Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the most frequent and deadly birth defect. Patients with CHD that survive the neonatal period often progress to develop advanced heart failure requiring specialized treatment including cardiac transplantation. A full understanding of the transcriptional networks that direct cardiac progenitors during heart development will enhance our understanding of both normal cardiac function and pathological states. These findings will also have important applications for emerging therapies and the treatment of congenital heart disease. Furthermore, a number of shared transcriptional pathways or networks have been proposed to regulate the development and regeneration of tissues such as the heart. We have utilized transgenic technology to isolate and characterize cardiac progenitor cells from the developing mouse heart and have begun to define specific transcriptional networks of cardiovascular development. Initial studies identified Tdgf1 as a potential target of Nkx2-5. To mechanistically dissect the regulation of this molecular program, we utilized an array of molecular biological techniques to confirm that Nkx2-5 is an upstream regulator of the Tdgf1 gene in early cardiac development. These studies further define Nkx2-5 mediated transcriptional networks and enhance our understanding of cardiac morphogenesis.
Nkx2-5; Tdgf1; Cardiogenesis; Mouse
The tumorigenicity of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is a major obstacle for clinical translation. Although teratoma formation can be reduced by in vitro pre-differentiation of ESCs, proliferating neural progenitors can generate tumors, especially under the immunosuppressive treatment. In our present study, we used undifferentiated embryonic stem cells as a worst-case model for teratoma formation and study if niche microenvironment of stem cell growth is a crucial driving force in teratoma development. We demonstrate herein that syngeneic ESC transplants recruit bone marrow (BM)-derived macrophages that produce macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), thereby stimulating angiogenesis and teratoma development. Moreover, we show that teratoma angiogenesis relies on preexisting host endothelial cells and does not require BM-derived endothelial progenitors or endothelial cells differentiated from ESCs. Furthermore, ESCs differentiate into pericytes and pericyte coverage is restricted in MIF KO Mice. Genetic deletion of MIF from the host but not from ESCs specifically reduces angiogenesis and teratoma growth. BM cell-derived MIF contributes to teratoma development and blockade of MIF effectively reduces teratoma development after ESC transplantation. This is the first study to demonstrate that syngeneic ESC transplantation provokes an inflammatory response that involves the rapid recruitment of BM-derived macrophages. We propose that infiltrating inflammatory macrophages form niche microenvironments that may be a crucial driving force in the initiation and progression of teratomas.
Threonine is the only amino acid critically required for the pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) but the detailed mechanism remains unclear. We found that threonine (Thr) and S-adenosyl-methionine (SAM) metabolism are coupled in pluripotent stem cells, resulting in regulation of histone methylation. Isotope labeling of mESCs revealed that Thr provides a substantial fraction of both the cellular glycine (Gly) and the acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) needed for SAM synthesis. Depletion of Thr from the culture medium or threonine dehydrogenase (Tdh) from mESCs decreased accumulation of SAM and decreased tri-methylation of histone H3 lysine-4 (H3K4me3), leading to slowed growth, and increased differentiation. Thus abundance of SAM appears to influence H3K4me3, providing a possible mechanism by which modulation of a metabolic pathway might influence stem cell fate.
Gordona terrae strain C-6 was isolated from oil-contaminated soil and is capable of desulfurizing benzothiophene (BT). Here we report the draft genome sequence of G. terrae strain C-6, which may help to reveal the genetic basis of the BT biodesulfurization pathway.
