The family C G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) T1R2 and T1R3 heterodimer functions as a broadly acting sweet taste receptor. Perception of sweet taste is a species-dependent physiological process. It has been widely reported that New World monkeys and rodents can not perceive some of the artificial sweeteners and sweet-tasting proteins that can be perceived by humans, apes, and Old World monkeys. Until now, only the sweet receptors of humans, mice and rats have been functionally characterized. Here we report characterization of the sweet taste receptor (T1R2/T1R3) from a species of New World squirrel monkey. Our results show that the heterodimeric receptor of squirrel monkey does not respond to artificial sweeteners aspartame, neotame, cyclamate, saccharin and sweet-tasting protein monellin, but surprisingly, it does respond to thaumatin at high concentrations (>18 μM). This is the first report that New World monkey species can perceive some specific sweet-tasting proteins. Furthermore, the receptor responses to the sweeteners cannot be inhibited by the sweet inhibitor lactisole. We compared the response differences of the squirrel monkey and human receptors and found that the residues in T1R2 determine species-dependent sweet taste toward saccharin, while the residues in either T1R2 or T1R3 are responsible for the sweet taste difference between humans and squirrel monkeys toward monellin. Molecular models indicated that electrostatic properties of the receptors probably mediate the species-dependent response to sweet-tasting proteins.
New World monkeys; squirrel monkey; sweet taste receptors; sweet-tasting proteins; G protein-coupled receptor; molecular modeling
Antibiotics are often used to prevent sickness and improve production in animal agriculture, and the residues in animal bodies may enter tannery wastewater during leather production. This study aimed to use Illumina high-throughput sequencing to investigate the occurrence, diversity and abundance of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) in aerobic and anaerobic sludge of a full-scale tannery wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Metagenomic analysis showed that Proteobacteria, Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Actinobacteria dominated in the WWTP, but the relative abundance of archaea in anaerobic sludge was higher than in aerobic sludge. Sequencing reads from aerobic and anaerobic sludge revealed differences in the abundance of functional genes between both microbial communities. Genes coding for antibiotic resistance were identified in both communities. BLAST analysis against Antibiotic Resistance Genes Database (ARDB) further revealed that aerobic and anaerobic sludge contained various ARGs with high abundance, among which sulfonamide resistance gene sul1 had the highest abundance, occupying over 20% of the total ARGs reads. Tetracycline resistance genes (tet) were highly rich in the anaerobic sludge, among which tet33 had the highest abundance, but was absent in aerobic sludge. Over 70 types of insertion sequences were detected in each sludge sample, and class 1 integrase genes were prevalent in the WWTP. The results highlighted prevalence of ARGs and MGEs in tannery WWTPs, which may deserve more public health concerns.
Many physicians are reluctant to treat elderly glioblastoma (GBM) patients as aggressively as younger patients, which is not evidence based due to the absence of validated data from primary studies. We conducted a meta-analysis to provide valid evidence for the use of the aggressive combination of radiotherapy (RT) and temozolomide (TMZ) in elderly GBM patients.
A systematic literature search was conducted using the PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases. Studies comparing combined RT/TMZ with RT alone in elderly patients (≥65 years) with newly diagnosed GBM were eligible for inclusion.
No eligible randomized trials were identified. Alternatively, a meta-analysis of nonrandomized studies (NRSs) was performed, with 16 studies eligible for overall survival (OS) analysis and nine for progression-free survival (PFS) analysis. Combined RT/TMZ was shown to reduce the risk of death and progression in elderly GBM patients compared with RT alone (OS hazard ratio [HR] 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.48–0.72; PFS: HR 0.58, 95% CI 0.41–0.84). Evaluable patients were reported to tolerate combined treatment but certain toxicities, and especially hematological toxicities, were more frequently observed. Limited data on O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) promoter status and quality of life were reported.
The meta-analysis of NRSs provided level 2a evidence (Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine) that combined RT/TMZ conferred a clear survival benefit on a selection of elderly GBM patients who had a favorable prognosis (e.g., extensive resection, favorable KPS). Toxicities were more frequent but acceptable. Future randomized trials are warranted to justify a definitive conclusion.
