In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
Although most advanced prostate cancer patients respond to androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT), the efficacy is widely variable. We investigated whether the host genetic variations in sex hormone pathway genes are associated with the efficacy of ADT. A cohort of 645 patients with advanced prostate cancer treated with ADT was genotyped for 18 polymorphisms across 12 key genes involved in androgen and estrogen metabolism. We found that after adjusting for known risk factors in multivariate Cox regression models, AKR1C3 rs12529 and AR-CAG repeat length remained significantly associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) after ADT (P≤0.041). Furthermore, individuals carrying two unfavorable genotypes at these loci presented a 13.7-fold increased risk of PCSM compared with individuals carrying zero (P<0.001). Our results identify two candidate molecular markers in key genes of androgen and estrogen pathways associated with PCSM after ADT, establishing the role of pharmacogenomics in this therapy.
To examine the risk of adverse effects of special interest in persons vaccinated against seasonal influenza compared with unvaccinated persons aged 65 and above.
We retrospectively observed 41,986 vaccinated elderly persons and 50,973 unvaccinated elderly persons in Taiwan from October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009, using the National Health Insurance database. Neurological and autoimmune disorders and one-year hospitalization rates and in-hospital mortality rates were analyzed according to the vaccination status. Propensity score analysis was used to assess the relationship between adverse outcomes, hospitalization rates, and vaccination status.
45% of the elderly received influenza vaccination. Multiple logistic regression showed that the probability of being vaccinated was related to more patients visiting for URI symptoms (odds ratio (OR), 1.03; 95% CI, 1.02–1.03), men (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.12–1.17), increased age (OR, 1.02; 95% CI, 1.02–1.03), and more comorbidities (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.17–1.23). There were no statistical differences in neurological and autoimmune diseases between the vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals using propensity score analysis, but vaccinated persons had a reduced hospitalization rate of 19% (odds ratio [OR], 0.81; 95% CI, 0.77–0.84) for the first six-months and 13% for one-year of follow-up (OR, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.85–0.9).
Based on data from the one-year follow-ups among 93,049 elderly persons in Taiwan, reassuring results for selected neurological and autoimmune diseases were found among the vaccinated individuals after adjusting other factors. Influenza vaccination decreased the risk for hospitalization. Public health strategies must continue to improve the influenza vaccination rate among the elderly with information based upon tangible evidence.
The aim of this study was to find out the optimum combination of electroporation (EP) and reverse iontophoresis (RI) on noninvasive and transdermal determination of blood uric acid level in humans. EP is the use of high-voltage electric pulse to create nano-channels on the stratum corneum, temporarily and reversibly. RI is the use of small current to facilitate both charged and uncharged molecule transportation across the skin. It is believed that the combination of these two techniques has additional benefits on the molecules’ extraction across the human skin. In vitro studies using porcine skin and diffusion cell have indicated that the optimum mode for transdermal uric acid extraction is the combination of RI with symmetrical biphasic direct current (current density = 0.3 mA/cm2; phase duration = 180 s) and EP with 10 pulses per second (voltage = 100 V/cm2; pulse width = 1 ms). This optimum mode was applied to six human subjects. Uric acid was successfully extracted through the subjects’ skin into the collection solution. A good correlation (r2 = 0.88) between the subject’s blood uric acid level and uric acid concentrations in collection solutions was observed. The results suggest that it may be possible to noninvasively and transdermally determine blood uric acid levels.
