Although microRNAs are commonly known to function as a component of RNA-induced silencing complexes in the cytoplasm, they have been detected in other organelles, notably the nucleus and the nucleolus, of mammalian cells. We have conducted a systematic search for miRNAs in HeLa cell nucleoli, and identified 11 abundant miRNAs with a high level of nucleolar accumulation. Through in situ hybridisation, we have localised these miRNAs, including miR-191 and miR-484, in the nucleolus of a diversity of human and rodent cell lines. The nucleolar association of these miRNAs is resistant to various cellular stresses, but highly sensitive to the presence of exogenous nucleic acids. Introduction of both single- and double-stranded DNA as well as double stranded RNA rapidly induce the redistribution of nucleolar miRNAs to the cytoplasm. A similar change in subcellular distribution is also observed in cells infected with the influenza A virus. The partition of miRNAs between the nucleolus and the cytoplasm is affected by Leptomycin B, suggesting a role of Exportin-1 in the intracellular shuttling of miRNAs. This study reveals a previously unknown aspect of miRNA biology, and suggests a possible link between these small noncoding RNAs and the cellular management of foreign genetic materials.
Intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) is associated with metabolic abnormalities similar to those associated with visceral adipose tissue (VAT). Increased IMAT has been found in obese human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected women. We hypothesized that IMAT, like VAT, would be similar or increased in HIV-infected persons compared with healthy controls, despite decreases in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) found in HIV infection. In the second FRAM (Study of Fat Redistribution and Metabolic Change in HIV infection) exam, we studied 425 HIV-infected subjects and 211 controls (from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study) who had regional AT and skeletal muscle (SM) measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Multivariable linear regression identified factors associated with IMAT and its association with metabolites. Total IMAT was 51% lower in HIV-infected participants compared with controls (P = 0.003). The HIV effect was attenuated after multivariable adjustment (to −28%, P < 0.0001 in men and −3.6%, P = 0.70 in women). Higher quantities of leg SAT, upper-trunk SAT, and VAT were associated with higher IMAT in HIV-infected participants, with weaker associations in controls. Stavudine use was associated with lower IMAT and SAT, but showed little relationship with VAT. In multivariable analyses, regional IMAT was associated with insulin resistance and triglycerides (TGs). Contrary to expectation, IMAT is not increased in HIV infection; after controlling for demographics, lifestyle, VAT, SAT, and SM, HIV+ men have lower IMAT compared with controls, whereas values for women are similar. Stavudine exposure is associated with both decreased IMAT and SAT, suggesting that IMAT shares cellular origins with SAT.
Objective: Coronary collateral circulation is an alternative source of blood supply to myocardium in the presence of advanced coronary artery disease. We sought to determine which clinical and angiographic variables are associated with collateral development in patients with stable angina and chronic total coronary occlusion. Methods: Demographic variables, biochemical measurements, and angiographic findings were collected from 478 patients with stable angina and chronic total coronary occlusion. The presence and extent of collaterals supplying the distal aspect of a total coronary occlusion from the contra-lateral vessel were graded from 0 to 3 according to the Rentrop scoring system. Results: Low (Rentrop score of 0 or 1) and high (Rentrop score of 2 or 3) coronary collateralizations were detected in 186 and 292 patients, respectively. Despite similar age, cigarette smoking, and medical treatment, patients with low collateralization were female in a higher proportion and less hypertensive, and had higher rates of type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemia than those with high collateralization (for all comparisons, P<0.05). In addition, patients with low collateralization exhibited more single-vessel disease, less right coronary artery occlusion, more impaired renal function, and higher serum levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) compared with those with high collateralization. Multivariate analysis revealed that age of ≥65 years, female gender, diabetes, no history of hypertension, dyslipidemia, moderate to severe renal dysfunction, single-vessel disease, and elevated hsCRP levels were independently associated with low coronary collateralization. Conclusions: Coronary collateralization was reduced in almost 40% of stable angina patients with chronic total occlusion, which was related to clinical and angiographic factors. The impact of coronary collateralization on outcomes after revascularization needs further investigation.
