The aquaporin (AQP) family consists of a number of small integral membrane proteins that transport water and glycerol. AQPs are critical for trans-epithelial fluid transport. Recent reports demonstrated that AQPs, particularly AQP1 and AQP5, are expressed in high grade tumor cells of a variety of tissue origins, and that AQPs are involved in cell migration and metastasis. Based on this background, we examined whether AQP3, another important member of the AQP family, could facilitate cell migration in human breast cancers.
Potential role of AQP3 was examined using two representative breast cancer cell lines (MDA-MB-231 and Bcap-37). Briefly, AQP3 expression was inhibited with a lentivirus construct that stably expressed shRNA against the AQP3 mRNA. AQP3 expression inhibition was verified with Western blot. Cell migration was examined using a wound scratch assay in the presence of fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2). In additional experiments, AQP3 was inhibited by CuSO4. Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) kinase inhibitor PD173074, PI3K inhibitor LY294002, and MEK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 were used to dissect the molecular mechanism of FGF-2 induced AQP3 expression.
FGF-2 treatment increased AQP3 expression and induced cell migration in a dose dependent manner. Silencing AQP3 expression by a lentiviral shRNA inhibited FGF-2 induced cell migration. CuSO4, a water transport inhibitor selective for AQP3, also suppressed FGF-2-induced cell migration. The FGFR kinase inhibitor PD173074, significantly inhibited FGF-2-induced AQP3 expression and cell migration. The PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and MEK1/2 inhibitor PD98059 inhibited, but not fully blocked, FGF-2-induced AQP3 expression and cell migration.
AQP3 is required for FGF-2-induced cell migration in cultured human breast cancer cells. Our findings also suggest the importance of FGFR-PI3K and FGFR-ERK signaling in FGF-2-induced AQP3 expression. In summary, our findings suggest a novel function of AQP3 in cell migration and metastasis of breast cancers.
Increasing evidence suggests that diabetes mellitus (DM) may be associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer. To provide a quantitative assessment of this association, we evaluated the relation between DM and incidence and mortality of bladder cancer in an updated meta-analysis of cohort studies.
Methods We identified cohort studies by searching the EMBASE and MEDLINE databases, through 31 March 2012. Summary relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with random-effects models.
A total of 29 cohort studies (27 articles) were included in this meta-analysis. DM was associated with an increased incidence of bladder cancer (RR 1.29, 95% CI: 1.08–1.54), with significant evidence of heterogeneity among these studies (p<0.001, I2 = 94.9%). In stratified analysis, the RRs of bladder cancer were 1.36 (1.05–1.77) for diabetic men and 1.28 (0.75–2.19) for diabetic women, respectively. DM was also positively associated with bladder cancer mortality (RR 1.33, 95% CI: 1.14–1.55), with evident heterogeneity between studies (p = 0.002, I2 = 63.3%). The positive association was observed for both men (RR 1.54, 95% CI: 1.30–1.82) and women (RR 1.50, 95% CI: 1.05–2.14).
These findings suggest that compared to non-diabetic individuals, diabetic individuals have an increased incidence and mortality of bladder cancer.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common hereditary renal disorder. In most cases, ADPKD similarly affects bilateral kidneys.
Among the 605 ADPKD patients that were followed up by our center, we identified two male patients with unilateral ADPKD. The cases were remarkable because the patients also had ectopia and multicystic dysplasia in the contralateral kidney, which are generally sporadic disease conditions. Both patients tested positive for polycystic kidney disease 1 mutation, but negative for hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 beta mutation. Moreover, the deterioration of their kidney function seemed to be quicker than their age- and sex-matched controls and siblings. Both patients had started a long-term hemodialysis in their 40s.
Anatomical and genetic abnormality in patients with ADPKD may be more frequent and complex than previously believed. The compensatory capacity in patients with ADPKD is fragile, and missing one kidney could accelerate the deterioration of renal function.
