Drosophila melanogaster is a common animal model for genetics studies, and quantitative proteomics studies of the fly are emerging. Here we present in detail the development of a procedure to incorporate stable isotope labeled amino acids into the fly proteome. In the method of Stable Isotope Labeling with Amino acids in Drosophila melanogaster (SILAC fly), flies were fed with SILAC labeled yeast grown with modified media, enabling near complete labeling in a single generation. Biological variation in proteome among individual flies was evaluated in a series of null experiments. We further applied the SILAC fly method to profile proteins from a model of fragile X syndrome, the most common cause of inherited mental retardation in human. The analysis identified a number of altered proteins in the disease model, including actin-binding protein profilin and microtubulin-associated protein futsch. The change of both proteins was validated by immunoblotting analysis. Moreover, we extended the SILAC fly strategy to study the dynamics of protein ubiquitination during the fly life span (from day 1 to day 30), by measuring the level of ubiquitin along with two major polyubiquitin chains (K48 and K63 linkages). The results show that the abundance of protein ubiquitination and the two major linkages do not change significantly within the measured age range. Together, the data demonstrate the application of the SILAC principle in Drosophila melanogaster, facilitating the integration of powerful fly genomics with emerging proteomics.
SILAC; Drosophila melanogaster; proteomics; mass spectrometry; fragile X syndrome; ubiquitin
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) is an important pome with a long history as a fruit, an ornamental, and a source of medicine. Fruits of hawthorn are marked by hard stony endocarps, but a hawthorn germplasm with soft and thin endocarp was found in Liaoning province of China. To elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the soft endocarp of hawthorn, we conducted a de novo assembly of the fruit transcriptome of Crataegus pinnatifida and compared gene expression profiles between the soft-endocarp and the hard-endocarp hawthorn varieties. De novo assembly yielded 52,673 putative unigenes, 20.4% of which are longer than 1,000 bp. Among the high-quality unique sequences, 35,979 (68.3%) had at least one significant match to an existing gene model. A total of 1,218 genes, represented 2.31% total putative unigenes, were differentially expressed between the soft-endocarp hawthorn and the hard-endocarp hawthorn. Among these differentially expressed genes, a number of lignin biosynthetic pathway genes were down-regulated while almost all the flavonoid biosynthetic pathway genes were strongly up-regulated, concomitant with the formation of soft endocarp. In addition, we have identified some MYB and NAC transcription factors that could potentially control lignin and flavonoid biosynthesis. The altered expression levels of the genes encoding lignin biosynthetic enzymes, MYB and NAC transcription factors were confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. This is the first transcriptome analysis of Crataegus genus. The high quality ESTs generated in this study will aid future gene cloning from hawthorn. Our study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying soft endocarp formation in hawthorn.
Serum amyloid A protein (SAA) is both an inflammatory factor and an apolipoprotein. However, the relation between genetic polymorphisms of SAA and cerebral infarction (CI) remains unclear.
Methods and results
The previously reported 4 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (rs12218, rs4638289, rs7131332, and rs11603089) of SAA1 gene were genotyped by TaqMan method in a case–control study including 287 cerebral infarction patients and 376 control subjects. We found rs12218 CC genotype and rs7131332 AA genotype were more frequent among CI patients than among controls (9.76% versus 3.19%, P = 0.001; 32.75% versus 24.20%; p = 0.017; respectively). After adjustment of confounding factors such as sex, age, smoking, drinking, hypertension, diabetes, and lipids profile, the difference remained significant in rs12218 (P < 0.01, OR = 2.106, 95% CI: 1.811–7.121).
Genetic polymorphism of SAA1 may be a genetic maker of cerebral infarction in Chinese.
Genetic polymorphisms; Serum amyloid A; Cerebral infarction
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of major depression. Individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) have a high prevalence of major depression and low levels of BDNF. We therefore explored whether the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism is associated with co-morbid depression and whether depression affects the serum levels of BDNF in a Han Chinese subjects with T2DM.
A Total of 296 T2DM patients and 70 healthy volunteers (Health control, HC group) were recruited in this study. T2DM patients were divided into two subgroups: depressive diabetes group (DDM group, n = 64) and non-depressive diabetes group (NDDM group, n = 232), according to the presence or the absence of depression assessed by Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). Val66Met polymorphism was detected by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis (PCR-RFLP). Serum BDNF levels were measured by ELISA kit.