Protein kinases play important roles in tumor development and progression. Lots of kinase inhibitors have entered into market and show promising clinical benefits. Here we report the discovery of a novel small molecule, well-tolerated, orally active kinase inhibitor, R1498, majorly targeting both angiogenic and mitotic pathways for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and gastric cancer (GC). A series of biochemical and cell-based assays indicated that the target kinase cluster of R1498 included Aurora kinases and VEGFR2 et al. R1498 showed moderate in vitro growth inhibition on a panel of tumor cells with IC50 of micromole range. The in vivo anti-tumor efficacy of R1498 was evaluated on a panel of GC and HCC xenografts in a parallel comparison with another multikinase inhibitor sorafenib. R1498 demonstrated superior efficacy and toxicity profile over sorafenib in all test models with >80% tumor growth inhibition and tumor regression in some xenogratfts. The therapeutic potential of R1498 was also highlighted by its efficacy on three human GC primary tumor derived xenograft models with 10–30% tumor regression rate. R1498 was shown to actively inhibit the Aurora A activity in vivo, and decrease the vascularization in tumors. Furthermore, R1498 presented good in vivo exposure and therapeutic window in the pharmacokinetic and dose range finding studies. Theses evidences indicate that R1498 is a potent, well-tolerated, orally active multitarget kinase inhibitor with a unique antiangiogenic and antiproliferative profile, and provide strong confidence for further development for HCC and GC therapy.
The hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway is critical for ovarian function in Drosophila, but its role in the mammalian ovary has not been defined. Previously, expression of a dominant active allele of the HH signal transducer protein smoothened (SMO) in Amhr2cre/+SmoM2 mice caused anovulation in association with a lack of smooth muscle in the theca of developing follicles. The current study examined events during the first 2 wk of life in Amhr2cre/+SmoM2 mice to gain insight into the cause of anovulation. Expression of transcriptional targets of HH signaling, Gli1, Ptch1, and Hhip, which are used as measures of pathway activity, were elevated during the first several days of life in Amhr2cre/+SmoM2 mice compared to controls but were similar to controls in older mice. Microarray analysis showed that genes with increased expression in 2-day-old mutants compared to controls were enriched for the processes of vascular and tube development and steroidogenesis. The density of platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule (PECAM)-labeled endothelial tubes was increased in the cortex of newborn ovaries of mutant mice. Costaining of preovulatory follicles for PECAM and smooth muscle actin showed that muscle-type vascular support cells are deficient in theca of mutant mice. Expression of genes for steroidogenic enzymes that are normally expressed in the fetal adrenal gland were elevated in newborn ovaries of mutant mice. In summary, overactivation of HH signaling during early life alters gene expression and vascular development and this is associated with the lifelong development of anovulatory follicles in which the thecal vasculature fails to mature appropriately.
Transgenic mice with conditional overactivation of hedgehog signaling in the ovary are anovulatory due to alterations in the development of the ovarian vasculature during the neonatal period.
follicular development; ovary; ovulation
Transplantation is often the only viable treatment for pediatric patients with end-stage liver disease. Making well-informed decisions on when to proceed with transplantation requires accurate predictors of transplant survival. The standard Cox proportional hazards (PH) model assumes that covariate effects are time-invariant on right-censored failure time; however, this assumption may not always hold. Gray's piecewise constant time-varying coefficients (PC-TVC) model offers greater flexibility to capture the temporal changes of covariate effects without losing the mathematical simplicity of Cox PH model. In the present work, we examined the Cox PH and Gray PC-TVC models on the posttransplant survival analysis of 288 pediatric liver transplant patients diagnosed with cancer. We obtained potential predictors through univariable (P < 0.15) and multivariable models with forward selection (P < 0.05) for the Cox PH and Gray PC-TVC models, which coincide. While the Cox PH model provided reasonable average results in estimating covariate effects on posttransplant survival, the Gray model using piecewise constant penalized splines showed more details of how those effects change over time.
Background and Aims
Preliminary field observations in 2001 and 2002 suggested that Kingdonia uniflora (Circaeasteraceae, Ranunculales) exhibits heterodichogamy, an unusual kind of reproductive heteromorphy, hitherto unreported in Ranunculales and known from only one other genus in basal eudicots.
During several subsequent years flowers were observed in the field. Flowers were fixed in FAA and studied with microtome sections series and with the scanning electron microscope.