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease; Ectopia; Multicystic dysplasia; Unilateral
Tissue microarray (TMA) is a high throughput research tool, which has greatly facilitated and accelerated in situ tissue analyses. However, its productivity has been restricted due to the confined thickness of traditional donor block. Here, we introduce an improved high output TMA method that is applicable to a broader range of tissue samples.
In this method, a 3.6 cm long and 2.7 cm wide recipient block with 88 square lattices (3 mm in width) was first prepared using several commercial instruments. A 2 mm wide and 6 mm long tissue rod was then prepared using a self-made blade-shaped knife from each paraffin embedded donor block of gastrointestinal stromal tumors. These rods were manually arrayed one by one into the corresponding lattices of the 60°C pre-softened recipient block with the guide of holes drilled with a steel needle. A 70-rod TMA was made to testify this method.
The prepared TMA had well defined array configurations, good tissue morphology and fully preserved proteins and DNA. A total of 500–1000 TMA sections could be easily obtained from a TMA block.
This low-cost and time-saving method provides an alternative sampling tool for high output TMA.
The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1979605867857990
Tissue rod; Tissue microarray; Technology; Sampling tool; High output
Velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS) is a disease in human with an expansive phenotypic spectrum and diverse genetic mechanisms mainly associated with copy number variations (CNVs) on 22q11.2 or other chromosomes. However, the correlations between CNVs and phenotypes remain ambiguous. This study aims to analyze the types and sizes of CNVs in VCFS patients, to define whether correlations exist between CNVs and clinical manifestations in Chinese VCFS patients. In total, 55 clinically suspected Chinese VCFS patients and 100 normal controls were detected by multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). The data from MLPA and all the detailed clinical features of the objects were documented and analyzed. A total of 44 patients (80.0%) were diagnosed with CNVs on 22q11.2. Among them, 43 (78.2%) presented with 22q11.2 heterozygous deletions, of whom 40 (93.0%) had typical 3-Mb deletion, and 3 (7.0%) exhibited proximal 1.5-Mb deletion; no patient was found with atypical deletion on 22q11.2. One patient (1.8%) presented with a 3-Mb duplication mapping to the typical 3-Mb region on 22q11.2, while none of the chromosomal abnormalities in the MLPA kit were found in the other 11 patients and 100 normal controls. All the 43 patients with 22q11.2 deletions displayed characteristic face and palatal anomalies; 37 of them (86.0%) had cognitive or behavioral disorders, and 23 (53.5%) suffered from immune deficiencies; 10 patients (23.3%) manifested congenital heart diseases. Interestingly, all patients with the characteristic face had 22q11.2 heterozygous deletions, but no difference in phenotypic spectrum was observed between 3-Mb and 1.5-Mb deletions. Our data suggest that the characteristic face can be used as a key indicator for direct diagnosis of 22q11.2 deletions in Chinese VCFS patients.
As a novel epigenetic mechanism, histone H3 methylation at R17 and R26, which is mainly catalyzed by coactivator-associated protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1), has been reported to modulate the transcription of key pluripotency factors and to regulate pluripotency in mouse embryos and mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) in previous studies. However, the role of CARM1 in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and the regulatory mechanism that controls CARM1 expression during ESCs differentiation are presently unknown. Here, we demonstrate that CARM1 plays an active role in the resistance to differentiation in hESCs by regulating pluripotency genes in response to BMP4. In a functional screen, we identified the miR-181 family as a regulator of CARM1 that is induced during ESC differentiation and show that endogenous miR-181c represses the expression of CARM1. Depletion of CARM1 or enforced expression of miR-181c inhibits the expression of pluripotency genes and induces differentiation independent of BMP4, whereas overexpression of CARM1 or miR-181c inhibitor elevates Nanog and impedes differentiation. Furthermore, expression of CARM1 rescue constructs inhibits the effect of miR-181c overexpression in promoting differentiation. Taken together, our findings demonstrate the importance of a miR-181c-CARM1 pathway in regulating the differentiation of hESCs.
The counselling of poor ovarian responders about the probability of pregnancy remains a puzzle for gynaecologists. The aim of this study was to optimise the management of poor responders by investigating the role of the oocyte-derived factor bone morphogenetic protein-15 (BMP-15) combined with chronological age in the prediction of the outcome of in-vitro fertilisation-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) in poor responders.
