Recent studies have shown that multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) can be useful for distinguishing brain disorders into categories. Such analyses can substantially enrich and facilitate clinical diagnoses. Using MPVA methods, whole brain functional networks, especially those derived using different frequency windows, can be applied to detect brain states. We constructed whole brain functional networks for groups of vascular dementia (VaD) patients and controls using resting state BOLD-fMRI (rsfMRI) data from three frequency bands - slow-5 (0.01∼0.027 Hz), slow-4 (0.027∼0.073 Hz), and whole-band (0.01∼0.073 Hz). Then we used the support vector machine (SVM), a type of MVPA classifier, to determine the patterns of functional connectivity. Our results showed that the brain functional networks derived from rsfMRI data (19 VaD patients and 20 controls) in these three frequency bands appear to reflect neurobiological changes in VaD patients. Such differences could be used to differentiate the brain states of VaD patients from those of healthy individuals. We also found that the functional connectivity patterns of the human brain in the three frequency bands differed, as did their ability to differentiate brain states. Specifically, the ability of the functional connectivity pattern to differentiate VaD brains from healthy ones was more efficient in the slow-5 (0.01∼0.027 Hz) band than in the other two frequency bands. Our findings suggest that the MVPA approach could be used to detect abnormalities in the functional connectivity of VaD patients in distinct frequency bands. Identifying such abnormalities may contribute to our understanding of the pathogenesis of VaD.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions, affecting more than one tenth of the world’s population. As such, adipose tissue is being increasingly recognized as an important therapeutic target for obesity and related metabolic disorders. While many potential targets of adipose tissue have been established and drugs developed, very few of those drugs specifically target adipose tissue without affecting other tissue. This results from a limited knowledge of both cell-surface markers and physicochemical traits specific to adipocytes that might otherwise be exploited by circulating drugs.
Here we report the use of cell-SELEX technology to select two aptamers that can specifically recognize mature adipocytes: adipo-1 and adipo-8. Adipo-8 shows high affinity for differentiated, mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes with a Kd value of 17.8±5.1 nM. The binding was sustained upon incubation at 37°C and insulin stimulation, but was lost upon trypsin treatment. The binding ability was also verified on frozen tissue slides with low background fluorescence and isolated adipocytes.
Aptamer adipo-8 selected from a random library appears to bind to mature differentiated adipocytes specifically. This aptamer holds great promise as a molecular recognition tool for adipocyte biomarker discovery or for targeted delivery of molecules to adipocytes.
Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved lysosomal self-digestion process involved in degradation of long-lived proteins and damaged organelles. In recent years, increasing evidence indicates that autophagy is associated with a number of pathological processes, including cancer. In this review, we focus on the recent studies of the evolutionarily conserved autophagy-related genes (ATGs) that are implicated in autophagosome formation and the pathways involved. We discuss several key autophagic mediators (eg, Beclin-1, UVRAG, Bcl-2, Class III and I PI3K, mTOR, and p53) that play pivotal roles in autophagic signaling networks in cancer. We discuss the Janus roles of autophagy in cancer and highlighted their relationship to tumor suppression and tumor progression. We also present some examples of targeting ATGs and several protein kinases as anticancer strategy, and discuss some autophagy-modulating agents as antitumor agents. A better understanding of the relationship between autophagy and cancer would ultimately allow us to harness autophagic pathways as new targets for drug discovery in cancer therapeutics.
autophagy; cancer; autophagy-related gene (ATG); Beclin-1; Bcl-2; Class III and I PI3K; mTOR; p53
A variety of microbial communities and their genes (microbiome) exist throughout the human body, playing fundamental roles in human health and disease. The NIH funded Human Microbiome Project (HMP) Consortium has established a population-scale framework which catalyzed significant development of metagenomic protocols resulting in a broad range of quality-controlled resources and data including standardized methods for creating, processing and interpreting distinct types of high-throughput metagenomic data available to the scientific community. Here we present resources from a population of 242 healthy adults sampled at 15 to 18 body sites up to three times, which to date, have generated 5,177 microbial taxonomic profiles from 16S rRNA genes and over 3.5 Tb of metagenomic sequence. In parallel, approximately 800 human-associated reference genomes have been sequenced. Collectively, these data represent the largest resource to date describing the abundance and variety of the human microbiome, while providing a platform for current and future studies.
