The intensity-dependent rocking frequency of an illuminated semicylindrical refractive rod (or "optical wing") on a flat, nonslip surface is investigated. Both longitudinal and transverse radiation pressure forces (scatter and lift forces), as well as radiation pressure torque, transform the mechanical system into one having a bistable potential energy above a critical intensity. The equation of motion may be written as a parametrically driven nonlinear bistable harmonic oscillator, resulting in complex rocking dynamics. The effects of linear and sinusoidal intensity modulation schemes are explored, and experimental conditions to verify these results are discussed.
We present the biochemical and functional characterization of Bothropoidin, the first haemorrhagic metalloproteinase isolated from Bothrops pauloensis snake venom. This protein was purified after three chromatographic steps on cation exchange CM-Sepharose fast flow, size-exclusion column Sephacryl S-300 and anion exchange Capto Q. Bothropoidin was homogeneous by SDS-PAGE under reducing and non-reducing conditions, and comprised a single chain of 49,558 Da according to MALDI TOF analysis. The protein presented an isoelectric point of 3.76, and the sequence of six fragments obtained by MS (MALDI TOF\TOF) showed a significant score when compared with other PIII Snake venom metalloproteinases (SVMPs). Bothropoidin showed proteolytic activity on azocasein, A?-chain of fibrinogen, fibrin, collagen and fibronectin. The enzyme was stable at pH 6-9 and at lower temperatures when assayed on azocasein. Moreover, its activity was inhibited by EDTA, 1.10-phenanthroline and ?-mercaptoethanol. Bothropoidin induced haemorrhage [minimum haemorrhagic dose (MHD) = 0.75 µg], inhibited platelet aggregation induced by collagen and ADP, and interfered with viability and cell adhesion when incubated with endothelial cells in a dose and time-dependent manner. Our results showed that Bothropoidin is a haemorrhagic metalloproteinase that can play an important role in the toxicity of B. pauloensis envenomation and might be used as a tool for studying the effects of SVMPs on haemostatic disorders and tumour metastasis.
Type 1 Portuguese Familial Amyloid Polyneuropathy was first observed in 1939 and described in 1951 by Corino Andrade. FAP is a rare autosomal dominant disease caused by a mutant gene in chromosome 18, characterized by a variant transthyretin in which valine is substituted for methionine at position 30 (ATTR V30M), affecting mainly young adults. ATTR V30M positivity does not imply disease, but the disease is only present with ATTR V30M in serum. The clinical manifestations of FAP on the pelvic floor and genitourinary system are frequent at early disease onset. Phenotypic diversity can depend on modulating agents in the deposition of the mutant TTR, such as incomplete penetration and environmental influence. Functional vesicourethral disorders appear to be primarily at the bladder filling phase, namely diminished bladder sensation, and associated with a decrease in detrusor contractility during the emptying phase. Unbalanced voiding takes place in this context, with high post-void residuals, increasing the rate of co-morbidity, namely recurrent urinary tract infections and chronic renal failure.This study describes the lower urinary tract dysfunctions in ATTR V30M positive carriers, particularly during the asymptomatic period and early stages of the disease, and additionaly it describes its association with the clinical evolution of the disease. In the preliminary phase of the study, the lower urinary tract dysfunction in FAP-women may present itself as an early manifestation in asymptomatic patients. Uroflowmetry and the evaluation of post-voiding residual volume are non-invasive and low cost tests that should be done during routine initial evaluation. Reduced bladder sensation and poor detrusor contractility may be considered initial markers of FAP. The neurogenic factor (bladder afferent neurons) appears to be mechanical in nature with myogenic repercussions. This further aggravates the bladder underactivity secondary to pelvic efferent parasympathetic neuropathy and amyloid infiltration in the bladder wall. Early diagnostic and therapeutic intervention may avoid secondary end stage renal disease.
