A number of mouse models for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) have been genetically engineered to recapitulate the severity of human SMA by using a targeted null mutation at the mouse Smn1 locus coupled with the transgenic addition of varying copy numbers of human SMN2 genes. Although this approach has been useful in modeling severe SMA and very mild SMA, a mouse model of the intermediate form of the disease would provide an additional research tool amenable for drug discovery. In addition, many of the previously engineered SMA strains are multi-allelic by design, containing a combination of transgenes and targeted mutations in the homozygous state, making further genetic manipulation difficult. A new genetic engineering approach was developed whereby variable numbers of SMN2 sequences were incorporated directly into the murine Smn1 locus. Using combinations of these alleles, we generated an allelic series of SMA mouse strains harboring no, one, two, three, four, five, six or eight copies of SMN2. We report here the characterization of SMA mutants in this series that displayed a range in disease severity from embryonic lethal to viable with mild neuromuscular deficits.
A genome wide association scan of ~6.6 million genotyped or imputed variants in 882 Sardinian Multiple Sclerosis (MS) cases and 872 controls suggested association of CBLB gene variants with disease, which was confirmed in 1,775 cases and 2,005 controls (overall P =1.60 × 10-10). CBLB encodes a negative regulator of adaptive immune responses and mice lacking the orthologue are prone to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, the animal model of MS.
Algorithms designed to identify canonical yeast prions predict that ~250 human proteins, including several RNA-binding proteins associated with neurodegenerative disease, harbor a distinctive prion-like domain (PrLD) enriched in uncharged polar amino acids and glycine. PrLDs in RNA-binding proteins are essential for the assembly of ribonucleoprotein granules. However, the interplay between human PrLD function and disease is not understood. Here, we define pathogenic mutations in PrLDs of hnRNPA2/B1 and hnRNPA1 in families with inherited degeneration affecting muscle, brain, motor neuron and bone, and a case of familial ALS. Wild-type hnRNPA2 and hnRNPA1 display an intrinsic tendency to assemble into self-seeding fibrils, which is exacerbated by the disease mutations. Indeed, the pathogenic mutations strengthen a ‘steric zipper’ motif in the PrLD, which accelerates formation of self-seeding fibrils that cross-seed polymerization of wild-type hnRNP. Importantly, the disease mutations promote excess incorporation of hnRNPA2 and hnRNPA1 into stress granules and drive the formation of cytoplasmic inclusions in animal models that recapitulate the human pathology. Thus, dysregulated polymerization caused by a potent mutant ‘steric zipper’ motif in a PrLD can initiate degenerative disease. Related proteins with PrLDs must be considered candidates for initiating and perhaps propagating proteinopathies of muscle, brain, motor neuron and bone.
The DOC-2/DAB2 interactive protein (DAB2IP) is a new member of the Ras GTPase–activating protein family. Recent studies have shown that, in addition to its tumor suppressive role in various tumors, DAB2IP also plays an important role in regulating neuronal migration and positioning during brain development. In this study, we determined the roles of DAB2IP in the neuronal differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). We found that lentiviral short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-mediated knockdown of DAB2IP promoted the mesenchymal-to-neuroepithelial stem cell transition (MtNeST) and neuronal differentiation, which were accompanied by a reduction of cell proliferation but not apoptosis or cellular senescence. This suggests that DAB2IP plays an important role in the neuronal induction of hMSCs. Moreover, our finding that reduction of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) activity upon LiCl pretreatment inhibited both the MtNeST and production of MAP2-positive cells upon DAB2IP knockdown suggests that this transition is most likely mediated by regulation of the GSK3β signaling pathway. Our study demonstrates that DAB2IP participates in the first step of neuron induction of hMSCs, which implies a potentially important role for DAB2IP in the MtNeST during neurogenesis.