Purpose. To determine whether administration of gadolinium diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid (Gd-DTPA) and whether placement of the outer volume saturation bands significantly affect shimming and water suppression on hepatic MR spectroscopic prescanning. Method. Region of interest (ROI) of 2 cm × 2 cm × 2 cm was carefully positioned in the region of the middle portion of the right hepatic lobe. 32 patients were examined before and after administration of Gd-DTPA with and without outer-volume saturation bands. Linewidths (Full-Width Half-Maximum (FWHM)) and water suppression were obtained. A paired t-test for comparison of means was used. Results. (1) The group with the outer volume saturation bands demonstrated slightly better water suppression effect than the group without outer volume saturation bands before administration. (2) The group with the outer volume saturation bands demonstrated better water suppression effect than the group without outer volume saturation bands after administration. (3) Both shimming and water suppression effectswere decreased on enhanced MR spectroscopic prescanning (all P < 0.05). Conclusions. Placement of the outer volume saturation bands is helpful to improve water suppression both before and after contrast agent administration. Gd-DTPA exerts a slightly adverse effect (a statistically significant but clinically unimportant) on magnetic resonance spectroscopic prescanning at 3T.
In the title compound, [Zn2(C8H4O6)(C12H8N2)2(H2O)6](C8H4O6), the complete ions of both the binuclear dication and the dianion are generated by crystallographic inversion symmetry. The Zn atom is bonded to an N,N′-bidentate phenanthroline ligand, three water moleules and an O-monodenate 2,5-dihydroxyterephthalate dianion. In the resulting distorted octahedral ZnN2O4 coordination polyhedron, the water O atoms are in a mer orientation. Two intramolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds occur in the bridging 2,5-dihydroxyterephthalate dianion within the complex cation and also in the free dianion. An intramolecular Ow—H⋯O (w = water) hydrogen bond also occurs within the dication. In the crystal, O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds link the component ions into a three-dimensional network.
Methyl-CpG binding domain protein 5 (MBD5) belongs to the MBD family proteins, which play central roles in transcriptional regulation and development. The significance of MBD5 function is highlighted by recent studies implicating it as a candidate gene involved in human 2q23.1 microdeletion syndrome. To investigate the physiological role of Mbd5, we generated knockout mice. The Mbd5-deficient mice showed growth retardation, wasting and pre-weaning lethality. The observed growth retardation was associated with the impairment of GH/IGF-1 axis in Mbd5-null pups. Conditional knockout of Mbd5 in the brain resulted in the similar phenotypes as whole body deletion, indicating that Mbd5 functions in the nervous system to regulate postnatal growth. Moreover, the mutant mice also displayed enhanced glucose tolerance and elevated insulin sensitivity as a result of increased insulin signaling, ultimately resulting in disturbed glucose homeostasis and hypoglycemia. These results indicate Mbd5 as an essential factor for mouse postnatal growth and maintenance of glucose homeostasis.
The asymmetric unit of the title structure, C28H19NO·0.5C3H6O, comprises one 2-(anthracen-9-yl)-10-methoxybenzo[h]quinoline molecule and an acteone molecule with an occupany of 0.5. The solvent molecule is disordered around a centre of symmetry. Its occupancy was determined from NMR data and kept fixed during the refinement. The two conjugated ring systems of the molecule are almost perpendicular to each other; the interplanar angle between the anthracene and quinoline ring systems is 84.9 (2)°.
Acupuncture in humans can produce clinical effects via the central nervous system. However, the neural substrates of acupuncture’s effects remain largely unknown.
We utilized functional MRI to investigate the topological efficiency of brain functional networks in eighteen healthy young adults who were scanned before and after acupuncture at the ST36 acupoints (ACUP) and its sham point (SHAM). Whole-brain functional networks were constructed by thresholding temporal correlations matrices of ninety brain regions, followed by a graph theory-based analysis. We showed that brain functional networks exhibited small-world attributes (high local and global efficiency) regardless of the order of acupuncture and stimulus points, a finding compatible with previous studies of brain functional networks. Furthermore, the brain networks had increased local efficiency after ACUP stimulation but there were no significant differences after SHAM, indicating a specificity of acupuncture point in coordinating local information flow over the whole brain. Moreover, significant (P<0.05, corrected by false discovery rate approach) effects of only acupuncture point were detected on nodal degree of the left hippocampus (higher nodal degree at ACUP as compared to SHAM). Using an uncorrected P<0.05, point-related effects were also observed in the anterior cingulate cortex, frontal and occipital regions while stimulation-related effects in various brain regions of frontal, parietal and occipital cortex regions. In addition, we found that several limbic and subcortical brain regions exhibited point- and stimulation-related alterations in their regional homogeneity (P<0.05, uncorrected).
