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.
(170.7160) Ultrafast technology; (170.7440) X-ray imaging; (140.3450) Laser-induced chemistry; (140.7090) Ultrafast lasers; (170.0170) Medical optics and biotechnology
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Conjugation of the ubiquitin-like modifier Nedd8 to cullins is critical for the function of SCF-type ubiquitin ligases and thus facilitates ubiquitin conjugation and ultimately degradation of SCF substrates, including several cell cycle regulators. Like ubiquitin, Nedd8 is produced as a precursor that must first be processed before it becomes active. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae this is carried out exclusively by the enzyme Yuh1.
Here we show that in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the Yuh1 orthologue, Uch1, is not the sole Nedd8 processing enzyme. Instead it appears that deubiquitylating enzymes can efficiently process the Nedd8 precursor in vivo.
Several enzymes contribute to Nedd8 precursor processing including a number of deubiquitylating enzymes.
Ubiquitin; Nedd8; Rub1; Cullin; Protein degradation; Precursor processing
In mammalians, toll-like receptors (TLR) signal-transduction pathways induce the expression of a variety of immune-response genes, including inflammatory cytokines. It is therefore plausible to assume that TLRs are mediators in glial cells triggering the release of cytokines that ultimately kill DA neurons in the substantia nigra in Parkinson disease (PD). Accordingly, recent data indicate that TLR4 is up-regulated by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) treatment in a mouse model of PD. Here, we wished to evaluate the role of TLR4 in the acute mouse MPTP model of PD: TLR4-deficient mice and wild-type littermates control mice were used for the acute administration way of MPTP or a corresponding volume of saline. We demonstrate that TLR4-deficient mice are less vulnerable to MPTP intoxication than wild-type mice and display a decreased number of Iba1+ and MHC II+ activated microglial cells after MPTP application, suggesting that the TLR4 pathway is involved in experimental PD.
Background & Aims
It is a challenge to develop direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) that target the NS3/4A protease of hepatitis C virus (HCV) because resistant variants develop. Ketoamide compounds, designed to mimic the natural protease substrate, have been developed as inhibitors. However, clinical trials have revealed rapid selection of resistant mutants, most of which are considered to be pre-existing variants.
We identified residues near the ketoamide-binding site in X-ray structures of the genotype 1a protease, co-crystallized with boceprevir or a telaprevir-like ligand, and then identified variants at these positions in 219 genotype 1 sequences from a public database. We used side-chain modeling to assess the potential effects of these variants on the interaction between ketoamide and the protease, and compared these results with the phenotypic effects on ketoamide resistance, RNA replication capacity, and infectious virus yields in a cell culture model of infection.
Thirteen natural binding-site variants with potential for ketoamide resistance were identified at 10 residues in the protease, near the ketoamide binding site. Rotamer analysis of amino acid side-chain conformations indicated that 2 variants (R155K and D168G) could affect binding of telaprevir more than boceprevir. Measurements of antiviral susceptibility in cell culture studies were consistent with this observation. Four variants (Q41H, I132V, R155K, and D168G) caused low-to-moderate levels of ketoamide resistance; 3 of these were highly fit (Q41H, I132V, and R155K).
Using a comprehensive sequence and structure-based analysis, we showed how natural variation in the HCV protease NS3/4A sequences might affect susceptibility to first-generation DAAs. These findings increase our understanding of the molecular basis of ketoamide resistance among naturally existing viral variants.
virology; genetic; drug resistance; treatment
Much of the epidemiologic research on risk factors for fibroids, the leading indication for hysterectomy, relies on self-reported outcome. Self-report is subject to misclassification because many women with fibroids are undiagnosed. The purpose of this analysis was to quantify the extent of misclassification and identify associated factors.
Self-reported fibroid status was compared to ultrasound screening from 2046 women in Right From The Start (RFTS) and 869 women in the Uterine Fibroid Study (UFS). Log-binomial regression was used to estimate sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) and examine differences by ethnicity, age, education, body mass index, parity, and miscarriage history.
Overall sensitivity was ≤0.50. Sensitivity was higher in blacks than whites (RFTS: 0.34 vs. 0.23; UFS: 0.58 vs. 0.32) and increased with age. Parous women had higher sensitivity than nulliparae, especially in RFTS whites (Se ratio=2.90; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.51, 5.60). Specificity was 0.98 in RFTS and 0.86 in UFS. Modest ethnic differences were seen in UFS (Sp ratio, black vs. white=0.90; 95% CI: 0.81, 0.99). Parity was inversely associated with specificity, especially among UFS black women (Sp ratio=0.84; 95% CI: 0.73, 0.97). Among women who reported a previous diagnosis, a shorter time interval between diagnosis and ultrasound was associated with increased agreement between the two measures.
