Octamer-binding transcription factor 4 (OCT4) is a key regulatory gene that maintains the pluripotency and self-renewal properties of embryonic stem cells. Although there is emerging evidence that it can function as oncogene in several cancers, the role in mediating cervical cancer remains unexplored. Here we found that OCT4 protein expression showed a pattern of gradual increase from normal cervix to cervical carcinoma in situ and then to invasive cervical cancer. Overexpression of OCT4 in two types of cervical cancer cells promotes the carcinogenesis, and inhibits cancer cell apoptosis. OCT4 induces upregulation of miR-125b through directly binding to the promoter of miR-125b-1 confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis. MiRNA-125b overexpression suppressed apoptosis and expression of BAK1 protein. In contrast, miR-125b sponge impaired the anti-apoptotic effect of OCT4, along with the upregulated expression of BAK1. Significantly, Luciferase assay showed that the activity of the wild-type BAK1 3′-untranslated region reporter was suppressed and this suppression was diminished when the miR-125b response element was mutated or deleted. In addition, we observed negative correlation between levels of BAK1 and OCT4, and positive between OCT4 and miR-125b in primary cervical cancers. These findings suggest an undescribed regulatory pathway in cervical cancer, by which OCT4 directly induces expression of miR-125b, which inhibits its direct target BAK1, leading to suppression of cervical cancer cell apoptosis.
OCT4; cervical cancer; apoptosis; miR-125b-1; BAK1
From medical imaging perspective the robustness of a phase retrieval method is of critical importance. In this presentation we compare the robustness of two general phase retrieval methods, namely the transport of intensity equation inversion (TIE-inversion) method and the attenuation partition based (AP-based) method. We showed that the TIE-inversion method, regardless if being assisted with the Tikhonov regularization, failed to retrieve the phase maps in two experimental studies. The failure exposes this method’s weakness as being unstable against the noise. In contrast, the sample phase maps are retrieved successfully by using the AP-based method. The stark performance differences of the two methods are rooted in their different techniques dealing with the singularity problem. This comparison shows that the robust AP-based phase retrieval method will be superior to the TIE-inversion method for medical imaging applications where radiation doses are stringently limited.
Medical-image reconstruction methods and algorithms; computer-aided so; X-ray radiography and digital radiography (DR)
Association mapping of important traits of crop plants relies on first understanding the extent and patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD) in the particular germplasm being investigated. We characterize here the genetic diversity, population structure and genome wide LD patterns in a set of asparagus bean (Vigna. unguiculata ssp. sesquipedialis) germplasm from China. A diverse collection of 99 asparagus bean and normal cowpea accessions were genotyped with 1127 expressed sequence tag-derived single nucleotide polymorphism markers (SNPs). The proportion of polymorphic SNPs across the collection was relatively low (39%), with an average number of SNPs per locus of 1.33. Bayesian population structure analysis indicated two subdivisions within the collection sampled that generally represented the ‘standard vegetable' type (subgroup SV) and the ‘non-standard vegetable' type (subgroup NSV), respectively. Level of LD (r2) was higher and extent of LD persisted longer in subgroup SV than in subgroup NSV, whereas LD decayed rapidly (0–2 cM) in both subgroups. LD decay distance varied among chromosomes, with the longest (≈5 cM) five times longer than the shortest (≈1 cM). Partitioning of LD variance into within- and between-subgroup components coupled with comparative LD decay analysis suggested that linkage group 5, 7 and 10 may have undergone the most intensive epistatic selection toward traits favorable for vegetable use. This work provides a first population genetic insight into domestication history of asparagus bean and demonstrates the feasibility of mapping complex traits by genome wide association study in asparagus bean using a currently available cowpea SNPs marker platform.
asparagus bean; association mapping; cowpea; domestication history; linkage disequilibrium; population structure
To quantify OCT images of rectal tissue for clinic diagnosis, the scattering coefficient of the tissue is extracted by curve fitting the OCT signals to a confocal single model. A total of 1000 measurements (half and half of normal and malignant tissues) were obtained from 16 recta. The normal rectal tissue has a larger scattering coefficient ranging from 1.09 to 5.41 mm–1 with a mean value of 2.29 mm–1 (std: ± 0.32), while the malignant group shows lower scattering property and the values ranging from 0.25 to 2.69 mm–1 with a mean value of 1.41 mm–1 (std: ± 0.18). The peri-cancer of recta has also been investigated to distinguish the difference between normal and malignant rectal tissue. The results demonstrate that the quantitative analysis of the rectal tissue can be used as a promising diagnostic criterion of early rectal cancer, which has great value for clinical medical applications.
