEC) was tested after simvastatin (5 μM), and S1PR1 and KLF2 protein expression detected by immunoblotting. In vivo, transcription and expression of S1PR1 and KLF2 in mice lungs were detected by microarray profiling and immunoblotting after exposure to simvastatin (10 mg/kg). Endothelial barrier function was measured by trans-endothelial electrical resistance with the S1PR1 agonist FTY720-(S)-phosphonate. Both S1PR1 and KLF2 gene expression (mRNA, protein) were significantly increased by simvastatin in vitro and in vivo. S1PR1 promoter activity was significantly increased by simvastatin (P
- Elangovan, V. R., Camp, S. M., Kelly, G. T., Desai, A. A., Adyshev, D., Sun, X., Black, S. M., Wang, T., & Garcia, J. G. (2016). Endotoxin- and mechanical stress-induced epigenetic changes in the regulation of the nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase promoter. Pulmonary circulation, 6(4), 539-544.More infoMechanical ventilation, a lifesaving intervention for patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), also unfortunately contributes to excessive mechanical stress and impaired lung physiological and structural integrity. We have elsewhere established the pivotal role of increased nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) transcription and secretion as well as its direct binding to the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in the progression of this devastating syndrome; however, regulation of this critical gene in ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) is not well characterized. On the basis of an emerging role for epigenetics in enrichment of VILI and CpG sites within the NAMPT promoter and 5'UTR, we hypothesized that NAMPT expression and downstream transcriptional events are influenced by epigenetic mechanisms. Concomitantly, excessive mechanical stress of human pulmonary artery endothelial cells or lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment led to both reduced DNA methylation levels in the NAMPT promoter and increased gene transcription. Histone deacetylase inhibition by trichostatin A or Sirt-1-silencing RNA attenuates LPS-induced NAMPT expression. Furthermore, recombinant NAMPT administration induced TLR4-dependent global H3K9 hypoacetylation. These studies suggest a complex epigenetic regulatory network of NAMPT in VILI and ARDS and open novel strategies for combating VILI and ARDS.
- Sun, X., Elangovan, V. R., Shimizu, Y., Ma, S. F., Wang, T., & Garcia, J. G. (2016). Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of Myosin Light Chain Kinase by Inflammatory Lung Disease Associated Polymorphisms. Journal of Investigative Medicine.
- Shimizu, Y., Camp, S. M., Sun, X., Zhou, T., Wang, T., & Garcia, J. G. (2015). Sp1-mediated nonmuscle myosin light chain kinase expression and enhanced activity in vascular endothelial growth factor-induced vascular permeability. Pulmonary circulation, 5(4), 707-15.More infoDespite the important role played by the nonmuscle isoform of myosin light chain kinase (nmMLCK) in vascular barrier regulation and the implication of both nmMLCK and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the pathogenesis of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the role played by nmMLCK in VEGF-induced vascular permeability is poorly understood. In this study, the role played by nmMLCK in VEGF-induced vascular hyperpermeability was investigated. Human lung endothelial cell barrier integrity in response to VEGF is examined in both the absence and the presence of nmMLCK small interfering RNAs. Levels of nmMLCK messenger RNA (mRNA), protein, and promoter activity expression were monitored after VEGF stimulation in lung endothelial cells. nmMYLK promoter activity was assessed using nmMYLK promoter luciferase reporter constructs with a series of nested deletions. nmMYLK transcriptional regulation was further characterized by examination of a key transcriptional factor. nmMLCK plays an important role in VEGF-induced permeability. We found that activation of the VEGF signaling pathway in lung endothelial cells increases MYLK gene product at both mRNA and protein levels. Increased nmMLCK mRNA and protein expression is a result of increased nmMYLK promoter activity, regulated in part by binding of the Sp1 transcription factor on triggering by the VEGF signaling pathway. Taken together, these findings suggest that MYLK is an important ARDS candidate gene and a therapeutic target that is highly influenced by excessive VEGF concentrations in the inflamed lung.