Nolz-1, as a murine member of the NET zinc-finger protein family, is expressed in post-mitotic differentiating neurons of striatum during development. To explore the function of Nolz-1 in regulating the neurogenesis of forebrain, we studied the effects of ectopic expression of Nolz-1 in neural progenitors. We generated the Cre-loxP dependent conditional transgenic mice in which Nolz-1 was ectopically expressed in proliferative neural progenitors. Ectopic expression of Nolz-1 in neural progenitors by intercrossing the Nolz-1 conditional transgenic mice with the nestin-Cre mice resulted in hypoplasia of telencephalon in double transgenic mice. Decreased proliferation of neural progenitor cells were found in the telencephalon, as evidenced by the reduction of BrdU−, Ki67− and phospho-histone 3-positive cells in E11.5–12.5 germinal zone of telencephalon. Transgenic Nolz-1 also promoted cell cycle exit and as a consequence might facilitate premature differentiation of progenitors, because TuJ1-positive neurons were ectopically found in the ventricular zone and there was a general increase of TuJ1 immunoreactivity in the telencephalon. Moreover, clusters of strong TuJ1-expressing neurons were present in E12.5 germinal zone. Some of these strong TuJ1-positive clusters, however, contained apoptotic condensed DNA, suggesting that inappropriate premature differentiation may lead to abnormal apoptosis in some progenitor cells. Consistent with the transgenic mouse analysis in vivo, similar effects of Nozl-1 over-expression in induction of apoptosis, inhibition of cell proliferation and promotion of neuronal differentiation were also observed in three different N18, ST14A and N2A neural cell lines in vitro. Taken together, our study indicates that ectopic expression of Nolz-1 in neural progenitors promotes cell cycle exit/premature neuronal differentiation and induces abnormal apoptosis in the developing telencephalon.
To evaluate the relationship between Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care in community health centers and self-management behaviors and glycemic control and to examine the relationship between Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care in community health centers and the utilization of community health centers for monitoring and treating diabetes among the patients with type 2 diabetes.
A questionnaire including self-management behaviors, glycemic control, Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care in community health centers and the most often utilized medical institutions for monitoring and treating diabetes (community health centers vs. hospitals) was administered to 960 patients with type 2 diabetes in Shanghai, China. The relationships between Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care and self-management behaviors, self-management behaviors and glycemic control, Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care and glycemic control, Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care and the most often utilized medical institutions for monitoring and treating diabetes were examined.
Wilcoxon rank sum tests showed that the high scores of total Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care and five subscales in community health centers were positively related to almost all the proper self-management behaviors and good glycemic control (p<0.05). Almost all of the proper self-management behaviors were positively related to good glycemic control (p<0.01). High summary score of the Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care was positively associated with the utilization of community health centers for monitoring and treating diabetes (p<0.001).
Patient Assessment of Chronic Illness Care (implementation of the Chronic Care Model) in community health centers was associated with patients' self-management behaviors and glycemic control, and finally was associated with the utilization of community health centers for monitoring and treating diabetes.
Mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a plasma C-type lectin, plays an important role in innate immunity. However, the interaction, and the consequences of it, between MBL and the immune system remain ill defined. We have investigated the contributing mechanisms and effects of MBL on the proliferation of human monocytes. At lower concentrations (≤4 μg/ml) MBL was shown to partially enhance monocyte proliferation. By contrast, at higher concentrations (8–20 μg/ml) of MBL, cell proliferation was markedly attenuated. MBL-induced growth inhibition was associated with G0/G1 arrest, down-regulation of cyclin D1/D3, cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk) 2/Cdk4 and up-regulation of the Cdk inhibitory protein Cip1/p21. Additionally, MBL induced apoptosis, and did so through caspase-3 activation and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage. Moreover, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 levels increased in the supernatants of MBL-stimulated monocyte cultures. We also found that MBL-dependent inhibition of monocyte proliferation could be reversed by the TGF-β receptor antagonist SB-431542, or by anti-TGF-β1 antibody, or by the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitors specific for p38 (SB203580), but not ERK (U0126) or JNK (SP600125). Thus, at high concentrations, MBL can affect the immune system by inhibiting monocyte proliferation, which suggests that MBL may exhibit anti-inflammatory effects.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) have recently been recognized as being important players in the tumoriogenesis of many cancers, including advanced thyroid cancer. However, a role in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), the most prevalent thyroid cancer, has not been established. We hypothesized that TAMs also facilitate tumor progression in PTC.
