Some recent clinical reports have shown that the combination of oxymatrine, a phyto-derived drug, with lamivudine (3TC) could improve its curative effect against hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. However, the experimental data in support of this combination strategy are lacking. In this study, we investigated the anti-HBV activity of the combination of 3TC and either oxymatrine or matrine on HepG2 2.2.15 in vitro. The activities of the combination and the solo compound, each in different concentrations, were compared on the 3rd, 6th, and 9th experimental days. The cytotoxicity results showed that the nontoxic concentrations of both oxymatrine and matrine to HepG2 2.2.15 cells were 800 μg/mL. We found that the single use of oxymatrine below 100 μg/ml, matrine below 200 μg/ml, and 3TC below 30 μg/ml showed weak inhibitory effects on the secretion of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), and HBV-DNA in culture media; the combination of 3TC (30 μg/ml) with oxymatrine (100 μg/ml) or matrine (100 μg/ml) showed significant inhibitory effects that were higher than or equivalent to the single use of 3TC at 100 μg/ml. The results provide a new impetus to develop novel, multicomponent anti-HBV drugs through the combination of natural products with nucleoside analogs to enhance their activity.
Background: Rab37 encodes a Rab GTPase which regulates the vesicular transport of exocytosis. But the different findings in two types of cancers made its roles in oncology more confused. In this study, a clinical research on genetic polymorphisms was performed to evaluate the association between Rab37 and esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).
Methods: The mRNA expression was tested by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in four ESCC cell lines. A case-control study including 212 ESCC patients and 213 cancer-free controls was genotyped by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism. The Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium test, association analysis and haplotype analysis were performed with SPSS and SHEsis software respectively.
Rab37 mRNA could be specifically detected in two ESCC cell lines, EC109 and EC9706, but not in KYS150 and KYS450. The allele, genotype and haplotype frequencies of rs9904078G>A, rs2034310T>C and rs5018106T>C, located in Rab37, did not significantly differ between the patients and the controls. No association between the polymorphisms and the TNM stages of patients was found.
Rab37 mRNA was specifically expressed in some ESCC cell lines but its genetic polymorphisms were not associated with ESCC.
Rab37; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Polymorphisms; Case-control study.
Analyzing gene expression data at the gene set level greatly improves feature extraction and data interpretation. Currently most efforts in gene set analysis are focused on differential expression analysis – finding gene sets whose genes show first-order relationship with the clinical outcome. However the regulation of the biological system is complex, and much of the change in gene expression dynamics do not manifest in the form of differential expression. At the gene set level, capturing the change in expression dynamics is difficult due to the complexity and heterogeneity of the gene sets. Here we report a systematic approach to detect gene sets that show differential coordination patterns with the rest of the transcriptome, as well as pairs of gene sets that are differentially coordinated with each other. We demonstrate that the method can identify biologically relevant gene sets, many of which do not show first-order relationship with the clinical outcome.
gene set analysis; gene expression; microarray
Down syndrome (DS) is caused by triplication of Human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) and associated with an array of deleterious phenotypes, including mental retardation, heart defects and immunodeficiency. Genome-wide expression patterns of uncultured peripheral blood cells are useful to understanding of DS-associated immune dysfunction. We used a Human Exon microarray to characterize gene expression in uncultured peripheral blood cells derived from DS individuals and age-matched controls from two age groups: neonate (N) and child (C). A total of 174 transcript clusters (gene-level) with eight located on Hsa21 in N group and 383 transcript clusters including 56 on Hsa21 in C group were significantly dysregulated in DS individuals. Microarray data were validated by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Functional analysis revealed that the dysregulated genes in DS were significantly enriched in two and six KEGG pathways in N and C group, respectively. These pathways included leukocyte trans-endothelial migration, B cell receptor signaling pathway and primary immunodeficiency, etc., which causally implicated dysfunctional immunity in DS. Our results provided a comprehensive picture of gene expression patterns in DS at the two developmental stages and pointed towards candidate genes and molecular pathways potentially associated with the immune dysfunction in DS.
