Abnormal behavior of the cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) has been linked to cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure (HF) after Myocardial infarction (MI). It has been proposed that protein kinase A (PKA) hyperphosphorylation of the RyR2 at a single residue, Ser-2808 is a critical mediator of RyR dysfunction, depressed cardiac performance and HF after MI.
We used a mouse model (RyRS2808A) in which PKA hyperphosphorylation of the RyR2 at Ser-2808 is prevented to determine whether loss of PKA phosphorylation at this site averts post MI cardiac pump dysfunction.
Methods and Results
MI was induced in WT and S2808A mice. Myocyte and cardiac function were compared in WT and S2808A animals before and after MI. The effects of the PKA activator Isoproterenol (Iso) on L-type Ca2+ current (ICaL), contractions and [Ca2+]I transients were also measured. Both WT and S2808A mice had depressed pump function after MI and were no differences between groups. MI size was also identical in both groups. L type Ca2+ current, contractions, Ca2+ transients and SR Ca2+ load were also not significantly different in WT versus S2808A myocytes either before or after MI. Iso effects on Ca2+ current, contraction, Ca2+ transients and SR Ca2+ load were identical in WT and S2808A myocytes before and after MI at both low and high concentrations.
These results strongly support the idea that PKA phosphorylation of RyR-S2808 is irrelevant to the development of cardiac dysfunction after MI, at least in the mice used in this study.
Myocardial infarction; ryanodine receptor; heart failure; PKA hyperphosphorylation
Heat-stress cognate 70 (Hsc70) is a host factor that helps hepatitis C virus (HCV) to complete its life cycle in infected hepatocytes. Using Hsc70 as a target for HCV inhibition, a series of novel N-substituted benzyl matrinic/sophoridinic acid derivatives was synthesized and evaluated for their anti-HCV activity in vitro. Among these analogues, compound 7c possessing N-p-methylbenzyl afforded an appealing ability to inhibit HCV replication with SI value over 53. Furthermore, it showed a good oral pharmacokinetic profile with area-under-curve (AUC) of 13.4 µM·h, and a considerably good safety in oral administration in mice (LD50>1000 mg/kg). As 7c suppresses HCV replication via an action mode distinctly different from that of the marketed anti-HCV drugs, it has been selected as a new mechanism anti-HCV candidate for further investigation, with an advantage of no or decreased chance to induce drug-resistant mutations.
In the study of circadian rhythms, it has been a puzzle how a limited number of circadian clock genes can control diverse aspects of physiology. Here we investigate circadian gene expression genome-wide using larval zebrafish as a model system. We made use of a spatial gene expression atlas to investigate the expression of circadian genes in various tissues and cell types. Comparison of genome-wide circadian gene expression data between zebrafish and mouse revealed a nearly anti-phase relationship and allowed us to detect novel evolutionarily conserved circadian genes in vertebrates. We identified three groups of zebrafish genes with distinct responses to light entrainment: fast light-induced genes, slow light-induced genes, and dark-induced genes. Our computational analysis of the circadian gene regulatory network revealed several transcription factors (TFs) involved in diverse aspects of circadian physiology through transcriptional cascade. Of these, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor a (mitfa), a dark-induced TF, mediates a circadian rhythm of melanin synthesis, which may be involved in zebrafish's adaptation to daily light cycling. Our study describes a systematic method to discover previously unidentified TFs involved in circadian physiology in complex organisms.
For most animals whose lives are dependent on the sun, circadian clocks govern their daily behaviors and physiology. In different animals, novel functions under the circadian clock's control can evolve as adaptations to their specific environment. A zebrafish demonstrates a remarkably high level of interplay between external light and its internal circadian clock due to its transparent nature. In a genome-wide study, we identified a large number of circadian oscillating genes as well as genes whose expression is highly sensitive to the light or dark in zebrafish. Our computational analysis of gene regulatory networks revealed a number of transcription factors (TFs) that mediate novel circadian functions. We investigated one example in depth, a key TF that relays the control of the circadian clock to the enzymes synthesizing melanin in a dark-induced pathway thus causing the daily change of pigmentation in zebrafish. This dark-induced circadian melanogenesis can lead to an anticipatory change in zebrafish skin color allowing zebrafish to adapt to its environment. This mechanism allows zebrafish to better evade predators and effectively adjust its daily light-sensitivity in the pigment cells. Our study provides an excellent example of how the circadian clock is adapted in a specific organism to control its behavior, thus enabling evolutionary adaptation to the organism's ecological niche.
