To understand why cancer vaccine-induced T cells often fail to eradicate tumors, we studied immune responses in mice vaccinated with gp100 melanoma peptide in incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA), commonly used in clinical cancer vaccine trials. Peptide/IFA vaccination primed tumor-specific CD8+ T cells, which accumulated not in tumors but at the persisting, antigen-rich vaccination site. Once there, primed T cells became dysfunctional and underwent antigen-driven, Interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and Fas ligand (FasL)-mediated apoptosis, resulting in hyporesponsiveness to subsequent vaccination. Provision of anti-CD40 antibody, Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist and interleukin-2 (IL-2) reduced T cell apoptosis but did not prevent vaccination site sequestration. A non-persisting vaccine formulation shifted T cell localization towards tumors, inducing superior anti-tumor activity while reducing systemic T cell dysfunction and promoting memory formation. Persisting peptide/IFA vaccine depots can induce specific T cell sequestration, dysfunction and deletion at vaccination sites; short-lived formulations may overcome these limitations and result in greater therapeutic efficacy of peptide-based cancer vaccines.
Albuminuria marks renal disease and cardiovascular risk. It was estimated to contribute 75% of the risk of all-cause natural death in one Aboriginal group. The urine albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) is commonly used as an index of albuminuria. This study aims to examine the associations between demographic factors, anthropometric index, blood pressure, lipid-protein measurements and other biomarkers and albuminuria in a cross-sectional study in a high-risk Australian Aboriginal population. The models will be evaluated for albuminuria at or above the microalbuminuria threshold, and at or above the “overt albuminuria” threshold with the potential to distinguish associations they have in common and those that differ.
This was a cross-sectional study of 598 adults aged 18–76 years. All participants were grouped into quartiles by age. Logistic regression models were used to explore the correlates of ACR categories.
The significant correlates were systolic blood pressure (SBP), C-reactive protein (CRP), uric acid, diabetes, gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) (marginally significant, p = 0.054) and serum albumin (negative association) for ACR 17+ (mg/g) for men and 25+ for women. Independent correlates were SBP, uric acid, diabetes, total cholesterol, alanine amino transferase (ALT), Cystatin C and serum albumin (negative association) for overt albuminuria; and SBP, CRP and serum albumin only for microalbuminuria.
This is the most detailed modelling of pathologic albuminuria in this setting to date. The somewhat variable association with risk factors suggests that microalbuminuria and overt albuminuria might reflect different as well as shared phenomena.
Albuminuria; Microalbuminuria; Overt albuminuria; ACR; Aboriginal people
BCR-ABL transforms bone marrow progenitor cells and promotes genome instability, leading to development of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). The tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib effectively treats CML, but acquired resistance can develop due to BCR-ABL mutations. Mechanisms for acquisition of BCR-ABL mutations are not fully understood. Using a novel culture model of CML acquired resistance, we show that inhibition of SIRT1 deacetylase by small molecule inhibitors or gene knockdown blocks acquisition of BCR-ABL mutations and relapse of CML cells on tyrosine kinase inhibitors. SIRT1 knockdown also suppresses de novo genetic mutations of HPRT (hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transferase) gene in CML and non-CML cells upon treatment with DNA damaging agent camptothecin. Although SIRT1 can enhance cellular DNA damage response, it alters functions of DNA repair machineries in CML cells and stimulates activity of error-prone DNA damage repair, in association with acquisition of genetic mutations. These results reveal a previously unrecognized role of SIRT1 for promoting mutation acquisition in cancer, and have implication for targeting SIRT1 to overcome CML drug resistance.
Innate resistance to various therapeutic interventions is a hallmark of cancer. In recent years, acquired resistance has emerged as a daunting challenge to targeted cancer therapy, which abolishes the efficacy of otherwise successful targeting drugs. Cancer cells gain the resistance property through a variety of mechanisms in primary and metastatic cancers, involving cellular intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Increasing evidence suggests that the mammalian stress response gene sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) plays a critical role in multiple aspects of cancer drug resistance. SIRT1 decreases drug penetration, confers proliferation and antiapoptotic survival advantages to cancer cells, facilitates acquired resistance through genetic mutations, promotes the survival of cancer stem cells, and changes the tumor microenvironment for resistance in cell-autonomous and -nonautonomous manners. This article provides an overview of research advances in the roles of SIRT1 in cancer drug resistance and highlights the prospect of targeting SIRT1 as a new strategy to overcome cancer drug resistance and improve therapeutic outcomes.
