Insulin resistance (IR) is a key determinant of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and other metabolic disorders. This genome-wide association study (GWAS) was designed to shed light on the genetic basis of fasting insulin (FI) and IR in 927 non-diabetic African Americans. 5 396 838 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were tested for associations with FI or IR with adjustments for age, sex, body mass index, hypertension status and first two principal components. Genotyped SNPs (n = 12) with P < 5 × 10−6 in African Americans were carried forward for de novo genotyping in 570 non-diabetic West Africans. We replicated SNPs in or near SC4MOL and TCERG1L in West Africans. The meta-analysis of 1497 African Americans and West Africans yielded genome-wide significant associations for SNPs in the SC4MOL gene: rs17046216 (P = 1.7 × 10−8 and 2.9 × 10−8 for FI and IR, respectively); and near the TCERG1L gene with rs7077836 as the top scoring (P = 7.5 × 10−9 and 4.9 × 10−10 for FI and IR, respectively). In silico replication in the MAGIC study (n = 37 037) showed weak but significant association (adjusted P-value of 0.0097) for rs34602777 in the MYO5A gene. In addition, we replicated previous GWAS findings for IR and FI in Europeans for GCKR, and for variants in four T2D loci (FTO, IRS1, KLF14 and PPARG) which exert their action via IR. In summary, variants in/near SC4MOL, and TCERG1L were associated with FI and IR in this cohort of African Americans and were replicated in West Africans. SC4MOL is under-expressed in an animal model of T2D and plays a key role in lipid biosynthesis, with implications for the regulation of energy metabolism, obesity and dyslipidemia. TCERG1L is associated with plasma adiponectin, a key modulator of obesity, inflammation, IR and diabetes.
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (AARSs) catalyze aminoacylation of tRNAs in the cytoplasm. Surprisingly, AARSs also have critical extracellular and nuclear functions. Evolutionary pressure for new functions might be manifested by splice variants that skip only an internal catalytic domain (CD) and link non-catalytic N- and C-terminal polypeptides. Using disease-associated histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS) as an example, we discovered an expressed 171 amino acid protein (HisRSΔCD) that deleted the entire CD, and joined an N-terminal WHEP to the C-terminal anticodon-binding domain (ABD). X-ray crystallographic and 3-D NMR methods revealed the first structures of human HisRS and HisRSΔCD. In contrast to homodimeric HisRS, HisRSΔCD is monomeric, where rupture of the ABD’s packing with CD resulted in a dumbbell-like structure of flexibly linked WHEP and ABD domains. In addition, the ABD of HisRSΔCD presents a new local conformation. This natural internally deleted HisRS suggests evolutionary pressure to reshape AARS tertiary and quaternary structures for repurposing.
Schistosoma japonicum is a parasitic flatworm that causes human schistosomiasis, a significant cause of morbidity in China and the Philippines. Here we present a draft genomic sequence for the worm, which is the first reported for any flatworm, indeed for the superphylum Lophotrochozoa. The genome provides a global insight into the molecular architecture and host interaction of this complex metazoan pathogen, revealing that it can exploit host nutrients, neuroendocrine hormones and signaling pathways for growth, development and maturation. Having a complex nervous system and a well developed sensory system, S. japonicum can accept stimulation of the corresponding ligands as a physiological response to different environments, such as fresh water or the tissues of its intermediate and mammalian hosts. Numerous proteinases, including cercarial elastase, are implicated in mammalian skin penetration and haemoglobin degradation. The genomic information will serve as a valuable platform to facilitate development of new interventions for schistosomiasis control.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) are the most common mesenchymal neoplasms. However, duodenal GISTs compromise a small and rare subset and few studies have focused on them. We evaluated the surgical management of patients with duodenal GISTs treated by pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD) versus local resection (LR) in our institution and analyzed the postoperative outcomes.
This was a retrospective review of patients with duodenal GISTs managed in our institution from January 2006 to January 2012. Clinicopathologic findings and disease-free survival (DFS) of duodenal GIST patients were analyzed.
