Although both oral fluoropyrimidines were reported effective and safe, doubts exist about whether S-1 or capecitabine is more advantageous in advanced gastric carcinoma (AGC). Herein, we performed a meta-analysis to comprehensively compare the efficacy and safety of S-1-based chemotherapy versus capecitabine-based chemotherapy as first-line treatment for AGC.
PubMed/Medline, EmBase, Cochrane library, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched for articles comparing S-1-based chemotherapy to capecitabine-based chemotherapy for AGC. Primary outcomes were overall response rate (ORR), time to progression (TTP), overall survival (OS), progression-free probability, and survival probability. Secondary outcomes were toxicities. Fixed-effects model were used and all the results were confirmed by random-effects model.
Five randomized controlled trials and five cohort studies with 821 patients were included. We found equivalent ORR (38.3% vs. 39.1%, odds ratio [OR] 0.92, 95% conﬁdence interval [CI] 0.69-1.24, P = 0.59), TTP (harzad ratio [HR] 0.98, 95% CI 0.82-1.16, P = 0.79), OS (HR 0.99, 95% CI 0.87-1.13, P = 0.91), progression-free probability (3-month OR 1.02, 95% CI 0.62-1.68, P = 0.94; 6-month OR 1.34, 95% CI 0.88-2.04, P = 0.18) and survival probability (0.5-year OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.61-1.31, P =0.57; 1-year OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.70- 1.33, P = 0.84; 2-year OR 1.15, 95% CI 0.61-2.17, P = 0.66). Equivalent grade 3 to 4 hematological and non-hematological toxicities were found except hand-foot syndrome was less prominent in S-1-based chemotherapy (0.3% vs. 5.9%, OR 0.19, 95% CI 0.06-0.56, P = 0.003). There’re no significant heterogeneity and publication bias. Cumulative analysis found stable time-dependent trend. Consistent results stratified by study design, age, regimen, cycle, country were observed.
S-1-based chemotherapy was associated with non-inferior antitumor efficacy and better safety profile, compared with capecitabine-based therapy. We recommended S-1 and capecitabine can be used interchangeably for AGC, at least in Asia.
It has been proved that hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection alters the metastatic pattern and affects survival in colorectal cancer (CRC) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), while the influence of HBV infection on metastatic pattern and survival in patients with pancreatic cancer (PC) has not been investigated yet.
We conducted an investigation to evaluate the impact of HBV infection on metastatic pattern and overall survival in PC. We collected the data of 460 PC patients treated in our hospital from 1999 to 2010. Serum HBV markers were tested with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The impact of HBV infection on metastatic pattern and overall survival was analyzed.
We found that the incidence of synchronous liver metastasis was significantly higher in patients with HBsAg positive than those with HBsAg negative (46.0% vs 32.0%, P < 0.05), and higher in chronic HBV infection (CHB) group than both non HBV infection and resolved HBV infection group (61.1% vs 33.9%, P < 0.05, and 61.1% vs 28.7%, P < 0.05, respectively). What’s more, Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that CHB, resolved HBV infection and non HBV infection group had significant longer overall survival (OS) compared with inactive HBsAg carriers (IC) group (P=0.037, P=0.009, and P=0.019 respectively). But, in the multivariate analysis, only the CHB and non HBV infection group had significant better overall survival compared with IC group (P=0.010 and P=0.018 respectively).
Our study found that HBV infection increased synchronous liver metastasis rate, and HBV infection status was an independent prognostic factor in PC patients.
Hepatitis B virus; Pancreatic cancer; Liver metastasis; Survival
The C2A domain of synaptotagmin I can target apoptotic cells by binding to exposed anionic phospholipids. The goal of this study was to synthesize and develop 18F-labeled C2A-gluta-thione-S-transferase (GST) as a molecular imaging probe for the detection of apoptosis and to assess the response of paclitaxel chemotherapy in VX2 rabbit lung cancer.
