Since the emergence of drug-resistant mutants has limited the efficacy of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), it is essential to develop new antivirals with better drug-resistance and pharmacokinetic profiles. Here we designed and synthesized a series of 1-[(2-benzyloxyl/alkoxyl)methyl]-5-halo-6-aryluracils, the HEPT analogues, and evaluated their biological activity using Nevirapine and 18 (TNK-651) as reference compounds. Most of these compounds, especially 6b, 7b, 9b, 11b and 7c, exhibited highly potent anti-HIV-1 activity against both wild-type and NNRTI-resistant HIV-1 strains. The compound 7b, that had the highest selectivity index (SI = 38,215), is more potent than Nevirapine and 18. These results suggest that introduction of halogen at the C-5 position may contribute to the effectiveness of these compounds against RTI-resistant variants. In addition, m-substituents on the C-6 aromatic moiety could significantly enhance activity against NNRTI-resistant HIV-1 strains. These compounds can be further developed as next-generation NNRTIs with improved antiviral efficacy and drug-resistance profile.
HIV-1; Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs); Drug-resistance
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is one of most contagious animal diseases. It affects millions of cloven-hoofed animals and causes huge economic losses in many countries of the world. There are seven serotypes of which three (O, A and Asia 1) are endemic in China. Efficient control of FMD in China is crucial for the prevention and control of FMD in Asia and throughout the world. For the control of FMD, a powerful veterinary administration, a well-trained veterinary staff, a system of rapid and accurate diagnostic procedures and, in many countries, compulsory vaccination of susceptible animals are indispensable. This article strives to outline the Chinese animal disease control and prevention system, in particular for FMD, with the emphasis on diagnostic procedures applied in Chinese laboratories. In addition, new technologies for FMD diagnosis, which are currently in the phase of development or in the process of validation in Chinese laboratories, are described, such as lateral flow devices (LFD), Mab-based ELISAs, reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) and gold nanopariticle immuno-PCR (GNP-IPCR).
Foot-and-mouth disease; Control strategy; Chinese veterinary administrative system for FMD; Diagnostic technique
Karyotyping is considered the gold standard for the genome-wide detection of genomic imbalances in prenatal diagnosis, but it has a number of inherent limitations, namely the time required to culture cell and the limited resolution(5 ~ 10 Mb). Although fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) can also be used as a rapid prenatal diagnosis for common aneuploidies, it is labor intensive, requires prior knowledge of the regions of interest, and can only be used to diagnose one or a few genomic regions simultaneously. Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) can overcome the resolution, the locus-specific, and the time limitations of the karyotyping and FISH techniques and is currently the most powerful method for detecting chromosomal alterations in pre and postnatal clinical cases. Several investigations have suggested that the aCGH testing should be considered a first-tier test for the diagnosis of cytogenetic aberrations in the fetus.
This study used karyotyping, FISH, sequence-tagged site (STS) analysis and aCGH to diagnose a case of de novo duplication of chromosome 21q22.12 → q22.3 with other concomitant deletion and duplication of small fragments in 21q associated with Down syndrome prenatally.
FISH, aCGH and STS analysis are useful in prenatal investigation of the nature of de novo alterations of small fragments of the chromosome.
Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH); Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH); Sequence-tagged site (STS); Partial duplication; Prenatal diagnosis; Down syndrome
ALKBH2 is a direct DNA repair dioxygenase guarding mammalian genome against N1-methyladenine, N3-methylcytosine, and 1,N6-ethenoadenine damage. A prerequisite for repair is to identify these lesions in the genome. Here we present crystal structures of ALKBH2 bound to different duplex DNAs. Together with computational and biochemical analyses, our results suggest that DNA interrogation by ALKBH2 displays two novel features: i) ALKBH2 probes base-pair stability and detects base pairs with reduced stability; ii) ALKBH2 does not have nor need a “damage-checking site”, which is critical for preventing spurious base-cleavage for several glycosylases. The demethylation mechanism of ALKBH2 insures that only cognate lesions are oxidized and reversed to normal bases, and that a flipped, non-substrate base remains intact in the active site. Overall, the combination of duplex interrogation and oxidation chemistry allows ALKBH2 to detect and process diverse lesions efficiently and correctly.