The Specialized Dental Care Center for the region of Sobral in the state of Ceará (CEO-R) has characteristics that render it unique, as it has regional coverage and is managed by a Local Health Consortium (which comprises 24 cities). It also works in conjunction with the School of Dentistry of the Federal University of Ceará - Sobral Campus, combining care and academic study in the same location. The scope of this article was to evaluate the accessibility to specialized care in this region with the implementation of this CEO-R. A descriptive-exploratory study with a quantitative approach was conducted by means of the collection and analysis of secondary data regarding the availability and usage of this service in addition to the application of semi-structured interviews with Oral Health Coordinators of the 24 municipalities in the consortium. The results showed that the CEO-R is equipped to meet the demand. However, geographic, financial and organizational barriers were detected, which explains the low rates of appointments scheduled and use of the services and the high rate of missed appointments, causing a significant financial impact on the cities included in the consortium.
Genetically unstable expanded CAG·CTG trinucleotide repeats are causal in a number of human disorders, including Huntington disease and myotonic dystrophy type 1. It is still widely assumed that DNA polymerase slippage during replication plays an important role in the accumulation of expansions. Nevertheless, somatic mosaicism correlates poorly with the proliferative capacity of the tissue and rates of cell turnover, suggesting that expansions can occur in the absence of replication. We monitored CAG·CTG repeat instability in transgenic mouse cells arrested by chemical or genetic manipulation of the cell cycle and generated unequivocal evidence for the continuous accumulation of repeat expansions in non-dividing cells. Importantly, the rates of expansion in non-dividing cells were at least as high as those of proliferating cells. These data are consistent with a major role for cell division-independent expansion in generating somatic mosaicism in vivo. Although expansions can accrue in non-dividing cells, we also show that cell cycle arrest is not sufficient to drive instability, implicating other factors as the key regulators of tissue-specific instability. Our data reveal that de novo expansion events are not limited to S-phase and further support a cell division-independent mutational pathway.
In the present work, we demonstrate some biochemical and functional properties of a new PI snake venom metalloproteinase (SVMP) isolated from Bothrops pauloensis snake venom (BpMP-II), in addition we evaluated its capacity to inhibit endothelial cell adhesion and in vitro angiogenesis. BpMP-II was purified after a combination of three chromatography steps and showed molecular mass of 23,000Da determined by MALDI-TOF, an isoelectric point of 6.1 and the sequence of some fragments obtained by MS/MS (MALDI TOF\TOF) presented high structural similarity with other PI-SVMPs. BpMP-II showed proteolytic activity against azocasein, was able to degrade bovine fibrinogen and was inhibited by EDTA, 1.10 phenantroline and ?-mercaptoethanol. BpMP-II did not induce local hemorrhage in the dorsal region of mice even at high doses and did not affect plasma creatine kinase (CK) levels when administered intramuscularly into the gastrocnemius muscle of mice. Moreover, this metalloproteinase decreased tEnd cells viability at concentrations higher than 20?g/mL. With sub-toxic doses this metalloproteinase affected tEnd cell adhesion and was also able to inhibit in vitro angiogenesis. BpMP-II showed very important functional properties suggesting considerable therapeutic potential for this class of protein.
Despite the classification as known or suspected human carcinogens, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the antineoplastic drugs are extensively used in cancer treatment due to their specificity and efficacy. As human carcinogens, these drugs represent a serious threat to the healthcare workers involved in their preparation and administration. This work aims to contribute to better characterize the occupational exposure of healthcare professionals to antineoplastic drugs, by assessing workplace surfaces contamination of pharmacy and administration units of two Portuguese hospitals. Surface contamination was assessed by the determination of cyclophosphamide, 5-fluorouracil, and paclitaxel. These three drugs were used as surrogate markers for surfaces contamination by cytotoxic drugs. Wipe samples were taken and analyzed by HPLC-DAD. From the total of 327 analyzed samples, in 121 (37 %) was possible to detect and quantify at least one drug. Additionally, 28 samples (8.6 %) indicate contamination by more than one antineoplastic drug, mainly in the administration unit, in both hospitals. Considering the findings in both hospitals, specific measures should be taken, particularly those related with the promotion of good practices and safety procedures and also routine monitoring of surfaces contamination in order to guarantee the appliance of safety measures.
