The c-jun gene regulates cellular proliferation and apoptosis via direct regulation of cellular gene expression. Alternative splicing of pre-mRNA increases the diversity of protein functions and alternate splicing events occur in tumors. Here, by targeting the excision of the endogenous c-jun gene within the mouse mammary epithelium, we have identified its selective role as an inhibitor of RNA splicing. Microarray-based assessment of gene expression, on laser capture micro-dissected c-jun−/− mammary epithelium, demonstrated that endogenous c-jun regulates the expression of approximately 50 genes governing RNA splicing. In addition, genome-wide splicing arrays demonstrated that endogenous c-jun regulated the alternate exon of approximately 147 genes, and 18% of these were either alternatively spliced in human tumors or involved in apoptosis. Endogenous c-jun also was shown to reduce splicing activity, which required the c-jun dimerization domain. Together, our findings suggest that c-jun directly attenuates RNA splicing efficiency, which may be of broad biological importance as alternative splicing plays an important role in both cancer development and therapy resistance.
Transgenic mice; floxed c-jun; Cre; alternative splicing
Serum preptin levels among subjects with different bone mineral densities (BMD) were measured and investigated to determine the correlation between BMD and bone-metabolic markers.
Approximately 52 elderly male patients with osteoporosis, 50 elderly men with osteopaenia, and 31 age-matched normal bone mass controls participated in the study. The serum preptin levels and bone metabolic markers were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The relationships between preptin levels, BMD, and metabolic parameters were also assessed.
The serum preptin level was the lowest in the osteoporosis group and positively correlated with BMD. All the bone formation markers in the osteoporosis and osteopaenia groups were significantly reduced compared with those in the normal group. Serum preptin level was positively correlated with all the bone formation markers, whereas no correlation was observed with the bone resorption marker TRACP-5b.
Serum preptin levels are decreased in osteoporosis and osteopaenia patients and positively correlated with BMD. Therefore, preptin is involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis, probably through bone formation rather than bone resorption.
Preptin; Osteoporosis; Bone density; Bone metabolic marker
Plant autophagy plays an important role in delaying senescence, nutrient recycling, and stress responses. Functional analysis of plant autophagy has almost exclusively focused on the proteins required for the core process of autophagosome assembly, but little is known about the proteins involved in other important processes of autophagy, including autophagy cargo recognition and sequestration. In this study, we report functional genetic analysis of Arabidopsis NBR1, a homolog of mammalian autophagy cargo adaptors P62 and NBR1. We isolated two nbr1 knockout mutants and discovered that they displayed some but not all of the phenotypes of autophagy-deficient atg5 and atg7 mutants. Like ATG5 and ATG7, NBR1 is important for plant tolerance to heat, oxidative, salt, and drought stresses. The role of NBR1 in plant tolerance to these abiotic stresses is dependent on its interaction with ATG8. Unlike ATG5 and ATG7, however, NBR1 is dispensable in age- and darkness-induced senescence and in resistance to a necrotrophic pathogen. A selective role of NBR1 in plant responses to specific abiotic stresses suggest that plant autophagy in diverse biological processes operates through multiple cargo recognition and delivery systems. The compromised heat tolerance of atg5, atg7, and nbr1 mutants was associated with increased accumulation of insoluble, detergent-resistant proteins that were highly ubiquitinated under heat stress. NBR1, which contains an ubiquitin-binding domain, also accumulated to high levels with an increasing enrichment in the insoluble protein fraction in the autophagy-deficient mutants under heat stress. These results suggest that NBR1-mediated autophagy targets ubiquitinated protein aggregates most likely derived from denatured or otherwise damaged nonnative proteins generated under stress conditions.
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved process that sequestrates and delivers cytoplasmic macromolecules and organelles to the vacuoles or lysosomes for degradation. In plants, autophagy is involved in supplying internal nutrients during starvation and in promoting cell survival during senescence and during biotic and abiotic stresses. Arabidopsis NBR1 is a homolog of mammalian autophagy cargo adaptors P62 and NBR1. Disruption of Arabidopsis NBR1 caused increased sensitivity to a spectrum of abiotic stresses but had no significant effect on plant senescence, responses to carbon starvation, or resistance to a necrotrophic pathogen. NBR1 contains an ubiquitin-binding domain, and the compromised stress tolerance of autophagy mutants was associated with increased accumulation of NBR1 and ubiquitin-positive cellular protein aggregates in the insoluble protein fraction under stress conditions. Based on these results, we propose that NBR1 targets ubiquitinated protein aggregates most likely derived from denatured and otherwise damaged nonnative proteins for autophagic clearance under stress conditions.
