Escherichia coli O26:H11 strains were able to outgrow O157:H7 companion strains in planktonic and biofilm phases and also to effectively compete with precolonized O157:H7 cells to establish themselves in mixed biofilms. E. coli O157:H7 strains were unable to displace preformed O26:H11 biofilms. Therefore, E. coli O26:H11 remains a potential risk in food safety.
Cyclospora spp. have been identified as one of the most important intestinal pathogens causing protracted diarrhea in animals and human beings. To determine the Cyclospora species in the non-human primate Rhinopithecus roxellanae, a total of 71 fecal samples from 19 endangered snub-nosed monkeys in Shaanxi province were collected and examined using Sheater’s sugar flotation technique and by sequencing the fragments of 18S rDNA. Only two Cyclospora isolates from 2 golden snub-nosed monkeys (R. roxellanae) were obtained and identified between July 2011 and August of 2012. The sequences of the 18S rDNA for the two Cyclospora isolates were 477 bp, with no nucleotide variation between them. Phylogenetic analysis based on the 18S rDNA sequences revealed that the two Cyclospora isolates were posited into the clade Cyclospora spp. and sistered to C. colobi. These results first showed that Cyclospora infection occurred in R. roxellanae in hot and rainy weather, which would provide useful information for further understanding the molecular epidemiology of Cyclospora spp. and the control of Cyclospora infection in non-human primates as well as in human beings.
A large number of human tumor-associated antigens that are recognized by CD8+ T cells in a human leukocyte antigen class I (HLA-I)-restricted fashion have been identified. Special AT-rich sequence binding protein 1 (SATB1) is highly expressed in many types of human cancers as part of their neoplastic phenotype, and up-regulation of SATB1 expression is essential for tumor survival and metastasis, thus this protein may serve as a rational target for cancer vaccines.
Twelve SATB1-derived peptides were predicted by an immuno-informatics approach based on the HLA-A*02 binding motif. These peptides were examined for their ability to induce peptide-specific T cell responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from HLA-A*02+ healthy donors and/or HLA-A*02+ cancer patients. The recognition of HLA-A*02+ SATB1-expressing cancer cells was also tested. Among the twelve SATB1-derived peptides, SATB1565–574 frequently induced peptide-specific T cell responses in PBMCs from both healthy donors and cancer patients. Importantly, SATB1565–574-specific T cells recognized and killed HLA-A*02+ SATB1+ cancer cells in an HLA-I-restricted manner.
We have identified a novel HLA-A*02-restricted SATB1-derived peptide epitope recognized by CD8+ T cells, which, in turn, recognizes and kills HLA-A*02+ SATB1+ tumor cells. The SATB1-derived epitope identified may be used as a diagnostic marker as well as an immune target for development of cancer vaccines.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the most common acute leukemia in adults. The disease is characterized by various cytogenetic and molecular abnormalities with distinct prognoses and gene expression profiles. Emerging evidence has suggested that circulating microRNAs (miRNAs) could serve as noninvasive biomarkers for cancer detection; however, little is known about circulating miRNA profiles in AML patients. In this study, a genome-wide serum miRNA expression analysis was performed using Solexa sequencing for initial screen, followed by validation with real-time PCR assays. The analysis was conducted on training and verification sets of serum samples from 140 newly diagnosed AML patients and 135 normal adult donors. After a two-phase selection and validation process, 6 miRNAs, miR-10a-5p, miR-93-5p, miR-129-5p, miR-155-5p, miR-181b-5p and miR-320d, were found to have significantly different expression levels in AML compared with control serum samples. Furthermore, unsupervised clustering analysis revealed the remarkable ability of the 6-miRNA profile to differentiate between AML patients and normal controls. The areas under the ROC curve for the selected miRNAs ranged from 0.8129 to 0.9531. More importantly, miR-181b-5p levels in serum were significantly associated with overall survival. These data demonstrated that the expression patterns of circulating miRNAs were systematically altered in AML and miR-181b-5p may serve as a predictor for overall survival in AML patients.