Stable angina; Coronary collateral circulation; Risk factors; Angiography; Chronic total coronary occlusion
Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology is characterized by the formation of intra-neuronal inclusions called Lewy bodies, which are comprised of alpha-synuclein (α-syn). Duplication, triplication or genetic mutations in α-syn (A53T, A30P and E46K) are linked to autosomal dominant PD; thus implicating its role in the pathogenesis of PD. In both PD patients and mouse models, there is increasing evidence that neuronal dysfunction occurs before the accumulation of protein aggregates (i.e., α-syn) and neurodegeneration. Characterization of the timing and nature of symptomatic dysfunction is important for understanding the impact of α-syn on disease progression. Furthermore, this knowledge is essential for identifying pathways and molecular targets for therapeutic intervention. To this end, we examined various functional and morphological endpoints in the transgenic mouse model expressing the human A53T α-syn variant directed by the mouse prion promoter at specific ages relating to disease progression (2, 6 and 12 months of age). Our findings indicate A53T mice develop fine, sensorimotor, and synaptic deficits before the onset of age-related gross motor and cognitive dysfunction. Results from open field and rotarod tests show A53T mice develop age-dependent changes in locomotor activity and reduced anxiety-like behavior. Additionally, digigait analysis shows these mice develop an abnormal gait by 12 months of age. A53T mice also exhibit spatial memory deficits at 6 and 12 months, as demonstrated by Y-maze performance. In contrast to gross motor and cognitive changes, A53T mice display significant impairments in fine- and sensorimotor tasks such as grooming, nest building and acoustic startle as early as 1–2 months of age. These mice also show significant abnormalities in basal synaptic transmission, paired-pulse facilitation and long-term depression (LTD). Combined, these data indicate the A53T model exhibits early- and late-onset behavioral and synaptic impairments similar to PD patients and may provide useful endpoints for assessing novel therapeutic interventions for PD.
The development of biotechnology has enabled the creation of various recombinant fusion proteins as a new class of biotherapeutics. The uniqueness of fusion proteins lies in their ability to fuse two or more protein domains, providing vast opportunities to generate novel combinations of functions. Pharmacokinetic (PK) studies, which are critical components in preclinical and clinical drug development, have not been fully explored for fusion proteins. The lack of general PK models and study guidelines has become a bottleneck for translation of fusion proteins from basic research to the clinic.
This article reviews the current status of PK studies for fusion proteins, covering the processes that affect PK. According to their PK properties, a classification of fusion proteins is suggested along with examples from the clinic or under development. Current limitations and future perspectives for PK of fusion proteins are also discussed.
A PK model for bifunctional fusion proteins is presented to highlight the importance of mechanistic studies for a thorough understanding of the PK properties of fusion proteins. The model suggests investigating the receptor binding and subsequent intracellular disposition of individual domains, which can have dramatic impact on the PK of fusion proteins.
Pharmacokinetics; fusion protein; receptor binding; disposition; target-mediated drug disposition
Previous cross-sectional studies found that a single magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) slice predicts total visceral and subcutaneous adipose tissue (VAT and SAT) volumes well. We sought to investigate the accuracy of trunk single slice imaging in estimating changes of total VAT and SAT volume in 123 overweight and obese subjects who were enrolled in a 24-week CB-1R inverse agonist clinical trial (weight change, −7.7±5.3 kg; SAT change, −5.4±4.9 L, VAT change, −0.8±1.0 L). VAT and SAT volumes at baseline and 24 weeks were derived from whole body MRI images. The VAT area 5–10 cm above L4–L5 (A+5–10) (R2=0.59–0.70, P<0.001) best predicted changes in VAT volume but the strength of these correlations were significantly lower than those at baseline (R2=0.85–0.90, P<0.001). Furthermore, the L4–L5 slice poorly predicted VAT volume changes (R2=0.24–0.29, P<0.001). Studies will require 44–69% more subjects if (A+5–10) is used and 243–320% more subjects if the L4–L5 slice is used for equivalent power of multi slice total volume measurements of VAT changes. Similarly, single slice imaging predicts SAT loss less well than cross-sectional SAT (R2=0.31–0.49 vs. R2=0.52–0.68, p<0.05). Results stayed the same when examined in men and women separately. A single MRI slice 5–10 cm above L4–L5 is more powerful than the traditionally used L4–L5 slice in detecting VAT changes, but in general single slice imaging poorly predicts VAT and SAT changes during weight loss. For certain study designs, multi-slice imaging may be more cost effective than single slice imaging in detecting changes for VAT and SAT.
