Heterotopic ossification (HO) is the aberrant formation of ectopic bone within the soft tissues, of which the aetiology is usually either traumatic or neurogenic. Neurogenic HO is a known but uncommon complication that occurs after a cerebral or spinal insult. The condition may present with a spectrum of symptoms and is often difficult to diagnose clinically. Although different imaging modalities have been used to diagnose HO, clinicians and radiologists may occasionally encounter radiological features of HO that may mimic other disease conditions. We herein report a rare case of neurogenic HO occurring in the non-paretic limb of a patient, and the diagnostic and radiological challenges encountered.
The cylinder-to-vesicle phase transition of mesoporous silica and the inter-dependence of the controlling factors are studied. (3-Mercaptopropyl)trimethoxylsilane (MPTMS) is used to alter the phase outcome of mesoporous silica from the cylindrical MCM-41 to the vesicular phase. Exploiting the phase selection at the critical time point of phase emergence allows investigation of the complex interactions among the ingredients. In this system, orderly cylindrical or vesicular phase directly emerges from the "clumps" of randomly mixed surfactant, co-surfactant, and silica precursor. The phase outcome depends on the exact ratio of the ingredients, provided that enough amounts of MPTMS can diffuse into the clumps before the hardening silica prevents the diffusion.
The highly selective palladium-catalyzed Negishi coupling of secondary alkylzinc reagents with heteroaryl halides is described. The development of a series of biarylphosphine ligands has led to the identification of an improved catalyst for the coupling of electron-deficient heterocyclic substrates. Preparation and characterization of oxidative addition complex (L)(Ar)PdBr provided insight into the unique reactivity of catalysts based on CPhos-type ligands in facilitating challenging reductive elimination processes.
Amphiphilic block copolymers such as polystyrene-block-poly(acrylic acid) (PSPAA) give micelles that are known to undergo sphere-to-cylinder shape transformation. Exploiting this polymer property, core-shell nanoparticles coated in PSPAA can be "polymerized" into long chains following the chain-growth polymerization mode. This method is now extended to include a variety of different nanoparticles. A case study on the assembly process was carried out to understand the influence of the PAA block length, the surface ligand, and the size and morphology of the monomer nanoparticles. Shortening the PAA block promotes the reorganization of the amphiphilic copolymer in the micelles, which is essential for assembling large Au nanoparticles. Small Au nanoparticles can be directly "copolymerized" with empty PSPAA micelles into chains. The reaction time, acid quantity, and the [Au nanoparticles]/[PSPAA micelles] concentration ratio played important roles in controlling the sphere-cylinder-vesicle conversion of the PSPAA micelles, giving rise to different kinds of random "copolymers". With this knowledge, a general method is then developed to synthesize homo, random, and block "copolymers", where the basic units include small Au nanoparticles (d = 16 nm), large Au nanoparticles (d = 32 nm), Au nanorods, Te nanowires, and carbon nanotubes. Given the lack of means for assembling nanoparticles, advancing synthetic capabilities is of crucial importance. Our work provides convenient routes for combining nanoparticles into long-chain structures, facilitating rational design of complex nanostructures in the future.
The natural course of early HCC is unknown, and its progression to intermediate and advanced HCC can be diverse. Some early stage HCC patients enjoy prolonged disease-free survival, whereas others suffer aggressive relapse to stage IV metastatic cancer within a year. Comparative proteomics of HCC tumor tissues was carried out using 2D-DIGE and MALDI-TOF/TOF MS to identify proteins that can distinguish these two groups of stage I HCC patients. Twelve out of 148 differentially regulated protein spots were found to differ by approximately 2-fold for the relapse versus nonrelapse patient tissues. Four proteins, namely, heat shock 70 kDa protein 1, argininosuccinate synthase, isoform 2 of UTP-glucose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferase, and transketolase, were shown to have the potential to differentiate metastatic relapse (MR) from nonrelapse (NR) HCC patients after validation by western blotting and immunohistochemical assays. Subsequent TMA analysis revealed a three marker panel of HSP70, ASS1, and UGP2 to be statistically significant in stratifying the two groups of HCC patients. This combination panel achieved high levels of sensitivity and specificity, which has potential for clinical use in identifying HCC tumors prone to MR. This stratification will allow development of clinical management, including close follow-up and possibly treatment options, in the near future.
The interaction between CD40 ligand (CD40L) and CD40 can directly inhibit growth of CD40-positive carcinoma cells and may indirectly inhibit tumor growth through coordination of immune responses. Many efforts in CD40L cancer gene therapy have been focused on direct CD40L gene transfer into malignant target cells. This in vivo gene therapy approach relies on high-efficiency gene transfer and could be technically challenging for the treatment of certain cancers, especially multisite metastases. We report herein an alternative means of using the tumor-homing property of neural stem cells (NSCs) to deliver CD40L molecules into tumor tissues. NSCs were derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, transduced in vitro with a baculoviral vector encoding CD40L, and intravenously injected into immunocompetent mice with orthotopic and metastatic breast cancers. Through a bystander mechanism of intercellular transfer of CD40L from the donor NSCs to tumor target cells, the treatment impeded tumor growth, leading to prolonged survival of the tumor-bearing mice. We further showed that compared with the stem cell-based gene therapy that employed a suicide gene, the CD40L immunogene therapy did not cause liver and kidney injury in the treated mice. This new approach may be particularly valuable for metastatic cancer treatments after systemic stem cell administration.
The photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue (MB) over Fe-doped CaTiO? under UV-visible light was investigated. The as-prepared samples were characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS) system, Fourier transform infrared spectra (FT-IR), and UV-visible diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS). The results show that the doping with Fe significantly promoted the light absorption ability of CaTiO? in the visible light region. The Fe-doped CaTiO? exhibited higher photocatalytic activity than CaTiO? for the degradation of MB. However, the photocatalytic activity of the Fe-doped CaTiO? was greatly influenced by the calcination temperature during the preparation process. The Fe-doped CaTiO? prepared at 500°C exhibited the best photocatalytic activity, with degradation of almost 100% MB (10ppm) under UV-visible light for 180 min.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), an acute, violent, infectious disease of cloven-hoofed animals, remains widespread in most parts of the world. It can lead to a major plague of livestock and an economical catastrophe. Structural studies of FMD virus (FMDV) have greatly contributed to our understanding of the virus life cycle and provided new horizons for the control and eradication of FMDV. To examine host-FMDV interactions and viral pathogenesis from a structural perspective, the structures of viral structural and non-structural proteins are reviewed in the context of their relevance for virus assembly and dissociation, formation of capsid-like particles and virus-receptor complexes, and viral penetration and uncoating. Moreover, possibilities for devising novel antiviral treatments are discussed.
The deleterious effects of racism on a wide range of health outcomes, including HIV risk, are well documented among racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States. However, little is known about how men of color who have sex with men (MSM) cope with stress from racism and whether the coping strategies they employ buffer against the impact of racism on sexual risk for HIV transmission. We examined associations of stress and coping with racism with unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in a sample of African American (N = 403), Asian/Pacific Islander (N = 393), and Latino (N = 400) MSM recruited in Los Angeles County, CA during 2008-2009. Almost two-thirds (65 %) of the sample reported being stressed as a consequence of racism experienced within the gay community. Overall, 51 % of the sample reported having UAI in the prior 6 months. After controlling for race/ethnicity, age, nativity, marital status, sexual orientation, education, HIV serostatus, and lifetime history of incarceration, the multivariate analysis found statistically significant main effects of stress from racism and avoidance coping on UAI; no statistically significant main effects of dismissal, education/confrontation, and social-support seeking were observed. None of the interactions of stress with the four coping measures were statistically significant. Although stress from racism within the gay community increased the likelihood of engaging in UAI among MSM of color, we found little evidence that coping responses to racism buffered stress from racism. Instead, avoidance coping appears to suggest an increase in UAI.
