Plasmonic-based electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (P-EIS) is developed to investigate molecular binding on surfaces. Its basic principle relies on the sensitive dependence of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) signal on surface charge density, which is modulated by applying an AC potential to a SPR chip surface. The AC component of the SPR response gives the electrochemical impedance, and the DC component provides the conventional SPR detection. The plasmonic-based impedance measured over a range of frequency is in quantitative agreement with the conventional electrochemical impedance. Compared to the conventional SPR detection, P-EIS is sensitive to molecular binding taking place on the chip surface, and less sensitive to bulk refractive index changes or non-specific binding. Moreover, this new approach allows for simultaneous SPR and surface impedance analysis of molecular binding processes.
SPR; Surface Plasmon Resonance; Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy; Plasmonic-based impedance spectroscopy; P-EIS
AIM: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of traditional Chinese surgical treatment for anal fistulae with secondary tracks and abscess.
METHODS: Sixty patients with intersphincteric or transsphincteric anal fistulas with secondary tracks and abscess were randomly divided into study group [suture dragging combined with pad compression (SDPC)] and control group [fistulotomy (FSLT)]. In the SDPC group, the internal opening was excised and incisions at external openings were made for drainage. Silk sutures were put through every two incisions and knotted in loose state. The suture dragging process started from the first day after surgery and the pad compression process started when all sutures were removed as wound tissue became fresh and without discharge. In the FSLT group, the internal opening and all tracts were laid open and cleaned by normal saline postoperatively till all wounds healed. The time of healing, postoperative pain score (visual analogue scale), recurrence rate, patient satisfaction, incontinence evaluation and anorectal manometry before and after the treatment were examined.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the two groups regarding age, gender and fistulae type. The time of healing was significantly shorter (24.33 d in SDPC vs 31.57 d in FSLT, P < 0.01) and the patient satisfaction score at 1 mo postoperative follow-up was significantly higher in the SDPC group (4.07 in SDPC vs 3.37 in FSLT, P < 0.05). The mean maximal postoperative pain scores were 5.83 ± 2.5 in SDPC vs 6.37 ± 2.33 in FSLT and the recurrence rates were 3.33 in SDPC vs 0 in FSLT. None of the patients in the two groups experienced liquid and solid fecal incontinence and lifestyle alteration postoperatively. The Wexner score after treatment of intersphincter fistulae were 0.17 ± 0.41 in SDPC vs 0.40 ± 0.89 in FSLT and trans-sphincter fistulae were 0.13 ± 0.45 in SDPC vs 0.56 ± 1.35 in FSLT. The maximal squeeze pressure and resting pressure declined after treatment in both groups. The maximal anal squeeze pressures after treatment were reduced (23.17 ± 3.73 Kpa in SDPC vs 22.74 ± 4.47 Kpa in FSLT) and so did the resting pressures (12.36 ± 2.15 Kpa in SDPC vs 11.71 ± 1.87 Kpa in FSLT), but there were neither significant differences between the two groups and nor significant differences before or after treatment.
CONCLUSION: Traditional Chinese surgical treatment SDPC for anal fistulae with secondary tracks and abscess is safe, effective and less invasive.
Traditional Chinese surgical treatment; Suture dragging; Pad compression; Anal fistulae; Secondary tracks and abscess
(De)acetylation of histone and non-histone proteins is an important post-translational modification affecting many cellular processes. Here we report that NuA4 acetylation of Sip2, one of three regulatory β subunits of Snf1 complex (yeast AMP-activated protein kinase), decreases as cells age. We used mutations at four acetylation sites, K12, 16, 17 and 256, to study acetyl-Sip2 function. Sip2 acetylation, controlled by antagonizing NuA4 acetyltransferase and Rpd3 deacetylase, enhances interaction with Snf1, the catalytic subunit of Snf1 complex. Sip2-Snf1 interaction inhibits Snf1 activity, thus decreasing phosphorylation of a downstream target, Sch9 (homolog of Akt/S6K), ultimately leads to slower growth but extends replicative lifespan. Sip2 acetylation mimetics are more resistant to oxidative stress. We further demonstrate that the anti-aging effect of Sip2 acetylation is independent of extrinsic nutrient availability and TORC1 activity. We propose a novel protein acetylation- phosphorylation cascade that regulates Sch9 activity, controls intrinsic aging and extends replicative lifespan in yeast.
