A two-dimensional conjugated small molecule (SMPV1) was designed and synthesized for high performance solution-processed organic solar cells. This study explores the photovoltaic properties of this molecule as a donor, with a fullerene derivative as an acceptor, using solution processing in single junction and double junction tandem solar cells. The single junction solar cells based on SMPV1 exhibited a certified power conversion efficiency of 8.02% under AM 1.5 G irradiation (100 mW cm−2). A homo-tandem solar cell based on SMPV1 was constructed with a novel interlayer (or tunnel junction) consisting of bilayer conjugated polyelectrolyte, demonstrating an unprecedented PCE of 10.1%. These results strongly suggest solution-processed small molecular materials are excellent candidates for organic solar cells.
Significance: Ion channels control membrane potential, cellular excitability, and Ca++ signaling, all of which play essential roles in cellular functions. The regulation of ion channels enables cells to respond to changing environments, and post-translational modification (PTM) is one major regulation mechanism. Recent Advances: Many PTMs (e.g., S-glutathionylation, S-nitrosylation, S-palmitoylation, S-sulfhydration, etc.) targeting the thiol group of cysteine residues have emerged to be essential for ion channels regulation under physiological and pathological conditions. Critical Issues: Under oxidative stress, S-glutathionylation could be a critical PTM that regulates many molecules. In this review, we discuss S-glutathionylation-mediated structural and functional changes of ion channels. Criteria for testing S-glutathionylation, methods and reagents used in ion channel S-glutathionylation studies, and thiol modification crosstalk, are also covered. Mechanotransduction, and S-glutathionylation of the mechanosensitive KATP channel, are discussed. Future Directions: Further investigation of the ion channel S-glutathionylation, especially the physiological significance of S-glutathionylation and thiol modification crosstalk, could lead to a better understanding of the thiol modifications in general and the ramifications of such modifications on cellular functions and related diseases. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 937–951.
The uncoating process of HIV-1 is a poorly understood process, so the development of a reliable assay to study uncoating is critical for moving the field forward. Here we describe an uncoating assay that currently represents the state-of-the-art biochemical procedure for monitoring uncoating and core stability during infection. This assay is based on the biochemical separation of soluble capsid protein from particulate capsid cores and provides information about the fate of the capsid during infection.
HIV-1 core; Uncoating; Capsid; TRIM5α; Sucrose cushion
We report a cholesterol imaging method using rationally synthesized phenyl-diyne cholesterol (PhDY-Chol) and stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscope. The phenyl-diyne group is biologically inert and provides a Raman scattering cross section that is 88 times larger than the endogenous C = O stretching mode. SRS microscopy offers an imaging speed that is faster than spontaneous Raman microscopy by three orders of magnitude, and a detection sensitivity of 31 μM PhDY-Chol (~1,800 molecules in the excitation volume). Inside living CHO cells, PhDY-Chol mimics the behavior of cholesterol, including membrane incorporation and esterification. In a cellular model of Niemann-Pick type C disease, PhDY-Chol reflects the lysosomal accumulation of cholesterol, and shows relocation to lipid droplets after HPβCD treatment. In live C. elegans, PhDY-Chol mimics cholesterol uptake by intestinal cells and reflects cholesterol storage. Together, our work demonstrates an enabling platform for study of cholesterol storage and trafficking in living cells and vital organisms.
To investigate the sonoactivity of hypericin (HY), together with its sonodynamic effect on THP-1 macrophages and the underlying mechanism.
Materials and methods
CCK-8 was used to examine cell viability. Confocal laser scanning microscopy was performed to assess the localization of HY in cells, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) after different treatments. Apoptosis was analyzed using Hoechst–propidium iodide and transmission electron microscopy. Mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm) collapse was detected via fluorescence microscopy. Lipoprotein oxidation was determined in malondialdehyde (MDA) assays. Western blotting was conducted to determine the translocation of BAX and cytochrome C and the expression of apoptosis-related proteins.
