We explore whether the process of multimerization can be used as a means to regulate noise in the abundance of functional protein complexes. Additionally, we analyze how this process affects the mean level of these functional units, response time of a gene, and temporal correlation between the numbers of expressed proteins and of the functional multimers. We show that, although multimerization increases noise by reducing the mean number of functional complexes it can reduce noise in comparison with a monomer, when abundance of the functional proteins are comparable. Alternatively, reduction in noise occurs if both monomeric and multimeric forms of the protein are functional. Moreover, we find that multimerization either increases the response time to external signals or decreases the correlation between number of functional complexes and protein production kinetics. Finally, we show that the results are in agreement with recent genome-wide assessments of cell-to-cell variability in protein numbers and of multimerization in essential and non-essential genes in Escherichia coli, and that the effects of multimerization are tangible at the level of genetic circuits.
The behavior of genetic motifs is determined not only by the gene-gene interactions, but also by the expression patterns of the constituent genes. Live single-molecule measurements have provided evidence that transcription initiation is a sequential process, whose kinetics plays a key role in the dynamics of mRNA and protein numbers. The extent to which it affects the behavior of cellular motifs is unknown. Here, we examine how the kinetics of transcription initiation affects the behavior of motifs performing filtering in amplitude and frequency domain. We find that the performance of each filter is degraded as transcript levels are lowered. This effect can be reduced by having a transcription process with more steps. In addition, we show that the kinetics of the stepwise transcription initiation process affects features such as filter cutoffs. These results constitute an assessment of the range of behaviors of genetic motifs as a function of the kinetics of transcription initiation, and thus will aid in tuning of synthetic motifs to attain specific characteristics without affecting their protein products.
To evaluate the feasibility and accuracy of a three-dimensional augmented reality system incorporating integral videography for imaging oral and maxillofacial regions, based on preoperative computed tomography data. Three-dimensional surface models of the jawbones, based on the computed tomography data, were used to create the integral videography images of a subject's maxillofacial area. The three-dimensional augmented reality system (integral videography display, computed tomography, a position tracker and a computer) was used to generate a three-dimensional overlay that was projected on the surgical site via a half-silvered mirror. Thereafter, a feasibility study was performed on a volunteer. The accuracy of this system was verified on a solid model while simulating bone resection. Positional registration was attained by identifying and tracking the patient/surgical instrument's position. Thus, integral videography images of jawbones, teeth and the surgical tool were superimposed in the correct position. Stereoscopic images viewed from various angles were accurately displayed. Change in the viewing angle did not negatively affect the surgeon's ability to simultaneously observe the three-dimensional images and the patient, without special glasses. The difference in three-dimensional position of each measuring point on the solid model and augmented reality navigation was almost negligible (<1 mm); this indicates that the system was highly accurate. This augmented reality system was highly accurate and effective for surgical navigation and for overlaying a three-dimensional computed tomography image on a patient's surgical area, enabling the surgeon to understand the positional relationship between the preoperative image and the actual surgical site, with the naked eye.
augmented reality; computed tomography; integral videography; three-dimensional image
Single nucleotide polymorphism in the interleukin28B (IL28B) gene was recently shown to be associated with a significant increase in response to interferon-α and ribavirin treatment in patients with chronic hepatitis C. Similarly, thyroid disease (TD) occurring during treatment confer an improved sustained virologic response (SVR).
To determine the role of IL28B genotypes in a cohort of hepatitis C patients who develop TD during treatment and its relationship to SVR.
Patients and Methods:
IL28B gene profiles including rs12979860, rs12980275 and rs 8099917 and their genotypes were determined in a cohort of 23 hepatitis C patients who developed TD during treatment and their relationship to SVR.
Out of 23 studies cases, 19 has one or more favorable genotypes, of which 15 (78.9%) achieved SVR. Eleven has all three unfavorable genotypes and yet achieved 72.7 % SVR. The presence of more than one favorable genotype only correctly predicts SVR vs. non- SVR in ~50 % of cases, i.e. by chance.
Despite the small number of subjects, the presence of one or more unfavorable IL28B genotype does not portend a poor SVR prognostic outcome. This suggests that TD in this clinical context may be a critical factor in the achievement of SVR, probably above that of the genetic predisposition.
