Most biological nitrogen fixation is catalyzed by molybdenum-dependent nitrogenase, an enzyme complex comprising two component proteins that contains three different metalloclusters. Diazotrophs contain a common core of nitrogen fixation nif genes that encode the structural subunits of the enzyme and components required to synthesize the metalloclusters. However, the complement of nif genes required to enable diazotrophic growth varies significantly amongst nitrogen fixing bacteria and archaea. In this study, we identified a minimal nif gene cluster consisting of nine nif genes in the genome of Paenibacillus sp. WLY78, a gram-positive, facultative anaerobe isolated from the rhizosphere of bamboo. We demonstrate that the nif genes in this organism are organized as an operon comprising nifB, nifH, nifD, nifK, nifE, nifN, nifX, hesA and nifV and that the nif cluster is under the control of a σ70 (σA)-dependent promoter located upstream of nifB. To investigate genetic requirements for diazotrophy, we transferred the Paenibacillus nif cluster to Escherichia coli. The minimal nif gene cluster enables synthesis of catalytically active nitrogenase in this host, when expressed either from the native nifB promoter or from the T7 promoter. Deletion analysis indicates that in addition to the core nif genes, hesA plays an important role in nitrogen fixation and is responsive to the availability of molybdenum. Whereas nif transcription in Paenibacillus is regulated in response to nitrogen availability and by the external oxygen concentration, transcription from the nifB promoter is constitutive in E. coli, indicating that negative regulation of nif transcription is bypassed in the heterologous host. This study demonstrates the potential for engineering nitrogen fixation in a non-nitrogen fixing organism with a minimum set of nine nif genes.
Biological nitrogen fixation plays an essential role in the nitrogen cycle, sustaining agricultural productivity by providing a source of fixed nitrogen for plants and ultimately animals. The enzyme nitrogenase that catalyses the reduction of atmospheric dinitrogen to ammonia contains one of the most complex heterometal cofactors found in biology. Biosynthesis of nitrogenase and provision of support for its activity requires a large number of nitrogen fixation (nif) genes, which vary according to the physiological lifestyle of the host organism. In this study, we identified a nif cluster with reduced genetic complexity, consisting of nine genes organized as a single operon in the genome of Paenibacillus sp. WLY78. When transferred to Escherichia coli, the Paenibacllus nif cluster enables synthesis of catalytically active nitrogenase, which is competent to reduce both acetylene and dinitrogen as substrates of the enzyme. Environmental regulation of nif gene expression in Paenibacillus, in response to either oxygen or fixed nitrogen, is circumvented when the nif operon is expressed from its native promoter in E. coli, suggesting that nif transcription in Paenibacillus is negatively regulated in response to these effectors.
Here we report the theory and experimental study of the steady-state voltammetric behavior of a microelectrode used as a limiting pole in a closed bipolar electrochemical cell. We show that the steady-state voltammetric response of a microelectrode used in a closed bipolar cell can be quantitatively understood by considering the responses of both poles in their respective conventional two-electrode setups. In comparison to a conventional electrochemical cell the voltammetric response of the bipolar cell has a similar sigmoidal shape and limiting current, however, the response is often slower than that of the typical two-electrode setup. This leads to a broader voltammogram and a decreased wave slope which can be somewhat misleading and appear that the process being studied is irreversible when it instead can be a result of the coupling of two reversible processes. We show that a large limiting current on the excess pole would facilitate the observation of a faster voltammetric response and both redox concentration and electrode area of the excess pole affect the wave shape. Both factors should be maximized in electroanalytical experiments in order to obtain fast voltammetric responses on the main electrode of interest and to detect quick changes in analyte concentrations.
