The selection criteria for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) to undergo liver transplantation should accurately predict posttransplant recurrence while not denying potential beneficiaries. In the present study, we attempted to identify risk factors associated with posttransplant recurrence and to expand the selection criteria.
Patients and Methods
Adult patients with HCC who underwent liver transplantation between November 2004 and September 2012 at our centre were recruited into the current study (N = 241). Clinical and pathological data were retrospectively reviewed. Patients who died during the perioperative period or died of non-recurrence causes were excluded from this study (N = 25). All potential risk factors were analysed using uni- and multi-variate analyses.
Sixty-one recipients of 216 qualified patients suffered from recurrence. Similar recurrence-free and long-term survival rates were observed between living donor liver transplant recipients (N = 60) and deceased donor liver transplant recipients (N = 156). Total tumour volume (TTV) and preoperative percentage of lymphocytes (L%) were two independent risk factors in the multivariate analysis. We propose a prognostic score model based on these two risk factors. Patients within our criteria achieved a similar recurrence-free survival to patients within the Milan criteria. Seventy-one patients who were beyond the Milan criteria but within our criteria also had comparable survival to patients within the Milan criteria.
TTV and L% are two risk factors that contribute to posttransplant recurrence. Selection criteria based on these two factors, which are proposed by our study, expanded the Milan criteria without increasing the risk of posttransplant recurrence.
Hyperpolarization-activated currents (Ih) mediated by hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels modulate excitability of myelinated A− and Ah-type visceral ganglion neurons (VGN). Whether alterations in Ih underlie the previously reported reduction of excitability of myelinated Ah-type VGNs following ovariectomy (OVX) has remained unclear. Here we used the intact nodose ganglion preparation in conjunction with electrophysiological approaches to examine the role of Ih remodeling in altering Ah-type neuron excitability following ovariectomy in adult rats. Ah-type neurons were identified based on their afferent conduction velocity. Ah-type neurons in nodose ganglia from non-OVX rats exhibited a voltage ‘sag’ as well as ‘rebound’ action potentials immediately following hyperpolarizing current injections, which both were suppressed by the Ih blocker ZD7288. Repetitive spike activity induced afterhyperpolarizations lasting several hundreds of milliseconds (termed post-excitatory membrane hyperpolarizations, PEMHs), which were significantly reduced by ZD7288, suggesting that they resulted from transient deactivation of Ih during the preceding spike trains. Ovariectomy reduced whole-cell Ih density, caused a hyperpolarizing shift of the voltage-dependence of Ih activation, and slowed Ih activation. OVX-induced Ih remodeling was accompanied by a flattening of the stimulus frequency/response curve and loss of PEMHs. Also, HCN1 mRNA levels were reduced by ∼30% in nodose ganglia from OVX rats compared with their non-OVX counterparts. Acute exposure of nodose ganglia to 17beta-estradiol partly restored Ih density and accelerated Ih activation in Ah-type cells. In conclusion, Ih plays a significant role in modulating the excitability of myelinated Ah-type VGNs in adult female rats.
Advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated with impaired exercise capacity, skeletal muscle dysfunction, and oxidative stress. Mitochondria are the primary source for energy production and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Mitochondrial state 3 respiration, mitochondrial complex I enzyme activity, and tissue porin/actin ratio were determined in the gastrocnemius muscle of male SD rats 14 weeks after 5/6 nephrectomy (CKD) or sham-operation (control). The CKD group exhibited azotemia, hypertension, significant reduction (-39%) of state 3 mitochondrial respiration, and a significant increase in the mitochondrial complex I enzyme activity. The latter is the first step in oxidative phosphorylation, a process linked to production of ROS. These abnormalities were associated with a significant reduction in muscle porin/β actin ratio denoting substantial reduction of mitochondrial mass in skeletal muscle of animals with CKD. CKD results in impaired mitochondrial respiration, reduced muscle mitochondrial mass, depressed energy production and increased ROS generation in the skeletal muscle. These events can simultaneously contribute to the reduction of exercise capacity and oxidative stress in CKD.