- Siegler, J. H., Lynn, H. D., Sun, X., Garcia, J. G., Ayshiev, D., Wang, T., Karnes, J. H., Casanova, N., Gonzalez-Garay, M. L., Gonzalez-Garay, M. L., Casanova, N., Karnes, J. H., Ayshiev, D., Wang, T., Garcia, J. G., Sun, X., Siegler, J. H., & Lynn, H. D. (2018). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the MYLKP1 pseudogene are associated with increased colon cancer risk in African Americans. PLOS ONE, 13, 13(8):e0200916.
- Adyshev, D. M., Elangovan, V. R., Moldobaeva, N., Mapes, B., Sun, X., & Garcia, J. G. (2014). Mechanical stress induces pre-B-cell colony-enhancing factor/NAMPT expression via epigenetic regulation by miR-374a and miR-568 in human lung endothelium. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology, 50(2), 409-18.More infoIncreased lung vascular permeability and alveolar edema are cardinal features of inflammatory conditions such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI). We previously demonstrated that pre-B-cell colony-enhancing factor (PBEF)/NAMPT, the proinflammatory cytokine encoded by NAMPT, participates in ARDS and VILI inflammatory syndromes. The present study evaluated posttranscriptional regulation of PBEF/NAMPT gene expression in human lung endothelium via 3'-untranslated region (UTR) microRNA (miRNA) binding. In silico analysis identified hsa-miR-374a and hsa-miR-568 as potential miRNA candidates. Increased PBEF/NAMPT transcription (by RT-PCR) and expression (by Western blotting) induced by 18% cyclic stretch (CS) (2 h: 3.4 ± 0.06 mRNA fold increase (FI); 10 h: 1.5 ± 0.06 protein FI) and by LPS (4 h: 3.8 ± 0.2 mRNA FI; 48 h: 2.6 ± 0.2 protein FI) were significantly attenuated by transfection with mimics of hsa-miR-374a or hsa-miR-568 (40-60% reductions each). LPS and 18% CS increased the activity of a PBEF/NAMPT 3'-UTR luciferase reporter (2.4-3.25 FI) with induction reduced by mimics of each miRNA (44-60% reduction). Specific miRNA inhibitors (antagomirs) for each PBEF/NAMPT miRNA significantly increased the endogenous PBEF/NAMPT mRNA (1.4-3.4 ± 0.1 FI) and protein levels (1.2-1.4 ± 0.1 FI) and 3'-UTR luciferase activity (1.4-1.7 ± 0.1 FI) compared with negative antagomir controls. Collectively, these data demonstrate that increased PBEF/NAMPT expression induced by bioactive agonists (i.e., excessive mechanical stress, LPS) involves epigenetic regulation with hsa-miR-374a and hsa-miR-568, representing novel therapeutic strategies to reduce inflammatory lung injury.
- Mitra, S., Wade, M. S., Sun, X., Moldobaeva, N., Flores, C., Ma, S. F., Zhang, W., Garcia, J. G., & Jacobson, J. R. (2014). GADD45a promoter regulation by a functional genetic variant associated with acute lung injury. PloS one, 9(6), e100169.More infoGrowth arrest DNA damage inducible alpha (GADD45a) is a stress-induced gene we have shown to participate in the pathophysiology of ventilator-induced lung injury (VILI) via regulation of mechanical stress-induced Akt ubiquitination and phosphorylation. The regulation of GADD45a expression by mechanical stress and its relationship with acute lung injury (ALI) susceptibility and severity, however, remains unknown.
