There was an increasing requirement for novel treatments of osteoarthritis (OA). The aim was to compare the efficacy of intraarticular Botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A) and intraarticular hyaluronate plus rehabilitation exercise in patients with ankle OA.
This was a prospective, randomized, assessor-blinded study with a 6-month follow-up period, conducted in the outpatient rehabilitation department at a university-affiliated tertiary care medical center. Seventy-five patients with symptomatic ankle OA (Kellgren-Lawrence grade 2) were randomized to receive either a single 100-unit BoNT-A injection into the target ankle (n = 38) or a single hyaluronate injection plus 12 sessions of rehabilitation exercise (30 minutes/day, 3 times/week for 4 weeks) (n = 37). The primary outcome measure was the Ankle Osteoarthritis Scale (AOS). Secondary outcome measures included American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) Ankle/Hindfoot Score, visual analog scale (VAS) for ankle pain, single leg stance test (SLS), Timed “Up-and-Go” test (TUG), consumption of rescue analgesics and global patient satisfaction.
There were no significant between-group differences in total AOS scores, pain subscale and disability subscale scores (adjusted mean difference AMD = -0.2, 95% CI = (-0.5, 0.2), p = 0.39; AMD = -0.1, 95% CI = (-0.5, 0.3), p = 0.57; AMD = -0.2, 95% CI = (-0.6, 0.2), p = 0.36). The 2 groups showed no significant differences in AOFAS, VAS, SLS, TUG scores and consumption of rescue analgesics at each follow-up visit, except that the hyaluronate group improved more in SLS than the BoNT-A group at 1-month follow-up. Patients’ satisfaction rate was high, with no serious adverse events. There was no difference in adverse events between the two groups (p = 1.00).
Treatment with intraarticular BoNT-A or hyaluronate injection plus rehabilitation exercise was associated with improvements in pain, physical function and balance in patients with ankle OA. These effects were rapid at 2 weeks and might last for at least 6 months. There was no difference in effectiveness between the two interventions.
The trial was registered at clinical trials.gov (Registry number NCT01760577).
Ankle; Osteoarthritis; Botulinum toxin; Hyaluronate; Intraarticular injection
The transcription factor DEC1 is induced by CD28 ligation and is required for optimal CD4+ T cell responses and the development of EAE.
During the initial hours after activation, CD4+ T cells experience profound changes in gene expression. Co-stimulation via the CD28 receptor is required for efficient activation of naive T cells. However, the transcriptional consequences of CD28 co-stimulation are not completely understood. We performed expression microarray analysis to elucidate the effects of CD28 signals on the transcriptome of activated T cells. We show that the transcription factor DEC1 is highly induced in a CD28-dependent manner upon T cell activation, is involved in essential CD4+ effector T cell functions, and participates in the transcriptional regulation of several T cell activation pathways, including a large group of CD28-regulated genes. Antigen-specific, DEC1-deficient CD4+ T cells have cell-intrinsic defects in survival and proliferation. Furthermore, we found that DEC1 is required for the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis because of its critical role in the production of the proinflammatory cytokines GM-CSF, IFN-γ, and IL-2. Thus, we identify DEC1 as a critical transcriptional mediator in the activation of naive CD4+ T cells that is required for the development of a T cell–mediated autoimmune disease.
