A bacterial UMP kinase from the plant pathogen X. campestris pathovar campestris has been overexpressed in E. coli, purified and crystallized in a strong magnetic field. The crystals diffracted to 2.35 Å.
Bacterial UMP kinases (UMPKs) are crucial enzymes that are responsible for microbial UTP biosynthesis. Interestingly, eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells use different enzymes for UMP-phosphorylation reactions. Prokaryotic UMPKs are thus believed to be potential targets for antimicrobial drug development. Here, the cloning, expression and crystallization of SeMet-substituted XC1936, a bacterial UMPK from Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris, are reported. The crystallization of the apo-form UMPK was found to be significantly improved in a strong magnetic field; the crystals diffracted to a resolution of 2.35 Å, a dramatic improvement over the original value of 3.6 Å. Preliminary structural analyses of apo-form XC1936 using crystals grown in a strong magnetic field clearly reveal well defined loop regions involved in substrate-analogue binding that were previously not visible. Crystallization in a strong magnetic field thus was found to be indispensable in determining the flexible region of the XC1936 UMPK structure.
Xanthomonas campestris; UMPK; optimum solubility screening; crystallization in a magnetic field
The synthesis, characterization, and luminescent behavior of trivalent Sm, Eu, Dy, and Tb complexes of two enantiomeric, octadentate, chiral, 2-hydroxyisophthalamide ligands are reported. These complexes are highly luminescent in solution. Functionalization of the achiral parent ligand with a chiral 1-phenylethylamine substituent on the open face of the complex in close proximity to the metal center yields complexes with strong circularly polarized luminescence (CPL) activity. This appears to be the first example of a system utilizing the same ligand architecture to sensitize four different lanthanide cations and display CPL activity. The luminescence dissymmetry factor, glum, recorded for the Eu(III) complex is one of the highest values reported, and this is the first time the CPL effect has been demonstrated for a Sm(III) complex with a chiral ligand. The combination of high luminescence intensity with CPL activity should enable new bioanalytical applications of macromolecules in chiral environments.
In bacteria, normal mutation frequencies are mostly around 10−10 per base pair. However, there exists natural isolates, called “mutators,” that exhibit permanent mutation occurrences up to 1,000-fold greater than usual. As mutations play essential roles, particularly in the evolution of antibiotic resistance, bacteria showing elevated mutation rates could have an important responsibility in the emergence of antibiotic resistance, especially in the clinical background. In this announcement, we report the first complete genome sequence of the Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serotype Heidelberg B182 mutator strain, isolated from bovine feces (France), which consists of a 4,750,465-bp circular chromosome (cB182_4750; GC, 52.2%) and one circular plasmid of 37,581 bp (pB182_37; GC, 42.8%).
Beta-microseminoprotein (MSP) is one of the three most abundantly secreted proteins of the prostate, and has been suggested as a biomarker for prostate cancer risk. A common variant, rs10993994, in the 5’ region of the gene which encodes MSP (MSMB), has recently been identified as a risk factor for prostate cancer.
We examined the association between rs10993994 genotype and MSP levels in a sample of 500 prostate cancer-free men from four racial/ethnic populations in the Multiethnic Cohort (European Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and Japanese Americans). Generalized linear models were used to estimate the association between rs10993994 genotype and MSP levels.
We observed robust associations between rs10994994 genotype and MSP levels in each racial/ethnic population (all P<10−8) with carriers of the C allele having lower geometric mean MSP levels (ng/mL) (CC/CT/TT genotypes: European Americans, 28.8/20.9/10.0; African Americans, 29.0/21.9/10.9; Latinos, 29.2/17.1/8.3; and Japanese Americans 25.8/16.4/6.7). We estimated the variant accounts for 30–50% of the variation in MSP levels in each population. We also observed significant differences in MSP levels between populations (P=3.5×10−6), with MSP levels observed to be highest in African Americans and lowest in Japanese Americans.
Rs10993994 genotype is strongly associated with plasma MSP levels in multiple racial/ethnic populations.
This supports the hypothesis that rs10993994 may be the biologically functional allele.
