Prostate cancer (PCa) cells undergoing neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) are clinically relevant to the development of relapsed castration-resistant PCa. Increasing evidences show that autophagy involves in the development of neuroendocrine (NE) tumors, including PCa. To clarify the effect of autophagy on NED, androgen-sensitive PCa LNCaP cells were examined. Treatment of LNCaP cells with IL-6 resulted in an induction of autophagy. In the absence of androgen, IL-6 caused an even stronger activation of autophagy. Similar result was identified in NED induction. Inhibition of autophagy with chloroquine (CQ) markedly decreased NED. This observation was confirmed by beclin1 and Atg5 silencing experiments. Further supporting the role of autophagy in NED, we found that LC3 was up-regulated in PCa tissue that had relapsed after androgen-deprivation therapy when compared with their primary tumor counterpart. LC3 staining in relapsed PCa tissue showed punctate pattern similar to the staining of chromogranin A (CgA), a marker for NED cells. Moreover, autophagy inhibition induced the apoptosis of IL-6 induced NE differentiated PCa cells. Consistently, inhibition of autophagy by knockdown of beclin1 or Atg5 sensitized NE differentiated LNCaP cells to etoposide, a chemotherapy drug. To identify the mechanisms, phosphorylation of IL-6 downstream targets was analyzed. An increase in phospho-AMPK and a decrease in phospho-mTOR were found, which implies that IL-6 regulates autophagy through the AMPK/mTOR pathway. Most important to this study is the discovery of REST, a neuronal gene-specific transcriptional repressor that is involved in autophagy activation. REST was down-regulated in IL-6 treatment. Knockdown experiments suggest that REST is critical to NED and autophagy activation by IL-6. Together, our studies imply that autophagy is involved in PCa progression and plays a cytoprotective role when NED is induced in PCa cells by IL-6 treatment. These results reveal the potential of targeting autophagy as part of a combined therapeutic regime for NE tumors.
The finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method was employed to simulate the electric field distribution for noble metal (Au or Ag)/semiconductor (Ge or Si) substrates. The simulation showed that noble metal/Ge had stronger SERS enhancement than noble metal/Si, which was mainly attributed to the different dielectric constants of semiconductors. In order to verify the simulation, Ag nanoparticles with the diameter of ca. 40 nm were grown on Ge or Si wafer (Ag/Ge or Ag/Si) and employed as surface-enhanced Raman scattering substrates to detect analytes in solution. The experiment demonstrated that both the two substrates exhibited excellent performance in the low concentration detection of Rhodamine 6G. Besides, the enhancement factor (1.3 × 109) and relative standard deviation values (less than 11%) of Ag/Ge substrate were both better than those of Ag/Si (2.9 × 107 and less than 15%, respectively), which was consistent with the FDTD simulation. Moreover, Ag nanoparticles were grown in-situ on Ge substrate, which kept the nanoparticles from aggregation in the detection. To data, Ag/Ge substrates showed the best performance for their sensitivity and uniformity among the noble metal/semiconductor ones.
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) is one of the most important forage crops used to feed livestock, such as cattle and sheep, and the sulfur amino acid (SAA) content of alfalfa is used as an index of its nutritional value. Aspartate kinase (AK) catalyzes the phosphorylation of aspartate to Asp-phosphate, the first step in the aspartate family biosynthesis pathway, and adenylylsulfate reductase (APR) catalyzes the conversion of activated sulfate to sulfite, providing reduced sulfur for the synthesis of cysteine, methionine, and other essential metabolites and secondary compounds. To reduce the feedback inhibition of other metabolites, we cloned bacterial AK and APR genes, modified AK, and introduced them into alfalfa. Compared to the wild-type alfalfa, the content of cysteine increased by 30% and that of methionine increased substantially by 60%. In addition, a substantial increase in the abundance of essential amino acids (EAAs), such as aspartate and lysine, was found. The results also indicated a close connection between amino acid metabolism and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. The total amino acid content and the forage biomass tested showed no significant changes in the transgenic plants. This approach provides a new method for increasing SAAs and allows for the development of new genetically modified crops with enhanced nutritional value.
To investigate the incidence and risk factors of microscopically positive proximal margins in Chinese patients with adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction.