The flowers proved to be heterodichogamous, with protandrous and protogynous morphs, which have a 1 : 1 ratio. Both morphs equally set fruit. Each year a single flower is formed at the tip of a rhizome or more rarely two flowers. The flowers are already open when they appear at the soil surface, before they are receptive and before pollen is dispersed. In both floral morphs the styles elongate early and the stigmas are positioned above the anthers before anthesis begins. In protogynous flowers the stigmas become receptive in this position; later the styles become reflexed and then the anthers dehisce. In contrast, in protandrous flowers the stamen filaments elongate during early anthesis such that the dehiscing anthers come to lie above the (still unreceptive) stigmas; after dehiscence of all anthers in a flower the styles begin to elongate and become receptive.
This is the first record of heterodichogamy in a representative of Ranunculales, in an herbaceous eudicot, and in a plant with uniflorous ramets. The occurrence of heterodichogamy in Kingdonia in which clonal reproduction appears to be dominant might be an adaptation to avoid mating between the ramets from a common mother individual (genet).
Kingdonia; Circaeasteraceae; Ranunculales; heterodichogamy; reproductive heteromorphy
Both Rheum palmatum and R. tanguticum are important but endangered medicinal plants endemic to China. In this study, we aimed to (i) investigate the level and pattern of genetic variability within/among populations of those species; (ii) evaluate genetic differentiation between both species and its relationships and ascertain whether both species are consistent with their current taxonomical treatment as separate species; and (iii) discuss the implications for the effective conservation of two species.
Total 574 individuals from 30 populations of R. palmatum and R. tanguticum were collected, covering the entire distribution range of two species in China. The genetic variation within and among 30 populations was evaluated using inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers.
Twelve selected ISSR primers generated a total of 175 fragments, 173 (98.86%) of which were polymorphic. The Nei's gene diversity (H) and Shannon's index (I) of both species were high at species level (H = 0.3107, I = 0.4677 for R. palmatum; H = 0.2848, I = 0.4333 for R. tanguticum). But for both species, the genetic diversity was low at population level, and average within-population diversity of R. palmatum was H = 0.1438, I = 0.2151, and that of R. tanguticum was H = 0.1415, I = 0.2126. The hierarchical AMOVA revealed high levels of among-population genetic differentiation in both species, in line with the gene differentiation coefficient and the limited among-population gene flow (R. palmatum: Φst = 0.592, Gst = 0.537, Nm = 0.432; R. tanguticum: Φst = 0.567, Gst = 0.497, Nm = 0.507). By contrast, only 6.52% of the total genetic variance was partitioned between R. palmatum and R. tanguticum. Bayesian analysis, UPGMA cluster analysis, and PCoA analysis all demonstrated the similar results. A significant isolation-by-distance pattern was revealed in R. palmatum (r = 0.547, P = 0.010), but not in R. tanguticum (r = 0.241, P = 0.100). Based on these results, effective conservation strategies were proposed for these two species. The small molecular variance between R. palmatum and R. tanguticum revealed that they had a common ancestor, and we considered that these two species might not be good species.
Although endothelin-1 (ET-1) is a potent vasoconstrictor peptide implicated in several retinal pathologies, the underlying mechanism of vasoconstriction is understood incompletely. We addressed this issue by assessing the contributions of extracellular calcium (Ca2+), L-type voltage-operated calcium channels (L-VOCCs), Rho kinase (ROCK), and protein kinase C (PKC) to ET-1-induced constriction of porcine retinal arterioles, all of which have been implicated commonly in vascular smooth muscle contraction.
Porcine retinal arterioles (∼50–100 μm) were isolated for vasomotor study and molecular assessment of ROCK isoforms.
Isolated arterioles developed stable basal tone at 55 cmH2O luminal pressure and constricted to ET-1 (0.1 nM) with a 40 ± 6% reduction in resting diameter in 20 minutes. In the absence of extraluminal Ca2+, arterioles lost basal tone and failed to constrict to ET-1. Although L-VOCC inhibitor nifedipine reduced basal tone and blocked vasoconstriction to PKC activator PDBu, vasoconstriction to ET-1 was unaffected. The broad-spectrum PKC inhibitor Gö-6983 abolished vasoconstriction to PDBu, but did not alter ET-1-induced vasoconstriction or basal tone. Incubation of arterioles with ROCK inhibitor H-1152 abolished basal tone and vasoconstrictions to ET-1 and PDBu. Both ROCK1 and ROCK2 isoforms were expressed in the retinal arteriolar wall.
