In the title molecule, C18H13Cl2F3N4O2, the intramolecular distance between the centroids of the benzene and pyridine rings is 3.953 (3) Å, and the trifluoromethyl group is rotationally disordered over two orientations in a 0.678 (19):0.322 (19) ratio. The crystal packing exhibits weak intermolecular C—H⋯F interactions.
A hybrid 3D bioprinting approach using porous microscaffolds and extrusion-based printing method is presented. Bioink constitutes of cell-laden poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) porous microspheres with thin encapsulation of agarose-collagen composite hydrogel (AC hydrogel). Highly porous microspheres enable cells to adhere and proliferate before printing. Meanwhile, AC hydrogel allows a smooth delivery of cell-laden microspheres (CLMs), with immediate gelation of construct upon printing on cold build platform. Collagen fibrils were formed in the AC hydrogel during culture at body temperature, improving the cell affinity and spreading compared to pure agarose hydrogel. Cells were proven to proliferate in the bioink and the bioprinted construct. High cell viability up to 14 days was observed. The compressive strength of the bioink is more than 100 times superior to those of pure AC hydrogel. A potential alternative in tissue engineering of tissue replacements and biological models is made possible by combining the advantages of the conventional solid scaffolds with the new 3D bioprinting technology.
Gastric cancer (GC) ranks the most common cancer types and is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death. Due to delayed diagnosis and high metastatic frequency, 5-year survival rate of GC is rather low. It is a complex disease resulting from the interaction between environmental factors and host genetic alterations that deregulate multiple signaling pathways. The Notch signaling pathway, a highly conserved system in the regulation of the fate in several cell types, plays a pivotal role in cell differentiation, survival and proliferation. Notch is also one of the most commonly activated signaling pathways in tumors and its aberrant activation plays a key role in cancer advancement. Whether Notch cascade exerts oncogenic or tumor suppressive function in different cancer types depends on the cellular context. Mammals have four NOTCH receptors that modulate Notch pathway activity. In this review, we provide a comprehensive summary on the functional role of NOTCH receptors in gastric and other gastrointestinal cancers. Increasing knowledge of NOTCH receptors in gastrointestinal cancers will help us recognize the underlying mechanisms of Notch signaling and develop novel therapeutic strategies for GC.
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Gastric cancer; Notch pathway; NOTCH receptors
Pyogenic liver abscess (PLA) is a common intra-abdominal infection in adults. In this study, we aim to explore demographic and clinical characteristics of PLA focusing on Klebsiella pneumoniae (K. pneumoniae) induced PLA (KP-PLA) in mainland China. A retrospective review of medical records from all patients with KP-PLA admitted to a tertiary teaching hospital over a 21-year period (1994–2015) was performed. Among 296 PLA cases with confirmed culture-positive data, K. pneumoniae was revealed as the predominant pathogen (n = 189, 63.9%), followed by Escherichia coli (n = 39, 13.2%). Strikingly, KP-PLA patients had a higher incidence of metabolic disorders, such as diabetes mellitus (49.7% vs. 36.4%, P = 0.027; odds ratio (OR): 1.725; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.061–2.805), hypertension (38.1% vs. 19.6%, P = 0.001; OR: 2.520; 95% CI: 1.439–4.413), and fatty liver (32.3% vs. 14.0%, P = 0.001; OR: 2.923; 95% CI: 1.564–5.462) than those with non-K. pneumoniae induced PLA (non-KP-PLA). Moreover, patients with KP-PLA had higher susceptibility to septic metastatic infection at distant sites compared to those with non-KP-PLA (10.6% vs. 3.7%, p = 0.038). Our results indicate that K. pneumoniae is the predominant pathogen of PLA in mainland China. KP-PLA is frequently diagnosed in patients with metabolic diseases and has a higher risk for septic metastatic infection.
Pardosa pseudoannulata is one of the most common wandering spiders in agricultural fields and a potentially good bioindicator for heavy metal contamination. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which spiders respond to heavy metals at the molecular level. In the present study, high-throughput transcriptome sequencing was employed to characterize the de novo transcriptome of the spiders and to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) after cadmium exposure. We obtained 60,489 assembled unigenes, 18,773 of which were annotated in the public databases. A total of 2939 and 2491 DEGs were detected between the libraries of two Cd-treated groups and the control. Functional enrichment analysis revealed that metabolism processes and digestive system function were predominately enriched in response to Cd stress. At the cellular and molecular levels, significantly enriched pathways in lysosomes and phagosomes as well as replication, recombination and repair demonstrated that oxidative damage resulted from Cd exposure. Based on the selected DEGs, certain critical genes involved in defence and detoxification were analysed. These results may elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying spiders’ responses to heavy metal stress.
