As cell factories, lactic acid bacteria are widely used in food, agriculture, pharmaceutical and other industries. Acid stress is one the important survival challenges encountered by lactic acid bacteria both in fermentation process and in the gastrointestinal tract. Recently, the development of systems biology and metabolic engineering brings unprecedented opportunity for further elucidating the acid tolerance mechanisms and improving the acid stress resistance of lactic acid bacteria. This review addresses physiological mechanisms of lactic acid bacteria during acid stress. Moreover, strategies to improve the acid stress resistance of lactic acid were proposed.
In this study, characterises of the microbial community structures of three typical Chinese liquor Daqu, as well as different kinds of light flavour Daqu were investigated using nested PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The results showed that microbial diversity was considerably different, and the microfloral compositions were highly variable among various Daqu. Lactic acid bacteria, which accounted for 30.95 % of all identified bacteria, were dominant in all Daqu samples, whereas Bacillus species were also predominant in the Luzhou (14.8 %) and Langjiu Daqu (18.2 %). Citrobacter and Burkholderia were first identified in light flavour Daqu. Aspergillus was the dominant moulds, and the non-Saccharomyces yeast species, Saccharomycopsis fibuligera, Wallemia sebi, Wallemia muriae, and Pichia subpelliculosa, were the dominant yeasts. Rasamsonia, Galactomyces, Geotrichum and Wallemia were first identified using nested PCR-DGGE. Cluster analysis indicated that the microbial community structures of different Daqu samples exhibited some differences. These may be ascribed to the different peak production temperatures, raw material constituents and microhabitats around the liquor enterprises. The current study provides insights into the microbial community structures of three typical Daqu samples, and may facilitate the development of starter cultures for manufacturing Chinese liquor.
The GABRB1 gene encodes the beta 1 subunit of the gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor (GABA A receptor), which is responsible for mediating inhibitory neurotransmission in the thalamus. Potential relationships between the GABRB1 gene, thalamus volume, and intelligence have been suggested by previous clinical studies, but have not been directly examined among nonclinical samples. The current study collected structural MRI, genetic, and behavioral data from 316 healthy Chinese adults (including 187 females and 129 males), and examined associations between GABRB1 variants, thalamus volume, and intelligence (measured by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Revised). After controlling for intracranial volume, sex, and age, GABRB1 genetic polymorphism at the SNP rs7435958 had the strongest association with thalamus volume (p=0.002 and 0.00008 for left and right thalamus volumes, respectively), with GG homozygotes having smaller bilateral thalamus volumes than the other genotypes. Furthermore, there were positive correlations between bilateral thalamus volumes and intelligence, especially for GABRB1 rs7435958 GG female homozygotes (r's=0.31 and 0.29, p<0.01, for the correlations of intelligence with left and right thalamus volumes, respectively). This study provides the first evidence for the involvement of the GABRB1 gene in the thalamus structure and their interactive effects on intelligence. Future studies of the thalamus-intelligence associations should consider genetic factors as potential moderators.
Ethyl carbamate (EC) is a potential human carcinogen widely existing in fermented foods and alcoholic beverages. The solid-phase extraction (SPE) coupled to gas chromatography mass spectrometry is a widely-used method to determine EC levels, but the accuracy varies with sample matrix and the effects of operation parameters are rarely examined. In this study, the influence factors involved in EC determination were investigated using Chinese liquor as sample matrix, and the improved method was further applied. Three types of SPE columns, including diatomite, Florisil, and primary-secondary amine, were compared in extraction efficiency, and the diatomite column exhibited the highest extraction efficiency. The optimal volumes of elution solvents with diatomite column were 15 mL for 3-mL samples solution loaded. In addition, the alcoholic strength for EC determination should be diluted below 20% (v/v) to avoid the enhancement of matrix-induced chromatographic response. Moreover, the pH neutralization could help improve EC recovery and peak resolution, reducing interfering effects. Based on these results, the improved method showed that the limit of detection, the limit of quantification, and average recoveries were 1.10 ?g/L, 3.65 ?g/L, and 93.06%, respectively. To further elucidate the underlying factors related to EC accumulation, partial least square regression analysis was conducted, and the results suggested that EC levels had the closest relationship with alcoholic strength among the remaining precursors.
The association between posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and suicide ideation was examined in a sample of 2,298 child survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake. Results indicated that intrusion, avoidance, hyperarousal symptom clusters, and PTSD total score were significantly associated with suicide ideation. Except for intrusion, other measures of PTSD remained as statistically significant correlates of suicide ideation even after controlling for age, gender, direct exposure, indirect exposure, and depression. Furthermore, results showed that PTSD symptoms had an indirect influence on suicide ideation that was mediated by depression. The findings suggest that avoidance and hyperarousal symptom clusters of PTSD may be two important indicators of suicide ideation among child survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake. Implications of the results for intervention and prevention of suicide behavior are discussed.
