The vaccinia virus TianTan (VTT) has been modified as an HIV vaccine vector in China and has shown excellent performance in immunogenicity and safety. However, its adverse effects in immunosuppressed individuals warrant the search for a safer vector in the following clinic trails. In this study, we deleted the C7L and K1L genes of VTT and constructed six recombinant vaccinia strains VTT△C7L, VTT△K1L, VTT△C7LK1L, VTKgpe△C7L, VTKgpe△K1L and VTT△C7LK1L-gag. The pathogenicity and immunogenicity of these recombinants were evaluated in mouse and rabbit models. Comparing to parental VTT, VTT△C7L and VTT△K1L showed significantly decreased replication capability in CEF, Vero, BHK-21 and HeLa cell lines. In particular, replication of VTT△C7LK1L decreased more than 10-fold in all four cell lines. The virulence of all these mutants were decreased in BALB/c mouse and rabbit models; VTT△C7LK1L once again showed the greatest attenuation, having resulted in no evident damage in mice and erythema of only 0.4 cm diameter in rabbits, compared to 1.48 cm for VTT. VTKgpe△C7L, VTKgpe△K1L and VTT△C7LK1L-gag elicited as strong cellular and humoral responses against HIV genes as did VTKgpe, while humoral immune response against the vaccinia itself was reduced by 4-8-fold. These data show that deletion of C7L and K1L genes leads to significantly decreased virulence without compromising animal host immunogenicity, and may thus be key to creating a more safe and effective HIV vaccine vector.
Adeno-associated virus-2 (AAV-2)-mediated gene therapy is quite suitable for local or regional application in head and neck cancer squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). However, its low transduction efficiency has limited its further development as a therapeutic agent. DNA damaging agents have been shown to enhance AAV-mediated transgene expression. Cisplatin, one of the most effective chemotherapeutic agents, has been recognized to cause cancer cell death by apoptosis with a severe toxicity. This study aims to evaluate the role of cisplatin in AAV-mediated tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) expression and the effect on HNSCC both in vitro and in vivo.
Five human HNSCC cell lines were treated with recombinant soluble TRAIL (rsTRAIL) and infected with AAV/TRAIL to estimate the sensitivity of the cancer cells to TRAIL-induced cytotoxicity. KB cells were infected with AAV/EGFP with or without cisplatin pretreatment to evaluate the effect of cisplatin on AAV-mediated gene expression. TRAIL expression was detected by ELISA and Western blot. Cytotoxicity was measured by MTT assay and Western blot analysis for caspase-3 and -8 activations. Following the in vitro experiments, TRAIL expression and its tumoricidal activity were analyzed in nude mice with subcutaneous xenografts of HNSCC.
HNSCC cell lines showed different sensitivities to rsTRAIL, and KB cells possessed both highest transduction efficacy of AAV and sensitivity to TRAIL among five cell lines. Preincubation of KB cells with subtherapeutic dosage of cisplatin significantly augmented AAV-mediated transgene expression in a heparin sulfate proteoglycan (HSPG)-dependent manner. Furthermore, cisplatin enhanced the killing efficacy of AAV/TRAIL by 3-fold on KB cell line. The AAV mediated TRAIL expression was observed in the xenografted tumors and significantly enhanced by cisplatin. AAV/TRAIL suppressed the tumors growth and cisplatin augmented the tumoricidal activity by two-fold. Furthermore, Combination treatment reduced cisplatin-caused body weight loss in nude mice.
The combination of AAV-mediated TRAIL gene expression and cisplatin had synergistic therapeutic effects on head and neck cancers and reduced the potential toxicity of cisplatin. These findings suggest that the combination of AAV/TRAIL and cisplatin may be a promising strategy for HNSCC therapy.
G. zeae extracellular lipase has been overexpressed, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 2.8 Å resolution.
