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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Better Diet Quality before Pregnancy Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Gastroschisis in Hispanic Women.
J. Nutr.
PUBLISHED: 09-24-2014
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Gastroschisis is unique because of its substantial risk in pregnancies of adolescent women. Adolescents may have poor diet quality, which places them at higher risk of gastroschisis.
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Maternal periconceptional occupational pesticide exposure and neural tube defects.
Birth Defects Res. Part A Clin. Mol. Teratol.
PUBLISHED: 08-15-2014
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Background: Adverse associations between maternal pesticide exposure and neural tube defects (NTDs) have been suggested but not consistently observed. This study used data from the multisite National Birth Defects Prevention Study to examine associations between maternal periconceptional (1 month preconception through 2 months postconception) occupational pesticide exposure and NTDs. Methods: Mothers of 502 NTD cases and 2950 unaffected live-born control infants with estimated delivery dates from 1997 through 2002 were included. Duration, categorical intensity scores, and categorical frequency scores for pesticide classes (e.g., insecticides) were assigned using a modified, literature-based job-exposure matrix and maternal-reported occupational histories. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated based on fitted multivariable logistic regression models that described associations between maternal periconceptional occupational pesticide exposure and NTDs. The aORs were estimated for pesticide exposure (any [yes/no] and cumulative exposure [intensity × frequency × duration] to any pesticide class, each pesticide class, or combination of pesticide classes) and all NTD cases combined and NTD subtypes. Results: Positive, but marginally significant or nonsignificant, aORs were observed for exposure to insecticides?+?herbicides for all NTD cases combined and for spina bifida alone. Similarly, positive aORs were observed for any exposure and cumulative exposure to insecticides + herbicides + fungicides and anencephaly alone and encephalocele alone. All other aORs were near unity. Conclusion: Pesticide exposure associations varied by NTD subtype and pesticide class. Several aORs were increased, but not significantly. Future work should continue to examine associations between pesticide classes and NTD subtypes using a detailed occupational pesticide exposure assessment and examine pesticide exposures outside the workplace. Birth Defects Research (Part A), 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Increasing microtubule acetylation rescues axonal transport and locomotor deficits caused by LRRK2 Roc-COR domain mutations.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 08-07-2014
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Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) mutations are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease. LRRK2 is a multifunctional protein affecting many cellular processes and has been described to bind microtubules. Defective microtubule-based axonal transport is hypothesized to contribute to Parkinson's disease, but whether LRRK2 mutations affect this process to mediate pathogenesis is not known. Here we find that LRRK2 containing pathogenic Roc-COR domain mutations (R1441C, Y1699C) preferentially associates with deacetylated microtubules, and inhibits axonal transport in primary neurons and in Drosophila, causing locomotor deficits in vivo. In vitro, increasing microtubule acetylation using deacetylase inhibitors or the tubulin acetylase ?TAT1 prevents association of mutant LRRK2 with microtubules, and the deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) restores axonal transport. In vivo knockdown of the deacetylases HDAC6 and Sirt2, or administration of TSA rescues both axonal transport and locomotor behavior. Thus, this study reveals a pathogenic mechanism and a potential intervention for Parkinson's disease.
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Residential agricultural pesticide exposures and risk of selected congenital heart defects among offspring in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-25-2014
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Pesticide exposures are ubiquitous and of substantial public concern. We examined the potential association of congenital heart defects with residential proximity to commercial agricultural pesticide applications in the San Joaquin Valley, California.
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Exposure to airborne polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons during pregnancy and risk of preterm birth.
Environ. Res.
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2014
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Preterm birth is an important marker of health and has a prevalence of 12-13% in the U.S. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of organic contaminants that form during the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons, such as coal, diesel and gasoline. Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs during pregnancy is related to adverse birth outcomes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the association between exposure to PAHs during the pregnancy and preterm birth.
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Maternal occupational exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and small for gestational age offspring.
Occup Environ Med
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2014
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While some of the highest maternal exposures to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) occur in the workplace, there is only one previous study of occupational PAH exposure and adverse pregnancy outcomes. We sought to extend this literature using interview data combined with detailed exposure assessment.
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Switching on ubiquitylation by phosphorylating a ubiquitous activator.
Biochem. J.
PUBLISHED: 05-30-2014
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The dysfunction of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin is a key contributor to the development of early-onset Parkinson's disease. Parkin is responsible for the labelling of outer mitochondrial membrane proteins with the small modifier protein ubiquitin in response to oxidative stress. This ubiquitylation signals the clearance of the damaged mitochondria to preserve overall cell health. Recent structural and biochemical experiments have shown that native Parkin exists in an autoinhibited state that must be activated in order to unmask its full ubiquitylation potential. In a recent article in the Biochemical Journal (vol. 460, pp. 127-139), Kazlauskaite and co-workers identified that the Parkinson's disease-associated kinase PINK1 [PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10)-induced putative kinase 1] can phosphorylate ubiquitin in response to mitochondrial depolarization. Furthermore, the authors demonstrated that phosphorylated ubiquitin can activate Parkin's E3 ligase activity and promote both increased autoubiquitylation and substrate ubiquitylation of the mitochondrial protein Miro1. The study provides exciting initial insights that show how PINK1 might activate ubiquitin through phosphorylation, and how this important regulatory step might switch on Parkin-mediated ubiquitylation.
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Pivotal role for the ubiquitin Y59-E51 loop in lysine 48 polyubiquitination.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2014
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Lysine 48 (K48)-polyubiquitination is the predominant mechanism for mediating selective protein degradation, but the underlying molecular basis of selecting ubiquitin (Ub) K48 for linkage-specific chain synthesis remains elusive. Here, we present biochemical, structural, and cell-based evidence demonstrating a pivotal role for the Ub Y59-E51 loop in supporting K48-polyubiquitination. This loop is established by a hydrogen bond between Ub Y59's hydroxyl group and the backbone amide of Ub E51, as substantiated by NMR spectroscopic analysis. Loop residues Y59 and R54 are specifically required for the receptor activity enabling K48 to attack the donor Ub-E2 thiol ester in reconstituted ubiquitination catalyzed by Skp1-Cullin1-F-box (SCF)(?TrCP) E3 ligase and Cdc34 E2-conjugating enzyme. When introduced into mammalian cells, loop-disruptive mutant Ub(R54A/Y59A) diminished the production of K48-polyubiquitin chains. Importantly, conditional replacement of human endogenous Ub by Ub(R54A/Y59A) or Ub(K48R) yielded profound apoptosis at a similar extent, underscoring the global impact of the Ub Y59-E51 loop in cellular K48-polyubiquitination. Finally, disulfide cross-linking revealed interactions between the donor Ub-bound Cdc34 acidic loop and the Ub K48 site, as well as residues within the Y59-E51 loop, suggesting a mechanism in which the Ub Y59-E51 loop helps recruit the E2 acidic loop that aligns the receptor Ub K48 to the donor Ub for catalysis.
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Maternal prepregnancy body mass index and risk of spontaneous preterm birth.
Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol
PUBLISHED: 05-09-2014
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Findings from studies examining risk of preterm birth associated with elevated prepregnancy body mass index (BMI) have been inconsistent.
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Structural enzymology and inhibition of the bi-functional folate pathway enzyme HPPK-DHPS from the biowarfare agent Francisella tularensis.
FEBS J.