The medical records of 483 patients, who underwent surgical treatment with curative intent for adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction in a single high-volume tertiary medical center, were reviewed. Demographic, radiographic, endoscopic, pathologic, and treatment-related variables were evaluated. All proximal margins were re-evaluated by two experienced pathologists, and a positive proximal margin was defined as the microscopic presence of invasive tumor cells seen at the esophageal transaction margin submitted en face on final paraffin sections.
The incidence of positive proximal margins was 23.81% in this series. Siewert type, depth of tumor invasion, lymph node involvement, presence of vascular or lymphatic invasion, and presence of perineural invasion were significantly associated with positive proximal margins. On multivariate analysis, the presence of vascular or lymphatic invasion and advanced-stage disease were independent risk factors for positive proximal margins in patients with adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction.
Residual cancer at proximal resection margins remains a major issue for the surgical treatment of adenocarcinoma of the gastroesophageal junction in China.
The goal of this study was to compare treatment outcomes for Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) stage IIB cervical carcinoma patients receiving radical surgery followed by adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy versus radical radiotherapy.
Medical records of FIGO stage IIB cervical cancer patients treated between July 2008 and December 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. A total of 148 patients underwent radical hysterectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection followed by adjuvant radiotherapy (surgery-based group). These patients were compared with 290 patients that received radical radiotherapy alone (RT-based group). Recurrence rates, progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), local control rates, and treatment-related complications were compared for these two groups.
Similar rates of recurrence (16.89% vs. 12.41%, p = 0.200), PFS (log-rank, p = 0.211), OS (log-rank, p = 0.347), and local control rates (log-rank, p = 0.668) were observed for the surgery-based group and the RT-based group, respectively. Moreover, the incidence of acute grade 3–4 gastrointestinal reactions and late grade 3–4 lower limb lymphedema were significantly higher for the surgery-based group versus the RT-based group. Cox multivariate analyses found no significant difference in survival outcome between the two groups, and tumor diameter and histopathology were identified as significant prognostic factors for OS.
Radical radiotherapy was associated with fewer treatment-related complications and achieved comparable survival outcomes for patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical cancer compared to radical hysterectomy followed by postoperative radiotherapy.
Cervical carcinoma; Stage IIB; Surgery; Radiotherapy; Adverse effects
Nestin is associated with neoplastic transformation, but the mechanisms by which nestin contributes to invasion and malignancy of lung cancer remain unknown. Considering that proliferation is necessary for malignant behavior, we investigated the mechanism of nestin action in association with the proliferative properties of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Nestin expression was examined in NSCLC specimens and cell lines. Associations with clinicopathological features, including prognosis and proliferative markers, were evaluated. Effects of nestin knockdown on proliferation and the signaling pathways involved were further investigated.
Nestin was expressed in most cancer specimens and all the tumor cell lines analyzed. High nestin expression in malignant tissue was associated with high Ki-67 or PCNA levels and poor patient outcomes. Conversely, knockdown of nestin expression led to significant inhibition of tumor cell proliferation, decreased colony forming ability, and cell cycle G1 arrest. Furthermore, nestin knockdown resulted in inhibition of Akt and GSK3β activation.
Our data demonstrate that nestin expression in NSCLC cells is associated with poor prognosis of patients and tumor cell proliferation pathway. Downregulation of nestin efficiently inhibited lung cancer cell proliferation, which might be through affecting cell cycle arrest and Akt-GSK3β-Rb signaling pathway.
