Previous investigations demonstrated that saponins isolated from the root of Panax ginseng C. A. Meyer (i.e., ginseng root saponin [GS-R]) had adjuvant activity. In the present study, the combined effects of rapeseed oil (RO) and GS-R on the immune responses elicited by foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine were investigated by measuring FMD virus (FMDV)-specific antibody levels, cytokine levels, lymphocyte proliferation, and long-lived IgG-secreting plasma cells from bone marrow in a mouse model. The results indicated that RO in combination with GS-R significantly enhanced serum IgG and isotype concentrations, gamma interferon (IFN-γ) and interleukin 5 (IL-5) levels, splenocyte proliferative responses to stimulations with concanavalin A (ConA), lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and FMDV antigen, and the numbers of IgG-secreting plasma cells in the bone marrow, suggesting that RO/GS-R enhanced both Th1 and Th2 immune responses. In addition, no significant difference was found between RO/GS-R and the commercial adjuvant oil ISA 206 in the promotion of FMD vaccine-induced immune responses. Considering the vegetable origin of RO and GS-R and the potent adjuvant activity, RO/GS-R should be studied further for the development of veterinary vaccines, especially for use in food animals in order to promote food safety.
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is difficult to detect early and is often resistant to standard chemotherapeutic options, contributing to extremely poor disease outcomes. Members of the nuclear receptor superfamily carry out essential biological functions such as hormone signaling and are successfully targeted in the treatment of endocrine-related malignancies. Liver X receptors (LXRs) are nuclear receptors that regulate cholesterol homeostasis, lipid metabolism, and inflammation, and LXR agonists have been developed to regulate LXR function in these processes. Intriguingly, these compounds also exhibit antiproliferative activity in diverse types of cancer cells. In this study, LXR agonist treatments disrupted proliferation, cell-cycle progression, and colony-formation of PDAC cells. At the molecular level, treatments downregulated expression of proteins involved in cell cycle progression and growth factor signaling. Microarray experiments further revealed changes in expression profiles of multiple gene networks involved in biological processes and pathways essential for cell growth and proliferation following LXR activation. These results establish the antiproliferative effects of LXR agonists and potential mechanisms of action in PDAC cells and provide evidence for their potential application in the prevention and treatment of PDAC.
Identification of key metabolites for complex diseases is a challenging task in today's medicine and biology. A special disease is usually caused by the alteration of a series of functional related metabolites having a global influence on the metabolic network. Moreover, the metabolites in the same metabolic pathway are often associated with the same or similar disease. Based on these functional relationships between metabolites in the context of metabolic pathways, we here presented a pathway-based random walk method called PROFANCY for prioritization of candidate disease metabolites. Our strategy not only takes advantage of the global functional relationships between metabolites but also sufficiently exploits the functionally modular nature of metabolic networks. Our approach proved successful in prioritizing known metabolites for 71 diseases with an AUC value of 0.895. We also assessed the performance of PROFANCY on 16 disease classes and found that 4 classes achieved an AUC value over 0.95. To investigate the robustness of the PROFANCY, we repeated all the analyses in two metabolic networks and obtained similar results. Then we applied our approach to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and found that a top ranked candidate was potentially related to AD but had not been reported previously. Furthermore, our method was applicable to prioritize the metabolites from metabolomic profiles of prostate cancer. The PROFANCY could identify prostate cancer related-metabolites that are supported by literatures but not considered to be significantly differential by traditional differential analysis. We also developed a freely accessible web-based and R-based tool at http://bioinfo.hrbmu.edu.cn/PROFANCY.
High-throughput metabolomics technology, such as gas chromatography mass spectrometry, allows the analysis of hundreds of metabolites. Understanding that these metabolites dominate the study condition from biological pathway perspective is still a significant challenge. Pathway identification is an invaluable aid to address this issue and, thus, is urgently needed. In this study, we developed a network-based metabolite pathway identification method, MPINet, which considers the global importance of metabolites and the unique character of metabolomic profile. Through integrating the global metabolite functional network structure and the character of metabolomic profile, MPINet provides a more accurate metabolomic pathway analysis. This integrative strategy simultaneously captures the global nonequivalence of metabolites in a pathway and the bias from metabolomic experimental technology. We then applied MPINet to four different types of metabolite datasets. In the analysis of metastatic prostate cancer dataset, we demonstrated the effectiveness of MPINet. With the analysis of the two type 2 diabetes datasets, we show that MPINet has the potentiality for identifying novel pathways related with disease and is reliable for analyzing metabolomic data. Finally, we extensively applied MPINet to identify drug sensitivity related pathways. These results suggest MPINet's effectiveness and reliability for analyzing metabolomic data across multiple different application fields.
