Chromatin remodeling processes are among the most important regulatory mechanisms in controlling cell proliferation and regeneration. Drosophila intestinal stem cells (ISCs) exhibit self-renewal potentials, maintain tissue homeostasis, and serve as an excellent model for studying cell growth and regeneration. In this study, we show that Brahma (Brm) chromatin-remodeling complex is required for ISC proliferation and damage-induced midgut regeneration in a lineage-specific manner. ISCs and enteroblasts exhibit high levels of Brm proteins; and without Brm, ISC proliferation and differentiation are impaired. Importantly, the Brm complex participates in ISC proliferation induced by the Scalloped–Yorkie transcriptional complex and that the Hippo (Hpo) signaling pathway directly restricted ISC proliferation by regulating Brm protein levels by inducing caspase-dependent cleavage of Brm. The cleavage resistant form of Brm protein promoted ISC proliferation. Our findings highlighted the importance of Hpo signaling in regulating epigenetic components such as Brm to control downstream transcription and hence ISC proliferation.
Most tissues can generate new cells to repair damage or replace worn-out cells. The new cells are often generated from stem cells—cells that can either reproduce themselves or mature into other types of cells. In the fruit-fly Drosophila, for example, intestinal stem cells in the midgut are capable of producing more stem cells or they can differentiate to produce immature cells called enteroblasts that go on to become either enterocytes (the cells that line the gut) or enteroendocrine cells (which secrete hormones).
Researchers have identified a number of signalling pathways that are involved in the proliferation and differentiation of intestinal stem cells in the midgut of fruit flies. These include the Hippo pathway, which is important for regulating both cell proliferation and programmed cell death (apoptosis). Activation of the Hippo protein triggers a cascade of signals that culminate in the regulation of many of the genes involved in cell proliferation, division and apoptosis.
Another process that is important for controlling the proliferation and differentiation of cells is chromatin remodelling. Chromatin is the ‘packaging’ that keeps DNA tightly wound within the cell nucleus, and remodelling refers to the structural changes that allow proteins called transcription factors to reach the genes and transcribe them into messenger RNA (which then leaves the nucleus to generate the protein).
Now, Jin et al. have explored how the Hippo pathway and chromatin remodelling work together to regulate of stem cells. Using a technique called RNA interference to block the expression of various genes in intestinal stem cells and enteroblasts, Jin et al. found that a protein called Brahma—which is an essential part of a chromatin-remodelling complex—must be present for the stem cells to multiply normally.
Jin et al. also showed how the Hippo signalling pathway interacts with chromatin remodelling. Activation of the Hippo pathway inhibits gene expression by preventing two other proteins, Yorkie and Scalloped, from forming a complex in the nucleus. The new work shows that Brahma interacts physically with the Yorkie and Scalloped proteins to regulate the proliferation of the intestinal stem cells. It also shows that the Hippo protein regulates the activity of the Brahma protein by inducing a process called caspase-dependent cleavage. Because many of the proteins involved in these pathways are evolutionarily conserved and expressed in a variety of tissues, these findings may have implications for stem cell function and tissue repair in many species.
Hippo signaling; brahma; midgut; D. melanogaster
The reduction potentials (E0) of type 1 (T1) or blue copper (BC) sites in proteins and enzymes with identical first coordination spheres around the redox active copper ion can vary by ~400 mV. Here, we use a combination of low temperature electronic absorption and magnetic circular dichroism, electron paramagnetic resonance, resonance Raman, and S K-edge X-ray absorption spectroscopies to investigate a series of second sphere variants—F114P, N47S, and F114N in Pseudomonas aeruginosa azurin (Az)—which modulate hydrogen bonding to and protein derived dipoles nearby the Cu-S(Cys) bond. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations correlated to the experimental data allow for the fractionation of the contributions to tuning E0 into covalent and non-local electrostatic components. These are found to be significant, comparable in magnitude, and additive for active H-bonds, while passive H-bonds are mostly non-local electrostatic in nature. For dipoles, these terms can be additive to or oppose one another. This study provides a methodology for uncoupling covalency from non-local electrostatics, which, when coupled to X-ray crystallographic data, distinguishes specific local interactions from more long range protein/active interactions, while affording further insight into the second sphere mechanisms available to the protein to tune the E0 of electron transfer sites in biology.
