The ability of the 10–23 DNAzyme to specifically cleave RNA with high efficiency has fuelled expectation that this agent may have useful applications for targeted therapy. Here, we, for the first time, investigated the antitumor and radiosensitizing effects of a DNAzyme (DZ1) targeted to the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-LMP1 mRNA of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in patients. Preclinical studies indicated that the DNAzyme was safe and well tolerated. A randomized and double-blind clinical study was conducted in 40 NPC patients who received DZ1 or saline intratumorally, in conjunction with radiation therapy. Tumor regression, patient survival, EBV DNA copy number and tumor microvascular permeability were assessed in a 3-month follow-up. The mean tumor regression rate at week 12 was significantly higher in DZ1 treated group than in the saline control group. Molecular imaging analysis showed that DZ1 impacted on tumor microvascular permeability as evidenced by a faster decline of the Ktrans in DZ1-treated patients. The percentage of the samples with undetectable level of EBV DNA copy in the DZ1 group was significantly higher than that in the control group. No adverse events that could be attributed to the DZ1 injection were observed in patients.
Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs) facilitate host-microbe interactions. They have a central function in the post-transcriptional regulation during pathogenic lifestyles. Hfq, an RNA-binding protein that many sRNAs act in conjunction with, is required for Y. pestis pathogenesis. However, information on how Yersinia pestis modulates the expression of sRNAs during infection is largely unknown.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We used RNA-seq technology to identify the sRNA candidates expressed from Y. pestis grown in
vitro and in the infected lungs of mice. A total of 104 sRNAs were found, including 26 previously annotated sRNAs, by searching against the Rfam database with 78 novel sRNA candidates. Approximately 89% (93/104) of these sRNAs from Y. pestis are shared with its ancestor Y. pseudotuberculosis. Ninety-seven percent of these sRNAs (101/104) are shared among more than 80 sequenced genomes of 135 Y. pestis strains. These 78 novel sRNAs include 62 intergenic and 16 antisense sRNAs. Fourteen sRNAs were selected for verification by independent Northern blot analysis. Results showed that nine selected sRNA transcripts were Hfq-dependent. Interestingly, three novel sRNAs were identified as new members of the transcription factor CRP regulon. Semi-quantitative analysis revealed that Y. pestis from the infected lungs induced the expressions of six sRNAs including RyhB1, RyhB2, CyaR/RyeE, 6S RNA, RybB and sR039 and repressed the expressions of four sRNAs, including CsrB, CsrC, 4.5S RNA and sR027.
Conclusions and Significance
This study is the first attempt to subject RNA from Y. pestis-infected samples to direct high-throughput sequencing. Many novel sRNAs were identified and the expression patterns of relevant sRNAs in Y. pestis during in
vitro growth and in
vivo infection were revealed. The annotated sRNAs accounted for the most abundant sRNAs either expressed in bacteria grown in
vitro or differentially expressed in the infected lungs. These findings suggested these sRNAs may have important functions in Y. pestis physiology or pathogenesis.
Yersinia pestis is one of the most dangerous bacterial pathogens. PhoP and cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) are global regulators of Y. pestis, and they control two distinct regulons that contain multiple virulence-related genes. The PhoP regulator and its cognate sensor PhoQ constitute a two-component regulatory system. The regulatory activity of CRP is triggered only by binding to its cofactor cAMP, which is synthesized from ATP by adenylyl cyclase (encoded by cyaA). However, the association between the two regulatory systems PhoP/PhoQ and CRP-cAMP is still not understood for Y. pestis. In the present work, the four consecutive genes YPO1635, phoP, phoQ, and YPO1632 were found to constitute an operon, YPO1635-phoPQ-YPO1632, transcribed as a single primary RNA, whereas the last three genes comprised another operon, phoPQ-YPO1632, transcribed with two adjacent transcriptional starts. Through direct PhoP-target promoter association, the transcription of these two operons was stimulated and repressed by PhoP, respectively; thus, both positive autoregulation and negative autoregulation of PhoP/PhoQ were detected. In addition, PhoP acted as a direct transcriptional activator of crp and cyaA. The translational/transcriptional start sites, promoter −10 and −35 elements, PhoP sites, and PhoP box-like sequences were determined for these PhoP-dependent genes, providing a map of the PhoP-target promoter interaction. The CRP and PhoP regulons have evolved to merge into a single regulatory cascade in Y. pestis because of the direct regulatory association between PhoP/PhoQ and CRP-cAMP.
