Bark beetles are among the most destructive of pine forest pests and they form close symbiotic relationships with ophiostomatoid fungi. Although some fungi are considered to be mutualistic symbionts of bark beetles with respect to the supply of nutrients, detrimental effects of fungal symbionts on larval growth have also been frequently reported. The mechanisms of such antagonistic effects are hypothesized to be a decrease in nutritional resources caused by competition for saccharides by the fungi. Here, we provide experimental evidence that three beetle-associated fungi modify the nutritional content of an artificial phloem diet, leading to a detrimental effect on the growth of Dendroctonus valens larvae. When larvae were fed a diet of pine phloem in agar medium colonized with any of these fungi, feeding activity was not affected but weight significantly decreased. Additional analysis showed that fungi depleted the fructose and glucose concentrations in the phloem media. Furthermore, these detrimental effects were neutralized by supplementing the media with fructose or glucose, suggesting that fungi may affect larval growth by modifying diet saccharide contents. These data indicate that fungus-induced nutritional changes in bark beetle diet can affect larval growth, and that the mechanism involves fungus-induced saccharide depletion from the larval diet.
bark beetle; symbiosis; ophiostomatoid; antagonism; saccharide; nutrition
Glucokinase (GK) is a hexokinase isozyme that catalyzes the phosphorylation of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate. Glucokinase activators are being investigated as potential diabetes therapies because of their effects on hepatic glucose output and/or insulin secretion. Here, we have examined the efficacy and mechanisms of action of a novel glucokinase activator, GKA23. In vitro, GKA23 increased the affinity of rat and mouse glucokinase for glucose, and increased glucose uptake in primary rat hepatocytes. In vivo, GKA23 treatment improved glucose homeostasis in rats by enhancing beta cell insulin secretion and suppressing hepatic glucose production. Sub-chronic GKA23 treatment of mice fed a high-fat diet resulted in improved glucose homeostasis and lipid profile.
Pomegranate possesses many medicinal properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammation and antitumor. It has been extensively used as a folk medicine by many cultures. Pomegranate fruit has been shown to have the inhibitory efficacy against prostate cancer and lung cancer in vitro and in vivo. It can be exploited in chemoprevention and chemotherapy of prostate cancer. In this study we examined the anti-cancer efficacy of pomegranate fruit grown in Taiwan against urinary bladder urothelial carcinoma (UBUC) and its mechanism of action.
Edible portion of Taiwanese pomegranate was extracted using ethanol and the anti-cancer effectiveness of ethanol extract was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Flow cytometry and western immunoblotting were exploited to uncover the molecular pathways underlying anti-UBUC activity of Taiwanese pomegranate ethanol extract.
This study demonstrated that Taiwanese pomegranate fruit ethanol extract (PEE) could effectively restrict the proliferation of UBUC T24 and J82 cells. Cell cycle analyses indicated that the S phase arrest induced by PEE treatment might be caused by an increase in cyclin A protein level and a decrease in the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 1. The results of western immunoblotting demonstrated that PEE treatment could not only evoke the activation of pro-caspase-3, -8,-9 but also increase Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in T24 cells. The above observations implicated that PEE administration might trigger the apoptosis in T24 cells through death receptor signaling and mitochondrial damage pathway. Besides we found that PEE exposure to T24 cells could provoke intensive activation of procaspase-12 and enhance the expressions of CHOP and Bip, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress marker, suggesting that ER stress might be the cardinal apoptotic mechanism of PEE-induced inhibition of bladder cancer cell.
The analytical results of this study help to provide insight into the molecular mechanism of induced bladder cancer cell apoptosis by pomegranate and to develop novel mechanism-based chemopreventive strategy for bladder cancer.
Previous studies have shown that viable myocardium predicts recovery of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction after revascularization. Our aim was to evaluate the prognostic value of myocardial scar assessed by late gadolinium-enhanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (LGE-CMR) on functional recovery in patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).
From November 2009 to September 2012, 63 patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) referred for first-time isolated CABG were prospectively enrolled, 52 were included in final analysis. LV functional parameters and scar tissue were assessed by LGE-CMR at baseline and 6 months after surgery. Patency of grafts was evaluated by computed tomography angiography (CTA) 6 months post-CABG. Predictors for global functional recovery were analyzed.