Many human diseases are associated with the abnormal expansion of unstable trinucleotide repeat sequences. The mechanisms of trinucleotide repeat size mutation have not been fully dissected, and their understanding must be grounded on the detailed analysis of repeat size distributions in human tissues and animal models. Small-pool PCR (SP-PCR) is a robust, highly sensitive and efficient PCR-based approach to assess the levels of repeat size variation, providing both quantitative and qualitative data. The method relies on the amplification of a very low number of DNA molecules, through sucessive dilution of a stock genomic DNA solution. Radioactive Southern blot hybridization is sensitive enough to detect SP-PCR products derived from single template molecules, separated by agarose gel electrophoresis and transferred onto DNA membranes. We describe a variation of the detection method that uses digoxigenin-labelled locked nucleic acid probes. This protocol keeps the sensitivity of the original method, while eliminating the health risks associated with the manipulation of radiolabelled probes, and the burden associated with their regulation, manipulation and waste disposal.
In this work, we describe the molecular cloning and pharmacological properties of an acidic phospholipase A2 (PLA2) isolated from Bothrops pauloensis snake venom. This enzyme, denominated BpPLA2-TXI, was purified by four chromatographic steps and represents 2.4% of the total snake venom protein content. BpPLA2-TXI is a monomeric protein with a molecular mass of 13.6 kDa, as demonstrated by Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF) analysis and its theoretical isoelectric point was 4.98. BpPLA2-TXI was catalytically active and showed some pharmacological effects such as inhibition of platelet aggregation induced by collagen or ADP and also induced edema and myotoxicity. BpPLA2-TXI displayed low cytotoxicity on TG-180 (CCRF S 180 II) and Ovarian Carcinoma (OVCAR-3), whereas no cytotoxicity was found in regard to MEF (Mouse Embryonic Fibroblast) and Sarcoma 180 (TIB-66). The N-terminal sequence of forty-eight amino acid residues was determined by Edman degradation. In addition, the complete primary structure of 122 amino acids was deduced by cDNA from the total RNA of the venom gland using specific primers, and it was significantly similar to other acidic D49 PLA2s. The phylogenetic analyses showed that BpPLA2-TXI forms a group with other acidic D49 PLA2s from the gender Bothrops, which are characterized by a catalytic activity associated with anti-platelet effects.
Mutant ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules can be toxic to the cell, causing human disease through trans-acting dominant mechanisms. RNA toxicity was first described in myotonic dystrophy type 1, a multisystemic disorder caused by the abnormal expansion of a non-coding trinucleotide repeat sequence. The development of multiple and complementary animal models of disease has greatly contributed to clarifying the complex disease pathways mediated by toxic RNA molecules. RNA toxicity is not limited to myotonic dystrophy and spreads to an increasing number of human conditions, which share some unifying pathogenic events mediated by toxic RNA accumulation and disruption of RNA-binding proteins. The remarkable progress in the dissection of disease pathobiology resulted in the rational design of molecular therapies, which have been successfully tested in animal models. Toxic RNA diseases, and in particular myotonic dystrophy, clearly illustrate the critical contribution of animal models of disease in translational research: from gene mutation to disease mechanisms, and ultimately to therapy development. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Animal Models of Disease.
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is a complex multisystemic inherited disorder, which displays multiple debilitating neurological manifestations. Despite recent progress in the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of myotonic dystrophy type 1 in skeletal muscle and heart, the pathways affected in the central nervous system are largely unknown. To address this question, we studied the only transgenic mouse line expressing CTG trinucleotide repeats in the central nervous system. These mice recreate molecular features of RNA toxicity, such as RNA foci accumulation and missplicing. They exhibit relevant behavioural and cognitive phenotypes, deficits in short-term synaptic plasticity, as well as changes in neurochemical levels. In the search for disease intermediates affected by disease mutation, a global proteomics approach revealed RAB3A upregulation and synapsin I hyperphosphorylation in the central nervous system of transgenic mice, transfected cells and post-mortem brains of patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1. These protein defects were associated with electrophysiological and behavioural deficits in mice and altered spontaneous neurosecretion in cell culture. Taking advantage of a relevant transgenic mouse of a complex human disease, we found a novel connection between physiological phenotypes and synaptic protein dysregulation, indicative of synaptic dysfunction in myotonic dystrophy type 1 brain pathology.
