Objectives: To investigate the effect of dexamethasone on triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM-1).
Methods: Wild-type and tumor necrosis factor (TNF−/−) mice were pre-treated with saline, dexamethasone, or hydrocortisone and exposed to a lethal infection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Mortality and TREM-1 on neutrophil membranes was measured after sacrifice. U937 human monocytic cells were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or heat-killed P. aeruginosa without or with dexamethasone or hydrocortisone, and cell-surface TREM-1 and soluble TREM-1 (sTREM-1) were quantified. Expression of TREM-1 and sTREM-1 was also studied in LPS-stimulated U937 cells incubated in the absence or presence of TNFα or anti-TNFα antibody.
Results: Pre-treatment with dexamethasone, but not hydrocortisone, prolonged animal survival. Mice pre-treated with dexamethasone showed decreased expression of TREM-1 on neutrophils. In U937 cells, LPS or heat-killed P. aeruginosa induced the expression of TREM-1 and the release of sTREM-1. U937 TREM-1 and sTREM-1 were decreased upon addition of dexamethasone but not hydrocortisone. The suppressive effect of dexamethasone was enhanced in the presence of exogenous TNFα and lost in the presence of anti-TNFα antibody. In TNF−/− mice, dexamethasone suppression of mortality and TREM-1 neutrophil expression was lost. Gene expression of TREM-1 in U937 monocytes was decreased after treatment with dexamethasone.
Conclusion: TREM-1/sTREM-1 is a novel site of action of dexamethasone. This action is associated with down-regulation of gene expression and is mediated by TNFα.
TREM-1; TNFα; monocytes; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; dexamethasone
We tested the hypothesis that dopamine-dependent motor learning mechanism underlies the long-duration response to levodopa in Parkinson disease (PD) based on our studies in a mouse model. By data-mining the motor task performance in dominant and nondominant hands of the subjects in a double-blind randomized trial of levodopa therapy, the effects of activity and dopamine therapy were examined.
We data-mined the Earlier versus Later Levodopa Therapy in Parkinson's Disease (ELLDOPA) study published in 2005 and performed statistical analysis comparing the effects of levodopa and dominance of handedness over 42 weeks.
The mean change in finger-tapping counts from baseline before the initiation of therapy to predose at 9 weeks and 40 weeks increased more in the dominant compared to nondominant hand in levodopa-treated subjects in a dose-dependent fashion. There was no significant difference in dominant vs nondominant hands in the placebo group. The short-duration response assessed by the difference of postdose performance compared to predose performance at the same visit did not show any significant difference between dominant vs nondominant hands.
Active use of the dominant hand and dopamine replacement therapy produces synergistic effect on long-lasting motor task performance during “off” medication state. Such effect was confined to dopamine-responsive symptoms and not seen in dopamine-resistant symptoms such as gait and balance. We propose that long-lasting motor learning facilitated by activity and dopamine is a form of disease modification that is often seen in trials of medications that have symptomatic effects.
Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in insulin-resistant (type 2) diabetes. Vascular endothelial dysfunction paves the way for atherosclerosis through impaired nitric oxide availability, inflammation, and generation of superoxide. Surprisingly, we show that ablation of the three genes encoding isoforms of transcription factor FoxO in endothelial cells prevents atherosclerosis in Low-density lipoprotein receptor knockout mice by reversing these sub-phenotypes. Paradoxically, the atheroprotective effect of FoxO deletion is associated with a marked decrease of insulin-dependent Akt phosphorylation in endothelial cells, owing to reduced FoxO-dependent expression of the insulin receptor adaptor proteins, Irs1 and Irs2. These findings support a model in which FoxO is the shared effector of multiple atherogenic pathways in endothelial cells. FoxO ablation lowers the threshold of Akt activity required for protection from atherosclerosis. The data demonstrate that FoxO inhibition in endothelial cells has the potential to mediate wide-ranging therapeutic benefits for diabetes-associated cardiovascular disease.
