Safe and effective immunologic adjuvants are often essential for vaccines. However, the choice of adjuvant for licensed vaccines is limited, especially for those that are administered intradermally. We show that non-tissue damaging, near-infrared (NIR) laser light given in short exposures to small areas of skin, without the use of additional chemical or biological agents, significantly increases immune responses to intradermal influenza vaccination without augmenting IgE. The NIR laser-adjuvanted vaccine confers increased protection in a murine influenza lethal challenge model as compared to unadjuvanted vaccine. We show that NIR laser treatment induces the expression of specific chemokines in the skin resulting in recruitment and activation of dendritic cells and is safe to use in both mice and humans. The NIR laser adjuvant technology provides a novel, safe, low-cost, simple-to-use, potentially broadly applicable and clinically feasible approach to enhancing vaccine efficacy as an alternative to chemical and biological adjuvants.
Bacillus subtilis has been a model for gram-positive bacteria and it has long been exploited for industrial and biotechnological applications. However, the availability of facile genetic tools for physiological analysis has generally lagged substantially behind traditional genetic models such as Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In this work, we have developed an efficient, precise and scarless method for rapid multiple genetic modifications without altering the chromosome of B. subtilis. This method employs upp gene as a counter-selectable marker, double-strand break (DSB) repair caused by exogenous endonuclease I-SceI and comK overexpression for fast preparation of competent cell. Foreign dsDNA can be simply and efficiently integrated into the chromosome by double-crossover homologous recombination. The DSB repair is a potent inducement for stimulating the second intramolecular homologous recombination, which not only enhances the frequency of resolution by one to two orders of magnitude, but also selects for the resolved product. This method has been successfully and reiteratively used in B. subtilis to deliver point mutations, to generate in-frame deletions, and to construct large-scale deletions. Experimental results proved that it allowed repeated use of the selectable marker gene for multiple modifications and could be a useful technique for B. subtilis.
Except for the most organized mature hepatocytes, liver stem/progenitor cells (LSPCs) can differentiate into many other types of cells in the liver including cholangiocytes. In addition, LSPCs are demonstrated to be able to give birth to other kinds of extra-hepatic cell types such as insulin-producing cells. Even more, under some bad conditions, these LSPCs could generate liver cancer stem like cells (LCSCs) through malignant transformation. In this review, we mainly concentrate on the molecular mechanisms for controlling cell fates of LSPCs, especially differentiation of cholangiocytes, insulin-producing cells and LCSCs. First of all, to certificate the cell fates of LSPCs, the following three features need to be taken into account to perform accurate phenotyping: (1) morphological properties; (2) specific markers; and (3) functional assessment including in vivo transplantation. Secondly, to promote LSPCs differentiation, systematical attention should be paid to inductive materials (such as growth factors and chemical stimulators), progressive materials including intracellular and extracellular signaling pathways, and implementary materials (such as liver enriched transcriptive factors). Accordingly, some recommendations were proposed to standardize, optimize, and enrich the effective production of cholangiocyte-like cells out of LSPCs. At the end, the potential regulating mechanisms for generation of cholangiocytes by LSPCs were carefully analyzed. The differentiation of LSPCs is a gradually progressing process, which consists of three main steps: initiation, progression and accomplishment. It’s the unbalanced distribution of affecting materials in each step decides the cell fates of LSPCs.
Liver stem/progenitor cells; Cholangiocytes; Biliary differentiation; Unbalanced distribution of materials; Cell therapy
In mainland China, most avian influenza A(H7N9) cases in the spring of 2013 were reported through the pneumonia of unknown etiology (PUE) surveillance system. To understand the role of possible underreporting and surveillance bias in assessing the epidemiology of subtype H7N9 cases and the effect of live-poultry market closures, we examined all PUE cases reported from 2004 through May 3, 2013. Historically, the PUE system was underused, reporting was inconsistent, and PUE reporting was biased toward A(H7N9)-affected provinces, with sparse data from unaffected provinces; however, we found no evidence that the older ages of persons with A(H7N9) resulted from surveillance bias. The absolute number and the proportion of PUE cases confirmed to be A(H7N9) declined after live-poultry market closures (p<0.001), indicating that market closures might have positively affected outbreak control. In China, PUE surveillance needs to be improved.
