Depression is a common non-motor symptom in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). There are many kinds of antidepressants being used, such as tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and Dopamine agonists which are suggested as alternative antidepressants for the treatment of depression in PD. Which one should we choose first? Literatures have shown inconsistent results.
We conducted a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials to compare the efficacy and acceptability of therapeutic methods for the treatment of depression in Parkinson's disease.
We used the odds ratios (OR) as effect size firstly and the results indicated no statistical significance between each compared intervention. Then we used the logarithm of the individual odds ratios as effect size. With efficacy of TCAs as the standard of comparison, the degree of incoherence (a measure of how closely the entire network fits together) was small (ω = 4.824827e-05). The logor were: SSRIs −0.69 (95% CI −1.28– −0.10); Pramipexole −0.73 (−1.71– −0.26); Pergolide −1.97 (−3.67– 0.27); SNRIs −0.86 (−1.86– 0.15); Placebo −1.24 (−1.99– −0.50). With Placebo as the standard of comparison, the logor were: TCAs 1.24 (0.50– 1.99); SSRIs 0.55 (−0.03– 1.13); Pramipexole 0.51 (−0.12– 1.15); Pergolide −0.73 (−2.25– 0.80); SNRIs 0.38 (−0.42– 1.19); TCAs, pramipexole, pergolide and SNRIs showed better profile of acceptability, leading to significant fewer discontinuations than that of SSRIs.
There is insufficient evidence to support antidepressant efficacy for SSRIs, pramipexole, pergolide and SNRIs. TCAs might be the best choice when starting antidepressant treatment in patients of Parkinson's disease because it has the most favorable balance between benefits and acceptability, followed by pramipexole and SNRIs, SSRIs might be the last choice.
Asparaginases catalyze the hydrolysis of the amino acid asparagine to aspartate and ammonia. Bacterial asparaginases are used in cancer chemotherapy to deplete asparagine from the blood, since several hematological malignancies depend on extracellular asparagine for growth. To avoid the immune response against the bacterial enzymes it would be beneficial to replace them with human asparaginases. However, unlike the bacterial asparaginases, the human enzymes have a millimolar Km value for asparagine, making them inefficient in depleting the amino acid from blood. To facilitate the development of human variants suitable for therapeutic use, we solved the structure of human L-asparaginase (hASNase3). This asparaginase is an N-terminal nucleophile (Ntn) family member that requires autocleavage between Gly167 and Thr168 to become catalytically competent. For most Ntn-hydrolases this autoproteolytic activation occurs efficiently. In contrast, hASNas3 is relatively stable in its uncleaved state, and this allowed us to observe the structure of the enzyme prior to cleavage. To determine the structure of the cleaved state we exploited our discovery that the free amino acid glycine promotes complete cleavage of hASNase3. Both enzyme states were elucidated in the absence and presence of the product aspartate. Together, these structures provide insight into the conformational changes required for cleavage, and on the precise enzyme-substrate interactions. The new understanding of hASNase3 will serve to guide the design of variants that possess a decreased Km value for asparagine, making the human enzyme a suitable replacement for the bacterial asparaginases in cancer therapy.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV), a member of the Flaviviridae family, affects approximately 3% of the world's population and is becoming the leading cause of liver disease in the world. Therefore, the development of novel or more effective treatment strategies to treat chronic HCV infection is urgently needed. In our previous study, we identified a potential HCV NS5A inhibitor, BP008. After further systemic optimization, we discovered a more potent HCV inhibitor, DBPR110. DBPR110 reduced the reporter expression of the HCV1b replicon with a 50% effective concentration (EC50) and a selective index value of 3.9 ± 0.9 pM and >12,800,000, respectively. DBPR110 reduced HCV2a replicon activity with an EC50 and a selective index value of 228.8 ± 98.4 pM and >173,130, respectively. Sequencing analyses of several individual clones derived from the DBPR110-resistant RNAs purified from cells harboring genotype 1b and 2a HCV replicons revealed that amino acid substitutions mainly within the N-terminal region (domain I) of NS5A were associated with decreased inhibitor susceptibility. P58L/T and Y93H/N in genotype 1b and T24A, P58L, and Y93H in the genotype 2a replicon were the key substitutions for resistance selection. In the 1b replicon, V153M, M202L, and M265V play a compensatory role in replication and drug resistance. Moreover, DBPR110 displayed synergistic effects with alpha interferon (IFN-α), an NS3 protease inhibitor, and an NS5B polymerase inhibitor. In summary, our results present an effective small-molecule inhibitor, DBPR110, that potentially targets HCV NS5A. DBPR110 could be part of a more effective therapeutic strategy for HCV in the future.
