DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) activate a DNA damage response (DDR) that coordinates checkpoint pathways with DNA repair. ATM and ATR kinases are activated sequentially. Homology-directed repair (HDR) is initiated by resection of DSBs to generate 3′ ssDNA overhangs. How resection and HDR are activated during DDR or the roles of ATM and ATR in HDR are not known. Here, we show that CtIP undergoes ATR-dependent hyperphosphorylation in response to DSBs. ATR phosphorylates an invariant threonine, T818 of Xenopus CtIP (T859 in human). Non-phosphorylatable CtIP (T818A) does not bind to chromatin or initiate resection. Our data support a model in which ATM activity is required for an early step in resection leading to ATR activation, CtIP-T818 phosphorylation, and accumulation of CtIP on chromatin. Chromatin binding by modified CtIP precedes extensive resection and full checkpoint activation.
Experimental investigations into the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) have demonstrated significant alterations in dopaminergic systems. Dopaminergic fibers originating within the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are important for reward learning, addiction, movement, and behavior. However, little is known about the effect of TBI on substantia nigra and VTA function. Environmental enrichment (EE) has been shown to improve functional outcome after TBI, and a number of studies suggest that it may exert some benefits via dopaminergic signaling. To better understand the role of dopamine in chronic TBI pathophysiology and the effect of EE, we examined the mRNA expression profile within the substantia nigra and VTA at 4 weeks post-injury. Specifically, three comparisons were made: 1) TBI versus sham, 2) sham+EE versus sham+standard (STD) housing, and 3) TBI+EE versus TBI+STD. There were differential expressions of 25, 4, and 40 genes in these comparisons, respectively. Chronic alterations in genes post-injury within the substantia nigra and VTA included genes important for cellular membrane homeostasis and transcription. EE-induced gene alterations after TBI included genes important for signal transduction, in particular calcium signaling pathways, membrane homeostasis, and metabolism. Elucidation of these alterations in gene expression within the substantia nigra and VTA provides new insights into chronic changes in dopamine signaling post-TBI, and the potential role of EE in TBI rehabilitation.
dopamine; EE; microarray; TBI
Glypican-3 (GPC3) has been reported to be a novel serum and histochemical marker for HCC. The positivity or negativity for GPC3 in hepatic precancerous lesions, such as dysplastic nodules (DN), has also been described. Moreover, our previous studies have demonstrated that some DN in liver cirrhosis represent monoclonal hyperplasia, and confirmed their neoplastic nature. However, additional studies must be performed to investigate further the relationship between DN with GPC3 positivity and HCC. Thus, we first investigated the expression of GPC3 in 136 HCC and 103 small DN (less than 1 cm in diameter) by immunohistochemical staining and determined the clonality of 81 DN from female patients using X-chromosome inactivation mosaicism and polymorphism of androgen receptor (AR) gene. Then we examined these samples for chromosomal loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at 11 microsatellite polymorphism sites. The results demonstrated that GPC3 immunoreactivity was detected in 103 of 136 HCC (75.7%) and 19 of 103 DN (18.4%), and the positive ratio correlated with HBsAg positivity. Clonality assays showed that 15 GPC3-positive DN from female patients, including 12 high-grade DN (HGDN), and 28 (42.4%) of 66 GPC3-negative DN, were monoclonal. In addition, among 19 GPC3-positive DN, chromosomal LOH was found at loci D6S1008 (100%, 19/19), D8S262 (52.6%, 10/19) and D11S1301 (57.9%, 11/19). However, the LOH frequency in GPC3-negative DN was 5.95% (5/84), 23.8% (20/84), and 4.76% (4/84) in three loci, respectively. Thus, we concluded that GPC3-positive DN, especially GPC3-positive HGDN, was really a late premalignant lesion of HCC.