We investigated TAMs density in both benign thyroid lesions and PTC tumors by CD68 immunostaining. CD68-positive cell density was further associated with the clinicopathological characteristics of PTC patients. Finally, TAMs were isolated from PTC tumors and phenotyped by cytokine and receptor profiling.
The overall density of TAMs was found to be significantly higher in PTC tumors, compared with thyroid goiter and follicular adenoma. The density of TAMs was positively associated with lymph node metastasis in TNM (tumor–node–metastasis) stages III/VI compared with stages I/II. No association was observed in other common tumor features, including the BRAF mutation. The isolated TAMs presented with high levels of M2-associated cytokine and receptors, making M2 the predominant TAM phenotype.
TAMs may play a functional role in the progression of PTC.
♦ Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of oral pioglitazone (PIO) on lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, inflammation, and adipokine metabolism in continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patients.
♦ Methods: In this randomized crossover trial, 36 CAPD patients with serum triglyceride levels above 1.8 mmol/L were randomly assigned to receive either oral PIO 15 mg once daily or no PIO for 12 weeks. Then, after a 4-week washout, the patients were switched to the alternative regimen. The primary endpoint was change in serum triglycerides during the PIO regimen compared with no PIO. Secondary endpoints included changes in other lipid levels, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), adipocytokines, and C-reactive protein (CRP).
♦ Results: All 36 CAPD patients (age: 64 ± 11 years; 33% men; 27.8% with diabetes mellitus) completed the study. Comparing patients after PIO and no PIO therapy, we found no significant differences in mean serum triglycerides (3.83 ± 1.49 mmol/L vs 3.51 ± 1.98 mmol/L, p = 0.2). However, mean high-density lipoprotein (0.94 ± 0.22 mmol/L vs 1.00 ± 0.21 mmol/L, p = 0.004) and median total adiponectin [10.34 μg/mL (range: 2.59 - 34.48 μg/mL) vs 30.44 μg/mL (3.47 - 93.41 μg/mL), p < 0.001] increased significantly. Median HOMA-IR [7.51 (1.39 - 45.23) vs 5.38 (0.97 - 14.95), p = 0.006], mean fasting blood glucose (7.31 ± 2.57 mmol/L vs 6.60 ± 2.45 mmol/L, p = 0.01), median CRP [8.78 mg/L (0.18 - 53 mg/L) vs 3.50 mg/L (0.17 - 26.30 mg/L), p = 0.005], and mean resistin (32.70 ± 17.17 ng/mL vs 28.79 ± 11.83 ng/mL, p = 0.02) all declined. The PIO was well tolerated, with only one adverse event: lower-extremity edema in a patient with low residual renal function.
♦ Conclusions: Blood triglycerides were not altered after 12 weeks of PIO 15 mg once daily in CAPD patients, but parameters of dysmetabolism were markedly improved, including insulin resistance, inflammation, and adipokine balance, suggesting that PIO could be of value for this high-risk patient group. Larger, more definitive studies are needed to confirm these findings.
Pioglitazone; lipid dysmetabolism; insulin resistance; inflammation; adipocytokines
Qingpeng ointment (QP) is a Chinese medicine which has been used in treatment of atopic dermatitis (AD) in China. AD-like lesions were induced in BALB/c mice by repeated application of 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB) on shaved backs. The mice were then treated for 2 weeks with QP of different concentrations and Mometasone Furoate cream (MF), respectively. Macroscopic and microscopic changes of the skin lesions were observed after the treatment. The levels of serum immunoglobulin (Ig) E, tissue interferon (IFN)-γ, and interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-17A and the levels of involucrin, filaggrin, and kallikrein7 in epidermis were measured. The results show severe dermatitis with immune profiles similar to human acute AD. A significant infiltration of CD4+ T and mast cells was observed in dermis of lesion but inhibited by QP after a 2-week treatment with it. The production of IgE, IL-4 and the mRNA expression of IL-17A were also suppressed, but the level of IFN-γ was increased. MF suppressed all production of these cytokines and IgE. Accordingly, the mechanism of QP on AD might correlate with its ability of modulating the immune dysfunctions rather than suppressing them. It had no effect on expressions of involucrin and filaggrin, except that its vehicle decreased the level of kallikrein7.