Visceral adipose tissue; subcutaneous adipose tissue; clinical trial; magnetic resonance imaging; computed tomography; body composition
Bone extraction and division can enhance the accuracy of diagnoses based on whole-body bone SPECT data. This study developed a method for using conventional SPECT for automatic recognition of the vertebral column. A novel feature of the proposed approach is a novel “bone graph" image description method that represents the connectivity between these image regions to facilitate manipulation of morphological relationships in the skeleton before surgery. By tracking the paths shown on the bone graph, skeletal structures can be identified by performing morphological operations. The performance of the method was evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively by two experienced nuclear medicine physicians. Datasets for whole-body bone SPECT scans in 46 lung cancer patients with bone metastasis were obtained with Tc-99m MDP. The algorithm successfully segmented vertebrae in the thoracolumbar spine. The quantitative assessment shows that the segmentation method achieved an average TP, FP, and FN rates of 95.1%, 9.1%, and 4.9%. The qualitative evaluation shows an average acceptance rate of 83%, where the data for the acceptable and unacceptable groups had a Cronbach's alpha value of 0.718, which indicated reasonable internal consistency and reliability.
To investigate the prevalence and visual acuity (VA) outcomes of cataract surgery in adults of the Bai Nationality populations in rural China.
We conducted a population-based cross-sectional survey (from randomly selected block groups) of Chinese Bai Nationality aged ≥50 years in southwestern China. Presenting visual acuity (PVA), best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) were recorded and a detailed eye examination was carried out. For all aphakic and pseudophakic subjects identified, information on the date, setting, type, and complications of cataract surgery were recorded. In eyes with VA <20/63, the principal cause of visual impairment was identified.
Of 2133 (77.8% of 2742) subjects, 99 people (129 eyes) had undergone cataract surgery. The prevalence of cataract surgery was 4.6%. Surgical coverage among those with PVA <20/200 in both eyes because of cataract was 52.8%. Unoperated cataract was associated with older age. The main barrier to cataract surgery was lack of awareness and knowledge, cost, and fear. Among the 129 cataract-operated eyes, 22.5% had PVA of ≥20/32, 25.6% had PVA of 20/40 to 20/63, 23.3% had PVA <20/63 to 20/200, and 28.7% had PVA<20/200. With BCVA, the percentages were 42.6%, 23.3%, 10.9%, and 23.3%, respectively. Aphakia (odds ratio [OR], 8.49; P<0.001) and no education (OR, 10.18; P = 0.001) or less education (OR, 6.49; P = 0.014) were significantly associated with postoperative visual impairment defined by PVA, while aphakia (OR, 8.49; P<0.001) and female gender (OR, 4.19; P = 0.004) were significantly associated with postoperative visual impairment by BCVA. The main causes of postoperative visual impairment were refractive error, retinal disorders and glaucoma.
Half of those with bilateral visual impairment or blindness because of cataract remain in need of cataract surgery in Bai population. Surgical uptake and visual outcomes should be further improved in the future.
Introduction. An increasing number of studies are utilizing different magnetic resonance (MR) methods to quantify bone marrow fat due to its potential role in osteoporosis. Our aim is to compare the measurements of bone marrow fat among T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), modified Dixon method (also called fat fraction MRI (FFMRI)), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS).
Methods. Contiguous MRI scans were acquired in 27 Caucasian postmenopausal women with a modified Dixon method (i.e., FFMRI). Bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT) of T1-weighted MRI and bone marrow fat fraction of the L3 vertebra and femoral necks were quantified using SliceOmatic and Matlab. MRS was also acquired at the L3 vertebra. Results. Correlation among the three MR methods measured bone marrow fat fraction and BMAT ranges from 0.78 to 0.88 (P < 0.001) in the L3 vertebra. Correlation between BMAT measured by T1-weighted MRI and bone marrow fat fraction measured by modified FFMRI is 0.86 (P < 0.001) in femoral necks. Conclusion. There are good correlations among T1-weighted MRI, FFMRI, and MRS for bone marrow fat quantification. The inhomogeneous distribution of bone marrow fat, the threshold segmentation of the T1-weighted MRI, and the ambiguity of the FFMRI may partially explain the difference among the three methods.
Recent research has shown an inverse relationship between bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT) and bone mineral density (BMD). There is a lack of evidence at the macro-imaging level to establish whether increased BMAT is a cause or effect of bone loss. This cross-sectional study compared the BMAT and BMD relationship between a younger adult group at or approaching peak bone mass (PBM) (age 18.0-39.9 yrs) and an older group with potential bone loss (PoBL) (age 40.0-88 yrs).
Pelvic BMAT was evaluated in 560 healthy men and women with T1-weighted whole body magnetic resonance imaging. BMD was measured using whole body dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.