Formation of yellow-red color cocoons in the silkworm, Bombyx mori, occurs as the result of the selective delivery of carotenoids from the midgut to the silk gland via the hemolymph. This process of pigment transport is thought to be mediated by specific cellular carotenoids carrier proteins. Previous studies indicated that two proteins, Cameo2 and CBP, are associated with the selective transport of lutein from the midgut into the silk gland in Bombyx mori. However, the exact roles of Cameo2 and CBP during the uptake and transport of carotenoids are still unknown. In this study, we investigated the respective contributions of these two proteins to lutein and β-carotene transport in Bombyx mori as well as commercial cell-line. We found that tissues, expressed both Cameo2 and CBP, accumulate lutein. Cells, co-expressed Cameo2 and CBP, absorb 2 fold more lutein (P<0.01) than any other transfected cells, and the rate of cellular uptake of lutein was concentration-dependent and reached saturation. From immunofluorescence staining, confocal microscopy observation and western blot analysis, Cameo2 was localized at the membrane and CBP was expressed in the cytosol. What’s more, bimolecular fluorescence complementation analysis showed that these two proteins directly interacted at cellular level. Therefore, Cameo2 and CBP are necessarily expressed in midguts and silk glands for lutein uptake in Bombyx mori. Cameo2 and CBP, as the membrane protein and the cytosol protein, respectively, have the combined effect to facilitate the cellular uptake of lutein.
To investigate possible correlations between apelin-12 levels and obesity in children in China and associations between apelin-12 and obesity-related markers, including lipids, insulin sensitivity and insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR).
Forty-eight obese and forty non-obese age- and gender-matched Chinese children were enrolled between June 2008 and June 2009. Mean age was 10.42±2.03 and 10.86±2.23 years in obesity and control groups, respectively. Main outcome measures were apelin-12, BMI, lipids, glucose and insulin. HOMA-IR was calculated for all subjects.
All obesity group subjects had significantly higher total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), insulin levels and HOMA-IR (all P<0.05). In separate analyses, obese girls had significantly higher LDL-C, insulin and HOMA-IR than controls, and obese boys had significantly higher TC, TG, insulin and HOMA-IR than controls (all P<0.05). Apelin-12 levels were significantly higher in obese girls compared to controls (P = 0.024), and correlated positively with TG in all obese subjects. Among obese girls, apelin-12 levels correlated positively with TG, insulin and HOMA-IR after adjusting for age and BMI. In all boys (obese and controls) apelin-12 was positively associated with fasting plasma glucose (FPG). No significant correlations were found in either group between apelin-12 levels and other characteristics after adjusting for age, sex, and BMI.
Apelin-12 levels are significantly higher in obese vs. non-obese girls in China and correlate significantly with obesity-related markers insulin, HOMA-IR, and TG. Increased apelin-12 levels may be involved in the pathological mechanism of childhood obesity.
Physiological pregnancy requires the maternal immune system to recognize and tolerate embryonic Ags. Although multiple mechanisms have been proposed, it is not yet clear how the fetus evades the maternal immune system. In this article, we demonstrate that trophoblast-derived thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) instructs decidual CD11c+ dendritic cells (dDCs)with increased costimulatory molecules; MHC class II; and Th2/3-type, but not Th1-type, cytokines. TSLP-activated dDCs induce proliferation and differentiation of decidual CD4+CD25− T cells into CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) through TGF-β1. TSLP-activated dDC–induced Tregs display immunosuppressive features and express Th2-type cytokines. In addition, decidual CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Tregs promote invasiveness and HLA-G expression of trophoblasts, resulting in preferential production of Th2 cytokines and reduced cytotoxicity in decidual CD56brightCD16− NK cells. Of interest, decreased TSLP expression and reduced numbers of Tregs were observed at the maternal–fetal interface during miscarriage. Our study identifies a novel feedback loop between embryo-derived trophoblasts and maternal decidual leukocytes, which induces a tolerogenic immune response to ensure a successful pregnancy.
Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has proved to be a multifunctional signaling molecule in plants and animals. Here, we investigated the role of H2S in the decay of fresh-cut pears (Pyrus pyrifolia). H2S gas released by sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) prolonged the shelf life of fresh-cut pear slices in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, H2S maintained higher levels of reducing sugar and soluble protein in pear slices. H2S significantly reduced the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), superoxide radicals (•O2−) and malondialdehyde (MDA). Further investigation showed that H2S fumigation up-regulated the activities of antioxidant enzymes ascorbate peroxidase (APX), catalase (CAT), and guaiacol peroxidase (POD), while it down-regulated those of lipoxygenase (LOX), phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO). Furthermore, H2S fumigation effectively inhibited the growth of two fungal pathogens of pear, Aspergillus niger and Penicillium expansum, suggesting that H2S can be developed as an effective fungicide for postharvest storage. The present study implies that H2S is involved in prolonging postharvest storage of pears by acting as an antioxidant and fungicide.