Extracellular Ca2+ entry via L-VOCCs and basal ROCK activity play important roles in the maintenance of basal tones of porcine retinal arterioles. ET-1-induced constriction is mediated by extracellular Ca2+ entry independent of L-VOCCs and by ROCK activation without the involvement of PKC. However, direct PKC activation can cause vasoconstriction via L-VOCC and ROCK signaling.
In this report it is demonstrated that porcine retinal arteriolar constriction to endothelin-1 is dependent upon extracellular Ca2+ and Rho kinase activation, but is independent of L-type voltage-operated calcium channels and protein kinase C activation.
p28GANK (also known as PSMD10 or gankyrin) is a novel oncoprotein that is highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Through its interaction with various proteins, p28GANK mediates the degradation of the tumor suppressor proteins Rb and p53. Although p53 was reported to downregulate β-catenin, whether p28GANK is involved in the regulation of β-catenin remains uncertain. Here we report that both growth factors and Ras upregulate p28GANK expression through the activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase-AKT pathway. Upregulation of p28GANK expression subsequently enhanced the transcription activity of β-catenin. This effect was observed in p53-deficient cells, suggesting a p53-independent mechanism for the p28GANK-mediated activation of β-catenin. p28GANK overexpression also reduced E-cadherin protein levels, leading to increased release of free β-catenin into the cytoplasm from the cadherin-bound pool. Interestingly, exogenous expression of p28GANK resulted in elevated expression of the endogenous protein. We also observed that both β-catenin and c-Myc were transcriptional activators of p28GANK, and a correlation between p28GANK overexpression and c-Myc, cyclin D1 and β-catenin activation in primary human HCC. Together, these results suggest that p28GANK expression is regulated by a positive feedback loop involving β-catenin, which may play a critical role in tumorigenesis and the progression of HCC.
p28GANK; β-catenin; E-cadherin; positive feedback loop; hepatocellular carcinoma
In this report it is demonstrated that retinal ischemia elicited by 90-minute elevation of intraocular pressure impairs endothelium-dependent nitric oxide-mediated dilation of isolated porcine retinal arterioles. The inhibitory mechanism of retinal ischemia involves enhanced levels of superoxide in arterioles.
Because retinal vascular disease is associated with ischemia and increased oxidative stress, the vasodilator function of retinal arterioles was examined after retinal ischemia induced by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). The role of superoxide anions in the development of vascular dysfunction was assessed.
IOP was increased and maintained at 80 to 90 mm Hg for 30, 60, or 90 minutes by infusing saline into the anterior chamber of a porcine eye. The fellow eye with normal IOP (10–20 mm Hg) served as control. In some pigs, superoxide dismutase mimetic TEMPOL (1 mM) or vehicle (saline) was injected intravitreally before IOP elevation. After enucleation, retinal arterioles were isolated and pressurized without flow for functional analysis by recording diameter changes using videomicroscopic techniques. Dihydroethidium (DHE) was used to detect superoxide production in isolated retinal arterioles.
Isolated retinal arterioles developed stable basal tone and the vasodilations to endothelium-dependent nitric oxide (NO)-mediated agonists bradykinin and L-lactate were significantly reduced only by 90 minutes of ischemia. However, vasodilation to endothelium-independent NO donor sodium nitroprusside was unaffected after all time periods of ischemia. DHE staining showed that 90 minutes of ischemia significantly increased superoxide levels in retinal arterioles. Intravitreal injection of membrane-permeable radical scavenger but not vehicle before ischemia prevented elevation of vascular superoxide and preserved bradykinin-induced dilation.
Endothelium-dependent NO-mediated dilation of retinal arterioles is impaired by 90 minutes of ischemia induced by elevated IOP. The inhibitory effect appears to be mediated by the alteration of NO signaling via vascular superoxide.
