Using a comprehensive set of discovery and optimization tools, antibodies were produced with the ability to neutralize SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection in Vero E6 cells and in animal models. These anti-SARS antibodies were discovered using a novel DNA display method, which can identify new antibodies within days. Once neutralizing antibodies were identified, a comprehensive and effective means of converting the mouse sequences to human frameworks was accomplished using HuFR™ (human framework reassembly) technology. The best variant (61G4) from this screen showed a 3.5–4-fold improvement in neutralization of SARS-CoV infection in vitro. Finally, using a complete site-saturation mutagenesis methodology focused on the CDR (complementarity determining regions), a single point mutation (51E7) was identified that improved the 80% plaque reduction neutralization of the virus by greater than 8-fold. These discovery and evolution strategies can be applied to any emerging pathogen or toxin where a causative agent is known.
antibody discovery; humanized; optimized; SARS-CoV
Inorganic arsenic is an environmental human carcinogen, and has been shown to act as a co-carcinogen with solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation in mouse skin tumor induction even at low concentrations. However, the precise mechanism of its co-carcinogenic action is largely unknown. Apoptosis plays an essential role as a protective mechanism against neoplastic development in the organism by eliminating genetically damaged cells. Thus, suppression of apoptosis is thought to contribute to carcinogenesis. It is known that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) can promote carcinogenesis by inhibiting cell apoptosis under stress conditions; and our current studies investigated the potential contribution of COX-2 to the inhibitory effect of arsenite in UV-induced cell apoptosis in mouse epidermal Cl41 cells. We found that treatment of cells with low concentration (5 μM) arsenite attenuated cellular apoptosis upon UVB radiation accompanied with a co-inductive effect on COX-2 expression and nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) transactivation. Our results also showed that the COX-2 induction by arsenite and UVB depended on an NFκB pathway because COX-2 co-induction could be attenuated in either p65-deficient or p50-deficient cells. Moreover, UVB-induced cell apoptosis could be dramatically reduced by the introduction of exogenous COX-2 expression, whereas the inhibitory effect of arsenite on UVB-induced cell apoptosis could be impaired in COX-2 knockdown Cl41 cells. Our results indicated that COX-2 mediated the anti-apoptotic effect of arsenite in UVB radiation through an NFκB-dependent pathway. Given the importance of apoptosis evasion during carcinogenesis, we anticipated that COX-2 induction might be at least partially responsible for the co-carcinogenic effect of arsenite on UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis.
Apoptosis; arsenite; COX-2; NF-κB; UVB
Inducible acetylation of p53 at lysine residues has a great impact on regulating the transactivation of this protein, which is associated with cell growth arrest and/or apoptosis under various stress conditions. However, the factor(s) for regulating p53 acetylation remains largely unknown. In the current study, we have shown that p85α, the regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase, has a critical role in mediating p53 acetylation and promoter-specific transactivation in the ultraviolet B (UVB) response. Depletion of p85α in mouse embryonic fibroblasts significantly impairs UVB-induced apoptosis, as well as p53 transactivation and acetylation at Lys370 (Lys373 of human p53); however, the accumulation, nuclear translocation and phosphorylation of p53 are not affected. Interestingly, p85α binds to p300, promotes the p300–p53 interaction and the subsequent recruitment of the p53/p300 complex to the promoter region of the specific p53 target gene in response to UVB irradiation. Moreover, ablation of p53 acetylation at Lys370 by site-directed mutagenesis dramatically suppresses UVB-induced expression of the specific p53-responsive gene as well as cell apoptosis. Therefore, we conclude that p85α is a novel regulator of p53-mediated response under certain stress conditions, and targeting the p85α-dependent p53 pathway may be promising for cancer therapy.
