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1.  Validity, reliability, and responsiveness of a new shortVisual Simplified Respiratory Questionnaire (VSRQ©) for health-related quality of life assessment in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 
The Visual Simplified Respiratory Questionnaire (VSRQ) was designed to assess health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It contains eight items: dyspnea, anxiety, depressed mood, sleep, energy, daily activities, social activities and sexual life. Psychometric properties were assessed during a clinical trial that evaluated the impact of tiotropium on HRQoL of COPD patients. These included the determination of structure, internal consistency reliability, concurrent validity with the St George’s Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), test – retest reliability, clinical validity and responsiveness to change over two weeks. Minimal important difference (MID) was calculated; cumulative response curves (CRC) were based on the dyspnea item. Psychometric analyses showed that VSRQ structure was unidimensional. The questionnaire demonstrated good internal consistency reliability (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.84), good concurrent validity with SGRQ (Spearman = −0.70) and clinical validity, good test-retest reproducibility (ICC = 0.77), and satisfactory responsiveness (standardized response mean = 0.57; Guyatt’s statistic = 0.63). MID was 3.4; CRC median value of the ‘minimally improved’ patients was 3.5. In conclusion, VSRQ brevity and satisfactory psychometric properties make it a good candidate for large studies to assess HRQoL in COPD patients. Further validation is needed to extend its use in clinical practice.
PMCID: PMC2672786  PMID: 19436682
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; VSRQ; SGRQ; health-related quality of life; minimal important difference
2.  Mutational analysis of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 env gene product proteolytic cleavage site. 
Journal of Virology  1990;64(5):2337-2344.
The structural requirements for proteolytic cleavage of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 env gene product, gp160, to gp120 and gp41 have been assessed by specific mutagenesis of the sequence Lys Ala Lys Arg Arg Val Val Glu Arg Glu Lys Arg located between amino acids 500 and 511, i.e., at the putative C terminus of gp120. The basic amino acids underlined have been mutated, individually and in combination, to neutral amino acids, and the cleavability of the mutated env gene products was examined after expression in CV-1 cells. The results show that the replacement of Arg-511 (cleavage presumably occurs C terminal to this amino acid) with Ser completely abolishes recognition and cleavage by the cellular protease(s), i.e., the remaining basic amino acids in the vicinity do not serve as alternative substrates. However, Arg-508 and Lys-510 are important features of the recognition site since, when they are individually changed to neutral amino acids, cleavage is severely impaired. The basic amino acids 500, 502, and 504 are, individually, not important for cleavage, since their individual replacement by neutral amino acids does not impair cleavage. However, when all four basic amino acids 500, 502, 503, and 504 are changed to neutral amino acids, cleavage is almost completely abolished. This shows that the sequence Arg Glu Lys Arg at the cleavage site is alone not sufficient for cleavage but that a contribution of other amino acids is required, whether the other amino acids provide a basic character or a certain structure in the vicinity of the cleavage site. When noncleavable or poorly cleavable mutant env genes are expressed from the infectious plasmid pNL4-3 in CD4+ human lymphoblastoid cells, noninfectious virus, incapable of spread throughout the culture, is produced.
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PMCID: PMC249395  PMID: 2182911

Results 1-2 (2)