pneumonia surveillance; influenza A(H7N9) virus; influenza virus; viruses; influenza; epidemiology; China
High quality nanocrystals have demonstrated substantial potential for biomedical applications. However, being generally hydrophobic, their use has been greatly limited by complicated and inefficient surface engineering that often fails to yield biocompatible nanocrystals with minimal aggregation in biological fluids and active targeting toward specific biomolecules. Using chimeric DNA molecules, we developed a one-step facile surface engineering method for hydrophobic Nanocrystals. The procedure is simple and versatile, generating individual nanocrystals with multiple ligands. In addition, the resulting nanocrystals can actively and specifically target various molecular addresses, varying from nucleic acids to cancer cells. Together, the strategy developed here holds great promise in generating critical technologies needed for biomedical applications of nanocrystals.
We have developed DNA-functionalized silica nanoparticles for the rapid, sensitive, and selective detection of mercuric ion (Hg2+) in aqueous solution. Two DNA strands were designed to cap the pore of dye-trapped silica nanoparticles. In the presence of ppb level Hg2+, the two DNA strands are dehybridized to uncap the pore, releasing the dye cargo with detectable enhancements of fluorescence signal. This method enables rapid (less than 20min) and sensitive (LOD 4ppb) detection, and it was also able to discriminate Hg2+ from twelve other environmentally relevant metal ions. The superior properties of the as-designed DNA-functionalized silica nanoparticles can be attributed to the large loading capacity and highly ordered pore structure of mesoporous silica nanoparticles, as well as the selective binding of thymine-rich DNA with Hg2+ . Our design serves as a new prototype for metal-ion sensing systems and it also has promising potential for detection of various targets in stimulus-release systems.
Mercury; DNA; Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticle; Detection
Eukaryotic genomes encode hundreds of RNA-binding proteins, yet the functions of most of these proteins are unknown. In a genetic study of stress signal transduction in Arabidopsis, we identified a K homology (KH)-domain RNA-binding protein, HOS5 (High Osmotic Stress Gene Expression 5), as required for stress gene regulation and stress tolerance. HOS5 was found to interact with FIERY2/RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) carboxyl terminal domain (CTD) phosphatase-like 1 (FRY2/CPL1) both in vitro and in vivo. This interaction is mediated by the first double-stranded RNA-binding domain of FRY2/CPL1 and the KH domains of HOS5. Interestingly, both HOS5 and FRY2/CPL1 also interact with two novel serine-arginine (SR)-rich splicing factors, RS40 and RS41, in nuclear speckles. Importantly, FRY2/CPL1 is required for the recruitment of HOS5. In fry2 mutants, HOS5 failed to be localized in nuclear speckles but was found mainly in the nucleoplasm. hos5 mutants were impaired in mRNA export and accumulated a significant amount of mRNA in the nuclei, particularly under salt stress conditions. Arabidopsis mutants of all these genes exhibit similar stress-sensitive phenotypes. RNA-seq analyses of these mutants detected significant intron retention in many stress-related genes under salt stress but not under normal conditions. Our study not only identified several novel regulators of pre-mRNA processing as important for plant stress response but also suggested that, in addition to RNAP II CTD that is a well-recognized platform for the recruitment of mRNA processing factors, FRY2/CPL1 may also recruit specific factors to regulate the co-transcriptional processing of certain transcripts to deal with environmental challenges.
Pre-mRNA processing, including 5′ capping, splicing, and 3′ polyadenylation, is critical for gene expression and is closely coupled with transcription. Phosphorylated carboxyl terminal domain (CTD) of RNA Polymerase II (RNAP II) serves as a platform for the recruitment of pre-mRNA processing factors, yet other components involved in the recruitment are less known. In a genetic study of stress signal transduction in Arabidopsis, we isolated a KH-domain RNA-binding protein HOS5 that plays important roles in stress gene regulation and stress tolerance. We found that HOS5 interacts with FIERY2/CTD phosphatase-like 1 (FRY2/CPL1) and they both also interact with two novel splicing factors, RS40 and RS41, in nuclear speckles. In fry2 mutants, HOS5 was unable to be recruited to nuclear speckles but rather was mainly localized in the nucleoplasm. Mutants in these genes have similar stress-sensitive phenotypes. Transcriptome analyses identified significant intron retention in many stress-related genes in these mutants under salt stress conditions. Our study reveals that, in addition to RNAP II, the CTD phosphatase may also recruit specific splicing factors and RNA binding proteins to regulate the co-transcriptional processing of certain transcripts to deal with environmental stresses.