HY was sublocalized among the nuclei and the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and lysosome in the cytosol of THP-1 macrophages. Under low-intensity ultrasound irradiation, HY significantly decreased cell viability and induced apoptosis. Furthermore, greater ROS generation, higher MDA levels, and greater ΔΨm loss were observed in the sonodynamic therapy (SDT) group. Both ROS generation and MDA levels were significantly reduced by the ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and the singlet oxygen scavenger sodium azide. Most of the loss of ΔΨm was inhibited by pretreatment with NAC, sodium azide, and the mPTP inhibitor cyclosporin A (CsA). mPTP opening was induced upon SDT but was reduced by pretreatment with bongkrekic acid, 4,4′-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid disodium, CsA, and NAC. Western blot analyses revealed translocation of BAX and cytochrome C, downregulated expression of Bcl-2, and upregulated expression of cleaved caspase-9, cleaved caspase-3, and cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase in the SDT group, which were reversed by NAC.
HY mediated SDT-induced apoptosis in THP-1 macrophages via ROS generation. Then, the proapoptotic factor BAX translocated from the cytosol to the mitochondria, increasing the ratio of BAX/Bcl-2, and the mPTP opened to release cytochrome C. This study demonstrated the great potential of HY-mediated SDT for treating atherosclerosis.
apoptosis; hypericin; sonodynamic therapy; mitochondria–caspase pathway; atherosclerosis
Focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) is a benign hepatic tumor characterized by hepatocyte hyperplasia and a central stellate scar. The association of FNH with other hepatic lesions, such as adenomas, hemangiomas and hepatocellular carcinoma, has been previously reported, but FNH associated with another hepatic tumor is rare in infants. Here we report a case of FNH coexistent with hepatoblastoma in a 36-d-old girl. Computed tomography (CT) imaging showed an ill-delineated, inhomogeneous enhanced mass with a central star-like scar in the right lobe of the liver. The tumor showed early mild enhancement at the arterial phase (from 40HU without contrast to 52HU at the arterial phase), intense enhancement at the portal phase (87.7HU) and 98.1HU in the 3-min delay scan. A central scar in the tumor presented as low density on non-contrast CT and slightly enhanced at delayed contrast-enhanced scanning. This infant underwent surgical resection of the tumor. Histopathology demonstrated typical FNH coexistent with a focal hepatoblastoma, which showed epithelioid tumor cells separated by proliferated fibrous tissue.
Focal nodular hyperplasia; Hepatoblastoma; Infant; Computed tomography
Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are considered as the most promising cells source for bone engineering. Cannabinoid (CB) receptors play important roles in bone mass turnover. The aim of this study is to test if activation of CB2 receptor by chemical agonist could enhance the osteogenic differentiation and mineralization in bone BM-MSCs. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity staining and real time PCR were performed to test the osteogenic differentiation. Alizarin red staining was carried out to examine the mineralization. Small interference RNA (siRNA) was used to study the role of CB2 receptor in osteogenic differentiation. Results showed activation of CB2 receptor increased ALP activity, promoted expression of osteogenic genes, and enhanced deposition of calcium in extracellular matrix. Knockdown of CB2 receptor by siRNA inhibited ALP activity and mineralization. Results of immunofluorescent staining showed that phosphorylation of p38 MAP kinase is reduced by knocking down of CB2 receptor. Finally, bone marrow samples demonstrated that expression of CB2 receptor is much lower in osteoporotic patients than in healthy donors. Taken together, data from this study suggested that activation of CB2 receptor plays important role in osteogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs. Lack of CB2 receptor may be related to osteoporosis.
Galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) can be used to study the body's response to vestibular stimuli. This study aimed to investigate whether postural responses to GVS were different between pilots and the general populace. Bilateral bipolar GVS was applied with a constant-current profile to 12 pilots and 12 control subjects via two electrodes placed over the mastoid processes. Both GVS threshold and the center of pressure's trajectory (COP's trajectory) were measured. Position variability of COP during spontaneous body sway and peak displacement of COP during GVS-induced body sway were calculated in the medial-lateral direction. Spontaneous body sway was slight for all subjects, and there was no significant difference in the value of COP position variability between the pilots and controls. Both the GVS threshold and magnitude of GVS-induced body deviation were similar for different GVS polarities. GVS thresholds were similar between the two groups, but the magnitude of GVS-induced body deviation in the controls was significantly larger than that in the pilots. The pilots showed less GVS-induced body deviation, meaning that pilots may have a stronger ability to suppress vestibular illusions.
The PRYSPRY domain of TRIM5α provides specificity and the capsid recognition motif to retroviral restriction. Restriction of HIV-1 by rhesus TRIM5α (TRIM5αrh) has been correlated to its ability to bind to the HIV-1 core, suggesting that capsid binding is required for restriction. This work explores whether the PRYSPRY domain of TRIM5αrh exhibits an additional function besides binding to the HIV-1 core. Using our recently described structure of the PRYSPRY domain, we performed an exhaustive structure-function study of the surface and interior residues of the PRYSPRY domain. Testing retroviral restriction and capsid binding of an extensive collection of 60 TRIM5αrh PRYSPRY variants revealed that binding is necessary but not sufficient for restriction. In support of this hypothesis, we showed that some human tripartite motif proteins bind the HIV-1 capsid but do not restrict HIV-1 infection, such as human TRIM6 and TRIM34. Overall this work suggested that the PRYSPRY domain serves an unknown function, distinct from the binding of TRIM5αrh to the HIV-1 core, to block HIV-1 infection.
Antimicrobial resistance of Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a serious health problem in China. Gonococcal antimicrobial susceptibility has been monitored in Shanghai since 1988. In this study, we examined the changing pattern of gonococcal antimicrobial susceptibility based on data from N. gonorrhoeae isolates collected over the past 25 years.
Approximately 100–200 isolates each year (1988–2013) were tested for their susceptibility to penicillin (PEN), tetracycline (TET), ciprofloxacin (CIP), ceftriaxone (CRO) and spectinomycin (SPT), using the agar dilution method. Plasmid-mediated N. gonorrhoeae antimicrobial resistance, comprising penicillinase-producing N. gonorrhoeae (presumed PPNG) and high-level tetracycline resistance N. gonorrhoeae (presumed TRNG), were also determined. Breakpoints for susceptibilities followed those described by the Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute and the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing.
A high proportion of isolates were resistant to PEN, TET and CIP, ranging from less than 20% at the beginning of the survey, increasing in the late 1990s and reaching over 90% in recent years. The proportion of isolates exhibiting plasmid-mediated resistance exceeded 38% for presumed PPNG and 20% for presumed TRNG in recent years. The proportion of CRO nonsusceptible isolates (MIC ≥ 0.125 mg/L) ranged from 7% to 13% in most of the study years. Almost all isolates were susceptible to SPT. The SPT MIC90 was 16–32 mg/L for 2008–2013. The proportion of CRO nonsusceptible-associated multiple-drug-resistant (MDR) isolates was over 5% in most of the study years.
