Members of the family Trypanosomatidae infect many organisms, including animals, plants and humans. Plant-infecting trypanosomes are grouped under the single genus Phytomonas, failing to reflect the wide biological and pathological diversity of these protists. While some Phytomonas spp. multiply in the latex of plants, or in fruit or seeds without apparent pathogenicity, others colonize the phloem sap and afflict plants of substantial economic value, including the coffee tree, coconut and oil palms. Plant trypanosomes have not been studied extensively at the genome level, a major gap in understanding and controlling pathogenesis. We describe the genome sequences of two plant trypanosomatids, one pathogenic isolate from a Guianan coconut and one non-symptomatic isolate from Euphorbia collected in France. Although these parasites have extremely distinct pathogenic impacts, very few genes are unique to either, with the vast majority of genes shared by both isolates. Significantly, both Phytomonas spp. genomes consist essentially of single copy genes for the bulk of their metabolic enzymes, whereas other trypanosomatids e.g. Leishmania and Trypanosoma possess multiple paralogous genes or families. Indeed, comparison with other trypanosomatid genomes revealed a highly streamlined genome, encoding for a minimized metabolic system while conserving the major pathways, and with retention of a full complement of endomembrane organelles, but with no evidence for functional complexity. Identification of the metabolic genes of Phytomonas provides opportunities for establishing in vitro culturing of these fastidious parasites and new tools for the control of agricultural plant disease.
Some plant trypanosomes, single-celled organisms living in phloem sap, are responsible for important palm diseases, inducing frequent expensive and toxic insecticide treatments against their insect vectors. Other trypanosomes multiply in latex tubes without detriment to their host. Despite the wide range of behaviors and impacts, these trypanosomes have been rather unceremoniously lumped into a single genus: Phytomonas. A battery of molecular probes has been used for their characterization but no clear phylogeny or classification has been established. We have sequenced the genomes of a pathogenic phloem-specific Phytomonas from a diseased South American coconut palm and a latex-specific isolate collected from an apparently healthy wild euphorb in the south of France. Upon comparison with each other and with human pathogenic trypanosomes, both Phytomonas revealed distinctive compact genomes, consisting essentially of single-copy genes, with the vast majority of genes shared by both isolates irrespective of their effect on the host. A strong cohort of enzymes in the sugar metabolism pathways was consistent with the nutritional environments found in plants. The genetic nuances may reveal the basis for the behavioral differences between these two unique plant parasites, and indicate the direction of our future studies in search of effective treatment of the crop disease parasites.
Lentiviral vectors (LVs) are being developed for clinical use in humans for applications including gene therapy and immunotherapy. A safety concern for use of LVs in humans is the generation of replication-competent lentivirus (RCL), which may arise due to recombination between the split genomes of third-generation LVs. Although no RCL has been detected to date, design optimizations that minimize recombination events between split genome vectors would provide an added safety benefit that may further reduce the risk of RCL formation. Here we describe design elements introduced to the gag/pol plasmid with the intention of eliminating psi-gag recombination between the vector genome and gag/pol. These design changes, consisting of codon optimization of the gag/pol sequence and the deletion of the Rev-responsive element, abrogate the requirement for Rev in expression of Gag protein, thus the resulting gag/pol construct being Rev independent (RI gag/pol). We show that generating vector using the RI gag/pol construct has no effect on particle production or transduction titers. The RI and wild-type gag/pol vectors function equivalently as antigen-specific immunotherapy, potently inducing antigen-specific CD8 T cells that protect against challenge with vaccinia virus. Most importantly, the designed RI gag/pol eliminated detectable psi-gag recombination. Interestingly, we detected recombination between the vector genome and gag/pol from regions without sequence homology. Our findings imply that although unpredictable recombination events may still occur, the RI gag/pol design is sufficient to prevent psi-gag recombination.
gene therapy; immunotherapy; retrovirus; viral vectors
Public repositories for proteomics data have accelerated proteomics research by enabling more efficient cross-analyses of datasets, supporting the creation of protein and peptide compendia of experimental results, supporting the development and testing of new software tools, and facilitating the manuscript review process. The repositories available to date have been designed to accommodate either shotgun experiments or generic proteomic data files. Here, we describe a new kind of proteomic data repository for the collection and representation of data from selected reaction monitoring (SRM) measurements. The PeptideAtlas SRM Experiment Library (PASSEL) allows researchers to easily submit proteomic data sets generated by SRM. The raw data are automatically processed in a uniform manner and the results are stored in a database, where they may be downloaded or browsed via a web interface that includes a chromatogram viewer. PASSEL enables cross-analysis of SRM data, supports optimization of SRM data collection, and facilitates the review process of SRM data. Further, PASSEL will help in the assessment of proteotypic peptide performance in a wide array of samples containing the same peptide, as well as across multiple experimental protocols.