A total of 48 patients were selected. The most common presentation was bleeding (60.4%), and the second portion of the duodenum (35.4%) was the most common dominant site. Of the patients, 34 (70.8%) underwent LR while 14 (29.2%) underwent PD. The surgical margins for all studied patients were free. Patients who ultimately underwent PD were more likely to present with a larger tumor (median size: PD, 6.3 cm vs LR, 4.0 cm; P = 0.02) and more commonly presented with a tumor in the second portion of the duodenum (second portion: PD, 64.3% vs LR, 23.5%; P = 0.007). The tumors treated by PD had a higher grade of risk compared with LR as defined by National Institutes of Health (NIH) criteria (P = 0.019). PD was significantly associated with a longer operation time and a longer hospital stay compared to LR (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001, respectively). In our study, the median follow-up period was 36 months (range: 0 to 81 months). The 1- and 3-year DFS was 100% and 88%, respectively. From multivariable analysis, the only significant factor associated with a worse DFS was an NIH high risk classification (hazard ratio = 4.24).
The recurrence of duodenal GIST was correlated to tumor biology rather than type of operation. PD was associated with a longer hospital stay and longer operation time. Therefore, LR with clear surgical margins should be considered a reliable and curative option for duodenal GIST and PD should be reserved for lesions not amenable to LR.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST); Duodenum; Local resection; Pancreaticoduodenectomy; Surgery
T lymphocyte dysfunction contributes to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) disease progression by impairing antivirus cellular immunity. However, the mechanisms of HIV-1 infection-mediated T cell dysfunction are not completely understood. Here, we provide evidence that expansion of monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (M-MDSCs) suppressed T cell function in HIV-1-infected individuals. We observed a dramatic elevation of M-MDSCs (HLA-DR−/low CD11b+ CD33+/high CD14+ CD15− cells) in the peripheral blood of HIV-1-seropositive subjects (n = 61) compared with healthy controls (n = 51), despite efficacious antiretroviral therapy for nearly 2 years. The elevated M-MDSC frequency in HIV-1+ subjects correlated with prognostic HIV-1 disease markers, including the HIV-1 load (r = 0.5957; P < 0.0001), CD4+ T cell loss (r = −0.5312; P < 0.0001), and activated T cells (r = 0.4421; P = 0.0004). Functional studies showed that M-MDSCs from HIV-1+ subjects suppressed T cell responses in both HIV-1-specific and antigen-nonspecific manners; this effect was dependent on the induction of arginase 1 and required direct cell-cell contact. Further investigations revealed that direct HIV-1 infection or culture with HIV-1-derived Tat protein significantly enhanced human MDSC generation in vitro, and MDSCs from healthy donors could be directly infected by HIV-1 to facilitate HIV-1 replication and transmission, indicating that a positive-feedback loop between HIV-1 infection and MDSC expansion existed. In summary, our studies revealed a novel mechanism of T cell dysfunction in HIV-1-infected individuals and suggested that targeting MDSCs may be a promising strategy for HIV-1 immunotherapy.
Gonadotropin cell is the main responsible for the secretion of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), and immunocastration reduces the concentrations of serum FSH and LH. A few studies have reported the histological structure of gonadotropin cells obtained from immunocastration animals at the light microscopy level. However, the ultrastructure of gonadotropin cells remains largely unexplored. The aim of this study was to evaluate and to compare ultrastructure of gonadotropin cell in gonadally intact boars and immunologically castrated male animals.
In this study, serum and adenohypophysis tissue were collected from nine gonadally intact boars and nine male pigs treated with recombinant gonadotropin releasing hormone I (GnRH-I). Anti-GnRH-I antibodies in serum and the ultrastructure of gonadotropin cell in adenohypophysis were determined by enzymelinked immunosorbent assay and electron microscopy, respectively. The results demonstrated that active immunization against recombinant GnRH-I increased serum GnRH-I antibody levels (P<0.05). Ultramicroscopic analysis of gonadotropin cell revealed a decrease (P<0.05) in the number and size of the large granules and small granules in the recombinant GnRH-I immunized animals.
We conclude that immunization against recombinant GnRH-I induces severe atrophy of granules in gonadotropin cell of boars, possibly reflecting GnRH-I regulation of gonadotropin cell.