A retrospective study conducted in a university hospital. A total of 207 poor ovarian responders who reached the ovum pick-up stage undergoing IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with three or fewer follicles no less than 14 mm on the day of oocyte retrieval were recruited from July 1, 2008 to December 31, 2009. Another 215 coinstantaneous cycles with normal responses were selected as controls. The BMP-15 levels in the follicular fluid (FF) of the 207 poor responders were analysed by western blot. Based on the FF BMP-15 level and age, poor responders were sub-divided into four groups. The main outcome measures were the FF BMP-15 level, implantation rate, pregnancy rate, and live birth rate.
The implantation rate (24.2% vs. 15.3%), chemical pregnancy rate (40% vs. 23.7%), clinical pregnancy rate (36.5% vs. 20.4%) and live birth rate (29.4% vs. 15.1%) in the high BMP-15 group were significantly higher than those in the low BMP-15 group. Furthermore, poor responders aged less than or equal to 35 years with a higher FF BMP-15 level had the best implantation, pregnancy and live birth rates, which were comparable with those of normal responders.
Our study suggests a potential role of BMP-15 in the prediction of the IVF outcome. A high FF BMP-15 combined with an age less than or equal to 35 years may be used as a potential indicator for repeating IVF cycles in poor ovarian responders.
Poor response; IVF-ET; BMP-15; Oocyte; Age; Retrospective study
Cystatin-related epididymal spermatogenic (CRES) protein, a member of the cystatin superfamily of cysteine protease inhibitors (also known as CST8), exhibits highly specific, age-dependent expression in mouse testis and epididymis. The CRES protein possesses four highly conserved cysteine residues which govern the overall conformation of the cystatins through the formation of two disulfide bonds. Previous studies have revealed that other cystatin family members, such as cystatin 3 and cystatin 11, show antibacterial activity in vitro. This prompted us to investigate the potential antimicrobial activity of the CRES protein. Colony forming assays and spectrophotometry were used to investigate the effects of recombinant CRES protein on Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Ureaplasma urealyticum (Uu), respectively, in vitro. After incubation of E. coli with CRES recombinant protein fused with glutathione-S-transferase (GST), a substantial decrease in colony forming units was observed, and the effect was dose and time dependent. Furthermore, it took longer for Uu to grow to plateau stage when incubated with GST-CRES recombinant protein compared with the control GST. The antibacterial and Anti-Uu activities were not impaired when the cysteine residues of CRES protein were mutated, indicating that the antimicrobial effect was not dependent on its disulfide bonds. Functional analysis of three CRES polypeptides showed that the N-terminal 30 residues (N30) had no antimicrobial activity while N60 showed similar activity as full-length CRES protein. These results suggest that the active center of CRES protein resides between amino acid residues 31 and 60 of its N-terminus. Mechanistically, E. coli membrane permeabilization was increased in a dose-dependent manner, and macromolecular synthesis was inhibited on treatment with GST-CRES. Together, our data on the antimicrobial activities of CRES protein suggest that it is a novel and innate antimicrobial protein which protecting the male reproductive tract against invading pathogens.
In the previous study, we unraveled the unique “erasure strategy” during the mouse spermiogenesis. Chromatin associated proteins sequentially disassociated from the spermatid chromosome, which led to the termination of transcription in elongating spermatids. By this process, a relatively naïve paternal chromatin was generated, which might be essential for the zygotic development. We supposed the regulation of histone acetylation played an important role throughout this “erasure” process. In order to verify this hypothesis, we treated mouse spermatids in vitro by histone acetylase (HAT) inhibitor Curcumin. Our results showed an inhibiting effect of Curcumin on the growth of germ cell line in a dose-dependent manner. Accordingly, the apoptosis of primary haploid spermtids was increased by Curcumin treatment. As expected, the acetylated histone level was downregulated. Furthermore, we found the transcription in spermatids ceased in advance, the dynamics of chromatin associated factors was disturbed by Curcumin treatment. The regulation of histone acetylation should be one of the core reprogramming mechanisms during the spermiogenesis. The reproductive toxicity of Curcumin needs to be thoroughly investigated, which is crucial for its further clinical application.