In this study, 21.6% (64/296) patients with T2DM had depression. The BDNF Val66Met genotype distributions were statistically different among the three groups (χ2 = 7.39, p < 0.05). DDM group carried the highest frequencies of Met allele (53.9%) compared to HC group (39.3%) and NDDM group (38.8%). Subjects with Met/Met had lowest serum BDNF levels (76.59 ± 5.12 pg/ml, F = 7.39, p < 0.05) compared to subjects with Val/Met (79.04 ± 5.19 pg/ml) and Val/Val (83.83 ± 3.97 pg/ml). Within T2DM group, it was also observed that the serum BDNF levels in DDM group were significantly lower than those in NDDM group (76.67 ± 5.35 vs. 79.84 ± 3.97 pg/ml, p < 0.05). In type 2 diabetes subjects, BDNF serum levels were significant correlations with genotypes (r = −0.346, p < 0.01), depression scores (r = −0.486, p < 0.01) and HbA1c (r = −0.168, p < 0.05). After adjustment for gender, HbA1c, BMI and numbers of complications, BDNF Val/Met genotype distributions (OR = 2.105, p < 0.05) and decreased serum BDNF levels (OR = 0.835, p < 0.01) were independently associated with depression in T2DM.
The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism might be implicated in the pathogenesis of depression in T2DM by decreasing serum BDNF levels in Han Chinese Subjects.
Type 2 diabetes (T2DM); Depression; Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); Polymorphism
While Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is more common than related autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), scientific and medical research in SS has lagged behind significantly. This is especially true in the field of SS genetics, where efforts to date have relied heavily on candidate gene approaches. Within the last decade, the advent of the genome-wide association (GWA) scan has altered our understanding of disease pathogenesis in hundreds of disorders through the successful identification of novel risk loci. With strong evidence for a genetic component in SS as evidenced by familial aggregation of SS as well as similarities between SS and SLE and RA, the application of GWA approaches would likely yield numerous novel risk loci in SS. Here we review the fundamental scientific principles employed in GWA scans as well as the limitations of this tool, and we discuss the application of GWA scans in determining genetic variants at play in complex disease. We also examine the successful application of GWA scans in SLE, which now has more than 40 confirmed risk loci, and consider the possibility for a similar trajectory of SS genetic discovery in the era of GWA scans. Ultimately, the GWA studies that will be performed in SS have the potential to identify a myriad of novel genetic loci that will allow scientists to begin filling in the gaps in our understanding of the SS pathogenesis.
genetics; Sjögren’s syndrome; genome-wide association
Sini decoction is a well-known formula of traditional Chinese medicine, which has been used to treat cardiovascular disease for many years. Previously, we demonstrated that Sini decoction prevented doxorubicin-induced heart failure in vivo. However, its active components are still unclear. Thus, we investigated the active components of Sini decoction and their cardioprotective mechanisms in the in vitro neonatal rat cardiomyocytes and H9c2 cell line models of doxorubicin-induced cytotoxicity. Our results demonstrated that treatment with higenamine or -gingerol increased viability of doxorubicine-injured cardiomyocytes. Moreover, combined use of higenamine and -gingerol exerted more profound protective effects than either drug as a single agent, with effects similar to those of dexrazoxane, a clinically approved cardiac protective agent. In addition, we found that treatment with doxorubicin reduced SOD activity, increased ROS generation, enhanced MDA formation, induced release of LDH, and triggered the intrinsic mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathway in cardiomyocytes, which was inhibited by cotreatment of higenamine and -gingerol. Most importantly, the cytoprotection of higenamine plus -gingerol could be abrogated by LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor. In conclusion, combination of higenamine and -gingerol exerts cardioprotective effect against doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity through activating the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway. Higenamine and -gingerol may be the active components of Sini decoction.
Gastric carcinoma (GC) is one of the highest cancer-mortality diseases with a high incidence rate in Asia. For surgically unfit but medically fit patients, palliative chemotherapy is the main treatment. The chemotherapy regimen of docetaxel, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (DCF) has been used to treat the advanced stage or metastatic GC. It is necessary to compare effectiveness and toxicities of DCF regimen with non-taxane-containing palliative chemotherapy for GC.
PubMed, EmBase, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched to select relative randomized controlled trials (RCTs) comparing DCF to non-taxane-containing chemotherapy for patients with palliatively resected, unresectable, recurrent or metastatic GC. Primary outcome measures were 1-year and 2-year overall survival (OS) rates. Secondary outcome measures were median survival time (MST), median time to progression (TTP), response rate and toxicities.
