The structured-population model has been widely used to study the spatial transmission of epidemics in human society. Many seminal works have demonstrated the impact of human mobility on the epidemic threshold, assuming that the contact pattern of individuals is mixing homogeneously. Inspired by the recent evidence of location-related factors in reality, we introduce two categories of location-specific heterogeneous human contact patterns into a phenomenological model based on the commuting and contagion processes, which significantly decrease the epidemic threshold and thus favor the outbreak of diseases. In more detail, we find that a monotonic mode presents for the variance of disease prevalence in dependence on the contact rates under the destination-driven contact scenario; while under the origin-driven scenario, enhancing the contact rate counterintuitively weakens the disease prevalence in some parametric regimes. The inclusion of heterogeneity of human contacts is expected to provide valuable support to public health implications.
Polyploidization can precede the development of aneuploidy in cancer. Polyploidization in megakaryocytes (Mk), in contrast, is a highly controlled developmental process critical for efficient platelet production via unknown mechanisms. Using primary cells, we demonstrate that the guanine exchange factors GEF-H1 and ECT2, which are often overexpressed in cancer and are essential for RhoA activation during cytokinesis, must be downregulated for Mk polyploidization. The first (2N-to-4N) endomitotic cycle requires GEF-H1 downregulation while subsequent cycles (>4N) require ECT2 downregulation. Exogenous expression of both GEF-H1 and ECT2 prevents endomitosis, resulting in proliferation of 2N Mk. Furthermore, we have shown that the mechanism by which polyploidization is prevented in Mk lacking Mkl1, which is mutated in megakaryocytic leukemia, is via elevated GEF-H1 expression; shRNA-mediated GEF-H1 knockdown alone rescues this ploidy defect. These mechanistic insights enhance our understanding of normal versus malignant megakaryocytopoiesis, as well as aberrant mitosis in aneuploid cancers.
The purpose of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of depression in Chinese university students, and to identify the socio-demographic factors associated with depression in this population. A multi-stage stratified sampling procedure was used to select university students (N = 5245) in Harbin (Heilongjiang Province, Northeastern China), who were aged 16–35 years. The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to determine depressive symptoms of the participants. BDI scores of 14 or higher were categorized as depressive for logistic regression analysis. Depression was diagnosed by the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID) for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). 11.7% of the participants had a BDI score 14 or higher. Major Depressive Disorder was seen in 4.0% of Chinese university students. There were no statistical differences in the incidence of depression when gender, ethnicity, and university classification were analyzed. Multivariate analysis showed that age, study year, satisfaction with major, family income situation, parental relationship and mother's education were significantly associated with depression. Moderate depression is prevalent in Chinese university students. The students who were older, dissatisfied with their major, had a lower family income, poor parental relationships, and a lower level of mother's education were susceptible to depression.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are caused by both genetic and environmental factors. Mitochondria act to connect genes and environment by regulating gene-encoded metabolic networks according to changes in the chemistry of the cell and its environment. Mitochondrial ATP and other metabolites are mitokines—signaling molecules made in mitochondria—that undergo regulated release from cells to communicate cellular health and danger to neighboring cells via purinergic signaling. The role of purinergic signaling has not yet been explored in autism spectrum disorders.
Objectives and Methods
We used the maternal immune activation (MIA) mouse model of gestational poly(IC) exposure and treatment with the non-selective purinergic antagonist suramin to test the role of purinergic signaling in C57BL/6J mice.
We found that antipurinergic therapy (APT) corrected 16 multisystem abnormalities that defined the ASD-like phenotype in this model. These included correction of the core social deficits and sensorimotor coordination abnormalities, prevention of cerebellar Purkinje cell loss, correction of the ultrastructural synaptic dysmorphology, and correction of the hypothermia, metabolic, mitochondrial, P2Y2 and P2X7 purinergic receptor expression, and ERK1/2 and CAMKII signal transduction abnormalities.