Lethal factor (LF), a major toxic element of Bacillus anthracis combined with its protective antigen (PA), enters the cells through the cytomembrane receptors and causes damage to the host cells, thereby leading to septicemia, toxemia, and meningitis with high mortality. LF has been identified as a potential biotech-weapon, which can impede cancer growth in vascular endothelial cells because of its cytotoxicity. However, the feasibility of LF application and further investigations has been limited because LF is nonspecific. To solve this problem, we constructed a vector that contained the LF sequence, which was regulated by a tumor-specific human telomerase reverse transcriptase promoter (hTERTp). Results showed that LF was selectively expressed in lung cancer A549 cells but not in normal cells, thereby resulting in A549 cell apoptosis. The results also revealed that the inhibition of mitogen-activated protein kinase and AKT pathways was partially involved in the process. Thus, hTERTp-regulated LF increase could be a promising approach in lung cancer-targeted therapy.
Anthrax lethal factor; Selective expression; Targeted therapy; A549 cell; Signaling pathway.
Gene regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs) under specific physiological conditions often involves complex interactions between multiple miRNAs and a large number of their targets, as well as coordination with other regulatory mechanisms, limiting the effectiveness of classical genetic methods to identify miRNA functions. We took a systematic approach to analyze the miRNA-induced silencing complex (miRISC) in individual tissues of C. elegans and found that mRNAs encoded by pathogen-responsive genes were dramatically over-represented in the intestinal miRISC, and that multiple miRNAs accumulated in the intestinal miRISCs upon infection. Inactivation of the miRISC or ablation of miRNAs from different families, resulted in over-expression of several pathogen-responsive genes under basal conditions and, surprisingly, enhanced worm survival on pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These results indicate that much of the miRNA activity in the gut is dedicated to attenuating the activity of the pathogen response system, uncovering a complex physiological function of the miRNA network.
GW182; miRNA; pathogen; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; innate immunity; ain-1; ain-2; pmk-1; daf-16
Dental implants have become increasingly common for the management of missing teeth. However, peri-implant infection remains a problem, is usually difficult to treat, and may lead eventually to dental implant failure. The aim of this study was to fabricate a novel antibacterial coating containing a halogenated furanone compound, ie, (Z-)-4-bromo-5-(bromomethylene)-2(5H)-furanone (BBF)-loaded poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) nanoparticles on microarc-oxidized titanium and to evaluate its release behavior in vitro.
BBF-loaded PLLA nanoparticles were prepared using the emulsion solvent-evaporation method, and the antibacterial coating was fabricated by cross-linking BBF-loaded PLLA nanoparticles with gelatin on microarc-oxidized titanium.
The BBF-loaded PLLA nanoparticles had a small particle size (408 ± 14 nm), a low polydispersity index (0.140 ± 0.008), a high encapsulation efficiency (72.44% ± 1.27%), and a fine spherical shape with a smooth surface. The morphology of the fabricated antibacterial coating showed that the BBF-loaded PLLA nanoparticles were well distributed in the pores of the microarc oxidation coating, and were cross-linked with each other and the wall pores by gelatin. The release study indicated that the antibacterial coating could achieve sustained release of BBF for 60 days, with a slight initial burst release during the first 4 hours.
The novel antibacterial coating fabricated in this study is a potentially promising method for prevention of early peri-implant infection.
antibacterial; coating; halogenated furanone; nanoparticles; microarc oxidation; sustained release
Previous reports implicate CYP2E1 RsaI/PstI polymorphism as a possible risk factor for several cancers. Published studies on the relationship of CYP2E1 RsaI/PstI polymorphisms with the susceptibility to gastric cancer are controversial. This study aimed to determine this relationship accurately.
