ABO blood groups have been suggested to contribute to the development of certain tumors; however, the associations between ABO blood groups and the incidence and metastases of cutaneous malignant melanomas have not been fully evaluated in Chinese populations. Thus, we investigated these associations with a case-controlled study in northeast of China.
A total of 482 patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma and 3,068 healthy- controls were enrolled for the study between 2001 and 2012 at The Tumor Hospital of Harbin Medical University. A multivariate logistic model was used to evaluate adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the incidence and metastases of cutaneous malignant melanoma.
Blood type A individuals had higher tumor incidence and metastasis compared to those with blood type O (OR = 1.575; 95% CI = 1.208–2.053, p = 0.001; OR = 2.004; 95% CI = 1.032–3.889, p = 0.040), after adjusting for age, gender, smoking status and alcohol consumption.
Blood type A was associated with higher incidence and metastasis of cutaneous malignant melanoma but future studies are needed to examine the mechanisms linking cutaneous malignant melanoma to ABO blood types.
Ribose-phosphate pyrophosphokinase 1 (PRPS1) was identified and isolated as a differentially expressed gene between deltamethrin-susceptible (DS) and deltamethrin-resistant (DR) Culex pipiens pallens and Aedes albopictus C6/36 cell line through microarray and 2D-Gel. An open reading frame of PRPS1 cloned from C. pipiens pallens has 1,011 bp and encodes for a 336 amino acids protein which shares high homology with Culex quinquefasciatus. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to determine the transcript expression level of PRPS1 in DS and DR strains. The expression levels of PRPS1 were higher in DR laboratory strains and natural population JXZ-DR, JXZ-LDR. PRPS1 was also detected and expressed at all developmental stages of C. pipiens pallens and increased expression level in DR3 strain than DS strain in the third and fourth instar larvae, female and male stages. In addition, to further investigate the role of PRPS1 in deltamethrin resistance, PRPS1 was transiently expressed in A. albopictus C6/36 cells and detected by western blotting. Cells transfected with PRPS1 had an increased resistance to deltamethrin compared with control cells. These results suggested that the increased expression level of PRPS1 may play roles in the regulation of deltamethrin resistance.
Anopheles sinensis is an important mosquito vector of Plasmodium vivax, which is the most frequent and widely distributed cause of recurring malaria throughout Asia, and particularly in China, Korea, and Japan.
We performed 454 next-generation sequencing and obtained a draft sequence of A. sinensis assembled into scaffolds spanning 220.8 million base pairs. Analysis of this genome sequence, we observed expansion and contraction of several immune-related gene families in anopheline relative to culicine mosquito species. These differences suggest that species-specific immune responses to Plasmodium invasion underpin the biological differences in susceptibility to Plasmodium infection that characterize these two mosquito subfamilies.
The A. sinensis genome produced in this study, provides an important resource for analyzing the genetic basis of susceptibility and resistance of mosquitoes to Plasmodium parasites research which will ultimately facilitate the design of urgently needed interventions against this debilitating mosquito-borne disease.
Genome; Anopheles sinensis; Malaria
Multiple neurological diseases result from a pathological hypoxia in the brain, resulting in various motor, sensory or cognitive sequelae. Understanding the response of neural stem cells (NSCs) and differentiated neurons to hypoxia will help better treat such diseases.
We exposed mouse embryonic primary neurons (PN) and neural stem cells to 1% O2 in vitro.
Both cell types survived and retained their immunocyto-chemical markers, and neurons showed no obvious morphological changes. Microarray analysis showed that the number of genes with significantly altered expression levels was almost five-fold higher in NSCs compared to PN. NSCs displayed a clear block in G1/S phase of the cell cycle and a number of down-regulated cytokine genes. Various growth factors (e.g. neural growth factor, prolactin), involved in survival and proliferation, genes of the Notch pathway, and genes involved in glial differentiation, and cell-matrix adhesion were up-regulated. PN displayed a down-regulation of a number of genes involved in neuron-specific functions, in particular, transmitter-related (e.g. synaptic transmission, neurotransmitter transport and release, learning, adult behavior).
We conclude that hypoxia 1-down-regulates genes involved in multiple neuronal functions which can negatively impact learning and memory; 2-induces a cell cycle block in NSCs; 3-can precondition NSC towards a particular differentiation potential while maintaining them fully undifferentiated.