PUBLISHED: 04-12-2014
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Two valid targets for antibiotic development, 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase (HPPK) and dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS), catalyze consecutive reactions in folate biosynthesis. In Francisella tularensis (Ft), these two activities are contained in a single protein, FtHPPK-DHPS. Although Pemble et al. (PLoS One 5, e14165) determined the structure of FtHPPK-DHPS, they were unable to measure the kinetic parameters of the enzyme. In this study, we elucidated the binding and inhibitory activities of two HPPK inhibitors (HP-18 and HP-26) against FtHPPK-DHPS, determined the structure of FtHPPK-DHPS in complex with HP-26, and measured the kinetic parameters for the dual enzymatic activities of FtHPPK-DHPS. The biochemical analyses showed that HP-18 and HP-26 have significant isozyme selectivity, and that FtHPPK-DHPS is unique in that the catalytic efficiency of its DHPS activity is only 1/260,000 of that of Escherichia coli DHPS. Sequence and structural analyses suggest that HP-26 is an excellent lead for developing therapeutic agents for tularemia, and that the very low DHPS activity is due, at least in part, to the lack of a key residue that interacts with the substrate p-aminobenzoic acid (pABA). A BLAST search of the genomes of ten F. tularensis strains indicated that the bacterium contains a single FtHPPK-DHPS. The marginal DHPS activity and the single copy existence of FtHPPK-DHPS in F. tularensis make this bacterium more vulnerable to DHPS inhibitors. Current sulfa drugs are ineffective against tularemia; new inhibitors targeting the unique pABA-binding pocket may be effective and less subject to resistance because any mutations introducing resistance may make the marginal DHPS activity unable to support the growth of F. tularensis.
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Maternal stressors and social support as risks for delivering babies with structural birth defects.
Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol
PUBLISHED: 04-04-2014
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We examined the association of maternal stressful life events and social support with risks of birth defects using National Birth Defects Prevention Study data, a population-based case-control study.
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Novel mutations in PXDN cause microphthalmia and anterior segment dysgenesis.
Eur. J. Hum. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 04-03-2014
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We used exome sequencing to study a non-consanguineous family with two children who had anterior segment dysgenesis, sclerocornea, microphthalmia, hypotonia and developmental delays. Sanger sequencing verified two Peroxidasin (PXDN) mutations in both sibs-a maternally inherited, nonsense mutation, c.1021C>T predicting p.(Arg341*), and a paternally inherited, 23-basepair deletion causing a frameshift and premature protein truncation, c.2375_2397del23, predicting p.(Leu792Hisfs*67). We re-examined exome data from 20 other patients with structural eye defects and identified two additional PXDN mutations in a sporadic male with bilateral microphthalmia, cataracts and anterior segment dysgenesis-a maternally inherited, frameshift mutation, c.1192delT, predicting p.(Tyr398Thrfs*40) and a paternally inherited, missense substitution that was predicted to be deleterious, c.947?A>C, predicting p.(Gln316Pro). Mutations in PXDN were previously reported in three families with congenital cataracts, microcornea, sclerocornea and developmental glaucoma. The gene is expressed in corneal epithelium and is secreted into the extracellular matrix. Defective peroxidasin has been shown to impair sulfilimine bond formation in collagen IV, a constituent of the basement membrane, implying that the eye defects result because of loss of basement membrane integrity in the developing eye. Our finding of a broader phenotype than previously appreciated for PXDN mutations is typical for exome-sequencing studies, which have proven to be highly effective for mutation detection in patients with atypical presentations. We conclude that PXDN sequencing should be considered in microphthalmia with anterior segment dysgenesis.European Journal of Human Genetics advance online publication, 18 June 2014; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2014.119.
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Early pregnancy agricultural pesticide exposures and risk of gastroschisis among offspring in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Birth Defects Res. Part A Clin. Mol. Teratol.
PUBLISHED: 03-28-2014
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Prevalence of gastroschisis has inexplicably been increasing over the past few decades. Our intent was to explore whether early gestational exposures to pesticides were associated with risk of gastroschisis.
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Structural basis for the inhibition of host protein ubiquitination by Shigella effector kinase OspG.
Structure
PUBLISHED: 03-19-2014
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Shigella invasion of its human host is assisted by T3SS-delivered effector proteins. The OspG effector kinase binds ubiquitin and ubiquitin-loaded E2-conjugating enzymes, including UbcH5b and UbcH7, and attenuates the host innate immune NF-kB signaling. We present the structure of OspG bound to the UbcH7?Ub conjugate. OspG has a minimal kinase fold lacking the activation loop of regulatory kinases. UbcH7?Ub binds OspG at sites remote from the kinase active site, yet increases its kinase activity. The ubiquitin is positioned in the "open" conformation with respect to UbcH7 using its I44 patch to interact with the C terminus of OspG. UbcH7 binds to OspG using two conserved loops essential for E3 ligase recruitment. The interaction of the UbcH7?Ub with OspG is remarkably similar to the interaction of an E2?Ub with a HECT E3 ligase. OspG interferes with the interaction of UbcH7 with the E3 parkin and inhibits the activity of the E3.
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Sociodemographic and hispanic acculturation factors and isolated anotia/microtia.
Birth Defects Res. Part A Clin. Mol. Teratol.
PUBLISHED: 03-17-2014
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It has been observed in several studies that infants with anotia/microtia are more common among Hispanics compared with other racial/ethnic groups. We examined the association between selected Hispanic ethnicity and acculturation factors and anotia/microtia in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
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RBR E3 ubiquitin ligases: new structures, new insights, new questions.
Biochem. J.
PUBLISHED: 03-01-2014
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The RBR (RING-BetweenRING-RING) or TRIAD [two RING fingers and a DRIL (double RING finger linked)] E3 ubiquitin ligases comprise a group of 12 complex multidomain enzymes. This unique family of E3 ligases includes parkin, whose dysfunction is linked to the pathogenesis of early-onset Parkinson's disease, and HOIP (HOIL-1-interacting protein) and HOIL-1 (haem-oxidized IRP2 ubiquitin ligase 1), members of the LUBAC (linear ubiquitin chain assembly complex). The RBR E3 ligases share common features with both the larger RING and HECT (homologous with E6-associated protein C-terminus) E3 ligase families, directly catalysing ubiquitin transfer from an intrinsic catalytic cysteine housed in the C-terminal domain, as well as recruiting thioester-bound E2 enzymes via a RING domain. Recent three-dimensional structures and biochemical findings of the RBRs have revealed novel protein domain folds not previously envisioned and some surprising modes of regulation that have raised many questions. This has required renaming two of the domains in the RBR E3 ligases to more accurately reflect their structures and functions: the C-terminal Rcat (required-for-catalysis) domain, essential for catalytic activity, and a central BRcat (benign-catalytic) domain that adopts the same fold as the Rcat, but lacks a catalytic cysteine residue and ubiquitination activity. The present review discusses how three-dimensional structures of RBR (RING1-BRcat-Rcat) E3 ligases have provided new insights into our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms of these important enzymes in ubiquitin biology.
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Residential agricultural pesticide exposures and risk of neural tube defects and orofacial clefts among offspring in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Am. J. Epidemiol.
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2014
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We examined whether early gestational exposures to pesticides were associated with an increased risk of anencephaly, spina bifida, cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CLP), or cleft palate only. We used population-based data along with detailed information from maternal interviews. Exposure estimates were based on residential proximity to agricultural pesticide applications during early pregnancy. The study population derived from the San Joaquin Valley, California (1997-2006). Analyses included 73 cases with anencephaly, 123 with spina bifida, 277 with CLP, and 117 with cleft palate only in addition to 785 controls. A total of 38% of the subjects were exposed to 52 chemical groups and 257 specific chemicals. There were relatively few elevated odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals that excluded 1 after adjustment for relevant covariates. Those chemical groups included petroleum derivatives for anencephaly, hydroxybenzonitrile herbicides for spina bifida, and 2,6-dinitroaniline herbicides and dithiocarbamates-methyl isothiocyanate for CLP. The specific chemicals included 2,4-D dimethylamine salt, methomyl, imidacloprid, and ?-(para-nonylphenyl)-?-hydroxypoly(oxyethylene) phosphate ester for anencephaly; the herbicide bromoxynil octanoate for spina bifida; and trifluralin and maneb for CLP. Adjusted odds ratios ranged from 1.6 to 5.1. Given that such odds ratios might have arisen by chance because of the number of comparisons, our study showed a general lack of association between a range of agricultural pesticide exposures and risks of selected birth defects.