18F-C2A-GST was prepared by labeling C2A-GST with N-succinimidyl 4-18F-fluorobenzoate (18F-SFB). 18F-C2A-GST was confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography and sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The binding of 18F-C2A-GST toward apoptosis was validated in vitro using camptothecin-induced Jurkat cells. Biodistribution of 18F-C2A-GST was determined in mice by a dissection method and small-animal PET. Single-dose paclitaxel was used to induce apoptosis in rabbits bearing VX2 tumors (n = 6), and 2 VX2 rabbits without treatment served as control. 18F-C2A-GST PET was performed before and at 72 h after therapy, and 18F-FDG PET/CT was also performed before treatment. To confirm the presence of apoptosis, tumor tissue was analyzed and activated caspase-3 was measured.
18F-C2A-GST was obtained with more than 95% radiochemical purity and was stable for 4 h after formulation. 18F-C2A-GST bound apoptotic cells specifically. Biodistribution in mice showed that 18F-C2A-GST mainly excreted from the kidneys and rapidly cleared from blood and nonspecific organs. High focal uptake of 18F-C2A-GST in the tumor area was determined after therapy, whereas no significant uptake before therapy was found in the tumor with 18F-FDG–avid foci. The maximum standardized uptake value after therapy was 0.47 ± 0.28, significantly higher than that in the control (0.009 ± 0.001; P < 0.001). The apoptotic index was 79.81% ± 8.73% in the therapy group, significantly higher than that in the control (5.03% ± 0.81%; P < 0.001). Activated caspase-3 after paclitaxel treatment increased to 69.55% ± 16.27% and was significantly higher than that in the control (12.26% ± 5.39%; P < 0.001).
18F-C2A-GST was easily synthesized by conjugation with 18F-SFB and manifested a favorable biodistribution. Our results demonstrated the feasibility of 18F-C2A-GST for the early detection of apoptosis after chemotherapy in a VX2 lung cancer model that could imitate the human lung cancer initiation, development, and progress.
C2A domain; 18F-labeled C2A-GST; PET; apoptosis; synaptotagmin I
Although general agreement exists on palliative surgery with intent of symptom palliation in advanced gastric cancer (AGC), the role of non-curative surgery for incurable, asymptomatic AGC is hotly debated. We aim to clarify the role of non-curative surgery in patients with incurable, asymptomatic AGC under the first-line chemotherapy.
A total of 737 patients with incurable, asymptomatic advanced gastric adenocarcinoma between January 2008 and May 2012 at the Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center were retrospectively analyzed, comprising 414 patients with non-curative surgery plus first-line chemotherapy, and 323 patients with first-line chemotherapy only. The clinicopathologic data, survival, and prognosis were evaluated, with propensity score adjustment for selection bias.
The median overall survival (OS) outcomes significantly favored non-curative surgery group over first-line chemotherapy only group in entire population (28.00 versus 10.37 months, P = 0.000), stage 4 patients (23.87 versus 10.37 months, P = 0.000), young patients (28.70 versus 10.37 months, P = 0.000) and elderly patients (23.07 versus 10.27 months, P = 0.031). The median OS advantages of non-curative surgery over first-line chemotherapy only were also maintained when the analyses were restricted to single organ metastasis (P = 0.001), distant lymph node metastasis (P = 0.002), peritoneal metastasis (P = 0.000), and multi-organ metastasis (P = 0.010). Significant OS advantages of non-curative surgery over chemotherapy only were confirmed solid by multivariate analyses before and after adjustment on propensity score (P = 0.000). Small subsets of patients with surgery of single metastatic lesion after previous curative gastrectomy, and with surgery of both primary and single metastatic sites showed sound median OS.
There is a role for non-curative surgery plus first-line chemotherapy for incurable, asymptomatic AGC, in terms of survival. Randomized controlled trials are warranted to fill a gap in knowledge about the value of metastectomy and patient selection strategies.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a highly heterogeneous genetic disease; therefore, an accurate molecular diagnosis is essential for appropriate disease treatment and family planning. The prevalence of RP in China had been reported at 1 in 3800, resulting in an estimated total of 340,000 Chinese RP patients. However, genetic studies of Chinese RP patients have been very limited. To date, no comprehensive molecular diagnosis has been done for Chinese RP patients. With the emergence of next-generation sequencing (NGS), comprehensive molecular diagnosis of RP is now within reach. The purpose of this study was to perform the first NGS-based comprehensive molecular diagnosis for Chinese RP patients.