acetylation; p85α; p53; p300; UVB radiation
Although Bid is considered to be a cell apoptotic mediator, current studies suggest that it has a possible role in cell survival for mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) in response to low doses of anti-(±)-5- methylchrysene-l,2-diol-3,4-epoxide (<0.25µM) (5-MCDE). We found that the exposure of MEFs to 0.25 µM 5-MCDE resulted in a slight apoptotic induction, while this apoptotic response was substantially increased in the Bid knockout MEFs (Bid−/−), suggesting that there is a Bid-mediated anti-apoptotic function in this response. This notion was further supported by the findings that re-constitution expression of Bid into Bid−/− cells could inhibit the increased apoptosis. Further studies show that the antiapoptotic function of Bid was associated with its mediation of COX-2 expression. This conclusion was based the reduction of COX-2 expression in Bid−/− cells, the restoration of low sensitivity to 5-MCDE-induced apoptosis by the introduction of Bid into Bid−/− cells, and increased sensitivity of WT MEFs to 5-MCDE-induced apoptosis by the knockdown of COX-2 expression. Furthermore, we found that Bid mediated COX-2 expression through the IKKβ/NFκB pathway because the deficiency of Bid in Bid−/− MEFs resulted in the blockade of IKK/NFκB activation and knockout of IKKβ caused abrogation of COX-2 expression induced by 5-MCDE. Collectively, our results demonstrate that Bid is critical for COX-2 induction through the IKKβ/NFκB pathway, which mediates its anti-apoptotic function, in cell response to low doses of 5-MCDE exposure.
Bid; COX-2; 5-MCDE; NFκB; apoptosis
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a critical enzyme implicated in chronic inflammation-associated cancer development. Our studies have shown that the exposure of Beas-2B cells, a human bronchial epithelial cell line, to lung carcinogenic nickel compounds results in increased COX-2 expression. However, the signaling pathways leading to nickel-induced COX-2 expression are not well understood. In the current study, we found that the exposure of Beas-2B cells to nickel compounds resulted in the activation of both nuclear factor of activated T cell (NFAT) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). The expression of COX-2 induced upon nickel exposure was inhibited by either a NFAT pharmacological inhibitor or the knockdown of NFAT3 by specific siRNA. We further found that the activation of NFAT and NF-κB was dependent on each other. Since our previous studies have shown that NF-κB activation is critical for nickel-induced COX-2 expression in Beas-2B cells exposed to nickel compounds under same experimental condition, we anticipate that there might be a cross-talk between the activation of NFAT and NF-κB for the COX-2 induction due to nickel exposure in Beas-2B cells. Furthermore, we showed that the scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by introduction of mitochondrial catalase inhibited the activation of both NFAT and NF-κB, and the induction of COX-2 due to nickel exposure. Taken together, our results defining the evidence showing a key role of the cross-talk between NFAT and NF-κB pathways in regulating nickel-induced COX-2 expression, further provide insight into the understanding of the molecular mechanisms linking nickel exposure to its lung carcinogenic effects.
Beas-2B cells; COX-2; nickel; NFAT; NF-κB; ROS
There is convincing evidence that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications; however, the mechanisms are not fully understood. This study aimed to dissect the role and signalling pathways of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) in ER-stress-associated endothelial inflammation and diabetic retinopathy.
ER stress and ATF4 activity were manipulated by complementary pharmacological and genetic approaches in cultured retinal endothelial (TR-iBRB) cells. Diabetes was induced by streptozotocin in heterozygous Atf4 knockout and wild-type mice. ER stress markers, inflammatory cytokines and adhesion molecules, activation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway, and retinal vascular permeability were measured.
High-glucose treatment resulted in rapid induction of ER stress, activation of ATF4, and increased production of inflammatory factors in TR-iBRB cells. Suppressing ER stress or inhibiting ATF4 activity markedly attenuated high-glucose-induced production of intercellular adhesion molecule 1, TNF-α and vascular endothelial growth factor. Conversely, enhancing ER stress or overexpressing Atf4 was sufficient to induce endothelial inflammation, which was, at least in part, through activation of the STAT3 pathway. Furthermore, knockdown of the Stat3 gene or inhibiting STAT3 activity restored ER homeostasis in cells exposed to high glucose and prevented ATF4 activation, suggesting that STAT3 is required for high-glucose-induced ER stress. Finally, we showed that downregulation of Atf4 significantly ameliorated retinal inflammation, STAT3 activation and vascular leakage in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes.
Taken together, our data reveal a pivotal role of ER stress and the ATF4/STAT3 pathway in retinal endothelial inflammation in diabetic retinopathy.