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Genetic epidemiology and nonsyndromic structural birth defects: from candidate genes to epigenetics.
JAMA Pediatr
PUBLISHED: 02-12-2014
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Birth defects are a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality worldwide. The vast majority of birth defects are nonsyndromic, and although their etiologies remain mostly unknown, evidence supports the hypothesis that they result from the complex interaction of genetic, epigenetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors. Since our last review published in 2002 describing the basic tools of genetic epidemiology used to study nonsyndromic structural birth defects, many new approaches have become available and have been used with varying success. Through rapid advances in genomic technologies, investigators are now able to investigate large portions of the genome at a fraction of previous costs. With next-generation sequencing, research has progressed from assessing a small percentage of single-nucleotide polymorphisms to assessing the entire human protein-coding repertoire (exome)-an approach that is starting to uncover rare but informative mutations associated with nonsyndromic birth defects. Herein, we report on the current state of the genetic epidemiology of birth defects and comment on future challenges and opportunities. We consider issues of study design, and we discuss common variant approaches, including candidate gene studies and genome-wide association studies. We also discuss the complexities embedded in exploring interactions between genes and the environment. We complete our review by describing new and promising next-generation sequencing technologies and examining how the study of epigenetic mechanisms could become the key to unraveling the complex etiologies of nonsyndromic structural birth defects.
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Haploinsufficiency of insulin gene enhancer protein 1 (ISL1) is associated with d-transposition of the great arteries.
Mol Genet Genomic Med
PUBLISHED: 02-06-2014
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Congenital heart defects are the most common malformation, and are the foremost causes of mortality in the first year of life. Among congenital heart defects, conotruncal defects represent about 20% and are severe malformations with significant morbidity. Insulin gene enhancer protein 1 (ISL1) has been considered a candidate gene for conotruncal heart defects based on its embryonic expression pattern and heart defects induced in Isl1 knockout mice. Nevertheless no mutation of ISL1 has been reported from any human subject with a heart defect. From a population base of 974,579 births during 1999-2004, we used multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification to screen for microdeletions/duplications of ISL1 among 389 infants with tetralogy of Fallot or d-transposition of the great arteries (d-TGA). We also sequenced all exons of ISL1. We identified a novel 20-kb microdeletion encompassing the entire coding region of ISL1, but not including either flanking gene, from an infant with d-TGA. We confirmed that the deletion was caused by nonhomologous end joining mechanism. Sequencing of exons of ISL1 did not reveal any subject with a novel nonsynonymous mutation. This is the first report of an ISL1 mutation of a child with a congenital heart defect.
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Late detection of critical congenital heart disease among US infants: estimation of the potential impact of proposed universal screening using pulse oximetry.
JAMA Pediatr
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2014
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Critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) was added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel for Newborns in the United States in 2011. Many states have recently adopted or are considering requirements for universal CCHD screening through pulse oximetry in birth hospitals. Limited previous research is directly applicable to the question of how many US infants with CCHD might be identified through screening.
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Corticosteroid use and risk of orofacial clefts.
Birth Defects Res. Part A Clin. Mol. Teratol.
PUBLISHED: 02-02-2014
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Maternal use of corticosteroids during early pregnancy has been inconsistently associated with orofacial clefts in the offspring. A previous report from the National Birth Defect Prevention Study (NBDPS), using data from 1997 to 2002, found an association with cleft lip and palate (odds ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-2.6), but not cleft palate only (odds ratio, 0.5, 95%CI, 0.2-1.3). From 2003 to 2009, the study population more than doubled in size, and our objective was to assess this association in the more recent data.
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Combined elevated midpregnancy tumor necrosis factor alpha and hyperlipidemia in pregnancies resulting in early preterm birth.
Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2014
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The objective of the study was to determine whether pregnancies resulting in early preterm birth (PTB) (<30 weeks) were more likely than term pregnancies to have elevated midtrimester serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?) levels combined with lipid patterns suggestive of hyperlipidemia.
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Risk of selected structural abnormalities in infants after increased nuchal translucency measurement.
Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.
PUBLISHED: 01-28-2014
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We sought to examine the association between increased first-trimester fetal nuchal translucency (NT) measurement and major noncardiac structural birth defects in euploid infants.
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Association between maternal characteristics, abnormal serum aneuploidy analytes, and placental abruption.
Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.
PUBLISHED: 01-28-2014
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The objective of the study was to examine the association between placental abruption, maternal characteristics, and routine first- and second-trimester aneuploidy screening analytes.
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A snapshot of ubiquitin chain elongation: lysine 48-tetra-ubiquitin slows down ubiquitination.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 01-24-2014
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We have explored the mechanisms of polyubiquitin chain assembly with reconstituted ubiquitination of I?B? and ?-catenin by the Skp1-cullin 1-?TrCP F-box protein (SCF(?TrCP)) E3 ubiquitin (Ub) ligase complex. Competition experiments revealed that SCF(?TrCP) formed a complex with I?B? and that the Nedd8 modified E3-substrate platform engaged in dynamic interactions with the Cdc34 E2 Ub conjugating enzyme for chain elongation. Using "elongation intermediates" containing ?-catenin linked with Ub chains of defined length, it was observed that a Lys-48-Ub chain of a length greater than four, but not its Lys-63 linkage counterparts, slowed the rate of additional Ub conjugation. Thus, the Ub chain length and linkage impact kinetic rates of chain elongation. Given that Lys-48-tetra-Ub is packed into compact conformations due to extensive intrachain interactions between Ub subunits, this topology may limit the accessibility of SCF(?TrCP)/Cdc34 to the distal Ub Lys-48 and result in slowed elongation.
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Swedish and American studies show that initiatives to decrease maternal obesity could play a key role in reducing preterm birth.
Acta Paediatr.
PUBLISHED: 01-22-2014
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Maternal obesity is a major source of preventable perinatal morbidity, but studies of the relationship between obesity and preterm birth have been inconsistent. This review looks at two major studies covering just under 3.5 million births, from California, USA, and Sweden.
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Antihomocitrullinated fibrinogen antibodies are specific to rheumatoid arthritis and frequently bind citrullinated proteins/peptides.
J. Rheumatol.
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2014
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Anticitrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPA) are implicated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathogenesis and linked to the shared epitope (SE). Citrulline modification is very similar to a different modified amino acid, homocitrulline. We investigated antihomocitrullinated protein/ peptide antibody (AHCPA) specificity for RA, whether ACPA were also able to bind homocitrullinated targets, and whether the SE could accommodate homocitrullinated peptide.
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One-carbon metabolite levels in mid-pregnancy and risks of conotruncal heart defects.
Birth Defects Res. Part A Clin. Mol. Teratol.
PUBLISHED: 01-13-2014
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Evidence exists for an association between use of vitamin supplements with folic acid in early pregnancy and reduced risk for offspring with conotruncal heart defects. A few observations have been made about nutrients related to one-carbon metabolism other than folate. Our prospective study attempted to extend information on nutrition and conotruncal heart defects by measuring analytes in mid-pregnancy sera.
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Population-level correlates of preterm delivery among black and white women in the U.S.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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This study examined the ability of social, demographic, environmental and health-related factors to explain geographic variability in preterm delivery among black and white women in the US and whether these factors explain black-white disparities in preterm delivery.
