AIM: To explore the potential association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and haplotypes of the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster and the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) susceptibility in never-smoking Chinese. METHODS: A case-control study was conducted with 200 NSCLC patients and 200 healthy controls, matched on age and sex. Five SNPs distributed in CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 gene cluster were selected for genotyping. The association between genotype and lung cancer risk was evaluated by computing the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) from multivariate unconditional logistic regression analyses with adjustment for gender and age. RESULTS: For CHRNA3 rs578776 status, data were available in 199 NSCLC patients and 199 controls. The G/G homozygote in CHRNB4 rs7178270 had a reduced risk of developing NSCLC (OR = 0.553; 95% CI = 0.309–0.989; P = .0437), especially squamous cell carcinoma (SQC) (OR = 0.344; 95% CI = 0.161–0.732; P = .0043), compared with those who carry at least one C allele (C/C and C/G). The polymorphisms of rs578776, rs938682, rs17486278, and rs11637635 were not significantly different between controls and cases or between controls and histologic subgroups, adenocarcinoma and SQC, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In our study, we found that the SNP of CHRNB4 rs7178270 is significantly associated with reduced risk of NSCLC, especially with reduced risk of SQC in never-smoking Chinese population.
Antennal olfaction is extremely important for insect survival, mediating key behaviors such as host preference, mate choice, and oviposition site selection. Multiple antennal proteins are involved in olfactory signal transduction pathways. Of these, odorant receptors (ORs) and ionotropic receptors (IRs) confer specificity on olfactory sensory neuron responses. In this study, we identified the olfactory gene repertoire of the economically important agricultural pest moth, Helicoverpa armigera, by assembling the adult male and female antennal transcriptomes. Within the male and female antennal transcriptomes we identified a total of 47 OR candidate genes containing 6 pheromone receptor candidates. Additionally, 12 IR genes as well as 26 odorant-binding proteins and 12 chemosensory proteins were annotated. Our results allow a systematic functional analysis across much of conventional ORs repertoire and newly reported IRs mediating the key olfaction-mediated behaviors of H. armigera.
Pandemic infection or reemergence of Enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16) occurs in tropical and subtropical regions, being associated with hand-foot-and-mouth disease, herpangina, aseptic meningitis, brain stem encephalitis, pulmonary edema, and paralysis. However, effective therapeutic drugs against EV71 and CVA16 are rare. Kalanchoe gracilis (L.) DC is used for the treatment of injuries, pain, and inflammation. This study investigated antiviral effects of K. gracilis leaf extract on EV71 and CVA16 replications. HPLC analysis with a C-18 reverse phase column showed fingerprint profiles of K. gracilis leaf extract had 15 chromatographic peaks. UV/vis absorption spectra revealed peaks 5, 12, and 15 as ferulic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol, respectively. K. gracilis leaf extract showed little cytotoxicity, but exhibited concentration-dependent antiviral activities including cytopathic effect, plaque, and virus yield reductions. K. gracilis leaf extract was shown to be more potent in antiviral activity than ferulic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol, significantly inhibiting in vitro replication of EV71 (IC50 = 35.88 μg/mL) and CVA16 (IC50 = 42.91 μg/mL). Moreover, K. gracilis leaf extract is a safe antienteroviral agent with the inactivation of viral 2A protease and reduction of IL-6 and RANTES expressions.
