The scaling relationship between leaf dry mass and leaf surface area has important implications for understanding the ability of plants to harvest sunlight and grow. Whether and how the scaling relationships vary across environmental gradients are poorly understood. We analyzed the scaling relationships between leaf mass and leaf area of 121 vascular plant species along an altitudinal gradient in a subtropical monsoon forest. The slopes increased significantly with altitude, it varied from less than 1 at low altitude to more than 1 at high altitude. This means that plants growing at high altitude allocate proportionately more biomass to support tissues in larger leaves and less in smaller leaves, whereas the reverse is true at low altitude. This pattern can be explained by different leaf strategies in response to environmental pressure and constrains.
The blood-brain-barrier, formed by specialized brain endothelial cells that are interconnected by tight junctions, strictly regulates paracellular permeability to maintain an optimal extracellular environment for brain homeostasis. Diabetes is known to compromise the blood-brain-barrier although the underlying mechanism remains unknown.
The aim of this study was to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying disruption of the blood-brain-barrier in diabetes and to determine whether activation of AMP-activated protein kinase prevents diabetes-induced blood-brain-barrier dysfunction
Methods and Results
Exposure of human brain microvascular endothelial cells to high glucose (25 mmol/L D-glucose), but not to high osmotic conditions (20 mmol/L L-glucose plus 5 mmol/L D-glucose), for 2 h to 1 week significantly increased the permeability of blood-brain-barrier in parallel with lowered expression levels of zonula occludens-1, occludin, and claudin-5, three proteins that are essential to maintain endothelial cell tight junctions. In addition, high glucose significantly increased generation of superoxide anions. Adenoviral overexpression of superoxide dismutase or catalase significantly attenuated the high glucose-induced reduction of endothelial cell tight junction proteins. Furthermore, administration of apocynin reversed the effects of high glucose on endothelial cell tight junction proteins. Finally, activation of AMP-activated protein kinase with 5-amino-4-imidazole carboxamide riboside (AICAR) or adenoviral overexpression of constitutively active AMP-activated protein kinase mutants (Ad-AMPK-CA) abolished both induction of NAD(P)H oxidase-derived superoxide anions and tight junction protein degradation induced by high glucose.
We conclude that high glucose increases blood-brain-barrier dysfunction in diabetes through induction of superoxide anions and that the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase protects the integrity of the blood-brain-barrier by suppressing the induction of NAD(P)H oxidase-derived superoxide anions.
AMPK; NAD(P)H oxidase; blood brain barrier; tight junctions; diabetes
To clarify the molecular mechanisms that participate in the severe hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) infected by Enterovirus 71 and to detect any related protein biomarkers, we performed proteomic analysis of protein extracts from 5 extremely severe HFMD children and 5 healthy children.
The protein profiles of them were compared using two-dimensional electrophoresis. Differentially expressed proteins were identified using mass spectrometry. Functional classifications of these proteins were based on the PANTHER. The interaction network of the differentially expressed protein was generated with Pathway Studio.
A total of 38 differentially expressed proteins were identified. Functional classifications of these proteins indicated a series of altered cellular processes as a consequence of the severe HFMD. These results provided not only new insights into the pathogenesis of severe HFMD, but also implications of potential therapeutic designs.
Our results suggested the possible pathways that could be the potential targets for novel therapy: viral protection, complement system and peroxide elimination.
Extremely severe HFMD; MALDI-TOF/TOF MS; Proteomic analysis
Thermosensation provides vital inputs for the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae which utilizes heat-sensitivity within a broad spectrum of behaviors, most notably, the localization of human hosts for blood feeding. In this study, we examine thermosensory behaviors in larval-stage An. gambiae, which as a result of their obligate aquatic habitats and importance for vectorial capacity, represents an opportunistic target for vector control as part of the global campaign to eliminate malaria. As is the case for adults, immature mosquitoes respond differentially to a diverse array of external heat stimuli. In addition, larvae exhibit a striking phenotypic plasticity in thermal-driven behaviors that are established by temperature at which embryonic development occurs. Within this spectrum, RNAi-directed gene-silencing studies provide evidence for the essential role of the Transient Receptor Potential sub-family A1 (TRPA1) channel in mediating larval thermal-induced locomotion and thermal preference within a discrete upper range of ambient temperatures.