N. gonorrhoeae isolates in Shanghai were resistant to PEN, TET and CIP. Furthermore, CRO nonsusceptible and MDR isolates were prevalent. N. gonorrhoeae isolates were also found to be susceptible to SPT. It is recommended that the CRO dose be increased from currently recommended 250 mg to 500 mg and that SPT be an alternative in treating urogenital gonorrhea. Our findings highlight the importance of both regional and national surveillance programs for the prompt modification of treatment guidelines, vital in responding to the changing pattern of gonococcal antimicrobial susceptibility.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12879-014-0731-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Antimicrobial susceptibility; Multiple drug resistance; Ceftriaxone; Spectinomycin
The aim of the present work was to study the in vitro/in vivo characteristics of dutasteride loaded biodegradable microspheres designed for sustained release of dutasteride over four weeks. An O/W emulsion-solvent evaporation method was used to incorporate dutasteride, which is of interest in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), into poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA). A response surface method (RSM) with central composite design (CCD) was employed to optimize the formulation variables. A prolonged in vitro drug release profile was observed, with a complete release of the entrapped drug within 28 days. The pharmacokinetics study showed sustained plasma drug concentration-time profile of dutasteride loaded microspheres after subcutaneous injection into rats. The in vitro drug release in rats correlated well with the in vivo pharmacokinetics profile. The pharmacodynamics evaluated by determination of the BPH inhibition in the rat models also showed a prolonged pharmacological response. These results suggest the potential use of dutasteride loaded biodegradable microspheres for the management of BPH over long periods.
Completely linear: a general and practical palladium-catalyzed linear-selective Negishi coupling of 3,3-disubstituted allylzinc reagents with aryl, heteroaryl and vinyl electrophiles at ambient temperature is described. This method provides an effective means to access a wide range of prenylated arenes or skipped dienes in a completely linear-selective fashion, as demonstrated by a concise synthesis of the anti-HIV natural product siamenol. Finally, DFT calculations shed light on the origin of the excellent regioselectivity observed with the current catalyst system.
cross-coupling; palladium; heterocycles; organozinc reagent; prenylation
Constructing safe and effective gene delivery carriers is becoming highly desirable for gene therapy. Herein, a series of supramolecular crosslinking system were prepared through host-guest binding of adamantyl-modified low molecular weight of polyethyleneimine with L-cystine-bridged bis(β-cyclodextrin)s and characterized by 1H NMR titration, electron microscopy, zeta potential, dynamic light-scattering, gel electrophoresis, flow cytometry and confocal fluorescence microscopy. The results showed that these nanometersized supramolecular crosslinking systems exhibited higher DNA transfection efficiencies and lower cytotoxicity than the commercial DNA carrier gold standard (25 kDa bPEI) for both normal cells and cancer cells, giving a very high DNA transfection efficiency up to 54% for 293T cells. Significantly, this type of supramolecular crosslinking system possesses a number of enzyme-responsive disulfide bonds, which can be cleaved by reductive enzyme to promote the DNA release but recovered by oxidative enzyme to make the carrier renewable. These results demonstrate that these supramolecular crosslinking systems can be used as promising gene carriers.
Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) have shown immunosuppressive activity in transplantation. This study was designed to determine whether BMMSCs could improve outcomes of small bowel transplantation in rats.
Heterotopic small bowel transplantation was performed from Brown Norway to Lewis rats, followed by infusion of BMMSCs through the superficial dorsal veins of the penis. Controls included rats infused with normal saline (allogeneic control), isogeneically transplanted rats (BN-BN) and nontransplanted animals. The animals were sacrificed after 1, 5, 7 or 10 days. Small bowel histology and apoptosis, cytokine concentrations in serum and intestinal grafts, and numbers of T regulatory (Treg) cells were assessed at each time point.
Acute cellular rejection occurred soon after transplantation and became aggravated over time in the allogeneic control rats, with increase in apoptosis, inflammatory response, and T helper (Th)1/Th2 and Th17/Treg-related cytokines. BMMSCs significantly attenuated acute cellular rejection, reduced apoptosis and suppressed the concentrations of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, IL-17, IL-23, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, and interferon (IFN)-γ while upregulating IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β expression and increasing Treg levels.
BMMSCs improve the outcomes of allogeneic small bowel transplantation by attenuating the inflammatory response and acute cellular rejection. Treatment with BMMSCs may overcome acute cellular rejection in small bowel transplantation.
School-located influenza vaccination (SLIV) programs can substantially enhance the sub-optimal coverage achieved under existing delivery strategies. Randomized SLIV trials have shown these programs reduce laboratory-confirmed influenza among both vaccinated and unvaccinated children. This work explores the effectiveness of a SLIV program in reducing the community risk of influenza and influenza-like illness (ILI) associated emergency care visits.
