Novel small molecule antagonists of NPBWR1 (GPR7) are herein reported. A high-throughput screening (HTS) of the Molecular Libraries-Small Molecule Repository library identified 5-chloro-4-(4-methoxyphenoxy)-2-(p-tolyl)pyridazin-3(2H)-one as a NPBWR1 hit antagonist with micromolar activity. Design, synthesis and structure–activity relationships study of the HTS-derived hit led to the identification of 5-chloro-2-(3,5-dimethylphenyl)-4-(4-methoxyphenoxy)pyridazin-3(2H)-one lead molecule with submicromolar antagonist activity at the target receptor and high selectivity against a panel of therapeutically relevant off-target proteins. This lead molecule may provide a pharmacological tool to clarify the molecular basis of the in vivo physiological function and therapeutic utility of NPBWR1 in diverse disease areas including inflammatory pain and eating disorders.
NPBWR1 (GPR7); Selective small molecule antagonists; Feeding behavior and energy homeostasis; Inflammatory pain
An alkaline polygalacturonate lyase (PGL) from Bacillus subtilis 7-3-3, PelC, with diverse depolymerization abilities for different pectin substrates was found. The PGL activity of PelC decreased with increasing degree of methyl esterification of the substrate. PelA and PelC displayed notable synergistic effects in the enzymatic degumming of ramie fibers. Gum loss rates increased by 62% when PelC was used to replace up to three-eighths of the PelA dose (PelC, 60 U g−1 ramie fibers). To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report the synergistic action of members of polysaccharide lyase families 1 and 3, represented by PelA and PelC, respectively. The present paper provides new insights into the improvement and production of enzymes used in enzymatic degumming.
Accumulating evidence implicates the relationship between neuroinflammation and pathogenesis in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (iPD). The nose has recently been considered a gate way to the brain which facilitates entry of environmental neurotoxin into the brain. Our study aims to build a PD model by a natural exposure route. In this report, we establish a new endotoxin-based PD model in mice by unilateral intranasal (i.n.) instillation of the lipopolysaccharides (LPS) every other day for 5 months. These mice display a progressive hypokinesia, selective loss of dopaminergic neurons, and reduction in striatal dopamine (DA) content, as well as α-synuclein aggregation in the SN, without systemic inflammatory and immune responses. This new PD model provides a tool for studying the inflammation-mediated chronic pathogenesis and searching for therapeutic intervention in glia-neuron pathway that will slow or halt neurodegeneration in PD.
Immunoregulatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) is elevated in sera from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) correlating with disease activity. The established association of IL10 with SLE and other autoimmune diseases led us to fine map causal variant(s) and to explore underlying mechanisms. We assessed 19 tag SNPs, covering the IL10 gene cluster including IL19, IL20 and IL24, for association with SLE in 15,533 case and control subjects from four ancestries. The previously reported IL10 variant, rs3024505 located at 1 kb downstream of IL10, exhibited the strongest association signal and was confirmed for association with SLE in European American (EA) (P = 2.7×10−8, OR = 1.30), but not in non-EA ancestries. SNP imputation conducted in EA dataset identified three additional SLE-associated SNPs tagged by rs3024505 (rs3122605, rs3024493 and rs3024495 located at 9.2 kb upstream, intron 3 and 4 of IL10, respectively), and SLE-risk alleles of these SNPs were dose-dependently associated with elevated levels of IL10 mRNA in PBMCs and circulating IL-10 protein in SLE patients and controls. Using nuclear extracts of peripheral blood cells from SLE patients for electrophoretic mobility shift assays, we identified specific binding of transcription factor Elk-1 to oligodeoxynucleotides containing the risk (G) allele of rs3122605, suggesting rs3122605 as the most likely causal variant regulating IL10 expression. Elk-1 is known to be activated by phosphorylation and nuclear localization to induce transcription. Of interest, phosphorylated Elk-1 (p-Elk-1) detected only in nuclear extracts of SLE PBMCs appeared to increase with disease activity. Co-expression levels of p-Elk-1 and IL-10 were elevated in SLE T, B cells and monocytes, associated with increased disease activity in SLE B cells, and were best downregulated by ERK inhibitor. Taken together, our data suggest that preferential binding of activated Elk-1 to the IL10 rs3122605-G allele upregulates IL10 expression and confers increased risk for SLE in European Americans.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a debilitating autoimmune disease characterized by the production of pathogenic autoantibodies, has a strong genetic basis. Variants of the IL10 gene, which encodes cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) with known function of promoting B cell hyperactivity and autoantibody production, are associated with SLE and other autoimmune diseases, and serum IL-10 levels are elevated in SLE patients correlating with increased disease activity. In this study, to discover SLE-predisposing causal variant(s), we assessed variants within the genomic region containing IL10 and its gene family member IL19, IL20 and IL24 for association with SLE in case and control subjects from diverse ancestries. We identified SLE-associated SNP rs3122605 located at 9.2 kb upstream of IL10 as the most likely causal variant in subjects of European ancestry. The SLE-risk allele of rs3122605 was dose-dependently associated with elevated IL10 expression at both mRNA and protein levels in peripheral blood samples from SLE patients and controls, which could be explained, at least in part, by its preferential binding to Elk-1, a transcription factor activated in B cells during active disease of SLE patients. Elk-1-mediated IL-10 overexpression could be downregulated by inhibiting activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases, suggesting a potential therapeutic target for SLE.
