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.
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.
We propose a novel physical mechanism for breaking the diffraction barrier in the far field. Termed fluorescence emission difference microscopy (FED), our approach is based on the intensity difference between two differently acquired images. When fluorescence saturation is applied, the resolving ability of FED can be further enhanced. A detailed theoretical analysis and a series of simulation tests are performed. The validity of FED in practical use is demonstrated by experiments on fluorescent nanoparticles and biological cells in which a spatial resolution of <λ/4 is achieved. Featuring the potential to realize a high imaging speed, this approach may be widely applied in nanoscale investigations.
To pinpoint the exact location of the etiological variant/s present at 1q21.1 harboring FCRL1-5 and CD5L genes, we carried out a refined association study in the entire FCRL region in 1,536 patients with Graves’ disease (GD) and 1,516 sex-matched controls by imputation analysis, logistic regression, and cis-eQTL analysis. Among 516 SNPs with P<0.05 in the initial GWAS scan, the strongest signals associated with GD and correlated to FCRL3 expression were located at a cluster of SNPs including rs7528684 and rs3761959. And the allele-specific effects for rs3761959 and rs7528684 on FCRL3 expression level revealed that the risk alleles A of rs3761959 and C of rs7528684 were correlated with the elevated expression level of FCRL3 whether in PBMCs or its subsets, especially in CD19+ B cells and CD8+ T subsets. Next, the combined analysis with 5,300 GD cases and 4,916 control individuals confirmed FCRL3 was a susceptibility gene of GD in Chinese Han populations, and rs3761959 and rs7528684 met the genome-wide association significance level (Pcombined = 2.27×10−12 and 7.11×10−13, respectively). Moreover, the haplotypes with the risk allele A of rs3761959 and risk allele C of rs7528684 were associated with GD risk. Finally, our epigenetic analysis suggested the disease-associated C allele of rs7528684 increased affinity for NF-KB transcription factor. Above data indicated that FCRL3 gene and its proxy SNP rs7528684 may be involved in the pathogenesis of GD by excessive inhibiting B cell receptor signaling and the impairment of suppressing function of Tregs.
The luteinizing hormone receptor (LHR) is a member of a subfamily of G protein-coupled receptors that is characterized by its alternative splicing. In a previous study, we identified a splice site mutation of intron 6 (IVS6-3C>A) in a patient suffering from Leydig cell hypoplasia, which leads to aberrant splicing of LHR mRNA. In vitro expression analysis confirmed that this mutation results in the skipping of exon 7 in the mature mRNA of the LHR gene. In this study, we determined the impact of IVS6-3C>A on the RNA secondary structure and function of LHR-Del7. The three-dimensional structure of the leucine-rich repeats in LHR was predicted by molecular modeling. Radioactive ligand-binding assays verified that LHR-Del7 has no binding affinity for hCG. Furthermore, we detected negligible cAMP production in cells transfected with LHR-Del7. Cells co-expressing LHR-WT and LHR-Del7 were able to generate cAMP in response to hCG, but there was no significant difference between cells transfected with LHR-WT/vector and LHR-WT/LHR-Del7, although the variant was able to localize to cell surface, similar to wild-type receptor. These results indicated that LHR-Del7 does not have a dominant negative effect on LHR-WT cell surface expression, and although the pathological splicing variant LHR-Del7 was able to localize to cell membranes it failed to bind hCG and had no effect on wild-type LHR.
function study; splicing variant; LHR
In silico screening of metazoan genome data identified multiple endogenous hepadnaviral elements in the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus) genome, most notably two elements comprising about 1.3× and 1.0× the full-length genome. Phylogenetic and molecular dating analyses show that endogenous budgerigar hepatitis B viruses (eBHBV) share an ancestor with extant avihepadnaviruses and infiltrated the budgerigar genome millions of years ago. Identification of full-length genomes with preserved key features like ε signals could enable resurrection of ancient BHBV.
Left supraclavicular lymph node metastasis is a rare presentation of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This phenomenon is easily neglected in the clinic. A 56-year-old man presented with HCC. On examination, a 1cm long left supraclavicular lymph node was palpated. Auxiliary examination indicated a lesion located in the right lobe of the liver. Fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) of the enlarged lymph node was performed; however, only necrosis was found. Hepatectomy was performed and HCC was confirmed by Hematoxylin-Eosin staining. However, 14 d after surgery, significantly enlarged left supraclavicular lymph nodes, a new intrahepatic lesion, and pulmonary and mediastinal metastasis appeared. An excisional biopsy of the left supraclavicular lymph node was performed, and its findings confirmed metastatic HCC. The patient’s HCC rapidly progressed and he died one month later. It is possible for HCC to metastasize to the left supraclavicular lymph node. Surgeons should always consider an overall physical examination. When left supraclavicular lymphadenopathy of unknown origin is encountered, FNAC should be performed initially. If the results are negative, an excisional biopsy and subsequent Positron emission tomography - computed tomography scanning should be performed. These are very important for making the correct diagnosis and for selecting reasonable therapies.
