Cellular compartmentalization into organelles serves to separate biological processes within the environment of a single cell. While some metabolic reactions are specific to a single organelle, others occur in more than one cellular compartment. Specific targeting of proteins to compartments inside of eukaryotic cells is mediated by defined sequence motifs. To achieve multiple targeting to different compartments cells use a variety of strategies. Here, we focus on mechanisms leading to dual targeting of peroxisomal proteins. In many instances, isoforms of peroxisomal proteins with distinct intracellular localization are encoded by separate genes. But also single genes can give rise to differentially localized proteins. Different isoforms can be generated by use of alternative transcriptional start sites, by differential splicing or ribosomal read-through of stop codons. In all these cases different peptide variants are produced, of which only one carries a peroxisomal targeting signal. Alternatively, peroxisomal proteins contain additional signals that compete for intracellular targeting. Dual localization of proteins residing in both the cytoplasm and in peroxisomes may also result from use of inefficient targeting signals. The recent observation that some bona fide cytoplasmic enzymes were also found in peroxisomes indicates that dual targeting of proteins to both the cytoplasm and the peroxisome might be more widespread. Although current knowledge of proteins exhibiting only partial peroxisomal targeting is far from being complete, we speculate that the metabolic capacity of peroxisomes might be larger than previously assumed.
peroxisomes; protein import; alternative splicing; ribosomal read-through; glycolysis
Imaging the brain during complex and intensive movements is challenging due to the susceptibility of brain-imaging methods for motion and myogenic artifacts. A few studies measured brain activity during either single-joint or low-intensity exercises; however, the cortical activation state during larger movements with increases up to maximal intensity has barely been investigated so far. Eleven right-handed volunteers (22–45 years in age) performed isometric leg extensions with their right leg at 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100% of their maximal voluntary contraction. Contractions were hold for 20 s respectively. Electroencephalographic (EEG) and electromyographic (EMG) activity was recorded. Standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA) was used to localize the cortical current density within the premotor (PMC), primary motor (M1), primary somatosensory (S1) and somatosensory association cortex (SAC). ANOVA was used for repeated measures for comparison of intensities and between the left and right hemispheres. The quality of the EEG signal was satisfying up to 80% intensity. At 100% half of the participants were not able to keep their neck and face muscles relaxed, leading to myogenic artifacts. Higher contralateral vs. ipsilateral hemispheric activity was found for the S1, SAC and, PMC. M1 possessed higher ipsilateral activity. The highest activity was localized in the M1, followed by S1, PMC, and SAC. EMG activity and cortical current density within the M1 increased with exercise intensity. EEG recordings during bigger movements up to submaximal intensity (80%) are possible, but maximal intensities are still hard to investigate when subjects contracted their neck and face muscles at the same time. Isometric contractions mainly involve the M1, whereas the S1, PMC, and SAC seem not to be involved in the force output. Limitations and recommendations for future studies are discussed.
electroencephalography; sLORETA; electromyography; high-intensity exercise; whole-body exercise; cortical current density; motor cortex; sensorimotor cortex
nitric oxide; lipid peroxidation; photosynthetic organisms; animals; oxidative stress conditions
energy expenditure; indirect calorimetry; body size; body composition; physical activity; brown adipose tissue; metabolic phenotyping; thermogenesis
Carbon monoxide (CO) that is produced in a number of different mammalian tissues is now known to have significant effects on the cardiovascular system. These include: (i) vasodilation, (ii) changes in heart rate and strength of contractions, and (iii) modulation of autonomic nervous system input to both the primary pacemaker and the working myocardium. Excessive CO in the environment is toxic and can initiate or mediate life threatening cardiac rhythm disturbances. Recent reports link these ventricular arrhythmias to an increase in the slowly inactivating, or “late” component of the Na+ current in the mammalian heart. The main goal of this paper is to explore the basis of this pro-arrhythmic capability of CO by incorporating changes in CO-induced ion channel activity with intracellular signaling pathways in the mammalian heart. To do this, a quite well-documented mathematical model of the action potential and intracellular calcium transient in the human ventricular myocyte has been employed. In silico iterations based on this model provide a useful first step in illustrating the cellular electrophysiological consequences of CO that have been reported from mammalian heart experiments. Specifically, when the Grandi et al. model of the human ventricular action potential is utilized, and after the Na+ and Ca2+ currents in a single myocyte are modified based on the experimental literature, early after-depolarization (EAD) rhythm disturbances appear, and important elements of the underlying causes of these EADs are revealed/illustrated. Our modified mathematical model of the human ventricular action potential also provides a convenient digital platform for designing future experimental work and relating these changes in cellular cardiac electrophysiology to emerging clinical and epidemiological data on CO toxicity.