Patient-derived pluripotent stem cells (PSC) directed to various cell fates holds promise as source material for treating numerous disorders. The availability of precisely differentiated PSC-derived cells will dramatically impact blood component and hematopoietic stem cell therapies, and should facilitate treatment of diabetes, some forms of liver disease and neurologic disorders, retinal diseases, and possibly heart disease. Although an unlimited supply of specific cell types are needed, other barriers must be overcome. This review of the state of cell therapies highlights important challenges. Successful cell transplantation will require optimizing the best cell type and site for engraftment, overcoming limitations to cell migration and tissue integration, and occasionally needing to control immunologic reactivity. Collaboration among scientists, clinicians, and industry is critical for generating new stem cell-based therapies.
Failure to thrive in an elderly patient is often attributed to depression, especially when a patient does not have any chronic diseases or if there is no apparent medical reason to justify poor appetite, cachexia and generalized weakness. Hyponatremia often occurs in such patients and a thorough evaluation as to its etiology should be sought before committing to a premature diagnosis, which at the time may seem more plausible. We report a patient who presented with depression, weight loss and persistent hyponatremia, evaluation of which revealed the cause to be due to secondary adrenal insufficiency, which when treated, resulted in resolution of the symptom complex. Therefore, in our case report, we elucidate the importance of pursuing further evaluation to rule out adrenal insufficiency as a medical cause of depression, especially in the presence of hyponatremia, which is often overlooked and is generally attributed to dehydration in the setting of failure to thrive or SIADH in patients who are on psychotropic medications.
Depression; Hyponatremia; SIADH
Dengue has emerged as the most significant of arboviral diseases in the 21st century. It is endemic to >100 tropical and sub-tropical countries around the world placing an estimated 3.6 billion people at risk. It is caused by four genetically similar but antigenically distinct, serotypes of dengue viruses. There is neither a vaccine to prevent nor a drug to treat dengue infections, at the present time. The major objective of this work was to explore the possibility of identifying a small molecule inhibitor of the dengue virus protease and assessing its ability to suppress viral replication in cultured cells.
We cloned, expressed and purified recombinant dengue virus type 2 protease. Using an optimized and validated fluorogenic peptide substrate cleavage assay to monitor the activity of this cloned dengue protease we randomly screened ~1000 small molecules from an ‘in-house’ library to identify potential dengue protease inhibitors.
A benzimidazole derivative, named MB21, was found to be the most potent in inhibiting the cloned protease (IC50 = 5.95 μM). In silico docking analysis indicated that MB21 binds to the protease in the vicinity of the active site. Analysis of kinetic parameters of the enzyme reaction suggested that MB21 presumably functions as a mixed type inhibitor. Significantly, this molecule identified as an inhibitor of dengue type 2 protease was also effective in inhibiting each one of the four serotypes of dengue viruses in infected cells in culture, based on analysis of viral antigen synthesis and infectious virus production. Interestingly, MB21 did not manifest any discernible cytotoxicity.
This work strengthens the notion that a single drug molecule can be effective against all four dengue virus serotypes. The molecule MB21 could be a potential candidate for ‘hit-to-lead’ optimization, and may pave the way towards developing a pan-dengue virus antiviral drug.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12985-015-0248-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Dengue fever; Dengue virus; NS2b-NS3 protease; Dengue protease inhibitor; Antiviral therapy
4-phenylbutyrate (4-PB) has been shown to increase the protein content in a number of cells types. One such protein is Connexin43 (Cx43). We show here that 4-phenylbutyrate exposure results in significantly elevated cell to cell coupling, as determined by dual whole cell patch clamp. Incubation with 5 mM 4PB for 24 h or more nearly doubles junctional conductance. Interestingly, mRNA levels for Cx43 declined with exposure to 4-PB while western blot analysis revealed not significant change in protein levels. These data are most consistent with stabilization of the existing Cx43 pool or alterations in the number of functional channels within an existing pool of active and silent channels. These data represent a baseline for testing the efficacy of increased connexin mediated coupling in a variety of multicellular functions including erectile function.
