Background and Objectives
To determine the incidence rates and mortality of liver abscess in ESRD patients on dialysis.
Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements
Using Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database, we collected data from all ESRD patients who initiated dialysis between 2000 and 2006. Patients were followed until death, end of dialysis, or December 31, 2008. Predictors of liver abscess and mortality were identified using Cox models.
Of the 53,249 incident dialysis patients identified, 447 were diagnosed as having liver abscesses during the follow-up period (224/100,000 person-years). The cumulative incidence rate of liver abscess was 0.3%, 1.1%, and 1.5% at 1 year, 5 years, and 7 years, respectively. Elderly patients and patients on peritoneal dialysis had higher incidence rates. The baseline comorbidities of diabetes mellitus, polycystic kidney disease, malignancy, chronic liver disease, biliary tract disease, or alcoholism predicted development of liver abscess. Overall in-hospital mortality was 10.1%.
The incidence of liver abscess is high among ESRD dialysis patients. In addition to the well known risk factors of liver abscess, two other important risk factors, peritoneal dialysis and polycystic kidney disease, were found to predict liver abscess in ESRD dialysis patients.
One hundred and forty-six highly polymorphic simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers were used to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of 196 peanut (Arachis Hypogaea L.) cultivars which had been extensively planted in different regions in China. These SSR markers amplified 440 polymorphic bands with an average of 2.99, and the average gene diversity index was 0.11. Eighty-six rare alleles with a frequency of less than 1% were identified in these cultivars. The largest Fst or genetic distance was found between the cultivars that adapted to the south regions and those to the north regions in China. A neighbor-joining tree of cultivars adapted to different ecological regions was constructed based on pairwise Nei’s genetic distances, which showed a significant difference between cultivars from the south and the north regions. A model-based population structure analysis divided these peanut cultivars into five subpopulations (P1a, P1b, P2, P3a and P3b). P1a and P1b included most the cultivars from the southern provinces including Guangdong, Guangxi and Fujian. P2 population consisted of the cultivars from Hubei province and parts from Shandong and Henan. P3a and P3b had cultivars from the northern provinces including Shandong, Anhui, Henan, Hebei, Jiangsu and the Yangtze River region including Sichuan province. The cluster analysis, PCoA and PCA based on the marker genotypes, revealed five distinct clusters for the entire population that were related to their germplasm regions. The results indicated that there were obvious genetic variations between cultivars from the south and the north, and there were distinct genetic differentiation among individual cultivars from the south and the north. Taken together, these results provided a molecular basis for understanding genetic diversity of Chinese peanut cultivars.
Organic-inorganic hybrid materials, such as polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxanes (POSS), have the potential to improve the mechanical properties of the methacrylate-based composites and resins used in dentistry. In this article, nanocomposites of methacryl isobutyl POSS (MI-POSS [bears only one methacrylate functional group]) and methacryl POSS (MA-POSS [bears eight methacrylate functional groups]) were investigated to determine the effect of structures on the properties of dental resin. The structures of the POSS-containing networks were determined by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Monofunctional POSS showed a strong tendency toward aggregation and crystallization, while multifunctional POSS showed higher miscibility with the dimethacrylate monomer. The mechanical properties and wear resistance decreased with increasing amounts of MI-POSS, indicating that the MI-POSS agglomerates act as the mechanical weak point in the dental resins. The addition of small amounts of MA-POSS improved the mechanical and shrinkage properties. However, samples with a higher MA-POSS concentration showed lower flexural strength and flexural modulus, indicating that there is a limited range in which the reinforcement properties of MA-POSS can operate. This concentration dependence is attributed to phase separation at higher concentrations of POSS, which affects the structural integrity, and thus, the mechanical and shrinkage properties of the dental resin. Our results show that resin with 3% MA-POSS is a potential candidate for resin-based dental materials.
POSS; methacrylate monomer; dental resin; hybrid material; nanocomposite
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) is an autoimmune disease that typically follows a monophasic course and may affect any age group. The precise population-based incidence of ADEM is still unknown in most countries. In China, there is no ADEM surveillance system. The exact incidence of ADEM is difficult to estimate, and other epidemiological characteristics of ADEM are unknown. The purpose of this study is to investigate the epidemiological characteristics of ADEM in Nanchang, China.
A retrospective investigation was conducted with ADEM patients admitted to second-level and third-level hospitals in Nanchang from 2008 to 2010, aiming to analyse the epidemiologic characteristics of ADEM in the population in Nanchang. ADEM patients, defined as patients who were diagnosed according to the consensus definition of ADEM provided by the International Pediatric MS Study Group, were enrolled in the study. The data were extracted from the ADEM patients’ medical records.
