Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the Glutamate metabotrophic receptor 7 gene (GRM7) have recently been identified by the genome-wide association study (GWAS) as potentially playing a role in susceptibility to age-related hearing impairment (ARHI), however this has not been validated in the Han Chinese population. The aim of this study was to determine if these SNPs are also associated with ARHI in an elderly male Han Chinese population. In this case-control candidate genes association study, a total of 982 men with ARHI and 324 normal-hearing controls subjects were studied. Using K-means cluster analysis, four audiogram shape subtypes of ARHI were identified in the case group: ‘‘flat shape (FL)’’, ‘‘sloping shape (SL)’’, ‘‘2-4 kHz abrupt loss (AL) shape’’ and ‘‘8 kHz dip (8D) shape’’. Results suggested that the SNP rs11928865 (A>T) of GRM7 was significantly associated with ARHI after adjusting for non-genetic factors (p= 0.000472, OR= 1.599, 95%CI= 1.229~2.081). Furthermore, frequency of TT genotype (rs11928865) were significant higher in the SL subgroup and AL subgroup with compared to controls group (p= 9.41E-05, OR= 1.945, 95%CI= 1.393~2.715; p= 0.000109, OR= 1.915, 95%CI= 1.378~2.661 adjusted, respectively) after Bonferroni correction. However, there wasn’t significant difference in the frequency of the TT genotype between cases in the FL subgroup or the 8D subgroup with when compared with controls. Results of the current study suggest that, in an elderly male Han Chinese population, GRM7 SNP rs11928865 (TT) occurs more frequently in ARHI patients with SL and AL phenotype patterns.
We sought to assess the psychological status and diabetes-related distress of Chinese type 1 diabetes patients in Jiangsu province, China. According to the World Health Organization criteria, 42 patients with type 1 diabetes were enrolled in the study and assessed with the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) and Diabetes Distress Scale (DDS). All data were tabulated and statistical analyses were performed. The study summarized cases of 42 patients with type 1 diabetes, including 17 males and 25 females with a mean age of 23±12 years and a mean duration of diabetes of 7±6 years. Compared to the Chinese normative data, the SAS standard score was significantly higher, whereas SDS standard score had no statistical significance. The SAS standard score was most highly correlated with diabetes duration (γ = 0.547, P = 0.011). Additionally, 19.5% of the patients had moderate or even severe diabetes-related distress and 21.4% had moderate or even severe emotional burden while 26.2% had regimen-related distress. Multiple stepwise regression analysis showed that the mean correlation between DDS and the four domains was high, particularly the emotional burden domain (estimated β = 0.363, P < 0.001) and regimen-related distress domain (estimated β = 0.356, P < 0.001). The correlation between SAS and DDS was positive (estimated β = 0.039, P = 0.027). In conclusion, the results showed the importance of psychological aspects in Chinese individuals with type 1 diabetes. Screening and treatment of psychological aspects may result in better adherence and increased quality of life for patients with diabetes.
type 1 diabetes; anxiety; depression; diabetes-related distress
Variable function and expression of drug transporters have been proposed as mechanisms contributing to variable response to drug therapy. Block of the HERG channel, encoding IKr, can lead to serious arrhythmias, and a key drug-blocking site in HERG has been identified on the intracellular face of the pore. We begin to advance the hypothesis that active drug uptake enhances IKr block.
Methods and Results
Reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction identified expression in the human atrium and ventricle of 14 of 31 candidate drug uptake and efflux transporters, including OCTN1 (SLC22A4), a known uptake transporter of the HERG channel blocker quinidine. In situ hybridization and immunostaining localized OCTN1 expression to cardiomyocytes. The IC50 for quinidine block of IKr in CHO cells transfected with HERG alone was significantly higher than cells transfected with HERG + OCTN1 (0.66 ± 0.15 μM versus 0.14 ± 0.06 μM [52% absolute increase in drug block; 95% confidence interval, 0.4–0.64 μM]), and this effect was further potentiated by a common genetic variant of OCTN1, L503F. In the absence of OCTN1, quinidine block could be 91% ± 5% washed out, but with the transporter, washout was incomplete (57% ± 6%). OCTN1 coexpression also facilitated HERG block by flecainide and ibutilide, but not erythromycin.
