Elizabeth C. TePas, M.D.

Specialty: Allergy

Massachusetts General Hospital for Children

WAC 7-707
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02115


The following is a list of recent publications for which this Partners Asthma Center physician has been cited as an author in PubMed databases. Study abstracts have been provided for your convenience.

TePas, E. C. and D. T. Umetsu (2000). "Immunotherapy of asthma and allergic diseases." Curr Opin Pediatr 12(6): 574-8.

The goals of therapy for allergic disease and asthma, which have increased dramatically during the past 2 decades, are to relieve and prevent symptoms. Currently, allergen immunotherapy is the only available treatment that can reduce symptoms, alter the natural course of disease, and induce long-term clinical remission effectively and safely in patients with allergic rhinitis, asthma, and insect venom anaphylaxis. Allergen immunotherapy may even prevent the evolution towards polysensitization and prevent the development of asthma in allergic children. In the long run, it is more cost-effective than pharmacotherapy and environmental control measures alone. Future developments, such as using alternate routes of administration, peptide fragments of allergen, adjuvants, and DNA vaccines, may improve its efficiency in inducing long-term clinical relief of symptoms.

Norga, K., M. Pless, et al. (1994). "Multiple transcription start sites and 5' alternate splicing of murine IL-3 receptor beta-chain transcripts." Biochem Biophys Res Commun 205(1): 886-92.

The murine interleukin-3 receptor beta-chain genes, IL-3R beta IL-3 and IL-3R beta c, encode the signal transducing chains of the high affinity receptors for IL-3 and IL-3, GM-CSF and IL-5 respectively. Little is known about the regulation of their expression. To enable the study of the promotors of IL-3R beta IL-3 and IL-3R beta c, we have characterized their respective 5' untranslated regions using a modified 5' RACE protocol. Four classes of alternatively spliced transcripts were isolated that initiate in a 400 nt region upstream from a previously reported start site(1). The initially reported partial IL-3R beta IL-3 clone belongs to the first class of transcripts(2). The second class starts in the middle of an intron as defined by the first class. The 3rd and 4th class establish 2 novel splice donor sites. These results were confirmed by RNAse-protection assay. The complex organization as evident from our data establishes an experimental framework for future experiments aimed at the study of the promoters for the murine IL-3R beta genes.

Cameron, S., D. S. Taylor, et al. (1994). "Identification of a critical regulatory site in the human interleukin-3 promoter by in vivo footprinting." Blood 83(10): 2851-9.

Interleukin-3 (IL-3) is involved in proliferation and differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells. Its expression is subject to precise, tissue-specific regulation, and has been studied extensively in the gibbon T-cell line MLA 144 by a combination of functional assays and DNA binding experiments. To extend these studies, the gibbon IL-3 promoter was cloned and in vivo footprinting of the gibbon and human IL-3 proximal promoters was performed. The gibbon IL-3 promoter was found to be highly homologous to its human counterpart and both promoters yielded identical in vivo footprints after induction of IL-3 synthesis. In particular, we observed specific protection of three guanines over a core sequence TGTGGTTT (IF-1IL3) that had not been recognized in previous studies. IF-1IL3 is not found in other cytokine promoters, but it is conserved in the IL-3 promoter of several species and is similar to a recurring motif in viral and T-cell-specific cellular enhancers. IF-1IL3 binds a specific complex in MLA 144 and Jurkat nuclear extracts in vitro, which shares the same specificity as the complex bound by the polyoma virus and T-cell receptor delta enhancers. Mutation of the three guanines in IF-1IL3 core sequence disrupts binding in vitro and abrogates the ability of the IL-3 promoter to mediate inducible expression in T cells. Although IF-1IL3 is necessary for IL-3 expression, it is not sufficient: a truncated IL-3 promoter with an intact IF-1IL3 site but no other activator sites is transcriptionally silent. These studies describe a new regulatory element within the IL-3 promoter that is essential for expression and conserved between species.

Davies, K., E. C. TePas, et al. (1993). "Interleukin-3 expression by activated T cells involves an inducible, T-cell-specific factor and an octamer binding protein." Blood 81(4): 928-34.

Interleukin-3 (IL-3) is exclusively expressed by activated T and natural killer cells, a function that is tightly controlled both in a lineage-specific and in a stimulation-dependent manner. We have investigated the protein binding characteristics and functional importance of the ACT-1-activating region of the IL-3 promoter. This region binds an inducible, T-cell-specific factor over its 5' end, a site that is necessary for the expression of IL-3 in the absence of other upstream elements. Over its 3' end, it binds a factor that is ubiquitously and constitutively expressed. This factor is Oct-1 or an immunologically related octamer-binding protein, and it plays a role in coordinating the activity of several regulatory elements. These characteristics make the ACT-1 site analogous to the activating ARRE-1 site in the IL-2 promoter. Furthermore, and despite a lack of sequence homology, the promoters of IL-3 and IL-2 share an organizational pattern of regulatory elements that is likely to be important for the T-cell-specific expression of these genes.