Thirty-one well-characterized autosomal recessive RP (arRP) families were recruited. For each family, the DNA sample from one affected member was sequenced using our custom capture panel, which includes 163 retinal disease genes. Variants were called, filtered, and annotated by our in-house automatic pipeline.
Twelve arRP families were successfully molecular diagnosed, achieving a diagnostic rate of approximately 40%. Interestingly, approximately 63% of the pathogenic mutations we identified are novel, which is higher than that observed in a similar study on European descent (45%). Moreover, the clinical diagnoses of two families were refined based on the pathogenic mutations identified in the patients.
We conclude that comprehensive molecular diagnosis can be vital for an accurate clinical diagnosis of RP. Applying this tool on patients from different ethnic groups is essential for enhancing our knowledge of the global spectrum of RP disease-causing mutations.
Next-generation sequencing–based comprehensive molecular diagnosis of 31 families with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP) was performed. This is the first such study of a Chinese arRP patient cohort, revealing a total of 10 novel putatively pathogenic mutations.
retinitis pigmentosa; next-generation sequencing; molecular diagnosis; Chinese population
Decomposition of plant residues is largely mediated by soil-dwelling microorganisms whose activities are influenced by both climate conditions and properties of the soil. However, a comprehensive understanding of their relative importance remains elusive, mainly because traditional methods, such as soil incubation and environmental surveys, have a limited ability to differentiate between the combined effects of climate and soil. Here, we performed a large-scale reciprocal soil transplantation experiment, whereby microbial communities associated with straw decomposition were examined in three initially identical soils placed in parallel in three climate regions of China (red soil, Chao soil, and black soil, located in midsubtropical, warm-temperate, and cold-temperate zones). Maize straws buried in mesh bags were sampled at 0.5, 1, and 2 years after the burial and subjected to chemical, physical, and microbiological analyses, e.g., phospholipid fatty acid analysis for microbial abundance, community-level physiological profiling, and 16S rRNA gene denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, respectively, for functional and phylogenic diversity. Results of aggregated boosted tree analysis show that location rather soil is the primary determining factor for the rate of straw decomposition and structures of the associated microbial communities. Principal component analysis indicates that the straw communities are primarily grouped by location at any of the three time points. In contrast, microbial communities in bulk soil remained closely related to one another for each soil. Together, our data suggest that climate (specifically, geographic location) has stronger effects than soil on straw decomposition; moreover, the successive process of microbial communities in soils is slower than those in straw residues in response to climate changes.
Recently, plasma miRNAs have been reported as biomarkers for various diseases. However, the knowledge on the association of plasma miRNAs with ischemic stroke is still lacking. In this study, we investigated whether plasma concentrations of miR-30a, miR-126 and let-7b may be biomarkers for ischemic stroke in humans.
One hundred ninety seven patients with ischemic stroke were recruited and their blood samples were collected at 24 h, 1 week, 4 weeks, 24 weeks and 48 weeks after symptoms onset, and fifty healthy volunteers were selected as control. Levels of miRNA were quantified by quantitative real-time PCR. Relative expression level of miRNA was calculated using 2-ΔΔct method. The ability to distinguish the ischemic stroke group from control group was characterized by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, and the area under ROC curve (AUC) was calculated.
Circulating miR-30a and miR-126 levels were markedly down-regulated in all patients with ischemic stroke until 24 weeks. However, circulating let-7b was lower in patients with large-vessel atherosclerosis than healthy volunteers, whereas circulating let-7b had higher level in patients with other kinds of ischemic stroke until 24 weeks. Among all patients, circulating miRNAs levels returned to normal 48 weeks after symptom onset. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that the areas under the curve (AUC) of plasma miR-30a were 0.91, 0.91, 0.92 and 0.93, the miR-126 were 0.92, 0.94, 0.93 and 0.92, and let-7b were 0.93, 0.92, 0.92 and 0.91 at 24 h, 1 w, 4 w and 24 w, respectively.