Forty-seven ADEM patients were investigated. The average annual incidence was 0.31/100,000; the incidence among males (0.31/100,000) was nearly equal to that among females (0.31/100,000). The median age of onset was 25.97 years old, and the peak incidence was observed in the 5- to 9-year-old age group (0.75/100,000), followed by the over-60 age group (0.55/100,000). ADEM occurs throughout the year, but it occurs most frequently in March (n = 7) and least frequently in April and July (both n = 2). The patient numbers are roughly even in the other months. In the 2 months before the onset of ADEM, 15 patients presented with a preceding infection, but none of the patients received a vaccination. An increased number of vaccination was not accompanied by a corresponding increased number of cases of ADEM.
The average annual incidence of ADEM was 0.31/100,000 in Nanchang. The incidence among males was nearly equal to that among females. The peak age of onset was 5–9 years old. The peak season of onset was not apparent. There was no evidence of an association between increased number of vaccines administered and number of cases of ADEM in Nanchang, China.
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis; Incidence; Epidemiology
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) alters the regulation and expression of a variety of cytokines in its host cells to modulate host immune surveillance and facilitate viral persistence. Using cytokine antibody arrays, we found that, in addition to the cytokines reported previously, two chemotactic cytokines, CCL3 and CCL4, were induced in EBV-infected B cells and were expressed at high levels in all EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). Furthermore, EBV latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1)-mediated Jun N-terminal protein kinase activation was responsible for upregulation of CCL3 and CCL4. Inhibition of CCL3 and CCL4 in LCLs using a short hairpin RNA approach or by neutralizing antibodies suppressed cell proliferation and caused apoptosis, indicating that autocrine CCL3 and CCL4 are required for LCL survival and growth. Importantly, significant amounts of CCL3 were detected in EBV-positive plasma from immunocompromised patients, suggesting that EBV modulates this chemokine in vivo. This study reveals the regulatory mechanism and a novel function of CCL3 and CCL4 in EBV-infected B cells. CCL3 might be useful as a therapeutic target in EBV-associated lymphoproliferative diseases and malignancies.
The miR-200 family is well known to inhibit the epithelial–mesenchymal transition, suggesting it may therapeutically inhibit metastatic biology. However, conflicting reports regarding the role of miR-200 in suppressing or promoting metastasis in different cancer types have left unanswered questions. Here we demonstrate a difference in clinical outcome based on miR-200's role in blocking tumour angiogenesis. We demonstrate that miR-200 inhibits angiogenesis through direct and indirect mechanisms by targeting interleukin-8 and CXCL1 secreted by the tumour endothelial and cancer cells. Using several experimental models, we demonstrate the therapeutic potential of miR-200 delivery in ovarian, lung, renal and basal-like breast cancers by inhibiting angiogenesis. Delivery of miR-200 members into the tumour endothelium resulted in marked reductions in metastasis and angiogenesis, and induced vascular normalization. The role of miR-200 in blocking cancer angiogenesis in a cancer-dependent context defines its utility as a potential therapeutic agent.
Salt stress is a major abiotic stress that limits crop productivity in many regions of the world. A comparative proteomic approach to identify salt stress-responsive proteins and to understand the molecular mechanisms was carried out in the woody halophyte Kandelia candel. Four-leaf-old K. candel seedlings were exposed to 150 (control), 300, 450, and 600 mM NaCl for 3 days. Proteins extracted from the leaves of K. candel seedlings were separated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). More than 900 protein spots were detected on each gel, and 53 differentially expressed protein spots were located with at least two-fold differences in abundance on 2-DE maps, of which 48 were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-TOF/MS). The results showed that K. candel could withstand up to 450 mM NaCl stress by up-regulating proteins that are mainly involved in photosynthesis, respiration and energy metabolism, Na+ compartmentalization, protein folding and assembly, and signal transduction. Physiological data, including superoxide dismutase (SOD) and dehydroascorbate reductase (DHAR) activities, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide anion radicals (O2−) contents, as well as Na+ content and K+/Na+ ratios all correlated well with our proteomic results. This study provides new global insights into woody halophyte salt stress responses. Identification of differentially expressed proteins promotes better understanding of the molecular basis for salt stress reduction in K. candel.