Lersivirine is a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) with a unique resistance profile exhibiting potent antiviral activity against wild-type HIV and several clinically relevant NNRTI-resistant strains. Lersivirine, a weak inducer of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme CYP3A4, is metabolized by CYP3A4 and UDP glucuronosyltransferase 2B7 (UGT2B7). Two open, randomized, two-way (study 1; study A5271008) or three-way (study 2; study A5271043) crossover phase I studies were carried out under steady-state conditions in healthy subjects. Study 1 (n = 17) investigated the effect of oral rifampin on the pharmacokinetics (PKs) of lersivirine. Study 2 (n = 18) investigated the effect of oral rifabutin on the PKs of lersivirine and the effect of lersivirine on the PKs of rifabutin and its active metabolite, 25-O-desacetyl-rifabutin. Coadministration with rifampin decreased the profile of the lersivirine area under the plasma concentration-time curve from time zero to 24 h postdose (AUC24), maximum plasma concentration (Cmax), and plasma concentration observed at 24 h postdose (C24) by 85% (90% confidence interval [CI], 83, 87), 83% (90% CI, 79, 85), and 92% (90% CI, 89, 94), respectively, versus the values for lersivirine alone. Coadministration with rifabutin decreased the lersivirine AUC24, Cmax, and C24 by 34% (90% CI, 29, 39), 25% (90% CI, 16, 33), and 58% (90% CI, 52, 64), respectively, compared with the values for lersivirine alone. Neither the rifabutin concentration profile nor overall exposure was affected following coadministration with lersivirine. Lersivirine and rifabutin reduced the 25-O-desacetyl-rifabutin AUC24 by 27% (90% CI, 21, 32) and Cmax by 27% (90% CI, 19, 34). Lersivirine should not be coadministered with rifampin, which is a potent inducer of CYP3A4, UGT2B7, and P-glycoprotein activity and thus substantially lowers lersivirine exposure. No dose adjustment of rifabutin is necessary in the presence of lersivirine; an upward dose adjustment of lersivirine may be warranted when it is coadministered with rifabutin.
Ischemia reperfusion injury is partly responsible for the high mortality associated with induced myocardial injury and the reduction in the full benefit of myocardial reperfusion. Remote ischemic preconditioning, perconditioning, and postconditioning have all been shown to be cardioprotective. However, it is still unknown which one is the most beneficial. To examine this issue, we used adult male Wistar rat ischemia reperfusion models to compare the cardioprotective effect of these three approaches applied on double-sided hind limbs.
The rats were randomly distributed to the following five groups: sham, ischemia reperfusion, remote preconditioning, remote perconditioning, and remote post-conditioning. The ischemia/reperfusion model was established by sternotomy followed by a 30-min ligation of the left coronary artery and a subsequent 3-h reperfusion. Remote conditioning was induced with three 5-min ischemia/5-min reperfusion cycles of the double-sided hind limbs using a tourniquet.
A lower early reperfusion arrhythmia score (1.50±0.97) was found in the rats treated with remote perconditioning compared to those in the ischemia reperfusion group (2.33±0.71). Meanwhile, reduced infarct size was also observed (15.27±5.19% in remote perconditioning, 14.53±3.45% in remote preconditioning, and 19.84±5.85% in remote post-conditioning vs. 34.47±7.13% in ischemia reperfusion, p<0.05), as well as higher expression levels of the apoptosis-relevant protein Bcl-2/Bax following global (ischemia/reperfusion) injury in in vivo rat heart models (1.255±0.053 in remote perconditioning, 1.463±0.290 in remote preconditioning, and 1.461±0.541 in remote post-conditioning vs. 1.003±0.159 in ischemia reperfusion, p<0.05).
Three remote conditioning strategies implemented with episodes of double-sided hind limb ischemia/reperfusion have similar therapeutic potential for cardiac ischemia/reperfusion injury, and remote perconditioning has a greater ability to prevent reperfusion arrhythmia.
