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1.  The Effect of UV-C Pasteurization on Bacteriostatic Properties and Immunological Proteins of Donor Human Milk 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e85867.
Background
Human milk possesses bacteriostatic properties, largely due to the presence of immunological proteins. Heat treatments such as Holder pasteurization reduce the concentration of immunological proteins in human milk and consequently increase the bacterial growth rate. This study investigated the bacterial growth rate and the immunological protein concentration of ultraviolet (UV-C) irradiated, Holder pasteurized and untreated human milk.
Methods
Samples (n=10) of untreated, Holder pasteurized and UV-C irradiated human milk were inoculated with E. coli and S. aureus and the growth rate over 2 hours incubation time at 37°C was observed. Additionally, the concentration of sIgA, lactoferrin and lysozyme of untreated and treated human milk was analyzed.
Results
The bacterial growth rate of untreated and UV-C irradiated human milk was not significantly different. The bacterial growth rate of Holder pasteurized human milk was double compared to untreated human milk (p<0.001). The retention of sIgA, lactoferrin and lysozyme after UV-C irradiation was 89%, 87%, and 75% respectively, which were higher than Holder treated with 49%, 9%, and 41% respectively.
Conclusion
UV-C irradiation of human milk preserves significantly higher levels of immunological proteins than Holder pasteurization, resulting in bacteriostatic properties similar to those of untreated human milk.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085867
PMCID: PMC3871660  PMID: 24376898
2.  Radiation damage in protein serial femtosecond crystallography using an x-ray free-electron laser 
X-ray free-electron lasers deliver intense femtosecond pulses that promise to yield high resolution diffraction data of nanocrystals before the destruction of the sample by radiation damage. Diffraction intensities of lysozyme nanocrystals collected at the Linac Coherent Light Source using 2 keV photons were used for structure determination by molecular replacement and analyzed for radiation damage as a function of pulse length and fluence. Signatures of radiation damage are observed for pulses as short as 70 fs. Parametric scaling used in conventional crystallography does not account for the observed effects.
doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.84.214111
PMCID: PMC3786679  PMID: 24089594
3.  Self-terminating diffraction gates femtosecond X-ray nanocrystallography measurements 
Nature photonics  2011;6:35-40.
X-ray free-electron lasers have enabled new approaches to the structural determination of protein crystals that are too small or radiation-sensitive for conventional analysis1. For sufficiently short pulses, diffraction is collected before significant changes occur to the sample, and it has been predicted that pulses as short as 10 fs may be required to acquire atomic-resolution structural information1–4. Here, we describe a mechanism unique to ultrafast, ultra-intense X-ray experiments that allows structural information to be collected from crystalline samples using high radiation doses without the requirement for the pulse to terminate before the onset of sample damage. Instead, the diffracted X-rays are gated by a rapid loss of crystalline periodicity, producing apparent pulse lengths significantly shorter than the duration of the incident pulse. The shortest apparent pulse lengths occur at the highest resolution, and our measurements indicate that current X-ray free-electron laser technology5 should enable structural determination from submicrometre protein crystals with atomic resolution.
doi:10.1038/nphoton.2011.297
PMCID: PMC3783007  PMID: 24078834
4.  Ultraviolet-C Irradiation: A Novel Pasteurization Method for Donor Human Milk 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(6):e68120.
Background
Holder pasteurization (milk held at 62.5°C for 30 minutes) is the standard treatment method for donor human milk. Although this method of pasteurization is able to inactivate most bacteria, it also inactivates important bioactive components. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate ultraviolet irradiation as an alternative treatment method for donor human milk.
Methods
Human milk samples were inoculated with five species of bacteria and then UV-C irradiated. Untreated and treated samples were analysed for bacterial content, bile salt stimulated lipase (BSSL) activity, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, and fatty acid profile.
Results
All five species of bacteria reacted similarly to UV-C irradiation, with higher dosages being required with increasing concentrations of total solids in the human milk sample. The decimal reduction dosage was 289±17 and 945±164 J/l for total solids of 107 and 146 g/l, respectively. No significant changes in the fatty acid profile, BSSL activity or ALP activity were observed up to the dosage required for a 5-log10 reduction of the five species of bacteria.
