IL-17A and IL-17F are pro-inflammatory cytokines which induce the expression of several cytokines, chemokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in target cells. IL-17 cytokines have recently attracted huge interest due to their pathogenic role in diseases such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease although a role for IL-17 cytokines in myocardial infarction (MI) has not previously been described.
In vivo MI was performed by coronary artery occlusion in the absence or presence of a neutralizing IL-17 antibody for blocking IL-17 actions in vivo. IL-17 signaling was also assessed in isolated primary cardiomyocytes by Western blot, mRNA expression and immunostaining.
Expression of IL-17A, IL-17F and the IL-17 receptor (IL-17RA) were all increased following MI. Expression of several IL-17 target genes, including Cxcl1, Cxcl2, IL-1β, iNOS and IL-6 was also upregulated following MI. In addition, IL-17A promoted the expression of Cxcl1 and IL-6 in isolated cardiomyocytes in a MAPK and PI(3)K-dependent manner. IL-17A and ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury were found to have an additive effect on Cxcl1 expression, suggesting that IL-17 may enhance myocardial neutrophil recruitment during MI. Moreover, protein levels of both IL-17R and IL-17A were enhanced following in vivo MI. Finally, blocking IL-17 signaling in vivo reduced the levels of apoptotic cell death markers following in vivo MI.
These data imply that the expression of IL-17 cytokines and their receptor are elevated during myocardial I/R injury and may play a fundamental role in post infarct inflammatory and apoptotic responses.
IL-17; Myocardial; Ischaemia/reperfusion; IL-17 receptor; Cxcl1; MAPK
Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) is an assay in which disease-associated prion protein (PrP) initiates a rapid conformational transition in recombinant PrP (recPrP), resulting in the formation of amyloid that can be monitored in real time using the dye thioflavin T. It therefore has potential advantages over analogous cell-free PrP conversion assays such as protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA). The QuIC assay and the related amyloid seeding assay have been developed largely using rodent-passaged sheep scrapie strains. Given the potential RT-QuIC has for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD) research and human prion test development, this study characterized the behaviour of a range of CJD brain specimens with hamster and human recPrP in the RT-QuIC assay. The results showed that RT-QuIC is a rapid, sensitive and specific test for the form of abnormal PrP found in the most commonly occurring forms of sporadic CJD. The assay appeared to be largely independent of species-related sequence differences between human and hamster recPrP and of the methionine/valine polymorphism at codon 129 of the human PrP gene. However, with the same conditions and substrate, the assay was less efficient in detecting the abnormal PrP that characterizes variant CJD brain. Comparison of these QuIC results with those previously obtained using PMCA suggested that these two seemingly similar assays differ in important respects.
To date, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, particularly protein 14-3-3 testing, presents an important approach in the identification of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease cases. However, one special point of criticism of 14-3-3 testing is the specificity in the differential diagnosis of rapid dementia. The constant observation of increased cerebrospinal fluid referrals in the national surveillance centres over the last years raises the concern of declining specificity due to higher number of cerebrospinal fluid tests performed in various neurological conditions. Within the framework of a European Community supported longitudinal multicentre study (‘cerebrospinal fluid markers’) we analysed the spectrum of rapid progressive dementia diagnoses, their potential influence on 14-3-3 specificity as well as results of other dementia markers (tau, phosphorylated tau and amyloid-β1–42) and evaluated the specificity of 14-3-3 in Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease diagnosis for the years 1998–2008. A total of 29 022 cerebrospinal fluid samples were analysed for 14-3-3 protein and other cerebrospinal fluid dementia markers in patients with rapid dementia and suspected Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in the participating centres. In 10 731 patients a definite diagnosis could be obtained. Protein 14-3-3 specificity was analysed for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease with respect to increasing cerebrospinal fluid tests per year and spectrum of differential diagnosis. Ring trials were performed to ensure the comparability between centres during the reported time period. Protein 14-3-3 test specificity remained high and stable in the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease during the observed time period across centres (total specificity 92%; when compared with patients with definite diagnoses only: specificity 90%). However, test specificity varied with respect to differential diagnosis. A high 14-3-3 specificity was obtained in differentiation to other neurodegenerative diseases (95–97%) and non-neurological conditions (91–97%). We observed lower specificity in the differential diagnoses of acute neurological diseases (82–87%). A marked and constant increase in cerebrospinal fluid test referrals per year in all centres did not influence 14-3-3 test specificity and no change in spectrum of differential diagnosis was observed. Cerebrospinal fluid protein 14-3-3 detection remains an important test in the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Due to a loss in specificity in acute neurological events, the interpretation of positive 14-3-3 results needs to be performed in the clinical context. The spectrum of differential diagnosis of rapid progressive dementia varied from neurodegenerative dementias to dementia due to acute neurological conditions such as inflammatory diseases and non-neurological origin.