Ultrastructure; Gonadotropin; Boar; Immunization; GnRH-I
C-reactive protein (CRP) is an acute phase reactant protein produced primarily by the liver. Circulating CRP levels are influenced by genetic and non-genetic factors, including infection and obesity. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide an unbiased approach towards identifying loci influencing CRP levels. None of the six GWAS for CRP levels has been conducted in an African ancestry population. The present study aims to: (i) identify genetic variants that influence serum CRP in African Americans (AA) using a genome-wide association approach and replicate these findings in West Africans (WA), (ii) assess transferability of major signals for CRP reported in European ancestry populations (EA) to AA and (iii) use the weak linkage disequilibrium (LD) structure characteristic of African ancestry populations to fine-map the previously reported CRP locus. The discovery cohort comprised 837 unrelated AA, with the replication of significant single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) assessed in 486 WA. The association analysis was conducted with 2 366 856 genotyped and imputed SNPs under an additive genetic model with adjustment for appropriate covariates. Genome-wide and replication significances were set at P < 5 × 10−8 and P < 0.05, respectively. Ten SNPs in (CRP pseudogene-1) CRPP1 and CRP genes were associated with serum CRP (P = 2.4 × 10−09 to 4.3 × 10−11). All but one of the top-scoring SNPs associated with CRP in AA were successfully replicated in WA. CRP signals previously identified in EA samples were transferable to AAs, and we were able to fine-map this signal, reducing the region of interest from the 25 kb of LD around the locus in the HapMap CEU sample to only 8 kb in our AA sample.
A new liquid chromatographic method has been developed for the chiral separation of the enantiomers of mandelic acid and their derivatives 2-chloromandelic acid, 4-hydroxymandelic acid, 4-methoxymandelic acid, and 3,4,5-trismethoxymandelic acid. The enantiomers were separated by a CHIRALPAK® IC (250 mm×4.6 mm, 5 μm). Mandelic acid, 4-methoxymandelic acid, and 3,4,5-trismethoxymandelic acid were baseline resolved (resolution factor (R
S=2.14, and R
S=3.70, respectively). In contrast, the enantioselectivities between CHIRALPAK® IC and 2-chloromandelic acid and 4-hydroxymandelic acid investigated were low. By comparing the chromatographs of mandelic acid enantiomers and mandelic acid spiked with (R)-mandelic acid, it was determined that the first effluent was (R)-mandelic acid.
CHIRALPAK® IC; Enantiomeric separation; High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC); Mandelic acid; Derivatives
The SOX2 anophthalmia syndrome is emerging as a clinically recognizable disorder that has been identified in 10–15% of individuals with bilateral anophthalmia. Extra-ocular anomalies are common. The majority of SOX2 mutations identified appear to arise de novo in probands ascertained through the presence of anophthalmia or microphthalmia. In this report, we describe two sisters with bilateral anophthalmia/microphthalmia, brain anomalies and a novel heterozygous SOX2 gene single-base pair nucleotide deletion, c.551delC, which predicts p.Pro184ArgfsX19. The hypothetical protein product is predicted to lead to haploinsufficient SOX2 function. Mosaicism for this mutation in the SOX2 gene was also identified in their clinically unaffected mother in peripheral blood DNA. Thus it cannot be assumed that all SOX2 mutations in individuals with anophthalmia /microphthalmia are de novo. Testing of parents is indicated when a SOX2 mutation is identified in a proband.
anophthalmia; microphthalmia; SOX2 anophthalmia syndrome
The aberrantly increased lipogenesis is a universal metabolic feature of proliferating tumor cells. Although most normal cells acquire the bulk of their fatty acids from circulation, tumor cells synthesize more than 90% of required lipids de novo. The sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1), encoded by SREBF1 gene, is a master regulator of lipogenic gene expression. SREBP1 and its target genes are overexpressed in a variety of cancers; however, the role of SREBP1 in endometrial cancer is largely unknown. We have screened a cohort of endometrial cancer (EC) specimen for their lipogenic gene expression and observed a significant increase of SREBP1 target gene expression in cancer cells compared with normal endometrium. By using immunohistochemical staining, we confirmed SREBP1 protein overexpression and demonstrated increased nuclear distribution of SREBP1 in EC. In addition, we found that knockdown of SREBP1 expression in EC cells suppressed cell growth, reduced colonigenic capacity and slowed tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, we observed that knockdown of SREBP1 induced significant cell death in cultured EC cells. Taken together, our results show that SREBP1 is essential for EC cell growth both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that SREBP1 activity may be a novel therapeutic target for endometrial cancers.