Conclusion
UV-C irradiation is capable of reducing vegetative bacteria in human milk to the requirements of milk bank guidelines with no loss of BSSL and ALP activity and no change of FA.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068120
PMCID: PMC3694044  PMID: 23840820
5.  Analysis of Transcriptional Regulation of the Human miR-17-92 Cluster; Evidence for Involvement of Pim-1 
The human polycistronic miRNA cluster miR-17-92 is frequently overexpressed in hematopoietic malignancies and cancers. Its transcription is in part controlled by an E2F-regulated host gene promoter. An intronic A/T-rich region directly upstream of the miRNA coding region also contributes to cluster expression. Our deletion analysis of the A/T-rich region revealed a strong dependence on c-Myc binding to the functional E3 site. Yet, constructs lacking the 5′-proximal ~1.3 kb or 3′-distal ~0.1 kb of the 1.5 kb A/T-rich region still retained residual specific promoter activity, suggesting multiple transcription start sites (TSS) in this region. Furthermore, the protooncogenic kinase, Pim-1, its phosphorylation target HP1γ and c-Myc colocalize to the E3 region, as inferred from chromatin immunoprecipitation. Analysis of pri-miR-17-92 expression levels in K562 and HeLa cells revealed that silencing of E2F3, c-Myc or Pim-1 negatively affects cluster expression, with a synergistic effect caused by c-Myc/Pim-1 double knockdown in HeLa cells. Thus, we show, for the first time, that the protooncogene Pim-1 is part of the network that regulates transcription of the human miR-17-92 cluster.
doi:10.3390/ijms140612273
PMCID: PMC3709785  PMID: 23749113
miRNA; miR-17-92 cluster; Pim-1; miRNA promoter; c-Myc; HP1γ; RNAi
6.  Time-resolved protein nanocrystallography using an X-ray free-electron laser 
Aquila, Andrew | Hunter, Mark S. | Doak, R. Bruce | Kirian, Richard A. | Fromme, Petra | White, Thomas A. | Andreasson, Jakob | Arnlund, David | Bajt, Saša | Barends, Thomas R. M. | Barthelmess, Miriam | Bogan, Michael J. | Bostedt, Christoph | Bottin, Hervé | Bozek, John D. | Caleman, Carl | Coppola, Nicola | Davidsson, Jan | DePonte, Daniel P. | Elser, Veit | Epp, Sascha W. | Erk, Benjamin | Fleckenstein, Holger | Foucar, Lutz | Frank, Matthias | Fromme, Raimund | Graafsma, Heinz | Grotjohann, Ingo | Gumprecht, Lars | Hajdu, Janos | Hampton, Christina Y. | Hartmann, Andreas | Hartmann, Robert | Hau-Riege, Stefan | Hauser, Günter | Hirsemann, Helmut | Holl, Peter | Holton, James M. | Hömke, André | Johansson, Linda | Kimmel, Nils | Kassemeyer, Stephan | Krasniqi, Faton | Kühnel, Kai-Uwe | Liang, Mengning | Lomb, Lukas | Malmerberg, Erik | Marchesini, Stefano | Martin, Andrew V. | Maia, Filipe R.N.C. | Messerschmidt, Marc | Nass, Karol | Reich, Christian | Neutze, Richard | Rolles, Daniel | Rudek, Benedikt | Rudenko, Artem | Schlichting, Ilme | Schmidt, Carlo | Schmidt, Kevin E. | Schulz, Joachim | Seibert, M. Marvin | Shoeman, Robert L. | Sierra, Raymond | Soltau, Heike | Starodub, Dmitri | Stellato, Francesco | Stern, Stephan | Strüder, Lothar | Timneanu, Nicusor | Ullrich, Joachim | Wang, Xiaoyu | Williams, Garth J. | Weidenspointner, Georg | Weierstall, Uwe | Wunderer, Cornelia | Barty, Anton | Spence, John C. H. | Chapman, Henry N.
Optics Express  2012;20(3):2706-2716.
We demonstrate the use of an X-ray free electron laser synchronized with an optical pump laser to obtain X-ray diffraction snapshots from the photoactivated states of large membrane protein complexes in the form of nanocrystals flowing in a liquid jet. Light-induced changes of Photosystem I-Ferredoxin co-crystals were observed at time delays of 5 to 10 µs after excitation. The result correlates with the microsecond kinetics of electron transfer from Photosystem I to ferredoxin. The undocking process that follows the electron transfer leads to large rearrangements in the crystals that will terminally lead to the disintegration of the crystals. We describe the experimental setup and obtain the first time-resolved femtosecond serial X-ray crystallography results from an irreversible photo-chemical reaction at the Linac Coherent Light Source. This technique opens the door to time-resolved structural studies of reaction dynamics in biological systems.
doi:10.1364/OE.20.002706
PMCID: PMC3413412  PMID: 22330507
(170.7160) Ultrafast technology; (170.7440) X-ray imaging; (140.3450) Laser-induced chemistry; (140.7090) Ultrafast lasers; (170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology
7.  Lipidic phase membrane protein serial femtosecond crystallography 
Nature methods  2012;9(3):263-265.