Hyperpurinergia is a fundamental and treatable feature of the multisystem abnormalities in the poly(IC) mouse model of autism spectrum disorders. Antipurinergic therapy provides a new tool for refining current concepts of pathogenesis in autism and related spectrum disorders, and represents a fresh path forward for new drug development.
Motivation: The folding free energy is an important characteristic of proteins stability and is directly related to protein's wild-type function. The changes of protein's stability due to naturally occurring mutations, missense mutations, are typically causing diseases. Single point mutations made in vitro are frequently used to assess the contribution of given amino acid to the stability of the protein. In both cases, it is desirable to predict the change of the folding free energy upon single point mutations in order to either provide insights of the molecular mechanism of the change or to design new experimental studies.
Results: We report an approach that predicts the free energy change upon single point mutation by utilizing the 3D structure of the wild-type protein. It is based on variation of the molecular mechanics Generalized Born (MMGB) method, scaled with optimized parameters (sMMGB) and utilizing specific model of unfolded state. The corresponding mutations are built in silico and the predictions are tested against large dataset of 1109 mutations with experimentally measured changes of the folding free energy. Benchmarking resulted in root mean square deviation = 1.78 kcal/mol and slope of the linear regression fit between the experimental data and the calculations was 1.04. The sMMGB is compared with other leading methods of predicting folding free energy changes upon single mutations and results discussed with respect to various parameters.
Availability: All the pdb files we used in this article can be downloaded from http://compbio.clemson.edu/downloadDir/mentaldisorders/sMMGB_pdb.rar
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Aberrant expression of C-X-C motif chemokine 5 (CXCL5) contributes to the progression of various cancers. This study analyzed the clinical significance of serum CXCL5 (sCXCL5) levels of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients, with the goal of building a novel prognostic score model.
Serum samples were collected prior to treatment from 290 NPC patients for the detection of sCXCL5 with ELISA. Half of the patients (n = 145) were randomly assigned to the training set to generate the sCXCL5 cutoff point using receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analysis, while the other half (n = 145) were assigned to the testing set for validation. Associations between sCXCL5 levels and clinical characteristics were analyzed. A prognostic score model was built using independent predictors derived from multivariate analysis. A concordance index (C-Index) was used to evaluate prognostic ability.
The sCXCL5 cutoff point was 0.805 ng/ml. Sex, age, histology, T classification, clinical classification and local recurrence were not associated with sCXCL5 levels. However, sCXCL5 levels were positively associated with N classification, distant metastasis and disease progression (P<0.05). A high sCXCL5 level predicted poor 6-year overall survival (OS), poor 6-year distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and poor 6-year progression-free survival (PFS). A prognostic score model was subsequently constructed based on sCXCL5 levels and clinical classification (C-C model), which are independent predictors of OS, DMFS, and PFS, as confirmed by the multivariate analysis. Furthermore, this novel model successfully divided the patients into four risk subgroups in the training set, the testing set and the entire set of patients. The C-Indices were 0.751 and 0.762 for the training set and the testing set, respectively.
sCXCL5 level was determined to be an independent prognostic factor for NPC patients. The novel statistical C-C model, which includes sCXCL5 levels and clinical classification, could be helpful in predicting the prognosis of NPC patients.
It has been predicted that the UL31 gene originates from the positive strand of the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) genome, whereas the UL30 and UL32 genes originate from the complementary strand. Except for the UL32 gene, the transcription of this gene region has not been investigated extensively.
Northern blotting, cDNA library screening, RACE-PCR,and RT-PCR were used.
At least eight transcripts of the antisense orientation of UL31 were transcribed from the UL30–UL32 region during the late phase of HCMV infection. The 3′ coterminus of these transcripts was located within the predicted UL30 gene. The longest 6.0-kb transcript was initiated upstream of the predicted UL32 gene. Other transcripts were derived from the predicted UL30 and UL31 gene region. Except for the previously predicted UL32 open reading frame (ORF), three novel ORFs, named UL31anti-1, UL31anti-2 and UL31anti-3, were located in the transcripts from the UL31anti-UL32 transcription unit. No transcription was found in UL31.
