Regulation of genes that initiate and amplify inflammatory programs of gene expression is achieved by signal-dependent exchange of co-regulator complexes that function to read, write and erase specific histone modifications linked to transcriptional activation or repression. Here, we provide evidence for the role of trimethylated histone H4 lysine 20 (H4K20me3) as a repression checkpoint that restricts expression of toll like receptor 4 (TLR4) target genes in macrophages. H4K20me3 is deposited at the promoters of a subset of these genes by the SMYD5 histone methyltransferase through its association with NCoR corepressor complexes. Signal-dependent erasure of H4K20me3 is required for effective gene activation and is achieved by NF-κB-dependent delivery of the histone demethylase PHF2. Liver X receptors antagonize TLR4-dependent gene activation by maintaining NCoR/SMYD5-mediated repression. These findings reveal a histone H4K20 tri-methylation/de-methylation strategy that integrates positive and negative signaling inputs that control immunity and homeostasis.
The Src homology 2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP-2) has been reported to have both tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressing roles in tumorigenesis. However, the role of SHP-2 in tumor immunity remains unclear. Here we observed progressively lower levels of phosphorylated SHP-2 in tumor-associated CD4+ T cells during melanoma development in a murine model. Similarly, the levels of phosphorylated SHP-2 in the CD4+ T cells of human melanoma specimens revealed a decrease paralleling cancer development. The CD4+ T cell-specific deletion of SHP-2 promoted melanoma metastasis in mice. Furthermore, SHP-2 deficiency in CD4+ T cells resulted in the increased release of inflammatory cytokines, especially IL-6, and the enhanced accumulation of tumor-promoting myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in tumor-bearing mice. An IL-6-neutralizing antibody reduced MDSC accumulation and inhibited tumor growth in CD4+ T-cell-specific SHP-2-knockout mice. Our results suggest that SHP-2 in CD4+ T cells plays an important role in preventing melanoma progression and metastasis.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are highly efficient, specialized antigen-presenting cells and DCs transfected with tumor-related antigens are regarded as promising vaccines in cancer immunotherapy. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether DCs co-transfected with the α-fetoprotein (AFP) and human interleukin-2 (IL-2) genes were able to induce stronger therapeutic antitumor immunity in transfected DCs. In this study, DCs from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients were co-transfected with the IL-2 gene and/or the AFP gene. The reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) data revealed that the DCs transfected with the adenovirus AdAFP/IL-2 expressed AFP and IL-2. The DCs co-transfected with IL-2 and AFP (AFP/IL-2-DCs) enhanced the cytotoxicities of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and increased the production of IL-2 and interferon-γ significantly compared with their AFP-DC, green fluorescent protein (GFP)-DC, DC or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) counterparts. In vivo data suggested that immunization with AFP-DCs enhances antigen-specific antitumor efficacy more potently than immunization with IL-2-DCs or AFP-DCs. These findings provide a potential strategy to improve the efficacy of DC-based tumor vaccines.
dendritic cells; cytotoxic T lymphocytes; immunotherapy; α-fetoprotein; IL-2
Recent studies have identified Rhesus proteins as important molecules for ammonia transport in acid-secreting intercalated cells in the distal nephron. Here, we provide evidence for an additional molecule that can mediate NH3/NH4 excretion, the subtype 2 of the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel family (HCN2), in collecting ducts in rat renal cortex and medulla. Chronic metabolic acidosis in rats did not alter HCN2 protein expression but downregulated the relative abundance of HCN2 mRNA. Its cDNA was identical to the homolog from the brain and the protein was post-translationally modified by N-type glycosylation. Electrophysiological recordings in Xenopus oocytes injected with HCN2 cRNA found that potassium was transported better than ammonium, each of which was transported significantly better than sodium, criteria that are compatible with a role for HCN2 in ammonium transport. In microperfused rat outer medullary collecting duct segments, the initial rate of acidification, upon exposure to a basolateral ammonium chloride pulse, was higher in intercalated than in principal cells. A specific inhibitor of HCN2 (ZD7288) decreased acidification only in intercalated cells from control rats. In rats with chronic metabolic acidosis, the rate of acidification doubled in both intercalated and principal cells; however, ZD7288 had no significant inhibitory effect. Thus, HCN2 is a basolateral ammonium transport pathway of intercalated cells and may contribute to the renal regulation of body pH under basal conditions.
