Cyclic peptides hold great potential as therapeutic agents and research tools, but their broad application has been limited by poor membrane permeability. Here, we report a potentially general approach for intracellular delivery of cyclic peptides. Short peptide motifs rich in arginine and hydrophobic residues (e.g., FΦRRRR, where Φ is L-2-naphthylalanine), when embedded into small- to medium-sized cyclic peptides (7–13 amino acids), bound to the plasma membrane of mammalian cultured cells and were subsequently internalized by the cells. Confocal microscopy and a newly developed peptide internalization assay demonstrated that cyclic peptides containing these transporter motifs were translocated into the cytoplasm and nucleus at efficiencies 2–5-fold higher than that of nonaarginine (R9). Furthermore, incorporation of the FΦRRRR motif into a cyclic peptide containing a phosphocoumaryl aminopropionic acid (pCAP) residue generated a cell permeable, fluorogenic probe for detecting intracellular protein tyrosine phosphatase activities.
cyclic peptide; cell-penetrating peptide; membrane permeability; membrane transporter; drug delivery
Triptolide, a natural product derived from the Chinese plant Tripterygium wilfordii, is reported to exhibit antitumor effects in a broad range of cancers. The antitumor activity of triptolide is associated with its biological activities, as it inhibits various pro-proliferative or anti-apoptotic factors that are dominantly expressed in given types of cancer cells. Herein, we demonstrate that triptolide induced apoptosis in a subgroup of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells overexpressing the MDM2 oncoprotein, by inhibiting MDM2 expression. More specifically, we found that triptolide inhibited MDM2 at the transcriptional level by suppressing its mRNA synthesis. This MDM2 inhibition led in turn to increased levels of p53 protein; however, p53 functionality was not activated, due to the fact that triptolide-treated cells lacked induction of p21 and PUMA as well as in G1 cell-cycle arrest. Triptolide-mediated downregulation of MDM2 increased inhibition of XIAP, its translational target, in a manner distinct from reactions to cellular stress and DNA-damaging agent ionizing radiation (IR) that induce XIAP due to p53-activated MDM2. These results suggest that increased inhibition of XIAP due to downregulation of MDM2 may play a critical role in triptolide-induced apoptosis in MDM2-overexpressing cancers.
Ginsenosides are the primary bioactive components of ginseng, which is a popular medicinal plant that exhibits diverse pharmacological activities. Protopanaxadiol, protopanaxatriol and oleanolic acid are three basic aglycons of ginsenosides. Producing aglycons of ginsenosides in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was realized in this work and provides an alternative route compared to traditional extraction methods. Synthetic pathways of these three aglycons were constructed in S. cerevisiae by introducing β-amyrin synthase, oleanolic acid synthase, dammarenediol-II synthase, protopanaxadiol synthase, protopanaxatriol synthase and NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase from different plants. In addition, a truncated 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase, squalene synthase and 2,3-oxidosqualene synthase genes were overexpressed to increase the precursor supply for improving aglycon production. Strain GY-1 was obtained, which produced 17.2 mg/L protopanaxadiol, 15.9 mg/L protopanaxatriol and 21.4 mg/L oleanolic acid. The yeast strains engineered in this work can serve as the basis for creating an alternative way for producing ginsenosides in place of extractions from plant sources.
Hylocereus polyrhizus and Hylocereus undatus are two varieties of the commonly called pitaya fruits, and pitaya fruits have gained popularity in many countries all over the world. However, studies on chemical composition and the nutritional quality of pitaya flesh peel are limited.