X-ray free electron laser (X-feL)-based serial femtosecond crystallography is an emerging method with potential to rapidly advance the challenging field of membrane protein structural biology. here we recorded interpretable diffraction data from micrometer-sized lipidic sponge phase crystals of the Blastochloris viridis photosynthetic reaction center delivered into an X-feL beam using a sponge phase micro-jet.
doi:10.1038/nmeth.1867
PMCID: PMC3438231  PMID: 22286383
8.  In vivo protein crystallization opens new routes in structural biology 
Nature methods  2012;9(3):259-262.
Protein crystallization in cells has been observed several times in nature. However, owing to their small size these crystals have not yet been used for X-ray crystallographic analysis. We prepared nano-sized in vivo–grown crystals of Trypanosoma brucei enzymes and applied the emerging method of free-electron laser-based serial femtosecond crystallography to record interpretable diffraction data. This combined approach will open new opportunities in structural systems biology.
doi:10.1038/nmeth.1859
PMCID: PMC3429599  PMID: 22286384
9.  Time-resolved protein nanocrystallography using an X-ray free-electron laser 
Aquila, Andrew | Hunter, Mark S | Bruce Doak, R. | Kirian, Richard A. | Fromme, Petra | White, Thomas A. | Andreasson, Jakob | Arnlund, David | Bajt, Saša | Barends, Thomas R. M. | Barthelmess, Miriam | Bogan, Michael J. | Bostedt, Christoph | Bottin, Hervé | Bozek, John D. | Caleman, Carl | Coppola, Nicola | Davidsson, Jan | DePonte, Daniel P. | Elser, Veit | Epp, Sascha W. | Erk, Benjamin | Fleckenstein, Holger | Foucar, Lutz | Frank, Matthias | Fromme, Raimund | Graafsma, Heinz | Grotjohann, Ingo | Gumprecht, Lars | Hajdu, Janos | Hampton, Christina Y. | Hartmann, Andreas | Hartmann, Robert | Hau-Riege, Stefan | Hauser, Günter | Hirsemann, Helmut | Holl, Peter | Holton, James M. | Hömke, André | Johansson, Linda | Kimmel, Nils | Kassemeyer, Stephan | Krasniqi, Faton | Kühnel, Kai-Uwe | Liang, Mengning | Lomb, Lukas | Malmerberg, Erik | Marchesini, Stefano | Martin, Andrew V. | Maia, Filipe R.N.C. | Messerschmidt, Marc | Nass, Karol | Reich, Christian | Neutze, Richard | Rolles, Daniel | Rudek, Benedikt | Rudenko, Artem | Schlichting, Ilme | Schmidt, Carlo | Schmidt, Kevin E. | Schulz, Joachim | Seibert, M. Marvin | Shoeman, Robert L. | Sierra, Raymond | Soltau, Heike | Starodub, Dmitri | Stellato, Francesco | Stern, Stephan | Strüder, Lothar | Timneanu, Nicusor | Ullrich, Joachim | Wang, Xiaoyu | Williams, Garth J. | Weidenspointner, Georg | Weierstall, Uwe | Wunderer, Cornelia | Barty, Anton | Spence, John C. H | Chapman, Henry N.
Optics express  2012;20(3):2706-2716.
We demonstrate the use of an X-ray free electron laser synchronized with an optical pump laser to obtain X-ray diffraction snapshots from the photoactivated states of large membrane protein complexes in the form of nanocrystals flowing in a liquid jet. Light-induced changes of Photosystem I-Ferredoxin co-crystals were observed at time delays of 5 to 10 μs after excitation. The result correlates with the microsecond kinetics of electron transfer from Photosystem I to ferredoxin. The undocking process that follows the electron transfer leads to large rearrangements in the crystals that will terminally lead to the disintegration of the crystals. We describe the experimental setup and obtain the first time-resolved femtosecond serial X-ray crystallography results from an irreversible photo-chemical reaction at the Linac Coherent Light Source. This technique opens the door to time-resolved structural studies of reaction dynamics in biological systems.
PMCID: PMC3413412  PMID: 22330507
10.  Analysis of Plasmacytoid and Myeloid Dendritic Cells in Nasal Epithelium▿  
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology  2006;13(11):1278-1286.