Motivation: Identifying the target genes regulated by transcription factors (TFs) is the most basic step in understanding gene regulation. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technology, together with chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), enable mapping TF binding sites genome wide, but it is not possible to infer function from binding alone. This is especially true in mammalian systems, where regulation often occurs through long-range enhancers in gene-rich neighborhoods, rather than proximal promoters, preventing straightforward assignment of a binding site to a target gene.
Results: We present EMBER (Expectation Maximization of Binding and Expression pRofiles), a method that integrates high-throughput binding data (e.g. ChIP-chip or ChIP-seq) with gene expression data (e.g. DNA microarray) via an unsupervised machine learning algorithm for inferring the gene targets of sets of TF binding sites. Genes selected are those that match overrepresented expression patterns, which can be used to provide information about multiple TF regulatory modes. We apply the method to genome-wide human breast cancer data and demonstrate that EMBER confirms a role for the TFs estrogen receptor alpha, retinoic acid receptors alpha and gamma in breast cancer development, whereas the conventional approach of assigning regulatory targets based on proximity does not. Additionally, we compare several predicted target genes from EMBER to interactions inferred previously, examine combinatorial effects of TFs on gene regulation and illustrate the ability of EMBER to discover multiple modes of regulation.
Availability: All code used for this work is available at http://dinner-group.uchicago.edu/downloads.html
Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly poisonous substances that are also effective medicines. Accidental BoNT poisoning often occurs through ingestion of Clostridium botulinum-contaminated food. Here, we present the crystal structure of a BoNT in complex with a clostridial non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNHA) protein at 2.7 angstrom. Biochemical and functional studies show that NTNHA provides large and multivalent binding interfaces to protect BoNT from gastrointestinal degradation. Moreover, the structure highlights key residues in BoNT that regulate complex assembly in a pH-dependent manner. Collectively, our findings define the molecular mechanisms by which NTNHA shields BoNT in the hostile gastrointestinal environment and releases it upon entry into the circulation. These results will assist in the design of small molecules for inhibiting oral BoNT intoxication, and of delivery vehicles for oral administration of biologics.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a common autoimmune disease that involved multiple organ systems. Diagnosis is usually not difficult. However, SLE involved spleen with spontaneous rupture is a rare condition that has been only 5 cases reported previously; and no definite pathologic diagnosis has been reported. We present the case of a 54 year-old white American woman who had SLE for 10 years with multiple immunosuppressive agents treatment at stable condition. She had acute abdomen presented to the emergency department and received timely surgical treatment which confirmed she had spontaneous spleen rupture (SSR). Detailed pathologic study, with control of a traumatic rupture spleen of almost the same age and sex, revealed marked congestion of the red pulp and atrophy of white pulp notified in the SLE spleen. Congestion of red pulp may be the cause of SSR in the SLE spleen.
Systemic lupus erythematosus; spleen; spontaneous rupture
Activation of Kupffer cell (KC) is acknowledged as a key event in the initiation and perpetuation of bile duct warm ischemia/reperfusion injury. The inhibitory effect of gadolinium chloride (GdCl3) on KC activation shows potential as a protective intervention in liver injury, but there is less research with regard to bile duct injury.
Sixty-five male Sprague-Dawley rats (200–250 g) were randomly divided into three experimental groups: a sham group (n = 15), a control group (n = 25), and a GdCl3 group (n = 25). Specimen was collected at 0.5, 2, 6, 12 and 24 h after operation. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and total bilirubin (TBIL) of serum were measured. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), Capase-3 activity and soluble Fas (sFas) were detected. The pathologic changes of bile duct were observed. Immunochemistry for bile duct Fas was performed. Apoptosis of bile duct cells was evaluated by the terminal UDP nick end labeling assay.