MSMB; beta-microseminoprotein; prostate; genetic; multiethnic
We have compared the effects of nucleoside analogs in quiescent and phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) exposed to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) with those of their triphosphorylated derivatives in cell-free HIV-1 reverse transcription assays. We observed a substantial decrease in synthesis of early minus-strand proviral DNA products in HIV-1-infected, quiescent PBMC exposed to each of 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT), 2',3'-dideoxyinosine (ddI), and 2',3'-dideoxy-3'-thiacytidine (3TC), in comparison with nontreated, infected controls. In contrast, no such diminution was observed when PHA-stimulated, HIV-1-infected PBMC were treated with the same drugs. This result was attributed to previously reported findings that PHA-stimulated PBMC possessed larger deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) pools than quiescent cells did. To further investigate this subject, a cell-free HIV-1 reverse transcription reaction involving HIV-1 RNA genomic template, recombinant purified HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, all four dNTPs and either tRNA3Lys or a deoxyoligonucleotide as primer was used to monitor chain termi-nation mediated by 2',3'-dideoxynucleoside triphosphates (ddNTPs) during synthesis of minus-strand strong-stop DNA. Augmented chain termination was observed with decreasing concentrations of both ddNTP and dNTP when the ratio of dNTP to ddNTP was fixed. We also found that both the number and strength of reverse transcription pause sites were increased at low concentrations of dNTPs and when a deoxyoligonucleotide primer was used in place of the cognate primer, tRNA3Lys. Preferential incorporation of ddATP was observed dur-ing reverse transcription opposite a distinct pause site in a short synthetic RNA template. These results con-firm the notion that the antiviral activities of ddNTP are dependent on both cellular dNTP pools and the state of cellular activation. Pausing of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase during reverse transcription, altered by dNTP concentrations, may be a mechanism that controls the position and extent of incorporation of nucleoside analogs.
The mesolimbic reward pathway is implicated in stress-related psychiatric disorders and is a potential target of plasticity underlying the stress resistance produced by repeated voluntary exercise. It is unknown, however, whether rats find long-term access to running wheels rewarding, or if repeated voluntary exercise reward produces plastic changes in mesolimbic reward neurocircuitry. In the current studies, young adult, male Fischer 344 rats allowed voluntary access to running wheels for 6 weeks, but not 2 weeks, found wheel running rewarding, as measured by conditioned place preference (CPP). Consistent with prior reports and the behavioral data, 6 weeks of wheel running increased ΔFosB/FosB immunoreactivity in the nucleus accumbens (Acb). In addition, semi quantitative in situ hybridization revealed that 6 weeks of wheel running, compared to sedentary housing, increased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) mRNA levels in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), increased delta opioid receptor (DOR) mRNA levels in the Acb shell, and reduced levels of dopamine receptor (DR)-D2 mRNA in the Acb core. Results indicate that repeated voluntary exercise is rewarding and alters gene transcription in mesolimbic reward neurocircuitry. The duration-dependent effects of wheel running on CPP suggest that as the weeks of wheel running progress, the rewarding effects of a night of voluntary wheel running might linger longer into the inactive cycle thus providing stronger support for CPP. The observed plasticity could contribute to the mechanisms by which exercise reduces the incidence and severity of substance abuse disorders, changes the rewarding properties of drugs of abuse, and facilitates successful coping with stress.
Exercise; physical activity; conditioned place preference; ventral tegmental area; nucleus accumbens; FosB
The Notch receptor is involved in many cell fate determination events in vertebrates and invertebrates. It has been shown in Drosophila melanogaster that Delta-dependent Notch signaling activates the transcription factor Suppressor of Hairless, leading to an increased expression of the Enhancer of Split genes. Genetic evidence has also implicated the kuzbanian gene, which encodes a disintegrin metalloprotease, in the Notch signaling pathway. By using a two-cell coculture assay, we show here that vertebrate Dl-1 activates the Notch-1 cascade. Consistent with previous data obtained with active forms of Notch-1 a HES-1-derived promoter construct is transactivated in cells expressing Notch-1 in response to Dl-1 stimulation. Impairing the proteolytic maturation of the full-length receptor leads to a decrease in HES-1 transactivation, further supporting the hypothesis that only mature processed Notch is expressed at the cell surface and activated by its ligand. Furthermore, we observed that Dl-1-induced HES-1 transactivation was dependent both on Kuzbanian and RBP-J activities, consistent with the involvement of these two proteins in Notch signaling in Drosophila. We also observed that exposure of Notch-1-expressing cells to Dl-1 results in an increased level of endogenous HES-1 mRNA. Finally, coculture of Dl-1-expressing cells with myogenic C2 cells suppresses differentiation of C2 cells into myotubes, as previously demonstrated for Jagged-1 and Jagged-2, and also leads to an increased level of endogenous HES-1 mRNA. Thus, Dl-1 behaves as a functional ligand for Notch-1 and has the same ability to suppress cell differentiation as the Jagged proteins do.
