Inhibin, a member of the transforming growth factor-β [TGF-β] superfamily, is a suppressor of follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH] release through pituitary–gonadal negative feedback loop to regulate follicular development. In this study, Inhibin α-subunit [Inha] gene was knocked down successfully in mice primary anterior pituitary cells at both transcriptional and translational levels by RNAi-Ready pSIREN-RetroQ-ZsGreen Vector mediated recombinant pshRNA vectors. The results indicated that inhibin silencing significantly promoted apoptosis by up-regulating Caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2 genes without affecting p53 both at transcriptional and translational levels. Furthermore, it markedly impaired the progression of G1 phase of cell cycle and decreased the amount of cells in S phase [as detected by flow cytometry]. Inhibin silencing resulted in significant up-regulation of mRNA and protein expressions of Gondotropin releasing hormone receptors [GnRHR] and down-regulated mRNA levels of β-glycans with parellel change in the amount of its protein expression. Silencing of inhibin-a significantly increased [P<0.05] activin-β concentration without affecting FSH and LH levels in anterior pituitary cells. These findings revealed that up regulation of GnRH receptors by silencing inhibin a-subunit gene might increase the concentration of activin-β in the culture medium. Inhibin a silencing resulted in increased mRNA and protein expressions of inhibinβ which may demonstrate that both inhibin subunits co-participate in the regulation of reproductive events in anterior pituitary cells. This study concludes that inhibin is a broad regulatory marker in anterior pituitary cells by regulating apoptosis, cellular progression and simultaneously by vital fluctuations in the hormonal signaling.
The sequencing by the PolyA selection is the most common approach for library preparation. With limited amount or degraded RNA, alternative protocols such as the NuGEN have been developed. However, it is not yet clear how the different library preparations affect the downstream analyses of the broad applications of RNA sequencing.
Methods and Materials
Eight human mammary epithelial cell (HMEC) lines with high quality RNA were sequenced by Illumina’s mRNA-Seq PolyA selection and NuGEN ENCORE library preparation. The following analyses and comparisons were conducted: 1) the numbers of genes captured by each protocol; 2) the impact of protocols on differentially expressed gene detection between biological replicates; 3) expressed single nucleotide variant (SNV) detection; 4) non-coding RNAs, particularly lincRNA detection; and 5) intragenic gene expression.
Sequences from the NuGEN protocol had lower (75%) alignment rate than the PolyA (over 90%). The NuGEN protocol detected fewer genes (12–20% less) with a significant portion of reads mapped to non-coding regions. A large number of genes were differentially detected between the two protocols. About 17–20% of the differentially expressed genes between biological replicates were commonly detected between the two protocols. Significantly higher numbers of SNVs (5–6 times) were detected in the NuGEN samples, which were largely from intragenic and intergenic regions. The NuGEN captured fewer exons (25% less) and had higher base level coverage variance. While 6.3% of reads were mapped to intragenic regions in the PolyA samples, the percentages were much higher (20–25%) for the NuGEN samples. The NuGEN protocol did not detect more known non-coding RNAs such as lincRNAs, but targeted small and “novel” lincRNAs.
Different library preparations can have significant impacts on downstream analysis and interpretation of RNA-seq data. The NuGEN provides an alternative for limited or degraded RNA but it has limitations for some RNA-seq applications.
Infection of domestic cats with (H1N1) pandemic 2009 (pdm09) influenza A virus has recently been documented. In this paper, we report for the first time the sporadically current seroprevalence of (H1N1) pdm09 influenza A virus infection in cats in China. Thirteen of 1,080 sera were found positive by nucleoprotein (NP)-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) in different cat populations in southern China. It is very important to stress further surveillance of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza A virus in cats in southern China.
A comparative analysis of sulfur phasing of death receptor 6 (DR6) using data collected at wavelengths of 2.0 and 2.7 Å is presented. SAXS analysis of unliganded DR6 defines a dimer as the minimum physical unit in solution.
