Radioresistance of EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is associated with poor prognosis for patients with this form of cancer. Here, we found that NPC patients had increased serum levels of leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and that higher LIF levels correlated with local tumor recurrence. Furthermore, in vitro studies with NPC cells and in vivo xenograft mouse studies demonstrated that LIF critically contributes to NPC tumor growth and radioresistance. Using these model systems, we found that LIF treatment activated the mTORC1/p70S6K signaling pathway, enhanced tumor growth, inhibited DNA damage responses, and enhanced radioresistance. Treatment with either soluble LIF receptor (sLIFR), a LIF antagonist, or the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin reversed LIF-mediated effects, resulting in growth arrest and increased sensitivity to γ irradiation. Immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses of human NPC biopsies revealed that LIF and LIFR were overexpressed in tumor cells and that LIF expression correlated with the presence of the activated p-p70S6K. Finally, we found that the EBV-encoded protein latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) enhances LIF production. Together, our findings indicate that LIF promotes NPC tumorigenesis and suggest that serum LIF levels may predict local recurrence and radiosensitivity in NPC patients.
Folypolyglutamate synthase (FPGS) catalyzes the polyglutamation of folates and antifolates, such as methotrexate (MTX), to produce highly active metabolites. FPGS tag SNP rs1544105C > T is located in the gene promoter. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of rs1544105 polymorphism on the treatment outcome in pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (BCP-ALL).
This study enrolled 164 children with BCP-ALL. We genotyped the FPGS SNP rs1544105, and analyzed the associations between its genotypes and treatment outcome. We also examined FPGS mRNA levels by real-time PCR in 64 of the 164 children, and investigated the function of this polymorphism on gene expression.
We found significantly poor relapse-free survival (RFS) (p = 0.010) and poor event-free survival (EFS) (p = 0.046) in carriers of CC genotype. Multivariable Cox regression analyses adjusted for possible confounding variables showed that, relative to the CT + TT genotypes, the CC genotype was an independent prognostic factor for poor RFS (hazard ratio [HR], 4.992.; 95% CI, 1.550-16.078; p = 0.007). No association was found between any toxicity and rs1544105 polymorphism. Quantitative PCR results showed that individuals with the T allele had lower levels of FPGS transcripts.
Our study indicates that FPGS rs1544105C > T polymorphism might influence FPGS expression and affect treatment outcome in BCP-ALL patients.
Folypolyglutamate synthase (FPGS); Methotrexate (MTX); Polymorphism; Treatment outcome; Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL)
Cerebral ischemia, while causing neuronal injury, can activate innate neuroprotective mechanisms, minimizing neuronal death. In this report, we demonstrate that experimental cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury in the mouse causes upregulation of the secretory protein trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) in the hepatocyte in association with an increase in serum TFF3. Partial hepatectomy (~60% liver resection) immediately following cerebral injury significantly lowered the serum level of TFF3, suggesting a contribution of the liver to the elevation of serum TFF3. Compared to wild-type mice, TFF3-/- mice exhibited a significantly higher activity of caspase 3 and level of cell death in the ischemic cerebral lesion, a larger fraction of cerebral infarcts, and a smaller fraction of the injured cerebral hemisphere, accompanied by severer forelimb motor deficits. Intravenous administration of recombinant TFF3 reversed changes in cerebral injury and forelimb motor function due to TFF3 deficiency. These observations suggest an endocrine neuroprotective mechanism involving TFF3 from the liver in experimental cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury.
Myocardial ischemia, while causing cardiomyocyte injury, can activate innate protective processes, enhancing myocardial tolerance to ischemia. Such processes are present in not only the heart, but also remote organs. In this investigation, we demonstrated a cardioprotective process involving FGF21 from the liver and adipose tissue. In response to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury in the mouse, FGF21 was upregulated and released from the hepatic cells and adipocytes into the circulation and interacted with FGFR1 in cardiomyocytes under the mediation of the cell membrane protein β-Klotho, inducing FGFR1 phosphorylation. This action caused phosphorylation of the signaling molecules PI3K p85, Akt1, and BAD, thereby reducing caspase 3 activity, cell death, and myocardial infarction in association with improvement of myocardial function. These observations suggest that FGF21 is upregulated and released from the liver and adipose tissue in myocardial injury, contributing to myocardial protection by the mediation of the FGFR1/β-Klotho–PI3K–Akt1–BAD signaling network.
The prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma is very poor due to local recurrence and metastasis. This study explores the molecular events involved in oral carcinoma with the goal of developing novel therapeutic strategies. The mitotic spindle is a complex mechanical apparatus required for the accurate segregation of sister chromosomes during mitosis. Spindle and kinetochore associated complex subunit 1 (SKA1) is a microtubule-binding subcomplex of the outer kinetochore that is essential for proper chromosome segregation. In recent years, much attention has been focused on determining how SKA proteins interact with each other, as well as their biological role in cancer cells. However, the precise role of SKA1 in oral carcinoma remains unknown.
In order to investigate the role of SKA1 in oral cancer, we employed lentivirus-mediated shRNA to silence SKA1 expression in the CAL-27 human oral adenosquamous carcinoma cell line.
Depletion of SKA1 in CAL-27 cells significantly decreased cell proliferation, as determined by MTT and colony formation assays. These results strongly demonstrate that reduced SKA1 protein levels may cause inhibition of tumor formation. The shRNA-mediated depletion of SKA1 also led to G2/M phase cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.
This is the first report to show that SKA1 plays an important role in the progression of oral adenosqamous carcinoma. Thus, silencing of SKA1 by RNAi might be a potential therapy for this disease.
Oral adenosquamous carcinoma; CAL-27 cells; Cell proliferation; SKA1; RNAi
We report a non-iterative localization algorithm that utilizes the scaling of a three-dimensional (3D) image in the axial direction and focuses on evaluating the radial symmetry center of the scaled image to achieve the desired single-particle localization. Using this approach, we analyzed simulated 3D particle images by wide-field microscopy and confocal microscopy respectively, and the 3D trajectory of quantum dots (QDs)-labeled influenza virus in live cells. Both applications indicate that the method can achieve 3D single-particle localization with a sub-pixel precision and sub-millisecond computation time. The precision is almost the same as that of the iterative nonlinear least-squares 3D Gaussian fitting method, but with two orders of magnitude higher computation speed. This approach can reduce considerably the time and costs for processing the large volume data of 3D images for 3D single-particle tracking, which is especially suited for 3D high-precision single-particle tracking, 3D single-molecule imaging and even new microscopy techniques.
Bacteria are currently classified into arbitrary species, but whether they actually exist as discrete natural species was unclear. To reveal genomic features that may unambiguously group bacteria into discrete genetic clusters, we carried out systematic genomic comparisons among representative bacteria.
We found that bacteria of Salmonella formed tight phylogenetic clusters separated by various genetic distances: whereas over 90% of the approximately four thousand shared genes had completely identical sequences among strains of the same lineage, the percentages dropped sharply to below 50% across the lineages, demonstrating the existence of clear-cut genetic boundaries by a steep turning point in nucleotide sequence divergence. Recombination assays supported the genetic boundary hypothesis, suggesting that genetic barriers had been formed between bacteria of even very closely related lineages. We found similar situations in bacteria of Yersinia and Staphylococcus.
Bacteria are genetically isolated into discrete clusters equivalent to natural species.
Natural species; Salmonella; Genetic boundary
Casein kinase 2 (CK2) is involved in various cellular events such as proliferation, apoptosis, and the cell cycle. CK2 overexpression is associated with multiple human cancers and may therefore be a promising target for cancer therapy. To identity novel classes of inhibitors for CK2, we screened a natural product library obtained from National Cancer Institute.
The quantitative luminescent kinase assay ADP-Glo™ was used to screen CK2 inhibitors from the natural product library. The same assay was used to determine cell-free dose-dependent response of CK2 inhibitors and conduct a kinetic study. Docking was performed to predict the binding patterns of selected CK2 inhibitors. Western blot analysis was used to evaluate Akt phosphorylation specific to CK2 and apoptosis effect. The cell viability assay CellTiter-Glo® was used to evaluate the inhibition effects of CK2 inhibitors on cancer cells.
