Klotho was originally characterized as an aging suppressor gene that predisposed Klotho-deficient mice to premature aging-like syndrome. Although Klotho was recently reported to exhibit tumor suppressive properties during various malignant transformations, the functional role and molecular mechanism of Klotho in hepatocarcinogenesis remains poorly understood. In our present study, immunohistochemical Klotho staining levels in a clinical follow-up of 52 hepatoma patients were significantly associated with liver cirrhosis, tumor multiplicity and venous invasion. The overall survival rate of hepatoma patients with high Klotho expression was significantly lower than those patients with low Klotho expression. Moreover, Klotho overexpression increased cellular migration, anchorage-independent growth, and anoikis resistance in hepatoma cells. Klotho overexpression elevated p21-activated kinase 1 (PAK1) expression and shRNA-mediated PAK1 knockdown and kinase activity inhibition with kinase dead mutant PAK1 K299R coexpression or allosteric inhibitor IPA3 treatment reversed anoikis resistance in Klotho-overexpressed hepatoma cells. More importantly, the pivotal significance of upregulated VEGFR2 protein levels mediated by Klotho expression was confirmed by VEGFR2 inhibitor Axitinib and blocking antibody treatment in hepatoma cells. Axitinib treatment sensitized anoikis was reversed by constitutive active mutant PAK1 T423E coexpression in Klotho-overexpressed hepatoma cells. Conversely, knockdown of Klotho reduced VEGFR2/PAK1 dependent anoikis resistance, which could be reversed by PAK1 T423E. These results revealed a novel oncogenic function of Klotho in promoting anoikis resistance via activating VEGFR2/PAK1 signaling, thus facilitating tumor migration and invasion during hepatoma progression, which could provide a putative molecular mechanism for tumor metastasis.
Near infrared quantum dots have been receiving great attention as fluorescent optical probes for in vivo imaging applications. In this contribution, we report the synthesis and surface functionalization of cadmium free ternary AgInS2 nanocrystals emitting in the near infrared range for successful in vitro and in vivo bioimaging applications. The FDA approved triblock copolymer Pluronic F127 was used to encapsulate the nanocrystals and made them dispersible in aqueous solution. By employing a whole body small animal optical imaging setup, we were able to use the AgInS2 nanocrystals formulation for passive targeted delivery to the tumor site. The ultra-small crystal size, near-infrared emitting luminescence, and high quantum yield make the AgInS2 nanocrystals an attractive candidate as a biological contrast agent for cancer sensing and imaging.
Near infrared quantum dots; Bioimaging; Surface functionalization; Targeted delivery; Nanotoxicity.
Chronic inflammation plays a crucial role in the progression of vascular calcification (VC). This study was designed to investigate whether the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) pathway is involved in the progression of VC in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) during inflammation.
Methods and Results
Twenty-eight ESRD patients were divided into control and inflamed groups according to plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) level. Surgically removed tissues from the radial arteries of patients receiving arteriovenostomy were used in the experiments. The expression of tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) of the radial artery were increased in the inflamed group. Hematoxylin-eosin and alizarin red S staining revealed parallel increases in foam cell formation and calcium deposit formation in continuous cross-sections of radial arteries in the inflamed group compared to the control, which were closely correlated with increased LDLr, sterol regulatory element binding protein-2 (SREBP-2), bone morphogenetic proteins-2 (BMP-2), and collagen I protein expression, as shown by immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining. Confocal microscopy confirmed that inflammation enhanced the translocation of the SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP)/SREBP-2 complex from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi, thereby activating LDLr gene transcription. Inflammation increased alkaline phosphatase protein expression and reduced α-smooth muscle actin protein expression, contributing to the conversion of the vascular smooth muscle cells in calcified vessels from the fibroblastic to the osteogenic phenotype; osteogenic cells are the main cellular components involved in VC. Further analysis showed that the inflammation-induced disruption of the LDLr pathway was significantly associated with enhanced BMP-2 and collagen I expression.
Inflammation accelerated the progression of VC in ESRD patients by disrupting the LDLr pathway, which may represent a novel mechanism involved in the progression of both VC and atherosclerosis.