rapid dementia; Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease; cerebrospinal fluid; 14-3-3; specificity; neurodegeneration; differential diagnosis in dementia
The transcription factor p73 belongs to the p53 family of tumour suppressors and similar to other family members, transcribed as different isoforms with opposing pro- and anti-apoptotic functions. Unlike p53, p73 mutations are extremely rare in cancers. Instead, the pro-apoptotic activities of transcriptionally active p73 isoforms are commonly inhibited by over-expression of the dominant negative p73 isoforms. Therefore the relative ratio of different p73 isoforms is critical for the cellular response to a chemotherapeutic agent. Here, we analysed the expression of N-terminal p73 isoforms in cell lines and mouse tissues. Our data showed that the transcriptionally competent TAp73 isoform is abundantly expressed in cancer cell lines compared to the dominant negative ΔNp73 isoform. Interestingly, we detected higher levels of ΔNp73 in some mouse tissues, suggesting that ΔNp73 may have a physiological role in these tissues.
p73; alternative splicing; expression; cancer
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) have numerous potential advantages over terminally differentiated cells and embryonic stem cells for use in tissue engineering applications. The aims of this study were to develop methods to test the hypothesis that hMSC could be differentiated using cyclic compressive strain alone. hMSC were successfully isolated, purified using D7-FIB antibody, cloned, and characterized. The cells were subsequently analyzed using fluorescence-activated cell sorting using a panel of antibodies and differentiation into multiple cell lineages. D7FIB-positive cells were then seeded into collagen–alginate scaffolds and subjected to 10% or 15% cyclic compressive strain for 4 out of 24 hours for up to 21 days in a bespoke servo-assisted displacement-controlled device. Cells were analyzed using adenosine triphosphate assay to determine cell number, live–dead cell assay, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction at 7 and 21 days. Cloned D7-FIB-positive hMSCs showed evidence of differentiation to an osteogenic lineage under 10% cyclic compressive strain alone (core binding factor alpha 1 (CBFA-1) was significantly upregulated at 7 and 21 days by a factor of 18.3 and 32.2, respectively) and to an osteo-chondrogenic lineage under 15% cyclic compressive strain alone (increased expression of CBFA-1, Sox9, and aggrecan). A combination of a composite viscoelastic scaffold and controlled cyclic compressive strain may be useful for study of the differentiation of MSC.
The emergence of the novel prion diseases bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and, subsequently, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in epidemic forms has attracted much scientific attention. The oral transmission of these disorders, the causative relationship of vCJD to BSE and the resistance of the transmissible agents in both disorders to conventional forms of decontamination has caused great public health concern. The size of the still emerging vCJD epidemic is thankfully much lower than some early published estimates. This paper reviews current knowledge of the factors that influence the development of vCJD: the properties of the infectious agent; the route of inoculation and individual susceptibility factors. The current epidemiological data are reviewed, along with relevant animal transmission studies. In terms of genetic susceptibility, the best characterised is the common single nucleotide polymorphism at codon 129 of prion protein gene. Current biomarkers and future areas of research will be discussed. These issues are important in informing precautionary measures and the ongoing monitoring of vCJD.
