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.
Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have been differentiated into oligodendroglial progenitor cells (OPCs), providing promising cell replacement therapies for many CNS disorders. Studies from rodents have shown that brain OPCs express a variety of ion channels, and that a subset of brain OPCs express voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV), mediating the spiking properties of OPCs. However, it is unclear whether PSC-derived OPCs exhibit electrophysiological properties similar to brain OPCs and the role of NaV in the functional maturation of OPCs is unknown. Here, using a mouse embryonic stem cell (mESC) GFP-Olig2 knockin reporter line, we demonstrated that unlike brain OPCs, all of the GFP+/Olig2+ mESC-derived OPCs (mESC-OPCs) did not express functional NaV and failed to generate spikes (hence termed “non-spiking mESC-OPCs”), while expressing the delayed rectifier and inactivating potassium currents. By ectopically expressing NaV1.2 α subunit via viral transduction, we successfully generated mESC-OPCs with spiking properties (termed “spiking mESC-OPCs”). After transplantation into the spinal cord and brain of myelin-deficient shiverer mice, the spiking mESC-OPCs demonstrated better capability in differentiating into MBP expressing oligodendrocytes and in myelinating axons in vivo than the non-spiking mESC-OPCs. Thus, by generating spiking and non-spiking mESC-OPCs, this study reveals a novel function of NaV in OPCs in their functional maturation and myelination, and sheds new light on ways to effectively develop PSC-derived OPCs for future clinical applications.
Embryonic stem cell; oligodendroglial progenitor cell; voltage-gated ion channel; action potential; myelination
The crystallization of 2-aminophenol 1,6-dioxygenase in complexes with its substrate and with an inhibitor is reported.
Dioxygen activation implemented by nonhaem FeII enzymes containing the 2-His-1-carboxylate facial triad has been extensively studied in recent years. Extradiol dioxygenase is the archetypal member of this superfamily and catalyzes the oxygenolytic ring opening of catechol analogues. Here, the crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of 2-aminophenol 1,6-dioxygenase, an enzyme representing a minor subset of extradiol dioxygenases that catalyze the fission of 2-aminophenol rather than catecholic compounds, is reported. Crystals of the holoenzyme with FeII and of complexes with the substrate 2-aminophenol and the suicide inhibitor 4-nitrocatechol were grown using the cocrystallization method under the same conditions as used for the crystallization of the apoenzyme. The crystals belonged to space group C2 and diffracted to 2.3–2.7 Å resolution; the crystal that diffracted to the highest resolution had unit-cell parameters a = 270.24, b = 48.39, c = 108.55 Å, β = 109.57°. All X-ray data sets collected from diffraction-quality crystals were suitable for structure determination.
2-aminophenol 1,6-dioxygenase; extradiol dioxygenases; 2-aminophenol; catechol
The purpose of this research was to set up a sensitive and consistent UPLC-UV and UPLCMS/MS method to analyze emodin and its glucuronidated metabolite, and to determine how gender differences affect its pharmacokinetic behaviors. In addition, a breast cancer resistance protein inhibitor dipyridamole was used to test how significant the absolute oral biovailabilty of emodin or its glucuronide is increased. A sensitive and fast UPLC-MS/MS method was successfully applied to determine emodin and its metabolite in male and female SD rat plasma. The absolute oral bioavailability of emodin was extremely low whether in male rats (7.5%) and female rats (5%). Following a single intravenous injection of 4 mg/kg emodin, the emodin plasma concentration-time data fit for a good two-compartment model either in male or female SD rats. The t1/2α were 13.26±6.28min (male rats) and 13.52±7.28min (female rats). The t1/2β were 187.38±0.16min (male rats) and 118.50±83.09min (female rats). Emodin showed significant gender differences in i.v. PK profiles with higher AUC values in male (422.71 ± 163.40 mg*μg/ml) than female (282.52 ± 98.42 mg*μg/ml) SD rats (n=6). Emodin glucuronide was suggested a good fit for single compartmental model for the plasma emodin metabolite concentrations. The t1/2Ke were 167.40±50.91min(male rats) and 251.31±114.20min (female rats), the area under the curve (AUC0-∞, i.v.) were 2210.02 ± 950.09 mg*μg/ml and 