End stage renal disease; oxidative stress; muscle weakness; exercise capacity; uremia
Plant growth is coordinately regulated by environmental and hormonal signals. Brassinosteroid (BR) plays essential roles in growth regulation by light and temperature, but the interactions between BR and these environmental signals remain poorly understood at the molecular level. Here, we show that direct interaction between the dark- and heat-activated transcription factor phytochrome-interacting factor4 (PIF4) and the BR-activated transcription factor BZR1 integrates the hormonal and environmental signals. BZR1 and PIF4 interact with each other in vitro and in vivo, bind to nearly two thousand common target genes, and synergistically regulate many of these target genes, including the PRE family HLH factors required for promoting cell elongation. Genetic analysis indicates that BZR1 and PIFs are interdependent in promoting cell elongation in response to BR, darkness, or heat. These results show that the BZR1-PIF4 interaction controls a core transcription network, allowing plant growth co-regulation by the steroid and environmental signals.
To evaluate the development of diabetic neuropathy, the current study examined changes in peripheral axonal function. Nerve excitability techniques were undertaken in 108 type 2 diabetic patients with nerve conduction studies (NCS), HbA1c levels, and total neuropathy score (TNS). Patients were categorized into two cohorts: patients with diabetes without neuropathy (DWN group [n = 56]) and patients with diabetes with neuropathy (DN group [n = 52]) and further into severity grade 0 (TNS 0–1 [n = 35]), grade 1 (TNS 2–8 [n = 42]), and grade 2/3 (TNS 9–24 [n = 31]). Results revealed that the DWN group had a significantly increased threshold, prolonged latency, and changes in excitability parameters compared with age-matched control subjects. Patients with neuropathy demonstrated significant alteration in recovery cycle parameters and depolarizing threshold electrotonus. Within the DWN cohort, there were significant correlations between HbA1c level and latency and subexcitability, whereas the estimated glomerular filtration rate correlated with superexcitability in patients with neuropathy. Furthermore, excitability parameters became progressively more abnormal with increasing clinical severity. These results suggest a spectrum of excitability abnormalities in patients with diabetes and that early axonal dysfunction may be detected prior to the development of neuropathy. As progressive changes in excitability parameters correlated to neuropathy severity, excitability testing may provide a biomarker of the early development and severity of diabetic neuropathy, providing insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms producing axonal dysfunction.
Our previous studies have shown that high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) could physically associate with the retinoblastoma (RB) protein via an LXCXE (leucine-X-cysteine-X-glutamic; X=any amino acid) motif. An identical LXCXE motif is present in the HMGB1–3 protein sequences, whereas a near-consensus LXCXD (leucine-X-cysteine-X-asparagine; X=any amino acid) motif is found in the HMGB4 protein. In this study, we have demonstrated that like HMGB1, HMGB2–3 also associated with the RB in vitro and in vivo, as evidenced by glutathione-s-transferase capture and immunoprecipitation–Western blot assays. A point mutation of the LXCXE or LXCXD motif led to disruption of RB:HMGB1–4 interactions. Enforced expression of HMGB1–3 or HMGB4 by adenoviral-vector-mediated gene transfer resulted in significant inhibition of breast cancer cell proliferation through an LXCXE- or LXCXD-dependent mechanism and an increased radiosensitivity through an LXCXE- or LXCXD-independent mechanism. These results suggest an important role of the LXCXE/D motif in RB:HMGB1–4 association and modulation of cancer cell growth, but not radiosensitivity.
breast cancer; biotherapy; cancer; gene therapy; irradiation
A lower responsiveness to leukotriene D4 (LTD4) or higher LTD4/[methacholine (MCh)] potency ratio might suggest preferable outcomes of short-term montelukast monotherapy in terms of airway inflammation and lung function in asthmatic patients.
Asthma; leukotriene D4 (LTD4); leukotriene-responsive; leukotriene-unresponsive; methacholine (MCh); montelukast
Treatment of cardiac syndrome X with unknown pathological mechanism remains a big challenge for clinicians. Complementary and alternative medicine may bring a new choice for its management. The aim of this study is to evaluate the clinical effects of traditional Chinese medicine on cardiac syndrome X patients.
We systematically searched databases such as Cochrane CENTRAL, PubMed, EMBASE, CBM, Chinese National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), WanFang and VIP, and handsearched relevant journals to identify randomized controlled trials. Following the steps of systematic review recommended by the Cochrane group, we assessed the quality of included studies, extracted valid data and undertook meta-analysis.