data repository; MRM; software; SRM; targeted proteomics
Non-contagious, chronic disease has been identified as a global health risk. Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking, alcohol, drug and solvent abuse, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet have been identified as important factors affecting the increasing incidence of chronic disease. The following focuses on the circumstance affecting the lifestyle or behavioral choices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in remote-/very remote Australia. Poor behavioral choices are the result of endogenous characteristics that are influenced by a range of stressful exogenous variables making up the psychosocial determinants including social disenfranchisement, cultural loss, insurmountable tasks, the loss of volitional control and resource constraints. It is shown that poor behavioral choices can be economically rational; especially under highly stressful conditions. Stressful circumstances erode individual capacity to commit to long-term positive health alternatives such as self-investment in education. Policies directed at removing the impediments and providing incentives to behaviors involving better health choices can lead to reductions in smoking and alcohol consumption and improved health outcomes. Multijurisdictional culturally acceptable policies directed at distal variables relating to the psychosocial determinants of health and personal mastery and control can be cost effective. While the content of this paper is focused on the conditions of colonized peoples, it has broader relevance.
smoking; alcohol abuse; health; behavioral choice; psychosocial determinants; human capital
Helicobacter pylori infection is acquired in early childhood and persists for life (or until eradication treatment is taken). Seropositivity of H. pylori at age 49-51 years was assessed in relation to socio-economic deprivation in early life and the timing of other childhood infections common at that time.
Prospectively collected socio-economic and morbidity data from the Newcastle Thousand Families study, a birth cohort established in 1947. H. pylori IgG seropositivity was assessed at 49-51 years and examined in relation to both whether the individual had been diagnosed with one of measles, mumps or chicken pox, and, if so, the age at first infection. This was done in logistic regression models, allowing adjustment for socio-economic status and housing quality in childhood.
Adult H. pylori status was strongly linked to disadvantaged socio-economic status in early life (p ≤ 0.002), unlike measles, mumps and chicken pox which showed no associations. Early measles infection was independently associated with H. pylori seropositivity (p = 0.01).
Of the four infectious diseases that we have studied, it appears that H. pylori differs from the others by the strength of association with socio economic deprivation in early childhood.
Our findings further highlight the complex interaction between measles, childhood infections and other non-microbiological factors that occur within a whole population. These data suggest a strong association between H. pylori and deprivation and raise the possibility of an interaction between early measles exposure and increased risk of exposure to H. pylori infection.
Helicobacter pylori; Socio-economic status; Measles; Chicken pox; Mumps
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a central regulator of tumor progression in human cancers. Cetuximab is an anti-EGFR antibody that has been approved for use in oncology. Previously we investigated mechanisms of resistance to cetuximab using a model derived from the non-small cell lung cancer line NCI-H226. We demonstrated that cetuximab-resistant clones (CtxR) had increased nuclear localization of the EGFR. This process was mediated by Src family kinases (SFK), and nuclear EGFR played a role in resistance to cetuximab. To better understand SFK mediated nuclear translocation of EGFR, we investigated which SFK member(s) controlled this process as well as the EGFR tyrosine residues that are involved. Analyses of mRNA and protein expression indicated up-regulation of the SFK members Yes and Lyn in all CtxR clones. Further, immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that EGFR interacts with Yes and Lyn in CtxR clones, but not in cetuximab-sensitive (CtxS) parental cells. Using RNAi interference, we found that knockdown of either Yes or Lyn led to loss of EGFR translocation to the nucleus. Conversely, overexpression of Yes or Lyn in low nuclear EGFR expressing CtxS parental cells led to increased nuclear EGFR. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays confirmed nuclear EGFR complexes associated with the promoter of the known EGFR target genes B-Myb and iNOS. Further, all CtxR clones exhibited up-regulation of B-Myb and iNOS at the mRNA and protein levels. siRNAs directed at Yes or Lyn led to decreased binding of EGFR complexes to the B-Myb and iNOS promoters based on ChIP analyses. SFKs have been shown to phosphorylate EGFR on tyrosines 845 and 1101 (Y845 and Y1101) and mutation of Y1101, but not Y845, impaired nuclear entry of the EGFR. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that Yes and Lyn phosphorylate EGFR at Y1101 which influences EGFR nuclear translocation in this model of cetuximab resistance.
