Panaxadiol (PD) is a purified sapogenin of ginseng saponins, which exhibits anticancer activity. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a major catechin in green tea, is a strong botanical antioxidant. In this study, we investigated the possible synergistic anticancer effects of PD and EGCG on human colorectal cancer cells and explored the potential role of apoptosis in the synergistic activities. Effects of selected compounds on HCT-116 and SW-480 human colorectal cancer cells were evaluated by an MTS cell proliferation analysis. Cell cycle distribution and apoptotic effects were analyzed by flow cytometry after staining with PI/RNase or annexin V/PI. Cell growth was suppressed after treatment with PD (10 and 20 μM) for 48 h. When PD (10 and 20 μM) was combined with EGCG (10, 20 and 30 μM), significantly enhanced antiproliferative effects were observed in both cell lines. Combining 20 μM of PD with 20 μM and 30 μM of EGCG significantly decreased S-phase fractions of cells. In the apoptotic assay, the combination of PD and EGCG significantly increased the percentage of apoptotic cells compared with PD alone (P < 0.01). The synergistic apoptotic effects were also supported by docking analysis, which demonstrated that PD and EGCG bound in two different sites of the annexin V protein. Data from this study suggested that apoptosis might play an important role in the EGCG enhanced antiproliferative effects of PD on human colorectal cancer cells.
Panaxadiol; Epigallocatechin gallate; Antiproliferation; Cell cycle; Apoptosis; Docking analysis; Human colorectal cancer
The present single center, double-blind, delayed start study was conducted to examine possible symptomatic and disease-modifying effects of GM1 ganglioside in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Seventy-seven subjects with PD were randomly assigned to receive GM1 for 120 weeks (early-start group) or placebo for 24 weeks followed by GM1 for 96 weeks (delayed-start group). Washout evaluations occurred at 1 and 2 years after the end of treatment. Seventeen additional subjects who received standard-of-care were followed for comparative information about disease progression. Primary outcome was change from baseline Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor scores. At week 24, the early-start group had significant improvement in UPDRS motor scores vs. a significant worsening of scores in the delayed-start group. The early-start group also showed a sustained benefit vs. the delayed-start group at week 72 and at week 120. Both groups had significant symptom worsening during washout. This study provides evidence that GM1 use for 24 weeks was superior to placebo for improving motor symptoms and that extended GM1 use (up to 120 weeks) resulted in a lower than expected rate of symptom progression. The data from this small study suggest that GM1 may have symptomatic and potentially disease modifying effects on PD.
Parkinson’s disease; GM1; Ganglioside; Treatment; Symptomatic; Disease Modification
Electric bike (E-bike)-related deaths have been increasing rapidly in China and such injuries may be partly attributable to unsafe riding practice.
To describe potentially unsafe riding behaviours among electric bikers (E-bikers) and to investigate factors influencing these practices in China.
In September 2012, a cross-sectional observation study including a speed measurement component was conducted in Wuzhong (an urban district) and Zhangjiagang (a rural district) of Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. Hand-held radar speed metres were used to read travelling speeds of E-bikes and a pro forma observation checklist was used to collect data on road riding practice. Mixed-effect logistic regressions were used to calculate adjusted ORs and 95% CIs for the association between speeding, road rule violations and helmet use and their influencing factors.
Among 800 E-bikes with a speed reading, 70.9% exceeded the designed speed limit of 20 km/h. Among a further 20 647 E-bikers observed, 38.3% did not comply with the road rules when entering intersections; and only 2.2% wore helmets. No regional variation was identified between urban and rural areas. Male E-bikers were associated with more speeding and road rule violations, whereas riding a pedal-equipped E-bike was associated with less road rule violations and less helmet use.
Unsafe riding practices such as speeding, road rule violations and lack of helmet use were commonplace among E-bikers, especially among men. The study findings indicate that measures aimed at improving E-bike safety are required in China.
