AIM: To investigate hepatitis virus, genetic and environmental factors, and their interactions in predisposing patients to liver diseases in Northeast India.
METHODS: A total of 104 jaundice patients and 124 community controls were included. Serological analysis was performed by routine enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and nucleic acid testing for hepatitis viruses was done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), followed by PCR direct sequencing for viral genotyping. Cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) polymorphism was studied by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Nitrite and volatile nitrosamines in indigenous foods consumed routinely by the Northeast Indian ethnic population were estimated by Griess’s reagent and GC-MS, respectively.
RESULTS: Hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection was predominantly prevalent (36.5%) in our cohort, followed by hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis E virus (HEV) and hepatitis C virus. HBV genotype D and HEV genotype 1 were the most dominant. CYP2E1 c1/c2 genotype frequency was comparatively higher in alcoholic (P < 0.0001, OR = 30.5) and cryptogenic (P = 0.014, OR = 8.714) patients, and was associated with significantly higher hepatitis risk (P = 0.0.007, OR = 6.489). Mutant C allele of Cyp2E1 DraI frequency was comparatively higher in HAV (P = 0.006), alcoholic (P = 0.003) and cryptogenic (P = 0.014) cases, and was associated with overall hepatitis risk (P = 0.026, OR = 5.083). Indigenous foods, Gundruk, Kharoli, betel leaf and nuts were found to have the highest nitrite content.
CONCLUSION: Apart from viral factors, CYP2E1 polymorphism might be associated with increased risk of liver diseases in Northeast India. Indigenous foods that contain nitrite and nitrosamine might be an associated risk factor.
Viral hepatitis; Cytochrome P450 2E1; Gene polymorphism; Nitrites; Nitrosamines
Yersinia enterocolitica is a food-borne pathogen that preferentially infects the Peyer's patches and mesenteric lymph nodes, causing an acute inflammatory reaction. Even though Y. enterocolitica induces a robust inflammatory response during infection, the bacterium has evolved a number of virulence factors to limit the extent of this response. We previously demonstrated that interleukin-1α (IL-1α) was critical for the induction of gut inflammation characteristic of Y. enterocolitica infection. More recently, the known actions of IL-1α are becoming more complex because IL-1α can function both as a proinflammatory cytokine and as a nuclear factor. In this study, we tested the ability of Y. enterocolitica to modulate intracellular IL-1α-dependent IL-8 production in epithelial cells. Nuclear translocation of pre-IL-1α protein and IL-1α-dependent secretion of IL-8 into the culture supernatant were increased during infection with a strain lacking the 70-kDa virulence plasmid compared to the case during infection with the wild type, suggesting that Yersinia outer proteins (Yops) might be involved in modulating intracellular IL-1α signaling. Infection of HeLa cells with a strain lacking the yopP gene resulted in increased nuclear translocation of pre-IL-1α and IL-1α-dependent secretion of IL-8 similar to what is observed with bacteria lacking the virulence plasmid. YopP is a protein acetylase that inhibits mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase)- and NF-κB-dependent signal transduction pathways. Nuclear translocation of pre-IL-1α and IL-1α-dependent secretion of IL-8 in response to Yersinia enterocolitica infection were dependent on extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and p38 MAP kinase signaling but independent of NF-κB. These data suggest that Y. enterocolitica inhibits intracellular pre-IL-1α signaling and subsequent proinflammatory responses through inhibition of MAP kinase pathways.
The antimicrobial activity of alcoholic, butanolic and chloroform extracts of leaves and roots of the plant Acanthus ilicifolius ware studied. Ampicillin and clotrimazole were used as standard antibacterial and antifungal agents respectively. The result of the study revealed that the alcoholic extract and chloroform extract of leaves exhibited strong inhibitory action against Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus niger and moderate inhibitory action against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Proteus vulgaris. The rest of the extracts showed moderate activity.