Manual acupuncture has commonly been used in China, either alone or in combination with conventional medicine, to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). The objective of this study was to perform a systematic review to evaluate the potential benefits and harms of manual acupuncture for DPN to justify its clinical use.
We searched for published and unpublished randomized controlled trials of manual acupuncture for DPN till 31 March 2013. Revman 5.2 software was used for data analysis with effect estimate presented as relative risk (RR) and mean difference (MD) with a 95% confidence interval (CI).
A total of 25 trials involving 1649 participants were included. The methodological quality of included trials was generally poor. Meta-analysis showed that manual acupuncture had better effect on global symptom improvement compared with mecobalamin (RR 1.31, 95%CI 1.21 to 1.42), vitamin B1 and B12 (RR 1.55, 95%CI 1.33 to 1.80), and no treatment (RR 1.56, 95%CI 1.31 to 1.85), and that the combination of manual acupuncture and mecobalamin had better effect compared with mecobalamin alone on global symptom improvement (RR 1.56, 95%CI 1.28 to 1.90). Adverse events were not reported in any trials. The asymmetric funnel plot suggested publication bias.
Despite the number of trials of manual acupuncture for DPN and their uniformly positive results, no clinically relevant conclusions can be drawn from this review due to the trials’ high risks of bias and the possibility of publication bias. Clearly defined and internationally acknowledged outcome measures are required for future study. There remains an urgent need for training Chinese researchers in conducting unbiased trials as well as prospectively registering all initiated Chinese trials to avoid publication bias.
Although migrant workers account for the majority of newborns in Beijing, their children are less likely to undergo appropriate universal newborn hearing screening/rescreening (UNHS) than newborns of local non-migrant residents. We hypothesised that this was at least in part due to the inadequacy of the UNHS protocol currently employed for newborn babies, and therefore aimed to modify the protocol to specifically reflect the needs of the migrant population.
A total of 10,983 healthy babies born to migrant mothers between January 2007 and December 2009 at a Beijing public hospital were investigated for hearing abnormalities according to a modified UNHS protocol. This incorporated two additional/optional otoacoustic emissions (OAE) tests at 24–48 hours and 2 months after birth. Infants not passing a screening test were referred to the next test, until any hearing loss was confirmed by the auditory brainstem response (ABR) test.
A total of 98.91% (10983/11104) of all newborn children underwent the initial OAE test, of which 27.22% (2990/10983) failed the test. 1712 of the failed babies underwent the second inpatient OAE test, with739 failing again; thus significantly decreasing the overall positive rate for abnormal hearing from 27.22% to 18.36% ([2990–973 /10983)]; p = 0). Overall, 1147(56.87%) babies underwent the outpatient OAE test again after1-month, of whom 228 failed and were referred for the second outpatient OAE test (i.e. 2.08% (228/10983) referral rate at 1month of age). 141 of these infants underwent the referral test, of whom 103 (73.05%) tested positive again and were referred for a final ABR test for hearing loss (i.e. final referral rate of 1.73% ([228-38/10983] at 2 months of age). Only 54 infants attended the ABR test and 35 (0.32% of the original cohort tested) were diagnosed with abnormal hearing.
Our study shows that it is feasible and practical to achieve high coverage rates for screening hearing loss and decrease the referral rates in newborn babies of migrant workers, using a modification of the currently employed UNHS protocol.
Auditory brainstem response (ABR); Migrant people; Newborn babies; Otoacoustic emissions (OAE); Universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS)
To identify risk factors of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU).
PubMed, Ovid, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library and references of retrieved articles were searched without language limitation. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated by using both the Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effect and the DerSimonian-Laird random-effects models.
Out of the 205 initially retrieved articles, 9 papers were included. All 4,564 patients were enrolled, including 213 patients with VAP and 4,351 patients without VAP. Among fourteen risk factors, six factors had statistical significances. Risk factors of VAP and its value of OR were as follows: genetic syndrome (OR =2.04; 95% CI: 1.08-3.86), steroids (OR =1.87; 95% CI: 1.07-3.27), reintubation or self-extubation (OR =3.16; 95% CI: 2.10-4.74), bloodstream infection (OR =4.42; 95% CI: 2.12-9.22), prior antibiotic therapy (OR =2.89; 95% CI: 1.41-5.94), bronchoscopy (OR =4.48; 95% CI: 2.31-8.71).