Expanded, non-coding RNAs can exhibit a deleterious gain-of-function causing human disease through abnormal interactions with RNA-binding proteins. Myotonic dystrophy (DM), the prototypical example of an RNA-dominant disorder, is mediated by trinucleotide repeat-containing transcripts that deregulate alternative splicing. Spliceopathy has therefore been a major focus of DM research. However, changes in gene expression, protein translation and micro-RNA metabolism may also contribute to disease pathology. The exciting finding of bidirectional transcription and non-conventional RNA translation of trinucleotide repeat sequences points to a new scenario, in which DM is not mediated by one single expanded RNA transcript, but involves multiple pathogenic elements and pathways. The study of the growing number of human diseases associated with toxic repeat-containing transcripts provides important insight into the understanding of the complex pathways of RNA toxicity. This review describes some of the recent advances in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind DM and other RNA-dominant disorders.
Snake Venom Metalloproteinases (SVMPs) are the most abundant components present in Viperidae venom. They are important in the induction of systemic alterations and local tissue damage after envenomation. In the present study, a metalloproteinase named BpMPI was isolated from Bothropoides pauloensis snake venom and its biochemical and enzymatic characteristics were determined. BpMPI was purified in two chromatography steps on ion exchange CM-Sepharose Fast flow and Sephacryl S-300. This protease was homogeneous on SDS-PAGE and showed a single chain polypeptide of 20kDa under non reducing conditions. The partial amino acid sequence of the enzyme showed high similarity with other SVMPs enzymes from snake venoms. BpMPI showed proteolytic activity upon azocasein and bovine fibrinogen and was inhibited by EDTA, 1,10 phenanthroline and ?-mercaptoethanol. Moreover, this enzyme showed stability at neutral and alkaline pH and it was inactivated at high temperatures. BpMPI was able to hydrolyze glandular and tissue kallikrein substrates, but was unable to act upon factor Xa and plasmin substrates. The enzyme did not induce local hemorrhage in the dorsal region of mice even at high doses. Taken together, our data showed that BpMP-I is in fact a fibrinogenolytic metalloproteinase and a non hemorrhagic enzyme.
To study the effect of DM1-associated CTG repeats on neuronal function, we developed a PC12 cell-based model that constitutively expresses the DMPK gene 3-untranslated region with 90 CTG repeats (CTG90 cells). As CTG90 cells exhibit impaired neurite outgrowth and as microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are crucial for microtubule stability, we analyzed whether MAPs are a target of CTG repeats. NGF induces mRNA expression of Map2, Map1a and Map6 in control cells (PC12 cells transfected with the empty vector), but this induction is abolished for Map2 and Map1a in CTG90 cells. MAP2 and MAP6/STOP proteins decrease in NGF-treated CTG90 cells, whereas MAP1A increases. Data suggest that CTG repeats might alter somehow the expression of MAPs, which appears to be related with CTG90 cell-deficient neurite outgrowth. Decreased MAP2 levels found in the hippocampus of a DM1 mouse model indicates that targeting of MAPs expression by CTG repeats might be relevant to DM1.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) must comply with the strict rules of design and conduct and their reporting should reflect it. Our aim was to evaluate how the quality of RCT reporting in pelvic organ prolapse (POP) has evolved.
DNA repeat expansions can result in the production of toxic RNA. RNA toxicity has been best characterised in the context of myotonic dystrophy. Nearly 20 mouse models have contributed significant and complementary insights into specific aspects of this novel disease mechanism. These models provide a unique resource to test pharmacological, anti-sense, and gene-therapy therapeutic strategies that target specific events of the pathobiological cascade. Further proof-of-principle concept studies and preclinical experiments require critical and thorough analysis of the multiple myotonic dystrophy transgenic lines available. This review provides in-depth assessment of the molecular and phenotypic features of these models and their contribution towards the dissection of disease mechanisms, and compares them with the human condition. More importantly, it provides critical assessment of their suitability and limitations for preclinical testing of emerging therapeutic strategies.
