With the development of genome-sequencing technologies, protein sequences are readily obtained by translating the measured mRNAs. Therefore predicting protein-protein interactions from the sequences is of great demand. The reason lies in the fact that identifying protein-protein interactions is becoming a bottleneck for eventually understanding the functions of proteins, especially for those organisms barely characterized. Although a few methods have been proposed, the converse problem, if the features used extract sufficient and unbiased information from protein sequences, is almost untouched.
In this study, we interrogate this problem theoretically by an optimization scheme. Motivated by the theoretical investigation, we find novel encoding methods for both protein sequences and protein pairs. Our new methods exploit sufficiently the information of protein sequences and reduce artificial bias and computational cost. Thus, it significantly outperforms the available methods regarding sensitivity, specificity, precision, and recall with cross-validation evaluation and reaches ~80% and ~90% accuracy in Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae respectively. Our findings here hold important implication for other sequence-based prediction tasks because representation of biological sequence is always the first step in computational biology.
By considering the converse problem, we propose new representation methods for both protein sequences and protein pairs. The results show that our method significantly improves the accuracy of protein-protein interaction predictions.
Enzymes are known as the largest class of proteins and their functions are usually annotated by the Enzyme Commission (EC), which uses a hierarchy structure, i.e., four numbers separated by periods, to classify the function of enzymes. Automatically categorizing enzyme into the EC hierarchy is crucial to understand its specific molecular mechanism.
In this paper, we introduce two key improvements in predicting enzyme function within the machine learning framework. One is to introduce the efficient sequence encoding methods for representing given proteins. The second one is to develop a structure-based prediction method with low computational complexity. In particular, we propose to use the conjoint triad feature (CTF) to represent the given protein sequences by considering not only the composition of amino acids but also the neighbor relationships in the sequence. Then we develop a support vector machine (SVM)-based method, named as SVMHL (SVM for hierarchy labels), to output enzyme function by fully considering the hierarchical structure of EC. The experimental results show that our SVMHL with the CTF outperforms SVMHL with the amino acid composition (AAC) feature both in predictive accuracy and Matthew’s correlation coefficient (MCC). In addition, SVMHL with the CTF obtains the accuracy and MCC ranging from 81% to 98% and 0.82 to 0.98 when predicting the first three EC digits on a low-homologous enzyme dataset. We further demonstrate that our method outperforms the methods which do not take account of hierarchical relationship among enzyme categories and alternative methods which incorporate prior knowledge about inter-class relationships.
Our structure-based prediction model, SVMHL with the CTF, reduces the computational complexity and outperforms the alternative approaches in enzyme function prediction. Therefore our new method will be a useful tool for enzyme function prediction community.
The discovery, pharmacology, and biophysical characterization of an ERα selective benzothiophene (BTPα) is described. BTPα (4) is a high affinity ligand with 140-fold greater selectivity for ERα (Ki=0.25 nM) over ERbeta (Ki=35 nM). In rodent models of estrogen action, BTPα blocks the effects of estrogen in the uterus but mimics the effects estrogen on bone. The basis of ERα selectivity for BTPα was evaluated by using protein crystallography and hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) mass spectrometry. HDX data supports that the n-butyl chain of BTPα stabilizes helix 7 in ERα relative to that of ERβ which we propose leads to an enhancement of affinity to the alpha receptor sub-type.
Estrogen receptor alpha; estrogen receptor beta; SERM; hydrogen/deuterium exchange
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer. Although much is known about both the cellular changes that lead to HCC and the etiological agents responsible for the majority of HCC cases, the molecule pathogenesis of HCC is still not well understood. We aimed to determine the effect of c-Myc gene expression on the proliferative, invasive, and migrative capabilities of hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cells.
A plasmid- based polymerase III promoter system was used to deliver and express short interfering RNA targeting c-Myc to reduce its expression in HepG2 cells. Western blot analysis was used to measure the protein level of c-Myc in HepG2 cells. The effects of c-Myc silencing on the invasion, motility, and proliferation of HepG2 cells were assessed using a Transwell chamber cell migration assay system and a growth curve assay, respectively.