SIRT1; drug resistance; acquired resistance; cancer stem cells; genetic mutation; tumor microenvironment
BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) fail to eliminate quiescent leukemia stem cells (LSC) in chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Thus strategies targeting LSC are required to achieve cure. We show that the NAD+ dependent deacetylase SIRT1 is overexpressed in human CML LSC. Pharmacological inhibition of SIRT1 or SIRT1 knockdown increased apoptosis in LSC of chronic phase and blast crisis CML and reduced their growth in vitro and in vivo. SIRT1 effects were enhanced in combination with the BCR-ABL TKI imatinib. SIRT1 inhibition increased p53 acetylation and transcriptional activity in CML progenitors, and the inhibitory effects of SIRT1 targeting on CML cells depended on p53 expression and acetylation. Activation of p53 via SIRT1 inhibition represents a potential approach to target CML LSC.
Serine/threonine kinase Aurora A is essential for regulating mammalian cell division and is overexpressed in many types of human cancer. However, the role of Aurora A in chemoresistance of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) is not well understood. Using the KCL-22 cell culture model we have recently developed for studying mechanisms of CML acquired resistance, we found that Aurora A expression was partially reduced in these cells upon treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib, which accompanied the acquisition of BCR-ABL mutation for imatinib resistance. Gene knockdown of BCR-ABL also reduced Aurora A expression, and conversely, Aurora A expression increased in hematopoietic progenitor cells after BCR-ABL expression. Inhibition of Aurora A induced apoptosis of CML cells with or without T315I BCR-ABL mutation and suppressed CML cell growth. Inhibition of Aurora A by gene knockdown or a highly specific small molecule inhibitor sensitized CML cells to imatinib treatment and effectively blocked acquisition of BCR-ABL mutations and KCL-22 cell relapse on imatinib, nilotinib or dasatinib. Our results show that Aurora A plays an important role for facilitating acquisition of BCR-ABL mutation and acquired resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors in the culture model and suggest that inhibition of Aurora A may provide an alternative strategy to improve CML treatment to overcome resistance.
Lifetime risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) is an important yardstick by which policy makers, clinicians and the general public can assess and promote the awareness and prevention of CHD. The lifetime risk in Aboriginal people is not known. Using a cohort with up to 20 years of follow-up, we estimated the lifetime risk of CHD in Aboriginal people.
A cohort study.
A remote Aboriginal region.
1115 Aboriginal people from one remote tribal group who were free from CHD at baseline were followed for up to 20 years.
Main outcome measures
During the follow-up period, new CHD incident cases were identified through hospital and death records. We estimated the lifetime risks of CHD with and without adjusting for the presence of competing risk of death from non-CHD causes.
Participants were followed up for 17 126 person-years, during which 185 developed CHD and 144 died from non-CHD causes. The average age at which the first CHD event occurred was 48 years for men and 49 years for women. The risk of developing CHD increased with age until 60 years and then decreased with age. Lifetime cumulative risk without adjusting for competing risk was 70.7% for men and 63.8% for women. Adjusting for the presence of competing risk of death from non-CHD causes, the lifetime risk of CHD was 52.6% for men and 49.2% for women.
Lifetime risk of CHD is as high as one in two in both Aboriginal men and women. The average age of having first CHD events was under 50 years, much younger than that reported in non-Aboriginal populations. Our data provide useful knowledge for health education, screening and prevention of CHD in Aboriginal people.
Epidemiology; Public Health
Based on the data from six Chinese National Surveys on Students Constitution and Health (CNSSCH) from 1985 to 2010, we explored the secular trend in the prevalence of obesity in urban Chinese children over a period of 25 years. The aim of this study was to examine the gender disparities in the prevalence of childhood obesity over time. The standardized prevalence of obesity in Chinese children increased rapidly during the past 25 years from 0.2% in 1985 to 8.1% in 2010. The increasing trend was significant in all age subgroups (p<0.01). Although the prevalence of obesity continuously increased in both boys and girls, the changing pace in boys was faster than that in girls. Age-specific prevalence odds ratios (PORs) of boys versus girls for obesity increased over time during the 25 year period. The prevalence of obesity in boys was significantly higher than in girls in all age-specific subgroups from 1991 and after. The gradually expanding gender disparity suggests the prevalence of obesity in boys contribute to a large and growing proportion of obese children. Therefore, it is critical for developing and implementing gender-specific preventive guidelines and public health policies in China.