Reverse iontophoresis; electroporation; uric acid; monitoring; noninvasive; transdermal
MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs involved in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. Due to the poor annotation of primary microRNA (pri-microRNA) transcripts, the precise location of promoter regions driving expression of many microRNA genes is enigmatic. This deficiency hinders our understanding of microRNA-mediated regulatory networks. In this study, we develop a computational approach to identify the promoter region and transcription start site (TSS) of pri-microRNAs actively transcribed using genome-wide RNA Polymerase II (RPol II) binding patterns derived from ChIP-seq data. Based upon the assumption that the distribution of RPol II binding patterns around the TSS of microRNA and protein coding genes are similar, we designed a statistical model to mimic RPol II binding patterns around the TSS of highly expressed, well-annotated promoter regions of protein coding genes. We used this model to systematically scan the regions upstream of all intergenic microRNAs for RPol II binding patterns similar to those of TSS from protein coding genes. We validated our findings by examining the conservation, CpG content, and activating histone marks in the identified promoter regions. We applied our model to assess changes in microRNA transcription in steroid hormone-treated breast cancer cells. The results demonstrate many microRNA genes have lost hormone-dependent regulation in tamoxifen-resistant breast cancer cells. MicroRNA promoter identification based upon RPol II binding patterns provides important temporal and spatial measurements regarding the initiation of transcription, and therefore allows comparison of transcription activities between different conditions, such as normal and disease states.
Chromosome 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) causes a developmental disorder during the embryonic stage, usually because of hemizygous deletions. The clinical pictures of patients with 22q11DS vary because of polymorphisms: on average, approximately 93% of affected individuals have a de novo deletion of 22q11, and the rest have inherited the same deletion from a parent. Methods using multiple genetic markers are thus important for the accurate detection of these microdeletions.
We studied 12 babies suspected to carry 22q11DS and 18 age-matched healthy controls from unrelated Taiwanese families. We determined genomic variance using microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH), quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA).
Changes in genomic copy number were significantly associated with clinical manifestations for the classical criteria of 22q11DS using MPLA and qPCR (p < 0.01). An identical deletion was shown in three affected infants by MLPA. These reduced DNA dosages were also obtained partially using array-CGH and confirmed by qPCR but with some differences in deletion size.
Both MLPA and qPCR could produce a clearly defined range of deleted genomic DNA, whereas there must be a deleted genome that is not distinguishable using MLPA. These data demonstrate that such multiple genetic approaches are necessary for the unambiguous molecular detection of these types of complicated genomic syndromes.
We compared the efficacy of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA detection between a PCR-based genechip (Easychip HPV Blot [hereafter referred to as HPV Blot]; King Car, Taiwan) method and Hybrid Capture II (HCII; Digene, Gaithersburg, MD) in women with previous normal (n = 146) or abnormal (≥atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance [ASCUS] [n = 208]) cytology. A total of 354 cervical swab samples were collected for HPV DNA assay by both HCII and SPF1/GP6+ PCR followed by HPV Blot tests. Colposcopy-directed biopsy was performed if clinically indicated. Of the 354 samples, HPV-positive rates by these two methods (HCII and HPV Blot) were 12.6% and 18.2% in 143 normal samples, 36.2% and 45.7% in 105 ASCUS samples, 57.4% and 57.4% in 94 low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion samples, and 83.3% and 75.0% in 12 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion samples, respectively. The concordance of HPV Blot and HCII was 80.8% (286/354), and the agreement between the methods (κ value, 0.68) was substantial. Discrepancies were further investigated by at least one of the following three methods: direct sequencing, type-specific PCR, and HPV Blot genotyping of cervical biopsy tissue. In the 15 HCII-positive samples, HPV Blot detected only non-HCII HPV genotypes; results of further verification methods were consistent with the latter test in the 15 samples. Of the 20 samples with HCII-negative and HPV Blot-positive results, 18 were found to contain the 13 HCII high-risk genotypes by verification methods. In only 16.7% (3/18) of the HCII-positive but HPV Blot-negative samples, further studies detected the 13 HCII genotypes. We conclude that HPV Blot seemed comparable to HCII for detection of HPV DNA in cervical swab samples.
The interplay between copy number variation (CNV) and differential gene expression may be able to shed light on molecular process underlying breast cancer and lead to the discovery of cancer-related genes. In the current study, genes concurrently identified in array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and gene expression microarrays were used to derive gene signatures for Han Chinese breast cancers.
We performed 23 array CGHs and 81 gene expression microarrays in breast cancer samples from Taiwanese women. Genes with coherent patterns of both CNV and differential gene expression were identified from the 21 samples assayed using both platforms. We used these genes to derive signatures associated with clinical ER and HER2 status and disease-free survival.