The data showed that plasmids expressing siRNA against c-Myc significantly decreased its expression in HepG2 cells by up to 85%. Importantly, pSilencer-c-Myc transfected cells showed a significantly reduced potential in migration, invasion, and proliferation.
C-Myc plays an important role in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. The data show that down-regulating the c-Myc protein level in HepG2 cells by RNAi could significantly inhibit migration, invasion and proliferation of HepG2 cells. Thus, c-Myc might be a potential therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma.
C-Myc; Hepatic cancer; HepG2 cells; RNAi; siRNA
The effect of hydroxyapatite (HAp) content on photopolymerization of a model self-etching adhesive was studied by using attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR/FT-IR) spectroscopy.
Materials and methods
The model adhesive contained two monomers: bis[2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate (2MP) and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) using a 1:1 mass ratio, representing an acidic formulation. Camphorquinone and ethyl 4-dimethylaminobenzoate were added to enable visible light photopolymerization in a constant concentration of 0.022 mmol per gram monomer. HAp [Ca10(OH)2(PO4)6] powder were added to the test solutions to obtain mass fraction of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 wt%. The degree of conversion (DC) and the polymerization rate (PR) with/without HAp were determined using ATR/FT-IR with a time-based spectrum analysis.
Monomer DC and PR were significantly enhanced by addition of HAp. Incorporation of 4 wt% of HAp increased DC from 20.8 (±0.3) % to 93.4 (±1.1) %, and PR from 0.42 (±0.01) %/s to 3.21 (±0.07) %/s. The pH of adhesive solutions was measured and correlated with DC and PR. The pH of test solutions was also controlled using a base (sodium hydroxide, NaOH) to similar values as when using HAp. Results indicated that both the DC and PR increased with increasing pH, regardless of additive, confirming the role of pH on polymerization. From the IR spectral comparison, changes in molecular structures of the self-etching adhesive after the addition of HAp were observed, which were correlated with the specific interaction between 2MP and HAp. The effect of viscosity was also proposed to be another possible reason for the improved polymerization.
The photopolymerization of a self-etching adhesive was enhanced / accelerated in the presence of HAp. The results provide the critical information for understanding the interactions/bonding between self-etching adhesives and tooth substrates.
Self-etching; hydroxyapatite; FTIR; photo-polymerization; degree of conversion
Current treatments for chronic hepatitis B are effective in only a fraction of patients. All approved directly antiviral agents are nucleos(t)ide analogs (NAs) that target the DNA polymerase activity of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) P protein; resistance and cross-resistance may limit their long-term applicability. P protein is an unusual reverse transcriptase that initiates reverse transcription by protein priming, by which a Tyr residue in the unique terminal protein domain acts as an acceptor of the first DNA nucleotide. Priming requires P protein binding to the ε stem-loop on the pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) template. This interaction also mediates pgRNA encapsidation and thus provides a particularly attractive target for intervention. Exploiting in vitro priming systems available for duck HBV (DHBV) but not HBV, we demonstrate that naphthylureas of the carbonyl J acid family, in particular KM-1, potently suppress protein priming by targeting P protein and interfering with the formation of P-DHBV ε initiation complexes. Quantitative evaluation revealed a significant increase in complex stability during maturation, yet even primed complexes remained sensitive to KM-1 concentrations below 10 μM. Furthermore, KM-1 inhibited the DNA-dependent DNA polymerase activity of both DHBV and HBV nucleocapsids, including from a lamivudine-resistant variant, directly demonstrating the sensitivity of human HBV to the compound. Activity against viral replication in cells was low, likely due to low intracellular availability. KM-1 is thus not yet a drug candidate, but its distinct mechanism of action suggests that it is a highly useful lead for developing improved, therapeutically applicable derivatives.
Although genetic variants may play a key role in development of treatment-resistant depression (TRD), relevant research is scarce.
To examine whether the polymorphisms of BDNF (rs6265) and NTRK2 (rs1387923, rs2769605 and rs1565445) genes confer risk for TRD in major depressive disorder (MDD), a total of 948 MDD patients were recruited in a 12-week, multi center, prospective longitudinal study.
