Cleavage and polyadenylation specific factor 4 (CPSF4), a member of CPSF complex, plays a key role in mRNA polyadenylation and mRNA 3′ ends maturation. However, its possible role in lung cancer pathogenesis is unknown. In this study, we investigated the biological role and clinical significance of CPSF4 in lung cancer growth and survival and elucidated its underlying molecular mechanisms. We found that CPSF4 was highly expressed in lung adenocarcinoma cell lines and tumor tissue but was undetectable in 8 normal human tissues. We also found that CPSF4 overexpression was correlated with poor overall survival in patients with lung adenocarcinomas (P<0.001). Multivariate survival analyses revealed that higher CPSF4 expression was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival of the patients with lung adenocarcinomas. Suppression of CPSF4 by siRNA inhibited lung cancer cells proliferation, colony formation, and induced apoptosis. Mechanism studies revealed that these effects were achieved through simultaneous modulation of multiple signaling pathways. Knockdown of CPSF4 expression by siRNA markedly inhibited the phosphorylation of PI3K, AKT and ERK1/2 and JNK proteins. In contrast, the ectopic expression of CPSF4 had the opposite effects. Moreover, CPSF4 knockdown also induced the cleavage of caspase-3 and caspse-9 proteins. Collectively, these results demonstrate that CPSF4 plays a critical role in regulating lung cancer cell proliferation and survival and may be a potential prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for lung adenocarcinoma.
MicroRNAs are important post-transcriptional regulators in immune cells, but how viral infection regulates microRNA expression to shape dendritic cell responses has not been well characterized. We identified 20 miRNAs that were differentially expressed in primary murine dendritic cells in response to the double-stranded RNA agonist poly(I:C), a subset of which were modestly regulated by influenza infection. miR-451 was unique because it was induced more strongly in primary splenic and lung dendritic cells by live viral infection than by purified agonists of pattern recognition receptors. We determined that miR-451 regulates a subset of pro-inflammatory cytokine responses. Three types of primary dendritic cells treated with anti-sense RNA antagomirs directed against miR-451 secreted elevated levels of IL-6, TNF, CCL5/RANTES, and CCL3/MIP1α, and these results were confirmed using miR-451null cells. miR-451 negatively regulates YWHAZ/14-3-3ζ protein levels in various cell types, and we measured a similar inhibition of YWHAZ levels in dendritic cells. It is known that YWHAZ can control the activity of two negative regulators of cytokine production: FOXO3, which is an inhibitory transcription factor, and ZFP36/Tristetraprolin, which binds to AU-rich elements within 3′-UTRs to destabilize cytokine mRNAs. Inhibition of miR-451 expression correlated with increased YWHAZ protein expression and decreased ZFP36 expression, providing a possible mechanism for the elevated secretion of IL-6, TNF, CCL5/RANTES, and CCL3/MIP1α. miR-451 levels are themselves increased by IL-6 and type I interferon, potentially forming a regulatory loop. These data suggest that viral infection specifically induces a miRNA that directs a negative regulatory cascade to tune dendritic cell cytokine production.