Twenty one moderate-to low-quality randomized controlled trials involving 1143 patients were included. The results showed that traditional Chinese medicine could improve angina [OR=1.34, 95% CI: 1.2 to 1.50], electrocardiogram (ECG), endothelin-1 (ET-1) levels, prolong exercise duration in treadmill tests, and reduce angina frequency per week compared with routine treatment. No other side effect was reported except two cases of stomach pain.
Compared with conventional treatment, traditional Chinese medicine shows the potential of optimizing symptomatic outcomes and improving ECG and exercise duration. The efficacy of TCM may find explanation in its pharmacological activity of adjusting the endothelial function. TCM, as a kind of alternative and complementary medicine, may provide another choice for CSX patients.
We isolated a bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) from commercial fetal bovine serum and designated it HLJ-10. The complete genome is 12,284 nucleotides (nt); the open reading frame is 11,694 nt, coding 3,898 amino acids. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that this strain belongs to BVDV group 2.
Host and parasitoid interaction is one of the most fascinating relationships of insects, which is currently receiving an increasing interest. Understanding the mechanisms evolved by the parasitoids to evade or suppress the host immune system is important for dissecting this interaction, while it was still poorly known. In order to gain insight into the immune response of Tenebrio molitor to parasitization by Scleroderma guani, the transcriptome of T. molitor pupae was sequenced with focus on immune-related gene, and the non-parasitized and parasitized T. molitor pupae were analyzed by digital gene expression (DGE) analysis with special emphasis on parasitoid-induced immune-related genes using Illumina sequencing.
In a single run, 264,698 raw reads were obtained. De novo assembly generated 71,514 unigenes with mean length of 424 bp. Of those unigenes, 37,373 (52.26%) showed similarity to the known proteins in the NCBI nr database. Via analysis of the transcriptome data in depth, 430 unigenes related to immunity were identified. DGE analysis revealed that parasitization by S. guani had considerable impacts on the transcriptome profile of T. molitor pupae, as indicated by the significant up- or down-regulation of 3,431 parasitism-responsive transcripts. The expression of a total of 74 unigenes involved in immune response of T. molitor was significantly altered after parasitization.
obtained T. molitor transcriptome, in addition to establishing a fundamental resource for further research on functional genomics, has allowed the discovery of a large group of immune genes that might provide a meaningful framework to better understand the immune response in this species and other beetles. The DGE profiling data provides comprehensive T. molitor immune gene expression information at the transcriptional level following parasitization, and sheds valuable light on the molecular understanding of the host-parasitoid interaction.
Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) is the cause of CSF which is a severe disease of pigs, leading to heavy economic losses in many regions of the world. Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) is a critical regulator of innate and adaptive immunity, and commonly activated upon viral infection. In our previous study, we found that CSFV could suppress the maturation and modulate the functions of monocyte-derived dendritic cells (Mo-DCs) without activating NF-κB pathway. To further prove the effects of CSFV on the NF-κB signaling pathway, we investigated the activity of NF-κB after CSFV infection in vivo and in vitro.
Attenuated Thiverval strain and virulent wild-type GXW-07 strain were used as challenge viruses in this study. Porcine kidney 15 (PK-15) cells were cultured in vitro and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from the blood of CSFV-infected pigs. DNA binding of NF-κB was measured by electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA), NF-κB p65 translocation was detected using immunofluorescent staining, and p65/RelA and IκBα expression was measured by Western Blotting.
Infection of cells with CSFV in vitro and in vivo showed that compared with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) stimulated cells, there was no distinct DNA binding band of NF-κB, and no significant translocation of p65/RelA from the cytoplasm to the nucleus was observed, which might have been due to the apparent lack of IkBa degradation.
CSFV infection had no effect on the NF-κB signaling pathway, indicating that CSFV could evade host activation of NF-κB during infection.
CSFV; NF-κB; PK-15; PBMC; p65; IκBα
Stem cell therapy has shown great promise for regenerative repair of injured or diseased tissues. Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) have become increasingly attractive candidates for cellular therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging has been proven to be effective in tracking magnetic-labeled cells and evaluating their clinical relevance after cell transplantation. This study investigated the feasibility of imaging green fluorescent protein-expressing ADSCs (GFP-ADSCs) labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles, and tracked them in vivo with noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging after cell transplantation in a model of mouse carotid artery injury.