Distributions of signature genes were strongly associated with chromosomal location: chromosome 16 for ER and 17 for HER2. A breast cancer risk predictive model was built based on the first supervised principal component from 16 genes (RCAN3, MCOLN2, DENND2D, RWDD3, ZMYM6, CAPZA1, GPR18, WARS2, TRIM45, SCRN1, CSNK1E, HBXIP, CSDE1, MRPL20, IKZF1, and COL20A1), and distinct survival patterns were observed between the high- and low-risk groups from the combined dataset of 408 microarrays. The risk score was significantly higher in breast cancer patients with recurrence, metastasis, or mortality than in relapse-free individuals (0.241 versus 0, P<0.001). The concurrent gene risk predictive model remained discriminative across distinct clinical ER and HER2 statuses in subgroup analysis. Prognostic comparisons with published gene expression signatures showed a better discerning ability of concurrent genes, many of which were rarely identifiable if expression data were pre-selected by phenotype correlations or variability of individual genes.
We conclude that parallel analysis of CGH and microarray data, in conjunction with known gene expression patterns, can be used to identify biomarkers with prognostic values in breast cancer.
Lysostaphin is a peptidoglycan hydrolase secreted by Staphylococcus simulans. It can specifically lyse Staphylococcus aureus and is being tested as a novel antibacterial agent. The protein contains an N-terminal catalytic domain and a C-terminal cell wall targeting domain. Although the two domains from homologous enzymes were structurally determined, the structural organization of lysostaphin domains remains unknown. We used hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (H/DX-MS) and site-directed disulfide cross-linking to probe the interface between the lysostaphin catalytic and targeting domains. H/DX-MS-mediated comparison of peptides from full-length lysostaphin and the separated domains identified four peptides of lower solvent accessibility in the full-length protein. Cross-linking analysis using cysteine pair substitutions within those peptides showed that two pairs of cysteines can form disulfide bonds, supporting the domain association role of the targeted peptides. The cross-linked mutant exhibited a binding capacity to S. aureus that was similar to that of the wild-type protein but reduced bacteriolytic activity probably because of restraint in conformation. The diminished activity was further reduced with increasing NaCl concentrations that can cause contractions of bacterial peptidoglycan. The lytic activity, however, could be fully recovered by reducing the disulfide bonds. These results suggest that lysostaphin may require dynamic association of the two domains for coordinating substrate binding and target cleavage on the elastic peptidoglycan. Our study will help develop site-specific PEGylated lysostaphin to treat systemic S. aureus infections.
The comparative relationships of widely recognized biomarkers of renal injury with short-term and long-term outcomes among critically ill acute stroke patients are unknown. We evaluated the impact of baseline albuminuria [urine albumin-creatinine ratio (UACR)≥30 mg/g] or low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR<60 ml/min per 1.73 m2) on stroke patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).
We reviewed data on consecutive stroke patients admitted to a hospital ICU in Taiwan from September 2007 to August 2010 and followed-up for 1 year. Baseline UACR was categorized into <30 mg/g (normal), 30–299 mg/g (microalbuminuria), and ≥300 mg/g (macroalbuminuria), while eGFR was divided into ≥60, 45–59, and <45 ml/min per 1.73 m2. The outcome measure was death or disability at 3-month and 1-year after stroke onset, assessed by dichotomizing the modified Rankin Scale at 3–6 versus 0–2.
Of 184 consecutive patients, 153 (83%) met study entry criteria. Mean age was 67.9 years and median admission NIHSS score was 16. Among the renal biomarkers, only macroalbuminuria was associated with poorer 3-month outcome (OR 8.44, 95% CI 1.38 to 51.74, P = 0.021) and 1-year outcome (OR 18.06, 95% CI 2.59 to 125.94, P = 0.003) after adjustment of relevant covariates. When ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke were analyzed separately, macroalbuminuria was associated with poorer 1-year outcome among ischemic (OR 17.10, 95% CI 1.04 to 280.07, P = 0.047) and hemorrhagic stroke patients (OR 1951.57, 95% CI 1.07 to 3561662.85, P = 0.048), respectively, after adjustment of relevant covariates and hematoma volume.