The role of plasmacytoid dendritic cells (PDC), the major producers of alpha interferon upon viral infection, in the nasal mucosa is largely unknown. Here we examined the presence of PDC together with myeloid dendritic cells (MDC) in the nasal epithelia of healthy individuals, of asymptomatic patients with chronic nasal allergy, of patients undergoing steroid therapy, and of patients with infectious rhinitis or rhinosinusitis. Considerable numbers of PDC and MDC could be detected in the nasal epithelium. Furthermore, we demonstrate the expression of SDF-1, the major chemoattractant for PDC, in the nasal epithelium. PDC levels were significantly lower for patients with allergies than for healthy individuals. Interestingly, PDC and MDC were almost absent from patients who received treatment with glucocorticoids, while very high numbers of PDC were found for patients with recent upper respiratory tract infections. Our results demonstrate for the first time a quantitative analysis of PDC and MDC in the healthy nasal epithelium and in nasal epithelia from patients with different pathological conditions. With the identification of PDC, the major target cell for CpG DNA or immunostimulatory RNA, in the nasal epithelium, this study forms the basis for a local nasal application of such oligonucleotides for the treatment of viral infection and allergy.
doi:10.1128/CVI.00172-06
PMCID: PMC1656540  PMID: 16928885
12.  Active syphilis in HIV infection: a multicentre retrospective survey. The German AIDS Study Group (GASG). 
Genitourinary Medicine  1996;72(3):176-181.
OBJECTIVE: To study syphilis in HIV infection focusing on immunocompromised patients with an atypical or aggressive clinical course of syphilis, inappropriate serological reactions or an unreliable response to therapy. STUDY DESIGN: A multicentre retrospective chart review using a standardised questionnaire for all patients with active syphilis. SETTINGS: Thirteen dermatological and medical centres throughout Germany, all members of the German AIDS Study Group (GASG). PATIENTS: Clinical data of 11,368 HIV infected patients have been analysed for cases of active syphilis requiring treatment. Asymptotic patients with reactive serological parameters indicating latent syphilis without a need for treatment were excluded. RESULTS: Active syphilis was reported in 151 of 11,368 HIV infected patients (1.33%, range per centre 0.3%-5.1%). Most of the 151 syphilis patients were male (93%) and belonged to the homosexual or bisexual exposure category for HIV infection (79%); another 6% were iv drug users. Among the 151 syphilis patients primary syphilis was diagnosed in 17.2%, maculopapular secondary syphilis in 29.1%, ulcerating secondary syphilis in 7.3%, neurosyphilis in 16.6% and latent seropositive syphilis without clinical symptoms but serological abnormalities indicating active syphilis in 25.2%. A history of prior treatments for syphilis was reported in 50%. At the time of syphilis diagnosis 26.5% of the patients were in CDC stage II, 33.8% in stage III and 24.5% in stage IV of HIV disease (CDC classification 1987). CD4 cell count was lowest in those with ulcerating secondary syphilis (mean 307, SD 140/microliters) and neurosyphilis (351, SD 235/ microliters). The highest CD4 count was found in patients with early primary and early secondary syphilis (444, SD 163/microliters and 470, SD 355/microliters). Inappropriate serological response to syphilis infection was found in 81 of 151 patients (54%). Remarkable findings were false negative VDRL titres (11 patients with non primary syphilis), false negative TPHA (1) or 19S-IgM-FTA-ABS-tests (16), and strongly reactive VDRL (> or = 512, 8) or TPHA titres (> or = 10 240, 47). Treatment failures were reported in at least 6 of 151 cases (4%). CONCLUSIONS: Atypical clinical and serological courses of syphilis were observed in HIV infected patients. Ulcerating secondary syphilis with general symptoms ("malignant syphilis") was 60 times more frequent than in historic syphilis series. Neurosyphilis was found in one sixth of those with active syphilis. Therefore lumbar puncture should be considered a routine in coinfections with HIV and syphilis. Treatment efficacy should be monitored carefully.
Images
PMCID: PMC1195645  PMID: 8707318
13.  Molecular mechanisms of ETS transcription factor mediated tumorigenesis 
The ETS family of transcription factors is critical for development, differentiation, proliferation and also has a role in apoptosis and tissue remodeling. Changes in expression of ETS proteins therefore have a significant impact on normal physiology of the cell. Transcriptional consequences of ETS protein deregulation by overexpression, gene fusion, and modulation by RAS/MAPK signaling are linked to alterations in normal cell functions, and lead to unlimited increased proliferation, sustained angiogenesis, invasion and metastasis. Existing data show that ETS proteins control pathways in epithelial cells as well as stromal compartments, and the crosstalk between the two is essential for normal development and cancer. In this review we have focused on ETS factors with a known contribution in cancer development. Instead of focusing on a prototype, we address cancer associated ETS proteins and have highlighted the diverse mechanisms by which they affect carcinogenesis. Finally, we discuss strategies for ETS factor targeting as a potential means for cancer therapeutics.
doi:10.3109/10409238.2013.838202
PMCID: PMC4086824  PMID: 24066765
14.  Time course of arthralgia among women initiating aromatase inhibitor therapy and a postmenopausal comparison group in a prospective cohort 
Cancer  2013;119(13):2375-2382.
