The 2009 flu pandemic involved the emergence of a new strain of a swine-origin H1N1 influenza virus (S-OIV H1N1) that infected almost every country in the world. Most infections resulted in respiratory illness and some severe cases resulted in acute lung injury. In this report, we are the first to describe a mouse model of S-OIV virus infection with acute lung injury and immune responses that reflect human clinical disease. The clinical efficacy of the antiviral oseltamivir (Tamiflu) administered in the early stages of S-OIV H1N1 infection was confirmed in the mouse model. Moreover, elevated levels of IL-17, Th-17 mediators and IL-17-responsive cytokines were found in serum samples of S-OIV-infected patients in Beijing. IL-17 deficiency or treatment with monoclonal antibodies against IL-17-ameliorated acute lung injury induced by the S-OIV H1N1 virus in mice. These results suggest that IL-17 plays an important role in S-OIV-induced acute lung injury and that monoclonal antibodies against IL-17 could be useful as a potential therapeutic remedy for future S-OIV H1N1 pandemics.
cytokine; acute lung injury; S-OIV H1N1
Chinese translation of the introduction to the theme issue on ‘Molecular nanostructure and nanotechnology’. (Available in PDF form.)
To examine the relationship between retinal ganglion cell loss and changes in the inner nuclear layer (INL) in optic neuritis (ON).
36 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with a history of ON and 36 age and sex-matched controls underwent Optical Coherence Tomography. The paramacular retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL), combined ganglion cell and inner plexiform layers (GCL/IPL) and inner nuclear layer (INL) thickness were measured at 36 points around the fovea. To remove inter-subject variability, the difference in thickness of each layer between the ON and fellow eye of each patient was calculated. A topographic analysis was conducted.
The INL of the ON patients was thicker than the controls (42.9µm versus 39.6µm, p=0.002). ON patients also had a thinner RNFL (27.8µm versus 32.2µm, p<0.001) and GCL/IPL (69.3µm versus 98.1µm, p<0.001). Among the controls, there was no correlation between RNFL and GCL/IPL as well as RNFL and INL, but a positive correlation was seen between GCL/IPL and INL (r=0.65, p<0.001). In the ON group, there was a positive correlation between RNFL and GCL/IPL (r=0.80, p<0.001) but a negative correlation between RNFL and INL (r=-0.61, p<0.001) as well as GCL/IPL and INL (r=-0.44, p=0.007). The negative correlation between GCL/IPL and INL strengthened in the ON group when inter-subject variability was removed (r=-0.75, p<0.001). Microcysts within the INL were present in 5 ON patients, mainly in the superior and infero-nasal paramacular regions. While patients with microcysts lay at the far end of the correlation curve between GCL/IPL and INL (i.e. larger INL and smaller GCL/IPL compared to other patients), their exclusion did not affect the correlation (r= -0.76, p<0.001).
INL enlargement in MS-related ON is associated with the severity of GCL loss. This is a continuous relationship and patients with INL microcysts may represent the extreme end of the scale.
The concentration and composition of PAHs emitted from biomass cooking fuel were characterized in a rural non-smoking household in northern China. Twenty-two parent PAHs (pPAHs), 12 nitro-PAHs (nPAHs), and 4 oxy-PAHs (oPAHs) were measured in the kitchen, bedroom, and outdoors during both summer and winter. The most severe contamination occurred in the kitchen in the winter, where the daily mean concentrations of pPAHs, nPAHs, and oPAHs were 7500±4100, 38±29, and 8400±9200 ng/m3, respectively. Our results suggest that the nPAHs were largely from secondary formation in ambient air while oPAHs were either from primary emission of biomass burning or secondary formation from pPAHs in the kitchen. The daily mean benzo(a)pyrene equivalent exposure concentration was as high as 200±160 ng/m3 in the winter for the housewife who did the cooking compared to 59±37 ng/m3 for the control group that did not cook.
rural indoor air; solid fuel; PAHs; nitro-PAHs; oxygenated-PAHs
Cortisol, a member of glucocorticoids, could potentiate the action of catecholamine by a non-genomic mechanism. Although this permissive effect has been well appreciated in the anti-asthmatic medication, the underlying signaling pathway has remained mysterious. Here, we show that extraneuronal monoamine transporter (EMT), a membraneous reuptake transporter for circulating catecholamine clearance, is the direct target of cortisol in its permissive effect. We found that BSA-conjugated cortisol, which functions as a cortisol but cannot penetrate cell membrane, enhanced the spasmolytic effect of β-adrenoceptor agonist (isoprenaline) in histamine-sensitized tracheal spirals of guinea pigs, and pharmacological inhibition of EMT with famotidine was powerful enough to imitate the permissive action of cortisol. To our surprise, EMT protein expression was high in the chondrocytes of tracheal cartilage, but was undetectable in tracheal smooth muscle cells. The functionality of EMT was further confirmed with measurement of catecholamine uptake by tracheal chondrocytes. Moreover, cortisol-initiated membrane signaling could activate protein kinase C (PKC), which phosphorylates EMT and induces its internalization via a lipid raft-dependent pathway. Both of the mechanisms slow down the reuptake process by chondrocytes, leading to extracellular catecholamine accumulation and results in a more profound adrenergic signaling activation in tracheal smooth muscle cells. Thus, an EMT-centered pathway was proposed to explain the permissive action of cortisol. Collectively, our results highlight the role of EMT in the crosstalk between glucocorticoid and catecholamine. EMT may represent a promising target for adrenergic signaling modulation.
The TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been identified as a critical player in a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recent discoveries demonstrate the important role of carboxyl-terminal fragments of TDP-43 in its proteinopathy. Herein, we report the characterization of β-domains in the C-terminal fragments of TDP-43 using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). Careful comparison of the wild-type TDP-43 (Wt) and the three mutant TDP-43 peptides: an ALS-related mutant peptide: phosphorylated A315T mutant TDP-43 (A315T(p)) and two model peptides: A315T mutant TDP-43 (A315T), A315E mutant TDP-43 (A315E) reveals that A315T(p) has a longer core region of the β-domain than Wt. A315E possesses the longest core region of the β-domain and A315T(p) mutant TDP-43 has the second longest core region of the β-domain. The core regions of the β-domains for A315T and Wt TDP-43 have the same length. This observation provides a supportive evidence of a higher tendency in beta-sheet formation of A315T(p) containing TDP-43 fragment, and structural mechanism for the higher cytotoxicity and accelerated fibril formation of the A315T(p) mutation-containing TDP-43 peptide as compared with Wt TDP-43.
TAR DNA-binding protein 43; β-Domain; STM; Amyloid; Fibril formation
Malpighian tubules (MTs) are highly specific organs of arthropods (Insecta, Myriapoda and Arachnida) for excretion and osmoregulation. In order to highlight the important genes and pathways involved in multi-functions of MTs, we performed a systematic proteomic analysis of silkworm MTs in the present work. Totally, 1,367 proteins were identified by one-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and as well as by Trans Proteomic Pipeline (TPP) and Absolute protein expression (APEX) analyses. Forty-one proteins were further identified by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Some proteins were revealed to be significantly associated with various metabolic processes, organic solute transport, detoxification and innate immunity. Our results might lay a good foundation for future functional studies of MTs in silkworm and other lepidoptera.
Utilizing ENU mutagenesis, we identified a mutant mouse with elevated platelets. Genetic mapping localized the mutation to an interval on chromosome 19 that encodes the Jak2 tyrosine kinase. We identified a A3056T mutation resulting in a premature stop codon within exon 19 of Jak2 (Jak2K915X), resulting in a protein truncation and functionally inactive enzyme. This novel platelet phenotype was also observed in mice bearing a hemizygous targeted disruption of the Jak2 locus (Jak2+/-). Timed pregnancy experiments revealed that Jak2K915X/K915X and Jak2-/- displayed embryonic lethality; however, Jak2K915X/K915X embryos were viable an additional two days compared to Jak2-/- embryos. Our data suggest that perturbing JAK2 activation may have unexpected consequences in elevation of platelet number and correspondingly, important implications for treatment of hematological disorders with constitutive Jak2 activity.
PKCα (protein kinase C alpha, PRKCA) is an important protein involved in several steps of signaling pathways in lung cancer, and microRNAs (miRNAs) have also been shown to participate in lung carcinogenesis. However, it is not clear how PKCα and miRNAs are correlated in the disease. In this report, we aimed to identify novel miRNAs that target PKCα and to study their biological function. Using bioinformatics analysis, we predicted one novel candidate, miR-203, and found differential expression patterns of miR-203 and PKCα in human lung cancer tissues. Moreover, we experimentally validated miR-203 as a direct regulator of PKCα. Finally, we demonstrated that the targeting of PKCα by miR-203 played a critical role in regulating cell proliferation, apoptosis and migration in lung cancer cells. In summary, this study identifies a novel miRNA that targets PKCα and illustrates that the downregulation of PKCα by miR-203 modulates biological processes in lung cancer cells.
To construct biologically interpretable gene sets for muscular dystrophy (MD) sub-type classification, we propose a novel computational scheme to integrate protein-protein interaction (PPI) network, functional gene set information, and mRNA profiling data. The workflow of the proposed scheme includes the following three major steps: firstly, we apply an affinity propagation clustering (APC) approach to identify gene sub-networks associated with each MD sub-type, in which a new distance metric is proposed for APC to combine PPI network information and gene-gene co-expression relationship; secondly, we further incorporate functional gene set knowledge, which complements the physical PPI information, into our scheme for biomarker identification; finally, based on the constructed sub-networks and gene set features, we apply multi-class support vector machines (MSVMs) for MD sub-type classification, with which to highlight the biomarkers contributing to sub-type prediction. The experimental results show that our scheme can help identify sub-networks and gene sets that are more relevant to MD than those constructed by other conventional approaches. Moreover, our integrative strategy improves the prediction accuracy substantially, especially for those ’hard-to-classify’ sub-types.
Gene expression; Classification; Muscular dystrophy; Affinity propagation clustering; Biomarker discovery
Excessive fluoride may cause central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction, and oxidative stress is a recognized mode of action of fluoride toxicity. In CNS, activated microglial cells can release more reactive oxygen species (ROS), and NADPH oxidase (NOX) is the major enzyme for the production of extracellular superoxide in microglia. ROS have been characterized as an important secondary messenger and modulator for various mammalian intracellular signaling pathways, including the MAPK pathways. In this study we examined ROS production and TNF-α, IL-1β inflammatory cytokines releasing, and the expression of MAPKs in BV-2 microglia cells treated with fluoride. We found that fluoride increased JNK phosphorylation level of BV-2 cells and pretreatment with JNK inhibitor SP600125 markedly reduced the levels of intracellular O2·− and NO. NOX inhibitor apocynin and iNOS inhibitor SMT dramatically decreased NaF-induced ROS and NO generations, respectively. Antioxidant melatonin (MEL) resulted in a reduction in JNK phosphorylation in fluoride-stimulated BV-2 microglia. The results confirmed that NOX and iNOS played an important role in fluoride inducing oxidative stress and NO production and JNK took part in the oxidative stress induced by fluoride and meanwhile also could be activated by ROS in fluoride-treated BV-2 cells.
The role of water molecules in the selective transport of potassium ions across cell membranes is important. Experimental investigations of valinomycin–water interactions remain huge challenge due to the poor solubility of valinomycin in water. Herein, we removed this experimental obstacle by introducing gaseous water and valinomycin onto a Cu(111) surface to investigate the hydration of valinomycin. By combining scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) with density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we revealed that water could affect the adsorption structure of valinomycin. Hydrogen bond interactions occurred primarily at the carbonyl oxygen of valinomycin and resulted in the formation of valinomycin hydrates. The single-molecule perspective revealed in our investigation could provide new insight into the role of water on the conformation transition of valinomycin, which might provide a new molecular basis for the ion transport mechanism at the water/membrane interface.
Oocyan or blue/green eggshell colour is an autosomal dominant trait found in native chickens (Mapuche fowl) of Chile and in some of their descendants in European and North American modern breeds. We report here the identification of an endogenous avian retroviral (EAV-HP) insertion in oocyan Mapuche fowl and European breeds. Sequencing data reveals 100% retroviral identity between the Mapuche and European insertions. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of European oocyan chicken indicates over-expression of the SLCO1B3 gene (P<0.05) in the shell gland and oviduct. Predicted transcription factor binding sites in the long terminal repeats (LTR) indicate AhR/Ar, a modulator of oestrogen, as a possible promoter/enhancer leading to reproductive tissue-specific over-expression of the SLCO1B3 gene. Analysis of all jungle fowl species Gallus sp. supports the retroviral insertion to be a post-domestication event, while identical LTR sequences within domestic chickens are in agreement with a recent de novo mutation.
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and pulmonary sarcoidosis are typical interstitial lung diseases with unknown etiology that cause lethal lung damages. There are notable differences between these two pulmonary disorders, although they do share some similarities. Gene expression profiles have been reported independently, but differences on the transcriptional level between these two entities have not been investigated.
All expression data of lung tissue samples for IPF and sarcoidosis were from published datasets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository. After cross platform normalization, the merged sample data were grouped together and were subjected to statistical analysis for finding discriminate genes. Gene enrichments with their corresponding functions were analyzed by the online analysis engine “Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery” (DAVID) 6.7, and genes interactions and functional networks were further analyzed by STRING 9.0 and Cytoscape 3.0.0 Beta1. One hundred and thirty signature genes could potentially differentiate one disease state from another. Compared with normal lung tissue, tissue affected by IPF and sarcoidosis displayed similar signatures that concentrated on proliferation and differentiation. Distinctly expressed genes that could distinguish IPF from sarcoidosis are more enriched in processes of cilium biogenesis or degradation and regulating T cell activations. Key discriminative network modules involve aspects of bone morphogenetic protein receptor two (BMPR2) related and v-myb myeloblastosis viral oncogene (MYB) related proliferation.
This study is the first attempt to examine the transcriptional regulation of IPF and sarcoidosis across different studies based on different working platforms. Groups of significant genes were found to clearly distinguish one condition from the other. While IPF and sarcoidosis share notable similarities in cell proliferation, differentiation and migration, remarkable differences between the diseases were found at the transcription level, suggesting that the two diseases are regulated by overlapping yet distinctive transcriptional networks.
Flux calculations demonstrate that many estuaries are natural filters for trace metals. Yet, the underlying processes are poorly investigated. In the present study, it was hypothesized that intertidal marshes contribute significantly to the contaminant filter function of estuaries. Trace metal concentrations and sediment characteristics were measured along a transect from the subtidal, over an intertidal flat and marsh to a restored marsh with controlled reduced tide. Metal concentrations in the intertidal and restored marsh were found to be a factor two to five higher than values in the subtidal and intertidal flat sediments. High metal concentrations and high accretion rates indicate a high metal accumulation capacity of the intertidal marshes. Overbank sedimentation in the tidal marshes of the entire estuary was calculated to remove 25% to 50% of the riverine metal influx, even though marshes comprise less than 8% of the total surface of the estuary. In addition, the large-scale implementation of planned tidal marsh restoration projects was estimated to almost double the trace metal storage capacity of the present natural tidal marshes in the estuary.
With the advent of high-throughput biotechnology capable of monitoring genomic signals, it becomes increasingly promising to understand molecular cellular mechanisms through systems biology approaches. One of the active research topics in systems biology is to infer gene transcriptional regulatory networks using various genomic data; this inference problem can be formulated as a linear model with latent signals associated with some regulatory proteins called transcription factors (TFs). As common statistical assumptions may not hold for genomic signals, typical latent variable algorithms such as independent component analysis (ICA) are incapable to reveal underlying true regulatory signals. Liao et al.  proposed to perform inference using an approach named network component analysis (NCA), the optimization of which is achieved by a least-squares fitting approach with biological knowledge constraints. However, the incompleteness of biological knowledge and its inconsistency with gene expression data are not considered in the original NCA solution, which could greatly affect the inference accuracy. To overcome these limitations, we propose a linear extraction scheme, namely regulatory component analysis (RCA), to infer underlying regulatory signals even with partial biological knowledge. Numerical simulations show a significant improvement of our proposed RCA over NCA, not only when signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) is low, but also when the given biological knowledge is incomplete and inconsistent to gene expression data. Furthermore, real biological experiments on E. coli are performed for regulatory network inference in comparison with several typical linear latent variable methods, which again demonstrates the effectiveness and improved performance of the proposed algorithm.
Transcriptional regulatory network inference; Source extraction; Gene expression; Genomic signal processing
In order to observe the clinical therapeutic effects of Yiqi Kaimi Prescription and biofeedback therapy on treating constipation with deficiency of spleen qi, the 30 cases in the control group were given oral administration of Yiqi Kaimi Prescription, in combination with anus-lifting exercise; the 30 cases in the treatment group were given biofeedback therapy on the basis of the afore mentioned methods for the control group. The TCM symptom scores and anorectal pressures before and after treatment were observed and evaluated. There were significant differences in TCM symptom scores, anorectal pressure, and clinical recovery rate before and after treatment. In the treatment group, the total recovery rate was 86.66%, while in the control group it was 50%; there were significant differences between the two groups (P < 0.01). Yiqi Kaimi Prescription coupled with biofeedback therapy is clinically effective for treating constipation with deficiency of spleen qi, and thus this method is applicable for functional constipation with deficiency of spleen qi.
Profound alterations in immune responses associated with uremia and exacerbated by dialysis increase the risk of active tuberculosis (TB). Evidence of the long-term risk and outcome of active TB after acute kidney injury (AKI) is limited.
This population-based-cohort study used claim records retrieved from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database. We retrieved records of all hospitalized patients, more than 18 years, who underwent dialysis for acute kidney injury (AKI) during 1999–2008 and validated using the NSARF data. Time-dependent Cox proportional hazards model to adjust for the ongoing effect of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) was conducted to predict long-term de novo active TB after discharge from index hospitalization.
Out of 2,909 AKI dialysis patients surviving 90 days after index discharge, 686 did not require dialysis after hospital discharge. The control group included 11,636 hospital patients without AKI, dialysis, or history of TB. The relative risk of active TB in AKI dialysis patients, relative to the general population, after a mean follow-up period of 3.6 years was 7.71. Patients who did (hazard ratio [HR], 3.84; p<0.001) and did not (HR, 6.39; p<0.001) recover from AKI requiring dialysis had significantly higher incidence of TB than patients without AKI. The external validated data also showed nonrecovery subgroup (HR = 4.37; p = 0.049) had high risk of developing active TB compared with non-AKI. Additionally, active TB was associated with long-term all-cause mortality after AKI requiring dialysis (HR, 1.34; p = 0.032).
AKI requiring dialysis seems to independently increase the long-term risk of active TB, even among those who weaned from dialysis at discharge. These results raise concerns that the increasing global burden of AKI will in turn increase the incidence of active TB.
The relative proportions of components in a pheromone blend play a major role in sexual recognition in moths. Two sympatric species, Helicoverpa armigera and Helicoverpa assulta, use (Z)-11-hexadecenal (Z11–16: Ald) and (Z)-9-hexadecenal (Z9–16: Ald) as essential sex pheromone components but in very different ratios, 97∶3 and 7∶93 respectively. Using wind tunnel tests, single sensillum recording and in vivo calcium imaging, we comparatively studied behavioral responses and physiological activities at the level of antennal sensilla and antennal lobe (AL) in males of the two species to blends of the two pheromone components in different ratios (100∶0, 97∶3, 50∶50, 7∶93, 0∶100). Z11–16: Ald and Z9–16: Ald were recognized by two populations of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) in different trichoid sensilla on antennae of both species. The ratios of OSNs responding to Z11–16:Ald and Z9–16:Ald OSNs were 100∶28.9 and 21.9∶100 in H. armigera and H. assulta, respectively. The Z11–16:Ald OSNs in H. armigera exhibited higher sensitivity and efficacy than those in H. assulta, while the Z9–16:Ald OSNs in H. armigera had the same sensitivity but lower efficacy than those in H. assulta. At the dosage of 10 µg, Z11–16: Ald and Z9–16: Ald evoked calcium activity in 8.5% and 3.0% of the AL surface in H. armigera, while 5.4% and 8.6% of AL in H. assulta, respectively. The calcium activities in the AL reflected the peripheral input signals of the binary pheromone mixtures and correlated with the behavioral output. These results demonstrate that the binary pheromone blends were precisely coded by the firing frequency of individual OSNs tuned to Z11–16: Ald or Z9–16: Ald, as well as their population sizes. Such information was then accurately reported to ALs of H. armigera and H. assulta, eventually producing different behaviors.
Polymorphisms are associated with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) and pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE), but no polymorphism specific to CTEPH but not PTE has yet been reported. Fibrin resistance is associated with CTEPH, but the mechanism has not been elucidated.
Polymorphisms were analyzed in 101 CTEPH subjects, 102 PTE subjects and 108 healthy controls by Massarray or restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Plasmin-mediated cleavage of fibrin was characterized in 69 subjects (29 with CTEPH, 21 with PTE and 19 controls).
Genotype frequencies and allele frequencies of fibrinogen Aα Thr312Ala were significantly higher in CTEPH subjects than in controls and PTE subjects, while there was no difference between PTE subjects and controls. The odd ratio (OR 2.037) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI, 1.262–3.289) showed that Thr312Ala polymorphism was a risk factor for CTEPH but not PTE. Fibrin from CTEPH subjects was more resistant to lysis than that from PTE subjects and controls. Fibrin resistance was significantly different between Aα Thr312Ala (A/G) genotypes within CTEPH subjects, and the fibrin with GG genotype was more resistant than that with AA and AG genotype.
Fibrinogen Aα Thr312Ala (A/G) polymorphism was associated with CTEPH, but not PTE, suggesting that the fibrinogen Aα Thr312Ala polymorphism may act as a potential biomarker in identifying CTEPH from PTE. GG genotype polymorphism contributes to CTEPH through increasing fibrin resistance, implying that PTE subjects with fibrinogen Aα GG genotype may need long-term anticoagulation therapy.
The neuroprotective effect of baicalein is generally attributed to inhibition of
12/15-lipoxygenase (12/15-LOX) and suppression of oxidative stress, but recent
studies showed that baicalein also activates hypoxia-inducible factor-α (HIF1α)
through inhibition of prolyl hydrolase 2 (PHD2) and activation of the
phosphatidylinositide-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt signaling pathway. Yet, the
significance and regulation of prosurvival cytokines erythropoietin (Epo) and
vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), two transcriptional targets of HIF1α,
in baicalein-mediated neuroprotection in neurons and astrocytes remains unknown.
Here we investigated the causal relationship between the PI3K/Akt signaling
pathway and Epo/VEGF expression in baicalein-mediated neuroprotection in primary
rat cortical neurons and astrocytes. Our results show that baicalein induced Epo
and VEGF expression in a HIF1α- and PI3K/Akt-dependent manner in neurons.
Baicalein also protected neurons against excitotoxicity in a PI3K- and
Epo/VEGF-dependent manner without affecting neuronal excitability. In contrast,
at least a 10-fold higher concentration of baicalein was needed to induce
Epo/VEGF production and PI3K/Akt activity in astrocytes for protection of
neurons. Moreover, only baicalein-induced astrocytic VEGF, but not Epo
expression requires HIF1α, while PI3K/Akt signaling had little role in
baicalein-induced astrocytic Epo/VEGF expression. These results suggest distinct
mechanisms of baicalein-mediated Epo/VEGF production in neurons and astrocytes
for neuroprotection, and provide new insights into the mechanisms and potential
of baicalein in treating brain injury in vivo.
It is well-established that hyperthermia increases neuronal death and worsens stroke outcome. However, little is known about the mechanisms of how hyperthermia is involved in this neuronal death process. In the present study, we examined how temperature increase exacerbates neuronal death using a model of chemical ischemia. Chemical ischemia was induced by treating SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells with sodium azide and deoxyglucose. Temperature increase was treated by placing the cells at 37°C (control) and 41°C (experimental). Cell survival was determined by trypan blue assay and ATP levels were measured with ATP assay kits. Protein expression was detected by western blot. Treatment with sodium azide resulted in cell death in a dose-responsive manner. Increased temperature worsened the ATP depletion and cell volume shrinkage. Temperature increase also enhanced ER stress as demonstrated by the elevated level of phospho-eIF2α and C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP). Inhibition of CHOP expression significantly decreased sodium azide-induced neuronal death. In addition, the increased temperature intensified the activation of caspase-3, an apoptotic effector protease, and inhibition of capspase-3 significantly reduced cell death. These findings support that temperature increase worsened the neuronal death by depleting intracellular ATP, inducing ER stress response and activating apoptotic signal transduction.
Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinases (MAPKK) mediate a variety of stress responses in plants. So far little is known on the functional role of MAPKKs in cotton. In the present study, Gossypium hirsutum MKK1 (GhMKK1) function was investigated. GhMKK1 protein may activate its specific targets in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. Treatments with salt, drought, and H2O2 induced the expression of GhMKK1 and increased the activity of GhMKK1, while overexpression of GhMKK1 in Nicotiana benthamiana enhanced its tolerance to salt and drought stresses as determined by many physiological data. Additionally, GhMKK1 activity was found to up-regulate pathogen-associated biotic stress, and overexpression of GhMKK1 increased the susceptibility of the transgenic plants to the pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum by reducing the expression of PR genes. Moreover, GhMKK1-overexpressing plants also exhibited an enhanced reactive oxygen species scavenging capability and markedly elevated activities of several antioxidant enzymes. These results indicate that GhMKK1 is involved in plants defence responses and provide new data to further analyze the function of plant MAPK pathways.