Our results suggest that acupuncture modulates topological organization of whole-brain functional brain networks and the modulation has point specificity. These findings provide new insights into neuronal mechanism of acupuncture from the perspective of functional integration. Further studies would be interesting to apply network analysis approaches to study the effects of acupuncture treatments on brain disorders.
In the title compound, C29H25NO, the dihedral angles between the indolin-2-one ring system and the three benzene rings are 62.78 (9), 31.69 (9) and 80.94 (9)°.
Brassica species include both vegetable and oilseed crops, which are very important to the daily life of common human beings. Meanwhile, the Brassica species represent an excellent system for studying numerous aspects of plant biology, specifically for the analysis of genome evolution following polyploidy, so it is also very important for scientific research. Now, the genome of Brassica rapa has already been assembled, it is the time to do deep mining of the genome data.
BRAD, the Brassica database, is a web-based resource focusing on genome scale genetic and genomic data for important Brassica crops. BRAD was built based on the first whole genome sequence and on further data analysis of the Brassica A genome species, Brassica rapa (Chiifu-401-42). It provides datasets, such as the complete genome sequence of B. rapa, which was de novo assembled from Illumina GA II short reads and from BAC clone sequences, predicted genes and associated annotations, non coding RNAs, transposable elements (TE), B. rapa genes' orthologous to those in A. thaliana, as well as genetic markers and linkage maps. BRAD offers useful searching and data mining tools, including search across annotation datasets, search for syntenic or non-syntenic orthologs, and to search the flanking regions of a certain target, as well as the tools of BLAST and Gbrowse. BRAD allows users to enter almost any kind of information, such as a B. rapa or A. thaliana gene ID, physical position or genetic marker.
BRAD, a new database which focuses on the genetics and genomics of the Brassica plants has been developed, it aims at helping scientists and breeders to fully and efficiently use the information of genome data of Brassica plants. BRAD will be continuously updated and can be accessed through http://brassicadb.org.
To mimic the dynamic regulation of signaling ligands immobilized on extracellular matrices or on the surfaces of neighboring cells for guidance of cell behavior and fate selection, we have harnessed biomolecular recognition in combination with polymer engineering to create dynamic surfaces on which the accessibility of immobilized ligands to cell surface receptors can be reversibly interconverted under physiological conditions. The cell-adhesive RGD peptide is chosen as a model ligand. RGD is fused to the C-terminus of a leucine zipper domain A and this fusion polypeptide is immobilized on surfaces through a residue at the N-terminus. The immobilized RGD can be converted from a cell-accessible to a cell-inaccessible state by addition of a conjugate of poly(ethylene) glycol (PEG) and another leucine zipper domain B (B-PEG). Heterodimerization between A and B allows co-immobilization of the PEG, which shields RGD from access by cells. The shielded RGD can be converted back to a cell-accessible state by addition of non-immobilized polypeptide A, which competes with the immobilized A for binding to B-PEG and removes B-PEG from the surface. This molecular design offers several advantages: the interconversion is reversible; the ligand remains immobilized during dynamic regulation so that cells are not exposed to the soluble form of the ligand that potentially has detrimental effects; the precision of the on/off states is assured by the molecular-level uniformity of the ligand and PEG co-immobilized through leucine zipper heterodimerization. The method can be readily adapted for dynamic regulation of other immobilized bioactive ligands of interest.
The attack rate was low, and having contact with an ill household member and younger age were the major risk factors.
We estimated the attack rate of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 and assessed risk factors for infection among close contacts quarantined in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. The first 613 confirmed cases detected between May 16 and September 15, 2009, were investigated; 7,099 close contacts were located and quarantined. The attack rate of confirmed infection in close contacts was 2.4% overall, ranging from 0.9% among aircraft passengers to >5% among household members. Risk factors for infection among close contacts were younger age, being a household member of an index case-patient, exposure during the index case-patient’s symptomatic phase, and longer exposure. Among close contacts with positive test results at the start of quarantine, 17.2% had subclinical infection. Having contact with a household member and younger age were the major risk factors for acquiring pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza virus infection. One person in 6 with confirmed pandemic (H1N1) 2009 was asymptomatic.
influenza; pandemic; close contact; attack rate; quarantine; viruses; China; pandemic (H1N1) 2009; research
The goal of this study is to observe changes in HBcAg-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), natural killer (NK) and natural killer T (NKT) cells from peripheral blood and to relate such changes on viral clearance and liver injury in patients with acute hepatitis B (AHB).