The role of many genes and interactions among genes involved in flowering time have been studied extensively in Arabidopsis, and the purpose of this study was to investigate how effectively results obtained with the model species Arabidopsis can be applied to the Brassicacea with often larger and more complex genomes. Brassica rapa represents a very close relative, with its triplicated genome, with subgenomes having evolved by genome fractionation. The question of whether this genome fractionation is a random process, or whether specific genes are preferentially retained, such as flowering time (Ft) genes that play a role in the extreme morphological variation within the B. rapa species (displayed by the diverse morphotypes), is addressed. Data are presented showing that indeed Ft genes are preferentially retained, so the next intriguing question is whether these different orthologues of Arabidopsis Ft genes play similar roles compared with Arabidopsis, and what is the role of these different orthologues in B. rapa. Using a genetical–genomics approach, co-location of flowering quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and expression QTLs (eQTLs) resulted in identification of candidate genes for flowering QTLs and visualization of co-expression networks of Ft genes and flowering time. A major flowering QTL on A02 at the BrFLC2 locus co-localized with cis eQTLs for BrFLC2, BrSSR1, and BrTCP11, and trans eQTLs for the photoperiod gene BrCO and two paralogues of the floral integrator genes BrSOC1 and BrFT. It is concluded that the BrFLC2 Ft gene is a major regulator of flowering time in the studied doubled haploid population.
Brassica rapa; candidate gene mapping; expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL); FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC).; flowering time; gene expression networks; genome triplication.
Cancer treatment-related bone loss has become growing problematic, especially in breast and prostate cancer treated with hormone/endocrine therapy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. However, bone loss caused by targeted therapy in cancer patients is largely unknown yet. In present study, a kinase inhibitors screen was applied for MC3T3-E1, a murine osteoprogenitor cell line, and seven kinase inhibitors (GSK1838705A, PF-04691502, Dasatinib, Masitinib, GDC-0941, XL880 and Everolimus) were found to suppress the cell viability with dose- and time-dependent manner. The most interesting is that many kinase inhibitors (such as lapatinib, erlotinib and sunitinib) can promote MC3T3-E1 cell proliferation at 0.01 μM. 4 out of 7 inhibitors were selected to perform the functional study and found that they lead to cell cycle dysregulation, treatments of PF-04691502 (AKT inhibitor), Dasatinib (Src inhibitor) and Everolimus (mTOR inhibitor) lead to G1 arrest of MC3T3-E1 cells via downregulation of cyclin D1 and p-AKT, whereas XL880 (MET and VEGFR inhibitor) treatment results in increase of sub-G1 and G2/M phase by upregulation of p53 protein. Our work provides important indications for the comprehensive care of cancer patients treated with some targeted drugs.