Meta-analyses that assessed the association of CYP2E1 RsaI/PstI variations with gastric cancer were conducted. Subgroup analyses on ethnicity, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and source of controls were also performed. Eligible studies up to Mar 2012 were identified.
After rigorous searching and screening, 24 case-control studies comprising 3022 cases and 4635 controls were selected for analysis. The overall data failed to indicate the significant associations of CYP2E1 RsaI/PstI polymorphisms with the gastric cancer risk [c2 vs. c1: odds ratio (OR) = 1.06; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.88–1.28; c2c2 vs. c1c1: OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 0.78–1.92; c2c2+c1c2 vs. c1c1: OR = 0.93; 95% CI = 0.79–1.10]. Similar results were observed in the subgroup analyses on ethnicity, drinking status, and source of controls. However, in the subgroup analysis on smoking status, a borderline increase in cancer risk was found among long-term smokers (c2c2+c1c2 vs. c1c1: OR = 1.39; 95% CI = 1.00–1.92).
CYP2E1 RsaI/PstI polymorphisms may modify the susceptibility to gastric cancer among individuals who have a smoking history. Large and well-designed studies are needed to confirm this conclusion.
Previously, CYP1A1 Ile462Val polymorphism has been indicated to be a risk factor for several malignancies. Increasing reports have focused on the association of CYP1A1 Ile462Val polymorphisms with susceptibility to acute leukemia and have generated controversial results. The goal of the present study was to derive a more precise estimation of the relationship.
Relevant literature has been rigorously searched and screened. Eligible studies were identified for the period up to Apr 2012. Meta-analyses evaluating the association of CYP1A1 Ile462Val variation with acute leukemia were carried out. Subgroup analyses on ethnicity, clinical types and source of controls were further performed.
A total of thirteen publications including fourteen case-control studies with 2164 cases and 4160 controls were selected for analysis. The overall data indicated a significant association of CYP1A1 Ile462Val polymorphism with acute leukemia risk (Val/Val vs Ile/Ile OR = 1.49; 95% CI = 1.11–1.98; dominant model: OR = 1.26; 95% CI = 1.05–1.51; recessive model: OR = 1.38; 95% CI = 1.04–1.83). In subgroup analysis on ethnicity, increased risk was shown among mixed ethnicities (Val/Val vs Ile/Ile: OR = 2.36; 95% CI = 1.46–3.82; dominant model: OR = 1.37; 95% CI = 1.01–1.86; recessive model: OR = 2.20; 95% CI = 1.37–3.53) but not Asians or Caucasians. In subgroup analysis on clinical types, increased risk was observed in the acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) subgroup (Val/Val vs Ile/Ile: OR = 2.06; 95% CI = 1.42–3.01; recessive model: OR = 1.91; 95% CI = 1.32–2.76) but not in the acute myeloid leukemia (AML) subgroup.
The results of the present study suggest that CYP1A1 Ile462Val polymorphism might be a low-penetrant risk factor for acute leukemia. Subgroup analyses suggest that homozygous Val/Val alleles might modify the susceptibility to ALL.
Human thymine DNA glycosylase (hTDG) efficiently excises 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC), a key oxidation product of 5-methylcytosine in a recently discovered cytosine demethylation pathway. We present here the crystal structures of hTDG catalytic domain in complex with duplex DNA containing either 5caC or a fluorinated analog. These structures, together with biochemical and computational analyses, reveal that 5caC is specifically recognized in the active site of hTDG, supporting the role of TDG in mammalian 5-methylcytosine (5mC) demethylation.
