High throughput sequencing of 16S rRNA gene leads us into a deeper understanding on bacterial diversity for complex environmental samples, but introduces blurring due to the relatively low taxonomic capability of short read. For wastewater treatment plant, only those functional bacterial genera categorized as nutrient remediators, bulk/foaming species, and potential pathogens are significant to biological wastewater treatment and environmental impacts. Precise taxonomic assignment of these bacteria at least at genus level is important for microbial ecological research and routine wastewater treatment monitoring. Therefore, the focus of this study was to evaluate the taxonomic precisions of different ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene hypervariable regions generated from a mix activated sludge sample. In addition, three commonly used classification methods including RDP Classifier, BLAST-based best-hit annotation, and the lowest common ancestor annotation by MEGAN were evaluated by comparing their consistency. Under an unsupervised way, analysis of consistency among different classification methods suggests there are no hypervariable regions with good taxonomic coverage for all genera. Taxonomic assignment based on certain regions of the 16S rRNA genes, e.g. the V1&V2 regions – provide fairly consistent taxonomic assignment for a relatively wide range of genera. Hence, it is recommended to use these regions for studying functional groups in activated sludge. Moreover, the inconsistency among methods also demonstrated that a specific method might not be suitable for identification of some bacterial genera using certain 16S rRNA gene regions. As a general rule, drawing conclusions based only on one sequencing region and one classification method should be avoided due to the potential false negative results.
We isolated a Bacillus sp. strain that could display broad-spectrum biofilm inhibition. The broad biofilm prevention could be achieved mainly by direct contact between inhibitor and target cells or was accompanied by an interaction with secreted inhibitory compounds. The repression of cell surface fimbria-like appendages of a biofilm producer was also observed; this was considered to contribute to the reduction in mixed biofilms.
Tacrolimus is the first-line immunosuppressant after organ transplantation. It is mainly metabolized by cytochrome P450, family 3, subfamily A (CYP3A) enzymes, but there are large individual differences in metabolism. Interleukin 6 (IL6) has been shown to cause a pan-suppression of mRNA levels of ten major CYP enzymes in human hepatocyte cultures. IL6 has been shown to provide hepatoprotection in various models of liver injury. Rs1800796 is a locus in the IL6 gene promoter region which regulates cytokine production. We speculated that IL6 rs1800796 polymorphisms may lead to individual differences in tacrolimus metabolism by affecting CYP3A enzymes levels and liver function after liver transplantation.
Ninety-six liver transplant patients receiving tacrolimus were enrolled in the study. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), CYP3A5 rs776746 and IL6 rs1800796, were genotyped in both donors and recipients. The effects of SNPs on tacrolimus concentration/dose (C/D ratio) at four weeks after transplantation were studied, as well as the effects of donor IL6 rs1800796 polymorphisms on liver function. Both donor and recipient CYP3A5 rs776746 allele A showed association with lower C/D ratios, while donor IL6 rs1800796 allele G showed an association with higher C/D ratios. Donor CYP3A5 rs776746 allele A, IL6 rs1800796 allele C, and recipient CYP3A5 rs776746 allele A were associated with fast tacrolimus metabolism. With increasing numbers of these alleles, patients were found to have increasingly lower tacrolimus C/D ratios at time points after transplantation. Donor IL6 rs1800796 allele G carriers showed an association with higher glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT) levels.
Combined analysis of donor CYP3A5 rs776746, IL6 rs1800796, and recipient CYP3A5 rs776746 polymorphisms may distinguish tacrolimus metabolism better than CYP3A5 rs776746 alone. IL6 may lead to individual differences in tacrolimus metabolism mainly by affecting liver function.
Controlling the size distribution of polymer-based nanoparticles is a challenging task due to their flexible core and surface structures. To accomplish such as task requires a very precise control at the molecular level. Here, we demonstrate a new approach whereby uniform-sized supramolecular nanoparticles (SNPs) can be reliably generated using a digital microfluidic droplet generator (DMDG) chip. A microfluidic environment enabled precise control over the processing parameters and, therefore, high batch-to-batch reproducibility and robust production of SNPs with a very narrow size distribution could be realized. Digitally adjusting the mixing ratios of the building blocks on the DMDG chip allowed us to rapidly scan a variety of synthesis conditions without consuming significant amounts of reagents. Nearly uniform SNPs with sizes ranging from 35 to 350 nm were obtained and characterized by transmission electron microscopy and dynamic light scattering. In addition, we could fine-tune the surface chemistry of the SNPs by incorporating an additional building block functionalized with specific ligands for targeting cells. The sizes and surface properties of these SNPs correlated strongly with their cell uptake efficiencies. This study showed a feasible microfluidic-assisted SNP production and provided a great means for preparing size-controlled SNP with desired surface ligand coverage.
