Issues of surfaces, e.g., inspired from beetle's back, spider silk, cactus stem, etc., become the active area of research on designing novel materials in need of human beings to acquire fresh water resource from air. However, the design of materials on surface structure is little achieved on controlling of micro-scale drop transport in a long distance. Here, we report the ability of micro-drop transport in a long distance on a bioinspired Fibers with Gradient Spindle-knots (BFGS), which are fabricated by tilt angle dip-coating method. The micro-drop of ~0.25 μL transports in distance of ~5.00 mm, with velocity of 0.10–0.22 m s−1 on BFGS. It is attributed to the multi-level cooperation of the release energy of drop coalescence along the gradient spindle-knots, in addition to capillary adhesion force and continuous difference of Laplace pressure, accordingly, water drops are driven to move fast directionally in a long distance on BFGS.
The development of methyl-TROSY approaches and specific 13C–1H labeling of Ile, Leu and Val methyl groups in highly deuterated proteins has made it possible to study high molecular weight proteins, either alone or in complexes, using solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Here we present 2-dimensional (2D) and 3-dimensional (3D) NMR experiments designed to achieve complete separation of the methyl resonances of Val and Leu, labeled using the same precursor, α-ketoisovalerate or acetolactate. The 2D experiment can further select the methyl resonances of Val or Leu based on the Cα or Cβ chemical shift values of Val or Leu, respectively. In the 3D spectrum, the methyl cross peaks of Val and Leu residues have opposite signs; thus, not only can the residue types be easily distinguished, but the methyl pairs from the same residue can also be identified. The feasibility of this approach, implemented in both 2D and 3D experiments, has been demonstrated on an 82 kDa protein, malate synthase G. The methods developed in this study will reduce resonance overlaps and also facilitate structure-guided resonance assignments.
Leucine; Valine; Methyl; Residue-type editing; Malate synthase G
External guide sequences (EGSs) are RNA molecules that can bind to a target mRNA and direct ribonuclease P (RNase P), a tRNA processing enzyme, for specific cleavage of the target mRNA. Using an in vitro selection procedure, we have previously generated EGS variants that efficiently direct human RNase P to cleave a target mRNA in vitro. In this study, we constructed EGSs from a variant to target the overlapping region of the mRNAs coding for human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) capsid scaffolding protein (CSP) and assemblin, which are essential for viral capsid formation. The EGS variant was about 40-fold more active in directing human RNase P to cleave the mRNA in vitro than the EGS derived from a natural tRNA. Moreover, a reduction of about 98% and 75% in CSP/assemblin gene expression and a reduction of 7000- and 250-fold in viral growth were observed in HCMV-infected cells that expressed the variant and the tRNA-derived EGS, respectively. Our study shows that the EGS variant is more effective in blocking HCMV gene expression and growth than the tRNA-derived EGS. Moreover, these results demonstrate the utility of highly active EGS RNA variants in gene targeting applications including anti-HCMV therapy.
RNase P; external guide sequence; gene therapy; cytomegalovirus; gene targeting
The BLK and CD40 loci have been associated with Kawasaki disease (KD) in two genome-wide association studies (GWAS) conducted in a Taiwanese population of Han Chinese ancestry (Taiwanese) and in Japanese cohorts. Here we build on these findings with replication studies of the BLK and CD40 loci in populations of Korean and European descent. The BLK region was significantly associated with KD susceptibility in both populations. Within the BLK gene the rs2736340-located linkage disequilibrium (LD ) comprising the promoter and first intron was strongly associated with KD, with the combined results of Asian studies including Taiwanese, Japanese, and Korean populations (2,539 KD patients and 7,021 controls) providing very compelling evidence of association (rs2736340, OR = 1.498, 1.354–1.657; P = 4.74×10−31). We determined the percentage of B cells present in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) population and the expression of BLK in the peripheral blood leukocytes (leukocytes) of KD patients during the acute and convalescent stages. The percentage of B cells in the PBMC population and the expression of BLK in leukocytes were induced in patients in the acute stage of KD. In B cell lines derived from KD patients, and in purified B cells from KD patients obtained during the acute stage, those with the risk allele of rs2736340 expressed significantly lower levels of BLK. These results suggest that peripheral B cells play a pathogenic role during the acute stage of KD. Decreased BLK expression in peripheral blood B cells may alter B cell function and predispose individuals to KD. These associative data suggest a role for B cells during acute KD. Understanding the functional implications may facilitate the development of B cell-mediated therapy for KD.