Dynamic profiles on the frequency of HLA-A0201-restricted HBcAg18-27 pentamer complex (MHC-Pentamer)-specific CTLs and lymphocyte subsets in AHB patients were analyzed in addition to liver function tests, HBV serological markers, and HBV DNA levels. ELISPOT was used to detect interferon-gamma (INF-γ) secretion in specific CTLs stimulated with known T cell epitope peptides associated with HBV surface protein, polymerase, and core protein.
HBV-specific CTL frequencies in AHB patients were much higher than in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) (p < 0.05). HBeAg and HBV DNA disappeared earlier in AHB patients with a high frequency of HBV-specific CTLs compared with those with a low frequency of HBV-specific CTLs (p = 0.001 and 0.024, respectively). INF-γ spots of effector cells stimulated by Pol575-583, Env348-357, or Core18-27 epitope peptides were significantly greater in AHB patients than in CHB patients (p < 0.01). CD3+CD8+ T cell numbers in AHB patients was more than observed in the healthy control group from the first to the fourth week after admission (p = 0.008 and 0.01, respectively); the number of CD3+CD8+ T cells and frequency of HBcAg18-27-specific CTLs in AHB patients reached peak levels at the second week after admission. NK and NKT cell numbers were negatively correlated with the frequency of HBcAg-specific CTLs (r = -0.266, p = 0.05).
Patients with AHB possess a higher frequency of HBcAg-specific CTLs than CHB patients. The frequency of specific CTLs in AHB patients is correlated with HBeAg clearance indicating that HBV-specific CTLs play an important role in viral clearance and the self-limited process of the disease. Furthermore, NK and NKT cells are likely involved in the early, non-specific immune response to clear the virus.
Memory CD4+ T cells that produce both Th2 and Th17 cytokines are increased in the blood of patients with atopic asthma and in the lungs of asthmatic mice, where they contribute to inflammation.
The inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-17 is involved in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. However, the identity and functions of IL-17–producing T cells during the pathogenesis of allergic diseases remain unclear. Here, we report a novel subset of TH2 memory/effector cells that coexpress the transcription factors GATA3 and RORγt and coproduce TH17 and TH2 cytokines. Classical TH2 memory/effector cells had the potential to produce IL-17 after stimulation with proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-21. The number of IL-17-TH2 cells was significantly increased in blood of patients with atopic asthma. In a mouse model of allergic lung diseases, IL-17–producing CD4+ TH2 cells were induced in the inflamed lung and persisted as the dominant IL-17–producing T cell population during the chronic stage of asthma. Treating cultured bronchial epithelial cells with IL-17 plus TH2 cytokines induced strong up-regulation of chemokine eotaxin-3, Il8, Mip1b, and Groa gene expression. Compared with classical TH17 and TH2 cells, antigen-specific IL-17–producing TH2 cells induced a profound influx of heterogeneous inflammatory leukocytes and exacerbated asthma. Our findings highlight the plasticity of TH2 memory cells and suggest that IL-17–producing TH2 cells may represent the key pathogenic TH2 cells promoting the exacerbation of allergic asthma.
AIM: To monitor the early responses to irradiation in primary and metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) with 18F-fluorothymidine (18F-FLT) and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) small-animal position emission tomography (micro-PET).
METHODS: The primary and metastatic CRC cell lines, SW480 and SW620, were irradiated with 5, 10 and 20 Gy. After 24 h, the cell cycle phases were analyzed. A dual-tumor-bearing mouse model of primary and metastatic cancer was established by injecting SW480 and SW620 cells into mice. micro-PET with 18F-FLT and 18F-FDG was performed before and 24 h after irradiation with 5, 10 and 20 Gy. The region of interest (ROI) was drawn over the tumor and background to calculate the ratio of tumor to non-tumor (T/NT) in tissues. Immunohistochemical assay and Western blotting were used to examine the levels of integrin β3, Ki-67, vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27).