Recent studies suggest that a combination of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) may have theoretical advantages over TACE alone for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of radiofrequency ablation following first-line TACE treatment in the management of HCC beyond the Milan Criteria.
Forty-five patients who consecutively underwent RFA following first-line TACE treatment for HCC beyond the Milan criteria were enrolled in this study. RFA was performed within 1–2 months after TACE treatment in patients who had incomplete necrotic tumor nodules. Primary effectiveness, complications, survival rates, and prognostic factors were evaluated retrospectively.
Complete ablation was achieved in 76.2% of the lesions according to 1-month follow-up computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging evaluation. The mean follow-up period was 30.9 months (range 3–94 months). There were no major complications after RFA therapy. The median overall survival was 29 months (range 20–38 months), with 1-, 2-, and 3-year survival of 89%, 61%, and 43%, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that tumor diameter (P = 0.045, hazard ratio [HR] = 0.228, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.054-0.968) and pretreatment serum alpha-fetoprotein level (P = 0.024, HR = 2.239, 95% CI: 1.114-4.500) were independent predictors for long-term survival.
HCC beyond the Milan criteria can be completely and safely ablated by radiofrequency ablation following first-line TACE treatment with a low rate of complications and favorable survival outcome. Further assessment of the survival benefits of combination treatment for HCCs beyond the Milan Criteria is warranted.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Radiofrequency ablation; Transcatheter arterial chemoembolization; Milan criteria
The aim of this study was to compare the long-term survival outcome and late toxicity in patients with FIGO (International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics) stage IIB cervical carcinoma after two treatment modalities, ie, concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery and concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy.
Between November 2004 and November 2011, 240 patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical carcinoma were analyzed, comprising 119 patients treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery (group 1) and 121 patients treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by high-dose-rate intracavitary brachytherapy (group 2). Local control, overall survival, progression-free survival, and treatment-related complications were compared between the two groups.
The median follow-up duration was 36 months. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery showed a survival benefit when comparing group 1 and group 2 (3-year overall survival, 94.9% versus 84.6%, P=0.011; 3-year progression-free survival, 91.0% versus 81.8%, P=0.049, respectively). Three-year local pelvic control was 94.6% in group 1 and 93.3% in group 2 (P=0.325). Prognostic factors in group 1 were: age (≤35 years versus >35 years), 3-year progression-free survival (74.1% versus 90.9%, P=0.037); tumor diameter (≥6 cm versus <6 cm); and 3-year progression-free survival, (60.6% versus 92.9%, P=0.004). Prognostic factors in group 2 were: tumor diameter (≥4 cm versus <4 cm); 3-year overall survival (78.0% versus 94.8%, P=0.043); tumor diameter (≥6 cm versus <6 cm); 3-year progression-free survival (42.9% versus 84.2%, P=0.032); and 3-year overall survival (42.9% versus 87.1%, P=0.013). Further, 50 patients (42.02%) in group 1 and 46 patients (38.02%) in group 2 suffered from late complications. Analysis of the difference in composition of late complications showed that the rate of leg edema was higher in group 1 (35.29% versus 4.96%, P=0.000) while the rate of radiation enteritis was higher in group 2 (30.58% versus 5.04%, P=0.000).
In patients with FIGO stage IIB cervical carcinoma, concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by radical surgery achieved higher overall survival and progression-free survival rates in comparison with radical radiotherapy associated with concurrent chemotherapy. Tumor diameter could be a common prognostic factor in these two groups of patients.
cervical carcinoma; preoperative concurrent chemoradiotherapy; radical radiotherapy; prognostic factors; late toxicity
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related human deaths. Exploration of the mechanisms underlying the metastasis of cancer stem-like cells (CSLCs) will open new avenues in lung cancer diagnosis and therapy. Here, we demonstrated that CSLCs-derived from lung adenocarcinoma (LAC) cells displayed highly invasive and migratory capabilities via expressing high levels of POU5F1 and MMP-2. We found that POU5F1 directly regulated MMP-2 transcription via interaction with the promoter of MMP-2. POU5F1 knockdown in LACSLCs reduced MMP-2 protein abundance, leading to inhibition of the cell invasion, migration and tumorigenesis potentials of LAC cells. Clinically, aberrantly high expressions of POU5F1 and MMP-2 were inversely correlated with the survival of LAC patients, and the double-positive POU5F1 and MMP-2 showed the worst prediction for the patient’s poor survival. These results indicate that POU5F1 can bind to the MMP-2 promoter for the degradation of surrounding extracellular matrix, and therefore promote invasive and migratory capabilities of LACSLCs. Moreover, our data implicate that the pathological detection of the double-positive expressions for POU5F1 and MMP-2 will be useful as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in LAC to advance anti-metastasis therapy.