Safe and effective lipid nanoemulsion (LNE) formulations for the antitumor delivery of doxorubicin is designed.
LNEs composed of medium-chain triglyceride, soybean oil, lecithin, and doxorubicin are prepared by a solvent-diffusion method in an aqueous system. The effects of lipid material composition and polyethylene glycol (PEG)ylation on the size, drug encapsulation efficiency, and stability of LNEs are investigated. Based on in-vitro cytotoxicity and cellular uptake tests of A549 (human lung carcinoma) cells, in-vivo biodistribution, antitumor activity, and cardiac toxicity are further examined using nude mouse bearing A549 tumor.
The LNE size decreases from 126.4 ± 8.7 nm to 44.5 ± 9.3 nm with increased weight ratio of medium-chain triglyceride to soybean oil from 1:4 to 3:2, whereas the encapsulation efficiency of doxorubicin is slightly reduced from 79.2% ± 2.1% to 71.2% ± 2.9%. The PEGylation of LNE by 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[carboxy(PEG)2000] (DSPE-PEG 2000) does not significantly change the size and drug encapsulation efficiency. Three-month storage at room temperature and lyophilization process does not affect the drug encapsulation efficiency, whereas the size slightly increases to almost 100 nm. The in-vitro drug-release profiles of LNEs suggest that the present formulation can prolong drug release for 48 hours. LNEs can be internalized into tumor cells in vitro and efficiently accumulate in tumor tissues in vivo by passive targeting. Analysis results of in-vitro and in-vivo antitumor activities reveal that doxorubicin-loaded LNE exerts a therapeutic effect similar to that of the commercial Adriamycin. Moreover, the toxicity of doxorubicin, particularly its cardiac toxicity, is reduced.
The present LNE formulation of doxorubicin can effectively suppress tumor growth and improve the safety of Adriamycin.
PEGylation; stability; antitumor activity
Hyperplasia of synovial fibroblasts, infiltration with inflammatory cytokines, and tissue hypoxia are the major characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Interleukin 33 (IL-33) is a newly identified inflammatory cytokine exacerbating the disease severity of RA. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) showed increased expression in RA synovium and could regulate a number of inflammatory cytokine productions. Nevertheless, its correlation with IL-33 remains largely unknown. Here, we showed that elevated levels of IL-33 were demonstrated in RA patient synovial fluids, with upregulated expression of HIF-1α and IL-33 in the synovial fibroblasts. Knocking down HIF-1α compromised IL-33 expression in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts (RASF), while enforcing HIF-1α expression in RASF substantially upregulated IL-33 levels. HIF-1α promoted the activation of the signalling pathways controlling IL-33 production, particularly the p38 and ERK pathways. Moreover, we showed for the first time that IL-33 in turn could induce more HIF-1α expression in RASF, thus forming a HIF-1α/IL-33 regulatory circuit that would perpetuate the inflammatory process in RA. Targeting this pathological pathway and HIF-1α may provide new therapeutic strategies for overcoming the persistent and chronic inflammatory disease.
The objective of this research was to design an effective gene delivery system composed of cationic solid lipid nanoparticles (SLNs), protamine, and Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA.
Cationic SLNs were prepared using an aqueous solvent diffusion method with octadecylamine as the cationic lipid material. First, protamine was combined with DNA to form binary protamine/DNA nanoparticles, and the ternary nanoparticle gene delivery system was then obtained by combining binary protamine/DNA nanoparticles with cationic SLNs. The size, zeta potential, and ability of the binary and ternary nanoparticles to compact and protect DNA were characterized. The effect of octadecylamine content in SLNs and the SLNS/DNA ratios on transfection efficiency, cellular uptake and cytotoxicity of the ternary nanoparticles were also assessed using HEK293 cells.