Adipokine adiponectin (APN) has been recently reported to play a role in regulating bone mineral density (BMD). To explore the mechanism by which APN affects BMD, we investigated BMD and biomechanical strength properties of the femur and vertebra in sham-operated (Sham) and ovariectomized (OVX) APN knockout (KO) mice as compared to their operated wild-type (WT) littermates. The results show that APN deficiency has no effect on BMD but induces increased ALP activity and osteoclast cell number. While OVX indeed leads to significant bone loss in both femora and vertebras of WT mice with comparable osteogenic activity and a significant increase in osteoclast cell number when compared to that of sham control. However, no differences in BMD, ALP activity and osteoclast cell number were found between Sham and OVX mice deficient for APN. Further studies using bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) demonstrate an enhanced osteogenic differentiation and extracellular matrix calcification in APN KO mice. The possible mechanism for APN deletion induced acceleration of osteogenesis could involve increased proliferation of MSCs and higher expression of Runx2 and Osterix genes. These findings indicate that APN deficiency can protect against OVX-induced osteoporosis in mice, suggesting a potential role of APN in regulating the balance of bone formation and bone resorption, especially in the development of post-menopausal osteoporosis.
Previous studies have shown that core leptosporangiates, the most species-rich group of extant ferns (monilophytes), have a distinct plastid genome (plastome) organization pattern from basal fern lineages. However, the details of genome structure transformation from ancestral ferns to core leptosporangiates remain unclear because of limited plastome data available. Here, we have determined the complete chloroplast genome sequences of Lygodium japonicum (Lygodiaceae), a member of schizaeoid ferns (Schizaeales), and Marsilea crenata (Marsileaceae), a representative of heterosporous ferns (Salviniales). The two species represent the sister and the basal lineages of core leptosporangiates, respectively, for which the plastome sequences are currently unavailable. Comparative genomic analysis of all sequenced fern plastomes reveals that the gene order of L. japonicum plastome occupies an intermediate position between that of basal ferns and core leptosporangiates. The two exons of the fern ndhB gene have a unique pattern of intragenic copy number variances. Specifically, the substitution rate heterogeneity between the two exons is congruent with their copy number changes, confirming the constraint role that inverted repeats may play on the substitution rate of chloroplast gene sequences.
chloroplast genome; core leptosporangiates; schizaeoid ferns; heterosporous ferns; ndhB; intragenic rate heterogeneity
We retrospectively assessed the age- and sex-specific incidence and relative risk of Parkinson disease (PD) in Taiwan’s diabetic population.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Study cohort included 603,416 diabetic patients and 472,188 nondiabetic control subjects. Incidence rate and relative risk of PD (ICD-9-CM 332.0) were evaluated.
The incidence of PD was 3.59 and 2.15 per 10,000 person-years for the diabetic and control group, respectively, representing a covariate adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.61 (95% CI 1.56–1.66), which was substantially reduced to 1.37 (1.32–1.41) after adjusting for medical visits. Diabetes was associated with a significantly elevated risk of PD in all sex and age stratifications except in young women, with the highest HR noted for young men aged 21–40 years (2.10 [1.01–4.42]), followed by women aged 41–60 (2.05 [1.82–2.30]) and >60 years (1.65 [1.58–1.73]).
Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of PD onset in a Chinese population, and the relation is stronger in women and younger patients.
Herein we present the outcome of a high throughput screening (HTS) campaign-based strategy for the rapid identification and optimization of selective and general chemotypes for both kappa (κ) opioid receptor (KOR) activation and inhibition. In this program, we have developed potent antagonists (IC50 < 120 nM) or agonists of high binding affinity (Ki < 3 nM). In contrast to many important KOR ligands, the compounds presented here are highly modular, readily synthesized and, in most cases, achiral. The four new chemotypes hold promise for further development into chemical tools for studying the KOR or as potential therapeutic lead candidates.
kappa opioid receptor agonist; kappa opioid receptor antagonist; high-throughput screening
Herein we present the outcome of a high throughput screening
campaign-based strategy for the rapid identification and optimization
of selective and general chemotypes for both kappa (κ) opioid
receptor (KOR) activation and inhibition. In this program, we have
developed potent antagonists (IC50 < 120 nM) or agonists
of high binding affinity (Ki < 3 nM).
In contrast to many important KOR ligands, the compounds presented
here are highly modular, readily synthesized, and, in most cases,
achiral. The four new chemotypes hold promise for further development
into chemical tools for studying the KOR or as potential therapeutic
Kappa opioid receptor agonist; kappa opioid receptor
antagonist; high-throughput screening
As gene expression profile (GEP) testing for breast cancer may provide additional prognostic information to guide the use of adjuvant chemotherapy, we examined the association between GEP testing and use of chemotherapy, serious chemotherapy-related adverse effects, and total charges during the 12 months following diagnosis.
Medical record review was conducted for women age 30 to 64 years, with incident, non-metastatic, invasive breast cancer diagnosed 2006–2008 in a large, national health plan.
Of 534 patients, 25.8% received GEP testing, 68.2% received chemotherapy, and 10.5% experienced a serious chemotherapy-related adverse effect. GEP testing was most commonly used in women at moderate clinical risk of recurrence (52.0% vs. 25.0% of low-risk women and 5.5% of high-risk). Controlling for the propensity to receive GEP testing, women who had GEP were less likely to receive chemotherapy (propensity adjusted odds ratio, 95% confidence interval 0.62, 0.39 – 0.99). Use of GEP was associated with more chemotherapy use among women at low risk based on clinical characteristics (OR = 42.19; CI 2.50 – 711.82), but less use among women with a high risk based on clinical characteristics (OR = 0.12 CI 0.03 – 0.47). Use of GEP was not associated with chemotherapy for the moderate risk group. There was no significant relationship between GEP use and either serious chemotherapy-associated adverse effects or total charges.
While GEP testing was associated with an overall decrease in adjuvant chemotherapy, we did not find differences in serious chemotherapy-associated adverse events or charges during the 12 months following diagnosis.
breast cancer; utilization; genomics
The hematopoietic protein tyrosine phosphatase (HePTP) is implicated in the development of blood cancers through its ability to negatively regulate the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) ERK1/2 and p38. Small-molecule modulators of HePTP activity may become valuable in treating hematopoietic malignancies such as T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Moreover, such compounds will further elucidate the regulation of MAPKs in hematopoietic cells. Although transient activation of MAPKs is crucial for growth and proliferation, prolonged activation of these important signaling molecules induces differentiation, cell cycle arrest, cell senescence, and apoptosis. Specific HePTP inhibitors may promote the latter and thereby may halt the growth of cancer cells. Here, we report the development of a small molecule that augments ERK1/2 and p38 activation in human T cells, specifically by inhibiting HePTP. Structure-activity relationship analysis, in silico docking studies, and mutagenesis experiments reveal how the inhibitor achieves selectivity for HePTP over related phosphatases by interacting with unique amino acid residues in the periphery of the highly conserved catalytic pocket. Importantly, we utilize this compound to show that pharmacological inhibition of HePTP not only augments, but also prolongs activation of ERK1/2 and, especially, p38. Moreover, we present similar effects in leukocytes from mice intraperitoneally injected with the inhibitor at doses as low as 3 mg/kg. Our results warrant future studies with this probe compound that may establish HePTP as a new drug target for acute leukemic conditions.
