AIM: To investigate the expression of interleukin (IL)-22 and its related proteins in biopsy specimens from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and UC-related carcinogenesis.
METHODS: Biopsy specimens were obtained from patients with inactive (n = 10), mild-to-moderately active (n = 30), severely active (n = 34), initial (n = 30), and chronic UC (n = 44), as well as UC patients with dysplasia (n = 10). Specimens from patients without colonic abnormalities (n = 20) served as controls. Chronic colitis in experimental mice was induced by 2.5% dextran sodium sulfate. The expression levels of IL-22, IL-23, IL-22R1 and phosphorylated STAT3 (p-STAT3) were determined by immunohistochemistry. Bcl-2, cyclin D1 and survivin expression was detected by Western blotting.
RESULTS: Patients with active UC had significantly more IL-22, IL-23, IL-22R1 and p-STAT3-positive cells than the patients with inactive UC and normal controls. Furthermore, IL-22 and related proteins were closely related to the severity of the colitis. The expression of IL-22 and IL-22R1 in the tissue of initial UC was stronger than in that of chronic UC, whereas the expression of p-STAT3 was significantly increased in chronic UC tissues. In dysplasia tissues, the expression level of IL-22 and related proteins was higher compared with controls. Mouse colitis model showed that expression of IL-22, IL-22R1 and IL-23 was increased with time, p-STAT3 and the downstream gene were also remarkably upregulated.
CONCLUSION: IL-22/STAT3 signaling pathway may be related to UC and UC-induced carcinogenesis and IL-22 can be used as a biomarker in judging the severity of UC.
Ulcerative colitis; Ulcerative colitis-related carcinogenesis; Interleukin-22; Interleukin-22R1; STAT3
Lonicera japonica Thunb. is a plant used in traditional Chinese medicine known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-carcinogenic, and antiviral pharmacological properties. The major active secondary metabolites of this plant are chlorogenic acid (CGA) and luteoloside. While the biosynthetic pathways of these metabolites are relatively well known, the genetic information available for this species, especially the biosynthetic pathways of its active ingredients, is limited.
We obtained one million reads (average length of 400 bp) in a whole sequence run using a Roche/454 GS FLX titanium platform. Altogether, 85.69% of the unigenes covering the entire life cycle of the plant were annotated and 325 unigenes were assigned to secondary metabolic pathways. Moreover, 2039 unigenes were predicted as transcription factors. Nearly all of the possible enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of CGA and luteoloside were discovered in L. japonica. Three hydroxycinnamoyl transferase genes, including two hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase genes and one hydroxycinnamoyl-CoA shikimate/quinate hydroxycinnamoyl transferase (HCT) gene featuring high similarity to known genes from other species, were cloned. The HCT gene was discovered for the first time in L. japonica. In addition, 188 candidate cytochrome P450 unigenes and 245 glycosyltransferase unigenes were found in the expressed sequence tag (EST) dataset.
This study provides a high quality EST database for L. japonica by 454 pyrosequencing. Based on the EST annotation, a set of putative genes involved in CGA and luteoloside biosynthetic pathways were discovered. The database serves as an important source of public information on genetic markers, gene expression, genomics, and functional genomics in L. japonica.
Salvia miltiorrhiza is an important medicinal plant with great economic and medicinal value. The complete chloroplast (cp) genome sequence of Salvia miltiorrhiza, the first sequenced member of the Lamiaceae family, is reported here. The genome is 151,328 bp in length and exhibits a typical quadripartite structure of the large (LSC, 82,695 bp) and small (SSC, 17,555 bp) single-copy regions, separated by a pair of inverted repeats (IRs, 25,539 bp). It contains 114 unique genes, including 80 protein-coding genes, 30 tRNAs and four rRNAs. The genome structure, gene order, GC content and codon usage are similar to the typical angiosperm cp genomes. Four forward, three inverted and seven tandem repeats were detected in the Salvia miltiorrhiza cp genome. Simple sequence repeat (SSR) analysis among the 30 asterid cp genomes revealed that most SSRs are AT-rich, which contribute to the overall AT richness of these cp genomes. Additionally, fewer SSRs are distributed in the protein-coding sequences compared to the non-coding regions, indicating an uneven distribution of SSRs within the cp genomes. Entire cp genome comparison of Salvia miltiorrhiza and three other Lamiales cp genomes showed a high degree of sequence similarity and a relatively high divergence of intergenic spacers. Sequence divergence analysis discovered the ten most divergent and ten most conserved genes as well as their length variation, which will be helpful for phylogenetic studies in asterids. Our analysis also supports that both regional and functional constraints affect gene sequence evolution. Further, phylogenetic analysis demonstrated a sister relationship between Salvia miltiorrhiza and Sesamum indicum. The complete cp genome sequence of Salvia miltiorrhiza reported in this paper will facilitate population, phylogenetic and cp genetic engineering studies of this medicinal plant.