nuclear EGFR; SFK; Yes; Lyn
Many pharmaceuticals used to treat cancer target the cell cycle or mitotic spindle dynamics, such as the anti-tumor drug, paclitaxel, which stabilizes microtubules. Here we show that, in cells arrested in mitosis with the spindle toxins, nocodazole, or paclitaxel, the endogenous protein phosphatase 4 (Ppp4) complex Ppp4c-R2-R3A is phosphorylated on its regulatory (R) subunits, and its activity is inhibited. The phosphorylations are blocked by roscovitine, indicating that they may be mediated by Cdk1-cyclin B. Endogenous Ppp4c is enriched at the centrosomes in the absence and presence of paclitaxel, nocodazole, or roscovitine, and the activity of endogenous Ppp4c-R2-R3A is inhibited from G1/S to the G2/M phase of the cell cycle. Endogenous γ-tubulin and its associated protein, γ-tubulin complex protein 2, both of which are essential for nucleation of microtubules at centrosomes, interact with the Ppp4 complex. Recombinant γ-tubulin can be phosphorylated by Cdk1-cyclin B or Brsk1 and dephosphorylated by Ppp4c-R2-R3A in vitro. The data indicate that Ppp4c-R2-R3A regulates microtubule organization at centrosomes during cell division in response to stress signals such as spindle toxins, paclitaxel, and nocodazole, and that inhibition of the Ppp4 complex may be advantageous for treatment of some cancers.
Cdk1; cell cycle; centrosome; nocodazole; paclitaxel; protein phosphatase 4; γ-tubulin
Despite the increasing popularity of Student-Run Clinics (SRCs) in Canada, there is little existing literature exploring their role within the Canadian healthcare system. Generalizing American literature to Canadian SRCs is inappropriate, given significant differences in healthcare delivery between the two countries. Medical students at the University of Calgary started a SRC serving Calgary’s homeless population at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehabilitation Centre (CDIRC). This study explored stakeholders’ desired role for a SRC within Calgary’s primary healthcare system and potential barriers it may face.
Individual and group semi-structured interviews were undertaken with key stakeholders in the SRC project: clients (potential patients), CDIRC staff, staff from other stakeholder organizations, medical students, and faculty members. Convenience sampling was used in the recruitment of client participants. Interview transcripts were analyzed using a coding template which was derived from the literature.
Participants identified factors related to the clinic and to medical students that suggest there is an important role for a SRC in Calgary. The clinic was cited as improving access to primary healthcare for individuals experiencing homelessness. It was suggested that students may be ideally suited to provide empathetic healthcare to this population. Barriers to success were identified, including continuity of care and the exclusion of some subsets of the homeless population due to location.
SRCs possess several unique features that may make them a potentially important primary healthcare resource for the homeless. Participants identified numerous benefits of the SRC to providing primary care for homeless individuals, as well as several important limitations that need to be accounted for when designing and implementing such a program.
Primary care; Homeless persons; Medical student; Physician shortage areas
Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) and animal African trypanosomiasis (AAT) are significant health concerns throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa. Funding for tsetse fly control operations has decreased since the 1970s, which has in turn limited the success of campaigns to control the disease vector. To maximize the effectiveness of the limited financial resources available for tsetse control, this study develops and analyzes spatially and temporally dynamic tsetse distribution maps of Glossina subgenus Morsitans populations in Kenya from January 2002 to December 2010, produced using the Tsetse Ecological Distribution Model. These species distribution maps reveal seasonal variations in fly distributions. Such variations allow for the identification of “control reservoirs” where fly distributions are spatially constrained by fluctuations in suitable habitat and tsetse population characteristics. Following identification of the control reservoirs, a tsetse management operation is simulated in the control reservoirs using capital and labor control inputs from previous studies. Finally, a cost analysis, following specific economic guidelines from existing tsetse control analyses, is conducted to calculate the total cost of a nationwide control campaign of the reservoirs compared to the cost of a nationwide campaign conducted at the maximum spatial extent of the fly distributions from January 2002 to December 2010. The total cost of tsetse management within the reservoirs sums to $14,212,647, while the nationwide campaign at the maximum spatial extent amounts to $33,721,516. This savings of $19,508,869 represents the importance of identifying seasonally dynamic control reservoirs when conducting a tsetse management campaign, and, in the process, offers an economical means of fly control and disease management for future program planning.