Our study showed a significant allelic association between rs1565445 and TRD with an excess of the T allele in the TRD group, compared to non-TRD group (OR = 1.43, 95%CI: 1.16–1.76, p = 0.0008); while patients with genotype C/C and T/C in rs1565445 were less likely to develop TRD than those carrying T/T (OR = 0.52, 95%CI: 0.33–0.82; OR = 0.72, 95%CI: 0.54–0.97, respectively; p = 0.005). Haplotype T–T (rs1565445 and rs1387923) had 1.41-fold increased risk of TRD (p = 0.0014). Furthermore, significant four-locus (rs1387923-rs1565445-rs2769605-rs6265) gene-gene interactions were detected by the Multifactor-dimensionality reduction (MDR) method.
These results suggest that the interactions of BDNF (rs6265) with NTRK2 (rs1387923, rs2769605 and rs1565445) gene polymorphisms likely play an essential role in the development of TRD in Han Chinese MDD patients.
BDNF; NTRK2; Interaction; Treatment-resistant depression
Although anaplasmosis cases have been nationally identified in China, no human isolates of A. phagocytophilum have been obtained, which limits the analysis of any molecular and genetic contributions to patients' severe clinical manifestations and the study of the bacteria's pathogeneses in China. Given this situation, a joint project was conducted in 2009–2010. A total of 421 febrile cases of unknown etiology were collected and the patients' blood samples were collected for laboratory diagnoses including serologic diagnosis based on the four-fold rise in the anti- A. phagocytophilum IgG titer by indirect micro-immunofluorescence assay (IFA), positive PCR assay and confirmation of A. phagocytophilum DNA and positive culture of A. phagocytophilum and confirmed by amplification and sequencing of the 16S rRNA and ank A genes of the A. phagocytophilum isolates. A total of 570 ticks were collected from the patients' domestic animals (456) and from wild fields (114) for culturing and amplifying and sequencing the 16S rRNA gene of A. phagocytophilum. Phylogenetic analyses were performed on the 16S rRNA and ank A gene sequences of the isolates and the ticks tested in the study. A total of 46 (10.9%) confirmed and 16 (3.8%) probable cases were diagnosed and severe clinical features and higher mortality rates were observed in these Chinese patients. Five isolates were obtained and the 16S rRNA genes of the 5 isolates were conserved but variety for ank A genes. Two human isolates and 1 tick isolate from Shandong Peninsula, where all patients exhibited severe clinical manifestations, were grouped as one clan based on the phylogenetic analyses, while 2 other human isolates were clustered in a second clan. 43.5% of H. longicornis were infected with A. phagocytophilum.The present study is the first to obtain clinical isolates of A. phagocytophilum in China. The diversity of the ank A genes of Chinese isolates will help us to further discern the relationship between the variations in the ank A genes and the severity of the disease's clinical manifestations in China.
Simultaneous stimulation of ex vivo pancreatic islets with dynamic oxygen and glucose is a critical technique for studying how hypoxia alters glucose-stimulated response, especially in transplant environments. Standard techniques using a hypoxic chamber cannot provide both oxygen and glucose modulations while monitoring stimulus-secretion coupling factors in real-time. Using novel microfluidic device with integrated glucose and oxygen modulations, we quantified hypoxic impairment of islet response by calcium influx, mitochondrial potentials, and insulin secretion. Glucose-induced calcium response magnitude and phase were suppressed by hypoxia, while mitochondrial hyperpolarization and insulin secretion decreased in coordination. More importantly, hypoxic response was improved by preconditioning islets to intermittent hypoxia (IH, 1min/1min 5%–21% cycling for 1 hour), translating to improved insulin secretion. Moreover, blocking mitochondrial KATP channels removed preconditioning benefits of IH, similar to mechanisms in preconditioned cardiomyocytes. Additionally, the multimodal device can be applied to a variety of dynamic oxygen-metabolic studies in other ex vivo tissues.