Presence of macroalbuminuria indicates poor 3-month and 1-year outcomes among critically ill acute stroke patients.
The purpose of this study was to examine the association of vitamin B6 status and plasma homocysteine with oxidative stress and antioxidant capacities in welders. Workers were divided into either the welding exposure group (n = 57) or the nonexposure controls (n = 42) based on whether they were employed as welders. There were no significant differences in vitamin B6 status and plasma homocysteine concentration between the welding exposure group and the nonexposure controls. The welding exposure group had significantly higher levels of oxidized low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and lower erythrocyte glutathione concentration and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities when compared to nonexposure controls. Plasma pyridoxal 5′-phosphate concentration did not correlate with oxidative stress indicators or antioxidant capacities in either group. However, plasma homocysteine significantly correlated with total antioxidant capacity (TAC) (partial rs = −0.34, P < 0.05) and erythrocyte SOD activities (partial rs = 0.29, P < 0.05) after adjusting for potential confounders in the welding exposure group. In the welding exposure group, adequate vitamin B6 status was not associated with oxidative stress or antioxidant capacities. However, elevated plasma homocysteine seemed to be a major contributing factor to antioxidant capacities (TAC and erythrocyte SOD activities) in welders.
This study shows that the expression of yjcC, an in vivo expression (IVE) gene, and the stress response regulatory genes soxR, soxS, and rpoS are paraquat inducible in Klebsiella pneumoniae CG43. The deletion of rpoS or soxRS decreased yjcC expression, implying an RpoS- or SoxRS-dependent control. After paraquat or H2O2 treatment, the deletion of yjcC reduced bacterial survival. These effects could be complemented by introducing the ΔyjcC mutant with the YjcC-expression plasmid pJR1. The recombinant protein containing only the YjcC-EAL domain exhibited phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity; overexpression of yjcC has lower levels of cyclic di-GMP. The yjcC deletion mutant also exhibited increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation, oxidation damage, and oxidative stress scavenging activity. In addition, the yjcC deletion reduced capsular polysaccharide production in the bacteria, but increased the LD50 in mice, biofilm formation, and type 3 fimbriae major pilin MrkA production. Finally, a comparative transcriptome analysis showed 34 upregulated and 29 downregulated genes with the increased production of YjcC. The activated gene products include glutaredoxin I, thioredoxin, heat shock proteins, chaperone, and MrkHI, and proteins for energy metabolism (transporters, cell surface structure, and transcriptional regulation). In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that YjcC positively regulates the oxidative stress response and mouse virulence but negatively affects the biofilm formation and type 3 fimbriae expression by altering the c-di-GMP levels after receiving oxidative stress signaling inputs.
Wound healing is a complex biologic process that involves the integration of inflammation, mitosis, angiogenesis, synthesis, and remodeling of the extracellular matrix. However, some wounds fail to heal properly and become chronic. Although some simulated chronic wound models have been established, an efficient approach to treat chronic wounds in animal models has not been determined. The aim of this study was to develop a modified rat model simulating the chronic wounds caused by clinical radiation ulcers and examine the treatment of chronic wounds with adipose-derived stem cells.
Sprague–Dawley rats were irradiated with an electron beam, and wounds were created. The rats received treatment with adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), and a wound-healing assay was performed. The wound sizes after ASC treatment for 3 weeks were significantly smaller compared with the control condition (p < 0.01). Histological observations of the wound edge and immunoblot analysis of the re-epithelialization region both indicated that the treatment with ASCs was associated with the development of new blood vessels. Cell-tracking experiments showed that ASCs were colocalized with endothelial cell markers in ulcerated tissues.
We established a modified rat model of radiation-induced wounds and demonstrated that ASCs accelerate wound-healing.
