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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Folate bioavailability from foods rich in folates assessed in a short term human study using stable isotope dilution assays.
Food Funct
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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Different sources of folate may have different bioavailability and hence may impact the standard definition of folate equivalents. In order to examine this, a short term human study was undertaken to evaluate the relative native folate bioavailabilities from spinach, Camembert cheese and wheat germs compared to pteroylmonoglutamic acid as the reference dose. The study had a single-centre, randomised, four-treatment, four-period, four-sequence, cross-over design, i.e. the four (food) items to be tested (referred to as treatments) were administered in sequences according to the Latin square, so that each experimental treatment occurred only once within each sequence and once within each study period. Each of the 24 subjects received the four experimental items separated by a 14-day equilibrium phase and received a pteroylmonoglutamic acid supplement for 14 days before the first testing and between the testings for saturation of body pools. Folates in test foods, plasma and urine samples were determined by stable isotope dilution assays, and in urine and plasma, the concentrations of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate were evaluated. Standard non-compartmental methods were applied to determine the biokinetic parameters Cmax, tmax and AUC from baseline corrected 5-methyltetrahydrofolate concentrations within the interval from 0 to 12 hours. The variability of AUC and Cmax was moderate for spinach and oral solution of pteroylmonoglutamic acid but high for Camembert cheese and very high for wheat germs. The median tmax was lowest for spinach, though tmax showed a high variability among all treatments. When comparing the ratio estimates of AUC and Cmax for the different test foods, highest bioavailability was found for spinach followed by that for wheat germs and Camembert cheese. The results underline the dependence of folate bioavailability on the type of food ingested. Therefore, the general assumption of 50% bioavailability as the rationale behind the definition of folate equivalents has to be questioned and requires further investigation.
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Manipulating shear-induced non-equilibrium transitions in colloidal films by feedback control.
Soft Matter
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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Using Brownian Dynamics (BD) simulations we investigate non-equilibrium transitions of sheared colloidal films under controlled shear stress ?xz. In our approach the shear rate [small gamma, Greek, dot above] is a dynamical variable, which relaxes on a time scale ?c such that the instantaneous, configuration-dependent stress ?xz(t) approaches a pre-imposed value. Investigating the dynamics under this "feedback-control" scheme we find unique behavior in regions where the flow curve ?xz([small gamma, Greek, dot above]) of the uncontrolled system is monotonic. However, in non-monotonic regions our method allows to select between dynamical states characterized by different in-plane structure and viscosities. Indeed, the final state strongly depends on ?c relative to an intrinsic relaxation time of the uncontrolled system. The critical values of ?c are estimated on the basis of a simple model.
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RNA-controlled assembly of tobacco mosaic virus-derived complex structures: from nanoboomerangs to tetrapods.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 11-20-2014
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The in vitro assembly of artificial nanotubular nucleoprotein shapes based on tobacco mosaic virus-(TMV-)-derived building blocks yielded different spatial organizations of viral coat protein subunits on genetically engineered RNA molecules, containing two or multiple TMV origins of assembly (OAs). The growth of kinked nanoboomerangs as well as of branched multipods was determined by the encapsidated RNAs. A largely simultaneous initiation at two origins and subsequent bidirectional tube elongation could be visualized by transmission electron microscopy of intermediates and final products. Collision of the nascent tubes' ends produced angular particles with well-defined arm lengths. RNAs with three to five OAs generated branched multipods with a maximum of four arms. The potential of such an RNA-directed self-assembly of uncommon nanotubular architectures for the fabrication of complex multivalent nanotemplates used in functional hybrid materials is discussed.
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Emerging role of tissue lectins as microenvironmental effectors in tumors and wounds.
Histol. Histopathol.
PUBLISHED: 10-14-2014
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Detailed comparative analysis of at first sight not related process cascades is a means toward this aim: to trace common effector mechanisms and hereby eventually inspire innovative routes for therapeutic management. Following this concept, promotion of tumor progression by stroma, especially cancer-associated fibroblasts and smooth muscle actin-positive myofibroblasts, and beneficial activity of respective cells in wound healing have helped to delineate the involvement of endogenous lectins of the family of galectins. In addition to initiating conversion of fibroblasts to myofibroblasts, galectin-1 instructs the cells to produce a structurally complex extracellular matrix. This bioscaffold is useful for keratinocyte culture, also apparently operative in ameliorating wound healing. These functional aspects encourage to study in detail how lectin-(glycan) counterreceptor display is orchestrated. Such insights are assumed to have potential to contribute to rationally manipulate stem/precursor cells as resource in regenerative medicine.
