This analysis reports on the initial German multicenter experience with the JenaValve (JenaValve Technology GmbH, Munich, Germany) transcatheter heart valve for the treatment of pure aortic regurgitation.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the leading pathogen of chronic cystic fibrosis (CF) lung infection. Life-long persistence in the inflamed and ever fluctuating CF lungs results in the selection of a variety of changes in P. aeruginosa physiology. Accumulating evidence suggests that especially metabolic changes support the survival and growth of P. aeruginosa within the hypoxic and nutritious CF mucus. To investigate if metabolic adaptations we described for hypermutable P. aeruginosa from late CF lung disease (Hoboth et al., 2009. J. Infect. Dis., pp. 118-130) may represent specific changes in response to the selective conditions within the oxygen-restricted CF mucus, we determined the expression of a set of genes during aerobic and hypoxic growth in LB and the artificial sputum medium ASM. We further focused on the regulation of the two isocitrate dehydrogenases Icd and Idh. Interestingly, both isoenzymes may replace each other under aerobic and hypoxic conditions. The NADPH- and RpoS-dependent Icd seems to be the leading isoenzyme under prolonged oxygen limitation and stationary growth phase. LacZ reporter analysis revealed that oxygen-restriction increased the expression levels of azu, cbb3-1, cbb3-2, ccpR, icd, idh and oprF gene, whereas himD and nuoA are increasingly expressed only during hypoxic growth in ASM. Overexpression of the anaerobic regulator Anr improved the expression of azu, ccpR, cbb3-2 and icd. In summary, expression of azu, cbb3-1, cbb3-2, ccpR, icd, idh, oprF, himD, and nuoA appeared to be beneficial for the growth of P. aeruginosa under hypoxic conditions indicating these genes may represent marker genes for the metabolic adaptation to the CF lung environment.
Cardiac computed tomography (CT) allows accurate and detailed analysis of the anatomy of the aortic root and valve, including quantification of calcium. We evaluated the correlation between different CT parameters and the degree of post-procedural aortic regurgitation (AR) after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) using the balloon-expandable Edwards Sapien prosthesis. Pre-intervention contrast-enhanced dual source CT data sets of 105 consecutive patients (48 males, mean age 81 ± 6 years, mean logEuroSCORE 34 ± 13%) with symptomatic severe aortic valve stenosis referred for TAVI using the Edwards Sapien prosthesis (Edwards lifesciences, Inc., CA, USA) were analysed. The degrees of aortic valve commissural calcification and annular calcification were visually assessed on a scale from 0 to 3. Furthermore, the degree of aortic valve calcification as quantified by the Agatston score, aortic annulus eccentricity, aortic diameter at the level of the sinus of valsalva and at the sinotubular junction were assessed. Early post-procedural AR was assessed using aortography. Significant AR was defined as angiographic AR of at least moderate degree (AR ? 2). Visual assessment of the degree of aortic annular calcification as well as the Agatston score of aortic valve calcium correlated weakly, yet significantly with the degree of post-procedural AR (r = 0.31 and 0.24, p = 0.001 and 0.013, respectively). Compared to patients with AR < 2, patients with AR ? 2 showed more severe calcification of the aortic annulus (mean visual scores 1.9 ± 0.6 vs. 1.5 ± 0.6, p = 0.003) as well as higher aortic valve Agatston scores (1,517 ± 861 vs. 1,062 ± 688, p = 0.005). Visual score for commissural calcification did not differ significantly between both groups (mean scores 2.4 ± 0.5 vs. 2.5 ± 0.5, respectively, p = 0.117). No significant correlation was observed between the degree of AR and commissural calcification, aortic annulus eccentricity index or aortic diameters. The extent of aortic valve annular calcification, but not of commissural calcification, predicts significant post-procedural AR in patients referred for TAVI using the balloon-expandable Edwards Sapiens prosthesis.