In this paper, we have developed an interesting imaging method for intracellular ATP molecules with semi-quantitation. While there has been a lot of work in understanding intracellular events, very few can come close to quantitation or semi-quantitation in living cells. In this work, we made an effective use of nanomaterials, graphene oxides, both as a quencher and a carrier for intracellular delivery. In addition, this graphene oxide also serves as the carrier for reference probes for fluorescent imaging. An ATP aptamer molecular beacon (AAMB) is adsorbed on graphene oxide (GO) to form a double quenching platform. The AAMB/GO spontaneously enters cells, and then AAMB is released and opened by intracellular ATP. The resulting fluorescence recovery is used to perform ATP live-cell imaging with greatly improved background and signaling. Moreover, a control ssDNA, which is released non-specifically from GO by non-target cellular proteins, can serve as an internal reference for ATP semi-quantification inside living cells using the intensity ratio of the AAMB and control. This approach can serve as a way for intracellular delivery and quantitative analysis.
nonspecific desorption; graphene oxide; aptamer molecular beacon; internal reference; ATP; semi-quantification
Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a hard-to-eradicate intracellular pathogen that infects one-third of the global population. It can live within macrophages owning to its ability to arrest phagolysosome biogenesis. Autophagy has recently been identified as an effective way to control the intracellular mycobacteria by enhancing phagosome maturation. In the present study, we demonstrate a novel role of miR-155 in regulating the autophagy-mediated anti-mycobacterial response. Both in vivo and in vitro studies showed that miR-155 expression was significantly enhanced after mycobacterial infection. Forced expression of miR-155 accelerated the autophagic response in macrophages, thus promoting the maturation of mycobacterial phagosomes and decreasing the survival rate of intracellular mycobacteria, while transfection with miR-155 inhibitor increased mycobacterial survival. However, macrophage-mediated mycobacterial phagocytosis was not affected after miR-155 overexpression or inhibition. Furthermore, blocking autophagy with specific inhibitor 3-methyladenine or silencing of autophagy related gene 7 (Atg7) reduced the ability of miR-155 to promote autophagy and mycobacterial elimination. More importantly, our study demonstrated that miR-155 bound to the 3′-untranslated region of Ras homologue enriched in brain (Rheb), a negative regulator of autophagy, accelerated the process of autophagy and sequential killing of intracellular mycobacteria by suppressing Rheb expression. Our results reveal a novel role of miR-155 in regulating autophagy-mediated mycobacterial elimination by targeting Rheb, and provide potential targets for clinical treatment.
microRNA-155 (miR-155) plays an essential role in regulating the host immune response by post-transcriptionally repressing the expression of target genes. However, little is known regarding its activity in modulating autophagy, an important host defense mechanism against intracellular bacterial infection. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a hard-to-eradicate intracellular pathogen that infects approximately one-third of the global population, and causes 1.5 million deaths annually. The present study explores a novel role of miR-155 in the host response against mycobacterial infection. Our data demonstrates that mycobacterial infection triggers the expression of miR-155, and the induction of miR-155 in turn activates autophagy by targeting Rheb, a negative regulator of autophagy. miR-155-promoted autophagy accelerates the maturation of the mycobacterial phagosome, thus decreasing the survival of intracellular mycobacteria in macrophages. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the host defense mechanisms against mycobacterial infection, providing useful information for development of potential therapeutic interventions against tuberculosis.
Western blot, ELISA and fluorescent fusion proteins are currently the most common methods for detecting recombinant proteins. However, the former two are cumbersome and time-consuming, and the latter method may interfere with the trafficking and function of the fused recombinant proteins. We report here a rapid, inexpensive and simple approach to detect and quantify recombinant proteins using an anti-His-tag molecular beacon aptamer (HMBA). We demonstrated the technique by detection and quantitation of expressed recombinant proteins directly from E. coli cell lysate. The amount of expressed P78-His was determined to be 1.49 μg from the 20 μg cell lysate proteins. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example directly measuring the concentration and expression yield of recombinant proteins from cell lysate, and the entire procedure required only 5 minutes.