We have numerically found periodic collisionless motions of a walking model consisting of linked rigid objects. Unlike previous designs, this model can walk on level ground at noninfinitesimal speed with zero energy input. The model avoids collisional losses by using an internal mode of oscillation: swaying of the upper body coupled to the legs by springs. Appropriate synchronized internal oscillations set the foot-strike collision to zero velocity. The concept might be of use for energy-efficient robots and may also help to explain aspects of human and animal locomotion efficiency.
Trinucleotide expansions cause disease by both protein- and RNA-mediated mechanisms. Unexpectedly, we discovered that CAG expansion constructs express homopolymeric polyglutamine, polyalanine, and polyserine proteins in the absence of an ATG start codon. This repeat-associated non-ATG translation (RAN translation) occurs across long, hairpin-forming repeats in transfected cells or when expansion constructs are integrated into the genome in lentiviral-transduced cells and brains. Additionally, we show that RAN translation across human spinocerebellar ataxia type 8 (SCA8) and myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) CAG expansion transcripts results in the accumulation of SCA8 polyalanine and DM1 polyglutamine expansion proteins in previously established SCA8 and DM1 mouse models and human tissue. These results have implications for understanding fundamental mechanisms of gene expression. Moreover, these toxic, unexpected, homopolymeric proteins now should be considered in pathogenic models of microsatellite disorders.
A fibrino(geno)lytic nonhemorrhagic metalloproteinase (BleucMP) was purified from Bothrops leucurus snake venom by two chromatographic steps procedure on DEAE-Sephadex A-25 followed by CM-Sepharose Fast Flow column. BleucMP represented 1.75% (w/w) of the crude venom and was homogeneous on SDS-PAGE. BleucMP analyzed by MALDI TOF/TOF, showed a molecular mass of 23,057.54Da and when alkylated and reduced, the mass is 23,830.40Da. Their peptides analyzed in MS (MALDI TOFTOF) showed significant score when compared with those of other proteins by NCBI-BLAST2 alignment display. As regards their proteolytic activities, BleucMP efficiently acted on fibrinogen, fibrin, and was inhibited by EDTA and 1.10-phenanthroline. This enzyme was also able to decrease significantly the plasma fibrinogen level provoking blood incoagulability, however was devoid of hemorrhagic activity when tested in the mice skin and did not induce relevant biochemical, hematological and histopathological alterations in mice. The aspects addressed in this paper provide data on the effect of BleucMP in envenomation from B. leucurus snakes in order to better understand the effects caused by snake venom metalloproteinase.
Transvesical port refers to the method of accessing the abdominal cavity through a natural orifice (i.e., urethra) under endoscopic visualization. Since its introduction in 2006, various reports have been published describing different surgical interventions using a rigid ureteroscope in a porcine model. The aim of this study was to test the access and feasibility of peritoneoscopy by using a rigid ureteroscope in a human male cadaver.
According to the Report on Carcinogens, formaldehyde ranks 25th in the overall U.S. chemical production, with more than 5 million tons produced each year. Given its economic importance and widespread use, many people are exposed to formaldehyde environmentally and/or occupationally. Presently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies formaldehyde as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1), based on sufficient evidence in humans and in experimental animals. Manyfold in vitro studies clearly indicated that formaldehyde can induce genotoxic effects in proliferating cultured mammalian cells. Furthermore, some in vivo studies have found changes in epithelial cells and in peripheral blood lymphocytes related to formaldehyde exposure.