Radiation-induced lung injury is a well-described complication of nuclear accidents, marrow-transplant pretreatment and thoracic radiotherapy. The mechanism is complex and no special therapy for it is available at present. To study radiation pulmonary injury following heavy ion radiotherapy for thoracic tumors, Kunming mice were randomly divided into 4 groups: normal control and 2, 4 and 6 Gy irradiation groups which underwent whole-body exposure to 235 MeV/u 12C6+ administered at the Heavy Ion Research Facility in Lanzhou (HIRFL). The pathological changes were observed by hematoxylin and eosin staining and the hydroxyproline (HP) content was assessed by spectrophotometry at months 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 after radiation exposure. In addition, the expression of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β in the lung tissues was measured. The results showed that, compared with the control group, the lung tissue HP content was increased following irradiation but did not statistically significantly change after 4 months in the 4- and 6-Gy-treated groups. However, in the 2-Gy-treated group, the HP content was markedly increased between months 1 and 4 and decreased after month 4. The extent of the lung injury was significantly increased by the higher radiation dosages but was relieved in the 2 Gy group as the time since irradiation increased. The results also revealed that the levels of TNF-α were upregulated and reached a maximum at month 2, but decreased noticeably 2 months later in the experimental groups. The expression of TGF-β increased markedly in month 4 and was altered little in the 4- and 6-Gy-treated groups but decreased sharply in the 2 Gy irradiation group after month 4. These findings suggest that heavy ion radiotherapy for chest tumors causes lung injury to a certain extent, while there is likely to be little injury to lungs treated with <2 Gy, which provides scientific evidence for the use of heavy ion therapy for thoracic tumors.
carbon ion beam; irradiation; pulmonary fibrosis; lung injury; mice
The novel compound JRS-15 was obtained through the chemical modification of xylocydine. JRS-15 exhibited much stronger cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic activity than its parent compound in various cancer cell lines, with IC50 values in HeLa, HepG2, SK-HEP-1, PC-3M and A549 cells ranging from 12.42 to 28.25 μM. In addition, it is more potent for killing cancer than non-cancerous cells. Mechanistic studies showed that JRS-15 treatment arrested cell cycle at the G1/S phase, which further triggered the translocation of Bax and Bak to the mitochondria, resulting in mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) depolarization and the subsequent release of cytochrome c and the second mitochondria-derived activator of caspase (Smac). The sequential activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3/7 and the cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) were observed following these mitochondrial events. Caspase-8, an initiator caspase that is required to activate the membrane receptor-mediated extrinsic apoptosis pathway was not activated in JRS-15-treated cells. Further analysis showed that the levels of the anti-apoptotic proteins Bcl-xL and XIAP were significantly reduced upon JRS-15 treatment. Furthermore, the caspase-9 inhibitor z-LEHD-fmk, the pan-caspase inhibitor z-VAD-fmk, and Bcl-xL or XIAP overexpression all effectively prevented JRS-15-induced apoptosis. Taken together, these results indicate that JRS-15 induces cancer cell apoptosis by regulating multiple apoptosis-related proteins, and this compound may therefore be a good candidate reagent for anticancer therapy.
apoptosis; Bax; Bak; Bcl-xL; cell cycle; cytochrome c; JRS-15; Smac; XIAP
There is a great need for developing novel therapies to treat liver fibrosis. Previous studies showed that both Smad7 and uPA were inhibitors of liver fibrosis. Therefore, we explored the therapeutic effects of combinational gene therapy with Smad7 and uPA on CCl4-induced liver fibrosis.
Smad7 and uPA genes were cloned into an adenovirus vector. To observe the therapeutic effects of coexpression of Smad7 and uPA genes, the recombinant adenovirus were delivered into CCL4-induced fibrosis models. Fibrillar collagen, hydroxyproline, α-SMA, TGF-β1, MMP-13, TIMP-1, HGF and PCNA were detected to evaluate the fibrosis and to explore the mechanisms underlying the treatment with Smad7 and uPA.
