NF-κB activity was pharmacologically and genetically blocked in an accelerated aging mouse model to mitigate age-related disc degenerative changes.
To study the mediatory role of NF-κB signaling pathway in age-dependent intervertebral disc degeneration.
Summary of Background Data
Aging is a major contributor to intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD), but the molecular mechanism behind this process is poorly understood. NF-κB is a family of transcription factors which play a central role in mediating cellular response to damage, stress, and inflammation. Growing evidence implicates chronic NF-κB activation as a culprit in many aging-related diseases, but its role in aging-related IDD has not been adequately explored. We studied the effects of NF-κB inhibition on IDD using a DNA repair-deficient mouse model of accelerated aging (Ercc1-/Δ mice) previously been reported to exhibit age-related IDD.
Systemic inhibition of NF-κB activation was achieved either genetically by deletion of one allele of the NF-κB subunit p65 (Ercc1-/Δp65+/- mice) or pharmacologically by chronic intra-peritoneal administration of the Nemo Binding Domain (8K-NBD) peptide to block the formation of the upstream activator of NF-κB, IκB Inducible Kinase (IKK), in Ercc1-/Δ mice. Disc cellularity, total proteoglycan content and proteoglycan synthesis of treated mice and untreated controls were assessed.
Decreased disc matrix proteoglycan content, a hallmark feature of IDD, and elevated disc NF-κB activity were observed in discs of progeroid Ercc1-/Δ mice and naturally aged wild-type compared to young WT mice. Systemic inhibition of NF-κB by the 8K-NBD peptide in Ercc1-/Δ mice increased disc proteoglycan synthesis and ameriolated loss disc cellularity and matrix proteoglycan. These results were confirmed genetically by using the p65 haploinsufficient Ercc1-/Δp65+/- mice.
These findings demonstrate that the IKK/NF-κB signaling pathway is a key mediator of age-dependent IDD and represents a therapeutic target for mitigating disc degenerative diseases associated with aging.
NF-kB;aging; proteoglycan; disc degeneration; DNA damage repair; ERCC1-deficient mice
The association of functional polymorphisms in the promoter of the apoptosis gene FAS with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility has been a controversial subject. We conducted a case-control study to investigate this association in a Chinese population and performed a meta-analysis in different populations. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2234767 (−1377G>A) and rs1800682 (−670A>G) were genotyped by TaqMan allelic discrimination assays in 552 Chinese SLE patients and 718 healthy controls. In our case-control study, we observed allelic association between the promoter SNP rs2234767 [P=0.033, odds ratio (OR)=0.836, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.709–0.986] and SLE but not the SNP rs1800682. Haplotype analysis revealed that one haplotype of GA was significantly associated with the disease (P=0.039, OR=1.184, 95% CI, 1.009–1.391). In the meta-analysis available studies, including our data, were combined using the STATA software package v.7.0. The meta-analysis revealed a significant association between FAS polymorphisms and SLE (rs2234767 A vs. G allele; P=0.004, OR=0.819, 95% CI, 0.715–0.938, rs1800682 G vs. A allele: P=0.034, OR=0.791, 95% CI, 0.637–0.983). In conclusion, FAS gene polymorphisms may contribute to SLE susceptibility in the Chinese population, and the meta-analysis shows that FAS polymorphisms may be associated with SLE susceptibility in different populations.