We identified coumestrol as a novel reversible ATP competitive CK2 inhibitor with an IC50 value of 228 nM. Coumestrol is a plant-derived compound that belongs to the class of phytoestrogens, natural compounds that mimic the biological activity of estrogens. In our study, coumestrol showed high selectivity among 13 kinases. The hydrogen bonds formed between coumestrol and the amino acids in the ATP binding site were first reviewed by a molecular docking study that suggested a possible interaction of coumestrol with the hinge region of ATP site of CK2. In addition, coumestrol inhibited cancer cell growth partially through down-regulation of CK2-specific Akt phosphorylation. Finally, coumestrol exerted strong inhibition effects on the growth of three cancer cell lines.
Our study shows that coumestrol, a novel ATP competitive and cell permeable CK2 inhibitor with submicromolar IC50, had inhibition effects on the growth of three cancer cell lines and may represent a promising class of CK2 inhibitors.
Coumestrol; CK2 inhibitor; Natural product; ATP-competitive
Inflammatory mediators, many of which activate the signaling of nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB), have received increasing attention in the field of neurogenesis. NFκB signaling regulates neurite outgrowth and neural plasticity as well as the proliferation/apoptosis and terminal differentiation of neural stem cells (NSCs). Early neurogenesis from NSCs produces identical progeny through symmetric division and committed daughter cells through asymmetric division. Here, we show that NFκB signaling is required for NSC initial differentiation. The canonical IKKβ/IκBα/ p65 pathway is activated during the initial stages of neural differentiation induced by treatment with TNFα or with- drawal of epidermal growth factor/basic fibroblast growth factor. NSC-specific inhibition of NFκB in transgenic mice causes an accumulation of Nestin+/Sox2+/glial fibrillary acidic protein+ NSCs. Inhibition of NFκB signaling in vitro blocks differentiation and asymmetric division and maintains NSCs in an undifferentiated state. The induction of initial differentiation and asymmetry by NFκB signaling occurs through the inhibition of C/EBPβ expression. Our data reveal a novel function of NFκB signaling in early neurogenesis and provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.
Neural stem cells; Nuclear factor kappa B; Neurogenesis; C/EBPβ; Glial fibrillary acidic protein; Cell division
The fungal pathogen, Beauveria bassiana, is an efficient biocontrol agent against a variety of agricultural pests. A thorough understanding of the basic principles of insect-fungus interactions may enable the genetic modification of Beauveria bassiana to enhance its virulence. However, the molecular mechanism of insect response to Beauveria bassiana infection is poorly understood, let alone the identification of fungal virulent factors involved in pathogenesis.
Here, next generation sequencing technology was applied to examine the expression of whitefly (Bemisia tabaci) genes in response to the infection of Beauveria bassiana. Results showed that, compared to control, 654 and 1,681genes were differentially expressed at 48 hours and 72 hours post-infected whiteflies, respectively. Functional and enrichment analyses indicated that the DNA damage stimulus response and drug metabolism were important anti-fungi strategies of the whitefly. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway was also likely involved in the whitefly defense responses. Furthermore, the notable suppression of general metabolism and ion transport genes observed in 72 hours post-infected B. tabaci might be manipulated by fungal secreted effectors. By mapping the sequencing tags to B. bassiana genome, we also identified a number of differentially expressed fungal genes between the early and late infection stages. These genes are generally associated with fungal cell wall synthesis and energy metabolism. The expression of fungal cell wall protein genes might play an important role in fungal pathogenesis and the dramatically up-regulated enzymes of carbon metabolism indicate the increasing usage of energy during the fungal infection.
To our knowledge, this is the first report on the molecular mechanism of fungus-whitefly interactions. Our results provide a road map for future investigations on insect-pathogen interactions and genetically modifying the fungus to enhance its efficiency in whitefly control.
Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) is a species complex containing >28 cryptic species, some of which are important crop pests worldwide. Like many other sap-sucking insects, whiteflies harbor an obligatory symbiont, “Candidatus Portiera aleyrodidarum,” and a number of secondary symbionts. So far, six genera of secondary symbionts have been identified in B. tabaci. In this study, we report and describe the finding of an additional bacterium in the indigenous B. tabaci cryptic species China 1 (formerly known as B. tabaci biotype ZHJ3). Phylogenetic analysis based on the 16S rRNA and gltA genes showed that the bacterium belongs to the Alphaproteobacteria subdivision of the Proteobacteria and has a close relationship with human pathogens of the genus Orientia. Consequently, we temporarily named it Orientia-like organism (OLO). OLO was found in six of eight wild populations of B. tabaci China 1, with the infection rate ranging from 46.2% to 76.8%. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of B. tabaci China 1 in nymphs and adults revealed that OLOs are confined to the bacteriome and co-occur with “Ca. Portiera aleyrodidarum.” The vertical transmission of OLO was demonstrated by detection of OLO at the anterior pole end of the oocytes through FISH. Quantitative PCR analysis of population dynamics suggested a complex interaction between “Ca. Portiera aleyrodidarum” and OLO. Based on these results, we propose “Candidatus Hemipteriphilus asiaticus” for the classification of this symbiont from B. tabaci.
c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling is a highly conserved pathway that controls gene transcription in response to a wide variety of biological and environmental stresses. In this study, a JNK from the invasive Mediterranean (MED) species of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci complex was cloned and characterized. The full-length JNK cDNA of MED consists of 1565 bp, with an 1176 bp open reading frame encoding 392 amino acids. Comparison of JNK amino acid sequences among different species showed that the sequences of JNKs are highly conserved. To reveal its biological function, the gene expression and functional activation of JNK were analyzed during various stress conditions. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed that the relative expression level of JNK remained hardly unchanged when the insects were transferred from cotton (a suitable host plant) to tobacco (an unsuitable host plant), infected with bacteria and treated with high and low temperatures. However, the mRNA level of JNK significantly increased when treated with fungal pathogens. Furthermore, we found that the amount of phosphorylated JNK increased significantly after fungal infection, while there is no obvious change for phosphorylated p38 and ERK. Our results indicate that the whitefly JNK plays an important role in whitefly’s immune responses to fungal infection.
Bemisia tabaci; c-Jun amino-terminal kinase; fungal infection; mitogen-activated protein kinase; whitefly
The aims of this study were (1) to document the recognition performance of environmental sounds (ESs) in Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implants (CIs) and to analyze the possible associated factors with the ESs recognition; (2) to examine the relationship between perception of ESs and receptive vocabulary level; and (3) to explore the acoustic factors relevant to perceptual outcomes of daily ESs in pediatric CI users. Forty-seven prelingually deafened children between ages 4 to 10 years participated in this study. They were divided into pre-school (group A: age 4–6) and school-age (group B: age 7 to 10) groups. Sound Effects Recognition Test (SERT) and the Chinese version of the revised Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT-R) were used to assess the auditory perception ability. The average correct percentage of SERT was 61.2% in the preschool group and 72.3% in the older group. There was no significant difference between the two groups. The ESs recognition performance of children with CIs was poorer than that of their hearing peers (90% in average). No correlation existed between ESs recognition and receptive vocabulary comprehension. Two predictive factors: pre-implantation residual hearing and duration of CI usage were found to be associated with recognition performance of daily-encountered ESs. Acoustically, sounds with distinct temporal patterning were easier to identify for children with CIs. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that ESs recognition is not easy for children with CIs and a low correlation existed between linguistic sounds and ESs recognition in these subjects. Recognition ability of ESs in children with CIs can only be achieved by natural exposure to daily-encountered auditory stimuli if sounds other than speech stimuli were less emphasized in routine verbal/oral habilitation program. Therefore, task-specific measures other than speech materials can be helpful to capture the full profile of auditory perceptual progress after implantation.
The whiteflies under the name Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Aleyrodidae: Hemiptera) are species complex of at least 31 cryptic species some of which are globally invasive agricultural pests. Previously, the mitochondrial genome (mitogenome) of the indigenous New World B. tabaci species was sequenced and major differences of gene order from the postulated whitefly ancestral gene order were found. However, the sequence and gene order of mitogenomes in other B. tabaci species are unknown. In addition, the sequence divergences and gene expression profiles of mitogenomes in the B. tabaci species complex remain completely unexplored.