Secretory meningioma (SM) is a rare, benign subtype of meningioma. Between January 2005 and December 2010, 70 SMs were operated on at the Department of Neurosurgery, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical data, radiological and immunohistochemical findings, and patient outcome to discuss the specific features of SMs. Cranial base preference, hyper-signal in T2 weighted MR image, “xenon light” gadolinium-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA) enhancement were frequently observed in the 70 cases. Non-skull base SMs, which received more complete resection (p<0.01) and had better short-term and long-term outcome, were observed with more severe peritumoral brain edema (PTBE) (p<0.001). In follow-up, only 1 cranial base SM case showed tumor progression. 3 cases died after operation, all with cranial base SMs. As for the 10 cases given Simpson grade 3 or 4 resection who were available at follow-up, 3 died, 5 received gamma-knife therapy, and the other 2 cases received no treatment at all. Only one of the 2 residual SMs without postoperative radiation presented minor progression at a median of 48 months follow-up. In conclusion, cranial base preference, hyper-signal T2 weighted MR image and “xenon light” GD-DTPA enhancement are specific for SMs. Prognosis of SMs is related with operation completeness and surgical risks, rather than the extent of PTBE. Residual SM grows slowly and reacts well to gamma-knife therapy.
Location; prognosis; radiology; secretory meningiomas
MYST1 (also known as hMOF), a member of the MYST family of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) as an epigenetic mark of active genes, is mainly responsible for histone H4K16 acetylation in the cells. Recent studies have shown that the abnormal gene expression of hMOF is involved in certain primary cancers. Here we examined the involvement of hMOF expression and histone H4K16 acetylation in primary renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Simultaneously, we investigated the correlation between the expression of hMOF and clear cell RCC (ccRCC) biomarker carbohydrase IX (CA9) in RCC.
Materials and methods
The frozen RCC tissues and RCC cell lines as materials, the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), western blotting and immunohistochemical staining approaches were used.
RT-PCR results indicate that hMOF gene expression levels frequently downregulated in 90.5% of patients (19/21) with RCC. The reduction of hMOF protein in both RCC tissues and RCC cell lines is tightly correlated with acetylation of histone H4K16. In addition, overexpression of CA9 was detected in 100% of ccRCC patients (21/21). However, transient transfection of hMOF in ccRCC 786–0 cells did not affect both the gene and protein expression of CA9.
hMOF as an acetyltransferase of H4K16 might be involved in the pathogenesis of kidney cancer, and this epigenetic changes might be a new CA9-independent RCC diagnostic maker.
Renal cell carcinoma; hMOF; Carbonate anhydrase IX
The gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neuron is the pivotal control center in a tightly regulated reproductive axis. The release of GnRH controls estradiol production by the ovary, and estradiol acts at the hypothalamus to regulate GnRH release. However, the mechanisms of estradiol feedback are just beginning to be understood. We have previously shown that estradiol administered to the female mouse modulates sodium currents in fluorescently-labeled GnRH neurons. In the current studies, estradiol (1 nM) was applied directly, for 16–24 hours, to hypothalamic cultures from young or aged female ovariectomized mice. The direct application of estradiol modulated a tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium current in isolated GnRH neurons from both young and aged animals. Estradiol, and the specific estrogen receptor-β agonist DPN, decreased current amplitude measured in the morning (AM), but had no effect on afternoon currents. These compounds also decreased the rise and decay slope of the current response, increased the width of the current, and increased action potential width in AM recordings. In addition, estradiol decreased the amplitude of the depolarizing afterpotential (DAP); this effect was not time-of-day dependent. The ER-β agonist DPN did not mimic the effect of estradiol on DAPs, and the modulation of DAPs by estradiol was no longer present in cells from postreproductive animals. These results indicate that estradiol can affect the physiology of GnRH neurons via multiple pathways that are differentially regulated during the transition to reproductive senescence, suggesting that estradiol regulation of GnRH neuronal output is modulated during the aging process.