Coexpression of the organic cation transporter, OCTN1, expressed in human cardiac myocytes, intensifies quinidine-induced HERG block. These findings establish a critical hypothesis that variable drug transporter activity may be a potential risk factor for torsade de pointes.
antiarrhythmia agents; arrhythmia; pharmacology; pharmacokinetics; ion channels
Echocardiography is the most convenient method used to evaluate right ventricular function, and several echocardiographic parameters were studied in previous studies. But the value of these parameters to assess the right ventricular function in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) has not been well defined.
Patients with PAH were observed prospectively. Right heart catheterization, echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) were performed within 1 week interval. The correlations between echocardiographic parameters and right ventricular ejection fraction (RVEF) derived from CMR as well as hemodynamics were analyzed.
Thirty patients were enrolled including 24 with idiopathic PAH, 5 with PAH associated with connective tissue diseases and 1 with hereditary PAH. All echocardiographic parameters except right ventricular myocardial performance index (RVMPI) correlated significantly with RVEF (tricuspid annual plane systolic excursion [TAPSE], r = 0.440, P = 0.015; tricuspid annular systolic excursion velocity [S’], r = 0.444, P = 0.016; isovolumic acceleration [IVA], r = 0.600, P = 0.001; right ventricular fraction area change [RVFAC], r = 0.416, P = 0.022; ratio of right ventricular transverse diameter to left ventricular transverse diameter [RVETD/LVETD], r = −0.649, P<0.001; RVMPI, r = −0.027, P = 0.888). After adjusted for mean right atrial pressure, mean pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR), only IVA and RVETD/LVETD could independently predict RVEF. Four echocardiographic parameters displayed significant correlations with PVR (TAPSE, r = −0.615, P<0.001; S’, r = −0.557, P = 0.002; RVFAC, r = −0.454, P = 0.012; RVETD/LVETD, r = 0.543, P = 0.002).
The echocardiographic parameters IVA and RVETD/LVETD can reflect RVEF independently regardless of hemodynamics in patients with PAH. In addition, TAPSE, S’, RVFAC and RVETD/LVETD can also reflect PVR in PAH patients.
Female gender is a risk factor for long QT-related arrhythmias, but the underlying mechanisms remain uncertain. Here, we tested the hypothesis that gender-dependent function of the post-depolarization ‘late’ sodium current (INa-L) contributes.
Methods and results
Studies were conducted in mice in which the canonical cardiac sodium channel Scn5a locus was disrupted, and expression of human wild-type SCN5A cDNA substituted. Baseline QT intervals were similar in male and female mice, but exposure to the sodium channel opener anemone toxin ATX-II elicited polymorphic ventricular tachycardia in 0/9 males vs. 6/9 females. Ventricular INa-L and action potential durations were increased in myocytes isolated from female mice compared with those from males before and especially after treatment with ATX-II. Further, ATX-II elicited potentially arrhythmogenic early afterdepolarizations in myocytes from 0/5 male mice and 3/5 female mice.
These data identify variable late INa as a modulator of gender-dependent arrhythmia susceptibility.
Mouse; Late sodium current; Gender; Arrhythmias
Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause both human and equine encephalitis with high case fatality rates. EEEV can also be widespread among birds, including pheasants, ostriches, emu, turkeys, whooping cranes and chickens. The E2 protein of EEEV and other Alphaviruses is an important immunogenic protein that elicits antibodies of diagnostic value. While many therapeutic and diagnostic applications of E2 protein-specific antibodies have been reported, the specific epitopes on E2 protein recognized by the antibody responses of different susceptible hosts, including avian species, remain poorly defined. In the present study, the avian E2-reactive polyclonal antibody (PAb) response was mapped to linear peptide epitopes using PAbs elicited in chickens and ducks following immunization with recombinant EEEV E2 protein and a series of 42 partially overlapping peptides covering the entire EEEV E2 protein. We identified 12 and 13 peptides recognized by the chicken and duck PAb response, respectively. Six of these linear peptides were commonly recognized by PAbs elicited in both avian species. Among them five epitopes recognized by both avian, the epitopes located at amino acids 211–226 and 331–352 were conserved among the EEEV antigenic complex, but not other associated alphaviruses, whereas the epitopes at amino acids 11–26, 30–45 and 151–166 were specific to EEEV subtype I. The five common peptide epitopes were not recognized by avian PAbs against Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) and Duck Plague Virus (DPV). The identification and characterization of EEEV E2 antibody epitopes may be aid the development of diagnostic tools and facilitate the design of epitope-based vaccines for EEEV. These results also offer information with which to study the structure of EEEV E2 protein.
