Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified around 60 common variants associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), but these loci only explain a fraction of the heritability of MS. Some missing heritability may be caused by rare variants that have been suggested to play an important role in the aetiology of complex diseases such as MS. However current genetic and statistical methods for detecting rare variants are expensive and time consuming. ‘Population-based linkage analysis’ (PBLA) or so called identity-by-descent (IBD) mapping is a novel way to detect rare variants in extant GWAS datasets. We employed BEAGLE fastIBD to search for rare MS variants utilising IBD mapping in a large GWAS dataset of 3,543 cases and 5,898 controls. We identified a genome-wide significant linkage signal on chromosome 19 (LOD = 4.65; p = 1.9×10−6). Network analysis of cases and controls sharing haplotypes on chromosome 19 further strengthened the association as there are more large networks of cases sharing haplotypes than controls. This linkage region includes a cluster of zinc finger genes of unknown function. Analysis of genome wide transcriptome data suggests that genes in this zinc finger cluster may be involved in very early developmental regulation of the CNS. Our study also indicates that BEAGLE fastIBD allowed identification of rare variants in large unrelated population with moderate computational intensity. Even with the development of whole-genome sequencing, IBD mapping still may be a promising way to narrow down the region of interest for sequencing priority.
With the advent of microsurgery and surgical techniques, along with the improvement in neuroimaging techniques and the microanatomy in cadaver study, improvement in terms of surgical morbidity and mortality has been remarkable; however, controversy still exists regarding the optimal surgical strategies for giant petroclival meningiomas (GPMs). We report a study of clinical and radiological features as well as the surgical findings and outcomes for patients with GPM treated at our institution over the past 6 years. During a 6-year period (April 2004 to March 2010), 16 patients with GPM underwent surgery by subtemporal transtentorial petrosal apex approach during which electrophysiological monitoring of cranial nerves and brainstem function were reviewed. There were nine females and seven males with a mean age of 56.9 years (range from 32 to 78 years). The most frequent clinical manifestations were headache (93.7%) and dizziness (93.7%). Regions and directions of tumor extension include clivus, parasellar, and cavernous sinus, as well as compression of brainstem, and so on. The trochlear nerve was totally wrapped in nine cases (56.2%). The postoperative Karnofsky Performance Scale (KPS) score was 76.3 ± 13.1. Mean maximum diameter of the tumors on magnetic resonance imaging was 5.23 cm (range, 4.5 to 6.2 cm). Subtemporal transtentorial petrosalapex approach was performed in all 16 cases. Gross total resection was achieved in 14 cases (87.5%) and subtotal resection in 2 cases (12.5%) with no resultant mortality. Follow-up data were available for all 16 patients, with a mean follow-up period of 28.8 months (range from 4 to 69 months), of which 11 (68.75%) lived a normal life (KPS, 80–100). Our suggestion is that GPM could be completely resected by subtemporal transtentorial petrosalapex approach. The surgical strategy of GPM should be focused on survival and postoperative quality of life. Microneurosurgical technique plays a key role in tumor resection and preservation of nerve function. Intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring also contributes dramatically to the preservation of the nerve function. Complete resection of the tumor should be attempted at the first operation. Any remnant is treated by radiosurgery.
subtemporal transtentorial petrosalapex approach; petroclival areas; meningioma; surgical approach; electrophysiological monitoring
The Oxford classification of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) provides a useful tool for prediction of renal prognosis. However, the application of this classification in children with IgAN needs validation in different patient populations.
A total of 218 children with IgAN from 7 renal centers in China were enrolled. The inclusion criteria was similar to the original Oxford study.
There were 98 patients (45%) with mesangial proliferation (M1), 51 patients (23%) with endocapillary proliferation (E1), 136 patients (62%) with segmental sclerosis/adhesion lesion (S1), 13 patients (6%) with moderate tubulointerstitial fibrosis (T1 26-50% of cortex scarred), and only 2 patients (1%) with severe tubulointerstitial fibrosis (T2, >50% of cortex scarred). During a median follow-up duration of 56 months, 24 children (12.4%) developed ESRD or 50% decline in renal function. In univariate COX analysis, we found that tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis (HR 4.3, 95%CI 1.8-10.5, P < 0.001) and segmental glomerulosclerosis (HR 9.2 1.2-68.6, P = 0.03) were significant predictors of renal outcome. However, mesangial hypercellularity, endocapillary proliferation, crescents, and necrosis were not associated with renal prognosis. In the multivariate COX regression model, none of these pathologic lesions were shown to be independent risk factors of unfavorable renal outcome except for tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis (HR 2.9, 95%CI 1.0-7.9 P = 0.04).