When the weight ratio of protamine to DNA reached 1.5:1, the plasmid DNA could be effectively compacted and protected. The average hydrodynamic diameter of the ternary nanoparticles when combined with protamine increased from 188.50 ± 0.26 nm to 259.33 ± 3.44 nm, and the zeta potential increased from 25.50 ± 3.30 mV to 33.40 ± 2.80 mV when the weight ratio of SLNs to DNA increased from 16/3 to 80/3. The ternary nanoparticles showed high gene transfection efficiency compared with Lipofectamine™ 2000/DNA nanoparticles. Several factors that might affect gene transfection efficiency, such as content and composition of SLNs, post-transfection time, and serum were examined. The ternary nanoparticles composed of SLNs with 15 wt% octadecylamine (50/3 weight ratio of SLNs to DNA) showed the best transfection efficiency (26.13% ± 5.22%) in the presence of serum. It was also found that cellular uptake of the ternary nanoparticles was better than that of the SLN/DNA and binary protamine/DNA nanoparticle systems, and DNA could be transported to the nucleus.
SLNs enhanced entry of binary protamine/DNA nanoparticles into the cell, and protamine protected DNA from enzyme degradation and transported DNA into the nucleus. Compared with Lipofectamine 2000/DNA nanoparticles, these cationic ternary nanoparticles showed relatively durable and stable gene transfection in the presence of serum.
solid lipid nanoparticles; protamine; plasmid DNA; gene transfection; ternary nanoparticles
Chondrosarcoma is the primary malignancy of bone that is characterized by a potent capacity to invade locally and cause distant metastasis, and is therefore associated with poor prognoses. Chondrosarcoma further shows a predilection for metastasis to the lungs. The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a small molecule in the neurotrophin family of growth factors that is associated with the disease status and outcome of cancers. However, the effect of BDNF on cell motility in human chondrosarcoma cells is mostly unknown. Here, we found that human chondrosarcoma cell lines had significantly higher cell motility and BDNF expression compared to normal chondrocytes. We also found that BDNF increased cell motility and expression of matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) in human chondrosarcoma cells. BDNF-mediated cell motility and MMP-1 up-regulation were attenuated by Trk inhibitor (K252a), ASK1 inhibitor (thioredoxin), JNK inhibitor (SP600125), and p38 inhibitor (SB203580). Furthermore, BDNF also promoted Sp1 activation. Our results indicate that BDNF enhances the migration and invasion activity of chondrosarcoma cells by increasing MMP-1 expression through a signal transduction pathway that involves the TrkB receptor, ASK1, JNK/p38, and Sp1. BDNF thus represents a promising new target for treating chondrosarcoma metastasis.
BDNF; TrkB; ASK1; MMP-1; chondrosarcoma
Gene-gene interactions may play an important role in the genetics of a complex disease. Detection and characterization of gene-gene interactions is a challenging issue that has stimulated the development of various statistical methods to address it. In this study, we introduce a method to measure gene interactions using entropy-based statistics from a contingency table of trait and genotype combinations. We also developed an exploration procedure by using graphs. We propose a standardized relative information gain (RIG) measure to evaluate the interactions between single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) combinations. To identify the kth order interactions, contingency tables of trait and genotype combinations of k SNPs are constructed, with which RIGs are calculated. The RIGs are standardized using the mean and standard deviation from the permuted datasets. SNP combinations yielding high standardized RIG are chosen for gene-gene interactions. Detection of high-order interactions and comparison of interaction strengths between different orders are made possible by using standardized RIG. We have applied the proposed standardized entropy-based method to two types of data sets from a simulation study and a real genetic association study. We have compared our method and the multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) method through power analysis of eight different genetic models with varying penetrance rates, number of SNPs, and sample sizes. Our method shows successful identification of genetic associations and gene-gene interactions both in simulation and real genetic data. Simulation results suggest that the proposed entropy-based method is better able to detect high-order interactions and is superior to the MDR method in most cases. The proposed method is well suited for detecting interactions without main effects as well as for models including main effects.
It has been predicted that nonameric peptides I (VP126–34, RRQHTDVSF), II (VP1157–165, RTLPTSFNY) and III (VP145–53, KEQVNVLDL) from the VP1 capsid protein of the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) are T cell epitopes. To investigate whether these peptides have immunological activity, BALB/c mice were immunized with peptide I, II or III conjugated with immunostimulating complexes (ISCOMs). A cytotoxic T lymphocyte assay was used to evaluate the cytotoxic activity induced by peptides along with by measuring peptide-specific T-cell proliferation and CD8+ T lymphocyte numbers in whole blood and interferon (IFN)-γ production in peripheral blood mononuclear cells induced by peptides. To further identify the protective efficacy of peptides, an FMDV challenge assay was done in guinea pigs. Peptides I and II stimulated significant increases in T-cell proliferation, CD8+ T lymphocytes, and IFN-γ secretion and cytotoxic activity compared to controls. The FMDV challenge assay indicated peptides I and II can protect over 60% of animals from virus attack. The results demonstrate that peptides I and II encapsulated in liposomes should be CTL epitopes of FMDV and can protect animals from virus attack to some extent.
