Monika Merkle

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Shared transcription factor binding sites that are conserved in distance and orientation help control the expression of gene products that act together in the same biological context. New bioinformatics approaches allow the rapid characterization of shared promoter structures and can be used to find novel interacting molecules. Here, these principles are(More)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is frequently complicated by glomerulonephritis with immune complexes containing viral RNA. We examined the potential influence of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), specifically TLR3 recognition of viral dsRNA exemplified by polyriboinosinic:polyribocytidylic acid [poly(I:C) RNA]. Normal human kidney stained positive for TLR3 on(More)
Glomerular podocytes are major determinants of filtration permselectivity in the glomerulus. Although the molecular mechanisms determining the characteristics of the glomerular filtration unit are incompletely understood, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been implicated. To analyze this process in situ, we established a method that allows(More)
In viral infections, disease manifestations and tissue damage often result primarily from immune cells infiltrating target organs on the basis of an ineffectual viral clearance with persistent antigenemia or an inappropriate immune response. Cell types and mediators defining these inflammatory processes are still inadequately understood. In hepatitis C(More)
Pancreatic amyloid is found in more than 95 % of type II diabetes patients. Pancreatic amyloid is formed by the aggregation of islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP or amylin), which is a 37-residue peptide. Because pancreatic amyloid is cytotoxic, it is believed that its formation is directly associated with the development of the disease. We recently showed(More)
PURPOSE. To elucidate the role of Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and to investigate the effect of alkylphosphocholines (APCs) on the TLR3-mediated expression of cytokines and growth factors in human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. METHODS. Confluent cultures of human RPE cells (ARPE-19) were(More)
BACKGROUND The delicate foot process architecture of glomerular podocytes critically depends on integrin mediated cell-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) interaction. Integrin signaling via the integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is activated in podocyte damage and associated with considerable podocyte phenotype alterations. ILK has been shown to regulate cell(More)
Prostanoids have been implicated in the regulation of lung vascular tone both under physiological and inflammatory conditions. The conversion of arachidonic acid (AA) to prostaglandin H2 is catalyzed at least by two isoforms of cyclooxygenase, named Cox-1 and Cox-2. Cox-1 is thought to be ubiquitously expressed, enrolled in physiological processes, whereas(More)
BACKGROUND Extracellular matrix (ECM) not only provides molecular and spatial information that influence cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis but also has the potential to bind and present or release cytokines and cytotactic factors. Synthesis and degradation of extracellular matrix components are balanced by matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and(More)
Cyclooxygenase (Cox), the key enzyme of prostanoid synthesis, consists of the two isoforms Cox-1 and Cox-2, both recently noted to be constitutively expressed in rat lungs with a distinct profile of cellular distribution. The responsiveness of pulmonary Cox-1 and Cox-2 expression to intravascular endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) administration was(More)