The homeobox Six genes, homologues to Drosophila sine oculis (so) gene, are expressed in multiple organs during mammalian development. However, their roles during auditory system development have not been studied. We report that Six1 is required for mouse auditory system development. During inner ear development, Six1 expression was first detected in the ventral region of the otic pit and later is restricted to the middle and ventral otic vesicle within which, respectively, the vestibular and auditory epithelia form. By contrast, Six1 expression is excluded from the dorsal otic vesicle within which the semicircular canals form. Six1 is also expressed in the vestibuloacoustic ganglion. At E15.5, Six1 is expressed in all sensory epithelia of the inner ear. Using recently generated Six1 mutant mice, we found that all Six1+/− mice showed some degree of hearing loss because of a failure of sound transmission in the middle ear. By contrast, Six1−/− mice displayed malformations of the auditory system involving the outer, middle and inner ears. The inner ear development in Six1−/− embryos arrested at the otic vesicle stage and all components of the inner ear failed to form due to increased cell death and reduced cell proliferation in the otic epithelium. Because we previously reported that Six1 expression in the otic vesicle is Eya1 dependent, we first clarified that Eya1 expression was unaffected in Six1−/− otic vesicle, further demonstrating that the Drosophila Eya-Six regulatory cassette is evolutionarily conserved during mammalian inner ear development. We also analyzed several other otic markers and found that the expression of Pax2 and Pax8 was unaffected in Six1−/− otic vesicle. By contrast, Six1 is required for the activation of Fgf3 expression and the maintenance of Fgf10 and Bmp4 expression in the otic vesicle. Furthermore, loss of Six1 function alters the expression pattern of Nkx5.1 and Gata3, indicating that Six1 is required for regional specification of the otic vesicle. Finally, our data suggest that the interaction between Eya1 and Six1 is crucial for the morphogenesis of the cochlea and the posterior ampulla during inner ear development. These analyses establish a role for Six1 in early growth and patterning of the otic vesicle.
Six1; Auditory system; Inner ear; Regional specification; Mouse; Eya1; Pax2; Fgf3; Fgf10; Bmp4; Nkx5.1; Gata3
The murine Six gene family, homologous to Drosophila sine oculis (so) which encodes a homeodomain transcription factor, is composed of six members (Six1-6). Among the six members, only the Six2 gene has been previously shown to be expressed early in kidney development, but its function is unknown. We have recently found that the Six1 gene is also expressed in the kidney. In the developing kidney, Six1 is expressed in the uninduced metanephric mesenchyme at E10.5 and in the induced mesenchyme around the ureteric bud at E11.5. At E17.5 to P0, Six1 expression became restricted to a subpopulation of collecting tubule epithelial cells. To study its in vivo function, we have recently generated Six1 mutant mice. Loss of Six1 leads to a failure of ureteric bud invasion into the mesenchyme and subsequent apoptosis of the mesenchyme. These results indicate that Six1 plays an essential role in early kidney development. In Six1−/− kidney development, we have found that Pax2, Six2 and Sall1 expression was markedly reduced in the metanephric mesenchyme at E10.5, indicating that Six1 is required for the expression of these genes in the metanephric mesenchyme. In contrast, Eya1 expression was unaffected in Six1−/− metanephric mesenchyme at E10.5, indicating that Eya1 may function upstream of Six1. Moreover, our results show that both Eya1 and Six1 expression in the metanephric mesenchyme is preserved in Pax2−/− embryos at E10.5, further indicating that Pax2 functions downstream of Eya1 and Six1 in the metanephric mesenchyme. Thus, the epistatic relationship between Pax, Eya and Six genes in the metanephric mesenchyme during early kidney development is distinct from a genetic pathway elucidated in the Drosophila eye imaginal disc. Finally, our results show that Eya1 and Six1 genetically interact during mammalian kidney development, because most compound heterozygous embryos show hypoplastic kidneys. These analyses establish a role for Six1 in the initial inductive step for metanephric development.
Six1; Kidney development; Eya1; Pax2; Six2; Sall1; Metanephric mesenchyme; Apoptosis; Gdnf; Mouse
Pomegranate possesses many medicinal properties such as antioxidant, anti-inflammation and antitumor. It has been extensively used as a folk medicine by many cultures. Pomegranate fruit has been shown to have the inhibitory efficacy against prostate cancer and lung cancer in vitro and in vivo. It can be exploited in chemoprevention and chemotherapy of prostate cancer. In this study we examined the anti-cancer efficacy of pomegranate fruit grown in Taiwan against urinary bladder urothelial carcinoma (UBUC) and its mechanism of action.
Edible portion of Taiwanese pomegranate was extracted using ethanol and the anti-cancer effectiveness of ethanol extract was evaluated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Flow cytometry and western immunoblotting were exploited to uncover the molecular pathways underlying anti-UBUC activity of Taiwanese pomegranate ethanol extract.