Negativity bias means that negative information is usually given more emphasis than comparable positive information. Under signal detection theory, recent research found that people more frequently and incorrectly identify negative task-related words as having been presented originally than positive words, even when they were not presented. That is, people have lax decision criteria for negative words. However, the response biases for task-unrelated negative words and for emotionally important words are still unclear. This study investigated response bias for these two kinds of words. Study 1 examined the response bias for task-unrelated negative words using an emotional Stroop task. Proportions of correct recognition to negative and positive words were assessed by non-parametric signal detection analysis. Participants have lower (i.e., more lax) decision criteria for task-unrelated negative words than for positive words. Study 2 supported and expanded this result by investigating participants' response bias for highly emotional words. Participants have lower decision criteria for highly emotional words than for less emotional words. Finally, possible evolutionary sources of the response bias were discussed.
The aim of this study was to investigate the acid tolerance response (ATR) in Lactobacillus casei by a combined physiological and proteomic analysis. To optimize the ATR induction, cells were acid adapted for 1 h at different pHs, and then acid challenged at pH 3.5. The result showed that acid adaptation improved acid tolerance, and the highest survival was observed in cells adapted at pH 4.5 for 1 h. Analysis of the physiological data showed that the acid-adapted cells exhibited higher intracellular pH (pHi), intracellular NH4 (+) content, and lower inner permeability compared with the cells without adaptation. Proteomic analysis was performed upon acid adaptation to different pHs (pH 6.5 vs. pH 4.5) using two-dimensional electrophoresis. A total of 24 proteins that exhibited at least 1.5-fold differential expression were identified. Four proteins (Pgk, LacD, Hpr, and Galm) involved in carbohydrate catabolism and five classic stress response proteins (GroEL, GrpE, Dnak, Hspl, and LCAZH_2811) were up-regulated after acid adaptation at pH 4.5 for 1 h. Validation of the proteomic data was performed by quantitative RT-PCR, and transcriptional regulation of all selected genes showed a positive correlation with the proteomic patterns of the identified proteins. Results presented in this study may be useful for further elucidating the acid tolerance mechanisms and may help in formulating new strategies to improve the industrial performance of this species during acid stress.
We examined the representation of two-digit decimals through studying distance and compatibility effects in magnitude comparison tasks in four experiments. Using number pairs with different leftmost digits, we found both the second digit distance effect and compatibility effect with two-digit integers but only the second digit distance effect with two-digit pure decimals. This suggests that both integers and pure decimals are processed in a compositional manner. In contrast, neither the second digit distance effect nor the compatibility effect was observed in two-digit mixed decimals, thereby showing no evidence for compositional processing of two-digit mixed decimals. However, when the relevance of the rightmost digit processing was increased by adding some decimals pairs with the same leftmost digits, both pure and mixed decimals produced the compatibility effect. Overall, results suggest that the processing of decimals is flexible and depends on the relevance of unique digit positions. This processing mode is different from integer analysis in that two-digit mixed decimals demonstrate parallel compositional processing only when the rightmost digit is relevant. Findings suggest that people probably do not represent decimals by simply ignoring the decimal point and converting them to natural numbers.
A method was established for purification of limonin, nomilin, and isoobacunoic acid simultaneously from segment membranes of pomelo (Citrus Grandis). This method includes 3 steps, removing most impurities by macroporous resin HZ-816, isolating limonin by High Speed Counter Current Chromatography (HSCCC), and isolating nomilin and isoobacunoic acid by semi-preparative HPLC. Naringin was partially purified as a by-product of this process using Sephadex LH-20. All limonoids purified through this method reached 95% purity. The purified limonin, nomilin and isoobacunoic acid were identified according to the retention time of the standard substances using HPLC and characteristic fragment ions of LC-MS/MS.
Grain fermenting with separate layers in a fermentation pit is the typical and experiential brewing technology for Chinese Luzhou-flavor liquor. However, it is still unclear to what extent the bacterial communities in the different layers of fermented grains (FG) effects the liquor's quality. In this study, the spatial distributions of bacterial communities in Luzhou-flavor liquor FG (top, middle, and bottom layers) from 2 distinctive factories (Jiannanchun and Fenggu) were investigated using culture-independent approaches (phospholipid fatty acid [PLFA] and polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gel electrophoresis [DGGE]). The relationship between bacterial community and biochemical properties was also assessed by Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). No significant variation in moisture was observed in spatial samples, and the highest content of acidity and total ester was detected in the bottom layer (P < 0.05). A high level of ethanol was observed in the top and middle layers of Fenggu and Jiannanchun, respectively. Significant spatial distribution of the total PLFA was only shown in the 50-y-old pits (P < 0.05), and Gram negative bacteria was the prominent community. Bacterial 16S rDNA DGGE analysis revealed that the most abundant bacterial community was in the top layers of the FG both from Fenggu and Jiannanchun, with Lactobacillaceae accounting for 30% of the total DGGE bands and Lactobacillus acetotolerans was the dominant species. FG samples from the same pit had a highly similar bacterial community structure according to the hierarchal cluster tree. CCA suggested that the moisture, acidity, ethanol, and reducing sugar were the main factors affecting the distribution of L. acetotolerans. Our results will facilitate the knowledge about the spatial distribution of bacterial communities and the relationship with their living environment.