Acanthus ilicifolius; agar cup-plate method; antimicrobial activity; mangrove
The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) is required for adrenal and gonadal steroidogenesis and for male sexual differentiation. StAR acts on the outer mitochondrial membrane (OMM) to facilitate movement of cholesterol from the OMM to the inner mitochondrial membrane to be converted to pregnenolone, the precursor of all steroid hormones. The mechanisms of the action of StAR remain unclear; the peripheral benzodiazepine receptor, an OMM protein, appears to be involved, but the identity of OMM proteins that interact with StAR remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that phosphorylated StAR interacts with voltage-dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) on the OMM, which then facilitates processing of the 37-kDa phospho-StAR to the 32-kDa intermediate. In the absence of VDAC1, phospho-StAR is degraded by cysteine proteases prior to mitochondrial import. Phosphorylation of StAR by protein kinase A requires phosphate carrier protein on the OMM, which appears to interact with StAR before it interacts with VDAC1. VDAC1 and phosphate carrier protein are the first OMM proteins shown to contact StAR.
Anticancer role of andrographolide is well documented. To find novel potent derivatives with improved cytotoxicity than andrographolide on cancer cells, two series of di-spiropyrrolidino- and di-spiropyrrolizidino oxindole andrographolide derivatives prepared by cyclo-addition of azomethine ylide along with sarcosine or proline (viz. sarcosine and proline series respectively) and substitution of different functional groups (-CH3, -OCH3 and halogens) were examined for their cytotoxic effect on a panel of six human cancer cell lines (colorectal carcinoma HCT116 cells, pancreatic carcinoma MiaPaCa-2 cells, hepatocarcinoma HepG2 cells, cervical carcinoma HeLa cells, lung carcinoma A549 and melanoma A375 cells). Except halogen substituted derivatives of proline series (viz. CY2, CY14 and CY15 for Br, Cl and I substitution respectively), none of the other derivatives showed improved cytotoxicity than andrographolide in the cancer cell lines examined. Order of cytotoxicity of the potent compounds is CY2>CY14>CY15>andrographolide. Higher toxicity was observed in HCT116, MiaPaCa-2 and HepG2 cells. CY2, induced death of HCT116 (GI50 10.5), MiaPaCa-2 (GI50 11.2) and HepG2 (GI50 16.6) cells were associated with cell rounding, nuclear fragmentation and increased percentage of apoptotic cells, cell cycle arrest at G1 phase, ROS generation, and involvement of mitochondrial pathway. Upregulation of Bax, Bad, p53, caspases-3,-9 and cleaved PARP; downregulation of Bcl-2, cytosolic NF-κB p65, PI3K and p-Akt; translocation of P53/P21, NF-κB p65 were seen in CY2 treated HCT116 cells. Thus, three halogenated di-spiropyrrolizidino oxindole derivatives of andrographolide are found to be more cytotoxic than andrographolide in some cancer cells. The most potent derivative, CY2 induced death of the cancer cells involves ROS dependent mitochondrial pathway like andrographolide.
Implant related infection is one of the key concerns in total joint hip arthroplasties. In order to reduce bacterial adhesion, silver (Ag) / silver oxide (Ag2O) doping was used in plasma sprayed hydroxyapatite (HA) coating on titanium substrate. HA powder was doped with 2.0, 4.0 and 6.0 wt% Ag, heat treated at 800 °C and used for plasma spray coating using a 30 kW plasma spray system, equipped with supersonic nozzle. Application of supersonic plasma nozzle significantly reduced phase decomposition and amorphous phase formation in the HA coatings as evident by X-ray diffraction (XRD) study and Fourier transformed infrared spectroscopic (FTIR) analysis. Adhesive bond strength of more than 15 MPa ensured the mechanical integrity of the coatings. Resistance against bacterial adhesion of the coatings was determined by challenging them against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa (PAO1). Live/Dead staining of the adherent bacteria on the coating surfaces indicated a significant reduction in bacterial adhesion due to the presence of Ag. In vitro cell-material interactions and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) protein expressions were evaluated by culturing human fetal osteoblast cells (hFOB). Present results suggest that the plasma sprayed HA coatings doped with an optimum amount of Ag can have excellent antimicrobial property without altering mechanical property of the Ag doped HA coatings.
