In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Here we present the first diploid genome sequence of an Asian individual. The genome was sequenced to 36-fold average coverage using massively parallel sequencing technology. We aligned the short reads onto the NCBI human reference genome to 99.97% coverage, and guided by the reference genome, we used uniquely mapped reads to assemble a high-quality consensus sequence for 92% of the Asian individual's genome. We identified approximately 3 million single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) inside this region, of which 13.6% were not in the dbSNP database. Genotyping analysis showed that SNP identification had high accuracy and consistency, indicating the high sequence quality of this assembly. We also carried out heterozygote phasing and haplotype prediction against HapMap CHB and JPT haplotypes (Chinese and Japanese, respectively), sequence comparison with the two available individual genomes (J. D. Watson and J. C. Venter), and structural variation identification. These variations were considered for their potential biological impact. Our sequence data and analyses demonstrate the potential usefulness of next-generation sequencing technologies for personal genomics.
Genome-wide association studies have identified susceptibility loci for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). We conducted a meta-analysis of all single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that showed nominally significant P-values in two previously published genome-wide scans that included a total of 2961 ESCC cases and 3400 controls. The meta-analysis revealed five SNPs at 2q33 with P< 5 × 10−8, and the strongest signal was rs13016963, with a combined odds ratio (95% confidence interval) of 1.29 (1.19–1.40) and P= 7.63 × 10−10. An imputation analysis of 4304 SNPs at 2q33 suggested a single association signal, and the strongest imputed SNP associations were similar to those from the genotyped SNPs. We conducted an ancestral recombination graph analysis with 53 SNPs to identify one or more haplotypes that harbor the variants directly responsible for the detected association signal. This showed that the five SNPs exist in a single haplotype along with 45 imputed SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium, and the strongest candidate was rs10201587, one of the genotyped SNPs. Our meta-analysis found genome-wide significant SNPs at 2q33 that map to the CASP8/ALS2CR12/TRAK2 gene region. Variants in CASP8 have been extensively studied across a spectrum of cancers with mixed results. The locus we identified appears to be distinct from the widely studied rs3834129 and rs1045485 SNPs in CASP8. Future studies of esophageal and other cancers should focus on comprehensive sequencing of this 2q33 locus and functional analysis of rs13016963 and rs10201587 and other strongly correlated variants.
At least twenty genes/loci were shown to be associated with type 2diabetes in European original populations. Five of these genes were shown to be associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Chinese populations. The purpose of this study was to replicate the association of genetic vairants in the eight diabetes-related genes/loci with type 2 diabetes in a Han Chinese cohort from western part of China. Nineteen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the eight genes/loci including TCF7L2, HHEX, CDKAL1, SLC30A8, PPARG, IGF2BP2, KCNJ11, and CDKN2A/CDKN2B were genotyped in 1,529 cases and 1,439 controls in a Han Chinese population using the ABI SNaPshot method. The meta-analysis of the association between rs7903146 in TCF7L2 gene and T2D in the Han Chinese was performed.
Among the eight genes/loci examined, we found that four were significantly associated with T2D. Although previous studies showed that the association between the SNP rs7903146 in the TCF7L2 gene and T2D was controversial within the Han Chinese population, we have confirmed the significant association between the SNP rs7903146 in the TCF7L2 gene and T2D in both this study and the meta-analysis in the population. In addition, we also confirmed that three SNPs (rs1111875, rs7923837 and rs5015480) in HHEX , one SNP (rs10946398) in CDKAL1, and three SNPs (rs13266634, rs3802177 and rs11558471) in SLC30A8 were significantly associated with T2D in the population being studied.
We demonstrated that the variants in TCF7L2, CDKAL1, HHEX, and SLC30A8 genes are associated with T2D in a Han Chinese population.