Isoascorbic acid is a stereoisomer of L-ascorbic acid, and widely used as a food antioxidant. However, its highly hydrophilic behavior prevents its application in cosmetics or fats and oils-based foods. To overcome this problem, D-isoascorbyl palmitate was synthesized in the present study for improving the isoascorbic acid’s oil solubility with an immobilized lipase in organic media. The structural information of synthesized product was clarified using LC-ESI-MS, FT-IR, 1H and 13C NMR analysis, and process parameters for high yield of D-isoascorbyl palmitate were optimized by using One–factor-at-a-time experiments and response surface methodology (RSM).
The synthesized product had the purity of 95% and its structural characteristics were confirmed as isoascorbyl palmitate by LC-ESI-MS, FT-IR, 1H, and 13C NMR analysis. Results from “one–factor-at-a-time” experiments indicated that the enzyme load, reaction temperature and D-isoascorbic-to-palmitic acid molar ratio had a significant effect on the D-isoascorbyl palmitate conversion rate. 95.32% of conversion rate was obtained by using response surface methodology (RSM) under the the optimized condition: enzyme load of 20% (w/w), reaction temperature of 53°C and D- isoascorbic-to-palmitic acid molar ratio of 1:4 when the reaction parameters were set as: acetone 20 mL, 40 g/L of molecular sieves content, 200 rpm speed for 24-h reaction time.
The findings of this study can become a reference for developing industrial processes for the preparation of isoascorbic acid ester, which might be used in food additives, cosmetic formulations and for the synthesis of other isoascorbic acid derivatives.
Isoascorbyl palmitate; Enzymatic synthesis; Structural characteristic; Response surface methodology; Optimization
We hypothesize that imputation based on data from the 1000 Genomes Project can identify novel association signals on a genome-wide scale due to the dense marker map and the large number of haplotypes. To test the hypothesis, the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) Phase I genotype data were imputed using 1000 genomes as reference (20100804 EUR), and seven case/control association studies were performed using imputed dosages. We observed two ‘missed' disease-associated variants that were undetectable by the original WTCCC analysis, but were reported by later studies after the 2007 WTCCC publication. One is within the IL2RA gene for association with type 1 diabetes and the other in proximity with the CDKN2B gene for association with type 2 diabetes. We also identified two refined associations. One is SNP rs11209026 in exon 9 of IL23R for association with Crohn's disease, which is predicted to be probably damaging by PolyPhen2. The other refined variant is in the CUX2 gene region for association with type 1 diabetes, where the newly identified top SNP rs1265564 has an association P-value of 1.68 × 10−16. The new lead SNP for the two refined loci provides a more plausible explanation for the disease association. We demonstrated that 1000 Genomes-based imputation could indeed identify both novel (in our case, ‘missed' because they were detected and replicated by studies after 2007) and refined signals. We anticipate the findings derived from this study to provide timely information when individual groups and consortia are beginning to engage in 1000 genomes-based imputation.
