Minipigs have become important biomedical models for human ailments due to similarities in organ anatomy, physiology, and circadian rhythms relative to humans. The homeostasis of circadian rhythms in both central and peripheral tissues is pivotal for numerous biological processes. Hence, biological rhythm disorders may contribute to the onset of cancers and metabolic disorders including obesity and type II diabetes, amongst others. A tight regulation of circadian clock effectors ensures a rhythmic expression profile of output genes which, depending on cell type, constitute about 3–20% of the transcribed mammalian genome. Central to this system is the negative regulator protein Cryptochrome 1 (CRY1) of which the dysfunction or absence has been linked to the pathogenesis of rhythm disorders. In this study, we generated transgenic Bama-minipigs featuring expression of the Cys414-Ala antimorphic human Cryptochrome 1 mutant (hCRY1AP). Using transgenic donor fibroblasts as nuclear donors, the method of handmade cloning (HMC) was used to produce reconstructed embryos, subsequently transferred to surrogate sows. A total of 23 viable piglets were delivered. All were transgenic and seemingly healthy. However, two pigs with high transgene expression succumbed during the first two months. Molecular analyzes in epidermal fibroblasts demonstrated disturbances to the expression profile of core circadian clock genes and elevated expression of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-α, known to be risk factors in cancer and metabolic disorders.
The interplay between copy number variation (CNV) and differential gene expression may be able to shed light on molecular process underlying breast cancer and lead to the discovery of cancer-related genes. In the current study, genes concurrently identified in array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and gene expression microarrays were used to derive gene signatures for Han Chinese breast cancers.
We performed 23 array CGHs and 81 gene expression microarrays in breast cancer samples from Taiwanese women. Genes with coherent patterns of both CNV and differential gene expression were identified from the 21 samples assayed using both platforms. We used these genes to derive signatures associated with clinical ER and HER2 status and disease-free survival.
Distributions of signature genes were strongly associated with chromosomal location: chromosome 16 for ER and 17 for HER2. A breast cancer risk predictive model was built based on the first supervised principal component from 16 genes (RCAN3, MCOLN2, DENND2D, RWDD3, ZMYM6, CAPZA1, GPR18, WARS2, TRIM45, SCRN1, CSNK1E, HBXIP, CSDE1, MRPL20, IKZF1, and COL20A1), and distinct survival patterns were observed between the high- and low-risk groups from the combined dataset of 408 microarrays. The risk score was significantly higher in breast cancer patients with recurrence, metastasis, or mortality than in relapse-free individuals (0.241 versus 0, P<0.001). The concurrent gene risk predictive model remained discriminative across distinct clinical ER and HER2 statuses in subgroup analysis. Prognostic comparisons with published gene expression signatures showed a better discerning ability of concurrent genes, many of which were rarely identifiable if expression data were pre-selected by phenotype correlations or variability of individual genes.
We conclude that parallel analysis of CGH and microarray data, in conjunction with known gene expression patterns, can be used to identify biomarkers with prognostic values in breast cancer.
In the title Ebselen [systematic name: (2-phenyl-1,2-benzoisoselenazol-3-(2H)-one)] analogue, C14H11NOSe, the benzisoselenazolyl moiety (r.m.s. deviation = 0.0209 Å) is nearly perpendicular to the N-arenyl ring, making a dihedral angle of 78.15 (11)°. In the crystal, molecules are linked by C—H⋯O and Se⋯O interactions into chains along the c-axis direction. The Se⋯O distance [2.733 (3) Å] is longer than that in Ebselen (2.571 (3) Å].
To evaluate the utility of multi-slice computed tomography (MSCT) in assessing acute non-reperfused myocardial infarct size.
Seven domestic pigs (mean weight 17.3 ± 1.9 kg) underwent ligation of the distal left anterior descending artery to establish a model of acute myocardial infarction (MI). MSCT and triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) staining were performed two hours later. The following data were acquired and analyzed: MI volume (%), CT values of the infarcted region, left ventricular cavity and normal cardiac tissue at various scanning time-points (1, 5, 10, 15, 20 min after contrast injection).