4-phenylbutyrate; connexin43; cell to cell coupling; patch clamp; protein expression
Intracellular pathogens can replicate efficiently only after they manipulate and modify their host cells to create an environment conducive to replication. While diverse cellular pathways are targeted by different pathogens, metabolism, membrane and cytoskeletal architecture formation, and cell death are the three primary cellular processes that are modified by infections. Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan that infects ∼30% of the world's population and causes severe and life-threatening disease in developing fetuses, in immune-comprised patients, and in certain otherwise healthy individuals who are primarily found in South America. The high prevalence of Toxoplasma in humans is in large part a result of its ability to modulate these three host cell processes. Here, we highlight recent work defining the mechanisms by which Toxoplasma interacts with these processes. In addition, we hypothesize why some processes are modified not only in the infected host cell but also in neighboring uninfected cells.
The emerging evidence of the effects of sedentary time on health outcomes suggests a need to better measure this exposure. Healthcare settings, however, are not equipped with a tool that can quickly assess the sedentary habits of their patient population. The purpose of this study was to validate a tool for rapidly quantifying and tracking the sedentary time and low levels of daily lifestyle physical activity among primary care patients.
The study examined the test-retest reliability and validity of the Rapid Assessment Disuse Index (RADI) among adult patients from a large primary care clinic. Patients completed the RADI (comprised of 3 items: sitting, moving, and stair climbing) twice, followed by accelerometer monitoring. Test-retest reliability was computed, and the correlation between survey responses and accelerometry was determined. An ROC curve was constructed and the area under the curve (AUC) was calculated.
RADI was temporally stable (intraclass correlation coefficients 0.79), and a higher score was significantly correlated with greater sedentary time (ρ=0.40; p<0.01), fewer sedentary to active transitions (ρ=−0.42; p<0.01), and less light-intensity physical activity (ρ=−0.40; p<0.01). The ability of RADI to detect patients with high levels of sedentary time was fair (AUC=0.72).
This brief assessment tool, designed to quickly identify patients with high levels of sitting and low daily physical activity, exhibits good reliability and moderate validity. RADI can assist in providing recommendations at the point of care pertaining to modifying sedentary behavior.
Deubiquitinases (DUBs) play important roles and therefore are potential drug targets in various diseases including cancer and neurodegeneration. In this review, we recapitulate structure–function studies of the most studied DUBs including USP7, USP22, CYLD, UCHL1, BAP1, A20, as well as ataxin 3 and connect them to regulatory mechanisms and their growing protein interaction networks. We then describe DUBs that have been associated with endocrine carcinogenesis with a focus on prostate, ovarian, and thyroid cancer, pheochromocytoma, and adrenocortical carcinoma. The goal is enhancing our understanding of the connection between dysregulated DUBs and cancer to permit the design of therapeutics and to establish biomarkers that could be used in diagnosis and prognosis.
deubiquitinases; USP7; USP22; CYLD; UCHL1; BAP1; A20; ataxin 3
Mitochondrial oxidative stress (mitoOS) has been shown to correlate with the progression of human atherosclerosis. However, definitive cell-type specific causation studies in vivo are lacking, and the molecular mechanisms of potential pro-atherogenic effects remain to be determined.
To assess the importance of macrophage mitoOS in atherogenesis and explore the underlying molecular mechanisms.