Previous reports have indicated that the X-ray repair cross-complementing gene 1 (XRCC1) Arg194Trp polymorphism may be a risk factor for several types of cancer. Published studies on the association of XRCC1 Arg194Trp polymorphisms with glioma risk have yeilded conflicting results. The present study aimed to obtain a more precise estimation of this association. Meta-analyses assessing the association of the XRCC1 Arg194Trp variation with glioma were conducted and subgroup analyses based on ethnicity and source of controls were also performed. Eligible studies were identified during the period before May 2012. A total of four case-control studies comprising 1,440 cases and 2,562 controls were finally selected for analysis. The overall data failed to indicate a significant association of the XRCC1 Arg194Trp polymorphism with glioma risk [Trp vs. Arg: odds ratio (OR) = 1.01, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.77–1.33; Trp/Trp vs. Arg/Arg: OR = 1.56, 95% CI = 0.96–2.54; dominant model: OR = 0.98, 95% CI = 0.74–1.31; recessive model: OR = 1.48, 95% CI = 0.92–2.38]. Similarly, in the subgroup analysis based on ethnicity and source of controls, no associations were observed. In conclusion, the results of the present study failed to suggest an association between the XRCC1 Arg194Trp polymorphism and glioma risk. Further large and well-designed studies are required to confirm this conclusion.
X-ray repair cross-complementing gene 1 Arg194Trp; glioma; malignancy; susceptibility; meta-analysis; polymorphism
The fern genus Dryopteris (Dryopteridaceae) is among the most common and species rich fern genera in temperate forests in the northern hemisphere containing 225–300 species worldwide. The circumscription of Dryopteris has been controversial and various related genera have, over the time, been included in and excluded from Dryopteris. The infrageneric phylogeny has largely remained unclear, and the placement of the majority of the supraspecific taxa of Dryopteris has never been tested using molecular data.
In this study, DNA sequences of four plastid loci (rbcL gene, rps4-trnS spacer, trnL intron, trnL-F spacer) were used to reconstruct the phylogeny of Dryopteris. A total of 122 accessions are sampled in our analysis and they represent 100 species of the expanded Dryopteris including Acrophorus, Acrorumohra, Diacalpe, Dryopsis, Nothoperanema, and Peranema. All four subgenera and 19 sections currently recognized in Dryopteris s.s. are included. One species each of Arachniodes, Leptorumohra, and Lithostegia of Dryopteridaceae are used as outgroups. Our study confirms the paraphyly of Dryopteris and provides the first strong molecular evidence on the monophyly of Acrophorus, Diacalpe, Dryopsis, Nothoperanema, and Peranema. However, all these monophyletic groups together with the paraphyletic Acrorumohra are suggested to be merged into Dryopteris based on both molecular and morphological evidence. Our analysis identified 13 well-supported monophyletic groups. Each of the 13 clades is additionally supported by morphological synapomophies and is inferred to represent a major evolutionary lineage in Dryopteris. In contrast, monophyly of the four subgenera and 15 out of 19 sections currently recognized in Dryopteris s.s is not supported by plastid data.
The genera, Acrophorus, Acrorumohra, Diacalpe, Dryopsis, Nothoperanema, and Peranema, should all be merged into Dryopteris. Most species of these genera share a short rhizome and catadromic arrangement of frond segments, unlike the sister genus of Dryopteris s.l., Arachniodes, which has anadromic arrangement of frond segments. The non-monophyly of the 19 out of the 21 supraspecific taxa (sections, subgenera) in Dryopteris strongly suggests that the current taxonomy of this genus is in need of revision. The disagreement between the previous taxonomy and molecular results in Dryopteris may be due partly to interspecific hybridization and polyplodization. More morphological studies and molecular data, especially from the nuclear genome, are needed to thoroughly elucidate the evolutionary history of Dryopteris. The 13 well-supported clades identified based on our data represent 13 major evolutionary lineages in Dryopteris that are also supported by morphological synapomophies.
Borna disease virus is a neurotropic, non-cytolytic virus that has been widely employed in neuroscientific research. Previous studies have revealed that metabolic perturbations are associated with Borna disease viral infection. However, the pathophysiological mechanism underlying its mode of action remains unclear.