SREBP1; cell death; cell growth; endometrial cancer; lipogenesis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune disease of chronic systemic inflammatory disorder that will affect multiple tissues and organs such as skin, heart or lungs; but it principally attacks the joints, producing a nonsuppurative inflammatory and proliferative synovitis that often progresses to major damaging of articular cartilage and joint ankylosis. Although the definite etiology is still unknown, recent studies suggest that T-helper cells (Th17) may play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of RA. And interleukin-17 (IL-17), which is a cytokine of Th17 cells, may be a key factor in the occurrence of RA. The binding of IL-17 to specific receptor results in the expression of fibroblasts, endothelial and epithelial cells and also synthesis of several major factors such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), IL-1β that result in the structural damage of RA joints. Though some previous studies have shown that IL-17 exists in the synovium of RA, few has definite proof quantitatively by pathology about its existence in synovial membrane. This study comprised of 30 RA patients and 10 healthy control, pathologic study of the synovial membrane showed increased expression of IL-17 in the synovial tissue of RA patients, the intensity is compatible with clinical severity of disease as validated by DAS28 score and disease duration. Northern blot study also confirmed the increased expression of IL-17 in the synovial tissues. This study sheds further light that IL-17 may be a key factor in the pathogenesis of RA and a determinant of disease severity.
Rheumatoid arthritis; interleukin-17; synovitis
Breast cancer is a leading form of cancer in the world. The Drosophila Dac gene was cloned as an inhibitor of the hyperactive epidermal growth factor (EGFR), ellipse. Herein, endogenous DACH1 co-localized with p53 in a nuclear, extranucleolar compartment and bound to p53 in human breast cancer cell lines, p53 and DACH1 bound common genes in Chip-Seq. Full inhibition of breast cancer contact-independent growth by DACH1 required p53. The p53 breast cancer mutants R248Q and R273H, evaded DACH1 binding. DACH1 phosphorylation at serine residue (S439) inhibited p53 binding and phosphorylation at p53 amino-terminal sites (S15, S20) enhanced DACH1 binding. DACH1 binding to p53 was inhibited by NAD-dependent deacetylation via DACH1 K628. DACH1 repressed p21CIP1 and induced RAD51, an association found in basal breast cancer. DACH1 inhibits breast cancer cellular growth in an NAD and p53-dependent manner through direct protein-protein association.
p53; breast cancer; cell fate; stem cells; dach
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are reported to support tumorigenesis by stimulating angiogenesis, cancer cell proliferation, and invasion in most solid tumors. However, the roles of CAFs in the liver cancer microenvironment have not been thoroughly studied. In our previous study, we successfully isolated CAFs from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) (H-CAFs) and proved that H-CAFs suppressed the activation of NK cells and thereby created favorable conditions for HCC progression. In our present study, we found that the proliferation of MHCC97L and Hep3B cells was significantly promoted by treatment with conditioned medium from H-CAFs. Pathological analysis also revealed that H-CAFs increased the proportion of Ki-67 (+) malignant cells and prevented them from undergoing necrosis. Moreover, the concentration of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) cytokine in the conditioned medium of H-CAFs was higher than conditioned medium from normal skin fibroblasts (NSFs). Anti-HGF significantly reduced the proliferation-promoting capability of H-CAFs. In addition, we found that the abundance of H-CAFs correlated positively with tumor size. These results indicate that H-CAFs are an important factor for promoting the growth of HCC in vitro and in vivo, and that HGF plays a key role in HCC proliferation induced by H-CAFs.