Methods & Results
We first validated Western-type diet-fed Ldlr-/- mice as a model of human mitoOS-atherosclerosis association by showing that a marker of mitoOS in lesional macrophages, non-nuclear oxidative DNA damage, correlates with aortic root lesion development. To investigate the importance of macrophage-mitoOS, we used a genetic engineering strategy in which the OS suppressor catalase was ectopically expressed in mitochondria (mCAT) in macrophages. MitoOS in lesional macrophages was successfully suppressed in these mice, and this led to a significant reduction in aortic root lesional area. The mCAT lesions had less monocyte-derived cells, less Ly6chi monocyte infiltration into lesions, and lower levels of the monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1). The decrease in lesional MCP-1 was associated with suppression of other markers of inflammation and with decreased phosphorylation of RelA (NF-κB p65), indicating decreased activation of the pro-inflammatory NF-κB pathway. Using models of mitoOS in cultured macrophages, we showed that mCAT suppressed MCP-1 expression by decreasing activation of the Iκ-kinase-RelA NF-κB pathway.
MitoOS in lesional macrophages amplifies atherosclerotic lesion development by promoting NF-κB-mediated entry of monocytes and other inflammatory processes. In view of the mitoOS-atherosclerosis link in human atheromata, these findings reveal a potentially new therapeutic target to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis.
Mitochondrial oxidative stress; atherosclerosis; macrophage; reactive oxygen species (ROS); NF-κB
Objectives. Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) is a recognized therapy that improves motor symptoms in advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). However, little is known about its impact on personality. To address this topic, we have assessed personality traits before and after STN-DBS in PD patients. Methods. Forty patients with advanced PD were assessed with the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI): the Urgency, Premeditation, Perseverance, Sensation Seeking impulsive behaviour scale (UPPS), and the Neuroticism and Lie subscales of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-N, EPQ-L) before surgery and after three months of STN-DBS. Collateral information obtained from the UPPS was also reported. Results. Despite improvement in motor function and reduction in dopaminergic dosage patients reported lower score on the TCI Persistence and Self-Transcendence scales, after three months of STN-DBS, compared to baseline (P = 0.006; P = 0.024). Relatives reported significantly increased scores on the UPPS Lack of Premeditation scale at follow-up (P = 0.027). Conclusion. STN-DBS in PD patients is associated with personality changes in the direction of increased impulsivity.
Application of nerve growth factor (NGF) to PC12 cells stimulates a programme of physiological changes leading to the development of a sympathetic neuron like phenotype, one aspect of which is the development of a neuronal morphology characterised by the outgrowth of neuritic processes. We have investigated the role of phosphoinositide 3-kinase in NGF-stimulated morphological differentiation through two approaches: firstly, preincubation with wortmannin, a reputedly specific inhibitor of phosphoinositide kinases, completely inhibited initial morphological responses to NGF, the formation of actin filament rich microspikes and subsequent neurite outgrowth. This correlated with wortmannin inhibition of NGF-stimulated phosphatidylinositol(3,4,5)trisphosphate (PtdInsP3) and phosphatidylinositol(3,4)bisphosphate (PtdIns(3,4)P2) production and with inhibition of NGF-stimulated phosphoinositide 3-kinase activity in anti-phosphotyrosine immunoprecipitates. Secondly, the overexpression of a mutant p85 regulatory subunit of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase, which cannot interact with the catalytic p110 subunit, also substantially inhibited the initiation of NGF-stimulated neurite outgrowth. In addition, we found that wortmannin caused a rapid collapse of more mature neurites formed following several days exposure of PC12 cells to NGF. These results indicate that NGF-stimulated neurite outgrowth requires the activity of a tyrosine kinase regulated PI3-kinase and suggest that the primary product of this enzyme, PtdInsP3, is a necessary second messenger for the cytoskeletal and membrane reorganization events which occur during neuronal differentiation.
Neurite outgrowth; Nerve growth factor; PC12 cell; PI3-kinase; Wortmannin
Recent studies have demonstrated the deletion of the histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) gene (pfhrp2) in field isolates of Plasmodium falciparum, which could result in false negative test results when PfHRP2-based rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are used for malaria diagnosis. Although primary diagnosis of malaria in Honduras is determined based on microscopy, RDTs may be useful in remote areas. In this study, it was investigated whether there are deletions of the pfhrp2, pfhrp3 and their respective flanking genes in 68 P. falciparum parasite isolates collected from the city of Puerto Lempira, Honduras. In addition, further investigation considered the possible correlation between parasite population structure and the distribution of these gene deletions by genotyping seven neutral microsatellites.