Hypoxia; Neural stem cells; Cell cycle; Primary neuron; Neurotransmitter; Neuronal function
Objective. To observe the dermal microcirculation blood perfusion characterization of meridians channels (acupoints). Methods. 20 healthy human subjects were monitored using Pericam Perfusion Speckle Imager (PSI) for the changes in dermal microcirculation blood perfusion on governor meridian and other respective dermal regions as a control. Result. The microcirculation blood perfusion on Governor Meridian is higher than its control area. Conclusion. The dermal microcirculation blood perfusion on certain parts of Governor Meridian of healthy human subjects showed specifics.
While the effects of hypoxia on gene expression have been investigated in the CNS to some extent, we currently do not know what role epigenetics plays in the transcription of many genes during such hypoxic stress. To start understanding the role of epigenetic changes during hypoxia, we investigated the long-term effect of hypoxia on gene expression and DNA methylation in hippocampal neuronal cells. Primary murine hippocampal neuronal cells were cultured for 7 days. Hypoxic stress of 1% O2, 5% CO2 for 24 hours was applied on Day 3, conditions we found to maximize cellular hypoxic stress response without inducing cell death. Cells were returned to normoxia for 4 days following the period of hypoxic stress. On Day 7, Methyl-Sensitive Cut Counting (MSCC) was used to identify a genome-wide methylation profile of the hippocampal cell lines to assess methylation changes resulting from hypoxia. RNA-Seq was also done on Day 7 to analyze changes in gene transcription. Phenotypic analysis showed that neuronal processes were significantly shorter after 1 day of hypoxia, but there was a catch-up growth of these processes after return to normoxia. Transcriptome profiling using RNA-Seq revealed 369 differentially expressed genes with 225 being upregulated, many of which form networks shown to affect CNS development and function. Importantly, the expression level of 59 genes could be correlated to the changes in DNA methylation in their promoter regions. CpG islands, in particular, had a strong tendency to remain hypomethylated long after hypoxic stress was removed. From this study, we conclude that short-term, sub-lethal hypoxia results in long-lasting changes to genome wide DNA methylation status and that some of these changes can be highly correlated with transcriptional modulation in a number of genes involved in functional pathways that have been previously implicated in neural growth and development.
Mitochondria are the primary organelles that consume oxygen and provide energy for cellular activities. To investigate the mitochondrial mechanisms underlying adaptation to extreme oxygen conditions, we generated Drosophila strains that could survive in low- or high-oxygen environments (LOF or HOF, respectively), examined their mitochondria at the ultrastructural level via transmission electron microscopy, studied the activity of their respiratory chain complexes, and quantitatively analyzed the protein abundance responses of the mitochondrial proteomes using Isobaric tag for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ). A total of 718 proteins were identified with high confidence, and 55 and 75 mitochondrial proteins displayed significant differences in abundance in LOF and HOF, respectively, compared with the control flies. Importantly, these differentially expressed mitochondrial proteins are primarily involved in respiration, calcium regulation, the oxidative response, and mitochondrial protein translation. A correlation analysis of the changes in the levels of the mRNAs corresponding to differentially regulated mitochondrial proteins revealed two sets of proteins with different modes of regulation (transcriptional vs. post-transcriptional) in both LOF and HOF. We believe that these findings will not only enhance our understanding of the mechanisms underlying adaptation to extreme oxygen conditions in Drosophila but also provide a clue in studying human disease induced by altered oxygen tension in tissues and cells.
To treat traumatic optic neuropathy (TON) with transplantation of human umbilical cord blood stem cells (hUCBSC) and explore how transplanted stem cells participate in the neuron repairing process.
A total of 195 Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to three groups: sham-surgery, optic nerve injury, and stem cell transplant group. Optic nerve injury was established in rats by directly clamping the optic nerve for 30 seconds. hUCBSC was microinjected into the vitreous cavity of injured rats. Optic nerve function was evaluated by flash visual evoked potentials (F-VEP). Apoptosis in retina tissues was detected by TUNEL staining. GRP78 and CHOP gene expression was measured by RT-PCR.
After injury, transplantation of hUCBSC significantly blunted a reduction in optic nerve function indicated by smaller decreases in amplitude and smaller increases in peak latency of F-VEP waveform compared to the injury alone group. Also, significant more in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) count and less in RGC apoptosis were detected after transplantation compared to injured rats. The protective effect correlated with upregulated GRP78 and downregulated CHOP mRNA expression.