To identify a novel pathogenic gene mutation present in a Chinese family with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) and to determine if an intron mutation may influence the transcriptional activity of the ACVRL1 gene.
HHT family members were ascertained following the presentation of proband and involved subjects. All family members (n = 5) and 113 healthy individuals were genotyped for the variant in intron 6 c.772+27G>C of ACVRL1 gene. The genomic structure of ACVRL1 in affected HHT patients and healthy individuals was determined by long range PCR and sequencing. The expression of ACVRL1 mRNA and protein in patients with HHT was evaluated using real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunoblot analysis. Luciferase activity assay and electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) were performed to uncover the mechanism of intron-related transcriptional regulation.
Only one novel mutation in intron 6 (c.772+27G>C) of ACVRL1 gene, no other mutation, abnormal splice, gross genomic deletion or rearrangement was found in this HHT2 family. Compared with healthy individuals, ACVRL1 mRNA and protein were significantly decreased in affected HHT2 individuals. Luciferase activity assay demonstrated that the transcriptional activity of the mutated ACVRL1 was significantly lower than that of the wild-type of intron 6; EMSA results showed that intron 6 c.772+27G>C mutation was able to inhibit the binding of transcriptional factor Sp1.
A novel intron mutation in ACVRL1 gene is associated with familial HHT2. The mechanisms may be involved in the down-regulation of ACVRL1 gene transcription.
A large number of human tumor-associated antigens that are recognized by CD8+ T cells in a human leukocyte antigen class I (HLA-I)-restricted fashion have been identified. Special AT-rich sequence binding protein 1 (SATB1) is highly expressed in many types of human cancers as part of their neoplastic phenotype, and up-regulation of SATB1 expression is essential for tumor survival and metastasis, thus this protein may serve as a rational target for cancer vaccines.
Twelve SATB1-derived peptides were predicted by an immuno-informatics approach based on the HLA-A*02 binding motif. These peptides were examined for their ability to induce peptide-specific T cell responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from HLA-A*02+ healthy donors and/or HLA-A*02+ cancer patients. The recognition of HLA-A*02+ SATB1-expressing cancer cells was also tested. Among the twelve SATB1-derived peptides, SATB1565–574 frequently induced peptide-specific T cell responses in PBMCs from both healthy donors and cancer patients. Importantly, SATB1565–574-specific T cells recognized and killed HLA-A*02+ SATB1+ cancer cells in an HLA-I-restricted manner.
We have identified a novel HLA-A*02-restricted SATB1-derived peptide epitope recognized by CD8+ T cells, which, in turn, recognizes and kills HLA-A*02+ SATB1+ tumor cells. The SATB1-derived epitope identified may be used as a diagnostic marker as well as an immune target for development of cancer vaccines.
Despite a general repression of translation under hypoxia, cells selectively upregulate a set of hypoxia-inducible genes. Results from deep sequencing revealed that Let-7 and miR-103/107 are hypoxia-responsive microRNAs (HRMs) that are strongly induced in vascular endothelial cells. In silico bioinformatics and in vitro validation showed that these HRMs are induced by HIF1α and target argonaute 1 (AGO1), which anchors the microRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC). HRM targeting of AGO1 resulted in the translational desuppression of VEGF mRNA. Inhibition of HRM or overexpression of AGO1 without the 3′ untranslated region decreased hypoxia-induced angiogenesis. Conversely, AGO1 knockdown increased angiogenesis under normoxia in vivo. In addition, data from tumor xenografts and human cancer specimens indicate that AGO1-mediated translational desuppression of VEGF may be associated with tumor angiogenesis and poor prognosis. These findings provide evidence for an angiogenic pathway involving HRMs that target AGO1 and suggest that this pathway may be a suitable target for anti- or proangiogenesis strategies.