The baseline LVEF was 32.7±9.2%, which improved to 41.6±11.0% 6 months later and 32/52 patients improved LVEF by ≥5%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the most significant negative predictor for global functional recovery was the number of scar segments (Odds ratio 2.864, 95% Confidence Interval 1.172–6.996, p = 0.021). Receiver-Operator-Characteristic (ROC) analysis demonstrated that ≤4 scar segments predicted global functional recovery with a sensitivity and specificity of 85.0% and 87.5%, respectively (AUC = 0.91, p<0.001). Comparison of ROC curves also indicated that scar tissue was superior to viable myocardium in predicting cardiac functional recovery (p<0.001).
Our findings indicated that scar tissue on LGE-CMR is an independent negative predictor of cardiac functional recovery in patients with impaired LV function undergoing CABG. These observations may be helpful for clinicians and cardiovascular surgeons to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from surgical revascularization.
Klebsiella pneumoniae-caused liver abscess (KLA) has become a health problem in Taiwan and is continually reported in other countries. Diabetes mellitus, the most common metabolic disorder, underlies half of the KLA patients in Taiwan. The clinical impact of KLA has been well-documented. Nevertheless, the molecular basis regarding how K. pneumoniae causes liver infection, particularly in diabetic individuals, remains unclear.
Auto-bioluminescence-expressing K. pneumoniae was inoculated into diabetic mice and age-match naïve control. With the use of in
vivo imaging system, translocation of the bioluminescence-expressing K. pneumoniae from intestine to extraintestinal organs, mainly the liver, was noted in 80% of the diabetic mice, whereas the same bacteria causes extraintestinal infections in only 31% of naïve mice. Besides increased morbidity, the severity of hepatic tissue injury was also enhanced in the K. pneumoniae-infected diabetic mice. Upon K. pneumoniae infection, IFN-γ production was significantly evoked in the liver. To mediate IFN-γ signal, STAT (signal transducers and activators of transcription) 1 and 3 were activated in hepatocytes, and so was the expression of IRF (interferon regulatory factor)-1. Moreover, accumulation of neutrophils which was triggered by prolonged production of IL-1β and MIP-2, and significant increases in the level of active caspase 3 and phospho-eIF2α, were exclusively revealed in the K. pneumoniae-infected diabetic mice.
The activation of IFN-γ/STAT/IRF-1 signaling demonstrated by this work emphasizes the role of IFN-γ for mediating the hepatic response to K. pneumoniae infection.
Studies have shown that electroacupuncture (EA) ameliorates learning and memory after ischemic injury. However, there have been few studies elucidating the mechanisms of EA on learning and memory in cerebral hypoperfusion. In this study, we explored the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling pathway-mediated antiapoptotic action involved in EA-induced improvement of learning and memory. EA at GV20 and GV14 acupoints was applied in cerebral hypoperfusion rats. A Morris water maze task was performed, and the immunoreactivities of pCREB, Bcl-2, and Bax in the hippocampal CA1 area were evaluated by the Western blotting technique. Our findings indicated that (1) EA ameliorated spatial learning and memory impairment in cerebral hypoperfusion rats; (2) EA increased the immunoreactivities of pCREB and Bcl-2 and decreased the immunoreactivity of Bax; (3) intracerebroventricular administration of H89 (the inhibitor of protein kinase A) blocked EA-induced, pCREB-mediated antiapoptotic action and improved learning and memory. These results suggest that EA can ameliorate learning and memory via activation of the CREB signaling pathway in the hippocampus to attenuate apoptosis after cerebral hypoperfusion.
An improved sulfenylation method for the preparation of epidithio-, epitetrathio- and bis-(methylthio)diketopiperazines from diketopiperazines has been developed. Employing NaHMDS and related bases and elemental sulfur or bis[bis(trimethylsilyl)amino]trisulfide (23) in THF, the developed method was applied to the synthesis of a series of natural and designed molecules, including epicoccin G (1), 8,8′-epi-ent-rostratin B (2), gliotoxin (3), gliotoxin G (4), emethallicin E (5) and haematocin (6). Biological screening of selected synthesized compounds led to the discovery of a number of nanomolar anti poliovirus agents (i.e. 46, 2,2′-epi-46 and 61, Table 5) and several low micromolar anti Plasmodium falciparum lead compounds (i.e. 46, 2,2′-epi-46, 58, 61 and 1, Table 5).