Special methods of preventions should be taken in the light of risk factors of VAP in PICU so as to decrease the rate.
Risk factors; ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP); pediatric intensive care unit (PICU); meta-analysis
Objective. To investigate the relationship between Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV), and its associated risk factors in Chinese patients with RA.
Methods. 138 Chinese RA patients and 150 healthy subjects were included. baPWV of all the participants was measured. RA related factors were determined, as well as traditional cardiovascular risk factors.
Results. baPWV was significant higher in RA group (1705.44 ± 429.20 cm/s) compared to the healthy control group (1386.23 ± 411.09 cm/s) (P < 0.001). Compared with low baPWV group, high baPWV group patients were significantly older (P = 0.008) and taller (P = 0.033). Serum cholesterol (P = 0.035), triglycerides (P = 0.004), and LDL level (P = 0.006) were significantly higher in high baPWV group patients compared with low baPWV group patients. The baPWV of RA patients was positively correlated with age (r = 0.439, P < 0.001), and serum cholesterol level (r = 0.231, P = 0.035), serum triglycerides level (r = 0.293, P < 0.001), serum LDL level (r = 0.323, P = 0.003). Meanwhile, baPWV negatively correlated with the height of RA patients (r = −0.253, P = 0.043). Multivariate regression analysis showed that baPWV of RA group was independently associated with age and serum triglycerides level. Conclusions. The old age and high level of serum triglycerides may be the major determinants of arterial stiffness in Chinese RA patients.
Nasal potential difference (NPD) is used as a biomarker of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) and epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) activity. We evaluated methods to detect changes in chloride and sodium transport by NPD based on a secondary analysis of a Phase II CFTR-modulator study. Thirty-nine subjects with CF who also had the G551D-CFTR mutation were randomized to receive ivacaftor (Kalydeco™; also known as VX-770) in four doses or placebo twice daily for at least 14 days. All data were analyzed by a single investigator who was blinded to treatment assignment. We compared three analysis methods to determine the best approach to quantify changes in chloride and sodium transport: (1) the average of both nostrils; (2) the most-polarized nostril at each visit; and (3) the most-polarized nostril at screening carried forward. Parameters of ion transport included the PD change with zero chloride plus isoproterenol (CFTR activity), the basal PD, Ringer's PD, and change in PD with amiloride (measurements of ENaC activity), and the delta NPD (measuring CFTR and ENaC activity). The average and most-polarized nostril at each visit were most sensitive to changes in chloride and sodium transport, whereas the most-polarized nostril at screening carried forward was less discriminatory. Based on our findings, NPD studies should assess both nostrils rather than a single nostril. We also found that changes in CFTR activity were more readily detected than changes in ENaC activity, and that rigorous standardization was associated with relatively good within-subject reproducibility in placebo-treated subjects (±2.8 mV). Therefore, we have confirmed an assay of reasonable reproducibility for detecting chloride-transport improvements in response to CFTR modulation.
Histones undergo numerous covalent modifications that play important roles in regulating gene expression. Previous investigations have focused on the effects of histone modifications on gene promoters, whereas efforts to unravel their effects on transcribed regions have lagged behind. To elucidate the effects of histone modification on transcribed regions, we constructed a quantitative model, which we suggest can predict the variation of gene expression more faithfully than the model constructed on promoters. Moreover, motivated by the fact that exon spicing is functionally coupled to transcription, we also devised a quantitative model to predict alternative exon expression using histone modifications on exons. This model was found to be general across different exon types and even cell types. Furthermore, an interaction network linking histone modifications to alternative exon expression was constructed using partial correlations. The network indicated that gene expression and specific histone modifications (H3K36me3 and H4K20me1) could directly influence the exon expression, while other modifications could act in an additive way to account for the stability and robustness. In addition, our results suggest that combinations of histone modifications contribute to exon splicing in a redundant and cumulative fashion. To conclude, this study provides a better understanding of the effects of histone modifications on gene transcribed regions.