Endometrial cancer is the most common malignancy of the female genital tract, and the incidence and mortality rates from this disease are increasing. Although endometrial carcinoma has been regarded as a tissue-specific disease mediated by female sex steroid pathways, considerable evidence implicates a role for an inflammatory response in the development and propagation of endometrial cancer. We hypothesized that if specific patterns of cytokine expression were found to be predictive of adverse outcome, then selective receptor targeting may be a therapeutic option. This study was therefore undertaken to determine the relationship between cytokine production in primary cell culture and clinical outcome in endometrial adenocarcinoma. Fresh endometrial tissues were fractionated into epithelial and stromal fractions and cultured. After 6–7 days, supernatants were collected and cells enumerated. Batched aliquots were assayed using ELISA kits specific for CSF-1, GMCSF, G-CSF, TNF-α, IL-6, IL-8, and VEGF. Data were compared using ANOVA, Fisher’s exact, and log rank tests. Increased epithelial VEGF production was observed more often in tumors with Type 2 variants (p = 0.039) and when GPR30 receptor expression was high ( p = 0.038). Although increased stromal VEGF production was detected more often in grade 3 endometrioid tumors ( p = 0.050), when EGFR expression was high ( p = 0.003), and/or when ER/PR expression was low ( p = 0.048), VEGF production did not correlated with overall survival (OS). Increased epithelial CSF-1 and TNF-α production, respectively, were observed more often in tumors with deep myometrial invasion ( p = 0.014) and advanced stage ( p = 0.018). Increased CSF-1 (89.5% vs. 42.9%, p = 0.032), TNF-α (88.9% vs. 42.9%, p = 0.032, and IL-6 (92.3% vs. 61.5%, p = 0.052) also correlated with low OS. In Cox multivariate models, CSF-1 was an independent predictor of low survival when stratified by grade ( p = 0.046) and histology ( p = 0.050), and TNF-α, when stratified by histology ( p = 0.037). In this study, high CSF-1, TNF-α, and IL-6 production rates identified patients at greatest risk for death, and may signify patients likely to benefit from receptor-specific therapy.
Endometrial carcinoma; Inflammatory cytokines; CSF-1; VEGF; Macrophages; Tumor microenvironment
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a potent angiogenic factor and may play a role in the development and progression of atherosclerotic lesions, the underlying mechanism of cardiovascular disease. However, there have been no prospective studies examining the relationship between HGF levels and risk of stroke.
Methods and Results
We conducted a nested case-control study (972 incident stroke cases and 1:1 age- and race-matched controls) to prospectively evaluate the association between plasma HGF and risk of ischemic stroke within the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study, a cohort of postmenopausal women aged 50–79 years. Baseline HGF levels were correlated positively with body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin resistance, and inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein, and inversely with high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (all P-values <0.05). Baseline HGF levels were higher among cases than controls (geometric means 601.8 vs. 523.2 pg/mL, p = 0.003). Furthermore, the risk of incident ischemic stroke was significantly greater amongst women in the highest versus lowest quartile of plasma HGF levels (odds ratio [OR] = 1.46; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.12–1.91; Ptrend = 0.003), in a conditional logistic regression model that adjusted for BMI. These results were only slightly attenuated after further adjustment for additional stroke risk factors (OR=1.39; 95% CI=1.04–1.85, Ptrend=0.023).
Circulating levels of HGF are associated with an increased risk of incident ischemic stroke, independent of obesity and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease among postmenopausal women aged 50–79 years.
Hepatocyte growth factor; ischemic stroke; women
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a novel gaseous mediator, has been recognized as an important neuromodulator and neuroprotective agent in the central nervous system. The present study was undertaken to study the effects of exogenous H2S on traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the underlying mechanisms. The effects of exogenous H2S on TBI were examined by using measurement of brain edema, behavior assessment, propidium iodide (PI) staining, and Western blotting, respectively. Compared to TBI groups, H2S pretreatment had reduced brain edema, improved motor performance and ameliorated performance in Morris water maze test after TBI. Immunoblotting results showed that H2S pretreatment reversed TBI-induced cleavage of caspase-3 and decline of Bcl-2, suppressed LC3-II, Beclin-1 and Vps34 activation and maintained p62 level in injured cortex and hippocampus post TBI. The results suggest a protective effect and therapeutic potential of H2S in the treatment of brain injury and the protective effect against TBI may be associated with regulating apoptosis and autophagy.
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is curative treatment, albeit in a minority of patients with accelerated (AP) or blast phase (BP) chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Imatinib (IM) has transient but significant activity in advanced phases of CML, which may permit early allografting for responding patients. To identify prognostic factors in allograft recipients previously treated with IM, we analyzed 449 allogeneic HSCT performed between 1999–2004 in advanced phase CML using data reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research. CML patients in second chronic phase (CP2, n=184), AP (n=185), and BP (n=80) received HLA-identical sibling (27%), related (3%), or matched or mismatched unrelated donor (70%), peripheral blood (47%) or bone marrow (53%) HSCT after myeloablative (78%) or non-myeloablative (22%) conditioning. 52% in CP2, 49% in AP, and 46% in BP received IM pre-HSCT. Disease-free survival was 35–40% for CP2, 26–27% for AP and 8–11% for BP. Cumulative incidence of acute and chronic GVHD and TRM were not affected by stages of CML or pre-HSCT IM exposure. Multivariate analyses showed that conventional prognostic indicators remain the strongest determinants of transplant outcomes. In conclusion, there are no new prognostic indicators of outcomes of allogeneic HSCT for advanced phase CML in the IM era.