The speed of range expansion in many invasive species is often accelerating because individuals with stronger dispersal abilities are more likely to be found at the range front. This ‘spatial sorting’ of strong dispersers will drive the acceleration of range expansion. In this study, we test whether the process of spatial sorting is at work in an invasive bird population (Common myna, Acridotheris tristis) in South Africa. Specifically, we sampled individuals across its invasive range and compared morphometric measurements relevant and non-relevant to the dispersal ability. Besides testing for signals of spatial sorting, we further examined the effect of environmental factors on morphological variations. Our results showed that dispersal-relevant traits are significantly correlated with distance from the range core, with strong sexual dimorphism, indicative of sex-biased dispersal. Morphological variations were significant in wing and head traits of females, suggesting females as the primary dispersing sex. In contrast, traits not related to dispersal such as those associated with foraging showed no signs of spatial sorting but were significantly affected by environmental variables such as the vegetation and the intensity of urbanisation. When taken together, our results support the role of spatial sorting in facilitating the expansion of Common myna in South Africa despite its low propensity to disperse in the native range.
The distribution of epithelial E-cadherin, basement membrane type VII collagen, and underlying connective tissues fibronectin were investigated immunohistochemically and compared in normal palatal mucosa and in denture-related stomatitis (DRS) derivatives using monoclonal antibodies.Biopsies of palatal mucosa were obtained from twelve patients enrolled in this study, 8 with type II DRS and 4 with healthy mucosa.
Our findings bring to the fore, using the expression of three components (E-cadherin, collagen type VII, fibronectin), the continuities of the disorder among epithelial, basement membrane and connective tissue in the case of DRS. In type II denture-related stomatitis, we found an expression of E-cadherinin all the strata of epithelia, and the diffuse and strong expression of type VII collagen at the interface between connective tissue and epithelial cells with discontinuities in BM. The strong expression of fibronectin in underlying connective tissue with penetration in some areas of the palatal mucosa may be an early consequence of advanced DRS. Nevertheless; no single change is pathognomonic of this inflammatory process.
In normal tissues (healthy clinical aspect), E-cadherin was found to be restricted to the upper strata of the epithelia, and type VII collagen revealed thin linear staining in the basement membrane and fibronectin in underlying connective tissue combined epithelia.
In the case of denture-related stomatitis DRS, these three markers reflect the immunohistological modifications from the superficial layer of the epithelium to the lamina propria.
Denture-related stomatitis; E-cadherin; type VII collagen; fibronectin; Candida albicans infection.
In two experiments in which 31 calves were used, a bovine herpesvirus 1 subunit vaccine previously shown to elicit a strong immunological response in adult cattle failed to do so in younger animals and failed to protect against pneumonia caused by sequential exposure to virulent bovine herpesvirus 1 and Pasteurella haemolytica aerosols. One of the experimental groups had been previously inoculated with a live commercial vaccine but even this failed to elicit a strong immunological response. These results indicate that the calves were in a refractory state when immunized and may explain why similar vaccine failures occur in the field.
To evaluate the relationship between human papillomavirus (HPV) status and known prognostic makers for head and neck cancers including tumor hypoxia, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression and intratumoral T-cell levels and to determine the prognostic impact of these markers by HPV status.
Methods and Materials
HPV status in 82 evaluable head and neck squamous cell carcinomas patients was determined by pyrosequencing and related to p16INK4a staining and treatment outcomes. It was correlated with tumor hypoxia (tumor pO2 and carbonic anhydrase [CAIX] staining), EGFR status, and intratumoral lymphocyte expression (CD3 staining).
