One of the standard experimental probes of a viscoelastic material is to measure the response of a layer trapped between parallel surfaces, imposing either periodic stress or strain at one boundary and measuring the other. The relative phase between stress and strain yields solid-like and liquid-like properties, called the storage and loss moduli, respectively, which are then captured over a range of imposed frequencies. Rarely are the full spatial distributions of shear and normal stresses considered, primarily because they cannot be measured except at boundaries and the information was not deemed of particular interest in theoretical studies. Likewise, strain distributions throughout the layer were traditionally ignored except in a classical protocol of Ferry, Adler and Sawyer, based on snapshots of standing shear waves. Recent investigations of thin lung mucus layers exposed to oscillatory stress (breathing) and strain (coordinated cilia), however, suggest that the wide range of healthy conditions and environmental or disease assaults lead to conditions that are quite disparate from the “surface loading” and “gap loading” conditions that characterize classical rheometers. In this article, we extend our previous linear and nonlinear models of boundary stresses in controlled oscillatory strain to the entire layer. To illustrate non-intuitive heterogeneous responses, we characterize experimental conditions and material parameter ranges where the maximum stresses migrate into the channel interior.
Control of the protozoan parasite, Leishmania major, is dependent upon establishing a robust T cell response. An early event in the development of an effective T cell response is the expansion (or hypertrophy) of the lymph node draining the site of infection, although the mechanisms involved in this response are not completely understood. Here we show that lymph node hypertrophy following L. major infection in mice is associated with increased recruitment of lymphocytes to the lymph node from the blood, and that CD62L-deficient mice, which are unable to recruit cells to the lymph node, develop a chronic infection with L. major. Injection of L. major activated dendritic cells promoted lymph node hypertrophy, and this correlated with an increase in the expression of CCR7 on dendritic cells, although the upregulation of CCR7 occurred on the bystander (uninfected) dendritic cells rather than those containing parasites. We found that increased CCR7 expression was TLR9 dependent, that TLR9−/− DCs migrated less efficiently to the draining lymph node, and that TLR9−/− mice exhibited a deficit in lymph node expansion following L. major infection, as well as increased susceptibility. Taken together, these results are the first to demonstrate that activation of dendritic cells via TLR9 is essential for the induction of lymph node hypertrophy in leishmaniasis.
The aim of this study was to determine the proportions and predictors of first-degree relatives (FDRs) of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients (i) ever receiving any CRC testing and (ii) receiving CRC screening in accordance with CRC screening guidelines.
Colorectal cancer patients and their FDRs were recruited through the population-based Victorian Cancer Registry, Victoria, Australia. Seven hundred and seven FDRs completed telephone interviews. Of these, 405 FDRs were deemed asymptomatic and eligible for analysis.
Sixty-nine percent of FDRs had ever received any CRC testing. First-degree relatives of older age, those with private health insurance, siblings and FDRs who had ever been asked about family history of CRC by a doctor were significantly more likely than their counterparts to have ever received CRC testing. Twenty-five percent of FDRs “at or slightly above average risk” were adherent to CRC screening guidelines. For this group, adherence to guideline-recommended screening was significantly more likely to occur for male FDRs and those with a higher level of education. For persons at “moderately increased risk” and “potentially high risk”, 47% and 49% respectively adhered to CRC screening guidelines. For this group, guideline-recommended screening was significantly more likely to occur for FDRs who were living in metropolitan areas, siblings, those married or partnered and those ever asked about family history of CRC.
A significant level of non-compliance with screening guidelines was evident among FDRs. Improved CRC screening in accordance with guidelines and effective systematic interventions to increase screening rates among population groups experiencing inequality are needed.
Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry: ACTRN12609000628246
Colorectal cancer; Screening; Prevention; Early detection; Family history
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a gammaherpesvirus that causes infectious mononucleosis, B cell lymphomas, and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Many of the genes required for EBV virion morphogenesis are found in all herpesviruses, but some are specific to gammaherpesviruses. One of these gamma-specific genes, BLRF2, encodes a tegument protein that has been shown to be essential for replication in other gammaherpesviruses. In this study, we identify BLRF2 interacting proteins using binary and co-complex protein assays. Serine/Arginine-rich Protein Kinase 2 (SRPK2) was identified by both assays and was further shown to phosphorylate an RS motif in the BLRF2 C-terminus. Mutation of this RS motif (S148A+S150A) abrogated the ability of BLRF2 to support replication of a murine gammaherpesvirus 68 genome lacking the BLRF2 homolog (ORF52). We conclude that the BLRF2 RS motif is phosphorylated by SRPK2 and is important for viral replication.