The ability of Azotobacter vinelandii
NifIscA to bind Fe has been investigated to assess the role of Fe-bound forms in NIF-specific Fe-S cluster biogenesis. NifIscA is shown to bind one Fe(III) or one Fe(II) per homodimer and the spectroscopic and redox properties of both the Fe(III)- and Fe(II)-bound forms have been characterized using the UV-visible absorption, CD and VTMCD, EPR, Mössbauer and resonance Raman spectroscopies. The results reveal a rhombic intermediate-spin (S = 3/2) Fe(III) center (E/D = 0.33, D = 3.5 ± 1.5cm−1) that is most likely 5-coordinate with two or three cysteinate ligands and a rhombic high spin (S = 2) Fe(II) center (E/D = 0.28, D = 7.6 cm−1) with properties similar to reduced rubredoxins or rubredoxin variants with three cysteinate and one or two oxygenic ligands. Iron-bound NifIscA undergoes reversible redox cycling between the Fe(III)/Fe(II) forms with a midpoint potential of +36 ±15 mV at pH 7.8 (versus NHE). L-cysteine is effective in mediating release of free Fe(II) from both the Fe(II)- and Fe(III)-bound forms of NifIscA. Fe(III)-bound NifIscA was also shown to a competent iron source for in vitro NifS-mediated [2Fe-2S] cluster assembly on the N-terminal domain of NifU, but the reaction occurs via cysteine-mediated release of free Fe(II) rather than direct iron transfer. The proposed roles of A-type proteins in storing Fe under aerobic growth conditions and serving as iron donors for cluster assembly on U-type scaffold proteins or maturation of biological [4Fe-4S] centers are discussed in light of these results.
The mechanism of [4Fe-4S] cluster assembly on A-type Fe-S cluster assembly proteins, in general, and the specific role of NifIscA in the maturation of nitrogen fixation proteins are currently unknown. To address these questions, in vitro spectroscopic studies (UV–visible absorption/CD, resonance Raman and Mössbauer) have been used to investigate the mechanism of [4Fe-4S] cluster assembly on Azotobacter vinelandii
NifIscA, and the ability of NifIscA to accept clusters from NifU and to donate clusters to the apo form of the nitrogenase Fe-protein. The results show that NifIscA can rapidly and reversibly cycle between forms containing one [2Fe-2S]2+ and one [4Fe-4S]2+ cluster per homodimer via DTT-induced two-electron reductive coupling of two [2Fe-2S]2+ clusters and O2-induced [4Fe-4S]2+ oxidative cleavage. This unique type of cluster interconversion in response to cellular redox status and oxygen levels is likely to be important for the specific role of A-type proteins in the maturation of [4Fe-4S] cluster-containing proteins under aerobic growth or oxidative stress conditions. Only the [4Fe-4S]2+-NifIscA was competent for rapid activation of apo-nitrogenase Fe protein under anaerobic conditions. Apo-NifIscA was shown to accept clusters from [4Fe-4S] cluster-bound NifU via rapid intact cluster transfer, indicating a potential role as a cluster carrier for delivery of clusters assembled on NifU. Overall the results support the proposal that A-type proteins can function as carrier proteins for clusters assembled on U-type proteins and suggest that they are likely to supply [2Fe-2S] clusters rather than [4Fe-4S] for the maturation of [4Fe-4S] cluster-containing proteins under aerobic or oxidative stress growth conditions.
Tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) has been demonstrated to induce cell apoptosis in many types of tumors, while many hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells display high resistance to TRAIL. Another outstanding limitation of TRAIL is the short half-life in vivo. Stem cell-based therapies provide a promising approach for the treatment of many types of tumors because of the ability of tropism. Therefore, as a new therapeutic strategy, the combination of chemotherapeutic agents and TRAIL gene modified MSCs (TRAIL-MSCs) would improve the therapeutic efficacy of HCC in vivo. This is the first time to show the potential of combination of chemotherapeutic agents and MSCs as a gene vector in the therapy of HCC.