A wide range of organisms that enter the eye following ocular trauma can cause endophthalmitis. This study was to investigate the spectrum of pathogens and antibiotic susceptibility of bacterial isolates from a large cohort of post-traumatic endophthalmitis cases.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has been implicated in various neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. We have previously observed amyloid production in the retina of the Tg2576 transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. In this study, we used tunicamycin-induced ER stress in RGC-5 cells, a cell line identical to the photoreceptor cell line 661W, to investigate the effect of ER stress on production of amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides. We found that the mRNA level of amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP) remained stable, while the protein level of amyloid-beta precursor protein (APP) was decreased, the amyloid-beta precursor protein cleaving enzymes beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme 1 and presenilin 1 were upregulated, Abeta1-40 and Abeta1-42 production were increased, and reactive oxygen species production and apoptosis markers were elevated following induction of ER stress. The protein level of Abeta degradation enzymes, neprilysin, endothelin-converting enzyme 1, and endothelin-converting enzyme 2 remained unchanged during the prolonged ER stress, showing that the generation of Abeta did not result from reduction of proteolysis by these enzymes. Inclusion of group II caspase inhibitor, Z-DEVD-FMK, increased the ER stress mediated Abeta production, suggesting that they are generated by a caspase-independent mechanism. Our findings provided evidence of a role of ER stress in Abeta peptide overproduction and apoptotic pathway activation in RGC-5 cells.
DNA phosphorothioate (PT) modification is a recently identified epigenetic modification that occurs in the sugar-phosphate backbone of prokaryotic DNA. Previous studies have demonstrated that DNA PT modification is governed by the five DndABCDE proteins in a sequence-selective and RP stereo-specific manner. Bacteria may have acquired this physiological modification along with dndFGH as a restriction-modification system. However, little is known about the biological function of Dnd proteins, especially the smallest protein, DndE, in the PT modification pathway. DndE was reported to be a DNA-binding protein with a preference for nicked dsDNA in vitro; the binding of DndE to DNA occurs via six positively charged lysine residues on its surface. The substitution of these key lysine residues significantly decreased the DNA binding affinities of DndE proteins to undetectable levels. In this study, we conducted site-directed mutagenesis of dndE on a plasmid and measured DNA PT modifications under physiological conditions by mass spectrometry. We observed distinctive differences from the in vitro binding assays. Several mutants with lysine residues mutated to alanine decreased the total frequency of PT modifications, but none of the mutants completely eliminated PT modification. Our results suggest that the nicked dsDNA-binding capacity of DndE may not be crucial for PT modification and/or that DndE may have other biological functions in addition to binding to dsDNA.
Several studies have indicated that between-group competition is a key stimulator of trust and trustworthiness. Another important but neglected type of competition may also affect trust and trustworthiness: within-group competition, especially competition among acquaintances. The present study investigated the effects of both within- and between-group competition on trust and trustworthiness, which were measured using an investment game played by acquaintances. We found that, compared to the participants' performance in the non-competition condition, when individuals were motivated to compete with their in-group members or the other groups for financial rewards, they demonstrated more trust. When individuals were motivated to compete with their in-group members, they exhibited lower trustworthiness than in non-competition and between-group competition. In addition, within-group competition decreased the trustor's payoff while both within- and between- group competition increased the trustee's payoff. Finally, we found that males trusted their group members more than females.
Locating the medial cut end of the severed canaliculus is the most difficult aspect of canalicular repair, especially in patients with more medial laceration, severe oedema, persistent errhysis and a narrow canaliculus. Irrigation is a widely used technique to identify the cut end; however, we found that air injected through the intact canaliculus with a straight needle failed to reflux when the common canaliculus or lacrimal sac was not blocked. We describe a simple, safe and efficient air-injection technique to identify the medial cut edge of a lacerated canaliculus. In this method, we initially submersed the medial canthus under normal saline, then injected filtered air through the intact canaliculus using a side port stainless steel probe with a closed round tip. The tip was designed to block the common canaliculus to form a relatively closed system. The efficiency of this novel air-injection technique was equivalent to the traditional technique but does not require the cooperation of the patient to blow air. Using this technique, the medial cut end was successfully identified by locating the air-bubble exit within minutes in 19 cases of mono-canalicular laceration without any complication.
Islet replacement is a promising cure for insulin-dependent diabetes but is limited by a massive early cell death following transplantation. Overburden oxidative stress is one of the major factors causing cell damage. We have shown previously that anthocyanins in Chinese bayberry extract protected ? cells (INS-1) from hydrogen peroxide (H?O?)-induced apoptosis and decreased grafts apoptosis after transplantation partially through heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) up-regulation. In the present study, we observed that H?O? stimulation induced autophagy in ? cells. Inhibition of autophagy increased cell viability and decreased cell death. Anthocyanin pretreatment attenuated oxidative stress-mediated autophagic cell death. Anthocyanins activated antioxidant transcription factor Nrf2 in INS-1 cells, and Nrf2/HO-1 negatively regulated autophagy process. Furthermore, we here demonstrate that autophagy also took place in ? cell grafts during the early post-transplantation phase. ? Cells pretreated with anthocyanins displayed decreased extent of autophagy after transplantation. Taken together, these findings further supported the conclusion that anthocyanins could serve as a protective agent of ? cells and suggested that autophagy might play a role in ? cells during transplantation.
Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are widely used for the production of a variety of fermented foods, and are considered as probiotic due to their health-promoting effect. However, LAB encounter various environmental stresses both in industrial fermentation and application, among which acid stress is one of the most important survival challenges. Improving the acid stress resistance may contribute to the application and function of probiotic action to the host. Recently, the advent of genomics, functional genomics and high-throughput technologies have allowed for the understanding of acid tolerance mechanisms at a systems level, and many method to improve acid tolerance have been developed. This review describes the current progress in engineering acid stress resistance of LAB. Special emphasis is placed on engineering cellular microenvironment (engineering amino acid metabolism, introduction of exogenous biosynthetic capacity, and overproduction of stress response proteins) and maintaining cell membrane functionality. Moreover, strategies to improve acid tolerance and the related physiological mechanisms are also discussed.
Previous research reported that serotonin receptor 2A gene (HTR2A) polymorphisms were associated with memory. However, it is unknown whether these genetic variants were associated with both true and false memories. The current study of 336 Han Chinese subjects tested 30 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the HTR2A gene for potential associations with true and false memories. False memories were assessed using the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm, in which people falsely remember semantically related (but unpresented) words. We found that 11 SNPs within the HTR2A gene were associated with true memory (p=0.000076-0.043). The associations between true memory and seven adjacent SNPs (i.e., rs1923888, rs1745837, rs9567739, rs3742279, rs655888, rs655854, and rs2296972) were still significant after multiple testing corrections. Haplotype-based association analysis revealed that, true memory was positively associated with haplotype A-C-C-G-C-T-A for these seven adjacent SNPs (p=0.000075), which was still significant after multiple testing correction. Only one SNP rs655854 was associated with false memory (p=0.023), and it was not significant after multiple testing correction. This study replicates, in an Asian population, that genetic variation in HTR2A is associated with episodic memory, and also suggests that this association is restricted to true memory.
The Allen Brain Atlas shows that the semaphorin 5A (SEMA5A) gene, which encodes an important protein for neurogenesis and neuronal apoptosis, is predominantly expressed in the human hippocampus. Structural and functional neuroimaging studies have further shown that the hippocampus plays an important role in the performance on Ravens Progressive Matrices (RPM), a measure of reasoning ability and general fluid intelligence. Thus far, however, no study has examined the relationships between the SEMA5A gene polymorphism, hippocampal volume, and RPM performance. The current study collected both structural MRI, genetic, and behavioral data in 329 healthy Chinese adults, and examined associations between SEMA5A variants, hippocampal volume, and performance on RAPM (the advanced form of RPM). After controlling for intracranial volume (ICV), sex, and age, SEMA5A genetic polymorphism at the SNP rs42352 had the strongest association with hippocampal volume (p=0.00000552 and 0.000103 for right and left hippocampal volumes, respectively), with TT homozygotes having higher hippocampal volume than the other genotypes. Furthermore, there was a high correlation between right hippocampal volume and RAPM performance (r=0.42, p=0.0000509) for SEMA5A rs42352 TT homozygotes. This study provides the first evidence for the involvement of the SEMA5A gene in hippocampal structure and their interaction on RAPM performance. Future studies of the hippocampus-RPM associations should consider genetic factors as potential moderators.
Although previous studies have shown that brain potentials recorded from passive observers differ when gambling-task outcomes are delivered to a friend or a stranger, it is unclear how these outcome evaluations are reflected in brain potentials during active competition. The present study recorded event-related potentials (ERP) from 16 normal adults playing an interactive gambling task against both a friend and a stranger. In this task, the P300 was modulated by the feedback valence (gain or loss) and the nature of the interpersonal relationship, such that it was larger when competing against strangers. Regression analyses indicated that empathy to anothers personal distress was negatively related to P300 amplitudes when competing against friends. The dFRN, defined as the difference between losses and gains, varied with Perspective-Taking when competing against friends, such that smaller dFRN amplitudes were correlated with increased Perspective-Taking. The modulation of ERP components indicates that interpersonal relationships may influence outcome evaluations in competitive situations. Correlations between ERP components and empathy measures also provide preliminary support of a relationship between ones empathy and the processing of outcomes during competition against a friend.
Chinese bayberry (Myrica rubra Sieb. et Zucc.) is a subtropical fruit tree native to China and other Asian countries, and culture of this Myricaceae plant has been recorded in Chinese history for more than 2000 years. Bayberry fruit is delicious with attractive color, flavor, and high economic value. Compared with other berries, bayberry fruit is a rich source of cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G, e.g., 64.8 mg/100 g fresh weight in Biqi cultivar), which accounts for at least 85 % of the anthocyanins in the fruit. Bayberry is also a plant with high medicinal value since different organs have been used historically as folk medicines. Research efforts suggest bayberry extracts contain antioxidants that exhibit bioactivities counteracting inflammation, allergens, diabetes, cancer, bacterial infection, diarrhea and other health issues. Bayberry compounds have been isolated and characterized to provide a better understanding of the chemical mechanisms underlying the biological activities of bayberry extracts and to elaborate the structure-activity relationships. As the identification of compounds progresses, studies investigating the in vivo metabolism and bioavailability as well as potential toxicity of bayberry extracts in animal models are receiving more attention. In addition, breeding and genetic studies of bayberry with high accumulation of health-benefiting compounds may provide new insight for the bayberry research and industry. This review is focused on the main medicinal properties reported and the possible pharmaceutically active compounds identified in different bayberry extracts.
