Itch, also known as pruritus, is a common, intractable symptom of several skin diseases, such as atopic dermatitis and xerosis. TLRs mediate innate immunity and regulate neuropathic pain, but their roles in pruritus are elusive. Here, we report that scratching behaviors induced by histamine-dependent and -independent pruritogens are markedly reduced in mice lacking the Tlr3 gene. TLR3 is expressed mainly by small-sized primary sensory neurons in dorsal root ganglions (DRGs) that coexpress the itch signaling pathway components transient receptor potential subtype V1 and gastrin-releasing peptide. Notably, we found that treatment with a TLR3 agonist induces inward currents and action potentials in DRG neurons and elicited scratching in WT mice but not Tlr3–/– mice. Furthermore, excitatory synaptic transmission in spinal cord slices and long-term potentiation in the intact spinal cord were impaired in Tlr3–/– mice but not Tlr7–/– mice. Consequently, central sensitization–driven pain hypersensitivity, but not acute pain, was impaired in Tlr3–/– mice. In addition, TLR3 knockdown in DRGs also attenuated pruritus in WT mice. Finally, chronic itch in a dry skin condition was substantially reduced in Tlr3–/– mice. Our findings demonstrate a critical role of TLR3 in regulating sensory neuronal excitability, spinal cord synaptic transmission, and central sensitization. TLR3 may serve as a new target for developing anti-itch treatment.
The purpose of the study was to explore the association between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in perimenopausal women. A cross-sectional study was conducted in Zhuhai from June to October 2012. Perimenopausal women (n = 685) were included in the study. All participants were divided into three subgroups: Group 1, 40 years old ≤ Age < 50 years old; Group 2, 50 years old ≤ Age < 60 years old; Group 3, 60 years old ≤ Age ≤ 65 years old. MetS was associated with CKD (p < 0.01) in the unadjusted analyses in total subjects. After adjusting the potential confounders, the odd ratios of CKD for MetS was 2.66 (95% CI 1.56 to 4.49, p < 0.001). There was no relationship between MetS and CKD in both Group 1 and Group 3. MetS was associated with CKD (p < 0.001) in the unadjusted analyses in Group 2. After adjusting for potential confounders, MetS was significantly associated with CKD. The odd ratios for MetS was 6.79 (95% CI 2.30 to 20.09, p < 0.001). There was no relationship between elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting glucose, abdominal obesity, Low HDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides and CKD in both Group 1 and Group 3. Elevated blood pressure was associated with CKD in Group 2 (unadjusted Odds ratio: 4.52 (1.28–16.02), p = 0.02). After adjusting for potential confounders, there was no relationship between elevated blood pressure and CKD (p = 0.78). Elevated fasting glucose was associated with CKD in Group 2 (unadjusted Odds ratio: 3.69 (1.10–12.38), p = 0.03). After adjusting for potential confounders, there was no relationship between elevated fasting glucose and CKD (p = 0.15). There was no relationship between abdominal obesity, Low HDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides and CKD in Group 2. These findings suggest that in perimenopausal women aged from 50 or older to 60 MetS was associated with CKD. There is no relationship between MetS and CKD in perimenopausal women aged from 40 or older to 50 and aged from 60 or older to 65.
metabolic syndrome; chronic kidney disease; perimenopausal women
The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2/9, also known as collagenases IV and gelatinases A/B, play a key role in cancer invasion and metastasis. However, the clinical trials of the MMP inhibitors (MMPIs) ended up with disappointing results. In this paper, we synthesized a gelatinase-responsive copolymer (mPEG-PCL) by inserting a gelatinase cleavable peptide (PVGLIG) between mPEG and PCL blocks of mPEG-PCL for anticancer drug delivery to make use of MMP2/9 as an intelligent target for drug delivery.