To elucidate the safety and efficacy of exogenous erythropoietin (EPO) for the protection of photoreceptor cells in a rat model of retinal detachment (RD).
Recombinant rat EPO (400 ng) was injected into the vitreous cavity of normal rats to observe the eye manifestations. Retinal function was assessed by flash electroretinograms. Histopathological examination of retinal tissue was performed at 14 days and 2 months after injection, respectively. To investigate the inhibitory effect of EPO on photoreceptor cell apoptosis in RD rats, 100, 200, or 400 ng EPO was injected into the vitreous cavity immediately after RD model establishment. Apoptosis of photoreceptor cells was determined at 3 days after injection. Caspase-3 activation was measured by western blot analysis and immunofluorescence, respectively, and the level of Bcl-XL expression was analyzed by western blot.
Intravitreal injection of EPO 400 ng into normal rats had no significant impact on retinal function, morphology, or structure. Apoptosis of retinal photoreceptor cells apparently increased after RD and was significantly reduced following EPO treatment. The thickness of the outer nuclear layer in the RD+400 ng group was significantly thicker than that in other experimental RD groups both at 14 days and at 2 months after RD (P<0.05). Western blot and immunofluorescence analyses showed decreased caspase-3 activation and increased Bcl-XL expression following EPO treatment.
Intravitreal injection of EPO 400 ng is safe, and EPO may suppress caspase-3 activation and enhance Bcl-XL expression, resulting in inhibition of apoptosis and protection of photoreceptor cells.
erythropoietin; retinal detachment/experimental; flash electroretinogram; apoptosis
To investigate whether resistance to annexin A5 anticoagulant activity (AnxA5) occurs in women with histories for obstetric complications of antiphospholipid syndrome (Obs-APS) and whether this correlates with antibody recognition of domain 1 of β2- glycoprotein.
136 women with antiphospholipid antibodies, including 70 with histories for Obs-APS, and 30 controls, were investigated.
Women with Obs-APS showed resistance to AnxA5 activity (median (range) 216% (130-282%) vs. controls 247% (217-283%), p<0.0001) and elevated levels of anti-domain I IgG (OD: median (range) 0.056 (0.021-0.489) vs. 0.042 (0.020-0.323); p=0.002). Those in the lowest tertile of AnxA5 anticoagulant ratios had an OR for Obs-APS APS of 58.0 (95% CI 3.3-1021.5). There was an inverse correlation between levels of annexin A5 anticoagulant activity and anti-domain I IgG.
Resistance to AnxA5 anticoagulant activity is associated with antibody recognition of domain I of β2GPI and identifies a subset of women with histories for Obs-APS.
annexin V; obstetric; Antiphospholipid antibodies; Antiphospholipid syndrome; Annexin A5; β2-glycoprotein I; Pregnancy loss
Acid-sensing ion channel 1b (ASIC1b) is a proton-gated Na+ channel mostly expressed in peripheral sensory neurons. To date, the functional significance of ASIC1b in these cells is unclear due to the lack of a specific inhibitor/blocker. A better understanding of the regulation of ASIC1b may provide a clue for future investigation of its functional importance. One important regulator of acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) is zinc. In this study, we examined the detailed zinc inhibition of ASIC1b currents and specific amino acid(s) involved in the inhibition. In CHO cells expressing rat ASIC1b subunit, pretreatment with zinc concentration-dependently inhibited the ASIC1b currents triggered by pH dropping from 7.4 to 6.0 with a half-maximum inhibitory concentration of 26 μM. The inhibition of ASIC1b currents by pre-applied zinc was independent of pH, voltage, or extracellular Ca2+. Further, we showed that the effect of zinc is dependent on the extracellular cysteine, but not histidine residue. Mutating cysteine 149, but not cysteine 58 or cysteine 162, located in the extracellular domain of the ASIC1b subunit abolished the zinc inhibition. These findings suggest that cysteine 149 in the extracellular finger domain of ASIC1b subunit is critical for zinc-mediated inhibition and provide the basis for future mechanistic studies addressing the functional significance of zinc inhibition of ASIC1b.
