The complement system is involved in a range of diverse developmental processes including cell survival, growth, differentiation, and regeneration. However, little is known about the role of complement in embryogenesis. Herein we demonstrate a novel role for the canonical complement 5a receptor (C5aR) in the development of the mammalian neural tube under conditions of maternal dietary folic acid deficiency. Specifically, we found C5aR and C5 to be expressed throughout the period of neurulation in wildtype mice and localized the expression to the cephalic regions of the developing neural tube. C5aR was also found to be expressed in the neuroepithelium of early human embryos. Ablation of the C5ar1 gene or the administration of a specific C5aR peptide antagonist to folic acid-deficient pregnant mice resulted in a high prevalence of severe anterior neural tube defect-associated congenital malformations. These findings provide a new and compelling insight into the role of the complement system during mammalian embryonic development.
The extracellular signal-related kinases (ERK1/2) are key proteins mediating mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling downstream of RAS: phosphorylation of ERK1/2 leads to nuclear uptake and modulation of multiple targets1. Here we show that reduced dosage of ERF, which encodes an inhibitory ETS transcription factor directly bound by ERK1/2 (refs 2-7), causes complex craniosynostosis (premature fusion of the cranial sutures) in humans and mice. Features of this newly recognized clinical disorder include multiple suture synostosis, craniofacial dysmorphism, Chiari malformation and language delay. Mice with functional Erf reduced to ~30% of normal exhibit postnatal multisuture synostosis; by contrast, embryonic calvarial development appears mildly delayed. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation in mouse embryonic fibroblasts and high-throughput sequencing, we find that ERF binds preferentially to distal regulatory elements containing RUNX or AP1 motifs. This work identifies ERF as a novel regulator of osteogenic stimulation by RAS-ERK signaling, potentially by competing with activating ETS factors in multifactor transcriptional complexes.
Craniofrontonasal syndrome (CFNS), an X-linked disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations of EFNB1, exhibits a paradoxical sex reversal in phenotypic severity: females characteristically have frontonasal dysplasia, craniosynostosis and additional minor malformations, but males are usually more mildly affected with hypertelorism as the only feature. X-inactivation is proposed to explain the more severe outcome in heterozygous females, as this leads to functional mosaicism for cells with differing expression of EPHRIN-B1, generating abnormal tissue boundaries—a process that cannot occur in hemizygous males. Apparently challenging this model, males occasionally present with a more severe female-like CFNS phenotype. We hypothesized that such individuals might be mosaic for EFNB1 mutations and investigated this possibility in multiple tissue samples from six sporadically presenting males. Using denaturing high performance liquid chromatography, massively parallel sequencing and multiplex-ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) to increase sensitivity above standard dideoxy sequencing, we identified mosaic mutations of EFNB1 in all cases, comprising three missense changes, two gene deletions and a novel point mutation within the 5′ untranslated region (UTR). Quantification by Pyrosequencing and MLPA demonstrated levels of mutant cells between 15 and 69%. The 5′ UTR variant mutates the stop codon of a small upstream open reading frame that, using a dual-luciferase reporter construct, was demonstrated to exacerbate interference with translation of the wild-type protein. These results demonstrate a more severe outcome in mosaic than in constitutionally deficient males in an X-linked dominant disorder and provide further support for the cellular interference mechanism, normally related to X-inactivation in females.
The Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC) delays the onset of anaphase in response to unattached kinetochores by inhibiting the activity of the Anaphase-Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C), an E3 ubiquitin ligase. Once all the chromosomes have bioriented, SAC signalling is somehow silenced, which allows progression through mitosis. Recent studies suggest that the APC/C itself participates in SAC silencing by targeting an unknown factor for proteolytic degradation. Key evidence in favour of this model comes from the use of proTAME, a small molecule inhibitor of the APC/C. In cells, proTAME causes a mitotic arrest that is SAC-dependent. Even though this observation comes at odds with the current view that the APC/C acts downstream of the SAC, it was nonetheless argued that these results revealed a role for APC/C activity in SAC silencing. However, we show here that the mitotic arrest induced by proTAME is due to the induction of cohesion fatigue, a phenotype that is caused by the loss of sister chromatid cohesion following a prolonged metaphase. Under these conditions, the SAC is re-activated and APC/C inhibition is maintained independently of proTAME. Therefore, these results provide a simpler explanation for why the proTAME-induced mitotic arrest is also dependent on the SAC. While these observations question the notion that the APC/C is required for SAC silencing, we nevertheless show that APC/C activity does partially contribute to its own release from inhibitory complexes, and importantly, this does not depend on proteasome-mediated degradation.