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry into host cells is mediated by the trimeric envelope glycoprotein complex (Env). Accordingly, the Env proteins are the targets for neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) and are the focus of vaccines intended to induce NAbs. Because the Env complex is labile, soluble recombinant Env (gp140) trimers require engineering to stabilize them sufficiently for use as immunogens. Trimeric forms of gp140 trimers can be created that are either cleavage-competent or cleavage-defective at the junction between the gp120 and gp41 subunits. As functional trimers are cleaved at this site, the question arises as to whether cleavage affects the antigenic structure of the Env complex in a way that is relevant to vaccine design. Here, we present a comparative analysis of the antigenicity profiles of cleaved and uncleaved gp140 trimers derived from the KNH1144 (subtype A) virus that are otherwise closely sequence-matched. While cleavage did not affect the exposure of NAb epitopes on the gp140 trimers, non-neutralizing antibodies to gp41 epitopes bound much more strongly to uncleaved trimers. Hence cleavage does alter the structure of the HIV-1 Env complex.
HIV-1; Env; gp140 trimers; cleavage
Insulin resistance, tissue inflammation and adipose tissue dysfunction are features of obesity/Type 2 diabetes. Accordingly, we generated adipocyte-specific Nuclear Receptor Corepressor (NCoR) knock-out (AKO) mice to investigate the function of NCoR in adipocyte biology and glucose/insulin homeostasis. Despite increased obesity, glucose tolerance was improved in AKO mice, and euglycemic clamp studies demonstrated enhanced insulin sensitivity in liver, muscle and fat. Adipose tissue macrophage infiltration and inflammation were also decreased. PPARγ response genes were upregulated in adipose tissue from AKO mice and CDK5-mediated PPARγ ser-273 phosphorylation was reduced, creating a constitutively active PPARγ state. This identifies a novel function of NCoR as an adaptor protein which enhances the ability of CDK5 to associate with and phosphorylate PPARγ. The dominant function of adipocyte NCoR is to transrepress PPARγ and promote PPARγ ser-273 phosphorylation, such that NCoR deletion leads to adipogenesis, reduced inflammation, and enhanced systemic insulin sensitivity, phenocopying the TZD treated state.
nuclear corepressor; insulin resistance; obesity; macrophage; adipogenesis
Human soluble calcium-activated nucleotidase 1 (hSCAN-1) represents a new family of apyrase enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of nucleotide di- and tri-phosphates, thereby modulating extra-cellular purinergic and pyrimidinergic signaling. Among well-characterized phosphoryl transfer enzymes, hSCAN-1 is unique not only in its unusual calcium-dependent activation, but also in its novel phosphate-binding motif. Its catalytic site does not utilize backbone amide groups to bind phosphate, as in the common P-loop, but contains a large cluster of acidic ionizable side chains. By employing a state-of-the-art computational approach, we have revealed a previously uncharacterized catalytic calcium-binding site in hSCAN-1, which elucidates the unusual calcium-dependence of its apyrase activity. In a high-order coordination shell, the newly identified calcium ion organizes the active site residues to mediate nucleotide binding, to orient the nucleophilic water, and to facilitate the phosphoryl transfer reaction. From ab initio QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations with umbrella sampling, we have characterized a reverse protonation catalytic mechanism for hSCAN-1 and determined its free energy reaction profile. Our results are consistent with available experimental studies and provide new detailed insight into the structure-function relationship of this novel calcium-activated phosphoryl transfer enzyme.
Genetic alterations may contribute to chronic pancreatitis (CP) in Chinese young patients. This study was designed to investigate mutations of cationic trypsinogen (PRSS1), pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor or serine protease inhibitor Kazal type 1 (SPINK1), cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), chymotrypsin C (CTRC) and CLDN2 genes and the copy number variations (CNVs) of PRSS1 and asses associations with the development of idiopathic CP (ICP) in Chinese children.
A single center.
