Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) were synthesized as a promising drug delivery carrier due to the large surface area and porous characteristics. Our previous study successfully recycled wastes from the liquid crystal display (LCD) industry as the silica precursor. In this study, we substantiated the possibility of applying this material as a drug carrier. MSNs synthesized from the extraction of wastes from the manufacture of LCD panels were characterized as having an average diameter of 100 nm, a surface area of 788 m2/g, a uniform pore size distribution of 3.8 nm, and a pore volume of up to 1.04 cm3/g. Methotrexate and camptothecin were entrapped in MSNs at about 33.88% and 75.12%, respectively. The cell viability assay demonstrated that MSNs at 1 μg/mL had no significant influence on human lung fibroblast (WI-38) cells or ovarian cancer (ES-2) cells. A lactate dehydrogenase assay also indicated no inflammation occurred. Moreover, a hemolytic erythrocyte test indicated that the dose range of <100 μg/mL showed that 5% of erythrocytes were affected. After exposure to biofluids, the ordered structure was slightly degraded. The results revealed that MSNs synthesized from extraction of wastes from the manufacture of LCD panels had a good entrapment capacity for hydrophobic drugs and controllable safety conditions; they may be applied as a drug delivery carrier.
mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs); waste recycle; drug delivery carrier; safety; biocompatibility
The six species and three subspecies in the genus Chimarrogale (Soricomorpha: Soricidae) are commonly referred to as Asiatic water shrews. The Chimarrogale are the most widely distributed group of Nectogaline shrews, extending throughout the Oriental region and Japan. Because of the limited numbers of specimens available for study, the phylogenetic relationships and biogeographical history of this genus have not been comprehensively discussed. We used mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences to estimate phylogenetic relationships and divergence times among four Chimarrogale species, including all three subspecies of Chimarrogale himalayica. We also conducted a species delimitation analysis and tested two alternative migration scenarios in Asia through species distribution modeling and a reconstruction of the ancestral distribution. Here, we present the first proposed hypothesis regarding the Asiatic water shrew phylogeny and reveal ten putative species within the four recognized species. Distinct phylogenetic statuses of Chimarrogale phaeura, Chimarrogale platycephala, and Chimarrogale styani were confirmed. Chimarrogale himalayica was strongly supported as paraphyletic. We suggest that three subspecies of Chimarrogale himalayica should be reconsidered as distinct species. However, these suggestions must be considered with caution because only a single locus of a mtDNA gene was used. Four additional putative species, possibly distributed in central southwestern China and Taiwan, are currently undescribed; therefore, comprehensive morphological analyses are warranted to test their taxonomic statuses. The estimated molecular divergence times indicated that rapid speciation occurred during the early Pliocene, and current distribution patterns may have been affected by global cooling during the Pliocene/Pleistocene boundary. Reconstruction of the ancestral distribution and species distribution modeling for Asiatic water shrews revealed a low-latitude migration route over which ancestral Chimarrogale migrated from Europe via Central Asia to their current distribution. Our results demonstrated that Asiatic water shrews could have evolved throughout the low-latitude migration route from Europe to East and Southeast Asia.
Autophagy is a catabolic process that functions in recycling and degrading cellular proteins, and is also induced as an adaptive response to the increased metabolic demand upon nutrient starvation. However, the prosurvival role of autophagy in response to metabolic stress due to deprivation of glutamine, the most abundant nutrient for mammalian cells, is not well understood. Here, we demonstrated that when extracellular glutamine was withdrawn, autophagy provided cells with sub-mM concentrations of glutamine, which played a critical role in fostering cell metabolism. Moreover, we uncovered a previously unknown connection between metabolic responses to ATG5 deficiency and glutamine deprivation, and revealed that WT and atg5−/− MEFs utilized both common and distinct metabolic pathways over time during glutamine deprivation. Although the early response of WT MEFs to glutamine deficiency was similar in many respects to the baseline metabolism of atg5−/− MEFs, there was a concomitant decrease in the levels of essential amino acids and branched chain amino acid catabolites in WT MEFs after 6 h of glutamine withdrawal that distinguished them from the atg5−/− MEFs. Metabolomic profiling, oxygen consumption and pathway focused quantitative RT-PCR analyses revealed that autophagy and glutamine utilization were reciprocally regulated to couple metabolic and transcriptional reprogramming. These findings provide key insights into the critical prosurvival role of autophagy in maintaining mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and cell growth during metabolic stress caused by glutamine deprivation.