Obesity is regarded as a potential risk factor for atopy. The aim of this study was to assess the associations of obesity with atopic dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma and food allergy in Chinese adults.
Two hundred and sixty six (266) atopic cases in Harbin, China, were identified according to the current Chinese guidelines for the diagnosis of atopic diseases. All cases had a previous diagnosis of atopic disorders (atopic dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma or food allergy) and were positive in one or more allergen specific IgE tests to 16 common allergens in the region. Each case was individually matched to two healthy controls based on their age, sex, and residential regions. All 532 healthy controls were negative in allergen specific IgE tests. The associations of obesity with four atopic disorders were assessed using a conditional logistic regression method.
Obesity was significantly associated with the presence of atopic diseases (OR = 3.2, 95% CI: 1.8, 5.7). Males and females had a similar association (OR = 3.1 for males and 3.2 for females). The associations of obesity with atopic dermatitis (OR = 2.7, 95% CI: 1.2, 6.3) and atopic rhinitis (OR = 3.1, 95% CI: 1.1, 8.7) were statistically significant. Although obesity was positively associated with atopic asthma, this association was not statistically significant (OR = 3.4, 95% CI: 0.6, 19.9). The association between obesity and food allergy was weak and not significant (OR = 1.1, 95% CI: 0.4, 3.7).
Obesity is positively associated with the presence of atopic diseases in Chinese adults. Specifically, obesity is significantly associated with atopic dermatitis and rhinitis. Our findings warrant further investigation on the causal nature between obesity and atopic diseases and the effect of weight reduction on preventing atopic diseases.
To study the role of Chondromodulin I (ChM-I) in inducing bone mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into chondrocytes, the plasmid expressing pcDNA3.1 (+) / ChM-I was constructed, and transfected into MSCs. Stable expression verified that ChM-I is upregulated in MSCs, which make it a useful preparation for studying the further role of ChM-I in inducing bone MSCs toward a chondrogenic I phenotype and for tissue engineering constructs. MSCs were obtained from adult Sprague Dawley (SD) rats using density gradient centrifugation. Cell surface antigens were detected by flow cytometry. The experimental groups were MSCs transfected with the plasmid pcDNA3.1 (+)/ChM-I. The control one was with the plasmid pcDNA3.1 (+) and the negative control one was with no plasmid. Transcription and translation were detected in the level of mRNA and protein respectively in order to identify the stability of the expression of ChM-I in cell lines by RT-PCR and western blot analysis. The results of RT-PCR showed that the mRNA level of ChM-I in the experimental group was six times higher than the control. The quantitative optical density analysis showed that the expression of ChM-I in the experimental group was significantly higher than the control by western blot. We conclude that we have established MSCs lines stably expressing ChM-I. This work lays the foundation of studying the potential role of the ChM-I in inducing BMSCs into chondrocytes.
Chondromodulin-I; MSCs biological factors; plasmid pcDNA3.1 (+)/ChM-I; tissue engineering
Sasa argenteastriatus, with abundant active compounds and high antioxidant activity in leaves, is a new leafy bamboo grove suitable for exploitation. To utilize it more effectively and scientifically, we investigate the seasonal variations of antioxidant composition in its leaves and antioxidant activity. The leaves of Sasa argenteastriatus were collected on the 5th day of each month in three same-sized sample plots from May 2009 to May 2011. The total flavonoids (TF): phenolics (TP) and triterpenoid (TT) of bamboo leaves were extracted and the contents analyzed by UV-spectrophotometer. Our data showed that all exhibited variations with the changing seasons, with the highest levels appearing in November to March. Antioxidant activity was measured using DPPH and FRAP methods. The highest antioxidant activity appeared in December with the lowest in May. Correlation analyses demonstrated that TP and TF exhibited high correlation with bamboo antioxidant activity. Eight bamboo characteristic compounds (orientin, isoorientin, vitexin, homovitexin and p-coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, ferulic acid) were determined by RP-HPLC synchronously. We found that chlorogenic acid, isoorientin and vitexin are the main compounds in Sasa argenteastriatus leaves and the content of isovitexin and chlorogenic acid showed a similar seasonal variation with the TF, TP and TT. Our results suggested that the optimum season for harvesting Sasa argenteastriatus leaves is between autumn and winter.
Sasa argenteostriata; leaves; seasonal variation; flavonoids; phenolics; triterpenoids; bamboo characteristic compounds; antioxidant activity
Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome bunyavirus is a newly discovered bunyavirus with high pathogenicity to human. The transmission model has been largely uncharacterized. Investigation on a cluster of severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome cases provided evidence of person-to-person transmission through blood contact to the index patient with high serum virus load.