The aim of this study is to achieve high-level extracellular production of D-Psicose-3-epimerase (DPE) with recombinant Escherichia coli. High-level production of DPE is one of the key factors in D-Psicose production. In the present study, the gene AAL45544.1 from Agrobacterium tumefaciens str. C58 was modified by artificial synthesis for overexpression in E. coli. The total DPE activity reached 3.96 U mL(-1) after optimization of the media composition, induction temperature, and concentration of inducer. Furthermore, it was found that addition of glycine had a positive effect on the extracellular production of DPE, which reached 3.5 U mL(-1). Finally, a two-stage glycerol feeding strategy based on both the specific growth rate before induction and the amount of glycerol residues after induction was applied in a 3-L fermenter. After a series of optimal strategies in the 3-L fermenter, the total and extracellular DPE activity were 5.08- and 3.11-fold higher than that noted in the shake flask. The extracellular and intracellular DPE activity reached 10.9 and 13.2 U mL(-1), achieving 25.5 and 31.1 % conversion of D-fructose to D-psicose, respectively. The systemic strategies presented in this study provide valuable novel information for the industrial application of DPE.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of nisin-inducible RecO expression on the stress tolerance of Lactococcus lactis NZ9000. RecO protein from Lactobacillus casei Zhang was introduced into Lactococcus lactis NZ9000 by using a nisin-inducible expression system. The recombinant strain (NZ-RecO) exhibited higher growth performances and survival rate compared with the control strain (NZ-Vector) under stress conditions. In addition, the NZ-RecO strain exhibited 1.37-, 1.41-, and 1.42-fold higher biomass, lactate production, lactate productivity, compared with the corresponding values for NZ-Vector during NaCl-stressed condition. Analysis of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity showed that the production of RecO maintained the stability of LDH during salt stress. These results suggest that overproduction of RecO improved the multiple-stress tolerance and lactic acid production in Lactococcus lactis NZ9000 during salt stress. Results presented in this study may help to enhance the industrial utility of lactic acid bacteria.
Sterile alpha motif domain-containing 11 (SAMD11) is evolutionarily conserved from zebrafish to human. Mouse Samd11 is predominantly expressed in developing retinal photoreceptors and the adult pineal gland, and its transcription is directly regulated by the cone-rod homeodomain protein Crx. However, there has been little research on human SAMD11. To investigate the function of human SAMD11, we first cloned its coding sequence (CDS) and identified up to 45 novel alternative splice variants (ASVs). Mouse Samd11 ASVs were also identified by aligning the mouse Samd11 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) with the annotated sequence. However, the range of expression and transcriptional regulation of SAMD11 differs between human and mouse. Human SAMD11 was found to be widely expressed in many cell lines and ocular tissues and its transcription was not regulated by CRX, OTX2 or NR2E3 proteins. Furthermore, functional analysis indicated that human SAMD11 could promote cell proliferation slightly. In conclusion, this study elucidated the basic characteristics of human SAMD11 and revealed that, although the occurrence of alternative splicing of SAMD11 was conserved, the function of SAMD11 may vary in different species.
This research investigated the relationship between false memories induced by two different paradigms (misinformation and Deese-Roediger-McDermott [DRM]). The misinformation effect refers to the phenomenon that a persons recollection of a witnessed event can be altered after exposure to misleading information about the event. DRM false memory represents the intrusion of words that are semantically related but not actually presented in the study session. Subjects (N = 432) completed both misinformation and DRM false memory tests. Results showed a small but significant correlation (r = .12, p = .02) between the misinformation and DRM false memories. Furthermore, using signal detection theory, we found that the discrimination ability index (d) was related to both the misinformation and DRM false memories (r = -.12 and -.13, p = .01), while the response bias was related only to DRM false memory (r = -.46, p < .001). These results suggest that misinformation and DRM false memories generally involve different mechanisms and that their shared mechanism may involve the global discrimination ability.
Poncirin is a bitter flavanone glycoside with various biological activities. Poncirin was isolated from four different tissues (flavedo, albedo, segment membrane, and juice sac) of Ougan fruit (Citrus reticulate cv. Suavissima). The highest content of poncirin was found in the albedo of Ougan fruit (1.37 mg/g DW). High speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC) combined with D101 resin chromatography was utilized for the separation and purification of poncirin from the albedo of Ougan fruit. After this two-step purification, poncirin purity increased from 0.14% to 96.56%. The chemical structure of the purified poncirin was identified by both HPLC-PDA and LC-MS. Poncirin showed a significant in vitro inhibitory effect on the growth of the human gastric cancer cells, SGC-7901, in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, poncirin from Ougan fruit, may be beneficial for gastric cancer prevention. The purification method demonstrated here will be useful for further studies on the pharmacological mechanism of poncirin activity, as well as for guiding the consumption of Ougan fruit.