Variant CJD; prion disease; BSE; transmission; environmental factors; susceptibility; genetic factors; investigations; biomarkers
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare transmissible neurodegenerative disorder. An important determinant for CJD risk and phenotype is the M129V polymorphism of the human prion protein gene (PRNP), but there are also other coding and non-coding polymorphisms inside this gene.
We tested whether three non-coding polymorphism located inside the PRNP regulatory region (C-101G, G310C and T385C) were associated with risk of CJD and with age at onset in a United Kingdom population-based sample of 131 sporadic CJD (sCJD) patients and 194 controls.
We found no disease association for either PRNP C-101G or PRNP T385C. Although the crude analysis did not show a significant association between PRNP G310C and sCJD (OR: 1.5; 95%CI = 0.7 to 2.9), after adjusting by PRNP M129V genotype, it resulted that being a C allele carrier at PRNP G310C was significantly (p = 0.03) associated with a 2.4 fold increased risk of developing sCJD (95%CI = 1.1 to 5.4). Additionally, haplotypes carrying PRNP 310C coupled with PRNP 129M were significantly overrepresented in patients (p = 0.02) compared to controls. Cases of sCJD carrying a PRNP 310C allele presented at a younger age (on average 8.9 years younger than those without this allele), which was of statistical significance (p = 0.05). As expected, methionine and valine homozygosity at PRNP M129V increased significantly the risk of sCJD, alone and adjusted by PRNP G310C (OR MM/MV = 7.3; 95%CI 3.9 to 13.5 and OR VV/MV = 4.0; 95%CI 1.7 to 9.3).
Our findings support the hypothesis that genetic variations in the PRNP promoter may have a role in the pathogenesis of sCJD.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; prion protein gene; molecular subtype; regulatory region; early onset
Simultaneous pancreas-kidney (SPK) transplantation is an important replacement therapy for individuals with diabetes and end-stage renal disease. Kidney-alone (KA) transplantation is associated with a high incidence of post-transplant diabetes.
This was a cross-sectional study. We studied 48-h glucose concentrations in eight subjects with type 1 diabetes mellitus after SPK transplantation, six subjects post-KA transplantation, and nine healthy controls using the CGMS® (Medtronic Minimed, Northridge, CA) continuous glucose monitoring system.
The 48-h mean glucose concentration was 101 ± 7 mg/dL in the SPK subjects, 105 ± 12 mg/dL in the KA subjects, and 99 ± 7 mg/dL in the healthy controls. The glycemic excursions were higher in the KA group compared to the SPK cohort and healthy controls (P < 0.0001). No differences in the incidence of hypoglycemia were detected among the three groups. Significant postprandial hyperglycemia was uncovered in four of the six KA subjects.
SPK transplantation is very effective at normalizing glycemic excursions. Unsuspected hyperglycemia was identified in the KA group. The CGMS was a useful ambulatory tool to study glucose profiles in the post-transplant period and may help uncover hyperglycemia undetected by routine laboratory testing.
p73 is a tumor suppressor belonging to the p53 family of transcription factors. Distinct isoforms are transcribed from the p73 locus. The use of 2 promoters at the N-terminus allows the expression of an isoform containing (TAp73) or not containing (ΔNp73) a complete N-terminal transactivation domain, with the latter isoform capable of a dominant negative effect over the former. In addition, both N-terminal variants are alternatively spliced at the C-terminus. TAp73 is a bona fide tumor suppressor, being able to induce cell death and cell cycle arrest; conversely, ΔNp73 shows oncogenic properties, inhibiting TAp73 and p53 functions. Here, we discuss the latest findings linking p73 to cancer. The generation of isoform specific null mice has helped in dissecting the contribution of TA versus ΔNp73 isoforms to tumorigenesis. The activity of both isoforms is regulated transcriptionally and by posttranslational modification. p73 dysfunction, particularly of TAp73, has been associated with mitotic abnormalities, which may lead to polyploidy and aneuploidy and thus contribute to tumorigenesis. Although p73 is only rarely mutated in cancer, the tumor suppressor actions of TAp73 are inhibited by mutant p53, a finding that has important implications for cancer therapy. Finally, we discuss the expression and role of p73 isoforms in human cancer, with a particular emphasis on the neuroblastoma cancer model. Broadly, the data support the hypothesis that the ratio between TAp73 and ΔNp73 is crucial for tumor progression and therapeutic response.