Using MSCT, the overall MI volume showed a time-dependent decrease, with a reduction of 28.87% after 20 min. The greatest reduction occurred at the 5 min time-point. In TTC staining, MI volume was 9.87% ± 2.44%. When MI size, as determined by MSCT, was compared with that by TTC staining in Bland-Altman plots, there was a better agreement at 5, 10, and 15 min time-points at 1 and 20 min.
The study indicates that double-phase scanning examination using MSCT is a useful tool to assess MI size, and the optimal late-phase scanning time-point set within 5–15 min of contrast injection.
Multi-slice computed tomography; Acute non-reperfused myocardial infarction; Time-factors; Animal model
A series of diaryl amines, ethers and thioethers were synthesized under microwave irradiation efficiently at presence of KF/Al2O3 in 83%–96% yields without any solvent. The salient characters of this method lie in short reaction time, high yields, general applicability to substrates and simple workup procedure. At the same time, their antifungal biological activities against six phytopathogen were evaluated. Most of the compounds (3b, 3c, 3g–o) are more potent than thiophannate-methyl against to Magnaporthe oryzae. This implies that diaryl amine or ether moiety may be helpful in finding a fungicide against Magnaporthe oryzae.
microwave-assisted organic synthesis; diaryl amine; diaryl ether; KF/Al2O3
The redox-active pyocyanin (PCN) secreted by the respiratory pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) and causes oxidative stress to pulmonary epithelial cells. Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (NRF2) confers protection against ROS-mediated cell death by inducing the expression of detoxifying enzymes and proteins via its binding to the cis-acting antioxidant response element (ARE). However, a clear relationship between NRF2 and PCN-mediated oxidative stress has not been established experimentally. In this study, we investigated the induction of NRF2-ARE response by PCN in the pulmonary epithelial cells. We analyzed the effect of PCN on NRF2 expression and nuclear translocation in cultured human airway epithelial cells, and in a mouse model of chronic PCN exposure. NRF2-dependent transcription of antioxidative enzymes was also assessed. Furthermore, we used inhibitors to examine the involvement of EGFR and its downstream signaling components that mediate NRF2-ARE-activation in response to PCN. PCN enhances the nuclear NRF2 accumulation and activates the transcription of ARE-mediated antioxidant genes. Furthermore, PCN activates NRF2 by inducing the EGFR-phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway and its main downstream effectors, AKT and MEK1/2-ERK1/2 MAP kinases. Inhibition of the EGFR-PI3K signaling markedly attenuates PCN-stimulated NRF2 accumulation in the nucleus. We demonstrate for the first time that PCN-mediated oxidative stress activates the EGFR-PI3K-AKT/MEK1/2-ERK1/2 MAP kinase signaling pathway, leading to nuclear NRF2 translocation and ARE responsiveness in pulmonary epithelial cells.
The rapid growth of cancer cells fueled by glycolysis produces large amounts of protons in cancer cells, which tri mechanisms to transport them out, hence leading to increased acidity in their extracellular environments. It has been well established that the increased acidity will induce cell death of normal cells but not cancer cells. The main question we address here is: how cancer cells deal with the increased acidity to avoid the activation of apoptosis. We have carried out a comparative analysis of transcriptomic data of six solid cancer types, breast, colon, liver, two lung (adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma) and prostate cancers, and proposed a model of how cancer cells utilize a few mechanisms to keep the protons outside of the cells. The model consists of a number of previously, well or partially, studied mechanisms for transporting out the excess protons, such as through the monocarboxylate transporters, V-ATPases, NHEs and the one facilitated by carbonic anhydrases. In addition we propose a new mechanism that neutralizes protons through the conversion of glutamate to γ-aminobutyrate, which consumes one proton per reaction. We hypothesize that these processes are regulated by cancer related conditions such as hypoxia and growth factors and by the pH levels, making these encoded processes not available to normal cells under acidic conditions.
