Helene F. Rosenberg

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The mammalian RNase A superfamily comprises a diverse array of ribonucleolytic proteins that have a variety of biochemical activities and physiological functions. Two rapidly evolving RNases of higher primates are of particular interest as they are major secretory proteins of eosinophilic leukocytes and have been found to possess anti-pathogen activities in(More)
An improved understanding of the evolution of gene function at the molecular level may provide significant insights into the origin of biological novelty and adaptation. With the approach of ancestral protein reconstruction, we here address the question of how a dramatically enhanced ribonucleolytic activity and the related antiviral activity evolved in a(More)
Here we report on the expression and function of RNase 7, one of the final RNase A superfamily ribonucleases identified in the human genome sequence. The human RNase 7 gene is expressed in various somatic tissues including the liver, kidney, skeletal muscle and heart. Recombinant RNase 7 is ribonucleolytically active against yeast tRNA, as expected from the(More)
Infection with the human pneumovirus pathogen, respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV), causes a wide spectrum of respiratory disease, notably among infants and the elderly. Laboratory animal studies permit detailed experimental modeling of hRSV disease and are therefore indispensable in the search for novel therapies and preventative strategies. Present animal(More)
We report the identification and characterization of the gene encoding the eighth and final human ribonuclease (RNase) of the highly diversified RNase A superfamily. The RNase 8 gene is linked to seven other RNase A superfamily genes on chromosome 14. It is expressed prominently in the placenta, but is not detected in any other tissues examined.(More)
Although the complete genome sequences of over 50 representative species have revealed the many duplicated genes in all three domains of life, the roles of gene duplication in organismal adaptation and biodiversity are poorly understood. In addition, the evolutionary forces behind the functional divergence of duplicated genes are often unknown, leading to(More)
Eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) is an eosinophil granule-derived secretory protein with ribonuclease and antiviral activity. We have previously shown that EDN can induce the migration and maturation of dendritic cells (DCs). Here, we report that EDN can activate myeloid DCs by triggering the Toll-like receptor (TLR)2-myeloid differentiation factor 88(More)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the single most important cause of lower respiratory tract infection during infancy and early childhood. Once RSV infection is established, the host immune response includes the production of virus-neutralizing antibodies and T-cell-specific immunity. The humoral immune response normally results in the development of(More)
Diversifying selection drives the rapid differentiation of gene sequences and is one of the main forces behind adaptive evolution. Most genes known to be shaped by diversifying selection are those involved in host-pathogen or male-female interactions characterized as molecular "arms races." Here we report the unexpected detection of diversifying selection(More)
The two eosinophil ribonucleases, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN/RNase 2) and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP/RNase 3), are among the most rapidly evolving coding sequences known among primates. The eight mouse genes identified as orthologs of EDN and ECP form a highly divergent, species-limited cluster. We present here the rat ribonuclease cluster, a(More)