Tsetse Fly; Kenya; Control Reservoirs; Control Simulation; Cost Analysis; African Trypanosomiasis
The compound BAY 11-7082 inhibits IκBα [inhibitor of NF-κB (nuclear factor κB)α] phosphorylation in cells and has been used to implicate the canonical IKKs (IκB kinases) and NF-κB in >350 publications. In the present study we report that BAY 11-7082 does not inhibit the IKKs, but suppresses their activation in LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-stimulated RAW macrophages and IL (interleukin)-1-stimulated IL-1R (IL-1 receptor) HEK (human embryonic kidney)-293 cells. BAY 11-7082 exerts these effects by inactivating the E2-conjugating enzymes Ubc (ubiquitin conjugating) 13 and UbcH7 and the E3 ligase LUBAC (linear ubiquitin assembly complex), thereby preventing the formation of Lys63-linked and linear polyubiquitin chains. BAY 11-7082 prevents ubiquitin conjugation to Ubc13 and UbcH7 by forming a covalent adduct with their reactive cysteine residues via Michael addition at the C3 atom of BAY 11-7082, followed by the release of 4-methylbenzene-sulfinic acid. BAY 11-7082 stimulated Lys48-linked polyubiquitin chain formation in cells and protected HIF1α (hypoxia-inducible factor 1α) from proteasomal degradation, suggesting that it inhibits the proteasome. The results of the present study indicate that the anti-inflammatory effects of BAY 11-7082, its ability to induce B-cell lymphoma and leukaemic T-cell death and to prevent the recruitment of proteins to sites of DNA damage are exerted via inhibition of components of the ubiquitin system and not by inhibiting NF-κB.
lymphoma; linear ubiquitin assembly complex (LUBAC); myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88); nuclear factor κB (NF-κB); proteasome; ubiquitin conjugating 13 (Ubc13); DAPI, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; DLBCL, diffuse large B-cell lymphoma; DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium; ERK, extracellular-signal-regulated kinase; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; GFP, green fluorescent protein; HEK, human embryonic kidney; HIF1α, hypoxia-inducible factor 1α; HOIP, haem-oxidized IRP2 ligase-1-interacting protein; HRMS, high-resolution mass spectra; HTLV-1, human T-cell lymphotropic virus 1; IL, interleukin; IL-1R, IL-1 receptor; IRAK, IL-receptor-associated kinase; IκB, inhibitor of NF-κB; IKK, IκB kinase; JNK, c-Jun N-terminal kinase; K48-pUb, Lys48-linked polyubiquitin; K63-pUb, Lys63-linked polyubiquitin; LPS, lipopolysaccharide; LUBAC, linear ubiquitin assembly complex; MALDI–TOF, matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization–time-of-flight; MAPK, mitogen-activated protein kinase; MS/MS, tandem MS; MyD88, myeloid differentiation factor 88; NEDD8, neural-precursor-cell-expressed developmentally down-regulated 8; NEMO, NF-κB essential modifier; NF-κB, nuclear factor κB; PAMP, pathogen-associated molecular pattern; pUb, polyubiquitin; RBR, RING-between-RING, TAB, TAK1-binding protein; TAK1, transforming growth factor β-activated kinase 1; TBK1, tumour-necrosis-factor-receptor-associated factor-associated NF-κB activator-binding kinase 1; TRAF, tumour-necrosis-factor-receptor-associated factor; Ubc, ubiquitin conjugating; UBE, ubiquitin-activating enzyme
Food deserts, areas that lack full-service grocery stores, may contribute to rising rates of obesity and chronic diseases among low-income and racial/ethnic minority residents. Our corner store project, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative, aimed to increase availability of healthful foods in food deserts in Nashville, Tennessee.
We identified 4 food deserts in which most residents are low-income and racially and ethnically diverse. Our objectives were to develop an approach to increase availability of fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat or nonfat milk, and 100% whole-wheat bread in Nashville’s food deserts and to engage community members to inform our strategy.
Five corner stores located in food deserts met inclusion criteria for our intervention. We then conducted community listening sessions, proprietor surveys, store audits, and customer-intercept surveys to identify needs, challenges to retailing the products, and potential intervention strategies.
Few stores offered fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, low-fat or nonfat milk, or 100% whole-wheat bread, and none stocked items from all 4 categories. Major barriers to retailing healthful options identified by community members are mistrust of store owners, history of poor-quality produce, and limited familiarity with healthful options. Store owners identified neighborhood crime as the major barrier. We used community input to develop strategies.
Engaging community residents and understanding neighborhood context is critical to developing strategies that increase access to healthful foods in corner stores.