Twelve RCTs were eligible and 1089 patients were analyzed totally (549 in DCF and 540 in control). DCF regimen increased partial response rate (38.8% vs 27.9%, p = 0.0003) and reduced progressive disease rate (18.9% vs 33.3%, p = 0.0005) compared to control regimen. Significant improvement of 2-year OS rate was found in DCF regimen (RR = 2.03, p = 0.006), but not of 1-year OS rate (RR = 1.22, p = 0.08). MST was significantly prolonged by DCF regimen (p = 0.039), but not median TTP (p = 0.054). Both 1-year OS rate and median TTP had a trend of prolongation by DCF regimen. Chemotherapy-related mortality was comparable (RR = 1.23, p = 0.49) in both regimens. In grade I-IV toxicities, DCF regimen showed a major raise of febrile neutropenia (RR = 2.33, p<0.0001) and minor raises of leucopenia (RR = 1.25, p<0.00001), neutropenia (RR = 1.19, p<0.00001), and diarrhea (RR = 1.59, p<0.00001), while in other toxicities there were no significant differences.
DCF regimen has better response than non-taxane containing regimen and could potentially improve the survival outcomes. The chemotherapy-related toxicity of DCF regimen is acceptable to some extent.
Response inhibition refers to the suppression of inappropriate or irrelevant responses. It has a central role in executive functions, and has been linked to a wide spectrum of prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders. Increasing evidence from neuropharmacological studies has suggested that gene variants in the norepinephrine neurotransmission system make specific contributions to response inhibition. This study genotyped five tag single-nucleotide polymorphisms covering the whole alpha-2B-adrenergic receptor (ADRA2B) gene and investigated their associations with response inhibition in a relatively large healthy Chinese sample (N=421). The results revealed significant genetic effects of the ADRA2B conserved haplotype polymorphisms on response inhibition as measured by stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) (F(2, 418)=5.938, p=0.003). Individuals with the AAGG/AAGG genotype (n=89; mean SSRT=170.2 ms) had significantly shorter SSRTs than did those with either the CCAC/AAGG genotype (n=216; mean SSRT=182.4 ms; uncorrected p=0.03; corrected p=0.09) or the CCAC/CCAC genotype (n=116; mean SSRT=195.8 ms; corrected p<0.002, Cohen's d=0.51). This finding provides the first evidence from association research in support of a critical role of the norepinephrine neurotransmission system in response inhibition. A better understanding of the genetic basis of response inhibition would allow us to develop more effective diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of deficient or underdeveloped response inhibition as well as its related prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders.
ADRA2B gene; response inhibition; stop-signal task; haplotype; norepinephrine neurotransmission system; addiction and substance abuse; alcohol and alcoholism; behavioral science; neuropharmacology; mifepristone; yohimbine; reinstatement; ethanol; self-administration; glucocorticoids
Beta-catenin is a key nuclear effector of Wnt signaling which could be antagonized by dickkopf-1(DKK1). Beta-catenin and DKK1 are involved in a variety of biological processes; however, their expression in the placenta with severe preeclampsia (PE) has not been elucidated. This study was aimed to detect the localization and compare the expression of beta-catenin and DKK1 in normal and preeclamptic placenta.
Sixty pregnant women who underwent cesarean section were enrolled in this study, including 30 healthy pregnant women in the control group and 30 preeclamptic women in the severe PE group. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time-PCR) and western blot were employed to detect the beta-catenin and DKK1 mRNA and protein expression levels, respectively, and their locations were evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC).
Our results indicated that beta-catenin and DKK1 were expressed predominantly in the syncytiotrophoblast and the extravillous trophoblast (EVT). The beta-catenin mRNA and protein expressions were significantly decreased, whereas the DKK1 significantly increased in preeclamptic placental tissues compared to normal placental controls.
In conclusion, decreased beta-catenin expression, as well as DKK1 over-expression might be associated with the process of the pathogenesis of PE. Further studies would elucidate their exact roles in the pathogenesis of PE.
