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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Enantioselective adsorption of ibuprofen and lysine in metal-organic frameworks.
Chem. Commun. (Camb.)
PUBLISHED: 08-05-2014
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This study reveals the efficient enantiomeric separation of bioactive molecules in the liquid phase. Chiral structure HMOF-1 separates racemic mixtures whereas heteroselectivity is observed for scalemic mixtures of ibuprofen using non-chiral MIL-47 and MIL-53. Lysine enantiomers are only separated by HMOF-1. These separations are controlled by the tight confinement of the molecules.
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a focus on disease progression.
Biomed Res Int
PUBLISHED: 08-03-2014
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Since amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was discovered and described in 1869 as a neurodegenerative disease in which motor neuron death is induced, a wide range of biomarkers have been selected to identify therapeutic targets. ALS shares altered molecular pathways with other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's, and Parkinson's diseases. However, the molecular targets that directly influence its aggressive nature remain unknown. What is the first link in the neurodegenerative chain of ALS that makes this disease so peculiar? In this review, we will discuss the progression of the disease from the viewpoint of the potential biomarkers described to date in human and animal model samples. Finally, we will consider potential therapeutic strategies for ALS treatment and future, innovative perspectives.
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VeA is associated with the response to oxidative stress in the aflatoxin producer Aspergillus flavus.
Eukaryotic Cell
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2014
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Survival of fungal species depends on the ability of these organisms to respond to environmental stresses. Osmotic stress or high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can cause stress in fungi resulting in growth inhibition. Both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells have developed numerous mechanisms to counteract and survive the stress in the presence of ROS. In many fungi, the HOG signaling pathway is crucial for the oxidative stress response as well as for osmotic stress response. This study revealed that while the osmotic stress response is only slightly affected by the master regulator veA, this gene, also known to control morphological development and secondary metabolism in numerous fungal species, has a profound effect on the oxidative stress response in the aflatoxin-producing fungus Aspergillus flavus. We found that the expression of A. flavus homolog genes involved in the HOG signaling pathway is regulated by veA. Deletion of veA resulted in a reduction in transcription levels of oxidative stress response genes after exposure to hydrogen peroxide. Furthermore, analyses of the effect of VeA on the promoters of cat1 and trxB indicate that the presence of VeA alters DNA-protein complex formation. This is particularly notable in the cat1 promoter, where the absence of VeA results in abnormally stronger complex formation with reduced cat1 expression and more sensitivity to ROS in a veA deletion mutant, suggesting that VeA might prevent binding of negative transcription regulators to the cat1 promoter. Our study also revealed that veA positively influences the expression of the transcription factor gene atfB and that normal formation of DNA-protein complexes in the cat1 promoter is dependent on AtfB.
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Coordinated and distinct functions of velvet proteins in Fusarium verticillioides.
Eukaryotic Cell
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2014
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Velvet-domain-containing proteins are broadly distributed within the fungal kingdom. In the corn pathogen Fusarium verticillioides, previous studies showed that the velvet protein F. verticillioides VE1 (FvVE1) is critical for morphological development, colony hydrophobicity, toxin production, and pathogenicity. In this study, tandem affinity purification of FvVE1 revealed that FvVE1 can form a complex with the velvet proteins F. verticillioides VelB (FvVelB) and FvVelC. Phenotypic characterization of gene knockout mutants showed that, as in the case of FvVE1, FvVelB regulated conidial size, hyphal hydrophobicity, fumonisin production, and oxidant resistance, while FvVelC was dispensable for these biological processes. Comparative transcriptional analysis of eight genes involved in the ROS (reactive oxygen species) removal system revealed that both FvVE1 and FvVelB positively regulated the transcription of a catalase-encoding gene, F. verticillioides CAT2 (FvCAT2). Deletion of FvCAT2 resulted in reduced oxidant resistance, providing further explanation of the regulation of oxidant resistance by velvet proteins in the fungal kingdom.
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Insulin drives glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide expression via glucose-dependent regulation of FoxO1 and LEF1/?-catenin.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 04-27-2014
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Minutes after ingestion of fat or carbohydrates, vesicles stored in enteroendocrine cells release their content of incretin peptide hormones that, together with absorbed glucose, enhance insulin secretion by beta-pancreatic cells. Freshly-made incretins must therefore be packed into new vesicles in anticipation of the next meal with cells adjusting new incretin production to be proportional to the level of previous insulin release and absorbed blood glucose. Here we show that insulin stimulates the expression of the major human incretin, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) in enteroendocrine cells but requires glucose to do it. Akt-dependent release of FoxO1 and glucose-dependent binding of LEF1/?-catenin mediate induction of Gip expression while insulin-induced phosphorylation of ?-catenin does not alter its localization or transcriptional activity in enteroendocrine cells. Our results reveal a glucose-regulated feedback loop at the entero-insular axis, where glucose levels determine basal and insulin-induced Gip expression; GIP stimulation of insulin release, physiologically ensures a fine control of glucose homeostasis. How enteroendocrine cells adjust incretin production to replace incretin stores for future use is a key issue because GIP malfunction is linked to all forms of diabetes.
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Dynamic encoding of perception, memory, and movement in a C. elegans chemotaxis circuit.
Neuron
PUBLISHED: 04-21-2014
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Brain circuits endow behavioral flexibility. Here, we study circuits encoding flexible chemotaxis in C. elegans, where the animal navigates up or down NaCl gradients (positive or negative chemotaxis) to reach the salt concentration of previous growth (the set point). The ASER sensory neuron mediates positive and negative chemotaxis by regulating the frequency and direction of reorientation movements in response to salt gradients. Both salt gradients and set point memory are encoded in ASER temporal activity patterns. Distinct temporal activity patterns in interneurons immediately downstream of ASER encode chemotactic movement decisions. Different interneuron combinations regulate positive versus negative chemotaxis. We conclude that sensorimotor pathways are segregated immediately after the primary sensory neuron in the chemotaxis circuit, and sensory representation is rapidly transformed to motor representation at the first interneuron layer. Our study reveals compact encoding of perception, memory, and locomotion in an experience-dependent navigational behavior in C. elegans.
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The mtfA transcription factor gene controls morphogenesis, gliotoxin production, and virulence in the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.
Eukaryotic Cell
PUBLISHED: 04-11-2014
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Aspergillus fumigatus is the leading causative agent of invasive aspergillosis (IA). The number of cases is on the rise, with mortality rates as high as 90% among immunocompromised patients. Molecular genetic studies in A. fumigatus could provide novel targets to potentially set the basis for antifungal therapies. In the current study, we investigated the role of the transcription factor gene mtfA in A. fumigatus. Our results revealed that mtfA plays a role in the growth and development of the fungus. Deletion or overexpression of mtfA leads to a slight reduction in colony growth, as well as a reduction in conidiation levels, in the overexpression strain compared to the wild-type strain. Furthermore, production of the secondary metabolite gliotoxin increased when mtfA was overexpressed, coinciding with an increase in the transcription levels of the gliotoxin genes gliZ and gliP with respect to the wild type. In addition, our study showed that mtfA is also necessary for normal protease activity in A. fumigatus; deletion of mtfA resulted in a reduction of protease activity compared to wild-type levels. Importantly, the absence of mtfA caused a decrease in virulence in the Galleria mellonella infection model, indicating that mtfA is necessary for A. fumigatus wild-type pathogenesis.
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Particulate matter in the indoor and outdoor air of a gymnasium and a fronton.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int
PUBLISHED: 03-28-2014
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An indoor/outdoor monitoring programme of PM10 was carried out in two sports venues (a fronton and a gymnasium). Levels always below 50 ?g m(-3) were obtained in the fronton and outdoor air. Due to the climbing chalk and the constant process of resuspension, concentrations above 150 ?g m(-3) were registered in the gymnasium. The chalk dust contributed to CO3 (2-) concentrations of 32?±?9.4 ?g m(-3) in this sports facility, which represented, on average, 18 % of the PM10 mass. Here, the carbonate levels were 128 times higher than those registered outdoors. Much lower concentrations, around 1 ?g m(-3), were measured in the fronton. The chalk dust is also responsible for the high Mg(2+) concentrations in the gym (4.7?±?0.89 ?g m(-3)), unfolding a PM10 mass fraction of 2.7 %. Total carbon accounted for almost 30 % of PM10 in both indoor spaces. Aerosol size distributions were bimodal and revealed a clear dependence on physical activities and characteristics of the sports facilities. The use of climbing chalk in the gymnasium contributed significantly to the coarse mode. The average geometric mean diameter, geometric standard deviation and total number of coarse particles were 0.77 ?m, 2.79 cm(-3) and 28 cm(-3), respectively.