Natural RNAs, especially tRNAs, are extensively modified to tailor structure and function diversities. Uracil is the most modified nucleobase among all natural nucleobases. Interestingly, >76% of uracil modifications are located on its 5-position. We have investigated the natural 5-methoxy (5-O-CH3) modification of uracil in the context of A-form oligonucleotide duplex. Our X-ray crystal structure indicates first a H-bond formation between the uracil 5-O-CH3 and its 5′-phosphate. This novel H-bond is not observed when the oxygen of 5-O-CH3 is replaced with a larger atom (selenium or sulfur). The 5-O-CH3 modification does not cause significant structure and stability alterations. Moreover, our computational study is consistent with the experimental observation. The investigation on the uracil 5-position demonstrates the importance of this RNA modification at the atomic level. Our finding suggests a general interaction between the nucleobase and backbone and reveals a plausible function of the tRNA 5-O-CH3 modification, which might potentially rigidify the local conformation and facilitates translation.
Curcumin, the active component of turmeric, has been shown to protect against carcinogenesis and prevent tumor development. However, little is known about its anti-tumor mechanism in small cell lung cancer (SCLC). In this study, we found that curcumin can inhibit SCLC cell proliferation, cell cycle, migration, invasion and angiogenesis through suppression of the STAT3. SCLC cells were treated with curcumin (15 µmol/L) and the results showed that curcumin was effective in inhibiting STAT3 phosphorylation to downregulate of an array of STAT3 downstream targets ,which contributed to suppression of cell proliferation, loss of colony formation, depression of cell migration and invasion. Curcumin also suppressed the expression of proliferative proteins (Survivin, Bcl-XL and Cyclin B1), and invasive proteins (VEGF, MMP-2, MMP-7 and ICAM-1).Knockdown of STAT3 expression by siRNA was able to induce anti-invasive effects in vitro. In contrast, activation of STAT3 upstream of interleukin 6 (IL-6) leads to the increased cell proliferation ,cell survival, angiogenesis, invasion, migration and tumor growth. Our findings illustrate the biologic significance of IL-6/JAK/STAT3 signaling in SCLC progression and providenovel evidence that the pathway may be a new potential target for therapy of SCLC. It was concluded that curcumin is a potent agent in the inhibition of STAT3 with favorable pharmacological activity,and curcumin may have translational potential as an effective cancer therapeutic or preventive agent for SCLC.
To compare the regional differences in TCM syndromes of patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) between North and South China. A total of 624 patients with a diagnosis of CHD, confirmed by coronary angiography, were included in the comparative analysis to determine the occurrence pattern, characteristics of TCM syndrome distribution, and differences in syndrome combinations and major syndrome types (deficiency or excess) between North and South China. The incidence of CHD tended to be higher in North China (54.6%) compared with that in South China (45.4%). The proportions of patients with a qi-deficiency syndrome (83.7%), turbid phlegm syndrome (68.9%), or blood stasis syndrome (91.5%) were generally higher in the South group, while the proportion of patients with a cold congelation syndrome (7.9%) was identified to be obviously higher in the North group (P < 0.01). Moreover, compared with that in the South group, the overall frequency of syndrome combinations tended to be lower in the North group (P < 0.01); and the most common types of TCM syndrome were excess syndrome (193, 56.6%) and primary deficiency and secondary excess syndrome (244, 86.2%) in the North and South groups, respectively (P < 0.01). A regional difference does exist in the TCM syndromes of patients with CHD between North and South China, indicating that the prevention and treatment of CHD in South China should not only focus on promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis, but also include supplementing qi and eliminating phlegm