Intravitreal transplantation of hUCBSCs significantly blunted a reduction in optic nerve function through increasing RGC survival and decreasing retinal cell apoptosis. The protective role of transplantation was associated with upregulation of GRP78 expression and downregulation of CHOP expression in retinal cells.
The prophenoloxidase subunit A3 (proPOA3) gene was cloned from Culex pipiens pallens, which had an open reading frame of 2,061 bp encoding a putative 686 amino acid protein. The deduced amino acid sequence shares 98% with proPOA3 from Cx. quinquefasciatus. ProPOA3 is expressed at all developmental stages of Cx. pipiens pallens. Significant negative correlation was observed between proPOA3 expression and deltamethrin resistance in resistant Cx. pipiens pallens. Furthermore, proPOA3 expression levels were significantly lower in deltamethrin-resistant mosquitoes than in susceptible mosquitoes collected at four locations in Eastern China. However, we did not find any substantial change in proPOA3 expression in field-collected resistant Anopheles mosquitoes. Moreover, overexpressing proPOA3 in C6/36 cells led to more sensitivity to deltamethrin treatment. In laboratory and field-collected resistant Cx. pipiens pallens, a valine to isoleucine mutation (769G>A) and two synonymous mutations (1116G>C and 1116G>A) were identified in proPOA3. In addition, the mutation frequency of 769G>A and 1116G>C increased gradually, which corresponded with raised deltamethrin resistance levels. Taken together, our study provides the first evidence that proPOA3 may play a role in the regulation of deltamethrin-resistance in Cx. pipiens pallens.
Culex pipiens pallens; deltamethrin resistance; prophenoloxidase; mutation
A divergent human papillomavirus (HPV), isolated from a lung lesion of a patient with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, was fully cloned, sequenced, and genetically characterized. DNA analysis revealed that the HPV contained a 10.4-kb genome, with a duplication of 2,493 bp that includes partial L1-long control region (LCR)-E6-E7-partial E1 sequences.
Traditional Chinese medicine uses a systemic treatment approach, targeting multiple etiological factors simultaneously. Danhong injection (DHI), a very popular Chinese medicine injection, is reported to be effective for many cardiovascular conditions. The primary active ingredients of DHI, and their systemic and interrelated mechanism have not been evaluated in an established myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (MI/R) model. We identified the main active constituents in DHI, including hydroxysafflor yellow A (A), salvianolic acid B (B), and danshensu (C), by HPLC fingerprint analysis and assessed their effect on MI/R rats and cardiomyocytes. These 3 compounds and DHI all decreased the levels of IL-1, TNF-α, and MDA, increased those of IL-10 and SOD activity in vivo and in vitro, and had antiapoptotic effects, as shown by flow cytometric analysis and TUNEL assay. Moreover, these compounds increased phosphorylation of Akt and ERK1/2 in cardiomyocytes. Interestingly, we found compound A exerted a more prominent anti-inflammatory effect than B and C, by decreasing NF-κB levels; compound B had more powerful antioxidative capacity than A and C, by increasing Nrf2 expression; compound C had stronger antiapoptotic ability than A and B, by lowering caspase-3 activity. Our results elucidate the mechanisms by which DHI protects against MI/R induced injury.
It is a great challenge of modern biology to determine the functional roles of non-synonymous Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (nsSNPs) on complex phenotypes. Statistical and machine learning techniques establish correlations between genotype and phenotype, but may fail to infer the biologically relevant mechanisms. The emerging paradigm of Network-based Association Studies aims to address this problem of statistical analysis. However, a mechanistic understanding of how individual molecular components work together in a system requires knowledge of molecular structures, and their interactions.
To address the challenge of understanding the genetic, molecular, and cellular basis of complex phenotypes, we have, for the first time, developed a structural systems biology approach for genome-wide multiscale modeling of nsSNPs - from the atomic details of molecular interactions to the emergent properties of biological networks. We apply our approach to determine the functional roles of nsSNPs associated with hypoxia tolerance in Drosophila melanogaster. The integrated view of the functional roles of nsSNP at both molecular and network levels allows us to identify driver mutations and their interactions (epistasis) in H, Rad51D, Ulp1, Wnt5, HDAC4, Sol, Dys, GalNAc-T2, and CG33714 genes, all of which are involved in the up-regulation of Notch and Gurken/EGFR signaling pathways. Moreover, we find that a large fraction of the driver mutations are neither located in conserved functional sites, nor responsible for structural stability, but rather regulate protein activity through allosteric transitions, protein-protein interactions, or protein-nucleic acid interactions. This finding should impact future Genome-Wide Association Studies.
