With the increasing stress from oil price and environmental pollution, aroused attention has been paid to the microbial production of chemicals from renewable sources. The C12/14 and C16/18 alcohols are important feedstocks for the production of surfactants and detergents, which are widely used in the most respected consumer detergents, cleaning products and personal care products worldwide. Though bioproduction of fatty alcohols has been carried out in engineered E. coli, several key problems have not been solved in earlier studies, such as the quite low production of C16/18 alcohol, the lack of optimization of the fatty alcohol biosynthesis pathway, and the uncharacterized performance of the engineered strains in scaled-up system.
We improved the fatty alcohol production by systematically optimizing the fatty alcohol biosynthesis pathway, mainly targeting three key steps from fatty acyl-acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) to fatty alcohols, which are sequentially catalyzed by thioesterase, acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) synthase and fatty acyl-CoA reductase. By coexpression of thioesterase gene BTE, acyl-CoA synthase gene fadD and fatty acyl-CoA reductase gene acr1, 210.1 mg/L C12/14 alcohol was obtained. A further optimization of expression level of BTE, fadD and acr1 increased the C12/14 alcohol production to 449.2 mg/L, accounting for 75.0% of the total fatty alcohol production (598.6 mg/L). In addition, by coexpression of thioesterase gene ‘tesA, acyl-CoA synthase gene fadD and fatty acyl-CoA reductase gene FAR, 101.5 mg/L C16/18 alcohol was obtained, with C16/18 alcohol accounting for 89.2% of the total fatty alcohol production.
To our knowledge, this is the first report on selective production of C12/14 and C16/18 alcohols by microbial fermentation. This work achieved high-specificity production of both C12/14 and C16/18 alcohols. The encouraging 598.6 mg/L of fatty alcohols represents the highest titer reported so far. In addition, the 101.5 mg/L 89.2% C16/18 alcohol suggests an important breakthrough in C16/18 alcohol production. A more detailed optimization of the expression level of fatty alcohol biosynthesis pathway may contribute to a further improvement of fatty alcohol production.
Fatty alcohol; Escherichia coli; Pathway optimization; Selective production; Fermentation
The title salt, C14H16N4
−·2H2O, was obtained by the co-crystalization of 2,2′-dithiodibenzoic acid with 1,4-bis(imidazol-1-ylmethyl)benzene. It consists of 2-[(2-carboxyphenyl)disulfanyl]benzoate anions, centrosymmetric 1,1′-(p-phenylenedimethylidene)diimidazol-3-ium cations and water molecules. O—H⋯O, O—H⋯S and N—H⋯O hydrogen-bonding interactions among the components lead to the formation of a three-dimensional network.
Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) verified over 9000 human full-ORF genes and FLJ Program reported 21 243 cDNAs of which 14 409 were unique ones and 5416 seemed to be protein-coding. The pity is that epididymis cDNA library was missing in their sequencing target list. Epididymis is a very important male accessory sex organ for sperm maturation and storage. Fully differentiated spermatozoa left from testis acquire their motility and capacity for fertilization via interactions with the epididymal epithelium duct lumen during passage through this convoluted duct. Here, we report that 20 000 clones from a healthy male epididymis cDNA library have been sequenced. The sequencing data provided 8234 known sequences and 650 unknown cDNA fragments. Hundred and six of 650 unknown cDNA clone inserts were randomly selected for fully sequencing. There were 25 unknown unique sequences and 19 released but unreported sequences came out. By northern blot analysis, four sequences randomly selected from the 19 released sequences with no known function showed positive mRNA signals in epididymis and testis. The signals for three of six from those unknown group showed as epididymis abundant in a region-specific manner but not in the testis and other tissues tested. All the sequencing data will be available on the website www.sdscli.com.
human epididymis cDNA library; transcriptomes for human epididymis; sperm maturation
Lipocalins are a structurally conserved and diversely functional family of proteins that are of potential importance in epididymis functions. The rat Lcn9 gene was cloned by in silico methods and genome walking based on homology to the rhesus monkey epididymal ESC513 and its polyclonal antisera were prepared. The rat Lcn9 gene is located on chromosome 3p13 spanning 7 exons, contains 2.3 kb and encodes 179 amino acids with a 17-amino acid signal peptide. Northern blot, western blot, and immunohistochemical staining analysis revealed that rat Lcn9 was a novel epididymis-specific gene, expressed selectively in the proximal caput region, influenced by luminal fluid testicular factors. Moreover, Lcn9 protein was modified by N-glycosylation and bound on the postacrosomal domain of caput sperm. In conclusion, the rat Lcn9 exhibited tissue-, region-, and temporal-specific expression patterns and its expression was regulated by luminal testicular factors. Its potential roles in sperm maturation are discussed.