1054.42 ± 290.31 mg*μg/ml (female rats)(n=6). There was no good fit for any PK compartmental model for the plasma concentration-time data for single dose oral administration of emodin (8mg/kg) and its metabolite. Analyzing the oral PK data using non-compartmental model, Cmax, Tmax and AUC0-∞, p.o. of emodin in male rats were: 0.31±0.094 were μg/ml, 18.00±6.71min and 65.76±34.77 mg*μg/ml respectively; whereas Cmax, Tmax and AUC0-∞, p.o. of emodin in female rats were: 0.039±0.011 μg/ml, 18.75±7.51min and 33.82±4.09 mg*μg/ml respectively. The parameters of emodin glucuronide were significant different with emodin, the Cmax, Tmax and AUC0-∞, p.o of emodin glucuronide in male rats were 6.69±1.06 μg/ml, 240min and 2261.89±655.87 mg*μg/ml respectively, in female rats, the Cmax, Tmax and AUC0-∞, p.o. were 1.81±0.58 μg/ml, 60min and 458.50±373.29 mg*μg/ml respectively. The absolute bioavailability of emodin glucuronide was 60% (male rats) and 15% (female rats). The absolute bioavailability of emodin was no significant changed (7.3%) in male rats by using dipyridamole, the bioavailability of metabolite of emodin was significant declined to 14.6%.
emodin; absolute oral bioavailability; pharmacokinetics; UPLC-MS/MS; emodin
To present the treatment outcome for patients with stenosing tenosynovitis of thumb flexor tendon treated with a small S incision and page turning style of annular ligament partial resection.
During a 2-year period between August 2011 and July 2013, 12 consecutive patients (mean age, 45.8 years) with stenosing tenosynovitis of the thumb flexor tendon were prospectively enrolled into this study. All 12 patients underwent longitudinal S skin incision to expose annular ligament and thumb flexor tendon, and with page turning style of annular ligament partial resection to finish the operation. The average range of motion of metacarpophalangeal thumb joint, Quick disability of arm, shoulder, and hand and Short Musculoskeletal Function Assessment Dysfunction score of arm and hand were primary outcome measures.
There were 9 cases of stiff metacarpophalangeal joint of thumb and 3 cases of snapping thumb for stenosing tenosynovitis. At 1-year follow-up, all stenosing tenosynovitis had healed by an average of 4 weeks. The average range of motion of the metacarpophalangeal joint was 37.1° (range, 34–40°). No patients had recurrence, cicatricial contraction, or postoperative infection. The average disability of arm, shoulder, and hand was 0.3 out of 100 (range, 0–1.67), and average Short Musculoskeletal Functional Assessment Dysfunction score of arm and hand was 6.9 out of 40 (range, 0–15.6). All 12 patients stated that they were highly satisfied.
Small S incision and page turning style of annular ligament partial resection for stenosing tenosynovitis of thumb flexor tendon is a safe, simple, and reliable alternative treatment with minimal soft-tissue irritation, good functional results and recovery can be expected.
S Incision; Aper Turning Style; Partial Resection; Annular Ligament; Tendon Entrapment
Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is an aggressive tumor with dismal prognosis and high incidence and mortality in Kazakh population. MiR-34a, a direct p53 target gene, possesses tumor-suppressive properties as they mediate apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and senescence. The reduced expression of miR-34a by methylation in various cancers has been reported.
To determine whether aberrant miR-34a methylation occurs in esophageal cancer, the DNA methylation of 23 CpGs sites in the miR-34a promoter was quantitatively analyzed in relation to the translation initiation site by MALDI -TOF mass spectrometry in 59 ESCC tissues and 34 normal tissues from the Kazakh population. Real-time PCR was used to detect the inhibition of miR-34a expression levels and to evaluate their association with methylation.
We found that miR-34a is more frequently methylated in ESCC (0.133 ± 0.040) than in controls (0.066 ± 0.045, P < 0.01). A nearly two-fold increase in miR-34a expression for the hypomethylated promoter was found in normal esophageal tissues than ESCC with hypermethylation (P <0.0001), pointing to a negative relationship between miR-34a CpG sites methylation and expression(r = −0.594, P = 0.042). The hypermethylation of miR-34a CpG_8.9 was associated with the advanced UICC stage III/IV of the esophageal cancers, and the hypermethylation of CpG_8.9 and CpG_5 of miR-34a was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis.