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Extra virgin olive oil intake delays the development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis associated with reduced reticulum stress and autophagy in muscle of SOD1G93A mice.
J. Nutr. Biochem.
PUBLISHED: 03-27-2014
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disease associated with mutations in antioxidant enzyme Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase 1. Albeit there is no treatment for this disease, new insights related to an exacerbated lipid metabolism have been reported. In connection with the hypermetabolic lipid status, the hypothesis whether nature of dietary fat might delay the progression of the disease was tested by using a transgenic mouse that overexpresses the human SOD1G93A variant. For this purpose, SOD1G93A mice were assigned randomly to one of the following three experimental groups: (1) a standard chow diet (control, n=21), (2) a chow diet enriched with 20% (w/w) extra virgin olive oil (EVOO, n=22) and (3) a chow diet containing 20% palm oil (palm, n=20). They received the diets for 8 weeks and the progression of the disease was assessed. On the standard chow diet, average plasma cholesterol levels were lower than those mice receiving the high-fat diets. Mice fed an EVOO diet showed a significant higher survival and better motor performance than control mice. EVOO group mice survived longer and showed better motor performance and larger muscle fiber area than animals receiving palm. Moreover, the EVOO-enriched diet improved the muscle status as shown by expression of myogenic factors (Myod1 and Myog) and autophagy markers (LC3 and Beclin1), as well as diminished endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress through decreasing Atf6 and Grp78. Our results demonstrate that EVOO may be effective in increasing survival rate, improving motor coordination together with a potential amelioration of ER stress, autophagy and muscle damage.
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Does the method of caries induction influence the bond strength to dentin of primary teeth?
J Adhes Dent
PUBLISHED: 03-27-2014
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To evaluate the effect of chemical and microbiological methods of caries induction on microtensile bond strength (?TBS) of current adhesive systems to primary dentin.
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Is the red fluorescence of dental plaque related to its cariogenicity?
J Biomed Opt
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2014
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It has been speculated that the red fluorescence emitted by dental plaque could be related to its cariogenicity. To test this hypothesis, we designed this crossover in situ study, with two experimental phases of 14 days each. Seventeen volunteers, wearing a palatal appliance with bovine enamel blocks, were instructed to drip a 20% sucrose solution (experimental group) or purified water (control group) onto the enamel blocks eight times daily. The specimens were removed after 4, 7, 10, and 14 days, and the red fluorescence of dental plaque formed on the enamel blocks was assessed using a quantitative light-induced fluorescence device. After the plaque removal, surface and cross-sectional microhardness tests were performed to assess the mineral loss. The comparisons were made by a multilevel linear regression analysis. We observed a significant increase in the red fluorescence of the dental plaque after longer periods of formation, but this trend was verified in both groups. The mineral loss assessed by the microhardness techniques, contrariwise, showed a significant increase only in the experimental group. In conclusion, the red fluorescence emitted by the dental plaque indicates a mature biofilm, but this fact is not necessarily associated with its cariogenicity.
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Generation of complexity in fungal terpene biosynthesis: discovery of a multifunctional cytochrome P450 in the fumagillin pathway.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2014
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Fumagillin (1), a meroterpenoid from Aspergillus fumigatus, is known for its antiangiogenic activity due to binding to human methionine aminopeptidase 2. 1 has a highly oxygenated structure containing a penta-substituted cyclohexane that is generated by oxidative cleavage of the bicyclic sesquiterpene ?-trans-bergamotene. The chemical nature, order, and biochemical mechanism of all the oxygenative tailoring reactions has remained enigmatic despite the identification of the biosynthetic gene cluster and the use of targeted-gene deletion experiments. Here, we report the identification and characterization of three oxygenases from the fumagillin biosynthetic pathway, including a multifunctional cytochrome P450 monooxygenase, a hydroxylating nonheme-iron-dependent dioxygenase, and an ABM family monooxygenase for oxidative cleavage of the polyketide moiety. Most significantly, the P450 monooxygenase is shown to catalyze successive hydroxylation, bicyclic ring-opening, and two epoxidations that generate the sesquiterpenoid core skeleton of 1. We also characterized a truncated polyketide synthase with a ketoreductase function that controls the configuration at C-5 of hydroxylated intermediates.
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Intervention for adolescents with early-onset psychosis and their families: a randomized controlled trial.
J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2014
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The present study aims to assess the efficacy of a structured psychoeducational group intervention for adolescents with early-onset psychosis and their families. The intervention was implemented in parallel in 2 separate groups by focusing specifically on problem-solving strategies and structured psychosis-related information to manage daily life difficulties associated with the disease, to mitigate crises, and to prevent relapses.
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Speciation of chromium using chronoamperometric biosensors based on screen-printed electrodes.
Anal. Chim. Acta
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2014
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Chronoamperometric assays based on tyrosinase and glucose oxidase (GOx) inactivation have been developed for the monitoring of Cr(III) and Cr(VI). Tyrosinase was immobilized by crosslinking on screen-printed carbon electrodes (SPCEs) containing tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) as electron transfer mediator. The tyrosinase/SPC(TTF)E response to pyrocatechol is inhibited by Cr(III). This process, that is not affected by Cr(VI), allows the determination of Cr(III) with a capability of detection of 2.0±0.2 ?M and a reproducibility of 5.5%. GOx modified screen-printed carbon platinised electrodes (SPCPtEs) were developed for the selective determination of Cr(VI) using ferricyanide as redox mediator. The biosensor was able to discriminate two different oxidation states of chromium being able to reject Cr(III) and to detect the toxic species Cr(VI). Chronoamperometric response of the biosensor towards glucose decreases with the presence of Cr(VI), with a capability of detection of 90.5±7.6 nM and a reproducibility of 6.2%. A bipotentiostatic chronoamperometric biosensor was finally developed using a tyrosinase/SPC(TTF)E and a GOx/SPC(Pt)E connected in array mode for the simultaneous determination of Cr(III) and Cr(VI) in spiked tap water and in waste water from a tannery factory samples.
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Cardiac arrest and resuscitation in the pediatric intensive care unit: a prospective multicenter multinational study.
Resuscitation
PUBLISHED: 02-15-2014
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The aim of the study was to analyze the mortality and neurological outcome factors of in-pediatric intensive care unit (in-PICU) cardiac arrest (CA) in a multicenter international study.
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The role of Aspergillus flavus veA in the production of extracellular proteins during growth on starch substrates.
Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2014
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The aflatoxin-producer and opportunistic plant pathogenic, filamentous fungus Aspergillus flavus is responsible for the contamination of corn and other important agricultural commodities. In order to obtain nutrients from the host A. flavus produces a variety of extracellular hydrolytic enzymes. Interestingly, A. flavus amylase and protease activity are dependent on the global regulator veA, a gene known to regulate morphogenesis and secondary metabolism in numerous fungi. Analysis of starch degradation by fungal enzymes secreted into broths of starch- or corn kernel-based media showed a notable accumulation of glucose in samples of the A. flavus control strain while the deletion veA sample accumulated high levels of maltose and maltotriose and only a small amount of glucose. Furthermore, SDS-PAGE and proteomics analysis of culture broths from starch- or corn kernel-based media demonstrated differential production of a number of proteins that included a reduction in the amount of a glucoamylase protein in the veA mutant compared to the control strain, while an alpha-amylase was produced in greater quantities in the veA mutant. Quantitative real-time PCR and western blot analyses using anti-glucoamylase or alpha-amylase antisera supported the proteomics results. Additionally, an overall reduction in protease activity was observed in the veA mutant including production of the alkaline protease, oryzin, compared to the control strain. These findings contribute to our knowledge of mechanisms controlling production of hydrolases and other extracellular proteins during growth of A. flavus on natural starch-based substrates.