In this work, InSb nanowires are grown vertically on Si (111) with metal organic chemical vapor deposition using InAs as seed layer, instead of external metal catalyst. Two groups of InSb nanowires are fabricated and characterized: one group presents Indium droplets at the nanowire's free end, while the other, in contrast, ends without Indium droplet but with pyramid-shaped InSb. The indium-droplet-ended nanowires are longer than the other group of nanowires. For both groups of InSb nanowires, InAs layers play an important role in their formation by serving as a template for growing InSb nanowires. The results presented in this work suggest a useful approach to grow catalyst-free InSb nanowires on Si substrates, which is significant for their device applications.
Catalyst-free; MOCVD; InSb; Nanowire; Electron microscopy
While the sodium channel locus SCN10A has been implicated by genome-wide association studies as a modulator of cardiac electrophysiology, the role of its gene product Nav1.8 as a modulator of cardiac ion currents is unknown.
We determined the electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of Nav1.8 in heterologous cell systems and assessed the antiarrhythmic effect of Nav1.8 block on isolated mouse and rabbit ventricular cardiomyocytes.
Methods and results
We first demonstrated that Scn10a transcripts are identified in mouse heart and that the blocker A-803467 is highly specific for Nav1.8 current over that of Nav1.5, the canonical cardiac sodium channel encoded by SCN5A. We then showed that low concentrations of A-803467 selectively block “late” sodium current and shorten action potentials in mouse and rabbit cardiomyocytes. Exaggerated late sodium current is known to mediate arrhythmogenic early afterdepolarizations in heart, and these were similarly suppressed by low concentrations of A-803467.
SCN10A expression contributes to late sodium current in heart, and represents a new target for antiarrhythmic intervention.
SCN10A; sodium channels; heart; afterdepolarizations; arrhythmia
Rett syndrome (RTT) results from loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and is characterized by abnormal motor, respiratory and autonomic control, cognitive impairment, autistic-like behaviors and increased risk of seizures. RTT patients and Mecp2 null mice exhibit reduced expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which has been linked in mice to increased respiratory frequency, a hallmark of RTT. The present study was undertaken to test the hypotheses that BDNF deficits in Mecp2 mutants are associated with reduced activation of the BDNF receptor, TrkB, and that pharmacologic activation of TrkB would improve respiratory function. We characterized BDNF protein expression, TrkB activation and respiration in heterozygous female Mecp2 mutant mice (Het), a model that recapitulates the somatic mosaicism for mutant Mecp2 found in typical RTT patients, and evaluated the ability of a small molecule TrkB agonist, LM22A-4, to ameliorate biochemical and functional abnormalities in these animals. We found that Het mice exhibit 1) reduced BDNF expression and TrkB activation in the medulla and pons and 2) breathing dysfunction, characterized by increased frequency due to periods of tachypnea, and increased apneas, as in RTT patients. Treatment of Het mice with LM22A-4 for 4 weeks rescued wildtype levels of TrkB phosphorylation in the medulla and pons and restored wildtype breathing frequency. These data provide new insight into the role of BDNF signaling deficits in the pathophysiology of RTT and highlight TrkB as a possible therapeutic target in this disease.
To examine whether serum uric acid (SUA) is associated with 2-hour postload glucose (2-h PG) in Chinese with impaired fasting plasma glucose (IFG) and/or HbA1c (IA1C).
Research Design and Methods
Anthropometric and biochemical examinations, such as SUA concentration, were performed in 3763 individuals from all the villages in Baqiao County, China. A 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was conducted in 1197 Chinese with prediabetes as having IFG (110≤ fasting plasma glucose [FPG] <126 mg/dl and HbA1c <6.5%), IA1C (5.7% ≤ HbA1c <6.5% and FPG <126 mg/dl), or both.