A family of novel 3′ coterminal transcripts was transcribed from the UL30–UL32 gene region.
Human cytomegalovirus; UL30; UL31; UL32; Gene transcription
The determination of sensitive chemotherapy drugs for gastric cancer (GC) is one of the greatest challenges of adjuvant therapy. Here we evaluated the chemosensitivity of GC to anticancer drugs and the telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) mRNA expression, and investigated the relationship of them.
The GC cells which were collected from 68 patients with primary GC were primary cultured. The chemosensitivity of GC cells to anticancer drugs was evaluated successfully using the MTT assay for 60 cases of GC cells, and the hTERT mRNA expression was examined in 60 cases of GC tissues and corresponding normal gastric mucosa and 6 cases of chronic superficial gastritis mucosa by in situ hybridization.
Taxol, Cisplatin and 5-Fluorouracil were in general more effective than Adriamycin and Mitomycin for GC cells, and the chemosensitivity to anticancer drugs was associated with tumor histological types and a worse tumor grade. Compared to normal gastric mucosa tissues, hTERT mRNA expression was significantly increased in GC (P<0.05), which was related with a worse differentiation and drug-resistance to 5-Fluorouracil or Adriamycin in GC.
These data demonstrate for the first time that examinations of hTERT mRNA expression as an important factor could be used to select the chemotherapeutic drugs for GC patients.
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1793217009875483
Gastric cancer; Anticancer drugs; Chemosensitivity; hTERT mRNA; MTT assay
Biochemical and topographical features of an artificial extracellular matrix (aECM) can direct stem cell fate. However, it is difficult to vary only the biochemical cues without changing nanotopography to study their unique role. We took advantage of two unique features of M13 phage, a non-toxic nanofiber-like virus, to generate a virus-activated aECM with constant ordered ridge/groove nanotopography but displaying different fibronectin-derived peptides (RGD, its synergy site PHSRN, and a combination of RGD and PHSRN). One feature is the self-assembly of phage into a ridge/groove structure, another is the ease of genetically surface-displaying a peptide. We found that the unique ridge/groove nanotopography and the display of RGD and PHSRN could induce the osteoblastic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) without any osteogenic supplements. The aECM formed through self-assembly and genetic engineering of phage can be used to understand the role of peptide cues in directing stem cell behavior while keeping nanotopography constant.
Herpesviruses or herpesviral sequences have been identified in various bat species. Here, we report the isolation, cell tropism, and complete genome sequence of a novel betaherpesvirus from the bat Miniopterus schreibersii (MsHV). In primary cell culture, MsHV causes cytopathic effects (CPE) and reaches peak virus production 2 weeks after infection. MsHV was found to infect and replicate less efficiently in a feline kidney cell, CRFK, and failed to replicate in 13 other cell lines tested. Sequencing of the MsHV genome using the 454 system, with a 224-fold coverage, revealed a genome size of 222,870 bp. The genome was extensively analyzed in comparison to those of related viruses. Of the 190 predicted open reading frames (ORFs), 40 were identified as herpesvirus core genes. Among 93 proteins with identifiable homologues in tree shrew herpesvirus (THV), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), or rat cytomegalovirus (RCMV), most had highest sequence identities with THV counterparts. However, the MsHV genome organization is colinear with that of RCMV rather than that of THV. The following unique features were discovered in the MsHV genome. One predicted protein, B125, is similar to human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) U94, a homologue of the parvovirus Rep protein. For the unique ORFs, 7 are predicted to encode major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-related proteins, 2 to encode MHC class I homologues, and 3 to encode MHC class II homologues; 4 encode the homologues of C-type lectin- or natural killer cell lectin-like receptors;, and the products of a unique gene family, the b149 family, of 16 members, have no significant sequence identity with known proteins but exhibit immunoglobulin-like beta-sandwich domains revealed by three-dimensional (3D) structural prediction. To our knowledge, MsHV is the first virus genome known to encode MHC class II homologues.