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Identification of novel CELSR1 mutations in spina bifida.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Spina bifida is one of the most common neural tube defects (NTDs) with a complex etiology. Variants in planar cell polarity (PCP) genes have been associated with NTDs including spina bifida in both animal models and human cohorts. In this study, we sequenced all exons of CELSR1 in 192 spina bifida patients from a California population to determine the contribution of CELSR1 mutations in the studied population. Novel and rare variants identified in these patients were subsequently genotyped in 190 ethnically matched control individuals. Six missense mutations not found in controls were predicted to be deleterious by both SIFT and PolyPhen. Two TG dinucleotide repeat variants were individually detected in 2 spina bifida patients but not detected in controls. In vitro functional analysis showed that the two TG dinucleotide repeat variants not only changed subcellular localization of the CELSR1 protein, but also impaired the physical association between CELSR1 and VANGL2, and thus diminished the ability to recruit VANGL2 for cell-cell contact. In total, 3% of our spina bifida patients carry deleterious or predicted to be deleterious CELSR1 mutations. Our findings suggest that CELSR1 mutations contribute to the risk of spina bifida in a cohort of spina bifida patients from California.
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RNase III: Genetics and Function; Structure and Mechanism.
Annu. Rev. Genet.
PUBLISHED: 11-27-2013
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RNase III is a global regulator of gene expression in Escherichia coli that is instrumental in the maturation of ribosomal and other structural RNAs. We examine here how RNase III itself is regulated in response to growth and other environmental changes encountered by the cell and how, by binding or processing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) intermediates, RNase III controls the expression of genes. Recent insight into the mechanism of dsRNA binding and processing, gained from structural studies of RNase III, is reviewed. Structural studies also reveal new cleavage sites in the enzyme that can generate longer 3 overhangs.
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Hypoxia-inducible factor 2? regulates key neutrophil functions in humans, mice and zebrafish.
Blood
PUBLISHED: 11-06-2013
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Neutrophil (PMN) lifespan and function are regulated by hypoxia, via components of the HIF/VHL/hydroxylase pathway, including specific roles for hypoxia inducible factor-1? (HIF-1?) and prolyl hydroxylase-3 (PHD3). HIF-2? has both distinct and overlapping biological roles with HIF-1?, and has not previously been studied in the context of neutrophil biology. We have investigated the role of HIF-2? in regulating key PMN functions. Human and murine peripheral blood PMN expressed HIF-2?, with expression up-regulated by acute and chronic inflammatory stimuli and in disease-associated inflammatory PMN. HIF2A gain-of-function mutations resulted in a reduction in PMN apoptosis both ex vivo, through the study of patient cells, and in vivo in a zebrafish tail injury model. In contrast, HIF-2? deficient murine inflammatory PMN displayed increased sensitivity to nitrosative stress induced apoptosis ex vivo and increased PMN apoptosis in vivo, resulting in a reduction in neutrophilic inflammation and reduced tissue injury. Expression of HIF-2? was temporally dissociated from HIF-1? in vivo and predominated in the resolution phase of inflammation. These data support a critical and selective role for HIF-2? in persistence of neutrophilic inflammation, and provide a platform to dissect the therapeutic utility of targeting HIF-2? in chronic inflammatory diseases.
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Hypospadias and residential proximity to pesticide applications.
Pediatrics
PUBLISHED: 10-28-2013
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Experimental evidence suggests pesticides may be associated with hypospadias.
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Ataxin-3 is a multivalent ligand for the parkin Ubl domain.
Biochemistry
PUBLISHED: 10-09-2013
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The ubiquitin signaling pathway consists of hundreds of enzymes that are tightly regulated for the maintenance of cell homeostasis. Parkin is an E3 ubiquitin ligase responsible for conjugating ubiquitin onto a substrate protein, which itself can be ubiquitinated. Ataxin-3 performs the opposing function as a deubiquitinating enzyme that can remove ubiquitin from parkin. In this work, we have identified the mechanism of interaction between the ubiquitin-like (Ubl) domain from parkin and three C-terminal ubiquitin-interacting motifs (UIMs) in ataxin-3. (1)H-(15)N heteronuclear single-quantum coherence titration experiments revealed that there are weak direct interactions between all three individual UIM regions of ataxin-3 and the Ubl domain. Each UIM utilizes the exposed ?-grasp surface of the Ubl domain centered around the I44 patch that did not vary in the residues involved or the surface size as a function of the number of ataxin-3 UIMs involved. Further, the apparent dissociation constant for ataxin-3 decreased as a function of the number of UIM regions used in experiments. A global multisite fit of the nuclear magnetic resonance titration data, based on three identical binding ligands, resulted in a KD of 669 ± 62 ?M for each site. Our observations support a multivalent ligand binding mechanism employed by the parkin Ubl domain to recruit multiple UIM regions in ataxin-3 and provide insight into how these two proteins function together in ubiquitination-deubiquitination pathways.
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Maternal-fetal metabolic gene-gene interactions and risk of neural tube defects.
Mol. Genet. Metab.
PUBLISHED: 09-09-2013
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Single-gene analyses indicate that maternal genes associated with metabolic conditions (e.g., obesity) may influence the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs). However, to our knowledge, there have been no assessments of maternal-fetal metabolic gene-gene interactions and NTDs. We investigated 23 single nucleotide polymorphisms among 7 maternal metabolic genes (ADRB3, ENPP1, FTO, LEP, PPARG, PPARGC1A, and TCF7L2) and 2 fetal metabolic genes (SLC2A2 and UCP2). Samples were obtained from 737 NTD case-parent triads included in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study for birth years 1999-2007. We used a 2-step approach to evaluate maternal-fetal gene-gene interactions. First, a case-only approach was applied to screen all potential maternal and fetal interactions (n=76), as this design provides greater power in the assessment of gene-gene interactions compared to other approaches. Specifically, ordinal logistic regression was used to calculate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) for each maternal-fetal gene-gene interaction, assuming a log-additive model of inheritance. Due to the number of comparisons, we calculated a corrected p-value (q-value) using the false discovery rate. Second, we confirmed all statistically significant interactions (q<0.05) using a log-linear approach among case-parent triads. In step 1, there were 5 maternal-fetal gene-gene interactions with q<0.05. The "top hit" was an interaction between maternal ENPP1 rs1044498 and fetal SLC2A2 rs6785233 (interaction OR=3.65, 95% CI: 2.32-5.74, p=2.09×10(-8), q=0.001), which was confirmed in step 2 (p=0.00004). Our findings suggest that maternal metabolic genes associated with hyperglycemia and insulin resistance and fetal metabolic genes involved in glucose homeostasis may interact to increase the risk of NTDs.
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A genome-wide association study (GWAS) for bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
Pediatrics
PUBLISHED: 07-29-2013
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Twin studies suggest that heritability of moderate-severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is 53% to 79%, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genetic variants associated with the risk for BPD.
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Investigation of maternal environmental exposures in association with self-reported preterm birth.
Reprod. Toxicol.
PUBLISHED: 07-16-2013
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Identification of maternal environmental factors influencing preterm birth risks is important to understand the reasons for the increase in prematurity since 1990. Here, we utilized a health survey, the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to search for personal environmental factors associated with preterm birth. 201 urine and blood markers of environmental factors, such as allergens, pollutants, and nutrients were assayed in mothers (range of N: 49 to 724) who answered questions about any children born preterm (delivery <37 weeks). We screened each of the 201 factors for association with any child born preterm adjusting by age, race/ethnicity, education, and household income. We attempted to verify the top finding, urinary bisphenol A, in an independent study of pregnant women attending Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital. We conclude that the association between maternal urinary levels of bisphenol A and preterm birth should be evaluated in a larger epidemiological investigation.
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Traffic-related air pollution and selected birth defects in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Birth Defects Res. Part A Clin. Mol. Teratol.
PUBLISHED: 06-26-2013
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Birth defects are a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality. Studies suggest associations between environmental contaminants and some structural anomalies, although evidence is limited and several anomalies have not been investigated previously.