The burden of disability, analgesia, and health services use associated with knee pain and osteoarthritis (OA) in developing countries is relatively unknown, despite a high proportion of these populations required to be engaged in heavy occupational physical activity throughout their life span. The aim of this survey was to estimate the burden of disability, analgesia, and health services use associated with knee pain in rural China.
This was a population-based cross-sectional survey among residents, aged 50 years and older, of Wuchuan County, Inner Mongolia. Participants completed an interviewer-based questionnaire, evaluating knee pain and associated disability, analgesia, and health services use, and obtained bilateral standardized weight-bearing knee radiographs.
Of the 1,027 participants, 513 (50%) reported knee pain on most days of at least 1 month in the past year, with 109 (21%) also demonstrating radiographic OA (Kellgren-Lawrence grade ≥2) in the symptomatic knee. Adjusting for age, gender, body mass index (BMI), education, and back pain, the presence of knee pain was associated with significantly greater difficulty in walking, climbing 10 steps, stooping, completing cleaning chores, and preparing meals. Among the 513 subjects with knee pain, the additional presence of radiographic evidence of OA was significantly associated with more occasions of "unbearable" pain (59% versus 36%) and restricted activity (64% versus 39%), as well as increased use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (88% versus 78%) and the reported number of doctor visits (59% versus 33%) in the past year. The use of paracetamol for knee pain was rare (6% versus 2%).
Knee pain is highly prevalent in rural northern China. The associated significant disability and marked preferential use of NSAIDs as analgesia should be of concern in these communities reliant on heavy occupational physical activity for their livelihood. The findings will be useful to guide the distribution of future health care resources and preventive strategies. A similar article has been published in the Chinese language journal, National Medical Journal of China.
Diabetes is an important contributor to the health inequity between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians. This study aims to estimate incidence rates of diabetes and to assess its associations with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) among Aboriginal participants in a remote community.
Six hundred and eighty six (686) Aboriginal Australians aged 20 to 74 years free from diabetes at baseline were followed for a median of 11 years. During the follow-up period, new diabetes cases were identified through hospital records. Cox proportional hazards models were used to assess relationships of the incidence rates of diabetes with IFG, IGT and body mass index (BMI).
One hundred and twenty four (124) new diabetes cases were diagnosed during the follow up period. Incidence rates increased with increasing age, from 2.2 per 1000 person-years for those younger than 25 years to 39.9 per 1000 person-years for those 45-54 years. By age of 60 years, cumulative incidence rates were 49% for Aboriginal men and 70% for Aboriginal women. The rate ratio for developing diabetes in the presence of either IFG or IGT at baseline was 2.2 (95% CI: 1.5, 3.3), adjusting for age, sex and BMI. Rate ratios for developing diabetes were 2.2 (95% CI: 1.4, 3.5) for people who were overweight and 4.7 (95% CI: 3.0, 7.4) for people who were obese at baseline, with adjustment of age, sex and the presence of IFG/IGT.
Diabetes incidence rates are high in Aboriginal people. The lifetime risk of developing diabetes among Aboriginal men is one in two, and among Aboriginal women is two in three. Baseline IFG, IGT and obesity are important predictors of diabetes.
The diabetes epidemic is associated with huge human and economic costs, with some groups, such as indigenous populations in industrialised countries, being at especially high risk. Monitoring and improving diabetes care at a population level are important to reduce diabetes-related morbidity and mortality. A set of diabetes indicators has been developed collaboratively among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries to monitor performance of diabetes care. The aim of this review was to provide an overview of diabetes management in five selected OECD countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK), based on data available for general and indigenous populations where appropriate.
We searched websites of health departments and leading national organisations related to diabetes care in each of the five countries to identify publicly released reports relevant to diabetes care. We collected data relevant to 6 OECD diabetes indicators on processes of diabetes care (annual HbA1c testing, lipid testing, renal function screening and eye examination) and proximal outcomes (HbA1c and lipid control).
Data were drawn from 29 websites, with 14 reports and 13 associated data sources included in this review. Australia, New Zealand, the US and the UK had national data available to construct most of the 6 OECD diabetes indicators, but Canadian data were limited to two indicators. New Zealand and the US had national level diabetes care data for indigenous populations, showing relatively poorer care among these groups when compared with general populations. The US and UK performed well across the four process indicators when compared with Australia and New Zealand. For example, annual HbA1c testing and lipid testing were delivered to 70-80% of patients in the US and UK; the corresponding figures for Australia and New Zealand were 50-60%. Regarding proximal outcomes, HbA1c control for patients in Australia and New Zealand tended to be relatively better than patients in the US and UK.