Delayed HIV-1 disease progression is associated with a single nucleotide polymorphism upstream of the HLA-C gene that correlates with differential expression of the HLA-C antigen. This polymorphism was recently shown to be a marker for a protective variant in the 3′UTR of HLA-C that disrupts a microRNA binding site, resulting in enhanced HLA-C expression at the cell surface. Whether individuals with ‘high’ HLA-C expression show a stronger HLA-C-restricted immune response exerting better viral control than that of their counterparts has not been established. We hypothesised that the magnitude of the HLA-C-restricted immune pressure on HIV would be greater in subjects with highly expressed HLA-C alleles. Using a cohort derived from a unique narrow source epidemic in China, we identified mutations in HIV proviral DNA exclusively associated with HLA-C which were used as markers for the intensity of the immune pressure exerted on the virus. We found an increased frequency of mutations in individuals with highly expressed HLA-C alleles which also correlated with IFN-γ production by HLA-C-restricted CD8+ T-cells. These findings show that immune pressure on HIV is stronger in subjects with the protective genotype and highlights the potential role of HLA-C-restricted responses in HIV control. This is the first in vivo evidence supporting the protective role of HLA-C-restricted responses in non-Caucasians during HIV infection.
Investigate the cost and effects of a single-pill versus two- or three pill first-line antiretroviral combinations in reducing viral load, increasing CD4 counts, and first-line failure rate associated with respective regimens at 6 and 12 months.
Patients on first-line TDF+3TC+EFV, TDF+FTC+EFV, Truvada®+EFV or Atripla® between 1996–2008 were identified and viral load and CD4 counts measured at baseline, six and twelve months respectively. Factors that independently predicted treatment failure at six and twelve months were derived using multivariate Cox's proportional hazard regression analyses. Use and cost of hospital services were calculated at six and twelve months respectively.
All regimens reduced viral load to below the limit of detection and CD4 counts increased to similar levels at six and twelve months for all treatment regimens. No statistically significant differences were observed for rate of treatment failure at six and twelve months. People on Atripla® generated lower healthcare costs for non-AIDS patients at £5,340 (£5,254 to £5,426) per patient-semester and £9,821 (£9,719 to £9,924) per patient-year that was £1,344 (95%CI £1,222 to £1,465) less per patient-semester and £1,954 (95%CI £1,801 to £2,107) less per patient-year compared with Truvada®+EFV; healthcare costs for AIDS patients were similar across all regimens.
The single pill regimen is as effective as the two- and three-pill regimens of the same drugs, but if started as first-line induction therapy there would be a 20% savings on healthcare costs at six and 17% of costs at twelve months compared with Truvada®+EFV, that generated the next lowest costs.
The dominant congenital disorders Apert syndrome, achondroplasia and multiple endocrine neoplasia–caused by specific missense mutations in the FGFR2, FGFR3 and RET proteins respectively–represent classical examples of paternal age-effect mutation, a class that arises at particularly high frequencies in the sperm of older men. Previous analyses of DNA from randomly selected cadaveric testes showed that the levels of the corresponding FGFR2, FGFR3 and RET mutations exhibit very uneven spatial distributions, with localised hotspots surrounded by large mutation-negative areas. These studies imply that normal testes are mosaic for clusters of mutant cells: these clusters are predicted to have altered growth and signalling properties leading to their clonal expansion (selfish spermatogonial selection), but DNA extraction eliminates the possibility to study such processes at a tissue level. Using a panel of antibodies optimised for the detection of spermatocytic seminoma, a rare tumour of spermatogonial origin, we demonstrate that putative clonal events are frequent within normal testes of elderly men (mean age: 73.3 yrs) and can be classed into two broad categories. We found numerous small (less than 200 cells) cellular aggregations with distinct immunohistochemical characteristics, localised to a portion of the seminiferous tubule, which are of uncertain significance. However more infrequently we identified additional regions where entire seminiferous tubules had a circumferentially altered immunohistochemical appearance that extended through multiple serial sections that were physically contiguous (up to 1 mm in length), and exhibited enhanced staining for antibodies both to FGFR3 and a marker of downstream signal activation, pAKT. These findings support the concept that populations of spermatogonia in individual seminiferous tubules in the testes of older men are clonal mosaics with regard to their signalling properties and activation, thus fulfilling one of the specific predictions of selfish spermatogonial selection.