P. pseudoannulata; cadmium; transcriptome; RT-qPCR
Sepsis coincides with altered gene expression in different tissues. Accumulating evidence has suggested that microRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and circular RNAs are important molecules involved in the crosstalk with various pathways pertinent to innate immunity, mitochondrial functions, and apoptosis.
We searched articles indexed in PubMed (MEDLINE), EMBASE and Europe PubMed Central databases using the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) or Title/Abstract words (“microRNA”, “long non-coding RNA”, “circular RNA”, “sepsis” and/or “septic shock”) from inception to Sep 2016. Studies investigating the role of host-derived microRNA, long non-coding RNA, and circular RNA in the pathogenesis of and as biomarkers or therapeutics in sepsis were included. Data were extracted in terms of the role of non-coding RNAs in pathogenesis, and their applicability for use as biomarkers or therapeutics in sepsis. Two independent researchers assessed the quality of studies using a modified guideline from the Systematic Review Center for Laboratory animal Experimentation (SYRCLE), a tool based on the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias tool.
Observational studies revealed dysregulation of non-coding RNAs in septic patients. Experimental studies confirmed their crosstalk with JNK/NF-κB and other cellular pathways pertinent to innate immunity, mitochondrial function, and apoptosis. Of the included studies, the SYRCLE scores ranged from 3 to 7 (average score of 4.55). This suggests a moderate risk of bias. Of the 10 articles investigating non-coding RNAs as biomarkers, none of them included a validation cohort. Selective reporting of sensitivity, specificity, and receiver operating curve was common.
Although non-coding RNAs appear to be good candidates as biomarkers and therapeutics for sepsis, their differential expression across tissues complicated the process. Further investigation on organ-specific delivery of these regulatory molecules may be useful.
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Sepsis; microRNA; lncRNA; circRNA; Biomarker; Inflammation; Shock
Knowledge of the evolution of pathogens is of great medical and biological significance to the prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of infectious diseases. In order to understand the origin and evolution of the SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus), we collected complete genome sequences of all viruses available in GenBank, and made comparative analyses with the SARS-CoV. Genomic signature analysis demonstrates that the coronaviruses all take the TGTT as their richest tetranucleotide except the SARS-CoV. A detailed analysis of the forty-two complete SARS-CoV genome sequences revealed the existence of two distinct genotypes, and showed that these isolates could be classified into four groups. Our manual analysis of the BLASTN results demonstrates that the HE (hemagglutinin-esterase) gene exists in the SARS-CoV, and many mutations made it unfamiliar to us.
SARS; SARS-CoV; motif frequency profile; genomic signature; Chaos Game Representation; PUP
Annotation of the genome sequence of the SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus) is indispensable to understand its evolution and pathogenesis. We have performed a full annotation of the SARS-CoV genome sequences by using annotation programs publicly available or developed by ourselves. Totally, 21 open reading frames (ORFs) of genes or putative uncharacterized proteins (PUPs) were predicted. Seven PUPs had not been reported previously, and two of them were predicted to contain transmembrane regions. Eight ORFs partially overlapped with or embedded into those of known genes, revealing that the SARS-CoV genome is a small and compact one with overlapped coding regions. The most striking discovery is that an ORF locates on the minus strand. We have also annotated non-coding regions and identified the transcription regulating sequences (TRS) in the intergenic regions. The analysis of TRS supports the minus strand extending transcription mechanism of coronavirus. The SNP analysis of different isolates reveals that mutations of the sequences do not affect the prediction results of ORFs.
SARS-CoV; genome annotation; transcription; ORF; PUP; TRS
The aquatic ferns of the genus Azolla are nitrogen-fixing plants that have great potentials in agricultural production and environmental conservation. Azolla in many aspects is qualified to serve as a model organism for genomic studies because of its importance in agriculture, its unique position in plant evolution, its symbiotic relationship with the N2-fixing cyanobacterium, Anabaena azollae, and its moderate-sized genome. The goals of this genome project are not only to understand the biology of the Azolla genome to promote its applications in biological research and agriculture practice but also to gain critical insights about evolution of plant genomes. Together with the strategic and technical improvement as well as cost reduction of DNA sequencing, the deciphering of their genetic code is imminent.