systemic lupus erythematosus; FAS; single-nucleotide polymorphisms; meta-analysis
Trans-splicing, a process involving the cleavage and joining of two separate transcripts, can expand the transcriptome and proteome in eukaryotes. Chimeric RNAs generated by trans-splicing are increasingly described in literatures. The widespread presence of antibiotic resistance genes in natural environments and human intestines is becoming an important challenge for public health. Certain antibiotic resistance genes, such as ampicillin resistance gene (Ampr), are frequently used in recombinant plasmids. Until now, trans-splicing involving recombinant plasmid-derived exogenous transcripts and endogenous cellular RNAs has not been reported. Acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase 1 (ACAT1) is a key enzyme involved in cellular cholesterol homeostasis. The 4.3-kb human ACAT1 chimeric mRNA can produce 50-kDa and 56-kDa isoforms with different enzymatic activities. Here, we show that human ACAT1 56-kDa isoform is produced from an mRNA species generated through the trans-splicing of an exogenous transcript encoded by the antisense strand of Ampr (asAmp) present in common Ampr-plasmids and the 4.3-kb endogenous ACAT1 chimeric mRNA, which is presumably processed through a prior event of interchromosomal trans-splicing. Strikingly, DNA fragments containing the asAmp with an upstream recombined cryptic promoter and the corresponding exogenous asAmp transcripts have been detected in human cells. Our findings shed lights on the mechanism of human ACAT1 56-kDa isoform production, reveal an exogenous-endogenous trans-splicing system, in which recombinant plasmid-derived exogenous transcripts are linked with endogenous cellular RNAs in human cells, and suggest that exogenous DNA might affect human gene expression at both DNA and RNA levels.
trans-splicing; chimeric RNA; ampicillin resistance gene; recombinant plasmid; ACAT1
The aim of this paper is to give several characterizations for the property of weak exponential expansiveness for evolution families in Banach spaces. Variants for weak exponential expansiveness of some well-known results in stability theory (Datko (1973), Rolewicz (1986), Ichikawa (1984), and Megan et al. (2003)) are obtained.
C-Jun has been proved as playing an important role in the pathogenesis of tumors, as a main component of Activator protein 1 and c-Jun gene polymorphisms are associated with colorectal cancer. However, the relationship between the c-Jun gene polymorphism and the susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has not been known. Our purpose is to evaluate whether the c-Jun gene polymorphism (SNP rs3748814) is associated with susceptibility to SLE in a Chinese population. In this study, we enrolled 502 SLE patients and 652 healthy controls. The c-Jun polymorphism (rs3748814) was specified from genomic DNA using the TaqMan genotyping assay on a 7300 real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction system. We found that the frequency of the A/G genotype in SLE patients was lower than in healthy controls, whereas the frequency of the G/G genotype was significantly higher in SLE patients than in healthy controls (A/G vs. G/G p=8.670e-08, odds ratio [OR]=0.290, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.184–0.456). In addition, the frequency of allele A in the patients group was significantly lower than in the control group (A vs. G p=5.221e-09, OR=0.308, 95% CI=0.212–0.466). The distribution of genotype and allele frequency in SLE patients with lupus nephritis (LN) compared with SLE patients without LN was not statistically significant (A/G vs. G/G p=0.744, OR=1.157, 95% CI=0.481–2.785; A vs. G p=0.748, OR=1.152, 95% CI=0.486–2.734; A/A+A/G vs. G/G p=0.744, OR=1.157, 95% CI=0.481–2.785). Furthermore, we did not find any significant association between other clinical features and genotypes. Our findings suggest that the c-Jun polymorphism (rs3748814) may be significantly associated with the susceptibility to SLE in a Chinese population.
Chronic ethanol (EtOH) abuse results in the development of steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Augmented TNF-α production by macrophages and Kupffer cells and signaling via the p55 TNF receptor have been shown to be critical for these effects of chronic EtOH; however, the molecular mechanisms leading to augmented TNF-α production remain unclear. Using cell culture models and in vivo studies we demonstrate that chronic EtOH results in increased TNF-α transcription, which is independent of NF-κB. Using reporter assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation we found that this increased transcription is due to increased IRF-3 binding to and transactivation of the TNF promoter. As IRF-3 is downstream from the TLR4 adaptor TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing IFN-β (Trif), we demonstrate that macrophages from Trif−/− mice are resistant to this dysregulation of TNF-α transcription by EtOH in vitro as well as EtOH-induced steatosis and TNF dysregulation in vivo. These data demonstrate that the Trif/IRF-3 pathway is a target to ameliorate liver dysfunction associated with chronic EtOH.
The title compound, C17H20O5, an eremophilane sesquiternoid, was isolated from the roots of Ligularia lapathifolia. The molecule contains four fused rings of which the six-membered ring A adopts a half-chair conformation, the six-membered ring B adopts a chair conformation, the five-membered ring C is almost planar (r.m.s. deviation = 0.015 Å) and the five-membered ring D adopts an envelope conformation with the quaternary C atom as the flap. The methyl and the ethoxy groups adopt a syn conformation and the A/B ring junction is cis-fused. No directional intermolecular interactions could be identified in the crystal.