Mitochondria are the main manufacturers of cellular ATP in eukaryotes. The plant mitochondrial genome contains large number of foreign DNA and repeated sequences undergone frequently intramolecular recombination. Upland Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) is one of the main natural fiber crops and also an important oil-producing plant in the world. Sequencing of the cotton mitochondrial (mt) genome could be helpful for the evolution research of plant mt genomes.
We utilized 454 technology for sequencing and combined with Fosmid library of the Gossypium hirsutum mt genome screening and positive clones sequencing and conducted a series of evolutionary analysis on Cycas taitungensis and 24 angiosperms mt genomes. After data assembling and contigs joining, the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of G. hirsutum was obtained. The completed G.hirsutum mt genome is 621,884 bp in length, and contained 68 genes, including 35 protein genes, four rRNA genes and 29 tRNA genes. Five gene clusters are found conserved in all plant mt genomes; one and four clusters are specifically conserved in monocots and dicots, respectively. Homologous sequences are distributed along the plant mt genomes and species closely related share the most homologous sequences. For species that have both mt and chloroplast genome sequences available, we checked the location of cp-like migration and found several fragments closely linked with mitochondrial genes.
The G. hirsutum mt genome possesses most of the common characters of higher plant mt genomes. The existence of syntenic gene clusters, as well as the conservation of some intergenic sequences and genic content among the plant mt genomes suggest that evolution of mt genomes is consistent with plant taxonomy but independent among different species.
The redox-active pyocyanin (PCN) is a toxic, secondary metabolite secreted by the respiratory pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA). Previously, we have shown that mouse lungs chronically exposed to PCN develop goblet cell hyperplasia and metaplasia (GCHM) and mucus hypersecretion, fibrosis and emphysema. These pathological features are commonly found in the airways of several chronic lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis (CF), as well as in mouse airways deficient in the forkhead box A2 (FOXA2), a transcriptional repressor of goblet GCHM and mucus biosynthesis. Furthermore, PCN inhibits FOXA2 by activating the pro-GCHM signaling pathways Stat6 and EGFR. However, it is not known whether PCN-generated reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species posttranslationally modify and inactivate FOXA2.
We examined the posttranslational modifications of FOXA2 by PCN using specific antibodies against oxidation, nitrosylation, acetylation and ubiquitination. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) was used to examine the ability of modified FOXA2 to bind the promoter of MUC5B mucin gene. In addition, we used quantitative real time PCR, ELISA, immunofluorescence and mouse lung infection to assess whether the loss of FOXA2 function caused GCHM and mucin overexpression. Finally, we examined the restoration of FOXA2 function by the antioxidant glutathione (GSH).
We found that PCN-generated ROS/RNS caused nitrosylation, acetylation, ubiquitination and degradation of FOXA2. Modified FOXA2 had reduced ability to bind the promoter of the MUC5B gene. The antioxidant GSH alleviated the modification of FOXA2 by PCN, and inhibited the overexpression of MUC5AC and MUC5B mucins.
These results suggest that PCN-mediated posttranslational modifications of FOXA2 are positively correlated with GCHM and overexpression of airway mucins. Furthermore, antioxidant treatment restores the function of FOXA2 to attenuate GCHM and mucus hypersecretion.
Pyocyanin; Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species; Posttranslational modifications; FOXA2; Mucus hypersecretion
Lac15 from a marine microbial metagenome has been crystallized and preliminary crystallographic analysis has been performed.