Electric Bike; Cross Sectional Study; Behavior; Risk Factor Research; Driver
The retinoblastoma gene Rb is a prototype tumor suppressor, which encodes a protein that is inactivated in a broad range of human cancers through different mechanisms. Rb functions to regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, as well as cell death. Therefore, even though Rb inactivation promotes cancer development, this may also open up certain vulnerabilities of cancers that can potentially be targeted with drug intervention. Based on the assumption that cancers that have mutation, deletion, or rearrangement in the Rb locus represent strong loss of Rb function while cancers with WT Rb on average retain some Rb function, we searched Genomics of Drug Sensitivity in Cancer database to identify cancer drugs that are particularly effective to cancers with Rb genomic alterations. Three mitotic inhibitors were identified from this analysis. We further tested the effects of two mitotic inhibitors, Taxol and STLC, on prostate and breast cancer cells. We demonstrate that the Rb status affects cancer cell sensitivity to these mitotic drugs and that the sensitizing effects of Rb are mediated in part by its regulation of the cell cycle checkpoint protein Mad2. Since the mitotic inhibitors identified in our analysis inhibit mitosis through distinct targets, it is possible that the Rb functional status may serve as a general biomarker for cancer sensitivity to mitotic inhibitors. Because the Rb pathway is inactivated in a large number of human cancers, identification of agents that are particularly effective or ineffective based on the Rb status in cancers can potentially be used generally to matching patients with appropriate treatments to achieve better therapeutic outcome.
Drug sensitivity; Rb; retinoblastoma tumor suppressor; Mad2; cell death; mitotic inhibitor; Taxol; S-Trityl-L-cysteine; STLC
We showed previously that inactivation of TSC2 induces death in cancer cells lacking the Retinoblastoma (Rb) tumor suppressor under stress conditions, suggesting that inactivation of TSC2 can potentially be used as an approach to specifically kill cancers that have lost WT Rb. As Rb is often inactivated in cancers by overexpression of cyclin D1, loss of p16ink4a cdk inhibitor, or expression of viral oncoproteins, it will be interesting to determine if such functional inactivation of Rb would similarly sensitize cancer cells to TSC2 inactivation induced cell death. In addition, many cancers lack functional Pten, resulting in increased PI3K/Akt signaling that has been shown to modulate E2F-induced cell death. Therefore it will be interesting to test whether loss of Pten will affect TSC2 inactivation induced killing of Rb mutant cancer cells. Here, we show that overexpression of Cyclin D1 or the viral oncogene E1a sensitizes cancer cells to TSC2 knockdown induced cell death and growth inhibition. On the other hand, knockdown of p16ink4a sensitizes cancer cells to TSC2 knockdown induced cell death in a manner that is likely dependant on serum induction of Cyclin D1 to inactivate the Rb function. Additionally, we demonstrate that loss of Pten does not interfere with TSC2 knockdown induced cell death in Rb mutant cancer cells. Together, these results suggest that TSC2 is potentially a useful target for a large spectrum of cancer types with an inactivated Rb pathway.
Rb pathway; Cyclin D1; p16ink4a; E1a; Pten; TSC2
This study aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of recombinant Mycobacterium tuberculosis ESAT-6 protein for diagnosis of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB).
A phase II trial was performed in 158 patients with pulmonary TB (145 initially-treated and 13 re-treated) and 133 healthy subjects. Skin testing was carried out by injecting purified protein derivative (PPD) (on left forearm) or recombinant ESAT-6 protein at a dosage of 2, 5, or 10 μg/mL (on the right forearm) in each subject. Reaction activity and adverse events were monitored at 24, 48, and 72 h following the injection. Receiver operating characteristic curves were plotted to determine the areas under the curves (AUCs) and the cut-off induration diameters for the optimal diagnostic performance.
The reaction activity was significantly increased upon recombinant ESAT-6 injection in pulmonary TB patients compared with healthy subjects. In pulmonary TB patients, the reaction was dose-dependent, and at 48 h, 10 μg/mL recombinant ESAT-6 produced a reaction similar to that produced by PPD. The AUCs for a 10 μg/mL dosage were 0.9823, 0.9552, and 0.9266 for 24 h, 48 h, and 72 h, respectively, and the induration diameters of 4.5–5.5 mm were the optimal trade-off values between true positive rates and false positive rates. No serious adverse events occurred in any subjects.