GFP-ADSCs were isolated from the adipose tissues of GFP mice and labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles. Intracellular stability, proliferation, and viability of the labeled cells were evaluated in vitro. Next, the cells were transplanted into a mouse carotid artery injury model. Clinical 3 T magnetic resonance imaging was performed immediately before and 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 30 days after cell transplantation. Prussian blue staining and histological analysis were performed 7 and 30 days after transplantation.
GFP-ADSCs were found to be efficiently labeled with superparamagnetic iron oxide particles, with no effect on viability and proliferation. Homing of the labeled cells into the injured carotid artery tissue could be monitored by magnetic resonance imaging.
Magnetically labeled ADSCs with expression of GFP can home into sites of vascular injury, and may provide new insights into understanding of cell-based therapy for cardiovascular lesions.
adipose-derived stem cells; carotid artery injury; magnetic resonance imaging; iron oxide particles; cell therapy
To advance our knowledge on the snake venom composition and transcripts expressed in venom gland at the molecular level, we constructed a cDNA library from venom gland of Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma for the generation of expressed sequence tags (ESTs) database. From the randomly sequenced 2,112 independent clones, we have obtained ESTs for 1,309 (62%) cDNAs which showed significant deduced amino acid sequence similarity (scores > 80) to previously characterized proteins in NCBI database. Ribosomal proteins make up 47 clones (2%) and the remaining 756 (36%) cDNAs represent either unknown identity or show BLASTX sequence identity scores of < 80 with known GenBank accessions. The most highly expressed gene encoding phospholipase A2 (PLA2) accounting for 35% of A. p. leucostoma venom gland cDNAs was identified and further confirmed by crude venom applied to SDS-PAGE electrophoresis and protein sequencing. A total of 180 representative genes were obtained from the sequence assemblies and deposited to EST database. Clones showing sequence identity to disintegrins, thrombin-like enzymes, hemorrhagic toxins, fibrinogen clotting inhibitors and plasminogen activators were also identified in our EST database. These data can be used to develop a research program that will help us identify genes encoding proteins that are of medical importance or proteins involved in the mechanisms of the toxin venom.
Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma; Venoms; cDNA library; ESTs; Phospholipase A2
Two cDNA clones, AplVMP1 and AplVMP2, were isolated from a snake (Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma) venom gland cDNA library. The full-length cDNA sequence of AplVMP1 with a calculated molecular mass of 46.61 kDa is 1,233 bp in length. AplVMP1 encodes PI class metalloproteinase with an open reading frame of 411 amino acid residues that includes signal peptide, pro-domain and metalloproteinase domains. The full-length cDNA of the AplVMP2 (1,371bp) has a calculated molecular mass of 51.16 kDa and encodes PII class metalloproteinase. The open reading frame of AplVMP2 with a 457 amino acid residues is composed of signal peptide, pro-domain, metalloproteinase and disintegrin domains. AplVMP1 and AplVMP2 showed 85% and 93% amino acid identical to PI class enzyme Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus ACLPREF and PII class enzyme Agkistrodon piscivorus piscivorus piscivostatin, respectively. When expressed in E.coli, most of recombinant proteins of AplVMP1 and AplVMP2 were in insoluble inclusion bodies, with soluble yields of 0.7 mg/l and 0.4 mg/l bacterial culture, respectively. Both affinity purified recombinant proteins show proteolytic activity on fibrinogen, although having an activity lower than that of crude A.p.leucostoma venom. Proteolytic activities of AplVMP1 and AplVMP2 were completely abolished after incubation with a final concentration of 100 μm of EDTA or 1,10-phenanthroline. Both AplVMP1 and AplVMP2 were active in a fibrin-agars plate but devoid of hemorrhagic activity when injected (up to 50 μg) subcutaneously into mice, and had no capacity to inhibit platelet aggregation.
Snake Venom metalloproteinase; Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma; cDNA library; Fibrin(ogen)olytic activity
Treatment for osteoporosis commonly includes the use of bisphosphonates. Serious side effects of these drugs are caused by the inhibition of bone resorption as a result of osteoclast apoptosis. Treatment using calcitonin along with bisphosphonates overcomes these side-effects in some patients. Calcitonin is known to inhibit bone resorption without reducing the number of osteoclasts and is thought to prolong osteoclast survival through the inhibition of apoptosis. Further understanding of how calcitonin inhibits apoptosis could prove useful to the development of alternative treatment regimens for osteoporosis. This study aimed to analyze the mechanism by which calcitonin influences osteoclast apoptosis induced by a bisphosphate analog, sintered dicalcium pyrophosphate (SDCP), and to determine the effects of co-treatment with calcitonin and SDCP on apoptotic signaling in osteoclasts.