Cardioprotective Property; Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury; Models
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) represents more than 5% of all cancers diagnosed annually in United States and around the world. Despite advances in the management of patients with this disease, the survival has not been significantly improved, and the search for potential alternative therapies is encouraging. Here we demonstrate that deguelin administration causes a significant HNSCC cell death. Deguelin induces both cell apoptosis and autophagy by modulating multiple signaling pathways in cultured HNSCC cells. Deguelin inhibits Akt signaling, and down-regulates survivin and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (Cdk4) expressions, by disrupting their association with heat shock protein-90 (Hsp-90). Deguelin induces ceramide production through de novo synthase pathway to promote HNSCC cell death. Importantly, increased ceramide level activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which then directly phosphorylates Ulk1 and eventually leads to cell autophagy. We found that a low dose of deguelin sensitized HNSCC cells to 5-FU. Finally, using a nude mice Hep-2 xenograft model, we also showed a significant anti-tumor ability of deguelin in vivo. Together, we suggest that deguelin may represent a novel and effective chemo-agent against HNSCC.
Objective: To investigate the relationship between growth patterns and mandibular posterior tooth-alveolar bone complex morphology in a Chinese population with normal occlusion. Methods: Forty-five patients with normal occlusion (23 males, 22 females) were included in this study. Among these patients, 20 displayed the vertical growth pattern, and 20 had the horizontal growth pattern, while the remaining patients displayed the average growth pattern. All of the patients underwent dental cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), which included the region of the mandibular posterior teeth and the alveolar. A linear regression analysis and a correlation analysis between the facial height index (FHI) and the alveolar bone morphology were performed. Results: The inclination of the molars, the thickness of the cortical bone, and the height of the mandibular bone differed significantly between patients with the horizontal growth pattern and those with the vertical growth pattern (P<0.05). Significant positive correlations were found between: the FHI and the inclination of the molars; the FHI and the thickness of the cortical bone; and the FHI and the height of the mandibular bone. Conclusions: The mandibular posterior tooth-alveolar bone complex morphology may be affected by growth patterns.
Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT); Growth pattern; Alveolar morphology; Normal occlusion
Angiotensin II (AngII) induces cardiac hypertrophy and increases the expression of TR3. To determine whether TR3 is involved in the regulation of the pathological cardiac hypertrophy induced by AngII, we established mouse and rat hypertrophy models using chronic AngII administration. Our results reveal that a deficiency of TR3 in mice or the knockdown of TR3 in the left ventricle of rats attenuated AngII-induced cardiac hypertrophy compared with the respective controls. A mechanistic analysis demonstrates that the TR3-mediated activation of mTORC1 is associated with AngII-induced cardiac hypertrophy. TR3 was shown to form a trimer with the TSC1/TSC2 complex that specifically promoted TSC2 degradation via a proteasome/ubiquitination pathway. As a result, mTORC1, but not mTORC2, was activated; this was accompanied by increased protein synthesis, enhanced production of reactive oxygen species and enlarged cell size, thereby resulting in cardiac hypertrophy. This study demonstrates that TR3 positively regulates cardiac hypertrophy by influencing the effect of AngII on the mTOR pathway. The elimination or reduction of TR3 may reduce cardiac hypertrophy; therefore, TR3 is a potential target for clinical therapy.
angiotensin II; cardiac hypertrophy; mammalian target of rapamycin; orphan receptor TR3; tuberous sclerosis complex
Our aim in the present study was to investigate the potential roles of the 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) and the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) in the regulation of apoptosis during cerulein-induced acute pancreatitis (CAP). A rat CAP model was induced by injection of cerulein (50 μg/kg), and the severity of CAP was estimated by measuring serum amylase and lipase, pancreatic edema and histological changes. Pancreatic acinar cell apoptosis was determined by terminal-deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay, and the expression of GRP78, XIAP and the apoptotic genes caspase-3, -7 and -9 were determined by real-time quantitative PCR and western blotting. After induction with cerulein, increased serum amylase and lipase, pancreatic edema, inflammation and apoptosis were observed in CAP rats. Furthermore, the mRNA and protein levels of GRP78 and XIAP were significantly downregulated in CAP rats, while the mRNA levels of caspase-3, -7 and -9, as well as the cell apoptotic index were markedly increased when compared with control rats (P<0.05). The expression of GRP78 and XIAP was negatively correlated with caspase expression in CAP (P<0.05). This study suggests that the downregulation of GRP78 and XIAP were correlated with apoptosis in pancreatic acinar cells, and that this may occur through the regulation of caspase activation during CAP.
