This study investigated the capability of dual-energy spectral computed tomography (CT) to quantitatively evaluate lung perfusion defects that are induced by central lung cancer.
Thirty-two patients with central lung cancer underwent CT angiography using spectral imaging. A univariate general linear model was conducted to analyze the variance of iodine concentration/CT value with three factors of lung fields. A paired t-test was used to compare iodine concentrations and CT values between the distal end of lung cancer and the corresponding area in the contralateral normal lung.
Iodine concentrations increased progressively in the far, intermediate and near ground sides in the normal lung fields at 0.60±0.28, 0.93±0.27 and 1.25±0.38 mg/mL, respectively (P<0.001). The same trend was observed for the CT values [–(840.64±49.08), –(812.66±50.85) and –(760.83±89.17) HU, P<0.001]. The iodine concentration (0.70±0.42 mg/mL) of the lung field in the distal end of lung cancer was significantly lower than the corresponding area in the contralateral normal lung (1.19±0.62 mg/mL) (t=–7.23, P<0.001). However, the CT value of lung field in the distal end of lung cancer was significantly higher than the corresponding area in the contralateral normal lung [–(765.29±93.34) HU vs. –(800.07±76.18) HU, t=3.564, P=0.001].
Spectral CT imaging based on the spectral differentiation of iodine is feasible and can quantitatively evaluate pulmonary perfusion and identify perfusion defects that are induced by central lung cancer. Spectral CT seems to be a promising technique for the simultaneous evaluation of both morphological and functional lung information.
Spectral; computed tomography (CT); quantitative analysis; perfusion; lung cancer
Ovarian follicular development and hormone secretion are complex and coordinated biological processes which will usually be altered during pregnancy. Ovarian function is tightly regulated by a multitude of genes, and also by some specific miRNAs. It is necessary to identify the differentially expressed miRNAs in the ovaries of pregnant and non-pregnant mammals, in order to further understand the role of miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation in mammalian reproduction. Here, we performed a comprehensive search for hircine miRNAs using two small RNA sequencing libraries prepared from the ovaries of pregnant and non-pregnant goats.
617 conserved and 7 putative novel miRNAs were identified in the hircine ovaries. A total of 471 conserved miRNAs (76.34%) were co-expressed in both pregnant and non-pregnant libraries, and 90 pregnancy-specific and 56 non-pregnancy-specific conserved miRNAs were identified. Additionally, 407 unique miRNAs (65.96%) were significantly differentially expressed in the pregnant and non-pregnant libraries, of which 294 were upregulated and 113 were downregulated in the pregnant library compared to the non-pregnant library. Further analysis showed that miR-143 was predicted to bind to the target sequences of Frizzled-6 and -3 receptor genes in the Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway, and let-7b may target the Activin receptor I and Smad 2/3 genes in the TGF-beta signaling pathway. The expression level of 5 randomly selected miRNAs were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR (q-PCR), and the results demonstrated that the expression patterns were consistent with the Solexa sequencing results.
The identification and characterization of differentially expressed miRNAs in the ovaries of pregnant and non-pregnant goats provides important information on the role of miRNA in the regulation of the ovarian development and function. This data will be helpful to facilitate studies on the regulation of miRNAs during mammalian reproduction.
MicroRNA; Solexa sequencing; Ovary; Anhui white goat
Stroke is a leading global cause of mortality and disability. Less than 5% of patients are able to receive tissue plasminogen activator thrombolysis within the necessary timeframe. Focusing on the process of neuronal apoptosis in the penumbra, which lasts from hours to days after ischaemia, appears to be promising. Here we report that tumour necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 1 (TRAF1) expression is markedly induced in wild-type mice 6 h after stroke onset. Using genetic approaches, we demonstrate that increased neuronal TRAF1 leads to elevated neuronal death and enlarged ischaemic lesions, whereas TRAF1 deficiency is neuroprotective. In addition, TRAF1-mediated neuroapoptosis correlates with the activation of the JNK pro-death pathway and inhibition of the Akt cell survival pathway. Finally, TRAF1 is found to exert pro-apoptotic effects via direct interaction with ASK1. Thus, ASK1 positively and negatively regulates the JNK and Akt signalling pathways, respectively. Targeting the TRAF1/ASK1 pathway may provide feasible therapies for stroke long after onset.