GnRH; estradiol; sodium current; aging; depolarizing afterpotential
Seizure is a common presenting manifestation and plays an important role in the clinical presentation and quality of life for patients with low-grade gliomas (LGGs). The authors set out to identify factors that influence preoperative seizure characteristics and postoperative seizure control. Cases involving adult patients who had undergone initial surgery for LGGs in a single institution between 2005 and 2009 were retrospectively reviewed. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to identify factors associated with preoperative seizures and postoperative seizure control. Of the 508 patients in the series, 350 (68.9%) presented with seizures. Age less than 38 years and cortical involvement of tumor were more likely to be associated with seizures (P = .003 and .001, respectively, multivariate logistic analysis). For the cohort of 350 patients with seizures, Engel classification was used to evaluate 6- and 12-month outcome after surgery: completely seizure free (Engel class I), 65.3% and 62.5%; not seizure free (Engel classes II, III, IV), 34.7% and 37.5%. After multivariate logistic analysis, favorable seizure prognosis was more common in patients with secondary generalized seizure (P = .006) and with calcification on MRI (.031). With respect to treatment-related variables, patients achieved much better seizure control after gross total resection than after subtotal resection (P < .0001). Ki67 was an independent molecular marker predicting poor seizure control in the patients with a history of seizure if overexpressed but was not a predictor for those without preoperative seizures. These factors may provide insight into developing effective treatment strategies aimed at prolonging patients' survival.
calcification; extent of resection; Ki67; low-grade glioma; seizure
Human parechoviruses (HPeVs) are a species in the Parechovirus genus of the Picornaviridae family. We report a complete genome sequence of a novel HPeV strain, CH-ZJ1, that was found in an infant with gastroenteritis in Zhenjiang City, China. The complete genome consists of 7,298 nucleotides (nt), excluding the 3′ poly(A) tail; the open reading frame is mapped between nucleotide positions 654 and 7211 and encodes a 2,185-amino acid (aa) polyprotein. The phylogenetic tree obtained for the complete genome of this HPeV strain and the other HpeV strains available in GenBank indicated that CH-ZJ1 is intervenient between HpeV type 4 (HpeV4) and HpeV5. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 3D and VP1 genes reveals two incongruent trees. Recombination detection indicated that CH-ZJ1 might be a recombinant which was produced by more than one genomic recombination event that occurred among HPeV1, HPeV4, and HPeV3 strains.
Background. Osteoporosis is a major health problem for the elderly population. Chinese herb may be beneficial to osteoporosis due to its capability. Objectives. This study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Chinese medicine treatment on the patients with osteoporosis. Search Methods. Randomized controlled trials were retrieved from different 9 databases. Results. This meta analysis included 12 RCTs involving 1816 patients to compare Chinese herbs with placebo or standard anti-osteoporotic therapy in the treatment of bone loss. The pooled data showed that the percent change of increased BMD in the spine is higher with Chinese herb compared to placebo (lumber spine: WMD = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.01–0.04). In the femoral, Chinese herb showed significantly higher increments of BMD compared to placebo (femoral neck: WMD = 0.06, 95% CI: −0.02–0.13). Compared to the other standard anti-osteoporotic drugs, Chinese herbs also show advantage in BMD change (lumber spine: WMD = 0.03, 95% CI: −0.01–0.08; femoral: WMD = 0.01, 95% CI: −0.01–0.02). Conclusions. Our results demonstrated that Chinese herb significantly increased lumbar spine BMD as compared to the placebo or other standard anti-osteoporotic drugs.
Bladder cancer is the most common malignant urological disease in China. Hydroxycamptothecin (HCPT) is a DNA topoisomerase I inhibitor, which has been utilized in chemotherapy for bladder cancer for nearly 40 years. Previous research has demonstrated that the isoflavone, genistein, can sensitize multiple cancer cell lines to HCPT treatment, such as prostate and cervical cancer. In this study, we investigated whether genistein could sensitize bladder cancer cell lines and bladder epithelial cell BDEC cells to HCPT treatment, and investigated the possible underlying molecular mechanisms. Genistein could significantly and dose-dependently sensitize multiple bladder cancer cell lines and BDEC cells to HCPT-induced apoptosis both in vitro and in vivo. Genistein and HCPT synergistically inhibited bladder cell growth and proliferation, and induced G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in TCCSUP bladder cancer cell and BDEC cell. Pretreatment with genistein sensitized BDEC and bladder cancer cell lines to HCPT-induced DNA damage by the synergistic activation of ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) kinase. Genistein significantly attenuated the ability of HCPT to induce activation of the anti-apoptotic NF-κB pathway both in vitro and in vivo in a bladder cancer xenograft model, and thus counteracted the anti-apoptotic effect of the NF-κB pathway. This study indicates that genistein could act as a promising non-toxic agent to improve efficacy of HCPT bladder cancer chemotherapy.