The results showed that single Smad7 or uPA adenovirus reduced CCL4 induced liver fibrosis significantly; while combination of Smad7 and uPA had more significant therapeutic effect on CCl4 induced liver fibrosis. Then the markers underlying the therapeutic effect of combination of Smad7 and uPA were also explored. Over-expression of Smad7 and uPA inhibited the expression of α-SMA and TGF-β1 significantly. Combinational gene therapy also enhanced extracellular matrix degradation by increasing the expression of MMP-13, inhibiting TIMP-1 expression, and promoted hepatocyte proliferation, while single Smad7 or uPA only induced part of these changes.
These results suggest that combinational gene therapy with Smad7 and uPA inhibited CCl4-induced rat liver fibrosis by simultaneously targeting multiple pathogenic pathways.
liver fibrosis; gene therapy; Smad7; urokinase plasminogen activator
Cyclin A-Cdk2, a cell cycle regulated Ser/Thr kinase, plays important roles in a variety of apoptoticprocesses. However, the mechanism of cyclin A-Cdk2 regulated apoptosis remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated that Rad9, a member of the BH3-only subfamily of Bcl-2 proteins, could be phosphorylated by cyclin A-Cdk2 in vitro and in vivo. Cyclin A-Cdk2 catalyzed the phosphorylation of Rad9 at serine 328 in HeLa cells during apoptosis induced by etoposide, an inhibitor of topoisomeraseII. The phosphorylation of Rad9 resulted in its translocation from the nucleus to the mitochondria and its interaction with Bcl-xL. The forced activation of cyclin A-Cdk2 in these cells by the overexpression of cyclin A,triggered Rad9 phosphorylation at serine 328 and thereby promoted the interaction of Rad9 with Bcl-xL and the subsequent initiation of the apoptotic program. The pro-apoptotic effects regulated by the cyclin A-Cdk2 complex were significantly lower in cells transfected with Rad9S328A, an expression vector that encodes a Rad9 mutant that is resistant to cyclin A-Cdk2 phosphorylation. These findings suggest that cyclin A-Cdk2 regulates apoptosis through a mechanism that involves Rad9phosphorylation.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a variety of chronic metabolic diseases. Limited evidence regarding vitamin D deficiency exists within the Chinese population. The present study aims to examine the association between serum vitamin D concentrations and cardiometabolic risk factors in the young and middle-aged, urban Chinese population
The cross-sectional relationships between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations and indices of adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors (e.g., body mass index, waist circumference, fasting plasma glucose, etc.) were evaluated in 601 non-diabetic adults.
Vitamin D deficiency or insufficiency was present in 66% of the tested population, and serum 25(OH)D levels were lower in patients who were overweight/obese or suffered metabolic syndrome when compared to individuals of healthy weight without metabolic syndrome (24.08 ± 8.08 vs 31.70 ± 11.77 ng/ml, 21.52 ± 6.9 vs 31.74 ± 10.21 ng/ml respectively). 25(OH)D was inversely associated with waist circumference, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol, and it was positively associated with HDL-cholesterol in a multivariable-adjusted regression model.
Vitamin D deficiency is common in the young and middle-aged, urban Chinese population, with high prevalence in overweight/obese individuals and patients with metabolic syndrome. Low vitamin D concentration was associated with indices of adiposity and cardiometabolic risk factors. Further studies are warranted to elucidate the cause-effect relation between vitamin D status, obesity and related metabolic disorders.
Current Controlled Trials (ISRCTN21527585)
Obesity; Vitamin D deficiency; Metabolic syndrome
Compared to the developing visual system, where neuronal plasticity has been well characterized at multiple levels, little is known about plasticity in the adult, particularly within subcortical structures. We made intraocular injections of 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (APB) in adult cats to block visual responses in On-center retinal ganglion cells and examined the consequences on visual responses in the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) of the thalamus. In contrast to current views of retinogeniculate organization, which hold that On-center LGN neurons should become silent with APB, we find that ~50% of On-center neurons rapidly develop Off-center responses. The time course of these emergent responses and the actions of APB in the retina indicate the plasticity occurs within the LGN. These results suggest there is greater divergence of retinogeniculate connections than previously recognized and that functionally silent, non-specific retinal inputs can serve as a substrate for rapid plasticity in the adult.