molecular beacon aptamer; His tag; cell lysates; quantification
Background. Cinobufagin has been widely used in the treatment of carcinoma and plays an important role in the relief of cancer pain. But the involved mechanism remains unknown. Aim. To investigate the changes in thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia in paw cancer pain in mice and the action mechanism of cinobufagin using a paw cancer pain model. Methods. 60 female mice were randomly divided into 5 groups: control group, model group, cinobufagin group, cinobufagin +NAL-M group, and morphine group; except ones in control group, mice were inoculated with H22 hepatoma cells in the right hind paw. From the 9th day after inoculation, mice were administrated drug once daily lasting for 8 days. The pain behavior was determined on the 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 8th days before and after administration. On the last day, they were sacrificed. The levels of β-END, CRF, and IL-1β were analyzed by ELISA; immunohistochemistry was performed to detect the expressions of β-END, POMC, and μ-OR in the tumor and adjacent tissue. Results. The thresholds of thermal pain and mechanical pain were significantly increased by cinobufagin. Moreover, the expressions of β-END, CRF, POMC, and μ-OR were significantly upregulated by cinobufagin. The analgesic effect of cinobufagin was blocked by the peripheral opioid receptor antagonist NAL-M. Conclusions. Cinobufagin significantly relieved cancer pain in mice and raised their pain threshold, mainly upregulating the expression levels of β-END and μ-OR in the hind paw tumor and adjacent tissue.
Well-aligned TiO2 nanotube arrays have become of increasing significance because of their unique highly ordered array structure, high specific surface area, unidirectional charge transfer and transportation features. However, their poor visible light utilization as well as the high recombination rate of photoexcited electron-hole pairs greatly limited their practical applications. Herein, we demonstrate the fabrication of visible-light-responsive heterostructured Cr-doped SrTiO3/TiO2 nanotube arrays by a simple hydrothermal method, which facilitate efficient charge separation and thus improve the photoelectrochemical as well as photocatalytic performances.
AIM: To investigate the clinical advantages of the stent-laparoscopy approach to treat colorectal cancer (CRC) patients with acute colorectal obstruction (ACO).
METHODS: From April 2008 to April 2012, surgery-related parameters, complications, overall survival (OS), and disease-free survival (DFS) of 74 consecutive patients with left-sided CRC presented with ACO who underwent self-expandable metallic stent (SEMS) placement followed by one-stage open (n = 58) or laparoscopic resection (n = 16) were evaluated retrospectively. The stent-laparoscopy group was also compared with a control group of 96 CRC patients who underwent regular laparoscopy without ACO between January 2010 and December 2011 to explore whether SEMS placement influenced the laparoscopic procedure or reduced long-term survival by influencing CRC oncological characteristics.
RESULTS: The characteristics of patients among these groups were comparable. The rate of conversion to open surgery was 12.5% in the stent-laparoscopy group. Bowel function recovery and postoperative hospital stay were significantly shorter (3.3 ± 0.9 d vs 4.2 ± 1.5 d and 6.7 ± 1.1 d vs 9.5 ± 6.7 d, P = 0.016 and P = 0.005), and surgical time was significantly longer (152.1 ± 44.4 min vs 127.4 ± 38.4 min, P = 0.045) in the stent-laparoscopy group than in the stent-open group. Surgery-related complications and the rate of admission to the intensive care unit were lower in the stent-laparoscopy group. There were no significant differences in the interval between stenting and surgery, intraoperative blood loss, OS, and DFS between the two stent groups. Compared with those in the stent-laparoscopy group, all surgery-related parameters, complications, OS, and DFS in the control group were comparable.
CONCLUSION: The stent-laparoscopy approach is a feasible, rapid, and minimally invasive option for patients with ACO caused by left-sided CRC and can achieve a favorable long-term prognosis.
Self-expandable metallic stent; Colorectal cancer; Endoscopy; Laparoscopy; Efficiency; Safety
A combined kinetic and computational study on our tryptophan-based bifunctional thiourea catalyzed asymmetric Mannich reactions reveals an apparent negative activation enthalpy. The formation of the pre-transition state complex has been unambiguously confirmed and these observations provide an experimental support for the formation of multiple hydrogen bonding network between the substrates and the catalyst. Such interactions allow the creation of a binding cavity, a key factor to install high enantioselectivity.