We confirmed tubular atrophy/interstitial fibrosis was the only feature independently associated with renal outcomes in Chinese children with IgAN.
Glomerulonephritis; IgA nephropathy; Oxford classification; Children; Pediatrics
Host cell invasion by Toxoplasma gondii is tightly related to microneme protein 6 (MIC6) and T. gondii perforin-like protein 1 (TgPLP1). In this study, we constructed a DNA vaccine expressing a TgPLP1/MIC6 fusion protein using the pIRESneo vector, and we evaluated the immune response induced by this vaccine in Kunming mice. Levels of IgG antibody, gamma interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin 2 (IL-2), IL-12, IL-4, and IL-10 were examined. Five mice were chosen randomly from every group (vaccinated groups or the nonvaccinated control group) and were challenged intragastrically with 80 cysts of T. gondii strain PRU (genotype II) in order to observe mortality daily. To analyze protection against a less-virulent challenge, eight mice of each group were orally infected with 20 cysts of strain PRU at the 14th day after the last immunization. The brain parasite load was evaluated 6 weeks after infection. The results demonstrated that immunization with pIRESneo/MIC6/PLP1 resulted in the lowest brain cyst count and prolonged the survival time of immunized mice. The levels of Toxoplasma-specific IgG, IFN-γ, IL-2, and IL-12 increased significantly, and the numbers of cysts in brains decreased more obviously, in the group immunized with plasmid pIRESneo/MIC6/PLP1 than in the other groups (P < 0.05). Compared with pIRESneo/MIC6/PLP1, coimmunization with pIRESneo/MIC6/PLP1 and adjuvant murine IL-18 promoted cellular and humoral immune responses but did not contribute significantly to cyst reduction (65.43% versus 61.60%) or the survival of immunized mice (45.0 ± 2.9 days versus 42.8 ± 2.9 days) (P > 0.05). Furthermore, the study also showed that the immune efficacy induced by pIRESneo/MIC6/PLP1 was better than that induced by pVAX/PLP1 or pVAX/MIC6 alone.
The whipworm, Trichuris trichiura, causes trichuriasis in ∼600 million people worldwide, mainly in developing countries. Whipworms also infect other animal hosts, including pigs (T. suis), dogs (T. vulpis) and non-human primates, and cause disease in these hosts, which is similar to trichuriasis of humans. Although Trichuris species are considered to be host specific, there has been considerable controversy, over the years, as to whether T. trichiura and T. suis are the same or distinct species. Here, we characterised the entire mitochondrial genomes of human-derived Trichuris and pig-derived Trichuris, compared them and then tested the hypothesis that the parasites from these two host species are genetically distinct in a phylogenetic analysis of the sequence data. Taken together, the findings support the proposal that T. trichiura and T. suis are separate species, consistent with previous data for nuclear ribosomal DNA. Using molecular analytical tools, employing genetic markers defined herein, future work should conduct large-scale studies to establish whether T. trichiura is found in pigs and T. suis in humans in endemic regions.
Trichuriasis is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) caused by parasitic nematodes of the genus Trichuris (Nematoda), causing significant human and animal health problems as well as considerable socio-economic consequences world-wide. Although Trichuris species are considered to be relatively host specific, there has been significant controversy as to whether Trichuris infecting humans (recognized as T. trichiura) is a distinct species from that found in pigs (recognized as T. suis), or not. In the present study, we sequenced, annotated and compared the complete mitochondrial genomes of Trichuris from these two hosts and undertook a phylogenetic analysis of the mitochondrial datasets. This analysis showed clear genetic distinctiveness and strong statistical support for the hypothesis that T. trichiura and T. suis are separate species, consistent with previous studies using nuclear ribosomal DNA sequence data. Future studies could explore, using mitochondrial genetic markers defined in the present study, cross-transmission of Trichuris between pigs and humans in endemic regions, and the population genetics of T. trichiura and T. suis.