epididymis; lipocalin; Lcn9 gene
The present study investigates cytogenetic damage in lymphocytes, derived from three victims who were unfortunately exposed to cobalt-60 (60Co) radiation (the 1999 accident occurred in a village in China’s Henan province). Case A of the three victims was exposed to a higher dose of 60Co radiation than Cases B and C. The chromosomal aberrations, cytokinesis-block micronucleus (CBMN, the CBMN assay), and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs, the comet assay) examined in this study are biomarkers for cytogenetic abnormalities. After the lymphocytes collected from the victims were cultured, the frequencies of dicentric chromosomes and rings (dic + r) and CBMN in the first mitotic division detected in the lymphocytes of Case A were found to be substantially higher than in Cases B and C. Similarly, the DNA-DSB level found in the peripheral blood collected from Case A was much higher than those of Cases B and C. These results suggest that an acutely enhanced induction of the 60Co-induced cytogenetic abnormality frequency in humans depends on the dose of 60Co radiation. This finding is supported by the data obtained using practical techniques to evaluate early lymphoid-tissue abnormalities induced after exposure to acute radiation.
radiation accident; chromosome aberration; micronucleus assay; comet assay; DNA-DSB
Nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NSCL/P) are common birth defects with a complex etiology. Multiple interacting loci and possible environmental factors influence the risk of NSCL/P. 12 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 7 candidate genes were tested using an allele-specific primer extension for case-control and case-parent analyses in northeast China in 236 unrelated patients, 185 mothers and 154 fathers, including 128 complete trios, and 400 control individuals. TGFA and IRF6 genes showed a significant association with NSCL/P. In IRF6, statistical evidence of an association between rs2235371 (p = 0.003), rs2013162 (p<0.0001) and NSCL/P was observed in case-control analyses. Family based association tests (FBATs) showed over-transmission of the C allele at the rs2235371 polymorphism (p = 0.007). In TGFA, associations between rs3771494, rs3771523 (G3822A), rs11466285 (T3851C) and NSCL/P were observed in case-control and FBAT analyses. Associations between other genes (BCL3, TGFB3, MTHFR, PVRL1 and SUMO1) and NSCL/P were not detected.
In our study, 50 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) were selected to investigate the correlation between virus persistent infection and cardic function. We found that 44% of patients with DCM were coxsackie virus B-RNA (CVB-RNA) positive, significantly different from that (20%) of the normal control group (P<0.05). The expression levels of coxsackie adenovirus receptor (CAR) in patients with DCM were significantly higher than those in the normal control group (P<0.01). In CVB-RNA-positive patients, expression levels of CAR were significantly higher than those in CVB-RNA-negative patients (P<0.01). There was a positive correlation between CAR expression and brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) level in patients with DCM, but no significant correlations between the CAR expression level and left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) or left ventricular end diastolic diameter (LVEDd). These results showed that expression levels of CAR on the surface of white cells can be used as an indicator for detecting persistent virus infection. We found that expression levels of CAR and heart function in patients with DCM were highly correlated.
IL-1β, a pro-inflammatory cytokine, has been shown to contribute to radiation injury. Sirt1, an NAD+-dependent class III protein deacetylase, plays an important role in the regulation of the proinflammatory cytokines involved in inflammation-associated diseases. The relationship between Sirt1 and IL-1β, however, has remained elusive. The present study was designed to explore the potential effect of Sirt1 on IL-1β expression induced by radiation and to provide a new target for the development of radiation protection drugs. Our results showed that radiation significantly increased IL-1β mRNA and protein expression and that pretreatment with resveratrol, a Sirt1 activator, inhibited the radiation-induced IL-1β expression in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas the knockdown or inhibition of Sirt1 by nicotinamide significantly enhanced radiation-induced IL-1β expression. This effect can likely be attributed to Sirt1-mediated inhibition of NLRP-3 inflammasome activation because Sirt1 inhibits the transactivation potential of NF-κb by deacetylation, which then suppresses NLRP3 transcription. Taken together, the results demonstrate that Sirt1 exerts anti-inflammatory effects by regulating NLRP3 expression partially through the NF-κb pathway in mesenchymal stem cells. More importantly, our findings suggest that resveratrol is an effective agent in protecting against radiation injury, and we provide a theoretical basis for developing a drug to protect against radiation injury by targeting Sirt1.