GdCl3 significantly decreased the levels of ALT, ALP and TBIL at 2, 6, 12, and 24 h, and increased serum sFas at 2, 6 and 12 h (P<0.05). TNF-α was lower in the GdCl3 group than in the control group at 2, 6, 12 and 24 h (P<0.05). Preadministration of GdCl3 significantly reduced the Caspase-3 activity and bile duct cell apoptosis at 2, 6, 12 and 24 h. After operation for 2, 6 and 12 h, the expression of Fas protein was lower in the GdCl3 group than in the control group (P<0.05).
GdCl3 plays an important role in suppressing bile duct cell apoptosis, including decreasing ALT, ALP, TBIL and TNF-α; suppressing Fas-FasL-Caspase signal transduction during transplantation.
It has been suggested that adiponectin may offer protection against the adverse health effects of obesity. In this study, we determined the prevalence of paradoxically high adiponectin or paradoxical hyperadiponectinemia (PHA) among obese African Americans and investigated its relationship with the metabolically healthy obese (MHO) phenotype.
Total adiponectin and metabolic markers including fasting glucose, insulin, serum lipids and obesity measures were determined in 822 unrelated participants from the Howard University Family Study (HUFS). Logistic regression models were used to evaluate the association between MHO phenotype and PHA while adjusting for relevant covariates.
Overall, men had significantly lower adiponectin levels than women. However, adiponectin level was associated with obesity measures, glucose, insulin and insulin resistance index in both men and women. Equal proportion of the obese male and female subjects (19.2%; 66/343) had PHA; these obese individuals with PHA had a healthier metabolic profile including higher HDL-cholesterol, lower insulin levels and smaller waist circumference and insulin levels compared to those without PHA. Also, 28% (96/343) of the study participants met the criteria of MHO phenotype. Interestingly, 42% (28/66) of the obese individuals with PHA also had the MHO phenotype. Finally, the MHO phenotype was associated with PHA in both men and women.
These findings confirm the presence of MHO in African Americans and demonstrate the association of PHA with the MHO phenotype. In all, our findings along with other published results provide evidence for a more systematic investigation of the mechanisms underlying the protective function of adiponectin and its potential therapeutic applications in human metabolic disorders.
Obesity; paradoxical hyperadiponectinemia (PHA); metabolically healthy obese phenotype (MHO)
Obesity has been demonstrated to be associated with increased serum uric acid (SUA); however, little is known regarding the relationship between maximum weight, or maximum weight fluctuation, and uric acid concentration. Through retrospective means, we determined the association of maximum weight with SUA risk.
Data of 21,414 participants (8,630 males and 12,784 females) from the 2007-8 China National Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Study were analyzed for parameters including lifestyle habits, biochemical blood analysis and self-reported maximum weight.
Elevated SUA subjects shared a cluster of demographic features. After adjustment for age, gender, education, smoking, drinking, physical activity, WHR, height, eGFR(evaluate glomerular filtration rate), and diuretic usage, multivariate logistic regression models demonstrated maximum weight was associated with increased risk of elevated SUA level (P<0.001). Duration of maximum weight was related with decreased risk of elevated SUA level (P<0.001). There was a significant correlation between time of weight loss and risk of increased SUA level reduction (P<0.001). Furthermore, our data indicated that the degree of weight loss from maximum weight was another important factor for the risk of increased SUA level reduction (P<0.001). Finally, ROC curve analysis revealed area under the curve was 0.661 (95% CI, 0.647-0.674), statistically significant for maximum weight association with hyperuricemia (P<0.001).
Maximum weight is a strong risk factor for increased uric acid level in the Chinese population, which might serve as a novel clinical indicator suggesting hyperuricemia. Controlling maximum weight, keeping weight to the appropriate range, and maintaining the stable weight may be conducive for decreasing risk of hyperuricemia.
The objective of this investigation was to develop a new class of antibacterial material in the form of nanofibers coated with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using a modified coaxial electrospinning approach. Through manipulation of the distribution on the surface of nanofibers, the antibacterial effect of Ag can be improved substantially.