Trastuzumab is currently approved for the clinical treatment of breast and gastric cancer patients with HER-2 positive tumors, but not yet for the treatment of esophageal carcinoma patients, whose tumors typically show 5 ~ 35% HER-2 gene amplification and 0 ~ 56% HER-2 protein expression. This study aimed to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of Trastuzumab in patient-derived esophageal squamous cell carcinoma xenograft (PDECX) mouse models.
PDECX models were established by implanting patient esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) tissues into immunodeficient (SCID/nude) mice. HER-2 gene copy number (GCN) and protein expression were determined in xenograft tissues and corresponding patient EC samples by FISH and IHC analysis. Trastuzumab anti-tumor efficacy was evaluated within these PDECX models (n = 8 animals/group). Furthermore, hotspot mutations of EGFR, K-ras, B-raf and PIK3CA genes were screened for in the PDECX models and their corresponding patient’s ESCC tissues. Similarity between the PDECX models and their corresponding patient’s ESCC tissue was confirmed by histology, morphology, HER-2 GCN and mutation.
None of the PDECX models (or their corresponding patient’s ESCC tissues) harbored HER-2 gene amplification. IHC staining showed HER-2 positivity (IHC 2+) in 2 PDECX models and negativity in 3 PDECX models. Significant tumor regression was observed in the Trastuzumab-treated EC044 HER-2 positive model (IHC 2+). A second HER-2 positive (IHC 2+) model, EC039, harbored a known PIK3CA mutation and showed strong activation of the AKT signaling pathway and was insensitive to Trastuzumab treatment, but could be resensitised using a combination of Trastuzumab and AKT inhibitor AZD5363. In summary, we established 5 PDECX mouse models and demonstrated tumor regression in response to Trastuzumab treatment in a HER-2 IHC 2+ model, but resistance in a HER-2 IHC 2+/PIK3CA mutated model.
This study demonstrates Trastuzumab-induced tumor regressions in HER-2 positive tumors, and highlights PIK3CA mutation as a potential resistance mechanism to Trastuzumab treatment in pre-clinical patient-derived EC xenograft models.
Esophageal carcinoma; HER-2; Herceptin; PIK3CA mutation; Xenograft model
FOXP3 is a key transcription factor for regulatory T cell function. We report the crystal structure of the FOXP3 coiled coil domain, through which a loose or transient dimeric association is formed and modulated, accounting for the activity variations introduced by disease-causing mutations or posttranslational modifications. Structure-guided mutagenesis revealed that FOXP3 coiled coil mediated homo-dimerization is essential for Treg function in vitro and in vivo. In particular, we identified human FOXP3 K250 and K252 as key residues for the conformational change and stability of the FOXP3 dimer, which can be regulated by protein posttranslational modifications such as reversible lysine acetylation. These studies provide structural and mechanistic explanations for certain disease-causing mutations in the coiled coil domain of FOXP3 that are commonly found in IPEX syndrome. Overall the regulatory machinery involving homo-oligomerization, acetylation, and hetero-association has been dissected, defining atomic insights into the biological and pathological characteristics of the FOXP3 complex.