Materials and Methods
mPEG-pep-PCL copolymer was synthesized via ring-opening copolymerization and double-amidation. To evaluate whether Nanoparticles (NPs) prepared from this copolymer are superior to NPs prepared from mPEG-PCL, NPs prepared from mPEG-PCL copolymer were used as positive control. Docetaxel-loading NPs using mPEG-pep-PCL and mPEG-PCL were prepared by nano-precipitation method, mentioned as Gel-NPs and Con-NPs, respectively. The morphologic changes of the NPs after treatment with gelatinases were observed macroscopically by spectrophotometer and microscopically by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The cellular uptake amount and cytotoxicity of Gel-NPs and Con-NPs, respectively, in cell lines with different levels of gelatinase expression were studied. Moreover, the cytotoxicity study on the primary cancer cells isolated from pericardial fluids from a patient with late-stage lung cancer was conducted.
The Gel-NPs aggregated in response to gelatinases, which was confirmed macroscopically and microscopically. The cellular uptake amount of Gel-NPs was correlated with the level of gelatinases. The in vitro antitumor effect of Gel-NPs was also correlated with the level of gelatinases and was superior to Taxotere (commercially available docetaxel) as well as the Con-NPs. The cytotoxicity study on the primary lung cancer cells also confirmed the effectiveness of Gel-NPs.
The results in this study preliminarily demonstrated the effectiveness of gelatinase-responsive targeting strategy and the prospect of this intelligent nano-drug delivery system though further studies are needed.
Cytochomosome P450 enzymes (CYP) are heme-containing monooxygenases responsible for oxidative metabolism of many exogenous and endogenous compounds including drugs. The species difference of CYP limits the extent to which data obtained from animals can be translated to humans in pharmacodynamics or pharmacokinetics studies. Transgenic expression of human CYP in animals lacking or with largely reduced endogenous CYP counterparts is recognized as an ideal strategy to correct CYP species difference. CYP3A is the most abundant CYP subfamily both in human and mammals. In this study, we designed a microRNA-based shRNA (miR-shRNA) simultaneously targeting four members of mouse CYP3A subfamily (CYP3A11, CYP3A16, CYP3A41 and CYP3A44), and transgenic mice expressing the designed miR-shRNA were generated by lentiviral transgenesis. Results showed that the CYP3A expression level in transgenic mice was markedly reduced compared to that in wild type or unrelated miR-shRNA transgenic mice, and was inversely correlated to the miR-shRNA expression level. The CYP3A expression levels in transgenic offspring of different generations were also remarkably lower compared to those of controls, and moreover the inhibition rate of CYP3A expression remained comparable over generations. The ratio of the targeted CYP3A transcriptional levels was comparable between knockdown and control mice of the same gender as detected by RT-PCR DGGE analysis. These data suggested that transgenic miR-shRNA suppressed CYP3A expression in a dose-dependent and inheritable manner, and transcriptional levels of the targeted CYP3As were suppressed to a similar extent. The observed knockdown efficacy was further confirmed by enzymatic activity analysis, and data showed that CYP3A activities in transgenic mice were markedly reduced compared to those in wild-type or unrelated miR-shRNA transgenic controls (1.11±0.71 vs 5.85±1.74, 5.9±2.4; P<0.01). This work laid down a foundation to further knock down the remaining murine CYP3As or CYPs of other subfamilies, and a basis to generate CYP knockdown animals of other species.
Nanoscale drug carriers have been extensively developed to improve drug therapeutic efficiency. However, delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to tumor tissues and cells has not been favorably managed. In this study, we developed a novel “intelligent” nanoparticle, consisting of a gelatinase-cleavage peptide with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and poly(ɛ-caprolactone) (PCL)-based structure for tumor-targeted docetaxel delivery (DOC-TNPs). The docetaxel-loaded PEG-PCL nanoparticles (DOC-NPs) that did not display gelatinase-stimuli behaviors were used as a control. We found clear evidence that the DOC-TNPs were transformed by gelatinases, allowing drug release and enhancing the cellular uptake of DOC (P < 0.01). In vivo biodistribution study demonstrated that targeted DOC-TNPs could accumulate and remain in the tumor regions, whereas non-targeted DOC-NPs rapidly eliminated from the tumor tissues. DOC-TNPs exhibited higher tumor growth suppression than commercialized Taxotere® (docetaxel; Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Company, Jiangsu, China) and DOC-NPs on hepatic H22 tumor model via intravenous administration (P < 0.01). Both in vitro and in vivo experiments suggest that the gelatinase-mediated nanoscale delivery system is promising for improvement of antitumor efficacy in various overexpressed gelatinase cancers.
drug delivery; stimuli-responsive; gelatinase; antitumor; docetaxel
The extracellular pH of cancer cells is lower than the intracellular pH. Weakly basic anticancer drugs will be protonated extracellularly and display a decreased intracellular concentration. In this study, we show that copolymeric nanoparticles (NPs) are able to overcome this “pH-induced physiological drug resistance” (PIPDR) by delivering drugs to the cancer cells via endocytosis rather than passive diffussion.