A major problem hindering the development of autograft alternatives for repairing peripheral nerve injuries is immunogenicity. We have previously shown successful regeneration in transected rat sciatic nerves using conduits filled with allogeneic dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells without any immunosuppression. In this study, we re-examined the immunogenicity of our DRG neuron implanted conduits as a potential strategy to overcome transplant rejection. A biodegradable NeuraGen® tube was infused with pure DRG neurons or Schwann cells cultured from a rat strain differing from the host rats and used to repair 8 mm gaps in the sciatic nerve. We observed enhanced regeneration with allogeneic cells compared to empty conduits 16 weeks post-surgery, but morphological analyses suggest recovery comparable to the healthy nerves was not achieved. The degree of regeneration was indistinguishable between DRG and Schwann cell allografts although immunogenicity assessments revealed substantially increased presence of Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in Schwann cell allografts compared to the DRG allografts by two weeks post-surgery. Macrophage infiltration of the regenerated nerve graft in the DRG group 16 weeks post-surgery was below the level of the empty conduit (0.56 fold change from NG; p<0.05) while the Schwann cell group revealed significantly higher counts (1.29 fold change from NG; p<0.001). Major histocompatibility complex I (MHC I) molecules were present in significantly increased levels in the DRG and Schwann cell allograft groups compared to the hollow NG conduit and the Sham healthy nerve. Our results confirmed previous studies that have reported Schwann cells as being immunogenic, likely due to MHC I expression. Nerve gap injuries are difficult to repair; our data suggest that DRG neurons are superior medium to implant inside conduit tubes due to reduced immunogenicity and represent a potential treatment strategy that could be preferable to the current gold standard of autologous nerve transplant.
Pusillimonas sp. T7-7 is a diesel oil-degrading cold-tolerant bacterium isolated from the benthal mud of a petroleum-contaminated site in Bohai Sea, China. We present here the complete genome sequence of T7-7. Genome analysis revealed many features of typical marine bacteria, including the absence of intact sugar metabolic pathways, the presence of glyoxylate and gluconeogenesis pathways, and the abilities for nitrate assimilation and denitrification, as well as sulfate reduction and sulfite oxidation. The presence of novel genes for the degradation of diesel oils was suggested.
ATP-binding cassette transporter E1 (ABCE1), also known as RLI (RNase L inhibitor), is a new type of endoribonuclease inhibitor, which can specifically bind to RNase L and abolish its effect. ABCE1 binds to eIF2α and eIF5 to form a pre-translation initiation complex, suggesting its crucial role in cell growth, development and certain pathological processes. To probe the role of ABCE1 in the development and progress of human lung adenocarcinoma, we first detected the changes of its mRNA and protein expression in tissues, and found a high expression level of ABCE1 in human lung adenocarcinoma tissues and metastatic lymph nodes, which was also correlated with clinical stages. Moreover, human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells were infected with lentiviral vectors containing ABCE1-specific shRNA, and resulted in significant inhibition of cell growth. Using microarray assay, a number of differentially expressed genes were found after ABCE1 suppression. Our results demonstrated the potential role of ABCE1 in human lung adenocarcinoma, which may provide some molecular basis for the mechanisms of development and progress of human lung adenocarcinoma, and help to find new pharmacological targets.
ATP-binding cassette transporter E1; lung adenocarcinoma; expression; siRNA
As part of our ongoing efforts to sequence and map the watermelon (Citrullus spp.) genome, we have constructed a high density genetic linkage map. The map positioned 234 watermelon genome sequence scaffolds (an average size of 1.41 Mb) that cover about 330 Mb and account for 93.5% of the 353 Mb of the assembled genomic sequences of the elite Chinese watermelon line 97103 (Citrullus lanatus var. lanatus). The genetic map was constructed using an F8 population of 103 recombinant inbred lines (RILs). The RILs are derived from a cross between the line 97103 and the United States Plant Introduction (PI) 296341-FR (C. lanatus var. citroides) that contains resistance to fusarium wilt (races 0, 1, and 2). The genetic map consists of eleven linkage groups that include 698 simple sequence repeat (SSR), 219 insertion-deletion (InDel) and 36 structure variation (SV) markers and spans ∼800 cM with a mean marker interval of 0.8 cM. Using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) with 11 BACs that produced chromosome-specifc signals, we have depicted watermelon chromosomes that correspond to the eleven linkage groups constructed in this study. The high resolution genetic map developed here should be a useful platform for the assembly of the watermelon genome, for the development of sequence-based markers used in breeding programs, and for the identification of genes associated with important agricultural traits.