Pax4 and MafA (v-maf musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homolog A) are two transcription factors crucial for normal functions of islet beta cells in the mouse. Intriguingly, recent studies indicate the existence of notable difference between human and rodent islet in terms of gene expression and functions. To better understand the biological role of human PAX4 and MAFA, we investigated their expression in normal and diseased human islets, using validated antibodies. PAX4 was detected in 43.0±5.0% and 39.1±4.0% of normal human alpha and beta cells respectively. We found that MAFA, detected in 88.3±6.3% insulin+cells as in the mouse, turned out to be also expressed in 61.2±6.4% of human glucagons+ cells with less intensity than in insulin+ cells, whereas MAFB expression was found not only in the majority of glucagon+ cells (67.2±7.6%), but also in 53.6±10.5% of human insulin+ cells. Interestingly, MAFA nuclear expression in both alpha and beta cells, and the percentage of alpha cells expressing PAX4 were found altered in a substantial proportion of patients with type 2 diabetes. Both MAFA and PAX4 display, therefore, a distinct expression pattern in human islet cells, suggesting more potential plasticity of human islets as compared with rodent islets.
We propose that cell cycle-dependent timing of FEN1 nuclease activity is essential for cell cycle progression and the maintenance of genome stability. After DNA replication is complete at the exit point of the S-phase, removal of excess FEN1 may be crucial. Here, we report a mechanism that controls the programmed degradation of FEN1 via a sequential cascade of post-translational modifications. We found that FEN1 phosphorylation stimulated its SUMOylation, which, in turn, stimulated its ubiquitination and ultimately led to its degradation via the proteasome pathway. Mutations or inhibitors that blocked the modification at any step in this pathway suppressed FEN1 degradation. Critically, the presence of SUMOylation- or ubiquitination- defective, non-degradable FEN1 mutant protein caused accumulation of Cyclin B, delays in the G1 and G2/M phases and polyploidy. These findings may represent a newly identified regulatory mechanism used by cells to ensure precise cell cycle progression and to prevent transformation.
Post-translational modifications by the SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-like MOdifier) family of proteins are recently discovered essential regulatory mechanisms. All SUMO proteins are synthesized as larger precursors that are matured by SUMO-specific proteases, known as SENPs, which remove several C-terminal amino acids of SUMO to expose the Gly-Gly motif. SENPs also remove SUMO modifications from target proteins, making this modification highly dynamic. At least six deSUMOylation enzymes, all of which are encoded by essential genes, have been identified in mammals. SENP1 has been shown to play an important role in the development of prostate cancer and in angiogenesis. This unit describes and discusses methods for characterizing the deSUMOylation enzymes. These assays enable the identification of inhibitors of these enzymes and investigate their mechanism of inhibition in order to develop research tools and future therapeutics.
SUMO; SENP; Vinyl sulfone; FRET; Bioluminescence
Background and Aims
Brain dysfunction in functional dyspepsia (FD) has been identified by multiple neuroimaging studies. This study aims to investigate the regional gray matter density (GMD) changes in meal-related FD patients and their correlations with clinical variables, and to explore the possible influence of the emotional state on FD patients’s brain structures.
Fifty meal-related FD patients and forty healthy subjects (HS) were included and underwent a structural magnetic resonance imaging scan. Voxel-based morphometry analysis was employed to identify the cerebral structure alterations in meal-related FD patients. Regional GMD changes' correlations with the symptoms and their durations, respectively, have been analyzed.