Plasmodium falciparum actin depolymerizing factor 1 (PfADF1) severs actin polymers without stable filament-binding, challenging current models for severing.
Results: Cross-linking mass spectrometry of PfADF1 with filamentous actin reveals a novel binding interface required for severing.
Conclusion: Filament severing by PfADF1 is via a previously unidentified binding interface.
Significance: We propose an alternative mechanism for actin filament severing potentially used across eukaryotic cells.
Actin depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilins are essential regulators of actin turnover in eukaryotic cells. These multifunctional proteins facilitate both stabilization and severing of filamentous (F)-actin in a concentration-dependent manner. At high concentrations ADF/cofilins bind stably to F-actin longitudinally between two adjacent actin protomers forming what is called a decorative interaction. Low densities of ADF/cofilins, in contrast, result in the optimal severing of the filament. To date, how these two contrasting modalities are achieved by the same protein remains uncertain. Here, we define the proximate amino acids between the actin filament and the malaria parasite ADF/cofilin, PfADF1 from Plasmodium falciparum. PfADF1 is unique among ADF/cofilins in being able to sever F-actin but do so without stable filament binding. Using chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry (XL-MS) combined with structure reconstruction we describe a previously overlooked binding interface on the actin filament targeted by PfADF1. This site is distinct from the known binding site that defines decoration. Furthermore, total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy imaging of single actin filaments confirms that this novel low affinity site is required for F-actin severing. Exploring beyond malaria parasites, selective blocking of the decoration site with human cofilin (HsCOF1) using cytochalasin D increases its severing rate. HsCOF1 may therefore also use a decoration-independent site for filament severing. Thus our data suggest that a second, low affinity actin-binding site may be universally used by ADF/cofilins for actin filament severing.
Actin; Cofilin; Cytoskeleton; Electron Microscopy (EM); Malaria; Mass Spectrometry (MS); Plasmodium; Protein Cross-linking
Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are the primary source of matrix components in liver disease such as fibrosis. Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling in HSCs has been shown to induce fibrogenesis. In this study, we evaluated the anti-fibrotic activity of a novel imidazopyridine analogue (HS-173) in human HSCs as well as mouse liver fibrosis. HS-173 strongly suppressed the growth and proliferation of HSCs and induced the arrest at the G2/M phase and apoptosis in HSCs. Furthermore, it reduced the expression of extracellular matrix components such as collagen type I, which was confirmed by an in vivo study. We also observed that HS-173 blocked the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, HS-173 suppressed fibrotic responses such as cell proliferation and collagen synthesis by blocking PI3K/Akt signaling. Therefore, we suggest that this compound may be an effective therapeutic agent for ameliorating liver fibrosis through the inhibition of PI3K signaling.
Crohn's disease is a common, chronic inflammatory bowel condition characterized by remission and relapse. Accumulating evidence indicates that activated T cells play an important role in this disease. In the present study, we aimed to examine the effect of beauvericin, a natural cyclic peptide, on 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS)-induced colitis in mice, which mimics Crohn's disease. Beauvericin significantly reduced weight loss, diarrhea and mortality, accompanied with notable alleviation of macroscopic and microscopic signs. In addition, this compound decreased serum levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)- γ in a concentration-dependent manner in mice with experimental colitis. These effects of beauvericin are attributed to its inhibition on activated T cells. Flow cytometry and immunoblot assay data showed that beauvericin suppressed T-cell proliferation, activation and IFN-γ-STAT1-T-bet signaling and subsequently led to apoptosis of activated T cells by suppressing Bcl-2 and phosphorylated Bad as well as increasing cleavage of caspase-3, -9, -12 and PARP. Furthermore, inhibition of PI3K/Akt signaling, which was an upstream regulator of cell activation and survival in activated T cells, contributed to the effect of beauvericin. Overall, these results supported beauvericin as a novel drug candidate for the treatment of colonic inflammation mainly by targeting PI3K/Akt in activated T cells.