TRAIL; bioluminescence imaging; cisplatin; hepatocellular carcinoma; lentiviral; mesenchymal stem cells; synergistic effect
Active P-glycoprotein (P-gp) molecules have been shown to transport steroids out of peripheral lymphocytes, resulting in poor responses to systemic steroid therapy in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). This study was carried out to investigate the correlation between the expression or activity of P-gp in peripheral lymphocytes and disease control in SLE patients with a long history of systemic steroid treatment. A total of 60 SLE patients who had received systemic steroid treatment for longer than 6 months and 30 healthy subjects were monitored. SLE patients were subclassified into those with active and severely active forms of the disease according to their disease activity (estimated by SLEDAI-2000). The expression levels and activity of P-gp in peripheral blood lymphocytes were determined. Lymphocytes, obtained from three patients with severely active SLE, with high levels of P-gp expression were treated with cyclophosphamide, mycophenolic acid or emodin in vitro and Rh123-efflux activity was measured. P-gp expression in the peripheral lymphocytes of the SLE patients was significantly higher compared with that of the healthy controls, and a positive correlation between disease activity and P-gp expression levels was observed in these 60 patients. A significant increase in P-gp expression was observed in the severely active compared with the active SLE group. Treatment of lymphocytes with 100 μM cyclophosphamide or 100 μM emodin in vitro induced up to a 2-fold increase in the mean fluorescence intensity, as detected by the Rh123-efflux assay. In conclusion, the high expression levels of P-gp in the peripheral lymphocytes of SLE patients leads to poor disease control by systemic steroids. Emodin, an active ingredient derived from Chinese herbs, possesses a promising effect for overcoming P-gp-mediated steroid resistance by inhibiting the P-gp efflux function.
P-glycoprotein; disease control; systemic lupus erythematosus disease activity index
This study investigated the expression and clinicopathological significance of CD9 in gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST). Immunohistochemistry staining for CD9 was performed on tumor tissues from 74 GIST patients. The correlation with clinicopathological features, risk classification and prognosis was analyzed. CD9-positive staining comprised 59.5% (44/74) of the GIST patients. The CD9-positive expression rate of the sample was significantly associated with diameter (P = 0.028), mitotic counts (P = 0.035), risk classification (P = 0.018) and three-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) (P < 0.001). Cox proportional hazards regression (HR = 0.352; P = 0.015) showed that CD9 is an independent factor for post-operative RFS. The subgroup analysis showed that CD9 expression in gastric stromal tumor (GST) is significantly associated with diameter (P = 0.031), risk classification (P = 0.023) and three-year RFS (P = 0.001). The Cox proportional hazards regression (HR = 0.104; P = 0.006) also showed that CD9 is an independent factor for RFS of GST. However, CD9 expression does not have a statistically significant correlation with clinicopathological features, risk classification, and prognosis in non-GST. In conclusion, CD9 expression in GIST appears to be associated with the recurrence and/or metastasis of GIST patients, especially in GST, which may indicate the important role of CD9 in the malignant biological behavior and prognosis of GST.
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors; Gastric Stromal Tumor; CD9; Immunohistochemistry; Prognosis
Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that causes the most prevalent viral encephalitis in Asia. The NS5 protein of JEV is a key component of the viral replicase complex, which plays a crucial role in viral pathogenesis. In this study, tandem affinity purification (TAP) followed by mass spectrometry analysis was performed to identify novel host proteins that interact with NS5. Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), eukaryotic elongation factor 1-alpha (eEF-1α) and ras-related nuclear protein (Ran) were demonstrated to interact with NS5. In addition to NS5, Hsp70 was also found to interact with NS3 which is another important member of the replicase complex. It was observed that the cytoplasmic Hsp70 partially colocalizes with the components of viral replicase complex including NS3, NS5 and viral dsRNA during JEV infection. Knockdown of Hsp70 resulted in a significantly reduced JEV genome replication. Further analysis reveals that Hsp70 enhances the stability of viral proteins in JEV replicase complex. These results suggest an important role for Hsp70 in regulating JEV replication, which provides a potential target for the development of anti-JEV therapies.
It was reported that expansive pedicle screw (EPS) and polymethylmethacrylate-augmented pedicle screw (PMMA-PS) could be used to increase screw stability in osteoporosis. However, there are no studies comparing the two kinds of screws in vivo. Thus, we aimed to compare biomechanical and interfacial performances of EPS and PMMA-PS in osteoporotic sheep spine.