carbon monoxide (CO); late sodium current (INa-L); action potential (AP); early after-depolarizations (EADs); S-nitrosylation
climate change; crop improvement; drought phenotyping; drought tolerance; experimental field design; geographic information system; molecular breeding; water management
Sox; stem cells; neural stem cells; neural progenitors; neurons; specification; commitment
Autonomic regulation processes in striated muscles are largely mediated by cAMP/PKA-signaling. In order to achieve specificity of signaling its spatial-temporal compartmentation plays a critical role. We discuss here how specificity of cAMP/PKA-signaling can be achieved in skeletal muscle by spatio-temporal compartmentation. While a microdomain containing PKA type I in the region of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) is important for postsynaptic, activity-dependent stabilization of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR), PKA type I and II microdomains in the sarcomeric part of skeletal muscle are likely to play different roles, including the regulation of muscle homeostasis. These microdomains are due to specific A-kinase anchoring proteins, like rapsyn and myospryn. Importantly, recent evidence indicates that compartmentation of the cAMP/PKA-dependent signaling pathway and pharmacological activation of cAMP production are aberrant in different skeletal muscles disorders. Thus, we discuss here their potential as targets for palliative treatment of certain forms of dystrophy and myasthenia. Under physiological conditions, the neuropeptide, α-calcitonin-related peptide, as well as catecholamines are the most-mentioned natural triggers for activating cAMP/PKA signaling in skeletal muscle. While the precise domains and functions of these first messengers are still under investigation, agonists of β2-adrenoceptors clearly exhibit anabolic activity under normal conditions and reduce protein degradation during atrophic periods. Past and recent studies suggest direct sympathetic innervation of skeletal muscle fibers. In summary, the organization and roles of cAMP-dependent signaling in skeletal muscle are increasingly understood, revealing crucial functions in processes like nerve-muscle interaction and muscle trophicity.
adrenoceptors; AKAP; endplate; dystrophy; PKA; metabolism; neuromuscular junction; skeletal muscle
The neuroendocrine architecture and insulin/insulin-like signaling (IIS) events in Drosophila are remarkably conserved. As IIS pathway governs growth and development, metabolism, reproduction, stress response, and longevity; temporal, spatial, and nutrient regulation of dilps encoding Drosophila insulin-like peptides (DILPs) provides potential mechanisms in modulating IIS. Of eight DILPs (DILP1–8) identified, recent studies have furthered our understanding of physiological roles of DILP2, DILP3, DILP5, and DILP6 in metabolism, aging, and responses to dietary restriction (DR), which will be the focus of this review. While the DILP producing IPCs of the brain secrete DILP2, 3, and 5, fat body produces DILP6. Identification of factors that influence dilp expression and DILP secretion has provided insight into the intricate regulatory mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation of those genes and the activity of each peptide. Studies involving loss-of-function dilp mutations have defined the roles of DILP2 and DILP6 in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, respectively. While DILP3 has been implicated to modulate lipid metabolism, a metabolic role for DILP5 is yet to be determined. Loss of dilp2 or adult fat body specific expression of dilp6 has been shown to extend lifespan, establishing their roles in longevity regulation. The exact role of DILP3 in aging awaits further clarification. While DILP5 has been shown associated with DR-mediated lifespan extension, contradictory evidence that precludes a direct involvement of DILP5 in DR exists. This review highlights recent findings on the importance of conserved DILPs in metabolic homeostasis, DR, and aging, providing strong evidence for the use of DILPs in modeling metabolic disorders such as diabetes and hyperinsulinemia in the fly that could further our understanding of the underlying processes and identify therapeutic strategies to treat them.
