This study aimed to investigate the pathophysiological changes in a rat chronic heart failure complicated with renal failure model, caused by three-quarters nephrectomy and subcutaneous injection of isoproterenol (ISO). Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats in the model group received three-quarters nephrectomy after twice undergoing surgical resections and subcutaneous injection of ISO (100 mg/kg body weight, injected twice, with a 24 h interval) after one week, while rats in the control group received sham surgery and injection of normal saline. Survival rate, heart failure and renal failure were compared between the two groups after 4 weeks. Serum creatinine (Cr), blood urea nitrogen (BUN), B-type natriuretic protein (BNP), aldolase (ALD), angiotensin II (Ang II) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were determined by kit assay. Urine protein at 24 h was determined by the Bradford method and left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP), left ventricular diastolic pressure (LVDP) and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), as well as the maximum rates of increased and decreased left ventricular pressure (±dP/dtmax) were determined by left ventricular intubation. Heart weight indices were determined and the myocardial pathological conditions were observed by hematoxylin and eosin (HE) staining. There was no death in the control group, while the survival rate of the model group was 73%. Compared with the control group, each index of serum and urine protein in the model group was significantly increased. Additionally, LVSP was decreased, LVDP and LVEDP were increased and heart weight index was increased, with a significant difference. The serum Cr was positively correlated to BNP levels in the model group. Three-quarters nephrectomy and subcutaneous injection of ISO induces left ventricular heart failure and renal failure at the same time, which is characterized in pathophysiology by left ventricular diastolic and systolic function failure, left ventricular myocardial hypertrophy and reconstruction complicated with renal insufficiency.
isoprenaline; heart failure; renal failure; Sprague-Dawley rats
Protein-peptide interactions play important roles in many cellular processes, including signal transduction, trafficking, and immune recognition. Protein conformational changes upon binding, an ill-defined peptide binding surface, and the large number of peptide degrees of freedom make the prediction of protein-peptide interactions particularly challenging. To address these challenges, we perform rapid molecular dynamics simulations in order to examine the energetic and dynamic aspects of protein-peptide binding. We find that, in most cases, we recapitulate the native binding sites and native-like poses of protein-peptide complexes. Inclusion of electrostatic interactions in simulations significantly improves the prediction accuracy. Our results also highlight the importance of protein conformational flexibility, especially side-chain movement, which allows the peptide to optimize its conformation. Our findings not only demonstrate the importance of sufficient sampling of the protein and peptide conformations, but also reveal the possible effects of electrostatics and conformational flexibility on peptide recognition.
Molecular modeling guided by experimentally-derived structural information is an attractive approach for three-dimensional structure determination of complex RNAs that are not amenable to study by high-resolution methods. Hydroxyl radical probing (HRP), performed routinely in many laboratories, provides a measure of solvent accessibility at individual nucleotides. HRP measurements have, to date, only been used to evaluate RNA models qualitatively. Here, we report development of a quantitative structure refinement approach using HRP measurements to drive discrete molecular dynamics simulations for RNAs ranging in size from 80 to 230 nucleotides. HRP reactivities were first used to identify RNAs that form extensive helical packing interactions. For these RNAs, we achieved highly significant structure predictions, given inputs of RNA sequence and base pairing. This HRP-directed tertiary structure refinement approach generates robust structural hypotheses useful for guiding explorations of structure-function interrelationships in RNA.
Opioids that stimulate the μ-opioid receptor (MOR1) are the most frequently prescribed and effective analgesics. Here we present a structural model of MOR1. Molecular dynamics simulations show a ligand-dependent increase in the conformational flexibility of the third intracellular loop that couples with the G-protein complex. These simulations likewise identified residues that form frequent contacts with ligands. We validated the binding residues using site-directed mutagenesis coupled with radioligand binding and functional assays. The model was used to blindly screen a library of ~1.2 million compounds. From the thirty-four compounds predicted to be strong binders, the top three candidates were examined using biochemical assays. One compound showed high efficacy and potency. Post hoc testing revealed this compound to be nalmefene, a potent clinically used antagonist, thus further validating the model. In summary, the MOR1 model provides a tool for elucidating the structural mechanism of ligand-initiated cell signaling and screening for novel analgesics.