SIRT3 is an important regulator in cell metabolism, and recent studies have shown that it may be involved in the pharmacological effects of metformin. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process are unclear.
The maintenance of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) requires LIF and serum. However, a pluripotent "ground state," bearing resemblance to preimplantation mouse epiblasts, can be established through dual inhibition (2i) of both prodifferentiation Mek/Erk and Gsk3/Tcf3 pathways. While Gsk3 inhibition has been attributed to the transcriptional derepression of Esrrb, the molecular mechanism mediated by Mek inhibition remains unclear. In this study, we show that Krüppel-like factor 2 (Klf2) is phosphorylated by Erk2 and that phospho-Klf2 is proteosomally degraded. Mek inhibition hence prevents Klf2 protein phosphodegradation to sustain pluripotency. Indeed, while Klf2-null mESCs can survive under LIF/Serum, they are not viable under 2i, demonstrating that Klf2 is essential for ground state pluripotency. Importantly, we also show that ectopic Klf2 expression can replace Mek inhibition in mESCs, allowing the culture of Klf2-null mESCs under Gsk3 inhibition alone. Collectively, our study defines the Mek/Erk/Klf2 axis that cooperates with the Gsk3/Tcf3/Esrrb pathway in mediating ground state pluripotency.
First-line cancer chemotherapy necessitates high parenteral dosage and repeated dosing of a combination of drugs over a prolonged period. Current commercially available chemotherapeutic agents, such as Doxil and Taxol, are only capable of delivering single drug in a bolus dose. The aim of this study is to develop dual-drug-loaded, multilayered microparticles and to investigate their antitumor efficacy compared with single-drug-loaded particles. Results show hydrophilic doxorubicin HCl (DOX) and hydrophobic paclitaxel (PTX) localized in the poly(dl-lactic-co-glycolic acid, 50:50) (PLGA) shell and in the poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) core, respectively. The introduction of poly[(1,6-bis-carboxyphenoxy) hexane] (PCPH) into PLGA/PLLA microparticles causes PTX to be localized in the PLLA and PCPH mid-layers, whereas DOX is found in both the PLGA shell and core. PLGA/PLLA/PCPH microparticles with denser shells allow better control of DOX release. A delayed release of PTX is observed with the addition of PCPH. Three-dimensional MCF-7 spheroid studies demonstrate that controlled co-delivery of DOX and PTX from multilayered microparticles produces a greater reduction in spheroid growth rate compared with single-drug-loaded particles. This study provides mechanistic insights into how distinctive structure of multilayered microparticles can be designed to modulate the release profiles of anticancer drugs, and how co-delivery can potentially provide better antitumor response.
Canine parvovirus disease is an acute infectious disease caused by canine parvovirus (CPV). Current commercial vaccines are mainly attenuated and inactivated; as such, problems concerning safety may occur. To resolve this problem, researchers developed virus-like particles (VLPs) as biological nanoparticles resembling natural virions and showing high bio-safety. This property allows the use of VLPs for vaccine development and mechanism studies of viral infections. Tissue-specific drug delivery also employs VLPs as biological nanomaterials. Therefore, VLPs derived from CPV have a great potential in medicine and diagnostics. In this study, small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) fusion motif was utilized to express a whole, naturalVP2 protein of CPV in Escherichia coli. After the cleavage of the fusion motif, the CPV VP2 protein has self-assembled into VLPs. The VLPs had a size and shape that resembled the authentic virus capsid. However, the self-assembly efficiency of VLPs can be affected by different pH levels and ionic strengths. The mice vaccinated subcutaneously with CPV VLPs and CPV-specific immune responses were compared with those immunized with the natural virus. This result showed that VLPs can effectively induce anti-CPV specific antibody and lymphocyte proliferation as a whole virus. This result further suggested that the antigen epitope of CPV was correctly present on VLPs, thereby showing the potential application of a VLP-based CPV vaccine.
Impaired wound healing is a major source of morbidity in diabetic patients. Poor outcome has, in part, been related to increased inflammation, poor angiogenesis, and deficiencies in extracellular matrix components. Despite the enormous impact of these chronic wounds, effective therapies are lacking. Here, we showed that the topical application of recombinant matricellular protein angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) accelerated wound reepithelialization in diabetic mice, in part, by improving angiogenesis. ANGPTL4 expression is markedly elevated upon normal wound injury. In contrast, ANGPTL4 expression remains low throughout the healing period in diabetic wounds. Exogenous ANGPTL4 modulated several regulatory networks involved in cell migration, angiogenesis, and inflammation, as evidenced by an altered gene expression signature. ANGPTL4 influenced the expression profile of endothelial-specific CD31 in diabetic wounds, returning its profile to that observed in wild-type wounds. We showed ANGPTL4-induced nitric oxide production through an integrin/JAK/STAT3-mediated upregulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression in wound epithelia, thus revealing a hitherto unknown mechanism by which ANGPTL4 regulated angiogenesis via keratinocyte-to-endothelial-cell communication. These data show that the replacement of ANGPTL4 may be an effective adjunctive or new therapeutic avenue for treating poor healing wounds. The present finding also confirms that therapeutic angiogenesis remains an attractive treatment modality for diabetic wound healing.
To obtain low sheet resistance, high optical transmittance, small open spaces in conductive networks, and enhanced adhesion of flexible transparent conductive films, a carbon nanotube (CNT)/silver nanowire (AgNW)-PET hybrid film was fabricated by mechanical pressing-transfer process at room temperature. The morphology and structure were characterized by scanning electron microscope (SEM) and atomic force microscope (AFM), the optical transmittance and sheet resistance were tested by ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis) spectrophotometer and four-point probe technique, and the adhesion was also measured by 3M sticky tape. The results indicate that in this hybrid nanostructure, AgNWs form the main conductive networks and CNTs as assistant conductive networks are filled in the open spaces of AgNWs networks. The sheet resistance of the hybrid films can reach approximately 20.9 to 53.9 ?/? with the optical transmittance of approximately 84% to 91%. The second mechanical pressing step can greatly reduce the surface roughness of the hybrid film and enhance the adhesion force between CNTs, AgNWs, and PET substrate. This process is hopeful for large-scale production of high-end flexible transparent conductive films.