Metarhizium spp. are being used as environmentally friendly alternatives to chemical insecticides, as model systems for studying insect-fungus interactions, and as a resource of genes for biotechnology. We present a comparative analysis of the genome sequences of the broad-spectrum insect pathogen Metarhizium anisopliae and the acridid-specific M. acridum. Whole-genome analyses indicate that the genome structures of these two species are highly syntenic and suggest that the genus Metarhizium evolved from plant endophytes or pathogens. Both M. anisopliae and M. acridum have a strikingly larger proportion of genes encoding secreted proteins than other fungi, while ∼30% of these have no functionally characterized homologs, suggesting hitherto unsuspected interactions between fungal pathogens and insects. The analysis of transposase genes provided evidence of repeat-induced point mutations occurring in M. acridum but not in M. anisopliae. With the help of pathogen-host interaction gene database, ∼16% of Metarhizium genes were identified that are similar to experimentally verified genes involved in pathogenicity in other fungi, particularly plant pathogens. However, relative to M. acridum, M. anisopliae has evolved with many expanded gene families of proteases, chitinases, cytochrome P450s, polyketide synthases, and nonribosomal peptide synthetases for cuticle-degradation, detoxification, and toxin biosynthesis that may facilitate its ability to adapt to heterogenous environments. Transcriptional analysis of both fungi during early infection processes provided further insights into the genes and pathways involved in infectivity and specificity. Of particular note, M. acridum transcribed distinct G-protein coupled receptors on cuticles from locusts (the natural hosts) and cockroaches, whereas M. anisopliae transcribed the same receptor on both hosts. This study will facilitate the identification of virulence genes and the development of improved biocontrol strains with customized properties.
Aside from playing a crucial role in natural ecosystems, entomopathogenic fungi are being developed as environmentally friendly alternatives for the control of insect pests. We conducted the first genomic study of two of the best characterized entomopathogens, Metarhizium anisopliae and M. acridum. M. anisopliae is a ubiquitous pathogen of >200 insect species and a plant growth promoting colonizer of rhizospheres. M. acridum is a specific pathogen of locusts. Important findings of this study included: 1) Both M. anisopliae and M. acridum have a very large number of genes encoding secreted proteins, and many of these play roles in fungus-insect interactions. 2) M. anisopliae has more genes than M. acridum, which may be associated with adaptation to multiple insect hosts. 3) Unlike M. acridum, the M. anisopliae genome contains many more transposase genes and shows no evidence of repeat-induced point mutations. The lack of repeat-induced mutations may have allowed the lineage-specific gene duplications that have contributed to its adaptability. 4) High-throughput transcriptomics identified the strategies by which these fungi overcome their insect hosts and achieve specificity. These genome sequences will provide the basis for a comprehensive understanding of fungal–plant–insect interactions and will contribute to our understanding of fungal evolution and ecology.
Beauveria bassiana is an important insect-pathogenic fungus that invades insects by direct penetration of the host cuticle. To delineate the molecular mechanisms involved in fungal infection, a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) gene, Bbmpk1, which encodes a YERK1 family MAPK was isolated and characterized. Targeted gene disruption of Bbmpk1 resulted in a complete loss of virulence when applied topically to host insects but did not affect growth of the fungus when conidia were injected directly into the hemocoel. Hyphae of the mutant strain growing in the insect hemocoel were unable to penetrate the cuticle growing outwards and consequently failed to sporulate on the cadaver surface. These data suggest that BbMPK1 is essential for penetration of the insect cuticle both from the outside and from the inside-out in order to escape and disperse from the host. Inactivation of BbMPK1 also caused a significant decrease in fungal adhesion to insect cuticles and eliminated their ability to form appressoria. In order to identify downstream genes regulated by BbMPK1, a suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) library was generated comparing mutant and wild-type transcripts isolated during appressorium formation. Thirty-one genes screened from the SSH library were determined to be expressed in the wild-type strain but either significantly reduced or not expressed in the mutant. Ten genes showed high or medium similarity to known protein encoding genes, including proteins involved in cell surface hydrophobicity, lipid metabolism, microtubule dynamics, mitochondrial electron transport, chromatin remodeling, transcription, rRNA processing, small nucleolar RNA accumulation, oxidation of aldehydes, translation, and likely other cellular processes.
(Trialkylsilyl)vinylketenes react with lithium ynolates to produce highly substituted phenols in a new benzannulation strategy that proceeds via the 6π electrocyclization of an intermediate 3-(oxido)dienylketene.