Although Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) marker is an invaluable tool for positional cloning, association study and evolutionary analysis, low SNP detection efficiency by Allele-Specific PCR (AS-PCR) still restricts its application as molecular marker like other markers such as Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR). To overcome this problem, primers with a single nucleotide artificial mismatch introduced within the three bases closest to the 3’end (SNP site) have been used in AS-PCR. However, for one SNP site, nine possible mismatches can be generated among the three bases and how to select the right one to increase primer specificity is still a challenge.
In this study, different from the previous reports which used a limited quantity of primers randomly (several or dozen pairs), we systematically investigated the effects of mismatch base pairs, mismatch sites and SNP types on primer specificity with 2071 primer pairs, which were designed based on SNPs from Brassica oleracea 01-88 and 02-12. According to the statistical results, we (1) found that the primers designed with SNP (A/T), in which the mismatch (CA) in the 3rd nucleotide from the 3’ end, had the highest allele-specificity (81.9%). This information could be used when designing primers from a large quantity of SNP sites; (2) performed the primer design principle which forms the one and only best primer for every SNP type. This is never reported in previous studies. Additionally, we further identified its availability in rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) and sesame (Sesamum indicum). High polymorphism percent (75%) of the designed primers indicated it is a general method and can be applied in other species.
The method provided in this study can generate primers more effectively for every SNP site compared to other AS-PCR primer design methods. The high allele-specific efficiency of the SNP primer allows the feasibility for low- to moderate- throughput SNP analyses and is much suitable for gene mapping, map-based cloning, and marker-assisted selection in crops.
SNP; AS-PCR; Mismatch; Polymorphism; Destabilization
Although the genetic variability of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in HBV-infected patients has been extensively studied, reports on genotypes, subtypes and mutations in the S region of HBV strains from Chinese blood donors are limited. In this study, 245 blood samples from HBsAg-positive blood donors were collected from five geographically diverse blood centers in China. The S region of HBV was amplified, and the HBV genotype and subtype were determined. The amino acid sequences of the S region were aligned, and mutations related to the failure of immunization and HBsAg detection were determined. Of the 245 samples, 228 (93 %) were genotyped successfully. We found that genotypes B, C, D and A accounted for 58.8 %, 21.9 %, 6.6 % and 3.95 % of the isolates, respectively. The distribution of HBV antigen subtypes was as follows: adw (67.6 %), adr (23.3 %) and ayw (8.7 %). Mutations were present in 39 (17.1 %) of 228 samples in the major hydrophilic region (MHR) of the S region. This study demonstrated that HBV genotype/subtype B/adw was the most frequent strain circulating in HBV-infected Chinese blood donors, followed by C/adr. The occurrence of MHR mutants in HBV-infected blood donors and the potential failure to detect some of them in collected units poses a threat to transfusion safety.
Aptamers are single-stranded oligonucleotides of DNA or RNA that bind to target molecules with high affinity and specificity. Typically, aptamers are generated by an iterative selection process, called systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX). Recent advancements in SELEX technology have extended aptamer selection from comparatively simple mixtures of purified proteins to whole living cells, and now cell-based SELEX (or cell-SELEX) can isolate aptamers that bind to specific target cells. Combined with nanotechnology, microchips, microfluidic devices, RNAi and other advanced technologies, cell-SELEX represents an integrated platform providing ultrasensitive and highly specific tools for clinical medicine. In this review, we describe the recent progress made in the application of cell-SELEX for diagnosis, therapy and biomarker discovery.
aptamer; SELEX; molecular medicine
Early in this study, CdTe/ZnS core/shell quantum dots (QDs) were encapsulated in carboxylated Pluronic F127 triblock polymeric micelle, to preserve the optical and colloidal stability of QDs in biological fluids. Folic acid (FA) was then conjugated to the surface of QDs for the targeted delivery of the QD formulation to the tumor site, by exploiting the overexpressed FA receptors (FARs) on the tumor cells. Cytotoxicity study demonstrated that the QD formulation has negligible in vitro toxicity. The in vitro study showed that the bioconjugated micelle-encapsulated QDs, but not the unconjugated QDs, were able to efficiently label Panc-1 cancer cells. In vivo imaging study showed that bioconjugated QDs were able to target tumor site after intravenous injection of the formulation in tumor-bearing mice.
Quantum dots; Targeted delivery; Bioimaging; Bioconjugation; Pluronics and Nanotoxicity.