RNA processing is vital for the high fidelity and diversity of eukaryotic transcriptomes and the encoded proteomes. However, control of RNA processing is not fully established. Σ RNA is a class of conserved large noncoding RNAs (murine Hepcarcin; human MALAT-1) up-regulated in carcinomas. Using antisense technology, we identified that RNA post-transcriptional modification is the most significant global function of Σ RNA. Specifically, processing of the pre-mRNAs of genes including Tissue Factor and Endoglin was altered by hydrolysis of Σ RNA/MALAT-1. These results support the hypothesis that Σ RNA/MALAT-1 is a regulatory molecule exerting roles in RNA post-transcriptional modification.
Hepcarcin; Σ RNA/MALAT-1; RNA processing; alternative splicing
Sparganosis, caused by the plerocercoid larvae of members of the genus Spirometra, can cause significant public health problem and considerable economic losses. In the present study, the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence of Spirometra erinaceieuropaei from China was determined, characterized and compared with that of S. erinaceieuropaei from Japan. The gene arrangement in the mt genome sequences of S. erinaceieuropaei from China and Japan is identical. The identity of the mt genomes was 99.1% between S. erinaceieuropaei from China and Japan, and the complete mtDNA sequence of S. erinaceieuropaei from China is slightly shorter (2 bp) than that from Japan. Phylogenetic analysis of S. erinaceieuropaei with other representative cestodes using two different computational algorithms [Bayesian inference (BI) and maximum likelihood (ML)] based on concatenated amino acid sequences of 12 protein-coding genes, revealed that S. erinaceieuropaei is closely related to Diphyllobothrium spp., supporting classification based on morphological features. The present study determined the complete mtDNA sequences of S. erinaceieuropaei from China that provides novel genetic markers for studying the population genetics and molecular epidemiology of S. erinaceieuropaei in humans and animals.
Spirometra erinaceieuropaei; sparganosis; mitochondrial genome; mitochondrial DNA; phylogenetic analyses.
FasL expression on human immune cells and cancer cells plays important roles in immune homeostasis and in cancer development. Our previous study suggests that polymorphisms in the FasL promoter can significantly affect the gene expression in human cells. In addition to the functional FasL SNP -844C>T (rs763110), three other SNPs (SNP -756A>G or rs2021837, SNP -478A>T or rs41309790, and SNP -205 C>G or rs74124371) exist in the proximal FasL promoter. In the current study, we established three major FasL hyplotypes in humans. Interestingly, a transcription motif search revealed that the FasL promoter possessed two consensus T-cell factor (TCF/LEF1) binding elements (TBEs), which is either polymorphic (SNP -205C>G) or close to the functional SNP -844C>T. Subsequently, we demonstrate that both FasL TBEs formed complexes with the TCF-4 and β-catenin transcription factors in vitro and in vivo. Co-transfection of LEF-1 and β-catenin transcription factors significantly increased FasL promoter activities, suggesting that FasL is a target gene of the β-catenin/T-cell factor pathway. More importantly, we found that the rare allele (-205G) of the polymorphic FasL TBE (SNP -205C>G) failed to bind the TCF-4 transcription factor and that SNP -205 C>G significantly affected the promoter activity. Furthermore, promoter reporter assays revealed that FasL SNP haplotypes influenced promoter activities in human colon cancer cells and in human T cells. Finally, β-catenin knockdown significantly decreased the FasL expression in human SW480 colon cancer cells. Collectively, our data suggest that β-catenin may be involved in FasL gene regulation and that FasL expression is influenced by FasL SNP haplotypes, which may have significant implications in immune response and tumorigenesis.
Clonorchiasis, caused by Clonorchis sinensis, is one of the major parasitic zoonoses in China, particularly in China's southern Guangdong province where the prevalence of C. sinensis infection in humans is high. However, little is known of the prevalence of C. sinensis infection in its reservoir hosts dogs and cats. Hence, the prevalence of C. sinensis infection in dogs and cats was investigated in Guangdong province, China between October 2006 and March 2008.