75 ICP Chinese children (40 boys and 35 girls).
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Mutations of PRSS1, SPINK1, CFTR, CTRC and CLDN2 genes and CNVs.
7 patients had heterozygous mutations in PRSS1, that is, N29I (n=1), R122H or R122C (n=6). The CNVs of PRSS1 in five patients had abnormal copies (1 copy (n=4), five copies (n=1)). 43 patients had IVS3+2T>C (rs148954387) (10 homozygous and 33 heterozygous) in SPINK1. None of the PRSS1 mutation patients carried a SPINK1 mutation. Frequency of PRSS1 and SPINK1 mutations was 9.3% and 57.3%, respectively, with an overall frequency of 66.6% (50/75). In addition, one patient had a novel deletion of CFTR (GCTTCCTA from c.500 to c.508 leading to the shortened polypeptide molecule via a stop codon). Another patient had a novel missense in CLDN2 exon 2 (c.592A>C mutation). Clinically, patients with SPINK1 mutations had a higher rate of pancreatic duct stones, pancreatic pseudocyst and pancreatic calcification than those without SPINK1 mutations (p<0.05).
SPINK1 mutations were more commonly associated with Chinese children with ICP. SPINK1 IVS3+2T>C mutation may play an important role in the pathogenesis of Chinese paediatric ICP. However, further study is needed to confirm and to investigate the role of these genes in the development of Chinese ICP.
Chronic inflammation is thought to be the leading cause of colorectal cancer, and interleukin-10 (IL10) has been identified as a potent immunomodulatory cytokine that regulates inflammatory responses in the gastrointestinal tract. Although several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in IL10 have been associated with the risk of colorectal cancer, their prognostic significance has not been determined. Two hundred and eighty-two colorectal cancer patients were genotyped for two candidate cancer-associated SNPs in IL10. The associations of these SNPs with distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression model. The minor homozygote GG genotype of IL10 rs3021094 was significantly associated with a 3.30-fold higher risk of death compared with the TT+TG genotypes (P=0.011). The patients with IL10 rs3021094 GG genotype also had a poorer overall survival in Kaplan-Meier analysis (log-rank P=0.007) and in multivariate Cox regression model (P=0.044) adjusting for age, gender, carcinoembryonic antigen levels, tumor differentiation, stage, lymphovascular invasion, and perineural invasion. In conclusion, our results suggest that IL10 rs3021094 might be a valuable prognostic biomarker for colorectal cancer patients.
Colorectal Neoplasms; Inflammation; Interleukin-10; Polymorphism; Survival
Notch signaling has previously been shown to play an essential role in regulating cell fate decisions and differentiation during cardiogenesis in many systems including Drosophila, Xenopus and mammals. We hypothesized that Notch may also be involved in directing the progressive lineage restriction of cardiomyocytes into specialized conduction cells.
Methods and Results
In hearts where Notch signaling is activated within the myocardium from early development onwards, Notch promotes a conduction-like phenotype based on ectopic expression of conduction system-specific genes and cell autonomous changes in electrophysiology. Using an in vitro assay to activate Notch in newborn cardiomyocytes, we observed global changes in the transcriptome as well as in action potential characteristics consistent with reprogramming to a conduction-like phenotype.
Notch can instruct the differentiation of chamber cardiac progenitors into specialized conduction-like cells. Plasticity remains in late-stage cardiomyocytes, which has potential implications for engineering of specialized cardiovascular tissues.
action potentials; conduction; pacemakers; Purkinje; reprogramming
Intestinal epithelial stem cell identity and location has been the matter of substantial research. Cells in the +4 niche are slow-cycling and label retaining, while a distinct stem cell niche located at the crypt base is occupied by crypt base columnar (CBC) cells. CBCs are distinct from +4 cells, and the relationship between them is unknown, though both give rise to all intestinal epithelial lineages. We demonstrate that Hopx, an atypical homeobox protein, is a novel and specific marker of +4 cells. Hopx-expressing cells give rise to CBCs and all mature intestinal epithelial lineages. Conversely, CBCs can give rise to +4 Hopx positive cells. These findings demonstrate a bi-directional lineage relationship between active and quiescent stem cells in their niches.