Compared to the HS, the meal-related FD patients showed a decreased GMD in the bilateral precentral gyrus, medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and midcingulate cortex (MCC), left orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and right insula (p<0.05, FWE Corrected, Cluster size>50). After controlling for anxiety and depression, the meal-related FD patients showed a decreased GMD in the bilateral middle frontal gyrus, left MCC, right precentral gyrus and insula (p<0.05, FWE Corrected, Cluster size>50). Before controlling psychological factors, the GMD decreases in the ACC were negatively associated with the symptom scores of the Nepean Dyspepsia Index (NDI) (r = −0.354, p = 0.048, Bonferroni correction) and the duration of FD (r = −0.398, p = 0.02, Bonferroni correction) respectively.
The regional GMD of meal-related FD patients, especially in the regions of the homeostatic afferent processing network significantly differed from that of the HS, and the psychological factors might be one of the essential factors significantly affecting the regional brain structure of meal-related FD patients.
Anterior cervical decompression and fusion (ACDF) procedures are successful in treating multilevel cervical radiculopathy and cervical myelopathy. It was reported that this procedure would result in a loss of cervical range of motion. However, few studies have focused on the exact impact of multilevel (more than 3 levels) ACDF on cervical range of motion.
29 patients underwent a 3-level or 4-level ACDF. In all the patients, preoperative active cervical ROM measurement was performed, and postoperative measurement was performed at 1-year follow-up by a CROM device. The pre- and postoperative data were compared to each other using paired t tests (α = 0.05).
The patients had significantly less ROM after the surgery in all planes of motion. Major reduction was observed in flexion (39.5%), left and right lateral flexion (25.7 and 25.9%), with relatively minor impact on extension (18.3%), left and right rotation (14.0 and 14.4%) observed. In the three cardinal planes, major reduction was observed in the sagittal plane (28.2%) and coronal plane (25.8%), while minor impact observed in the horizontal plane (14.1%).
The patients of cervical spondylotic myelopathy had an obvious reduction in active cervical ROM following multilevel ACDF. However, patients might not experience great difficulties in performing daily activities with regard to the loss of neck motion after fusion.
Multilevel; Anterior cervical decompression and fusion; Cervical range of motion; Cervical spondylosis
SUMOylation, the covalent attachment of Small Ubiquitin-like MOdifier (SUMO) polypeptides to other proteins, is among the most important post-translational modifications that regulate the functional properties of a large number of proteins. SUMOylation is broadly involved in cellular processes such as gene transcription, hormone response, signal transduction, DNA repair and nuclear transport. SUMO modification has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of human diseases, such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and viral infection. Attachment of a SUMO protein to another protein is carried out in multiple steps catalyzed by three enzymes. This unit describes and discusses the in vitro biochemical methods used for investigating each step of the SUMOylation process. In addition, a high throughput screening protocol is included for the identification of inhibitors of SUMOylation.
SUMOylation; SUMO; E1; E2; E3; Ubc9; SAE1; SAE2; RanGAP1; RanBP2; Sp100; HTS
The calcium-binding protein S100P is expressed in a variety of human cancer cells and is important in cancer cell growth and invasion. Using differential display, we found S100P is overexpressed in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We examined the expression of 305 unifocal, primary HCC tumors using immunohistochemistry. The S100P protein was expressed in 173 of the 305 (56.7%) HCC tumors. The expression of S100P correlated with female sex (P = 0.0162), high serum α-fetoprotein level (P = 0.0001), high tumor grade (P = 0.0029), high tumor stage (P = 0.0319), the presence of the p53 mutation (P = 0.0032), and the absence of the β-catenin mutation (P = 0.0489). Patients with HCC tumors that expressed S100P were more likely to have early tumor recurrence (ETR) (P = 0.0189) and lower 5-year survival (P = 0.0023). The multivariate analysis confirmed that S100P expression was an independent prognostic factor in HCC. The combinatorial analysis showed an additive unfavorable prognostic interaction between S100P expression and the p53 mutation. In contrast, the β-catenin mutation was associated with better prognosis in both S100P-positive and -negative HCCs. Furthermore, S100P expression was a predictor of survival in HCC patients with high tumor stage or ETR (P = 0.0026 and P = 0.0002, respectively). Our study indicates the expression of the S100P protein is a novel independent predictor for poor prognosis in HCC, and it is also an unfavorable prognostic predictor in HCC patients with high tumor stage or ETR.