Adipose-derived stem cells; Mesenchymal stem cells; Radiation ulcer; Wound model
This study investigates whether a 12-week swimming exercise training can prevent liver damage or senescence associated biomarkers in an experimental aging model in rats. Twenty-three male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups: vehicle treatment with sedentary control (C, n = 6), aging induction with sedentary (A, n = 6), vehicle treatment with swimming exercise (SW, n = 5), and aging induction with swimming exercise (A + SW, n = 6). Rats in groups A and AS received intraperitoneal d-galactose injections (150 mg/kg/day) for 12 weeks to induce aging. Rats in groups SW and A + SW were subjected to swimming exercise training for 12 weeks. Body weight, liver weight, epididymal fat mass, blood biochemistry, and liver pathology were performed at the end of the experiment. Hepatic senescence protein markers such as β-galactosidase, p53, and p21, as well as the inflammatory mediator, IL-6, were examined. The d-galactose-treated rats exhibited increases in AST and γ-GT plasma levels and β-galactosidase protein expression compared to the control group. Swimming exercise significantly reduced BW, epididymal fat mass, γ-GT activity, and p53, p21, and IL-6 protein levels compared to the aging group. These results suggest that a 12-week swimming exercise program suppresses senescence markers and downregulates inflammatory mediator in the liver tissues of d-galactose-induced aging rats.
Traditional medicinal herbs are increasingly used as alternative therapies in patients with inflammatory diseases. Here we evaluated the effect of Wedelia chinensis, a medicinal herb commonly used in Asia, on the prevention of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced acute colitis in mice. General safety and the effect of different extraction methods on the bioactivity of W. chinensis were also explored.
Methods and Results
C57BL/6 mice were administrated hot water extract of fresh W. chinensis (WCHF) orally for one week followed by drinking water containing 2% DSS for nine days. WCHF significantly attenuated the symptoms of colitis including diarrhea, rectal bleeding and loss of body weight; it also reduced the shortening of colon length and histopathological damage caused by colonic inflammation. Among four W. chinensis extracts prepared using different extraction techniques, WCHF showed the highest anti-colitis efficacy. Analyses of specific T-cell regulatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-4, IFN-γ, IL-17, TGF-β, IL-12) revealed that WCHF treatment can suppress the Th1 and Th17, but not Th2, responses in colon tissues and dendritic cells of DSS-induced colitis mice. A 28-day subacute toxicity study showed that daily oral administration of WCHF (100, 500, 1000 mg/kg body weight) was not toxic to mice.
Together, our findings suggest that specific extracts of W. chinensis have nutritional potential for future development into nutraceuticals or dietary supplements for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
Nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) signalling plays an important role in diabetic nephropathy. Altered expression of connexin43 (Cx43) has been found in kidneys of diabetic animals. The aim of the current study was to investigate the role of Cx43 in the activation of NF-κB induced by high glucose in glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) and to determine whether c-Src is involved in this process.
We found that downregulation of Cx43 expression induced by high glucose activated NF-κB in GMCs. Orverexpression of Cx43 attenuated NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation induced by high glucose. High glucose inhibited the interaction between Cx43 and c-Src, and enhanced the interaction between c-Src and IκB-α. PP2, a c-Src inhibitor, also inhibited the tyrosine phosphorylation of IκB-α and NF-κB p65 nuclear translocation induced by high glucose. Furthermore, overexpression of Cx43 or inhibition of c-Src attenuated the upregulation of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-β1) and fibronectin (FN) expression induced by high glucose.
In conclusion, downregulation of Cx43 in GMCs induced by high glucose activates c-Src, which in turn promotes interaction between c-Src and IκB-α and contributes to NF-κB activation in GMCs, leading to renal inflammation.