acid-sensing ion channels; zinc; ASIC1b; patch-clamp
Inbred Lewis and Fisher 344 rat strains differ greatly in drug self-administration; Lewis rats operantly self-administer drugs of abuse including nicotine, whereas Fisher self-administer poorly. As shown herein, operant food self-administration is similar. Based on their pivotal role in drug reward, we hypothesized that differences in basal gene expression in GABAergic neurons projecting from nucleus accumbens (NAcc) to ventral pallidum (VP) play a role in vulnerability to drug taking behavior. The transcriptomes of NAcc shell-VP GABAergic neurons from these two strains were analyzed in adolescents, using a multidisciplinary approach that combined stereotaxic ionotophoretic brain microinjections, laser-capture microdissection (LCM) and microarray measurement of transcripts. LCM enriched the gene transcripts detected in GABA neurons compared to the residual NAcc tissue: a ratio of neuron/residual > 1 and false discovery rate (FDR) <5% yielded 6,623 transcripts, whereas a ratio of >3 yielded 3,514. Strain-dependent differences in gene expression within GABA neurons were identified; 322 vs. 60 transcripts showed 1.5-fold vs. 2-fold differences in expression (FDR<5%). Classification by gene ontology showed these 322 transcripts were widely distributed, without categorical enrichment. This is most consistent with a global change in GABA neuron function. Literature-mining by Chilibot found 38 genes related to synaptic plasticity, signaling and gene transcription, all of which determine drug-abuse; 33 genes have no known association with addiction or nicotine. In Lewis rats, upregulation of Mint-1, Cask, CamkIIδ, Ncam1, Vsnl1, Hpcal1 and Car8 indicates these transcripts likely contribute to altered signaling and synaptic function in NAcc GABA projection neurons to VP.
GABA; nicotine; nucleus accumbens; addiction; ventral pallidum; synapse; transcriptome; Lewis rats; Fisher 344 rats; laser capture microdissection
Pinellia pedatisecta agglutinin (PPA) is a specific mannose-binding plant lectin accumulated in the tuber of P. pedatisecta. In the work presented, the cytotoxicity of PPA to cancer cells was investigated through exogenous expression. A PPA gene was transduced into normal and cancer cell lines through plasmid vectors, and the effect of PPA expression was examined. Results showed that PPA translocated into the nucleus, colocalized with DNA and induced cell death. A mannose-binding motif and a V103-W130 region directed the nuclear translocation of PPA. Coprecipitation, mass spectrometry and western blotting analysis further indentified that PPA was associated with the methylosome, which contains methylosome protein 50 and protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5). Knockdown of PRMT5 significantly inhibited the PPA-induced cell death, suggesting that PPA used the methylosome as a target. Furthermore, Ad.surp-PPA, an adenovirus vector in which the PPA gene was controlled by a survivin promoter (surp), selectively inhibited the proliferation of cancer cell lines. Taken together, the expression of PPA gene elicited significant cytotoxicity to cancer cells through targeting the methylosome and might be developed into a novel agent in cancer gene therapy.
methylosome; Pinellia pedatisecta agglutinin; MEP50; PRMT5; nuclear translocation
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is indicated during tuberculosis (TB) treatment of patients infected with HIV-1, but the urgency to start ART at TB diagnosis for patients of varying levels of immune compromise is not known.
We conducted an open label, randomized study comparing immediate (within 2 weeks of TB treatment initiation) to early (8–12 weeks) ART among HIV-1 infected patients with CD4+ lymphocytes < 250/mm3 and suspected TB. The primary study endpoint was proportion of patients who survived without an AIDS-defining illness at 48 weeks.