The complement system, a major component of the innate immune system, is becoming increasingly recognised as a key participant in physiology and disease. The awareness that immunological mediators support various aspects of both normal central nervous system (CNS) function and pathology has led to a renaissance of complement research in neuroscience. Various studies have revealed particularly novel findings on the wide-ranging involvement of complement in neural development, synapse elimination and maturation of neural networks, as well as the progression of pathology in a range of chronic neurodegenerative disorders, and more recently, neurotraumatic events, where rapid disruption of neuronal homeostasis potently triggers complement activation. The purpose of this review is to summarise recent findings on complement activation and acquired brain or spinal cord injury, i.e. ischaemic-reperfusion injury or stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI), highlighting the potential for complement-targeted therapeutics to alleviate the devastating consequences of these neurological conditions.
Polycomb-repressive complex 1 (PRC1) has a central role in the regulation of heritable gene silencing during differentiation and development. PRC1 recruitment is generally attributed to interaction of the chromodomain of the core protein Polycomb with trimethyl histone H3K27 (H3K27me3), catalyzed by a second complex, PRC2. Unexpectedly we find that RING1B, the catalytic subunit of PRC1, and associated monoubiquitylation of histone H2A are targeted to closely overlapping sites in wild-type and PRC2-deficient mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), demonstrating an H3K27me3-independent pathway for recruitment of PRC1 activity. We show that this pathway is mediated by RYBP-PRC1, a complex comprising catalytic subunits of PRC1 and the protein RYBP. RYBP-PRC1 is recruited to target loci in mESCs and is also involved in Xist RNA-mediated silencing, the latter suggesting a wider role in Polycomb silencing. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding recruitment and function of Polycomb repressors.
► H2A ubiquitylation is retained at Polycomb target loci in the absence of H3K27me3 ► Mutually exclusive complexes, CBX-PRC1 and RYBP-PRC1, mediate H2A ubiquitylation ► RYBP-PRC1 localizes to Polycomb target sites independent of H3K27me3 ► RYBP-PRC1 is required for maintenance of global H2AK119u1 in mESCs
A newly identified variant of the PRC1 complex containing the RYBP subunit allows PRC1 to act independently of PRC2. This alternative complex is important for maintaining the proper chromatin state in ESCs and on the inactive X chromosome.
Rhodobacter sphaeroides is a metabolically diverse photosynthetic alphaproteobacterium found ubiquitously in soil and freshwater habitats. Here we present the annotated genome sequence of R. sphaeroides WS8N.
Natural killer (NK) cells play an important role in the containment of HIV replication during primary infection, though their functions are impaired during chronic HIV infection. Infants experience more rapid HIV disease progression than adults, but contributions of infant NK cells to containing HIV infection are unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of HIV infection on infant NK cell phenotype by evaluating samples and data from a cohort study of women and their infants, conducted in Nairobi, Kenya between 1999 and 2003. The percentage and phenotype of NK cells was evaluated longitudinally by multi-parameter flow cytometry over the first year of life in HIV-infected (HIV+, = 16), HIV-exposed uninfected (HIV-EU, n = 6), and healthy unexposed controls (HIV–, n = 4). At birth, NK subset distributions based on expression of CD56 and CD16 did not differ between HIV+, HIV-EU, or HIV– infants. However, HIV infection was associated with a subsequent decline in NK cells as a percentage of total lymphocytes (p < 0.001), and an expanding proportion of CD56-CD16+ NK cells (p < 0.001). Activated CD38brightCD69+ NK cells were more frequent in the HIV+ infants, followed by HIV-EU and HIV- infants, in both CD56dim (p = 0.005) and CD56bright compartments (p = 0.03). HIV infection and exposure was also associated with a significant decline in the percentage of perforin-expressing NK cells in the CD56dim compartment over the first year of life, with HIV+ infants losing approximately 2.5% (p < 0.001) and HIV-EU infants losing 3.0% (p = 0.01) of perforin+ cells per month. Thus, infant HIV infection is associated with alterations in NK cell subsets, activation, and cytolytic potential that could contribute to their poor control over HIV infection. Furthermore, exposure to HIV infection in infants who escaped infection is also associated with alterations in NK cells that may contribute to the reduced ability to fight infections that is observed in HIV-EU infants.
