Short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are widely used as tool for gene inactivation in basic research and therapeutic applications. One of the major shortcomings of siRNA experiments are sequence-specific off-target effects. Such effects are largely unpredictable because siRNAs can affect partially complementary sequences and function like microRNAs (miRNAs), which inhibit gene expression on mRNA stability or translational levels. Here we demonstrate that novel, enzymatically generated siRNA pools-referred to as siPools-containing up to 60 accurately defined siRNAs eliminate off-target effects. This is achieved by the low concentration of each individual siRNA diluting sequence-specific off-target effects below detection limits. In fact, whole transcriptome analyses reveal that single siRNA transfections can severely affect global gene expression. However, when complex siRNA pools are transfected, almost no transcriptome alterations are observed. Taken together, we present enzymatically produced complex but accurately defined siRNA pools with potent on-target silencing but without detectable off-target effects.
The present study investigated the effects of running at 0.8 or 1.2 km/h on inflammatory proteins (i.e., protein levels of TNF- ? , IL-1 ? , and NF- ? B) and metabolic proteins (i.e., protein levels of SIRT-1 and PGC-1 ? , and AMPK phosphorylation) in quadriceps of rats. Male Wistar rats at 3 (young) and 18 months (middle-aged rats) of age were divided into nonexercised (NE) and exercised at 0.8 or 1.2 km/h. The rats were trained on treadmill, 50 min per day, 5 days per week, during 8 weeks. Forty-eight hours after the last training session, muscles were removed, homogenized, and analyzed using biochemical and western blot techniques. Our results showed that: (a) running at 0.8 km/h decreased the inflammatory proteins and increased the metabolic proteins compared with NE rats; (b) these responses were lower for the inflammatory proteins and higher for the metabolic proteins in young rats compared with middle-aged rats; (c) running at 1.2 km/h decreased the inflammatory proteins and increased the metabolic proteins compared with 0.8 km/h; (d) these responses were similar between young and middle-aged rats when trained at 1.2 km. In summary, the age-related increases in inflammatory proteins, and the age-related declines in metabolic proteins can be reversed and largely improved by treadmill training.
Overnutrition is the major cause of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its advanced form nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). We aimed to develop and characterize a murine model, which resembles both the pathology and nutritional situation, of NASH patients in Western societies. Mice were fed with a NASH-inducing diet (ND) containing sucrose, cholesterol and fats rich in saturated fatty acids in a composition, which mimics Western food. After 12 weeks, ND-fed mice revealed obesity and impaired glucose tolerance. In the liver, ND-feeding led to marked steatosis, hepatocellular damage, inflammation and beginning fibrosis. Transcriptome-wide gene expression analysis and search for over-represented transcription factor target sites among the differentially expressed genes identified activator protein-1 (AP-1) as the most likely factor to cause the transcriptional changes in ND livers. Combining differentially expressed gene and protein-protein interaction network analysis identified c-Jun as hub in the largest connected deregulated sub-network in ND livers. Accordingly, ND livers revealed c-Jun-phosphorylation and nuclear translocation. Moreover, hepatic c-Jun expression was enhanced in ND-fed mice. Combined tissue microarray technology and immunohistochemical analysis confirmed enhanced hepatic c-Jun levels in NAFLD patients, which correlated with inflammation, and notably, with the degree of hepatic steatosis. In summary, our new mouse model shows important pathological changes also found in human NASH and indicates c-Jun/AP-1 activation as critical regulator of hepatic alterations. Abundance of c-Jun in NAFLD likely facilitates development and progression of NASH.
