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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
miRNA; miR-17-92 cluster; Pim-1; miRNA promoter; c-Myc; HP1γ; RNAi
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.
Introduction: Synaesthesia is a phenomenon in which a certain stimulus induces a concurrent sensory perception; it has an estimated prevalence of 4%. Sexual arousal as an inducer for synaesthetic perceptions is rarely mentioned in the literature but can be found sometimes in case reports about subjective orgasmic experiences.
Aims: To examine whether synaesthetic perceptions during sexual intercourse have an impact on the sexual experience and the extent of sexual trance compared to non-synaesthetes.
Methods: In total, 19 synaesthetes with sexual forms of synaesthesia (17 female; 2 male) were included as well as corresponding control data of 36 non-synaesthetic subjects (n = 55). Two questionnaires were used to assess relevant aspects of sexual function and dysfunction (a German adaption of the Brief Index of Sexual Functioning, KFSP) as well as the occurrence and extent of sexual trance (German version of the Altered States of Consciousness Questionnaire, OAVAV). Additionally qualitative interviews were conducted in some subjects to further explore the nature of sexual experiences in synaesthetes.
Main Outcome Measures: Sexual experience and extent of sexual trance during intercourse.
Results: Synaesthetes depicted significantly better overall sexual function on the KFSP with increased scores for the subscale “sexual appetence” but coevally significant lower subscale scores for “sexual satisfaction.” Sexual dysfunction was not detected in this sample. Synaesthetes depicted significantly higher levels of the subscales “oceanic boundlessness” and “visionary restructuralization” than controls using the OAVAV. Qualitative interviews revealed varying synaesthetic perceptions during the different states of arousal. Furthermore, synaesthetes reported an unsatisfactory feeling of isolation caused by the idiosyncratic perceptions.
Conclusions: Synaesthetes with sexual forms of synaesthesia seem to experience a deeper state of sexual trance without, however, enhanced satisfaction during sexual intercourse.
synaesthesia; sexuality; sexual satisfaction; sexual appetence; oceanic boundlessness; visionary restructuralization; sexual trance; OAVAV
Measures of personality and psychological distress are correlated and exhibit genetic covariance. We conducted univariate genome-wide SNP (~2.5 million) and gene-based association analyses of these traits and examined the overlap in results across traits, including a prediction analysis of mood states using genetic polygenic scores for personality. Measures of neuroticism, extraversion, and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and general psychological distress were collected in eight European cohorts (n ranged 546 to 1 338; maximum total n=6 268) whose mean age ranged from 55 to 79 years. Meta-analysis of the cohort results was performed, with follow-up associations of the top SNPs and genes investigated in independent cohorts (n=527 to 6 032). Suggestive association (P=8×10−8) of rs1079196 in the FHIT gene was observed with symptoms of anxiety. Other notable associations (P<6.09×10−6) included SNPs in five genes for neuroticism (LCE3C, POLR3A, LMAN1L, ULK3, SCAMP2), KIAA0802 for extraversion, and NOS1 for general psychological distress. An association between symptoms of depression and rs7582472 (near to MGAT5 and NCKAP5) was replicated in two independent samples, but other replication findings were less consistent. Gene-based tests identified a significant locus on chromosome 15 (spanning five genes) associated with neuroticism which replicated (P<0.05) in an independent cohort. Support for common genetic effects among personality and mood (particularly neuroticism and depressive symptoms) was found in terms of SNP association overlap and polygenic score prediction. The variance explained by individual SNPs was very small (up to 1%) confirming that there are no moderate/large effects of common SNPs on personality and related traits.