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Impact of sodium butyrate on the network of adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins in human colon cancer in vitro.
Anticancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 10-03-2014
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The physiological compound sodium butyrate can induce differentiation in colon cancer cells in vitro. Due to the role of galectins in growth control we explored its effect on this network beyond galectins-1 and -3, with deliberate consideration of the status of microsatellite stability, for nine cell lines.
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Interaction between parental environment and genotype affects plant and seed performance in Arabidopsis.
J. Exp. Bot.
PUBLISHED: 09-21-2014
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Seed performance after dispersal is highly dependent on parental environmental cues, especially during seed formation and maturation. Here we examine which environmental factors are the most dominant in this respect and whether their effects are dependent on the genotypes under investigation. We studied the influence of light intensity, photoperiod, temperature, nitrate, and phosphate during seed development on five plant attributes and thirteen seed attributes, using 12 Arabidopsis genotypes that have been reported to be affected in seed traits. As expected, the various environments during seed development resulted in changed plant and/or seed performances. Comparative analysis clearly indicated that, overall, temperature plays the most dominant role in both plant and seed performance, whereas light has a prominent impact on plant traits. In comparison to temperature and light, nitrate mildly affected some of the plant and seed traits while phosphate had even less influence on those traits. Moreover, clear genotype-by-environment interactions were identified. This was shown by the fact that individual genotypes responded differentially to the environmental conditions. Low temperature significantly increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG1 and cyp707a1-1, whereas low light intensity increased seed dormancy and decreased seed longevity of NILDOG3 and NILDOG6. This also indicates that different genetic and molecular pathways are involved in the plant and seed responses. By identifying environmental conditions that affect the dormancy vs longevity correlation in the same way as previously identified naturally occurring loci, we have identified selective forces that probably shaped evolution for these important seed traits.
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Expression of Galectins 1, 3 and 9 in normal oral epithelium, oral squamous papilloma, and oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Dent Res J (Isfahan)
PUBLISHED: 09-17-2014
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The aim of this study was to characterize the immunohistochemical expression of galectin 1, 3, and 9 in normal oral epithelium, oral squamous papilloma, and oral squamous cell carcinoma.
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Defining the Potential of Aglycone Modifications for Affinity/Selectivity Enhancement against Medically Relevant Lectins: Synthesis, Activity Screening, and HSQC-Based NMR Analysis.
Chembiochem
PUBLISHED: 08-21-2014
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The emerging significance of lectins for pathophysiological processes provides incentive for the design of potent inhibitors. To this end, systematic assessment of contributions to affinity and selectivity by distinct types of synthetic tailoring of glycosides is a salient step, here taken for the aglyconic modifications of two disaccharide core structures. Firstly we report the synthesis of seven N-linked-lactosides and of eight O-linked N-acetyllactosamines, each substituted with a 1,2,3-triazole unit, prepared by copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition (CuAAC). The totally regioselective ?-D-(1?4) galactosylation of a 6-O-TBDPSi-protected N-acetylglucosamine acceptor provided efficient access to the N-acetyllactosamine precursor. The resulting compounds were then systematically tested for lectin reactivity in two binding assays of increasing biorelevance (inhibition of lectin binding to a surface-presented glycoprotein and to cell surfaces). As well as a plant toxin, we also screened the relative inhibitory potential with adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins (total of eight proteins). This type of modification yielded up to 2.5-fold enhancement for prototype proteins, with further increases for galectins-3 and -4. Moreover, the availability of (15) N-labeled proteins and full assignments enabled (1) H,(15) N HSQC-based measurements for hu- man galectins-1, -3, and -7 against p-nitrophenyl lactopyranoside, a frequently tested standard inhibitor containing an aromatic aglycone. The measurements confirmed the highest affinity against galectin-3 and detected chemical shift differences in its hydrophobic core upon ligand binding, besides common alterations around the canonical contact site for the lactoside residue. What can be accomplished in terms of affinity/selectivity by this type of core extension having been determined, the applied combined strategy should be instrumental for proceeding with defining structure-activity correlations at other bioinspired sites in glycans and beyond the tested lectin types.