TERT-locus single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and leucocyte telomere measures are reportedly associated with risks of multiple cancers. Using the iCOGs chip, we analysed ~480 TERT-locus SNPs in breast (n=103,991), ovarian (n=39,774) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (11,705) cancer cases and controls. 53,724 participants have leucocyte telomere measures. Most associations cluster into three independent peaks. Peak 1 SNP rs2736108 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=5.8×10−7), reduced estrogen receptor negative (ER-negative) (P=1.0×10−8) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.1×10−5) breast cancer risks, and altered promoter-assay signal. Peak 2 SNP rs7705526 minor allele associates with longer telomeres (P=2.3×10−14), increased low malignant potential ovarian cancer risk (P=1.3×10−15) and increased promoter activity. Peak 3 SNPs rs10069690 and rs2242652 minor alleles increase ER-negative (P=1.2×10−12) and BRCA1 mutation carrier (P=1.6×10−14) breast and invasive ovarian (P=1.3×10−11) cancer risks, but not via altered telomere length. The cancer-risk alleles of rs2242652 and rs10069690 respectively increase silencing and generate a truncated TERT splice-variant.
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified four low-penetrance ovarian cancer susceptibility loci. We hypothesized that further moderate or low penetrance variants exist among the subset of SNPs not well tagged by the genotyping arrays used in the previous studies which would account for some of the remaining risk. We therefore conducted a time- and cost-effective stage 1 GWAS on 342 invasive serous cases and 643 controls genotyped on pooled DNA using the high density Illumina 1M-Duo array. We followed up 20 of the most significantly associated SNPs, which are not well tagged by the lower density arrays used by the published GWAS, and genotyping them on individual DNA. Most of the top 20 SNPs were clearly validated by individually genotyping the samples used in the pools. However, none of the 20 SNPs replicated when tested for association in a much larger stage 2 set of 4,651 cases and 6,966 controls from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Given that most of the top 20 SNPs from pooling were validated in the same samples by individual genotyping, the lack of replication is likely to be due to the relatively small sample size in our stage 1 GWAS rather than due to problems with the pooling approach. We conclude that there are unlikely to be any moderate or large effects on ovarian cancer risk untagged by the less dense arrays. However our study lacked power to make clear statements on the existence of hitherto untagged small effect variants.
Leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are a limitless cell source for the initiation and maintenance of leukemia. Activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is required for the survival and development of LSCs. Therefore, targeting β-catenin is considered a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of leukemia. The goal of this study was to explore whether cordycepin, an active component of the traditional medicine Cordyceps sinensis, regulates β-catenin expression in leukemia cells.
Methodology and Principal Findings
In this study, we found that cordycepin significantly suppressed cell proliferation in all malignant cancer cells, including U937, K562, A549, HepG2, SK-Hep1 and MCF7 in a dose-dependent manner. However, cordycepin reduced β-catenin levels in U937, K562 and THP1 leukemia cells and had no effect on other solid cancer cells. In addition, treatment with cordycepin significantly suppressed leukemia colony formation in soft agar assay. Cordycepin enhanced proteasome-dependent degradation and inhibited nuclear translocation of β-catenin in leukemia cells. Cordycepin-reduced β-catenin stability was restored by the addition of a pharmacological inhibitor of GSK-3β, indicating that cordycepin-suppressed β-catenin stability is mediated by the activation of GSK-3β. Furthermore, cordycepin abolished the effect of Wnt3a-induced β-catenin in leukemia cells. In addition, cordycepin-impaired β-catenin is regulated by Akt activation but is not significantly influenced by AMPK or mTOR signal pathways.
Our findings show for the first time that codycepin selectively reduces β-catenin stability in leukemia but not in other solid tumor cells. This suppressive effect is mediated by regulating GSK-3β. A synergistic combination of cordycepin with other treatments should be used as a novel strategy to eradicate leukemia via elimination of LSCs.