Misclassification of fibroid status can differ by factors of etiologic interest. These findings are useful for assessing (and correcting) bias in studies using self-reported clinical diagnosis as the outcome measure.
Human phthalate exposure is ubiquitous, but little is known regarding predictors of urinary phthalate levels. To explore this, 50 pregnant women aged 18–38 years completed two questionnaires on potential phthalate exposures and provided a first morning void. Urine samples were analyzed for 12 phthalate metabolites. Associations with questionnaire items were evaluated via Wilcoxon tests and t-tests, and r-squared values were calculated in multiple linear regression models. Few measured factors were statistically significantly associated with phthalate levels. Individuals who used nail polish had higher levels of mono-butyl phthalate (p=0.048) than non-users. Mono-benzyl phthalate levels were higher among women who used eye makeup (p=0.034) or used makeup on a regular basis (p=0.004). Women who used cologne or perfume had higher levels of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate metabolites. Household products, home flooring or paneling, and other personal care products were also associated with urinary phthalates. The proportion of variance in metabolite concentrations explained by questionnaire items ranged between 0.31 for mono-ethyl phthalate and 0.42 for mono-n-methyl phthalate. Although personal care product use may be an important predictor of urinary phthalate levels, most of the variability in phthalate exposure was not captured by our relatively comprehensive set of questionnaire items.
Phthalates; pregnancy; biomonitoring; urine; personal care products
Friedreich’s Ataxia (FRDA) is a neurodegenerative disorder that causes progressive damage to the central and peripheral nervous systems having a significant impact upon quality of life. With little information in the literature, cross-sectional observational studies were conducted in the UK and Germany to collect data on resource use and the burden of the disease on individuals and their caregivers.
Cross-sectional observational studies were conducted in the UK and Germany to estimate the burden of FRDA on individuals and on the respective healthcare systems. A total of 75 individuals in the UK and 28 in Germany were recruited to the study. Participants in both countries were asked to complete a Patient and Caregiver Information Form (PCIF), regarding access to, and use of, healthcare resources, and the impact FRDA has on their lifestyle. In Germany, doctors were asked to complete a Patient Record Form (PRF). Analyses of annual direct and indirect resource utilization were conducted for both countries while costs were calculated for the UK only. These figures were compared to the costs associated with Parkinson’s disease; one of the most common neurodegenerative conditions and the one most similar in terms of disease progression.
The results showed that the annual burden of FRDA is significant and falls on the health and social care sectors, on society, on caregivers and on the individuals themselves. In the UK FRDA had a total annual cost per person of between £11,818 and £18,774 depending on whether the cost of long-term unemployment was included.
Typically the largest component of direct costs is associated with professional care. Given the high proportion of children and young adults recruited and the long disease duration, (typically 40-50 years for FRDA, compared with 20 years for Parkinson’s disease), these figures may underestimate the true burden of the disease.
It is hoped that these estimates of resource utilization, can help in understanding the previously unquantified burden of FRDA. Given the long disease duration, management strategies should seek to minimise the impact of the condition on individuals and their caregivers, while maximising quality of life.
Ataxia; Friedreich’s Ataxia; Quality of life; Cost of illness; Resource utilization
Mast cells are tissue-resident, immune cells that play a central role in allergic disease. These contributions are largely dependent on the acquisition of antigen-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE). Despite this requirement, studies of mast cell and IgE interactions have overlooked the mechanism by which mast cells acquire IgE from the blood. To address this gap, we developed reporter IgE molecules and employed imaging techniques to study mast cell function in situ. Our data demonstrate that skin mast cells exhibit selective uptake of IgE based on perivascular positioning. Furthermore, perivascular mast cells acquire IgE by extending cell processes across the vessel wall to capture luminal IgE. These data demonstrate how tissue mast cells acquire IgE and reveal a strategy by which extra-vascular cells monitor blood contents to capture molecules central to cellular function.
