Targeted therapy of human cancers is an attractive approach and has been investigated with limited success. We have developed novel cytotoxic agents for targeted therapy of human cancers based on the extracellular cytotoxicity domain of CD178 (FasL) and the specificity offered by single chain antibodies (scFv) against dominant human tumor Ag TAG-72 (cc49scFv) and TAL6 (L6scFv).
The cc49scFv-FasLext is highly effective in in vitro killing of human TAG-72+ Jurkat-Ras tumor cells with a 30,000 fold greater cytotoxicity as compared to soluble FasL (sFasL). On the other hand, L6scFv-FasLext only increased cytotoxicity 500-fold as compared with sFasL against TAL6+ HeLa cells in in vitro assays. The high specificity and strong cytotoxicity of cc49scFv-FasLext made it feasible to cure IP-implanted Jurkat-Ras tumors in SCID mice.
Our study demonstrated that scFv-FasLext with a strong cytotoxicity against sensitive human tumor targets may be useful as effective chemotherapeutic agents.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are evolutionarily conserved, naturally abundant, small, regulatory non-coding RNAs that inhibit gene expression at the post-transcriptional level in a sequence-specific manner. Due to involvement in a broad range of biological processes and diseases, miRNAs are now commanding considerable attention. Although much of the focus has been on the role of miRNAs in different types of cancer, recent evidence also points to a critical role of miRNAs in infectious disease, including those of bacterial origin. Now, miRNAs research is exploring rapidly as a new thrust area of biomedical research with relevance to deadly bacterial diseases like Tuberculosis (caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis). The purpose of this review is to highlight the current developments in area of miRNAs regulation in Mycobacterial diseases; and how this might influence the diagnosis, understanding of disease biology, control and management in the future.
Micro-RNA; Mycobacterial infection; Tuberculosis; Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Several studies have demonstrated a fundamental role for the HLA in the susceptibility of, or protection to, type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). However, this has not been adequately studied in Asian Indian populations. To assess the frequency of HLA class II (DPA1, DPB1, DQA1, DQB1 and DRB1) associated to susceptibility or protection toT1DM in a Bengali population of India with diabetes.
Single nucleotide polymorphism study. The HLA genotyping was performed by a polymerase chain reaction followed by their HLA-DP, DQ, and DRB1 genotypes and haplotypes by sequencing method. The results are studied by Plink software. The χ2 tests were used for the inferential statistics. To our knowledge, this study is the first of a kind which has attempted to check the HLA association with T1DM by SNPs analysis. The study recruited 151 patients with T1DM and same number of ethno-linguistic, sex matched non-diabetic controls. The present study found a significant SNP rs7990 of HLA-DQA1 (p = 0.009) negative correlation, again indicating that risk from HLA is considerably more with T1DM.
This study demonstrates that the HLA class-II alleles play a major role in genetic basis of T1DM.
HLA; T1DM; SNP; India; Haplotyping; Alleles
Honokiol, a cell-permeable phenolic compound derived from the bark of magnolia trees and present in Asian herbal teas, has a unique array of pharmacological actions, including the inhibition of multiple autonomic responses. We determined the effects of honokiol on calcium signaling underlying transmission mediated by human M3 muscarinic receptors expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Receptor binding was determined in radiolabelled ligand binding assays; changes in intracellular calcium concentrations were determined using a fura-2 ratiometric imaging protocol; cytotoxicity was determined using a dye reduction assay.
Honokiol had a potent (EC50 ≈ 5 μmol/l) inhibitory effect on store operated calcium entry (SOCE) that was induced by activation of the M3 receptors. This effect was specific, rapid and partially reversible, and was seen at concentrations not associated with cytotoxicity, inhibition of IP3 receptor-mediated calcium release, depletion of ER calcium stores, or disruption of M3 receptor binding.
It is likely that an inhibition of SOCE contributes to honokiol disruption of parasympathetic motor functions, as well as many of its beneficial pharmacological properties.
Honokiol; Calcium signaling; Store operated calcium entry (SOCE); Inositol trisphosphate (IP3); Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor; Phospholipase Cβ
The central molecule in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is believed to be a small-sized polypeptide – beta amyloid (Aβ) which has an ability to assemble spontaneously into oligomers. Various studies concerning therapeutic and prophylactic approaches for AD are based on the immunotherapy using antibodies against Aβ. It has been suggested that either active immunization with Aβ or passive immunization with anti-Aβ antibodies might help to prevent or reduce the symptoms of the disease. However, knowledge on the mechanisms of Aβ-induced immune response is rather limited. Previous research on Aβ1-42 oligomers in rat brain cultures showed that the neurotoxicity of these oligomers considerably depends on their size. In the current study, we evaluated the dependence of immunogenicity of Aβ1-42 oligomers on the size of oligomeric particles and identified the immunodominant epitopes of the oligomers.