This study demonstrated that Taiwanese pomegranate fruit ethanol extract (PEE) could effectively restrict the proliferation of UBUC T24 and J82 cells. Cell cycle analyses indicated that the S phase arrest induced by PEE treatment might be caused by an increase in cyclin A protein level and a decrease in the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase 1. The results of western immunoblotting demonstrated that PEE treatment could not only evoke the activation of pro-caspase-3, -8,-9 but also increase Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in T24 cells. The above observations implicated that PEE administration might trigger the apoptosis in T24 cells through death receptor signaling and mitochondrial damage pathway. Besides we found that PEE exposure to T24 cells could provoke intensive activation of procaspase-12 and enhance the expressions of CHOP and Bip, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress marker, suggesting that ER stress might be the cardinal apoptotic mechanism of PEE-induced inhibition of bladder cancer cell.
The analytical results of this study help to provide insight into the molecular mechanism of induced bladder cancer cell apoptosis by pomegranate and to develop novel mechanism-based chemopreventive strategy for bladder cancer.
Asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) reduces nitric oxide (NO), thus causing hypertension. ADMA is metabolized by dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH), which can be inhibited by oxidative stress. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), an antioxidant, can facilitate glutathione (GSH) synthesis. We aimed to determine whether NAC can prevent hypertension by regulating the ADMA-DDAH pathway in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). Rats aged 4 weeks were assigned into 3 groups (n = 8/group): control Wistar Kyoto rats (WKY), SHR, and SHR receiving 2% NAC in drinking water. All rats were sacrificed at 12 weeks of age. SHR had higher blood pressure than WKY, whereas NAC-treated animals did not. SHR had elevated plasma ADMA levels, which was prevented by NAC therapy. SHR had lower renal DDAH activity than WKY, whereas NAC-treated animals did not. Renal superoxide production was higher in SHR than in WKY, whereas NAC therapy prevented it. NAC therapy was also associated with higher GSH-to-oxidized GSH ratio in SHR kidneys. Moreover, NAC reduced oxidative stress damage in SHR. The observed antihypertensive effects of NAC in young SHR might be due to restoration of DDAH activity to reduce ADMA, leading to attenuation of oxidative stress. Our findings highlight the impact of NAC on the development of hypertension by regulating ADMA-DDAH pathway.
Whether schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are the clinical outcomes of discrete or shared causative processes is much debated in psychiatry. Several studies have demonstrated anomalous structural and functional superior temporal gyrus (STG) symmetries in schizophrenia. We examined bipolar patients to determine if they also have altered STG asymmetry.
Whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings of auditory evoked fields were obtained for 20 subjects with schizophrenia, 20 with bipolar disorder, and 20 control subjects. Neural generators of the M100 auditory response were modeled using a single equivalent current dipole for each hemisphere. The source location of the M100 response was used as a measure of functional STG asymmetry.
Control subjects showed the typical M100 asymmetrical pattern with more anterior sources in the right STG. In contrast, both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder patients displayed a symmetrical M100 source pattern. There was no significant difference in the M100 latency and strength in bilateral hemispheres within three groups.
Our results indicate that disturbed asymmetry of temporal lobe function may reflect a common deviance present in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, suggesting the two disorders might share etiological and pathophysiological factors.
Phosphorylation sites in the C-terminus of mu-opioid receptors (MORs) are known to play critical roles in the receptor functions. Our understanding of their participation in opioid analgesia is mostly based on studies of opioid effects on mutant receptors expressed in in vitro preparations, including cell lines, isolated neurons and brain slices. The behavioral consequences of the mutation have not been fully explored due to the complexity in studies of mutant receptors in vivo. To facilitate the determination of the contribution of phosphorylation sites in MOR to opioid-induced analgesic behaviors, we expressed mutant and wild-type human MORs (hMORs) in sensory dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, a major site for nociceptive (pain) signaling and determined morphine- and the full MOR agonist, DAMGO,-induced effects on heat-induced hyperalgesic behaviors and potassium current (IK) desensitization in these rats.