IDH1 and IDH2 mutations occur frequently in gliomas and acute myeloid leukemia, leading to simultaneous loss and gain of activities in the production of α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) and 2-hydroxyglutarate (2-HG), respectively. Here we demonstrate that 2-HG is a competitive inhibitor of multiple α-KG-dependent dioxygenases, including histone demethylases and the TET family of 5-methlycytosine (5mC) hydroxylases. 2-HG occupies the same space as α-KG does in the active site of histone demethylases. Ectopic expression of tumor-derived IDH1 and IDH2 mutants inhibits histone demethylation and 5mC hydroxylation. In glioma, IDH1 mutations are associated with increased histone methylation and decreased 5-hydroxylmethylcytosine (5hmC). Hence, tumor-derived IDH1 and IDH2 mutations reduce α-KG and accumulate an α-KG antagonist, 2-HG, leading to genome-wide histone and DNA methylation alterations.
In silico screening of metazoan genome data identified multiple endogenous hepadnaviral elements in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) genome, most notably two elements comprising about 1.3× and 1.0× the full-length genome. Phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses show that endogenous budgerigar hepatitis B viruses (eBHBV) share an ancestor with extant avihepadnaviruses and infiltrated the budgerigar genome millions of years ago. Identification of full-length genomes with preserved key features like ε signals could enable resurrection of ancient BHBV.
The risk factors for No. 12p and No. 12b lymph node (LN) metastases in advanced gastric cancer (GC) remain controversial. The aim of this study was to investigate the risk factors for No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases in advanced GC.
From January 1999 to December 2005, a retrospective analysis of 163 patients with advanced GC who underwent D2 lymphadenectomy in addition to No. 12p and No. 12b LN dissections was conducted. Potential clinicopathological factors that could influence No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases were statistically analyzed.
There were 15 cases (9.2%) with No. 12p LN metastases and 5 cases (3.1%) with synchronous No. 12b LN metastases. A logistic regression analysis revealed that the Borrmann type (III/IV versus I/II, P = 0.029), localization (lesser/circular versus greater, P = 0.025), and depth of invasion (pT4 versus pT2/pT3, P = 0.009) were associated with 11.1-, 3.8-, and 5.6-fold increases, respectively, for risk of No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases. A logistic regression analysis also showed that No. 5 (P = 0.006) and No. 12a (P = 0.004) LN metastases were associated with 6.9- and 11.3-fold increases, respectively, for risk of No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases. In addition, significant differences in 5-year survival of patients with and without No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases were observed (13.3% versus 35.1%, P = 0.022).
We conclude that Borrmann type, localization, and depth of invasion are significant variables for identifying patients with No. 12p and No. 12b LN metastases. Individuals with No. 5 or No. 12a LN metastases should be on high alert for the possibility of additional metastases to the No. 12p and No. 12b LNs.
Gastrectomy; gastric cancer; lymphadenectomy; metastasis; risk factor
The magnetic susceptibility of tissue can be determined in gradient echo MRI by deconvolving the local magnetic field with the magnetic field generated by a unit dipole. This Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM) problem is unfortunately ill-posed. By transforming the problem to the Fourier domain, the susceptibility appears to be undersampled only at points where the dipole kernel is zero, suggesting that a modest amount of additional information may be sufficient for uniquely resolving susceptibility. A Morphology Enabled Dipole Inversion (MEDI) approach is developed that exploits the structural consistency between the susceptibility map and the magnitude image reconstructed from the same gradient echo MRI. Specifically, voxels that are part of edges in the susceptibility map but not in the edges of the magnitude image are considered to be sparse. In this approach an L1 norm minimization is used to express this sparsity property. Numerical simulations and phantom experiments are performed to demonstrate the superiority of this L1 minimization approach over the previous L2 minimization method. Preliminary brain imaging results in healthy subjects and in patients with intracerebral hemorrhages illustrate that QSM is feasible in practice.