Gremlin, a bone morphogenetic protein antagonist, plays an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, the specific molecular mechanism underlying Gremlin’s involvement in DN has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the role of Gremlin on cell proliferation and accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) in mouse mesangial cells (MMCs), and explored the relationship between Gremlin and the ERK1/2 pathway.
To determine expression of Gremlin in MMCs after high glucose (HG) exposure, Gremlin mRNA and protein expression were evaluated using real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis, respectively. To determine the role of Gremlin on cell proliferation and accumulation of ECM, western blot analysis was used to assess expression of pERK1/2, transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). Cell proliferation was examined by bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) ELISA, and accumulation of collagen IV was measured using a radioimmunoassay. This enabled the relationship between Gremlin and ERK1/2 pathway activation to be investigated.
HG exposure induced expression of Gremlin, which peaked 12 h after HG exposure. HG exposure alone or transfection of normal-glucose (NG) exposed MMCs with Gremlin plasmid (NG + P) increased cell proliferation. Transfection with Gremlin plasmid into MMCs previously exposed to HG (HG + P) significantly increased this HG-induced phenomenon. HG and NG + P conditions up-regulated protein levels of TGF-β1, CTGF and collagen IV accumulation, while HG + P significantly increased levels of these further. Inhibition of Gremlin with Gremlin siRNA plasmid reversed the HG-induced phenomena. These data indicate that Gremlin can induce cell proliferation and accumulation of ECM in MMCs. HG also induced the activation of the ERK1/2 pathway, which peaked 24 h after HG exposure. HG and NG + P conditions induced overexpression of pERK1/2, whilst HG + P significantly induced levels further. Inhibition of Gremlin by Gremlin siRNA plasmid reversed the HG-induced phenomena. This indicates Gremlin can induce activation of the ERK1/2 pathway in MMCs.
Culture of MMCs in the presence of HG up-regulates expression of Gremlin. Gremlin induces cell proliferation and accumulation of ECM in MMCs. and enhances activation of the ERK1/2 pathway.
High glucose; Gremlin; ERK1/2; Cell proliferation; Transfection; Glomerular mesangial cells
RNA interference (RNAi) mediated by small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) has become a powerful genetic tool for conducting functional studies. Previously, vector-based shRNA-expression strategies capable of inducing RNAi in viable cells have been developed, however, these vector systems have some disadvantages, either because they were error-prone or cost prohibitive.
In this report we described the development of a simple, robust shRNA expression system utilizing 1 long oligonucleotide or 2 short oligonucleotides for half the cost of conventional shRNA construction methods and with a>95% cloning success rate. The shRNA loop sequence and stem structure were also compared and carefully selected for better RNAi efficiency. Furthermore, an easier strategy was developed based on isocaudomers which permit rapid combination of the most efficient promoter-shRNA cassettes. Finally, using this method, the conservative target sites for hepatitis B virus (HBV) knockdown were systemically screened and HBV antigen expression shown to be successfully suppressed in the presence of connected multiple shRNAs both in vitro and in vivo.
This novel design describes an inexpensive and effective way to clone and express single or multiple shRNAs from the same vector with the capacity for potent and effective silencing of target genes.
To review the experience and to evaluate the results of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) via helical tomotherapy (HT), for the treatment of brachytherapy-unsuitable cervical cancer.
Between September 1, 2008 to January 31, 2012, nine cervical cancer patients unsuitable for brachytherapy were enrolled. All of the patients received definitive whole pelvic radiotherapy with or without chemotherapy, followed by SBRT via HT.