Imatinib; allogeneic transplantation; chronic myeloid leukemia; accelerated phase; blast phase; outcomes
Background: The ICAM-1 +469 A/G polymorphism has been implicated in susceptibility to cancer, but the results were inconclusive. The present meta-analysis aimed to investigate the association between the ICAM-1 +469 A/G polymorphism and cancer risk. Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase to identify studies that evaluated the association between the ICAM-1 +469 A/G polymorphism and cancer risk. Data were extracted and statistical analysis was performed by using the software Revman 5.1 and STATA 12.0. Results: A total of 14 studies involving 9375 subjects were included. The results suggested that ICAM-1 +469 A/G polymorphism had no associated with cancer risk (OR=0.91, 95% CI: 0.76-1.08, P=0.27 for GG+AG vs. AA). Subgroup analysis by cancer type indicated the there was no associated between this polymorphism and breast cancer (OR=0.91, 95% CI: 0.72-1.15, P=0.43 for GG+AG vs. AA), but it was associated with decreased risk of colorectal cancer (OR=0.59, 95% CI: 0.41-0.85, P=0.005 for GG+AG vs. AA). Subgroup analysis by ethnicity revealed a decreased risk of cancer among Caucasians (OR=0.88, 95% CI: 0.78-0.99, P=0.03 for GG+AG vs. AA). Conclusion: The evidence from current meta-analysis doesn’t support the ICAM-1 +469 A/G polymorphism as a risk factor for cancer. Further studies are needed to validate these findings.
Cancer; ICAM-1; polymorphism; meta-analysis
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is recognized as an important human diarrheal pathogen. Swine plays an important role as a carrier of this pathogen. In this study we determined the prevalence and characteristics of STEC from healthy swine collected between May 2011 and August 2012 from 3 cities/provinces in China.
A total of 1003 samples, including 326 fecal, 351 small intestinal contents and 326 colon contents samples, was analyzed. Two hundred and fifty five samples were stx-positive by PCR and 93 STEC isolates were recovered from 62 stx-positive samples. Twelve O serogroups and 19 O:H serotypes including 6 serotypes (O100:H20/[H20], O143:H38/[H38], O87:H10, O172:H30/[H30], O159:H16, O9:H30/[H30]) rarely found in swine and ruminants were identified. All 93 STEC isolates harbored stx2 only, all of which were stx2e subtype including 1 isolate being a new variant of stx2e. 53.76%, 15.05% and 2.15% STEC isolates carried astA, hlyA and ehxA respectively. Four STEC isolates harbored the high-pathogenicity island. Of the 15 adherence-associated genes tested, 13 (eae, efa1, iha, lpfAO113, lpfAO157/OI-154, lpfAO157/OI-141, toxB, saa, F4, F5, F6, F17 or F41) were all absent while 2 (paa and F18) were present in 7 and 4 STEC isolates respectively. The majority of the isolates were resistant to tetracycline (79.57%), nalidixic acid (78.49%), trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (73.12%) and kanamycin (55.91%). The STEC isolates were divided into 63 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns and 21 sequence types (STs). Isolates of the same STs generally showed the same or similar drug resistance patterns. A higher proportion of STEC isolates from Chongqing showed multidrug resistance with one ST (ST3628) resistant to 14 antimicrobials.