Sixty-eight samples used in this study, which were obtained from a previous chloroquine efficacy study, were utilized in the analysis. All samples were genotyped for pfhrp2, pfhrp3 and flanking genes by PCR. The samples were then genotyped for seven neutral microsatellites in order to determine the parasite population structure in Puerto Lempira at the time of sample collection.
It was found that all samples were positive for pfhrp2 and its flanking genes on chromosome 8. However, only 50% of the samples were positive for pfhrp3 and its neighboring genes while the rest were either pfhrp3-negative only or had deleted a combination of pfhrp3 and its neighbouring genes on chromosome 13. Population structure analysis predicted that there are at least two distinct parasite population clusters in this sample population. It was also determined that a greater proportion of parasites with pfhrp3-(and flanking gene) deletions belonged to one cluster compared to the other.
The findings indicate that the P. falciparum parasite population in the municipality of Puerto Lempira maintains the pfhrp2 gene and that PfHRP2-based RDTs could be considered for use in this region; however continued monitoring of parasite population will be useful to detect any parasites with deletions of pfhrp2.
Plasmodium falciparum; Histidine-rich protein; Rapid diagnostic tests; Microsatellites; Honduras
Using an affinity resin and photoaffinity label based on phospholipid analogs of inositol 1,3,4,5-tetrakisphosphate (InsP4), we have isolated, characterized, and cloned a 46-kDa protein from rat brain, which we have named centaurin-α. Binding specificity was determined using displacement of 1-O-[3H](3-[4-benzoyldihydrocinnamidyl]propyl)-InsP4 photoaffinity labeling. Centaurin-α displayed highest affinity for phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PtdInsP3) (IC50 = 120 nm), whereas InsP4, PtdInsP2, and InsP3 bound with 5-, 12-, and >50-fold lower affinity, respectively. Screening a rat brain cDNA library with a polymerase chain reaction product, generated using partial amino acid sequence from tryptic peptides, yielded a full-length clone. The 2,450-base pair cDNA contained an open reading frame (ORF) encoding a novel protein of 419 amino acids. Northern analysis revealed a 2.5-kilobase transcript that is highly expressed in brain. The deduced sequence contains a novel putative zinc finger motif, 10 ankyrin-like repeats, and shows homology to recently identified yeast and mammalian Arf GTPase-activating proteins. Given the specificity of binding and enrichment in brain, centaurin-α is a candidate PtdInsP3 receptor that may link the activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase to downstream responses in the brain.
Dengue vaccine development efforts have focused on the development of tetravalent vaccines. However, a recent Phase IIb trial of a tetravalent vaccine indicates a protective effect against only 3 of the 4 serotypes. While vaccines effective against a subset of serotypes may reduce morbidity and mortality, particular profiles could result in an increased number of cases due to immune enhancement and other peculiarities of dengue epidemiology. Here, we use a compartmental transmission model to assess the impact of partially effective vaccines in a hyperendemic Thai population. Crucially, we evaluate the effects that certain serotype heterogeneities may have in the presence of mass-vaccination campaigns.
In the majority of scenarios explored, partially effective vaccines lead to 50% or greater reductions in the number of cases. This is true even of vaccines that we would not expect to proceed to licensure due to poor or incomplete immune responses. Our results show that a partially effective vaccine can have significant impacts on serotype distribution and mean age of cases.
Xenopus tropicalis has been developed as a model organism for developmental biology, providing a system offering both modern genetics and classical embryology. Recently, the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated (CRISPR/Cas) system for genome modification has provided an additional tool for Xenopus researchers to achieve simple and efficient targeted mutagenesis. Here, we provide insights into experimental design and procedures permitting successful application of this technique to Xenopus researchers, and offer a general strategy for performing loss-of-function assays in F0 and subsequently F1 embryos.