Alkaloids are important chemical compounds that serve as a rich reservoir for drug discovery. Several alkaloids isolated from natural herbs exhibit antiproliferation and antimetastasis effects on various types of cancers both in vitro and in vivo. Alkaloids, such as camptothecin and vinblastine, have already been successfully developed into anticancer drugs. This paper focuses on the naturally derived alkaloids with prospective anticancer properties, such as berberine, evodiamine, matrine, piperine, sanguinarine, and tetrandrine, and summarizes the mechanisms of action of these compounds. Based on the information in the literature that is summarized in this paper, the use of alkaloids as anticancer agents is very promising, but more research and clinical trials are necessary before final recommendations on specific alkaloids can be made.
First identified as histone-modifying proteins, lysine acetyltranferases (KATs) and deacetylases (KDACs) antagonize each other through modification of the side chains of lysine residues in histone proteins1. (De)acetylation of many non-histone proteins involved in chromatin, metabolism or cytoskeleton regulation were further identified in eukaryotic organisms2–6, but the corresponding modifying enzymes and substrate-specific functions of the modification are unclear. Moreover, mechanisms underlying functional specificity of individual KDACs7 remain enigmatic, and the substrate spectra of each KDAC lack comprehensive definition. Here we dissect the functional specificity of twelve critical human KDACs using a genome-wide synthetic lethality screen8–13 in cultured human cells. The genetic interaction profiles revealed enzyme-substrate relationships between individual KDACs and many important substrates governing a wide array of biological processes including metabolism, development and cell cycle progression. We further confirmed that (de)acetylation of the catalytic subunit of the adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a critical cellular energy-sensing protein kinase complex, is controlled by the opposing catalytic activities of HDAC1 and p300. Its deacetylation enhances physical interaction with the upstream kinase LKB1, in turn leading to AMPK phosphorylation and activation, resulting in lipid breakdown in human liver cells. These findings provide new insights into previously underappreciated metabolism-regulatory roles of HDAC1 in coordinating nutrient availability and cellular responses upstream of AMPK, and demonstrate the importance of high-throughput genetic interaction profiling to elucidate functional specificity and critical substrates of individual human KDACs potentially valuable for therapeutic applications.
Furanodiene (FUR) is a natural terpenoid isolated from Curcumae Rhizoma, a well-known Chinese medicinal herb that presents antiproliferation activities in several cancer cell lines. In this study, we demonstrated that FUR concentration dependently inhibits the cell proliferation of A549, NIH-H1299, and 95-D lung cancer cells. β-elemene, another terpenoid isolated from Curcumae Rhizoma, exhibited weaker antiproliferative effects in A549 and NIH-H1299 cells and activities similar to FUR in 95-D cells. FUR significantly inhibited colony formation in A549 and 95-D cells and upregulated both the mRNA and protein expression levels of binding immunoglobulin protein (BIP) and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), indicating that endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is induced. FUR treatment led to the accumulation of CHOP in the nucleus, which further confirms induction of ER stress. Furthermore, combined treatment of FUR with paclitaxel showed significant synergetic activities in NIH-H1299 and 95-D cells, suggesting its potential roles in combination therapy. These findings provide a basis for the further study of the anticancer effects in vivo and the internal mechanisms of FUR.
We sought to compare the baseline demographics, standard pathologic factors and long-term clinical outcomes between ILC and infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) using a large database.
Clinicopathologic features, overall survival (OS), and recurrence/metastasis-free survival (RFS) were compared between 2,202 patients with IDC and 215 patients with ILC.
ILC was significantly more likely to be associated with a favorable phenotype, but the incidence of contralateral breast cancer was higher for ILC patients than for IDC patients (8.4% vs. 3.9%; P =0.001). The frequencies of recurrence/metastasis (P = 0.980) and death (P = 0.064) were similar among patients with IDC and patients with ILC after adjustment for tumor size and nodal status. The median follow-up was 42.8 months.