Recombinant ESAT-6 protein is efficacious and safe for diagnosing pulmonary TB. Based on the reaction, performance, safety, and practicability, we recommend that 10 μg/mL at 48 h with an induration cut-off value of 5.0 mm be used.
pulmonary tuberculosis; recombinant ESAT-6 protein; skin testing; phase II trial
Proteins can move from blood circulation into salivary glands through active transportation, passive diffusion or ultrafiltration, some of which are then released into saliva and hence can potentially serve as biomarkers for diseases if accurately identified. We present a novel computational method for predicting salivary proteins that come from circulation. The basis for the prediction is a set of physiochemical and sequence features we found to be discerning between human proteins known to be movable from circulation to saliva and proteins deemed to be not in saliva. A classifier was trained based on these features using a support-vector machine to predict protein secretion into saliva. The classifier achieved 88.56% average recall and 90.76% average precision in 10-fold cross-validation on the training data, indicating that the selected features are informative. Considering the possibility that our negative training data may not be highly reliable (i.e., proteins predicted to be not in saliva), we have also trained a ranking method, aiming to rank the known salivary proteins from circulation as the highest among the proteins in the general background, based on the same features. This prediction capability can be used to predict potential biomarker proteins for specific human diseases when coupled with the information of differentially expressed proteins in diseased versus healthy control tissues and a prediction capability for blood-secretory proteins. Using such integrated information, we predicted 31 candidate biomarker proteins in saliva for breast cancer.
Only 3% of women with breast cancer participate in cancer clinical trials nationwide. The lack of awareness about clinical trials is a significant barrier towards clinical trials participation. A study was conducted at a large urban Comprehensive Cancer Center to test (1) the effectiveness of an 18-min educational video on improving attitudes toward clinical trials and trials enrollment among new breast cancer patients seen at the Karmanos Cancer Institute, and (2) to assess racial differences in attitudes regarding clinical trials. Participants were randomized to either the educational intervention prior to their first oncology clinic appointment or to standard care. A baseline and 2-week post-intervention survey to assess attitudes toward clinical trials participation was completed by participants. Of 218 subjects recruited, 196 (55% white vs. 45% African American (AA)) eligible patients were included in the analysis. A small increase in therapeutic clinical trial enrollment was observed in the intervention arm but was not statistically significant (10.4% vs. 6.1%; P = 0.277). The intervention also did not result in a clear improvement in patients’ attitudes toward clinical trials at posttest. However, a lower enrollment rate for the AA women was noted after adjusting for stage (OR = 0.282, P = 0.049). Significantly more negative scores were noted in 3 out of the 5 baseline attitudinal scales for AA women. The educational video did not significantly increase enrollment in breast cancer clinical trials. The findings that AA women had significantly more negative attitudes toward clinical trials than white women may partially explain the racial disparity in enrollment. An educational video remains a simple and cost-effective way to educate patients. Future studies should focus on designing a new educational video to specifically target cultural and attitudinal barriers in the AA population to more effectively change attitudes and increase trial enrollment.
Clinical trials enrollment; Breast cancer; Educational video; Attitudes regarding clinical trials; Racial disparity
Connectivity analysis using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data is an important area, useful for the identification of biomarkers for various mental disorders, including schizophrenia. Most studies to date have focused on resting data, while the study of functional connectivity during task and the differences between task and rest are of great interest as well. In this work, we examine the graph-theoretical properties of the connectivity maps constructed using spatial components derived from independent component analysis (ICA) for healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia during an auditory oddball task (AOD) and at extended rest. We estimate functional connectivity using the higher-order statistical dependence, i.e., mutual information among the ICA spatial components, instead of the typically used temporal correlation. We also define three novel topological metrics based on the modules of brain networks obtained using a clustering approach. Our experimental results show that although the schizophrenia patients preserve the small-world property, they present a significantly lower small-worldness during both AOD task and rest when compared to the healthy controls, indicating a consistent tendency towards a more random organization of brain networks. In addition, the task-induced modulations to topological measures of several components involving motor, cerebellum and parietal regions are altered in patients relative to controls, providing further evidence for the aberrant connectivity in schizophrenia.