p73; mutant p53; mitosis; knockout mice; neuroblastoma; rhabdomyosarcoma
p73, a transcription factor of the p53 family, plays a key role in many biological processes including neuronal development. Indeed, mice deficient for both TAp73 and ΔNp73 isoforms display neuronal pathologies, including hydrocephalus and hippocampal dysgenesis, with defects in the CA1-CA3 pyramidal cell layers and the dentate gyrus. TAp73 expression increases in parallel with neuronal differentiation and its ectopic expression induces neurite outgrowth and expression of neuronal markers in neuroblastoma cell lines and neural stem cells, suggesting that it has a pro-differentiation role. In contrast, ΔNp73 shows a survival function in mature cortical neurons as selective ΔNp73 null mice have reduced cortical thickness. Recent evidence has also suggested that p73 isoforms are deregulated in neurodegenerative pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease, with abnormal tau phosphorylation. Thus, in addition to its increasingly accepted contribution to tumorigenesis, the p73 subfamily also plays a role in neuronal development and neurodegeneration.
p73; Neuronal differentiation; Neural stem cells (NSC); Neurodegeneration; Alzheimer’s Disease
► TAp73 is expressed in neural stem cells and its expression increases following their differentiation. ► Neural stem cells from p73 null mice have a reduced proliferative potential. ► p73-deficient neural stem cells show reduced expression of members of the Sox-2 and Notch gene families. ► Neurogenic areas are reduced in the brains of embryonic and adult p73−/− mice.
p73, a member of the p53 family, is a transcription factor that plays a key role in many biological processes. In the present study, we show that TAp73 is expressed in neural stem cells (NSC) and its expression increases following their differentiation. NSC from p73 null mice have a reduced proliferative potential, together with reduced expression of members of the Sox-2 and Notch gene families known to be important for NSC proliferation. In parallel with this in vitro data, the width of the neurogenic areas was reduced in the brains of embryonic and adult p73−/− mice. These data suggest that p73, and in particular TAp73, is important for maintenance of the NSC pool.
TAp73, transcriptionally active p73; ΔNp73, amino truncated p73; −/−, knockout mice; DIV, day in vitro; DMED, Dulbecco minimal essential medium; FBS, foetal bovine serum; EGF, epidermal growth factor; Ct, threshold cycle; p73; Neural stem cell; Neurogenesis; Self-renewal; p53 family; Apoptosis
A 45‐year‐old man was brought by ambulance to the emergency department. He was in shock, with a knife handle protruding from his abdomen. His pulse became undetectable. With the knife still in situ, external cardiac massage was provided on immediate transfer to the operating theatre. Resuscitation and haemostasis were achieved and the patient was eventually discharged from hospital. This case report discusses the risks of chest compressions for trauma patients with a penetrating weapon still in situ.
The urocortin (UCN) hormones UCN1 and UCN2 have been shown previously to confer significant protection against myocardial ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying their action are poorly understood. To further define the transcriptional effect of UCNs that underpins their cardioprotective activity, a microarray analysis was carried out using an in vivo rat coronary occlusion model of I/R injury. Infusion of UCN1 or UCN2 before the onset of reperfusion resulted in the differential regulation of 66 and 141 genes respectively, the majority of which have not been described previously. Functional analysis demonstrated that UCN-regulated genes are involved in a wide range of biological responses, including cell death (e.g. X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein), oxidative stress (e.g. nuclear factor erythroid derived 2-related factor 1/nuclear factor erythroid derived 2-like 1) and metabolism (e.g. Prkaa2/AMPK). In addition, both UCN1 and UCN2 were found to modulate the expression of a host of genes involved in G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) signalling including Rac2, Gnb1, Dab2ip (AIP1), Ralgds, Rnd3, Rap1a and PKA, thereby revealing previously unrecognised signalling intermediates downstream of CRH receptors. Moreover, several of these GPCR-related genes have been shown previously to be involved in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation, suggesting a link between CRH receptors and induction of MAPKs. In addition, we have shown that both UCN1 and UCN2 significantly reduce free radical damage following myocardial infarction, and comparison of the UCN gene signatures with that of the anti-oxidant tempol revealed a significant overlap. These data uncover novel gene expression changes induced by UCNs, which will serve as a platform to further understand their mechanism of action in normal physiology and cardioprotection.
