Advances in neuroimaging techniques and analytic methods have led to a proliferation of studies investigating the impact of bilingualism on the cognitive and brain systems in humans. Lately, these findings have attracted much interest and debate in the field, leading to a number of recent commentaries and reviews. Here, we contribute to the ongoing discussion by compiling and interpreting the plethora of findings that relate to the structural, functional, and connective changes in the brain that ensue from bilingualism. In doing so, we integrate theoretical models and empirical findings from linguistics, cognitive/developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the following issues: (1) whether the language neural network is different for first (dominant) versus second (nondominant) language processing; (2) the effects of bilinguals' executive functioning on the structure and function of the “universal” language neural network; (3) the differential effects of bilingualism on phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic aspects of language processing on the brain; and (4) the effects of age of acquisition and proficiency of the user's second language in the bilingual brain, and how these have implications for future research in neurolinguistics.
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of severe hepatitis. The molecular mechanisms underlying HCV replication and pathogenesis remain unclear. The development of the subgenome replicon model system significantly enhanced study of HCV. However, the permissiveness of the HCV subgenome replicon greatly differs among different hepatoma cell lines. Proteomic analysis of different permissive cell lines might provide new clues in understanding HCV replication. In this study, to detect potential candidates that might account for the differences in HCV replication. Label-free and iTRAQ labeling were used to analyze the differentially expressed protein profiles between Huh7.5.1 wt and HepG2 cells. A total of 4919 proteins were quantified in which 114 proteins were commonly identified as differentially expressed by both quantitative methods. A total of 37 differential proteins were validated by qRT-PCR. The differential expression of Glutathione S-transferase P (GSTP1), Ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase isozyme L1 (UCHL1), carboxylesterase 1 (CES1), vimentin, Proteasome activator complex subunit1 (PSME1), and Cathepsin B (CTSB) were verified by western blot. And over-expression of CTSB or knock-down of vimentin induced significant changes to HCV RNA levels. Additionally, we demonstrated that CTSB was able to inhibit HCV replication and viral protein translation. These results highlight the potential role of CTSB and vimentin in virus replication.
Mice with cytotoxic lesions of the dorsal hippocampus (DH) underestimated 15 s and 45 s target durations in a bi-peak procedure as evidenced by proportional leftward shifts of the peak functions that emerged during training as a result of decreases in both ‘start’ and ‘stop’ times. In contrast, mice with lesions of the ventral hippocampus (VH) displayed rightward shifts that were immediately present and were largely limited to increases in the ‘stop’ time for the 45 s target duration. Moreover, the effects of the DH lesions were congruent with the scalar property of interval timing in that the 15 s and 45 s functions superimposed when plotted on a relative timescale, whereas the effects of the VH lesions violated the scalar property. Mice with DH lesions also showed enhanced reversal learning in comparison to control and VH lesioned mice. These results are compared with the timing distortions observed in mice lacking δ-opioid receptors (Oprd1−/−) which were similar to mice with DH lesions. Taken together, these results suggest a balance between hippocampal–striatal interactions for interval timing and demonstrate possible functional dissociations along the septotemporal axis of the hippocampus in terms of motivation, timed response thresholds and encoding in temporal memory.
time perception; temporal memory; scalar property; motivation; basal ganglia; hippocampal–striatal interactions
Recent studies have demonstrated that acquisition of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is associated with drug resistance in pancreatic cancer cells; however, the underlying mechanisms are not fully elucidated. Emerging evidence suggests that microRNAs play a crucial role in controlling EMT. The aims of this study were to explore the potential role of miR-223 in governing EMT in gemcitabine-resistant (GR) pancreatic cancer cells. To achieve this goal, real-time reverse transcription-PCR and western blot analysis were used to validate whether GR cells acquired EMT in AsPC-1 and PANC-1 cells. Invasion, migration, and detachment assays were performed to further identify the EMT characteristics in GR cells. The miR-223 inhibitor was used to determine its role in GR-induced EMT. We found that GR cells acquired EMT features, which obtained elongated fibroblastoid morphology, decreased expression of epithelial marker E-cadherin, and up-regulation of mesenchymal markers. Furthermore, we observed that GR cells are associated with high expression of miR-223. Notably, inhibition of miR-223 led to the reversal of EMT phenotype. More importantly, miR-223 governs GR-induced EMT in part due to down-regulation of its target Fbw7 and subsequent upregulation of Notch-1 in pancreatic cancer. Our study implied that down-regulation of miR-223 could be a novel therapy for pancreatic cancer.
