In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (6)

Articles by Helen Tran in JoVE

Other articles by Helen Tran on PubMed

Relation Between Apolipoprotein E Genotype, Hepatitis B Virus Status, and Thyroid Status in a Sample of Older Persons with Down Syndrome

American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part A. Jul, 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12833399

Dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) is common in older persons with Down syndrome (DS). There are three common alleles of the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene (Sigma 2, Sigma 3, and Sigma 4) resulting in three different isoforms (E2, E3, and E4) and six different genotypes (2,2; 2,3; 2,4; 3,3; 3,4; and 4,4). Sigma 4 is a risk factor for DAT whereas Sigma 2 appears prophylactic. As hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and hypothyroidism also are common in DS, we evaluated associations between ApoE type, HBV status, and thyroid status in a sample of older persons with DS (n = 55; mean age, 44.3 +/- 10.8 years) using chi-squared analysis. Participants were classified as E2 (2,2 or 2,3), E3 (3,3), or E4 (3,4 or 4,4); positive for markers of HBV infection in the present or past (i.e., total HBcAb+ and/or HBsAg+ with or without infectivity, defined as HBV+) or negative for markers of HBV infection (defined as HBV-) and, currently receiving thyroid hormone supplement (defined as "hypothyroidism") or having normal thyroid function. The majority of the HBV+ were currently HBcAb+ and HBsAb+, but not HBsAg+. In females, there was an ApoE allele effect on thyroid status (P < or = 0.01), E2 being negatively (P < or = 0.01) and E4 being positively (P < or = 0.05) associated with "hypothyroidism". There was no evidence for an ApoE allele effect on thyroid status in males. There was no evidence for an ApoE allele effect on HBV status, or for an HBV status effect on thyroid status. As thyroid status can affect cognitive function, ApoE allele effects in DAT may, in part, be thyroid effects.

Identification of Proteins Separated by One-dimensional Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate/polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis with Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/ionization Ion Trap Mass Spectrometry; Comparison with Matrix-assisted Laser Desorption/ionization Time-of-flight Mass Fingerprinting

Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry : RCM. 2003  |  Pubmed ID: 12913863

Digests from ten gel bands containing low abundance proteins were analyzed by both matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization ion trap (MALDI-IT) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) methods. MALDI-TOF techniques were able to identify only one protein from all 10 gel bands, while MALDI-IT identified eight proteins from the same 10 bands. The ability to perform MS/MS experiments with a MALDI-IT instrument leads to protein identifications based on both peptide molecular mass and sequence information, and is much less prone to errors and uncertainties introduced by peptide fingerprinting methodologies in which protein identification is based on peptide molecular masses alone.

Mapping Cortical Thickness in Children with 22q11.2 Deletions

Cerebral Cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991). Aug, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17056649

The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (velocardiofacial/DiGeorge syndrome, 22q11.2DS) involves cardiac and craniofacial anomalies, marked deficits in visuospatial cognition, and elevated rates of psychosis. Although the mechanism is unknown, characteristic brain alterations may predispose to development of psychosis and cognitive deficits in 22q11DS. We applied cortical pattern matching and new methods for measuring cortical thickness in millimeters to structural magnetic resonance images of 21 children with confirmed 22q11.2 deletions and 13 demographically matched healthy comparison subjects. Thickness was mapped at 65 536 homologous points, based on 3-dimensional distance from the cortical gray-white matter interface to the external gray-cerebrospinal fluid boundary. A pattern of regionally specific cortical thinning was observed in superior parietal cortices and right parietooccipital cortex, regions critical for visuospatial processing, and bilaterally in the most inferior portion of the inferior frontal gyrus (pars orbitalis), a key area for language development. Several of the 30 genes encoded in the deleted segment are highly expressed in the developing brain and known to affect early neuronal migration. These brain maps reveal how haploinsufficiency for such genes can affect cortical development and suggest a possible underlying pathophysiology of the neurobehavioral phenotype.

Shaken, Not Stirred: Collapsing a Peptoid Monolayer to Produce Free-floating, Stable Nanosheets

Journal of the American Chemical Society. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21939206

Two-dimensional nanomaterials play a critical role in biology (e.g., lipid bilayers) and electronics (e.g., graphene) but are difficult to directly synthesize with a high level of precision. Peptoid nanosheet bilayers are a versatile synthetic platform for constructing multifunctional, precisely ordered two-dimensional nanostructures. Here we show that nanosheet formation occurs through an unusual monolayer intermediate at the air-water interface. Lateral compression of a self-assembled peptoid monolayer beyond a critical collapse pressure results in the irreversible production of nanosheets. An unusual thermodynamic cycle is employed on a preparative scale, where mechanical energy is used to buckle an intermediate monolayer into a more stable nanosheet. Detailed physical studies of the monolayer-compression mechanism revealed a simple preparative technique to produce nanosheets in 95% overall yield by cyclical monolayer compressions in a rotating closed vial. Compression of monolayers into stable, free-floating products may be a general and preparative approach to access 2D nanomaterials.

Saturated Fatty Acids Induce C-Src Clustering Within Membrane Subdomains, Leading to JNK Activation

Cell. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21962514

Saturated fatty acids (FA) exert adverse health effects and are more likely to cause insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes than unsaturated FA, some of which exert protective and beneficial effects. Saturated FA, but not unsaturated FA, activate Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), which has been linked to obesity and insulin resistance in mice and humans. However, it is unknown how saturated and unsaturated FA are discriminated. We now demonstrate that saturated FA activate JNK and inhibit insulin signaling through c-Src activation. FA alter the membrane distribution of c-Src, causing it to partition into intracellular membrane subdomains, where it likely becomes activated. Conversely, unsaturated FA with known beneficial effects on glucose metabolism prevent c-Src membrane partitioning and activation, which are dependent on its myristoylation, and block JNK activation. Consumption of a diabetogenic high-fat diet causes the partitioning and activation of c-Src within detergent insoluble membrane subdomains of murine adipocytes.

Folding of a Single-chain, Information-rich Polypeptoid Sequence into a Highly Ordered Nanosheet

Biopolymers. 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22180906

The design and synthesis of protein-like polymers is a fundamental challenge in materials science. A means to achieve this goal is to create synthetic polymers of defined sequence where all relevant folding information is incorporated into a single polymer strand. We present here the aqueous self-assembly of peptoid polymers (N-substituted glycines) into ultrathin, two-dimensional highly ordered nanosheets, where all folding information is encoded into a single chain. The sequence designs enforce a two-fold amphiphilic periodicity. Two sequences were considered: one with charged residues alternately positive and negative (alternating patterning), and one with charges segregated in positive and negative halves of the molecule (block patterning). Sheets form between pH 5 and 10 with the optimal conditions being pH 6 for the alternating sequence and pH 8 for the block sequence. Once assembled, the nanosheets remain stable between pH 6 and 10 with observed degradation beginning to occur below pH 6. The alternating charge nanosheets remain stable up to concentrations of 20% acetonitrile, whereas the block pattern displayed greater robustness remaining stable up to 30% acetonitrile. These observations are consistent with expectations based on considerations of the molecules' electrostatic interactions. This study represents an important step in the construction of abiotic materials founded on biological informatic and folding principles.

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