Human oligodendroglia cells infected with the human strain Borna disease virus Hu-H1 and non-infected matched control cells were cultured in vitro. At day 14 post-infection, a proton nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabonomic approach was used to differentiate the metabonomic profiles of 28 independent intracellular samples from Borna disease virus-infected cells (n = 14) and matched control cells (n = 14). Partial least squares discriminant analysis was performed to demonstrate that the whole metabonomic patterns enabled discrimination between the two groups, and further statistical testing was applied to determine which individual metabolites displayed significant differences between the two groups.
Metabonomic profiling revealed perturbations in 23 metabolites, 19 of which were deemed individually significant: nine energy metabolites (α-glucose, acetate, choline, creatine, formate, myo-inositol, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, pyruvate, succinate) and ten amino acids (aspartate, glutamate, glutamine, glycine, histidine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, threonine, tyrosine, valine). Partial least squares discriminant analysis demonstrated that the whole metabolic patterns enabled statistical discrimination between the two groups.
Borna disease viral infection perturbs the metabonomic profiles of several metabolites in human oligodendroglia cells cultured in vitro. The findings suggest that Borna disease virus manipulates the host cell’s metabolic network to support viral replication and proliferation.
Previous studies have implicated NAT2 polymorphisms as risk factors for various types of cancer. Colorectal adenomas are recognized as a pre-neoplastic lesion. A growing body of research documenting the association of NAT2 polymorphisms with the risk of colorectal adenomas has yielded conflicting results. The aim of the present study was to derive a more precise estimation of this association. Meta-analyses assessing the association of NAT2 variants with colorectal adenomas were conducted and subgroup analyses on smoking status and the source of the controls were also performed. Eligible studies were identified for the period before March 2012. A total of seven case-control studies, including 3,197 cases and 4,681 controls, were selected following extensive searching and screening. In the overall data, no associations between NAT2 polymorphisms and colorectal adenomas were observed [odds ratio (OR), 1.04; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.90–1.21]. However, in the subgroup analysis concerning smoking status, slow acetylator variants were revealed to be correlated with increased colorectal adenoma risk in individuals who have smoked (OR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.04–1.64). In conclusion, the data of the present study suggested that NAT2 polymorphisms may be a risk factor for colorectal adenomas in individuals who have a history of smoking.
NAT2; susceptibility; colorectal adenoma; meta-analysis; polymorphism
The fungus Marssonina brunnea is a causal pathogen of Marssonina leaf spot that devastates poplar plantations by defoliating susceptible trees before normal fall leaf drop.
We sequence the genome of M. brunnea with a size of 52 Mb assembled into 89 scaffolds, representing the first sequenced Dermateaceae genome. By inoculating this fungus onto a poplar hybrid clone, we investigate how M. brunnea interacts and co-evolves with its host to colonize poplar leaves. While a handful of virulence genes in M. brunnea, mostly from the LysM family, are detected to up-regulate during infection, the poplar down-regulates its resistance genes, such as nucleotide binding site domains and leucine rich repeats, in response to infection. From 10,027 predicted proteins of M. brunnea in a comparison with those from poplar, we identify four poplar transferases that stimulate the host to resist M. brunnea. These transferas-encoding genes may have driven the co-evolution of M. brunnea and Populus during the process of infection and anti-infection.
Our results from the draft sequence of the M. brunnea genome provide evidence for genome-genome interactions that play an important role in poplar-pathogen co-evolution. This knowledge could help to design effective strategies for controlling Marssonina leaf spot in poplar.
Marssonina leaf spot; Genome sequencing; Host-pathogen interaction; Poplar
Altering pyrimidine levels in influenza virus– or VSV-infected cells reverses the inhibitory effect of viral proteins NS1 and M on host mRNA nuclear export, restoring expression of host antiviral factors.