The actuarial locoregional control rate at 3 years was 78%. The mean biological equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions of the tumor, rectum, bladder, and intestines was 76.0 ± 7.3, 73.8 ± 13.2, 70.5 ± 10.0, and 43.1 ± 7.1, respectively. Only two had residual tumors after treatment, and the others were tumor-free. Two patients experienced grade 3 acute toxicity: one had diarrhea; and another experienced thrombocytopenia. There were no grade 3 or 4 subacute toxicities. Three patients suffered from manageable rectal bleeding in months 11, 14, and 25, respectively. One stage I VA patient experienced fistula formation in month 3.
SBRT via HT provides the possibility for treatment of locally advanced cervical cancer in patients who are unsuitable for brachytherapy. Long-term follow up and enrollment of more such patients to receive SBRT via the HT technique are warranted.
biological equivalent dose; complication; image guidance; intensity modulated radiation therapy; rectal bleeding
Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) synthesize unique organelles, the magnetosomes, which are intracellular nanometer-sized, membrane-enveloped magnetite. The biomineralization of magnetosomes involves the uptake of large amounts of iron. However, the iron metabolism of MTB is not well understood. The genome of the magnetotactic bacterium Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense strain MSR-1 contains two ferrous iron transport genes, feoB1 and feoB2. The FeoB1 protein was reported to be responsible mainly for the transport of ferrous iron and to play an accessory role in magnetosome formation. To determine the role of feoB2, we constructed an feoB2 deletion mutant (MSR-1 ΔfeoB2) and an feoB1 feoB2 double deletion mutant (MSR-1 NfeoB). The single feoB2 mutation did not affect magnetite crystal biomineralization. MSR-1 NfeoB had a significantly lower average magnetosome number per cell (∼65%) than MSR-1 ΔfeoB1, indicating that FeoB2 plays a role in magnetosome formation when the feoB1 gene is deleted. Our findings showed that FeoB1 has a greater ferrous iron transport ability than FeoB2 and revealed the differential roles of FeoB1 and FeoB2 in MSR-1 iron metabolism. Interestingly, compared to the wild type, the feoB mutants showed increased sensitivity to oxidative stress and lower activities of the enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase, indicating that the FeoB proteins help protect bacterial cells from oxidative stress.
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] play important roles in the regulation of lipid metabolism. Although dyslipidemia is associated with insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), there are limited data available regarding the relationship of LPL and 25(OH)D to IR and T2D at a population level. The objective of the present study is to investigate the associations of LPL and 25(OH)D with IR and T2D in a Chinese population.
The study cohort consisted of 2708 subjects (1326 males, 1382 females; mean age 48.5 ± 12.6 years) in main communities of Harbin, China. Serum 25(OH)D, LPL, free fatty acids (FFAs), fasting glucose (FG), fasting insulin, lipid profile, apoA and apoB concentrations were measured.
Serum 25(OH)D concentration was positively associated with LPL (β = 0.168, P < 0.001). LPL was inversely associated with IR and T2D. Subjects in the lowest quartile of LPL had the highest risk of IR [odds ratio (OR) = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.22-2.68] and T2D (OR = 1.65, 95% CI = 1.14-2.38). Serum 25(OH)D was also inversely associated with IR and T2D. Vitamin D deficiency [25(OH)D < 20 ng/ml] was associated with an increasing risk of IR (OR = 1.91, 95% CI = 1.23-2.76) and T2D (OR = 2.06, 95% CI = 1.37-3.24). The associations of 25(OH)D with IR and T2D were attenuated by further adjustment for LPL.
LPL is associated with serum 25(OH)D, IR and T2D in the Chinese population. These results suggest a potential mediating role of LPL in the associations of 25(OH)D with IR and T2D.
