The concentration and composition of PAHs emitted from biomass cooking fuel were characterized in a rural non-smoking household in northern China. Twenty-two parent PAHs (pPAHs), 12 nitro-PAHs (nPAHs), and 4 oxy-PAHs (oPAHs) were measured in the kitchen, bedroom, and outdoors during both summer and winter. The most severe contamination occurred in the kitchen in the winter, where the daily mean concentrations of pPAHs, nPAHs, and oPAHs were 7500±4100, 38±29, and 8400±9200 ng/m3, respectively. Our results suggest that the nPAHs were largely from secondary formation in ambient air while oPAHs were either from primary emission of biomass burning or secondary formation from pPAHs in the kitchen. The daily mean benzo(a)pyrene equivalent exposure concentration was as high as 200±160 ng/m3 in the winter for the housewife who did the cooking compared to 59±37 ng/m3 for the control group that did not cook.
rural indoor air; solid fuel; PAHs; nitro-PAHs; oxygenated-PAHs
MicroRNA (miRNA) profiles are altered in chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurological disorders, and cancer. A systems biology approach was used to examine, for the first time, miRNAs altered in rat colon tumors induced by 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), a heterocyclic amine carcinogen from cooked meat.
Methods and Results
Among the most highly dysregulated miRNAs were those belonging to the let-7 family. Subsequent computational modeling and target validation identified c-Myc and miRNA-binding proteins Lin28A/Lin28B (Lin28) as key players, along with Sox2, Nanog and Oct-3/4. These targets of altered miRNAs in colon cancers have been implicated in tumor recurrence and reduced patient survival, in addition to their role as pluripotency factors. In parallel with these findings, the tumor-suppressive effects of dietary spinach given post-initiation correlated with elevated levels of let-7 family members and partial normalization of c-myc, Sox2, Nanog, Oct-3/4, HmgA2, Dnmt3b and P53 expression.
We conclude that the let-7/c-Myc/Lin28 axis is dysregulated in heterocyclic amine-induced colon carcinogenesis, and that the tumor suppressive effects of dietary spinach are associated with partial normalization of this pathway.
MicroRNAs; epigenetics; pluripotent factors; colon cancer; chemoprevention
Stringent control of the type I interferon signaling pathway is important for maintaining host immune responses and homeostasis, yet the molecular mechanisms responsible for its tight regulation are still poorly understood. Here we report that the pattern-recognition receptor NLRP4 regulated the activation of type I interferon mediated by double-stranded RNA or DNA by targeting the kinase TBK1 for degradation. NLRP4 recruited the E3 ubiquitin ligase DTX4 to TBK1 for Lys48 (K48)-linked polyubiquitination at Lys670, which led to degradation of TBK1. Knockdown of either DTX4 or NLRP4 abrogated K48-linked ubiquitination and degradation of TBK1 and enhanced the phosphorylation of TBK1 and the transcription factor IRF3. Our results identify a previously unrecognized role for NLRP4 in the regulation of type I interferon signaling and provide molecular insight into the mechanisms by which NLRP4-DTX4 targets TBK1 for degradation.
The importance of T-cell-mediated antitumor immunity has been demonstrated in both animal models and human cancer immunotherapy. In the past 30 years, T-cell-based immunotherapy has been improved with an objective clinical response rate of up to 72%. Identification of MHC class I- and II-restricted tumor antigens recognized by tumor-reactive T cells has generated a resurgence of interest in cancer vaccines. Although clinical trials with cancer peptide/protein vaccines have only met a limited success, several phase II/III clinical trials are either completed or ongoing with encouraging results. Recent advances in immunotherapy have led to the approval of two anticancer drugs (sipuleucel-T vaccine and anti-CTLA-4 antibody) by the US FDA for the treatment of meta-static castration-resistant prostate cancer and melanoma, respectively. Intracellular delivery of antigenic peptides into dendritic cells (DCs) prolongs antigen presentation of antigen-presenting cells to T cells, thus further improving clinical efficacy of peptide/protein cancer vaccines. Because innate immune responses are critically important to provide sensing and initiating of adaptive immunity, combined use of cell-penetrating peptide vaccines with stimulation of innate immune signaling may produce potent anti-tumor immune responses. We will discuss the recent progress and novel strategies in cancer immunotherapy.