Recently, carbon nanotubes together with other types of conductive materials have been used to enhance the viability and function of cardiomyocytes in vitro. Here we demonstrated a paradigm to construct ECTs for cardiac repair using conductive nanomaterials. Single walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) were incorporated into gelatin hydrogel scaffolds to construct three-dimensional ECTs. We found that SWNTs could provide cellular microenvironment in vitro favorable for cardiac contraction and the expression of electrochemical associated proteins. Upon implantation into the infarct hearts in rats, ECTs structurally integrated with the host myocardium, with different types of cells observed to mutually invade into implants and host tissues. The functional measurements showed that SWNTs were essential to improve the performance of ECTs in inhibiting pathological deterioration of myocardium. This work suggested that conductive nanomaterials hold therapeutic potential in engineering cardiac tissues to repair myocardial infarction.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of motor and cognitive deficits in young adults for which there is no effective therapy. The present study characterizes the protective effect of a new histone deacetylase inhibitor, Scriptaid (Sigma-Aldrich Corporation, St. Louis, MO), against injury from controlled cortical impact (CCI). Scriptaid elicited a dose-dependent decrease in lesion size at 1.5 to 5.5 mg/kg and a concomitant attenuation in motor and cognitive deficits when delivered 30 minutes postinjury in a model of moderate TBI. Comparable protection was achieved even when treatment was delayed to 12 h postinjury. Furthermore, the protection of motor and cognitive functions was long lasting, as similar improvements were detected 35 days postinjury. The efficacy of Scriptaid (Sigma-Aldrich Corporation) was manifested as an increase in surviving neurons, as well as the number/length of their processes within the CA3 region of the hippocampus and the pericontusional cortex. Consistent with other histone deacetylase inhibitors, Scriptaid treatment prevented the decrease in phospho-AKT (p-AKT) and phosphorylated phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (p-PTEN) induced by TBI in cortical and CA3 hippocampal neurons. Notably, the p-AKT inhibitor LY294002 attenuated the impact of Scriptaid, providing mechanistic evidence that Scriptaid functions partly by modulating the prosurvival AKT signaling pathway. As Scriptaid offers long-lasting neuronal and behavioral protection, even when delivered 12 h after controlled cortical impact, it is an excellent new candidate for the effective clinical treatment of TBI.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13311-012-0157-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
TBI; Histone deacetylase inhibitor; CCI; Long-term protection; p-AKT; PTEN
Ischemic stroke is a devastating condition lacking effective therapies. A promising approach to attenuate ischemic injury is mild hypothermia. Recent studies show that adenosine nucleotides can induce hypothermia in mice. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) induces mild hypothermia in rats and reduces ischemic brain injury. We found that intraperitoneal injections of ATP decreased core body temperature in a dose-dependent manner; the dose appropriate for mild hypothermia was 2 g/kg. When ATP-induced hypothermia was applied to stroke induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion, however, a neuroprotective effect was not observed. Instead, the infarct volume grew even larger in ATP-treated rats. This was accompanied by an increased rate of seizure events, hemorrhagic transformation, and higher mortality. Continuous monitoring of physiologic parameters revealed that ATP reduced heartbeat rate and blood pressure. ATP also increased blood glucose, accompanied by severe acidosis and hypocalcemia. Western blotting showed that ATP decreased levels of both phospho-Akt and total-Akt in the cortex. Our results reveal that, despite inducing hypothermia, ATP is not appropriate for protecting the brain against stroke. Instead, we show for the first time that ATP treatment is associated with exaggerated ischemic outcomes and dangerous systemic side effects.
acidosis; ATP; brain ischemia; hyperglycemia; hypothermia
Mitochondria play a central role in cell fate after stressors such as ischemic brain injury. The convergence of intracellular signaling pathways on mitochondria and their release of critical factors are now recognized as a default conduit to cell death or survival. Besides the individual processes that converge on or emanate from mitochondria, a mitochondrial organellar response to changes in the cellular environment has recently been described. Whereas mitochondria have previously been perceived as a major center for cellular signaling, one can postulate that the organelle's dynamics themselves affect cell survival. This brief perspective review puts forward the concept that disruptions in mitochondrial dynamics—biogenesis, clearance, and fission/fusion events—may underlie neural diseases and thus could be targeted as neuroprotective strategies in the context of ischemic injury. To do so, we present a general overview of the current understanding of mitochondrial dynamics and regulation. We then review emerging studies that correlate mitochondrial biogenesis, mitophagy, and fission/fusion events with neurologic disease and recovery. An overview of the system as it is currently understood is presented, and current assessment strategies and their limitations are discussed.
Biogenesis; cerebral ischemia; mitochondrial dynamics; mitophagy; neurodegeneration
Phase II metabolic enzymes are a battery of critical proteins that detoxify xenobiotics by increasing their hydrophilicity and enhancing their disposal. These enzymes have long been studied for their preventative and protective effects against mutagens and carcinogens and for their regulation via the Keap1 (Kelch-like ECH associated protein 1) / Nrf2 (Nuclear factor erythroid 2 related factor 2) / ARE (antioxidant response elements) pathway. Recently, a series of studies have reported the altered expression of phase II genes in postmortem tissue of patients with various neurological diseases. These observations hint at a role for phase II enzymes in the evolution of such conditions. Furthermore, promising findings reveal that overexpression of phase II genes, either by genetic or chemical approaches, confers neuroprotection in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, there is a need to summarize the current literature on phase II genes in the central nervous system (CNS). This should help guide future studies on phase II genes as therapeutic targets in neurological diseases. In this review, we first briefly introduce the concept of phase I, II and III enzymes, with a special focus on phase II enzymes. We then discuss their expression regulation, their inducers and executors. Following this background, we expand our discussion to the neuroprotective effects of phase II enzymes and the potential application of Nrf2 inducers to the treatment of neurological diseases.