An inverse correlation was observed between pelvic BMAT and pelvic, total, and spine BMD in the younger PBM group (r=-0.419 to -0.461, P<0.001) and in the older PoBL group (r=-0.405 to -0.500, P<0.001). After adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, menopausal status, total body fat, skeletal muscle, subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue, neither subject group (younger PBM vs. older PoBL) nor its interaction with pelvic BMAT significantly contributed to the regression models with BMD as dependent variable and pelvic BMAT as independent variable (P=0.434 to 0.928).
Our findings indicate that an inverse relationship between pelvic BMAT and BMD is present both in younger subjects who have not yet experienced bone loss and also in older subjects. These results provide support at the macro-imaging level for the hypothesis that low BMD may be a result of preferential differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells from osteoblasts to adipocytes.
body composition; bone marrow adipose tissue; bone mineral density; dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry; magnetic resonance imaging; aging
Commensal bacteria and their products provide beneficial effects to the mammalian gut by stimulating epithelial cell turnover and enhancing wound healing, without activating overt inflammation. We hypothesized that N-formylpeptide receptors, which bind bacterial N-formylpeptides and are expressed by intestinal epithelial cells, may contribute to these processes. Here we report that formylpeptide receptor-2 (FPR2), which we show is expressed on the apical and lateral membranes of colonic crypt epithelial cells, mediates N-formylpeptide–dependent epithelial cell proliferation and renewal. Colonic epithelial cells in FPR2-deficient mice displayed defects in commensal bacterium–dependent homeostasis as shown by the absence of responses to N-formylpeptide stimulation, shortened colonic crypts, reduced acute inflammatory responses to dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) challenge, delayed mucosal restoration after injury, and increased azoxymethane-induced tumorigenesis. These results indicate that FPR2 is critical in mediating homeostasis, inflammation, and epithelial repair processes in the colon.
Cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) are short strands of arginine and/or lysine-rich peptides (<30 amino acids) that use their cationic nature for efficient intracellular accumulation. CPPs have been used for small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery by direct complexation with the siRNA anionic phosphate backbone. During this process, however, part of the CPP cationic charges are neutralized, and the resultant loss of free positive charges may substantially compromise CPP’s internalization capabilities and eventually reduce siRNA delivery efficiency. The purpose of this study was to design a novel type of polyplex for siRNA delivery to overcome the CPP neutralization issue. This novel polyplex consists of three components: siRNA, 21mer oligolysine (K21) chemically modified to incorporate CPP conjugation sites (K21-PDP), and CPP delivery moiety. The siRNA was first neutralized by cationic charges of K21-PDP to form a polyplex. Then a cationic (hexa-arginine – R6) or an amphipathic (model amphipathic peptide – MAP) CPP was conjugated to the polyplex. Agarose gel shift assays indicated that the siRNA could be released from the polyplex after K21-PDP degradation or polyplex dilution. Furthermore, the total intracellular internalization of these two CPP-polyplexes was studied. Compared with R6-polyplex, MAP-polyplex exhibited 170 and 600-fold greater uptake of fluorescently-labeled siRNA at 1 and 6 h post-transfection, respectively. MAP-polyplex also exhibited comparable GFP silencing effects as Lipofectamine 2000 complex in Huh7.5 cells stably transfected to express GFP-LC3, whereas R6-polyplex did not demonstrate significant silencing activity. Further studies indicated that the K21-PDP/siRNA polyplex formation and conjugation of MAP to the polyplex were essential for siRNA polyplex uptake and gene silencing. MAP-polyplex was also shown to be unaffected by the presence of 10% FBS during transfection. In addition, MAP-polyplex uptake was dependent on vesicle formation and fusion due to 70 and 54% loss of uptake at 4 and 16°C, respectively, compared to incubation at 37°C. Therefore, the amphipathic CPP is a more suitable carrier moiety for delivery of siRNA polyplex.
Cell penetrating peptides; siRNA; siRNA delivery; oligoarginine; model amphipathic peptide; polyplex; membrane transduction peptides
The infection rate of Helicobacter pylori is high all over the world, especially in the Chinese Tibetan Plateau. Here, we report the genome sequence of Helicobacter pylori strain XZ274 isolated from a Tibetan patient with gastric cancer. The strain contains 1,634,138 bp with 1,654 coding sequences and a pXZ274 plasmid of 22,406 bp with 26 coding sequences. This is the first complete genome sequence of Helicobacter pylori from the Tibetan Plateau in China.