Laccases are members of the blue multi-copper oxidase family that can oxidize a wide range of aromatic compounds. A new bacterial laccase (Lac15) has recently been obtained from a marine microbial metagenome from the South China Sea and characterized. In this work, recombinant Lac15 was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. An X-ray diffraction data set was collected to 2.2 Å resolution. The crystal belonged to space group C121, with unit-cell parameters a = 123.41, b = 91.36, c = 86.157 Å, β = 112.10°.
laccases; marine microbial metagenome
The discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) provides a new and powerful tool for studying the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatments of cancer. In this study, we employed AFFX miRNA expression chips to search for miRNAs that may be aberrantly expressed in gastric cancer tissues and to investigate the potential roles that miRNAs may play in the development and progression of gastric cancer. 14 miRNAs were found to be down-regulated and 2 miRNAs up-regulated in gastric cancer tissues compared to the normal gastric tissues. Among the aberrantly expressed miRNAs, miR-574-3p was selected to further study its expression features and functional roles. Interestingly, the reduced expression of miR-574-3p occurred mainly in the early stages of gastric cancer or in cancers with high level of differentiation, suggesting that it can be used as a marker for a mild case of gastric cancer. Functional study revealed that cell proliferation, migration and invasion were significantly inhibited in miR-574-3p-transfected gastric cancer SGC7901 cells. Computational prediction and experimental validation suggest that Cullin2 may be one of the targets of miR-574-3p. Overall our study suggests that the aberrantly expressed miRNAs may play regulatory and functional roles in the development and progression of gastric cancer.
microRNA; gastric cancer; target gene; proliferation; invasion
Thermophilic bacteria are a potential source of enzymes for the deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass. However, the complement of proteins used to deconstruct biomass and the specific roles of different microbial groups in thermophilic biomass deconstruction are not well-explored. Here we report on the metagenomic and proteogenomic analyses of a compost-derived bacterial consortium adapted to switchgrass at elevated temperature with high levels of glycoside hydrolase activities. Near-complete genomes were reconstructed for the most abundant populations, which included composite genomes for populations closely related to sequenced strains of Thermus thermophilus and Rhodothermus marinus, and for novel populations that are related to thermophilic Paenibacilli and an uncultivated subdivision of the little-studied Gemmatimonadetes phylum. Partial genomes were also reconstructed for a number of lower abundance thermophilic Chloroflexi populations. Identification of genes for lignocellulose processing and metabolic reconstructions suggested Rhodothermus, Paenibacillus and Gemmatimonadetes as key groups for deconstructing biomass, and Thermus as a group that may primarily metabolize low molecular weight compounds. Mass spectrometry-based proteomic analysis of the consortium was used to identify >3000 proteins in fractionated samples from the cultures, and confirmed the importance of Paenibacillus and Gemmatimonadetes to biomass deconstruction. These studies also indicate that there are unexplored proteins with important roles in bacterial lignocellulose deconstruction.
Zymomonas mobilis ZM4 is a capable ethanologenic bacterium with high ethanol productivity and ethanol tolerance. Previous studies indicated that several stress-related proteins and changes in the ZM4 membrane lipid composition may contribute to ethanol tolerance. However, the molecular mechanisms of its ethanol stress response have not been elucidated fully.
In this study, ethanol stress responses were investigated using systems biology approaches. Medium supplementation with an initial 47 g/L (6% v/v) ethanol reduced Z. mobilis ZM4 glucose consumption, growth rate and ethanol productivity compared to that of untreated controls. A proteomic analysis of early exponential growth identified about one thousand proteins, or approximately 55% of the predicted ZM4 proteome. Proteins related to metabolism and stress response such as chaperones and key regulators were more abundant in the early ethanol stress condition. Transcriptomic studies indicated that the response of ZM4 to ethanol is dynamic, complex and involves many genes from all the different functional categories. Most down-regulated genes were related to translation and ribosome biogenesis, while the ethanol-upregulated genes were mostly related to cellular processes and metabolism. Transcriptomic data were used to update Z. mobilis ZM4 operon models. Furthermore, correlations among the transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolic data were examined. Among significantly expressed genes or proteins, we observe higher correlation coefficients when fold-change values are higher.
