A series of lobelane analogues has been synthesized and their structure–activity relationships at the vesicular monoamine transporter-2 (VMAT2) have been evaluated. The most potent analogues in this series were the cis-2,6-piperidino analogues, 25b, 27b, 28b, and 30b, with Ki values ranging from 430 to 580 nM.
Lobeline; Methamphetamine; Vesicular monoamine transporter; Structure–activity relationships
Current efforts in systems genetics have focused on the development of statistical approaches that aim to disentangle causal relationships among molecular phenotypes in segregating populations. Reverse engineering of transcriptional networks plays a key role in the understanding of gene regulation. However, transcriptional regulation is only one possible mechanism, as methylation, phosphorylation, direct protein–protein interaction, transcription factor binding, etc., can also contribute to gene regulation. These additional modes of regulation can be interpreted as unobserved variables in the transcriptional gene network and can potentially affect its reconstruction accuracy. We develop tests of causal direction for a pair of phenotypes that may be embedded in a more complicated but unobserved network by extending Vuong’s selection tests for misspecified models. Our tests provide a significance level, which is unavailable for the widely used AIC and BIC criteria. We evaluate the performance of our tests against the AIC, BIC, and a recently published causality inference test in simulation studies. We compare the precision of causal calls using biologically validated causal relationships extracted from a database of 247 knockout experiments in yeast. Our model selection tests are more precise, showing greatly reduced false-positive rates compared to the alternative approaches. In practice, this is a useful feature since follow-up studies tend to be time consuming and expensive and, hence, it is important for the experimentalist to have causal predictions with low false-positive rates.
causality; model selection; hypothesis tests; systems genetics; quantitative trait loci
Previous reports on the prevalence of neural tube defects (NTDs) in China did not include cases of NTDs that were less than 28 weeks of gestational age (GA) and hence did not accurately reflect the total prevalence of NTDs or the geographic and urban–rural disparities in their prevalence. This article includes cases of NTDs that were less than 28 weeks of GA.
Data used in this study were collected from 2006 to 2008 using a nationwide hospital-based registry, the Chinese Birth Defects Monitoring Network. The total prevalence ratio (PR) of NTDs and their subtypes, the ratios of PR (PRR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to analyse geographic disparities at both the regional (north, south) and provincial levels and to analyse disparities between rural and urban areas.
Overall, the total PR of NTDs was 14.0 per 10,000 births. The PRR of NTDs of rural women between the north and south region was 2.26 (95% CI: 2.04-2.52), which was much higher than that of urban women (PRR: 1.56, 95% CI: 1.41-1.72). The three subtypes of NTDs had different geographic distribution at the level of province. The urban–rural PRR of NTDs was 2.14 (95% CI: 1.94-2.34) in the north but only 1.47 (95% CI: 1.31-1.66) in the south.
There is a high total prevalence of NTDs, which remains one of the major public health concerns in China. Eliminating the geographic and urban–rural disparities in the disease burden is a priority for future intervention.
Neural tube defects; Prevalence ratio; Geographic disparity; Urban–rural disparity
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a heterogeneous family of myeloid cells that suppress T cell immunity in tumor-bearing hosts. In patients with colon cancer, MDSCs have recently been described as Lin−/lowHLA-DR−CD11b+CD33+ cells correlating with cancer stage, metastasis and chemotherapy response. To learn in more detail the dynamic change and clinical relevance of circulating and tumor-infiltrating Lin−/lowHLA-DR−CD11b+CD33+ MDSC in colorectal cancer, we harvested the blood from 64 patients with varying stage of colorectal cancer and tumor and matched paraneoplastic tissues from 5 patients with advanced colorectal cancer, subjected them to multicolor flow cytometric analysis of percentage, absolute number and phenotype of MDSC and finally characterized their immunosuppressive functions. Our results demonstrate that peripheral blood from colorectal cancer patients contains markedly increased percentage and absolute number of Lin−/lowHLA-DR−CD11b+CD33+ MDSCs compared with healthy individuals, and this increase is closely correlated with clinical cancer stage and tumor metastasis but not primary tumor size and serum concentrations of cancer biomarker. A similar increase of MDSCs was also observed in the tumor tissues. Phenotyping MDSCs shows that they express high CD13 and CD39, low CD115, CD117, CD124 and PD-L1, and devoid of CD14, CD15 and CD66b, reminiscent of precursor myeloid cells. MDSCs from cancer patients but not healthy donors have the immunosuppressive activity and were able to inhibit in vitro autologous T-cell proliferation. Collectively, this study substantiates the presence of increased immunosuppressive circulating and tumor-resident Lin−/lowHLA-DR−CD11b+CD33+ MDSCs in patients with colorectal cancers correlating with cancer stage and metastasis, and suggests that pharmacologic blockade of MDSCs should be considered in future clinical trials.