radiation; IL-1β; SIRT1; NLRP3; resveratrol
The isopentenols, including isoprenol and prenol, are excellent alternative fuels. However, they are not compounds largely accumulated in natural organism. The need for the next generation of biofuels with better physical and chemical properties impels us to develop biosynthetic routes for the production of isoprenol and prenol from renewable sugar. In this study, we use the heterogenous mevalonate-dependent (MVA) isoprenoid pathway for the synthesis of isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP) intermediates, and then convert IPP and DMAPP to isoprenol and prenol, respectively.
A mevalonate titer of 1.7 g/L was obtained by constructing an efficient MVA upper pathway in engineered E. coli. Different phosphatases and pyrophosphatases were investigated for their abilities in hydrolyzing the IPP and DMAPP. Consequently, ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase was found to be an efficient IPP and DMAPP hydrolase. Moreover, ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase from Bacillus subtilis (BsNudF) exhibited a equivalent substrate specificity towards IPP and DMAPP, while ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase from E. coli (EcNudF) presented a high substrate preference for DMAPP. Without the expression of any phosphatases or pyrophosphatases, a background level of isopentenols was synthesized. When the endogenous pyrophosphatase genes (EcNudF and yggV) that were capable of enhancing the hydrolyzation of the IPP and DMAPP were knocked out, the background level of isopentenols was still obtained. Maybe the synthesized IPP and DMAPP were hydrolyzed by some unknown hydrolases of E. coli. Finally, 1.3 g/L single isoprenol was obtained by blocking the conversion of IPP to DMAPP and employing the BsNudF, and 0.2 g/L ~80% prenol was produced by employing the EcNudF. A maximal yield of 12% was achieved in both isoprenol and prenol producing strains.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first successful report on high-specificity production of isoprenol and prenol by microbial fermentation. Over 1.3 g/L isoprenol achieved in shake-flask experiments represents a quite encouraging titer of higher alcohols. In addition, the substrate specificities of ADP-ribose pyrophosphatases were determined and successfully applied for the high-specificity synthesis of isoprenol and prenol. Altogether, this work presents a promising strategy for high-specificity production of two excellent biofuels, isoprenol and prenol.
Isoprenol; Prenol; Metabolic engineering; Escherichia coli; Biofuel
AIM: To investigate human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) gene amplification and protein expression in Chinese patients with resectable gastric cancer and the association with clinicopathological characteristics and survival.
METHODS: One hundred and ninety-seven gastric cancer patients who underwent curative surgery procedures were enrolled into this study. HER2 gene amplification and protein expression were examined using fluorescence in-situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded gastric cancer samples from all patients. For scoring, Hofmann’s HER2 gastric cancer scoring system was adopted. All cases showing IHC3+ or FISH positivity were defined as HER2 positive. Patient clinicopathological data and survival information were collected. Finally, χ2 statistical analysis was performed to analyze the HER2 positivity rate amongst the subgroups with different clinicopathological characteristics including; gender, age, tumor location, Lauren classification, differentiation, TNM staging, depth of invasion, lymph node metastases and distant metastasis. The probability of survival for different subgroups with different clinicopathological characteristics was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and survival curves plotted using log rank inspection.
