Purpose. To identify the predictors of visual response to the bevacizumab treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design. A cohort study within the Neovascular AMD Treatment Trial Using Bevacizumab (NATTB). Methods. This was a multicenter trial including 144 participants from the NATTB study. Visual outcomes measured by change in visual acuity (VA) score, proportion gaining ≥15 letters, and change in central retinal thickness (CRT) were compared among groups according to the baseline, demographic, and ocular characteristics and genotypes. Results. Mean change in the VA score was 9.2 ± 2.3 SD letters with a total of 46 participants (31.9%) gaining ≥15 letters. Change in median CRT was −81.5 μm. Younger age, lower baseline VA score, shorter duration of neovascular AMD, and TT genotype in rs10490924 were significantly associated with greater VA score improvement (P = 0.028, P < 0.001, P = 0.02, and P = 0.039, resp.). Lower baseline VA score and TT genotype in rs10490924 were significantly associated with a higher likelihood of gaining ≥15 letters (P = 0.028, and P = 0.021, resp.). Conclusions. Baseline VA and genotype of rs10490924 were both important predictors for visual response to bevacizumab at 6 months. This trial is registered with the Registration no. NCT01306591.
The crystal structure of a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase from B. anthracis strain ‘Ames Ancestor’ is reported.
The crystal structure of a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase from Bacillus anthracis strain ‘Ames Ancestor’ complexed with NADP has been determined and refined to 1.87 Å resolution. The structure of the enzyme consists of a Rossmann fold composed of seven parallel β-strands sandwiched by three α-helices on each side. An NADP molecule from an endogenous source is bound in the conserved binding pocket in the syn conformation. The loop region responsible for binding another substrate forms two perpendicular short helices connected by a sharp turn.
short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases; NADP; Bacillus anthracis
Replicative DNA polymerases require an RNA primer for leading and lagging strand DNA synthesis, and primase is responsible for the de novo synthesis of this RNA primer. However, the archaeal primase from Pyrococcus furiosus (Pfu) frequently incorporates mismatched nucleoside monophosphate, which stops RNA synthesis. Pfu DNA polymerase (PolB) cannot elongate the resulting 3′-mismatched RNA primer because it cannot remove the 3′-mismatched ribonucleotide. This study demonstrates the potential role of a RecJ-like protein from P. furiosus (PfRecJ) in proofreading 3′-mismatched ribonucleotides. PfRecJ hydrolyzes single-stranded RNA and the RNA strand of RNA/DNA hybrids in the 3′–5′ direction, and the kinetic parameters (Km and Kcat) of PfRecJ during RNA strand digestion are consistent with a role in proofreading 3′-mismatched RNA primers. Replication protein A, the single-stranded DNA–binding protein, stimulates the removal of 3′-mismatched ribonucleotides of the RNA strand in RNA/DNA hybrids, and Pfu DNA polymerase can extend the 3′-mismatched RNA primer after the 3′-mismatched ribonucleotide is removed by PfRecJ. Finally, we reconstituted the primer-proofreading reaction of a 3′-mismatched ribonucleotide RNA/DNA hybrid using PfRecJ, replication protein A, Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and PolB. Given that PfRecJ is associated with the GINS complex, a central nexus in archaeal DNA replication fork, we speculate that PfRecJ proofreads the RNA primer in vivo.
p53 is a tumor suppressor gene and plays important roles in the etiology of breast cancer. Studies have produced conflicting results concerning the role of p53 codon 72 polymorphism (G>C) on the risk of breast cancer; therefore, a meta-analysis was performed to estimate the association between the p53 codon 72 polymorphism and breast cancer. Screening of the PubMed database was conducted to identify relevant studies. Studies containing available genotype frequencies of the p53 codon 72 polymorphism were selected and a pooled odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to assess the association. Sixty-one published studies, including 28,539 breast cancer patients and 32,788 controls were identified. The results suggest that variant genotypes are not associated with breast cancer risk (Pro/Pro + Arg/Pro vs. Arg/Arg: OR=1.016, 95% CI=0.931–1.11, P=0.722). The symmetric funnel plot, Egger’s test (P=0.506) and Begg’s test (P=0.921) were all suggestive of the lack of publication bias. This meta-analysis suggests that the p53 codon 72 Pro/Pro + Arg/Pro genotypes are not associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. To validate the association between the p53 codon 72 polymorphism and breast cancer, further studies with larger numbers of participants worldwide are required.
p53; meta-analysis; breast cancer
Haloferax mediterranei, an extremely halophilic archaeon, has shown promise for production of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) from unrelated cheap carbon sources. Here we report the complete genome (3,904,707 bp) of H. mediterranei CGMCC 1.2087, consisting of one chromosome and three megaplasmids.