Vestibular compensation is the process of behavioral recovery following peripheral vestibular lesion. In clinics, the histaminergic medicine is the most widely prescribed for the treatment of vertigo and motion sickness, however, the molecular mechanisms by which histamine modulates vestibular function remain unclear. During recovery from the lesion, the modulation of histamine receptors in the medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) and the flocculus may play an important role. Here with the means of quantitative real-time PCR, western blotting and immunohistochemistry, we studied the expression of histamine receptors (H1, H2, and H3) in the bilateral MVN and the flocculus of rats on the 1st, 3rd, and 7th day following unilateral labyrinthectomy (UL). Our results have shown that on the ipsi-lesional flocculus the H1, H2 and H3 receptors mRNA and the protein increased significantly on the 1st and 3rd day, with compare of sham controls and as well the contralateral side of UL. However, on the 7th day after UL, this expression returned to basal levels. Furthermore, elevated mRNA and protein levels of H1, H2 and H3 receptors were observed in the ipsi-lesional MVN on the 1st day after UL compared with sham controls and as well the contralateral side of UL. However, this asymmetric expression was absent by the 3rd post-UL. Our findings suggest that the upregulation of histamine receptors in the MVN and the flocculus may contribute to rebalancing the spontaneous discharge in bilateral MVN neurons during vestibular compensation.
The genome is extensively transcribed into long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs), many of which are implicated in gene silencing1,2. Potential roles of lincRNAs in gene activation are much less understood3,4,5. Development and homeostasis require coordinate regulation of neighboring genes through a process termed locus control6. Some locus control elements and enhancers transcribe lincRNAs7,8,9,10, hinting at possible roles in long range control. In vertebrates, 39 Hox genes, encoding homeodomain transcription factors critical for positional identity, are clustered in four chromosomal loci; the Hox genes are expressed in nested anterior-posterior and proximal-distal patterns co-linear with their genomic position from 3′ to 5′of the cluster11. Here we identify HOTTIP, a lincRNA transcribed from the 5′ tip of the HOXA locus that coordinates the activation of multiple 5′ HOXA genes in vivo. Chromosomal looping brings HOTTIP into close proximity to its target genes. HOTTIP directly binds the adaptor protein WDR5 and targets WDR5/MLL complexes across HOXA, driving histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation and gene transcription. Induced proximity is necessary and sufficient for HOTTIP activation of its target genes. Thus, by serving as key intermediates that transmit information from higher order chromosomal looping into chromatin modifications, lincRNAs may organize chromatin domains to coordinate long-range gene activation.
PKCδ activation was found to be a principal rate-limiting step in matrix-degrading enzyme production in human articular chondrocytes. However, the role of the PKC pathways, specifically PKCδ, has not yet been assessed in intervertebral disc tissue homeostasis.
Using in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo techniques, we evaluated the pathophysiological role of the PKCδ pathway by examining (i) proteoglycan deposition; (ii) matrix-degrading enzyme production and activity; (iii) downstream signaling pathways regulated by PKCδ; and (iv) the effect on in vivo models of disc degeneration in genetically-engineered PKCδ knockout mice.
Pathway-specific inhibitor studies reveal a vital role of PKCδ-MAPK (ERK, p38, JNK) axis and NFκB in disc homeostasis. Accordingly, PKCδ knockout mice are markedly resistant to disc degeneration in a disc injury model in vivo.
Suppression of the PKCδ pathway may be beneficial in the prevention and/or treatment of disc degeneration, and these findings provide evidence for the potential therapeutic role of pathway-specific inhibitors of the PKCδ cascade in the future.
PKCδ; MMP-13; intervertebral disc degeneration; signaling pathways; MAPK; Intervertebral disc; MMPs; ADAMTS
Bacillus sp. strain FJAT-13831 was isolated from the no. 1 pit soil of Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an City, People's Republic of China. The isolate showed a close relationship to the Bacillus cereus group. The draft genome sequence of Bacillus sp. FJAT-13831 was 4,425,198 bp in size and consisted of 5,567 genes (protein-coding sequences [CDS]) with an average length of 782 bp and a G+C value of 36.36%.
The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and accuracy of posterior screw fixation for unstable Hangman’s fracture using intraoperative 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation.
14 patients with unstable Hangman’s fractures (11 males and 3 females), ranging in age from 21 to 59 years, received posterior fixation assisted by an intraoperative 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation system: 11 Levine–Edwards type II and three type IIA cases. The American Spine Injury Association grade was D in 2 and E in 12 cases.