CRISPR; Disease model; sgRNA design; Amphibian mutagenesis; Targeted mutagenesis; Loss-of-function; Off-target effects; Genome engineering
During virion maturation, the Rous sarcoma virus (RSV) capsid protein is cleaved from the Gag protein as the proteolytic intermediate CA-SP. Further trimming at two C-terminal sites removes the spacer peptide (SP), producing the mature capsid proteins CA and CA-S. Abundant genetic and structural evidence shows that the SP plays a critical role in stabilizing hexameric Gag interactions that form immature particles. Freeing of CA-SP from Gag breaks immature interfaces and initiates the formation of mature capsids. The transient persistence of CA-SP in maturing virions and the identification of second-site mutations in SP that restore infectivity to maturation-defective mutant viruses led us to hypothesize that SP may play an important role in promoting the assembly of mature capsids. This study presents a biophysical and biochemical characterization of CA-SP and its assembly behavior. Our results confirm cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures reported previously by Keller et al. (J. Virol. 87:13655–13664, 2013, doi:10.1128/JVI.01408-13) showing that monomeric CA-SP is fully capable of assembling into capsid-like structures identical to those formed by CA. Furthermore, SP confers aggressive assembly kinetics, which is suggestive of higher-affinity CA-SP interactions than observed with either of the mature capsid proteins. This aggressive assembly is largely independent of the SP amino acid sequence, but the formation of well-ordered particles is sensitive to the presence of the N-terminal β-hairpin. Additionally, CA-SP can nucleate the assembly of CA and CA-S. These results suggest a model in which CA-SP, once separated from the Gag lattice, can actively promote the interactions that form mature capsids and provide a nucleation point for mature capsid assembly.
IMPORTANCE The spacer peptide is a documented target for antiretroviral therapy. This study examines the biochemical and biophysical properties of CA-SP, an intermediate form of the retrovirus capsid protein. The results demonstrate a previously unrecognized activity of SP in promoting capsid assembly during maturation.
To evaluate the incidence of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) at 18 to 22 months corrected age in subjects enrolled in a trial of early dexamethasone treatment to prevent death or chronic lung disease in extremely low birth weight infants.
Evaluation of infants at 18 to 22 months corrected age included anthropomorphic measurements, a standard neurological examination, and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development-II, including the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and the Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI). NDI was defined as moderate or severe cerebral palsy, MDI or PDI less than 70, blindness, or hearing impairment.
Death or NDI at 18 to 22 months corrected age was similar in the dexamethasone and placebo groups (65 vs 66 percent, p= 0.99 among those with known outcome). The proportion of survivors with NDI was also similar, as were mean values for weight, length, and head circumference and the proportion of infants with poor growth (50 vs 41 percent, p=0.42 for weight less than 10th percentile). Forty nine percent of infants in the placebo group received treatment with corticosteroid compared to 32% in the dexamethasone group (p=0.02).
The risk of death or NDI and rate of poor growth were high but similar in the dexamethasone and placebo groups. The lack of a discernible effect of early dexamethasone on neurodevelopmental outcome may be due to frequent clinical corticosteroid use in the placebo group.