Microvessel density (MVD) as an angiogenesis predictor is inefficient per se in cancer prognosis. We evaluated prognostic values of combining intratumoral alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)-positive stromal cell density and MVD after curative resection in hypervascular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and hypovascular pancreatic cancer (PC). Tissue microarrays were constructed from tumors of 305 HCC and 57 PC patients who underwent curative resection and analyzed for α-SMA and CD34 expression by immunostaining. Prognostic values of these two proteins and other clinicopathological features were examined. Both low α-SMA density and high MVD-CD34 were associated in HCC with the presence of intrahepatic metastasis and microvascular invasion, and they were related to lymph node involvement and microvascular invasion in PC (p<0.05). Although CD34 alone, but not α-SMA, was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival and recurrence-free survival, the combination of low α-SMA and high CD34 was a predictor of worst prognosis for both types of tumors and had a better power to predict patient death and early recurrence (p<0.01). Furthermore, the results show that distribution of most of the α-SMA-positive cells and vascular endothelial cells overlap, showing major colocalization on vascular walls. Poor microvessel integrity, as indicated by high MVD, together with low perivascular α-SMA-positive cell coverage is associated with early recurrence, unfavorable metastasis, and short survival after tumor resection. This finding highlights the significance of vascular quality in tumor progression, which provides an optimized complement to vascular quantity in prognosis of postoperative patients.
In China during March 4–April 28, 2013, avian influenza A(H7N9) virus testing was performed on 20,739 specimens from patients with influenza-like illness in 10 provinces with confirmed human cases: 6 (0.03%) were positive, and increased numbers of unsubtypeable influenza-positive specimens were not seen. Careful monitoring and rapid characterization of influenza A(H7N9) and other influenza viruses remain critical.
influenza; avian influenza; avian influenza A(H7N9) virus; H7N9; subtype H7N9; China; influenza-like illness; surveillance; viruses
The successful application of the laparoscopic distal gastrectomy with D2 dissection for gastric cancer requires adequate understanding of the anatomic characteristics of peripancreatic and intrathecal spaces, the role of pancreas and vascular bifurcation as the surgical landmarks, as well as the variations of gastric vascular anatomy. The standardized surgical procedures based on distribution of regional lymph node should be clarified.
Gastric cancer; gastrectomy; laparoscopy
Herein a photon manipulated mesoporous release system was constructed based on azobenzene-modified nucleic acids. In this system, the azobenzene-incorporated DNA double strands were immobilized at the pore mouth of meso-porous silica nanoparticles. The photo-isomerization of azobenzene induced dehybridization/hybridization switch of complementary DNA, causing uncapping/capping of pore gates of mesoporous silica. This nanoplatform permits holding of guest molecules within the nanopores under visible light but release them when light wavelength turns to UV range. These DNA/mesoporous silica hybrid nanostructures were exploited as carriers for cancer cell chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (DOX) due to its stimuli-responsive property as well as good biocompatibility via MTT assay. It is found that the drug release behavior is light wavelength sensitive. Switching of the light from visible to UV range uncapped the pores causes the release of DOX from the mesoporous silica nanospheres and an obvious cytotoxic effect on cancer cells. We envision that this photo-controlled drug release system could find potential applications in cancer therapy.
azobenzene; photoregulation; mesoporous silica; nucleic acids; drug delivery
Bombyx mori cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus (BmCPV) is one of the most important pathogens of silkworm. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been demonstrated to play key roles in regulating host-pathogen interaction. However, there are limited reports on the miRNAs expression profiles during insect pathogen challenges. In this study, four small RNA libraries from BmCPV-infected midgut of silkworm at 72 h post-inoculation and 96 h post-inoculation and their corresponding control midguts were constructed and deep sequenced. A total of 316 known miRNAs (including miRNA*) and 90 novel miRNAs were identified. Fifty-eight miRNAs displayed significant differential expression between the infected and normal midgut (P value < = 0.01 and fold change > = 2.0 or < = 0.5), among which ten differentially expressed miRNA were validated by qRT-PCR method. Further bioinformatics analysis of predicted target genes of differentially expressed miRNAs showed that the miRNA targets were involved in stimulus and immune system process in silkworm.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa represents a good model of antibiotic resistance. These organisms have an outer membrane with a low level of permeability to drugs that is often combined with multidrug efflux pumps, enzymatic inactivation of the drug, or alteration of its molecular target. The acute and growing problem of antibiotic resistance of Pseudomonas to conventional antibiotics made it imperative to develop new liposome formulations to overcome these mechanisms, and investigate the fusion between liposome and bacterium.