Mineral and bone disorder (MBD) in patients with chronic kidney disease is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Studies regarding the status of MBD treatment in developing countries, especially in Chinese dialysis patients are extremely limited.
A cross-sectional study of 1711 haemodialysis (HD) patients and 363 peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients were enrolled. Parameters related to MBD, including serum phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) were analyzed. The achievement of MBD targets was compared with the results from the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Study (DOPPS) 3 and DOPPS 4. Factors associated with hyperphosphatemia were examined.
Total 2074 dialysis patients from 28 hospitals were involved in this study. Only 38.5%, 39.6% and 26.6% of them met the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI) defined targets for serum P, Ca and iPTH levels. Serum P and Ca levels were statistically higher (P < 0.05) in the HD patients compared with those of PD patients, which was (6.3 ± 2.1) mg/dL vs (5.7 ± 2.0) mg/dL and (9.3 ± 1.1) mg/dL vs (9.2 ± 1.1) mg/dL, respectively. Serum iPTH level were statistically higher in the PD patients compared with those of HD patients (P = 0.03). The percentage of patients reached the K/DOQI targets for P (37.6% vs 49.8% vs 54.5%, P < 0.01), Ca (38.6% vs 50.4% vs 56.0%, P < 0.01) and iPTH (26.5% vs 31.4% vs 32.1%, P < 0.01) were lower among HD patients, compared with the data from DOPPS 3 and DOPPS 4. The percentage of patients with serum phosphorus level above 5.5 mg/dL was 57.4% in HD patients and 47.4% in PD patients. Age, dialysis patterns and region of residency were independently associated with hyperphosphatemia.
Status of MBD is sub-optimal among Chinese patients receiving dialysis. The issue of hyperphosphatemia is prominent and needs further attention.
End stage renal disease; Mineral and bone disorder; Epidemiology
The purpose of the present study was to use zebrafish as a model to investigate how vitamin D and its receptors interact to control Ca2+ uptake function. Low-Ca2+ fresh water stimulated Ca2+ influx and expressions of epithelial calcium channel (ecac), vitamin D-25-hydroxylase (cyp2r1), vitamin D receptor a (vdra), and vdrb in zebrafish. Exogenous vitamin D increased Ca2+ influx and expressions of ecac and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3-24-hydroxylase (cyp24a1), but downregulated 1α-OHase (cyp27b1) with no effects on other Ca2+ transporters. Morpholino oligonucleotide knockdown of VDRa, but not VDRb, was found as a consequence of calcium uptake inhibition by knockdown of ecac, and ossification of vertebrae is impaired. Taken together, vitamin D-VDRa signaling may stimulate Ca2+ uptake by upregulating ECaC in zebrafish, thereby clarifying the Ca2+-handling function of only a VDR in teleosts. Zebrafish may be useful as a model to explore the function of vitamin D-VDR signaling in Ca2+ homeostasis and the related physiological processes in vertebrates.
The nucleotide composition of the light (L-) and heavy (H-) strands of animal mitochondrial genomes is known to exhibit strand-biased compositional asymmetry (SCA). One of the possibilities is the existence of a replication-associated mutational pressure (RMP) that may introduce characteristic nucleotide changes among mitochondrial genomes of different animal lineages. Here, we discuss the influence of RMP on nucleotide and amino acid compositions as well as gene organization. Among animal mitochondrial genomes, RMP may represent the major force that compels the evolution of mitochondrial protein-coding genes, coupled with other process-based selective pressures, such as on components of translation machinery— tRNAs and their anticodons. Through comparative analyses of sequenced mitochondrial genomes among diverse animal lineages and literature reviews, we suggest a strong RMP effect, observed among invertebrate mitochondrial genes as compared to those of vertebrates, that is either a result of positive selection on the invertebrate or a relaxed selective pressure on the vertebrate mitochondrial genes.
Function-based selection; mitochondrion genome; replication-associated mutational pressure; strand-biased compositional asymmetry.
