In response to oxidative stress, the transcription factor Nrf2 is upregulated and controls activation of many genes that work in concert to defend cells from damages and to maintain cellular redox homeostasis. p53 has been regarded as the guardian of the genome through its pro-oxidant and antioxidant functions. Under low levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), “normal” amounts of p53 upregulates expression of antioxidant genes, protecting macromolecules from ROS-induced damage. However, at high levels or extended exposure of ROS, p53 expression is enhanced, activating pro-oxidant genes and resulting in p53-dependent apoptosis. We observed a two-phase Nrf2 expression controlled by p53. (i) The induction phase: when p53 expression is relatively low, p53 enhances the protein level of Nrf2 and its target genes to promote cell survival in a p21-dependent manner. (ii) The repression phase: when p53 expression is high, the Nrf2-mediated survival response is inhibited by p53. Our observation leads to the hypothesis that the p53-mediated biphasic regulation of Nrf2 may be key for the tumor-suppressor function of p53 by coordinating cell survival and death pathways. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 17, 1670–1675.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common joint disorder with varying degrees of inflammation. The ideal anti-OA drug should have immunomodulatory effects while at the same time having limited or no toxicity. We examined the anti-inflammatory effects of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb) in interleukin-1 (IL-1)-stimulated human chondrocytes. Chondrocytes were prepared from cartilage specimens taken from patients with osteoarthritis who had received total hip or total knee replacement. The concentrations of chemokines and the degree of cell migration were determined by ELISA and chemotaxis assays, respectively. The activation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), activator protein-1 (AP-1), and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) was determined by immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and electrophoretic mobility shift assay. We found that EGb inhibited IL-1-induced production of chemokines, which in turn resulted in attenuation of THP-1 cell migration toward EGb-treated cell culture medium. EGb also suppressed IL-1-stimulated iNOS expression and release of nitric oxide (NO). The EGb-mediated suppression of the iNOS-NO pathway correlated with the attenuation of activator protein-1 (AP-1) but not nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) DNA-binding activity. Of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), EGb inhibited only c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Unexpectedly, EGb selectively caused degradation of c-Jun protein. Further investigation revealed that EGb-mediated c-Jun degradation was preceded by ubiquitination of c-Jun and could be prevented by the proteosome inhibitor MG-132. The results imply that EGb protects against chondrocyte degeneration by inhibiting JNK activation and inducing ubiquitination-dependent c-Jun degradation. Although additional research is needed, our results suggest that EGb is a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of OA.
Autoimmune gastritis is an organ-specific autoimmune disease of the stomach associated with pernicious anemia. The previous work from us and other groups identified MCPIP1 as an essential factor controlling inflammation and immune homeostasis. MCPIP1-/- developed severe anemia. However, the mechanisms underlying this phenotype remain unclear. In the present study, we found that MCPIP1 deficiency in mice resulted in severe anemia related to autoimmune mechanisms. Although MCPIP1 deficiency did not affect erythropoiesis per se, the erythropoiesis in MCPIP1-/- bone marrow erythroblasts was significantly attenuated due to iron and vitamin B12 (VB12) deficiency, which was mainly resulted from autoimmunity-associated gastritis and parietal cell loss. Consistently, exogenous supplement of iron and VB12 greatly improved the anemia phenotype of MCPIP1-/- mice. Finally, we have evidence suggesting that autoimmune hemolysis may also contribute to anemia phenotype of MCPIP1-/- mice. Taken together, our study suggests that MCPIP1 deficiency in mice leads to the development of autoimmune gastritis and pernicious anemia. Thus, MCPIP1-/- mice may be a good mouse model for investigating the pathogenesis of pernicious anemia and testing the efficacy of some potential drugs for treatment of this disease.