Functional connectivity; graph theoretical analysis; spatial dependence; resting state; auditory oddball task; schizophrenia
Phylogenetic trees are used to represent the evolutionary relationship among various groups of species. In this paper, a novel method for inferring prokaryotic phylogenies using multiple genomic information is proposed. The method is called CGCPhy and based on the distance matrix of orthologous gene clusters between whole-genome pairs. CGCPhy comprises four main steps. First, orthologous genes are determined by sequence similarity, genomic function, and genomic structure information. Second, genes involving potential HGT events are eliminated, since such genes are considered to be the highly conserved genes across different species and the genes located on fragments with abnormal genome barcode. Third, we calculate the distance of the orthologous gene clusters between each genome pair in terms of the number of orthologous genes in conserved clusters. Finally, the neighbor-joining method is employed to construct phylogenetic trees across different species. CGCPhy has been examined on different datasets from 617 complete single-chromosome prokaryotic genomes and achieved applicative accuracies on different species sets in agreement with Bergey's taxonomy in quartet topologies. Simulation results show that CGCPhy achieves high average accuracy and has a low standard deviation on different datasets, so it has an applicative potential for phylogenetic analysis.
Soybean is one of most important oil crops and a significant increase in lipid content in soybean seeds would facilitate vegetable oil production in the world. Although the pathways for lipid biosynthesis in higher plants have been uncovered, our understanding of regulatory mechanism controlling lipid accumulation is still limited. In this study, we identified 87 transcription factor genes with a higher abundance at the stage of lipid accumulation in soybean seeds. One of these genes, GmbZIP123, was selected to further study its function in regulation of lipid accumulation. Overexpression of GmbZIP123 enhanced lipid content in the seeds of transgenic Arabidopsis thaliana plants. The GmbZIP123 transgene promoted expression of two sucrose transporter genes (SUC1 and SUC5) and three cell-wall invertase genes (cwINV1, cwINV3, and cwINV6) by binding directly to the promoters of these genes. Consistently, the cell-wall invertase activity and sugar translocation were all enhanced in siliques of GmbZIP123 transgenic plants. Higher levels of glucose, fructose, and sucrose were also found in seeds of GmbZIP123 transgenic plants. These results suggest that GmbZIP123 may participate in regulation of lipid accumulation in soybean seeds by controlling sugar transport into seeds from photoautotrophic tissues. This study provides novel insights into the regulatory mechanism for lipid accumulation in seeds and may facilitate improvements in oil production in soybean and other oil crops through genetic manipulation of the GmbZIP123 gene.
Cell-wall intertase; GmbZIP123 overexpression; seed lipid; soybean; sugar transport; sucrose transporter.
Previous investigations have assumed that embryos lack the capacity of physiological thermoregulation until they are large enough for their own metabolic heat production to influence nest temperatures. Contrary to intuition, reptile embryos may be capable of physiological thermoregulation. In our experiments, egg-sized objects (dead or infertile eggs, water-filled balloons, glass jars) cooled down more rapidly than they heated up, whereas live snake eggs heated more rapidly than they cooled. In a nest with diel thermal fluctuations, that hysteresis could increase the embryo’s effective incubation temperature. The mechanisms for controlling rates of thermal exchange are unclear, but may involve facultative adjustment of blood flow. Heart rates of snake embryos were higher during cooling than during heating, the opposite pattern to that seen in adult reptiles. Our data challenge the view of reptile eggs as thermally passive, and suggest that embryos of reptile species with large eggs can influence their own rates of heating and cooling.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are identified in nearly all plants where they play important roles in development and stress responses by target mRNA cleavage or translation repression. MiRNAs exert their functions by sequence complementation with target genes and hence their targets can be predicted using bioinformatics algorithms. In the past two decades, microarray technology has been employed to study genes involved in important biological processes such as biotic response, abiotic response, and specific tissues and developmental stages, many of which are miRNA targets. Despite their value in assisting research work for plant biologists, miRNA target genes are difficult to access without pre-processing and assistance of necessary analytical and visualization tools because they are embedded in a large body of microarray data that are scattered around in public databases.