The present study included 1197 participants with IFG and/or IA1C (mean age 56.5±10.3 years; 50.6% men). In multivariate linear regression, after adjustment for gender, age, smoking and drinking, body mass index (BMI), systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP), lipid profiles, logarithmic transformed C-reactive protein (log-CRP), estimated glomerular filtration rate (e-GFR), FPG and HbA1c, with a 1-mg/dl increment of SUA, 2-h PG increased by 5.04±0.72 (P<0.001), 3.06±1.08 (P = 0.001), 5.40±1.26 (P<0.001), and 2.34±2.16 mg/dl (P = 0.056) in all participants, in participants with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), and with 2-h newly diagnosed diabetes (2-h NDM, with 2-h PG ≥200 mg/dl), respectively. In both men and women, 2-h PG increased progressively and significantly from the lower to the upper SUA tertiles (P<0.001). Moreover, in multivariate logistic regression, 1-standard deviation (SD; 1.53 mg/dl) increment of SUA was significantly associated with a 36% higher risk for 2-h NDM (Odds ratio [CI 95%]: 1.36 [1.09–1.99]; P = 0.03).
SUA is significantly associated with 2-h PG in Chinese with IFG and/or IA1C.
During bone homeostasis, osteoblast and osteoclast differentiation is coupled and regulated by multiple signaling pathways and their downstream transcription factors. Here, we show that microRNA 34 (miR-34) is significantly induced by BMP2 during osteoblast differentiation. In vivo, osteoblast-specific gain of miR-34c in mice leads to an age-dependent osteoporosis due to the defective mineralization and proliferation of osteoblasts and increased osteoclastogenesis. In osteoblasts, miR-34c targets multiple components of the Notch signaling pathway, including Notch1, Notch2 and Jag1 in a direct manner, and influences osteoclast differentiation in a non-cell-autonomous fashion. Taken together, our results demonstrate that miR-34c is critical during osteoblastogenesis in part by regulating Notch signaling in bone homeostasis. Furthermore, miR-34c-mediated post-transcriptional regulation of Notch signaling in osteoblasts is one possible mechanism to modulate the proliferative effect of Notch in the committed osteoblast progenitors which may be important in the pathogenesis of osteosarcomas. Therefore, understanding the functional interaction of miR-34 and Notch signaling in normal bone development and in bone cancer could potentially lead to therapies modulating miR-34 signaling.
Background and Purpose
Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the United States, yet no drugs are available that are proven to improve recovery. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) stimulates neurogenesis and plasticity, processes that are implicated in stroke recovery. It binds to both the tropomyosin-related kinase B (TrkB) and p75 neurotrophin (p75NTR) receptors. However, BDNF is not a feasible therapeutic agent, and no small molecule exists that can reproduce its binding to both receptors. We tested the hypothesis that a small molecule (LM22A-4) that selectively targets TrkB would promote neurogenesis and functional recovery after stroke.
Four-month-old mice were trained on motor tasks prior to stroke. After stroke, functional test results were used to randomize mice into two equally, and severely, impaired groups. Beginning 3 days after stroke, mice received LM22A-4 or saline vehicle daily for ten weeks.
LM22A-4 treatment significantly improved limb swing speed and accelerated the return to normal gait accuracy after stroke. LM22A-4 treatment also doubled both the number of new mature neurons and immature neurons adjacent to the stroke. Drug-induced differences were not observed in angiogenesis, dendritic arborization, axonal sprouting, glial scar formation, or neuroinflammation.
A small molecule agonist of TrkB improves functional recovery from stroke and increases neurogenesis when administered beginning three days after stroke. These findings provide proof-of-concept that targeting of TrkB alone is capable of promoting one or more mechanisms relevant to stroke recovery. LM22A-4 or its derivatives might therefore serve as “pro-recovery” therapeutic agents for stroke.
Stroke recovery; neurotrophin; small molecule
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness characterized by the loss of control. Because the cingulate cortex is believed to be important in executive functions, such as inhibition, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques to examine whether and how activity and functional connectivity (FC) of the cingulate cortex were altered in drug-naïve OCD patients.