H2O2 and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades play important functions in plant stress responses, but their roles in acclimation response remain unclear. This study examined the functions of H2O2 and MPK1/2 in acclimation-induced cross-tolerance in tomato plants. Mild cold, paraquat, and drought as acclimation stimuli enhanced tolerance to more severe subsequent chilling, photooxidative, and drought stresses. Acclimation-induced cross-tolerance was associated with increased transcript levels of RBOH1 and stress- and defence-related genes, elevated apoplastic H2O2 accumulation, increased activity of NADPH oxidase and antioxidant enzymes, reduced glutathione redox state, and activation of MPK1/2 in tomato. Virus-induced gene silencing of RBOH1, MPK1, and MPK2 or MPK1/2 all compromised acclimation-induced cross-tolerance and associated stress responses. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that acclimation-induced cross-tolerance is largely attributed to RBOH1-dependent H2O2 production at the apoplast, which may subsequently activate MPK1/2 to induce stress responses.
Cross-tolerance; hydrogen peroxide; mitogen-activated protein kinase; reactive oxygen species; Respiratory burst oxidase homologue 1; signal transduction; Solanum lycopersicum.
Rice SPX domain gene, OsSPX1, plays an important role in the phosphate (Pi) signaling network. Our previous work showed that constitutive overexpression of OsSPX1 in tobacco and Arabidopsis plants improved cold tolerance while also decreasing total leaf Pi. In the present study, we generated rice antisense and sense transgenic lines of OsSPX1 and found that down-regulation of OsSPX1 caused high sensitivity to cold and oxidative stresses in rice seedlings. Compared to wild-type and OsSPX1-sense transgenic lines, more hydrogen peroxide accumulated in seedling leaves of OsSPX1-antisense transgenic lines for controls, cold and methyl viologen (MV) treatments. Glutathione as a ROS scavenger could protect the antisense transgenic lines from cold and MV stress. Rice whole genome GeneChip analysis showed that some oxidative-stress marker genes (e.g. glutathione S-transferase and P450s) and Pi-signaling pathway related genes (e.g. OsPHO2) were significantly down-regulated by the antisense of OsSPX1. The microarray results were validated by real-time RT-PCR. Our study indicated that OsSPX1 may be involved in cross-talks between oxidative stress, cold stress and phosphate homeostasis in rice seedling leaves.
To develop an orthotopic, allogeneic, uterine transplantation technique and an effective immunosuppressive protocol in the sheep model.
In this pilot study, 10 sexually mature ewes were subjected to laparotomy and total abdominal hysterectomy with oophorectomy to procure uterus allografts. The cold ischemic time was 60 min. End-to-end vascular anastomosis was performed using continuous, non-interlocking sutures. Complete tissue reperfusion was achieved in all animals within 30 s after the vascular re-anastomosis, without any evidence of arterial or venous thrombosis. The immunosuppressive protocol consisted of tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil and methylprednisolone tablets. Graft viability was assessed by transrectal ultrasonography and second-look laparotomy at 2 and 4 weeks, respectively.
Viable uterine tissue and vascular patency were observed on transrectal ultrasonography and second-look laparotomy. Histological analysis of the graft tissue (performed in one ewe) revealed normal tissue architecture with a very subtle inflammatory reaction but no edema or stasis.
We have developed a modified procedure that allowed us to successfully perform orthotopic, allogeneic, uterine transplantation in sheep, whose uterine and vascular anatomy (apart from the bicornuate uterus) is similar to the human anatomy, making the ovine model excellent for human uterine transplant research.
Recently a series of algorithms have been developed, providing automatic tools for tracing C. elegans embryonic cell lineage. In these algorithms, 3D images collected from a confocal laser scanning microscope were processed, the output of which is cell lineage with cell division history and cell positions with time. However, current image segmentation algorithms suffer from high error rate especially after 350-cell stage because of low signal-noise ratio as well as low resolution along the Z axis (0.5-1 microns). As a result, correction of the errors becomes a huge burden. These errors are mainly produced in the segmentation of nuclei. Thus development of a more accurate image segmentation algorithm will alleviate the hurdle for automated analysis of cell lineage.