Using polyacrylonitrile (PAN) as the filament-forming polymer matrix, an electrospinnable PAN solution was prepared as the core fluid. A silver nitrate (AgNO3) solution was exploited as sheath fluid to carry out the modified coaxial electrospinning process under varied sheath-to-core flow rate ratios.
Scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that the sheath AgNO3 solution can take a role in reducing the nanofibers’ diameters significantly, a sheath-to-core flow rate ratio of 0.1 and 0.2 resulting in PAN nanofibers with diameters of 380 ± 110 nm and 230 ± 70 nm respectively. AgNPs are well distributed on the surface of PAN nanofibers. The antibacterial experiments demonstrated that these nanofibers show strong antimicrobial activities against Bacillus subtilis Wb800, and Escherichia coli dh5α.
Coaxial electrospinning with AgNO3 solution as sheath fluid not only facilitates the electrospinning process, providing nanofibers with reduced diameters, but also allows functionalization of the nanofibers through coating with functional ingredients, effectively ensuring that the active antibacterial component is on the surface of the material, which leads to enhanced activity. We report an example of the systematic design, preparation, and application of a novel type of antibacterial material coated with AgNPs via a modified coaxial electrospinning methodology.
antibacteria; nanofibers; nano-coating; coaxial electrospinning; Ag nanoparticles
The gene encoding CD14 has been proposed as an IBD-susceptibility gene with its polymorphism C-260T being widely evaluated, yet with conflicting results. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between this polymorphism and IBD by conducting a meta-analysis.
Seventeen articles met the inclusion criteria, which included a total of 18 case-control studies, including 1900 ulcerative colitis (UC) cases, 2535 Crohn's disease (CD) cases, and 4004 controls. Data were analyzed using STATA software. Overall, association between C-260T polymorphism and increased UC risk was significant in allelic comparison (odds ratio [OR] = 1.21, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.02–1.43; P = 0.027), homozygote model (OR = 1.44, 95% CI: 1.03–2.01; P = 0.033), as well as dominant model (OR = 1.36, 95% CI: 1.06–1.75; P = 0.016). However, there was negative association between this polymorphism and CD risk across all genetic models. Subgroup analyses by ethnicity suggested the risk-conferring profiles of -260T allele and -260 TT genotype with UC in Asians, but not in Caucasians. There was a low probability of publication bias.
Expanding previous results of individual studies, our findings demonstrated that CD14 gene C-260T polymorphism might be a promising candidate marker in susceptibility to UC, especially in Asians.
A recent, large genome-wide association study (GWAS) of European ancestry individuals has identified multiple genetic variants influencing serum lipids. Studies of the transferability of these associations to African Americans remain few, an important limitation given interethnic differences in serum lipids and the disproportionate burden of lipid-associated metabolic diseases among African Americans.
We attempted to evaluate the transferability of 95 lipid-associated loci recently identified in European ancestry individuals to 887 non-diabetic, unrelated African Americans from a population-based sample in the Washington, DC area. Additionally, we took advantage of the generally reduced linkage disequilibrium among African ancestry populations in comparison to European ancestry populations to fine-map replicated GWAS signals.
We successfully replicated reported associations for 10 loci (CILP2/SF4, STARD3, LPL, CYP7A1, DOCK7/ANGPTL3, APOE, SORT1, IRS1, CETP, and UBASH3B). Through trans-ethnic fine-mapping, we were able to reduce associated regions around 75% of the loci that replicated.
Between this study and previous work in African Americans, 40 of the 95 loci reported in a large GWAS of European ancestry individuals also influence lipid levels in African Americans. While there is now evidence that the lipid-influencing role of a number of genetic variants is observed in both European and African ancestry populations, the still considerable lack of concordance highlights the importance of continued ancestry-specific studies to elucidate the genetic underpinnings of these traits.
Lipids; Genetics; African Americans; Genome-wide association study; Ethnicity
Multi-drug resistance to chemotherapeutic agents is a major cause of treatment failure in breast cancer. In this study, we investigated the effects of emodin on reversing the multi-drug resistance, examined the ERCC1 protein expression in breast cancer cell line, and explored the relationship between reversal of multi-drug resistance and ERCC1 protein expression.