RESULTS: The proportion of SW480 and SW620 cells in the G2-M phase was decreased with an increasing radiation dose. The proportion of SW480 cells in the G0-G1 phase was increased from 48.33% ± 4.55% to 87.09% ± 7.43% (P < 0.001) and that of SW620 cells in the S-phase was elevated from 43.57% ± 2.65% to 66.59% ± 7.37% (P = 0.021). In micro-PET study, with increasing dose of radiation, 18F-FLT uptake was significantly reduced from 3.65 ± 0.51 to 2.87 ± 0.47 (P = 0.008) in SW480 tumors and from 2.22 ± 0.42 to 1.76 ± 0.45 (P = 0.026) in SW620 tumors. 18F-FDG uptake in SW480 and SW620 tumors was reduced but not significantly (F = 0.582, P = 0.633 vs F = 0.273, P = 0.845). Dose of radiation was negatively correlated with 18F-FLT uptake in both SW480 and SW620 tumors (r = -0.727, P = 0.004; and r = -0.664, P = 0.009). No significant correlation was found between 18F-FDG uptake and radiation dose in SW480 or SW620 tumors. HSP27 and integrin β3 expression was higher in SW480 than in SW620 tumors. The T/NT ratio for 18F-FLT uptake was positively correlated with HSP27 and integrin β3 expression (r = 0.924, P = 0.004; and r = 0.813, P = 0.025).
CONCLUSION: 18F-FLT is more suitable than 18F-FDG in monitoring early responses to irradiation in both primary and metastatic lesions of colorectal cancer.
18F-fluorothymidine; 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose; Irradiation; Positron emission tomography; Colorectal cancer
Scrub typhus, caused by Orientia tsutsugamushi, has emerged recently in areas of northern China where the disease had not been known to exist. We analyzed epidemiological, clinical, and laboratory data for 104 patients who were admitted to a hospital in Fuyang City between 26 September and 1 November 2008. We showed that the major clinical manifestations of the patients were fever (100%), headache (82%), myalgias (77%), eschar (67%), rash (52%), and unusual facial flushing (62%). Among the 104 patients, the sera of 98% contained IgM antibodies to O. tsutsugamushi detected by indirect immunofluorescence assays (IFA), and DNA of the O. tsutsugamushi 56-kDa gene was amplified by PCR from the blood of 36 patients. We conclude that 104 patients were infected with scrub typhus in Fuyang City, Anhui Province. Our study indicates that physicians need to consider the diagnosis of scrub typhus for febrile patients living in northern China, where scrub typhus had not been considered to exist in the past.
In the title compound, C16H16N2O5, the dihedral angle between the two benzene rings is 4.2 (2)° and an intramolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bond generates an S(6) ring. In the crystal, molecules are linked into layers lying parallel to the bc plane by O—H⋯O and N—H⋯O hydrogen bonds.
EndoTT encoded by tte0829 of Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis binds and cleaves single-stranded (ss) and damaged double-stranded (ds) DNA in vitro as well as binding dsDNA. In the presence of a low concentration of NaCl, EndoTT cleaved ss regions of damaged dsDNA efficiently but did not cleave DNA that was entirely ss or ds. At high concentrations of NaCl or MgCl2 or ATP, there was also specific cleavage of ssDNA. This suggested a preference for ss/ds junctions to stimulate cleavage of the DNA substrates. EndoTT has six specific sites (a–f) in the oriC region (1–70 nt) of T. tengcongensis. Substitutions of nucleotides around site c prevented cleavage by EndoTT of both sites c and d, implying that the cleavage specificity may depend on both the nucleotide sequence and the secondary structure of the ssDNA. A C-terminal sub-fragment of EndoTT (residues 107–216) had both endonucleolytic and DNA-binding activity, whereas an N-terminal sub-fragment (residues 1–110) displayed only ssDNA-binding activity. Site-directed mutations showed that G170, R172 and G177 are required for the endonuclease activity of EndoTT, but not for DNA-binding, whereas D171, R178 and G189 are partially required for the DNA-binding activity.