Drosophila insulin-like peptides; insulin-like peptide producing cells; lifespan; metabolism; dietary restriction; dFOXO; dSir2
Sleep is a physiological process involving different biological systems, from molecular to organ level; its integrity is essential for maintaining health and homeostasis in human beings. Although in the past sleep has been considered a state of quiet, experimental and clinical evidences suggest a noteworthy activation of different biological systems during sleep. A key role is played by the autonomic nervous system (ANS), whose modulation regulates cardiovascular functions during sleep onset and different sleep stages. Therefore, an interest on the evaluation of autonomic cardiovascular control in health and disease is growing by means of linear and non-linear heart rate variability (HRV) analyses. The application of classical tools for ANS analysis, such as HRV during physiological sleep, showed that the rapid eye movement (REM) stage is characterized by a likely sympathetic predominance associated with a vagal withdrawal, while the opposite trend is observed during non-REM sleep. More recently, the use of non-linear tools, such as entropy-derived indices, have provided new insight on the cardiac autonomic regulation, revealing for instance changes in the cardiovascular complexity during REM sleep, supporting the hypothesis of a reduced capability of the cardiovascular system to deal with stress challenges. Interestingly, different HRV tools have been applied to characterize autonomic cardiac control in different pathological conditions, from neurological sleep disorders to sleep disordered breathing (SDB). In summary, linear and non-linear analysis of HRV are reliable approaches to assess changes of autonomic cardiac modulation during sleep both in health and diseases. The use of these tools could provide important information of clinical and prognostic relevance.
autonomic nervous system; heart rate variability; sleep; non-linear analysis; obstructive sleep apnea; insomnia; SUDEP
ATP in the renal tubular fluid is an important regulator of salt and water reabsorption via purinergic calcium signaling that involves the P2Y2 receptor, ENaC, and AQP2. Recently, we have shown that connexin (Cx) 30 hemichannels are localized to the non-junctional apical membrane of cells in the distal nephron-collecting duct (CD) and release ATP into the tubular fluid upon mechanical stimuli, leading to reduced salt and water reabsorption. Cx30−/− mice show salt-dependent elevations in BP and impaired pressure-natriuresis. Thus, we hypothesized that increased tubular flow rate leads to Cx30-dependent purinergic intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) signaling in the CD. Cortical CDs (CCDs) from wild type and Cx30−/− mice were freshly dissected and microperfused in vitro. Using confocal fluorescence imaging and the calcium-sensitive fluorophore pair Fluo-4 and Fura Red, we found that increasing tubular flow rate from 2 to 20 nl/min caused a significant 2.1-fold elevation in [Ca2+]i in wild type CCDs. This response was blunted in Cx30−/− CCDs ([Ca2+]i increased only 1.2-fold, p < 0.0001 vs. WT, n = 6 each). To further test our hypothesis we performed CD [Ca2+]i imaging in intact mouse kidneys in vivo using multiphoton microscopy and micropuncture delivery of the calcium-sensitive fluorophore Rhod-2. We found intrinsic, spontaneous [Ca2+]i oscillations in free-flowing CDs of wild type but not Cx30−/− mice. The [Ca2+]i oscillations were sensitive also to P2-receptor inhibition by suramin. Taken together, these data confirm that mechanosensitive Cx30 hemichannels mediate tubular ATP release and purinergic calcium signaling in the CD which mechanism plays an important role in the regulation of CD salt and water reabsorption.
connexin; hemichannel; ATP release; calcium imaging; intravital microscopy
Skeletal muscle is the largest organ system in mammalian organisms providing postural control and movement patterns of varying intensity. Through evolution, skeletal muscle fibers have evolved into three phenotype clusters defined as a motor unit which consists of all muscle fibers innervated by a single motoneuron linking varying numbers of fibers of similar phenotype. This fundamental organization of the motor unit reflects the fact that there is a remarkable interdependence of gene regulation between the motoneurons and the muscle mainly via activity-dependent mechanisms. These fiber types can be classified via the primary type of myosin heavy chain (MHC) gene expressed in the motor unit. Four MHC gene encoded proteins have been identified in striated muscle: slow type I MHC and three fast MHC types, IIa, IIx, and IIb. These MHCs dictate the intrinsic contraction speed of the myofiber with the type I generating the slowest and IIb the fastest contractile speed. Over the last ~35 years, a large body of knowledge suggests that altered loading state cause both fiber atrophy/wasting and a slow to fast shift in the contractile phenotype in the target muscle(s). Hence, this review will examine findings from three different animal models of unloading: (1) space flight (SF), i.e., microgravity; (2) hindlimb suspension (HS), a procedure that chronically eliminates weight bearing of the lower limbs; and (3) spinal cord isolation (SI), a surgical procedure that eliminates neural activation of the motoneurons and associated muscles while maintaining neurotrophic motoneuron-muscle connectivity. The collective findings demonstrate: (1) all three models show a similar pattern of fiber atrophy with differences mainly in the magnitude and kinetics of alteration; (2) transcriptional/pretranslational processes play a major role in both the atrophy process and phenotype shifts; and (3) signaling pathways impacting these alterations appear to be similar in each of the models investigated.