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.
Integrative genomics predictors, which score highly in predicting bacterial essential genes, would be unfeasible in most species because the data sources are limited. We developed a universal approach and tool designated Geptop, based on orthology and phylogeny, to offer gene essentiality annotations. In a series of tests, our Geptop method yielded higher area under curve (AUC) scores in the receiver operating curves than the integrative approaches. In the ten-fold cross-validations among randomly upset samples, Geptop yielded an AUC of 0.918, and in the cross-organism predictions for 19 organisms Geptop yielded AUC scores between 0.569 and 0.959. A test applied to the very recently determined essential gene dataset from the Porphyromonas gingivalis, which belongs to a phylum different with all of the above 19 bacterial genomes, gave an AUC of 0.77. Therefore, Geptop can be applied to any bacterial species whose genome has been sequenced. Compared with the essential genes uniquely identified by the lethal screening, the essential genes predicted only by Gepop are associated with more protein-protein interactions, especially in the three bacteria with lower AUC scores (<0.7). This may further illustrate the reliability and feasibility of our method in some sense. The web server and standalone version of Geptop are available at http://cefg.uestc.edu.cn/geptop/ free of charge. The tool has been run on 968 bacterial genomes and the results are accessible at the website.
Peanut is one of the calciphilous plants. Calcium (Ca) serves as a ubiquitous central hub in a large number of signaling pathways. The effect of exogenous calcium nitrate [Ca(NO3)2] (6 mM) on the dissipation of excess excitation energy in the photosystem II (PSII) antenna, especially on the level of D1 protein and the xanthophyll cycle in peanut plants under heat (40°C) and high irradiance (HI) (1 200 µmol m−2 s−1) stress were investigated. Compared with the control plants [cultivated in 0 mM Ca(NO3)2 medium], the maximal photochemical efficiency of PSII (Fv/Fm) in Ca2+-treated plants showed a slighter decrease after 5 h of stress, accompanied by higher non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), higher expression of antioxidative genes and less reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation. Meanwhile, higher content of D1 protein and higher ratio of (A+Z)/(V+A+Z) were also detected in Ca2+-treated plants under such stress. These results showed that Ca2+ could help protect the peanut photosynthetic system from severe photoinhibition under heat and HI stress by accelerating the repair of D1 protein and improving the de-epoxidation ratio of the xanthophyll cycle. Furthermore, EGTA (a chelant of Ca ion), LaCl3 (a blocker of Ca2+ channel in cytoplasmic membrane), and CPZ [a calmodulin (CaM) antagonist] were used to analyze the effects of Ca2+/CaM on the variation of (A+Z)/(V+A+Z) (%) and the expression of violaxanthin de-epoxidase (VDE). The results indicated that CaM, an important component of the Ca2+ signal transduction pathway, mediated the expression of the VDE gene in the presence of Ca to improve the xanthophyll cycle.
Despite rapid progress in understanding the mechanisms that shape the evolution of proteins, the relative importance of various factors remain to be elucidated. In this study, we have assessed the effects of 16 different biological features on the evolutionary rates (ERs) of protein-coding sequences in bacterial genomes.
Our analysis of 18 bacterial species revealed new correlations between ERs and constraining factors. Previous studies have suggested that transcriptional abundance overwhelmingly constrains the evolution of yeast protein sequences. This transcriptional abundance leads to selection against misfolding or misinteractions. In this study we found that there was no single factor in determining the evolution of bacterial proteins. Not only transcriptional abundance (codon adaptation index and expression level), but also protein-protein associations (PPAs), essentiality (ESS), subcellular localization of cytoplasmic membrane (SLM), transmembrane helices (TMH) and hydropathicity score (HS) independently and significantly affected the ERs of bacterial proteins. In some species, PPA and ESS demonstrate higher correlations with ER than transcriptional abundance.