Isolated osteoclasts were treated with CT, SDCP or both for 48 h. Osteoclast apoptosis assays, pit formation assays, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining were performed. Using an osteoporosis rat model, ovariectomized (OVX) rats received calcitonin, SDCP, or calcitonin + SDCP. The microarchitecture of the fifth lumbar trabecular bone was investigated, and histomorphometric and biochemical analyses were performed.
Calcitonin inhibited SDCP-induced apoptosis in primary osteoclast cultures, increased Bcl-2 and Erk activity, and decreased Mcl-1 activity. Calcitonin prevented decreased osteoclast survival but not resorption induced by SDCP. Histomorphometric analysis of the tibia revealed increased bone formation, and microcomputed tomography of the fifth lumbar vertebrate showed an additive effect of calcitonin and SDCP on bone volume. Finally, analysis of the serum bone markers CTX-I and P1NP suggests that the increased bone volume induced by co-treatment with calcitonin and SDCP may be due to decreased bone resorption and increased bone formation.
Calcitonin reduces SDCP-induced osteoclast apoptosis and increases its efficacy in an in vivo model of osteoporosis.
A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of angiogenesis and vascular permeability is necessary for the development of therapeutic strategies for ischemic injury. The purpose of this study was to examine the spatial and temporal expression of Src and Src-suppressed C Kinase Substrate (SSeCKS) in brain after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and elucidate the relationships among Src, SSeCKS, and the key angiogenic factors present after stroke. Rats were subjected to either MCAO or sham operation. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting results revealed that Src gradually increased starting as early as 2 h after MCAO and remained high for 1 day. In contrast, SSeCKS decreased after MCAO. Src expression correlated positively with that of vascular endothelial growth factor and angiopoietin-2, and negatively with that of SSeCKS, angiopoietin-1, and zonula occludens-1. However, SSeCKS had the reverse correlations. Changes in the expression of these factors correlated with the progress of angiogenesis and cerebral edema. Dynamic temporal changes in Src and SSeCKS expression may modulate angiogenesis and cerebral edema formation after focal cerebral ischemia.
Src; SSeCKS; angiogenesis; cerebral edema; ischemia
TIEG1 can induce apoptosis of cancer cells, but its role in inhibiting invasion and metastasis has not been reported and is unclear. In this study, we find that decreased TIEG1 expression is associated with increased human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression in breast cancer tissues and cell lines. TIEG1 plays an important role in suppressing transcription of EGFR by directly binding to the EGFR promoter. While overexpression of TIEG1 attenuates EGFR expression, knockdown of TIEG1 stimulates EGFR expression. Furthermore, TIEG1 and HDAC1 form a complex, which binds to Sp1 sites on the EGFR promoter and inhibits its transcription by suppressing histone acetylation. TIEG1 significantly inhibits breast cancer cell invasion, suppresses mammary tumorigenesis in xenografts in mice, and decreases lung metastasis by inhibition of EGFR gene transcription and the EGFR signaling pathway. Therefore, TIEG1 is an antimetastasis gene product; regulation of EGFR expression by TIEG1 may be part of an integral signaling pathway that determines and explains breast cancer invasion and metastasis.
The most important proteins involved in olfaction include odorant binding protein (OBP), chemosensory protein (CSP), olfactory receptor (OR), and gustatory receptor (GR). Despite that the exhaustive genomic analysis has revealed a large number of olfactory genes in a number of model insects, it is still poorly understood for most nonmodel species. This is mostly due to the reason that the small antenna is challenging for collection. We can generally isolate one or few genes at a time by means of the traditional method. Here, we present the large-scale identifying members of the main olfactory genes from the head of Tomicus yunnanensis using Illumina sequencing. In a single run, we obtained over 51.8 million raw reads. These reads were assembled into 57,142 unigenes. Nearly 29,384 of them were functionally annotated in the NCBI nonredundant database. By depth analysis of the data, 11 OBPs, 8 CSPs, 18 ORs, and 8 GRs were retrieved. Sequences encoding full length proteins were further characterised for one OBP and two CSPs. The obtained olfactory genes provide a major resource in further unraveling the molecular mechanisms of T. yunnanensis chemoperception. This study indicates that the next generation sequencing is an attractive approach for efficient identification of olfactory genes from insects, for which the genome sequence is unavailable.