Translation of Hepatitis C viral proteins requires an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) located in the 5′ untranslated region of the viral mRNA. The core domain of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) IRES contains a four-way helical junction that is integrated within a predicted pseudoknot. This domain is required for positioning the mRNA start codon correctly on the 40S ribosomal subunit during translation initiation. Here we present the crystal structure of this RNA, revealing a complex double-pseudoknot fold that establishes the alignment of two helical elements on either side of the four-helix junction. The conformation of this core domain constrains the open reading frame’s orientation for positioning on the 40S ribosomal subunit. This structure, representing the last major domain of HCV-like IRESs to be determined at near-atomic resolution, provides the basis for a comprehensive cryo-electron microscopy-guided model of the intact HCV IRES and its interaction with 40S ribosomal subunits.
A variety of studies have evaluated the associations between polymorphisms in the promoter regions of Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cancer metastasis. However, the results remain inconclusive. To better understand the roles of MMP polymorphisms in metastasis, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis.
Electronic databases were searched (from January 2000 to June 2011) for any MMP genetic association studies in metastasis. Overall and subgroup analyses were performed. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to evaluate the associations between MMP polymorphisms and metastasis. Statistical analysis was performed with Review Manager 5.0 and STATA11.0.
Thirty-three studies addressing five MMP polymorphisms were analyzed among 10,516 cancer cases (4,059 metastasis-positive cases and 6,457 metastasis-negative cases). For MMP1 (−1607)1G/2G, genotype 2G/2G increased the overall risk of metastasis under the recessive model (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 1.05–1.98). In subgroup analysis based on cancer type, associations were found in head/neck and breast cancer under the recessive model, and also in breast cancer under the dominant model. For MMP3 (−1171) 5A/6A, the polymorphism decreased the overall risk of metastasis under two genetic models (recessive: OR = 0.80, 95%CI = 0.64–0.99, dominant: OR = 0.72, 95%CI = 0.56–0.93). The polymorphisms of MMP7 (−181) A/G and MMP9 (−1562) C/T increased metastatic risk. However, no association was observed between MMP2 (−1306) C/T and metastasis.
Our investigations demonstrate that polymorphisms in the promoter regions of MMP1, 3, 7 and 9 might be associated with metastasis in some cancers. Further studies with large sample size for MMP2 should be conducted.
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is a multifunctional neuropeptide with demonstrated immunosuppressive and neuroprotective activities. It has been shown to inhibit Amyloid beta (Aβ)-induced neurodegeneration by indirectly suppressing the production and release of a variety of inflammatory and neurotoxic factors by activated microglia. We demonstrated that VIP markedly increased microglial phagocytosis of fibrillar Aβ42 and that this enhanced phagocytotic activity depended on activation of the Protein kinase C (PKC) signaling pathway. In addition, VIP suppressed the release of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and nitric oxide(NO) from microglia activated by combined treatment with fibrillar Aβ42 and low dose interferon-γ (IFN-γ). We utilized an adenovirus-mediated gene delivery method to overexpress VIP constitutively in the hippocampus of APPswPS1 transgenic mice. The Aβ load was significantly reduced in the hippocampus of this animal model of Alzheimer's disease, possibly due to the accumulation and activation of cd11b-immunoactive microglial cells. The modulation of microglial activation, phagocytosis, and secretion by VIP is a promising therapeutic option for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease(AD).