In this study, we obtained the complete mitogenome (15,632 bp) of the invasive Mediterranean (MED), which has been identified as the type species of the B. tabaci complex. It encodes 37 genes, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 2 ribosomal RNAs and 22 transfer RNAs (tRNA). Comparative analyses of the mitogenomes from MED and New World (previously published) species reveal that there are no gene arrangements. Based on the Illumina sequencing data, the gene expression profile of the MED mitogenome was analyzed. We found that a number of genes were polyadenylated and the partial stop codons in cox1, cox2 and nd5 are completed via polyadenylation that changed T to the TAA stop codon. In addition, combining the transcriptome with the sequence alignment data, the possible termination site of some PCGs were defined. Our analyses also revealed that atp6 and atp8, nd4 and nd4l, nd6 and cytb were found on the same cistronic transcripts, whereas the other mature mitochondrial transcripts were monocistronic. Furthermore, RT-PCR analyses of the mitochondrial PCGs expression in different developmental stages revealed that the expression level of individual mitochondrial genes varied in each developmental stage of nymph, pupa and adult. Interestingly, mRNA levels showed significant differences among genes located in the same transcription unit suggesting that mitochondrial mRNA abundance is heavily modulated by post-transcriptional regulation.
This work provides novel insights into the mitogenome evolution of B. tabaci species and demonstrates that utilizing RNA-seq data to obtain the mitogenome and analyze mitochondrial gene expression characteristics is practical.
Bemisia tabaci; Gene expression; Mediterranean; Mitochondrial genome; Mitogenomics; Whitefly
AIM: To select characteristic endogenous metabolites in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients and to identify their molecular mechanism and potential clinical value.
METHODS: An ultra performance liquid chromatography and linear trap quadrupole-Orbitrap XL-mass spectrometry platform was used to analyze endogenous metabolites in the homogenate of central tumor tissue, adjacent tissue and distant tissue obtained from 10 HBV-related HCC patients. After pretreatment with Mzmine software, including peak detection, alignment and normalization, the acquired data were treated with Simca-P+software to establish multivariate statistical analysis based on a pattern recognition technique and characteristic metabolites highly correlated with changing trends in metabolic profiling were selected and further identified.
RESULTS: Based on data acquired using Mzmine software, a principal component analysis model (R2X = 66.9%, Q2 = 21.7%) with 6 principal components and an orthogonal partial least squares discriminant analysis model (R2X = 76.5%, R2Y = 93.7%, Q2 = 68.7%) with 2 predicted principal components and 5 orthogonal principal components were established in the three tissue groups. Forty-nine ions were selected, 33 ions passed the 2 related samples nonparametric test (P < 0.05) and 14 of these were further identified as characteristic metabolites that showed significant differences in levels between the central tumor tissue group and distant tumor tissue group, including 9 metabolites (L-phenylalanine, glycerophosphocholine, lysophosphatidylcholines, lysophosphatidylethanolamines and chenodeoxycholic acid glycine conjugate) which had been reported as serum metabolite biomarkers for HCC diagnosis in previous research, and 5 metabolites (beta-sitosterol, quinaldic acid, arachidyl carnitine, tetradecanal, and oleamide) which had not been reported before.
CONCLUSION: Characteristic metabolites and metabolic pathways highly related to HCC pathogenesis and progression are identified through metabolic profiling analysis of HCC tissue homogenates.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Metabolomics; Characteristic metabolites; Potential biomarker; Ultra performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry
Salmonella enterica subsp. houtenae serovar 16:z4, z32:-- str. RKS3027 was isolated from a human in Illinois, USA. S. enterica subsp. houtenae is a facultative aerobic rod-shaped Gram-negative bacterium. Here we describe the features of this organism, together with the draft genome sequence and annotation. The 4,404,136 bp long genome (97 contigs) contains 4,335 protein-coding gene and 28 RNA genes.
Salmonella enterica; subspecies; houtenae; genome
The whitefly Bemisa tabaci is a species complex of more than 31 cryptic species which include some of the most destructive invasive pests of crops worldwide. Among them, Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean have invaded many countries and displaced the native whitefly species. The successful invasion of the two species is largely due to their wide range of host plants, high resistance to insecticides and remarkable tolerance to environmental stresses. However, the molecular differences between invasive and indigenous whiteflies remain largely unknown.