Lipoprotein lipase; Vitamin D; Diabetes; Insulin resistance; Lipid metabolism
The EML4-ALK fusion gene has been recently identified in a small subset of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who respond positively to ALK inhibitors. The characteristics of the EML4-ALK fusion gene in Chinese patients with NSCLC are poorly understood. Here, we report on the prevalence of EML4-ALK, EGFR status and KRAS mutations in 208 Chinese patients with NSCLC. EGFR mutations were found in 24.5% (51/208) of patients. In concordance with previous reports, these mutations were identified at high frequencies in females (47.5% vs 15.0% in males; P<0.05); never-smokers (42.3% vs 13.9% in smokers; P<0.05), and adenocarcinoma patients (44.2% vs 8.0% in non-adenocarcinoma patients; P<0.05). There were only 2.88% (6/208) patients with KRAS mutations in our study group. We identified 7 patients who harbored the EML4-ALK fusion gene (3.37%, 7/208), including 4 cases with variant 3 (57.1%), 2 with variant 1, and 1 with variant 2. All positive cases corresponded to female patients (11.5%, 7/61). Six of the positive cases were non-smokers (7.69%, 6/78). The incidence of EML4-ALK translocation in female, non-smoking adenocarcinoma patients was as high as 15.2% (5/33). No EGFR/KRAS mutations were detected among the EML4-ALK positive patients. Pathological analysis showed no difference between solid signet-ring cell pattern (4/7) and mucinous cribriform pattern (3/7) in ALK-positive patients. Immunostaining showed intratumor heterogeneity of ALK rearrangement in primary carcinomas and 50% (3/6) of metastatic tumors with ALK-negative staining. Meta-analysis demonstrated that EML4-ALK translocation occurred in 4.84% (125/2580) of unselected patients with NSCLC, and was also predominant in non-smoking patients with adenocarcinoma. Taken together, EML4-ALK translocations were infrequent in the entire NSCLC patient population, but were frequent in the NSCLC subgroup of female, non-smoker, adenocarcinoma patients. There was intratumor heterogeneity of ALK rearrangement in primary carcinomas and at metastatic sites.
Candida antarctica lipase B (CALB) is one of the most widely used and studied enzymes in the world. In order to achieve the high-level expression of CALB in Pichia, we optimized the codons of CALB gene and α-factor by using a de novo design and synthesis strategy. Through comparative analysis of a series of recombinants with different expression components, we found that the methanol-inducible expression recombinant carrying the codon-optimized α-factor and mature CALB gene (pPIC9KαM-CalBM) has the highest lipase production capacity. After fermentation parameters optimization, the lipase activity and protein content of the recombinant pPIC9KαM-CalBM reached 6,100 U/mL and 3.0 g/L, respectively, in a 5-L fermentor. We believe this strategy could be of special interest due to its capacity to improve the expression level of target gene, and the Pichia transformants carrying the codon-optimized gene had great potential for the industrial-scale production of CALB lipase.
The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) proteins are a small group of heterodimeric transcription factors that play an important role in regulating the inflammatory, immune, and apoptotic responses. NF-κB activity is suppressed by association with the inhibitor IκB. Aberrant NF-κB signaling activity has been associated with the development of cancer, chronic inflammatory diseases and auto-immune diseases. The IKK protein complex is comprised of IKKα, IKKβ and NEMO subunits, with IKKβ thought to play the dominant role in modulating NF-κB activity. Therefore, the discovery of new IKKβ inhibitors may offer new therapeutic options for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases.
A structure-based molecular docking approach has been employed to discover novel IKKβ inhibitors from a natural product library of over 90,000 compounds. Preliminary screening of the 12 highest-scoring compounds using a luciferase reporter assay identified 4 promising candidates for further biological study. Among these, the benzoic acid derivative (1) showed the most promising activity at inhibiting IKKβ phosphorylation and TNF-α-induced NF-κB signaling in vitro.
In this study, we have successfully identified a benzoic acid derivative (1) as a novel IKKβ inhibitor via high-throughput molecular docking. Compound 1 was able to inhibit IKKβ phosphorylation activity in vitro, and block IκBα protein degradation and subsequent NF-κB activation in human cells. Further in silico optimization of the compound is currently being conducted in order to generate more potent analogues for biological tests.