Alpinia pricei Hayata is a Formosan plant which has been popularly used as nutraceutical or folk medicine for inflammation and various disorders. An active compound of the plant rhizomes, desmethoxyyangonin (DMY), was identified in this study for its novel effect against endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated inflammation in murine macrophages and LPS/D-galactosamine (LPS/D-GalN)-induced fulminant hepatitis in mice. DMY was observed to significantly inhibit proliferation and activation of T cells ex vivo and the activity of several pro-inflammatory mediators in vitro. DMY also protected LPS/D-GalN−induced acute hepatic damages in mice through inhibiting aminotransferases activities and infiltrations of inflammatory macrophages, neutrophils and pathogenic T cells into the liver tissues. In addition, pretreatment with DMY significantly improved the survival rate of LPS/D-GalN−treated mice to 90% (9/10), compared to LPS/D-GalN−treated group (40%, 4/10). UPLC/MS platform-based comparative metabolomics approach was used to explore the serum metabolic profile in fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) mice with or without the DMY pretreatment. The results showed that LPS/D-GalN−induced hepatic damage is likely through perturbing amino acid metabolism, which leads to decreased pyruvate formation via catalysis of aminotransferases, and DMY treatment can prevent to a certain degree of these alterations in metabolic network in mouse caused by LPS/D-GalN. Mechanistic investigation demonstrated that DMY protects LPS or LPS/D-GalN−induced damages in cell or liver tissues mainly through de-regulating IKK/NFκB and Jak2/STAT3 signaling pathways. This report provides evidence-based knowledge to support the rationale for the use of A. pricei root extract in anti-inflammation and also its new function as hepatoprotetive agent against fulminant hepatitis.
Resveratrol, a natural polyphenol compound, has broad effects on critical events, including inflammation, oxidation, cancer and aging. However, the function and molecular mechanisms of resveratrol on T cell activation are controversial. In the present study, we found that resveratrol significantly inhibits the activation and cytokine production of T cells in vitro and in vivo. Sirt1 expression was up-regulated in resveratrol-treated T cells. Once Sirt1 was down-regulated in the T cells, the resveratrol-induced inhibition of T cell activation noticeably diminished. The acetylation of c-Jun decreased and its translocation was impeded in the resveratrol-treated T cells. The incidence and severity of collagen-induced arthritis in the resveratrol-treated mice were considerably reduced.
Excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) induce apoptosis and are associated with various diseases and with aging. SIRT1 (sirtuin-1), an NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase, decreases ROS levels and participates in cell survival under oxidative stress conditions. SIRT1 modulates the transcription factors p53, a tumor suppressor and inducer of apoptosis, and the forkhead O (FOXO) family, both of which play roles for cell survival and cell death. In this study, we aimed to know which is working greatly among p53 and FOXOs transcription factors in SIRT1’s cell protective functions under oxidative stress conditions. The antimycin A-induced increase in ROS levels and apoptosis was enhanced by SIRT1 inhibitors nicotinamide and splitomicin, whereas it was suppressed by a SIRT1 activator, resveratrol, and a SIRT1 cofactor, NAD+. SIRT1-siRNA abolished the effects of splitomicin and resveratrol. p53-knockdown experiment in C2C12 cells and experiment using p53-deficient HCT116 cells showed that splitomicin and resveratrol modulated apoptosis by p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways. In p53-independent cell protective pathway, we found that FOXO1, FOXO3a, and FOXO4 were involved in SOD2’s upregulation by resveratrol. The knockdown of these three FOXOs by siRNAs completely abolished the SOD2 induction, ROS reduction, and anti-apoptotic function of resveratrol. Our results indicate that FOXO1, FOXO3a and FOXO4, are indispensable for SIRT1-dependent cell survival against oxidative stress, although deacetylation of p53 has also some role for cell protective function of SIRT1.