Genetic analysis of the human prion protein gene (PRNP) in suspect cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is necessary for accurate diagnosis and case classification. Previous publications on the genetic variation at the PRNP locus have highlighted the presence of numerous polymorphisms, in addition to the well recognised one at codon 129, with significant variability between geographically distinct populations. It is therefore of interest to consider their influence on susceptibility or the clinico-pathological disease phenotype. This study aimed to characterise the frequency and effect of PRNP open reading frame polymorphisms other than codon 129 in both disease and control samples sourced from the United Kingdom population.
DNA was extracted from blood samples and genetic data obtained by full sequence analysis of the prion protein gene or by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis using restriction enzymes specific to the gene polymorphism under investigation.
147 of 166 confirmed cases of variant CJD (vCJD) in the UK have had PRNP codon 129 genotyping and all are methionine homozygous at codon 129; 118 have had full PRNP gene sequencing. Of the latter, 5 cases have shown other polymorphic loci: at codon 219 (2, 1.69%), at codon 202 (2, 1.69%), and a 24 bp deletion in the octapeptide repeat region (1, 0.85%). E219K and D202D were not found in sporadic CJD (sCJD) cases and therefore may represent genetic risk factors for vCJD.
Genetic analysis of 309 confirmed UK sCJD patients showed codon 129 genotype frequencies of MM: 59.5% (n = 184), MV: 21.4% (n = 66), and VV: 19.1% (n = 59). Thirteen (4.2%) had the A117A polymorphism, one of which also had the P68P polymorphism, four (1.3%) had a 24 bp deletion, and a single patient had a novel missense variation at codon 167. As the phenotype of this latter case is similar to sCJD and in the absence of a family history of CJD, it is unknown whether this is a form of genetic CJD, or simply a neutral polymorphism.
This analysis of PRNP genetic variation in UK CJD patients is the first to show a comprehensive comparison with healthy individuals (n = 970) from the same population, who were genotyped for the three most common variations (codon 129, codon 117, and 24 bp deletion). These latter two genetic variations were equally frequent in UK sCJD or vCJD cases and a normal (healthy blood donor) UK population.
The transcription factor STAT1 plays a role in promoting apoptotic cell death, whereas the related STAT3 transcription factor protects cardiac myocytes from ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury or oxidative stress. Cytokines belonging to the IL-6 family activate the JAK-STAT3 pathway, but also activate other cytoprotective pathways such as the MAPK-ERK or the PI3-AKT pathway. It is therefore unclear whether STAT3 is the only cytoprotective mediator against oxidative stress-induced cell death. Overexpression of STAT3 in primary neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVM) protects against I/R-induced cell death. Moreover, a dominant negative STAT3 adenovirus (Ad ST3-DN) enhanced apoptotic cell death (81.2 ± 6.9%) compared to control infected NRVM (46.0 ± 3.1%) following I/R. Depletion of STAT3 sensitized cells to apoptotic cell death following oxidative stress. These results provide direct evidence for the role of STAT3 as a cytoprotective transcription factor in cells exposed to oxidative stress.