Connexin43; NF-κB signalling; c-Src; Diabetic nephropathy; Inflammation; Fibronectin
Most chemotherapeutic drugs for killing cancer cells are highly cytotoxic in normal cells, which limits their clinical applications. Therefore, a continuing challenge is identifying a drug that is hypersensitive to cancer cells but has minimal deleterious effects on healthy cells. The aims of this study were to evaluate the potential of 4β-hydroxywithanolide (4βHWE) for selectively killing cancer cells and to elucidate its related mechanisms.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Changes in survival, oxidative stress, DNA damage, and apoptosis signaling were compared between 4βHWE-treated oral cancer (Ca9-22) and normal fibroblast (HGF-1) cells. At 24 h and 48 h, the numbers of Ca9-22 cells were substantially decreased, but the numbers of HGF-1 cells were only slightly decreased. Additionally, the IC50 values for 4βHWE in the Ca9-22 cells were 3.6 and 1.9 µg/ml at 24 and 48 h, respectively. Time-dependent abnormal increases in ROS and dose-responsive mitochondrial depolarization can be exploited by using 4βHWE in chemotherapies for selectively killing cancer cells. Dose-dependent DNA damage measured by comet-nuclear extract assay and flow cytometry-based γ-H2AX/propidium iodide (PI) analysis showed relatively severer damage in the Ca9-22 cells. At both low and high concentrations, 4βHWE preferably perturbed the cell cycle in Ca9-22 cells by increasing the subG1 population and arrest of G1 or G2/M. Selective induction of apoptosis in Ca9-22 cells was further confirmed by Annexin V/PI assay, by preferential expression of phosphorylated ataxia-telangiectasia- and Rad3-related protein (p-ATR), and by cleavage of caspase 9, caspase 3, and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP).
Together, the findings of this study, particularly the improved understanding of the selective killing mechanisms of 4βHWE, can be used to improve efficiency in killing oral cancer cells during chemoprevention and therapy.
Gastric cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Identifying the molecules that play critical roles in the development of gastric cancer, and clarifying their mechanisms, will contribute to the development of novel molecularly targeted therapeutic drugs. Recently, the large (L)-type amino acid transporter 1 (LAT1), a glycoprotein that transports amino acids through the cell membrane when associated with CD98hc, has been demonstrated to be overexpressed in various types of cancer, and to regulate multiple biological process, including cell growth, migration and invasion. However, the involvement of LAT1 in gastric cancer remains unclear. In the present study, stable gastric cancer cell lines with a LAT1 knockdown were established by transfection of constructs with inserted short (sh) RNAs, in order to clarify the role of LAT1 in gastric caner. A significant decrease in LAT1 expression was observed in the established LAT1-silenced SGC7901 cells compared with the corresponding control cells; however, the expression levels of its partner, CD98hc, were not altered. Furthermore, downregulation of LAT1 expression inhibited the proliferation, migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells. In addition, the decreased expression of LAT1 induced cell cycle arrest in the G1/M phase. These findings suggested that LAT1 may be significant in the progression and metastasis of gastric cancer, and may be developed as a therapeutic target for cancer therapy.
L-type amino acid transporter 1; gastric cancer; proliferation; migration; invasion
Four gene variants related to lipid metabolism (including the rs562338 and rs503662 variants of the APOB gene, the rs7767084 variant of the LPA gene and the rs2246942 variant of the LIPA gene) have been shown to be associated with coronary heart disease (CHD). The aim of the present study was to assess their association with CHD in the Han Chinese population and to assess the contribution of these gene variants to CHD. Using the standardized coronary angiography method, we enrolled 290 CHD patients and 193 non-CHD patients as non-CHD controls from Lihuili Hospital (Ningbo, China). In addition, we recruited 330 unrelated healthy volunteers as healthy controls from the Xi Men Community (Ningbo, China). Our results demonstrated that the rs503662 and rs562338 variants of the APOB gene were extremely rare in the Han Chinese population (minor allele frequency <1%). Genotype rs2246942-GG of the LIPA gene was associated with an increased risk of CHD [CHD cases versus healthy controls: P=0.04; odds ratio (OR)=1.63; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.02–2.60). Genotype rs7767084-CC of the LPA gene was identified as a protective factor against CHD in females (CHD cases versus non-CHD controls: P=0.04, OR=0.21; CHD cases versus healthy controls: P=0.02, OR=0.21). The results of our meta-analysis indicated that rs7767084 was not associated with a high risk of CHD (P=0.83; combined OR=0.93; 95% CI=0.47–1.85). In the present study, two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of genes involved in lipid metabolism (rs2246942 and rs7767084) were identified to be significantly associated with CHD in the Han Chinese population. Specifically, rs2246942-GG of the LIPA gene was a risk factor for CHD, while rs7767084-CC of the LPA gene was a protective factor against CHD in females. However, our meta-analysis indicated that rs7767084 is not associated with a higher risk of CHD.