acid-base homeostasis; ammonium; collecting duct; hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel; intercalated cell
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is an increasingly popular technique for examining neurobiology in rodents because it is both noninvasive and nondestructive. MRI scans can be acquired from either live or post mortem specimens. In vivo scans have a key advantage in that subjects can be scanned at multiple time-points in longitudinal studies. However, repeated exposure to anesthesia and stress may confound studies. In contrast, post mortem scans offer improved image quality and increased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) due to several key advantages: First, the images are not disrupted by motion and pulsation artifacts. Second, they allow the brain tissue to be perfused with contrast agents, enhancing tissue contrast. Third, they allow longer image acquisition times, yielding higher resolution and/or improved SNR. Fourth, they allow assessment of groups of animals at the same age without scheduling complications. Despite these advantages, researchers are often skeptical of post mortem MRI scans because of uncertainty about whether the fixation process alters the MRI measurements. To address these concerns, we present a thorough comparative study of in vivo and post mortem MRI scans in healthy male Wistar rats at three age points throughout adolescence (postnatal days 28 through 80). For each subject, an in vivo scan was acquired, followed by perfusion and two post mortem scans at two different MRI facilities. The goal was to assess robustness of measurements, to detect any changes in volumetric measurements after fixation, and to investigate any differential bias that may exist between image acquisition techniques. We present this volumetric analysis for comparison of 22 anatomical structures between in vivo and post mortem scans. No significant changes in volumetric measurements were detected; however, as hypothesized, the image quality is dramatically improved in post mortem scans. These findings illustrate the validity and utility of using post mortem scans in volumetric neurobiological studies.
Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) have been associated with the exacerbation of asthma; however, the immunological basis for the adjuvant effects of AgNPs is not well understood.
The aim of the study reported here was to investigate the allergic effects of AgNP inhalation using proteomic approaches.
Allergen provoked mice were exposed to 33 nm AgNPs at 3.3 mg/m3. Following this, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and plasma were collected to determine protein profiles.
In total, 106 and 79 AgNP-unique proteins were identified in the BALF of control and allergic mice, respectively. Additionally, 40 and 26 AgNP-unique proteins were found in the plasma of control and allergic mice, respectively. The BALF and plasma protein profiles suggested that metabolic, cellular, and immune system processes were associated with pulmonary exposure to AgNPs. In addition, we observed 18 proteins associated with systemic lupus erythematosus that were commonly expressed in both control and allergic mice after AgNP exposure. Significant allergy responses were observed after AgNP exposure in control and allergic mice, as determined by ovalbumin-specific immunoglobulin E.
Inhaled AgNPs may regulate immune responses in the lungs of both control and allergic mice. Our results suggest that immunology is a vital response to AgNPs.
bronchoalveolar lavage; immunotoxicology; proteome; systemic lupus erythematosus; serum
Ridaforolimus (AP23573, MK-8669 or deforolimus) is an inhibitor of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), an important regulator in the cell survival pathway. This open-label, single center phase I study aimed to investigate the pharmacokinetic (PK) and safety profiles of ridaforolimus in Chinese patients with treatment-refractory advanced or relapsed solid tumors. The PK data generated from these Chinese patients were further compared with those previously reported in Caucasian and Japanese patient populations.
The patients were given an oral dose of 40 mg of ridaforolimus on Day 1 of the study. On Day 8, patients were initiated on a treatment regimen that comprised a once daily dose of 40 mg of ridaforolimus for five consecutive days, followed by a 2-day off-drug interval. Patients repeated this regimen until disease progression or intolerance. Blood samples were collected at specific times pre- and post-treatment to establish the PK profile of ridaforolimus in all patients.