To evaluate the roles of dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) and optimum tracer kinetic parameters in the noninvasive grading of the glial brain tumors with histopathological grades (I–IV).
Materials and Methods
Twenty eight patients with histopathologically graded gliomas were imaged. Images with five flip angles were acquired before injection of gadolinium-DTPA and were processed to calculate the T1 value of each regions of interest (ROI). All the DCE-MRI data acquired during the injection were processed based on the MRI signal and pharmacokinetic models to establish concentration-time curves in the ROIs drawn within the tumors, counterlateral normal areas, and area of the individual artery input functions (iAIF) of each patient. A nonlinear least square fitting method was used to obtain tracer kinetic parameters. Kruskal-Wallis H-test and Mann-Whitney U-test were applied to these parameters in different histopathological grade groups for statistical differences (P<0.05).
Volume transfer coefficient (Ktrans) and extravascular extracellular space volume fraction (Ve) calculated by using iAIFs can be used not only to distinguish the low (i.e., I and II) from the high (i.e., III and IV) grade gliomas (P(Ktrans) <0.001 and PVe<0.001), but also grade II from III (P(Ktrans) =0.016 and PVe=0.033).
Ktrans is the most sensitive and specific parameter in the noninvasive grading, distinguishing the high (III and IV) from the low (I and II) grade and high grade III from low grade II gliomas.
MR perfusion imaging; gliomas; microvascular permeability; pharmacokinetics; grades of glioma
Myopericytoma (MPC) is a rare kind of benign neoplasm, showing derivation from perivascular myoid cells. About 115 cases have been reported in the English literature; however, most of the literature focuses on the description and classification of pathology. The case presented here is that of a 42-year-old woman with a surgical management experience of multicentric MPC in the maxillofacial region. Although small MPC can be completely and easily excised, large MPC, especially in certain anatomic sites, necessitates careful preoperative preparation.
Complication; Management; Myopericytoma
Artificially passive immunization has been demonstrated to be effective against Yersinia pestis infection in animals. However, maternal antibodies' protective efficacy against plague has not yet been demonstrated. Here, we evaluated the kinetics, protective efficacy, and transmission modes of maternal antibodies, using mice immunized with plague subunit vaccine SV1 (20 μg of F1 and 10 μg of rV270). The results showed that the rV270- and F1-specific antibodies could be detected in the sera of newborn mice (NM) until 10 and 14 weeks of age, respectively. There was no antibody titer difference between the parturient mice immunized with SV1 (PM-S) and the caesarean-section newborns (CSN) from the PM-S or between the lactating mice immunized by SV1 (LM-S) and the cross-fostered mice (CFM) during 3 weeks of lactation. The NM had a 72% protection against 4,800 CFU Y. pestis strain 141 challenge at 6 weeks of age, whereas at 14 weeks of age, NM all succumbed to 5,700 CFU of Y. pestis challenge. After 7 weeks of age, CFM had an 84% protection against 5,000 CFU of Y. pestis challenge. These results indicated that maternal antibodies induced by the plague subunit vaccine in mother mice can be transferred to NM by both placenta and lactation. Passive antibodies from the immunized mothers could persist for 3 months and provide early protection for NM. The degree of early protection is dependent on levels of the passively acquired antibody. The results indicate that passive immunization should be an effective countermeasure against plague during its epidemics.