quantitative susceptibility mapping; gradient echo; inverse problem; morphology enabled dipole inversion; tissue susceptibility; L1 norm; L2 norm; constraint minimization; sparsity
Melatonin is involved in the regulation of circadian and seasonal rhythms and immune function. Prior research reported low melatonin levels in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ASMT located in pseudo-autosomal region 1 encodes the last enzyme of the melatonin biosynthesis pathway. A previous study reported an association between ASD and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs4446909 and rs5989681 located in the promoter of ASMT. Furthermore, rare deleterious mutations were identified in a subset of patients. To investigate the association between ASMT and autism, we sequenced all ASMT exons and its neighboring region in 398 Chinese Han individuals with autism and 437 healthy controls. Although our study did not detect significant differences of genotypic distribution and allele frequencies of the common SNPs in ASMT between patients with autism and healthy controls, we identified new rare coding mutations of ASMT. Among these rare variants, 4 were exclusively detected in patients with autism including a stop mutation (p.R115W, p.V166I, p.V179G, and p.W257X). These four coding variants were observed in 6 of 398 (1.51%) patients with autism and none in 437 controls (Chi-Square test, Continuity Correction p = 0.032, two-sided). Functional prediction of impact of amino acid showed that p.R115W might affect protein function. These results indicate that ASMT might be a susceptibility gene for autism. Further studies in larger samples are needed to better understand the degree of variation in this gene as well as to understand the biochemical and clinical impacts of ASMT/melatonin deficiency.
The conductivity and permittivity of tumors are known to differ significantly from those of normal tissues. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is a relatively new imaging method for exploiting these differences. However, the accuracy of data capture is one of the difficult problems urgently to be solved in the clinical application of EIT technology. A new concept of EIT sensitizers is put forward in this paper with the goal of expanding the contrast ratio of tumor and healthy tissue to enhance EIT imaging quality. The use of nanoparticles for changing tumor characteristics and determining the infiltration vector for easier detection has been widely accepted in the biomedical field. Ultra-pure water, normal saline, and gold nanoparticles, three kinds of material with large differences in electrical characteristics, are considered as sensitizers and undergo mathematical model analysis and animal experimentation. Our preliminary results suggest that nanoparticles are promising for sensitization work. Furthermore, in experimental and simulation results, we found that we should select different sensitizers for the detection of different types and stages of tumor.
EIT; nanoparticle sensitizer; tumor detection; EMF analysis
Background Chronic inflammation plays a crucial role in the progression of cardiac fibrosis. This study investigated whether inflammation exacerbated the progression of cardiac fibrosis in high-fat-fed apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE KO) mice via endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndMT).
Methods Twenty-four male ApoE KO mice were divided into normal chow diet (Control), high-fat diet (HFD), or high-fat diet plus 10% casein injection (inflamed) groups for 8 weeks. The body weight of ApoE KO mice was measured at each week. The lipid profile and serum amyloid A (SAA) levels were examined using clinical biochemistry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, respectively. Cardiac lipid and collagen accumulation was visualised with haematoxylin-eosin (HE) and Masson's trichrome staining. EndMT-related molecule expression was examined by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting.
Results SAA levels were increased in the inflamed group compared with the HFD and control groups, suggesting that inflammation was successfully induced. There were no differences in body weight among three groups at each week. Interestingly, inflammation significantly reduced serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels compared with the HFD mice. However, both foam cell formation in cardiac blood vessels and cardiac collagen deposition were increased in the inflamed group, as demonstrated by HE and Masson trichrome staining. Furthermore, inflammation reduced protein expression of CD31 and increased protein expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and collagen I, which contribute to cardiac EndMT.
Conclusions Inflammatory stress exacerbates the progression of cardiac fibrosis in high-fat-fed ApoE KO mice via EndMT, suggesting that hyperlipidaemia and inflammation act synergistically to redistribute plasma lipids to cardiac tissues and accelerate the progression of cardiac fibrosis.
Dyslipidaemia; inflammation; EndMT; cardiac fibrosis
o,p’-DDT is an infamous xenoestrogen as well as a ubiquitous and persistent pollutant. Biomonitoring studies show that women have been internally exposed to o,p’-DDT at range of 0.3–500 ng/g (8.46×10−10 M−1.41×10−6 M) in blood and other tissues. However, very limited studies have investigated the biological effects and mechanism(s) of o,p’-DDT at levels equal to or lower than current exposure levels in human. In this study, using primary cultures of rat ovarian granulosa cells, we determined that very low doses of o,p’-DDT (10−12−10−8 M) suppressed the expression of ovarian genes and production of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2). In vivo experiments consistently demonstrated that o,p’-DDT at 0.5–1 mg/kg inhibited the gene expression and PGE2 levels in rat ovary. The surprising results from the receptor inhibitors studies showed that these inhibitory effects were exerted independently of either classical estrogen receptors (ERs) or G protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30). Instead, o,p’-DDT altered gene expression or hormone action via inhibiting the activation of protein kinase A (PKA), rather than protein kinase C (PKC). We further revealed that o,p’-DDT directly interfered with the PKA catalytic subunit. Our novel findings support the hypothesis that exposure to low concentrations of o,p’-DDT alters gene expression and hormone synthesis through signaling mediators beyond receptor binding, and imply that the current exposure levels of o,p’-DDT observed in the population likely poses a health risk to female reproduction.
Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) is highly expressed in many human cancers and regulates critical steps in mitotic progression. Previously, we have reported that PLK1 was overexpressed in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but the underlying molecular mechanisms are not well understood. By using microRNA (miR) target prediction algorithms, we identified miR-100 that might potentially bind the 3’-untranslated region of PLK1 transcripts. The purpose of this study was to investigate the roles of miR-100 and its association with PLK1 in NSCLC development.
Taqman real-time quantitative RT-PCR assay was performed to detect miR-100 expression 10 NSCLC tissues and corresponding nontumor tissues. Additionally, the expression of miR-100 in 110 NSCLC tissues and its correlation with clinicopathological factors or prognosis of patients was analyzed. Finally, the effects of miR-100 expression on growth, apoptosis and cell cycle of NSCLC cells by posttranscriptionally regulating PLK1 expression were determined.
MiR-100 was significantly downregulated in NSCLC tissues, and low miR-100 expression was found to be closely correlated with higher clinical stage, advanced tumor classification and lymph node metastasis of patients. The overall survival of NSCLC patients with low miR-100 was significantly lower than that of those patients with high miR-100, and univariate and multivariate analyses indicated that low miR-100 expression might be a poor prognostic factor. Also, miR-100 mimics could lead to growth inhibition, G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis enhancement in NSCLC cells. Meanwhile, miR-100 mimics could significantly inhibit PLK1 mRNA and protein expression and reduce the luciferase activity of a PLK1 3’ untranslated region-based reporter construct in A549 cells. Furthermore, small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated PLK1 downregulation could mimic the effects of miR-100 mimics while PLK1 overexpression could partially rescue the phenotypical changes of NSCLC cells induced by miR-100 mimics.
Our findings indicate that low miR-100 may be a poor prognostic factor for NSCLC patients and functions as a tumor suppressor by posttranscriptionally regulating PLK1 expression.
Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) is one of most important oilseed crops in the world. There are now various rapeseed cultivars in nature that differ in their seed oil content because they vary in oil-content alleles and there are high-oil alleles among the high-oil rapeseed cultivars. For these experiments, we generated doubled haploid (DH) lines derived from the cross between the specially high-oil cultivar zy036 whose seed oil content is approximately 50% and the specially low-oil cultivar 51070 whose seed oil content is approximately 36%. First, to address the deficiency in polymorphic markers, we designed 5944 pairs of newly developed genome-sourced primers and 443 pairs of newly developed primers related to oil-content genes to complement the 2244 pairs of publicly available primers. Second, we constructed a new DH genetic linkage map using 527 molecular markers, consisting of 181 publicly available markers, 298 newly developed genome-sourced markers and 48 newly developed markers related to oil-content genes. The map contained 19 linkage groups, covering a total length of 2,265.54 cM with an average distance between markers of 4.30 cM. Third, we identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) for seed oil content using field data collected at three sites over 3 years, and found a total of 12 QTL. Of the 12 QTL associated with seed oil content identified, 9 were high-oil QTL which derived from the specially high-oil cultivar zy036. Two high-oil QTL on chromosomes A2 and C9 co-localized in two out of three trials. By QTL mapping for seed oil content, we found four candidate genes for seed oil content related to four gene markers: GSNP39, GSSR161, GIFLP106 and GIFLP046. This information will be useful for cloning functional genes correlated with seed oil content in the future.
Resveratrol is a natural polyphenolic compound that has cardioprotective, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties. We investigated the capacity of resveratrol to protect RAW 264.7 cells from inflammatory insults and explored mechanisms underlying inhibitory effects of resveratrol on RAW 264.7 cells.