TRAF1 is an intracellular signalling molecule that has diverse biological functions. In this study, the authors show that TRAF1 is expressed in mice soon after they have suffered a stroke and that increased TRAF1 expression increases susceptibility to ischaemia-induced apoptosis and brain injury.
Interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF8) is known to affect the innate immune response, for example, by regulating the differentiation and function of immune cells. However, whether IRF8 can influence cardiac hypertrophy is unknown. Here we show that IRF8 levels are decreased in human dilated/hypertrophic cardiomyopathic hearts and in murine hypertrophic hearts. Mice overexpressing Irf8 specifically in the heart are resistant to aortic banding (AB)-induced cardiac hypertrophy, whereas mice lacking IRF8 either globally or specifically in cardiomyocytes develop an aggravated phenotype induced by pressure overload. Mechanistically, we show that IRF8 directly interacts with NFATc1 to prevent NFATc1 translocation and thus inhibits the hypertrophic response. Inhibition of NFATc1 ameliorates the cardiac abnormalities in IRF8−/− mice after AB. In contrast, constitutive activation of NFATc1 nullifies the protective effects of IRF8 on cardiac hypertrophy in IRF8-overexpressing mice. Our results indicate that IRF8 is a potential therapeutic target in pathological cardiac hypertrophy.
The transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF8) is known to regulate differentiation and function of immune cells. Here the authors show that IRF8 is upregulated in the hypertrophic heart in humans and mice, where it suppresses cardiac remodelling by inhibiting calcineurin signalling.
An effective control strategy for migratory pests is difficult to implement because the cause of infestation (i.e., immigration or local reproduction) is often not established. In particular, the outbreak mechanisms of the brown planthopper, Nilaparvata lugens (Stål), an insect causing massive losses in rice fields in the Yangtze River Delta in China, are frequently unclear. Field surveys of N. lugens were performed in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces in 2008 to 2010 and related historical data from 2003 onwards were collected and analyzed to clarify the cause of these infestations. Results showed that outbreaks of N. lugens in the Yangtze River Delta were mostly associated with an extremely high increase in population. Thus, reproduction rather than immigration from distant sources were the cause of the infestations. Although mass migration occurred late in the season (late August and early September), the source areas of N. lugens catches in the Yangtze River Delta were mainly located in nearby areas, including the Yangtze River Delta itself, Anhui and northern Jiangxi Provinces. These regions collectively form the lower-middle reaches of the Yangtze River, and the late migration can thus be considered as an internal bioflow within one population.
Uric acid (UA) is a complex phenotype influenced by both genetic and environmental factors as well as their interactions. Current genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified a variety of genetic determinants of UA in Europeans; however, such studies in Asians, especially in Chinese populations remain limited.
A two-stage GWAS was performed to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that were associated with serum uric acid (UA) in a Chinese population of 12,281 participants (GWAS discovery stage included 1452 participants from the Dongfeng-Tongji cohort (DFTJ-cohort) and 1999 participants from the Fangchenggang Area Male Health and Examination Survey (FAMHES). The validation stage included another independent 8830 individuals from the DFTJ-cohort). Affymetrix Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 chips and Illumina Omni-Express platform were used for genotyping for DFTJ-cohort and FAMHES, respectively. Gene-environment interactions on serum UA levels were further explored in 10,282 participants from the DFTJ-cohort.
Briefly, we identified two previously reported UA loci of SLC2A9 (rs11722228, combined P = 8.98 × 10-31) and ABCG2 (rs2231142, combined P = 3.34 × 10-42). The two independent SNPs rs11722228 and rs2231142 explained 1.03% and 1.09% of the total variation of UA levels, respectively. Heterogeneity was observed across different populations. More importantly, both independent SNPs rs11722228 and rs2231142 were nominally significantly interacted with gender on serum UA levels (P for interaction = 4.0 × 10-2 and 2.0 × 10-2, respectively). The minor allele (T) for rs11722228 in SLC2A9 has greater influence in elevating serum UA levels in females compared to males and the minor allele (T) of rs2231142 in ABCG2 had stronger effects on serum UA levels in males than that in females.