The exact mechanisms of the relationship between obesity and cardiovascular events are not yet fully understood; however, oxidative stress may be involved. Thus, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of resveratrol and fish oil on catecholamine-induced mortality in obese rats. To begin with, rats were divided into five groups: (1) lean, (2) obese, (3) obese supplemented with resveratrol, (4) obese supplemented with fish oil and (5) obese supplemented with resveratrol and fish oil (n 18 rats per group), for 2 months. After supplementation, the groups were subdivided as with (n 10) and without (n 8) cardiovascular catecholaminergic stress after isoproterenol (60 mg/kg) injection. At 24 h later, the survival rate was analysed. The obese group showed lower survival rates (10 %) when compared with the lean group (70 %). On the other hand, resveratrol (50 %) and fish oil (40 %) increased the survival rate of obese rats (?(2) test, P= 0·019). Biochemical analyses of the myocardium and aorta revealed that obese rats had higher levels of superoxide and oxidative damage to lipids and protein. This was associated with reduced superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity in both the myocardium and aorta. The supplementation increased antioxidant enzyme activities and reduced oxidative damage. We also evaluated the nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 antioxidant pathway. Nrf2 protein levels that were reduced in obese rats were increased by the antioxidant treatment. Taken together, these results showed that resveratrol and fish oil reduce catecholamine-induced mortality in obese rats, partly through the reduction of oxidative stress.
Human cancers almost ubiquitously harbor epigenetic alterations. Although such alterations in epigenetic marks, including DNA methylation, are potentially heritable, they can also be dynamically altered. Given this potential for plasticity, the degree to which epigenetic changes can be subject to selection and act as drivers of neoplasia has been questioned. We carried out genome-scale analyses of DNA methylation alterations in lethal metastatic prostate cancer and created DNA methylation "cityscape" plots to visualize these complex data. We show that somatic DNA methylation alterations, despite showing marked interindividual heterogeneity among men with lethal metastatic prostate cancer, were maintained across all metastases within the same individual. The overall extent of maintenance in DNA methylation changes was comparable to that of genetic copy number alterations. Regions that were frequently hypermethylated across individuals were markedly enriched for cancer- and development/differentiation-related genes. Additionally, regions exhibiting high consistency of hypermethylation across metastases within individuals, even if variably hypermethylated across individuals, showed enrichment for cancer-related genes. Whereas some regions showed intraindividual metastatic tumor heterogeneity in promoter methylation, such methylation alterations were generally not correlated with gene expression. This was despite a general tendency for promoter methylation patterns to be strongly correlated with gene expression, particularly at regions that were variably methylated across individuals. These findings suggest that DNA methylation alterations have the potential for producing selectable driver events in carcinogenesis and disease progression and highlight the possibility of targeting such epigenome alterations for development of longitudinal markers and therapeutic strategies.
The present study investigates the level of Sterol-regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBP-1c) and related proteins in obese mice (DIO) treated with SREBP-1c antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) to observe a reversal of steatosis.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens causes crown gall disease by transferring and integrating bacterial DNA (T-DNA) into the plant genome. To examine the physiological changes and adaptations during Agrobacterium-induced tumor development, we compared the profiles of salicylic acid (SA), ethylene (ET), jasmonic acid (JA), and auxin (indole-3-acetic acid [IAA]) with changes in the Arabidopsis thaliana transcriptome. Our data indicate that host responses were much stronger toward the oncogenic strain C58 than to the disarmed strain GV3101 and that auxin acts as a key modulator of the Arabidopsis-Agrobacterium interaction. At initiation of infection, elevated levels of IAA and ET were associated with the induction of host genes involved in IAA, but not ET signaling. After T-DNA integration, SA as well as IAA and ET accumulated, but JA did not. This did not correlate with SA-controlled pathogenesis-related gene expression in the host, although high SA levels in mutant plants prevented tumor development, while low levels promoted it. Our data are consistent with a scenario in which ET and later on SA control virulence of agrobacteria, whereas ET and auxin stimulate neovascularization during tumor formation. We suggest that crosstalk among IAA, ET, and SA balances pathogen defense launched by the host and tumor growth initiated by agrobacteria.