Aptamers, single-stranded nucleic acids that can selectively bind to various target molecules, have been widely used for constructing biosensors. A major challenge in this field, however, is direct sensing of analytes in complex biological media such as undiluted serum. While progress has been made in developing inhomogeneous assay by using a pre-separation step to wash away the interferences within serum, a facile strategy for direct detection of targets in homogenous unprocessed serum is highly desired. We herein report a turn-on luminescent aptamer biosensor for the direct detection of adenosine in undiluted and unprocessed serum, by taking advantage of a terbium chelate complex with long luminescence lifetime to achieve time-resolved detection. The sensor exhibits a detection limit of 60 µM adenosine while marinating excellent selectivity that is comparable to those in buffer. The approach demonstrated here can be applied for direct detection and quantification of a broad range of analytes in biological media by using other aptamers.
Aptamer; sensor; serum; luminescence; terbium complex
In this study, lansoprazole (LSP)/cyclodextrin (CD) inclusion complexes were prepared using a fluid bed coating technique, with β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD) as the host molecules, respectively, to simultaneously improve the dissolution and stability of LSP. The dissolution rate and stability of LSP was dramatically enhanced by inclusion complexation regardless of CD type. LSP/HPCD inclusion complex was more stable under illumination than LSP/β-CD inclusion complex. Differential scanning calorimetry and powder X-ray diffractometry proved the absence of crystallinity in both LSP/CD inclusion complexes. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy together with molecular modeling indicated that the benzimidazole of LSP was included in the cavity of both CDs, while LSP was more deeply included in HPCD than β-CD. The enhanced photostability was due to the inclusion of the sulfinyl moiety into the HPCD cavity. CD inclusion complexation could improve the dissolution and stability of LSP.
cyclodextrin; dissolution; inclusion complex; lansoprazole; molecular modeling; stability
We report herein a general methodology for metal ion detection using low-cost, simple, and widely accessible personal glucose meters through an invasive DNA approach.
Cytochrome c oxidase (CcO), the terminal enzyme in the mitochondrial respiratory chain, catalyzes the four-electron reduction of dioxygen to water in a binuclear center comprised of a high-spin heme (heme a3) and a copper atom (CuB) coordinated by three histidine residues. As a minimum model for CcO, a mutant of sperm whale myoglobin, named CuBMb, has been engineered, in which a copper atom is held in the distal heme pocket by the native E7 histidine and two nonnative histidine residues. In this work, the role of the copper in regulating ligand binding in CuBMb was investigated. Resonance Raman studies show that the presence of copper in CO-bound CuBMb leads to a CcO-like distal heme pocket. Stopped-flow data show that, upon the initiation of the CO binding reaction, the ligand first binds to the Cu+; it subsequently transfers from Cu+ to Fe2+ in an intramolecular process, similar to that reported for CcO. The high CO affinity toward Cu+ and the slow intramolecular CO transfer rate between Cu+ and Fe2+ in the CuBMb/Cu+ complex are analogous to those in Thermus thermophilus CcO (TtCcO) but distinct from those in bovine CcO (bCcO). Additional kinetic studies show that, upon photolysis of the NO-bound CuBMb/Cu+ complex, the photolyzed ligand transiently binds to Cu+ and subsequently rebinds to Fe2+, accounting for the 100% geminate recombination yield, similar to that found in TtCcO. The data demonstrate that the CuBMb/Cu+ complex reproduces essential structural and kinetic features of CcO and that the complex is more akin to TtCcO than to bCcO.
Cancer is the result of a complex multistep process that involves the accumulation of sequential alterations of several genes, including those encoding microRNAs (miRNAs) that have critical roles in the regulation of gene expression.
In this study, we aimed to predict potential mechanisms of bladder cancer related miRNAs and target genes by bioinformatics analyses.
Here we used the method of text mining to identify nine miRNAs in bladder cancer and adopted protein-protein interaction analysis to identify interaction sites between these miRNAs and related-target genes.
There are two relationship types between bladder cancer and its related miRNAs: causal and unspecified. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment test showed that there were three pathways related to four miRNA targeted genes. The remaining five miRNAs annotated to disease are not enriched in the KEGG pathways. Of these, PIK3R1 is the overlapping gene among 38 genes in the cancer and bladder cancer pathways.