Numerous marine-derived pyrrole-imidazole alkaloids (PIAs), ostensibly derived from the simple precursor oroidin, 1a, have been reported and have garnered intense synthetic interest due to their complex structures and in some cases biological activity; however very little is known regarding their biosynthesis. We describe a concise synthesis of 7-15N-oroidin (1d) from urocanic acid and a direct method for measurement of 15N incorporation by pulse labeling and analysis by 1D 1H-15N HSQC NMR and FTMS. Using a mock pulse labeling experiment, we estimate the limit of detection (LOD) for incorporation of newly biosynthesized PIA by 1D 1H-15N HSQC to be 0.96 μg equivalent of 15N oroidin (2.4 nmole) in a background of 1500 μg unlabeled oroidin (about 1 part per 1600). 7-15N-Oroidin will find utility in biosynthetic feeding experiments with live sponges to provide direct information to clarify the pathways leading to more complex pyrrole-imidazole alkaloids.
Chromoplasts are unique plastids that accumulate massive amounts of carotenoids. To gain a general and comparative characterization of chromoplast proteins, this study performed proteomic analysis of chromoplasts from six carotenoid-rich crops: watermelon, tomato, carrot, orange cauliflower, red papaya, and red bell pepper. Stromal and membrane proteins of chromoplasts were separated by 1D gel electrophoresis and analysed using nLC-MS/MS. A total of 953–2262 proteins from chromoplasts of different crop species were identified. Approximately 60% of the identified proteins were predicted to be plastid localized. Functional classification using MapMan bins revealed large numbers of proteins involved in protein metabolism, transport, amino acid metabolism, lipid metabolism, and redox in chromoplasts from all six species. Seventeen core carotenoid metabolic enzymes were identified. Phytoene synthase, phytoene desaturase, ζ-carotene desaturase, 9-cis-epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase, and carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase 1 were found in almost all crops, suggesting relative abundance of them among the carotenoid pathway enzymes. Chromoplasts from different crops contained abundant amounts of ATP synthase and adenine nucleotide translocator, which indicates an important role of ATP production and transport in chromoplast development. Distinctive abundant proteins were observed in chromoplast from different crops, including capsanthin/capsorubin synthase and fibrillins in pepper, superoxide dismutase in watermelon, carrot, and cauliflower, and glutathione-S-transferease in papaya. The comparative analysis of chromoplast proteins among six crop species offers new insights into the general metabolism and function of chromoplasts as well as the uniqueness of chromoplasts in specific crop species. This work provides reference datasets for future experimental study of chromoplast biogenesis, development, and regulation in plants.
Carrot; cauliflower; chromoplast; papaya; pepper; proteomics; tomato; watermelon
Recent population structure studies of T. gondii revealed that a few major clonal lineages predominated in different geographical regions. T. gondii in South America is genetically and biologically divergent, whereas this parasite is remarkably clonal in North America and Europe with a few major lineages including Types I, II and III. Information on genotypes and mouse virulence of T. gondii isolates from China is scarce and insufficient to investigate its population structure, evolution, and transmission.
Genotyping of 23 T. gondii isolates from different hosts using 10 markers for PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism analyses (SAG1, SAG2, SAG3, BTUB, GRA6, c22-8, c29-2, L358, PK1 and Apico) revealed five genotypes; among them three genotypes were atypical and two were archetypal. Fifteen strains belong to the Chinese 1 lineage, which has been previously reported as a widespread lineage from swine, cats, and humans in China. Two human isolates fall into the type I and II lineages and the remaining isolates belong to two new atypical genotypes (ToxoDB#204 and #205) which has never been reported in China. Our results show that these genotypes of T. gondii isolates are intermediately or highly virulent in mice except for the strain TgCtwh6, which maintained parasitemia in mice for 35 days post infection although it possesses the uniform genotype of Chinese 1. Additionally, phylogenetic network analyses of all isolates of genotype Chinese 1 are identical, and there is no variation based on the sequence data generated for four introns (EF1, HP2, UPRT1 and UPRT7) and two dense granule proteins (GRA6 and GRA7).
