Osteoporotic vertebral compression fracture is the leading cause of disability and morbidity in elderly people. Treatment of this condition remains a challenge. Osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures can be managed with various approaches, but each has limitations. In this study, we compared the clinical outcomes obtained using short-segment fixation with intravertebral expandable pillars (I-VEP) to those obtained with percutaneous kyphoplasty in patients who had suffered vertebral compression fractures.
The study included 46 patients with single-level osteoporotic thoracolumbar fractures. Twenty-two patients in Group I underwent short-segment fixation with I-VEP and 24 patients in Group II underwent kyphoplasty. All patients were evaluated pre- and postoperatively using a visual analogue scale, anterior height of the fractured vertebra, and kyphotic angle of the fractured vertebra. The latter 2 radiological parameters were measured at the adjacent segments as well.
There was no significant difference between the groups in terms of gender or fracture level, but the mean age was greater in Group II patients (p = 0.008). At the 1-year follow-up, there were no significant differences in the visual analogue scale scores, anterior height of the fractured vertebra, or the value representing anterior height above the fractured vertebra and kyphotic angle below the fractured vertebra, after adjusting for the patients’ gender, fracture level, and age. When considered separately, the anterior height below the fractured vertebra was significantly higher and the kyphotic angle above the fractured vertebra was significantly smaller in Group I than in Group II (p = 0.029 and p = 0.008, respectively). The kyphotic angle of the fractured vertebra was significantly smaller in Group II than in Group I (p < 0.001).
In older individuals with vertebral compression fractures, kyphoplasty restored and maintained the collapsed vertebral body with less kyphotic deformity than that induced by short-segment fixation with I-VEP. Short-segment fixation with I-VEP was more effective in maintaining the integrity of adjacent segments, which prevented the domino effect often observed in patients with osteoporotic kyphotic spines.
Short-segment fixation; Intravertebral expandable pillar; Percutaneous kyphoplasty; Vertebral compression fracture
Increasing evidence has shown that immune surveillance is compromised in a tumor-promoting microenvironment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and can be restored by appropriate chemotherapy.
To test this hypothesis, we analyzed microarray gene expression profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 30 patients with newly-diagnosed advanced stage NSCLC, and 20 age-, sex-, and co-morbidity-matched healthy controls. All the patients received a median of four courses of chemotherapy with cisplatin and gemcitabine for a 28-day cycle as first line treatment.
Sixty-nine differentially expressed genes between the patients and controls, and 59 differentially expressed genes before and after chemotherapy were identified. The IL4 pathway was significantly enriched in both tumor progression and chemotherapy signatures. CXCR4 and IL2RG were down-regulated, while DOK2 and S100A15 were up-regulated in the patients, and expressions of all four genes were partially or totally reversed after chemotherapy. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR for the four up-regulated (S100A15, DOK2) and down-regulated (TLR7, TOP1MT) genes in the patients, and the six up-regulated (TLR7, CRISP3, TOP1MT) and down-regulated (S100A15, DOK2, IL2RG) genes after chemotherapy confirmed the validity of the microarray results. Further immunohistochemical analysis of the paraffin-embedded lung cancer tissues identified strong S100A15 nuclear staining not only in stage IV NSCLC as compared to stage IIIB NSCLC (p = 0.005), but also in patients with stable or progressive disease as compared to those with a partial response (p = 0.032). A high percentage of S100A15 nuclear stained cells (HR 1.028, p = 0.01) was the only independent factor associated with three-year overall mortality.
Our results suggest a potential role of the IL4 pathway in immune surveillance of advanced stage NSCLC, and immune potentiation of combination chemotherapy. S100A15 may serve as a potential biomarker for tumor staging, and a predictor of poor prognosis in NSCLC.
Our previous work indicated that TWEAK is associated with various types of cutaneous vasculitis (CV). Herein, we investigate the effects of TWEAK on vascular injury and adhesion molecule expression in CV mice. We showed that TWEAK priming in mice induced a local CV. Furthermore, TWEAK priming also increased the extravasation of FITC-BSA, myeloperoxidase activity and the expression of E-selectin and ICAM-1. Conversely, TWEAK blockade ameliorated the LPS-induced vascular damage, leukocyte infiltrates and adhesion molecules expression in LPS-induced CV. In addition, TWEAK treatment of HDMECs up-regulated E-selectin and ICAM-1 expression at both mRNA and protein levels. TWEAK also enhanced the adhesion of PMNs to HDMECs. Finally, western blot data revealed that TWEAK can induce phosphorylation of p38, JNK and ERK in HDMECs. These data suggest that TWEAK acted as an inducer of E-selectin and ICAM-1 expression in CV mice and HDMECs, may contribute to the development of CV.