Although systematic use of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand internationally endorsed Clinical Practice Guideline for Perinatal Mortality (PSANZ-CPG) improves health outcomes, implementation is inadequate. Its complexity is a feature known to be associated with non-compliance. Interactive education is effective as a guideline implementation strategy, but lacks an agreed definition. SCORPIO is an educational framework containing interactive and didactic teaching, but has not previously been used to implement guidelines. Our aim was to transform the PSANZ-CPG into an education workshop to develop quality standardised interactive education acceptable to participants for learning skills in collaborative interprofessional care.
The workshop was developed using the construct of an educational framework (SCORPIO), the PSANZ-CPG, a transformation process and tutor training. After a pilot workshop with key target and stakeholder groups, modifications were made to this and subsequent workshops based on multisource written observations from interprofessional participants, tutors and an independent educator. This participatory action research process was used to monitor acceptability and educational standards. Standardised interactive education was defined as the attainment of content and teaching standards. Quantitative analysis of positive expressed as a percentage of total feedback was used to derive a total quality score.
Eight workshops were held with 181 participants and 15 different tutors. Five versions resulted from the action research methodology. Thematic analysis of multisource observations identified eight recurring education themes or quality domains used for standardisation. The two content domains were curriculum and alignment with the guideline and the six teaching domains; overload, timing, didacticism, relevance, reproducibility and participant engagement. Engagement was the most challenging theme to resolve. Tutors identified all themes for revision whilst participants identified a number of teaching but no content themes. From version 1 to 5, a significant increasing trend in total quality score was obtained; participants: 55%, p=0.0001; educator: 42%, p=0.0004; tutor peers: 57%, p=0.0001.
Complex clinical guidelines can be developed into a workshop acceptable to interprofessional participants. Eight quality domains provide a framework to standardise interactive teaching for complex clinical guidelines. Tutor peer review is important for content validity. This methodology may be useful for other guideline implementation.
Practice guidelines as a topic; Implementation; Information dissemination; Education medical continuing; Interprofessional education; Action research; Perinatal mortality; Stillbirth; Fetal death
Recently we have shown that calpain-1 activation contributes to cardiomyocyte apoptosis induced by hyperglycemia. This study was undertaken to investigate whether targeted disruption of calpain would reduce myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis in mouse models of type 1 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Diabetes in mice was induced by injection of streptozotocin (STZ), and OVE26 mice were also used as a type 1 diabetic model. The function of calpain was genetically manipulated by cardiomyocyte-specific knockout Capn4 in mice and the use of calpastatin transgenic mice. Myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis were investigated 2 and 5 months after STZ injection or in OVE26 diabetic mice at the age of 5 months. Cultured isolated adult mouse cardiac fibroblast cells were also investigated under high glucose conditions.
Calpain activity, cardiomyocyte cross-sectional areas, and myocardial collagen deposition were significantly increased in both STZ-induced and OVE26 diabetic hearts, and these were accompanied by elevated expression of hypertrophic and fibrotic collagen genes. Deficiency of Capn4 or overexpression of calpastatin reduced myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis in both diabetic models, leading to the improvement of myocardial function. These effects were associated with a normalization of the nuclear factor of activated T-cell nuclear factor-κB and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activities in diabetic hearts. In cultured cardiac fibroblasts, high glucose–induced proliferation and MMP activities were prevented by calpain inhibition.
Myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis in diabetic mice are attenuated by reduction of calpain function. Thus targeted inhibition of calpain represents a potential novel therapeutic strategy for reversing diabetic cardiomyopathy.
Therapeutic intervention in the pathophysiology of airway mucus hypersecretion is clinically important. Several types of drugs are available with different possible modes of action. We examined the effects of guaifenesin (GGE), N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and ambroxol (Amb) on differentiated human airway epithelial cells stimulated with IL-13 to produce additional MUC5AC.