coronary heart disease; single nucleotide polymorphism; APOB; LPA; LIPA
The endocycle is a variant cell cycle consisting of successive DNA synthesis and Gap phases that yield highly polyploid cells. Although essential for metazoan development, relatively little is known about its control or physiologic role in mammals. Using novel lineage-specific cre mice we identified two opposing arms of the E2F program, one driven by canonical transcription activation (E2F1, E2F2 and E2F3) and the other by atypical repression (E2F7 and E2F8), that converge on the regulation of endocycles in vivo. Ablation of canonical activators in the two endocycling tissues of mammals, trophoblast giant cells in the placenta and hepatocytes in the liver, augmented genome ploidy, whereas ablation of atypical repressors diminished ploidy. These two antagonistic arms coordinate the expression of a unique G2/M transcriptional program that is critical for mitosis, karyokinesis and cytokinesis. These results provide in vivo evidence for a direct role of E2F family members in regulating non-traditional cell cycles in mammals.
The reason for enhanced fracture healing in traumatic brain injury patients is not clearly understood. It is possible that factors inherent in the brain passing through the blood–brain barrier to the peripheral circulation, or a disruption of central nervous system (CNS) control of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), stimulates the process of fracture healing.
In this study, we assessed proliferation [using the 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay] and differentiation [using alkaline phosphatase (ALP)] in rat osteoblasts incubated with gray matter or other tissue extracts with and without the addition of an α- or β-adrenergic receptor blocker (phentolamine or propranolol).
Gray matter extract from normal brain caused a dose-dependent increase in osteoblast proliferation and differentiation. Serum from normal rats enhanced differentiation but not proliferation. Alpha-receptor blockade had no effect on proliferation or differentiation. Beta-receptor blockade caused a partial, but statistically significant, decrease in gray matter stimulation of osteoblast differentiation.
The results of this study indicate that gray matter extract from normal brain increases osteoblast proliferation and differentiation and that β receptors may be involved in differentiation under these conditions.
Although formation of urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) requires multiple steps and proceeds along divergent pathways, the underlying genetic and molecular determinants for each step and pathway remain undefined. By developing transgenic mice expressing single or combinatorial genetic alterations in urothelium, we demonstrated here that overcoming oncogene-induced compensatory tumor barriers was critical for urothelial tumor initiation. Constitutively active Ha-ras (Ras*) elicited urothelial hyperplasia that was persistent and did not progress to tumors over a 10 months period. This resistance to tumorigenesis coincided with increased expression of p53 and all pRb family proteins. Expression of a Simian virus 40 T antigen (SV40T), which disables p53 and pRb family proteins, in urothelial cells expressing Ras* triggered early-onset, rapidly-growing and high-grade papillary UCB that strongly resembled the human counterpart (pTaG3). Urothelial cells expressing both Ras* and SV40T had defective G1/S checkpoint, elevated Ras-GTPase and hyperactivated AKT-mTOR signaling. Inhibition of the AKT-mTOR pathway with rapamycin significantly reduced the size of high-grade papillary UCB but hyperactivated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Inhibition of AKT-mTOR, MAPK and STAT3 altogether resulted in much greater tumor reduction and longer survival than did inhibition of AKT-mTOR pathway alone. Our studies provide the first experimental evidence delineating the combinatorial genetic events required for initiating high-grade papillary UCB, a poorly defined and highly challenging clinical entity. Furthermore, they suggest that targeted therapy using a single agent such as rapamycin may not be highly effective in controlling high-grade UCB and that combination therapy employing inhibitors against multiple targets are more likely to achieve desirable therapeutic outcomes.