These data suggest that miR-30a, miR-126 and let-7b might be useful biomarkers for ischemic stroke in humans.
Circulating miRNA; Biomarker; Stroke
Dynamic structural and functional remodeling of the Central Nervous System occurs throughout the lifespan of the organism from the molecular to the systems level. MRI offers several advantages to observe this phenomenon: it is non-invasive and non-destructive, the contrast can be tuned to interrogate different tissue properties and imaging resolution can range from cortical columns to whole brain networks in the same session.
To measure these changes reliably, functional maps generated over time with high resolution fMRI need to be registered accurately. This article presents a new method for the automatic registration of thin cortical MR volumes that are aligned with the functional maps. These acquisitions focus on the primary somato-sensory cortex, a region in the anterior parietal part of the brain, responsible for fine touch and proprioception.
Currently, these slabs are acquired in approximately the same orientation from acquisition to acquisition and then registered by hand. Because they only cover a small portion of the cortex, their direct automatic registration is difficult. To address this issue, we propose a method relying on an intermediate image, acquired with a surface coil that covers a larger portion of the head to which the slabs can be registered. Because images acquired with surface coils suffer from severe intensity attenuation artifact, we also propose a method to register these. The results from data sets obtained with 3 squirrel monkeys show a registration accuracy of 30 micrometers.).
Rigid registration; longitudinal studies; attenuation artifacts in MR; primates
Recent studies have implicated the classical neurotransmitters GABA and glutamate in the regulation of neural progenitor proliferation. We now show that GABA and glutamate have opposite effects on the two neural progenitor populations in the ventricular zones (VZs) and subventricular zones (SVZs) of the embryonic cerebrum. Application of either molecule to organotypic slice cultures dramatically increases proliferation in the VZ by shortening the cell cycle, whereas proliferation in the SVZ is decreased. These disparate effects, measured both by bromode-oxyuridine uptake and the expansion of retrovirally labeled progenitor clones, are mimicked by the application of specific GABA and glutamate agonists and are blocked by antagonists. Thus, the relative contributions of the VZ and SVZ to neocortical growth may be regulated by differential responsiveness to GABA and glutamate.
neurogenesis; neurotransmitter; progenitor; cell cycle; cerebral cortex; corticogenesis
Interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) have proven to be useful to accurately detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection, but they cannot reliably discriminate between active tuberculosis (TB) and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI). This study aims to test whether Mtb-specific tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) could be used as a new tool for the rapid diagnosis of active TB disease. The secretion of TNF-α by Mtb-specific antigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of sixty seven participants was investigated in the study. Our results showed that the total measurement of TNF-α secretion by Mtb-specific antigen-stimulated PBMCs is not a good biomarker for active TB diagnosis. However, we found that calculation of Mtb-specific TNF-α not only distinguish between active and latent TB infection, but also can differentiate active TB from non-TB patients. Using the cutoff value of 136.9 pg/ml for Mtb-specific TNF-α, we were able to differentiate active TB from LTBI. Sensitivity and specificity were 72% and 90.91%. These data suggest that Mtb-specific TNF-α could be a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of active TB disease.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) on MCP-1 expression and microglial activation in the hippocampus of a rat model of pilocarpine (PILO)-induced status epilepticus (SE). Moreover, seizure susceptibility, frequency and severity as well as brain damage were analyzed and changes in behavior were recorded. Chemokine MCP-1 expression and microglial activation were detected by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Fluoro-Jade C (FJC) and NeuN staining were used for the evaluation of tissue damage. Our results showed that although SE resulted in the upregulation of MCP-1 and microglial activation in the rat hippocampus 24 h after seizure onset, pretreatment with PDTC significantly inhibited the MCP-1 overexpression and attenuated the microglial activation. These effects were accompanied by neurodegenerative amelioration. To the best of our knowledge, these findings indicated for the first time that the activation of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway may contribute to MCP-1 upregulation and microglial activation in the context of epilepsy. PDTC was also shown to exert anticonvulsant activity and to have a neuroprotective effect on the hippocampal CA1 and CA3 regions, potentially through attenuating microglial activation.
epilepsy; pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus rat model; MCP-1 (CCL2); nuclear factor-κB; pyrrolidine dithiocarbamate; hippocampus
The aims of this study were to investigate the association between the +781C/T polymorphism of interleukin-8 (IL-8) and atherosclerotic cerebral infarction and the interaction between the +781C/T polymorphism and smoking or drinking in cerebral infarction in the Han Chinese population.