A total of 503 dogs and 194 cats from 13 administrative regions in Guangdong province were examined by post-mortem examination. The worms were examined, counted, and identified to species according to existing keys and descriptions. The average prevalences of C. sinensis infection in dogs and cats were 20.5% and 41.8%, respectively. The infection intensities in dogs were usually light, but in cats the infection intensities were more serious. The prevalences were higher in some of the cities located in the Pearl River Delta region which is the most important endemic area in Guangdong province, but the prevalences were relatively lower in seaside cities.
The present investigation revealed a high prevalence of C. sinensis infection in its reservoir hosts dogs and cats in China's subtropical Guangdong province, which provides relevant "base-line" data for conducting control strategies and measures against clonorchiasis in this region.
Toxoplasmosis is a zoonotic infection of humans and animals, caused by the opportunistic protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite belonging to the phylum Apicomplexa. Infection in pregnant women may lead to abortion, stillbirth or other serious consequences in newborns. Infection in immunocompromised patients can be fatal if not treated. On average, one third of people are chronically infected worldwide. Although very limited information from China has been published in the English journals, T. gondii infection is actually a significant human health problem in China. In the present article, we reviewed the clinical features, transmission, prevalence of T. gondii infection in humans in China, and summarized genetic characterizations of reported T. gondii isolates. Educating the public about the risks associated with unhealthy food and life style habits, tracking serological examinations to special populations, and measures to strengthen food and occupational safety are discussed.
Toxoplasma gondii; Epidemiology; Human; Infection; China
In the present study, we determined the complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence of Apis cerana, the Asiatic cavity-nesting honeybee. We present here an analysis of features of its gene content and genome organization in comparison with Apis mellifera to assess the variation within the genus Apis and among main groups of Hymenoptera. The size of the entire mt genome of A. cerana is 15,895 bp, containing 2 ribosomal RNA genes, 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes and one control region. These genes are transcribed from both strands and have a nucleotide composition high in A and T. The contents of A+T of the complete genomes are 83.96% for A. cerana. The AT bias had a significant effect on both the codon usage pattern and amino acid composition of proteins. There are a total of 3672 codons in all 13 protein-coding genes, excluding termination codons. The most frequently used amino acid is Leu (15.52%), followed by Ile (12.85%), Phe (10.10%), Ser (9.15%) and Met (8.96%). Intergenic regions in the mt genome of A. cerana are 705 bp in total. The order and orientation of the gene arrangement pattern is identical to that of A. mellifera, except for the position of the tRNA-Ser(AGN) gene. Phylogenetic analyses using concatenated amino acid sequences of 13 protein-coding genes, with three different computational algorithms (NJ, MP and ML), all revealed two distinct groups with high statistical support, indicating that A. cerana and A. mellifera are two separate species, consistent with results of previous morphological and molecular studies. The complete mtDNA sequence of A. cerana provides additional genetic markers for studying population genetics, systematics and phylogeographics of honeybees.
Toxoplasma gondii can infect a large variety of domestic and wild animals and human beings, sometimes causing severe pathology. Rhoptries are involved in T. gondii invasion and host cell interaction and have been implicated as important virulence factors. In this study, we constructed a DNA vaccine expressing rhoptry protein 16 (ROP16) of T. gondii and evaluated the immune responses it induced in Kunming mice. The gene sequence encoding ROP16 was inserted into the eukaryotic expression vector pVAX I. We immunized Kunming mice intramuscularly. After immunization, we evaluated the immune response using a lymphoproliferative assay, cytokine and antibody measurements, and the survival times of mice challenged lethally. The results showed that mice immunized with pVAX-ROP16 developed a high level of specific antibody responses against T. gondii ROP16 expressed in Escherichia coli, a strong lymphoproliferative response, and significant levels of gamma interferon (IFN-γ), interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, and IL-10 production compared with results for other mice immunized with either empty plasmid or phosphate-buffered saline, respectively. The results showed that pVAX-ROP16 induces significant humoral and cellular Th1 immune responses. After lethal challenge, the mice immunized with pVAX-ROP16 showed a significantly (P < 0.05) prolonged survival time (21.6 ± 9.9 days) compared with control mice, which died within 7 days of challenge. Our data demonstrate, for the first time, that ROP16 triggers a strong humoral and cellular response against T. gondii and that ROP16 is a promising vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis, worth further development.