Materials and Methods
As a model nanoparticle, Tetradrine (Tet, Pka 7.80) was incorporated into mPEG-PCL. The effectiveness of free Tet and Tet-NPs were compared at different extracellular pHs (pH values 6.8 and 7.4, respectively) by MTT assay, morphological observation and apoptotic analysis in vitro and on a murine model by tumor volume measurement, PET-CT scanning and side effect evaluation in vivo.
The cytotoxicity of free Tet decreased prominently (P<0.05) when the extracellular pH decreased from 7.4 to 6.8. Meanwhile, the cytotoxicity of Tet-NPs was not significantly influenced by reduced pH. In vivo experiment also revealed that Tet-NPs reversed PIPDR more effectively than other existing methods and with much less side effects.
The reversion of PIPDR is a new discovered mechanism of copolymeric NPs. This study emphasized the importance of cancer microenvironmental factors in anticancer drug resistance and revealed the superiority of nanoscale drug carrier from a different aspect.
Cadherins are cell surface adhesion molecules that play important roles in development of tissues and organs. In this study we analyzed expression pattern of cadherin10, a member of the type II classic cadherin subfamily, in the embryonic zebrafish using in situ hybridization methods. cadherin10 message (cdh10) is first and transiently expressed by the notochord. In the developing nervous system, cdh10 was first detected in a subset of the cranial ganglia, then in restricted brain regions and neural retina. As development proceeds, cdh10 expression domain and/or expression levels increased in the embryonic nervous system. Our results show that cdh10 expression in the zebrafish developing nervous system is both spatially and temporally regulated.
zebrafish; development; cell adhesion molecules; brain; cranial and lateral line ganglia
We previously reported that cadherin4 (also called R-cadherin) was expressed by the majority of the developing zebrafish cranial and lateral line ganglia. Cadherin4 function in the formation of these structures in zebrafish was studied using morpholino antisense technology. Differentiation of the cranial and lateral line ganglia, and lateral line nerve and neuromasts of the cadherin4 morphants was analyzed using multiple neural markers. We found that a subset of the morphants cranial and lateral line ganglia were disorganized, smaller, with reduced staining, and/or with altered shape compared to control embryos. Increased cell death in the morphant ganglia likely contributed to these defects. Moreover, cadherin4 morphants had shorter lateral line nerves and reduced number of neuromasts, which was likely caused by disrupted migration of the lateral line primordia. These results indicate that cadherin4 plays a role in the normal formation of the zebrafish lateral line system and a subset of the cranial ganglia.
zebrafish; development; lateral line nerve, neuromasts; cell adhesion molecules; cranial nerves
Cadherin cell adhesion molecules exhibit unique expression patterns during development of the vertebrate central nervous system. In this study we obtained a full-length cDNA of a novel zebrafish cadherin using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and 5′ and 3′ rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). The deduced amino acid sequence of this molecule is most similar to the published amino acid sequences of chicken and mammalian cadherin7 (Cdh7), a member of the type II cadherin subfamily. cadherin7 message (cdh7) expression in embryonic zebrafish was studied using in situ hybridization and RT-PCR methods. cdh7 expression begins at about 12 hours post fertilization (hpf) in a small patch in the anterior neural keel, and along the midline of the posterior neural keel. By 24 hpf, cdh7 expression in the brain shows a distinct segmental pattern that reflects the neuromeric organization of the brain, while its expression domain in the spinal cord is continuous, but confined to the middle region of the spinal cord. As development proceeds, cdh7 expression is detected in more regions of the brain, including the major visual structures in the fore- and midbrains, while its expression domain in the hindbrain becomes more restricted, and its expression in the spinal cord becomes undetectable. cdh7 expression becomes reduced in 3-day old embryos. Our results show that cdh7 expression in the zebrafish developing central nervous system is both spatially and temporally regulated.