Activating transcription factor 4; Diabetic retinopathy; Endoplasmic reticulum; Endothelial cells; Inflammation
Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers among men. Dietary intake of nutrients is considered crucial for preventing the initiation of events leading to the development of carcinoma. Many dietary compounds have been considered to contribute to cancer prevention including zinc, which has a pivotal role in modulating apoptosis. However, the mechanism for zinc-mediated prostate cancer chemoprevention remains enigmatic. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic effect of zinc in prostate cancer chemoprevention for the first time. Exposure to zinc induced apoptosis and resulted in transactivation of p21WAF1/Cip1 in a Smad-dependent and p53-independent manner in prostate cancer cells. Smad2 and PIAS1 proteins were significantly upregulated resulting in dramatically increased interactions between Smad2/4 and PIAS1 in the presence of zinc in LNCaP cells. Furthermore, it was found that the zinc-induced Smad4/2/PIAS1 transcriptional complex is responsible for Smad4 binding to SBE1 and SBE3 regions within the p21WAF1/Cip1 promoter. Exogenous expression of Smad2/4 and PIAS1 promotes zinc-induced apoptosis concomitant with Smad4 nuclear translocation, whereas endogenous Smad2/4 silencing inhibited zinc-induced apoptosis accompanying apparent p21WAF1/Cip1 reduction. Moreover, the knockdown of PIAS1 expression attenuated the zinc-induced recruitment of Smad4 on the p21WAF1/Cip1 promoter. The colony formation experiments demonstrate that PIAS1 and Smad2/4 silencing could attenuate zinc apoptotic effects, with a proliferation of promoting effects. We further demonstrate the correlation of apoptotic sensitivity to zinc and Smad4 and PIAS1 in multiple cancer cell lines, demonstrating that the important roles of PIAS1, Smad2, and Smad4 in zinc-induced cell death and p21WAF1/Cip1 transactivation were common biological events in different cancer cell lines. Our results suggest a new avenue for regulation of zinc-induced apoptosis, and provide a model that demonstrates zinc endorses the Smad2/4/PIAS1 complex to activate the p21WAF1/Cip1 gene that mediates apoptosis.
PIAS1; Smad2; Smad4; zinc; prostate cancer
Chronic infection, such as Helicobacter pylori infection, has been associated with the development of gastric cancer (GC). Pathogen-associated molecular patterns can trigger inflammatory responses via Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in GC. Here we showed that Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) was highly expressed in GC cells and was associated with the aggressiveness of GC. The binding of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to TLR4 on GC cells enhanced proliferation without affecting apoptosis. Higher level of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was induced after activation of TLR4 signaling in GC. Using oxidase inhibitors and antioxidants, we found that mitochondrial ROS (mROS) was major source of TLR4-stimulated ROS generation. This elevated mROS production can be inhibited by diphenylene iodonium (DPI), and the blocking of the mROS production rather than ROS neutralization resulted in cell cycle arrest and the loss of mitochondrial potential, which were plausible reason for decreased cell viability. Furthermore, the increased mROS owing to TLR4 signaling resulted in the activation of Akt phosphorylation and NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation. Altogether, these results reveal a novel pathway linking innate immune signaling to GC cell proliferation, implicate mROS as an important component of cell survival signals and further establish mitochondria as hubs for GC therapies.
TLR4; gastric cancer; mitochondrial ROS; progression
Minimal residual disease (MRD) is of the most important factor for predicting prognosis and guiding treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). In this study, we investigated the prognostic significance of leukemia-associated immunophenotypes (LAIPs) as assessment of index of MRD in 125 adult B-lineage ALL (B-ALL) patients by eight-color flow cytometry. The LAIPs could be identified in 96% and 81.6% of patients with the sensitivity of 10−4 and 10−5, respectively. MRD-negative status could clearly predict a favorable 2-year relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) at the end of induction of complete remission and one cycle of consolidation treatment. Moreover, we identified a group of cases with MRD of 0.001% to <0.01%, which showed significantly higher 2-year relapse rate than those with undetectable one. In multivariate analysis, MRD status was associated with RFS or OS independently. Furthermore, MRD assessed by LAIPs and RQ-PCR assay for patients with BCR-ABL fusion gene yielded concordant results in 89.7% of cases. In conclusion, MRD evaluated by eight-color flow cytometry could provide an important tool to assess treatment response and prognosis precisely in adult B-ALL.