Currently, a constant shortage in the supply of platelets has become an important medical and society challenge, especially in developing country, and the in vitro production of megakaryocytic progenitor cells (MPs) from cord blood could represent an effective platelet substitute. In the present study, our objective was to determine the safety and feasibility of ex vivo generated MPs in patients.
Methods and Findings
MPs were produced and characterized from cord blood mononuclear cells under a serum free medium with cytokines. We investigated the feasibility of expansion and infusion of cord blood-derived MPs in 24 patients with advanced hematological malignancyes. The primary end point was the safety and tolerability of the infusion of cord blood-derived MPs. No adverse effects were observed in patients who received ex vivo-generated cells at concentrations of up to a median value of 5.45×106cells/kg of body weight. With one year follow-up, acute and chronic GVHD had not been observed among patients who received MPs infusion, even without ABO blood group and HLA typing matching.
These initial results in patients are very encouraging. They suggest that infusion of cord blood-derived MPs appears safe and feasible for treatment of thrombocytopenia.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is a heterogeneous disease. The prognostic factor currently used is not accurate enough to predict the outcomes of patients with DLBCL. The prognostic significance of interim PET/CT in DLBCL remains controversial. The aim of this study is to determine the predictive value of interim 18F-FDG PET/CT after first-line treatment in patients with DLBCL.
Thirty-two patients with DLBCL underwent baseline, interim and post-treatment 18F-FDG PET/CT scans. Imaging results were analyzed for the survival of patients via software SPSS 13.0, retrospectively.
Thirty-one of the 32 patients were treated with R-CHOP regimen, and interim 18F-FDG PET/CT of 24 patients was performed after 2 cycles of treatment. After a median follow-up period of 16.7 months, the 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) rates were significantly different between the groups above and below SUVmax cut-off value of 2.5 (P=0.039). No significant differences were found in the 2-year PFS rates if SUVmax cut-off values were set as 2.0 and 3.0, respectively (P=0.360; P=0.113).
Interim PET/CT could predict the prognosis of DLBCL patients with the SUVmax cut-off value of 2.5, but more clinical data should be concluded to confirm this conclusion.
Fludeoxyglucose F18; lymphoma; large cell; diffuse; prognosis; standard utility value
Maintenance therapy with gefitinib notably improves survival in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and EGFR mutation-positive tumors, but the economic impact of this practice is unclear.
A decision-analytic model was developed to simulate 21-day patient transitions in a 10-year time horizon. The clinical data were primarily obtained from the results of a pivotal phase III trial that assessed gefitinib maintenance treatment in patients with advanced NSCLC. The cost data were derived from the perspective of the Chinese health care system. The primary outcome was the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) at a willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold of 3 times the per capita GDP of China. Sensitivity analyses were used to explore the impact of uncertainty regarding the results. The impact of the gefitinib patient assistance program (GPAP) was evaluated.