ATG5; autophagy; glutamine; ATP; transcriptional reprogramming; altered metabolism
Evidence about the efficacy and safety of statin treatment in high-risk patients with hypercholesterolemia is available for some populations, but not for ethnic Chinese. To test the hypothesis that treatment with pitavastatin (2 mg/day) is not inferior to treatment with atorvastatin (10 mg/day) for reducing low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), a 12-week multicenter collaborative randomized parallel-group comparative study of high-risk ethnic Chinese patients with hypercholesterolemia was conducted in Taiwan. In addition, the effects on other lipid parameters, inflammatory markers, insulin-resistance-associated biomarkers and safety were evaluated.
Methods and Results
Between July 2011 and April 2012, 251 patients were screened, 225 (mean age: 58.7 ± 8.6; women 38.2% [86/225]) were randomized and treated with pitavastatin (n = 112) or atorvastatin (n = 113) for 12 weeks. Baseline characteristics in both groups were similar, but after 12 weeks of treatment, LDL-C levels were significantly lower: pitavastatin group = −35.0 ± 14.1% and atorvastatin group = −38.4 ± 12.8% (both: p < 0.001). For the subgroup with diabetes mellitus (DM) (n = 125), LDL-C levels (−37.1 ± 12.9% vs. −38.0 ± 13.1%, p = 0.62) were similarly lowered after either pitavastatin (n = 63) or atorvastatin (n = 62) treatment. Triglycerides, non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and apoprotein B were similarly and significantly lower in both treatment groups. In non-lipid profiles, HOMA-IR and insulin levels were higher to a similar degree in both statin groups. Hemoglobin A1C was significantly (p = 0.001) higher in the atorvastatin group but not in the pitavastatin group. Both statins were well tolerated, and both groups had a similar low incidence of treatment-emergent adverse events.
Both pitavastatin (2 mg/day) and atorvastatin (10 mg/day) were well tolerated, lowered LDL-C, and improved the lipid profile to a comparable degree in high-risk Taiwanese patients with hypercholesterolemia.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01386853 http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01386853?term=NCT01386853&rank=1
Embryogenesis is the initial step in a plant’s life, and the molecular changes that occur during embryonic development are largely unknown. To explore the relevant molecular events, we used the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) coupled with the shotgun proteomics technique (iTRAQ/Shotgun) to study the proteomic changes of rice embryos during embryogenesis. For the first time, a total of 2 165 unique proteins were identified in rice embryos, and the abundances of 867 proteins were actively changed based on the statistical evaluation of the quantitative MS/MS signals. The quantitative data were then confirmed using multiple reactions monitoring (MRM) and were also supported by our previous study based on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2 DE). Using the proteome at 6 days after pollination (DAP) as a reference, cluster analysis of these differential proteins throughout rice embryogenesis revealed that 25% were up-regulated and 75% were down-regulated. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis implicated that most of the up-regulated proteins were functionally categorized as stress responsive, mainly including heat shock-, lipid transfer-, and reactive oxygen species-related proteins. The stress-responsive proteins were thus postulated to play an important role during seed maturation.
Mitochondria are the primary organelles that consume oxygen and provide energy for cellular activities. To investigate the mitochondrial mechanisms underlying adaptation to extreme oxygen conditions, we generated Drosophila strains that could survive in low- or high-oxygen environments (LOF or HOF, respectively), examined their mitochondria at the ultrastructural level via transmission electron microscopy, studied the activity of their respiratory chain complexes, and quantitatively analyzed the protein abundance responses of the mitochondrial proteomes using Isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ). A total of 718 proteins were identified with high confidence, and 55 and 75 mitochondrial proteins displayed significant differences in abundance in LOF and HOF, respectively, compared with the control flies. Importantly, these differentially expressed mitochondrial proteins are primarily involved in respiration, calcium regulation, the oxidative response, and mitochondrial protein translation. A correlation analysis of the changes in the levels of the mRNAs corresponding to differentially regulated mitochondrial proteins revealed two sets of proteins with different modes of regulation (transcriptional vs. post-transcriptional) in both LOF and HOF. We believe that these findings will not only enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying adaptation to extreme oxygen conditions in Drosophila but also provide a clue in studying human disease induced by altered oxygen tension in tissues and cells.