B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia; prognosis; minimal residual disease; leukemia-associated immunophenotypes; eight-color flow cytometry
Karyopherin alpha 2 (KPNA2), a member of the karyopherin family, has a central role in nucleocytoplasmic transport and is overexpressed in many cancers. Our previous study identified KPNA2 as significantly upregulated in epithelial ovarian carcinoma (EOC), correlating with poor survival of patients. However, the precise mechanism of this effect remains unclear. The aim of the present study was to examine the role of KPNA2 in the proliferation and tumorigenicity of EOC cells, and its clinical significance in tumor progression. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed high expression levels of KPNA2 in 162 out of 191 (84.8%) fresh EOC tissues, which was significantly correlated with International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage, differentiation, histological type, recurrence, and prognosis of EOC patients. Our results showed that upregulation of KPNA2 expression significantly increased the proliferation and tumorigenicity of EOC cells (EFO-21 and SK-OV3) in vitro and in vivo, by promoting cell growth rate, foci formation, soft agar colony formation, and tumor formation in nude mice. By contrast, knockdown of KPNA2 effectively suppressed the proliferation and tumorigenicity of these EOC cells in vitro and in vivo. Our results also indicated that the molecular mechanisms of the effect of KPNA2 in EOC included promotion of G1/S cell cycle transition through upregulation of c-Myc, enhanced transcriptional activity of c-Myc, activation of Akt activity, suppression of FOXO3a activity, downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p21Cip1 and p27Kip1, and upregulation of CDK regulator cyclin D1. Our results show that KPNA2 has an important role in promoting proliferation and tumorigenicity of EOC, and may represent a novel prognostic biomarker and therapeutic target for this disease.
KPNA2; epithelial ovarian carcinoma; proliferation; tumorigenicity; c-Myc; FOXO3a
Metal and its oxide nanoparticles show ideal pharmacological activity, especially in anti-tumor therapy. Our previous study demonstrated that cuprous oxide nanoparticles (CONPs) selectively induce apoptosis of tumor cells in vitro. To explore the anti-tumor properties of CONPs in vivo, we used the particles to treat mouse subcutaneous melanoma and metastatic lung tumors, based on B16-F10 mouse melanoma cells, by intratumoral and systemic injections, respectively. The results showed that CONPs significantly reduced the growth of melanoma, inhibited the metastasis of B16-F10 cells and increased the survival rate of tumor-bearing mice. Importantly, the results also indicated that CONPs were rapidly cleared from the organs and that these particles exhibited little systemic toxicity. Furthermore, we observed that CONPs targeted the mitochondria, which resulted in the release of cytochrome C from the mitochondria and the activation of caspase-3 and caspase-9 after the CONPs entered the cells. In conclusion, CONPs can induce the apoptosis of cancer cells through a mitochondrion-mediated apoptosis pathway, which raises the possibility that CONPs could be used to cure melanoma and other cancers.
cuprous oxide nanoparticles; melanoma; apoptosis; mitochondrion-mediated apoptosis; anti-tumor nanomedicine
Prenatal stress may increase the susceptibility to childhood cancer by affecting immune responses and hormonal balance. We examined whether antenatal stress following maternal bereavement increased the risk of childhood cancer.
All children born in Denmark from 1968 to 2007 (N=2 743 560) and in Sweden from 1973 to 2006 (N=3 400 212) were included in this study. We compared cancer risks in children born to women who lost a first-degree relative (a child, spouse, a parent, or a sibling) the year before pregnancy or during pregnancy with cancer risks in children of women who did not experience such bereavement.
A total of 9795 childhood cancer cases were observed during follow-up of 68 360 707 person years. Children born to women who lost a child or a spouse, but not those who lost other relatives, had an average 30% increased risk of any cancer (hazard ratio (HR) 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.96–1.77). The HRs were the highest for non-Hodgkin disease (512 cases in total, HR 3.40, 95% CI 1.51–7.65), hepatic cancer (125 cases in total, HR 5.51, 95% CI 1.34–22.64), and testicular cancer (86 cases in total, HR 8.52, 95% CI 2.03–37.73).
Our data suggest that severe antenatal stress following maternal bereavement, especially due to loss of a child or a spouse, is associated with an increased risk of certain childhood cancers in the offspring, such as hepatic cancer and non-Hodgkin disease, but not with childhood cancer in general.
childhood cancer; bereavement; prenatal stress; mother; association
Accurately measuring physical activity (PA) with activity monitors requires sufficient monitor wear time which can be difficult to assess. Monitor sensitivity to movement and population characteristics, e.g., children vs. adults, may dictate the duration of monitor inactivity indicative of nonwear. A standardized method for determining appropriate decision rules to identify wear time is needed.