After EGFR genotyping, gefitinib maintenance treatment for advanced NSCLC with EGFR mutations increased the life expectancy by 0.74 years and 0.46 QALYs compared with routine follow-up at an additional cost of $26,149.90 USD ($7,178.20 with the GPAP). The ICER for gefitinib maintenance was $57,066.40 and $15,664.80 per QALY gained (at a 3% discount rate) without and with the GPAP, respectively. The utility of progression free survival, the hazard ratio of progression-free survival for gefitinib treatment and the cost of gefitinib per dose were the three factors that had the greatest influence on the results.
These results indicate that gene-guided maintenance therapy with gefitinib with the GPAP might be a cost-effective treatment option.
Gefitinib maintenance treatment; EGFR mutation; Cost-effectiveness; Non-small cell lung cancer
Oxidative stress is a major challenge faced by bacteria. Many bacteria control oxidative stress resistance pathways through the transcriptional regulator OxyR. The human pathogen Vibrio cholerae is a Gram-negative bacterium that is the causative agent of cholera. V. cholerae lives in both aquatic environments and human small intestines, two environments in which it encounters reactive oxygen species (ROS). To study how V. cholerae responds to oxidative stress, we constructed an in-frame oxyR deletion mutant. We found that this mutant was not only sensitive to H2O2, but also displayed a growth defect when diluted in rich medium. Further study showed that two catalases, KatG and KatB, either when expressed in living cells, present in culture supernatants, or added as purified recombinant proteins, could rescue the oxyR growth defect. Furthermore, although it could colonize infant mouse intestines similar to that of wildtype, the oxyR mutant was defective in zebrafish intestinal colonization. Alternatively, co-infection with wildtype, but not katG-katB deletion mutants, greatly enhanced oxyR mutant colonization. Our study suggests that OxyR in V. cholerae is critical for antioxidant defense and that the organism is capable of scavenging environmental ROS to facilitate population growth.
We characterized the t(7;22)(q32;q11.2) chromosomal translocation in an obese female with coarse features, short stature, developmental delay and a hypoplastic fifth digit. While these clinical features suggest Coffin-Siris Syndrome (CSS), we excluded a CSS diagnosis by exome sequencing based on the absence of deleterious mutations in six chromatin-remodeling genes recently shown to cause CSS. Thus, molecular characterization of her translocation could delineate genes that underlie other syndromes resembling CSS. Comparative genomic hybridization microarrays revealed on chromosome 7 the duplication of a 434,682 bp region that included the tail end of an uncharacterized gene termed C7orf58 (also called CPED1) and spanned the entire WNT16 and FAM3C genes. Because the translocation breakpoint on chromosome 22 did not disrupt any apparent gene, her disorder was deemed to result from the rearrangement on chromosome 7. Mapping of yeast and bacterial artificial chromosome clones by fluorescent in situ hybridization on chromosome spreads from this patient showed that the duplicated region and all three genes within it were located on both derivative chromosomes 7 and 22. Furthermore, DNA sequencing of exons and splice junctional regions from C7orf58, WNT16 and FAM3C revealed the presence of potential splice site and promoter mutations, thereby augmenting the detrimental effect of the duplicated genes. Hence, dysregulation and/or disruptions of C7orf58, WNT16 and FAM3C underlie the phenotype of this patient, serve as candidate genes for other individuals with similar clinical features and could provide insights into the physiological role of the novel gene C7orf58.
To investigate the effect of simulated dynamic intraocular pressure (SDIOP) during uncomplicated phacoemulsification on postoperative macular and peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness.
Macular and RNFL thicknesses in one eye of patients (n=30) undergoing uncomplicated phacoemulsification were measured by optical coherence tomography preoperatively and 1 week postoperatively. The best-corrected visual acuity, SDIOP, irrigation time (IT), effective phacoemulsification time, entire surgical duration, blood pressure, and heart rate were recorded.