We previously identified two hydrolyzable tannins, chebulagic acid (CHLA) and punicalagin (PUG) that blocked herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) entry and spread. These compounds inhibited viral glycoprotein interactions with cell surface glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). Based on this property, we evaluated their antiviral efficacy against several different viruses known to employ GAGs for host cell entry.
Extensive analysis of the tannins’ mechanism of action was performed on a panel of viruses during the attachment and entry steps of infection. Virus-specific binding assays and the analysis of viral spread during treatment with these compounds were also conducted. CHLA and PUG were effective in abrogating infection by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), dengue virus (DENV), measles virus (MV), and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), at μM concentrations and in dose-dependent manners without significant cytotoxicity. Moreover, the natural compounds inhibited viral attachment, penetration, and spread, to different degrees for each virus. Specifically, the tannins blocked all these steps of infection for HCMV, HCV, and MV, but had little effect on the post-fusion spread of DENV and RSV, which could suggest intriguing differences in the roles of GAG-interactions for these viruses.
CHLA and PUG may be of value as broad-spectrum antivirals for limiting emerging/recurring viruses known to engage host cell GAGs for entry. Further studies testing the efficacy of these tannins in vivo against certain viruses are justified.
Chebulagic acid; Punicalagin; Tannin; Broad-spectrum antivirals; Viral entry; Glycosaminoglycans
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling pathway is an important regulatory mechanism of tumorigenesis and drug resistance in many cancers. The present study explored the potential synergistic effects between IGF receptor (IGFR) inhibition and other molecular targeted agents (MTA) in HCC cells. HCC cell lines (Hep3B, PLC5, and SK-Hep1) and HUVECs were tested. The MTA tested included sorafenib, sunitinib, and the IGFR kinase inhibitor NVP-AEW541. The potential synergistic antitumor effects were tested by median dose effect analysis and apoptosis assay in vitro and by xenograft models in vivo. The activity and functional significance of pertinent signaling pathways and expression of apoptosis-related proteins were measured by RNA interference and Western blotting. We found that IGF can activate IGFR and downstream AKT signaling activities in all the HCC cells tested, but the growth-stimulating effect of IGF was most prominent in Hep3B cells. NVP-AEW541 can abrogate IGF-induced activation of IGFR and AKT signaling in HCC cells. IGF can increase the resistance of HCC cells to sunitinib. The apoptosis-inducing effects of sunitinib, but not sorafenib, were enhanced when IGFR signaling activity was inhibited by NVP-AEW541 or IGFR knockdown. Chk2 kinase activation was found contributory to the synergistic anti-tumor effects between sunitinib and IGFR inhibition. Our data indicate that the apoptosis-potentiating effects of IGFR inhibition for HCC may be drug-specific. Combination therapy of IGFR inhibitors with other MTA may improve the therapeutic efficacy in HCC.
Polymorphism of human platelet antigens (HPAs) leads to alloimmunizations and immune-mediated platelet disorders including fetal-neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT), posttransfusion purpura (PTP), and platelet transfusion refractoriness (PTR). HPA typing and knowledge of antigen frequency in a population are important in particular for the provision of HPA-matched blood components for patients with PTR. We have performed allele genotyping for HPA-1 through -6 and -15 among 998 platelet donors from 6 blood centers in Taiwan using sequence-specific primer polymerase chain reaction. The HPA allele frequency was 99.55, and 0.45% for HPA-1a and -1b; 96.49, and 3.51% for HPA-2a and -2b; 55.81, and 44.19% for HPA-3a and -3b; 99.75, and 0.25% for HPA-4a and -4b; 98.50, and 1.50% for HPA-5a and -5b; 97.75 and 2.25% for HPA-6a and -6b; 53.71 and 46.29% for HPA-15a and -15b. HPA-15b and HPA-3a, may be considered the most important, followed by HPA-2, -6, -1, -5, and -4 systems, as a cause of FNAIT, PTP, and PTR based on allele frequency. HPA-4b and HPA-5b role cannot be excluded based on their immunogenicity. A larger-scale study will now be conducted to confirm these hypotheses and to establish an apheresis donor database for the procurement of HPA-matched apheresis platelets for patients with PTR.