FOXP3; IPEX Syndrome; Dimerization; Acetylation; Complex Assembly
We report a facile method to prepare a nanoarchitectured lithium manganate/graphene (LMO/G) hybrid as a positive electrode for Li-ion batteries. The Mn2O3/graphene hybrid is synthesized by exfoliation of graphene sheets and deposition of Mn2O3 in a one-step electrochemical process, which is followed by lithiation in a molten salt reaction. There are several advantages of using the LMO/G as cathodes in Li-ion batteries: (1) the LMO/G electrode shows high specific capacities at high gravimetric current densities with excellent cycling stability, e.g., 84 mAh·g−1 during the 500th cycle at a discharge current density of 5625 mA·g−1 (~38.01 C capacity rating) in the voltage window of 3–4.5 V; (2) the LMO/G hybrid can buffer the Jahn–Teller effect, which depicts excellent Li storage properties at high current densities within a wider voltage window of 2–4.5 V, e.g., 93 mAh·g−1 during the 300th cycle at a discharge current density of 5625 mA·g−1 (~38.01 C). The wider operation voltage window can lead to increased theoretical capacity, e.g., 148 mAh·g−1 between 3 and 4.5 V and 296 mAh·g−1 between 2 and 4.5 V; (3) more importantly, it is found that the attachment of LMO onto graphene can help to reduce the dissolution of Mn2+ into the electrolyte, as indicated by the inductively coupled plasma (ICP) measurements, and which is mainly attributed to the large specific surface area of the graphene sheets.
cathode; graphene; Li-ion battery; lithium manganate
While more and more physicians are choosing chemotherapy for patients with bladder cancer, the current treatment is still far from satisfactory due to low response rate and severe side effects. Emerging evidence indicates that inflammatory microenvironment is involved in the pathogenesis of bladder cancer. Recent studies have also provided ample evidence that chemotherapy response is influenced by activation of major inflammatory mediators, including transcription factors, cytokines, chemokines, and COX-2. We reviewed all published literature addressing the roles of inflammatory microenvironment in bladder cancer and evaluating emerging evidence that inflammatory pathways represent potential therapeutic targets to enhance chemotherapy of bladder cancer.
Early pregnancy loss (EPL) is a frustrating clinical problem, whose mechanisms are not completely understood. DNA methylation, which includes maintenance methylation and de novo methylation directed by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), is important for embryo development. Abnormal function of these DNMTs may have serious consequences for embryonic development.
To evaluate the possible involvement of DNA methylation in human EPL, the expression of DNMT proteins and global methylation of DNA were assessed in villous or decidua from EPL patients. The association of maintenance methylation with embryo implantation and development was also examined.
We found that DNMT1 and DNMT3A were both expressed in normal human villous and decidua. DNMT1 expression and DNA global methylation levels were significantly down-regulated in villous of EPL. DNMT3A expression was not significantly changed in the EPL group compared to controls in either villous or decidua. We also found that disturbance of maintenance methylation with a DNMT1 inhibitor may result in a decreased global DNA methylation level and impaired embryonic development in the mouse model, and inhibit in vitro embryo attachment to endometrial cells.
Our results demonstrate that defects in DNA maintenance methylation in the embryo, not in the mother, are associated with abnormal embryonic implantation and development. The findings of the current study provide new insights into the etiology of EPL.
We identified Ran-binding protein 17 (RANBP17) as one of the interacting partners of sperm maturation 1 (SPEM1) using yeast 2-hybrid screening and immunoprecipitation assays. Expression profiling analyses suggested that RANBP17 was preferentially expressed in the testis. Immunofluorescent confocal microscopy revealed a dynamic localization pattern of RANBP17 during spermatogenesis. In primary spermatocytes RANBP17 was mainly localized to the XY body. In the subsequent spermiogenesis, RANBP17 was first observed in the nuclei of round spermatids (steps1–7) and then confined to the manchette of elongating spermatids (steps 8–14) together with its interacting partner SPEM1. In the Spem1-null testes, levels of RANBP17 were significantly elevated. As a member of a large protein family involved in the nucleocytoplasmic transport, RANBP17 may have a role in sex chromosome inactivation during the meiotic phase of spermatogenesis, and also in the intramanchette transport during spermiogenesis. Interactions between RANBP17 and SPEM1, for the first time, point to a potential function of SPEM1 in the RANBP17-mediated nucleocytoplasmic transport.