acute pancreatitis; 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein; X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein; apoptosis; caspase
Prolonged hypoxic/ischemic stress may cause cortical injury and clinically manifest as a neurological disability. Activation of the δ-opioid receptor (DOR) may induce cortical protection against hypoxic/ischemic insults. However, the mechanisms underlying DOR protection are not clearly understood. We have recently found that DOR activation modulates the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the kidney exposed to hypoxia, suggesting that DOR protection may involve a miRNA mechanism. To determine if the miRNAs expressed in the cortex mediated DOR neuroprotection, we examined 19 miRNAs that were previously identified as hypoxia- and DOR-regulated miRNAs in the kidney, in the rat cortex treated with UFP-512, a potent and specific DOR agonist under hypoxic condition. Of the 19 miRNAs tested, 17 were significantly altered by hypoxia and/or DOR activation with the direction and amplitude varying depending on hypoxic duration and times of DOR treatment. Expression of several miRNAs such as miR-29b, -101b, -298, 324-3p, -347 and 466b was significantly depressed after 24 hours of hypoxia. Similar changes were seen in normoxic condition 24 hours after DOR activation with one-time treatment of UFP-512. In contrast, some miRNAs were more tolerant to hypoxic stress and showed significant reduction only with 5-day (e.g., miR-31 and -186) or 10-day (e.g., miR-29a, let-7f and -511) exposures. In addition, these miRNAs had differential responses to DOR activation. Other miRNAs like miRs-363* and -370 responded only to the combined exposure to hypoxia and DOR treatment, with a notable reduction of >70% in the 5-day group. These data suggest that cortical miRNAs are highly yet differentially sensitive to hypoxia. DOR activation can modify, enhance or resolve the changes in miRNAs that target HIF, ion transport, axonal guidance, free radical signaling, apoptosis and many other functions.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of a supratherapeutic dose of lersivirine (LRV) on corrected QT (QTc) interval using Fridericia's equation (QTcF) in healthy subjects. In this randomized, single-dose, placebo- and active-controlled 3-way crossover study, healthy adult males (n = 48) were randomized to receive LRV (2,400 mg), moxifloxacin (400 mg), or placebo for each treatment period. Triplicate 12-lead electrocardiogram measurements were performed, PK samples were collected, and vital signs were measured. Adverse event monitoring and safety laboratory testing were performed. All subjects were white (mean age, 39 years; body mass index [BMI], 25.6 kg/m2) and completed the study. Following LRV administration, the upper bound of the 90% confidence interval (CI) for time-matched adjusted mean differences to placebo QTcF at each time point postdose was below the regulatory threshold of 10 ms, satisfying the criteria for a negative thorough QT/QTc study. The highest upper bound of QTcF 90% CI occurred at 6 h for LRV (3.32 ms; 90% CI, 1.47 to 5.17 ms). The study was deemed adequately sensitive as the lower bound of the 90% CI for the adjusted mean QTcF differences between moxifloxacin and placebo at the moxifloxacin historical Tmax of 3 h was >5 ms (15.29 ms; 90% CI, 13.44 to 17.14 ms). There was no statistically significant relationship between LRV exposure and placebo-adjusted change from baseline QTcF or clinically significant changes in QRS complex, pulse rate (PR) interval, heart rate, or blood pressure. LRV (2,400 mg) did not prolong the QTcF interval, and no clinically relevant electrocardiogram or vital sign changes were observed in healthy subjects.
