Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the Glutamate metabotrophic receptor 7 gene (GRM7) have recently been identified by the genome-wide association study (GWAS) as potentially playing a role in susceptibility to age-related hearing impairment (ARHI), however this has not been validated in the Han Chinese population. The aim of this study was to determine if these SNPs are also associated with ARHI in an elderly male Han Chinese population. In this case-control candidate genes association study, a total of 982 men with ARHI and 324 normal-hearing controls subjects were studied. Using K-means cluster analysis, four audiogram shape subtypes of ARHI were identified in the case group: ‘‘flat shape (FL)’’, ‘‘sloping shape (SL)’’, ‘‘2-4 kHz abrupt loss (AL) shape’’ and ‘‘8 kHz dip (8D) shape’’. Results suggested that the SNP rs11928865 (A>T) of GRM7 was significantly associated with ARHI after adjusting for non-genetic factors (p= 0.000472, OR= 1.599, 95%CI= 1.229~2.081). Furthermore, frequency of TT genotype (rs11928865) were significant higher in the SL subgroup and AL subgroup with compared to controls group (p= 9.41E-05, OR= 1.945, 95%CI= 1.393~2.715; p= 0.000109, OR= 1.915, 95%CI= 1.378~2.661 adjusted, respectively) after Bonferroni correction. However, there wasn’t significant difference in the frequency of the TT genotype between cases in the FL subgroup or the 8D subgroup with when compared with controls. Results of the current study suggest that, in an elderly male Han Chinese population, GRM7 SNP rs11928865 (TT) occurs more frequently in ARHI patients with SL and AL phenotype patterns.
Increased de novo lipogenesis is one of the major metabolic events in cancer. In human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), de novo lipogenesis has been found to be increased and associated with the activation of AKT/mTOR signaling. In mice, overexpression of an activated form of AKT results in increased lipogenesis and hepatic steatosis, ultimately leading to liver tumor development. Hepatocarcinogenesis is dramatically accelerated when AKT is co-expressed with an oncogenic form of N-Ras. SCD1, the major isoform of stearoyl-CoA desaturases, catalyzing the conversion of saturated fatty acids (SFA) into monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), is a key enzyme involved in de novo lipogenesis. While many studies demonstrated the requirement of SCD1 for tumor cell growth in vitro, whether SCD1 is necessary for tumor development in vivo has not been previously investigated. Here, we show that genetic ablation of SCD1 neither inhibits lipogenesis and hepatic steatosis in AKT-overexpressing mice nor affects liver tumor development in mice co-expressing AKT and Ras oncogenes. Molecular analysis showed that SCD2 was strongly upregulated in liver tumors from AKT/Ras injected SCD1-/- mice. Noticeably, concomitant silencing of SCD1 and SCD2 genes was highly detrimental for the growth of AKT/Ras cells in vitro. Altogether, our study provides the evidence, for the first time, that SCD1 expression is dispensable for AKT/mTOR-dependent hepatic steatosis and AKT/Ras-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in mice. Complete inhibition of stearoyl-CoA desaturase activity may be required to efficiently suppress liver tumor development.
Long chain acyl-CoA synthetase 1 (ACSL1) contributes 50 to 90% of total ACSL activity in liver, adipose tissue, and heart and appears to direct the use of long chain fatty acids for energy. Although the functional importance of ACSL1 is becoming clear, little is understood about its post-translational regulation. In order to investigate the post-translational modifications of ACSL1 under different physiological conditions, we overexpressed ACSL1 in hepatocytes, brown adipocytes, and 3T3-L1 differentiated adipocytes, treated these cells with different hormones, and analyzed the resulting phosphorylated and acetylated amino acids by mass spectrometry. We then compared these results to the post-translational modifications observed in vivo in liver and brown adipose tissue after mice were fasted or exposed to a cold environment. We identified universal N-terminal acetylation, 15 acetylated lysines, and 25 phosphorylation sites on ACSL1. Several unique acetylation and phosphorylation sites occurred under conditions in which fatty acid β-oxidation is normally enhanced. Thirteen of the acetylated lysines had not previously been identified, and none of the phosphorylation sites had been previously identified. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to introduce mutations at three potential acetylation and phosphorylation sites believed to be important for ACSL1 function. At the ATP/AMP binding site and at a highly conserved site near the C terminus, modifications of Ser278 or Lys676, respectively, totally inhibited ACSL1 activity. In contrast, mutations of Lys285 that mimicked acetylation (Lys285Ala and Lys285Gln) reduced ACSL activity, whereas full activity was retained by Lys285Arg, suggesting that acetylation of Lys285 would be likely to decrease ACSL1 activity. These results indicate that ACSL1 is highly modified post-translationally. Several of these modifications would be expected to alter enzymatic function, but others may affect protein stability or protein-protein interactions.