These findings provide new insights into the role of miRNAs in the pathway of cancer and give us a hypothesis that miR-127 might play a similar role in regulation and control of PIK3R1.
Bladder cancer; miRNA; phosphoinositide 3-kinase
Recent clinical studies have assessed the association of various polymorphisms on the ephreceptor tyrosinekinase-type A2 (EPHA2) with the risk for age-related cataract in populations of different ethnic/racial backgrounds, but inconsistent results have been obtained.
This meta-analysis aimed to identify if any polymorphism(s) might be commonly present in different ethnic/racial populations in association with the age-related cataract risk.
The PubMed and Web of Science databases (up to December 1, 2012) were searched for clinical studies on the association of EPHA2 polymorphisms with the risk for age-related cataract. The polymorphisms that were assessed in all eligible studies were analyzed for their association with the risk for age-related cataract using different models.
Three studies were identified, which were conducted, respectively, on white Americans in the Unites States and on Asians in Indian and China. The polymorphism, rs3754334, was the only one studied in all these three studies and was therefore the focus of this meta-analysis. No publication bias or heterogeneity was found. Our analysis results demonstrated that rs3754334 was associated with the risk of any cataracts in the recessive (OR = 1.202, 95% CI: 1.051–1.375, P = 0.007) and Codominant (OR = 1.194, 95% CI: 1.035–1.378, P = 0.015) models, but its association with cortical or nuclear phenotype of age-related cataract was not evident.
Polymorphism, rs3754334, might be a variant on the EPHA2 gene that is commonly associated with the risk for age-related cataract in different ethnical and geographical populations.
Drug nanosuspensions are very promising for enhancing the dissolution and bioavailability of drugs that are poorly soluble in water. However, the poor stability of nanosuspensions, reflected in particle growth, aggregation/agglomeration, and change in crystallinity state greatly limits their applications. Solidification of nanosuspensions is an ideal strategy for addressing this problem. Hence, the present work aimed to convert drug nanosuspensions into pellets using fluid-bed coating technology.
Indomethacin nanosuspensions were prepared by the precipitation-ultrasonication method using food proteins (soybean protein isolate, whey protein isolate, β-lactoglobulin) as stabilizers. Dried nanosuspensions were prepared by coating the nanosuspensions onto pellets. The redispersibility, drug dissolution, solid-state forms, and morphology of the dried nanosuspensions were evaluated.
The mean particle size for the nanosuspensions stabilized using soybean protein isolate, whey protein isolate, and β-lactoglobulin was 588 nm, 320 nm, and 243 nm, respectively. The nanosuspensions could be successfully layered onto pellets with high coating efficiency. Both the dried nanosuspensions and nanosuspensions in their original amorphous state and not influenced by the fluid-bed coating drying process could be redispersed in water, maintaining their original particle size and size distribution. Both the dried nanosuspensions and the original drug nanosuspensions showed similar dissolution profiles, which were both much faster than that of the raw crystals.
Fluid-bed coating technology has potential for use in the solidification of drug nanosuspensions.
nanocrystals; nanosuspensions; food proteins; poorly water-soluble drugs; indomethacin; fluid-bed coating
Par-1 regulates the Hippo signaling pathway in Drosophila melanogaster by modifying the phosphorylation status of Hippo and also by inhibiting the interaction of Hippo and Salvador.
The evolutionarily conserved Hippo (Hpo) signaling pathway plays a pivotal role in organ size control by balancing cell proliferation and cell death. Here, we reported the identification of Par-1 as a regulator of the Hpo signaling pathway using a gain-of-function EP screen in Drosophila melanogaster. Overexpression of Par-1 elevated Yorkie activity, resulting in increased Hpo target gene expression and tissue overgrowth, while loss of Par-1 diminished Hpo target gene expression and reduced organ size. We demonstrated that par-1 functioned downstream of fat and expanded and upstream of hpo and salvador (sav). In addition, we also found that Par-1 physically interacted with Hpo and Sav and regulated the phosphorylation of Hpo at Ser30 to restrict its activity. Par-1 also inhibited the association of Hpo and Sav, resulting in Sav dephosphorylation and destabilization. Furthermore, we provided evidence that Par-1-induced Hpo regulation is conserved in mammalian cells. Taken together, our findings identified Par-1 as a novel component of the Hpo signaling network.