Extracts of pitaya (H. polyrhizus and H. undatus) peel were extracted by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction, and analyzed by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis. Their cytotoxic and antioxidant activities were investigated. The main components of H. polyrhizus extract were β-amyrin (15.87%), α-amyrin (13.90%), octacosane (12.2%), γ-sitosterol (9.35%), octadecane (6.27%), 1-tetracosanol (5.19%), stigmast-4-en-3-one (4.65%), and campesterol (4.16%), whereas H. undatus were β-amyrin (23.39%), γ-sitosterol (19.32%), and octadecane (9.25%), heptacosane (5.52%), campesterol (5.27%), nonacosane (5.02%), and trichloroacetic acid, hexadecyl ester (5.21%). Both of the two extracts possessed good cytotoxic activities against PC3, Bcap-37, and MGC-803 cells (IC50 values ranging from 0.61 to 0.73 mg/mL), and the activities of their main components were also studied. Furthermore, these extracts also presented some radical scavenging activities, with IC50 values of 0.83 and 0.91 mg/mL, respectively.
This paper provides evidence for studying the chemical composition of supercritical carbon dioxide extracts of pitaya peel and their biological activity.
As the function of transient receptor potential melastatin member 8 (TRPM8) in osteosarcoma is still unknown, we aim to investigate the possible effects and potential mechanisms of TRPM8 on cell proliferation, metastasis and chemosensitivity in osteosarcoma cells. We find that TRPM8 is aberrantly over-expressed in human osteosarcoma tissues and cell lines. Knockdown of TRPM8 by siRNA in osteosarcoma cells leads to the impaired regulation of intracellular Ca2+ concentration and then the Akt-GSK-3β pathway and the phosphorylation of p44/p42 and FAK are suppressed. Knockdown of TRPM8 not only negatively influences the cell proliferation and metastasis but also enhances epirubicin-induced cell apoptosis. Such results reveal that TRPM8 is worthy further investigation for its potential as a clinical biomarker and therapeutic target in osteosarcoma.
TRPM8; osteosarcoma; epirubicin; apoptosis; MAPK
Untestable assumptions about association between survival and censoring times can affect the validity of estimates of the survival distribution, including the Kaplan-Meier (KM) nonparametric MLE. This article explores the sensitivity of the KM curve to nonignorable censoring by extending the index of local sensitivity to nonignorability (ISNI) (Troxel et al. 2004, Zhang and Heitjan 2006) to the case of a nonparametric survival model. The method involves first specifying a coarse-data selection model to describe the association between the failure and censoring processes, then evaluating the slope of the nonparametric survival MLE ordinate with respect to a nonignorability parameter in the neighborhood of the ignorable model. We define the nonparametric MLE of the survival curve for a fixed value of the nonignorability parameter, and show in a simulation that ISNI analysis effectively captures local sensitivity to nonignorability. The method measures sensitivity in the sense of identifying functionals of the nonparametric MLE that nonignorability, if present, can affect substantially. We demonstrate the method with an application to a trial comparing mechanical assistance to optimal medical management in the treatment of end-stage heart failure.
Coarse-data model; ignorability; informative censoring; ISNI; sensitivity analysis
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor delta (PPARD) is nuclear hormone receptor involved in colorectal cancer (CRC) differentiation and progression. The purpose of this study was to determine prevalence and spectrum of variants in the PPARD gene in CRC, and their contribution to clinicopathological endpoints.
Methods and Findings
Direct sequencing of the PPARD gene was performed in 303 primary tumors, in blood samples from 50 patients with ≥3 affected first-degree relatives, 50 patients with 2 affected first-degree relatives, 50 sporadic patients, 360 healthy controls, and in 6 colon cancer cell lines. Mutation analysis revealed 22 different transversions, 7 of them were novel. Three of all variants were somatic (c.548A>G, p.Y183C, c.425-9C>T, and c.628-16G>A). Two missense mutations (p.Y183C and p.R258Q) were pathogenic using in silico predictive program. Five recurrent variants were detected in/adjacent to the exons 4 (c.1-87T>C, c.1-67G>A, c.130+3G>A, and c.1-101-8C>T) and exon 7 (c.489T>C). Variant c.489C/C detected in tumors was correlated to worse differentiation (P = 0.0397).
We found 7 novel variants among 22 inherited or acquired PPARD variants. Somatic and/or missense variants detected in CRC patients are rare but indicate the clinical importance of the PPARD gene.