After successful induction of osteoporotic sheep, lumbar vertebrae in each sheep were randomly divided into three groups. The conventional pedicle screw (CPS) was inserted directly into vertebrae in CPS group; PMMA was injected prior to insertion of CPS in PMMA-PS group; and the EPS was inserted in EPS group. Sheep were killed and biomechanical tests, micro-CT analysis and histological observation were performed at both 6 and 12 weeks post-operation. At 6-week and 12-week, screw stabilities in EPS and PMMA-PS groups were significantly higher than that in CPS group, but there were no significant differences between EPS and PMMA-PS groups at two study periods. The screw stability in EPS group at 12-week was significantly higher than that at 6-week. The bone trabeculae around the expanding anterior part of EPS were more and denser than that in CPS group at 6-week and 12-week. PMMA was found without any degradation and absorption forming non-biological “screw-PMMA-bone” interface in PMMA-PS group, however, more and more bone trabeculae surrounded anterior part of EPS improving local bone quality and formed biological “screw-bone” interface.
EPS can markedly enhance screw stability with a similar effect to the traditional method of screw augmentation with PMMA in initial surgery in osteoporosis. EPS can form better biological interface between screw and bone than PMMA-PS. In addition, EPS have no risk of thermal injury, leakage and compression caused by PMMA. We propose EPS has a great application potential in augmentation of screw stability in osteoporosis in clinic.
While the experimental Alzheimer's drugs recently developed by pharmaceutical companies failed to stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease, clinicians strive to seek clues on how the patients would be when they visit back next year, based upon the patients' current clinical and neuropathologic diagnosis results. This is related to how to precisely identify the transitional patterns of Alzheimer's disease. Due to the complexities of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, the condition of the disease is usually characterized by multiple clinical and neuropathologic measurements, including Clinical Dementia Rating (CDRGLOB), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), a score derived from the clinician judgement on neuropsychological tests (COGSTAT), and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ). In this research article, we investigate a class of novel joint random-effects transition models that are used to simultaneously analyze the transitional patterns of multiple primary measurements of Alzheimer's disease and, at the same time, account for the association between the measurements. The proposed methodology can avoid the bias introduced by ignoring the correlation between primary measurements and can predict subject-specific transitional patterns.
Prostate cancer (PCa) remains as one of the most common cause of cancer related death among men in the US. The widely used prostate specific antigen (PSA) screening is limited by low specificity. The diagnostic value of other biomarkers such as RAS association domain family protein 1 A (RASSF1A) promoter methylation in prostate cancer and the relationship between RASSF1A methylation and pathological features or tumor stage remains to be established. Therefore, a meta-analysis of published studies was performed to understand the association between RASSF1A methylation and prostate cancer. In total, 16 studies involving 1431 cases and 565 controls were pooled with a random effect model in this investigation. The odds ratio (OR) of RASSF1A methylation in PCa case, compared to controls, was 14.73 with 95% CI = 7.58–28.61. Stratified analyses consistently showed a similar risk across different sample types and, methylation detection methods. In addition, RASSF1A methylation was associated with high Gleason score OR=2.35, 95% CI: 1.56–3.53. Furthermore, the pooled specificity for all included studies was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.72–0.94), and the pooled sensitivity was 0.76 (95% CI: 0.55–0.89). The specificity in each subgroup stratified by sample type remained above 0.84 and the sensitivity also remained above 0.60. These results suggested that RASSF1A promoter methylation would be a potential biomarker in PCa diagnosis and therapy.
Background and Objective
The Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway is essential for controlling bone mass; however, little is known about the variable effects of the constitutive activation of β-catenin (CA-β-catenin) on bone growth and remodeling at different postnatal stages. The goal of the present study was to observe the effects of CA-β-catenin on vertebral bone growth and remodeling in mice at different postnatal stages. In particular, special attention was paid to whether CA-β-catenin has detrimental effects on these processes.
Catnblox(ex 3) mice were crossed with mice expressing the TM-inducible Cre fusion protein, which could be activated at designated time points via injection of tamoxifen. β-catenin was stabilized by tamoxifen injection 3 days, and 2, 4, 5, and 7 months after birth, and the effects lasted for one month. Radiographic imaging, micro-computed tomography, immunohistochemistry, and safranin O and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining were employed to observe the effects of CA-β-catenin on vertebral bone growth and remodeling.
