In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
LC3; autolysosome; autophagosome; flux; lysosome; phagophore; stress; vacuole
The Macleaya spp., including Macleaya cordata and Macleaya microcarpa, are traditional anti-virus, inflammation eliminating, and insecticide herb medicines for their isoquinoline alkaloids. They are also known as the basis of the popular natural animal food addictive in Europe. However, few studies especially at genomics level were conducted on them. Hence, we performed the Macleaya spp. transcriptome and integrated it with iTRAQ proteome analysis in order to identify potential genes involved in alkaloids biosynthesis.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We elaborately designed the transcriptome, proteome and metabolism profiling for 10 samples of both species to explore their alkaloids biosynthesis. From the transcriptome data, we obtained 69367 and 78255 unigenes for M. cordata and M. microcarpa, in which about two thirds of them were similar to sequences in public databases. By metabolism profiling, reverse patterns for alkaloids sanguinarine, chelerythrine, protopine, and allocryptopine were observed in different organs of two species. We characterized the expressions of enzymes in alkaloid biosynthesis pathways. We also identified more than 1000 proteins from iTRAQ proteome data. Our results strongly suggest that the root maybe the organ for major alkaloids biosynthesis of Macleaya spp. Except for biosynthesis, the alkaloids storage and transport were also important for their accumulation. The ultrastructure of laticifers by SEM helps us to prove the alkaloids maybe accumulated in the mature roots.
To our knowledge this is the first study to elucidate the genetic makeup of Macleaya spp. This work provides clues to the identification of the potential modulate genes involved in alkaloids biosynthesis in Macleaya spp., and sheds light on researches for non-model medicinal plants by integrating different high-throughput technologies.
To elucidate the importance of the norovirus and other enteric viruses, and the difference of the genetic relatedness on norovirus between the outbreak and sporadic cases, a total of 557 stool samples, consisting of 503 sporadic cases and 54 samples of 4 outbreaks were collected and tested for norovirus and other enteric viruses in Beijing, China, July 2007–June 2008. The data showed norovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, and sapovirus, were detected in 26.6%, 6.1%, 1.8%, and 0.5%, respectively. Norovirus was detected almost throughout the surveillance period, norovirus co-infecting with rotavirus, astrovirus, and sapovirus, respectively, were identified both in outbreak and the sporadic cases. GII.4/2006 was identified as the predominant strain circulating both in outbreak and sporadic cases. The results showed that norovirus was rather the important agent than other enteric viruses affected adults with acute gastroenteritis; no significant genetic relatedness of the dominant strains was found between the outbreak and sporadic cases.
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation has been proposed as a potential therapeutic approach for ischemic heart disease, but the regenerative capacity of these cells decreases with age. In this study, we genetically engineered old human MSCs (O-hMSCs) with tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP3) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and evaluated the effects on the efficacy of cell-based gene therapy in a rat myocardial infarction (MI) model. Cultured O-hMSCs were transfected with TIMP3 (O-TIMP3) or VEGF (O-VEGF) and compared with young hMSCs (Y-hMSCs) and non-transfected O-hMSCs for growth, clonogenic capacity, and differentiation potential. In vivo, rats were subjected to left coronary artery ligation with subsequent injection of Y-hMSCs, O-hMSCs, O-TIMP3, O-VEGF, or medium. Echocardiography was performed prior to and at 1, 2, and 4 weeks after MI. Myocardial levels of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP2), MMP9, TIMP3, and VEGF were assessed at 1 week. Hemodynamics, morphology, and histology were measured at 4 weeks. In vitro, genetically modified O-hMSCs showed no changes in growth, colony formation, or multi-differentiation capacity. In vivo, transplantation with O-TIMP3, O-VEGF, or Y-hMSCs increased capillary density, preserved cardiac function, and reduced infarct size compared to O-hMSCs and medium control. O-TIMP3 and O-VEGF transplantation enhanced TIMP3 and VEGF expression, respectively, in the treated animals. O-hMSCs genetically modified with TIMP3 or VEGF can increase angiogenesis, prevent adverse matrix remodeling, and restore cardiac function to a degree similar to Y-hMSCs. This gene-modified cell therapy strategy may be a promising clinical treatment to rejuvenate stem cells in elderly patients.
China experienced several large measles outbreaks in the past two decades, and a series of enhanced control measures were implemented to achieve the goal of measles elimination. Molecular epidemiologic surveillance of wild-type measles viruses (MeV) provides valuable information about the viral transmission patterns. Since 1993, virologic surveillnace has confirmed that a single endemic genotype H1 viruses have been predominantly circulating in China. A component of molecular surveillance is to monitor the genetic characteristics of the hemagglutinin (H) gene of MeV, the major target for virus neutralizing antibodies.