To propose a method of establishing the reference mandibular plane (MP), which could be reestablished according to the coordinates of the reference points, and then facilitate the assessment of anterior alveolar morphology using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT), sixty patients with bimaxillary protrusion were randomly selected and CBCT scans were taken. The CBCT scans were transferred to Materialism’s interactive medical image control system 10.01 (MIMICS 10.01), and three dimensional models of the entire jaws were constructed. Reference points determining the reference MP were positioned in the coronal, axial, sagittal windows, and the points were exactly located by recording their coordinates in the interfaces of software. The reference MP provided high intra-observer reliability (Pearson’s r 0.992 to 0.999), and inter-observer reliability (intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) 0.996 to 0.999).
Reference Plane; Cone beam computed tomography; Alveolar morphology
MicroRNAs (miRNAs or miRs) are short non-coding RNAs that affect the expression of genes involved in normal physiology, but that also become dysregulated in cancer development. In the latter context, studies to date have focused on high-abundance miRNAs and their targets. We hypothesized that among the pool of low-abundance miRNAs are some with the potential to impact crucial oncogenic signaling networks in colon cancer.
Unbiased screening of over 650 miRNAs identified miR-206, a low-abundance miRNA, as the most significantly altered miRNA in carcinogen-induced rat colon tumors. Computational modeling highlighted the stem-cell marker Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4) as a potential target of miR-206. In a panel of primary human colon cancers, target validation at the mRNA and protein level confirmed a significant inverse relationship between miR-206 and KLF4, which was further supported by miR-206 knockdown and ectopic upregulation in human colon cancer cells. Forced expression of miR-206 resulted in significantly increased cell proliferation kinetics, as revealed by real-time monitoring using HCT116 cells.
Evolutionarily conserved high-abundance miRNAs are becoming established as key players in the etiology of human cancers. However, low-abundance miRNAs, such as miR-206, are often among the most significantly upregulated miRNAs relative to their expression in normal non-transformed tissues. Low-abundance miRNAs are worthy of further investigation, because their targets include KLF4 and other pluripotency and cancer stem-cell factors.
Cancer stem cells; Colon cancer; Epigenetics; KLF4; microRNAs; miR-206; Pluripotency factors
Glucokinase plays important tissue-specific roles in human physiology, where it acts as a sensor of blood glucose levels in the pancreas, and a few other cells of the gut and brain, and as the rate-limiting step in glucose metabolism in the liver. Liver-specific expression is driven by one of the two tissue-specific promoters, and has an absolute requirement for insulin. The sequences that mediate regulation by insulin are incompletely understood.
To better understand the liver-specific expression of the human glucokinase gene we compared the structures of this gene from diverse mammals. Much of the sequence located between the 5′ pancreatic beta-cell-specific and downstream liver-specific promoters of the glucokinase genes is composed of repetitive DNA elements that were inserted in parallel on different mammalian lineages. The transcriptional activity of the liver-specific promoter 5′ flanking sequences were tested with and without downstream intronic sequences in two human liver cells lines, HepG2 and L-02. While glucokinase liver-specific 5′ flanking sequences support expression in liver cell lines, a sequence located about 2000 bases 3′ to the liver-specific mRNA start site represses gene expression. Enhanced reporter gene expression was observed in both cell lines when cells were treated with fetal calf serum, but only in the L-02 cells was expression enhanced by insulin.
Our results suggest that the normal liver L-02 cell line may be a better model to understand the regulation of the liver-specific expression of the human glucokinase gene. Our results also suggest that sequences downstream of the liver-specific mRNA start site have important roles in the regulation of liver-specific glucokinase gene expression.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among elderly men in the US, and immunotherapy has been shown to be a promising strategy to treat patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Efforts to identify novel prostate specific tumor antigens will facilitate the development of effective cancer vaccines against prostate cancer. Prostate-specific G-protein coupled receptor (PSGR) is a novel antigen that has been shown to be specifically over-expressed in human prostate cancer tissues. In this study, we describe the identification of PSGR-derived peptide epitopes recognized by CD8+ T cells in an HLA-A2 dependent manner.