The inactivation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) is associated with anti-apoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects in cerebral ischemia, which can be induced by an imbalance between upstream phosphatases and kinases.
Mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 7 (MKP-7) was upregulated significantly at 4 h of reperfusion postischemia in rat hippocampi. By administration of cycloheximide or siRNA against mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase 7 (MKP-7) in a rat model of ischemia/reperfusion, an obvious enhancement of JNK activity was observed in 4 h of reperfusion following ischemia, suggesting MKP-7 was involved in JNK inactivation after ischemia. The subcellular localization of MKP-7 altered after ischemia, and the inhibition of MKP-7 nuclear export by Leptomycin B up-regulated JNK activity. Although PI3K/Akt inhibition could block downregulation of JNK activity through SEK1 and MKK-7 activation, PI3K/Akt activity was not associated with the regulation of JNK by MKP-7.
MKP-7, independently of PI3K/Akt pathway, played a key role in downregulation of JNK activity after ischemia in the rat hippocampus, and the export of MKP-7 from the nucleus was involved in downregulation of cytoplasmic JNK activity in response to ischemic stimuli.
Cerebral ischemia; JNK; PI3K/Akt; MKP-7
AIM: To investigate the growth-inhibiting and apoptosis-inducing effects of the gene MOB2 on human hepatic carcinoma cell line SMMC-7721.
METHODS: The full-length cDNA of the MOB2 gene was amplified from human umbilical vein endothelial cells. The correct full-length MOB2 cDNA was subcloned into the eukaryotic expression vector pEGFP-C1. After lipofection of the MOB2 gene into cancer cells, the levels of MOB2 protein in the cancer cells were detected by immunoblotting. To transfect the recombined plasmid vector pEGFP-CI-MOB2 into SMMC-7721 cells, the cells were cultured in Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s Medium with 10% fetal calf serum and glutamine, and then mixed with liposomes, Lipofectamine 2000 and the plasmid vector pEGFP-CI-MOB2.
RESULTS: We observed the growth and proliferation of SMMC-7721 cells containing pEGFP-CI-MOB2 and analyzed their apoptosis and growth cycle phases by flow cytometry. We successfully transfected the recombined plasmid vector pEGFP-CI-MOB2 into SMMC-7721 cells and screened for a single clone cell containing MOB2. After transfection, MOB2 enhanced growth suppression, induced apoptosis, increased the ratio of G0/G1, significantly inhibited the advance of cell cycle phase, and arrested cells in G0/G1 phase.
CONCLUSION: MOB2 overexpression induces apoptosis and inhibits the growth of human hepatic cancer cells, which may be useful in gene therapy for hepatic carcinoma.
Gene expression; SMMC-7721; Growth inhibition; Apoptosis
Th17 cells have been described as short-lived but this view is at odds with their capacity to trigger protracted damage to normal and transformed tissues. We report that Th17 cells, despite displaying low expression of CD27 and other phenotypic markers of terminal differentiation, efficiently eradicated tumors and caused autoimmunity, were long-lived and maintained a core molecular signature resembling early memory CD8+ cells with stem cell-like properties. In addition, we found that Th17 cells had high expression of Tcf7, a direct target of the Wnt and β-catenin signaling axis, and accumulated β-catenin, a feature observed in stem cells. In vivo, Th17 cells gave rise to Th1-like effector cell progeny and also self-renewed and persisted as IL-17A-secreting cells. Multipotency was required for Th17 cell-mediated tumor eradication because effector cells deficient in IFN-γ or IL-17A had impaired activity. Thus, Th17 cells are not always short-lived and are a less-differentiated subset capable of superior persistence and functionality.
Salidroside [2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)ethyl-β-D-glucopyranoside], one of the most potent ingredients extracted from the plant Rhodiola rosea L., has been shown to have a cardiovascular protective effect as an antioxidant, and early treatment of epirubicin-induced cardiotoxicity has been the focus of clinical chemotherapy in patients with breast cancer. However, the cardioprotective effects of salidroside on epirubicin-induced cardiotoxicity, especially early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction, have to date been sparsely investigated.
The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of salidroside in preventing early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction induced by epirubicin.
Sixty patients with histologically confirmed breast cancer were enrolled. Eligible patients were randomized to receive salidroside (600 mg/day; n= 30) or placebo (n = 30) starting 1 week before chemotherapy. Patients were investigated by means of echocardiography and strain rate (SR) imaging. We also measured plasma concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS). All parameters were assessed at baseline and 7 days after each new epirubicin dose of 100 mg/m2.