Artificially passive immunization has been demonstrated to be effective against Yersinia pestis infection in animals. However, maternal antibodies' protective efficacy against plague has not yet been demonstrated. Here, we evaluated the kinetics, protective efficacy, and transmission modes of maternal antibodies, using mice immunized with plague subunit vaccine SV1 (20 μg of F1 and 10 μg of rV270). The results showed that the rV270- and F1-specific antibodies could be detected in the sera of newborn mice (NM) until 10 and 14 weeks of age, respectively. There was no antibody titer difference between the parturient mice immunized with SV1 (PM-S) and the caesarean-section newborns (CSN) from the PM-S or between the lactating mice immunized by SV1 (LM-S) and the cross-fostered mice (CFM) during 3 weeks of lactation. The NM had a 72% protection against 4,800 CFU Y. pestis strain 141 challenge at 6 weeks of age, whereas at 14 weeks of age, NM all succumbed to 5,700 CFU of Y. pestis challenge. After 7 weeks of age, CFM had an 84% protection against 5,000 CFU of Y. pestis challenge. These results indicated that maternal antibodies induced by the plague subunit vaccine in mother mice can be transferred to NM by both placenta and lactation. Passive antibodies from the immunized mothers could persist for 3 months and provide early protection for NM. The degree of early protection is dependent on levels of the passively acquired antibody. The results indicate that passive immunization should be an effective countermeasure against plague during its epidemics.
Protein and antibody arrays have emerged as a promising technology to study protein expression and protein function in a high-throughput manner. These arrays also represent a new opportunity to profile protein expression levels in cancer patients’ samples and to identify useful biosignatures for clinical diagnosis, disease classification, prediction, drug development and patient care. We applied antibody arrays to discover a panel of proteins which may serve as biomarkers to distinguish between patients with ovarian cancer and normal controls.
Using a case-control study design of 34 ovarian cancer patients and 53 age-matched healthy controls, we profiled the expression levels of 174 proteins using antibody array technology and determined the CA125 level using ELISA. The expression levels of those proteins were analyzed using 3 discriminant methods, including artificial neural network, classification tree and split-point score analysis. A panel of 5 serum protein markers (MSP-alpha, TIMP-4, PDGF-R alpha, and OPG and CA125) was identified, which could effectively detect ovarian cancer with high specificity (95%) and high sensitivity (100%), with AUC =0.98, while CA125 alone had an AUC of 0.87.
Our pilot study has shown the promising set of 5 serum markers for ovarian cancer detection.
Notch signaling plays a critical role in the maintenance of intestinal crypt epithelial cell proliferation. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Notch signaling in the proliferation and regeneration of intestinal epithelium after intestinal ischemia reperfusion (I/R) injury.
Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to sham operation or I/R by occlusion of the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) for 20 min. Intestinal tissue samples were collected at 0, 1, 2, 4, and 6 h after reperfusion. Proliferation of the intestinal epithelium was evaluated by immunohistochemical staining of proliferating nuclear antigen (PCNA). The mRNA and protein expression levels of Notch signaling components were examined using Real-time PCR and Western blot analyses. Immunofluorescence was also performed to detect the expression and location of Jagged-2, cleaved Notch-1, and Hes-1 in the intestine. Finally, the γ-secretase inhibitor DAPT and the siRNA for Jagged-2 and Hes-1 were applied to investigate the functional role of Notch signaling in the proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells in an in vitro IEC-6 culture system.
I/R injury caused increased intestinal crypt epithelial cell proliferation and increased mRNA and protein expression of Jagged-2, Notch-1, and Hes-1. The immunofluorescence results further confirmed increased protein expression of Jagged-2, cleaved Notch-1, and Hes-1 in the intestinal crypts. The inhibition of Notch signaling with DAPT and the suppression of Jagged-2 and Hes-1 expression using siRNA both significantly inhibited the proliferation of IEC-6 cells.
The Jagged-2/Notch-1/Hes-1 signaling pathway is involved in intestinal epithelium regeneration early after I/R injury by increasing crypt epithelial cell proliferation.
Background Drinking alcohol has a long tradition in Chinese culture. However, data on the prevalence and patterns of alcohol consumption in China, and its main correlates, are limited.