- Sun, X., Elangovan, V. R., Mapes, B., Camp, S. M., Sammani, S., Saadat, L., Ceco, E., Ma, S. F., Flores, C., MacDougall, M. S., Quijada, H., Liu, B., Kempf, C. L., Wang, T., Chiang, E. T., & Garcia, J. G. (2014). The NAMPT promoter is regulated by mechanical stress, signal transducer and activator of transcription 5, and acute respiratory distress syndrome-associated genetic variants. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology, 51(5), 660-7.More infoIncreased nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) transcription is mechanistically linked to ventilator-induced inflammatory lung injury (VILI), with VILI severity attenuated by reduced NAMPT bioavailability. The molecular mechanisms of NAMPT promoter regulation in response to excessive mechanical stress remain poorly understood. The objective of this study was to define the contribution of specific transcription factors, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and promoter demethylation to NAMPT transcriptional regulation in response to mechanical stress. In vivo NAMPT protein expression levels were examined in mice exposed to high tidal volume mechanical ventilation. In vitro NAMPT expression levels were examined in human pulmonary artery endothelial cells exposed to 5 or 18% cyclic stretch (CS), with NAMPT promoter activity assessed using NAMPT promoter luciferase reporter constructs with a series of nested deletions. In vitro NAMPT transcriptional regulation was further characterized by measuring luciferase activity, DNA demethylation, and chromatin immunoprecipitation. VILI-challenged mice exhibited significantly increased NAMPT expression in bronchoalveolar lavage leukocytes and in lung endothelium. A mechanical stress-inducible region (MSIR) was identified in the NAMPT promoter from -2,428 to -2,128 bp. This MSIR regulates NAMPT promoter activity, mRNA expression, and signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) binding, which is significantly increased by 18% CS. In addition, NAMPT promoter activity was increased by pharmacologic promoter demethylation and inhibited by STAT5 silencing. ARDS-associated NAMPT promoter SNPs rs59744560 (-948G/T) and rs7789066 (-2,422A/G) each significantly elevated NAMPT promoter activity in response to 18% CS in a STAT5-dependent manner. Our results show that NAMPT is a key novel ARDS therapeutic target and candidate gene with genetic/epigenetic transcriptional regulation in response to excessive mechanical stress.
- Liu, B., Sun, X., Suyeoka, G., Garcia, J. G., & Leiderman, Y. I. (2013). TGFβ signaling induces expression of Gadd45b in retinal ganglion cells. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 54(2), 1061-9.More infoGrowth arrest and DNA damage protein 45b (Gadd45b) functions as an intrinsic neuroprotective molecule protecting retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) from injury. This study was performed to elucidate further the induction pathway of Gadd45b expression in RGCs.
- Sun, X., Ma, S. F., Wade, M. S., Acosta-Herrera, M., Villar, J., Pino-Yanes, M., Zhou, T., Liu, B., Belvitch, P., Moitra, J., Han, Y. J., Machado, R., Noth, I., Natarajan, V., Dudek, S. M., Jacobson, J. R., Flores, C., & Garcia, J. G. (2013). Functional promoter variants in sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 3 associate with susceptibility to sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome. American journal of physiology. Lung cellular and molecular physiology, 305(7), L467-77.More infoThe genetic mechanisms underlying the susceptibility to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) and the S1P receptor S1PR3 are intimately involved in lung inflammatory responses and vascular barrier regulation. Furthermore, plasma S1PR3 protein levels were shown to serve as a biomarker of severity in critically ill ARDS patients. This study explores the contribution of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the S1PR3 gene to sepsis-associated ARDS. S1PR3 SNPs were identified by sequencing the entire gene and tagging SNPs selected for case-control association analysis in African- and ED samples from Chicago, with independent replication in a European case-control study of Spanish individuals. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays, luciferase activity assays, and protein immunoassays were utilized to assess the functionality of associated SNPs. A total of 80 variants, including 29 novel SNPs, were identified. Because of limited sample size, conclusive findings could not be drawn in African-descent ARDS subjects; however, significant associations were found for two promoter SNPs (rs7022797 -1899T/G; rs11137480 -1785G/C), across two ED samples supporting the association of alleles -1899G and -1785C with decreased risk for sepsis-associated ARDS. In addition, these alleles significantly reduced transcription factor binding to the S1PR3 promoter; reduced S1PR3 promoter activity, a response particularly striking after TNF-α challenge; and were associated with lower plasma S1PR3 protein levels in ARDS patients. These highly functional studies support S1PR3 as a novel ARDS candidate gene and a potential target for individualized therapy.