NK cell; HIV-1; infancy; mother-to-child transmission; age; exposure; immune activation; cord blood
To calculate use, cost and cost-effectiveness of people living with HIV (PLHIV) starting routine treatment and care before starting combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) and PLHIV starting first-line 2NRTIs+NNRTI or 2NRTIs+PIboosted, comparing PLHIV with CD4≤200 cells/mm3 and CD4>200 cells/mm3. Few studies have calculated the use, cost and cost-effectiveness of routine treatment and care before starting cART and starting cART above and below CD4 200 cells/mm3.
Use, costs and cost-effectiveness were calculated for PLHIV in routine pre-cART and starting first-line cART, comparing CD4≤200 cells/mm3 with CD4>200 cells/mm3 (2008 UK prices).
cART naïve patients CD4≤200 cells/mm3 had an annual cost of £6,407 (95%CI £6,382 to £6,425) PPY compared with £2,758 (95%CI £2,752 to £2,761) PPY for those with CD4>200 cells/mm3; cost per life year gained of pre-cART treatment and care for those with CD4>200 cells/mm3 was £1,776 (cost-saving to £2,752). Annual cost for starting 2NRTIs+NNRTI or 2NRTIs+PIboosted with CD4≤200 cells/mm3 was £12,812 (95%CI £12,685–£12,937) compared with £10,478 (95%CI £10,376–£10,581) for PLHIV with CD4>200 cells/mm3. Cost per additional life-year gained on first-line therapy for those with CD4>200 cells/mm3 was £4639 (£3,967 to £2,960).
PLHIV starting to use HIV services before CD4≤200 cells/mm3 is cost-effective and enables them to be monitored so they start cART with a CD4>200 cells/mm3, which results in better outcomes and is cost-effective. However, 25% of PLHIV accessing services continue to present with CD4≤200 cells/mm3. This highlights the need to investigate the cost-effectiveness of testing and early treatment programs for key populations in the UK.
Mutations in the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumour suppressor are the key initiating event of colorectal cancer. Although the control of WNT signaling is well established as a central tumour suppressive function, the significance of APC in regulating chromosome instability is less well established. In this study, we test whether APC-deficient cells have a functional spindle assembly checkpoint in vivo by examining the response of these cells to Taxol and Vinorelbine.
Here we show for the first time that APC deficiency compromises the arrest response to Taxol in vivo. This effect is independent of the role APC plays in WNT signaling. At higher levels of Taxol, APC-deficient cells arrest as efficiently as wild-type cells. Importantly, this dose of Taxol strongly suppresses intestinal tumourigenesis in models of benign (APCMin/+ mouse) and invasive (AhCreER+ APCfl/+ PTENfl/fl) cancer.
In contrast to intestinal enterocytes with a general spindle assembly checkpoint defect due to Bub1 deletion, APC-deficient enterocytes arrest equivalently to wild-type when treated with Vinorelbine. This suggests that the failed arrest in response to Taxol is due to a specific defect in microtubule stabilisation following Taxol treatment rather than a general role of the APC protein in the mitotic spindle checkpoint.
In summary, this study clarifies the role of APC as a mitotic spindle checkpoint protein in vivo and shows that APC-deficient cells have a compromised response to Taxol.
APC; WNT signaling; Taxol; Mitotic spindle assembly checkpoint
HIV-1 circulates within an infected host as a genetically heterogeneous viral population. Viral intrahost diversity is shaped by substitutional evolution and recombination. Although many studies have speculated that recombination could have a significant impact on viral phenotype, this has never been definitively demonstrated. We report here phylogenetic and subsequent phenotypic analyses of envelope genes obtained from HIV-1 populations present in different anatomical compartments. Assessment of env compartmentalization from immunologically discrete tissues was assessed utilizing a single genome amplification approach, minimizing in vitro-generated artifacts. Genetic compartmentalization of variants was frequently observed. In addition, multiple incidences of intercompartment recombination, presumably facilitated by low-level migration of virus or infected cells between different anatomic sites and coinfection of susceptible cells by genetically divergent strains, were identified. These analyses demonstrate that intercompartment recombination is a fundamental evolutionary mechanism that helps to shape HIV-1 env intrahost diversity in natural infection. Analysis of the phenotypic consequences of these recombination events showed that genetic compartmentalization often correlates with phenotypic compartmentalization and that intercompartment recombination results in phenotype modulation. This represents definitive proof that recombination can generate novel combinations of phenotypic traits which differ subtly from those of parental strains, an important phenomenon that may have an impact on antiviral therapy and contribute to HIV-1 persistence in vivo.