The inevitable depletion of fossil fuels has resulted in an increasing worldwide interest in exploring alternative and sustainable energy sources. Lignocellulose, which is the most abundant biomass on earth, is widely regarded as a promising raw material to produce fuel ethanol. Pretreatment is an essential step to disrupt the recalcitrance of lignocellulosic matrix for enzymatic saccharification and bioethanol production. This paper established an ATSE (alkaline twin-screw extrusion pretreatment) process using a specially designed twin-screw extruder in the presence of alkaline solution to improve the enzymatic hydrolysis efficiency of corn stover for the production of fermentable sugars.
The ATSE pretreatment was conducted with a biomass/liquid ratio of 1/2 (w/w) at a temperature of 99°C without heating equipment. The results indicated that ATSE pretreatment is effective in improving the enzymatic digestibility of corn stover. Sodium hydroxide loading is more influential factor affecting both sugar yield and lignin degradation than heat preservation time. After ATSE pretreatment under the proper conditions (NaOH loading of 0.06 g/g biomass during ATSE and 1 hour heat preservation after extrusion), 71% lignin removal was achieved and the conversions of glucan and xylan in the pretreated biomass can reach to 83% and 89% respectively via subsequent enzymatic hydrolysis (cellulase loading of 20 FPU/g-biomass and substrate consistency of 2%). About 78% of the original polysaccharides were converted into fermentable sugars.
With the physicochemical functions in extrusion, the ATSE method can effectively overcome the recalcitrance of lignocellulose for the production of fermentable sugars from corn stover. This process can be considered as a promising pretreatment method due to its relatively low temperature (99°C), high biomass/liquid ratio (1/2) and satisfied total sugar yield (78%), despite further study is needed for process optimization and cost reduction.
Twin-screw extrusion; Pretreatment; Corn stover; Sugar recovery; Enzymatic hydrolysis
Steady-state fluorence imaging and time-resolved fluorescence imaging are two important areas in fluorescence imaging research. Fluorescence lifetime imaging is an absolute measurement method which is independent of excitation laser intensity, fluorophore concentration, and photobleaching compared to fluorescence intensity imaging techniques. Time-gated fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) can provide high resolution and high imaging frame during mature FLIM methods. An abstract time-gated FLIM model was given, and important temporal parameters are shown as well. Aiming at different applications of steady and transient fluorescence processes, two different operation modes, timing and lifetime computing algorithm are designed. High resolution and high frame can be achieved by one-excitation one-sampling mode and least square algorithm for steady imaging applications. Correspondingly, one-excitation two-sampling mode and rapid lifetime determination algorithm contribute to transient fluorescence situations.
Cellular immunity has an inherent high level of functional heterogeneity. Capturing the full spectrum of these functions requires analysis of large numbers of effector molecules from single cells. We report a microfluidic platform designed for highly multiplexed (more than ten proteins), reliable, sample-efficient (~1 × 104 cells) and quantitative measurements of secreted proteins from single cells. We validated the platform by assessment of multiple inflammatory cytokines from lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated human macrophages and comparison to standard immunotechnologies. We applied the platform toward the ex vivo quantification of T cell polyfunctional diversity via the simultaneous measurement of a dozen effector molecules secreted from tumor antigen–specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) that were actively responding to tumor and compared against a cohort of healthy donor controls. We observed profound, yet focused, functional heterogeneity in active tumor antigen–specific CTLs, with the major functional phenotypes quantitatively identified. The platform represents a new and informative tool for immune monitoring and clinical assessment.