CA-β-catenin in both early (3 days after birth) and late stages (2, 4, 5, and 7 months after birth) increased bone formation and decreased bone resorption, which together increased vertebral bone volume. However, when β-catenin was stabilized in the early stage, vertebral linear growth was retarded, and the mice demonstrated shorter statures. In addition, the newly formed bone was mainly immature and located close to the growth plate. In contrast, when β-catenin was stabilized in the late stage, vertebral linear growth was unaffected, and the newly formed bone was mainly mature and evenly distributed throughout the vertebral body.
CA-β-catenin in both early and late stages of growth can increase vertebral bone volume, but β-catenin has differential effects on vertebral growth and remodeling when activated at different postnatal stages.
Aggregation of tau protein in the brain is associated with a class of neurodegenerative diseases known as tauopathies. FK506 binding protein 51 kDa (FKBP51, encoded by FKBP5) forms a mature chaperone complex with Hsp90 that prevents tau degradation. In this study, we have shown that tau levels are reduced throughout the brains of Fkbp5–/– mice. Recombinant FKBP51 and Hsp90 synergized to block tau clearance through the proteasome, resulting in tau oligomerization. Overexpression of FKBP51 in a tau transgenic mouse model revealed that FKBP51 preserved the species of tau that have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis, blocked amyloid formation, and decreased tangle load in the brain. Alterations in tau turnover and aggregate structure corresponded with enhanced neurotoxicity in mice. In human brains, FKBP51 levels increased relative to age and AD, corresponding with demethylation of the regulatory regions in the FKBP5 gene. We also found that higher FKBP51 levels were associated with AD progression. Our data support a model in which age-associated increases in FKBP51 levels and its interaction with Hsp90 promote neurotoxic tau accumulation. Strategies aimed at attenuating FKBP51 levels or its interaction with Hsp90 have the potential to be therapeutically relevant for AD and other tauopathies.
Formation of a bipolar spindle is indispensable for faithful chromosome segregation and cell division. Spindle integrity is largely dependent on the centrosome and the microtubule network. Centrosome protein Cep57 can bundle microtubules in mammalian cells. Its related protein (Cep57R) in Xenopus was characterized as a stabilization factor for microtubule-kinetochore attachment. Here we show that Cep57 is a pericentriolar material (PCM) component. Its interaction with NEDD1 is necessary for the centrosome localization of Cep57. Depletion of Cep57 leads to unaligned chromosomes and a multipolar spindle, which is induced by PCM fragmentation. In the absence of Cep57, centrosome microtubule array assembly activity is weakened, and the spindle length and microtubule density decrease. As a spindle microtubule-binding protein, Cep57 is also responsible for the proper organization of the spindle microtubule and localization of spindle pole focusing proteins. Collectively, these results suggest that Cep57, as a NEDD1-binding centrosome component, could function as a spindle pole- and microtubule-stabilizing factor for establishing robust spindle architecture.
Cep57; centrosome; spindle; cell cycle
Major volatiles from young and mature leaves of different citrus types were analyzed by headspace-solid phase microextraction (HS-SPME)-GC-MS. A total of 123 components were identified form nine citrus cultivars, including nine aldehydes, 19 monoterpene hydrocarbons, 27 oxygenated monoterpenes, 43 sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, eight oxygenated sesquiterpenes, two ketones, six esters and nine miscellaneous. Young leaves produced higher amounts of volatiles than mature leaves in most cultivars. The percentage of aldehyde and monoterpene hydrocarbons increased, whilst oxygenated monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes compounds decreased during leaf development. Linalool was the most abundant compound in young leaves, whereas limonene was the chief component in mature ones. Notably, linalool content decreased, while limonene increased, during leaf development in most cultivars. Leaf volatiles were also affected by genetic types. A most abundant volatile in one or several genotypes can be absent in another one(s), such as limonene in young leaves of lemon vs. Satsuma mandarin and β-terpinene in mature leaves of three genotypes vs. the other four. Compositional data was subjected to multivariate statistical analysis, and variations in leaf volatiles were identified and clustered into six groups. This research determining the relationship between production of major volatiles from different citrus varieties and leaf stages could be of use for industrial and culinary purposes.