thalamus; activity; LGN; retina; APB
The objective of this study was to describe an adult male patient with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) associated with thoracic spinal cord herniation (TSCH). TSCH is a scarce entity presented as a displacement of thoracic cord through an anterior or anterolateral dural defect. More importantly, the co-occurrence of AS and thoracic spinal cord herniation is exceptional. To date, only one case of SCH in association with AS has been reported in the literature. A 56-year-old male patient presented with the progressive difficulty in walking and numbness of both lower limbs for the past 18 months. The patient was diagnosed as AS when he was 30 years old. Sagittal MRI of thoracic spine showed dural defect of the posterior aspect of T11 and 12 vertebral bodies. Axial T2-weighted MRI demonstrated that spinal cord was displaced ventrally and to the right. The diagnosis of TSCH with AS was established. The prognosis was explained to the patient. We recommended duraplasty for dural repair to the patient, but he refused surgery. The results demonstrated that TSCH associated with long-standing AS was very uncommon, and MRI is recommended to rule out SCH in the long-standing AS patients with neurologic symptoms. The SCH in AS might be caused by inflammation, and thoracolumbar hyperkyphosis results from AS might be associated with the development of SCH.
Ankylosing spondylitis; Thoracic spinal cord herniation
This study characterized the acoustic properties of an International Electromechanical Commission (IEC) agar-based tissue mimicking material (TMM) at ultrasound frequencies in the range 10–47 MHz. A broadband reflection substitution technique was employed using two independent systems at 21°C ± 1°C. Using a commercially available preclinical ultrasound scanner and a scanning acoustic macroscope, the measured speeds of sound were 1547.4 ± 1.4 m∙s−1 and 1548.0 ± 6.1 m∙s−1, respectively, and were approximately constant over the frequency range. The measured attenuation (dB∙cm−1) was found to vary with frequency f (MHz) as 0.40f + 0.0076f2. Using this polynomial equation and extrapolating to lower frequencies give values comparable to those published at lower frequencies and can estimate the attenuation of this TMM in the frequency range up to 47 MHz. This characterisation enhances understanding in the use of this TMM as a tissue equivalent material for high frequency ultrasound applications.
Ultrasound; High frequency; Tissue mimicking material; Speed of sound; Attenuation; Frequency dependence
Adenosine, through activation of its A1 receptors, has neuroprotective effects during hypoxia and ischemia. Recently, using transgenic mice with neuronal expression of human equilibrative nucleoside transporter 1 (hENT1), we reported that nucleoside transporter-mediated release of adenosine from neurons was not a key mechanism facilitating the actions of adenosine at A1 receptors during hypoxia/ischemia. The present study was performed to test the importance of CD73 (ecto-5′-nucleotidase) for basal and hypoxic/ischemic adenosine production. Hippocampal slice electrophysiology was performed with CD73+/+ and CD73−/− mice. Adenosine and ATP had similar inhibitory effects in both genotypes, with IC50 values of approximately 25 µM. In contrast, ATP was a less potent inhibitor (IC50 = 100 µM) in slices from mice expressing hENT1 in neurons. The inhibitory effects of ATP in CD73+/+ and CD73−/− slices were blocked by the adenosine A1 receptor antagonist 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine (DPCPX) and were enhanced by the nucleoside transport inhibitor S-(4-nitrobenzyl)-6-thioinosine (NBTI), consistent with effects that are mediated by adenosine after metabolism of ATP. AMP showed a similar inhibitory effect to ATP and adenosine, indicating that the response to ATP was not mediated by P2 receptors. In comparing CD73−/− and CD73+/+ slices, hypoxia and oxygen-glucose deprivation produced similar depression of synaptic transmission in both genotypes. An inhibitor of tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) was found to attenuate the inhibitory effects of AMP and ATP, increase basal synaptic activity and reduce responses to oxygen-glucose deprivation selectively in slices from CD73−/− mice. These results do not support an important role for CD73 in the formation of adenosine in the CA1 area of the hippocampus during basal, hypoxic or ischemic conditions, but instead point to TNAP as a potential source of extracellular adenosine when CD73 is absent.
Circulating CD4+ T helper cells are activated through interactions with antigen presenting cells and undergo differentiation into specific T helper cell subsets depending on the type of antigen encountered. In addition, the relative composition of the circulating CD4+ T cell population changes as animals mature with an increased percentage of the population being memory/effector type cells.
Here, we report on the highly plastic nature of DNA methylation at the genome-wide level as T cells undergo activation, differentiation and aging. Of particular note were the findings that DNA demethylation occurred rapidly following T cell activation and that all differentiated T cell populations displayed lower levels of global methylation than the non-differentiated population. In addition, T cells from older mice had a reduced level of DNA methylation, most likely explained by the increase in the memory/effector cell fraction. Although significant genome-wide changes were observed, changes in DNA methylation at individual genes were restricted to specific cell types. Changes in the expression of enzymes involved in DNA methylation and demethylation reflect in most cases the changes observed in the genome-wide DNA methylation status.