Different forces drive the evolution of protein sequences in yeast and bacteria. In bacteria, the constraints are involved in avoiding a build-up of toxic molecules caused by misfolding/misinteraction (transcriptional abundance), while retaining important functions (ESS, PPA) and maintaining the cell membrane (SLM, TMH and HS). Each of these independently contributes to the variation in protein evolution.
Evolutionary rates; Bacteria; Multiple features; Transcriptional abundance
The aim of this study was to explore the effects of erlotinib combined with radiation on human nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) radiosensitivity using the CNE1 and CNE2 cell lines. Human NPC cells were treated with erlotinib and/or radiation. The effect of erlotinib on the radiosensitivity of the cells was detected using a clonogenic cell survival assay. The rate of apoptosis and the cell cycle were evaluated using flow cytometry. An NPC xenograft model in NOD-SCID mice was used to evaluate the efficacy of the combination therapy of erlotinib with radiation. Erlotinib enhanced the sensitivity of the CNE1 and CNE2 cells to radiation, with sensitization enhancement ratios (SERs) of 1.076 and 1.109, respectively. Erlotinib combined with radiation induced G2/M phase cell cycle arrest in the two cell lines. The mouse tumor model demonstrated a significant reduction in NPC tumor volume in mice treated with erlotinib in combination with radiation when compared with that in mice treated with radiation alone. Erlotinib combined with radiation provoked G2-M phase cell cycle arrest, thereby enhancing the sensitivity of the NPC cells to radiation.
nasopharyngeal carcinoma; radiation; erlotinib
High-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1), a ubiquitous nuclear protein, drives proinflammatory responses when released extracellularly. It plays a key role as a distal mediator in the development of acute lung injury (ALI). Sodium butyrate, an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, has been demonstrated to inhibit HMGB1 expression. This study investigates the effect of sodium butyrate on burn-induced lung injury. Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into three groups: 1) sham group, sham burn treatment; 2) burn group, third-degree burns over 30% total body surface area (TBSA) with lactated Ringer’s solution for resuscitation; 3) burn plus sodium butyrate group, third-degree burns over 30% TBSA with lactated Ringer’s solution containing sodium butyrate for resuscitation. The burned animals were sacrificed at 12, 24, and 48 h after burn injury. Lung injury was assessed in terms of histologic changes and wet weight to dry weight (W/D) ratio. Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-8 protein concentrations in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and serum were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and HMGB1 expression in the lung was determined by Western blot analysis. Pulmonary myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration were measured to reflect neutrophil infiltration and oxidative stress in the lung, respectively. As a result, sodium butyrate significantly inhibited the HMGB1 expressions in the lungs, reduced the lung W/D ratio, and improved the pulmonary histologic changes induced by burn trauma. Furthermore, sodium butyrate administration decreased the TNF-α and IL-8 concentrations in BALF and serum, suppressed MPO activity, and reduced the MDA content in the lungs after severe burn. These results suggest that sodium butyrate attenuates inflammatory responses, neutrophil infiltration, and oxidative stress in the lungs, and protects against remote ALI induced by severe burn, which is associated with inhibiting HMGB1 expression.
The annotation of the well-studied organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been improving over the past decade while there are unresolved debates over the amount of biologically significant open reading frames (ORFs) in yeast genome. We revisited the total count of protein-coding genes in S. cerevisiae S288c genome using a theoretical approach by combining the Support Vector Machine (SVM) method with six widely used measurements of sequence statistical features. The accuracy of our method is over 99.5% in 10-fold cross-validation. Based on the annotation data in Saccharomyces Genome Database (SGD), we studied the coding capacity of all 1744 ORFs which lack experimental results and suggested that the overall number of chromosomal ORFs encoding proteins in yeast should be 6091 by removing 488 spurious ORFs. The importance of the present work lies in at least two aspects. First, cross-validation and retrospective examination showed the fidelity of our method in recognizing ORFs that likely encode proteins. Second, we have provided a web service that can be accessed at http://cobi.uestc.edu.cn/services/yeast/, which enables the prediction of protein-coding ORFs of the genus Saccharomyces with a high accuracy.