An organism's organ size is determined by cell number, the size of each cell, and the distance between cells. All of these factors are controlled by the coordination of different cell signaling pathways and other mechanisms. The Hippo signaling pathway controls organ size by restricting the number of cells that make up the organ. Malfunction of this pathway leads to abnormal overgrowth, and is involved in a large number of human diseases and cancers. We identify here a component of the Hippo pathway, Par-1, which controls tissue growth by negatively regulating the Hippo pathway. We show that overexpression or depletion of Par-1 influences tissue growth in fruit flies via Hippo signaling. Then, by genetic and biochemical experiments, we show that Par-1 interacts with Hippo, regulating the Hippo Ser30 phosphorylation status to alter Hippo activity. In addition, we found that Par-1 regulates Hippo signaling via inhibition of the Hippo-Salvador association in a kinase-dependent fashion. We predict that Par-1 is a potential oncogene and that its regulatory role in Hippo signaling could be conserved.
Background & objectives:
Patients with prior stroke (PS) undergoing chronic dialysis are at a high risk of mortality. However, little is known about the cumulative risk and survival rate of dialysis patients with long-term follow up. The aim of this study was to assess risks for mortality between patients with and without PS undergoing chronic haemodialysis (HD).
The Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHRI-NHIRD-99182) was used and all adult patients (≥18 yr) with end stage renal disease (ESRD) who started maintenance HD between January 1, 1999, and December 31, 1999, were selected. The patients were followed from the first reported date of HD to the date of death, end of dialysis or December 31, 2008. A Cox's proportional hazard model was applied to identify the risk factors for all-cause mortality.
Among 5672 HD patients, 650 patients (11.5%) had PS. A higher proportion of stroke history at baseline was found in men (52.8%) and those aged ≥ 55 yr (80.9%). After adjusting for age, sex and other covariates, the patients with PS were found to have a 36 per cent increased risk of mortality compared to those without PS (HR 1.36, 95% CI: 1.22-1.52). The cumulative survival rates among HD patients without PS were 96.0 per cent at the first year, 68.4 per cent at the fifth year, and 46.7 per cent at the ninth year, and 92.9, 47.3 and 23.6 per cent, respectively, in those with PS (log-rank: P<0.001).
Interpretation & conclusions:
Our findings showed that PS was an important predictor for all-cause mortality and poor outcome in patients undergoing chronic HD.
All-cause mortality; ESRD; haemodialysis; prior stroke; risk factors
aptamers; biosensors; current amplification; electrochemistry; paper fluidic device
Two dimension (2D) layered molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) has emerged as a promising candidate for the anode material in lithium ion batteries (LIBs). Herein, 2D MoSx (2 ≤ x ≤ 3) nanosheet-coated 1D multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) nanocomposites with hierarchical architecture were synthesized via a high-throughput solvent thermal method under low temperature at 200°C. The unique hierarchical nanostructures with MWNTs backbone and nanosheets of MoSx have significantly promoted the electrode performance in LIBs. Every single MoSx nanosheet interconnect to MWNTs centers with maximized exposed electrochemical active sites, which significantly enhance ion diffusion efficiency and accommodate volume expansion during the electrochemical reaction. A remarkably high specific capacity (i.e., > 1000 mAh/g) was achieved at the current density of 50 mA g−1, which is much higher than theoretical numbers for either MWNTs or MoS2 along (~372 and ~670 mAh/g, respectively). We anticipate 2D nanosheets/1D MWNTs nanocomposites will be promising materials in new generation practical LIBs.
The estrogenic and antiestrogenic potential of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) was assessed using an immature mouse uterotrophic assay and by histologic evaluation of the uterus, cervix and vagina following treatment. Female offspring of CD-1 dams were weaned at 18 days old and assigned to groups of equal weight, and received 0, 0.01, 0.1, or 1 mg PFOA/kg BW/d by gavage with or without 17-β estradiol (E2, 500 μg/kg/d) from PND18-20 (n=8/treatment/block). At 24 hr after the third dose (PND 21), uteri were removed and weighed. Absolute and relative uterine weights were significantly increased in the 0.01 mg/kg PFOA only group. Characteristic estrogenic changes were present in all E2-treated mice; however, they were minimally visible in the 0.01 PFOA only mice. These data suggest that at a low dose PFOA produces minimal histopathologic changes in the reproductive tract of immature female mice, and does not antagonize the cellular effects of E2.