Severe malaria infection caused by Plasmodium falciparum is a global life-threatening disease and a leading cause of death worldwide. Intensive investigations have demonstrated that macrophages play crucial roles in control of inflammatory and immune responses and clearance of Plasmodium-falciparum-parasitized erythrocytes (PE). This paper focuses on how macrophage CD36 recognizes and internalizes PE and participates the inflammatory signaling in response to Plasmodium falciparum. In addition, recent advances in our current understanding of the biological actions of PPARγ on CD36 and malaria clearance from the hosts are highlighted.
Rheum officinale Baill., an important but endangered medicinal herb, is endemic to China. Inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR) markers were employed to investigate the genetic diversity and differentiation of 12 populations of R. officinale. Thirteen selected primers yielded 189 bright and discernible bands, with an average of 14.54 per primer. The genetic diversity was low at the population level, but pretty high at the species level (H = 0.1008, I = 0.1505, PPB = 28.95% vs. H = 0.3341, I = 0.5000, PPB = 95.24%, respectively) by POPGENE analysis. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that the genetic variation was found mainly among populations (74.38%), in line with the limited gene flow (Nm = 0.2766) among populations. Mantel test revealed a significant correlation between genetic and geographic distances (r = 0.5381, P = 0.002), indicating the role of geographic isolation in shaping the present population genetic structure. Both Bayesian analysis and UPGMA cluster analysis demonstrated the similar results. Our results imply that the conservation efforts should aim to preserve all the extant populations of this endangered species, and cultivation is proposed in this study.
Rheum officinale; inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR); genetic diversity; genetic differentiation; conservation strategy
A reduction in cochlear blood flow plays an essential role in noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The timely regulation of cochlear perfusion determines the progression and prognosis of NIHL. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has attracted increasing interest as a vasodilator in cardiovascular systems. This study identified the role of H2S in cochlear blood flow regulation and noise protection.
The gene and protein expression of the H2S synthetase cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) in the rat cochlea was examined using immunofluorescence and real-time PCR. Cochlear CSE mRNA levels varied according to the duration of noise exposure. A chronic intracochlear infusion model was built and artificial perilymph (AP), NaHS or DL-propargylglycine (PPG) were locally administered. Local sodium hydrosulfide (NaHS) significantly increased cochlear perfusion post-noise exposure. Cochlear morphological damage and hearing loss were alleviated in the NaHS group as measured by conventional auditory brainstem response (ABR), cochlear scanning electron microscope (SEM) and outer hair cell (OHC) count. The highest percentage of OHC loss occurred in the PPG group.
Our results suggest that H2S plays an important role in the regulation of cochlear blood flow and the protection against noise. Further studies may identify a new preventive and therapeutic perspective on NIHL and other blood supply-related inner ear diseases.
Cultivated watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai var. lanatus] is an important agriculture crop world-wide. The fruit of watermelon undergoes distinct stages of development with dramatic changes in its size, color, sweetness, texture and aroma. In order to better understand the genetic and molecular basis of these changes and significantly expand the watermelon transcript catalog, we have selected four critical stages of watermelon fruit development and used Roche/454 next-generation sequencing technology to generate a large expressed sequence tag (EST) dataset and a comprehensive transcriptome profile for watermelon fruit flesh tissues.
We performed half Roche/454 GS-FLX run for each of the four watermelon fruit developmental stages (immature white, white-pink flesh, red flesh and over-ripe) and obtained 577,023 high quality ESTs with an average length of 302.8 bp. De novo assembly of these ESTs together with 11,786 watermelon ESTs collected from GenBank produced 75,068 unigenes with a total length of approximately 31.8 Mb. Overall 54.9% of the unigenes showed significant similarities to known sequences in GenBank non-redundant (nr) protein database and around two-thirds of them matched proteins of cucumber, the most closely-related species with a sequenced genome. The unigenes were further assigned with gene ontology (GO) terms and mapped to biochemical pathways. More than 5,000 SSRs were identified from the EST collection. Furthermore we carried out digital gene expression analysis of these ESTs and identified 3,023 genes that were differentially expressed during watermelon fruit development and ripening, which provided novel insights into watermelon fruit biology and a comprehensive resource of candidate genes for future functional analysis. We then generated profiles of several interesting metabolites that are important to fruit quality including pigmentation and sweetness. Integrative analysis of metabolite and digital gene expression profiles helped elucidating molecular mechanisms governing these important quality-related traits during watermelon fruit development.