The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) has become one of the hotspots for phylogeographical studies due to its high species diversity. However, most previous studies have focused on the effects of the Quaternary glaciations on phylogeographical structures and the locations of glacial refugia, and little is known about the effects of the aridization of interior Asia on plant population structure and speciation. Here the chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) trnT-trnF and trnS-trnfM sequences were used to investigate the differentiation and phylogeographical history of 14 Ephedra species from the QTP and northern China, based on a sampling of 107 populations. The phylogeographical analysis, together with phylogenetic reconstruction based on combined four cpDNA fragments (rbcL, rpl16, rps4, and trnS-trnfM), supports three main lineages (eastern QTP, southern QTP, and northern China) of these Ephedra species. Divergence of each lineage could be dated to the Middle or Late Miocene, and was very likely linked to the uplift of the QTP and the Asian aridification, given the high drought and/or cold tolerance of Ephedra. Most of the Ephedra species had low intraspecific variation and lacked a strong phylogeographical structure, which could be partially attributed to clonal reproduction and a relatively recent origin. In addition, ten of the detected 25 cpDNA haplotypes are shared among species, suggesting that a wide sampling of species is helpful to investigate the origin of observed haplotypes and make reliable phylogeographical inference. Moreover, the systematic positions of some Ephedra species are discussed.
Factors that enhance the intrinsic growth potential of adult neurons are key players in the successful repair and regeneration of neurons following injury. Injury-induced activation of transcription factors has a central role in this process because they regulate expression of regeneration-associated genes. Sox11 is a developmentally expressed transcription factor that is significantly induced in adult neurons in response to injury. Its function in injured neurons is however undefined. Here, we report studies that use herpes simplex virus (HSV)-vector-mediated expression of Sox11 in adult sensory neurons to assess the effect of Sox11 overexpression on neuron regeneration. Cultured mouse dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons transfected with HSV-Sox11 exhibited increased neurite elongation and branching relative to naïve and HSV-vector control treated neurons. Neurons from mice injected in foot skin with HSV-Sox11 exhibited accelerated regeneration of crushed saphenous nerves as indicated by faster regrowth of axons and nerve fibers to the skin, increased myelin thickness and faster return of nerve and skin sensitivity. Downstream targets of HSV-Sox11 were examined by analyzing changes in gene expression of known regeneration-associated genes. This analysis in combination with mutational and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays indicates that the ability of Sox11 to accelerate in vivo nerve regeneration is dependent on its transcriptional activation of the regeneration-associated gene, small proline rich protein 1a (Sprr1a). This finding reveals a new functional linkage between Sox11 and Sprr1a in adult peripheral neuron regeneration.
transcriptional control; sry; skin delivery; saphenous nerve injury; HSV vector
The counselling of poor ovarian responders about the probability of pregnancy remains a puzzle for gynaecologists. The aim of this study was to optimise the management of poor responders by investigating the role of the oocyte-derived factor bone morphogenetic protein-15 (BMP-15) combined with chronological age in the prediction of the outcome of in-vitro fertilisation-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) in poor responders.
A retrospective study conducted in a university hospital. A total of 207 poor ovarian responders who reached the ovum pick-up stage undergoing IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with three or fewer follicles no less than 14 mm on the day of oocyte retrieval were recruited from July 1, 2008 to December 31, 2009. Another 215 coinstantaneous cycles with normal responses were selected as controls. The BMP-15 levels in the follicular fluid (FF) of the 207 poor responders were analysed by western blot. Based on the FF BMP-15 level and age, poor responders were sub-divided into four groups. The main outcome measures were the FF BMP-15 level, implantation rate, pregnancy rate, and live birth rate.
The implantation rate (24.2% vs. 15.3%), chemical pregnancy rate (40% vs. 23.7%), clinical pregnancy rate (36.5% vs. 20.4%) and live birth rate (29.4% vs. 15.1%) in the high BMP-15 group were significantly higher than those in the low BMP-15 group. Furthermore, poor responders aged less than or equal to 35 years with a higher FF BMP-15 level had the best implantation, pregnancy and live birth rates, which were comparable with those of normal responders.