genome-wide association study; the 1000 Genomes project; imputation
Seventy-seven porcine Enterococcus isolates with florfenicol MICs of ≥16 μg of were/ml screened for the presence of the multiresistance gene cfr, its location on plasmids, and its genetic environment. Three isolates—Enterococcus thailandicus 3-38 (from a porcine rectal swab collected at a pig farm), Enterococcus thailandicus W3, and Enterococcus faecalis W9-2 (the latter two from sewage at a different farm), carried the cfr gene. The SmaI pulsed-field gel electrophoresis patterns of the three isolates differed distinctly. In addition, E. faecalis W9-2 was assigned to a new multilocus sequence type ST469. Mating experiments and Southern blot analysis indicated that cfr is located on conjugative plasmids pW3 (∼75 kb) from E. thailandicus W3, p3-38 (∼72 kb) from E. thailandicus 3-38, and pW9-2 (∼55 kb) from E. faecalis W9-2; these plasmids differed in their sizes, additional resistance genes, and the analysis of the segments encompassing the cfr gene. Sequence analysis revealed that all plasmids harbored a 4,447-bp central region, in which cfr was bracketed by two copies of the novel insertion sequence ISEnfa4 located in the same orientation. The sequences flanking the central regions of these plasmids, including the partial tra gene regions and a ω-ε-ζ toxin-antitoxin module, exhibited >95% nucleotide sequence identity to the conjugative plasmid pAMβ1 from E. faecalis. Conjugative plasmids carrying cfr appear to play an important role in the dissemination and maintenance of the multiresistance gene cfr among enterococcal isolates and possibly other species of Gram-positive bacteria.
Aims: Urinary 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) is a widely used biomarker of oxidative stress. However, variability between chromatographic and ELISA methods hampers interpretation of data, and this variability may increase should urine composition differ between individuals, leading to assay interference. Furthermore, optimal urine sampling conditions are not well defined. We performed inter-laboratory comparisons of 8-oxodG measurement between mass spectrometric-, electrochemical- and ELISA-based methods, using common within-technique calibrants to analyze 8-oxodG-spiked phosphate-buffered saline and urine samples. We also investigated human subject- and sample collection-related variables, as potential sources of variability. Results: Chromatographic assays showed high agreement across urines from different subjects, whereas ELISAs showed far more inter-laboratory variation and generally overestimated levels, compared to the chromatographic assays. Excretion rates in timed ‘spot’ samples showed strong correlations with 24 h excretion (the ‘gold’ standard) of urinary 8-oxodG (rp 0.67–0.90), although the associations were weaker for 8-oxodG adjusted for creatinine or specific gravity (SG). The within-individual excretion of 8-oxodG varied only moderately between days (CV 17% for 24 h excretion and 20% for first void, creatinine-corrected samples). Innovation: This is the first comprehensive study of both human and methodological factors influencing 8-oxodG measurement, providing key information for future studies with this important biomarker. Conclusion: ELISA variability is greater than chromatographic assay variability, and cannot determine absolute levels of 8-oxodG. Use of standardized calibrants greatly improves intra-technique agreement and, for the chromatographic assays, importantly allows integration of results for pooled analyses. If 24 h samples are not feasible, creatinine- or SG-adjusted first morning samples are recommended. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 2377–2391.
Acute pharyngitis is frequently seen in primary care. Acute viral pharyngitis may be easily misdiagnosed as acute bacterial pharyngitis. Laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of respiratory viruses is recommended. The purpose of this study was to compare the sensitivities among oropharyngeal swab (OPS), nasopharyngeal swab (NPS), and nasal wash (NW) in adults with acute pharyngitis.
OPS, NPS, and NW were obtained from each participant with acute pharyngitis. The specimens were tested for 15 respiratory viruses by TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction. A sample was considered to be a true positive if any of the specimens was positive. The sensitivities among samples were compared by chi-square test or Fisher’s exact test, as appropriate.
One hundred three triple samples collected consecutively by OPS, NPS, and NW were obtained. In 73 patients, one or more viruses were detected by any of the three methods. Among all viruses, the sensitivity of NPS was significantly higher than that of NW (74% vs. 49%, respectively; p < 0.01) and OPS (74% vs. 49%, respectively; p < 0.01).
Flocked NPS collection may be the most effective alternative to NW and OPS for detection of respiratory viruses in adults with acute pharyngitis using TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction.