For the 2011/12 and 2012/13 influenza seasons, we estimated age-group specific attack rates (AR) for ILI from routine surveillance and census data. Age-group specific SLIV program effectiveness was estimated as one minus the AR ratio for Alachua County versus two comparison regions: the 12 county region surrounding Alachua County, and all non-Alachua counties in Florida.
Vaccination of ∼50% of 5–17 year-olds in Alachua reduced their risk of ILI-associated visits, compared to the rest of Florida, by 79% (95% confidence interval: 70, 85) in 2011/12 and 71% (63, 77) in 2012/13. The greatest indirect effectiveness was observed among 0–4 year-olds, reducing AR by 89% (84, 93) in 2011/12 and 84% (79, 88) in 2012/13. Among all non-school age residents, the estimated indirect effectiveness was 60% (54, 65) and 36% (31, 41) for 2011/12 and 2012/13. The overall effectiveness among all age-groups was 65% (61, 70) and 46% (42, 50) for 2011/12 and 2012/13.
Wider implementation of SLIV programs can significantly reduce the influenza-associated public health burden in communities.
Considering equity into guidelines presents methodological challenges. This study aims to qualitatively synthesise the methods for incorporating equity in clinical practice guidelines (CPGs).
Content analysis of methodological publications.
Eligibility criteria for selecting studies
Methodological publications were included if they provided checklists/frameworks on when, how and to what extent equity should be incorporated in CPGs.
We electronically searched MEDLINE, retrieved references, and browsed guideline development organisation websites from inception to January 2013. After study selection by two authors, general characteristics and checklists items/framework components from included studies were extracted. Based on the questions or items from checklists/frameworks (unit of analysis), content analysis was conducted to identify themes and questions/items were grouped into these themes.
The primary outcomes were methodological themes and processes on how to address equity issues in guideline development.
8 studies with 10 publications were included from 3405 citations. In total, a list of 87 questions/items was generated from 17 checklists/frameworks. After content analysis, questions were grouped into eight themes (‘scoping questions’, ‘searching relevant evidence’, ‘appraising evidence and recommendations’, ‘formulating recommendations’, ‘monitoring implementation’, ‘providing a flow chart to include equity in CPGs’, and ‘others: reporting of guidelines and comments from stakeholders’ for CPG developers and ‘assessing the quality of CPGs’ for CPG users). Four included studies covered more than five of these themes. We also summarised the process of guideline development based on the themes mentioned above.
For disadvantaged population-specific CPGs, eight important methodological issues identified in this review should be considered when including equity in CPGs under the guidance of a scientific guideline development manual.
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH; PUBLIC HEALTH
The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100 000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015. We aimed to measure levels and track trends in maternal mortality, the key causes contributing to maternal death, and timing of maternal death with respect to delivery.
We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to analyse a database of data for 7065 site-years and estimate the number of maternal deaths from all causes in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. We estimated the number of pregnancy-related deaths caused by HIV on the basis of a systematic review of the relative risk of dying during pregnancy for HIV-positive women compared with HIV-negative women. We also estimated the fraction of these deaths aggravated by pregnancy on the basis of a systematic review. To estimate the numbers of maternal deaths due to nine different causes, we identified 61 sources from a systematic review and 943 site-years of vital registration data. We also did a systematic review of reports about the timing of maternal death, identifying 142 sources to use in our analysis. We developed estimates for each country for 1990–2013 using Bayesian meta-regression. We estimated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for all values.