After IL-13 pre-treatment (3 days), the cultures were treated with GGE, NAC or Amb (10–300 μM) in the continued presence of IL-13. Cellular and secreted MUC5AC, mucociliary transport rates (MTR), mucus rheology at several time points, and the antioxidant capacity of the drugs were assessed.
IL-13 increased MUC5AC content (~25%) and secretion (~2-fold) and decreased MTR, but only slightly affected the G’ (elastic) or G” (viscous) moduli of the secretions. GGE significantly inhibited MUC5AC secretion and content in the IL-13-treated cells in a concentration-dependent manner (IC50s at 24 hr ~100 and 150 μM, respectively). NAC or Amb were less effective. All drugs increased MTR and decreased G’ and G” relative to IL-13 alone. Cell viability was not affected and only NAC exhibited antioxidant capacity.
Thus, GGE effectively reduces cellular content and secretion of MUC5AC, increases MTR, and alters mucus rheology, and may therefore be useful in treating airway mucus hypersecretion and mucostasis in airway diseases.
Expectorant; MUC5AC; Mucolytic; Mucus rheology; Respiratory infections
The small genome of polyomaviruses encodes a limited number of proteins that are highly dependent on interactions with host cell proteins for efficient viral replication. The SV40 large T antigen (LT) contains several discrete functional domains including the LXCXE or RB-binding motif, the DNA binding and helicase domains that contribute to the viral life cycle. In addition, the LT C-terminal region contains the host range and adenovirus helper functions required for lytic infection in certain restrictive cell types. To understand how LT affects the host cell to facilitate viral replication, we expressed full-length or functional domains of LT in cells, identified interacting host proteins and carried out expression profiling. LT perturbed the expression of p53 target genes and subsets of cell-cycle dependent genes regulated by the DREAM and the B-Myb-MuvB complexes. Affinity purification of LT followed by mass spectrometry revealed a specific interaction between the LT C-terminal region and FAM111A, a previously uncharacterized protein. Depletion of FAM111A recapitulated the effects of heterologous expression of the LT C-terminal region, including increased viral gene expression and lytic infection of SV40 host range mutants and adenovirus replication in restrictive cells. FAM111A functions as a host range restriction factor that is specifically targeted by SV40 LT.
Viruses have evolved numerous mechanisms to counteract host cell defenses to facilitate productive infection. Simian Virus 40 (SV40) replication depends on specific interactions between large T antigen (LT) and a wide variety of host cell proteins. Although the LT C-terminal region has no evident enzymatic activity, mutations or deletions of this region significantly reduce the ability of the virus to replicate in restrictive cell types. Here, we identified host proteins that bind to LT and determined that the LT C-terminal region binds specifically to FAM111A. This physical interaction was required for efficient viral replication and sustained viral gene expression in restrictive cell types. In addition, RNAi-mediated knockdown of FAM111A levels in restrictive cells restored lytic infection of SV40 host range mutants and human adenovirus. These results indicate that FAM111A plays an important role in viral host range restriction. Our study provides insights into the viral-host perturbations caused by SV40 LT and the interaction of viruses with host restriction factors.
The chorda tympani nerve (CT), one of three nerves that convey gustatory information to nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS), displays terminal field reorganization after postnatal day 15 in the rat. Aiming to gain insight into mechanisms of this phenomenon, CT axon projection field and terminal morphology in NTS subdivisions were examined using tract tracing, light microscopy, and immuno-electron microscopy at four postnatal ages: P15, P25, P35, and adult. The CT axons that innervated NTS rostrolateral subdivision both in the adult and in P15 rats were morphologically distinct from those that innervated the rostrocentral, gustatory subdivision. In both subdivisions, CT terminals reached morphological maturity before P15. Rostrolateral, but not rostrocentral axons, went through substantial axonal branch elimination after P15. Rostrocentral CT synapses, however, redistribute onto postsynaptic targets in the following weeks. CT terminal preference for GABAergic postsynaptic targets was drastically reduced after P15. Furthermore, CT synapses became a smaller component of the total synaptic input to the rostrocentral NTS after P35. The results underlined that CT axons in rostrocentral and rostrolateral subdivisions represent two distinct populations of CT input, displaying different morphological properties and structural reorganization mechanisms during postnatal development.