In self-renewing, pluripotent cells, bivalent chromatin modification is thought to silence (H3K27me3) lineage control genes while 'poising' (H3K4me3) them for subsequent activation during differentiation, implying an important role for epigenetic modification in directing cell fate decisions. However, rather than representing an equivalently balanced epigenetic mark, the patterns and levels of histone modifications at bivalent genes can vary widely and the criteria for identifying this chromatin signature are poorly defined.
Here, we initially show how chromatin status alters during lineage commitment and differentiation at a single well characterised bivalent locus. In addition we have determined how chromatin modifications at this locus change with gene expression in both ensemble and single cell analyses. We also show, on a global scale, how mRNA expression may be reflected in the ratio of H3K4me3/H3K27me3.
While truly 'poised' bivalently modified genes may exist, the original hypothesis that all bivalent genes are epigenetically premarked for subsequent expression might be oversimplistic. In fact, from the data presented in the present work, it is equally possible that many genes that appear to be bivalent in pluripotent and multipotent cells may simply be stochastically expressed at low levels in the process of multilineage priming. Although both situations could be considered to be forms of 'poising', the underlying mechanisms and the associated implications are clearly different.
Although CD8+ T cells play an important role in the containment of adult HIV-1 replication, their role in infant HIV-1 infection is not as well understood. Impaired HIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses may underlie the persistently high viral loads observed in infants. We examined the frequency and phenotype of infant HIV-specific CD8+ T cells in 7 HIV-infected antiretroviral therapy-naïve infants during the first 2 years of life, using class I HLA tetramers and IFN-γ-ELISPOT. The frequency (0.088–3.9% of CD3+CD8+ cells) and phenotype (CD27+CD28−, CD45RA+/−, CD57+/−, HLA-DR+, CD95+) of infant HIV-specific CD8+ T cells were similar to reports in adults undergoing early infection. Unlike adults, at 23–24 months post-infection a high frequency of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells expressed HLA-DR (mean 80%, range 68–85%) and CD95 (mean 88%, range 79–96%), suggesting sustained activation and vulnerability to apoptosis. Despite comparable expansion of HIV-specific CD8+ T cells of a similar phenotype to adults during early infection, infant T cells failed to contain HIV-1 replication, and remained persistently activated and vulnerable to apoptosis during chronic infection.
HIV-specific NK (CD3-negative cells), CD4 and CD8 T cellular responses were determined in 79 HIV-1 infected women in response to HIV-1 peptide pools (Gag, Pol, Nef, Reg, Env) with use of a whole blood intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) assay that measures IFN-γ and/or IL-2. HIV-specific CD3-negative responses to any region (Env and Reg predominantly targeted) were associated with lower viral load (P=0.031) and higher CD4 T-cell count (P=0.015). Env-specific CD3-negative responses were stronger where women had both Gag CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses, in turn associated with lower viral loads (P=0.005). CD3-negative cell responders had significantly higher representation of CD4 T-cell responses to Env and Reg (P=0.012 and P=0.015, respectively) and higher magnitudes of CD4 T-cell responses (P=0.017 and P=0.037, respectively) than non-responders. Peptide-specific NK cells are associated with markers of less severe disease progression among HIV-1 infected women (lower viral load, higher CD4 count) and associate with stronger HIV-specific T-cell responses.
HIV-specific NK cell responses; viral load; CD4 T-cell count; CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses
Alzheimer Disease (AD), a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the accumulation of amyloid-β protein and neuronal loss, is the leading cause of age-related dementia in the world today. The disease is also associated with neuroinflammation, robust activation of astrocytes and microglia and evidence of activation of the complement system, localized with both fibrillar amyloid-β (fAβ) plaques and tangles. The observations are consistent with a complement dependent component of AD progression. We have previously shown that inhibition of the major complement receptor for C5a (CD88) with the C5a receptor antagonist (PMX205) results in a significant reduction in pathology in two mouse models of AD. To further characterize the role of complement in AD related neuroinflammation, we examined the age and disease associated expression of CD88 in brain of transgenic mouse models of AD and the influence of PMX205 on the presence of various complement activation products using flow cytometry, western blot and immunohistochemistry. CD88 was found to be upregulated in microglia, in the immediate vicinity of amyloid plaques. While thioflavine plaque load and glial recruitment is significantly reduced after treatment with PMX205, C1q remains co-localized with fAβ plaques and C3 is still expressed by the recruited astrocytes. Thus, with PMX205, potentially beneficial activities of these early complement components may remain intact, while detrimental activities resulting from C5a-CD88 interaction are inhibited. This further supports the targeted inhibition of specific complement mediated activities as an approach for AD therapy.