The identification of better regimens in currently available chemotherapeutic agents is crucial for treating patients with KRAS mutant metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Records of mCRC patients who received first-line oxaliplatin-based or irinotecan-based regimens were reviewed retrospectively. Clinicopathologic features and treatment outcome of patients with first-line progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in association with KRAS mutation status were analyzed using the Cox proportional hazard model. Between 2007 and 2010, a total of 118 mCRC patients were enrolled. Among them, 67 were males and 51 were females. In patients who received first-line oxaliplatin-based regimens, the PFS was significantly longer in KRAS mutant patients (N = 32) than that in KRAS wild-type patients (N = 51). The median PFS was 8.5 months in KRAS mutant versus 5.8 months in KRAS wild-type patients (P = .008). In contrast, in patients who received first-line irinotecan-based regimens, the PFS was shorter in KRAS mutant patients (N = 15) than that in KRAS wild-type patients (N = 20). Median PFS was 3.9 months in KRAS mutant versus 6.0 months in KRAS wild-type patients (P = .23). Median OS between KRAS mutant and wild-type patients was not significantly different in both oxaliplatin-based and irinotecan-based regimens. In multivariate analyses, KRAS mutation remains an independent predictive factor for longer PFS in first-line oxaliplatin-based regimens. In conclusion, oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy in KRAS mutant mCRC might result in longer PFS than in KRAS wild-type mCRC.
Molecular biomarkers to determine the effectiveness of targeted therapies in cancer treatment have been widely adopted in colorectal cancer (CRC), but those to predict chemotherapy sensitivity remain poorly defined. We tested our hypothesis that KRAS mutation may be a predictor of oxaliplatin sensitivity in CRC. KRAS was knocked-down in KRAS-mutant CRC cells (DLD-1G13D and SW480G12V) by small interfering RNAs (siRNA) and overexpressed in KRAS-wild-type CRC cells (COLO320DM) by KRAS-mutant vectors to generate paired CRC cells. These paired CRC cells were tested by oxaliplatin, irinotecan and 5FU to determine the change in drug sensitivity by MTT assay and flow cytometry. Reasons for sensitivity alteration were further determined by western blot and real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT -PCR). In KRAS-wild-type CRC cells (COLO320DM), KRAS overexpression by mutant vectors caused excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) downregulation in protein and mRNA levels, and enhanced oxaliplatin sensitivity. In contrast, in KRAS-mutant CRC cells (DLD-1G13D and SW480G12V), KRAS knocked-down by KRAS-siRNA led to ERCC1 upregulation and increased oxaliplatin resistance. The sensitivity of irinotecan and 5FU had not changed in the paired CRC cells. To validate ERCC1 as a predictor of sensitivity for oxaliplatin, ERCC1 was knocked-down by siRNA in KRAS-wild-type CRC cells, which restored oxaliplatin sensitivity. In contrast, ERCC1 was overexpressed by ERCC1-expressing vectors in KRAS-mutant CRC cells, and caused oxaliplatin resistance. Overall, our findings suggest that KRAS mutation is a predictor of oxaliplatin sensitivity in colon cancer cells by the mechanism of ERCC1 downregulation.
Shotgun proteomics data analysis usually relies on database search. Because commonly employed protein sequence databases of most species do not contain sufficient protein information, the application of shotgun proteomics to the research of protein sequence profile remains a big challenge, especially to the species whose genome has not been sequenced yet.
In this paper, we present a workflow with integrated database to partly address this problem. First, we downloaded the homologous species database. Next, we identified the transcriptome of the sample, created a protein sequence database based on the transcriptome data, and integtrated it with homologous species database. Lastly, we developed a workflow for identifying peptides simultaneously from shotgun proteomics data.
We used datasets from orange leaves samples to demonstrate our workflow. The results showed that the integrated database had great advantage on orange shotgun proteomics data analysis compared to the homologous species database, an 18.5% increase in number of proteins identification.