A subset of tumour necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily members contain death domains in their cytoplasmic tails. Death receptor 6 (DR6) is one such member and can trigger apoptosis upon the binding of a ligand by its cysteine-rich domains (CRDs). The crystal structure of the ectodomain (amino acids 1–348) of human death receptor 6 (DR6) encompassing the CRD region was phased using the anomalous signal from S atoms. In order to explore the feasibility of S-SAD phasing at longer wavelengths (beyond 2.5 Å), a comparative study was performed on data collected at wavelengths of 2.0 and 2.7 Å. In spite of sub-optimal experimental conditions, the 2.7 Å wavelength used for data collection showed potential for S-SAD phasing. The results showed that the R
p.i.m. ratio is a good indicator for monitoring the anomalous data quality when the anomalous signal is relatively strong, while d′′/sig(d′′) calculated by SHELXC is a more sensitive and stable indicator applicable for grading a wider range of anomalous data qualities. The use of the ‘parameter-space screening method’ for S-SAD phasing resulted in solutions for data sets that failed during manual attempts. SAXS measurements on the ectodomain suggested that a dimer defines the minimal physical unit of an unliganded DR6 molecule in solution.
sulfur phasing; SAXS analysis; long-wavelength X-rays; death receptor 6
Bats are natural hosts for a large variety of zoonotic viruses. This study aimed to describe the range of bat viromes, including viruses from mammals, insects, fungi, plants, and phages, in 11 insectivorous bat species (216 bats in total) common in six provinces of China. To analyze viromes, we used sequence-independent PCR amplification and next-generation sequencing technology (Solexa Genome Analyzer II; Illumina). The viromes were identified by sequence similarity comparisons to known viruses. The mammalian viruses included those of the Adenoviridae, Herpesviridae, Papillomaviridae, Retroviridae, Circoviridae, Rhabdoviridae, Astroviridae, Flaviridae, Coronaviridae, Picornaviridae, and Parvovirinae; insect viruses included those of the Baculoviridae, Iflaviridae, Dicistroviridae, Tetraviridae, and Densovirinae; fungal viruses included those of the Chrysoviridae, Hypoviridae, Partitiviridae, and Totiviridae; and phages included those of the Caudovirales, Inoviridae, and Microviridae and unclassified phages. In addition to the viruses and phages associated with the insects, plants, and bacterial flora related to the diet and habitation of bats, we identified the complete or partial genome sequences of 13 novel mammalian viruses. These included herpesviruses, papillomaviruses, a circovirus, a bocavirus, picornaviruses, a pestivirus, and a foamy virus. Pairwise alignments and phylogenetic analyses indicated that these novel viruses showed little genetic similarity with previously reported viruses. This study also revealed a high prevalence and diversity of bat astroviruses and coronaviruses in some provinces. These findings have expanded our understanding of the viromes of bats in China and hinted at the presence of a large variety of unknown mammalian viruses in many common bat species of mainland China.
We report here the complete genomic sequence of an avian-origin H3N2 canine influenza A virus containing multiple mutations in farmed dogs in southern China. Phylogenetic analyses of the sequences of all eight viral RNA segments demonstrated that these are wholly avian influenza viruses of the Asia lineage. To our knowledge, this is the first report of interspecies transmission of an avian H3N2 influenza virus to domestic farm dogs under natural conditions in Southern China. The amino acid information provided herein suggests that continued study is required to determine if this virus could be established in the farm dog population and pose potential threats to public health.
Higher plants adapt to phosphorus deficiency through a complex of biological processes. Among of them, two adaptive processes are very important for the response of higher plants to phosphorus deficiency. One is the enhancement of root growth by regulating carbohydrate metabolism and allocation, and the other is rhizosphere acidification to acquire phosphorus efficiently from soil. TFT6 and TFT7, two different members of tomato 14-3-3 gene family, play the distinct roles in the adaption of plants to phosphorus deficiency by taking part in the two processes respectively. TFT6 which acts mainly in leaves is involved in the systemic response to phosphorus deficiency by regulating leaf carbon allocation and increasing phloem sucrose transport to promote root growth, while TFT7 directly functions in root by activating root plasma membrane H+-ATPase to release more protons under phosphorus deficiency. Based on these results, we propose that 14-3-3 proteins play the smart role in response to phosphorus deficiency in higher plants.