Polymorphism, Genetic; Hepatitis C; Thyroiditis
During the cholera survey in Namdinh province (northern Vietnam) in July, 2010, one strain of Vibrio cholerae O139 was isolated from 7 environmental water samples positive for ctxA, toxR,
VCO139 genes and named as V. cholerae O139, ND1 strain. This strain was lysogenic harbouring a genome similar to the filamentous phage fs1. The replicative form DNA of this phage (named as ND1-fs1, 6856 bp) was sequenced and compared with the other filamentous phages. The filamentous phage ND1-fs1 integrates into the region between ctxB and rtxA genes. The genetic organization of the CTXϕ of V. cholerae O139, strain ND1 was determined and the schematic representation of the genetic organization was shown together with the ND1-fs1 prophage.
Vibrio cholerae O139; filamentous phage fs1; ctx gene cassette.
Described is a case of triphasic thyroid response in a 53-year-old man while undergoing combination interferon α-2b and ribavirin treatment for chronic hepatitis C infection. He developed the classical biphasic thyroiditis during treatment and was treated expectantly. However, 8 weeks after the completion of therapy, he developed T3-Graves-like thyrotoxicosis, which was confirmed with a diffuse-uptake thyroid scan and positive thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin. He was treated as having Graves’ disease arising de novo with thiourea, and he achieved rapid remission. This is thought to be only the second case described, and it offers a unique opportunity to understand the possible pathogenesis of this fascinating condition. This is a relative novel entity and highlights the need for continuing thyroid monitor after treatment. Management also needs to be specific for each particular phase of the condition.
Interferon-α in combination with ribavirin is the current gold standard for treatment of chronic hepatitis C. It is unknown if the development of autoimmune thyroid disease (TD) during treatment confers an improved chance of achieving sustained virologic response. The aim of this study is to assess the chance of achieving sustained virologic response (SVR) in patients who developed TD during treatment when compared with those who did not.
We performed a tertiary hospital-based retrospective nested case-control analysis of 19 patients treated for hepatitis C who developed thyroid disease, and 76 controls (matched for age, weight, gender, cirrhosis and aminotransferase levels) who did not develop TD during treatment. Multivariate logistic-regression models were used to compare cases and controls.
The development of TD was associated with a high likelihood of achieving SVR (odds ratio, 6.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.5 to 24.6) for the pooled group containing all genotypes. The likelihood of achieving SVR was increased in individuals with genotype 1 HCV infection who developed TD (odds ratio, 5.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 22.3), and all genotype 3 patients who developed TD achieved SVR.
Development of TD during treatment for hepatitis C infection is associated with a significantly increased chance of achieving SVR. The pathophysiogical mechanisms for this observation remain to be determined.
The Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): ACTRB12610000830099
Hypercalcaemia in infants with Down syndrome is an uncommon condition with only five previous case reports. The patients often present in the toddler years with the classical triad of Down syndrome, biochemical hypercalcaemia, and nephrocalcinosis. We present the sixth case and second male with this condition and further review the clinical details of this under-recognised condition and stratify the diagnostic criteria. The management mandates a reduction in calcium intake as a first step. The natural history of the various aspects of this condition is also considered.
Autoimmune thyroid disease is a common complication of patients with chronic hepatitis C undergoing combination pegylated interferon-α and ribavirin treatment. A small proportion develops interferon-induced thyroiditis of which the long term natural history is unknown and how it compares with de novo thyroiditis. The aim of the study is to determine the natural history of thyroid disease including antibody profile in this particular setting 36 months from the completion of therapy.
A cohort of 18 hepatitis C patients (mean age 45 ± 8 years (standard deviation)) who developed exclusively thyroiditis in this setting was followed every 12 months after the completion of therapy for 36 months. Investigations included thyrotropin, free tetra-iodothyronine, free tri-iodothyronine levels and thyroid autoantibodies.
None of the patients developed any long term thyroid disease. Two patients had a prolonged hypothyroid phase of the thyroiditis early after the completion of treatment but recovered fully. The remaining 16 patients remained euthyroid. Similarly, thyroid autoantibodies all declined and returned to reference range.