Cancer treatment-related bone loss; kinases inhibitors screening; osteoprogenitor cells
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of recombinant human adenovirus p53 (rAd-p53; Gendicine) transfection and radiation at various time points following transfection. Cytotoxic effects and p53 protein expression levels were analyzed. rAd-p53 containing the human wild-type p53 gene was introduced into the human lung adenocarcinoma cell line A549, and cells were irradiated with a single dose of 6 MeV 4 Gy β rays. According to the time interval between rAd-p53 transfection and radiotherapy (RT), A549-transfected rAd-p53 cells were divided into 5 groups: radiation administered immediately after transfection (0 h-RT) group, after 3 h group (3 h-RT), after 6 h group (6 h-RT), after 24 h group (24 h-RT) and after 48 h group (48 h-RT). Cells with rAd-p53 transfection alone (Ad-p53) and with empty adenovirus (Ad) were included as the two control groups. Following 72 h of transfection, cell viability and growth were analyzed using MTT assays and flow cytometry, and p53 protein expression was analyzed using western blot analysis. From 0 h-RT to 48 h-RT, cell viability gradually decreased, while percentage of apoptotic cells and p53 protein expression gradually increased. The cell viability suppression rates in the 6 h-RT, 24 h-RT and 48 h-RT groups were 56.7±5.4, 60.8±6.0 and 68.9±6.6, respectively, which were significantly greater compared to that of the Ad-p53 (40.8±4.7), 0 h-RT (45.0±3.5) and 3 h-RT groups (47.0±4.3). No statistically significant differences were observed in the cell viability suppression rates among the 6 h-RT, 24 h-RT and 48 h-RT groups (P>0.05). Similar changes were observed in the percentage of apoptotic cells. The p53 protein expression level in the 6 h-RT group (0.856±0.092) was higher compared to that in the 3 h-RT group (0.643±0.089) (t=2.882; P=0.045), but not significantly different from that of the 24 h-RT group (1.193±0.202). The cell viability suppression rate and percentage of apoptotic cells was positively correlated with p53 protein expression in the A549 cells (P<0.05). Radiation may inhibit or damage p53 protein expression at the early stage of rAd-p53 transfection. To sensitize tumor cells to irradiation and achieve maximal cytotoxic effects, it is recommended to conduct RT at least 6 h following transfection with rAd-p53.
adenovirus p53; radiation therapy; gene therapy
Serum amyloid A protein (SAA) is both an inflammatory factor and an apolipoprotein. However, the relation between genetic polymorphisms of SAA and cerebral infarction (CI) remains unclear.
Methods and results
The previously reported 4 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (rs12218, rs4638289, rs7131332, and rs11603089) of SAA1 gene were genotyped by TaqMan method in a case–control study including 287 cerebral infarction patients and 376 control subjects. We found rs12218 CC genotype and rs7131332 AA genotype were more frequent among CI patients than among controls (9.76% versus 3.19%, P = 0.001; 32.75% versus 24.20%; p = 0.017; respectively). After adjustment of confounding factors such as sex, age, smoking, drinking, hypertension, diabetes, and lipids profile, the difference remained significant in rs12218 (P < 0.01, OR = 2.106, 95% CI: 1.811–7.121).
Genetic polymorphism of SAA1 may be a genetic maker of cerebral infarction in Chinese.
Genetic polymorphisms; Serum amyloid A; Cerebral infarction
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is an important public health problem in mainland China. HFRS is particularly endemic in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province, with one of the highest incidences in China. The occurrence of HFRS is influenced by environmental factors. However, few studies have examined the relationship between environmental variation (such as land use changes and climate variations), rodents and HFRS occurrence. The purpose of this study is to predict the distribution of HFRS and identify the risk factors and relationship between HFRS occurrence and rodent hosts, combining ecological modeling with the Markov chain Monte Carlo approach.
Ecological niche models (ENMs) were used to evaluate potential geographic distributions of rodent species by reconstructing details of their ecological niches in ecological dimensions, and projecting the results onto geography. The Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Production was used to produce ENMs. Data were collected on HFRS cases in Changsha from 2005 to 2009, as well as national land survey data, surveillance data of rodents, meteorological data and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI).
The highest occurrence of HFRS was in districts with strong temperature seasonality, where elevation is below 200 m, mean annual temperature is around 17.5°C, and annual precipitation is below 1600 mm. Cultivated and urban lands in particular are associated with HFRS occurrence. Monthly NDVI values of areas predicted present is lower than areas predicted absent, with high seasonal variation. The number of HFRS cases was correlated with rodent density, and the incidence of HFRS cases in urban and forest areas was mainly associated with the density of Rattus norvegicus and Apodemus agrarius, respectively.