Two genetic loci (SLC2A9 and ABCG2) were confirmed to be associated with serum UA concentration. These findings strongly support the evidence that SLC2A9 and ABCG2 function in UA metabolism across human populations. Furthermore, we observed these associations are modified by gender.
Genome-wide association study; Serum uric acid; Ethnic differences; Gene-environment interaction
The aim of this study was to investigate how patterns of lymph nodes recurrence after radical surgery impact on survival of patients with pT1-3N0M0 thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. One hundred eighty consecutive patients with thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma underwent radical surgery, and the tumors were staged as pT1-3N0M0 by postoperative pathology. Lymph nodes recurrence was detected with computed tomography 3-120 months after the treatment. The patterns of lymph nodes recurrence including stations, fields and locations of recurrent lymph nodes, and impacts on patterns of survival were statistically analyzed. There was a decreasing trend of overall survival with increasing stations or fields of postoperative lymph nodes involved (all P<0.05). Univariate analysis showed that stations or fields of lymph nodes recurrence, and abdominal or cervical lymph nodes involved were prognostic factors for survival (all P<0.05). Cox analyses revealed that the field was an independent factor (P<0.05, odds ratio=2.73). Lymph nodes involved occurred predominantly in cervix and upper mediastinum (P<0.05). In conclusion, patterns of lymph node recurrence especially the fields of lymph nodes involved are significant prognostic factors for survival of patients with pT1-3N0M0 thoracic esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.
Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma; Thorax; Lymph Node Recurrence; Tomography, X-Ray Computed; Radical Esophagectomy
Monocarboxylate transporter 4 (MCT4) is a cell membrane transporter of lactate. Recent studies have shown that MCT4 is over-expressed in various cancers; however, its role in cancer maintenance and aggressiveness has not been fully demonstrated. This study investigated the role of MCT4 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), and found that it is highly expressed in OSCC patients by using immunohistochemistry. Moreover, this over-expression of MCT4 was closely associated with tumor size, TNM classification, lymphatic metastasis, distant metastasis and tumor recurrence, and also poor prognosis. To further study mechanisms of MCT4 in vitro, we used small-interfering RNA to silence its expression in OSCC cell lines. The results showed that knock-down of MCT4 decreased cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. The inhibition of proliferation was associated with down-regulation of p-AKT and p-ERK1/2, while decreased cell migration and invasion may be caused by down-regulation of integrin β4-SRC-FAK and MEK-ERK signaling. Together, these findings provide new insight into the critical role of MCT4 in cell proliferation and metastasis in OSCC.
Autografting of burn wounds results in generation of donor site wounds. Here we measured donor site wound protein Fractional Synthesis Rate (FSR) in a burn pediatric population and showed that FSR increases over time postsurgery and correlates with the length of hospital stay (LOS) normalized for total body surface area (TBSA) burn size. 3.9±1.1 days after the grafting surgery patients participated in a metabolic study consisting of continuous infusion of L-[ring-2H5]-phenylalanine and donor site wound punch biopsies. Donor site wound protein FSR was 10.4±7.5 %/day. Wound FSR demonstrated linear correlation with the time postsurgery (p < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis showed that LOS/TBSA correlated with donor site wound protein FSR and time postsurgery (p < 0.001) and the following equation describes the relationship: Estimated LOS/TBSA = (FSR - 12.95 – 1.414 × Postsurgery day)/(−17.8). This equation predicted that FSR corrected for the postsurgery day when the metabolic study was conducted accounted for 67 % of the variability (r2 = 0.673) in the LOS/TBSA. Donor site wound protein FSR correlated to LOS/TBSA of burn patients admitted to the intensive care unit. Measurement of protein deposition in regenerating donor site wound using stable isotope technique provides a quantitative measure of wound healing.