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Hypospadias and maternal intake of phytoestrogens.
Am. J. Epidemiol.
PUBLISHED: 06-09-2013
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Experimental data indicate that gestational exposures to estrogenic compounds impact risk of hypospadias. We examined whether risk of hypospadias (i.e., a congenital malformation in which the opening of the penile urethra occurs on the ventral side of the penis) was associated with maternal intake of phytoestrogens, given their potential impact on estrogen metabolism. The analysis included data on mothers of 1,250 hypospadias cases and 3,118 controls who delivered their infants from 1997 to 2005 and participated in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study, a multistate, population-based, case-control study. After adjustment for several covariates, high intakes of daidzein, genistein, glycetin, secoisolariciresinol, total isoflavones, total lignans, and total phytoestrogens were associated with reduced risks; odds ratios comparing intakes ?90th percentile with intakes between the 11th and 89th percentiles ranged from 0.6 to 0.8. For example, the odds ratio for total phytoestrogen intake was 0.7 (95% confidence interval: 0.5, 1.0). This study represents the first large-scale analysis of phytoestrogen intake and hypospadias. The observed associations merit investigation in additional populations before firm conclusions can be reached.
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Congenital heart defects after maternal fever.
Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.
PUBLISHED: 05-29-2013
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether maternal febrile illnesses in early pregnancy are associated with increased risk for congenital heart defects in the offspring and whether such risk is mitigated by multivitamin supplement use.
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Hypospadias and genes related to genital tubercle and early urethral development.
J. Urol.
PUBLISHED: 05-23-2013
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We determined whether variants in genes associated with genital tubercle (the anlage for the penis) and early urethral development were associated with hypospadias in humans.
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Comparison of predicted epimerases and reductases of the Campylobacter jejuni D-altro- and L-gluco-heptose synthesis pathways.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2013
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Uniquely modified heptoses found in surface carbohydrates of bacterial pathogens are potential therapeutic targets against such pathogens. Our recent biochemical characterization of the GDP-6-deoxy-D-manno- and GDP-6-deoxy-D-altro-heptose biosynthesis pathways has provided the foundation for elucidation of the more complex L-gluco-heptose synthesis pathway of Campylobacter jejuni strain NCTC 11168. In this work we use GDP-4-keto,6-deoxy-D-lyxo-heptose as a surrogate substrate to characterize three enzymes predicted to be involved in this pathway: WcaGNCTC (also known as Cj1427), MlghB (Cj1430), and MlghC (Cj1428). We compare them with homologues involved in d-altro-heptose production: WcaG81176 (formerly WcaG), DdahB (Cjj1430), and DdahC (Cjj1427). We show that despite high levels of similarity, the enzymes have pathway-specific catalytic activities and substrate specificities. MlghB forms three products via C3 and C5 epimerization activities, whereas its DdahB homologue only had C3 epimerase activity along its cognate pathway. MlghC is specific for the double C3/C5 epimer generated by MlghB and produces L-gluco-heptose via stereospecific C4 reductase activity. In contrast, its homologue DdahC only uses the C3 epimer to yield d-altro-heptose via C4 reduction. Finally, we show that WcaGNCTC is not necessary for L-gluco-heptose synthesis and does not affect its production by MlghB and MlghC, in contrast to its homologue WcaG81176, that has regulatory activity on d-altro-heptose synthesis. These studies expand our fundamental understanding of heptose modification, provide new glycobiology tools to synthesize novel heptose derivatives with biomedical applications, and provide a foundation for the structure function analysis of these enzymes.
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Could genetic polymorphisms related to oxidative stress modulate effects of heavy metals for risk of human preterm birth?
Reprod. Toxicol.
PUBLISHED: 04-25-2013
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Human preterm birth (PTB) is a complex medical outcome influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Research on the causative factors of PTB has mostly focused on demographic, socio-behavioral and environmental risk factors. Recent studies turn the spotlight on the effects of heavy metals exposure on adverse pregnancy outcomes. Here we present and evaluate the hypothesis that heavy metals may cause PTB through oxidative stress, and that this effect may be modified by polymorphisms in genes related to oxidative stress. Indeed, accumulating data suggest that the risk of PTB is correlated with polymorphisms in genes involved in detoxification, oxidative stress and lipid metabolism. These and other polymorphisms have independently been associated with susceptibility to the adverse effects of heavy metals.
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Ambient air pollution and traffic exposures and congenital heart defects in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol
PUBLISHED: 04-21-2013
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Congenital anomalies are a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality. Studies suggest associations between environmental contaminants and some anomalies, although evidence is limited.
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Identification of novel candidate gene loci and increased sex chromosome aneuploidy among infants with conotruncal heart defects.
Am. J. Med. Genet. A
PUBLISHED: 04-18-2013
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Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are common malformations, affecting four to eight per 1,000 total births. Conotruncal defects are an important pathogenetic subset of CHDs, comprising nearly 20% of the total. Although both environmental and genetic factors are known to contribute to the occurrence of conotruncal defects, the causes remain unknown for most. To identify novel candidate genes/loci, we used array comparative genomic hybridization to detect chromosomal microdeletions/duplications. From a population base of 974,579 total births born during 1999-2004, we screened 389 California infants born with tetralogy of Fallot or d-transposition of the great arteries. We found that 1.7% (5/288) of males with a conotruncal defect had sex chromosome aneuploidy, a sevenfold increased frequency (relative risk?=?7.0; 95% confidence interval 2.9-16.9). We identified eight chromosomal microdeletions/duplications for conotruncal defects. From these duplications and deletions, we found five high priority candidate genes (GATA4, CRKL, BMPR1A, SNAI2, and ZFHX4). This is the initial report that sex chromosome aneuploidy is associated with conotruncal defects among boys. These chromosomal microduplications/deletions provide evidence that GATA4, SNAI2, and CRKL are highly dosage sensitive genes involved in outflow tract development. Genome wide screening for copy number variation can be productive for identifying novel genes/loci contributing to non-syndromic common malformations. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Progress in understanding the genetics of bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
Semin. Perinatol.
PUBLISHED: 04-16-2013
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Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common chronic lung disease in infants. Its treatment imposes considerable healthcare burden and costs in the perinatal and early childhood period and patients are usually left with lifelong deficits in lung function. Evidence exists for different pathophysiologic pathways that can promote the structural changes that characterize BPD, including the impairment in alveolarization; however, there is increasing interest regarding heritable factors that may predispose very low birth weight infants to BPD. Our review focuses on recent publications that have investigated genetic factors that may potentially contribute to such reported heritability. These publications point us toward some possible genomic candidates for further study, but certainly do not identify any particular gene or gene pathway that would be inferred to be contributing substantially to the underlying etiology of BPD.
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The association of ambient air pollution and traffic exposures with selected congenital anomalies in the San Joaquin Valley of California.
Am. J. Epidemiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-28-2013
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Congenital anomalies are a leading cause of infant mortality and are important contributors to subsequent morbidity. Studies suggest associations between environmental contaminants and some anomalies, although evidence is limited. We aimed to investigate whether ambient air pollutant and traffic exposures in early gestation contribute to the risk of selected congenital anomalies in the San Joaquin Valley of California, 1997-2006. Seven exposures and 5 outcomes were included for a total of 35 investigated associations. We observed increased odds of neural tube defects when comparing the highest with the lowest quartile of exposure for several pollutants after adjusting for maternal race/ethnicity, education, and multivitamin use. The adjusted odds ratio for neural tube defects among those with the highest carbon monoxide exposure was 1.9 (95% confidence interval: 1.1, 3.2) compared with those with the lowest exposure, and there was a monotonic exposure-response across quartiles. The highest quartile of nitrogen oxide exposure was associated with neural tube defects (adjusted odds ratio = 1.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.1, 2.8). The adjusted odds ratio for the highest quartile of nitrogen dioxide exposure was 1.7 (95% confidence interval: 1.1, 2.7). Ozone was associated with decreased odds of neural tube defects. Our results extend the limited body of evidence regarding air pollution exposure and adverse birth outcomes.