Growing evidence has demonstrated that pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF), as an alternative noninvasive method, could promote remarkable in vivo and in vitro osteogenesis. However, the exact mechanism of PEMF on osteopenia/osteoporosis is still poorly understood, which further limits the extensive clinical application of PEMF. In the present study, the efficiency of PEMF on osteoporotic bone microarchitecture and bone quality together with its associated signaling pathway mechanisms was systematically investigated in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Thirty rats were equally assigned to the Control, OVX and OVX+PEMF groups. The OVX+PEMF group was subjected to daily 8-hour PEMF exposure with 15 Hz, 2.4 mT (peak value). After 10 weeks, the OVX+PEMF group exhibited significantly improved bone mass and bone architecture, evidenced by increased BMD, Tb.N, Tb.Th and BV/TV, and suppressed Tb.Sp and SMI levels in the MicroCT analysis. Three-point bending test suggests that PEMF attenuated the biomechanical strength deterioration of the OVX rat femora, evidenced by increased maximum load and elastic modulus. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that PEMF exposure significantly promoted the overall gene expressions of Wnt1, LRP5 and β-catenin in the canonical Wnt signaling, but did not exhibit obvious impact on either RANKL or RANK gene expressions. Together, our present findings highlight that PEMF attenuated OVX-induced deterioration of bone microarchitecture and strength in rats by promoting the activation of Wnt/LRP5/β-catenin signaling rather than by inhibiting RANKL-RANK signaling. This study enriches our basic knowledge to the osteogenetic activity of PEMF, and may lead to more efficient and scientific clinical application of PEMF in inhibiting osteopenia/osteoporosis.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by a pre-vascular seriously inflammatory phase, followed by a vascular phase with high increase in vessel growth. Since angiogenesis has been considered as an essential event in perpetuating inflammatory and immune responses, as well as supporting pannus growth and development of RA, inhibition of angiogenesis has been proposed as a novel therapeutic strategy for RA. Triptolide, a diterpenoid triepoxide from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F, has been extensively used in treatment of RA patients. It also acts as a small molecule inhibitor of tumor angiogenesis in several cancer types. However, it is unclear whether triptolide possesses an anti-angiogenic effect in RA. To address this problem, we constructed collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model using DA rats by the injection of bovine type II collagen. Then, CIA rats were treated with triptolide (11–45 µg/kg/day) starting on the day 1 after first immunization. The arthritis scores (P<0.05) and the arthritis incidence (P<0.05) of inflamed joints were both significantly decreased in triptolide-treated CIA rats compared to vehicle CIA rats. More interestingly, doses of 11∼45 µg/kg triptolide could markedly reduce the capillaries, small, medium and large vessel density in synovial membrane tissues of inflamed joints (all P<0.05). Moreover, triptolide inhibited matrigel-induced cell adhesion of HFLS–RA and HUVEC. It also disrupted tube formation of HUVEC on matrigel and suppressed the VEGF-induced chemotactic migration of HFLS–RA and HUVEC, respectively. Furthermore, triptolide significantly reduced the expression of angiogenic activators including TNF-α, IL-17, VEGF, VEGFR, Ang-1, Ang-2 and Tie2, as well as suppressed the IL1-β-induced phosphorylated of ERK, p38 and JNK at protein levels. In conclusion, our data suggest for the first time that triptolide may possess anti-angiogenic effect in RA both in vivo and in vitro assay systems by downregulating the angiogenic activators and inhibiting the activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase downstream signal pathway.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) comprise a number of underlying sub-types with various symptoms and presumably different genetic causes. One important difference between these sub-phenotypes is IQ. Some forms of ASD such as Asperger’s have relatively intact intelligence while the majority does not. In this study, we explored the role of genetic factors that might account for this difference. Using a case–control study based on IQ status in 1657 ASD probands, we analyzed both common and rare variants provided by the Autism Genome Project (AGP) consortium via dbGaP (database of Genotypes and Phenotypes). We identified a set of genes, among them HLA-DRB1 and KIAA0319L, which are strongly associated with IQ within a population of ASD patients.
GWAS; functional variants; rare variants; common variants; autism; cognitive development
The mechanoelectrical transducer (MET) is a crucial component of mammalian auditory system. The gating mechanism of the MET channel remains a puzzling issue, though there are many speculations, due to the lack of essential molecular building blocks. To understand the working principle of mammalian MET, we propose a molecular level prototype which constitutes a charged blocker, a realistic ion channel and its surrounding membrane. To validate the proposed prototype, we make use of a well-established ion channel theory, the Poisson-Nernst-Planck equations, for three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulations. A wide variety of model parameters, including bulk ion concentration, applied external voltage, blocker charge and blocker displacement, are explored to understand the basic function of the proposed MET prototype. We show that our prototype prediction of channel open probability in response to blocker relative displacement is in a remarkable accordance with experimental observation of rat cochlea outer hair cells. Our results appear to suggest that tip links which connect hair bundles gate MET channels.