The mean SDIOP and IT was (74.9 ± 27.4)cmH2O and (178.4 ± 21.6) seconds respectively. We divided our patients into two groups based upon IT with greater than 90cmH2O (P>90IT). In Group A (n=14), the P>90IT was greater than the mean P>90IT, and in Group B (n=16), the P>90IT was less than the mean P>90IT. For all patients there was a significant increase in macular thickness one week after cataract surgery (P=0.001). While the RNFL thickness tended to increase, the change was not significant. The postoperative macular thickness of Group A, (277.8 ± 13.7)µm, was significantly thicker than that of Group B, (267.9 ± 15.0)µm (P=0.004). The postoperative peripapillary RNFL thickness of Group A, (96.8 ± 10.8) µm, was not significantly different from Group B. For Group A, the change in macular thickness was positively correlated with P>90IT (R2=0.524, P=0.02). There was no statistical difference in postoperative visual acuity between Groups A and B.
After uncomplicated phacoemulsification, increased macular thickness is associated with the IT under high SDIOP. The effect of high SDIOP is limited to the sub-clinical level.
intraocular pressure; retina; optical coherence tomography; phacoemulsification
Complex diseases result from molecular changes induced by multiple genetic factors and the environment. To derive a systems view of how genetic loci interact in the context of tissue-specific molecular networks, we constructed an F2 intercross comprised of >500 mice from diabetes-resistant (B6) and diabetes-susceptible (BTBR) mouse strains made genetically obese by the Leptinob/ob mutation (Lepob). High-density genotypes, diabetes-related clinical traits, and whole-transcriptome expression profiling in five tissues (white adipose, liver, pancreatic islets, hypothalamus, and gastrocnemius muscle) were determined for all mice. We performed an integrative analysis to investigate the inter-relationship among genetic factors, expression traits, and plasma insulin, a hallmark diabetes trait. Among five tissues under study, there are extensive protein–protein interactions between genes responding to different loci in adipose and pancreatic islets that potentially jointly participated in the regulation of plasma insulin. We developed a novel ranking scheme based on cross-loci protein-protein network topology and gene expression to assess each gene's potential to regulate plasma insulin. Unique candidate genes were identified in adipose tissue and islets. In islets, the Alzheimer's gene App was identified as a top candidate regulator. Islets from 17-week-old, but not 10-week-old, App knockout mice showed increased insulin secretion in response to glucose or a membrane-permeant cAMP analog, in agreement with the predictions of the network model. Our result provides a novel hypothesis on the mechanism for the connection between two aging-related diseases: Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes.
Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes are two common aging-related diseases. Numerous studies have shown that the two diseases are associated. However, the mechanisms of such connection are not clear. Both diseases are complex diseases that are induced by multiple genetic factors and the environment. To understand the molecular network regulated by complex genetic factors causing type 2 diabetes, we constructed an F2 intercross comprised of >500 mice from diabetes-resistant and diabetic mouse strains. We measured genotypes, clinical traits, and expression profiling in five tissues for each mouse. We then performed an integrative analysis to investigate the inter-relationship among genetic factors, expression traits, and plasma insulin, a hallmark diabetes trait, and developed a novel method for inferring key regulators for regulating plasma insulin. In islets, the Alzheimer's gene App was identified as a top candidate regulator. Islets from 17-week-old, but not 10-week-old, App knockout mice showed increased insulin secretion in response to glucose, in agreement with the predictions of the network model. Our result provides a novel hypothesis on the mechanism for the connection between two aging-related diseases: Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes.