volatiles; young leaf; mature leaf; citrus types; GC-MS
Tau aggregation and amyloidogenesis are common hallmarks for neurodegenerative disorders called tauopathies. The molecular chaperone network constitutes the cellular defense against insults such as tau aggregation. However, chaperone effects on tau are dichotomous. Loss of tau’s microtubule-binding activity facilitates an inappropriate chaperone interaction that promotes an amyloidogenic tau conformation. Conversely, other chaperones are capable of promoting tau clearance. Here, we demonstrate that a critical contributor to tau triage is the DnaJ-binding domain of Hsp70 proteins. In particular, over-expression of the constitutive DnaJ, DnaJA1, mediated tau clearance, while knockdown facilitated tau accumulation. This clearance was not specific to distinct pathogenic tau species. The activity of DnaJA1 was attenuated by concomitant increases in Hsp70. Tau reductions facilitated by DnaJA1 were dependent on the integrity of lysines known to be poly-ubiquitinated in human Alzheimer’s brain. In vivo, DnaJA1 and tau levels were inversely correlated. The effects of DnaJA1 were partially specific: DnaJA1 reduced the levels of a polyQ protein but had no significant effect on α-synuclein levels.
These data suggest that DnaJA1 triages all tau species for ubiquitin-dependent clearance mechanisms. Moreover, the levels of DnaJA1 and Hsp70 seem to play against each other with regard to tau: as DnaJA1 levels increase, tau levels are reduced, but this can be prevented if Hsp70 levels are simultaneously induced. Thus, the DnaJ repertoire possibly represents a powerful set of genetic modifiers for tau pathogenesis. Further investigations, could provide new insights about triage decisions that facilitate or prevent amyloidogenesis of tau and other proteins associated with neurodegenerative disease.
Substantial evidence has supported that moxibustion stimulates a unique phenomenon of Deqi, heat-sensitive moxibustion sensation. This study consisted of a multicenter, prospective cohort study with two parallel arms (A: heat-sensitive moxibustion sensation group; B: nonheat-sensitive moxibustion sensation group). All forms of moxibustion were applied unilaterally on the right leg with a triangle shape of three acupuncture points simultaneously (bilateral Xi Yan (EX-LE5) and He Ding (EX-LE2)). After one month the primary outcome parameter GPCRND-KOA showed significant differences between groups: trial group 5.23 ± 2.65 (adjusted mean ± SE) 95% CI [4.44~6.01] versus control group 7.43 ± 2.80 [6.59~8.26], P = 0.0001. Significant differences were manifested in total M-JOA score during the follow-up period (P = 0.0006). Mean knee circumference indicated significant difference between the groups (P = 0.03; P = 0.007). Overall, this evidence suggested that the effectiveness of the Deqi sensation group might be more superior than the non-Deqi sensation one in the treatment of KOA. This study was aimed at providing scientific evidence on the Deqi sensation of moxibustion and at showing that heat-sensitive moxibustion sensation is essential to achieve the preferable treatment effects of KOA.
Schistosoma japonicum is a parasitic flatworm that causes human schistosomiasis, a significant cause of morbidity in China and the Philippines. Here we present a draft genomic sequence for the worm, which is the first reported for any flatworm, indeed for the superphylum Lophotrochozoa. The genome provides a global insight into the molecular architecture and host interaction of this complex metazoan pathogen, revealing that it can exploit host nutrients, neuroendocrine hormones and signaling pathways for growth, development and maturation. Having a complex nervous system and a well developed sensory system, S. japonicum can accept stimulation of the corresponding ligands as a physiological response to different environments, such as fresh water or the tissues of its intermediate and mammalian hosts. Numerous proteinases, including cercarial elastase, are implicated in mammalian skin penetration and haemoglobin degradation. The genomic information will serve as a valuable platform to facilitate development of new interventions for schistosomiasis control.