Our study suggests a potential role of BMP-15 in the prediction of the IVF outcome. A high FF BMP-15 combined with an age less than or equal to 35 years may be used as a potential indicator for repeating IVF cycles in poor ovarian responders.
Poor response; IVF-ET; BMP-15; Oocyte; Age; Retrospective study
Two mouse models were used to assay the antiallergic effects of the velvet antler (VA) of Formosan sambar deer (Cervus unicolor swinhoei) in this study. The results using the ovalbumin- (OVA-) sensitized mouse model showed that the levels of total IgE and OVA-specific IgE were reduced after VA powder was administrated for 4 weeks. In addition, the ex vivo results indicated that the secretion of T helper cell 1 (Th1), regulatory T (Treg), and Th17 cytokines by splenocytes was significantly increased (P < 0.05) when VA powder was administered to the mice. Furthermore, OVA-allergic asthma mice that have been orally administrated with VA powder showed a strong inhibition of Th2 cytokine and proinflammatory cytokine production in bronchoalveolar fluid compared to control mice. An increase in the regulatory T-cell population of splenocytes in the allergic asthma mice after oral administration of VA was also observed. All the features of the asthmatic phenotype, including airway inflammation and the development of airway hyperresponsiveness, were reduced by treatment with VA. These findings support the hypothesis that oral feeding of VA may be an effective way of alleviating asthmatic symptoms in humans.
Hepatitis B and schistosomiasis are most prevalent in Africa and Asia, and co-infections of both are frequent in these areas. The immunomodulation reported to be induced by schistosome infections might restrict immune control of hepatitis B virus (HBV) leading to more severe viral infection. Vaccination is the most effective measure to control and prevent HBV infection, but there is evidence for a reduced immune response to the vaccine in patients with chronic schistosomiasis japonica.
In this paper, we demonstrate in a mouse model that a chronic Schistosoma japonicum infection can inhibit the immune response to hepatitis B vaccine (HBV vaccine) and lead to lower production of anti-HBs antibodies, interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin-2 (IL-2). After deworming with Praziquantel (PZQ), the level of anti-HBs antibodies gradually increased and the Th2-biased profile slowly tapered. At 16 weeks after deworming, the levels of anti-HBs antibodies and Th1/Th2 cytokines returned to the normal levels.
The results suggest that the preexisting Th2-dominated immune profile in the host infected with the parasite may down–regulate levels of anti-HBs antibodies and Th1 cytokines. To improve the efficacy of HBV vaccination in schistosome infected humans it may be valuable to treat them with praziquantel (PZQ) some time prior to HBV vaccination.
There are no effective medications for the treatment of social cognition/function deficits in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and adult intervention literature in this area is sparse. Emerging data from animal models and genetic association studies as well as early, single-dose intervention studies suggest that the oxytocin system may be a potential therapeutic target for social cognition/function deficits in ASD. The primary aim of this study was to examine the safety/therapeutic effects of intranasal oxytocin versus placebo in adults with ASD, with respect to the two core symptom domains of social cognition/functioning and repetitive behaviors.
This was a pilot, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel design trial of intranasal oxytocin versus placebo in 19 adults with ASD (16 males; 33.20 ± 13.29 years). Subjects were randomized to 24 IU intranasal oxytocin or placebo in the morning and afternoon for 6 weeks. Measures of social function/cognition (the Diagnostic Analysis of Nonverbal Accuracy) and repetitive behaviors (Repetitive Behavior Scale Revised) were administered. Secondary measures included the Social Responsiveness Scale, Reading-the-Mind-in-the-Eyes Test and the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale – compulsion subscale and quality of life (World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire – emotional/social subscales). Full-information maximum-likelihood parameter estimates were obtained and tested using mixed-effects regression analyses.
Although no significant changes were detected in the primary outcome measures after correcting for baseline differences, results suggested improvements after 6 weeks in measures of social cognition (Reading-the-Mind-in-the-Eyes Test, p = 0.002, d = 1.2), and quality of life (World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionnaire – emotion, p = 0.031, d = 0.84), both secondary measures. Oxytocin was well tolerated and no serious adverse effects were reported.