Heterogeneity between different areas shows that HFRS occurrence is affected by the intensity of human activity, climate conditions, and landscape elements. Rodent density and species composition have significant impacts on the number of HFRS cases and their distribution.
AIM: To assess the value of enlarged perihepatic lymph nodes in determining hepatic histopathology for chronic hepatitis B (CHB) by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
METHODS: Sixty-seven patients who were clinically and histologically diagnosed with CHB and 18 healthy subjects without history of liver disease underwent abdominal MRI. Histological diagnosis and hepatic inflammation (grade 0-4) and fibrosis (stage 0-4) were assessed by a simplified system for scoring in chronic viral hepatitis. The major imaging protocol included an axial breath-hold fat suppressed fast spoiled gradient echo T2-weighted imaging (T2WI), axial breath-trigger fat suppressed fast recovery fast spin echo T2WI, and axial and coronal fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition. Perihepatic lymph nodes larger than 5 mm in shortest diameter were noted.
RESULTS: The numbers and size indexes of lymph nodes greater than 5 mm in shortest diameter in hepatic hilum suggested inflammatory activity for subjects with grade 2 or higher, with a high accuracy of diagnosis (the area under the curves > 0.9, P < 0.001). The numbers of lymph nodes were 2 or more with a sensitivity of 87.27%, a specificity of 90.00%, an accuracy of 88.24%, a positive predictive value of 94.12%, and a negative predictive value of 79.41% in patients with grade 2 or higher, and the size indexes were no less than 180 mm2 with a sensitivity of 83.64%, a specificity of 100%, an accuracy of 89.41%, a positive predictive value of 100%, and a negative predictive value of 76.92%. The numbers and size indexes of lymph nodes were not correlated with hepatic fibrosis. The signal intensity indexes of lymph nodes were no significant correlation with histological grading or staging of liver.
CONCLUSION: The numbers and size indexes of enlarged perihepatic lymph nodes for patients with CHB suggest inflammatory activity for subjects with grade 2 or higher.
Chronic hepatitis B; Magnetic resonance imaging; Lymph nodes; Histopathology; Inflammatory activity
AIM: To study the effect and tolerance of intraperitoneal perfusion of cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells in combination with local radio frequency (RF) hyperthermia in patients with advanced primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: Patients with advanced primary HCC were included in this study. CIK cells were perfused intraperitoneal twice a week, using 3.2 × 109 to 3.6 × 109 cells each session. Local RF hyperthermia was performed 2 h after intraperitoneal perfusion. Following an interval of one month, the next course of treatment was administered. Patients received treatment until disease progression. Tumor size, immune indices (CD3+, CD4+, CD3+CD8+, CD3+CD56+), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level, abdominal circumference and adverse events were recorded. Time to progression and overall survival (OS) were calculated.
RESULTS: From June 2010 to July 2011, 31 patients diagnosed with advanced primary HCC received intraperitoneal perfusion of CIK cells in combination with local RF hyperthermia in our study. Patients received an average of 4.2 ± 0.6 treatment courses (range, 1-8 courses). Patients were followed up for 8.3 ± 0.7 mo (range, 2-12 mo). Following combination treatment, CD4+, CD3+CD8+ and CD3+CD56+ cells increased from 35.78% ± 3.51%, 24.61% ± 4.19% and 5.94% ± 0.87% to 45.83% ± 2.48% (P = 0.016), 39.67% ± 3.38% (P = 0.008) and 10.72% ± 0.67% (P = 0.001), respectively. AFP decreased from 167.67 ± 22.44 to 99.89 ± 22.05 ng/mL (P = 0.001) and abdominal circumference decreased from 97.50 ± 3.45 cm to 87.17 ± 4.40 cm (P = 0.002). The disease control rate was 67.7%. The most common adverse events were low fever and slight abdominal erubescence, which resolved without treatment. The median time to progression was 6.1 mo. The 3-, 6- and 9-mo and 1-year survival rates were 93.5%, 77.4%, 41.9% and 17.4%, respectively. The median OS was 8.5 mo.
CONCLUSION: Intraperitoneal perfusion of CIK cells in combination with local RF hyperthermia is safe, can efficiently improve immunological status, and may prolong survival in HCC patients.