Twenty-one PSGR-derived peptides were predicted by an immuno-informatics approach based on the HLA-A2 binding motif. These peptides were examined for their ability to induce peptide-specific T cell responses in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) obtained from either HLA-A2+ healthy donors or HLA-A2+ prostate cancer patients. The recognition of HLA-A2 positive and PSGR expressing LNCaP cells was also tested. Among the 21 PSGR-derived peptides, three peptides, PSGR3, PSGR4 and PSGR14 frequently induced peptide-specific T cell responses in PBMCs from both healthy donors and prostate cancer patients. Importantly, these peptide-specific T cells recognized and killed LNCaP prostate cancer cells in an HLA class I-restricted manner.
We have identified three novel HLA-A2-restricted PSGR-derived peptides recognized by CD8+ T cells, which, in turn, recognize HLA-A2+ and PSGR+ tumor cells. The PSGR-derived peptides identified may be used as diagnostic markers as well as immune targets for development of anticancer vaccines.
Previously we have screened out Insulin-like Growth Factor Binding Protein 7 (IGFBP7) as a differentially expressed gene in post-implantation uterus versus pre-implantation uterus by suppressive subtractive hybridation. However its function in uterus was not clearly identified. In this research, the expression and function of IGFBP7 during post-implantation were studied. We found that IGFBP7 was mainly located in the glandular epithelium and the stroma, and was upregulated after embryo implantation. The vector pCR3.1-IGFBP7-t expressing partial IGFBP7 was constructed. Inhibition of IGFBP7 by specific DNA immunization induced significant reduction of implanted embryos and pregnancy rate. The number of implanted embryos (5.68±0.46) was significantly reduced after immunization with pCR3.1-IGFBP7-t, as compared with that of the mice immunized with the control vector (12.29±0.36) or saline (14.58±0.40) (p<0.01). After specific inhibition of IGFBP7, the T helper type 1 (Th1) cytokine IFNγ, was significantly elevated (p<0.05) and the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-10, were reduced in uteri (p<0.05). The increase of Tbet and the decrease of Gata3 were found in mice peripheral lymphocytes by flow cytometry. The expression of decidualization marker IGFBP1 and angiogenesis regulator VEGF were declined in uteri (p<0.05). The expression of apoptosis-associated proteins, caspase3 and Bcl-2, were also declined (p<0.05). These results showed that inhibition of IGFBP7 induced pregnancy failure by shifting uterine cytokines to Th1 type dominance and repressing uterine decidualization.
Gene flow strongly influences the regional genetic structuring of plant populations. Seed and pollen dispersal patterns can respond differently to the increased isolation resulting from habitat fragmentation, with unpredictable consequences for gene flow and population structuring. In a recently fragmented landscape we compared the pre- and post-fragmentation genetic structure of populations of a tree species where pollen and seed dispersal respond differentially to forest fragmentation generated by flooding. Castanopsis sclerophylla is wind-pollinated, with seeds that are dispersed by gravity and rodents. Using microsatellites, we found no significant difference in genetic diversity between pre- and post-fragmentation cohorts. Significant genetic structure was observed in pre-fragmentation cohorts, due to an unknown genetic barrier that had isolated one small population. Among post-fragmentation cohorts this genetic barrier had disappeared and genetic structure was significantly weakened. The strengths of genetic structuring were at a similar level in both cohorts, suggesting that overall gene flow of C. sclerophylla has been unchanged by fragmentation at the regional scale. Fragmentation has blocked seed dispersal among habitats, but this appears to have been compensated for by enhanced pollen dispersal, as indicated by the disappearance of a genetic barrier, probably as a result of increased wind speeds and easier pollen movement over water. Extensive pollen flow can counteract some negative effects of fragmentation and assist the long-term persistence of small remnant populations.