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Bidirectional thermotaxis in Caenorhabditis elegans is mediated by distinct sensorimotor strategies driven by the AFD thermosensory neurons.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 02-03-2014
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The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans navigates toward a preferred temperature setpoint (Ts) determined by long-term temperature exposure. During thermotaxis, the worm migrates down temperature gradients at temperatures above Ts (negative thermotaxis) and performs isothermal tracking near Ts. Under some conditions, the worm migrates up temperature gradients below Ts (positive thermotaxis). Here, we analyze positive and negative thermotaxis toward Ts to study the role of specific neurons that have been proposed to be involved in thermotaxis using genetic ablation, behavioral tracking, and calcium imaging. We find differences in the strategies for positive and negative thermotaxis. Negative thermotaxis is achieved through biasing the frequency of reorientation maneuvers (turns and reversal turns) and biasing the direction of reorientation maneuvers toward colder temperatures. Positive thermotaxis, in contrast, biases only the direction of reorientation maneuvers toward warmer temperatures. We find that the AFD thermosensory neuron drives both positive and negative thermotaxis. The AIY interneuron, which is postsynaptic to AFD, may mediate the switch from negative to positive thermotaxis below Ts. We propose that multiple thermotactic behaviors, each defined by a distinct set of sensorimotor transformations, emanate from the AFD thermosensory neurons. AFD learns and stores the memory of preferred temperatures, detects temperature gradients, and drives the appropriate thermotactic behavior in each temperature regime by the flexible use of downstream circuits.
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Sex differences in constitutive autophagy.
Biomed Res Int
PUBLISHED: 01-13-2014
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Sex bias has been described nowadays in biomedical research on animal models, although sexual dimorphism has been confirmed widely under pathological and physiological conditions. The main objective of our work was to study the sex differences in constitutive autophagy in spinal cord and skeletal muscle tissue from wild type mice. To examine the influence of sex on autophagy, mRNA and proteins were extracted from male and female mice tissues. The expressions of microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3) and sequestosome 1 (p62), markers to monitor autophagy, were analyzed at 40, 60, 90, and 120 days of age. We found significant sex differences in the expression of LC3 and p62 in both tissues at these ages. The results indicated that sex and tissue specific differences exist in constitutive autophagy. These data underlined the need to include both sexes in the experimental groups to minimize any sex bias.
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Functional characterization of a veA-dependent polyketide synthase gene in Aspergillus flavus necessary for the synthesis of asparasone, a sclerotium-specific pigment.
Fungal Genet. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 01-02-2014
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The filamentous fungus, Aspergillus flavus, produces the toxic and carcinogenic, polyketide synthase (PKS)-derived family of secondary metabolites termed aflatoxins. While analysis of the A. flavus genome has identified many other PKSs capable of producing secondary metabolites, to date, only a few other metabolites have been identified. In the process of studying how the developmental regulator, VeA, affects A. flavus secondary metabolism we discovered that mutation of veA caused a dramatic down-regulation of transcription of a polyketide synthase gene belonging to cluster 27 and the loss of the ability of the fungi to produce sclerotia. Inactivation of the cluster 27 pks (pks27) resulted in formation of greyish-yellow sclerotia rather than the dark brown sclerotia normally produced by A. flavus while conidial pigmentation was unaffected. One metabolite produced by Pks27 was identified by thin layer chromatography and mass spectral analysis as the known anthraquinone, asparasone A. Sclerotia produced by pks27 mutants were significantly less resistant to insect predation than were the sclerotia produced by the wild-type and more susceptible to the deleterious effects of ultraviolet light and heat. Normal sclerotia were previously thought to be resistant to damage because of a process of melanization similar to that known for pigmentation of conidia. Our results show that the dark brown pigments in sclerotia derive from anthraquinones produced by Pks27 rather than from the typical tetrahydronapthalene melanin production pathway. To our knowledge this is the first report on the genes involved in the biosynthesis of pigments important for sclerotial survival.
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Neuroprotective efficiency of tetanus toxin C fragment in model of global cerebral ischemia in Mongolian gerbils.
Brain Res. Bull.
PUBLISHED: 10-03-2013
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The tetanus toxin C (TTC) fragment capacity of being transported in a retrograde way through motoneurons and its nontoxic nature opens the door to a new promising therapeutic strategy for neurodegenerative diseases. In this study, the TTC effect was tested for the first time in animal model of global cerebral ischemia induced by 10-min occlusion of both common carotid arteries. The aim was to evaluate the effect of TTC gene therapy treatment on the development and expression of global cerebral ischemia/reperfusion-induced oxidative stress and motor hyperactivity in Mongolian gerbils. Several oxidative stress and motor behavioral parameters were investigated between 2h and 14days after reperfusion. Neuroprotective efficiency of TTC was observed in the forebrain cortex, striatum, hippocampus, and cerebellum at the level of each examined oxidative stress parameter (nitric oxide level, superoxide production, superoxide dismutase activity, and index of lipid peroxidation). Additionally, TTC significantly decreased ischemia-induced motor hyperactivity based on tested parameters (locomotion, stereotypy, and rotations). As judged by biochemical as well as behavioral data, treatment with TTC for the first time showed neuroprotective efficiency by reduction of ischemia-induced oxidative stress and motor hyperactivity and can be a promising strategy for ischemia-induced neuronal damage treatment.
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A new link between diabetes and cancer: enhanced WNT/?-catenin signaling by high glucose.
J. Mol. Endocrinol.
PUBLISHED: 09-20-2013
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Extensive epidemiological studies suggest that the diabetic population is at higher risk of site-specific cancers. The diabetes-cancer link has been hypothesized to rely on various hormonal (insulin, IGF1, adipokines), immunological (inflammation), or metabolic (hyperglycemia) characteristics of the disease and even on certain treatments. Inflammation may have an important but incompletely understood role. As a growth factor, insulin directly, or indirectly through IGF1, has been considered the major link between diabetes and cancer, while high glucose has been considered as a subordinate cause. Here we discuss the evidence that supports a role for insulin/IGF1 in general in cancer, and the mechanism by which hyperglycemia may enhance the appearance, growth and survival of diabetes-associated cancers. High glucose triggers several direct and indirect mechanisms that cooperate to promote cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion and immunological escape. In particular, high glucose enhancement of WNT/?-catenin signaling in cancer cells promotes proliferation, survival and senescence bypass, and represents a previously unrecognized direct mechanism linking diabetes-associated hyperglycemia to cancer. Increased glucose uptake is a hallmark of tumor cells and may ensure enhanced WNT signaling for continuous proliferation. Mechanistically, high glucose unbalances acetylation through increased p300 acetyl transferase and decreased sirtuin 1 deacetylase activity, leading to ?-catenin acetylation at lysine K354, a requirement for nuclear accumulation and transcriptional activation of WNT-target genes. The impact of high glucose on ?-catenin illustrates the remodeling of cancer-associated signaling pathways by metabolites. Metabolic remodeling of cancer-associated signaling will receive much research attention in the coming years. Future epidemiological studies may be guided and complemented by the identification of these metabolic interplays. Together, these studies should lead to the development of new preventive strategies for diabetes-associated cancers.
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Radiofrequency treatment of cervicogenic headache.
Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal
PUBLISHED: 08-27-2013
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In the clinical management of facial pain, a possible cervical origin must be considered. A clinical exploration is therefore essential. The disorder originates in the intimate connections between the cranial portion of the spinal cord and the trigeminal system. Although solid evidence supporting the use of radiofrequency (RF) treatment is lacking, it remains one of the management options to be taken into account. The present study evaluates the efficacy of RF in application to cervicogenic headache.
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Conventional radiofrequency treatment in five patients with trigeminal neuralgia.
Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal
PUBLISHED: 06-05-2013
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In trigeminal neuralgia, when drug treatment proves ineffective, other management options must be considered. In this context, conventional radiofrequency of Gassers ganglion is a safe and effective alternative.