Irradiation from diverse sources is ubiquitous and closely associated with human activities. Radiation therapy (RT), an important component of multiple radiation origins, is a common therapeutic modality for cancer. More importantly, RT provides significant contribution to oncotherapy by killing tumor cells. However, during the course of therapy, irradiation of normal tissues can result in a wide range of side effects, including self-limited acute toxicities, mild chronic symptoms, or severe organ dysfunction. Although numerous promising radioprotective agents have emerged, only a few have successfully entered the market because of various limitations. At present, the widely accepted hypothesis for protection against radiation-caused injury involves the Wnt canonical pathway. Activating the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway may protect the salivary gland, oral mucosa, and gastrointestinal epithelium from radiation damage. The underlying mechanisms include inhibiting apoptosis and preserving normal tissue functions. However, aberrant Wnt signaling underlies a wide range of pathologies in humans, and its various components contribute to cancer. Moreover, studies have suggested that Wnt/β-catenin signaling may lead to radioresistance of cancer stem cell. These facts markedly complicate any definition of the exact function of the Wnt pathway.
Signaling transduction; canonical Wnt pathway; β-catenin; radioprotection; radiation
HIV-1 Rev plays an important role in the late phase of HIV-1 replication, which facilitates export of unspliced viral mRNAs from the nucleus to cytoplasm in infected cells. Recent studies have shown that DDX1 and DDX3 are co-factors of Rev for the export of HIV-1 transcripts. In this report, we have demonstrated that DDX5 (p68), which is a multifunctional DEAD-box RNA helicase, functions as a new cellular co-factor of HIV-1 Rev. We found that DDX5 affects Rev function through the Rev-RRE axis and subsequently enhances HIV-1 replication. Confocal microscopy and co-immunoprecipitation analysis indicated that DDX5 binds to Rev and this interaction is largely dependent on RNA. If the DEAD-box motif of DDX5 is mutated, DDX5 loses almost all of its ability to bind to Rev, indicating that the DEAD-box motif of DDX5 is required for the interaction between DDX5 and Rev. Our data indicate that interference of DDX5-Rev interaction could reduce HIV-1 replication and potentially provide a new molecular target for anti-HIV-1 therapeutics.
Autophagy is a conserved cellular process that degrades and recycles cytoplasmic components via a lysosomal pathway. The phosphatidylethanolamine (PE)-conjugation of the Atg8 protein plays an important role in the yeast autophagy process. In humans, six Atg8 homologs, including MAP1LC3A, MAP1LC3B, MAP1LC3C (refer to LC3A, LC3B, and LC3C hereafter), GABARAP, GABARAPL1, and GABARAPL2 have been reported. All of them can be conjugated to PE through a ubiquitin-like conjugation system, and be located to autophagosomes.
In this study, we found 3 new alternative splicing isoforms in LC3B, GABARAP, and GABARAPL1, (designated as LC3B-a, GABARAP-a and GABARAPL1-a, respectively). None of them can go through the PE-conjugation process and be located to autophagosomes. Interestingly, compared with LC3B, LC3B-a has a single amino acid (Arg68) deletion due to the NAGNAG alternative splicing in intron 3. Through structural simulations, we found that the C-terminal tail of LC3B-a is less mobile than that of LC3B, thus affecting its C-terminal cleavage by human ATG4 family proteins. Furthermore, we found that Arg68 is an essential residue facilitating the interaction between human Atg8 family proteins and ATG4B by forming a salt bridge with Asp171 of ATG4B. Depletion of this salt bridge reduces autophagosomes formation and autophagic flux under both normal and nutrition starvation conditions.
These results suggest Arg68 is an essential residue for the C-terminal cleavage of Atg8 family proteins during the autophagy process.
Atg8; MAP1LC3B; Autophagy; Alternative splicing
In order to identify miRNAs expression profiling from genome-wide screen for diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and angina pectoris (AP), we investigated the altered profile of serum microRNAs in AMI and AP patients at a relative early stage.