RESULTS: According to Hofmann’s HER2 gastric cancer scoring criteria, 31 cases (15.74%) were identified as HER2 gene amplified and 19 cases (9.64%) were scored as strongly positive for HER2 membrane staining (3+), 25 cases (12.69%) were moderately positive (2+) and 153 cases (77.66%) were HER2 negative (0/1+). The concordance rate between IHC and FISH analyses was 88.83% (175/197). Thirty-six cases were defined as positive for HER2 gene amplification and/or protein expression, with 24 of these cases being eligible for Herceptin treatment according to United States recommendations, and 29 of these cases eligible according to EU recommendations. Highly consistent results were detected between IHC3+, IHC0/1 and FISH (73.68% and 95.42%), but low consistency was observed between IHC2+ and FISH (40.00%). The positivity rates in intestinal type and well-differentiated gastric cancer were higher than those in diffuse/mixed type and poorly-differentiated gastric cancer respectively (28.57% vs 13.43%, P = 0.0103; 37.25% vs 11.64%, P < 0.0001), but were not correlated with gender, age, tumor location or TNM stage, depth of invasion, lymph node metastases and distant metastasis. In poorly-differentiated gastric cancer patients, those without lymph node metastasis showed a higher HER2 positivity rate than those with lymph node metastasis (26.47% vs 7.14%, P = 0.0021). This association was not present in those patients with well-differentiated gastric cancer (28.57% vs 43.33%, P = 0.2832). Within our patient cohort, 26 cases were lost to follow-up. The median survival time for the remaining 171 patients was 18 mo. The median survival times of the HER2 positive and negative groups were 17 and 18.5 mo respectively. Overall survival was not significantly different between HER2-positive and negative groups (χ2 = 0.9157, P = 0.3386), but in patients presenting well-differentiated tumors, the overall survival of the HER2-positive group was significantly worse than that of the HER2-negative group (P = 0.0123). In contrast, patients with poorly differentiated and diffuse/mixed subtype gastric cancers showed no significant differences in overall survival associated with HER2. Furthermore, the median survival time of the HER2 positive group did not show any statistically significant differences when compared to the subgroups of gender, age, tumor location, TNM classification, lymph node metastases and distant metastasis.
CONCLUSION: Patients with intestinal type gastric cancer (GC), well-differentiated GC and poorly-differentiated GC without lymph node metastasis, may all represent suitable candidates for targeted therapy using Herceptin.
Gastric cancer; Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; Gene amplification; Protein expression; Clinicopathological characteristics
The recombinant glycosyltransferase ElaGT from the elaiophylin-producing marine Streptomyces sp. SCSIO 01934 has been overexpressed in E. coli, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 2.9 Å resolution.
ElaGT is a glycosyltransferase from a marine Streptomyces species that is involved in the biosynthesis of elaiophylin. Here, the molecular cloning, protein expression and purification, preliminary crystallization and crystallographic characterization of ElaGT are reported. The rod-shaped crystals belonged to space group P2122, with unit-cell parameters a = 66.7, b = 131.7, c = 224.6 Å, α = 90, β = 90, γ = 90°. Data were collected to 2.9 Å resolution. A preliminary molecular-replacement solution implied the presence of two ElaGT molecules in the asymmetric unit.
ElaGT; glycosyltransferases; Streptomyces sp. SCSIO 01934
Bub1 is a critical component of the spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) and closely linked to cell proliferation and differentiation. We previously found that spontaneous abortion embryos contained a low level of Bub1 protein but normal mRNA level, while the knockdown of Bub1 leads to abnormal numerical chromosomes in embryonic cells. Here, we investigated the mechanism through which governs the post-transcriptional regulation of Bub1 protein expression level. We first conducted bioinformatics analysis and identified eight putative miRNAs that may target Bub1. Luciferase reporter assay confirmed that miR-450a-3p can directly regulate Bub1 by binding to the 3′-untranslated region of Bub1 mRNA. We found that the overexpression of miR-450a-3p in mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells down-regulated Bub1 protein level, repressed cell proliferation, increased apoptosis and restricted most cells in G1 phase of the cell cycle. Furthermore, when the fertilized eggs were microinjected with miR-450a-3p mimics, the cleavage of zygotes was effectively suppressed. Our results strongly suggest that an abnormally decreased Bub1 level regulated by miRNAs may be implicated in the pathogenesis of spontaneous miscarriage. Therefore, the blockade of miR-450a-3p may be explored as a novel therapeutic strategy for preventing spontaneous miscarriages.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive and irreversible neurodegenerative disorder in which the aggregation and deposition of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides in the brain are central to its pathogenesis. In healthy brains, Aβ is effectively metabolized with little accumulation. Cellular uptake and subsequent degradation of Aβ is one of the major pathways for its clearance in the brain. Increasing evidence has demonstrated significant roles for the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) in the metabolism of Aβ in neurons, glia cells, and along the brain vasculatures. Heparan sulphate proteoglycan (HSPG) has also been implicated in several pathogenic features of AD, including its co-localization with amyloid plaques. Here, we demonstrate that HSPG and LRP1 cooperatively mediate cellular Aβ uptake. Fluorescence-activated cell sorter and confocal microscopy revealed that knockdown of LRP1 suppresses Aβ uptake while over-expression of LRP1 enhances this process in neuronal cells. Heparin, which antagonizes HSPG, significantly inhibited cellular Aβ uptake. Importantly, treatment with heparin or heparinase blocked LRP1-mediated cellular uptake of Aβ. We further showed that HSPG is more important for the binding of Aβ to the cell surface than LRP1. The critical roles of HSPG in cellular Aβ binding and uptake were confirmed in Chinese hamster ovary cells genetically deficient in HSPG. We also showed that heparin and a neutralizing antibody to LRP1 suppressed Aβ uptake in primary neurons. Our findings demonstrate that LRP1 and HSPG function in a cooperative manner to mediate cellular Aβ uptake and define a major pathway through which Aβ gains entry to neuronal cells.