The long term natural history in this small series of interferon induced thyroiditis was benign. If a larger series confirms a similar outcome then there is no long term residual effect on thyroid function and follow-up testing would not be warranted.
Refsum's Disease is an inherited metabolic disorder in which a metabolite of branched chain fatty acids accumulates due to lack of appropriate oxidative enzymes. Patients have elevated plasma phytanic acid levels and high concentrations of phytanic acid in a variety of tissues leading to progressive tissue damage. Besides retinal degeneration or retinal dystrophy associated with adult onset retinitis pigmentosa, additional symptoms include chronic polyneuropathy, cerebellar ataxia, sensorineural hearing loss, anosmia, ichthyosis, as well as skeletal, cardiac, hepatic, and renal abnormalities. Current management includes avoidance of dietary sources of branched chain fatty acids and regular plasmapheresis to prevent accumulation of these compounds to ameliorate progressive neurological deficits. Two brothers with Refsum's disease who experienced progressive symptoms despite optimal diet and plasmapheresis were commenced on a novel therapy. We report the effect of the intestinal lipase inhibitor, Orlistat, which led to significant reduction (P-value <0.001 on 2-sample unpaired t-test) of mean preplasmapheresis phytanic acid levels with retardation of the progression of most of their dermatological and neurological symptoms.
Hepatitis C virus is a highly immunogenic pathogen often inducing autoimmune activation changes and this can often be further exacerbated by Interferon therapy. As HCV is lymphocytotropic, it can modulate T cell and B cell antibody responses, affecting many endocrine organs, most commonly the thyroid.
We hereby describe a case of fluctuating and wavering thyrotropin autoantibodies of both stimulating and blocking nature in the setting of Graves's ophthalmopathy, hepatitis C infection and interferon-α, causing hypo- and subsequently hyper-thyroidism. The autoantibody profile was clearly modified during interferon therapy and settled into a new equilibrium at the completion of treatment.
The case highlights the possible existence of a dual thyroid autoantibody population associated with hepatitis C, and its modulation by interferon therapy, which further compounds the difficulties in the assessment thyroid disease in this setting.
To develop a simple clinical decision rule that could increase the yield of serum and urine protein electrophoresis (SPE/UPE) without loss of sensitivity.
A cross-sectional study of inpatients with a SPE/UPE performed over a 5-year period (2001–2006) with complete data on electrolytes, globulins, full blood count, creatinine, age, and gender.
A tertiary-care general teaching hospital serving the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, with a referral population of over 1 million.
A total of 14,374 adult patients admitted between January 2001–November 2006.
Main outcome measures
Paraprotein on serum and/or urine protein electrophoresis (SPE/UPE).
Five points were assigned for globulin >41 g/l, 3 points for age ≥60, 2 points for each of hemoglobin <121 and male gender, and 1 point for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) <60. Total scores of 0–5, 6–10, and ≥11 corresponded to positive likelihood ratios of an abnormal SPE/UPE of 1, 2.5, and 6.6, respectively. The predictive ability of this model was strong, with an area under the curve of ∼0.8. Results in the validation set were almost identical.
A clinical decision rule using simple clinical variables has the potential to improve the yield of SPE/UPE. This rule however needs to be verified prospectively.
clinical decision rule; protein electrophoresis; predictive score; paraprotein
Autoimmune thyroid diseases are common manifestations of hepatitis C infection, exacerbated by interferon-based treatment. However, the occurrence and pattern of thyroid disease in the short/medium term following the completion of IFN-based therapy is relatively unknown and there are very few previous reports regarding the specific spectrum of autoimmune thyroid disease that may follow such therapy. We hereby report 3 cases which demonstrate the range of thyroid diseases that may occur following interferon therapy. The hypothesis advanced is that in the pathogenesis of these conditions there must be both triggering and sustaining mechanisms as thyroid diseases occur well outside the immediate effect window of pegylated interferon. This paper suggests the need to continue thyroid surveillance in IFN-treated HCV patients following the completion of therapy, perhaps for the first 6 months.