Thin film solar cell techniques can effectively reduce the costs for photovoltaic solar power. However, most of these techniques still have the disadvantage of a comparatively low efficiency. One way to realize a thin film solar cell concept with high efficiency potential is the crystalline silicon thin-film (cSiTF) concept. Following the high-temperature approach, this concept is based on a silicon epitaxy process. This paper reports the current status of the development of a high throughput epitaxy tool at Fraunhofer ISE and presents first results. Also presented is the development of a simulation tool which is a virtual image of the real setup in order to forecast save deposition conditions. The presented epitaxy tool is the ConCVD (Continuous Chemical Vapour Deposition), in which an improved reactor setup has been installed, based on the experience gained so far. To provide insight into upcoming further advances, the industrial scale epitaxy tool ProConCVD is presented as well.
The introduction of multidimensional NMR spectroscopy was a breakthrough in biological NMR methodology because it allowed the unequivocal correlation of different spin states of the system. The introduction of large pressure perturbations in the corresponding radio frequency (RF) pulse sequences adds an extra structural dimension into these experiments. We have developed a microprocessor-controlled pressure jump unit that is able to introduce fast, strong pressure changes at any point in the pulse sequences. Repetitive pressure changes of 80 MPa in the sample tube are thus feasible in less than 30 ms. Two general forms of these experiments are proposed here, the pressure perturbation transient state spectroscopy (PPTSS) and the pressure perturbation state correlation spectroscopy (PPSCS). PPTSS can be used to measure the rate constants and the activation energies and activation volumes for the transition between different conformational states including the folded and unfolded state of proteins, for polymerization-depolymerization processes, and for ligand binding at atomic resolution. PPSCS spectroscopy correlates the NMR parameters of different pressure-induced states of the system, thus allowing the measurement of properties of a given pressure induced state such as a folding intermediate in a different state, for example, the folded state. Selected examples for PPTSS and PPSCS spectroscopy are presented in this Article.
The terminal structures of the Borna disease virus (BDV) genome (vRNA) and antigenome (cRNA) differ from those of other negative strand RNA viruses, as both molecules possess four nucleotides at the 3 terminus without an apparent template at the 5 end of the opposite strand. Consequently, the v- and cRNA molecules are not perfect mirror images, a situation that is not compatible with conventional strategies to maintain genetic information. We show here that recombinant viruses recovered from cDNA lacking the nontemplated nucleotides efficiently reconstitute the 3 overhangs. Analyses of recombinant viruses encoding genetic markers in potential alternative template sequences demonstrated that the BDV v- and cRNA molecules are extended by a realign-and-elongation process on internal template motifs located in close proximity to the 3 ends of v- and cRNA, respectively. The data further suggest that cRNA elongation is restricted to a single template motif of the nascent strand, whereas elongation of vRNA might use multiple template motifs. We propose that the elongation of the 3 termini supports the terminal integrity of the genomic RNA molecules during BDV persistence, and furthermore provides an elegant strategy to eliminate the triphosphate groups from the 5 termini of the BDV v- and cRNA without compromising the genetic information of the virus.
The influenza A virus polymerase complex, consisting of the subunits PB1, PB2, and PA, represents a promising target for the development of new antiviral drugs. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of targeting the protein-protein interaction domain between PA and PB1 using peptides derived from the extreme N terminus of PB1 (amino acids [aa] 1 to 15), comprising the PA-binding domain of PB1. To increase the binding affinity of these peptides, we performed a systematic structure-affinity relationship analysis. Alanine and aspartic acid scans revealed that almost all amino acids in the core binding region (aa 5 to 11) are indispensable for PA binding. Using a library of immobilized peptides representing all possible single amino acid substitutions, we were able to identify amino acid positions outside the core PA-binding region (aa 1, 3, 12, 14, and 15) that are variable and can be replaced by affinity-enhancing residues. Surface plasmon resonance binding studies revealed that combination of several affinity-enhancing mutations led to an additive effect. Thus, the feasibility to enhance the PA-binding affinity presents an intriguing possibility to increase antiviral activity of the PB1-derived peptide and one step forward in the development of an antiviral drug against influenza A viruses.