Motivation: Increasing use of structural modeling for understanding structure–function relationships in proteins has led to the need to ensure that the protein models being used are of acceptable quality. Quality of a given protein structure can be assessed by comparing various intrinsic structural properties of the protein to those observed in high-resolution protein structures.
Results: In this study, we present tools to compare a given structure to high-resolution crystal structures. We assess packing by calculating the total void volume, the percentage of unsatisfied hydrogen bonds, the number of steric clashes and the scaling of the accessible surface area. We assess covalent geometry by determining bond lengths, angles, dihedrals and rotamers. The statistical parameters for the above measures, obtained from high-resolution crystal structures enable us to provide a quality-score that points to specific areas where a given protein structural model needs improvement.
Availability and Implementation: We provide these tools that appraise protein structures in the form of a web server Gaia (http://chiron.dokhlab.org). Gaia evaluates the packing and covalent geometry of a given protein structure and provides quantitative comparison of the given structure to high-resolution crystal structures.
Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Objective: Early detection of atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (ARAS) is clinically important with respect to blood pressure control, prevention of renal insufficiency, and even improving survival. We investigated whether the presence of significant ARAS (luminal diameter narrowing ≥70%) could be predicted using a logistic regression model before coronary angiography/intervention. Methods: Initially, we developed a logistic regression model for detecting significant ARAS based upon clinical and angiographic features and biochemical measurements in a cohort of 1 813 patients undergoing transfemoral coronary and renal angiography. This model was then prospectively applied to an additional 495 patients who received transradial renal angiography to ascertain its predictive accuracy for the presence of significant ARAS. Results: Multivariate regression analysis revealed that older age (≥65 years), resistant hypertension, type 2 diabetes, creatinine clearance (Ccr) ≤60 ml/min, and multivessel coronary disease were independent predictors for significant ARAS. A logistic regression model for detecting ARAS by incorporating conventional risk factors and multivessel coronary disease was generated as: P/(1−P)=exp(−2.618+1.112[age≥65 years]+1.891[resistant hypertension]+0.453[type 2 diabetes]+0.587[Ccr≤60 ml/min]+2.254[multivessel coronary disease]). When this regression model was prospectively applied to the additional 495 patients undergoing transradial coronary and renal angiography, significant ARAS could be detected with a sensitivity of 81.2%, specificity of 88.9%, and positive and negative predictive accuracies of 53.8% and 96.7%, respectively. Conclusions: The logistic regression model generated in this study may be useful for screening for significant ARAS in patients undergoing transradial coronary angiography/intervention.
Renal artery stenosis; Transradial coronary angiography; Resistant hypertension
Therapeutics based on RNA interference (RNAi) have emerged as a potential new class of drugs for treating human disease by silencing the target messenger RNA (mRNA), thereby reducing levels of the corresponding pathogenic protein. The major challenge for RNAi therapeutics is the development of safe delivery vehicles for small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). We previously showed that cholesterol-conjugated siRNAs (chol-siRNA) associate with plasma lipoprotein particles and distribute primarily to the liver after systemic administration to mice. We further demonstrated enhancement of silencing by administration of chol-siRNA pre-associated with isolated high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). In this study, we investigated mimetic lipoprotein particle prepared from recombinant apolipoprotein A1 (apoA) and apolipoprotein E3 (apoE) as a delivery vehicle for chol-siRNAs. We show that apoE-containing particle (E-lip) is highly effective in functional delivery of chol-siRNA to mouse liver. E-lip delivery was found to be considerably more potent than apoA-containing particle (A-lip). Furthermore, E-lip–mediated delivery was not significantly affected by high endogenous levels of plasma LDL. These results demonstrate that E-lip has substantial potential as delivery vehicles for lipophilic conjugates of siRNAs.
Aggregation of Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is implicated in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Glutathionylation and phosphorylation of SOD1 is omnipresent in the human body, even in healthy individuals, and has been shown to increase SOD1 dimer dissociation, which is the first step on the pathway toward SOD1 aggregation. We find that post-translational modification of SOD1, especially glutathionylation, promotes dimer dissociation. We discover an intermediate state in the pathway to dissociation, a conformational change that involves a “loosening” of the β-barrels and a loss or shift of dimer interface interactions. In modified SOD1, this intermediate state is stabilized as compared to unmodified SOD1. The presence of post-translational modifications could explain the environmental factors involved in the speed of disease progression. Because post-translational modifications such as glutathionylation are often induced by oxidative stress, post-translational modification of SOD1 could be a factor in the occurrence of sporadic cases of ALS, which make up 90% of all cases of the disease.