Severe preeclampsia; Beta-catenin; Dickkof-1; Placenta
Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with fragile X premutation carriers. Previous studies have shown that fragile X rCGG repeats are sufficient to cause neurodegeneration and that the rCGG-repeat-binding proteins Pur α and heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A2/B1 could modulate rCGG-mediated neuronal toxicity. Mobile genetic elements or their remnants populate the genomes, and the activities of these elements are tightly controlled for the fitness of host genomes in different organisms. Here we provide both biochemical and genetic evidence to show that the activation of a specific retrotransposon, gypsy, can modulate rCGG-mediated neurodegeneration in an FXTAS Drosophila model. We find that one of the rCGG-repeat-binding proteins, hnRNP A2/B1, is involved in this process via interaction with heterochromatin protein 1. Knockdown of gypsy RNA by RNAi could suppress the neuronal toxicity caused by rCGG repeats. These data together point to a surprisingly active role for retrotransposition in neurodegeneration.
Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is a common, progressive autoimmune exocrinopathy distinguished by dry eyes and mouth and affects ∼0.7% of the European population. Overexpression of transcripts induced by interferons (IFN), termed as an “IFN signature,” has been found in SS patients. Four microarray studies have been published in SS that identified dysregulated genes within type I IFN signaling in either salivary glands or peripheral blood of SS patients. The mechanism of this type I IFN activation is still obscure, but several possible explanations have been proposed, including virus infection-initiated and immune complex-initiated type I IFN production by plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Genetic predisposition to increased type I IFN signaling is supported by candidate gene studies showing evidence for association of variants within IFN-related genes. Once activated, IFN signaling may contribute to numerous aspects of SS pathophysiology, including lymphocyte infiltration into exocrine glands, autoantibody production, and glandular cell apoptosis. Thus, dysregulation of IFN pathways is an important feature that can be potentially used as a serum biomarker for diagnosis and targeting of new treatments in this complex autoimmune disease.
interferon signature; Sjögren’s syndrome; gene expression profiling; microarrays; type I interferon; genetic association; mechanisms; biomarker
Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR) is one of the most important issues in the assessment of drug safety. In fact, many adverse drug reactions are not discovered during limited pre-marketing clinical trials; instead, they are only observed after long term post-marketing surveillance of drug usage. In light of this, the detection of adverse drug reactions, as early as possible, is an important topic of research for the pharmaceutical industry. Recently, large numbers of adverse events and the development of data mining technology have motivated the development of statistical and data mining methods for the detection of ADRs. These stand-alone methods, with no integration into knowledge discovery systems, are tedious and inconvenient for users and the processes for exploration are time-consuming. This paper proposes an interactive system platform for the detection of ADRs. By integrating an ADR data warehouse and innovative data mining techniques, the proposed system not only supports OLAP style multidimensional analysis of ADRs, but also allows the interactive discovery of associations between drugs and symptoms, called a drug-ADR association rule, which can be further developed using other factors of interest to the user, such as demographic information. The experiments indicate that interesting and valuable drug-ADR association rules can be efficiently mined.
Adverse drug reaction; Associative classification; Contingency cube; Data mining; Data warehouse; Pharmacovigilance
Transient potential receptor melastatin-2 (TRPM2) is a non-selective Ca2+-permeable cation channel of the TRPM channel subfamily and is mainly activated by intracellular adenosine diphosphate ribose (ADPR). Here we synthesized a 1-(2-nitrophenyl)ethyl caged ADPR (NPE-ADPR) and found that uncaging of NPE-ADPR efficiently stimulated Ca2+, Mg2+, and Zn2+ influx in a concentration-dependent manner in intact human Jurkat T-lymphocytes. The cation influx was inhibited by inhibitors or knockdown of TRPM2. Likewise, uncaging of NPE-ADPR markedly induced cation entry in HEK 293 cells that overexpress TRPM2. As expected, high temperature increased the ability of the photolyzed NPE-ADPR to induce cation entry, whereas acidic pH inhibited. Moreover, the absence of extracellular Ca2+ significantly inhibited Mg2+ and Zn2+ influx after uncaging NPE-ADPR. On the other hand, the absence of extracellular Na+ or Mg2+ had no effect on photolyzed NPE-ADPR induced Ca2+ entry. Taken together, our results indicated that NPE-ADPR is a cell permeable ADPR analogue that is useful for studying TRPM2-mediated cation entry in intact cells.
