p38 MAPK which is constitutively activated in human myeloma has been implicated in bone destruction by this cancer, but the processes it recruits are obscure. In this study, we demonstrate that p38 activity in myeloma inhibits osteoblast differentiation and bone formation but also enhances osteoclast maturation and bone resorption. p38 regulated the expression and secretion of the Wnt pathway antagonist DKK-1 and the monocyte chemoattractant MCP-1. Attenuating p38, DKK-1 or MCP-1 were each sufficient to reduce bone lesions in vivo. Although it is well known that DKK-1 inhibits osteoblast differentiation, we found that together with MCP-1 it could also promote osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption. The latter effects were mediated by enhancing expression of RANK in osteoclast progenitor cells and by upregulating secretion of its ligand RANKL from stromal cells and mature osteoblasts. In summary, our study defined the mechanisms by which p38 signaling in myeloma cells regulates osteoblastogenesis, osteoclastogenesis, and bone destruction. Our findings, which may have implications for bone invasion by other cancers where p38 is elevated, strongly suggests that targeting p38 for inhibition might offer an effective therapeutic approach to treat osteolytic bone lesions in myeloma patients.
Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT) is implicated in converting stationary epithelial tumor cells into motile mesenchymal cells during metastasis. However, the involvement of EMT in metastasis is still controversial due to the lack of a mesenchymal phenotype in human carcinoma metastases. Using a spontaneous squamous cell carcinoma mouse model, we show that activation of the EMT-inducing transcription factor Twist1 is sufficient to promote carcinoma cells to undergo EMT and disseminate into blood circulation. Importantly, in distant sites, turning off Twist1 to allow reversion of EMT is essential for disseminated tumor cells to proliferate and form metastases. Our study demonstrates in vivo the requirement of “reversible EMT” in tumor metastasis and may resolve the controversy on the importance of EMT in carcinoma metastasis.
Multiple myeloma (MM) cells are responsible for aberrant osteoclast (OC) activation. However, when cocultured monocytes, but not OC precursors, with MM cells, we made a novel observation that MM cells inhibited receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL)-induced increase of OC differentiation, OC gene expression, signaling pathways and bone resorption activity. Our results showed that MM cells produced multiple inhibitory cytokines of osteoclastogenesis, such as IL-10, which activated STAT3 signaling and induce OC inhibition. However, cocultures of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) reversed MM-induced OC inhibition. We found that MM cells increased production of MCP-1 from BMSCs and BMSC-derived MCP-1 enhanced OC formation. Mechanistic studies showed that IL-10 downregulated RANK expression in monocytes and thus, inhibited RANKL-induced OC formation. In contrast, MCP-1 upregulated RANK expression and thus, enhanced OC formation. Overall, our studies for the first time demonstrated that MM cell have inhibitory effects on osteoclastogenesis by producing inhibitory cytokines. Our results further indicate that activation of osteoclastogenesis in bone marrow requests the crosstalk of MM cells, BMSCs and their produced cytokines. Thus, our studies provide evidences that targeting bone marrow microenvironmental cells and/or cytokines may be a new approach to treating MM bone destruction.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive fatal neurodegenerative disease that primarily affects motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have neuroprotective effects potentially useful for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases including ALS; however, the molecular mechanisms underlying their potential efficacy is not well understood. Here we report that protein acetylation in urea-soluble proteins is differently regulated in post-mortem ALS spinal cord. Two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE) analysis reveals several protein clusters with similar molecular weight but different charge status. Liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) identifies glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) as the dominant component in the protein clusters. Further analysis indicates six heavily acetylated lysine residues at positions 89, 153, 189, 218, 259 and 331 of GFAP. Immunoprecipitation followed by Western blotting confirms that the larger form of GFAP fragments are acetylated and upregulated in ALS spinal cord. Further studies demonstrate that acetylation of the proteins additional to GFAP is differently regulated, suggesting that acetylation and/or deacetylation play an important role in pathogenesis of ALS.
Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcriptional protein family members, including FOXO1 and FOXO3, are involved in the modulation of autophagy. However, whether there is redundancy between FOXO1 and FOXO3 in the ability to induce autophagy remains unclear. In this study, we showed that FOXO3 induced a transcription-dependent autophagy, and FOXO1 was required for this process. Overexpression of wild-type FOXO3 (WT) or FOXO3 (3A), which harbors alanine mutations at residues Thr32, Ser253 and Ser315, but not transcription-inactive FOXO3 (∆DB3A), significantly induced autophagy in the human embryonic kidney cell line HEK293T and mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cell lines. Interestingly, depletion of FOXO1 by siRNA attenuated FOXO3-induced autophagy. Our data also showed that FOXO3 overexpression did not increase the expression of FOXO1 at the protein level, although FOXO3 was capable of binding the promoter region of FOXO1 and inducing an increase in the transcription of FOXO1 mRNA. Furthermore, our results showed that FOXO3 promoted the translocation of FOXO1 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, resulting in an increase in FOXO1-induced autophagy. Moreover, our results supported a mechanism whereby FOXO3 dramatically increased the expression of the class I PtdIns3K catalytic subunit PIK3CA, leading to an increase in AKT1 activity, which resulted in the phosphorylation and nuclear export of FOXO1. To the best of our knowledge, our data are the first to suggest that FOXO1 plays a central role in FOXO3-induced autophagy.
FOXO1; FOXO3; autophagy; PIK3CA; AKT1
This survey aims to describe the perception of barriers to and facilitators of research utilization by registered nurses in Sichuan province, China, and to explore the factors influencing the perceptions of the barriers to and facilitators of research utilization.
A cross sectional survey design and a double cluster sampling method were adopted. A total of 590 registered nurses from 3 tertiary level hospitals in Sichuan province, China, were recruited in a period from September 2006 to January 2007. A modified BARRUERS Scale and a Facilitators Scale were used. Data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, rank transformation test, and multiple linear regression.
Barriers related to the setting subscale were more influential than barriers related to other subscales. The lack of authority was ranked as the top greatest barrier (15.7%), followed by the lack of time (13.4%) and language barrier (15.0%). Additional barriers identified were the reluctance of patients to research utilization, the lack of funding, and the lack of legal protection. The top three greatest facilitators were enhancing managerial support (36.9%), advancing education to increase knowledge base (21.1%), and increasing time for reviewing and implementing (17.5%), while cooperation of patients to research utilization, establishing a panel to evaluate researches, and funding were listed as additional facilitators. Hospital, educational background, research experience, and knowledge on evidence-based nursing were the factors influencing perceptions of the barriers and facilitators.
Nurses in China are facing a number of significant barriers in research utilization. Enhancing managerial support might be the most promising facilitator, given Chinese traditional culture and existing health care system. Hospital, educational background, research experience and knowledge on evidence-based nursing should be taken into account to promote research utilization. The BARRIERS Scale should consider funding and involvement of patients in research utilization.
AIM: To investigate H2B monoubiquitination (uH2B) and H3K4 di- and tri-methylation (H3K4-2me, H3K4-3me) levels and their clinical significance in gastric cancer (GC).
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry (IGC) was used to detect the differential levels of uH2B, H3K4-2me and H3K4-3me modifications in GC specimens from chemo/radiotherapy-naïve patients who underwent potentially curative surgical resection (n = 159) and in a random sampling of non-tumor gastric epithelium specimens (normal controls, n = 20). The immunohistochemistry (IHC)-detected modifications were classified as negative, low-level, or high-level using a dual-rated (staining intensity and percentage of positively-stained cells) semi-quantitative method. The relationships between uH2B modification levels and clinicopathological parameters of GC were assessed by a Wilcoxon rank sum test (pairwise comparisons) and the Kruskal-Wallis H test (multiple comparisons). The correlation between uH2B modification and survival was estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis, and the role of uH2B as an independent prognostic factor for survival was assessed by multivariate Cox regression analysis.
RESULTS: The presence and level of H3K4-2me and H3K4-3me IHC staining was similar between the normal controls and GC specimens. In contrast, the level of uH2B was significantly lower in the malignant gastric tissues (vs normal control tissues) and decreased along with increases in dedifferentiation (well differentiated > moderately differentiated > poorly differentiated). The level of uH2B correlated with tumor differentiation (P < 0.001), Lauren’s diffuse- and intestinal-type classification (P < 0.001), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.049) and tumor-node-metastasis stage (P = 0.005). Patients with uH2B+ staining had higher 5-year survival rates than patients with uH2B-staining (52.692 ± 2.452 vs 23.739 ± 5.207, P < 0.001). The uH2B level was an independent prognostic factor for cancer-specific survival (95%CI: 0.237-0.677, P = 0.001).