Respiratory viruses; Acute pharyngitis; Oropharyngeal swab; Nasopharyngeal swab; Nasal wash; Sensitivity; TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection accounts for over a half of cases of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most frequent malignant tumor of the liver. HBV-encoded X (HBx) plays critical roles in HBV-associated hepatocarcinogenesis. However, it is unclear whether and how HBx regulates the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), an important gene for cell growth. Therefore, the study aimed to investigate the association between HBx and EGFR expression. In this study, we found that HBx upregulates miR-7 expression to target 3′UTR of EGFR mRNA, which in turn results in the reduction of EGFR protein expression in HCC cells. HBx-mediated EGFR suppression renders HCC cells a slow-growth behavior. Deprivation of HBx or miR-7 expression or restoration of EGFR expression can increase the growth rate of HCC cells. Our data showed the miR-7-dependent EGFR suppression by HBx, supporting an inhibitory role of HBx in the cell growth of HCC. These findings not only identify miR-7 as a novel regulatory target of HBx, but also suggest HBx-miR-7-EGFR as a critical signaling in controlling the growth rate of HCC cells.
Indian hedgehog (Ihh) signaling is a major determinant of various processes during embryonic development and has a pivotal role in embryonic skeletal development. A specific spatial and temporal expression of Ihh within the developing limb buds is essential for accurate digit outgrowth and correct digit number. Although missense mutations in IHH cause brachydactyly type A1, small tandem duplications involving the IHH locus have recently been described in patients with mild syndactyly and craniosynostosis. In contrast, a ∼600-kb deletion 5′ of IHH in the doublefoot mouse mutant (Dbf) leads to severe polydactyly without craniosynostosis, but with craniofacial dysmorphism. We now present a patient resembling acrocallosal syndrome (ACS) with extensive polysyndactyly of the hands and feet, craniofacial abnormalities including macrocephaly, agenesis of the corpus callosum, dysplastic and low-set ears, severe hypertelorism and profound psychomotor delay. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array copy number analysis identified a ∼900-kb duplication of the IHH locus, which was confirmed by an independent quantitative method. A fetus from a second pregnancy of the mother by a different spouse showed similar craniofacial and limb malformations and the same duplication of the IHH-locus. We defined the exact breakpoints and showed that the duplications are identical tandem duplications in both sibs. No copy number changes were observed in the healthy mother. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a human phenotype similar to the Dbf mutant and strikingly overlapping with ACS that is caused by a copy number variation involving the IHH locus on chromosome 2q35.
Indian hedgehog; duplication; acrocallosal syndrome; polydactyly
To evaluate the association of coronary artery endothelial function and plasma levels of low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (DM).
We investigated 90 participants from our institution between October 2007 to March 2010: non-DM (n = 60) and DM (n = 30). As an indicator of coronary endothelial dysfunction, we used non-invasive Doppler echocardiography to quantify coronary flow velocity reserve (CFVR) in the distal part of the left descending artery after rest and after intravenous adenosine administration.
Plasma level of LDL-C was significantly higher in patients with DM than in non-DM (3.21 ± 0.64 vs. 2.86 ± 0.72 mmo/L, P < 0.05), but HDL-C level did not differ between the groups (1.01 ± 0.17 vs. 1.05 ± 0.19 mmo/L). Furthermore, the CFVR value was lower in DM patients than non-diabetics (2.45 ± 0.62 vs. 2.98 ± 0.68, P < 0.001). Plasma levels of LDL-C were negatively correlated with CFVR in all subjects (r = −0.35, P < 0.001; 95% confidence interval (CI): −0.52 – −0.15) and in the non-DM (r = −0.29, P < 0.05; 95% CI: −0.51– −0.05), with an even stronger negative correlation in the DM group (r = −0.42, P < 0.05; 95% CI: −0.68 – −0.06). Age (β = −0.019, s = 0.007, sβ = −0.435, 95% CI: −0.033 – −0.005, P = 0.008), LDL-C (β = −0.217, s = 0.105, sβ = −0.282, 95% CI: −0.428 – −0.005, P = 0.045) remained independently correlated with CFVR in the DM group. However, we found no correlation between HDL-C level and CFVR in any group.
Diabetes may contribute to coronary artery disease (CAD) by inducing dysfunction of the coronary artery endothelium. Increased LDL-C level may adversely impair coronary endothelial function in DM. HDL-C may lose its endothelial-protective effects, in part as a result of pathological conditions, especially under abnormal glucose metabolism.
Coronary flow velocity reserve; Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; Endothelial function; Diabetes mellitus; High-density lipoprotein cholesterol