Fifteen patients were given at least one dose of 40 mg of ridaforolimus. The median absorption lag-time was 2 hours, the median Tmax was 4 hours and the mean elimination half-life was 53 hours. The accumulation ratio for AUC0-24hr was 1.3 on day 19 (steady state)/day 1 (after a single dose). The most common drug-related adverse events (AEs) that occurred in ≥40% of patients were stomatitis, proteinuria, leukopenia, hyperglycemia, and pyrexia. Grade 3/4 drug-related AEs were anemia, stomatitis, fatigue, thrombocytopenia, constipation, gamma glutamyltransferase increase, and proteinuria. All 11 evaluable patients achieved stable disease.
Oral ridaforolimus at a daily dose of 40 mg were generally well tolerated in Chinese patients with advanced or refractory solid tumors. Adverse events and PK profiles of ridaforolimus in this study were similar to those from Caucasian and Japanese patients reported previously.
MTOR inhibitor; Phase I study; Pharmacokinetic analysis; Adverse event
Aspirin, a major anti-platelet and cancer preventing drug, irreversibly blocks the cyclooxygenase activity of prostaglandin H synthase-1 (PGHS-1). Considerable differences in aspirin effectiveness are observed between individuals, and some of this variability may be due to PGHS-1 protein variants. Our overall aim is to determine which, if any, of the known variants in the mature PGHS-1 protein lead to functional alterations in cyclooxygenase catalysis or inhibition by aspirin. The present study targeted four PGHS-1 variants: R53H, R108Q, L237M and V481I.
Wildtype human PGHS-1 and the four polymorphic variants were expressed as histidine-tagged, homodimeric proteins in insect cells using baculovirus vectors, solubilized with detergent, and purified by affinity chromatography. The purified proteins were characterized in vitro to evaluate cyclooxygenase and peroxidase catalytic parameters and the kinetics of cyclooxygenase inhibition by aspirin and NS-398.
Compared to wildtype, several variants exhibited a higher COX/POX ratio (up to 1.5-fold, for R108Q), an elevated arachidonate Km (up to 1.9-fold, for R108Q), and/or a lower aspirin reactivity (up to 60% less, for R108Q). The decreased aspirin reactivity in R108Q reflected both a 70% increase in the Ki for aspirin and a 30% decrease in the rate constant for acetyl group transfer to the protein. Computational modeling of the brief aspirin pulses experienced by PGHS-1 in circulating platelets during daily aspirin dosing predicted that the 60% lower aspirin reactivity in R108Q gives a 15-fold increase in surviving cyclooxygenase activity; smaller, ~2-fold increases in surviving cyclooxygenase activity were predicted for L237M and V481I. NS-398 competitively inhibited cyclooxygenase catalysis of the wildtype (Ki = 6 μM) and inhibited cyclooxygenase inactivation by 1.0 mM aspirin in both wildtype (IC50 = 0.8 μM) and R108Q (IC50 = 2.1 μM).
Of the four PGHS-1 variants examined, R108Q has the largest functional effects, with evidence for impaired interactions with cyclooxygenase substrate and inhibitors. As Arg108 is located on the protein surface and not in the active site, the effects of R108Q suggest a novel, unsuspected mechanism for modulation of the PGHS-1 active site structure. The lower intrinsic aspirin reactivity of R108Q, V481I and L237M, combined with the rapid hydrolysis of aspirin in the blood, suggests that these variants decrease the anti-platelet effectiveness of the drug. These PGHS-1 variants are uncommon but aspirin is very widely used, so a considerable number of individuals could b e affected. Further examination of these and other PGHS-1 variants will be needed to determine whether PGHS-1 genotyping can be used to personalize anti-cyclooxygenase therapy.