The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), which has thousands of years of clinical application among China and other Asian countries, is the pioneer of the “multicomponent-multitarget” and network pharmacology. Although there is no doubt of the efficacy, it is difficult to elucidate convincing underlying mechanism of TCM due to its complex composition and unclear pharmacology. The use of ligand-protein networks has been gaining significant value in the history of drug discovery while its application in TCM is still in its early stage. This paper firstly surveys TCM databases for virtual screening that have been greatly expanded in size and data diversity in recent years. On that basis, different screening methods and strategies for identifying active ingredients and targets of TCM are outlined based on the amount of network information available, both on sides of ligand bioactivity and the protein structures. Furthermore, applications of successful in silico target identification attempts are discussed in detail along with experiments in exploring the ligand-protein networks of TCM. Finally, it will be concluded that the prospective application of ligand-protein networks can be used not only to predict protein targets of a small molecule, but also to explore the mode of action of TCM.
The endophytic bacterium, MD-b1, was isolated from the medicinal plant Ophiopogon japonicas and identified as the Bacillus amyloliquefaciens sp. with 99% similarity based on the partial sequence analysis of 16S rDNA. Exopolysaccharides were extracted from the endophyte for the evaluation of its antitumor activity against gastric carcinoma cell lines (MC-4 and SGC-7901). 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assays and microscopy were performed to estimate the cell viability and morphological changes of the MC-4 and SGC-7901 cells following treatment with the exopolysaccharides at 14, 22 and 30 μg/μl. The results revealed that the exopolysaccharides displayed concentration-dependent inhibitory effects against the MC-4 and SGC-7901 cells, with an IC50 of 19.7 and 26.8 μg/μl, respectively. The exopolysaccharides also induced morphological abnormalities in the cells. These effects indicated the the exopolysaccharides had an antitumoral mechanism of action associated with the mitochondrial dysfunction of the treated cells. This is the first study to investigate the endophytic microorganism isolated from O. japonicas and also the first discovery of such antitumoral exopolysaccharides derived from the genus Bacillus. This provides a promising and reproducible natural product source with high therapeutic value for anticancer treatment, thereby facilitating the development of new anticancer agents.
Ophiopogon japonicas; Bacillus amyloliquefaciens; exopolysaccharides; endophytic bacteria; antitumor
The aim of this study was to assess the changes in visual function (VF) and quality of life (QOL) among patients following blindness prevention surgery in a rural area of Eastern China. The prospective study selected cataract patients via mobile eye screening camps. VF and QOL questionnaires originally developed by Fletcher et al were completed prior to and 6 months after surgery. Small-incision cataract surgery (SICS) with posterior chamber intraocular lens (IOL) implantation was performed on patients by a blindness prevention surgery group. The VF and QOL scores of 178 cataract patients preoperatively were 48.58±31.18 and 65.97±26.77, respectively. The scores decreased in proportion to decreasing vision status. The VF and QOL scale scores were significantly correlated with the vision grade of the patient (rVF=−17.2093, t=−10.87, P<0.001, rQOL=−13.1399, t=−8.87, P<0.001) and age (rVF=−0.6505, t=−3.87, P<0.001, rQOL=− 0.3309, t=−2.10, P=0.037). A total of 131 patients responded to the second survey, VF and QOL scores increased significantly over a six-month postoperative period (VF=83.21±16.40, P<0.001; QOL=86.53±16.33, P<0.001). The VF scale scores were correlated with the grade of vision and residence area, the QOL scale scores were correlated with the grade of vision and gender. The VF and QOL of patients were significantly improved by performing SICS with posterior chamber IOL implantation collectively in a short period in rural areas of Eastern China. It is important to follow-up cataract patients postoperatively as untreated complications of the surgery may affect the stability of VF and QOL postoperatively.
prevent blindness; quality of life; visual function; cataract; surgery
Cortactin is an important regulator involved in invasion and migration of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim of this study was to elucidate the forecasting role of cortactin in resectable HCCs.