Left supraclavicular lymph node; Metastasis; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Fine needle aspiration cytology; Misdiagnosis
Coxsackieviruses A10 (CV-A10) and A6 (CV-A6) have been associated with increasingly occurred sporadic hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) cases and outbreak events globally. However, our understanding of epidemiological and genetic characteristics of these new agents remains far from complete. This study was to explore the circulation of CV-A10 and CV-A6 in HFMD and their genetic characteristics in China. A hospital based surveillance was performed in three heavily inflicted regions with HFMD from March 2009 to August 2011. Feces samples were collected from children with clinical diagnosis of HFMD. The detection and genotyping of enteroviruses was performed by real-time PCR and sequencing of 5′UTR/VP1 regions. Phylogenetic analysis and selection pressure were performed based on the VP1 sequences. Logistic regression model was used to identify the effect of predominant enterovirus serotypes in causing severe HFMD. The results showed 92.0% of 1748 feces samples were detected positive for enterovirus, with the most frequently presented serotypes as EV-71 (944, 54.0%) and CV-A16 (451, 25.8%). CV-A10 and CV-A6 were detected as a sole pathogen in 82 (4.7%) and 44 (2.5%) cases, respectively. Infection with CV-A10 and EV-71 were independently associated with high risk of severe HFMD (OR = 2.66, 95% CI: 1.40–5.06; OR = 4.81, 95% CI: 3.07–7.53), when adjusted for age and sex. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that distinct geographic and temporal origins correlated with the gene clusters based on VP1 sequences. An overall ω value of the VP1 was 0.046 for CV-A10 and 0.047 for CV-A6, and no positively selected site was detected in VP1 of both CV-A10 and CV-A6, indicating that purifying selection shaped the evolution of CV-A10 and CV-A6. Our study demonstrates variety of enterovirus genotypes as viral pathogens in causing HFMD in China. CV-A10 and CV-A6 were co-circulating together with EV-71 and CV-A16 in recent years. CV-A10 infection might also be independently associated with severe HFMD.
Mannan-binding lectin (MBL), a lectin homologous to C1q, greatly facilitates C3/C4-mediated opsonophagocytosis of Candida albicans (C. albicans) by human neutrophils, and has the capacity to bind to CR1 (CD35) expressed on circulating neutrophils. The intracellular pool of neutrophil Dectin-1 plays a critical role in stimulating the reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation through recognition of β-1,3-glucan component of phagocytized zymosan or yeasts. However, little is known about whether MBL can mediate the opsonophagocytosis of Candida albicans by neutrophils independent of complement activation, and whether MBL-mediated opsonophagocytosis influence the intracellular expression of Dectin-1 and ROS production. Here we showed that the inhibited phagocytic efficiency of neutrophils as a result of blockage of Dectin-1 was compensated by exogenous MBL alone in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, the expressions of Dectin-1 at mRNA and intracellular protein levels were significantly up-regulated in neutrophils stimulated by MBL-pre-incubated C. albicans, while the expression of surface Dectin-1 remained almost unchanged. Nevertheless, the stimulated ROS production in neutrophils was partly and irreversibly inhibited by blockage of Dectin-1 in the presence of exogenous MBL. Confocal microscopy examination showed that intracellular Dectin-1 was recruited and co-distributed with ROS on the surface of some phagocytized yeasts. The β-1,3-glucanase digestion test further suggested that the specific recognition and binding site of human Dectin-1 is just the β-1,3-glucan moiety on the cell wall of C. albicans. These data demonstrate that MBL has an ability to mediate the opsonophagocytosis of Candida albicans by human neutrophils independent of complement activation, which is coupled with intracellular Dectin-1-triggered ROS production.
Dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa is an inherited bullous dermatosis caused by the COL7A1 gene mutation in autosomal dominant or recessive mode. COL7A1 gene encodes type VII collagen – the main component of the anchoring fibrils at the dermal–epidermal junction. Besides the 730 mutations reported, we identified two novel COL7A1 gene mutations in a Chinese family, which caused recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB). The diagnosis was established histopathologically and ultrastructurally. After genomic DNA extraction from the peripheral blood sample of all subjects (5 pedigree members and 136 unrelated control individuals), COL7A1 gene screening was performed by polymerase chain reaction amplification and direct DNA sequencing of the whole coding exons and flanking intronic regions. Genetic analysis of the COL7A1 gene in affected individuals revealed compound heterozygotes with identical novel mutations. The maternal mutation is a 2-bp deletion at exon 8 (c.1006_1007delCA), leading to a subsequent reading frame-shift and producing a premature termination codon located 48 amino acids downstream in exon 9 (p.Q336EfsX48), consequently resulting in the truncation of 2561 amino acids downstream. This was only present in two affected brothers, but not in the other unaffected family members. The paternal mutation is a 1-bp deletion occurring at the first base of intron 65 (c.IVS5568+1delG) that deductively changes the strongly conserved GT dinucleotide at the 5′ donor splice site, results in subsequent reading-through into intron 65, and creates a stop codon immediately following the amino acids encoded by exon 65 (GTAA→TAA). This is predicted to produce a truncated protein lacking of 1089 C-terminal amino acids downstream. The latter mutation was found in all family members except one of the two unaffected sisters. Both mutations were observed concurrently only in the two affected brothers. Neither mutation was discovered in 136 unrelated Chinese control individuals. This study reveals novel disease-causing mutations in the COL7A1 gene.
With voriconazole (VRC) being approved as the first choice in treating invasive aspergillosis (IA) and its increasing use in treatment, a VRC-resistant strain of Aspergillus flavus, the second leading cause of IA after Aspergillus fumigatus, has emerged. The VRC-resistant strain of A. flavus was isolated for the first time from the surgical lung specimen of an IA patient with no response to VRC therapy. In order to ascertain the mechanism of VRC resistance, the azole target enzyme genes in this strain of A. flavus were cloned and sequenced, and 4 mutations generating amino acid residue substitutions were found in the cyp51C gene. To further determine the role of this mutated gene for VRC resistance in A. flavus, an Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated gene replacement approach was applied. Consequently, the mutated cyp51C gene from this A. flavus strain was proven to confer the VRC resistance. Finally, to discern the one out of the four mutations in the cyp51C gene that is responsible for contributing to VRC resistance, a site-directed gene mutagenesis procedure combined with a gene replacement method was performed. As a result, the T788G missense mutation in the cyp51C gene was identified as responsible for VRC resistance in A. flavus. These findings indicated that the detection of this mutation in A. flavus could serve as an indicator for physicians to avoid the use of VRC during IA treatment. Further comprehensive surveillance for antifungal susceptibility, as well as intensive study on the mechanism of azole resistance in A. flavus causing IA, would be required to fully understand this mechanism.
New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase 1 (NDM-1), which is associated with resistance to carbapenem, was first reported in 2008. A sensitive and rapid molecular assay to detect the plasmid blaNDM-1 in clinical isolates is needed to control its spread. We describe a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for the rapid detection of blaNDM-1 from pure culture and sputum, urine, and fecal samples. Eight sets of primers were designed to recognize six or eight distinct sequences on target blaNDM-1, and one set was selected as the most appropriate set of primers for its rapid detection. The specificity and sensitivity of the primers in the LAMP reactions for blaNDM-1 detection were determined. The sensitivity of the LAMP assay for blaNDM-1 detection in sputum, urine, and fecal samples was also tested. Two methods, namely, monitoring of turbidity and addition of calcein to the reaction tube, were used to determine negative and positive results. The results showed that target DNA was amplified and visualized by the two detection methods within 70 min at an isothermal temperature of 65°C. The sensitivity of LAMP, with a detection limit of 10.70 pg/μl DNA, was 100-fold greater than that of PCR. Thirteen infection bacterial strains without blaNDM-1 were selected for testing of specificity, and the results of the amplification were negative, which showed that the primers had good levels of specificity. The LAMP method reported here is demonstrated to be a potentially valuable means for the detection of blaNDM-1 and rapid clinical diagnosis, being fast, simple, and low in cost.
The stability of protein drugs remains one of the key hurdles to their success in the market. The aim of the present study was to design a novel nanoemulsion drug-delivery system (NEDDS) that would encapsulate a standard-model protein drug – bovine serum albumin (BSA) – to improve drug stability.
The BSA NEDDS was prepared using a phase-inversion method and pseudoternary phase diagrams. The following characteristics were studied: morphology, size, zeta potential, drug loading, and encapsulation efficiency. We also investigated the stability of the BSA NEDDS, bioactivity of BSA encapsulated within the NEDDS, the integrity of the primary, secondary, and tertiary structures, and specificity.
The BSA NEDDS consisted of Cremophor EL-35, propylene glycol, isopropyl myristate, and normal saline. The average particle diameter of the BSA NEDDS was about 21.8 nm, and the system showed a high encapsulation efficiency (>90%) and an adequate drug-loading capacity (45 mg/mL). The thermodynamic stability of the system was investigated at different temperatures and pH levels and in room-temperature conditions for 180 days. BSA NEDDS showed good structural integrity and specificity for the primary, secondary, and tertiary structures, and good bioactivity of the loaded BSA.