zebrafish; development; cell adhesion molecules; brain; spinal cord; visual system
Cadherins are cell surface adhesion molecules that play important roles in development of a variety of tissues including the nervous system. In this study we analyzed expression pattern of cadherin-6, a member of the type II cadherin subfamily, in the embryonic zebrafish nervous system using in situ hybridization methods. cadherin-6 message is first expressed by the neural keel, then by restricted regions in the brain and spinal cord. cadherin-6 expression in the brain transiently delineates specific brain regions. In the peripheral nervous system, cadherin-6 message is expressed by the neurogenic placodes and the dorsal root ganglia. As development proceeds, cadherin-6 expression domain and/or expression levels increased in the embryonic nervous system. Our results show that cadherin-6 expression in the zebrafish developing nervous system is both spatially and temporally regulated, implicating a role for cadherin-6 in the formation of these nervous structures.
zebrafish; development; cell adhesion molecules; brain, cranial ganglia, lateral line system
Cadherins are cell surface adhesion molecules that play important roles in development of vertebrate tissues and organs. We studied cadherin2 expression in developing zebrafish heart using in situ hybridization and immunocytochemical methods, and we found that cadherin2 was strongly expressed by the myocardium of the embryonic zebrafish. To gain insight into cadherin2 role in the formation and function of the heart, we analyzed cardiac differentiation and performance in a cadherin2 mutant, glass onion (glo).
We found that the cadherin2 mutant had enlarged pericardial cavity, disorganized atrium and ventricle, and reduced expression of a ventricular specific marker vmhc. Individual myocardiocytes in the glo mutant embryos became round shaped and loosely aggregated. In vivo measurements of cardiac performance revealed that the mutant heart had significantly reduced heart rate, stroke volume and cardiac output compared to control embryos. Formation of the embryonic vascular system in the glo mutants was also affected.
Our results suggest that cadherin2 plays an essential role in zebrafish cardiovascular development. Although the exact mechanisms remain unknown as to the formation of the enlarged pericardium and reduced peripheral blood flow, it is clear that myocardiocyte differentiation and physiological cardiovascular performance is impaired when cadherin2 function is disrupted.
A phase I trial of infusing anti-CD3 × anti-CD20 bispecific antibody (CD20Bi) armed activated T cells (aATC) was conducted in high-risk/refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients to determine whether aATC infusions are safe, affect immune recovery, and induce an antilymphoma effect. Ex vivo expanded ATC from 12 patients were armed with anti-CD20 bispecific antibody, cryopreserved, and infused after autologous stem cell transplantation (SCT). Patients underwent SCT after high-dose chemotherapy, and aATC infusions were started on day +4. The patients received 1 infusion of aATC per week for 4 weeks after SCT with doses of 5,10,15, and 20 × 109. aATC infusions were safe and did not impair engraftment. The major side effects were chills, fever, hypotension, and fatigue. The mean number of IFN-γ Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Spots (ElSpots) directed at CD20 positive lymphoma cells (DAUDI, P = .0098) and natural killer cell targets (K562, P < .0051) and the mean specific cytotoxicity directed at DAUDI (P = .037) and K562 (P = .002) from pre-SCT to post-SCT were significantly higher. The increase in IFN-γ EliSpots from pre-SCT to post-SCT in patients who received armed ATC after SCT were significantly higher than those in patients who received SCT alone (P = .02). Serum IL-7, IL-15, Macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1 beta, IP-10, MIP-1α, and Monokine induced by gamma interferone increased within hours after infusion. Polyclonal and specific antibodies were near normal 3 months after SCT. aATC infusions were safe and increased innate and specific antilymphoma cell immunity without impairing antibody recovery after SCT.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma; Activated T cells; Bispecific antibody; Autologous stem cell; transplantation
Cadherin cell adhesion molecules play crucial roles in vertebrate development including the development of the retina. Most studies have focused on examining functions of classic cadherins (e.g. N-cadherin) in retinal development. There is little information on the function of protocadherins in the development of the vertebrate visual system. We previously showed that protocadherin-17 mRNA was expressed in developing zebrafish retina during critical stages of the retinal development. To gain insight into protocadherin-17 function in the formation of the retina, we analyzed eye development and differentiation of retinal cells in zebrafish embryos injected with protocadherin-17 specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs). Protocadherin-17 knockdown embryos (pcdh17 morphants) had significantly reduced eyes due mainly to decreased cell proliferation. Differentiation of several retinal cell types (e.g. retinal ganglion cells) was also disrupted in the pcdh17 morphants. Phenotypic rescue was achieved by injection of protocadherin-17 mRNA. Injection of a vivo-protocadherin-17 MO into one eye of embryonic zebrafish resulted in similar eye defects. Our results suggest that protocadherin-17 plays an important role in the normal formation of the zebrafish retina.
