Cellular apoptosis is of major importance in the struggle between virus and host. Although many viruses use various strategies to control the cell death machinery by encoding anti-apoptotic virulence factors, it is now becoming clear that, in addition to their role in inhibiting apoptosis, these factors function in multiple immune and metabolic pathways to promote fitness and pathogenesis. In this Progress article, we discuss novel functions of viral anti-apoptotic factors in the regulation of autophagy, in the nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) pathway and in interferon signalling, with a focus on persistent and oncogenic gammaherpesviruses. If viral anti-apoptotic proteins are to be properly exploited as targets for antiviral drugs, their diverse and complex roles should be considered.
A remission of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is one of the major goals of the contemporary bariatric surgery. The goal of our study is to identify predictors of short-term postoperative diabetes remission in order to facilitate preoperative patient selection.
By one-step pyrolysis of an indium-MOF with entrapped cobalt dimers in the presence of melamine, heterometallic carbide nanoparticles (Co3InC0.75) embedded in nitrogen-enriched carbon have been prepared and found to exhibit efficient electrocatalytic activity for oxygen reduction reaction with high durability and methanol-tolerance properties.
Cognitive processes require working memory (WM) that involves a brief period of memory retention known as the delay period. Elevated delay-period activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) has been observed, but its functional role in WM tasks remains unclear. We optogenetically suppressed or enhanced activity of pyramidal neurons in mouse mPFC during the delay period. Behavioral performance was impaired during the learning phase but not after the mice were well trained. Delay-period mPFC activity appeared to be more important in memory retention than in inhibitory control, decision-making, or motor selection. Furthermore, endogenous delay-period mPFC activity showed more prominent modulation that correlated with memory retention and behavioral performance. Thus, properly regulated mPFC delay-period activity is critical for information retention during learning of a WM task.
Hierarchical cubelike submicrometer PbS particles consisting of truncated octahedrons, cuboctahedrons, and cubes were prepared in ethylene glycol solution under favorable high mole ratio of thiourea (Tu) to Pb(AC)2 (RS/Pb) via a pumping process. A qualitative analysis based on the classical nucleation theory coupled with the crystal growth theory is employed to interpret the observed experimental phenomena. By varying the concentration of reactants, RS/Pb, and reaction temperature, it is possible to tune the local supersaturation degree (LSD), which is determined by the number of nuclei and overall growth unit (or concentration), surrounding each growing particle that dictates the branching and faceting of PbS particle. Relatively high LSD that is required for branching growth could be achieved at lower concentration of Tu and reaction temperature. Increasing the concentration of Tu and reaction temperature resulted in less LSD and yielded cubic PbS particles.
Understanding the function of nanoscale structure morphology in ice adhesion properties is important in deicing applications. The correlation between ice adhesion and nanowire morphology as well as the corresponding ice shear fracture mechanism are presented for the first time. Ice adhesion on nanowires was measured using a tangential ice-detaching instrument that was developed in-house. Stress analysis was performed using a COMSOL software. Nanowire surface shifted from Wenzel to Cassie transition and Cassie wetting states when the nanowire length was increased. Tangential ice-detaching forces were greater on the hydrophilic surface than those on the hydrophobic surface. Ice-ice internal shear fracture occurred on the ice and force probe contact area at the Wenzel state or on the ice and nanowire contact area at Cassie transition and Cassie state. Different lengths of nanowires caused different wetting states; thus, different fracture areas were formed, which resulted in different tangential ice-detaching forces. This paper presents a new way of tailoring surface ice adhesion via rational design of nanowire morphology with different wetting states.
Autoimmune lymphocytic hypophysitis associates predominantly with other autoimmune endocrinopathies and is most commonly treated with glucocorticoids and/or decompressive pituitary surgery. Here we report a new association and treatment modality for lymphocytic hypophysitis.
Lanthanides (Ln) are a group of important elements usually found in nature as mixtures. Their separation is essential for technological applications but is made challenging by their subtly different properties. Here we report that crystallization of homochiral camphorate metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) is highly sensitive to ionic radii of lanthanides and can be used to selectively crystallize a lanthanide element into predesigned MOFs. Two series of camphorate MOFs were synthesized with acetate (Type 1 with early lanthanides La-Dy) or formate (Type 2 with late lanthanides Tb-Lu and Y) as the auxiliary ligand, respectively. The Ln coordination environment in each type exhibits selectivity for Ln(3+) of different sizes, which could form the basis for a new cost-effective method for Ln separation.
Liver stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is a feasible treatment method for the nonoperable, patient with early-stage liver cancer. Treatment planning for the SBRT is very important and has to consider the simulation accuracy, planning time, treatment efficiency effects etc. The modified dynamic conformal arc (MDCA) technique is a 3-dimensional conformal arc planning method, which has been proposed for liver SBRT planning at our center. In this study, we compared the MDCA technique with the RapidArc technique in terms of planning target volume (PTV) coverage and sparing of organs at risk (OARs). The results show that the MDCA technique has comparable plan quality to RapidArc considering PTV coverage, hot spots, heterogeneity index, and effective liver volume. For the 5 PTVs studied among 4 patients, the MDCA plan, when compared with the RapidArc plan, showed 9% more hot spots, more heterogeneity effect, more sparing of OARs, and lower liver effective volume. The monitor unit (MU) number for the MDCA plan is much lower than for the RapidArc plans. The MDCA plan has the advantages of less planning time, no-collision treatment, and a lower MU number.
Ebola virus (EBOV) causes a highly lethal hemorrhagic fever syndrome in humans and has been associated with mortality rates of up to 91% in Zaire, the most lethal strain. Though the viral envelope glycoprotein (GP) mediates widespread inflammation and cellular damage, these changes have mainly focused on alterations at the protein level, the role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the molecular pathogenesis underlying this lethal disease is not fully understood. Here, we report that the mi-RNAs hsa-miR-1246, hsa-miR-320a and hsa-miR-196b-5p were induced in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) following expression of EBOV GP. Among the proteins encoded by predicted targets of these miRNAs, the adhesion-related molecules tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), dystroglycan1 (DAG1) and the caspase 8 and FADD-like apoptosis regulator (CFLAR) were significantly downregulated in EBOV GP-expressing HUVECs. Moreover, inhibition of hsa-miR-1246, hsa-miR-320a and hsa-miR-196b-5p, or overexpression of TFPI, DAG1 and CFLAR rescued the cell viability that was induced by EBOV GP. Our results provide a novel molecular basis for EBOV pathogenesis and may contribute to the development of strategies to protect against future EBOV pandemics.
Non-invasive monitoring of fetal electrocardiogram (fECG) plays an important role in detecting and diagnosing fetal diseases. This study aimed to develop a multi-step method for locating both maternal and fetal QRS complexes from abdominal ECG (aECG) recordings. The proposed method included four major steps: abdominal ECG pre-processing, maternal QRS complex locating, maternal ECG cancellation and fetal QRS complex locating. Signal quality assessment (SQA) and fine-tuning for maternal ECG (FTM) were implemented in the first and third steps, respectively. The method was then evaluated using 75 non-invasive 4-channel aECG recordings provided by the PhysioNet/Computing in Cardiology Challenge 2013. The F1 measure, which is a new index introduced by Behar et al (2013 Proc. Comput. Cardiol. 40 297-300), was used to assess the locating accuracy. The other two indices, mean squared error of heart rate (MSE_HR) between the fetal HR signals estimated from the reference and our method (MSE_HR in bpm(2)) and root mean squared difference between the corresponding fetal RR intervals (MSE_RR in ms) were also used to assess the locating accuracy. Overall, for the maternal QRS complex, the F1 measure was 98.4% from the method without the implementation of SQA, and it was improved to 99.8% with SQA. For the fetal QRS complex, the F1 measure, MSE_HR and MSE_RR were 84.9%, 185.6?bpm(2) and 19.4?ms for the method without both SQA and FTM procedures. They were improved to 93.9%, 47.5?bpm(2) and 7.6?ms with both SQA and FTM procedures. These improvements were observed from each individual subject. It can be concluded that implementing both SQA and FTM procedures could achieve better performance for locating both maternal and fetal QRS complexes.