This pilot study suggests that there is therapeutic potential to daily administration of intranasal oxytocin in adults with ASD and that larger and longer studies are warranted.
Autism; Adults; Oxytocin; Clinical trial; Social cognition
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a rare heterogeneous population of multipotent cells that can be isolated from many different adult and fetal tissues. They exhibit the capacity to give rise to cells of multiple lineages and are defined by their phenotype and functional properties, such as spindle-shaped morphology, adherence to plastic, immune response modulation capacity, and multilineage differentiation potential. Accordingly, MSCs have a wide range of promising applications in the treatment of autoimmune diseases, tissue repair, and regeneration. Recent studies have shed some light on the exact identity and native distribution of MSCs, whereas controversial results are still being reported, indicating the need for further review on their definition and origin. In this article, we summarize the important progress and describe some of our own relevant work on the developmental definition of MSCs.
The role of thyroid hormone metabolism in clinical outcomes of the critically ill remains unclear. Using preclinical models of acute lung injury (ALI), we assessed the gene and protein expression of type 2 deiodinase (DIO2), a key driver for synthesis of biologically active triiodothyronine, and addressed potential association of DIO2 genetic variants with ALI in a multiethnic cohort. DIO2 gene and protein expression levels in murine lung were validated by microarrays and immunoblotting. Lung injury was assessed by levels of bronchoalveolar lavage protein and leukocytes. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped and ALI susceptibility association assessed. Significant increases in both DIO2 gene and D2 protein expression were observed in lung tissues from murine ALI models (LPS- and ventilator-induced lung injury), with expression directly increasing with the extent of lung injury. Mice with reduced levels of DIO2 expression (by silencing RNA) demonstrated reduced thyroxine levels in plasma and increased lung injury (increased bronchoalveolar lavage protein and leukocytes), suggesting a protective role for DIO2 in ALI. The G (Ala) allele of the Thr92Ala coding single-nucleotide polymorphism (rs225014) was protective in severe sepsis and severe sepsis–associated ALI after adjustments for age, sex, and genetic ancestry in a logistic regression model in European Americans. Our studies indicate that DIO2 is a novel ALI candidate gene, the nonsynonymous Thr92Ala coding variant of which confers ALI protection. Increased DIO2 expression may dampen the ALI inflammatory response, thereby strengthening the premise that thyroid hormone metabolism is intimately linked to the integrated response to inflammatory injury in critically ill patients.
acute respiratory distress syndrome; hypothyroidism; mechanical ventilation; sepsis
Particulate matter (PM) air pollution exerts significant adverse health effects in global populations, particularly in developing countries with extensive air pollution. Understanding of the mechanisms of PM-induced health effects including the risk for cardiovascular diseases remains limited. In addition to the direct cellular physiological responses such as mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, PM mediates remarkable dysregulation of gene expression, especially in cardiovascular tissues. The PM-mediated gene dysregulation is likely to be a complex mechanism affected by various genetic and non-genetic factors. Notably, PM is known to alter epigenetic markers (e.g., DNA methylation and histone modifications), which may contribute to air pollution-mediated health consequences including the risk for cardiovascular diseases. Notably, epigenetic changes induced by ambient PM exposure have emerged to play a critical role in gene regulation. Though the underlying mechanism(s) are not completely clear, the available evidence suggests that the modulated activities of DNA methyltransferase (DNMT), histone acetylase (HAT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) may contribute to the epigenetic changes induced by PM or PM-related chemicals. By employing genome-wide epigenomic and systems biology approaches, PM toxicogenomics could conceivably progress greatly with the potential identification of individual epigenetic loci associated with dysregulated gene expression after PM exposure, as well the interactions between epigenetic pathways and PM. Furthermore, novel therapeutic targets based on epigenetic markers could be identified through future epigenomic studies on PM-mediated cardiopulmonary toxicities. These considerations collectively inform the future population health applications of genomics in developing countries while benefiting global personalized medicine at the same time.
Cardiopulmonary toxicity; developing country genomics; epigenetics; epigenomics; particulate matter; public health pharmacogenomics; toxicogenomics; systems biology
The -93G>A (rs1800734) polymorphism located in the promoter of mismatch repair gene, MLH1, has been identified as a low-penetrance variant for cancer risk. Many published studies have evaluated the association between the MLH1 -93G>A polymorphism and colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. However, the results remain conflicting rather than conclusive.