The rigidity, stability and charge properties of phospholipid vesicles were modified by varying the cholesterol, 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphatidylethanolamine (DOPE), and negatively charged lipids 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoglycerol sodium salt (DMPG), 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phopho-L-serine sodium salt (DMPS), 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphate monosodium salt (DMPA), nature phosphatidylserine sodium salt from brain and nature phosphatidylinositol sodium salt from soybean concentrations in liposomes. Liposomal fusion with intact bacteria was monitored using a lipid-mixing assay.
It was discovered that the fluid liposomes-bacterium fusion is not dependent on liposomal size and lamellarity. A similar degree of fusion was observed for liposomes with a particle size from 100 to 800 nm. The fluidity of liposomes is an essential pre-request for liposomes fusion with bacteria. Fusion was almost completely inhibited by incorporation of cholesterol into fluid liposomes. The increase in the amount of negative charges in fluid liposomes reduces fluid liposomes-bacteria fusion when tested without calcium cations due to electric repulsion, but addition of calcium cations brings the fusion level of fluid liposomes to similar or higher levels. Among the negative phospholipids examined, DMPA gave the highest degree of fusion, DMPS and DMPG had intermediate fusion levels, and PI resulted in the lowest degree of fusion. Furthermore, the fluid liposomal encapsulated tobramycin was prepared, and the bactericidal effect occurred more quickly when bacteria were cultured with liposomal encapsulated tobramycin.
The bactericidal potency of fluid liposomes is dramatically enhanced with respect to fusion ability when the fusogenic lipid, DOPE, is included. Regardless of changes in liposome composition, fluid liposomes-bacterium fusion is universally enhanced by calcium ions. The information obtained in this study will increase our understanding of fluid liposomal action mechanisms, and help in optimizing the new generation of fluid liposomal formulations for the treatment of pulmonary bacterial infections.
liposomes; fusion; bacteria; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; lipid composition
To investigate the relationship between higher-order aberration (HOA) and myopic progression in school children.
Between April 23, 2011 and August 29, 2011 in the children's myopia outpatient clinic of the West China Hospital of Sichuan University, 148 eyes of 74 schoolchildren were reviewed. HOAs for a 6-mm pupil were measured with an aberrometer. Myopic progression rate was defined according to the change in spherical equivalent refraction (SER) divided by the time span (years). Subjects with myopic progression rate of ≥0.50 diopters (D) were classified as the ‘fast’ group and the subjects with myopic progression rate of <0.50D were classified as the ‘slow’ group. A retrospective study was conducted to compare HOA between the two groups, using root mean square (RMS) values and Zernike coefficients.
The RMS values of HOA (t=2.316, P=0.02), HOA without Z40 (t=2.224, P=0.03), third-order aberrations (t'=2.62, P=0.01), and coma (t'=2.49, P=0.01) were significantly higher in the fast group than those in the slow group. The individual Zernike coefficients of Z3−1 (t=-2.072, P=0.04) and Z51 (Z =-2.627, P=0.01) displayed statistically significant differences between the two groups. Significant correlations were found between the RMS values of HOA (r=0.193, P=0.019), RMS values of HOA without Z40 (r=0.23, P =0.005), RMS values of coma (r=0.235, P=0.004), RMS values of third-order aberrations (r=0.243, P =0.003), and the progression rate.
Our results provide evidence of a relationship between HOA and myopic progression. In a future prospective longitudinal study, we aim to verify whether HOA is a risk factor for myopic progression.
aberration; myopia; children; disease progression; refractive errors/etiology
The present study aimed to assess the prevalence of hypertension among Chinese adults.
Data were obtained from sphygmomanometer measurements and a questionnaire administered to 46239 Chinese adults ≥20 years of age who participated in the 2007–2008 China National Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Study. Hypertension was defined as blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg or use of antihypertensive medication.
A total of 26.6% of Chinese adults had hypertension, and a significantly greater number of men were hypertensive than women (29.2% vs 24.1%, p<0.001). The age-specific prevalence of hypertension was 13.0%, 36.7%, and 56.5% among persons aged 20 to 44 years (young people), 45 to 64 years (middle-aged people), and ≥65 years (elderly people), respectively. In economically developed regions, the prevalence of hypertension was significantly higher among rural residents than among urban residents (31.3% vs 29.2%, p = 0.001). Among women or individuals who lived in the northern region, the disparity in the prevalence of hypertension between urban and rural areas disappeared (women: 24.0% vs. 24.0%, p = 0.942; northern region: 31.6% vs. 31.2%, p = 0.505). Among hypertensive patients, 45.0% were aware of their condition, 36.2% were treated, and 11.1% were adequately controlled.