Interleukins (ILs) are key mediators of the immune response and inflammatory process. Plasma levels of IL-10, IL-1Ra, and IL-6 are associated with metabolic conditions, show large inter-individual variations, and are under strong genetic control. Therefore, elucidation of the genetic variants that influence levels of these ILs provides useful insights into mechanisms of immune response and pathogenesis of diseases. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of IL-10, IL-1Ra, and IL-6 levels in 707 non-diabetic African Americans using 5,396,780 imputed and directly genotyped single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with adjustment for gender, age, and body mass index. IL-10 levels showed genome-wide significant associations (p<5×10−8) with eight SNPs, the most significant of which was rs5743185 in thePMS1 gene (p=2.30×10−10). We tested replication of SNPs that showed genome-wide significance in 425 non-diabetic individuals from West Africa, and successfully replicated SNP rs17365948 in the YWHAZ gene (p=0.02). IL-1Ra levels showed suggestive associations with two SNPs in the ASB3 gene (p=2.55×10−7), 10 SNPs in the IL-1 gene family (IL1F5, IL1F8, IL1F10, and IL1Ra, p=1.04×10−6 to 1.75×10−6), and 23 SNPs near the IL1A gene (p=1.22×10−6 to 1.63×10−6). We also successfully replicated rs4251961 (p=0.009); this SNP was reported to be associated with IL-1Ra levels in a candidate gene study of Europeans. IL-6 levels showed genome-wide significant association with one SNP (RP11-314E23.1; chr6:133397598; p=8.63×10−9). To our knowledge, this is the first GWAS on IL-10, IL-1Ra, and IL-6 levels. Follow-up of these findings may provide valuable insight into the pathobiology of IL actions and dysregulations in inflammation and human diseases.
interleukin; interleukin-10; interleukin-1Ra; interleukin-6; genome-wide association study; African American
The reaction of 4-chloro-2-(quinolin-8-yliminomethyl)phenol (HClQP) with cobalt(II) dichloride hexahydrate in methanol/chloroform under solvothermal conditions yielded the title compound, [Co(C16H10ClN2O)2][CoCl3(CH3OH)]. The CoIII atom is six-coordinated in a slightly distorted octahedral geometry by four N atoms and two O atoms of two tridentate HClQP ligands, which are nearly perpendicular to each other, making a dihedral angle of 86.95°. The CoII atom is four-coordinated by three Cl atoms and one O atom from a methanol ligand in a distorted tetrahedral geometry. The crystal packing is consolidated by intermolecular O—H⋯Cl, C—H⋯Cl and C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, forming a three-dimensional supramolecular structure, in which [CoIICl3(CH3OH)] anions are connected via O—H⋯Cl and C—H⋯Cl hydrogen bonds into centrosymmetric dimers. Neighboring cobalt(III) complexes form dimers through C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, as well as π–π stacking [centroid–centroid distances = 3.30 (2) Å] between the planar quinoline systems of one HClQP ligand and the phenolate ring of another.
Hepatitis B virus-associated hepatocellular carcinoma (HBV-HCC) and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-HCC are the main indications for liver transplantation. We compared differences in survival outcomes between these two conditions.
Methods and Findings
The China Liver Transplant Registry (CLTR) contains data collated from all transplants performed in 86 liver transplantation centers across China. We analyzed CLTR data from January 1999 to December 2010. In all, 7,658 patients (7,162 with HBV-HCC and 496 with HCV-HCC) were included in this study. Clinical characteristics were compared between the HBV-HCC and HCV-HCC groups; Kaplan–Meier analysis was used to calculate the overall, tumor-free and hepatitis-free survival rates. The 1-year, 3-year and 5-year overall survival was significantly higher in HBV-HCC recipients than in HCV-HCC recipients (76.65%, 56.61% and 49.10% vs. 64.59%, 42.78% and 39.20%, respectively; P<0.001). The corresponding tumor-free survival rates (63.55%, 47.37%, 40.99% vs. 56.84%, 38.04%, 35.66%, respectively) and hepatitis-free survival rates (75.49%, 54.84%, 47.34% vs. 63.87%, 42.15%, 39.33%, respectively) were both superior in HBV-HCC recipients (both P<0.001). Multivariate analyses identified hepatitis, preoperative alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) level, size of largest tumor, number of tumor nodules, TNM stage, vascular invasion and preoperative model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score as independent predictors of overall, tumor-free and hepatitis-free survival.
