Boosting cold hardiness in parasitoids is a goal that is particularly attractive for increasing shelf life and shipment of biological control agents. In the experiments reported here we use the parasitoid Nasonia vitripennis as a model to evaluate manipulations that may be capable of enhancing the wasp's cold tolerance. We altered the parasitoid's cold tolerance by manipulating the wasp's diapause status, the diapause status of the host fly (Sarcophaga crassipalpis), and the diet of the host. Larval diapause in N. vitripennis dramatically increased cold tolerance and the diapause status of the host also exerted a positive, although less dramatic, effect. Augmenting the host fly's diet with supplements of putative cryoprotectants (alanine, proline and glycerol) enhanced cold tolerance in parasitoids that fed on the flies, thus indicating a tri-trophic effect on parasitoid cold tolerance. The most pronounced improvement in cold tolerance was noted in parasitoids fed on fly hosts that had received a diet augmented with proline. These results suggest mechanisms that could be exploited for enhancement of cold tolerance in parasitoids of commercial interest.
Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) plays a critical role in catalyzing the biosynthesis and maintaining the intracellular concentration of 4 deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs). Unbalanced or deficient dNTP pools cause serious genotoxic consequences. Autophagy is the process by which cytoplasmic constituents are degraded in lysosomes to maintain cellular homeostasis and bioenergetics. However, the role of autophagy in regulating dNTP pools is not well understood. Herein, we reported that starvation- or rapamycin-induced autophagy was accompanied by a decrease in RNR activity and dNTP pools in human cancer cells. Furthermore, downregulation of the small subunit of RNR (RRM2) by siRNA or treatment with the RNR inhibitor hydroxyurea substantially induced autophagy. Conversely, cancer cells with abundant endogenous intracellular dNTPs or treated with dNTP precursors were less responsive to autophagy induction by rapamycin, suggesting that autophagy and dNTP pool levels are regulated through a negative feedback loop. Lastly, treatment with si-RRM2 caused an increase in MAP1LC3B, ATG5, BECN1, and ATG12 transcript abundance in xenografted Tu212 tumors in vivo. Together, our results revealed a previously unrecognized reciprocal regulation between dNTP pools and autophagy in cancer cells.
Stimulus information is encoded in the spatial-temporal structures of external inputs to the neural system. The ability to extract the temporal information of inputs is fundamental to brain function. It has been found that the neural system can memorize temporal intervals of visual inputs in the order of seconds. Here we investigate whether the intrinsic dynamics of a large-size neural circuit alone can achieve this goal. The network models we consider have scale-free topology and the property that hub neurons are difficult to be activated. The latter is implemented by either including abundant electrical synapses between neurons or considering chemical synapses whose efficacy decreases with the connectivity of the postsynaptic neuron. We find that hub neurons trigger synchronous firing across the network, loops formed by low-degree neurons determine the rhythm of synchronous firing, and the hardness of exciting hub neurons avoids epileptic firing of the network. Our model successfully reproduces the experimentally observed rhythmic synchronous firing with long periods and supports the notion that the neural system can process temporal information through the dynamics of local circuits in a distributed way.
In this paper, the S-complex of pyrimidine molecule absorbed on silver clusters was employed as a model molecule to study the enhancement mechanism in surface-enhanced resonance Raman scattering (SERRS). We described the chemical enhancement of SERRS through charge transfer (CT) from Ag20 to pyrimidine on resonance excitation, and electromagnetic enhancement through intracluster charge redistribution (CR) on the electronic intracluster collective oscillation excitation. It is shown that SERRS process of the pyrimidine molecule absorbed on silver clusters with different incident wavelength are dominated by different enhancement mechanisms. Both experimental and theoretical works have been performed to understand the CT process in SERRS.
Activation of cells intrinsic to the vessel wall is central to the initiation and progression of vascular inflammation. As the dominant cellular constituent of the vessel wall, vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and their functions are critical determinants of vascular disease. While factors that regulate VSMC proliferation and migration have been identified, the endogenous regulators of VSMC proinflammatory activation remain incompletely defined. The Kruppel-like family of transcription factors (KLFs) are important regulators of inflammation. In this study, we identified Kruppel-like factor 15 (KLF15) as an essential regulator of VSMC proinflammatory activation. KLF15 levels were markedly reduced in human atherosclerotic tissues. Mice with systemic and smooth muscle-specific deficiency of KLF15 exhibited an aggressive inflammatory vasculopathy in two distinct models of vascular disease: orthotopic carotid artery transplantation and diet-induced atherosclerosis. We demonstrated that KLF15 alters the acetylation status and activity of the proinflammatory factor NF-?B through direct interaction with the histone acetyltransferase p300. These studies identify a previously unrecognized KLF15-dependent pathway that regulates VSMC proinflammatory activation.