Taste buds are composed of a variety of taste receptor cell types that develop from tongue epithelium and are regularly replenished under normal homeostatic conditions as well as after injury. The characteristics of cells that give rise to regenerating taste buds are poorly understood. Recent studies have suggested that Lgr5 (leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein coupled receptor 5) identifies taste bud stem cells that contribute to homeostatic regeneration in adult circumvallate and foliate taste papillae, which are located in the posterior region of the tongue. Taste papillae in the adult anterior region of the tongue do not express Lgr5. Here, we confirm and extend these studies by demonstrating that Lgr5 cells give rise to both anterior and posterior taste buds during development, and are capable of regenerating posterior taste buds after injury induced by glossopharyngeal nerve transection.
In a swine model of acute myocardial infarction (AMI), Statins can enhance the therapeutic efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs) transplantation. However, the mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims at assessing whether atorvastatin (Ator) facilitates the effects of MSCs through activation of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), especially endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), which is known to protect against ischemic injury.
Methods and Results
42 miniswines were randomized into six groups (n = 7/group): Sham operation; AMI control; Ator only; MSC only, Ator+MSCs and Ator+MSCs+NG-nitrol-L-arginine (L-NNA), an inhibitor of NOS. In an open-heart surgery, swine coronary artery ligation and reperfusion model were established, and autologous bone-marrow MSCs were injected intramyocardium. Four weeks after transplantation, compared with the control group, Ator+MSCs animals exhibited decreased defect areas of both “perfusion” defined by Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (−6.2±1.8% vs. 2.0±5.1%, P = 0.0001) and “metabolism” defined by Positron Emission Tomography (−3.00±1.41% vs. 4.20±4.09%, P = 0.0004); Ejection fraction by Magnetic Resonance Imaging increased substantially (14.22±12.8% vs. 1.64±2.64%, P = 0.019). In addition, indices of inflammation, fibrosis, and apoptosis were reduced and survivals of MSCs or MSC-derived cells were increased in Ator+MSCs animals. In Ator or MSCs alone group, perfusion, metabolism, inflammation, fibrosis or apoptosis were reduced but there were no benefits in terms of heart function and cell survival. Furthermore, the above benefits of Ator+MSCs treatment could be partially blocked by L-NNA.
Atorvastatin facilitates survival of implanted MSCs, improves function and morphology of infarcted hearts, mediated by activation of eNOS and alleviated by NOS inhibitor. The data reveal the cellular and molecular mechanism for anti-AMI therapy with a combination of statin and stem cells.
We report a new method for preorganization of α/β-peptide helices, based on the use of a dense array of acidic and basic side chains. Previously we have used cyclically constrained β residues to promote α/β-peptide helicity; here we show that an engineered ion pair array can be comparably effective, as indicated by mimicry of the CHR domain of HIV protein gp41. The new design is effective in biochemical and cell-based infectivity assays; however, the resulting α/β-peptide is susceptible to proteolysis. This susceptibility was addressed via introduction of a few cyclic β residues near the cleavage site, to produce the most stable and effective α/β-peptide gp41 CHR analogue identified so far. Crystal structures of an α-peptide and an α/β-peptide (each involved in a gp41-mimetic helix bundle) that contain the dense acid/base residue array manifest disorder in the ionic side chains, but there is little side chain disorder in analogous α-and α/β-peptide structures with a sparser ionic side chain array. These observations suggest that dense arrays of complementary acidic and basic residues can provide conformational stabilization via Coulombic attractions that do not require entropically costly ordering of side chains.
We report the complete genome sequence of Klebsiella pneumoniae 1084, a hypermucoviscosity-negative K1 clinical strain. Sequencing and annotation revealed a 5,386,705-bp circular chromosome (57.4% G+C content), which contains 4,962 protein-coding genes, 80 tRNA genes, and 25 rRNA genes.