In this work, a new weakly hemorrhagic metalloproteinase (BthMP) was purified from Bothrops moojeni snake venom. This enzyme was homogeneous by native and SDS-PAGE. It showed a polypeptide chain of 23.5kDa, pI=7.1, and N-terminal blocked. BthMP is comprised of high proteolytic activity on casein, fibrin and bovine fibrinogen, with no coagulating, esterase or phospholipase A(2) activities; it was inhibited by EDTA, EGTA and 1,10-phenanthroline and maintained its activity on pH from 7.0 to 9.0 and temperature from 5-40 degrees C. Assays with metal ions showed that Ca(2+) is an activator, whereas Zn(2+) and Hg(2+) inhibited about 50 and 80% of its activity, respectively. The edema evidenced the important role of the toxin in the inflammatory activity of the venom. BthMP also caused unclotting, and provoked histological alterations in the gastrocnemius muscle of mice inducing hemorrhage, necrosis and leukocytic infiltrate. The molecular mass and the inhibition assays suggest that the metalloproteinase BthMP belongs to class P-I of SVMPs.
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by an unstable CTG repeat expansion in the 3UTR of the DM protein kinase (DMPK) gene. DMPK transcripts carrying CUG expansions form nuclear foci and affect splicing regulation of various RNA transcripts. Furthermore, bidirectional transcription over the DMPK gene and non-conventional RNA translation of repeated transcripts have been described in DM1. It is clear now that this disease may involve multiple pathogenic pathways including changes in gene expression, RNA stability and splicing regulation, protein translation, and micro-RNA metabolism. We previously generated transgenic mice with 45-kb of the DM1 locus and >300 CTG repeats (DM300 mice). After successive breeding and a high level of CTG repeat instability, we obtained transgenic mice carrying >1,000 CTG (DMSXL mice). Here we described for the first time the expression pattern of the DMPK sense transcripts in DMSXL and human tissues. Interestingly, we also demonstrate that DMPK antisense transcripts are expressed in various DMSXL and human tissues, and that both sense and antisense transcripts accumulate in independent nuclear foci that do not co-localize together. Molecular features of DM1-associated RNA toxicity in DMSXL mice (such as foci accumulation and mild missplicing), were associated with high mortality, growth retardation, and muscle defects (abnormal histopathology, reduced muscle strength, and lower motor performances). We have found that lower levels of IGFBP-3 may contribute to DMSXL growth retardation, while increased proteasome activity may affect muscle function. These data demonstrate that the human DM1 locus carrying very large expansions induced a variety of molecular and physiological defects in transgenic mice, reflecting DM1 to a certain extent. As a result, DMSXL mice provide an animal tool to decipher various aspects of the disease mechanisms. In addition, these mice can be used to test the preclinical impact of systemic therapeutic strategies on molecular and physiological phenotypes.
Bladder injuries are quite rare and complex complications of transobturator tapes in the treatment of female stress urinary incontinence, with very few published cases. The authors present a case report and discuss possible injury mechanisms and the role of cystoscopy in this setting.
The RNA-mediated disease model for myotonic dystrophy (DM) proposes that microsatellite C(C)TG expansions express toxic RNAs that disrupt splicing regulation by altering MBNL1 and CELF1 activities. While this model explains DM manifestations in muscle, less is known about the effects of C(C)UG expression on the brain. Here, we report that Mbnl2 knockout mice develop several DM-associated central nervous system (CNS) features including abnormal REM sleep propensity and deficits in spatial memory. Mbnl2 is prominently expressed in the hippocampus and Mbnl2 knockouts show a decrease in NMDA receptor (NMDAR) synaptic transmission and impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity. While Mbnl2 loss did not significantly alter target transcript levels in the hippocampus, misregulated splicing of hundreds of exons was detected using splicing microarrays, RNA-seq, and HITS-CLIP. Importantly, the majority of the Mbnl2-regulated exons examined were similarly misregulated in DM. We propose that major pathological features of the DM brain result from disruption of the MBNL2-mediated developmental splicing program.
The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Sexual and Pelvic Floor Dysfunctions associated with familial type 1 Portuguese amyloid polyneuropathy (FAP). We studied women with FAP in three stages of the disease: asymptomatic women (n=12), women in the early stage of the disease (n=8) and 3 women in the most progressive stage of the disease. We hypothesize that women with FAP suffer from pelvic floor hypotonicity, which may hinder orgasmic function and as such, lead to deteriorated sexual function.
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