We have demonstrated that DNA methylation is dynamic and flexible in CD4+ T cells and changes rapidly both in a genome-wide and in a targeted manner during T cell activation, differentiation. These changes are accompanied by parallel changes in the enzymatic complexes that have been implicated in DNA methylation and demethylation implying that the balance between these opposing activities may play a role in the maintaining the methylation profile of a given cell type but also allow flexibility in a cell population that needs to respond rapidly to environmental signals.
DNA demethylation; T cell activation; T cell differentiation; Il2, Csf2
Panax notoginseng (Burk) F.H. Chen is important medicinal plant of the Araliacease family. Triterpene saponins are the bioactive constituents in P. notoginseng. However, available genomic information regarding this plant is limited. Moreover, details of triterpene saponin biosynthesis in the Panax species are largely unknown.
Using the 454 pyrosequencing technology, a one-quarter GS FLX titanium run resulted in 188,185 reads with an average length of 410 bases for P. notoginseng root. These reads were processed and assembled by 454 GS De Novo Assembler software into 30,852 unique sequences. A total of 70.2% of unique sequences were annotated by Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) similarity searches against public sequence databases. The Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) assignment discovered 41 unique sequences representing 11 genes involved in triterpene saponin backbone biosynthesis in the 454-EST dataset. In particular, the transcript encoding dammarenediol synthase (DS), which is the first committed enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of major triterpene saponins, is highly expressed in the root of four-year-old P. notoginseng. It is worth emphasizing that the candidate cytochrome P450 (Pn02132 and Pn00158) and UDP-glycosyltransferase (Pn00082) gene most likely to be involved in hydroxylation or glycosylation of aglycones for triterpene saponin biosynthesis were discovered from 174 cytochrome P450s and 242 glycosyltransferases by phylogenetic analysis, respectively. Putative transcription factors were detected in 906 unique sequences, including Myb, homeobox, WRKY, basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH), and other family proteins. Additionally, a total of 2,772 simple sequence repeat (SSR) were identified from 2,361 unique sequences, of which, di-nucleotide motifs were the most abundant motif.
This study is the first to present a large-scale EST dataset for P. notoginseng root acquired by next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. The candidate genes involved in triterpene saponin biosynthesis, including the putative CYP450s and UGTs, were obtained in this study. Additionally, the identification of SSRs provided plenty of genetic makers for molecular breeding and genetics applications in this species. These data will provide information on gene discovery, transcriptional regulation and marker-assisted selection for P. notoginseng. The dataset establishes an important foundation for the study with the purpose of ensuring adequate drug resources for this species.
Camptotheca acuminata is a Nyssaceae plant, often called the "happy tree", which is indigenous in Southern China. C. acuminata produces the terpenoid indole alkaloid, camptothecin (CPT), which exhibits clinical effects in various cancer treatments. Despite its importance, little is known about the transcriptome of C. acuminata and the mechanism of CPT biosynthesis, as only few nucleotide sequences are included in the GenBank database.
From a constructed cDNA library of young C. acuminata leaves, a total of 30,358 unigenes, with an average length of 403 bp, were obtained after assembly of 74,858 high quality reads using GS De Novo assembler software. Through functional annotation, a total of 21,213 unigenes were annotated at least once against the NCBI nucleotide (Nt), non-redundant protein (Nr), Uniprot/SwissProt, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG), and Arabidopsis thaliana proteome (TAIR) databases. Further analysis identified 521 ESTs representing 20 enzyme genes that are involved in the backbone of the CPT biosynthetic pathway in the library. Three putative genes in the upstream pathway, including genes for geraniol-10-hydroxylase (CaPG10H), secologanin synthase (CaPSCS), and strictosidine synthase (CaPSTR) were cloned and analyzed. The expression level of the three genes was also detected using qRT-PCR in C. acuminata. With respect to the branch pathway of CPT synthesis, six cytochrome P450s transcripts were selected as candidate transcripts by detection of transcript expression in different tissues using qRT-PCR. In addition, one glucosidase gene was identified that might participate in CPT biosynthesis. For CPT transport, three of 21 transcripts for multidrug resistance protein (MDR) transporters were also screened from the dataset by their annotation result and gene expression analysis.
This study produced a large amount of transcriptome data from C. acuminata by 454 pyrosequencing. According to EST annotation, catalytic features prediction, and expression analysis, novel putative transcripts involved in CPT biosynthesis and transport were discovered in C. acuminata. This study will facilitate further identification of key enzymes and transporter genes in C. acuminata.