In order to produce triploid plants, 2n female gametes were induced by treating female buds and developing embryo sacs of Populus adenopoda Maxim with high temperature exposure. During megasporogenesis, tests were conducted on the relationship between female gametophyte development and morphological changes of female catkins. In the resulting progeny, 12 triploids were produced, and the highest rate of triploid production was 40%. Cytological observation revealed that the pachytene to diakinesis phase of meiotic stages may be a suitable period for inducing megaspore chromosome doubling through high temperature exposure. On the other hand, catkins of 6–72 h after pollination were treated for inducing embryo sac chromosome doubling. In the offspring seedlings, 51 triploids were detected and the highest efficiency of triploid production was 83.33%. Correlation analysis between the proportion of each embryo sac’s developmental stage and the percentage of triploid production indicated that the second mitotic division may be the most effective stage for 2n female gamete induction. Our findings showed that high temperature exposure is an ideal method for 2n female gamete induction. Heterozygous offspring are valuable for breeding programs of P. adenopoda.
Populus adenopoda; 2n female gamete; megasporogenesis; embryo sac; high temperature; triploid breeding
Compelling evidence has implicated the Wnt signaling pathway in the pathogenesis of colorectal cancer. We assessed the use of tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) in adenomatous polyposis coli (APC)/β-catenin (CTNNB1) genes to predict outcomes in patients with colorectal cancer. We selected and genotyped 10 tSNP to predict common variants across entire APC and CTNNB1 genes in 282 colorectal cancer patients. The associations of these tSNPs with distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis, Cox regression model, and survival tree analysis. The 5-year overall survival rate was 68.3%. Survival tree analysis identified a higher-order genetic interaction profile consisting of the APC rs565453, CTNNB1 2293303, and APC rs1816769 that was significantly associated with overall survival. The 5-year survival overall rates were 89.2%, 66.1%, and 58.8% for the low-, medium-, and high-risk genetic profiles, respectively (log-rank P = 0.001). After adjusting for possible confounders, including age, gender, carcinoembryonic antigen levels, tumor differentiation, stage, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, and lymph node involvement, the genetic interaction profile remained significant. None of the studied SNPs were individually associated with distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival. Our results suggest that the genetic interaction profile among Wnt pathway SNPs might potentially increase the prognostic value in outcome prediction for colorectal cancer.
Hemoglobinopathies are the most common inherited diseases in southern China. However, there have been only a few epidemiological studies of hemoglobinopathies in Guangdong province.
Materials and Methods
Peripheral blood samples were collected from 15299 “healthy” unrelated subjects of dominantly ethnic Hakka in the Meizhou region, on which hemoglobin electrophoresis and routine blood tests were performed. Suspected cases with hemoglobin variants and hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH) were further characterized by PCR, DNA sequencing, reverse dot blot (RDB) or multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). In addition, 1743 samples were randomly selected from the 15299 subjects for thalassemia screening, and suspected thalassemia carriers were identified by PCR and RDB.
The gene frequency of hemoglobin variants was 0.477% (73/15299). The five main subgroups of the ten hemoglobin variants were Hb E, Hb G-Chinese, Hb Q-Tahiland, Hb New York and Hb J-Bangkok. 277 cases (15.89%, 277/1743) of suspected thalassemia carriers with microcytosis (MCV<82 fl) were found by thalassemia screening, and were tested by a RDB gene chip to reveal a total of 196 mutant chromosomes: including 124 α-thalassemia mutant chromosomes and 72 β-thalassemia mutant chromosomes. These results give a heterozygote frequency of 11.24% for common α and β thalassemia in the Hakka population in the Meizhou region. 3 cases of HPFH/δβ-thalassemia were found, including 2 cases of Vietnamese HPFH (FPFH-7) and a rare Belgian Gγ(Aγδβ)0–thalassemia identified in Chinese.
Our results provide a detailed prevalence and molecular characterization of hemoglobinopathies in Hakka people of the Meizhou region. The estimated numbers of pregnancies each year in the Meizhou region, in which the fetus would be at risk for β thalassemia major or intermedia, Bart’s hydrops fetalis, and Hb H disease, are 25 (95% CI, 15 to 38), 40 (95% CI, 26 to 57), and 15 (95% CI, 8 to 23), respectively.
Background: Colorectal cancer metastasis is a multistep process involving degradation of extracellular matrix components by proteolytic enzymes. Among them, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are the principal degrading enzymes and their expressions/activities are also correlated with survival. Much research has showed the associations between genetic polymorphisms in MMPs and risk of colorectal cancer; however, their prognostic significance has not been well determined.