Recent observational studies showed that post-operative aspirin use reduces cancer relapse and death in the earliest stages of colorectal cancer. We sought to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of aspirin as an adjuvant therapy in Stage I and II colorectal cancer patients aged 65 years and older.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-associated mortality worldwide. However, the role of epigenetic changes such as aberrant DNA methylation in hepatocarcinogenesis remains largely unclear. In this study, we examined the methylation profiles of 59 HCC patients. Using consensus hierarchical clustering with feature selection, we identified three tumor subgroups based on their methylation profiles and correlated these subgroups with clinicopathological parameters. Interestingly, one tumor subgroup is different from the other 2 subgroups and the methylation profile of this subgroup is the most distinctly different from the non-tumorous liver tissues. Significantly, this subgroup of patients was found to be associated with poor overall as well as disease-free survival. To further understand the pathways modulated by the deregulation of methylation in HCC patients, we integrated data from both the methylation as well as the gene expression profiles of these 59 HCC patients. In these patients, while 4416 CpG sites were differentially methylated between the tumors compared to the adjacent non-tumorous tissues, only 536 of these CpG sites were associated with differences in the expression of their associated genes. Pathway analysis revealed that forty-four percent of the most significant upstream regulators of these 536 genes were involved in inflammation-related NF?B pathway. These data suggest that inflammation via the NF?B pathway play an important role in modulating gene expression of HCC patients through methylation. Overall, our analysis provides an understanding on aberrant methylation profile in HCC patients.
Integrative gene transfer using retroviruses to express reprogramming factors displays high efficiency in generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), but the value of the method is limited because of the concern over mutagenesis associated with random insertion of transgenes. Site-specific integration into a preselected locus by engineered zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) technology provides a potential way to overcome the problem. Here, we report the successful reprogramming of human fibroblasts into a state of pluripotency by baculoviral transduction-mediated, site-specific integration of OKSM (Oct3/4, Klf4, Sox2, and c-myc) transcription factor genes into the AAVS1 locus in human chromosome 19. Two nonintegrative baculoviral vectors were used for cotransduction, one expressing ZFNs and another as a donor vector encoding the four transcription factors. iPSC colonies were obtained at a high efficiency of 12% (the mean value of eight individual experiments). All characterized iPSC clones carried the transgenic cassette only at the ZFN-specified AAVS1 locus. We further demonstrated that when the donor cassette was flanked by heterospecific loxP sequences, the reprogramming genes in iPSCs could be replaced by another transgene using a baculoviral vector-based Cre recombinase-mediated cassette exchange system, thereby producing iPSCs free of exogenous reprogramming factors. Although the use of nonintegrating methods to generate iPSCs is rapidly becoming a standard approach, methods based on site-specific integration of reprogramming factor genes as reported here hold the potential for efficient generation of genetically amenable iPSCs suitable for future gene therapy applications.
Sarcomatoid carcinoma of the pancreas (SCP) is a very rare pathological type of carcinoma that usually has a poor prognosis. Its pathogenesis has not been elucidated. We herein report a case of an early-stage SCP involving successful treatment and a good prognosis. The patient was a 48-year-old Chinese man with a 5-mo history of vague abdominal pain. Ultrasonography revealed a 93 mm × 94 mm × 75 mm mass of mixed echogenicity in the tail of the pancreas. Laboratory test results were within the normal range, with the exception of an obviously increased pretreatment neuron-specific enolase level. The plasma transforming growth factor (TGF)?1 and interleukin-11 levels were obviously increased according to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Microscopically, the excised tumor tissue comprised cancer cells and mesenchymal cells. Immunohistochemical analysis was positive for ?-1-antichymotrypsin, pan-cytokeratin, cytokeratin 19, cytokeratin 8/18, and vimentin and negative for CD68 and lysozyme. The pathogenetic mechanism of this case shows that TGF?1 may regulate the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in SCP. With early eradication of the tumor and systemic therapy, this patient has been alive for more than 3 years without tumor recurrence or distant metastasis. This case is also the first to show that TGF?1 may regulate the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in early-stage SCP.
The core-shell nano-TiO2/Al2O3/NiFe2O4 microparticles of 5-8 microm were prepared by the heterogeneous precipitation followed by calcination treatment. The morphologies, structure, crystalline phase, and magnetic property were characterized by optical biomicroscopy (OBM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffractometry (XRD) and vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) respectively. The photocatalytic activity was evaluated by degrading methyl orange solution either under UV light and sunlight. The results indicate that the nano-TiO2 layer consists of needle-like nanoparticles and the intermediate layer of Al2O3 avoids the nano-TiO2 agglomeration, shedding and uneven loading. The nano-TiO2/Al2O3/NiFe2O4 composite particles show high magnetization of 31.5 emu/g and enhanced photocatalytic activity to completely degrade 50 mg/L methyl orange solution either under UV light and sun light. The enhanced activity of the composite is attributed to the unique structure, insulation effect of Al2O3 intermediate layer and the hybrid effect of anatase TiO2 and NiFe2O4. The obtained catalyst may be magnetically separable and useful for many practical applications due to the improved photocatalytic properties under sunlight.
The outcomes for patients with metastatic or locally recurrent Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-positive nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remain poor. Adoptive immunotherapy with EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (EBV-CTLs) has proven clinical efficacy, but it has never been evaluated in the first-line treatment setting in combination with chemotherapy. To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a chemotherapy in combination with adoptive EBV-CTL transfer, we conducted a phase 2 clinical trial consisting of four cycles of gemcitabine and carboplatin (GC) followed by up to six doses of EBV-CTL. Thirty-eight patients were enrolled, and 35 received GC and EBV-CTL. GC-CTL therapy resulted in a response rate of 71.4% with 3 complete responses and 22 partial responses. With a median follow up of 29.9 months, the 2-year and 3-year overall survival (OS) rate was 62.9 and 37.1%, respectively. Five patients did not require further chemotherapy for more than 34 months since initiation of CTL. Infusion of CTL products containing T cells specific for LMP2 positively correlated with OS (hazard ratio: 0.35; 95% confidence interval: 0.14-0.84; P = 0.014). Our study achieved one of the best survival outcomes in patients with advanced NPC, setting the stage for a future randomized study of chemotherapy with and without EBV-CTL.
Oxytetracycline (OTC) is a common antibacterial agent used for the control of animal diseases. OTC abuse can seriously affect human health; therefore, we developed a biosensor using single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) aptamers for the detection of OTC. The binding probe aptamers for OTC were selected by a Systematic Evolution of Ligands by the exponential enrichment (SELEX) process and identified by the enzyme-linked aptamer assay (ELAA). Among the selected 5 aptamers, aptamer OTC3 showed the strongest affinity (Kd=4.7 nM) and highest specificity for OTC compared to structurally similar antibiotics, tetracycline and chlortetracycline. OTC was detected using indirect competitive ELAA. The limit of detection and quantitation with aptamer OTC3 were 12.3 and 49.8 µg/L, respectively, in milk and showed recovery rates of more than 90% in OTC-spiked milk. This biosensor method with high sensitivity and specificity based on indirect competitive ELAA can be applied to OTC detection in food products on-site because of the simplicity of detection.
The most common risk factor for developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). To better understand the evolutionary forces driving HCC, we performed a near-saturating transposon mutagenesis screen in a mouse HBV model of HCC. This screen identified 21 candidate early stage drivers and a very large number (2,860) of candidate later stage drivers that were enriched for genes that are mutated, deregulated or functioning in signaling pathways important for human HCC, with a striking 1,199 genes being linked to cellular metabolic processes. Our study provides a comprehensive overview of the genetic landscape of HCC.