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The fumagillin biosynthetic gene cluster in Aspergillus fumigatus encodes a cryptic terpene cyclase involved in the formation of ?-trans-bergamotene.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 03-19-2013
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Fumagillin 1 is a meroterpenoid from Aspergillus fumigatus that is known for its anti-angiogenic activity by binding to human methionine aminopeptidase 2. The genetic and molecular basis for biosynthesis of 1 had been an enigma despite the availability of the A. fumigatus genome sequence. Here, we report the identification and verification of the fma gene cluster, followed by characterization of the polyketide synthase and acyltransferase involved in biosynthesis of the dioic acid portion of 1. More significantly, we uncovered the elusive ?-trans-bergamotene synthase in A. fumigatus as a membrane-bound terpene cyclase.
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Secondary metabolism and development is mediated by LlmF control of VeA subcellular localization in Aspergillus nidulans.
PLoS Genet.
PUBLISHED: 01-17-2013
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Secondary metabolism and development are linked in Aspergillus through the conserved regulatory velvet complex composed of VeA, VelB, and LaeA. The founding member of the velvet complex, VeA, shuttles between the cytoplasm and nucleus in response to alterations in light. Here we describe a new interaction partner of VeA identified through a reverse genetics screen looking for LaeA-like methyltransferases in Aspergillus nidulans. One of the putative LaeA-like methyltransferases identified, LlmF, is a negative regulator of sterigmatocystin production and sexual development. LlmF interacts directly with VeA and the repressive function of LlmF is mediated by influencing the localization of VeA, as over-expression of llmF decreases the nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio of VeA while deletion of llmF results in an increased nuclear accumulation of VeA. We show that the methyltransferase domain of LlmF is required for function; however, LlmF does not directly methylate VeA in vitro. This study identifies a new interaction partner for VeA and highlights the importance of cellular compartmentalization of VeA for regulation of development and secondary metabolism.
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The fumagillin gene cluster, an example of hundreds of genes under veA control in Aspergillus fumigatus.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Aspergillus fumigatus is the causative agent of invasive aspergillosis, leading to infection-related mortality in immunocompromised patients. We previously showed that the conserved and unique-to-fungi veA gene affects different cell processes such as morphological development, gliotoxin biosynthesis and protease activity, suggesting a global regulatory effect on the genome of this medically relevant fungus. In this study, RNA sequencing analysis revealed that veA controls the expression of hundreds of genes in A. fumigatus, including those comprising more than a dozen known secondary metabolite gene clusters. Chemical analysis confirmed that veA controls the synthesis of other secondary metabolites in this organism in addition to gliotoxin. Among the secondary metabolite gene clusters regulated by veA is the elusive but recently identified gene cluster responsible for the biosynthesis of fumagillin, a meroterpenoid known for its anti-angiogenic activity by binding to human methionine aminopeptidase 2. The fumagillin gene cluster contains a veA-dependent regulatory gene, fumR (Afu8g00420), encoding a putative C6 type transcription factor. Deletion of fumR results in silencing of the gene cluster and elimination of fumagillin biosynthesis. We found expression of fumR to also be dependent on laeA, a gene encoding another component of the fungal velvet complex. The results in this study argue that veA is a global regulator of secondary metabolism in A. fumigatus, and that veA may be a conduit via which chemical development is coupled to morphological development and other cellular processes.
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The putative C2H2 transcription factor MtfA is a novel regulator of secondary metabolism and morphogenesis in Aspergillus nidulans.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Secondary metabolism in the model fungus Aspergillus nidulans is controlled by the conserved global regulator VeA, which also governs morphological differentiation. Among the secondary metabolites regulated by VeA is the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin (ST). The presence of VeA is necessary for the biosynthesis of this carcinogenic compound. We identified a revertant mutant able to synthesize ST intermediates in the absence of VeA. The point mutation occurred at the coding region of a gene encoding a novel putative C2H2 zinc finger domain transcription factor that we denominated mtfA. The A. nidulans mtfA gene product localizes at nuclei independently of the illumination regime. Deletion of the mtfA gene restores mycotoxin biosynthesis in the absence of veA, but drastically reduced mycotoxin production when mtfA gene expression was altered, by deletion or overexpression, in A. nidulans strains with a veA wild-type allele. Our study revealed that mtfA regulates ST production by affecting the expression of the specific ST gene cluster activator aflR. Importantly, mtfA is also a regulator of other secondary metabolism gene clusters, such as genes responsible for the synthesis of terrequinone and penicillin. As in the case of ST, deletion or overexpression of mtfA was also detrimental for the expression of terrequinone genes. Deletion of mtfA also decreased the expression of the genes in the penicillin gene cluster, reducing penicillin production. However, in this case, over-expression of mtfA enhanced the transcription of penicillin genes, increasing penicillin production more than 5 fold with respect to the control. Importantly, in addition to its effect on secondary metabolism, mtfA also affects asexual and sexual development in A. nidulans. Deletion of mtfA results in a reduction of conidiation and sexual stage. We found mtfA putative orthologs conserved in other fungal species.
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Role of the zinc finger transcription factor SltA in morphogenesis and sterigmatocystin biosynthesis in the fungus Aspergillus nidulans.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Potassium, a widely accepted macronutrient, is vital for many physiological processes such as regulation of cell volume, maintenance of intracellular pH, synthesis of proteins and activation of enzymes in filamentous fungi. Another cation, calcium, plays an essential role in many signaling processes from lower to higher eukaryotes. Imbalance in the intracellular ionic levels of potassium or calcium causes adverse effects on cell growth, morphology and development, and eventually death. Previous studies on the adaptation of Aspergillus nidulans to salt and osmotic stress conditions have revealed the role of SltA, a C?H? zinc finger transcription factor in cation homeostasis. SltA is highly conserved in the Ascomycota phylum with no identifiable homolog in S. cerevisiae and other yeast-like fungi, and prevents toxicity by the cations Na?, K?, Li?, Cs? and Mg²?, but not by Ca²?. However its role in morphology and biosynthesis of natural products such as mycotoxins remained unknown. This study shows the first characterization of the role of calcium and SltA fungal homologs in morphogenesis using the model system A. nidulans. Addition of potassium to sltA deletion mutants resulted in decreased levels of sterigmatocystin production. A similar phenotype was observed for both types of mutants in veA1 and veA? genetic background. Expression of the sterigmatocystin genes aflR and stcU was strongly reduced in sltA deletion mutant when K? was added. Additionally, increased concentrations of K? drastically reduced sexual and asexual development, as well as radial growth in deletion sltA colonies. This reduction was accompanied by lower expression of the morphology related genes nsdD, steA and brlA. Interestingly, addition of calcium was able to stimulate asexual and sexual development and remediate the deletion sltA phenotype, including defects in morphology and toxin production.
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The veA gene of the pine needle pathogen Dothistroma septosporum regulates sporulation and secondary metabolism.
Fungal Genet. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 10-04-2011
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Fungi possess genetic systems to regulate the expression of genes involved in complex processes such as development and secondary metabolite biosynthesis. The product of the velvet gene veA, first identified and characterized in Aspergillus nidulans, is a key player in the regulation of both of these processes. Since its discovery and characterization in many Aspergillus species, VeA has been found to have similar functions in other fungi, including the Dothideomycete Mycosphaerella graminicola. Another Dothideomycete, Dothistroma septosporum, is a pine needle pathogen that produces dothistromin, a polyketide toxin very closely related to aflatoxin (AF) and sterigmatocystin (ST) synthesized by Aspergillus spp. Dothistromin is unusual in that, unlike most other secondary metabolites, it is produced mainly during the early exponential growth phase in culture. It was therefore of interest to determine whether the regulation of dothistromin production in D. septosporum differs from the regulation of AF/ST in Aspergillus spp. To begin to address this question, a veA ortholog was identified and its function analyzed in D. septosporum. Inactivation of the veA gene resulted in reduced dothistromin production and a corresponding decrease in expression of dothistromin biosynthetic genes. Expression of other putative secondary metabolite genes in D. septosporum such as polyketide synthases and non-ribosomal peptide synthases showed a range of different responses to loss of Ds-veA. Asexual sporulation was also significantly reduced in the mutants, accompanied by a reduction in the expression of a putative stuA regulatory gene. The mutants were, however, able to infect Pinus radiata seedlings and complete their life cycle under laboratory conditions. Overall this work suggests that D. septosporum has a veA ortholog that is involved in the control of both developmental and secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways.