Methods During 2004–08 the China Kadoorie Biobank recruited 512 891 men and women aged 30–79 years from 10 urban and rural areas of China. Detailed information on alcohol consumption was collected using a standardized questionnaire, and related to socio-demographic, physical and behavioural characteristics in men and women separately.
Results Overall, 76% of men and 36% of women reported drinking some alcohol during the past 12 months, with 33% of men and 2% of women drinking at least weekly; the prevalence of weekly drinking in men varied from 7% to 51% across the 10 study areas. Mean consumption was 286 g/week and was higher in those with less education. Most weekly drinkers habitually drank spirits, although this varied by area, and beer consumption was highest among younger drinkers; 37% of male weekly drinkers (12% of all men) reported weekly heavy drinking episodes, with the prevalence highest in younger men. Drinking alcohol was positively correlated with regular smoking, blood pressure and heart rate. Among male weekly drinkers, each 20 g/day alcohol consumed was associated with 2 mmHg higher systolic blood pressure. Potential indicators of problem drinking were reported by 24% of male weekly drinkers.
Conclusion The prevalence and patterns of drinking in China differ greatly by age, sex and geographical region. Alcohol consumption is associated with a number of unfavourable health behaviours and characteristics.
Alcohol; drinking; cohort study; descriptive analysis; China
We aimed to investigate the effect of valproic acid (VPA) on NKG2D ligand expression in human renal carcinoma cell lines and to investigate the mechanisms.
Material and methods
Different concentrations of VPA from 0.5 mM to 8.0 mM were applied to 786-O and ACHN cell lines, respectively. Cell viability after treatment with VPA was determined by flow cytometry (FCM). Real-time PCR and FCM were used to detect the changes of mRNA and protein level of NKG2D ligands (MICA/B and ULBPs) in the two cell lines treated with 4 mM VPA. The cytotoxicity assay and CD107a mobilization assay were carried out to detect the cytotoxicity changes of NK cells against renal carcinoma cell lines after the same treatment.
Valproic acid can efficiently upregulate MICA/B, ULBP1 and ULBP2 expression in the renal carcinoma cell lines at the mRNA and protein level (p < 0.05). 786-O and ACHN cells treated with VPA were more susceptible to killing by NK cells than untreated cells and the enhanced cytotoxicity of NK cells was blocked by the pretreatment of NK cells with anti-NKG2D monoclonal antibodies (p < 0.05).
Valproic acid can clearly induce the expression of NKG2D ligands of renal carcinoma cell lines, thereby enhancing the cytotoxicity of NK cells against renal carcinoma cell lines.
valproic acid; renal carcinoma cell; NKG2D ligands; NK cells
Hemoglobinopathies are the most common inherited diseases in southern China. However, there have been only a few epidemiological studies of hemoglobinopathies in Guangdong province.
Materials and Methods
Peripheral blood samples were collected from 15299 “healthy” unrelated subjects of dominantly ethnic Hakka in the Meizhou region, on which hemoglobin electrophoresis and routine blood tests were performed. Suspected cases with hemoglobin variants and hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin (HPFH) were further characterized by PCR, DNA sequencing, reverse dot blot (RDB) or multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). In addition, 1743 samples were randomly selected from the 15299 subjects for thalassemia screening, and suspected thalassemia carriers were identified by PCR and RDB.
The gene frequency of hemoglobin variants was 0.477% (73/15299). The five main subgroups of the ten hemoglobin variants were Hb E, Hb G-Chinese, Hb Q-Tahiland, Hb New York and Hb J-Bangkok. 277 cases (15.89%, 277/1743) of suspected thalassemia carriers with microcytosis (MCV<82 fl) were found by thalassemia screening, and were tested by a RDB gene chip to reveal a total of 196 mutant chromosomes: including 124 α-thalassemia mutant chromosomes and 72 β-thalassemia mutant chromosomes. These results give a heterozygote frequency of 11.24% for common α and β thalassemia in the Hakka population in the Meizhou region. 3 cases of HPFH/δβ-thalassemia were found, including 2 cases of Vietnamese HPFH (FPFH-7) and a rare Belgian Gγ(Aγδβ)0–thalassemia identified in Chinese.