As an important precursor of hydroxyl radical, nitrous acid (HONO) plays a key role in the chemistry of the lower atmosphere. Recent atmospheric measurements and model calculations show strong enhancement for HONO formation during daytime, while they are inconsistent with the known sources in the atmosphere, suggesting that current models are lacking important sources for HONO. In this article, heterogeneous photochemical reactions of nitric acid/nitrate anion and nitrogen oxide on various aerosols were reviewed and their potential contribution to HONO formation was also discussed. It is demonstrated that HONO can be formed by photochemical reaction on surfaces with deposited HNO3, by photocatalytic reaction of NO2 on TiO2 or TiO2-containing materials, and by photochemical reaction of NO2 on soot, humic acids or other photosensitized organic surfaces. Although significant uncertainties still exist in the exact mechanisms and the yield of HONO, these additional sources might explain daytime observations in the atmosphere.
A large uncertainty among the reported uptake coefficients of NO2 on soot highlights the importance of the composition of soot in this reaction. Soot samples with different fractions of organic carbon (OC) were prepared by combusting n-hexane under controlled conditions. The heterogeneous reaction of NO2 on soot was investigated using a flow tube reactor at ambient pressure. The soot with the highest fuel/oxygen ratio showed the largest uptake coefficient (?(initial)) of NO2 and yield of HONO (yHONO). Compared to fresh soot samples, preheated samples exhibited a great decrease in uptake coefficient of NO2 and HONO yield due to the removal of OC from soot. Ozonized soot also showed a lower reactivity toward NO2 than fresh soot, which can be ascribed to the consumption of OC with a reduced state (OCR). A linear dependence of the NO2 uptake coefficient and yields of HONO and NO on the OCR content of the soot was established, with ?(initial)(NO2) = (1.54 ± 1.39) × 10(-6) + (1.96 ± 0.35) × 10(-7) × OCR, yHONO = (11.6 ± 16.1) + (1.3 ± 0.40) × OCR, and yNO = (13.1 ± 1.9) - (0.2 ± 0.05) × OCR, respectively.
Currently, only one drug, sorafenib, is FDA approved for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), achieving modest objective response rates while still conferring an overall survival benefit. Unlike other solid tumors, no oncogenic addiction loops have been validated as clinically actionable targets in HCC. Outcomes of HCC could potentially be improved if critical molecular subclasses with distinct therapeutic vulnerabilities can be identified, biomarkers that predict recurrence or progression early can be determined and key epigenetic, genetic or microenvironment drivers that determine best response to a specific targeting treatment can be uncovered. Our group and others have examined the molecular heterogeneity of hepatocellular carcinoma. We have developed a panel of patient derived xenograft models to enable focused pre-clinical drug development of rationally designed therapies in specific molecular subgroups. We observed unique patterns, including synergies, of drug activity across our molecularly diverse HCC xenografts, pointing to specific therapeutic vulnerabilities for individual tumors. These efforts inform clinical trial designs and catalyze therapeutic development. It also argues for efficient strategic allocation of patients into appropriate enriched clinical trials. Here, we will discuss some of the recent important therapeutic studies in advanced HCC and also some of the potential strategies to optimize clinical therapeutic development moving forward.
Probably more than any country, Singapore has made significant investment into the biomedical enterprise as a proportion of its economy and size. This focus recently witnessed a shift towards a greater emphasis on translational and clinical development. Key to the realisation of this strategy will be Academic Medical Centres (AMCs), as a principal tool to developing and applying useful products for the market and further improving health outcomes. Here, we explore the principal value proposition of the AMC to Singapore society and its healthcare system. We question if the values inherent within academic medicine--that of inquiry, innovation, pedagogy and clinical exceptionalism--can be compatible with the seemingly paradoxical mandate of providing cost-effective or rationed healthcare.
After placement, titanium dental implants are conditioned by blood and tissue fluid. These initial processes are affected by the hydrophilicity of the implant. The hydrophilicity of titanium dioxide (TiO2) can be increased by ultraviolet (UV)-C irradiation. Anodic oxidation is an electrochemical treatment used to form TiO2 layers that are characterized by their thickness, roughness, and porosity on the surface of titanium implants. These oxide layers increase implant durability and performance. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of UV-C irradiation on the anodized titanium surface and the resultant tissue response.
The endodermal tissue layer is found in the roots of vascular plants and functions as a semipermeable barrier, regulating the transport of solutes from the soil into the vascular stream. As a gateway for solutes, the endodermis may also serve as an important site for sensing and responding to useful or toxic substances in the environment. Here, we show that high salinity, an environmental stress widely impacting agricultural land, regulates growth of the seedling root system through a signaling network operating primarily in the endodermis. We report that salt stress induces an extended quiescent phase in postemergence lateral roots (LRs) whereby the rate of growth is suppressed for several days before recovery begins. Quiescence is correlated with sustained abscisic acid (ABA) response in LRs and is dependent upon genes necessary for ABA biosynthesis, signaling, and transcriptional regulation. We use a tissue-specific strategy to identify the key cell layers where ABA signaling acts to regulate growth. In the endodermis, misexpression of the ABA insensitive1-1 mutant protein, which dominantly inhibits ABA signaling, leads to a substantial recovery in LR growth under salt stress conditions. Gibberellic acid signaling, which antagonizes the ABA pathway, also acts primarily in the endodermis, and we define the crosstalk between these two hormones. Our results identify the endodermis as a gateway with an ABA-dependent guard, which prevents root growth into saline environments.
In recent years, cytoreductive surgery (CRS) with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) has gained increasing acceptance as a treatment modality for peritoneal carcinomatosis. In female patients, this procedure involves a total hysterectomy and bilateral saphingo-oophorectomy to remove the pelvic peritoneum. We present a case of an unfortunate female adolescent with peritoneal carcinomatosis who underwent cytoreductive surgery and HIPEC. In view of the compelling circumstance, an innovative surgical technique was used to attempt ovarian preservation.
Hydrophobic carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and hydrophilic nanofilaments such as oxidized CNTs, Pd nanowires (NWs), and MnO(2) NWs are transformed from wires to rings by a general methodology. We show that both oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions, so long as their droplet size is sufficiently small, can exert significant force to the entrapped nanostructures, causing their deformation. This effect can be easily achieved by simply mixing a few solutions in correct ratios. Even preformed oil droplets can take in CNTs from the aqueous solution converting them into rings, indicating the important role of thermodynamics: The question here is not if the droplets can exert sufficient force to bend the nanofilaments, because their random vibration may be already doing it. As long as the difference in solvation energy is large enough for a nanofilament, it would "want" to move away from the bulk solution and fit inside tiny droplets, even at the cost of induced strain energy. That said, the specific interactions between a droplet and a filament are also of importance. For example, when an oil droplet rapidly shrinks in size, it can compress the entrapped CNTs in multiple stages into structures with higher curvatures (thus higher strain) than that of a circular ring, which has minimal induced strain inside a spherical droplet.
MicroRNA-224 (miR-224) is frequently over-expressed in liver and colorectal cancers. We and others have previously described the role of miR-224 over-expression in cell proliferation in vitro but we have yet to identify the relevant miR-224 direct target. In this study, we further demonstrated that miR-224 up-regulation promotes cell proliferation using both in vitro assays and in vivo tumor growth models. We systematically screened for high confidence miR-224 targets by overlapping in silico predicted targets from multiple algorithms and significantly down-regulated genes in miR-224-expressing cells from whole genome expression microarrays. A total of 72 high confidence miR-224 targets were identified and found to be enriched in various cancer-related processes. SMAD family member 4 (SMAD4) is experimentally validated as the direct cellular target through which miR-224 promotes cell proliferation. The clinical relevance of our experimental observations was supported by a statistically significant inverse correlation between miR-224 and SMAD4 transcript expression in tumor versus paired adjacent non-tumorous tissues from HCC patients (p<0.001, r=?-0.45, R(2)?=0.122). Furthermore, miR-224 up-regulation and SMAD4 down-regulation is significantly associated with poorer patient survival (p<0.05). In summary, miR-224/SMAD4 pathway is a clinically relevant pathway to provide new insights in understanding HCC. (191 words).