A mutant hMOR DNA with the putative phosphorylation threonine site at position 394 replaced by an alanine (T394A), i.e., hMOR-T, or a plasmid containing wild type hMOR (as a positive control) was intrathecally delivered. The plasmid containing GFP or saline was used as the negative control. To limit the expression of exogenous DNA to neurons of DRGs, a neuron-specific promoter was included in the plasmid. Following a plasmid injection, hMOR-T or hMOR receptors were expressed in small and medium DRG neurons. Compared with saline or GFP rats, the analgesic potency of morphine was increased to a similar extent in hMOR-T and hMOR rats. Morphine induced minimum IK desensitization in both rat groups. In contrast, DAMGO increased analgesic potency and elicited IK desensitization to a significantly less extent in hMOR-T than in hMOR rats. The development and extent of acute and chronic tolerance induced by repeated morphine or DAMGO applications were not altered by the T394A mutation.
These results indicate that phosphorylation of T394 plays a critical role in determining the potency of DAMGO-induced analgesia and IK desensitization, but has limited effect on morphine-induced responses. On the other hand, the mutation contributes minimally to both DAMGO- and morphine-induced behavioral tolerance. Furthermore, the study shows that plasmid gene delivery of mutant receptors to DRG neurons is a useful strategy to explore nociceptive behavioral consequences of the mutation.
Opioid tolerance; Opioid receptors; T394A mutation; Dorsal root ganglion; Nociception; Plasmid DNA injection
Kawasaki disease (KD) is pediatric systemic vasculitis with the classic complication of coronary artery aneurysm (CAA). It is the leading cause of acquired cardiovascular diseases in children. Some severe cases present with multi-organ involvement or neurological dysfunction. To identify the role of the glutamate receptor, ionotropic, N-methyl-d-aspartate 3A (GRIN3A) in KD, we investigated genetic variations in GRIN3A in a Taiwanese cohort of 262 KD patients (76 with and 186 without CAA complications). We used univariate and multivariate regression analyses to identify the associations between clinical characteristics and GRIN3A genetic variations in KD. According to univariate regression analysis, CAA formation in KD was significantly associated with fever duration (p < 0.0001), first Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) used (days after day one of fever) (p < 0.0001), and the GRIN3A (rs7849782) genetic variant (p < 0.001). KD patients with GG+GC genotype showed a lower rate of developing CAA (GG+GC genotype: odds ratio = 0.26; 95% CI = 0.14–0.46). Significant associations were identified between KD with CAA complication and the GRIN3A (rs7849782) genetic variant by using multivariate regression analysis. Specifically, significant correlations were observed between KD with CAA complications and the presence of GG+GC genotypes for the GRIN3A rs7849782 single-nucleotide polymorphism (full model: odds ratio = 0.25; 95% CI = 0.14–0.46). Our results suggest that a polymorphism of the GRIN3A gene may play a role in KD pathogenesis.
Enterovirus 71 (EV71) has caused several epidemics of hand, foot and mouth diseases (HFMD) in Asia. No effective EV71 vaccine is available. A randomized and open-label phase I clinical study registered with ClinicalTrials.gov #NCT01268787, aims to evaluate the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity of a formalin-inactivated EV71 vaccine candidate (EV71vac) at 5- and 10-µg doses. In this study we report the cross-neutralizing antibody responses from each volunteer against different subgenotypes of EV71 and CVA16.
Sixty eligible healthy adults were recruited and vaccinated. Blood samples were obtained on day 0, 21 and 42 and tested against B1, B4, B5, C2, C4A, C4B and CVA16 for cross-neutralizing antibody responses.
The immunogenicity of both 5- and 10- µg doses were found to be very similar. Approximately 45% of the participants had <8 pre-vaccination neutralization titers (Nt) against the B4 vaccine strain. After the first EV71vac immunization, 95% of vaccinees have >4-fold increase in Nt, but there was no further increase in Nt after the second dose. EV71vac induced very strong cross-neutralizing antibody responses in >85% of volunteers without pre-existing Nt against subgenotype B1, B5 and C4A. EV71vac elicited weak cross-neutralizing antibody responses (∼20% of participants) against a C4B and Coxsackie virus A16. Over 90% of vaccinated volunteers did not develop cross-neutralizing antibody responses (Nt<8) against a C2 strain. EV71vac can boost and significantly enhance the neutralizing antibody responses in volunteers who already had pre-vaccination antibodies against EV71 and/or CVA16.
EV71vac is efficient in eliciting cross-neutralizing antibody responses against EV71 subgenotypes B1, B4, B5, and C4A, and provides the rationale for its evaluation in phase II clinical trials.
The Japanese National Hospital Organization evidence-based medicine (EBM) Study group for Adverse effects of Corticosteroid therapy (J-NHOSAC) is a Japanese hospital-based cohort study investigating the safety of the initial use of glucocorticoids (GCs) in patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune diseases. Using the J-NHOSAC registry, the purpose of this observational study is to analyse the rates, characteristics and associated risk factors of intracellular infections in patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune diseases who were initially treated with GCs.