Genetic mutation, selective pressure for translational efficiency and accuracy, level of gene expression, and protein function through natural selection are all believed to lead to codon usage bias (CUB). Therefore, informative measurement of CUB is of fundamental importance to making inferences regarding gene function and genome evolution. However, extant measures of CUB have not fully accounted for the quantitative effect of background nucleotide composition and have not statistically evaluated the significance of CUB in sequence analysis.
Here we propose a novel measure--Codon Deviation Coefficient (CDC)--that provides an informative measurement of CUB and its statistical significance without requiring any prior knowledge. Unlike previous measures, CDC estimates CUB by accounting for background nucleotide compositions tailored to codon positions and adopts the bootstrapping to assess the statistical significance of CUB for any given sequence. We evaluate CDC by examining its effectiveness on simulated sequences and empirical data and show that CDC outperforms extant measures by achieving a more informative estimation of CUB and its statistical significance.
As validated by both simulated and empirical data, CDC provides a highly informative quantification of CUB and its statistical significance, useful for determining comparative magnitudes and patterns of biased codon usage for genes or genomes with diverse sequence compositions.
Codon deviation coefficient; CDC; Codon usage bias; CUB; Statistical significance; Background nucleotide composition; GC content; Purine content; Bootstrapping
Molecular modeling of proteins including homology modeling, structure determination, and knowledge-based protein design requires tools to evaluate and refine three-dimensional protein structures. Steric clash is one of the artifacts prevalent in low-resolution structures and homology models. Steric clashes arise due to the unnatural overlap of any two non-bonding atoms in a protein structure. Usually, removal of severe steric clashes in some structures is challenging since many existing refinement programs do not accept structures with severe steric clashes. Here, we present a quantitative approach of identifying steric clashes in proteins by defining clashes based on the Van der Waals repulsion energy of the clashing atoms. We also define a metric for quantitative estimation of the severity of clashes in proteins by performing statistical analysis of clashes in high-resolution protein structures. We describe a rapid, automated and robust protocol, Chiron, which efficiently resolves severe clashes in low-resolution structures and homology models with minimal perturbation in the protein backbone. Benchmark studies highlight the efficiency and robustness of Chiron compared to other widely used methods. We provide Chiron as an automated web server to evaluate and resolve clashes in protein structures that can be further used for more accurate protein design.
Homology modeling; refinement; Chiron; Discrete Molecular Dynamics; Protein Design
The high-throughput next-generation sequencing technologies provide an excellent opportunity for the detection of less-abundance transcripts that may not be identifiable by previously available techniques. Here, we report a discovery of thousands of novel transcripts (mostly non-coding RNAs) that are expressed in mouse cerebrum, testis, and embryonic stem (ES) cells, through an in-depth analysis of rmRNA-seq data. These transcripts show significant associations with transcriptional start and elongation signals. At the upstream of these transcripts we observed significant enrichment of histone marks (histone H3 lysine 4 trimethylation, H3K4me3), RNAPII binding sites, and cap analysis of gene expression tags that mark transcriptional start sites. Along the length of these transcripts, we also observed enrichment of histone H3 lysine 36 trimethylation (H3K36me3). Moreover, these transcripts show strong purifying selection in their genomic loci, exonic sequences, and promoter regions, implying functional constraints on the evolution of these transcripts. These results define a collection of novel transcripts in the mouse genome and indicate their potential functions in the mouse tissues and cells.