Xiao-Chai-Hu-Tang (XCHT), a traditional Chinese medicine formula consisting of seven medicinal plants, is used in the treatment of various diseases. We show here that XCHT could protect type-1 diabetic mice against diabetic nephropathy, using streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic mice and high-glucose (HG)-exposed rat mesangial cell (RMC) as models. Following 4 weeks of oral administration with XCHT, renal functions and renal hypertrophy significantly improved in the STZ-diabetic mice, while serum glucose was only moderately reduced compared to vehicle treatment. Treatment with XCHT in the STZ-diabetic mice and HG-exposed RMC resulted in a decrease in expression levels of TGF-β1, fibronectin, and collagen IV, with concomitant increase in BMP-7 expression. Data from DPPH assay, DHE stain, and CM-H2DCFDA analysis indicated that XCHT could scavenge free radicals and inhibit high-glucose-induced ROS in RMCs. Taken together, these results suggest that treatment with XCHT can improve renal functions in STZ-diabetic mice, an effect that is potentially mediated through decreasing oxidative stress and production of TGF-β1, fibronectin, and collagen IV in the kidney during development of diabetic nephropathy. XCHT, therefore merits further investigation for application to improve renal functions in diabetic disorders.
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a common human pathogen that causes lifelong latent infection of sensory neurons. Non-nucleoside inhibitors that can limit HSV-1 recurrence are particularly useful in treating immunocompromised individuals or cases of emerging acyclovir-resistant strains of herpesvirus. We report that chebulagic acid (CHLA) and punicalagin (PUG), two hydrolyzable tannins isolated from the dried fruits of Terminalia chebula Retz. (Combretaceae), inhibit HSV-1 entry at noncytotoxic doses in A549 human lung cells. Experiments revealed that both tannins targeted and inactivated HSV-1 viral particles and could prevent binding, penetration, and cell-to-cell spread, as well as secondary infection. The antiviral effect from either of the tannins was not associated with induction of type I interferon-mediated responses, nor was pretreatment of the host cell protective against HSV-1. Their inhibitory activities targeted HSV-1 glycoproteins since both natural compounds were able to block polykaryocyte formation mediated by expression of recombinant viral glycoproteins involved in attachment and membrane fusion. Our results indicated that CHLA and PUG blocked interactions between cell surface glycosaminoglycans and HSV-1 glycoproteins. Furthermore, the antiviral activities from the two tannins were significantly diminished in mutant cell lines unable to produce heparan sulfate and chondroitin sulfate and could be rescued upon reconstitution of heparan sulfate biosynthesis. We suggest that the hydrolyzable tannins CHLA and PUG may be useful as competitors for glycosaminoglycans in the management of HSV-1 infections and that they may help reduce the risk for development of viral drug resistance during therapy with nucleoside analogues.
Vaccine and laboratory adapted strains of measles virus can use CD46 as a receptor to infect many human cell lines. However, wild type isolates of measles virus cannot use CD46, and they infect activated lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and macrophages via the receptor CD150/SLAM. Wild type virus can also infect epithelial cells of the respiratory tract through an unidentified receptor. We demonstrate that wild type measles virus infects primary airway epithelial cells grown in fetal calf serum and many adenocarcinoma cell lines of the lung, breast, and colon. Transfection of non-infectable adenocarcinoma cell lines with an expression vector encoding CD150/SLAM rendered them susceptible to measles virus, indicating that they were virus replication competent, but lacked a receptor for virus attachment and entry. Microarray analysis of susceptible versus non-susceptible cell lines was performed, and comparison of membrane protein gene transcripts produced a list of 11 candidate receptors. Of these, only the human tumor cell marker PVRL4 (Nectin 4) rendered cells amenable to measles virus infections. Flow cytometry confirmed that PVRL4 is highly expressed on the surfaces of susceptible lung, breast, and colon adenocarcinoma cell lines. Measles virus preferentially infected adenocarcinoma cell lines from the apical surface, although basolateral infection was observed with reduced kinetics. Confocal immune fluorescence microscopy and surface biotinylation experiments revealed that PVRL4 was expressed on both the apical and basolateral surfaces of these cell lines. Antibodies and siRNA directed against PVRL4 were able to block measles virus infections in MCF7 and NCI-H358 cancer cells. A virus binding assay indicated that PVRL4 was a bona fide receptor that supported virus attachment to the host cell. Several strains of measles virus were also shown to use PVRL4 as a receptor. Measles virus infection reduced PVRL4 surface expression in MCF7 cells, a property that is characteristic of receptor-associated viral infections.