Bats carry a variety of paramyxoviruses that impact human and domestic animal health when spillover occurs. Recent studies have shown a great diversity of paramyxoviruses in an urban-roosting population of straw-colored fruit bats in Ghana. Here, we investigate this further through virus isolation and describe two novel rubulaviruses: Achimota virus 1 (AchPV1) and Achimota virus 2 (AchPV2). The viruses form a phylogenetic cluster with each other and other bat-derived rubulaviruses, such as Tuhoko viruses, Menangle virus, and Tioman virus. We developed AchPV1- and AchPV2-specific serological assays and found evidence of infection with both viruses in Eidolon helvum across sub-Saharan Africa and on islands in the Gulf of Guinea. Longitudinal sampling of E. helvum indicates virus persistence within fruit bat populations and suggests spread of AchPVs via horizontal transmission. We also detected possible serological evidence of human infection with AchPV2 in Ghana and Tanzania. It is likely that clinically significant zoonotic spillover of chiropteran paramyxoviruses could be missed throughout much of Africa where health surveillance and diagnostics are poor and comorbidities, such as infection with HIV or Plasmodium sp., are common.
To determine geographic range for Ebola virus, we tested 276 bats in Bangladesh. Five (3.5%) bats were positive for antibodies against Ebola Zaire and Reston viruses; no virus was detected by PCR. These bats might be a reservoir for Ebola or Ebola-like viruses, and extend the range of filoviruses to mainland Asia.
bats; fruit bats; Chiroptera; Ebola virus; filovirus; viruses; Rousettus leschenaultii; natural reservoir; serology; zoonoses; Bangladesh
A technique was developed for assaying axonal transport in retinal ganglion cells using 2
µl injections of 1% cholera toxin b-subunit conjugated to AlexaFluor488 (CTB). In
vivo retinal and post-mortem brain imaging by confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and
post-mortem microscopy were performed. The transport of CTB was sensitive to colchicine, which
disrupts axonal microtubules. The bulk rates of transport were determined to be approximately
80–90 mm/day (anterograde) and 160 mm/day (retrograde). Results demonstrate that axonal
transport of CTB can be monitored in vivo in the rodent anterior visual pathway, is
dependent on intact microtubules, and occurs by active transport mechanisms.
(170.2655) Functional monitoring and imaging; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging
Dickkopf-1 (DKK-1), a major regulator of the Wnt pathway, plays an important role in cardiovascular disease. However, no study has evaluated the association of DKK-1 and acute coronary syndrome (ACS). We investigated this association and whether the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) hospital-discharge risk score predicting major adverse cardiac events (MACE) can be improved by adding the DKK-1 value.
We enrolled 291 patients (46 with ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction [STEMI] and 245 with non-ST elevated ACS [NSTE-ACS]) who were divided into groups by tertiles of baseline plasma DKK-1 level measured by ELISA. The GRACE risk score was calculated and predictive value alone and together with DKK-1 and/or high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) level were assessed, respectively.
Compared with patients with NSTE-ACS, those with STEMI had higher plasma DKK-1 level at baseline (P = 0.006). Plasma DKK-1 level was correlated with hs-CRP level (r = 0.295, P<0.001) and was greater with high than intermediate or low GRACE scores (P = 0.002 and P<0.001, respectively). We found 44 (15.1%) MACEs during a median 2-year follow-up. DKK-1 levels were higher for patients with than without events (P<0.001). The rate of MACE increased with increasing DKK-1 level (P<0.001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for GRACE score with MACE was 0.524 and improved to 0.791 with the addition of hs-CRP level, 0.775 with the addition of DKK-1 level and 0.847 with both values added.
DKK-1 is an independent predictor of long-term MACE of patients with ACS. The long-term predictive ability of post-discharge GRACE score may be enhanced by adding DKK-1 level.
Clinical evidence indicates that late acute renal failure (ARF) predicts high mortality in severely burned patients but the pathophysiology of late ARF remains undefined. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that sustained reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced late ARF in a severely burned rat model and to investigate the signaling mechanisms involved.