Chinese women with ILCs do not have better clinical outcomes than their counterparts with IDC. Management decisions should be based on individual patient and tumor biologic characteristics, and not on lobular histology.
Invasive lobular carcinoma; Tumor characteristics; Clinical outcome
Summarizing the status of drugs in the market and examining the trend of drug research and development is important in drug discovery. In this study, we compared the drug targets and the market sales of the new molecular entities approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from January 2000 to December 2009. Two networks, namely, the target–target and drug–drug networks, have been set up using the network analysis tools. The multi-target drugs have much more potential, as shown by the network visualization and the market trends. We discussed the possible reasons and proposed the rational strategies for drug research and development in the future.
Ureaplasma urealyticum (UUR) and Ureaplasma parvum (UPA) are sexually transmitted bacteria among humans implicated in a variety of disease states including but not limited to: nongonococcal urethritis, infertility, adverse pregnancy outcomes, chorioamnionitis, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in neonates. There are 10 distinct serotypes of UUR and 4 of UPA. Efforts to determine whether difference in pathogenic potential exists at the ureaplasma serovar level have been hampered by limitations of antibody-based typing methods, multiple cross-reactions and poor discriminating capacity in clinical samples containing two or more serovars.
We determined the genome sequences of the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) type strains of all UUR and UPA serovars as well as four clinical isolates of UUR for which we were not able to determine serovar designation. UPA serovars had 0.75−0.78 Mbp genomes and UUR serovars were 0.84−0.95 Mbp. The original classification of ureaplasma isolates into distinct serovars was largely based on differences in the major ureaplasma surface antigen called the multiple banded antigen (MBA) and reactions of human and animal sera to the organisms. Whole genome analysis of the 14 serovars and the 4 clinical isolates showed the mba gene was part of a large superfamily, which is a phase variable gene system, and that some serovars have identical sets of mba genes. Most of the differences among serovars are hypothetical genes, and in general the two species and 14 serovars are extremely similar at the genome level.
Comparative genome analysis suggests UUR is more capable of acquiring genes horizontally, which may contribute to its greater virulence for some conditions. The overwhelming evidence of extensive horizontal gene transfer among these organisms from our previous studies combined with our comparative analysis indicates that ureaplasmas exist as quasi-species rather than as stable serovars in their native environment. Therefore, differential pathogenicity and clinical outcome of a ureaplasmal infection is most likely not on the serovar level, but rather may be due to the presence or absence of potential pathogenicity factors in an individual ureaplasma clinical isolate and/or patient to patient differences in terms of autoimmunity and microbiome.
A series of modifications have been introduced to the TNM staging system over time for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), mainly focused on the T (primary tumor) and N (local node) components of the system. The M1 stage is a ‘catch all’ classification, covering a group of patients whose outlook ranges from potentially curable to incurable. Since the current M1 stage does not allow clinicians to stratify patients according to prognosis or guide therapeutic decision-making and allow comparison of results of radical and non-radical treatments, we aimed to subdivide the M1 stage according to a retrospective study of 1027 metastatic NPC patients and to review the relevant literature. Between 1995 and 2007, 1027 inpatients with distant metastasis from NPC were retrospectively analyzed. Various possible subdivisions of the M1 stage were considered, looking at different metastatic sites, the number of metastatic organs and the number of metastases. Survival rates were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. The most frequently involved metastatic sites were the bone, lung and liver. The incidence rates of solitary metastatic lesions and pulmonary metastasis were 16.2 and 41.3%. Despite the poor survival of these patients with a median survival of 30.8 months, patients in the metachronous metastatic group with metastases to the lung and/or solitary lesions, were defined as M1a, and were significantly associated with favorable median survival of 41.5 and 49.1 months in the univariate and multivariate analysis, respectively. Patients in the metachronous metastatic group with metastasis to the lung and/or solitary lesions (M1a) have a more favorable prognosis compared with those patients with multiple metastases located in other anatomic sites (M1b). These data, in one of the largest reported metastatic NPC cohorts, are the first to show the prognostic impact of metastatic status in NPC. As a powerful predictor, the potential clinical value of a modified M1 of the TNM system for NPC will facilitate patient counseling and individualize management.