Our studies demonstrate that the consolidation of statistical, structural, and network views of biomolecules and their interactions can provide new insight into the functional role of nsSNPs in Genome-Wide Association Studies, in a way that neither the knowledge of molecular structures nor biological networks alone could achieve. Thus, multiscale modeling of nsSNPs may prove to be a powerful tool for establishing the functional roles of sequence variants in a wide array of applications.
Papillomaviruses are epitheliotropic, nonenveloped, circular, double-stranded DNA viruses within the family Papillomaviridae that are associated with benign and malignant tumors in humans and animals. We report the complete genome sequence of canine papillomavirus type 10 identified from a pigmented plaque located on the head of a mixed-breed bloodhound.
Background. In traditional Chinese medicine acupuncture manipulation is one of the key factors that affect the curative results of acupuncture and more and more researches focus on how the different acupuncture manipulation techniques influence microcirculation nowadays. In this paper we demonstrate the different influences of lift-thrust reinforcing and reducing on blood perfusion. Method. The acupuncture manipulations of lift-thrust reinforcing and reducing were, respectively, applied to the 15 healthy subjects at the Zusanli acupoint and the changes of blood perfusion were monitored by Pericam Perfusion Speckle Imager (PSI). Conclusion. Both of the manipulations of lift-thrust reinforcing and reducing increase blood perfusion at Zusanli acupoint while the increasing amount of blood perfusion in the reinforcing group is significantly higher than in the reducing group.
Papillomaviruses are nonenveloped, double-stranded DNA viruses that are associated with both benign and malignant tumors in animals and humans. We report the complete genome sequence of canine papillomavirus type 9 isolated from a solitary pigmented plaque on a mixed-breed bloodhound.
Hypoxia occurs in physiologic conditions (e.g. high altitude) or during pathologic states (e.g. ischemia). Our research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that lead to adaptation and survival or injury to hypoxic stress using Drosophila as a model system. To identify genes involved in hypoxia tolerance, we screened the P-SUP P-element insertion lines available for all the chromosomes of Drosophila. We screened for the eclosion rates of embryos developing under 5% O2 condition and the number of adult flies surviving one week after eclosion in the same hypoxic environment. Out of 2187 lines (covering ∼1870 genes) screened, 44 P-element lines representing 44 individual genes had significantly higher eclosion rates (i.e. >70%) than those of the controls (i.e. ∼7–8%) under hypoxia. The molecular function of these candidate genes ranged from cell cycle regulation, DNA or protein binding, GTP binding activity, and transcriptional regulators. In addition, based on pathway analysis, we found these genes are involved in multiple pathways, such as Notch, Wnt, Jnk, and Hedgehog. Particularly, we found that 20 out of the 44 candidate genes are linked to Notch signaling pathway, strongly suggesting that this pathway is essential for hypoxia tolerance in flies. By employing the UAS/RNAi-Gal4 system, we discovered that genes such as osa (linked to Wnt and Notch pathways) and lqf (Notch regulator) play an important role in survival and development under hypoxia in Drosophila. Based on these results and our previous studies, we conclude that hypoxia tolerance is a polygenic trait including the Notch pathway.
hypoxia; development and survival; Notch pathway; osa; lqf
Chronic hypoxia (CH) occurs under certain physiological or pathological conditions, including in people who reside at high altitude or suffer chronic cardiovascular or pulmonary diseases. As mitochondria are the predominant oxygen-consuming organelles to generate ATP through oxidative phosphorylation in cells, their responses, through structural or molecular modifications, to limited oxygen supply play an important role in the overall functional adaptation to hypoxia. Here, we report the adaptive mitochondrial ultrastructural modifications and the functional impacts in a recently generated hypoxia-adapted Drosophila melanogaster strain that survives severe, otherwise lethal, hypoxic conditions. Using electron tomography, we discovered increased mitochondrial volume density and cristae abundance, yet also cristae fragmentation and a unique honeycomb-like structure in the mitochondria of hypoxia-adapted flies. The homeostatic levels of adenylate and energy charge were similar between hypoxia-adapted and naïve control flies and the hypoxia-adapted flies remained active under severe hypoxia as quantified by negative geotaxis behavior. The equilibrium ATP level was lower in hypoxia-adapted flies than those of the naïve controls tested under severe hypoxia that inhibited the motion of control flies. Our results suggest that the structural rearrangement in the mitochondria of hypoxia-adapted flies may be an important adaptive mechanism that plays a critical role in preserving adenylate homeostasis and metabolism as well as muscle function under chronic hypoxic conditions.