Fusarium head blight, one of the most destructive crop diseases, is mainly caused by Fusarium graminearum (known in its sexual stage as Gibberella zeae). F. graminearum secretes various extracellular enzymes that have been hypothesized to be involved in host infection. One of the extracellular enzymes secreted by this organism is the G. zeae extracellular lipase (GZEL), which is encoded by the FGL1 gene. In order to solve the crystal structure of GZEL and to gain a better understanding of the biological functions of the protein and of possible inhibitory mechanisms of lipase inhibitors, recombinant GZEL was crystallized at 291 K using PEG 3350 as a precipitant. A data set was collected to 2.8 Å resolution from a single flash-cooled crystal (100 K). The crystal belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 78.4, b = 91.0, c = 195.8 Å, α = β = γ = 90°. The presence of four molecules was assumed per asymmetric unit, which gave a Matthews coefficient of 2.6 Å3 Da−1.
extracellular lipases; Fusarium graminearum; Gibberella zeae; fusarium head blight
AIM: To investigate and evaluate the pathological features and diagnostic value of focal nodular hyperplasia (FNH) with multi-section spiral computed tomography (MSCT) and postprocessing.
METHODS: A total of 25 patients with FNH who had undergone MSCT and postprocessing were included in the investigation. All patients had been pathologically or clinically confirmed with FNH. A number of 75 cases of hepatic carcinomas, hemangiomas and adenomas were randomly selected at a same period for a comparative study.
RESULTS: There was a single focus in 22 cases and multiple foci in 3 cases. On the plain scan, 17 lesions showed hypodensity, 7 isodensity and 4 hyperdensity (the case with fatty liver). With contrast, 28 lesions were enhanced evenly or in the nodules in the arterial phase; 13 lesions still showed hyperdensity, 11 lesions isodensity and 4 lesions hypodensity in the parenchymatous phase; in the delayed phase only 5 lesions showed hyperdensity but 9 lesions showed isodensity or slight hypodensity and 14 lesions showed hypodensity. Twelve lesions of 28 had central asteroid scars. Thickened feeding arteries in postprocessing were seen in 24 lesions, and were integrated into the parenchymatous lesions with a gradual and smooth course. On the contrary, there were no artery penetrated into the lesion found in any of comparative hepatic tumors.
CONCLUSION: Doctors could make a correct diagnosis and differentiation of FNH on evaluation of the characteristic appearance on MSCT with postprocessing.
Angiography; Computer-assisted image processing; Focal nodular hyperplasia; Liver diseases; X-ray; Computed tomography
The title compound, C14H9Br2N3O·0.5C2H5OH, crystallizes with two 2-[(1H-benzimidazol-2-yl)iminomethyl]-4,6-dibromophenol molecules and one ethanol solvent molecule in the asymmetric unit. The benzene and benzimidazole rings subtend dihedral angles of 4.5 (3) and 5.2 (2)° in the two molecules. In the crystal, one molecule presents π–π stacking with the equivalent molecule related by inversion, at a distance of 3.30 Å (separation between molecular mean planes). A three-dimensional network is formed through N—H⋯N, N—H⋯O and O—H⋯N hydrogen bonds.
Objective: To elucidate the mechanisms undergoing the pathogenesis of PTC, this study try to find stage specific microRNAs (miRNAs) using microarray chip in stage I, II and III papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC) tissues as well predict miRNAs binding target genes and their molecular functions.
Methods: PTC specimens of stage I, II, and III and their paired adjacent non-tumor tissue (one patient for each stage) were collected. The expressions of miRNAs were examined using miRNA microarray chip. The most significant changed miRNAs from microarray were verified by using quantitative RT-PCR. The Potential miRNAs regulating target genes and their preliminary biological functions were forecasted with variety function prediction software.
Results: Ten miRNAs exhibited sequential up regulation expression profiles and five miRNAs performed sequential down regulation throughout stage I to III (p<0.05). After normalization, Fifteen miRNAs showed significant different compared to adjacent non-tumor tissues (p<0.05). Among of them, the most significant up regulation and down regulation miRNAs were miR-146b-5p and miR-335, respectively. Both of them were verified with qRT-PCR. 34 target genes for miR-146-5p and 36 target genes for miR-335 was predicted.