NBM-T-L-BMX-OS01 (BMX) was derived from the semisynthesis of osthole, isolated from Cnidium monnieri (L.) Cuss., and was identified to be a potent inhibitor of HDAC8. This study shows that HDAC8 is highly expressed in the pancreas and the brain. The function of HDAC8 in the brain has not been adequately studied. Because BMX enhances neurite outgrowth and cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) activation, the effect of BMX on neural plasticity such as learning and memory is examined. To examine declarative and nondeclarative memory, a water maze, a passive one-way avoidance task, and a novel object recognition task were performed. Results from the water maze revealed that BMX and suberoylanilide-hydroxamic-acid-(SAHA-) treated rats showed shorter escape latency in finding the hidden platform. The BMX-treated animals spent more time in the target quadrant in the probe trial performance. An analysis of the passive one-way avoidance results showed that the BMX-treated animals stayed longer in the illuminated chamber by 1 day and 7 days after footshock. The novel object recognition task revealed that the BMX-treated animals showed a marked increase in the time spent exploring novel objects. Furthermore, BMX ameliorates scopolamine-(Sco-) induced learning and memory impairment in animals, indicating a novel role of BMX in learning and memory.
The impact of virological factors and interleukin-28B (IL-28B) genetic variants on retreatment of hepatitis C virus genotype 2 (HCV-2) treatment-experienced patients remains unknown.
On-treatment virological responses and IL-28B rs8099917 genotype were determined in 46 HCV-2 treatment-experienced patients (42 previous relapsers; four previous non-responders) retreated with 24-week peginterferon/ribavirin.
Forty (87.0%) patients carried the rs8099917 TT genotype and 6 patients (13.0%) carried the TG/GG genotype. The sustained virological response (SVR; seronegativity of HCV RNA throughout 24 weeks of the post-treatment follow-up period) rate was 71.7%. Compared with previous non-responders, previous relapsers had a significantly higher SVR rate (78.6% vs. 0%, P = 0.004) and a lower relapse rate (17.5% vs. 100%, P = 0.04). All the previous non-responders were with the rs8099917 TT genotype. As for those who relapsed, treatment responses, including the rates of rapid virological response (RVR, 80.6% vs. 66.7%, P = 0.59), early virological response (EVR, 97.2% vs. 83.3%, P = 0.27), end-of-treatment virological response (97.2% vs. 83.3%, P = 0.27) and SVR (80.6% vs. 66.7%, P = 0.59) and relapse rate (17.1% vs. 20.0%, P = 1) did not differ significantly between patients with the rs8099917 TT and those with the non-TT genotype. Multivariate analysis revealed that the most important factor predictive of an SVR in the retreatment of HCV-2 was previous relapse; the only factor predictive of an SVR for previous relapsers was the achievement of an EVR. Compared with the achievement of a RVR, the attainment of an EVR was more accurate in predicting an SVR (88% vs. 74%).
Peginterferon/ribavirin is effective in the retreatment of HCV-2 relapsers, especially among those who achieved an EVR.
Infantile hemangiomas are localized lesions comprised primarily of aberrant endothelial cells. COSMC plays a crucial role in blood vessel formation and is characterized as a molecular chaperone of T-synthase which catalyzes the synthesis of T antigen (Galβ1,3GalNAc). T antigen expression is associated with tumor malignancy in many cancers. However, roles of COSMC in infantile hemangioma are still unclear. In this study, immunohistochemistry showed that COSMC was upregulated in proliferating hemangiomas compared with involuted hemangiomas. Higher levels of T antigen expression were also observed in the proliferating hemangioma. Overexpression of COSMC significantly enhanced cell growth and phosphorylation of AKT and ERK in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Conversely, knockdown of COSMC with siRNA inhibited endothelial cell growth. Mechanistic investigation showed that O-glycans were present on VEGFR2 and these structures were modulated by COSMC. Furthermore, VEGFR2 degradation was delayed by COSMC overexpression and facilitated by COSMC knockdown. We also showed that COSMC was able to regulate VEGF-triggered phosphorylation of VEGFR2. Our results suggest that COSMC is a novel regulator for VEGFR2 signaling in endothelial cells and dysregulation of COSMC expression may contribute to the pathogenesis of hemangioma.