- Sun, X., Singleton, P. A., Letsiou, E., Zhao, J., Belvitch, P., Sammani, S., Chiang, E. T., Moreno-Vinasco, L., Wade, M. S., Zhou, T., Liu, B., Parastatidis, I., Thomson, L., Ischiropoulos, H., Natarajan, V., Jacobson, J. R., Machado, R. F., Dudek, S. M., & Garcia, J. G. (2012). Sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-3 is a novel biomarker in acute lung injury. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology, 47(5), 628-36.More infoThe inflamed lung exhibits oxidative and nitrative modifications of multiple target proteins, potentially reflecting disease severity and progression. We identified sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor-3 (S1PR3), a critical signaling molecule mediating cell proliferation and vascular permeability, as a nitrated plasma protein in mice with acute lung injury (ALI). We explored S1PR3 as a potential biomarker in murine and human ALI. In vivo nitrated and total S1PR3 concentrations were determined by immunoprecipitation and microarray studies in mice, and by ELISA in human plasma. In vitro nitrated S1PR3 concentrations were evaluated in human lung vascular endothelial cells (ECs) or within microparticles shed from ECs after exposure to barrier-disrupting agonists (LPS, low-molecular-weight hyaluronan, and thrombin). The effects of S1PR3-containing microparticles on EC barrier function were assessed by transendothelial electrical resistance (TER). Nitrated S1PR3 was identified in the plasma of murine ALI and in humans with severe sepsis-induced ALI. Elevated total S1PR3 plasma concentrations (> 251 pg/ml) were linked to sepsis and ALI mortality. In vitro EC exposure to barrier-disrupting agents induced S1PR3 nitration and the shedding of S1PR3-containing microparticles, which significantly reduced TER, consistent with increased permeability. These changes were attenuated by reduced S1PR3 expression (small interfering RNAs). These results suggest that microparticles containing nitrated S1PR3 shed into the circulation during inflammatory lung states, and represent a novel ALI biomarker linked to disease severity and outcome.
- Mathew, B., Jacobson, J. R., Berdyshev, E., Huang, Y., Sun, X., Zhao, Y., Gerhold, L. M., Siegler, J., Evenoski, C., Wang, T., Zhou, T., Zaidi, R., Moreno-Vinasco, L., Bittman, R., Chen, C. T., LaRiviere, P. J., Sammani, S., Lussier, Y. A., Dudek, S. M., , Natarajan, V., et al. (2011). Role of sphingolipids in murine radiation-induced lung injury: protection by sphingosine 1-phosphate analogs. FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 25(10), 3388-400.More infoClinically significant radiation-induced lung injury (RILI) is a common toxicity in patients administered thoracic radiotherapy. Although the molecular etiology is poorly understood, we previously characterized a murine model of RILI in which alterations in lung barrier integrity surfaced as a potentially important pathobiological event and genome-wide lung gene mRNA levels identified dysregulation of sphingolipid metabolic pathway genes. We hypothesized that sphingolipid signaling components serve as modulators and novel therapeutic targets of RILI. Sphingolipid involvement in murine RILI was confirmed by radiation-induced increases in lung expression of sphingosine kinase (SphK) isoforms 1 and 2 and increases in the ratio of ceramide to sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) and dihydro-S1P (DHS1P) levels in plasma, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and lung tissue. Mice with a targeted deletion of SphK1 (SphK1(-/-)) or with reduced expression of S1P receptors (S1PR1(+/-), S1PR2(-/-), and S1PR3(-/-)) exhibited marked RILI susceptibility. Finally, studies of 3 potent vascular barrier-protective S1P analogs, FTY720, (S)-FTY720-phosphonate (fTyS), and SEW-2871, identified significant RILI attenuation and radiation-induced gene dysregulation by the phosphonate analog, fTyS (0.1 and 1 mg/kg i.p., 2×/wk) and to a lesser degree by SEW-2871 (1 mg/kg i.p., 2×/wk), compared with those in controls. These results support the targeting of S1P signaling as a novel therapeutic strategy in RILI.
