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Supplementary Material for: Francisella tularensis Alters Human Neutrophil Gene Expression: Insights into the Molecular Basis of Delayed Neutrophil Apoptosis

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posted on 14.09.2012, 00:00 by Schwartz J.T., Bandyopadhyay S., Kobayashi S.D., McCracken J., Whitney A.R., DeLeo F.R., Allen L.-A.H.
We demonstrated recently that Francisella tularensis profoundly impairs human neutrophil apoptosis, but how this is achieved is largely unknown. Herein we used human oligonucleotide microarrays to test the hypothesis that changes in neutrophil gene expression contribute to this phenotype, and now demonstrate that F. tularensis live vaccine strain (LVS) caused significant changes in neutrophil gene expression over a 24-hour time period relative to the uninfected controls. Of approximately 47,000 genes analyzed, 3,435 were significantly up- or downregulated by LVS, including 365 unique genes associated with apoptosis and cell survival. Specific targets in this category included genes asso-ciated with the intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways (CFLAR, TNFAIP3, TNFRSF10D, SOD2, BCL2A1, BIRC4, PIM2, TNFSF10, TNFRSF10C, CASP2 and CASP8) and genes that act via the NFĸB pathway and other mechanisms to prolong cell viability (NFKB1, NFKB2 and RELA, IL1B, CAST, CDK2,GADD45B, BCL3, BIRC3, CDK2, IL1A, PBEF1, IL6, CXCL1, CCL4 and VEGF). The microarray data were confirmed by qPCR and pathway analysis. Moreover, we demonstrate that the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein remained abundant in polymorphonuclear leukocytes over 48 h of LVS infection, whereas BAX mRNA and protein were progressively downregulated. These data strongly suggest that antiapoptotic and prosurvival mechanisms collaborate to sustain the viability of F. tularensis--infected neutrophils.