Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), an endogenous gaseotransmitter/modulator, is becoming appreciated that it may be involved in a wide variety of processes including inflammation and nociception. However, the role and mechanism for H2S in nociceptive processing in trigeminal ganglion (TG) neuron remains unknown. The aim of this study is to investigate distribution of endogenous H2S synthesizing enzyme cystathionine-β-synthetase (CBS) expression and role of H2S on excitability and voltage-gated potassium channels of TG neurons.
Immunofluorescence studies were carried out to determine whether CBS was co-expressed in Kv1.1 or Kv1.4-positive TG neurons. Whole cell patch clamp recordings were employed on acutely isolated TG neurons from adult male Sprague Dawley rats (6–8 week old). von Frey filaments were used to examine the pain behavioral responses in rats following injection of sodium hydrosulfide.
In rat TG, 77.3±6.6% neurons were immunoreactive for CBS, 85.1±3.8% for Kv1.1 and 97.8±1.1% for Kv1.4. Double staining showed that all CBS labeled cells were Kv1.1 and Kv1.4 positive, but only 92.2±6.1% of Kv1.1 and 78.2±9.9% of Kv1.4 positive cells contained CBS. Application of H2S donor NaHS (250 μM) led to a significant depolarization of resting membrane potential recorded from TG neurons. NaHS application also resulted in a dramatic reduction in rheobase, hyperpolarization of action potential threshold, and a significant increase in the number of action potentials evoked at 2X and 3X rheobase stimulation. Under voltage-clamp conditions, TG neurons exhibited transient A-type (IA) and sustained outward rectifier K+ currents (IK). Application of NaHS did suppress IK density while did not change IA density of TG neurons (n=6). Furthermore, NaHS, a donor of hydrogen sulfide, produced a significant reduction in escape threshold in a dose dependent manner.
These data suggest that endogenous H2S generating enzyme CBS was co-localized well with Kv1.1 and Kv1.4 in TG neurons and that H2S produces the mechanic pain and increases neuronal excitability, which might be largely mediated by suppressing IK density, thus identifying for the first time a specific molecular mechanism underlying pain and sensitization in TG.
Hydrogen sulfide; Cystathionine-β-synthase; Trigeminal ganglion; Excitability; Voltage-gated potassium channels
Reconstruction of gene regulatory networks (GRNs) is of utmost interest and has become a challenge computational problem in system biology. However, every existing inference algorithm from gene expression profiles has its own advantages and disadvantages. In particular, the effectiveness and efficiency of every previous algorithm is not high enough. In this work, we proposed a novel inference algorithm from gene expression data based on differential equation model. In this algorithm, two methods were included for inferring GRNs. Before reconstructing GRNs, singular value decomposition method was used to decompose gene expression data, determine the algorithm solution space, and get all candidate solutions of GRNs. In these generated family of candidate solutions, gravitation field algorithm was modified to infer GRNs, used to optimize the criteria of differential equation model, and search the best network structure result. The proposed algorithm is validated on both the simulated scale-free network and real benchmark gene regulatory network in networks database. Both the Bayesian method and the traditional differential equation model were also used to infer GRNs, and the results were used to compare with the proposed algorithm in our work. And genetic algorithm and simulated annealing were also used to evaluate gravitation field algorithm. The cross-validation results confirmed the effectiveness of our algorithm, which outperforms significantly other previous algorithms.
Gravitation field algorithm (GFA) is a new optimization algorithm which is based on an imitation of natural phenomena. GFA can do well both for searching global minimum and multi-minima in computational biology. But GFA needs to be improved for increasing efficiency, and modified for applying to some discrete data problems in system biology.
An improved GFA called IGFA was proposed in this paper. Two parts were improved in IGFA. The first one is the rule of random division, which is a reasonable strategy and makes running time shorter. The other one is rotation factor, which can improve the accuracy of IGFA. And to apply IGFA to the hierarchical clustering, the initial part and the movement operator were modified.
Two kinds of experiments were used to test IGFA. And IGFA was applied to hierarchical clustering. The global minimum experiment was used with IGFA, GFA, GA (genetic algorithm) and SA (simulated annealing). Multi-minima experiment was used with IGFA and GFA. The two experiments results were compared with each other and proved the efficiency of IGFA. IGFA is better than GFA both in accuracy and running time. For the hierarchical clustering, IGFA is used to optimize the smallest distance of genes pairs, and the results were compared with GA and SA, singular-linkage clustering, UPGMA. The efficiency of IGFA is proved.