spermatogenesis; nucleocytoplasmic transport; XY body; meiotic sex chromosome inactivation; manchette; meiosis; spermiogenesis
To evaluate the effects of sperm with different parameters and sources on the outcomes of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), 1972 ICSI cycles were analyzed retrospectively. Groups 1 to 5 were composed of cycles using ejaculated sperm and were grouped according to sperm quantity, quality, and morphology into normal (288 cycles), or mild (329 cycles), moderate (522 cycles), severe (332 cycles), and extremely severe (171 cycles) oligozoospermia and/or asthenozoospermia and/or teratozoospermia (OAT) groups. Group 6 was composed of 250 cycles using testicular or epididymal sperm, and Group 7 consisted of 80 cycles using frozen-thawed sperm. We found that fertilization rates were gradually reduced from Groups 1 to 6, and reached statistical difference in Groups 5 and 6 (P<0.05). The high-quality embryo rate was higher in Group 1 than in Groups 2, 3, 5, 6, and 7 (P<0.05). No statistical differences were observed in the rates of embryo cleavage, clinical pregnancy, miscarriage, live-birth, premature birth, low birth weight, weeks of premature birth, average birth weight, or sex ratio for all seven groups (P>0.05). A total of nine cases of malformation were observed, with a malformation rate of 1.25% (9/719). In conclusion, different sperm sources and parameters can affect ICSI outcomes before embryo implantation. A full assessment of offspring malformation will require further study using a larger sample size.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI); Sperm; Sperm source; Sperm parameters; Malformation
Oncidium Gower Ramsey is a fascinating and important ornamental flower in floral industry. In this research, the complete nucleotide sequence of the chloroplast genome in Oncidium Gower Ramsey was studied, then analyzed using Codonw software. Correspondence analysis and method of effective number of codon as Nc-plot were conducted to analyze synonymous codon usage. According to the corresponding analysis, codon bias in the chloroplast genome of Oncidium Gower Ramsey is related to their gene length, mutation bias, gene hydropathy level of each protein, gene function and selection or gene expression only subtly affect codon usage. This study will provide insights into the molecular evolution study and high-level transgene expression.
codon usage; chloroplast; molecular evolution; mutation; synonymous codon
There have been increasing attentions on the role of small RNAs, especially microRNAs in post-transcriptional gene regulation during spermatogenesis. MicroRNA-184 (miR-184) has been shown to be mainly expressed in the testis and brain, and that its expression levels are by far the highest in the testis. However, the role of miR-184 in mammalian spermatogenesis remains unclear.
In this study, we demonstrated that miR-184 levels were increased during mouse postnatal testis development. Specifically, miR-184 expression was restricted to the germ cells from spermatogonia to round spermatids. Overexpression of miR-184 promoted the proliferation of a germ cell line, GC-1spg. Moreover, miR-184 downregulated nuclear receptor corepressor 2 (Ncor2) by targeting its 3' untranslated region through inhibiting NCOR2 protein translation.
MiR-184 may be involved in the post-transcription regulation of mRNAs such as Ncor2 in mammalian spermatogenesis.
Spermiogenesis represents the process through which haploid male germ cells differentiate from round spermatids into elongated spermatids and eventually the male gametes called spermatozoa. Haploid cell differentiation is unique to male germ cell development and many unique genes/proteins essential for this process have been discovered. SPEM1 is one of these spermiogenesis-essential proteins encoded by a testis-specific gene exclusively expressed in the developing spermatids. Inactivation of Spem1 in mice results in deformed spermatozoa characterized by “head-bent-back” abnormalities with 100% penetrance. Using yeast two-hybrid screening assays, we identified UBQLN1 as one of the SPEM1-interacting partners. UBQLN1 and SPEM1 were colocalized to the manchette of elongating spermatids. Since UBQLN1 functions through binding and directing poly-ubiquitinated proteins to the proteasome for degradation, interactions between UBQLN1and SPEM1 suggest a role in the regulation of protein ubiquitination during spermiogenesis.