CONCLUSION: uH2B displays differential IHC staining patterns corresponding to progressive stages of GC. uH2B may contribute to tumorigenesis and could be a potential therapeutic target.
Gastric cancer; Epigenetics; Histone modification; H2B monoubiquination; Nuclear immunostaining
Cytochrome P450 (CYP) ω-hydroxylase, mainly consisting of CYP4A and CYP4F, converts arachidonic acid to 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (20-HETE) that induces angiogenic responses in vivo and in vitro. The present study examined the role of CYP ω-hydroxylase in angiogenesis and metastasis of human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The effect of WIT003, a stable 20-HETE analog, on invasion was evaluated using a modified Boyden chamber in three NSCLC cell lines. A549 cells were transfected with CYP4A11 expression vector or exposed to CYP ω-hydroxylase inhibitor (HET0016) or 20-HETE antagonist (WIT002), and then ω-hydroxylation activity toward arachidonic acid and the levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and VEGF were detected. The in vivo effects of CYP ω-hydroxylase were tested in established tumor xenografts and an experimental metastasis model in athymic mice.
Addition of WIT003 or overexpression of CYP4A11 with an associated increase in 20-HETE production significantly induced invasion and expression of VEGF and MMP-9. Treatment of A549 cells with HET0016 or WIT002 inhibited invasion with reduction in VEGF and MMP-9. The PI3 K or ERK inhibitors also attenuated expression of VEGF and MMP-9. Compared with control, CYP4A11 transfection significantly increased tumor weight, microvessel density (MVD), and lung metastasis by 2.5-fold, 2-fold, and 3-fold, respectively. In contrast, WIT002 or HET0016 decreased tumor volume, MVD, and spontaneous pulmonary metastasis occurrences.
CYP ω-hydroxylase promotes tumor angiogenesis and metastasis by upregulation of VEGF and MMP-9 via PI3 K and ERK1/2 signaling in human NSCLC cells.
Cytochrome P450; 20-HETE; Metastasis; Angiogenesis; NSCLC
Differential co-expression analysis (DCEA) has emerged in recent years as a novel, systematic investigation into gene expression data. While most DCEA studies or tools focus on the co-expression relationships among genes, some are developing a potentially more promising research domain, differential regulation analysis (DRA). In our previously proposed R package DCGL v1.0, we provided functions to facilitate basic differential co-expression analyses; however, the output from DCGL v1.0 could not be translated into differential regulation mechanisms in a straightforward manner.
To advance from DCEA to DRA, we upgraded the DCGL package from v1.0 to v2.0. A new module named “Differential Regulation Analysis” (DRA) was designed, which consists of three major functions: DRsort, DRplot, and DRrank. DRsort selects differentially regulated genes (DRGs) and differentially regulated links (DRLs) according to the transcription factor (TF)-to-target information. DRrank prioritizes the TFs in terms of their potential relevance to the phenotype of interest. DRplot graphically visualizes differentially co-expressed links (DCLs) and/or TF-to-target links in a network context. In addition to these new modules, we streamlined the codes from v1.0. The evaluation results proved that our differential regulation analysis is able to capture the regulators relevant to the biological subject.
With ample functions to facilitate differential regulation analysis, DCGL v2.0 was upgraded from a DCEA tool to a DRA tool, which may unveil the underlying differential regulation from the observed differential co-expression. DCGL v2.0 can be applied to a wide range of gene expression data in order to systematically identify novel regulators that have not yet been documented as critical.
DCGL v2.0 package is available at http://cran.r-project.org/web/packages/DCGL/index.html or at our project home page http://lifecenter.sgst.cn/main/en/dcgl.jsp.
The allosteric effect of fluconazole (effector) on the formation of 1’-hydroxymidazolam (1’-OH-MDZ) and 4-hydroxymidazolam (4-OH-MDZ) from the CYP3A4/5 substrate, midazolam (MDZ), was examined in healthy volunteers. Following pre-treatment of fluconazole, AUC4-OH/AUCMDZ increased 35–62%, while AUC1’-OH/AUCMDZ decreased 5–37%; AUC1’-OH/AUC4-OH ratio decreased 46–58% by fluconazole and had no association with CYP3A5 genotype. 1’-OH-MDZ formation in vitro was more susceptible than 4-OH-MDZ formation to inhibition by fluconazole. Fluconazole decreased the intrinsic formation clearance ratio of 1’-OH-MDZ/4-OH-MDZ to an extent that was quantitatively comparable to in vivo observations. The elimination clearance of midazolam metabolites appeared unaffected by fluconazole. This study demonstrated that fluconazole alters midazolam product formation both in vivo and in vitro in a manner consistent with an allosteric interaction. The 1'-OH-MDZ/4-OH-MDZ ratio may serve as a biomarker of such interactions between midazolam, CYP3A4/5 and other putative effectors.