Glutathione S-transferase M1 (GSTM1) is thought to be involved in detoxifying several carcinogens and may play a vital role in tumorigenesis. Numerous studies have evaluated the association between GSTM1 null/present polymorphism and risk of prostate cancer (PCa). However, the results remain inconsistent. To derive a more precise estimation, we performed a meta-analysis.
A comprehensive search was conducted to identify all eligible case-control studies. We used odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess the strength of the association. The overall association was significant (OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.11–1.48, P = 0.001). Moreover, subgroup analyses showed GSTM1 null genotype significantly associated with PCa risk among Asians (OR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.03–1.78, P = 0.03) but not among Caucasians (OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 0.96–1.31, P = 0.16). In addition, we did not find that smoking modified the genotype effect on the risk of PCa.
The present meta-analysis suggested that GSTM1 null allele was a low-penetrant risk factor for PCa among Asians.
Oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) homologues, ORPs, are implicated in lipid homeostatic control, vesicle transport, and cell signaling. We analyzed here the quantity of ORP mRNAs in human subcutaneous (s.c.) and visceral adipose depots, as well as in the Simpson-Golabi-Behmel syndrome (SGBS) adipocyte cell model. All of the ORP mRNAs were present in the s.c and visceral adipose tissues, and the two depots shared an almost identical ORP mRNA expression pattern. SGBS adipocytes displayed a similar pattern, suggesting that the adipose tissue ORP expression pattern mainly derives from adipocytes. During SGBS cell adipogenic differentiation, ORP2, ORP3, ORP4, ORP7, and ORP8 mRNAs were down-regulated, while ORP11 was induced. To assess the impacts of ORPs on adipocyte differentiation, ORP3 and ORP8, proteins down-regulated during adipogenesis, were overexpressed in differentiating SGBS adipocytes, while ORP11, a protein induced during adipogenesis, was silenced. ORP8 overexpression resulted in reduced expression of the aP2 mRNA, while down-regulation of adiponectin and aP2 was observed in ORP11 silenced cells. Furthermore, ORP8 overexpression or silencing of ORP11 markedly decreased cellular triglyceride storage. These data identify the patterns of ORP expression in human adipose depots and SGBS adipocytes, and provide the first evidence for a functional impact of ORPs on the adipocyte phenotype.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous human herpesvirus. Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) is involved in host innate immunity against pathogens, and its aberrant activation is linked to the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE, also called “lupus”). Type I interferons (IFN) are apparently driving forces for lupus pathogenesis. Previously, we found that EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) primes cells for IFN production. In this report, the relationship among EBV LMP1, TLRs, and IFN production are examined. We find that TLR7 activation increases the expression of EBV LMP1, and IFN regulatory factor 7 (IRF7) is involved in the stimulation process. TLR7 activation did not induce IFNs from EBV-infected cells, but potentiates those cells for IFN production by TLR3 or TLR9 activation. In addition, we find that LMP1 and IFNs are co-expressed in the same cells in some lupus patients. Therefore, the aberrant activation of TLR7 might induce LMP1 expression and LMP1-expression cells may be producing IFNs in lupus patients. These results suggest EBV might be an exacerbating factor in some lupus patients via promoting IFN production.
Neurogenesis, including the proliferation, migration and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs), is impaired in HIV-1 associated dementia (HAD). We previously demonstrated HIV-1-infected macrophages (HIV-MDM) regulate stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1) production in astrocytes through Interleukin-1β (IL-1β). Chemokines are known to induce NPC migration; however, it remains unclear how chemokines produced in inflammation regulate NPC migration.
The secretion of SDF-1 and Monocyte chemotactic preotein-1 (MCP-1) in astrocytes upon IL-1β stimulation was measured by ELISA assay. Human NPCs were injected parallel along with IL-1β, SDF-1 or MCP-1 intracranially into basal ganglion 1 mm apart in SCID mice, and immunofluorescent staining was used to study the survival and migration of injected human NPCs.
SDF-1 and MCP-1 are secreted by astrocytes upon IL-1β stimulation in a time-dependent manner. Injected human NPCs survived in SCID mice and migrated towards sites of IL-1β, SDF-1 and MCP-1 injection.