We investigated the +781C/T polymorphism of IL-8 in 308 consecutive Han Chinese patients who were diagnosed with atherosclerotic cerebral infarction and in 294 age- and gender-matched healthy control subjects. The patients were classified using the Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project (OCSP) classification. The patients and subjects’ histories of smoking and drinking were recorded, and atherosclerosis (AS) of the internal carotid artery (ICA) was evaluated in the patients. The +781C/T polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis.
The +781C/T polymorphism and allele frequencies were not significantly different between the patients and controls and were not significantly associated with the OCSP classifications. We found that the 781C allele was significantly associated with AS of the ICA in the patients (p = 0.017), and the CT genotype was more prevalent in patients without AS of the ICA (p = 0.035). No interactions were observed between the +781C/T polymorphism and smoking or drinking.
Our results demonstrated that the +781C/T polymorphism of IL-8 did not play a role and had no interaction with smoking or drinking in the occurrence of cerebral infarction in the Han Chinese population. However, the C allele and the CT genotype might be associated with AS of the ICA in patients with ischemic stroke.
Sex-determination mechanisms differ among organisms. The primary mechanism is diverse, whereas the terminal regulator is relatively-conserved. We analyzed the transcripts of the Bombyx mori doublesex gene (Bmdsx), and reported novel results concerning the genomic organization and expression of Bmdsx. Bmdsx consists of nine exons and eight introns, of which two exons are novel and have not been reported previously. Bmdsx transcripts are spliced to generate seventeen alternatively-spliced forms and eleven putative trans-spliced variants. Thirteen of the alternatively-spliced forms and five of the putative trans-spliced forms are reported here for the first time. Sequence analysis predicts that ten female-specific, six male-specific splice forms and one splice form found in males and females will result in four female-specific, two male-specific Dsx proteins and one Dsx protein common to males and females. The Dsx proteins are expected to be functional and regulate downstream target genes. Some of the predicted Dsx proteins are described here for the first time. Therefore the expression of the dsx gene in B. mori results in a variety of cis- and trans-spliced transcripts and multiple Dsx proteins. These findings show that in B. mori there is a complicated pattern of dsx splicing, and that the regulation of splicing and sex-specific functions of lepidopteran dsx have evolved complexity.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a promising technique to produce transgenic cloned mammalian, including transgenic goats which may produce Human Lactoferrin (hLF). However, success percentage of SCNT is low, because of gestational and neonatal failure of transgenic embryos. According to the studies on cattle and mice, DNA methylation of some imprinted genes, which plays a vital role in the reprogramming of embryo in NT maybe an underlying mechanism.
Fibroblast cells were derived from the ear of a two-month-old goat. The vector expressing hLF was constructed and transfected into fibroblasts. G418 selection, EGFP expression, PCR, and cell cycle distribution were applied sequentially to select transgenic cells clones. After NT and embryo transfer, five transgenic cloned goats were obtained from 240 cloned transgenic embryos. These transgenic goats were identified by 8 microsatellites genotyping and southern blot. Of the five transgenic goats, 3 were lived after birth, while 2 were dead during gestation. We compared differential methylation regions (DMR) pattern of two paternally imprinted genes (H19 and IGF2R) of the ear tissues from the lived transgenic goats, dead transgenic goats, and control goats from natural reproduction. Hyper-methylation pattern appeared in cloned aborted goats, while methylation status was relatively normal in cloned lived goats compared with normal goats.
In this study, we generated five hLF transgenic cloned goats by SCNT. This is the first time the DNA methylation of lived and dead transgenic cloned goats was compared. The results demonstrated that the methylation status of DMRs of H19 and IGF2R were different in lived and dead transgenic goats and therefore this may be potentially used to assess the reprogramming status of transgenic cloned goats. Understanding the pattern of gene imprinting may be useful to improve cloning techniques in future.