Oxidative stress causes mitochondrial dysfunction and metabolic complications through unknown mechanisms. Cardiolipin (CL) is a key mitochondrial phospholipid required for oxidative phosphorylation. Oxidative damage to CL from pathological remodeling is implicated in the etiology of mitochondrial dysfunction commonly associated with diabetes, obesity, and other metabolic diseases. Here we show that ALCAT1, a lyso-CL acyltransferase up-regulated by oxidative stress and diet-induced obesity (DIO), catalyzes the synthesis of CL species which are highly sensitive to oxidative damage, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction, ROS production, and insulin resistance. These metabolic disorders were reminiscent of those observed in type 2 diabetes, and were reversed by rosiglitazone treatment. Consequently, ALCAT1 deficiency prevented the onset of DIO and significantly improved mitochondrial complex I activity, lipid oxidation, and insulin signaling in ALCAT1−/− mice. Collectively, these findings identify a key role of ALCAT1 in regulating CL remodeling, mitochondrial dysfunction, and susceptibility to DIO.
In the title compound, C15H13N3O4, the two substituted benzene rings form a dihedral angle of 5.0 (3)°. In the crystal, intermolecular N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link molecules into chains along the b axis.
In the title compound, C15H13N3O4, the two substituted benzene rings form a dihedral angle of 10.9 (3)°. In the crystal, intermolecular C—H⋯O and N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link molecules into chains running parallel to .
In the adult visual system, functionally distinct retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) within each eye project to discrete targets in the brain. In the ferret, RGCs encoding light increments or decrements project to independent On and Off sublaminae within each eye-specific layer of the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN). Here we report a manipulation of retinal circuitry that alters RGC action potential firing patterns during development and eliminates the anatomical markers of segregated On and Off sublaminae in the LGN, including the intersublaminar spaces and the expression of a glial-associated inhibitory molecule, ABAKAN, normally separating On and Off leaflets. Despite the absence of anatomically defined On and Off sublaminae, electrophysiological recordings in the dLGN reveal that On and Off dLGN cells are segregated normally. These data demonstrate a dissociation between normal anatomical sublamination and segregation of function in the dLGN and call into question a purported role for ABAKAN boundaries in the developing visual system.
The Daming capsule (DMC) is a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat hyperlipoidemia. Both clinic trials and studies on animal models have demonstrated that DMC is beneficial against diabetic symptoms. Impairment of the baroreflex can cause life-threatening arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). This study was designed to elucidate the effects of DMC on baroreflexes in streptozocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats with hyperlipoidemia.
Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups: untreated controls, rats pretreated STZ and high lipids (a diabetes model or DM rats), and DM rats treated with DMC. The baroreflex sensitivity was examined during intravenous injection of phenylephrine (PE) or sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and quantified by the change in heart rate over the change in mean arterial blood pressure (ΔHR/ΔMABP). Morphological remodeling of baroreceptors was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The mRNA levels and expression of GluR2 and a GABAA receptor subunit were measured by quantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting.
Compared to untreated DM rats, DMC significantly elevated the ratio of ΔHR/ΔMABP by enhancing the compensatory reduction in HR (-ΔHR) in response to PE-induced hypertension (+ΔMABP) (P < 0.05). In the presence of SNP, DMC increased the ΔMABP (P < 0.05). In addition, DMC markedly shortened the duration of blood pressure changes elicited by PE or SNP in DM rats compared to the untreated DM group (P < 0.05). Electron microscopy revealed disrupted myelin sheaths, swollen ER, and lysed mitochondria in the nucleus ambiguous (NAm) DM rats. These signs of neuropathology were largely prevented by treatment with DMC for 30 days. Treatment with DMC elevated both mRNA and protein level of GluR2 in the NAm of DM rats, but had no effect on GABAA receptor expression.
The Daming capsule partially reversed the parasympathetic baroreflex impairment observed in STZ-induced diabetic rats with hyperlipoidemia. Treatment with DMC also prevented the degeneration of neurons and myelinated axons in the brain stem NAm and reversed the down-regulation of GluR2 mRNA. Rescue of NAm function may contribute to the medicinal properties of DMC in diabetic rats.