This study presents a systematic comparison of different approaches to the automated selection of the principal components (PC) which optimise the detection of maternal and fetal heart beats from non-invasive maternal abdominal recordings.A public database of 75 4-channel non-invasive maternal abdominal recordings was used for training the algorithm. Four methods were developed and assessed to determine the optimal PC: (1) power spectral distribution, (2) root mean square, (3) sample entropy, and (4) QRS template. The sensitivity of the performance of the algorithm to large-amplitude noise removal (by wavelet de-noising) and maternal beat cancellation methods were also assessed. The accuracy of maternal and fetal beat detection was assessed against reference annotations and quantified using the detection accuracy score F1 [2*PPV*Se / (PPV + Se)], sensitivity (Se), and positive predictive value (PPV). The best performing implementation was assessed on a test dataset of 100 recordings and the agreement between the computed and the reference fetal heart rate (fHR) and fetal RR (fRR) time series quantified.The best performance for detecting maternal beats (F1 99.3%, Se 99.0%, PPV 99.7%) was obtained when using the QRS template method to select the optimal maternal PC and applying wavelet de-noising. The best performance for detecting fetal beats (F1 89.8%, Se 89.3%, PPV 90.5%) was obtained when the optimal fetal PC was selected using the sample entropy method and utilising a fixed-length time window for the cancellation of the maternal beats. The performance on the test dataset was 142.7?beats(2)/min(2) for fHR and 19.9?ms for fRR, ranking respectively 14 and 17 (out of 29) when compared to the other algorithms presented at the Physionet Challenge 2013.
A new biomimetic heterogeneous photocatalyst ([FeFe]@ZrPF) has been synthesized through the incorporation of homogeneous complex 1 [(í-SCH2)2NC(O)C5H4N]-[Fe2(CO)6] into the highly robust zirconium-porphyrin based metal-organic framework (ZrPF). The immobilized biomimetic [Fe2S2] catalyst inside the MOF shows great improvement in hydrogen generation compared to the reference homogeneous catalyst complex 1.
Colored TiO2 has attracted enormous attention due to its visible light absorption and excellent photocatalytic activity. In this report, we develop a simple and facile solid-state chemical reduction approach for a large-scale production of colored TiO2 at mild temperature (300-350 °C). The obtained sample possesses a crystalline core/amorphous shell structure (TiO2@TiO2-x). The oxygen vacancy results in the formation of a disordered TiO2-x shell on the surface of TiO2 nanocrystals. XPS and theoretical calculation results indicate that valence band tail and vacancy band below the conduction band minimum appear for the TiO2-x, which implies that the TiO2@TiO2-x nanocrystal has a narrow band gap and therefore leads to a broad visible light absorption. Oxygen vacancy in a proper concentration promotes the charge separation of photogenerated carriers, which improves the photocatalytic activity of TiO2@TiO2-x nanocrystals. This facile and general method could be potentially used for large scale production of colored TiO2 with remarkable enhancement in the visible light absorption and solar-driven H2 production.
Since March 2013, the emergence of an avian-origin influenza A (H7N9) virus has raised concern in China. Although most infections resulted in respiratory illness, some severe cases resulted in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is a severe form of acute lung injury (ALI) that further contributes to morbidity. To date, no effective drugs that improve the clinical outcome of influenza A (H7N9) virus-infected patients have been identified. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and ACE2 are involved in several pathologies such as cardiovascular functions, renal disease, and acute lung injury. In the current study, we report that ACE2 could mediate the severe acute lung injury induced by influenza A (H7N9) virus infection in an experimental mouse model. Moreover, ACE2 deficiency worsened the disease pathogenesis markedly, mainly by targeting the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1). The current findings demonstrate that ACE2 plays a critical role in influenza A (H7N9) virus-induced acute lung injury, and suggest that might be a useful potential therapeutic target for future influenza A (H7N9) outbreaks.
Heavy metal ion is one of the critical environmental pollutants accumulated in living organisms and causes toxic or carcinogenic effects once passed threshold levels. As an important member of Hsp70 (heat shock protein 70) family, the 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) can enhance cell survival rates remarkably under thermal stress. Recent studies also demonstrated that the expression of GRP78 enhances the cell survival under heavy metal stress. In this study, three most representative heavy metal ions, Pb(2+), Hg(2+) and Cd(2+), were used to stimulate Ctenopharyngodon idella kidney (CIK) cells. The results showed that cell viability under Pb(2+), Hg(2+) and Cd(2+) stress decreased significantly. The longer and the greater the concentrations of stimulation from heavy metal ions, the higher the rate of cell death was observed. Among them, Hg(2+) is the most hazardous to cells. Under the same stress condition, Hg(2+) resulted in 50% of cell death, Cd(2+) (or Pb(2+)) led to 45% (or 35%) of cell death, respectively. Western immunoblotting indicated that C. idella GRP78 (CiGRP78) protein expression level was enhanced obviously in CIK cells under Pb(2+), Hg(2+) and Cd(2+) stress, meaning CiGRP78 is involved in heavy metal cytotoxicity. To further study the role of CiGRP78 in cytoprotection, we designed the siRNA against CiGRP78 (from nucleotides +788 to +806) and transfected it into CIK cells to silence endogenous CiGRP78. The viability rate of CIK cells transfected with or without siRNA incubated with HgCl2 for 12h showed a significant decrease from 50% to 21%. Our results showed that CiGRP78 protects cells against heavy metal stimuli to some extent.
It has been reported that Gaussian functions could accurately and reliably model both carotid and radial artery pressure waveforms (CAPW and RAPW). However, the physiological relevance of the characteristic features from the modeled Gaussian functions has been little investigated. This study thus aimed to determine characteristic features from the Gaussian functions and to make comparisons of them between normal subjects and heart failure patients. Fifty-six normal subjects and 51 patients with heart failure were studied with the CAPW and RAPW signals recorded simultaneously. The two signals were normalized first and then modeled by three positive Gaussian functions, with their peak amplitude, peak time, and half-width determined. Comparisons of these features were finally made between the two groups. Results indicated that the peak amplitude of the first Gaussian curve was significantly decreased in heart failure patients compared with normal subjects (P<0.001). Significantly increased peak amplitude of the second Gaussian curves (P<0.001) and significantly shortened peak times of the second and third Gaussian curves (both P<0.001) were also presented in heart failure patients. These results were true for both CAPW and RAPW signals, indicating the clinical significance of the Gaussian modeling, which should provide essential tools for further understanding the underlying physiological mechanisms of the artery pressure waveform.
Objective An intervention study was performed to determine if supplement containing folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 could improve cognitive function and lower homocysteine in middle-aged and elderly patients with hyperhomocysteinemia. Methods One hundred and four participants with hyperhomocysteinemia were recruited in Tianjin, China, aged 55-94 years old. Fifty-seven individuals with hyperhomocysteinemia were included in the intervention group (vitamin B group, which received 800 µg/day of folate, with 10 mg of vitamin B6 and 25 µg of vitamin B12) and 47 patients in the placebo group. The endpoint was the improvement in cognitive function as evaluated by Basic Cognitive Aptitude Tests (BCATs). All parameters were measured before and after the treatment period of 14 weeks. Results The BCAT total score and four sub-tests scores (digit copy, Chinese character rotation, digital working memory, and recognition of meaningless figure) of BCAT at 14 weeks significantly increased only for the vitamin B group. Serum total homocysteine (tHcy) levels significantly decreased in the intervention group, while serum concentrations of folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 significantly increased in the intervention group. Conclusion The results demonstrated that supplement containing folate, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 in middle-aged and elderly patients with hyperhomocysteinemia could improve their cognitive function partly and reduce serum tHcy levels.
Although urea and guanidine hydrochloride are commonly used to denature proteins, the molecular underpinnings of this process have remained unclear for a century. To address this question, crystal structures of ?-catenin were determined at various urea concentrations. These structures contained at least 105 unique positions that were occupied by urea molecules, each of which interacted with the protein primarily via hydrogen bonds. Hydrogen-bond competition experiments showed that the denaturing effects of urea were neutralized when polyethylene glycol was added to the solution. These data suggest that urea primarily causes proteins to unfold by competing and disrupting hydrogen bonds in proteins. Moreover, circular-dichroism spectra and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis revealed that a similar mechanism caused protein denaturation in the absence of urea at pH levels greater than 12. Taken together, the results led to the conclusion that the disruption of hydrogen bonds is a general mechanism of unfolding induced by urea, high pH and potentially other denaturing agents such as guanidine hydrochloride. Traditionally, the disruption of hydrophobic interactions instead of hydrogen bonds has been thought to be the most important cause of protein denaturation.