The B″/PR72 family of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is an important PP2A family involved in diverse cellular processes, and uniquely regulated by calcium binding to the regulatory subunit. The PR70 subunit in this family interacts with cell division control 6 (Cdc6), a cell cycle regulator important for control of DNA replication. Here, we report crystal structures of the isolated PR72 and the trimeric PR70 holoenzyme at a resolution of 2.1 and 2.4 Å, respectively, and in vitro characterization of Cdc6 dephosphorylation. The holoenzyme structure reveals that one of the PR70 calcium-binding motifs directly contacts the scaffold subunit, resulting in the most compact scaffold subunit conformation among all PP2A holoenzymes. PR70 also binds distinctively to the catalytic subunit near the active site, which is required for PR70 to enhance phosphatase activity toward Cdc6. Our studies provide a structural basis for unique regulation of B″/PR72 holoenzymes by calcium ions, and suggest the mechanisms for precise control of substrate specificity among PP2A holoenzymes.
protein phosphatase 2A; regulatory subunit; calcium-binding motif; Cdc6; cell cycle
Odontogenesis is the result of the reciprocal interactions between epithelial–mesenchymal cells leading to terminally differentiated odontoblasts. This process from dental papilla mesenchymal cells to odontoblasts is regulated by a complex signaling pathway. When isolated from the developing tooth germs, odontoblasts quickly lose their potential to maintain the odontoblast-specific phenotype. Therefore, generation of an odontoblast-like cell line would be a good surrogate model for studying the dental mesenchymal cell differentiation into odontoblasts and the molecular events of dentin formation. In this study, immortalized dental papilla mesenchymal cell lines were generated from the first mouse mandibular molars at postnatal day 3 using pSV40. These transformed cells were characterized by RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and analyzed for alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization nodule formation. One of these immortalized cell lines, iMDP-3, displayed a high proliferation rate, but retained the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics similar to primary cells as determined by expression of tooth-specific markers and demonstrated the ability to differentiate and form mineralized nodules. Furthermore, iMDP-3 cells had high transfection efficiency as well as were inducible and responded to BMP2 stimulation. We conclude that the establishment of the stable murine dental papilla mesenchymal cell line might be used for studying the mechanisms of dental cell differentiation and dentin formation.
Cell differentiation; Dental papilla mesenchymal cells; Odontoblasts; Immortalization; SV-40 T antigen
Background: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is believed to be the critical process in malignant tumor invasion and metastases, and has a great influence on improving the survival rate in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Recent studies suggested that eukaryotic initiation factor 5A-2 (eIF5A-2) might serve as an adverse prognostic marker of survival. We detected eIF5A-2 in NSCLC A549 cells, and found that the invasive capability correlates with the eIF5A-2 expression. Methods: Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 was used to induce EMT in A549 cells. Western blotting, immunofluorescence, wound healing assay, and transwell-matrigel invasion chambers were used to identify phenotype changes. Western blotting was also used to observe changes of the expression of eIF5A-2. We down-regulated the eIF5A-2 expression using an eIF5A-2 siRNA and identified the phenotype changes by western blotting and immunofluorescence. We tested the change of migration and invasion capabilities of A549 cells by the wound healing assay and transwell-matrigel invasion chambers. Results: After stimulating with TGF-β1, almost all A549 cells changed to the mesenchymal phenotype and acquired more migration and invasion capabilities. These cells also had higher eIF5A-2 protein expression. Down-regulation of eIF5A-2 expression with eIF5A-2 siRNA transfection could change the cells from mesenchymal to epithelial phenotype and decrease tumor cell migration and invasive capabilities significantly. Conclusions: The expression of eIF5A-2 was up-regulated following EMT phenotype changes in A549 cells, which correlated with enhanced tumor invasion and metastatic capabilities. Furthermore, in the A549 cell line, the process of EMT phenotype change could be reversed by eIF5A-2 siRNA, with a consequent weakening of both invasive and metastatic capabilities.