Methods: We selected and genotyped 4 cancer-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a cohort of 282 colorectal cancer patients. The associations of these SNPs with distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival were evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis, Cox regression model, and survival tree analysis.
Results: The relative risks of developing distant metastasis after curative surgery were higher in individuals with minor homozygote AA genotype than in those with GG/GA genotypes at MMP2 rs243866 (P = 0.012). Survival tree analysis also identified a higher-order genetic interaction profile consisting of MMP2 rs243866 and MMP2 rs2285053 that was significantly associated with distant metastasis-free survival (Ptrend = 0.016). After adjusting for possible confounders, the genetic interaction profile remained significant (Ptrend = 0.050).
Conclusions: These results suggest that genetic variations in the MMP2 might be potential predictors of distant metastasis-free survival after curative surgery.
colorectal cancer; matrix metalloproteinases; single nucleotide polymorphism; metastasis; survival.
AIM: To investigate the anti-hepatofibrotic effects of Gardenia jasminoides in liver fibrosis.
METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent common bile duct ligation (BDL) for 14 d and were treated with Gardenia jasminoides by gavage. The effects of Gardenia jasminoides on liver fibrosis and the detailed molecular mechanisms were also assessed in human hepatic stellate cells (LX-2) in vitro.
RESULTS: Treatment with Gardenia jasminoides decreased serum alanine aminotransferase (BDL vs BDL + 100 mg/kg Gardenia jasminoides, 146.6 ± 15 U/L vs 77 ± 6.5 U/L, P = 0.0007) and aspartate aminotransferase (BDL vs BDL + 100 mg/kg Gardenia jasminoides, 188 ± 35.2 U/L vs 128 ± 19 U/L, P = 0.005) as well as hydroxyproline (BDL vs BDL + 100 mg/kg Gardenia jasminoides, 438 ± 40.2 μg/g vs 228 ± 10.3 μg/g liver tissue, P = 0.004) after BDL. Furthermore, Gardenia jasminoides significantly reduced liver mRNA and/or protein expression of transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), collagen type I (Col I) and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA). Gardenia jasminoides significantly suppressed the upregulation of TGF-β1, Col I and α-SMA in LX-2 exposed to recombinant TGF-β1. Moreover, Gardenia jasminoides inhibited TGF-β1-induced Smad2 phosphorylation in LX-2 cells.
CONCLUSION: Gardenia jasminoides exerts antifibrotic effects in the liver fibrosis and may represent a novel antifibrotic agent.
Gardenia jasminoides; Liver fibrosis; Collagen type I; Transforming growth factor-β1/Smad2 pathway; α-smooth muscle actin
The henipaviruses, Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV), are paramyxoviruses discovered in the mid- to late 1990s that possess a broad host tropism and are known to cause severe and often fatal disease in both humans and animals. HeV and NiV infect cells by a pH-independent membrane fusion mechanism facilitated by their attachment (G) and fusion (F) glycoproteins. Here, several soluble forms of henipavirus F (sF) were engineered and characterized. Recombinant sF was produced by deleting the transmembrane (TM) and cytoplasmic tail (CT) domains and appending a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor signal sequence followed by GPI-phospholipase D digestion, appending a trimeric coiled-coil (GCNt) domain (sFGCNt), or deleting the TM, CT, and fusion peptide domain. These sF glycoproteins were produced as F0 precursors, and all were apparent stable trimers recognized by NiV-specific antisera. Surprisingly, however, only the GCNt-appended constructs (sFGCNt) could elicit cross-reactive henipavirus-neutralizing antibody in mice. In addition, sFGCNt constructs could be triggered in vitro by protease cleavage and heat to transition from an apparent prefusion to postfusion conformation, transitioning through an intermediate that could be captured by a peptide corresponding to the C-terminal heptad repeat domain of F. The pre- and postfusion structures of sFGCNt and non-GCNt-appended sF could be revealed by electron microscopy and were distinguishable by F-specific monoclonal antibodies. These data suggest that only certain sF constructs could serve as potential subunit vaccine immunogens against henipaviruses and also establish important tools for further structural, functional, and diagnostic studies on these important emerging viruses.