We compared the invasiveness and motility among liver epithelial cell line and HCC cell lines by using Transwell assay and wound healing assay. We further investigated the CTTN mRNA expression by real-time PCR. Next, 91 HCC and 20 normal liver tissue samples were detected by IHC and real-time PCR. Finally, we analyzed the clinicopathologic features and survival time of the HCC cases.
We identified that HepG2, LM3, and SK-Hep-1 had more invasiveness and motility (P <0.05). Compared with liver epithelial cell line, CTTN expression was higher in LM3, HepG2, and MHCC97-L (P <0.01) and lower in SK-Hep-1 (P <0.05). IHC examination showed cortactin expression was closely relative to TNM stage (AJCC/UICC), cancer embolus, and metastasis (P <0.01). Cortactin overexpression indicated a longer survival time of 52 ± 8.62 months and low expression of a shorter survival time of 20 ± 4.95 months (P <0.01). Cortactin examination has more predictive power in patients with Child-Pugh grade A and BCLC stage 0-B.
Overexpression of cortactin is closely associated with poor human HCCs prognosis that caused by cancer embolus and metastasis. Cortactin and CTTN should be used for differentiating varieties of survival for patients after HCC resection.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Cortactin; Neoplasm invasiveness; Prognosis
A novel sequence that functions as a promoter element for moderate constitutive expression of transgenes, designated as the PtMCP promoter, was isolated from the woody perennial Populus tomentosa. The PtMCP promoter was fused to the GUS reporter gene to characterize its expression pattern in different species. In stable Arabidopsis transformants, transcripts of the GUS reporter gene could be detected by RT-PCR in the root, stem, leaf, flower and silique. Further histochemical and fluorometric GUS activity assays demonstrated that the promoter could direct transgene expression in all tissues and organs, including roots, stems, rosette leaves, cauline leaves and flowers of seedlings and maturing plants. Its constitutive expression pattern was similar to that of the CaMV35S promoter, but the level of GUS activity was significantly lower than in CaMV35S promoter::GUS plants. We also characterized the promoter through transient expression in transgenic tobacco and observed similar expression patterns. Histochemical GUS staining and quantitative analysis detected GUS activity in all tissues and organs of tobacco, including roots, stems, leaves, flower buds and flowers, but GUS activity in PtMCP promoter::GUS plants was significantly lower than in CaMV35S promoter::GUS plants. Our results suggested that the PtMCP promoter from poplar is a constitutive promoter with moderate activity and that its function is presumably conserved in different species. Therefore, the PtMCP promoter may provide a practical choice to direct moderate level constitutive expression of transgenes and could be a valuable new tool in plant genetic engineering.
constitutive promoter; moderate expression; RT-PCR; GUS; transgenic plants
Several confirmed genetic susceptibility loci involved in the interferon signaling and Th17/B cell response for SLE in Chinese Han populations have been described. Available data also indicate that sex-specific genetic differences contribute to SLE susceptibility. The aim of this study was to test for gene–gene/gene-sex epistasis (interactions) in these known lupus susceptibility loci. Six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MiR146a, IRF5, IKZF1, ETS1 and IL21 were genotyped by Sequenom MassArray system. A total of 1,825 subjects (858 SLE patients and 967 controls) were included in the final analysis. Epistasis was tested by additive model, multiplicative model and multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) method. Additive interaction analysis revealed interactions between IRF5 and IKZF1 (OR 2.26, 95% CI 1.48–3.44 [P = 1.21×104]). A similar tendency was also observed between IL21 and ETS1 by parametric methods. In addition, multiple high dimensional gene-gene or gene-sex interactions (three-and four-way) were identified by MDR analysis. Our study identified novel gene–gene/gene-sex interactions in lupus. Furthermore, these findings highlight sex, interferon pathway, and Th17/B cells as important contributors to the pathogenesis of SLE.