Serratia marcescens strain ATCC 14041 was found to be an efficient meso-2,3-butanediol (meso-2,3-BD) producer from glucose and sucrose. Here we present a 5.0-Mb assembly of its genome. We have annotated 4 coding sequences (CDSs) for meso-2,3-BD fermentation and 2 complete operons including 6 CDSs for sucrose utilization.
Epidemiological studies have reported the association between hypertension and exposure to road traffic noise, but the association between noise frequency characteristics is not clear. This study investigated the association between exposure to different frequency components of road traffic noise and the prevalence of hypertension in central Taiwan.
We recruited 820 residents living near main roads for more than 3 years. Frequency components of traffic noise and traffic flow rates during 0900–1700 on weekdays were measured simultaneously in 2008. Multiple logistic regressions were conducted to estimate odds ratios (ORs) for diagnosed hypertension, adjusting for potential confounders and the total traffic flow rate.
The high-exposure group (≥ the median of noise levels [decibels, dB]) at 63 Hz, 125 Hz and 1000 Hz had ORs for hypertension of 2.77 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.17-6.52), 4.08 (95% CI: 1.57-10.63) and 1.98 (1.00-3.92) (95% CI: 1.00-3.92), respectively, compared to the low-exposure group (< the median of noise levels [dB]). There was an increasing trend in the prevalence of hypertension by exposure to road traffic noise at 63, 125 and 1000 Hz in all subjects and in men. Total subjects exposed to ≥ 51 dB at 125 Hz had an OR of 4.65 (95% CI = 1.46-14.83) compared to those exposed to < 47 dB.
With the possible bias of exposure misclassification and a bias from using diagnosed hypertension, these results suggest that exposure to road traffic noise at low and hearing-sensitive frequencies may be associated with hypertension and exposure to noise at 125 Hz may have the greatest risk for hypertension.
Cross-sectional study; Hypertension; Prevalence; Transportation noise
Vemurafenib has been approved for the treatment of patients with advanced BRAFV600E-mutant melanoma. The most commonly reported adverse events were dermatologic conditions, occurring in 92%–95% of patients. Dose interruptions and/or reductions were required in <10% of patients.
Vemurafenib has been approved for the treatment of patients with advanced BRAFV600E-mutant melanoma. This report by the Vemurafenib Dermatology Working Group presents the characteristics of dermatologic adverse events (AEs) that occur in vemurafenib-treated patients, including cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cuSCC).
Dermatologic AEs were assessed from three ongoing trials of BRAFV600E mutation-positive advanced melanoma. Histologic central review and genetic characterization were completed for a subset of cuSCC lesions.
A total of 520 patients received vemurafenib. The most commonly reported AEs were dermatologic AEs, occurring in 92%–95% of patients. Rash was the most common AE (64%–75% of patients), and the most common types were rash not otherwise specified, erythema, maculopapular rash, and folliculitis. Rash development did not appear to correlate with tumor response. Photosensitivity occurred in 35%–63% of patients, and palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia (PPE) occurred in 8%–10% of patients. The severity of rash, photosensitivity, and PPE were mainly grade 1 or 2. In all, 19%–26% of patients developed cuSCC, mostly keratoacanthomas (KAs). The majority of patients with cuSCC continued therapy without dose reduction after resection. Genetic analysis of 29 cuSCC/KA samples demonstrated HRAS mutations in 41%.
Dermatologic AEs associated with vemurafenib treatment in patients with melanoma were generally manageable with supportive care measures. Dose interruptions and/or reductions were required in <10% of patients.
Vemurafenib; Dermatologic; cuSCC; Keratoacanthoma
Microbial strains with high substrate efficiency and excellent environmental tolerance are urgently needed for the production of platform bio-chemicals. Bacillus coagulans has these merits; however, little genetic information is available about this species. Here, we determined the genome sequences of five B. coagulans strains, and used a comparative genomic approach to reconstruct the central carbon metabolism of this species to explain their fermentation features. A novel xylose isomerase in the xylose utilization pathway was identified in these strains. Based on a genome-wide positive selection scan, the selection pressure on amino acid metabolism may have played a significant role in the thermal adaptation. We also researched the immune systems of B. coagulans strains, which provide them with acquired resistance to phages and mobile genetic elements. Our genomic analysis provides comprehensive insights into the genetic characteristics of B. coagulans and paves the way for improving and extending the uses of this species.