The aim of this study was to assess the association between the MLH1 -93G>A polymorphism and the risk of CRC.
To derive a more precise estimation of the association, a meta-analysis of six studies (17,791 cases and 13,782 controls) was performed. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to evaluate the strength of the association. Four of these published studies were performed on subjects of known microsatellite instability (MSI) status. An additional analysis including 742 cases and 10,895 controls was used to assess the association between the MLH1 -93G>A polymorphism and the risk of MSI-CRC.
The overall results indicated that the variant genotypes were associated with a significantly increased risk of CRC (AG versus GG: OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.01–1.11; AA/AG versus GG: OR = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.01–1.11). This increased risk was also found during stratified analysis of MSI status (AA versus GG: OR = 2.52, 95% CI = 1.94–3.28; AG versus GG: OR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.10–1.52; AA/AG versus GG: OR = 1.45, 95% CI = 1.24–1.68; AA versus AG/GG: OR = 2.29, 95% CI = 1.78–2.96). Egger’s test did not show any evidence of publication bias.
Our results suggest that the MLH1 -93G>A polymorphism may contribute to individual susceptibility to CRC and act as a risk factor for MSI-CRC.
Oridonin is a diterpenoid with anti-cancer activity that occurs in the Chinese medicinal plant Isodon rubescens and some related species. While the bioactivity of oridonin has been well studied, the extent of natural variation in the production of this compound is poorly known. This study characterizes natural variation in oridonin production in order to guide selection of populations of Isodon with highest oridonin yield. Different populations of I. rubescens and related species were collected in China, and their offspring were grown in a greenhouse. Samples were examined for oridonin content, genotyped using 11 microsatellites, and representatives were sequenced for three phylogenetic markers (ITS, rps16, trnL-trnF). Oridonin production was mapped on a molecular phylogeny of the genus Isodon using samples from each population as well as previously published Genbank sequences. Oridonin has been reported in 12 out of 74 species of Isodon examined for diterpenoids, and the phylogeny indicates that oridonin production has arisen at least three times in the genus. Oridonin production was surprisingly consistent between wild-collected parents and greenhouse-grown offspring, despite evidence of gene flow between oridonin-producing and non-producing populations of Isodon. Additionally, microsatellite genetic distance between individuals was significantly correlated with chemical distance in both parents and offspring. Neither heritability nor correlation with genetic distance were significant when the comparison was restricted to only populations of I. rubescens, but this result should be corroborated using additional samples. Based on these results, future screening of Isodon populations for oridonin yield should initially prioritize a broad survey of all species known to produce oridonin, rather than focusing on multiple populations of one species, such as I. rubescens. Of the samples examined here, I. rubescens or I. japonicus from Henan province would provide the best source of oridonin.
In the title molecule, C16H14N4O, the indolizine ring system is essentially planar, with a maximum deviation of 0.013 (3) Å, and forms a dihedral angle of 7.52 (12)° with the pyrazole ring. In the crystal, weak C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds and π–π stacking interactions, with a centroid–centroid distance of 3.6378 (16) Å, link molecules along .
Lung transplantation remains the only viable therapy for patients with end-stage lung disease. However, the full utilization of this strategy is severely compromised by a lack of donor lung availability. The vast majority of donor lungs available for transplantation are from individuals after brain death (BD). Unfortunately, the early autonomic storm that accompanies BD often results in neurogenic pulmonary edema (NPE), producing varying degrees of lung injury or leading to primary graft dysfunction after transplantation. We demonstrated that sphingosine 1–phosphate (S1P)/analogues, which are major barrier-enhancing agents, reduce vascular permeability via the S1P1 receptor, S1PR1. Because primary lung graft dysfunction is induced by lung vascular endothelial cell barrier dysfunction, we hypothesized that the S1PR1 agonist, SEW-2871, may attenuate NPE when administered to the donor shortly after BD. Significant lung injury was observed after BD, with increases of approximately 60% in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) total protein, cell counts, and lung tissue wet/dry (W/D) weight ratios. In contrast, rats receiving SEW-2871 (0.1 mg/kg) 15 minutes after BD and assessed after 4 hours exhibited significant lung protection (∼ 50% reduction, P = 0.01), as reflected by reduced BAL protein/albumin, cytokines, cellularity, and lung tissue wet/dry weight ratio. Microarray analysis at 4 hours revealed a global impact of both BD and SEW on lung gene expression, with a differential gene expression of enriched immune-response/inflammation pathways across all groups. Overall, SEW served to attenuate the BD-mediated up-regulation of gene expression. Two potential biomarkers, TNF and chemokine CC motif receptor-like 2, exhibited gene array dysregulation. We conclude that SEW-2871 significantly attenuates BD-induced lung injury, and may serve as a potential candidate to improve human donor availability.