In conclusion, chemokines SDF-1 or MCP-1 secreted by astrocytes in the presence of IL-1β injection are attractive to NPCs injected into SCID mouse brains, suggesting that SDF-1 and MCP-1 play important roles in NPC migration during neuroinflammation.
With recent improvements in DNA sequencing and sample extraction techniques, the quantity and quality of metagenomic data are now growing exponentially. This abundance of richly annotated metagenomic data and bacterial census information has spawned a new branch of microbiology called comparative metagenomics. Comparative metagenomics involves the comparison of bacterial populations between different environmental samples, different culture conditions or different microbial hosts. However, in order to do comparative metagenomics, one typically requires a sophisticated knowledge of multivariate statistics and/or advanced software programming skills. To make comparative metagenomics more accessible to microbiologists, we have developed a freely accessible, easy-to-use web server for comparative metagenomic analysis called METAGENassist. Users can upload their bacterial census data from a wide variety of common formats, using either amplified 16S rRNA data or shotgun metagenomic data. Metadata concerning environmental, culture, or host conditions can also be uploaded. During the data upload process, METAGENassist also performs an automated taxonomic-to-phenotypic mapping. Phenotypic information covering nearly 20 functional categories such as GC content, genome size, oxygen requirements, energy sources and preferred temperature range is automatically generated from the taxonomic input data. Using this phenotypically enriched data, users can then perform a variety of multivariate and univariate data analyses including fold change analysis, t-tests, PCA, PLS-DA, clustering and classification. To facilitate data processing, users are guided through a step-by-step analysis workflow using a variety of menus, information hyperlinks and check boxes. METAGENassist also generates colorful, publication quality tables and graphs that can be downloaded and used directly in the preparation of scientific papers. METAGENassist is available at http://www.metagenassist.ca.
Despite the successes of antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders remain prevalent in infected people. This is due, in part, to incomplete ART penetration across the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and lymph nodes and to the establishment of viral sanctuaries within the central nervous system. In efforts to improve ART delivery, our laboratories developed a macrophage-carriage system for nanoformulated crystalline ART (nanoART) (atazanavir, ritonavir, indinavir, and efavirenz). We demonstrate that nanoART transfer from mononuclear phagocytes (MP) to human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMEC) can be realized through cell-to-cell contacts, which can facilitate drug passage across the BBB. Coculturing of donor MP containing nanoART with recipient HBMEC facilitates intercellular particle transfer. NanoART uptake was observed in up to 52% of HBMEC with limited cytotoxicity. Folate coating of nanoART increased MP to HBMEC particle transfer by up to 77%. To translate the cell assays into relevant animal models of disease, ritonavir and atazanavir nanoformulations were injected into HIV-1-infected NOD/scid-γcnull mice reconstituted with human peripheral blood lymphocytes. Atazanavir and ritonavir levels in brains of mice treated with folate-coated nanoART were three- to four-fold higher than in mice treated with noncoated particles. This was associated with decreased viral load in the spleen and brain, and diminished brain CD11b-associated glial activation. We postulate that monocyte-macrophage transfer of nanoART to brain endothelial cells could facilitate drug entry into the brain.
nanoART; folate; monocyte-endothelial cell interactions; blood-brain barrier; antiretroviral therapy; nanomedicine
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, C12H12N2O3, contains two molecules in which the benzene and isoxazole rings are almost coplanar, the dihedral angles between their mean planes being 1.76 (9) and 5.85 (8)°. The two molecules interact with each other via N—H⋯N and N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, which link the molecules into layers parallel to the ac plane. The layers stack in a parallel mode with an interlayer distance of 3.36 (7) Å.
Originally released in 2005, BacMap is an electronic, interactive atlas of fully sequenced bacterial genomes. It contains fully labeled, zoomable and searchable chromosome maps for essentially all sequenced prokaryotic (archaebacterial and eubacterial) species. Each map can be zoomed to the level of individual genes and each gene is hyperlinked to a richly annotated gene card. The latest release of BacMap (http://bacmap.wishartlab.com/) now contains data for more than 1700 bacterial species (∼10× more than the 2005 release), corresponding to more than 2800 chromosome and plasmid maps. All bacterial genome maps are now supplemented with separate prophage genome maps as well as separate tRNA and rRNA maps. Each bacterial chromosome entry in BacMap also contains graphs and tables on a variety of gene and protein statistics. Likewise, every bacterial species entry contains a bacterial ‘biography’ card, with taxonomic details, phenotypic details, textual descriptions and images (when available). Improved data browsing and searching tools have also been added to allow more facile filtering, sorting and display of the chromosome maps and their contents.