HA coating; Plasma Spray; Pseudomonas Aeruginosa; biocompatibility
Hepatocytes are the main source of hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication and contain the maximum viral load in an infected person. Chronic HCV infection is characterized by weak cellular immune responses to viral proteins. Cathepsin S is a lysosomal cysteine protease and controls HLA-DR–antigen complex presentation through the degradation of the invariant chain. In this study, we examined the effect of HCV proteins on cathepsin S expression and found it to be markedly decreased in dendritic cells (DCs) exposed to HCV or in hepatocytes expressing HCV proteins. The downregulation of cathepsin S was mediated by HCV core and NS5A proteins involving inhibition of the transcription factors interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) and upstream stimulatory factor 1 (USF-1) in gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-treated hepatocytes. Inhibition of cathepsin S by HCV proteins increased cell surface expression of the invariant chain. In addition, hepatocytes stably transfected with HCV core or NS5A inhibited HLA-DR expression. Together, these results suggested that HCV has an inhibitory role on cathepsin S-mediated major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II maturation, which may contribute to weak immunogenicity of viral antigens in chronically infected humans.
Pure and MgO incorporated Ta coatings were prepared on Cp-Ti substrate using laser engineered net shaping (LENS™) which resulted in diffuse coating-substrate interface. MgO was found along the Ta grain boundaries in the Ta matrix that increased the coating hardness from 185 ± 2.7 HV to 794 ± 93 HV. In vitro biocompatibility study showed excellent early cellular attachment and later stage proliferation in MgO incorporated coatings. The results indicated that although Ta coatings had higher biocompatibility than Ti, it could further be improved by incorporating MgO in the coating, while simultaneously increasing the mechanical properties.
laser processing; Ta coating; MgO coating; biocompatibility; in vitro
We have recently shown that effective cytokine gene therapy of solid tumors in HLA-A2 Tg (HHD) mice lacking murine MHC class I molecule expression results in the generation of HLA-A2-restricted CD8+ T effector cells selectively recognizing tumor blood vessel-associated pericytes and/or vascular endothelial cells (VEC). Using an HHD model in which HLA-A2neg tumor (MC38 colon carcinoma or B16 melanoma) cells are not recognized by the CD8+ T cell repertoire, we now show that vaccines based on tumor-associated blood vessel antigens (TBVA) elicit protective Tc1-dependent immunity capable of mediating tumor regression or extending overall survival. Vaccine efficacy was not observed if (HLA-A2neg) wild-type C57BL/6 mice were instead used as recipient animals. In the HHD model, effective vaccination resulted in profound infiltration of tumor lesions by CD8+ (but not CD4+) T cells, in a coordinate reduction of CD31+ blood vessels in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and in the “spreading” of CD8+ T cell responses to alternate TBVA that were not intrinsic to the vaccine. Protective Tc1-mediated immunity was durable and directly recognized pericytes and/or VEC flow-sorted from tumor tissue, but not from tumor-uninvolved normal kidneys harvested from these same animals. Strikingly, the depletion of CD8+, but not CD4+, T cells at late time points after effective therapy frequently resulted in the recurrence of disease at the site of the regressed primary lesion. This suggests that the vaccine-induced anti-TBVA T cell repertoire can mediate the clinically-preferred outcomes of either effectively eradicating tumors or policing a state of (occult) tumor dormancy.
Vaccine; Pericyte; Vascular Endothelial Cells; Tumor; CD8+ T cells
Betulinic acid is a natural compound with high in vitro cytotoxicity toward many cancer cells. However, the poor water solubility of this compound hampers an effective in vivo cancer study. We prepared new ionic derivatives of betulinic acid with higher water solubilities, without losing the structural integrity and functionality of this compound. As a result, these new ionic derivatives have shown much higher inhibitory effects against different cancer cell lines such as melanoma A375, neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y and breast adenocarcinoma MCF7. For A375 cell lines, the derivative 5 exhibited a low IC50 value of 36 μM (vs 154 μM for betulinic acid); for MCF7 cell lines, the derivative 5 also exhibited a low IC50 value of 25 μM (vs 112 μM for betulinic acid). The high cytotoxicity of these new derivatives can be linked to their greatly improved water solubility. Our assay method used little DMSO in aiding the dissolution of these derivatives to demonstrate the advantage of improved water solubility and to mimic the in vivo study conditions. The cell viability studies based on both MTT and LDH assay methods have confirmed the high inhibitory effect of our ionic derivatives of betulinic acid (particularly 4 and 5) against different cancer cells.