Secreted modular calcium-binding proteins 1 and 2 (SMOC-1 and SMOC-1) are extracellular calcium- binding proteins belonging to the BM-40 family of proteins. In this work we have identified a highly basic region in the extracellular calcium-binding (EC) domain of the SMOC-1 similar to other known glycosaminoglycan-binding motifs. Size-exclusion chromatography shows that full length SMOC-1 as well as its C-terminal EC domain alone bind heparin and heparan sulfate, but not the related chondroitin sulfate or dermatan sulfate glycosaminoglycans. Intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence measurements were used to quantify the binding of heparin to full length SMOC-1 and the EC domain alone. The calculated equilibrium dissociation constants were in the lower micromolar range. The binding site consists of two antiparallel alpha helices and mutagenesis experiments have shown that heparin-binding residues in both helices must be replaced in order to abolish heparin binding. Furthermore, we show that the SMOC-1 EC domain, like the SMOC-2 EC domain, supports the adhesion of epithelial HaCaT cells. Heparin-binding impaired mutants failed to support S1EC-mediated cell adhesion and together with the observation that S1EC in complex with soluble heparin attenuated cell adhesion we conclude that a functional and accessible S1EC heparin-binding site mediates adhesion of epithelial cells to SMOC-1.
The recent emergence of a novel human coronavirus (HCoV-EMC) in the Middle East raised considerable concerns, as it is associated with severe acute pneumonia, renal failure, and fatal outcome and thus resembles the clinical presentation of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) observed in 2002 and 2003. Like SARS-CoV, HCoV-EMC is of zoonotic origin and closely related to bat coronaviruses. The human airway epithelium (HAE) represents the entry point and primary target tissue for respiratory viruses and is highly relevant for assessing the zoonotic potential of emerging respiratory viruses, such as HCoV-EMC. Here, we show that pseudostratified HAE cultures derived from different donors are highly permissive to HCoV-EMC infection, and by using reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and RNAseq data, we experimentally determined the identity of seven HCoV-EMC subgenomic mRNAs. Although the HAE cells were readily responsive to type I and type III interferon (IFN), we observed neither a pronounced inflammatory cytokine nor any detectable IFN responses following HCoV-EMC, SARS-CoV, or HCoV-229E infection, suggesting that innate immune evasion mechanisms and putative IFN antagonists of HCoV-EMC are operational in the new host. Importantly, however, we demonstrate that both type I and type III IFN can efficiently reduce HCoV-EMC replication in HAE cultures, providing a possible treatment option in cases of suspected HCoV-EMC infection.
A novel human coronavirus, HCoV-EMC, has recently been described to be associated with severe respiratory tract infection and fatalities, similar to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) observed during the 2002-2003 epidemic. Closely related coronaviruses replicate in bats, suggesting that, like SARS-CoV, HCoV-EMC is of zoonotic origin. Since the animal reservoir and circumstances of zoonotic transmission are yet elusive, it is critically important to assess potential species barriers of HCoV-EMC infection. An important first barrier against invading respiratory pathogens is the epithelium, representing the entry point and primary target tissue of respiratory viruses. We show that human bronchial epithelia are highly susceptible to HCoV-EMC infection. Furthermore, HCoV-EMC, like other coronaviruses, evades innate immune recognition, reflected by the lack of interferon and minimal inflammatory cytokine expression following infection. Importantly, type I and type III interferon treatment can efficiently reduce HCoV-EMC replication in the human airway epithelium, providing a possible avenue for treatment of emerging virus infections.
Since the definition of different histologic subtypes of urothelial carcinomas by the World Health Organization (WHO) 2004 classification, description of molecular features and clinical behavior of these variants has gained more attention.
We reviewed 205 tumor samples of patients with locally advanced bladder cancer mainly treated within the randomized AUO-AB05/95 trial with radical cystectomy and adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy for histologic subtypes. 178 UC, 18 plasmacytoid (PUC) and 9 micropapillary (MPC) carcinomas of the bladder were identified. Kaplan Meier analysis and backward multivariate Cox’s proportional hazards regression analysis were performed to compare overall survival between the three histologic subtypes.
Patients suffering from PUC have the worst clinical outcome regarding overall survival compared to conventional UC and MPC of the bladder that in turn seem have to best clinical outcome (27.4 months, 62.6 months, and 64.2 months, respectively; p=0.013 by Kaplan Meier analysis). Backward multivariate Cox´s proportional hazards regression analysis (adjusted to relevant clinicopathological parameters) showed a hazard ratio of 3.2 (p=0.045) for PUC in contrast to patients suffering from MPC.
Histopathological diagnosis of rare variants of urothelial carcinoma can identify patients with poor prognosis.