Conclusion: MicroRNA profile assay successfully detected a branch of differential expression miRNAs between PTC and normal tissue. Some of them also showed stage specific. Biological function analysis showed that target genes were involved in five aspects including cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, cycle, and signaling transduction pathway, suggesting the regulatory role of abnormal expression of critical miRNAs in the pathogenesis of PTC.
papillary thyroid carcinoma; microRNA; microarray; qRT-PCR; bioinformatics.
MicroRNA (miRNA) has been found in human blood. It has been increasingly suggested that miRNAs may serve as biomarkers for diseases. We examined the potential of circulating miRNA to serve as predictors of atrial fibrillation (AF).
During the discovery stage of this project, we used massively parallel signature sequencing (MPSS) to carry out an in-depth analysis of the miRNA expression profile (miRNome) in 5 healthy controls, 5 patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) alone, and 5 patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (PersAF) alone. Twenty-two specific miRNAs were found to be dysregulated in each PAF group, PersAF group, or control group. Four candidate microRNAs (miRNA-146a, miRNA-150, miRNA-19a, and miRNA-375) met our selection criteria and were evaluated in an independent cohort of 90 plasma samples using TaqMan miRNA quantitative reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). We found miRNA-150 levels to be reduced by a factor of approximately 17 in PAF relative to controls and a factor of approximately 20 in PersAF relative to controls (P<.0001). Logistic regression analyses were carried out to evaluate the reduced miRNA-150 expression levels (odds ratio [OR] 1.96, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5 to 3.57, P<0.001), age (OR 1.1, 95% CI 1.36 to 2.73, P<0.001), and Left atrial diameter (LAD) (OR 1.5, 95% CI 1.36 to 1.8, P<0.001). Each was independently associated with AF. Much of the identified target genes related to AF were part of the inflammatory response system. We found that plasma levels of CRP were negatively correlated with the plasma levels of miRNA-150.
In summary, we firstly found that plasma miRNA-150 levels in from AF patients were substantially lower than that from healthy people. Circulating reduced miRNA-150 was significantly associated with AF.
Since 1997, several countries within the Asian Pacific region have been affected by one or more massive outbreaks of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). Virus typing experiments revealed that these outbreaks were caused by strains of human enterovirus 71 (EV71) belonging to several different, recently emerged subgenogroups. In mainland China, a different situation was observed. The first outbreak, localized in Shangdong Province, was reported in 2007, and was followed by a wide-spread outbreak in mainland China in 2008. Since then, numbers of reported HFMD cases have been persistently high.
To gain insight in the epidemiological behavior of EV71 in China, we studied genetic diversity and EV71 population dynamics to address whether the increase in number of reported EV71 infections reflects a real increase in viral spread or is just the result of increased awareness and surveillance. We used systematically collected VP1 gene sequences of 257 EV71 strains collected in Guangdong province from 2008 to 2010 as part of HFMD surveillance activities, and supplemented them with 305 GenBank EV71 reference stains collected in China from 1998 to 2010. All isolates from Guangdong Province belonged to subgenogroup C4. Viral population dynamics indicated that the increased reporting of HFMD in China since 2007 reflects a real increase in viral spread and continued replacement of viral lineages through time. Amino acid sequence comparisons revealed substitution of amino acid in residues 22, 145 and 289 through time regularly with the VP1 gene of EV71 strains isolated in mainland China from 1998 to 2010.
EV71 strains isolated in mainland China mainly belonged to subgenogroup C4. There was exponential growth of the EV71 virus population in 2007 and 2008. There was amino acid substitution through time regularly with the VP1 gene which possibly increased viral spread and/or ability of the virus to circulate persistently among the Chinese population.
Virions are one kind of nanoscale pathogen and are able to infect living cells of animals, plants, and bacteria. The infection is an intrinsic property of the virions, and the biological process provides a good model for studying how these nanoparticles enter into cells. During the infection, the viruses employ different strategies to which the cells have developed respective responses. For this paper, we chose Bombyx mori cypovirus 1 (BmCPV-1) interactions with midgut cells from silkworm, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) associated coronavirus interactions with Vero E6 cells, as examples to demonstrate the response of eukaryotic cells to two different types of virus from our previous studies. The bacteriophage-bacteria interactions are also introduced to elucidate how the bacteriophage conquers the barrier of cell walls in the prokaryotic cells to transport genome into the host.