spaceflight; hindlimb suspension (unloading); spinal cord isolation; myosin isoforms; non-coding RNAs
In asthmatic patients, inhalation of hyperosmolar saline or D-mannitol (D-M) elicits bronchoconstriction, but in healthy subjects exercise causes bronchodilation. Hyperventilation causes drying of airway surface liquid (ASL) and increases its osmolarity. Hyperosmolar challenge of airway epithelium releases epithelium-derived relaxing factor (EpDRF), which relaxes the airway smooth muscle. This pathway could be involved in exercise-induced bronchodilation. Little is known of ASL hyperosmolarity effects on epithelial function. We investigated the effects of osmolar challenge maneuvers on dispersed and adherent guinea-pig tracheal epithelial cells to examine the hypothesis that EpDRF-mediated relaxation is associated with epithelial cell shrinkage. Enzymatically-dispersed cells shrank when challenged with ≥10 mOsM added D-M, urea or NaCl with a concentration-dependence that mimics relaxation of the of isolated perfused tracheas (IPT). Cells shrank when incubated in isosmolar N-methyl-D-glucamine (NMDG) chloride, Na gluconate (Glu), NMDG-Glu, K-Glu and K2SO4, and swelled in isosmolar KBr and KCl. However, isosmolar challenge is not a strong stimulus of relaxation in IPTs. In previous studies amiloride and 4,4′-diisothiocyano-2,2′-stilbenedisulfonic acid (DIDS) inhibited relaxation of IPT to hyperosmolar challenge, but had little effect on shrinkage of dispersed cells. Confocal microscopy in tracheal segments showed that adherent epithelium is refractory to low hyperosmolar concentrations that induce dispersed cell shrinkage and relaxation of IPT. Except for gadolinium and erythro-9-(2-hydroxy-3-nonyl)adenine (EHNA), actin and microtubule inhibitors and membrane permeabilizing agents did not affect on ion transport by adherent epithelium or shrinkage responses of dispersed cells. Our studies dissociate relaxation of IPT from cell shrinkage after hyperosmolar challenge of airway epithelium.
exercise asthma; epithelium-derived relaxing factor; cell volume
acid/base; pH; proton; bicarbonate; lactate
Voltage-dependent K+ channels (Kv) are involved in a number of physiological processes, including immunomodulation, cell volume regulation, apoptosis as well as differentiation. Some Kv channels participate in the proliferation and migration of normal and tumor cells, contributing to metastasis. Altered expression of Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 channels has been found in several types of tumors and cancer cells. In general, while the expression of Kv1.3 apparently exhibits no clear pattern, Kv1.5 is induced in many of the analyzed metastatic tissues. Interestingly, evidence indicates that Kv1.5 channel shows inversed correlation with malignancy in some gliomas and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas. However, Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 are similarly remodeled in some cancers. For instance, expression of Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 correlates with a certain grade of tumorigenicity in muscle sarcomas. Differential remodeling of Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 expression in human cancers may indicate their role in tumor growth and their importance as potential tumor markers. However, despite of this increasing body of information, which considers Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 as emerging tumoral markers, further research must be performed to reach any conclusion. In this review, we summarize what it has been lately documented about Kv1.3 and Kv1.5 channels in human cancer.