Mice were immunized with various Aβ1-42 oligomers. The analysis of serum antibodies revealed that small Aβ1-42 oligomers (1–2 nm in size) are highly immunogenic. They induced predominantly IgG2b and IgG2a responses. In contrast, larger Aβ1-42 oligomers and monomers induced weaker IgG response in immunized mice. The monoclonal antibody against 1–2 nm Aβ1-42 oligomers was generated and used for antigenic characterization of Aβ1-42 oligomers. Epitope mapping of both monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies demonstrated that the main immunodominant region of the 1–2 nm Aβ1-42 oligomers is located at the amino-terminus (N-terminus) of the peptide, between amino acids 1 and 19.
Small Aβ1-42 oligomers of size 1–2 nm induce the strongest immune response in mice. The N-terminus of Aβ1-42 oligomers represents an immunodominant region which indicates its surface localization and accessibility to the B cells. The results of the current study may be important for further development of Aβ-based vaccination and immunotherapy strategies.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD); Amyloid beta (Aβ); Neurotoxicity; Immunogenicity; Neurotoxic oligomers; Epitope mapping
Human cancer cells resemble stem cells in expression signatures leading them to share some features, most notably, self-renewal. A complex network of transcription factors and signaling molecules are required for continuance of this trait. SALL4 is a zinc finger transcriptional activator crucial for maintenance of self-renewal in stem cells; however, its expression level has not yet been elucidated in colorectal tumor cells. To determine this level and probable clinicopathological consequences, its expression was analyzed.
SALL4 expression in fresh tumoral and distant tumor-free tissues from 46 colorectal samples was compared by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Greater than a two-fold increase in SALL4 expression was detected in 87% of tumors vs. normal related tissues. SALL4 expression was significantly correlated with tumor cell metastasis to lymph nodes, especially in moderately-differentiated tumor samples (P < 0.05). Furthermore, higher levels of SALL4 mRNA expression were significantly associated with younger than older patients with tumor cells in stages I and II (P < 0.05).
These results indicate a relationship between SALL4 expression and tumor cell metastasis to lymph nodes and consequent advancement of tumors to advanced stages III and IV. Along with the promising evidence of its role in self-renewal in various cancers, SALL4 may have a role in progression, development and maintenance of colorectal cancers.
Colorectal cancer; SALL4; Expressional analysis; Real-time PCR; Self-renewal
Brazilin, isolated from the heartwood of Caesalpinia sappan L., has been shown to possess multiple pharmacological properties.
In this study, platelet aggregation, flow cytometry, immunoblotting analysis, and electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrometry were used to investigate the effects of brazilin on platelet activation ex vivo. Moreover, fluorescein sodium-induced platelet thrombi of mesenteric microvessels was also used in in vivo study.
We demonstrated that relatively low concentrations of brazilin (1 to 10 μM) potentiated platelet aggregation induced by collagen (0.1 μg/ml) in washed human platelets. Higher concentrations of brazilin (20 to 50 μM) directly triggered platelet aggregation. Brazilin-mediated platelet aggregation was slightly inhibited by ATP (an antagonist of ADP). It was not inhibited by yohimbine (an antagonist of epinephrine), by SCH79797 (an antagonist of thrombin protease-activated receptor [PAR] 1), or by tcY-NH2 (an antagonist of PAR 4). Brazilin did not significantly affect FITC-triflavin binding to the integrin αIIbβ3 in platelet suspensions. Pretreatment of the platelets with caffeic acid phenethyl ester (an antagonist of collagen receptors) or JAQ1 and Sam.G4 monoclonal antibodies raised against collagen receptor glycoprotein VI and integrin α2β1, respectively, abolished platelet aggregation stimulated by collagen or brazilin. The immunoblotting analysis showed that brazilin stimulated the phosphorylation of phospholipase C (PLC)γ2 and Lyn, which were significantly attenuated in the presence of JAQ1 and Sam.G4. In addition, brazilin did not significantly trigger hydroxyl radical formation in ESR analysis. An in vivo mouse study showed that brazilin treatment (2 and 4 mg/kg) significantly shortened the occlusion time for platelet plug formation in mesenteric venules.