Survival outcomes after liver transplantation were significantly better in HBV-HCC patients than in HCV-HCC patients. This finding may be used to guide donor liver allocation in transplantation programs.
Deletion of 3p is one of the most frequent genetic alterations in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), suggesting the existence of one or more tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) within these regions. In this study, one TSG, CACNA2D3 at 3p21.1, was characterized.
Expression of CACNA2D3 in ESCCs was tested by quantitative real-time PCR and tissue microarray. The mechanism of CACNA2D3 downregulation was investigated by methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MS-PCR). The tumor suppressive function of CACNA2D3 was characterized by both in vitro and in vivo tumorigenic assays, cell migration and invasion assays.
CACNA2D3 was frequently downregulated in ESCCs (24/48, 50%), which was significantly associated with promoter methylation and allele loss (P<0.05). Tissue microarray result showed that downregulation of CACNA2D3 was detected in (127/224, 56.7%) ESCCs, which was significantly associated with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.01), TNM staging (P = 0.003) and poor outcome of ESCC patients (P<0.05). Functional studies demonstrated that CACNA2D3 could inhibit tumorigenicity, cell motility and induce apoptosis. Mechanism study found that CACNA2D3 could arrest cell cycle at G1/S checkpoint by increasing expressions of p21 and p53 and decreasing expression of CDK2. In addition, CACNA2D3 could upregulate intracellular free cytosolic Ca2+ and subsequently induce apoptosis.
CACNA2D3 is a novel TSG responsible to the 3p21 deletion event and plays a critical suppressing role in the development and progression of ESCC.
Techniques that enable high levels of transgene expression in plants are attractive for the commercial production of plant-made recombinant pharmaceutical proteins or other gene transfer related strategies. The conventional way to increase the yield of desired transgenic products is to use strong promoters to control the expression of the transgene. Although many such promoters have been identified and characterized, the increase obtainable from a single promoter is ultimately limited to a certain extent.
In this study, we report a method to magnify the effect of a single promoter by using a weak promoter-based selection system in transgenic rice. tCUP1, a fragment derived from the tobacco cryptic promoter (tCUP), was tested for its activity in rice by fusion to both a β-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter and a hygromycin phosphotransferase (HPT) selectable marker. The tCUP1 promoter allowed the recovery of transformed rice plants and conferred tissue specific expression of the GUS reporter, but was much weaker than the CaMV 35S promoter in driving a selectable marker for growth of resistant calli. However, in the resistant calli and regenerated transgenic plants selected by the use of tCUP1, the constitutive expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) was dramatically increased as a result of the additive effect of multiple T-DNA insertions. The correlation between attenuated selection by a weak promoter and elevation of copy number and foreign gene expression was confirmed by using another relatively weak promoter from nopaline synthase (Nos).
The use of weak promoter derived selectable markers leads to a high T-DNA copy number and then greatly increases the expression of the foreign gene. The method described here provides an effective approach to robustly enhance the expression of heterogenous transgenes through copy number manipulation in rice.
tCUP; Promoter activity; Selectable marker; Transgene expression; Copy number; Rice
The c-jun gene regulates cellular proliferation and apoptosis via direct regulation of cellular gene expression. Alternative splicing of pre-mRNA increases the diversity of protein functions and alternate splicing events occur in tumors. Here, by targeting the excision of the endogenous c-jun gene within the mouse mammary epithelium, we have identified its selective role as an inhibitor of RNA splicing. Microarray-based assessment of gene expression, on laser capture micro-dissected c-jun−/− mammary epithelium, demonstrated that endogenous c-jun regulates the expression of approximately 50 genes governing RNA splicing. In addition, genome-wide splicing arrays demonstrated that endogenous c-jun regulated the alternate exon of approximately 147 genes, and 18% of these were either alternatively spliced in human tumors or involved in apoptosis. Endogenous c-jun also was shown to reduce splicing activity, which required the c-jun dimerization domain. Together, our findings suggest that c-jun directly attenuates RNA splicing efficiency, which may be of broad biological importance as alternative splicing plays an important role in both cancer development and therapy resistance.