Exome sequencing is becoming a standard tool for mapping Mendelian disease-causing (or pathogenic) non-synonymous single nucleotide variants (nsSNVs). Minor allele frequency (MAF) filtering approach and functional prediction methods are commonly used to identify candidate pathogenic mutations in these studies. Combining multiple functional prediction methods may increase accuracy in prediction. Here, we propose to use a logit model to combine multiple prediction methods and compute an unbiased probability of a rare variant being pathogenic. Also, for the first time we assess the predictive power of seven prediction methods (including SIFT, PolyPhen2, CONDEL, and logit) in predicting pathogenic nsSNVs from other rare variants, which reflects the situation after MAF filtering is done in exome-sequencing studies. We found that a logit model combining all or some original prediction methods outperforms other methods examined, but is unable to discriminate between autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive disease mutations. Finally, based on the predictions of the logit model, we estimate that an individual has around 5% of rare nsSNVs that are pathogenic and carries ∼22 pathogenic derived alleles at least, which if made homozygous by consanguineous marriages may lead to recessive diseases.
Sequencing the coding regions of the human genome is becoming a standard approach in identifying causal genes for human Mendelian diseases. Researchers often rely on multiple functional prediction methods/tools to separate the candidate causal mutation(s) from other rare mutations in these studies. In this paper, we propose the use of a statistical model to combine prediction scores from multiple methods and to estimate the chance of a rare mutation being Mendelian disease-causing (or pathogenic). We found that our model using all or some individual prediction methods consistently outperforms other prediction methods examined and could exclude more than 55% of rare non-pathogenic mutations in an individual genome. Unfortunately, no method was able to discriminate between autosomal dominant and autosomal recessive disease mutations. In addition, based on the predictions of our model, we estimated that a person can carry ∼22 pathogenic derived alleles at least, which if present at the same position in the genome may lead to Mendelian diseases.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Diet and lifestyle are major contributing factors to increased breast cancer risk. While mechanisms underlying dietary protection of mammary tumor formation are increasingly elucidated, there remains a dearth of knowledge on the nature and precise actions of specific bioactive components present in foods with purported health effects. The 43-amino acid peptide lunasin (LUN) is found in soybeans, is bioavailable similar to the isoflavone genistein (GEN), and thus may mediate the beneficial effects of soy food consumption. Here, we evaluated whether LUN displays common and distinct actions from those of GEN in non-malignant (mouse HC11) and malignant (human MCF-7) mammary epithelial cells. In MCF-7 cells, LUN up-regulated tumor suppressor phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted in chromosome ten (PTEN) promoter activity, increased PTEN transcript and protein levels and enhanced nuclear PTEN localization, similar to that shown for GEN in mammary epithelial cells. LUN-induced cellular apoptosis, akin to GEN, was mediated by PTEN, but unlike that for GEN, was p53-independent. LUN promoted E-cadherin and β-catenin non-nuclear localization similar to GEN, but unlike GEN, did not influence the proliferative effects of oncogene Wnt1 on HC11 cells. Further, LUN did not recapitulate GEN inhibitory effects on expansion of the cancer stem-like/progenitor population in MCF-7 cells. Results suggest the concerted actions of GEN and LUN on cellular apoptosis for potential mammary tumor preventive effects and highlight whole food consumption rather than intake of specific dietary supplements with limited biological effects for greater health benefits.