amyloid-β; Alzheimer’s disease; HSPG; LRP1; heparin; endocytosis
amylose extender (ae−) starches characteristically have modified starch granule morphology resulting from amylopectin with reduced branch frequency and longer glucan chains in clusters, caused by the loss of activity of the major starch branching enzyme (SBE), which in maize endosperm is SBEIIb. A recent study with ae− maize lacking the SBEIIb protein (termed ae1.1 herein) showed that novel protein–protein interactions between enzymes of starch biosynthesis in the amyloplast could explain the starch phenotype of the ae1.1 mutant. The present study examined an allelic variant of the ae− mutation, ae1.2, which expresses a catalytically inactive form of SBEIIb. The catalytically inactive SBEIIb in ae1.2 lacks a 28 amino acid peptide (Val272–Pro299) and is unable to bind to amylopectin. Analysis of starch from ae1.2 revealed altered granule morphology and physicochemical characteristics distinct from those of the ae1.1 mutant as well as the wild-type, including altered apparent amylose content and gelatinization properties. Starch from ae1.2 had fewer intermediate length glucan chains (degree of polymerization 16–20) than ae1.1. Biochemical analysis of ae1.2 showed that there were differences in the organization and assembly of protein complexes of starch biosynthetic enzymes in comparison with ae1.1 (and wild-type) amyloplasts, which were also reflected in the composition of starch granule-bound proteins. The formation of stromal protein complexes in the wild-type and ae1.2 was strongly enhanced by ATP, and broken by phosphatase treatment, indicating a role for protein phosphorylation in their assembly. Labelling experiments with [γ-32P]ATP showed that the inactive form of SBEIIb in ae1.2 was phosphorylated, both in the monomeric form and in association with starch synthase isoforms. Although the inactive SBEIIb was unable to bind starch directly, it was strongly associated with the starch granule, reinforcing the conclusion that its presence in the granules is a result of physical association with other enzymes of starch synthesis. In addition, an Mn2+-based affinity ligand, specific for phosphoproteins, was used to show that the granule-bound forms of SBEIIb in the wild-type and ae1.2 were phosphorylated, as was the granule-bound form of SBEI found in ae1.2 starch. The data strongly support the hypothesis that the complement of heteromeric complexes of proteins involved in amylopectin synthesis contributes to the fine structure and architecture of the starch granule.
Amylopectin; amyloplasts; amylose extender; high-amylose; protein phosphorylation; protein–protein interactions; starch synthase; starch branching enzyme; starch phosphorylase; starch granule-bound proteins; starch synthesis
A long and ever-expanding roster of small (∼20–30 nucleotides) RNAs has emerged during the last decade, and most can be subsumed under the three main headings of microRNAs(miRNAs), Piwi-interacting RNAs(piRNAs), and short interferingRNAs(siRNAs). Among the three categories, miRNAs is the most quickly expanded group. The most recent number of identified miRNAs is 16,772 (Sanger miRbase, April 2011). However, there are insufficient publications on their primary forms, and no tissue-specific small RNAs precursors have been reported in the epididymis. Here, we report the identification in rats of an epididymis-specific, chimeric, noncoding RNA that is spliced from two different chromosomes (chromosomes 5 and 19), which we named HongrES2. HongrES2 is a 1.6 kb mRNA-like precursor that gives rise to a new microRNA-like small RNA (mil-HongrES2) in rat epididymis. The generation of mil-HongrES2 is stimulated during epididymitis. An epididymis-specific carboxylesterase named CES7 had 100% cDNA sequence homology at the 3′end with HongrES2 and its protein product could be downregulated by HongrES2 via mil-HongrES2. This was confirmed in vivo by initiating mil-HongrES2 over-expression in rats and observing an effect on sperm capacitation.