DNA microarrays are a popular technique for the detection of microorganisms. Several approaches using specific oligomers targeting one or a few marker genes for each species have been proposed. Data analysis is usually limited to call a species present when its oligomer exceeds a certain intensity threshold. While this strategy works reasonably well for distantly related species, it does not work well for very closely related species: Cross-hybridization of nontarget DNA prevents a simple identification based on signal intensity. The majority of species of the same genus has a sequence similarity of over 90%. For biodiversity studies down to the species level, it is therefore important to increase the detection power of closely related species. We propose a simple, cost-effective and robust approach for biodiversity studies using DNA microarray technology and demonstrate it on scenedesmacean green algae. The internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) rDNA sequence was chosen as marker because it is suitable to distinguish all eukaryotic species even though parts of it are virtually identical in closely related species. We show that by modelling hybridization behaviour with a matrix algebra approach, we are able to identify closely related species that cannot be distinguished with a threshold on signal intensity. Thus this proof-of-concept study shows that by adding a simple and robust data analysis step to the evaluation of DNA microarrays, species detection can be significantly improved for closely related species with a high sequence similarity.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is characterized by molecular heterogeneity. As commonly altered genomic regions point to candidate genes involved in leukemogenesis, we used microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization and single nucleotide polymorphism profiling data of 391 AML cases to further narrow down genomic regions of interest. Targeted resequencing of 1000 genes located in the critical regions was performed in a representative cohort of 50 AML samples comprising all major cytogenetic subgroups. We identified 120 missense/nonsense mutations as well as 60 insertions/deletions affecting 73 different genes (? 3.6 tumor-specific aberrations/AML). While most of the newly identified alterations were nonrecurrent, we observed an enrichment of mutations affecting genes involved in epigenetic regulation including known candidates like TET2, TET1, DNMT3A, and DNMT1, as well as mutations in the histone methyltransferases NSD1, EZH2, and MLL3. Furthermore, we found mutations in the splicing factor SFPQ and in the nonclassic regulators of mRNA processing CTCF and RAD21. These splicing-related mutations affected 10% of AML patients in a mutually exclusive manner. In conclusion, we could identify a large number of alterations in genes involved in aberrant splicing and epigenetic regulation in genomic regions commonly altered in AML, highlighting their important role in the molecular pathogenesis of AML.
The dysregulation of regulatory element-binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c) is associated with hepatic steatosis. However, effects of exercise on SREBP-1c protein level in liver have not been investigated. Thus, in this study we investigated if reversion of the hepatic steatosis-induced by exercise training is related with levels of SREBP-1c.
microRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs with regulatory functions in various biological processes including cell differentiation, development and oncogenic transformation. They can bind to mRNA transcripts of protein-coding genes and repress their translation or lead to mRNA degradation. Conversely, the transcription of miRNAs is regulated by proteins including transcription factors, co-factors, and messenger molecules in signaling pathways, yielding a bidirectional regulatory network of gene and miRNA expression. We describe here a least angle regression approach for uncovering the functional interplay of gene and miRNA regulation based on paired gene and miRNA expression profiles. First, we show that gene expression profiles can indeed be reconstructed from the expression profiles of miRNAs predicted to be regulating the specific gene. Second, we propose a two-step model where in the first step, sequence information is used to constrain the possible set of regulating miRNAs and in the second step, this constraint is relaxed to find regulating miRNAs that do not rely on perfect seed binding. Finally, a bidirectional network comprised of miRNAs regulating genes and genes regulating miRNAs is built from our previous regulatory predictions. After applying the method to a human cancer cell line data set, an analysis of the underlying network reveals miRNAs known to be associated with cancer when dysregulated are predictors of genes with functions in apoptosis. Among the predicted and newly identified targets that lack a classical miRNA seed binding site of a specific oncomir, miR-19b-1, we found an over-representation of genes with functions in apoptosis, which is in accordance with the previous finding that this miRNA is the key oncogenic factor in the mir-17-92 cluster. In addition, we found genes involved in DNA recombination and repair that underline its importance in maintaining the integrity of the cell.