Growing evidence indicates that deregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) contributes to tumorigenesis. Dysregulation of miR-657 has been observed in several types of cancers, but its biological function is still largely unknown. Our results showed that miR-657 expression can be induced by hepatitis viral proteins and is significantly increased in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues. Moreover, introduction of miR-657 dramatically increases proliferation and colony formation of HCC cells in vitro and induces tumor development in immunodeficient mice. Further studies showed that miR-657 directly targets the transducin-like enhancer protein 1 (TLE1) 3 untranslated region (UTR) and activates nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B) pathways that contribute to hepatocarcinogenesis. Conclusion: This study identified a mechanism whereby miRNA-657 contributed to HCC through novel cancer pathways and provides new insights into the potential molecular mechanisms of hepatic carcinogenesis.
Blends of entirely bio-sourced polymers, namely polylactide (PLA) and starch, have been melt-compounded by lab-scale co-extruder with castor oil (CO) as a plasticizer. The enrichment of castor oil on starch had great effect on the properties of the blends. If the castor oil was mainly dispersed in PLA matrix, the properties of the blends were poor, but when the hexamethylenediisocyanate (HDI) was grafted on starch granules the ready reactions between the hydroxyl on CO and the isocyante on the HDI-grafted starch (HGSTs) brought CO molecules enriched on starch particles. DSC analysis shows that the CO layer on starch has a positive effect on the crystallization of PLA in the ternary blend. The accumulation of CO on starch greatly improves the toughness and impact strength of PLA/starch blends. The grafting content of HDI on the starch granules primarily determined the compatibility and properties of the resulted blends.
Kalirin is a multifunctional protein that contains 2 guanine nucleotide exchange factor domains for the GTPases Rac1 and RhoA. Variants of KALRN have been associated with atherosclerosis in humans, but Kalirins activity has been characterized almost exclusively in the central nervous system. We therefore tested the hypothesis that Kalirin functions as a Rho-guanine nucleotide exchange factor in arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs).
The insect predator, Arma chinensis, is capable of effectively controlling many pests, such as Colorado potato beetle, cotton bollworm, and mirid bugs. Our previous study demonstrated several life history parameters were diminished for A. chinensis reared on an artificial diet compared to a natural food source like the Chinese oak silk moth pupae. The molecular mechanisms underlying the nutritive impact of the artificial diet on A. chinensis health are unclear. So we utilized transcriptome information to better understand the impact of the artificial diet on A. chinensis at the molecular level.
Acute lung injury and its more severe form, acute respiratory distress syndrome, are characterized by an acute inflammatory response in the airspaces and lung parenchyma. The nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is expressed in pulmonary artery endothelial cells. Here, we report a protective role of FXR in a lipopolysaccharide-induced mouse model of acute lung injury. Upon intratracheal injection of lipopolysaccharide, FXR-/- mice showed higher lung endothelial permeability, released more bronchoalveolar lavage cells to the alveoli, and developed acute pneumonia. Cell adhesion molecules were expressed at higher levels in FXR-/- mice as compared with control mice. Furthermore, lung regeneration was much slower in FXR-/- mice. In vitro experiments showed that FXR activation blocked TNF?-induced expression of P-selectin but stimulated proliferation of lung microvascular endothelial cells through up-regulation of Foxm1b. In addition, expression of a constitutively active FXR repressed the expression of proinflammatory genes and improved lung permeability and lung regeneration in FXR-/- mice. This study demonstrates a critical role of FXR in suppressing the inflammatory response in lung and promoting lung repair after injury.
G protein-coupled receptor kinase-5 (GRK5) is a widely expressed Ser/Thr kinase that regulates several atherogenic receptors and may activate or inhibit nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B). This study sought to determine whether and by what mechanisms GRK5 affects atherosclerosis.
Oscillatory dynamics of complex networks has recently attracted great attention. In this paper we study pattern formation in oscillatory complex networks consisting of excitable nodes. We find that there exist a few center nodes and small skeletons for most oscillations. Complicated and seemingly random oscillatory patterns can be viewed as well-organized target waves propagating from center nodes along the shortest paths, and the shortest loops passing through both the center nodes and their driver nodes play the role of oscillation sources. Analyzing simple skeletons we are able to understand and predict various essential properties of the oscillations and effectively modulate the oscillations. These methods and results will give insights into pattern formation in complex networks and provide suggestive ideas for studying and controlling oscillations in neural networks.