BACKGROUND
More than 80,000 postmenopausal breast cancer patients in the US each year are estimated to begin a five-year course of aromatase inhibitors (AIs) to prevent recurrence. AI-related arthralgia (joint pain and/or stiffness) may contribute to nonadherence, but longitudinal data are needed on arthralgia risk factors, trajectories, and background in postmenopause.
OBJECTIVES
To describe one-year arthralgia trajectories and baseline covariates among AI patients and a postmenopausal comparison group.
METHODS
Patients initiating AIs (n=91) were surveyed at the time of AI initiation and at six repeated assessments over one year. A comparison group of postmenopausal women without breast cancer (n=177) completed concomitantly-timed surveys. Numeric rating scales (0–10) were used to measure pain in eight joint pair groups (bilateral fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and toes). Poisson regression models were used to analyze arthralgia trajectories and risk factors.
RESULTS
By week six, the AI-initiating group had more severe arthralgia than did the comparison group (ratio of means=1.8, (95% CI 1.2–2.7, p=0.002), adjusting for baseline characteristics. Arthralgia then worsened further over a year in the AI group. Menopausal symptom severity and existing joint-related comorbidity at baseline among women initiating AI were associated with more severe longitudinal arthralgia.
CONCLUSIONS
Patients initiating AI should be told about the timing of arthralgia over the first year of therapy, and advised that it does not appear to resolve over the course of a year. Menopausal symptoms and joint-related comorbidity at AI initiation can help identify patients at risk for developing AI-related arthralgia.
doi:10.1002/cncr.28016
PMCID: PMC3687009  PMID: 23575918
Breast neoplasms; arthralgia; joint pain; aromatase inhibitors; postmenopause; longitudinal studies
15.  Deficiency of intestinal mucin-2 ameliorates experimental alcoholic liver disease in mice 
Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.)  2013;58(1):108-119.
The intestinal mucus layer protects the epithelium from noxious agents, viruses, and pathogenic bacteria present in the gastrointestinal tract. It is composed of mucins, predominantly mucin-2 (Muc2), secreted by goblet cells of the intestine. Experimental alcoholic liver disease requires translocation of bacterial products across the intestinal barrier into the systemic circulation, which induces an inflammatory response in the liver and contributes to steatohepatitis. We investigated the roles of the intestinal mucus layer, and in particular Muc2, in development of experimental alcohol-associated liver disease in mice. We studied experimental alcohol-induced liver disease, induced by the Tsukamoto-French method (which involves continuous intragastric feeding of an isocaloric diet or alcohol) in wild-type and Muc2−/− mice. Muc2−/− mice showed less alcohol-induced liver injury and steatosis that developed in wild-type mice. Most notably, Muc2−/− mice had significantly lower plasma levels of lipopolysaccharide than wild-type mice after alcohol feeding. In contrast to wild-type mice, Muc2−/− mice were protected from alcohol-associated microbiome changes that are dependent on intestinal mucins. The anti-microbial proteins Reg3b and Reg3g were expressed at significantly higher levels in the jejunum of Muc2−/− mice fed the isocaloric diet or alcohol, compared with wild-type mice. Consequently, Muc2−/− mice showed increased killing of commensal bacteria and prevented intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Conclusion: Muc2−/− mice are protected from intestinal bacterial overgrowth and dysbiosis in response to alcohol feeding. Subsequently, lower amounts of bacterial products such as endotoxin translocate into the systemic circulation, decreasing liver disease.
doi:10.1002/hep.26321
PMCID: PMC3695050  PMID: 23408358
microbiome; intestinal bacterial overgrowth; bacterial translocation; endotoxin; Reg3
16.  An adult spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma in the head and neck region with long-term survival: a case report 
Introduction
Spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma of the head and neck is a very rare tumor in adults. We report on one case with long-term survival.
Case presentation
A 41-year-old nonsmoking Caucasian man presented in June 2007 with a painless swelling under his tongue. A diagnosis of a soft tissue sarcoma, and a myofibrosarcoma in particular, was made via biopsy. After multimodal treatment, including local and systemic therapy, our patient remained disease-free until September 2010. The local recurrence was treated unsuccessfully with various chemotherapy regimens. In September 2011, our patient underwent surgical resection again, and a spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma was diagnosed. To analyze the mismatch between the original diagnosis of a myofibrosarcoma and the second diagnosis, the two specimens were reassessed, and a final diagnosis of a spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma was made. In 2012 and 2013, our patient suffered further recurrences that were surgically treated, and he is still alive with disease six years and 10 months after the initial diagnosis in June 2007.