Mechanoelectrical transducer; Gating mechanism; Poisson-Nernst-Planck model; Ion channel
The orofacial region is a major focus of chronic neuropathic pain conditions characterized by primary hyperalgesia at the site of injury and secondary hyperalgesia outside the injured zone. We have used a rat model of injury to the maxillary branch (V2) of the trigeminal nerve to produce constant and long-lasting primary hyperalgesia in the V2 territory and secondary hyperalgesia in territories innervated by the mandibular branch (V3). Our findings indicate that the induction of primary and secondary hyperalgesia depended on peripheral input from the injured nerve. In contrast, the maintenance of secondary hyperalgesia depended on central mechanisms. The centralization of the secondary hyperalgesia involved descending 5-HT drive from the rostral ventromedial medulla (RVM) and the contribution of 5-HT3 receptors in the trigeminal nucleus caudalis (Vc), the homolog of the spinal dorsal horn. Electrophysiological studies further indicate that after nerve injury spontaneous responses and enhanced post-stimulus discharges in Vc nociresponsive neurons were time-dependent on descending 5-HT drive and peripheral input. The induction phase of secondary hyperalgesia involved central sensitization mechanisms in Vc neurons that were dependent on peripheral input whereas the maintenance phase of secondary hyperalgesia involved central sensitization in Vc neurons conducted by a delayed descending 5-HT drive and a persistence of peripheral inputs. Our results are the first to show that the maintenance of secondary hyperalgesia and underlying central sensitization associated with persistent pain depend on a transition to supraspinal mechanisms involving the serotonin system in RVM-dorsal horn circuits.
secondary hyperalgesia; serotonin; descending facilitation; RNA interference; trigeminal nucleus caudalis
Geometric modeling of biomolecules plays an essential role in the conceptualization of biolmolecular structure, function, dynamics and transport. Qualitatively, geometric modeling offers a basis for molecular visualization, which is crucial for the understanding of molecular structure and interactions. Quantitatively, geometric modeling bridges the gap between molecular information, such as that from X-ray, NMR and cryo-EM, and theoretical/mathematical models, such as molecular dynamics, the Poisson-Boltzmann equation and the Nernst-Planck equation. In this work, we present a family of variational multiscale geometric models for macromolecular systems. Our models are able to combine multiresolution geometric modeling with multiscale electrostatic modeling in a unified variational framework. We discuss a suite of techniques for molecular surface generation, molecular surface meshing, molecular volumetric meshing, and the estimation of Hadwiger’s functionals. Emphasis is given to the multiresolution representations of biomolecules and the associated multiscale electrostatic analyses as well as multiresolution curvature characterizations. The resulting fine resolution representations of a biomolecular system enable the detailed analysis of solvent-solute interaction, and ion channel dynamics, while our coarse resolution representations highlight the compatibility of protein-ligand bindings and possibility of protein-protein interactions.
Variational multiscale modeling; Multiresolution surface; Energy functional; Meshing; Curvature; Electrostatics
Reference intervals of Liver function tests are very important for the screening, diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of liver diseases. We aim to establish common reference intervals of liver function tests specifically for the Chinese adult population.
A total of 3210 individuals (20–79 years) were enrolled in six representative geographical regions in China. Analytes of ALT, AST, GGT, ALP, total protein, albumin and total bilirubin were measured using three analytical systems mainly used in China. The newly established reference intervals were based on the results of traceability or multiple systems, and then validated in 21 large hospitals located nationwide qualified by the National External Quality Assessment (EQA) of China.
We had been established reference intervals of the seven liver function tests for the Chinese adult population and found there were apparent variances of reference values for the variables for partitioning analysis such as gender(ALT, GGT, total bilirubin), age(ALP, albumin) and region(total protein). More than 86% of the 21 laboratories passed the validation in all subgroup of reference intervals and overall about 95.3% to 98.8% of the 1220 validation results fell within the range of the new reference interval for all liver function tests. In comparison with the currently recommended reference intervals in China, the single side observed proportions of out of range of reference values from our study for most of the tests deviated significantly from the nominal 2.5% such as total bilirubin (15.2%), ALP (0.2%), albumin (0.0%). Most of reference intervals in our study were obviously different from that of other races.
These used reference intervals are no longer applicable for the current Chinese population. We have established common reference intervals of liver function tests that are defined specifically for Chinese population and can be universally used among EQA-approved laboratories located all over China.