Several decision rules based on minimum durations of monitor inactivity (i.e. 60, 90, 120, 150 minutes) to identify nonwear were applied to Stepwatch™ Activity Monitor data from 1064 adult bariatric surgical candidates. The frequency, pattern, and duration of resulting nonwear and wear periods were examined. Generalized Estimating Equations tested the effect of these decision rules on PA measures.
A 60 minute duration resulted in unreasonably large percentages of subjects with unlikely wear patterns (e.g. ≥ three nonwear periods in a day (29.9%); ≥ two wear periods of less than an hour in a day (28.7%)); 120 minutes appeared most reasonable. Wear time decision rules impacted PA measures.
The methods described in this paper can be used to determine appropriate instrument and population specific wear time decision rules. Recognizing monitor wear time is estimated, PA measures least affected by wear time are preferable.
assessment; accelerometer; objective; steps; obesity
To report on complications from transrectal ultrasound-guided insertion of fiducial markers for prostate image-guided radiotherapy.
234 patients who underwent transrectal fiducial marker insertion for prostate cancer image-guided radiotherapy were assessed retrospectively by questionnaire with regard to the duration and severity of eight symptoms experienced following the procedure. Pain during the implantation procedure was assessed according to the Wong–Baker faces pain scale.
Of 234 patients, 32% had at least one new symptom after the procedure. The commonest new symptom following the procedure was urinary frequency affecting 16% of patients who had not been troubled by frequency beforehand. Haematuria, rectal bleeding, dysuria and haematospermia affected 9–13% of patients, mostly at Grade 1 or 2. Pain, obstruction, and fever and shivers affected 3–4% of patients. Grade 3 rectal bleeding, haematuria, fever and shivers, and urinary frequency affected 0.5–1.5% of patients. Only one patient had a Grade 4 complication (i.e. fever and shivers). Overall, 9% of patients had symptoms lasting more than 2 weeks. The commonest symptoms that lasted more than 2 weeks were frequency, dysuria, obstructive symptoms and rectal bleeding. Mean pain score during the procedure was 1.1 (range 0–5).
Transrectal ultrasound-guided fiducial marker insertion for image-guided radiotherapy is well tolerated in the majority of prostate cancer patients. Most symptoms were Grade 1 or 2 in severity. Symptoms in the majority of patients last under 2 weeks. The most serious complication was sepsis in our study.
We tested whether two genetic variants were associated with BMD at multiple clinically relevant skeletal sites in Caucasians. We found that variant rs7776725 is consistently associated with hip, spine, wrist and whole-body BMD, which highlights the potential importance of this variant or linked variants for osteoporosis.
A recent genome-wide association study identified two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs7776725 and rs1721400, that were associated with bone mineral density (BMD) variation at the radius, tibia and calcaneus in a Korean population. In this study, we aimed to test whether the association of these two genetic variants can be replicated in Caucasians and whether their association with BMD can be extended to other clinically relevant skeletal sites.
We performed this study in two large cohorts of unrelated US Caucasians. Area BMD at the hip, spine, wrist (ultra-distal radius) and whole body were measured with Hologic dual-energy X-ray absorptiometer. SNPs were genotyped with Affymetrix human genome-wide genotyping arrays. Association analyses were performed using PLINK.
We detected highly significant association (combined p=1.42×10−16) of rs7776725 with wrist BMD but only borderline association signal (combined p=0.017) for rs1721400 with wrist BMD. In addition, we found that rs7776725 was associated with BMD at the hip, spine and whole body. At the FAM3C gene locus where rs7776725 was located, we identified several other SNPs (rs4727922, rs1803389, rs718766 and rs7793554) that were also associated with BMD.
This is the first follow-up association study of rs7776725 and rs1721400 with BMD. The rs7776725 showed consistent association with BMD at multiple clinically important skeletal sites, which highlighted the potential importance of rs7776725 or linked SNPs for risk of osteoporosis. Further in-depth re-sequencing studies and functional assays are necessary to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.
Bone mineral density; FAM3C; Osteoporosis; Single nucleotide polymorphisms
We examined the longitudinal association between tea drinking frequency and cognitive function in a large sample of oldest-old Chinese.
population-based longitudinal cohort study.
The Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS).
7139 participants aged 80 to 115 (mean age 91.4 years) who provided complete data at baseline (year 1998).