Chronic damage and repair of the bronchial epithelium are features of asthma. We have previously reported that ex vivo stimulation of normal bronchial epithelial cells with epidermal growth factor (EGF), a key factor of epithelial repair, enhances the mechanisms of neutrophil accumulation, thereby promoting neutrophil defences during acute injury but potentially enhancing inflammation in chronic airway diseases. We have now sought to (i) determine whether this EGF-dependent pro-neutrophil activity is increased in asthma, where EGF and its epithelial receptor are over-expressed, and (ii) elucidate some of the mechanisms underlying this asthmatic epithelial-neutrophil interaction. Primary bronchial epithelial cells (PBEC) from healthy subjects, mild asthmatics and moderate-to-severe asthmatics (Mod/Sev) were stimulated with EGF, a model that mimics a repairing epithelium. Conditioned culture media (EGF-CM) were assessed for neutrophil chemotactic and anti-apoptotic activities and inflammatory mediator production. EGF induced the epithelium to produce soluble mediators with neutrophil chemotactic (p<0.001) and pro-survival (p = 0.021) activities which were related to the clinical severity of asthma (trend p = 0.010 and p = 0.009, respectively). This was associated with enhanced IL-6, IL-8, GM-CSF and TNF-α release, and cytokine-neutralising experiments using EGF-CM from Mod/Sev asthmatics demonstrated a role for GM-CSF in neutrophil survival (p<0.001). Pre-treatment of neutrophils with specific inhibitors of the myeloid-restricted class I phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase (PI(3)K) isoforms showed that the EGF-CM from Mod/Sev asthmatics depended on the γ (p<0.021) but not δ isoforms, while neutrophil survival required multiple class I PI(3)Ks. The EGF-induced chemotactic, but not pro-survival activity, involved RhoA signaling in neutrophils (p = 0.012). EGF whose activity is upregulated in asthma induces ex vivo the epithelium from asthmatic patients to produce pro-neutrophil activities; these are related to asthma severity and, in moderate-to-severe asthmatics, involves class IB PI(3)Kγ signaling, providing a potential therapeutic target for neutrophilic forms of asthma.
Trametes versicolor (Yun-Zhi) is a medicinal fungus used as a chemotherapy co-treatment to enhance anti-tumor immunity. Although the efficacies of T. versicolor extracts have been documented, the active ingredients and mechanisms underlying the actions of these extracts remain uncharacterized.
We purified a new protein, YZP, from the fruiting bodies of T. versicolor and identified the gene encoding YZP using RNA-seq and de novo assembly technologies. YZP is a 12-kDa non-glycosylated protein comprising 139 amino acids, including an 18-amino acids signal peptide. YZP induced a greater than 60-fold increase in IL-10 secretion in mice B lymphocytes; moreover, YZP specifically triggered the differentiation of CD1d+ B cells into IL-10-producing regulatory B cells (Bregs) and enhanced the expression of CD1d. YZP-induced B cells suppressed approximately 40% of the LPS-activated macrophage production of inflammatory cytokines in a mixed leukocyte reaction and significantly alleviated the disease activity and colonic inflammation in a DSS-induced acute colitis murine model. Furthermore, YZP activated Breg function via interaction with TLR2 and TLR4 and up-regulation of the TLR-mediated signaling pathway.
We purified a novel Breg-stimulating protein, YZP, from T. versicolor and developed an advanced approach combining RNA-seq and de novo assembly technologies.to clone its gene. We demonstrated that YZP activated CD1d+ Breg differentiation through TLR2/4-mediated signaling pathway, and the YZP-stimulated B cells exhibited anti-inflammatory efficacies in vitro and in murine acute colitis models.
A role for microbes has been suspected in prostate cancer but difficult to confirm in human patients. We show here that a gastrointestinal (GI) tract bacterial infection is sufficient to enhance prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) and microinvasive carcinoma in a mouse model. We found that animals with a genetic predilection for dysregulation of wnt signaling, ApcMin/+ mutant mice, were significantly susceptible to prostate cancer in an inflammation-dependent manner following infection with Helicobacter hepaticus. Further, early neoplasia observed in infected ApcMin/+ mice was transmissible to uninfected mice by intraperitoneal injection of mesenteric lymph node (MLN) cells alone from H. hepaticus-infected mutant mice. Transmissibility of neoplasia was preventable by prior neutralization of inflammation using anti-TNF-α antibody in infected MLN donor mice. Taken together, these data confirm that systemic inflammation triggered by GI tract bacteria plays a pivotal role in tumorigenesis of the prostate gland.