Development; Chorda Tympani; Gustatory; Taste; Electron Microscopy
Commensal bacteria that colonize mammalian barrier surfaces are reported to influence T helper type 2 (TH2) cytokine–dependent inflammation and susceptibility to allergic disease, although the mechanisms that underlie these observations are poorly understood. In this report, we identify that deliberate alteration of commensal bacterial populations via oral antibiotic treatment resulted in elevated serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels, increased steady–state circulating basophil populations, and exaggerated basophil–mediated TH2 cell responses and allergic inflammation. Elevated serum IgE levels correlated with increased circulating basophil populations in mice and subjects with hyperimmunoglobulinemia E syndrome. Furthermore, B cell–intrinsic expression of MyD88 was required to limit serum IgE levels and circulating basophil populations in mice. Commensal–derived signals were found to influence basophil development by limiting proliferation of bone marrow–resident precursor populations. Collectively, these results identify a previously unrecognized pathway through which commensal–derived signals influence basophil hematopoiesis and susceptibility to TH2 cytokine–dependent inflammation and allergic disease.
Muco-ciliary transport in the human airway is a crucial defense mechanism for removing
inhaled pathogens. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is well-suited to monitor functional
dynamics of cilia and mucus on the airway epithelium. Here we demonstrate several OCT-based
methods upon an actively transporting in vitro bronchial epithelial model and
ex vivo mouse trachea. We show quantitative flow imaging of optically turbid
mucus, semi-quantitative analysis of the ciliary beat frequency, and functional imaging of the
periciliary layer. These may translate to clinical methods for endoscopic monitoring of
muco-ciliary transport in diseases such as cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary
(170.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (110.4153) Motion estimation and optical flow; (170.2655) Functional monitoring and imaging; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (110.6150) Speckle imaging; (110.0113) Imaging through turbid media
Many human diseases, arising from mutations of disease susceptibility genes (genetic diseases), are also associated with viral infections (virally implicated diseases), either in a directly causal manner or by indirect associations. Here we examine whether viral perturbations of host interactome may underlie such virally implicated disease relationships. Using as models two different human viruses, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human papillomavirus (HPV), we find that host targets of viral proteins reside in network proximity to products of disease susceptibility genes. Expression changes in virally implicated disease tissues and comorbidity patterns cluster significantly in the network vicinity of viral targets. The topological proximity found between cellular targets of viral proteins and disease genes was exploited to uncover a novel pathway linking HPV to Fanconi anemia.
Many “virally implicated human diseases” - diseases for which there is scientific consensus of viral involvement - are associated with genetic alterations in particular disease susceptibility genes. We proposed and demonstrated that for two human viruses, Epstein-Barr virus and human papillomavirus, topological proximity should exist between host targets of viruses and genes associated with virally implicated diseases on host interactome networks (local impact hypothesis). For representative EBV- and HPV16- implicated diseases, genes in the neighborhood of viral targets in the host interactome have significantly shifted expression levels in virally implicated disease tissues, in line with the local impact hypothesis. The viral neighborhoods in the host interactome, along with their disease associations, defined as “viral disease networks”, contain connections known to be informative upon disease mechanisms as well as diseases whose associations with viruses are not yet known. We prioritized these diseases for their candidacy as potential virally implicated diseases based on network topology, and benchmarked this prioritization of candidate diseases using relative risk measurement which depicts population-based clinical associations between candidate diseases and viral infection. Exogenous expression of HPV viral proteins in a human cell line offered evidence for a novel disease pathway that links HPV to Fanconi anemia.
Gateway-compatible yeast one-hybrid (Y1H) assays provide a convenient gene-centered (DNA-to-protein) approach to identify the repertoire of transcription factors that can bind a DNA sequence of interest. We present a set of Y1H resources, including clones for 988 of 1,434 (69%) predicted human transcription factors, for the interrogation of interactions using either low or high-throughput settings. These approaches detect both known and novel interactions between human DNA regions and transcription factors.