A new synthetic method to fabricate Ti(3+)-modified, highly stable TiO2 photoanodes for H2O oxidation is reported. With Ti foil as both the conducting substrate and the Ti(3+)/Ti(4+) source, one-dimensional blue Ti(3+)/TiO2 crystals were grown by a one-step hydrothermal reaction. The concentration of Ti(3+) was further tuned by N2H4 reduction, leading to a greater photoelectrocatalytic activity, as evidenced by a high photocurrent density of 0.64?mA?cm(-2) at 1.0?V vs RHE under simulated AM 1.5?G illumination. Electron paramagnetic resonance and Mott-Schottky plots reveal that higher charge-carrier density owing to N2H4 reduction contributes to the observed improvement. The generality of this synthesis method was demonstrated by its effectiveness in improving the performance of other types of photoanodes. By integrating the advantages of the 1D TiO2 architecture with those of Ti(3+) self-doping, this work provides a versatile tool toward the fabrication of efficient TiO2 photoanodes.
This study aimed to quantify arterial volume distensibility in patients with branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) in comparison with normal subjects and to investigate factors associated with their differences. 40 normal subjects and 30 BRVO patients were studied. Brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV) was measured to determine arterial volume distensibility. In comparison with the normal subjects, after adjusting for pulse pressure, baPWV in the BRVO patients was significantly higher by 2.3?m/s (P < 0.01) and arterial distensibility was significantly lower by 0.015% per mmHg (P < 0.01). No subject in the normal group had an arterial distensibility lower than 0.04% per mmHg, in comparison with 67% (20/30) in the BRVO group. Arterial distensibility was significantly related to systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP) and ageing for both groups (all P < 0.05), but in the BRVO group, blood pressures and ageing had more prominent effect on arterial volume distensibility. Peripheral arterial distensibility has been shown to be significantly lower in BRVO patients in comparison with normal subjects. The more prominent effect of SBP, DBP and ageing on arterial distensibility indicates the potential underlying mechanisms of the interaction between higher blood pressures, ageing and BRVO disease.
A series of new phosphors Zn2(0.97-x)P2O7:0.06Tm(3+),2xMn(2+) (0 ? x ? 0.05) were synthesized and their luminescence properties were investigated. The results showed that the defects in all the phosphors were related to Tm(3+), and Mn(2+) merely served as the emission centres. Tm(3+) also acted as an emission centre and yielded blue phosphorescence corresponding to its characteristic f-f emissions in the phosphors where the Mn(2+) concentration was low (x ? 0.001), while in the phosphors with high concentrations of Mn(2+) it mainly served as a defect by forming Tm. The electrons thermally released from defects selectively transferred to Mn(2+) centres mainly through thermally-assisted tunnelling and this resulted in their red to near-infrared phosphorescence. By adjusting the ratio of Mn(2+) to Tm(3+) to control the spectral distribution, tunable long lasting phosphorescence from blue to near-infrared was achieved.
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with cationic frameworks and mobile anions have many applications from sensing, anion exchange and separation, to fast ion conductivity. Despite recent progress, the vast majority of MOFs have neutral frameworks. A common mechanism for the formation of neutral frameworks is the attachment of anionic species such as F(-) or OH(-) to the framework metal sites, neutralizing an otherwise cationic scaffolding. Here, we report a general method capable of converting such neutral frameworks directly into cationic ones with concurrent generation of mobile anions. Our method is based on the differential affinity between distinct metal ions with framework anionic species. Specifically, Al(3+) is used to strip F(-) anions away from framework Cr(3+) sites, leading to cationic frameworks with mobile Cl(-) anions. The subsequent anion exchange with OH(-) further leads to a porous network with mobile OH(-) anions. New materials prepared by anion stripping can undergo ion exchange with anionic organic dyes and also exhibit much improved ionic conductivity compared to the original unmodified MOFs.
While the cell imposes multiple barriers to virus entry, enveloped viruses are remarkably still able to gain entry to their cellular hosts by hitchhiking and remodeling the endomembrane system to traffic within, and eventually escape from, endosomal organelles for their genome release. Elucidating viral entry mechanisms and their interaction with the host trafficking network is necessary for antiviral therapy. Here, we focus on the use of host autophagy molecular factors during the entry of prototypic negative-stranded RNA viruses, and highlight recent progress in our understanding of the role of one such factor, UVRAG, in both viral and cellular endocytic membrane trafficking and fusion events.
Human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cell lines with tissue-specific or ubiquitous reporter genes are extremely useful for optimizing in vitro differentiation conditions as well as for monitoring transplanted cells in vivo. The adeno-associated virus integration site 1 (AAVS1) locus has been used as a "safe harbor" locus for inserting transgenes because of its open chromatin structure, which permits transgene expression without insertional mutagenesis. However, it is not clear whether targeted transgene expression at the AAVS1 locus is always protected from silencing when driven by various promoters, especially after differentiation and transplantation from hiPS cells. In this paper, we describe a pair of transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) that enable more efficient genome editing than the commercially available zinc finger nuclease at the AAVS1 site. Using these TALENs for targeted gene addition, we find that the cytomegalovirus-immediate early enhancer/chicken ?-actin/rabbit ?-globin (CAG) promoter is better than cytomegalovirus 7 and elongation factor 1? short promoters in driving strong expression of the transgene. The two independent AAVS1, CAG, and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) hiPS cell reporter lines that we have developed do not show silencing of EGFP either in undifferentiated hiPS cells or in randomly and lineage-specifically differentiated cells or in teratomas. Transplanting cardiomyocytes from an engineered AAVS1-CAG-EGFP hiPS cell line in a myocardial infarcted mouse model showed persistent expression of the transgene for at least 7 weeks in vivo. Our results show that high-efficiency targeting can be obtained with open-source TALENs and that careful optimization of the reporter and transgene constructs results in stable and persistent expression in vitro and in vivo.
The differentiation of distinct multifocal hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC): multicentric disease vs. intrahepatic metastases, in which the management and prognosis varies substantively, remains problematic. We aim to stratify multifocal HCC and identify novel diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers by performing whole genome and transcriptome sequencing, as part of a multi-omics strategy.
Tamarix hohenackeri Bunge is a salt cedar that grows widespread in the desert mountains in Xinjiang. T. hohenackeri has not been investigated earlier, although there are many reports of phytochemical work on other Tamarix species.
Bradysia odoriphaga Yang and Zhang (chive gnat) is the major insect pest affecting Chinese chive in Northern China. In order to explore the integrated control of B. odoriphaga, sublethal effects of the neonicotinoid insecticide thiamethoxam were studied. The standard contact and stomach bioassay method was used to assess the effects of sublethal (LC5 and LC20) concentrations of thiamethoxam on the demographic parameters of B. odoriphaga, and data were interpreted based on the age-stage, two-sex life table theory. After thiamethoxam treatment, the intrinsic and finite rates of increase, net reproduction rate, survival rate, and reproductive value were all markedly decreased, while the mean generation time, total preovipositional period, and larval and pupal duration were prolonged, compared with controls. The intrinsic rates of increase dropped from 0.1775/day to 0.1502-0.1136/day. Following LC5 and LC20 treatments, net reproduction rate dropped from 61.75 offspring/individual (control) to 43.36 and 20.75 offspring/individual, respectively. Sublethal concentrations of thiamethoxam decreased the developmental rate of laboratory populations of B. odoriphaga, suggesting that such doses may be useful in integrated pest management strategies.
Formulation of protein and peptide drugs with sustained release properties is crucial to enhance their therapeutic effect and minimize administration frequency. In this study, immunomodulating polymeric systems were designed by manufacturing PHBHHx nanoparticles (NPs) containing thymopentin (TP5). The release profile of the drug was studied over a period of 7 days. The PHBHHx NPs containing TP5-phospholipid (PLC) complex (TP5-PLC) displayed a spherical shape with a mean size, zeta potential, and encapsulation efficiency of 238.9 nm, -32.0 mV, and 72.81%, respectively. The cytotoxicity results showed the PHBHHx NPs had a relatively low toxicity in vitro. TP5 entrapped in the NPs could hardly release in vitro, while the NPs had longer than 7 days release duration after a single subcutaneous injection in Wistar rats. The immunodepression rat model was built to evaluate the immunomodulating effects of TP5-PLC-NPs in vivo. The results of T-lymphocyte subsets (CD3(+), CD4(+), CD8(+), and CD4(+)/CD8(+) ratio) analysis and superoxide dismutase (SOD) values suggested that TP5-PLC-NPs had stronger immunoregulation effects than TP5 solution. In conclusion, an applicable approach to markedly enhancing the loading of a water-soluble peptide into a hydrophobic polymer matrix has been introduced. Thus, TP5-PLC-NPs are promising nanomedicine systems for sustained release effects of TP5.