K+ channels; cancer; agressiveness; tumor markers; proliferation
The goal of pathway analysis is to identify the pathways significantly impacted in a given phenotype. Many current methods are based on algorithms that consider pathways as simple gene lists, dramatically under-utilizing the knowledge that such pathways are meant to capture. During the past few years, a plethora of methods claiming to incorporate various aspects of the pathway topology have been proposed. These topology-based methods, sometimes referred to as “third generation,” have the potential to better model the phenomena described by pathways. Although there is now a large variety of approaches used for this purpose, no review is currently available to offer guidance for potential users and developers. This review covers 22 such topology-based pathway analysis methods published in the last decade. We compare these methods based on: type of pathways analyzed (e.g., signaling or metabolic), input (subset of genes, all genes, fold changes, gene p-values, etc.), mathematical models, pathway scoring approaches, output (one or more pathway scores, p-values, etc.) and implementation (web-based, standalone, etc.). We identify and discuss challenges, arising both in methodology and in pathway representation, including inconsistent terminology, different data formats, lack of meaningful benchmarks, and the lack of tissue and condition specificity.
pathway analysis; topology; signaling pathways; metabolic pathways; mathematical model; network topology; statistical significance
We review methods of understanding cellular interactions through computation in order to guide the synthetic design of mammalian cells for translational applications, such as regenerative medicine and cancer therapies. In doing so, we argue that the challenges of engineering mammalian cells provide a prime opportunity to leverage advances in computational systems biology. We support this claim systematically, by addressing each of the principal challenges to existing synthetic bioengineering approaches—stochasticity, complexity, and scale—with specific methods and paradigms in systems biology. Moreover, we characterize a key set of diverse computational techniques, including agent-based modeling, Bayesian network analysis, graph theory, and Gillespie simulations, with specific utility toward synthetic biology. Lastly, we examine the mammalian applications of synthetic biology for medicine and health, and how computational systems biology can aid in the continued development of these applications.
systems biology; synthetic biology; mammalian cell; computational biology; regenerative medicine; gene circuits; signaling network; multiscale modeling
Local purinergic signals modulate renal tubular transport. Acute activation of renal epithelial P2 receptors causes inhibition of epithelial transport and thus, should favor increased water and salt excretion by the kidney. So far only a few studies have addressed the effects of extracellular nucleotides on ion transport in the thick ascending limb (TAL). In the medullary thick ascending limb (mTAL), basolateral P2X receptors markedly (~25%) inhibit NaCl absorption. Although this segment does express both apical and basolateral P2Y2 receptors, acute activation of the basolateral P2Y2 receptors had no apparent effect on transepithelial ion transport. Here we studied, if the absence of the P2Y2 receptor causes chronic alterations in mTAL NaCl absorption by comparing basal and AVP-stimulated transepithelial transport rates. We used perfused mouse mTALs to electrically measure NaCl absorption in juvenile (<35 days) and adult (>35 days) male mice. Using microelectrodes, we determined the transepithelial voltage (Vte) and the transepithelial resistance (Rte) and thus, transepithelial NaCl absorption (equivalent short circuit current, I'sc). We find that mTALs from adult wild type (WT) mice have significantly lower NaCl absorption rates when compared to mTALs from juvenile WT mice. This could be attributed to significantly higher Rtevalues in mTALs from adult WT mice. This pattern was not observed in mTALs from P2Y2 receptor knockout (KO) mice. In addition, adult P2Y2 receptor KO mTALs have significantly lower Vtevalues compared to the juvenile. No difference in absolute I'sc was observed when comparing mTALs from WT and KO mice. AVP stimulated the mTALs to similar increases of NaCl absorption irrespective of the absence of the P2Y2 receptor. No difference was observed in the medullary expression level of NKCC2 in between the genotypes. These data indicate that the lack of P2Y2 receptors does not cause substantial differences in resting and AVP-stimulated NaCl absorption in mouse mTAL.
purinergic; renal transport; loop of henle; P2Y2 receptors; NKCC2
During the past few years, we have witnessed a paradigm shift in our long-standing concept of peroxisome biogenesis. Recent biochemical and morphological studies have revealed a primary role of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in the de novo formation of peroxisomes, thus challenging the prevalent model invoking growth and division of pre-existing peroxisomes. Importantly, a novel sorting process has been recently defined at the ER that segregates and assembles specific sets of peroxisomal membrane proteins (PMPs) into distinct pre-peroxisomal vesicular carriers (ppVs) that later undergo heterotypic fusion to form mature peroxisomes. Consequently, the emerging model has redefined the function of many peroxins (most notably Pex3, Pex19, and Pex25) and assigned them novel roles in vesicular budding and subsequent peroxisome assembly. These advances establish a novel intracellular membrane trafficking route between the ER and peroxisomes, but the components remain elusive. This review will provide a historical perspective and focus on recent developments in the emerging role of the ER in peroxisome biogenesis.