Incontinentia pigmenti is a rare X-linked neurological-skin genetic disease. Some studies have shown that about 30~40% of patients with IP have varying symptoms of eye/central nervous system which are the major causes of disability. Conversion disorder is one of the most common mental diseases in children and may exhibit the single or multiple neurological symptoms. In this paper, we will report a child with new and rare incontinentia pigmenti accompanied by conversion disorder and explore the relationship of this rare combination.
Incontinentia pigmenti; conversion disorder; central nervous system; X chromosome-linked dominant genetic disease
Multifunctional SiO2 · Re2O3 (Re = Y, Eu, La, Sm, Tb, Pr) hollow spheres (HSs) have been fabricated using an acidic Re3+ ion solution. Under ultraviolet radiation, functional HSs emit different colors of light according to the different rare-earth ions embedded into the shell of SiO2 hollow spheres. The as-prepared hollow capsules were characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, Brunauer-Emmett-Teller method, scanning electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive spectrometry. Drug loading and release experiments have been carried out using SiO2 · Eu2O3 HSs that acted as drug carriers. The results demonstrate that the multifunctional HSs exhibit a high storage capacity and the ability of retaining drug stability and activity, which indicates that the as-synthesized fluorescent hollow capsules are a potential candidate as drug delivery materials.
SiO2 · Re2O3; Hollow spheres (HSs); Fluorescence
We report a new approach to probing DNA-protein interactions by combining optical tweezers with a high-throughput DNA curtains technique. Here we determine the forces required to remove the individual lipid-anchored DNA molecules from the bilayer. We demonstrate that DNA anchored to the bilayer through a single biotin-streptavidin linkage withstands ~20 pN before being pulled free from the bilayer, whereas molecules anchored to the bilayer through multiple attachment points can withstand ≥65 pN; access to this higher force regime is sufficient to probe the responses of protein-DNA interactions to force changes. As a proof-of-principle, we concurrently visualized DNA-bound fluorescently-tagged RNA polymerase while simultaneously stretching the DNA molecules. This work presents a step towards a powerful experimental platform that will enable concurrent visualization of DNA curtains while applying defined forces through optical tweezers.
DNA curtains; optical trap; single-molecule; combination; DNA pulling; rupture force
Ferric uptake regulator (Fur) is a global regulator that controls bacterial iron homeostasis. In this study, a fur deletion mutant of the deep-sea bacterium Shewanella piezotolerans WP3 was constructed. Physiological studies revealed that the growth rate of this mutant under aerobic conditions was only slightly lower than that of wild type (WT), but severe growth defects were observed under anaerobic conditions when different electron acceptors (EAs) were provided. Comparative transcriptomic analysis demonstrated that Fur is involved not only in classical iron homeostasis but also in anaerobic respiration. Fur exerted pleiotropic effects on the regulation of anaerobic respiration by controlling anaerobic electron transport, the heme biosynthesis system, and the cytochrome c maturation system. Biochemical assays demonstrated that levels of c-type cytochromes were lower in the fur mutant, consistent with the transcriptional profiling. Transcriptomic analysis and electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed a primary regulation network for Fur in WP3. These results suggest that Fur may act as a sensor for anoxic conditions to trigger and influence the anaerobic respiratory system.
Previous study demonstrated that miR-133a was released into blood from injured myocardium in cardiovascular diseases. However, the dynamic change of circulating miR-133a level in the early phase of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and the correlation between miR-133a and severity of coronary stenosis in coronary heart disease (CHD) patients are not clear.