Gemcitabine; miR-223; EMT; invasion; pancreatic cancer
The mechanisms underlying acute myeloid leukemia (AML) treatment failure are not clear. Here, we established a mouse model of AML by syngeneic transplantation of BXH-2 derived myeloid leukemic cells and developed an efficacious Ara-C-based regimen for treatment of these mice. We proved that leukemic cell load was correlated with survival. We also demonstrated that the susceptibility of leukemia cells to Ara-C could significantly affect the survival. To examine the molecular alterations in cells with different sensitivity, genome-wide expression of the leukemic cells was profiled, revealing that overall 366 and 212 genes became upregulated or downregulated, respectively, in the resistant cells. Many of these genes are involved in the regulation of cell cycle, cellular proliferation, and apoptosis. Some of them were further validated by quantitative PCR. Interestingly, the Ara-C resistant cells retained the sensitivity to ABT-737, an inhibitor of anti-apoptosis proteins, and treatment with ABT-737 prolonged the life span of mice engrafted with resistant cells. These results suggest that leukemic load and intrinsic cellular resistance can affect the outcome of AML treated with Ara-C. Incorporation of apoptosis inhibitors, such as ABT-737, into traditional cytotoxic regimens merits consideration for the treatment of AML in a subset of patients with resistance to Ara-C. This work provided direct in vivo evidence that leukemic load and intrinsic cellular resistance can affect the outcome of AML treated with Ara-C, suggesting that incorporation of apoptosis inhibitors into traditional cytotoxic regimens merits consideration for the treatment of AML in a subset of patients with resistance to Ara-C.
Polypyrimidine tract-binding protein 1 (PTBP1) and its brainspecific homologue, PTBP2, are associated with pre-mRNAs and influence pre-mRNA processing, as well as mRNA metabolism and transport. They play important roles in neural differentiation and glioma development. In our study, we detected the expression of the two proteins in glioma cells and predicted that they may be sumoylated using SUMOplot analyses. We confirmed that PTBP1 and PTBP2 can be modified by SUMO1 with co-immunoprecipitation experiments using 293ET cells transiently co-expressing SUMO1 and either PTBP1 or PTBP2. We also found that SUMO1 modification of PTBP2 was enhanced by Ubc9 (E2). The mutation of the sumoylation site (Lys137) of PTBP2 markedly inhibited its modification by SUMO1. Interestingly, in T98G glioma cells, the level of sumoylated PTBP2 was reduced compared to that of normal brain cells. Overall, this study shows that PTBP2 is posttranslationally modified by SUMO1. [BMB Reports 2014; 47(4): 233-238]
Glioma; PTBP1; PTBP2; SUMO1; UBC9
Refractoriness of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells to chemotherapeutics represents a major clinical barrier. Suicide gene therapy for cancer has been attractive but with limited clinical efficacy. In this study, we investigated the potential application of herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase/ganciclovir (HSV-TK/GCV) based system to inhibit chemoresistant AML cells. We first generated Ara-C resistant K562 cells and doxorubicin-resistant THP-1 cells. We found that the HSV-TK/GCV anticancer system suppressed drug resistant leukemic cells in culture. Chemoresistant AML cell lines displayed similar sensitivity to HSV-TK/GCV. Moreover, HSV-TK/GCV killing of leukemic cells was augmented to a mild but significant extent by all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) with concomitant upregulation of Connexin 43, a major component of gap junctions. Interestingly, HSV-TK/GCV killing was enhanced by expression of vesicular stomatitis virus G glycoprotein (VSV-G), a fusogenic membrane protein, which also increased leukemic cell fusion. Co-culture resistant cells expressing HSV-TK and cells stably transduced with VSV-G showed that expression of VSV-G could promote the bystander killing effect of HSV-TK/GCV. Furthermore, combination of HSV-TK/GCV with VSV-G plus ATRA produced more pronounced antileukemia effect. These results suggest that the HSV-TK/GCV system in combination with fusogenic membrane proteins and/or ATRA could provide a strategy to mitigate the chemoresistance of AML.