A sandwich structured substrate was designed for quantitative molecular detection using surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), in which the probe molecule was sandwiched between silver nanoparticles (SNPs) and silver nanoarrays. The SNPs was prepared using Lee-Meisel method, and the silver nanoarrays was fabricated on porous anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) using electrodepositing method. The SERS studies show that the sandwich structured substrate exhibits good stability and reproducibility, and the detection sensitivity of Rhodamine 6G (R6G) and Melamine can respectively reach up to 10(-19) M and 10(-9) M, which is improved greatly as compared to other SERS substrates. The improved SERS sensitivity is closely associated with the stronger electromagnetic field enhancement, which stems from localized surface plasmon (LSP) coupling between the two silver nanostructures. Furthermore, the SERS intensity increased almost linearly as the mother concentration increased, which indicates that such a sandwich structure may be used as a good SERS substrate for quantitative analysis.
Previous studies indicate that bile acids (BAs) promote normal liver regeneration and repair after injury. However, the impact of insufficient BA signaling, which is observed in patients with BA sequestrant medication or cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) disease, on liver injury is still unknown. Our aim is to determine the outcomes of reduced BA levels upon liver injury.
A microfluidic system to determine hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) in individual HepG2 cells based on the electrokinetic gated injection was developed for the first time. A home-synthesized fluorescent probe, bis(p-methylbenzenesulfonate)dichlorofluorescein (FS), was employed to label intracellular H(2)O(2) in the intact cells. On a simple cross microchip, multiple single-cell operations, including single cell injection, cytolysis, electrophoresis separation and detection of H(2)O(2), were automatically carried out within 60 s using the electrokinetic gated injection and laser-induced fluorescence detection (LIFD). The performance of the method was evaluated under the optimal conditions. The linear calibration curve was over a range of 4.39-610 amol (R(2)=0.9994). The detection limit was 0.55 amol or 9.0×10(-10) M (S/N=3). The relative standard deviations (RSDs, n=6) of migration time and peak area were 1.4% and 4.8%, respectively. With the use of this method, the average content of H(2)O(2) in single HepG2 cells was found to be 16.09±9.84 amol (n=15). Separation efficiencies in excess of 17,000 theoretical plates for the cells were achieved. These results demonstrated that the efficient integration and automation of these single-cell operations enabled the sensitive, reproducible, and quantitative examination of intracellular H(2)O(2) at single-cell level. Owing to the advantages of simple microchip structure, controllable single-cell manipulation and ease in building, this platform provides a universal way to automatically determine other intracellular constituents within single cells.
The liver can fully regenerate itself by a compensatory regrowth in response to partial hepatectomy or injury. This process consists of a variety of well-orchestrated phases and is mediated by many signals. Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily of ligand-activated transcription factors. Bile acids are FXR physiological ligands. As a metabolic regulator, FXR plays key roles in regulating metabolism of bile acids, lipids and glucose. Recently, bile acid/FXR signaling pathway is shown to be required for normal liver regeneration. Furthermore, FXR promotes liver repair after injury and activation of FXR is able to alleviate age-related defective liver regeneration. These novel findings suggest that FXR-mediated bile acid signaling is an integrated component of normal liver regeneration machinery, and also highlight the potential use of FXR ligands to promote liver regeneration after segmental liver transplantation or resection of liver tumors. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Translating nuclear receptors from health to disease.
To accelerate vein graft reendothelialization and reduce vein graft thrombosis by infusing human umbilical cord blood-derived endothelial cells (hCB-ECs) because loss of endothelium contributes to vein graft thrombosis and neointimal hyperplasia.