Brassinosteroids (BRs) are steroidal hormones that play pivotal roles during plant development. In addition to the characterization of BR deficient mutants, specific BR biosynthesis inhibitors played an essential role in the elucidation of BR function in plants. However, high costs and limited availability of common BR biosynthetic inhibitors constrain their key advantage as a species-independent tool to investigate BR function. We studied propiconazole (Pcz) as an alternative to the BR inhibitor brassinazole (Brz). Arabidopsis seedlings treated with Pcz phenocopied BR biosynthetic mutants. The steady state mRNA levels of BR, but not gibberellic acid (GA), regulated genes increased proportional to the concentrations of Pcz. Moreover, root inhibition and Pcz-induced expression of BR biosynthetic genes were rescued by 24epi-brassinolide, but not by GA3 co-applications. Maize seedlings treated with Pcz showed impaired mesocotyl, coleoptile, and true leaf elongation. Interestingly, the genetic background strongly impacted the tissue specific sensitivity towards Pcz. Based on these findings we conclude that Pcz is a potent and specific inhibitor of BR biosynthesis and an alternative to Brz. The reduced cost and increased availability of Pcz, compared to Brz, opens new possibilities to study BR function in larger crop species.
The Chinese white wax scale, Ericerus pela Chavannes is economically significant for its role in wax production. This insect has been bred in China for over a thousand years. The wax secreted by the male scale insect during the second-instar larval stage has been widespread used in wax candle production, wax printing, engraving, Chinese medicine, and more recently in the chemical, pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics industries. However, little is known about the mechanisms responsible for white wax biosynthesis. The characterization of its larval transcriptome may promote better understanding of wax biosynthesis.
In this study, characterization of the transcriptome of E. pela during peak wax secretion was performed using Illumina sequencing technology. Illumina sequencing produced 41,839 unigenes. These unigenes were annotated by blastx alignment against the NCBI Non-Redundant (NR), Swiss-Prot, KEGG, and COG databases. A total of 104 unigenes related to white wax biosynthesis were identified, and 15 of them were selected for quantitative real-time PCR analysis. We evaluated the variations in gene expression across different development stages, including egg, first/second instar larvae, male pupae, and male and female adults. Then we identified five genes involved in white wax biosynthesis. These genes were expressed most strongly during the second-instar larval stage of male E. pela.
The transcriptome analysis of E. pela during peak wax secretion provided an overview of gene expression information at the transcriptional level and a resource for gene mining. Five genes related to white wax biosynthesis were identified.
In the crystal structure of the title compound, C5H8N2O, molecules are linked via pairs of N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds, forming inversion dimers. These dimers are linked via pairs of N—H⋯H hydrogen bonds into zigzag chains propagating along .
Serine proteases are widely found in snake venoms. They have variety of functions including contributions to hemostasis. In this study, five serine proteases were cloned and characterized from two different cDNA libraries: factor V activator (RVV-V), alpha fibrinogenase (RVAF) and beta fibrinogenase (RVBF) from Russell's viper (Daboia russelli siamensis), and plasminogen activator (APL-PA) and protein C activator (APL-C) from Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma. The snake venom serine proteases were clustered in phylogenetic tree according to their functions. KA/KS values suggested that accelerated evolution has occurred in the mature protein coding regions in cDNAs of snake venom serine proteases.