The discovery of tissue reparative and immunosuppressive abilities of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has drawn more attention to tumor microenvironment and its role in providing the soil for the tumor cell growth. MSCs are recruited to tumor which is referred as the never healing wound and altered by the inflammation environment, thereby helping to construct the tumor microenvironment. The environment orchestrated by MSCs and other factors can be associated with angiogenesis, immunosuppression, inhibition of apoptosis, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), survival of cancer stem cells, which all contribute to tumor growth and progression. In this review, we will discuss how MSCs are recruited to the tumor microenvironment and what effects they have on tumor progression.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); Tumor microenvironment; Tumor growth; Metastasis
A new series of phosphodiesterase-9 (PDE9) inhibitors that contain a scaffold of 6-amino-pyrazolopyrimidinone have been discovered by a combination of structure-based design and computational docking. This procedure significantly saved load of chemical synthesis and is an effective method for the discovery of inhibitors. The best compound 28 has an IC50 of 21 nM and 3.3 µM respectively for PDE9 and PDE5, and about three orders of magnitude of selectivity against other PDE families. The crystal structure of the PDE9 catalytic domain in complex with 28 has been determined and shows a hydrogen bond between 28 and Tyr424. This hydrogen bond may account for the 860-fold selectivity of 28 against PDE1B, in comparison with about 30-fold selectivity of BAY73-6691. Thus, our studies suggest that Tyr424, a unique residue of PDE8 and PDE9, is a potential target for improvement of selectivity of PDE9 inhibitors.
Yeasts are leading model organisms for mitochondrial genome studies. The explosion of complete sequence of yeast mitochondrial (mt) genomes revealed a wide diversity of organization and structure between species. Recently, genome-wide polymorphism survey on the mt genome of isolates of a single species, Lachancea kluyveri, was also performed. To compare the mitochondrial genome evolution at two hierarchical levels: within and among closely related species, we focused on five species of the Lachancea genus, which are close relatives of L. kluyveri. Hence, we sequenced the complete mt genome of L. dasiensis, L. nothofagi, L. mirantina, L. fantastica and L. meyersii. The phylogeny of the Lachancea genus was explored using these data. Analysis of intra- and interspecific variability across the whole Lachancea genus led to the same conclusions regarding the mitochondrial genome evolution. These genomes exhibit a similar architecture and are completely syntenic. Nevertheless, genome sizes vary considerably because of the variations of the intergenic regions and the intron content, contributing to mitochondrial genome plasticity. The high variability of the intergenic regions stands in contrast to the high level of similarity of protein sequences. Quantification of the selective constraints clearly revealed that most of the mitochondrial genes are under purifying selection in the whole genus.
Mitochondria are organelles, which play a key role in some essential functions, including respiration, metabolite biosynthesis, ion homeostasis, and apoptosis. The vast numbers of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences of various yeast species, which have recently been published, have also helped to elucidate the structural diversity of these genomes. Although a large corpus of data are now available on the diversity of yeast species, little is known so far about the mtDNA diversity in single yeast species. To study the genetic variations occurring in the mtDNA of wild yeast isolates, we performed a genome-wide polymorphism survey on the mtDNA of 18 Lachancea kluyveri (formerly Saccharomyces kluyveri) strains. We determined the complete mt genome sequences of strains isolated from various geographical locations (in North America, Asia, and Europe) and ecological niches (Drosophila, tree exudates, soil). The mt genome of the NCYC 543 reference strain is 51,525 bp long. It contains the same core of genes as Lachancea thermotolerans, the nearest relative to L. kluyveri. To explore the mt genome variations in a single yeast species, we compared the mtDNAs of the 18 isolates. The phylogeny and population structure of L. kluyveri provide clear-cut evidence for the existence of well-defined geographically isolated lineages. Although these genomes are completely syntenic, their size and the intron content were found to vary among the isolates studied. These genomes are highly polymorphic, showing an average diversity of 28.5 SNPs/kb and 6.6 indels/kb. Analysis of the SNP and indel patterns showed the existence of a particularly high overall level of polymorphism in the intergenic regions. The dN/dS ratios obtained are consistent with purifying selection in all these genes, with the noteworthy exception of the VAR1 gene, which gave a very high ratio. These data suggest that the intergenic regions have evolved very fast in yeast mitochondrial genomes.