Murine RAW 264.7 cells were treated with resveratrol (1, 5, and 10 µM) and/or LPS (5 µg/ml). Nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) were measured by Griess reagent and ELISA. The mRNA and protein levels of proinflammatory proteins and cytokines were analysed by ELISA, RT-PCR and double immunofluorescence labeling, respectively. Phosphorylation levels of Akt, cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) cascades, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and expression of SIRT1(Silent information regulator T1) were measured by western blot. Wortmannin (1 µM), a specific phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) inhibitor, was used to determine if PI3-K/Akt signaling pathway might be involved in resveratrol’s action on RAW 264.7 cells. Resveratrol significantly attenuated the LPS-induced expression of nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in RAW 264.7 cells. Resveratrol increased Akt phosphorylation in a time-dependent manner. Wortmannin, a specific phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) inhibitor, blocked the effects of resveratrol on LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells activation. In addition, PI3-K inhibition partially abolished the inhibitory effect of resveratrol on the phosphorylation of cyclic AMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) cascades. Meanwhile, PI3-K is essential for resveratrol-mediated phosphorylation of AMPK and expression of SIRT1.
Conclusion and Implications
This investigation demonstrates that PI3-K/Akt activation is an important signaling in resveratrol-mediated activation of AMPK phosphorylation and SIRT1 expression, and inhibition of phosphorylation of CREB and MAPKs activation, proinflammatory mediators and cytokines production in response to LPS in RAW 264.7 cells.
The Lymphoid specific tyrosine phosphatase (Lyp) has elicited tremendous research interest due to the high risk of its missense mutation R620W in a wide spectrum of autoimmune diseases. While initially characterized as a gain-of-function mutant, R620W was thought to lead to autoimmune diseases through loss-of-function in T cell signaling by a recent study. Here we investigate the biochemical characters and T cell signaling functions of two uncharacterized Lyp variants S201F and R266W, together with a previously characterized Lyp variant R263Q, which had reduced risk in several autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), ulcerative colitis (UC) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Our kinetic and functional studies of R263Q polymorphism basically reproduced previous findings that it was a loss-of-function mutant. The other variant S201F reduced Lyp phosphatase activity moderately and decreased Lyp function in T cell slightly, while R266W severely impaired phosphatase activity and was a loss-of-function variant in T cell signaling. A combined kinetic and structure analysis suggests that the R266W variant may decrease its phosphatase activity through perturbing either the Q-loop or the WPD loop of Lyp. As both R266W and R263Q significantly change their phosphatase activity and T cell functions, future work could be considered to evaluate these mutants in a broader spectrum of autoimmune diseases.
Native mammalian extracellular matrix (ECM) has been made in various forms including particles, sheet and mesh which are appropriate for site-specific applications. The ECM particles are usually created by homogenization method and have a wider size distribution. This needs to be improved to produce more uniform ECM particles. In present study, we had successfully developed a method for preparing particulate acellular dermal matrix (PADM) in different gauges. The resultant PADM was approaching a rectangular parallelepiped or cubic shape, with a better or narrower size distribution than other ECM particles in previous reports. It also retained ultrastructure and functional molecules of native ECM. In vivo performances were evaluated after implantation of PADM in an acute full-thickness skin defect wound in rats. Histological analysis showed that allogeneic PADM used as dermal regeneration template could facilitate maturation and improving collagen bundle structure of regenerated dermis at the endpoint of 20 weeks post-surgery. The PADM could be used for further investigation in analyzing the impacts of cellularly and/or molecularly modified PADM on soft tissue regeneration.
The ectopic expression of several transcription factors can restore embryonic cell fate to cultured somatic cells and generate induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), revealing a previously unknown pathway to pluripotency. However, this technology is currently limited by low efficiency, slow kinetics and multi-factorial requirement. Here we show that reprogramming can be improved and dramatically accelerated by optimizing culture conditions. First, we developed an optimized defined medium, iCD1, which allows Oct4/Sox2/Klf4 (OSK)-mediated reprogramming to achieve ultra-high efficiency (∼10% at day 8). We also found that this optimized condition renders both Sox2 and Klf4 dispensable, although the elimination of these two factors leads to lower efficiency and slower kinetics. Our studies define a shortened route, both in timing and factor requirement, toward pluripotency. This new paradigm not only provides a rationale to further improve iPSC generation but also simplifies the conceptual understanding of reprogramming by defined factors.