External guide sequences (EGSs) are RNA molecules that consist of a sequence complementary to a target mRNA and recruit intracellular ribonuclease P (RNase P), a tRNA processing enzyme, for specific degradation of the target mRNA. We have previously used an in vitro selection procedure to generate EGS variants that efficiently induce human RNase P to cleave a target mRNA in vitro. In this study, we constructed EGSs from a variant to target the overlapping region of the S mRNA, pre-S/L mRNA, and pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) of hepatitis B virus (HBV), which are essential for viral replication and infection. The EGS variant was about 50-fold more efficient in inducing human RNase P to cleave the mRNA in vitro than the EGS derived from a natural tRNA. Following Salmonella-mediated gene delivery, the EGSs were expressed in cultured HBV-carrying cells. A reduction of about 97% and 75% in the level of HBV RNAs and proteins and an inhibition of about 6,000- and 130-fold in the levels of capsid-associated HBV DNA were observed in cells treated with Salmonella vectors carrying the expression cassette for the variant and the tRNA-derived EGS, respectively. Our study provides direct evidence that the EGS variant is more effective in blocking HBV gene expression and DNA replication than the tRNA-derived EGS. Furthermore, these results demonstrate the feasibility of developing Salmonella-mediated gene delivery of highly active EGS RNA variants as a novel approach for gene-targeting applications such as anti-HBV therapy.
Ubiquitin-like modifications are macromolecular chemistry for which our understanding of the enzymatic mechanisms is lacking. Most E3 ligases in ubiquitin-like modifications do not directly participate in chemistry, but are thought to confer allosteric effects; however the nature of the allosteric effects has been elusive. Recent molecular dynamics simulations suggested that an E3 binding enhances the population of the conformational states of E2~SUMO thioester that favor reactions. In this study, we carried out the first temperature-dependent enzyme kinetic analysis to investigate the role of an E3 on activation entropy and enthalpy. The small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) E3, RanBP2, confers unusually large, favorable activation entropy to lower the activation energy of the reaction. Mutants of RanBP2, designed to alter flexibilities of the E2~SUMO thioester, showed a direct correlation of their favorable entropic effects with their ability to restriction the conformational flexibility of the E2~SUMO thioester. While the more favorable activation entropy is consistent with the previously suggested role of E3 in conformational selection, the large positive entropy suggests a significant role of solvent in catalysis. Indeed, molecular dynamics simulations in explicit water revealed that the more stable E2~SUMO thioester upon E3 binding results in stabilization of a large number of bound water molecules. Liberating such structured water at transition state can result in large favorable activation entropy but unfavorable activation enthalpy. The entropy-driven mechanism of the E3 is consistent with the lack of structural conservation among E3s despite their similar functions. This study also illustrates how proteins that bind both SUMO and E2 can function as E3s and how intrinsically unstructured proteins can enhance macromolecular chemistry in addition to their known advantages in protein-protein interactions.