prostaglandin H synthase-1; polymorphisms; cyclooxygenase; aspirin
Degradation of terephthalate (TA) through microbial syntrophy under moderately thermophilic (46 to 50°C) methanogenic conditions was characterized by using a metagenomic approach (A. Lykidis et al., ISME J. 5:122–130, 2011). To further study the activities of key microorganisms responsible for the TA degradation, community analysis and shotgun proteomics were used. The results of hierarchical oligonucleotide primer extension analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes indicated that Pelotomaculum, Methanosaeta, and Methanolinea were predominant in the TA-degrading biofilms. Metaproteomic analysis identified a total of 482 proteins and revealed a distinctive distribution pattern of microbial functions expressed in situ. The results confirmed that TA was degraded by Pelotomaculum spp. via the proposed decarboxylation and benzoyl-coenzyme A-dependent pathway. The intermediate by-products, including acetate, H2/CO2, and butyrate, were produced to support the growth of methanogens, as well as other microbial populations that could further degrade butyrate. Proteins related to energy production and conservation, and signal transduction mechanisms (that is, chemotaxis, PAS/GGDEF regulators, and stress proteins) were highly expressed, and these mechanisms were important for growth in energy-limited syntrophic ecosystems.
Ischemic stroke (IS) is a prevalent disease causing a body disability, the third leading cause of death in Taiwan. It shows that the level of intercellular adhesion molecular-1 (ICAM-1) in IS patients is higher than control subjects.
This study is to investigate the possible association of ICAM-1 (G1548A) polymorphism in IS patients.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 646 subjects were enrolled in this study, including 312 IS patients, and 334 controls without a history of symptomatic IS. The ICAM-1 (G1548A) polymorphism was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction and restriction fragment length polymorphism. Clinical factors were also determined.
The frequencies of the ICAM-1 (G1548A) polymorphism for G/G, G/A, and A/A were 74.8%, 23.9%, and 0.3%, respectively, in healthy controls, and 62.8%, 32.1%, and 5.1%, respectively, in patients. The frequency of the ICAM-1 (G1548A) A allele (21.2% versus 13.2%, respectively; P = 0.007) and the carriers of the ICAM-1 (G1548A) A allele (37.2% versus 25.2%; P = 0.019, OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.1-2.83) are great in IS patients compared with healthy controls. There is a higher risk of IS associated with homozygosity for the ICAM-1 (G1548A) A allele (AA genotype) compared with the control population (5.1% vs. 0.3%, respectively, P = 0.04; OR 5.1, 95% CI 1.19-21.66). We also observed both hypertension and diabetes has shown a positive association with IS.
The ICAM-1 (G1548A) polymorphism was associated with independent risk factor for the development of IS.
Allele; intercellular adhesion molecular-1; ischemic stroke; polymorphism
the bone marrow and the intestine are the major sites of ionizing radiation (IR)-induced injury. Our previous study demonstrated that CpG-oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) treatment mitigated IR-induced bone marrow injury, but its effect on the intestine is not known. In this study, we sought to determine if CpG-ODN have protective effect on IR-induced intestine injury, and if so, to determine the mechanism of its effect.
Methods and Findings
Mice were treated with CpG-ODN after IR. The body weight and survival were daily monitored for 30 days consecutively after exposure. The number of surviving intestinal crypt was assessed by the microcolony survival assay. The number and the distribution of proliferating cell in crypt were evaluated by TUNEL assay and BrdU assay. The expression of Bcl-2, Bax and caspase-3 in crypt were analyzed by Immunohistochemistry assay. The findings showed that the treatment for irradiated mice with CpG-ODN diminished body weight loss, improved 30 days survival, enhanced intestinal crypts survival and maintained proliferating cell population and regeneration in crypt. The reason might involve that CpG-ODN up-regulated the expression of Bcl-2 protein and down-regulated the expression of Bax protein and caspase-3 protein.
CpG-ODN was effective in protection of IR-induced intestine injury by enhancing intestinal crypts survival and maintaining proliferating cell population and regeneration in crypt. The mechanism might be that CpG-ODN inhibits proliferating cell apoptosis through regulating the expression of apoptosis-related protein, such as Bax, Bcl-2 and caspase-3.