Lunasin; Genistein; Soy; Apoptosis; PTEN; Mammary epithelial; Breast cancer
The correct interpretation of a gradient of the morphogen Hedgehog (Hh) during development requires phosphorylation of the Hh signaling activator Smoothened (Smo); however, the molecular mechanism by which Smo transduces graded Hh signaling is not well understood. We show that regulation of the phosphorylation status of Smo by distinct phosphatases at specific phosphorylated residues creates differential thresholds of Hh signaling. Phosphorylation of Smo was initiated by adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP)–dependent protein kinase (PKA) and further enhanced by casein kinase I (CKI). We found that protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) directly dephosphorylated PKA-phosphorylated Smo to reduce signaling mediated by intermediate concentrations of Hh, whereas PP2A specifically dephosphorylated PKA-primed, CKI-phosphorylated Smo to restrict signaling by high concentrations of Hh. We also established a functional link between sequentially phosphorylated Smo species and graded Hh activity. Thus, we propose a sequential phosphorylation model in which precise interpretation of morphogen concentration can be achieved upon versatile phosphatase-mediated regulation of the phosphorylation status of an essential activator in developmental signaling.
Notch signaling is highly conserved in all metazoan animals and plays critical roles in cell fate specification, cell proliferation, apoptosis, and stem cell maintenance. Although core components of the Notch signaling cascade have been identified, many gaps in the understanding of the Notch signaling pathway remain to be filled. One form of posttranslational regulation, which is controlled by the ubiquitin-proteasome system, is known to modulate Notch signaling. The ubiquitination pathway is a highly coordinated process in which the ubiquitin moiety is either conjugated to or removed from target proteins by opposing E3 ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitinases (DUBs). Several E3 ubiquitin ligases have been implicated in ubiquitin conjugation to the receptors and the ligands of the Notch signaling cascade. In contrast, little is known about a direct role of DUBs in Notch signaling in vivo. Here, we report an in vivo RNA interference screen in Drosophila melanogaster targeting all 45 DUBs that we annotated in the fly genome. We show that at least four DUBs function specifically in the formation of the fly wing margin and/or the specification of the scutellar sensory organ precursors, two processes that are strictly dependent on the balanced Notch signaling activity. Furthermore, we provide genetic evidence suggesting that these DUBs are necessary to positively modulate Notch signaling activity. Our study reveals a conserved molecular mechanism by which protein deubiquitination process contributes to the complex posttranslational regulation of Notch signaling in vivo.
deubiquitinase; Drosophila melanogaster; Notch signaling; ubiquitination
Little is known about the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and work-related stress and its risk factors among white-collar businessmen and management workers that migrate to high-income developing countries. A structural questionnaire survey was administered to 156 white-collar Taiwanese management personnel of representative companies of their industries in Taiwan, who were assigned long-term job positions in China. Questionnaire content included demographics and medical history, self-reported physical and mental conditions, personal lifestyle and behavior, Beck Depression Inventory, and information on HRQoL. White-collar migrant workers reported a high prevalence of alcohol consumption (72.4%) and perceived work-related stress (62.2%), and a lower prevalence of regular exercise (12.2%). Workers with higher levels of perceived work-related stress reported more alcohol consumption, a history of hyperlipidemia, and a higher prevalence of self-reported neck pain, poor sleep, and mild/moderate/severe depression. In our primary multivariate risk model to determine lifestyle and work-related stress variables and HRQoL, perceived work-related stress and a feeling of depression negatively impacted both the Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) scores of the SF-36 health survey. Hyperlipidemia and self-reported neck pain were associated with significantly lower PCS scores, whereas cardiovascular disease, gastric ulcer, and poor sleep were associated with statistically lower MCS scores. White-collar migrant workers are generally younger with high socioeconomic status. Perceived work-related stress and a feeling of depression indirectly affect HRQoL. Hyperlipidemia, self-reported neck pain, cardiovascular disease, gastric ulcer, and poor sleep also had a significant negative impact on HRQoL.
white-collar worker; work-related stress; health-related quality of life; migrant worker
We report the systematic rational design and synthesis of new monovalent Smac mimetics that bind preferentially to the BIR2 domain of the anti-apoptotic protein XIAP. Characterization of compounds in vitro (including 9i; ML101) led to the determination of key structural requirements for BIR2 binding affinity. Compounds 9h and 9j sensitized TRAIL-resistant breast cancer cells to apoptotic cell death, highlighting the value of these probe compounds as tools to investigate the biology of XIAP.