Burn; donor site wound; protein synthesis; stable isotopes; length of hospitalization
Post-mating, sexual interactions of opposite sexes differ considerably in different organisms. Post-mating interactions such as re-mating behavior and male harassment can affect the fitness of both sexes. Echinothrips americanus is a new insect pest in Mainland China, and little is known about its post-mating interactions. In this study, we observed re-mating frequency and male harassment frequency and their effects on fitness parameters and offspring sex ratios of E. americanus females. Furthermore, we tested the impact of mating and post-mating interactions on fitness parameters of males. Our results revealed that the re-mating frequency in female adults was extremely low during a 30-day period. However, post-mating interactions between females and males, consisting mainly of male harassment and female resistance, did occur and significantly reduced female longevity and fecundity. Interestingly, increased access to males did not affect the ratio of female offspring. For males, mating dramatically reduced their longevity. However, post-mating interactions with females had no effects on the longevity of mated males. These results enrich our basic knowledge about female and male mating and post-mating behaviors in this species and provide important information about factors that may influence population regulation of this important pest species.
Dendritic spines are a major substrate of brain plasticity. Although many studies have focused on Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII)-mediated regulation of spine dynamics and synaptic function in adult brain, much less is know about protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent regulation of spine shape dynamics during postnatal brain development. Synaptopodin is a dendritic spine associated modulator of actin dynamics and a substrate of PKA. Here we show that NMDA and cAMP-induced dendritic spine expansion is impaired in hippocampal slices from 15- and 21-d-old synaptopodin-deficient mice. We further show that synaptopodin is required for full expression of PKA-dependent hippocampal long-term potentiation in 15- and 21-d-old, but not adult, mice. PKA-induced cAMP response element-binding phosphorylation is normal in the hippocampus of synaptopodin-deficient mice, suggesting that synaptopodin functions independently of cAMP response element-binding. Our results identify synaptopodin as a substrate of PKA in hippocampal neurons and point to an essential role for synaptopodin in activity-dependent regulation of dendritic spine dynamics and synaptic plasticity in postnatal brain development.
Optical gyroscopes with high sensitivity are important rotation sensors for inertial navigation systems. Here, we present the concept of integrated resonant optical gyroscope constructed by active long-range surface plasmon-polariton (LRSPP) waveguide resonator. In this gyroscope, LRSPP waveguide doped gain medium is pumped to compensate the propagation loss, which has lower pump noise than that of conventional optical waveguide. Peculiar properties of single-polarization of LRSPP waveguide have been found to significantly reduce the polarization error. The metal layer of LRSPP waveguide is electro-optical multiplexed for suppression of reciprocal noises. It shows a limited sensitivity of ~10−4 deg/h, and a maximum zero drift which is 4 orders of magnitude lower than that constructed by conventional single-mode waveguide.
Cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) has been shown to play an important role in mediating inflammation-induced heat hyperalgesia. However, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. The aim of this study was to determine whether roscovitine, an inhibitor of Cdk5, could reverse the heat hyperalgesia induced by peripheral injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) via the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) signaling pathway in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord in rats.
Heat hyperalgesia induced by peripheral injection of CFA was significantly reversed by roscovitine, TrkB-IgG, and the TrkB inhibitor K252a, respectively. Furthermore, BDNF was significantly increased from 0.5 h to 24 h after CFA injection in the spinal cord dorsal horn. Intrathecal adminstration of the Cdk5 inhibitor roscovitine had no obvious effects on BDNF levels. Increased TrkB protein level was significantly reversed by roscovitine between 0.5 h and 6 h after CFA injection. Cdk5 and TrkB co-immunoprecipitation results suggested Cdk5 mediates the heat hyperalgesia induced by CFA injection by binding with TrkB, and the binding between Cdk5 and TrkB was markedly blocked by intrathecal adminstration of roscovitine.
Our data suggested that the BDNF-TrkB signaling pathway was involved in CFA-induced heat hyperalgesia mediated by Cdk5. Roscovitine reversed the heat hyperalgesia induced by peripheral injection of CFA by blocking BDNF/TrkB signaling pathway, suggesting that severing the close crosstalk between Cdk5 and the BDNF/TrkB signaling cascade may present a potential target for anti-inflammatory pain.
COX-2-mPGES-1-derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) plays important roles in regulating vascular tone and renal sodium excretion; however, little is known about the role of mPGES-1 during acute blood pressure regulation. The present study was designed to examine the contribution of vascular mPGES-1 to acute blood pressure homeostasis.