Our results indicate that swine is a significant reservoir of STEC strains in China. Based on comparison by serotypes and sequence types with human strains and presence of virulence genes, the swine STEC may have a low potential to cause human disease.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC); Shiga toxin; Multilocus sequence typing; Adhesin genes; Putative virulence genes; Antibiotic resistance; Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; Swine
Human and animals studies support the idea that there is a gender-related co-morbidity of pain-related and inflammatory gastrointestinal (GI) diseases with psychological disorders. This co-morbidity is the evidence for the existence of GI-brain axis which consists of immune (cytokines), neural (vagus nerve) and neuroendocrine (HPA axis) pathways. Psychological stress causes disturbances in GI physiology, such as altered GI barrier function, changes in motility and secretion, development of visceral hypersensitivity, and dysfunction of inflammatory responses. Whether GI inflammation would exert impact on psychological behavior is not well established. We examined the effect of experimental gastritis on anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in male and female Sprague–Dawley rats, and evaluated potential mechanisms of action. Gastritis was induced by adding 0.1% (w/v) iodoacetamide (IAA) to the sterile drinking water for 7 days. Sucrose preference test assessed the depression-like behavior, open field test and elevated plus maze evaluated the anxiety-like behavior. IAA treatment induced gastric inflammation in rats of either gender. No behavioral abnormality or dysfunction of GI-brain axis was observed in male rats with IAA-induced gastritis. Anxiety- and depression-like behaviors were apparent and the HPA axis was hyperactive in female rats with IAA-induced gastritis. Our results show that gastric inflammation leads to anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in female but not male rats via the neuroendocrine (HPA axis) pathway, suggesting that the GI inflammation can impair normal brain function and induce changes in psychological behavior in a gender-related manner through the GI-to-brain signaling.
Gastrointestinal-brain axis; Iodoacetamide-induced gastritis; Anxiety; Depression; Gender difference
Chromosomal aneuploidy, the gain or loss of whole chromosomes, is a hallmark of pathological conditions and a causal factor of birth defects and cancer. A number of studies indicate that aneuploid cells are present at a high frequency in the brain of mice and humans, suggesting that mosaic aneuploidies are compatible with normal brain function and prompting the question about their consequences. To explore the possible contribution of aneuploidy to functional decline and loss of cognitive functions during aging, we used a quantitative, dual-labeling interphase-fluorescence in situ hybridization approach to compare aneuploidy levels of chromosomes 1, 7, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19 and Y in the cerebral cortex of 4- and 28-month-old mice. We show that aneuploidy accumulates with age in a chromosome-specific manner, with chromosomes 7, 18 and Y most severely affected, i.e. up to 9.8% of non-neuronal brain nuclei in 28-month-old animals for chromosome 18. While at early age, both neuronal and glial cells are affected equally, the age-related increase was limited to the non-neuronal nuclei. No age-related increase in aneuploidy was observed in the cerebellum or in the spleen of the same animals. Extrapolating the average frequencies of aneuploidy from the average over 8 chromosomes to all 20 mouse chromosomes would indicate an almost 50% aneuploidy frequency in aged mouse brain. Such high levels of genome instability could well be a factor in age-related neurodegeneration.
5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) is a newly discovered modified form of cytosine that has been suspected to be an important epigenetic modification in neurodevelopment. While DNA methylation dynamics have already been implicated during neurodevelopment, little is known about hydroxymethylation in this process. Here, we report DNA hydroxymethylation dynamics during cerebellum development in the human brain. Overall, we find a positive correlation between 5-hmC levels and cerebellum development. Genome-wide profiling reveals that 5-hmC is highly enriched on specific gene regions including exons and especially the untranslated regions (UTRs), but it is depleted on introns and intergenic regions. Furthermore, we have identified fetus-specific and adult-specific differentially hydroxymethylated regions (DhMRs), most of which overlap with genes and CpG island shores. Surprisingly, during development, DhMRs are highly enriched in genes encoding mRNAs that can be regulated by fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), some of which are disrupted in autism, as well as in many known autism genes. Our results suggest that 5-hmC-mediated epigenetic regulation may broadly impact the development of the human brain, and its dysregulation could contribute to the molecular pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders.
Accession number: Sequencing data have been deposited to GEO with accession number GSE40539.
Ascaris lumbricoides remains the most common endoparasite in humans, yet there is still very little information available about the immunological principles of protection, especially those directed against larval stages. Due to the natural host-parasite relationship, pigs infected with A. suum make an excellent model to study the mechanisms of protection against this nematode. In pigs, a self-cure reaction eliminates most larvae from the small intestine between 14 and 21 days post infection. In this study, we investigated the mucosal immune response leading to the expulsion of A. suum and the contribution of the hepato-tracheal migration. Self-cure was independent of previous passage through the liver or lungs, as infection with lung stage larvae did not impair self-cure. When animals were infected with 14-day-old intestinal larvae, the larvae were being driven distally in the small intestine around 7 days post infection but by 18 days post infection they re-inhabited the proximal part of the small intestine, indicating that more developed larvae can counter the expulsion mechanism. Self-cure was consistently associated with eosinophilia and intra-epithelial T cells in the jejunum. Furthermore, we identified increased gut movement as a possible mechanism of self-cure as the small intestinal transit time was markedly decreased at the time of expulsion of the worms. Taken together, these results shed new light on the mechanisms of self-cure that occur during A. suum infections.