Astrocytomas are common malignant intracranial tumors that comprise the majority of adult primary central nervous system tumors. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNAs (20–24 nucleotides) that post-transcriptionally modulate gene expression by negatively regulating the stability or translational efficiency of their target mRNAs. In our previous studies, we found that the downregulation of miR-106a-5p in astrocytomas is associated with poor prognosis. However, its specific gene target(s) and underlying functional mechanism(s) in astrocytomas remain unclear. In this study, we used mRNA microarray experiments to measure global mRNA expression in the presence of increased or decreased miR-106a-5p levels. We then performed bioinformatics analysis based on multiple target prediction algorithms to obtain candidate target genes that were further validated by computational predictions, western blot analysis, quantitative real-time PCR, and the luciferase reporter assay. Fas-activated serine/threonine kinase (FASTK) was identified as a direct target of miR-106a-5p. In human astrocytomas, miR-106a-5p is downregulated and negatively associated with clinical staging, whereas FASTK is upregulated and positively associated with advanced clinical stages, at both the protein and mRNA levels. Furthermore, Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that the reduced expression of miR-106a-5p or the increased expression of FASTK is significantly associated with poor survival outcome. These results further supported the finding that FASTK is a direct target gene of miR-106a-5p. Next, we explored the function of miR-106a-5p and FASTK during astrocytoma progression. Through gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies, we demonstrated that miR-106a-5p can significantly inhibit cell proliferation and migration and can promote cell apoptosis in vitro. The knockdown of FASTK induced similar effects on astrocytoma cells as those induced by the overexpression of miR-106a-5p. These observations suggest that miR-106a-5p functions as a tumor suppressor during the development of astrocytomas by targeting FASTK.
Stringent control of NF-κB and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling is critical during innate immune responses. TGF-β activated kinase-1 (TAK1) is essential for NF-κB activation in T and B cells but has precisely the opposite activity in myeloid cells. Specific deletion of TAK1 (Map3k7ΔM/ΔM) led to development of splenomegaly and lymphomegaly associated with neutrophilia. Compared with wild-type cells, TAK1-deficient neutrophils enhanced the phosphorylation of the kinases IKK, p38, and JNK and the production of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and reactive oxygen species (ROS) after lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation. Map3k7ΔM/ΔM mice were significantly more susceptible to LPS-induced septic shock and produced higher amounts of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α in plasma than do wild-type mice. Specific ablation of p38 rescued the phenotype and functional properties of Map3k7ΔM/ΔM mice. Our findings identify a previously unrecognized role of TAK1 as a negative regulator of p38 and IKK activation in a cell type-specific manner.
Both particulate matter (PM) and black carbon (BC) impact climate change and human health. Uncertainties in emission inventories of PM and BC are partially due to large variation of measured emission factors (EFs) and lack of EFs from developing countries. Although there is a debate whether thermal-optically measured elemental carbon (EC) may be referred to as BC, EC are often treated as the same mass of BC. In this study, EFs of PM (EFPM) and EC (EFEC) for 9 crop residues and 5 coals were measured in actual rural cooking and coal stoves using the carbon mass balance method. The dependence of the EFs on fuel properties and combustion conditions were investigated. It was found that the mean EFPM were 8.19 ± 4.27 and 3.17 ± 4.67 g/kg and the mean EFEC were 1.38 ± 0.70 and 0.23 ± 0.36 g/kg for crop residues and coals, respectively. PM with size less than 10 μm (PM10) from crop residues were dominated by particles of aerodynamic size ranging from 0.7 to 2.1 μm, while the most abundant size ranges of PM10 from coals were either from 0.7 to 2.1 μm or less than 0.7 μm. Of various fuel properties and combustion conditions tested, fuel moisture and modified combustion efficiency (MCE) were the most critical factors affecting EFPM and EFEC for crop residues. For coal combustion, EFPM were primarily affected by MCE and volatile matter, while EFEC were significantly influenced by ash content, volatile matter, heat value, and MCE. It was also found that EC emissions were significantly correlated with emissions of PM with size less than 0.4 μm.