A limited genetic diversity was found and genotype Chinese 1 (ToxoDB#9) is dominantly circulating in mainland China. The results will provide a useful profile for deep insight to the population structure, epidemiology and biological characteristics of T. gondii in China.
Marsdenia tenacissima, which is widely used as an anticancer herb in traditional Chinese medicine, has been shown to possess anticancer activities. However, the underlying molecular mechanism(s) involved in the anticancer effect of this herb are poorly understood. Angiogenesis is important in the development of cancer. The main features of angiogenesis are increased vasculature and overexpression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In the present study, the effects of M. tenacissima extract (MTE) on human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation, migration and capillary-like tube formation were investigated in vitro and using the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay in vivo. It was observed that MTE inhibited the proliferation of HUVECs by blocking the cell cycle progression from G1 to S. In addition, MTE inhibited the migration and tube formation of HUVECs. MTE treatment decreased the VEGF-A expression in human hepatoma cells (HepG2), as well as the expression of VEGF-A and VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-2 in HUVECs. MTE exposure in the CAM was able to reduce the formation of blood vessels in chick embryos. Overall, the present data suggest that extracts of M. tenacissima may serve as potential anti-angiogenesis agents.
Marsdenia tenacissima; angiogenesis; cancer treatment; herbal medicine
To investigate the correlation of the chemical interaction between model self-etching adhesives and dentin with the degree of conversion (DC) of the adhesives.
The model self-etching adhesives contained bis[2-methacryloyloxy)ethyl] phosphate (2MP) and 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA) with a mass ratio of 1/1, and 0-40% water contents, respectively. The adhesives were applied either onto the prepared dentin surface or unreactive substrates (such as glass slides), agitated for 15s, then light-cured for 40s. The DCs of the adhesives were determined using micro-Raman spectral and mapping analysis.
The DCs of the adhesives cured on the dentin substrate were found to be significantly higher than those on the unreactive glass substrate. Moreover, the DCs of the adhesives displayed a decreasing trend as the distance from the dentin surface became greater. The chemical interaction of the acidic 2MP/HEMA adhesives with the mineral apatite in dentin was proposed to play a significant role for the observations. The chemical interaction could be validated by the spectral comparison in the phosphate regions of 1100 cm−1 and 960 cm−1 in the Raman spectra. The results also revealed a notable influence of water content on the DC of adhesives. The DCs of the adhesive at 10% water content exhibited the highest DC level for both substrates.
Interaction with dentin dramatically improved the degree of conversion of self-etching adhesives. Our ability to chemically characterize the a/d interface including in situ detection of the DC distribution is very important in understanding self-etching adhesive bonding under in vivo conditions.
Self-etching; dentin; micro-Raman spectroscopy; photo-polymerization; degree of conversion
Toxoplasma gondii infections are prevalent in a wide range of mammalian hosts including humans. Infection in pregnant women may cause the transmission of parasite to the fetus that makes serious problems. IgM antibodies against Toxoplasma (Toxo-IgM) have been believed to be significant indicators for both recently acquired and congenital toxoplasmosis. So far, however, there has not been any recognized protein of T. gondii that specifically reacts to IgM antibodies. Here, an antigen exclusively for detection of IgM antibodies screened by two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry has been reported. The study identified 13 Toxoplasma proteins probed by IgG antibodies and one (rhpotry protein 2 [ROP2]) by IgM antibodies with human sera of Toxo-IgM–-IgG+ and -IgM+-IgG–, respectively, which had been prescreened by Toxo-IgM and -IgG commercial kits from the suspected cases. Following cloning, expression, and purification of the fragment of ROP2186–533, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with rROP2186–533 to measure IgM and IgG antibodies was developed. As a result, 100%(48/48) of sera with Toxo-IgM+-IgG–showed positive Toxo-IgM but none of them (0%) showed positive Toxo-IgG when rROP2186–533 was used as antigen. Neither Toxo-IgG nor Toxo-IgM antibodies were found when tested with 59 sera of Toxo-IgM–-IgG+. These results indicate that rROP2186–533 could be used as an antigen that specifically capture Toxo-IgM antibodies and may have a high potential in the serological diagnosis of both acute acquired and congenital toxoplasmosis.