Serum samples were taken from 117 AMI patients, 182 AP patients and 100 age-and gender-matched controls. An initial screening of miRNAs expression was performed by Solexa sequencing. Differential expression was validated using RT-qPCR in individuals samples, the samples were arranged in a two-phase selection and validation.
The Solexa sequencing results demonstrated marked upregulation of serum miRNAs in AMI patients compared with controls. RT-qPCR analysis identified a profile of six serum miRNAs (miR-1, miR-134, miR-186, miR-208, miR-223 and miR-499) as AMI biomarkers. MiR-208 and miR-499 were elevated higher in AP cases than in AMI cases. The ROC curves indicated a panel of six miRNAs has a great potential to offer sensitive and specific diagnostic tests for AMI. More especially, the panel of six miRNAs presents significantly differences between the AMI and AP cases.
The six-miRNAs signature identified from genome-wide serum miRNA expression profiling may serves as a fingerprint for AMI and AP diagnosis.
Acute myocardial infarction; Angina pectoris; Serum microRNAs
Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have been used extensively in reverse genetic research, and many have made their way into clinical trials. The most widely used siRNA structure consists of double-stranded RNA with 19 base pairs and 2-nucleotide overhangs at the 3’-end of both strands (19+2). Although widely used, this symmetric structure bears inherent disadvantages in both research and clinical applications. One of the most common caveats is the off-target effect leading to adverse effects in clinical application. In the current study, using C-C chemokine receptor (CCR5) as a target, we have shown that 19+2 siRNA could still cause considerable global off-target effects regardless of rational design based on its thermodynamic asymmetry. However, we demonstrated that structurally asymmetric siRNA targeting CCR5 could be adopted to improve the strand specificity and greatly reduce the off-target effects without significantly compromising its on-target effects. Data from microarray analysis suggest that an unidentified mechanism resulting in global gene down-regulation might be avoided through strand shortening. Taken together, our work suggested a promising and simple way to improve strand specificity and overcome the off-target gene-expression effects without introducing more complications while retaining the efficacy of siRNA.
In this study, Yuan and colleagues demonstrate that asymmetrically shortened siRNAs can silence their targets as efficiently as their traditional 19 + 2 counterparts in vitro. Moreover, the authors suggest that shortening siRNAs from their 3′ end improves the loading specificity of the RNA-induced silencing complex and results in fewer off-target gene expression effects.
It has been shown that nerve growth factor-β (NGF-β) promoted the initiation and progression of many tumors, and we have previously demonstrated that the expression of NGF-β was associated with tumor stage, nerve infiltration and lymph node metastasis in human hilar cholangiocarcinoma. However, whether NGF-β promotes tumor progression in human cholangiocarcinoma requires further investigation. Therefore, we aimed to determine the effects of NGF-β on the progression of human cholangiocarcinoma.
Human cholangiocarcinoma QBC939 stable cell lines with over-expressed or silenced NGF-β genes were generated with pEGFP-N1-NGF-β and pGPU6/GFP/Neo-NGF-β-shRNA recombinant plasmids. Cell proliferation assay, colony formation assay, cell cycle analysis, apoptosis assay and tumorigenicity assay were performed to evaluate the role of NGF-β in the progression of human cholangiocarcinoma. In addition, human lymphatic endothelial cells were co-cultured with QBC939 culture supernatants, and the cell proliferation and migration abilities of the lymphatic endothelial cells were evaluated.
Forced expression of NGF-β in QBC939 cell lines promoted proliferation, colony formation and tumorigenicity in these cells and inhibited the apoptosis. However, down-regulation of NGF-β inhibited proliferation, colony formation and tumorigenicity, and increased the apoptotic rate of QBC939 cells. In addition, the NGF-β gain-of-function induced a high expression of vascular endothelial growth factor C and enhanced the proliferation and migration of lymphatic endothelial cells, while NGF-β loss-of-function showed opposite effects.
We concluded that NGF-β promoted tumor progression in human cholangiocarcinoma QBC939 cells. Our results provided a new concept to understand the role of NGF-β in cholangiocarcinoma progression, and might provide important information for the development of new targeted therapies in human cholangiocarcinoma.