Poly(A) polymerases (PAPs) are found in most living organisms and have important roles in RNA function and metabolism. Here we report the crystal structure of human PAPD1, a noncanonical PAP that can polyadenylate RNAs in the mitochondria (also known as mtPAP) and oligouridylate histone mRNAs (TUTase1). The overall structure of the palm and fingers domains is similar to that in the canonical PAPs. The active site is located at the interface between the two domains, with a large pocket that can accommodate the substrates. The structure reveals the presence of a previously unrecognized domain in the N-terminal region of PAPD1, with a backbone-fold that is similar to that of RNP-type RNA binding domains. This domain (named the RL domain), together with a β-arm insertion in the palm domain, contributes to dimerization of PAPD1. Surprisingly, our mutagenesis and biochemical studies show that dimerization is required for the catalytic activity of PAPD1.
miR-34a functions as an important tumor suppressor during the process of carcinogenesis. However, the mechanism of miR-34a dysregulation in human malignancies has not been well elucidated. Our study aimed to further investigate the regulation mechanism of miR-34a.
We found that overexpression of NF-kappa B p65 subunit could increase miR-34a levels in EC109, an esophageal squamous cancer cell line, while ectopic expression of DN IkappaB leaded to a significant reduction of miR-34a expression. Bioinformatics analysis suggested three putative KB sites in promoter region of miR-34a gene. Mutation two of these KB sites impaired p65 induced miR-34a transcriptional activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and electrophoretic mobility shift assays both showed that NF-kappaB could specifically bind to the third KB site located in miR-34a promoter. In addition, we found that overexpression of NF-kappaB p65 could not successfully induce miR-34a expression in esophageal cancer cell lines with mutant p53 or decreased p53. Reporter assay further showed that NF-kappaB-induced miR-34a transcriptional activity was reduced by p53 impairment. Nevertheless, CHIP analysis suggested binding of NF-kappaB to miR-34a promoter was not affected in cells with mutant p53.
Our work indicates a novel mechanism of miR-34a regulation that NF-kappaB could elevate miR-34a expression levels through directly binding to its promoter. And wildtype p53 is responsible for NF-kappaB-mediated miR-34a transcriptional activity but not for NF-kappaB binding. These findings might be helpful in understanding miR-34a abnormality in human malignancies and open new perspectives for the roles of miR-34a and NF-kappaB in tumor progression.
miR-34a; NF-kappa B; p53; gene expression regulation
Lysosomal exocytosis and fusion to cellular membrane is critical in the oxidative stress formation of endothelium under apoptotic stimulus. We investigated the role therein of it in hyperglycaemia-induced endothelial dysfunction. The lysosome-membrane fusion was shown by the expression of lamp1, the lysosomal membrane marker, on cellular membrane and the transportation of lysosomal symbolic enzymes into cultural medium. We also examined the ceramide production, lipid rafts (LRs) clustering, colocalization of gp91phox, a NADPH oxidase subunit (NOX) to LRs clusters, superoxide (O2.-) formation and nitric oxide (NO) content in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) and the endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasodilation in isolated rat aorta. As compared to normal glucose (5.6 mmol/l, Ctrl) incubation, high glucose (22 mmol/l, HG) exposure facilitated the lysosome-membrane fusion in HUVEC shown by significantly increased quantity of lamp1 protein on cellular membrane and enhanced activity of lysosomal symbolized enzymes in cultural medium. HG incubation also elicited ceramide generation, LRs clustering and gp91phox colocalization to LRs clusters which were proved to mediate the HG induced O2.- formation and NO depletion in HUVEC. Functionally, the endothelium-dependent NO-mediated vasodilation in aorta was blunted substantially after HG incubation. Moreover, the HG-induced effect including ceramide production, LRs clustering, gp91phox colocalization to LRs clusters, O2.- formation and endothelial dysfunction could be blocked significantly by the inhibition of lysosome-membrane fusion. We propose that hyperglycaemia-induced endothelial impairment is closely related to the lysosome-membrane fusion and the following LRs clustering, LRs-NOX platforms formation and O2.- production.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) plays an important role in cancer by activating downstream signals important in growth and survival. Inhibitors of EGFR are frequently selected as treatment for cancer including lung cancer. We performed an unbiased and comprehensive search for EGFR phosphorylation events related to somatic activating mutations and EGFR inhibitor (erlotinib) sensitivity. EGFR immunoprecipitation combined with high resolution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and label free quantitation characterized EGFR phosphorylation. Thirty (30) phosphorylation sites were identified including 12 tyrosine (pY), 12 serine (pS), and 6 threonine (pT). Site-specific phosphorylation was monitored by comparing ion signals from the corresponding unmodified peptide. Phosphorylation sites related to activating mutations in EGFR as well as sensitivity to erlotinib were identified using 31 lung cancer cell lines. We identified three sites (pY1092, pY1110, pY1172) correlating with activating mutations while three sites (pY1110, pY1172, pY1197) correlated with erlotinib sensitivity. Five sites (pT693, pY1092, pY1110, pY1172 and pY1197) were inhibited by erlotinib in concentration-dependent manner. Erlotinib sensitivity was confirmed using liquid chromatography coupled to multiple reaction monitoring (LC-MRM) and quantitative western blotting. This LC-MS/MS strategy can quantitatively assess site-specific EGFR phosphorylation and can identify relationships between somatic mutations or drug sensitivity and protein phosphorylation.