VSV-G; ATRA; Bystander killing; Chemoresisitant leukemia cells; HSV-TK/GCV
Skin metastases are rare in the routine clinical practice of dermatology, but are of major clinical significance because they usually indicate advanced disease. We reviewed the literature on skin metastasis regarding recent trends in clinical presentation and diagnosis of the most common cutaneous lesions. An extensive literature review was conducted using PubMed from May 26, 2011 to July 16, 2013 relating cutaneous metastases. Articles chosen for reference were queried with the following prompts: “Cutaneous metastases”, “clinical presentation”, “histological features”, and “immunohistochemistry”. Further searches included “treatment” and “management” options for “metastatic breast”, “metastatic colorectal”, “metastatic melanoma”, “metastatic lung”, and “hematologic cancers.” We also reviewed the literature on the current management of melanoma as a model for all cutaneous metastatic disease. Our own clinical findings are presented and compared to the literature. Additionally, we highlight the most useful immunohistochemical studies that aid in diagnoses. Several novel therapies and combination therapies such as electrochemotherapy, vemurafenib, and imiquimod will be discussed for palliative treatment of cancers that have been found to improve cutaneous lesions. We review these notable findings and developments regarding skin metastases for the general dermatologist.
Cutaneous metastasis; Images; Immunohistochemistry; Skin metastasis
PCBP2 is a member of the poly(C)-binding protein (PCBP) family, which plays an important role in posttranscriptional and translational regulation by interacting with single-stranded poly(C) motifs in target mRNAs. Several PCBP family members have been reported to be involved in human malignancies. Here, we show that PCBP2 is upregulated in human glioma tissues and cell lines. Knockdown of PCBP2 inhibited glioma growth in vitro and in vivo through inhibition of cell-cycle progression and induction of caspase-3–mediated apoptosis. Thirty-five mRNAs were identified as putative PCBP2 targets/interactors using RIP-ChIP protein-RNA interaction arrays in a human glioma cell line, T98G. Four-and-a-half LIM domain 3 (FHL3) mRNA was downregulated in human gliomas and was identified as a PCBP2 target. Knockdown of PCBP2 enhanced the expression of FHL3 by stabilizing its mRNA. Overexpression of FHL3 attenuated cell growth and induced apoptosis. This study establishes a link between PCBP2 and FHL3 proteins and identifies a new pathway for regulating glioma progression.
We have proposed a novel probe design of pyrene-disulfide molecular assembly and demonstrated its application for the fluorescence turn-on detection of mercury (II) ions (Hg2+). By taking advantage of the pyrene-assisted efficient photolysis of disulfide bonds, our proposed sensing system exhibits both high selectivity and sensitivity toward Hg2+ detection with a detection limit of 5 nM (1 ppb).
photolysis; pyrene; disulfide bonds; mercury ions
Photoaging is the superposition of chronic ultraviolet (UV)-induced damage on intrinsic aging. Telomere length is a molecular marker of cell aging, and genomic instability due to telomere shortening has been linked to several aging-related diseases.
To explore the effects of different doses of ultraviolet A (UVA) on the length of telomeres in human skin fibroblasts and partly reveal the mechanism of skin photoaging initiated by UVA irradiation.
Material and methods
Primary cultured human skin fibroblasts were irradiated with different doses of UVA light. Cell viability, cell cycle phase, β-galactosidase, and the length of telomeres were assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay, flow cytometry, cytochemical staining, and real-time polymerase chain reactions, respectively.
After UVA irradiation, inhibited proliferation, S phase accumulation and increased expression of senescence-associated β-galactosidase were observed in cultured fibroblasts. Moreover, the length of telomeres in UVA-treated cells was shortened in a dose-dependent manner as compared to controls (p < 0.05).
These results suggest that telomere length in human dermal fibroblasts can be shortened by a single high dosage of UVA radiation, and that acute photodamage might contribute to early photoaging in human skin via rapid telomere shortening. This study potentially provides the basis for better understanding of the molecular mechanism of photoaging.