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Sex, fiber-type, and age dependent in vitro proliferation of mouse muscle satellite cells.
J. Cell. Biochem.
PUBLISHED: 05-25-2011
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During postnatal growth and after muscle injury, satellite cells proliferate and differentiate into myotubes to form and repair musculature. Comparison of studies on satellite cell proliferation and differentiation characteristics is confounded by the heterogeneity of the experimental conditions used. To examine the influence of sex, age, and fiber-type origin on in vitro properties of satellite cells derived from postnatal muscles, fast extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and slow soleus (SOL) muscles were extracted from male and female mice of 1 week to 3 months of age. Myoblast proliferation and myogenic regulatory factor (MRF) expression was measured from cultures of freshly isolated satellite cells. Higher proliferation rate and elevated Myod1 expression was found in male EDL and SOL derived cells compared with females at age of 40, 60, and 120 days, whereas inverse tendency for cell proliferation was apparent in EDL of juvenile (7-day-old) pups. Myogenin and Mrf4 transcripts were generally elevated in males of 40 and 60 days of age and in female EDL of juveniles. However, these differentiation markers did not significantly correlate with proliferation rate at all ages. Pax7, whose overexpression can block myogenesis, was up-regulated especially in 40-day-old females where MRF expression was low. These results indicate that gender, postnatal age, and muscle fiber origin affect proliferation and muscle transcription factor expression in vitro. The results also support the view that satellite cells originating from slow and fast muscles are intrinsically different and warrant further studies on the effect of cell origin for therapeutic approaches.
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Effect of air humidity on the removal of carbon tetrachloride from air using Cu-BTC metal-organic framework.
Phys Chem Chem Phys
PUBLISHED: 05-13-2011
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We have used interatomic potential-based simulations to study the removal of carbon tetrachloride from air at 298 K, using Cu-BTC metal organic framework. We have developed new sets of Lennard-Jones parameters that accurately describe the vapour-liquid equilibrium curves of carbon tetrachloride and the main components from air (oxygen, nitrogen, and argon). Using these parameters we performed Monte Carlo simulations for the following systems: (a) single component adsorption of carbon tetrachloride, oxygen, nitrogen, and argon molecules, (b) binary Ar/CCl(4), O(2)/CCl(4), and N(2)/CCl(4) mixtures with bulk gas compositions 99?:?1 and 99.9?:?0.1, (c) ternary O(2)/N(2)/Ar mixtures with both, equimolar and 21?:?78?:?1 bulk gas composition, (d) quaternary mixture formed by 0.1% of CCl(4) pollutant, 20.979% O(2), 77.922% N(2), and 0.999% Ar, and (e) five-component mixtures corresponding to 0.1% of CCl(4) pollutant in air with relative humidity ranging from 0 to 100%. The carbon tetrachloride adsorption selectivity and the self-diffusivity and preferential sitting of the different molecules in the structure are studied for all the systems.
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Lack of a synergistic effect of a non-viral ALS gene therapy based on BDNF and a TTC fusion molecule.
Orphanet J Rare Dis
PUBLISHED: 03-21-2011
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of the most devastating neurodegenerative diseases. Neurotrophic factors have been widely tested to counteract neurodegenerative conditions, despite their unspecific neuronal access. The non-toxic C-terminal fragment of the tetanus toxin (TTC) heavy chain has been studied not only as a carrier molecule to the CNS but also as a neuroprotective agent. Because the neurotrophic effects of BDNF have been demonstrated in vitro and in vivo, the question addressed in this work is whether a fusion molecule of BDNF-TTC may have a synergistic effect and enhance the neuroprotective properties of TTC alone in a mouse model of ALS.
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Divergence in enzyme regulation between Caenorhabditis elegans and human tyrosine hydroxylase, the key enzyme in the synthesis of dopamine.
Biochem. J.
PUBLISHED: 03-16-2011
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TH (tyrosine hydroxylase) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the synthesis of catecholamines. The cat-2 gene of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is expressed in mechanosensory dopaminergic neurons and has been proposed to encode a putative TH. In the present paper, we report the cloning of C. elegans full-length cat-2 cDNA and a detailed biochemical characterization of the encoded CAT-2 protein. Similar to other THs, C. elegans CAT-2 is composed of an N-terminal regulatory domain followed by a catalytic domain and a C-terminal oligomerization domain and shows high substrate specificity for L-tyrosine. Like hTH (human TH), CAT-2 is tetrameric and is phosphorylated at Ser35 (equivalent to Ser40 in hTH) by PKA (cAMP-dependent protein kinase). However, CAT-2 is devoid of characteristic regulatory mechanisms present in hTH, such as negative co-operativity for the cofactor, substrate inhibition or feedback inhibition exerted by catecholamines, end-products of the pathway. Thus TH activity in C. elegans displays a weaker regulation in comparison with the human orthologue, resembling a constitutively active enzyme. Overall, our data suggest that the intricate regulation characteristic of mammalian TH might have evolved from more simple models to adjust to the increasing complexity of the higher eukaryotes neuroendocrine systems.
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Housekeeping gene expression in myogenic cell cultures from neurodegeneration and denervation animal models.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 03-15-2011
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Reliability and accuracy of real-time quantitative PCR results depend on the use of housekeeping genes which must be constitutively expressed thorough the samples of the study. In the present work, we tested the expression stability of six candidate housekeeping genes (Actb, Rn18s, Gapdh, Hprt1, Sdha and B2m) considering sex, age, muscle-type and neurodegeneration or denervation status in mouse muscle satellite cells. Their expression varied under all variables tested; therefore the ranking of the most suitable genes for the normalization is modified depending on the factors included in the analysis, especially the age of the donor. Moreover, we describe the unsuitability of Rn18s in analysis comprising samples of different ages. On the other hand, we demonstrate that the use of the two best genes in each case is enough to obtain a reliable normalization factor. In this work, we give a broad information of the best housekeeping genes in mouse myogenic cells depending on the variables included in the experimental design.
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Altered expression of myogenic regulatory factors in the mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Neurodegener Dis
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2011
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In the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1)-G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), skeletal muscle is a key target of mutant SOD1 toxicity. However, the expression of factors that control the regenerative potential of the muscle is unknown in this model.
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On the performance of Cu-BTC metal organic framework for carbon tetrachloride gas removal.
Chem. Commun. (Camb.)
PUBLISHED: 10-25-2010
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The performance of Cu-BTC metal organic framework for carbon tetrachloride removal from air has been studied using molecular simulations. According to our results, this material shows extremely high adsorption selectivity in favour of carbon tetrachloride. We demonstrate that this selectivity can be further enhanced by selective blockage of the framework.
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Effects of gene therapy on muscle 18S rRNA expression in mouse model of ALS.
BMC Res Notes
PUBLISHED: 10-07-2010
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The efficiency of gene therapy experiments is frequently evaluated by measuring the impact of the treatment on the expression of genes of interest by quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) and by normalizing these values to those of housekeeping (HK) genes constitutively expressed throughout the experiment. The objective of this work was to study the effects of muscle gene therapy on the expression of 18 S ribosomal RNA (Rn18S), a commonly used HK gene.
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Effect of pharmacological chaperones on brain tyrosine hydroxylase and tryptophan hydroxylase 2.