Methods and results
Three different cohorts (including 13 AMI patients, 176 angina pectoris patients and 127 control subjects) were enrolled to investigate the expression levels of circulating miR-133a in patients with myocardial ischemia and also the relationship between plasma miR-133a and severity of coronary stenosis. Plasma miR-133a levels of participants were examined by real-time quantitative PCR. Simultaneously, plasma cardiac troponin I (cTnI) concentrations were measured by ELISA assays. The results showed that circulating miR-133a level was significantly increased in AMI patients in time-dependent manner, and achieved a 72.1 fold peak at 21.6 ± 4.5 hours after the onset of AMI symptoms and exhibited a similar trend to plasma cTnI level. We also found that plasma miR-133a levels were higher in CHD patients than control group. Importantly, the levels of circulating miR-133a positively correlated with the severities of the coronary artery stenosis. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis revealed that circulating miR-133a had considerable diagnostic accuracy for CHD with an AUC of 0.918 (95% confidence interval 0.877-0.960).
Circulating miR-133a may be a new biomarker for AMI and as a potential diagnostic tool. And increased miR-133a level may be used to predict both the presence and severity of coronary lesions in CHD patients.
Biomarker; CHD; Circulating miRNA
The “Notch-sparing” γ-secretase inhibitor (GSI) BMS-708,163 (Avagacestat) is currently in phase II clinical trials for Alzheimer’s disease. Unlike previously failed GSIs, BMS-708,163 is considered to be a promising drug candidate due to its reported Notch-sparing activity for the inhibition of Aβ production over Notch cleavage. We now report that BMS-708,163 binds directly to PS1-NTF, and that binding can be competed by other pan-GSIs, but not by γ-secretase modulators (GSMs). Furthermore, BMS-708,163 blocks the binding of four different active site-directed GSI photoaffinity probes. We therefore report that this compound acts as a non-selective γ-secretase inhibitor.
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (AARSs) catalyze aminoacylation of tRNAs in the cytoplasm. Surprisingly, AARSs also have critical extracellular and nuclear functions. Evolutionary pressure for new functions might be manifested by splice variants that skip only an internal catalytic domain (CD) and link non-catalytic N- and C-terminal polypeptides. Using disease-associated histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS) as an example, we discovered an expressed 171 amino acid protein (HisRSΔCD) that deleted the entire CD, and joined an N-terminal WHEP to the C-terminal anticodon-binding domain (ABD). X-ray crystallographic and 3-D NMR methods revealed the first structures of human HisRS and HisRSΔCD. In contrast to homodimeric HisRS, HisRSΔCD is monomeric, where rupture of the ABD’s packing with CD resulted in a dumbbell-like structure of flexibly linked WHEP and ABD domains. In addition, the ABD of HisRSΔCD presents a new local conformation. This natural internally deleted HisRS suggests evolutionary pressure to reshape AARS tertiary and quaternary structures for repurposing.
The aim of this study was to investigate the potential efficacy of staining with methylthioninium chloride (MC) for the diagnosis of fungal keratitis. A total of 70 cases of fungal keratitis were included in the study from January 2009 to December 2010. The corneal scraping specimens of the patients were collected and stained with MC or a 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH)-based smear prior to microscopic examination. The staining results were confirmed with fungal culture and strain identification, which are recognized as ‘gold standards’ for the diagnosis of fungal keratitis. Among the 70 cases of fungal keratitis, 58 cases were positive and the positive rate was 82.86%. MC staining showed a positive rate of 62.86%, with higher levels of sensitivity (70.69%) and specificity (34.61%) compared with staining with the 10% KOH-based smear. The KOH-based smear showed a positive rate of 44.29% (P<0.05), a level of sensitivity of 44.83% (P<0.05) and a specificity of 17.95% (P<0.05). In addition, the MC staining showed false positive and negative rates of 25.00 and 29.31%, respectively, an accuracy index of 5.30% and positive and negative predictive values of 93.18 and 34.61%, respectively. The results indicate that MC staining is a fast and effective method for the early diagnosis of fungal keratitis.
fungal keratitis; methylthioninium chloride staining; KOH-based smear; culture
Clinical application of small interfering RNA (siRNA) requires safe and efficient delivery in vivo. Here, we report the design and synthesis of lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) for siRNA delivery based on cationic lipids with multiple tertiary amines and hydrophobic linoleyl chains. LNPs incorporating the lipid containing tris(2-aminoethyl)amine (TREN) and 3 linoleyl chain, termed TRENL3, were found to have exceptionally high siRNA transfection efficacy that was markedly superior to lipofectamine, a commercial transfection agent. In addition, inclusion of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as linoleic acid and linolenic acids in the formulation further enhanced the siRNA delivery efficiency. TRENL3 LNPs were further shown to transported siRNA into the cytosol primarily via macropinocytosis rather than clathrin-mediated endocytosis. The new LNPs have demonstrated preferential uptake by the liver and hepatocellular carcinoma in mice, thereby leading to high siRNA gene silencing activity. These data suggest potential therapeutic applications of TRENL3 mediated delivery of siRNA for liver diseases.