Castanopsis; dispersal barrier; fragmentation; genetic structure; pollen flow; wind-pollination
Virulence of the emerging Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) and other highly pathogenic S. aureus depends on the recently discovered phenol-soluble modulin (PSM) peptide toxins, which combine the capacities to attract and lyse neutrophils. The molecular basis of PSM-stimulated neutrophil recruitment has remained unknown. We demonstrate that the human formyl peptide receptor 2 (FPR2/ALX), which has previously been implicated in control of endogenous inflammatory processes, senses PSMs at nanomolar concentrations and initiates proinflammatory neutrophil responses to CA-MRSA. Specific blocking of FPR2/ALX or deletion of PSM genes in CA-MRSA led to severely diminished capacities of neutrophils to detect CA-MRSA. A specific inhibitor of FPR2/ALX and its functional mouse counterpart blocked PSM-mediated leukocyte infiltration in vivo in a mouse model. Thus, the innate immune system uses a new FPR2/ALX-dependent mechanism to sense bacterial peptide toxins and detect highly virulent bacterial pathogens. FPR2/ALX represents an attractive target for new anti-infective or anti-inflammatory strategies.
Development and application of transcriptomics-based gene classifiers for ecotoxicological applications lag far behind those of biomedical sciences. Many such classifiers discovered thus far lack vigorous statistical and experimental validations. A combination of genetic algorithm/support vector machines and genetic algorithm/K nearest neighbors was used in this study to search for classifiers of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in zebrafish. Searches were conducted on both tissue-specific and tissue-combined datasets, either across the entire transcriptome or within individual transcription factor (TF) networks previously linked to EDC effects. Candidate classifiers were evaluated by gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) on both the original training data and a dedicated validation dataset.
Multi-tissue dataset yielded no classifiers. Among the 19 chemical-tissue conditions evaluated, the transcriptome-wide searches yielded classifiers for six of them, each having approximately 20 to 30 gene features unique to a condition. Searches within individual TF networks produced classifiers for 15 chemical-tissue conditions, each containing 100 or fewer top-ranked gene features pooled from those of multiple TF networks and also unique to each condition. For the training dataset, 10 out of 11 classifiers successfully identified the gene expression profiles (GEPs) of their targeted chemical-tissue conditions by GSEA. For the validation dataset, classifiers for prochloraz-ovary and flutamide-ovary also correctly identified the GEPs of corresponding conditions while no classifier could predict the GEP from prochloraz-brain.
The discrepancies in the performance of these classifiers were attributed in part to varying data complexity among the conditions, as measured to some degree by Fisher’s discriminant ratio statistic. This variation in data complexity could likely be compensated by adjusting sample size for individual chemical-tissue conditions, thus suggesting a need for a preliminary survey of transcriptomic responses before launching a full scale classifier discovery effort. Classifier discovery based on individual TF networks could yield more mechanistically-oriented biomarkers. GSEA proved to be a flexible and effective tool for application of gene classifiers but a similar and more refined algorithm, connectivity mapping, should also be explored. The distribution characteristics of classifiers across tissues, chemicals, and TF networks suggested a differential biological impact among the EDCs on zebrafish transcriptome involving some basic cellular functions.
Gene classifiers; Endocrine-disrupting chemicals; Transcriptomics; Mechanism of action; Zebrafish
Indoor combustion of crop residues for cooking or heating is one of the most important emission sources of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in developing countries. However, data on PAH emission factors (EFs) for burning crop residues indoor, particularly those measured in field were scarce, leading to large uncertainties in the emission inventories. In this study, EFs of PAHs for nine commonly used crop residues burnt in a typical Chinese rural cooking stove were measured in simulated kitchen. The measured EFs of total PAHs averaged at 63 ± 37 mg/kg, ranging from 27 to 142 mg/kg, which were higher than those measured in chamber experiments, implying that the laboratory experiment based emission and risk assessment should be carefully reviewed. EFs of gaseous and particulate phase PAHs were 27 ± 13 and 35 ± 23 mg/kg, respectively. Composition profiles and isomer ratios of emitted PAHs were characterized. Stepwise regressions found that modified combustion efficiency and fuel moisture were the most important factors affecting the emissions. 80 ± 6 % of PAHs were associated with PM2.5 and the mass percentage of PAHs in fine particles increased as the molecular weight increased. For freshly emitted PAHs, absorption into organic carbon, rather than adsorption, dominated the gas-particle partitioning.