Plant MiRNA Target Expression Database (PMTED) is designed to retrieve and analyze expression profiles of miRNA targets represented in the plethora of existing microarray data that are manually curated. It provides a Basic Information query function for miRNAs and their target sequences, gene ontology, and differential expression profiles. It also provides searching and browsing functions for a global Meta-network among species, bioprocesses, conditions, and miRNAs, meta-terms curated from well annotated microarray experiments. Networks are displayed through a Cytoscape Web-based graphical interface. In addition to conserved miRNAs, PMTED provides a target prediction portal for user-defined novel miRNAs and corresponding target expression profile retrieval. Hypotheses that are suggested by miRNA-target networks should provide starting points for further experimental validation.
PMTED exploits value-added microarray data to study the contextual significance of miRNA target genes and should assist functional investigation for both miRNAs and their targets. PMTED will be updated over time and is freely available for non-commercial use at http://pmted.agrinome.org.
MiRNA; Microarray; Meta-analysis; Stress response
Soybean isoflavones have been used as a potential preventive agent in anticancer research for many years. Genistein is one of the most active flavonoids in soybeans. Accumulating evidence suggests that genistein alters a variety of biological processes in estrogen-related malignancies, such as breast and prostate cancers. However, the molecular mechanism of genistein in the prevention of human colon cancer remains unclear. Here we attempted to elucidate the anticarcinogenic mechanism of genistein in human colon cancer cells. First we evaluated the growth inhibitory effect of genistein and two other isoflavones, daidzein and biochanin A, on HCT-116 and SW-480 human colon cancer cells. In addition, flow cytometry was performed to observe the morphological changes in HCT-116/SW-480 cells undergoing apoptosis or cell cycle arrest, which had been visualized using Annexin V-FITC and/or propidium iodide staining. Real-time PCR and western blot analyses were also employed to study the changes in expression of several important genes associated with cell cycle regulation. Our data showed that genistein, daidzein and biochanin A exhibited growth inhibitory effects on HCT-116/SW-480 colon cancer cells and promoted apoptosis. Genistein showed a significantly greater effect than the other two compounds, in a time- and dose-dependent manner. In addition, genistein caused cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase, which was accompanied by activation of ATM/p53, p21waf1/cip1 and GADD45α as well as downregulation of cdc2 and cdc25A demonstrated by q-PCR and immunoblotting assay. Interestingly, genistein induced G2/M cell cycle arrest in a p53-dependent manner. These findings exemplify that isoflavones, especially genistein, could promote colon cancer cell growth inhibition and facilitate apoptosis and cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase. The ATM/p53-p21 cross-regulatory network may play a crucial role in mediating the anticarcinogenic activities of genistein in colon cancer.
colon cancer; cancer chemoprevention; G2/M cell cycle arrest; isoflavones; p53
To investigate the ability of rESAT6 to identify different mycobacteria-sensitized guinea pigs and its safety in preclinical and phase I clinical study.
Guinea pigs were sensitized with different Mycobacteria. After sensitization, all animals were intradermally injected with rESAT6 and either PPD or PPD-B. At 24 h after the injection, the erythema of the injection sites were measured using a double-blind method. For the preclinical safety study, different doses of rESAT6 and BSA were given 3 times intramuscularly to guinea pigs. On day 14 after the final immunization, the guinea pigs were intravenously injected with the same reagents in the hind legs and the allergic reactions were observed. A single-center, randomized, open phase I clinical trial was employed. The skin test was conducted in 32 healthy volunteers aged 19–65 years with 0.1 μg, 0.5 μg, and 1 μg rESAT6. Physical examination and laboratory tests were performed before and after the skin test and adverse reactions were monitored. The volunteers’ local and systemic adverse reactions and adverse events were recorded for 7 days.
Positive PPD or PPD-B skin tests were observed in all Mycobacteria-sensitized guinea pigs; the diameters of erythema were all >10 mm. The rESAT6 protein induced a positive skin test result in the guinea pigs sensitized with MTB, M. bovis, M. africanum and M. kansasii; the diameters of erythema were 14.7±2.0, 9.3±3.8, 18.7±2.4, and 14.8±4.2 mm, respectively. A negative skin test result was detected in BCG-vaccinated and other NTM-sensitized guinea pigs. The rESAT6 caused no allergic symptoms, but many allergic reactions, such as cough, dyspnea, and even death, were observed in the guinea pigs who were administered BSA. During the phase I clinical trial, no adverse reactions were found in the 0.1 μg rESAT6 group, but in the 0.5 μg rESAT6 group 2 volunteers reported pain and 1 reported itching, and in the 1 μg rESAT6 group there was 1 case of pain, 1 case of itching, and 1 case of blister. No other local or systemic adverse reactions or events were reported.