Residential wood combustion is one of the important sources of air pollution in developing countries. Among the pollutants emitted, parent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (pPAHs) and their derivatives, including nitrated and oxygenated PAHs (nPAHs and oPAHs), are of concern because of their mutagenic and carcinogenic effects. In order to evaluate their impacts on regional air quality and human health, emission inventories, based on realistic emission factors (EFs), are needed. In this study, the EFs of 28 pPAHs (EFPAH28), 9 nPAHs (EFPAHn9) and 4 oPAHs (EFPAHo4) were measured for residential combustion of 27 wood fuels in rural China. The measured EFPAH28, EFPAHn9, and EFPAHo4 for brushwood were 86.7±67.6, 3.22±1.95×10−2, and 5.56±4.32 mg/kg, which were significantly higher than 12.7±7.0, 8.27±5.51×10−3, and 1.19±1.87 mg/kg for fuel wood combustion (p < 0.05). Sixteen U.S. EPA priority pPAHs contributed approximately 95% of the total of the 28 pPAHs measured. EFs of pPAHs, nPAHs, and oPAHs were positively correlated with one another. Measured EFs varied obviously depending on fuel properties and combustion conditions. The EFs of pPAHs, nPAHs, and oPAHs were significantly correlated with modified combustion efficiency and fuel moisture. Nitro-naphthalene and 9-fluorenone were the most abundant nPAHs and oPAHs identified. Both nPAHs and oPAHs showed relatively high tendencies to be present in the particulate phase than pPAHs due to their lower vapor pressures. The gas-particle partitioning of freshly emitted pPAHs, nPAHs and oPAHs was primarily controlled by organic carbon absorption.
The centrosome is the primary site for microtubule nucleation in cells and orchestrates reorganization of the microtubule cytoskeleton during the cell cycle. The activities of the centrosome must be closely aligned with progression of the cell cycle; misregulation of centrosome separation and duplication is a hallmark of cancer. In a subset of cells, including the developing spermatid, the centrosome becomes specialized to form the basal body thereby supporting growth of the axoneme in morphogenesis of cilia and flagella, structures critical for signaling and motility. Mammalian spermatogenesis is an excellent model system to investigate the transformations in cellular architecture that accompany these changes including formation of the flagellum. We have previously identified a leucine rich repeat protein (PPP1R42) that contains a protein phosphatase-1 (PP1) binding site and translocates from the apical nucleus to the centrosome at the base of the flagellum during spermiogenesis. In this manuscript we examine localization and function of PPP1R42 in a ciliated epithelial cell model as a first step in understanding the role of this protein in centrosome function and flagellar formation.
We demonstrate that PPP1R42 localizes to the basal body in ARPE-19 retinal epithelial cells. Colocalization and co-immunoprecipitation experiments further show that PPP1R42 interacts with γ-tubulin. Inhibition of PPP1R42 with small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) causes accumulation of centrosomes indicating premature centrosome separation. Importantly, the activity of two signaling molecules that regulate centrosome separation, PP1 phosphatase and NEK2 kinase, changes when PPP1R42 is inhibited: PP1 activity is reduced with a corresponding increase in NEK2 activity.
We have identified a role for the PP1-binding protein, PPP1R42, in centrosome separation in ciliated ARPE-19 cells. Our finding that inhibition of PPP1R42 expression increases the number of centrosomes per cell is consistent with our model that PPP1R42 is a positive regulator of PP1. PPP1R42 depletion reduces the activity of PP1 leading to activation of NEK2, the kinase responsible for phosphorylation of centrosomal linker proteins promoting centrosome separation. This work identifies a new molecule localized to the centrosome and basal body with a role in the complex signaling network responsible for controlling centrosome activities.