14-3-3 proteins; carbon allocation; phosphorus deficiency; proton; root
For cryo-EM structural studies we seek to image membrane proteins as single particles embedded in proteoliposomes. One technical difficulty has been the low density of liposomes that can be trapped in the ~100 nm ice layer that spans holes in the perforated carbon support film of EM grids. Inspired by the use of two-dimensional (2D) streptavidin crystals as an affinity surface for biotinylated DNA (Crucifix et al., 2004), we propose to use the crystals to tether liposomes doped with biotinylated lipids. The 2D crystal image also serves as a calibration of the image formation process, providing an absolute conversion from electrostatic potentials in the specimen to the EM image intensity, and serving as a quality control of acquired cryo-EM images. We were able to grow streptavidin crystals covering more than 90% of the holes in an EM grid, and which remained stable even under negative stain. The liposome density in the resulting cryo-EM sample was uniform and high due to the high-affinity binding of biotin to streptavidin. Using computational methods, the 2D crystal background can be removed from images without noticeable effect on image properties.
2D crystal; nano-support; cryo-EM; liposome; tethering
Thousands of novel transcripts have been identified using deep transcriptome sequencing. This discovery of large and ‘hidden’ transcriptome rejuvenates the demand for methods that can rapidly distinguish between coding and noncoding RNA. Here, we present a novel alignment-free method, Coding Potential Assessment Tool (CPAT), which rapidly recognizes coding and noncoding transcripts from a large pool of candidates. To this end, CPAT uses a logistic regression model built with four sequence features: open reading frame size, open reading frame coverage, Fickett TESTCODE statistic and hexamer usage bias. CPAT software outperformed (sensitivity: 0.96, specificity: 0.97) other state-of-the-art alignment-based software such as Coding-Potential Calculator (sensitivity: 0.99, specificity: 0.74) and Phylo Codon Substitution Frequencies (sensitivity: 0.90, specificity: 0.63). In addition to high accuracy, CPAT is approximately four orders of magnitude faster than Coding-Potential Calculator and Phylo Codon Substitution Frequencies, enabling its users to process thousands of transcripts within seconds. The software accepts input sequences in either FASTA- or BED-formatted data files. We also developed a web interface for CPAT that allows users to submit sequences and receive the prediction results almost instantly.
Unlike other tissues, development and differentiation of the mammary gland occur mostly after birth. The roles of systemic hormones and local growth factors important for this development and functional differentiation are well-studied. In other tissues, it has been shown that chromatin organization plays a key role in transcriptional regulation and underlies epigenetic regulation during development and differentiation. However, the role of chromatin organization in mammary gland development and differentiation is less well-defined. Here, we have studied the changes in chromatin organization at the milk protein gene loci (casein, whey acidic protein, and others) in the mouse mammary gland before and after functional differentiation.
Distal regulatory elements within the casein gene cluster and whey acidic protein gene region have an open chromatin organization after pubertal development, while proximal promoters only gain open-chromatin marks during pregnancy in conjunction with the major induction of their expression. In contrast, other milk protein genes, such as alpha-lactalbumin, already have an open chromatin organization in the mature virgin gland. Changes in chromatin organization in the casein gene cluster region that are present after puberty persisted after lactation has ceased, while the changes which occurred during pregnancy at the gene promoters were not maintained. In general, mammary gland expressed genes and their regulatory elements exhibit developmental stage- and tissue-specific chromatin organization.
A progressive gain of epigenetic marks indicative of open/active chromatin on genes marking functional differentiation accompanies the development of the mammary gland. These results support a model in which a chromatin organization is established during pubertal development that is then poised to respond to the systemic hormonal signals of pregnancy and lactation to achieve the full functional capacity of the mammary gland.
Background and Aims
Primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is usually presented in inflamed fibrotic/cirrhotic liver with extensive lymphocyte infiltration. We examined the associations between the HCC early recurrence and alterations in serum levels of inflammatory cytokines.
A cohort of 105 HCC patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection were included. Pre-therapy, we quantified their serum concentrations of Th1-, Th2-, Th17-, Treg-related, and other cytokines that have been reported to be associated with poor prognosis in human cancers. IL17-producing T-cells were generated in vitro from HCC patients and co-cultured with HCC cell lines separated by a 0.4 µM transwell.