809 patients with median baseline CD4+ lymphocytes of 77 cells/mm3 and HIV-1 RNA of 5.43 log10 copies/mL were enrolled. In the immediate arm, 12.9% of patients experienced an AIDS-defining illness or death by 48 weeks compared to 16.1% in the early arm (p=0.45; 95% confidence interval (CI) for difference: −1.8%, 8.1%). In patients with screening CD4+ lymphocytes <50 cells/mm3, 15.5% of patients on the immediate arm vs. 26.6% on early ART experienced an AIDS defining illness or death (p=0.02; difference CI: 1.5%, 20.5%). TB immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) was more common with immediate ART (11% vs. 5%: p=0.002). Viral suppression at 48 weeks was 74% and did not differ between arms (p=0.38).
Overall, immediate ART did not reduce AIDS-defining illnesses and death compared to early ART. For persons with CD4+ lymphocytes < 50 cells/mm3, immediate ART had 42% less AIDS defining illnesses and death compared to early ART. (ClinicalTrial.gov number NCT00108862.)
Circadian oscillation and cell cycle progression are the two most essential rhythmic events present in almost all organisms. Circadian rhythms keep track of time and provide temporal regulation with a period of about 24 h. The cell cycle is optimized for growth and division, but not for time keeping. Circadian gated cell divisions are observed in nearly all organisms. However, the implications of this coupling to the physiology of mammals are unknown. A mutation (S662G) in the clock protein PERIOD2 (PER2) is responsible for familial advanced sleep phase syndrome in which sleep onset occurs in the early evening and wakefulness occurs in the early morning. Here, we provide evidence that the PER2S662 mutation leads to enhanced resistance to X-ray-induced apoptosis and increased E1A- and RAS-mediated oncogenic transformation. Accordingly, the PER2S662 mutation affects tumorigenesis in cancer-sensitized p53R172H/+ mice. Finally, analyzing the clock-controlled cell cycle genes p21, c-Myc, Cyclin D1 and p27, we found that the relative phases between p21 and Cyclin D expression profiles have been changed significantly in these Per2 allele mutant mouse embryonic fibroblasts. This key role of the Per2-mediated phase alteration of p21 provides what we believe to be a novel mechanism in understanding cell cycle progression, its plasticity and its resistance to interference.
PER2; circadian rhythms; cell cycle; tumorigenesis; FASPS
A natural BH3-mimetic, small-molecule inhibitor of Bcl-2, (−)-gossypol, shows promise in ongoing phase II and III clinical trials for human prostate cancer. In this study we show that (−)-gossypol preferentially induces autophagy in androgen-independent (AI) prostate cancer cells that have high levels of Bcl-2 and are resistant to apoptosis, both in vitro and in vivo, but not in androgen-dependent (AD) cells with low Bcl-2 and sensitive to apoptosis. The Bcl-2 inhibitor induces autophagy through blocking Bcl-2–Beclin1 interaction, together with downregulating Bcl-2, upregulating Beclin1, and activating the autophagic pathway. The (−)-gossypol-induced autophagy is dependent on Beclin1 and Atg5. Our results show for the first time that (−)-gossypol can also interrupt the interactions between Beclin1 and Bcl-2/Bcl-xL at endoplasmic reticulum, thus releasing the BH3-only pro-autophagic protein Beclin1, which in turn triggers the autophagic cascade. Oral administration of (−)-gossypol significantly inhibited the growth of AI prostate cancer xenografts, representing a promising new regimen for the treatment of human hormone-refractory prostate cancer with Bcl-2 overexpression. Our data provide new insights into the mode of cell death induced by Bcl-2 inhibitors, which will facilitate the rational design of clinical trials by selecting patients who are most likely to benefit from the Bcl-2-targeted molecular therapy.