ubiquitin; SUMO; E3 ligase; allosteric effect; solvent effect; intrinsically disordered proteins
Gastroenteropancreatic (GEP) neuroendocrine neoplasms (NENs) are increasing in both incidence and prevalence. A delay in correct diagnosis is common for these lesions. This reflects the absence of specific blood biomarkers to detect NENs. Measurement of the neuroendocrine secretory peptide Chromogranin A (CgA) is used, but is a single value, is non-specific and assay data are highly variable. To facilitate tumor detection, we developed a multi-transcript molecular signature for PCR-based blood analysis. NEN transcripts were identified by computational analysis of 3 microarray datasets: NEN tissue (n = 15), NEN peripheral blood (n = 7), and adenocarcinoma (n = 363 tumors). The candidate gene signature was examined in 130 blood samples (NENs: n = 63) and validated in two independent sets (Set 1 [n = 115, NENs: n = 72]; Set 2 [n = 120, NENs: n = 58]). Comparison with CgA (ELISA) was undertaken in 176 samples (NENs: n = 81). 51 significantly elevated transcript markers were identified. Gene-based classifiers detected NENs in independent sets with high sensitivity (85–98%), specificity (93–97%), PPV (95–96%) and NPV (87–98%). The AUC for the NEN gene-based classifiers was 0.95–0.98 compared to 0.64 for CgA (Z-statistic 6.97–11.42, p<0.0001). Overall, the gene-based classifier was significantly (χ2 = 12.3, p<0.0005) more accurate than CgA. In a sub-analysis, pancreatic NENs and gastrointestinal NENs could be identified with similar efficacy (79–88% sensitivity, 94% specificity), as could metastases (85%). In patients with low CgA, 91% exhibited elevated transcript markers. A panel of 51 marker genes differentiates NENs from controls with a high PPV and NPV (>90%), identifies pancreatic and gastrointestinal NENs with similar efficacy, and confirms GEP-NENs when CgA levels are low. The panel is significantly more accurate than the CgA assay. This reflects its utility to identify multiple diverse biological components of NENs. Application of this sensitive and specific PCR-based blood test to NENs will allow accurate detection of disease, and potentially define disease progress enabling monitoring of treatment efficacy.
The mythological story of the Golden Fleece symbolizes the magical regenerative power of skin appendages. Similar to the adventurous pursuit of the Golden Fleece by the multi-talented Argonauts, today we also need an integrated multi-disciplined approach to understand the cellular and molecular processes during development, regeneration and evolution of skin appendages. To this end, we have explored several aspects of skin appendage biology that contribute to the Turing activator / inhibitor model in feather pattern formation, the topo-biological arrangement of stem cells in organ shape determination, the macro-environmental regulation of stem cells in regenerative hair waves, and potential novel molecular pathways in the morphological evolution of feathers. Here we show our current integrative biology efforts to unravel the complex cellular behavior in patterning stem cells and the control of regional specificity in skin appendages. We use feather / scale tissue recombination to demonstrate the timing control of competence and inducibility. Feathers from different body regions are used to study skin regional specificity. Bioinformatic analyses of transcriptome microarrays show the potential involvement of candidate molecular pathways. We further show Hox genes exhibit some region specific expression patterns. To visualize real time events, we applied time-lapse movies, confocal microscopy and multiphoton microscopy to analyze the morphogenesis of cultured embryonic chicken skin explants. These modern imaging technologies reveal unexpectedly complex cellular flow and organization of extracellular matrix molecules in three dimensions. While these approaches are in preliminary stages, this perspective highlights the challenges we face and new integrative tools we will use. Future work will follow these leads to develop a systems biology view and understanding in the morphogenetic principles that govern the development and regeneration of ectodermal organs.