Analysis of the sequences of the complete H gene from 56 representative wild-type MeV strains circulating in China during 1993–2009 showed that the H gene sequences were clustered into 2 groups, cluster 1 and cluster 2. Cluster1 strains were the most frequently detected cluster and had a widespread distribution in China after 2000. The predicted amino acid sequences of the H protein were relatively conserved at most of the functionally significant amino acid positions. However, most of the genotype H1 cluster1 viruses had an amino acid substitution (Ser240Asn), which removed a predicted N-linked glycosylation site. In addition, the substitution of Pro397Leu in the hemagglutinin noose epitope (HNE) was identified in 23 of 56 strains. The evolutionary rate of the H gene of the genotype H1 viruses was estimated to be approximately 0.76×10−3 substitutions per site per year, and the ratio of dN to dS (dN/dS) was <1 indicating the absence of selective pressure.
Although H genes of the genotype H1 strains were conserved and not subjected to selective pressure, several amino acid substitutions were observed in functionally important positions. Therefore the antigenic and genetic properties of H genes of wild-type MeVs should be monitored as part of routine molecular surveillance for measles in China.
Cerebral ischemia is the most common cerebrovascular disease worldwide. Recent studies have demonstrated that curcumin had beneficial effect to attenuate cerebral ischemic injury. However, it is unclear how curcumin protects against cerebral ischemic injury. In the present study, using rat middle cerebral artery occlusion model, we found that curcumin was a potent PPARγ agonist in that it upregulated PPARγ expression and PPARγ-PPRE binding activity. Administration of curcumin markedly decreased the infarct volume, improved neurological deficits, and reduced neuronal damage of rats. In addition, curcumin suppressed neuroinflammatory response by decreasing inflammatory mediators, such as IL-1β, TNF-α, PGE2, NO, COX-2, and iNOS induced by cerebral ischemia of rats. Furthermore, curcumin suppressed IκB degradation that was caused by cerebral ischemia. The present data also showed that PPARγ interacted with NF-κB-p65 and thus inhibited NF-κB activation. All the above protective effects of curcumin on cerebral ischemic injury were markedly attenuated by GW9662, an inhibitor of PPARγ. Our results as described above suggested that PPARγ induced by curcumin may play a critical role in protecting against brain injury through suppression of inflammatory response. It also highlights the potential of curcumin as a therapeutic agent against cerebral ischemia.
Hybridization and polyploidization may lead to divergence in adaptation and boost speciation in angiosperms and some lower animals. Epigenetic change plays a significant role in the formation and adaptation of polyploidy. Studies of the effects of methylation on genomic recombination and gene expression in allopolyploid plants have achieved good progress. However, relevant advances in polyploid animals have been relatively slower. In the present study, we used the bisexual, fertile, genetically stable allotetraploid generated by hybridization of Carassius auratus red var. and Cyprinus carpio L. to investigate cytosine methylation level using methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) analysis. We observed 38.31% of the methylation changes in the allotetraploid compared with the parents at 355 randomly selected CCGG sites. In terms of methylation status, these results indicate that the level of methylation modification in the allotetraploid may have increased relative to that in the parents. We also found that the major methylation changes were hypermethylation on some genomic fragments and genes related to metabolism or cell cycle regulation. These results provide circumstantial evidence that DNA methylation might be related to the gene expression and phenotype variation in allotetraploid hybrids. Our study partly fulfils the need for epigenetic research in polyploid animals, and provides evidence for the epigenetic regulation of allopolyploids.
AIM: To study the effects of combined early fluid resuscitation and hydrogen inhalation on septic shock-induced lung and intestine injuries.
METHODS: Wistar male rats were randomly divided into four groups: control group (Group A, n = 15); septic shock group (Group B, n = 15); early fluid resuscitation-treated septic shock group (Group C, n = 15); and early fluid resuscitation and inhalation of 2% hydrogen-treated septic shock group (Group D, n = 15). The activity of hydroxyl radicals, myeloperoxidase (MPO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), diamine oxidase (DAO), and the concentration of malonaldehyde (MDA) in the lung and intestinal tissue were assessed according to the corresponding kits. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was carried out to detect the pathology of the lung and intestine. The expression levels of interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in lung and intestine tissue were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. The expression levels of Fas and Bcl2 in lung tissues were determined by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting.