Beauveria bassiana is an important entomopathogenic fungus widely used as a biological agent to control insect pests. A gene (B. bassiana JEN1 [BbJEN1]) homologous to JEN1 encoding a carboxylate transporter in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was identified in a B. bassiana transfer DNA (T-DNA) insertional mutant. Disruption of the gene decreased the carboxylate contents in hyphae, while increasing the conidial yield. However, overexpression of this transporter resulted in significant increases in carboxylates and decreased the conidial yield. BbJEN1 was strongly induced by insect cuticles and highly expressed in the hyphae penetrating insect cuticles not in hyphal bodies, suggesting that this gene is involved in the early stage of pathogenesis of B. bassiana. The bioassay results indicated that disruption of BbJEN1 significantly reduced the virulence of B. bassiana to aphids. Compared to the wild type, ΔBbJEN1 alkalinized the insect cuticle to a reduced extent. The alkalinization of the cuticle is a physiological signal triggering the production of pathogenicity. Therefore, we identified a new factor influencing virulence, which is responsible for the alkalinization of the insect cuticle and the initiation of fungal pathogenesis in insects.
Beauveria bassiana is an economically important insect-pathogenic fungus which is widely used as a biocontrol agent to control a variety of insect pests. However, its insecticide efficacy in the field is often influenced by adverse environmental factors. Thus, understanding the genetic regulatory processes involved in the response to environmental stress would facilitate engineering and production of a more efficient biocontrol agent. Here, a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-encoding gene, Bbhog1, was isolated from B. bassiana and shown to encode a functional homolog of yeast HIGH-OSMOLARITY GLYCEROL 1 (HOG1). A Bbhog1 null mutation was generated in B. bassiana by targeted gene replacement, and the resulting mutants were more sensitive to hyperosmotic stress, high temperature, and oxidative stress than the wild-type controls. These results demonstrate the conserved function of HOG1 MAPKs in the regulation of abiotic stress responses. Interestingly, ΔBbhog1 mutants exhibited greatly reduced pathogenicity, most likely due to a decrease in spore viability, a reduced ability to attach to insect cuticle, and a reduction in appressorium formation. The transcript levels of two hydrophobin-encoding genes, hyd1 and hyd2, were dramatically decreased in a ΔBbhog1 mutant, suggesting that Bbhog1 may regulate the expression of the gene associated with hydrophobicity or adherence.
Aberrant Src activation plays prominent roles in cancer progression. However, how Src is activated in cancer cells is largely unknown. Genetic Src-activating mutations are rare and, therefore, are insufficient to account for Src activation commonly found in human cancers. In this study, we show that reversion-induced LIM (RIL), which is frequently lost in colon and other cancers as a result of epigenetic silencing, suppresses Src activation. Mechanistically, RIL suppresses Src activation through interacting with Src and PTPL1, allowing PTPL1-dependent dephosphorylation of Src at the activation loop. Importantly, the binding of RIL to Src is drastically reduced upon Src inactivation. Our results reveal a novel Src inactivation cycle in which RIL preferentially recognizes active Src and facilitates PTPL1-mediated inactivation of Src. Inactivation of Src, in turn, promotes dissociation of RIL from Src, allowing the initiation of a new Src inactivation cycle. Epigenetic silencing of RIL breaks this Src inactivation cycle and thereby contributes to aberrant Src activation in human cancers.