Liver flukes belonging to the genus Fasciola are among the causes of foodborne diseases of parasitic etiology. These parasites cause significant public health problems and substantial economic losses to the livestock industry. Therefore, it is important to definitively characterize the Fasciola species. Current phenotypic techniques fail to reflect the full extent of the diversity of Fasciola spp. In this respect, the use of molecular techniques to identify and differentiate Fasciola spp. offer considerable advantages. The advent of a variety of molecular genetic techniques also provides a powerful method to elucidate many aspects of Fasciola biology, epidemiology, and genetics. However, the discriminatory power of these molecular methods varies, as does the speed and ease of performance and cost. There is a need for the development of new methods to identify the mechanisms underpinning the origin and maintenance of genetic variation within and among Fasciola populations. The increasing application of the current and new methods will yield a much improved understanding of Fasciola epidemiology and evolution as well as more effective means of parasite control. Herein, we provide an overview of the molecular techniques that are being used for the genetic characterization, detection and genotyping of Fasciola spp..
The consecutive monoculture for most of medicinal plants, such as Rehmannia glutinosa, results in a significant reduction in the yield and quality. There is an urgent need to study for the sustainable development of Chinese herbaceous medicine.
Comparative metaproteomics of rhizosphere soil was developed and used to analyze the underlying mechanism of the consecutive monoculture problems of R. glutinosa. The 2D-gel patterns of protein spots for the soil samples showed a strong matrix dependency. Among the spots, 103 spots with high resolution and repeatability were randomly selected and successfully identified by MALDI TOF-TOF MS for a rhizosphere soil metaproteomic profile analysis. These proteins originating from plants and microorganisms play important roles in nutrient cycles and energy flow in rhizospheric soil ecosystem. They function in protein, nucleotide and secondary metabolisms, signal transduction and resistance. Comparative metaproteomics analysis revealed 33 differentially expressed protein spots in rhizosphere soil in response to increasing years of monoculture. Among them, plant proteins related to carbon and nitrogen metabolism and stress response, were mostly up-regulated except a down-regulated protein (glutathione S-transferase) involving detoxification. The phenylalanine ammonia-lyase was believed to participate in the phenylpropanoid metabolism as shown with a considerable increase in total phenolic acid content with increasing years of monoculture. Microbial proteins related to protein metabolism and cell wall biosynthesis, were up-regulated except a down-regulated protein (geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase) functioning in diterpenoid synthesis. The results suggest that the consecutive monoculture of R. glutinosa changes the soil microbial ecology due to the exudates accumulation, as a result, the nutrient cycles are affected, leading to the retardation of plant growth and development.
Our results demonstrated the interactions among plant, soil and microflora in the proteomic level are crucial for the productivity and quality of R. glutinosa in consecutive monoculture system.
Plasmodium vivax; malaria; parasites; seroprevalence; cynomolgus monkeys; Macaca fascicularis; China; letter
Clonorchis sinensis is a zoonotic parasite causing clonorchiasis-associated human disease such as biliary calculi, cholecystitis, liver cirrhosis, and it is currently classified as carcinogenic to humans for cholangiocarcinoma. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding, regulating small RNA molecules which are essential for the complex life cycles of parasites and are involved in parasitic infections. To identify and characterize miRNAs expressed in adult C. sinensis residing chronically in the biliary tract, we developed an integrative approach combining deep sequencing and bioinformatic predictions with stem-loop real-time PCR analysis.
Here we report the use of this approach to identify and clone 6 new and 62,512 conserved C. sinensis miRNAs which belonged to 284 families. There was strong bias on families, family members and sequence nucleotides in C. sinensis. Uracil was the dominant nucleotide, particularly at positions 1, 14 and 22, which were located approximately at the beginning, middle and end of conserved miRNAs. There was no significant "seed region" at the first and ninth positions which were commonly found in human, animals and plants. Categorization of conserved miRNAs indicated that miRNAs of C. sinensis were still innovated and concentrated along three branches of the phylogenetic tree leading to bilaterians, insects and coelomates. There were two miRNA strategies in C. sinensis for its parasitic life: keeping a large category of miRNA families of different animals and keeping stringent conserved seed regions with high active innovation in other places of miRNAs mainly in the middle and the end, which were perfect for the parasite to perform its complex life style and for host changes.