With the development of nanotechnology, special attention has been given to the nanomaterial application in tumor treatment. Here, a modified desolvation-cross-linking method was successfully applied to fabricate gemcitabine-loaded albumin nanospheres (GEM-ANPs), with 110 and 406 nm of mean diameter, respectively. The aim of this study was to assess the drug distribution, side effects, and antitumor activity of GEM-ANPs in vivo. The metabolic viability and flow cytometry analysis revealed that both GEM-ANPs, especially 406-nm GEM-ANPs, could effectively inhibit the metabolism and proliferation and promote the apoptosis of human pancreatic carcinoma (PANC-1) in vitro. Intravenous injection of 406-nm GEM-ANPs exhibited a significant increase of gemcitabine in the pancreas, liver, and spleen of Sprague–Dawley rats (p < 0.05). Moreover, no signs of toxic side effects analyzed by blood parameter changes were observed after 3 weeks of administration although a high dose (200 mg/kg) of GEM-ANPs were used. Additionally, in PANC-1-induced tumor mice, intravenous injection of 406-nm GEM-ANPs also could effectively reduce the tumor volume by comparison with free gemcitabine. With these findings, albumin nanosphere-loading approach might be efficacious to improve the antitumor activity of gemcitabine, and the efficacy is associated with the size of GEM-ANPs.
Gemcitabine; Albumin; Nanospheres; Antitumor
Cerebral sparganosis in children is an extremely rare disease of central nervous system, and caused by a tapeworm larva from the genus of Spirometra. In this study, we discussed and summarized epidemiological, clinical and MR imaging characteristics of eighteen children with cerebral sparganosis for a better diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Eighteen children with cerebral sparganosis verified by pathology, serological tests and MR presentations were retrospectively investigated, and the epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of the disease were studied.
Twenty-seven lesions were found in the eighteen children. Twelve lesions in twelve patients were solitary while the lesions in the rest six patients were multiple and asymmetrical. The positions of the lesions were: seven in frontal, eleven in parietal, four in temporal and two in occipital lobes, one in basal ganglia, one in cerebella hemisphere and one in pons. The lesions were presented as slight hypointensity on T1-weighted images but moderate hyperintensity on T2-weighted images with perilesional brain parenchyma edema. Enhanced MR scans by using Gadopentetic Acid Dimeglumine Salt were performed in the patients, and the images demonstrated abnormal enhancements with the patterns of a peripheral ring, or a tortuous beaded, or a serpiginous tubular shape. Follow-up MR scans were preformed for eight patients, and three out of the eight cases exposed migrations and changes in shapes of the lesion areas.
The MR presentations in our study in general were similar to those in previous studies. However serpiginous tubular and comma-shaped enhancements of lesions have not been previously reported. The enhanced MR imaging and follow-up MR scans with the positive results from serological tests are the most important methods for the clinical diagnosis of cerebral sparganosis in children.
During the process of HIV-1 fusion with the target cell, the N-terminal heptad repeat (NHR) of gp41 interacts with the C-terminal heptad repeat (CHR) to form fusogenic six-helix bundle (6-HB) core. We previously identified a crucial residue for 6-HB formation and virus entry - Lys63 (K63) in the C-terminal region of NHR (aa 54–70), which forms a hydrophobic cavity. It can form an important salt bridge with Asp121 (D121) in gp41 CHR. Here, we found another important conserved residue for virus fusion and entry, Arg46 (R46), in the N-terminal region of NHR (aa 35–53), which forms a hydrogen bond with a polar residue, Asn43 (N43), in NHR, as a part of the hydrogen-bond network. R46 can also form a salt bridge with a negatively charged residue, Glu137 (E137), in gp41 CHR. Substitution of R46 with the hydrophobic residue Ala (R46A) or the negatively charged residue Glu (R46E) resulted in disruption of the hydrogen bond network, breakage of the salt bridge and reduction of 6-HB’s stability, leading to impairment of viral fusion and decreased inhibition of N36, an NHR peptide. Similarly, CHR peptide C34 with substitution of E137 for Ala (E137A) or Arg (E137R) also exhibited reduced inhibitory activity against HIV-1 infection and HIV-1-mediated cell-to-cell fusion. These results suggest that the positively charged residue R46 and its hydrogen bond network, together with the salt bridge between R46 and E137, are important for viral fusion and entry and may therefore serve as a target for designing novel HIV fusion/entry inhibitors.