Exposure to naturally-occurring hydrocarbon oils is associated with the
development of chronic inflammation and a wide spectrum of pathological findings
in humans and animal models. The mechanism underlying the unremitting
inflammatory response to hydrocarbons remains largely unclear. The medium-length
alkane 2,6,10,14 tetramethylpentadecane (TMPD; also known as pristane) is a
hydrocarbon that potently elicits chronic peritonitis characterized by
persistent infiltration of neutrophils and monocytes. In this study, we reveal
the essential role of interleukin (IL)-1α in sustaining the chronic
recruitment of neutrophils following TMPD treatment. IL-1α and IL-1
receptor signaling promote the migration of neutrophils to the peritoneal cavity
in a CXC chemokine receptor-2 (CXCR2)-dependent manner. This mechanism is at
least partially dependent on the production of the neutrophil chemoattractant
CXCL5. Moreover, although chronic infiltration of inflammatory monocytes is
dependent on a different pathway requiring Toll-like receptor (TLR)-7, type-I
interferon receptor, and CC-chemokine receptor-2 (CCR2), the adaptor molecules
MyD88, IRAK-4, IRAK1 and IRAK2 are shared in regulating the recruitment of both
monocytes and neutrophils. Taken together, our findings uncover an
IL-1α-dependent mechanism of neutrophil recruitment in
hydrocarbon-induced peritonitis and illustrate the interactions of innate immune
pathways in chronic inflammation.
Recombinant adeno-associated viral (rAAV) vectors are potentially powerful tools for gene therapy of CNS diseases, but their penetration into brain parenchyma is severely limited by the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and current delivery relies on invasive stereotactic injection. Here we evaluate the local, targeted delivery of rAAV vectors into the brains of mice by noninvasive, reversible, microbubble-facilitated focused ultrasound (FUS), resulting in BBB opening that can be monitored and controlled by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Using this method, we found that IV-administered AAV2-GFP (green fluorescence protein) with a low viral vector titer (1×109 vg/g) can successfully penetrate the BBB-opened brain regions to express GFP. We show that MRI monitoring of BBB-opening could serve as an indicator of the scale and distribution of AAV transduction. Transduction peaked at 3 weeks and neurons and astrocytes were affected. This novel, noninvasive delivery approach could significantly broaden the application of AAV-viral-vector-based genes for treatment of CNS diseases.
Genetic polymorphisms of IRF5 are associated with an increased risk of lupus in humans. Here, we examined the role of IRF5 in the pathogenesis of pristane-induced lupus in mice. The pathological response to pristane in IRF5−/− mice shared many features with IFN-I receptor (IFNAR) −/− and TLR7−/− mice: production of anti-Sm/RNP autoantibodies, glomerulonephritis, generation of Ly6Chi monocytes, and IFN-I production all were greatly attenuated. Lymphocyte activation following pristane injection was greatly diminished in IRF5−/− mice and helper T cell differentiation was deviated from TH1 in wild type mice toward TH2 in IRF5−/− mice. TH cell development was skewed similarly in TLR7−/− or IFNAR−/− mice, suggesting that IRF5 alters T cell activation and differentiation by affecting cytokine production. Indeed, production of IFN-I, IL-12, and IL-23 in response to pristane was markedly decreased, whereas IL-4 increased. Unexpectedly, plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) were not recruited to the site of inflammation in IRF5−/− or MyD88−/− mice, but were recruited normally in IFNAR−/− and TLR7−/− mice. In striking contrast to wild type mice, pristane did not stimulate local expression of CCL19 and CCL21 in IRF5−/− mice, suggesting that IRF5 regulates chemokine-mediated pDC migration independently of its effects on IFN-I. Collectively, these data indicate that altered production of IFN-I and other cytokines in IRF5−/− mice prevents pristane from inducing lupus pathology by broadly affecting T and B lymphocyte activation/differentiation. Additionally, we uncovered a new, IFN-I independent, role of IRF5 in regulating chemokines involved in the homing of pDCs and certain lymphocyte subsets.