The present study represented the first large scale characterization of C. sinensis miRNAs, which have implications for understanding the complex biology of this zoonotic parasite, as well as miRNA studies of other related species such as Opisthorchis viverrini and Opisthorchis felineus of human and animal health significance.
Connexin (Cx)43 gap junction channels are phosphorylated by numerous protein kinases, with the net effect typically being a reduction in gap junction communication (GJC). This reduction must result from a decrease in channel open probability, unitary conductance, or permselectivity, because previous results suggest that channel number is unaffected. Coexpression of v-Src with wild-type Cx43 (Cx43-wt) but not Cx43 with tyrosine to phenylalanine substitutions at 247 and 265 (Cx43-Y247,265F) resulted in reduced electrical and dye coupling but no change in single-channel amplitudes. EGF treatment of cells expressing Cx43-wt but not Cx43 with serine to alanine substitutions at 255, 279, and 282 (Cx43-S255,279,282A) resulted in reduced GJC, also with no change in single-channel amplitude. Dye coupling was reduced to a far greater extent than electrical coupling, suggesting that channel selectivity was also altered but with minimal effect on unitary conductance. The absence of Src- and MAPK-induced reductions in single-channel amplitude suggests that the decreases in GJC induced by these kinases result from reduced channel open probability and possibly altered selectivity.
connexins; growth factors; dye permeability; electrophysiology; epidermal growth factor
Loss of connexin expression and/or gap junctional communication (GJC) has been correlated with increased rates of cell growth in tumor cells compared to their normal communication-competent counterparts. Conversely, reduced rates of cell growth have been observed in tumor cells that are induced to express exogenous connexins and re-establish GJC. It is not clear how this putative growth-suppressive effect of the connexin proteins is mediated and some data has suggested that this function may be independent of GJC. In mammalian cells that express v-Src, connexin43 (Cx43) is phosphorylated on Tyr247 and Tyr265 and this results in a dramatic disruption of GJC. Cells that express a Cx43 mutant with phenylalanine mutations at these tyrosine sites form functional gap junctions that, unlike junctions formed by wild type Cx43, remain functional in cells that co-express v-Src. These cells still appear transformed; however, it is not known whether their ability to maintain GJC prevents the loss of growth restraints that confine “normal” cells, such as the inability to grow in an anchorage-independent manner or to form foci. In these studies, we have examined some of the growth properties of cells with Cx43 gap junctions that remain communication-competent in the presence of the co-expressed v-Src oncoprotein.
Connexin43; gap junctional communication; oncogene; transformation; tumor suppressor; v-Src
Histidine (His)-tag is widely used for affinity purification of recombinant proteins, but the yield and purity of expressed proteins are quite different. Little information is available about quantitative evaluation of this procedure. The objective of current study was to evaluate His-tag procedure quantitatively and to compare it with immunoprecipitation using radiolabeled tristetraprolin (TTP), a zinc finger protein with anti-inflammatory property. Human embryonic kidney 293 cells were transfected with wild-type and nine mutant plasmids with single or multiple phosphorylation site mutation(s) in His-TTP. These proteins were expressed and mainly localized in the cytosol of transfected cells by immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. His-TTP proteins were purified by Ni-NTA beads with imidazole elution or precipitated by TTP antibodies from transfected cells after being labeled with [32P]-orthophosphate. The results showed that 1) His-tag purification was more effective than immunoprecipitation for TTP purification; 2) mutations in TTP increased the yield of His-TTP by both purification procedures; and 3) mutations in TTP increased the binding affinity of mutant proteins for Ni-NTA beads. These findings suggest that bioengineering phosphorylation sites in proteins can increase the production of recombinant proteins.
His-tag purification; immunoprecipitation; in vivo radiolabeling; phosphorylation site; site-directed mutagenesis; tristetraprolin; zinc finger protein
We have previously reported that chronic treatment with certain ‘β-blockers’ reduces airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to methacholine in a murine model of asthma.
Airway resistance was measured using the forced oscillation technique in ovalbulmin-sensitized and ovalbulmin-challenged mice treated with several β-adrenoceptor (β-AR) ligands. We used the selective β2-AR ligand ICI 118,551 and the preferential β1-AR ligand metoprolol to investigate the receptor subtype mediating the beneficial effect. Expression of β-ARs was evaluated using immunofluorescence. We evaluated several signaling proteins by western blot using lung homogenates, and measured the relaxation of the isolated trachea produced by EP2 and IP receptor agonists.