Twenty-three medication-naïve OCD patients and 23 well-matched healthy controls received fMRI scans in a resting state. Functional connectivities of the anterior cingulate (ACC) and the posterior cingulate (PCC) to the whole brain were analyzed using correlation analyses based on regions of interest (ROI) identified by the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF). Independent Component Analysis (ICA) was used to identify the resting-state sub-networks.
fALFF analysis found that regional activity was increased in the ACC and decreased in the PCC in OCD patients when compared to controls. FC of the ACC and the PCC also showed different patterns. The ACC and the PCC were found to belong to different resting-state sub-networks in ICA analysis and showed abnormal FC, as well as contrasting correlations with the severity of OCD symptoms.
Activity of the ACC and the PCC were increased and decreased, respectively, in the medication-naïve OCD patients compared to controls. Different patterns in FC were also found between the ACC and the PCC with respect to these two groups. These findings implied that the cardinal feature of OCD, the loss of control, may be attributed to abnormal activities and FC of the ACC and the PCC.
The People’s Republic of China has the largest population affected by osteoporosis in the world. However, no population-based survey of osteoporosis awareness in People’s Republic of China has been reported. This study investigated the level of basic awareness of osteoporosis in a large community in People’s Republic of China. The relationship between level of awareness and quantitative ultrasound (US) measurements at the calcaneus was also assessed.
A questionnaire was completed by 9983 men and women aged 40 years or older in Nanjing, People’s Republic of China, between June and December 2011. During this time, the study participants underwent quantitative US measurement. Data from 9049 of the subjects were included in the final analysis.
The proportion of subjects who were aware of osteoporosis was very low. Only 30.7% had heard of osteoporosis, and only 18.5% had heard of osteoporotic fracture. In total, 52.9% of the subjects drank milk, 16.0% took calcium, 7.1% took vitamin D, and 47.2% were performing regular physical activity. Logistic regression showed that more highly educated older women had significantly better awareness of osteoporosis (P < 0.05). Subjects with a history of a previous osteoporotic fracture also had better awareness (P < 0.05) than subjects without such a history, except for those who drank milk. Similar to previous reports, female sex, old age, a low education level, and a personal history of osteoporotic fracture were significantly associated with a low quantitative US measurement (P < 0.001). Further, drinking milk and having not heard of osteoporosis were significantly associated with a higher quantitative US measurement (P < 0.05), while other indicators of osteoporosis awareness were not associated with quantitative US values (P > 0.05).
Awareness of osteoporosis in People’s Republic of China is very low. National awareness strategies should be implemented, especially for poorly educated young men.
osteoporosis; awareness; quantitative ultrasound; Chinese
Although over 60 non-syndromic deafness genes have been identified to date, the etiologic contribution of most deafness genes remained elusive. In this study, we addressed this issue by targeted next-generation sequencing of a large cohort of non-syndromic deaf probands.
Probands with mutations in commonly screened deafness genes GJB2, SLC26A4 and MT-RNR1 were pre-excluded by Sanger sequencing. The remaining 125 deaf probands proceeded through targeted exon capturing of 79 known deafness genes and Illumina HiSeq2000 sequencing.
Bi-allelic mutations in 15 less commonly screened deafness genes were identified in 28 deaf probands, with mutations in MYO15A, GPR98, TMC1, USH2A and PCDH15 being relatively more frequent (≥3 probands each). Dominant mutations in MYO6, TECTA, POU4F3 and COCH were identified in 4 deaf families. A mitochondrial MTTS1 mutation was identified in one maternally inherited deaf family. No pathogenic mutations were identified in three dominant deaf families and two consanguineous families.
Mutations in the less commonly screened deafness genes were heterogeneous and contributed to a significant percentage (17.4%) of causes for non-syndromic deafness. Targeted next-generation sequencing provided a comprehensive and efficient diagnosis for known deafness genes. Complementary to linkage analysis or whole-exome sequencing of deaf families, pre-exclusion of known deafness genes by this strategy may facilitate the discovery of novel deafness genes.
Deafness; Non-syndromic; Genetic etiology; Targeted next-generation sequencing
To investigate the effects of genetic factors on idiopathic scoliosis (IS) and genetic modes through genetic epidemiological survey on IS in Chongqing City, China, and to determine whether SH3GL1, GADD45B, and FGF22 in the chromosome 19p13.3 are the pathogenic genes of IS through genetic sequence analysis.