Cytokine-induced killer cell; Radio frequency hyperthermia; Primary hepatocellular carcinoma; Intraperitoneal perfusion; Clinical observation
Deregulated Wnt/β-catenin signaling underlies the pathogenesis of a broad range of human cancers, yet the development of targeted therapies to disrupt the aberrant transcription has proven difficult because the pathway incorporates large protein interaction surfaces and regulates many homeostatic functions. Therefore, we have directed our efforts toward blocking the interaction with BCL9, a co-activator for β-catenin-mediated transcription that is highly expressed in tumors but not in the cells of origin. BCL9 drives β-catenin signaling through direct binding mediated by its α-helical homology domain-2. We developed a Stabilized Alpha-Helix of BCL9 (SAH-BCL9), which we show targets β-catenin, dissociates native β-catenin/BCL9 complexes, selectively suppresses Wnt transcription, and exhibits mechanism-based anti-tumor effects. SAH-BCL9 also suppresses tumor growth, angiogenesis, invasion, and metastasis in mouse xenograft models of Colo-320 colorectal carcinoma and INA-6 multiple myeloma. By inhibiting the BCL9/β-catenin interaction and selectively suppressing oncogenic Wnt transcription, SAH-BCL9 may serve as a novel prototype therapy for cancers driven by deregulated Wnt signaling.
Wnt signaling; transcriptional activity; cancer; BCL9; B9L; stabilized alpha-helices; stapled peptides; metastasis; angiogenesis
The origin of extraordinarily rich biodiversity in tropical forests is often attributed to evolution under stable climatic conditions over a long period or to climatic fluctuations during the recent Quaternary period. Here, we test these two hypotheses using Dracaena cambodiana, a plant species distributed in paleotropical forests.
We analyzed nucleotide sequence data of two chloroplast DNA (cpDNA: atpB-rbcL and trnD-trnT) regions and genotype data of six nuclear microsatellites from 15 populations (140 and 363 individuals, respectively) distributed in Indochina Peninsular and Hainan Island to infer the patterns of genetic diversity and phylogeographic structure. The population bottleneck and genetic drift were estimated based upon nuclear microsatellites data using the software programs BOTTLENECK and 2MOD. The lineage divergence times and past population dynamics based on cpDNA data were estimated using coalescent-based isolation-with-migration (IMa) and BEAST software programs.
A significant phylogeographic structure (NST = 0.876, GST = 0.796, FST-SSR = 0.329, RST = 0.449; NST>GST, RST>FST-SSR, P<0.05) and genetic differentiation among populations were detected. Bottleneck analyses and Bayesian skyline plot suggested recent population reduction. The cpDNA haplotype network revealed the ancestral populations from the southern Indochina region expanded to northward. The most recent ancestor divergence time of D. cambodiana dated back to the Tertiary era and rapid diversification of terminal lineages corresponded to the Quaternary period.
The results indicated that the present distribution of genetic diversity in D. cambodiana was an outcome of Tertiary dispersal and rapid divergence during the Quaternary period under limited gene flow influenced by the uplift of Himalayan-Tibetan Plateau and Quaternary climatic fluctuations respectively. Evolutionary processes, such as extinction-recolonization during the Pleistocene may have contributed to the fast diversification in D. cambodiana.
Enzymatic degumming, as an alternative to chemical processing, has attracted wide attention. However, to date, little information about other enzyme components with effective degumming except pectinase has been reported, and there is no report about the effect of bleaching agent (H2O2) on enzymatic degumming and combining enzymatic degumming and H2O2 bleaching process. In this study, we found that the crude enzyme of wild-type Bacillus sp. Y1 had a powerful and fast degumming ability. Its PGL activity was the highest at pH 9.6–10.0 and 60°C and stable at pH 7–10.5 and 30–50°C, having a wide scope of pH and temperature. Its PGL also had a high H2O2 tolerance, and the gum loss and brightness of fibers could be significantly improved when H2O2 was added into it for degumming. The synergistic action was also found between it and H2O2 on the degumming and bleaching of ramie fibers. All showed that it was very suitable for a joint process of enzymatic degumming and H2O2 bleaching. It also contained more proteins compared with a control pectinase, and its high protease content was further substantiated as a factor for effective degumming. Protease and pectinase also had a synergistic action on degumming.