Age-dependent leaf senescence and cell death in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) requires activation of the transcription factor ORESARA1 (ORE1) and is not initiated prior to a leaf age of 28 d. Here, we investigate the conditional execution of events that regulate early senescence and cell death in senescence-associated ubiquitin ligase1 (saul1) mutants, deficient in the PLANT U-BOX-ARMADILLO E3 ubiquitin ligase SAUL1. In saul1 mutants challenged with low light, the switch of age-dependent cell death was turned on prematurely, as indicated by the accumulation of ORE1 transcripts, induction of the senescence marker gene SENESCENCE-ASSOCIATED GENE12, and cell death. However, ORE1 accumulation by itself was not sufficient to cause saul1 phenotypes, as demonstrated by double mutant analysis. Exposure of saul1 mutants to low light for only 24 h did not result in visible symptoms of senescence; however, the senescence-promoting transcription factor genes WRKY53, WRKY6, and NAC-LIKE ACTIVATED BY AP3/PI were up-regulated, indicating that senescence in saul1 seedlings was already initiated. To resolve the time course of gene expression, microarray experiments were performed at narrow intervals. Differential expression of the genes involved in salicylic acid and defense mechanisms were the earliest events detected, suggesting a central role for salicylic acid in saul1 senescence and cell death. The salicylic acid content increased in low-light-treated saul1 mutants, and application of exogenous salicylic acid was indeed sufficient to trigger saul1 senescence in permissive light conditions. Double mutant analyses showed that PHYTOALEXIN DEFICIENT4 (PAD4) but not NONEXPRESSER OF PR GENES1 (NPR1) is essential for saul1 phenotypes. Our results indicate that saul1 senescence depends on the PAD4-dependent salicylic acid pathway but does not require NPR1 signaling.
Studies have shown an exacerbated increase in proinflammatory markers during and after muscle injury. In this way, interventions that reduce inflammatory activation appear to be of great interest in muscle injury therapy. Thus, the preset study evaluated the effect of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) and dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) on the proinflammatory molecules in an animal model of traumatic muscle injury. Forty-eight 3-month old male Wistar rats were divided into six groups (n = 8/group): sham; muscle injury without treatment; muscle injury and gel-saline (0.9%); muscle injury and gel-DMSO (15 mg/kg); muscle injury and LIPUS plus gel-saline; and muscle injury and LIPUS plus gel-DMSO. Two, 12, 24 and 48 h after trauma, four groups received one of the treatments described. One hour after, Western blot was performed to quantify proinflammatory protein levels. We observed greater protein levels of TNF? (3.9 times), IL-1? (3.6 times), JNK phosphorylation (4.2 times) and NF?B (3.8 times) in muscle injury group. However, the combined LIPUS with DMSO resulted in significantly lower levels of TNF? (2.2 times), IL-1? (2.1 times), JNK phosphorylation (2.4 times), and NF?B (2.1 times). The results demonstrate that LIPUS associated with DMSO gel can attenuate TNF?, IL-1?, NF?B protein levels and JNK phosphorylation in traumatic muscle injury.
Tardigrades have unique stress-adaptations that allow them to survive extremes of cold, heat, radiation and vacuum. To study this, encoded protein clusters and pathways from an ongoing transcriptome study on the tardigrade Milnesium tardigradum were analyzed using bioinformatics tools and compared to expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from Hypsibius dujardini, revealing major pathways involved in resistance against extreme environmental conditions. ESTs are available on the Tardigrade Workbench along with software and databank updates. Our analysis reveals that RNA stability motifs for M. tardigradum are different from typical motifs known from higher animals. M. tardigradum and H. dujardini protein clusters and conserved domains imply metabolic storage pathways for glycogen, glycolipids and specific secondary metabolism as well as stress response pathways (including heat shock proteins, bmh2, and specific repair pathways). Redox-, DNA-, stress- and protein protection pathways complement specific repair capabilities to achieve the strong robustness of M. tardigradum. These pathways are partly conserved in other animals and their manipulation could boost stress adaptation even in human cells. However, the unique combination of resistance and repair pathways make tardigrades and M. tardigradum in particular so highly stress resistant.
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