The feasibility of a real-time electrocardiogram (ECG) transmission via satellite phone from Mount Everest to determine a climber’s suitability for continued ascent was examined. Four Taiwanese climbers were enrolled in the 2009 Mount Everest summit program. Physiological measurements were taken at base camp (5300 m), camp 2 (6400 m), camp 3 (7100 m), and camp 4 (7950 m) 1 hour after arrival and following a 10 minute rest period. A total of 3 out of 4 climbers were able to summit Mount Everest successfully. Overall, ECG and global positioning system (GPS) coordinates of climbers were transmitted in real-time via satellite phone successfully from base camp, camp 2, camp 3, and camp 4. At each camp, Resting Heart Rate (RHR) was transmitted and recorded: base camp (54–113 bpm), camp 2 (94–130 bpm), camp 3 (98–115 bpm), and camp 4 (93–111 bpm). Real-time ECG and GPS coordinate transmission via satellite phone is feasible for climbers on Mount Everest. Real-time RHR data can be used to evaluate a climber’s physiological capacity to continue an ascent and to summit.
Exercise limitation is an important issue in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and it often co-exists with obstructive sleep apnoea (overlap syndrome). This study examined the effects of nocturnal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment on walking capacity in COPD patients with or without obstructive sleep apnoea.
Forty-four stable moderate-to-severe COPD patients were recruited and completed this study. They all underwent polysomnography, CPAP titration, accommodation, and treatment with adequate pressure. The incremental shuttle walking test was used to measure walking capacity at baseline and after two nights of CPAP treatment. Urinary catecholamine and heart rate variability were measured before and after CPAP treatment.
After two nights of CPAP treatment, the apnoea-hypopnoea index and oxygen desaturation index significantly improved in both overlap syndrome and COPD patients, however these changes were significantly greater in the overlap syndrome than in the COPD group. Sleep architecture and autonomic dysfunction significantly improved in the overlap syndrome group but not in the COPD group. CPAP treatment was associated with an increased walking capacity from baseline from 226.4 ± 95.3 m to 288.6 ± 94.6 m (P < 0.05), and decreased urinary catecholamine levels, pre-exercise heart rate, oxygenation, and Borg scale in the overlap syndrome group. An improvement in the apnoea-hypopnoea index was an independent factor associated with the increase in walking distance (r = 0.564).
Nocturnal CPAP may improve walking capacity in COPD patients with overlap syndrome.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Obstructive sleep apnoea; Walking capacity; Autonomic dysfunction; Continuous positive airway pressure
Enterobacter cloacae, a common pathogenic bacterium, is a Gram-negative bacillus. We analyzed the draft genome of Enterobacter cloacae subsp. cloacae strain 08XA1 from the feces of a giant panda in China. Genes encoding a β-lactamase and efflux pumps, as well as other factors, have been found in the genome.
We studied the allelic frequency distributions and statistical forensic parameters of 21 new short tandem repeat (STR) loci and the amelogenin locus, which are not included in the combined DNA index system (CODIS), in a Russian ethnic minority group from the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. A total of 114 bloodstain samples from unrelated individuals were extracted and co-amplified with four fluorescence-labeled primers in a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system. Using capillary electrophoresis, the PCR products of the 21 STR loci were separated and genotyped. A total of 161 alleles were observed in the Russian ethnic minority group, and corresponding allelic frequencies ranged from 0.0044 to 0.5965. The 21 non-CODIS STR loci of the Russian ethnic minority group were characterized by high genetic diversity and therefore may be useful for elucidating the population’s genetic background, for individual identification, and for paternity testing in forensic practice.
Short tandem repeat (STR); Russian population; Genetic polymorphisms
A lower responsiveness to leukotriene D4 (LTD4) or higher LTD4/[methacholine (MCh)] potency ratio might suggest preferable outcomes of short-term montelukast monotherapy in terms of airway inflammation and lung function in asthmatic patients.