The rESAT6 can differentiate effectively among MTB infection, BCG vaccination, and NTM infection and is safe in healthy volunteers.
phase I clinical trial; recombinant protein; skin test; latent M. tuberculosis infection
Panaxadiol (PD) is a purified sapogenin of ginseng saponins that exhibits anticancer activity. Irinotecan (IRN) is a second line anticancer drug, but clinical treatment with IRN is limited due to side effects. In this study, we investigated the possible synergistic anticancer effects of PD and IRN on human colorectal cancer cells and explored the potential role of apoptosis in the synergistic activities.
The combination of PD and IRN significantly enhanced antiproliferative effects in HCT-116 cells (P < 0.05). Cell cycle analysis demonstrated that combining IRN treatment with PD significantly increased the G1-phase fractions of cells, compared with IRN treatment alone. In apoptotic assays, the combination of PD and IRN significantly increased the percentage of apoptotic cells compared with IRN alone (P < 0.01). Increased caspase 3 and caspase 9 activities were observed after treating with PD and IRN. The synergistic apoptotic effects were also supported by docking analysis, which demonstrated that PD and IRN bound two different chains of the caspase 3 protein.
Data from this study suggested that caspase 3- and caspase 9-mediated apoptosis may play an important role in the PD enhanced antiproliferative effects of IRN on human colorectal cancer cells.
Irinotecan; panaxadiol; apoptosis; cell cycle; human colorectal cancer
Plant-derived active constituents and their semi-synthetic or synthetic analogs have served as major sources of anticancer drugs. 20(S)-protopanaxadiol (PPD) is a metabolite of ginseng saponin of both American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng C.A. Meyer). We previously demonstrated that ginsenoside Rg3, a glucoside precursor of PPD, exhibits anti-proliferative effects on HCT116 cells and reduces tumor size in a xenograft model. Our subsequent study indicated that PPD has more potent antitumor activity than that of Rg3 in vitro although the mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of PPD remains to be defined. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of PPD in human cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. PPD was shown to inhibit growth and induce cell cycle arrest in HCT116 cells. The in vivo studies indicate that PPD inhibits xenograft tumor growth in athymic nude mice bearing HCT116 cells. The xenograft tumor size was significantly reduced when the animals were treated with PPD (30 mg/kg body weight) for 3 weeks. When the expression of previously identified Rg3 targets, A kinase (PRKA) anchor protein 8 (AKAP8L) and phosphatidylinositol transfer protein α (PITPNA), was analyzed, PPD was shown to inhibit the expression of PITPNA while upregulating AKAP8L expression in HCT116 cells. Pathway-specific reporter assays indicated that PPD effectively suppressed the NF-κB, JNK and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways. Taken together, our results suggest that the anticancer activity of PPD in colon cancer cells may be mediated through targeting NF-κB, JNK and MAPK/ERK signaling pathways, although the detailed mechanisms underlying the anticancer mode of PPD action need to be fully elucidated.
ginseng; ginseng metabolites; 20(S)-protopanaxadiol; colorectal cancer; signaling pathway; natural products
To investigate the long-term impacts of different posterior operations on curvature, neurological improvement and axial symptoms for multilevel cervical degenerative myelopathy (CDM), and to study the relationship among loss of cervical lordosis, recovery rate and axial symptom severity.
We retrospectively reviewed 98 patients with multilevel CDM who had undergone laminoplasty (Group LP, 36 patients), laminectomy (Group LC, 30 patients), or laminectomy with lateral mass screw fixation (Group LCS, 32 patients) between January 2000 and January 2005. Loss of curvature index (CI) was measured according to the preoperative and final follow-up radiographic parameters. The recovery rate was calculated based on the Japanese Orthopedic Association (JOA) score. Axial symptom severity was quantified by Neck Disability Index (NDI).