214 nuclear families were investigated to analyse the age incidence, familial aggregation, and heritability. SH3GL1, GADD45B, and FGF22 were chosen as candidate genes for mutation screening in 56 IS patients of 214 families. The sequence alignment analysis was performed to determine mutations and predict the protein structure.
The average age of onset of 10.8 years suggests that IS is a early onset disease. Incidences of IS in first-, second-, third-degree relatives and the overall incidence in families (5.68%) were also significantly higher than that of the general population (1.04%). The U test indicated a significant difference, suggesting that IS has a familial aggregation. The heritability of first-degree relatives (77.68 ±10.39%), second-degree relatives (69.89 ±3.14%), and third-degree relatives (62.14 ±11.92%) illustrated that genetic factors play an important role in IS pathogenesis. The incidence of first-degree relatives (10.01%), second-degree relatives (2.55%) and third-degree relatives (1.76%) illustrated that IS is not in simple accord with monogenic Mendel’s law but manifests as traits of multifactorial hereditary diseases. Sequence alignment of exons of SH3GL1, GADD45B, and FGF22 showed 17 base mutations, of which 16 mutations do not induce open reading frame (ORF) shift or amino acid changes whereas one mutation (C→T)occurred in SH3GL1 results in formation of the termination codon, which induces variation of protein reading frame. Prediction analysis of protein sequence showed that the SH3GL1 mutant encoded a truncated protein, thus affecting the protein structure.
IS is a multifactorial genetic disease and SH3GL1 may be one of the pathogenic genes for IS.
Variants of UCP2 and UCP3 genes have been reported to be associated with obesity, but the available data on the relationship are inconsistent. A meta-analysis was performed to determine whether there are any associations between the UCP2 -866G/A, Ala55Val, and UCP3 -55C/T polymorphisms and obesity susceptibility.
The PubMed, Embase, Web of Science and CNKI, CBMdisc databases were searched for all relevant case-control studies. The fixed or random effect pooled measure was determined on the bias of heterogeneity test among studies. Publication bias was examined by the modified Begg's and Egger's test.
Twenty-two published articles with thirty-two outcomes were included in the meta-analysis: 12 studies with a total of 7,390 cases and 9,860 controls were analyzed for UCP2 -866G/A polymorphism with obesity, 9 studies with 1,483 cases and 2,067 controls for UCP2 Ala55Val and 8 studies with 2,180 cases and 2,514 controls for UCP3 -55C/T polymorphism. Using an additive model, the UCP2 -866G/A polymorphism showed no significant association with obesity risk in Asians (REM OR = 0.81, 95% CI: 0.65–1.01). In contrast, a statistically significant association was observed in subjects of European descent (FEM OR = 1.06, 95% CI: 1.01–1.12). But neither the UCP2 Ala55Val nor the UCP3 -55C/T polymorphism showed any significant association with obesity risk in either subjects of Asian (REM OR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.67–1.06 for Ala55Val; REM OR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.55–1.28 for -55C/T) or of European descent (REM OR = 1.04, 95% CI: 0.80-1.36 for Ala55Val; FEM OR = 1.08, 95% CI: 0.97–1.20 for -55C/T).
Conclusions and Interpretation
Our meta-analysis revealed that the UCP2 -866G/A polymorphism may be a risk factor for susceptibility to obesity in subjects of European descent, but not in individuals of Asian descent. And our results did not support the association between UCP2 Ala55Val, UCP3 -55C/T polymorphisms and obesity in the populations investigated. This conclusion warrants confirmation by further studies.
There has been an increasing interest in the geographic aspects of economic development, exemplified by P. Krugman’s logical analysis. We show in this paper that the geographic aspects of economic development can be modeled using multi-agent systems that incorporate multiple underlying factors. The extent of information sharing is assumed to be a driving force that leads to economic geographic heterogeneity across locations without geographic advantages or disadvantages. We propose an agent-based market model that considers a spectrum of different information-sharing mechanisms: no information sharing, information sharing among friends and pheromone-like information sharing. Finally, we build a unified model that accommodates all three of these information-sharing mechanisms based on the number of friends who can share information. We find that the no information-sharing model does not yield large economic zones, and more information sharing can give rise to a power-law distribution of market size that corresponds to the stylized fact of city size and firm size distributions. The simulations show that this model is robust. This paper provides an alternative approach to studying economic geographic development, and this model could be used as a test bed to validate the detailed assumptions that regulate real economic agglomeration.