J. Neurochem.
PUBLISHED: 05-18-2010
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Phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and the tryptophan hydroxylases (TPH1 and TPH2) are structurally and functionally related enzymes that share a number of ligands, such as amino acid substrates, pterin cofactors and inhibitors. We have recently identified four compounds (I-IV) with pharmacological chaperone effect for PAH and phenylketonuria mutants (Pey et al. (2008) J. Clin. Invest. 118, 2858-2867). We have now investigated the effect of these compounds on the brain enzymes TH and TPH2, comparative to hepatic PAH. As assayed by differential scanning fluorimetry each of the purified human PAH, TH and TPH2 was differently stabilized by the compounds and only 3-amino-2-benzyl-7-nitro-4-(2-quinolyl)-1,2-dihydroisoquinolin-1-one (compound III) stabilized the three enzymes. We also investigated the effect of compounds II-IV in wild-type mice upon oral loading with 5 mg/kg/day. Significant effects were obtained by treatment with compound III - which increased total TH activity in mouse brain extracts by 100% but had no measurable effects either on TPH activity nor on monoamine neurotransmitter metabolites dopamine, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid, homovanillic acid, serotonin and 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid - and with 5,6-dimethyl-3-(4-methyl-2-pyridinyl)-2-thioxo-2,3-dihydrothieno[2,3-d]pyrimidin-4(1H)-one (compound IV) - which led to a 10-30% decrease of these metabolites. Our results indicate that pharmacological chaperones aiming the stabilization of one of the aromatic amino acid hydroxylases should be tested on other members of the enzyme family. Moreover, compound III stabilizes in vitro the human TH mutant R202H, associated to autosomal recessive L-DOPA-responsive dystonia, revealing the potential of pharmacological chaperones for the treatment of disorders associated with TH misfolding.
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Adsorption and bioactivity of tyrosine hydroxylase on gold surfaces and nanoparticles.
Protein Pept. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2010
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Tyrosine hydroxylase is studied in terms of adsorption behaviour on gold surfaces and various passivating layers. Results reveal differences in layer formation, where mercaptoundecanoic acid-coated gold shows the best potential in terms of adsorbed mass. Nanoparticles with this coating are subsequently tested for enzymatic activity, which remains at attenuated levels.
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Role of the osmotic stress regulatory pathway in morphogenesis and secondary metabolism in filamentous fungi.
Toxins (Basel)
PUBLISHED: 02-19-2010
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Environmental stimuli trigger an adaptative cellular response to optimize the probability of survival and proliferation. In eukaryotic organisms from mammals to fungi osmotic stress, mainly through the action of the high osmolarity glycerol (HOG) pathway, leads to a response necessary for adapting and surviving hyperosmotic environments. In this review we show that the osmoadaptative response is conserved but not identical in different fungi. The osmoadaptative response system is also intimately linked to morphogenesis in filamentous fungi, including mycotoxin producers. Previous studies indicate that the response to osmotic stress is also coupled to the biosynthesis of natural products, including mycotoxins.
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A key role for vesicles in fungal secondary metabolism.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 11-04-2009
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Eukaryotes have evolved highly conserved vesicle transport machinery to deliver proteins to the vacuole. In this study we show that the filamentous fungus Aspergillus parasiticus employs this delivery system to perform new cellular functions, the synthesis, compartmentalization, and export of aflatoxin; this secondary metabolite is one of the most potent naturally occurring carcinogens known. Here we show that a highly pure vesicle-vacuole fraction isolated from A. parasiticus under aflatoxin-inducing conditions converts sterigmatocystin, a late intermediate in aflatoxin synthesis, to aflatoxin B(1); these organelles also compartmentalize aflatoxin. The role of vesicles in aflatoxin biosynthesis and export was confirmed by blocking vesicle-vacuole fusion using 2 independent approaches. Disruption of A. parasiticus vb1 (encodes a protein homolog of AvaA, a small GTPase known to regulate vesicle fusion in A. nidulans) or treatment with Sortin3 (blocks Vps16 function, one protein in the class C tethering complex) increased aflatoxin synthesis and export but did not affect aflatoxin gene expression, demonstrating that vesicles and not vacuoles are primarily involved in toxin synthesis and export. We also observed that development of aflatoxigenic vesicles (aflatoxisomes) is strongly enhanced under aflatoxin-inducing growth conditions. Coordination of aflatoxisome development with aflatoxin gene expression is at least in part mediated by Velvet (VeA), a global regulator of Aspergillus secondary metabolism. We propose a unique 2-branch model to illustrate the proposed role for VeA in regulation of aflatoxisome development and aflatoxin gene expression.
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FvVE1 regulates biosynthesis of the mycotoxins fumonisins and fusarins in Fusarium verticillioides.
J. Agric. Food Chem.
PUBLISHED: 04-23-2009
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The veA gene positively regulates sterigmatocystin production in Aspergillus nidulans and aflatoxin production in Aspergillus parasiticus and Aspergillus flavus . Whether veA homologues have a role in regulating secondary metabolism in other fungal genera is unknown. In this study, we examined the role of the veA homologue, FvVE1, on the production of two mycotoxin families, fumonisins and fusarins, in the important corn pathogen Fusarium verticillioides . We found that FvVE1 deletion completely suppressed fumonisin production on two natural substrates, corn and rice. Furthermore, our results revealed that FvVE1 is necessary for the expression of the pathway-specific regulatory gene FUM21 and structural genes in the fumonisin biosynthetic gene (FUM) cluster. FvVE1 deletion also blocked production of fusarins. The effects of FvVE1 deletion on the production of these toxins were found to be the same in two separate mating types. Our results strongly suggest that FvVE1 plays an important role in regulating mycotoxin production in F. verticillioides .
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[Training periods with experts improve results in colorectal laparoscopic surgery].
Cir Esp
PUBLISHED: 03-16-2009
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To analyse the effects of training in elective colorectal laparoscopic surgery with a minimum 6 months follow up to assess early and delayed complications, and comparing the first 40 cases in the 1st Period (P-1: 1996-2002) with the 100 cases in the 2nd Period (P-2: 2003-2008). One of the surgeons had two training courses between P-1 and P-2.
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Quantitative analysis of bacterial adhesion to fish tissue.
Colloids Surf B Biointerfaces
PUBLISHED: 03-08-2009
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Adhesion to host tissue represents a first crucial step in most bacterial infections. Both specific adhesion-ligand as well as hydrophobic interactions may be involved. The adhesion of Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. salmonicida, Lactococcus garvieae, and Yersinia ruckeri strains to fish tissue cells was assessed. To determine whether the observed bacterial adhesion to fish tissue cells was caused by non-specific interactions, adhesion to bovine serum albumin (BSA) and polystyrene was also tested. Our results demonstrated that non-specific adhesion such as hydrophobic interactions are only partially involved in the binding process since adhesion to BSA was low, and there was no correlation between adhesion to polystyrene and adhesion to fish tissue cells.
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Induction of cell wall thickening by the antifungal compound dihydromaltophilin disrupts fungal growth and is mediated by sphingolipid biosynthesis.
J. Eukaryot. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2009
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Dihydromaltophilin (heat-stable antifungal factor [HSAF]) is an antifungal metabolite produced in Lysobacter enzymogenes biocontrol strain C3. This compound induces cell wall thickening in Aspergillus nidulans. Here we show that the cell wall thickening is a general response to HSAF in diverse fungal species. In the A. nidulans model, the thickened cell wall negatively affects hyphal growth. Growth of HSAF-pre-treated hyphae failed to resume at hyphal tips with thick cell wall and the actin cable could not re-polarize at the thickened region of the cell wall, even after the treated hyphae were transferred to drug-free medium. Moreover, HSAF-induced cell wall thickening is mediated by sphingolipid synthesis: HSAF failed to induce cell wall thickening in the absence of ceramide synthase BarA and the sphingolipid synthesis inhibitor myriocin was able to suppress HSAF-induced cell wall thickening. The thickened cell wall could be digested by chitinase suggesting that chitin contributes to the HSAF-induced thickening. Furthermore, HSAF treatment activated the transcription of two chitin synthase encoding genes chsB and chsC.
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Importin alpha is an essential nuclear import carrier adaptor required for proper sexual and asexual development and secondary metabolism in Aspergillus nidulans.