All the 105 cases of HCC patients had liver cirrhosis. The patients who suffered from HCC early recurrence had higher pre-therapy serum levels of IL17 and lower levels of IL10 than those who did not suffer from recurrence after curative hepatectomy. After adjustment for general tumor clinicopathological factors, elevated serum levels of IL17 (≥0.9 pg/ml) was found to be an independent risk factor for HCC early recurrence with a hazard ratio of 2.46 (95%CI 1.34–4.51). Patients with bigger tumors (>5 cm in diameter) and elevated serum levels of IL17 had the highest risk of early recurrence as compared to those with only one of these factors (P = 0.009) or without any (P<0.001). These factors showed similar effects on the HCC patient overall survival. Intrahepatic infiltrated T-cells in HCC patients were identified as the major IL17-producing cells. Proliferation of HCC cells, QGY-7703, was augmented QGY-7703, was augmented in the presence of IL17-producing T-cells. This effect diminished after neutralizing antibody against human IL17A or TNFα was included.
Both tumors and IL17 from liver infiltrated T-cells contributed to HCC early recurrence and progression after curative resection. Pre-therapy serum IL17 levels may serve as an additional indicator for predicting high-risk patients.
Delta ligands are important for regulating Notch signaling through transcellular stimulation of Notch receptors. The cytoplasmic tails of Delta ligands have multiple potential regulatory sites including several lysine residues that are putative targets for ubiquitination by the E3 ubiquitin ligases, Mind Bomb and Neuralized. To identify possible roles for specific lysine residues in the cytoplasmic tail of the Notch ligand Dll1 a mutational and functional analysis was performed. Examination of a panel of individual or clustered lysine mutants demonstrated that lysine 613 (K613) in the cytoplasmic tail of Dll1 is a key residue necessary for transcellular activation of Notch signaling. Multi-ubiquitination of the Dll1 mutant Dll1-K613R was altered compared to wild type Dll1, and the K613R mutation blocked the ability of Dll1 to interact with Notch1. Finally, mutation of K613 did not affect the stability of Dll1 or its ability to traffic to recycle to the plasma membrane, but did enhance the fraction associated with lipid rafts. Collectively these results suggest that the transcellular defect in Notch signaling attributed to residue K613 in cytoplasmic tail of Dll1 may result from altering its multi-ubiquitination and increasing its retention in lipid rafts.
Notch; Delta; ubiquitin; endocytosis; recycling; lipid raft microdomains
Trim39 inhibits the ability of APC/CCdh1 to ubiquitylate and promote the degradation of MOAP-1, leading to enhanced apoptosis.
Proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members, such as Bax, promote release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, leading to caspase activation and cell death. It was previously reported that modulator of apoptosis protein 1 (MOAP-1), an enhancer of Bax activation induced by DNA damage, is stabilized by Trim39, a protein of unknown function. In this paper, we show that MOAP-1 is a novel substrate of the anaphase-promoting complex (APC/CCdh1) ubiquitin ligase. The influence of Trim39 on MOAP-1 levels stems from the ability of Trim39 (a RING domain E3 ligase) to directly inhibit APC/CCdh1-mediated protein ubiquitylation. Accordingly, small interfering ribonucleic acid–mediated knockdown of Cdh1 stabilized MOAP-1, thereby enhancing etoposide-induced Bax activation and apoptosis. These data identify Trim39 as a novel APC/C regulator and provide an unexpected link between the APC/C and apoptotic regulation via MOAP-1.
The presence of heteroresistance was represented by 23% of 235 fluoroquinolone (FQ)-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates in Beijing, China, from 2008 to 2010. The main mechanism of FQ heteroresistance is due to the segregation of a single M. tuberculosis strain in patients; the majority of isolates with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis contained a mixture of bacterial subpopulations consisting of various mutant types, suggesting that the improper use of FQ is the major cause of FQ resistance.
Soil alkalinity is a widespread environmental problem that limits agricultural productivity. The hypothesis that an auxin-regulated proton secretion by plasma membrane H+-ATPase plays an important role in root adaption to alkaline stress was studied. It was found that alkaline stress increased auxin transport and PIN2 (an auxin efflux transporter) abundance in the root tip of wild-type Arabidopsis plants (WT). Compared with WT roots, the pin2 mutant roots exhibited much reduced plasma membrane H+-ATPase activity, root elongation, auxin transport, and proton secretion under alkaline stress. More importantly, roots of the pks5 mutant (PKS5, a protein kinase) lacking PIN2 (a pks5/pin2 double mutant) lost the previous higher proton-secretion capacity and higher elongation rate of primary roots under alkaline stress. By using Arabidopsis natural accessions with a high proton-secretion capacity, it was found that their PIN2 transcription abundance is positively related to the elongation rate of the primary root and proton-secretion capacity under alkaline stress. Taken together, our results confirm that PIN2 is involved in the PKS5-mediated signalling cascade under alkaline-stress and suggest that PIN2 is required for the adaptation of roots to alkaline stress by modulating proton secretion in the root tip to maintain primary root elongation.