Betulinic acid; anti-cancer agent; melanoma cancer cell; ionic derivative; ionic liquid
HtrA2, a trimeric proapoptotic serine protease is involved in several diseases including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Its unique ability to mediate apoptosis via multiple pathways makes it an important therapeutic target. In HtrA2, C-terminal PDZ domain upon substrate binding regulates its functions through coordinated conformational changes the mechanism of which is yet to be elucidated. Although allostery has been found in some of its homologs, it has not been characterized in HtrA2 so far. Here, with an in silico and biochemical approach we have shown that allostery does regulate HtrA2 activity. Our studies identified a novel non-canonical selective binding pocket in HtrA2 which initiates signal propagation to the distal active site through a complex allosteric mechanism. This non-classical binding pocket is unique among HtrA family proteins and thus unfolds a novel mechanism of regulation of HtrA2 activity and hence apoptosis.
Lateral displacement of cells orthogonal to a flow stream by rolling on asymmetric receptor patterns presents an opportunity for development of new devices for label-free separation and analysis of cells1. Such devices may use lateral displacement for continuous-flow separation, or receptor patterns that modulate adhesion to distinguish between different cell phenotypes or levels of receptor expression. Understanding the nature of cell rolling trajectories on receptor-patterned substrates is necessary for engineering of the substrates and design of such devices.
Here, we demonstrate a protocol for studying cell rolling trajectories on asymmetric receptor patterns that support cell rolling adhesion2. Well-defined, μm-scale patterns of P-selectin receptors were fabricated using microcontact printing on gold-coated slides that were incorporated in a flow chamber. HL60 cells expressing the PSGL-1 ligand 3were flowed across a field of patterned lines and visualized on an inverted bright field microscope. The cells rolled and tracked along the inclined edges of the patterns, resulting in lateral deflection1. Each cell typically rolled for a certain distance along the pattern edges (defined as the edge tracking length), detached from the edge, and reattached to a downstream pattern. Although this detachment makes it difficult to track the entire trajectory of a cell from entrance to exit in the flow chamber, particle-tracking software was used to analyze and yield the rolling trajectories of the cells during the time when they were moving on a single receptor-patterned line. The trajectories were then examined to obtain distributions of cell rolling velocities and the edge tracking lengths for each cell for different patterns.
This protocol is useful for quantifying cell rolling trajectories on receptor patterns and relating these to engineering parameters such as pattern angle and shear stress. Such data will be useful for design of microfluidic devices for label-free cell separation and analysis.
To enhance the research capabilities of investigators interested in Staphylococcus aureus, the Nebraska Center for Staphylococcal Research (CSR) has generated a sequence-defined transposon mutant library consisting of 1,952 strains, each containing a single mutation within a nonessential gene of the epidemic community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) isolate USA300. To demonstrate the utility of this library for large-scale screening of phenotypic alterations, we spotted the library on indicator plates to assess hemolytic potential, protease production, pigmentation, and mannitol utilization. As expected, we identified many genes known to function in these processes, thus validating the utility of this approach. Importantly, we also identified genes not previously associated with these phenotypes. In total, 71 mutants displayed differential hemolysis activities, the majority of which were not previously known to influence hemolysin production. Furthermore, 62 mutants were defective in protease activity, with only 14 previously demonstrated to be involved in the production of extracellular proteases. In addition, 38 mutations affected pigment formation, while only 7 influenced mannitol fermentation, underscoring the sensitivity of this approach to identify rare phenotypes. Finally, 579 open reading frames were not interrupted by a transposon, thus providing potentially new essential gene targets for subsequent antibacterial discovery. Overall, the Nebraska Transposon Mutant Library represents a valuable new resource for the research community that should greatly enhance investigations of this important human pathogen.
Infections caused by Staphylococcus aureus cause significant morbidity and mortality in both community and hospital environments. Specific-allelic-replacement mutants are required to study the biology of this organism; however, this process is costly and time-consuming. We describe the construction and validation of a sequence-defined transposon mutant library available for use by the scientific community through the Network on Antimicrobial Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus (NARSA) strain repository. In addition, complementary resources, including a website (http://app1.unmc.edu/fgx/) and genetic tools that expedite the allelic replacement of the transposon in the mutants with useful selectable markers and fluorescent reporter fusions, have been generated. Overall, this library and associated tools will have a significant impact on studies investigating S. aureus pathogenesis and biology and serve as a useful paradigm for the study of other bacterial systems.