Accumulating evidence demonstrates that non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) are indispensable components of many organisms and play important roles in cellular events, regulation, and development.
Here, we analysed the small non-coding RNA (ncRNA) transcriptome of Trichophyton rubrum by constructing and sequencing a cDNA library from conidia and mycelia. We identified 352 ncRNAs and their corresponding genomic loci. These ncRNA candidates included 198 entirely novel ncRNAs and 154 known ncRNAs classified as snRNAs, snoRNAs and other known ncRNAs. Further bioinformatic analysis detected 96 snoRNAs, including 56 snoRNAs that had been annotated in other organisms and 40 novel snoRNAs. All snoRNAs belonged to two major classes—C/D box snoRNAs and H/ACA snoRNAs—and their potential target sites in rRNAs and snRNAs were predicted. To analyse the evolutionary conservation of the ncRNAs in T. rubrum, we aligned all 352 ncRNAs to the genomes of six dermatophytes and to the NCBI non-redundant nucleotide database (NT). The results showed that most of the identified snRNAs were conserved in dermatophytes. Of the 352 ncRNAs, 102 also had genomic loci in other dermatophytes, and 27 were dermatophyte-specific.
Our systematic analysis may provide important clues to the function and evolution of ncRNAs in T. rubrum. These results also provide important information to complement the current annotation of the T. rubrum genome, which primarily comprises protein-coding genes.
Model-based Analysis of ChIP-seq (MACS) is a computational algorithm that identifies genome-wide locations of transcription/chromatin factor binding or histone modification from ChIP-seq data. MACS consists of four steps: removing redundant reads, adjusting read position, calculating peak enrichment, and estimating the empirical false discovery rate. In this protocol, we provide a detailed demonstration of how to install MACS and how to use it to analyze three common types of ChIP-seq datasets with different characteristics: the sequence-specific transcription factor FoxA1, the histone modification mark H3K4me3 with sharp enrichment, and the H3K36me3 mark with broad enrichment. We also explain how to interpret and visualize the results of MACS analyses. The algorithm requires approximately 3 GB of RAM and 1.5 hours of computing time to analyze a ChIP-seq dataset containing 30 million reads, an estimate that increases with sequence coverage. MACS is open-source and is available from http://liulab.dfci.harvard.edu/MACS.
MACS; ChIP-seq; peak calling; transcription factor; histone modification
To analyze the clinical effect of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in children with acute fulminant myocarditis, we retrospectively analyzed the data of five children with acute fulminant myocarditis in the intensive care unit (ICU) at the Affiliated Children’s Hospital, Zhejiang University from February 2009 to November 2012. The study group included two boys and three girls ranging in age from 9 to 13 years (median 10 years). Body weight ranged from 25 to 33 kg (mean 29.6 kg). They underwent extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) through a venous-arterial ECMO model with an average ECMO supporting time of 89.8 h (40–142 h). Extracorporeal circulation was established in all five children. After treatment with ECMO, the heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation were greatly improved in the four children who survived. These four children were successfully weaned from ECMO and discharged from hospital machine-free, for a survival rate of 80% (4/5). One child died still dependent on the machine. Cause of death was irrecoverable cardiac function and multiple organ failure. Complications during ECMO included three cases of suture bleeding, one case of acute hemolytic renal failure and suture bleeding, and one case of hyperglycemia. During the follow-up period of 4–50 months, the four surviving children recovered with normal cardiac function and no abnormal functions of other organs. The application of ECMO in acute fulminant myocarditis, even in local centers that experience low incidence of this disease, remains an effective approach. Larger studies to determine optimal timing of placement on ECMO to guide local centers are warranted.