The Late (L) domain of the avian sarcoma virus (ASV) Gag protein binds Nedd4 ubiquitin ligase E3 family members and is the determinant of efficient virus release in avian and mammalian cells. We previously demonstrated that Nedd4 and Tsg101 constitutively interact raising the possibility that Nedd4 links ASV Gag to the ESCRT machinery. We now demonstrate that covalently linking Tsg101 to ASV Gag lacking the Nedd4 binding site (Δp2b-Tsg101) ablates the requirement for Nedd4, but the rescue of budding occurs by use of a different budding mechanism than that used by wild type ASV Gag. The evidence that Tsg101 and Nedd4 direct release by different pathways is: (i) Release of the virus-like particles (VLPs) assembled from Gag in DF-1, an avian cell line, was resistant to dominant-negative interference by a Tsg101 mutant previously shown to inhibit release of both HIV and Mo-MLV. (ii) Release of VLPs from DF-1 cells was resistant to siRNA-mediated depletion of the endogenous pool of Tsg101 in these cells. (iii) VLPs assembled from wild-type ASV Gag exhibited highly efficient release from endosome-like membrane domains enriched in the tetraspanin protein CD63 or a fluorescent analogue of the phospholipid phosphatidylethanolamine. However, the VLPs assembled from the L domain mutant Δp2b or a chimeric Δp2b-Tsg101 Gag lacked these domain markers even though the chimeric Gag was released efficiently compared to the Δp2b mutant. These results suggest that Tsg101 and Nedd4 facilitate Gag release through functionally exchangeable but independent routes and that Tsg101 can replace Nedd4 function in facilitating budding but not directing through the same membranes.
The functionally exchangeable L domains of HIV-1 and Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) Gag bind Tsg101 and Nedd4, respectively. Tsg101 and Nedd4 function in endocytic trafficking, and studies show that expression of Tsg101 or Nedd4 fragments interfere with release of HIV-1 or RSV Gag, respectively, as virus-like particles (VLPs). To determine whether functional exchangeability reflects use of the same trafficking pathway, we tested the effect on RSV Gag release of co-expression with mutated forms of Vps4, Nedd4 and Tsg101. A dominant-negative mutant of Vps4A, an AAA ATPase required for utilization of endosomal sorting proteins that was shown previously to interfere with HIV-1 budding, also inhibited RSV Gag release, indicating that RSV uses the endocytic trafficking machinery, as does HIV. Nedd4 and Tsg101 interacted in the presence or absence of Gag and, through its binding of Nedd4, RSV Gag interacted with Tsg101. Deletion of the N-terminal region of Tsg101 or the HECT domain of Nedd4 did not prevent interaction; however, three-dimensional spatial imaging suggested that the interaction of RSV Gag with full-length Tsg101 and N-terminally truncated Tsg101 was not the same. Co-expression of RSV Gag with the Tsg101 C-terminal fragment interfered with VLP release minimally; however, a significant fraction of the released VLPs was tethered to each other. The results suggest that, while Tsg101 is not required for RSV VLP release, alterations in the protein interfere with VLP budding/fission events. We conclude that RSV and HIV-1 Gag direct particle release through independent ESCRT-mediated pathways that are linked through Tsg101–Nedd4 interaction.
Gag; HIV-1; L domain; Nedd4; RSV; Tsg101; Vps4
(Trialkylsilyl)vinylketenes react with lithium ynolates to generate 3-(oxido)dienylketenes which undergo rapid 6π-electrocyclization. The ultimate products of this benzannulation are highly substituted resorcinol monosilyl ethers which are formed via a [1,3] carbon to oxygen silyl group shift. Further transformations of the benzannulation products are described providing efficient access to ortho-benzoquinones and benzofuran, benzoxepine, and benzoxocine ring systems.
(Trialkylsilyl)vinylketenes; Benzannulation; Ynolates; Electrocyclic ring closure
The WSe2 nanorods were synthesized via solid-state reaction method and characterized by X-ray diffractometer, TEM, and HRTEM. The results indicated the WSe2 compounds had rod-like structures with diameters of 10–50 nm and lengths of 100–400 nm, and the growth process of WSe2 nanorods was discussed on the basis of the experimental facts. The tribological properties of WSe2 nanorods as additives in HVI500 base oil were investigated by UMT-2 multispecimen tribotester. Under the determinate conditions, the friction coefficient of the base oil containing WSe2 nanorods was lower than that of the base oil, and decreased with increasing mass fraction of WSe2 nanorods when it was <7 wt.%. Moreover, the base oil with the additives was rather suited to high load and high rotating speed. A combination of rolling friction, sliding friction, and stable tribofilm on the rubbing surface could explain the good friction and wear properties of WSe2 nanorods as additives.