A total of 2000 EST sequences were produced from cDNA libraries generated from Chinese bayberry fruit (Myrica rubra Sieb. and Zucc. cv. "Biqi") at four different ripening stages. After cluster and assembly analysis of the datasets by UniProt, 395 unigenes were identified, and their presumed functions were assigned to 14 putative cellular roles. Furthermore, a sequence BLAST was done for the top ten highly expressed genes in the ESTs, and genes associated with disease/defense and anthocyanin accumulation were analyzed. Gene-encoding elements associated with ethylene biosynthesis and signal transductions, in addition to other senescence-regulating proteins, as well as those associated with quality formation during fruit ripening, were also identified. Their possible roles were subsequently discussed.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of aspartate on the acid tolerance of L. casei. Acid stress induced the accumulation of intracellular aspartate in L. casei, and the acid-resistant mutant exhibited 32.5 % higher amount of aspartate than that of the parental strain at pH 4.3. Exogenous aspartate improved the growth performance and acid tolerance of Lactobacillus casei during acid stress. When cultivated in the presence of 50 mM aspartate, the biomass of cells increased 65.8 % compared with the control (without aspartate addition). In addition, cells grown at pH 4.3 with aspartate addition were challenged at pH 3.3 for 3 h, and the survival rate increased 42.26-fold. Analysis of the physiological data showed that the aspartate-supplemented cells exhibited higher intracellular pH (pHi), intracellular NH4 (+) content, H(+)-ATPase activity, and intracellular ATP pool. In addition, higher contents of intermediates involved in glycolysis and tricarboxylic acid cycle were observed in cells in the presence of aspartate. The increased contents of many amino acids including aspartate, arginine, leucine, isoleucine, and valine in aspartate-added cells may contribute to the regulation of pHi. Transcriptional analysis showed that the expression of argG and argH increased during acid stress, and the addition of aspartate induced 1.46- and 3.06-fold higher expressions of argG and argH, respectively, compared with the control. Results presented in this manuscript suggested that aspartate may protect L. casei against acid stress, and it may be used as a potential protectant during the production of probiotics.
This study explored event-related potential (ERP) correlates of common fractions (1/5) and decimal fractions (0.2). Thirteen subjects performed a numerical magnitude matching task under two conditions. In the common fraction condition, a nonsymbolic fraction was asked to be judged whether its magnitude matched the magnitude of a common fraction; in the decimal fraction condition, a nonsymbolic fraction was asked to be matched with a decimal fraction. Behavioral results showed significant main effects of condition and numerical distance, but no significant interaction of condition and numerical distance. Electrophysiological data showed that when nonsymbolic fractions were compared to common fractions, they displayed larger N1 and P3 amplitudes than when they were compared to decimal fractions. This finding suggested that the visual identification for nonsymbolic fractions was different under the two conditions, which was not due to perceptual differences but to task demands. For symbolic fractions, the condition effect was observed in the N1 and P3 components, revealing stimulus-specific visual identification processing. The effect of numerical distance as an index of numerical magnitude representation was observed in the P2, N3 and P3 components under the two conditions. However, the topography of the distance effect was different under the two conditions, suggesting stimulus specific semantic processing of common fractions and decimal fractions.
In this article, a simple and efficient protocol for rapid preparation and separation of neohesperidin from the albedo of Citrus reticulata cv. Suavissima was established by the combination of macroporous resin column chromatography and high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC). Six types of resin were investigated by adsorption and desorption tests, and D101 macroporous resin was selected for the first cleaning-up procedure, in which 55% aqueous ethanol was used to elute neohesperidin. After treatment with D101 resin, the neohesperidin purity increased 11.83-fold from 4.92% in the crude extract to 58.22% in the resin-refined sample, with a recovery of 68.97%. The resin-refined sample was directly subjected to HSCCC purification with a two-phase solvent system composed of ethyl acetate-n-butanol-water (4:1:5, v/v), and 23.6 mg neohesperidin with 97.47% purity was obtained from 60 mg sample in only one run. The recovery of neohesperidin in HSCCC separation procedure was 65.85%. The chemical structure of the purified neohesperidin was identified by both HPLC and LC-MS. The established purification process will be helpful for further characterization and utilization of Citrus neohesperidin.
Lactobacillus casei has traditionally been recognized as a probiotic and frequently used as an adjunct culture in fermented dairy products, where acid stress is an environmental condition commonly encountered. In the present study, we carried out a comparative physiological and proteomic study to investigate lactic-acid-induced alterations in Lactobacillus casei Zhang (WT) and its acid-resistant mutant. Analysis of the physiological data showed that the mutant exhibited 33.8% higher glucose phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system activity and lower glycolytic pH compared with the WT under acidic conditions. In addition, significant differences were detected in both cells during acid stress between intracellular physiological state, including intracellular pH, H(+)-ATPase activity, and intracellular ATP pool. Comparison of the proteomic data based on 2D-DIGE and i-TRAQ indicated that acid stress invoked a global change in both strains. The mutant protected the cells against acid damage by regulating the expression of key proteins involved in cellular metabolism, DNA replication, RNA synthesis, translation, and some chaperones. Proteome results were validated by Lactobacillus casei displaying higher intracellular aspartate and arginine levels, and the survival at pH 3.3 was improved 1.36- and 2.10-fold by the addition of 50-mM aspartate and arginine, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that aspartate may be involved in acid tolerance in Lactobacillus casei. Results presented here may help us understand acid resistance mechanisms and help formulate new strategies to enhance the industrial applications of this species.