The crystal structure of SMU.595, a putative dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHOD) from S. mutans, is reported at 2.4 Å resolution.
Streptococcus mutans is one of the pathogenic species involved in dental caries, especially in the initiation and development stages. Here, the crystal structure of SMU.595, a putative dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHOD) from S. mutans, is reported at 2.4 Å resolution. DHOD is a flavin mononucleotide-containing enzyme which catalyzes the oxidation of l-dihydroorotate to orotate, which is the fourth step and the only redox reaction in the de novo biosynthesis of pyrimidine nucleotides. The reductive lysine-methylation procedure was applied in order to improve the diffraction qualities of the crystals. Analysis of the S. mutans DHOD crystal structure shows that this enzyme is a class 1A DHOD and also suggests potential sites that could be exploited for the design of highly specific inhibitors using the structure-based chemotherapeutic design technique.
dihydroorotate dehydrogenases; Streptococcus mutans; pyrimidine biosynthesis
Dengue virus (DENV) is found in the tropical and subtropical regions and affects millions of people annually. Currently, no specific vaccine or antiviral treatment against dengue virus is available. Innate immunity has been shown to be important for host resistance to DENV infection. Although protein kinase regulated by double-stranded RNA (PKR) has been found to promote the innate signaling in response to infection by several viruses, its role in the innate response to DENV infection is still unclear. Our study aimed to investigate the role of PKR in DENV-induced innate immune responses.
By RNAi, silencing of PKR significantly enhanced the expression of interferon (IFN)-β in DENV infected human lung epithelial A549 cells. Western blot and immunofluorescence microscopy data showed that PKR knockdown upregulated the activation of innate signaling cascades including p38 and JNK mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), interferon regulatory factor-3 and NF-κB, following DENV2 infection. Likewise, a negative regulatory effect of PKR on the IFN production was also observed in poly(IC) challenged cells. Moreover, the PKR knockdown-mediated IFN induction was attenuated by RIG-I or IPS-1 silencing. Finally, overexpression of a catalytically inactive PKR mutant (K296R), but not of a mutant lacking dsRNA binding activity (K64E) or the double mutant (K64EK296R), reversed the IFN induction mediated by PKR knockdown, suggesting that the dsRNA binding activity is required for PKR to downregulate IFN production.
PKR acts as a negative regulator of IFN induction triggered by DENVs and poly(IC), and this regulation relies on its dsRNA binding activity. These findings reveal a novel regulatory role for PKR in innate immunity, suggesting that PKR might be a promising target for anti-DENV treatments.
The protein kinase A (PKA)/Cdc25B pathway plays a critical role in maintaining meiotic arrest in mouse oocytes. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this interchange is not known. In this study, we assessed the role of 14-3-3ε interaction with phosphorylated Cdc25B at its Ser321 as the mouse oocyte is released from prophase I arrest. The 14-3-3ε isoform is a highly conserved protein with various regulatory roles, including maintenance of meiotic arrest. Cdc25B phosphatase is also a key cell cycle regulator. 14-3-3ε binds to Cdc25B-WT, which was abrogated when Ser321 of Cdc25B was mutated to Ala. In addition, we found that 14-3-3ε and Cdc25B were co-localized. Cdc25B was translocated from the cytoplasm to the nucleus shortly before germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) during the primary oocyte stage of oogenesis. However, mutation of Ser321 to Ala completely abolished the cytoplasmic localization of Cdc25B. Furthermore, oocytes co-expressing of Cdc25B-WT or Cdc25B-Ser321D and 14-3-3ε were unable to undergo GVBD. In contrast, co-expression of 14-3-3ε and Cdc25B-Ser321A induced GVBD and allowed the process to continue. Down-regulation of 14-3-3ε caused partial meiotic resumption. Taken together, these data indicate that Ser321 of Cdc25B is the specific binding site for 14-3-3ε binding, and that 14-3-3ε is the significant factor in Cdc25B regulation during meiotic resumption of GV stage.