It is known that amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Interaction between Aβ and the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) has been implicated in neuronal degeneration associated with this disease. Pinocembrin, a flavonoid abundant in propolis, has been reported to possess numerous biological activities beneficial to health. Our previous studies have demonstrated that pinocembrin has neuroprotective effects on ischemic and vascular dementia in animal models. It has been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration of China for clinical use in stroke patients. Against this background, we investigated the effects of pinocembrin on cognitive function and neuronal protection against Aβ-induced toxicity and explored its potential mechanism.
Mice received an intracerebroventricular fusion of Aβ25-35. Pinocembrin was administrated orally at 20 mg/kg/day and 40 mg/kg/day for 8 days. Behavioral performance, cerebral cortex neuropil ultrastructure, neuronal degeneration and RAGE expression were assessed. Further, a RAGE-overexpressing cell model and an AD cell model were used for investigating the mechanisms of pinocembrin. The mechanisms underlying the efficacy of pinocembrin were conducted on target action, mitochondrial function and potential signal transduction using fluorescence-based multiparametric technologies on a high-content analysis platform.
Our results showed that oral administration of pinocembrin improved cognitive function, preserved the ultrastructural neuropil and decreased neurodegeneration of the cerebral cortex in Aβ25-35-treated mice. Pinocembrin did not have a significant effect on inhibiting Aβ1-42 production and scavenging intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). However, pinocembrin significantly inhibited the upregulation of RAGE transcripts and protein expression both in vivo and in vitro, and also markedly depressed the activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-MAPKAP kinase-2 (MK2)-heat shock protein 27 (HSP27) and stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK)/c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-c-Jun pathways and the downstream nuclear factor κB (NFκB) inflammatory response subsequent to Aβ-RAGE interaction. In addition, pinocembrin significantly alleviated mitochondrial dysfunction through improving mitochondrial membrane potential and inhibiting mitochondrial oxidative stress, and regulated mitochondrion-mediated apoptosis by restoration of B cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2) and cytochrome c and inactivation of caspase 3 and caspase 9.
Pinocembrin was shown to infer cognitive improvement and neuronal protection in AD models. The mechanisms of action of the compound were illustrated on RAGE-dependent transduction inhibition and mitochondrion protection. It appears to be a promising candidate for the prevention and therapy of AD.
Alzheimer's disease; amyloid-β peptide; apoptosis; pinocembrin; receptor for advanced glycation end products
Continuous and excessive application of insecticides has resulted in the rapid development of insecticide resistance in several mosquito species, including Culex pipiens pallens. Previous studies in our laboratory found that arrestin gene expression was higher in the deltamethrin-resistant (DR) strain than in the deltamethrin-susceptible (DS) strain of Cx. pipiens pallens. Similarly, other studies reported that arrestin was highly expressed in permethrin-resistant Cx. quinquefasciatus and in dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT)-resistant Drosophila melanogaster.
Full-length cDNAs of an arrestin gene were cloned from Cx. pipiens pallens via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid amplification of cDNA end (RACE). The mRNA levels of the arrestin gene in the whole life cycle of DR and DS strains of Cx. pipiens pallens were investigated via quantitative real-time PCR. In addition, the relationship between arrestin and deltamethrin (DM) resistance were identified using genetic overexpression strategies and arrestin RNAi in mosquito cells. Cell viability was analyzed with cholecystokinin octapeptide after DM treatment. Moreover, the mRNA levels of cytochrome P450 6A1 (CYP6A1) and opsin in the transfected cells and controls were analyzed.
Complete arrestin gene sequence was cloned and expressed throughout the life cycle of Cx. pipiens pallens. Moreover, arrestin was significantly upregulated in the DR strain, compared with that in the DS strain at the egg, pupae, and adult stages. Arrestin overexpression comparably increased the mosquito cell viability, whereas arrestin knockdown by siRNA decreased mosquito cell viability with deltamethrin (DM) treatment. Meanwhile, the mRNA levels of CYP6A1 and opsin were upregulated in mosquito cells transfected with arrestin and downregulated in mosquito cells with arrestin knockdown.