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The continuing challenge of understanding, preventing, and treating neural tube defects.
Science
PUBLISHED: 03-02-2013
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Human birth defects are a major public health burden: The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 of every 33 United States newborns presents with a birth defect, and worldwide the estimate approaches 6% of all births. Among the most common and debilitating of human birth defects are those affecting the formation of the neural tube, the precursor to the central nervous system. Neural tube defects (NTDs) arise from a complex combination of genetic and environmental interactions. Although substantial advances have been made in the prevention and treatment of these malformations, NTDs remain a substantial public health problem, and we are only now beginning to understand their etiology. Here, we review the process of neural tube development and how defects in this process lead to NTDs, both in humans and in the animal models that serve to inform our understanding of these processes. The insights we are gaining will help generate new intervention strategies to tackle the clinical challenges and to alleviate the personal and societal burdens that accompany these defects.
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Considering the vascular hypothesis for the pathogenesis of small intestinal atresia: a case control study of genetic factors.
Am. J. Med. Genet. A
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2013
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Small intestinal atresia (SIA) is a rare congenital occlusion of the small intestine. SIA development, particularly in the jejunum and ileum, has been associated with in utero disruption of vascular supply. However, the number of studies of the vascular hypothesis is limited. This study considers the vascular hypothesis by exploring risks associated with 32 SNPs of genes involved in vascular processes of homocysteine metabolism, coagulation, cell-cell interactions, inflammatory response, and blood pressure regulation. A total of 206 SIA cases were ascertained by the California Birth Defects Monitoring Program, and 573 infants with no major congenital anomalies by their first birthday were selected as controls. Genomic DNA was genotyped for 32 SNPs involving the following genes: MTHFR, F2, F5, F7, SERPINE1, FGB, ITGA2, ITGB3, SELE, ICAM1, MMP3, TNF, LTA, NOS3, AGTR1, AGT, NPPA, ADD1, SCNN1A, GNB3, and ADRB2. Risks were estimated as odds ratios, adjusted for maternal age and race, with 95% confidence intervals. Cases were considered collectively and by subgroups based on atresia location (duodenal/jejunum/ileum). Three SNPs had reduced risk: SERPINE1 11053 T/G, MMP3 (-1171) A6/A5, and ADRB2 gln27glu. Two had increased risk: ITGA2 873 G/A and NPPA 2238 T/C. No intestinal subphenotypes showed a unique pattern of SNP associations. The association of two SNPs with increased risk lends some, albeit limited, support to vascular impairment as a possible mechanism leading to SIA. These results also identify genes meriting further exploration in SIA studies. Hence, this study makes an important contribution by exploring the long-held but not well-investigated vascular hypothesis.
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Periconceptional nutrient intakes and risks of orofacial clefts in California.
Pediatr. Res.
PUBLISHED: 02-11-2013
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Evidence indicates that maternal nutrient intake may play a role in the development of birth defects. We investigated the association of maternal periconceptional intake of vitamin supplements and dietary nutrients with risk of developing cleft palate (CP) and cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CLP).
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Association of early-preterm birth with abnormal levels of routinely collected first- and second-trimester biomarkers.
Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol.
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2013
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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between typically measured prenatal screening biomarkers and early-preterm birth in euploid pregnancies.
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A pilot study using residual newborn dried blood spots to assess the potential role of cytomegalovirus and Toxoplasma gondii in the etiology of congenital hydrocephalus.
Birth Defects Res. Part A Clin. Mol. Teratol.
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2013
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Congenital hydrocephalus is a condition characterized by accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. Prenatal infections are risk factors for some birth defects. This pilot study investigated whether residual dried blood spots (DBS) could be used to assess infections as risk factors for birth defects by examining the associations between prenatal infection with Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) or cytomegalovirus (CMV) with congenital hydrocephalus.
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A molecular explanation for the recessive nature of parkin-linked Parkinsons disease.
Nat Commun
PUBLISHED: 01-14-2013
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Mutations in the park2 gene, encoding the RING-inBetweenRING-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase parkin, cause 50% of autosomal recessive juvenile Parkinsonism cases. More than 70 known pathogenic mutations occur throughout parkin, many of which cluster in the inhibitory amino-terminal ubiquitin-like domain, and the carboxy-terminal RING2 domain that is indispensable for ubiquitin transfer. A structural rationale showing how autosomal recessive juvenile Parkinsonism mutations alter parkin function is still lacking. Here we show that the structure of parkin RING2 is distinct from canonical RING E3 ligases and lacks key elements required for E2-conjugating enzyme recruitment. Several pathogenic mutations in RING2 alter the environment of a single surface-exposed catalytic cysteine to inhibit ubiquitination. Native parkin adopts a globular inhibited conformation in solution facilitated by the association of the ubiquitin-like domain with the RING-inBetweenRING-RING C-terminus. Autosomal recessive juvenile Parkinsonism mutations disrupt this conformation. Finally, parkin autoubiquitinates only in cis, providing a molecular explanation for the recessive nature of autosomal recessive juvenile Parkinsonism.
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Thymidylate synthase polymorphisms and risks of human orofacial clefts.
Birth Defects Res. Part A Clin. Mol. Teratol.
PUBLISHED: 01-02-2013
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Underlying mechanisms are unknown by which folic acid use in early pregnancy may reduce risks of orofacial clefts. Thymidylate synthase (TYMS) is a folate-dependent enzyme that catalyzes reductive methylation of deoxyuridylate to thymidylate, thereby playing a central role in DNA synthesis and repair. We investigated two TYMS functional variants (a 28-bp tandem repeat in the promoter enhancer region of the 5-UTR; and TYMS 1494del6 (rs16430): a 6-bp deletion in the 3-UTR) for their risk of cleft palate (CP) and of cleft lip with/without CP (CLP). We investigated effect measure modification between these variants and maternal folate intake for cleft risk.
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Structure of the HHARI catalytic domain shows glimpses of a HECT E3 ligase.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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The ubiquitin-signaling pathway utilizes E1 activating, E2 conjugating, and E3 ligase enzymes to sequentially transfer the small modifier protein ubiquitin to a substrate protein. During the last step of this cascade different types of E3 ligases either act as scaffolds to recruit an E2 enzyme and substrate (RING), or form an ubiquitin-thioester intermediate prior to transferring ubiquitin to a substrate (HECT). The RING-inBetweenRING-RING (RBR) proteins constitute a unique group of E3 ubiquitin ligases that includes the Human Homologue of Drosophila Ariadne (HHARI). These E3 ligases are proposed to use a hybrid RING/HECT mechanism whereby the enzyme uses facets of both the RING and HECT enzymes to transfer ubiquitin to a substrate. We now present the solution structure of the HHARI RING2 domain, the key portion of this E3 ligase required for the RING/HECT hybrid mechanism. The structure shows the domain possesses two Zn²?-binding sites and a single exposed cysteine used for ubiquitin catalysis. A structural comparison of the RING2 domain with the HECT E3 ligase NEDD4 reveals a near mirror image of the cysteine and histidine residues in the catalytic site. Further, a tandem pair of aromatic residues exists near the C-terminus of the HHARI RING2 domain that is conserved in other RBR E3 ligases. One of these aromatic residues is remotely located from the catalytic site that is reminiscent of the location found in HECT E3 enzymes where it is used for ubiquitin catalysis. These observations provide an initial structural rationale for the RING/HECT hybrid mechanism for ubiquitination used by the RBR E3 ligases.