Microvessel density (MVD) as an angiogenesis predictor is inefficient per se in cancer prognosis. We evaluated prognostic values of combining intratumoral alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA)-positive stromal cell density and MVD after curative resection in hypervascular hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and hypovascular pancreatic cancer (PC). Tissue microarrays were constructed from tumors of 305 HCC and 57 PC patients who underwent curative resection and analyzed for α-SMA and CD34 expression by immunostaining. Prognostic values of these two proteins and other clinicopathological features were examined. Both low α-SMA density and high MVD-CD34 were associated in HCC with the presence of intrahepatic metastasis and microvascular invasion, and they were related to lymph node involvement and microvascular invasion in PC (p<0.05). Although CD34 alone, but not α-SMA, was an independent prognostic factor for overall survival and recurrence-free survival, the combination of low α-SMA and high CD34 was a predictor of worst prognosis for both types of tumors and had a better power to predict patient death and early recurrence (p<0.01). Furthermore, the results show that distribution of most of the α-SMA-positive cells and vascular endothelial cells overlap, showing major colocalization on vascular walls. Poor microvessel integrity, as indicated by high MVD, together with low perivascular α-SMA-positive cell coverage is associated with early recurrence, unfavorable metastasis, and short survival after tumor resection. This finding highlights the significance of vascular quality in tumor progression, which provides an optimized complement to vascular quantity in prognosis of postoperative patients.
Dengue virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes and infects at least 100 million people every year. Progressive urbanization in Asia and South-Central America and the geographic expansion of Aedes mosquito habitats have accelerated the global spread of dengue, resulting in a continuously increasing number of cases. A cost-effective, safe vaccine conferring protection with ideally a single injection could stop dengue transmission. Current vaccine candidates require several booster injections or do not provide protection against all four serotypes. Here we demonstrate that dengue virus mutants lacking 2′-O-methyltransferase activity are highly sensitive to type I IFN inhibition. The mutant viruses are attenuated in mice and rhesus monkeys and elicit a strong adaptive immune response. Monkeys immunized with a single dose of 2′-O-methyltransferase mutant virus showed 100% sero-conversion even when a dose as low as 1,000 plaque forming units was administrated. Animals were fully protected against a homologous challenge. Furthermore, mosquitoes feeding on blood containing the mutant virus were not infected, whereas those feeding on blood containing wild-type virus were infected and thus able to transmit it. These results show the potential of 2′-O-methyltransferase mutant virus as a safe, rationally designed dengue vaccine that restrains itself due to the increased susceptibility to the host's innate immune response.
The four serotypes of dengue virus cause severe outbreaks globally in tropical countries with thousands of patients requiring hospitalization. The health care and indirect economic cost of dengue in endemic countries is huge. Despite this, no clinically approved vaccine or antiviral treatment is currently available. Dengue transmission could be stopped with a vaccine that provides full protection to all serotypes. Dengue afflicts many developing countries and a vaccine should therefore be cost-effective and should provide protection with ideally a single injection. Here we present a novel dengue vaccine approach that harbours mutation(s) in the 2′-O-methyltransferase (MTase), a viral enzyme that methylates viral RNA as a strategy to escape the host immune response. Non-methylated RNA is recognized as “foreign” and triggers an interferon response in the cell. The MTase mutant virus is immediately recognized by the host's immune response and hardly has a chance to spread in the organism while an immune response is efficiently triggered by the initially infected cells. Mice and monkeys infected with the mutant virus developed an immune response that fully protected them from a challenge with wild-type virus. Furthermore, we show that MTase mutant dengue virus cannot infect Aedes mosquitoes. Collectively, the results suggest 2′-O-MTase mutant dengue virus as a safe, highly immunogenic vaccine approach.
Although several large studies showed roflumilast (Rof) has demonstrated efficacy in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the efficacy of Rof in dyspnea remains unclear. We therefore undertook a meta-analysis to assess the efficacy of Rof in dyspnea for COPD patients.