Materials and Methods
Rats were exposed to 100°C bath for 15 s to induce severe burn injury (40% of total body surface area). Renal function, ROS generation, tubular necrosis and apoptosis, and phosphorylation of MAPK and Akt were measured during 72 hours after burn.
Renal function as assessed by serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen deteriorated significantly at 3 h after burn, alleviated at 6 h but worsened at 48 h and 72 h, indicating a late ARF was induced. Apoptotic cells and cleavage caspase-3 in the kidney went up slowly and turned into significant at 48 h and 72 h. Tubular cell ROS production shot up at 6 h and continuously rose during the 72-h experiment. Scavenging ROS with tempol markedly attenuated tubular apoptosis and renal dysfunction at 72 h after burn. Interestingly, renal p38 MAPK phosphorylation elevated in a time dependent manner whereas Akt phosphorylation increased during the first 24 h but decreased at 48 h after burn. The p38 MAPK specific inhibitor SB203580 alleviated whereas Akt inhibitor exacerbated burn-induced tubular apoptosis and renal dysfunction. Furthermore, tempol treatment exerted a duplex regulation through inhibiting p38 MAPK phosphorylation but further increasing Akt phosphorylation at 72 h postburn.
These results demonstrate that sustained renal ROS overproduction induces continuous tubular cell apoptosis and thus a late ARF at 72 h after burn in severely burned rats, which may result from ROS-mediated activation of p38 MAPK but a late inhibition of Akt phosphorylation.
In the present study, a comparison of the biological processes and gene ontology (GO) in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with high expression (fold change ≥2) of amelogenin Y-linked (AMELY)-activated upstream regulation networks with non-tumor hepatitis/cirrhotic tissues (HBV or HCV infection) with low expression of activated networks was performed. The principle biological processes involved in non-tumor hepatitis/cirrhotic tissues include positive regulation of mismatch repair, regulation of transcription from RNA polymerase II promoters, negative regulation of cell-cell adhesion, protein ubiquitinatin and protein catabolism. The main biological processes involved in the development of HCC include positive regulation of calcium ion transport into the cytosol, cell proliferation, DNA replication, fibroblast proliferation, immune response, microtubule polymerization and protein secretion. Specific transcription from RNA polymerase II promoters, regulation of angiogenesis, cell growth, protein metabolism, Wnt receptor signaling pathways, negative regulation of endothelial cell differentiation, microtubule depolymerization, peptidase activity and progression through the cell cycle are also involved. Positive regulation of transcription is involved in both processes. An activated AMELY-coupled upstream positive regulation of immune response-mediated protein secretion to Wnt signaling and calcium into cytosol-induced regulation of cell growth and angiogenesis in HCC is proposed. The AMELY upstream regulation molecular network model was constructed with BUB1B, CST6, ESM1, HOXA5, LEF1, MAPT, MYBL2, NOTCH3, PLA2G1B, PROK1, ROBO1, SCML2 and UBE2C in HCC from a Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) dataset by gene regulation network inference methods and our programming methods.