Current frequency of tea drinking and past frequency at age 60 were ascertained at baseline, and baseline and follow-up cognitive assessments were performed in the years 1998 (n=7139), 2000 (n=4081), 2002 (n=2288) and 2005 (n=913) respectively. Verbal fluency test was used as measure of cognitive function.
Tea drinking was associated at baseline with higher mean (SD) verbal fluency scores: daily=10.7 (6.6), occasional=9.2 (5.8), non-drinker=9.0 (5.5). In linear mixed effects model that adjusted for age, gender, years of schooling, physical exercise and activities score, the regression coefficient for daily drinking (at age 60) and occasional drinking was 0.72 (P<0.0001) and 0.41(P=0.01) respectively. Tea drinkers had higher verbal fluency scores throughout the follow-up period but concurrently had a steeper slope of cognitive decline as compared with non-drinkers (coefficient for the interaction term Time*Daily drinking= −0.12, P=0.02; ‘Time’ was defined as the time interval from baseline to follow-up assessments in years). Similar results were found for current tea drinking status at study baseline year (1998) as predictor variable.
Regular tea drinking is associated with better cognitive function in oldest-old Chinese.
Tea; cognition; dementia; oldest-old; Chinese
The poor patency rate following small-diameter vascular grafting remains a major hurdle for the widespread clinical application of artificial blood vessels to date. Our previous studies found that electrospun poly(L-lactide-co-epsilon-caprolactone) (P[LLA-CL]) nanofibers facilitated the attachment and growth of endothelial cells (EC), and heparin incorporated into P(LLA-CL) nanofibers was able to release in a controlled manner. Hence, we hypothesized that heparin-bonded P(LLA-CL) vascular scaffolds with autologous EC pre-endothelialization could significantly promote the graft patency rate. To construct a small-diameter vascular scaffold, the inner layer was fabricated by heparin-bonded P(LLA-CL) nanofibers through coaxial electrospinning, while the outer layer was woven by pure P(LLA-CL) nanofibers. Except dynamic compliance (5.4 1.7 versus 12.8 2.4 × 10−4/mmHg, P < 0.05), maximal tensile strength, burst pressure, and suture retention of the composite, scaffolds were comparable to those of canine femoral arteries. In vitro studies indicated that the scaffolds can continuously release heparin for at least 12 weeks and obtain desirable endothelialization through dynamic incubation, which was confirmed by EC viability and proliferation assay and scanning electronic microscopy. Furthermore, in vivo studies demonstrated that pre-endothelialization by autologous ECs provided a better effect on graft patency rate in comparison with heparin loading, and the united application of pre-endothelialization and heparin loading markedly promoted the 24 weeks patency rate of P(LLA-CL) scaffolds (88.9% versus 12.5% in the control group, P < 0.05) in the canine femoral artery replacement model. These results suggest that heparin-bonded P(LLA-CL) scaffolds have similar biomechanical properties to those of native arteries and possess a multiporous and biocompatible surface to achieve satisfactory endothelialization in vitro. Heparin-bonded P(LLA-CL) scaffolds with autologous EC pre-endothelialization have the potential to be substitutes for natural small-diameter vessels in planned vascular bypass surgery.
electrospinning; heparin; vascular graft; endothelialization; patency rate
EZH2/H3K27me3 and polycomb group complex (PcG) play a major role in regulating global gene expression including tumor suppressor genes. EZH2 is linked to cell cycle regulated EZH2 phosphorylation by CDK1, a mitotic kinase which increases in arrested mitosis compared to S phase. CDK1 phosphorylation of EZH2 accelerates the degradation of pEZH2. Phospho-EZH2 is subjected to ubiquitination. The half-like of pEZH2 is shorter when compared to total EZH2. In the present study, pEZH2 was found concentrated together with ubiquitin in the Mallory-Denk bodies (MDB) that were formed in hepatocytes in the livers of drug primed mice refed DDC and humans with alcoholic hepatitis or hepatocellular carcinoma. The cells that formed MDBs in the mice livers studied were associated with a growth advantage and a high proliferative index. However, the livers from patients with alcoholic hepatitis showed evidence of cell cycle arrest where PCNA, cyclin D1 and p27 positive nuclei were numerous but Ki-67 positive nuclei were scarce. It is concluded that MDB formation is linked to the cell cycle and global gene expression (i.e. loss of gene silencing) through its association with the regulation of the polycomb group PRC2/EZH2/H3K27me3 complex.