Chemotherapy; Cystectomy; Micropapillary; Plasmacytoid; Prognosis; Urinary bladder neoplasm
Activation of tissue mast cells (MCs) and their abnormal growth and accumulation in various organs are typically found in primary MC disorders also referred to as mastocytosis. However, increasing numbers of patients are now being informed that their clinical findings are due to MC activation (MCA) that is neither associated with mastocytosis nor with a defined allergic or inflammatory reaction. In other patients with MCA, MCs appear to be clonal cells, but criteria for diagnosing mastocytosis are not met. A working conference was organized in 2010 with the aim to define criteria for diagnosing MCA and related disorders, and to propose a global unifying classification of all MC disorders and pathologic MC reactions. This classification includes three types of ‘MCA syndromes’ (MCASs), namely primary MCAS, secondary MCAS and idiopathic MCAS. MCA is now defined by robust and generally applicable criteria, including (1) typical clinical symptoms, (2) a substantial transient increase in serum total tryptase level or an increase in other MC-derived mediators, such as histamine or prostaglandin D2, or their urinary metabolites, and (3) a response of clinical symptoms to agents that attenuate the production or activities of MC mediators. These criteria should assist in the identification and diagnosis of patients with MCAS, and in avoiding misdiagnoses or overinterpretation of clinical symptoms in daily practice. Moreover, the MCAS concept should stimulate research in order to identify and exploit new molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets.
Mast cells; Mast cell activation syndrome; Allergy; Anaphylaxis; Tryptase
Background and Purpose
Silent brain infarctions are associated with an increased risk of stroke in healthy individuals. Risk of recurrent stroke in patients with both symptomatic and silent brain infarction (SBI) has only been investigated in patients with cardioembolic stroke in the European Atrial Fibrillation Trial. We assessed whether patients with recent non-cardioembolic stroke and SBI detected on MRI are at increased risk for recurrent stroke, other cardiovascular events, and mortality.
The prevalence of SBI detected on MRI was assessed in 1014 patients enrolled in the imaging substudy of the Prevention Regimen for Effectively Avoiding Second Strokes (PRoFESS) trial. The primary outcome was first recurrence of stroke in patients with both symptomatic stroke and SBI in comparison with age and sex matched stroke patients without SBI. Secondary outcomes were a combined vascular endpoint, other vascular events and mortality. The two groups were compared using conditional logistic regression.
Silent brain infarction was detected in 207 (20.4%) patients of the 1014 patients. Twenty-seven (13.0%) patients with SBI and 19 (9.2%) without SBI had a recurrent stroke (odds ratio 1.42, 95% confidence interval 0.79 to 2.56; p=0.24) during a mean follow-op of 2.5 years. Similarly, there was no statistically significant difference for all secondary outcome parameters between patients with SBI and matched patients without SBI.
The presence of SBI in patients with recent mild non-cardioembolic ischemic stroke could not be shown to be an independent risk factor for recurrent stroke, other vascular events, or a higher mortality.
Cerebral infarction; silent brain infarction; ischemic stroke; magnetic resonance imaging; mortality
The aim of this article was to evaluate the prognostic value of the MammaPrintTM signature in women $$ 60 years with invasive breast cancer.
Patients and Methods
60 female patients were included in this prospective study. Eligibility criteria included: pT1c-3, pN0–1a, grade 2/3, hormone receptor-positive and HER2-negative tumor. The clinical risk was determined by Adjuvant! Online (AOL).
38 patients (63%) where considered to be low-risk patients by the 70-gene signature, while 22 (37%) were considered to be high-risk patients. No statistically significant differences between low- and high-risk groups could be detected for conventional prognostic parameters, particularly not for Ki-67. By AOL, 33 patients (55%) were considered to be at high risk, of which 20 had a discordant MammaPrintTM result. The discordance rate between the profile and AOL was 48%, which is higher than in previous publications. When the 70-gene signature was used in combination with the clinical risk assessment, the recommendation for adjuvant systemic treatment differed in 11 patients (18%).
In the intermediate-risk subgroup, the 70-gene signature could be useful to decide in elderly patients whether they may benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy or not. Conventional clinicopathological factors were not suitable for a prediction of the 70-gene signature results in these patients.
Breast cancer; 70-Gene prognosis signature; Postmenopausal; Elderly; Prognostic factor
In recent decades, quantitative transcription assays using bacterial RNA polymerase (RNAP) have been performed under widely diverse experimental conditions. We demonstrate that the template choice can influence the inhibitory potency of RNAP inhibitors. Furthermore, we illustrate that the sigma factor (σ70) surprisingly increases the transcription efficiency of templates with nonphysiological nonprokaryotic promoters. Our results might be a useful guideline in the early stages of using RNAP for drug discovery.