STAT1; STAT3; Apoptosis; Ischemia; Myocardial infarction; Oxidative stress
p63, a member of the p53 family, is transcribed from two different promoters giving rise to two different proteins: TAp63 that contains the N-terminal transactivation domain and ∆N that lacks this domain. In this article we describe a new target gene Scotin induced by TAp63 during epithelial differentiation. This gene was previously isolated as a p53-inducible proapoptotic gene and the protein is located in the endoplasmic reticulum and in the nuclear membrane. Scotin expression is induced in response to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in a p53 dependent or independent manner. We detected Scotin upregulation in primary keratinocyte cell lines committed to differentiate. In this paper we also show that Scotin is expressed in the supra basal layer of the epidermis in parallel with TAp63, but not ∆Np63 expression. We conclude that Scotin is a new p63 target gene induced during epithelial differentiation, a complex process that also involves ER stress induction.
Scotin; p63; ER stress; GADD153; Epithelial differentiation
The 14-3-3 protein test has been shown to support the clinical diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) when associated with an adequate clinical context, and a high differential potential for the diagnosis of sporadic CJD has been attributed to other cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins such as tau protein, S100b and neuron specific enolase (NSE). So far there has been only limited information available about biochemical markers in genetic transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (gTSE), although they represent 10–15% of human TSEs. In this study, we analyzed CSF of 174 patients with gTSEs for 14-3-3 (n = 166), tau protein (n = 78), S100b (n = 46) and NSE (n = 50). Levels of brain-derived proteins in CSF varied in different forms of gTSE. Biomarkers were found positive in the majority of gCJD (81%) and insert gTSE (69%), while they were negative in most cases of fatal familial insomnia (13%) and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (10%). Disease duration and codon 129 genotype influence the findings in a different way than in sporadic CJD.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; CSF proteins; 14-3-3 protein; Tau
To compare the efficacy and safety of controlled-release (CR) tramadol (Zytram XL, Purdue Pharma, Canada) and placebo in patients with painful osteoarthritis.
Patients underwent analgesic washout for two to seven days before random assignment to 150 mg daily of CR tramadol or placebo, and were titrated weekly to 200 mg, 300 mg or a maximum of 400 mg once daily. After four weeks, patients crossed over to the alternate treatment for another four weeks. Plain acetaminophen was provided as a rescue analgesic. All patients who completed the crossover study were eligible to receive open label CR tramadol for six months.
Seventy-seven of 100 randomly assigned patients were evaluable for efficacy. CR tramadol resulted in significantly lower visual analogue scale pain intensity scores (37.4±23.9 versus 45.1±24.3, P=0.0009). Western Ontario and McMaster Universities osteoarthritis index subscale scores for pain (189.0±105.0 versus 230.0±115.4; P=0.0001) and physical function (632.4±361.3 versus 727.4±383.4; P=0.0205) were significantly better with CR tramadol. Total pain and disability (22.8±14.5 versus 27.2±14.8; P=0.0004), and overall pain and sleep (104.7±98.0 versus 141.0±108.2; P=0.0005) scores in the Pain and Sleep Questionnaire were significantly lower for CR tramadol. Short-form 36 Health Survey scores were significantly better during CR tramadol treatment for the pain index (38.8±10.8 versus 35.6±9.0; P=0.0100), general health perception (46.5±11.2 versus 44.4±11.6; P=0.0262), vitality (43.1±13.2 versus 40.2±13.7; P=0.0255) and overall physical components (40.8±8.9 versus 37.8±7.7; P=0.0002). CR tramadol treatment was preferred by 55.8% of patients (P=0.0005) versus 20.8% and 23.4% of patients who chose placebo or had no preference, respectively. These improvements were sustained for up to six months, and 86.5% of patients reported at least moderate benefit from CR tramadol during long-term treatment.
CR tramadol is effective for the management of painful osteoarthritis.