Non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC); Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); Eukaryotic initiation factor 5A-2 (eIF5A-2); Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1; A549
NBS1 plays important roles in maintaining genomic stability as a key DNA repair protein in the homologous recombination repair pathway and as a signal modifier in the intra-S phase checkpoint. We hypothesized that polymorphisms of NBS1 are associated with hepatic cancer (HCC) risk. The NBS1 rs1805794 C/G polymorphism has been frequently studied in some cancers with discordant results, but its association with HCC has not been investigated. Moreover, studies of the 3′UTR variant rs2735383 have not touched upon HCC. This study examined the contribution of these two polymorphisms to the risk of developing HCC in a Chinese population. NBS1 genotypes were determined in 865 HCC patients and 900 controls and the associations with risk of HCC were estimated by logistic regression. Compared with the rs1805794 GG genotype, the GC genotype had a significantly increased risk of HCC (adjusted odds ratios [OR]=1.41; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.11–1.80), the CC carriers had a further increased risk of HCC (OR=2.27; 95% CI=1.68–3.14), and there was a trend for an allele dose effect on risk of HCC (p<0.001). Also, we found that the risk effect of rs1805794 CC+CG was more pronounced in HCC patients that drank (OR=2.28, 95% CI=1.55–3.29 for drinkers; OR=1.31, 95% CI=1.00–1.77 for nondrinkers). However, there was no significant difference in genotype frequencies of rs2735383 G/C site between cases and controls. These findings suggest that rs1805794 C/G polymorphism in NBS1 may be a genetic modifier for developing HCC.
In this paper, we performed a comprehensive re-annotation of protein-coding genes by a systematic method combining composition- and similarity-based approaches in 10 complete bacterial genomes of the family Neisseriaceae. First, 418 hypothetical genes were predicted as non-coding using the composition-based method and 413 were eliminated from the gene list. Both the scatter plot and cluster of orthologous groups (COG) fraction analyses supported the result. Second, from 20 to 400 hypothetical proteins were assigned with functions in each of the 10 strains based on the homology search. Among newly assigned functions, 397 are so detailed to have definite gene names. Third, 106 genes missed by the original annotations were picked up by an ab initio gene finder combined with similarity alignment. Transcriptional experiments validated the effectiveness of this method in Laribacter hongkongensis and Chromobacterium violaceum. Among the 106 newly found genes, some deserve particular interests. For example, 27 transposases were newly found in Neiserria meningitidis alpha14. In Neiserria gonorrhoeae NCCP11945, four new genes with putative functions and definite names (nusG, rpsN, rpmD and infA) were found and homologues of them usually are essential for survival in bacteria. The updated annotations for the 10 Neisseriaceae genomes provide a more accurate prediction of protein-coding genes and a more detailed functional information of hypothetical proteins. It will benefit research into the lifestyle, metabolism, environmental adaption and pathogenicity of the Neisseriaceae species. The re-annotation procedure could be used directly, or after the adaption of detailed methods, for checking annotations of any other bacterial or archaeal genomes.
the Neisseriaceae family; re-annotation; newly found genes; eliminated non-coding ORFs; newly assigned functions
Amplification of the MYCN oncogene in childhood neuroblastoma is often accompanied by mutational activation of ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase), suggesting their pathogenic cooperation. We generated a transgenic zebrafish model of neuroblastoma in which MYCN-induced tumors arise from a subpopulation of neuroblasts that migrate into the adrenal medulla analogue following organogenesis. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN in this model triples the disease penetrance and markedly accelerates tumor onset. MYCN overexpression induces adrenal sympathetic neuroblast hyperplasia, blocks chromaffin cell differentiation, and ultimately triggers a developmentally-timed apoptotic response in the hyperplastic sympathoadrenal cells. Coexpression of activated ALK with MYCN provides prosurvival signals that block this apoptotic response and allow continued expansion and oncogenic transformation of hyperplastic neuroblasts, thus promoting progression to neuroblastoma.