Ascaris lumbricoides is the most common intestinal parasite in humans. A. suum is closely related to A. lumbricoides but infects pigs and can be used to study the immune response against larval stages. Most larvae are eliminated from the small intestine between 14 and 21 days after infection in what is called a self-cure reaction. The remaining larvae after this point will be able to grow into adults and reproduce. We show here that the intestinal self-cure of A. suum is locally triggered as part of an innate immune defense mechanism. When pigs received lung stage larvae, they were still able to eliminate the parasite, indicating that passage through the liver or lungs is not essential to eliminate the larvae upon their return in the small intestine. We could identify a decrease in the intestinal transit time at 17 days post infection, indicating an increase in gut movement, which could explain why the worms were being driven out at this time.
Heterogeneity within pluripotent stem cell (PSC) populations is indicative of dynamic changes that occur when cells drift between different states. Although the role of metastability in PSCs is unclear, it appears to reflect heterogeneity in cell signaling. Using the Fucci cell-cycle indicator system, we show that elevated expression of developmental regulators in G1 is a major determinant of heterogeneity in human embryonic stem cells. Although signaling pathways remain active throughout the cell cycle, their contribution to heterogeneous gene expression is restricted to G1. Surprisingly, we identify dramatic changes in the levels of global 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, an unanticipated source of epigenetic heterogeneity that is tightly linked to cell-cycle progression and the expression of developmental regulators. When we evaluated gene expression in differentiating cells, we found that cell-cycle regulation of developmental regulators was maintained during lineage specification. Cell-cycle regulation of developmentally regulated transcription factors is therefore an inherent feature of the mechanisms underpinning differentiation.
•Embryonic stem cells are lineage primed in G1•Transcription of developmentally regulated genes is cell-cycle regulated•5hmC is cell-cycle regulated•Stem cells initiate differentiation from G1
Pluripotent stem cell heterogeneity has been attributed to stochastic variations in signaling pathways across the population. Using Fucci cell-cycle reporters, Dalton and colleagues show that stem cell “lineage priming” in G1 is associated with cell-cycle-dependent changes in the transcription of developmentally regulated genes. Moreover, these changes are paralleled by levels of the epigenetic mark 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. These findings identify the cell cycle as major source of heterogeneity in human pluripotent stem cells.
Two unidentified chlorinated volatiles X and Y were detected in headspace extracts of the fungus Geniculosporium. Their mass spectra pointed to the structures of a chlorodimethoxybenzene for X and a dichlorodimethoxybenzene for Y. The mass spectra of some constitutional isomers for X and Y were included in our databases and proved to be very similar, thus preventing a full structural assignment. For unambiguous structure elucidation all possible constitutional isomers for X and Y were obtained by synthesis or from commercial suppliers. Comparison of mass spectra and GC retention times rigorously established the structures of the two chlorinated volatiles. Chlorinated volatiles are not very widespread, but brominated or even iodinated volatiles are even more rare. Surprisingly, headspace extracts from Streptomyces chartreusis contained methyl 2-iodobenzoate, a new natural product that adds to the small family of iodinated natural products.