Alkaline stress; auxin transport; PIN2; PKS5; plasma membrane H+-ATPase; primary root growth; proton secretion; root tip
Flavobacterium columnare is a bacterial pathogen causing high mortality rates for many freshwater fish species. Fish vaccination with a safe and effective vaccine is a potential approach for prevention and control of fish disease. Here, in order to produce bacterial ghost vaccine, a specific Flavobacterium lysis plasmid pBV-E-cat was constructed by cloning PhiX174 lysis gene E and the cat gene with the promoter of F. columnare into the prokaryotic expression vector pBV220. The plasmid was successfully electroporated into the strain F. columnare G4cpN22 after curing of its endogenous plasmid. F. columnare G4cpN22 ghosts (FCGs) were generated for the first time by gene E-mediated lysis, and the vaccine potential of FCG was investigated in grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus) by intraperitoneal route. Fish immunized with FCG showed significantly higher serum agglutination titers and bactericidal activity than fish immunized with FKC or PBS. Most importantly, after challenge with the parent strain G4, the relative percent survival (RPS) of fish in FCG group (70.9%) was significantly higher than FKC group (41.9%). These results showed that FCG could confer immune protection against F. columnare infection. As a nonliving whole cell envelope preparation, FCG may provide an ideal alternative to pathogen-based vaccines against columnaris in aquaculture.
Chrysin and its phosphate ester have previously been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in Hela cells; however, the underlying mechanism remains to be characterized. In the present study, we therefore synthesized diethyl flavon-7-yl phosphate (FP, C19H19O6P) by a simplified Atheron-Todd reaction, and explored its anti-tumor characteristics and mechanisms. Cell proliferation, cell cycle progression and apoptosis were measured by MTS, flow cytometry and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling techniques, respectively in human cervical cancer HeLa cells treated with 7-hydroxyflavone (HF) and FP. p21, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and cAMP levels in Hela cells were analyzed by western blot and radioimmunoassay. Both HF and FP inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in HeLa cells via induction of PCNA/p21 expression, cleaved caspase-3/poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1, elevation of cAMP levels, and cell cycle arrest with accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 fraction. The effects of FP were more potent than those of HF. The interactions of FP with Ca2+-calmodulin (CaM) and Ca2+-CaM-phosphodiesterase (PDE)1 were explored by electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry and fluorescence spectra. FP, but not HF, formed non-covalent complexes with Ca2+-CaM-PDE1, indicating that FP is an inhibitor of PDE1, and resulting in elevated cellular cAMP levels. It is possible that the elevated cAMP levels inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in Hela cells through induction of p21 and cleaved caspase-3/PARP-1 expression, and causing down-regulation of PCNA and cell cycle arrest with accumulation of cells in the G0/G1 and G2/M fractions. In conclusion, FP was shown to be a Ca2+-CaM-PDE inhibitor, which might account for its underlying anti-cancer mechanism in HeLa cells. These observations clearly demonstrate the special roles of phosphorylated flavonoids in biological processes, and suggest that FP might represent a potential new drug for the therapy of human cervical carcinoma.
Background & Aims
Studies of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, immunopathogenesis, and resulting liver diseases have been hampered by the lack of a small animal model. We developed humanized mice with human immune system and liver tissues to improve the studies of hepatitis C pathogenesis and treatment.
To promote engraftment of human hepatocytes, we expressed a fusion protein of the FK506 binding protein (FKBP) and caspase 8 under control of the albumin promoter (AFC8), which induces liver cell death, in Balb/C Rag2-/- γC-null mice. Co-transplantation of human CD34+ human hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and hepatocyte progenitors into the transgenic mice led to efficient engraftment of human leukocytes and hepatocytes. We then infected these humanized mice (AFC8-hu HSC/Hep) with primary HCV isolates and studied HCV-induced immune responses and liver diseases.