Fatty acid metabolism; Beta-oxidation; Post-translational modification; Triacylglycerol synthesis; phosphorylation; Acetylation
5-thyminyl-5,6-dihydrothymine (also called spore photoproduct or SP) is the exclusive DNA photo-damage product in bacterial endospores. It is repaired by a radical SAM (S-adenosylmethionine) enzyme, the spore photoproduct lyase (SPL), at the bacterial early germination phase. Our previous studies proved that SPL utilizes the 5′-dA• generated by SAM cleavage reaction to abstract the H6proR atom to initiate the SP repair process. The resulting thymine allylic radical was suggested to take an H atom from an unknown protein source, most likely the cysteine 141. Here we show that C141 can be readily alkylated in the native SPL by iodoacetamide treatment, suggesting that it is accessible to the TpT radical. SP repair by the SPL C141A mutant yields TpTSO2− and TpT simultaneously from the very beginning of the reaction; no lag phase is observed for the TpTSO2− formation. Should any other protein residue serve as the H donor, its presence would result in TpT as the major product at least for the first enzyme turnover. These observations provide strong evidence to support C141 as the direct H atom donor. Moreover, due to the lack of this intrinsic H donor, the C141A mutant produces TpT via an unprecedented thymine cation radical reduction (proton coupled electron transfer) process, contrasting to the H atom transfer mechanism in the WT SPL reaction. The C141A mutant repairs SP at a rate which is ~3-fold slower than the WT enzyme. Formation of TpTSO2− and TpT exhibit a Vmax deuterium kinetic isotope effect (KIE) of 1.7 ± 0.2 respectively, which is smaller than the DVmax KIE of 2.8 ± 0.3 determined in the WT SPL reaction. These findings suggest that removing the intrinsic H atom donor disturbs the rate-limiting process in the enzyme catalysis. As expected, the pre-reduced C141A mutant only supports ~ 0.4 turnover, which is in sharp contrast to the > 5 turnovers exhibited by the WT SPL reaction, suggesting that the enzyme catalytic cycle (SAM regeneration) is disrupted by this single mutation.
To reevaluate the effect of isolated teratozoospermia on IVF and determine if there was any therapeutic benefit to isolated teratozoospermia by ICSI, since there are no widely accepted criteria for the treatment technique about isolated teratozoospermia.
A total of 441 couples with >20 million and progressive motility >30 % sperm undergoing their first IVF/ICSI cycle were included in the study between 2008 and 2010, for whom at least 8 oocytes were retrived. Isolated teratozoospermia was diagnosed in 183 of the included couples, and the rest couples (normal sperm morphology) were studied as control. Sibling oocytes were randomized to be inseminated either by ICSI or IVF. Fertilization rate, embryo quality, pregnancy rate, implantation rate and spontaneous abortion rate were assessed.
There was no difference in the percentage of eggs fertilized, implantation rate, pregnancy rate and spontaneous abortion rate between conventional IVF and ICSI regardless of the percentage of normal morphology. The day 3 embryonic morphology and rate of development were not different despite the insemination method and percentage of normal morphology.
Because isolated teratozoospermia did not influence the major indices of IVF and the unnecessary use of ICSI is time-consuming, costly and potential risks, couples with isolated teratozoospermia need not be subjected to ICSI.
In vitro fertilization(IVF); Intracytoplasmic sperm injection(ICSI); Teratozoospermia; Sperm morphology
Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) recognizes genomes of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses in the endosome to stimulate plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). However, how and if viruses with single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) genomes are detected by pDCs remain unclear. Here we have shown that despite the ability of purified genomic DNA to stimulate TLR9 and despite the ability to enter TLR9 endosomes, ssDNA viruses of the Parvoviridae family failed to elicit an interferon (IFN) response in pDCs.