photoaging; human fibroblast; ultraviolet A; cell cycle; telomere
proteases; fluorescence polarization; fluorescent probe; inhibitors; thrombin
It has been reported that ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme 9 (Ubc9), the unique enzyme2 in the sumoylation pathway, is up-regulated in many cancers. However, the expression and regulation of UBC9 in glioma remains unknown. In this study, we found that Ubc9 was up-regulated in glioma tissues and cell lines compared to a normal control. UBC9 knockdown by small interfering RNA (siRNA) affected cell proliferation and apoptosis in T98G cells. Further experiments revealed that microRNA (miR)-214 directly targeted the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of UBC9 and that there was an inverse relationship between the expression levels of miR-214 and UBC9 protein in glioma tissues and cells. miR-214 overexpression suppressed the endogenous UBC9 protein and affected T98G cell proliferation. These findings suggest that miR-214 reduction facilitates UBC9 expression and is involved in the regulation of glioma cell proliferation. [BMB Reports 2012; 45(11): 641-646]
Cell proliferation; Glioma; miR-214; Sumoylation; UBC9
Migration-proliferation dichotomy is a common mechanism in gliomagenesis; however, an understanding of the exact molecular mechanism of this “go or grow” phenomenon remains largely incomplete. In the present study, we first found that microRNA-9 (miR-9) is highly expressed in glioma cells. MiR-9 inhibited the proliferation and promoted the migration of glioma cells by directly targeting cyclic AMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and neurofibromin 1 (NF1), respectively. Our data also suggested a migration-inhibitory role for CREB through directly regulating the transcription of NF1. Furthermore, we found that the transcription of miR-9-1 is under CREB's control, forming a negative feedback minicircuitry. Taken together, miR-9 inhibits proliferation but promotes migration, whereas CREB plays a pro-proliferative and anti-migratory role, suggesting that the CREB-miR-9 negative feedback minicircuitry plays a critical role in the determination of “go or grow” in glioma cells.
microRNAs (miRNAs) are shown to be involved in the regulation of circadian clock. However, it remains largely unknown whether miRNAs can regulate the core clock genes (Clock and Bmal1).
In this study, we found that mir-142-3p directly targeted the 3’UTR of human BMAL1 and mouse Bmal1. The over-expression (in 293ET and NIH3T3 cells) and knockdown (in U87MG cells) of mir-142-3p reduced and up-regulated the Bmal1/BMAL1 mRNA and protein levels, respectively. Moreover, the expression level of mir-142-3p oscillated in serum-shocked NIH3T3 cells and the results of ChIP and luciferase reporter assays suggested that the expression of mir-142-3p was directly controlled by CLOCK/BMAL1 heterodimers in NIH3T3 cells.
Our study demonstrates that mir-142-3p can directly target the 3’UTR of Bmal1. In addition, the expression of mir-142-3p is controlled by CLOCK/BMAL1 heterodimers, suggesting a potential negative feedback loop consisting of the miRNAs and the core clock genes. These findings open new perspective for studying the molecular mechanism of circadian clock.
mir-142-3p; Bmal1; Circadian clock
Interferon-α (IFN-α) is a natural choice for the treatment of hepatitis C, but half of the chronically infected individuals do not achieve sustained clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) during treatment with IFN-α alone. The virus can impair IFN-α signaling and cellular factors that have an effect on the viral life cycles. We found that the protein PCBP2 is down-regulated in HCV-replicon containing cells (R1b). However, the effects and mechanisms of PCBP2 on HCV are unclear. To determine the effect of PCBP2 on HCV, overexpression and knockdown of PCBP2 were performed in R1b cells. Interestingly, we found that PCBP2 can facilitate the antiviral activity of IFN-α against HCV, although the RNA level of HCV was unaffected by either the overexpression or absence of PCBP2 in R1b cells. RIP-qRT-PCR and RNA half-life further revealed that PCBP2 stabilizes the mRNA of STAT1 and STAT2 through binding the 3′Untranslated Region (UTR) of these two molecules, which are pivotal for the IFN-α anti-HCV effect. RNA pull-down assay confirmed that there were binding sites located in the C-rich tracts in the 3′UTR of their mRNAs. Stabilization of mRNA by PCBP2 leads to the increased protein expression of STAT1 and STAT2 and a consistent increase of phosphorylated STAT1 and STAT2. These effects, in turn, enhance the antiviral effect of IFN-α. These findings indicate that PCBP2 may play an important role in the IFN-α response against HCV and may benefit the HCV clinical therapy.
The downstream of tyrosine kinase/docking protein (Dok) adaptor protein family has seven members, Dok1 to Dok7, that act as substrates of multiple receptor tyrosine kinase and non-receptor tyrosine kinase. The tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) receptor family, which has three members (TrkA, TrkB and TrkC), are receptor tyrosine kinases that play pivotal roles in many stages of nervous system development, such as differentiation, migration, axon and dendrite projection and neuron patterning. Upon related neurotrophin growth factor stimulation, dimerisation and autophosphorylation of Trk receptors can occur, recruiting adaptor proteins to mediate signal transduction.