Spermatogenesis; ubiquitination; ubiquitin; sperm; infertility; manchette; protein turnover
129I is of major concern because of its mobility in the environment, excessive inventory, toxicity (it accumulates in the thyroid), and long half-life (∼16 million years). The aim of this study was to determine if bacteria from a 129I-contaminated oxic aquifer at the F area of the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site, SC, could accumulate iodide at environmentally relevant concentrations (0.1 μM I−). Iodide accumulation capability was found in 3 out of 136 aerobic bacterial strains isolated from the F area that were closely related to Streptomyces/Kitasatospora spp., Bacillus mycoides, and Ralstonia/Cupriavidus spp. Two previously described iodide-accumulating marine strains, a Flexibacter aggregans strain and an Arenibacter troitsensis strain, accumulated 2 to 50% total iodide (0.1 μM), whereas the F-area strains accumulated just 0.2 to 2.0%. Iodide accumulation by FA-30 was stimulated by the addition of H2O2, was not inhibited by chloride ions (27 mM), did not exhibit substrate saturation kinetics with regard to I− concentration (up to 10 μM I−), and increased at pH values of <6. Overall, the data indicate that I− accumulation likely results from electrophilic substitution of cellular organic molecules. This study demonstrates that readily culturable, aerobic bacteria of the F-area aquifer do not accumulate significant amounts of iodide; however, this mechanism may contribute to the long-term fate and transport of 129I and to the biogeochemical cycling of iodine over geologic time.
Human uterus undergoes distinct molecular and functional changes during pregnancy and parturition. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has recently been shown to play a key role in the control of smooth muscle tension. The role of endogenous H2S produced locally in the control of uterine contractility during labour is unknown.
Human myometrium biopsies were obtained from pregnant women undergoing cesarean section at term. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed that cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) and cystathionine-β-synthetase (CBS), the principle enzymes responsible for H2S generation, were mainly localized to smooth muscle cells of human pregnant myometrium. The mRNA and protein expression of CBS as well as H2S production rate were down-regulated in labouring tissues compared to nonlabouring tissues. Cumulative administration of L-cysteine (10−7–10−2 mol/L), a precursor of H2S, caused a dose-dependent decrease in the amplitude of spontaneous contractions in nonlabouring and labouring myometrium strips. L-cysteine at high concentration (10−3 mol/L) increased the frequency of spontaneous contractions and induced tonic contraction. These effects of L-cysteine were blocked by the inhibitors of CBS and CSE. Pre-treatment of myometrium strips with glibenclamide, an inhibitor of ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels, abolished the inhibitory effect of L-cysteine on spontaneous contraction amplitude. The effects of L-cysteine on the amplitude of spontaneous contractions and baseline muscle tone were less potent in labouring tissues than that in nonlabouring strips.
H2S generated by CSE and CBS locally exerts dual effects on the contractility of pregnant myometrium. Expression of H2S synthetic enzymes is down-regulated during labour, suggesting that H2S is one of the factors involved in the transition of pregnant uterus from quiescence to contractile state after onset of parturition.
The unique properties of engineered nanoparticles (ENs) that make their industrial applications so attractive simultaneously raise questions regarding their environmental safety. ENs exhibit behaviors different from bulk materials with identical chemical compositions. Though the nanotoxicity of ENs has been studied intensively, their unintended environmental impacts remain largely unknown. Herein we report experimental results of EN interactions with exopolymeric substances (EPS) from three marine phytoplankton species: Amphora sp., Ankistrodesmus angustus and Phaeodactylum tricornutum. EPS are polysaccharide-rich anionic colloid polymers released by various microorganisms that can assemble into microgels, possibly by means of hydrophobic and ionic mechanisms. Polystyrene nanoparticles (23 nm) were used in our study as model ENs. The effects of ENs on EPS assembly were monitored with dynamic laser scattering (DLS). We found that ENs can induce significant acceleration in Amphora sp. EPS assembly; after 72 hours EN-EPS aggregation reached equilibrium, forming microscopic gels of ∼4–6 µm in size. In contrast, ENs only cause moderate assembly kinetic acceleration for A. angustus and P. tricornutum EPS samples. Our results indicate that the effects of ENs on EPS assembly kinetics mainly depend on the hydrophobic interactions of ENs with EPS polymers. The cycling mechanism of EPS is complex. Nonetheless, the change of EPS assembly kinetics induced by ENs can be considered as one potential disturbance to the marine carbon cycle.