Changes of arterial pressure waveform characteristics have been accepted as risk indicators of cardiovascular diseases. Waveform modelling using Gaussian functions has been used to decompose arterial pressure pulses into different numbers of subwaves and hence quantify waveform characteristics. However, the fitting accuracy and computation efficiency of current modelling approaches need to be improved. This study aimed to develop a novel two-stage particle swarm optimizer (TSPSO) to determine optimal parameters of Gaussian functions. The evaluation was performed on carotid and radial artery pressure waveforms (CAPW and RAPW) which were simultaneously recorded from twenty normal volunteers. The fitting accuracy and calculation efficiency of our TSPSO were compared with three published optimization methods: the Nelder-Mead, the modified PSO (MPSO), and the dynamic multiswarm particle swarm optimizer (DMS-PSO). The results showed that TSPSO achieved the best fitting accuracy with a mean absolute error (MAE) of 1.1% for CAPW and 1.0% for RAPW, in comparison with 4.2% and 4.1% for Nelder-Mead, 2.0% and 1.9% for MPSO, and 1.2% and 1.1% for DMS-PSO. In addition, to achieve target MAE of 2.0%, the computation time of TSPSO was only 1.5 s, which was only 20% and 30% of that for MPSO and DMS-PSO, respectively.
The frequency and poor prognosis of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) emphasizes the requirement for improved biomarkers for use in the treatment and prognosis of mCRC. In the present study, somatic variants in exonic regions of key cancer genes were identified in mCRC patients. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues obtained by biopsy of the metastases of mCRC patients were collected, and the DNA was extracted and sequenced using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine. For the targeted amplification of known cancer genes, the Ion AmpliSeq™ Cancer Panel, which is designed to detect 739 Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC) mutations in 604 loci from 46 oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes using as little as 10 ng of input DNA, was used. The sequencing results were then analyzed using the Ampliseq™ Variant Caller plug-in within the Ion Torrent Suite software. In addition, Ingenuity Pathway software was used to perform a pathway analysis. The Cox regression analysis was also conducted to investigate the potential correlation between alteration numbers and clinical factors, including response rate, disease-free survival and overall survival. Among 10 specimens, 65 genetic alterations were identified in 24 genes following the exclusion of germline mutations using the SNP database, whereby 41% of the alterations were also present in the COSMIC database. No clinical factors were found to significantly correlate with the alteration numbers in the patients by statistical analysis. However, pathway analysis identified 'colorectal cancer metastasis signaling' as the most commonly mutated canonical pathway. This analysis further revealed mutated genes in the Wnt, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT and transforming growth factor (TGF)-?/SMAD signaling pathways. Notably, 11 genes, including the expected APC, BRAF, KRAS, PIK3CA and TP53 genes, were mutated in at least two samples. Notably, 90% (9/10) of mCRC patients harbored at least one 'druggable' alteration (range, 1-6 alterations) that has been linked to a clinical treatment option or is currently being investigated in clinical trials of novel targeted therapies. These results indicated that DNA sequencing of key oncogenes and tumor suppressors enables the identification of 'druggable' alterations for individual colorectal cancer patients.
Borna disease virus (BDV) replicates in the nucleus and establishes persistent infections in mammalian hosts. A human BDV strain was used to address the first time, how BDV infection impacts the proteome and histone lysine acetylation (Kac) of human oligodendroglial (OL) cells, thus allowing a better understanding of infection-driven pathophysiology in vitro.
A novel influenza A (H7N9) virus of avian origin emerged in eastern China in the spring of 2013. This virus causes severe disease in humans, including acute and often lethal respiratory failure. As of January 2014, 275 cases of H7N9-infected patients had been reported, highlighting the urgency of identifying biomarkers for predicting disease severity and fatal outcomes. Here, we show that plasma levels of angiotensin II, a major regulatory peptide of the renin-angiotensin system, are markedly elevated in H7N9 patients and are associated with disease progression. Moreover, the sustained high levels of angiotensin II in these patients are strongly correlated with mortality. The predictive value of angiotensin II is higher than that of C-reactive protein and some clinical parameters such as the PaO2/FiO2 ratio (partial pressure of arterial oxygen to the fraction of inspired oxygen). Our findings indicate that angiotensin II is a biomarker for lethality in flu infections.
The potential for avian influenza H5N1 outbreaks has increased in recent years. Thus, it is paramount to develop novel strategies to alleviate death rates. Here we show that avian influenza A H5N1-infected patients exhibit markedly increased serum levels of angiotensin II. High serum levels of angiotensin II appear to be linked to the severity and lethality of infection, at least in some patients. In experimental mouse models, infection with highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5N1 virus results in downregulation of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) expression in the lung and increased serum angiotensin II levels. Genetic inactivation of ACE2 causes severe lung injury in H5N1-challenged mice, confirming a role of ACE2 in H5N1-induced lung pathologies. Administration of recombinant human ACE2 ameliorates avian influenza H5N1 virus-induced lung injury in mice. Our data link H5N1 virus-induced acute lung failure to ACE2 and provide a potential treatment strategy to address future flu pandemics.
Complexity of heartbeat interval series is typically measured by entropy. Recent studies have found that sample entropy (SampEn) or fuzzy entropy (FuzzyEn) quantifies essentially the randomness, which may not be uniformly identical to complexity. Additionally, these entropy measures are heavily dependent on the predetermined parameters and confined to data length. Aiming at improving the robustness of complexity assessment for short-term RR interval series, this study developed a novel measure-distribution entropy (DistEn). The DistEn took full advantage of the inherent information underlying the vector-to-vector distances in the state space by probability density estimation. Performances of DistEn were examined by theoretical data and experimental short-term RR interval series. Results showed that DistEn correctly ranked the complexity of simulated chaotic series and Gaussian noise series. The DistEn had relatively lower sensitivity to the predetermined parameters and showed stability even for quantifying the complexity of extremely short series. Analysis further showed that the DistEn indicated the loss of complexity in both healthy aging and heart failure patients (both p < 0.01), whereas neither the SampEn nor the FuzzyEn achieved comparable results (all p ? 0.05). This study suggested that the DistEn would be a promising measure for prompt clinical examination of cardiovascular function.
Specialty paper (e.g. cigarette paper and battery diaphragm paper) requires extremely high strength properties. The addition of strength agents plays an important role in increasing strength properties of paper. Nanocrystalline cellulose (NCC), or cellulose whiskers, has the potential to enhance the strength properties of paper via improving inter-fibers bonding. This paper was to determine the potential of using carboxylated nanocrystalline cellulose (CNCC) to improve the strength properties of paper made of cellulosic fiber or poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) fiber. The results indicated that the addition of CNCC can effectively improve the strength properties. At a CNCC dosage of 0.7%, the tear index and tensile index of the cellulosic paper reached the maximum of 12.8 mN m2/g and 100.7 Nm/g, respectively. More importantly, when increasing the CNCC dosage from 0.1 to 1.0%, the tear index and tensile index of PVA fiber paper were increased by 67.29%, 22.55%, respectively.
Acute infectious thyroiditis, particularly fungal thyroiditis, is rare and typically presents in immunocompromised individuals. Here we report the first case of coccidiomycosis thyroiditis occurring in an organ recipient as a consequence of likely allograft contamination and discuss the management strategies for thyroid masses in the setting of disseminated infection.
A series of novel red-emitting Sr1.7Zn0.3CeO4:Eu(3+) phosphors were synthesized through conventional solid-state reactions. The powder X-ray diffraction patterns and Rietveld refinement verified the similar phase of Sr1.7Zn0.3CeO4:Eu(3+) to that of Sr2CeO4. The photoluminescence spectrum exhibits that peak located at 614 nm ((5)D0-(7)F2) dominates the emission of Sr1.7Zn0.3CeO4:Eu(3+) phosphors. Because there are two regions in the excitation spectrum originating from the overlap of the Ce(4+)-O(2-) and Eu(3+)-O(2-) charge-transfer state band from 200 to 440 nm, and from the intra-4f transitions at 395 and 467 nm, the Sr1.7Zn0.3CeO4:Eu(3+) phosphors can be well excited by the near-UV light. The investigation of the concentration quenching behavior, luminescence decay curves, and lifetime implies that the dominant mechanism type leading to concentration quenching is the energy transfer among the nearest neighbor or next nearest neighbor activators. The discussion about the dependence of photoluminescence spectra on temperature shows the better thermal quenching properties of Sr1.7Zn0.3CeO4:0.3Eu(3+) than that of Sr2CeO4:Eu(3+). The experimental data indicates that Sr1.7Zn0.3CeO4:Eu(3+) phosphors have the potential as red phosphors for white light-emitting diodes.