Cationic lipids; Lipid nanoparticles; Small interfering RNA; hepatocellular carcinoma
Obesity and β-cell dysfunction due to oxidative stress impact the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus. We co-cultured 3T3L1 adipocytes and islet cells in the presence or absence of the antioxidant α-lipoic acid (LA) and assayed the effects of the adipocytes and LA on the secretion of insulin by the islet cells and on the activities of factors involved in secretion and oxidative stress. At low glucose concentrations (2.8 mmol/l), the presence of adipocytes (co-culture) increased insulin secretion compared with islet cells cultured alone (control) and this increase was diminished by LA (co-culture plus LA). At high glucose concentrations (22 mmol/l), insulin secretion levels were similar for all islet groups, resulting in a restoration of the stimulation index in the presence of LA. The mRNA levels of the glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) genes glucokinase, glucose transporter 2 and Kir6.2 were downregulated under co-culture and co-culture plus LA conditions. Protein and tyrosine phosphorylation levels of insulin receptor-β and insulin receptor substrate-1 were decreased under co-culture conditions and were restored by LA treatment. Cellular malondialdehyde levels increased in the co-cultured islets and this increase was blocked by LA. The mRNA levels of superoxide dismutase and catalase were reduced under co-culture conditions and these reductions were eliminated by the addition of LA. In conclusion, 3T3L1 adipocytes disturb insulin secretion and induce islet dysfunction. The effects may be mediated by multiple pathways, which include downregulation of GSIS gene expression, suppression of islet cell insulin signaling and the induction of oxidative stress. LA may protect islet cells via activation of islet cell insulin signaling and the mRNA expression of antioxidant enzymes.
α-lipoic acid; 3T3L1 adipocytes; islet cells; oxidative stress; co-culture
Adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) vectors provide efficient and uniform gene expression to normal myocardium following systemic administration with kinetics that approach steady state within 2–3 weeks. However, due to the delayed onset of gene expression, AAV vectors have not previously been administered intravenously after reperfusion for post-infarct gene therapy applications. Here, we evaluate the therapeutic potential of post-MI gene delivery using intravenous AAV9.
AAV9 vectors expressing firefly luciferase, eGFP, or extracellular superoxide dismutase genes from the cTnT promoter (AcTnTLuc, AcTnTeGFP, AcTnTEcSOD) were employed. AcTnTLuc was administered intravenously at 10 minutes and at 1, 2 and 3 days post-ischemia/reperfusion (IR), and the kinetics of luciferase expression were assessed with bioluminescence imaging. AcTnTeGFP was used to evaluate the distribution of eGFP expression. High-resolution echocardiography was used to evaluate the effects of AcTnTEcSOD on left ventricular (LV) remodeling when injected 10 min post-IR.
Compared to sham animals, luciferase expression at 2 days after vector administration was elevated by 4-, 24-, 210- and 213-fold in groups injected at 10 min, 1 day, 2 days and 3 days post-IR, respectively. Expression of cTnT-driven eGFP was strongest in cardiomyocytes bordering the infarct zone. In the efficacy study of EcSOD, post-infarct LV end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes at days 14 and 28 were significantly smaller in the EcSOD group compared to control.
Systemic administration of AAV9 vectors after IR both elevates and accelerates gene expression that preferentially targets cardiomyocytes in the border zone with pharmacodynamics suitable for the attenuation of LV remodeling.
AAV; Post myocardial infarction gene delivery; Cardiac gene therapy; ischemia and reperfusion injury; LV remodeling