The NS1 protein of influenza virus is a major virulence factor essential for virus replication, as it redirects the host cell to promote viral protein expression. NS1 inhibits cellular messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) processing and export, down-regulating host gene expression and enhancing viral gene expression. We report in this paper the identification of a nontoxic quinoline carboxylic acid that reverts the inhibition of mRNA nuclear export by NS1, in the absence or presence of the virus. This quinoline carboxylic acid directly inhibited dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), a host enzyme required for de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis, and partially reduced pyrimidine levels. This effect induced NXF1 expression, which promoted mRNA nuclear export in the presence of NS1. The release of NS1-mediated mRNA export block by DHODH inhibition also occurred in the presence of vesicular stomatitis virus M (matrix) protein, another viral inhibitor of mRNA export. This reversal of mRNA export block allowed expression of antiviral factors. Thus, pyrimidines play a necessary role in the inhibition of mRNA nuclear export by virulence factors.
With an increasing incidence of congenital heart defects (CHDs) in recent years, genotype-phenotype correlation and array-based methods have contributed to the genome-wide analysis and understanding of genetic variations in the CHD population. Here, we report a copy number deletion of chromosomal 14q23.1 in a female fetus with complex congenital heart defects. This is the first description of DAAM1 gene deletion associated with congenital heart anomalies.
Compared with the control population, one CHD fetus showed a unique copy number deletion of 14q23.1, a region that harbored DAAM1 and KIAA0666 genes.
Results suggest that the copy number deletion on chromosome 14q23.1 may be critical for cardiogenesis. However, the exact relationship and mechanism of how DAAM1 and KIAA0666 deletion contributes to the onset of CHD is yet to be determined.
Congenital heart defect; Copy number deletion; DAAM1 gene
Evidence indicates that CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism might be a possible risk factor for several malignancies. A growing body of literature has been devoted to the association of CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, the results remain conflicting. The aim of the present study was to derive a more precise estimation of the relationship.
Meta-analyses assessing the association of CYP1A1 MspI variation with AML were conducted and subgroup analyses on ethnicity and age groups were further performed. Eligible studies were identified for the period up to May 2012.
A total of ten case–control studies including 1330 cases and 3688 controls were selected for analysis. The overall data failed to indicate a significant association of CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism with AML risk (C vs T: OR = 1.13; 95%CI = 0.87-1.48; CC vs TT: OR = 1.72; 95%CI = 0.99-3.01; CC + TC vs TT: OR = 1.16; 95%CI = 0.86-1.55). In subgroup analysis stratified by ethnicity, significant AML risk was shown among Asians (CC + TC vs TT: OR = 1.33; 95%CI = 1.09-1.62) but not Caucasians or mixed races. In subgroup analysis regarding age groups, no associations were observed in either the childhood AML or the adult AML subgroups.
The results of the present study suggested that CYP1A1 MspI polymorphism might be a risk factor for AML among Asians. Further investigations are needed to confirm the conclusions.
CYP1A1 MspI; Acute myeloid leukemia; Malignancy; Susceptibility; Meta-analysis; Polymorphism
It has been recognized that other than habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation, the infection of the roundworm Baylisascaris schroederi (B. schroederi) is one of the major causes of death in wild giant pandas. However, the prevalence and intensity of the parasite infection has been inconsistently reported through a method that uses sedimentation-floatation followed by a microscope examination. This method fails to accurately determine infection because there are many bamboo residues and/or few B. schroederi eggs in the examined fecal samples. In the present study, we adopted a method that uses PCR and capillary electrophoresis combined with a single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis (PCR/CE-SSCP) to detect B. schroederi infection in wild giant pandas at a nature reserve, and compared it to the traditional microscope approach. The PCR specifically amplified a single band of 279-bp from both fecal samples and positive controls, which was confirmed by sequence analysis to correspond to the mitochondrial COII gene of B. schroederi. Moreover, it was demonstrated that the amount of genomic DNA was linearly correlated with the peak area of the CE-SSCP analysis. Thus, our adopted method can reliably detect the infectious prevalence and intensity of B. schroederi in wild giant pandas. The prevalence of B. schroederi was found to be 54% in the 91 fecal samples examined, and 48% in the fecal samples of 31 identified individual giant pandas. Infectious intensities of the 91 fecal samples were detected to range from 2.8 to 959.2 units/gram, and from 4.8 to 959.2 units/gram in the fecal samples of the 31 identified giant pandas. For comparison, by using the traditional microscope method, the prevalence of B. schroederi was found to be only 33% in the 91 fecal samples, 32% in the fecal samples of the 31 identified giant pandas, and no reliable infectious intensity was observed.