To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence that brazilin acts a novel collagen receptor agonist. Brazilin is a plant-based natural product, may offer therapeutic potential as intended anti-thrombotic agents for targeting of collagen receptors or to be used a useful tool for the study of detailed mechanisms in collagen receptors-mediated platelet activation.
Brazilin; Collagen receptors; Lyn phosphorylation; Occlusion time; Platelet activation
Thymidylate synthase (TS) is a key enzyme responsible for DNA synthesis and repair. Altered expression of TS protein or TS gene polymorphisms has been associated with cancer progression and treatment response. This study investigated the expressions of TS and its gene SNPs in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and then its association with sensitivity to pemetrexed treatment. Immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR were performed on 160 resected NSCLC specimens and corresponding normal tissues to assess the expressions of TS protein and TS mRNA, and for associations with clinicopathological data. Blood samples of 106 lung adenocarcinoma patients were examined for polymorphisms of the TS gene 3’-UTR 1494del 6 bp, which was then investigated for associations with responses of the patients to pemetrexed treatment and survival.
Expression of both TS protein and its mRNA was elevated in NSCLC tissues compared with matched normal tissues, and significantly higher in lung squamous cell carcinoma than in lung adenocarcinoma. TS expression was associated with poor tumor differentiation. Furthermore, the genotyping data showed that 56% of lung adenocarcinoma patients had the TS gene 3’-UTR 1494 bp (−6 bp/-6 bp) genotype and the rest had TS gene 3’-UTR 1494 bp (−6 bp/+6 bp). There was no TS 3’-UTR 1494 bp (+6 bp/+6 bp) genotype in any patients. Statistical analysis revealed that gender, tumor stage, and TS 3’-UTR 1494del 6 bp polymorphism were significant prognostic factors after short-term pemetrexed treatment. Log-rank analysis revealed that patients with the (−6 bp/-6 bp) genotype had significantly better progression-free and overall survival than patients with (−6 bp/+6 bp).
This study showed that TS protein is highly expressed in NSCLC and that polymorphisms of TS 3’-UTR 1494del 6 bp are associated with sensitivity of lung adenocarcinoma patients to pemetrexed treatment. This suggests that TS gene polymorphisms should be further evaluated as prognostic markers for personalized therapy in lung adenocarcinoma.
Lung adenocarcinoma; Non-small cell lung cancer; Pemetrexed treatment; Thymidylate synthase; TS gene polymorphism
IκB kinase (IKK) complex, the master kinase for NF-κB activation, contains two kinase subunits, IKKα and IKKβ. In addition to mediating NF-κB signaling by phosphorylating IκB proteins during inflammatory and immune responses, the activation of the IKK complex also responds to various stimuli to regulate diverse functions independently of NF-κB. Although these two kinases share structural and biochemical similarities, different sub-cellular localization and phosphorylation targets between IKKα and IKKβ account for their distinct physiological and pathological roles. While IKKβ is predominantly cytoplasmic, IKKα has been found to shuttle between the cytoplasm and the nucleus. The nuclear-specific roles of IKKα have brought increasing complexity to its biological function. This review highlights major advances in the studies of the nuclear functions of IKKα and the mechanisms of IKKα nuclear translocation. Understanding the nuclear activity is essential for targeting IKKα for therapeutics.
Nuclear IKKα; NF-κB; Gene transcription; Tumor progression
Previously, we had identified a specific whole blood–derived microRNAs (miRNAs) signature in mice following in vivo injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) originated from Gram-negative bacteria. This study was designed to profile the circulating miRNAs expression in mice exposed to lipoteichoic acid (LTA) which is a major component of the wall of Gram-positive bacteria.
C57BL/6 mice received intraperitoneal injections of 100 μg of LTA originated from Bacillus subtilis, Streptococcus faecalis, and Staphylococcus aureus were killed 6 h and the whole blood samples were obtained for miRNA expression analysis using a miRNA array (Phalanx miRNA OneArray® 1.0). Up-regulated expression of miRNA targets in the whole blood, serum and white blood cells (WBCs) of C57BL/6 and Tlr2−/− mice upon LTA treatment in 10, 100, or 1000 ug concentrations was quantified at indicated time (2, 6, 24, and 72 h) using real-time RT-PCR and compared with that in the serum of C57BL/6 mice injected with 100 ug of LPS. A significant increase of 4 miRNAs (miR-451, miR-668, miR-1902, and miR-1904) was observed in the whole blood and the serum in a dose- and time-dependent fashion following LTA injection. Induction of miRNA occurred in the serum after 2 h and persisted for at least 6 h. No increased expression of these 4 miRNAs was found in the WBCs. Higher but not significant expression level of these 4 miRNAs were observed following LTA treatment in the serum of Tlr2−/−against that of C57BL6 mice. In contrast, LPS exposure induced moderate expression of miR-451 but not of the other 3 miRNA targets.