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Extracellular matrix of galectin-1-exposed dermal and tumor-associated fibroblasts favors growth of human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro: a short report.
Anticancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-31-2014
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Stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment are primarily considered as sources of promalignant factors. The objective of our study was to define the effect of extracellular matrix (ECM) produced by normal dermal or cancer-associated fibroblasts exposed to adhesion/growth-regulatory lectin galectin-1 on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs).
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Delineating Binding Modes of Gal/GalNAc and Structural Elements of the Molecular Recognition of Tumor-Associated Mucin Glycopeptides by the Human Macrophage Galactose-Type Lectin.
Chemistry
PUBLISHED: 07-24-2014
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The human macrophage galactose-type lectin (MGL) is a key physiological receptor for the carcinoma-associated Tn antigen (GalNAc-?-1-O-Ser/Thr) in mucins. NMR and modeling-based data on the molecular recognition features of synthetic Tn-bearing glycopeptides by MGL are presented. Cognate epitopes on the sugar and matching key amino acids involved in the interaction were identified by saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR spectroscopy. Only the amino acids close to the glycosylation site in the peptides are involved in lectin contact. Moreover, control experiments with non-glycosylated MUC1 peptides unequivocally showed that the sugar residue is essential for MGL binding, as is Ca(2+) . NMR data were complemented with molecular dynamics simulations and Corcema-ST to establish a 3D view on the molecular recognition process between Gal, GalNAc, and the Tn-presenting glycopeptides and MGL. Gal and GalNAc have a dual binding mode with opposite trend of the main interaction pattern and the differences in affinity can be explained by additional hydrogen bonds and CH-? contacts involving exclusively the NHAc moiety.
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Chemical restraint of African mole-rats (Fukomys sp.) with a combination of ketamine and xylazine.
Vet Anaesth Analg
PUBLISHED: 06-04-2014
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To establish an accurate anaesthetic dose for chemical restraint of African mole-rats using ketamine and xylazine.
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Differential transcriptome analysis reveals insight into monosymmetric corolla development of the crucifer Iberis amara.
BMC Plant Biol.
PUBLISHED: 06-03-2014
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BackgroundIn the co-evolution between insects and plants, the establishment of floral monosymmetry was an important step in angiosperm development as it facilitated the interaction with insect pollinators and, by that, likely enhanced angiosperm diversification. In Antirrhiunm majus, the TCP transcription factor CYCLOIDEA is the molecular key regulator driving the formation of floral monosymmetry. Although most Brassicaceae form a polysymmetric corolla, six genera develop monosymmetric flowers with two petal pairs of unequal size. In the monosymmetric crucifer Iberis amara, formation of the different petal pairs coincides with a stronger expression of the CYC-homolog IaTCP1 in the small, adaxial petals.ResultsIn this study, RNA-Seq was employed to reconstruct the petal transcriptome of the non-model species Iberis amara. About 9 Gb of sequence data was generated, processed and re-assembled into 18,139 likely Iberis unigenes, from which 15,983 showed high sequence homology to Arabidopsis proteins. The transcriptome gives detailed insight into the molecular mechanisms governing late petal development. In addition, it was used as a scaffold to detect genes differentially expressed between the small, adaxial and the large, abaxial petals in order to understand the molecular mechanisms driving unequal petal growth. Far more genes are expressed in adaxial compared to abaxial petals implying that IaTCP1 activates more genes than it represses. Amongst all genes upregulated in adaxial petals, a significantly enhanced proportion is associated with cell wall modification and cell-cell signalling processes. Furthermore, microarrays were used to detect and compare quantitative differences in TCP target genes in transgenic Arabidopsis plants ectopically expressing different TCP transcription factors.ConclusionsThe increased occurrences of genes implicated in cell wall modification and signalling implies that unequal petal growth is achieved through an earlier stop of the cell proliferation phase in the small, adaxial petals, followed by the onset of cell expansion. This process, which forms the monosymmetric corolla of Iberis amara, is likely driven by the enhanced activity of IaTCP1 in adaxial petals.
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Human osteoarthritic knee cartilage: fingerprinting of adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins in vitro and in situ indicates differential upregulation in severe degeneration.