Chronic pain; Controlled-release; Osteoarthritis; Tramadol
The occurrence of blood-borne prion transmission incidents calls for identification of potential prion carriers. However, current methods for intravital diagnosis of prion disease rely on invasive tissue biopsies and are unsuitable for large-scale screening. Sensitive biomarkers may help meeting this need. Here we scanned the genome for transcripts elevated upon prion infection and encoding secreted proteins. We found that α1-antichymotrypsin (α1-ACT) was highly upregulated in brains of scrapie-infected mice. Furthermore, α1-ACT levels were dramatically increased in urine of patients suffering from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and increased progressively throughout the disease. Increased α1-ACT excretion was also found in cases of natural prion disease of animals. Therefore measurement of urinary α1-ACT levels may be useful for monitoring the efficacy of therapeutic regimens for prion disease, and possibly also for deferring blood and organ donors that may be at risk of transmitting prion infections.
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) originally resulted from the consumption of foodstuffs contaminated by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) material, with 163 confirmed cases in the UK to date. Many thousands are likely to have been exposed to dietary infection and so it is important (for surveillance, epidemic modelling, public health and understanding pathogenesis) to identify genetic factors that may affect individual susceptibility to infection. This study looked at a polymorphism in the cathepsin D gene (refSNP ID: rs17571) previously examined in Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Blood samples taken from 110 vCJD patients were tested for the C-T base change, and genotype data were compared with published frequencies for a control population using multiple logistic regression.
There was a significant excess of the cathepsin D polymorphism TT genotype in the vCJD cohort compared to controls. The TT genotype was found to have a 9.75 fold increase in risk of vCJD compared to the CT genotype and a 10.92 fold increase compared to the CC genotype.
This mutation event has been observed to alter the protease activity of the cathepsin D protein and has been linked to an increase in amyloid beta plaque formation in AD. vCJD neuropathology is characterised by the presence of amyloid plaques, formed from the prion protein, and therefore alterations in the amyloid processing activity of cathepsin D may affect the neuropathogenesis of this disease.
p63, a member of the p53 family, is transcribed from two different promoters giving rise to two different proteins: TAp63 that contains the N-terminal transactivation domain and ΔN that lacks this domain. In this article we describe a new target gene Scotin induced by TAp63 during epithelial differentiation. This gene was previously isolated as a p53-inducible proapoptotic gene and the protein is located in the endoplasmic reticulum and in the nuclear membrane. Scotin expression is induced in response to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in a p53 dependent or independent manner. We detected Scotin upregulation in primary keratinocyte cell lines committed to differentiate. In this paper we also show that Scotin is expressed in the supra basal layer of the epidermis in parallel with TAp63, but not ΔNp63 expression. We conclude that Scotin is a new p63 target gene induced during epithelial differentiation, a complex process that also involves ER stress induction.
Scotin; p63; ER stress; GADD153; Epithelial differentiation
Urocortin (Ucn) protects hearts against ischemia and reperfusion injury whether given prior to ischemia or at reperfusion. Here we investigate the roles of protein kinase C, reactive oxygen species, and the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP) in mediating these effects. In Langendorff-perfused rat hearts, acute Ucn treatment improved hemodynamic recovery during reperfusion after 30 min global ischemia; this was accompanied by less necrosis (lactate dehydrogenase release) and MPTP opening (mitochondrial entrapment of [3H]-2-deoxyglucose). Ucn pre-treatment protected mitochondria against calcium-induced MPTP opening, but only if the mitochondria had been isolated from hearts after reperfusion. These mitochondria also exhibited less protein carbonylation, suggesting that Ucn decreases levels of oxidative stress. In isolated adult and neonatal rat cardiac myocytes, both acute (60 min) and chronic (16 hr) treatment with Ucn reduced cell death following simulated ischemia and re-oxygenation. This was accompanied by less MPTP opening as measured using tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester. The level of oxidative stress during reperfusion was reduced in cells which had been pre-treated with Ucn suggesting that this is the mechanism by which Ucn desensitizes the MPTP to reperfusion injury. Despite the fact that we could find no evidence that either PKCε or PKCα translocate to the mitochondria following acute Ucn treatment, inhibition of PKC with chelerythrine eliminated the effect of Ucn on oxidative stress. Our data suggests that acute Ucn treatment protects the heart by inhibiting MPTP opening. However, the mechanism appears to be indirect, involving a PKC-mediated reduction in oxidative stress.
reperfusion; mitochondria; oxygen radicals; peptide hormones
A polymorphism at codon 129 of the prion protein gene (PRNP) is the only well-known genetic risk factor for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). However, there is increasing evidence that other loci outside the PRNP open reading frame might play a role in CJD aetiology as well.