distant metastasis; M1 stage; nasopharyngeal carcinoma; metastatic survival; prognostic factors
Metastasis is the main cause of cancer-related mortality; patients with liver metastases (LM) have the worst prognosis among patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, at present, few biomarkers for detecting organ-specific metastasis have been identified. Proteomics, an ultra-sensitive analytical technique, can detect molecular changes before organ-specific metastasis occurs. Analysis with matrix-assisted, laser desorption-ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS), combined with magnetic chemical affinity beads is a new technique for evaluating protein separation. We sought to identify potential liver-specific, metastasis-associated proteomic printing in patients with NPC. We examined 64 serum samples from 50 patients who had pathologically confirmed NPC and 14 who had pathologically confirmed non-NPC with LM using MALDI-TOF-MS with weak cation bead protein chips. During follow-up of at least 37 months (maximum, 176 months) following radiotherapy, we confirmed 16 cases of LM (LM NPC), 16 cases without LM (non-LM NPC) and 18 cases without metastasis (non-M NPC). Using comparison analysis, 4 protein mass peaks, 4155.34, 4194.87, 4210.78 and 4249.56 m/z were identified as liver-specific, metastasis-associated protein peaks in NPC and two of them (4155 and 4249 m/z) met two different statistical criteria in both ClinProt software analyses and discriminant analyses. Models based on the 4 potential serum markers of NPC discriminated between LM NPC, non-LM NPC, non-M NPC and non-NPC LM analyzed with sieved markers. The recognition capability and cross-validation of these models for differentiating the above 4 groups are all approximately 80%. MALDI-TOF-MS combined with tree analysis models may provide a clinical diagnostic platform for detecting potential liver-specific, metastasis-associated proteomic printing in NPC. However, markedly differential proteins still need to be identified.
nasopharyngeal carcinoma; organ-specific metastasis; liver metastasis; proteomics
The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptorγ (PPARγ) is a key regulator of metabolism, proliferation, inflammation and differentiation, and upregulates tumor suppressor genes, such as PTEN, BRCA1 and PPARγ itself. Examination of mammary carcinogenesis in transgenic mice expressing the dominant-negative Pax8PPARγ fusion protein revealed that tumors were estrogen receptorα (ER)-positive and sensitive to the ER antagonist, fulvestrant. Here we evaluated whether administration of an irreversible PPARγ inhibitor in vivo could similarly induce ER expression in otherwise ER-negative mammary tumors following induction of carcinogenesis, and sensitize them to the antitumor effects of fulvestrant. In addition, we wished to determine whether the effect of GW9662 was associated with a PPAR-selective gene expression profile. Mammary carcinogenesis was induced in wild-type FVB mice by treatment with medroxyprogesterone and dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) that were subsequently maintained on a diet supplemented with 0.1% GW9662, and tumorigenesis and gene expression profiling of the resulting tumors were determined. Administration of GW9962 resulted in ER+ tumors that were highly sensitive to fulvestrant. Tumors from GW9662-treated animals exhibited reduced expression of a metabolic gene profile indicative of PPARγ inhibition, including PPARγ itself. Additionally, GW9662 upregulated the expression of several genes associated with the transcription, processing, splicing and translation of RNA. This study is the first to show that an irreversible PPARγ inhibitor can mimic a dominant-negative PPARγ transgene to elicit the development of ER-responsive tumors. These findings suggest that it may be possible to pharmacologically influence the responsiveness of tumors to anti-estrogen therapy.
PPARγ; ERα; fulvestrant; GW9662
Albumin transports both fatty acids and zinc in plasma.
binding studied by isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that
physiologically relevant levels of fatty acids modulate the Zn-binding
capacity of albumin, with far-reaching implications for biological
zinc speciation. The molecular mechanism for this effect is likely
due to a large conformational change elicited by fatty acid binding
to a high-affinity interdomain site that disrupts at least one Zn
site. Albumin may be a molecular device to “translate”
certain aspects of the organismal energy state into global zinc signals.