Fungal Genet. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2009
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In eukaryotes, the principal nuclear import pathway is driven by the importin alpha/beta1 heterodimer. KapA, the Aspergillus nidulans importin alpha, is an essential protein. We generated a conditional allele, kapA31, mimicking the srp1-31 allele in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. KapA31 carries a Ser111Phe amino acid substitution which, at the restrictive temperature of 42 degrees C, reduces nuclear import of cargos containing classical nuclear-localization-sequences, cNLS. Using kapA31, we have demonstrated the role of the importin alpha in the nuclear accumulation of the light-dependent developmental regulator VeA. KapA have additional tasks in the cell, as reported for other members of the importin alpha family. KapA participates at different regulatory stages of asexual and sexual development, being required for the completion of both reproductive cycles with the formation of conidiospores and ascospores, respectively. Finally, KapA also mediates in different pathways of secondary metabolism having a dual role: positively for penicillin production and negatively for mycotoxin biosynthesis.
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Glucose-induced ?-catenin acetylation enhances Wnt signaling in cancer.
Mol. Cell
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Nuclear accumulation of ?-catenin, a widely recognized marker of poor cancer prognosis, drives cancer cell proliferation and senescence bypass and regulates incretins, critical regulators of fat and glucose metabolism. Diabetes, characterized by elevated blood glucose levels, is associated with increased cancer risk, partly because of increased insulin growth factor 1 signaling, but whether elevated glucose directly impacts cancer-associated signal-transduction pathways is unknown. Here, we show that high glucose is essential for nuclear localization of ?-catenin in response to Wnt signaling. Glucose-dependent ?-catenin nuclear retention requires lysine 354 and is mediated by alteration of the balance between p300 and sirtuins that trigger ?-catenin acetylation. Consequently ?-catenin accumulates in the nucleus and activates target promoters under combined glucose and Wnt stimulation, but not with either stimulus alone. Our results reveal a mechanism by which high glucose enhances signaling through the cancer-associated Wnt/?-catenin pathway and may explain the increased frequency of cancer associated with obesity and diabetes.
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VeA regulates conidiation, gliotoxin production, and protease activity in the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.
Eukaryotic Cell
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Invasive aspergillosis by Aspergillus fumigatus is a leading cause of infection-related mortality in immunocompromised patients. In this study, we show that veA, a major conserved regulatory gene that is unique to fungi, is necessary for normal morphogenesis in this medically relevant fungus. Although deletion of veA results in a strain with reduced conidiation, overexpression of this gene further reduced conidial production, indicating that veA has a major role as a regulator of development in A. fumigatus and that normal conidiation is only sustained in the presence of wild-type VeA levels. Furthermore, our studies revealed that veA is a positive regulator in the production of gliotoxin, a secondary metabolite known to be a virulent factor in A. fumigatus. Deletion of veA resulted in a reduction of gliotoxin production with respect to that of the wild-type control. This reduction in toxin coincided with a decrease in gliZ and gliP expression, which is necessary for gliotoxin biosynthesis. Interestingly, veA also influences protease activity in this organism. Specifically, deletion of veA resulted in a reduction of protease activity; this is the first report of a veA homolog with a role in controlling fungal hydrolytic activity. Although veA affects several cellular processes in A. fumigatus, pathogenicity studies in a neutropenic mouse infection model indicated that veA is dispensable for virulence.
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VEA1 is required for cleistothecial formation and virulence in Histoplasma capsulatum.
Fungal Genet. Biol.
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Histoplasma capsulatum is a pathogenic fungus dependent on dimorphism for virulence. Among the four described Velvet family genes, two of them, Ryp2 and Ryp3, have been shown to be required for dimorphism. It is known that Velvet A (VeA) is necessary for sexual development and toxin production in Aspergillus nidulans. However, the role of the VeA ortholog in H. capsulatum has not yet been explored. Vea1, H. capsulatum homolog of VeA, was studied to determine its role in cleistothecial formation, dimorphism, and virulence. H. capsulatum Vea1 restores cleistothecial formation and partially restores sterigmatocystin production in an A. nidulans veA deletion strain. Furthermore, silencing VEA1 in an H. capsulatum strain capable of forming cleistothecia abolishes cleistothecial formation. Silenced strains also switch to mycelial phase faster, and show impaired switching to the yeast phase once in mycelial phase. Virulence in mice and macrophages is attenuated in VEA1 silenced strains and silenced strains demonstrate increased sensitivity during growth under acidic conditions. These results indicate that H. capsulatum Vea1 shares a similar role in development as VeA. H. capsulatum is also more susceptible to growth in acidic conditions when VEA1 is silenced, which may contribute to the silenced strains attenuated virulence in mice and macrophages.
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Hyperoxia, hypocapnia and hypercapnia as outcome factors after cardiac arrest in children.
Resuscitation
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Arterial hyperoxia after resuscitation has been associated with increased mortality in adults. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that post-resuscitation hyperoxia and hypocapnia are associated with increased mortality after resuscitation in pediatric patients.
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Fragment C of tetanus toxin: new insights into its neuronal signaling pathway.
Int J Mol Sci
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When Clostridium tetani was discovered and identified as a Gram-positive anaerobic bacterium of the genus Clostridium, the possibility of turning its toxin into a valuable biological carrier to ameliorate neurodegenerative processes was inconceivable. However, the non-toxic carboxy-terminal fragment of the tetanus toxin heavy chain (fragment C) can be retrogradely transported to the central nervous system; therefore, fragment C has been used as a valuable biological carrier of neurotrophic factors to ameliorate neurodegenerative processes. More recently, the neuroprotective properties of fragment C have also been described in vitro and in vivo, involving the activation of Akt kinase and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling cascades through neurotrophin tyrosine kinase (Trk) receptors. Although the precise mechanism of the molecular internalization of fragment C in neuronal cells remains unknown, fragment C could be internalized and translocated into the neuronal cytosol through a clathrin-mediated pathway dependent on proteins, such as dynamin and AP-2. In this review, the origins, molecular properties and possible signaling pathways of fragment C are reviewed to understand the biochemical characteristics of its intracellular and synaptic transport.
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NsdC and NsdD affect Aspergillus flavus morphogenesis and aflatoxin production.
Eukaryotic Cell
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The transcription factors NsdC and NsdD are required for sexual development in Aspergillus nidulans. We now show these proteins also play a role in asexual development in the agriculturally important aflatoxin (AF)-producing fungus Aspergillus flavus. We found that both NsdC and NsdD are required for production of asexual sclerotia, normal aflatoxin biosynthesis, and conidiophore development. Conidiophores in nsdC and nsdD deletion mutants had shortened stipes and altered conidial heads compared to those of wild-type A. flavus. Our results suggest that NsdC and NsdD regulate transcription of genes required for early processes in conidiophore development preceding conidium formation. As the cultures aged, the ?nsdC and ?nsdD mutants produced a dark pigment that was not observed in the wild type. Gene expression data showed that although AflR is expressed at normal levels, a number of aflatoxin biosynthesis genes are expressed at reduced levels in both nsd mutants. Expression of aflD, aflM, and aflP was greatly reduced in nsdC mutants, and neither aflatoxin nor the proteins for these genes could be detected. Our results support previous studies showing that there is a strong association between conidiophore and sclerotium development and aflatoxin production in A. flavus.
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Altered in vitro proliferation of mouse SOD1-G93A skeletal muscle satellite cells.
Neurodegener Dis
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset neurodegenerative disease characterized by ascending muscle weakness, atrophy and paralysis. Early muscle abnormalities that precede motor neuron loss in ALS may destabilize neuromuscular junctions, and we have previously demonstrated alterations in myogenic regulatory factor (MRF) expression in vivo and in the activation of myofiber-associated skeletal muscle satellite cells (SMSCs) in the mouse model of ALS (SOD1-G93A).
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veA-dependent RNA-pol II transcription elongation factor-like protein, RtfA, is associated with secondary metabolism and morphological development in Aspergillus nidulans.
Mol. Microbiol.