Operation time was 110 min (range 90–140 min). Hospital stay was 7.6 days (range 5–12 days). All the patients were observed for an average of 28.8 months (range 15–50 months). No screw-related injury to nerve, or vertebral artery was observed intraoperatively. An average of four screws/patient were inserted. Pedicle screws were placed into C2 and C3, and 5 screws were into the lateral mass of C3. Screw placement accuracy was evaluated using postoperative CT, according to the modified classification of Gertzbein and Robbins; one screw was grade 2 in C2, and three screws were grade 2 in the pedicle of C3. No grade 3 misplacement or clinical deficits were noted. C3 lateral mass screws were successfully inserted. Neck pain was relieved in each case. Neurologic status improved from D to E in 2 cases. Solid fusion was demonstrated in all the cases by static and dynamic films during the final follow-up.
This case series demonstrates that intraoperative 3D fluoroscopy-based navigation is a safe, accurate, and effective tool for screw placement in patients with unstable Hangman’s fracture.
Three-dimensional fluoroscopy; Hangman’s fracture; Screw fixation; Intraoperative navigation; Traumatic spondylolisthesis of the axis
Despite significant advances in vascular biology, bioengineering and pharmacology, restenosis remains a limitation to the overall efficacy of vascular reconstructions, both percutaneous and open. Although the pathophysiology of intimal hyperplasia is complex, a number of drugs and/or molecular tools have been identified that can prevent restenosis. Moreover, the focal nature of this process lends itself to treatment with local drug administration. In this article we provide a broad overview of current and future techniques for local drug delivery that have been developed to prevent restenosis following vascular intervention.
A systematic electronic literature search using PubMed was performed for all accessible published articles through September 2012. In an effort to remain current, additional searches were performed for abstracts presented at relevant societal meetings, filed patents, clinical trials and funded NIH awards.
The efficacy of local drug delivery has been demonstrated in the coronary circulation with the current clinical use of drug-eluting stents (DES). Until recently, however, DES were not found to be efficacious in the peripheral circulation. Further pursuit of intraluminal devices has led to the development of balloon-based technologies with a recent surge in trials involving drug-eluting balloons. Early data appears encouraging, particularly for treatment of lesions in the superficial femoral artery, with several devices having recently received the CE mark in Europe. Investigators have also explored periadventitial application of biomaterials containing anti-restenotic drugs, an approach that could be particularly useful for surgical bypass or endarterectomy. In the past systemic drug delivery has been unsuccessful, however, there has been recent exploration of intravenous delivery of drugs designed specifically to target injured or reconstructed arteries. Our review revealed a multitude of additional interesting strategies including more than 65 new patents issued over the past two years for approaches to local drug delivery focused on preventing restenosis.
Restenosis following intraluminal or open vascular reconstruction remains an important clinical problem. Success in the coronary circulation has not translated into solutions for the peripheral arteries. However, our review of the literature reveals a number of promising approaches including drug-eluting balloons, periadventitial drug delivery as well as targeted systemic therapies. These innovations as well as others suggest that the future is bright and a solution for preventing restenosis in peripheral vessels will soon be at hand.
Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), formed from proteins and peptides by nonenzymatic glycoxidation after contact with aldose sugars, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of age-related cardiac and vascular dysfunction. Our previous study demonstrated significantly elevated levels of AGE and the receptor for AGE (RAGE) in human abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) tissues. Inhibition of AGE signaling by targeted gene deletion of RAGE markedly reduced the development of aneurysm in a mouse model of AAA. We also showed that AGE may stimulate aneurysm formation by promoting metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 expression. In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism underlying this novel function of AGE.
The murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 was pretreated with AGE, TGF-β, and MAPK inhibitors. The protein was collected for Western blot analysis. Culture supernatants were collected to determine MMP-9 activity by gelatin zymography.