Previous studies have shown that prevention of leukocyte infiltration by targeting integrins involved in transendothelial migration may suppress the clinical and pathological features of neuroinflammatory disease. This study was designed to investigate the effects of C16, an ανβ3 integrin-binding peptide, in an acute experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) rat model. Multiple histological and immunohistochemical staining, electron microscopy observation, ELISA assay, Western blot, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were employed to assess the degree of inflammation, axonal loss, neuronal apoptosis, white matter demyelination, and extent of gliosis in the brain and spinal cord of differently treated EAE models. The results showed that C16 treatment could inhibit extensive leukocyte and macrophage accumulation and infiltration and reduce cytokine tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) expression levels. A significantly lower clinical score at the peak time of disease was also demonstrated in the C16 treated group. Moreover, astrogliosis, demyelination, neuronal death, and axonal loss were all alleviated in C16 treated EAE animals, which may be attributed to the improvement of microenvironment. The data suggests that C16 peptide may act as a protective agent by attenuating inflammatory progression and thus affecting the expression of some proinflammatory cytokines during neuroinflammatory disease.
This study aims to explore the technique of soft tissue balance and joint tension maintenance in total knee arthroplasty (TKA) for the rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with flexion contracture of the knee.
This retrospective study reviewed flexion contracture deformity of RA patients who underwent primary TKA and ligament and soft tissue balancing. Based on the flexion contracture deformity, the remaining 76 patients available for analysis were divided into two groups, i.e., severe flexion group (SF) and moderate flexion group (MF).
There were no intraoperative complications in this study. All patients had improved Knee Society Rating System scores and range of motion. The flexion contracture was completely corrected in MF and SF patients. There were no cases of patellar dislocation, but three cases had mild mediolateral instability in severe flexion group. Four knees (two knees in SF versus two knees in MF) had transient peroneal nerve palsy but recovered after conservative therapy.
TKA can be performed successfully in the RA knees with severe flexion contracture. It is very important in TKA to maintain the joint stability in the condition of severe flexion contracture deformity of the RA knee.
Total knee arthroplasty; Rheumatoid arthritis; Flexion contracture; Treatment
Human cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) metabolizes a significant portion of clinically relevant drugs and often exhibits complex steady-state kinetics that can involve homotropic and heterotropic cooperativity between bound ligands. In previous studies, the hydroxylation of the sedative midazolam (MDZ) exhibited homotropic cooperativity via a decrease in the ratio of 1′-OH-MDZ to 4-OH-MDZ at higher drug concentrations. In this study, MDZ exhibited heterotropic cooperativity with the anti-epileptic drug carbamazepine (CBZ) with characteristic decreases in the 1′-OH-MDZ to 4-OH-MDZ ratios. To unravel the structural basis of MDZ cooperativity, MDZ and CBZ bound to CYP3A4 were probed using longitudinal T1 NMR relaxation and molecular docking with AutoDock 4.2. The distances calculated from the longitudinal T1 NMR relaxation were used during simulated annealing to constrain the molecules to the substrate-free X-ray crystal structure of CYP3A4. These simulations revealed that either two MDZ molecules or an MDZ molecule and a CBZ molecule assume a stacked configuration within the CYP3A4 active site. In either case, the proton at position-4 of the MDZ molecule was closer to the heme than the protons of the 1′-CH3 group. In contrast, molecular docking of a single molecule of MDZ revealed that the molecule was preferentially oriented with the 1′-CH3 position closer to the heme than the 4-position. This study provides the first detailed molecular analysis of heterotropic and homotropic cooperativity of a human cytochrome P450 from an NMR-based model. Cooperativity of ligand binding through direct interaction between stacked molecules may represent a common motif for homotropic and heterotropic cooperativity.