This paper presents a new type of nuclei segmentation method embracing an bi-directional prediction procedure, which can greatly reduce the number of false negative errors, the most common errors in the previous segmentation. In this method, we first use a 2D region growing technique together with the level-set method to generate accurate 2D slices. Then a modified gradient method instead of the existing 3D local maximum method is adopted to detect all the 2D slices located in the nuclei center, each of which corresponds to one nucleus. Finally, the bi-directional pred- iction method based on the images before and after the current time point is introduced into the system to predict the nuclei in low quality parts of the images. The result of our method shows a notable improvement in the accuracy rate. For each nucleus, its precise location, volume and gene expression value (gray value) is also obtained, all of which will be useful in further downstream analyses.
The result of this research demonstrates the advantages of the bi-directional prediction method in the nuclei segmentation over that of StarryNite/MatLab StarryNite. Several other modifications adopted in our nuclei segmentation system are also discussed.
Biomolecular cooperativity is of great scientific interest due to its role in biological processes. Two transcription factors (TFs), Oct-4 and Sox-2, are crucial in transcriptional regulation of embryonic stem cells. In this paper, we analyze how Oct-1 (a similar POU factor) and Sox-2, interact cooperatively at their enhancer binding sites in collective motions. Normal mode analysis (NMA) is implemented to study the collective motions of two complexes with each involving these TFs and an enhancer. The special structure of Oct proteins is analyzed comprehensively, after which each Oct/Sox group is reassembled into two protein pairs. We subsequently propose a segmentation idea to extract the most correlated segments in each pair, using correlations of motion magnitude curves. The median analysis on these correlation values shows the intimacy of subunit POUS (Oct-1) and Sox-2. Using those larger-than-median correlation values, we conduct statistical studies and propose several protein-protein cooperative modes (S and D) coupled with their subtypes. Additional filters are applied and similar results are obtained. A supplementary study on the rotation angle curves reaches an agreement with these modes. Overall, these proposed cooperative modes provide useful information for us to understand the complicated interaction mechanism in the POU/HMG/DNA complexes.
Etoposide is a DNA topoisomerase 2-targeting drug widely used for the treatment of cancer. The cytoxicity of etoposide correlates with the generation of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), but the mechanism of how it induces DSBs in cells is still poorly understood. Catalytically, etoposide inhibits the re-ligation reaction of Top2 after it nicks the two strands of DNA, trapping it in a cleavable complex consisting of two Top2 subunits covalently linked to the 5’ ends of DNA (Top2cc). Top2cc is not directly recognized as a true DSB by cells because the two subunits interact strongly with each other to hold the two ends of DNA together. In this study we have investigated the cellular mechanisms that convert Top2ccs into true DSBs. Our data suggest that there are two mechanisms, one dependent on active replication and the other dependent on proteolysis and transcription. The relative contribution of each mechanism is affected by the concentration of etoposide. We also find that Top2α is the major isoform mediating the replication-dependent mechanism and both Top2α and Top2 mediate the transcription-dependent mechanism. These findings are potentially of great significance to the improvement of etoposide’s efficacy in cancer therapy.
Low- and middle-income countries continue to experience a large burden of stunting; 148 million children were estimated to be stunted, around 30–40% of all children in 2011. In many of these countries, foetal growth restriction (FGR) is common, as is subsequent growth faltering in the first 2 years. Although there is agreement that stunting involves both prenatal and postnatal growth failure, the extent to which FGR contributes to stunting and other indicators of nutritional status is uncertain.
Using extant longitudinal birth cohorts (n = 19) with data on birth-weight, gestational age and child anthropometry (12–60 months), we estimated study-specific and pooled risk estimates of stunting, wasting and underweight by small-for-gestational age (SGA) and preterm birth.
We grouped children according to four combinations of SGA and gestational age: adequate size-for-gestational age (AGA) and preterm; SGA and term; SGA and preterm; and AGA and term (the reference group). Relative to AGA and term, the OR (95% confidence interval) for stunting associated with AGA and preterm, SGA and term, and SGA and preterm was 1.93 (1.71, 2.18), 2.43 (2.22, 2.66) and 4.51 (3.42, 5.93), respectively. A similar magnitude of risk was also observed for wasting and underweight. Low birthweight was associated with 2.5–3.5-fold higher odds of wasting, stunting and underweight. The population attributable risk for overall SGA for outcomes of childhood stunting and wasting was 20% and 30%, respectively.