We found that AGE induced the production of MMP-9 in macrophages in a dose-dependent manner. This induction of MMP-9 was markedly diminished by pretreatment with TGF-β. To delineate the underlying molecular mechanism, we showed that AGE increased phosphorylation of p44/42 ERK, p38, JNK, and PI3K in macrophages. Moreover, AGE induced active p65 subunit of NF-κB. Inhibition of ERK (UO126) or p38 (SB203580), but not PI3K (LY294002 or wortmannin), blocked AGE-induced MMP-9 expression. In contrast, inhibition of JNK (SP-600125) significantly enhanced the stimulatory effect of AGE on MMP-9. Furthermore, TGF-β suppressed AGE-induced expression of the active p65 subunit of NF-κB.
Our data indicate that AGE induces MMP-9 through activation of ERK, p38 mitogen-activated protein and NF-κB, a pathway that is antagonized by TGF-β. This finding in conjunction with previously reported AGE functions in inflammation suggests that anti-AGE therapies could be effective in the prevention of human AAA development and progression.
MAP kinases; abdominal aortic aneurysm; signaling; TGF-beta
The adventitia is increasingly recognized as an important player during the development of intimal hyperplasia. However, the mechanism of adventitial cell recruitment to the subintimal space remains largely undefined. We have shown previously that gene transfer of protein kinase C-delta (PKCδ) increases apoptosis of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) following balloon injury. In the current study, we investigated a potential role of PKCδ in regulating the recruitment of adventitial cells.
Methods and results
Conditioned media from PKCδ-overexpressing SMCs stimulated migration and CCR2 expression of adventitial fibroblasts through a MCP-1 dependent mechanism. Following balloon injury of rat carotid arteries, overexpression of PKCδ in SMCs significantly increased MCP-1 and CCR2 expression and the number of adventitia-originated cells detected in the neointima. Administration of an anti-MCP-1 antibody markedly diminished the recruitment of adventitial cells. Combined PKCδ overexpression and anti-MCP-1 inhibited initmal hyperplasia more effectively than either approach alone.
Our data suggest that PKCδ regulates recruitment of adventitial cells to the neointima via a mechanism involving upregulation of the MCP-1/CCR2 signaling axis in injured arteries. Blockage of MCP-1 while enhancing apoptosis may serve as a potential therapeutic strategy to attenuate intimal hyperplasia.
PKCδ; MCP-1; CCR2; intimal hyperplasia; myofibroblasts
Apoptosis of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) is a prominent pathological characteristic of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA). We have previously shown that SMC apoptosis stimulates proinflammatory signaling in a mouse model of AAA. Here, we test whether Protein Kinase C-delta (PKCδ), an apoptotic mediator, participates in the pathogenesis of AAA by regulating apoptosis and proinflammatory signals.
Methods and Results
Mouse experimental AAA is induced by perivascular administration of CaCl2. Mice deficient in PKCδ exhibit a profound reduction in aneurysmal expansion, SMC apoptosis, and transmural inflammation as compared to wildtype littermates. Delivery of PKCδ to the aortic wall of PKCδ−/− mice restores aneurysm, while overexpression of a dominant negative PKCδ mutant in the aorta of wildtype mice attenuates aneurysm. In vitro, PKCδ−/− aortic SMCs exhibit significantly impaired monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) production. Ectopic administration of recombinant MCP-1 to the arterial wall of PKCδ−/− mice restores inflammatory response and aneurysm development.
PKCδ is an important signaling mediator for SMC apoptosis and inflammation in a mouse model of AAA. By stimulating MCP-1 expression in aortic SMCs, upregulated PKCδ exacerbates the inflammatory process, in turn perpetuating elastin degradation and aneurysmal dilatation. Inhibition of PKCδ may serve as a potential therapeutic strategy for AAA.
UCN-01 (7-hydroxystaurosporine), a protein kinase inhibitor, has attracted a great deal of attention as a potent antitumour agent. Several clinical trials of UCN-01 alone or in combination with other agents for different tumour types are currently underway, and some of these trials have had positive results. Hepatocellular carcinoma has high incidence rates and is associated with poor prognosis and high mortality rates.
Three different hepatoma cell lines (Huh7, HepG2, and Hep3B) were treated with different concentrations of UCN-01, and the anti-tumour effects of UCN-01 were evaluated. Following UCN-01 treatment, cell growth was measured using an MTT assay, cell cycle arrest was assayed using flow cytometry, and the mechanisms of cell cycle arrest and invasion inhibition were investigated through western blotting and a Matrigel invasion assay.