homotropic and heterotropic cooperativity; paramagnetic relaxation enhancement; cytochrome 3A enzymes; nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); benzodiazepines
Dendritic cells (DCs) play a key role in the initiation stage of an antigen-specific immune response. A variety of tumor-derived factors (TDFs) can suppress DC maturation and function, resulting in defects in the tumor-specific immune response. To identify unknown TDFs that may suppress DCs maturation and function, we established a high-throughput screening technology based on a human liver tumor T7 phage cDNA library and screened all of the proteins derived from hepatoma cells that potentially interact with immature DCs. Growth/differentiation factor-15 (GDF-15) was detected and chosen for further study. By incubation of DCs cultures with GDF-15, we demonstrate that GDF-15 can inhibit surface protrusion formation during DC maturation; suppress the membrane expression of CD83, CD86 and HLA-DR on DCs; enhance phagocytosis by DCs; reduce IL-12 and elevate TGF-β1 secretion by DCs; inhibit T cell stimulation and cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation by DCs. By building tumor-bearing mouse models, we demonstrate that GDF-15 can inhibit the ability of DCs to stimulate a tumor-specific immune response in vivo. These results indicate that GDF-15 may be one of the critical molecules that inhibit DC maturation and function and are involved in tumor immune escape. Thus, GDF-15 may be a novel target in tumor immunotherapy.
Star-shaped polymers provide more terminal groups, and are promising for application in drug-delivery systems.
A new series of six-arm star-shaped poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (6-s-PLGA) was synthesized by ring-opening polymerization. The structure and properties of the 6-s-PLGA were characterized by carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, and differential scanning calorimetry. Then, paclitaxel-loaded six-arm star-shaped poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (6-s-PLGA-PTX-NPs) were prepared under the conditions optimized by the orthogonal testing. High-performance liquid chromatography was used to analyze the nanoparticles’ encapsulation efficiency and drug-loading capacity, dynamic light scattering was used to determine their size and size distribution, and transmission electron microscopy was used to evaluate their morphology. The release performance of the 6-s-PLGA-PTX-NPs in vitro and the cytostatic effect of 6-s-PLGA-PTX-NPs were investigated in comparison with paclitaxel-loaded linear poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles (L-PLGA-PTX-NPs).
The results of carbon-13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy suggest that the polymerization was successfully initiated by inositol and confirm the structure of 6-s-PLGA. The molecular weights of a series of 6-s-PLGAs had a ratio corresponding to the molar ratio of raw materials to initiator. Differential scanning calorimetry revealed that the 6-s-PLGA had a low glass transition temperature of 40°C–50°C. The 6-s-PLGA-PTX-NPs were monodispersed with an average diameter of 240.4±6.9 nm in water, which was further confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. The encapsulation efficiency of the 6-s-PLGA-PTX-NPs was higher than that of the L-PLGA-PTX-NPs. In terms of the in vitro release of nanoparticles, paclitaxel (PTX) was released more slowly and more steadily from 6-s-PLGA than from linear poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid). In the cytostatic study, the 6-s-PLGA-PTX-NPs and L-PLGA-PTX-NPs were found to have a similar antiproliferative effect, which indicates durable efficacy due to the slower release of the PTX when loaded in 6-s-PLGA.
The results suggest that 6-s-PLGA may be promising for application in PTX delivery to enhance sustained antiproliferative therapy.
PTX; polymer; drug delivery; nanoparticles; PLGA; antiproliferative therapy
Adenylyl cyclases (ACs) play important role in regulating pancreatic beta cell growth, survival and secretion through the synthesis of cyclic AMP (cAMP). MDL-12,330A and SQ 22536 are two AC inhibitors used widely to establish the role of ACs. The goal of this study was to examine the effects of MDL-12,330A and SQ 22536 on insulin secretion and underlying mechanisms.
Patch-clamp recording, Ca2+ fluorescence imaging and radioimmunoassay were used to measure outward K+ currents, action potentials (APs), intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) and insulin secretion from rat pancreatic beta cells.
MDL-12,330A (10 µmol/l) potentiated insulin secretion to 1.7 times of control in the presence of 8.3 mmol/l glucose, while SQ 22536 did not show significant effect on insulin secretion. MDL-12,330A prolonged AP durations (APDs) by inhibiting voltage-dependent K+ (KV) channels, leading to an increase in [Ca2+]i levels. It appeared that these effects induced by MDL-12,330A did not result from AC inhibition, since SQ 22536 did not show such effects. Furthermore, inhibition of the downstream effectors of AC/cAMP signaling by PKA inhibitor H89 and Epac inhibitor ESI-09, did not affect KV channels and insulin secretion.