Angiotensin II (AngII, 75 pmol/kg/min) was continuously infused via the jugular vein into wild-type and mPGES-1−/− mice for 30 min, and blood pressure was measured by carotid arterial catheterization. RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry were performed to detect the expression and localization of mPGES-1 in the mouse arterial vessels. Mesenteric arteries were dissected from mice of both genotypes to study vessel tension and measure vascular PGE2 levels.
Wild-type and mPGES-1−/− mice showed similar blood pressure levels at baseline, and the acute intravenous infusion of AngII caused a greater increase in mean arterial pressure in the mPGES-1−/− group, with a similar diuretic and natriuretic response in both groups. mPGES-1 was constitutively expressed in the aortic and mesenteric arteries and vascular smooth muscle cells of wild-type mice. Strong staining was detected in the smooth muscle layer of arterial vessels. Ex vivo treatment of mesenteric arteries with AngII produced more vasodilatory PGE2 in wild-type than in mPGES-1−/− mice. In vitro tension assays further revealed that the mesenteric arteries of mPGES-1−/− mice exhibited a greater vasopressor response to AngII than those arteries of wild-type mice.
Vascular mPGES-1 acts as an important tonic vasodilator, contributing to acute blood pressure regulation.
PGE2; mPGES-1; Angiotensin II; Blood pressure; Resistant vessel
Idiopathic congenital nystagmus (ICN) consists of involuntary and periodic ocular motility, often with seriously reduced visual acuity. To identify the genetic defects associated with X-linked ICN, we performed PCR-based DNA direct sequencing of two candidate genes, FRMD7 and GPR143, in four families. Mutation analysis led to identification of three novel mutations, p.S260R, p.Q487X, and p.V549Y fsX554, in FRMD7 in three of the recruited families. Results from structural modeling indicated that the p.S260R may potentially disrupt FRMD7 function through loss of a phosphorylation site and/or interference with protein-protein interactions. Both p.Q487X, and p.V549Y fsX554 mutations were predicted to generate nonfunctional truncated proteins. Using a capture next generation sequencing method, we excluded CASK as the responsible gene for the remaining family. Combining sequence analysis and structural modeling, we report three novel mutations in FRMD7 in three independent families with XLICN, and provide molecular insights for future XLICN diagnosis and treatment.
Lichen is a classic mutualistic organism and the lichenization is one of the fungal symbioses. The lichen-forming fungus Endocarpon pusillum is living in symbiosis with the green alga Diplosphaera chodatii Bialsuknia as a lichen in the arid regions.
454 and Illumina technologies were used to sequence the genome of E. pusillum. A total of 9,285 genes were annotated in the 37.5 Mb genome of E. pusillum. Analyses of the genes provided direct molecular evidence for certain natural characteristics, such as homothallic reproduction and drought-tolerance. Comparative genomics analysis indicated that the expansion and contraction of some protein families in the E. pusillum genome reflect the specific relationship with its photosynthetic partner (D. chodatii). Co-culture experiments using the lichen-forming fungus E. pusillum and its algal partner allowed the functional identification of genes involved in the nitrogen and carbon transfer between both symbionts, and three lectins without signal peptide domains were found to be essential for the symbiotic recognition in the lichen; interestingly, the ratio of the biomass of both lichen-forming fungus and its photosynthetic partner and their contact time were found to be important for the interaction between these two symbionts.
The present study lays a genomic analysis of the lichen-forming fungus E. pusillum for demonstrating its general biological features and the traits of the interaction between this fungus and its photosynthetic partner D. chodatii, and will provide research basis for investigating the nature of its drought resistance and symbiosis.
Mycobiont; Phycobiont; Lichenization; Symbiosis; Symbiosis-related gene; Photosynthetic products
The distribution of allergens may vary with different geographic areas, suggesting the importance of local epidemiological data to support evidence-based prevention and management of allergic diseases. We investigated the distribution of common allergens in allergic patients in Guangzhou, southern China.
7,047 patients with allergic symptoms were examined for serum sIgE to 15 common allergens in this region, based on the protocol of reversed enzyme allergosorbent test.