With genomic sequences of many closely related bacterial strains made available by deep sequencing, it is now possible to investigate trends in prokaryotic microevolution. Positive selection is a sub-process of microevolution, in which a particular mutation is favored, causing the allele frequency to continuously shift in one direction. Wide scanning of prokaryotic genomes has shown that positive selection at the molecular level is much more frequent than expected. Genes with significant positive selection may play key roles in bacterial adaption to different environmental pressures. However, selection pressure analyses are computationally intensive and awkward to configure.
Here we describe an open access web server, which is designated as PSP (Positive Selection analysis for Prokaryotic genomes) for performing evolutionary analysis on orthologous coding genes, specially designed for rapid comparison of dozens of closely related prokaryotic genomes. Remarkably, PSP facilitates functional exploration at the multiple levels by assignments and enrichments of KO, GO or COG terms. To illustrate this user-friendly tool, we analyzed Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus genomes and found that several genes, which play key roles in human infection and antibiotic resistance, show significant evidence of positive selection. PSP is freely available to all users without any login requirement at: http://db-mml.sjtu.edu.cn/PSP/.
PSP ultimately allows researchers to do genome-scale analysis for evolutionary selection across multiple prokaryotic genomes rapidly and easily, and identify the genes undergoing positive selection, which may play key roles in the interactions of host-pathogen and/or environmental adaptation.
Orthologous genes; Positive selection; Synonymous and nonsynonymous substitutions; Bacterial microevolution; Bacillus cereus; Escherichia coli
Cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas and keratoacanthomas are common findings in patients treated with BRAF inhibitors.
We performed a molecular analysis to identify oncogenic mutations (HRAS, KRAS, NRAS, CDKN2A, and TP53) in the lesions from patients treated with the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib. An analysis of an independent validation set and functional studies with BRAF inhibitors in the presence of the prevalent RAS mutation was also performed.
Among 21 tumor samples, 13 had RAS mutations (12 in HRAS). In a validation set of 14 samples, 8 had RAS mutations (4 in HRAS). Thus, 60% (21 of 35) of the specimens harbored RAS mutations, the most prevalent being HRAS Q61L. Increased proliferation of HRAS Q61L–mutant cell lines exposed to vemurafenib was associated with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)–pathway signaling and activation of ERK-mediated transcription. In a mouse model of HRAS Q61L–mediated skin carcinogenesis, the vemurafenib analogue PLX4720 was not an initiator or a promoter of carcinogenesis but accelerated growth of the lesions harboring HRAS mutations, and this growth was blocked by concomitant treatment with a MEK inhibitor.
Mutations in RAS, particularly HRAS, are frequent in cutaneous squamous-cell carcinomas and keratoacanthomas that develop in patients treated with vemurafenib. The molecular mechanism is consistent with the paradoxical activation of MAPK signaling and leads to accelerated growth of these lesions. (Funded by Hoffmann–La Roche and others; ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT00405587, NCT00949702, NCT01001299, and NCT01006980.)
Two thermophilic Bacillus coagulans strains, H-1 and XZL9, both of which were isolated from soils, have different morphological properties. Strain XZL9 but not H-1 is an efficient pentose-utilizing producer of important platform compounds, such as l-lactic acid and 2,3-butanediol. Here we announce the 2.86- and 3.43-Mb sequences of their genomes.
Here we announce a 3.0-Mb assembly of the Bacillus coagulans Hammer strain, which is the type strain of the species within the genus Bacillus. Genomic analyses based on the sequence may provide insights into the phylogeny of the species and help to elucidate characteristics of the poorly studied strains of Bacillus coagulans.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa XMG, isolated from soil, utilizes lactate. Here we present a 6.45-Mb assembly of its genome sequence. Besides the lactate utilization mechanism of the strain, the genome sequence may also provide other useful information related to P. aeruginosa, such as identifying genes involved in virulence, drug resistance, and aromatic catabolism.