Protein ubiquitination plays an important role in activating the DNA damage response and maintaining genomic stability. In response to DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), a ubiquitination cascade occurs at DNA lesions. Here, we show that checkpoint with Forkhead-associated (FHA) and RING finger domain protein (CHFR), an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is recruited to DSBs by poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR). At DSBs, CHFR regulates the first wave of protein ubiquitination. Moreover, CHFR ubiquitinates PAR polymerase 1 (PARP1) and regulates chromatin-associated PARP1 in vivo. Thus, these results demonstrate that CHFR is an important E3 ligase in the early stage of the DNA damage response, which mediates the crosstalk between ubiquitination and poly-ADP-ribosylation.
Diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM), characterized by myocardial structural and functional changes, is an independent cardiomyopathy that develops in diabetic individuals. The present study was sought to investigate the effect of curcumin on modulating DCM and the mechanisms involved.
An experimental diabetic rat model was induced by low dose of streptozoticin(STZ) combined with high energy intake on rats. Curcumin was orally administrated at a dose of 100 or 200 mg·kg−1·d−1, respectively. Cardiac function was evaluated by serial echocardiography. Myocardial ultrastructure, fibrosis area and apoptosis were assessed by histopathologic analyses. Metabolic profiles, myocardial enzymes and oxidative stress were examined by biochemical tests. Inflammatory factors were detected by ELISA, and interrelated proteins were measured by western blot.
Rats with DCM showed declined systolic myocardial performance associated with myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis, which were accompanied with metabolism abnormalities, aberrant myocardial enzymes, increased AGEs (advanced glycation end products) accumulation and RAGE (receptor for AGEs) expression, elevated markers of oxidative stress (MDA, SOD, the ratio of NADP+/NADPH, Rac1 activity, NADPH oxidase subunits expression of gp91phox and p47phox ), raised inflammatory factor (TNF-α and IL-1β), enhanced apoptotic cell death (ratio of bax/bcl-2, caspase-3 activity and TUNEL), diminished Akt and GSK-3β phosphorylation. Remarkably, curcumin attenuated myocardial dysfunction, cardiac fibrosis, AGEs accumulation, oxidative stress, inflammation and apoptosis in the heart of diabetic rats. The inhibited phosphorylation of Akt and GSK-3β was also restored by curcumin treatment.
Taken together, these results suggest that curcumin may have great therapeutic potential in the treatment of DCM, and perhaps other cardiovascular disorders, by attenuating fibrosis, oxidative stress, inflammation and cell death. Furthermore, Akt/GSK-3β signaling pathway may be involved in mediating these effects.
The mammalian temporomandibular joint (TMJ) develops from two distinct mesenchymal condensations that grow towards each other and ossify through different mechanisms, with the glenoid fossa undergoing intramembranous ossification while the condyle being endochondral in origin. In this study, we used various genetically modified mouse models to investigate tissue interaction between the condyle and glenoid fossa during TMJ formation in mice. We report that either absence or dislocation of the condyle results in an arrested glenoid fossa development. In both cases, glenoid fossa development was initiated, but failed to sustain, and became regressed subsequently. However, condyle development appears to be independent upon the presence of the forming glenoid fossa. In addition, we show that substitution of condyle by Meckel’s cartilage is able to sustain glenoid fossa development. These observations suggest that proper signals from the developing condyle or Meckel’s cartilage are required to sustain the glenoid fossa development.