epidermal growth factor receptor; tyrosine phosphorylation; mass spectrometry; proteomics; tyrosine kinase inhibitor; erlotinib; lung cancer
Background. Limited data exist on the immunogenicity of the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) vaccine among immunocompromised persons, including those with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.
Methods. We compared the immunogenicity and tolerability of a single dose of the monovalent 2009 influenza A (H1N1) vaccine (strain A/California/7/2009H1N1) between HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected adults 18–50 years of age. The primary end point was an antibody titer of ≥1:40 at day 28 after vaccination in those with a prevaccination level of ≤1:10, as measured by hemagglutination-inhibition assay. Geometric mean titers, influenza-like illnesses, and tolerability were also evaluated.
Results. One hundred thirty-one participants were evaluated (65 HIV-infected and 66 HIV-uninfected patients), with a median age of 35 years (interquartile range, 27–42 years). HIV-infected persons had a median CD4 cell count of 581 cells/mm3 (interquartile range, 476–814 cells/mm3) , and 82% were receiving antiretroviral medications. At baseline, 35 patients (27%) had antibody titers of >1:10. HIV-infected patients (29 [56%] of 52), compared with HIV-uninfected persons (35 [80%] of 44), were significantly less likely to develop an antibody response (odds ratio, .20; P = .003). Changes in the median geometric mean titer from baseline to day 28 were also significantly lower in HIV-infected patients than in HIV-uninfected persons (75 vs 153; P = .001). Five influenza-like illnesses occurred (2 cases in HIV-infected persons), but none was attributable to the 2009 influenza H1N1 virus. The vaccine was well tolerated in both groups.
Conclusions. Despite high CD4 cell counts and receipt of antiretroviral medications, HIV-infected adults generated significantly poorer antibody responses, compared with HIV-uninfected persons. Future studies evaluating a 2-dose series or more-immunogenic influenza A (H1N1) vaccines among HIV-infected adults are needed (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00996970).
Objective: The critical illness of pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus infection may be associated with relatively poor outcomes. The objective of this study is to describe clinical features and factors associated with the deaths of critical patients. Methods: Medical records of 26 critical patients with H1N1 infection admitted from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2009, were retrospectively reviewed. Diagnosis was established by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. Results: The mean age of the patients was (40.4±18.4) years and 73.1% of them were male. Clinical manifestations included fever, cough, and sputum production. The laboratory findings included leukocytosis, lymphopenia, C-reaction protein, and lactic dehydrogenase elevation. In this series, 17 subjects survived and 9 died. The parameters between the deaths and survivors were compared, which included acute physiology and chronic health evaluation II (APACHE II) scores (23.8±10.1 vs. 14.3±6.6, P<0.05), sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scores (13.3±3.0 vs. 6.6±3.3, P<0.05), and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) scores (7.4±2.5 vs. 3.3±1.7, P<0.05). The cases of deaths had higher incidences of cardiovascular failure (100% vs. 41.2%, P<0.05), renal failure (55.6% vs. 11.7%, P<0.05), encephalopathy (44.4% vs. 5.9%, P<0.05), hepatic failure (33.3% vs. 5.9%, P<0.05), and septic shock (33.3% vs. 17.6%, P<0.05). Conclusions: The critical patients with H1N1 infection have high APACHE II, SOFA, and MODS scores, which may be associated with an increased risk of death and complex clinical courses.