Here the global transcriptional difference between the two invasive whitefly species (MEAM1, MED) and one indigenous whitefly species (Asia II 3) were analyzed using the Illumina sequencing. Our analysis indicated that 2,422 genes between MEAM1 and MED; 3,073 genes between MEAM1 and Asia II 3; and 3,644 genes between MED and Asia II 3 were differentially expressed. Gene Ontology enrichment analysis revealed that the differently expressed genes between the invasive and indigenous whiteflies were significantly enriched in the term of ‘oxidoreductase activity’. Pathway enrichment analysis showed that carbohydrate, amino acid and glycerolipid metabolisms were more active in MEAM1 and MED than in Asia II 3, which may contribute to their differences in biological characteristics. Our analysis also illustrated that the majority of genes involved in ‘drug metabolic pathway’ were expressed at a higher level in MEAM1 and MED than in Asia II 3. Taken together, these results revealed that the genes related to basic metabolism and detoxification were expressed at an elevated level in the invasive whiteflies, which might be responsible for their higher resistance to insecticides and environmental stresses.
The extensive comparison of MEAM1, MED and Asia II 3 gene expression may serve as an invaluable resource for revealing the molecular mechanisms underlying their biological differences and the whitefly invasion.
Chlorhexidine has been widely used for infection control. Although the use of chlorhexidine-impregnated catheters has reduced catheter-related infections, chlorhexidine-resistant Staphylococcus aureus has emerged. The correlation between the existence of the chlorhexidine-resistant genes qacA and qacB (qacA/B) in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolates and the effectiveness of chlorhexidine-impregnated catheters in the prevention of MRSA infections is unknown. Sixty methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and 96 MRSA isolates from the blood cultures of different patients were collected, and a case-control study was conducted to determine whether more clinical S. aureus isolates from chlorhexidine-impregnated catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI) have the biocide-resistant genes (qacA/B or smr) than those from other infections. The chlorhexidine MIC50s of MSSA and MRSA isolates were 1 μg/ml and 2 μg/ml, respectively. Results of PCR analyses showed that 3.3% (n = 2) of MSSA and 43.8% (n = 42) of MRSA isolates harbored qacA/B and 5% (n = 3) of MSSA and 25% (n = 24) of MRSA isolates contained smr. With multivariate logistic regression analyses, the significant risk factors for definite CRBSI with chlorhexidine-impregnated catheters were determined to be S. aureus isolates with qacA/B and a chlorhexidine MIC of ≥2 μg/ml (odds ratios [OR], 9.264 and 8.137, respectively, in all 156 S. aureus isolates and 6.097 and 4.373, respectively, in the 96 MRSA isolates). Further prospective studies are needed to investigate the transmission of these biocide-resistant genes.
Bone extraction and division can enhance the accuracy of diagnoses based on whole-body bone SPECT data. This study developed a method for using conventional SPECT for automatic recognition of the vertebral column. A novel feature of the proposed approach is a novel “bone graph" image description method that represents the connectivity between these image regions to facilitate manipulation of morphological relationships in the skeleton before surgery. By tracking the paths shown on the bone graph, skeletal structures can be identified by performing morphological operations. The performance of the method was evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively by two experienced nuclear medicine physicians. Datasets for whole-body bone SPECT scans in 46 lung cancer patients with bone metastasis were obtained with Tc-99m MDP. The algorithm successfully segmented vertebrae in the thoracolumbar spine. The quantitative assessment shows that the segmentation method achieved an average TP, FP, and FN rates of 95.1%, 9.1%, and 4.9%. The qualitative evaluation shows an average acceptance rate of 83%, where the data for the acceptable and unacceptable groups had a Cronbach's alpha value of 0.718, which indicated reasonable internal consistency and reliability.