TMJ formation; glenoid fossa development; condyle; tissue interaction; Sox9
Chitosan is the deacetylated form of chitin and used in numerous applications. Because it is a good dispersant for metal and/or oxide nanoparticle synthesis, chitosan and its derivatives have been utilized as coating agents for magnetic nanoparticles synthesis, including superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs). Herein, we demonstrate the water-soluble SPIONs encapsulated with a hybrid polymer composed of polyelectrolyte complexes (PECs) from chitosan, the positively charged polymer, and dextran sulfate, the negatively charged polymer. The as-prepared hybrid ferrofluid, in which iron chloride salts (Fe3+ and Fe2+) were directly coprecipitated inside the hybrid polymeric matrices, was physic-chemically characterized. Its features include the z-average diameter of 114.3 nm, polydispersity index of 0.174, zeta potential of −41.5 mV and iron concentration of 8.44 mg Fe/mL. Moreover, based on the polymer chain persistence lengths, the anionic surface of the nanoparticles as well as the high R2/R1 ratio of 13.5, we depict the morphology of SPIONs as a cluster because chitosan chains are chemisorbed onto the anionic magnetite surfaces by tangling of the dextran sulfate. Finally, the cellular uptake and biocompatibility assays indicate that the hybrid polymer encapsulating the SPIONs exhibited great potential as a magnetic resonance imaging T2 contrast agent for cell tracking.
biocompatible polymer; chitosan; superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle; nanomaterials
RNA secondary structure is highly conserved throughout evolution. The higher order structure is fundamental in establishing important structure-function relationships. Nucleotide sequences from ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes have made a great contribution to our understanding of Ascomycota phylogeny. However, filling the gaps between molecular phylogeny and morphological assumptions based on ascus dehiscence modes and type of fruitbodies at the higher level classification of the phylum remains an unfulfilled task faced by mycologists.
We selected some major groups of Ascomycota to view their phylogenetic relationships based on analyses of rRNA secondary structure. Using rRNA secondary structural information, here, we converted nucleotide sequences into the structure ones over a 20-symbol code. Our structural analyses together with ancestral character state reconstruction produced reasonable phylogenetic position for the class Geoglossomycetes as opposed to the classic nucleotide analyses. Judging from the secondary structure analyses with consideration of mode of ascus dehiscence and the ability of forming fruitbodies, we draw a clear picture of a possible evolutionary route for fungal asci and some major groups of fungi in Ascomycota. The secondary structure trees show a more reasonable phylogenetic position for the class Geoglossomycetes.
Our results illustrate that asci lacking of any dehiscence mechanism represent the most primitive type. Passing through the operculate and Orbilia-type asci, bitunicate asci occurred. The evolution came to the most advanced inoperculate type. The ascus-producing fungi might be derived from groups lacking of the capacity to form fruitbodies, and then evolved multiple times. The apothecial type of fruitbodies represents the ancestral state, and the ostiolar type is advanced. The class Geoglossomycetes is closely related to Leotiomycetes and Sordariomycetes having a similar ascus type other than it was originally placed based on nucleotide sequence analyses.
Among the photosensitizers investigated, both ring-D and ring-B reduced chlorins containing the m-iodobenzyloxyethyl group at position-3 and a carboxylic acid functionality at position-172 showed highest uptake by tumor cells and light-dependent photo reaction that correlated with maximal tumor-imaging [positron emission tomography (PET) and fluorescence] and long-term photodynamic therapy (PDT) efficacy in BALB/c mice bearing Colon26 tumors. However, among the ring-D reduced compounds, the isomer containing 1′-m-iobenzyloxyethyl group at position-3 was more effective than the corresponding 8-(1′-m-iodobenzyloxyethyl) derivative. All photosensitizers showed maximum uptake by tumor tissue 24h after injection and the tumors exposed with light at low fluence and fluence rates (128 J/cm2, 14 mW/cm2) produced significantly enhanced tumor eradication than those exposed at higher fluence and fluence rate (135 J/cm,2 75mW/cm2). Interestingly, dose-dependent cellular uptake of the compounds and light-dependent STAT3 dimerization have emerged as sensitive rapid indicators for PDT efficacy in vitro and in vivo and could be used as in vitro/in vivo biomarkers for evaluating and optimizing the in vivo treatment parameters of the existing and new PDT candidates.