centrosome; polarization; PP1; PPP1R42; TLRR
Latrepirdine (Dimebon™) is a pro-neurogenic, antihistaminic compound that has yielded mixed results in clinical trials of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, with a dramatically positive outcome in a Russian clinical trial that was unconfirmed in a replication trial in the United States. We sought to determine whether latrepirdine-stimulated APP catabolism is at least partially attributable to regulation of macroautophagy, a highly conserved protein catabolism pathway that is known to be impaired in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We utilized several mammalian cellular models to determine whether latrepirdine regulates mTOR- and Atg5-dependent autophagy. Male TgCRND8 mice were chronically administered latrepirdine prior to behavior analysis in the cued and contextual fear conditioning paradigm, as well as immunohistological and biochemical analysis of AD-related neuropathology. Treatment of cultured mammalian cells with latrepirdine led to enhanced mTOR- and Atg5-dependent autophagy. Latrepirdine treatment of TgCRND8 transgenic mice was associated with improved learning behavior and with a reduction in accumulation of Aβ42 and α-synuclein. We conclude that latrepirdine possesses pro-autophagic properties in addition to the previously reported pro-neurogenic properties, both of which are potentially relevant to the treatment and/or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. We suggest that elucidation of the molecular mechanism(s) underlying latrepirdine effects on neurogenesis, autophagy, and behavior might warranty the further study of latrepirdine as a potentially viable lead compound that might yield more consistent clinical benefit following optimization of its pro-neurogenic, pro-autophagic, and/or pro-cognitive activities.
autophagy; amyloid; Alzheimer’s disease; therapeutics
The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) play a vital role in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression. However, there is currently no suitable positron emission tomography (PET) or Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) radioligands for imaging α7 nAChRs in brain. Here our aim is to radiosynthesize a novel SPECT radioligand 131I-CHIBA-1001 for whole body biodistribution study and in vivo imaging of α7 nAChRs in brain.
131I-CHIBA-1001 was radiosynthesized by chloramine-T method. Different conditions of reaction time and temperature were tested to get a better radiolabeling yield. Radiolabeling yield and radiochemical purities of 131I-CHIBA-1001 were analyzed by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) system. Whole body biodistribution study was performed at different time points post injection of 131I-CHIBA-1001 in KM mice. Monkey subject was used for in vivo SPECT imaging in brain.
The radiolabeling yield of 131I-CHIBA-1001 reached 96% within 1.5∼2.0 h at 90∼95°C. The radiochemical purity reached more than 99% after HPLC purification. 131I-CHIBA-1001 was highly stable in saline and fresh human serum in room temperature and 37°C separately. The biodistribution data of brain at 15, 30, and 60 min were 11.05±1.04%ID/g, 8.8±0.04%ID/g and 6.28±1.13%ID/g, respectively. In experimental SPECT imaging, the distribution of radioactivity in the brain regions was paralleled with the distribution of α7 nAChRs in the monkey brain. Moreover, in the blocking SPECT imaging study, the selective α7 nAChR agonist SSR180711 blocked the radioactive uptake in the brain successfully.
The CHIBA-1001 can be successfully radiolabeled with 131I using the chloramine-T method. 131I-CHIBA-1001 can successfully accumulate in the monkey brain and image the α7 acetylcholine receptors. 131I-CHIBA-1001 can be a candidate for imagingα7 acetylcholine receptors, which will be of great value for the diagnosis and treatment of mental diseases.
The MYB proteins comprise one of the largest families of transcription factors (TFs) in plants. Although several MYB genes have been characterized to play roles in secondary metabolism, the MYB family has not yet been identified in apple. In this study, 229 apple MYB genes were identified through a genome-wide analysis and divided into 45 subgroups. A computational analysis was conducted using the apple genomic database to yield a complete overview of the MYB family, including the intron-exon organizations, the sequence features of the MYB DNA-binding domains, the carboxy-terminal motifs, and the chromosomal locations. Subsequently, the expression of 18 MYB genes, including 12 were chosen from stress-related subgroups, while another 6 ones from other subgroups, in response to various abiotic stresses was examined. It was found that several of these MYB genes, particularly MdoMYB121, were induced by multiple stresses. The MdoMYB121 was then further functionally characterized. Its predicted protein was found to be localized in the nucleus. A transgenic analysis indicated that the overexpression of the MdoMYB121 gene remarkably enhanced the tolerance to high salinity, drought, and cold stresses in transgenic tomato and apple plants. Our results indicate that the MYB genes are highly conserved in plant species and that MdoMYB121 can be used as a target gene in genetic engineering approaches to improve the tolerance of plants to multiple abiotic stresses.