phase II genes; Keap1/Nrf2/ARE; inducers; effectors; acute neurological diseases; neurodegenerative diseases
Atrazine molecular imprinted polymers (MIPs) were comparatively synthesized using identical polymer formulation by far-infrared (FIR) radiation and ultraviolet (UV)-induced polymerization, respectively. Equilibrium binding experiments were carried out with the prepared MIPs; the results showed that MIPuv possessed specific binding to atrazine compared with their MIPFIR radiation counterparts. Scatchard plot’s of both MIPs indicated that the affinities of the binding sites in MIPs are heterogeneous and can be approximated by two dissociation-constants corresponding to the high-and low-affinity binding sites. Moreover, several common pesticides including atrazine, cyromazine, metamitron, simazine, ametryn, terbutryn were tested to determine their specificity, similar imprinting factor (IF) and different selectivity index (SI) for both MIPs. Physical characterization of the polymers revealed that the different polymerization methods led to slight differences in polymer structures and performance by scanning electron microscope (SEM), Fourier transform infrared absorption (FT-IR), and mercury analyzer (MA). Finally, both MIPs were used as selective sorbents for solid phase extraction (SPE) of atrazine from lake water, followed by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis. Compared with commercial C18 SPE sorbent (86.4%–94.8%), higher recoveries of atrazine in spiked lake water were obtained in the range of 90.1%–97.1% and 94.4%–101.9%, for both MIPs, respectively.
atrazine; molecular imprinted polymers; far-infrared induced; ultraviolet induced
To compare the safety, efficacy, and impact on stent graft positioning between rapid artificial cardiac pacing (RACP), induced hypotension and sodium nitroprusside (SNP) induced hypotension during thoracic endovascular aortic repair (TEVAR) for Stanford B aortic dissection.
One hundred and sixty-eight patients, who were diagnosed with Stanford B aortic dissection and who underwent selective TEVAR in Guangdong General Hospital and the People’s Hospital of Baoan District, Shenzhen, People’s Republic of China, were enrolled in this study. Patients were randomly divided into a RACP group (n=77) and a SNP group (n=91). During localization and deployment of the stent graft, hypotension was induced by RACP or intravenous SNP, according to randomization. Hemodynamics, landing precision (deviation from planned placement site), duration of procedure, renal function, neurocognitive function, and incidence of endoleaks and paraplegia/hemiplegia were compared. Except for methods of inducing hypotension, TEVAR was performed according to the same protocol in each group.
RACP was successfully performed in all patients assigned to the RACP group. Compared with the SNP group, blood pressure was significantly lower (43±5 versus 81±6 mmHg, P=0.003) and the restoration time of blood pressure and the operation duration were significantly shorter (7±2 versus 451±87 seconds, P<0.001; 87±15 versus 106±18 minutes, P<0.001, respectively) in the RACP group. Stent graft localization/deployment was more precise in the RACP group (2±1 versus 5±2 mm, P<0.001). Compared to baseline, there was no significant change after TEVAR in either group in regard to renal function, neurocognitive function, and incidence of endoleaks and paraplegia/hemiplegia.
RACP can be safely applied to patients undergoing TEVAR for Stanford B dissection. RACP can shorten the operation duration and facilitate precise graft localization/deployment.
Stanford B aortic dissection; endovascular repair; rapid artificial cardiac pacing; precise graft deployment
Acute lung injury (ALI) is a serious clinical syndrome with a high rate of mortality. In this study, the effects of triptolide on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI in rats were investigated.
Sixty-five male Sprague Dawley rats(approved by ethics committee of the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University) were randomly divided into five groups. The control group was injected with 2.5 mL saline/kg body weight via the tail vein and intraperitoneally with 1% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) (n = 5). The L group was administered with 0.2% LPS dissolved in saline (5 mg/kg) to induce ALI via the tail vein (n = 15). The TP1, TP2, and TP3 groups were treated as rats in the L group and then intraperitoneally injected with 25, 50, and 100 μg triptolide/kg body weight, respectively (15 rats per group). Blood samples from the left heart artery were taken for blood gas analysis at 1 hour before injection and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 hours after saline and DMSO administration in the control group, LPS injection in the L group, and triptolide injection in the TP1, TP2, and TP3 groups. Lung wet-to-dry weight (W/D) ratio, diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) score, TNF-α levels, and mRNA and protein expression of toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) were analyzed.