(−)-gossypol; Bcl-2; Beclin1; autophagy; apoptosis
Activation of the vagal afferents by noxious gastrointestinal stimuli suggests that vagal afferents may play a complex role in visceral pain processes. The contribution of the vagus nerve to visceral pain remains unresolved. Previous studies reported that patients following chronic vagotomy have lower pain thresholds. The patient with irritable bowel syndrome has been shown alteration of vagal function. We hypothesize that vagal afferent nerves modulate visceral pain. Visceromotor responses (VMR) to graded colorectal distension (CRD) were recorded from the abdominal muscles in conscious rats. Chronic subdiaphragmatic vagus nerve sections induced 470, 106, 51, and 54% increases in VMR to CRD at 20, 40, 60 and 80 mmHg, respectively. Similarly, at light level of anesthesia, topical application of lidocaine to the subdiaphragmatic vagus nerve in rats increased VMR to CRD. Vagal afferent neuronal responses to low or high-intensity electrical vagal stimulation (EVS) of vagal afferent Aδ or C fibers were distinguished by calculating their conduction velocity. Low-intensity EVS of Aδ fibers (40 μA, 20 Hz, 0.5 ms for 30 s) reduced VMR to CRD at 40, 60, and 80 mmHg by 41, 52, and 58%, respectively. In contrast, high-intensity EVS of C fibers (400 μA, 1 Hz, 0.5 ms for 30 s) had no effect on VMR to CRD. In conclusion, we demonstrated that vagal afferent nerves modulate visceral pain. Low-intensity EVS that activates vagal afferent Aδ fibers reduced visceral pain. Thus EVS may potentially have a role in the treatment of chronic visceral pain.
colorectal distension; vagal afferent Aδ or C fibers; visceromotor responses
Placental vascular formation and blood flow are crucial for fetal survival, growth and development, and arginine regulates vascular development and function. This study determined the effects of dietary arginine or N-carbamylglutamate (NCG) supplementation during late gestation of sows on the microRNAs, vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression in umbilical vein. Twenty-seven landrace × large white sows at day (d) 90 of gestation were assigned randomly to three groups and fed the following diets: a control diet and the control diet supplemented with 1.0% l-arginine or 0.10% NCG. Umbilical vein of fetuses with body weight around 2.0 kg (oversized), 1.5 kg (normal) and 0.6 kg (intrauterine growth restriction, IUGR) were obtained immediately after farrowing for miR-15b, miR-16, miR-221, miR-222, VEGFA and eNOS real-time PCR analysis. Compared with the control diets, dietary Arg or NCG supplementation enhanced the reproductive performance of sows, significantly increased (P < 0.05) plasma arginine and decreased plasma VEGF and eNOS (P < 0.05). The miR-15b expression in the umbilical vein was higher (P < 0.05) in the NCG-supplemented group than in the control group. There was a trend in that the miR-222 expression in the umbilical vein of the oversized fetuses was higher (0.05 < P < 0.1) than in the normal and IUGR fetuses. The expression of eNOS in both Arg-supplemented and NCG-supplemented group were lower (P < 0.05) than in the control group. The expression of VEGFA was higher (P < 0.05) in the NCG-supplemented group than in the Arg-supplemented and the control group. Meanwhile, the expression of VEGFA of the oversized fetuses was higher (P < 0.05) than the normal and IUGR fetuses. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that dietary Arg or NCG supplementation may affect microRNAs (miR-15b, miR-222) targeting VEGFA and eNOS gene expressions in umbilical vein, so as to regulate the function and volume of the umbilical vein, provide more nutrients and oxygen from the maternal to the fetus tissue for fetal development and survival, and enhance the reproductive performance of sows.
l-Arginine; N-Carbamylglutamate; Umbilical vein; VEGFA; ENOS; MicroRNAs
Protease-activated receptors (PARs), a family member of G-protein coupled receptors, are present and functionally active in a wide variety of cells. The object of this study was to demonstrate the presence and function of PAR-1 and PAR-2 in the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus (DMV).
DMNV neurons were isolated from neonatal rat brainstems using micro-dissection and enzymatic digestion. Neurons were cultured in Neurobasal medium A containing 2% B27 supplement. Intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2 + ]i) was measured using fura-2 based microspectrometry. Expression of PARs was detected by RT-PCR and immunofluorescent staining.
