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      PAD4 is essential for antibacterial innate immunity mediated by neutrophil extracellular traps


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          Neutrophils trap and kill bacteria by forming highly decondensed chromatin structures, termed neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). We previously reported that histone hypercitrullination catalyzed by peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) correlates with chromatin decondensation during NET formation. However, the role of PAD4 in NET-mediated bacterial trapping and killing has not been tested. Here, we use PAD4 knockout mice to show that PAD4 is essential for NET-mediated antibacterial function. Unlike PAD4 +/+ neutrophils, PAD4 −/− neutrophils cannot form NETs after stimulation with chemokines or incubation with bacteria, and are deficient in bacterial killing by NETs. In a mouse infectious disease model of necrotizing fasciitis, PAD4 −/− mice are more susceptible to bacterial infection than PAD4 +/+ mice due to a lack of NET formation. Moreover, we found that citrullination decreased the bacterial killing activity of histones and nucleosomes, which suggests that PAD4 mainly plays a role in chromatin decondensation to form NETs instead of increasing histone-mediated bacterial killing. Our results define a role for histone hypercitrullination in innate immunity during bacterial infection.

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          The structure of DNA in the nucleosome core.

          The 1.9-A-resolution crystal structure of the nucleosome core particle containing 147 DNA base pairs reveals the conformation of nucleosomal DNA with unprecedented accuracy. The DNA structure is remarkably different from that in oligonucleotides and non-histone protein-DNA complexes. The DNA base-pair-step geometry has, overall, twice the curvature necessary to accommodate the DNA superhelical path in the nucleosome. DNA segments bent into the minor groove are either kinked or alternately shifted. The unusual DNA conformational parameters induced by the binding of histone protein have implications for sequence-dependent protein recognition and nucleosome positioning and mobility. Comparison of the 147-base-pair structure with two 146-base-pair structures reveals alterations in DNA twist that are evidently common in bulk chromatin, and which are of probable importance for chromatin fibre formation and chromatin remodelling.
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            Histone deimination as a response to inflammatory stimuli in neutrophils.

            Posttranslational modifications, such as the deimination of arginine to citrulline by peptidyl arginine deiminase (PAD4), change protein structure and function. For autoantigens, covalent modifications represent a mechanism to sidestep tolerance and stimulate autoimmunity. To examine conditions leading to histone deimination in neutrophils, we used Abs that detect citrullines in the N terminus of histone H3. Deimination was investigated in human neutrophils and HL-60 cells differentiated into granulocytes. We observed rapid and robust H3 deimination in HL-60 cells exposed to LPS, TNF, lipoteichoic acid, f-MLP, or hydrogen peroxide, which are stimuli that activate neutrophils. Importantly, we also observed H3 deimination in human neutrophils exposed to these stimuli. Citrullinated histones were identified as components of extracellular chromatin traps (NETs) produced by degranulating neutrophils. In contrast, apoptosis proceeded without detectable H3 deimination in HL-60 cells exposed to staurosporine or camptothecin. We conclude that histone deimination in neutrophils is induced in response to inflammatory stimuli and not by treatments that induce apoptosis. Our results further suggest that deiminated histone H3, a covalently modified form of a prominent nuclear autoantigen, is released to the extracellular space as part of the neutrophil response to infections. The possible association of a modified autoantigen with microbial components could, in predisposed individuals, increase the risk of autoimmunity.
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              Simplified mammalian DNA isolation procedure.


                Author and article information

                J Exp Med
                J. Exp. Med
                The Journal of Experimental Medicine
                The Rockefeller University Press
                30 August 2010
                : 207
                : 9
                : 1853-1862
                [1 ]Center for Eukaryotic Gene Regulation, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology , and [2 ]Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
                Author notes
                CORRESPONDENCE Yanming Wang: yuw12@ 123456psu.edu
                © 2010 Li et al.

                This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org/terms). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, as described at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/).

                : 3 February 2010
                : 12 July 2010
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