The expression and function of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is associated with the phenotype of multi-drug resistance (MDR), leading chemotherapy failure of patients suffered with cancer. Grape seed procyanidin(GSP) is a natural polyphenol supplement with anti-inflammatory effect. Present study assessed a new use of GSP on the MDR reversal activity and its possible molecular mechanisms in MDR1-overpressing paclitaxel resistant ovarian cancer cells. Our results showed GSP significantly enhanced the cytotoxicity of paclitaxel and adriamycin in paclitaxel resistant A2780/T cells but its parental A2780 cells. Furthermore, GSP strongly inhibited P-gp expression by blocking MDR1 gene transcription, as well as, increased the intracellular accumulation of the P-gp substrate rhodamine-123 in A2780/T cells. Nuclear factor-κB(NF-κB) activity, IκB degradation level and NF-κB/p65 nuclear translocation induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and receptor activator for nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) were markedly inhibited by pre-treatment with GSP. Meanwhile, GSP inhibited MAPK/ERK pathway by decreasing the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, resulting in reduced the Y-box binding protein 1 (YB-1) activation with blocking its nuclear translocation. Moreover, the up-regulation of P-gp expression, the activation of AKT/NF-κB and MAPK/ERK pathway induced by LPS was attenuated by GSP administration. Compared with PDTC and U1026, inhibitor of NF-κB and MAPK/ERK respectively, GSP showed the same tendency of down-regulating NF-κB and MAPK/ERK mediated YB-1 activities. Thus, GSP reverses P-gp associated MDR by inhibiting the function and expression of P-gp through down-regulation of NF-κB activity and MAPK/ERK pathway mediated YB-1 nuclear translocation, offering insight into the mechanism of reversing MDR by natural polyphenol supplement compounds. GSP could be a new potential MDR reversal agent used for combination therapy with chemotherapeutics in clinic.
The TNFR family member OX40 (CD134) is critical for optimal clonal expansion and survival of T cells. However, the intracellular targets of OX40 in CD8 T cells are not fully understood. Here we show that A1, a Bcl-2 family protein, is regulated by OX40 in effector CD8 T cells. In contrast to wild-type T cells, OX40-deficient CD8 T cells failed to maintain A1 expression driven by antigen. Conversely, enforced OX40 stimulation promoted A1 expression. In both situations, the expression of A1 directly correlated with CD8 T cell survival. In addition, exogenous expression of A1 in OX40-deficient CD8 T cells reversed their survival defect in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, forced expression of A1 in CD8 T cells from OX40-deficient mice restored the ability of these T cells to suppress tumor growth in a murine model. These results indicate that OX40 signals regulate CD8 T cell survival at least in part through maintaining expression of the anti-apoptotic molecule A1, and provide new insight into the mechanism by which OX40 may impact anti-tumor immunity.
Exposure to arsenic is associated with an increased risk of lung disease. Novel strategies are needed to reduce the adverse health effects associated with arsenic exposure in the lung. Nrf2, a transcription factor that mediates an adaptive cellular defense response, is effective in detoxifying environmental insults and prevents a broad spectrum of diseases induced by environmental exposure to harmful substances. In this report, we tested whether Nrf2 activation protects mice from arsenic-induced toxicity. We used an in vivo arsenic inhalation model that is highly relevant to low environmental human exposure to arsenic-containing dusts. Two-week exposure to arsenic-containing dust resulted in pathological alterations, oxidative DNA damage, and mild apoptotic cell death in the lung; all of which were blocked by sulforaphane (SF) in an Nrf2-dependent manner. Mechanistically, SF-mediated activation of Nrf2 alleviated inflammatory responses by modulating cytokine production. This study provides strong evidence that dietary intervention targeting Nrf2 activation is a feasible approach to reduce adverse health effects associated with arsenic exposure.