Plants of the Huperziaceae family, which comprise the two genera Huperzia and Phlegmariurus, produce various types of lycopodium alkaloids that are used to treat a number of human ailments, such as contusions, swellings and strains. Huperzine A, which belongs to the lycodine type of lycopodium alkaloids, has been used as an anti-Alzheimer's disease drug candidate. Despite their medical importance, little genomic or transcriptomic data are available for the members of this family. We used massive parallel pyrosequencing on the Roche 454-GS FLX Titanium platform to generate a substantial EST dataset for Huperzia serrata (H. serrata) and Phlegmariurus carinatus (P. carinatus) as representative members of the Huperzia and Phlegmariurus genera, respectively. H. serrata and P. carinatus are important plants for research on the biosynthesis of lycopodium alkaloids. We focused on gene discovery in the areas of bioactive compound biosynthesis and transcriptional regulation as well as genetic marker detection in these species.
For H. serrata, 36,763 unique putative transcripts were generated from 140,930 reads totaling over 57,028,559 base pairs; for P. carinatus, 31,812 unique putative transcripts were generated from 79,920 reads totaling over 30,498,684 base pairs. Using BLASTX searches of public databases, 16,274 (44.3%) unique putative transcripts from H. serrata and 14,070 (44.2%) from P. carinatus were assigned to at least one protein. Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) orthology annotations revealed that the functions of the unique putative transcripts from these two species cover a similarly broad set of molecular functions, biological processes and biochemical pathways.
In particular, a total of 20 H. serrata candidate cytochrome P450 genes, which are more abundant in leaves than in roots and might be involved in lycopodium alkaloid biosynthesis, were found based on the comparison of H. serrata and P. carinatus 454-ESTs and real-time PCR analysis. Four unique putative CYP450 transcripts (Hs01891, Hs04010, Hs13557 and Hs00093) which are the most likely to be involved in the biosynthesis of lycopodium alkaloids were selected based on a phylogenetic analysis. Approximately 115 H. serrata and 98 P. carinatus unique putative transcripts associated with the biosynthesis of triterpenoids, alkaloids and flavones/flavonoids were located in the 454-EST datasets. Transcripts related to phytohormone biosynthesis and signal transduction as well as transcription factors were also obtained. In addition, we discovered 2,729 and 1,573 potential SSR-motif microsatellite loci in the H. serrata and P. carinatus 454-ESTs, respectively.
The 454-EST resource allowed for the first large-scale acquisition of ESTs from H. serrata and P. carinatus, which are representative members of the Huperziaceae family. We discovered many genes likely to be involved in the biosynthesis of bioactive compounds and transcriptional regulation as well as a large number of potential microsatellite markers. These results constitute an essential resource for understanding the molecular basis of developmental regulation and secondary metabolite biosynthesis (especially that of lycopodium alkaloids) in the Huperziaceae, and they provide an overview of the genetic diversity of this family.
Glycyrrhiza uralensis is one of the most popular medicinal plants in the world and is also widely used in the flavoring of food and tobacco. Due to limited genomic and transcriptomic data, the biosynthetic pathway of glycyrrhizin, the major bioactive compound in G. uralensis, is currently unclear. Identification of candidate genes involved in the glycyrrhizin biosynthetic pathway will significantly contribute to the understanding of the biosynthetic and medicinal chemistry of this compound.
We used the 454 GS FLX platform and Titanium regents to produce a substantial expressed sequence tag (EST) dataset from the vegetative organs of G. uralensis. A total of 59,219 ESTs with an average read length of 409 bp were generated. 454 ESTs were combined with the 50,666 G. uralensis ESTs in GenBank. The combined ESTs were assembled into 27,229 unique sequences (11,694 contigs and 15,535 singletons). A total of 20,437 unique gene elements representing approximately 10,000 independent transcripts were annotated using BLAST searches (e-value ≤ 1e-5) against the SwissProt, KEGG, TAIR, Nr and Nt databases. The assembled sequences were annotated with gene names and Gene Ontology (GO) terms. With respect to the genes related to glycyrrhizin metabolism, genes encoding 16 enzymes of the 18 total steps of the glycyrrhizin skeleton synthesis pathway were found. To identify novel genes that encode cytochrome P450 enzymes and glycosyltransferases, which are related to glycyrrhizin metabolism, a total of 125 and 172 unigenes were found to be homologous to cytochrome P450s and glycosyltransferases, respectively. The cytochrome P450 candidate genes were classified into 32 CYP families, while the glycosyltransferase candidate genes were classified into 45 categories by GO analysis. Finally, 3 cytochrome P450 enzymes and 6 glycosyltransferases were selected as the candidates most likely to be involved in glycyrrhizin biosynthesis through an organ-specific expression pattern analysis based on real-time PCR.
