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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ehrlichia chaffeensis and E. sennetsu, but not the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis agent, colocalize with transferrin receptor and up-regulate transferrin receptor mRNA by activating iron-responsive protein 1.

Ehrlichia chaffeensis and E. sennetsu are genetically divergent obligatory intracellular bacteria of human monocytes and macrophages, and the human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) agent is an obligatory intracellular bacterium of granulocytes. Infection with both E. chaffeensis and E. sennetsu, but not HGE agent, in the acute monocytic leukemia cell line THP-1 almost completely inhibited by treatment with deferoxamine, a cell-permeable iron chelator. Transferrin receptors (TfRs) accumulated on both E. chaffeensis and E. sennetsu, but not HGE agent, inclusions in THP-1 cells or the cells of the promyelocytic leukemia cell line HL-60. Reverse transcription-PCR showed an increase in the level of TfR mRNA 6 h postinfection which peaked at 24 h postinfection with both E. chaffeensis and E. sennetsu infection in THP-1 or HL-60 cells. In contrast, HGE agent in THP-1 or HL-60 cells induced no increase in TfR mRNA levels. Heat treatment of E. chaffeensis or the addition of monodansylcadaverine, a transglutaminase inhibitor, 3 h prior to infection inhibited the up-regulation of TfR mRNA. The addition of oxytetracycline 6 h after E. chaffeensis infection caused a decrease in TfR mRNA which returned to the basal level by 24 h postinfection. These results indicate that both internalization and continuous proliferation of ehrlichial organisms or the production of ehrlichial proteins are required for the up-regulation of TfR mRNA. Results of electrophoretic mobility shift assays showed that both E. chaffeensis and E. sennetsu infection increased the binding activity of iron-responsive protein 1 (IRP-1) to the iron-responsive element at 6 h postinfection and remained elevated at 24 h postinfection. However, HGE agent infection had no effect on IRP-1 binding activity. This result suggests that activation of IRP-1 and subsequent stabilization of TfR mRNA comprise the mechanism of TfR mRNA up-regulation by E. chaffeensis and E. sennetsu infection.[1]


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