Forty-four percent of evaluable tumors had strong HPV signal by pyrosequencing. There was a significant relationship between strong HPV signal and p16INK4a staining as well as oropharynx location. The strong HPV signal group fared significantly better than others, both in time to progression (TTP, p = 0.008) and overall survival (OS, p = 0.004) for all patients and for the oropharyngeal subset. Positive p16INK4a staining was associated with better TTP (p = 0.014) and OS (p = 0.00002). There was no relationship between HPV status and tumor pO2 or CAIX staining. However, HPV status correlated inversely with EGFR reactivity (p = 0.0006) and directly with CD3(+) T-lymphocyte level (p = 0.03). Whereas CAIX and EGFR overexpression were negative prognostic factors regardless of HPV status, CD3(+) T-cell levels was prognostic only in HPV(−) tumors.
HPV status was a prognostic factor for progression and survival. It correlated inversely with EGFR expression and directly with T-cell infiltration. The prognostic effect of CAIX and EGFR expression was not influenced by HPV status, whereas intratumoral T-cell levels was significant only for HPV(−) tumors.
HPV; Head and neck cancer; p16INK4a; EGFR; Hypoxia; CD3
Despite the importance of early life stages in individuals' life history and population dynamics, very few studies have focused on the constraints to which these juvenile traits are subjected. Based on 10 years of automatic monitoring of over 2500 individuals, we present the first study on the effects of environmental conditions and individual pre-fledging traits on the post-fledging return of non-banded king penguins to their natal colony. Juvenile king penguins returned exclusively within one of the three austral summers following their departure. A key finding is that return rates (range 68–87%) were much higher than previously assumed for this species, importantly meaning that juvenile survival is very close to that of adults. Such high figures suggest little juvenile dispersal, and selection occurring mostly prior to fledging in king penguins. Pre-fledging conditions had a strong quadratic impact on juvenile return rates. As expected, cohorts reared under very unfavourable years (as inferred by the breeding success of the colony) exhibited low return rates but surprisingly, so did those fledged under very favourable conditions. Juvenile sojourns away from the colony were shorter under warm conditions and subsequent return rates higher, suggesting a positive effect of climate warming. The longer the post-fledging trip (1, 2 or 3 years), the earlier in the summer birds returned to their natal colony and the longer they stayed before leaving for the winter journey. The presence of juveniles in the colony was more than twice the duration required for moulting purposes, yet none attempted breeding in the year of their first return. Juvenile presence in the colony may be important for acquiring knowledge on the social and physical colonial environment and may play an important part in the learning process of mating behaviour. Further studies are required to investigate its potential implications on other life-history traits such as recruitment age.
Classical swine fever (CSF) severity is dependent on the virulence of the CSF virus (CSFV) strain. The earliest event detected following CSFV infection is a decrease in lymphocytes number. With some CSFV strains this leads to lymphopenia, the severity varying according to strain virulence. This lymphocyte depletion is attributed to an induction of apoptosis in non-infected bystander cells. We collected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) before and during 3 days post-infection with either a highly or moderately virulent CSFV strain and subjected them to comparative microarray analysis to decipher the transcriptomic modulations induced in these cells in relation to strain virulence. The results revealed that the main difference between strains resided in the kinetics of host response to the infection: strong and immediate with the highly virulent strain, progressive and delayed with the moderately virulent one. Also although cell death/apoptosis-related IFN stimulated genes (ISG) were strongly up-regulated by both strains, significant differences in their regulation were apparent from the observed differences in onset and extent of lymphopenia induced by the two strains. Furthermore, the death receptors apoptotic pathways (TRAIL-DR4, FASL-FAS and TNFa-TNFR1) were also differently regulated. Our results suggest that CSFV strains might exacerbate the interferon alpha response, leading to bystander killing of lymphocytes and lymphopenia, the severity of which might be due to the host’s loss of control of IFN production and downstream effectors regulation.
classical swine fever virus; virulence; bystander apoptosis; type I interferon; microarray
As rates of HIV increase in Viet Nam, there is a need for data on social relations and sexual risk and protective behaviors among Vietnamese adolescents in a context of rapid social and economic changes. We report findings from our qualitative interviews with 159 Vietnamese adolescents living in Ha Noi, Nha Trang City and Ninh Hoa District and survey of 886 adolescents in these same three sites. In the qualitative interviews, youth report a strong adherence to ideals and values regarding abstinence outside of marriage. Youth reported low rates of engagement in vaginal, anal, and/or oral sex with a significant difference in reported behaviors between males (29/469, 6.2%) and females (7/416, 1.7%) [p=.000]. 15/32 (46.9%) sexually active youth reported “rarely” or “never” using condoms. Females had significantly higher scores for perceived sexual stigma than males [t=−10.22 (95% CI −3.72 to −2.52), p=.000] while males scored significantly lower than females on a scale of perceived self-efficacy for abstinence [t=5.31 (95% CI 0.27 to 0.59), p=.000]. The stigmatization of sexual relations outside of marriage particularly for young women reinforces abstinence, however these same values decrease adolescents’ abilities to obtain accurate information about sexuality and HIV/STIs, and engage in safer sex.