Mapping the chromosomal locations of transcription factors, nucleosomes, histone modifications, chromatin remodeling enzymes, chaperones, and polymerases is one of the key tasks of modern biology, as evidenced by the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) Project. To this end, chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the standard methodology. Mapping such protein-DNA interactions in vivo using ChIP-seq presents multiple challenges not only in sample preparation and sequencing but also for computational analysis. Here, we present step-by-step guidelines for the computational analysis of ChIP-seq data. We address all the major steps in the analysis of ChIP-seq data: sequencing depth selection, quality checking, mapping, data normalization, assessment of reproducibility, peak calling, differential binding analysis, controlling the false discovery rate, peak annotation, visualization, and motif analysis. At each step in our guidelines we discuss some of the software tools most frequently used. We also highlight the challenges and problems associated with each step in ChIP-seq data analysis. We present a concise workflow for the analysis of ChIP-seq data in Figure 1 that complements and expands on the recommendations of the ENCODE and modENCODE projects. Each step in the workflow is described in detail in the following sections.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been demonstrated to participate in many important cellular processes including radiosensitization. VEGF family, an important regulator of angiogenesis, also plays a crucial role in the regulation of cancer cell radiosensitivity. VEGFR2 mediates the major growth and permeability actions of VEGF in a paracrine/autocrine manner. MiR-200c, at the nexus of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is predicted to target VEGFR2. The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that regulation of VEGFR2 pathway by miR-200c could modulate the radiosensitivity of cancer cells. Bioinformatic analysis, luciferase reporter assays and biochemical assays were carried out to validate VEGFR2 as a direct target of miR-200c. The radiosensitizing effects of miR-200c on A549 cells were determined by clonogenic assays. The downstream regulating mechanism of miR-200c was explored with western blotting assays, FCM, tube formation assays and migration assays. We identified VEGFR2 as a novel target of miR-200c. The ectopic miR-200c increased the radiosensitivity of A549 while miR-200c down-regulation decreased it. Besides, we proved that miR-200c radiosensitized A549 cells by targeting VEGF-VEGFR2 pathway specifically, thus leading to inhibition of its downstream pro-survival signaling transduction and angiogenesis, and serves as a potential target for radiosensitizition research.
In many parts of the world, including in China, extreme heat events or heat waves are likely to increase in intensity, frequency, and duration in light of climate change in the next decades. Risk perception and adaptation behaviors are two important components in reducing the health impacts of heat waves, but little is known about their relationships in China. This study aimed to examine the associations between risk perception to heat waves, adaptation behaviors, and heatstroke among the public in Guangdong province, China.
A total of 2,183 adult participants were selected using a four-stage sampling method in Guangdong province. From September to November of 2010 each subject was interviewed at home by a well-trained investigator using a structured questionnaire. The information collected included socio-demographic characteristics, risk perception and spontaneous adaptation behaviors during heat wave periods, and heatstroke experience in the last year. Chi-square tests and unconditional logistic regression models were employed to analyze the data.
This study found that 14.8%, 65.3% and 19.9% of participants perceived heat waves as a low, moderate or high health risk, respectively. About 99.1% participants employed at least one spontaneous adaptation behavior, and 26.2%, 51.2% and 22.6% respondents employed <4, 4–7, and >7 adaptation behaviors during heat waves, respectively. Individuals with moderate (OR=2.93, 95% CI: 1.38-6.22) or high (OR=10.58, 95% CI: 4.74-23.63) risk perception experienced more heatstroke in the past year than others. Drinking more water and wearing light clothes in urban areas, while decreasing activity as well as wearing light clothes in rural areas were negatively associated with heatstroke. Individuals with high risk perception and employing <4 adaptation behaviors during heat waves had the highest risks of heatstroke (OR=47.46, 95% CI: 12.82-175.73).
There is a large room for improving health risk perception and adaptation capacity to heat waves among the public of Guangdong province. People with higher risk perception and fewer adaptation behaviors during heat waves may be more vulnerable to heat waves.