Compared with the control group, the arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) declined (P <0.05), the W/D ratio and DAD score increased (P <0.05), and TNF-α levels in serum and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and mRNA and protein expression of TLR4 were significantly increased in the L group (P <0.05). Compared with the L group, PaO2 significantly increased in the TP2 and TP3 groups (P <0.05), while the W/D ratio and DAD score were significantly decreased in the TP2 and TP3 groups (P <0.05). TNF-α levels and mRNA and protein expression of TLR4 were significantly decreased in the TP2 and TP3 groups compared with the L group (P <0.05).
Triptolide can ameliorate LPS-induced ALI by reducing the release of the inflammatory mediator TNF-α and inhibiting TLR4 expression.
Triptolide; Lipopolysaccharide; Acute lung injury; Immunosuppressive agents; Toll-like receptor 4
The DNase domain-containing protein TATDN1 is a conserved nuclease in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. It was previously implicated to play a role in apoptotic DNA fragmentation in yeast and C. elegans. However, its biological function in higher organisms, such as vertebrates, is unknown. Here, we report that zebrafish TATDN1 (zTATDN1) possesses a novel endonuclease activity, which first makes a nick at the DNA duplex and subsequently converts the nick into a DNA double-strand break in vitro. This biochemical property allows zTATDN1 to catalyze decatenation of catenated kinetoplast DNA to produce separated linear DNA in vitro. We further determine that zTATDN1 is predominantly expressed in eye cells during embryonic development. Knockdown of TATDN1 in zebrafish embryos results in an abnormal cell cycle progression, formation of polyploidy and aberrant chromatin structures. Consequently, the TATDN1-deficient morphants have disordered eye cell layers and significantly smaller eyes compared with the WT control. Altogether, our current studies suggest that zTATDN1 plays an important role in chromosome segregation and eye development in zebrafish.
TATDN1; nuclease; decatenation; cell cycle; zebrafish; eye
MicroRNAs regulate gene expression in diverse physiological scenarios. Their role in the control of morphogen related signaling pathways has been less studied, particularly in the context of embryonic Central Nervous System (CNS) development. Here, we uncover a role for microRNAs in limiting the spatiotemporal range of morphogen expression and function. Wnt1 is a key morphogen in the embryonic midbrain, and directs proliferation, survival, patterning and neurogenesis. We reveal an autoregulatory negative feedback loop between the transcription factor Lmx1b and a newly characterized microRNA, miR135a2, which modulates the extent of Wnt1/Wnt signaling and the size of the dopamine progenitor domain. Conditional gain of function studies reveal that Lmx1b promotes Wnt1/Wnt signaling, and thereby increases midbrain size and dopamine progenitor allocation. Conditional removal of Lmx1b has the opposite effect, in that expansion of the dopamine progenitor domain is severely compromised. Next, we provide evidence that microRNAs are involved in restricting dopamine progenitor allocation. Conditional loss of Dicer1 in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) results in expanded Lmx1a/b+ progenitors. In contrast, forced elevation of miR135a2 during an early window in vivo phenocopies the Lmx1b conditional knockout. When En1::Cre, but not Shh::Cre or Nes::Cre, is used for recombination, the expansion of Lmx1a/b+ progenitors is selectively reduced. Bioinformatics and luciferase assay data suggests that miR135a2 targets Lmx1b and many genes in the Wnt signaling pathway, including Ccnd1, Gsk3b, and Tcf7l2. Consistent with this, we demonstrate that this mutant displays reductions in the size of the Lmx1b/Wnt1 domain and range of canonical Wnt signaling. We posit that microRNA modulation of the Lmx1b/Wnt axis in the early midbrain/isthmus could determine midbrain size and allocation of dopamine progenitors. Since canonical Wnt activity has recently been recognized as a key ingredient for programming ESCs towards a dopaminergic fate in vitro, these studies could impact the rational design of such protocols.