Our results provide a detailed prevalence and molecular characterization of hemoglobinopathies in Hakka people of the Meizhou region. The estimated numbers of pregnancies each year in the Meizhou region, in which the fetus would be at risk for β thalassemia major or intermedia, Bart’s hydrops fetalis, and Hb H disease, are 25 (95% CI, 15 to 38), 40 (95% CI, 26 to 57), and 15 (95% CI, 8 to 23), respectively.
The spread of the blaNDM-1 gene is gaining worldwide attentions. This gene is usually carried by large plasmids and has been discovered in diverse bacteria since it was originally found in Klebsiella pneumoniae. Here we report the complete sequences of a blaNDM-1-bearing plasmid, pNDM-BJ01, and its variant, pNDM-BJ02, isolated from clinical Acinetobacter lwoffii strains. The plasmid pNDM-BJ01 is 47.3 kb in size and cannot be classified into any known plasmid incompatibility group, thus representing a novel plasmid with an unknown maintenance mechanism. This plasmid contains both a blaNDM-1 gene and a type IV secretion system (T4SS) gene cluster. The T4SS is assigned to the P-type T4SS group, which usually encode a short, rigid pilus, and the blaNDM-1 gene is located within a composite transposon flanked by two insertion elements of ISAba125. Plasmid pNDM-BJ02 is nearly identical to pNDM-BJ01 except that one copy of the ISAba125 element is missing, and it is therefore regarded as a variant of pNDM-BJ01. Sequence alignment indicated that this blaNDM-1-containing composite transposon, which can also be captured by other mobile elements, was probably a product of multiple recombination events and can move as a whole by transposition.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have recently identified KIF1B as susceptibility locus for hepatitis B virus (HBV)–related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). To further identify novel susceptibility loci associated with HBV–related HCC and replicate the previously reported association, we performed a large three-stage GWAS in the Han Chinese population. 523,663 autosomal SNPs in 1,538 HBV–positive HCC patients and 1,465 chronic HBV carriers were genotyped for the discovery stage. Top candidate SNPs were genotyped in the initial validation samples of 2,112 HBV–positive HCC cases and 2,208 HBV carriers and then in the second validation samples of 1,021 cases and 1,491 HBV carriers. We discovered two novel associations at rs9272105 (HLA-DQA1/DRB1) on 6p21.32 (OR = 1.30, P = 1.13×10−19) and rs455804 (GRIK1) on 21q21.3 (OR = 0.84, P = 1.86×10−8), which were further replicated in the fourth independent sample of 1,298 cases and 1,026 controls (rs9272105: OR = 1.25, P = 1.71×10−4; rs455804: OR = 0.84, P = 6.92×10−3). We also revealed the associations of HLA-DRB1*0405 and 0901*0602, which could partially account for the association at rs9272105. The association at rs455804 implicates GRIK1 as a novel susceptibility gene for HBV–related HCC, suggesting the involvement of glutamate signaling in the development of HBV–related HCC.
Previous studies strongly suggest the importance of genetic susceptibility for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the studies about genetic etiology on HBV–related HCC were limited. Our genome-wide association study included 523,663 autosomal SNPs in 1,538 HBV–positive HCC patients and 1,465 chronic HBV carriers for the discovery analysis. 2,112 HBV–positive HCC cases and 2,208 HBV carriers (the initial validation), and 1,021 cases and 1,491 HBV carriers (the second validation), were then analyzed for validation. The fourth independent samples of 1,298 cases and 1,026 controls were analyzed as replication. We discovered two novel associations at rs9272105 (HLA-DQA1/DRB1) on 6p21.32 and rs455804 (GRIK1) on 21q21.3. HLA-DRB1 molecules play an important role in chronic HBV infection and progression to HCC. The association at rs455804 implicates GRIK1 as a novel susceptibility gene for HBV–related HCC, suggesting the involvement of glutamate signaling in the development of HBV–related HCC.