Legumain-based DNA vaccines have potential to protect against breast cancer. However, the lack of a safe and efficient oral delivery system restricts its clinical application. Here, we constructed alginic acid-coated chitosan nanoparticles (A.C.NPs) as an oral delivery carrier for a legumain DNA vaccine. First, we tested its characteristic in acidic environments in vitro. DNA agarose electrophoresis data show that A.C.NPs protected DNA better from degradation in acidic solution (pH 1.5) than did chitosan nanoparticles (C.NPs). Furthermore, size distribution analysis showed that A.C.NPs tended to aggregate and form micrometer scale complexes in pH<2.7, while dispersing into nanoparticles with an increase in pH. Mice were intragastrically administrated A.C.NPs carrying EGFP plasmids and EGFP expression was detected in the intestinal Peyer’s patches. Full-length legumain plasmids were loaded into different delivery carriers, including C.NPs, attenuated Salmonella typhimurium and A.C.NPs. A.C.NPs loaded with empty plasmids served as a control. Oral vaccination was performed in the murine orthotopic 4T1 breast cancer model. Our data indicate that tumor volume was significantly smaller in groups using A.C.NPs or attenuated Salmonella typhimurium as carriers. Furthermore, splenocytes co-cultured them with 4T1 cells pre-stimulated with CoCl2, which influenced the translocation of legumain from cytoplasm to plasma membrane, showed a 4.7 and 2.3 folds increase in active cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CD3+/CD8+/CD25+) when treated with A.C.NPs carriers compared with PBS C.NPs. Our study suggests that C.NPs coated with alginic acid may be a safe and efficient tool for oral delivery of a DNA vaccine. Moreover, a legumain DNA vaccine delivered orally with A.C.NPs can effectively improve autoimmune response and protect against breast cancer in mice.
To evaluate the effect of different treatment plans for whole-pelvic irradiation on small-bowel volumes (SBVs) in patients with gynecologic malignancies, 40 patients were enrolled in this study. Computed tomography (CT) simulations were performed, and the small bowel of each patient was outlined manually. Treatment plans with equal-weighted (EW) and non-equal-weighted (NEW) (70% in bilateral directions) techniques of four-field and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) were performed. The V10–V100 represented the volume (cm3) at different levels of the prescribed doses (10–100%). The V10–V100 was compared among the different treatment planning techniques, and patients who were suitable for IMRT or NEW were identified. IMRT and NEW significantly reduced the V50–V100 and V40–V60 levels compared with EW, respectively. NEW caused a significant reduction in the V30–V60 levels in patients with a BMI ≥26 kg/m2. Patients with IMRT demonstrated lower V70–V100 levels compared with those with NEW. In patients with a BMI ≥26 kg/m2 or an age ≥55 years, lower V20–V50 levels were noted using NEW compared with IMRT. Treatment planning with larger weighting in the bilateral directions in four-field radiotherapy reduces the low-dose SBV in patients with gynecologic malignancies, especially in those with a high BMI or the elderly. IMRT effectively reduces high-dose SBV, especially in patients with a low BMI.
BMI; small bowel; non-equal weighting; IMRT; four-field radiotherapy
Salmonella serovars Enteritidis and Gallinarum are closely related, but their host ranges are very different: the former is host-promiscuous and the latter can infect poultry only. Comparison of their genomic sequences reveals that Gallinarum has undergone much more extensive degradation than Enteritidis. This phenomenon has also been observed in other host restricted Salmonella serovars, such as Typhi and Paratyphi A. The serovar Gallinarum can be further split into two biovars: Gallinarum and Pullorum, which take poultry as their common host but cause distinct diseases, with the former eliciting typhoid and the latter being a dysentery agent. Genomic comparison of the two pathogens, with a focus on pseudogenes, would provide insights into the evolutionary processes that might have facilitated the formation of host-restricted Salmonella pathogens.
We sequenced the complete genome of Pullorum strains and made comparison with Gallinarum and other Salmonella lineages. The gene contents of Gallinarum and Pullorum were highly similar, but their pseudogene compositions differed considerably. About one fourth of pseudogenes had the same inactivation mutations in Gallinarum and Pullorum but these genes remained intact in Enteritidis, suggesting that the ancestral Gallinarum may have already been restricted to poultry. On the other hand, the remaining pseudogenes were either in the same genes but with different inactivation sites or unique to Gallinarum or Pullorum, reflecting unnecessary functions in infecting poultry.