Substantial efforts have been made in the five countries to develop routine data collection systems to monitor performance of diabetes management. Available performance data identify considerable gaps in clinical care of diabetes across countries. Policy makers and health service providers across countries can learn from each other to improve data collection and delivery of diabetes care at the population level.
Glutamate racemase (RacE) is responsible for converting L-glutamate to D-glutamate, which is an essential component of peptidoglycan biosynthesis, and the primary constituent of the poly-γ-D-glutamate capsule of the pathogen Bacillus anthracis. RacE enzymes are essential for bacterial growth and lack a human homolog, making them attractive targets for the design and development of antibacterial therapeutics. We have cloned, expressed and purified the two glutamate racemase isozymes, RacE1 and RacE2, from the B. anthracis genome.
Through a series of steady-state kinetic studies, and based upon the ability of both RacE1 and RacE2 to catalyze the rapid formation of D-glutamate, we have determined that RacE1 and RacE2 are bona fide isozymes. The x-ray structures of B. anthracis RacE1 and RacE2, in complex with D-glutamate, were determined to resolutions of 1.75 Å and 2.0 Å. Both enzymes are dimers with monomers arranged in a “tail-to-tail” orientation, similar to the B. subtilis RacE structure, but differing substantially from the A. pyrophilus RacE structure. The differences in quaternary structures produce differences in the active sites of racemases among the various species, which has important implications for structure-based, inhibitor design efforts within this class of enzymes. We found a Val to Ala variance at the entrance of the active site between RacE1 and RacE2 which results in the active site entrance being less sterically hindered for RacE1. Using a series of inhibitors, we show that this variance results in differences in the inhibitory activity against the two isozymes and suggest a strategy for structure-based inhibitor design to obtain broad-spectrum inhibitors for glutamate racemases.
Bacillus anthracis; glutamate racemase isozymes; cofactor-independent racemase; antimicrobial drug design; broad spectrum inhibitors
Properties of the NO-ASA family of NO-donating NSAIDs (NO-NSAIDs), notably NCX 4016 (mNO-ASA) and NCX 4040 (pNO-ASA), reported in more than a hundred publications, have included positive preclinical data in cancer chemoprevention and therapy. Evidence is presented that the antiproliferative, the chemopreventive (antioxidant/electrophile response element (ARE) activation), and the anti-inflammatory activity of NO-ASA in cell cultures is replicated by X-ASA derivatives that are incapable of acting as NO donors. pBr-ASA and mBr-ASA are conisogenic with NO-ASA, but are not NO donors. The biological activity of pNO-ASA is replicated by pBr-ASA; and both pNO-ASA and pBr-ASA are bioactivated to the same quinone methide electrophile. The biological activity of mNO-ASA is replicated by mBr-ASA; mNO-ASA and mBr-ASA are bioactivated to different benzyl electrophiles. The observed activity is likely initiated by trapping of thiol biomolecules by the quinone and benzyl electrophiles, leading to depletion of GSH and modification of Cys-containing sensor proteins. Whereas all NO-NSAIDs containing the same structural “linker” as NCX 4040 and NCX 4016 are anticipated to possess activity resulting from bioactivation to electrophilic metabolites, this expectation does not extend to other linker structures. Nitrates require metabolic bioactivation to liberate NO bioactivity, which is often poorly replicated in vitro, and NO bioactivity provided by NO-NSAIDs in vivo provides proven therapeutic benefits in mitigation of NSAID gastrotoxicity. The in vivo properties of X-ASA drugs await discovery.
Chemoprevention; quinone oxidoreductase; hybrid drugs; antioxidant response element; quinone methide; nitrates; inflammation; NO-ASA; NO-NSAID
Identification of metastasis and occult micrometastases of breast cancer demands sensitive and specific diagnostic markers. In this study, we assessed the utility of a mouse monoclonal antibody to human mammaglobin for one such purpose. Immunohistochemical stains were performed on paraffin-embedded sections from a total of 284 cases, which consisted of primary breast invasive carcinomas (41 cases) with matched metastases to ipsilateral axillary lymph nodes, metastatic breast carcinoma to liver (1 case) and kidney (1 case), non-breast neoplasms (161 cases), and normal human tissues (39 cases). The results showed 31 of the 41 cases of primary breast cancer with axillary lymph node metastases were positive for mammaglobin (76%). In the meantime, we documented expression of mammaglobin in occasional cases of endometrial carcinoma (17%). Our data further validated that mammaglobin is a valuable diagnostic marker for metastatic carcinoma of breast origin, although endometrial carcinoma should be considered as a major differential diagnosis.