cell adhesion molecules; eye; retinal cells differentiation; optic nerve
Using morpholino antisense oligonucleotide (MO) technology, we blocked leptin A or leptin receptor expression in embryonic zebrafish, and analyzed consequences of leptin knock-down on fish development. Embryos injected with leptin A or leptin receptor MOs (leptin A or leptin receptor morphants) had smaller bodies and eyes, undeveloped inner ear, enlarged pericardial cavity, curved body and/or tail and larger yolk compared to control embryos of the same stages. The defects persisted in 6-9 day old larvae. We found that blocking leptin A function had little effect on the development of early brain (1 day old), but differentiation of both the morphant dorsal brain and retinal cells was severely disrupted in older (2 day old) embryos. Despite the enlarged pericardial cavity, differentiation
of cardiac cells appeared to be similar to control embryos. Formation of the morphants’ inner ear is also severely disrupted, which corroborates existing reports of leptin receptor expression in inner ear of both zebrafish and mammals. Co-injection of leptin A MO and recombinant leptin results in partial rescue of the wild-type phenotype. Our results suggest that leptin A plays distinct roles in zebrafish development.
differentiation; central nervous system; metabolism; bone; auditory; visual
A candidate vaccine, live attenuated Vibrio anguillarum developed in our laboratory could prevent vibriosis of fish resulted from V. anguillarum and V. alginolyticus. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the vaccine protection, we used microarray technology to compare the spleen transcriptomes of bath-vaccinated and unvaccinated zebrafish at 28 days post vaccination.
A total of 2164 genes and transcripts were differentially expressed, accounting for 4.9% of all genes represented on the chip. In addition to iron metabolism related to the innate immunity and the signaling pathways, these differentially expressed genes also involved in the adaptive immunity, mainly including the genes associated with B and T cells activation, proliferation and expansion. Transcription profiles of Th17-related transcription factors, cytokines and cytokine receptors during 35 days post-vaccination implied that Th17 cells be activated in bath-vaccinated zebrafish.
The transcriptome profiling with microarray revealed the Th17-like immune response to bath-vaccination with the live attenuated V. anguillarum in zebrafish.
Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, is able to suppress production of inflammatory cytokines IL-18 and IL-1β, which are generated through caspase-1–activating nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat (NLR)-containing inflammasomes. Here, we sought to elucidate the role of NLRs and IL-18 during plague. Lack of IL-18 signaling led to increased susceptibility to Y. pestis, producing tetra-acylated lipid A,and an attenuated strain producing a Y. pseudotuberculosis-like hexa-acylated lipid A. We found that the NLRP12 inflammasome was an important regulator controlling IL-18 and IL-1β production after Y. pestis infection, and NLRP12-deficient mice were more susceptible to bacterial challenge. NLRP12 also directed interferon-γ production via induction of IL-18, but had minimal effect on signaling to the transcription factor NF-κB._ These studies reveal a role for NLRP12 in host resistance against pathogens. Minimizing NLRP12 inflammasome activation may have been a central factor in evolution of the high virulence of Y. pestis.