This study presented the first evidence that arrestin might be associated with insecticide resistance in Cx. pipiens pallens.
Insecticide resistance; Arrestin; Gene cloning; Transfection; SiRNA; Cell viability
Amino acid response (AAR) pathway is activated when cells are deprived of amino acids. In the present study, using the human colon cancer cell line SW480, we observed that DKK1, an antagonist of the Wnt pathway, was significantly induced at the mRNA level after the removal of amino acids from the medium. Addition of the amino alcohol histidinol, which prevents the formation of histidinyl-tRNAHis, also increased DKK1 mRNA to a level similar to that observed when cells were deprived of all amino acids. Transcriptional activity and stability of DKK1 mRNA were both increased in the amino acid-deprived condition. The induction of DKK1 gene expression was confirmed by the increased immunofluorescent staining of the DKK1 protein in the amino acid deprived condition. Although Chromatin Immunoprecipitation assays showed increased RNA Polymerase II binding at the DKK1 promoter in amino acid-limited conditions, ATF4 binding to the promoter is absent. Luciferase reporter assays did not detect any functional AARE within the DKK1 gene structure. Knockdown of ATF4 by siRNA did not affect the increase of DKK1 mRNA during amino acid limitation. Inhibition of ERK phosphorylation abolished the induction of DKK1. Our study revealed that DKK1 is a novel target gene in the response to amino acid deficiency and that the expression of DKK1 is up-regulated through an ATF4-independent and an ERK-dependent pathway.
amino acid deficiency; ATF4, DKK1; phosphorylated ERK; transcription; Wnt
Through long-term laboratory selection, we have generated a Drosophila melanogaster population that tolerates severe, normally lethal, level of hypoxia. This strain lives perpetually under severe hypoxic conditions (4% O2). In order to shed light on the mechanisms involved in this adaptation, we studied the respiratory function of isolated mitochondria from the thorax of hypoxia-adapted flies (AF) using polarographic oxygen consumption while monitoring superoxide generation by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) techniques. AF mitochondria exhibited a significant 30% decrease in respiratory rate during state 3, while enhancing the resting respiratory rate during State 4-oligo by 220%. The activity of individual electron transport complexes I, II and III were 107%, 65%, and 120% in AF mitochondria as compared to those isolated from control flies. The sharp decrease in complex II activity and modest increase in complexes I and III resulted in >60% reduction in superoxide leakage from AF mitochondria during both NAD+-linked state 3 and State 4-oligo respirations. These results provide evidence that flies with mitochondria exhibiting decreased succinate dehydrogenase activity and reduced superoxide leakage give flies an advantage for survival in long-term hypoxia.
Systemic chemotherapy using two-drug platinum-based regimens for the treatment of advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has largely reached a plateau of effectiveness. Accordingly, efforts to improve survival and quality of life outcomes have more recently focused on the use of molecularly targeted agents, either alone or in combination with standard of care therapies such as taxanes. The molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) represents an attractive candidate for therapeutic intervention, as its inhibition results in the simultaneous blockade of multiple oncogenic signaling cascades. Ganetespib is a non-ansamycin inhibitor of Hsp90 currently under clinical evaluation in a number of human malignancies, including NSCLC. Here we show that ganetespib potentiates the cytotoxic activity of the taxanes paclitaxel and docetaxel in NSCLC models. The combination of ganetespib with paclitaxel, docetaxel or another microtubule-targeted agent vincristine resulted in synergistic antiproliferative effects in the H1975 cell line in vitro. These benefits translated to improved efficacy in H1975 xenografts in vivo, with significantly enhanced tumor growth inhibition observed in combination with paclitaxel and tumor regressions seen with docetaxel. Notably, concurrent exposure to ganetespib and docetaxel improved antitumor activity in 5 of 6 NSCLC xenograft models examined. Our data suggest that the improved therapeutic indices are likely to be mechanistically multifactorial, including loss of pro-survival signaling and direct cell cycle effects resulting from Hsp90 modulation by ganetespib. Taken together, these findings provide preclinical evidence for the use of this combination to treat patients with advanced NSCLC.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10637-011-9790-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hsp90 inhibition; Ganetespib; Taxanes; Non-small cell lung cancer; Cancer therapy