novel transcripts; non-coding RNA; ribo-minus RNA-seq; next-generation sequencing
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are both reduced and dysfunctional in hypertension that correlates inversely with its mortality, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. eNOS critically regulates EPC mobilization and function, but is uncoupled in salt-sensitive hypertension due to reduced cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4). We tested the hypothesis that GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH), the rate-limiting enzyme of BH4 de novo synthesis, protects EPCs and its function in deoxycorticosterone acetate (DOCA)-salt mice. EPCs were isolated from peripheral blood and bone marrow of wild-type (WT), WT DOCA-salt, endothelial-specific GTPCH transgenic (Tg-GCH), GTPCH transgenic DOCA-salt, and BH4 deficient hph-1 mice. In WT DOCA-salt and hph-1 mice, EPCs were significantly decreased with impaired angiogenesis and adhesion, which were restored in DOCA-salt Tg-GCH mice. Superoxide (O2−) and NO levels in EPCs were elevated and reduced, respectively, in WT DOCA-salt and hph-1 mice, both were rescued in DOCA-salt Tg-GCH mice. GCH+/−/eNOS−/− hybrid mice demonstrated that GTPCH preserved circulating EPC number, reduced intracellular O2− in EPCs, and ameliorated EPC dysfunction independent of eNOS in DOCA-salt hypertension. Secreted thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1, a potent angiogenesis inhibitor) from EPCs was elevated in WT DOCA-salt and hph-1 but not DOCA-salt Tg-GCH mice. In vitro treatment with BH4, PEG-SOD, or L-NNA significantly augmented NO and reduced TSP-1 and O2− levels from EPCs of WT DOCA-salt mice. These results demonstrated, for the first time, that GTPCH/BH4 pathway critically regulates EPC number and function in DOCA-salt hypertensive mice, at least in part, via suppressing TSP-1 expression and oxidative stress.
Endothelial progenitor cell; GTP cyclohydrolase; tetrahydrobiopterin; thrombospondin-1; nitric oxide synthase
DMAP1 (DNMT1-associated protein 1) is a member of the TIP60-p400 complex that maintains embryonic stem (ES) cell pluripotency and a complex containing the somatic form of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1s). DMAP1 interacts with DNMT1s through a domain that is absent in Dnmt1V/V mice expressing just the oocyte form (DNMT1o). A Dmap1-null allele was generated to study the role of DMAP1 in development. Consistent with the phenotypes of loss of other members of the TIP60-p400 complex, Dmap1−/− mice died during preimplantation in both Dnmt1+/+ and Dnmt1V/V backgrounds. Unexpectedly, in the Dnmt1V/V background, Dmap1+/− parents produced mainly Dmap1+/− mice. Most Dmap1+/+ progeny died during midgestation, with loss of DNA methylation on imprinted genes, suggesting that DMAP1 influences maintenance methylation mediated by DNMT1o. In this regard, a DMAP1-DNMT1o complex was detected in ES cells when DNMT1o was stably expressed but not when transiently expressed, indicating a novel interaction between DMAP1 and DNMT1o. These results suggest that DMAP1-DNMT1s and DMAP1-DNMT1o interactions are essential for normal development and that DMAP1-DNMT1o complexes are not readily formed in the embryo. Therefore, DMAP1 mediates distinct preimplantation epigenetic reprogramming processes: TIP60-p400 nucleosome remodeling and DNMT1 maintenance methylation.
Existing flexible docking approaches model the ligand and receptor flexibility either separately or in a loosely-coupled manner, which captures the conformational changes inefficiently. Here, we propose a flexible docking approach, MedusaDock, which models both ligand and receptor flexibility simultaneously with sets of discrete rotamers. We develop an algorithm to build the ligand rotamer library “on-the-fly” during docking simulations. MedusaDock benchmarks demonstrate a rapid sampling efficiency and high prediction accuracy in both self-docking (to the co-crystallized state) and cross-docking (to a state co-crystallized with a different ligand), the latter of which mimics the virtual-screening procedure in computational drug discovery. We also perform a virtual-screening test of four flexible kinase targets including cyclin-dependent kinase 2, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2, HIV reverse transcriptase, and HIV protease. We find significant improvements of virtual-screening enrichments when compared to rigid-receptor methods. The predictive power of MedusaDock in cross-docking and preliminary virtual-screening benchmarks highlights the importance to model both ligand and receptor flexibility simultaneously in computational docking.