Our findings suggest that miR-34a is involved in the etiology of ESCC and that hypermethylated miR-34a is a potential biomarker for ESCC diagnosis and prognosis. Moreover, targeting miR-34a methylation by demethylating agents may offer a novel strategy for anticancer therapy of ESCC.
MiR-34a; Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma; Kazakh; Methylation
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.
Reactive oxide species (ROS) derived from NADPH oxidases is involved in atherosclerosis. However, as a key component of NADPH oxidase, how p47phox regulates NADPH oxidases activity, ROS production and adventitial fibroblasts (AFs) function remains unclear.
p47phox in aortic arteries of apoE(-/-) mice fed with hyperlipid diet was detected by immunohistochemistry. NADPH oxidase activity, superoxide anion (O2−) generation and p47phox expression were analyzed in primary AFs treated by diphenyleneiodonium (DPI). The proliferation and migration of AFs were also analyzed.
p47phox expression was low in the aortic adventitia but high in the site of intimal injury with continuous hyperlipidic diet. Compared to AFs from wild-type mice, AFs derived from apoE(-/-) mice exhibited elevated NADPH oxidase activity, O2− production and higher mRNA and protein levels of p47phox, correlated with increased capability of proliferation and migration. DPI inhibited NADPH oxidase activity and AFs proliferation and migration in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, siRNA mediated knockdown of p47phox attenuated the proliferation and migration of AFs derived from apoE(-/-) mice.
p47phox plays a critical role in the regulation of adventitial fibroblast proliferation and migration and may be a new therapeutic target for neointimal hyperplasia.
NADPH oxidase; p47phox; Adventitia fibroblasts; Atherosclerosis; ApoE(-/-)
The clinical advantage of intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) may be diminished by range and patient setup uncertainties. We evaluated the effectiveness of robust optimization that incorporates uncertainties into the treatment planning optimization algorithm for treatment of base of skull cancers.
Methods and materials
We compared 2 IMPT planning methods for 10 patients with base of skull chordomas and chondrosarcomas: (1) conventional optimization, in which uncertainties are dealt with by creating a planning target volume (PTV); and (2) robust optimization, in which uncertainties are dealt with by optimizing individual spot weights without a PTV. We calculated root-mean-square deviation doses (RMSDs) for every voxel to generate RMSD volume histograms (RVHs). The area under the RVH curve was used for relative comparison of the 2 methods’ plan robustness. Potential benefits of robust planning, in terms of target dose coverage and homogeneity and sparing of organs at risk (OARs) were evaluated using established clinical metrics. Then the plan evaluation metrics were averaged and compared with 2-sided paired t tests. The impact of tumor volume on the effectiveness of robust optimization was also analyzed.
Relative to conventionally optimized plans, robustly optimized plans were less sensitive for both targets and OARs. In the nominal scenario, robust and conventional optimization resulted in similar D95% doses (D95% clinical target volume [CTV]: 63.3 and 64.8 Gy relative biologic effectiveness [RBE]), P <.01]) and D5%-D95% (D5%-D95% CTV: 8.0 and 7.1 Gy[RBE], [P < .01); irradiation of OARs was less with robust optimization (brainstem V60: 0.076 vs 0.26 cm3 [P <.01], left temporal lobe V70: 0.22 vs 0.41 cm3, [P = .068], right temporal lobe V70: 0.016 vs 0.11 cm3, [P = .096], left cochlea Dmean: 28.1 vs 30.1 Gy[RBE], [P = .023], right cochlea Dmean: 23.7 vs 25.2 Gy [RBE], [P = .059]). Results in the worst-case scenario were analogous.
Robust optimization is effective for creating clinically feasible IMPT plans for tumors of the base of skull.