Array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) is a new technique for detecting submicroscopic deletions and duplications, and can overcome many of the limitations associated with classic cytogenetic analysis. However, its clinical use in spontaneous abortion needs comprehensive evaluation. We used aCGH to investigate chromosomal imbalances in 100 spontaneous abortions and compared the results with G-banding karyotyping and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Inconsistent results were verified by quantitative fluorescence PCR.
Abnormalities were detected in 61 cases. aCGH achieved the highest detection rate (93.4%, 57/61) compared with traditional karyotyping (77%, 47/61) and FISH analysis (68.9%, 42/61). aCGH identified all chromosome abnormalities reported by traditional karyotyping and interphase FISH analysis, with the exception of four triploids. It also detected three additional aneuploidy cases in 37 specimens with ‘normal’ karyotypes, one mosaicism and 10 abnormalities in 14 specimens that failed to grow in vitro.
aCGH analysis circumvents many limitations in traditional karyotyping or FISH. The accuracy and efficiency of aCGH in spontaneous abortions highlights its clinical usefulness for the future. As aborted tissues have the potential to be contaminated with maternal cells, the threshold value of detection in aCGH should be lowered to avoid false negatives.
Spontaneous abortion; Aneuploidy; Karyotyping; Array-based comparative genomic hybridization
β-Catenin-independent Wnt signaling pathways have been implicated in the regulation of planar cell polarity (PCP) and convergent extension (CE) cell movements. Prickle, one of the core proteins of these pathways, is known to asymmetrically localize proximally at the adherens junction of Drosophila melanogaster wing cells and to locally accumulate within plasma membrane subdomains in cells undergoing CE movements during vertebrate development. Using mass spectrometry, we have identified the Ste20 kinase Mink1 as a Prickle-associated protein and found that they genetically interact during the establishment of PCP in the Drosophila eye and CE in Xenopus laevis embryos. We show that Mink1 phosphorylates Prickle on a conserved threonine residue and regulates its Rab5-dependent endosomal trafficking, a process required for the localized plasma membrane accumulation and function of Prickle. Mink1 also was found to be important for the clustering of Vangl within plasma membrane puncta. Our results provide a link between Mink and the Vangl-Prickle complex and highlight the importance of Prickle phosphorylation and endosomal trafficking for its function during Wnt-PCP signaling.
Human CD38 is a novel multi-functional protein that acts not only as an antigen for B-lymphocyte activation, but also an enzyme catalyzing the synthesis of a Ca2+ messenger molecule, cyclic ADP-ribose, from NAD+. It is well established that this novel Ca2+ signaling enzyme is responsible for regulating a wide range of physiological functions. Based on the crystal structure of the CD38/NAD+ complex, we synthesized a series of simplified N-substituted nicotinamide derivatives (Compound 1–14). A number of these compounds exhibited moderate inhibition of the NAD+ utilizing activity of CD38, with Compound 4 showing the higher potency. The crystal structure of CD38/ Compound 4 complex and computer simulation of Compound 7 docking to CD38 show a significant role of the nicotinamide moiety and the distal aromatic group of the compounds for substrate recognition by the active site of CD38. Biologically, we showed that both Compounds 4 and 7 effectively relaxed the agonist-induced contraction of muscle preparations form rats and guinea pigs. This study is a rational design of inhibitors for CD38 that exhibit important physiological effects, and can serve as a model for future drug development.