The prevalence of diabetes mellitus and its complications is higher among First Nations people and people with low socio-economic status (SES). Previous studies in Alberta have shown that provision of care through Primary Care Networks (PCNs) is associated with better quality of care and better outcomes for people with diabetes, possibly because of greater utilization of chronic disease management programs. However, it is unknown whether First Nations individuals and those in lower SES groups experience these benefits.
We used administrative and laboratory data for a population-based cohort analysis of Alberta residents under 65 years of age with diabetes. The primary outcome, assessed over a 1-year period, was admission to hospital or emergency department visit for a diabetes-specific ambulatory care sensitive condition (ACSC). Secondary outcomes were 2 quality-of-care indicators (likelihood of measurement of glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] and or retinal screening) and 2 measures of health care utilization (visits to specialist and primary care physicians). We used negative binomial regression to determine the association between care within a PCN and hospital admission or emergency department visit for diabetes-specific ACSCs. We also assessed outcomes in 3 populations of interest (individuals receiving a health care subsidy [household income less than $39 250 and not eligible for Income Support], those receiving Income Support, and First Nations individuals) relative to the remainder of the population, controlling for whether care was provided in a PCN and adjusting for several baseline characteristics.
We identified a total of 106 653 patients with diabetes eligible for our study, of whom 43 327 (41%) received care in a PCN. Receiving care through a PCN was associated with lower rates of ACSC-related hospital admission or emergency department visits for all groups of interest, which suggests that PCNs had similar effects across each group. However, regardless of where care was provided, First Nations and low-SES patients had more than twice the adjusted rates of hospital admission or emergency department visits for diabetes-specific ACSCs than the general population and were less likely to receive guideline-recommended care, including measurement of HbA1c and retinal screening.
Care in a PCN was associated with lower risks of hospital admission or emergency department visits for diabetes-specific ACSCs, even within vulnerable groups such as First Nations people and those of low SES. However, differences in outcomes and quality-of-care indicators persisted for First Nations individuals and those of low SES, relative to the general population, irrespective of where care was provided.
Under normal growth conditions the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) negatively regulates the central autophagy regulator complex consisting of Unc-51-like kinases 1/2 (Ulk1/2), focal adhesion kinase family-interacting protein of 200 kDa (FIP200) and Atg13. Upon starvation, mTORC1-mediated repression of this complex is released, which then leads to Ulk1/2 activation. In this scenario, Atg13 has been proposed as an adaptor mediating the interaction between Ulk1/2 and FIP200 and enhancing Ulk1/2 kinase activity. Using Atg13-deficient cells, we demonstrate that Atg13 is indispensable for autophagy induction. We further show that Atg13 function strictly depends on FIP200 binding. In contrast, the simultaneous knockout of Ulk1 and Ulk2 did not have a similar effect on autophagy induction. Accordingly, the Ulk1-dependent phosphorylation sites we identified in Atg13 are expendable for this process. This suggests that Atg13 has an additional function independent of Ulk1/2 and that Atg13 and FIP200 act in concert during autophagy induction.
Atg13; autophagy; FIP200; Ulk1; Ulk2
Azathioprine leads to changes in mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and white blood cell (WBC) indices reflecting efficacy or toxicity. Understanding the interactions between bone marrow stem cells and azathioprine could highlight abnormal response patterns as forerunners for hematologic malignancies. This study gives a statistical description of factors influencing the relationship between MCV and WBC in children with inflammatory bowel disease treated with azathioprine. We found that leukopenia preceded macrocytosis. Macrocytosis is therefore not a good predictor of leukopenia. Further studies will be necessary to determine the subgroup of patients at increased risk of malignancies based on bone marrow response.
Phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-2 on tyrosine residues is a key event in IGF-1/insulin signaling and leads to activation of the PI 3-kinase and the Ras/MAPK pathway. Furthermore, phosphorylated serine/threonine residues on IRS-2 can induce 14-3-3 binding. In this study we searched IRS-2 for novel phosphorylation sites and investigated the interaction between IRS-2 and 14-3-3. Mass spectrometry identified a total of 24 serine/threonine residues on IRS-2 with 12 sites unique for IRS-2 while the other residues are conserved in IRS-1 and IRS-2. IGF-1 stimulation led to increased binding of 14-3-3 to IRS-2 in transfected HEK293 cells and this binding was prevented by inhibition of the PI 3-kinase pathway and an Akt/PKB inhibitor. Insulin-stimulated interaction between endogenous IRS-2 and 14-3-3 was observed in rat hepatoma cells and in mice liver after an acute insulin stimulus and refeeding. Using different IRS-2 fragments enabled localization of the IGF-1-dependent 14-3-3 binding region spanning amino acids 300–600. The 24 identified residues on IRS-2 included several 14-3-3 binding candidates in the region 300–600. Single alanine mutants of these candidates led to the identification of serine 573 as 14-3-3 binding site. A phospho-site specific antibody was generated to further characterize serine 573. IGF-1-dependent phosphorylation of serine 573 was reduced by inhibition of PI 3-kinase and Akt/PKB. A negative role of this phosphorylation site was implicated by the alanine mutant of serine 573 which led to enhanced phosphorylation of Akt/PKB in an IGF-1 time course experiment. To conclude, our data suggest a physiologically relevant role for IGF-1/insulin-dependent 14-3-3 binding to IRS-2 involving serine 573.