High-flow through abnormal blood vessels underlies many life-threatening diseases. The ability to safely and non-invasively normalize these vessels by molecular intervention holds promise to treat these devastating conditions. Here we studied high-flow AV shunts caused by upregulation of Notch signaling via endothelial expression of constitutively-active Notch4 (Notch4*). Using 4D, two-photon imaging with cellular resolution in live mice, we found that normalizing Notch signaling by turning off Notch4* promptly converted large caliber, high-flow AV shunts to capillary-like vessels. The process was initiated by vessel narrowing without the loss of endothelial cells. Restoration of venous receptor EphB4 is an underlying mechanism, as EphB4 expression was recovered upon Notch normalization and required for the vessel regression. The structural regression of the high-flow AV shunts returned shunting flow to perfusing vessels, reversing tissue hypoxia and dysfunction. Our data provide direct, in vivo evidence that a single genetic manipulation in Notch pathway can exert dominant effects over hemodynamics leading to safe degeneration of the high-flow AV shunts at the core of AV Malformations.
Arteriovenous malformation; Notch; Angiogenesis; Arterial Specification; Endothelial Cell; Stroke
Little is known about how hypomethylating agents (HMAs) have been adopted into the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). We conducted a population-based study to assess the use of HMAs among 4,416 MDS patients (age ≥66 years) who were diagnosed during 2001–2005 and followed up through the end of 2007. Multivariate logistic regression models were utilized to evaluate the role of various patient characteristics. 475 (10.8%) patients had received HMAs by 2007, with the proportion increasing over time. Patients who were white (odds ratio (OR)= 0.66, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.46–0.95), male (OR= 1.47, 95% CI: 1.19–1.82), young (Ptrend <0.01), more recently diagnosed (OR= 1.90, 95% CI: 1.54–2.34), had fewer comorbidities (Ptrend <0.01), or had a history of other cancer (OR=1.28, 95% CI: 1.00–1.63) were more likely to receive HMAs. Compared with patients with refractory anemia, those diagnosed with refractory anemia with excess blasts or refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia had a higher chance to be treated with HMAs (OR = 3.52 and 2.32, respectively). Relatively few MDS patients were treated with HMAs during the introduction period of these agents, and multiple patient characteristics such as sex, comorbidities, and MDS subtype influence the likelihood a patient receives HMAs.
myelodysplastic syndromes; chemotherapy; new agents; hematology - medical
Background and methods
Applications of the anticancer agent, ellipticine, have been limited by its hydrophobicity and toxicity. An efficient delivery system is required to exploit the enormous potential of this compound. Recently, EAK16-II, an ionic-complementary, self-assembling peptide, has been found to stabilize ellipticine in aqueous solution. Here, the anticancer activity of ellipticine encapsulated in EAK16-II (EAK-EPT) was evaluated in vitro and in vivo.
Our cellular uptake, toxicity, and apoptosis results in an A549 human lung carcinoma cell line indicate that EAK-EPT complexes are significantly more effective than treatment with EAK16-II or ellipticine alone. This is due to the ability of EAK16-II to stabilize ellipticine in a protonated state in well formed nanostructures approximately 200 nm in size. In vivo observations in an A549 nude mouse tumor model show higher antitumor activity and lower cytotoxicity of EAK-EPT complexes than in the control group treated with ellipticine alone. Tumor growth in animals was significantly inhibited after treatment with EAK-EPT complexes, and without any apparent side effects.
The anticancer activity observed in this study coupled with minimal side effects encourages further development of peptide-mediated delivery of anticancer drugs, ellipticine in the present case, for clinical application.
self-assembling peptide; EAK16-II; ellipticine; nanoparticles; drug delivery; antitumor