GRP78 and GRP94, belong to GRP (glucose-regulated protein) family of endoplasmatic reticulum (ER) chaperone superfamily, are essential for cell survival under ER stress. ATF4 is a protective protein which regulates the adaptation of cells to ER stress by modulating the transcription of UPR (Unfolded Protein Response) target genes, including GRP78 and GRP94. To understand the molecular mechanism of ATF4 modulates the transcription initiation of CiGRP78 and CiGRP94, we cloned ATF4 ORF cDNA sequences (CiATF4) by homologous cloning techniques. The expression trend of CiATF4 was similar to CiGRP78 and CiGRP94 did under 37 °C thermal stress, namely, the expression of CiATF4 was up-regulated twice at 2 h post-thermal stress and at 18 h post recovery from thermal stress. In this paper, CiATF4 was expressed in BL21 Escherichia coli, and the expressed protein was purified by affinity chromatography with the Ni-NTA His-Bind Resin. On the basis of the cloned CiGRP78 and CiGRP94 cDNA in our laboratory previously, we cloned their promoter sequences by genomic walking approach. In vitro, gel mobility shift assays revealed that CiATF4 could bind to CiGRP78 and CiGRP94 promoter with high affinity. Subsequently, the recombinant plasmid of pGL3-CiGRPs and pcDNA3.1-CiATF4 were constructed and transiently co-transfected into Ctenopharyngodon idella kidney (CIK) cells. The impact of CiATF4 on CiGRP promoter sequences were measured by luciferase assays. These results demonstrated that CiATF4 could activate the transcription of CiGRP78 and CiGRP94. What's more, for better understanding the molecular mechanism of CiATF4 modulate the transcription initiation of CiGRP, three mutant fragments of CiGRP78 promoter recombinant plasmids (called CARE-mut/LUC, CRE1-mut/LUC and CRE2-mut/LUC) were constructed and transiently co-transfected with CiATF4 into CIK cells. The results indicated that CRE or CARE elements were the regulatory element for transcription initiation of CiGRP78. Between them, CRE element would play more important role in it.
Cotton with superhydrophobic and superoleophilic properties had been successfully fabricated for application in the field of oil/water separation by the combination of SiO2 nanoparticles on cotton fiber surface and subsequent octadecyltrichlorosilane modification. The as-prepared cotton could be used to selectively absorb various common oils and organic solvents up to above 50 times of its own weight while repelling water completely. The absorbed oils were easily collected by a simple vacuum filtration, and the recovered cotton could be reused for several cycles while still keeping high absorption capacity. Moreover, the as-prepared cotton was simply spun into cloth, which not only could be tailored to the water-repellent clothing but also could be used in the oil/water separation filter system. The results presented in this work might provide a simple, low-cost and environment friendly approach for application in the field of water/oil separation.
Enveloped viruses exploit the endomembrane system to enter host cells. Through a cascade of membrane-trafficking events, virus-bearing vesicles fuse with acidic endosomes and/or lysosomes mediated by SNAREs triggering viral fusion. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process remain elusive. Here, we found that UV-radiation resistance-associated gene (UVRAG), an autophagic tumor suppressor, is required for the entry of the prototypic negative-strand RNA virus, including influenza A virus and vesicular stomatitis virus, by a mechanism independent of IFN and autophagy. UVRAG mediates viral endocytic transport and membrane penetration through interactions with the class C vacuolar protein sorting (C-Vps) tethering complex and endosomal glutamine-containing SNAREs [syntaxin 7 (STX7), STX8, and vesicle transport through t-SNARE homolog 1B (Vti1b)], leading to the assembly of a fusogenic trans-SNARE complex involving vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP8), but not VAMP7. Indeed, UVRAG stimulates VAMP8 translocation to virus-bearing endosomes. Inhibition of VAMP8, but not VAMP7, significantly reduces viral entry. Our data indicate that UVRAG, in concert with C-Vps, regulates viral entry by assembling a specific fusogenic SNARE complex. Thus, UVRAG governs downstream viral entry, highlighting an important pathway capable of potential antiviral therapeutics.
Gammaherpesviruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV, HHV-8) establish lifelong latency in their hosts and are associated with the development of several types of malignancies, including a subset of B cell lymphomas. These viruses are thought to co-opt the process of B cell differentiation to latently infect a fraction of circulating memory B cells, resulting in the establishment of a stable latency setpoint. However, little is known about how this infected memory B cell compartment is maintained throughout the life of the host. We have previously demonstrated that immature and transitional B cells are long-term latency reservoirs for murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV68), suggesting that infection of developing B cells contributes to the maintenance of lifelong latency. During hematopoiesis, immature and transitional B cells are subject to B cell receptor (BCR)-mediated negative selection, which results in the clonal deletion of autoreactive B cells. Interestingly, numerous gammaherpesviruses encode homologs of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2, suggesting that virus inhibition of apoptosis could subvert clonal deletion. To test this, we quantified latency establishment in mice inoculated with MHV68 vBcl-2 mutants. vBcl-2 mutant viruses displayed a marked decrease in the frequency of immature and transitional B cells harboring viral genome, but this attenuation could be rescued by increased host Bcl-2 expression. Conversely, vBcl-2 mutant virus latency in early B cells and mature B cells, which are not targets of negative selection, was remarkably similar to wild-type virus. Finally, in vivo depletion of developing B cells during chronic infection resulted in decreased mature B cell latency, demonstrating a key role for developing B cells in the maintenance of lifelong latency. Collectively, these findings support a model in which gammaherpesvirus latency in circulating mature B cells is sustained in part through the recurrent infection and vBcl-2-mediated survival of developing B cells.
The microvasculature is important for vertebrate organ development and homeostasis. However, the molecular mechanism of microvascular angiogenesis remains incompletely understood. Through studying Borg5 (Binder of the Rho GTPase 5), which belongs to a family of poorly understood effector proteins of the Cdc42 GTPase, we uncover a role for Borg5 in microvascular angiogenesis. Deletion of Borg5 in mice results in defects in retinal and cardiac microvasculature as well as heart development. Borg5 promotes angiogenesis by regulating persistent directional migration of the endothelial cells (ECs). In primary mouse cardiac ECs (MCECs), Borg5 associates with septins in the perinuclear region and colocalizes with actomyosin fibers. Both Borg5 deletion and septin 7 knockdown lead to a disruption of the perinuclear actomyosin and persistent directional migration. Our findings suggest that Borg5 and septin cytoskeleton spatially control actomyosin activity to ensure persistent directional migration of MCECs and efficient microvascular angiogenesis. Our studies reported here should offer a new avenue to further investigate the functions of Borg5, septin, and actomyosin in the microvasculature in the context of development and disease.
A highly efficient ZnCl2-catalyzed cascade reaction of enaminones with 2-furylcarbinols under mild reaction conditions has been developed. This methodology offers a chemo- and diastereo-selective access to functionalized cyclopenta[b]pyrrole derivatives in good to excellent yields.
To describe the prevalence and population structure of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria that colonize pigs at slaughterhouses in northeastern China, nose swabs were collected from pigs in two slaughterhouses in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China in 2009. S. aureus isolates were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, SCCmec typing, antimicrobial susceptibility testing and pvl gene detection. A total of 200 S. aureus isolates were collected from 590 pigs (33.9%, 200/590), of which 162 (81%, 162/200) were methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) and 38 (19%, 38/200) were methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA). Ninety-nine of the MSSA isolates (99/162, 61.1%) were ST398, which represented the dominant sequence type overall. Eighty-seven isolates were ST9 (87/200, 43.5%), and all MRSA belonged to that sequence type which consisted of the spa types t899 and t2922. Among the MSSA strains, t034, t899 and t4358 were the most dominant spa types (139/162, 85.8%). All MRSA isolates harbored SCCmec type IVb. The pvl gene was only detected in 3 ST7/t2119 MSSA isolates. All MRSA but more importantly also 82.7% (134/162) of the MSSA isolates were resistant to six or more antibiotics. Moreover, a novel resistance determinant-lsa(E) was identified among 22% (44/200) of all isolates. In conclusion, pigs in northeast China are frequently colonized with ST398 MSSA. MRSA with this sequence type, typically associated with pigs in Europe, was not found. High levels of multiple antibiotic resistance among MRSA isolates as well as MSSA isolates are a public health concern.