The identification of malignant cells in effusions by conventional cytology is hampered by its limited sensitivity and specificity. The aim of this study was to investigate the value of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) as adjuncts to conventional cytologic examination in patients with malignant pleural effusions.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 93 inpatients with pleural effusions (72 malignant pleural effusions metastatic from 11 different organs and 21 benign) over 23 months. All the patients came from Chinese northeast areas. Aspirated pleural fluid underwent cytologic examination and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for aneuploidy. We used FISH in single-colour or if appropriate in dual-colour evaluation to detect chromosomal aberrations (chromosomes 7, 11, and 17) in effusion cells as markers of malignancy, to raise the diagnostic yield and identified the efficiency by diagnostic biopsy. Predominant cytogenetic anomalies and patterns of intratumor cytogenetic heterogeneity were brought in relation to overall survival rate.
Cytology alone confirmed malignant pleural effusions in 45 of 72 patients (sensitivity 63%), whereas FISH alone positively identified 48 of 72 patients (sensitivity 67%). Both tests had high specificity in predicting benign effusions. If cytology and FISH were considered together, they exhibited 88% sensitivity and 94.5% specificity in discriminating benign and malignant effusions. Combined, the two assays were more sensitive than either test alone. Although the positive predictive value of each test was 94.5%, the negative predictive value of cytology and FISH combined was 78%, better than 47% and 44% for FISH and cytology alone, respectively. There was a significantly prolonged survival rate for patients with aneuploidy for chromosome 17.
FISH in combination with conventional cytology is a highly sensitive and specific diagnostic tool for detecting malignant cells in pleural effusions . The high sensitivity and specificity may be associated with geographic area and race. Simple numeric FISH anomalies may be prognostic.
Malignant pleural effusions; FISH; Prognosis; Sensitivity; Specificity
The objective of this study was to detect cerebral potentials elicited by proximal stimulation of the first sacral (S1) nerve root at the S1 dorsal foramen and to investigate latency and amplitude of the first cerebral potential. Tibial nerve SEP and S1 nerve root SEP were obtained from 20 healthy subjects and 5 patients with unilateral sciatic nerve or tibial nerve injury. Stimulation of the S1 nerve root was performed by a needle electrode via the S1 dorsal foramen. Cerebral potentials were recorded twice to document reproducibility. Latencies and amplitudes of the first cerebral potentials were recorded. Reproducible cerebral evoked potentials were recorded and P20s were identified in 36 of 40 limbs in the healthy subjects. The mean latency of P20 was 19.8 ± 1.6 ms. The mean amplitude of P20–N30 was 1.2 ± 0.9 μV. In the five patients, P40 of tibial nerve SEP was absent, while well-defined cerebral potentials of S1 nerve root SEP were recorded and P20 was identified from the involved side. This method may be useful in detecting S1 nerve root lesion and other disorders affecting the proximal portions of somatosensory pathway. Combined with tibial nerve SEP, it may provide useful information for diagnosis of lesions affecting the peripheral nerve versus the central portion of somatosensory pathway.
Somatosensory evoked potentials; Intra-operative monitoring; S1 nerve root; Nerve root stimulation
Plasma level of total homocysteine (tHcy) is negatively correlated with kidney function in general population. However, the causal mechanism of this correlation is poorly understood. The purpose of this study is to investigate the association of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T gene polymorphism, which is a major genetic determinant of the plasma tHcy level, with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) in Chinese.
A total of 18 814 hypertensive patients (6 914 males, 11 900 females) were included in the study.
Association between the eGFR and MTHFR C677T genotype was examined by sex-specific regression analyses. In males, TT genotype was associated with 1.37 ml/min/1.73 m2 decrease in eGFR (p = 0.004) and with an increased risk (OR = 1.32, p = 0.008) for the lowest quintile of eGFR after adjusting for age, BMI, and blood pressures. However, such association was not observed in females (p > 0.05). This association suggests MTHFR C677T polymorphism may play a role in the regulation of eGFR in males.