Our study has provided insights into the responses of Z. mobilis to ethanol stress through an integrated “omics” approach for the first time. This systems biology study elucidated key Z. mobilis ZM4 metabolites, genes and proteins that form the foundation of its distinctive physiology and its multifaceted response to ethanol stress.
A key challenge in the data analysis of biological high-throughput experiments is to handle the often low number of samples in the experiments compared to the number of biomolecules that are simultaneously measured. Combining experimental data using independent technologies to illuminate the same biological trends, as well as complementing each other in a larger perspective, is one natural way to overcome this challenge. In this work we investigated if integrating proteomics and transcriptomics data from a brain cancer animal model using gene set based analysis methodology, could enhance the biological interpretation of the data relative to more traditional analysis of the two datasets individually. The brain cancer model used is based on serial passaging of transplanted human brain tumor material (glioblastoma - GBM) through several generations in rats. These serial transplantations lead over time to genotypic and phenotypic changes in the tumors and represent a medically relevant model with a rare access to samples and where consequent analyses of individual datasets have revealed relatively few significant findings on their own. We found that the integrated analysis both performed better in terms of significance measure of its findings compared to individual analyses, as well as providing independent verification of the individual results. Thus a better context for overall biological interpretation of the data can be achieved.
Aberrant expression of claudin proteins has been reported in a variety of cancers. Previous studies have demonstrated that overexpression of claudin may promote tumorigenesis and metastasis through increased invasion and survival of tumor cells. However, the prognostic significance of claudin-4 in gastric cancer remains unclear.
Immunohistochemistry was used to analyze the expression of claudin-4 in 329 clinical gastric cancer specimens and 44 normal stomach samples, 21 intestinal metaplasia samples, and 21 adjacent precursor lesions dysplasia samples. Statistical analysis methods were used to evaluate the relationship between claudin-4 expression and various clinicopathological parameters. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed, respectively, to detect the independent predictors of survival.
Claudin-4 expression was present in only 7(15.9%) normal gastric samples, but expression of claudin-4 in the intestinal metaplasia lesions and dysplasia lesions was 90.5% and 95.2%, respectively. The expression of claudin-4 was significantly associated with histological differentiation (P < 0.001) and tumor growth patterns (P < 0.001) but not associated with patient survival. However, intermediate type staining of claudin-4 exhibited a trend of correlation with patients’ survival (P = 0.023). The five-year survival rate with low expression of claudin-4 in intermediate type (76.4%) was similar to expanding type (64.5%), while the high expression group (46.6%) was closer to infiltrative type (50.7%).
The findings in this study demonstrate claudin-4 aberrant expression in gastric cancer and precursor lesions. The expression of claudin-4 could serve as a basis for identifying gastric cancer of the intermediate type.
Gastric carcinoma; Claudin-4; Tight junctions
Dynamic force generation in cardiac muscle, which determines cardiac pumping activity, depends on both the number of sarcomeric cross-bridges and on their cycling kinetics. The Frank–Starling mechanism dictates that cardiac force development increases with increasing cardiac muscle length (corresponding to increased ventricular volume). It is, however, unclear to what extent this increase in cardiac muscle length affects the rate of cross-bridge cycling. Previous studies using permeabilized cardiac preparations, sub-physiological temperatures, or both have obtained conflicting results. Here, we developed a protocol that allowed us to reliably and reproducibly measure the rate of tension redevelopment (ktr; which depends on the rate of cross-bridge cycling) in intact trabeculae at body temperature. Using K+ contractures to induce a tonic level of force, we showed the ktr was slower in rabbit muscle (which contains predominantly β myosin) than in rat muscle (which contains predominantly α myosin). Analyses of ktr in rat muscle at optimal length (Lopt) and 90% of optimal length (L90) revealed that ktr was significantly slower at Lopt (27.7 ± 3.3 and 27.8 ± 3.0 s−1 in duplicate analyses) than at L90 (45.1 ± 7.6 and 47.5 ± 9.2 s−1). We therefore show that ktr can be measured in intact rat and rabbit cardiac trabeculae, and that the ktr decreases when muscles are stretched to their optimal length under near-physiological conditions, indicating that the Frank–Starling mechanism not only increases force but also affects cross-bridge cycling kinetics.