Nrf2; Keap1; Arsenic; Antioxidant response
T-helper (Th) 22 and Th17 cells are involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. However, their roles in the pathogenesis of Graves’disease (GD) are unclear. This study is aimed at examining the frequency of peripheral blood Th22, Th17, and Th1 cells and the levels of plasma IL-22, IL-17, and IFN-γ in patients with GD. A total of 27 patients with new onset GD and 27 gender- and age-matched healthy controls (HC) were examined for the frequency of peripheral blood Th22, Th17, and IFN-γ cells by flow cytometry. The concentrations of plasma IL-22, IL-17, and IFN-γ were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The levels of serum TSHR antibodies (A-TSHR), free triiodothyronine (FT3), free thyroxine (FT4), and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) were examined by radioimmunoassay and chemiluminescent assay, respectively. The levels of serum TSAb were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In comparison with those in the HC, significantly elevated percentages of Th22 and Th17 cells, but not Th1 cells, and increased levels of plasma IL-22 and IL-17, but not IFN-γ, were detected in GD patients (P<0.0001, for both). The percentages of both Th22 and Th17 cells and the levels of plasma IL-22 and IL-17 were correlated positively with the levels of serum TSAb in GD patients (r = 0.7944, P<0.0001; r = 0.8110, P<0.0001; r = 0.7101, p<0.0001; r = 0.7407, p<0.0001, respectively). Th22 and Th17 cells may contribute to the pathogenesis of GD.
We adopt a susceptible-infected-susceptible (SIS) model on a Barabási and Albert (BA) network to investigate the effects of different vaccine subsidization policies. The goal is to control the prevalence of the disease given a limited supply and voluntary uptake of vaccines. The results show a uniform subsidization policy is always harmful and increases the prevalence of the disease, because the lower degree individuals’ demand for vaccine crowds out the higher degree individuals’ demand. In the absence of an effective uniform policy, we explore a targeted subsidization policy which relies on a proxy variable instead of individuals’ connectivity. Findings show a poor proxy-based targeted program can still increase the disease prevalence and become a policy trap. The results are robust to general scale-free networks.
The immunoglobulins expressed by chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) B cells are highly restricted, suggesting they are selected for binding either self or foreign antigen. Of the immunoglobulin heavy-chain variable (IGHV) genes expressed in CLL, IGHV1-69 is the most common, and often is expressed with little or no somatic mutation, and restricted IGHD and IGHJ gene usage. We found that antibodies encoded by one particular IGHV1-69 subset, designated CLL69C, with the HCDR3 encoded by the IGHD3-3 gene in reading frame 2 and IGHJ6, specifically bound to oxidation-specific epitopes (OSE), which are products of enhanced lipid peroxidation and a major target of innate natural antibodies. Specifically, CLL69C bound immunodominant OSE adducts termed MAA (malondialdehyde–acetaldehyde-adducts), which are found on apoptotic cells, inflammatory tissues, and atherosclerotic lesions. It also reacted specifically with MAA-specific peptide mimotopes. Light chain shuffling indicated that non-stochastically paired L chain of IGLV3-9 contributes to the antigen binding of CLL69C. A nearly identical CLL69C Ig heavy chain was identified from an MAA-enriched umbilical cord phage displayed Fab library, and a derived Fab with the same HCDR3 rearrangement displayed identical MAA-binding properties. These data support the concept that OSE (MAA-epitopes), which are ubiquitous products of inflammation, may play a role in clonal selection and expansion of CLL B cells.