Critical illness; H1N1; Infection; Influenza A virus; Mortality
In the analysis of high-throughput data with a clinical outcome, researchers mostly focus on genes/proteins that show first-order relations with the clinical outcome. While this approach yields biomarkers and biological mechanisms that are easily interpretable, it may miss information that is important to the understanding of disease mechanism and/or treatment response. Here we test the hypothesis that unobserved factors can be mobilized by the living system to coordinate the response to the clinical factors.
We developed a computational method named Guided Latent Factor Discovery (GLFD) to identify hidden factors that act in combination with the observed clinical factors to control gene modules. In simulation studies, the method recovered masked factors effectively. Using real microarray data, we demonstrate that the method identifies latent factors that are biologically relevant, and extracts more information than analyzing only the first-order response to the clinical outcome.
Finding latent factors using GLFD brings extra insight into the mechanisms of the disease/drug response. The R code of the method is available at http://userwww.service.emory.edu/~tyu8/GLFD.
In order to achieve an optimal biological activity and desired pharmacokinetic profiles, a dithiocyclopeptide linker was designed for in vivo release of protein domains from a recombinant fusion protein. This novel in vivo cleavable disulfide linker, based on a dithiocyclopeptide containing a thrombin-sensitive sequence and an intra-molecular disulfide bond, was inserted between transferrin and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor recombinant fusion protein domains. After expression of the fusion protein, G-C-T, from HEK293 cells, thrombin treatment in vitro generated a fusion protein linked via a reversible disulfide bond that was quickly cleaved in vivo, separating the protein domains. After release from the fusion protein, free G-CSF exhibited an improved biological activity in a cell proliferation assay. Although reversible disulfide bonds are commonly used in protein chemical conjugation methods, to our knowledge this report is the first example of the construction of a recombinant fusion protein with a disulfide linkage for the release of the functional domain. This linker design can be adapted to diverse recombinant fusion proteins where in vivo separation of protein domains is required to achieve an improved therapeutic effect, and a desirable pharmacokinetic profile and biodistribution, of the functional domain.
recombinant fusion protein; disulfide linker; cleavable linker
While the pneumococcal protein conjugate vaccines reduce the incidence in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD), serotype replacement remains a major concern. Thus, serotype-independent protection with vaccines targeting virulence genes, such as PspA, have been pursued. PspA is comprised of diverse clades that arose through recombination. Therefore, multi-locus sequence typing (MLST)-defined clones could conceivably include strains from multiple PspA clades. As a result, a method is needed which can both monitor the long-term epidemiology of the pneumococcus among a large number of isolates, and analyze vaccine-candidate genes, such as pspA, for mutations and recombination events that could result in ‘vaccine escape’ strains.
We developed a resequencing array consisting of five conserved and six variable genes to characterize 72 pneumococcal strains. The phylogenetic analysis of the 11 concatenated genes was performed with the MrBayes program, the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis with the DNA Sequence Polymorphism program (DnaSP), and the recombination event analysis with the recombination detection package (RDP).
The phylogenetic analysis correlated with MLST, and identified clonal strains with unique PspA clades. The DnaSP analysis correlated with the serotype-specific diversity detected using MLST. Serotypes associated with more than one ST complex had a larger degree of sequence polymorphism than a serotype associated with one ST complex. The RDP analysis confirmed the high frequency of recombination events in the pspA gene.