We identified a specific circulating miRNA signature in mice exposed to LTA. That expression profile is different from those of mice exposed to LPS. Those circulating miRNAs induced by LTA or LPS treatment may serve as promising biomarkers for the differentiation between exposures to Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria.
MicroRNAs; Lipoteichoic acid; Lipopolysaccharide; Toll-like receptor; Gram-positive bacteria; Gram-negative bacteria; Microarray
Epicutaneous sensitization with protein allergen that induces predominant Th2 responses is an important sensitization route in atopic dermatitis. Fungal components have been shown to modulate Th cell differentiation. However, the effects of fungal components on epicutaneous sensitization are unclear.
In this study, we showed that co-administration of curdlan, a dectin-1 agonist, during epicutaneous ovalbumin sensitization of BALB/c mice decreased the IL-5 and IL-13 levels in supernatants of lymph node cell ovalbumin reactivation cultures. Mechanistically, curdlan co-administration decreased IL-4 and IL-1β expressions in draining lymph nodes. Curdlan co-administration also lower the migration of langerin+ CD103- epidermal Langerhans cells into draining lymph nodes at 96 hours post-sensitization which might be attributed to decreased expressions of IL-18 and IL-1β in patched skin. Moreover, adoptive transfer of CFSE-labeled transgenic CD4 T cells confirmed that curdlan co-administration decreased the proliferation and IL-4-production of ovalbumin -specific T cells primed by epidermal Langerhans cells.
These results indicated that concurrent exposure to a dectin-1 agonist suppresses the epicutaneously induced Th2 response by modulating the cytokine expression profiles in draining LNs and the migration of epidermal Langerhans cells. These results highlight the effects of fungal components on epicutaneous allergen sensitization in atopic diseases.
Fungus; Dectin-1; Epicutaneous sensitization; Th2 response
Aggregation of soluble, monomeric β- amyloid (Aβ) to oligomeric and then insoluble fibrillar Aβ is a key pathogenic feature in development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Increasing evidence suggests that toxicity is linked to diffusible Aβ oligomers, rather than to insoluble fibrils. The use of naturally occurring small molecules for inhibition of Aβ aggregation has recently attracted significant interest for development of effective therapeutic strategies against the disease. A natural polyphenolic flavone, Kaempferol-3-O-rhamnoside (K-3-rh), was utilized to investigate its effects on aggregation and cytotoxic effects of Aβ42 peptide. Several biochemical techniques were used to determine the conformational changes and cytotoxic effect of the peptide in the presence and absence of K-3-rh.
K-3-rh showed a dose-dependent effect against Aβ42 mediated cytotoxicity. Anti-amyloidogenic properties of K-3-rh were found to be efficient in inhibiting fibrilogenesis and secondary structural transformation of the peptide. The consequence of these inhibitions was the accumulation of oligomeric structural species. The accumulated aggregates were smaller, soluble, non-β-sheet and non-toxic aggregates, compared to preformed toxic Aβ oligomers. K-3-rh was also found to have the remodeling properties of preformed soluble oligomers and fibrils. Both of these conformers were found to remodel into non-toxic aggregates. The results showed that K-3-rh interacts with different Aβ conformers, which affects fibril formation, oligomeric maturation and fibrillar stabilization.
K-3-rh is an efficient molecule to hinder the self assembly and to abrogate the cytotoxic effects of Aβ42 peptide. Hence, K-3-rh and small molecules with similar structure might be considered for therapeutic development against AD.
Aβ; Kaempferol-3-O-rhamnoside; Oligomer; Aggregation; Cytotoxicity; Alzheimer’s disease
Mefloquine is an anti-malarial drug that can have neurological side effects. This study examines how mefloquine (MF) influences central nervous control of autonomic and respiratory systems using the arterially perfused working heart brainstem preparation (WHBP) of the rat. Recordings of nerve activity were made from the thoracic sympathetic chain and phrenic nerve, while heart rate (HR) and perfusion pressure were also monitored in the arterially perfused, decerebrate, rat WHBP. MF was added to the perfusate at 1 μM to examine its effects on baseline parameters as well as baroreceptor and chemoreceptor reflexes.