Plague is one of the most dangerous diseases and is caused by Yersinia pestis. Effective vaccine development requires understanding of immune protective mechanisms against the bacterium in humans. In this study, the humoral and memory cellular immune responses in plague patients (n = 65) recovered from Y. pestis infection during the past 16 years were investigated using a protein microarray and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay (ELISpot). The seroprevalence to the F1 antigen in all recovered patients is 78.5%. In patients infected more than a decade ago, the antibody-positive rate still remains 69.5%. There is no difference in the antibody presence between gender, age, and infected years, but it seems to be associated with the F1 antibody titers during infection (r = 0.821; P < 0.05). Except F1 antibody, the antibodies against LcrV and YopD were detected in most of the patients, suggesting they could be the potential diagnostic markers for detecting the infection of F1-negative strains. Regarding cellular immunity, the cell number producing gamma interferon (IFN-γ), stimulated by F1 and LcrV, respectively, in vitro to the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 7 plague patients and 4 negative controls, showed no significant difference, indicating F1 and LcrV are not dominant T cell antigens against plague for a longer time in humans. Our findings have direct implications for the future design and development of effective vaccines against Y. pestis infection and the development of new target-based diagnostics.
Intrinsic functional connectivity detected by functional MRI (fMRI) provides a useful but indirect approach to study the organization of human brain systems. An unresolved question is whether functional connectivity measured by resting state fMRI reflects anatomical connections. In this study we used the well-characterized anatomy of cerebrocerebellar circuits to directly test whether intrinsic functional connectivity is associated with an anatomic pathway. Eleven first episode stoke patients were scanned five times during a period of six months and eleven healthy control subjects were scanned three times within one month. In patients with right pontine stokes, the functional connectivity between the right motor cortex and the left cerebellum was selectively reduced. This connectivity pattern was reversed in patients with left pontine strokes. While factors beyond anatomical connectivity contribute to fMRI measures of functional correlation, these results provide direct evidence that functional connectivity depends upon intact connections within a specific polysynaptic pathway.
Extraction of genome sequences from metagenomic data is crucial for reconstructing the metabolism of microbial communities that cannot be mimicked in the laboratory. A complete Methanococcus maripaludis genome was generated from metagenomic data derived from a thermophilic subsurface oil reservoir. M. maripaludis is a hydrogenotrophic methanogenic species that is common in mesophilic saline environments. Comparison of the genome from the thermophilic, subsurface environment with the genome of the type species will provide insight into the adaptation of a methanogenic genome to an oil reservoir environment.
The serum levels of interleukin-2 (IL-2), gamma interferon (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), IL-4, IL-6, and IL-10 of pneumonic plague patients were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. IL-6 was the only elevated cytokine in the patients, and its level increased with a clear time course, indicating that IL-6 might be a prognostic marker for predicting the progression of plague.