The putative AC inhibitor MDL-12,330A enhances [Ca2+]i and insulin secretion via inhibition of KV channels rather than AC antagonism in beta cells, suggesting that the non-specific effects is needed to be considered for the right interpretation of the experimental results using this agent in the analyses of the role of AC in cell function.
Idiotype (Id) protein in combination with GM-CSF has been used as vaccines for immunotherapy of patients with myeloma and B-cell tumors and the results have been disappointing. To search for better immune adjuvants to improve the efficacy of Id-based immunotherapy in myeloma, we evaluated and compared the efficacy of vaccination of Id protein in combination with CpG or IFN-α, or GM-CSF as a control, in the 5TGM1 myeloma mouse model. Our results showed that Id vaccine combined with CpG or IFN-α, but not GM-CSF, not only efficiently protected mice from developing myeloma but also eradicated established myeloma. The therapeutic responses were associated with an induction of strong humoral immune responses including anti-Id antibodies, and cellular immune responses including Id- and myeloma-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), CD4+ type-1 T-helper (Th1) cells and memory T cells in mice receiving Id vaccine combined with CpG or IFN-α. Furthermore, Id vaccine combined with CpG or IFN-α induced Id- and tumor-specific memory immune responses that protected surviving mice from tumor rechallenge. Thus, our study clearly shows that CpG or IFN-α are better immune adjuvants than GM-CSF. This information will be important for improving the strategies of Id-based immunotherapy for patients with myeloma and other B-cell tumors.
Multiple myeloma; Idiotype; Adjuvants; Vaccination; Immunotherapy
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in CTLA-4 gene are associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in a Chinese population. Methods: Samples were collected from a Chinese population and analyzed for the association of SNPs in CTLA-4 gene with COPD in a case-control study. Four SNPs (rs231775, rs3087243, rs231725, rs5742909) in CTLA-4 gene were chosen and genotyped. The results were then analyzed using statistical methods. Results: We found that none of these four SNPs (rs231775, rs3087243, rs231725, rs5742909) in CTLA-4 gene were associated with the disease. Conclusion: Our data suggested that there was no significant association between these four SNPs in CTLA-4 gene and COPD susceptibility in a Chinese population.
CTLA-4; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; polymorphisms
Bacterial attachment and subsequent biofilm formation pose key challenges to the optimal performance of medical devices. In this study, we determined the attachment of selected bacterial species to hundreds of polymeric materials in a high-throughput microarray format. Using this method, we identified a group of structurally related materials comprising ester and cyclic hydrocarbon moieties that substantially reduced the attachment of pathogenic bacteria (Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli). Coating silicone with these ‘hit’ materials achieved up to a 30-fold (96.7%) reduction in the surface area covered by bacteria compared with a commercial silver hydrogel coating in vitro, and the same material coatings were effective at reducing bacterial attachment in vivo in a mouse implant infection model. These polymers represent a class of materials that reduce the attachment of bacteria that could not have been predicted to have this property from the current understanding of bacteria-surface interactions.
This article describes an example of molecular replacement in which atomic models are used to interpret electron-density maps determined using single-particle electron-microscopy data.
The anaphase-promoting complex (APC/C) is a large E3 ubiquitin ligase that regulates progression through specific stages of the cell cycle by coordinating the ubiquitin-dependent degradation of cell-cycle regulatory proteins. Depending on the species, the active form of the APC/C consists of 14–15 different proteins that assemble into a 20-subunit complex with a mass of approximately 1.3 MDa. A hybrid approach of single-particle electron microscopy and protein crystallography of individual APC/C subunits has been applied to generate pseudo-atomic models of various functional states of the complex. Three approaches for assigning regions of the EM-derived APC/C density map to specific APC/C subunits are described. This information was used to dock atomic models of APC/C subunits, determined either by protein crystallography or homology modelling, to specific regions of the APC/C EM map, allowing the generation of a pseudo-atomic model corresponding to 80% of the entire complex.
anaphase-promoting complex; single-particle electron microscopy; pseudo-atomic model
Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) causes tremendous economic losses to the poultry industry. Here, we report the complete genome analysis results for a new natural recombination nephropathogenic IBV strain named SAIBK, which was isolated in the Sichuan province of China in 2005.
The aim of this study was to determine whether baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and CRP kinetics predict the overall survival in metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (mNPC) patients.
A total of 116 mNPC patients from January 2006 to July 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. Serum CRP level was measured at baseline and thereafter at the start of each palliative chemotherapy cycle for all patients.