The Xq28 region containing IRAK1 and MECP2 has been identified as a risk locus for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in previous genetic association studies. However, due to the strong linkage disequilibrium between IRAK1 and MECP2, it remains unclear which gene is affected by the underlying causal variant(s) conferring risk of SLE.
We fine-mapped ≥136 SNPs in a ~227kb region on Xq28, containing IRAK1, MECP2 and 7 adjacent genes (L1CAM, AVPR2, ARHGAP4, NAA10, RENBP, HCFC1 and TMEM187), for association with SLE in 15,783 case-control subjects derived from 4 different ancestral groups.
Multiple SNPs showed strong association with SLE in European Americans, Asians and Hispanics at P<5×10−8 with consistent association in subjects with African ancestry. Of these, 6 SNPs located in the TMEM187-IRAK1-MECP2 region captured the underlying causal variant(s) residing in a common risk haplotype shared by all 4 ancestral groups. Among them, rs1059702 best explained the Xq28 association signals in conditional testings and exhibited the strongest P value in trans-ancestral meta-analysis (Pmeta=1.3×10−27, OR=1.43), and thus was considered to be the most-likely causal variant. The risk allele of rs1059702 results in the amino acid substitution S196F in IRAK1 and had previously been shown to increase NF-κB activity in vitro. We also found that the homozygous risk genotype of rs1059702 was associated with lower mRNA levels of MECP2, but not IRAK1, in SLE patients (P=0.0012) and healthy controls (P=0.0064).
These data suggest contributions of both IRAK1 and MECP2 to SLE susceptibility.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Gene Polymorphism; Xq28; IRAK1; MECP2
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and complex neurodegenerative disease in which the γ-secretase-mediated amyloid-β (Aβ) pathology plays an important role. We found that a multifunctional protein, β-arrestin1, facilitated the formation of NCT/APH-1 (anterior pharynx-defective phenotype 1) precomplex and mature γ-secretase complex through its functional interaction with APH-1. Deficiency of β-arrestin1 or inhibition of binding of β-arrestin1 with APH-1 by small peptides reduced Aβ production without affecting Notch processing. Genetic ablation of β-arrestin1 diminished Aβ pathology and behavioral deficits in transgenic AD mice. Moreover, in brains of sporadic AD patients and transgenic AD mice, the expression of β-arrestin1 was upregulated and correlated well with neuropathological severity and senile Aβ plaques. Thus, our study identifies a regulatory mechanism underlying both γ-secretase assembly and AD pathogenesis, and indicates that specific reduction of Aβ pathology can be achieved by regulation of the γ-secretase assembly.
Alzheimer's disease; β-arrestin1; APH-1; γ-secretase
We previously reported that the G allele of rs3853839 at 3′untranslated region (UTR) of Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) was associated with elevated transcript expression and increased risk for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in 9,274 Eastern Asians [P = 6.5×10−10, odds ratio (OR) (95%CI) = 1.27 (1.17–1.36)]. Here, we conducted trans-ancestral fine-mapping in 13,339 subjects including European Americans, African Americans, and Amerindian/Hispanics and confirmed rs3853839 as the only variant within the TLR7-TLR8 region exhibiting consistent and independent association with SLE (Pmeta = 7.5×10−11, OR = 1.24 [1.18–1.34]). The risk G allele was associated with significantly increased levels of TLR7 mRNA and protein in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and elevated luciferase activity of reporter gene in transfected cells. TLR7 3′UTR sequence bearing the non-risk C allele of rs3853839 matches a predicted binding site of microRNA-3148 (miR-3148), suggesting that this microRNA may regulate TLR7 expression. Indeed, miR-3148 levels were inversely correlated with TLR7 transcript levels in PBMCs from SLE patients and controls (R2 = 0.255, P = 0.001). Overexpression of miR-3148 in HEK-293 cells led to significant dose-dependent decrease in luciferase activity for construct driven by TLR7 3′UTR segment bearing the C allele (P = 0.0003). Compared with the G-allele construct, the C-allele construct showed greater than two-fold reduction of luciferase activity in the presence of miR-3148. Reduced modulation by miR-3148 conferred slower degradation of the risk G-allele containing TLR7 transcripts, resulting in elevated levels of gene products. These data establish rs3853839 of TLR7 as a shared risk variant of SLE in 22,613 subjects of Asian, EA, AA, and Amerindian/Hispanic ancestries (Pmeta = 2.0×10−19, OR = 1.25 [1.20–1.32]), which confers allelic effect on transcript turnover via differential binding to the epigenetic factor miR-3148.