Arylboronates capture aqueous 18F-fluoride in one step to afford a highly polar 18F-labeled aryltrifluoroborate anion (18F-ArBF3
-) that clears rapidly in vivo. To date however, there is little data to show that a ligand labeled with a prosthetic 18F-ArBF3
- will provide functional images. RGD, a high-affinity ligand for integrins that are present on the cell surface of numerous tumors, has been labeled in many formats with many different radionuclides, and as such represents a well-established ligand that can be used to evaluate new labeling methods. Herein we have labeled RGD with a prosthetic 18F-ArBF3
- via two approaches for the first time: 1) a RGD-boronate bioconjugate is directly labeled in one step and 2) an alkyne-modified arylborimidine is first converted to the corresponding 18F-ArBF3
- which is then conjugated to an RGD-azide via Cu+-mediated [2+3] dipolar cycloaddition in one pot over two steps. RGD-18F-ArBF3
- bionconjugates were produced in reasonable radiochemical yields using low amounts of 18F-fluoride anion (10-50 mCi). Despite relatively low specific activities, good tumor images are revealed in each case.
One-step 18F-labeling; click labeling; RGD; PET imaging
A clickable alkyne-modified arylborimidine is rapidly converted in 15 minutes to a highly polar 18F-aryltrifluoroborate anion (18F-ArBF3
-) at high specific activity. Following labeling, the alkyne-18F-ArBF3
- was conjugated to the peptide bombesin (BBN) within 25 minutes in a second step without need for prior work-up making this one-pot-two-step method easy, user-friendly, and generally applicable. Bombesin was chosen to provide functional PET images of prostate cancer xenografts in mice of which there are few. Whereas BBN is labeled to provide some of the first in vivo tumor images based on this technique, click-labeling is recognized for its generality and broad substrate scope. Hence these results are likely to be useful for click labeling most peptides and other biomolecules.
18F-labeling; PET imaging; click chemistry; bombesin imaging
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has been implicated in the pathology of cerebral ischemia. Apoptotic cell death occurs during prolonged period of stress or when the adaptive response fails. Hypothermia blocked the TNF or Fas-mediated extrinsic apoptosis pathway and the mitochondria pathway of apoptosis, however, whether hypothermia can block endoplasmic reticulum mediated apoptosis is never known. This study aimed to elucidate whether hypothermia attenuates brain cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) damage by suppressing ER stress-induced apoptosis. A 15 min global cerebral ischemia rat model was used in this study. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) positive cells in hippocampus CA1 were assessed after reperfusion of the brain. The expressions of C/EBP-homolo gous protein (CHOP) and glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) in ischemic hippocampus CA1 were measured at 6, 12, 24 and 48 h after reperfusion. The results showed that hypothermia significantly attenuated brain I/R injury, as shown by reduction in cell apoptosis, CHOP expression, and increase in GRP78 expression. These results suggest that hypothermia could protect brain from I/R injury by suppressing ER stress-induced apoptosis.
Stress has been reported to activate the locus coeruleus (LC)–noradrenergic system. However, the molecular link between chronic stress and noradrenergic neurons remains to be elucidated. In the present study adult Fischer 344 rats were subjected to a regimen of chronic social defeat (CSD) for 4 weeks. Measurements by in situ hybridization and Western blotting showed that CSD significantly increased mRNA and protein levels of the norepinephrine transporter (NET) in the LC region and NET protein levels in the hippocampus, frontal cortex and amygdala. CSD-induced increases in NET expression were abolished by adrenalectomy or treatment with corticosteroid receptor antagonists, suggesting the involvement of corticosterone and corticosteroid receptors in this upregulation. Furthermore, protein levels of protein kinase A (PKA), protein kinase C (PKC), and phosphorylated cAMP-response element binding (pCREB) protein were significantly reduced in the LC and its terminal regions by the CSD paradigm. Similarly, these reduced protein levels caused by CSD were prevented by adrenalectomy. However, effects of corticosteroid receptor antagonists on CSD-induced down-regulation of PKA, PKC, and pCREB proteins were not consistent. While mifeprestone and spironolactone, either alone or in combination, totally abrogate CSD effects on these protein levels of PKA, PKC and pCREB in the LC and those in the hippocampus, frontal cortex and amygdala, their effects on PKA and PKC in the hippocampus, frontal cortex and amygdala were region-dependent. The present findings indicate a correlation between chronic stress and activation of the noradrenergic system. This correlation and CSD-induced alteration in signal transduction molecules may account for their critical effects on the development of symptoms of major depression.