Analysis of final follow-up data showed significant differences among the three groups regarding loss of CI (F = 41.46, P < 0.001) between preoperative and final follow-up JOA scores (P < 0.001), final follow-up JOA score (F = 7.81, P < 0.001), recovery rate (F = 12.98, P < 0.001) and axial symptom severity (χ2 = 18.04, P < 0.001). Loss of CI showed negative association with neurological recovery (r = −0.555, P < 0.001) and positive correlation with axial symptom severity (r = 0.696, P < 0.001).
Excellent neurological improvement was obtained by LP and LCS for patients with multilevel CDM, while loss of CI in groups LP and LC caused a high incidence of axial symptoms. Loss of CI was correlated with poor neurological recovery and axial symptom severity. Lateral mass screw fixation can effectively prevent loss of postoperative cervical curvature and reduce incidence of axial symptoms.
Multilevel cervical degenerative myelopathy; Posterior operations; Curvature index; Neurological recovery; Axial symptoms
We evaluated the performance of green fluorescent magnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles (NPs) as gene carrier and location in pig kidney cells. When the mass ratio of NPs to green fluorescent protein plasmid DNA reached 1:16 or above, DNA molecules can be combined completely with NPs, which indicates that the NPs have good ability to bind negative DNA. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) experiments were carried out to investigate the binding mechanism between NPs and DNA. AFM images show that individual DNA strands come off of larger pieces of netlike agglomerations and several spherical nanoparticles are attached to each individual DNA strand and interact with each other. The pig kidney cells were labelled with membrane-specific red fluorescent dye 1,1′-dioctadecyl-3,3,3′,3′-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate and nucleus-specific blue fluorescent dye 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole dihydrochloride. We found that green fluorescent nanoparticles can past the cell membrane and spread throughout the interior of the cell. The NPs seem to locate more frequently in the cytoplasm than in the nucleus.
magnetic; fluorescent nanoparticles; gene carrier; location; 75.50.-y; 81.07.-b; 87.85.Rs
Compound K (20-O-beta-d-glucopyranosyl-20(S)-protopanaxadiol, CK), an intestinal bacterial metabolite of ginseng protopanaxadiol saponins, has been shown to inhibit cell growth in a variety of cancers. However, the mechanisms are not completely understood, especially in colorectal cancer (CRC). A xenograft tumor model was used first to examine the anti-CRC effect of CK in vivo. Then, multiple in vitro assays were applied to investigate the anticancer effects of CK including antiproliferation, apoptosis and cell cycle distribution. In addition, a qPCR array and western blot analysis were executed to screen and validate the molecules and pathways involved. We observed that CK significantly inhibited the growth of HCT-116 tumors in an athymic nude mouse xenograft model. CK significantly inhibited the proliferation of human CRC cell lines HCT-116, SW-480, and HT-29 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. We also observed that CK induced cell apoptosis and arrested the cell cycle in the G1 phase in HCT-116 cells. The processes were related to the upregulation of p53/p21, FoxO3a-p27/p15 and Smad3, and downregulation of cdc25A, CDK4/6 and cyclin D1/3. The major regulated targets of CK were cyclin dependent inhibitors, including p21, p27, and p15. These results indicate that CK inhibits transcriptional activation of multiple tumor-promoting pathways in CRC, suggesting that CK could be an active compound in the prevention or treatment of CRC.
colorectal cancer; ginsenoside; compound K; xenograft; cell cycle arrest; p53/p21
Protopanaxadiol (PPD) is a triterpenoid that can be prepared from steamed ginseng. PPD possesses anticancer potential via caspase-dependent apoptosis. Whether paraptosis, a type of the caspase-independent cell death, is also induced by PPD has not been evaluated.
Cell death, the cell cycle and intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were analyzed by flow cytometry after staining with annexin V/PI, PI/RNase or H2DCFDA. We observed morphological changes by crystal violet staining assay. Mitochondrial swelling was measured by ultraviolet–visible spectrophotometry. The activation of NF-κB was measured by luciferase reporter assay.