mitochondrial DNA; intraspecific diversity; population structure; purifying selection; Lanchancea kluyveri
The endotoxin level in the portal and peripheral veins of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients is higher and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a cell wall constituent of gram-negative bacteria, has been reported to inhibit tumor growth. However, in this study, we found that LPS-induced toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling was involved in tumor invasion and survival, and the molecular mechanism was investigated,
Four HCC cell lines and a splenic vein metastasis of the nude mouse model were used to study the invasion ability of LPS-induced HCC cells and the epithelia-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in vitro and in vivo. A total of 106 clinical samples from HCC patients were used to evaluate TLR4 expression and analyze its association with clinicopathological characteristics
The in vitro and in vivo experiments demonstrated that LPS could significantly enhance the invasive potential and induce EMT in HCC cells with TLR4 dependent. Further studies showed that LPS could directly activate nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling through TLR4 in HCC cells. Interestingly, blocking NF-κB signaling significantly inhibited transcription factor Snail expression and thereby inhibited EMT occurrence. High expression of TLR4 in HCC tissues was strongly associated with both poor cancer-free survival and overall survival in patients.
Our results indicate that TLR4 signaling is required for LPS-induced EMT, tumor cell invasion and metastasis, which provide molecular insights for LPS-related pathogenesis and a basis for developing new strategies against metastasis in HCC.
Toll-like receptor 4; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Lipopolysaccharide; Human hepatocellular carcinoma
Age-related degeneration(AMD) and asthma are both diseases that are related to the activation of the complement system. The association between AMD and asthma has been debated in previous studies. The authors investigated the relationship between AMD and asthma systemically.
The epidemiological study showed that asthma was related to choroidal neovascularization(CNV) subtype(OR = 1.721, P = 0.023). However, the meta-analysis showed there was no association between AMD and asthma. In an animal model, we found more fluoresce in leakage of CNV lesions by FA analysis and more angiogenesis by histological analysis in rats with asthma. Western blot demonstrated an elevated level of C3α-chain, C3α’-chain and VEGF. After compstatin was intravitreally injected, CNV leakage decreased according to FA analysis, with the level of C3 and VEGF protein decreasing at the same time.
This study first investigated the relationship between AMD and asthma systematically, and it was found that asthma could be a risk factor for the development of AMD. The study may provide a better understanding of the disease, which may advance the potential for screening asthma patients in clinical practice.
ZEB2 has been suggested to mediate EMT and disease aggressiveness in several types of human cancers. However, the expression patterns of ZEB2 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its effect on prognosis of HCC patients treated with hepatectomy are unclear.
In this study, the methods of tissue microarray and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were utilized to investigate ZEB2 expression in HCC and peritumoral liver tissue (PLT). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC), spearman's rank correlation, Kaplan-Meier plots and Cox proportional hazards regression model were used to analyze the data. Up-regulated expression of cytoplasmic/nuclear ZEB2 protein was observed in the majority of PLTs, when compared to HCCs. Further analysis showed that overexpression of cytoplasmic ZEB2 in HCCs was inversely correlated with AFP level, tumor size and differentiation (P<0.05). Also, overexpression of cytoplasmic ZEB2 in PLTs correlated with lower AFP level (P<0.05). In univariate survival analysis, a significant association between overexpression of cytoplasmic ZEB2 by HCCs/PLTs and longer patients' survival was found (P<0.05). Importantly, cytoplasmic ZEB2 expression in PLTs was evaluated as an independent prognostic factor in multivariate analysis (P<0.05). Consequently, a new clinicopathologic prognostic model with cytoplasmic ZEB2 expression (including HCCs and PLTs) was constructed. The model could significantly stratify risk (low, intermediate and high) for overall survival (P = 0.002).