Osteopontin (OPN) is a multifunctional protein which has recently been linked to allergic diseases. Clara cell 10-kDa protein (CC10) is another protein linked to allergy, and has been suggested to have an inhibitory role in inflammatory airway diseases. At this time, it is not known whether OPN is involved in allergic rhinitis (AR) or if there is any association between CC10 and OPN in AR.
To study the expression of OPN and its potential association with CC10 in AR.
The expression of CC10 and OPN in nasal mucosa of AR patients was investigated. AR animal models were established by employing wild-type and CC10-knockout mice. In some experiments, human recombinant CC10 protein was given to AR mice during either sensitization or challenge. The phenotypic changes were examined by histology and real-time RT-PCR. The direct effect of CC10 on OPN expression in spleen mononuclear cells and on OPN-induced inflammatory cytokine expression in BEAS-2B cells was measured through in vitro cell culture.
OPN expression was up-regulated, with a concomitant down-regulation of CC10, in AR patients, showing a significant negative correlation between their expression. Compared with control mice sensitized with PBS, OPN expression was significantly increased in AR mice; such increase was more prominent in CC10-knockout mice, compared to wild-type. Administration of CC10 during both sensitization and challenge could markedly ameliorate Th2-skewed inflammation and OPN expression in nasal mucosa. CC10 administration at the sensitization phase could also reduce spleen OPN expression. The in vitro study showed that CC10 directly down-regulated OPN expression in spleen mononuclear cells stimulated with OVA and suppressed OPN-induced expression of Th2 cytokines and proinflammatory cytokines in BEAS-2B cells.
In the context of allergic airway responses, CC10 can inhibit OPN expression and suppress the Th2 promoting function of OPN, resulting in CC10’s inhibitory biological effects.
allergic rhinitis; Clara cell 10-kDa protein; osteopontin; regulation
Rationale: Clara cell 10-kD (CC10) protein, an antiinflammatory molecule, is involved in inflammatory upper airway diseases, but its regulatory role is unclear, particularly in the process of chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).
Objectives: To investigate the regulatory mechanisms of CC10 in eosinophilic CRS (ECRS) using an allergic mouse model.
Methods: Homozygous CC10-knockout mice were used to establish an allergic ECRS model. Phenotypic changes were examined by histology, cytokine ELISA, and gene microarray analysis. Differential expression of chitinase 3-like 1 (CHI3L1) was verified by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry. The functional role of CHI3L1 in vivo was assessed by the use of anti-CHI3L1 antibody in ECRS mice. CHI3L1 gene expression regulated by inflammatory cytokines and CC10 protein was performed using BEAS-2B cell line.
Measurements and Main Results: Compared with wild-type mice, a significantly greater extent of inflammatory cell infiltration and tissue remodeling was found in CC10-knockout ECRS mice, which was associated with significantly higher levels of various cytokines and eotaxin-1. CHI3L1 was up-regulated in ECRS mice with a significant further increase in CC10-knockout mice. Anti-CHI3L1 treatment markedly ameliorated eosinophilic inflammation. Furthermore, nasal mucosal CC10 gene transfer in CC10-knockout mice attenuated eosinophilic inflammation and suppressed the levels of CHI3L1. Moreover, significantly up-regulated expression of CHI3L1 was noted in human ECRS. IL-1β, tumor necrosis factor–α, and IL-13 were found to up-regulate CHI3L1 expression in BEAS-2B cells, whereas CC10 inhibited such up-regulation.
Conclusions: These results suggest that CHI3L1 is a novel molecule involved in ECRS and that CC10 plays a regulatory role in ECRS, presumably by attenuating CHI3L1 expression.
inflammation; tissue remodeling; mouse
The purpose of this study was to develop a mathematical model to quantitatively describe the passive transport of macromolecules within dental biofilms.