Taiwan's rubella vaccination program was launched in 1986; each schoolgirl in the third grade of junior high school received one dose of rubella (RA 27/3) vaccine. We reviewed the results of 14,090 prenatal rubella tests for primiparas from three areas of Taiwan during 2002 to 2008 to investigate seronegativity rates and titer changes. In all primiparous women, the average rubella virus seronegativity rate was 6.5% (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 6.1 to 6.9%), and the average rubella virus antibody titer was 65.9 IU/ml (95% CI, 64.7 to 67.1 IU/ml). There were 1,220 women (8.7%) with weakly positive antibody titers (10 to 20 IU/ml). The rubella virus seronegativity rates, which ranged from 5.4 to 9.7%, did not exhibit a linear trend from 9 to 22 years after vaccination (P = 0.201); in contrast, a significant trend appeared in the average rubella virus IgG titer (P = 0.003), dropping from 69.9 IU/ml in the 9th year after vaccination to 54.8 IU/ml in the 22nd year. The mean annual antibody decay rate was −0.77 IU/ml. This study reveals that the level of rubella virus antibodies declined slowly in women of childbearing age who were vaccinated with RA 27/3 at junior high school age. The number of women who were seronegative or had weakly positive antibody titers was still high (15.2%). Therefore, in countries that implement a single-dose regimen in children or teenagers, it should remain an important policy to encourage voluntary immunization in seronegative women and to immunize all postpartum women who are susceptible to rubella virus infection before they leave the hospital.
Anti-HER2/neu antibody therapy is reported to mediate tumor regression by interrupting oncogenic signals and/or inducing FcR-mediated cytotoxicity. Here, we demonstrate that the mechanisms of tumor regression by this therapy also require the adaptive immune response. Activation of innate immunity and T cells, initiated by antibody treatment, was necessary. Intriguingly, the addition of chemotherapeutic drugs, while capable of enhancing the reduction of tumor burden, could abrogate antibody-initiated immunity leading to decreased resistance to re-challenge or earlier relapse. Increased influx of both innate and adaptive immune cells into the tumor microenvironment by a selected immunotherapy further enhanced subsequent antibody-induced immunity, leading to increased tumor eradication and resistance to re-challenge. Therefore, this study proposes a model and strategy for anti-HER2/neu antibody-mediated tumor clearance.
Many species of the brine shrimp Artemia are found in various severe environments in many parts of the world where extreme salinity, high UV radiation levels, high pH, anoxia, large temperature fluctuations, and intermittent dry conditions are often recorded. To withstand adverse environments, Artemia undergoes an oviparous developmental pathway to release cysts whereas, under favorable conditions, swimming nauplius larvae are formed directly via an ovoviviparous pathway. In the former case these cysts have an extraordinary ability to keep the embryos protected from the harsh environment for long periods. This is achieved through the protection by a complex out-wrapping cyst shell. However, the formation and function of the cyst shell is complex; the details remain largely unclear.
A shell gland-specific gene (SGEG2) was cloned and identified from a suppression subtractive hybridization library. Western blot analysis showed that SGEG2 presumably requires post-translational proteolysis in order to be processed into two mature peptides (SGEG2a and 2b). The three matrix peptides (SGEG1 reported previously, 2a, and 2b) were found to distribute throughout the cyst shell. The results of gene knockdown by RNAi and subsequent resistance to environmental stresses assays indicated that these matrix peptides are required for cyst shell formation and are involved in protecting the encysted embryos from environmental stress.
This study revealed that extracellular matrix peptides participate in protecting embryos from extreme salinity, UV radiation, large temperature fluctuations and dry environments, thereby facilitating their survival. The cyst shell provides an excellent opportunity to link the ecological setting of an organism to the underlying physiological and biochemical processes enabling its survival. The cyst shell material has also a high potential to become an excellent new biomaterial with a high number of prospective uses due, specifically, to such biological characteristics.
We previously reported that overexpression of Axin downregulates T cell factor-4 (TCF-4) transcription. However, the mechanism(s) by which Axin downregulates the transcription and expression of TCF-4 is not clear. It has been reported that β-catenin promotes and p53 inhibits TCF-4 transcription, respectively. The aim of this study was to investigate whether β-catenin and/or p53 is required for Axin-mediated downregulation of TCF-4.