WSe2 nanorods; Growth mechanism; Lubrication additive; Tribological properties; Rotating speed
The WSe2nanorods were synthesized via solid-state reaction method and characterized by X-ray diffractometer, TEM, and HRTEM. The results indicated the WSe2compounds had rod-like structures with diameters of 10–50 nm and lengths of 100–400 nm, and the growth process of WSe2nanorods was discussed on the basis of the experimental facts. The tribological properties of WSe2nanorods as additives in HVI500 base oil were investigated by UMT-2 multispecimen tribotester. Under the determinate conditions, the friction coefficient of the base oil containing WSe2nanorods was lower than that of the base oil, and decreased with increasing mass fraction of WSe2nanorods when it was <7 wt.%. Moreover, the base oil with the additives was rather suited to high load and high rotating speed. A combination of rolling friction, sliding friction, and stable tribofilm on the rubbing surface could explain the good friction and wear properties of WSe2nanorods as additives.
WSe2nanorods; Growth mechanism; Lubrication additive; Tribological properties; Rotating speed
Entomopathogenic fungi are currently being used for the control of several insect pests as alternatives or supplements to chemical insecticides. Improvements in virulence and speed of kill can be achieved by understanding the mechanisms of fungal pathogenesis and genetically modifying targeted genes, thus improving the commercial efficacy of these biocontrol agents. Entomopathogenic fungi, such as Beauveria bassiana, penetrate the insect cuticle utilizing a plethora of hydrolytic enzymes, including chitinases, which are important virulence factors. Two chitinases (Bbchit1 and Bbchit2) have previously been characterized in B. bassiana, neither of which possesses chitin-binding domains. Here we report the construction and characterization of several B. bassiana hybrid chitinases where the chitinase Bbchit1 was fused to chitin-binding domains derived from plant, bacterial, or insect sources. A hybrid chitinase containing the chitin-binding domain (BmChBD) from the silkworm Bombyx mori chitinase fused to Bbchit1 showed the greatest ability to bind to chitin compared to other hybrid chitinases. This hybrid chitinase gene (Bbchit1-BmChBD) was then placed under the control of a fungal constitutive promoter (gpd-Bbchit1-BmChBD) and transformed into B. bassiana. Insect bioassays showed a 23% reduction in time to death in the transformant compared to the wild-type fungus. This transformant also showed greater virulence than another construct (gpd-Bbchit1) with the same constitutive promoter but lacking the chitin-binding domain. We utilized a strategy where genetic components of the host insect can be incorporated into the fungal pathogen in order to increase host cuticle penetration ability.
Entomopathogenic fungi can produce a series of chitinases, some of which act synergistically with proteases to degrade insect cuticle. However, chitinase involvement in insect fungus pathogenesis has not been fully characterized. In this paper, an endochitinase, Bbchit1, was purified to homogeneity from liquid cultures of Beauveria bassiana grown in a medium containing colloidal chitin. Bbchit1 had a molecular mass of about 33 kDa and pI of 5.4. Based on the N-terminal amino acid sequence, the chitinase gene, Bbchit1, and its upstream regulatory sequence were cloned. Bbchit1 was intronless, and there was a single copy in B. bassiana. Its regulatory sequence contained putative CreA/Crel carbon catabolic repressor binding domains, which was consistent with glucose suppression of Bbchit1. At the amino acid level, Bbchit1 showed significant similarity to a Streptomyces avermitilis putative endochitinase, a Streptomyces coelicolor putative chitinase, and Trichoderma harzianum endochitinase Chit36Y. However, Bbchit1 had very low levels of identity to other chitinase genes previously isolated from entomopathogenic fungi, indicating that Bbchit1 was a novel chitinase gene from an insect-pathogenic fungus. A gpd-Bbchit1 construct, in which Bbchit1 was driven by the Aspergiullus nidulans constitutive promoter, was transformed into the genome of B. bassiana, and three transformants that overproduced Bbchit1 were obtained. Insect bioassays revealed that overproduction of Bbchit1 enhanced the virulence of B. bassiana for aphids, as indicated by significantly lower 50% lethal concentrations and 50% lethal times of the transformants compared to the values for the wild-type strain.