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Mutations in planar cell polarity gene SCRIB are associated with spina bifida.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Neural tube defects (NTDs) (OMIM #182940) including anencephaly, spina bifida and craniorachischisis, are severe congenital malformations that affect 0.5-1 in 1,000 live births in the United States, with varying prevalence around the world. Mutations in planar cell polarity (PCP) genes are believed to cause a variety of NTDs in both mice and humans. SCRIB is a PCP-associated gene. Mice that are homozygous for the Scrib p.I285K and circletail (Crc) mutations, present with the most severe form of NTDs, namely craniorachischisis. A recent study reported that mutations in SCRIB were associated with craniorachischisis in humans, but whether SCRIB mutations contribute to increased spina bifida risk is still unknown. We sequenced the SCRIB gene in 192 infants with spina bifida and 190 healthy controls. Among the spina bifida patients, we identified five novel missense mutations that were predicted-to-be-deleterious by the PolyPhen software. Of these five mutations, three of them (p.P1043L, p.P1332L, p.L1520R) significantly affected the subcellular localization of SCRIB. In addition, we demonstrated that the craniorachischisis mouse line-90 mutation I285K, also affected SCRIB subcellular localization. In contrast, only one novel missense mutation (p.A1257T) was detected in control samples, and it was predicted to be benign. This study demonstrated that rare deleterious mutations of SCRIB may contribute to the multifactorial risk for human spina bifida.
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High quality genome-wide genotyping from archived dried blood spots without DNA amplification.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Spots of blood are routinely collected from newborn babies onto filter paper called Guthrie cards and used to screen for metabolic and genetic disorders. The archived dried blood spots are an important and precious resource for genomic research. Whole genome amplification of dried blood spot DNA has been used to provide DNA for genome-wide SNP genotyping. Here we describe a 96 well format procedure to extract DNA from a portion of a dried blood spot that provides sufficient unamplified genomic DNA for genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping. We show that SNP genotyping of the unamplified DNA is more robust than genotyping amplified dried blood spot DNA, is comparable in cost, and can be done with thousands of samples. This procedure can be used for genome-wide association studies and other large-scale genomic analyses that require robust, high-accuracy genotyping of dried blood spot DNA.
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Reduced risks of neural tube defects and orofacial clefts with higher diet quality.
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med
PUBLISHED: 10-03-2011
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To examine whether better maternal diet quality was associated with reduced risk for selected birth defects.
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Identification of calcium-independent and calcium-enhanced binding between S100B and the dopamine D2 receptor.
Biochemistry
PUBLISHED: 09-30-2011
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S100B is a dimeric EF-hand protein that undergoes a calcium-induced conformational change and exposes a hydrophobic protein-binding surface. Recently S100B was identified as a binding partner of the dopamine D2 receptor in a bacterial two-hybrid screen involving the third intracellular loop (IC3). The low in vivo calcium concentration in bacteria (100-300 nM) suggests this interaction may occur in the absence of calcium. In this work the calcium-sensitive ability for S100B to recruit the IC3 of the dopamine D2 receptor was examined, and regions in both proteins required for complex formation were identified. Peptide array experiments identified the C-terminal 58 residues of the IC3 (IC3-C58) as the major interacting site for S100B. These experiments along with pull-down assays showed the IC3 interacts with S100B in the absence and presence of calcium. (1)H-(15)N HSQC experiments were used to identify residues, primarily in helices III and IV, utilized in the IC3-C58 interaction. NMR titration data indicated that although an interaction between apo-S100B and IC3-C58 occurs without calcium, the binding was enhanced more than 100-fold upon calcium binding. Further, it was established that shorter regions within IC3-C58 comprising its N- and C-terminal halves had diminished binding to Ca(2+)-S100B and did not display any observable affinity in the absence of calcium. This indicates that residue or structural components within both regions are required for optimal interaction with Ca(2+)-S100B. This work represents the first example of an S100B target that interacts with both the apo- and calcium-saturated forms of S100B.
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The S100A10-annexin A2 complex provides a novel asymmetric platform for membrane repair.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 09-26-2011
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Membrane repair is mediated by multiprotein complexes, such as that formed between the dimeric EF-hand protein S100A10, the calcium- and phospholipid-binding protein annexin A2, the enlargeosome protein AHNAK, and members of the transmembrane ferlin family. Although interactions between these proteins have been shown, little is known about their structural arrangement and mechanisms of formation. In this work, we used a non-covalent complex between S100A10 and the N terminus of annexin A2 (residues 1-15) and a designed hybrid protein (A10A2), where S100A10 is linked in tandem to the N-terminal region of annexin A2, to explore the binding region, stoichiometry, and affinity with a synthetic peptide from the C terminus of AHNAK. Using multiple biophysical methods, we identified a novel asymmetric arrangement between a single AHNAK peptide and the A10A2 dimer. The AHNAK peptide was shown to require the annexin A2 N terminus, indicating that the AHNAK binding site comprises regions on both S100A10 and annexin proteins. NMR spectroscopy was used to show that the AHNAK binding surface comprised residues from helix IV in S100A10 and the C-terminal portion from the annexin A2 peptide. This novel surface maps to the exposed side of helices IV and IV of the S100 dimeric structure, a region not identified in any previous S100 target protein structures. The results provide the first structural details of the ternary S100A10 protein complex required for membrane repair.
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Bisubstrate analogue inhibitors of 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase: New design with improved properties.
Bioorg. Med. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2011
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6-Hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase (HPPK), a key enzyme in the folate biosynthetic pathway, catalyzes the pyrophosphoryl transfer from ATP to 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin. The enzyme is essential for microorganisms, is absent from humans, and is not the target for any existing antibiotics. Therefore, HPPK is an attractive target for developing novel antimicrobial agents. Previously, we characterized the reaction trajectory of HPPK-catalyzed pyrophosphoryl transfer and synthesized a series of bisubstrate analog inhibitors of the enzyme by linking 6-hydroxymethylpterin to adenosine through 2, 3, or 4 phosphate groups. Here, we report a new generation of bisubstrate analog inhibitors. To improve protein binding and linker properties of such inhibitors, we have replaced the pterin moiety with 7,7-dimethyl-7,8-dihydropterin and the phosphate bridge with a piperidine linked thioether. We have synthesized the new inhibitors, measured their K(d) and IC(50) values, determined their crystal structures in complex with HPPK, and established their structure-activity relationship. 6-Carboxylic acid ethyl ester-7,7-dimethyl-7,8-dihydropterin, a novel intermediate that we developed recently for easy derivatization at position 6 of 7,7-dimethyl-7,8-dihydropterin, offers a much high yield for the synthesis of bisubstrate analogs than that of previously established procedure.
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VAX1 mutation associated with microphthalmia, corpus callosum agenesis, and orofacial clefting: the first description of a VAX1 phenotype in humans.
Hum. Mutat.
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2011
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Vax1 and Vax2 have been implicated in eye development and the closure of the choroid fissure in mice and zebrafish. We sequenced the coding exons of VAX1 and VAX2 in 70 patients with anophthalmia/microphthalmia (A/M). In VAX1, we observed homozygosity for two successive nucleotide substitutions c.453G>A and c.454C>A, predicting p.Arg152Ser, in a proband of Egyptian origin with microphthalmia, small optic nerves, cleft lip/palate, and corpus callosum agenesis. This mutation affects an invariant residue in the homeodomain of VAX1 and was absent from 96 Egyptian controls. It is likely that the mutation results in a loss of function, as the mutation results in a phenotype similar to the Vax1 homozygous null mouse. We did not identify any mutations in VAX2. This is the first description of a phenotype associated with a VAX1 mutation in humans and establishes VAX1 as a new causative gene for A/M.