A decline of the SR peak was observed at an epirubicin dose of 200 mg/m2, with no significant differences between salidroside and placebo (1.35 ± 0.36 vs 1.42 ± 0.49/second). At growing cumulative doses of epirubicin, the SR normalized only with salidroside, showing a significant difference in comparison with placebo at epirubicin doses of 300 mg/m2 (1.67 ± 0.43 vs 1.32 ± 0.53/second, p< 0.05) and 400 mg/m2 (1.68±0.29 vs 1.40 ± 0.23/second, p < 0.05). Moreover, a significant increase in plasma concentrations of ROS was found with placebo, but they remained unchanged with salidroside.
Salidroside can provide a protective effect on epirubicin-induced early left ventricular regional systolic dysfunction in patients with breast cancer.
As tendon stem/progenitor cells were reported to be rare in tendon tissues, tendons as vulnerable targets of sports injury possess poor self-repair capability. Human ESCs (hESCs) represent a promising approach to tendon regeneration. But their teno-lineage differentiation strategy has yet to be defined. Here, we report that force combined with the tendon-specific transcription factor scleraxis synergistically promoted commitment of hESCs to tenocyte for functional tissue regeneration. Force and scleraxis can independently induce tendon differentiation. However, force alone concomitantly activated osteogenesis, while scleraxis alone was not sufficient to commit, but augment tendon differentiation. Scleraxis synergistically augmented the efficacy of force on teno-lineage differentiation and inhibited the osteo-lineage differentiation by antagonized BMP signaling cascade. The findings not only demonstrated a novel strategy of directing hESC differentiation to tenocyte for functional tendon regeneration, but also offered insights into understanding the network of force, scleraxis and bmp2 controlling tendon-lineage differentiation.
Transferrin (TF) plays a critical physiological role in cellular iron delivery via the transferrin receptor (TFR)-mediated endocytosis pathway in nearly all eukaryotic organisms. Human serum TF (hTF) is extensively used as an iron-delivery vehicle in various mammalian cell cultures for production of therapeutic proteins, and is also being explored for use as a drug carrier to treat a number of diseases by employing its unique TFR-mediated endocytosis pathway. With the increasing concerns over the risk of transmission of infectious pathogenic agents of human plasma-derived TF, recombinant hTF is preferred to use for these applications. Here, we carry out comparative studies of the TFR binding, TFR-mediated endocytosis and cellular iron delivery of recombinant hTF from rice (rhTF), and evaluate its suitability for biopharmaceutical applications.
Through a TFR competition binding affinity assay with HeLa human cervic carcinoma cells (CCL-2) and Caco-2 human colon carcinoma cells (HTB-37), we show that rhTF competes similarly as hTF to bind TFR, and both the TFR binding capacity and dissociation constant of rhTF are comparable to that of hTF. The endocytosis assay confirms that rhTF behaves similarly as hTF in the slow accumulation in enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells and the rapid recycling pathway in HeLa cells. The pulse-chase assay of rhTF in Caco-2 and HeLa cells further illustrates that rice-derived rhTF possesses the similar endocytosis and intracellular processing compared to hTF. The cell culture assays show that rhTF is functionally similar to hTF in the delivery of iron to two diverse mammalian cell lines, HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cells (CCL-240) and murine hybridoma cells derived from a Sp2/0-Ag14 myeloma fusion partner (HB-72), for supporting their proliferation, differentiation, and physiological function of antibody production.
The functional similarity between rice derived rhTF and native hTF in their cellular iron delivery, TFR binding, and TFR-mediated endocytosis and intracellular processing support that rice-derived rhTF can be used as a safe and animal-free alternative to serum hTF for bioprocessing and biopharmaceutical applications.