HCV-infected livers of AFC8-hu HSC/Hep mice generated a human immune T-cell response against HCV. HCV infection induced liver inflammation, hepatitis, and fibrosis, which correlated with activation of stellate cells and expression of human fibrogenic genes.
AFC8-hu HSC/Hep mice are a useful model of HCV infection, the immune response, and liver disease, because they contain human immune system and liver cells. These mice become infected with HCV, generate a specific immune response against the virus, and develop liver diseases that include hepatitis and fibrosis. This model might also be used to develop therapeutics for HCV infection.
animal model of hepatitis; human immunology; fibrosis; virology
Characterization of expression profile of organisms in response to antimicrobials provides important information on the potential mechanism of action of the drugs. The special expression signature can be used to predict whether other drugs act on the same target. Here, the common response of Shigella flexneri to two inhibitors of RNA polymerase was examined using gene expression profiling. Consistent with similar effects of the two drugs, the gene expression profiles indicated that responses of the bacteria to these drugs were roughly the same, with 225 genes affected commonly. Of them, 88 were induced and 137 were repressed. Real-time PCR was performed for selected genes to verify the microarray results. Analysis of the expression data revealed that more than 30% of the plasmid-encoded genes on the array were up-regulated by the antibiotics including virF regulon, other virulence-related genes, and genes responsible for plasmid replication, maintenance, and transfer. In addition, some chromosome-encoded genes involved in virulence and genes acquired from horizontal transfer were also significantly up-regulated. However, the expression of genes encoding the beta-subunit of RNA polymerase was increased moderately. The repressed genes include those that code for products associated with the ribosome, citrate cycle, glycolysis, thiamine biosynthesis, purine metabolism, fructose metabolism, mannose metabolism, and cold shock proteins. This study demonstrates that the two antibiotics induce rapid cessation of RNA synthesis resulting in inhibition of translation components. It also indicates that the production of virulence factors involved in intercellular dissemination, tissue invasion and inflammatory destruction may be enhanced through derepressing horizontal transfer genes by the drugs.
Dendritic cell (DC) therapy is a promising technology for the treatment of HIV infected individuals. HIV-1 Gag- and Nef RNA-loaded DC have previously been shown to induce immune responses ex vivo following coculture with autologous lymphocytes. However, polyfunctionality and memory responses following coculture have not been evaluated. In addition, little is known regarding whether specific HIV-1 proteome components, such as highly conserved regions of the HIV-1, could enhance clinical responses following DC therapy.
Methodology and Principal Findings
To determine the breadth of the immune responses to antigen loaded DC, we analyzed polyfunctional T cell response ex vivo to Gag RNA loaded DC. Blood samples were used to generate monocyte derived DC, which were then matured and cocultured with autologous lymphocytes. We found that cytokine-matured DC loaded with Gag RNA were able to induce Gag-specific IFN-γ and IL-2 responses after a 12-day coculture. We characterized these responses by polyfunctional intracellular cytokine staining and evaluation of T cell memory phenotypes. Central memory CD8+ T cells were induced ex vivo after DC coculture from each of 3 patients, and the effector memory pool was increased by DC coculture from 2 patients. We also observed a decrease in the terminal effector and intermediate CD8+ T cell pool and an increase in the naïve/other population. There was a reduction in terminal effector and intermediate CD4+ T cells, and a corresponding increase in naïve/other CD4+ T cells. Finally, we evaluated conserved regions of Gag as a novel DC therapy immunogen and found that a Conserved Element (CE) p24 Gag antigen elicited IFN-γ and IL-2 responses comparable to those induced by a full-length Gag antigen.
We showed that RNA-loaded DC therapy induced a polyfunctional T cell response ex vivo, supporting the use of such DC-therapy for HIV infection. However, the central and effector memory phenotypes of T cells did not appear to be enhanced during coculture with Gag RNA-loaded DC. Furthermore, comparable antigen-specific responses were induced in HIV infected individuals using full-length Gag or only conserved elements of the Gag p24 protein. This indicates that immune responses can be focused onto the conserved elements of Gag in the absence of other Gag components.