A computerized search through electronic databases was performed to obtain randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Dyspnea was assessed by the transition dyspnea index (TDI) and the UCSD Shortness of Breath Questionnaire (SOBQ). The quality of the included studies was assessed by the Jadad score. Weighted mean differences (WMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated and heterogeneity was assessed with the I2 test. The effect sizes were compared with the minimum clinically important difference (MCID).
Four RCTs involving 4,767 patients with forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) <80% predicted met the inclusion criteria. The Jadad score of each study was 5 scores. Rof statistically improved the TDI focal score (WMD =0.30 units; 95% CI: 0.14-0.46), but failed to decrease the SOBQ (WMD =–1.10 units; 95% CI: –4.24 to 2.04). The overall effect sizes were lower than the MCID of the TDI and the SOBQ, respectively.
Sufficient evidence to support Rof relieving dyspnea in COPD patients is currently lacking. Further studies are needed to investigate the effects of Rof in dyspnea, especially for COPD patients with a different phenotype.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); roflumilast (Rof); dyspnea; meta-analysis
High-throughput screening for interactions of peptides with a variety of antibody targets could greatly facilitate proteomic analysis for epitope mapping, enzyme profiling, drug discovery and biomarker identification. Peptide microarrays are suited for such undertaking because of their high-throughput capability. However, existing peptide microarrays lack the sensitivity needed for detecting low abundance proteins or low affinity peptide-protein interactions. This work presents a new peptide microarray platform constructed on nanostructured plasmonic gold substrates capable of metal enhanced NIR fluorescence enhancement (NIR-FE) by hundreds of folds for screening peptide-antibody interactions with ultrahigh sensitivity. Further, an integrated histone peptide and whole antigen array is developed on the same plasmonic gold chip for profiling human antibodies in the sera of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, revealing that collectively a panel of biomarkers against unmodified and post-translationally modified histone peptides and several whole antigens allow more accurate differentiation of SLE patients from healthy individuals than profiling biomarkers against peptides or whole antigens alone.
Moxibustion stimulates the Deqi (Qi arrival) phenomenon. Many clinical observations have documented that the character of the Deqi was a composite heat-sensitive moxibustion sensation. In this prospective multicentre comparative observational nonrandomized study, 92 patients with moderate to severe LDH were included. This study consisted of two parallel arms (A: heat-sensitive moxibustion sensation group; B: nonheat-sensitive moxibustion sensation group). Moxibustion was applied in the following three acupuncture points simultaneously: Da Changshu (BL25), Wei Zhong (BL40), and A-Shi acupuncture point (tenderness). The adjusted mean total Modified-JOA score showed significant differences between the groups in the first week (10.32 ± 4.27 95% CI [9.23 ~ 11.40] versus control group 12.42 ± 5.02 [11.62 ~ 13.69], P = 0.03). The outcome in the second week also presented significant differences in both groups (7.62 ± 4.80 [6.46 ~ 8.77] versus 10.56 ± 4.75 [9.35 ~ 11.76], P = 0.005). Significant differences were also manifested in the follow-up period (P = 0.007). It can be inferred that the existence of the Deqi (heat-sensitive moxibustion sensation) phenomenon in the process of suspended moxibustion is closely related to the curative effect, and arrival of heat-sensitive moxibustion sensation could improve the clinical curative effect of moxibustion.
Conventional crystalline β-MnO2 usually exhibits poor electrochemical activities due to the narrow tunnels in its rutile-type structure. In this study, we synthesized a novel 2D β-MnO2 network with long-range order assembled by β-MnO2 nanowires and demonstrated that the novel 2D β-MnO2 network exhibits enhanced electrochemical performances. The 2D network is interwoven by crossed uniform β-MnO2 nanowires and the angle between the adjacent nanowires is about 60°. Such a novel structure makes efficient contact of β-MnO2 with electrolyte during the electrochemical process, decreases the polarization of the electrode and thus increases the discharge capacity and high-rate capability. The specific capacitance of the obtained 2D β-MnO2 network is 453.0 F/g at a current density of 0.5 A/g.