Our results support the hypothesis that the divergence between Gallinarum and Pullorum was initiated and facilitated by host restriction. Formation of pseudogenes instead of gene deletion is the major form of genomic degradation. Given the short divergence history of Gallinarum and Pullorum, the effect of host restriction on genomic degradation is huge and rapid, and such effect seems to be continuing to work. The pseudogenes may reflect the unnecessary functions for Salmonella within the poultry host.
Disturbance of cellular functions results in the activation of stress-signaling pathways that aim at restoring homeostasis. We performed a genome-wide screen to identify components of the signal transduction of the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) to a nuclear chaperone promoter. We used the ROS generating complex I inhibitor paraquat to induce the UPRmt, and we employed RNAi exposure post-embryonically to allow testing genes whose knockdown results in embryonic lethality. We identified 54 novel regulators of the ROS–induced UPRmt. Activation of the UPRmt, but not of other stress-signaling pathways, failed when homeostasis of basic cellular mechanisms such as translation and protein transport were impaired. These mechanisms are monitored by a recently discovered surveillance system that interprets interruption of these processes as pathogen attack and depends on signaling through the JNK-like MAP-kinase KGB-1. Mutation of kgb-1 abrogated the inhibition of ROS–induced UPRmt, suggesting that surveillance-activated defenses specifically inhibit the UPRmt but do not compromise activation of the heat shock response, the UPR of the endoplasmic reticulum, or the SKN-1/Nrf2 mediated response to cytosolic stress. In addition, we identified PIFK-1, the orthologue of the Drosophila PI 4-kinase four wheel drive (FWD), and found that it is the only known factor so far that is essential for the unfolded protein responses of both mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum. This suggests that both UPRs may share a common membrane associated mechanism.
Cellular respiration takes place in the mitochondria. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a damaging byproduct of cellular respiration. In adverse conditions, when the load of ROS becomes critical for mitochondrial function, a stress-response pathway, the unfolded protein response of the mitochondria (UPRmt), is triggered. This can be monitored by the activation of the hsp-6 gene. We used the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to screen for genes required for the activation of hsp-6 and found 54 novel candidates. Surprisingly, most of the genes we identified serve basic cellular functions and are not plausible candidates for regulatory functions. However, this group of genes was recently shown to trigger a cellular surveillance–mediated stress response, sensing pathogen invasion and toxin attack, and forcing the animals to escape from environmental hazards. This mechanism partially requires signaling through the kinase KGB-1. In worms in which KGB-1 was inactivated, UPRmt was not longer interrupted by downregulation of the cellular surveillance activating genes. We suggest this surveillance system as a regulator of the UPRmt that prevents its activation when pathogen attack is sensed.
Hippocampal N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) is required for spatial working memory. Although evidence from genetic manipulation mice suggests an important role of hippocampal NMDAR NR2B subunits (NR2B-NMDARs) in spatial working memory, it remains unclear whether or not the requirement of hippocampal NR2B-NMDARs for spatial working memory depends on the time of spatial information maintained. Here, we investigate the contribution of hippocampal NR2B-NMDARs to spatial working memory on delayed alternation task in T-maze (DAT task) and delayed matched-to-place task in water maze (DMP task). Our data show that infusions of the NR2B-NMDAR selective antagonists, Ro25-6981 or ifenprodil, directly into the CA1 region, impair spatial working memory in DAT task with 30-s delay (not 5-s delay), but severely impair error-correction capability in both 5-s and 30-s delay task. Furthermore, intra-CA1 inhibition of NR2B-NMDARs impairs spatial working memory in DMP task with 10-min delay (not 30-s delay). Our results suggest that hippocampal NR2B-NMDARs are required for spatial working memory in long-delay task, whereas spare for spatial working memory in short-delay task. We conclude that the requirement of NR2B-NMDARs for spatial working memory is delay-dependent in the CA1 region.
NR2B; Hippocampus; Working memory; T-maze; Rat
We report the draft genome sequence of the Rickettsia sp. strain MEAM1, which is a facultative symbiont from an invasive species of the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. The total length of the assembled genome is approximately 1.24 Mb, with 335 scaffolds and 1,247 coding sequences predicted within the genome.