PFOA; immature mice; uterotrophic assay; uterus; cervix; vagina; pathology; estradiol
Cancer metastasis is refractory to most forms of chemotherapy. Conventional and alternative drugs, such as Chinese herbal remedies, have been developed to target metastatic cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of PC-SPESII, an herbal formulation, on the migration, invasion, and metastasis of an experimental human breast cancer cell line in vivo and in vitro. PC-SPESII suppressed pulmonary metastasis and tumor growth of MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer xenografts without affecting body weight, liver function, and kidney function. PC-SPESII also inhibited MDA-MB-231 cell migration and invasion in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. Based on ELISA analysis, secretion of MMP-2 and MMP-9, proteins associated with extracellular matrix degradation, was reduced in response to PC-SPESII treatment. Western blot analysis of whole-cell extracts revealed that the levels of proteolytic proteins associated with matrix and base membrane degradation (MMP-2, MMP-9, and uPA) were decreased and the levels of their endogenous inhibitors (TIMP1 and TIMP2) were increased. Moreover, the p38MAPK and SAPK/JNK signaling pathway, which stimulates proteolytic enzymes and matrix degradation, was inhibited by PC-PSESII. Remarkably, cotreatment with PC-PSESII and p38MAPK or SAPK/JNK inhibitors magnified the antimetastatic phenotype. Our results indicate that PC-PSESII impairs human breast cancer metastasis by regulating proteolytic enzymes and matrix dynamics through the p38MAPK and SAPK/JNK pathway.
We investigated the effects of baicalin on an ischemia-reperfusion-induced brain injury model in rats and its antioxidative activities in vitro and in vivo. An ischemia-reperfusion injury of the brain via a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was induced in rats. Baicalin was injected at different time points (0, 2, 4, and 6 h) after the MCAO was induced. Baicalin can improve neurological function and significantly decrease brain infarction within a time window of 4 h. Moreover, baicalin was able to reduce cell apoptosis and had the strong antioxidative effect of reducing reactive oxygen species production and malondialdehyde generation. In contrast, baicalin interfered with superoxide dismutase and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide 2′-phosphate oxidase activities. Moreover, baicalin also exhibited strong neuroprotective effects against H2O2-mediated injury and improved the SOD activity of neurons. Furthermore, baicalin demonstrated good scavenging of hydroxyl radicals, superoxide anions, and DPPH radicals and exerted an additional effect of inhibiting xanthine oxidase. Baicalin showed beneficial effects against MCAO-induced injury within a 4 h time window, and its antioxidative effects both in vitro and in vivo may partly elucidate its mechanism of action.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical value of the PolyScope™ endoscope system in the treatment of upper urinary calculi with a diameter of <2 cm. A total of 86 patients hospitalized with upper urinary tract calculi were included. The patients were placed under general or spinal anesthesia and in a lithotomy position. Following the dilation of the ureter, a guide wire was inserted under the direct vision of an F8/9.8 rigid ureteroscope, and an F12/14 flexible ureteral access sheath was positioned along the guide wire. Holmium laser lithotripsy was subsequently performed, using an F8.0 ‘PolyScope’ modular flexible ureteroscope. Plain film of the kidney-ureter-bladder (KUB) was performed 1 day subsequent to the surgery, in order to determine the result of the lithotripsy and the position of the double-J stent which was inserted after after holmium laser lithotripsy. In addition, in certain patients, KUB radiography was performed 2–4 weeks subsequent to the surgery, and extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL) was performed if the diameter of the residual stones was >6 mm. Lithotripsy was successful in 77 patients and the duration of the surgery ranged between 25 and 80 min (mean duration, 42 min). Little bleeding was observed. Three patients presented with a slight fever following the surgery; however, no ureteral perforation, high fever or septicemia was observed among the patients following anti-inflammatory treatment. The stone-free rate (SFR) of the single-pass lithotripsy was 89.5% (77/86) and the SFR with ESWL was 96.5% (83/86). The study demonstrated that the F8 modular flexible ureteroscope was safe, convenient and effective for the lithotripsy of upper-tract calculi.