Identification of biomarkers representing the evolution of the pathophysiology of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is vitally important, not only for objective diagnosis but also for the evaluation of therapeutic efficacy and resilience to trauma. Ongoing research is directed at identifying molecular biomarkers for PTSD, including traumatic stress induced proteins, transcriptomes, genomic variances and genetic modulators, using biologic samples from subjects' blood, saliva, urine, and postmortem brain tissues. However, the correlation of these biomarker molecules in peripheral or postmortem samples to altered brain functions associated with psychiatric symptoms in PTSD remains unresolved. Here, we present an animal model of PTSD in which both peripheral blood and central brain biomarkers, as well as behavioral phenotype, can be collected and measured, thus providing the needed correlation of the central biomarkers of PTSD, which are mechanistic and pathognomonic but cannot be collected from people, with the peripheral biomarkers and behavioral phenotypes, which can.
Our animal model of PTSD employs restraint and tail shocks repeated for three continuous days - the inescapable tail-shock model (ITS) in rats. This ITS model mimics the pathophysiology of PTSD 17, 7, 4, 10. We and others have verified that the ITS model induces behavioral and neurobiological alterations similar to those found in PTSD subjects 17, 7, 10, 9. Specifically, these stressed rats exhibit (1) a delayed and exaggerated startle response appearing several days after stressor cessation, which given the compressed time scale of the rat's life compared to a humans, corresponds to the one to three months delay of symptoms in PTSD patients (DSM-IV-TR PTSD Criterian D/E 13), (2) enhanced plasma corticosterone (CORT) for several days, indicating compromise of the hypothalamopituitary axis (HPA), and (3) retarded body weight gain after stressor cessation, indicating dysfunction of metabolic regulation.
The experimental paradigms employed for this model are: (1) a learned helplessness paradigm in the rat assayed by measurement of acoustic startle response (ASR) and a charting of body mass; (2) microdissection of the rat brain into regions and nuclei; (3) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for blood levels of CORT; (4) a gene expression microarray plus related bioinformatics tools 18. This microarray, dubbed rMNChip, focuses on mitochondrial and mitochondria-related nuclear genes in the rat so as to specifically address the neuronal bioenergetics hypothesized to be involved in PTSD.
Medicine; Issue 68; Genetics; Physiology; Neuroscience; Immunology; PTSD; biomarker; stress; fear; startle; corticosterone; animal model; RNA; RT-PCR; gene chip; cDNA microarray; oligonucleotide microarray; amygdala; prefrontal cortex; hippocampus; cingulate cortex; hypothalamus; white blood cell
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) and the closely related gamma-2 herpesvirus rhesus macaque (RM) rhadinovirus (RRV) are the only known viruses to encode viral homologues of the cellular interferon (IFN) regulatory factors (IRFs). Recent characterization of a viral IRF (vIRF) deletion clone of RRV (vIRF-knockout RRV [vIRF-ko RRV]) demonstrated that vIRFs inhibit induction of type I and type II IFNs during RRV infection of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Because the IFN response is a key component to a host's antiviral defenses, this study has investigated the role of vIRFs in viral replication and the development of the immune response during in vivo infection in RMs, the natural host of RRV. Experimental infection of RMs with vIRF-ko RRV resulted in decreased viral loads and diminished B cell hyperplasia, a characteristic pathology during acute RRV infection that often develops into more severe lymphoproliferative disorders in immune-compromised animals, similar to pathologies in KSHV-infected individuals. Moreover, in vivo infection with vIRF-ko RRV resulted in earlier and sustained production of proinflammatory cytokines and earlier induction of an anti-RRV T cell response compared to wild-type RRV infection. These findings reveal the broad impact that vIRFs have on pathogenesis and the immune response in vivo and are the first to validate the importance of vIRFs during de novo infection in the host.
Background: The role and mechanism of cADPR, an endogenous Ca2+-mobilizing nucleotide, in cardiomyogenesis remain to be determined.
Results: We found that inhibition of the cADPR cascade facilitated cardiomyocyte differentiation of mouse ES cells.
Conclusion: The CD38-cADPR-Ca2+ signaling pathway antagonizes the cardiomyocyte differentiation of mouse ES cells.
Significance: Inhibition of cADPR signaling should provide a good approach to enrich functional cardiomyocytes from ES cells.