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In Aspergillus nidulans the global regulatory gene veA is necessary for the biosynthesis of several secondary metabolites, including the mycotoxin sterigmatocystin (ST). In order to identify additional veA-dependent genetic elements involved in regulating ST production, we performed a mutagenesis on a deletion veA (?veA) strain to obtain revertant mutants (RM) that regained the capability to produce toxin. Genetic analysis and molecular characterization of one of the revertant mutants, RM3, revealed that a point mutation occurred at the coding region of the rtfA gene, encoding a RNA-pol II transcription elongation factor-like protein, similar to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtf1. The A. nidulans rtfA gene product accumulates in nuclei. Deletion of rtfA gene in a ?veA background restored mycotoxin production in a medium-dependent manner. rtfA also affects the production of other metabolites including penicillin. Biosynthesis of this antibiotic decreased in the absence of rtfA. Furthermore, rtfA is necessary for normal morphological development. Deletion of the rtfA gene in wild-type strains (veA+) resulted in a slight decrease in growth rate, drastic reduction in conidiation, and complete loss of sexual development. This is the first study of an Rtf1 like gene in filamentous fungi. We found rtfA putative orthologues extensively conserved in numerous fungal species.
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Morphogenetic and developmental functions of the Aspergillus nidulans homologues of the yeast bud site selection proteins Bud4 and Axl2.
Mol. Microbiol.
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The yeast bud site selection system represents a paradigm for understanding how fungal cells regulate the formation of a polarity axis. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Bud4 and Axl2 are components of the axial bud site marker. To address the possibility that these proteins regulate cellular morphogenesis in filamentous fungi, we have characterized homologues of Bud4 and Axl2 in Aspergillus nidulans. Our results show that Bud4 is involved in septum formation in both hyphae and developing conidiophores. Whereas Axl2 appears to have no obvious role in hyphal growth, it is required for the regulation of phialide morphogenesis during conidiation. In particular, Axl2 localizes to the phialide-spore junction, where it appears to promote the recruitment of septins. Furthermore, the developmental regulators BrlA and AbaA control the expression of Axl2. Additional studies indicate that Axl2 is also involved in the regulation of sexual development, not only in A. nidulans, but also in the phylogenetically unrelated fungus Fusarium graminearum. Our results suggest that Axl2 plays a key role in phialide morphogenesis and/or function during conidiation in the aspergilli.
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Observational study on factors related to health-promoting community activity development in primary care (frAC Project): a study protocol.
BMJ Open
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According to Spanish health regulations, primary care professionals have the responsibility to carry out health-promoting community activities (CAs). However, in practice, their implementation is not as widespread as it should be. The aims of this study were to identify factors within the team, the community and the professionals that influence the development of these activities and to describe the community interventions in progress.
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Fluoride concentration in the top-selling Brazilian toothpastes purchased at different regions.
Braz Dent J
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To be relevant in terms of public health, widely-used toothpastes should have at least 1,000 ppm of soluble fluoride (F) concentration. Thus, the concentrations of total fluoride (TF) and total soluble fluoride (TSF) in the top-selling Brazilian toothpastes were evaluated. Samples (n=3) from toothpastes Colgate Anti-cáries(®), Colgate Total 12 Clean Mint(®), Colgate Tripla Ação Menta Original(®), Colgate Tripla Ação Menta Suave(®) and Sorriso Dentes Brancos(®) were obtained from each of the five regions of the country. The concentrations of TF and TSF were analyzed with ion-specific electrode calibrated with F standards and the results were expressed in ppm (µg F/g). All toothpastes showed TF concentration lower than 1,500 ppm F (1,388.2 ± 25.8 to 1,483.2 ± 98.2). The TSF values were higher than 1,000 ppm F and ranged from 1,035.5 ± 61.5 to 1,221.8 ± 35.2 for calcium carbonate/monofluorophosphate-based toothpastes and from 1,455.6 ± 12.5 to 1,543.0 ± 147.3 for silica/sodium fluoride-based toothpaste. Top-selling Brazilian toothpastes presented available fluoride concentration to control caries regardless of the region where they are purchased.
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Genetic biomarkers for ALS disease in transgenic SOD1(G93A) mice.
PLoS ONE
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The pathophysiological mechanisms of both familial and sporadic Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) are unknown, although growing evidence suggests that skeletal muscle tissue is a primary target of ALS toxicity. Skeletal muscle biopsies were performed on transgenic SOD1(G93A) mice, a mouse model of ALS, to determine genetic biomarkers of disease longevity. Mice were anesthetized with isoflurane, and three biopsy samples were obtained per animal at the three main stages of the disease. Transcriptional expression levels of seventeen genes, Ankrd1, Calm1, Col19a1, Fbxo32, Gsr, Impa1, Mef2c, Mt2, Myf5, Myod1, Myog, Nnt, Nogo A, Pax7, Rrad, Sln and Snx10, were tested in each muscle biopsy sample. Total RNA was extracted using TRIzol Reagent according to the manufacturers protocol, and variations in gene expression were assayed by real-time PCR for all of the samples. The Pearson correlation coefficient was used to determine the linear correlation between transcriptional expression levels throughout disease progression and longevity. Consistent with the results obtained from total skeletal muscle of transgenic SOD1(G93A) mice and 74-day-old denervated mice, five genes (Mef2c, Gsr, Col19a1, Calm1 and Snx10) could be considered potential genetic biomarkers of longevity in transgenic SOD1(G93A) mice. These results are important because they may lead to the exploration of previously unexamined tissues in the search for new disease biomarkers and even to the application of these findings in human studies.
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The genome of the xerotolerant mold Wallemia sebi reveals adaptations to osmotic stress and suggests cryptic sexual reproduction.
Fungal Genet. Biol.
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Wallemia (Wallemiales, Wallemiomycetes) is a genus of xerophilic Fungi of uncertain phylogenetic position within Basidiomycota. Most commonly found as food contaminants, species of Wallemia have also been isolated from hypersaline environments. The ability to tolerate environments with reduced water activity is rare in Basidiomycota. We sequenced the genome of W. sebi in order to understand its adaptations for surviving in osmotically challenging environments, and we performed phylogenomic and ultrastructural analyses to address its systematic placement and reproductive biology. W. sebi has a compact genome (9.8 Mb), with few repeats and the largest fraction of genes with functional domains compared with other Basidiomycota. We applied several approaches to searching for osmotic stress-related proteins. In silico analyses identified 93 putative osmotic stress proteins; homology searches showed the HOG (High Osmolarity Glycerol) pathway to be mostly conserved. Despite the seemingly reduced genome, several gene family expansions and a high number of transporters (549) were found that also provide clues to the ability of W. sebi to colonize harsh environments. Phylogenetic analyses of a 71-protein dataset support the position of Wallemia as the earliest diverging lineage of Agaricomycotina, which is confirmed by septal pore ultrastructure that shows the septal pore apparatus as a variant of the Tremella-type. Mating type gene homologs were identified although we found no evidence of meiosis during conidiogenesis, suggesting there may be aspects of the life cycle of W. sebi that remain cryptic.
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DARPP-32 is required for MAPK/ERK signaling in thyroid cells.
Mol. Endocrinol.
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Modulation of MAPK signaling duration by cAMP defines its physiological output by driving cells toward proliferation or differentiation. Understanding how the kinetics of MAPK signaling are integrated with other cellular signals is a key issue in development and cancer. Here we show that dopamine and cAMP-regulated neuronal phosphoprotein, 32 kDa (DARPP-32), a protein required for thyroid cell differentiation, determines whether MAPK/ERK activation is sustained or transient. Serum, a stimulus that activates MAPK signaling and does not independently increase DARPP-32 levels results in transient activation of the MAPK pathway. By contrast, TSH + (IGF-I) activate MAPK signaling but also independently increase DARPP-32 levels. Our results are consistent with a model in which maintenance of DARPP-32 expression by TSH + IGF-I leads to sustained MAPK signaling. Moreover, the sensitivity of MAPK/ERK signaling in thyroid cells is lost when de novo DARPP-32 expression is blocked by small interfering RNA. Because both DARPP-32 levels and function as inhibitor of protein phosphatase 1, a key inhibitor of MAPK kinase activity, are governed by cAMP/protein kinase A, the results may explain why in thyroid cells cAMP signaling downstream from TSH controls the duration of MAPK pathway activity. Thus, fine-tuning of DARPP-32 levels leads to changes in the kinetics or sensitivity of MAPK/ERK signaling. Given the implications of MAPK signaling in thyroid cancer and the loss of DARPP-32 in tumor and transformed thyroid cells, DARPP-32 may represent a key therapeutic target.
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