The 2009 flu pandemic involved the emergence of a new strain of a swine-origin H1N1 influenza virus (S-OIV H1N1) that infected almost every country in the world. Most infections resulted in respiratory illness and some severe cases resulted in acute lung injury. In this report, we are the first to describe a mouse model of S-OIV virus infection with acute lung injury and immune responses that reflect human clinical disease. The clinical efficacy of the antiviral oseltamivir (Tamiflu) administered in the early stages of S-OIV H1N1 infection was confirmed in the mouse model. Moreover, elevated levels of IL-17, Th-17 mediators and IL-17-responsive cytokines were found in serum samples of S-OIV-infected patients in Beijing. IL-17 deficiency or treatment with monoclonal antibodies against IL-17-ameliorated acute lung injury induced by the S-OIV H1N1 virus in mice. These results suggest that IL-17 plays an important role in S-OIV-induced acute lung injury and that monoclonal antibodies against IL-17 could be useful as a potential therapeutic remedy for future S-OIV H1N1 pandemics.
cytokine; acute lung injury; S-OIV H1N1
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is often complicated by secondary injury as a result of the innate inflammatory response to tissue trauma and swelling. Previous studies have shown that excessive ATP release from peritraumatic regions contributes to the inflammatory response to SCI by activation of low-affinity P2X7 receptors. Because connexin hemichannels constitute an important route for astrocytic ATP release, we here evaluated the impact on post-traumatic ATP release of deletion of connexins (Cx30/Cx43) in astrocytes. In vivo bioluminescence imaging showed a significant reduction in ATP release after weight-drop injury in mice with deletion of Cx43 compared with Cx43-expressing littermates, both on a Cx30 knockout background. Moreover, astrogliosis and microglia activation were reduced in peritraumatic areas of those mice lacking Cx43; motor recovery was also significantly improved, and the traumatic lesion was smaller. Combined, these observations are consistent with a contribution by astrocytic hemichannels to post-traumatic ATP release that aggravates secondary injury and restrains functional recovery after experimental spinal cord injury. Connexins may thereby constitute a new therapeutic target in spinal cord injury.
The purpose of this research effort was to compare older driver and non-driver functional impairment profiles across some 60 assessment metrics in an initial effort to contribute to the development of fitness-to-drive assessment models. Of the metrics evaluated, 21 showed statistically significant differences, almost all favoring the drivers. Also, it was shown that a logistic regression model comprised of five of the assessment scores could completely and accurately separate the two groups. The results of this study imply that older drivers are far less functionally impaired than non-drivers of similar ages, and that a parsimonious model can accurately assign individuals to either group. With such models, any driver classified or diagnosed as a non-driver would be a strong candidate for further investigation and intervention.
Functional Impairment; Senior Mobility; Driver Assessment; Driving Assessment
Kupffer cells (KCs) were a significant source of cytokine release during the early stage of severe burns. High mobility group box protein 1 (HMGB1) was recently identified as a new type of proinflammatory cytokine. The ability of HMGB1 to generate inflammatory responses after burn trauma has not been well characterized. KCs were isolated from sham animals and rats with a 30% full-thickness burn, and then were stimulated with increasing concentrations of HMGB1. The levels of Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-1β in culture supernatant were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Northern blot analysis was performed to detect the expressions of TNF-α and IL-1β mRNAs. The activities of p38 MAPK and JNK (by Western blot analysis) as well as NF-κB (by EMSA) in KCs were also examined. As a result, HMGB1 in vitro upregulated expressions of TNF-α and IL-1β of KCs in a dose-dependent manner, and HMGB1 promoted KCs from burn rats to produce significantly more TNF-α and IL-1β proteins than those from sham animals. After harvested from burn rats, KCs were pre-incubated with anti-TLR2 or anti-TLR4 antibody prior to HMGB1 administration. HMGB1 exposure not only significantly increased expressions of TNF-α and IL-1β mRNAs in KCs from burn rats, but also enhanced activities of p38 MAPK, JNK and NF-κB. However, these upregulation events were all reduced by pre-incubation with anti-TLR2 or anti-TLR4 antibody. These results indicate that HMGB1 induces proinflammatory cytokines production of KCs after sever burn injury, and this process might be largely dependent on TLRs-dependent MAPKs/NF-κB signal pathway.
High Al content AlxGa1−xN/GaN multiple quantum well (MQW) films with different interlayers were grown by metal organic chemical vapor deposition. These MQWs were designed to achieve intersubband (ISB) absorption in the mid-infrared spectral range. We have considered two growth conditions, with AlGaN interlayer and GaN/AlN superlattice (SL) interlayer, both deposited on GaN-on-sapphire templates. Atomic force microscopy images show a relatively rough surface with atomic-step terraces and surface depression, mainly dominated by dislocations. High-resolution X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy analyses indicate that good crystalline quality of the AlGaN/GaN MQW layer could be achieved when the AlGaN interlayer is inserted. The ISB absorption with a peak at 3.7 μm was demonstrated in MQW films with AlGaN interlayer. However, we have not observed the infrared absorption in MQW films with GaN/AlN SL interlayer. It is believed that the high dislocation density and weaker polarization that resulted from the rough interface are determinant factors of vanished ISB absorption for MQW films with the GaN/AlN SL interlayer.