GWAS; extraversion; neuroticism; anxiety; depression
Insertion of bone substitution materials accelerates healing of osteoporotic fractures. Biodegradable materials are preferred for application in osteoporotic patients to avoid a second surgery for implant replacement. Degraded implant fragments are often absorbed by macrophages that are removed from the fracture side via passage through veins or lymphatic vessels. We investigated if lymphatic vessels occur in osteoporotic bone defects and whether they are regulated by the use of different materials. To address this issue osteoporosis was induced in rats using the classical method of bilateral ovariectomy and additional calcium and vitamin deficient diet. In addition, wedge-shaped defects of 3, 4, or 5 mm were generated in the distal metaphyseal area of femur via osteotomy. The 4 mm defects were subsequently used for implantation studies where bone substitution materials of calcium phosphate cement, composites of collagen and silica, and iron foams with interconnecting pores were inserted. Different materials were partly additionally functionalized by strontium or bisphosphonate whose positive effects in osteoporosis treatment are well known. The lymphatic vessels were identified by immunohistochemistry using an antibody against podoplanin. Podoplanin immunopositive lymphatic vessels were detected in the granulation tissue filling the fracture gap, surrounding the implant and growing into the iron foam through its interconnected pores. Significant more lymphatic capillaries were counted at the implant interface of composite, strontium and bisphosphonate functionalized iron foam. A significant increase was also observed in the number of lymphatics situated in the pores of strontium coated iron foam. In conclusion, our results indicate the occurrence of lymphatic vessels in osteoporotic bone. Our results show that lymphatic vessels are localized at the implant interface and in the fracture gap where they might be involved in the removal of lymphocytes, macrophages, debris and the implants degradation products. Therefore the lymphatic vessels are involved in implant integration and fracture healing.
The climatic cycles of the Quaternary, during which global mean annual temperatures have regularly changed by 5–10°C, provide a special opportunity for studying the rate, magnitude, and effects of geographic responses to changing climates. During the Quaternary, high- and mid-latitude species were extirpated from regions that were covered by ice or otherwise became unsuitable, persisting in refugial retreats where the environment was compatible with their tolerances. In this study we combine modern geographic range data, phylogeny, Pleistocene paleoclimatic models, and isotopic records of changes in global mean annual temperature, to produce a temporally continuous model of geographic changes in potential habitat for 59 species of North American turtles over the past 320 Ka (three full glacial-interglacial cycles). These paleophylogeographic models indicate the areas where past climates were compatible with the modern ranges of the species and serve as hypotheses for how their geographic ranges would have changed in response to Quaternary climate cycles. We test these hypotheses against physiological, genetic, taxonomic and fossil evidence, and we then use them to measure the effects of Quaternary climate cycles on species distributions. Patterns of range expansion, contraction, and fragmentation in the models are strongly congruent with (i) phylogeographic differentiation; (ii) morphological variation; (iii) physiological tolerances; and (iv) intraspecific genetic variability. Modern species with significant interspecific differentiation have geographic ranges that strongly fluctuated and repeatedly fragmented throughout the Quaternary. Modern species with low genetic diversity have geographic distributions that were highly variable and at times exceedingly small in the past. Our results reveal the potential for paleophylogeographic models to (i) reconstruct past geographic range modifications, (ii) identify geographic processes that result in genetic bottlenecks; and (iii) predict threats due to anthropogenic climate change in the future.
To evaluate the integrity of photoreceptor inner segment/outer segment (IS/OS) junction after change of drusen size in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).
Drusen volume raster scans were performed with the Spectralis SD-OCT (Heidelberg Engineering) through 2624 drusen in 14 eyes with clinically dry AMD who had been longitudinally followed between 23–28 months without intervention (mean 26.3 months). All eyes had ETDRS visual acuity. A total of 416 out of 2624 drusen were analyzed.
Of 416 drusen, 83 (20%) were found to have regressed spontaneously (group A), 212 (51%) showed no change in size (group B) and 121 (29%) progressed (group C), Mean drusen size of all drusen was 63.7 ± 25.7 microns. Cross-sectional analysis of drusen morphology showed a correlation between drusen size and disrupted IS/OS junction/photoreceptor integrity (r=−0.48, p<0.001). Of the drusen that regressed over time there was intact IS/OS junction integrity. Even drusen that caused a major disruption showed IS/OS restoration in 74% of the drusen (p<0.001).
Progression of drusen shows structural disruption of the IS/OS-junction. After drusen regression the IS/OS-junction is either able to restore as drusen regress or was artifactitiously compressed and not initially visible due to the initial drusen compression of the IS/OS junctional line. Therefore drusen evolution may play an important role in affecting the photoreceptor IS/OS-junction integrity.
Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne pathogen responsible for the potentially fatal disease listeriosis and terrestrial ecosystems have been hypothesized to be its natural reservoir. Therefore, identifying the key edaphic factors that influence its survival in soil is critical. We measured the survival of L. monocytogenes in a set of 100 soil samples belonging to the French Soil Quality Monitoring Network. This soil collection is meant to be representative of the pedology and land use of the whole French territory. The population of L. monocytogenes in inoculated microcosms was enumerated by plate count after 7, 14 and 84 days of incubation. Analysis of survival profiles showed that L. monocytogenes was able to survive up to 84 days in 71% of the soils tested, in the other soils (29%) only a short-term survival (up to 7 to 14 days) was observed. Using variance partitioning techniques, we showed that about 65% of the short-term survival ratio of L. monocytogenes in soils was explained by the soil chemical properties, amongst which the basic cation saturation ratio seems to be the main driver. On the other hand, while explaining a lower amount of survival ratio variance (11%), soil texture and especially clay content was the main driver of long-term survival of L. monocytogenes in soils. In order to assess the effect of the endogenous soils microbiota on L. monocytogenes survival, sterilized versus non-sterilized soils microcosms were compared in a subset of 9 soils. We found that the endogenous soil microbiota could limit L. monocytogenes survival especially when soil pH was greater than 7, whereas in acidic soils, survival ratios in sterilized and unsterilized microcosms were not statistically different. These results point out the critical role played by both the endogenous microbiota and the soil physic-chemical properties in determining the survival of L. monocytogenes in soils.
Asialo-erythropoietin, a desialylated form of human erythropoietin (EPO) lacking hematopoietic activity, is receiving increased attention because of its broader protective effects in preclinical models of tissue injury. However, attempts to translate its protective effects into clinical practice is hampered by unavailability of suitable expression system and its costly and limit production from expensive mammalian cell-made EPO (rhuEPOM) by enzymatic desialylation. In the current study, we took advantage of a plant-based expression system lacking sialylating capacity but possessing an ability to synthesize complex N-glycans to produce cytoprotective recombinant human asialo-rhuEPO. Transgenic tobacco plants expressing asialo-rhuEPO were generated by stably co-expressing human EPO and β1,4-galactosyltransferase (GalT) genes under the control of double CaMV 35S and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate gene (GapC) promoters, respectively. Plant-produced asialo-rhuEPO (asialo-rhuEPOP) was purified by immunoaffinity chromatography. Detailed N-glycan analysis using NSI-FTMS and MS/MS revealed that asialo-rhuEPOP bears paucimannosidic, high mannose-type and complex N-glycans. In vitro cytoprotection assays showed that the asialo-rhuEPOP (20 U/ml) provides 2-fold better cytoprotection (44%) to neuronal-like mouse neuroblastoma cells from staurosporine-induced cell death than rhuEPOM (21%). The cytoprotective effect of the asialo-rhuEPOP was found to be mediated by receptor-initiated phosphorylation of Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and suppression of caspase 3 activation. Altogether, these findings demonstrate that plants are a suitable host for producing cytoprotective rhuEPO derivative. In addition, the general advantages of plant-based expression system can be exploited to address the cost and scalability issues related to its production.
Previous research suggests the removal of uterine leiomyomata may improve ability to conceive. Most of this previous research was conducted in infertility clinics. We investigated the association between leiomyoma characteristics on time to pregnancy among women enrolled from the general population.
We enrolled a cohort study of women in early pregnancy. Participants retrospectively reported their time to conception. Leiomyomata characteristics were determined by first-trimester ultrasound. We used discrete time hazard models to estimate the effects of uterine leiomyomata on time to pregnancy.
In this population of 3000 women, 11% (324) with one or more leiomyomata, we found no association between leiomyomata presence, type, location, segment or size on time to pregnancy.
These results suggest that leiomyomata have little effect on time to pregnancy in this cohort of women. The study excluded women who had been treated for infertility, and this may have resulted in underestimation of the association. However, differences between our study and previous studies in specialty clinics may be, in part, attributable to differences between our community-recruited population of women and women receiving fertility care, as well as difference in leiomyomata size or type in women having myomectomies to treat infertility.
leiomyoma; pregnancy; epidemiology
An increasing number of patients older than 65 years are referred for and have access to organ transplantation, and an increasing number of older adults are donating organs. Although short-term outcomes are similar in older versus younger transplant recipients, older donor or recipient age is associated with inferior long-term outcomes. However, age is often a proxy for other factors that might predict poor outcomes more strongly and better identify patients at risk for adverse events. Approaches to transplantation in older adults vary across programs, but despite recent gains in access and the increased use of marginal organs, older patients remain less likely than other groups to receive a transplant, and those who do are highly selected. Moreover, few studies have addressed geriatric issues in transplant patient selection or management, or the implications on health span and disability when patients age to late life with a transplanted organ. This paper summarizes a recent trans-disciplinary workshop held by ASP, in collaboration with NHLBI, NIA, NIAID, NIDDK, and AGS, to address issues related to kidney, liver, lung, or heart transplantation in older adults and to propose a research agenda in these areas.