Aim. We investigated the relationship between brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV)
and glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, and beta-cell function in Chinese individuals with or
without hypertension. Methods. We recruited 3137 nondiabetic individuals whose age, body mass index (BMI),
glucose levels, blood pressure (BP), lipids, hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), baPWV, and insulin levels
were measured. Results. In normotensive group, 2 h glucose levels (β = 0.046, P < 0.001) associated with baPWV, showed a significant increase in patients with NG as compared to those with DM (P = 0.032). The hypertensive group showed no such differences. The Matsuda index (β = 0.114, P < 0.001) and HOMA-β (β = 0.045, P < 0.001) were negatively correlated with baPWV while lnHOMA-IR (β = 0.196, P = 0.076) and the Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index (QUICKI) (β = 0.226, P = 0.046) showed a borderline negative correlation. BaPWV significantly decreased (P = 0.032) with an increase in insulin sensitivity in individuals with both normal BP and glucose tolerance. Conclusions. BaPWV was significantly associated with 2 h glucose levels, insulin sensitivity and
beta-cell function in normotensive population, whereas in hypertensive individuals, BP was the
dominant factor influencing arterial stiffness. Individuals with abnormal insulin sensitivity in the
absence of diabetes and hypertension are also at an increased risk of arterial stiffness.
Uniparental parthenotes are considered an unwanted byproduct of in vitro fertilization. In utero parthenote development is severely compromised by defective organogenesis and in particular by defective cardiogenesis. Although developmentally compromised, apparently pluripotent stem cells can be derived from parthenogenetic blastocysts. Here we hypothesized that nonembryonic parthenogenetic stem cells (PSCs) can be directed toward the cardiac lineage and applied to tissue-engineered heart repair. We first confirmed similar fundamental properties in murine PSCs and embryonic stem cells (ESCs), despite notable differences in genetic (allelic variability) and epigenetic (differential imprinting) characteristics. Haploidentity of major histocompatibility complexes (MHCs) in PSCs is particularly attractive for allogeneic cell-based therapies. Accordingly, we confirmed acceptance of PSCs in MHC-matched allotransplantation. Cardiomyocyte derivation from PSCs and ESCs was equally effective. The use of cardiomyocyte-restricted GFP enabled cell sorting and documentation of advanced structural and functional maturation in vitro and in vivo. This included seamless electrical integration of PSC-derived cardiomyocytes into recipient myocardium. Finally, we enriched cardiomyocytes to facilitate engineering of force-generating myocardium and demonstrated the utility of this technique in enhancing regional myocardial function after myocardial infarction. Collectively, our data demonstrate pluripotency, with unrestricted cardiogenicity in PSCs, and introduce this unique cell type as an attractive source for tissue-engineered heart repair.
Preoperative radiotherapy may improve the resectability and subsequent local control of rectal cancers. However, the extent of radiation induced regression in these tumours varies widely between individuals. To date no reliable predictive marker of radiation sensitivity in rectal cancer has been identified. At the cellular level, radiation injury initiates a complex molecular network of DNA damage response (DDR) pathways that leads to cell cycle arrest, attempts at re-constituting the damaged DNA and should this fail, then apoptosis. This review presents the details which suggest the roles of DNA mismatch repair proteins, the lack of which define a distinct subset of colorectal cancers with microsatellite instability (MSI), in the DDR pathways. Hence routine assessment of the MSI status in rectal cancers may potentially serve as a predictor of radiotherapy response, thereby improving patient stratification in the administration of this otherwise toxic treatment.
Rectal neoplasms; Radiotherapy sensitivity; Microsatellite instability; DNA damage response; DNA mismatch repair
We report polarized Raman scattering studies on single InAs nanowires (NWs). The NWs were grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition on Si (111) substrates without external catalyst and showed a zinc-blende crystal structure. The single NWs were studied for different polarization excitation of the incident laser beam relative to the NW axis. The transverse optical (TO) mode exhibits maximum intensity when both the incident and analyzed light polarizations are parallel to the NW axis. The TO mode of InAs NWs is found to act like a nearly perfect dipole antenna, which can be attributed to the one-dimensional NW geometry and Raman selection rules.