We have generated a large collection of watermelon ESTs, which represents a significant expansion of the current transcript catalog of watermelon and a valuable resource for future studies on the genomics of watermelon and other closely-related species. Digital expression analysis of this EST collection allowed us to identify a large set of genes that were differentially expressed during watermelon fruit development and ripening, which provide a rich source of candidates for future functional analysis and represent a valuable increase in our knowledge base of watermelon fruit biology.
Transplanted neural stem and progenitor cells (NSCs) produce mostly astrocytes in injured spinal cords. Lithium stimulates neurogenesis by inhibiting GSK3b (glycogen synthetase kinase 3-beta) and increasing WNT/beta catenin. Lithium suppresses astrogliogenesis but the mechanisms were unclear. We cultured NSCs from subventricular zone of neonatal rats and showed that lithium reduced NSC production of astrocytes as well as proliferation of glia restricted progenitor (GRP) cells. Lithium strongly inhibited STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) activation, a messenger system known to promote astrogliogenesis and cancer. Lithium abolished STAT3 activation and astrogliogenesis induced by a STAT3 agonist AICAR (5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-beta-D-ribofuranoside), suggesting that lithium suppresses astrogliogenesis by inhibiting STAT3. GSK3β inhibition either by a specific GSK3β inhibitor SB216763 or overexpression of GID5-6 (GSK3β Interaction Domain aa380 to 404) did not suppress astrogliogenesis and GRP proliferation. GSK3β inhibition also did not suppress STAT3 activation. Together, these results indicate that lithium inhibits astrogliogenesis through non-GSK3β-mediated inhibition of STAT. Lithium may increase efficacy of NSC transplants by increasing neurogenesis and reducing astrogliogenesis. Our results also may explain the strong safety record of lithium treatment of manic depression. Millions of people take high-dose (>1 gram/day) lithium carbonate for a lifetime. GSK3b inhibition increases WNT/beta catenin, associated with colon and other cancers. STAT3 inhibition may reduce risk for cancer.
AIM: To identify cancer stem cells (CSCs) in human gallbladder carcinomas (GBCs).
METHODS: Primary GBC cells were cultured under serum-free conditions to produce floating spheres. The stem-cell properties of the sphere-forming cells, including self-renewal, differentiation potential, chemoresistance and tumorigenicity, were determined in vitro or in vivo. Cell surface expression of CD133 was investigated in primary tumors and in spheroid cells using flow cytometry. The sphere-colony-formation ability and tumorigenicity of CD133+ cells were assayed.
RESULTS: In vitro culture experiments revealed that floating spheroids were generated from primary GBC cells, and these sphere-forming cells could generate new progeny spheroids in serum-free media. Spheroid cells were differentiated under serum-containing conditions with downregulation of the stem cell markers Oct-4, Nanog, and nestin (P < 0.05). The differentiated cells showed lower spheroid-colony-formation ability than the original spheroid cells (P < 0.05). Spheroid cells were more resistant to chemotherapeutic reagents than the congenetic adherent cells (P < 0.05). Flow cytometry showed enriched CD133+ population in sphere-forming cells (P < 0.05). CD133+ cells possessed high colony-formation ability than the CD133- population (P < 0.01). CD133+ cells injected into nude mice revealed higher tumorigenicity than their antigen-negative counterparts (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: CD133 may be a cell surface marker for CSCs in GBC.
Gallbladder carcinoma; Cancer stem cell; Non-adherent spheres; CD133 protein; Self-renewal; Tumorigenicity