Lexical tone recognition tends to be poor in cochlear implant users. The HiResolution (HiRes) sound-processing strategy is designed to better preserve temporal fine structure, or the detailed envelope information, of an acoustic signal. The newer HiRes 120 strategy builds on HiRes by increasing the amount of potential spectral information delivered to the implant user. The purpose of this study was to examine lexical tone recognition in native Mandarin Chinese-speaking children with cochlear implants using the HiRes and HiRes 120 sound-processing strategies. Tone recognition performance was tested with HiRes at baseline and then after up to 6 mo of HiRes 120 experience in the same subjects.
Twenty prelingually deafened, native Mandarin-speaking children, with ages ranging from 3.5 to 16.5 yr, participated. All children completed a computerized tone contrast test on three occasions: (1) using HiRes immediately before conversion to HiRes 120 (baseline), (2) 1 mo after conversion, and (3) 3 mo after conversion. Twelve of the 20 children also were tested 6 mo after conversion. In addition, the parents of 18 children completed a questionnaire at the 3-mo follow-up visit regarding the preference of sound-processing strategies and the children's experience related to various aspects of auditory perception and speech production using HiRes 120.
As a group, no statistically significant differences were seen between the tone recognition scores using HiRes and HiRes 120. Individual scores showed great variability. Tone recognition performance ranged from chance (50% correct) to nearly perfect. Using the conventional HiRes strategy, 6 of the 20 children achieved high-level tone recognition performance (i.e., ≥90% correct), whereas 7 performed at a level not significantly different from chance (50–60% correct). At the final test, either 3 or 6 mo after conversion, all children achieved tone recognition performance with HiRes 120 that was equal to or better than that with HiRes, although some children's tone recognition performance was worse initially at the 1 or 3 mo follow-up intervals than at baseline. Eight of the 20 children showed statistically significant improvement in tone recognition performance with HiRes 120 on at least one of the follow-up tests. Age at implantation was correlated with tone recognition performance at all four test intervals. Parents of most of the children indicated that the children preferred HiRes 120 more than HiRes.
As a group, HiRes 120 did not provide significantly improved lexical tone recognition compared to HiRes, at least throughout the length of the study (up to 6 mo). There were large individual differences in lexical tone recognition among the prelingually deafened, native Mandarin-speaking children with cochlear implants using either HiRes or HiRes 120. Six of the 20 children performed at or near ceiling in the baseline HiRes condition. Of the remainder, approximately half showed significantly better tone recognition when subsequently tested with HiRes 120, although the extent to which this improvement may be attributable to factors other than the change in processing strategy (e.g., general development) is unknown. The children who benefited most from HiRes 120 tended to be those who were implanted at younger ages.
The winged-helix (WH) BF-1 gene, which encodes brain factor 1 (BF-1) (also known as foxg1), is essential for the proliferation of the progenitor cells of the cerebral cortex. Here we show that BF-1-deficient telencephalic progenitor cells are more apt to leave the cell cycle in response to transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) and activin. We found that ectopic expression of BF-1 in vitro inhibits TGF-β mediated growth inhibition and transcriptional activation. Surprisingly, we found that the ability of BF-1 to function as a TGF-β antagonist does not require its DNA binding activity. Therefore, we investigated whether BF-1 can inhibit Smad-dependent transcriptional responses by interacting with Smads or Smad binding partners. We found that BF-1 does not interact with Smads. Because the identities of the Smad partners mediating growth inhibition by TGF-β are not clearly established, we examined a model reporter system which is known to be activated by activin and TGF-β through Smads and the WH factor FAST-2. We demonstrate that BF-1 associates with FAST-2. This interaction is dependent on the same region of protein which mediates its ability to interfere with the antiproliferative activity of TGF-β and with TGF-β-dependent transcriptional activation. Furthermore, the interaction of FAST-2 with BF-1 is mediated by the same domain which is required for FAST-2 to interact with Smad2. We propose a model in which BF-1 interferes with transcriptional responses to TGF-β by interacting with FAST-2 or with other DNA binding proteins which function as Smad2 partners and which have a common mode of interaction with Smad2.
On the basis of the initial success of optimization of
a novel series of imidazolopiperazines, a second generation of compounds
involving changes in the core piperazine ring was synthesized to improve
antimalarial properties. These changes were carried out to further
improve the potency and metabolic stability of the compounds by leveraging
the outcome of a set of in vitro metabolic identification studies.
The optimized 8,8-dimethyl imidazolopiperazine analogues exhibited
improved potency, in vitro metabolic stability profile and, as a result,
enhanced oral exposure in vivo in mice. The optimized compounds were
found to be more efficacious than the current antimalarials in a malaria
mouse model. They exhibit moderate oral exposure in rat pharmacokinetic
studies to achieve sufficient multiples of the oral exposure at the
efficacious dose in toxicology studies.