4,869 (69.09%) of the subjects tested positive for sIgE to at least one of the 15 common allergens. There was no statistical difference in the overall rate of positive sIgE detection between males (3128/4523, 69.16%) and females (1741/2524, 68.98%). Der pteronyssinus and Der farinae were the most common aeroallergens, while eggs and cow’s milk the most common food allergens, responsible for higher positive rates of sIgE responses. A good correlation in positive sIgE response was found between Der pteronyssinus and Der farinae. By age-group analysis, we noted several peaks of sensitization to certain allergens: Der pteronyssinus, Der farinae, and Blomiatropicalis at age between 9 and 12; Blattellagermanica and mosquito at age between 15 and 18, cow’s milk before age 3; eggs and flour at age between 3 and 6; crabs and shrimps at age between 12 and 15. Along with older age, there was an ascending tendency in the overall positive rate of sIgE response to house dust mites among subjects who tested positive for sIgE to eggs or cow’s milk.
Der pteronyssinus, Der farinae, cow’s milk, and eggs are major allergens in Guangzhou. Sensitization to eggs and cow’s milk is more common at younger age, and then gives place to the increasing prevalence of sensitization to Der pteronyssinus and Der farinae at older age. Such a sequence of events may be a result of allergy march. Knowledge on the prevalence of allergen sensitization in different age groups would help early diagnosis and intervention of allergic diseases in this large geographical region.
Allergy; Distribution; Prevalence; Specific immunoglobulin E
Serving as shape control agent, polyvinyl pyrrolidone (PVP) has been widely used in chemical synthesis of metal nanoparticles. However, the role of molecular weight (MW) of PVP has been rarely concerned. In this study, we show a facile method to control the shapes of silver nanocrystals using PVP with different MWs. PVPMW=8,000, PVPMW=29,000, PVPMW=40,000, and PVPMW=1,300,000 are compared in the present study. Surprisingly, high-yield silver rodlike nanostructures, nanospheres, and nanowires can be obtained under the same growth environment and reactant concentrations by simply changing the MW of PVP. The mechanism studies of the role of PVP with different MWs in the growth process were carried out systemically using the morphology and spectroscopic measurement, FT-IR spectrum analysis, and seed crystallization monitoring. The results indicate that the MW of PVP plays a determinant role in the morphology and optical property control of the silver nanocrystals. Meantime, the concentration of PVP was found to be an assistant factor to further improve the shape and the yield of the synthesized nanocrystals.
Polyvinyl pyrrolidone; Molecular weight; Nanowire; Nanosphere
To investigate whether uric acid (UA) is an independent predictor of cardiovascular (CV) and all-cause mortality in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients after controlling for recognized CV risk factors.
A total of 2264 patients on chronic PD were collected from seven centers affiliated with the Socioeconomic Status on the Outcome of Peritoneal Dialysis (SSOP) Study. All demographic and laboratory data were recorded at baseline. Multivariate Cox regression was used to calculate the hazard ratio (HR) of CV and all-cause mortality with adjustments for recognized traditional and uremia-related CV factors.
There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between patients with (n = 2193) and without (n = 71) UA measured. Each 1 mg/dL of increase in UA was associated with higher all-cause mortality with 1.05(1.00∼1.10) of HR and higher CV mortality with 1.12 (1.05∼1.20) of HR after adjusting for age, gender and center size. The highest gender-specific tertile of UA predicted higher all-cause mortality with 1.23(1.00∼1.52) of HR and higher CV mortality with 1.69 (1.21∼2.38) of HR after adjusting for age, gender and center size. The predictive value of UA was stronger in patients younger than 65 years without CV disease or diabetes at baseline. The prognostic value of UA as both continuous and categorical variable weakened or disappeared after further adjusted for uremia-related and traditional CV risk factors.
The prognostic value of UA in CV and all-cause mortality was weak in PD patients generally, which was confounded by uremia-related and traditional CV risk factors.