Our findings provide a basis for the concept that cytoplasmic ZEB2 expressed by PLTs can predict the postoperative survival of patients with HCC. The combined cytoplasmic ZEB2 prognostic model may become a useful tool for identifying patients with different clinical outcomes.
Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is a leading cause of transfusion-associated mortality that can occur with any type of transfusion and is thought to be primarily due to donor antibodies activating pulmonary neutrophils in recipients. Recently, a large prospective case controlled clinical study of cardiac surgery patients demonstrated that despite implementation of male donors, a high incidence of TRALI still occurred and suggested a need for additional interventions in susceptible patient populations. To examine if intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) may be effective, a murine model of antibody-mediated acute lung injury that approximates human TRALI was examined. When BALB/c mice were injected with the anti-major histocompatibility complex class I antibody 34-1-2s, mild shock (reduced rectal temperature) and respiratory distress (dyspnea) were observed and pre-treatment of the mice with 2 g/kg IVIg completely prevented these symptoms. To determine IVIg's usefulness to affect severe lung damage, SCID mice, previously shown to be hypersensitive to 34-1-2s were used. SCID mice treated with 34-1-2s underwent severe shock, lung damage (increased wet/dry ratios) and 40% mortality within 2 hours. Treatment with 2 g/kg IVIg 18 hours before 34-1-2s administration completely protected the mice from all adverse events. Treatment with IVIg after symptoms began also reduced lung damage and mortality. While the prophylactic IVIg administration did not affect 34-1-2s-induced pulmonary neutrophil accumulation, bone marrow-derived neutrophils from the IVIg-treated mice displayed no spontaneous ROS production nor could they be stimulated in vitro with fMLP or 34-1-2s. These results suggest that IVIg prevents murine antibody-mediated acute lung injury at the level of neutrophil ROS production and thus, alleviating tissue damage.
The aim of the present study was to analyse the expression of Secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) specimens, and to evaluate its correlation with clinicopathologic features, including survival of patients with NPC
NPC tissue microarrays (TMAs) were constructed from Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center (SYSUCC), another three centers on mainland China, Singapore and Hong Kong. Using quantitative RT-PCR and Western-blotting techniques, we detected mRNA and protein expression of SPARC in NPC cell lines and immortalized nasopharyngeal epithelial cells (NPECs) induced by Bmi-1 (NPEC2 Bmi-1). The difference of SPARC expression in the cell lines was tested using a t-test method. The relationship between the SPARC expression and clinicopathological data was assessed by chi-square. Survival analysis was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier approach with log-rank test. Univariate and multivariate analyses of clinical variables were performed using Cox proportional hazards regression models.
The expression levels of SPARC mRNA and protein were markedly higher in NPC cell lines than in NPEC2 Bmi-1. Especially, the expression levels of SPARC mRNA and protein were much lower in the 6-10B than in the 5-8 F (P = 0.002, P = 0.001). SPARC immunostaining revealed cytoplasmic localization in NPC cells and no staining in the stroma and epithelium.
In addition, high level of SPARC positively correlated with the status of distant metastasis (P = 0.001) and WHO histological classification (P = 0.023). NPC patients with high SPARC expression also had a significantly poorer prognosis than patients with low SPARC expression (log-rank test, P < 0.001), especially patients with advanced stage disease (log-rank, P < 0.001). Multivariate analysis suggested that the level of SPARC expression was an independent prognostic indicator for the overall survival of patients with NPC (P < 0.001).
SPARC expression is common in NPC patients. Our data shows that elevated SPARC expression is a potential unfavorable prognostic factor for patients with NPC.
SPARC; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Metastasis
Mast cells (MC) reside in the mucosa of the digestive tract as the first line against bacteria and toxins. Clinical evidence has implied that the infiltration of mast cells in colorectal cancers is related to malignant phenotypes and a poor prognosis. This study compared the role of mast cells in adjacent normal colon mucosa and in the invasive margin during the progression of colon cancer.
Specimens were obtained from 39 patients with colon adenomas and 155 patients with colon cancers treated at the Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center between January 1999 and July 2004. The density of mast cells was scored by an immunohistochemical assay. The pattern of mast cell distribution and its relationship with clinicopathologic parameters and 5-year survival were analyzed.