Cyclic adenosine diphosphoribose (cADPR) is an endogenous Ca2+ mobilizing messenger that is formed by ADP-ribosyl cyclases from nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). The main ADP-ribosyl cyclase in mammals is CD38, a multi-functional enzyme and a type II membrane protein. Here we explored the role of CD38-cADPR-Ca2+ in the cardiomyogenesis of mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. We found that the mouse ES cells are responsive to cADPR and possess the key components of the cADPR signaling pathway. In vitro cardiomyocyte (CM) differentiation of mouse ES cells was initiated by embryoid body (EB) formation. Interestingly, beating cells appeared earlier and were more abundant in CD38 knockdown EBs than in control EBs. Real-time RT-PCR and Western blot analyses further showed that the expression of several cardiac markers, including GATA4, MEF2C, NKX2.5, and α-MLC, were increased markedly in CD38 knockdown EBs than those in control EBs. Similarly, FACS analysis showed that more cardiac Troponin T-positive CMs existed in CD38 knockdown or 8-Br-cADPR, a cADPR antagonist, treated EBs compared with that in control EBs. On the other hand, overexpression of CD38 in mouse ES cells significantly inhibited CM differentiation. Moreover, CD38 knockdown ES cell-derived CMs possess the functional properties characteristic of normal ES cell-derived CMs. Last, we showed that the CD38-cADPR pathway negatively modulated the FGF4-Erks1/2 cascade during CM differentiation of ES cells, and transiently inhibition of Erk1/2 blocked the enhanced effects of CD38 knockdown on the differentiation of CM from ES cells. Taken together, our data indicate that the CD38-cADPR-Ca2+ signaling pathway antagonizes the CM differentiation of mouse ES cells.
Calcium; Calcium Signaling; Cardiac Development; Cd38; Cyclic ADP-ribose; Differentiation; Embryonic Stem Cell; Signal Transduction
The overexpression of interferon (IFN)-inducible genes is a prominent feature of SLE, serves as a marker for active and more severe disease, and is also observed in other autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. The genetic variations responsible for sustained activation of IFN responsive genes are unknown.
We systematically evaluated association of SLE with a total of 1,754 IFN-pathway related genes, including IFN-inducible genes known to be differentially expressed in SLE patients and their direct regulators. We performed a three-stage design where two cohorts (total n=939 SLE cases, 3,398 controls) were analyzed independently and jointly for association with SLE, and the results were adjusted for the number of comparisons.
A total of 16,137 SNPs passed all quality control filters of which 316 demonstrated replicated association with SLE in both cohorts. Nine variants were further genotyped for confirmation in an average of 1,316 independent SLE cases and 3,215 independent controls. Association with SLE was confirmed for several genes, including the transmembrane receptor CD44 (rs507230, P = 3.98×10−12), cytokine pleiotrophin (PTN) (rs919581, P = 5.38×10−04), the heat-shock DNAJA1 (rs10971259, P = 6.31×10−03), and the nuclear import protein karyopherin alpha 1 (KPNA1) (rs6810306, P = 4.91×10−02).
This study expands the number of candidate genes associated with SLE and highlights the potential of pathway-based approaches for gene discovery. Identification of the causal alleles will help elucidate the molecular mechanisms responsible for activation of the IFN system in SLE.
Previous research has shown inconsistent findings regarding the relations between the functional Val158Met polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene and individual differences in personality traits. This study attempts to overcome some of the weaknesses of previous research, namely, small sample sizes, clinical samples, ethnic stratification, wide age ranges, neglecting sex differences, and single measures of personality traits. A large sample (n=556, 250 male, 306 female) of healthy Chinese college students (mean age=20.5±1 years) was given a battery of personality scales, including the temperament and character inventory-revised, the behavioral inhibition system and behavioral approach system scale, the Beck depression inventory, and the Beck anxiety inventory. Factor analysis of the affect-related personality traits revealed two factors that corresponded to positive (PEM) and negative emotionality (NEM). We found a consistent COMT-by-sex interaction effect on affect-related personality traits. Compared with males with Met/Met alleles, males with Val/Val alleles showed significantly higher scores on NEM, but lower scores on PEM. Females, however, showed an opposite but nonsignificant pattern. Our results supported the role of the COMT gene in personality traits for males and contributed to the growing literature on sex differences in gene–behavior connections.
sex; COMT; personality; dopamine; mood/anxiety/stress disorders; behavioral science; depression; unipolar/bipolar; personality; COMT
Background: The available agonists for cADPR, an endogenous Ca2+-mobilizing nucleotide, are either weak or not cell-permeant.
Results: We synthesized a coumarin-caged isopropylidene-protected cIDPRE (Co-i-cIDPRE), which is a potent and cell-permeant cADPR agonist.
Conclusion: Uncaging of Co-i-cIDPRE activates RyRs for Ca2+ mobilization and triggers Ca2+ influx via TRPM2.
Significance: Co-i-cIDPRE should provide a valuable tool to study cADPR/Ca2+ signaling.