A variety of metal-binding compounds have been found to exert anti-cancer activity. We postulated that N-acetylcysteine (NAC), which is a membrane-permeable metal-binding compound, might have anti-cancer activity in the presence of metals. We found that NAC/Cu(II) significantly alters growth and induces apoptosis in human cancer lines, yet NAC/Zn(II) and NAC/Fe(III) do not. We further confirmed that this cytotoxicity of NAC/Cu(II) is attributed to reactive oxygen species (ROS). These findings indicate that the combination of Cu(II) and thiols generates cytotoxic ROS that induce apoptosis in cancer cells. They also indicate a fourth class of anti-neoplastic metal-binding compounds, the “ROS generator”.
N-acetylcysteine; Copper; Metal binding; Anti-cancer; Hydrogen peroxide
Serum pepsinogen (PG) levels are valuable in the diagnosis of gastric diseases. However, PG levels are affected by many factors such as the area and race. This study aimed to investigate serum PG levels in patients with different gastric diseases who were Chinese Han people in Hunan Province, midsouth China.
A total of 248 gastric disease patients and 34 healthy controls were enrolled. The patients included those with non-atrophic and chronic atrophic gastritis, gastric and duodenal ulcer, early and advanced gastric cancer. Serum PG I and II levels were detected by Biohit ELISA kit (Finland), and PG I/II ratio was calculated. Differences in patients with gastric disease and healthy controls were analyzed using paired t-test.
Compared with controls, patients with early and advanced gastric cancer had a significantly lower PG I level and PG I/II ratio (p <0.005). In contrast, patients with gastric and duodenal ulcer had a significantly higher PG I level (p <0.005). Compared with atrophic gastritis patients, patients with early and advanced carcinoma of the stomach had a significantly lower PG I/II ratio (p < 0.001). Combination of the cut-off levels of PG I (70 μg/L) and PG I/II ratio (6) provided 62.1% sensitivity of and 94.2% specificity for the diagnosis of gastric cancer.
Decreased PG I level and PG I/II ratio are risk factors for gastric cancer. Combined use of serum PG I level and PG I/II ratio may help the early diagnosis of gastric cancer.
Gastritis; Stomach; Gastric cancer; Peptic ulcer; Serum pepsinogen
The cellular uptake of a functional charge-reversal amphiphile:DNA lipoplex is described. First, pharmacological inhibitors were applied to block different endocytosis pathways. By examining the resulting transfection activities, it was found that endocytosis was the pathway leading to transfection in Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells. When the specific pathway of macropinocytosis was inhibited, β-galactosidase expression was significantly depleted (90%); meanwhile the inhibition of clathrin-mediated pathway only brought a 30% decrease in expression; and the inhibition of caveolae-mediated pathway did not affect expression. Furthermore, a transfection kinetics study revealed that the cellular uptake responsible for gene expression was a slower process compared to clathrin-mediated endocytosis, consistent with fluid-phase uptake compared to receptor-mediated uptake. Next, a fluorescence co-localization study was used to visualize the DNA lipoplex uptake pathways. The co-localization of the DNA lipoplex and Cascade Blue®, a fluid-phase uptake marker, was observed. Meanwhile, the co-localization of the DNA lipoplex and transferrin, a clathrin-mediated endocytosis marker, was also seen. However, no co-localization was observed with the endosome/lysosome marker Lysotracker™. Our results indicate that macropinocytosis, not the commonly seen clathrin-mediated endocytosis for cationic lipids, is the major pathway leading to gene transfection in CHO cells for this charge-reversal amphiphile.
Gene delivery; transfection; charge-reversal; amphiphile; macropinocytosis; lipid; DNA
A series of charge-reversal lipids were synthesized that possess varying chain lengths and end functionalities. These lipids were designed to bind and then release DNA based on a change in electrostatic interaction with DNA. Specifically, a cleavable ester linkage is located at the ends of the hydrocarbon chains. The DNA release from the amphiphile was tuned by altering the length and position of the ester linkage in the hydrophobic chains of the lipids through the preparation of five new amphiphiles. The amphiphiles and corresponding lipoplexes were characterized by DSC, TEM, and X-ray, as well as evaluated for DNA binding and DNA transfection. For one specific charge-reversal lipid, stable lipoplexes of approximately 550 nm were formed, and with this amphiphile, effective in vitro DNA transfection activities was observed.
Gene Delivery; DNA; charge reversal; charge switchable; functional vectors