In speech perception, a functional hierarchy has been proposed by recent functional neuroimaging studies: Core auditory areas on the dorsal plane of superior temporal gyrus (STG) are sensitive to basic acoustic characteristics, whereas downstream regions, specifically the left superior temporal sulcus (STS) and middle temporal gyrus (MTG) ventral to Heschl's gyrus (HG) are responsive to abstract phonological features. What is unclear so far is the relationship between the dorsal and ventral processes, especially with regard to whether low-level acoustic processing is modulated by high-level phonological processing. To address the issue, we assessed sensitivity of core auditory and downstream regions to acoustic and phonological variations by using within- and across-category lexical tonal continua with equal physical intervals. We found that relative to within-category variation, across-category variation elicited stronger activation in the left middle MTG (mMTG), apparently reflecting the abstract phonological representations. At the same time, activation in the core auditory region decreased, resulting from the top-down influences of phonological processing. These results support a hierarchical organization of the ventral acoustic-phonological processing stream, which originates in the right HG/STG and projects to the left mMTG. Furthermore, our study provides direct evidence that low-level acoustic analysis is modulated by high-level phonological representations, revealing the cortical dynamics of acoustic and phonological processing in speech perception. Our findings confirm the existence of reciprocal progression projections in the auditory pathways and the roles of both feed-forward and feedback mechanisms in speech perception.
In our previous study, complete protection was observed in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques immunized with SV1 (20 µg F1 and 10 µg rV270) and SV2 (200 µg F1 and 100 µg rV270) subunit vaccines and with EV76 live attenuated vaccine against subcutaneous challenge with 6×106 CFU of Y. pestis. In the present study, we investigated whether the vaccines can effectively protect immunized animals from any pathologic changes using histological and immunohistochemical techniques. In addition, the glomerular basement membranes (GBMs) of the immunized animals and control animals were checked by electron microscopy. The results show no signs of histopathological lesions in the lungs, livers, kidneys, lymph nodes, spleens and hearts of the immunized animals at Day 14 after the challenge, whereas pathological alterations were seen in the corresponding tissues of the control animals. Giemsa staining, ultrastructural examination, and immunohistochemical staining revealed bacteria in some of the organs of the control animals, whereas no bacterium was observed among the immunized animals. Ultrastructural observation revealed that no glomerular immune deposits on the GBM. These observations suggest that the vaccines can effectively protect animals from any pathologic changes and eliminate Y. pestis from the immunized animals. The control animals died from multi-organ lesions specifically caused by the Y. pestis infection. We also found that subcutaneous infection of animals with Y. pestis results in bubonic plague, followed by pneumonic and septicemic plagues. The histopathologic features of plague in rhesus macaques closely resemble those of rodent and human plagues. Thus, Chinese-origin rhesus macaques serve as useful models in studying Y. pestis pathogenesis, host response and the efficacy of new medical countermeasures against plague.
In the enteropathogenic Yersinia species, RovA regulates the expression of invasin, which is important for enteropathogenic pathogenesis but is inactivated in Yersinia pestis. Investigation of the RovA regulon in Y. pestis at 26°C has revealed that RovA is a global regulator that contributes to virulence in part by the direct regulation of psaEFABC. However, the regulatory roles of RovA in Y. pestis at 37°C, which allows most virulence factors in mammalian hosts to be expressed, are still poorly understood.
The transcriptional profile of an in-frame rovA mutant of Y. pestis biovar Microtus strain 201 was analyzed under type III secretion system (T3SS) induction conditions using microarray techniques, and it was revealed that many cell-envelope and transport/binding proteins were differentially expressed in the ΔrovA mutant. Most noticeably, many of the T3SS genes, including operons encoding the translocon, needle and Yop (Yersinia outer protein) effectors, were significantly up-regulated. Analysis of Yop proteins confirmed that YopE and YopJ were also expressed in greater amounts in the mutant. However, electrophoresis mobility shift assay results demonstrated that the His-RovA protein could not bind to the promoter sequences of the T3SS genes, suggesting that an indirect regulatory mechanism is involved. Transmission electron microscopy analysis indicated that there are small loose electron dense particle-like structures that surround the outer membrane of the mutant cells. The bacterial membrane permeability to CFSE (carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester) was significantly decreased in the ΔrovA mutant compared to the wild-type strain. Taken together, these results revealed the improper construction and dysfunction of the membrane in the ΔrovA mutant.