Mammaglobin; breast cancer; metastasis; immunohistochemistry
This study established that human cancer cells (A375 melanoma, HT-29 colon cancer, PC-3p prostate cancer) that were xenografted into suckling opossums could proliferate and globally metastasize as early as 11 days after injection. Light and electron microscopic examinations (HT-29 colon cancer) determined that the cellular features exhibited by the xenogeneic human tumors grown in laboratory opossums were consistent with those observed in tumors removed from humans. The tumor induction rate, patterns of tumor growth and regression, and types of host immune responses against the xenografted tumors were influenced by injection dosages, injection sites and injection ages of suckling opossums. The results highlight the value of the opossum model as a natural in vivo system for investigating human cancer growth, metastasis and apoptosis at the cellular and molecular levels; enhancing identification of tumor associated antigens or T cell epitopes through use of humoral and cellular expression cloning techniques; elucidating mechanisms utilized by tumor cells to evade host immunosurveillance; and devising diagnostic and therapeutic methods for cancer treatment.
animal model; human cancer; Opossum; Monodelphis domestica
The title compound, C23H17F2NO, which crystallizes with two independent molecules in the asymmetric unit, was prepared by the cyclization of 4-[2-bis(4-fluorophenyl)methyleneamino]but-3-yn-1-ol at room temperature. The molecules display a tripod conformation. The two fluorophenyl rings make dihedral angles of 79.26 (2) and 85.87 (1)° [86.53 (1) and 83.67 (2)° in the second molecule] with the indole ring, and the dihedral angles between the fluorophenyl rings are 67.74 (2) and 66.33 (2)°, respectively. Furthermore, the indole rings are located on the edge of the respective oxazine half-chair ring systems. Nonconventional C—H⋯π contacts between indole and fluorophenyl rings are observed.
To map and identify the genetic mutation underlying X-linked congenital nystagmus in a Chinese family.
Genomic DNA was prepared from peripheral blood, and linkage analysis was performed using short tandem repeat (STR) polymorphism markers. We used Cyrillic software to manage pedigree and haplotype data and used MLINK to calculate LOD scores. Dye-terminator cycle-sequencing was used to detect the sequence variation of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified exons.
Linkage analysis mapped the disease-causing gene to Xp22.3 with a significant two-point LOD score (Z) at marker DXS7103 (Z=3.16, recombination fraction [θ]=0). Haplotype analysis in this region supported the result. In analyzing the candidate gene in the linked region, we found a 37-bp deletion in exon 1 of GPR143 in all male patients.
The revealed 37-bp deletion in GPR143 is frameshift and is predicted to result in a truncated protein of 93 residues. These results indicate that this novel GPR143 mutation is associated with the congenital nystagmus observed in this Chinese family.
Interleukin-12 (IL-12) has been inversely associated with disease severity in human and murine malaria, and a polymorphism in the IL-12 p40 subunit gene (IL12B) has been associated with susceptibility to human cerebral malaria and reduced nitric oxide (NO) production. To better define the relationships between IL-12, NO, malaria parasitemia, and IL12B polymorphisms during malarial tolerance, plasma IL-12 levels and peripheral blood mononuclear cell NO synthase (NOS) activity were measured in asymptomatic Papua New Guineans exposed to intense malaria transmission. The IL-12 level was strongly inversely correlated with the density of Plasmodium falciparum parasitemia (ρ = −0.45; P < 0.001) and was predicted to decrease by 19% (95% confidence interval [CI], 10 to 27%) for each twofold increase in P. falciparum parasitemia. This is consistent with a suppressive effect of parasitemia on IL-12 production, an effect previously shown in vitro and in rodent models of disease. The IL-12 level was inversely correlated with NOS activity (r = −0.22; P = 0.007), with each twofold increase in NOS activity being predictive of a 25% (95% CI, 7 to 38%) decrease in plasma IL-12 levels. This probably reflects additional down-regulation of IL-12 by the high basal NO production and monocyte NOS expression found in the malaria-tolerant state. Neither the IL-12 level nor NOS activity was associated with either of two IL12B polymorphisms, reflecting the diversity of genetic control over immune responses in different populations.