neurogenic pulmonary edema; lung injury; sphingosine 1–phosphate; sphingolipids; lung transplant donors
No optimal housekeeping genes (HKGs) have been identified for CD4+ T cells from non-depressive asthmatic and depressive asthmatic adults for normalizing quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assays. The aim of present study was to select appropriate HKGs for gene expression analysis in purified CD4+ T cells from these asthmatics.
Three groups of subjects (Non-depressive asthmatic, NDA, n = 10, Depressive asthmatic, DA, n = 11, and Healthy control, HC, n = 10 respectively) were studied. qPCR for 9 potential HKGs, namely RNA, 28S ribosomal 1 (RN28S1), ribosomal protein, large, P0 (RPLP0), actin, beta (ACTB), cyclophilin A (PPIA), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), phosphoglycerate kinase 1 (PGK1), beta-2-microglobulin (B2M), glucuronidase, beta (GUSB) and ribosomal protein L13a (RPL13A), was performed. Then the data were analyzed with three different applications namely BestKeeper, geNorm, and NormFinder.
The analysis of gene expression data identified B2M and RPLP0 as the most stable reference genes and showed that the level of PPIA was significantly different among subjects of three groups when the two best HKGs identified were applied. Post-hoc analysis by Student-Newman-Keuls correction shows that depressive asthmatics and non-depressive asthmatics exhibited lower expression level of PPIA than healthy controls (p<0.05).
B2M and RPLP0 were identified as the most optimal HKGs in gene expression studies involving human blood CD4+ T cells derived from normal, depressive asthmatics and non-depressive asthmatics. The suitability of using the PPIA gene as the HKG for such studies was questioned due to its low expression in asthmatics.
Coal workers' pneumoconiosis (CWP), resulting from the inhalation of silica-containing coal mine dust, is characterized by fibrosing nodular lesions that eventually develop into progressive pulmonary fibrosis. Recently, it has been hypothesized that inflammasomes could have a crucial role in the host response to silica and recent studies show that the inflammasome contributes to inflammation and pulmonary fibrosis. NLRP3, CARD8 are components of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which triggers caspase 1-mediated IL-1β and IL-18 release. In the present study, we investigated whether common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in inflammasome genes are associated with CWP.
We performed an association study analyzing 3 NLRP3, 1 CARD8, 1 IL-1β, 2 IL-18 SNPs in a case-control study of 697 CWP and 694 controls. Genotyping was carried out by the TaqMan method.
The NLRP3 rs1539019 TT genotype was associated with a significantly increased risk of CWP (adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.07–1.81), compared with the GG/GT genotype, in particular among smokers (adjusted OR = 1.67, 95%CI = 1.15–2.42). In addition, the polymorphism was significantly associated with risk of CWP patients with stage I.
This is the first report showing an association between the NLRP3 rs1539019 polymorphism and CWP, and suggests that this polymorphism may confer increased risk for the development of the disease. Further studies are warranted to confirm our findings.