Early diagnosis of hepatocellullar carcinoma (HCC) remains a challenge. The current practice of serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) measurement is inadequate. Here we utilized a proteomic approach to identify novel serum biomarkers for distinguishing HCC patients from non-cancer controls. We profiled the serum proteins in a group of 58 resectable HCC patients and 11 non-HCC chronic hepatitis B (HBV) carrier samples from the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) using the RayBio® L-Series 507 Antibody Array and found 113 serum markers that were significantly modulated between HCC and control groups. Selected potential biomarkers from this list were quantified using a multiplex sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) array in an expanded SGH cohort (126 resectable HCC patients and 115 non-HCC chronic HBV carriers (NC group)), confirming that serum prolactin and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were significantly upregulated in HCC patients. This finding of serum MCP-1 elevation in HCC patients was validated in a separate cohort of serum samples from the Mochtar Riady Institute for Nanotechnology, Indonesia (98 resectable HCC, 101 chronic hepatitis B patients and 100 asymptomatic HBV/HCV carriers) by sandwich ELISA. MCP-1 and prolactin levels were found to correlate with AFP, while MCP-1 also correlated with disease stage. Subsequent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis of AFP, prolactin and MCP-1 in the SGH cohort and comparing their area under the ROC curve (AUC) indicated that neither prolactin nor MCP-1 on their own performed better than AFP. However, the combination of AFP+MCP-1 (AUC, 0.974) had significantly superior discriminative ability than AFP alone (AUC, 0.942; p<0.001). In conclusion, prolactin and MCP-1 are overexpressed in HCC and are conveniently quantifiable in patients sera by ELISA. MCP-1 appears to be a promising complementary biomarker for HCC diagnosis and this MCP-1+AFP model should be further evaluated as potential biomarker on a larger scale in patients at-risk of HCC.
Rice husk silica (RHS) which was obtained with thermal treatment of rice husk has the size of approximately 10 micrometer with 4-5 nm pore. RHS can be mold to a disk type membrane. The membrane may have submicron pore originated from the space among the particles, and the nano pores of the rice husk silica (RHS pore). Even it is difficult to adjust the size of the pores, we can suggest that the membrane shows different permeability for the organic/inorganic solvents if the affinity between the surface of the pores and the permeating molecule is changed. In this study, we investigated the permeation of the typical solvents such as water, ethanol and toluene to the RHS membranes sintered at 1100 degrees C, 1150 degrees C and 1200 degrees C and modified with triethoxymethyl silane (CH3)Si(C2H5O)3, diethoxydiemethyl silane (CH3)2Si(C2H5O)2 and ethoxytriemethyl silane (CH3)3Si (C2H5O). The result showed that permeability of original membranes for water (e.g., 1100 degrees C, 2.87 x 10(-3) mol/m2 s Pa) was larger than ethanol (1100 degrees C, 5.51 x 10(-4) mol/m2 s Pa) and toluene (1100 degrees C, 3.09 x 10(-4) mol/m2 s Pa) at the sintering temperatures. For the silane modified membranes, the permeability for water decreased drastically while those for ethanol and toluene increased.
High quality evidence indicates that aspirin is effective in reducing colorectal polyps; and numerous epidemiological studies point towards an ability to prevent colorectal cancer. However the role of Aspirin as an adjuvant agent in patients with established cancers remains to be defined. Recently a nested case-control study within the Nurses Health cohort suggested that the initiation of Aspirin after the diagnosis of colon cancer reduced overall colorectal cancer specific mortality. Although this data is supportive of Aspirins biological activity in this disease and possible role in adjuvant therapy, it needs to be confirmed in a randomized prospective trial.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a heterogeneous disease with poor prognosis and limited methods for predicting patient survival. The nature of the immune cells that infiltrate tumours is known to impact clinical outcome. However, the molecular events that regulate this infiltration require further understanding. Here the ability of immune genes expressed in the tumour microenvironment to predict disease progression was investigated.
Vascular disruption induced by interactions between tumor-secreted permeability factors and adhesive proteins on endothelial cells facilitates metastasis. The role of tumor-secreted C-terminal fibrinogen-like domain of angiopoietin-like 4 (cANGPTL4) in vascular leakiness and metastasis is controversial because of the lack of understanding of how cANGPTL4 modulates vascular integrity. Here, we show that cANGPTL4 instigated the disruption of endothelial continuity by directly interacting with 3 novel binding partners, integrin ?5?1, VE-cadherin, and claudin-5, in a temporally sequential manner, thus facilitating metastasis. We showed that cANGPTL4 binds and activates integrin ?5?1-mediated Rac1/PAK signaling to weaken cell-cell contacts. cANGPTL4 subsequently associated with and declustered VE-cadherin and claudin-5, leading to endothelial disruption. Interfering with the formation of these cANGPTL4 complexes delayed vascular disruption. In vivo vascular permeability and metastatic assays performed using ANGPTL4-knockout and wild-type mice injected with either control or ANGPTL4-knockdown tumors confirmed that cANGPTL4 induced vascular leakiness and facilitated lung metastasis in mice. Thus, our findings elucidate how cANGPTL4 induces endothelial disruption. Our findings have direct implications for targeting cANGPTL4 to treat cancer and other vascular pathologies.
SB939 is an oral histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor currently in phase II clinical trials potently inhibiting class I, II, and IV HDACs with favorable pharmacokinetic properties, resulting in tumor tissue accumulation. To show target efficacy, a Western blot assay measuring histone H3 acetylation (acH3) relative to a loading control was developed, validated on cancer cell lines, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and in animal tumor models. Exposure of cells to 60 nmol/L (22 ng/mL) SB939 for 24 hours was sufficient to detect an acH3 signal in 25 ?g of protein lysate. AcH3 levels of liver, spleen, PBMCs, bone marrow and tumor were measured in BALB/c mice, HCT-116 xenografted BALB/c nude mice, or in SCID mice orthotopically engrafted with AML (HL-60) after oral treatment with SB939. AcH3 could only be detected after treatment. In all tissues, the highest signal detected was at the 3-hour time point on day 1. On day 15, the signal decreased in normal tissues but increased in cancerous tissues and became detectable in the bone marrow of leukemic mice. In all tissues, acH3 correlated with SB939 dose levels (r(2)=0.76-0.94). When applied to PBMCs from 30 patients with advanced solid malignancies in a phase I clinical trial, a dose-dependent (10-80 mg) increase in relative acH3 was observed 3-hour postdose on day 1, correlating with C(max) and AUC of SB939 concentrations in plasma (r=0.97, P=0.014). Our data show that the favorable pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of SB939 are translated from preclinical models to patients.