The majority of mast cells were located in the adjacent normal colon mucosa, followed by the invasive margin and least in the cancer stroma. Mast cell count in adjacent normal colon mucosa (MCCadjacent) was associated with pathologic classification, distant metastases and hepatic metastases, although it was not a prognostic factor. In contrast, mast cell count in the invasive margin (MCCinvasive) was associated with neither the clinicopathlogic parameters nor overall survival.
Mast cells in the adjacent normal colon mucosa were related to the progression of colon cancer, suggesting that mast cells might modulate tumor progression via a long-distance mechanism.
Mast cell; Colon cancer; Mucosa; Invasive margin; Prognosis
Mast cells promote the progression of experimental tumors and might be a valuable therapeutic target. However, the relevant clinical evidence is still controversial. This study analyzed the relationship between the distribution of mast cells and the survival of patients with colon cancer to study whether mast cells contribute to tumor progression.
Materials and methods
Ninety-three cases of pathologically confirmed primary cancer tissues matched with adjacent normal mucosa, metastases of regional-draining lymph nodes and regional-draining lymph nodes without metastases were collected from stage IIIB colon carcinoma patients between January 1997 and July 2004 at the Cancer Center of Sun Yat-Sen University. Tryptase-positive mast cells were counted. The relationships of the distribution of mast cells with clinicopathologic parameters and 5-year survival were analyzed.
Although the mast cell count in the mucosa adjacent to the primary colon cancer was significantly higher than that in the stroma of the primary colon cancer, no difference in mast cell counts was observed between the stroma in lymph node metastasis and the lymph tissue adjacent to the metastasis. Additionally, the mast cell count in the regional-draining lymph node without the invasion of cancer cells was significantly higher than that in the stroma of lymph node metastasis and adjacent lymph tissue. However, none of those mast cell counts was related to 5-year survival.
Although mast cell count varied with location, none of the mast cell counts was related to 5-year survival, suggesting that mast cells do not contribute to the progression of stage IIIB colon cancer.
Mast cells; Colon cancer; Survival; Progression
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are accumulated as intracellular carbon and energy storage polymers by various bacteria and a few haloarchaea. In this study, 28 strains belonging to 15 genera in the family Halobacteriaceae were investigated with respect to their ability to synthesize PHAs and the types of their PHA synthases. Fermentation results showed that 18 strains from 12 genera could synthesize polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) or poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV). For most of these haloarchaea, selected regions of the phaE and phaC genes encoding PHA synthases (type III) were cloned via PCR with consensus-degenerate hybrid oligonucleotide primers (CODEHOPs) and were sequenced. The PHA synthases were also examined by Western blotting using haloarchaeal Haloarcula marismortui PhaC (PhaCHm) antisera. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the type III PHA synthases from species of the Halobacteriaceae and the Bacteria domain clustered separately. Comparison of their amino acid sequences revealed that haloarchaeal PHA synthases differed greatly in both molecular weight and certain conserved motifs. The longer C terminus of haloarchaeal PhaC was found to be indispensable for its enzymatic activity, and two additional amino acid residues (C143 and C190) of PhaCHm were proved to be important for its in vivo function. Thus, we conclude that a novel subtype (IIIA) of type III PHA synthase with unique features that distinguish it from the bacterial subtype (IIIB) is widely distributed in haloarchaea and appears to be involved in PHA biosynthesis.
The title compound, C16H20O4, was obtained unintentionally as the byproduct of an attempted synthesis of methyl 3-(cyclopropylmethoxy)-4-hydroxybenzoate. In the crystal, the molecules are linked by intermolecular C—H⋯O interactions.
PDE9 inhibitors show potential for treatment of diseases such as diabetes. To help with discovery of PDE9 inhibitors, we performed mutagenesis, kinetic, crystallographic, and molecular dynamics analyses on the active site residues of Gln453 and its stabilizing partner Glu406. The crystal structures of the PDE9 Q453E mutant (PDE9Q453E) in complex with inhibitors IBMX and (S)-BAY73-6691 showed asymmetric binding of the inhibitors in two subunits of the PDE9Q453E dimer and also the significant positional change of the M-loop at the active site. The kinetic analysis of the Q453E and E406A mutants suggested that the invariant glutamine is critical for binding of substrates and inhibitors, but is unlikely to play a key role in the differentiation between substrates of cGMP and cAMP. The molecular dynamics simulations suggest that residue Glu406 may be protonated and may thus explain the hydrogen bond distance between two side chain oxygens of Glu453 and Glu406 in the crystal structure of the PDE9Q453E mutant. The information from these studies may be useful for design of PDE9 inhibitors.