Hepatic fibrosis induced by egg deposition is the most serious pathology associated with chronic schistosomiasis, in which the hepatic stellate cell (HSC) plays a central role. While the effect of Schistosoma mansoni eggs on the fibrogenic phenotype of HSCs has been investigated, studies determining the effect of eggs of S. japonicum on HSCs are lacking. Disease caused by S. japonicum is much more severe than that resulting from S. mansoni infection so it is important to compare the pathologies caused by these two parasites, to determine whether this phenotype is due to the species interacting differently with the mammalian host. Accordingly, we investigated the effect of S. japonicum eggs on the human HSC cell line, LX-2, with and without TGF-β (Transforming Growth Factor beta) co-treatment, so as to determine the impact on genes associated with fibrogenesis, inflammation and matrix re-organisation. Activation status of HSCs was assessed by αSMA (Alpha Smooth Muscle Actin) immunofluorescence, accumulation of Oil Red O-stained lipid droplets and the relative expression of selected genes associated with activation. The fibrogenic phenotype of HSCs was inhibited by the presence of eggs both with or without TGF-β treatment, as evidenced by a lack of αSMA staining and reduced gene expression of αSMA and Col1A1 (Collagen 1A1). Unlike S. mansoni-treated cells, however, expression of the quiescent HSC marker PPAR-γ (Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor gamma) was not increased, nor was there accumulation of lipid droplets. In contrast, S. japonicum eggs induced the mRNA expression of MMP-9 (Matrix Metalloproteinase 9), CCL2 (Chemokine (C-C motif) Ligand 2) and IL-6 (Interleukin 6) in HSCs indicating that rather than inducing complete HSC quiescence, the eggs induced a proinflammatory phenotype. These results suggest HSCs in close proximity to S. japonicum eggs in the liver may play a role in the proinflammatory regulation of hepatic granuloma formation.
CCAAT/Enhancer Binding Protein Alpha (C/EBPα) is a key transcription factor involved in the adipocyte differentiation. Here for the first time we demonstrate that E6AP, an E3 ubiquitin ligase inhibits adipocyte differentiation in 3T3-L1 cells as revealed by reduced lipid staining with oil red. Knock down of E6AP in mouse 3T3L1 preadipocytes is sufficient to convert them to adipocytes independent of external hormonal induction. C/EBPα protein level is drastically increased in E6AP deficient 3T3L1 preadipocytes while inverse is observed when wild type E6AP is over expressed. We show that transient transfection of wild type E6AP downregulates C/EBPα protein expression in a dose dependent manner while catalytically inactive E6AP-C843A rather stabilizes it. In addition, wild type E6AP inhibits expression of proadipogenic genes while E6AP-C843A enhances them. More importantly, overexpression of E6AP-C843A in mesenchymal progenitor cells promotes accumulation of lipid droplets while there is drastically reduced lipid droplet formation when E6AP is over expressed. Taken together, our finding suggests that E6AP may negatively control adipogenesis by inhibiting C/EBPα expression by targeting it to ubiquitin-proteasome pathway for degradation.
Recent work has revealed an essential involvement of soluble CD40L (sCD40L) in inflammation and vascular disease. Activated platelets are the major source of sCD40L, which has been implicated in platelet and leukocyte activation, although its exact functional impact on leukocyte-platelet interactions and the underlying mechanisms remain undefined. We aimed to determine the impact and the mechanisms of sCD40L on neutrophils. We studied neutrophil interactions with activated, surface-adherent platelets as a model for leukocyte recruitment to the sites of injury. Our data show that CD40L contributes to neutrophil firm adhesion to and transmigration across activated surface-adherent platelets, possibly through two potential mechanisms. One involves the direct interaction of ligand-receptor (CD40L-CD40), i.e., platelet surface CD40L interaction with neutrophil CD40; another involves an indirect mechanism, i.e. soluble CD40L stimulates activation of the leukocyte-specific β2 integrin Mac-1 in neutrophils and thereby further promotes neutrophil adhesion and migration. Activation of the integrin Mac-1 is known to be critical for mediating neutrophil adhesion and migration. sCD40L activated Mac-1 in neutrophils and enhanced neutrophil-platelet interactions in wild-type neutrophils, but failed to elicit such responses in CD40-deficient neutrophils. Furthermore, our data show that the protein kinase C zeta (PKCζ) is critically required for sCD40L-induced Mac-1 activation and neutrophil adhesive function. sCD40L strongly stimulated the focal clustering of Mac-1 (CD11b) and the colocalization of Mac-1 with PKCζ in wild-type neutrophils, but had minimal effect in CD40-deficient neutrophils. Blocking PKCζ completely inhibited sCD40L-induced neutrophil firm adhesion. Moreover, sCD40L strongly stimulates neutrophil oxidative burst via CD40-dependent activation of PI3K/NF-KB, but independent of Mac-1 and PKCζ. These findings may contribute to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms by which sCD40L/CD40 pathway contributes to inflammation and vascular diseases.