Cyclic adenosine diphosphate ribose is an endogenous Ca2+ mobilizer involved in diverse cellular processes. A cell membrane-permeable cyclic adenosine diphosphate ribose analogue, cyclic inosine diphosphoribose ether (cIDPRE), can induce Ca2+ increase in intact human Jurkat T-lymphocytes. Here we synthesized a coumarin-caged analogue of cIDPRE (Co-i-cIDPRE), aiming to have a precisely temporal and spatial control of bioactive cIDPRE release inside the cell using UV uncaging. We showed that Co-i-cIDPRE accumulated inside Jurkat cells quickly and efficiently. Uncaging of Co-i-cIDPRE evoked Ca2+ release from endoplasmic reticulum, with concomitant Ca2+ influx in Jurkat cells. Ca2+ release evoked by uncaged Co-i-cIDPRE was blocked by knockdown of ryanodine receptors (RyRs) 2 and 3 in Jurkat cells. The associated Ca2+ influx, on the other hand, was abolished by double knockdown of Stim1 and TRPM2 in Jurkat cells. Furthermore, Ca2+ release or influx evoked by uncaged Co-i-cIDPRE was recapitulated in HEK293 cells that overexpress RyRs or TRPM2, respectively, but not in wild-type cells lacking these channels. In summary, our results indicate that uncaging of Co-i-cIDPRE incites Ca2+ release from endoplasmic reticulum via RyRs and triggers Ca2+ influx via TRPM2.
Calcium; Calcium Signaling; Cyclic ADP-ribose; Ryanodine Receptor; TRP Channels; SOCE; TRPM2
Human CD38 is a novel multi-functional protein that acts not only as an antigen for B-lymphocyte activation, but also an enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of a Ca2+ messenger molecule, cyclic ADP-ribose, from NAD+. It is well established that this novel Ca2+ signaling enzyme is responsible for regulating a wide range of physiological functions. Based on the crystal structure of the CD38/NAD+ complex, we synthesized a series of simplified N-substituted nicotinamide derivatives (Compound 1–14). A number of these compounds exhibited moderate inhibition of the NAD+ utilizing activity of CD38, with Compound 4 showing the higher potency. The crystal structure of CD38/ Compound 4 complex and computer simulation of Compound 7 docking to CD38 show a significant role of the nicotinamide moiety and the distal aromatic group of the compounds for substrate recognition by the active site of CD38. Biologically, we showed that both Compounds 4 and 7 effectively relaxed the agonist-induced contraction of muscle preparations form rats and guinea pigs. This study is a rational design of inhibitors for CD38 that exhibit important physiological effects, and can serve as a model for future drug development.
Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder, has been recognized in older male fragile X premutation carriers and is uncoupled from fragile X syndrome. Using a Drosophila model of FXTAS, we previously showed that transcribed premutation repeats alone are sufficient to cause neurodegeneration. MiRNAs are sequence-specific regulators of post-transcriptional gene expression. To determine the role of miRNAs in rCGG repeat-mediated neurodegeneration, we profiled miRNA expression and identified selective miRNAs, including miR-277, that are altered specifically in Drosophila brains expressing rCGG repeats. We tested their genetic interactions with rCGG repeats and found that miR-277 can modulate rCGG repeat-mediated neurodegeneration. Furthermore, we identified Drep-2 and Vimar as functional targets of miR-277 that could modulate rCGG repeat-mediated neurodegeneration. Finally, we found that hnRNP A2/B1, an rCGG repeat-binding protein, can directly regulate the expression of miR-277. These results suggest that sequestration of specific rCGG repeat-binding proteins could lead to aberrant expression of selective miRNAs, which may modulate the pathogenesis of FXTAS by post-transcriptionally regulating the expression of specific mRNAs involved in FXTAS.
Fragile X–associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disorder, usually affecting males over 50 years of age. FXTAS patients are the carriers of fragile X premutation alleles. Using a FXTAS Drosophila model, we previously demonstrated that fragile X premutation rCGG repeats alone could cause neurodegeneration. Pur α and hnRNP A2/B1 were identified as specific premutation rCGG repeat-binding proteins (RBPs) that could bind and modulate fragile X permutation rCGG-mediated neuronal degeneration. MiRNAs are sequence-specific regulators of post-transcriptional gene expression. Here we show that fragile X premutation rCGG repeats could lead to aberrant expression of selective miRNAs, which may modulate the pathogenesis of FXTAS by post-transcriptionally regulating the expression of specific mRNAs involved in FXTAS.