MF caused a significant, atropine resistant, bradycardia and increased phrenic nerve discharge frequency. Chemoreceptor mediated sympathoexcitation (elicited by addition of 0.1 ml of 0.03% sodium cyanide to the aortic cannula) was significantly attenuated by the application of MF to the perfusate. Furthermore MF significantly decreased rate of return to resting HR following chemoreceptor induced bradycardia. An increase in respiratory frequency and attenuated respiratory-related sympathetic nerve discharge during chemoreceptor stimulation was also elicited with MF compared to control. However, MF did not significantly alter baroreceptor reflex sensitivity.
These studies indicate that in the WHBP, MF causes profound alterations in autonomic and respiratory control. The possibility that these effects may be mediated through actions on connexin 36 containing gap junctions in central neurones controlling sympathetic nervous outflow is discussed.
Mefloquine; Malaria; Sympathetic; Connexin; Respiratory
Hypoxia is an important microenvironmental factor that induces cancer metastasis. Hypoxia/hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) regulates many important steps of the metastatic processes, especially epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) that is one of the crucial mechanisms to cause early stage of tumor metastasis. To have a better understanding of the mechanism of hypoxia-regulated metastasis, various hypoxia/HIF-1α-regulated target genes are categorized into different classes including transcription factors, histone modifiers, enzymes, receptors, kinases, small GTPases, transporters, adhesion molecules, surface molecules, membrane proteins, and microRNAs. Different roles of these target genes are described with regards to their relationship to hypoxia-induced metastasis. We hope that this review will provide a framework for further exploration of hypoxia/HIF-1α-regulated target genes and a comprehensive view of the metastatic picture induced by hypoxia.
Hypoxia; Hypoxia-inducible factor; Target genes; Metastasis; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
The tubby (tub) and tubby-like protein (tulp) genes encode a small family of proteins found in many organisms. Previous studies have shown that TUB and TULP genes in mammalian involve in obesity, neural development, and retinal degeneration. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of Drosophila king tubby (ktub) in rhodopsin 1 (Rh1) endocytosis and retinal degeneration upon light stimulation.
Drosophila ktub mutants were generated using imprecise excision. Wild type and mutant flies were raised in dark or constant light conditions. After a period of light stimulation, retinas were dissected, fixed and stained with anti-Rh1 antibody to reveal Rh1 endocytosis. Confocal and transmission electron microscope were used to examine the retinal degeneration. Immunocytochemical analysis shows that Ktub is expressed in the rhabdomere domain under dark conditions. When flies receive light stimulation, the Ktub translocates from the rhabdomere to the cytoplasm and the nucleus of the photoreceptor cells. Wild type photoreceptors form Rh1-immunopositive large vesicles (RLVs) shortly after light stimulation. In light-induced ktub mutants, the majority of Rh1 remains at the rhabdomere, and only a few RLVs appear in the cytoplasm of photoreceptor cells. Mutation of norpA allele causes massive Rh1 endocytosis in light stimulation. In ktub and norpA double mutants, however, Rh1 endocytosis is blocked under light stimulation. This study also shows that ktub and norpA double mutants rescue the light-induced norpA retinal degeneration. Deletion constructs further demonstrate that the Tubby domain of the Ktub protein participates in an important role in Rh1 endocytosis.
The results in this study delimit the novel function of Ktub in Rh1 endocytosis and retinal degeneration.
King-tubby; Rhabdomere; Phototransduction; Endocytosis; Retinal degeneration
Gly1057Asp polymorphism in insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-2 is related to insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus (DM), which both contribute to the pathogenesis of coronary artery disease (CAD). Hence, we hypothesize that Gly1057Asp polymorphism in IRS-2 is associated with CAD.
Patients receiving elective coronary angiography were enrolled. Significant stenosis is defined as a luminal diameter stenosis greater than 50%. Patients without significant stenosis were defined as group A, and those with significant stenosis in at least one major coronary artery were defined as group B. Genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction/restriction fragment length polymorphism. Chi-square test and multivariate logistic regression were used to evaluate the relationship between Gly1057Asp polymorphism in IRS-2 and CAD. The homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index was calculated as a representative of insulin resistance. Multiple linear regression was used to analyze the association between Gly1057Asp polymorphism in IRS-2 and the HOMA-IR index.