Background: Constant assessment of the quality of health information on the Internet is an absolute necessity as peer review is often lacking on this media. Objective: To develop a simple and easy French Code of Ethics which will enable medical students to judge quality of health information in teaching material available on the Internet. Design: Three medical scientists selected nine criteria from previously established codes of ethics from Europe and the USA. This instrument was tested on a sample of 24 health French-speaking Internet teaching resources. Results: For the panel of experts, we analyzed assessments with non parametric tests. This analysis demonstrated a strong agreement among the raters. Conclusion: It seems possible to produce an analysis summary to evaluate teaching material available on the Internet.
Many studies have proved that oncogenic viruses develop redundant mechanisms to alter the functions of the tumor suppressor p53. Here we show that Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), via the oncoprotein LMP-1, induces the expression of ΔNp73α, a strong antagonist of p53. This phenomenon is mediated by the LMP-1 dependent activation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase 1 (JNK-1) which in turn favours the recruitment of p73 to ΔNp73α promoter. A specific chemical inhibitor of JNK-1 or silencing JNK-1 expression strongly down-regulated ΔNp73α mRNA levels in LMP-1-containing cells. Accordingly, LMP-1 mutants deficient to activate JNK-1 did not induce ΔNp73α accumulation. The recruitment of p73 to the ΔNp73α promoter correlated with the displacement of the histone-lysine N-methyltransferase EZH2 which is part of the transcriptional repressive polycomb 2 complex. Inhibition of ΔNp73α expression in lymphoblastoid cells (LCLs) led to the stimulation of apoptosis and up-regulation of a large number of cellular genes as determined by whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing (RNA-seq). In particular, the expression of genes encoding products known to play anti-proliferative/pro-apoptotic functions, as well as genes known to be deregulated in different B cells malignancy, was altered by ΔNp73α down-regulation. Together, these findings reveal a novel EBV mechanism that appears to play an important role in the transformation of primary B cells.
Approximately 20% of worldwide human cancers have been associated with viral infections. Many oncogenic viruses exert their transforming properties by inactivating the products of tumour suppressor genes. One of the best characterized events induced by ongocenic viruses is the inactivation of the transcriptional factors p53. The mucosal high-risk HPV types, EBV, HTLV-1 and KSHV, via their viral proteins, are able to target p53 by distinct mechanisms. We have recently described a novel p53 inactivation mechanism of some cutaneous beta HPV types which have been suggested to be associated with skin carcinogenesis. Beta HPV38 induces accumulation of the p53 antagonist, ΔNp73α which in turn silences the expression of the p53-regulated genes. Here we report that also EBV, via the oncoprotein LMP-1, induces the expression of ΔNp73α which is dependent on the recruitment of p73 on ΔNp73 promoter and the activation of JNK-1. The recruitment of p73 to the ΔNp73 promoter correlated with the displacement of the histone-lysine N-methyltransferase EZH2 which is part of a transcriptional repressive polycomb 2 complex. We also show that ΔNp73α plays an important role in transformation of primary human B cells and regulates the expression of a large number of cellular genes that encode proteins linked to cancer development, including lymphomagenesis.
The leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea is the most widely distributed sea turtle species in the world. It exhibits complex life traits: female homing and migration, migrations of juveniles and males that remain poorly known, and a strong climatic influence on resources, breeding success and sex-ratio. It is consequently challenging to understand population dynamics. Leatherbacks are critically endangered, yet the group from the Northwest Atlantic is currently considered to be under lower risk than other populations while hosting some of the largest rookeries. Here, we investigated the genetic diversity and the demographic history of contrasted rookeries from this group, namely two large nesting populations in French Guiana, and a smaller one in the French West Indies. We used 10 microsatellite loci, of which four are newly isolated, and mitochondrial DNA sequences of the control region and cytochrome b. Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers revealed that the Northwest Atlantic stock of leatherbacks derives from a single ancestral origin, but show current genetic structuration at the scale of nesting sites, with the maintenance of migrants amongst rookeries. Low nuclear genetic diversities are related to founder effects that followed consequent bottlenecks during the late Pleistocene/Holocene. Most probably in response to climatic oscillations, with a possible influence of early human hunting, female effective population sizes collapsed from 2 million to 200. Evidence of founder effects and high numbers of migrants make it possible to reconsider the population dynamics of the species, formerly considered as a metapopulation model: we propose a more relaxed island model, which we expect to be a key element in the currently observed recovering of populations. Although these Northwest Atlantic rookeries should be considered as a single evolutionary unit, we stress that local conservation efforts remain necessary since each nesting site hosts part of the genetic diversity and species history.
Mutations in PHEX (phosphate-regulating gene with homologies to endopeptidases on the X-chromosome) cause X-linked familial hypophosphatemic rickets (XLH), a disorder having severe bone and tooth dentin mineralization defects. The absence of functional PHEX leads to abnormal accumulation of ASARM (acidic serine- and aspartate-rich motif) peptide − a substrate for PHEX and a strong inhibitor of mineralization − derived from MEPE (matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein) and other matrix proteins. MEPE-derived ASARM peptide accumulates in tooth dentin of XLH patients where it may impair dentinogenesis. Here, we investigated the effects of ASARM peptides in vitro and in vivo on odontoblast differentiation and matrix mineralization. Dental pulp stem cells from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHEDs) were seeded into a 3D collagen scaffold, and induced towards odontogenic differentiation. Cultures were treated with synthetic ASARM peptides (phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated) derived from the human MEPE sequence. Phosphorylated ASARM peptide inhibited SHED differentiation in vitro, with no mineralized nodule formation, decreased odontoblast marker expression, and upregulated MEPE expression. Phosphorylated ASARM peptide implanted in a rat molar pulp injury model impaired reparative dentin formation and mineralization, with increased MEPE immunohistochemical staining. In conclusion, using complementary models to study tooth dentin defects observed in XLH, we demonstrate that the MEPE-derived ASARM peptide inhibits both odontogenic differentiation and matrix mineralization, while increasing MEPE expression. These results contribute to a partial mechanistic explanation of XLH pathogenesis: direct inhibition of mineralization by ASARM peptide leads to the mineralization defects in XLH teeth. This process appears to be positively reinforced by the increased MEPE expression induced by ASARM. The MEPE-ASARM system can therefore be considered as a potential therapeutic target.
The decomposition of H2O2 on iron minerals can generate •OH, a strong oxidant that can transform a wide range of contaminants. This reaction is critical to In Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) processes used for soil and groundwater remediation, as well as advanced oxidation processes employed in waste treatment systems. The presence of dissolved silica at concentrations comparable to those encountered in natural waters decreases the reactivity of iron minerals toward H2O2, because silica adsorbs onto the surface of iron minerals and alters catalytic sites. At circumneutral pH values, goethite, amorphous iron oxide, hematite, iron-coated sand and montmorillonite that were pre-equilibrated with 0.05 – 1.5 mM SiO2 were significantly less reactive toward H2O2 decomposition than their original counterparts, with the H2O2 loss rates inversely proportional to the SiO2 concentration. In the goethite/H2O2 system, the overall •OH yield, defined as the percentage of decomposed H2O2 producing •OH, was almost halved in the presence of 1.5 mM SiO2. Dissolved SiO2 also slows the H2O2 decomposition on manganese(IV) oxide. The presence of dissolved SiO2 results in greater persistence of H2O2 in groundwater, lower H2O2 utilization efficiency and should be considered in the design of H2O2-based treatment systems.
It is well established that individuals age differently. Yet the nature of these inter-individual differences is still largely unknown. For humans, two main hypotheses have been recently formulated: individuals may experience differences in aging rate or aging timing. This issue is central because it directly influences predictions for human lifespan and provides strong insights into the biological determinants of aging. In this article, we propose a model which lets population heterogeneity emerge from an evolutionary algorithm. We find that whether individuals differ in (i) aging rate or (ii) timing leads to different emerging population heterogeneity. Yet, in both cases, the same mortality patterns are observed at the population level. These patterns qualitatively reproduce those of yeasts, flies, worms and humans. Such findings, supported by an extensive parameter exploration, suggest that mortality patterns across species and their potential shapes belong to a limited and robust set of possible curves. In addition, we use our model to shed light on the notion of subpopulations, link population heterogeneity with the experimental results of stress induction experiments and provide predictions about the expected mortality patterns. As biology is moving towards the study of the distribution of individual-based measures, the model and framework we propose here paves the way for evolutionary interpretations of empirical and experimental data linking the individual level to the population level.