Methemoglobinemia should be considered in all cyanotic patients who remain unresponsive to oxygen therapy. Rapid diagnosis is very important in emergency cases. Here, we present the cases of two patients, a married couple, admitted to our hospital with methemoglobinemia after exposure to sodium nitrite.
Two patients, a married couple, presented with methemoglobinemia. The 72-year-old Taiwanese man and 68-year-old Taiwanese woman were referred to our hospital with dizziness and tachypnea. On examination, their mucous membranes were cyanotic, and their blood samples showed the classic ‘chocolate brown’ appearance. The man also reported having experienced twitching of his right arm for a few minutes before arrival at the hospital. The symptoms of both patients failed to improve in response to supplemental oxygen delivered via oxygen masks, although the arterial blood gas data of these patients were normal and their pulse oximetry showed oxyhemoglobin levels of approximately 85%. A carbon monoxide-oximeter showed that the man’s methemoglobin concentration was 48.3%, and the woman’s was 36.4%. Methylene blue (100mg) was administered intravenously to both patients, and their symptoms improved dramatically. They were admitted to the intensive care unit and discharged three days later, without neurological sequelae.
Severe methemoglobinemia is a life-threatening condition and, if untreated, may result in death. Early diagnosis and appropriate antidotal treatment are crucial in treating this emergency situation.
We report the discovery and validation of a series of benzoisothiazolones as potent inhibitors of phosphomannose isomerase (PMI), an enzyme which converts mannose-6-phosphate (Man-6-P) into fructose-6-phosphate (Fru-6-P), and more importantly, competes with phosphomannomutase 2 (PMM2) for Man-6-P, diverting this substrate from critical protein glycosylation events. In Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation type Ia, PMM2 activity is compromised, thus PMI inhibition is a potential strategy for the development of therapeutics. High-throughput screening (HTS) and subsequent chemical optimization led to the identification of a novel class of benzoisothiazolones as potent PMI inhibitors having little or no PMM2 inhibition. Two complimentary synthetic routes were developed enabling the critical structural requirements for activity to be determined, and the compounds were subsequently profiled in biochemical and cellular assays to assess efficacy. The most promising compounds were also profiled for bioavailability parameters including metabolic stability, plasma stability, and permeability. The pharmacokinetic profile of a representative of this series was also assessed, demonstrating the potential of this series for in vivo efficacy when dosed orally in disease models.
The photosynthetic oxygen-evolving photo system II (PS II) produces almost the entire oxygen in the atmosphere. This unique biochemical system comprises a functional core complex that is encoded by psbA and other genes. Unraveling the evolutionary dynamics of this gene is of particular interest owing to its direct role in oxygen production. psbA underwent gene duplication in leptosporangiates, in which both copies have been preserved since. Because gene duplication is often followed by the non-fictionalization of one of the copies and its subsequent erosion, preservation of both psbA copies pinpoint functional or regulatory specialization events. The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular evolution of psbA among fern lineages.
We sequenced psbA , which encodes D1 protein in the core complex of PSII, in 20 species representing 8 orders of extant ferns; then we searched for selection and convolution signatures in psbA across the 11 fern orders. Collectively, our results indicate that: (1) selective constraints among D1 protein relaxed after the duplication in 4 leptosporangiate orders; (2) a handful positively selected codons were detected within species of single copy psbA, but none in duplicated ones; (3) a few sites among D1 protein were involved in co-evolution process which may intimate significant functional/structural communications between them.