We studied tau protein gene (MAPT) haplotypic variations in a population of sporadic and variant CJD patients. We tested 6 MAPT haplotype tagging SNPs (htSNPs) in a Dutch population-based sample of sporadic CJD (sCJD) patients and a cognitively normal control group of similar age distribution. We genotyped the same polymorphisms in two other sample groups of sCJD cases from Italy and the UK. In addition, we compared MAPT haplotypes between sCJD and variant CJD (vCJD) patients.
Single locus and haplotype analyses did not detect any significant difference between sCJD cases and controls. When we compared MAPT haplotypes between sCJD and variant CJD (vCJD) patients, we found that two of them were represented differently (H1f: 8% in sCJD versus 2% in vCJD; H1j:1% in sCJD versus 7% in vCJD). However, these two haplotypes were rare in both groups of patients, and taking the small sample sizes into account, we cannot exclude that the differences are due to chance. None of the p-values remained statistically significant after applying a multiple testing correction.
Our study shows no evidence for an association between MAPT gene variations and sCJD, and some weak evidence for an association to vCJD.
p73 is a recently described member of the p53 family, and, like p53, it undergoes a number of posttranslational modifications. Here we show, by yeast two-hybrid screening, pull-down assays, and coimmunoprecipitation, that p73α, -β, and -γ bind to the protein inhibitor of activated STAT-1 (PIAS-1) and that this binding stabilizes p73. PIAS-1 also sumoylates p73α, although not the C-terminally truncated isoforms p73β and -γ, and this requires the RING finger domain of PIAS-1. The ΔNp73α isoform can also bind, and be sumoylated by, PIAS-1. PIAS-1-mediated sumoylation decreases p73 transcriptional activity on several target promoters, such as Bax. p73 is colocalized in the nucleus with PIAS-1, and sumoylated p73 is located exclusively in the nuclear matrix. PIAS-1 is expressed predominantly during S phase, and PIAS-1 overexpression reduces p73-mediated transcription of p21, with a reduction of cells in G1 and cell cycle reentry. Inhibition of endogenous PIAS-1 by RNA interference reduces the proportion of cells in S phase and induces G2 arrest. These data suggest that PIAS-1, acting partly through binding and sumoylation of p73, is an important component of the cell cycle machinery.
To describe the early psychiatric and neurological features of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
National surveillance system for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United Kingdom.
The first 100 cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease identified in the United Kingdom.
Main outcome measures
The timing and nature of early psychiatric and neurological symptoms in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.
The early stages of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are dominated by psychiatric symptoms, but neurological symptoms precede psychiatric symptoms in 15% of cases and are present in combination with psychiatric symptoms in 22% of cases from the onset of disease. Common early psychiatric features include dysphoria, withdrawal, anxiety, insomnia, and loss of interest. No common early neurological features exist, but a significant proportion of patients do exhibit neurological symptoms within 4 months of clinical onset, including poor memory, pain, sensory symptoms, unsteadiness of gait, and dysarthria.
Although the diagnosis of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease may be impossible in the early stages of the illness, particular combinations of psychiatric and neurological features may allow early diagnosis in an appreciable proportion of patients.
What is already known on this topicThe early stages of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are dominated by psychiatric symptomatologySome patients have early neurological features that might suggest the presence of an underlying neurological disorderWhat this study addsThis study provides a comprehensive description of the evolution of psychiatric and neurological features in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseaseAn appreciable proportion of patients have early neurological symptomsA high proportion of patients have a combination of psychiatric and neurological features within four months of clinical onset that suggest the diagnosis of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease