Phosphopantetheinyl transferases (PPTases), which play an essential role in both primary and secondary metabolism, are magnesium binding enzymes. In this study, we characterized the magnesium binding residues of all known group II PPTases by biochemical and evolutionary analysis. Our results suggested that group II PPTases could be classified into two subgroups, two-magnesium-binding-residue-PPTases containing the triad Asp-Xxx-Glu and three-magnesium-binding-residue-PPTases containing the triad Asp-Glu-Glu. Mutations of two three-magnesium-binding-residue-PPTases and one two-magnesium-binding-residue-PPTase indicate that the first and the third residues in the triads are essential to activities; the second residues in the triads are non-essential. Although variations of the second residues in the triad Asp-Xxx-Glu exist throughout the whole phylogenetic tree, the second residues are conserved in animals, plants, algae, and most prokaryotes, respectively. Evolutionary analysis suggests that: the animal group II PPTases may originate from one common ancestor; the plant two-magnesium-binding-residue-PPTases may originate from one common ancestor; the plant three-magnesium-binding-residue-PPTases may derive from horizontal gene transfer from prokaryotes.
The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) is relatively higher than those without MHD. Chronic HCV infection detrimentally affects the life quality and expectancy, leads to renal transplant rejection, and increases the mortality of MHD patients. With the application of erythropoietin to improve uremic anemia and avoid blood transfusion, the new HCV infections during MHD in recent years are mainly caused by the lack of stringent universal precautions. Strict implementation of universal precautions for HCV transmission has led to markedly decreased HCV infections in many hemodialysis units, but physicians still should be alert for the anti-HCV negative HCV infection and occult HCV infection in MHD patients. Standard interferon alpha and pegylated interferon alpha monotherapies at a reduced dose are currently the main treatment strategies for MHD patients with active HCV replication, but how to increase the sustained virological response and decrease the side effects is the key problem. IFNα-free treatments with two or three direct-acting antivirals without ribavirin in MHD patients are waiting for future investigations.
Hemodialysis; Hepatitis C virus; Epidemiology; Risk factors; Prophylaxis; Treatment
In this study, we present the complete genome of Fimbriimonas ginsengisoli Gsoil 348T belonging to the class Fimbriimonadia of the phylum Armatimonadetes, formerly called as candidate phylum OP10. The complete genome contains a single circular chromosome of 5.23 Mb including a 45.5 kb prophage. Of the 4820 open reading frames (ORFs), 3,000 (62.2%) genes could be classified into Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG) families. With the split of rRNA genes, strain Gsoil 348T had no typical 16S-23S-5S ribosomal RNA operon. In this genome, the GC skew inversion which was usually observed in archaea was found. The predicted gene functions suggest that the organism lacks the ability to synthesize histidine, and the TCA cycle is incomplete. Phylogenetic analyses based on ribosomal proteins indicated that strain Gsoil 348T represents a deeply branching lineage of sufficient divergence with other phyla, but also strongly involved in superphylum Terrabacteria.
Leaf-color is an effective marker to identify the hybridization of rice. Leaf-color related genes function in chloroplast development and the photosynthetic pigment biosynthesis of higher plants. The ygl7 (yellow-green leaf 7) is a mutant with spontaneous yellow-green leaf phenotype across the whole lifespan but with no change to its yield traits. We cloned gene Ygl7 (Os03g59640) which encodes a magnesium-chelatase ChlD protein. Expression of ygl7 turns green-leaves to yellow, whereas RNAi-mediated silence of Ygl7 causes a lethal phenotype of the transgenic plants. This indicates the importance of the gene for rice plant. On the other hand, it corroborates that ygl7 is a non-null mutants. The content of photosynthetic pigment is lower in Ygl7 than the wild type, but its light efficiency was comparatively high. All these results indicated that the mutational YGL7 protein does not cause a complete loss of original function but instead acts as a new protein performing a new function. This new function partially includes its preceding function and possesses an additional feature to promote photosynthesis. Chl1, Ygl98, and Ygl3 are three alleles of the OsChlD gene that have been documented previously. However, mutational sites of OsChlD mutant gene and their encoded protein products were different in the three mutants. The three mutants have suppressed grain output. In our experiment, plant materials of three mutants (ygl7, chl1, and ygl98) all exhibited mutational leaf-color during the whole growth period. This result was somewhat different from previous studies. We used ygl7 as female crossed with chl1 and ygl98, respectively. Both the F1 and F2 generation display yellow-green leaf phenotype with their chlorophyll and carotenoid content falling between the values of their parents. Moreover, we noted an important phenomenon: ygl7-NIL's leaf-color is yellow, not yellowy-green, and this is also true of all back-crossed offspring with ygl7.
Tomosyn, a syntaxin-binding protein, is known to inhibit vesicle priming and synaptic transmission via interference with the formation of SNARE complexes. Using a lentiviral vector, we specifically overexpressed tomosyn1 in hippocampal dentate gyrus neurons in adult mice. Mice were then subjected to spatial learning and memory tasks and electrophysiological measurements from hippocampal slices. Tomosyn1-overexpression significantly impaired hippocampus-dependent spatial memory while tested in the Morris water maze. Further, tomosyn1-overexpressing mice utilize swimming strategies of lesser cognitive ability in the Morris water maze compared with control mice. Electrophysiological measurements at mossy fiber-CA3 synapses revealed impaired paired-pulse facilitation in the mossy fiber of tomosyn1-overexpressing mice. This study provides evidence for novel roles for tomosyn1 in hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory, potentially via decreased synaptic transmission in mossy fiber-CA3 synapses. Moreover, it provides new insight regarding the role of the hippocampal dentate gyrus and mossy fiber-CA3 synapses in swimming strategy preference, and in learning and memory.
Aortic arch replacement is associated with increased mortality and morbidity especially in acute type-A aortic dissection. Although hypothermic circulatory arrest with selective antegrade cerebral perfusion has been widely used because of its excellent cerebral protection, its optimal perfusion characteristics are unknown. The present study investigates clinical results obtained after perfusion method modification and temperature management during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB).
Between July 2010 and August 2012, 16 consecutive adult patients (mean age 50.0 yr ± 14.1 yr, range 25 yr to 73 yr, 12 males, 4 females) who presented with acute Stanford type-A aortic dissection underwent aortic arch replacement (total arch, n = 11; hemiarch, n = 5) under mild hypothermia (31.1°C ± 1.5°C) with right axillary and femoral artery perfusion.
The mean CPB time was 201 min ± 53 min, and the mean myocardial ischemic time was 140 min ± 42 min. The mean selective cerebral perfusion time was 80 min ± 16 min, and the mean lower-body circulatory arrest time was 20 min ± 13 min. No patient death occurred within 30 post-operative days. The following details were observed: new post-operative permanent neurologic deficit in 1 patient (6.3%), temporary neurologic deficit in 2 patients (12.5%), acute renal dysfunction (creatinine level > 230 umol/L) in 3 patients (18.8%) and mechanical ventilation > 72 h in 5 patients (31.2%).
Aortic arch replacement for acute type-A aortic dissection under mild hypothermia with right axillary and femoral artery perfusion could be safely performed in the patient cohort.
Aortic arch surgery; Cardiopulmonary bypass; Mild hypothermia; Brain protection; Selective antegrade cerebral perfusion
The present research was undertaken to determine the effects of EPA (20 : 5 n-3) and DHA (22 : 6 n-3) on chylomicron and VLDL synthesis and secretion by Caco-2 cells. Cells were incubated for 12 to 36 h with 400 μM OA, EPA, and DHA; then 36 h was chosen for further study because EPA and DHA decreased de novo triglycerides synthesis in a longer incubation compared with OA (P < 0.01). Neither the uptake nor oxidation was different in response to the respective fatty acids (P > 0.05). Compared with OA, intercellular and secreted nascent apolipoprotein B48 and B100 were decreased by EPA and DHA (P < 0.01). Both DHA and EPA resulted in a lower secretion of chylomicron and VLDL (P < 0.01). In contrast to OA, EPA and DHA were preferentially incorporated into phospholipids instead of triacylglycerols (P < 0.01). These discoveries demonstrated that exposure of DHA and EPA reduced the secretion of chylomicron and VLDL partly by regulating the synthesis of TG and apoB.
Since the first laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) was reported in 1991, LS has become the gold standard for the removal of normal to moderately enlarged spleens in benign conditions. Compared with open splenectomy, fewer postsurgical complications and better postoperative recovery have been observed, but LS is contraindicated for hypersplenism secondary to liver cirrhosis in many institutions owing to technical difficulties associated with splenomegaly, well-developed collateral circulation, and increased risk of bleeding. With the improvements of laparoscopic technique, the concept is changing. This article aims to give an overview of the latest development in laparoscopic splenectomy for hypersplenism secondary to liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Despite a lack of randomized controlled trial, the publications obtained have shown that with meticulous surgical techniques and advanced instruments, LS is a technically feasible, safe, and effective procedure for hypersplenism secondary to cirrhosis and portal hypertension and contributes to decreased blood loss, shorter hospital stay, and less impairment of liver function. It is recommended that the dilated short gastric vessels and other enlarged collateral circulation surrounding the spleen be divided with the LigaSure vessel sealing equipment, and the splenic artery and vein be transected en bloc with the application of the endovascular stapler. To support the clinical evidence, further randomized controlled trials about this topic are necessary.
Laparoscopy; Splenectomy; Liver cirrhosis; Portal hypertension; Hypersplenism
Optical control of neuronal activity has a number of advantages over electrical methods and can be conveniently applied to intact individual neurons in vivo. In this study, we demonstrated an experimental approach in which a focused continuous near-infrared (CNI) laser beam was used to activate single rat hippocampal neurons by transiently elevating the local temperature. Reversible changes in the amplitude and kinetics of neuronal voltage-gated Na and K channel currents were recorded following irradiation with a single-mode 980 nm CNI-laser. Using single-channel recordings under controlled temperatures as a means of calibration, it was estimated that temperature at the neuron rose by 14°C in 500 ms. Computer simulation confirmed that small temperature changes of about 5°C were sufficient to produce significant changes in neuronal excitability. The method should be broadly applicable to studies of neuronal activity under physiological conditions, in particular studies of temperature-sensing neurons expressing thermoTRP channels.
Voltage-dependent ion channels; Activation; Inactivation; Action potential; Laser; Temperature
Cerebellar, brainstem and spinal cord metastases from esophageal cancer following radiotherapy are extremely rare. The current study presents the case of a 74-year-old male who was admitted to the Zhejiang Cancer Hospital (Hangzhou, China) with a poorly-differentiated neuroendocrine carcinoma of the esophagus. Following radiotherapy, multiple abnormal signals in the brainstem and spinal cord were found on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Following palliative radiochemotherapy, the clinical symptoms and abnormal MRI signals in the brainstem and spinal cord were found to improve. This case revealed that brain metastasis from esophageal carcinoma may occur simultaneously with brainstem and spinal cord metastases.
esophageal cancer; metastasis; cerebellum; spinal cord; brainstem
To investigate whether education level of family members predicts all-cause and cardiovascular death and initial-episode peritonitis in patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD).
A total of 2264 patients on chronic PD were collected from seven centers affiliated with the Socioeconomic Status on the Outcome of Peritoneal Dialysis (SSOP) Study. All demographic, socioeconomic and laboratory data of patients and the education level of all family members were recorded at baseline. Multivariate Cox regression was used to calculate the hazard ratio (HR) of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, and initial-episode peritonitis with adjustments for recognized traditional factors.
There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between patients with (n = 1752) and without (n = 512) complete education information. According to the highest education level of patients' family, included 1752 patients were divided into four groups, i.e. elementary or lower (15%), middle (27%), high (24%) and more than high school (34%). The family highest education (using elementary school or lower group as reference, hazard ratio and 95% confidence interval of middle school group, high school group and more than high school group was 0.68[0.48–0.96], 0.64[0.45–0.91], 0.66[0.48–0.91], respectively) rather than their average education level or patients' or spouse's education was significantly associated with the higher mortality. Neither patients' nor family education level did correlate to the risk for cardiovascular death or initial-episode peritonitis.
Family members' education level was found to be a novel predictor of PD outcome. Family, as the main source of health care providers, should be paid more attention in our practice.
resource utilization; chronic disease; data analytics
A Bayesian alignment model (BAM) is proposed for alignment of liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) data. BAM belongs to the category of profile-based approaches, which are composed of two major components: a prototype function and a set of mapping functions. Appropriate estimation of these functions is crucial for good alignment results. BAM uses Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods to draw inference on the model parameters and improves on existing MCMC-based alignment methods through 1) the implementation of an efficient MCMC sampler and 2) an adaptive selection of knots. A block Metropolis-Hastings algorithm that mitigates the problem of the MCMC sampler getting stuck at local modes of the posterior distribution is used for the update of the mapping function coefficients. In addition, a stochastic search variable selection (SSVS) methodology is used to determine the number and positions of knots. We applied BAM to a simulated data set, an LC-MS proteomic data set, and two LC-MS metabolomic data sets, and compared its performance with the Bayesian hierarchical curve registration (BHCR) model, the dynamic time-warping (DTW) model, and the continuous profile model (CPM). The advantage of applying appropriate profile-based retention time correction prior to performing a feature-based approach is also demonstrated through the metabolomic data sets.
Alignment; Bayesian inference; block Metropolis-Hastings algorithm; liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS); Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC); stochastic search variable selection (SSVS)
Enabling accurate analysis of social network data while preserving differential privacy has been challenging since graph features such as cluster coefficient often have high sensitivity, which is different from traditional aggregate functions (e.g., count and sum) on tabular data. In this paper, we study the problem of enforcing edge differential privacy in graph generation. The idea is to enforce differential privacy on graph model parameters learned from the original network and then generate the graphs for releasing using the graph model with the private parameters. In particular, we develop a differential privacy preserving graph generator based on the dK-graph generation model. We first derive from the original graph various parameters (i.e., degree correlations) used in the dK-graph model, then enforce edge differential privacy on the learned parameters, and finally use the dK-graph model with the perturbed parameters to generate graphs. For the 2K-graph model, we enforce the edge differential privacy by calibrating noise based on the smooth sensitivity, rather than the global sensitivity. By doing this, we achieve the strict differential privacy guarantee with smaller magnitude noise. We conduct experiments on four real networks and compare the performance of our private dK-graph models with the stochastic Kronecker graph generation model in terms of utility and privacy tradeoff. Empirical evaluations show the developed private dK-graph generation models significantly outperform the approach based on the stochastic Kronecker generation model.
Differential Privacy; Graph Generation; dK-graph; Kronecker Graph
For future interplanetary manned spaceflight, mental issues, as well as physiological problems, must inevitably be considered and solved. Mars500 is a high-fidelity ground simulation experiment that involved 520 days of confined isolation for six multinational crewmembers. This experiment provided a good opportunity to perform psycho-physiological and psycho-social researches on such missions. To investigate emotional responses and psychological adaptation over long-term confinement, the International Affective Pictures System (IAPS) was selected as the visual emotional stimuli in this study. Additional data collected and analyzed included the Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire and the levels of four types of plasma hormones: cortisol, 5-hydroxy tryptamine, dopamine, and norepinephrine. The results demonstrated an obvious bias on valence rating for unpleasant stimuli with time (p<0.05), and the correlation between psychological and biochemical data was identified (p<0.05). Overall, we concluded that the confined crew tended to assign positive ratings to negative pictures with time, which might be driven by a defensive system. There was a stage-changing pattern of psychological adaptation of the Mars500 crew, which is similar to the third-quarter phenomenon.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the inhibitory effect of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) on pathogenic fungi, including Candida albicans (CA), Candida tropicalis (CT), Candida glabrata (CG), Candida parapsilosis (CP) and Candida krusei (CK), in vitro and in vivo. In total, 24 PA strains were collected from clinical specimens and identified by Gram staining, oxidase production and the API 20NE system. Cross-streak, disk diffusion and co-culture methods were used to observe the inhibitory effect of PA. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis was used to analyze differences in the bacterial proteins of PA. A blood infection model in mice was used to evaluate the effect of PA on fungi in vivo. The in vitro and in vivo results demonstrated that a number of PA isolates exhibited a marked inhibitory effect on pathogenic fungi, including CA, CT, CP, CG and CK, while other PA strains exhibited no effect. Therefore, PA exhibits an inhibitory effect on pathogenic fungi and this activity may be important in the treatment of patients. It was hypothesized that PA secretes various types of proteins to suppress the growth of fungal filaments, which subsequently inhibits pathogenic fungi.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa; pathogenic fungi; inhibitory effect; cross-streaking method
A DNA-based replicon vaccine derived from Semliki Forest virus, PSVK-shFcG-GM/B7.1 (Fig. 1a) was designed for tumor immunotherapy as previously constructed. The expression of the fusion tumor antigen (survivin and hCGβ-CTP37) and adjuvant molecular protein (Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor/ GM-CSF/B7.1) genes was confirmed by Immunofluorescence assay in vitro, and immunohistochemistry assay in vivo. In this paper, the immunological effect of this vaccine was determined using immunological assays as well as animal models. The results showed that this DNA vaccine induced both humoral and cellular immune responses in C57BL/6 mice after immunization, as evaluated by the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ cells and the release of IFN-γ. Furthermore, the vaccination of C57BL/6 mice with PSVK-shFcG-GM/B7.1 significantly delayed the in vivo growth of tumors in animal models (survivin+ and hCGβ+ murine melanoma, B16) when compared to vaccination with the empty vector or the other control constructs (Fig. 1b). These data indicate that this type of replicative DNA vaccine could be developed as a promising approach for tumor immunotherapy. Meanwhile, these results provide a basis for further study in vaccine pharmacodynamics and pharmacology, and lay a solid foundation for clinical application.
Berberine is an isoquinoline alkaloid mainly extracted from Rhizoma Coptidis and has been shown to possess a potent inhibitory activity against bacterial. However, the role of berberine in anti-bacterial action has not been extensively studied.
The animal model was established to investigate the effects of berberine on bacterial and LPS infection. Docking analysis, Molecular dynamics simulations and Real-time RT-PCR analysis was adopted to investigate the molecular mechanism.
Treatment with 40 mg/kg berberine significantly increased the survival rate of mice challenged with Salmonella typhimurium (LT2), but berberine show no effects in bacteriostasis. Further study indicated that treatment with 0.20 g/kg berberine markedly increased the survival rate of mice challenged with 2 EU/ml bacterial endotoxin (LPS) and postpone the death time of the dead mice. Moreover, pretreatment with 0.05 g/kg berberine significantly lower the increasing temperature of rabbits challenged with LPS. The studies of molecular mechanism demonstrated that Berberine was able to bind to the TLR4/MD-2 receptor, and presented higher affinity in comparison with LPS. Furthermore, berberine could significantly suppressed the increasing expression of NF-κB, IL-6, TNFα, and IFNβ in the RAW264.7 challenged with LPS.
Berberine can act as a LPS antagonist and block the LPS/TLR4 signaling from the sourse, resulting in the anti-bacterial action.
CD16b (FcγRIIIb) is exclusively expressed by human neutrophils and binds IgG in immune complexes. Cell surface CD16b undergoes efficient ectodomain shedding upon neutrophil activation and apoptosis. Indeed, soluble CD16b is present at high levels in the plasma of healthy individuals, which appears to be maintained by the daily turnover of apoptotic neutrophils. At this time, the principal protease responsible for CD16b shedding is not known. We show that CD16b plasma levels were significantly decreased in patients administered a selective inhibitor targeting the metalloproteases ADAM10 and ADAM17. Additional analysis with inhibitors selective for ADAM10 or ADAM17 revealed that only inhibition of ADAM17 significantly blocked the cleavage of CD16b following neutrophil activation and apoptosis. CD16b shedding by ADAM17 was further demonstrated using a unique ADAM17 function-blocking mAb and a cell-based ADAM17 reconstitution assay. Unlike human CD16, however, mouse CD16 did not undergo efficient ectodomain shedding upon neutrophil stimulation or apoptosis, indicating that this mechanism cannot be modeled in normal mice. Taken together, our findings are the first to directly demonstrate that ADAM17 cleaves CD16 in human leukocytes.
Neutrophil; metalloprotease; ADAM17; apoptosis; Fc receptor
Multidrug resistance protein 4 (MRP4), also known as ATP-cassette binding protein 4 (ABCC4), is a member of the MRP/ABCC subfamily of ATP-binding cassette transporters, which are capable of pumping a wide variety of drugs out of the cell. However, little is known about the function of ABCC4 in the proliferation of lung cancer cells.
ABCC4 mRNA and protein levels in lung cancer cell lines were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot, respectively. A lentivirus-mediated RNA interference technique was used to inhibit ABCC4 mRNA expression in A549 and 801D cells. The function of ABCC4 in cell growth was investigated by MTS and colony formation assays. The role of ABCC4 in cell cycle progression was evaluated by flow cytometry and Western blot analysis. ABCC4 mRNA levels in 30 pairs of tumors and corresponding matched adjacent normal tissues from non-small cell lung cancer patients were detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
ABCC4 was highly expressed in lung cancer cell lines. ABCC4 expression was markedly downregulated in A549 and 801D cells using the RNA interference technique. Suppression of ABCC4 expression inhibited cell growth. The percentage of cells in G1 phase was increased when ABCC4 expression was suppressed. Phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein was weakened, originating in the downregulation of ABCC4. ABCC4 mRNA was highly expressed in lung cancer tissue and lung cancer cell lines.
ABCC4 may play an important role in the control of A549 and 801D cell growth. ABCC4 is a potential target for lung cancer therapy.
ABCC4; cell proliferation; lung cancer; cell cycle
Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is associated with multiple diseases, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, tissue injuries and infections. Although IL-33 has been indicated to be involved in Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) wound infection, little is known about how IL-33 is regulated as a mechanism to increase host defense against skin bacterial infections. To explore the underlying intricate mechanism we first evaluated the expression of IL-33 in skin from S. aureus-infected human patients. Compared to normal controls, IL-33 was abundantly increased in skin of S. aureus-infected patients. We next developed a S. aureus cutaneous infection mouse model and found that IL-33 was significantly increased in dermal macrophages of infected mouse skin. The expression of IL-33 by macrophages was induced by staphylococcal peptidoglycan (PGN) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA) via activation of toll-like receptor 2(TLR2) –mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-AKT-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3(STAT3) signaling pathway as PGN and LTA failed to induce IL-33 in Tlr2-deficient peritoneal macrophages, and MAPK,AKT, STAT3 inhibitors significantly decreased PGN- or LTA-induced IL-33. IL-33, in turn, acted on macrophages to induce microbicidal nitric oxygen (NO) release. This induction was dependent on inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) activation, as treatment of macrophages with an inhibitor of iNOS, aminoguanidine, significantly decreased IL-33-induced NO release. Moreover, aminoguanidine significantly blocked the capacity of IL-33 to inhibit the growth of S. aureus, and IL-33 silencing in macrophages significantly increased the survival of S. aureus in macrophages. Furthermore, the administration of IL-33-neutralizing antibody into mouse skin decreased iNOS production but increased the survival of S. aureus in skin. These findings reveal that IL-33 can promote antimicrobial capacity of dermal macrophages, thus enhancing antimicrobial defense against skin bacterial infections.
Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is associated with multiple diseases, including asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, tissue injuries and infections. Although IL-33 has been indicated to be involved in wound infections, little is known about how IL-33 is regulated as a mechanism to increase host defense against skin bacterial infections. Here we have shown that Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) cutaneous infection increases IL-33 expression in dermal macrophages in the skin. The expression of IL-33 by macrophages is induced by staphylococcal peptidoglycan (PGN) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA) via activation of toll-like receptor 2(TLR2) –mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)-AKT-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3(STAT3) signaling pathway. IL-33 in turn acts on macrophages to inhibit the growth of S. aureus by binding to its receptor ST2 followed by activation of the AKT-β-catenin pathway, thus inducing and activating inducible nitric oxygen synthase (iNOS) to release microbiocidal nitric oxygen (NO). These findings reveal that IL-33 can promote antimicrobial capacity of dermal macrophages, thus enhancing antimicrobial defense against skin bacterial infections.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of interleukin (IL)-21 in chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. IL-21 stimulates T and B cell responses and plays a role in the control of chronic viral infections. Serum IL-21 levels were measured by enzyme immunoassay in 109 patients with chronic HBV infection at various clinical stages, as well as in 19 healthy controls (HCs). The proportion of T cells producing IL-21 in the peripheral blood was assessed by intracellular cytokine staining and flow cytometry. Mean serum IL-21 levels in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and the HCs were 303.54±152.77 pg/ml and 68.24±9.06 pg/ml, respectively (P=0.003). In addition, the mean serum IL-21 level in patients with hepatitis B-related acute-on-chronic liver failure (HB-ACLF) was 455.38±412.38 pg/ml, which exhibited a statistically significant difference when compared with the HCs (P=0.000). Serum IL-21 levels were highest in the patients with HB-ACLF (455.38±412.38 pg/ml) and exhibited a significant difference when compared with the CHB patients (P=0.04). The mean serum IL-21 levels in patients with cirrhosis also increased, but there was no statistically significant difference when compared with the HCs (P=0.82). The frequency of IL-21+CD4+ cells also increased compared with the HCs and correlated with the number and percentage of lymphocytes in the peripheral blood. Serum IL-21 levels increased in CHB and HB-ACLF patients. Relatively low serum IL-21 levels in CHB may have a causal role in the persistence of HBV infection. Higher serum levels in HB-ACLF may activate T and B cells to eliminate the virus or injure the liver via the release of inflammatory cytokines.
interleukin-21; hepatitis B virus; clinical stages; peripheral blood mononuclear cells
The application of semantic technologies to the integration of biological data and the interoperability of bioinformatics analysis and visualization tools has been the common theme of a series of annual BioHackathons hosted in Japan for the past five years. Here we provide a review of the activities and outcomes from the BioHackathons held in 2011 in Kyoto and 2012 in Toyama. In order to efficiently implement semantic technologies in the life sciences, participants formed various sub-groups and worked on the following topics: Resource Description Framework (RDF) models for specific domains, text mining of the literature, ontology development, essential metadata for biological databases, platforms to enable efficient Semantic Web technology development and interoperability, and the development of applications for Semantic Web data. In this review, we briefly introduce the themes covered by these sub-groups. The observations made, conclusions drawn, and software development projects that emerged from these activities are discussed.
BioHackathon; Bioinformatics; Semantic Web; Web services; Ontology; Visualization; Knowledge representation; Databases; Semantic interoperability; Data models; Data sharing; Data integration
Nap1 has long been identified as a potential septin regulator in yeasts. However, its function and regulation remain poorly defined. Here, we report functional characterization of Nap1 in the human-pathogenic fungus Candida albicans. We find that deletion of NAP1 causes constitutive filamentous growth and changes of septin dynamics. We present evidence that Nap1’s cellular localization and function are regulated by phosphorylation. Phos-tag gel electrophoresis revealed that Nap1 phosphorylation is cell cycle dependent, exhibiting the lowest level around the time of bud emergence. Mass spectrometry identified 10 phosphoserine and phosphothreonine residues in a cluster near the N terminus, and mutation of these residues affected Nap1’s localization to the septin ring and cellular function. Nap1 phosphorylation involves two septin ring-associated kinases, Cla4 and Gin4, and its dephosphorylation occurs at the septin ring in a manner dependent on the phosphatases PP2A and Cdc14. Furthermore, the nap1Δ/Δ mutant and alleles carrying mutations of the phosphorylation sites exhibited greatly reduced virulence in a mouse model of systemic candidiasis. Together, our findings not only provide new mechanistic insights into Nap1’s function and regulation but also suggest the potential to target Nap1 in future therapeutic design.
Septins are conserved filament-forming GTPases involved in a wide range of cellular events, such as cytokinesis, exocytosis, and morphogenesis. In Candida albicans, the most prevalent human fungal pathogen, septin functions are indispensable for its virulence. However, the molecular mechanisms by which septin structures are regulated are poorly understood. In this study, we deleted NAP1, a gene encoding a putative septin regulator, in C. albicans and found that cells lacking NAP1 showed abnormalities in morphology, invasive growth, and septin ring dynamics. We identified a conserved N-terminal phosphorylation cluster on Nap1 and demonstrated that phosphorylation at these sites regulates Nap1 localization and function. Importantly, deletion of NAP1 or mutation in the N-terminal phosphorylation cluster strongly reduced the virulence of C. albicans in a mouse model of systemic infection. Thus, this study not only provides mechanistic insights into septin regulation but also suggests Nap1 as a potential antifungal target.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) infection leads to substantial economic losses to the swine industry worldwide. However, no effective countermeasures exist to combat this virus infection so far. The most common antiviral strategy relies on directly inhibiting viral proteins. However, this strategy invariably leads to the emergence of drug resistance due to the error-prone nature of viral ploymerase. Targeting cellular proteins required for viral infection for developing new generation of antivirals is gaining concern. Recently, heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) was found to be an important host factor for the replication of multiple viruses and the inhibition of HSP90 showed significant antiviral effects. It is thought that the inhibition of HSP90 could be a promising broad-range antiviral approach. However, the effects of HSP90 inhibition on PRRSV infection have not been evaluated. In the current research, we tried to inhibit HSP90 and test whether the inhibition affect PRRSV infection.
We inhibit the function of HSP90 with two inhibitors, geldanamycin (GA) and 17- allylamono-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), and down-regulated the expression of endogenous HSP90 with specific small-interfering RNAs (siRNAs). Cell viability was measured with alamarBlue. The protein level of viral N was determined by western blotting and indirect immunofluorescence (IFA). Besides, IFA was employed to examine the level of viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The viral RNA copy number and the level of IFN-β mRNA were determined by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR).
Our results indicated that both HSP90 inhibitors showed strong anti-PRRSV activity. They could reduce viral production by preventing the viral RNA synthesis. These inhibitory effects were not due to the activation of innate interferon response. In addition, we observed that individual knockdown targeting HSP90α or HSP90β did not show dramatic inhibitory effect. Combined knockdown of these two isoforms was required to reduce viral infection.
Our results shed light on the possibility of developing potential therapeutics targeting HSP90 against PRRSV infection.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus; PRRSV; HSP90; Geldanamycin; 17-AAG; Antiviral