Norepinephrine transporter; Depression; Chronic social defeat; Rat brain; Locus coeruleus; corticosteroid receptors
Spermidine and spermine, are endogenous polyamines (PAs) that regulate cell growth and modulate the activity of numerous ion channel proteins. In particular, intracellular PAs are potent blockers of many different cation channels and are responsible for strong suppression of outward K+ current, a phenomenon known as inward rectification characteristic of a major class of KIR K+ channels. We previously described block of heterologously expressed voltage-gated Na+ channels (NaV) of rat muscle by intracellular PAs and PAs have recently been found to modulate excitability of brain neocortical neurons by blocking neuronal NaV channels. In this study, we compared the sensitivity of four different cloned mammalian NaV isoforms to PAs to investigate whether PA block is a common feature of NaV channel pharmacology. We find that outward Na+ current of muscle (NaV1.4), heart (NaV1.5), and neuronal (NaV1.2, NaV1.7) NaV isoforms is blocked by PAs, suggesting that PA metabolism may be linked to modulation of action potential firing in numerous excitable tissues. Interestingly, the cardiac NaV1.5 channel is more sensitive to PA block than other isoforms. Our results also indicate that rapid binding of PAs to blocking sites in the NaV1.4 channel is restricted to access from the cytoplasmic side of the channel, but plasma membrane transport pathways for PA uptake may contribute to long-term NaV channel modulation. PAs may also play a role in drug interactions since spermine attenuates the use-dependent effect of the lidocaine, a typical local anesthetic and anti-arrhythmic drug.
inward rectification; lidocaine; local anesthetics; Polyamines; sodium channels; spermidine; spermine; use-dependence; voltage-gated Na+ channels
Innate immunity is considered to provide the initial defense against infections by viruses, bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. Detection of the signature molecules of invading pathogens by front-line defense cells via various germline-encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) is needed to activate intracellular signaling cascades that lead to transcriptional expression of inflammatory mediators to coordinate the elimination of pathogens and infected cells. To maintain a fine balance between protective immunity and inflammatory pathology upon infection, the innate signaling pathways in the host need to be tightly regulated. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a new class of small non-coding RNAs, have been recently shown to be potent modulators that function at post-transcriptional levels. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that the involvement of microorganism-encoded and host miRNAs might play instructive roles in the immune response upon infection. Here, we discuss the current knowledge of miRNAs in the regulation of immune response against infections.
Recent studies have shown that circulating microRNAs might be useful, novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction. The aims of this study were to evaluate the expression of cardiac-specific miRNAs (miR-1, -133a, -208b, and -499) in patients with acute myocardial infarction and to compare the diagnostic values of these miRNAs with that of cardiac troponin T.
Sixty-seven plasma samples obtained from patients with acute myocardial infarction and 32 plasma specimens collected from healthy volunteers were analyzed in this study. The levels of cardiac-specific miRNAs (miR-1, -133a, -208b, and -499) were measured by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and the concentrations of plasma cardiac troponin T were measured using electrochemiluminescence-based methods and an Elecsys 2010 Immunoassay Analyzer.
The levels of plasma miR-1, -133a, -208b, and -499 were significantly higher in acute myocardial infarction patients (all p<0.001) than in healthy volunteers. The expression of the cardiac-specific miRNAs in acute myocardial infarction patients decreased to close to the baseline levels at the time of hospital discharge (all p>0.05). There were no correlations between the levels of the four circulating miRNAs and the clinical characteristics of the study population (all p>0.05). Furthermore, receiver operating characteristic curve analyses showed that the four plasma miRNAs were not superior to cardiac troponin T for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (all p>0.05).