EZH2 (enhancer of Zest 2); H3K27me3 (trimethylated H3K27); MDB (Mallory-Denk bodies); Alcoholic hepatitis (AH); Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)
The average pH of surface oceans has decreased by 0.1 unit since industrialization and is expected to decrease by another 0.3–0.7 units before the year 2300 due to the absorption of anthropogenic CO2. This human-caused pH change is posing serious threats and challenges to the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), especially to their larval stages. Our knowledge of the effect of reduced pH on C. gigas larvae presently relies presumptively on four short-term (<4 days) survival and growth studies. Using multiple physiological measurements and life stages, the effects of long-term (40 days) exposure to pH 8.1, 7.7 and 7.4 on larval shell growth, metamorphosis, respiration and filtration rates at the time of metamorphosis, along with the juvenile shell growth and structure of the C. gigas, were examined in this study. The mean survival and growth rates were not affected by pH. The metabolic, feeding and metamorphosis rates of pediveliger larvae were similar, between pH 8.1 and 7.7. The pediveligers at pH 7.4 showed reduced weight-specific metabolic and filtration rates, yet were able to sustain a more rapid post-settlement growth rate. However, no evidence suggested that low pH treatments resulted in alterations to the shell ultrastructures (SEM images) or elemental compositions (i.e., Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios). Thus, larval and post-larval forms of the C. gigas in the Yellow Sea are probably resistant to elevated CO2 and decreased near-future pH scenarios. The pre-adapted ability to resist a wide range of decreased pH may provide C. gigas with the necessary tolerance to withstand rapid pH changes over the coming century.
Pericannular bleeding; Tenckhoff catheter
Growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible, beta (GADD45β) has been reported to inhibit apoptosis via attenuating c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation. We demonstrated here that GADD45β mediated its anti-apoptotic effect via promoting p53 protein degradation following arsenite treatment. We found that p53 protein expression was upregulated in GADD45β−/− cells upon arsenite exposure as compared with those in GADD45β+/+ cells. Further studies showed that GADD45β attenuated p53 protein expression through Src/protein phosphatase 2A/murine double minute 2-dependent p53 protein-degradation pathway. Moreover, we identified that GADD45β-mediated p53 protein degradation was crucial for its anti-apoptotic effect due to arsenite exposure, whereas increased JNK activation was not involved in the increased cell apoptotic response in GADD45β−/− cells under same experimental conditions. Collectively, our results demonstrate a novel molecular mechanism responsible for GADD45β protection of arsenite-exposed cells from cell death, which provides insight into our understanding of GADD45β function and a unique compound arsenite as both a cancer therapeutic reagent and an environmental carcinogen. Those novel findings may also enable us to design more effective strategies for utilization of arsenite for the treatment of cancers.
GADD45β; p53; PP2A; protein degradation; arsenite
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) paradigm suggests that CSCs might have important clinical implications in cancer therapy. Previously, we reported that accumulation efficiency of CSCs is different post low- and high-LET irradiation in 48 h.
Cancer stem cells and non-stem cancer cells (NSCCs) were sorted and functionally identified through a variety of assays such as antigen profiles and sphere formation. Inter-conversion between CSCs and NSCCs were in situ visualised. Cancer stem cells proportions were assayed over multiple generations under normal and irradiation surroundings. Supplement and inhibition of TGF-β1, as well as immunofluorescence assay of E-cadherin and Vimentin, were performed.
Surface antigen markers of CSCs and NSCCs exist in an intrinsic homoeostasis state with spontaneous and in situ visualisable inter-conversions, irrespective of prior radiations. Supplement with TGF-β1 accelerates the equilibrium, whereas inhibition of TGF-β signalling disturbs the equilibrium and significantly decreases CSC proportion. Epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) might be activated during the process.