Measles virus is a primate-specific virus that causes acute respiratory disease and can also lead to short term immune suppression resulting in secondary infections by bacteria or parasites. Wild type measles virus attaches to and infects lymphocytes using the receptor CD150 (signaling lymphocyte activation molecule, SLAM). Measles virus is also known to infect epithelial cells of the upper respiratory system and lungs. However, the viral receptor on these cells was previously unknown. Adenocarcinomas are derived from glandular epithelial cells of organs including the lung, breast, or colon. We showed that wild type isolates of measles virus can infect human airway epithelial cells and many adenocarcinoma cell lines. A comparative analysis of membrane genes expressed in cells susceptible and non-susceptible for measles virus infections revealed candidate receptor proteins. Only PVRL4 (Nectin 4) converted cells that were resistant to measles viral infections, to cells that could support virus infections. PVRL4 is a tumor cell marker that is highly expressed on embryonic cells such as those of the placenta, but it is also expressed at lower levels in the trachea, oral mucosa, nasopharynx, and lungs. It is highly expressed on many lung, breast, colon, and ovarian tumors suggesting that they could be targeted with oncolytic measles virus.
Previous research shows that the flow dynamics in the left ventricle (LV) reveal important information about cardiac health. This information can be used in early diagnosis of patients with potential heart problems. The current study introduces a patient-specific cardiovascular-modelling system (CMS) which simulates the flow dynamics in the LV to facilitate physicians in early diagnosis of patients before heart failure.
The proposed system will identify possible disease conditions and facilitates early diagnosis through hybrid computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation and time-resolved magnetic resonance imaging (4-D MRI). The simulation is based on the 3-D heart model, which can simultaneously compute fluid and elastic boundary motions using the immersed boundary method. At this preliminary stage, the 4-D MRI is used to provide an appropriate comparison. This allows flexible investigation of the flow features in the ventricles and their responses.
The results simulate various flow rates and kinetic energy in the diastole and systole phases, demonstrating the feasibility of capturing some of the important characteristics of the heart during different phases. However, some discrepancies exist in the pulmonary vein and aorta flow rate between the numerical and experimental data. Further studies are essential to investigate and solve the remaining problems before using the data in clinical diagnostics.
The results show that by using a simple reservoir pressure boundary condition (RPBC), we are able to capture some essential variations found in the clinical data. Our approach establishes a first-step framework of a practical patient-specific CMS, which comprises a 3-D CFD model (without involving actual hemodynamic data yet) to simulate the heart and the 4-D PC-MRI system. At this stage, the 4-D PC-MRI system is used for verification purpose rather than input. This brings us closer to our goal of developing a practical patient-specific CMS, which will be pursued next. We anticipate that in the future, this hybrid system can potentially identify possible disease conditions in LV through comprehensive analysis and facilitates physicians in early diagnosis of probable cardiac problems.
Phyllanthus urinaria Linnea (Euphorbiaceae) is one of the traditional medicinal plants widely used by oriental people to treat various diseases. We have previously demonstrated that the acetone extract of P. urinaria inhibits herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) but not HSV-1 infection. In a continuing effort to clarify the antiviral mechanisms of P. urinaria, we isolated the pure compound excoecarianin from the whole plant of P. urinaria through acetone extraction, and investigated its anti-HSV-1 and HSV-2 activities. Our results indicated that excoecarianin protected Vero cells from HSV-2 but not HSV-1 infection, and its 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) was 1.4 ± 0.1 μM. The antiviral effective concentration of excoecarianin did not affect the viability or the morphology of Vero cells. Although excoecarianin inhibited HSV-2 infection, the inhibitory effect, however, was most prominent when excoecarianin was concurrently added with the virus. Pretreatment of Vero cells with excoecarianin with removal of the drug prior to infection did not yield any antiviral effects, and the same observation was made for post viral entry treatment. Subsequent studies revealed that excoecarianin inactivated HSV-2 virus particles to prevent viral infection. A synergistic antiviral effect against HSV-2 was also observed when Vero cells were treated with a combination of acyclovir (ACV) and excoecarianin. These results suggested that excoecarianin merits to be further explored as an entry inhibitor against HSV-2 and could potentially be investigated for combinatorial drug treatment with nucleoside analogues such as ACV in therapeutic management of HSV-2 infection.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection causes significant morbidity, and efficient mouse models would greatly facilitate virus studies and the development of effective vaccines and new therapeutic agents. Entry factors, innate immunity, and host factors needed for viral replication represent the initial barriers that restrict HCV infection of mouse cells. Experiments in this paper consider early postentry steps of viral infection and investigate the roles of interferon regulatory factors (IRF-3 and IRF-9) and microRNA (miR-122) in promoting HCV replication in mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) that contain viral subgenomic replicons. While wild-type murine fibroblasts are restricted for HCV RNA replication, deletion of IRF-3 alone can facilitate replicon activity in these cells. This effect is thought to be related to the inactivation of the type I interferon synthesis mediated by IRF-3. Additional deletion of IRF-9 to yield IRF-3−/− IRF-9−/− MEFs, which have blocked type I interferon signaling, did not increase HCV replication. Expression of liver-specific miR-122 in MEFs further stimulated the synthesis of HCV replicons in the rodent fibroblasts. The combined effects of miR-122 expression and deletion of IRF-3 produced a cooperative stimulation of HCV subgenome replication. miR-122 and IRF-3 are independent host factors that are capable of influencing HCV replication, and our findings could help to establish mouse models and other cell systems that support HCV growth and particle formation.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genomes and proteins are present in human brain tissues although the impact of HIV/HCV co-infection on neuropathogenesis remains unclear. Herein, we investigate HCV infectivity and effects on neuronal survival and neuroinflammation in conjunction with HIV infection.