An understanding of heart development is critical in any systems biology approach to cardiovascular disease. The interpretation of data generated from high-throughput technologies (such as microarray and proteomics) is also essential to this approach. However, characterizing the role of genes in the processes underlying heart development and cardiovascular disease involves the non-trivial task of data analysis and integration of previous knowledge. The Gene Ontology (GO) Consortium provides structured controlled biological vocabularies that are used to summarize previous functional knowledge for gene products across all species. One aspect of GO describes biological processes, such as development and signaling.
In order to support high-throughput cardiovascular research, we have initiated an effort to fully describe heart development in GO; expanding the number of GO terms describing heart development from 12 to over 280. This new ontology describes heart morphogenesis, the differentiation of specific cardiac cell types, and the involvement of signaling pathways in heart development and aligns GO with the current views of the heart development research community and its representation in the literature. This extension of GO allows gene product annotators to comprehensively capture the genetic program leading to the developmental progression of the heart. This will enable users to integrate heart development data across species, resulting in the comprehensive retrieval of information about this subject.
The revised GO structure, combined with gene product annotations, should improve the interpretation of data from high-throughput methods in a variety of cardiovascular research areas, including heart development, congenital cardiac disease, and cardiac stem cell research. Additionally, we invite the heart development community to contribute to the expansion of this important dataset for the benefit of future research in this area.
annotation; cardiovascular; development; Gene Ontology; heart
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and type 2 both target T lymphocytes, yet induce radically different phenotypic outcomes. HTLV-1 is a causative agent of Adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), whereas HTLV-2, highly similar to HTLV-1, causes no known overt disease. HTLV gene products are engaged in a dynamic struggle of activating and antagonistic interactions with host cells. Investigations focused on one or a few genes have identified several human factors interacting with HTLV viral proteins. Most of the available interaction data concern the highly investigated HTLV-1 Tax protein. Identifying shared and distinct host-pathogen protein interaction profiles for these two viruses would enlighten how they exploit distinctive or common strategies to subvert cellular pathways toward disease progression.
We employ a scalable methodology for the systematic mapping and comparison of pathogen-host protein interactions that includes stringent yeast two-hybrid screening and systematic retest, as well as two independent validations through an additional protein interaction detection method and a functional transactivation assay. The final data set contained 166 interactions between 10 viral proteins and 122 human proteins. Among the 166 interactions identified, 87 and 79 involved HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 -encoded proteins, respectively. Targets for HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 proteins implicate a diverse set of cellular processes including the ubiquitin-proteasome system, the apoptosis, different cancer pathways and the Notch signaling pathway.
This study constitutes a first pass, with homogeneous data, at comparative analysis of host targets for HTLV-1 and -2 retroviruses, complements currently existing data for formulation of systems biology models of retroviral induced diseases and presents new insights on biological pathways involved in retroviral infection.
HTLV; Interactome; Retrovirus; ORFeome; Tax; HBZ
CD4+ T helper type 2 (Th2) cells characterized by their expression of IL-4, IL-5, IL-9 and IL-13 are required for immunity to helminth parasites1 and promote the pathological inflammation associated with asthma and allergic diseases2. Polymorphisms in the gene encoding the cytokine thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) are associated with the development of multiple allergic disorders in humans, suggesting that TSLP is a critical regulator of allergic diseases3-6. Supporting genetic analyses, exaggerated TSLP production is associated with asthma, atopic dermatitis and food allergies in patients, and studies in murine systems demonstrated that TSLP promotes Th2 cytokine-mediated immunity and inflammation5, 7-12. However, the mechanisms through which TSLP promotes Th2 cytokine responses remain poorly defined. Here we demonstrate that TSLP promotes systemic basophilia, that disruption of TSLP-TSLPR interactions results in defective basophil responses and that TSLPR-sufficient basophils can restore Th2 cell-dependent immunity in vivo. TSLP acted directly on bone marrow- resident progenitors to selectively promote basophil responses. Critically, TSLP could elicit basophil responses in both IL-3-sufficient and IL-3-deficient environments and genome-wide transcriptional profiling and functional analyses identified heterogeneity between TSLP-elicited versus IL-3-elicited basophils. Further, activated human basophils expressed the TSLPR and basophils isolated from eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) patients were heterogeneous. Collectively, these studies identify previously unrecognized heterogeneity within the basophil cell lineage and indicate that expression of TSLP may influence susceptibility to multiple allergic diseases by regulating basophil hematopoiesis and eliciting a population of functionally distinct basophils that promote Th2 cytokine-mediated inflammation.