Bromodomain-containing protein Brd4 is shown to persistently associate with chromosomes during mitosis for transmitting epigenetic memory across cell divisions. During interphase, Brd4 also plays a key role in regulating the transcription of signal-inducible genes by recruiting positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) to promoters. How the chromatin-bound Brd4 transits into a transcriptional regulation mode in response to stimulation, however, is largely unknown. Here, by analyzing the dynamics of Brd4 during ultraviolet or hexamethylene bisacetamide treatment, we show that the signal-induced release of chromatin-bound Brd4 is essential for its functional transition. In untreated cells, almost all Brd4 is observed in association with interphase chromatin. Upon treatment, Brd4 is released from chromatin, mostly due to signal-triggered deacetylation of nucleosomal histone H4 at acetylated-lysine 5/8 (H4K5ac/K8ac). Through selective association with the transcriptional active form of P-TEFb that has been liberated from the inactive multi-subunit complex in response to treatment, the released Brd4 mediates the recruitment of this active P-TEFb to promoter, which enhances transcription at the stage of elongation. Thus, through signal-induced release from chromatin and selective association with the active form of P-TEFb, the chromatin-bound Brd4 switches its role to mediate the recruitment of P-TEFb for regulating the transcriptional elongation of signal-inducible genes.
To further understand the relationship between nucleosome-space occupancy (NO) and global transcriptional activity in mammals, we acquired a set of genome-wide nucleosome distribution and transcriptome data from the mouse cerebrum and testis based on ChIP (H3)-seq and RNA-seq, respectively. We identified a nearly consistent NO patterns among three mouse tissues—cerebrum, testis, and ESCs—and found, through clustering analysis for transcriptional activation, that the NO variations among chromosomes are closely associated with distinct expression levels between house-keeping (HK) genes and tissue-specific (TS) genes. Both TS and HK genes form clusters albeit the obvious majority. This feature implies that NO patterns, i.e. nucleosome binding and clustering, are coupled with gene clustering that may be functionally and evolutionarily conserved in regulating gene expression among different cell types.
Currently, molecular mechanisms of multidrug ABC (ATP-binding cassette) membrane transporters remain elusive. In this study, we synthesized and characterized purified spherically shaped silver nanoparticles (Ag NPs) (11.8 ± 2.6 nm in diameter), which were stable (non-aggregation) in PBS buffer and inside single living cells. We used the size-dependent localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) spectra of single Ag NPs to determine their sizes and to probe the size-dependent transport kinetics of the ABC (BmrA, BmrA-EGFP) transporters in single living cells (Bacillus subtilis) in real time at nanometer resolution using dark-field optical microscopy and spectroscopy (DFOMS). The results shows that the smaller NPs stayed longer inside the cells than larger NPs, suggesting size-dependent efflux kinetics of the membrane transporter. Notably, accumulation and efflux kinetics of intracellular NPs for single living cells depended upon the cellular expression level of BmrA, NP concentrations, and a pump inhibitor (25 µM, orthovanadate), suggesting that NPs are substrates of BmrA transporters and that passive diffusion driven by concentration gradients is the primary mechanism by which the NPs enter the cells. The accumulation and efflux kinetics of intracellular NPs for given cells are similar to those observed using a substrate (Hoechst dye) of BmrA, demonstrating that NPs are suitable probes for study of multidrug membrane transporters of single living cells in real-time. Unlike fluorescent probes, single Ag NPs exhibit size-dependent LSPR spectra and superior photostability, enabling them to probe the size-dependent efflux kinetics of membrane transporters of single living cells in real-time for better understanding of multidrug resistance.
ABC (BmrA) transporter; Single cell imaging; Multidrug resistance; Bacillus subtilis; Single nanoparticle plasmonic optics; Ag nanoparticle
Animal and human studies suggest that inflammation and malnutrition are common in acute kidney injury (AKI) patients. However, only a few studies reported CRP, a marker of inflammation, albumin, prealbumin and cholesterol, markers of nutritional status were associated with the prognosis of AKI patients. No study examined whether the combination of inflammatory and nutritional markers could predict the mortality of AKI patients.