Activation of lymphocytes can effectively produce a large amount of cytokines. The types of cytokines produced may depend on stimulating reagents and treatments. To find an optimal method to stimulate cytokine production and evaluate its effect on immunotoxicity assessments, the authors analyzed production of IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ, TNF-α, GM-CSF, RANTES and TGF-β in undiluted rat whole blood culture (incubation for 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 h) with different concentrations of PMA/ionomycin, PHA, Con A, LPS and PWM. We also evaluated the effects of cyclosporin A and azathioprine on cytokine production. The results revealed a rapid increase of IL-2, IFN-γ, TNF-α, RANTES and TGF-β secretion within 6 h after stimulation with 25 ng/mL PMA and 1 μg/mL ionomycin. The inhibition of these cytokine profiles reflected the effects of immunosuppressants on the immune system. Therefore, the results of this is study recommend the detection of cytokine profiles in undiluted whole blood stimulated 6 h with 25 ng/mL PMA and 1 μg/mL ionomycin as a powerful immunotoxicity assessment method.
immunotoxicity assessment; cytokines; whole blood; immunosuppressant
Interstrand crosslinks (ICLs) represent a major challenge for DNA replication and transcription by preventing DNA strand separation. Cells deficient in ICL repair are hypersensitive to a variety of bifunctional alkylating agents and exhibit excessive genomic instability. Patients with deficient ICL repair, such as those with Fanconi anemia, are predisposed to a broad spectrum of cancers. The profound cellular toxicity of ICLs is exploited clinically in cancer chemotherapy. Therefore, understanding the mechanism of ICL repair and its impact on cancer development and treatment is very important. Studies of diseases with defective ICL repair, especially Fanconi anemia, have revealed unique ICL repair mechanisms in humans. In this review, we describe pathways and factors involved in ICL damage response and their implications in cancer development and treatment.
Interstrand crosslink; DNA repair; cancer; Fanconi anemia
Despite the wide acceptance of laparoscopic resection for treatment of abdominal tumors, only few cases of simultaneous laparoscopic removal of the spleen and the right liver have been reported to date. Littoral cell angiosarcoma (LCAS), which arises from the littoral cells lining the sinus channels of the splenic red pulp, is a rare condition, and there is limited literature on littoral cell angiosarcoma with liver metastases. We present the case of a 28-year-old woman with postoperative pathologically-proven LCAS with right liver metastases. The patient’s surgery was safely performed, and her postoperative course was uneventful until now. This case suggests that concomitant laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) and right hemihepatectomy is a suitable surgical option for selected patients.
Laparoscopic splenectomy; Laparoscopic right hemihepatectomy; Concomitant surgery; Littoral cell angiosarcoma
With the development of compressive sensing theory, image reconstruction from few-view projections has received considerable research attentions in the field of computed tomography (CT). Total-variation- (TV-) based CT image reconstruction has been shown to be experimentally capable of producing accurate reconstructions from sparse-view data. In this study, a distributed reconstruction algorithm based on TV minimization has been developed. This algorithm is very simple as it uses the alternating direction method. The proposed method can accelerate the alternating direction total variation minimization (ADTVM) algorithm without losing accuracy.
Almost all Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) capsule serotypes employ the Wzy-dependent pathway for their capsular polysaccharide (CPS) biosynthesis. The assembly of the CPS repeating unit (RU) is the first committed step in this pathway. The wciN gene was predicted to encode a galactosyl transferase involved in the RU assembly of pneumococcus type 6B CPS. Herein, we provide the unambiguous in vitro biochemical evidence that wciN encodes an α-1,3-galactosyl transferase catalyzing the transfer of galactosyl from UDP-Gal onto the Glcα-pyrophosphate-lipid (Glcα-PP-lipid) acceptor to form Galα(1-3)Glcα-PP-lipid. A chemically synthesized acceptor (Glcα-PP-O(CH2)10CH3) was used to characterize the WciN activity. The disaccharide product, i.e. Galα (1-3)Glcα-PP-O(CH2)10CH3, was characterized by mass and NMR spectroscopy. Substrate specificity study indicated that the acceptor structural region composed of pyrophosphate and lipid moieties may play an important role in the enzyme-acceptor recognition. Furthermore, divalent metal cations were found indispensable to the WciN activity, suggesting that this glycosyltransferase (GT) belongs to the GT-A superfamily. By analyzing the activities of six WciN mutants, a DXD motif involved in the coordination of a divalent metal cation was identified. This work provides a chemical biology approach to characterize the activities of pneumococcal CPS GTs in vitro, and will help to understand the pneumococcal CPS biosynthetic pathway.