We demonstrated that the RovA regulator plays critical roles in the construction and functioning of the bacterial membrane, which sheds considerable light on the regulatory functions of RovA in antibiotic resistance and environmental adaptation. The expression of T3SS was upregulated in the ΔrovA mutant through an indirect regulatory mechanism, which is possibly related to the altered membrane construction in the mutant.
Long-term protection and antibody response for the subunit vaccine F1-rV270 were determined by using the mouse model. Antibodies to F1 and rV270 were still detectable over a period of 518 days. The complete protection against lethal challenge of Yersinia pestis could be achieved up to day 518 after primary immunization.
Yersinia pestis, the plague pathogen, is a facultative intracellular bacterium. Cellular immunity plays important roles in defense against infections. The identification of T-cell targets is critical for the development of effective vaccines against intracellular bacteria; however, the function of cellular immunity in protection from plague was not clearly understood. In this study, 261 genes from Y. pestis were selected on the basis of bioinformatics analysis and previous research results for expression in Escherichia coli BL21(DE3). After purification, 101 proteins were qualified for examination of their abilities to induce the production of gamma interferon in mice immunized with live vaccine EV76 by enzyme-linked immunospot assay. Thirty-four proteins were found to stimulate strong T-cell responses. The protective efficiencies for 24 of them were preliminarily evaluated using a mouse plague model. In addition to LcrV, nine proteins (YPO0606, YPO1914, YPO0612, YPO3119, YPO3047, YPO1377, YPCD1.05c, YPO0420, and YPO3720) may provide partial protection against challenge with a low dose (20 times the 50% lethal dose [20× LD50]) of Y. pestis, but only YPO0606 could partially protect mice from infection with Y. pestis at a higher challenge dosage (200× LD50). These proteins would be the potential components for Y. pestis vaccine development.
Influenza A virus displays strong reassortment characteristics, which enable it to achieve adaptation in human infection. Surveying the reassortment and virulence of novel viruses is important in the prevention and control of an influenza pandemic. Meanwhile, studying the mechanism of reassortment may accelerate the development of anti-influenza strategies.
The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) matching patterns of two pandemic H1N1 viruses (the 1918 and current 2009 strains) and a highly pathogenic avian influenza A virus (H5N1) were studied using a pseudotyped particle (pp) system. Our data showed that four of the six chimeric HA/NA combinations could produce infectious pps, and that some of the chimeric pps had greater infectivity than did their ancestors, raising the possibility of reassortment among these viruses. The NA of H5N1 (A/Anhui/1/2005) could hardly reassort with the HAs of the two H1N1 viruses. Many biological characteristics of HA and NA, including infectivity, hemagglutinating ability, and NA activity, are dependent on their matching pattern.
Our data suggest the existence of an interaction between HA and NA, and the HA NA matching pattern is critical for valid viral reassortment.
Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague, which is transmitted primarily between fleas and mammals and is spread to humans through the bite of an infected flea or contact with afflicted animals. Hfq is proposed to be a global post-transcriptional regulator that acts by mediating interactions between many regulatory small RNAs (sRNAs) and their mRNA targets. Sequence comparisons revealed that Y. pestis appears to produce a functional homologue of E. coli Hfq.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Phenotype comparisons using in vitro assays demonstrated that Y. pestis Hfq was involved in resistance to H2O2, heat and polymyxin B and contributed to growth under nutrient-limiting conditions. The role of Hfq in Y. pestis virulence was also assessed using macrophage and mouse infection models, and the gene expression affected by Hfq was determined using microarray-based transcriptome and real time PCR analysis. The macrophage infection assay showed that the Y. pestis hfq deletion strain did not have any significant difference in its ability to associate with J774A.1 macrophage cells. However, hfq deletion appeared to significantly impair the ability of Y. pestis to resist phagocytosis and survive within macrophages at the initial stage of infection. Furthermore, the hfq deletion strain was highly attenuated in mice after subcutaneous or intravenous injection. Transcriptome analysis supported the results concerning the attenuated phenotype of the hfq mutant and showed that the deletion of the hfq gene resulted in significant alterations in mRNA abundance of 243 genes in more than 13 functional classes, about 23% of which are known or hypothesized to be involved in stress resistance and virulence.