Circulating endothelial cells (CECs) are markers of vascular damage that have clinical relevance in many diseases, including acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and may be predictors of treatment responses. Herein, we investigated the diagnostic and prognostic value of CEC monitoring in AMI patients and a murine model.
CECs were defined as Hoechst 33342+/CD45−/CD31+/CD146+/CD133− in human blood samples and Hoechst 33342+/CD45−/CD31+/KDR+/CD117− in murine samples. To evaluate the validity and variability of our CEC detection system, peripheral blood samples of vascular endothelial growth factor-treated athymic nude mice and AMI patients were collected and subjected to intra-assay analysis. CEC detection by flow cytometry and real-time PCR were compared. Blood samples were obtained from 61 AMI patients, 45 healthy volunteers and 19 samples of the original AMI patients accepted one month treatment, via flow cytometry and expressed as a percentage of peripheral blood mononuclear cells.
Our CEC detection method was validated and had limited variability. CEC concentrations were higher in AMI patients compared to healthy controls. One month post-treatment, CECs levels decreased significantly.
CEC levels may be useful as a diagnostic and prognostic biomarker in AMI patients.
Nanoparticles are potentially used for early cancer detection, accurate diagnosis, and cancer treatment.
In this paper, the breast cancer cells treated with gold colloidal suspension were carefully studied by surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectra. Raman spectroscopy combining with high-resolution electron microscope is employed to investigate the interaction of gold nanoparticles (GNPs) with the intracellular components. The TEM images show that the GNPs are taken into the living cells and enveloped into some vesicles named ‘lick up vesicles’ in the cytosol.
The SERS spectra and SERS mapping of cells indicate that the major Raman bands are mostly assigned to the vibration characteristics of proteins, and the C-H in-plane bending mode of the substituted benzene in Phenylalanine is remarkably enhanced. Finally, the interaction mechanisms of the GNPs with the intracellular components are further discussed in detail.
SERS; Breast cancer cell; Gold nanoparticles; SERS mapping
Arthropod-borne pathogens account for millions of deaths each year. Understanding the genetic mechanisms controlling vector susceptibility to pathogens has profound implications for developing novel strategies for controlling insect-transmitted infectious diseases. The fact that many viruses carry genes that have anti-apoptotic activity has long led to the hypothesis that induction of apoptosis could be a fundamental innate immune response. However, the cellular mechanisms mediating the induction of apoptosis following viral infection remained enigmatic, which has prevented experimental verification of the functional significance of apoptosis in limiting viral infection in insects. In addition, studies with cultured insect cells have shown that there is sometimes a lack of apoptosis, or the pro-apoptotic response happens relatively late, thus casting doubt on the functional significance of apoptosis as an innate immunity. Using in vivo mosquito models and the native route of infection, we found that there is a rapid induction of reaper-like pro-apoptotic genes within a few hours following exposure to DNA or RNA viruses. Recapitulating a similar response in Drosophila, we found that this rapid induction of apoptosis requires the function of P53 and is mediated by a stress–responsive regulatory region upstream of reaper. More importantly, we showed that the rapid induction of apoptosis is responsible for preventing the expression of viral genes and blocking the infection. Genetic changes influencing this rapid induction of reaper-like pro-apoptotic genes led to significant differences in susceptibility to viral infection.
Arthropod-borne pathogens account for millions of deaths each year. Understanding the genetic mechanisms controlling arthropod susceptibility to pathogens has profound implications for developing novel strategies for controlling insect-transmitted infectious diseases. Although it was postulated that apoptosis (a genetically controlled form of cellular suicide) may play a very important role in insect innate immunity against viral infection, direct evidence has been lacking due to the lack of knowledge on the regulatory pathways responsible for the induction of apoptosis following viral infection. In this study, we found that there is a rapid induction of pro-apoptotic genes within 1–3 hours of exposure to virus. This rapid pro-apoptotic response was only observed in live animals but not in cultured cells. Genetic analysis indicated that animals lacking this rapid pro-apoptotic response were hypersensitive to viral infection. Thus our work provides unequivocal evidence indicating that rapid induction of apoptosis plays a very important role in mediating insect resistance to viral infection.