Risk perception; Climate change; Heat waves; Extreme heat; Adaptation behaviors; Heatstroke; Interactive effect
The cause of multiple sclerosis (MS), its driving pathogenesis at the earliest stages, and what factors allow the first clinical attack to manifest remain unknown. Some imaging studies suggest gray rather than white matter may be involved early, and some postulate this may be predictive of developing MS. Other imaging studies are in conflict. To determine if there was objective molecular evidence of gray matter involvement in early MS we used high-resolution mass spectrometry to identify proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of first-attack MS patients (two independent groups) compared to established relapsing remitting (RR) MS and controls. We found that the CSF proteins in first-attack patients were differentially enriched for gray matter components (axon, neuron, synapse). Myelin components did not distinguish these groups. The results support that gray matter dysfunction is involved early in MS, and also may be integral for the initial clinical presentation.
AIM: To examine transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) promoter methylation in gastric cancer and to determine if Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) or interleukin (IL)-1β could induce TGF-β1 hypermethylation in vitro.
METHODS: We examined the frequency and extent of TGF-β1 promoter methylation using methylation-specific PCR in the gastric tissues from 47 gastric cancer patients and 39 non-gastric cancer subjects. H. pylori infection was confirmed by a positive result from either a serological test, histological analysis or C13 urea breath test. GES-1 and MKN-45 cells co-cultured with H. pylori or treated with IL-1β for 12, 24 and 48 h in vitro tested the effects of H. pylori or IL-1β on TGF-β1.
RESULTS: Twenty-four/forty-seven (51%) cases of gastric cancer (GC) tissues showed TGF-β1 promoter methylation, 15/47 (31.9%) cases of matched non-cancerous gastric mucosa tissues from the GC patients, and 11/39 (28%) case of the normal gastric mucosa tissues from non-GC subjects showed TGF-β1 promoter methylation (51% vs 28%, P < 0.05). Significantly higher levels of methylation of TGF-β1 were found in the tumor tissues than in non-tumor tissues from GC patients (0.24 ± 0.06 vs 0.17 ± 0.04, P < 0.05) and normal gastric tissues from non-GC subjects (0.24 ± 0.06 vs 0.15 ± 0.03, P < 0.05). TGF-β1 methylation was found in 48.3% of H. pylori-positive gastric mucosal tissues whereas only 23.1% of H. pylori-negative gastric mucosal tissues showed TGF-β1 methylation (48.3% vs 23.1%, P < 0.05). IL-1β appeared to induce a dose-dependent methylation of TGF-β1 and the strongest methylation was observed in GES-1 cells treated with 2.5 ng/mL of IL-1β for 48 h. Further studies showed that pre-treatment of GES-1 cells with 20 ng/mL IL-1RA for 1 h could partially abolish the effect of IL-1β on TGF-β1 methylation. Infection of GES-1 cells by H. pylori was not found to induce significant TGF-β1 promoter methylation.
CONCLUSION: Our data revealed that TGF-β1 promoter is methylated in GC patients. IL-1β may be an important mediator for H. pylori induced gene methylation during GC development.
Transforming growth factor-β1; Interleukin-1β; Methylation; Helicobacter pylori; Gastric cancer
Aurora kinases are essential for regulation of chromosome segregation and cytokinesis during mitosis and play a role in growth and progression of human tumors, including ovarian cancer. Aurora A and Aurora B are frequently overexpressed in high-grade and low-grade ovarian cancers. Targeting Aurora kinases has great potential for improving the efficacy of chemotherapies of ovarian cancer. In this study, we investigated whether the Aurora kinase inhibitor, VE 465, can enhance the anti-tumor activity of carboplatin in human ovarian cancer cells. The antitumor activity of VE 465 was tested by MTT proliferative assay in multiple established human epithelial ovarian cancer cell lines of varying p53 status. VE 465 and carboplatin had a synergistic effect on cell viability in both platinum-sensitive and -resistant ovarian cancers. The growth-inhibitory effect was accompanied by reduction in expression of histone 3 and an increase in apoptosis. We conclude that VE 465 enhances the efficacy of carboplatin agents in ovarian carcinoma.