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) exhibit the dual properties of self-renewal and pluripotency as well as the ability to undergo differentiation that gives rise to all three germ layers. Wnt family members can both promote ESC maintenance and trigger differentiation while also controlling the expression of Snail1, a zinc-finger transcriptional repressor. Snail1 has been linked to events ranging from cell cycle regulation and cell survival to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and gastrulation, but its role in self-renewal, pluripotency or lineage commitment in ESCs remains undefined. Here we demonstrate using isogenic pairs of conditional knockout mouse ESCs, that Snail1 exerts Wnt- and EMT independent control over the stem cell transcriptome without affecting self-renewal or pluripotency-associated functions. By contrast, during ESC differentiation, an endogenous Wnt-mediated burst in Snail1 expression regulates neuroectodermal fate while playing a required role in epiblast stem cell exit and the consequent lineage fate decisions that define mesoderm commitment.
An early return of the reflected component in the arterial pulse has been recognized as an important indicator of cardiovascular risk. This study aimed to determine the effects of blood pressure and sex factor on the change of wave reflection using Gaussian fitting method. One hundred and ninety subjects were enrolled. They were classified into four blood pressure categories based on the systolic blood pressures (i.e., ?110, 111-120, 121-130 and ?131 mmHg). Each blood pressure category was also stratified for sex factor. Electrocardiogram (ECG) and radial artery pressure waveforms (RAPW) signals were recorded for each subject. Ten consecutive pulse episodes from the RAPW signal were extracted and normalized. Each normalized pulse episode was fitted by three Gaussian functions. Both the peak position and peak height of the first and second Gaussian functions, as well as the peak position interval and peak height ratio, were used as the evaluation indices of wave reflection. Two-way ANOVA results showed that with the increased blood pressure, the peak position of the second Gaussian significantly shorten (P<0.01), the peak height of the first Gaussian significantly decreased (P<0.01) and the peak height of the second Gaussian significantly increased (P<0.01), inducing the significantly decreased peak position interval and significantly increased peak height ratio (both P<0.01). Sex factor had no significant effect on all evaluation indices (all P>0.05). Moreover, the interaction between sex and blood pressure factors also had no significant effect on all evaluation indices (all P>0.05). These results showed that blood pressure has significant effect on the change of wave reflection when using the recently developed Gaussian fitting method, whereas sex has no significant effect. The results also suggested that the Gaussian fitting method could be used as a new approach for assessing the arterial wave reflection.
Unlike Western medicine that generally uses purified compounds and aims to target a single molecule or pathway, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) compositions usually comprise multiple herbs and components that are necessary for efficacy. Despite the very long-time and wide-spread use of TCM, there are very few direct comparisons of TCM and standard cytotoxic chemotherapy. In the present report, we compared the efficacy of the TCM herbal mixture LQ against lung cancer in mouse models with doxorubicin (DOX) and cyclophosphamide (CTX). LQ inhibited tumor size and weight measured directly as well as by fluorescent-protein imaging in subcutaneous, orthotopic, spontaneous experimental metastasis and angiogenesis mouse models of lung cancer. LQ was efficacious against primary and metastatic lung cancer without weight loss and organ toxicity. In contrast, CTX and DOX, although efficacious in the lung cancer models caused significant weight loss, and organ toxicity. LQ also had anti-angiogenic activity as observed in lung tumors growing in nestin-driven green fluorescent protein (ND-GFP) transgenic nude mice, which selectively express GFP in nascent blood vessels. Survival of tumor-bearing mice was also prolonged by LQ, comparable to DOX. In vitro, lung cancer cells were killed by LQ as observed by time-lapse imaging, comparable to cisplatinum. LQ was more potent to induce cell death on cancer cell lines than normal cell lines unlike cytotoxic chemotherapy. The results indicate that LQ has non-toxic efficacy against metastatic lung cancer.
Here we reported the first fluorescent probe with aggregation-induced emission characteristics, namely AIE-S, for the detection of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in live cells. The detection system is selective for complicated biological application and the response is fast enough to complete within seconds. Moreover, the probe exhibits the unique advantage of being immune to aggregation-caused quenching which is a detrimental phenomenon limiting the application of most current available H2S fluorescent probes. The detection mechanism was investigated and postulated to be S(2-) initiated de-coordination and thereafter aggregation of the AIE-S complex.
To discover candidate biomarkers for diagnosis and detection of human laryngeal carcinoma and explore possible mechanisms of this cancer carcinogenesis, two-dimensional strong cation-exchange/reversed-phase nano-scale liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis was used to identify differentially expressed proteins between the laryngeal carcinoma tissue and the adjacent normal tissue. As a result, 281 proteins with significant difference in expression were identified, and four differential proteins, Profilin-1 (PFN1), Nucleolin (NCL), Cytosolic non-specific dipeptidase (CNDP2) and Mimecan (OGN) with different subcellular localization were selectively validated. Semiquantitative RT-PCR and Western blotting were performed to detect the expression of the four proteins employing a large collection of human laryngeal carcinoma tissues, and the results validated the differentially expressed proteins identified by the proteomics. Furthermore, we knocked down PFN1 in immortalized human laryngeal squamous cell line Hep-2 cells and then the proliferation and metastasis of these transfected cells were measured. The results showed that PFN1 silencing inhibited the proliferation and affected the migration ability of Hep-2 cells, providing some new insights into the pathogenesis of PFN1 in laryngeal carcinoma. Altogether, our present data first time show that PFN1, NCL, CNDP2 and OGN are novel potential biomarkers for diagnosis and therapeutic targets for laryngeal carcinoma, and PFN1 is involved in the metastasis of laryngeal carcinoma.
For decades, a marvelous amount of work has been performed to identify molecules that regulate distinct stages of membrane transport in the ER-Golgi secretory pathway and autophagy, which are implicated in many human diseases. However, an important missing piece in this puzzle is how the cell dynamically coordinates these crisscrossed trafficking pathways in response to different stimuli. Our recent study has identified UVRAG as a mode-switching protein that coordinates Golgi-ER retrograde and autophagic trafficking. UVRAG recognizes phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) and locates to the ER, where it couples the ER tethering complex containing RINT1 to govern Golgi-ER retrograde transport. Intriguingly, when autophagy is induced, UVRAG undergoes a "partnering shift" from the ER tethering complex to the BECN1 autophagy complex, resulting in concomitant inhibition of Golgi-ER transport and the activation of ATG9 autophagic trafficking. Therefore, Golgi-ER retrograde and autophagy-related membrane trafficking are functionally interdependent and tightly regulated by UVRAG to ensure spatiotemporal fidelity of protein transport and organelle homeostasis, providing distinguished insights into trafficking-related diseases.
Tumor necrosis factor-? converting enzyme (TACE) is a cell membrane sheddase, expressed in both developmental lung epithelia and mesenchyme. Global abrogation of TACE results in neonatal lethality and multiple organ developmental abnormalities, including dysplastic lung. To further define the roles of TACE in regulating lung development, lung epithelial and/or mesenchymal specific TACE conditional knockout mice were generated. Blockade of TACE function in developing lung epithelial cells caused reduced saccular formation, decreased cell proliferation, and reduced mid-distal lung epithelial cell differentiation. In contrast, mesenchymal TACE knockout did not have any phenotypic change in developing lung. Simultaneous abrogation of TACE in both lung epithelial and mesenchymal cells did not result in a more severe lung abnormality. Interestingly, these lung-specific TACE conditional knockout mice were not neonatal lethal, and their lung structures were essentially normal after alveolarization. In addition, TACE conditional knockout in developing cardiomyocytes resulted in noncompaction of ventricular myocardium, as seen in TACE conventional knockout mice. However, these mice were also not neonatal lethal. In conclusion, lung epithelial TACE is essential for promoting fetal lung saccular formation, but not postnatal lung alveolarization in mice. Because the developmental abnormality of either lung or heart induced by TACE deficiency does not directly lead to neonatal lethality, the neonatal death of TACE conventional knockout mice is likely a result of synergistic effects of multiple organ abnormalities.
PKZ, protein kinase containing Z-DNA domains, is a novel member of the vertebrate eIF2? kinase family. Containing a catalytic domain in C-terminus and two Z-DNA binding domains (Z?1 and Z?2) in N-terminus, PKZ can be activated through the binding of Z? to Z-DNA. However, the regulatory function of PKZ Z? remains to be established. Here, to understand the impact of PKZ Z? on DNA conformational transition, wild-type Z?1Z?2 and 11 mutant proteins were expressed and purified. At the same time, several different lengths of DNA hairpins-d(GC)nT4(GC)n (n = 2-6) and an RNA hairpin-r(GC)6T4(GC)6 were synthesized. The effects of Z?1Z?2 and mutant proteins on the conformation of these synthetic DNA or RNA hairpins were investigated by using circular dichroism spectrum and gel mobility shift assays. The results showed that DNA hairpins retained a conventional B-DNA conformation in the absence of Z?1Z?2, while some of the DNA hairpins (n?3) were converted to Z-conformation under Z?1Z?2 induction. The tendency was proportionally associated with the increasing amount of GC repeat. In comparison with Z?1Z?2, Z?1Z?1 rather than Z?2Z?2 displayed a higher ability in converting d(GC)6T4(GC)6 from B- to Z-DNA. These results demonstrated that Z?1 sub-domain played a more essential role in the process of B-Z conformational transition than Z?2 sub-domain did. Mutant proteins (K34A, N38A, R39A, Y42A, P57A, P58A, and W60A) could not convert d(GC)6T4(GC)6 into Z-DNA, whereas S35A or K56A retained some partial activities. Interestingly, Z?1Z?2 was also able to induce r(GC)6T4(GC)6 RNA from A-conformation to Z-conformation under appropriate conditions.