Rac1b, an alternative splice form of Rac1, has been previously shown to be upregulated in colon and breast cancer cells, suggesting an oncogenic role for Rac1b in these cancers. Our analysis of NSCLC tumor and matched normal tissue samples indicates Rac1b is upregulated in a significant fraction of lung tumors in correlation with mutational status of K-ras. To directly assess the oncogenic potential of Rac1b in vivo, we employed a mouse model of lung adenocarcinoma, in which the expression of Rac1b can be conditionally activated specifically in the lung. While expression of Rac1b alone is insufficient to drive tumor initiation, the expression of Rac1b synergizes with an oncogenic allele of K-ras resulting in increased cellular proliferation and accelerated tumor growth. Finally, we show that in contrast to our previous findings demonstrating a requirement for Rac1 in K-ras-driven cell proliferation, Rac1b is not required in this context. Given the partially overlapping spectrum of downstream effectors regulated by Rac1 and Rac1b, our findings further delineate the signaling pathways downstream of Rac1 that are required for K-ras driven tumorigenesis.
Itch-specific neurons have been sought for decades. The existence of such neurons is in doubt recently due to the observation that itch-mediating neurons also respond to painful stimuli. Here, we genetically labeled and manipulated MrgprA3+ neurons in dorsal root ganglion (DRG) and found that they exclusively innervate the epidermis of the skin and respond to multiple pruritogens. Ablation of MrgprA3+ neurons led to significant reductions in scratching evoked by multiple pruritogens and occurring spontaneously under chronic itch conditions whereas pain sensitivity remained intact. Importantly, mice with TRPV1 exclusively expressed in MrgprA3+ neurons exhibited only itch- and not pain behavior in response to capsaicin. Although MrgprA3+ neurons are sensitive to noxious heat, activation of TRPV1 in these neurons by noxious heat did not alter pain behavior. These data suggest that MrgprA3 defines a specific subpopulation of DRG neurons mediating itch. Our study opens new avenues for studying itch and developing anti-pruritic therapies.
A novel recombinant baculovirus, NeuroBactrus, was constructed to develop an improved baculovirus insecticide with additional beneficial properties, such as a higher insecticidal activity and improved recovery, compared to wild-type baculovirus. For the construction of NeuroBactrus, the Bacillus thuringiensis crystal protein gene (here termed cry1-5) was introduced into the Autographa californica nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) genome by fusion of the polyhedrin–cry1-5–polyhedrin genes under the control of the polyhedrin promoter. In the opposite direction, an insect-specific neurotoxin gene, AaIT, from Androctonus australis was introduced under the control of an early promoter from Cotesia plutellae bracovirus by fusion of a partial fragment of orf603. The polyhedrin–Cry1-5–polyhedrin fusion protein expressed by the NeuroBactrus was not only occluded into the polyhedra, but it was also activated by treatment with trypsin, resulting in an ∼65-kDa active toxin. In addition, quantitative PCR revealed that the neurotoxin was expressed from the early phase of infection. NeuroBactrus showed a high level of insecticidal activity against Plutella xylostella larvae and a significant reduction in the median lethal time against Spodoptera exigua larvae compared to those of wild-type AcMNPV. Rerecombinant mutants derived from NeuroBactrus in which AaIT and/or cry1-5 were deleted were generated by serial passages in vitro. Expression of the foreign proteins (B. thuringiensis toxin and AaIT) was continuously reduced during the serial passage of the NeuroBactrus. Moreover, polyhedra collected from S. exigua larvae infected with the serially passaged NeuroBactrus showed insecticidal activity similar to that of wild-type AcMNPV. These results suggested that NeuroBactrus could be recovered to wild-type AcMNPV through serial passaging.
We used antisense morpholino oligonucleotide technology to knockdown leptin-(A) gene expression in developing zebrafish embryos and measured its effects on metabolic rate and cardiovascular function. Using two indicators of metabolic rate, oxygen consumption was significantly lower in leptin morphants early in development [<48 hours post-fertilization (hpf)], while acid production was significantly lower in morphants later in development (>48 hpf). Oxygen utilization rates in <48 hpf embryos and acid production in 72 hpf embryos could be rescued to that of wildtype embryos by recombinant leptin coinjected with antisense morpholino. Leptin is established to influence metabolic rate in mammals, and these data suggest leptin signaling also influences metabolic rate in fishes.