To achieve exquisitely complex behavior, the mammalian CNS is comprised of numerous neuron types, each with different functions. These distinct neuron types are produced from neural progenitors during embryonic development. How the embryonic neural progenitors are programmed to produce distinct neuron types, in the correct position and number, is a central question in developmental neuroscience. We focused on studying the embryonic production of a key neuron type, the midbrain dopamine neuron (mDA), which is particularly vulnerable in Parkinson's disease (PD). Previous works from our lab and others have shown that Wnt signaling is critical for dopamine neuron production. Here we provide a mechanism for how Wnt signaling is initiated, and then downregulated. Key to initiating this process is a transcription factor, Lmx1b, whereas important to the downregulation process is a newly characterized microRNA, miR135a2. The quantitative balance of these factors determines how many dopamine neurons are produced during embryonic development. These studies will have direct implications for efficiently programming dopamine neurons from stem cells, a key goal of regenerative approaches for PD.
Dysfunctional mitochondria participate in the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Pirfenidone is a newly identified anti-fibrotic drug. However, its mechanism remains unclear. Mitochondrial dysfunction is an early event that occurs prior to the onset of renal fibrosis. In this context, we investigated the protective effect of pirfenidone on mitochondria and its relevance to apoptosis and oxidative stress in renal proximal tubular cells. A remnant kidney rat model was established. Human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (HK2) using rotenone, a mitochondrial respiratory chain complex Ι inhibitor were further investigated in vitro to examine the mitochondrial protective effect of pirfenidone. Pirfenidone protected mitochondrial structures and functions by stabilizing the mitochondrial membrane potential, maintaining ATP production and improving the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number. Pirfenidone decreased tubular cell apoptosis by inhibiting the mitochondrial apoptotic signaling pathway. Pirfenidone also reduced oxidative stress by enhancing manganese superoxide dismutase (Mn-SOD) and inhibiting intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, which suggested that the anti-oxidant effects occurred at least partially via the mitochondrial pathway. Pirfenidone may be effective prior to the onset of renal fibrosis because this drug exerts its anti-fibrotic effect by protection of mitochondria in renal proximal tubular cells.
Our previous work demonstrated that persistent peripheral nociception (PPN) leads to synaptic plasticity and functional changes in the rat hippocampus. The protein kinase mTOR is a critical regulator of protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus as well as synaptic plasticity associated with central and peripheral pain sensitization. We examined the role of mTOR signaling in pain-associated entorhinal cortex (EC) - hippocampal synaptic plasticity to reveal possible cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of chronic pain on cognition and emotion.
Subcutaneous injection of bee venom (BV) into one hind paw to induce PPN resulted in sustained (> 8 h) mTOR phospho-activation and enhanced phosphorylation of the mTOR target p70 S6 kinase (S6K) in the hippocampus. The magnitude and duration of long-term potentiation (LTP) in both EC - dentate gyrus (DG) and EC - CA1 synaptic pathways were elevated in BV-treated rats as measured by microelectrode array recording. Moreover, the number of potentiated synapses in the hippocampus was markedly upregulated by BV-induced PPN. Both elevated mTOR-S6K signaling and enhanced LTP induced by BV injection were reversed by systemic injection of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin (RAPA). Rats injected with BV exhibited markedly reduced ambulation and exploratory activity in the open field (signs of depression and anxiety) compared to controls, and these effects were also reversed by RAPA.
We suggest that PPN-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity in EC - hippocampal pathways and the behavioral effects of PPN are dependent on mTOR-S6K signaling.
Bee venom; Hippocampal formation; Synaptic plasticity; Rapamycin; mTOR signaling pathway
To develop a reliable magnetic resonance elastography (MRE)-based method for measuring regional brain stiffness.
First, simulation studies were used to demonstrate how stiffness measurements can be biased by changes in brain morphometry, such as those due to atrophy. Adaptive postprocessing methods were created that significantly reduce the spatial extent of edge artifacts and eliminate atrophy-related bias. Second, a pipeline for regional brain stiffness measurement was developed and evaluated for test-retest reliability in 10 healthy control subjects.
This technique indicates high test-retest repeatability with a typical coefficient of variation of less than 1% for global brain stiffness and less than 2% for the lobes of the brain and the cerebellum. Furthermore, this study reveals that the brain possesses a characteristic topography of mechanical properties, and also that lobar stiffness measurements tend to correlate with one another within an individual.
The methods presented in this work are resistant to noise- and edge-related biases that are common in the field of brain MRE, demonstrate high test-retest reliability, and provide independent regional stiffness measurements. This pipeline will allow future investigations to measure changes to the brain’s mechanical properties and how they relate to the characteristic topographies that are typical of many neurologic diseases.