Ninety-eight percent of the 3.7 million neonatal deaths and 3.3 million stillbirths per year occur in developing countries, and evaluation of community-based interventions is needed.
Using a train-the-trainer model, local instructors trained birth attendants from rural communities in six countries (Argentina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, and Zambia) in the World Health Organization Essential Newborn Care course (routine neonatal care, resuscitation, thermoregulation, breastfeeding, kangaroo care, care of the small baby, and common illnesses), and in a modified version of the American Academy of Pediatrics Neonatal Resuscitation Program (in depth basic resuscitation), except in Argentina.
The Essential Newborn Care intervention was assessed with a before and after design (N=57, 643). The Neonatal Resuscitation Program intervention was assessed as a cluster randomized controlled trial (N=62,366). The primary outcome was 7-day neonatal mortality.
The 7-day follow-up rate was 99.2%. Following Essential Newborn Care training, there was no significant reduction from baseline in all-cause 7-day neonatal (RR 0.99; CI 0.81, 1.22) or perinatal mortality; there was a significant reduction in the stillbirth rate (RR 0.69; CI 0.54, 0.88; p<0.01). Seven-day neonatal mortality, stillbirth, and perinatal mortality were not reduced in clusters randomized to Neonatal Resuscitation Program training as compared with control clusters.
Seven-day neonatal mortality did not decrease following the introduction of Essential Newborn Care training of community-based birth attendants, although the rate of stillbirths was reduced following this intervention. Subsequent training in the Neonatal Resuscitation Program did not significantly reduce the mortality rates. (clinicaltrials.gov number, NCT00136708).
neonatal mortality; perinatal mortality; developing countries; health systems; effectiveness
To evaluate the effects of SiO2 (0.5 wt %) and ZnO (0.25 wt %) dopants on the mechanical and biological properties of tricalcium phosphate (TCP) scaffolds with three dimensionally (3D) interconnected pores.
Scaffolds were created with a commercial 3D printer. Post sintering phase analysis was determined by x-ray diffraction. Surface morphology of the scaffolds was examined by field emission electron microscopy. Mechanical strength was evaluated with a screw driven universal testing machine. MTT assay was used for cellular proliferation characteristics and cellular morphology was examined by field emission electron microscopy.
Addition of dopants into TCP increased the average density of pure TCP from 90.8 ± 0.8% to 94.1 ± 1.6% and retarded the β to α phase transformation at high sintering temperatures, which resulted in up to 2.5 fold increase in compressive strength. In vitro cell-materials interaction studies, carried out using hFOB cells, confirmed that the addition of SiO2 and ZnO to the scaffolds facilitates faster cell proliferation when compared to pure TCP scaffolds.
Addition of SiO2 and ZnO dopants to the TCP scaffolds showed increased mechanical strength as well as increased cellular proliferation.
β-tricalcium phosphate; porous scaffold; three dimensional printing; doped calcium phosphates; bone tissue engineering
The purpose of this first generation investigation is to evaluate fabrication, in vitro cytotoxicity, cell-materials interactions and tribological performance of TiN particle reinforced Ti6Al4V composite coatings for potential wear resistant load bearing implant applications. The microstructural analysis of the composites was performed using scanning electron microscope and phase analysis was done with X-ray diffraction. In vitro cell-materials interactions, using human fetal osteoblast cell line, have been assessed on these composite coatings and compared with Ti6Al4V alloy control samples. The tribological performance of the coatings were evaluated, in simulated body fluids, up to 1000 m sliding distance under 10N normal load. The results show that the composite coatings contain distinct TiN particles embedded in α + β phase matrix. The average top surface hardness of Ti6Al4V alloy increased from 394 ± 8 HV to 1138 ± 61 HV with 40 wt.% TiN reinforcement. Among the composite coatings, the coatings reinforced with 40 wt. % TiN exhibited the highest wear resistance of 3.74 × 10-6 mm3/Nm, which is lower than the wear rate, 1.04 × 10-5 mm3/Nm, of laser processed CoCrMo alloy tested under identical experimental conditions. In vitro biocompatibility study showed that these composite coatings were non-toxic and provides superior cell-material interactions compared to Ti6Al4V control, as a result of their high surface energy. In summary, excellent in vitro wear resistance and biocompatibility of present laser processed TiN reinforced Ti6Al4V alloy composite coatings clearly show their potential as wear resistant contact surfaces for load bearing implant applications.