Asthma; leukotriene D4 (LTD4); leukotriene-responsive; leukotriene-unresponsive; methacholine (MCh); montelukast
Over expressing in PTPN1 (encoding Protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B, PTP1B), a protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTP) that plays an overall positive role in insulin signaling, is linked to the pathogenesis of diabetes and obesity. The relationship between PTP1B and human diseases exhibits PTP1B as the target to treat these diseases. In this article, small weight molecules of the imidazolidine series were screened from databases and optimized on silicon as the inhibitors of PTP1B based on the steric conformation and electronic configuration of thiazolidinedione (TZD) compounds. The top three candidates were tested using an in vitro biological assay after synthesis. Finally, we report a novel inhibitor, Compound 13, that specifically inhibits PTP1B over the closely related phosphatase Src homology 2 (SH2) domain-containing phosphatase 2 (SHP-2) at 80 μM. Its IC50 values are reported in this paper as well. This compound was further verified by computer analysis for its ability to combine the catalytic domains of PTP1B and SHP-2 by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations.
PTP1B; SHP-2; synthesis; imidazolidine; activity; molecular dynamics
Reducing hyperpigmentation has been a big issue for years. Even though pigmentation is a normal mechanism protecting skin from UV-causing DNA damage and oxidative stress, it is still an aesthetic problem for many people. Bacteria can produce some compounds in response to their environment. These compounds are widely used in cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications. Some probiotics have immunomodulatory activities and modulate the symptoms of several diseases. Previously, we found that the extracts of Rhodobacter sphaeroides (Lycogen™) inhibited nitric oxide production and inducible nitric-oxide synthase expression in activated macrophages. In this study, we sought to investigate an anti-melanogenic signaling pathway in α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH)-treated B16F10 melanoma cells and zebrafish. Treatment with Lycogen™ inhibited the cellular melanin contents and expression of melanogenesis-related protein, including microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and tyrosinase in B16F10 cells. Moreover, Lycogen™ reduced phosphorylation of MEK/ERK without affecting phosphorylation of p38. Meanwhile, Lycogen™ decreased zebrafish melanin expression in a dose-dependent manner. These findings establish Lycogen™ as a new target in melanogenesis and suggest a mechanism of action through the ERK signaling pathway. Our results suggested that Lycogen™ may have potential cosmetic usage in the future.
Rhodobacter sphaeroides; Lycogen™; melanogenesis
The First Episode Social Functioning Scale (FESFS) was designed to measure social functioning of young individuals with schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to validate a Chinese version of the FESFS in a sample of young Chinese adults.
The FESFS was translated to Chinese prior to being administered to 1576 college students. The factor structure, reliability, and validity of the scale were examined.
Two items were deleted after item analysis and the internal consistency of the whole scale was .89. A six-factor structure was derived by exploratory factor analysis. The factors were interpersonal, family and friends, school, living skills, intimacy, and balance. Estimates of the structural equation model supported this structure, with Goodness of Fit Chi-Square χ2 = 1097.53 (p<0.0001), the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.058, and the comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.93. Scale validity was supported by significant correlations between social functioning factors scores and schizophrenia personality questionnaire (SPQ) scores. Individuals with schizotypal personality features presented poorer social functioning than those without schizotypal personality features.
The Chinese revised version of the FESFS was found to have good psychometric properties and could be used in the future to examine social functioning in Chinese college students.
Water utilities in parts of the U.S. control microbial regrowth in drinking water distribution systems (DWDS) by alternating postdisinfection methods between chlorination and chloramination. To examine how this strategy influences drinking water microbial communities, an urban DWDS (population ≅ 40,000) with groundwater as the source water was studied for approximately 2 years. Water samples were collected at five locations in the network at different seasons and analyzed for their chemical and physical characteristics and for their microbial community composition and structure by examining the 16S rRNA gene via terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism and DNA pyrosequencing technology. Nonmetric multidimension scaling and canonical correspondence analysis of microbial community profiles could explain >57% of the variation. Clustering of samples based on disinfection types (free chlorine versus combined chlorine) and sampling time was observed to correlate to the shifts in microbial communities. Sampling location and water age (<21.2 h) had no apparent effects on the microbial compositions of samples from most time points. Microbial community analysis revealed that among major core populations, Cyanobacteria, Methylobacteriaceae, Sphingomonadaceae, and Xanthomonadaceae were more abundant in chlorinated water, and Methylophilaceae, Methylococcaceae, and Pseudomonadaceae were more abundant in chloraminated water. No correlation was observed with minor populations that were detected frequently (<0.1% of total pyrosequences), which were likely present in source water and survived through the treatment process. Transient microbial populations including Flavobacteriaceae and Clostridiaceae were also observed. Overall, reversible shifts in microbial communities were especially pronounced with chloramination, suggesting stronger selection of microbial populations from chloramines than chlorine.