Despite their close phylogenetic relationship, natural intertypic reassortants between influenza A (FluA) and B (FluB) viruses have not been described. Inefficient polymerase assembly of the three polymerase subunits may contribute to this incompatibility, especially because the known protein-protein interaction domains, including the PA-binding domain of PB1, are highly conserved for each virus type. Here we show that substitution of the FluA PA-binding domain (PB1-A(1-25)) with that of FluB (PB1-B(1-25)) is accompanied by reduced polymerase activity and viral growth of FluA. Consistent with these findings, surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy measurements revealed that PA of FluA exhibits impaired affinity to biotinylated PB1-B(1-25) peptides. PA of FluB showed no detectable affinity to biotinylated PB1-A(1-25) peptides. Consequently, FluB PB1 harboring the PA-binding domain of FluA (PB1-AB) failed to assemble with PA and PB2 into an active polymerase complex. To regain functionality, we used a single amino acid substitution (T6Y) known to confer binding to PA of both virus types, which restored polymerase complex formation but surprisingly not polymerase activity for FluB. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the conserved virus type-specific PA-binding domains differ in their affinity to PA and thus might contribute to intertypic exclusion of reassortants between FluA and FluB viruses.
There is an urgent need for new drugs against influenza type A and B viruses due to incomplete protection by vaccines and the emergence of resistance to current antivirals. The influenza virus polymerase complex, consisting of the PB1, PB2 and PA subunits, represents a promising target for the development of new drugs. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of targeting the protein-protein interaction domain between the PB1 and PA subunits of the polymerase complex of influenza A virus using a small peptide derived from the PA-binding domain of PB1. However, this influenza A virus-derived peptide did not affect influenza B virus polymerase activity. Here we report that the PA-binding domain of the polymerase subunit PB1 of influenza A and B viruses is highly conserved and that mutual amino acid exchange shows that they cannot be functionally exchanged with each other. Based on phylogenetic analysis and a novel biochemical ELISA-based screening approach, we were able to identify an influenza A-derived peptide with a single influenza B-specific amino acid substitution which efficiently binds to PA of both virus types. This dual-binding peptide blocked the viral polymerase activity and growth of both virus types. Our findings provide proof of principle that protein-protein interaction inhibitors can be generated against influenza A and B viruses. Furthermore, this dual-binding peptide, combined with our novel screening method, is a promising platform to identify new antiviral lead compounds.
LV (left ventricular) remodelling is the basic mechanism of HF (heart failure) following MI (myocardial infarction). Although there is evidence that pro-inflammatory cytokines [including TNF-alpha (tumour necrosis factor-alpha) and IL-6 (interleukin-6)] are involved in the remodelling process, only little is known about the role of anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-10. As accumulating evidence has revealed that statins possess anti-inflammatory properties, the aim of the present study was to elucidate the effect of atorvastatin on the modulation of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 and its effect on LV function in rats with HF subsequent to MI. Rats with MI, induced by permanent LAD (left anterior descending) branch coronary artery ligation, were treated for 4 weeks with atorvastatin (10 mg x kg(-1) of body weight x day(-1) via oral gavage) starting on the first day after induction of MI. Cardiac function was assessed by echocardiography and cardiac catheterization 4 weeks after MI induction. Membrane-bound and soluble fractions of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-10 protein, the TNF-alpha/IL-10 ratio, serum levels of MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) as well as myocardial macrophage infiltration were analysed. Treatment with atorvastatin significantly improved post-MI LV function (fractional shortening, +120%; dP/dt(max), +147%; and LV end-diastolic pressure, -27%). Furthermore atorvastatin treatment markedly decreased the levels of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and MCP-1, reduced myocardial infiltration of macrophages and significantly increased myocardial and serum levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. Thus the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines was shifted in the anti-inflammatory direction, as shown by a significantly decreased TNF-alpha/IL-10 ratio. Atorvastatin ameliorated early LV remodelling and improved LV function in rats with HF subsequent to MI. Our study suggests that the modulation of the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines towards the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 is one salutary mechanism underlying how atorvastatin influences post-MI remodelling and thus improves LV function.
In transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), optimal selection of fluoroscopic projections that permit orthogonal visualization of the aortic valve plane is important but may be difficult to achieve.
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has shown promising results in patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) at high risk for conventional heart surgery. The safety and efficacy of transapical aortic valve implantation using the JenaValve™, a second-generation TAVI device, were evaluated. The system consists of a tested porcine root valve mounted on a nitinol stent with feeler-guided positioning and clip fixation on the diseased leaflets.
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