Red1, Hop1 and Mek1 are three yeast meiosis-specific chromosomal proteins that uphold the interhomolog (IH) bias of meiotic recombination. Mek1 is also an effector protein kinase in a checkpoint that responds to aberrant DNA and/or axis structure. The activation of Mek1 requires Red1-dependent Hop1-Thr(T)318 phosphorylation, which is mediated by Mec1 and Tel1, the yeast homologs of the mammalian DNA damage sensor kinases ATR and ATM. As the ectopic expression of Mek1-glutathione S-transferase (GST) was shown to promote IH recombination in the absence of Mec1/Tel1-dependent checkpoint function, it was proposed that Mek1 might play dual roles during meiosis by directly phosphorylating targets that are involved in the recombination checkpoint. Here, we report that Mek1 has a positive feedback activity in the stabilization of Mec1/Tel1-mediated Hop1-T318 phosphorylation against the dephosphorylation mediated by protein phosphatase 4. Our results also reveal that GST-Mek1 or Mek1-GST further increases Hop1-T318 phosphorylation. This positive feedback function of Mek1 is independent of Mek1’s kinase activity, but dependent on Mek1’s forkhead-associated (FHA) domain and its arginine 51 residue. Arginine 51 directly mediates the interaction of Mek1-FHA and phosphorylated Hop1-T318. We suggest that the Hop1–Mek1 interaction is similar to the Rad53-Dun1 signaling pathway, which is mediated through the interaction of phosphorylated Rad53 and Dun1-FHA.
The industrially important cellulolytic filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei is the anamorph of the pantropical ascomycete Hypocrea jecorina. H. jecorina CBS999.97 strain undergoes a heterothallic reproductive cycle, and the mating yields fertilized perithecia imbedded in stromata. Asci in the perithecia contain 16 linearly arranged ascospores. Here, we investigated H. jecorina sexual development under different light regimes, and found that visible light was dispensable for sexual development (stroma formation and ascospore discharge). By contrast, constant illumination inhibited stroma formation, and an interruption of the darkness facilitated timely stroma formation in a 12 h/12 h light-dark photoperiod. The results of genetic analyses further revealed that H. jecorina blue-light photoreceptors (BLR1, BLR2) and the photoadaptation protein ENV1 were not essential for sexual development in general. BLR1, BLR2 and ENV1 are orthologues of the conserved Neurospora crassa WC-1, WC-2 and VVD, respectively. Moreover, BLR1 and BLR2 mediate both positive and negative light-dependent regulation on sexual development, whereas ENV1 is required for dampening the light-dependent inhibitory effect in response to changes in illumination. Comparative genome-wide microarray analysis demonstrated an overview of light-dependent gene expression versus sexual potency in CBS999.97 (MAT1–2) haploid cells. Constant illumination promotes abundant asexual conidiation and high levels of hpp1 transcripts. hpp1 encodes a h (hybrid)-type propheromone that exhibits features of both yeast a and a pheromone precursors. Deletion of hpp1 could rescue stroma formation but not ascospore generation under constant illumination. We inferred that the HPP1-dependent pheromone signaling system might directly prevent stroma formation or simply disallow the haploid cells to acquire sexual potency due to abundant asexual conidiation upon constant illumination.
Normal function of human leukocyte antigen class I (HLA-I) and antigen processing machinery (APM) proteins is required for T cell-mediated anti-tumor or antiviral immunity, whereas the tumor survival indicates a failure of the host in immune surveillance associated with the dysfunction in antigen presentation, mainly due to the deregulation in HLA-I and APM expression or function. The posttranscriptional regulation of HLA-I and APM expression may associate with epigenetic modifications in cancer development which was not described so far. Here we showed that the development of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) in Uighur women was accompanied with the partial or total loss of protein expression of HLA-I, ß2-m and APM components, including the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP1/2), low molecular mass protein (LMP2, LMP7), endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1(ERAP1), chaperone molecules include calreticulin (CLR), calnexin (CNX) and ERp57, and this was proved again by analysis of transcription of the same genes in addition to three genes HLA-A, B and C coding for HLA-I. By bisulfite sequencing approach, we identified target CpG islands methylated at the gene promoter region of TAP1, TAP2, LMP7, tapasin and ERp57 in cervical carcinoma cells. Further analysis of CpG site specific methylation of these genes in cases of CSCC and CIN demonstrated an inverse correlation of altered CpG island methylation of TAP1, LMP7, and ERp57 with changes in protein expression. Moreover, promoter methylation of these genes was significantly higher in cases positive for human papillomavirus 16 (HPV 16) than negative ones. Our results suggested that epigenetic modifications are responsible for the aberrant expression of certain HLA-I and APM genes, and may help to understand unrevealed mechanisms of tumor escape from immune surveillance in cervical carcinogenesis.