RESULTS: Septic shock elicited a significant increase in the levels of MDA (10.17 ± 1.12 nmol/mg protein vs 2.98 ± 0.64 nmol/mg protein) and MPO (6.79 ± 1.02 U/g wet tissue vs 1.69 ± 0.14 U/g wet tissue) in lung tissues. These effects were not significantly decreased by Group C pretreatment, but were significantly reduced by Group D pretreatment (MDA: 4.45 ± 1.13 nmol/mg protein vs 9.56 ± 1.37 nmol/mg protein; MPO: 2.58 ± 0.21 U/g wet tissue vs 6.02 ± 1.16 U/g wet tissue). The activity of SOD (250.32 ± 8.56 U/mg protein vs 365.78 ± 10.26 U/mg protein) in lung tissues was decreased after septic shock, and was not significantly increased by Group C pretreatment, but was significantly enhanced by Group D pretreatment (331.15 ± 9.64 U/mg protein vs 262.98 ± 5.47 U/mg protein). Histological evidence of lung hemorrhage, neutrophil infiltration and overexpression of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-α was observed in lung tissues, all of which were attenuated by Group C and further alleviated by Group D pretreatment. Septic shock also elicited a significant increase in the levels of MDA, MPO and DAO (6.54 ± 0.68 kU/L vs 4.32 ± 0.33 kU/L) in intestinal tissues, all of which were further increased by Group C, but significantly reduced by Group D pretreatment. Increased Chiu scoring and overexpression of IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α were observed in intestinal tissues, all of which were attenuated by Group C and further attenuated by Group D pretreatment.
CONCLUSION: Combined early fluid resuscitation and hydrogen inhalation may protect the lung and intestine of the septic shock rats from the damage induced by oxidative stress and the inflammatory reaction.
Early fluid resuscitation; Inhalation of hydrogen gas; Septic shock; Lung; Intestine; Oxidative damage
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
Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi or Ling Zhi) is one of the most famous Traditional Chinese Medicines and has been widely used in the treatment of various human diseases in Asia countries. It is also a fungus with strong wood degradation ability with potential in bioenergy production. However, genes, pathways and mechanisms of these functions are still unknown.
The genome of G. lucidum was sequenced and assembled into a 39.9 megabases (Mb) draft genome, which encoded 12,080 protein-coding genes and ∼83% of them were similar to public sequences. We performed comprehensive annotation for G. lucidum genes and made comparisons with genes in other fungi genomes. Genes in the biosynthesis of the main G. lucidum active ingredients, ganoderic acids (GAs), were characterized. Among the GAs synthases, we identified a fusion gene, the N and C terminal of which are homologous to two different enzymes. Moreover, the fusion gene was only found in basidiomycetes. As a white rot fungus with wood degradation ability, abundant carbohydrate-active enzymes and ligninolytic enzymes were identified in the G. lucidum genome and were compared with other fungi.
The genome sequence and well annotation of G. lucidum will provide new insights in function analyses including its medicinal mechanism. The characterization of genes in the triterpene biosynthesis and wood degradation will facilitate bio-engineering research in the production of its active ingredients and bioenergy.
Granger causality model (GCM) derived from multivariate vector autoregressive models of data has been employed for identifying effective connectivity in the human brain with functional MR imaging (fMRI) and to reveal complex temporal and spatial dynamics underlying a variety of cognitive processes. In the most recent fMRI effective connectivity measures, pairwise GCM has commonly been applied based on single voxel values or average values from special brain areas at the group level. Although a few novel conditional GCM methods have been proposed to quantify the connections between brain areas, our study is the first to propose a viable standardized approach for group analysis of an fMRI data with GCM. To compare the effectiveness of our approach with traditional pairwise GCM models, we applied a well-established conditional GCM to pre-selected time series of brain regions resulting from general linear model (GLM) and group spatial kernel independent component analysis (ICA) of an fMRI dataset in the temporal domain. Datasets consisting of one task-related and one resting-state fMRI were used to investigate connections among brain areas with the conditional GCM method. With the GLM detected brain activation regions in the emotion related cortex during the block design paradigm, the conditional GCM method was proposed to study the causality of the habituation between the left amygdala and pregenual cingulate cortex during emotion processing. For the resting-state dataset, it is possible to calculate not only the effective connectivity between networks but also the heterogeneity within a single network. Our results have further shown a particular interacting pattern of default mode network (DMN) that can be characterized as both afferent and efferent influences on the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). These results suggest that the conditional GCM approach based on a linear multivariate vector autoregressive (MVAR) model can achieve greater accuracy in detecting network connectivity than the widely used pairwise GCM, and this group analysis methodology can be quite useful to extend the information obtainable in fMRI.