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A genetic signature of spina bifida risk from pathway-informed comprehensive gene-variant analysis.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 08-16-2011
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Despite compelling epidemiological evidence that folic acid supplements reduce the frequency of neural tube defects (NTDs) in newborns, common variant association studies with folate metabolism genes have failed to explain the majority of NTD risk. The contribution of rare alleles as well as genetic interactions within the folate pathway have not been extensively studied in the context of NTDs. Thus, we sequenced the exons in 31 folate-related genes in a 480-member NTD case-control population to identify the full spectrum of allelic variation and determine whether rare alleles or obvious genetic interactions within this pathway affect NTD risk. We constructed a pathway model, predetermined independent of the data, which grouped genes into coherent sets reflecting the distinct metabolic compartments in the folate/one-carbon pathway (purine synthesis, pyrimidine synthesis, and homocysteine recycling to methionine). By integrating multiple variants based on these groupings, we uncovered two provocative, complex genetic risk signatures. Interestingly, these signatures differed by race/ethnicity: a Hispanic risk profile pointed to alterations in purine biosynthesis, whereas that in non-Hispanic whites implicated homocysteine metabolism. In contrast, parallel analyses that focused on individual alleles, or individual genes, as the units by which to assign risk revealed no compelling associations. These results suggest that the ability to layer pathway relationships onto clinical variant data can be uniquely informative for identifying genetic risk as well as for generating mechanistic hypotheses. Furthermore, the identification of ethnic-specific risk signatures for spina bifida resonated with epidemiological data suggesting that the underlying pathogenesis may differ between Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups.
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Estimated dietary phytoestrogen intake and major food sources among women during the year before pregnancy.
Nutr J
PUBLISHED: 07-25-2011
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Phytoestrogens may be associated with a variety of different health outcomes, including outcomes related to reproductive health. Recently published data on phytoestrogen content of a wide range of foods provide an opportunity to improve estimation of dietary phytoestrogen intake.
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Systematic analysis of the amino acid residues of human papillomavirus type 16 E7 conserved region 3 involved in dimerization and transformation.
J. Virol.
PUBLISHED: 07-20-2011
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The human papillomavirus (HPV) E7 oncoprotein exists as a dimer and acts by binding to many cellular factors, preventing or retargeting their function and thereby making the infected cell conducive for viral replication. Dimerization of E7 is attributed primarily to the C-terminal domain, referred to as conserved region 3 (CR3). CR3 is highly structured and is necessary for E7s transformation ability. It is also required for binding of numerous E7 cellular targets. To systematically analyze the molecular mechanisms by which HPV16 E7 CR3 contributes to carcinogenesis, we created a comprehensive panel of mutations in residues predicted to be exposed on the surface of CR3. We analyzed our novel collection of mutants, as well as mutants targeting predicted hydrophobic core residues of the dimer, for the ability to dimerize. The same set of mutants was also assessed functionally for transformation capability in a baby rat kidney cell assay in conjugation with activated ras. We show that some mutants of HPV16 E7 CR3 failed to dimerize yet were still able to transform baby rat kidney cells. Our results identify several novel E7 mutants that abrogate transformation and also indicate that E7 does not need to exist as a stable dimer in order to transform cells.
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Spina bifida subtypes and sub-phenotypes by maternal race/ethnicity in the National Birth Defects Prevention Study.
Am. J. Med. Genet. A
PUBLISHED: 07-02-2011
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Spina bifida refers to a collection of neural tube defects, including myelomeningocele, meningocele, and myelocele (SB(M) ), as well as lipomyelomeningocele and lipomeningocele (SB(L) ). Maternal race/ethnicity has been associated with an increased risk for spina bifida among offspring. To better understand this relationship, we evaluated different spina bifida subtypes (SB(M) vs. SB(L) ) and sub-phenotypes (anatomic level or presence of additional malformations) by maternal race/ethnicity using data from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study. This study is a large, multisite, population-based study of nonsyndromic birth defects. Prevalence estimates were obtained using data from spina bifida cases (live births, fetal deaths, and elective terminations) and total live births in the study regions. From October 1997 through December 2005, 1,046 infants/fetuses with spina bifida were delivered, yielding a prevalence of 3.06 per 10,000 live births. Differences in the prevalences of SB(M) vs. SB(L) , isolated versus non-isolated SB(M) , and lesion level in isolated SB(M) among case offspring were observed by maternal race/ethnicity. Compared to non-Hispanic (NH) White mothers, offspring of Hispanic mothers had higher prevalences of each subtype and most sub-phenotypes, while offspring of NH Black mothers generally had lower prevalences. Furthermore, differences in race/ethnicity among those with isolated SB(M) were more pronounced by sex. For instance, among male offspring, the prevalence of isolated SB(M) was significantly higher for those with Hispanic mothers compared to NH White mothers [prevalence ratio (PR): 1.55, 95% confidence interval: 1.23-1.95]. These findings provide evidence that certain spina bifida subtypes and sub-phenotypes may be etiologically distinct.
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Characterization of the dehydratase WcbK and the reductase WcaG involved in GDP-6-deoxy-manno-heptose biosynthesis in Campylobacter jejuni.
Biochem. J.
PUBLISHED: 06-30-2011
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The capsule of Campylobacter jejuni strain 81-176 comprises the unusual 6-deoxy-?-D-altro-heptose, whose biosynthesis and function are not known. In the present study, we characterized enzymes of the capsular cluster, WcbK and WcaG, to determine their role in 6-deoxy-altro-heptose synthesis. These enzymes are similar to the Yersinia pseudotuberculosis GDP-manno-heptose dehydratase/reductase DmhA/DmhB that we characterized previously. Capillary electrophoresis and MS analyses showed that WcbK is a GDP-manno-heptose dehydratase whose product can be reduced by WcaG, and that WcbK/WcaG can use the substrate GDP-mannose, although with lower efficiency than heptose. Comparison of kinetic parameters for WcbK and DmhA indicated that the relaxed substrate specificity of WcbK comes at the expense of catalytic performance on GDP-manno-heptose. Moreover, although WcbK/WcaG and DmhA/DmhB are involved in altro- versus manno-heptose synthesis respectively, the enzymes can be used interchangeably in mixed reactions. NMR spectroscopy analyses indicated conservation of the sugar manno configuration during catalysis by WcbK/WcaG. Therefore additional capsular enzymes may perform the C3 epimerization necessary to generate 6-deoxy-altro-heptose. Finally, a conserved residue (Thr(187) in WcbK) potentially involved in substrate specificity was identified by structural modelling of mannose and heptose dehydratases. Site-directed mutagenesis and kinetic analyses demonstrated its importance for enzymatic activity on heptose and mannose substrates.
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Periconceptional intake of folic acid and food folate and risks of preterm delivery.
Am J Perinatol
PUBLISHED: 06-16-2011
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We investigated multiple sources of folate and folic acid to determine whether their periconceptional intakes were associated with preterm delivery. Studied were controls from the National Birth Defects Prevention Study delivered September 1998 to December 2005. Telephone interviews were conducted with 5952 (68% of eligible) mothers. Women were queried about intake of vitamin supplements in the 12 weeks before conception through delivery. A version of the Nurses Health Study food frequency questionnaire was used to assess food sources. Eight percent of infants ( N?=?487) were preterm (<37 weeks). Compared with women who began intake of supplements with folic acid before pregnancy, those who began any time during pregnancy had an ~20% lowered risk of preterm delivery. Lower dietary intakes showed a modest increased risk of preterm delivery: odds ratios were 1.44 (1.01 to 2.04) for lowest quartile intake of folate and 1.27 (0.95 to 1.69) for lowest quartile intake of folic acid compared with the highest. Findings suggest some evidence that folates influenced risks; however, an interpretation of results was also consistent with no association between intake of folates and preterm delivery.
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JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.

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In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.