Cytosine methylation of DNA is an important epigenetic gene silencing mechanism in plants, fungi, and animals. In the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, nearly all known DNA methylations occur in transposon relics and repetitive sequences, and DNA methylation does not depend on the canonical RNAi pathway. disiRNAs are Dicer-independent small non-coding RNAs that arise from gene-rich part of the Neurospora genome. Here we describe a new type of DNA methylation that is associated with the disiRNA loci. Unlike the known DNA methylation in Neurospora, disiRNA loci DNA methylation (DLDM) is highly dynamic and is regulated by an on/off mechanism. Some disiRNA production appears to rely on pol II directed transcription. Importantly, DLDM is triggered by convergent transcription and enriched in promoter regions. Together, our results establish a new mechanism that triggers DNA methylation.
DNA methylation in eukayrotes refers to the modification of cytidines at 5th position with methyl group (5mC). Though absent in some species, DNA methylation is conserved across fungi, plants and animals and plays a critical role in X chromosome inactivation, genomic imprinting, transposon silencing etc. In addition, DNA methylation also occurs at the promoter sequence to regulate gene expression. Filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa has a well-known mechanism of DNA methylation for genomic defense. During sexual stage repetitive sequences (e.g. transposons) are recognized and point mutations are introduced. During vegetative stage these mutations serve as signals for establishing static DNA methylation to silence all copies of the sequences. In this study, we report a new type of DNA methylation in Neurospora. It is tightly linked to a type of non-coding small RNA termed dicer-independent siRNA (disiRNA) and therefore was termed disiRNA loci DNA methylation (DLDM). DLDM is dynamic regulated and shows an on/off pattern, i.e. most alleles contain no 5mC but some are densely methylated. Interestingly, DLDM can be triggered by convergent transcription and is accumulated at promoter regions. In summary, our findings demonstrate a new type of dynamic DNA methylation.
Chronic inflammation has been regarded as an important mechanism in carcinogenesis. Inflammation-associated genetic variants have been highly associated with cancer risk. Polymorphisms in the gene cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), a pro-inflammation factor, have been suggested to alter the risk of multiple tumors, but the findings of various studies are not consistent.
A literature search through February 2013 was performed using PubMed, EMBASE, and CNKI databases. We used odds ratios (ORs) with confidence intervals (CIs) of 95% to assess the strength of the association between the COX-2-765G>C polymorphism and cancer risk in a random-effect model. We also assessed heterogeneity and publication bias.
In total, 65 articles with 29,487 cancer cases and 39,212 non-cancer controls were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled OR (95% CIs) in the co-dominant model (GC vs. GG) was 1.11 (1.02–1.22), and in the dominant model ((CC+GC) vs. GG), the pooled OR was 1.12 (1.02–1.23). In the subgroup analysis, stratified by cancer type and race, significant associations were found between the-765 C allele and higher risk for gastric cancer, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, and cancer in the Asian population.
In summary, the COX-2-765 C allele was related to increased cancer susceptibility, especially gastric cancer and cancer in the Asian population.
RNA interference (RNAi) has become a gold standard for validating gene function in basic life science research and provides a promising therapeutic modality for cancer and other diseases. This mini-review focuses on the potential of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) in anticancer treatment, including the establishment and screening of cancer-associated siRNA libraries and their applications in anticancer drug target discovery and cancer therapy. This article also describes the current delivery approaches of siRNAs using lipids, polymers, and, in particular, gold nanoparticles to induce significant gene silencing and tumor growth regression.
Cancer; siRNA; gene delivery; molecular therapy
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) has been reported to regulate over 100 gene expressions in response to hypoxia and other stress conditions. In the present study, we found that arsenite could induce HIF-1α protein accumulation in both mouse epidermal Cl41 cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). Knockout of p85α, a regulatory subunit of PI-3K, in MEFs (p85α−/−) dramatically decreased the arsenite-induced HIF-1α accumulation, indicating that p85α is crucial for arsenite effects on the stabilization of HIF-1α protein. Our further studies suggest that arsenite could induce inducible Hsp70 expression, and transfection of inducible Hsp70 into p85α−/− MEFs could restore HIF-1α protein accumulation. Moreover, the results using EMSA and Supershift assays indicate that p85α is crucial for arsenite-induced activation of the heat-shock transcription factor 1 (HSF-1), which is responsible for transcription of inducible Hsp70. Taken together, p85α-mediated HIF-1α stabilization upon arsenite exposure is specifically through HSF-1 activation and subsequent up-regulation of the inducible Hsp70 expression.