neurodevelopmental outcome; growth; bronchopulmonary dysplasia; cerebral palsy; neonatal follow-up
Hepatocyte transplantation has been used to treat liver disease. The availability of cells for these procedures is quite limited. Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) may be a useful source of hepatocytes for basic research and transplantation if efficient and effective differentiation protocols were developed and problems with tumorigenicity could be overcome. Recent evidence suggests that the cell of origin may affect hiPSC differentiation. Thus, hiPSCs generated from hepatocytes may differentiate back to hepatocytes more efficiently than hiPSCs from other cell types. We examined the efficiency of reprogramming adult and fetal human hepatocytes. The present studies report the generation of 40 hiPSC lines from primary human hepatocytes under feeder-free conditions. Of these, 37 hiPSC lines were generated from fetal hepatocytes, 2 hiPSC lines from normal hepatocytes and 1 hiPSC line from hepatocytes of a patient with Crigler-Najjar Syndrome, Type-1. All lines were confirmed reprogrammed and expressed markers of pluripotency by gene expression, flow cytometry, immunocytochemistry, and teratoma formation. Fetal hepatocytes were reprogrammed at a frequency over 50-fold higher than adult hepatocytes. Adult hepatocytes were only reprogrammed with 6 factors, while fetal hepatocytes could be reprogrammed with 3 (OCT4, SOX2, NANOG) or 4 factors (OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, LIN28 or OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, C-MYC). The increased reprogramming efficiency of fetal cells was not due to increased transduction efficiency or vector toxicity. These studies confirm that hiPSCs can be generated from adult and fetal hepatocytes including those with genetic diseases. Fetal hepatocytes reprogram much more efficiently than adult, although both could serve as useful sources of hiPSC-derived hepatocytes for basic research or transplantation.
metabolic liver disease; reprogramming efficiency; induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs); fetal hepatocytes
Between September 6 and 21, 2012, seven human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) neuroinvasive infection were laboratory confirmed in Croatia. The median patient age was 62 years (range 48–77). Five patients presented with meningoencephalitis and two patients with meningoencephalitis followed by acute flaccid paralysis. Four of them had an underlying disease (hypertension). Using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), WNV-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) and IgG antibodies of low avidity were detected in six patients, whereas one showed only IgM antibodies. All samples were confirmed using plaque-reduction neutralization and microneutralization tests. Five patients recovered fully. Before human cases were reported, acute asymptomatic WNV infection was demonstrated by detection of IgM antibodies in sentinel horses. Moreover, an increased WNV IgG seropositivity in horses was detected in counties where human cases occurred. Adulticidal and larvicidal treatments were administered immediately in the respective places of residence. The end of the warm season contributed to the fact that there were no new cases of WNV disease recorded.
West Nile virus; Outbreak; Croatia
Recombinant immunotoxins (RITs) are agents being developed for cancer treatment. They are composed of an Fv that binds to a cancer cell, fused to a 38-kDa fragment of Pseudomonas exotoxin A. SS1P is a RIT that targets mesothelin, a protein expressed on mesothelioma as well as pancreatic, ovarian, lung and other cancers. Because the protein tyrosine kinase (TK) family regulates a variety of cellular processes and pathways, we hypothesized that TKs might regulate susceptibility to immunotoxin killing. To investigate their role we used siRNAs to lower the level of expression of the 88 known TKs. We identified 5 TKs, INSR, HCK, SRC, PDGFRβ, and BMX that enhance the activity of SS1P when their level of expression is lowered by siRNAs. We further investigated the Src family member HCK in this study. Knocking down of SRC slightly increased SS1P killing in A431/H9 cells, but knocking down HCK substantially enhanced killing by SS1P. We investigated the mechanism of enhancement and found that HCK knock down enhanced SS1P cleavage by furin and lowered levels of Mcl-1 and raised Bax. We then found that Src inhibitors mimic the stimulatory effect of HCK knock down, both SU6656 and SKI-606 (Bosutinib) enhanced immunotoxin killing of mesothelin expressing cells by SS1P and CD22 expressing cells by HA22 (Moxetumomab pasudotox). SU6656 also enhanced the antitumor effects of SS1P and HA22 in mouse xenograft tumor models. Our data suggest that the combination of immunotoxin with TK inhibitors may be an effective way to treat some cancers.