leptin-A; zebrafish; rescue; metabolic rate; oxygen consumption; carbon dioxide microplate assay
The BRAF oncoprotein is mutated in about half of malignant melanomas and other cancers, and a kinase activating single valine to glutamate substitution at residue 600 (BRAFV600E) accounts for over 90% of BRAF-mediated cancers. Several BRAFV600E inhibitors have been developed, although they harbor some liabilities, thus motivating the development of other BRAFV600E inhibitor options. We report here the use of an ELISA based high-throughput screen to identify a family of related quinolol/naphthol compounds that preferentially inhibit BRAFV600E over BRAFWT and other kinases. We also report the X-ray crystal structure of a BRAF/quinolol complex revealing the mode of inhibition, employ structure-based medicinal chemistry efforts to prepare naphthol analogs that inhibit BRAFV600E
in vitro with IC50 values in the 80–200 nM under saturating ATP concentrations, and demonstrate that these compounds inhibit MAPK signaling in melanoma cells. Prospects for improving the potency and selectivity of these inhibitors are discussed.
Water-related parasitic diseases are directly dependent on water bodies for their spread or as a habitat for indispensable intermediate or final hosts. Along with socioeconomic development and improvement of sanitation, overall prevalence is declining in the China. However, the heterogeneity in economic development and the inequity of access to public services result in considerable burden due to parasitic diseases in certain areas and populations across the country. In this review, we demonstrated three aspects of ten major water-related parasitic diseases, i.e., the biology and pathogenicity, epidemiology and recent advances in research in China. General measures for diseases control and special control strategies are summarized.
parasitic disease; water; protozoa; helminths; epidemiology; China
Tortuosity that often occurs in carotid and other arteries has been shown to be associated with high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and other diseases. However the mechanisms of tortuosity development are not clear. Our previous studies have suggested that arteries buckling could be a possible mechanism for the initiation of tortuous shape but artery buckling under pulsatile flow condition has not been fully studied. The objectives of this study were to determine the artery critical buckling pressure under pulsatile pressure both experimentally and theoretically, and to elucidate the relationship of critical pressures under pulsatile flow, steady flow, and static pressure. We first tested the buckling pressures of porcine carotid arteries under these loading conditions, and then proposed a nonlinear elastic artery model to examine the buckling pressures under pulsatile pressure conditions. Experimental results showed that under pulsatile pressure arteries buckled when the peak pressures were approximately equal to the critical buckling pressures under static pressure. This was also confirmed by model simulations at low pulse frequencies. Our results provide an effective tool to predict artery buckling pressure under pulsatile pressure.
artery buckling; tortuosity; pulsatile flow; critical pressure; pulse pressure
Insect-killing (entomopathogenic) fungi have high potential for controlling agriculturally harmful pests. However, their pathogenicity is slow, and this is one reason for their poor acceptance as a fungal insecticide. The expression of bumblebee, Bombus ignitus, venom serine protease (VSP) by Beauveria bassiana (ERL1170) induced melanization of yellow spotted longicorn beetles (Psacothea hilaris) as an over-reactive immune response, and caused substantially earlier mortality in beet armyworm (Spodopetra exigua) larvae when compared to the wild type. No fungal outgrowth or sporulation was observed on the melanized insects, thus suggesting a self-restriction of the dispersal of the genetically modified fungus in the environment. The research is the first use of a multi-functional bumblebee VSP to significantly increase the speed of fungal pathogenicity, while minimizing the dispersal of the fungal transformant in the environment.
β-alanine, a popular supplement for muscle building, induces itch and tingling after consumption, but the underlying molecular and neural mechanisms are obscure. Here we show that, in mice, β-alanine elicited itch-associated behavior that requires MrgprD, a G protein-coupled receptor expressed by a subpopulation of primary sensory neurons. These neurons exclusively innervate the skin, respond to β-alanine, heat and mechanical noxious stimuli but do not respond to histamine. In humans, intradermally injected β-alanine induced itch but neither wheal nor flare suggesting that the itch was not mediated by histamine. Thus, the primary sensory neurons responsive to β-alanine are likely part of a histamine-independent itch neural circuit and a target for treating clinical itch that is unrelieved by anti-histamines.