constitutional isomerism; GC-MS; natural products; organohalogen compounds; volatiles
Epidemiological studies indicate a positive correlation between alcohol consumption and the risk of developing breast cancer. However, little is known about whether alcohol consumption affects breast cancer metastasis. Considering the primary cause of death in breast cancer patients is due to metastasis, further insight into whether alcohol consumption influences disease progression and survival is needed. We tested the effect of alcohol consumption on breast cancer metastasis using the 4T1.2 syngeneic mammary tumor model in Balb/c mice. The treatment groups included a High-consuming group (18% w/v alcohol in drinking water), a Moderate-consuming group (5% w/v), a Low-consuming group (1% w/v), and a Water-drinking control group. 4T1.2 mammary tumor cells were injected orthotopically into the mammary fat pad. Metastases were enumerated in lungs and in distant mammary glands four weeks after injection. Consumption of High alcohol protected against metastasis, as High-consuming mice typically had 65 – 75% fewer metastases compared to Water-drinking controls. A suggestive reduction in tumor spread was observed in the Moderate-drinking group, although the effects did not reach statistical significance. Consumption of the Low alcohol dose did not affect metastasis. CXCR4 expression in the primary tumors was significantly reduced by High alcohol consumption; however, expression of this chemokine receptor in the primary tumor did not correlate with metastatic potential. Additional studies were conducted to test for possible direct effects of 0.3% w/v ethanol on tumor cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and colony formation of 4T1.2 cells in vitro. Our results indicate that, for this murine model, alcohol consumption does not exacerbate tumor metastasis, and that high alcohol consumption reduces tumor spread.
Breast cancer; Metastasis; Ethanol; Alcohol; CXCR4; Mice
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome is an emerging infectious disease caused by a novel bunyavirus (SFTSV). Lack of vaccines and inadequate therapeutic treatments have made the spread of the virus a global concern. Viral nucleocapsid protein (N) is essential for its transcription and replication. Here, we present the crystal structures of N from SFTSV and its homologs from Buenaventura (BUE) and Granada (GRA) viruses. The structures reveal that phleboviral N folds into a compact core domain and an extended N-terminal arm that mediates oligomerization, such as tetramer, pentamer, and hexamer of N assemblies. Structural superimposition indicates that phleboviral N adopts a conserved architecture and uses a similar RNA encapsidation strategy as that of RVFV-N. The RNA binding cavity runs along the inner edge of the ring-like assembly. A triple mutant of SFTSV-N, R64D/K67D/K74D, almost lost its ability to bind RNA in vitro, is deficient in its ability to transcribe and replicate. Structural studies of the mutant reveal that both alterations in quaternary assembly and the charge distribution contribute to the loss of RNA binding. In the screening of inhibitors Suramin was identified to bind phleboviral N specifically. The complex crystal structure of SFTSV-N with Suramin was refined to a 2.30-Å resolution. Suramin was found sitting in the putative RNA binding cavity of SFTSV-N. The inhibitory effect of Suramin on SFTSV replication was confirmed in Vero cells. Therefore, a common Suramin-based therapeutic approach targeting SFTSV-N and its homologs could be developed for containing phleboviral outbreaks.
The disease burden of diabetes mellitus is increasing throughout the world. The need for more potent drugs to complement the present anti-diabetic drugs has become an imperative. Astragalus membranaceus, a key component of most Chinese herbal anti-diabetic formulas, has been an important prospect for lead anti-diabetic compounds. It has been progressively studied for its anti-diabetic properties. Ethnopharmacological studies have established its potential to alleviate diabetes mellitus. Recent studies have sought to relate its chemical constituents to types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. Its total polysaccharides, saponins, and flavonoids fractions and several isolated compounds have been the most studied. The total polysaccharides fraction demonstrated activity to both types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus. This paper discusses the anti-diabetic effects and pharmacological action of the chemical constituents in relation to types 1 and 2 diabetes mellitus.
Paclitaxel has been proved to be active in treatment and larynx preservation of HNSCC, however, the fact that about 20-40% patients do not respond to paclitaxel makes it urgent to figure out the biomarkers for paclitaxel-based treatment in Hypopharynx cancer (HPC) patients to improve the therapy effect. In this work, Fadu cells, treated or untreated with low dose of paclitaxel for 24 h, were applied to DNA microarray chips. The differential expression in mRNAs and miRs was analyzed and the network between expression-altered mRNAs and miRs was constructed. Differentially expressed genes were mainly enriched in superpathway of cholesterol biosynthesis (ACAT2, MSMO1, LSS, FDFT1 and FDPS etc.), complement system (C3, C1R, C1S, CFR and CFB etc.), interferon signaling (IFIT1, IFIT3, IFITM1 and MX1 etc.), mTOR signaling (MRAS, PRKAA2, PLD1, RND3 and EIF4A1 etc.) and IGF1 signaling (MRAS, IGFBP7, JUN and FOS etc.), most of these pathways are implicated in tumorigenesis or chemotherapy resistance. The first three pathways were predicted to be suppressed, while the last two pathways were predicted to be induced by paclitaxel, suggesting the combination therapy with mTOR inhibition and paclitaxel might be better than single one. The dramatically expression-altered miRs were miR-112, miR-7, miR-1304, miR-222*, miR-29b-1* (these five miRs were upregulated) and miR-210 (downregulated). The 26 putative target genes mediated by the 6 miRs were figured out and the miR-gene network was constructed. Furthermore, immunoblotting assay showed that ERK signaling in Fadu cells was active by low dose of paclitaxel but repressed by high dose of paclitaxel. Collectively, our data would provide potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets for paclitaxel-based therapy in HPC patients.