Cancer treatment; Bosutinib; SU6656; Moxetumomab pasudotox; SS1P
Survival in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is influenced by the host immune response, yet the key genetic determinants of inflammation and immunity that impact prognosis are not known. The nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factor family plays an important role in many immune and inflammatory responses, including the response to cancer. We studied common inherited variation in 210 genes in the NF-κB family in 10,084 patients with invasive EOC (5,248 high grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous) from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Associations between genotype and overall survival were assessed using Cox regression for all patients and by major histology, adjusting for known prognostic factors and correcting for multiple testing (threshold for statistical significance—p < 2.5×10−5). Results were statistically significant when assessed for patients of a single histology. Key associations were with CARD11 (caspase recruitment domain family, member 11) rs41324349 in patients with mucinous EOC (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.41-2.35, p=4.13×10−6) and TNFRSF13B (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 13B) rs7501462 in patients with endometrioid EOC (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.56-0.82, p=2.33×10−5). Other associations of note included TRAF2 (TNF receptor-associated factor 2) rs17250239 in patients with high-grade serous EOC (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.77-0.92, p=6.49×10−5) and PLCG1 (phospholipase C, gamma 1) rs11696662 in patients with clear cell EOC (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.26-0.73, p=4.56×10−4). These associations highlight the potential importance of genes associated with host inflammation and immunity in modulating clinical outcomes in distinct EOC histologies.
single nucleotide polymorphism; recurrence; survival; ovarian neoplasms
Survival in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is influenced by the host immune response, yet the key genetic determinants of inflammation and immunity that impact prognosis are not known. The nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factor family plays an important role in many immune and inflammatory responses, including the response to cancer. We studied common inherited variation in 210 genes in the NF-κB family in 10,084 patients with invasive EOC (5,248 high grade serous, 1,452 endometrioid, 795 clear cell, and 661 mucinous) from the Ovarian Cancer Association Consortium. Associations between genotype and overall survival were assessed using Cox regression for all patients and by major histology, adjusting for known prognostic factors and correcting for multiple testing (threshold for statistical significance—p < 2.5×10−5). Results were statistically significant when assessed for patients of a single histology. Key associations were with CARD11 (caspase recruitment domain family, member 11) rs41324349 in patients with mucinous EOC (HR 1.82, 95% CI 1.41–2.35, p=4.13×10−6) and TNFRSF13B (tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 13B) rs7501462 in patients with endometrioid EOC (HR 0.68, 95% CI 0.56–0.82, p=2.33×10−5). Other associations of note included TRAF2 (TNF receptor-associated factor 2) rs17250239 in patients with high-grade serous EOC (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.77–0.92, p=6.49×10−5) and PLCG1 (phospholipase C, gamma 1) rs11696662 in patients with clear cell EOC (HR 0.43, 95% CI 0.26–0.73, p=4.56×10−4). These associations highlight the potential importance of genes associated with host inflammation and immunity in modulating clinical outcomes in distinct EOC histologies.
single nucleotide polymorphism; recurrence; survival; ovarian neoplasms
Genetic studies have suggested a functional link between cholesterol/sphingolipid metabolism and endocytic membrane traffic. Here we show that perturbing the cholesterol/sphingomyelin balance in the plasma membrane results in the massive formation of clusters of narrow endocytic tubular invaginations positive for N-BAR proteins. These tubules are intensely positive for sphingosine kinase 1 (SPHK1). SPHK1 is also targeted to physiologically occurring early endocytic intermediates, and is highly enriched in nerve terminals, cellular compartments specialized for exo-endocytosis. Membrane recruitment of SPHK1 involves a direct, curvature-sensitive interaction with the lipid bilayer mediated by a hydrophobic patch on the enzyme’s surface. The knockdown of SPHKs results in endocytic recycling defects, and a mutation that disrupts the hydrophobic patch of C. elegans SPHK fails to rescue the neurotransmission defects in loss-of-function mutants of this enzyme. Our studies support a role of sphingosine phosphorylation in endocytic membrane trafficking beyond the established function of sphingosine-1-phosphate in intercellular signaling.