Conclusions
In adults, the spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma tumor is very rare in the head and neck region. In contrast to childhood tumors, spindle cell rhabdomyosarcoma in adulthood is often associated with a poor prognosis. In the present case, the radical surgical treatment might have helped to prolong the patient’s overall survival, which has lasted more than six years. To our knowledge, this is the longest overall survival reported so far for this tumor entity in the head and neck region.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-208
PMCID: PMC4077640  PMID: 24946859
Rhabdomyosarcoma; Spindle cell; Adult; Surgery; Head
17.  KRAS, EGFR, PDGFR-α, KIT and COX-2 status in carcinoma showing thymus-like elements (CASTLE) 
Diagnostic Pathology  2014;9:116.
Background
CASTLE (Carcinoma showing thymus-like elements) is a rare malignant neoplasm of the thyroid resembling lymphoepithelioma-like and squamous cell carcinoma of the thymus with different biological behaviour and a better prognosis than anaplastic carcinoma of the thyroid.
Methods
We retrospectively investigated 6 cases of this very rare neoplasm in order to investigate the mutational status of KRAS, EGFR, PDGFR-α and KIT, as well as the immunohistochemical expression pattern of CD117, EGFR and COX-2, and possibly find new therapeutic targets.
Results
Diagnosis was confirmed by a moderate to strong expression of CD5, CD117 and CK5/6, whereas thyroglobulin, calcitonin and TTF-1 were negative in all cases. Tumors were also positive for COX-2 and in nearly all cases for EGFR. In four cases single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) could be detected in exon 12 of the PDGFR-α gene (rs1873778), in three cases SNPs were found in exon 20 of the EGFR gene (rs1050171). No mutations were found in the KIT and KRAS gene.
Conclusions
All tumors showed a COX-2 expression as well as an EGFR expression except for one case and a wild-type KRAS status. No activating mutations in the EGFR, KIT and PDGFR-α gene could be detected. Our data may indicate a potential for targeted therapies, but if these therapeutic strategies are of benefit in CASTLE remains to be determined.
Virtual Slides
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1658499296115016
doi:10.1186/1746-1596-9-116
PMCID: PMC4078982  PMID: 24934485
CASTLE; Thymic carcinoma; Mutational analysis; Immunohistochemistry; Thyroid gland
18.  microRNA EXPRESSION PROFILES IDENTIFY SUBTYPES OF MANTLE CELL LYMPHOMA WITH DIFFERENT CLINICOBIOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS 
Purpose
MicroRNAs (miRs) are post-transcriptional gene regulators that may be useful as diagnostic and/or prognostic biomarkers. We aim to study the expression profiles of a high number of miRs and their relationship with clinicopathological and biological relevant features in leukemic mantle cell lymphomas (MCL).
Experimental design
Expression profiling of 664 miRs was investigated using a high-throughput quantitative real-time PCR platform in 30 leukemic MCL. Statistical and bioinformatic analysis were performed to define miRs associated with different clinicopathological parameters. Gene expression profiling was investigated by microarrays in 16 matching cases to study the potential genes and pathways targeted by selected miRs. The prognostic value of miR-34a was investigated in two independent series of 29 leukemic and 50 nodal MCL.
Results
Robust consensus clustering defined two main MCL subgroups with significant differences in the immunoglobulin (IGHV) mutational status, SOX11 expression, genomic complexity and nodal clinical presentation. Supervised analyses regarding IGHV and SOX11 categories identified 17 and 22 miRs differentially expressed, respectively. Enriched targets of these miRs corresponded to relevant pathways in MCL pathogenesis such as DNA stress response, CD40 signaling and chromatin modification. Additionally, we found seven miRs showing prognostic significance independently of IGHV status and SOX11 expression. Among them, miR-34a was also associated with poor prognosis in two independent series of leukemic and nodal MCL, and in cooperation with high expression of the MYC oncogene.
Conclusion
We have identified miRs and target pathways related to clinical and biological variants of leukemic MCL, and validated miR-34a as a prognostic marker in MCL.
doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-3077
PMCID: PMC3691513  PMID: 23640973
19.  Early Onset of Ataxia in Moonwalker Mice Is Accompanied by Complete Ablation of Type II Unipolar Brush Cells and Purkinje Cell Dysfunction 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2013;33(50):19689-19694.