Paclitaxel; hypopharynx cancer; DNA microarray; mTOR signaling
The symmetric title molecule, [Hf(C26H40N4Si)Cl4], lies about a twofold rotation axis. The HfIV and Si atoms lie on the rotation axis with all other atoms being in general positions. The HfIV atom is six-coordinated by two N atoms from the N
2′-(dimethylsilanediyl)bis(N-tert-butyl-3-methylbenzimidamidate) ligand and four Cl− ions in a slightly distorted octahedral geometry. The two amidinate moieties are connected through the central Si atom with Si—N bond length of 1.762 (3) Å, generating the characteristic N—C—N—Si—N—C—N skeleton of a silyl-linked ansa-bis(amidine) species.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common cause of dementia worldwide and mainly characterized by the aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ) and hyperphosphorylated tau. FLZ is a novel synthetic derivative of natural squamosamide and has been proved to improve memory deficits in dementia animal models. In this study, we aimed to investigate the mechanisms of FLZ’s neuroprotective effect in APP/PS1 double transgenic mice and SH-SY5Y (APPwt/swe) cells. The results showed that treatment with FLZ significantly improved the memory deficits of APP/PS1 transgenic mice and decreased apoptosis of SH-SY5Y (APPwt/swe) cells. FLZ markedly attenuated Aβ accumulation and tau phosphorylation both in vivo and in vitro. Mechanistic study showed that FLZ interfered APP processing, i.e., FLZ decreased β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) phosphorylation, APP-carboxy-terminal fragment (APP-CTF) production and β-amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) expression. These results indicated that FLZ reduced Aβ production through inhibiting amyloidogenic pathway. The mechanistic study about FLZ’s inhibitory effect on tau phosphorylation revealed t the involvement of Akt/glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) pathway. FLZ treatment increased Akt activity and inhibited GSK3β activity both in vivo and in vitro. The inhibitory effect of FLZ on GSK3β activity and tau phosphorylation was suppressed by inhibiting Akt activity, indicating that Akt/GSK3β pathway might be the possible mechanism involved in the inhibitory effect of FLZ on tau hyperphosphorylation. These results suggested FLZ might be a potential anti-AD drug as it not only reduced Aβ production via inhibition amyloidogenic APP processing pathway, but also attenuated tau hyperphosphoylation mediated by Akt/GSK3β.
Velo-cardio-facial syndrome/DiGeorge syndrome, also known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is the most common microdeletion syndrome, with an estimated incidence of 1/2,000 – 1/4,000 live births. Approximately 9–11% of patients with this disorder have an overt cleft palate (CP), but the genetic factors responsible for CP in the 22q11DS subset are unknown. The TBX1 gene, a member of the T-box transcription factor gene family, lies within the 22q11.2 region that is hemizygous in patients with 22q11DS. Inactivation of one allele of Tbx1 in the mouse does not result in CP, but inactivation of both alleles does. Based on these data, we hypothesized that DNA variants in the remaining allele of TBX1 may confer risk to CP in patients with 22q11DS. To test the hypothesis, we evaluated TBX1 exon sequencing (n = 360) and genotyping data (n = 737) with respect to presence (n = 54) or absence (n = 683) of CP in patients with 22q11DS. Two upstream SNPs (rs4819835 and rs5748410) showed individual evidence for association but they were not significant after correction for multiple testing. Associations were not identified between DNA variants and haplotypes in 22q11DS patients with CP. Overall, this study indicates that common DNA variants in TBX1 may be nominally causative for CP in patients with 22q11DS. This raises the possibility that genes elsewhere on the remaining allele of 22q11.2 or in the genome could be relevant.
22q11.2 deletion syndrome; TBX1 sequencing; cleft palate; genomic disorder