feathers; hairs; systems biology; stem cells; regeneration; microarray analyses; imaging; multiphoton microscopy; regional specificity
Although embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived hepatocytes have the capacity for liver engraftment and repopulation, their in vivo hepatic function has not been analyzed yet. We aimed to determine the metabolic function and therapeutic action of ES cell-derived hepatocytes after serial liver repopulations in fumaryl acetoacetate hydrolase knockout (Fah−/−) mice. Albumin expressing (Alb+) cells were obtained by hepatic differentiation of ES cells using two frequently reported methods. After transplantation, variable levels of liver repopulation were found in Fah−/− mice recipients. FAH expressing (FAH+) hepatocytes were found either as single cells or as nodules with multiple hepatocytes. After serial transplantation, the proportion of the liver that was repopulated by the re-transplanted FAH+ hepatocytes increased significantly. ES cell-derived FAH+ hepatocytes were found in homogenous nodules and corrected the liver metabolic disorder of Fah−/− recipients and rescued them from death. ES cell-derived hepatocytes had normal karyotype, hepatocytic morphology and metabolic function both in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, ES cell-derived hepatocytes were capable of liver repopulation and correction of metabolic defects after serial transplantation. Our results are an important piece of evidence to support future clinical applications of ES cell-derived hepatocytes in treating liver diseases.
Embryonic stem cell; Hepatocyte; Metabolic function; Liver repopulation; Cell transplantation
The alternating magnetic field was discovered to be capable of inducing the fibrous aggregation of magnetic nanoparticles. However, this anisotropic aggregation may be unfavorable for practical applications. Here, we reported that the adsorption of BSA (bovine serum albumin) on the surfaces of magnetic nanoparticles can effectively make the fibrous aggregation of γ-Fe2O3 nanoparticles turn into a more isotropic aggregation in the presence of the alternating magnetic field. Also, the heating curves with and without BSA adsorption under different pH conditions were measured to show the influence of the colloidal aggregation states on the collective calorific behavior of magnetic nanoparticles.
alternating magnetic field; colloidal assembly; biomolecule; bioelectronics
Cadmium (Cd) is a reproductive toxicant that induces germ cell apoptosis in the testes. Previous studies have demonstrated that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is involved in Cd-induced germ cell apoptosis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), an antioxidant, on Cd-induced ER stress and germ cell apoptosis in the testes. Male CD-1 mice were intraperitoneally injected with CdCl2 (2.0 mg kg−1). As expected, acute Cd exposure induced germ cell apoptosis in the testes, as determined by terminal dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL). However, the administration of NAC alleviated Cd-induced germ cell apoptosis in the testes. Further analysis showed that NAC attenuated the Cd-induced upregulation of testicular glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), an important ER molecular chaperone. Moreover, NAC inhibited the Cd-induced phosphorylation of testicular eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2α (eIF2α), a downstream target of the double-stranded RNA-activated kinase-like ER kinase (PERK) pathway. In addition, NAC blocked the Cd-induced activation of testicular X binding protein (XBP)-1, indicating that NAC attenuates the Cd-induced ER stress and the unfolded protein response (UPR). Interestingly, NAC almost completely prevented the Cd-induced elevation of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) and phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), two components of the ER stress-mediated apoptotic pathway. In conclusion, NAC protects against Cd-induced germ cell apoptosis by inhibiting endoplasmic reticulum stress in the testes.
antioxidant; apoptosis; cadmium; endoplasmic reticulum stress; N-acetylcysteine (NAC); testis; unfolded protein response
We conducted a three-stage genetic study to identify susceptibility loci for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in East Asian populations. The first stage meta-analysis of eight T2D genome-wide association studies (6,952 cases and 11,865 controls) was followed by a second stage in silico replication analysis (5,843 cases and 4,574 controls) and a stage 3 de novo replication analysis (12,284 cases and 13,172 controls). The combined analysis identified eight new T2D loci reaching genome-wide significance, which were mapped in or near GLIS3, PEPD, FITM2-R3HDML-HNF4A, KCNK16, MAEA, GCC1-PAX4, PSMD6 and ZFAND3. GLIS3, involved in pancreatic beta cell development and insulin gene expression1,2, is known for its association with fasting glucose levels3,4. The evidence of T2D association for PEPD5 and HNF4A6,7 has been detected in previous studies. KCNK16 may regulate glucose-dependent insulin secretion in the pancreas. These findings derived from East Asians provide new perspectives on the etiology of T2D.