The Fanconi anemia (FA) protein network is necessary for repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks (ICLs), but its control mechanism remains unclear. Here we show that the network is regulated by a ubiquitin signaling cascade initiated by RNF8 and its partner, UBC13; and mediated by FAAP20, a component of the FA core complex. FAAP20 preferentially binds the ubiquitin product of RNF8-UBC13; and its recruitment to ICLs requires this ubiquitin-binding activity, RNF8 and UBC13. Both RNF8 and FAAP20 are required for recruitment of FA core complex and FANCD2 to ICLs, whereas RNF168 can modulate efficiency of the recruitment. RNF8 and FAAP20 are needed for efficient FANCD2 monoubiquitination, a key step of the FA network; RNF8 and FA core complex work in the same pathway to promote cellular resistance to ICLs. Thus, the RNF8-FAAP20 ubiquitin cascade is critical for recruiting FA core complex to ICLs and for normal function of the FA network.
RNF8; FAAP20; RNF168; UBC13; Fanconi Anemia; ubiquitin
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder and the main cause of dementia. Panax notoginsenoside Rb1 (PNRb1), which is also known as (3β,12β)-20-[(6-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-β-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy]-12-hydroxydammar-24-en-3-yl 2-O-β-D-glucopyranosyl-β-D-glucopyranoside and is the main active component of the plant Panax notoginseng, is effective in treating AD. However, the mechanisms of PNRb1 remain unknown. In the present study, rat brain tissue sections were pretreated with PNRb1 and then induced by okadaic acid to establish brain slice models of AD. The results of qPCR and immunoblot analyses demonstrated that PNRb1 suppressed the protein expression of phosphorylated Tau and upregulated the expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). These results suggest that PNRb1 is able to upregulate the protein level of BDNF and downregulate Tau protein phosphorylation in AD.
Alzheimer’s disease; Panax notoginsenoside Rb1; okadaic acid; phosphorylated Tau protein; brain-derived neurotrophic factor
Astrocytic GFAP expression increases during normal aging in many brain regions and in primary astrocyte cultures derived from aging rodent brains. As shown below, we unexpectedly found that the age-related increase of GFAP expression was suppressed in mixed glia (astrocytes + microglia). However, the age-related increase of GFAP was observed when E18 neurons were co-cultured with mixed glia. Thus, the presence of microglia can suppress the age-related increase of GFAP, in primary cultures of astrocytes. To more broadly characterize how aging and co-culture with neurons alters glial gene expression, we profiled gene expression in mixed glia from young (3 mo) and old (24 mo) male rat cerebral cortex by Affymetrix microarray (Rat230 2.0). The majority of age changes were independent of the presence of neurons. Overall, the expression of 2-fold more genes increased with age than decreased with age. The minority of age changes that were either suppressed or revealed by the presence of neurons may be useful to analyze glial-neuron interaction during aging. Some in vitro changes are shared with those of aging rat hippocampus in studies from the Landfield group (Rowe et al., 2007; Kadish et al., 2009).
GFAP; mixed glia; aging; Affymetrix microarray; glialneuron interactions
Nicotine is the main tobacco component responsible for tobacco addiction and is used extensively in smoking and smoking cessation therapies. However, little is known about its effects on the immune system. We confirmed that multiple nicotinic receptors are expressed on mouse and human cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and demonstrated that nicotinic receptors on mouse CTLs are regulated during activation. Acute nicotine presence during activation increases primary CTL expansion in vitro, but impairs in vivo expansion after transfer and subsequent memory CTL differentiation, which reduces protection against subsequent pathogen challenges. Furthermore, nicotine abolishes the regulatory effect of rapamycin on memory CTL programming, which can be attributed to the fact that rapamycin enhances expression of nicotinic receptors. Interestingly, naïve CTLs from chronic nicotine-treated mice have normal memory programming, which is impaired by nicotine during activation in vitro. In conclusion, simultaneous exposure to nicotine and antigen during CTL activation negatively affects memory development.
To assess the feasibility of a randomized placebo controlled trial (RCT) of blood pressure (BP) management for extremely preterm infants.
This was a prospective pilot RCT of infants 230/7 – 266/7 weeks gestation who had protocol-defined low BP in the first 24 postnatal hours. Enrolled infants were administered a study infusion (dopamine or placebo) and a study syringe medication (hydrocortisone or placebo).