A total 604 patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune diseases treated with GCs were enrolled in this registry between April 2007 and March 2009. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to determine independent risk factors for serious intracellular infections with covariates including sex, age, co-morbidity, laboratory data, use of immunosuppressants and dose of GCs. Survival was analysed according to the Kaplan-Meier method and was assessed by the log-rank test. There were 127 serious infections, including 43 intracellular infections, during 1105.8 patient-years of follow-up. The 43 serious intracellular infections resulted in 8 deaths. After adjustment for covariates, diabetes (Odds ratio [OR]: 2.5, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.1–5.9), lymphocytopenia (≦1000/μl, OR: 2.5, 95% CI 1.2–5.2) and use of high-dose (≧30 mg/day) GCs (OR: 2.4, 95% CI 1.1–5.3) increased the risk of intracellular infections. Survival curves showed lower intracellular infection-free survival rate in patients with diabetes, lymphocytopaenia and high-dose GCs treatments.
Patients with newly diagnosed autoimmune diseases were at high risk of developing intracellular infection during initial treatment with GCs. Our findings provide background data on the risk of intracellular infections of patients with autoimmune diseases. Clinicians showed remain vigilant for intracellular infections in patients with autoimmune diseases who are treated with GCs.
Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer in which patients with metastatic disease have a five year survival-rate of less than 10%. Recently the over expression of a beta galactoside binding protein, galectin-3 (LGALS3), has been correlated with metastatic melanoma in patients. We have previously shown that silencing galectin-3 in metastatic melanoma cells reduces tumor growth and metastasis. Gene expression profiling identified the pro-tumorigenic gene autotaxin (ENPP2) to be down regulated after silencing galectin-3. Here we report that galectin-3 regulates autotaxin expression at the transcriptional level by modulating the expression of the transcription factor NFAT1 (NFATC2). Silencing galectin-3 reduced NFAT1 protein expression which resulted in decreased autotaxin expression and activity. Reexpression of autotaxin in galectin-3 silenced melanoma cells rescues angiogenesis, tumor growth and metastasis in vivo. Silencing NFAT1 expression in metastatic melanoma cells inhibited tumor growth and metastatic capabilities in vivo. Our data elucidate a previously unidentified mechanism by which galectin-3 regulates autotaxin, and assign a novel role for NFAT1 during melanoma progression.
Songbirds have the rare ability of auditory-vocal learning and maintenance. Up to now, the organization and function of the nucleus magnocellularis (NM), the first relay of the avian ascending auditory pathway is largely based on studies in non-vocal learning species, such as chickens and owls. To investigate whether NM exhibits different histochemical properties associated with auditory processing in songbirds, we examined the expression patterns of three calcium-binding proteins (CaBPs), including calretinin (CR), parvalbumin (PV) and calbindin-D28k (CB), and their relations to auditory inputs in NM in adult zebra finches. We found enriched and co-localized immunostaining of CR, PV and CB in the majority of NM neurons, without neuronal population preference. Furthermore, they were sensitive to adult deafferentation with differential plasticity patterns. After unilateral cochlear removal, CR staining in the ipsilateral NM decreased appreciably at 3 days after surgery, and continued to decline thereafter. PV staining showed down-regulation first at 3 days, but subsequently recovered slightly. CB staining did not significantly decrease until 7 days after surgery. Our findings suggest that the three CaBPs might play distinct roles in association with auditory processing in zebra finches. These results are in contrast to the findings in the NM of chickens where CR is the predominant CaBP and deafferentation had no apparent effect on its expression. Further extended studies in other avian species are required to establish whether the difference in CaBP patterns in NM is functionally related to the different auditory-vocal behaviors.
Vacuolar ATPases (V-ATPases) are multisubunit rotary motor proton pumps that function to acidify subcellular organelles in all eukaryotic organisms. V-ATPase is regulated by a unique mechanism that involves reversible dissociation into V1-ATPase and Vo proton channel, a process that involves breaking of protein interactions mediated by subunit C, the cytoplasmic domain of subunit 'a' and three 'peripheral stalks', each made of a heterodimer of E and G subunits. Here we present crystal structures of a yeast V-ATPase heterotrimeric complex composed of EG heterodimer and the head domain of subunit C (Chead). The structures show EG heterodimer folded in a non-canonical coiled coil that is stabilized at its N-terminal ends by binding to Chead. The coiled coil is disrupted by a bulge of partially unfolded secondary structure in subunit G and we speculate that this unique feature in the eukaryotic V-ATPase peripheral stalk may play an important role in enzyme structure and regulation by reversible dissociation.