Embryonic stem (ES) cell pluripotency is thought to be regulated in part by H3K4 methylation. However, it is unclear how H3K4 demethylation contributes to ES cell function and participates in induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell reprogramming. Here, we show that KDM5B, which demethylates H3K4, is important for ES cell differentiation and presents a barrier to the reprogramming process. Depletion of Kdm5b leads to an extension in the self-renewal of ES cells in the absence of LIF. Transcriptome analysis revealed the persistent expression of pluripotency genes and underexpression of developmental genes during differentiation in the absence of Kdm5b, suggesting that KDM5B plays a key role in cellular fate changes. We also observed accelerated reprogramming of differentiated cells in the absence of Kdm5b, demonstrating that KDM5B is a barrier to the reprogramming process. Expression analysis revealed that mesenchymal master regulators associated with the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) are downregulated during reprogramming in the absence of Kdm5b. Moreover, global analysis of H3K4me3/2 revealed that enhancers of fibroblast genes are rapidly deactivated in the absence of Kdm5b, and genes associated with EMT lose H3K4me3/2 during the early reprogramming process. These findings provide functional insight into the role for KDM5B in regulating ES cell differentiation and as a barrier to the reprogramming process.
Transgenic mouse technology is a powerful method for studying gene function and creating animal models of human diseases. Currently, the most widely used method for generating transgenic mice is the pronuclear microinjection method. In this method, a transgenic DNA construct is physically microinjected into the pronucleus of a fertilized egg. The injected embryos are subsequently transferred into the oviducts of pseudopregnant surrogate mothers. A portion of the mice born to these surrogate mothers will harbor the injected foreign gene in their genomes. These procedures are technically challenging for most biomedical researchers. Inappropriate experimental procedures or suboptimal equipment setup can substantially reduce the efficiency of transgenic mouse production. In this chapter, we describe in detail our microinjection setup as well as our standard microinjection and oviduct transfer procedures.
Pronuclear microinjection is the most used method for generating transgenic mice. The quality of DNA to be microinjected is a key determinant of the success rate of this method. DNA purity is a critical factor because trace amounts of many substances, when microinjected into the pronucleus of the fertilized egg, can kill or prevent the further development of the embryo. Avoiding all contaminants is not a trivial issue, because most transgenic fragments need to be purified from agarose gels. Small particles and viscous materials in the DNA solution can also dramatically reduce the efficiency of microinjection because they tend to clog the injection needles. DNA shearing or breakage during purification and microinjection is also a potential problem, particularly when linearized bacterial artificial chromosomes (BAC) DNAs are used. The overall quantity and the final DNA concentration are also important considerations, because egg -pronuclei are very sensitive to the amount of foreign DNA. In this chapter, we first discuss the general guidelines and cautions for preparing microinjection-quality DNA, and then describe in detail two -protocols, one for gel purification of transgenic fragments from plasmid vectors and the other for isolating high-quality BAC DNA from bacteria.
Generation and characterization of transgenic mice are important elements of biomedical research. In recent years, transgenic technology has become more versatile and sophisticated, mainly because of the incorporation of recombinase-mediated conditional expression and targeted insertion, site-specific endonuclease-mediated genome editing, siRNA-mediated gene knockdown, various inducible gene expression systems, and fluorescent protein marking and tracking techniques. Site-specific recombinases (such as PhiC31) and engineered endonucleases (such as ZFN and Talen) have significantly enhanced our ability to target transgenes into specific genomic loci, but currently a great majority of transgenic mouse lines are continuingly being created using the conventional random insertion method. A major challenge for using this conventional method is that the genomic environment at the integration site has a substantial influence on the expression of the transgene. Although our understanding of such chromosomal position effects and our means to combat them are still primitive, adhering to some general guidelines can significantly increase the odds of successful transgene expression. This chapter first discusses the major problems associated with transgene expression, and then describes some of the principles for using plasmid and bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs) for generating transgenic constructs. Finally, the strategies for conducting each of the major types of transgenic research are discussed, including gene overexpression, promoter characterization, cell-lineage tracing, mutant complementation, expression of double or multiple transgenes, siRNA knockdown, and conditional and inducible systems.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi membrane transport and autophagy are intersecting trafficking pathways that are tightly regulated and crucial for homeostasis, development and disease. Here, we identify UVRAG, a beclin-1-binding autophagic factor, as a phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate (PtdIns(3)P)-binding protein that depends on PtdIns(3)P for its ER localization. We further show that UVRAG interacts with RINT-1, and acts as an integral component of the RINT-1-containing ER tethering complex, which couples phosphoinositide metabolism to COPI-vesicle tethering. Displacement or knockdown of UVRAG profoundly disrupted COPI cargo transfer to the ER and Golgi integrity. Intriguingly, autophagy caused the dissociation of UVRAG from the ER tether, which in turn worked in concert with the Bif-1-beclin-1-PI(3)KC3 complex to mobilize Atg9 translocation for autophagosome formation. These findings identify a regulatory mechanism that coordinates Golgi-ER retrograde and autophagy-related vesicular trafficking events through physical and functional interactions between UVRAG, phosphoinositide and their regulatory factors, thereby ensuring spatiotemporal fidelity of membrane trafficking and maintenance of organelle homeostasis.
The effect of cuticular waxes of sweet sorghum stem on acetone-butanol-ethanol (ABE) fermentation process was investigated. About 22.9% of butanol and 25.4% of ABE were decreased with fermentation period extended when SSCW was added. The inhibition of SSCW militate against both acidogenesis and solventogenesis phase, which were inconsistent with the inhibition of lignocellulose hydrolysate. Further studies on the composition of SSCW were performed. Regulations of inhibition with different carbon chain length of main compositions of SSCW on ABE fermentation were also investigated.
We apply a two-step strategy to realize ordered distribution of multiple components in one nanocluster (NC) with a crystallographically ordered core/shell structure. A coreless supertetrahedral chalcogenide Cd-In-S cluster is prepared, and then a copper ion is inserted at its void core site through a diffusion process to form a Cu-Cd-In-S quaternary NC. This intriguing molecular cluster with mono-copper core and Cd-In shell exhibits enhanced visible-light-responsive optical and photoelectric properties compared to the parent NC.
Identification of responsive genes to an extra-cellular cue enables characterization of pathophysiologically crucial biological processes. Deep sequencing technologies provide a powerful means to identify responsive genes, which creates a need for computational methods able to analyze dynamic and multi-level deep sequencing data. To answer this need we introduce here a data-driven algorithm, SPINLONG, which is designed to search for genes that match the user-defined hypotheses or models. SPINLONG is applicable to various experimental setups measuring several molecular markers in parallel. To demonstrate the SPINLONG approach, we analyzed ChIP-seq data reporting PolII, estrogen receptor ? (ER?), H3K4me3 and H2A.Z occupancy at five time points in the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line after estradiol stimulus. We obtained 777 ERa early responsive genes and compared the biological functions of the genes having ER? binding within 20 kb of the transcription start site (TSS) to genes without such binding site. Our results show that the non-genomic action of ER? via the MAPK pathway, instead of direct ERa binding, may be responsible for early cell responses to ER? activation. Our results also indicate that the ER? responsive genes triggered by the genomic pathway are transcribed faster than those without ER? binding sites. The survival analysis of the 777 ER? responsive genes with 150 primary breast cancer tumors and in two independent validation cohorts indicated the ATAD3B gene, which does not have ER? binding site within 20 kb of its TSS, to be significantly associated with poor patient survival.