Azolla; nitrogen fixation; genome; model organism
We report a complete genomic sequence of rare isolates (minor genotype) of the SARS-CoV from SARS patients in Guangdong, China, where the first few cases emerged. The most striking discovery from the isolate is an extra 29-nucleotide sequence located at the nucleotide positions between 27,863 and 27,864 (referred to the complete sequence of BJ01) within an overlapped region composed of BGI-PUP5 (BGI-postulated uncharacterized protein 5) and BGI-PUP6 upstream of the N (nucleocapsid) protein. The discovery of this minor genotype, GD-Ins29, suggests a significant genetic event and differentiates it from the previously reported genotype, the dominant form among all sequenced SARS-CoV isolates. A 17-nt segment of this extra sequence is identical to a segment of the same size in two human mRNA sequences that may interfere with viral genome replication and transcription in the cytosol of the infected cells. It provides a new avenue for the exploration of the virus-host interaction in viral evolution, host pathogenesis, and vaccine development.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS); genotype; GD-Ins29
Beijing has been one of the epicenters attacked most severely by the SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus) since the first patient was diagnosed in one of the city’s hospitals. We now report complete genome sequences of the BJ Group, including four isolates (Isolates BJ01, BJ02, BJ03, and BJ04) of the SARS-CoV. It is remarkable that all members of the BJ Group share a common haplotype, consisting of seven loci that differentiate the group from other isolates published to date. Among 42 substitutions uniquely identified from the BJ group, 32 are non-synonymous changes at the amino acid level. Rooted phylogenetic trees, proposed on the basis of haplotypes and other sequence variations of SARS-CoV isolates from Canada, USA, Singapore, and China, gave rise to different paradigms but positioned the BJ Group, together with the newly discovered GD01 (GD-Ins29) in the same clade, followed by the H-U Group (from Hong Kong to USA) and the H-T Group (from Hong Kong to Toronto), leaving the SP Group (Singapore) more distant. This result appears to suggest a possible transmission path from Guangdong to Beijing/Hong Kong, then to other countries and regions.
SARS; SARS-CoV; haplotype; substitution; phylogeny
In order to develop clinical diagnostic tools for rapid detection of SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus) and to identify candidate proteins for vaccine development, the C-terminal portion of the nucleocapsid (NC) gene was amplified using RT-PCR from the SARS-CoV genome, cloned into a yeast expression vector (pEGH), and expressed as a glutathione S-transferase (GST) and Hisx6 double-tagged fusion protein under the control of an inducible promoter. Western analysis on the purified protein confirmed the expression and purification of the NC fusion proteins from yeast. To determine its antigenicity, the fusion protein was challenged with serum samples from SARS patients and normal controls. The NC fusion protein demonstrated high antigenicity with high specificity, and therefore, it should have great potential in designing clinical diagnostic tools and provide useful information for vaccine development.
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS); coronavirus; nucleocapsid protein; antigenicity; yeast expression system
Expressed Sequence Tag (EST) analysis has pioneered genome-wide gene discovery and expression profiling. In order to establish a gene expression index in the rice cultivar indica, we sequenced and analyzed 86,136 ESTs from nine rice cDNA libraries from the super hybrid cultivar LYP9 and its parental cultivars. We assembled these ESTs into 13,232 contigs and leave 8,976 singletons. Overall, 7,497 sequences were found similar to the existing sequences in GenBank and 14,711 are novel. These sequences are classified by molecular function, biological process and pathways according to the Gene Ontology. We compared our sequenced ESTs with the publicly available 95,000 ESTs from japonica, and found little sequence variation, despite the large difference between genome sequences. We then assembled the combined 173,000 rice ESTs for further analysis. Using the pooled ESTs, we compared gene expression in metabolism pathway between rice and Arabidopsis according to KEGG. We further profiled gene expression patterns in different tissues, developmental stages, and in a conditional sterile mutant, after checking the libraries are comparable by means of sequence coverage. We also identified some possible library specific genes and a number of enzymes and transcription factors that contribute to rice development.
EST; expression profile
To investigate genetic mechanisms of high altitude adaptations of native mammals on the Tibetan Plateau, we compared mitochondrial sequences of the endangered Pantholops hodgsonii with its lowland distant relatives Ovis aries and Capra hircus, as well as other mammals. The complete mitochondrial genome of P. hodgsonii (16,498 bp) revealed a similar gene order as of other mammals. Because of tandem duplications, the control region of P. hodgsonii mitochondrial genome is shorter than those of O. aries and C. hircus, but longer than those of Bos species. Phylogenetic analysis based on alignments of the entire cytochrome b genes suggested that P. hodgsonii is more closely related to O. aries and C. hircus, rather than to species of the Antilopinae subfamily. The estimated divergence time between P. hodgsonii and O. aries is about 2.25 million years ago. Further analysis on natural selection indicated that the COXI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) gene was under positive selection in P. hodgsonii and Bos grunniens. Considering the same climates and environments shared by these two mammalian species, we proposed that the mitochondrial COXI gene is probably relevant for these native mammals to adapt the high altitude environment unique to the Tibetan Plateau.