Galectin-1 (Gal-1), an endogenous β-galactoside-binding protein, binds to laminins, which are highly expressed in the nucleus pulposus (NP) of the intervertebral disc (IVD). The objective of this study is to evaluate the expression of Gal-1 protein in IVD tissues during aging and the effect of Gal-1 on IVD cell adhesion to laminins. Tissues from rat, porcine and human (scoliosis or disc degeneration) IVDs were used to evaluate Gal-1 expression via immunostaining, RT-PCR and Western Blot analysis. Attachment of isolated IVD cells (porcine and human) on select laminin isoforms (LM-111 and LM-511) was compared with/without pre-incubation with exogenous Gal-1. A biotinylated Gal-1(B-Gal-1) was used to evaluate for binding to IVD cells and to select for IVD cells by magnetic activated cell sorting (MACS). NP cells expressed high levels of Gal-1 protein as compared to anulus fibrosus (AF) cells in immature tissues, while exogenous Gal-1 increased both NP and AF cell attachment to laminins and exhibited a similar binding to both cell types in vitro. With aging, Gal-1 levels in NP tissue appeared to decrease. In addition, incubation with B-Gal-1 was able to promote the retention of more than 50% of IVD cells via MACS. Our results provide new findings for the presence and functional role of Gal-1 within IVDs. Similar staining patterns for Gal-1 and LM-511 in IVD tissue suggest that Gal-1 may serve as an adhesion molecule to interact with both cells and laminins. This MACS protocol may be useful for selecting pure IVD cells from mixed cells of pathological tissue.
galectin-1; laminin; intervertebral disc; extracellular matrix; cell adhesion
The chemokine CXCL12 and its G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) CXCR4 are high-priority clinical targets because of their involvement in metastatic cancers (also implicated in autoimmune disease and cardiovascular disease). Because chemokines interact with two distinct sites to bind and activate their receptors, both the GPCRs and chemokines are potential targets for small molecule inhibition. A number of chemokines have been validated as targets for drug development, but virtually all drug discovery efforts focus on the GPCRs. However, all CXCR4 receptor antagonists with the exception of MSX-122 have failed in clinical trials due to unmanageable toxicities, emphasizing the need for alternative strategies to interfere with CXCL12/CXCR4-guided metastatic homing. Although targeting the relatively featureless surface of CXCL12 was presumed to be challenging, focusing efforts at the sulfotyrosine (sY) binding pockets proved successful for procuring initial hits. Using a hybrid structure-based in silico/NMR screening strategy, we recently identified a ligand that occludes the receptor recognition site. From this initial hit, we designed a small fragment library containing only nine tetrazole derivatives using a fragment-based and bioisostere approach to target the sY binding sites of CXCL12. Compound binding modes and affinities were studied by 2D NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, molecular docking and cell-based functional assays. Our results demonstrate that the sY binding sites are conducive to the development of high affinity inhibitors with better ligand efficiency (LE) than typical protein-protein interaction inhibitors (LE ≤ 0.24). Our novel tetrazole-based fragment 18 was identified to bind the sY21 site with a Kd of 24 μM (LE = 0.30). Optimization of 18 yielded compound 25 which specifically inhibits CXCL12-induced migration with an improvement in potency over the initial hit 9. The fragment from this library that exhibited the highest affinity and ligand efficiency (11: Kd = 13 μM, LE = 0.33) may serve as a starting point for development of inhibitors targeting the sY12 site.
Chemokines; CXCL12/CXCR4 inhibitors; protein-protein interaction; metastasis; fragment-based and structure-guided drug design
The mechanisms responsible for cervical cancer radioresistance are still largely unexplored. The present study aimed to identify miRNAs associated with radioresistance of cervical cancer cells.
The radioresistant cervical cancer cell variants were established by repeated selection with irradiation. The miRNA profiles of radioresistant cells and their corresponding controls were analyzed and compared using microarray. Differentially expressed miRNAs were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. Cervical cancer cells were transfected with miRNA-specific mimics or inhibitors. Radiosensitivity of cervical cancer cells were determined using colony-forming assay.
Among the differentially expressed miRNAs, 20 miRNAs showed the similar pattern of alteration (14 miRNAs were overexpressed whilst 6 were suppressed) in all three radioresistant cervical cancer cell variants compared to their controls. A miRNA signature consisting of 4 miRNAs (miR-630, miR-1246, miR-1290 and miR-3138) exhibited more than 5 folds of increase in radioresistant cells. Subsequent analysis revealed that these four miRNAs could be up-regulated in cervical cancer cells by radiation treatment in both time-dependent and dose-dependent manners. Ectopic expression of each of these 4 miRNAs can dramatically increase the survival fraction of irradiated cervical cancer cells. Moreover, inhibition of miR-630, one miRNA of the specific signature, could reverse radioresistance of cervical cancer cells.