Our results indicate that the intrinsic inter-conversion and dynamic equilibrium between CSCs and NSCCs exist under normal and irradiation surroundings, and TGF-β might have important roles in the equilibrium through activating EMT.
cancer stem cells; inter-conversion; dynamic equilibrium; radiation; epithelial mesenchymal transition
Periodic blood exchange transfusion is a treatment modality commonly used to manage pediatric sickle cell anemia (SCA) at the University of California Davis Medical Center. The goal of exchange transfusion therapy is to ameliorate vasoocclusion and improve tissue perfusion by removing sickled red blood cells (RBCs) and introducing normal RBCs. Using computer-assisted intravital microscopy, pre- and post-transfusion microvascular characteristics were analyzed. In this study, the bulbar conjunctiva exhibited a “blanched” avascular appearance in all six pediatric SCA patients prior to transfusion, indicative of tissue hypoperfusion and ischemia. Immediately following transfusion, substantial improvement in vascularization and tissue perfusion resulted, reflected by the enhanced appearance of capillaries and arterioles. In addition, a decrease in red cell velocity was observed. These observations provide evidence that exchange transfusion therapy is beneficial in ameliorating vasoocclusion and improving tissue perfusion. However, with the paradoxical post-transfusion decrease in red cell velocity presumably due to induced hyperviscosity from the large transfusion volume, blood flow is still impaired. This decreased velocity may thwart efforts to improve oxygen delivery via transfusion and may, to some extent, promote vasoocclusion instead. This paradoxical result warrants further investigation on the effects of transfusion volume and viscosity in the exchange transfusion process.
Sickle cell anemia; microcirculation; exchange transfusion; vasoocclusion; tissue perfusion; intravital microscopy
Traditionally, oestrogens were considered to be protective for the cardiovascular system for premenopausal women. Therefore, we conducted a retrospective case–control study to examine the association between endogenous oestrogens and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) risk among postmenopausal women.
A case–control study was performed among 30 primary AMI patients and 60 control subjects. Baseline characteristics data was collected and endogenous sex hormones levels were determined using chemoluminescence and radioimmunoassay methods. Conditional logistic regression models were developed with adjustment for confounders.
Compared with controls, the circulating oestrone, oestradiol, androstenedione and testosterone levels were significantly higher in AMI patients (P < 0.05) while the sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) level was lower (P < 0.05). Spearman correlation coefficients showed oestradiol was positively correlated with body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) in cases, but not in controls. In univariable conditional logistic regression models, oestrone, oestradiol, testosterone, WHR, BMI, diabetes and hypertension were all found to be positively associated with AMI (P < 0.05). After adjusting for these factors, oestradiol (odds ratio (OR) = 4.75; 95 % confidence interval (CI) = 1.07–21.10; P = 0.04) and WHR (OR = 6.46; 95 % CI = 1.09–38.39; P = 0.04) continued to demonstrate strong positive associations with AMI.
A higher level of oestradiol was potentially associated with primary AMI risk among postmenopausal women.
Oestrogens; Acute myocardial infarction; Acute stress; Adipose tissue; Postmenopausal
ATP links changes in glucose metabolism to electrical activity, Ca2+ signalling and insulin secretion in pancreatic beta cells. There is evidence that beta cell metabolism oscillates, but little is known about ATP dynamics at the plasma membrane, where regulation of ion channels and exocytosis occur.
The sub-plasma-membrane ATP concentration ([ATP]pm) was recorded in beta cells in intact mouse and human islets using total internal reflection microscopy and the fluorescent reporter Perceval.
Glucose dose-dependently increased [ATP]pm with half-maximal and maximal effects at 5.2 and 9 mmol/l, respectively. Additional elevations of glucose to 11 to 20 mmol/l promoted pronounced [ATP]pm oscillations that were synchronised between neighbouring beta cells. [ATP]pm increased further and the oscillations disappeared when voltage-dependent Ca2+ influx was prevented. In contrast, K+-depolarisation induced prompt lowering of [ATP]pm. Simultaneous recordings of [ATP]pm and the sub-plasma-membrane Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]pm) during the early glucose-induced response revealed that the initial [ATP]pm elevation preceded, and was temporarily interrupted by the rise of [Ca2+]pm. During subsequent glucose-induced oscillations, the increases of [Ca2+]pm correlated with lowering of [ATP]pm.
In beta cells, glucose promotes pronounced oscillations of [ATP]pm, which depend on negative feedback from Ca2+. The bidirectional interplay between these messengers in the sub-membrane space generates the metabolic and ionic oscillations that underlie pulsatile insulin secretion.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00125-013-2894-0) contains peer-reviewed but unedited supplementary material, which is available to authorised users.
ATP; Ca2+; Human islets; Mouse islets; Oscillations; Pancreatic beta cell; Perceval; Plasma membrane