Hap1 was originally identified as a neuronal protein that interacts with huntingtin, the Huntington’s disease (HD) protein. Later studies revealed that Hap1 participates in intracellular trafficking in neuronal cells and that this trafficking function can be adversely affected by mutant huntingtin. Hap1 is also present in pancreatic β-cells and other endocrine cells; however, the role of Hap1 in these endocrine cells remains unknown. Using the Cre-loxP system, we generated conditional Hap1 knockout mice to selectively deplete the expression of Hap1 in mouse pancreatic β-cells. Mutant mice with Hap1 deficiency in pancreatic β-cells had impaired glucose tolerance and decreased insulin release in response to intraperitoneally injected glucose. Using cultured pancreatic β-cell lines and isolated mouse pancreatic islets, we confirmed that decreasing Hap1 could reduce glucose-mediated insulin release. Electron microscopy suggested that there was a reduced number of insulin-containing vesicles docked at the plasma membrane of pancreatic islets in Hap1 mutant mice following intraperitoneal glucose injection. Glucose treatment decreased the phosphorylation of Hap1A in cultured β-cells and in mouse pancreatic tissues. Moreover, this glucose treatment increased Hap1’s association with kinesin light chain and dynactin p150, both of which are involved in microtubule-dependent trafficking. These studies suggest that Hap1 is important for insulin release from β-cells via dephosphorylation that can regulate its intracellular trafficking function.
Huntingtin; Trafficking; Insulin; Pancreas; Phosphorylation
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, C19H15FN2O2, contains two molecules, A and B, in which the dihedral angles between the ring systems are 46.4 (2) and 17.24 (14)°, respectively. In the crystal, molecules are linked into  chains of alternating A and B species by N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds.
Store-operated Ca2+ channels are a major Ca2+ entry pathway in nonexcitable cells, which drive various essential cellular functions. Recently, STIM1 and Orai proteins have been identified as the major molecular components of the Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channel. As the key subunit of the CRAC channel, STIM1 is the ER Ca2+ sensor and is essential for the recruitment and activation of Orai1. However, the mechanisms in transmission of information of STIM1 to Orai1 still need further investigation. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) is one of the most advanced and powerful tools for studying and visualising protein-protein interactions in living cells. We utilised BiFC and acceptor photobleaching fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments to visualise and determine the state of STIM1 in the living cells in resting state. Our results demonstrate that STIM1 exists in an oligomeric form in resting cells and that rather than the SAM motif, it is the C-terminus (residues 233–474) of STIM1 that is the key domain for the interaction between STIM1s. The STIM1 oligomers (BiFC-STIM1) and wild-type STIM1 colocalised and had a fibrillar distribution in resting conditions. Depletion of ER Ca2+ stores induced BiFC-STIM1 distribution to become punctate, an effect that could be prevented or reversed by 2-APB. After depletion of the Ca2+ stores, BiFC-STIM1 has the ability to form puncta that colocalise with wild-type STIM1 or Orai1 near the plasma membrane. Our data also indicate that the function of BiFC-STIM1 was not altered compared with that of wild-type STIM1.
DNA damage activates checkpoint controls which block progression of cells through the division cycle. Several different checkpoints exist that control transit at different positions in the cell cycle. A role for checkpoint activation in providing resistance of cells to genotoxic anticancer therapy, including chemotherapy and ionizing radiation, is widely recognized. Although the core molecular functions that execute different damage activated checkpoints are known, the signals that control checkpoint activation are far from understood. We used a kinome-spanning RNA interference screen to delineate signalling required for radiation-mediated retinoblastoma protein activation, the recognized executor of G1 checkpoint control. Our results corroborate the involvement of the p53 tumour suppressor (TP53) and its downstream targets p21CIP1/WAF1 but infer lack of involvement of canonical double strand break (DSB) recognition known for its role in activating TP53 in damaged cells. Instead our results predict signalling involving the known TP53 phosphorylating kinase PRPK/TP53RK and the JNK/p38MAPK activating kinase STK4/MST1, both hitherto unrecognised for their contribution to DNA damage G1 checkpoint signalling. Our results further predict a network topology whereby induction of p21CIP1/WAF1 is required but not sufficient to elicit checkpoint activation. Our experiments document a role of the kinases identified in radiation protection proposing their pharmacological inhibition as a potential strategy to increase radiation sensitivity in proliferating cancer cells.