tibetan antelope; mitochondrial genome; adaptation; COXI
DNA composition dynamics across genomes of diverse taxonomy is a major subject of genome analyses. DNA composition changes are characteristics of both replication and repair machineries. We investigated 3,611,007 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) generated by comparing two sequenced rice genomes from distant inbred lines (subspecies), including those from 242,811 introns and 45,462 protein-coding sequences (CDSs). Neighboring-nucleotide effects (NNEs) of these SNPs are diverse, depending on structural content-based classifications (genome-wide, intronic, and CDS) and sequence context-based categories (A/C, A/G, A/T, C/G, C/T, and G/T substitutions) of the analyzed SNPs. Strong and evident NNEs and nucleotide proportion biases surrounding the analyzed SNPs were observed in 1−3 bp sequences on both sides of an SNP. Strong biases were observed around neighboring nucleotides of protein-coding SNPs, which exhibit a periodicity of three in nucleotide content, constrained by a combined effect of codon-related rules and DNA repair mechanisms. Unlike a previous finding in the human genome, we found negative correlation between GC contents of chromosomes and the magnitude of corresponding bias of nucleotide C at −1 site and G at +1 site. These results will further our understanding of the mutation mechanism in rice as well as its evolutionary implications.
CpG dinucleotides; methylation; SNP; transcription-coupled repair
The 2004 Southeast Asia Tsunami killed nearly 5,400 people in Southern Thailand, including foreign tourists and local residents. To recover DNA evidence as much as possible from the seriously decomposed bodies, we explored procedures of sample preparation from both bone and tooth samples as well as both mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Despite having failed to recover enough DNA for nuclear marker typing, we succeeded in obtaining fully informative results for mitochondrial markers (HV1 and HV2) from 258 tooth samples with a success rate of 51% (258/507). Using an organic DNA extraction method coupled with an ultrafiltration step, we obtained 16 STR (including 13 CODIS loci, one sex discrimination locus, and two Identifiler loci) profiles for 834 samples with a success rate of 79% (834/1,062). In addition, by comparing the allelic frequencies between the typed samples as a group and other index populations, we conclude that the Thai tsunami victims are a combined group of several populations. Our results provide valuable evidence and protocols for the future forensic practice.
DNA identification; decomposed body; tsunami victims; mitochondrial marker
Since pig is an important livestock species worldwide, its gene expression has been investigated intensively, but rarely in brain. In order to study gene expression profiles in the pig central nervous system, we sequenced and analyzed 43,122 high-quality 5’ end expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from porcine cerebellum, cortex cerebrum, and brain stem cDNA libraries, involving several different prenatal and postnatal developmental stages. The initial ESTs were assembled into 16,101 clusters and compared to protein and nucleic acid databases in GenBank. Of these sequences, 30.6% clusters matched protein databases and represented function known sequences; 75.1% had significant hits to nucleic acid databases and partial represented known function; 73.3% matched known porcine ESTs; and 21.5% had no matches to any known sequences in GenBank. We used the categories defined by the Gene Ontology to survey gene expression in the porcine brain.
pig; brain; expressed sequence tags; gene identification
Renal abscesses are relatively uncommon in children but may result in prolonged hospital stays and life-threatening events. We undertook this study to analyze the clinical spectrum of renal abscesses in children admitted to the pediatric emergency department (ED) and to find helpful clinical characteristics that can potentially aid emergency physicians for detecting renal abscesses in children earlier.
From 2004 to 2011, we retrospectively analyzed 17 patients, aged 18 years or younger, with a definite diagnosis of renal abscess admitted to the ED. The following clinical information was studied: demographics, clinical presentation, laboratory testing, microbiology, imaging studies, treatment modalities, complications, and long-term outcomes. We analyzed these variables among other potential predisposing factors.
During the 8-year study period, 17 patients (7 males and 10 females; mean age, 6.1 ± 4.5 years) were diagnosed with renal abscesses on the basis of ultrasonography and computed tomography findings. The 2 most common presenting symptoms were fever and flank pain (100% and 70.6%, respectively). All of the patients presented with leukocytosis and elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) levels. Organisms cultured from urine or from the abscess were identified in 11 (64.7%) patients, and Escherichia coli was the most common organism cultured. All patients were treated with broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics with the exception of 4 children who also required additional percutaneous drainage of the abscess.