transplantation; liver; kidney; heart; lung; elderly; aging
TERT-locus single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and leucocyte telomere measures are reportedly associated with risks of multiple cancers. Using the iCOGs chip, we analysed ~480 TERT-locus SNPs in breast (n=103,991), ovarian (n=39,774) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (11,705) cancer cases and controls. 53,724 participants have leucocyte telomere measures. Most associations cluster into three independent peaks. Peak 1 SNP rs2736108 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=5.8×10−7), reduced estrogen receptor negative (ER-negative) (P=1.0×10−8) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.1×10−5) breast cancer risks, and altered promoter-assay signal. Peak 2 SNP rs7705526 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=2.3×10−14), increased low malignant potential ovarian cancer risk (P=1.3×10−15) and increased promoter activity. Peak 3 SNPs rs10069690 and rs2242652 minor alleles increase ER-negative (P=1.2×10−12) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.6×10−14) breast and invasive ovarian (P=1.3×10−11) cancer risks, but not via altered telomere length. The cancer-risk alleles of rs2242652 and rs10069690 respectively increase silencing and generate a truncated TERT splice-variant.
In an effort to preserve traditional medicine knowledge and to uncover information about disease patterns and treatment in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), linguistic experts have scanned centuries-old medical palm leaf manuscripts for disease entries. A list of more than 7000 diseases has resulted, shedding valuable light onto the medical history and traditional medicine heritage of the people of Laos, as well as providing an index for faster research into specific diseases and their traditional treatments.
epidemiology; traditional medicine knowledge; medical ethnobotany
This article examines the beliefs and experiences of individuals living in underserved ethnically diverse communities in Cleveland, Ohio, regarding the influence of genetic, social, and environmental factors on health and health inequalities. Using a community-engaged methodological approach, 13 focus groups were conducted with African American, Hispanic, and White individuals residing in the Cleveland area to explore attitudes and beliefs about genetics, genetic research, and health disparities and inequalities. Results of this study highlight the range of meanings that individuals attach to genetic variation, genomic research, and gene–environment interactions, and their implications for addressing health inequalities. The majority of participants in all focus groups reported that social and environmental factors were more important than genetics in contributing to health inequalities. Most participants were unfamiliar with genetic research. These data have implications for how genetic information and research might be applied in conjunction with addressing social determinants of health to improve prevention strategies in underserved communities and ultimately reduce health inequalities.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12687-013-0143-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Genetics; Health disparities; Gene–environment interactions; Multiple determinants of health
In this study, we determined the genotype distribution of two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in secreted frizzled related protein 1 (SFRP1), rs3242 and rs921142, in a Caucasian bladder cancer case-control study. Allelic variants of the SNPs were determined using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis and partly verified by sequencing analysis. Overall, DNA from 188 consecutive and 215 early-onset bladder cancer patients (≤45 years) as well as from 332 controls was investigated. Potential microRNA binding sites were determined for rs3242, and microRNA expression was analysed in cell lines and tumour specimens. We observed a remarkable distribution difference in rs3242 between bladder cancer patients and healthy controls (p=0.05). Additionally, we found a significant difference in genotype distribution (p=0.032), resulting from the difference of early-onset patients and the control group (p=0.007). The risk allele T showed increased frequency in the early-onset patient group (p=0.002). Genotype-dependent differences of microRNA binding capacity were predicted in SFRP1 mRNA for two microRNAs. Hsa-miR-3646 showed strong expression in cell lines and tumour tissue, whereas hsa-miR-603 exhibited weak expression. The rs921142 SNP showed no significant association with bladder cancer risk. This is the first study to describe an association of the SFRP1 SNP rs3242 and bladder cancer risk as well as the influence of rs3242 on genotype-dependent microRNA capacity on SFRP1 mRNA. The onset of bladder seems to be associated with the increased occurrence of the T-allele in rs3242.
SFRP1; SNP; bladder cancer; microRNA; Wnt signalling pathway