Fluorescently labeled dextrans with different molecular mass (3 kD, 10 kD, 40 kD, 70 kD, 2 000 kD) were used as a series of diffusion probes. Streptococcus mutans, Streptococcus sanguinis, Actinomyces naeslundii and Fusobacterium nucleatum were used as inocula for biofilm formation. The diffusion processes of different probes through the in vitro biofilm were recorded with a confocal laser microscope.
Mathematical function of biofilm penetration was constructed on the basis of the inverse problem method. Based on this function, not only the relationship between average concentration of steady-state and molecule weights can be analyzed, but also that between penetrative time and molecule weights.
This can be used to predict the effective concentration and the penetrative time of anti-biofilm medicines that can diffuse through oral biofilm. Furthermore, an improved model for large molecule is proposed by considering the exchange time at the upper boundary of the dental biofilm.
oral biofilm; diffusion model; boundary condition; inverse problem method
In the title compound, C15H13N3O4, the pyridine and benzene rings are nearly perpendicular [dihedral angle = 84.24 (5)°]. In the crystal structure, classical O—H⋯N hydrogen bonding between the OH group of the carboxyl unit and a neighbouring pyridine ring N atom and N—H⋯O hydrogen bonding between the imine NH group and a neighbouring O atom of an acyl unit, together with complementary non-classical C—H⋯O hydrogen bonds between carboxyl O atoms and neighbouring CH groups, link the molecules into a three-dimensional system.
Fish and mollusk samples were collected from markets located in 12 cities in Liaoning province, China, during August and September 2007, and 22 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were detected. DDT, HCH, endosulfan, chlordane, and HCB were the dominating OCPs, with mean concentrations and ranges of, respectively, 15.41 and 0.57 to 177.56 ng/g, 0.84 and below detection limit (BDL) to 22.99 ng/g, 1.31 and BDL to 13.1 ng/g, 1.05 and BDL to 15.68 ng/g, and 0.63 and BDL to 9.21 ng/g in all fish and mollusk samples. The concentrations of other OCPs generally were low and were detectable in a minority of samples, reflecting the low levels of these OCPs in the study region. In general, OCP concentrations were obviously higher in fish than in mollusks, and higher in freshwater fish than in marine fish, which indicated, first, that freshwater fish are more easily influenced than seawater fish and mollusks by OCP residues in agricultural areas and, second, that there are different biota accumulation factors for OCPs between fish and mollusk. To learn the consumption of fish and mollusk, 256 questionnaires were sent to families in 12 cities of Liaoning province. Using the contamination data, average estimated daily intakes of OCPs via fish and mollusk consumption were calculated, which were used for exposure assessment. The public health risks caused by exposure to OCPs in the course of fish and mollusk consumption were compared to noncancer benchmarks and cancer benchmarks.
In the title compound, C15H13N3O4, the pyridine and benzene rings are nearly coplanar [dihedral angle = 4.92 (12)°]. The maximum deviation from the best least-squares plane calculated for the main molecular skeleton is 0.1722 (1) Å for the carbonyl O atom. In the crystal, intermolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds connect the molecules into a chain, while π–π stacking interactions between the pyridine and benzene rings [centroid–centroid distance = 3.9162 (8) Å and offset angle = 27.20°] complete a two-dimensional network.
In the title compound, [CoCl2(C13H9Cl2N3O2)2(C12H8N2)]·CH3OH, the CoII atom is octahedrally coordinated by two N atoms from the pyridyl rings of the tridentate N′-(3,5-dichloro-2-hydroxybenzylidene)pyridine-4-carbohydrazide (H2
L) ligand, two N atoms from the 1,10-phenanthroline ligand and two chloride ions. The acylhydrazone groups are not involved into the coordination of the metal ion. In the crystal packing an extended three-dimensional network formed by N—H⋯Cl, N—H⋯O, O—H⋯N, O—H⋯N and O—H⋯Cl hydrogen bonds is observed.
To analyze the mechanism for the therapeutic effects of TNFα inhibition in a murine model SLE.
We used the IFN induced NZB/W model of SLE nephritis and treated mice with TNFR2-Ig after TNF expression was detected in the kidneys. Autoantibodies were measured by ELISA and autoantibody forming cells by ELISpot. Activation of splenocytes was analyzed by flow cytometry. Kidneys were harvested and analyzed using flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, ELISA, Western blot and real-time PCR.