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a debilitating autoimmune disease contributed to by excessive innate immune activation involving toll-like receptors (TLRs, particularly TLR7/8/9) and type I interferon (IFN) signaling pathways. TLR7 responds against RNA–containing nuclear antigens and activates IFN-α pathway, playing a pivotal role in the development of SLE. While a genomic duplication of Tlr7 promotes lupus-like disease in the Y-linked autoimmune accelerator (Yaa) murine model, the lack of common copy number variations at TLR7 in humans led us to identify a functional single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs3853839 at 3′ UTR of the TLR7 gene, associated with SLE susceptibility in Eastern Asians. In this study, we fine-mapped the TLR7-TLR8 region and confirmed rs3853839 exhibiting the strongest association with SLE in European Americans, African Americans, and Amerindian/Hispanics. Individuals carrying the risk G allele of rs3853839 exhibited increased TLR7 expression at the both mRNA and protein level and decreased transcript degradation. MicroRNA-3148 (miR-3148) downregulated the expression of non-risk allele (C) containing transcripts preferentially, suggesting a likely mechanism for increased TLR7 levels in risk-allele carriers. This trans-ancestral mapping provides evidence for the global association with SLE risk at rs3853839, which resides in a microRNA–gene regulatory site affecting TLR7 expression.
Aberrant cellular responses to pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, are pathogenic features in most chronic inflammatory diseases. A variety of extracellular and intracellular feedback pathways have evolved to prevent an inappropriate cellular reaction to these pro-inflammatory cytokines. Here, we report that TNF-α treatment of human and mouse cholangiocytes and hepatocytes downregulated expression of p300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF), a co-activator and an acetyltransferase that promotes histone acetylation and gene transcription. Of these upregulated microRNAs (miRNAs) in TNF-α-treated cells, miR-181a/b (miR-181a and miR-181b) suppressed translation of PCAF mRNA. Functional manipulation of miR-181a/b caused reciprocal alterations in PCAF protein expression in cultured cholangiocytes and hepatocytes. Inhibition of miR-181a/b function with anti-miRs blocked TNF-α-induced suppression of PCAF expression. Promoter recruitment of PCAF was shown to be associated with TNF-α-induced transcription of inflammatory genes. Intriguingly, pretreatment of cells with TNF-α inhibited transcription of inflammatory genes in response to subsequent TNF-α stimulation. Overexpression of PCAF or inhibition of miR-181a/b function with anti-miRs attenuated the inhibitory effects of TNF-α pretreatment on epithelial inflammatory response to subsequent TNF-α stimulation. Downregulation of PCAF and the inhibitory effects of TNF-α pretreatment on liver epithelial inflammatory response were further confirmed in a mouse model of TNF-α intraperitoneal injection. These data suggest that PCAF is a target for miR-181a/b, and downregulation of PCAF by TNF-α provides negative feedback regulation to inflammatory reactions in liver epithelial cells, a process that may be relevant to the epigenetic fine-tuning of epithelial inflammatory processes in general.
miRNAs; PCAF; Negative feedback; Epithelial cells; Inflammation; TNF-α
MicroRNAs are short regulatory RNAs that negatively modulate protein expression at a post-transcriptional and/or translational level and are deeply involved in the pathogenesis of several types of cancers. Specifically, microRNA-221 (miR-221) is overexpressed in many human cancers, wherein accumulating evidence indicates that it functions as an oncogene. However, the function of miR-221 in human osteosarcoma has not been totally elucidated. In the present study, the effects of miR-221 on osteosarcoma and the possible mechanism by which miR-221 affected the survival, apoptosis, and cisplatin resistance of osteosarcoma were investigated.