Hsp70; HIF-1α; p85α; Akt; Arsenite
Assessing the prevalence of HIV-1 drug-resistance and the mutation patterns associated with resistance in the geographical regions implementing free antiretroviral therapy (ART) in China is necessary for preventing the spread of resistant strains and designing the regimens for the subsequent therapies with limited resources.
Plasma samples in different cities/prefectures were collected at Yunnan Provincial Hospital of Infectious Disease from January 2010 to December 2011. Genotyping of drug-resistant individuals was conducted using an in-house assay on plasma samples. Viral load, CD4 T cell counts and demographic data were obtained from medical records and an administered questionnaire.
A total of 609 pol sequences (515 ART-failure and 94 therapy-naïve individuals) derived from 664 samples were obtained. The prevalence of drug-resistance was 45.1% in the ART-failure individuals. Of these, 26.8% harbored HIV strains dually resistant to nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and 14.8% harbored HIV strains resistant to only one drug category. Mutations such as M184V/I, K103N, V106A, Y181C and G190A were common among the ART-failure individuals, and the frequencies of M184V/I, K103N and V106A were 28.2%, 19.2%, and 22.1%, respectively. The percentages of individuals exhibiting intermediate or high-level resistance to 3TC, FTC, EFV and NVP drugs were 28.4%, 28.2%, 37.3%, and 37.5%, respectively. Factors such as ethnicity, transmission route, CD4 counts, viral load and the duration of ART were significantly correlated with development of drug resistance in the ART-failure individuals.
The high prevalence of HIV drug-resistance observed among the ART-failure individuals from 2010 to 2011 in Yunnan province should be of increasing concern in regions where the implementation of ART is widespread. Education about the risk factors associated with HIV drug resistance is important for preventing and controlling the spread of HIV drug-resistant strains.
Little is known about genetic basis and proteomics in valvular heart disease (VHD) including rheumatic (RVD) and degenerative (DVD) valvular disease. The present proteomic study examined the hypothesis that certain proteins may be associated with the pathological changes in the plasma of VHD patients.
Methods and Results
Differential protein analysis in the plasma identified 18 differentially expressed protein spots and 14 corresponding proteins or polypeptides by two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry in 120 subjects. Two up-regulated (complement C4A and carbonic anhydrase 1) and three down-regulated proteins (serotransferrin, alpha-1-antichymotrypsin, and vitronectin) were validated by ELISA in enlarging samples. The plasma levels (n = 40 for each) of complement C4A in RVD (715.8±35.6 vs. 594.7±28.2 ng/ml, P = 0.009) and carbonic anhydrase 1 (237.70±15.7 vs. 184.7±10.8 U/L, P = 0.007) in DVD patients were significantly higher and that of serotransferrin (2.36±0.20 vs. 2.93±0.16 mg/ml, P = 0.025) and alpha-1-antichymotrypsin (370.0±13.7 vs. 413.0±11.6 µg/ml, P = 0.019) in RVD patients were significantly lower than those in controls. The plasma vitronectin level in both RVD (281.3±11.0 vs. 323.2±10.0 µg/ml, P = 0.006) and DVD (283.6±11.4 vs. 323.2±10.0 µg/ml, P = 0.011) was significantly lower than those in normal controls.
We have for the first time identified alterations of 14 differential proteins or polypeptides in the plasma of patients with various VHD. The elevation of plasma complement C4A in RVD and carbonic anhydrase 1 in DVD and the decrease of serotransferrin and alpha-1-antichymotrypsin in RVD patients may be useful biomarkers for these valvular diseases. The decreased plasma level of vitronectin – a protein related to the formation of valvular structure – in both RVD and DVD patients might indicate the possible genetic deficiency in these patients.
We report the complete genomic sequence of A/equine/Heilongjiang/1/2010, a strain of Florida sublineage clade 2 of H3N8 subtype equine influenza virus (EIV) isolated in northern China. This is the first announcement of a complete genomic sequence of EIV of such a clade in China.