Recombinant human serum transferrin; Transferrin receptor; Endocytosis; Cell growth and proliferation; Antibody production
A proinsulin-transferrin (ProINS-Tf) recombinant fusion protein was designed and characterized for the sustained release of an active form of insulin (INS) by hepatoma cells. During incubation with H4IIE hepatoma cells, a gradual decline of ProINS-Tf concentration, with a concomitant generation of the immuno-reactive insulin-transferrin (irINS-Tf), was detected in the culture medium by using INS- or proinsulin (ProINS)-specific radioimmunoassay (RIA) system. Further studies indicated that the conversion of ProINS-Tf to irINS-Tf was a transferrin receptor (TfR) mediated process that was pH-sensitive, and temperature- and microtubule-dependent. These results suggest that the conversion occurred during the slow recycling route of transferrin (Tf)-TfR pathway, possibly processed by proteases in the slow recycling compartments juxtaposed to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). ProINS-Tf exhibited little activity in the short-term promotion of glucose uptake in adipocytes, indicating that it was in an inactive form similar to ProINS. Stimulation of Akt phosphorylation by ProINS-Tf was detected only after prolonged incubation with H4IIE cells. On the other hand, ProINS-Tf pre-incubated with H4IIE cells for 24 h acquired an immediate activity of stimulating Akt phosphorylation. Furthermore, ProINS-Tf elicited a strong activity in inhibition of glucose production following 24 h incubation with H4IIE cells. Based on these findings, we conclude that the Tf-TfR endocytosis and recycling pathway enables the conversion and release of ProINS-Tf in an active form of irINS-Tf. Results from this study suggest that the Tf-TfR pathway can be exploited for the design of prohormone-Tf fusion proteins as protein prodrugs for their sustained and targeted activation.
Proinsulin; transferrin; insulin; prohormone conversion; receptor-mediated endocytosis and recycling; bifunctional fusion protein
Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in aging men are often associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). While regulatory evaluations of treatment benefit require an assessment of specific symptoms, a simpler approach to measuring patients’ perceptions of severity and symptom change may be particularly useful for clinical practice. The aim of this study was to provide evidence of the validity of the 1-item Patient Global Impression of Severity (PGI-S) and Improvement (PGI-I) questionnaires for use as outcome measures in the treatment of BPH-LUTS.
This was a secondary analysis of data from 4 randomized placebo-controlled 12-week trials evaluating tadalafil for the treatment of BPH-LUTS (N=1694). Visit 2 (V2 [beginning of a 4-week placebo lead-in period]) and endpoint assessments included International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS), IPSS Quality of Life Index (IPSS-QoL), BPH Impact Index (BII), and peak urine flow (Qmax). PGI-S was only administered at V2 and PGI-I only at endpoint. Associations between the PGI-S or the PGI-I and the other assessments were analyzed by calculating Spearman rank correlation coefficients and performing analysis of variance (ANOVA).
Spearman correlation coefficients were 0.43, 0.43, 0.53, and −0.09, between the PGI-S and IPSS, IPSS-QoL, BII, and Qmax baseline results (all P<0.001). Similar results were seen across race, ethnicity, and baseline severity (moderate LUTS versus severe LUTS). IPSS, IPSS-QoL, BII baseline scores (P <0.001) and Qmax values (P=0.003) were significantly different among the 4 PGI-S severity levels. Spearman correlation coefficients were 0.56, 0.53, 0.47 and −0.15 between the PGI-I and change in IPSS, IPSS-QoL, BII scores, and Qmax values from baseline to endpoint (all P<0.001). Similar results were seen across race, ethnicity, and baseline severity. Change in IPSS, IPSS-QoL, BII scores, and Qmax values (P<0.001) were significantly different among the PGI-I levels (i.e., patient perception of change in urinary symptoms).
This study demonstrated patients’ overall perceptions of their severity and change in BPH-LUTS can be captured in a way that is simple, valid, and easily administered in a research setting or clinical practice. Clinical parameters are weakly associated with patients’ perception of urinary symptoms, emphasizing the importance of a patient-reported assessment in the evaluation of BPH-LUTS treatment benefit.
Patient global impression scale; Lower urinary tract symptoms; Construct validity
Elevated blood glucose is generally regarded as one of the risk factors that lead to coronary heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. However, our studies show that after inducing short-term damage, high blood glucose subsequently provides paradoxical protection for vessel function of animals with high blood pressure. Vessels can adapt to sustained high blood glucose and produce different stress proteins to counteract, to some extent, the damage brought about by hypertension. The results help us understand part of the basis for vessel adaptation in diabetes. The implication for treatment of diabetes is that if the patients have long-standing diabetes and established cardiovascular disease, the target of blood glucose lowering should be less stringent and reached gradually to avoid abrupt cancellation of the pre-existing adaptations.