Bulk deposition samples were collected in remote, rural village and urban areas of Beijing–Tianjin region, North China in spring, summer, fall and winter from 2007 to 2008. The annually averaged PAHs concentration and deposition flux were 11.81 ± 4.61 µg/g and 5.2 ± 3.89 µg/m2/day respectively. PHE and FLA had the highest deposition flux, accounting for 35.3% and 20.7% of total deposition flux, respectively. More exposure risk from deposition existed in the fall for the local inhabitants. In addition, the PAHs deposition flux in rural villages (3.91 µg/m2/day) and urban areas (8.28 µg/m2/day) was 3.8 and 9.1 times higher than in background area (0.82 µg/m2/day), respectively. This spatial variation of deposition fluxes of PAHs was related to the PAHs emission sources, local population density and air concentration of PAHs, and the PAHs emission sources alone can explain 36%, 49%, 21% and 30% of the spatial variation in spring, summer, fall and winter, respectively.
PAHs; Bulk deposition; Flux; Seasonal variation; Beijing; Tianjin
Forty passive air samplers were deployed to study the occurrence of gas and particulate phase PAHs in remote, rural village and urban areas of Beijing–Tianjin region, North China for four seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter) from 2007 to 2008. The influence of emissions on the spatial distribution pattern of air PAH concentrations was addressed. In addition, the air–soil gas exchange of PAHs was studied using fugacity calculations. The median gaseous and particulate phase PAH concentrations were 222 ng/m3 and 114 ng/m3, respectively, with a median total PAH concentration of 349 ng/m3. Higher PAH concentrations were measured in winter than in other seasons. Air PAH concentrations measured at the rural villages and urban sites in the northern mountain region were significantly lower than those measured at sites in the southern plain during all seasons. However, there was no significant difference in PAH concentrations between the rural villages and urban sites in the northern and southern areas. This urban–rural PAH distribution pattern was related to the location of PAH emission sources and the population distribution. The location of PAH emission sources explained 56%–77% of the spatial variation in ambient air PAH concentrations. The annual median air–soil gas exchange flux of PAHs was 42.2 ng/m2/day from soil to air. Among the 15 PAHs measured, acenaphthylene (ACY) and acenaphthene (ACE) contributed to more than half of the total exchange flux. Furthermore, the air–soil gas exchange fluxes of PAHs at the urban sites were higher than those at the remote and rural sites. In summer, more gaseous PAHs volatilized from soil to air because of higher temperatures and increased rainfall. However, in winter, more gaseous PAHs deposited from air to soil due to higher PAH emissions and lower temperatures. The soil TOC concentration had no significant influence on the air–soil gas exchange of PAHs.
Atmospheric PAHs; Passive air sampling; Air; soil exchange; Beijing; Tianjin
The concentrations, profiles, sources and spatial distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) were determined in 40 surface soil samples collected from Beijing, Tianjin and surrounding areas, North China in 2007, and all sampling sites were far from industrial areas, roadsides and other pollution sources, and across a range of soil types in remote, rural villages and urban areas. The total concentrations of 16 PAHs ranged from 31.6 to 1475.0 ng/g, with an arithmetic average of 336.4 ng/g. The highest PAH concentrations were measured in urban soils, followed by rural village soils and soils from remote locations. The remote–rural village–urban PAH concentration gradient was related to population density, gross domestic product (GDP), long-range atmospheric transport and different types of land use. In addition, the PAH concentration was well correlated with the total organic carbon (TOC) concentration of the soil. The PAH profile suggested that coal combustion and biomass burning were primary PAH sources.