The present study indicated that miRNA is involved in radioresistance of human cervical cancer cells and that a specific miRNA signature consisting of miR-630, miR-1246, miR-1290 and miR-3138 could promote radioresistance of cervical cancer cells.
Cervical cancer; Radioresistance; miR-630; miR-1246; miR-1290; miR-3138
Interleukin- (IL-) 22 is the signature cytokine of T-helper (Th) 22 cells, and IL-23 is required for IL-22 production. The objective of this study was to examine the immunoexpression of IL-22 and IL-23 in archival paraffin-embedded biopsy specimens from oral LP (n = 42) and cutaneous LP (n = 38) against normal control tissues. The results showed that the percentage of cells expressing IL-22 and IL-23 in LP were significantly higher in LP compared to controls, respectively (both P < 0.001). The correlation between IL-22 and IL-23 expression was significant (P < 0.05). Moreover, the percentage of cells expressing IL-22 and IL-23 in oral LP were significantly higher than cutaneous LP (P < 0.05). Collectively, our findings demonstrated that the increased expression of IL-22 and IL-23 in LP lesions could play roles in the pathogenesis of LP. Moreover, oral LP expressing IL-22 and IL-23 was higher than cutaneous LP, probably due to Th22 cells as an important component of oral mucosal host defense against oral microbiota and tissue antigens. This may be associated with the difference in clinical behaviour of the two variants of the disease.
For complex financial systems, the negative and positive return-volatility correlations, i.e., the so-called leverage and anti-leverage effects, are particularly important for the understanding of the price dynamics. However, the microscopic origination of the leverage and anti-leverage effects is still not understood, and how to produce these effects in agent-based modeling remains open. On the other hand, in constructing microscopic models, it is a promising conception to determine model parameters from empirical data rather than from statistical fitting of the results.
To study the microscopic origination of the return-volatility correlation in financial systems, we take into account the individual and collective behaviors of investors in real markets, and construct an agent-based model. The agents are linked with each other and trade in groups, and particularly, two novel microscopic mechanisms, i.e., investors’ asymmetric trading and herding in bull and bear markets, are introduced. Further, we propose effective methods to determine the key parameters in our model from historical market data.
With the model parameters determined for six representative stock-market indices in the world, respectively, we obtain the corresponding leverage or anti-leverage effect from the simulation, and the effect is in agreement with the empirical one on amplitude and duration. At the same time, our model produces other features of the real markets, such as the fat-tail distribution of returns and the long-term correlation of volatilities.
We reveal that for the leverage and anti-leverage effects, both the investors’ asymmetric trading and herding are essential generation mechanisms. Among the six markets, however, the investors’ trading is approximately symmetric for the five markets which exhibit the leverage effect, thus contributing very little. These two microscopic mechanisms and the methods for the determination of the key parameters can be applied to other complex systems with similar asymmetries.
RNA interference technology has shown high therapeutic potential for cancer treatment. However, serum instability, poor tissue permeability and non-specific uptake of short interfering RNA (siRNA) limit its administration in vivo. To overcome these limitations and improve the specificity for ovarian cancer, we developed a targeted nanoparticle delivery system for siRNA. This system included follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) β 33–53 peptide as a targeting moiety that specifically recognized FSH receptor (FSHR) expressed on ovarian cancer cells. Growth regulated oncogene α (gro-α) has been reported to be involved in ovarian cancer development and progression. Thus, siRNA targeted to gro-α was used as an antitumor drug in this delivery system.
FSH β 33–53 peptide-conjugated gro-α siRNA-loaded polyethylene glycol (PEG)-polyethylenimine (PEI) nanoparticles (FSH33-G-NP) were prepared and characterized by gel retardation assay and transmission electron microscopy. Particle size and zeta potential were determined. Expression of gro-α mRNA and protein was detected by real-time quantitative RT-PCR, immunocytochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The proliferation, migration and invasion of the ovarian clear cell carcinoma cell line ES-2 were evaluated by cell counting kit-8 assay, cell scratch assay and transwell migration assay.