activated amelogenin Y-linked (AMELY) upstream regulation network; Wnt signaling; calcium signaling; cell growth; angiogenesis; theoretical analysis; hepatocellular carcinoma
Hypoxia stimulates synovial hypoperfusion in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). TXNDC5 stimulates cellular proliferation in hypoxic conditions. We previously detected increased TXNDC5 expression in synovial tissues and blood from RA patients and demonstrated that the gene encoding TXNDC5 increased RA risk. The present study investigated the pathogenic roles of TXNDC5 in RA. Transgenic mice that over-expressed TXNDC5 (TXNDC5-Tg) were generated using C57BL/6J mice and treated with bovine collagen II to induce arthritis (CIA). Synovial fibroblasts from RA patients (RASFs) were cultured and incubated with TXNDC5-siRNA or CoCl2, a chemical that induces hypoxia. CIA was observed in 80% of the TXNDC5-Tg, but only 20% of the wild-type mice (WT) developed CIA. The clinical arthritis scores reached 5 in the TXNDC5-Tg, but this index only reached 2 in the control mice. CIA TXNDC5-Tg exhibited clear pannus proliferation and bone erosion in joint tissues. A significant increase in CD4 T cells was observed in the thymus and spleen of TXNDC5-Tg during CIA. Serum levels of anti-collagen II IgG, IgG1 and IgG2a antibodies were significantly elevated in the mice. Increased cell proliferation, cell migration and TXNDC5 expression were observed in RASFs following incubation with 1 µM CoCl2. However, this effect was diminished when TXNDC5 expression was inhibited with 100 nM siRNA. TNF-alpha, IL-1α, IL-1β and IL-17 levels were significantly increased in the blood of TXNDC5-Tg mice, but the levels of these cytokines declined in the supernatant of RASFs that were treated with TXNDC5 siRNA. The expression of adiponectin, a cytokine-like mediator, decreased significantly in RASFs following TXNDC5 siRNA treatment. These results suggest that TXNDC5-over-expressing mice were susceptible to CIA. This study also suggests that hypoxia induced TXCNDC5 expression, which contributed to adiponectin expression, cytokine production and the cellular proliferation and migration of fibroblasts in RA.
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.
In this study, a novel system for the detection and quantification of organofluorophosphonates (OFP) has been developed by using an optical sensing polymeric membrane to detect the fluoride ions produced upon OFP hydrolysis. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP), a structural analogue of Type G Chemical Warfare Agents such as Sarin (GB) and Soman (GD), is used as the surrogate target analyte. An optical sensing fluoride-ion-selective polymeric film was formulated from plasticized PVC containing aluminum(III) octaethylporphyrin and ETH 7075 chromoionophore (Al[OEP]-ETH 7075). Selected formulations were used to detect the fluoride ions produced by the catalytic hydrolysis of DFP by the enzyme organophosphate hydrolase (OPH, EC 18.104.22.168). The changes in absorbance that corresponded to the deprotonated state of chromoionophore within the film results from simultaneous co-extraction of fluoride and protons as DFP hydrolysis takes place in the solution phase in contact with the film. The developed sensing system demonstrates excellent sensitivity for concentrations as low as 0.1 µM DFP.
Cell aggregation in unicellular organisms, induced by either cell non-sexual adhesion to yield flocs and biofilm, or pheromone-driving sexual conjugation is of great significance in cellular stress response, medicine, and brewing industries. Most current literatures have focused on one form of cell aggregation termed flocculation and its major molecular determinants, the flocculation (FLO) family genes. Here, we implemented a map-based approach for dissecting the molecular basis of non-sexual cell aggregation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Genome-wide mapping has identified four major quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying nature variation in the cell aggregation phenotype. High-resolution mapping following up with knockout and allele replacement experiments resolved the QTL into the underlying genes (AMN1, RGA1, FLO1, and FLO8) or even into the causative nucleotide. Genetic variation in the QTL genes can explain up to 46% of phenotypic variation of this trait. Of these genes, AMN1 plays the leading role, differing from the FLO family members, in regulating expression of cell clumping phenotype through inducing cell segregation defect. These findings provide novel insights into the molecular mechanism of how cell aggregation is regulated in budding yeast, and the data will be directly implicated to understand the molecular basis and evolutionary implications of cell aggregation in other fungus species.