Aging is believed to be among the most important contributors to atherosclerosis, through mechanisms that remain largely obscure. Serum levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) rise with aging and have been correlated with the incidence of myocardial infarction. We therefore sought to determine whether genetic variation in the TNF receptor-1 gene (TNFR1) contributes to aging-related atherosclerosis in humans and whether Tnfr1 expression aggravates aging-related atherosclerosis in mice. With 1330 subjects from a coronary angiography database, we performed a case-control association study of coronary artery disease (CAD) with 16 TNFR1 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Two TNFR1 SNPs significantly associated with CAD in subjects >55 years old, and this association was supported by analysis of a set of 759 independent CAD cases. In multiple linear regression analysis, accounting for TNFR1 SNP rs4149573 significantly altered the relationship between aging and CAD index among 1811 subjects from the coronary angiography database. To confirm that TNFR1 contributes to aging-dependent atherosclerosis, we grafted carotid arteries from 18- and 2-month-old wild-type (WT) and Tnfr1(-/-) mice into congenic apolipoprotein E-deficient (Apoe(-/-)) mice and harvested grafts from 1 to 7 weeks post-operatively. Aged WT arteries developed accelerated atherosclerosis associated with enhanced TNFR1 expression, enhanced macrophage recruitment, reduced smooth muscle cell proliferation and collagen content, augmented apoptosis and plaque hemorrhage. In contrast, aged Tnfr1(-/-) arteries developed atherosclerosis that was indistinguishable from that in young Tnfr1(-/-) arteries and significantly less than that observed in aged WT arteries. We conclude that TNFR1 polymorphisms associate with aging-related CAD in humans, and TNFR1 contributes to aging-dependent atherosclerosis in mice.
Diverse self-sustained oscillatory patterns and their mechanisms in small-world networks (SWNs) of excitable nodes are studied. Spatiotemporal patterns of SWNs are sensitive to long-range connection probability P and coupling intensity D . By varying P in wide range with fixed D , we observe totally six types of asymptotic states: pure spiral waves, pure self-sustained target waves, patterns of mixtured spirals and target waves, pseudospiral turbulence, synchronizing oscillations, and rest state. The parameter conditions for all these states are specified, and the mechanisms of these states are heuristically explained. In particular, the mechanism of emergence and annihilation of synchronizing oscillations is explained by using the shortest path length analysis.
Vein graft endothelial damage is a key step in the development of neointimal hyperplasia, leading to vein graft failure. We sought to determine whether exogenous endothelial progenitor cells could promote vein graft re-endothelialization, and thereby ameliorate neointimal hyperplasia.
Cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7a1) is the rate-limiting enzyme in the classic pathway of bile acid synthesis. Expression of CYP7a1 is regulated by a negative feedback pathway of bile acid signaling. Previous studies have suggested that bile acid signaling is also required for normal liver regeneration, and CYP7a1 expression is strongly repressed after 70% partial hepatectomy (PH). Both the effect of CYP7a1 suppression on liver regrowth and the mechanism by which 70% PH suppresses CYP7a1 expression are unknown. Here we show that liver-specific overexpression of an exogenous CYP7a1 gene impaired liver regeneration after 70% PH, which was accompanied by increased hepatocyte apoptosis and liver injury. CYP7a1 expression was initially suppressed after 70% PH in an farnesoid X receptor/ small heterodimer partner-independent manner; however, both farnesoid X receptor and small heterodimer partner were required to regulate CYP7a1 expression at the later stage of liver regeneration. c-Jun N-terminus kinase and hepatocyte growth factor signaling pathways are activated during the acute phase of liver regeneration. We determined that hepatocyte growth factor and c-Jun N-terminus kinase pathways were involved in the suppressing of the CYP7a1 expression in the acute phase of live regeneration. Taken together, our results provide the significance that CYP7a1 suppression is required for liver protection after 70% PH and there are two distinct phases of CYP7a1 gene regulation during liver regeneration.
Ubiquitination of proteins and their degradation within the proteasome has emerged as the major proteolytic mechanism used by mammalian cells to regulate cytosolic and nuclear protein levels. Substrate ubiquitylation is mediated by ubiquitin (Ub) ligases, also called E3 Ub ligases. HECT-E3 Ub ligases are characterized by the presence of a C-terminal HECT domain that contains the active site for Ub transfer onto substrates. Among the many E3 Ub ligases, the family homologous to E6-Ap C-terminus (HECT) E3 Ub ligases, which includes the yeast protein Rsp5p and the mammalian homolog NEDD4, AIP4/Itch, and Smurf, has been shown to ubiquitylate membrane proteins and, in some instances, to induce their degradation. In this report, we have identified Syntaxin 8 as a binding protein to a novel HECT domain protein, HECT domain containing 3 (HECTd3), by yeast two-hybrid screen. Besides HECT domain, HECTd3 contains an anaphase-promoting complex, subunit 10 (APC10) domain. Our co-immunoprecipitation experiments show that Syntaxin 8 directly interacts with HECTd3 and that the overexpression of HECTd3 promotes the ubiquitination of Syntaxin 8. Immunofluorescence results show that Syntaxin 8 and HECTd3 have similar subcellular localization.
Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a strong candidate gene for coronary artery disease (CAD). We have previously identified genetic linkage to familial CAD in the genomic region of NPY. We performed follow-up genetic, biostatistical, and functional analysis of NPY in early-onset CAD. In familial CAD (GENECARD, N = 420 families), we found increased microsatellite linkage to chromosome 7p14 (OSA LOD = 4.2, p = 0.004) in 97 earliest age-of-onset families. Tagged NPY SNPs demonstrated linkage to CAD of a 6-SNP block (LOD = 1.58-2.72), family-based association of this block with CAD (p = 0.02), and stronger linkage to CAD in the earliest age-of-onset families. Association of this 6-SNP block with CAD was validated in: (a) 556 non-familial early-onset CAD cases and 256 controls (OR 1.46-1.65, p = 0.01-0.05), showing stronger association in youngest cases (OR 1.84-2.20, p = 0.0004-0.09); and (b) GENECARD probands versus non-familial controls (OR 1.79-2.06, p = 0.003-0.02). A promoter SNP (rs16147) within this 6-SNP block was associated with higher plasma NPY levels (p = 0.04). To assess a causal role of NPY in atherosclerosis, we applied the NPY1-receptor-antagonist BIBP-3226 adventitially to endothelium-denuded carotid arteries of apolipoprotein E-deficient mice; treatment reduced atherosclerotic neointimal area by 50% (p = 0.03). Thus, NPY variants associate with atherosclerosis in two independent datasets (with strong age-of-onset effects) and show allele-specific expression with NPY levels, while NPY receptor antagonism reduces atherosclerosis in mice. We conclude that NPY contributes to atherosclerosis pathogenesis.
Because vein graft neointimal hyperplasia engenders vein graft failure, and because most vein graft neointimal cells derive from outside the vein graft, we sought to determine whether vein graft neointimal hyperplasia is affected by activity of the CXC chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4), which is important for bone marrow-derived cell migration.
Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily and is the primary bile acid receptor. We previously showed that FXR was required for the promotion of liver regeneration/repair after physical resection or liver injury. However, the mechanism by which FXR promotes liver regeneration/repair is still unclear. Here we show that both hepatic-FXR and intestine-FXR contributed to promote liver regeneration/repair after either 70% partial hepatectomy or carbon tetrachloride-induced liver injury. Hepatic FXR, but not intestine FXR, is required for the induction of Foxm1b gene expression in liver during liver regeneration/repair. In contrast, intestine FXR is activated to induce FGF15 expression in intestine after liver damage. Ectopic expression of FGF15 was able to rescue the defective liver regeneration/repair in intestine-specific FXR null mice.
Well-ordered silver nano arrays, prepared using anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) template by laser molecular beam epitaxy (L-MBE) method, were adhered to the work electrode using conductive adhesive to be a Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) substrate. Variable SERS signals of paranitrobenzoic acid (PNA) on the electrode modified with silver nano arrays were recorded with electric potential ranging from 0.1 to -0.5 V. The SERS spectra of PNA using DFT-B3PW91 with lanl2dz based on two models were calculated. It indicate that the adsorption orientation of probe molecules on the silver nano arrays with potential change of the electrode.
Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) (nuclear receptor subfamily 1, group H, member 4) is a member of nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, which plays essential roles in metabolism of bile acids, lipid, and glucose. We previously showed spontaneously hepatocarcinogenesis in aged FXR(-/-) mice, but its relevance to human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is unclear. Here, we report a systematical analysis of hepatocarcinogenesis in FXR(-/-) mice and FXR expression in human liver cancer. In this study, liver tissues obtained from FXR(-/-) and wild-type mice at different ages were compared by microarray gene profiling, histological staining, chemical analysis, and quantitative real-time PCR. Primary hepatic stellate cells and primary hepatocytes isolated from FXR(-/-) and wild-type mice were also analyzed and compared. The results showed that the altered genes in FXR(-/-) livers were mainly related to metabolism, inflammation, and fibrosis, which suggest that hepatocarcinogenesis in FXR(-/-) mice recapitulated the progression of human liver cancer. Indeed, FXR expression in human HCC was down-regulated compared with normal liver tissues. Furthermore, the proinflammatory cytokines, which were up-regulated in human HCC microenvironment, decreased FXR expression by inhibiting the transactivity of hepatic nuclear factor 1? on FXR gene promoter. Our study thereby demonstrates that the down-regulation of FXR has an important role in human hepatocarcinogenesis and FXR(-/-) mice provide a unique animal model for HCC study.
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