Human infertility affects 10–15% of couples, half of which is attributed to the male partner. Abnormal spermatogenesis is a major cause of male infertility. Characterizing the genes involved in spermatogenesis is fundamental to understand the mechanisms underlying this biological process and in developing treatments for male infertility. Although many genes have been implicated in spermatogenesis, no dedicated bioinformatic resource for spermatogenesis is available. We have developed such a database, SpermatogenesisOnline 1.0 (http://mcg.ustc.edu.cn/sdap1/spermgenes/), using manual curation from 30 233 articles published before 1 May 2012. It provides detailed information for 1666 genes reported to participate in spermatogenesis in 37 organisms. Based on the analysis of these genes, we developed an algorithm, Greed AUC Stepwise (GAS) model, which predicted 762 genes to participate in spermatogenesis (GAS probability >0.5) based on genome-wide transcriptional data in Mus musculus testis from the ArrayExpress database. These predicted and experimentally verified genes were annotated, with several identical spermatogenesis-related GO terms being enriched for both classes. Furthermore, protein–protein interaction analysis indicates direct interactions of predicted genes with the experimentally verified ones, which supports the reliability of GAS. The strategy (manual curation and data mining) used to develop SpermatogenesisOnline 1.0 can be easily extended to other biological processes.
Isocitrate dehydrogenase 1 (IDH1) gene aberrations have recently been reported in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). To evaluate the prognostic significance of IDH1 mutations in AML, we performed a meta-analysis. Fifteen studies covering a total of 8121 subjects were included in this analysis. The frequency of IDH1 R132 mutations were 4.4–9.3% for AML patients and 10.9–16.0% for cytogenetically normal (CN)-AML patients. The IDH1 mutations were associated with NPM1 mutations in 6 studies and normal cytogenetics in 5 studies. AML patients with IDH1 mutations had inferior overall survival compared to patients without the mutations (hazard ratio 1.17, 95% CI: 1.02–1.36). Additionally, in CN-AML patients, IDH1 mutations were associated with a lower complete remission rate (risk ratio 1.30, 95% CI: 1.04–1.63). Although the available literature is limited to observational studies, these results may justify the risk-adapted therapeutic strategies for AML according to the IDH1 status.
Acute myeloid leukemia; IDH1; mutation; prognosis; meta-analysis
Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with drugs targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), e.g., gefitinib and erlotinib, will eventually fail because of the development of secondary mutations such as T790M in EGFR. Strategies to overcome this resistance are therefore an urgent need. In this study, we synthesized a dozen of novel gefitinib analogues and evaluated their effects on L858R/T790M-EGFR harboring NSCLC cells, and reported that one of these gefitinib mimetics, N-(2-bromo-5-(trifluoromethyl) phenyl)-6-methoxy-7-(3-(piperidin-1-yl)propoxy)quinazolin-4-amine (hereafter, V1801), triggered apoptosis of the NSCLC cells and overcame gefitinib-resistance in mice inoculated with NCI-H1975 cells. Though V1801 only moderately inhibited EGFR kinase activity, it markedly induced the expression of the BH3-only protein Noxa, and Noxa silencing significantly reduced V1801-induced apoptosis of NCI-H1975 cells. It is showed that V1801 interfered with the expression of the transcription factor c-Myc and the extracellular signal regulated kinase (Erk) pathway. V1801 in combination with proteasome inhibitor bortezomib exerted enhanced cytotoxicity in NCI-H1975 cells possibly due to potentiated induction of Noxa expression. These data indicate that gefinitib analogues with weak EGFR inhibitory activity may overcome drug-resistance via activation of BH-3 only pro-apoptotic proteins, and V1801 may have therapeutic potentials for NSCLC.
Moderate alcohol consumption may reduce cardiovascular events, but little is known about its effect on atrial fibrillation in people at high risk of such events. We examined the association between moderate alcohol consumption and the risk of incident atrial fibrillation among older adults with existing cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
We analyzed data for 30 433 adults who participated in 2 large antihypertensive drug treatment trials and who had no atrial fibrillation at baseline. The patients were 55 years or older and had a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes with end-organ damage. We classified levels of alcohol consumption according to median cut-off values for low, moderate and high intake based on guidelines used in various countries, and we defined binge drinking as more than 5 drinks a day. The primary outcome measure was incident atrial fibrillation.