Antibody single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) offer particular advantages over the full-size antibodies, including easy expression, efficient local concentration and fast body clearance. However, scFvs typically show low thermal stability that limits their biomedical and biotechnological applications. In this study, we examined the thermal stability of the human and murine vascular endothelial growth factor antibody scFv fragment by molecular dynamics simulations. A consistent observation was the dissociation of the light-chain (VL) and heavy-chain (VH) domains and loss of the native structures of both domains in the simulations at the elevated temperatures. The stability-limiting structural elements in the protein were revealed from the detailed analyses on the native contacts. We found that dissociation of the VL–VH domains was the first event leading to the unfolding of the native structure of the protein and the disruption of the VL–VH interface was largely due to the break of the interfacial hydrophobic and aromatic interactions while the hydrogen-bonding interaction between Gln38 in VL and Gln39 in VH remained. Within the β-barrel structure of the VL and VH domains, β-strands β6, β2 and β11 appeared to be the least stable. In addition, we found that the VH domain was more thermally resistant than the VL domain. Based on these findings, we discussed potential strategies to improve the stability of this therapeutically important scFv fragment.
molecular dynamics; single chain fragment; stability
Exposure to particulate matter (PM) is a significant risk factor for increased cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality. The mechanism of PM-mediated pathophysiology remains unknown. However, PM is proinflammatory to the endothelium and increases vascular permeability in vitro and in vivo via ROS generation.
We explored the role of tight junction proteins as targets for PM-induced loss of lung endothelial cell (EC) barrier integrity and enhanced cardiopulmonary dysfunction.
Changes in human lung EC monolayer permeability were assessed by Transendothelial Electrical Resistance (TER) in response to PM challenge (collected from Ft. McHenry Tunnel, Baltimore, MD, particle size >0.1 μm). Biochemical assessment of ROS generation and Ca2+ mobilization were also measured.
PM exposure induced tight junction protein Zona occludens-1 (ZO-1) relocation from the cell periphery, which was accompanied by significant reductions in ZO-1 protein levels but not in adherens junction proteins (VE-cadherin and β-catenin). N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC, 5 mM) reduced PM-induced ROS generation in ECs, which further prevented TER decreases and atteneuated ZO-1 degradation. PM also mediated intracellular calcium mobilization via the transient receptor potential cation channel M2 (TRPM2), in a ROS-dependent manner with subsequent activation of the Ca2+-dependent protease calpain. PM-activated calpain is responsible for ZO-1 degradation and EC barrier disruption. Overexpression of ZO-1 attenuated PM-induced endothelial barrier disruption and vascular hyperpermeability in vivo and in vitro.
These results demonstrate that PM induces marked increases in vascular permeability via ROS-mediated calcium leakage via activated TRPM2, and via ZO-1 degradation by activated calpain. These findings support a novel mechanism for PM-induced lung damage and adverse cardiovascular outcomes.
Calpain; Endothelial permeability; Particulate matter; ROS; TRPM2
The photosynthetic oxygen-evolving photo system II (PS II) produces almost the entire oxygen in the atmosphere. This unique biochemical system comprises a functional core complex that is encoded by psbA and other genes. Unraveling the evolutionary dynamics of this gene is of particular interest owing to its direct role in oxygen production. psbA underwent gene duplication in leptosporangiates, in which both copies have been preserved since. Because gene duplication is often followed by the non-fictionalization of one of the copies and its subsequent erosion, preservation of both psbA copies pinpoint functional or regulatory specialization events. The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular evolution of psbA among fern lineages.
We sequenced psbA , which encodes D1 protein in the core complex of PSII, in 20 species representing 8 orders of extant ferns; then we searched for selection and convolution signatures in psbA across the 11 fern orders. Collectively, our results indicate that: (1) selective constraints among D1 protein relaxed after the duplication in 4 leptosporangiate orders; (2) a handful positively selected codons were detected within species of single copy psbA, but none in duplicated ones; (3) a few sites among D1 protein were involved in co-evolution process which may intimate significant functional/structural communications between them.
The strong competition between ferns and angiosperms for light may have been the main cause for a continuous fixation of adaptive amino acid changes in psbA , in particular after its duplication. Alternatively, a single psbA copy may have undergone bursts of adaptive changes at the molecular level to overcome angiosperms competition. The strong signature of positive Darwinian selection in a major part of D1 protein is testament to this. At the same time, species own two psbA copies hardly have positive selection signals among the D1 protein coding sequences. In this study, eleven co-evolving sites have been detected via different molecules, which may be more important than others.