Heightened surveillance of acute febrile illness in China since 2009 has led to the identification of a severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) with an unknown cause. Infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum has been suggested as a cause, but the pathogen has not been detected in most patients on laboratory testing.
We obtained blood samples from patients with the case definition of SFTS in six provinces in China. The blood samples were used to isolate the causal pathogen by inoculation of cell culture and for detection of viral RNA on polymerase-chain-reaction assay. The pathogen was characterized on electron microscopy and nucleic acid sequencing. We used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, indirect immunofluorescence assay, and neutralization testing to analyze the level of virus-specific antibody in patients’ serum samples.
We isolated a novel virus, designated SFTS bunyavirus, from patients who presented with fever, thrombocytopenia, leukocytopenia, and multiorgan dysfunction. RNA sequence analysis revealed that the virus was a newly identified member of the genus phlebovirus in the Bunyaviridae family. Electron-microscopical examination revealed virions with the morphologic characteristics of a bunyavirus. The presence of the virus was confirmed in 171 patients with SFTS from six provinces by detection of viral RNA, specific antibodies to the virus in blood, or both. Serologic assays showed a virus-specific immune response in all 35 pairs of serum samples collected from patients during the acute and convalescent phases of the illness.
A novel phlebovirus was identified in patients with a life-threatening illness associated with fever and thrombocytopenia in China. (Funded by the China Mega-Project for Infectious Diseases and others.)
Triptolide (TPL), a key biologically active component of the Chinese medicinal herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook. f., has potent anti-inflammation and anti-cancer activities. Its anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects have been reported to be related to the inhibition of Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB) and Nuclear Factor of Activated T-cells (NFAT) mediated transcription and suppression of HSP70 expression. The direct targets and precise mechanisms that are responsible for the gene expression inhibition, however, remain unknown. Here, we report that TPL inhibits global gene transcription by inducing proteasome-dependent degradation of the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II (Rpb1) in cancer cells. In the presence of proteosome inhibitor MG132, TPL treatment causes hyperphosphorylation of Rpb1 by activation of upstream protein kinases such as Positive Transcription Elongation Factor b (P-TEFb) in a time and dose dependent manner. Also, we observe that short time incubation of TPL with cancer cells induces DNA damage. In conclusion, we propose a new mechanism of how TPL works in killing cancer. TPL inhibits global transcription in cancer cells by induction of phosphorylation and subsequent proteasome-dependent degradation of Rpb1 resulting in global gene transcription, which may explain the high potency of TPL in killing cancer.
Various published studies have been inconclusive in attempting to relate a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer (BOC) to the survival of breast cancer patients. The aim of the study was to investigate the association of a family history of BOC with tumor characteristics, treatment response and the difference between the prognosis of familial breast cancer (FBC) patients and sporadic breast cancer (SBC) patients. Data on 348 operable FBC patients and 345 SBC patients were retrospectively analyzed. The overall survival (OS) and recurrence/metastasis-free survival (RFS) were compared for both groups. FBC cases were diagnosed at a relatively younger age (51.1±10.4 vs. 53.7±11.0 years, P=0.054) and presented a lower T stage (P=0.000) than the SBC cases. Patients with a family history of BOC had a significantly greater risk of recurrence/metastasis (P= 0.04) and a non-significantly increased risk of death (P=0.06) compared to the SBC patients. In a multivariate analysis, family history of BOC was an independent predictive factor for both recurrence/metastasis rate (P=0.01, HR=0.012, 95% CI 0.02–0.57) and mortality (P=0.044, HR=0.43, 95% CI 0.19–0.98) in the hormone receptor-positive population. Our results found that women diagnosed with FBC had an early onset of disease in the population studied, and the poor outcome of patients with a family history of BOC associated with survival was restricted to the hormone receptor-positive population.
family history; breast and/or ovarian cancer; breast cancer outcomes
The optical properties of multiple dielectric-core-gold-shell nanocylinder pairs are investigated by two-dimensional finite difference time domain method. The core-shell cylinders are assumed to be of the same dimension and composition. For normal incidence, the diffraction spectra of multiple cylinder pairs contain the lightning-rod plasmon mode, and the electric field intensity is concentrated in the gap between the nanocylinder pairs in the infrared region. The resonance wavelength and local field enhancement of this plasmon mode can be tuned by varying the pair-distance between the pairs, the gap-distance between the pairs, and the optical constants of the dielectric-core and the surrounding medium. The results show that the multiple core-shell nanocylinder pair contains the plasmon mode same as that of the solid metallic cylinder pairs at the long wavelength part of the spectrum. The large electric field intensity in the infrared region at long wavelength makes multiple core-shell cylinders as ideal candidates for surface-enhanced spectroscopes.