Directional cell migration requires the coordination of actin assembly and membrane remodeling. The exocyst is an octameric protein complex essential for exocytosis and plasma membrane remodeling [1,2]. A component of the exocyst, Exo70, directly interacts with the Arp2/3 complex, a core nucleating factor for the generation of branched actin networks for cell morphogenesis and migration [3-9]. Using in vitro actin polymerization assay and time-lapse TIRF microscopy, we found Exo70 functions as a kinetic activator of the Arp2/3 complex that promotes actin filament nucleation and branching. We further found that the effect of Exo70 on actin is mediated by promoting the interaction of Arp2/3 complex with WAVE2, a member of the N-WASP/WAVE family of nucleation promoting factors (NPFs). At the cellular level, the stimulatory effect of Exo70 on Arp2/3 is required for lamellipodia formation and maintaining directional persistence of cell migration. Our findings provide a novel mechanism for regulating actin polymerization and branching for effective membrane protrusion during cell morphogenesis and migration.
To estimate the average social network size in the general population and the size of HIV key affected populations (KAPs) in Chongqing municipality using the network scale-up method (NSUM).
A general population survey was conducted in 2011 through a multistage random sampling method. Participants aged between 18 and 60 years were recruited. The average social network size (c) was estimated and adjusted by known population method. The size of HIV KAP in Chongqing municipality was estimated using the adjusted c value with adjustment for the transmission effect using the scaled respect factor.
3,026 inhabitants of Chongqing agreed to the survey, and 2,957 (97.7%) completed the questionnaire. The adjusted c value was 310. The estimated size of KAP was 28,418(95% Confidence Interval (CI):26,636∼30,201) for female sex workers (FSW), 163,199(95%CI:156,490∼169,908) for clients of FSW, 37,959(95%CI: 34,888∼41,030) for drug users (DU), 14,975(95%CI:13,047∼16,904) for injecting drug users (IDU) and 16,767(95%CI:14,602∼18,932) for men who have sex with men (MSM). The ratio of clients to FSW was 5.74∶1, and IDU accounted for 39.5% of the DU population. The estimates suggest that FSW account for 0.37% of the female population aged 15–49 years in Chongqing, and clients of FSW and MSM represent 2.09% and 0.21% of the male population aged 15–49 years in the city, respectively.
NSUM provides reasonable population size estimates for FSW, their clients, DU and IDU in Chongqing. However, it is likely to underestimate the population size of MSM even after adjusting for the transmission effect.
Ventricular septal defect (VSD) is the most common congenital heart disease (CHD). A number of genetic studies have linked the gene of PLAGL1 to the etiology of CHD. The present study aimed to identify potential pathogenic mutations for PLAGL1 and to provide insights into the etiology of isolated VSD. Methods: Case–control mutational analysis was performed in 300 patients with isolated VSD and 300 healthy controls. Two protein-coding extons of PLAGL1 and their partial flanking intron sequences were amplified by polymerase chain reaction and sequenced on an ABI3730 Automated Sequencer. CLC workbench software was used to compare the conservatism of PLAGL1 protein with other multiple species. Results: Neither missense nor frame-shift mutations were detected in two protein-coding extons of PLAGL1. But a novel synonymous variation (c.486A>G, p. E162E) was detected in protein-coding exon-2. The glutamic that translated with the mutational codon is conservative when compared with other species. Conclusions: We detected a synonymous variation in the protein-coding exon-2 of PLAGL1 in isolated VSD patients. It is possible that the etiology of isolated VSD might not be directly linked with this mutation, but might be associated with other patterns of gene expression regulation in PLAGL1, such as in the methylation-dependent manner.
Most rivers worldwide are highly regulated by anthropogenic activities through flow regulation and water pollution. Environmental flow regulation is used to reduce the effects of anthropogenic activities on aquatic ecosystems. Formulating flow alteration–ecological response relationships is a key factor in environmental flow assessment. Traditional environmental flow models are characterized by natural relationships between flow regimes and ecosystem factors. However, food webs are often altered from natural states, which disturb environmental flow assessment in such ecosystems. In ecosystems deteriorated by heavy anthropogenic activities, the effects of environmental flow regulation on species are difficult to assess with current modeling approaches. Environmental flow management compels the development of tools that link flow regimes and food webs in an ecosystem. Food web approaches are more suitable for the task because they are more adaptive for disordered multiple species in a food web deteriorated by anthropogenic activities. This paper presents a global method of environmental flow assessment in deteriorated aquatic ecosystems. Linkages between flow regimes and food web dynamics are modeled by incorporating multiple species into an ecosystem to explore ecosystem-based environmental flow management. The approach allows scientists and water resources managers to analyze environmental flows in deteriorated ecosystems in an ecosystem-based way.