TNFR2-Ig treatment stabilized nephritis and markedly prolonged survival. Autoantibody production and systemic immune activation were not inhibited but the renal response to glomerular immune complex deposition was attenuated. This was associated with decreases in renal production of chemokines, renal endothelial cell activation, interstitial F4/80hi macrophage accumulation, tubular damage and oxidative stress. In contrast, perivascular lymphoid aggregates containing B cells, T cells and dendritic cells accumulated unabated.
Our data suggest that TNFα is a critical cytokine that amplifies the response of the nephron to immune complex deposition but it has less influence on the response of the systemic vasculature to inflammation.
SLE; Macrophages; Cytokines; Rodent; TNF alpha
Ischemic damage is recognized to cause cardiomyocyte (CM) death and myocardial dysfunction, but the role of cell-matrix interactions and integrins in this process has not been extensively studied. Expression of α7β1D integrin, the dominant integrin in normal adult CMs, increases during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), while deficiency of β1 integrins increases ischemic damage. We hypothesized that the forced overexpression of integrins on the CM would offer protection from I/R injury. Tg mice with CM-specific overexpression of integrin α7β1D exposed to I/R had a substantial reduction in infarct size compared with that of α5β1D-overexpressing mice and WT littermate controls. Using isolated CMs, we found that α7β1D preserved mitochondrial membrane potential during hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) injury via inhibition of mitochondrial Ca2+ overload but did not alter H/R effects on oxidative stress. Therefore, we assessed Ca2+ handling proteins in the CM and found that β1D integrin colocalized with ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2) in CM T-tubules, complexed with RyR2 in human and rat heart, and specifically bound to RyR2 amino acids 165–175. Integrins stabilized the RyR2 interdomain interaction, and this stabilization required integrin receptor binding to its ECM ligand. These data suggest that α7β1D integrin modifies Ca2+ regulatory pathways and offers a means to protect the myocardium from ischemic injury.
Proteins can be modified with eight homogenous ubiquitin chains linked by an isopeptide bond between the C-terminus of one ubiquitin and an amine from one of the seven lysines or the N-terminal methionine of the next ubiquitin. These topologically distinct ubiquitin chains signal for many essential cellular functions, such as protein degradation, cell cycle progression, DNA repair, and signal transduction. The lysine 48 (K48)-linked ubiquitin chain is one of the most abundant chains and a major proteasome-targeting signal in cells. Despite recent advancements in imaging linkage-specific polyubiquitin chains, no tool is available for imaging K48 chains in live cells. Here we report on a ubiquitination-induced fluorescence complementation (UiFC) assay for detecting K48 ubiquitin chains in vitro and in live cells. For this assay, two nonfluorescent fragments of a fluorescent protein were fused to the ubiquitin-interacting motifs (UIMs) of epsin1 protein. Upon simultaneous binding to a ubiquitin chain, the nonfluorescent fragments of the two fusion proteins are brought in close proximity to reconstitute fluorescence. When used in vitro, UiFC preferentially detected K48 ubiquitin chains with excellent signal-to-noise ratio. Time-lapse imaging revealed that UiFC is capable of monitoring increases in polyubiquitination induced by treatment with proteasome inhibitor, by agents that induce stress, and during mitophagy in live cells.
cytokines; C-glycosides; glycosphingolipid; immunostimulant; Nozaki-Hiyama-Kishi reaction
Materials with both high strength and toughness are in great demand for a wide range of applications, requiring strict design of ingredients and hierarchically ordered architecture from nano- to macro-scale. Nacre achieves such a target in the long natural evolution by alternative alignment of inorganic nanoplatelets and biomacromolecules. To mimic nacre, various strategies were developed, approaching nacre-comparable performance in limited size. How to remarkably exceed nacre in both property and size is a key issue to further the advancement of composites. Here we present liquid crystal self-templating methodology to make the next generation of ultrastrong and tough nacre-mimics continuously. The hierarchically assembled composites show the highest tensile strength (652 MPa) among nacre mimics, five to eight times as high as that of nacre (80–135 MPa), and excellent ductility with toughness of 18 MJ m−3, one to two orders of magnitude greater than that of nacre (0.1 ~ 1.8 MJ m−3).