Human microglia, astrocyte and neuron cultures were infected with cell culture-derived HCV or exposed to HCV core protein with or without HIV-1 infection or HIV-1 Viral Protein R (Vpr) exposure. Host immune gene expression and cell viability were measured. Patch-clamp studies of human neurons were performed in the presence or absence of HCV core protein. Neurobehavioral performance and neuropathology were examined in HIV-1 Vpr-transgenic mice in which stereotaxic intrastriatal implants of HCV core protein were performed.
HCV-encoded RNA as well as HCV core and non-structural 3 (NS3) proteins were detectable in human microglia and astrocytes infected with HCV. HCV core protein exposure induced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines including interleukin-1β, interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α in microglia (p<0.05) but not in astrocytes while increased chemokine (e.g. CXCL10 and interleukin-8) expression was observed in both microglia and astrocytes (p<0.05). HCV core protein modulated neuronal membrane currents and reduced both β-III-tubulin and lipidated LC3-II expression (p<0.05). Neurons exposed to supernatants from HCV core-activated microglia exhibited reduced β-III-tubulin expression (p<0.05). HCV core protein neurotoxicity and interleukin-6 induction were potentiated by HIV-1 Vpr protein (p<0.05). HIV-1 Vpr transgenic mice implanted with HCV core protein showed gliosis, reduced neuronal counts together with diminished LC3 immunoreactivity. HCV core-implanted animals displayed neurobehavioral deficits at days 7 and 14 post-implantation (p<0.05).
HCV core protein exposure caused neuronal injury through suppression of neuronal autophagy in addition to neuroimmune activation. The additive neurotoxic effects of HCV- and HIV-encoded proteins highlight extrahepatic mechanisms by which HCV infection worsens the disease course of HIV infection.
Microfabricated devices have great potential in cell-level studies, but are not easily accessible for the broad biology community. This paper introduces the Microscale Oil-Covered Cell Array (MOCCA) as a low-cost device for high throughput single-cell analysis that can be easily produced by researchers without microengineering knowledge. Instead of using microfabricated structures to capture cells, MOCCA isolates cells in discrete aqueous droplets that are separated by oil on patterned hydrophilic areas across a relatively more hydrophobic substrate. The number of randomly seeded Escherichia coli bacteria in each discrete droplet approaches single-cell levels. The cell distribution on MOCCA is well-fit with Poisson distribution. In this pioneer study, we created an array of 900-picoliter droplets. The total time needed to seed cells in ∼3000 droplets was less than 10 minutes. Compared to traditional microfabrication techniques, MOCCA dramatically lowers the cost of microscale cell arrays, yet enhances the fabrication and operational efficiency for single-cell analysis.
Karyotypes and chromosomal data are presented for eight bat species representing two families (Rhinolophidae and Vespertilionidae) from Hainan Island, China. The species investigated were Rhinolophus lepidus (2n = 62, FN = 60), R. pusillus (2n = 62, FN = 60), R. affinis (2n = 62, FN = 60), R. sinicus (2n = 36, FN = 60), Myotis horsfieldi (2n = 44, FN = 52), Pipistrellus abramus (2n = 26, FN = 44), Miniopterus australis (2n = 46, FN = 50) and M. schreibersii (2n = 46, FN = 50). The karyotype of Rhinolophus lepidus is reported for the first time.