BSA NEDDS showed the properties of a good nanoemulsion-delivery system. NEDDS can greatly enhance the stability of the protein drug BSA while maintaining high levels of drug bioactivity, good specificity, and integrity of the primary, secondary, and tertiary protein structures. These findings indicate that the nanoemulsion is a potential formulation for oral administration of protein drugs.
nanoemulsion; drug-delivery system; protein drug; oral administration; stability
To identify Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis infection in northeastern China, we tested blood samples from 622 febrile patients. We identified in 7 infected patients and natural foci for this bacterium. Field surveys showed that 1.6% of ticks and 3.8% of rodents collected from residences of patients were also infected.
Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis; bacteria; human infection; ticks; rodents; vector-borne infections; China
Sepsis could induce indirect acute lung injury(ALI), and pulmonary vasomotor dysfunction. While low tidal volume is advocated for treatment of ALI patients. However, there is no evidence for low tidal volume that it could mitigate pulmonary vasomotor dysfunction in indirect ALI. Our study is to evaluate whether low tidal volume ventilation could protect the pulmonary vascular function in indirect lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced acute lung injury rats.
An indirect ALI rat model was induced by intravenous infusion of LPS. Thirty rats (n = 6 in each group) were randomly divided into (1)Control group; (2) ALI group; (3) LV group (tidal volume of 6mL/kg); (4) MV group (tidal volume of 12mL/kg); (5)VLV group (tidal volume of 3mL/kg). Mean arterial pressure and blood gas analysis were monitored every 2 hours throughout the experiment. Lung tissues and pulmonary artery rings were immediately harvested after the rats were bled to be killed to detect the contents of endothelin-1 (ET-1), endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and TNF-α. Acetylcholine (Ache)-induced endothelium-dependent and sodium nitroprusside (SNP)-induced endothelium-independent relaxation of isolated pulmonary artery rings were measured by tensiometry.
There was no difference within groups concerning blood pressure, PaCO2 and SNP-induced endothelium-independent relaxation of pulmonary artery rings. Compared with MV group, LV group significantly reduced LPS-induced expression of ET-1 level (113.79 ± 7.33pg/mL vs. 152.52 ± 12.75pg/mL, P < 0.05) and TNF-α (3305.09 ± 334.29pg/mL vs.4144.07 ± 608.21pg/mL, P < 0.05), increased the expression of eNOS (IOD: 15032.05 ± 5925.07 vs. 11454.32 ± 6035.47, P < 0.05). While Ache (10-7mol/L-10-4mol/L)-induced vasodilatation was ameliorated 30% more in LV group than in MV group.
Low tidal volume could protect the pulmonary vasodilative function during indirect ALI by decreasing vasoconstrictor factors, increasing expressions of vasodilator factors in pulmonary endothelial cells, and inhibiting inflammation injuries.
Endothelium; Mechanical ventilation; Vascular reactivity; Vascular injury; Lung injury; Pulmonary hypertension
The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy and tolerability of celecoxib, meloxicam and paracetamol in late Kashin-Beck disease. Adults (n = 168) with Kashin-Beck disease were randomised in clusters to receive six week courses of celecoxib 200 mg once daily, meloxicam 7.5 mg once daily or paracetamol 300 mg three times daily. Efficacy assessments included overall joint pain intensity and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index subscales; tolerability was evaluated by adverse event and physician reporting. Celecoxib and meloxicam were efficacious in relieving pain and improving stiffness, but unable to improve physical function after six weeks. Paracetamol was efficacious in relieving pain, but unable to improve morning stiffness and physical function after six weeks. Celecoxib and meloxicam provide predictable and sustained relief from pain and stiffness. Paracetamol can relieve the pain. None of the treatments improved impaired physical function in Kashin-Beck disease.
Conservation policies are increasing in response to human-induced ecosystem degradation, but little is known about their interplay with natural disasters. Through an analysis of satellite imagery and field data we evaluated the impacts of a devastating earthquake on forest recovery and avoided forest loss estimated to have been obtained by two of the largest conservation programs in the world. Results show that more than 10% of the forests in Wenchuan County, Sichuan province, China were immediately affected by the 2008 earthquake, offsetting some gains in forest cover observed since the enactment of the conservation programs. But without the enactment of these conservation programs, the combined effects of human disturbance and earthquake-induced landslides could have severely reduced the region’s forest cover. The continuation—and enhancement—of incentives for participation in conservation programs will be important for reducing the environmental impacts of the combined effects of human disturbance and natural hazards not only in the study area but also in many disaster-prone regions around the world.
Conservation; Grain-to-Green Program; Natural disasters; Natural Forest Conservation Program; Payments for ecosystem services; Wenchuan Earthquake