ovarian cancer; Aurora kinases; Aurora kinase inhibitors; chemosensitization
The utility of mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomic analyses and their clinical applications have been increasingly recognized over the past decade due to their high sensitivity, specificity and throughput. MS-based proteomic measurements have been used in a wide range of biological and biomedical investigations, including analysis of cellular responses and disease-specific post-translational modifications. These studies greatly enhance our understanding of the complex and dynamic nature of the proteome in biology and disease. Some MS techniques, such as those for targeted analysis, are being successfully applied for biomarker verification, whereas others, including global quantitative analysis (for example, for biomarker discovery), are more challenging and require further development. However, recent technological improvements in sample processing, instrumental platforms, data acquisition approaches and informatics capabilities continue to advance MS-based applications. Improving the detection of significant changes in proteins through these advances shows great promise for the discovery of improved biomarker candidates that can be verified pre-clinically using targeted measurements, and ultimately used in clinical studies - for example, for early disease diagnosis or as targets for drug development and therapeutic intervention. Here, we review the current state of MS-based proteomics with regard to its advantages and current limitations, and we highlight its translational applications in studies of protein biomarkers.
biomarker; clinical proteomics; ion mobility separations; mass spectrometry; multiple reaction monitoring; selected reaction monitoring; shotgun proteomics; targeted proteomics; translational proteomics
Calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) may promote post-transplantation cancer through altered expression of cytokines and chemokines in tumor cells. We found that there is a potential cross-talk among CNI-induced signaling molecules and mTOR. Here, we utilized a murine model of post-transplantation cancer to examine the effect of a combination therapy (CNI + mTOR-inhibitor rapamycin) on allograft survival and renal cancer progression. The therapy prolonged allograft survival; and significantly attenuated CNI-induced post-transplantation cancer progression, with down-regulation of mTOR and S6-kinase phosphorylation. Also, rapamycin inhibited CNI-induced over-expression of the angiogenic cytokine VEGF, and the chemokine receptor CXCR3 and its ligands in post-transplantation tumor tissues.
Renal cancer; Angiogenesis; VEGF; Chemokine; Transplantation
Our objective was to test the hypothesis that treatment for trichomoniasis among HIV-infected women not taking antiretrovirals in South Africa would be associated with decreased HIV genital shedding.
HIV-infected women presenting for routine HIV care were screened for trichomoniasis using self-collected vaginal swabs with a rapid point-of-care immunochromatographic antigen test. Women testing positive were offered enrollment into a prospective cohort study if they had documented HIV infection, were ages 18–50, and not receiving antiretroviral therapy. Recent use of post-exposure prophylaxis or antibiotic therapy, active genital ulcers, or systemic illness were exclusion criteria. Cervical swabs were collected for gonococcal and chlamydial testing and those testing positive were excluded. Women were treated with directly-observed oral therapy with 2 grams of oral metronidazole. A follow-up visit was scheduled one month after therapy and partner letters were provided. Paired cervical wicks and plasma were collected for viral load measurement.
557 women were screened. 60 tested positive for trichomoniasis, 10 subsequently met exclusion criteria, 4 were lost to follow-up. Of 46 women evaluated at follow-up, 37 were cured, 80.4%. Plasma viral load was not significantly different after therapy, p=0.93. Genital tract viral load decreased by 0.5 log10, p<0.01. The mean genital tract viral load (log10) decreased from 4.66 (<3.52 – 6.46) to 4.18 (<3.52 – 6.48), p<0.01 following therapy.
Screening and treatment of vaginal trichomoniasis decreases genital shedding of HIV among South African women not receiving antiretrovirals at one month following therapy.
HIV; trichomoniasis; women; genital shedding; metronidazole
The objective was to assess the relationship between alcohol use and misuse and patient sex among emergency department (ED) patients by comparing self-reported estimates of quantity and frequency of alcohol use; estimated blood alcohol concentrations (eBACs) when typically drinking, and during heavy episodic drinking (binging); and alcohol misuse severity, to understand sex differences in alcohol use and misuse for this population.