Conclusions and Significance
Our results indicate that Hfq is a key regulator involved in Y. pestis stress resistance, intracellular survival and pathogenesis. It appears that Hfq acts by controlling the expression of many virulence- and stress-associated genes, probably in conjunction with small noncoding RNAs.
The zinc uptake regulator Zur is a Zn2+-sensing metalloregulatory protein involved in the maintenance of bacterial zinc homeostasis. Up to now, regulation of zinc homeostasis by Zur is poorly understood in Y. pestis.
We constructed a zur null mutant of Y. pestis biovar microtus strain 201. Microarray expression analysis disclosed a set of 154 Zur-dependent genes of Y. pestis upon exposure to zinc rich condition. Real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR was subsequently used to validate the microarray data. Based on the 154 Zur-dependent genes, predicted regulatory Zur motifs were used to screen for potential direct Zur targets including three putative operons znuA, znuCB and ykgM-RpmJ2. The LacZ reporter fusion analysis verified that Zur greatly repressed the promoter activity of the above three operons. The subsequent electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) demonstrated that a purified Zur protein was able to bind to the promoter regions of the above three operons. The DNase I footprinting was used to identify the Zur binding sites for the above three operons, verifying the Zur box sequence as predicted previously in γ-Proteobacteria. The primer extension assay was further used to determine the transcription start sites for the above three operons and to localize the -10 and -35 elements. Zur binding sites overlapped the -10 sequence of its target promoters, which was consistent with the previous observation that Zur binding would block the entry of the RNA polymerase to repress the transcription of its target genes.
Zur as a repressor directly controls the transcription of znuA, znuCB and ykgM-RpmJ2 in Y. pestis by employing a conserved mechanism of Zur-promoter DNA association as observed in γ-Proteobacteria. Zur contributes to zinc homeostasis in Y. pestis likely through transcriptional repression of the high-affinity zinc uptake system ZnuACB and two alternative ribosomal proteins YkgM and RpmJ2.
The pathogenesis of severe acute respiratory disease syndrome (SARS) is not fully understood. One case-control study has reported an association between susceptibility to SARS and mannan-binding lectin (MBL) in China. As the downstream protein of MBL, variants of the MBL-associated serine protease-2 (MASP2) gene may be associated with SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infection in the same population.
Thirty individuals with SARS were chosen for analysis of MASP2 polymorphisms by means of PCR direct sequencing. Tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (tagSNPs) were chosen using pairwise tagging algorithms. The frequencies of four tag SNPs (rs12711521, rs2261695, rs2273346 and rs7548659) were ascertained in 376 SARS patients and 523 control subjects, using the Beckman SNPstream Ultra High Throughput genotyping platform.
There is no significant association between alleles or genotypes of the MASP2 tagSNP and susceptibility to SARS-CoV in both Beijing and Guangzhou populations. Diplotype (rs2273346 and rs12711521)were analyzed for association with susceptibility to SARS, no statistically significant evidence of association was observed. The Beijing and Guangzhou sample groups were homogeneous regarding demographic and genetic parameters, a joined analysis also showed no statistically significant evidence of association.
Our data do not suggest a role for MASP2 polymorphisms in SARS susceptibility in northern and southern China.
Moxibustion, acupuncture and other acupoint stimulations are commonly used for the correction of breech presentation. This systematic review aims to evaluate the efficacy and safety of moxibustion and other acupoint stimulations to treat breech presentation.
We included randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and controlled clinical trials (CCTs) on moxibustion, acupuncture or any other acupoint stimulating methods for breech presentation in pregnant women. All searches in PubMed, the Cochrane Library (2008 Issue 2), China National Knowledge Information (CNKI), Chinese Scientific Journal Database (VIP) and WanFang Database ended in July 2008. Two authors extracted and analyzed the data independently.