There were 170 patients in group A and 284 patients in group B. The Gly allele frequencies were 54.7% for group A and 60.9% for group B (p = 0.077). The Gly/Gly + Gly/Asp genotype frequency was 74.1% for group A and 84.9% for group B (p = 0.007). After adjustments for conventional risk factors in multivariate logistic regression, the odds ratio for CAD in patients with the Gly/Gly + Gly/Asp genotype was 2.008 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 1.210-3.332, p = 0.007], using patients with the Asp/Asp genotype as a reference group. The concurrence of Gly1057Asp polymorphism in IRS-2 with DM is correlated with occurrence of CAD. In multivariate logistic regression, employing non-diabetics with the Asp/Asp genotype as a reference group, the odds ratio for CAD was 1.561 [95% CI = 0.517-4.713, p = 0.430] for diabetics with the Asp/Asp genotype, 1.922 [95% CI = 1.086-3.400, p = 0.025] for non-diabetics with the Gly/Gly + Gly/Asp genotype, and 3.629 [95% CI = 1.820-7.236, p < 0.001] for diabetics with the Gly/Gly + Gly/Asp genotype. There was no association between Gly1057Asp polymorphism in IRS-2 and HOMA-IR index.
Gly allele at codon 1057 in IRS-2 is correlated with an increased susceptibility to CAD in the Taiwanese population. There is a synergistic effect toward CAD between the pathogenicity of DM and that of the Gly allele.
Insulin receptor substrate; Diabetes mellitus; Coronary artery disease; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Insulin resistance; Homeostasis model assessment
The effects of atorvastatin on SDF-1α expression under acute myocardial infarction (AMI) are still unclear. Therefore, our present study is to investigate the roles and mechanisms of atorvastatin treatment on SDF-1α expression in rats with AMI.
Male Sprague–Dawley rats were underwent permanent coronary artery ligation and randomly assigned into four groups as follow: blank control (B), atorvastatin (A), atorvastatin plus L-NAME (A+L-NAME), and atorvastatin plus AMD3100 (A+AMD3100). Rats underwent similar procedure but without ligation were used as group sham operated (S). Atorvastatin (10mg/Kg/d body weight) was administrated by gavage to rats in three atorvastatin treated groups, and L-NAME (40mg/Kg/d body weight) or AMD3100 (5mg/Kg/d body weight) was given to group A+L-NAME or A+AMD3100, respectively.
Comparing with group B, NO production, SDF-1α and CXCR4 expression were significantly up-regulated in three atorvastatin treated groups at the seventh day. However, the increments of SDF-1α and CXCR4 expression in group A+L-NAME were reduced when NO production was inhibited by L-NAME. Anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects of atorvastatin were offset either by decrease of SDF-1α and CXCR4 expression (by L-NAME) or blockage of SDF-1α coupling with CXCR4 (by AMD3100). Expression of STAT3, a cardioprotective factor mediating SDF-1α/CXCR4 axis induced cardiac protection, was up-regulated most significantly in group A. The effects of atorvastatin therapy on cardiac function were also abrogated either when SDF-1α and CXCR4 expression was diminished or the coupling of SDF-1α with CXCR4 was blocked.
SDF-1α upregulation by atorvastatin in rats with AMI was, at least partially, via the eNOS/NO dependent pathway, and SDF-1α upregulation and SDF-1α coupling with CXCR4 conferred anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects under AMI setting which we speculated that ultimately contributed to cardiac function improvement.
Acute myocardial infarction; Atorvastatin; Stromal cell derived factor-1alpha
Lethal toxin (LT) is a major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis. Sprague Dawley rats manifest pronounced lung edema and shock after LT treatments, resulting in high mortality. The heart failure that is induced by LT has been suggested to be a principal mechanism of lung edema and mortality in rodents. Since LT-induced death occurs more rapidly in rats than in mice, suggesting that other mechanisms in addition to the heart dysfunction may be contributed to the fast progression of LT-induced pathogenesis in rats. Coagulopathy may contribute to circulatory failure and lung injury. However, the effect of LT on coagulation-induced lung dysfunction is unclear.
To investigate the involvement of coagulopathy in LT-mediated pathogenesis, the mortality, lung histology and coagulant levels of LT-treated rats were examined. The effects of activated protein C (aPC) on LT-mediated pathogenesis were also evaluated.
Fibrin depositions were detected in the lungs of LT-treated rats, indicating that coagulation was activated. Increased levels of plasma D-dimer and thrombomodulin, and the ameliorative effect of aPC further suggested that the activation of coagulation-fibrinolysis pathways plays a role in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. Reduced mortality was associated with decreased plasma levels of D-dimer and thrombomodulin following aPC treatments in rats with LT-mediated pathogenesis.