Mutations in the X-linked gene encoding Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) have been associated with neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders including Rett Syndrome, X-linked mental retardation syndrome, severe neonatal encephalopathy, and Angelman syndrome. Although alterations in the performance of MeCP2-deficient mice in specific behavioral tasks have been documented, it remains unclear whether or not MeCP2 dysfunction affects patterns of periodic behavioral and electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. The aim of the current study was therefore to determine whether a deficiency in MeCP2 is sufficient to alter the normal daily rhythmic patterns of core body temperature, gross motor activity and cortical delta power. To address this, we monitored individual wild-type and MeCP2-deficient mice in their home cage environment via telemetric recording over 24 hour cycles. Our results show that the normal daily rhythmic behavioral patterning of cortical delta wave activity, core body temperature and mobility are disrupted in one-year old female MeCP2-deficient mice. Moreover, female MeCP2-deficient mice display diminished overall motor activity, lower average core body temperature, and significantly greater body temperature fluctuation than wild-type mice in their home-cage environment. Finally, we show that the epileptiform discharge activity in female MeCP2-deficient mice is more predominant during times of behavioral activity compared to inactivity. Collectively, these results indicate that MeCP2 deficiency is sufficient to disrupt the normal patterning of daily biological rhythmic activities.
Histone lysine methylation modifies chromatin structure and regulates eukaryotic gene transcription and a variety of developmental and physiological processes. SET domain proteins are lysine methyltransferases containing the evolutionarily-conserved SET domain, which is known to be the catalytic domain.
We identified 59 SET genes in the Populus genome. Phylogenetic analyses of 106 SET genes from Populus and Arabidopsis supported the clustering of SET genes into six distinct subfamilies and identified 19 duplicated gene pairs in Populus. The chromosome locations of these gene pairs and the distribution of synonymous substitution rates showed that the expansion of the SET gene family might be caused by large-scale duplications in Populus. Comparison of gene structures and domain architectures of each duplicate pair indicated that divergence took place at the 3'- and 5'-terminal transcribed regions and at the N- and C-termini of the predicted proteins, respectively. Expression profile analysis of Populus SET genes suggested that most Populus SET genes were expressed widely, many with the highest expression in young leaves. In particular, the expression profiles of 12 of the 19 duplicated gene pairs fell into two types of expression patterns.
The 19 duplicated SET genes could have originated from whole genome duplication events. The differences in SET gene structure, domain architecture, and expression profiles in various tissues of Populus suggest that members of the SET gene family have a variety of developmental and physiological functions. Our study provides clues about the evolution of epigenetic regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) play key roles in diverse developmental processes, nutrient homeostasis and responses to biotic and abiotic stresses. The biogenesis and regulatory functions of miRNAs have been intensively studied in model angiosperms, such as Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa and Populus trichocarpa. However, global identification of Pinus densata miRNAs has not been reported in previous research.
Here, we report the identification of 34 conserved miRNAs belonging to 25 miRNA families from a P. densata mRNA transcriptome database using local BLAST and MIREAP programs. The primary and/or precursor sequences of 29 miRNAs were further confirmed by RT-PCR amplification and subsequent sequencing. The average value of the minimal folding free energy indexes of the 34 miRNA precursors was 0.92. Nineteen (58%) mature miRNAs began with a 5' terminal uridine residue. Analysis of miRNA precursors showed that 19 mature miRNAs were novel members of 14 conserved miRNA families, of which 17 miRNAs were further validated by subcloning and sequencing. Using real-time quantitative RT-PCR, we found that the expression levels of 7 miRNAs were more than 2-fold higher in needles than in stems. In addition, 72 P. densata mRNAs were predicted to be targets of 25 miRNA families. Four target genes, including a nodal modulator 1-like protein gene, two GRAS family transcription factor protein genes and one histone deacetylase gene, were experimentally verified to be the targets of 3 P. densata miRNAs, pde-miR162a, pde-miR171a and pde-miR482a, respectively.
This study led to the discovery of 34 conserved miRNAs comprising 25 miRNA families from Pinus densata. These results lay a solid foundation for further studying the regulative roles of miRNAs in the development, growth and responses to environmental stresses in P. densata.
Pinus densata; miRNA; Transcriptome