A total of 2093 patients had incident atrial fibrillation. The age- and sex-standardized incidence rate per 1000 person-years was 14.5 among those with a low level of alcohol consumption, 17.3 among those with a moderate level and 20.8 among those with a high level. Compared with participants who had a low level of consumption, those with higher levels had an increased risk of incident atrial fibrillation (adjusted hazard ratio [HR] 1.14, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.04–1.26, for moderate consumption; 1.32, 95% CI 0.97–1.80, for high consumption). Results were similar after we excluded binge drinkers. Among those with moderate alcohol consumption, binge drinkers had an increased risk of atrial fibrillation compared with non–binge drinkers (adjusted HR 1.29, 95% CI 1.02–1.62).
Moderate to high alcohol intake was associated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation among people aged 55 or older with cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Among moderate drinkers, the effect of binge drinking on the risk of atrial fibrillation was similar to that of habitual heavy drinking.
The complete molecule of the title complex, [Co(C14H9Br2FNO)2], is generated by crystallographic twofold symmetry, with the CoII atom lying on the rotation axis. The coordination of the metal atom by the two N,O-bidentate ligands results in a squashed CoN2O2 tetrahedron. The six-membered chelate ring is an envelope, with the metal atom as the flap. The dihedral angle between the planes of the aromatic rings within each ligand is 84.1 (6)°.
Antibiotic disruption of the intestinal microbiota may cause susceptibility to pathogens that is resolved by progressive bacterial outgrowth and colonization. Succession is central to ecological theory but not widely documented in studies of the vertebrate microbiome. Here, we study succession in the hamster gut after treatment with antibiotics and exposure to Clostridium difficile. C. difficile infection is typically lethal in hamsters, but protection can be conferred with neutralizing antibodies against the A and B toxins. We compare treatment with neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to treatment with vancomycin, which prolongs the lives of animals but ultimately fails to protect them from death. We carried out longitudinal deep sequencing analysis and found distinctive waves of succession associated with each form of treatment. Clindamycin sensitization prior to infection was associated with the temporary suppression of the previously dominant Bacteroidales and the fungus Saccinobaculus in favor of Proteobacteria. In mAb-treated animals, C. difficile proliferated before joining Proteobacteria in giving way to re-expanding Bacteroidales and the fungus Wickerhamomyces. However, the Bacteroidales lineages returning by day 7 were different from those that were present initially, and they persisted for the duration of the experiment. Animals treated with vancomycin showed a different set of late-stage lineages that were dominated by Proteobacteria as well as increased disparity between the tissue-associated and luminal cecal communities. The control animals showed no change in their gut microbiota. These data thus suggest different patterns of ecological succession following antibiotic treatment and C. difficile infection.
Annonaceous acetogenins, a large family of naturally occurring polyketides isolated from various species of the plant genus Annonaceae, have been found to exhibit significant cytotoxicity against a variety of cancer cells. Previous studies showed that these compounds could act on the mitochondria complex-I and block the corresponding electron transport chain and terminate ATP production. However, more details of the mechanisms of action remain ambiguous. In this study we tested the effects of a set of mimetics of annonaceous acetogenin on some cancer cell lines, and report that among them AA005 exhibits the most potent antitumor activity. AA005 depletes ATP, activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and inhibits mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) signal pathway, leading to growth inhibition and autophagy of colon cancer cells. AMPK inhibitors compound C and inosine repress, while AMPK activator AICAR enhances, AA005-caused proliferation suppression and subsequent autophagy of colon cancer cells. AA005 enhances the ATP depletion and AMPK activation caused by 2-deoxyglucose, an inhibitor of mitochondrial respiration and glycolysis. AA005 also inhibits chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin-triggered up-regulation of mTOR and synergizes with this drug in suppression of proliferation and induction of apoptosis of colon cancer cells. These data indicate that AA005 is a new metabolic inhibitor which exhibits therapeutic potentials in colon cancer.