Of the 366 infants screened, 119 (33%) had low BP, 58 (16%) met all entry criteria, and 10 (3%) were enrolled. 161 (44%) infants were ineligible because they received early indomethacin. Only 17% of eligible infants were enrolled. Problems with consent included insufficient time, parent unavailability, and physician unwillingness to enroll critically ill infants. Two infants were withdrawn from the study due to the potential risk of intestinal perforation with simultaneous administration of hydrocortisone and indomethacin.
This pilot RCT was not feasible due to low eligibility and consent rates. An RCT of BP management for extremely preterm infants may require a waiver of consent for research in emergency care. The frequent use of early indomethacin and the associated risk of intestinal perforation when used with hydrocortisone may limit future investigations to only inotropic medications.
Extremely preterm infant; hypotension; hydrocortisone; dopamine; informed consent
Spore photoproduct lyase (SPL) repairs a special thymine dimer, 5-thyminyl-5,6-dihydrothymine, which is commonly called spore photoproduct, or SP, in germinating endospores. SP is the exclusive DNA photo-damaging product found in endospores; its generation and swift repair by SPL are responsible for the spores’ extremely high UV resistance. Early in vivo studies suggested that SPL utilizes a direct reversal strategy to repair SP in the absence of light. Recently, it has been established that SPL belongs to the radical S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) superfamily. The enzymes in this superfamily utilize a tri-cysteine CXXXCXXC motif to bind a [4Fe-4S] cluster. The cluster provides an electron to the S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) to reductively cleave its C5′-S bond, generating a reactive 5′-deoxyadenosyl (5′-dA) radical. This 5′-dA radical abstracts the proR hydrogen atom from the C6 carbon of SP to initiate the repair process; the resulting SP radical subsequently fragments to generate a putative thymine methyl radical, which accepts a back-donated H atom to yield the repaired TpT. The H atom donor is suggested to be a conserved cysteine141 in B. subtilis SPL; the resulting thiyl radical likely interacts with a neighboring tyrosine99 before oxidizing the 5′-dA to 5′-dA radical and, subsequently, regenerating SAM. These findings suggest SPL to be the first enzyme in the large radical SAM superfamily (>44,000 members) to utilize a radical transfer pathway for catalysis; its study should shed light on the mechanistic understanding of the SAM regeneration process in other members of the superfamily.
thymine dimer; DNA damage; DNA damage repair; radical; transfer pathway
Anabaena sp. was used to examine the toxicity of exposure to a nano-TiO2 suspension, Zn2+ solution, and mixtures of nano-TiO2 and Zn2+ suspensions. Typical chlorophyll fluorescence parameters, including effective quantum yield, photosynthetic efficiency and maximal electron transport rate, were measured by a pulse-amplitude modulated fluorometer. Nano-TiO2 particles exhibited no significant toxicity at concentrations lower than 10.0 mg/L. The 96 h concentration for the 50% maximal effect (EC50) of Zn2+ alone to Anabaena sp. was 0.38 ± 0.004 mg/L. The presence of nano-TiO2 at low concentrations (<1.0 mg/L) significantly enhanced the toxicity of Zn2+ and consequently reduced the EC50 value to 0.29 ± 0.003 mg/L. However, the toxicity of the Zn2+/TiO2 system decreased with increasing nano-TiO2 concentration because of the substantial adsorption of Zn2+ by nano-TiO2. The toxicity curve of the Zn2+/TiO2 system as a function of incremental nano-TiO2 concentrations was parabolic. The toxicity significantly increased at the initial stage, reached its maximum, and then decreased with increasing nano-TiO2 concentration. Hydrodynamic sizes, concentration of nano-TiO2 and Zn2+ loaded nano-TiO2 were the main parameters for synergistic toxicity.
synergistic toxicity; zinc; nanoparticles; titanium dioxide; Anabaena sp
It has been suggested that different hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes may have distinct virological characteristics that correlate with clinical outcomes during antiviral therapy and the natural course of infection. Hydrodynamic injection (HI) of HBV in the mouse model is a useful tool for study of HBV replication in vivo. However, only HBV genotype A has been used for studies with HI.
We constructed 3 replication-competent clones containing 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 fold overlength of a HBV genotype B genome and tested them both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, A HBV genotype B clone based on the pAAV-MCS vector was constructed with the 1.3 fold HBV genome, resulting in the plasmid pAAV-HBV1.3B and tested by HI in C57BL/6 mice. Application of siRNA against HBx gene was tested in HBV genotype B HI mouse model.