Transgenic mice; floxed c-jun; Cre; alternative splicing
Serum preptin levels among subjects with different bone mineral densities (BMD) were measured and investigated to determine the correlation between BMD and bone-metabolic markers.
Approximately 52 elderly male patients with osteoporosis, 50 elderly men with osteopaenia, and 31 age-matched normal bone mass controls participated in the study. The serum preptin levels and bone metabolic markers were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The relationships between preptin levels, BMD, and metabolic parameters were also assessed.
The serum preptin level was the lowest in the osteoporosis group and positively correlated with BMD. All the bone formation markers in the osteoporosis and osteopaenia groups were significantly reduced compared with those in the normal group. Serum preptin level was positively correlated with all the bone formation markers, whereas no correlation was observed with the bone resorption marker TRACP-5b.
Serum preptin levels are decreased in osteoporosis and osteopaenia patients and positively correlated with BMD. Therefore, preptin is involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis, probably through bone formation rather than bone resorption.
Preptin; Osteoporosis; Bone density; Bone metabolic marker
Plant autophagy plays an important role in delaying senescence, nutrient recycling, and stress responses. Functional analysis of plant autophagy has almost exclusively focused on the proteins required for the core process of autophagosome assembly, but little is known about the proteins involved in other important processes of autophagy, including autophagy cargo recognition and sequestration. In this study, we report functional genetic analysis of Arabidopsis NBR1, a homolog of mammalian autophagy cargo adaptors P62 and NBR1. We isolated two nbr1 knockout mutants and discovered that they displayed some but not all of the phenotypes of autophagy-deficient atg5 and atg7 mutants. Like ATG5 and ATG7, NBR1 is important for plant tolerance to heat, oxidative, salt, and drought stresses. The role of NBR1 in plant tolerance to these abiotic stresses is dependent on its interaction with ATG8. Unlike ATG5 and ATG7, however, NBR1 is dispensable in age- and darkness-induced senescence and in resistance to a necrotrophic pathogen. A selective role of NBR1 in plant responses to specific abiotic stresses suggest that plant autophagy in diverse biological processes operates through multiple cargo recognition and delivery systems. The compromised heat tolerance of atg5, atg7, and nbr1 mutants was associated with increased accumulation of insoluble, detergent-resistant proteins that were highly ubiquitinated under heat stress. NBR1, which contains an ubiquitin-binding domain, also accumulated to high levels with an increasing enrichment in the insoluble protein fraction in the autophagy-deficient mutants under heat stress. These results suggest that NBR1-mediated autophagy targets ubiquitinated protein aggregates most likely derived from denatured or otherwise damaged nonnative proteins generated under stress conditions.
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved process that sequestrates and delivers cytoplasmic macromolecules and organelles to the vacuoles or lysosomes for degradation. In plants, autophagy is involved in supplying internal nutrients during starvation and in promoting cell survival during senescence and during biotic and abiotic stresses. Arabidopsis NBR1 is a homolog of mammalian autophagy cargo adaptors P62 and NBR1. Disruption of Arabidopsis NBR1 caused increased sensitivity to a spectrum of abiotic stresses but had no significant effect on plant senescence, responses to carbon starvation, or resistance to a necrotrophic pathogen. NBR1 contains an ubiquitin-binding domain, and the compromised stress tolerance of autophagy mutants was associated with increased accumulation of NBR1 and ubiquitin-positive cellular protein aggregates in the insoluble protein fraction under stress conditions. Based on these results, we propose that NBR1 targets ubiquitinated protein aggregates most likely derived from denatured and otherwise damaged nonnative proteins for autophagic clearance under stress conditions.
Motivation: Identifying the target genes regulated by transcription factors (TFs) is the most basic step in understanding gene regulation. Recent advances in high-throughput sequencing technology, together with chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), enable mapping TF binding sites genome wide, but it is not possible to infer function from binding alone. This is especially true in mammalian systems, where regulation often occurs through long-range enhancers in gene-rich neighborhoods, rather than proximal promoters, preventing straightforward assignment of a binding site to a target gene.