Inactivating mutations in the enzyme hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH, encoded by H6PD) cause apparent cortisone reductase deficiency (ACRD). H6PDH generates cofactor NADPH for 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1, encoded by HSD11B1) oxo-reductase activity, converting cortisone to cortisol. Inactivating mutations in HSD11B1 cause true cortisone reductase deficiency (CRD). Both ACRD and CRD present with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation and adrenal hyperandrogenism.
To describe the clinical, biochemical and molecular characteristics of two additional female children with ACRD and to illustrate the diagnostic value of urinary steroid profiling in identifying and differentiating a total of six ACRD and four CRD cases.
Clinical, biochemical and genetic assessment of two female patients presenting during childhood. In addition, results of urinary steroid profiling in a total of ten ACRD/CRD patients were compared to identify distinguishing characteristics.
Case 1 was compound heterozygous for R109AfsX3 and a novel P146L missense mutation in H6PD. Case 2 was compound heterozygous for novel nonsense mutations Q325X and Y446X in H6PD. Mutant expression studies confirmed loss of H6PDH activity in both cases. Urinary steroid metabolite profiling by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry suggested ACRD in both cases. In addition, we were able to establish a steroid metabolite signature differentiating ACRD and CRD, providing a basis for genetic diagnosis and future individualised management.
Steroid profile analysis of a 24-h urine collection provides a diagnostic method for discriminating between ACRD and CRD. This will provide a useful tool in stratifying unresolved adrenal hyperandrogenism in children with premature adrenarche and adult females with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Although ovarian cancer is the most lethal of gynecologic malignancies, wide variation in outcome following conventional therapy continues to exist. The presence of tumor-infiltrating regulatory T cells (Tregs) has a role in outcome of this disease, and a growing body of data supports the existence of inherited prognostic factors. However, the role of inherited variants in genes encoding Treg-related immune molecules has not been fully explored. We analyzed expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) and sequence-based tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNPs) for 54 genes associated with Tregs in 3,662 invasive ovarian cancer cases. With adjustment for known prognostic factors, suggestive results were observed among rarer histological subtypes; poorer survival was associated with minor alleles at SNPs in RGS1 (clear cell, rs10921202, p = 2.7×10−5), LRRC32 and TNFRSF18/TNFRSF4 (mucinous, rs3781699, p = 4.5×10−4, and rs3753348, p = 9.0×10−4, respectively), and CD80 (endometrioid, rs13071247, p = 8.0×10−4). Fo0r the latter, correlative data support a CD80 rs13071247 genotype association with CD80 tumor RNA expression (p = 0.006). An additional eQTL SNP in CD80 was associated with shorter survival (rs7804190, p = 8.1×10−4) among all cases combined. As the products of these genes are known to affect induction, trafficking, or immunosuppressive function of Tregs, these results suggest the need for follow-up phenotypic studies.
Prior evidence linking first-trimester bleeding with preterm birth (PTB, <37 weeks gestation) risk has been inconsistent and may be biased by subject selection and/or incomplete documentation of bleeding episodes for all participants. Prior studies have not carefully examined the role of bleeding characteristics in PTB risk. In the present study, we estimate the association between first-trimester bleeding and PTB in a non-clinical prospective cohort and test whether bleeding characteristics better predict risk.
Women were enrolled in Right from the Start (2000–2009), a prospective pregnancy cohort. Data about bleeding and bleeding characteristics were examined with logistic regression to assess association with PTB.
Among 3978 pregnancies 344 were PTB and 3634 term. Bleeding was reported by 986 (26%) participants. After screening candidate confounders, only multiple gestations remained in the model. Bleeding associated with PTB [odds ratio (OR)adjusted = 1.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.09–1.80]. Risk did not vary by race/ethnicity. Compared with non-bleeders, PTB risk was higher for bleeding with red color (ORadjusted = 1.92, 95% CI, 1.32–2.82), for heavy episodes (ORadjusted = 2.40, 95% CI 1.18–4.88) and long duration (ORadjusted = 1.67, 95% CI 1.17–2.38).
Bleeding associated with PTB was not confounded by common risk factors for bleeding or PTB. PTB risk was greatest for women with heavy bleeding episodes with long duration and red color and would suggest that combining women with different bleeding characteristics may affect the accuracy of risk assessment. These data suggest a candidate etiologic pathway for PTB and warrant further investigation of the biologic mechanisms.
epidemiology; first-trimester; pregnancy; preterm birth; vaginal bleeding