At comparable concentrations of 5-fluorouracil, PPD induced more cell death in human colorectal cancer cell lines HCT-116 and SW-480. We demonstrated that PPD induced paraptosis in these cancer cells. PPD treatment significantly increased the percentage of cancer cells with cytoplasmic vacuoles. After the cells were treated with PPD and cycloheximides, cytoplasmic vacuole generation was inhibited. The paraptotic induction effect of PPD was also supported by the results of the mitochondrial swelling assay. PPD induced ROS production in cancer cells, which activated the NF-κB pathway. Blockage of ROS by NAC or PS-1145 inhibited the activation of NF-κB signaling.
PPD induces colorectal cancer cell death in part by induction of paraptosis. The anticancer activity of PPD may be enhanced by antioxidants such as green tea, which also inhibit the activation of NF-κB signaling.
Ginseng; Protopanaxadiol; PPD; Paraptosis; Cytoplasmic vacuoles; Mitochondrial swelling; Antioxidant; Cancer chemoprevention
The retinoblastoma gene Rb is the prototype tumor suppressor and is conserved in Drosophila. We use the developing fly retina as a model system to investigate the role of Drosophila Rb (rbf) during differentiation. This report shows that mutation of rbf and rhinoceros (rno), which encodes a PHD domain protein, leads to a synergistic delay in photoreceptor cell differentiation in the developing eye disc. We show that this differentiation delay phenotype is caused by decreased levels of different components of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway in the absence of rbf and rno. We show that rbf is required for normal expression of Rhomboid proteins and activation of MAP kinase in the morphogenetic furrow (MF), while rno is required for the expression of Pointed (Pnt) and Ebi proteins, which are key factors that mediate EGFR signaling output in the nucleus. Interestingly, while removing the transcription activation function of dE2F1 is sufficient to suppress the synergistic differentiation delay, a mutant form of de2f1 that disrupts the binding with RBF but retains the transcription activation function does not mimic the effect of rbf loss. These observations suggest RBF has additional functions besides dE2F1 binding that regulate EGFR signaling and photoreceptor differentiation.
RBF; Rhinoceros; EGFR signaling; differentiation; dE2F1; pointed; Ebi
Influenza vaccines are less effective in older people than younger people. This impaired ability to protect older people from influenza viral lung infection has important implications as older people suffer a higher morbidity and mortality from influenza viral lung infection than younger people. Therefore, the development of novel effective vaccines that induce protection from influenza viral infections in older people are urgently needed. We had previously shown that direct linking the TLR5 activator, flagellin, to viral peptides induces effective immunity to viral antigens in young mice and people, respectively. In this study, we tested the efficacy of this vaccine platform with the hemagglutinin peptide of the influenza A strain virus (vaccine denoted as STF2.HA1-2) in protecting aged mice from subsequent influenza viral lung infection. We found that a 3.0μg dose of the vaccine was effective in reducing mortality and increasing clinical well-being during influenza viral lung infection in aged mice. However, this effect was inferior to the response induced in young mice. Defects in the adaptive immune system but not the innate immune system were associated with this reduced effectiveness of the vaccine with aging. Our results indicate that the STF2.HA1-2 vaccine is effective in protecting aged hosts from influenza lung infection, although defects in the adaptive immune system with aging may limit the effectiveness of this vaccine in older people.
Ageing; influenza viral infection
Age-related decline in immunity can impair cell-mediated responses during an infection, malignancy, and acute allograft rejection. Although much research has been allocated to understand the immune responses that impact the former two conditions, the cellular mechanisms by which aging impacts the immune acceptance of organ allografts are not completely clear. In this study, we examined how recipient age impacts the efficacy of therapies that modulate immune recognition of allografts using an immunogenic murine skin transplant model. We found that costimulatory blockade-based treatment failed to extend allograft survival in older recipients to the same extent as that observed in younger recipients. CD8+ T-cells were critical for the inability of aged recipients to achieve maximal allograft survival. Although aged mice displayed a larger number of effector memory T-cells prior to transplantation, these cells did not exhibit enhanced alloreactivity compared to young memory T-cells. In contrast, naïve aged CD8+ T-cells exhibited enhanced IFN-γ production to allostimulation compared to young naïve T-cells. Our results provide evidence that aging enhances CD8+ T-cell alloreactivity. This could impair the ability of costimulatory blockade-based therapies to prolong allograft survival. Thus, targeting CD8+ T cells in humans may be a way to improve outcomes in older patients requiring immune modulatory therapy.