cell aggregation; map-based cloning; QTL analysis; Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Background and objective: Hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (HSOS) is characterized by painful hepatomegaly, ascites, increased body weight, and jaundice. Gynura segetum (Compositae), a plant widely used in Chinese traditional medicine, often leads to the development of HSOS. However, the mechanism is unclear. The aim was to study the role of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in the onset of HSOS induced by Gynura segetum. Methods: Twenty-five male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into two groups. Twenty were exposed to 600 mg/kg daily Gynura segetum extract solution for three weeks; five control rats were exposed to tap water alone. Liver sections were evaluated by light microscopy with a modified scoring system. Routine transmission electron microscopy (TEM) methods were used to evaluate the ultrastructual features of fixed liver tissue, and blood samples were collected to determine liver enzyme concentrations. MMP-9 expression was assessed by both immunohistochemical staining and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods. Results: A stable and reproducible rat model of HSOS was achieved by long-term exposure to Gynura segetum extract. The treated rats presented clinical symptoms and the histopathological manifestation of HSOS, including abnormal liver enzyme concentrations (alanine aminotransferase (ALT): (84.8±13.62) vs. (167.0±72.63) U/L, P<0.05; aspartate aminotransferase (AST): (27.6±6.31) vs. (232.8±108.58) U/L, P<0.05). Hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and TEM together revealed deposition of red blood cells, the damage and destruction of hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells, collapse of hepatic sinusoids, hemorrhage of subendothelial cells, atrophy and destruction of hepatocytes, etc. Compared with controls, the expression of MMP-9 in the blood sample, the lung and liver tissues of HSOS rats was increased. Conclusions: MMP-9 may have an important role in early pathological changes of HSOS, and thus the onset of the disease.
Hepatic sinusoidal obstruction syndrome; Gynura segetum (Compositae); Sinusoidal endothelial cells; Matrix metalloproteinase-9
Studies have demonstrated that carbonic anhydrase I (CA1) stimulates calcium salt precipitation and cell calcification, which is an essential step in new bone formation. Our study had reported that CA1 encoding gene has a strong association with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS), two rheumatic diseases with abnormal new bone formation and bone resorption in joints. This study investigated the effect of CA1 on joint inflammation and tissue destruction in transgenic mice that over-express CA1 (CA1-Tg).
CA1-Tg was generated with C57BL/6J mice by conventional methods. CA1-Tg was treated with collagen-II to induce arthritis (CIA). Wild-type mice, CA1-Tg treated with bovine serum albumin (BSA) and transgenic mice over-expressing PADI4 (PADI4-Tg), a gene known to be involved in rheumatoid arthritis, were used as controls. Histochemistry and X-ray radiographic assay were used to examine joint destruction. Western blotting and real time-PCR were used to examine CA1 expression.
CIA was observed in 60% of CA1-Tg, 20% of PADI4-Tg and 20% of wild-type mice after collagen injections. No CIA was found in CA1-Tg mice that received injections of BSA. The arthritic score was 5.5 ± 0.84 in the CA1-Tgs but the score was less than 2 in the injected wild-type mice and the PADI4-Tgs. The thickness of the hind paws in the CA1-Tgs was 3.46 ± 0.11 mm, which was thicker than that of PADI4-Tgs (2.23 ± 0.08 mm), wild-type mice (2.08 ± 0.06 mm) and BSA-treated CA1-Tgs (2.04 ± 0.07 mm). Histochemistry showed obvious inflammation, synovial hyperplasia and bone destruction in the joints of CA1-Tg that was not detected in PADI4-Tgs or wild-type mice. X-ray assays showed bone fusion in the paws and spines of CA1-Tg mice.
Over-expression of CA1 may aggravate joint inflammation and tissue destruction in the transgenic mice.
Carbonic anhydrase I (CA1); New bone formation; Transgenic mice; collagen-induced arthritis (CIA); Ankylosing spondylitis (AS); Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
High strength porous titanium implants are widely used for the reconstruction of craniofacial defects because of their similar mechanical properties to those of bone. The recent introduction of electron beam melting (EBM) technique allows a direct digitally enabled fabrication of patient specific porous titanium implants, whereas both their in vitro and in vivo biological performance need further investigation.
In the present study, we fabricated porous Ti6Al4V implants with controlled porous structure by EBM process, analyzed their mechanical properties, and conducted the surface modification with biomimetic approach. The bioactivities of EBM porous titanium in vitro and in vivo were evaluated between implants with and without biomimetic apatite coating.