modular; flexible ureteroscope; Holmium laser; lithotripsy; urinary calculi
A general and versatile biomimetic approach to synthesize water dispersible and functionalizable upconverting nanoparticles (UCNPs) for selective imaging of live cancer cells is reported. The approach involves coating the surface of UCNPs with a monolayer of phospholipids containing different functional groups, allowing for conjugation of many molecules for a wide range of applications in fields such as bioinspired nanoassembly, biosensing, and bio-medicine.
Upconverting nanoparticles; surface engineering; functionalizable; bioapplication
Rational design of functional enzymes with high turnovers is a significant challenge, especially those with complex active site and difficult reactions, such as in respiratory oxidases. Introducing 2 His and 1 Tyr into myoglobin resulted in designed enzymes that reduce O2 to H2O with > 1000 turnovers and minimal release of reactive oxygen species. This also showed that presence and positioning of Tyr, not Cu, are critical for activity.
Heme Copper Oxidases; Metalloenzymes; Metalloprotein Design; Oxidoreductases; Protein Design
Drinking deep seawater (DSW) with high levels of magnesium (Mg) decreased serum lipids in animal studies. Therefore the effects of drinking DSW on blood lipids and its antioxidant capacity in hypercholesterolemic subjects were investigated. DSW was first prepared by a process of filtration and reverse osmosis, and then the concentrated DSW with high levels of Mg was diluted as drinking DSW. Forty-two hypercholesterolemic volunteers were randomly divided into three groups: reverse osmotic (RO) water, DSW (Mg: 395 mg/L, hardness 1410 ppm), and magnesium-chloride fortified (MCF) water (Mg: 386 mg/L, hardness 1430 ppm). The subjects drank 1050 mL of water daily for 6 weeks, and blood samples were collected and analyzed on weeks 0, 3, and 6. Drinking DSW caused a decrease in blood total cholesterol levels and this effect was progressively enhanced with time. Serum low-density lipoprotein–cholesterol (LDL-C) was also decreased by DSW. Further, total cholesterol levels of subjects in the DSW group were significantly lower than those in the MCF water or RO water groups. Compared with week 0, the DSW group had higher blood Mg level on weeks 3 and 6, but the Mg levels were within the normal range in all three groups. DSW consumption also lowered thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS) values in serum. In conclusion, DSW was apparently effective in reducing blood total cholesterol and LDL-C, and also in decreasing lipid peroxidation in hypercholesterolemic subjects.
antioxidative; deep seawater; hypocholesterolemic effect; magnesium
The objective of this study was to investigate the potential of liposomes containing bile salts as an ophthalmic delivery system for tacrolimus to improve corneal permeability. Liposomes containing bile salts, including sodium taurocholate, sodium deoxycholate, and sodium glycocholate, were produced by the thin-film dispersion method with a particle size of approximately 100 nm and an entrapment efficiency of more than 90%. Less than 5% tacrolimus was released from conventional liposomes and from liposomes containing sodium taurocholate, sodium deoxycholate, or sodium glycocholate over 12 hours. The cellular uptake of conventional liposomes was significantly higher than that of liposomes containing bile salts. However, liposomes containing bile salts exerted a 3–4-fold increase of tacrolimus in ex vivo corneal transport of tacrolimus compared with conventional liposomes. When rabbit eyes were treated with a DiI perchlorate-loaded liposome suspension, liposomes containing bile salts showed fast and sustained penetration across the cornea. Unfortunately, liposomes containing sodium deoxycholate caused toxicity or irritation to both spontaneously derived human corneal epithelial cells and the rabbit cornea. Therefore, liposomes containing sodium taurocholate and sodium glycocholate are potential carriers in ocular drug delivery systems, given their low toxicity and vastly improved permeability.
liposomes; bile salt; tacrolimus; cornea; sodium taurocholate; sodium deoxycholate; sodium glycocholate