- Pino-Yanes, M., Ma, S. F., Sun, X., Tejera, P., Corrales, A., Blanco, J., Pérez-Méndez, L., Espinosa, E., Muriel, A., Blanch, L., Garcia, J. G., Villar, J., & Flores, C. (2011). Interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase 3 gene associates with susceptibility to acute lung injury. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology, 45(4), 740-5.More infoSepsis is the most common cause of acute lung injury (ALI), leading to organ dysfunction and death in critically ill patients. Previous studies associated variants of interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase genes (IRAKs) with differential immune responses to pathogens and with outcomes during sepsis, and revealed that increased expression levels of the IRAK3 gene were correlated with poor outcomes during sepsis. Here we explored whether common variants of the IRAK3 gene were associated with susceptibility to, and outcomes of, severe sepsis. After our discovery of polymorphism, we genotyped a subset of seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 336 population-based control subjects and 214 patients with severe sepsis, collected as part of a prospective study of adults from a Spanish network of intensive care units. Whereas IRAK3 SNPs were not associated with susceptibility to severe sepsis, rs10506481 showed a significant association with the development of ALI among patients with sepsis (P = 0.007). The association remained significant after adjusting for multiple comparisons, population stratification, and clinical variables (odds ratio, 2.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.15-5.47; P = 0.021). By imputation, we revealed three additional SNPs independently associated with ALI (P < 0.01). One of these (rs1732887) predicted the disruption of a putative human-mouse conserved transcription factor binding site, and demonstrated functional effects in vitro (P = 0.017). Despite the need for replication in independent studies, our data suggest that common SNPs in the IRAK3 gene may be determinants of sepsis-induced ALI.
- Sammani, S., Moreno-Vinasco, L., Mirzapoiazova, T., Singleton, P. A., Chiang, E. T., Evenoski, C. L., Wang, T., Mathew, B., Husain, A., Moitra, J., Sun, X., Nunez, L., Jacobson, J. R., Dudek, S. M., Natarajan, V., & Garcia, J. G. (2010). Differential effects of sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors on airway and vascular barrier function in the murine lung. American journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology, 43(4), 394-402.More infoThe therapeutic options for ameliorating the profound vascular permeability, alveolar flooding, and organ dysfunction that accompanies acute inflammatory lung injury (ALI) remain limited. Extending our previous finding that the intravenous administration of the sphingolipid angiogenic factor, sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), attenuates inflammatory lung injury and vascular permeability via ligation of S1PR(1), we determine that a direct intratracheal or intravenous administration of S1P, or a selective S1P receptor (S1PR(1)) agonist (SEW-2871), produces highly concentration-dependent barrier-regulatory responses in the murine lung. The intratracheal or intravenous administration of S1P or SEW-2871 at < 0.3 mg/kg was protective against LPS-induced murine lung inflammation and permeability. However, intratracheal delivery of S1P at 0.5 mg/kg (for 2 h) resulted in significant alveolar-capillary barrier disruption (with a 42% increase in bronchoalveolar lavage protein), and produced rapid lethality when delivered at 2 mg/kg. Despite the greater selectivity for S1PR(1), intratracheally delivered SEW-2871 at 0.5 mg/kg also resulted in significant alveolar-capillary barrier disruption, but was not lethal at 2 mg/kg. Consistent with the S1PR(1) regulation of alveolar/vascular barrier function, wild-type mice pretreated with the S1PR(1) inverse agonist, SB-649146, or S1PR(1)(+/-) mice exhibited reduced S1P/SEW-2871-mediated barrier protection after challenge with LPS. In contrast, S1PR(2)(-/-) knockout mice as well as mice with reduced S1PR(3) expression (via silencing S1PR3-containing nanocarriers) were protected against LPS-induced barrier disruption compared with control mice. These studies underscore the potential therapeutic effects of highly selective S1PR(1) receptor agonists in reducing inflammatory lung injury, and highlight the critical role of the S1P delivery route, S1PR(1) agonist concentration, and S1PR(1) expression in target tissues.