292 982 (95% UI 261 017–327 792) maternal deaths occurred in 2013, compared with 376 034 (343 483–407 574) in 1990. The global annual rate of change in the MMR was −0·3% (−1·1 to 0·6) from 1990 to 2003, and −2·7% (−3·9 to −1·5) from 2003 to 2013, with evidence of continued acceleration. MMRs reduced consistently in south, east, and southeast Asia between 1990 and 2013, but maternal deaths increased in much of sub-Saharan Africa during the 1990s. 2070 (1290–2866) maternal deaths were related to HIV in 2013, 0·4% (0·2–0·6) of the global total. MMR was highest in the oldest age groups in both 1990 and 2013. In 2013, most deaths occurred intrapartum or postpartum. Causes varied by region and between 1990 and 2013. We recorded substantial variation in the MMR by country in 2013, from 956·8 (685·1–1262·8) in South Sudan to 2·4 (1·6–3·6) in Iceland.
Global rates of change suggest that only 16 countries will achieve the MDG 5 target by 2015. Accelerated reductions since the Millennium Declaration in 2000 coincide with increased development assistance for maternal, newborn, and child health. Setting of targets and associated interventions for after 2015 will need careful consideration of regions that are making slow progress, such as west and central Africa.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Ethyl pyruvate (EP) is a simple aliphatic ester of the metabolic intermediate pyruvate that has been demonstrated to be a potent anti-inflammatory agent in a variety of in vivo and in vitro model systems. However, the protective effects and mechanisms underlying the actions of EP against endothelial cell (EC) inflammatory injury are not fully understood. Previous studies have confirmed that endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) plays an important role in regulating the pathological process of EC inflammation. In this study, our aim was to explore the effects of EP on tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-induced inflammatory injury in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and to explore the role of ERS in this process. TNF-α treatment not only significantly increased the adhesion of monocytes to HUVECs and inflammatory cytokine (sICAM1, sE-selectin, MCP-1 and IL-8) production in cell culture supernatants but it also increased ICAM and MMP9 protein expression in HUVECs. TNF-α also effectively increased the ERS-related molecules in HUVECs (GRP78, ATF4, caspase12 and p-PERK). EP treatment effectively reversed the effects of the TNF-α-induced adhesion of monocytes on HUVECs, inflammatory cytokines and ERS-related molecules. Furthermore, thapsigargin (THA, an ERS inducer) attenuated the protective effects of EP against TNF-α-induced inflammatory injury and ERS. The PERK siRNA treatment not only inhibited ERS-related molecules but also mimicked the protective effects of EP to decrease TNF-α-induced inflammatory injury. In summary, we have demonstrated for the first time that EP can effectively reduce vascular endothelial inflammation and that this effect at least in part depends on the attenuation of ERS.
Prophylactic and therapeutic strategies are urgently needed to combat infections caused by the newly emerged Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Here, we have developed a neutralizing monoclonal antibody (MAb), designated Mersmab1, which potently blocks MERS-CoV entry into human cells. Biochemical assays reveal that Mersmab1 specifically binds to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the MERS-CoV spike protein and thereby competitively blocks the binding of the RBD to its cellular receptor, dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4). Furthermore, alanine scanning of the RBD has identified several residues at the DPP4-binding surface that serve as neutralizing epitopes for Mersmab1. These results suggest that if humanized, Mersmab1 could potentially function as a therapeutic antibody for treating and preventing MERS-CoV infections. Additionally, Mersmab1 may facilitate studies of the conformation and antigenicity of MERS-CoV RBD and thus will guide rational design of MERS-CoV subunit vaccines.
IMPORTANCE MERS-CoV is spreading in the human population and causing severe respiratory diseases with over 40% fatality. No vaccine is currently available to prevent MERS-CoV infections. Here, we have produced a neutralizing monoclonal antibody with the capacity to effectively block MERS-CoV entry into permissive human cells. If humanized, this antibody may be used as a prophylactic and therapeutic agent against MERS-CoV infections. Specifically, when given to a person (e.g., a patient's family member or a health care worker) either before or after exposure to MERS-CoV, the humanized antibody may prevent or inhibit MERS-CoV infection, thereby stopping the spread of MERS-CoV in humans. This antibody can also serve as a useful tool to guide the design of effective MERS-CoV vaccines.