Results: We present EMBER (Expectation Maximization of Binding and Expression pRofiles), a method that integrates high-throughput binding data (e.g. ChIP-chip or ChIP-seq) with gene expression data (e.g. DNA microarray) via an unsupervised machine learning algorithm for inferring the gene targets of sets of TF binding sites. Genes selected are those that match overrepresented expression patterns, which can be used to provide information about multiple TF regulatory modes. We apply the method to genome-wide human breast cancer data and demonstrate that EMBER confirms a role for the TFs estrogen receptor alpha, retinoic acid receptors alpha and gamma in breast cancer development, whereas the conventional approach of assigning regulatory targets based on proximity does not. Additionally, we compare several predicted target genes from EMBER to interactions inferred previously, examine combinatorial effects of TFs on gene regulation and illustrate the ability of EMBER to discover multiple modes of regulation.
Availability: All code used for this work is available at http://dinner-group.uchicago.edu/downloads.html
Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly poisonous substances that are also effective medicines. Accidental BoNT poisoning often occurs through ingestion of Clostridium botulinum-contaminated food. Here, we present the crystal structure of a BoNT in complex with a clostridial non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNHA) protein at 2.7 angstrom. Biochemical and functional studies show that NTNHA provides large and multivalent binding interfaces to protect BoNT from gastrointestinal degradation. Moreover, the structure highlights key residues in BoNT that regulate complex assembly in a pH-dependent manner. Collectively, our findings define the molecular mechanisms by which NTNHA shields BoNT in the hostile gastrointestinal environment and releases it upon entry into the circulation. These results will assist in the design of small molecules for inhibiting oral BoNT intoxication, and of delivery vehicles for oral administration of biologics.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a common autoimmune disease that involved multiple organ systems. Diagnosis is usually not difficult. However, SLE involved spleen with spontaneous rupture is a rare condition that has been only 5 cases reported previously; and no definite pathologic diagnosis has been reported. We present the case of a 54 year-old white American woman who had SLE for 10 years with multiple immunosuppressive agents treatment at stable condition. She had acute abdomen presented to the emergency department and received timely surgical treatment which confirmed she had spontaneous spleen rupture (SSR). Detailed pathologic study, with control of a traumatic rupture spleen of almost the same age and sex, revealed marked congestion of the red pulp and atrophy of white pulp notified in the SLE spleen. Congestion of red pulp may be the cause of SSR in the SLE spleen.
Systemic lupus erythematosus; spleen; spontaneous rupture
Activation of Kupffer cell (KC) is acknowledged as a key event in the initiation and perpetuation of bile duct warm ischemia/reperfusion injury. The inhibitory effect of gadolinium chloride (GdCl3) on KC activation shows potential as a protective intervention in liver injury, but there is less research with regard to bile duct injury.
Sixty-five male Sprague-Dawley rats (200–250 g) were randomly divided into three experimental groups: a sham group (n = 15), a control group (n = 25), and a GdCl3 group (n = 25). Specimen was collected at 0.5, 2, 6, 12 and 24 h after operation. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and total bilirubin (TBIL) of serum were measured. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), Capase-3 activity and soluble Fas (sFas) were detected. The pathologic changes of bile duct were observed. Immunochemistry for bile duct Fas was performed. Apoptosis of bile duct cells was evaluated by the terminal UDP nick end labeling assay.
GdCl3 significantly decreased the levels of ALT, ALP and TBIL at 2, 6, 12, and 24 h, and increased serum sFas at 2, 6 and 12 h (P<0.05). TNF-α was lower in the GdCl3 group than in the control group at 2, 6, 12 and 24 h (P<0.05). Preadministration of GdCl3 significantly reduced the Caspase-3 activity and bile duct cell apoptosis at 2, 6, 12 and 24 h. After operation for 2, 6 and 12 h, the expression of Fas protein was lower in the GdCl3 group than in the control group (P<0.05).
GdCl3 plays an important role in suppressing bile duct cell apoptosis, including decreasing ALT, ALP, TBIL and TNF-α; suppressing Fas-FasL-Caspase signal transduction during transplantation.