This analysis estimates that childhood undernutrition may have its origins in the foetal period, suggesting a need to intervene early, ideally during pregnancy, with interventions known to reduce FGR and preterm birth.
Foetal growth restriction; preterm birth; stunting; wasting; childhood
Although cuttlefish are capable of showing diverse camouflage body patterns against a variety of background substrates, whether they show background preference when given a choice of substrates is not well known. In this study, we characterized the background choice of post-embryonic cuttlefish (Sepia pharaonis) and examined the effects of rearing visual environments on their background preferences. Different rearing backgrounds (enriched, uniformly grey and checkerboard) were used to raise cuttlefish from eggs or hatchlings, and four sets of two-background-choice experiments (differences in contrast, shape, size and side) were conducted at day 1 and weeks 4, 8 and 12 post-hatch. Cuttlefish reared in the enriched environment preferred high-contrast backgrounds at all post-embryonic stages. In comparison, those reared in the impoverished environments (uniformly grey and checkerboard) had either reversed or delayed high-contrast background preference. In addition, cuttlefish raised on the uniformly grey background, exposed to a checkerboard briefly (0.5 or 3 h) at week 4 and tested at week 8 showed increased high-contrast background preference. Interestingly, cuttlefish in the enriched group preferred an object size similar to their body size at day 1 and week 4, but changed this preference to smaller objects at week 12. These results suggest that high-contrast backgrounds may be more adaptive for juvenile cuttlefish, and visually enriched environments are important for the development of these background preference behaviours.
enriched environment; impoverished environment; background contrast; behavioural plasticity
Antiflammin-1 (AF-1), a derivative of uteroglobin (UG), is a synthetic nonapeptide with diverse biological functions. In the present study, we investigated whether AF-1 has a protective effect against bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis.
C57BL/6 mice were injected with bleomycin intratracheally to create an animal model of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. On Day 7 and Day 28, we examined the anti-inflammatory effect and antifibrotic effect, respectively, of AF-1 on the bleomycin-treated mice. The effects of AF-1 on the transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1)-induced proliferation of murine lung fibroblasts (NIH3T3) were examined by a bromodeoxycytidine (BrdU) incorporation assay and cell cycle analysis.
Severe lung inflammation and fibrosis were observed in the bleomycin-treated mice on Day 7 and Day 28, respectively. Administration of AF-1 significantly reduced the number of neutrophils in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and the levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) in the lung homogenates on Day 7. Histological examination revealed that AF-1 markedly reduced the number of infiltrating cells on Day 7 and attenuated the collagen deposition and destruction of lung architecture on Day 28. The hydroxyproline (HYP) content was significantly decreased in the AF-1-treated mice. In vitro, AF-1 inhibited the TGF-β1-induced proliferation of NIH3T3 cells, which was mediated by the UG receptor.
AF-1 has anti-inflammatory and antifibrotic actions in bleomycin-induced lung injury. We propose that the antifibrotic effect of AF-1 might be related to its suppression of fibroblast growth in bleomycin-treated lungs and that AF-1 has potential as a new therapeutic tool for pulmonary fibrosis.
Bleomycin; Pulmonary fibrosis; Antiflammin-1; Uteroglobin receptor
EGFR mutation-induced drug resistance has significantly impaired the potency of small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors in lung cancer treatment. Computational approaches can provide powerful and efficient techniques in the investigation of drug resistance. In our work, the EGFR mutation feature is characterized by the energy components of binding free energy (concerning the mutant-inhibitor complex), and we combine it with specific personal features for 168 clinical subjects to construct a personalized drug resistance prediction model. The 3D structure of an EGFR mutant is computationally predicted from its protein sequence, after which the dynamics of the bound mutant-inhibitor complex is simulated via AMBER and the binding free energy of the complex is calculated based on the dynamics. The utilization of extreme learning machines and leave-one-out cross-validation promises a successful identification of resistant subjects with high accuracy. Overall, our study demonstrates advantages in the development of personalized medicine/therapy design and innovative drug discovery.