Using the 454 GS FLX platform and Titanium reagents, our study provides a high-quality EST database for G. uralensis. Based on the EST analysis, novel candidate genes related to the secondary metabolite pathway of glycyrrhizin, including novel genes encoding cytochrome P450s and glycosyltransferases, were found. With the assistance of organ-specific expression pattern analysis, 3 unigenes encoding cytochrome P450s and 6 unigenes encoding glycosyltransferases were selected as the candidates most likely to be involved in glycyrrhizin biosynthesis.
American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.) is one of the most widely used herbal remedies in the world. Its major bioactive constituents are the triterpene saponins known as ginsenosides. However, little is known about ginsenoside biosynthesis in American ginseng, especially the late steps of the pathway.
In this study, a one-quarter 454 sequencing run produced 209,747 high-quality reads with an average sequence length of 427 bases. De novo assembly generated 31,088 unique sequences containing 16,592 contigs and 14,496 singletons. About 93.1% of the high-quality reads were assembled into contigs with an average 8-fold coverage. A total of 21,684 (69.8%) unique sequences were annotated by a BLAST similarity search against four public sequence databases, and 4,097 of the unique sequences were assigned to specific metabolic pathways by the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes. Based on the bioinformatic analysis described above, we found all of the known enzymes involved in ginsenoside backbone synthesis, starting from acetyl-CoA via the isoprenoid pathway. Additionally, a total of 150 cytochrome P450 (CYP450) and 235 glycosyltransferase unique sequences were found in the 454 cDNA library, some of which encode enzymes responsible for the conversion of the ginsenoside backbone into the various ginsenosides. Finally, one CYP450 and four UDP-glycosyltransferases were selected as the candidates most likely to be involved in ginsenoside biosynthesis through a methyl jasmonate (MeJA) inducibility experiment and tissue-specific expression pattern analysis based on a real-time PCR assay.
We demonstrated, with the assistance of the MeJA inducibility experiment and tissue-specific expression pattern analysis, that transcriptome analysis based on 454 pyrosequencing is a powerful tool for determining the genes encoding enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites in non-model plants. Additionally, the expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and unique sequences from this study provide an important resource for the scientific community that is interested in the molecular genetics and functional genomics of American ginseng.
Little genomic or trancriptomic information on Ganoderma lucidum (Lingzhi) is known. This study aims to discover the transcripts involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis and developmental regulation of G. lucidum using an expressed sequence tag (EST) library.
A cDNA library was constructed from the G. lucidum fruiting body. Its high-quality ESTs were assembled into unique sequences with contigs and singletons. The unique sequences were annotated according to sequence similarities to genes or proteins available in public databases. The detection of simple sequence repeats (SSRs) was preformed by online analysis.
A total of 1,023 clones were randomly selected from the G. lucidum library and sequenced, yielding 879 high-quality ESTs. These ESTs showed similarities to a diverse range of genes. The sequences encoding squalene epoxidase (SE) and farnesyl-diphosphate synthase (FPS) were identified in this EST collection. Several candidate genes, such as hydrophobin, MOB2, profilin and PHO84 were detected for the first time in G. lucidum. Thirteen (13) potential SSR-motif microsatellite loci were also identified.
The present study demonstrates a successful application of EST analysis in the discovery of transcripts involved in the secondary metabolite biosynthesis and the developmental regulation of G. lucidum.
Glucosamine is known as a toxic agent for several malignant cell lines and transplanted tumors with little toxicity to normal host tissues. However, the mechanisms underlying anticancer activity of glucosamine are poorly understood. To study the mechanisms, the human prostate cancer DU145 cells were used for the model.
Glucosamine at concentration 2 mM suppressed proliferation and induced death of DU145 cells. Detailed analysis showed that glucosamine decreased DNA synthesis, arrested cell cycle at G1 phase and induced apoptosis. The effects of glucosamine were associated with up-regulation of p21waf1/cip, a CDK inhibitor. Our further studies identified glucosamine as an inhibitor of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 which is constitutively activated in many cancer cells including DU145 cells. Glucosamine inhibited phosphorylation of STAT3 at the Tyr705 residue and as a result, reduced STAT3 DNA binding and transcriptional activities. Indeed, the expression of apoptosis inhibitor survivin, which is well known target of STAT3, was suppressed. Contrary to DU145 cells, glucosamine did not affect proliferation of other human prostate cancer PC-3 and C4-2B cells, in which STAT 3 signal pathway is not constitutively active.
Our data identifies glucosamine as a suppressor of STAT3 signaling and suggests that anticancer activity of glucosamine may be attributed to the suppression of STAT3 activity. Potential application of glucosamine for the treatment of tumors with constitutively active STAT3 is proposed.