Eighteen out of 45 children were reported to have a respiratory illness during an outbreak at a temporary dormitory in a nursery school in China in 2011. To study the outbreak and to determine the risk factors for infection, an epidemiological investigation was performed. A standardized questionnaire was completed for a total of 45 children with the help of their guardians and parents. In addition, acute- and convalescent-phase serum samples and throat swabs from the children were taken for laboratory diagnosis. The diagnosis of a Mycoplasma-like illness was based on the following clinical criteria. The criteria were onset of illness after 31 May 2011, characterized by a cough, fever(>37.5°C), or at least 3 of the following symptoms: fever, sore throat, cough or expectoration, and runny or stuffy nose. PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), determination of MICs, and sequencing were performed to determine the genotype, antibiotic resistance, and sequence polymorphisms of the isolated strains, respectively. The paired sera revealed that 15 patients were infected with Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Epidemiology confirmed that this was a point source outbreak, characterized by a short incubation period, a high secondary attack rate, and a long period of hospitalization. PCR-RFLP analysis revealed that the 12 isolated strains of M. pneumoniae shared the same subtype P1 gene, and 23S rRNA sequence analysis showed that these strains harbored two macrolide-resistant gene-related point mutations at position 2063 and 2617. In this outbreak, the major risk factor was the distance between the bed of the first patient and the beds of close contacts (beds less than three meters apart). The strains isolated in this study were found to harbor two point mutations conferring macrolide resistance, indicating the importance of pathogen and drug resistance surveillance systems.
We report an atypical enteropathogenic Escherichia coli O127a:K63 strain with resistance to quinolones and extended-spectrum cephalosporins isolated from a 2010 food poisoning outbreak involving 112 adults in China. Two resistance genes [blaCTX-M-15, aac(6′)-Ib-c] and five mutations (two in gyrA, two in parC, one in parE) coexisted in this enteropathogenic E. coli strain.
A challenge for hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine development is defining conserved epitopes that induce protective antibodies against this highly diverse virus. An envelope glycoprotein (E2) segment located at amino acids (aa) 412 to 423 contains highly conserved neutralizing epitopes. While polyclonal antibodies to aa 412 to 423 from HCV-infected individuals confirmed broad neutralization, conflicting findings have been reported on polyclonal antibodies to an adjacent region, aa 434 to 446, that may or may not interfere with neutralization by antibodies to aa 412 to 423. To define the interplay between these antibodies, we isolated human monoclonal antibodies (HMAbs) to aa 412 to 423, designated HC33-related HMAbs (HC33 HMAbs), and characterized their interactions with other HMAbs to aa 434 to 446. A subset of the HC33 HMAbs neutralized genotype 1 to 6 infectious cell culture-derived HCV virions (HCVcc) with various activities. Although nonneutralizing HC33 HMAbs were isolated, they had lower binding affinities than neutralizing HC33 HMAbs. These antibodies could be converted to neutralizing antibodies by affinity maturation. Unidirectional competition for binding to E2 was observed between HC33 HMAbs and HMAbs to aa 434 to 446. When HMAbs to aa 434 to 446, which mediated neutralization, were combined with neutralizing HC33 HMAbs, biphasic patterns in neutralization were observed. A modest degree of antagonism was observed at lower concentrations, and a modest degree of synergism was observed at higher concentrations. However, the overall effect was additive neutralization. A similar pattern was observed when these antibodies were combined to block E2 binding to the HCV coreceptor, CD81. These findings demonstrate that both of these E2 regions participate in epitopes mediating virus neutralization and that the antibodies to aa 412 to 423 and aa 434 to 446 do not hinder their respective virus-neutralizing activities.