Transient receptor potential “canonical” cation channels (TRPC) are involved in many cellular activities, including neuronal synaptic transmission. These channels couple lipid metabolism, calcium homeostasis, and electrophysiological properties as they are calcium permeable and activated through the phospholipase C pathway and by diacylglycerol. The TRPC3 subunit is abundantly expressed in Purkinje cells (PCs), where it mediates slow metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated synaptic responses. Recently, it has been shown that heterozygous moonwalker mice, which are a model of cerebellar ataxia, carry a dominant gain-of-function mutation (T635A) in the TRPC3 gene. This mutation leads to PC loss and dysmorphism, which have been suggested to cause the ataxia. However, the ataxic phenotype is present from a very early stage (before weaning), whereas PC loss does not appear until several months of age. Here we show that another class of cerebellar neurons, the type II unipolar brush cells (UBCs), express functional TRPC3 channels; intriguingly, these cells are ablated in moonwalker mice by 1 month of age. Additionally, we show that in moonwalker mice, intrinsic excitability of PCs is altered as early as 3 weeks after birth. We suggest that this altered excitability and the TRPC3-mediated loss of type II UBCs may both contribute to the ataxic phenotype of these mice and that different calcium handling in PCs and type II UBCs may account for the dramatic differences in sensitivity to the moonwalker mutation between these cell types.
doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2294-13.2013
PMCID: PMC3858636  PMID: 24336732
20.  Analytical and Clinical Validation of the Immulite 1000 hCG Assay for Quantitative Analysis in Urine 
Background
The Siemens Immulite hCG assay detects all major hCG variants in serum. Currently, this assay is only FDA approved for qualitative measurement of hCG in urine.
Methods
Complete validation of the hCG assay in urine was performed on the Siemens Immulite 1000 immunoassay platform. Reference intervals were established for females <55 y, females ≥55 y, and males 20–70 y.
Results
The limit of quantitation was 2.0 IU/l. The Immulite hCG assay was precise for measuring hCG in urine from pregnant patients with intra- and inter-assay imprecision of <11% CV. The assay was linear over a dynamic range of 2–2600 IU/l and 2–3500 IU/l for hCG and hCGβ respectively. The assay was non-linear for hCGβcf. No hook effect was observed at concentrations up to 1,200,000 pmol/l, for hCGβ or hCGβcf. The reference intervals were <2.0 IU/l for males, <2.2 IU/l for females <55 y, and <12.2 IU/l for females ≥55 y.
Conclusion
The Immulite 1000 hCG assay can accurately quantify hCG in urine.
doi:10.1016/j.cca.2013.02.026
PMCID: PMC3856699  PMID: 23470427
human chorionic gonadotropin; hCG; urine; quantitative measurement
21.  Cerebrovascular responses to submaximal exercise in women with COPD 
Background
COPD patients have decreased physical fitness, and have an increased risk of vascular disease. In the general population, fitness is positively associated with resting cerebral blood flow velocity, however, little is known about the cerebrovascular response during exercise particularly in COPD patients. We hypothesized that COPD patients would have lower cerebral blood flow during exercise secondary to decreased physical fitness and underlying vascular disease.
Methods
Cardiopulmonary exercise testing was conducted in 11 women with GOLD stage I-II COPD, and 11 healthy controls to assess fitness. Cerebro- and cardio-vascular responses were compared between groups during two steady-state exercise tests (50% peak O2 consumption and 30 W). The main outcome variable was peak middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity (V¯P) during exercise using transcranial Doppler ultrasonography.
Results
Physical fitness was decreased in COPD patients. V¯P was comparable between COPD and controls (25 ± 22% versus 15 ± 13%, respectively; P > 0.05) when exercising at the same relative intensity, despite patients having higher blood pressure and greater arterial desaturation. However, V¯P was elevated in COPD (31 ± 26% versus 13 ± 10%; P ≤ 0.05) when exercising at the same workload as controls.
Conclusions
Our results are contradictory to our a-priori hypothesis, suggesting that during matched intensity exercise, cerebral blood flow velocity is similar between COPD and controls. However, exercise at a modestly greater workload imposes a large physical demand to COPD patients, resulting in increased CBF compared to controls. Normal activities of daily living may therefore impose a large cerebrovascular demand in COPD patients, consequently reducing their cerebrovascular reserve capacity.
doi:10.1186/1471-2466-14-99
PMCID: PMC4065610  PMID: 24898136
COPD; Exercise; Transcranial Doppler ultrasound; Cerebral blood flow; Women
22.  Self-motion Perception Training: Thresholds Improve in the Light but not in the Dark 
Experimental brain research  2013;226(2):231-240.