After a 72-h UCN-01 treatment, the growth of different hepatoma cell lines was significantly inhibited in a dose-dependent manner, with IC50 values ranging from 69.76 to 222.74 nM. Flow cytometry results suggested that UCN-01 inhibits proliferation in the hepatoma cells by inducing S and G2/M phase arrest, but not G1/S arrest, which differs from previous reports that used other tumour cell lines. Western blot results illustrated that UCN-01 induces a G2/M phase arrest, regardless of the status of the p53/P21waf1 pathway, whereas the CHK2/CDC25C pathway and the p53/p21waf1 pathway were involved in the UCN-01-induced S phase arrest. UCN-01 remarkably inhibited Huh7 cell invasion in a time-dependent manner. Suppression of Huh7 cell invasion may be due to the down-regulation of phosphorylated β-catenin by UCN-01.
These findings suggest that UCN-01 induces hepatoma cell growth inhibition by regulating the p53/p21waf1 and CHK2/CDC25 pathways. Suppression of Huh7 cell invasion by UCN-01 may be due to the down-regulation of phosphorylated β-catenin. These data lend support for further studies on UCN-01 as a promising anti-HCC candidate.
7-hydroxystaurosporine (UCN-01); G2/M arrest; S arrest; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Anti-cancer drug; Beta-catenin; Tumour invasion and migration
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a surprisingly heterogeneous disorder with symptoms including resting tremor, bradykinesia and rigidity. PD has been associated with abnormal task related brain activation in sensory and motor regions as well as reward related network. Although corticostriatal skeletomotor circuit dysfunction is implicated in the neurobiology of Parkinson’s disease, the functional connectivity within this circuit at the resting state is still unclear for PD. Here we utilized resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the functional connectivity of striatum and motor cortex in 19 patients with PD and 20 healthy controls. We found that the putamen, but not the caudate, exhibited enhanced connectivity with supplementary motor area (SMA), using either the putamen or the SMA as the “seed region”. Enhanced SMA-amygdala functional connectivity was also found in the PD group, compared with normal controls. Our findings highlight the key role of hyper-connected putamen-SMC circuit in the pathophysiology of PD.
AIM: To investigate the normal hepatic magnetic resonance spectroscopy findings choline/lipid2 (Cho/Lip2) associated with age and body mass index (BMI).
METHODS: A total of 58 single-voxel proton spectra of the liver were acquired at 3.0 T using the eight-channel phased array abdominal coil as the receiver coil. Consecutive stacks of breath-hold spectra were acquired using the point resolved spectroscopy technique at a short echo time of 30 ms and a repetition time of 1500 ms. The spectra were processed with the SAGE software package. Areas and heights for metabolite resonance were obtained. Student’s t test for unpaired data was used for comparisons of shimming, Cho/Lip2, and lipid content.
RESULTS: There were significant negative correlations between the Cho/Lip2 peak height ratios and BMI (r = -0.615) and age (r = -0.398) (all P < 0.01). Compared with the high-BMI group, the low-BMI group was younger (39.1 ± 13.0 years vs 47.6 ± 8.5 years, t = -2.954, P = 0.005); had better water suppression (93.4% ± 1.4% vs 85.6% ± 11.6%, t = 2.741, P = 0.014); had higher Cho/Lip2 peak heights ratio (0.2 ± 0.14 vs 0.05 ± 0.04, t = 6.033, P < 0.000); and had lower lipid content (0.03 ± 0.08 vs 0.29 ± 0.31, t = -3.309, P = 0.004). Compared with the older group, the younger group had better shimming effects (17.1 ± 3.6 Hz vs 22.0 ± 6.8 Hz, t = -2.919, P = 0.008); higher Cho/Lip2 peak heights ratios (0.03 ± 0.05 vs 0.09 ± 0.12, t = 2.4, P = 0.020); and lower lipid content (0.05 ± 0.11 vs 0.23 ± 0.32, t = -2.337, P = 0.031). Compared with the low-choline peak group, the high-choline peak group had lower lipid content (0.005 ± 0.002 vs 0.13 ± 0.23, t = -3.796, P < 0.000); lower BMI (19.6 ± 2.4 vs 23.9 ± 3.0, t = -4.410, P < 0.000); and younger age (34.7 ± 10.0 years vs 43.2 ± 12.5 years, t = -2.088, P = 0.041).