?-fetoprotein (AFP), a tumor-associated antigen for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is an established biomarker for HCC. In this study, we created a lentivirus expressing the AFP antigen and investigated the anti-tumor activity of AFP-specific CD8+ T cells, with and without CD4+ T cells, which were activated by either AFP peptide-pulsed or Lenti-AFP-engineered Dendritic cells (DCs) in vitro and in vivo. AFP-specific T cells could efficiently kill HepG2 HCC cells, and produced IL-2, IFN-?, TNF-?, perforin and granzyme B, with minimal production of IL-10 (a negative regulator of T cell activation). Both strategies activated AFP-specific T cells, but the lentiviral strategy was superior by several measures. Data also support an impact of CD4+ T cells in supporting anti-tumor activity. In vivo studies in a xenograft HCC tumor model also showed that AFP-specific T cells could markedly suppress HCC tumor formation and morbidity in tumor-bearing nude mice, as well as regulate serum levels of related cytokines and anti-tumor molecules. In parallel with human in vitro T cell cultures, the in vivo model demonstrated superior anti-tumor effects and Th1-skewing with Lenti-AFP-DCs. This study supports the superiority of a full-length antigen lentivirus-based DCs vaccine strategy over peptides, and provides new insight into the design of DCs-based vaccines.
Flavonoids and phenolics are abundant in loquat flowers. Methanol had the highest extraction efficiency among five solvents, followed by ethanol. Considering the safety and residue, ethanol is better as extraction solvent. The average content of flavonoids and phenolics of loquat flower of five cultivars were 1.59 ± 0.24 and 7.86 ± 0.87 mg/g DW, respectively, when using ethanol as extraction solvent. The contents of both bioactive components in flowers at different developmental stages and in the various flower tissues clearly differed, with the highest flavonoids and phenolics content in flowers of stage 3 (flower fully open) and petal, respectively. The antioxidant capacity was measured using FRAP, DPPH, and ABTS methods. The values of ABTS method was highest, followed by DPPH, the lowest was FRAP, when using vitamin C equivalent antioxidant capacity (VCEAC) as unit. Correlation analysis showed that the ABTS method showed the highest correlation coefficients with flavonoids and phenolics, i.e., 0.886 and 0.973, respectively.
In order to detect cross-sectional age characteristics of cognitive neural mechanisms in audio-visual modal interference inhibition, event-related potentials (ERP) of 14 10-year-old children were recorded while performing the words interference task. In incongruent conditions, the participants were required to inhibit the audio interference words of the same category. The present findings provided the preliminary evidence of brain mechanism for the childrens inhibition development in the specific childhood stage.
The aim of this study was to determine physical changes in nectarine and distinctive physiological characteristics related to red and green peel under stresses occurring during fruit maturation, information on which is currently not available.
Portal vein tumor thrombus (PVTT) has previously been demonstrated to correlate with poor prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. Approximately 50-80% of HCC is accompanied by portal or hepatic vein invasion. The underlying mechanisms of PVTT development remain unclear. This study aimed to elucidate the role of miR-135a in PVTT tumorigenesis.
Oxidative stress plays a pivotal role during the islet transplantation procedure, and antioxidant supplementation may protect grafts against oxidative injury. Chinese bayberry is one of six Myrica species native to China, and we demonstrated here that anthocyanins from Chinese bayberry extract (CBE) protect pancreatic ? cells (INS-1) against hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2))-induced necrosis and apoptosis. Anthocyanins time- and dose-dependently upregulated heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) gene expression in ? cells and primary islets. HO-1 knockdown increased H(2)O(2)-induced cell death and attenuated the cytoprotective effect of anthocyanins. Anthocyanin treatment activated ERK1/2 and PI3K/Akt signaling, and ERK1/2 and PI3K inhibitors partially attenuated anthocyanin-mediated induction of HO-1. Additionally, ? cells pretreated with anthocyanins displayed a decreased extent of apoptosis after transplantation. In summary, these results suggest that anthocyanins in CBE protect ? cells from H(2)O(2)-induced cell injury via ERK1/2- and PI3K/Akt-mediated HO-1 upregulation.
This research investigated the cognitive correlates of false memories that are induced by the misinformation paradigm. A large sample of Chinese college students (N=436) participated in a misinformation procedure and also took a battery of cognitive tests. Results revealed sizable and systematic individual differences in false memory arising from exposure to misinformation. False memories were significantly and negatively correlated with measures of intelligence (measured with Ravens Advanced Progressive Matrices and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale), perception (Motor-Free Visual Perception Test, Change Blindness, and Tone Discrimination), memory (Wechsler Memory Scales and 2-back Working Memory tasks), and face judgement (Face Recognition and Facial Expression Recognition). These findings suggest that people with relatively low intelligence and poor perceptual abilities might be more susceptible to the misinformation effect.
Liver damage in hepatic surgery from warm ischemia and reperfusion (I/R), especially in patients with underlying chronic liver disease, is still challenging. We propose a new method of perfusion of the liver by catheterizing the umbilical vein in the period of hepatic inflow occlusion, and evaluate the influence of transfusion of normal saline (NS) on liver injury in a modified I/R rat model.