Soil; PAHs; Source diagnostics; Beijing; Tianjin
Biomass pellets are emerging as a cleaner alternative to traditional biomass fuels. The potential benefits of using biomass pellets include improving energy utilization efficiency and reducing emissions of air pollutants. To assess the environmental, climate, and health significance of replacing traditional fuels with biomass pellets, it is critical to measure the emission factors (EFs) of various pollutants from pellet burning. However, only a few field measurements have been conducted on the emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), particulate matter (PM), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) from the combustion of pellets. In this study, pine wood and corn straw pellets were burned in a pellet burner (2.6 kW) and the EFs of CO, organic carbon, elemental carbon, PM, and PAHs (EFCO, EFOC, EFEC, EFPM, and EFPAH) were determined. The average EFCO, EFOC, EFEC, and EFPM were 1520±1170, 8.68±11.4, 11.2±8.7, and 188±87 mg/MJ for corn straw pellets, and 266±137, 5.74±7.17, 2.02±1.57, and 71.0±54.0 mg/MJ for pine wood pellets, respectively. Total carbonaceous carbon constituted 8 to 14% of the PM mass emitted. The measured values of EFPAH for the two pellets were 1.02±0.64 and 0.506±0.360 mg/MJ, respectively. The secondary side air supply in the pellet burner did not change the EFs of most pollutants significantly (p > 0.05). The only exceptions were EFOC and EFPM for pine wood pellets because of reduced combustion temperatures with the increased air supply. In comparison with EFs for the raw pine wood and corn straw, EFCO, EFOC, EFEC, and EFPM for pellets were significantly lower than those for raw fuels (p < 0.05). However, the differences in EFPAH were not significant (p > 0.05). Based on the measured EFs and thermal efficiencies, it was estimated that 95, 98, 98, 88, and 71% reductions in the total emissions of CO, OC, EC, PM, and PAHs could be achieved by replacing the raw biomass fuels combusted in traditional cooking stoves with pellets burned in modern pellet burners.
Caliciviruses that cause diarrhea have been reported in both industrial and developing countries, including China, in recent years. Here, we report the complete genome of a porcine calicivirus strain, Ah-1, which is prevalent in swine groups in Anhui Province. This viral genome is 7,342 nucleotides (nt) long, excluding the poly(A) of the 3′ end, which is 202 nt shorter in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) than that of the other Chinese porcine calicivirus strain (Ch-sw-sav1; GenBank accession number FJ387164), previously isolated in the Shanghai area, China, though they shared 98.8% sequence identity over the whole genome excluding the 202-nt-shorter region.
Soil contamination by chromium (Cr) has become an increasing problem worldwide as a result of extensive industrial activities. Chromium, especially hexavalent Cr, impairs the growth and productivity of plants. Although it has been proposed that plants could modify their metabolism to adapt to Cr stress by reprogramming the expression of genes, especially those related to the antioxidant system, damage response, and electron transport chain, evidence at the protein expression level is lacking. To better understand the precise mechanisms underlying Cr phytoxicity and the plant response to Cr exposure, the time-course of changes in the protein expression profile induced by short-term hexavalent Cr exposure (1, 6 and 24 h) were analyzed in maize leaves. Among the over 1200 protein spots detected reproducibly by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE), 60 were found to be differentially accumulated during Cr stress treatment. Of the Cr-regulated proteins, 58 were identified using tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). The Cr-regulated proteins identified were mainly involved in ROS detoxification and defense responses (26%), photosynthesis and chloroplast organization (22%), post-transcriptional processing of mRNA and rRNA (12%), protein synthesis and folding (10%), the DNA damage response (5%), and the cytoskeleton (3%). The possible involvement of these Cr stress-responsive proteins in Cr phytoxicity and the plant response to Cr exposure in maize is discussed, taking into consideration the information available from other plant models. Our results provide preliminary evidence that will facilitate understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying Cr toxicity in maize.
maize; chromium; leaf; proteomics
Nod-like receptors (NLRs) are intracellular sensors that respond to a variety of pathogen and intracellular danger signals to induce innate immune responses. NLRC5 has recently been identified to be an important regulator of NF-κB, type I interferon (IFN) and inflammasome signaling pathways, but the in vivo function and mechanisms of NLRC5 remain to be defined. Here, we describe the generation and characterization of NLRC5 knockout mice. We show that induction of NLRC5 expression by Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligand or cytokine stimulation requires the signal transducers and activators of transcription (Stat)1-mediated signaling pathway. NLRC5 ablation reduces MHC class I expression, and enhances IKK and IRF3 phosphorylation in response to TLR stimulation or viral infection. Consistent with these observations, we found that NLRC5 deficiency enhanced IL-6 and IFN-β production in mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), peritoneal macrophages and bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs), but not bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) after LPS stimulation or vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection. Furthermore, we found that NLRC5-deficient mice produced higher amounts of IL-6 and IFN-β in the sera when they were challenged with LPS or infected with VSV. Taken together, these results provide in vivo evidence that NLRC5 plays critical roles in MHC class I expression, innate immune signaling and antiviral innate immune responses, thus serving as an important target for modulating innate immune signaling and regulation.