The physical property of the porous implants, containing the compressive strength being 163 - 286 MPa and the Young’s modulus being 14.5–38.5 GPa, is similar to cortical bone. The in vitro culture of osteoblasts on the porous Ti6Al4V implants has shown a favorable circumstance for cell attachment and proliferation as well as cell morphology and spreading, which were comparable with the implants coating with bone-like apatite. In vivo, histological analysis has obtained a rapid ingrowth of bone tissue from calvarial margins toward the center of bone defect in 12 weeks. We observed similar increasing rate of bone ingrowth and percentage of bone formation within coated and uncoated implants, all of which achieved a successful bridging of the defect in 12 weeks after the implantation.
This study demonstrated that the EBM porous Ti6Al4V implant not only reduced the stress-shielding but also exerted appropriate osteoconductive properties, as well as the apatite coated group. The results opened up the possibility of using purely porous titanium alloy scaffolds to reconstruct specific bone defects in the maxillofacial and orthopedic fields.
The Hint1 protein, a member of the histidine triad (HIT) family, is highly conserved in diverse species and ubiquitously expressed in mammalian tissues. Previous studies in mice provided evidence that Hint1 may be haplosufficient with respect to its function as a tumor suppressor. In the present study, we investigated the aberrant methylation of Hint1 and explored possible relationships between aberrant methylation and clinicopathological features in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hypermethylation of Hint1 was evaluated by the methylation specific PCR (MSP) method in 40 patients with HCC (tumor and paired adjacent non-tumor tissues) from Taiwan, 22 cases of normal liver tissue (14 from Taiwan and 8 from the U.S.). HINT1 expression in tissues was detected by immunohistochemistry. The frequencies of hypermethylation of Hint1 in tumor, paired adjacent non-tumor and normal liver tissue were 55.0%, 37.5% and 9.1%, respectively. A statistically significant inverse association was found between Hint1 methylation status and expression of the HINT1 protein in tumor tissues (p<0.003). The relationship between Hint1 methylation status and clinical features and other, previously measured biomarkers was also analyzed. p16 hypermethylation was statistically significantly associated with Hint1 methylation status (p=0.035). There were no correlations between Hint1 methylation and HBV or HCV infection status or AFB1- and PAH-DNA adduct levels. These results suggest that promoter hypermethylation of Hint1 may play a role in hepatocarcinogenesis.
Hint1; HCC; epigenetic changes; promoter hypermethylation; p16; environmental carcinogens
Appropriate induction of the early Th1 cytokine IL-12 is a critical defense directed against viral infection. We have previously shown that different viruses elicited either IL-12 or IFNα dependent Th1 reactions. Using dengue-2 virus, we sought to explore how dengue-2 induced IL-12 or IFNα expression by monocytic and its derived dendritic cells.
We employed human monocytic cell line, THP-1, to investigate whether differentiation of monocytic cells is involved in the switch between IFNα and IL-12 induction. Flow cytometry, RT-PCR and ELISA were respectively used to determine cell differentiation, IL-12 and IFNα mRNA expression and protein production.
THP-1, expressing CD123, which is a plasmacytoid dendritic cell marker, but not CD14, CD11b or CD11c revealed IFNα mRNA expression while stimulated by dengue-2. In contrast, PMA-induced THP-1 differentiation toward monocytic cells expressed CD11b+, and CD14+, but not CD123, and revealed exclusively IL-12 expression while stimulated by dengue-2. Further studies showed that CD123+ expressing THP-1 cells elicited higher IFNα expression in dose and time dependent induction after infection, and PMA-induced monocytic differentiation of THP-1 cells revealed IL-12 expression. Antibody-dependent enhancement of DEN-2 infection significantly suppressed the DEN-2 induced IL-12 p40 expression in monocytic differentiated THP-1 cells.
Clarification and modulation of the early Th1 reaction in different monocytic cells may change or prevent complication from dengue infection.
Monocyte; Deneritic cells; Differentiation; CD123; IFNα; IL-12