Quantum wells; Interface; Intersubband; TEM; PACS; 61.72.Lk; 61.05.cp; 68.37.-d; 61.72.uj
Paeoniflorin (PF), the principal component of Paeoniae Radix prescribed in traditional Chinese medicine, has been reported to exhibit many pharmacological effects including protection against ischemic injury. However, the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of PF on cerebral ischemia are still under investigation. The present study showed that PF treatment for 14 days could significantly inhibit transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced over-activation of astrocytes and microglia, and prevented up-regulations of pro-inflamamtory mediators (TNFα, IL-1β, iNOS, COX2 and 5-LOX) in plasma and brain. Further study demonstrated that chronic treatment with PF suppressed the activations of JNK and p38 MAPK, but enhanced ERK activation. And PF could reverse ischemia-induced activation of NF-κB signaling pathway. Moreover, our in vitro study revealed that PF treatment protected against TNFα-induced cell apoptosis and neuronal loss. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that PF produces a delayed protection in the ischemia-injured rats via inhibiting MAPKs/NF-κB mediated peripheral and cerebral inflammatory response. Our study reveals that PF might be a potential neuroprotective agent for stroke.
There has been significant progress in understanding the process of protein translation in recent years. One of the best examples is the discovery of usage bias in successive synonymous codons and its role in eukaryotic translation efficiency. We observed here a similar type of bias in the other two life domains, bacteria and archaea, although the bias strength was much smaller than in eukaryotes. Among 136 prokaryotic genomes, 98 were found to have significant bias from random use of successive synonymous codons with Z scores larger than three. Furthermore, significantly different bias strengths were found between prokaryotes grouped by various genomic or biochemical characteristics. Interestingly, the bias strength measured by a general Z score could be fitted well (R = 0.83, P < 10−15) by three genomic variables: genome size, G + C content, and tRNA gene number based on multiple linear regression. A different distribution of synonymous codon pairs between protein-coding genes and intergenic sequences suggests that bias is caused by translation selection. The present results indicate that protein translation is tuned by codon (pair) usage, and the intensity of the regulation is associated with genome size, tRNA gene number, and G + C content.
successive synonymous codon bias; comparative analysis; prokaryotic genomes; Z scores; translation efficiency
Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common, dominantly inherited genetic disorder that results from mutations in the neurofibromin 1 (NF1) gene. Affected individuals demonstrate abnormalities in neural-crest-derived tissues that include hyperpigmented skin lesions and benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors. NF1 patients also have a predisposition to malignancies including juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), optic glioma, glioblastoma, schwannoma and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). In an effort to better define the molecular and cellular determinants of NF1 disease pathogenesis in vivo, we employed targeted mutagenesis strategies to generate zebrafish harboring stable germline mutations in nf1a and nf1b, orthologues of NF1. Animals homozygous for loss-of-function alleles of nf1a or nf1b alone are phenotypically normal and viable. Homozygous loss of both alleles in combination generates larval phenotypes that resemble aspects of the human disease and results in larval lethality between 7 and 10 days post fertilization. nf1-null larvae demonstrate significant central and peripheral nervous system defects. These include aberrant proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), dysmorphic myelin sheaths and hyperplasia of Schwann cells. Loss of nf1 contributes to tumorigenesis as demonstrated by an accelerated onset and increased penetrance of high-grade gliomas and MPNSTs in adult nf1a+/−; nf1b−/−; p53e7/e7 animals. nf1-null larvae also demonstrate significant motor and learning defects. Importantly, we identify and quantitatively analyze a novel melanophore phenotype in nf1-null larvae, providing the first animal model of the pathognomonic pigmentation lesions of NF1. Together, these findings support a role for nf1a and nf1b as potent tumor suppressor genes that also function in the development of both central and peripheral glial cells as well as melanophores in zebrafish.