NKT cells respond to a variety of CD1d-restricted glycolipid antigens that are structurally related to the prototypic antigen, α-galactosylceramide (α-GalCer). A modified analogue of α-GalCer with a carbon-based glycosidic linkage (α-C-GalCer) has generated great interest because of its apparent ability to promote prolonged, Th1-biased immune responses. Here we report the activation of spleen NKT cells to α-C-GalCer, and related C-glycoside ligands, is weaker than that of α-GalCer. Furthermore, the Vβ8.2 and Vβ7 NKT TCR affinity for CD1d-α-C-GalCer, and some related analogues, is approximately 10-fold lower than that for the NKT TCR-CD1d-α-GalCer interaction. Nevertheless, the crystal structure of the Vβ8.2 NKT TCR-CD1d-α-C-GalCer complex is similar to that of the corresponding NKT TCR-CD1d-α-GalCer complex, although subtle differences at the interface provide a basis for understanding the lower affinity of the NKT TCR-CD1d-α-C-GalCer interaction. Our findings support the concept that for CD1d-restricted NKT cells, altered glycolipid ligands can promote markedly different responses while adopting similar TCR docking topologies.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease that is characterized by the loss of tolerance to nuclear self antigens, the production of pathogenic autoantibodies and damage to multiple organ systems. Over the years, patients with SLE have been managed largely with empiric immunosuppressive therapies, which are associated with substantial toxicities and do not always provide adequate control of the disease. The development of targeted therapies that specifically address disease pathogenesis or progression has lagged, largely because of the complex and heterogeneous nature of the disease, as well as difficulties in designing uniform outcome measures for clinical trials. Recent advances that could improve the treatment of SLE include the identification of genetic variations that influence the risk of developing the disease, an enhanced understanding of innate and adaptive immune activation and regulation of tolerance, dissection of immune cell activation and inflammatory pathways and elucidation of mechanisms and markers of tissue damage. These discoveries, together with improvements in clinical trial design, form a platform from which to launch the development of a new generation of lupus therapies.
Lymph node metastasis is an important indicator of oncologic outcome for patients with rectal cancer. Identifying predictive biomarkers of lymph node metastasis could therefore be clinically useful.
To assess whether chromosomal copy number alterations can assist in predicting lymph node metastasis in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer treated with pre-operative chemoradiation therapy.
Non-randomized, prospective Phase II study.
95 patients with stage II (cT3-4, cN0) or stage III (any cT, cN1-2) rectal cancer.
Patients were treated with pre-operative chemoradiation therapy (CRT) followed by total mesorectal excision. Pretreatment biopsy tumor DNA and surgical margin control DNA was extracted and analyzed by oligonucleotide array-based comparative genomic hybridization. Chromosomal copy number alterations were correlated with lymph node metastasis. Finally, a model for predicting lymph node metastasis was built.
Main outcome measures
To determine if chromosomal copy number alterations are associated with lymph node metastasis in patients with rectal cancer, and to assess the accuracy of oligonucleotide array-based comparative genomic hybridization for predicting lymph node metastasis.
Twenty-five of 95 (26%) patients had lymph node metastasis after chemoradiation. Losses of 28 chromosomal regions, most notably in chromosome 4, were significantly associated with lymph node metastasis. Our predictive model contained 65 probes and predicted lymph node metastasis with 68% sensitivity, 93% specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of 77% and 89%. Using this model lymph node status (positive or negative) after CRT was predicted accurately in 82 out of 95 patients (86%).
The patient cohort was not completely homogeneous which may have influenced their clinical outcome. Additionally, while we performed rigorous statistically sound internal validation, external validation will be important to further corroborate our findings.
Copy number alterations can help identify rectal cancer patients at risk of lymph node metastasis after chemoradiation.
Rectal cancer; lymph node metastasis; array-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH); copy number alteration (CNA)