The prognosis of most hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients is poor due to the high metastatic rate of the disease. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying HCC metastasis is extremely urgent. The role of CD24 and NDRG2 (N-myc downstream-regulated gene 2), a candidate tumor suppressor gene, has not yet been explored in HCC.
The mRNA and protein expression of CD24 and NDRG2 was analyzed in MHCC97H, Huh7 and L-02 cells. Changes in cell adhesion, migration and invasion were detected by up- or down-regulating NDRG2 by adenovirus or siRNA. The expression pattern of NDRG2 and CD24 in HCC tissues and the relationship between NDRG2 and HCC clinical features was analyzed by immunohistochemical and western blotting analysis.
NDRG2 expression was negatively correlated with malignancy in HCC. NDRG2 exerted anti-tumor activity by regulating CD24, a molecule that mediates cell-cell interaction, tumor proliferation and adhesion. NDRG2 up-regulation decreased CD24 expression and cell adhesion, migration and invasion. By contrast, NDRG2 down-regulation enhanced CD24 expression and cell adhesion, migration and invasion. Immunohistochemical analysis of 50 human HCC clinical specimens showed a strong correlation between NDRG2 down-regulation and CD24 overexpression (P = 0.04). In addition, increased frequency of NDRG2 down-regulation was observed in patients with elevated AFP serum level (P = 0.006), late TNM stage (P = 0.009), poor differentiation grade (P = 0.002), tumor invasion (P = 0.004) and recurrence (P = 0.024).
Our findings indicate that NDRG2 and CD24 regulate HCC adhesion, migration and invasion. The expression level of NDRG2 is closely related to the clinical features of HCC. Thus, NDRG2 plays an important physiological role in HCC metastasis.
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) can influence cancer progression and metastasis, but the mechanism remains unclear. Here, we show that breast TAMs abundantly produce CCL18, and its expression in blood or cancer stroma is associated with metastasis and reduced patient survival. CCL18 released by breast TAMs promotes the invasiveness of cancer cells by triggering integrin clustering and enhancing their adherence to extracellular matrix. Furthermore, we identify PITPNM3 as a functional receptor for CCL18 that mediates CCL18 effect and activates intracellular calcium signaling. CCL18 promotes the invasion and metastasis of breast cancer xenografts, whereas suppressing PITPNM3 abrogates these effects. These findings indicate that CCL18 derived from TAMs plays a critical role in promoting breast cancer metastasis via its receptor, PITPNM3.
AIM: To investigate the effects of interferon-alpha (IFN-α) to restrain the growth and invasive potential of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) induced by hepatitis B virus (HBV) X protein.
METHODS: The pcDNA3.1-HBx plasmid was transfected into Chang cells by Lipofectamine in vitro, and Chang/HBx was co-cultured with IFN-α. Cell survival growth curve and clonogenicity assay were used to test the growth potential of Chang/pcDNA3.1, Chang/HBx and IFN-α-Chang/HBx in vitro. Growth assay in nude mice was used to detect the growth potential of Chang/pcDNA3.1, Chang/HBx and IFN-α-Chang/HBx in vivo. Wound healing and transwell migration assays were used to detect the invasive ability of Chang/pcDNA3.1, Chang/HBx and IFN-α-Chang/HBx.
RESULTS: Compared with CCL13 cells transfected with pcDNA3.1, CCL13 with stable expression of hepatitis B virus X protein showed the characteristics of malignant cells with high capability of growth and invasion by detecting their growth curves, colony forming efficiency, wound healing , transwell migration assays and growth assays in nude mice. Its capability of growth and invasion could be controlled by IFN-α.
CONCLUSION: IFN-α can restrain the growth and invasive potential of HCC cells induced by HBx protein, which has provided an experimental basis for IFN-α therapy of HCC.