Ten RCTs involving 2090 participants and seven CCTs involving 1409 participants were included in the present study. Meta-analysis showed significant differences between moxibustion and no treatment (RR 1.35, 95% CI 1.20 to 1.51; 3 RCTs). Comparison between moxibustion and knee-chest position did not show significant differences (RR 1.30, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.79; 3 RCTs). Moxibustion plus other therapeutic methods showed significant beneficial effects (RR 1.36, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.54; 2 RCTs). Laser stimulation was more effective than assuming the knee-chest position plus pelvis rotating. Moxibustion was more effective than no treatment (RR 1.29, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.42; 2 CCTs) but was not more effective than the knee-chest position treatment (RR 1.22, 95% CI 1.11 to 1.34; 2 CCTs). Laser stimulation at Zhiyin (BL67) was more effective than the knee-chest position treatment (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.54; 2 CCTs,).
Moxibustion, acupuncture and laser acupoint stimulation tend to be effective in the correction of breech presentation.
The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) is a predominant bacterial regulator controlling the iron assimilation functions in response to iron availability. Our previous microarray analysis on Yersinia pestis defined the iron-Fur modulon. In the present work, we reannotated the iron assimilation genes in Y. pestis, and the resulting genes in complementation with those disclosed by microarray constituted a total of 34 genome loci (putative operons) that represent the potential iron-responsive targets of Fur. The subsequent real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) in conjunction with the primer extension analysis showed that 32 of them were regulated by Fur in response to iron starvation. A previously predicted Fur box sequence was then used to search against the promoter regions of the 34 operons; the homologue of the above box could be predicted in each promoter tested. The subsequent electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) demonstrated that a purified His6 tag-fused Fur protein was able to bind in vitro to each of these promoter regions. Therefore, Fur is a global regulator, both an activator and a repressor, and directly controls not only almost all of the iron assimilation functions but also a variety of genes involved in various non-iron functions for governing a complex regulatory cascade in Y. pestis. In addition, real-time RT-PCR, primer extension, EMSA, and DNase I footprinting assay were used to elucidate the Fur regulation of the ybt locus encoding a virulence-required iron uptake system. By combining the published data on the YbtA regulation of ybt, we constructed a concise Fur/YbtA regulatory network with a map of the Fur-promoter DNA interactions within the ybt locus. The data presented here give us an overview of the iron-responsive Fur regulon in Y. pestis.
Yersinia pestis, the pathogen of plague, has greatly influenced human history on a global scale. Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeat (CRISPR), an element participating in immunity against phages' invasion, is composed of short repeated sequences separated by unique spacers and provides the basis of the spoligotyping technology. In the present research, three CRISPR loci were analyzed in 125 strains of Y. pestis from 26 natural plague foci of China, the former Soviet Union and Mongolia were analyzed, for validating CRISPR-based genotyping method and better understanding adaptive microevolution of Y. pestis.
Using PCR amplification, sequencing and online data processing, a high degree of genetic diversity was revealed in all three CRISPR elements. The distribution of spacers and their arrays in Y. pestis strains is strongly region and focus-specific, allowing the construction of a hypothetic evolutionary model of Y. pestis. This model suggests transmission route of microtus strains that encircled Takla Makan Desert and ZhunGer Basin. Starting from Tadjikistan, one branch passed through the Kunlun Mountains, and moved to the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Another branch went north via the Pamirs Plateau, the Tianshan Mountains, the Altai Mountains and the Inner Mongolian Plateau. Other Y. pestis lineages might be originated from certain areas along those routes.
CRISPR can provide important information for genotyping and evolutionary research of bacteria, which will help to trace the source of outbreaks. The resulting data will make possible the development of very low cost and high-resolution assays for the systematic typing of any new isolate.