Although both diabetes and hypertension are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, the role of hyperglycaemia per se in endothelial dysfunction is controversial. This study was designed to examine whether hyperglycaemia, or streptozotocin-induced diabetes, could aggravate endothelial dysfunction in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP). Hyperglycaemia was induced by streptozotocin in 2-month-old SHRSP and age-matched normotensive Wistar–Kyoto (WKY) rats. The aorta was isolated 8 weeks after induction of hyperglycaemia to record its function and to examine its morphology with transmission electron microscopy. Endothelial/inducible nitric oxide synthase (eNOS/iNOS) and inducible/constitutive haem oxygenase (HO-1/HO-2) levels were determined with Western blotting. Aortic endothelial function and production of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide were assayed after incubation in vitro in hyperglycaemic, hyperosmolar solution. Streptozotocin-induced diabetes of 8 weeks duration did not result in endothelial dysfunction in normotensive WKY rats. In contrast, hyperglycaemic WKY rats showed significantly enhanced endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, which was abrogated by simultaneous blocking of NOS and HO. The enhanced vasodilatation was associated with elevation of vascular eNOS and HO-1. Significant endothelial dysfunction and massive macrophage–monocyte infiltration were found in SHRSP aorta (the ratio of the number of macrophages to endothelial cells in the intima, expressed as a percentage, was 20.9 ± 2.8% in SHRSP versus 1.9 ± 0.5% in WKY rats, P < 0.01), which was attenuated significantly in hyperglycaemic SHRSP (11.3 ± 1.6%, P < 0.01 versus SHRSP). Acute hyperglycaemia (10 min) aggravated endothelial dysfunction in SHRSP, with a marked increase in intracellular reactive oxygen species and NO production. Sustained in vitro incubation in hyperglycaemic/hyperosmolar conditions (addition of an extra 50 mmol L−1 of glucose or mannitol to the usual buffer, to produce a final osmolarity of 350 mosmol L−1) for 5 h enhanced endothelium-dependent vasodilatation, with elevated vessel NO production and upregulation of eNOS/HO-1 proteins. Sustained hyperglycaemia does not aggravate endothelial dysfunction and macrophage infiltration in SHRSP. Hyperglycaemia/hyperosmolarity-induced upregulation of eNOS and HO-1 may play a role in this paradoxical adaptation of endothelial function.
Our ability to guide differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) toward desired lineages efficiently and reproducibly in xeno-free conditions is the key to advancing hPSC technology from the laboratory to clinical use. Here we report an engineered biomimetic substrate functionalized with both peptide ligands for α5β1 and α6β1 integrins to support efficient early mesodermal differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) when cultured in a differentiation medium containing BMP4. In contrast, mesodermal differentiation is not induced on substrates functionalized with either ligand alone even though the culture medium is identical. Mesodermal differentiation was characterized by immunofluorescent staining, flow cytometric analysis, and RT-PCR analysis of early mesodermal markers Brachyury, Mixl1, and Wnt3. The early mesodermal progenitors derived on the substrate functionalized with both integrin ligands have the normal developmental potential to further differentiate along the hemato-endothelial and cardiac lineages. Immobilized ligands for α5β1 and α6β1 integrins both are permissive, necessary, and sufficient insoluble ligands in this engineered system to support early mesodermal differentiation of hESCs. This synthetic substrate, in conjunction with defined soluble factors, constructs a well-controlled and xeno-free early mesodermal differentiation niche that offers advantages over the previously reported niche constructed with the Matrigel-coated substrate.
Predicting miRNAs is an arduous task, due to the diversity of the precursors and complexity of enzyme processes. Although several prediction approaches have reached impressive performances, few of them could achieve a full-function recognition of mature miRNA directly from the candidate hairpins across species. Therefore, researchers continue to seek a more powerful model close to biological recognition to miRNA structure. In this report, we describe a novel miRNA prediction algorithm, known as FOMmiR, using a fixed-order Markov model based on the secondary structural pattern. For a training dataset containing 809 human pre-miRNAs and 6441 human pseudo-miRNA hairpins, the model’s parameters were defined and evaluated. The results showed that FOMmiR reached 91% accuracy on the human dataset through 5-fold cross-validation. Moreover, for the independent test datasets, the FOMmiR presented an outstanding prediction in human and other species including vertebrates, Drosophila, worms and viruses, even plants, in contrast to the well-known algorithms and models. Especially, the FOMmiR was not only able to distinguish the miRNA precursors from the hairpins, but also locate the position and strand of the mature miRNA. Therefore, this study provides a new generation of miRNA prediction algorithm, which successfully realizes a full-function recognition of the mature miRNAs directly from the hairpin sequences. And it presents a new understanding of the biological recognition based on the strongest signal’s location detected by FOMmiR, which might be closely associated with the enzyme cleavage mechanism during the miRNA maturation.