DOPA decarboxylase (DDC) is involved in the synthesis of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. It has been suggested that genes involved in the dopamine, norepinephrine, and cholinergic systems play an essential role in the efficiency of human attention networks. Attention refers to the cognitive process of obtaining and maintaining the alert state, orienting to sensory events, and regulating the conflicts of thoughts and behavior. The present study tested seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the DDC gene for association with attention, which was assessed by the Attention Network Test to detect three networks of attention, including alerting, orienting, and executive attention, in a healthy Han Chinese sample (N=451). Association analysis for individual SNPs indicated that four of the seven SNPs (rs3887825, rs7786398, rs10499695, and rs6969081) were significantly associated with alerting attention. Haplotype-based association analysis revealed that alerting was associated with the haplotype G-A-T for SNPs rs7786398-rs10499695-rs6969081. These associations remained significant after correcting for multiple testing by max(T) permutation. No association was found for orienting and executive attention. This study provides the first evidence for the involvement of the DDC gene in alerting attention. A better understanding of the genetic basis of distinct attention networks would allow us to develop more effective diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of deficient or underdeveloped alerting attention as well as its related prevalent neuropsychiatric disorders.
Hyperplasia or hypoplasia of muscles gradually leads to strabismus. Myogenesis-related genes are involved in extraocular muscle development, including myogenic differentiation 1 (MYOD1), myogenin (MYOG), retinoblastoma 1 (RB1), cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (P21), cyclin?dependent kinase inhibitor 1C (P57), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and muscle creatine kinase (MCK). This study evaluated the expression of the above seven myogenesis-related genes by real-time quantitative RT-PCR in 18 resected extrocular muscles of patients with concomitant strabismus and 12 normal control muscle samples from one presumably healthy male 6 h after sudden mortality. We found that although there was a great divergence among the expression levels of 6 myogenesis-related regulatory factors, the relative expression patterns were similar in all the normal muscles, including the synergistic, antagonistic and yoke muscles. However, their expression levels in the 18 diseased extraocular muscles were abnormal; the expression levels of all the genes, with the exception of P57, were reduced in most of the diseased muscle tissues. These results imply that the abnormal expression of these myogenesis-related genes may contribute to concomitant strabismus.
Mangiferin is a natural xanthonoid with various biological activities. Quantification of mangiferin in fruit peel, pulp, and seed kernel was carried out in 11 Chinese mango (Mangifera indica L.) cultivars. The highest mangiferin content was found in the peel of Lvpimang (LPM) fruit (7.49 mg/g DW). Efficient purification of mangiferin from mango fruit peel was then established for the first time by combination of macroporous HPD100 resin chromatography with optimized high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC). Purified mangiferin was identified by both HPLC and LC-MS, and it showed higher DPPH(•) free-radical scavenging capacities and ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) than by l-ascorbic acid (Vc) or Trolox. In addition, it showed significant protective effects on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) under H(2)O(2)-induced stress. Cells treated with mangiferin resulted in significant enhanced cell survival under of H(2)O(2) stress. Therefore, mangiferin from mango fruit provides a promising perspective for the prevention of oxidative stress-associated diseases.
Huyou (Citrus changshanensis) is rich in naringin and neohesperidin, which are natural flavanone glycosides with a range of biological activities. Among the different fruit parts, i.e. flavedo, albedo, segment membrane (SM), and juice sacs (JS), albedo showed the highest contents of both compounds, with 27.00 and 19.09mg/g DW for naringin and neohesperidin, respectively. Efficient simultaneous purification of naringin and neohesperidin from Huyou albedo was established by the combination of macroporous D101 resin chromatography and high-speed counter-current chromatography (HSCCC). Purified naringin and neohesperidin were identified by both HPLC and LC-MS, and their effects on glucose consumption were investigated in HepG2 cells. Cells treated with naringin and neohesperidin showed increased consumption of glucose, and this was associated with increased phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Therefore, naringin and neohesperidin from Huyou may act as potential hypoglycaemic agents through regulation of glucose metabolism.
As cell factories, lactic acid bacteria are widely used in food, agriculture, medicine and other industries, and play a great role in industrial processes. However, lactic acid bacteria encounter various environmental stresses both in industrial processes and in the gastrointestinal tract, which impair their physiological functions and food manufacture efficiency. Recently, the development of metabolic engineering and system biology brings unprecedented opportunity for the physiological modification of lactic acid bacteria. In this review, we addresses the progress of lactic acid bacterium system biology, and based on this, the metabolic engineering strategies for manipulating and optimizing lactic acid bacteria physiological function were summarized.
Lactobacillus casei strains have traditionally been recognized as probiotics and frequently used as adjunct culture in fermented dairy products where lactic acid stress is a frequently encountered environmental condition. We have investigated the effect of lactic acid stress on the cell membrane of L. casei Zhang [wild type (WT)] and its acid-resistant mutant Lbz-2. Both strains were grown under glucose-limiting conditions in chemostats; following challenge by low pH, the cell membrane stress responses were investigated. In response to acid stress, cell membrane fluidity decreased and its fatty acid composition changed to reduce the damage caused by lactic acid. Compared with the WT, the acid-resistant mutant exhibited numerous survival advantages, such as higher membrane fluidity, higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acids, and higher mean chain length. In addition, cell integrity analysis showed that the mutant maintained a more intact cellular structure and lower membrane permeability after environmental acidification. These results indicate that alteration in membrane fluidity, fatty acid distribution, and cell integrity are common mechanisms utilized by L. casei to withstand severe acidification and to reduce the deleterious effect of lactic acid on the cell membrane. This detailed comparison of cell membrane responses between the WT and mutant add to our knowledge of the acid stress adaptation and thus enable new strategies to be developed aimed at improving the industrial performance of this species under acid stress.
This study investigated the relation between genetic variations in the dopamine system and facial expression recognition.
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