The strong competition between ferns and angiosperms for light may have been the main cause for a continuous fixation of adaptive amino acid changes in psbA , in particular after its duplication. Alternatively, a single psbA copy may have undergone bursts of adaptive changes at the molecular level to overcome angiosperms competition. The strong signature of positive Darwinian selection in a major part of D1 protein is testament to this. At the same time, species own two psbA copies hardly have positive selection signals among the D1 protein coding sequences. In this study, eleven co-evolving sites have been detected via different molecules, which may be more important than others.
Tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) plays a major role in maintaining a ratio of phosphate to inorganic pyrophosphate (Pi/PPi) in biological fluids that is conducive to controlled skeletal mineralization while preventing inappropriate ectopic calcification. Medial calcification associated with Enpp1 or Ank deficiency or with end–stage renal disease is associated with an increase in TNAP activity in arteries that leads to reduced levels of PPi and increased vascular calcification. Here, we describe in detail a high-throughput screening (HTS) campaign to identify inhibitors of TNAP, performed within the Molecular Library Screening Center Network (MLSCN). A homogeneous luminescent TNAP assay was developed and optimized for identification of compounds with diverse mechanism of action (MOA). The MLSCN compound collection, containing 64,394 molecules at the time of screening, was tested in the assay. Several novel inhibitory scaffold classes were identified and demonstrated to have diverse selectivity and mode of inhibition (MOI) profiles. Representatives of the novel scaffolds exhibited nanomolar potency surpassing the inhibitors known to date.
This paper sets a successful example in which pharmacologically active compounds, with outstanding selectivity in a panel of more than 200 assays, are identified from high throughput screening. Integral to the success of the project were a well-designed compound collection, an industrial-level screening facility and a deep knowledge of target biology that were brought together through the NIH-sponsored Roadmap Initiative.
NIH Roadmap Initiatives; MLSCN; TNAP inhibitors; diverse MOA; compound selectivity
Why some species become successful invaders is an important issue in invasive biology. However, limited genomic resources make it very difficult for identifying candidate genes involved in invasiveness. Mikania micrantha H.B.K. (Asteraceae), one of the world's most invasive weeds, has adapted rapidly in response to novel environments since its introduction to southern China. In its genome, we expect to find outlier loci under selection for local adaptation, critical to dissecting the molecular mechanisms of invasiveness. An explorative amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) genome scan was used to detect candidate loci under selection in 28 M. micrantha populations across its entire introduced range in southern China. We also estimated population genetic parameters, bottleneck signatures, and linkage disequilibrium. In binary characters, such as presence or absence of AFLP bands, if all four character combinations are present, it is referred to as a character incompatibility. Since character incompatibility is deemed to be rare in populations with extensive asexual reproduction, a character incompatibility analysis was also performed in order to infer the predominant mating system in the introduced M. micrantha populations. Out of 483 AFLP loci examined using stringent significance criteria, 14 highly credible outlier loci were identified by Dfdist and Bayescan. Moreover, remarkable genetic variation, multiple introductions, substantial bottlenecks and character compatibility were found to occur in M. micrantha. Thus local adaptation at the genome level indeed exists in M. micrantha, and may represent a major evolutionary mechanism of successful invasion. Interactions between genetic diversity, multiple introductions, and reproductive modes contribute to increase the capacity of adaptive evolution.
Administrative claims and medical records are important data sources to examine healthcare utilization and outcomes. Little is known about identifying personalized medicine technologies in these sources.
To describe agreement, sensitivity, and specificity of administrative claims compared to medical records for two pairs of targeted tests and treatments for breast cancer.
Retrospective analysis of medical records linked to administrative claims from a large health plan. We examined whether agreement varied by factors that facilitate tracking in claims (coding and cost) and that enhance medical record completeness (records from multiple providers).
Women (35 – 65 years) with incident breast cancer diagnosed in 2006–2007 (n=775).
Use of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and gene expression profiling (GEP) testing, trastuzumab and adjuvant chemotherapy in claims and medical records.