To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (FSRT) in patients with residual nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
From January 2000 to December 2009, 136 NPC patients with residual lesions after primary radiotherapy (RT) were treated by FSRT. The total dose of primary RT was 68.0-78.0 Gy (median, 70.0 Gy). The median time from the primary RT to FSRT was 24.5 days. Tumor volumes for FSRT ranged from 0.60 to 77.13 cm3 (median, 13.45 cm3). The total FSRT doses were 8.0-32.0Gy (median, 19.5 Gy) with 2.0-10.0 Gy per fraction.
Five-year local failure-free survival (LFFS), freedom from distant metastasis (FFDM), overall survival (OS), and disease free survival (DFS) rates for all patients were 92.5%, 77.0%, 76.2%, and 73.6%, respectively. No statistical significant differences were found in LFFS, DFS and OS in patients with stage I/II versus stage III/ IV diseases. Nineteen patients exhibited late toxicity. T stage at diagnosis was a significant prognostic factor for OS and DFS. Age was a prognostic factor for OS.
FSRT after external beam radiotherapy provides excellent local control for patients with residual NPC. The incidence of severe late toxicity is low and acceptable. Further investigation of optimal fractionation regimens will facilitate reduction of long-term complications.
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Residual lesions; Fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy; Boost irradiation; Toxicity
The aim of the present study was to determine the efficacy of microsurgery treatment for parasagittal meningioma in the central gyrus region. A microsurgical technique was used to treat 26 patients with large parasagittal meningioma in the central gyrus region. The Rolandic and draining veins and the peritumoral normal brain tissue were retained, and the associated sagittal sinus was appropriately protected. A Simpson grade I, II or III resection was performed in 8 (30.8%), 12 (46.2%) and 6 (23.1%) patients, respectively, with no post-operative mortalities. Following treatment, 9 patients exhibited hemiparalysis. No tumor recurrence was found in 21 patients during the follow-up examination. The treatment protocol described in the current study included sufficient pre-operative imaging evaluations, a skilled microsurgical technique, improved protection of the Rolandic vein and treatment of the sagittal sinus, and was found to significantly increase the total tumor removal rate and decrease post-operative recurrence.
parasagittal meningioma; central gyrus region; microsurgery; Rolandic vein
The objective of the current study was to investigate the expression pattern and clinicopathological significance of MTA3 in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The expression profile of MTA3 in NSCLC tissues and adjacent noncancerous lung tissues was detected by immunohistochemistry. MTA3 was overexpressed in 62 of 108 (57.4%) human lung cancer samples and correlated with p-TNM stage (p<0.0001), nodal metastasis (p = 0.0009) and poor prognosis (p<0.05). In addition, the depletion of MTA3 expression with small interfering RNAs inhibited cell growth and colony formation in the A549 and H157 lung cancer cell lines. Moreover, MTA3 depletion induced cell cycle arrest at the G1/S boundary. Western blotting analysis revealed that the knockdown of MTA3 decreased the protein levels of cyclin A, cyclin D1 and p-Rb. These results indicate that MTA3 plays an important role in NSCLC progression.
Objective: To investigate the feasibility and safety of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) transplantation on the improvement of burn wound healing. Method: Human BM-MSCs were injected into the skin of the mouse models, and the new blood vessels growth, the engraftment of BM-MSCs and the speed of healing were observed. Moreover the body weight and activity were tested after BM-MSCs transplantation. Results: We found that wound surface healing was significantly accelerated when BM-MSCs were applied to the wound surface in mice. Moreover, both the number and density of new blood vessels were increased in the BM-MSC-treated group. The engraftment of BM-MSCs was also investigated using GFP-labeled cells and no GFP-positive cells were observed in tissues other than the location of BM-MSC injection. We also found that both body weight and activity were quickly restored in BM-MSC-treated mice, and no tumor growth was found. Conclusion: The present results suggest that BM-MSC transplantation can effectively improve wound healing in a mouse model of burn injuries. Use of BM-MSCs might therefore facilitate development and improvement of burn injury treatments in future.
Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; burn injury; wound healing; mouse model
The retina is a light-sensitive tissue of the central nervous system that is vulnerable to ischemia. The pathological mechanism underlying retinal ischemic injury is not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to investigate structural and functional changes of different types of rat retinal neurons and visual behavior following transient global ischemia. Retinal ischemia was induced using a 4-vessel occlusion model. Compared with the normal group, the number of βIII-tubulin positive retinal ganglion cells and calretinin positive amacrine cells were reduced from 6 h to 48 h following ischemia. The number of recoverin positive cone bipolar cells transiently decreased at 6 h and 12 h after ischemia. However, the fluorescence intensity of rhodopsin positive rod cells and fluorescent peanut agglutinin positive cone cells did not change after reperfusion. An electroretinogram recording showed that the a-wave, b-wave, oscillatory potentials and the photopic negative response were completely lost during ischemia. The amplitudes of the a- and b-waves were partially recovered at 1 h after ischemia, and returned to the control level at 48 h after reperfusion. However, the amplitudes of oscillatory potentials and the photopic negative response were still reduced at 48 h following reperfusion. Visual behavior detection showed there was no significant change in the time spent in the dark chamber between the control and 48 h group, but the distance moved, mean velocity in the black and white chambers and intercompartmental crosses were reduced at 48 h after ischemia. These results indicate that transient global ischemia induces dysfunction of retinal ganglion cells and amacrine cells at molecular and ERG levels. However, transient global ischemia in a 17 minute duration does not appear to affect photoreceptors.
It has recently begun to be considered that cancer is a systemic disease and that it must be studied at every level of complexity using many of the currently available approaches, including high-throughput technologies and bioinformatics. To achieve such understanding in cervical cancer, we collected information on gene, protein and phosphoprotein expression of the HeLa cell line and performed a comprehensive analysis of the different signaling pathways, transcription networks and metabolic events in which they participate. A total expression analysis by RNA-Seq of the HeLa cell line showed that 19,974 genes were transcribed. Of these, 3,360 were over-expressed, and 2,129 under-expressed when compared to the NHEK cell line. A protein-protein interaction network was derived from the over-expressed genes and used to identify central elements and, together with the analysis of over-represented transcription factor motifs, to predict active signaling and regulatory pathways. This was further validated by Metal-Oxide Affinity Chromatography (MOAC) and Tandem Mass Spectrometry (MS/MS) assays which retrieved phosphorylated proteins. The 14-3-3 family members emerge as important regulators in carcinogenesis and as possible clinical targets. We observed that the different over- and under-regulated pathways in cervical cancer could be interrelated through elements that participate in crosstalks, therefore belong to what we term “meta-pathways”. Additionally, we highlighted the relations of each one of the differentially represented pathways to one or more of the ten hallmarks of cancer. These features could be maintained in many other types of cancer, regardless of mutations or genomic rearrangements, and favor their robustness, adaptations and the evasion of tissue control. Probably, this could explain why cancer cells are not eliminated by selective pressure and why therapy trials directed against molecular targets are not as effective as expected.