Adrenal disease is an uncommon manifestation of hepatitis C infection and its related treatment regimen. This is a case of subclinical hypoadrenalism, probably induced by hepatitis C infection and further exacerbated by interferon-α2β and Ribavirin therapy. The adrenal deterioration during the treatment course was observed closely with 24-hour salivary profiles and 250 μg adrenocorticotropin stimulation tests using parallel serum and salivary cortisol concentrations. A number of possible pathogenic mechanisms are discussed, and the controversy over its management is emphasized.
Diabetic myonecrosis with Clostridium Septicum is uncommon but carries a high mortality rate. This commensal organism is part of the gastrointestinal tract flora and can become extremely virulent, often in the setting of immuno-suppression such as neutropenia, occult malignancy (commonly caecal) and poorly controlled diabetes. The case report is unusual in that there are few risk factors other than very mild neutropenia. This highlights the opportunistic character of the organism and recommends that a high index of suspicion and vigilance be carried out in the presence of fevers and sepsis, even in the well-controlled diabetic population.
The major cause of primary hypothyroidism is autoimmune mediated with progressive and permanent destruction of the thyroid gland resulting in life-long replacement therapy. Treatable and reversible hypothyroidism is unusual and here forth is such a case due to infection of the thyroid gland with Tropheryma whippleii, Whipple disease.
A 45 year-old female presented with symptoms and signs consistent with primary hypothyroidism, which was also confirmed biochemically. Her response to thyroxine replacement therapy was poor however, requiring a significantly elevated amount. Further investigation revealed the presence of Whipple's disease involving the gastrointestinal trace and possibly the thyroid gland. Her thyroxine requirement decreased drastically following appropriate antimicrobial therapy for Whipple's disease to the extent that it was ceased. Thyrotropin releasing hormone testing in the steady state suggested there was diminished thyroid reserve due to Whipple's disease.
This is the first ante-mortem case report studying the possible involvement of the thyroid gland by Whipple's disease. Despite the normalization of her thyroid function test biochemically after antibiotic therapy, there is diminished thyroid reserve thus requiring close and regular monitoring.
The study aims to assess the pattern of thyroid response to combination Interferon-α2β (IFN-α) and Ribavirin (RBV) anti-viral therapy in an Australian hepatitis C cohort. These include the prevalence of thyroid dysfunction (TD) including hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism and their possible predictors, the common overall pattern of thyroid function tests whilst receiving therapy and TD outcomes, and the correlation with HCV status outcome.
A retrospective analysis of all medical records was performed to assess thyroid function in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) patients who were treated at the Hunter Area hepatitis C treatment center between 1995 and March 2004. The centre is part of the John Hunter hospital, a major tertiary referral centre in New South Wales, Australia.
There were 272 cases available for review. The prevalence of TD is 6.7 percent and is made up predominantly of females (80 percent). There were 3 (1.1 percent) cases of hyperthyroidism with 2 (67 percent) females. Thirteen out of fifteen (80 percent) cases of hypothyroidism were females with the overall prevalence of 5.5 percent. The majority of hypothyroid patients still required Thyroxine supplement at the end of follow up.
Ninety three percent of HCV treated patients have intact thyroid function at the end of treatment. The predominant TD is hypothyroidism. The predominant pattern of thyrotoxicosis (TTX) is that of thyroiditis although the number is small. Graves' like disease was not observed. People with pre-existing thyroid auto-antibodies should be closely monitored for thyroid dysfunction, particularly hypothyroidism.
OBJECTIVE: Inflammatory cytokines have been shown to play an important role in bone remodeling. We hypothesized that higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with low bone mineral density (BMD) in elderly females. DESIGN: Secondary data analysis of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. PARTICIPANTS: 2,807 females 65 years and older. RESULTS: CRP was associated with BMD in the bivariate sis (p<0.001) but not in the multivariate analysis (p=0.23) Age, ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and immobility were independently associated with BMD. CONCLUSIONS: CRP may be useful in screening for osteoporosis among community-dwelling elderly females. However, CRP appears to act as a surrogate for other factorsdirectly associated with osteoporosis. Further studies are needed to validate these findings.