Our results demonstrate that circulating miR-1, -133a, -208b, and -499 may be useful biomarkers in acute myocardial infarction patients but that these miRNAs are not superior to cardiac troponin T for the diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction.
microRNAs; cardiac troponin T; Acute Myocardial Infarction; Circulating Biomarkers
Objective. The high temperature requirement factor A3 (HtrA3) is a serine protease homologous to bacterial HtrA. Four human HtrAs have been identified. HtrA1 and HtrA3 share a high degree of domain organization and are downregulated in a number of cancers, suggesting a widespread loss of these proteases in cancer. This study examined how extensively the HtrA (HtrA1-3) proteins are downregulated in commonly used cancer cell lines and primary ovarian tumors.
Methods. RT-PCR was applied to various cancer cell lines (n=17) derived from the ovary, endometrium, testes, breast, prostate, and colon, and different subtypes of primary ovarian tumors [granulosa cell tumors (n=19), mucinous cystadenocarcinomas (n=6), serous cystadenocarcinomas (n=8)] and normal ovary (n = 9). HtrA3 protein was localized by immunohistochemistry.
Results. HtrA3 was extensively downregulated in the cancer cell lines examined including the granulosa cell tumor-derived cell lines. In primary ovarian tumors, the HtrA3 was significantly lower in serous cystadenocarcinoma and granulosa cell tumors. In contrast, HtrA1 and HtrA2 were expressed in all samples with no significant differences between the control and tumors. In normal postmenopausal ovary, HtrA3 protein was localized to lutenizing stromal cells and corpus albicans. In serous cystadenocarcinoma, HtrA3 protein was absent in the papillae but detected in the mesenchymal cyst wall.
Conclusion. HtrA3 is more extensively downregulated than HtrA1-2 in cancer cell lines. HtrA3, but not HtrA1 or HtrA2, was decreased in primary ovarian serous cystadenocarcinoma and granulosa cell tumors. This study provides evidence that HtrA3 may be the most relevant HtrA associated with ovarian malignancy.
HtrA3; ovarian cancer; protease; GCT; Serous cystadenocarcinoma.
The first 18 months of life are the most important for long-term childhood well-being. Anemia and malnutrition occurring in this key period have serious implications for individuals and societies, especially in rural areas in developing country. We conducted a cross-sectional study as the baseline survey to provide data for developing a policy-based approach to controlling infant anemia and malnutrition in rural areas of Shaanxi province in northwestern China.
We randomly sampled 336 infants aged 0–18 months in 28 rural villages from 2 counties of Shaanxi province. Anthropometric measurements and household interviews were carried out by well-trained researchers. The hemoglobin concentration was measured for 336 infants and serum concentrations of iron, zinc, and retinol (vitamin A) were measured for a stratified subsample of 55 infants. Anemia was defined using World Health Organization (WHO) standards combined with the Chinese standard for infants <6 months old. Logistic regression modeling was used to estimate the odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for anemia with non-anemic group as a reference.
We found that 35.12% of infants in rural Shaanxi suffered from anemia, and the malnutrition prevalence rates were 32.14% for underweight, 39.58% for stunting, and 11.31% for wasting. Anemia was significantly associated with malnutrition (underweight, OR: 2.42, 95%CI: 1.50-3.88; stunting, OR: 1.65, 95%CI: 1.05-2.61; wasting, OR: 2.89, 95%CI: 1.45-5.76). Low birth weight, more siblings, less maternal education, low family income, crowded living conditions, and inappropriate complementary food introduction significantly increased the risk for infant anemia. Serum concentrations of iron, zinc, and retinol (vitamin A) were significantly lower in anemic infants compared with non-anemic infants.
Specific socio-demographic characteristics and feeding patterns were highly associated with infant anemia in rural areas of Shaanxi province. Health education focusing on feeding practices and nutrition education could be a practical strategy for preventing anemia and malnutrition in young children.
Infants; Malnutrition; Anemia; Micronutrient deficiency; Cross-sectional study