Thrombin and PAR-1 agonist peptide activate PAR-1 with a maximum change in [Ca2 + ]i expressed as ΔF/F0 of 229 ± 14% and 137 ± 7%, respectively. Trypsin and PAR-2 agonist peptide activate PAR-2 with a maximum ΔF/F0 change of 258 ± 12% and 242 ± 10%, respectively. Inhibition of phospholipase C (PLC) by U73312 (1 μm) decreased the maximal change in ΔF/F0 induced by PAR-1 activation from 140 ± 17% to 21 ± 3%, while the PAR-2-mediated maximal change in ΔF/F0 decreased from 185 ± 21% to 19 ± 6%. Blockade of IP3 receptor with 2APB inhibited the maximal change in ΔF/F0 due to PAR-1 and PAR-2 activation by 72 ± 13% and 71 ± 20% respectively. PAR-1 immnuoreactivity was present in DMV neurons. Increase in transcripts for PAR-1 and PAR-2 were detected in DMV tissues derived from IBD rats relative to control animals.
Conclusions & Inferences
Our results indicate that PAR-1 and PAR-2 are present in the DMV neurons, and their activation leads to increases in intracellular calcium via signal transduction mechanism that involves activation of PLC and the production of IP3.
inflammatory bowel disease; inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate; intracellular calcium signalling; phospholipase C; protease-activated receptors; the dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus
Mutations in the Ras family of proteins (predominantly in H-Ras) occur in approximately 40% of urothelial cell carcinoma (UCC). However, relatively little is known about subsequent mutations/pathway alterations that allow tumour progression. Indeed, expressing mutant H-Ras within the mouse bladder does not lead to tumour formation, unless this is expressed at high levels. The Wnt signalling pathway is deregulated in approximately 25% of UCC, so we examined if this correlated with the activation of MAPK signalling in human UCC and found a significant correlation. To test the functional significance of this association we examined the impact of combining Ras mutation (H-RasQ61L or K-RasG12D) with an activating β-catenin mutation within the mouse bladder using Cre-LoxP technology. Although alone, neither Ras mutation nor β-catenin activation led to UCC (within 12 months), mice carrying both mutations rapidly developed UCC. Mechanistically this was associated with reduced levels of p21 with dependence on the MAPK signalling pathway. Moreover, tumours from these mice were sensitive to MEK inhibition. Importantly, in human UCC there was a negative correlation between levels of p-ERK and p21 suggesting that p21 accumulation may block tumour progression following Ras mutation. Taken together these data definitively show Ras pathway activation strongly cooperates with Wnt signalling to drive UCC in vivo.
β-catenin; H-Ras; Wnt; urothelial cell carcinoma; bladder cancer
Mesothelioma is an uncommon malignancy whose global incidence continues to rise. The therapeutic standard for advanced disease is intravenous pemetrexed and cisplatin. The antifolate capecitabine is significantly less effective than pemetrexed. The balance between thymidylate synthase (TS), dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), and Thymidine Phosphorylase (TP) is critical to the efficacy of capecitabine. DNA from mesothelioma cell lines was bisulfite treated and examined by MS-PCR, RNA was obtained for real time PCR analysis, and protein lysates were obtained for Western immunoblot analysis. Cytotoxicity was assessed by MTT assay, comparing 5-aza-CdR pretreated or untreated cells with 5′-Deoxy-5-fluorouridine (DFUR), 5-FU, and pemetrexed. Finally bisulfite sequencing of the extracellular growth factor-1 (ECGF-1) gene was performed on 4 mesothelioma samples and pericardial tissue. One of the four cell lines tested (H290) was methylated for ECGF-1. This corresponded to a lack of TP expression by real time PCR and Western immunoblot. Treatment with 1 μM 5-aza-CdR increased TP mRNA and protein expression in H290. DFUR, the substrate for TP, showed increased cytotoxicity when delivered after 5-aza-CdR exposure in the methylated cell line. There was no difference in any of the unmethylated cell lines when cells were exposed to 5-FU or pemetrexed with or without 5-aza-CdR. Patient tumor samples revealed an increased number of methylated CpG sites in ECGF-1 compared to normal pericardium. Methylation of ECGF-1, leads to transcriptional silencing of TP and may explain the lack of any effect of capecitabine, especially when compared to pemetrexed.
Thymidine phosphorylase; capecitabine; mesothelioma; pemetrexed; methylation