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In vertebrates, heart formation which integrates different structures and cell types is a complex process that involves a network of genes regulated by transcription factors. Proper spatiotemporal expression of these factors ensure the highly needed tight control of each step in organogenesis. A mistake at any step from cell-commitment to valve formation(More)
Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF alpha) activates the stress-activated protein kinases (SAPKs, also known as Jun nuclear kinases or JNKs) resulting in the stimulation of AP-1-dependent gene transcription and induces the translocation of NF kappa B to the nucleus resulting in the stimulation of NF kappa B-dependent gene transcription. A potential second(More)
The role of the sphingolipid ceramide in modulating the immune response has been controversial, in part because of conflicting data regarding its ability to regulate the transcription factor NF-kappaB. To help clarify this role, we investigated the effects of ceramide on IL-2, a central NF-kappaB target. We found that ceramide inhibited protein kinase C(More)
To assess the effect of chronic hypoxia on cardiomyocyte apoptosis, we used an animal model that mimics cyanotic heart disease. Rats were placed in a hypoxic environment at birth, and oxygen levels were maintained at 10% in an air-tight Plexiglas chamber. Controls remained in room air. Animals were killed, and the hearts were harvested at 1 and 4 wk.(More)
We performed clinical, immunological and genetic studies of 12 hyper-IgE syndrome (HIES) patients from 4 Hungarian, 2 Lebanese, one Russian, one Polish, and one Swedish families with autosomal dominant (AD) or sporadic forms of the disease to reveal cross-ethnicity of recurrent and novel mutations in the signal transducer and activator of transcription-3(More)
Proteases are now firmly established as major regulators of the "execution" phase of apoptosis. Here, we examine the role of proteases and their relationship to ceramide, a proposed mediator of apoptosis, in the tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha)-induced pathway of cell death. Ceramide induced activation of prICE, the protease that cleaves the death(More)
Despite the significant burden of influenza outbreaks, active disease monitoring has been largely absent in the Middle East, including Lebanon. In this study we characterized influenza virus in 440 nasopharyngeal swabs collected from patients with acute respiratory infections during two influenza seasons in Lebanon. Influenza A(H3N2) was dominant in the(More)
Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-I)-associated adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is a malignancy of mature activated T cells resistant to conventional chemotherapy. The viral transactivator protein Tax plays a critical role in HTLV-I-induced transformation and apoptosis resistance by inducing I kappa B-alpha degradation, resulting in the(More)
A recent increase in carbapenem resistance among extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli isolates at a major tertiary care centre in Lebanon prompted the initiation of this study. Consecutive ESBL-producing isolates were tested for resistance to carbapenems, with initial screening by disk diffusion and Etest(More)
We report the first case of vertebral aspergillosis in a child with a primary defect in monocyte killing, an extremely rare immunodeficiency The diagnosis of defective monocyte killing was made by an in vitro assay that showed normal killing of Staphylococcus aureus by the patient's neutrophils but impaired killing by his monocytes. Importantly, the(More)