Axin mutants that lack p53/HIPK2 and/or β-catenin binding domains were expressed in lung cancer cells, BE1 (mutant p53) and A549 (wild type p53). Expression of Axin or AxinΔp53 downregulates β-catenin and TCF-4, and knock-down of β-catenin upregulates TCF-4 in BE1 cells. However, expression of AxinΔβ-ca into BE1 cells did not downregulate TCF-4 expression. These results indicate that Axin downregulates TCF-4 transcription via β-catenin. Although overexpression of wild-type p53 also downregulates TCF-4 in BE1 cells, cotransfection of p53 and AxinΔβ-ca did not downregulate TCF-4 further. These results suggest that Axin does not promote p53-mediated downregulation of TCF-4. Axin, AxinΔp53, and AxinΔβ-ca all downregulated β-catenin and TCF-4 in A549 cells. Knock-down of p53 upregulated β-catenin and TCF-4, but cotransfection of AxinΔβ-ca and p53 siRNA resulted in downregulation of β-catenin and TCF-4. These results indicate that p53 is not required for Axin-mediated downregulation of TCF-4. Knock-down or inhibition of GSK-3β prevented Axin-mediated downregulation of TCF-4. Furthermore, expression of Axin and AxinΔp53, prevented the proliferative and invasive ability of BE1 and A549, expression of AxinΔβ-ca could only prevented the proliferative and invasive ability effectively.
Axin downregulates TCF-4 transcription via β-catenin and independently of p53. Axin may also inhibits the proliferation and invasion of lung cancer cells via β-catenin and p53.
Goose parvovirus (GPV) is a Dependovirus associated with latent infection and mortality in geese. Currently, in a worldwide scale, GPV severely affects geese production. The objective of this study is to develop a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method for the sensitive, rapid, and inexpensive detection of GPV in the field.
A set of six specific primers was designed by targeting the GPV VP3 DNA. With Bst DNA polymerase large fragment, the target DNA could be amplified at 65°C as early as 20 min of incubation in a simple water bath. A positive reaction was identified through the detection of the LAMP product by color change visible to the naked eye. The detection limit of the assay was 28 copies/μl of plasmid pVP3, and with equal sensitivity and specificity to fluorescent quantitative real-time PCR (FQ-PCR).
The high sensitivity, specificity, and simplicity, as well as the high throughput, make this method suitable for specific detection of GPV infection in both field conditions and laboratory settings. The utilization of complicated equipment and conduct of technical training on the GPV LAMP were not necessary.
The emergence and spread of drug resistant malaria parasites are an important factor contributing to the global resurgence of malaria, demonstrating the essence of drug resistance surveillance in endemic areas. In the malarious border regions of Yunnan Province, China, we have selected three study sites to monitor in vitro and in vivo resistance of Plasmodium falciparum parasites to chloroquine (CQ) from 1981 to 2006. In vitro studies using the microtest clearly showed high-degree of CQ resistance in the early 1980s, when CQ was replaced by artemether monotherapy for falciparum malaria. In subsequent in vitro surveys performed in the early 1990s and 2003–2004, we found reductions in both the concentrations inhibiting 50% parasite growth (IC50s) and the percentage of resistant parasites at all study sites, although the degrees of the reduction varied among sites. Even though amodiaquine has never been used in this area, there were consistently high levels of resistance to this drug, confirming cross resistance between CQ and amodiaquine. In vivo clinical studies were consistent with the results of the in vitro assays. The overall rate of resistant clinical cases decreased from 97% in 1981–1983 to 40% in 2005–2006. Collectively, whereas a general trend of reduction in CQ resistance was observed in Yunnan, variations among sites existed in this relatively small area, probably as the result of both geographical heterogeneity of malaria epidemiology in Yunnan and different levels of CQ resistance in neighboring countries.
drug resistance; chloroquine; microtest; clinical monitoring; longitudinal surveillance
To study the clinical features and to perform genetic linkage study in two large Chinese families with autosomal dominant juvenile-onset primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).