Freshwater bivalves in the order Unionoida are considered to be one of the most endangered groups of animals in North America. In Texas, where over 60% of unionids are rare or very rare, 15 species have been recently added to the state’s list of threatened species, and 11 are under consideration for federal listing. Due to insufficient survey efforts in the past decades, however, primary data on current distribution and habitat requirement for most of these rare species are lacking, thus challenging their protection and management. Taxonomic identification of endemic species based on shell morphology is challenging and complicates conservation efforts. In this paper we present historic and current distributional data for three rare Texas species, Fusconaia askewi, F. lananensis, and Pleurobema riddellii, collected during our 2003–2011 state-wide surveys and suggest appropriate conservation measures. In addition, we tested the genetic affinities of Fusconaia and similar species collected from eastern Texas and western Louisiana using cox1 and nad1 sequences.
We found that F. askewi still inhabits four river basins in eastern and northeastern Texas and can be locally abundant, while P. riddellii was found only in one river basin. Pleurobema riddellii was well-separated from F. askewi and grouped with the P. sintoxia clade. The sequences for F. lananensis were very similar to those for F. askewi, with a maximum difference of just over 1% for nad1 and only 0.7% for cox1, similar to the variation between F. askewi alleles. Except for one low difference (1.55%) with the partial cox1 sequence for F. burkei, all other Fusconaia populations, including those from the Calcasieu drainage, differed by over 2.3% for both genes.
Our study suggested that F. lananensis is not a valid species, and it is likely that only one Fusconaia species (F. askewi or its probable senior synonym F. chunii) is currently present in East Texas, thus simplifying conservation efforts. Distribution range of both these regional endemics (F. askewi and P. riddellii) has been reduced in the last 80 years.
Freshwater molluscs; Fusconaia askewi; Fusconaia lananensis; Pleurobema riddellii; Molecular identification; Taxonomy; Distribution; Habitat requirements; Conservation priorities
The arterial switch operation (ASO) has become a safe, reproducible surgical procedure with low mortality in experienced centers. We examined morbidity, which remains significant, particularly for complex ASO.
From 2003 to 2011, 101 consecutive patients underwent ASO, arbitrarily classified as “simple” (n = 52) or “complex” (n = 49). Morbidity was measured in selected complications and postoperative hospitalization. Three outcomes were analyzed: ventilation time, postextubation hospital length of stay, and a composite morbidity index, defined as ventilation time + postextubation hospital length of stay + occurrence of selected major complications. Complexity was measured with the comprehensive Aristotle score.
The operative mortality was zero. Twenty-five major complications occurred in 23 patients: 6 of 25 (12%) in simple ASO and 19 of 49 (39%) in complex ASO (p = 0.002). The most frequent complication was unplanned reoperation (15 vs 6, p = 0.03). No patients required permanent pacing. The complex group had a significantly higher morbidity index and longer ventilation time and postextubation hospital length of stay. In multivariate analysis, factors independently predicting higher morbidity were the comprehensive Aristotle score, arch repair, bypass time, and malaligned commissures. Myocardial infarction caused one sudden late death at 3 months. Late coronary failure was 2%. Overall survival was 99% at a mean follow-up of 49 ± 27 months.
In this consecutive series without operative mortality, morbidity was significantly higher in complex ASO. The only anatomic incremental risk factors for morbidity were aortic arch repair and malaligned commissures, but not primary diagnosis, weight less than 2.5 kg, or coronary patterns.