The phylogenetic tree correlated with MLST, and detected multiple PspA clades among clonal strains. The genetic diversity of the strains and the frequency of recombination events in the mosaic gene, pspA were accurately assessed using the DnaSP and RDP programs, respectively. These data provide proof-of-concept that resequencing arrays could play an important role within research and clinical laboratories in both monitoring the molecular epidemiology of the pneumococcus and detecting ‘vaccine escape’ strains among vaccine-candidate genes.
Coke oven emissions (COE) containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) can induce both benzo[a]pyrene‐r‐7, t‐8, t‐9,c‐10‐tetrahydotetrol‐albumin (BPDE‐Alb) adducts and DNA damage. However, the relation between these biomarkers for early biological effects is not well documented in coke oven workers.
In this study, the authors recruited 207 male workers exposed to COE and 102 controls not exposed to COE in the same steel plant in northern China. They measured BPDE‐Alb adduct concentrations in plasma with reverse‐phase high performance liquid chromatography and DNA damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes with alkaline comet assay.
The results showed that the median concentration of BPDE‐Alb adducts in the exposed group (34.36 fmol/mg albumin) was significantly higher than that in the control group (21.90 fmol/mg albumin, p = 0.012). The mean Olive tail moment (Olive TM) of DNA damage in the exposed and control groups were 1.20 and 0.63, respectively (p = 0.000). Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that the odds ratio (OR) for BPDE‐Alb adduct and Olive TM associated with the exposure were 1.72 (95% CI 1.06 to 2.81) and 1.96 (95% CI 1.20 to 3.19), respectively. These results show significant correlations between the concentrations of BPDE‐Alb adduct and Olive TM levels in exposed group (r = 0.235, p = 0.001) but not in control group (r = 0.093, p = 0.353).
The results suggest that occupational exposure to COE may induce both BPDE–Alb adducts and DNA damage in the lymphocytes of coke oven workers and that these two markers are useful for monitoring exposure to COE in the workplace.
Tyrosine kinases drive the proliferation and survival of many human cancers. Thus profiling the global state of tyrosine phosphorylation of a tumor is likely to provide a wealth of information that can be used to classify tumors for prognosis and prediction. However, the comprehensive analysis of tyrosine phosphorylation of large numbers of human cancer specimens is technically challenging using current methods.
We used a phosphoproteomic method termed SH2 profiling to characterize the global state of phosphotyrosine (pTyr) signaling in human lung cancer cell lines. This method quantifies the phosphorylated binding sites for SH2 domains, which are used by cells to respond to changes in pTyr during signaling. Cells could be grouped based on SH2 binding patterns, with some clusters correlated with EGF receptor (EGFR) or K-RAS mutation status. Binding of specific SH2 domains, most prominently RAS pathway activators Grb2 and ShcA, correlated with EGFR mutation and sensitivity to the EGFR inhibitor erlotinib. SH2 binding patterns also reflected MET activation and could identify cells driven by multiple kinases. The pTyr responses of cells treated with kinase inhibitors provided evidence of distinct mechanisms of inhibition.
This study illustrates the potential of modular protein domains and their proteomic binding profiles as powerful molecular diagnostic tools for tumor classification and biomarker identification.
We describe a strategy to comprehend signaling pathways active in lung cancer cells and targeted by dasatinib employing chemical proteomics to identify direct interacting proteins combined with immunoaffinity purification of tyrosine phosphorylated peptides corresponding to activated tyrosine kinases. We identified nearly 40 different kinase targets of dasatinib. These include SFK members (LYN, SRC, FYN, LCK, YES), non-receptor tyrosine kinases (FRK, BRK, ACK), and receptor tyrosine kinases (Ephrin receptors, DDR1, EGFR). Using quantitative phosphoproteomics we identified peptides corresponding to autophosphorylation sites of these tyrosine kinases that are inhibited in a concentration-dependent manner by dasatinib. Using drug resistant gatekeeper mutants, we show that SFK kinases, particularly SRC and FYN, as well as EGFR are relevant targets for dasatinib action. The combined mass spectrometry based approach described here provides a system-level view of dasatinib action in cancer cells and suggests both functional targets and rationale combinatorial therapeutic strategies.