Despite widespread recognition that experiences of social discrimination can lead to poor physical and mental health outcomes for members of minority groups, little is known about how U.S. ethnic minority men who have sex with men (MSM) manage their experiences of racism and homophobia. We conducted six focus group discussions (n = 50) and 35 in-depth interviews with African American, Latino, and Asian and Pacific Islander MSM (aged 18 or older) recruited in Los Angeles. This process revealed five strategies that MSM of color employed in order to mitigate the impact of racism and homophobia. To minimize opportunities for stigmatization, men used (a) concealment of homosexuality and (b) disassociation from social settings associated with stigmatization. To minimize the impact of experienced stigma, men (c) dismissed the stigmatization and (d) drew strength and comfort from external sources. Men also actively countered stigmatization by (e) direct confrontation. More research is needed to understand the efficacy of these coping strategies in mitigating negative health consequences of stigmatization and discrimination.
The physical adsorption of nitrogen and gas flow experiments on the silica layer in rice husk indicated that an existence of nano meter sized through holes. In this study, the external shape of the holes on the cross section of the layer was investigated with a scanning electron microscope equipped with an energy dispersive spectrometer, an atomic force microscope and scanning tunneling microscope. In the energy dispersive mapping image, 2-5 micron thick silica layer under outer cellulose layer, silica nano particles in the middle cellulose layer and sub micron silica layer in inner cellulose layer were observed. The cross section of the layer showed 20 nm building units with approximately 100 nm convexities. The atomic force microscopic image also showed the approximately 100 nm convexities as well as a roughness of approximately 20 nm. When osmium was coated on the silica layer, the wells with 2 approximately 5 nm horizontal and approximately 2 nm vertical lengths were observed on the plate surface in scanning tunneling microscopic image. From the results, it was suggested that the holes in the rice husk silica layer are almost straight and not zigzag spaces originated from the simple packing of nano particles.
The photoluminescence of nano-sized ZnO in metal-ion-exchanged zeolite Y (ZnO/M-FAU, M = Na, Ca, Er) was investigated. ZnO/M-FAU was prepared by exposing Er(3+)- or Ca(2+)-exchanged Na-FAU to Zn vapor and to air at 723 K. The ZnO formation in the M-FAU showed a change in intensity in the (220), (311) and (331) lines, but no indication of ZnO peaks. In the EDXS and ICPAES analyses, it was found that the molar ratio of Zn/Si was linearly related to the exchanged amount of metal ions, and that the slope of the Zn/Si to the metal/Si was in the order of ZnO/Na-FAU < ZnO/CaNa-FAU < ZnO/ErNa-FAU. In the photoluminescence spectra of all the ZnO/M-FAU samples, peaks were observed at around 380 nm (3.2 eV) and 530 nm (2.5 eV) of ZnO. In ZnO/ErNa-FAU sample, the reabsorption of Er3+ at 520 nm and its emission at 650 nm were observed at the 530 nm peak of ZnO, which can be explained in terms of the interaction of ZnO with Er3+ in the FAU. In the case of ZnO/CaNa-FAU, the peak at around 380 nm was broaden to a longer wavelength, which is supposed to have been caused by emission peak of (CaO)x(ZnO)y. In addition, there were some indications of interaction between Na+ ZnO in ZnO/Na-FAU and the ZnO that was doped with Na+. From the result, it is suggested that ZnO particles were formed in the cavities that interacted with the ions in the zeolites.
Thoracic aortic injury from blunt trauma is a life-threatening condition with significant mortality and morbidity with open surgical repair. Endovascular means of treatment is emerging as an attractive and less invasive option. We report our experience with endovascular stent-graft repair for blunt traumatic thoracic aorta injury.
Gastric cancer (GC) is a heterogeneous disease comprising multiple subtypes that have distinct biological properties and effects in patients. We sought to identify new, intrinsic subtypes of GC by gene expression analysis of a large panel of GC cell lines. We tested if these subtypes might be associated with differences in patient survival times and responses to various standard-of-care cytotoxic drugs.
Hope is essential in the face of terminal cancer. Generally in Western societies, patients and their families prefer their doctor to engage them in transparent, realistic, authoritative, empathic and open communication about the diagnosis and prognosis of cancer but this topic is not well studied in the Asian context. With the exponential increase in information about cancer and the many permutations in cancer treatment, rational and otherwise, the doctor-patient relationship is even more critical in planning the best treatment strategy and also in rendering both particular and general hope in the patients war against cancer. Overall, the majority of drugs tested against cancer have failed to reach the market, and those that have, only provide modest benefits, several major therapeutic breakthroughs notwithstanding. Commoditised medicalisation of the dying process ingrained into the contemporary consciousness can potentially create unrealistic or false hope, therapeutic nihilism and a drain on the resources of both the patient and society. These factors can also detract from the dignity of dying as an acceptable natural process. Hope cannot be confined only to focusing merely on the existential dimension of improving survival through technological intervention. Psychosocial and, where appropriate, spiritual interventions and support also play major roles in relieving suffering and providing hope to the patient. Hope cannot be a victim of misinformation from self-interested external parties, nor be an obsession with just buying promises of extending survival time without sufficient regard for quality of life and achieving a good death.
The aim of the present study was to determine and quantify the cardiac autonomic innervation of the canine atria and pulmonary vein. Tissue specimens were taken from the canine pulmonary veins (PVs), posterior left atrium (PLA), left atrial roof (LAR), anterior left atrium (ALA), interatrial septum (IAS), and left atrial appendage (LAA) respectively for immunohistochemical analysis and nerve density determination. Both sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve densities decreased in the order: PLA>PV>IAS>LAR>ALA>LAA. For sympathetic nerve, multiple comparisons between any two regions showed a significant difference (P<0.05-P<0.01) except for PV vs. PLA, IAS vs. LAR, and LAR vs. ALA; for parasympathetic nerve, all the differences between any pair of regions were statistically significant (P<0.05-P<0.01) with the exception of PV vs. PLA, IAS vs. LAR, LAR vs. ALA, and ALA vs. LAA. For both nerve types, there was a decreasing gradient of nerve densities from the external to internal layer (P<0.001, for each comparisons). Nerve density at the ostia for either nerve type was significantly higher than at the distal segments of PVs (P<0.001). In summary, the LA and PVs are innervated by sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves in a regionally heterogeneous way, which may be important for the pathophysiological investigation and ablation therapy of atrial fibrillation (AF).
Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. Tumor cells exploit various signaling pathways to promote their growth and metastasis. To our knowledge, the role of angiopoietin-like 4 protein (ANGPTL4) in cancer remains undefined. Here, we found that elevated ANGPTL4 expression is widespread in tumors, and its suppression impairs tumor growth associated with enhanced apoptosis. Tumor-derived ANGPTL4 interacts with integrins to stimulate NADPH oxidase-dependent production of O(2)(-). A high ratio of O(2)(-):H(2)O(2) oxidizes/activates Src, triggering the PI3K/PKB? and ERK prosurvival pathways to confer anoikis resistance, thus promoting tumor growth. ANGPTL4 deficiency results in diminished O(2)(-) production and a reduced O(2)(-):H(2)O(2) ratio, creating a cellular environment conducive to apoptosis. ANGPTL4 is an important redox player in cancer and a potential therapeutic target.