miRNA biogenesis enzyme Drosha cleaves double-stranded primary miRNA by interacting with double-stranded RNA binding protein DGCR8 and processes primary miRNA into precursor miRNA to participate in the miRNA biogenesis pathway. The role of Drosha in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) has not been well addressed. We generated Drosha conditional knockout (cKO) mice by crossing VSMC-specific Cre mice, SM22-Cre, with Drosha loxp/loxp mice. Disruption of Drosha in VSMCs resulted in embryonic lethality at E14.5 with severe liver hemorrhage in mutant embryos. No obvious developmental delay was observed in Drosha cKO embryos. The vascular structure was absent in the yolk sac of Drosha homozygotes at E14.5. Loss of Drosha reduced VSMC proliferation in vitro and in vivo. The VSMC differentiation marker genes, including αSMA, SM22, and CNN1, and endothelial cell marker CD31 were significantly downregulated in Drosha cKO mice compared to controls. ERK1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase and the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT were attenuated in VSMCs in vitro and in vivo. Disruption of Drosha in VSMCs of mice leads to the dysregulation of miRNA expression. Using bioinformatics approach, the interactions between dysregulated miRNAs and their target genes were analyzed. Our data demonstrated that Drosha is required for VSMC survival by targeting multiple signaling pathways.
Basigin, which has four isoforms, has been demonstrated to be involved in progression of various human cancers. The aim of this study was to examine the prognostic value of basigin-2 protein expression in epithelial ovarian cancer. Furthermore, the function of basigin-2 in ovarian cancer was further investigated in cell culture models.
Immunohistochemistry staining was performed to investigate basigin-2 expression in a total of 146 ovarian tissue specimens. Kaplan Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards model were applied to assess the relationship between basigin-2 and progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Real-time PCR, RT-PCR and western blot were used to explore basigin-2, basigin-3 and basigin-4 expression in ovarian cancer cell lines and tissues. To evaluate possible contributions of basigin-2 to MMP secretion and cell migration and invasion, the overexpression vectors pcDNA3.1-basigin-2 and basigin-2 siRNA were transfected into HO-8910 and HO-8910 PM cells respectively.
High basigin-2 expression was associated with lymph-vascular space involvement, lymph node metastasis and poor prognosis of epithelial ovarian cancer. Multivariate analyses indicated that basigin-2 positivity was an independent prognostic factor for PFS (P = 0.006) and OS (P = 0.019), respectively. Overexpression of basigin-2 increased the secretion of MMP-2/9 and cancer cell migration and invasion of HO-8910 cells, whereas knockdown of basigin-2 reduced active MMP-2/9 production, migration and invasion of HO-8910 PM cells.
The expression of basigin-2 might be an independent prognostic marker and basigin-2 inhibition would be a potential strategy for epithelial ovarian cancer patients, especially in inhibiting and preventing cancer cell invasion and metastasis.
Ovarian cancer; Basigin-2; Prognosis; Survival; Migration; Invasion
To investigate the potential usage of biological delivery membranes containing mitomycin C (MMC) or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in the construction of glaucoma-filtering blebs, and to evaluate their safety and efficacy.