Four findings were associated with the decreased AHR after chronic β-blocker treatment: (1) the highly selective β2-AR antagonist/inverse agonist, ICI 118,551 produced the bronchoprotective effect; (2) β2-AR up-regulation resulted from chronic ‘β-blocker’ treatment; (3) reduced expression of certain proteins involved in regulating bronchial tone, namely, Gi, phosphodiesterase 4D and phospholipase C-β1; and (4) an enhanced bronchodilatory response to prostanoid agonists for the IP and EP2 receptors.
These data suggest that in the murine model of asthma, several compensatory changes associated with either increased bronchodilator signaling or decreased bronchoconstrictive signaling, result from the chronic administration of certain ‘β-blockers’.
β-blockers; Asthma; Mouse trachea; Forced oscillation technique; Bronchial relaxation; Airway hyperresponsiveness; Prostaglandin receptors; β-Adrenoceptors; Inverse agonists
Sparganosis; spargana; Spirometra; frog; parasites; tapeworms; Guangdong; China; letter
The oncogenic tyrosine kinase, v-Src, phosphorylates connexin43 (Cx43) on Y247 and Y265 and inhibits Cx43 gap junctional communication (GJC), the process of intercellular exchange of ions and metabolites. To test the role of a negative charge on Cx43 induced by tyrosine phosphorylation, we expressed Cx43 with glutamic acid substitutions at Y247 or Y265. The Cx43Y247E or Cx43Y265E channels were functional in Cx43 knockout fibroblasts, indicating that introducing a negative charge on Cx43 was not likely the mechanism for v-Src disruption of GJC. Cells coexpressing v-Src and the triple serine to alanine mutant, Cx43S255/279/282A, confirmed that mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase phosphorylation of Cx43 was not required for v-Src-induced disruption of GJC and that tyrosine phosphorylation was sufficient. In addition, v-Src cells containing v-Src-resistant gap junctions, Cx43Y247/265F, displayed properties of cell migration, adhesion, and proliferation similar to Cx43wt/v-Src cells, suggesting that Cx43 tyrosine phosphorylation and disruption of GJC are not involved in these transformed cell properties.
Connexin43; gap junction communication; v-Src; phosphorylation; transformation; MAP kinase
Tristetraprolin/zinc finger protein 36 (TTP/ZFP36) family proteins are anti-inflammatory. They bind and destabilize some AU-rich element-containing mRNAs such as tumor necrosis factor mRNA. In this study, recombinant ZFP36L1/TIS11B (a TTP homologue) was over-expressed in E. coli, purified, and used for polyclonal antibody production in rabbits. The antiserum recognized nanograms of the antigen on immunoblots. This antiserum and another antiserum developed against recombinant mouse TTP were used to detect ZFP36L1 and TTP in mouse 3T3-L1 adipocytes and RAW264.7 macrophages. Immunoblotting showed that ZFP36L1 was stably expressed with a size corresponding to the lower mass size of ZFP36L1 expressed in transfected human embryonic kidney 293 cells, but TTP was induced by cinnamon extract and not by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in adipocytes. In contrast, ZFP36L1 was undetectable but TTP was strongly induced in LPS-stimulated RAW cells. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction confirmed the higher levels of ZFP36L1 mRNA in adipocytes and TTP mRNA in RAW cells. Low levels of ZFP36L1 expression were also confirmed by northern blotting in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. These results demonstrate that ZFP36L1 antiserum is useful in the detection of this protein and that TTP and ZFP36L1 are differentially expressed and regulated at the mRNA and protein levels in mouse adipocytes and macrophages.