Psoriasis is a common inflammatory skin disease with genetic components of both immune system and the epidermis. PSOR1 locus (6q21) has been strongly associated with psoriasis; however, it is difficult to identify additional independent association due to strong linkage disequilibrium in the MHC region. We performed stepwise regression analyses of more than 3,000 SNPs in the MHC region genotyped using Human 610-Quad (Illumina) in 1,139 cases with psoriasis and 1,132 controls of Han Chinese population to search for additional independent association. With four regression models obtained, two SNPs rs9468925 in HLA-C/HLA-B and rs2858881 in HLA-DQA2 were repeatedly selected in all models, suggesting that multiple loci outside PSOR1 locus were associated with psoriasis. More importantly we find that rs9468925 in HLA-C/HLA-B is associated with both psoriasis and vitiligo, providing first important evidence that two major skin diseases share a common genetic locus in the MHC, and a basis for elucidating the molecular mechanism of skin disorders.
Human oxoguanine glycosylase 1 (hOGG1) in base excision repair (BER) pathway plays a vital role in DNA repair. Numerous epidemiological studies have evaluated the association between hOGG1 Ser326Cys polymorphism and the risk of cancer. However, the results of these studies on the association remain conflicting. To derive a more precise estimation of the association, we conducted a meta-analysis.
A comprehensive search was conducted to identify the eligible studies of hOGG1 Ser326Cys polymorphism and cancer risk. We used odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to assess the strength of the association. We found that the hOGG1 Ser326Cys polymorphism was significantly associated with overall cancer risk (Cys/Cys vs. Ser/Ser: OR = 1.19, 95%CI = 1.09–1.30, P<0.001; Cys/Cys vs. Cys/Ser+Ser/Ser: OR = 1.16, 95%CI = 1.08–1.26, P<0.001). Moreover, in subgroup analyses by cancer types, the stronger significant association between hOGG1 Ser326Cys polymorphism and lung cancer risk was found (Cys/Cys vs. Ser/Ser: OR = 1.29, 95%CI = 1.16–1.44, P<0.001; Cys/Cys vs. Cys/Ser+Ser/Ser: OR = 1.22, 95%CI = 1.12–1.33, P<0.001). The significant effects of hOGG1 Ser326Cys polymorphism on colorectal, breast, bladder, prostate, esophageal, and gastric cancer were not detected. In addition, in subgroup analyses by ethnicities, we found that the hOGG1 Ser326Cys polymorphism was associated with overall cancer risk in Asians (Cys/Cys vs. Ser/Ser: OR = 1.21, 95%CI = 1.10–1.33, P<0.001).
This meta-analysis showed that hOGG1 326Cys allele might be a low-penetrant risk factor for lung cancer.
PHAge Search Tool (PHAST) is a web server designed to rapidly and accurately identify, annotate and graphically display prophage sequences within bacterial genomes or plasmids. It accepts either raw DNA sequence data or partially annotated GenBank formatted data and rapidly performs a number of database comparisons as well as phage ‘cornerstone’ feature identification steps to locate, annotate and display prophage sequences and prophage features. Relative to other prophage identification tools, PHAST is up to 40 times faster and up to 15% more sensitive. It is also able to process and annotate both raw DNA sequence data and Genbank files, provide richly annotated tables on prophage features and prophage ‘quality’ and distinguish between intact and incomplete prophage. PHAST also generates downloadable, high quality, interactive graphics that display all identified prophage components in both circular and linear genomic views. PHAST is available at (http://phast.wishartlab.com).
Voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) play a fundamental role in controlling cellular excitability, and their abnormal activity is related to several pathological processes, including cardiac arrhythmias, epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, spasticity and chronic pain. In particular, chronic visceral pain, the central symptom of functional gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome, is a serious clinical problem that affects a high percentage of the world population. In spite of intense research efforts and after the dedicated decade of pain control and research, there are not many options to treat chronic pain conditions. However, there is a wealth of evidence emerging to give hope that a more refined approach may be achievable. By using electronic databases, available data on structural and functional properties of VGSCs in chronic pain, particularly functional gastrointestinal hypersensitivity, were reviewed. We summarize the involvement and molecular bases of action of VGSCs in the pathophysiology of several organic and functional gastrointestinal disorders. We also describe the efficacy of VGSC blockers in the treatment of these neurological diseases, and outline future developments that may extend the therapeutic use of compounds that target VGSCs. Overall, clinical and experimental data indicate that isoform-specific blockers of these channels or targeting of their modulators may provide effective and novel approaches for visceral pain therapy.
Voltage-gated sodium channel; Dorsal root ganglion; Visceral pain; Functional gastrointestinal disorders; Treatment
Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) has been widely used to treat patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia and has also been shown to exhibit therapeutic effects on various types of solid tumors, including gastric cancer and lung carcinoma. Breast cancer is a type of solid tumor whose incidence has been increasing for many years. The present study was designed to investigate the effects of As2O3 on the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7, and to explore its potential mechanisms. The MTT assay demonstrated that As2O3 decreased the cellular viability of MCF-7 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Morphological observation, the TUNEL assay and flow cytometric analysis revealed that apoptosis was involved in the process. An assay for caspase-3 activity suggested that the apoptosis was mediated through caspase-3 activation. Further investigation indicated that protein levels of the human ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) were markedly downregulated by As2O3. Taken together, the results indicate that arsenic trioxide induces the apoptosis of human breast cancer MCF-7 cells at least in part through the activation of caspase-3 and the decrease in HERG expression.
arsenic trioxide; MCF-7 cells; human ether-a-go-go-related gene channels; apoptosis
Autophagy is one of two major degradation systems in eukaryotic cells. The degradation mechanism of autophagy is required to maintain the balance between the biosynthetic and catabolic processes and also contributes to defense against invading pathogens. Recent studies suggest that a number of viruses can evade or subvert the host cell autophagic pathway to enhance their own replication. Here, we investigated the effect of autophagy on the KSHV (Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus) life cycle. We found that the inhibition of autophagy reduces KSHV lytic reactivation from latency, and an enhancement of autophagy can be detected during KSHV lytic replication. In addition, RTA (replication and transcription activator), an essential viral protein for KSHV lytic reactivation, is able to enhance the autophagic process, leading to an increase in the number of autophagic vacuoles, an increase in the level of the lipidated LC3 protein, and the formation of autolysosomes. Moreover, the inhibition of autophagy affects RTA-mediated lytic gene expression and viral DNA replication. These results suggest that RTA increases autophagy activation to facilitate KSHV lytic replication. This is the first report demonstrating that autophagy is involved in the lytic reactivation of KSHV.
Controlled generation and removal of hydrogen peroxide play important roles in cellular redox homeostasis and signaling. We used a hydrogen peroxide biosensor HyPer, targeted to different compartments, to examine these processes in mammalian cells.
Reversible responses were observed to various redox perturbations and signaling events. HyPer expressed in HEK 293 cells was found to sense low micromolar levels of hydrogen peroxide. When targeted to various cellular compartments, HyPer occurred in the reduced state in the nucleus, cytosol, peroxisomes, mitochondrial intermembrane space and mitochondrial matrix, but low levels of the oxidized form of the biosensor were also observed in each of these compartments, consistent with a low peroxide tone in mammalian cells. In contrast, HyPer was mostly oxidized in the endoplasmic reticulum. Using this system, we characterized control of hydrogen peroxide in various cell systems, such as cells deficient in thioredoxin reductase, sulfhydryl oxidases or subjected to selenium deficiency. Generation of hydrogen peroxide could also be monitored in various compartments following signaling events.
We found that HyPer can be used as a valuable tool to monitor hydrogen peroxide generated in different cellular compartments. The data also show that hydrogen peroxide generated in one compartment could translocate to other compartments. Our data provide information on compartmentalization, dynamics and homeostatic control of hydrogen peroxide in mammalian cells.