The authors surveyed a random sample of non-intoxicated, sub-critically ill or injured, 18 to 64 year-old English- or Spanish-speaking patients on randomly selected dates and times at two EDs during July 2009 and August 2009. Participants self-administered a questionnaire about their self-reported alcohol use during a typical month within the past 12 months, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Using the formulae by Matthews and Miller, sex-specific eBACs were calculated for participants according to their reported weight and the number of reported alcoholic drinks consumed on days when typically drinking, and on days of heavy episodic (binge) drinking (≥ 5 drinks/occasion for men, ≥ 4 drinks for women). Sex-specific alcohol misuse severity levels (low-risk, harmful, hazardous, and dependence) were calculated using AUDIT scores. Wilcoxon rank-sum and Pearson’s chi-square tests were used to compare outcomes by sex. Negative binomial regression was used to assess the relationship between sex and the number of drinks consumed on a typical day, the number of days spent drinking and binging, and estimated AUDIT scores. Logistic regression was used to assess the outcome of the presence of binging according to sex. Multinomial logistic regression was used to compare by sex the percentage of days spent drinking and binging in one month, eBACs when typically drinking and when binging, and AUDIT at-risk drinking levels. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and adjusted odds ratios (AORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated. All models were adjusted for patient demographic characteristics.
Of the 513 participants, 52.1% were women, 55.8% were white non-Hispanic, and their median age was 34 years (IQR 25 to 46 years). Men reported greater mean alcohol consumption than women when typically drinking (4.3 vs. 3.3 drinks per day; p < 0.001), and during heavy episodic drinking (8.6 vs. 5.3/drinks per occasion; p < 0.001). Men spent more days drinking (IRR 1.41, 95% CI = 1.19 to 1.65) and engaging in heavy episodic drinking (IRR 1.68, 95% CI = 1.31 to 2.17) than women. Additionally, men were more likely to engage in heavy episodic drinking (AOR 1.72, 95% CI = 1.16 to 2.56) than women. However, the mean eBACs for men and women were similar when typically drinking (0.05 vs. 0.06; p < 0.13) and during heavy episodic drinking (0.13 vs. 0.12; p < 0.13). Mean AUDIT scores were greater for men than women (7.5 vs. 5.3; p < 0.001), although alcohol misuse severity levels were similar between men and women (24.4% vs. 26.6% for hazardous, 2.8% vs. 2.2% for harmful, and 6.5% vs. 3.4% for dependence; p < 0.38).
Although men drink more than women, women have similar eBACs with comparable levels of alcohol misuse. Women may benefit from recognizing that they are reaching similar levels of intoxication compared to men. Addressing these differences and possible health implications in future ED brief interventions may induce changes in problematic alcohol use among women.
To better understand how warming, increased precipitation and their interactions influence community structure and composition, a field experiment simulating hydrothermal interactions was conducted at an annual forb dominated desert steppe in northern China over 2 years. Increased precipitation increased species richness while warming significantly decreased species richness, and their effects were additive rather than interactive. Although interannual variations in weather conditions may have a major affect on plant community composition on short term experiments, warming and precipitation treatments affected individual species and functional group composition. Warming caused C4 grasses such as Cleistogenes squarrosa to increase while increased precipitation caused the proportions of non-perennial C3 plants like Artemisia capillaris to decrease and perennial C4 plants to increase.
The current study aimed to examine the effects of daily change of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange Index on cardiovascular mortality in Guangzhou and Taishan, China.
Daily mortality and stock performance data during 2006–2010 were collected to construct the time series for the two cities. A distributed lag non-linear model was utilized to examine the effect of daily stock index changes on cardiovascular mortality after controlling for potential confounding factors.
We observed a delayed non-linear effect of the stock index change on cardiovascular mortality: both rising and declining of the stock index were associated with increased cardiovascular deaths. In Guangzhou, the 15–25 lag days cumulative relative risk of an 800 index drop was 2.08 (95% CI: 1.38–3.14), and 2.38 (95% CI: 1.31–4.31) for an 800 stock index increase on the cardiovascular mortality, respectively. In Taishan, the cumulative relative risk over 15–25 days lag was 1.65 (95% CI: 1.13–2.42) for an 800 index drop and 2.08 (95% CI: 1.26–3.42) for an 800 index rising, respectively.