innate immune signaling; NF-κB activation; type I interferon signaling; Nod-like receptors
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a viral pathogen that causes acute respiratory illnesses in young pigs. Since 1987, PRRSV has contributed substantial economic losses to the swine industry. Elevation of proinflammatory cytokines in PRRSV-infected pigs is thought to contribute to PRRSV pathogenesis. In this study, PRRSV VR-2385, a Type 2 strain with moderate virulence, was found to induce phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) at serine 727 (pSTAT1-S727) in MARC-145 cells. No phosphorylated STAT1 at tyrosine 701 was detected, which indicates that the pSTAT1-S727 elevation was interferon-independent. The PRRSV-induced pSTAT1-S727, however, was dose-dependent and its levels increased with infection time. IngelVac PRRS MLV strain had a minimal effect on pSTAT1-S727. Compared to MLV-infected cells, VR-2385 infection caused significantly higher level of expression of proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin 1 beta (IL-1beta) and IL-8. The VR-2385-induced pSTAT1-S727 and cytokine expression were reduced after SB203580, an inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), or methylthioadenosine (MTA), a methyl transferase inhibitor, was added to the cells. The SB203580 and MTA-mediated inhibition suggested that the virus-induced pSTAT1-S727 was dependent on p38 MAPK pathway. In primary porcine alveolar macrophages (PAMs), VR-2385 also induced pSTAT1-S727 and expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including IL-1beta, IL-8, chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) and chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 10 (CXCL10). Similarly, SB203580 treatment of PAM cells blocked the elevation of pSTAT1-S727 and cytokine expression. Overexpression of individual viral proteins showed that non-structural protein 12 (nsp12) was able to induce elevation of pSTAT1-S727 and the expression of IL-1β and IL-8. These results indicated that PRRSV VR-2385 induces pSTAT1-S727 and the expression of proinflammatory cytokines, which contributes to the insight of PRRSV pathogenesis.
We examined performance in the antisaccade task for younger and older adults by comparing latencies and errors in what we defined as high attentional focus (mixed antisaccades and prosaccades in the same block) and low attentional focus (antisaccades and prosaccades in separate blocks) conditions. Shorter saccade latencies for correctly executed eye movements were observed for both groups in mixed, compared to blocked, antisaccade tasks, but antisaccade error rates were higher for older participants across both conditions. The results are discussed in relation to the inhibitory hypothesis, the goal neglect theory and attentional control theory.
Retene (1-methyl-7-isopropylphenanthrene) is often used as a marker for softwood combustion and for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) source apportionment. The emission factors of retene (EFRET) from 11 crop residues, 27 firewood and 5 coals were measured using traditional rural Chinese stoves. Retene was measured in combustion emissions from all of the residential fuels tested and EFRET varied significantly among the fuels due to the differences in fuel properties and combustion conditions. EFRET for pine (0.34±0.08 mg/kg) and larch (0.29±0.22 mg/kg) were significantly higher than those of other wood types, including fir and cypress (0.081±0.058 mg/kg). However, EFRET for crop residues varied from 0.048±0.008 to 0.37±0.14 mg/kg and were not significantly lower than those for softwood (0.074±0.026 to 0.34±0.08 mg/kg). The EFRET for coal were very high and ranged from 2.2±1.5 (anthracite briquette) to 187±113 mg/kg (raw bituminous chunk). EFRET was positively correlated with EFs of co-emitted particulate matter (EFPM) and phenanthrene (EFPHE) for crop residue and coal, but not for wood. In addition, the ratios of EFPHE/EFRET and EFPM/EFRET for coals were much lower than those for crop residues and wood. These data suggest that retene is not a unique PAH marker for softwood combustion and that coal combustion, in particular, should be taken into account when retene is used for PAH source apportionment.