The prevalence of hypertension in China is increasing. The trend of an increase in prevalence is striking in young people and rural populations. Hypertension awareness, treatment, and control are poor. Public health efforts for further improving awareness and enhancing effective control are urgently needed in China, especially in emerging populations.
Biocompatible magnetic nanosensors based on reversible self-assembly of dispersed magnetic nanoparticles into stable nanoassemblies have been used as effective magnetic relaxation switches (MRSw) for the detection of molecular interactions. We report, for the first time, the design of MRSw based on aptamer-conjugated magnetic nanoparticles (ACMNPs). The ACMNPs capitalize on the ability of aptamers to specifically bind target cancer cells, as well as the large surface area of MNPs to accommodate multiple aptamer binding events. The ACMNPs can detect as few as 10 cancer cells in 250 μL of sample. The ACMNPs’ specificity and sensitivity are also demonstrated by detection in cell mixtures and complex biological media, including fetal bovine serum (FBS), human plasma, and whole blood. Furthermore, by using an array of ACMNPs, various cell types can be differentiated through pattern recognition, thus creating a cellular molecular profile which will allow clinicians to accurately identify cancer cells at the molecular and single cell level.
aptamer; cancer cell recognition; complex media; magnetic nanoparticle; spin-spin relaxation time
Circulating tumor cells (CTC) in the peripheral blood could provide important information for diagnosis of cancer metastasis and monitoring treatment progress. However, CTC are extremely rare in the bloodstream, making their detection and characterization technically challenging. We report here the development of an aptamer-mediated, micropillar-based microfluidic device that is able to efficiently isolate tumor cells from unprocessed whole blood. High-affinity aptamers were used as an alternative to antibodies for cancer cell isolation. The microscope-slide-sized device consists of >59,000 micropillars, which enhanced the probability of the interactions between aptamers and target cancer cells. The device geometry and the flow rate were investigated and optimized by studying their effects on the isolation of target leukemia cells from a cell mixture. The device yielded a capture efficiency of >95% with purity of ~81% at the optimum flow rate of 600 nL/s. Further, we exploited the device for isolating colorectal tumor cells from non-processed whole blood; as few as 10 tumor cells were captured from 1 mL of whole blood. We also addressed the question of low throughput of a typical microfluidic device by processing 1 mL of blood within 28 minutes. In addition, we found that ~93% of the captured cells were viable, making them suitable for subsequent molecular and cellular studies.
Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) is a blue-light receptor mediating blue-light inhibition of hypocotyl elongation and photoperiodic promotion of floral initiation. CRY2 is a constitutive nuclear protein that undergoes blue-light-dependent phosphorylation, ubiquitination, photobody formation, and degradation in the nucleus, but the relationship between these blue-light-dependent events remains unclear. It has been proposed that CRY2 phosphorylation triggers a conformational change responsible for the subsequent ubiquitination and photobody formation, leading to CRY2 function and/or degradation. We tested this hypothesis by a structure-function study, using mutant CRY2–GFP fusion proteins expressed in transgenic Arabidopsis. We show that changes of lysine residues of the NLS (Nuclear Localization Signal) sequence of CRY2 to arginine residues partially impair the nuclear importation of the CRY2K541R and CRY2K554/5R mutant proteins, resulting in reduced phosphorylation, physiological activities, and degradation in response to blue light. In contrast to the wild-type CRY2 protein that forms photobodies exclusively in the nucleus, the CRY2K541R and CRY2K554/5R mutant proteins form protein bodies in both the nucleus and cytosol in response to blue light. These results suggest that photoexcited CRY2 molecules can aggregate to form photobody-like structure without the nucleus-dependent protein modifications or the association with the nuclear CRY2-interacting proteins. Taken together, the observation that CRY2 forms photobodies markedly faster than CRY2 phosphorylation in response to blue light, we hypothesize that the photoexcited cryptochromes form oligomers, preceding other biochemical changes of CRY2, to facilitate photobody formation, signal amplification, and propagation, as well as desensitization by degradation.
protein phosphorylation; signal transduction; fluorescence imaging; protein degradation; photobody