Missense mutations in PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) cause autosomal-recessive inherited Parkinson's disease (PD). We have exploited our recent discovery that recombinant insect PINK1 is catalytically active to test whether PINK1 directly phosphorylates 15 proteins encoded by PD-associated genes as well as proteins reported to bind PINK1. We have discovered that insect PINK1 efficiently phosphorylates only one of these proteins, namely the E3 ligase Parkin. We have mapped the phosphorylation site to a highly conserved residue within the Ubl domain of Parkin at Ser65. We show that human PINK1 is specifically activated by mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) depolarization, enabling it to phosphorylate Parkin at Ser65. We further show that phosphorylation of Parkin at Ser65 leads to marked activation of its E3 ligase activity that is prevented by mutation of Ser65 or inactivation of PINK1. We provide evidence that once activated, PINK1 autophosphorylates at several residues, including Thr257, which is accompanied by an electrophoretic mobility band-shift. These results provide the first evidence that PINK1 is activated following Δψm depolarization and suggest that PINK1 directly phosphorylates and activates Parkin. Our findings indicate that monitoring phosphorylation of Parkin at Ser65 and/or PINK1 at Thr257 represent the first biomarkers for examining activity of the PINK1-Parkin signalling pathway in vivo. Our findings also suggest that small molecule activators of Parkin that mimic the effect of PINK1 phosphorylation may confer therapeutic benefit for PD.
PINK1; Parkin; Parkinson's disease
Measurement of early stem subsidence can be used to predict the likelihood of long-term femoral component loosening and clinical failure. Data that examines the early migration pattern of clinically proven stems will provide clinicians with useful baseline data with which to compare new stem designs. This study was performed to evaluate the early migration pattern of a hydroxyapatite-coated press-fit femoral component that has been in use for over ten years. We enrolled 30 patients who underwent THA for osteoarthritis. The median age was 70 years (range, 55–80 years). Patients were clinically assessed using the Harris hip score. Radiostereometric analysis was used to evaluate stem migration at three to four days, six months, one year and two years. We observed a mean subsidence of 0.73 mm at six months, 0.62 mm at one year and 0.58 mm at two years and a mean retroversion of 1.82° at six months, 1.90° at one year and 1.59° at two years. This data suggests that subsidence is confined to the first six months after which there was no further subsidence. The results from this study can be compared with those from novel cementless stem designs to help predict the long-term outcome one may expect from new cementless stem designs.
A 60-years old patient was admitted to a community hospital with septic arthritis. He was treated with antibiotics and subcutaneous unfractionated heparin (UH) was used for venous thromboprophylaxis. After three days, he developed leg deep venous thrombosis and was treated with IV heparin. One day later, the patient developed pulmonary emboli, which was found using ventilation/perfusion scan. He was transferred to the University Hospital for further management. Upon arrival, antibiotic and intravenous UH were continued. Trans-Esophageal Echocardiogram showed a thrombus in the right atrium, a small portion of which extended to the left atrium through a patent foramen ovale. Another large thrombus was noted in the right ventricle, which extended to the pulmonary artery. Review of the patient's medical records revealed a halving of his platelet count three days following the heparin administration. Therefore, HIT seemed very likely. Intravenous UH was stopped and an emergency thrombectomy was performed. ELISA testing of HIT antibodies came negative. This made HIT diagnosis unlikely and the patient received dalteparin. A week later, as the platelet count declined again, HIT antibodies' testing using ELISA and C-14 serotonin release was repeated, and both assays were positive. Argatroban was restarted and the platelet count normalized.
Primary care networks are a newer model of primary care that focuses on improved access to care and the use of multidisciplinary teams for patients with chronic disease. We sought to determine the association between enrolment in primary care networks and the care and outcomes of patients with diabetes.
We used administrative health care data to study the care and outcomes of patients with incident and prevalent diabetes separately. For patients with prevalent diabetes, we compared those whose care was managed by physicians who were or were not in a primary care network using propensity score matching. For patients with incident diabetes, we studied a cohort before and after primary care networks were established. Each cohort was further divided based on whether or not patients were cared for by physicians enrolled in a network. Our primary outcome was admissions to hospital or visits to emergency departments for ambulatory care sensitive conditions specific to diabetes.
Compared with patients whose prevalent diabetes is managed outside of primary care networks, patients in primary care networks had a lower rate of diabetes-specific ambulatory care sensitive conditions (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.81, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.75 to 0.87), were more likely to see an ophthalmologist or optometrist (risk ratio 1.19, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.21) and had better glycemic control (adjusted mean difference −0.067, 95% CI −0.081 to −0.052).
Patients whose diabetes was managed in primary care networks received better care and had better clinical outcomes than patients whose condition was not managed in a network, although the differences were very small.