iPSCs; stem cells; reprogramming; medium; culture condition
Seed yield and oil content are two important agricultural characteristics in oil crop breeding, and a lot of functional gene research is being concentrated on increasing these factors. In this study, by differential gene expression analyses between rapeseed lines (zy036 and 51070) which exhibit different levels of seed oil production, BnGRF2 (Brassica napus growth-regulating factor 2-like gene) was identified in the high oil-producing line zy036. To elucidate the possible roles of BnGRF2 in seed oil production, the cDNA sequences of the rapeseed GRF2 gene were isolated. The Blastn result showed that rapeseed contained BnGRF2a/2b which were located in the A genome (A1 and A3) and C genome (C1 and C6), respectively, and the dominantly expressed gene BnGRF2a was chosen for transgenic research. Analysis of 35S-BnGRF2a transgenic Arabidopsis showed that overexpressed BnGRF2a resulted in an increase in seed oil production of >50%. Moreover, BnGRF2a also induced a >20% enlargement in extended leaves and >40% improvement in photosynthetic efficiency because of an increase in the chlorophyll content. Furthermore, transcriptome analyses indicated that some genes associated with cell proliferation, photosynthesis, and oil synthesis were up-regulated, which revealed that cell number and plant photosynthesis contributed to the increased seed weight and oil content. Because of less efficient self-fertilization induced by the longer pistil in the 35S-BnGRF2a transgenic line, Napin-BnGRF2a transgenic lines were further used to identify the function of BnGRF2, and the results showed that seed oil production also could increase >40% compared with the wild-type control. The results suggest that improvement to economically important characteristics in oil crops may be achieved by manipulation of the GRF2 expression level.
BnGRF2; chlorophyll; leaf morphology; oil production; seed size
To detect the expression of transforming growth factor beta-induced gene (TGFBI) protein in human corneal tissue and overexpress it in the human corneal epithelial cells in order to discuss the function of TGFBI in the pathogenesis of corneal dystrophy.
Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was used to detect the expression of TGFBI in the human cornea tissue. TGFBI cDNA was obtained by reverse transcription-PCR from human corneal total RNA extracted from cornea transplant donor and cloned into pCMV-N-HA vector. The recombinant pCMV-N-HA-TGFBI plasmid transfected human corneal epithelial cells. Forty-eight hours later, mRNA and proteins were harvested from cells for real-time PCR analysis and western blot assay respectively.
IHC indicated TGFBI mainly exist below the human corneal epithelium layer. Transfection of recombinant pCMV-N-HA-TGFBI into human corneal epithelial cells resulted in effective expression of TGFBI, as shown by increased mRNA level detected by real-time PCR as well as increased protein level detected by Western blot. Meanwhile the result of real-time PCR and Western blot shown the expression of MMP1, MMP3 (matrix metalloproteinases MMP) increased while the expressin of TIMP1 (tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases TIMP) decreased.
TGFBI mainly exists below the corneal epithelial layer, recombinant eukaryotic expression vector harboring human TGFBI cDNA was obtained and efficiently overexpressed in human corneal epithelial cells. Meanwhile the TGFBI overexpression in human corneal epithelial cells result in MMP1, MMP3 increasing and TIMP1 decreasing. The result might be helpful for studying the function and role of TGFBI in pathogenesis of corneal dystrophy.
TGFBI; human corneal epithelial cells; matrix metalloproteinases
This study investigated the effect of Icariin (ICA) supplementation on diabetic retinopathy (DR) in a streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model system. Fifty Sprague Dawley rats were randomly distributed into a control group and a streptozotocin-induced diabetes group. Diabetic rats were randomly divided into two groups; one group received ICA 5 mg/kg/day for 12 weeks by oral gavage; the other group received saline gavage as a placebo. Retinal morphological changes, endothelial markers (RECA), collagen IV (Col-IV), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and neuropathic changes (Thy-1 and Brn3a expression) of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) were investigated. The effects of ICA at various concentrations (0, 101, 102, 103 nmol/mL) on neurite growth were investigated also in retinal ganglion cells (RGC) cultured from both diabetic and normal animals. Numerous pathological changes (deceased expression of RECA, VEGF, Thy-1, and Brn3a as well as decreased Collagen IV and Müller cell content) were noted in the retinal vessels of diabetic rats; these changes were attenuated in diabetic animals that received ICA. ICA enhanced neurite growth in RGC from both normal rats and diabetic rats in a dose dependent fashion. ICA may be useful in the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. Further investigations are indicated.
icariin; streptozotocin; diabetes; retina; diabetic retinopathy