MTT assay was conducted to test the cytotoxicity of adriamycin and cisplatin to MCF-7/Adr cells with and without emodin pretreatment, and Western blot was performed to examine the ERCC1 protein expression.
MCF-7/Adr cells had 21-fold and 11-fold baseline resistances to adriamycin and cisplatin, respectively. When emodin was added to the cell culture at the concentration of 10 μg/ml, the drug resistance was reduced from 21 folds to 2.86 folds for adriamycin, and from 11 folds to 1.79 folds for cisplatin. MCF-7/Adr cells treated with two concentrations (10μg/mL and 20μg/mL) of emodin, after 2, 4, 6, 10 days, the trend of ERCC1 expression was gradually decreased and the reduction was more obvious comparatively at the concentration of 20μg/mL.
Emodin could reverse the multi-drug resistance in MCF-7/Adr cells and down-regulate ERCC1 protein expression.
The incidence of chronic kidney disease varies by ethnic group in the USA, with African Americans displaying a two-fold higher rate than European Americans. One of the two defining variables underlying staging of chronic kidney disease is the glomerular filtration rate. Meta-analysis in individuals of European ancestry has identified 23 genetic loci associated with the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). We conducted a follow-up study of these 23 genetic loci using a population-based sample of 1,018 unrelated admixed African Americans. We included in our follow-up study two variants in APOL1 associated with end-stage kidney disease discovered by admixture mapping in admixed African Americans. To address confounding due to admixture, we estimated local ancestry at each marker and global ancestry. We performed regression analysis stratified by local ancestry and combined the resulting regression estimates across ancestry strata using an inverse variance-weighted fixed effects model. We found that 11 of the 24 loci were significantly associated with eGFR in our sample. The effect size estimates were not significantly different between the subgroups of individuals with two copies of African ancestry vs. two copies of European ancestry for any of the 11 loci. In contrast, allele frequencies were significantly different at 10 of the 11 loci. Collectively, the 11 loci, including four secondary signals revealed by conditional analyses, explained 14.2% of the phenotypic variance in eGFR, in contrast to the 1.4% explained by the 24 loci in individuals of European ancestry. Our findings provide insight into the genetic basis of variation in renal function among admixed African Americans.
Background and methods
Micronanoscale topologies play an important role in implant osteointegration and determine the success of an implant. We investigated the effect of three different implant surface topologies on osteoblast response and bone regeneration. In this study, implants with nanotubes and micropores were used, and implants with flat surfaces were used as the control group.
Our in vitro studies showed that the nanostructured topologies improved the proliferation, differentiation, and development of the osteoblastic phenotype. Histological analysis further revealed that the nanotopology increased cell aggregation at the implant-tissue interfaces and enhanced bone-forming ability. Pushout testing indicated that the nanostructured topology greatly increased the bone-implant interfacial strength within 4 weeks of implantation.
Nanotopography may improve regeneration of bone tissue and shows promise for dental implant applications.
osteoblast; osteointegration; titanium; nanostructure; microstructure
The assembly of the vertebrate neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is initiated when nerve and muscle first contact each other by filopodial processes which are thought to enable close interactions between the synaptic partners and facilitate synaptogenesis. We recently reported that embryonic Xenopus spinal neurons preferentially extended filopodia towards cocultured muscle cells and that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) produced by muscle activated neuronal FGF receptor 1 (FGFR1) to induce filopodia and favor synaptogenesis. Intriguingly, in an earlier study we found that neurotrophins (NTs), a different set of target-derived factors that act through Trk receptor tyrosine kinases, promoted neuronal growth but hindered presynaptic differentiation and NMJ formation. Thus, here we investigated how bFGF- and NT-signals in neurons jointly elicit presynaptic changes during the earliest stages of NMJ development.
Whereas forced expression of wild-type TrkB in neurons reduced filopodial extension and triggered axonal outgrowth, expression of a mutant TrkB lacking the intracellular kinase domain enhanced filopodial growth and slowed axonal advance. Neurons overexpressing wild-type FGFR1 also displayed more filopodia than control neurons, in accord with our previous findings, and, notably, this elevation in filopodial density was suppressed when neurons were chronically treated from the beginning of the culture period with BDNF, the NT that specifically activates TrkB. Conversely, inhibition by BDNF of NMJ formation in nerve-muscle cocultures was partly reversed by the overexpression of bFGF in muscle.