Proanthocyanidins (PAs) contribute to poplar defense mechanisms against biotic and abiotic stresses. Transcripts of PA biosynthetic genes accumulated rapidly in response to infection by the fungus Marssonina brunnea f.sp. multigermtubi, treatments of salicylic acid (SA) and wounding, resulting in PA accumulation in poplar leaves. Anthocyanidin reductase (ANR) and leucoanthocyanidin reductase (LAR) are two key enzymes of the PA biosynthesis that produce the main subunits: (+)-catechin and (−)-epicatechin required for formation of PA polymers. In Populus, ANR and LAR are encoded by at least two and three highly related genes, respectively. In this study, we isolated and functionally characterized genes PtrANR1 and PtrLAR1 from P. trichocarpa. Phylogenetic analysis shows that Populus ANR1 and LAR1 occurr in two distinct phylogenetic lineages, but both genes have little difference in their tissue distribution, preferentially expressed in roots. Overexpression of PtrANR1 in poplar resulted in a significant increase in PA levels but no impact on catechin levels. Antisense down-regulation of PtrANR1 showed reduced PA accumulation in transgenic lines, but increased levels of anthocyanin content. Ectopic expression of PtrLAR1 in poplar positively regulated the biosynthesis of PAs, whereas the accumulation of anthocyanin and flavonol was significantly reduced (P<0.05) in all transgenic plants compared to the control plants. These results suggest that both PtrANR1 and PtrLAR1 contribute to PA biosynthesis in Populus.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the main etiological factor behind the recent rapid increase in the incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma. During reflux, esophageal cells are exposed to bile at low pH resulting in cellular damage and inflammation, which are known to facilitate cancer development. In this study, we investigated the regulation of p73 isoform, ΔNp73α, in the reflux condition. Previous studies have reported that ΔNp73 exhibits anti-apoptotic and oncogenic properties through inhibition of p53 and p73 proteins. We found that direct exposure of esophageal cells to bile acids in an acidic environment alters the phosphorylation of ΔNp73, its subcellular localization and increases ΔNp73 protein levels. Upregulation of ΔNp73 was also observed in esophageal tissues collected from patients with GERD and Barrett’s metaplasia, a precancerous lesion in the esophagus associated with gastric reflux. c-Abl, p38 MAPK, and IKK protein kinases were identified to interact in the regulation of ΔNp73. Their inhibition with chemotherapeutic agents and siRNA suppresses ΔNp73. We also found that pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1β and TNFα, are potent inducers of ΔNp73α, which further enhance the bile acids/acid effect. Combined, our studies provide evidence that gastroesophageal reflux alters the regulation of oncogenic ΔNp73 isoform that may facilitate tumorigenic transformation of esophageal metaplastic epithelium.
Deficiency in clearance of self nuclear antigens, including DNA, is the hallmark of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a chronic autoimmnue disease characterized by the production of various autoantibodies, immune complex deposition and severe organ damage. Our previous studies revealed that administration of syngeneic BALB/c mice with activated lymphocyte-derived DNA (ALD-DNA) could induce SLE disease. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a secreted pattern recognition receptor with binding activity to DNA, has been proved to be a modulator of inflammation, but whether MBL takes responsibility for DNA clearance, modulates the DNA-mediated immune responses, and is involved in the development of DNA-induced SLE disease remain poorly understood.
The levels of serum MBL significantly decreased in lupus mice induced by ALD-DNA and were negatively correlated with SLE disease. MBL blunted macrophage M2b polarization by inhibiting the MAPK and NF-κB signaling while enhancing the activation of CREB. Furthermore, MBL suppressed the ability of ALD-DNA–stimulated macrophages to polarize T cells toward Th1 cells and Th17 cells. Importantly, MBL supplement in vivo could ameliorate lupus nephritis.