U19/EAF2 is regulated by androgens in the prostate and capable of regulating transcriptional elongation of RNA Pol II via interaction with the ELL family proteins. Inactivation of U19/EAF2 induces tumorigenesis in multiple organs; however the mechanism of U19/EAF2 tumor suppression remains unclear. To elucidate potential mechanisms of U19/EAF2 action, we performed cDNA microarray analysis and identified 164 mRNA transcripts regulated by U19/EAF2 in the mouse ventral prostate. Bioinformatics analysis indicated that U19/EAF2 knockout activates the RAS-BRAF-ERK signaling pathway, which is known to play important roles in carcinogenesis. qPCR verified increased expression of BRAF mRNA, and immunostaining and Western blot analysis demonstrated increased expression of p-ERK at the protein level suggested U19/EAF2 knockout activates this important pathway. These findings indicate that loss of EAF2 up-regulates transcription of RAS cascade genes including Grb2, PI3K, and BRAF, leading to elevated p-ERK levels, which may represent a major functional role of U19/EAF2 in the prostate. Furthermore, these observations suggest that U19/EAF2 is a key player in crosstalk between androgen receptor and the RAS-BRAF-ERK signaling pathway.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12307-013-0132-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
EAF2; Prostate cancer; ERK
Bacillus atrophaeus C89, isolated from the marine sponge Dysidea avara, is a potential producer of bioactive compounds, such as neobacillamide A and bacillamide C. Here, we present a 4.2-Mb assembly of its genome. The nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) make it possible to produce the bioactive compounds.
Both Bacillus licheniformis strains 10-1-A and 5-2-D are efficient producers of 2,3-butanediol. Here we present 4.3-Mb and 4.2-Mb assemblies of their genomes. The key genes for the regulation and metabolism of 2,3-butanediol production were annotated, which may provide further insights into the molecular mechanism for the production of 2,3-butanediol with high yield and productivity.
Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs) can differentiate into cardiomyocytes (CMs) in vitro but the differentiation level from ESCs is low. Here we describe a simple co-culture model by commercially available Millicell™ hanging cell culture inserts to control the long-term differentiation of ESCs into CMs.
Mouse ESCs were cultured in hanging drops to form embryoid bodies (EBs) and treated with 0.1 mmol/L ascorbic acid to induce the differentiation of ESCs into CMs. In the indirect co-culture system, EBs were co-cultured with epidermal keratinocytes (EKs) or neonatal CMs (NCMs) by the hanging cell culture inserts (PET membranes with 1 µm pores). The molecular expressions and functional properties of ESC-derived CMs in prolonged culture course were evaluated. During time course of ESC differentiation, the percentages of EBs with contracting areas in NCMs co-culture were significantly higher than that without co-culture or in EKs co-culture. The functional maintenance of ESC-derived CMs were more prominent in NCMs co-culture model.
These results indicate that NCMs co-culture promote ESC differentiation and has a further effect on cell growth and differentiation. We assume that the improvement of the differentiating efficiency of ESCs into CMs in the co-culture system do not result from the effect of co-culture directly on cell differentiation, but rather by signaling effects that influence the cells in proliferation and long-term function maintenance.
The study of systems genetics is changing the way the genetic and molecular basis of phenotypic variation, such as disease susceptibility and drug response, is being analyzed. Moreover, systems genetics aids in the translation of insights from systems biology into genetics. The use of systems genetics enables greater attention to be focused on the potential impact of genetic perturbations on the molecular states of networks that in turn affects complex traits. In this study, we developed models to detect allele-specific perturbations on interactions, in which a genetic locus with alternative alleles exerted a differing influence on an interaction. We utilized the models to investigate the dynamic behavior of an integrated molecular network undergoing genetic perturbations in yeast. Our results revealed the complexity of regulatory relationships between genetic loci and networks, in which different genetic loci perturb specific network modules. In addition, significant within-module functional coherence was found. We then used the network perturbation model to elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms of individual differences in response to 100 diverse small molecule drugs. As a result, we identified sub-networks in the integrated network that responded to variations in DNA associated with response to diverse compounds and were significantly enriched for known drug targets. Literature mining results provided strong independent evidence for the effectiveness of these genetic perturbing networks in the elucidation of small-molecule responses in yeast.
Objective. To evaluate the efficacy of traditional Chinese herbal ChuanXiong Ding Tong herbal formula granule (CXDT-HFG) for migraine patients with “the Syndrome of Liver Wind and Blood Stasis.” Methods. 150 migraine patients were recruited and assigned randomly in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study to receive CXDT-HFG (n = 99) plus necessary analgesics, or placebo (n = 51) plus necessary analgesics for 16 weeks (12 weeks' intervention and 4 weeks' follow up). Outcome measures included migraine days, frequency of migraine attacks, analgesics consumption for acute treatment, and the proportion of responders as well as the visual analogue scale (VAS) scores and intensity for pain. Results. Compared with the placebo group, the CXDT-HFG group showed significant reduction in migraine days and attacks frequency at week 12 and follow-up period (P < 0.05) as well as in the reduction of VAS scores at follow-up period.There was significant difference in the proportion of responders between the two groups at follow-up period (P = 0.014). However there were no significant differences between the two groups in analgesics consumption (P > 0.05). Conclusion. CXDT-HFG was more effective than placebo in decreasing days of migraine attacks, frequency, VAS scores, and relieving pain intensity for migraine patients.