Our results suggest that the balance between neuronal FGFR1- and TrkB-dependent filopodial assembly and axonal outgrowth regulates the establishment of incipient NMJs.
Low levels of high-density cholesterol (HDLc) accompany chronic kidney disease, but the association between HDLc and the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in the general population is unclear. We investigated the HDLc-eGFR association in nondiabetic Han Chinese (HC, n = 1100), West Africans (WA, n = 1497), and African Americans (AA, n = 1539).
There were significant differences by ancestry: HDLc was positively associated with eGFR in HC (β = 0.13, P < 0.0001), but negatively associated among African ancestry populations (WA: −0.19, P < 0.0001; AA: −0.09, P = 0.02). These differences were also seen in nationally-representative NHANES data (among European Americans: 0.09, P = 0.005; among African Americans −0.14, P = 0.03). To further explore the findings in African ancestry populations, we investigated the role of an African ancestry-specific nephropathy risk variant, rs73885319, in the gene encoding HDL-associated APOL1. Among AA, an inverse HDLc-eGFR association was observed only with the risk genotype (−0.38 versus 0.001; P = 0.03). This interaction was not seen in WA.
In summary, counter to expectation, an inverse HDLc-eGFR association was observed among those of African ancestry. Given the APOL1 × HDLc interaction among AA, genetic factors may contribute to this paradoxical association. Notably, these findings suggest that the unexplained mechanism by which APOL1 affects kidney-disease risk may involve HDLc.
Advances in technology and reduced costs are facilitating large-scale sequencing of genes and exomes as well as entire genomes. Recently, we described an approach based on haplotypes called SCARVA1 that enables the simultaneous analysis of the association between rare and common variants in disease etiology. Here, we describe an extension of SCARVA that evaluates individual markers instead of haplotypes. This modified method (SCARVAsnp) is implemented in four stages. First, all common variants in a pre-specified region (eg, gene) are evaluated individually. Second, a union procedure is used to combined all rare variants (RVs) in the index region, and the ratio of the log likelihood with one RV excluded to the log likelihood of a model with all the collapsed RVs is calculated. On the basis of previously-reported simulation studies,1 a likelihood ratio ≥1.3 is considered statistically significant. Third, the direction of the association of the removed RV is determined by evaluating the change in λ values with the inclusion and exclusion of that RV. Lastly, significant common and rare variants, along with covariates, are included in a final regression model to evaluate the association between the trait and variants in that region. We apply simulated and real data sets to show that the method is simple to use, computationally effcient, and that it can accurately identify both common and rare risk variants. This method overcomes several limitations of existing methods. For example, SCARVAsnp limits loss of statistical power by not including variants that are not associated with the trait of interest in the final model. Also, SCARVAsnp takes into consideration the direction of association by effectively modelling positively and negatively associated variants.