Agreement between claims and records was substantial for GEP, trastuzumab, and chemotherapy, and lowest for HER2 tests. GEP, an expensive test with unique billing codes, had higher agreement (91.6% vs. 75.2%), sensitivity (94.9% vs. 76.7%), and specificity (90.1% vs. 29.2%) than HER2, a test without unique billing codes. Trastuzumab, a treatment with unique billing codes, had slightly higher agreement (95.1% vs. 90%) and sensitivity (98.1% vs. 87.9%) than adjuvant chemotherapy.
Higher agreement and specificity were associated with services that had unique billing codes and high cost. Administrative claims may be sufficient for examining services with unique billing codes. Medical records provide better data for identifying tests lacking specific codes and for research requiring detailed clinical information.
medical record; claims data; breast neoplasm; personalized medicine
Evidence has suggested that insulin resistance (IR) or high levels of glucocorticoids (GCs) may be linked with the pathogenesis and/or progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although studies have shown that a high level of GCs results in IR, little is known about the molecular details that link GCs and IR in the context of AD. Abnormal phosphorylation of tau and activation of μ-calpain are two key events in the pathology of AD. Importantly, these two events are also related with GCs and IR. We therefore speculate that tau phosphorylation and μ-calpain activation may mediate the GCs-induced IR. Akt phosphorylation at Ser-473 (pAkt) is commonly used as a marker for assessing IR. We employed two cell lines, wild-type HEK293 cells and HEK293 cells stably expressing the longest human tau isoform (tau-441; HEK293/tau441 cells). We examined whether DEX, a synthetic GCs, induces tau phosphorylation and μ-calpain activation. If so, we examined whether the DEX-induced tau phosphorylation and μ-calpain activation mediate the DEX-induced inhibition on the insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation. The results showed that DEX increased tau phosphorylation and induced tau-mediated μ-calpain activation. Furthermore, pre-treatment with LiCl prevented the effects of DEX on tau phosphorylation and μ-calpain activation. Finally, both LiCl pre-treatment and calpain inhibition prevented the DEX-induced inhibition on the insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation. In conclusion, our study suggests that the tau phosphorylation and μ-calpain activation mediate the DEX-induced inhibition on the insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation.
Hypermethylation of the glutathione S-transferase π 1 (GSTP1) gene promoter region has been reported to be a potential biomarker to distinguish hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) from other liver diseases. However, reports regarding how specific a marker it is have ranged from 100% to 0%. We hypothesized that, to a large extent, the variation of specificity depends on the location of the CpG sites analyzed. To test this hypothesis, we compared the methylation status of the GSTP1 promoter region of the DNA isolated from HCC, cirrhosis, hepatitis, and normal liver tissues by bisulfite–PCR sequencing. We found that the 5′ region of the position −48 nt from the transcription start site of the GSTP1 gene is selectively methylated in HCC, whereas the 3′ region is methylated in all liver tissues examined, including normal liver and the HCC tissue. Interestingly, when DNA derived from fetal liver and 11 nonhepatic normal tissue was also examined by bisulfite-PCR sequencing, we found that methylation of the 3′ region of the promoter appeared to be liver-specific. A methylation-specific PCR assay targeting the 5′ region of the promoter was developed and used to quantify the methylated GSTP1 gene in various diseased liver tissues including HCC. When we used an assay targeting the 3′ region, we found that the methylation of the 5′-end of the GSTP1 promoter was significantly more specific than that of the 3′-end (97.1% vs. 60%, p<0.0001 by Fisher's exact test) for distinguishing HCC (n = 120) from hepatitis (n = 35) and cirrhosis (n = 35). Encouragingly, 33.8% of the AFP-negative HCC contained the methylated GSTP1 gene. This study clearly demonstrates the importance of the location of CpG site methylation for HCC specificity and how liver-specific DNA methylation should be considered when an epigenetic DNA marker is studied for detection of HCC.