- Sun, X., Ma, S. F., Wade, M. S., Flores, C., Pino-Yanes, M., Moitra, J., Ober, C., Kittles, R., Husain, A. N., Ford, J. G., & Garcia, J. G. (2010). Functional variants of the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 gene associate with asthma susceptibility. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology, 126(2), 241-9, 249.e1-3.More infoThe genetic mechanisms underlying asthma remain unclear. Increased permeability of the microvasculature is a feature of asthma, and the sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor (S1PR1) is an essential participant regulating lung vascular integrity and responses to lung inflammation.
- Sun, X., Shikata, Y., Wang, L., Ohmori, K., Watanabe, N., Wada, J., Shikata, K., Birukov, K. G., Makino, H., Jacobson, J. R., Dudek, S. M., & Garcia, J. G. (2009). Enhanced interaction between focal adhesion and adherens junction proteins: involvement in sphingosine 1-phosphate-induced endothelial barrier enhancement. Microvascular research, 77(3), 304-13.More infoSphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) is an important vascular barrier regulatory agonist which enhances the junctional integrity of human lung endothelial cell monolayers. We have now demonstrated that S1P induced cortical actin ring formation and redistribution of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and paxillin to the cell periphery suggesting the critical role of cell-cell adhesion in endothelial barrier enhancement. Co-immunoprecipitation studies revealed increased association of VE-cadherin with FAK and paxillin in S1P-challenged human pulmonary artery endothelial cell (HPAEC) monolayers. Furthermore, S1P-induced enhancement of VE-cadherin interaction with alpha-catenin and beta-catenin was associated with the increased formation of FAK-beta-catenin protein complexes. Depletion of beta-catenin (siRNA) resulted in loss of S1P-mediated VE-cadherin association with FAK and paxillin rearrangement. Furthermore, transendothelial electrical resistance (an index of barrier function) demonstrated that beta-catenin siRNA significantly attenuated S1P-induced barrier enhancement. These results demonstrate a mechanism of S1P-induced endothelial barrier enhancement via beta-catenin-linked adherens junction and focal adhesion interaction.
- Kamp, R., Sun, X., & Garcia, J. G. (2008). Making genomics functional: deciphering the genetics of acute lung injury. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 5(3), 348-53.More infoAcute lung injury (ALI) is a common and frequently devastating illness characterized by acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, profound inflammation, and flooding of the alveoli. Despite recent advances in ALI care, the morbidity and mortality of ALI continues to be unacceptably high. ALI-inciting events (e.g., sepsis, trauma, aspiration, pneumonia) are quite common, yet only a fraction of patients develop the syndrome. This heterogeneity of patients presenting with ALI has sparked interest in identifying the role of genetic factors that contribute to ALI susceptibility and prognosis. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing and expression technologies now provide the tools to perform large-scale genomic analyses in complex disorders such as ALI; gene expression profiling and pathway analysis provide further insight into previously described molecular pathways involved in the syndrome. In this article, we describe the use of genomewide association studies, ortholog in silico techniques, utility of consomic rat methods, and candidate gene approaches using expression profiling and pathway analyses. These methods have confirmed suspected ALI candidate genes (e.g., IL-6 and MIF), but more impressively have identified novel genes (e.g., GADD45alpha and PBEF) not previously suspected in ALI. The analysis of the molecular pathways (e.g., the cytoskeleton in vascular barrier regulation) has identified additional genes contributing to the development and severity of ALI (e.g., MLCK), thereby providing therapeutic targets in this devastating illness.
- Sun, X. (2020, May). Transcription Regulation of NAMPT by Radiation in Human Lung Endothelium and Epithelium. American Thoracic Society International Conference. Philadelphia, PA: American Thoracic Society.
- Song, S., Yamamura, A., Yamamura, H., Babicheva, A., Tang, H., Ayon, R., Mcdermott, K. M., Sun, X., Black, S., Makino, A., & Yuan, J. (2016, April). Hot, Heat and Stretch All Contribute to the Enhanced Ca2+ Signaling in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. The FASEB Journal.