Aging is a widespread phenomenon across the tree of life. From yeast to humans, mortality changes over age have been widely documented. Interestingly, all individuals are not equal with respect to the aging process: large variability in individual life span has been reported, even in clonal populations. Understanding the nature of these differences is of great interest for medical research. So far, two hypotheses have been proposed: individuals may differ in their aging rate or timing. Here, we show that these two hypotheses can reproduce experimental and empirical mortality patterns as a result of natural selection. We also predict the corresponding population heterogeneity in aging. Many studies define subpopulations ad hoc, the work we present provides insight into a more accurate description of inter-individual differences in aging. Finally, our analysis also predicts the modifications of these mortality patterns under stressful conditions. This exploration reproduces experimental data obtained with heat shocks and permits to foresee new mortality patterns that could be observed with other perturbations.
Although smoking behavior is known to affect body mass index (BMI), the potential for smoking to influence genetic associations with BMI is largely unexplored.
As part of the ‘Population Architecture using Genomics and Epidemiology (PAGE)’ Consortium, we investigated interaction between genetic risk factors associated with BMI and smoking for 10 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously identified in genome-wide association studies. We included 6 studies with a total of 56,466 subjects (16,750 African Americans (AA) and 39,716 European Americans (EA)). We assessed effect modification by testing an interaction term for each SNP and smoking (current vs. former/never) in the linear regression and by stratified analyses.
We did not observe strong evidence for interactions and only observed two interactions with p-values <0.1: for rs6548238/TMEM18, the risk allele (C) was associated with BMI only among AA females who were former/never smokers (β = 0.018, p = 0.002), vs. current smokers (β = 0.001, p = 0.95, pinteraction = 0.10). For rs9939609/FTO, the A allele was more strongly associated with BMI among current smoker EA females (β = 0.017, p = 3.5x10-5), vs. former/never smokers (β = 0.006, p = 0.05, pinteraction = 0.08).
These analyses provide limited evidence that smoking status may modify genetic effects of previously identified genetic risk factors for BMI. Larger studies are needed to follow up our results.
Clinical Trial Registration
Obesity; Body mass index; Genome-wide association study; Genetic risk factor; Smoking interactions; Genetic epidemiology
Melanin concentrating hormone (MCH) stimulates feeding driven by energy needs and reward and modifies anxiety behavior. Orexigenic peptides of similar characteristics, including nociceptin/orphanin FQ, Agouti-related protein and opioids, increase consumption also by reducing avoidance of potentially tainted food in animals displaying a conditioned taste aversion (CTA). Herein, using real-time PCR, we assessed whether expression levels of genes encoding MCH and its receptor, MCHR1, were affected in CTA in the rat. We also investigated whether injecting MCH intracerebroventricularly (ICV) during the acquisition and retrieval of LiCl-induced CTA, would alleviate aversive responses. MCHR1 gene was upregulated in the hypothalamus and brain stem of aversive animals, MCH mRNA was significantly higher in the hypothalamus, whereas a strong trend suggesting upregulation of MCH and MCHR1 genes was detected in the amygdala. Despite these expression changes associated with aversion, MCH injected prior to the induction of CTA with LiCl as well as later, during the CTA retrieval upon subsequent presentations of the aversive tastant, did not reduce the magnitude of CTA. We conclude that MCH and its receptor form an orexigenic system whose expression is affected in CTA. This altered MCH expression may contribute to tastant-targeted hypophagia in CTA. However, changing the MCH tone in the brain by exogenous peptide was insufficient to prevent the onset or facilitate extinction of LiCl-induced CTA. This designates MCH as one of many accessory molecules associated with shaping an aversive response, but not a critical one for LiCl-dependent CTA to occur.