complex traits; rare and common variants
The Akt signaling pathway plays a key role in promoting the survival of various types of cells from stress-induced apoptosis, and different members of the Akt family display distinct physiological roles. Previous studies have shown that in response to UV irradiation, Akt2 is sensitized to counteract the induced apoptosis. However, in response to oxidative stress such as hydrogen peroxide, it remains to be elucidated what member of the Akt family would be activated to initiate the signaling cascades leading to resistance of the induced apoptosis. In the present study, we present the first evidence that knockdown of Akt1 enhances cell survival under exposure to 50 μM H2O2. This survival is derived from selective upregulation and activation of Akt2 but not Akt3, which initiates 3 major signaling cascades. First, murine double minute 2 (MDM2) is hyperphosphorylated, which promotes p53 degradation and attenuates its Ser-15 phosphorylation, significantly attenuating Bcl-2 homologous antagonist killer (Bak) upregulation. Second, Akt2 activation inactivates glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK-3β) to promote stability of myeloid leukemia cell differentiation protein 1 (MCL-1). Finally, Akt2 activation promotes phosphorylation of FOXO3A toward cytosolic export and thus downregulates Bim expression. Overexpression of Bim enhances H2O2-induced apoptosis. Together, our results demonstrate that among the Akt family members, Akt2 is an essential kinase in counteracting oxidative-stress-induced apoptosis through multiple signaling pathways. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 15, 1–17.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a small DNA virus that requires cellular transcription factors for the expression of its genes. To understand the molecular mechanisms that regulate HBV gene expression, we conducted a yeast one-hybrid screen to identify novel cellular transcription factors that may control HBV gene expression. Here we demonstrate that Krüpple-like factor 15 (KLF15), a liver-enriched transcription factor, can robustly activate HBV surface and core promoters. Mutations in the putative KLF15 binding site in the HBV core promoter abolished the ability of KLF15 to activate core promoter in luciferase assays. Furthermore, the overexpression of KLF15 stimulated the expression of HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) and the core protein and enhanced viral replication. Conversely, siRNA knockdown of the endogenous KLF15 in Huh7 cells resulted in a reduction in HBV surface and core promoter activities. In electrophoretic mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays KLF15 binds to DNA probes derived from the core promoter and the surface promoter. Introduction of an expression vector for KLF15 shRNA together with the HBV genome into the mouse liver using hydrodynamic injection resulted in a significant reduction in viral gene expression and DNA replication. Additionally, mutations in the KLF15 response element in the HBV core promoter significantly reduced viral DNA levels in the mouse serum.
KLF15 is a novel transcriptional activator for HBV core and surface promoters. It is possible that KLF15 may serve as a potential therapeutic target to reduce HBV gene expression and viral replication.
transcriptional activation; surface promoter; core promoter; HBV DNA; in vivo RNAi
Background. It was suggested that labor may influence the spread of intrathecal bupivacaine using combined spinal epidural (CSE) technique. However, no previous studies investigated this proposition. We designed this study to investigate the spinal block characteristics of plain bupivacaine between nonlaboring and laboring parturients using CSE technique. Methods. Twenty-five nonlaboring (Group NL) and twenty-five laboring parturients (Group L) undergoing cesarean delivery were enrolled. Following identification of the epidural space at the L3-4 interspace, plain bupivacaine 10 mg was administered intrathecally using CSE technique. The level of sensory block, degree of motor block, and hemodynamic changes were assessed. Results. The baseline systolic blood pressure (SBP) and the maximal decrease of SBP in Group L were significantly higher than those in Group NL (P = 0.002 and P = 0.03, resp.). The median sensory level tested by cold stimulation was T6 for Group NL and T5 for Group L (P = 0.46). The median sensory level tested by pinprick was T7 for both groups (P = 0.35). The degree of motor block was comparable between the two groups (P = 0.85). Conclusion. We did not detect significant differences in the sensory block levels between laboring and nonlaboring parturients using CSE technique with intrathecal plain bupivacaine.
Altered lipid metabolism underlies several major human diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, lipid metabolism pathophysiology remains poorly understood at the molecular level. Insulin is the primary stimulator of hepatic lipogenesis through activation of the SREBP-1c transcription factor. Here we identified cyclin-dependent kinase 8 (CDK8) and its regulatory partner cyclin C (CycC) as negative regulators of the lipogenic pathway in Drosophila, mammalian hepatocytes, and mouse liver. The inhibitory effect of CDK8 and CycC on de novo lipogenesis was mediated through CDK8 phosphorylation of nuclear SREBP-1c at a conserved threonine residue. Phosphorylation by CDK8 enhanced SREBP-1c ubiquitination and protein degradation. Importantly, consistent with the physiologic regulation of lipid biosynthesis, CDK8 and CycC proteins were rapidly downregulated by feeding and insulin, resulting in decreased SREBP-1c phosphorylation. Moreover, overexpression of CycC efficiently suppressed insulin and feeding–induced lipogenic gene expression. Taken together, these results demonstrate that CDK8 and CycC function as evolutionarily conserved components of the insulin signaling pathway in regulating lipid homeostasis.
Salvage liver transplantation (SLT) has been reported as being feasible for patients who develop recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) after primary liver resection, but this finding remains controversial. We retrospectively studied the clinical characteristics of SLT recipients and conducted a comparison between SLT recipients and primary liver transplantation (PLT) recipients.
Methodology and Principal Findings
A retrospective study examined data from the China Liver Transplant Registry (CLTR) for 6,975 transplants performed from January 1999 to December 2009. A total of 6,087 patients underwent PLT and 888 patients underwent SLT for recurrence. Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) was performed in 389 patients, while 6,586 patients underwent deceased donor liver transplantation (DDLT). Kaplan-Meier curves were used to compare survival rates. The 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year overall survival of SLT recipients was similar to that of PLT recipients: 73.00%, 51.77%, and 45.84% vs. 74.49%, 55.10%, and 48.81%, respectively (P = 0.260). The 1-year, 3-year and 5-year disease-free survival of SLT recipients was inferior to that of PLT recipients: 64.79%, 45.57%, and 37.78% vs. 66.39%, 50.39%, and 43.50%, respectively (P = 0.048). Similar survival results were observed for SLT and PLT within both the LDLT and DDLT recipients. Within the SLT group, the 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year overall survival for LDLT and DDLT recipients was similar: 93.33%, 74.67%, and 74.67% vs. 80.13%, 62.10%, and 54.18% (P = 0.281), as was the disease-free survival: 84.85%, 62.85%, and 62.85% vs. 70.54%, 53.94%, and 43.57% (P = 0.462).
Our study demonstrates that for selected patients, SLT has similar survival to that of PLT, indicating that SLT is acceptable for patients with recurrent HCC after liver resection. Given the limited organ donor pool, salvage LDLT might be considered as a possible treatment.
Rare earth elements (REEs) have been widely used to increase accumulation of biomass and secondary metabolites in medicinal plants in China. However, very few studies have investigated how REEs mediate secondary metabolism synthesis in medicinal plants. Lanthanum (La), an important REE, is known to improve the accumulation of secondary metabolites in medicinal plants and is widely distributed in China. However, few studies have evaluated the signal transduction leading to La-induced secondary metabolism in medicinal plants. In this study, LaCl3 treatment-induced multiple responses in Scutellaria baicalensis seedlings, including the rapid generation of jasmonic acid (JA), sequentially followed by the enhancement of baicalin production. Direct application of JA also promoted the synthesis of baicalin in the absence of LaCl3. LaCl3-induced baicalin synthesis was blocked by two different JA synthesis inhibitors. Our results showed that JA acts as a signal component within the signaling system leading to La-induced baicalin synthesis in S. baicalensis seedlings.
LaCl3; Jasmonic acid; Scutellaria baicalensis; Baicalin
Total serum bilirubin is associated with several clinical outcomes, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and drug metabolism. We conducted a genome-wide association study in 619 healthy unrelated African Americans in an attempt to replicate reported findings in Europeans and Asians and to identify novel loci influencing total serum bilirubin levels. We analyzed a dense panel of over two million genotyped and imputed SNPs in additive genetic models adjusting for age, sex, and the first two significant principal components from the sample covariance matrix of genotypes. Thirty-nine SNPs spanning a 78 kb region within the UGT1A1 displayed P-values <5 × 10−8. The lowest P-value was 1.7 × 10−22 for SNP rs887829. None of SNPs in the UGT1A1 remained statistically significant in conditional association analyses that adjusted for rs887829. In addition, SNP rs10929302 located in phenobarbital response enhancer module was significantly associated with bilirubin level with a P-value of 1.37 × 10−11; this enhancer module is believed to have a critical role in phenobarbital treatment of hyperbilirubinemia. Interestingly, the lead SNP, rs887829, is in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) (r2≥0.74) with rs10929302. Taking advantage of the lower LD and shorter haplotypes in African-ancestry populations, we identified rs887829 as a more refined proxy for the causative variant influencing bilirubin levels. Also, we replicated the reported association between variants in SEMA3C and bilirubin levels. In summary, UGT1A1 is a major locus influencing bilirubin levels and the results of this study promise to contribute to understanding of the etiology and treatment of hyperbilirubinaemia in African-ancestry populations.
GWAS; replications; bilirubin; African Americans