Previously, secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) inhibition has been used as an adjunct to conventional rheumatoid arthritis therapy in human clinical trials without significant improvement of arthritic pathology. In this study, we compared the efficacy of a potent and orally active group IIa secretory phospholipase A2 inhibitor (sPLA2I) to conventional anti-arthritic agents; infliximab, leflunomide and prednisolone, in a rat model of antigen-induced arthritis.
Initially, to establish efficacy and dose-response, rats were orally dosed with the sPLA2I (1 and 5 mg/kg) two days prior to arthritis induction, and then daily throughout the 14-day study period. In the second trial, rats were orally dosed with the sPLA2I (5 and 10 mg/kg/day) beginning two days after the induction of arthritis, at the peak of joint swelling. Separate groups of rats were also dosed with the tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) inhibitor infliximab (single 3 mg/kg i.v. injection), leflunomide (10 mg/kg/day, oral) or prednisolone (1 mg/kg/day, oral) at this same time point and used as comparative treatments.
In the pathology prevention trial, both 1 and 5 mg/kg dose groups of sPLA2I demonstrated a significant reduction in joint swelling and gait disturbances; however, only the higher 5 mg/kg dose resulted in significantly reduced histopathology scores. In the post-induction trial, rats dosed with sPLA2I showed a significant improvement in joint swelling and gait scoring, whereas none of the conventional therapeutics achieved a significant decrease in both of these two disease markers. Histopathological scoring at the end-point of the study demonstrated significantly reduced median scores in rats treated with 10 mg/kg sPLA2I and leflunomide.
The results from this study suggest a pathogenic role for sPLA2 enzymes in this model of arthritis in rats, and the potential clinical utility of sPLA2 inhibition as a safer, and more effective, alternative to conventional anti-arthritic therapeutics.
Stroke is the world's second leading cause of mortality, with a high incidence of severe morbidity in surviving victims. There are currently relatively few treatment options available to minimize tissue death following a stroke. As such, there is a pressing need to explore, at a molecular, cellular, tissue, and whole body level, the mechanisms leading to damage and death of CNS tissue following an ischemic brain event. This review explores the etiology and pathogenesis of ischemic stroke, and provides a general model of such. The pathophysiology of cerebral ischemic injury is explained, and experimental animal models of global and focal ischemic stroke, and in vitro cellular stroke models, are described in detail along with experimental strategies to analyze the injuries. In particular, the technical aspects of these stroke models are assessed and critically evaluated, along with detailed descriptions of the current best-practice murine models of ischemic stroke. Finally, we review preclinical studies using different strategies in experimental models, followed by an evaluation of results of recent, and failed attempts of neuroprotection in human clinical trials. We also explore new and emerging approaches for the prevention and treatment of stroke. In this regard, we note that single-target drug therapies for stroke therapy, have thus far universally failed in clinical trials. The need to investigate new targets for stroke treatments, which have pleiotropic therapeutic effects in the brain, is explored as an alternate strategy, and some such possible targets are elaborated. Developing therapeutic treatments for ischemic stroke is an intrinsically difficult endeavour. The heterogeneity of the causes, the anatomical complexity of the brain, and the practicalities of the victim receiving both timely and effective treatment, conspire against developing effective drug therapies. This should in no way be a disincentive to research, but instead, a clarion call to intensify efforts to ameliorate suffering and death from this common health catastrophe. This review aims to summarize both the present experimental and clinical state-of-the art, and to guide future research directions.
Addition of reversine to dividing cells ejects Mad1 and the RZZ complex from unattached kinetochores and prevents resolution of incorrect chromosome–microtubule attachments (see also related papers by Hewitt et al. and Maciejowski et al. in this issue).