O-GlcNAcylation of TAB1 modulates TAK1-mediated cytokine release
The protein kinase TAK1 plays an important role in pro-inflammatory cytokine signalling. Interleukin-1- and osmotic stress-induced O-GlcNAcylation of its regulatory subunit TAB1 is required for full TAK1 activation to induce downstream cytokine production, linking this protein modification to innate immunity signalling.
Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is a key serine/threonine protein kinase that mediates signals transduced by pro-inflammatory cytokines such as transforming growth factor-β, tumour necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin-1 (IL-1) and wnt family ligands. TAK1 is found in complex with binding partners TAB1–3, phosphorylation and ubiquitination of which has been found to regulate TAK1 activity. In this study, we show that TAB1 is modified with N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) on a single site, Ser395. With the help of a novel O-GlcNAc site-specific antibody, we demonstrate that O-GlcNAcylation of TAB1 is induced by IL-1 and osmotic stress, known inducers of the TAK1 signalling cascade. By reintroducing wild-type or an O-GlcNAc-deficient mutant TAB1 (S395A) into Tab1−/− mouse embryonic fibroblasts, we determined that O-GlcNAcylation of TAB1 is required for full TAK1 activation upon stimulation with IL-1/osmotic stress, for downstream activation of nuclear factor κB and finally production of IL-6 and TNFα. This is one of the first examples of a single O-GlcNAc site on a signalling protein modulating a key innate immunity signalling pathway.
cytokine; glycobiology; innate immunity; O-GlcNAc; signal transduction
Despite the rapid rise in the use of multicompartmental compliance aids (MCAs), little is known about the role they play in self-management of medication.
To explore the perceived benefits of MCAs for people using them to manage their own or a relative's medication.
Design of study
Qualitative study using in-depth interviews.
Recruitment was via posters and leaflets in general practices and community pharmacies. In-depth interviews were conducted using a topic guide.
Nineteen people were interviewed. Three overarching themes emerged in relation to medicine taking: disruption, organisation, and adherence, which impacted on control. The medication regime had caused disruption to their lives and this had led to the purchase of an MCA. The MCA enabled them to organise their medication, which they believed had improved the efficiency of medicine taking and saved time. Although the MCA did not prompt them to take their medication, they could see whether they had actually taken it or not, which alleviated their anxiety. To meet their individual needs and lifestyles, some had developed broader systems of medication management, incorporating the MCA. For a small cost – the initial outlay for the MCA and time spent loading it – they gained control over the management of their medication and their condition.
This group found the use of an MCA to be beneficial, but advice and support regarding how best to manage their medication and on the most appropriate design to suit their needs would be helpful.
medication adherence; medication systems; qualitative research
Targeted proteomics via selected reaction monitoring is a powerful mass spectrometric technique affording higher dynamic range, increased specificity and lower limits of detection than other shotgun mass spectrometry methods when applied to proteome analyses. However, it involves selective measurement of predetermined analytes, which requires more preparation in the form of selecting appropriate signatures for the proteins and peptides that are to be targeted. There is a growing number of software programs and resources for selecting optimal transitions and the instrument settings used for the detection and quantification of the targeted peptides, but the exchange of this information is hindered by a lack of a standard format. We have developed a new standardized format, called TraML, for encoding transition lists and associated metadata. In addition to introducing the TraML format, we demonstrate several implementations across the community, and provide semantic validators, extensive documentation, and multiple example instances to demonstrate correctly written documents. Widespread use of TraML will facilitate the exchange of transitions, reduce time spent handling incompatible list formats, increase the reusability of previously optimized transitions, and thus accelerate the widespread adoption of targeted proteomics via selected reaction monitoring.
VectorBase (http://www.vectorbase.org) is a NIAID-supported bioinformatics resource for invertebrate vectors of human pathogens. It hosts data for nine genomes: mosquitoes (three Anopheles gambiae genomes, Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus), tick (Ixodes scapularis), body louse (Pediculus humanus), kissing bug (Rhodnius prolixus) and tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans). Hosted data range from genomic features and expression data to population genetics and ontologies. We describe improvements and integration of new data that expand our taxonomic coverage. Releases are bi-monthly and include the delivery of preliminary data for emerging genomes. Frequent updates of the genome browser provide VectorBase users with increasing options for visualizing their own high-throughput data. One major development is a new population biology resource for storing genomic variations, insecticide resistance data and their associated metadata. It takes advantage of improved ontologies and controlled vocabularies. Combined, these new features ensure timely release of multiple types of data in the public domain while helping overcome the bottlenecks of bioinformatics and annotation by engaging with our user community.