We investigated perceptual learning in self-motion perception. Blindfolded participants were displaced leftward or rightward by means of a motion platform, and asked to indicate the direction of motion. A total of eleven participants underwent 3360 practice trials, distributed over twelve (Experiment 1) or six days (Experiment 2). We found no improvement in motion discrimination in both experiments. These results are surprising since perceptual learning has been demonstrated for visual, auditory, and somatosensory discrimination. Improvements in the same task were found when visual input was provided (Experiment 3). The multisensory nature of vestibular information is discussed as a possible explanation of the absence of perceptual learning in darkness.
doi:10.1007/s00221-013-3428-1
PMCID: PMC4040456  PMID: 23392475
self-motion thresholds; whole-body motion; perceptual learning; vestibular thresholds; vestibular learning
23.  Spatial inequalities in life expectancy within postindustrial regions of Europe: a cross-sectional observational study 
BMJ Open  2014;4(6):e004711.
Objectives
To compare spatial inequalities in life expectancy (LE) in West Central Scotland (WCS) with nine other postindustrial European regions.
Design
A cross-sectional observational study.
Setting
WCS and nine other postindustrial regions across Europe.
Participants
Data for WCS and nine other comparably deindustrialised European regions were analysed. Male and female LEs at birth were obtained or calculated for the mid-2000s for 160 districts within selected regions. Districts were stratified into two groups: small (populations of between 141 000 and 185 000 people) and large (populations between 224 000 and 352 000). The range and IQR in LE were used to describe within-region disparities.
Results
In small districts, the male LE range was widest in WCS and Merseyside, while the IQR was widest in WCS and Northern Ireland. For women, the LE range was widest in WCS, though the IQR was widest in Northern Ireland and Merseyside. In large districts, the range and IQR in LE was widest in WCS and Wallonia for both sexes.
Conclusions
Subregional spatial inequalities in LE in WCS are wide compared with other postindustrial mainland European regions, especially for men. Future research could explore the contribution of economic, social and political factors in reducing these inequalities.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004711
PMCID: PMC4054650  PMID: 24889851
SOCIAL MEDICINE; PUBLIC HEALTH; STATISTICS & RESEARCH METHODS
24.  Risk of Miscarriage Among Black Women and White Women in a US Prospective Cohort Study 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2013;177(11):1271-1278.
Many adverse pregnancy outcomes differ by race. We examined the association between self-reported race and miscarriage (pregnancy loss at <20 weeks) in a community-based pregnancy cohort. Women from the southeastern United States (North Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee) were enrolled in “Right from the Start” from 2000 to 2009. They were recruited while trying to conceive or during early pregnancy. Participants completed study ultrasound examinations, interviews, and consent forms for review of medical records. We used proportional hazard models to examine miscarriage risk among black women compared with white women, adjusted for confounders. There were 537 observed miscarriages among 4,070 women, 23% of whom self-identified as black (n = 932). The life table–adjusted cumulative risk of loss after gestational week 5 was 21.3%. With adjustment for age and alcohol use, blacks had increased risk of miscarriage compared with whites (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.57, 95% confidence interval: 1.27, 1.93). When risk of loss before gestational week 10 was dichotomized at the median gestational age, there was little difference, but black women had a greater risk thereafter compared with white women (adjusted hazard ratio = 1.93, 95% confidence interval: 1.48, 2.51). Early pregnancy ultrasound examinations did not differ by race. In summary, self-reported race is independently associated with risk of miscarriage, and the higher risk for black women is concentrated in gestational weeks 10–20.
doi:10.1093/aje/kws393
PMCID: PMC3664339  PMID: 23558353
disparity; miscarriage; pregnancy; prospective cohort; race; reproductive epidemiology
25.  Parenting Stress in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study 
Journal of Pediatric Psychology  2013;38(5):484-493.
Objective To evaluate parenting stress following infants’ cataract extraction surgery, and to determine if levels of stress differ between 2 treatments for unilateral congenital cataract in a randomized clinical trial. Methods At surgery, an intraocular lens (IOL) was implanted or children were left aphakic, treated with contact lens (CL). Stress measures were administered 3 months after surgery and at the first visit after the visual acuity (VA) assessment done at 12 months of age. Results Caregivers in the IOL group reported higher levels of stress than those in the CL group 3 months after surgery, but there were no group differences in stress scores at the post-VA assessment. Stress scores did not change differentially for participants assigned to IOL versus CL treatments. Conclusions Treatment assignment did not have a significant impact on caregiver stress during infancy or on the change in stress during the child’s first 2 years of life.
doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jst009
PMCID: PMC3666118  PMID: 23475835
infancy; parent stress; randomized controlled trial

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