PDE9 inhibitors have been studied as therapeutics for treatment of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders. To illustrate the inhibitor selectivity, the crystal structures of the PDE9A catalytic domain in complex with the enantiomers of PDE9 inhibitor 1-(2-chlorophenyl)-6-(3,3,3-trifluoro-2-methylpropyl)-1H-pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine-4(5H)-one ((R)-BAY73-6691 or (S)-BAY73-6691, 1r or 1s) were determined and mutagenesis was performed. The structures showed that the fluoromethyl groups of 1r and 1s had different orientations while the other parts of the inhibitors commonly interacted with PDE9A. These differences may explain the slightly different affinity of 1r (IC50 = 22 nM) and 1s (IC50 = 88 nM). The mutagenesis experiments revealed that contribution of the binding residues to the inhibitor sensitivity varies dramatically, from a few of folds to three orders of magnitude. On the basis of the crystal structures, a hypothesized compound that simulates the recently published PDE9 inhibitors was modeled to provide insight into the inhibitor selectivity.
Phosphodiesterase-9; crystal structure; automatic docking; inhibitor selectivity; mutagenesis
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small non-coding RNAs (20 to 24 nucleotides) that post-transcriptionally modulate gene expression. A key oncomir in carcinogenesis is miR-21, which is consistently up-regulated in a wide range of cancers. However, few functional studies are available for miR-21, and few targets have been identified. In this study, we explored the role of miR-21 in human breast cancer cells and tissues, and searched for miR-21 targets.
We used in vitro and in vivo assays to explore the role of miR-21 in the malignant progression of human breast cancer, using miR-21 knockdown. Using LNA silencing combined to microarray technology and target prediction, we screened for potential targets of miR-21 and validated direct targets by using luciferase reporter assay and Western blot. Two candidate target genes (EIF4A2 and ANKRD46) were selected for analysis of correlation with clinicopathological characteristics and prognosis using immunohistochemistry on cancer tissue microrrays.
Anti-miR-21 inhibited growth and migration of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells in vitro, and tumor growth in nude mice. Knockdown of miR-21 significantly increased the expression of ANKRD46 at both mRNA and protein levels. Luciferase assays using a reporter carrying a putative target site in the 3' untranslated region of ANKRD46 revealed that miR-21 directly targeted ANKRD46. miR-21 and EIF4A2 protein were inversely expressed in breast cancers (rs = -0.283, P = 0.005, Spearman's correlation analysis).
Knockdown of miR-21 in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells inhibits in vitro and in vivo growth as well as in vitro migration. ANKRD46 is newly identified as a direct target of miR-21 in BC. These results suggest that inhibitory strategies against miR-21 using peptide nucleic acids (PNAs)-antimiR-21 may provide potential therapeutic applications in breast cancer treatment.
It has been suggested that trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27me3) is a crucial epigenetic process in tumorigenesis. However, the expression dynamics of H3K27me3 and its clinicopathological/prognostic significance in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are unclear. In this study, immunohistochemical analysis (IHC) was used to examine protein expression of H3K27me3 in HCC tissues from two independent cohorts and corresponding nontumorous hepatocellular tissues by tissue microarray. The optimal cutpoint of H3K27me3 expression was assessed by the X-tile program. Our results showed that the cutpoint for high expression of H3K27me3 in HCCs was determined when more than 70% of the tumor cells showed positive staining. High expression of H3K27me3 was observed in 134 of 212 (63.2%) and 76 of 126 (60.4%) of HCCs in the testing and validation cohorts, respectively. Correlation analysis demonstrated that high expression of H3K27me3 in HCCs was significantly correlated with large tumor size, multiplicity, poor differentiation, advanced clinical stage and vascular invasion (P < 0.05). In addition, high expression of H3K27me3 in HCC patients was associated closely with shortened survival time, independent of serum α-fetoprotein levels, tumor size and multiplicity, clinical stage, vascular invasion and relapse as evidenced by univariate and multivariate analysis in both cohorts (P < 0.05). In different subsets of HCC patients, H3K27me3 expression was also a prognostic indicator in patients with stage II tumors (P < 0.05). Thus, these findings provide evidence that a high expression of H3K27me3, as detected by IHC, correlates closely with vascular invasion of HCCs and is an independent molecular marker for poor prognosis in patients with HCC.