antibody production; cinnamon; insulin; lipopolysaccharide; mouse cell; protein expression and purification; real-time PCR; tristetraprolin; ZFP36L1
Tristetraprolin/zinc finger protein 36 (TTP/ZFP36) binds and destabilizes some proinflammatory cytokine mRNAs. TTP-deficient mice develop a profound inflammatory syndrome due to excessive production of proinflammatory cytokines. TTP gene expression is induced by various factors including insulin, cinnamon, and green tea extracts. Previous studies have shown that TTP is highly phosphorylated in vivo and multiple phosphorylation sites are identified in human TTP. This study evaluated the potential protein kinases that could phosphorylate recombinant TTP in vitro. Motif scanning suggested that TTP was a potential substrate for various kinases. SDS-PAGE showed that in vitro phosphorylation of TTP with p42 and p38 MAP kinases resulted in visible electrophoretic mobility shift of TTP to higher molecular masses. Autoradiography showed that TTP was phosphorylated in vitro by GSK3b, PKA, PKB, PKC, but not Cdc2, in addition to p42, p38, and JNK. These results demonstrate that TTP is a substrate for a number of protein kinases in vitro.
Glycogen synthase kinase 3b; Inflammation; Phosphorylation; Protein kinase; Recombinant protein; Tristetraprolin; Zinc finger protein
Differential transcription in Ascaris suum was investigated using a genomic-bioinformatic approach. A cDNA archive enriched for molecules in the infective third-stage larva (L3) of A. suum was constructed by suppressive-subtractive hybridization (SSH), and a subset of cDNAs from 3075 clones subjected to microarray analysis using cDNA probes derived from RNA from different developmental stages of A. suum. The cDNAs (n = 498) shown by microarray analysis to be enriched in the L3 were sequenced and subjected to bioinformatic analyses using a semi-automated pipeline (ESTExplorer). Using gene ontology (GO), 235 of these molecules were assigned to ‘biological process’ (n = 68), ‘cellular component’ (n = 50), or ‘molecular function’ (n = 117). Of the 91 clusters assembled, 56 molecules (61.5%) had homologues/orthologues in the free-living nematodes Caenorhabditis elegans and C. briggsae and/or other organisms, whereas 35 (38.5%) had no significant similarity to any sequences available in current gene databases. Transcripts encoding protein kinases, protein phosphatases (and their precursors), and enolases were abundantly represented in the L3 of A. suum, as were molecules involved in cellular processes, such as ubiquitination and proteasome function, gene transcription, protein–protein interactions, and function. In silico analyses inferred the C. elegans orthologues/homologues (n = 50) to be involved in apoptosis and insulin signaling (2%), ATP synthesis (2%), carbon metabolism (6%), fatty acid biosynthesis (2%), gap junction (2%), glucose metabolism (6%), or porphyrin metabolism (2%), although 34 (68%) of them could not be mapped to a specific metabolic pathway. Small numbers of these 50 molecules were predicted to be secreted (10%), anchored (2%), and/or transmembrane (12%) proteins. Functionally, 17 (34%) of them were predicted to be associated with (non-wild-type) RNAi phenotypes in C. elegans, the majority being embryonic lethality (Emb) (13 types; 58.8%), larval arrest (Lva) (23.5%) and larval lethality (Lvl) (47%). A genetic interaction network was predicted for these 17 C. elegans orthologues, revealing highly significant interactions for nine molecules associated with embryonic and larval development (66.9%), information storage and processing (5.1%), cellular processing and signaling (15.2%), metabolism (6.1%), and unknown function (6.7%). The potential roles of these molecules in development are discussed in relation to the known roles of their homologues/orthologues in C. elegans and some other nematodes. The results of the present study provide a basis for future functional genomic studies to elucidate molecular aspects governing larval developmental processes in A. suum and/or the transition to parasitism.
In the present study, we constructed a cDNA library enriched for molecules of the infective third-stage larva (L3) of Ascaris suum, the common roundworm of pigs. Using the method of suppressive-subtractive hybridization (SSH), we explored transcription of a subset of molecules by microarray analysis and conducted bioinformatic analyses to characterize these molecules, map them to biochemical pathways, and predict genetic interactions based on comparisons with Caenorhabditis elegans and/or other organisms. The results provide interesting insights into early molecular processes in A. suum. Approximately 60% of the L3-enriched molecules discovered had homologues in C. elegans. Probabilistic analyses suggested that a complex genetic network regulates or controls larval growth and development in A. suum L3s, some of which might be involved in or regulate the switch from the free-living to the parasitic stage. Functional studies of these molecules to elucidate developmental processes in Ascaris could assist in identifying new targets for intervention.