Dendritic Cell; Therapeutic Vaccination; HIV; RNA
Persistent induction of type 1 interferon (IFN) is associated with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. We report here that the pathogenic HIV strain R3A (HIV-R3A) induced high levels of type 1 IFN, while the nonpathogenic HIV-R3B showed no significant induction in human fetal thymus organ culture (HFTOC). We found that IFN contributed to the depletion of human T cells by HIV-R3A in a fusion-independent fashion. The R3B recombinant with the R3A Env V1V2 domain (R3B/A-V1V2) was able to induce type 1 IFN, which contributed to the increased depletion of T cells. Therefore, type 1 IFN induction plays a significant role in HIV-induced T cell depletion in the human thymus.
New therapeutic tools and molecular targets are needed for treatment of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infections. JEV requires an α-1 translational frameshift to synthesize the NS1' protein required for viral neuroinvasiveness. Several flavonoids have been shown to possess antiviral activity in vitro against a wide spectrum of viruses. To date, the antiviral activities of flavonol kaempferol (Kae) and isoflavonoid daidzin (Dai) against JEV have not been described.
The 50% cytotoxic concentration (CC50) and 50% effective concentration (EC50) against JEV were investigated in BHK21 cells by MTS reduction. Activity against viral genomic RNA and proteins was measured by real-time RT-PCR and western blotting. The frameshift site RNA-binding characterization was also determined by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, isothermal titration calorimetry and autodocking analysis. EC50 values of Kae and Dai were 12.6 and 25.9 µM against JEV in cells pretreated before infection, whereas in cells infected before treatment, EC50 was 21.5 and 40.4 µM, respectively. Kae exhibited more potent activity against JEV and RNA binding in cells following internalization through direct inhibition of viral replication and protein expression, indicating that its antiviral activity was principally due to direct virucidal effects. The JEV frameshift site RNA (fsRNA) was selected as a target for assaying Kae and Dai. ITC of fsRNA revealed an apparent Kb value for Kae that was nine fold stronger than that for Dai. This binding was confirmed and localized to the RNA using ESI-MS and autodock analysis. Kae could form non-covalent complexes with fsRNA more easily than Dai could.
Kae demonstrates more potent antiviral activity against JEV than does Dai. The mode of action of Kae as an anti-JEV agent seems to be related to its ability to inactivate virus by binding with JEV fsRNA.
LRP5 and LRP6 are Wnt co-receptors essential for Wnt/β-catenin signaling. DKK1 inhibits Wnt signaling by interacting with the extracellular domain of LRP5/6, and is a drug target for multiple diseases. Here we present the crystal structures of the first and second halves of LRP6’s four propeller–EGF pairs (LRP6-E1E2 and LRP6-E3E4), and a LRP6-E3E4/DKK1 complex. Combined with EM analysis, these data demonstrate that LRP6-E1E2 and LRP6-E3E4 form two rigid structural blocks, with a short intervening hinge that restrains their relative orientation. DKK1c interacts with the top surface of the LRP6-E3 YWTD propeller, and likely also that of the LRP6-E1 propeller due to structural similarity, through conserved hydrophobic patches buttressed by a network of salt bridges and hydrogen bonds. Our work provides key insights for understanding LRP5/6 structure and the interaction of LRP5/6 with DKK, as well as for drug discovery.
Wnt; receptor; LRP5; LRP6; LDL receptor-like protein; Dickkopf (DKK); crystal structure; YWTD β-propeller
The antagonism between abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin (GA) plays a key role in controlling seed germination, but the mechanism of antagonism during this process is not known. The possible links among ABA, reactive oxygen species (ROS), ascorbic acid (ASC), and GA during rice seed germination were investigated. Unlike in non-seed tissues where ROS production is increased by ABA, ABA reduced ROS production in imbibed rice seeds, especially in the embryo region. Such reduced ROS also led to an inhibition of ASC production. GA accumulation was also suppressed by a reduced ROS and ASC level, which was indicated by the inhibited expression of GA biosynthesis genes, amylase genes, and enzyme activity. Application of exogenous ASC can partially rescue seed germination from ABA treatment. Production of ASC, which acts as a substrate in GA biosynthesis, was significantly inhibited by lycorine which thus suppressed the accumulation of GA. Consequently, expression of GA biosynthesis genes was suppressed by the low levels of ROS and ASC in ABA-treated seeds. It can be concluded that ABA regulates seed germination in multiple dimensions. ROS and ASC are involved in its inhibition of GA biosynthesis.
ABA; ascorbic acid; GA; reactive oxygen species; rice (Oryza sativa); seed germination