For smaller organisms with faster breeding cycles, artificial selection can be used to create sub-populations with different phenotypic traits. Genetic tests can be employed to identify the causal markers for the phenotypes, as a precursor to engineering strains with a combination of traits. Traditional approaches involve analyzing crosses of inbred strains to test for co-segregation with genetic markers. Here we take advantage of cheaper next generation sequencing techniques to identify genetic signatures of adaptation to the selection constraints. Obtaining individual sequencing data is often unrealistic due to cost and sample issues, so we focus on pooled genomic data. We explore a series of statistical tests for selection using pooled case (under selection) and control populations. The tests generally capture skews in the scaled frequency spectrum of alleles in a region, which are indicative of a selective sweep. Extensive simulations are used to show that these approaches work well for a wide range of population divergence times and strong selective pressures. Control vs control simulations are used to determine an empirical False Positive Rate, and regions under selection are determined using a 1% FPR level. We show that pooling does not have a significant impact on statistical power. The tests are also robust to reasonable variations in several different parameters, including window size, base-calling error rate, and sequencing coverage. We then demonstrate the viability (and the challenges) of one of these methods in two independent Drosophila populations (Drosophila melanogaster) bred under selection for hypoxia and accelerated development, respectively. Testing for extreme hypoxia tolerance showed clear signals of selection, pointing to loci that are important for hypoxia adaptation. Overall, we outline a strategy for finding regions under selection using pooled sequences, then devise optimal tests for that strategy. The approaches show promise for detecting selection, even several generations after fixation of the beneficial allele has occurred.
tests of selection; sequence pooling; case-control framework
Otoconia are biomineral particles of microscopic size essential for perception of gravity and maintenance of balance. Millions of older Americans are affected in their mobility, quality of life and in their health by progressive demineralization of otoconia. Currently, no effective means to prevent or counteract this process are available. Because of prohibitive anatomical and biological constraints, otoconial research is lagging far behind other systems such as bone and teeth. We have overcome these obstacles by generating otoconial matrix proteins by recombinant techniques. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of recombinant Otoconin 90 (OC90), the principal soluble matrix protein upon calcite crystal growth patterns in vitro. Our findings highlight multiple effects, including facilitation of nucleation, and inhibition of crystal growth in a concentration-dependent manner. Moreover, OC90 induces morphologic changes characteristic of native otoconia.
OC90 is considerably less acidic than the prototypical invertebrate CaCO3 –associated protein, but is nevertheless an effective modulator of calcite crystal growth. Based on homology modeling of the sPLA2-like domains of OC90, we propose that the lower density of acidic residues of the primary sequence is compensated by formation of major anionic surface clusters upon folding into tertiary conformation.
Biomineralization; Otoconin 90; Otoconia
The current study was designed to investigate the mechanisms by which ropivacaine may act within the central nervous system (CNS) to produce cardiotoxicity. Eighty New Zealand rabbits were divided into four groups randomly. In Group 1, 20 rabbits received intracerebroventricular (icv) saline, and then received icv ropivacaine 30 min later. In Group 2, 20 rabbits received icv ropivacaine. Whenever dysrhythmias continued for more than 5 min, 0.1 ml saline was administered into the left cerebral ventricle. Ten minutes later, 0.1 ml midazolam was given into the left lateral ventricle. In Group 3, 20 rabbits received icv ropivacaine, and once the dysrhythmias developed, the inspired isoflurane concentration was increased from 0.75% to 1.50%. In Group 4, 20 animals received an intravenous (iv) phenylephrine infusion until dysrhythmias occurred. In Group 1, the rabbits did not develop dysrhythmias in response to icv saline, whereas dysrhythmias did develop in these animals after icv ropivacaine. In Group 2, icv saline had no effect on the dysrhythmias; however, icv midazolam terminated cardiac dysrhythmias. In Group 3, an increase in the concentration of the inspired isoflurane had no effect on dysrhythmias. In Group 4, icv midazolam had no effect on dysrhythmias in response to iv phenylephrine. Ropivacaine administered directly into the CNS is capable of producing cardiac dysrhythmias; midazolam terminated dysrhythmias presumably by potentiation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor activity. Our results suggest that ropivacaine produces some of its cardiotoxicity not only by the direct cardiotoxicity of the drug, but also by the CNS effects of ropivacaine.
Ropivacaine; Cardiotoxicity; Ventricular cerebrospinal fluid; Central nervous system (CNS); Dysrhythmias; Midazolam