Berberine (BBR), an isoquinoline derivative alkaloid isolated from Chinese herbs, has a long history of uses for the treatment of multiple diseases, including cancers. However, the precise mechanisms of actions of BBR in human lung cancer cells remain unclear. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanisms by which BBR inhibits cell growth in human non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells. Treatment with BBR promoted cell morphology change, inhibited cell migration, proliferation and colony formation, and induced cell apoptosis. Further molecular mechanism study showed that BBR simultaneously targeted multiple cell signaling pathways to inhibit NSCLC cell growth. Treatment with BBR inhibited AP-2α and AP-2β expression and abrogated their binding on hTERT promoters, thereby inhibiting hTERT expression. Knockdown of AP-2α and AP-2β by siRNA considerably augmented the BBR-mediated inhibition of cell growth. BBR also suppressed the nuclear translocation of p50/p65 NF-κB proteins and their binding to COX-2 promoter, causing inhibition of COX-2. BBR also downregulated HIF-1α and VEGF expression and inhibited Akt and ERK phosphorylation. Knockdown of HIF-1α by siRNA considerably augmented the BBR-mediated inhibition of cell growth. Moreover, BBR treatment triggered cytochrome-c release from mitochondrial inter-membrane space into cytosol, promoted cleavage of caspase and PARP, and affected expression of BAX and Bcl-2, thereby activating apoptotic pathway. Taken together, these results demonstrated that BBR inhibited NSCLC cell growth by simultaneously targeting AP-2/hTERT, NF-κB/COX-2, HIF-1α/VEGF, PI3K/AKT, Raf/MEK/ERK and cytochrome-c/caspase signaling pathways. Our findings provide new insights into understanding the anticancer mechanisms of BBR in human lung cancer therapy.
Krukenberg tumor originated from stomach in female patients is common in clinical practice, but it is still uncertain whether surgical resection of ovarian metastases could improve the outcome. Some studies suggested that a certain group of patients could benefit from the resection of ovarian metastases. However, conclusions were different between studies and there was no data to illustrate if certain molecular markers were associated with patients’ survival. In this study, we analyzed the effects of resection of ovarian metastases, and investigated prognostic factors in 133 patients with ovarian metastases originated from stomach. Furthermore, we examined the expression of some cancer stem cells (CSCs) markers or related molecules in 64 ovarian metastases specimens and analyzed the correlation between these molecules and patients’ survival. We found that the median overall survival (mOS) of all 133 patients was 16 months, and “gastrectomy” and “without ascites” were two independent prognostic factors associated with longer survival. The mOS of the patients with gastrectomy was longer than that of patients had not undergone gastrectomy (19 vs. 9 months, p = 0.048). Patients without ascites survived longer than those with ascites (mOS: 21 vs. 13 months, p = 0.008). We also found that Sox2, CD44 or CD133 positive expression in ovarian metastases were risk factors correlated with poor survival, and Sox2 expression was an independent prognostic indicator. These results suggested that ovarian metastasectomy might help to prolong the survivor of some patients with Krukenberg tumor originated from stomach. Patients without ascites, and with resected or resectable primary gastric cancer lesion could get benefit from and be potential candidate for surgical treatment. The expression of Sox2 might serve as a prognostic indicator for predicting patients’ survival and be helpful for selecting patients in future.
In contrast to most animal genomes, mitochondrial genomes in species belonging to the phylum Cnidaria show distinct variations in genome structure, including the mtDNA structure (linear or circular) and the presence or absence of introns in protein-coding genes. Therefore, the analysis of nuclear insertions of mitochondrial sequences (NUMTs) in cnidarians allows us to compare the NUMT content in animals with different mitochondrial genome structures.