Nanoassembled capsules (NACs) that incorporate a polymer aggregate inside a silica shell may be loaded with agents that are of particular interest for therapeutic or diagnostic applications. NACs formed using the MRI contrast agent GdDOTP5− in the internal polymer aggregate are reported herein, the smaller of which show promise as potential MRI contrast agents. Unlike many other nanoencapsulated systems, water access to the inner core of these NACs does not appear to be limited and consequently the water relaxivity per Gd3+ agent can reach as high as 24 mM−1 s−1. Robust, spherical capsules were formed using polyallylamine or poly-l-lysine ranging from 0.2 to 5 µm in diameter. The greatest gains in relaxivity were observed for smaller NACs, for which water accessibility remained high but molecular rotation of the Gd3+ chelate was effectively restricted. Larger NACs did not afford such large gains in relaxivity, the result of poorer water accessibility combined with less-effective rotational restriction.
Selenium (Se) is a trace element with important roles in human health. Several selenoproteins have essential functions in development. However, the cellular and tissue distribution of Se remains largely unknown because of the lack of analytical techniques that image this element with sufficient sensitivity and resolution. Herein, we report that X-ray fluorescence microscopy (XFM) can be used to visualize and quantify the tissue, cellular and subcellular topography of Se. We applied this technique to characterize the role of Se in spermatogenesis and identified a dramatic Se enrichment specifically in late spermatids, a pattern that was not seen in any other elemental maps. This enrichment was due to elevated levels of the mitochondrial form of glutathione peroxidase 4 and was fully dependent on the supplies of Se by Selenoprotein P. High-resolution scans revealed that Se concentrated near the lumen side of elongating spermatids, where structural components of sperm are formed. During spermatogenesis, maximal Se associated with decreased phosphorus, whereas Zn did not change. In sperm, Se was primarily in the midpiece and co-localized with Cu and Fe. XFM allowed quantification of Se in the midpiece (0.8 fg) and head (0.14 fg) of individual sperm cells, revealing the ability of sperm cells to handle the amounts of this element well above its toxic levels. Overall, the use of XFM allowed visualization of tissue and cellular Se and provided important insights in the role of this and other trace elements in spermatogenesis.
selenium; X-ray fluorescence microscopy; spermatogenesis; male reproduction; trace elements
PROSESS (PROtein Structure Evaluation Suite and Server) is a web server designed to evaluate and validate protein structures generated by X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy or computational modeling. While many structure evaluation packages have been developed over the past 20 years, PROSESS is unique in its comprehensiveness, its capacity to evaluate X-ray, NMR and predicted structures as well as its ability to evaluate a variety of experimental NMR data. PROSESS integrates a variety of previously developed, well-known and thoroughly tested methods to evaluate both global and residue specific: (i) covalent and geometric quality; (ii) non-bonded/packing quality; (iii) torsion angle quality; (iv) chemical shift quality and (v) NOE quality. In particular, PROSESS uses VADAR for coordinate, packing, H-bond, secondary structure and geometric analysis, GeNMR for calculating folding, threading and solvent energetics, ShiftX for calculating chemical shift correlations, RCI for correlating structure mobility to chemical shift and PREDITOR for calculating torsion angle-chemical shifts agreement. PROSESS also incorporates several other programs including MolProbity to assess atomic clashes, Xplor-NIH to identify and quantify NOE restraint violations and NAMD to assess structure energetics. PROSESS produces detailed tables, explanations, structural images and graphs that summarize the results and compare them to values observed in high-quality or high-resolution protein structures. Using a simplified red–amber–green coloring scheme PROSESS also alerts users about both general and residue-specific structural problems. PROSESS is intended to serve as a tool that can be used by structure biologists as well as database curators to assess and validate newly determined protein structures. PROSESS is freely available at http://www.prosess.ca.
The bICP0 protein encoded by bovine herpesvirus 1 stimulates productive infection and viral gene expression but inhibits interferon (IFN)-dependent transcription. bICP0 inhibits beta IFN (IFN-β) promoter activity and induces degradation of IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3). Although bICP0 inhibits the trans-activation activity of IRF7, IRF7 protein levels are not reduced. In this study, we demonstrate that bICP0 is associated with IRF7. Furthermore, bICP0 inhibits the ability of IRF7 to trans-activate the IFN-β promoter in the absence of IRF3 expression. The interaction between bICP0 and IRF7 correlates with reduced trans-activation of the IFN-β promoter by IRF7.