Eighteen members of one Chinese family and 25 members of a second Chinese family with juvenile-onset primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) were investigated. Thirteen members in one family and 14 members in the second family were diagnosed with juvenile-onset POAG. A genome-wide linkage scan was performed on one family using 411 short tandem repeat (STR) markers. Subsequent fine mapping was performed in the two study families using a modified fluorescent labeled M13 primer method.
A whole genome-wide scan in one family showed linkage to chromosome 2p15-p16 with a two-point maximum LOD score of 5.01 at θ=0 between the disease phenotype and STR marker D2S337. The second family was also mapped to the same locus with a two-point maximum LOD score of 6.30 at θ=0 for D2S378. Haplotype analysis in these two families demonstrated that they shared the same disease haplotype, suggesting they have inherited the mutation from a common founder. The maximum LOD scores were 8.93 at θ=0 for D2S378 and 9.9 at θ=0 for D2S337 when the two families were combined for analysis. The disease interval for these two families was localized to 9.2 cM or 13.3 Mb between D2S123 and D2S2397. There are 42 known genes/transcripts within the interval. Five of these genes were sequenced, and no disease-causing mutation was identified in either family.
This novel juvenile-onset POAG locus on chromosome 2p15–16 is overlapped by the Glaucoma 1, open angle, H (GLC1H) locus for adult-onset POAG. Eventual identification of the disease-causing gene will provide insights into the pathogenesis of POAG.
There is intense and growing interest in one-dimensional (1-D) nanostructures from the perspective of their synthesis and unique properties, especially with respect to their excellent optical response and an ability to form heterostructures. This review discusses alternative approaches to preparation and organization of such structures, and their potential properties. In particular, molecular-scale printing is highlighted as a method for creating organized pre-cursor structure for locating nanowires, as well as vapor–liquid–solid (VLS) templated growth using nano-channel alumina (NCA), and deposition of 1-D structures with glancing angle deposition (GLAD). As regards novel optical properties, we discuss as an example, finite size photonic crystal cavity structures formed from such nanostructure arrays possessing highQand small mode volume, and being ideal for developing future nanolasers.
Nanostructures; Nanophotonics; Vapour–liquid–solid (VLS) growth; Glancing angle; deposition; Molecular scale imprinting; Nanowire photonic crystals
There is a strong research interest in identifying the surface roughness of the carotid arterial inner wall via texture analysis for early diagnosis of atherosclerosis. The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of texture analysis methods for identifying arterial roughness in the early stage of atherosclerosis. Ultrasound images of common carotid arteries of 15 normal mice fed a normal diet and 28 apoE−/− mice fed a high-fat diet were recorded by a high-frequency ultrasound system (Vevo 2100, frequency: 40 MHz). Six different texture feature sets were extracted based on the following methods: first-order statistics, fractal dimension texture analysis, spatial gray level dependence matrix, gray level difference statistics, the neighborhood gray tone difference matrix, and the statistical feature matrix. Statistical analysis indicates that 11 of 19 texture features can be used to distinguish between normal and abnormal groups (p<0.05). When the 11 optimal features were used as inputs to a support vector machine classifier, we achieved over 89% accuracy, 87% sensitivity and 93% specificity. The accuracy, sensitivity and specificity for the k-nearest neighbor classifier were 73%, 75% and 70%, respectively. The results show that it is feasible to identify arterial surface roughness based on texture features extracted from ultrasound images of the carotid arterial wall. This method is shown to be useful for early detection and diagnosis of atherosclerosis.
Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) activates both cell death and cell survival pathways. The activation of survival pathway renders most cancer cells resistant to TNF-induced cytotoxicity. We found that pretreatment with digitoflavone, a plant flavonoid, greatly sensitized TNFα-induced apoptotic cell death in several human pancreatic cancer cells. In search of the molecular basis of the sensitization effect of digitoflavone, digitoflavone was found to inhibit TNFα-induced activation of nuclear transcription factor-kappa B (NF-κB) which is the main survival factor in TNFα signaling. NF-κB suppression occurred through inhibition of IκBα kinase activation, IκBα phosphorylation, IκBα degradation, and NF-κB nuclear translocation. This inhibition correlated with suppression of NF-κB-dependent genes involved in antiapoptosis (mcl-1, bcl-2, bcl-xl, c-iap1, c-iap2, flip, and survivin), proliferation (c-myc, cyclin d1), and angiogenesis (vegf, cox-2, and mmp-9). In addition, digitoflavone can activate JNK through inhibition of NF-κB signaling, provide a continuous blockade of the feed-back inhibitory mechanism by JNK-induced NF-κB activation. This study found a novel function of digitoflavone and enhanced the value of digitoflavone as an anticancer agent.
The Src homology 2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP-2) has been reported to have both tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressing roles in tumorigenesis. However, the role of SHP-2 in tumor immunity remains unclear. Here we observed progressively lower levels of phosphorylated SHP-2 in tumor-associated CD4+ T cells during melanoma development in a murine model. Similarly, the levels of phosphorylated SHP-2 in the CD4+ T cells of human melanoma specimens revealed a decrease paralleling cancer development. The CD4+ T cell-specific deletion of SHP-2 promoted melanoma metastasis in mice. Furthermore, SHP-2 deficiency in CD4+ T cells resulted in the increased release of inflammatory cytokines, especially IL-6, and the enhanced accumulation of tumor-promoting myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in tumor-bearing mice. An IL-6-neutralizing antibody reduced MDSC accumulation and inhibited tumor growth in CD4+ T-cell-specific SHP-2-knockout mice. Our results suggest that SHP-2 in CD4+ T cells plays an important role in preventing melanoma progression and metastasis.
Coronary arteries bring blood flow to the heart muscle. Understanding the developmental program of the coronary arteries provides insights into the treatment of coronary artery diseases. Multiple sources have been described as contributing to coronary arteries including the proepicardium, sinus venosus (SV), and endocardium. However, the developmental origins of coronary vessels are still under intense study. We have produced a new genetic tool for studying coronary development, an AplnCreER mouse line, which expresses an inducible Cre recombinase specifically in developing coronary vessels. Quantitative analysis of coronary development and timed induction of AplnCreER fate tracing showed that the progenies of subepicardial endothelial cells (ECs) both invade the compact myocardium to form coronary arteries and remain on the surface to produce veins. We found that these subepicardial ECs are the major sources of intramyocardial coronary vessels in the developing heart. In vitro explant assays indicate that the majority of these subepicardial ECs arise from endocardium of the SV and atrium, but not from ventricular endocardium. Clonal analysis of Apln-positive cells indicates that a single subepicardial EC contributes equally to both coronary arteries and veins. Collectively, these data suggested that subepicardial ECs are the major source of intramyocardial coronary arteries in the ventricle wall, and that coronary arteries and veins have a common origin in the developing heart.
coronary artery; origin; development; subepicardial endothelial cell; angiogenesis
The purpose of the technical note is to introduce the complex coil assisted coil embolization method in the treatment of intracranial small aneurysm, in order to enhance the safety of the procedure. The first microcatheter was navigated into the aneurysm sac and the ultrasoft coil was used as the embolization coil. If the embolizations coil could not stay within the aneurysm sac smoothly, such as coil herniation into parent artery during the delivery process. The second microcatheter would be navigated to the aneurysm level in the parent artery. Another complex coil was delivered within the parent artery via the second microcatheter to provide the neck bridge effect in order to enhance the stability of embolization coil. Besides, the protection coil will not disturb the parent artery flow. While the embolization coil was put into the aneurysm sac smoothly under the help of complex protective coil, the protective coil was then withdrawn gently. We use the most magnified view, dual-plane approach simultaneously to observe the stability of embolization coil. The embolization coil would be detached without any evidence of coil motion or vibration. The new method could provide the physiological protective method, without leaving any protective device such as stent within the parent artery.
Complex coil; Aneurysm, Ruptured/therapy; Embolization, Therapeutic/methods Intracranial aneurysm