A new species of the Stegana (Steganina) ornatipes species group (Diptera: Drosophilidae) is described from Hainan, China, S. (S.) xipengi sp. nov. Based on the mitochondrial ND2 and COI gene sequences, the relationships among eight species from mainland China of the ornatipes group, and their relationships to the undulata, nigrolimbata and shirozui species groups of the same subgenus, are investigated, using two species of the subgenus Stegana, S. emeiensis and S. quadrata, as outgroups. The result shows that S. (S.) mengla is debarred from the ornatipes group.
Drosophilidae; molecular phylogeny; mitochondrial DNA; Stegana ornatipes group; Oriental region
Ubiquitination is one of the most prevalent protein posttranslational modifications in eukaryotes, and its malfunction is associated with a variety of human diseases. Despite the significance of this process, the molecular mechanisms that govern the regulation of ubiquitination remain largely unknown. Here, we have used a combination of yeast proteome chip assays, genetic screening, and in vitro/in vivo biochemical analyses to identify and characterize eight novel in vivo substrates of the ubiquitinating enzyme Rsp5, a homolog of the human ubiquitin-ligating enzyme Nedd4 in yeast. Our analysis of the effects of a deubiquitinating enzyme, Ubp2, has demonstrated that an accumulation of K63-linked poly-ubiquitin chains results in processed forms of two substrates, Sla1 and Ygr068c. Finally, we have shown that the localization of another newly identified substrate, Rnr2, is Rsp5-dependent. We believe that our approach constitutes a paradigm for the functional dissection of an enzyme with pleiotropic effects.
Histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) conduct many critical functions through nonhistone substrates in metazoans, but only chromatin-associated nonhistone substrates are known in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using yeast proteome microarrays, we identified and validated many nonchromatin substrates of the essential nucleosome acetyltransferase of H4 (NuA4) complex. Among these, acetylation sites (Lys 19 and 514) of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pck1p) were determined by tandem mass spectrometry. Acetylation at Lys 514 was crucial for enzymatic activity and the ability of yeast cells to grow on non-fermentable carbon sources. Loss of Pck1p activity blocked the extension of yeast chronological life span caused by water starvation. In human hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells, human Pck1 acetylation and glucose production was dependent on TIP60, the human homolog of ESA1. Our results demonstrate a novel regulatory function for the NuA4 complex in glucose metabolism and life span by acetylating a critical metabolic enzyme.
The adenosine/uridine-rich element (ARE)-binding protein AUF1 functions to regulate the inflammatory response through the targeted degradation of cytokine and other mRNAs that contain specific AREs in their 3' noncoding region (3' NCR). To investigate the role of AUF1 in the immune system, we characterized the lymphoid compartments of AUF1-deficient mice.
Mice lacking AUF1 exhibit an altered proportion and size of splenic B cell subsets. We show prominent apoptosis in splenic B cell follicles and reduced expression of Bcl-2, A1, and Bcl-XL correlate with increased turnover and significant reduction in the number and proportion of splenic FO B cells in AUF1-deficient mice. In addition, AUF1-deficient mice exhibit a sharp decrease in splenic size and lymphocyte cellularity. Bone marrow transfer studies demonstrate that AUF1 deficiency induces cell-autonomous defects in mature B cell subsets but not in the overall number of splenocytes. Reconstitution of irradiated adult AUF1-deficient mice with wild-type bone marrow restores the proportion of FO and marginal zone (MZ) B cells, but does not rescue the decrease in the number of splenocytes. Functionally, AUF1-deficient mice mount an attenuated response to T cell-independent (TI) antigen, which correlates with impaired MZ B cell function.