Neurogenesis, tied to the proliferation, migration and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (NPC) is affected during neurodegenerative diseases, but how neurogenesis is affected during HIV-1 associated dementia (HAD) has not been fully addressed. Here we test the hypothesis that HIV-1-infected and/or immune-activated brain macrophages affect NPC proliferation and differentiation through the regulation of cytokines. We showed that human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) conditioned medium (MCM) induces a dose dependant increase in NPC proliferation. Conditioned media from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated MDM (LPS-MCM) or HIV-infected MCM (HIV-MCM) induced a profound increase in NPC proliferation. HIV-infected and LPS-activated MCM (HIV+LPS-MCM) induced the most robust increase in NPC proliferation. Moreover, LPS-MCM and HIV+LPS-MCM decreased β-III-tubulin and increased GFAP expression, demonstrating an induction of gliogenesis and inhibition of neurogenesis. The increase of NPC proliferation and gliogenesis correlated with increases in production of TNF-α by infected/activated MDM. Although both IL-1β and TNF-α induced NPC proliferation and gliogenesis, these effects were only partially abrogated by soluble TNF-α receptors R1 and R2 (TNF-R1R2), but not by the IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra). This indicated that the HIV-1-infected/LPS-activated MCM-mediated effects were, in part, through TNF-α. These observations were confirmed in severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice with HIV-1 encephalitis (HIVE). In these HIVE mice, NPC injected with HIV-infected MDM showed more astrocyte differentiation and less neuronal differentiation compared to NPC injection alone. These observations demonstrated that HIV-1-infected and immune-activated MDM could affect neurogenesis through induction of NPC proliferation, inhibition of neurogenesis, and activation of gliogenesis.
HIV-1; macrophage; neural progenitor cell; TNF-α; proliferation; differentiation
GeNMR (GEnerate NMR structures) is a web server for rapidly generating accurate 3D protein structures using sequence data, NOE-based distance restraints and/or NMR chemical shifts as input. GeNMR accepts distance restraints in XPLOR or CYANA format as well as chemical shift files in either SHIFTY or BMRB formats. The web server produces an ensemble of PDB coordinates for the protein within 15–25 min, depending on model complexity and completeness of experimental restraints. GeNMR uses a pipeline of several pre-existing programs and servers to calculate the actual protein structure. In particular, GeNMR combines genetic algorithms for structure optimization along with homology modeling, chemical shift threading, torsion angle and distance predictions from chemical shifts/NOEs as well as ROSETTA-based structure generation and simulated annealing with XPLOR-NIH to generate and/or refine protein coordinates. GeNMR greatly simplifies the task of protein structure determination as users do not have to install or become familiar with complex stand-alone programs or obscure format conversion utilities. Tests conducted on a sample of 90 proteins from the BioMagResBank indicate that GeNMR produces high-quality models for all protein queries, regardless of the type of NMR input data. GeNMR was developed to facilitate rapid, user-friendly structure determination of protein structures via NMR spectroscopy. GeNMR is accessible at http://www.genmr.ca.
In swine, the most common and severe enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) infections are caused by strains that express K88 (F4)+ fimbriae, heat-labile enterotoxin (LT), heat-stable enterotoxin b (STb), and enteroaggregative E. coli heat-stable toxin 1. Previous studies based on a design that involved enterotoxin genes cloned into a nontoxigenic fimbriated strain have suggested that LT but not STb plays an important role in dehydrating diarrheal disease in piglets <1 week old and also enhances bacterial colonization of the intestine. In the present study, we compared these two toxins in terms of importance for piglets >1 week old with a study design that involved construction of isogenic single- and double-deletion mutants and inoculation of 9-day-old F4ac receptor-positive gnotobiotic piglets. Based on the postinoculation percent weight change per h and serum bicarbonate concentrations, the virulence of the STb− mutant (ΔestB) did not significantly differ from that of the parent. However, deletion of the LT genes (ΔeltAB) in the STb− mutant resulted in a complete abrogation of weight loss, dehydration, and metabolic acidosis in inoculated pigs, and LT complementation restored the virulence of this strain. These results support the hypothesis that LT is a more significant contributor than STb to the virulence of F4+ ETEC infections in young F4ac receptor-positive pigs less than 2 weeks old. However, in contrast to previous studies with gnotobiotic piglets, there was no evidence that the expression of LT enhanced the ability of the F4+ ETEC strain to colonize the small intestine.