The functions of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) are primarily mediated and modulated by three families of proteins: the heterotrimeric G proteins, the G-protein coupled receptor kinases (GRKs), and the arrestins1. G proteins mediate activation of second messenger-generating enzymes and other effectors, GRKs phosphorylate activated receptors2, and arrestins subsequently bind phosphorylated receptors and cause receptor desensitization3. Arrestins activated by interaction with phosphorylated receptors can also mediate G protein-independent signaling by serving as adaptors to link receptors to numerous signaling pathways4. Despite their central role in regulation and signaling of GPCRs, a structural understanding of β-arrestin activation and interaction with GPCRs is still lacking. Here, we report the crystal structure of β-arrestin1 in complex with a fully phosphorylated 29 amino acid carboxy-terminal peptide derived from the V2 vasopressin receptor (V2Rpp). This peptide has previously been shown to functionally and conformationally activate β-arrestin15. To capture this active conformation, we utilized a conformationally-selective synthetic antibody fragment (Fab30) that recognizes the phosphopeptide-activated state of β-arrestin1. The structure of the β-arrestin1:V2Rpp:Fab30 complex shows striking conformational differences in β-arrestin1 compared to its inactive conformation. These include rotation of the amino and carboxy-terminal domains relative to each other, and a major reorientation of the “lariat loop” implicated in maintaining the inactive state of β-arrestin1. These results reveal, for the first time at high resolution, a receptor-interacting interface on β-arrestin, and they suggest a potentially general molecular mechanism for activation of these multifunctional signaling and regulatory proteins.
Acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) 1 catalyzes the final step of
triglyceride (TG) synthesis. We show that acute administration of a DGAT1 inhibitor
(DGAT1i) by oral gavage or genetic deletion of intestinal Dgat1
markedly reduced postprandial plasma TG and retinyl ester excursions by inhibiting
chylomicron secretion in mice. Loss of DGAT1 activity did not affect the efficiency
of retinol esterification, but it did reduce TG and retinoid accumulation in the
small intestine. In contrast, inhibition of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein
(MTP) reduced chylomicron secretion after oral fat/retinol loads, but with
accumulation of dietary TG and retinoids in the small intestine. Lack of intestinal
accumulation of TG and retinoids in DGAT1i-treated or
resulted, in part, from delayed gastric emptying associated with increased plasma
levels of glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1. However, neither bypassing the stomach
through duodenal oil injection nor inhibiting the receptor for GLP-1 normalized
postprandial TG or retinyl esters excursions in the absence of DGAT1 activity. In
summary, intestinal DGAT1 inhibition or deficiency acutely delayed gastric emptying
and inhibited chylomicron secretion; however, the latter occurred when gastric
emptying was normal or when lipid was administered directly into the small intestine.
Long-term hepatic retinoid metabolism was not impacted by DGAT1 inhibition.
diacylglycerol acyltransferase inhibition; glucagon-like peptide-1; GLP-1 receptor inhibition; lipoproteins; retinol absorption
This study aims to evaluate the outpatient communication skills of medical students via multisource feedback, which may be useful to map future directions in improving physician-patient communication.
Family respondents of patients, a nurse, a clinical teacher, and a research assistant evaluated video-recorded medical students’ interactions with outpatients by using multisource feedback questionnaires; students also assessed their own skills. The questionnaire was answered based on the video-recorded interactions between outpatients and the medical students.
A total of 60 family respondents of the 60 patients completed the questionnaires, 58 (96.7%) of them agreed with the video recording. Two reasons for reluctance were “personal privacy” issues and “simply disagree” with the video recording. The average satisfaction score of the 58 students was 85.1 points, indicating students’ performance was in the category between satisfied and very satisfied. The family respondents were most satisfied with the “teacher”s attitude,“ followed by ”teaching quality”. In contrast, the family respondents were least satisfied with “being open to questions”. Among the 6 assessment domains of communication skills, the students scored highest on “explaining” and lowest on “giving recommendations”. In the detailed assessment by family respondents, the students scored lowest on “asking about life/school burden”. In the multisource analysis, the nurses’ mean score was much higher and the students’ mean self-assessment score was lower than the average scores on all domains.
The willingness and satisfaction of family respondents were high in this study. Students scored the lowest on giving recommendations to patients. Multisource feedback with video recording is useful in providing more accurate evaluation of students’ communication competence and in identifying the areas of communication that require enhancement.