These results suggest MBL supplement could alleviate SLE disease and might imply a potential therapeutic strategy for DNA-induced SLE, which would further our understanding of the protective role of MBL in SLE disease.
Accurate prediction of B-cell antigenic epitopes is important for immunologic research and medical applications, but compared with other bioinformatic problems, antigenic epitope prediction is more challenging because of the extreme variability of antigenic epitopes, where the paratope on the antibody binds specifically to a given epitope with high precision. In spite of the continuing efforts in the past decade, the problem remains unsolved and therefore still attracts a lot of attention from bioinformaticists. Recently, several discontinuous epitope prediction servers became available, and it is intriguing to review all existing methods and evaluate their performances on the same benchmark. In addition, these methods are also compared against common binding site prediction algorithms, since they have been frequently used as substitutes in the absence of good epitope prediction methods.
The cause of Crohn's Disease (CD) remains unknown. Recently a decrease in the global lymphocyte population in the peripheral blood of CD patients has been reported. This decrease was more evident in γδ T lymphocytes, especially γδ CD8+T subsets. Furthermore, a decrease of IL-7 was also observed in these patients. We propose the hypothesis that microsporidia, an obligate intracellular opportunistic parasite recently related to fungi, in CD patients can take advantage of the lymphocytes and IL-7 deficits to proliferate and to contribute to the pathophysiology of this disease.
Methods and Findings
In this case-control study, serum samples were collected from 36 CD patients and from 36 healthy individuals (controls), IgE and IgG anti-Encephalitozoon antibodies were determined by ELISA; and forty-four intestinal tissue samples were analyzed through real time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), twenty CD patients, nine with others diseases and 15 healthy subjects.
We observed that IgE anti-Encephalitozoon levels were significantly higher in patients with CD: 0.386(±0.256) vs control group, 0.201(±0.147), P<0.001. However, IgG anti-Encephalitozoon values were significantly lower in CD patients: 0.361(±0.256) vs control group, 0.876(±0.380), P<0.001. In the group of CD patients, 6/20 (30%) were positive by real time PCR for microsporidia and, all the patients of the control group were negative by real time PCR.
These results suggest that CD patients are a group at risk for microsporidiasis and, moreover that microsporidia may be involved as a possible etiologic factor of CD.
Gene transfer to T lymphocytes has historically relied on retro and lentivirus, but recently transposon-based gene transfer is rising as a simpler and straight forward approach to achieve stable transgene expression. Transfer of expression cassettes to T lymphocytes remains challenging, being based mainly on commercial kits.
We herein report a convenient and affordable method based on in house made buffers, generic cuvettes and utilization of the widely available Lonza nucleofector II device to promote efficient gene transfer to T lymphocytes.
This approach renders high transgene expression levels in primary human T lymphocytes (mean 45%, 41–59%), the hard to transfect murine T cells (mean 38%, 36–42% for C57/BL6 strain) and human Jurkat T cell line. Cell viability levels after electroporation allowed further manipulations such as in vitro expansion and Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) mediated gain of function for target cell lysis.
We describe here an efficient general protocol for electroporation based modification of T lymphocytes. By opening access to this protocol, we expect that efficient gene transfer to T lymphocytes, for transient or stable expression, may be achieved by an increased number of laboratories at lower and affordable costs.
The sirtuin family has emerged as important regulators of diverse physiological and pathological events, including life-span extension, neurodegeneration, age-related disorders, obesity, heart disease, inflammation, and cancer. In mammals, there are 7 members (SIRT1-SIRT7) in the sirtuin family, with the function of SIRT1 being extensively studied in the past decade. SIRT1 can deacetylate histones and a number of nonhistone substrates, which are involved in multiple signaling pathways. Numerous studies have suggested that SIRT1 could act as either a tumor suppressor or tumor promoter depending on its targets in specific signaling pathways or in specific cancers. This review highlights the major pathways regulated by SIRT1 involved in tumorigenesis.
SIRT1; deacetylase; cancer