Granger causality; fMRI; group analysis; effective connectivity
Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a complex, multifactorial disease and a leading cause of mortality world wide. Over the past decades, great efforts have been made to elucidate the underlying genetic basis of CAD and massive data have been accumulated. To integrate these data together and to provide a useful resource for researchers, we developed the CADgene, a comprehensive database for CAD genes. We manually extracted CAD-related evidence for more than 300 candidate genes for CAD from over 1300 publications of genetic studies. We classified these candidate genes into 12 functional categories based on their roles in CAD. For each gene, we extracted detailed information from related studies (e.g. the size of case–control, population, SNP, odds ratio, P-value, etc.) and made useful annotations, which include general gene information, Gene Ontology annotations, KEGG pathways, protein–protein interactions and others. Besides the statistical number of studies for each gene, CADgene also provides tools to search and show the most frequently studied candidate genes. In addition, CADgene provides cumulative data from 11 publications of CAD-related genome-wide association studies. CADgene has a user-friendly web interface with multiple browse and search functions. It is freely available at http://www.bioguo.org/CADgene/.
Hypoxia is a common microenvironment in solid tumors and is correlated with tumor progression by regulating cancer cell survival. Recent studies suggest that activation of double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum-related kinase (PERK) and phosphorylation of α subunit of eIF2 (eIF2α) confer cell adaptation to hypoxic stress. However, eIF2α is still phosphorylated at a lowered level in PERK knockout cells under hypoxic conditions. The mechanism for eIF2α kinase(s) (eIF2AK)-increased cell survival is not clear. In this report, we provide evidence that another eIF2AK, the amino acid starvation-dependent general control of amino acid biosynthesis kinase (GCN2), is also involved in hypoxia-induced eIF2α phosphorylation. We demonstrate that both GCN2 and PERK mediate the cell adaptation to hypoxic stress. High levels of eIF2α phosphorylation lead to G1 arrest and protect cells from hypoxia-induced apoptosis. Reduced phosphorylation of eIF2α by knocking out either PERK or GCN2 suppresses hypoxia-induced G1 arrest and promotes apoptosis in accompany with activation of p53 signal cascade. However, totally abolishing phosphorylation of eIF2α inhibits G1 arrest without promoting apoptosis. On the basis of our results, we propose that the levels of eIF2α phosphorylation serve as a “switch” in regulation of G1 arrest or apoptosis under hypoxic conditions.
Numerosity perception is a process involving several stages of visual processing. This study investigated whether distinct mechanisms exist in numerosity adaptation under different awareness conditions to characterize how numerosity perception occurs at each stage. The status of awareness was controlled by masking conditions, in which monoptic and dichoptic masking were proposed to influence different levels of processing. Numerosity adaptation showed significant aftereffects when the participants were aware (monoptic masking) and unaware (dichoptic masking) of adaptors. The interocular transfer for numerosity adaptation was distinct under the different awareness conditions. Adaptation was primarily binocular when participants were aware of stimuli and was purely monocular when participants were unaware of adaptors. Moreover, numerosity adaptation was significantly reduced when the adaptor dots were clustered into chunks with awareness, whereas clustering had no effect on unaware adaptation. These results show that distinct mechanisms exist in numerosity processing under different awareness conditions. It is suggested that awareness is crucial to numerosity cognition. With awareness, grouping (by clustering) influences numerosity coding through altered object representations, which involves higher-level cognitive processing.
Yunnan, Guangxi and Henan are the provinces with the most severe HIV epidemic in China, which were also among the first group of areas providing free ART in 2004. However, little comprehensive data are available on prevalence of HIV subtype and baseline drug resistance in drug-naïve populations. In this study, 1746 treatment-naïve HIV-positive individuals were randomly selected from new-reported cases in Henan, Guangxi and Yunnan. Among of them, subtypes and drug resistance of 1159 strains were determined by amplifying and sequencing full-length pol genes. Significantly different distributions of HIV subtypes prevalent in three provinces were identified (P<0.01). CRF08_BC was found dominant in Yunnan (59.8%), while CRF01_AE was dominant in Guangxi (77.3%) and subtype B was dominant in Henan province (93.9%). The total prevalence of drug resistance was 7.1%. The highest prevalence of HIV drug resistance was found in Henan (12.2%), followed by Yunnan (5.6%) and Guangxi (3.3%). The results of this study suggest that genetic drug-resistance should be tested before initiation of ART in China, especially in Henan province. Furthermore, the prevalence of HIV drug resistant strains should be considered separately in different areas in China before the change of different free ART regimens.