Ti6Al4V; TiN; metal matrix composites; laser deposition; laser engineered net shaping; in vitro wear resistance; biocompatibility
Members of the epidermal growth factor receptor family (EGFR/Erb1, Erb2/HER2, ErbB3/HER3 and ErbB4/HER4) are key targets for inhibition in cancer therapy1. Critical for activation is the formation of an asymmetric dimer by the intracellular kinase domains, in which the C-terminal lobe (C-lobe) of one kinase domain induces an active conformation in the other2. The cytoplasmic protein Mig6 (Mitogen-induced gene 6) interacts with and inhibits the kinase domains of EGFR and ErbB23–5. Crystal structures of complexes between the EGFR kinase domain and a fragment of Mig6 show that a ~25-residue epitope (segment 1) from Mig6 binds to the distal surface of the C-lobe of the kinase domain. Biochemical and cell-based analyses confirm that this interaction contributes to EGFR inhibition by blocking the formation of the activating dimer interface. A longer Mig6 peptide that is extended C-terminal to segment 1 has increased potency as an inhibitor of the activated EGFR kinase domain, while retaining a critical dependence on segment 1. We show that signaling by EGFR molecules that contain constitutively active kinase domains still requires formation of the asymmetric dimer, underscoring the importance of dimer interface blockage in Mig6-mediated inhibition.
Wnt/β-catenin signalling has been suggested to be active in basal-like breast cancer. However, in highly aggressive metastatic triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) the role of β-catenin and the underlying mechanism(s) for the aggressiveness of TNBC remain unknown. We illustrate that WNT10B induces transcriptionally active β-catenin in human TNBC and predicts survival-outcome of patients with both TNBC and basal-like tumours. We provide evidence that transgenic murine Wnt10b-driven tumours are devoid of ERα, PR and HER2 expression and can model human TNBC. Importantly, HMGA2 is specifically expressed during early stages of embryonic mammogenesis and absent when WNT10B expression is lost, suggesting a developmentally conserved mode of action. Mechanistically, ChIP analysis uncovered that WNT10B activates canonical β-catenin signalling leading to up-regulation of HMGA2. Treatment of mouse and human triple-negative tumour cells with two Wnt/β-catenin pathway modulators or siRNA to HMGA2 decreases HMGA2 levels and proliferation. We demonstrate that WNT10B has epistatic activity on HMGA2, which is necessary and sufficient for proliferation of TNBC cells. Furthermore, HMGA2 expression predicts relapse-free-survival and metastasis in TNBC patients.
cancer stem cells; HMGA2; metastasis; triple negative breast cancer; wnt signalling
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) production is a common denominator in a variety of biotic and abiotic stresses, including salinity. In recent years, haem oxygenase (HO; EC 22.214.171.124) has been described as an important component of the antioxidant defence system in both mammalian and plant systems. Moreover, a recent report on Arabidopsis demonstrated that HO overexpression resulted in an enhanced salinity tolerance in this species. However, physiological mechanisms and downstream targets responsible for the observed salinity tolerance in these HO mutants remain elusive. To address this gap, ion transport characteristics (K+ and H+ fluxes and membrane potentials) and gene expression profiles in the roots of Arabidopsis thaliana HO-overexpressing (35S:HY1-1/2/3/4) and loss-of-function (hy-100, ho2, ho3, and ho4) mutants were compared during salinity stress. Upon acute salt stress, HO-overexpressing mutants retained more K+ (less efflux), and exhibited better membrane potential regulation (maintained more negative potential) and higher H+ efflux activity in root epidermis, compared with loss-of-function mutants. Pharmacological experiments suggested that high activity of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase in HO overexpressor mutants provided the proton-motive force required for membrane potential maintenance and, hence, better K+ retention. The gene expression analysis after 12h and 24h of salt stress revealed high expression levels of H+-ATPases (AHA1/2/3) and Na+/H+ antiporter [salt overly sensitive1 (SOS1)] transcripts in the plasma membrane of HO overexpressors. It is concluded that HO modifies salinity tolerance in Arabidopsis by controlling K+ retention via regulation of the plasma membrane H+-ATPase and by altering SOS1 transcript levels in roots.