QiShenYiQi Pills (QSYQ) is a compound Chinese medicine used for treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The present study investigated the effects of QSYQ on the Doxorubicin- (DOX-) induced disorders in rat cardiac structure and function and the possible mechanism underlying. A total of 24 male Sprague-Dawley rats were administrated by intraperitoneal injections with DOX at a dose of 2.5 mg/kg, once every day for a total of 6 times. After the 6th injection, the rats were evaluated by echocardiographic analysis, and the animals with injured heart (n = 14) were divided into 2 groups and further treated with (n = 7) or without (n = 7) QSYQ by gavage at a dose of 0.2 g/day, once a day, over the next 2 weeks. Two weeks after QSYQ treatment, the following variables were assessed: myocardial blood flow (MBF) by Laser-Doppler Perfusion Imager, the ratio of heart weight to body weight (HW/BW), myocardial histology, myocardial content of ATP, AMP, free fatty acids (FFAs) and AMP/ATP by ELISA, and expression of PPARα, PGC-1α, and ATP 5D by Western blot. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA followed by Turkey test for multiple comparisons. DOX challenge significantly increased left ventricular internal diameter and HW/BW and decreased the thickness of the left ventricular posterior wall, the left ventricle ejection fraction, and the left ventricle fractional shortening. DOX also increased AMP, FFA, and AMP/ATP, decreased ATP, and downregulated the protein content of ATP 5D, PPAR α, and PGC-1 α. All these DOX-induced cardiac insults were attenuated significantly by QSYQ treatment. These results show the potential of QSYQ to ameliorate DOX-induced disorders in cardiac structure and function; this effect may be related to the increase in myocardial ATP content via the upregulation of ATP 5D, PPAR α, and PGC-1 α and the oxidation of FFA.
More than 70% of patients with depression who see their doctors experience insomnia. Insomnia treatment is a very important link for depression treatment. Furthermore, antidepression treatment is also important for depression insomnia. In acupuncture, LU-7 (Lie Que) and KID-6 (Zhao Hai), which are two of the eight confluence points in meridian theory, are used as main points. An embedded needle technique is used, alternately, at two groups of points to consolidate the treatment effect. These two groups of points are BL-15 (Xin Shu) with BL-23 (Shen Shu) and BL-19 (Dan Shu) with N-HN-54 (An Mian). The effectiveness of these optimized acupuncture formulas is well proven in the practice by our senior acupuncturists in Guangdong Provincial Hospital of TCM. This study has been designed to examine whether this set of optimized clinical formulas is able to increase the clinical efficacy of depression insomnia treatment.
In this randomized controlled multicenter trial, all the eligible participants are diagnosed with depression insomnia. All participants are randomly assigned to one of two groups in a ratio of 1:1 and receive either conventional acupuncture treatment or optimized acupuncture treatment. Patients are evaluated using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index(PSQI)and the Hamilton rating scale(HAMD) for depression. The use of antidepression and hypnotics drugs is also considered. Results are obtained at the start of treatment, 1 and 2 months after treatment has begun, and at the end of treatment. The entire duration of the study will be approximately 36 months.
A high quality of trial methodologies is utilized in the study, and the results may provide better evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture as a treatment for depression insomnia. The optimized acupuncture formula has potential benefits in increasing the efficacy of treating depression insomnia.
The trial was registered in Chinese Clinical Trial Register (ChiCR-TRC-00000481) on 12 August 2009.
Objective: Progenitor cell-based cardiomyocyte regeneration holds great promise of repairing an injured heart. Although cardiomyogenic differentiation has been reported for a variety of progenitor cell types, the biological factors that regulate effective cardiomyogenesis remain largely undefined. Primary cardiomyogenic progenitors (CPs) have a limited life span in culture, hampering the CPs' in vitro and in vivo studies. The objective of this study is to investigate if primary CPs isolated from fetal mouse heart can be reversibly immortalized with SV40 large T and maintain long-term cell proliferation without compromising cardiomyogenic differentiation potential.