In this report, by using yeast two-hybrid assays, glutathione S-transferase (GST) precipitation assays and coimmunoprecipitation (Co-IP) experiments, we demonstrate that Dok6 selectively binds to the NPQY motif of TrkC through its phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain in a kinase activity-dependent manner. We further confirmed their interaction by coimmunoprecipitation and colocalisation in E18.5 mouse cortex neurons, which provided more in vivo evidence. Next, we demonstrated that Dok6 is involved in neurite outgrowth in mouse cortex neurons via the RNAi method. Knockdown of Dok6 decreased neurite outgrowth in cortical neurons upon neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) stimulation.
We conclude that Dok6 interacts with the NPQY motif of the TrkC receptor through its PTB domain in a kinase activity-dependent manner, and works as a novel substrate of the TrkC receptor involved in NT-3-mediated neurite outgrowth in mouse cortex neurons.
In the present study, a simple and rapid multiplexed bead-based mesofluidic system (BMS) was developed for simultaneous detection of food-borne pathogenic bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Enterobacter sakazakii, Shigella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter jejuni. This system is based on utilization of isothiocyanate-modified microbeads that are 250 μm in diameter, which were immobilized with specific amino-modified oligonucleotide probes and placed in polydimethylsiloxane microchannels. PCR products from the pathogens studied were pumped into microchannels to hybridize with the oligonucleotide-modified beads, and hybridization signals were detected using a conventional microarray scanner. The short sequences of nucleic acids (21 bases) and PCR products characteristic of bacterial pathogens could be detected at concentrations of 1 pM and 10 nM, respectively. The detection procedure could be performed in less than 30 min with high sensitivity and specificity. The assay was simple and fast, and the limits of quantification were in the range from 500 to 6,000 CFU/ml for the bacterial species studied. The feasibility of identification of food-borne bacteria was investigated with samples contaminated with bacteria, including milk, egg, and meat samples. The results demonstrated that the BMS method can be used for effective detection of multiple pathogens in different foodstuffs.
Microorganisms can restructure their transcriptional output to adapt to environmental conditions by sensing endogenous metabolite pools. In this paper, an Agilent customized microarray representing 4,106 genes was used to study temporal transcript profiles of Bacillus subtilis in response to valine, glutamate and glutamine pulses over 24 h. A total of 673, 835, and 1135 amino-acid-regulated genes were identified having significantly changed expression at one or more time points in response to valine, glutamate, and glutamine, respectively, including genes involved in cell wall, cellular import, metabolism of amino-acids and nucleotides, transcriptional regulation, flagellar motility, chemotaxis, phage proteins, sporulation, and many genes of unknown function. Different amino acid treatments were compared in terms of both the global temporal profiles and the 5-minute quick regulations, and between-experiment differential genes were identified. The highlighted genes were analyzed based on diverse sources of gene functions using a variety of computational tools, including T-profiler analysis, and hierarchical clustering. The results revealed the common and distinct modes of action of these three amino acids, and should help to elucidate the specific signaling mechanism of each amino acid as an effector.
Oxidative fluorination of several protected tryptophans 8b–g with Selectfluor™ proceeded smoothly in aqueous media to give a diastereomeric mixture of the corresponding 3-fluorooxindoles 9b–g. Attempted deprotection of the 3-fluorooxindoles 9b–g under various conditions did not afford 3-(3-fluorooxindol-3-yl)-l-alanine (6). Reaction of the suitably protected tryptophan derivative 16 with Selectfluor™ produced the fluorinated product 17. Simultaneous cleavage of all protective groups of 17 under acidic conditions successfully gave the target compound 6 in excellent yield.
Epimerization; Fluorooxindole; Hydroxyoxindole; Indole; Oxindole; Oxindolylalanine; Selectfluor™; Tryptophan
High throughput genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for genome-wide association requires technologies for generating millions of genotypes with relative ease but also at a reasonable cost and with high accuracy. In this work, we have developed a theoretical approach to estimate allele frequency in pooled DNA samples, based on the physical principles of DNA immobilization and hybridization on solid surface using the Langmuir kinetic model and quantitative analysis of the allelic signals.
This method can successfully distinguish allele frequencies differing by 0.01 in the actual pool of clinical samples, and detect alleles with a frequency as low as 2%. The accuracy of measuring known allele frequencies is very high, with the strength of correlation between measured and actual frequencies having an r2 = 0.9992. These results demonstrated that this method could allow the accurate estimation of absolute allele frequencies in pooled samples of DNA in a feasible and inexpensive way.
We conclude that this novel strategy for quantitative analysis of the ratio of SNP allelic sequences in DNA pools is an inexpensive and feasible alternative for detecting polymorphic differences in candidate gene association studies and genome-wide linkage disequilibrium scans.