Karyology; bats; Rhinolophidae; Vespertilionidae; chromosome; Hainan Island.
Purpose: In this study, the method of employing pre-retrieval vaginal douching with aqueous povidone iodine is examined to see if it can decrease the incidence of pelvic abscess without compromising the clinical outcome of IVF-ET.
Methods: Patients with ovarian endometrioma and received IVF-ET treatment were retrospectively classified into two groups according to the difference of vaginal douching solution immediately before oocyte retrieval.
Results: There was no difference in the fertilization rate (81.2% versus 79.8%, P > 0.05), implantation rate (19.2% versus 23.3%, P > 0.05), clinical pregnancy rate (39.3% versus 46.2%, P > 0.05) between the two groups. There was no infection in patients of group two but two cases in group one developed pelvic abscess and needed surgical intervention.
Conclusions: Vaginal douching with aqueous povidone iodine followed by normal saline irrigation immediately before oocyte retrieval is effective in preventing the pelvic infection without compromising the outcome of IVF treatment.
Endometrioma; in vitro fertilization; infection; pelvic abscess; complication
An increased human parvovirus B19 infection rate has been observed in immunocompromised hosts. In this study, we sought to determine the prevalence of parvovirus B19 infection in adult cancer patients receiving multiple courses of systemic chemotherapy. From March 1999 through April 2000, 59 men and 68 women, with a median age of 49 (18 to 79) years, were enrolled in this study. They had received an average of 7.1 (4 to 32) courses of systemic chemotherapy. The median duration from the date of starting chemotherapy to the date of blood sampling was 11 (4 to 88) months. Serum B19 immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM levels were examined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and B19 DNA was examined by a nested PCR. A group of 400 healthy blood donors served as the control group. The overall prevalences of anti-B19 IgG in adult cancer patients and healthy blood donors were 61.4 and 25.0%, respectively (P < 0.01). Anti-B19 IgM and B19 DNA were not detectable in these anti-B19 IgG-seropositive individuals. A further age-stratified comparison revealed that only patients younger than 40 years had a significantly higher anti-B19 IgG seropositivity rate than the controls (19 of 39 versus 53 of 310; P < 0.001). The increased prevalence of B19 infection in these 39 adult patients younger than 40 years might be clinically significant, since unexplained anemia, a common sequela of B19 infection, was detected in 3 of 20 seronegative patients (15.0%) and in 12 of 19 seropositive patients (63.2%) (P < 0.005). The results of this study suggest that adult patients younger than 40 years and receiving multiple courses of systemic chemotherapy may have a significantly increased risk of B19 infection. Prospective studies to define the time course and clinical consequence of B19 infection in this group of patients are needed.
We report improved whole-genome shotgun sequences for the genomes of indica and japonica rice, both with multimegabase contiguity, or almost 1,000-fold improvement over the drafts of 2002. Tested against a nonredundant collection of 19,079 full-length cDNAs, 97.7% of the genes are aligned, without fragmentation, to the mapped super-scaffolds of one or the other genome. We introduce a gene identification procedure for plants that does not rely on similarity to known genes to remove erroneous predictions resulting from transposable elements. Using the available EST data to adjust for residual errors in the predictions, the estimated gene count is at least 38,000–40,000. Only 2%–3% of the genes are unique to any one subspecies, comparable to the amount of sequence that might still be missing. Despite this lack of variation in gene content, there is enormous variation in the intergenic regions. At least a quarter of the two sequences could not be aligned, and where they could be aligned, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rates varied from as little as 3.0 SNP/kb in the coding regions to 27.6 SNP/kb in the transposable elements. A more inclusive new approach for analyzing duplication history is introduced here. It reveals an ancient whole-genome duplication, a recent segmental duplication on Chromosomes 11 and 12, and massive ongoing individual gene duplications. We find 18 distinct pairs of duplicated segments that cover 65.7% of the genome; 17 of these pairs date back to a common time before the divergence of the grasses. More important, ongoing individual gene duplications provide a never-ending source of raw material for gene genesis and are major contributors to the differences between members of the grass family.
Comparative genome sequencing of indica and japonica rice reveals that duplication of genes and genomic regions has played a major part in the evolution of grass genomes