Methods: Primary cardiomyocytes were isolated from mouse E15.5 fetal heart, and immortalized retrovirally with the expression of SV40 large T antigen flanked with loxP sites. Expression of cardiomyogenic markers were determined by quantitative RT-PCR and immunofluorescence staining. The immortalization phenotype was reversed by using an adenovirus-mediated expression of the Cre reconbinase. Cardiomyogenic differentiation induced by retinoids or dexamethasone was assessed by an α-myosin heavy chain (MyHC) promoter-driven reporter.
Results: We demonstrate that the CPs derived from mouse E15.5 fetal heart can be efficiently immortalized by SV40 T antigen. The conditionally immortalized CPs (iCP15 clones) exhibit an increased proliferative activity and are able to maintain long-term proliferation, which can be reversed by Cre recombinase. The iCP15 cells express cardiomyogenic markers and retain differentiation potential as they can undergo terminal differentiate into cardiomyctes under appropriate differentiation conditions although the iCP15 clones represent a large repertoire of CPs at various differentiation stages. The removal of SV40 large T increases the iCPs' differentiation potential. Thus, the iCPs not only maintain long-term cell proliferative activity but also retain cardiomyogenic differentiation potential.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that the reported reversible SV40 T antigen-mediated immortalization represents an efficient approach for establishing long-term culture of primary cardiomyogenic progenitors for basic and translational research.
Cardiomyogenic progenitors; cardiomyogenic differentiation; cardiomyogenesis; cardiovascular disorders; heart progenitor cells; immortalization
External guide sequences (EGSs) represent a new class of RNA-based gene-targeting agents, consist of a sequence complementary to a target mRNA, and render the target RNA susceptible to degradation by ribonuclease P (RNase P). In this study, EGSs were constructed to target the mRNA encoding human CC-chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5), one of the primary coreceptors for HIV. An EGS RNA, C1, efficiently directed human RNase P to cleave the CCR5 mRNA sequence in vitro. A reduction of about 70% in the expression level of both CCR5 mRNA and protein and an inhibition of more than 50-fold in HIV (R5 strain Ba-L) p24 production were observed in cells that expressed C1. In comparison, a reduction of about 10% in the expression of CCR5 and viral growth was found in cells that either did not express the EGS or produced a “disabled” EGS which carried nucleotide mutations that precluded RNase P recognition. Furthermore, the same C1-expressing cells that were protected from R5 strain Ba-L retained susceptibility to X4 strain IIIB, which uses CXCR4 as the coreceptor instead of CCR5, suggesting that the RNase P-mediated cleavage induced by the EGS is specific for the target CCR5 but not the closely related CXCR4. Our results provide direct evidence that EGS RNAs against CCR5 are effective and specific in blocking HIV infection and growth. These results also demonstrate the feasibility to develop highly effective EGSs for anti-HIV therapy.
Using an in vitro selection procedure, we have previously isolated RNase P ribozyme variants that efficiently cleave an mRNA sequence in vitro. In this study, a variant was used to target the HIV RNA sequence in the tat region. The variant cleaved the tat RNA sequence in vitro about 20 times more efficiently than the wild type ribozyme. Our results provide the first direct evidence that combined mutations at nucleotide 83 and 340 of RNase P catalytic RNA from Escherichia coli (G83 -> U83 and G340 -> A340) increase the overall efficiency of the ribozyme in cleaving an HIV RNA sequence. Moreover, the variant is more effective in reducing HIV-1 p24 expression and intracellular viral RNA level in cells than the wild type ribozyme. A reduction of about 90% in viral RNA level and a reduction of 150 fold in viral growth were observed in cells that expressed the variant, while a reduction of less than 10% was observed in cells that either did not express the ribozyme or produced a catalytically inactive ribozyme mutant. Thus, engineered ribozyme variants are effective in inhibiting HIV infection. These results also demonstrate the potential of engineering RNase P ribozymes for anti-HIV application.