The 1.3 fold HBV clone showed higher replication and gene expression than the 1.1 and 1.2 fold HBV clones. Compared with pAAV-HBV1.2 (genotype A), the mice HI with pAAV-HBV1.3B showed higher HBsAg and HBeAg expression as well as HBV DNA replication level but a higher clearance rate. Application of two plasmids pSB-HBxi285 and pSR-HBxi285 expressing a small/short interfering RNA (siRNA) to the HBx gene in HBV genotype B HI mouse model, leading to an inhibition of HBV gene expression and replication. However, HBV gene expression may resume in some mice despite an initial delay, suggesting that transient suppression of HBV replication by siRNA may be insufficient to prevent viral spread, particularly if the gene silencing is not highly effective.
Taken together, the HI mouse model with a HBV genotype B genome was successfully established and showed different characteristics in vivo compared with the genotype A genome. The effectiveness of gene silencing against HBx gene determines whether HBV replication may be sustainably inhibited by siRNA in vivo.
Hydrodynamic injection; HBV mouse model; HBV genotype B; HBx gene silencing; Antiviral research
Endoscopic resection of gastric subepithelial tumors (SETs) carries a high risk of perforation, particularly for tumors located at the gastric fundus and originating from the muscularis propria. Based on our experience with endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) and a novel endoscopic device, namely the ‘Resolution clip’ for the endoscopic closure of iatrogenic upper gastrointestinal (upper GI) perforations, we evaluated the clinical feasibility and safety of ESD for gastric fundus subepithelial tumors originating from the muscularis propria. In this prospective study, 11 consecutive patients who presented with gastric SETs ≤3 cm in diameter were enrolled. Regardless of whether perforation occurred, the gastric wall defect was closed with clips. The patients were followed up after the surgery. Endoscopic resection was successfully performed in 10 patients; however, in one patient a pure endoscopic approach was impossible as the lesion was severely adhered to surrounding tissue, and a switch to laparoscopic wedge resection was necessary. The mean resected tumor size was 18.8×17.2 mm and the mean surgery time of the 10 patients with ESD was 81 min (range 45–130 min). Histological diagnosis was gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) in eight lesions [very low risk according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) risk classification] and leiomyoma in three lesions. Perforation occurred in 3/10 patients. Gastric closure with the Resolution clips was performed successfully in all cases. Early post-ESD bleeding (EPEB) occurred in one patient. Basic ferric sulfate solution was sprayed during the upper GI endoscopy examination and the bleeding stopped. No complications occurred and the follow-up was unremarkable. In this early study, ESD using the Resolution clip was demonstrated to be a feasible and minimally invasive treatment for gastric fundus subepithelial tumors originating from the muscularis propria.
endoscopic submuscosal dissection; gastric fundus; muscularis propria
Substituted toluenyl groups are considered as close isosteres of the thymine residue. They can be recognized by DNA polymerases as if they were thymine. These toluene derivatives are generally inert toward radical additions, including the [2+2] photo-cycloadditions, due to the stable structure of the aromatic ring and are usually used as solvents for radical reactions. Surprisingly, after incorporating toluene into the dinucleotide framework, we found that the UV excited thymine residue readily dimerizes with the toluenyl moiety through a [2+2] photo-addition reaction. Furthermore, the reaction site on the toluenyl moiety is not the C5=C6 bond, as commonly observed in cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers, but the C4=C5 or C3=C4 instead. Such a reaction pattern suggests that in the stacked structure, it is one of these bonds, not the C5=C6, that is close to the thymine C5=C6 bond. A similar structural feature is found in DNA duplex with a thymine replaced by a 2,4-difluorotoluene. Our results argue that although the substituted toluenyl moieties closely mimic the size and shape of the thymine residue, their more hydrophobic nature determines that they stack on DNA bases differently from the natural thymine residue and likely cause local conformational changes in duplex DNA.
cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers; DNA; photochemistry; stereochemistry; thymine
Stroke is the second most common cause of death and major cause of disability worldwide. The SNP 83 in PDE4D gene has been suggested as a risk factor in ischemic stroke, but direct evidence from genetic association studies remains inconclusive even in Chinese population.
Meta-analysis of case-control studies on the relationship between SNP 83 in PDE4D gene and susceptibility to ischemic stroke in Chinese population published domestically and abroad from January 2003 to September 2012.