These findings suggest that the activation of coagulation in lung tissue contributes to mortality in LT-mediated pathogenesis in rats. In addition, anticoagulant aPC may help to develop a feasible therapeutic strategy.
Anthrax; Lethal toxin; Activated protein C; Coagulopathy
Interleukin 12B (IL12B) gene polymorphisms have been linked to several inflammatory diseases, but their role in the development of Graves ophthalmopathy (GO) in Graves disease (GD) patients is unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the disease association of IL12B single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).
A Taiwan Chinese population comprising 200 GD patients with GO and 271 GD patients without GO was genotyped using an allele-specific extension and ligation method. Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium was estimated using the chi-square test. Allele and genotype frequencies were compared between GD patients with and without GO using the chi-square test.
The genotype and allele frequencies of examined SNPs did not differ between GD patients with and without GO. Although the genotype distribution remained nonsignificant in the sex-stratified analyses, the frequency of the T allele at SNP rs1003199 was significantly higher in patients with GO in the male cohort (P = 6.00 × 10-3). In addition, haplotypes of IL12B may be used to predict the risk of GO (P = 1.70 × 10-2); however, we could not prove the statistical significance of analysis after applying the Bonferroni correction.
Our results provide new information that the examined IL12B gene polymorphisms may be associated with susceptibility to GO in the Taiwan Chinese population in a sex-specific manner. This conclusion requires further investigation.
Based on an experimental brain stem death model, we demonstrated previously that activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 1/2 (MEK1/2)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2)/
mitogen-activated protein kinase signal-interacting kinase 1/2 (MNK1/2) cascade plays a pro-life role in the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM), the origin of a life-and-death signal detected from systemic arterial pressure, which sequentially increases (pro-life) and decreases (pro-death) to reflect progressive dysfunction of central cardiovascular regulation during the advancement towards brain stem death in critically ill patients. The present study assessed the hypothesis that, in addition to ERK1/2, c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK), the other two mammalian members of MAPKs that are originally identified as stress-activated protein kinases, are activated specifically by MAPK kinase 4 (MAP2K4) or MAP2K6 and play a pro-life role in RVLM during experimental brain stem death. We further delineated the participation of phosphorylating activating transcriptional factor-2 (ATF-2) and c-Jun, the classical transcription factor activated by JNK or p38MAPK, in this process.
An experimental model of brain stem death that employed microinjection of the organophosphate insecticide mevinphos (Mev; 10 nmol) bilaterally into RVLM of Sprague–Dawley rats was used, alongside cardiovascular, pharmacological and biochemical evaluations. Results from ELISA showed that whereas the total JNK, p38MAPK, MAP2K4 and MAP2K6 were not affected, augmented phosphorylation of JNK at Thr183 and Tyr185 and p38MAPK at Thr180 and Tyr182, accompanied by phosphorylation of their upstream activators MAP2K4 at Ser257 and Thr261 and MAP2K6 at Ser207 and Thr211 in RVLM occurred preferentially during the pro-life phase of experimental brain stem death. Moreover, the activity of transcription factors ATF-2 at Thr71 and c-Jun at Ser73, rather than Elk-1 at Ser383 in RVLM were also augmented during the pro-life phase. Furthermore, pretreatment by microinjection into the bilateral RVLM of specific JNK inhibitors, JNK inhibitor I (100 pmol) or SP600125 (5 pmol), or specific p38MAPK inhibitors, p38MAPK inhibitor III (500 pmol) or SB203580 (2 nmol), exacerbated the depressor effect and blunted the augmented life-and-death signal exhibited during the pro-life phase. On the other hand, pretreatment with the negative control for JNK or p38MAPK inhibitor, JNK inhibitor I negative control (100 pmol) or SB202474 (2 nmol), was ineffective in the vehicle-controls and Mev-treatment groups.
Our results demonstrated that activation of JNK or p38MAPK in RVLM by their upstream activators MAP2K4 or MAP2K6 plays a preferential pro-life role by sustaining the central cardiovascular regulatory machinery during experimental brain stem death via phosphorylation and activation of nuclear transcription factor ATF-2 or c-Jun.
Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a loss-of-imprinting pediatric overgrowth syndrome. The primary features of BWS include macrosomia, macroglossia, and abdominal wall defects. Secondary features that are frequently observed in BWS patients are hypoglycemia, nevus flammeus, polyhydramnios, visceromegaly, hemihyperplasia, cardiac malformations, and difficulty breathing. BWS is speculated to occur primarily as the result of the misregulation of imprinted genes associated with two clusters on chromosome 11p15.5, namely the KvDMR1 and H19/IGF2. A similar overgrowth phenotype is observed in bovine and ovine as a result of embryo culture. In ruminants this syndrome is known as large offspring syndrome (LOS). The phenotypes associated with LOS are increased birth weight, visceromegaly, skeletal defects, hypoglycemia, polyhydramnios, and breathing difficulties. Even though phenotypic similarities exist between the two syndromes, whether the two syndromes are epigenetically similar is unknown. In this study we use control Bos taurus indicus X Bos taurus taurus F1 hybrid bovine concepti to characterize baseline imprinted gene expression and DNA methylation status of imprinted domains known to be misregulated in BWS. This work is intended to be the first step in a series of experiments aimed at determining if LOS will serve as an appropriate animal model to study BWS.
The use of F1 B. t. indicus x B. t. taurus tissues provided us with a tool to unequivocally determine imprinted status of the regions of interest in our study. We found that imprinting is conserved between the bovine and human in imprinted genes known to be associated with BWS. KCNQ1OT1 and PLAGL1 were paternally-expressed while CDKN1C and H19 were maternally-expressed in B. t. indicus x B. t. taurus F1 concepti. We also show that in bovids, differential methylation exists at the KvDMR1 and H19/IGF2 ICRs.
Based on these findings we conclude that the imprinted gene expression of KCNQ1OT1, CDKN1C, H19, and PLAGL1 and the methylation patterns at the KvDMR1 and H19/IGF2 ICRs are conserved between human and bovine. Future work will determine if LOS is associated with misregulation at these imprinted loci, similarly to what has been observed for BWS.
KvDMR1; H19/IGF2 ICR; KCNQ1OT1; CDKN1C; PLAGL1; Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome; Methylation; Genomic imprinting; Epigenetics; Bovine
Specific protein 1 (Sp1), the first transcription factor to be isolated, regulates the expression of numerous genes involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation. Recent studies found that an increase in Sp1 transcriptional activity is associated with the tumorigenesis. Moreover, post-translational modifications of Sp1, including glycosylation, phosphorylation, acetylation, sumoylation, ubiquitination, and methylation, regulate Sp1 transcriptional activity and modulate target gene expression by affecting its DNA binding activity, transactivation activity, or protein level. In addition, recent studies have investigated several compounds with anti-cancer activity that could inhibit Sp1 transcriptional activity. In this review, we describe the effect of various post-translational modifications on Sp1 transcriptional activity and discuss compounds that inhibit the activity of Sp1.
Tissue engineering scaffold constitutes a new strategy of myocardial repair. Here, we studied the contribution of a patch using autologous mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) seeded on collagen-1 scaffold on the cardiac reconstruction in rat model of chronic myocardial infarction (MI).
Patches were cultured with controlled MSCs (growth, phenotype and potentiality). Twenty coronary ligated rats with tomoscingraphy (SPECT)-authenticated transmural chronic MI were referred into a control group (n = 10) and a treated group (n = 10) which beneficiated an epicardial MSC-patch engraftment. Contribution of MSC-patch was tested 1-mo after using non-invasive SPECT cardiac imaging, invasive hemodynamic assessment and immunohistochemistry.
3D-collagen environment affected the cell growth but not the cell phenotype and potentiality. MSC-patch integrates well the epicardial side of chronic MI scar. In treated rats, one-month SPECT data have documented an improvement of perfusion in MI segments compared to control (64 ± 4% vs 49 ± 3% p = 0.02) and a reduced infarction. Contractile parameter dp/dtmax and dp/dtmin were improved (p & 0.01). Histology showed an increase of ventricular wall thickness (1.75 ± 0.24 vs 1.35 ± 0.32 mm, p &0.05) and immunochemistry of the repaired tissue displayed enhanced angiogenesis and myofibroblast-like tissue.
3D-MSC-collagen epicardial patch engraftment contributes to reverse remodeling of chronic MI.
Chronic myocardial infarction; Tissue engineering; Mesenchymal stem cell; Ventriculoplasty
Autophagy is a protein degradative process important for normal cellular metabolism. It is apparently used also by cells to eliminate invading pathogens. Interestingly, many pathogens have learned to subvert the cell’s autophagic process. Here, we review the interactions between viruses and cells in regards to cellular autophagy. Using findings from hepatitis B virus and human retroviruses, HIV-1 and HTLV-1, we discuss mechanisms used by viruses to usurp cellular autophagy in ways that benefit viral replication.