Hepatitis B virus X protein; Interferon-alpha; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Growth; Invasion
Since 1997, several epizootic avian influenza viruses (AIVs) have been transmitted to humans, causing diseases and even deaths. The recent emergence of severe human infections with AIV (H7N9) in China has raised concerns about efficient interpersonal viral transmission, polygenic traits in viral pathogenicity and the management of newly emerging strains. The symptoms associated with viral infection are different in various AI strains: H5N1 and newly emerged H7N9 induce severe pneumonia and related complications in patients, while some H7 and H9 subtypes cause only conjunctivitis or mild respiratory symptoms. The virulence and tissue tropism of viruses as well as the host responses contribute to the pathogenesis of human AIV infection. Several preventive and therapeutic approaches have been proposed to combat AIV infection, including antiviral drugs such as M2 inhibitors, neuraminidase inhibitors, RNA polymerase inhibitors, attachment inhibitors and signal-transduction inhibitors etc. In this article, we summarize the recent progress in researches on the epidemiology, clinical features, pathogenicity determinants, and available or potential antivirals of AIV.
avian influenza; human infection; pathogenicity; antiviral agent; M2 inhibitor; neuraminidase inhibitor; polymerase inhibitor; ribavirin; arbidol
We report on imaging of cell-substrate adhesion of a single cell with sub-cellular spatial resolution. Osmotic pressure was introduced to provide a controllable mechanical stimulation to the cell attached to a substrate, and high-resolution surface plasmon resonance microscopy was used to map the response of the cell, from which local cell-substrate adhesion was determined. In addition to high spatial resolution, the approach is non-invasive and fast, and allows for continuously mapping of cell-substrate interactions and single cell movements.
Single cell imaging; Surface Plasmon Resonance imaging; osmotic effect; cell adhesion
Synaptic vesicles can be released at extremely high rates, which places an extraordinary demand on the recycling machinery. Previous ultrastructural studies of vesicle recycling were conducted in dissected preparations using an intense stimulation to maximize the probability of release. Here, a single light stimulus was applied to motor neurons in intact Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes expressing channelrhodopsin, and the animals rapidly frozen. We found that docked vesicles fuse along a broad active zone in response to a single stimulus, and are replenished with a time constant of about 2 s. Endocytosis occurs within 50 ms adjacent to the dense projection and after 1 s adjacent to adherens junctions. These studies suggest that synaptic vesicle endocytosis may occur on a millisecond time scale following a single physiological stimulus in the intact nervous system and is unlikely to conform to current models of endocytosis.
Neurons communicate with one another at junctions called synapses. When an electrical signal travels along a neuron and arrives at a synapse, vesicles filled with small neurotransmitter molecules fuse with the cell membrane and release the neurotransmitter. These chemicals rapidly bind to receptors on the downstream neuron that induce an electrical response in that cell.
Vesicles can be consumed at prodigious rates, up to 500 a second, so the cell must recover the membrane rapidly and regenerate more vesicles filled with neurotransmitter. Experiments in the 1970s and 1980s suggested that when vesicles empty their contents into the synapse, they fuse completely with the membrane and are lost. To recover the membrane, the cell forms ‘pits’, by means of a coat protein called clathrin, which then bud off into the cell as new vesicles. It takes roughly 15–20 s for vesicles to be recycled in this way. By contrast, synapses with very high firing rates are thought to recycle vesicles through a faster process known as ‘kiss and run’, in which vesicles are not fully integrated into the membrane, but instead fuse transiently with it to form a reversible pore within about a second.
However, these studies triggered vesicle release using conditions that are unlikely to occur naturally inside cells. Now, Watanabe et al. have used optogenetics to study vesicle recycling in response to single stimuli at the synapse between neurons and muscles in an intact living animal, the nematode C. elegans. The worms had been genetically modified to express a light-sensitive ion channel called channelrhodopsin in their motor neurons. Watanabe et al. used a single pulse of light to stimulate vesicle release, and then rapidly froze the worms before studying their synapses with electron microscopy.
They found that vesicle recycling occurred at the edges of the synapse or at a specialized structure in the middle of the synapse. Vesicle recycling took less than 50 ms—much faster than anything previously observed. This ultrafast recycling is unlikely to occur via ‘kiss and run’ since recycling occurred at sites lateral to the sites of fusion and because the recycled vesicles were larger than the originals, implying that they had not simply re-formed after a brief fusion event.