Chitosan was selected as the biological membrane carrier to prepare sustained-released membranes. Twelve micrograms of 5-FU or MMC was covalently conjugated onto the membranes by solvent volatilization. Rabbits underwent glaucoma filtration surgery and were randomly allocated into one of the four treatment regimens: glaucoma filtration operation with no implantation of chitosan membrane group (as control), drug-free chitosan membrane implantation group (blank/placebo group), membrane containing 5-FU treatment group (5-FU group), and membrane containing MMC treatment group (MMC group). Each group consisted of 12 rabbits. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured and evaluated over a 28-day period follow-up preoperatively, then after surgery on days 1, 3, 5, 7, 14, 21, and 28 by Tono-Pen. The aqueous humor was analyzed in each experimental and control groups at days 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 20 after operation. Bleb survival and anterior segment were examined with a slit lamp microscope and photographed simultaneously. Two rabbits from each group were killed on day 28 and eight eye samples obtained for histopathological study. Corneas and lenses were examined by transmission and scanning electron microscopy.
Both 5-FU and MMC significantly prolonged bleb survival compared with control groups. The filtering bleb’s survival period was significantly more prolonged in the MMC and 5-FU groups (maintained 14 days) than the other two groups (maintained 7 days). Significantly lower IOP was observed within the control, blank, and 5-FU groups after surgery on day 14 compared with that before operation, with F-values of 6.567, 11.426, and 13.467, respectively (P < 0.01). The most significant lower IOP was recorded in the MMC group on day 28 postoperation (F-value 26.866, P < 0.01). No obvious abnormalities were found in cornea or anterior lens capsule 28 days after surgery.
The study provided evidence that 5-FU and MMC biological delivery membranes could significantly improve the outcome of filtering procedures, the survival of the bleb, and maintenance of lower IOP. MMC membrane is superior to 5-FU, with regard to the more effective reduction of IOP. The results indicated a safe and effective treatment strategy in glaucoma surgery.
chitosan; biological delivery; mitomycin C (MMC); 5-fluorouracil (5-FU); glaucoma
The radiation-induced energy metabolism dysfunction related to injury and radiation doses is largely elusive. The purpose of this study is to investigate the early response of energy metabolism in small intestinal tissue and its correlation with pathologic lesion after total body X-ray irradiation (TBI) in Tibet minipigs.
Methods and Results
30 Tibet minipigs were assigned into 6 groups including 5 experimental groups and one control group with 6 animals each group. The minipigs in these experimental groups were subjected to a TBI of 2, 5, 8, 11, and 14 Gy, respectively. Small intestine tissues were collected at 24 h following X-ray exposure and analyzed by histology and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). DNA contents in this tissue were also examined. Irradiation causes pathologic lesions and mitochondrial abnormalities. The Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) content-corrected and uncorrected adenosine-triphosphate (ATP) and total adenine nucleotides (TAN) were significantly reduced in a dose-dependent manner by 2–8 Gy exposure, and no further reduction was observed over 8 Gy.
TBI induced injury is highly dependent on the irradiation dosage in small intestine and inversely correlates with the energy metabolism, with its reduction potentially indicating the severity of injury.
Brain metastasis of breast cancer profoundly affects the cognitive and sensory functions as well as morbidity of patients, and the 1 year survival rate among these patients remains less than 20%. However, the pathological mechanism of brain metastasis is as yet poorly understood. In this report, we found that metastatic breast tumour cells in the brain highly expressed IL-1β which then ‘activated’ surrounding astrocytes. This activation significantly augmented the expression of JAG1 in the astrocytes, and the direct interaction of the reactivated astrocytes and cancer stem-like cells (CSCs) significantly stimulated Notch signalling in CSCs. We also found that the activated Notch signalling in CSCs up-regulated HES5 followed by promoting self-renewal of CSCs. Furthermore, we have shown that the blood-brain barrier permeable Notch inhibitor, Compound E, can significantly suppress the brain metastasis in vivo. These results represent a novel paradigm for the understanding of how metastatic breast CSCs re-establish their niche for their self-renewal in a totally different microenvironment, which opens a new avenue to identify a novel and specific target for the brain metastatic disease.
cancer stem-like cell; IL-1β; metastasis; notch; reactive astrocytes