Exposure within an environmental enrichment paradigm results in neurobiological adaptations and decreases the baseline of locomotor activity. The current study determined activation of DARPP-32 (dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein-32) and CREB (cAMP response element binding protein), and locomotor activity in rats raised in enriched (EC), impoverished (IC), and standard (SC) conditions following repeated administration of nicotine or saline. In the saline-control group, the basal phosphorylation state of DARPP-32 at Threonine-34 site (pDARPP-32 Thr34) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) was lower in EC compared to IC and SC rats, which was positively correlated with their respective baseline activities. While nicotine (0.35 mg/kg, freebase) produced locomotor sensitization across all housing conditions when the nicotine-mediated locomotor activity was expressed as a percent change from their respective saline control, EC rats displayed greater sensitization to nicotine than IC and SC rats. Consistent with the behavioral findings, repeated nicotine injection increased pDARPP-32 Thr34 in PFC of EC and IC rats and in nucleus accumbens of EC rats; however, the magnitude of change from saline control in nicotine-induced enhancement of pDARPP-32 Thr34 in PFC was strikingly increased in EC rats relative to IC rats. Moreover, EC rats had lower basal phosphorylation levels of CREB at serine 133 in PFC and nucleus accumbens compared to IC and SC rats, whereas the nicotine-induced increase in phosphorylated CREB-Ser133 was more pronounced in PFC of EC rats relative to IC and SC rats. Collectively, these findings suggest innovative insights into advancing our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of enrichment-induced changes in the motivational effects of nicotine, and aiding in the identification of new therapeutic strategies for tobacco smokers.
Graphene is a two-dimensional network in which sp2-hybridized carbon atoms are arranged in two different triangular sub-lattices (A and B). By incorporating nitrogen atoms into graphene, its physico-chemical properties could be significantly altered depending on the doping configuration within the sub-lattices. Here, we describe the synthesis of large-area, highly-crystalline monolayer N-doped graphene (NG) sheets via atmospheric-pressure chemical vapor deposition, yielding a unique N-doping site composed of two quasi-adjacent substitutional nitrogen atoms within the same graphene sub-lattice (N2AA). Scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM and STS) of NG revealed the presence of localized states in the conduction band induced by N2AA-doping, which was confirmed by ab initio calculations. Furthermore, we demonstrated for the first time that NG could be used to efficiently probe organic molecules via a highly improved graphene enhanced Raman scattering.
Inference about regulatory networks from high-throughput genomics data is of great interest in systems biology. We present a Bayesian approach to infer gene regulatory networks from time series expression data by integrating various types of biological knowledge.
We formulate network construction as a series of variable selection problems and use linear regression to model the data. Our method summarizes additional data sources with an informative prior probability distribution over candidate regression models. We extend the Bayesian model averaging (BMA) variable selection method to select regulators in the regression framework. We summarize the external biological knowledge by an informative prior probability distribution over the candidate regression models.
We demonstrate our method on simulated data and a set of time-series microarray experiments measuring the effect of a drug perturbation on gene expression levels, and show that it outperforms leading regression-based methods in the literature.
Systems biology; Network inference; Data integration; Statistics; Time-series expression data; Model uncertainty
The precise mechanism of action for rituximab (R) is not fully elucidated. Besides antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC), complements may also play an important role in the clinical response to rituximab-based therapy in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between C1qA polymorphism and the clinical response to standard frontline treatment with R-CHOP in DLBCL patients.
Genotyping for C1qA[276A/G] was done in 164 patients with DLBCL. 129 patients treated with R-CHOP as frontline therapy (R ≥ 4 cycles) were assessable for the efficacy.
Patients with homozygous A were found to have a higher overall response rate than those with heterozygous or homozygous G alleles (97.3% vs. 83.7%,P = 0.068). The complete response rate in patients with homozygous A was statistically higher than that in AG and GG allele carriers (89.2% vs. 51.1%,P = 0.0001). The overall survival of patients with homozygous A was longer than that of the G allele carriers (676 days vs. 497 days, P = 0.023). Multivariate Cox regression analysis showed that C1qA A/A allele was an independent favorable prognostic factor for DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP as first-line therapy.