Histochem. Cell Biol.
PUBLISHED: 06-02-2014
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The apparent connection of galectin-3 to chondrocyte survival and osteoarthritis-like cartilage modifications in animal models provided incentive for the mapping of seven members of this family of adhesion/growth-regulatory proteins in human cartilage specimens. Starting with work in vitro, RT-qPCR analyses and immunocytochemistry revealed gene transcription and protein presence in cultured OA chondrocytes, especially for galectin-1, galectin-3 and galectin-8. Immunohistochemistry in clinical specimens with mild and severe cartilage degeneration detected galectins in chondrocytes-with upregulation, especially of galectin-1 in areas of severe degeneration-accompanied by ?2,6-sialylation in the pericellular matrix. Given the possibility for additive/antagonistic activities between galectins, these results direct further research toward examining cellular effects of (1) these proteins (alone or in combination) on chondrocytes and (2) remodeling of the chondrocyte glycophenotype.
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Delay-induced transport in a rocking ratchet under feedback control.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2014
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Based on the Fokker-Planck equation we investigate the transport of an overdamped colloidal particle in a static, asymmetric periodic potential supplemented by a time-dependent, delayed feedback force, F_{fc}. For a given time t, F_{fc} depends on the status of the system at a previous time t-?_{D}, with ?_{D} being a delay time, specifically on the delayed mean particle displacement (relative to some "switching position"). For nonzero delay times F_{fc}(t) develops nearly regular oscillations, generating a net current in the system. Depending on the switching position, this current is nearly as large or even larger than that in a conventional open-loop rocking ratchet. We also investigate thermodynamic properties of the delayed nonequilibrium system and we suggest an underlying Langevin equation which reproduces the Fokker-Planck results.
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Lanthanide-chelating carbohydrate conjugates are useful tools to characterize carbohydrate conformation in solution and sensitive sensors to detect carbohydrate-protein interactions.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2014
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The increasing interest in the functional versatility of glycan epitopes in cellular glycoconjugates calls for developing sensitive methods to define carbohydrate conformation in solution and to characterize protein-carbohydrate interactions. Measurements of pseudocontact shifts in the presence of a paramagnetic cation can provide such information. In this work, the energetically privileged conformation of a disaccharide (lactose as test case) was experimentally inferred by using a synthetic carbohydrate conjugate bearing a lanthanide binding tag. In addition, the binding of lactose to a biomedically relevant receptor (the human adhesion/growth-regulatory lectin galectin-3) and its consequences in structural terms were defined, using Dy(3+), Tb(3+), and Tm(3+). The described approach, complementing the previously tested protein tagging as a way to exploit paramagnetism, enables to detect binding, even weak interactions, and to characterize in detail topological aspects useful for physiological ligands and mimetics in drug design.
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Bridging interactions of proteins with silica nanoparticles: the influence of pH, ionic strength and protein concentration.
Soft Matter
PUBLISHED: 05-20-2014
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Charge-driven bridging of nanoparticles by macromolecules represents a promising route for engineering functional structures, but the strong electrostatic interactions involved when using conventional polyelectrolytes impart irreversible complexation and ill-defined structures. Recently it was found that the electrostatic interaction of silica nanoparticles with small globular proteins leads to aggregate structures that can be controlled by pH. Here we study the combined influence of pH and electrolyte concentration on the bridging aggregation of silica nanoparticles with lysozyme in dilute aqueous dispersions. We find that protein binding to the silica particles is determined by pH irrespective of the ionic strength. The hetero-aggregate structures formed by the silica particles with the protein were studied by small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and the structure factor data were analyzed on the basis of a short-range square-well attractive pair potential (close to the sticky-hard-sphere limit). It is found that the electrolyte concentration has a strong influence on the stickiness near pH 5, where the weakly charged silica particles are bridged by the strongly charged protein. An even stronger influence of the electrolyte is found in the vicinity of the isoelectric point of the protein (pI = 10.7) and is attributed to shielding of the repulsion between the highly charged silica particles and hydrophobic interactions between the bridging protein molecules.