A siRNA sequence that is effective in silencing gro-α expression was obtained and loaded into the targeted delivery system. Compared with gro-α siRNA-loaded nanoparticles without FSH peptide modification (G-NP), FSH33-G-NP significantly down-regulated gro-α expression in ES-2 cells at mRNA and protein levels. Consequently, the aggressive biological behaviors of ES-2 cells, including proliferation, migration and invasion, were suppressed after silencing gro-α expression, and the addition of the FSH β 33–53 peptide enhanced the suppressive effects.
This study indicated that a FSHR-mediated delivery system could mediate the highly selective delivery of siRNA into ovarian cancer cells and that silencing gro-α expression could be a potential choice for ovarian cancer treatment.
Ovarian carcinoma; Targeted therapy; Follicle-stimulating hormone; Growth-regulated oncogene α; Short interfering RNA; Nanoparticle
The mammalian diaphanous-related formin (mDia1), a Rho-regulated cytoskeletal modulator, has been shown to promote T lymphocyte chemotaxis and interaction with antigen presenting cells, but the mechanisms underpinning mDia1 roles in these processes have not been defined. Here we show that mDia1-/- T cells exhibit impaired lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1)-mediated T cell adhesion, migration and in vivo trafficking. These defects are associated with impaired microtubule (MT) polarization and stabilization, altered MT dynamics and reduced peripheral clustering of the MT plus-end-protein, adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) in migrating T cells following LFA-1-engagement. Loss of mDia1 also leads to impaired inducible inactivation of the glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3β as well as hyperphosphorylation and reduced levels of APC in migrating T cells. These findings identify essential roles for the mDia1 formin in modulating GSK3β-dependent MT contributions to induction of T-cell polarity, adhesion and motility.
G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) is a well-established therapeutic target for the treatment of heart failure. Herein we identify the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) paroxetine as a selective inhibitor of GRK2 activity both in vitro and in living cells. In the crystal structure of the GRK2·paroxetine-Gβγ complex, paroxetine binds in the active site of GRK2 and stabilizes the kinase domain in a novel conformation in which a unique regulatory loop forms part of the ligand binding site. Isolated cardiomyocytes show increased isoproterenol-induced shortening and contraction amplitude in the presence of paroxetine, and pretreatment of mice with paroxetine before isoproterenol significantly increases left ventricular inotropic reserve in vivo with no significant effect on heart rate. Neither is observed in the presence of the SSRI fluoxetine. Our structural and functional results validate a widely available drug as a selective chemical probe for GRK2 and represent a starting point for the rational design of more potent and specific GRK2 inhibitors.
AIM: To explore the effects of curcumin (CMN) on hepatic injury induced by acetaminophen (APAP) in vivo.
METHODS: Male mice were randomly divided into three groups: group I (control) mice received the equivalent volumes of phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) intraperitoneally (ip); Group II [APAP + carboxymethylcellulose (CMC)] mice received 1% CMC (vehicle) 2 h before APAP injection; Group III (APAP + CMN) mice received curcumin (10 or 20 mg/kg, ip) 2 h before before or after APAP challenge. In Groups II and III, APAP was dissolved in pyrogen-free PBS and injected at a single dose of 300 mg/kg. CMN was dissolved in 1% CMC. Mice were sacrificed 16 h after the APAP injection to determine alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels in serum and malondialdehyde (MDA) accumulation, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and hepatocyte apoptosis in liver tissues.
RESULTS: Both pre- and post-treatment with curcumin resulted in a significant decrease in serum ALT compared with APAP treatment group (10 mg/kg: 801.46 ± 661.34 U/L; 20 mg/kg: 99.68 ± 86.48 U/L vs 5406.80 ± 1785.75 U/L, P < 0.001, respectively). The incidence of liver necrosis was significantly lowered in CMN treated animals. MDA contents were significantly reduced in 20 mg/kg CMN pretreatment group, but increased in APAP treated group (10.96 ± 0.87 nmol/mg protein vs 16.03 ± 2.58 nmol/mg protein, P < 0.05). The decrease of SOD activity in APAP treatment group and the increase of SOD in 20 mg/kg CMN pretreatment group were also detected (24.54 ± 4.95 U/mg protein vs 50.21 ± 1.93 U/mg protein, P < 0.05). Furthermore, CMN treatment efficiently protected against APAP-induced apoptosis via increasing Bcl-2/Bax ratio.
CONCLUSION: CMN has significant therapeutic potential in both APAP-induced hepatotoxicity and other types of liver diseases.
Acetaminophen; Acute hepatic injury; Apoptosis; Free radicals; Curcumin
surface modification; PEG phospholipid; solvent exchange; dry fim hydration