These results suggest that C1qA polymorphism may be a biomarker to predict response to R-CHOP as frontline therapy for DLBCL patients.
Complement; Polymorphism; Rituximab; DLBCL; C1qA
To understand the roles they play in complex diseases, genes need to be investigated in the networks they are involved in. Integration of gene expression and network data is a promising approach to prioritize disease-associated genes. Some methods have been developed in this field, but the problem is still far from being solved.
In this paper, we developed a method, Networked Gene Prioritizer (NGP), to prioritize cancer-associated genes. Applications on several breast cancer and lung cancer datasets demonstrated that NGP performs better than the existing methods. It provides stable top ranking genes between independent datasets. The top-ranked genes by NGP are enriched in the cancer-associated pathways. The top-ranked genes by NGP-PLK1, MCM2, MCM3, MCM7, MCM10 and SKP2 might coordinate to promote cell cycle related processes in cancer but not normal cells.
In this paper, we have developed a method named NGP, to prioritize cancer-associated genes. Our results demonstrated that NGP performs better than the existing methods.
A common inflammatome signature, as well as disease-specific expression patterns, was identified from 11 different rodent inflammatory disease models. Causal regulatory networks and the drivers of the inflammatome signature were uncovered and validated.
Representative inflammatome gene signatures, as well as disease model-specific gene signatures, were identified from 12 gene expression profiling data sets derived from 9 different tissues isolated from 11 rodent inflammatory disease models.The inflammatome signature is highly enriched for immune response-related genes, disease causal genes, and drug targets.Regulatory relationships among the inflammatome signature genes were examined in over 70 causal networks derived from a number of large-scale genetic studies of multiple diseases, and the potential key drivers were uncovered and validated prospectively.Over 70% of the inflammatome signature genes and over 50% of the key driver genes have not been reported in previous studies of common signatures in inflammatory conditions.
Common inflammatome gene signatures as well as disease-specific signatures were identified by analyzing 12 expression profiling data sets derived from 9 different tissues isolated from 11 rodent inflammatory disease models. The inflammatome signature significantly overlaps with known drug targets and co-expressed gene modules linked to metabolic disorders and cancer. A large proportion of genes in this signature are tightly connected in tissue-specific Bayesian networks (BNs) built from multiple independent mouse and human cohorts. Both the inflammatome signature and the corresponding consensus BNs are highly enriched for immune response-related genes supported as causal for adiposity, adipokine, diabetes, aortic lesion, bone, muscle, and cholesterol traits, suggesting the causal nature of the inflammatome for a variety of diseases. Integration of this inflammatome signature with the BNs uncovered 151 key drivers that appeared to be more biologically important than the non-drivers in terms of their impact on disease phenotypes. The identification of this inflammatome signature, its network architecture, and key drivers not only highlights the shared etiology but also pinpoints potential targets for intervention of various common diseases.
Bayesian network; co-expression network; inflammatome; inflammatory diseases; key regulators
Both splicing factors and microRNAs are important regulatory molecules that play key roles in post-transcriptional gene regulation. By miRNA deep sequencing, we identified 40 miRNAs that are differentially expressed upon ectopic overexpression of the splicing factor SF2/ASF. Here we show that SF2/ASF and one of its upregulated microRNAs (miR-7) can form a negative feedback loop: SF2/ASF promotes miR-7 maturation, and mature miR-7 in turn targets the 3′UTR of SF2/ASF to repress its translation. Enhanced microRNA expression is mediated by direct interaction between SF2/ASF and the primary miR-7 transcript to facilitate Drosha cleavage and is independent of SF2/ASF’s function in splicing. Other miRNAs, including miR-221 and miR-222, may also be regulated by SF2/ASF through a similar mechanism. These results underscore a function of SF2/ASF in pri-miRNA processing and highlight the potential coordination between splicing control and miRNA-mediated gene repression in gene regulatory networks.