Mitochondrial calcium has been postulated to regulate a wide range of processes from bioenergetics to cell death. Here, we characterize a mouse model that lacks expression of the recently discovered mitochondrial calcium uniporter (MCU). Mitochondria derived from MCU(-/-) mice have no apparent capacity to rapidly uptake calcium. Whereas basal metabolism seems unaffected, the skeletal muscle of MCU(-/-) mice exhibited alterations in the phosphorylation and activity of pyruvate dehydrogenase. In addition, MCU(-/-) mice exhibited marked impairment in their ability to perform strenuous work. We further show that mitochondria from MCU(-/-) mice lacked evidence for calcium-induced permeability transition pore (PTP) opening. The lack of PTP opening does not seem to protect MCU(-/-) cells and tissues from cell death, although MCU(-/-) hearts fail to respond to the PTP inhibitor cyclosporin A. Taken together, these results clarify how acute alterations in mitochondrial matrix calcium can regulate mammalian physiology.
In the present study, we are so excited to report a simple drop-coating method for fabricating the superhydrophobic cotton textiles which can remove the water in oil (or the oil in water). It is confirmed that the superhydrophobic composite thin film containing modified-ZnO nanoparticles and polystyren (PS) has been successfully fabricated on the cotton textiles surface by a single-step procedure, and the superhydrophobic cotton textiles displays an excellent property in water-oil separation which is rarely put forward and studied. The static water contact angle on the superhydrophobic cotton sample surface arranges from 153° to 155°, and stays almost the same after exposure to ambient air or immersion in the corrosive liquids and oil, indicating the considerable range of potential applications for the superhydrophobic cotton textiles fabricated by this simple method.
The virus-induced genes, Gig1 and Gig2, were identified first as IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) from CAB cells. Previous studies suggested that Gig protein may have some potential antiviral functions. In this study, we cloned and identified the full-length cDNA sequences of Gig1 and Gig2 homologs (designated as CiGig1 and CiGig2, respectively) from grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). The complete cDNA sequences of Gig1 and Gig2 contain 1231 bp and 690 bp, encoding for a 194 amino acid protein and a 158 amino acid protein, respectively. Their structure characteristics of CiGig1 and CiGig2 are highly similar to the corresponding homologues in crucian carp. The tissue-specific expressions of CiGig1 and CiGig2 in liver, spleen, kidney, intestine, gill and heart were significantly up-regulated following GCHV challenge. The results indicated that CiGig1 and CiGig2 may be involved in the antiviral immune responses in cells. To better understand the antiviral functions of CiGig1 and CiGig2 in vivo, CiGig1 or CiGig2 ORF cDNA were inserted into the plasmid pcDNA3.1, respectively. Subsequently, the recombinant plasmids were transfected into C. idellus kidney (CIK) cells. The over-expressions of CiGig1 and CiGig2 were observed in the CIK cells after treatment with GCHV. Cells with pcDNA3.1-CiGig1 or pcDNA-CiGig2 exhibited a relatively higher survival rate of (70.84% or 69.24%) than non-transfection (22.16%) and mock-vehicle controls (24.38%) following the virus infection. Our data showed that both CiGig1 and CiGig2 could exert antiviral effects effectively in vivo. Cycloheximide blocking protein synthesis demonstrated that both CiGig1 and CiGig2 mRNA expression could be induced by GCHV rather than by recombinant grass carp IFN (rCiIFN) directly, suggesting that CiGig1 and CiGig2 may not be IFN-stimulated genes since they display their antivirus activities in an IFN-independent pathway.
Interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are well-known to be crucial for modulating the innate immune responses to viral infections. In the present study, the IRF-1 gene of grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) (termed CiIRF-1) was cloned and characterized. The complete genomic sequence of CiIRF-1 was 3150 bp in length and comprised 9 exons and 8 introns. The CiIRF-1 promoter sequence was 558 bp in length. The largest open reading frame (ORF) of the full CiIRF-1 cDNA sequence was 870 bp, and encoded a polypeptide of 289 amino acids. The putative CiIRF-1 was characterized by a conserved N-terminal DBD (113 aa), and included a signature of five conserved tryptophan residues. Phylogenetic relationship analysis revealed that CiIRF-1 was highly homologous to the counterparts of other teleosts and mammalians. CiIRF-1 was expressed at a low constitutive level but was significantly up-regulated following stimulation with either Poly I:C or recombinant grass carp (C. idella) IFN (rCiIFN) in all 6 tested tissues, especially in spleen and gill. The recombinant CiIRF-1 was expressed in BL21 Escherichia coli, and the expressed protein was purified by affinity chromatography with the Ni-NTA His-Bind Resin. Three different fragments of promoter sequences from grass carp type I IFN (CiIFN) gene (GU139255) were amplified. These fragments included the proximal region (CiIFNP2), the distal region (CiIFNP6), and the full length of CiIFN promoter sequences (CiIFNP7). Gel mobility shift assays were employed to analyze the interaction between CiIRF-1 and CiIFN promoter sequences. The results revealed that CiIRF-1 could bind to CiIFN promoter with high affinity in vitro. Subsequently, the recombinant plasmid of pGL3-CiIFNPs and pcDNA3.1-CiIRF-1 were constructed and transiently co-transfected into C. idella kidney (CIK) cells. The impact of CiIRF-1 on CiIFN promoter sequences were measured by luciferase assays. These results demonstrated that CiIRF-1 acts as a positive regulator in the transcription of grass carp IFN gene.
Pancreatic cancer is highly treatment-resistant and has one of the highest fatality rates of all cancers and is the fourth highest cancer killer worldwide. Novel, more effective strategies are needed to treat this disease. We report here on the use of patient-like orthotopic nude-mouse models of human metastatic pancreatic cancer to compare the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herbal mixture LQ to gemcitabine, which is first-line therapy for this disease, for anti-metastatic and anti-tumor activity as well as safety. The human pancreatic cancer cell line, MiaPaCa-2, labeled with red fluorescent protein (RFP), was used for the orthotopic model. LQ (gavage, 600?mg/kg/day) significantly inhibited pancreatic cancer tumor growth and metastasis, as measured by imaging, with no overt toxicity. Survival of tumor-bearing mice was also prolonged by LQ. The therapeutic efficacy of LQ is comparable with gemcitabine but with less toxicity, as indicated by a lack of body-weight loss with LQ, but not gemcitabine. The results indicate that TCM can have non-toxic efficacy against metastatic pancreatic cancer comparable to gemcitabine in a clinically-relevant orthotopic mouse model.
Signaling through the thrombospondin-1 receptor CD47 broadly limits cell and tissue survival of stress, but the molecular mechanisms are incompletely understood. We now show that loss of CD47 permits sustained proliferation of primary murine endothelial cells, increases asymmetric division, and enables these cells to spontaneously reprogram to form multipotent embryoid body-like clusters. c-Myc, Klf4, Oct4, and Sox2 expression is elevated in CD47-null endothelial cells, in several tissues of CD47- and thrombospondin-1-null mice, and in a human T cell line lacking CD47. CD47 knockdown acutely increases mRNA levels of c-Myc and other stem cell transcription factors in cells and in vivo, whereas CD47 ligation by thrombospondin-1 suppresses c-Myc expression. The inhibitory effects of increasing CD47 levels can be overcome by maintaining c-Myc expression and are absent in cells with dysregulated c-Myc. Thus, CD47 antagonists enable cell self-renewal and reprogramming by overcoming negative regulation of c-Myc and other stem cell transcription factors.
OBJECTIVE: To develop a new model of desirable dietary pattern (N-DDP) score for Chinese diets and to validate it against the nutrient-rich foods (NRF) index. DESIGN: The N-DDP score model followed the principles of the traditional DDP (T-DDP) score model (DDP-China for 2000) proposed in 1991 and of food grouping in the dietary pagoda for Chinese residents in 2007, and made detailed ratings by expressing the food weight coefficient, reasonable maximum limit of the score and an algorithm of the deserved score for each group of foods after considering current nutritional problems of Chinese residents. The N-DDP score model was validated against the NRF9·3 index with linear regression analysis and compared with the T-DDP score model. Settings One set of dietary data was extracted from the diet recommended by the dietary pagoda for Chinese residents in 2007 and the literature on dietary surveys in China. The other two sets of dietary data were from a dietary survey in 2011. DDP scores for all three dietary data sets were calculated with the N-DDP score model and the T-DDP score model. SUBJECTS: All items of dietary records in the three dietary data sets were included in the present study. RESULTS: All DDP scores obtained with the N-DDP score model were positively correlated (P = 0·000) with the NRF9·3 index. DDP scores obtained with the N-DDP score model had higher R 2 with the NRF9·3 index than those of the T-DDP score model, as well as higher ? values. CONCLUSIONS: It can be considered that the N-DDP score is a more accurate and convenient tool to evaluate current individual and group diet for Chinese residents.
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