TSLP; Th2 cytokine responses; innate immunity; basophils; hematopoiesis
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is among the leading causes of cancer-related morbidity and mortality worldwide. Despite clinical practice guidelines to guide surveillance care for those who have completed treatment for this disease as well as screening for first degree relatives of people with CRC, the level of uptake of these recommendations remains uncertain. If outcomes for both patients and their families are to be improved, it is important to establish systematic and cost-effective interventions to improve adherence to guideline recommendations for CRC surveillance and screening.
A randomized controlled trial will be used to test the effectiveness of a print-based intervention to improve adherence to colonoscopy surveillance among people with CRC and adherence to CRC screening recommendations among their first degree relatives (FDRs). People diagnosed with CRC in the past 10 months will be recruited through a population-based cancer registry. Consenting participants will be asked if their first degree relatives might also be willing to participate in the trial. Information on family history of CRC will be obtained from patients at baseline. Patients and their families will be randomized to either minimal ethical care or the print-based intervention. The print-based intervention for FDRs will be tailored to the participant's level of risk of CRC as determined by the self-reported family history assessment. Follow up data on surveillance and screening participation will be collected from patients and their FDRs respectively at 12, 24 and 36 months' post recruitment. The primary analyses will relate to comparing levels of guideline adherence in usual care group versus print-based group in the patient sample and the FDR sample respectively.
Results of this study will provide contribute to the evidence base about effective strategies to a) improve adherence to surveillance recommendation for people with CRC; and b) improve adherence to screening recommendation for FDRs of people with CRC. The use of a population-based cancer registry to access the target population may have significant advantages in increasing the reach of the intervention.
This trial is registered with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry Registration Number (ACTRN): ACTRN12609000628246.
Cancer; Colorectal cancer; Early detection; Screening; Surveillance; Guideline adherence
The Gene Ontology (GO) consists of nearly 30,000 classes for describing the activities and locations of gene products. Manual maintenance of an ontology of this size is a considerable effort, and errors and inconsistencies inevitably arise. Reasoners can be used to assist with ontology development, automatically placing classes in a subsumption hierarchy based on their properties. However, the historic lack of computable definitions within the GO has prevented the user of these tools.
In this paper we present preliminary results of an ongoing effort to normalize the GO by explicitly stating the definitions of compositional classes in a form that can be used by reasoners. These definitions are partitioned into mutually exclusive cross-product sets, many of which reference other OBO Foundry candidate ontologies for chemical entities, proteins, biological qualities and anatomical entities. Using these logical definitions we are gradually beginning to automate many aspects of ontology development, detecting errors and filling in missing relationships. These definitions also enhance the GO by weaving it into the fabric of a wider collection of interoperating ontologies, increasing opportunities for data integration and enhancing genomic analyses.
Functional characterization of the human genome requires tools for systematically modulating gene expression in both loss- and gain-of-function experiments. We describe the production of a sequence-confirmed, clonal collection of over 16,100 human open-reading frames (ORFs) encoded in a versatile Gateway vector system. Utilizing this ORFeome resource, we created a genome-scale expression collection in a lentiviral vector, thereby enabling both targeted experiments and high-throughput screens in diverse cell types.
Plants generate effective responses to infection by recognizing both conserved and variable pathogen-encoded molecules. Pathogens deploy virulence effector proteins into host cells, where they interact physically with host proteins to modulate defense. We generated a plant-pathogen immune system protein interaction network using effectors from two pathogens spanning the eukaryote-eubacteria divergence, three classes of Arabidopsis immune system proteins and ~8,000 other Arabidopsis proteins. We noted convergence of effectors onto highly interconnected host proteins, and indirect, rather than direct, connections between effectors and plant immune receptors. We demonstrated plant immune system functions for 15 of 17 tested host proteins that interact with effectors from both pathogens. Thus, pathogens from different kingdoms deploy independently evolved virulence proteins that interact with a limited set of highly connected cellular hubs to facilitate their diverse life cycle strategies.