Gene expression; H+-ATPase; haem oxygenase; ion fluxes; membrane potential; potassium; sodium.
In the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans, a family of endogenous small molecules, the ascarosides, function as key regulators of developmental timing and behavior that act upstream of conserved signaling pathways. The ascarosides are based on the dideoxysugar ascarylose, which is linked to fatty acid-like side chains of varying lengths derived from peroxisomal β-oxidation. Despite their importance for many aspects of C. elegans biology, knowledge of ascaroside structures, biosynthesis, and homeostasis remains incomplete. We used an MS/MS-based screen to profile ascarosides in C. elegans wild type and mutant metabolomes, which revealed a much greater structural diversity of ascaroside derivatives than previously reported. Comparison of the metabolomes from wild type and a series of peroxisomal β-oxidation mutants showed that the enoyl CoA-hydratase MAOC-1 serves an important role in ascaroside biosynthesis and clarified the functions of two other enzymes, ACOX-1 and DHS-28. We show that following peroxisomal β-oxidation the ascarosides are selectively derivatized with moieties of varied biogenetic origin and that such modifications can dramatically affect biological activity, producing signaling molecules active at low femtomolar concentrations. Based on these results the ascarosides appear as a modular library of small molecule signals, integrating building blocks from three major metabolic pathways; carbohydrate metabolism, peroxisomal β-oxidation of fatty acids, and amino acid catabolism. Our screen further demonstrates that ascaroside biosynthesis is directly affected by nutritional status and that excretion of the final products is highly selective.
Cholesterol and sphingolipid enriched lipid raft micro-domains in the plasma membrane play an important role in life-cycle of numerous enveloped viruses. Although human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) proteins associate with the raft domains of infected cells and rafts are incorporated in RSV virion particles, the functional role of raft during RSV infection was unknown. In the current study we have identified rafts as an essential component of host cell that is required for RSV infection. Treatment of human lung epithelial cells with raft disrupting agent methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MBCD) led to drastic loss of RSV infectivity due to diminished release of infectious progeny RSV virion particles from raft disrupted cells. RSV infection of raft deficient Niemann-Pick syndrome type C human fibroblasts and normal human embryonic lung fibroblasts revealed that during productive RSV infection, raft is required for release of infectious RSV particles.
Respiratory syncytial virus; cholesterol; lipid rafts; virus release
In spite of sufficient data on Neem Leaf Glycoprotein (NLGP) as a prophylactic vaccine, little knowledge currently exists to support the use of NLGP as a therapeutic vaccine. Treatment of mice bearing established sarcomas with NLGP (25 µg/mice/week subcutaneously for 4 weeks) resulted in tumor regression or dormancy (Tumor free/Regressor, 13/24 (NLGP), 4/24 (PBS)). Evaluation of CD8+ T cell status in blood, spleen, TDLN, VDLN and tumor revealed increase in cellular number. Elevated expression of CD69, CD44 and Ki67 on CD8+ T cells revealed their state of activation and proliferation by NLGP. Depletion of CD8+ T cells in mice at the time of NLGP treatment resulted in partial termination of tumor regression. An expansion of CXCR3+ and CCR5+ T cells was observed in the TDLN and tumor, along with their corresponding ligands. NLGP treatment enhances type 1 polarized T-bet expressing T cells with downregulation of GATA3. Treg cell population was almost unchanged. However, T∶Treg ratios significantly increased with NLGP. Enhanced secretion/expression of IFNγ was noted after NLGP therapy. In vitro culture of T cells with IL-2 and sarcoma antigen resulted in significant enhancement in cytotoxic efficacy. Consistently higher expression of CD107a was also observed in CD8+ T cells from tumors. Reinoculation of sarcoma cells in tumor regressed NLGP-treated mice maintained tumor free status in majority. This is correlated with the increment of CD44hiCD62Lhi central memory T cells. Collectively, these findings support a paradigm in which NLGP dynamically orchestrates the activation, expansion, and recruitment of CD8+ T cells into established tumors to operate significant tumor cell lysis.