MTHFR 677 T is a risk allele for decreased kidney function in Chinese males, implicating this gene in the pathogenesis of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
MTHFR C677T polymorphism; eGFR; CKD
Nitrite-dependent anaerobic methane oxidation (n-damo), which couples the anaerobic oxidation of methane to denitrification, is a recently discovered process mediated by “Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera.” M. oxyfera is affiliated with the “NC10” phylum, a phylum having no members in pure culture. Based on the isotopic labeling experiments, it is hypothesized that M. oxyfera has an unusual intra-aerobic pathway for the production of oxygen via the dismutation of nitric oxide into dinitrogen gas and oxygen. In addition, the bacterial species has a unique ultrastructure that is distinct from that of other previously described microorganisms. M. oxyfera-like sequences have been recovered from different natural habitats, suggesting that the n-damo process potentially contributes to global carbon and nitrogen cycles. The n-damo process is a process that can reduce the greenhouse effect, as methane is more effective in heat-trapping than carbon dioxide. The n-damo process, which uses methane instead of organic matter to drive denitrification, is also an economical nitrogen removal process because methane is a relatively inexpensive electron donor. This mini-review summarizes the peculiar microbiology of M. oxyfera and discusses the potential ecological importance and engineering application of the n-damo process.
“NC10” phylum; unique ultrastructure; intra-aerobic pathway; greenhouse gas control; nitrogen removal
Cigarette smoking had been confirmed as an increased risk for dyslipidemia, but none of the evidence was from long-lived population. In present study, we detected relationship between cigarette smoking habits and serum lipid/lipoprotein (serum Triglyceride (TG), Total cholesterol (TC), Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL)) among Chinese Nonagenarians/Centenarian.
The present study analyzed data from the survey that was conducted on all residents aged 90 years or more in a district, there were 2,311,709 inhabitants in 2005. Unpaired Student’s t test, χ2 test, and multiple logistic regression were used to analyze datas.
The individuals included in the statistical analysis were 216 men and 445 women. Current smokers had lower level of TC (4.05 ± 0.81 vs. 4.21 ± 0.87, t = 2.403, P = 0.017) and lower prevalence of hypercholesteremia (9.62% vs. 15.13%, χ2 = 3.018,P = 0.049) than nonsmokers. Unadjusted and adjusted multiple logistic regressions showed that cigarette smoking was not associated with risk for abnormal serum lipid/lipoprotein.
In summary, we found that among Chinese nonagenarians/centenarians, cigarette smoking habits were not associated with increased risk for dyslipidemia, which was different from the association of smoking habits with dyslipidemia in general population.
Serum lipid/lipoprotein; Cigarette smoking; Nonagenarians/Centenarians
T helper (Th) cells and their cytokines play a pleiotropic role in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Recently, a new effector T cell subset, Th9 cells, which preferentially secrete IL-9, has been identified. IL-9 is mainly produced by several T cell subsets including Th9 and Th17, and effective on the functions of Th cells and mast cell. However, there are no unambiguous conclusions that IL-9 contributes to the pathogenesis of SLE. Recently, IL-9 was reported to mediate profound anti-inflammatory effects in several cells or experimental autoimmune models. In particular, IL-9 production seemed to be important in mast cell recruitment. Defect in IL-9/IL-9R axis exhibited a more severe course of Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE) and enhanced activity of Tregs, phenotypes reminiscent of SLE. Consistently, IL-9 was implicated in the proliferation of several types of CD4+ T cells, indicating that IL-9 may be therapeutically relevant in SLE. In this article, we briefly discuss the biological features of IL-9 and summarize recent advances on the role of IL-9 in the pathogenesis and treatment of SLE.
T helper (Th) cells; systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); Th9; Th17; IL-9
Intervertebral disc; Bupivacaine; Cell viability; Matrix synthesis; disc organ culture; Local anesthetic
The title compound, C15H22O4, an eremophilane sesquiternoid, was isolated from the roots of Ligularia virgaurea. Both six-membered rings (A and B) adopt chair conformations and the five-membered ring is almost planar (r.m.s. deviation = 0.016 Å). The two methyl and two hydroxy groups adopt a syn conformation and the A/B ring junction is cis-fused. An intramolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bond generates an S(6) ring. In the crystal, O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the molecules into  chains.