NAD-dependent l- and d-lactate dehydrogenases coexist in Lactobacillus genomes and may convert pyruvic acid into l-lactic acid and d-lactic acid, respectively. Our findings suggest that the relative catalytic efficiencies of ldhL- and ldhD-encoded products are crucial for the optical purity of lactic acid produced by Lactobacillus strains.
Enterobacter cloacae subsp. dissolvens SDM has an extraordinary characteristic of biomass utilization for 2,3-butanediol production. Here we present a 4.9-Mb assembly of its genome. The key genes for regulation and metabolism of 2,3-butanediol production were annotated, which could provide further insights into the molecular mechanism of high-yield production of 2,3-butanediol.
Pseudomonas stutzeri SDM-LAC is an efficient lactate utilizer with various applications in biocatalysis. Here we present a 4.2-Mb assembly of its genome. The annotated four adjacent genes form a lactate utilization operon, which could provide further insights into the molecular mechanism of lactate utilization.
Vaccination remains one of the most effective approaches to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Immune responses to vaccination can be enhanced by inclusion of adjuvant in a vaccine. Paclitaxel extracted from the bark of the Pacific yew tree Taxus brevifola was previously demonstrated to have adjuvant property. Compared to paclitaxel, docetaxel is another member of taxane family, and is more soluble in water and easier to manipulate in medication. To investigate the adjuvant effect of this compound, we measured the immune responses induced by co-administration of a split inactivated influenza H1N1 vaccine antigen with docetaxel.
When co-administered with docetaxel, lower dose antigen (equivalent to 10 ng HA) induced similar levels of IgG and IgG isotypes as well as HI titers to those induced by higher dose antigen (equivalent to 100 ng HA). Docetaxel promoted splenocyte responses to H1N1 antigen, ConA and LPS, mRNA expressions of cytokines (IFN-gamma, IL-12, IL-4 and IL-10) and T-bet/GATA-3 by splenocytes. The enhanced immunity was associated with up-expressed microRNAs (miR-155, miR-150 and miR-146a) in docetaxel-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Docetaxel promoted similar IgE level to but alum promoted significantly higher IgE level than the control.
Docetaxel has adjuvant effect on the influenza H1N1 vaccine by up-regulation of Th1/Th2 immune responses. Considering its unique vaccine adjuvant property as well as the safe record as an anti-neoplastic agent clinically used in humans during a long period, docetaxel should be further studied for its use in influenza vaccine production.
Docetaxel; Adjuvant; Influenza; H1N1; Th1/Th2
Cardiac hypertrophy is an independent predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In recent years, evidences suggest that high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) protein, an inflammatory cytokine, participates in cardiac remodeling; however, the involvement of HMGB1 in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate whether HMGB1 is sufficient to induce cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and to identify the possible mechanisms underlying the hypertrophic response. Cardiomyocytes isolated from 1-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats were treated with recombinant HMGB1, at concentrations ranging from 50 ng/mL to 200 ng/mL. After 24 hours, cardiomyocytes were processed for the evaluation of atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) and calcineurin A expression. Western blot and real-time RT-PCR was used to detect protein and mRNA expression levels, respectively. The activity of calcineurin was also evaluated using a biochemical enzyme assay. HMGB1 induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, characterized by enhanced expression of ANP, and increased protein synthesis. Meanwhile, increased calcineurin activity and calcineurin A protein expression were observed in cardiomyocytes preconditioned with HMGB1. Furthermore, cyclosporin A pretreatment partially inhibited the HMGB1-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Our findings suggest that HMGB1 leads to cardiac hypertrophy, at least in part through activating calcineurin.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus is a type of probiotic bacteria with industrial potential for l-lactic acid production. We announce the draft genome sequence of L. rhamnosus CASL (2,855,156 bp with a G+C content of 46.6%), which is an efficient producer of l-lactic acid from cheap, nonfood substrate cassava with a high production titer.