Nanowires (NWs); Raman spectroscopy; Phonon property; Polarize; 62.23.Hj; 81.07.Gf; 63.22.Gh; 61.46.Km
Background and Aims
Purple acid phosphatases (PAPs) are members of the metallo-phosphoesterase family and have been known to play important roles in phosphorus (P) acquisition and recycling in plants. Low P availability is a major constraint to growth and production of soybean, Glycine max. Comparative studies on structure, transcription regulation and responses to phosphate (Pi) deprivation of the soybean PAP gene family should facilitate further insights into the potential physiological roles of GmPAPs.
BLAST searches were performed to identify soybean PAP genes at the phytozome website. Bioinformatic analyses were carried out to investigate their gene structure, conserve motifs and phylogenetic relationships. Hydroponics and sand-culture experiments were carried out to obtain the plant materials. Quantitative real-time PCR was employed to analyse the expression patterns of PAP genes in response to P deficiency and symbiosis.
In total, 35 PAP genes were identified from soybean genomes, which can be classified into three distinct groups including six subgroups in the phylogenetic tree. The expression pattern analysis showed flowers possessed the largest number of tissue-specific GmPAP genes under normal P conditions. The expression of 23 GmPAPs was induced or enhanced by Pi starvation in different tissues. Among them, nine GmPAP genes were highly expressed in the Pi-deprived nodules, whereas only two GmPAP genes showed significantly increased expression in the arbuscular mycorrhizal roots under low-P conditions.
Most GmPAP genes are probably involved in P acquisition and recycling in plants. Also we provide the first evidence that some members of the GmPAP gene family are possibly involved in the response of plants to symbiosis with rhizobia or arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi under P-limited conditions.
Soybean; Glycine max; purple acid phosphatase; expression analysis; phylogenetic analysis; phosphorus nutrition; symbiosis
Fat mass and obesity associated gene (FTO) is the first gene associated with body mass index (BMI) and risk for diabetes. FTO is highly expressed in the brain and pancreas, and is involved in regulating dietary intake and energy expenditure. To investigate the transcriptional regulation of FTO expression, we created 5′-deletion constructs of the FTO promoter to determine which transcription factors are most relevant to FTO expression. The presence of an activation region at −201/+34 was confirmed by luciferase activity analysis. A potential Foxa2 (called HNF-3β) binding site and an upstream stimulatory factor (USF)-binding site was identified in the −100 bp fragment upstream of the transcription start site (TSS). Furthermore, using mutagenesis, we identified the Foxa2 binding sequence (−26/−14) as a negative regulatory element to the activity of the human FTO promoter. The USF binding site did not affect the FTO promoter activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays were performed to confirm Foxa2 binding to the FTO promoter. Overexpression of Foxa2 in HEK 293 cells significantly down-regulated FTO promoter activity and expression. Conversely, knockdown of Foxa2 by siRNA significantly up-regulated FTO expression. These findings suggest that Foxa2 negatively regulates the basal transcription and expression of the human FTO gene.
The aquaporins (AQPs) are a family of small membrane transport proteins whose overexpression has been implicated in tumorigenesis. However, the expression of AQP5 and AQP8 in colorectal cancer and the clinical significance remain unexplored. This study aimed to detect the expression of AQP5 and AQP8 in clinical samples of colorectal cancer and analyze the correlations of their expression with the clinicopathological features of colorectal cancer.
Forty pairs of colorectal cancer tissue and paraneoplastic normal tissue were obtained at the time of surgery from patients with colorectal cancer. The expression of AQP5 and AQP8 was detected by immunohistochemical staining and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.
AQP5 was mainly expressed in colorectal carcinoma cells and barely expressed in paraneoplastic normal tissues. By contrast, AQP8 was mainly expressed in paraneoplastic normal tissues and barely expressed in colorectal carcinoma cells. AQP5 expression was not significantly associated with the sex or age of the patient with colorectal cancer (P>0.05), but was closely associated with the differentiation, tumor-nodes-metastasis stage and distant lymph node metastasis of colorectal carcinoma (P<0.05).
AQP5 might be a novel prognostic biomarker for patients with colorectal cancer.
AQP5; AQP8; Colorectal cancer; Immunohistochemistry