These data indicate that AUF1 is important in the maintenance of splenic FO B cells and adequate humoral immune responses.
We have developed a simple method for isolating and purifying plasma membrane proteins from various cell types. This one-step affinity-chromatography method uses the property of the lectin concanavalin A (ConA) and the technique of magnetic-bead separation to obtain highly purified plasma membrane proteins from crude membrane preparations or cell lines. ConA is immobilized onto magnetic beads by binding biotinylated ConA to streptavidin magnetic beads. When these ConA magnetic beads were used to enrich plasma membranes from a crude membrane preparation, this procedure resulted in 3.7-fold enrichment of plasma membrane marker 5′-nucleotidase activity with 70% recovery of the activity in the crude membrane fraction of rat liver. In agreement with the results of 5′-nucleotidase activity, immunoblotting with antibodies specific for a rat liver plasma membrane protein, CEACAM1, indicated that CEACAM1 was enriched about threefold relative to that of the original membranes. In similar experiments, this method produced 13-fold enrichment of 5′-nucleotidase activity with 45% recovery of the activity from a total cell lysate of PC-3 cells and 7.1-fold enrichment of 5′-nucleotidase activity with 33% recovery of the activity from a total cell lysate of HeLa cells. These results suggest that this one-step purification method can be used to isolate total plasma membrane proteins from tissue or cells for the identification of membrane biomarkers.
Protein libraries are essential to the field of protein engineering. Increasingly, probabilistic protein design is being used to synthesize combinatorial protein libraries, which allow the protein engineer to explore a vast space of amino acid sequences, while at the same time placing restrictions on the amino acid distributions. To this end, if site-specific amino acid probabilities are input as the target, then the codon nucleotide distributions that match this target distribution can be used to generate a partially randomized gene library. However, it turns out to be a highly nontrivial computational task to find the codon nucleotide distributions that exactly matches a given target distribution of amino acids. We first showed that for any given target distribution an exact solution may not exist at all. Formulated as a constrained optimization problem, we then developed a genetic algorithm-based approach to find codon nucleotide distributions that match as closely as possible to the target amino acid distribution. As compared with the previous gradient descent method on various objective functions, the new method consistently gave more optimized distributions as measured by the relative entropy between the calculated and the target distributions. To simulate the actual lab solutions, new objective functions were designed to allow for two separate sets of codons in seeking a better match to the target amino acid distribution.
Naphthalimides, particularly amonafide and 2-(2-dimethylamino)-6-thia-2-aza-benzo[def]chrysene-1,3-diones (R16), have been identified to possess anticancer activities and to induce G2-M arrest through inhibiting topoisomerase II accompanied by Chk1 degradation. The current study was designed to precisely dissect the signaling pathway(s) responsible for the naphthalimide-induced cell cycle arrest in human colon carcinoma HCT116 cells. Using phosphorylated histone H3 and mitotic protein monoclonal 2 as mitosis markers, we first specified the G2 arrest elicited by the R16 and amonafide. Then, R16 and amonafide were revealed to induce phosphorylation of the DNA damage sensor ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) responding to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Inhibition of ATM by both the pharmacological inhibitor caffeine and the specific small interference RNA (siRNA) rescued the G2 arrest elicited by R16, indicating its ATM-dependent characteristic. Furthermore, depletion of Chk2, but not Chk1 with their corresponding siRNA, statistically significantly reversed the R16- and amonafide-triggered G2 arrest. Moreover, the naphthalimides phosphorylated Chk2 in an ATM-dependent manner but induced Chk1 degradation. These data indicate that R16 and amonafide preferentially used Chk2 as evidenced by the differential ATM-executed phosphorylation of Chk1 and Chk2. Thus, a clear signaling pathway can be established, in which ATM relays the DNA DSBs signaling triggered by the naphthalimides to the checkpoint kinases, predominantly to Chk2,which finally elicits G2 arrest. The mechanistic elucidation not only favors the development of the naphthalimides as anticancer agents but also provides an alternative strategy of Chk2 inhibition to potentiate the anticancer activities of these agents.