CONCLUSION: Lipid accumulation could result from the increased fat in the body depending on age and BMI. Lipid can mask the resonance signal of choline.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy; High-field imaging; Choline
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved lysosomal self-digestion process involved in degradation of long-lived proteins and damaged organelles. In recent years, increasing evidence indicates that autophagy is associated with a number of pathological processes, including cancer. In this review, we focus on the recent studies of the evolutionarily conserved autophagy-related genes (ATGs) that are implicated in autophagosome formation and the pathways involved. We discuss several key autophagic mediators (eg, Beclin-1, UVRAG, Bcl-2, Class III and I PI3K, mTOR, and p53) that play pivotal roles in autophagic signaling networks in cancer. We discuss the Janus roles of autophagy in cancer and highlighted their relationship to tumor suppression and tumor progression. We also present some examples of targeting ATGs and several protein kinases as anticancer strategy, and discuss some autophagy-modulating agents as antitumor agents. A better understanding of the relationship between autophagy and cancer would ultimately allow us to harness autophagic pathways as new targets for drug discovery in cancer therapeutics.
autophagy; cancer; autophagy-related gene (ATG); Beclin-1; Bcl-2; Class III and I PI3K; mTOR; p53
Circulating endothelial cells (CECs) are markers of vascular damage that have clinical relevance in many diseases, including acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and may be predictors of treatment responses. Herein, we investigated the diagnostic and prognostic value of CEC monitoring in AMI patients and a murine model.
CECs were defined as Hoechst 33342+/CD45−/CD31+/CD146+/CD133− in human blood samples and Hoechst 33342+/CD45−/CD31+/KDR+/CD117− in murine samples. To evaluate the validity and variability of our CEC detection system, peripheral blood samples of vascular endothelial growth factor-treated athymic nude mice and AMI patients were collected and subjected to intra-assay analysis. CEC detection by flow cytometry and real-time PCR were compared. Blood samples were obtained from 61 AMI patients, 45 healthy volunteers and 19 samples of the original AMI patients accepted one month treatment, via flow cytometry and expressed as a percentage of peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Our CEC detection method was validated and had limited variability. CEC concentrations were higher in AMI patients compared to healthy controls. One month post-treatment, CECs levels decreased significantly.
CEC levels may be useful as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in AMI patients.
The aquaporin (AQP) family consists of a number of small integral membrane proteins that transport water and glycerol. AQPs are critical for trans-epithelial fluid transport. Recent reports demonstrated that AQPs, particularly AQP1 and AQP5, are expressed in high grade tumor cells of a variety of tissue origins, and that AQPs are involved in cell migration and metastasis. Based on this background, we examined whether AQP3, another important member of the AQP family, could facilitate cell migration in human breast cancers.
Potential role of AQP3 was examined using two representative breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and Bcap-37). Briefly, AQP3 expression was inhibited with a lentivirus construct that stably expressed shRNA against the AQP3 mRNA. AQP3 expression inhibition was verified with Western blot. Cell migration was examined using a wound scratch assay in the presence of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2). In additional experiments, AQP3 was inhibited by CuSO4. Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) kinase inhibitor PD173074, PI3K inhibitor LY294002, and MEK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 were used to dissect the molecular mechanism of FGF-2 induced AQP3 expression.
FGF-2 treatment increased AQP3 expression and induced cell migration in a dose dependent manner. Silencing AQP3 expression by a lentiviral shRNA inhibited FGF-2 induced cell migration. CuSO4, a water transport inhibitor selective for AQP3, also suppressed FGF-2-induced cell migration. The FGFR kinase inhibitor PD173074, significantly inhibited FGF-2-induced AQP3 expression and cell migration. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and MEK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 inhibited, but not fully blocked, FGF-2-induced AQP3 expression and cell migration.
AQP3 is required for FGF-2-induced cell migration in cultured human breast cancer cells. Our findings also suggest the importance of FGFR-PI3K and FGFR-ERK signaling in FGF-2-induced AQP3 expression. In summary, our findings suggest a novel function of AQP3 in cell migration and metastasis of breast cancers.