Retene; Emission Factor; Wood; Coal; Crop Residue
Hypoxic/ischemic injury to kidney is a frequently encountered clinical problem with limited therapeutic options. Since microRNAs are differentially involved in hypoxic/ischemic events and δ-opioid receptor (DOR) activation is known to protect against hypoxic/ischemic injury, we speculated on the involvement of DOR activation in altering the microRNA (miRNA) expression in kidney under hypoxic condition. We selected 31 miRNAs based on microarray data for quantitative PCR analysis. Among them, 14 miRNAs were significantly altered after prolonged hypoxia, DOR activation or a combination of both. We found that 1) DOR activation alters miRNA expression profiles in normoxic conditions; 2) hypoxia differentially alters miRNA expression depending on the duration of hypoxia; and 3) DOR activation can modify hypoxia-induced changes in miRNA expression. For example, 10-day hypoxia reduced the level of miR-212 by over 70%, while DOR activation could mimic such reduction even in normoxic kidney. In contrast, the same stress increased miR-29a by >100%, which was reversed following DOR activation. These first data suggest that hypoxia comprehensively modifies the miRNA profile within the kidney, which can be mimicked or modified by DOR activation. Ascertaining the targeted pathways that regulate the diverse cellular and molecular functions of miRNA may provide new insights into potential therapies for hypoxic/ischemic injury of the kidney.
Published emission factors (EFs) often vary significantly, leading to high uncertainties in emission estimations. There are few reliable EFs from field measurements of residential wood combustion in China. In this study, 17 wood fuels and one bamboo were combusted in a typical residential stove in rural China to measure realistic EFs of particulate matter (PM), organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC), as well as to investigate the influence of fuel properties and combustion conditions on the EFs. Measured EFs of PM, OC, and EC (EFPM, EFOC, and EFEC, respectively) were in the range of 0.38~6.4, 0.024~3.0 and 0.039~3.9 g/kg (dry basis), with means and standard derivation of 2.2±1.2, 0.62±0.64 and 0.83±0.69 g/kg, respectively. Shrubby biomass combustion produced higher EFs than tree woods, and both species had lower EFs than those of indoor crop residue burning (p<0.05). Significant correlations between EFPM, EFOC and EFEC were expected. By using a nine-stage cascade impactor, it was shown that size distributions of PM emitted from tree biomass combustions were unimodal with peaks at a diameter less than 0.4 µm (PM0.4), much finer than the PM from indoor crop residue burning. Approximately 79.4% of the total PM from tree wood combustion was PM with a diameter less than 2.1µm (PM2.1). PM size distributions for shrubby biomasses were slightly different from those for tree fuels. Based on the measured EFs, total emissions of PM, OC, and EC from residential wood combustion in rural China in 2007 were estimated at about 303, 75.7, and 92.0 Gg.
Visualization of tumor angiogenesis using radionuclide targeting provides important diagnostic information. In previous study, we proved that an arginine-arginine-leucine (RRL) peptide should be a tumor endothelial cell specific binding sequence. The overall aim of this study was to evaluate whether 99mTc-radiolabeled RRL could be noninvasively used for imaging of malignant tumors in vivo, and act as a new molecular probe targeting tumor angiogenesis.
The RRL peptide was designed and radiosynthesized with 99mTc by a one-step method. The radiolabeling efficiency and radiochemical purity were then characterized in vitro. 99mTc-RRL was injected intravenously in HepG2 xenograft-bearing BALB/c nude mice. Biodistribution and in vivo imaging were performed periodically. The relationship between tumor size and %ID uptake of 99mTc-RRL was also explored.
The labeling efficiencies of 99mTc-RRL reached 76.9%±4.5% (n = 6) within 30–60 min at room temperature, and the radiochemical purity exceeded 96% after purification. In vitro stability experiment revealed the radiolabeled peptide was stable. Biodistribution data showed that 99mTc-RRL rapidly cleared from the blood and predominantly accumulated in the kidneys and tumor. The specific uptake of 99mTc-RRL in tumor was significantly higher than that of unlabeled RRL blocking and free pertechnetate control test after injection (p<0.05). The ratio of the tumor-to-muscle exceeded 6.5, tumor-to-liver reached 1.98 and tumor-to-blood reached 1.95. In planar gamma imaging study, the tumors were imaged clearly at 2–6 h after injection of 99mTc-RRL, whereas the tumor was not imaged clearly in blocking group. The tumor-to-muscle ratio of images with 99mTc-RRL was comparable with that of 18F-FDG PET images. Immunohistochemical analysis verified the excessive vasculature of tumor. There was a linear relationship between the tumor size and uptake of 99mTc-RRL with R2 = 0.821.
99mTc-RRL can be used as a potential candidate for visualization of tumor angiogenesis in malignant carcinomas.