Integrin-linked kinase (ILK) is a multidomain focal adhesion (FA) protein that functions as an important regulator of integrin-mediated processes. We report here the identification and characterization of a new calponin homology (CH) domain-containing ILK-binding protein (CH-ILKBP). CH-ILKBP is widely expressed and highly conserved among different organisms from nematodes to human. CH-ILKBP interacts with ILK in vitro and in vivo, and the ILK COOH-terminal domain and the CH-ILKBP CH2 domain mediate the interaction. CH-ILKBP, ILK, and PINCH, a FA protein that binds the NH2-terminal domain of ILK, form a complex in cells. Using multiple approaches (epitope-tagged CH-ILKBP, monoclonal anti–CH-ILKBP antibodies, and green fluorescent protein–CH-ILKBP), we demonstrate that CH-ILKBP localizes to FAs and associates with the cytoskeleton. Deletion of the ILK-binding CH2 domain abolished the ability of CH-ILKBP to localize to FAs. Furthermore, the CH2 domain alone is sufficient for FA targeting, and a point mutation that inhibits the ILK-binding impaired the FA localization of CH-ILKBP. Thus, the CH2 domain, through its interaction with ILK, mediates the FA localization of CH-ILKBP. Finally, we show that overexpression of the ILK-binding CH2 fragment or the ILK-binding defective point mutant inhibited cell adhesion and spreading. These findings reveal a novel CH-ILKBP–ILK–PINCH complex and provide important evidence for a crucial role of this complex in the regulation of cell adhesion and cytoskeleton organization.
focal adhesion; integrin-linked kinase; calponin homology; integrins; cell adhesion
Myogenic differentiation is a highly orchestrated, multistep process that is coordinately regulated by growth factors and cell adhesion. We show here that integrin-linked kinase (ILK), an intracellular integrin– and PINCH-binding serine/threonine protein kinase, is an important regulator of myogenic differentiation. ILK is abundantly expressed in C2C12 myoblasts, both before and after induction of terminal myogenic differentiation. However, a noticeable amount of ILK in the Triton X-100–soluble cellular fractions is significantly reduced during terminal myogenic differentiation, suggesting that ILK is involved in cellular control of myogenic differentiation. To further investigate this, we have overexpressed the wild-type and mutant forms of ILK in C2C12 myoblasts. Overexpression of ILK in the myoblasts inhibited the expression of myogenic proteins (myogenin, MyoD, and myosin heavy chain) and the subsequent formation of multinucleated myotubes. Furthermore, mutations that eliminate either the PINCH-binding or the kinase activity of ILK abolished its ability to inhibit myogenic protein expression and allowed myotube formation. Although overexpression of the ILK mutants is permissive for the initiation of terminal myogenic differentiation, the myotubes derived from myoblasts overexpressing the ILK mutants frequently exhibited an abnormal morphology (giant myotubes containing clustered nuclei), suggesting that ILK functions not only in the initial decision making process, but also in later stages (fusion or maintaining myotube integrity) of myogenic differentiation. Additionally, we show that overexpression of ILK, but not that of the PINCH-binding defective or the kinase-deficient ILK mutants, prevents inactivation of MAP kinase, which is obligatory for the initiation of myogenic differentiation. Finally, inhibition of MAP kinase activation reversed the ILK-induced suppression of myogenic protein expression. Thus, ILK likely influences the initial decision making process of myogenic differentiation by regulation of MAP kinase activation.
integrin; PINCH; MAP kinase; myogenin; myotubes