NUMT identification in the Hydra magnipapillata, Nematostella vectensis and Acropora digitifera genomes showed that the NUMT density in the H. magnipapillata genome clearly exceeds that in other two cnidarians with circular mitochondrial genomes. We found that H. magnipapillata is an exceptional ancestral metazoan with a high NUMT cumulative percentage but a large genome, and its mitochondrial genome linearisation might be responsible for the NUMT enrichment. We also detected the co-transposition of exonic and intronic fragments within NUMTs in N. vectensis and provided direct evidence that mitochondrial sequences can be transposed into the nuclear genome through DNA-mediated fragment transfer. In addition, NUMT expression analyses showed that NUMTs are co-expressed with adjacent protein-coding genes, suggesting the relevance of their biological function.
Taken together, our results provide valuable information for understanding the impact of mitochondrial genome structure on the interaction of mitochondrial molecules and nuclear genomes.
Cnidaria; Mitochondrial DNA; NUMT; Linear mitochondrial genome
The aim of the study was to investigate the protective effects of sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS), a H2S donor, against hypoxia-induced injury in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and also to look into the possible mechanisms by which H2S exerts this protective effect. 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay and scratch wound healing assay were chosen to measure the cell viability and migration-promoting effects. The fluorescent probe, DCFH-DA and 5,5′,6,6′-Tetrachloro-1,1′,3,3′-tetraethyl-imidacarbocyanine iodide (JC-1) were applied to detect the reactive oxygen species (ROS) level and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm). Furthermore, western blots were used to measure the expressions of the apoptosis-related proteins. Under hypoxic conditions, 300 μM and 600 μM of H2S could protect HUVECs against hypoxia-induced injury, as determined by MTT assay. Following the treatment of 60 μM NaHS for 18 h, scratch wound healing assays indicated that the scratch became much narrower than control group. After treatment with 60 μM, 120 μM, and 600 μM NaHS, and hypoxia for 30 min, flow cytometry demonstrated that the ROS concentrations decreased to 95.08% ± 5.52%, 73.14% ± 3.36%, and 73.51% ± 3.05%, respectively, compared with the control group. In addition, the JC-1 assay showed NaHS had a protective effect on mitochondria damage. Additionally, NaHS increased Bcl-2 expression and decreased the expression of Bax, Caspase-3 and Caspase-9 in a dose-dependent way. Our results suggest that H2S can protect endothelial cells and promote migration under hypoxic condition in HUVECs. These effects are partially associated with the preservation of mitochondrial function mediated by regulating the mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathway.
HUVEC; hydrogen sulfide; hypoxia; protective effects; migration-promoting effects; mitochondria; reactive oxygen species; NaHS
In comparison with standard saphenous vein grafts, use of the internal mammary artery (IMA) as a coronary artery bypass graft has achieved superior long-term results. This is related to the differences in the biological characteristics between the venous and arterial grafts. However, even arterial grafts are not uniform in their biological characteristics. The variation in the perioperative behavior of the grafts and in their long-term patency may be related to different characteristics. These factors should be taken into account in the use of arterial grafts, some of which are subjected to more active pharmacological intervention during and after the operation to obtain satisfactory results. To better understand the biological behavior of the grafts, their common features and their differences, a clinical classification may be useful for a practicing surgeon. Based on experimental studies of their vasoreactivity combined with anatomical, physiological and embryological considerations, we have proposed a functional classification for arterial grafts that may be useful clinically. Our classification suggests that there are three types of arterial grafts: Type I—somatic arteries; Type II—splanchnic arteries; and Type III—limb arteries. Type I arteries have enhanced endothelial function and release more nitric oxide and other relaxing factors. Type II arteries, such as the gastro-epiploic artery, and Type III arteries, such as the radial artery (RA), have higher pharmacological reactivity to vasoconstrictors. This classification explains why the IMA has the best long-term patency. Because Type II and III arteries are prone to spasms due to higher contractility, they require more active pharmacological interventions. Furthermore, the harvesting technique of the conduits, including the saphenous vein and IMA, are described and discussed in this article. Prevention of spasms using two cocktails of medications (verapamil + nitroglycerin and nicardipine + nitroglycerin) during harvesting of the conduits is described. These solutions have been demonstrated to be clinically effective.
Arterial grafts; classification; pharmacology; coronary artery bypass