Large ups and downs in daily stock index might be important predictor of cardiovascular mortality.
Residents of the Tibetan Plateau show heritable adaptations to extreme altitude. We sequenced 50 exomes of ethnic Tibetans, encompassing coding sequences of 92% of human genes, with an average coverage of 18X per individual. Genes showing population-specific allele frequency changes, which represent strong candidates for altitude adaptation, were identified. The strongest signal of natural selection came from EPAS1, a transcription factor involved in response to hypoxia. One SNP at EPAS1 shows a 78% frequency difference between Tibetan and Han samples, representing the fastest allele frequency change observed at any human gene to date. This SNP’s association with erythrocyte abundance supports the role of EPAS1 in adaptation to hypoxia. Thus, a population genomic survey has revealed a functionally important locus in genetic adaptation to high altitude.
The profiling of small RNAs by high throughput sequencing (smRNA-Seq) has revealed the complexity of the RNA world. Here, we describe a computational scheme for dissecting the plant smRNAome by integrating smRNA-Seq datasets in Arabidopsis thaliana. Our analytical approach first defines ab initio the genomic loci that produce smRNAs as basic units, then utilizes principal component analysis (PCA) to predict novel miRNAs. Secondary structure prediction of candidates’ putative precursors discovered a group of long hairpin double-stranded RNAs (lh-dsRNAs) formed by inverted duplications of decayed coding genes. These gene remnants produce miRNA-like small RNAs which are predominantly 21- and 22-nt long, dependent of DCL1 but independent of RDR2 and DCL2/3/4, and associated with AGO1. Additionally, we found two classes of transcription start site associated- (TSSa-) RNAs located at sense (+) and antisense (−) approximately 100 ~ 200 bp downstream of TSSs, but are differentially incorporated into AGO1 and AGO4, respectively.
High-throughput sequencing; small RNAs; Principal component analysis; TSS-associated RNAs
The objectives of this study were to 1) determine the correlation between osteoarthritis (OA) and Ihh expression, and 2) establish the effects of Ihh on expression of markers of chondrocyte hypertrophy and MMP-13 in human OA cartilage.
OA cartilage and synovial fluid samples were obtained during total knee arthroplasty. Normal cartilage samples were obtained from intra-articular tumor resections, and normal synovial fluid samples were obtained from healthy volunteers and the contralateral uninjured knee of patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. OA was graded using the Mankin score. Expression of Ihh in synovial fluid was determined by western blot. Ihh, type X collagen and MMP-13 mRNA were determined by real time PCR. Protein expression of type X collagen and MMP-13 in cartilage samples were analyzed with immunohistochemistry. Chondrocyte size was measured using image analysis.
Ihh expression was increased 2.6 fold in OA cartilage and 37% in OA synovial fluid when compared to normal control samples. Increased expression of Ihh was associated with the severity of OA and expression of markers of chondrocyte hypertrophy: type X collagen and MMP-13, and chondocyte size. Chondrocytes were more spherical with increasing severity of OA. There was a significant correlation between Mankin score and cell size (r2= 0.80) and Ihh intensity (r2 = 0.89). Exogenous Ihh induced a 6.8 fold increase of type X collagen and 2.8 fold increase of MMP-13 mRNA expression in cultured chondrocytes. Conversely, knockdown of Ihh by siRNA and Hh inhibitor Cyclopamine had the opposite effect.
Ihh expression correlates with OA progression and changes in chondrocyte morphology and gene expression consistent with chondrocyte hypertrophy and cartilage degradation seen in OA cartilage. Thus, Ihh may be a potential therapeutic target to prevent OA progression.
Ihh; cartilage; osteoarthritis; chondrocyte hypertrophy; MMP-13