155 patients with hospital-acquired AKI were recruited to this prospective cohort study according to RIFLE (Risk, Injury, Failure, Lost or End Stage Kidney) criteria. C-reactive protein (CRP), and the nutritional markers (albumin, prealbumin and cholesterol) measured at nephrology consultation were analyzed in relation to all cause mortality of these patients. In addition, CRP and prealbumin were also measured in healthy controls (n = 45), maintenance hemodialysis (n = 70) and peritoneal dialysis patients (n = 50) and then compared with AKI patients.
Compared with healthy controls and end-stage renal disease patients on maintenance hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis, patients with AKI had significantly higher levels of CRP/prealbumin (p < 0.001). Higher level of serum CRP and lower levels of albumin, prealbumin and cholesterol were found to be significant in the patients with AKI who died within 28 days than those who survived >28 days. Similarly, the combined factors including the ratio of CRP to albumin (CRP/albumin), CRP/prealbumin and CRP/cholesterol were also significantly higher in the former group (p < 0.001 for all). Multivariate analysis (Cox regression) revealed that CRP/prealbumin was independently associated with mortality after adjustment for age, gender, sepsis and sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA, p = 0.027) while the others (CRP, albumin, prealbumin, cholesterol, CRP/albumin and CRP/cholesterol) became non-significantly associated. The hazard ratio was 1.00 (reference), 1.85, 2.25 and 3.89 for CRP/prealbumin increasing according to quartiles (p = 0.01 for the trend).
Inflammation and malnutrition were common in patients with AKI. Higher level of the ratio of CRP to prealbumin was associated with mortality of AKI patients independent of the severity of illness and it may be a valuable addition to SOFA score to independent of the severity of illness and it may be a valuable addition to SOFA score to predict the prognosis of AKI patients.
inflammation; malnutrition; CRP; prealbumin; acute kidney injury
RNA function is dependent on its structure, yet three-dimensional folds for most biologically important RNAs are unknown. We develop a generic discrete molecular dynamics (DMD)-based modeling system that uses long-range constraints inferred from diverse biochemical or bioinformatic analyses to create statistically significant (p < 0.01) native-like folds for RNAs of known structure ranging from 45 to 158 nucleotides. We then predict the unknown structure of the hepatitis C virus IRES pseudoknot domain. The resulting RNA model rationalizes independent solvent accessibility and cryo-electron microscopy structure information. The pseudoknot positions the AUG start codon near the mRNA channel and is tRNA-like, suggesting the IRES employs molecular mimicry as a functional strategy.
Anisodamine, an antagonist of muscarinic receptor, has been used therapeutically to improve blood flow in circulatory disorders such as septic shock in China since 1965. The main mechanism of anisodamine for anti-shock proposed in Pharmacology for Chinese medical students is to improve blood flow in the microcirculation. Here, we suggest a new mechanism for its anti-shock effect. That is, anisodamine, by blocking muscarinic receptor, results in rerouting of acetylcholine to α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7nAChR) bringing about increased acetylcholine-mediated activation of α7nAChR and the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway.
anisodamine; acetylcholine; α7nAChR; inflammation; shock
Obesity is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. The fat mass– and obesity-associated (FTO) gene is tightly associated with the pathophysiology of obesity, whereas the exact role of FTO remains poorly understood. Here, we investigated the alternations of FTO mRNA and protein expression in the peripheral metabolic tissues and the brain upon energy restriction (ER) and explored the involvement of the leptin signaling pathway in FTO regulation under ER status. ER decreased the FTO mRNA and protein expression in hypothalamus and brainstem but not in periphery. Using double-immunofluorescence staining, FTO was found to be colocalized with the leptin receptor long isoform (LepRb) in arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus and the nucleus of the solitary tract. In LepRb mutant db/db mice, the FTO downregulation in brain and body weight reduction induced by ER were completely abolished. The enhanced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) induced by ER was also impaired in db/db mice. Moreover, leptin directly activated the STAT3 signaling pathway and downregulated FTO in in vitro arcuate nucleus of hypothalamus cultures and in vivo wild-type mice but not db/db mice. Thus, our results provide the first evidence that the LepRb-STAT3 signaling pathway is involved in the brain FTO downregulation during ER.