Salinity is one of the most common abiotic stresses in agriculture production. Salt tolerance of rice (Oryza sativa) is an important trait controlled by various genes. The mechanism of rice salt tolerance, currently with limited understanding, is of great interest to molecular breeding in improving grain yield. In this study, a gene regulatory network of rice salt tolerance is constructed using a systems biology approach with a number of novel computational methods. We developed an improved volcano plot method in conjunction with a new machine-learning method for gene selection based on gene expression data and applied the method to choose genes related to salt tolerance in rice. The results were then assessed by quantitative trait loci (QTL), co-expression and regulatory binding motif analysis. The selected genes were constructed into a number of network modules based on predicted protein interactions including modules of phosphorylation activity, ubiquity activity, and several proteinase activities such as peroxidase, aspartic proteinase, glucosyltransferase, and flavonol synthase. All of these discovered modules are related to the salt tolerance mechanism of signal transduction, ion pump, abscisic acid mediation, reactive oxygen species scavenging and ion sequestration. We also predicted the three-dimensional structures of some crucial proteins related to the salt tolerance QTL for understanding the roles of these proteins in the network. Our computational study sheds some new light on the mechanism of salt tolerance and provides a systems biology pipeline for studying plant traits in general.
In this study, we present data that support the presence of two distinct calmodulin binding sites within the angiotensin II receptor (AT1A), at juxtamembrane regions of the N-terminus of the third intracellular loop (i3, amino acids 214–231) and carboxyl tail of the receptor (ct, 302–317). We used bioluminescence resonance energy transfer assays to document interactions of calmodulin with the AT1A holo-receptor and GST-fusion protein pull-downs to demonstrate that i3 and ct interact with calmodulin in a Ca2+-dependent fashion. The former is a 1–12 motif and the latter belongs to 1-5-10 calmodulin binding motif. The apparent Kd of calmodulin for i3 is 177.0±9.1 nM, and for ct is 79.4±7.9 nM as assessed by dansyl-calmodulin fluorescence. Replacement of the tryptophan (W219) for alanine in i3, and phenylalanine (F309 or F313) for alanine in ct reduced their binding affinities for calmodulin, as predicted by computer docking simulations. Exogenously applied calmodulin attenuated interactions between G protein βγ subunits and i3 and ct, somewhat more so for ct than i3. Mutations W219A, F309A, and F313A did not alter Gβγ binding, but reduced the ability of calmodulin to compete with Gβγ, suggesting that calmodulin and Gβγ have overlapping, but not identical, binding requirements for i3 and ct. Calmodulin interference with the Gβγ binding to i3 and ct regions of the AT1A receptor strongly suggests that calmodulin plays critical roles in regulating Gβγ-dependent signaling of the receptor.
We conducted active, laboratory-based surveillance for isolates from patients with invasive infections across China from August 2009 to July 2010. DNA sequencing methods were used to define species, and susceptibility to fluconazole and voriconazole was determined by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute M44-A2 disk diffusion method but using up-to-date clinical breakpoints or epidemiological cutoff values. Candida spp. made up 90.5% of the 814 yeast strains isolated, followed by Cryptococcus neoformans (7.7%) and other non-Candida yeast strains (1.7%). Bloodstream isolates made up 42.9% of the strains, isolates from ascitic fluid made up 22.1%, but pus/tissue specimens yielded yeast strains in <5% of the cases. Among the Candida isolates, Candida albicans was the most common species from specimens other than blood (50.1%) but made up only 23% of the bloodstream isolates (P < 0.001). C. parapsilosis complex species were the most common Candida isolates from blood (33.2%). Uncommon bloodstream yeast strains included Trichosporon spp., C. pelliculosa, and the novel species C. quercitrusa, reported for the first time as a cause of candidemia. Most (>94%) of the isolates of C. albicans, C. tropicalis, and the C. parapsilosis complex were susceptible to fluconazole and voriconazole, as were all of the Trichosporon strains; however, 12.2% of the C. glabrata sensu stricto isolates were fluconazole resistant and 17.8% had non-wild-type susceptibility to voriconazole. Seven C. tropicalis strains were cross-resistant to fluconazole and voriconazole; six were from patients in the same institution. Resistance to fluconazole and voriconazole was seen in 31.9% and 13.3% of the uncommon Candida and non-Candida yeast strains, respectively. Causative species and azole susceptibility varied with the geographic region. This study provided clinically useful data on yeast strains and their antifungal susceptibilities in China.