Bambusae caulis in Liquamen (BCL), traditional herbal medicine used in East Asia, is known to have antioxidative and immune-regulating properties. We hypothesized that the potential antioxidant effects of BCL might suppress the production of thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) in human keratinocytes (HaCaT cell). The immune-regulating effect of BCL was demonstrated by antioxidant capacity using DPPH analysis and DCFH-DA analysis. We found that BCL had strong ROS scavenge effect in HaCaT cell. BCL also showed suppression of IFN-γ-induced expression of TARC and MDC, activation of NF-κB, and, moreover, significant block of IFN-γ-induced degradation and phosphorylation of IκB. However, it had no effects on phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. Collectively, these results suggest that BCL may have a therapeutic potential on skin disease such as atopic dermatitis by inhibiting Th2 chemokines which is due, at least in part, to its antioxidant capacities.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease with a strong genetic predisposition, characterized by an upregulated type I interferon pathway. MicroRNAs are important regulators of immune homeostasis, and aberrant microRNA expression has been demonstrated in patients with autoimmune diseases. We recently identified miR-146a as a negative regulator of the interferon pathway and linked the abnormal activation of this pathway to the underexpression of miR-146a in SLE patients. To explore why the expression of miR-146a is reduced in SLE patients, we conducted short parallel sequencing of potentially regulatory regions of miR-146a and identified a novel genetic variant (rs57095329) in the promoter region exhibiting evidence for association with SLE that was replicated independently in 7,182 Asians (Pmeta = 2.74×10−8, odds ratio = 1.29 [1.18–1.40]). The risk-associated G allele was linked to reduced expression of miR-146a in the peripheral blood leukocytes of the controls. Combined functional assays showed that the risk-associated G allele reduced the protein-binding affinity and activity of the promoter compared with those of the promoter containing the protective A allele. Transcription factor Ets-1, encoded by the lupus-susceptibility gene ETS1, identified in recent genome-wide association studies, binds near this variant. The manipulation of Ets-1 levels strongly affected miR-146a promoter activity in vitro; and the knockdown of Ets-1, mimicking its reduced expression in SLE, directly impaired the induction of miR-146a. We also observed additive effects of the risk alleles of miR-146a and ETS1. Our data identified and confirmed an association between a functional promoter variant of miR-146a and SLE. This risk allele had decreased binding to transcription factor Ets-1, contributing to reduced levels of miR-146a in SLE patients.
Genome-wide association studies have identified quite a number of susceptibility loci associated with complex diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, for most of them, the intrinsic link between genetic variation and disease mechanism is not fully understood. SLE is characterized by a significantly upregulated type I interferon (IFN) pathway, and we have previously reported that underexpression of a microRNA, miR-146a, contributes to alterations in the type I IFN pathway in lupus patients. Here we identified a novel genetic variant in the promoter region of miR-146a that is directly related to reduced expression of miR-146a and is associated with SLE susceptibility. The risk allele of this variant confers weaker binding affinity for Ets-1, which is a transcription factor encoded by a lupus susceptibility gene found in recent GWAS. These findings suggest that reduced expression of Ets-1 and its reduced binding affinity to the miR-146a promoter both may contribute to low levels of this microRNA in SLE patients, which may contribute to the upregulated type I IFN pathway in these patients. To our knowledge, this is also the first piece of evidence showing association between a genetic variant in a promoter region of a miRNA gene and a human disease.
In the title complex, [Na(C2HCl2O3S2)(C10H20O5)], there are two independent complex units in the asymmetric unit, one of which has a 55:45% disorder in the 15-crown-5 component. The coordination sphere about the Na atom in each complex unit comprises five bonds to O atoms of the crown ether [Na—O = 2.390 (7)–2.466 (6) Å] and one to a thiosulfate O atom [Na—O = 2.305 (4) and 2.447 (3) Å].
Phospholamban functions as a regulator of Ca2+ concentration of cardiac muscle cells by triggering the bioactivity of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase. In order to understand its dynamic mechanism in the environment of bilayer surroundings, we performed long time-scale molecular dynamic simulations based on the high-resolution NMR structure of phospholamban pentamer. It was observed from the molecular dynamics trajectory analyses that the conformational transitions between the “bellflower” and “pinwheel” modes were detected for phospholamban. Particularly, the two modes became quite similar to each other after phospholamban was phosphorylated at Ser16. Based on these findings, an allosteric mechanism was proposed to elucidate the dynamic process of phospholamban interacting with Ca2+-ATPase.