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) has been increasing in China in recent years. The aim of this study is to estimate and compare the prevalence of MS among Chinese adults in Shanghai, one of the most economic developed areas in China, using definitions proposed by World Health Organization (WHO), National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel (modified ATP III) and International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
This cross-sectional study included 5,584 adults at age 20-79 randomly selected from Pudong New Area of Shanghai, China, through a three-stage sampling. All participants were interviewed in-person between April and July of 2008 to collect information on demographic and lifestyle characteristics. At the interview, anthropometry and blood pressure were measured and bio-specimens were collected.
The prevalence estimates for the MS increased with age for each definition in men and women, but the estimates varied greatly between the definitions and by sex. The prevalence of the MS was higher in men (20.2%) than in women (18.7%) using WHO definition but this sex difference was reversed when using the modified ATP III (28.4% for men vs. 35.1% for women) and the IDF (15.9% for men vs. 26.7% for women) criteria. The most common metabolic disorder in this population was dyslipidaemia, regardless of the definition used. Substantial agreement, estimated using the kappa statistic, was found between the modified ATP III and IDF definition, whereas the lowest agreement was observed between the WHO and ATP III criteria.
The MS is highly prevalent among Chinese adults in Pudong New Area of Shanghai and the most prevalent component was dyslipidemia. These findings underscore the importance of prevention and control efforts for the MS in this area and the need for a unified predictive definition for the syndrome for use by clinical practitioners and public health agencies.
Heat shock proteins (Hsps) can protect cells, organs, and whole organisms against damage caused by abnormal environmental hazards. Some studies have reported that lymphocyte Hsps may serve as biomarkers for evaluating disease status and exposure to environmental stresses; however, few epidemiologic studies have examined the associations between lymphocyte Hsps levels and lung cancer risk. We examined lymphocyte levels of Hsp27 and Hsp70 in 263 lung cancer cases and age- and gender-matched cancer-free controls by flow cytometry. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to estimate the association between lymphocyte Hsps levels and lung cancer risk. Our results showed that Hsp27 levels were significantly lower in lung cancer cases than in controls (16.5 vs 17.8 mean fluorescence intensity, P < 0.001). This was not observed for Hsp70 levels. Further stratification analysis revealed that lymphocyte Hsp27 levels were negatively associated with lung cancer risk especially in males and heavy smokers. There was a statistical trend of low odd ratios (95% confidence intervals) and upper tertile levels of Hsp27 [1.000, 0.904 (0.566–1.444) and 0.382 (0.221–0.658, Ptrend = 0.001) in males and 1.000, 0.9207 (0.465–1.822) and 0.419 (0.195–0.897, Ptrend = 0.036) in heavy smokers] after adjustment for confounding factors. These results suggest that lower lymphocyte Hsp27 levels might be associated with an increased risk of lung cancer. Our findings need to be validated in a large prospective study.
Biomarker; Hsp27; Hsp70; Hsps; Lung cancer; Lymphocyte; Risk
Most eukaryotic mRNA precursors (pre-mRNAs) must undergo extensive processing, including cleavage and polyadenylation at the 3′-end. Processing at the 3′-end is controlled by sequence elements in the pre-mRNA (cis elements) as well as protein factors. Despite the seeming biochemical simplicity of the processing reactions, more than 14 proteins have been identified for the mammalian complex, and more than 20 proteins have been identified for the yeast complex. The 3′-end processing machinery also has important roles in transcription and splicing. The mammalian machinery contains several sub-complexes, including cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor (CPSF), cleavage stimulation factor (CstF), cleavage factor I (CF Im), and cleavage factor II (CF IIm). Additional protein factors include poly(A) polymerase (PAP), poly(A) binding protein (PABP), symplekin, and the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II largest subunit. The yeast machinery includes cleavage factor IA (CF IA), cleavage factor IB (CF IB), and cleavage and polyadenylation factor (CPF).