Longevity can be explained by the free radical theory of aging, and caloric restriction (CR) studies showed that CR-induced lifespan extension is associated with the prevention of a decrease in oxidative stress. Non-enzymatic lipophilic antioxidants may play a pivotal role in our aging process, and are reflected in our dietary lifestyle and dietary supplementation. Their significance lies in their general good absorption and slow excretion within our body. Although difficulties exist with human aging studies due to the nature of our longevity in comparison with other species, findings have implied a relationship between non-enzymatic antioxidants and longevity. Common non-enzymatic antioxidants found in our dietary intake include vitamin A and E supplementation, flavanoids (major source includes tea, one of our main fluid intake), resveratrol (its protective role in cardiovascular disease and aging having stemmed from the "French Paradox"), as well as coenzyme Q?? supplementation. The review discusses current findings and their implication in the aging process. This review concludes by asserting that although none of these antioxidants has yet provided clear-cut evidence toward longevity and the aging process, they have certainly demonstrated other potential health benefits.
Adipose tissue secretes adipocytokines for energy homeostasis, but recent evidence indicates that some adipocytokines also have a profound local impact on wound healing. Upon skin injury, keratinocytes use various signaling molecules to promote reepithelialization for efficient wound closure. In this study, we identify a novel function of adipocytokine angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) in keratinocytes during wound healing through the control of both integrin-mediated signaling and internalization. Using two different in vivo models based on topical immuno-neutralization of ANGPTL4 as well as ablation of the ANGPTL4 gene, we show that ANGPTL4-deficient mice exhibit delayed wound reepithelialization with impaired keratinocyte migration. Human keratinocytes in which endogenous ANGPTL4 expression was suppressed by either siRNA or a neutralizing antibody show impaired migration associated with diminished integrin-mediated signaling. Importantly, we identify integrins ?1 and ?5, but not ?3, as novel binding partners of ANGPTL4. ANGPTL4-bound integrin ?1 activated the FAK-Src-PAK1 signaling pathway, which is important for cell migration. The findings presented herein reveal an unpredicted role of ANGPTL4 during wound healing and demonstrate how ANGPTL4 stimulates intracellular signaling mechanisms to coordinate cellular behavior. Our findings provide insight into a novel cell migration control mechanism and underscore the physiological importance of the modulation of integrin activity in cancer metastasis.
First-principles calculations of undoped HfO(2) and cobalt-doped HfO(2) have been carried out to study the magnetic properties of the dielectric material. In contrast to previous reports, it was found that the native defects in HfO(2) could not induce strong ferromagnetism. However, the cobalt substituting hafnium is the most stable defect under oxidation condition, and the ferromagnetic (FM) coupling between the cobalt substitutions is favorable in various configurations. We found that the FM coupling is mediated by the threefold-coordinated oxygen atoms in monoclinic HfO(2) and could be further enhanced in electron-rich condition.
A dynamic cell-matrix interaction is crucial for a rapid cellular response to changes in the environment. Appropriate cell behavior in response to the changing wound environment is required for efficient wound closure. However, the way in which wound keratinocytes modify the wound environment to coordinate with such cellular responses remains less studied. We demonstrated that angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) produced by wound keratinocytes coordinates cell-matrix communication. ANGPTL4 interacts with vitronectin and fibronectin in the wound bed, delaying their proteolytic degradation by metalloproteinases. This interaction does not interfere with integrin-matrix protein recognition and directly affects cell-matrix communication by altering the availability of intact matrix proteins. These interactions stimulate integrin- focal adhesion kinase, 14-3-3, and PKC-mediated signaling pathways essential for effective wound healing. The deficiency of ANGPTL4 in mice delays wound re-epithelialization. Further analysis revealed that cell migration was impaired in the ANGPTL4-deficient keratinocytes. Altogether, the findings provide molecular insight into a novel control of wound healing via ANGPTL4-dependent regulation of cell-matrix communication. Given the known role of ANGPTL4 in glucose and lipid homeostasis, it is a prime therapeutic candidate for the treatment of diabetic wounds. It also underscores the importance of cell-matrix communication during angiogenesis and cancer metastasis.
To analyze the outcome of patients who received concurrent capecitabine (Xeloda) and radiation (XRT) compared to the established concurrent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) with radiation (5FU-RT) and fluoropyrimidine-based chemotherapy alone as adjuvant treatment in gastric cancers.
This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of microthread geometry of scalloped design implant on marginal bone resorption. Four types of scalloped design titanium implant specimens were prepared. The type 1 implant had a machined scalloped collar, type 2 had a sandblasted and acid-etched scalloped collar, type 3 had horizontal microthreads, and type 4 had parabolic microthreads, which are parallel with the scalloped conical margin. Two implants of a type were randomly installed immediately after extraction in the mandible of a beagle dog. Definitive prostheses were delivered immediately after surgery. After 12 weeks of healing, the dog was sacrificed and microtomography was performed. Type 4 specimens showed a marginal bone loss pattern definitively analogous to the scalloped margin. In this preliminary study, microthread geometry affected the marginal bone resorption pattern of scalloped design implants. However, additional specimens and more controlled conditions should be applied in future studies to confirm these results.
We characterized a Kunitz-type protease inhibitor (Gm KTPI) obtained from the hemolymph of Galleria mellonella larvae immunized with Escherichia coli. The structural analysis of the cloned cDNA showed that it consists of 56 residues derived from the precursor of 75 amino acids. The peptide was constitutively produced in the fat bodies, but not in the midgut nor the integument of larvae. In our analysis of stage-dependent expression, its transcript was detected within the midgut, the fat bodies and the integument of the prepupae, which undergo tissue remodeling. The inhibition assays showed that Gm KTPI was capable of inhibiting only the trypsin-like activity of the larval midgut extracts. Furthermore, it was determined that Gm KTPI induced the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in the fat bodies and integument cells, and this kinase is known to perform a central role in cell proliferation signaling. Its effect on ERK activation was also verified in a control experiment using a human endothelial cell culture. Collectively, it was suggested that Gm KTPI might be responsible for the protection of other tissues against proteolytic attack by trypsin-like protease(s) from larval midgut during metamorphosis, and might play a role in the proliferation of cells in the fat body and integument.
We characterize a novel pathogen recognition protein obtained from the lepidopteran Galleria mellonella. This protein recognizes Escherichia coli, Micrococcus luteus, and Candida albicans via specific binding to lipopolysaccharides, lipoteichoic acid, and beta-1,3-glucan, respectively. As a multiligand receptor capable of coping with a broad variety of invading pathogens, it is constitutively produced in the fat body, midgut, and integument but not in the hemocytes and is secreted into the hemolymph. The protein was confirmed to be relevant to cellular immune response and to further function as an opsonin that promotes the uptake of invading microorganisms into hemocytes. Our data reveal that the mechanism by which a multiligand receptor recognizes microorganisms contributes substantially to their phagocytosis by hemocytes. A better understanding of an opsonin with the required repertoire for detecting diverse invaders might provide us with critical insights into the mechanisms underlying insect phagocytosis.
Nanoporous rice husk silica (RHS) was modified with alkylsilylation reagents, hexamethyldisilazane, diethoxydiphenylsilane, dichlorodimethylsilane and n-octodecyltrimethoxysilane. The silica samples were characterized with Raman spectrometer, thermal gravimetric analyzer, scanning electron microscope, nitrogen adsorption measurement and solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. Raman spectra of the modified silica showed growth of the peaks of C-H stretching and CH3 bending at approximateluy 3000 cm(-1) and approximately 1500 cm(-1), respectively. Weight losses of 3 approximately 5% were observed in thermo gravimetric profiles of the modified silica. The microscopic shape of RHS, approximately 20 nm primary particles and their aggregates was almost not changed by the modification but there were colligations of the silica particles in the sample treated with dichlorodimethylsilane or diethoxydiphenylsilane. BET adsorption experiment showed the modification significantly decreased the mean pore size of the silica from approximately 5 nm to approximately 4 nm as well as the pore volume from 0.5 cm3/g to 0.4 cm3/g except the case of treatment with n-octodecyltrimethoxysilane. 29Si Solid NMR Spectra of the silica samples showed that there were decrease in the relative intensities of Q2 and Q3 peaks and large increments in Q4 after the modification except for the case of bulky n-octodecyltrimethoxysilane. From the results, it was concluded that the alkylsilylation reagents reacted with hydroxyl groups on the silica particles as well as in the nano pores while the size of the reagent molecule affected its diffusion and reaction with the hydroxyl groups in the pores.