Eighty four halotolerant bacterial strains were isolated from the saline habitats and screened for growth at different NaCl concentrations. All grew well at 5% NaCl, but only 25% isolates showed growth at 20% NaCl concentration. Five strains SL3, SL32, SL35, J8W and PU62 growing well in 20% NaCl concentrations were further characterized for multiple plant growth promoting traits such as indole −3- acetic acid (IAA) production, HCN and siderophore production, ACC deaminase activity and P-solubilization. None were positive for HCN production and PCR amplification of acdS, the structural gene for ACC deaminase enzyme was found negative. 16S rRNA gene sequencing analysis of the five strains showed them to belong to two genera Bacillus and Hallobacillus. In vitro experiments showed that salt concentrations had significant inhibitory effects on development of seedlings but not on the growth of the bacterial strains. Inoculation of the 5 halotolerant bacterial strains to ameliorate salt stress (80 mM, 160 mM and 320 mM) in wheat seedlings produced an increase in root length of 71.7% in comparison with uninoculated positive controls. In particular, Hallobacillus sp. SL3 and Bacillus halodenitrificans PU62 showed more than 90% increase in root elongation and 17.4% increase in dry weight when compared to uninoculated wheat seedlings at 320 mM NaCl stress indicating a significant reduction of the deleterious effects of NaCl. These results indicate that halotolerant bacteria isolated from saline environments have potential to enhance plant growth under saline stress through direct or indirect mechanisms and would be most appropriate as bioinoculants under such conditions.
Halotolerant bacteria; Salt stress; Wheat; Plant growth promoting bacteria
Because MYC plays a causal role in many human cancers, including those with hypoxic and nutrient-poor tumor microenvironments, we have determined the metabolic responses of a MYC-inducible human Burkitt lymphoma model P493 cell line to aerobic and hypoxic conditions, and to glucose deprivation, using Stable Isotope Resolved Metabolomics. Using [U-13C]-glucose as the tracer, both glucose consumption and lactate production were increased by MYC expression and hypoxia. Using [U-13C,15N]-glutamine as the tracer, glutamine import and metabolism through the TCA cycle persisted under hypoxia, and glutamine contributed significantly to citrate carbons. Under glucose deprivation, glutamine-derived fumarate, malate, and citrate were significantly increased. Their 13C labeling patterns demonstrate an alternative energy-generating glutaminolysis pathway involving a glucose-independent TCA cycle. The essential role of glutamine metabolism in cell survival and proliferation under hypoxia and glucose deficiency, makes them susceptible to the glutaminase inhibitor BPTES, and hence could be targeted for cancer therapy.
Glucose-independent glutamine-dependent TCA cycle; metabolism of survival
This paper aims to build novel methodology for the use of a reference region with specific binding for the quantification of brain studies with radioligands and positron emission tomography (PET). In particular: (1) we introduce a definition of binding potential BPD=DVR−1 where DVR is the volume of distribution relative to a reference tissue that contains ligand in specifically bound form, (2) we validate a numerical methodology, rank-shaping regularization of exponential spectral analysis (RS-ESA), for the calculation of BPD that can cope with a reference region with specific bound ligand, (3) we demonstrate the use of RS-ESA for the accurate estimation of drug occupancies with the use of correction factors to account for the specific binding in the reference. [11C]-DASB with cerebellum as a reference was chosen as an example to validate the methodology. Two data sets were used; four normal subjects scanned after infusion of citalopram or placebo and further six test–retest data sets. In the drug occupancy study, the use of RS-ESA with cerebellar input plus corrections produced estimates of occupancy very close the ones obtained with plasma input. Test–retest results demonstrated a tight linear relationship between BPD calculated either with plasma or with a reference input and high reproducibility.
[11C]-DASB; kinetic modelling; occupancy; positron emission tomography; rank-shaping spectral analysis; reference region; spectral analysis