protein complex; cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor; cleavage stimulation factor; poly(A) polymerase; endoribonuclease; RNA polymerase II
Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) dysregulation is implicated in the two Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathological hallmarks: β-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. GSK-3 inhibitors may abrogate AD pathology by inhibiting amyloidogenic γ-secretase cleavage of amyloid precursor protein (APP). Here, we report that the citrus bioflavonoid luteolin reduces amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) generation in both human “Swedish” mutant APP transgene-bearing neuron-like cells and primary neurons. We also find that luteolin induces changes consistent with GSK-3 inhibition that 1) decrease amyloidogenic γ-secretase APP processing, and 2) promote presenilin-1 (PS1) carboxyl-terminal fragment (CTF) phosphorylation. Importantly, we find GSK-3α activity is essential for both PS1 CTF phosphorylation and PS1-APP interaction. As validation of these findings in vivo, we find that luteolin, when applied to the Tg2576 mouse model of AD, decreases soluble Aβ levels, reduces GSK-3 activity, and disrupts PS1-APP association. In addition, we find that Tg2576 mice treated with diosmin, a glycoside of a flavonoid structurally similar to luteolin, display significantly reduced Aβ pathology. We suggest that GSK-3 inhibition is a viable therapeutic approach for AD by impacting PS1 phosphorylation-dependent regulation of amyloidogenesis.
In situ proteolysis with fungal protease or subtilisin is crucial for the crystallization of murine CstF-77.
The cleavage-stimulation factor (CstF) is required for the cleavage of the 3′-end of messenger RNA precursors in eukaryotes. During structure determination of the 77 kDa subunit of the murine CstF complex (CstF-77), it was serendipitously discovered that a solution infected by a fungus was crucial for the crystallization of this protein. CstF-77 was partially proteolyzed during crystallization; this was very likely to have been catalyzed by a protease secreted by the fungus. It was found that the fungal protease can be replaced by subtilisin and this in situ proteolysis protocol produced crystals of sufficient size for structural studies. After an extensive search, it was found that 55% glucose can be used as a cryoprotectant while maintaining the diffraction quality of the crystals; most other commonly used cryoprotectants were detrimental to the diffraction quality.
CstF-77; in situ proteolysis
It is well known that most neurodegenerative diseases are associated with microglia-mediated inflammation. Our previous research demonstrates that the CD40 signaling is critically involved in microglia-related immune responses in the brain. For example, it is well known that the activation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signaling pathway plays a central role in interferon-gamma (IFN-γ)-induced microglial CD40 expression. We and others have previously reported that microglial CD40 expression is significantly induced by IFN-γ and amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide. Recent studies have shown that certain flavonoids possess anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties distinct from their well-known anti-oxidant effects. In particular, flavonoids, apigenin and luteolin have been found to be effective CD40 immunomodulators.
Cultured microglia, both N9 and primary derived lines, were treated with flavonoids in the presence of IFN-γ and/or CD40 ligation to assess any anti-inflammatory effects and/or mechanisms. CD40 expression on microglia was analyzed by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS). Anti-inflammatory effects and mechanisms were confirmed by ELISA for interlekin-6 (IL-6) and TNF-α, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay, and STAT1 Western blotting.
Apigenin and luteolin concentration-dependently suppressed IFN-γ-induced CD40 expression. Apigenin and luteolin also suppressed microglial TNF-α and IL-6 production stimulated by IFN-gamma challenge in the presence of CD40 ligation. In addition, apigenin and luteolin markedly inhibited IFN-γ-induced phosphorylation of STAT1 with little impact on cell survival.
Our findings provide further support for apigenin and luteolin's anti-inflammatory effects and suggest that these flavonoids may have neuroprotective/disease-modifying properties in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease (AD).