Liver cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. The combination therapy of cytotoxic and chemosensitizing agents loaded in nanoparticles has been highlighted as an effective treatment for different cancers. However, such studies in liver cancer remain very limited. In our study, we aim to develop a novel lipid nanoparticles loaded with doxorubicin (DOX) (an effective drug for liver cancer) and curcumin (Cur) (a chemosensitizer) simultaneously, and we examined the efficacy of chemotherapy in liver cancer. DOX and Cur codelivery lipid nanoparticles (DOX/Cur-NPs) were successfully prepared using a high-pressure microfluidics technique, showing a mean particle size of around 90 nm, a polydispersity index <0.3, and a zeta potential <−10 mV. The encapsulation efficacy was >90% for both DOX and Cur. The blank lipid nanoparticles were nontoxic, as determined by a cell cytotoxicity study in human normal liver cells L02 and liver cancer cells HepG2. In vitro DOX release studies revealed a sustained-release pattern until 48 hours in DOX/Cur-NPs. We found enhanced cytotoxicity and decreased inhibitory concentration (IC)50 in HepG2 cells and reduced cytotoxicity in L02 cells treated with DOX/Cur-NPs, suggesting the synergistic effects of DOX/Cur-NPs compared with free DOX and DOX nanoparticles (NPs). The optimal weight ratio of DOX and Cur was 1:1. Annexin-V-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide double staining showed enhanced apoptosis in HepG2 cells treated with DOX/Cur-NPs compared with free DOX and DOX-NPs. An in vivo experiment showed the synergistic effect of DOX/Cur-NPs compared with DOX-NPs on liver tumor growth inhibition. Taken together, the simultaneous delivery of DOX and Cur by DOX/Cur-NPs might be a promising treatment for liver cancer.
doxorubicin; curcumin; codelivery; liver cancer; cytotoxicity; tumor growth inhibition
The selection of appropriate seed cells is crucial for adipose tissue engineering. Here, we reported the stepwise induction of parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells (pESCs) to differentiate into adipogenic cells and its application in engineering injectable adipose tissue with Pluronic F-127. pESCs had pluripotent differentiation capacity and could form teratomas that include the three primary germ layers. Cells that migrated from the embryoid bodies (EBs) were selectively separated and expanded to obtain embryonic mesenchymal stem cells (eMSCs). The eMSCs exhibited similar cell surface marker expression profiles with bone morrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and had multipotent differentiation capacity. Under the induction of dexamethasone, indomethacin, and insulin, eMSCs could differentiate into adipogenic cells with increased expression of adipose-specific genes and oil droplet depositions within the cytoplasm. To evaluate their suitability as seed cells for adipose tissue engineering, the CM-Dil labelled adipogenic cells derived from eMSCs were seeded into Pluronic F-127 hydrogel and injected subcutaneously into nude mice. Four weeks after injection, glistering and semitransparent constructs formed in the subcutaneous site. Histological observations demonstrated that new adipose tissue was successfully fabricated in the specimen by the labelled cells. The results of the current study indicated that pESCs have great potential in the fabrication of injectable adipose tissue.
The significant influence of tumor stroma on malignant cells has been extensively investigated in this era of targeted therapy. The tumor microenvironment, as a dynamic system, is orchestrated by various cells including tumor vascular composing cells, inflammatory cells and fibroblasts. As a major and important component in tumor stroma, increasing evidence has shown that spindle-shaped cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a significant modifier of cancer evolution, and promote tumorigenesis, tumor invasion and metastasis by stimulating angiogenesis, malignant cell survival, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and proliferation via direct cell-to-cell contact or secretion of soluble factors in most digestive solid tumors. CAFs are thought to be activated, characterized by the expression of α-smooth muscle actin, fibroblast activated protein, fibroblast specific protein, vimentin, fibronectin, etc. They are hypothesized to originate from normal or aged fibroblasts, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal cells, or vascular endothelial cells. EMT may also be an important process generating CAFs, and most probably, CAFs may originate from multiple cells. A close link exists between EMT, tumor stem cells, and chemo-resistance of tumor cells, which is largely orchestrated by CAFs. CAFs significantly induce immunosuppression, and may be a prognostic marker in various malignancies. Targeted therapy toward CAFs has displayed promising anticancer efficacy, which further reinforces the necessity to explore the relationship between CAFs and their hosts.
Cancer-associated fibroblast; Tumor progression; Epithelial-mesenchymal transition; Tumor immunity; Targeted therapy