Potassium channels play critical roles in the regulation of cell membrane potential, which is central to the excitability of myometrium. The ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel is one of the most abundant potassium channels in myometrium. The objectives of this study were to investigate the protein expression of KATP channel in human myometrium and determine the levels of KATP channel in lower and upper segmental myometrium before and after onset of labour.
Both lower segmental (LS) and upper segmental (US) myometrial biopsies were collected at cesarean section from pregnant women not-in-labour (TNL) or in-labour (TL) at term. Protein expression level and cellular localization of four KATP channel subunits in US and LS myometrium were determined by Western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The contractile activity of myometrial strip was measured under isometric conditions.
Four KATP channel subunits, namely Kir6.1, Kir6.2, SUR1 and SUR2B were identified in pregnant myometrium. While found in vascular myocytes, these subunits appear to be preferentially expressed in myometrial myocytes. Diazoxide, a KATP channel opener, inhibited the spontaneous contractility of pregnant myometrium, suggesting that the KATP channels are functional in human pregnant myometrium. Diazoxide was less potent in TL strips than that in TNL strips. Interestingly, expression of SUR1 was greater in TL than TNL tissues, although no differences were found for SUR2B in these two tissues. For both lower and upper segmental myometrium, Kir6.1 and Kir6.2 were less in TL compared with TNL tissues.
Functional KATP channels are expressed in human pregnant myometrium. Down-regulation of Kir6.1 and Kir6.2 expression in myometrium may contribute to the enhanced uterine contractility associated with the onset of labour.
Acute myocardial infarction and stroke occur more frequently in the morning, suggesting a role of the circadian clock in these main causes of death, secondary to atherosclerosis.
To investigate the expression of clock genes, apoptosis-related genes and atherosclerosis-related genes in the process of atherosclerosis.
Apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE−/−) mice were used to establish animal models of early and advanced atherosclerosis. Real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting and microarray assays were used to detect the expression of clock genes, apoptosis-related genes and atherosclerosis-related genes.
Clock genes in ApoE−/− and C57BL/6J mouse hearts exhibited daily oscillations at the messenger RNA level. However, the expression level and rhythm between ApoE−/− and C57BL/6J mice were significantly different. Moreover, the changes became more significant as atherosclerosis developed. c-Myc and p53 genes exhibited circadian expression in C57BL/6J mice at messenger RNA and protein levels. However, the rhythm in ApoE−/− mice disappeared completely. Bcl-2 and Bax did not show daily rhythm in either strain of mouse. Aside from apoptosis-related genes, several atherosclerosis-related genes expressed time-dependent behaviour in C57BL/6J mice but not in ApoE−/− mice.
Rhythm changes of clock genes, apoptosis-related genes and atherosclerosis-related genes may play important roles in atherosclerosis and its complications.
Acute myocardial infarction; Atherosclerosis; Circadian clock; Clock genes; Stroke
In vitro maturation (IVM) of oocyte is an effective procedure for avoiding ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in patients with polycystic ovaries (PCOS) during in vitro fertilization (IVF). To investigate the influences of IVM on epigenetic reprogramming and to search for the possible reasons for the lower rates of fertilization and cleavage in IVM oocytes, we examined the expression of two enzymes controlling histone acetylation, histone acetyltransferase GCN5 (GCN5) and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), as well as their common target, acetyl-histone H3 (Ac-H3), in mouse metaphase II (MII) oocytes and preimplantation embryos. Results showed that IVM downregulated the protein expression of GCN5 in MII oocytes and two-cell embryos and changed the distribution of GCN5 in two-cell embryos. Expression of HDAC1 mRNA in MII oocytes and two-cell embryos decreased in the IVM group. However, none of these changes persisted after two-cell embryos. Levels of Ac-H3 in both oocytes and embryos remained unchanged after IVM. Our studies indicated that IVM could affect the protein and gene expression related to histone acetylation in oocytes and early cleavage embryos. By function of selection, parts of the changes could be recovered in late embryo development.