9 case-control studies were selected. Meta-analysis results showed that the significant association between SNP 83 and ischemic stroke was found under the dominant model (OR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.20–1.49) and recessive model (OR = 1.45, 95% CI: 1.19–1.76) in Chinese population. In subgroup meta-analysis, SNP 83 and atherothrombotic stroke, rather than lacunar stroke, showed the significant association under the dominant model (OR = 1.69, 95% CI: 1.41–2.01) and recessive model (OR = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.04–2.06).
The results suggest that SNP 83 in PDE4D gene is significantly associated with susceptibility to ischemic stroke in Chinese population.
Although over 60 non-syndromic deafness genes have been identified to date, the etiologic contribution of most deafness genes remained elusive. In this study, we addressed this issue by targeted next-generation sequencing of a large cohort of non-syndromic deaf probands.
Probands with mutations in commonly screened deafness genes GJB2, SLC26A4 and MT-RNR1 were pre-excluded by Sanger sequencing. The remaining 125 deaf probands proceeded through targeted exon capturing of 79 known deafness genes and Illumina HiSeq2000 sequencing.
Bi-allelic mutations in 15 less commonly screened deafness genes were identified in 28 deaf probands, with mutations in MYO15A, GPR98, TMC1, USH2A and PCDH15 being relatively more frequent (≥3 probands each). Dominant mutations in MYO6, TECTA, POU4F3 and COCH were identified in 4 deaf families. A mitochondrial MTTS1 mutation was identified in one maternally inherited deaf family. No pathogenic mutations were identified in three dominant deaf families and two consanguineous families.
Mutations in the less commonly screened deafness genes were heterogeneous and contributed to a significant percentage (17.4%) of causes for non-syndromic deafness. Targeted next-generation sequencing provided a comprehensive and efficient diagnosis for known deafness genes. Complementary to linkage analysis or whole-exome sequencing of deaf families, pre-exclusion of known deafness genes by this strategy may facilitate the discovery of novel deafness genes.
Deafness; Non-syndromic; Genetic etiology; Targeted next-generation sequencing
PrLZ/PC-1 is a newly-identified, prostate-specific and androgen-inducible gene. Our previous study demonstrated that PrLZ can enhance the proliferation and invasive capability of LNCaP cells, contributing to the development of prostate cancer (PCa). However, its potential role in androgen-independent processes remains elusive. In this study, we showed that PrLZ enhanced in vitro growth and colony formation of PCa cells upon androgen deprivation as well as tumorigenicity in castrated nude mice. In addition, PrLZ stabilized mitochondrial transmembrane potential, prevented release of cytochrome c from mitochondria to cytoplasm, and inhibited intrinsic apoptosis induced by androgen depletion. Mechanistically, PrLZ elevated the phosphorylation of Akt and Stat3 and upregulated Bcl-2 expression. Our data indicate that PrLZ protects PCa cells from apoptosis and promotes tumor progression following androgen deprivation. Because of its prostate specificity and the involvement in PCa progression, PrLZ appears to be a novel and attractive therapeutic target for advanced prostate malignancy.
PrLZ; Apoptosis; Stat3; Bcl-2; Prostate cancer
First reported as a vasoactive peptide in the cardiovascular system, intermedin (IMD), also known as adrenomedullin 2 (ADM2), is a hormone with multiple potent roles, including its antioxidant action on the pulmonary, central nervous, cardiovascular and renal systems. Though IMD may play certain roles in trophoblast cell invasion, early embryonic development and cumulus cell-oocyte interaction, the role of IMD in the male reproductive system has yet to be investigated. This paper reports our findings on the gene expression of IMD, its receptor components and its protein localization in the testes. In a rat model, bacterial lippolysaccharide (LPS) induced atypical orchitis, and LPS treatment upregulated the expression of IMD and one of its receptor component proteins, i.e. receptor activity modifying protein 2 (RAMP2). IMD decreased both plasma and testicular levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, attenuated the increase in the gene expression of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), interleukin 6 (IL6) and interleukin 1 beta (IL1β), rescued spermatogenesis, and prevented the decrease in plasma testosterone levels caused by LPS. The restorative effect of IMD on steroidogenesis was also observed in hydrogen peroxide-treated rat primary Leydig cells culture. Our results indicate IMD plays an important protective role in spermatogenesis and steroidogenesis, suggesting therapeutic potential for IMD in pathological conditions such as orchitis.