For decades autism has been defined as a triad of deficits in social interaction, communication, and imaginative play. Though there is now broad acknowledgment of the neurological basis of autism, there is little attention paid to the contribution of such neurological differences to a person's development and functioning. Communication, relationship, and participation require neurological systems to coordinate and synchronize the organization and regulation of sensory information and movement. Developmental differences in these abilities are likely to result in differences in the way a person behaves and expresses intention and meaning. The present paper shares our emerging awareness that people may struggle with difficulties that are not immediately evident to an outsider. This paper explores the symptoms of sensory and movement differences and the possible implications for autistic people. It provides a review of the history and literature that describes the neurological basis for many of the socalled behavioral differences that people experience. The paper emphasizes the importance of our acknowledgment that a social interpretation of differences in behavior, relationship, and communication can lead us far away from the lived experience of individuals with the autism label and those who support them. We suggest alternative ways to address the challenges faced by people with autism.
autism; autism: sensory-movement differences; autism: sensory-motor difficulties; autism: neurological implications; autism: movement perspective
To uncover shared pathogenic mechanisms among the highly heterogeneous autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), we developed a protein interaction network that identified hundreds of new interactions among proteins encoded by ASD-associated genes. We discovered unexpectedly high connectivity between SHANK and TSC1, previously implicated in syndromic autism, suggesting that common molecular pathways underlie autistic phenotypes in distinct syndromes. ASD patients were more likely to harbor CNVs that encompass network genes than control subjects. We also identified, in patients with idiopathic ASD, three de novo lesions (deletions in 16q23.3 and 15q22 and one duplication in Xq28) that involve three network genes (NECAB2, PKM2, and FLNA). The protein interaction network thus provides a framework for identifying causes of idiopathic autism and for understanding molecular pathways that underpin both syndromic and idiopathic ASDs.
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has not been applied to protein-protein interactome network mapping so far because the association between the members of each interacting pair would not be maintained in en masse sequencing. We describe a massively parallel interactome-mapping pipeline, “Stitch-Seq”, that combines PCR stitching with NGS. We use Stitch-Seq to generate a new human interactome dataset. Stitch-Seq is applicable to various interaction assays and should help expand interactome network mapping.
Background. The literature is contradictory concerning pet exposure and the risk of development of asthma and other allergic diseases. Using longitudinal studies, we aimed to systematically review the impact of pet ownership in the critical perinatal period as a risk factor for allergies in childhood.
Methods. Medline database was searched for urban cohort studies with perinatal exposure to cats and/or dogs and subsequent asthma or allergic disease.
Results. Nine articles, comprising 6498 participants, met inclusion criteria. Six found a reduction in allergic disease associated with perinatal exposure to dogs or, cats or dogs. One study found no association. Two found increased risk only in high-risk groups. Conclusion. Longitudinal studies in urban populations suggest that perinatal pets, especially dogs, may reduce the development of allergic disease in those without a family history of allergy. Other unmeasured factors such as pet-keeping choices in allergic families may be confounding the association seen in these high-risk families, and further study is required.
Neural competition among multiple inputs can affect the refinement and maintenance of terminal fields in sensory systems. In the rat gustatory system, the chorda tympani, greater superficial petrosal, and glossopharyngeal nerves have distinct but overlapping terminal fields in the first central relay, the nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS). This overlap is largest at early postnatal ages followed by a significant refinement and pruning of the fields over a three-week period, suggesting that competitive mechanisms underlie the pruning. Here, we manipulated the putative competitive interactions among the three nerves by sectioning the greater superficial petrosal and glossopharyngeal nerves at postnatal day 15 (P15), P25, or at adulthood, while leaving the chorda tympani nerve intact. The terminal field of the chorda tympani nerve was assessed 35 days following nerve sections, a period before the sectioned nerves functionally regenerated. Regardless of the age when the nerves were cut, the chorda tympani nerve terminal field expanded to a volume four times larger than sham controls. Terminal field density measurements revealed that the expanded terminal field was similar to P15 control rats. Thus, it appears that the chorda tympani nerve terminal field defaults to its early postnatal field size and shape when the nerves with overlapping fields are cut, and this anatomical plasticity is retained into adulthood. These findings not only demonstrate the dramatic and lifelong plasticity in the central gustatory system, but also suggest that corresponding changes in functional and taste-related behaviors will accompany injury-induced changes in brainstem circuits.