The catalytic activity of the MPS1 kinase is crucial for the spindle assembly checkpoint and for chromosome biorientation on the mitotic spindle. We report that the small molecule reversine is a potent mitotic inhibitor of MPS1. Reversine inhibits the spindle assembly checkpoint in a dose-dependent manner. Its addition to mitotic HeLa cells causes the ejection of Mad1 and the ROD–ZWILCH–ZW10 complex, both of which are important for the spindle checkpoint, from unattached kinetochores. By using reversine, we also demonstrate that MPS1 is required for the correction of improper chromosome–microtubule attachments. We provide evidence that MPS1 acts downstream from the AURORA B kinase, another crucial component of the error correction pathway. Our experiments describe a very useful tool to interfere with MPS1 activity in human cells. They also shed light on the relationship between the error correction pathway and the spindle checkpoint and suggest that these processes are coregulated and are likely to share at least a subset of their catalytic machinery.
To satisfy the mitotic checkpoint and drive chromosome congression, the Mps1 kinase lets go of kinetochores by phosphorylating itself in trans (see also related papers by Maciejowski et al. and Santaguida et al. in this issue).
Mps1 is an essential component of the spindle assembly checkpoint. In this study, we describe a novel Mps1 inhibitor, AZ3146, and use it to probe the role of Mps1’s catalytic activity during mitosis. When Mps1 is inhibited before mitotic entry, subsequent recruitment of Mad1 and Mad2 to kinetochores is abolished. However, if Mps1 is inhibited after mitotic entry, the Mad1–C-Mad2 core complex remains kinetochore bound, but O-Mad2 is not recruited to the core. Although inhibiting Mps1 also interferes with chromosome alignment, we see no obvious effect on aurora B activity. In contrast, kinetochore recruitment of centromere protein E (CENP-E), a kinesin-related motor protein, is severely impaired. Strikingly, inhibition of Mps1 significantly increases its own abundance at kinetochores. Furthermore, we show that Mps1 can dimerize and transphosphorylate in cells. We propose a model whereby Mps1 transphosphorylation results in its release from kinetochores, thus facilitating recruitment of O-Mad2 and CENP-E and thereby simultaneously promoting checkpoint signaling and chromosome congression.
Neutralizing antibodies (NAb) able to react to heterologous viruses are generated during natural HIV-1 infection in some individuals. Further knowledge is required in order to understand the factors contributing to induction of cross-reactive NAb responses. Here a well-established model of experimental pathogenic infection in cynomolgus macaques, which reproduces long-lasting HIV-1 infection, was used to study the NAb response as well as the viral evolution of the highly neutralization-resistant SIVmac239. Twelve animals were infected intravenously with SIVmac239. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) was initiated ten days post-inoculation and administered daily for four months. Viral load, CD4+ T-cell counts, total IgG levels, and breadth as well as strength of NAb in plasma were compared simultaneously over 14 months. In addition, envs from plasma samples were sequenced at three time points in all animals in order to assess viral evolution. We report here that seven of the 12 animals controlled viremia to below 104 copies/ml of plasma after discontinuation of ART and that this control was associated with a low level of evolutionary divergence. Macaques that controlled viral load developed broader NAb responses early on. Furthermore, escape mutations, such as V67M and R751G, were identified in virus sequenced from all animals with uncontrolled viremia. Bayesian estimation of ancestral population genetic diversity (PGD) showed an increase in this value in non-controlling or transient-controlling animals during the first 5.5 months of infection, in contrast to virus-controlling animals. Similarly, non- or transient controllers displayed more positively-selected amino-acid substitutions. An early increase in PGD, resulting in the generation of positively-selected amino-acid substitutions, greater divergence and relative high viral load after ART withdrawal, may have contributed to the generation of potent NAb in several animals after SIVmac239 infection. However, early broad NAb responses correlated with relatively preserved CD4+ T-cell numbers, low viral load and limited viral divergence.
In a longitudinal study of clinical and evolutionary responses to transient treatment in 12 experimentally-infected macaques, subjects show clear stratification into two groups based on viral load, immunological response, and evolutionary factors. Subjects that controlled viremia following withdrawal of treatment developed broadly neutralizing antibody responses earlier than subjects with no or transient control of viremia. Moreover, this latter group of macaques with higher viral loads showed greater divergence of SIV sequences, greater numbers of positively-selected amino-acid substitutions and a stronger neutralizing antibody response. The increase in viral genetic diversity started at an early stage of infection. The authors propose that this early phase of evolution is principally responsible for the later failure to control viremia and resulted in the development of potent neutralizing capacity.