Iterative Cross-Correlation (ICC) is the most popularly used schema for correcting eddy current (EC)-induced distortion in diffusion-weighted imaging data, however, it cannot process data acquired at high b-values. We analyzed the error sources and affecting factors in parameter estimation, and propose an efficient algorithm by expanding the ICC framework with a number of techniques: (1) Pattern recognition for excluding brain ventricles; (2) ICC with the extracted ventricle for parameter initialization; (3) Gradient-based Entropy Correlation Coefficient (GECC) for optimal and finer registration. Experiments demonstrated that our method is robust with high accuracy and error tolerance, and outperforms other ICC-family algorithms and popular approaches currently in use.
diffusion weighted imaging; diffusion tensor imaging; eddy current; distortion correction; iterative cross-correlation; mutual information
Chinese medicine has evolved from thousands of years of empirical applications and experiences of combating diseases. It has become widely recognized that the Chinese medicine acts through complex mechanisms featured as multicompound, multitarget and multipathway. However, there is still a lack of systematic experimental studies to elucidate the mechanisms of Chinese medicine. In this study, the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified from myocardial infarction rat model treated with Xuesaitong Injection (XST), a Chinese medicine consisting of the total saponins from Panax notoginseng (Burk.) F. H. Chen (Chinese Sanqi). A network-based approach was developed to combine DEGs related to cardiovascular diseases (CVD) with lines of evidence from the literature mining to investigate the mechanism of action (MOA) of XST on antimyocardial infarction. A compound-target-pathway network of XST was constructed by connecting compounds to DEGs validated with literature lines of evidence and the pathways that are functionally enriched. Seventy potential targets of XST were identified in this study, of which 32 were experimentally validated either by our in vitro assays or by CVD-related literatures. This study provided for the first time a network view on the complex MOA of antimyocardial infarction through multiple targets and pathways.
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.
“Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis” was detected by PCR in 4.0% (34/841) of the rodents tested in this study. The 34 rodents represented nine species from seven regions of China. Phylogenetic analyses based on the partial groEL and nearly entire 16S rRNA gene sequences of the agent revealed genetic diversity, which was correlated with its geographic origins.
Avenin-like b proteins are a small family of wheat storage proteins, each containing 18 or 19 cysteine residues. The role of these proteins, with high numbers of cysteine residues, in determining the functional properties of wheat flour is unclear. In the present study, two transgenic lines of the bread wheat overexpressing avenin-like b gene were generated to investigate the effects of Avenin-like b proteins on dough mixing properties. Sodium dodecyl sulfate sedimentation (SDSS) test and Mixograph analysis of these lines demonstrated that overexpression of Avenin-like b proteins in both transgenic wheat lines significantly increased SDSS volume and improved dough elasticity, mixing tolerance and resistance to extension. These changes were associated with the increased proportion of polymeric proteins due to the incorporation of overexpressed Avenin-like b proteins into the glutenin polymers. The results of this study were critical to confirm the hypothesis that Avenin-like b proteins could be integrated into glutenin polymers by inter-chain disulphide bonds, which could help understand the mechanism behind strengthening wheat dough strength.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mediated signaling pathways are important in a variety of cellular processes, including cell migration and wound re-epithelialization. Intracellular trafficking of EGFR is critical for maintaining EGFR surface expression. Galectin-3, a member of an animal lectin family, has been implicated in a number of physiological and pathological processes. Through studies of galectin-3-deficient mice and cells isolated from these mice, we demonstrated that absence of galectin-3 impairs keratinocyte migration and skin wound re-epithelialization. We have linked this pro-migratory function to a crucial role of cytosolic galectin-3 in controlling intracellular trafficking and cell surface expression of EGFR after EGF stimulation. Without galectin-3, the surface levels of EGFR are dramatically reduced and the receptor accumulates diffusely in the cytoplasm. This is associated with reduced rates of both endocytosis and recycling of the receptor. We have provided evidence that this novel function of galectin-3 may be mediated through interaction with its binding partner Alix, which is a protein component of the endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery. Our results suggest that galectin-3 is potentially a critical regulator of a number of important cellular responses through its intracellular control of trafficking of cell surface receptors.
Aspergillus biofilms were prepared from 22 strains of Aspergillus spp. via a 96-well plate-based method. Using a broth microdilution checkerboard technique with the XTT [2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide] colorimetric assay, we demonstrated a synergistic antifungal activity against 18 of 22 Aspergillus biofilm strains with a combination of caspofungin and amphotericin B and against 13 of 22 strains with a combination of caspofungin and voriconazole. We did not observe antagonism.