feeding; preference; avoidance; anorexia
Although approximately 20 common genetic susceptibility loci have been identified for breast cancer risk through genome-wide association studies (GWASs), genetic risk variants reported to date explain only a small fraction of heritability for this common cancer. We conducted a four-stage GWAS including 17 153 cases and 16 943 controls among East-Asian women to search for new genetic risk factors for breast cancer. After analyzing 684 457 SNPs in 2062 cases and 2066 controls (Stage I), we selected for replication among 5969 Chinese women (4146 cases and 1823 controls) the top 49 SNPs that had neither been reported previously nor were in strong linkage disequilibrium with reported SNPs (Stage II). Three SNPs were further evaluated in up to 13 152 Chinese and Japanese women (6436 cases and 6716 controls) (Stage III). Finally, two SNPs were evaluated in 10 847 Korean women (4509 cases and 6338 controls) (Stage IV). SNP rs10822013 on chromosome 10q21.2, located in the zinc finger protein 365 (ZNF365) gene, showed a consistent association with breast cancer risk in all four stages with a combined per-risk allele odds ratio of 1.10 (95% CI: 1.07–1.14) (P-value for trend = 5.87 × 10−9). In vitro electrophoretic mobility shift assays demonstrated the potential functional significance of rs10822013. Our results strongly implicate rs10822013 at 10q21.2 as a genetic risk variant for breast cancer among East-Asian women.
Circulating tumour cells (CTC) are an important indicator of metastasis and associated with a poor prognosis. Detection sensitivity and specificity of CTC in the peripheral blood of metastatic cancer patient remain a technical challenge.
Coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy was employed to examine the lipid content of CTC isolated from the peripheral blood of metastatic prostate cancer patients. CARS microscopy was also employed to evaluate lipid uptake and mobilization kinetics of a metastatic human prostate cancer cell line.
One hundred CTC from eight metastatic prostate cancer patients exhibited strong CARS signal which arose from intracellular lipid. In contrast, leukocytes exhibited weak CARS signal which arose mostly from cellular membrane. On average, CARS signal intensity of prostate CTC was 7-fold higher than that of leukocytes (P<0.0000001). When incubated with human plasma, C4-2 metastatic human prostate cancer cells exhibited rapid lipid uptake kinetics and slow lipid mobilization kinetics. Higher expression of lipid transport proteins in C4-2 cells compared to non-transformed RWPE-1 and non-malignant BPH-1 prostate epithelial cells further indicated strong affinity for lipid of metastatic prostate cancer cells.
Intracellular lipid could serve as a biomarker for prostate CTC which could be sensitively detected with CARS microscopy in a label-free manner. Strong affinity for lipid by metastatic prostate cancer cells could be used to improve detection sensitivity and therapeutic targeting of prostate CTC.
An important feature of addiction is the high drug craving that may promote the continuation of consumption. Environmental stimuli classically conditioned to drug-intake have a strong motivational power for addicts and can elicit craving. However, addicts differ in the attitudes towards their own consumption behavior: some are content with drug taking (consonant users) whereas others are discontent (dissonant users). Such differences may be important for clinical practice because the experience of dissonance might enhance the likelihood to consider treatment. This fMRI study investigated in smokers whether these different attitudes influence subjective and neural responses to smoking stimuli. Based on self-characterization, smokers were divided into consonant and dissonant smokers. These two groups were presented smoking stimuli and neutral stimuli. Former studies have suggested differences in the impact of smoking stimuli depending on the temporal stage of the smoking ritual they are associated with. Therefore, we used stimuli associated with the beginning (BEGIN-smoking-stimuli) and stimuli associated with the terminal stage (END-smoking-stimuli) of the smoking ritual as distinct stimulus categories. Stimulus ratings did not differ between both groups. Brain data showed that BEGIN-smoking-stimuli led to enhanced mesolimbic responses (amygdala, hippocampus, insula) in dissonant compared to consonant smokers. In response to END-smoking-stimuli, dissonant smokers showed reduced mesocortical responses (orbitofrontal cortex, subcallosal cortex) compared to consonant smokers. These results suggest that smoking stimuli with a high incentive value (BEGIN-smoking-stimuli) are more appetitive for dissonant than consonant smokers at least on the neural level. To the contrary, smoking stimuli with low incentive value (END-smoking-stimuli) seem to be less appetitive for dissonant smokers than consonant smokers. These differences might be one reason why dissonant smokers experience difficulties in translating their attitudes into an actual behavior change.