Russell's viper; Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma; Snake venom serine protease; RT-PCR; cDNA
Accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides in the brain is one of the central pathogenic events in Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, why and how Aβ aggregates within the brain of AD patients remains elusive. Previously, we demonstrated hemoglobin (Hb) binds to Aβ and co-localizes with the plaque and vascular amyloid deposits in post-mortem AD brains. In this study, we further characterize the interactions between Hb and Aβ in vitro and in vivo and report the following observations: 1) the binding of Hb to Aβ required iron-containing heme; 2) other heme-containing proteins, such as myoglobin and cytochrome C, also bound to Aβ; 3) hemin-induced cytotoxicity was reduced in neuroblastoma cells by low levels of Aβ; 4) Hb was detected in neurons and glial cells of post-mortem AD brains and was up-regulated in aging and APP/PS1 transgenic mice; 5) microinjection of human Hb into the dorsal hippocampi of the APP/PS1 transgenic mice induced the formation of an envelope-like structure composed of Aβ surrounding the Hb droplets. Our results reveal an enhanced endogenous expression of Hb in aging brain cells, probably serving as a compensatory mechanism against hypoxia. In addition, Aβ binds to Hb and other hemoproteins via the iron-containing heme moiety, thereby reducing Hb/heme/iron-induced cytotoxicity. As some of the brain Hb could be derived from the peripheral circulation due to a compromised blood-brain barrier frequently observed in aged and AD brains, our work also suggests the genesis of some plaques may be a consequence of sustained amyloid accretion at sites of vascular injury.
Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are a superfamily of zinc-dependent proteases and participate in a number of important biological, physiological and pathophysiological processes. In this work, we simultaneously amplified 9 cDNAs encoding different classes of metalloproteinases from glands of four different snake species (Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus, Crotalus atrox, Crotalus viridis viridis and Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma) by RT-PCR with a pair of primers. Among the encoded metalloproteinases, two enzymes (AclVMP-I and AplVMP-I), three enzymes (CaVMP-II, CvvVMP-II and AplVMP-II) and four enzymes (AclVMP-III, CaVMP-III, CvvVMP-III and AplVMP-III) with the characteristic motif (HEXXHXXGXXH) of metalloproteinase belong to type P-I, P-II and P-III enzymes, respectively. Disintegrin domains of CaVMP-II and CvvVMP-II from two Crotatus snakes contain RGD-motif whereas AplVMP-II from Agkistrodon snake has KGD-motif. Instead of R/KGD-motif within disintegrin domain of SVMP-II enzyme CaVMP-III, CvvVMP-III and AplVMP-III enzymes contain SECD-motif, while AclVMP-III has DDCD-modif in their corresponding position of disintegrin-like domains. There are 12 Cys amino acids in cysterin-rich domains of each P-III enzyme. Moreover, a disintegrin precursor (AplDis) with RGD motif also simultaneously amplified from the glands of A.p.leucostoma while amplifying AplVMP-II and AplVMP-III, which indicated that different types of SVMPs and related genes are present in a single species of snake and share a consensus sequence at the 3' and 5' untranslated regions. RT-PCR result also showed that P-III is highly expressed in Crotalus snakes than in Agkistrodon snakes. Aligning the deduced amino acid sequence of these enzymes with other SVMPs from GenBank database indicated that this is the first report on the isolation of cDNAs encoding P-II and P-III enzymes from C.v.viridis and A.p.leucostoma snakes. The availability of these SVMP sequences directly facilitated further studies of structure characterization and diversified function analysis.
Snake venom metalloproteinase; RT-PCR; Agkistrodon contortrix laticinctus; Crotalus atrox; Crotalus viridis viridis; Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma
The pine shoot beetle Tomicus yunnanensis (Coleoptera: Scolytinae) is an economically important pest of Pinus yunnanensis in southwestern China. Developed resistance to insecticides due to chemical pesticides being used for a long time is a factor involved in its serious damage, which poses a challenge for management. In addition, highly efficient adaptation to divergent environmental ecologies results in this pest posing great potential threat to pine forests. However, the molecular mechanisms remain unknown as only limited nucleotide sequence data for this species is available.
In this study, we applied next generation sequencing (Illumina sequencing) to sequence the adult transcriptome of T. yunnanensis. A total of 51,822,230 reads were obtained. They were assembled into 140,702 scaffolds, and 60,031 unigenes. The unigenes were further functionally annotated with gene descriptions, Gene Ontology (GO), Clusters of Orthologous Groups (COG), and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genome (KEGG). In total, 80,932 unigenes were classified into GO, 13,599 unigenes were assigned to COG, and 33,875 unigenes were found in KO categories. A biochemical pathway database containing 219 predicted pathways was also created based on the annotations. In depth analysis of the data revealed a large number of genes related to insecticides resistance and heat shock protein genes associated with environmental stress.
The results facilitate the investigations of molecular resistance mechanisms to insecticides and environmental stress. This study lays the foundation for future functional genomics studies of important biological questions of this pest.