Renal abscesses are relatively rare in children. We suggest that primary care physicians should keep this disease in mind especially when children present with triad symptoms (fever, nausea/vomiting, and flank pain), pyuria, significant leukocytosis, and elevated CRP levels. However, aggressive percutaneous drainage may not need to be routinely performed in children with renal abscesses.
Renal abscesses; Children; Emergency department
Cytosine methylation is an epigenetic and regulatory mark that functions in part through recruitment of chromatin remodeling complexes containing methyl-CpG binding domain (MBD) proteins. Two MBD proteins, Mbd2 and Mbd3, were previously shown to bind methylated or hydroxymethylated DNA, respectively; however, both of these findings have been disputed. Here, we investigated this controversy using experimental approaches and re-analysis of published data and find no evidence for methylation-independent functions of Mbd2 or Mbd3. We show that chromatin localization of Mbd2 and Mbd3 is highly overlapping and, unexpectedly, we find Mbd2 and Mbd3 are interdependent for chromatin association. Further investigation reveals that both proteins are required for normal levels of cytosine methylation and hydroxymethylation in murine embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, Mbd2 and Mbd3 regulate overlapping sets of genes that are also regulated by DNA methylation/hydroxymethylation factors. These findings reveal an interdependent regulatory mechanism mediated by the DNA methylation machinery and its readers.
DNA methylation; DNA hydroxymethylation; NuRD; chromatin; nucleosome; embryonic stem cells; Mouse
Caspase-1 is present in the cytosol as an inactive zymogen and requires the protein complexes named “inflammasomes” for proteolytic activation. However, it remains unclear whether the proteolytic activity of caspase-1 is confined only to the cytosol where inflammasomes are assembled to convert inactive pro-caspase-1 to active caspase-1.
We conducted meticulous data analysis methods on proteomic, protein interaction, protein intracellular localization, and gene expressions of 114 experimentally identified caspase-1 substrates and 38 caspase-1 interaction proteins in normal physiological conditions and in various pathologies.
We made the following important findings: (1) Caspase-1 substrates and interaction proteins are localized in various intracellular organelles including nucleus and secreted extracellularly; (2) Caspase-1 may get activated in situ in the nucleus in response to intra-nuclear danger signals; (3) Caspase-1 cleaves its substrates in exocytotic secretory pathways including exosomes to propagate inflammation to neighboring and remote cells; (4) Most of caspase-1 substrates are upregulated in coronary artery disease regardless of their subcellular localization but the majority of metabolic diseases cause no significant expression changes in caspase-1 nuclear substrates; and (5) In coronary artery disease, majority of upregulated caspase-1 extracellular substrate-related pathways are involved in induction of inflammation; and in contrast, upregulated caspase-1 nuclear substrate-related pathways are more involved in regulating cell death and chromatin regulation.
Our identification of novel caspase-1 trafficking sites, nuclear and extracellular inflammasomes, and extracellular caspase-1-based inflammation propagation model provides a list of targets for the future development of new therapeutics to treat cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, and inflammatory cancers.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13045-016-0351-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Caspase-1; Trafficking; Nuclear gene regulation; Inflammation propagation; Exosome
Although pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is considered a rapidly progressive disease, mathematical models estimate that it takes many years for an initiating pancreatic cancer cell to grow into an advanced stage cancer. In order to estimate the time it takes for a pancreatic cancer to progress through different tumor, node, metastasis (TNM) stages, we compared the mean age of patients with pancreatic cancers of different sizes and stages.
Patient age, tumour size, stage and demographic information were analysed for 13 131 patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma entered into the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database. Multiple linear regression models for age were generated, adjusting for patient ethnicity, gender, tumour location and neoplastic grades.
African-American ethnicity and male gender were associated with an earlier age at diagnosis. Patients with stage I cancers (mean age 64.8 years) were on average 1.3 adjusted years younger at diagnosis than those with stage IV cancers (p=0.001). Among patients without distant metastases, those with T1 stage cancers were on average 1.06 and 1.19 adjusted years younger, respectively, than patients with T3 or T4 cancers (p=0.03 for both). Among patients with stage IIB cancers, those with T1/T2 cancers were 0.79 adjusted years younger than those with T3 cancers (p=0.06). There was no significant difference in the mean adjusted age of patients with stage IA versus stage IB cancers.
These results are consistent with the hypothesis that once pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas become detectable clinically progression from low-stage to advanced-stage disease is rapid.