peroxisome; intracellular protein trafficking; organelle biogenesis; ER involvement in peroxisome biogenesis; vesicle budding; peroxisomal ER
Spatial dispersion of repolarization is known to play an important role in arrhythmogenesis. Electrotonic modulation of repolarization by the activation sequence has been observed in some species and tissue preparations, but to varying extents. Our study sought to determine the mechanisms underlying species- and tissue-dependent electrotonic modulation of repolarization in ventricles. Epi-fluorescence optical imaging of whole rat hearts and pig left ventricular wedges were used to assess epicardial spatial activation and repolarization characteristics. Experiments were supported by computer simulations using realistic geometries. Tight coupling between activation times (AT) and action potential duration (APD) were observed in rat experiments but not in pig. Linear correlation analysis found slopes of −1.03 ± 0.59 and −0.26 ± 0.13 for rat and pig, respectively (p < 0.0001). In rat, maximal dispersion of APD was 11.0 ± 3.1 ms but dispersion of repolarization time (RT) was relatively homogeneous (8.2 ± 2.7, p < 0.0001). However, in pig no such difference was observed between the dispersion of APD and RT (17.8 ± 6.1 vs. 17.7 ± 6.5, respectively). Localized elevations of APD (12.9 ± 8.3%) were identified at ventricular insertion sites of rat hearts both in experiments and simulations. Tissue geometry and action potential (AP) morphology contributed significantly to determining influence of electrotonic modulation. Simulations of a rat AP in a pig geometry decreased the slope of AT and APD relationships by 70.6% whereas slopes were increased by 75.0% when implementing a pig AP in a rat geometry. A modified pig AP, shortened to match the rat APD, showed little coupling between AT and APD with greatly reduced slope compared to the rat AP. Electrotonic modulation of repolarization by the activation sequence is especially pronounced in small hearts with murine-like APs. Tissue architecture and AP morphology play an important role in electrotonic modulation of repolarization.
action potential duration; heterogeneity; ventricular repolarization; electrotonic current; cardiac electrophysiology
KCNQ (Kv7) channels underlie a voltage-gated K+ current best known for control of neuronal excitability, and its inhibition by Gq/11-coupled, muscarinic signaling. Studies have indicated expression of KCNQ channels in airway smooth muscle (ASM), a tissue that is predominantly regulated by muscarinic receptor signaling. Therefore, we investigated the function of KCNQ channels in rodent ASM and their interplay with Gq/11-coupled M3 muscarinic receptors. Perforated-patch clamp of dissociated ASM cells detected a K+ current inhibited by the KCNQ antagonist, XE991, and augmented by the specific agonist, flupirtine. KCNQ channels begin to activate at voltages near resting potentials for ASM cells, and indeed XE991 depolarized resting membrane potentials. Muscarinic receptor activation inhibited KCNQ current weakly (~20%) at concentrations half-maximal for contractions. Thus, we were surprised to see that KCNQ had no affect on membrane voltage or muscle contractility following muscarinic activation. Further, M3 receptor-specific antagonist J104129 fumarate alone did not reveal KCNQ effects on muscarinic evoked depolarization or contractility. However, a role for KCNQ channels was revealed when BK-K+ channel activities are reduced. While KCNQ channels do control resting potentials, they appear to play a redundant role with BK calcium-activated K+ channels during ASM muscarinic signaling. In contrast to effect of antagonist, we observe that KCNQ agonist flupirtine caused a significant hyperpolarization and reduced contraction in vitro irrespective of muscarinic activation. Using non-invasive whole animal plethysmography, the clinically approved KCNQ agonist retigabine caused a transient reduction in indexes of airway resistance in both wild type and BK β1 knockout (KO) mice treated with the muscarinic agonist. These findings indicate that KCNQ channels can be recruited via agonists to oppose muscarinic evoked contractions and may be of therapeutic value as bronchodilators.