By using physiologically relevant stimuli in an intact animal, Watanabe et al. reveal that vesicles can be recycled at synapses much more rapidly than previously thought, suggesting that our current models of this process may need to be reassessed.
synaptic vesicle endocytosis; optogenetics; time-resolved electron microscopy; high-pressure freezing; synaptic vesicle exocytosis; active zone; C. elegans
Chronic inflammation is an important risk factor for the development of colorectal cancer; however, the mechanism of tumorigenesis especially tumor progression to malignancy in the inflamed colon is still unclear. Our study shows that epithelial signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), persistently activated in inflamed colon, is not required for inflammation-induced epithelial overproliferation and the development of early-stage tumors; however, it is essential for tumor progression to advanced malignancy. We found that one of the mechanisms that epithelial STAT3 regulates in tumor progression might be to modify leukocytic infiltration in the large intestine. Activation of epithelial STAT3 promotes the infiltration of the CD8+ lymphocyte population but inhibits the recruitment of regulatory T (Treg) lymphocytes. The loss of Stat3 in epithelial cells promoted the expression of cytokines/chemokines including CCL19, CCL28, and RANTES, which are known to be able to recruit Treg lymphocytes. Linked to these changes was the pathway mediated by sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 and sphingosine 1-phosphate kinases, which is activated in colonic epithelial cells in inflamed colon with functional STAT3 but not in epithelial cells deleted of STAT3. Our data suggest that epithelial STAT3 plays a critical role in inflammation-induced tumor progression through regulation of leukocytic recruitment especially the infiltration of Treg cells in the large intestine.
RABEX-5, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for RAB-5, plays an important role in cell mobility and altered expression associated with tumor metastasis. This study aimed to investigate the role of RABEX-5 in proliferation and metastasis of breast cancer in vitro and ex vivo.
RABEX-5 expression was examined in breast cancer, benign tumor and normal breast tissues by immunohistochemistry and western blot. Two stable cell lines were established, the MCF-7/NC negative control cell line and the MCF-7/KD cell line, which stably expressed an RNA interference (RNAi) construct that induced downregulation of RABEX-5 expression. These cell lines were utilized to evaluate the role of RABEX-5 in cell proliferation and migration in vitro and tumorigenicity in vivo. The possible role of RABEX-5 in the regulation of matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP-9) was evaluated using western blot and real-time PCR.
RABEX-5 expression was found to be significantly higher in breast cancer tissues compared with benign tumor and normal breast tissues. High levels of RABEX-5 expression were associated with axillary lymph node metastasis. In addition, RABEX-5 silencing significantly reduced cancer cell proliferation, colony formation and migration ability in vitro and inhibited tumor growth in vivo. RABEX −5 knockdown also attenuated the migration of breast cancer cells via modulation of MMP-9 transcriptional activity.
Our results indicate that RABEX-5 plays an oncogenic role in breast cancer by modulating the proliferation and metastasis potential of breast cancer cells. Thus, RABEX-5 is a promising prognostic indicator for patients with breast cancer.
RABEX-5; Breast cancer; Oncogene; RNAi
The shortage of donor livers has led to an increased use of organs from expanded criteria donors. Included are livers with steatosis, a metabolic abnormality that increases the likelihood of graft complications post-transplantation. After a brief introduction on the etiology, pathophysiology, categories and experimental models of hepatic steatosis, we herein review the methods to rescue steatotic donor livers before transplantation applied in clinical and experimental studies. The methods span the spectrum of encouraging donor weight loss, employing drug therapy, heat shock preconditioning, ischemia preconditioning and selective anesthesia on donors, and the treatment on isolated grafts during preservation. These methods work at different stages of transplantation process, although share similar molecular mechanisms including lipid metabolism stimulation through enzymes or nuclear receptor e.g., peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor, or anti-inflammation through suppressing cytokines e.g., tumor necrosis factor-α, or antioxidant therapies to alleviate oxidative stress. This similarity of molecular mechanisms implies possible future attempts to reinforce each approach by repeating the same treatment approach at several stages of procurement and preservation, as well as utilizing these alternative approaches in tandem.
Liver transplantation; Steatosis; Donor liver; Clinical; Experimental