Compounds were isolated from a methanol extract of the dried stem barks of Viburnum sargentii Koehne. The structures of the compounds, namely 9-O-methylvibsanol (3), furcatoside A (4) and lareciresinol (5) were elucidated by analysis of spectroscopic data and comparison with values for previously known analogues. In addition, (+)-catechin (1), (+)-epicatechin (2) were also isolated. This work also examined the cytotoxic effects of three compounds 3-5 (25-100 microM) in MCF-7 and A549 cells after 24, 48 and 72 h of exposure. Our results showed that 9-O-methylvibsanol (3) exhibited strong concentration-dependent anticancer effects according to the MTT assay and produced morphological changes consistent with apoptosis, as confirmed by Ho3342 staining analysis revealed that more apoptotic cells were observed after 9-Omethylvibsanol (3) treatment.
Despite high and rapidly growing incidence of HIV, little is known about the everyday lived experiences of HIV-positive black men who have sex with men. Lack of empirical knowledge about members of this group is especially problematic as HIV-positive individuals continue to live in a world of hope, fear, waiting and wondering, which can heavily influence their everyday lives. In this exploratory study, we examine the everyday lives of HIV-positive black gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, particularly how being a racial minority may influence the ways that they manage living with the illness. Our goal was to provide a forum from which black men could share their personal experiences regarding the various aspects of living with HIV. In doing so, we identified five themes that may be unique to black men or experienced differently by black men due, in the USA, to their racial minority status.
A Royal Statistical Society Working Party recently recommended that "Greater use should be made of numerical, as opposed to verbal, descriptions of risk" in first-in-man clinical trials. This echoed the view of many clinicians and psychologists about risk communication. As the clinical trial industry expands rapidly across the globe, it is important to understand risk communication in Asian countries.
PURPOSE: We evaluated the clinical benefit of an allogeneic melanoma cell lysate (MCL)-pulsed autologous dendritic cell (DC) vaccine in advanced colorectal cancer patients expressing at least one of six MAGE-A antigens overexpressed by the cell line source of the lysate. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: DCs were cultured from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), pulsed with the allogeneic MCL, and matured using cytokines that achieved high CD83- and CCR7-expressing DCs. Each patient received up to 10 intradermal vaccinations (3-5 x 10(6) cells per dose) at biweekly intervals. RESULTS: Twenty patients received a total of 161 vaccinations. Treatment was well tolerated and quality of life measurements did not vary much across time. One patient experienced partial response [5%; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1-24%] and seven achieved stable disease (35%; 95% CI, 18-57%), one of whom also achieved late tumor regression, yielding a clinical benefit response rate of 40% (95% CI, 22-61%). Although overall median progression-free survival was 2.4 months (95% CI, 1.9-4.1 months), five patients (25%) experienced prolonged progression-free survival (>6 months), two of whom (10%) remain progression-free for >27 and >37 months, respectively. This result is particularly meaningful as all patients had progressive disease before treatment. Overall, DC vaccination was associated with a serial decline in regulatory T cells. Using an antibody array, we characterized plasma protein profiles in responding patients that may correlate with vaccine activity and report a prevaccination protein signature distinguishing responders from nonresponders. CONCLUSION: This phase II vaccine study using mature, MCL-pulsed DCs has shown promising results and warrants further evaluation in a prospective randomized setting. (Clin Cancer Res 2009;15(24):7726-36).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men who have sex with men account for the largest proportion of cumulative AIDS cases amongAsian Pacific Islanders. Yet little is known about the factors that need to be addressed in developing culturally competent intervention strategies for members of this group. This article explores what factors HIV prevention service providers and active volunteers who are also members of the groups that they serve believe need to be addressed before a culturally appropriate intervention strategy for gay, bisexual, and queer Asian Pacific Islander men can be developed. Fifteen men participated in three focus groups, and seven of the men completed in-depth individual interviews regarding larger issues that are often ignored in intervention. Analysis ofqualitative data revealed five issues that participants said need to be addressed when working with members of this group.
Recurrence of chronic subdural hematoma (CSH) is a significant problem in neurosurgical practice. Various risk factors associated with patients characteristics and the pathogenesis of CSH have been investigated in many studies, but controversial findings are not uncommon. Therefore we made a retrospectively investigation focusing mainly on the factors associated with surgical techniques. in order to find out the factors that may affect the recurrence rate of CSH. The medical records of 97 consecutive patients with 121 CSHs, who were treated with burr-hole craniostomy and continuous drainage, were retrospectively reviewed. The relationships between the recurrence rate and some factors associated with surgery, such as location of burr-hole, thickness of residual hematoma, location of drainage catheter, intracapsular air postsurgery, duration of drainage were investigated. The average recurrence rate was 6.6% in this whole series. For patients with less than three days of drainage, the recurrence rate was 16.3%, whereas for those with 3 and more days of drainage, the recurrence rate was only 1.3%. The duration of drainage significantly related to recurrence rate. In addition, a higher recurrence rate seemed to be associated with more intracapsular air postsurgery, but it did not reach statistically significant level in this study. Prolonged duration of drainage did not increase the frequency of infection in this series. We found in this study that the duration of drainage play an important role in the treatment of CSH and 3 full days of drainage seems to be necessary, especially for patients of 60 years and over. We presumed that it takes at least 3 days of drainage for outer membrane of CSH to get the restoration of a normal balance between coagulation and fibrinolysis after surgery, which is necessary for termination of the vicious cycle and resolution of the hematoma.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common malignancy worldwide and highly resistant to available chemotherapies. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) functions to regulate protein translation, angiogenesis and cell cycle progression in many cancers including HCC. In the present study, subcutaneous patient-derived HCC xenografts were used to study the effects of an mTOR inhibitor, RAD001 (everolimus), on tumour growth, apoptosis and angiogenesis. We report that oral administration of RAD001 to mice bearing patient-derived HCC xenografts resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of tumour growth. RAD001-induced growth suppression was associated with inactivation of downstream targets of mTOR, reduction in VEGF expression and microvessel density, inhibition of cell proliferation, up-regulation of p27(Kip1) and down-regulation of p21(Cip1/Waf1), Cdk-6, Cdk-2, Cdk-4, cdc-25C, cyclin B1 and c-Myc. Our data indicate that the mTOR pathway plays an important role in angiogenesis, cell cycle progression and proliferation of liver cancer cells. Our study provides a strong rationale for clinical investigation of mTOR inhibitor RAD001 in patients with HCC.
EBV-positive smooth muscle tumor (EBV+SMT) is a rare disease with no established therapy. We describe the largest single institution analysis in renal transplant recipients. It aims to define its clinical features and determine the expression of EBV latent genes as well as key molecular pathways.
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