KCNQ; Kv7; airway smooth muscle; muscarinic receptors; patch-clamp electrophysiology; voltage-gated potassium channels
In this paper multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MFDFA) is used to study the human gait time series for normal and diseased sets. It is observed that long range correlation is primarily responsible for the origin of multifractality. The study reveals that the degree of multifractality is more for normal set compared to diseased set. However, the method fails to distinguish between the two diseased sets.
non-stationary time series; gait disease; multifractal; monofractal; degree of multifractality; degree of correlation
Heart rate and blood pressure are the most important vital signs in diagnosing disease. Both heart rate and blood pressure are characterized by a high degree of short term variability from moment to moment, medium term over the normal day and night as well as in the very long term over months to years. The study of new mathematical algorithms to evaluate the variability of these cardiovascular parameters has a high potential in the development of new methods for early detection of cardiovascular disease, to establish differential diagnosis with possible therapeutic consequences. The autonomic nervous system is a major player in the general adaptive reaction to stress and disease. The quantitative prediction of the autonomic interactions in multiple control loops pathways of cardiovascular system is directly applicable to clinical situations. Exploration of new multimodal analytical techniques for the variability of cardiovascular system may detect new approaches for deterministic parameter identification. A multimodal analysis of cardiovascular signals can be studied by evaluating their amplitudes, phases, time domain patterns, and sensitivity to imposed stimuli, i.e., drugs blocking the autonomic system. The causal effects, gains, and dynamic relationships may be studied through dynamical fuzzy logic models, such as the discrete-time model and discrete-event model. We expect an increase in accuracy of modeling and a better estimation of the heart rate and blood pressure time series, which could be of benefit for intelligent patient monitoring. We foresee that identifying quantitative mathematical biomarkers for autonomic nervous system will allow individual therapy adjustments to aim at the most favorable sympathetic-parasympathetic balance.
heart rate variability; cardiovascular system; mathematical modeling; fuzzy logic; nonlinear dynamics; linear models; baroreflex
Activation of the adrenergic system has a profound effects on metabolism. Increased circulating catecholamine and activation of the different adrenergic receptors deployed in the various organs produce important metabolic responses which include: (1) increased lipolysis and elevated levels of fatty acids in plasma, (2) increased gluconeogenesis by the liver to provide substrate for the brain, and (3) moderate inhibition of insulin release by the pancreas to conserve glucose and to shift fuel metabolism of muscle in the direction of fatty acid oxidation. These physiological responses, typical of the stress conditions, are demonstrated to be detrimental for the functioning of different organs like the cardiac muscle when they become chronic. Indeed, a common feature of many pathological conditions involving over-activation of the adrenergic system is the development of metabolic alterations which can include insulin resistance, altered glucose and lipid metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction. These patterns are involved with a variably extent among the different pathologies, however, they are in general strictly correlated to the level of activation of the adrenergic system. Here we will review the effects of the different adrenergic receptors subtypes on the metabolic variation observed in important disease like Heart Failure.
cardiac metabolism; beta adrenergic system; heart failure; GRKs; mitochondria
Autophagy, or cellular self-eating, is a tightly regulated cellular pathway the main purpose of which is lysosomal degradation and subsequent recycling of cytoplasmic material to maintain normal cellular homeostasis. Defects in autophagy are linked to a variety of pathological states, including cancer. Cancer is the disease associated with abnormal tissue growth following an alteration in such fundamental cellular processes as apoptosis, proliferation, differentiation, migration and autophagy. The role of autophagy in cancer is complex, as it can promote both tumor prevention and survival/treatment resistance. It's now clear that modulation of autophagy has a great potential in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Recent findings identified intracellular calcium as an important regulator of both basal and induced autophagy. Calcium is a ubiquitous secondary messenger which regulates plethora of physiological and pathological processes such as aging, neurodegeneration and cancer. The role of calcium and calcium-permeable channels in cancer is well-established, whereas the information about molecular nature of channels regulating autophagy and the mechanisms of this regulation is still limited. Here we review existing mechanisms of autophagy regulation by calcium and calcium-permeable ion channels. Furthermore, we will also discuss some calcium-permeable channels as the potential new candidates for autophagy regulation. Finally we will propose the possible link between calcium permeable channels, autophagy and cancer progression and therapeutic response.
calcium; autophagy; TRP; ion channels; cancer