Real-time quantitative PCR analysis revealed miR-221 was significantly upregulated in osteosarcoma cell lines than in osteoblasts. Both human osteosarcoma cell lines SOSP-9607 and MG63 were transfected with miR-221 mimic or inhibitor to regulate miR-221 expression. The effects of miR-221 were then assessed by cell viability, cell cycle analysis, apoptosis assay, and cisplatin resistance assay. In both cells, upregulation of miR-221 induced cell survival and cisplatin resistance and reduced cell apoptosis. In addition, knockdown of miR-221 inhibited cell growth and cisplatin resistance and induced cell apoptosis. Potential target genes of miR-221 were predicted using bioinformatics. Moreover, luciferase reporter assay and western blot confirmed that PTEN was a direct target of miR-221. Furthermore, introduction of PTEN cDNA lacking 3′-UTR or PI3K inhibitor LY294002 abrogated miR-221-induced cisplatin resistance. Finally, both miR-221 and PTEN expression levels in osteosarcoma samples were examined by using real-time quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry. High miR-221 expression level and inverse correlation between miR-221 and PTEN levels were revealed in osteosarcoma tissues.
These results for the first time demonstrate that upregulation of miR-221 induces the malignant phenotype of human osteosarcoma whereas knockdown of miR-221 reverses this phenotype, suggesting that miR-221 could be a potential target for osteosarcoma treatment.
This updated meta-analysis was conducted to assess the association between coffee consumption and breast cancer risk.
We conducted a systematic search updated July 2012 to identify observational studies providing quantitative estimates for breast cancer risk in relation to coffee consumption. Pooled relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using a random-effects model, and generalized least square trend estimation was used to assess dose–response relationships.
A total of 26 studies (16 cohort and 10 case–control studies) on coffee intake with 49497 breast cancer cases were included in the meta-analysis. The pooled RR showed a borderline significant influence of highest coffee consumption (RR = 0.96; 95% CI 0.93–1.00), low-to moderate coffee consumption (RR = 0.99; 95% CI 0.95–1.04), or an increment of 2 cups/day of coffee consumption (RR = 0.98; 95% CI 0.97–1.00) on the risk of breast cancer. In stratified analysis, a significant inverse association was observed in ER-negative subgroup. However, no significant association was noted in the others.
Our findings suggest that increased coffee intake is not associated with a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer, but we observe an inverse association in ER-negative subgroup analysis. More large studies are needed to determine subgroups to obtain more valuable data on coffee drinking and breast cancer risk.
High affinity and selective small molecule agonists of the S1P4 receptor (S1P4-R) may have significant therapeutic utility in diverse disease areas including autoimmune diseases, viral infections and thrombocytopenia. A high-throughput screening (HTS) of the Molecular Libraries-Small Molecule Repository library identified 3-(2-(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)ethoxy)-6-methyl-2-nitropyridine as a moderately potent and selective S1P4-R hit agonist. Design, synthesis and systematic structure-activity relationships study of the HTS-derived hit led to the development of novel potent S1P4-R agonists exquisitely selective over the remaining S1P1–3,5–Rs family members. Remarkably, the molecules herein reported provide novel pharmacological tools to decipher the biological function and assess the therapeutic utility of the S1P4–R.
S1P4 receptor; selective small molecule S1P4–R agonists; autoimmune diseases; viral infections; thrombocytopenia
Background and Aim: Neutropenia is a serious adverse event for patients who are treated with cetuximab, an inhibitor of endothelial growth factor receptor. However, there is no consistent result of the relationship between cetuximab and neutropenia in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). We did a systematic review and meta-analysis of published RCTs to assess the overall risk of neutropenia associated with cetuximab.
Methods: PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, EMBASE, and American Society of Clinical Oncology conferences were searched for relevant RCTs. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were carried out to evaluate the association between neutropenia and cetuximab. Both the fixed-effect model and random-effects model were used.
Results: A total of 7186 patients with a variety of advanced cancers from 14 trials were included in our analysis. The overall incidence of neutropenia in patients receiving cetuximab was 33% (95% CI 26, 43). Patients treated with cetuximab had a significantly increased risk of neutropenia compared with patients treated with control medication, with a relative risk (RR) of 1.12 (95% CI 1.05, 1.19; fixed-effect model). Risk varied with tumor type. Higher risks were observed in patients with colorectal carcinoma (RR 1.17; 95% CI 1.04, 1.32; fixed-effect model) and non-small cell lung cancer (RR 1.07; 95% CI 0.99, 1.16; fixed-effect model).
Conclusion: Cetuximab is associated with a significant risk of neutropenia in patients with advanced cancer receiving concurrent chemotherapy.