360 degree; Video-tape; Education; Outpatient
Lauric acid is a bioactive root exudate component in crown daisy. Mi-flp-18 is a pivotal gene regualting nematode chemotaxis and infection. Lauric acid regulates the nematode chemotaxis and disrupts the Mi-flp-18 expression in a concentration-dependent manner
Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) crops can be severely damaged due to parasitism by the root-knot nematode (RKN) Meloidogyne incognita, but are protected when intercropped with crown daisy (Chrysanthemum coronarium L.). Root exudate may be the determining factor for this protection. An experiment using pots linked by a tube and Petri dish experiments were undertaken to confirm that tomato–crown daisy intercropping root exudate decreased the number of nematodes and alleviated nematode damage, and to determine crown daisy root exudate-regulated nematode chemotaxis. Following a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry assay, it was found that the intercropping protection was derived from the potent bioactivity of a specific root exudate component of crown daisy, namely lauric acid. The Mi-flp-18 gene, encoding an FMRFamide-like peptide neuromodulator, regulated nematode chemotaxis and infection by RNA interference. Moreover, it was shown that lauric acid acts as both a lethal trap and a repellent for M. incognita by specifically regulating Mi-flp-18 expression in a concentration-dependent manner. Low concentrations of lauric acid (0.5–2.0mM) attract M. incognita and consequently cause death, while high concentrations (4.0mM) repel M. incognita. This study elucidates how lauric acid in crown daisy root exudate regulates nematode chemotaxis and disrupts Mi-flp-18 expression to alleviate nematode damage, and presents a general methodology for studying signalling systems affected by plant root exudates in the rhizosphere. This could lead to the development of economical and feasible strategies for controlling plant-parasitic nematodes, and provide an alternative to the use of pesticides in farming systems.
Chemotaxis; crown daisy; lauric acid; Meloidogyne incognita; Mi-flp-18; root exudate.
The La-related protein 1 (LARP1) has been found to be a RNA binding protein and was related to spermatogenesis, embryogenesis and cell-cycle progression. The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of LARP1 in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
LARP1 expression was examined in 15 HCC cell lines and 272 clinical specimens using real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and western blot analysis (WB). LARP1 expression was also studied in 6 paired HCC lesions and the adjacent non-cancerous tissue samples. Statistical analyses were applied to derive association between LARP1 expression scores and clinical characters as well as patient survival.
mRNA and protein levels of LARP1 were higher in HCC cell lines and HCC lesions than in normal liver epithelial cells and the paired adjacent noncancerous tissues. LARP1 expression was correlated to survival time, vital status, tumor size and Child-Pugh score. Overall survival analysis showed HCC patients with high LARP1 expression level had lower survival rate (P < 0.01). Importantly, this correlation remained significant in patients with early-stage HCC or with normal serum AFP level.
LARP1 protein may represent a promising biomarker for predicting the prognosis of HCC, including in early-stage and AFP-normal patients.
LARP1; Hepatocellular carcinoma; AFP; Prognosis
To investigate the contributions of adenoid and tonsil size to childhood obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and the interactions between adenotonsillar hypertrophy, age, and obesity in children with OSA.
In total, 495 symptomatic patients were recruited. The patients were assigned to four groups according to age：toddler (age 1-3, n=42), preschool (age 3-6, n=164), school (age 6-12, n=200), and adolescence (age 12-18, n=89). All subjects had tonsil size graded by otolaryngologists, adenoid size determined on lateral radiographs (Fujioka method), and a full-night polysomnography. The apnea-hypopnea index (AHI), adenoid size, and tonsil size were compared in obese and non-obese children in the four age groups. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (CI) of adenotonsillar hypertrophy and OSA risk were estimated by multi-logistic regression.
The AHI was positively related to tonsil grade (r=0.33, p <0.001) and adenoid size (r=0.24, p <0.01) in all patients. Tonsil grade was positively related to AHI in all four age groups. Adenoid size was positively related to AHI in the toddler, preschool, school groups, but not in the adolescent group (r=0.11, p=0.37). Tonsil grade and adenoid size were both positively related to AHI in obese and non-obese children. In the regression model, obesity (OR=2.89; 95% CI 1.47-5.68), tonsillar hypertrophy (OR=3.15; 95% CI 2.04-4.88), and adenoidal hypertrophy (OR=1.89; 95% CI 1.19-3.00) significantly increased OSA risk.
Adenotonsillar hypertrophy and obesity are the major determinants of OSA in children. However, the influence of adenoid size decreases in adolescence.