Corrigendum to Acta Cryst. (2010), E66, o2004.
The chemical diagram and the title of the paper by Hou et al. [Acta Cryst. (2010), E66, o2004] are corrected.
The halophilic archaeon Haloferax mediterranei is able to accumulate large amounts of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) with high molar fraction of 3-hydroxyvalerate (3HV) from unrelated carbon sources. A Polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) synthase composed of two subunits, PhaCHme and PhaEHme, has been identified in this strain, and shown to account for the PHBV biosynthesis.
With the aid of the genome sequence of Hfx. mediterranei CGMCC 1.2087, three additional phaC genes (designated phaC1, phaC2, and phaC3) were identified, which encoded putative PhaCs. Like PhaCHme (54.8 kDa), PhaC1 (49.7 kDa) and PhaC3 (62.5 kDa) possessed the conserved motifs of type III PHA synthase, which was not observed in PhaC2 (40.4 kDa). Furthermore, the longer C terminus found in the other three PhaCs was also absent in PhaC2. Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) revealed that, among the four genes, only phaCHme was transcribed under PHA-accumulating conditions in the wild-type strain. However, heterologous coexpression of phaEHme with each phaC gene in Haloarcula hispanica PHB-1 showed that all PhaCs, except PhaC2, could lead to PHBV accumulation with various 3HV fractions. The three kinds of copolymers were characterized using gel-permeation chromatography (GPC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Their thermal properties changed with the variations in monomer composition as well as the different molecular weights (Mw), thus might meet various application requirements.
We discover three cryptic phaC genes in Hfx. mediterranei, and demonstrate that genetic engineering of these newly identified phaC genes has biotechnological potential for PHBV production with tailor-made material properties.
We sought to study the effect of a combination therapy comprised of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) and ulinastatin on the plasma levels of endotoxin, soluble CD14 (sCD14), endotoxin neutralizing capacity (ENC) and cytokines in acute necrotizing pancreatitis (ANP) in rats.
We randomly allocated 90 Sprague–Dawley rats into 6 groups: group 1 (ordinary control), group 2 (sham operation), group 3 (ANP), group 4 (ANP with HBO), group 5 (ANP with ulinastatin) and group 6 (ANP with HBO and ulinastatin). We induced ANP by retrograde injection of 3.5% sodium taurocholate (2.5 mL/kg) via the pancreatic duct. Five minutes after induction, animals in groups 5 and 6 were infused with ulinastatin (20 000 U/kg) via the portal vein. Thirty minutes after induction, animals in groups 4 and 6 received HBO therapy. We collected samples 3, 6 and 10 hours after induction of ANP.
We found that the plasma level of endotoxin in group 3 was significantly higher than in group 4 (3, 6 h, both p < 0.001), group 5 (3 h, p < 0.001; 6 h, p = 0.014) and group 6 (both p < 0.001). The level of plasma sCD14 in group 3 was significantly higher than in group 4 (3, 6 h, both p < 0.001), group 5 (3, 6 h, both p = 0.001) and group 6 (3 h, p < 0.001; 6 h, p = 0.001). The plasma endotoxin and sCD14 levels in group 6 were significantly lower than in groups 4 and 5. The plasma ENC level in group 6 was significantly higher than in groups 3, 4 and 5 (p < 0.001). The ENC level in groups 4 and 5 were higher than in group 3, but there was no significant difference. The plasma level of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and IL-6 in group 6 were significantly lower than in groups 3, 4 and 5 (p < 0.001). The TNF-α and IL-6 levels in groups 4 and 5 were lower than in group 3, but there was no significant difference.
The use of an early combination therapy of HBO and ulinastatin was more effective than either therapy alone in the treatment of ANP.