Patients with higher values of baseline CRP (≥ 3.4 mg/L) had significantly worse survival than those with lower baseline CRP values (< 3.4 mg/L). Patients were divided into four groups according to baseline CRP and CRP kinetics: (1) patients whose CRP < 3.4 mg/L and never elevated during treatment; (2) patients whose CRP < 3.4 mg/L and elevated at least one time during treatment; (3) patients whose CRP ≥ 3.4 mg/L and normalized at least one time during treatment; and (4) patients whose CRP ≥ 3.4 mg/L and never normalized during treatment. The patients were further assigned to non-elevated, elevated, normalized, and non-normalized CRP groups. Overall survival rates were significantly different among the four groups, with three-year survival rates of 68%, 41%, 33%, and 0.03% for non-elevated, elevated, normalized, and non-normalized CRP groups respectively. When compared with the non-elevated group, hazard ratios of death were 1.69, 2.57, and 10.34 in the normalized, elevated, and non-normalized groups (P < 0.001).
Baseline CRP and CRP kinetics may be useful to predict the prognosis of metastatic NPC patients treated with palliative chemotherapy and facilitate individualized treatment. A prospective study to validate this prognostic model is still needed however.
Trichinellosis is one of the most important food-borne parasitic zoonoses throughout the world. Because infected pigs are the major source of human infections, and China is becoming the largest international producer of pork, the development of a transmission-blocking vaccine to prevent swine from being infected is urgently needed for trichinellosis control in China. Our previous studies have demonstrated that specific Trichinella spiralis paramyosin (Ts-Pmy) and Ts-87 antigen could provide protective immunity against T. spiralis infection in immunized mice. Certain protective epitopes of Ts-Pmy and Ts-87 antigen have been identified. To identify more Ts-Pmy protective epitopes, a new monoclonal antibody, termed 8F12, was produced against the N-terminus of Ts-Pmy. This antibody elicited significant protective immunity in mice against T. spiralis infection by passive transfer and was subsequently used to screen a random phage display peptide library to identify recognized epitopes. Seven distinct positive phage clones were identified and their displayed peptides were sequenced. Synthesized epitope peptides conjugated to keyhole limpet hemocyanin were used to immunize mice, four of which exhibited larval reduction (from 18.7% to 26.3%, respectively) in vaccinated mice in comparison to the KLH control. To increase more effective protection, the epitope 8F7 that was found to induce the highest protection in this study was combined with two other previously identified epitopes (YX1 from Ts-Pmy and M7 from Ts-87) to formulate a multi-epitope vaccine. Mice immunized with this multi-epitope vaccine experienced a 35.0% reduction in muscle larvae burden after being challenged with T. spiralis larvae. This protection is significantly higher than that induced by individual-epitope peptides and is associated with high levels of subclasses IgG and IgG1. These results showed that a multi-epitope vaccine induced better protective immunity than an individual epitope and provided a feasible approach for developing a safer and more effective vaccine against trichinellosis.
Duloxetine, a serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, and celecoxib, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, are commonly used analgesics for persistent pain, however with moderate gastrointestinal side effects or analgesia tolerance. One promising analgesic strategy is to give a combined prescription, allowing the maximal or equal efficacy with fewer side effects. In the current study, the efficacy and side effects of combined administration of duloxetine and celecoxib were tested in the mouse formalin pain model. The subcutaneous (s.c.) injection of formalin into the left hindpaw induced significant somatic and emotional pain evaluated by the biphasic spontaneous flinching of the injected hindpaw and interphase ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) during the 1 h after formalin injection, respectively. Pretreatment with intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection of duloxetine or celecoxib at 1 h before formalin injection induced the dose-dependent inhibition on the second but not first phase pain responses. Combined administration of duloxetine and celecoxib showed significant analgesia for the second phase pain responses. Combination analgesia on the first phase was observed only with higher dose combination. A statistical difference between the theoretical and experimental ED50 for the second phase pain responses was observed, which indicated synergistic interaction of the two drugs. Concerning the emotional pain responses revealed with USVs, we assumed that the antinociceptive effects were almost completely derived from duloxetine, since celecoxib was ineffective when administered alone or reduced the dosage of duloxetine when given in combination. Based on the above findings, acute concomitant administration of duloxetine and celecoxib showed synergism on the somatic pain behavior but not emotional pain behaviors.