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Galectin-1 drives pancreatic carcinogenesis through stroma remodeling and Hedgehog signaling activation.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 05-08-2014
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Despite some advances, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains generally refractory to current treatments. Desmoplastic stroma, a consistent hallmark of PDAC, has emerged as a major source of therapeutic resistance and thus potentially promising targets for improved treatment. The glycan-binding protein galectin-1 (Gal1) is highly expressed in PDAC stroma, but its roles there have not been studied. Here we report functions and molecular pathways of Gal1 that mediate its oncogenic properties in this setting. Genetic ablation of Gal1 in a mouse model of PDAC (EIa-myc mice) dampened tumor progression by inhibiting proliferation, angiogenesis, desmoplasic reaction and by stimulating a tumor-associated immune response, yielding a 20% increase in relative lifesplan. Cellular analyses in vitro and in vivo suggested these effects were mediated through the tumor microenvironment. Importantly, acinar-to-ductal metaplasia, a crucial step for initiation of PDAC, was found to be regulated by Gal1. Mechanistic investigations revealed that Gal1 promoted Hedgehog pathway signaling in PDAC cells and stromal fibroblasts as well as in Ela-myc tumors. Taken together, our findings establish a function for Gal1 in tumor-stroma crosstalk in PDAC and provide a preclinical rationale for Gal1 targeting as a microenvironment-based therapeutic strategy.
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Human chimera-type galectin-3: defining the critical tail length for high-affinity glycoprotein/cell surface binding and functional competition with galectin-1 in neuroblastoma cell growth regulation.
Biochimie
PUBLISHED: 04-15-2014
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Many human proteins have a modular design with receptor and structural domains. Using adhesion/growth-regulatory galectin-3 as model, we describe an interdisciplinary strategy to define the functional significance of its tail established by nine non-triple helical collagen-like repeats (I-IX) and the N-terminal peptide. Genetic engineering with sophisticated mass spectrometric product analysis provided the tools for biotesting, i.e. eight protein variants with different degrees of tail truncation. Evidently,various aspects of galectin-3 activity (cis binding and cell bridging) are affected by tail shortening in a different manner. Thus, this combined approach reveals an unsuspected complexity of structure-function relationship, encouraging further application beyond this chimera-type galectin.
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Mimicking biological membranes with programmable glycan ligands self-assembled from amphiphilic Janus glycodendrimers.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl.
PUBLISHED: 03-10-2014
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An accelerated modular synthesis produced 18 amphiphilic Janus glycodendrimers with three different topologies formed from either two or one carbohydrate head groups or a mixed constellation with a noncarbohydrate hydrophilic arm. By simple injection of their THF solutions into water or buffer, all of the Janus compounds self-assembled into uniform, stable, and soft unilamellar vesicles, denoted glycodendrimersomes. The mixed constellation topology glycodendrimersomes were demonstrated to be most efficient in binding plant, bacterial, and human lectins. This evidence with biomedically relevant receptors offers a promising perspective for the application of such glycodendrimersomes in targeted drug delivery, vaccines, and other areas of nanomedicine.
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Synthetic polyamine BPA-C8 inhibits TGF-?1-mediated conversion of human dermal fibroblast to myofibroblasts and establishment of galectin-1-rich extracellular matrix in vitro.
Chembiochem
PUBLISHED: 03-10-2014
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Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) play a role in the progression of malignant tumors. They are formed by conversion of fibroblasts to smooth muscle ?-actin-positive (SMA-positive) myofibroblasts. Polyamines are known to change the arrangement of the actin cytoskeleton by binding to the anionic actin. We tested the effect of the synthetic polyamine BPA-C8 on the transition of human dermal fibroblasts to myofibroblasts induced either by TGF-?1 alone or by TGF-?1 together with adhesion/growth-regulatory galectin-1. Pre-existing CAFs, myofibroblasts from pancreatitis, and rat smooth muscle cells were also exposed to BPA-C8. BPA-C8 impaired myofibroblast formation from activated fibroblasts, but it had no effect on cells already expressing SMA. BPA-C8 also reduced the occurrence of an extracellular matrix around the activated fibroblasts. The reported data thus extend current insights into polyamine activity, adding interference with tumor progression to the tumor-promoting processes warranting study.
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Baseline cognitive functions among elderly patients with localised breast cancer.
Eur. J. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 02-17-2014
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Cognitive deficits (CD) are reported among cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, but may also be observed before treatment. Though elderly patients are expected to be more prone to present age-related CD, poor information is available regarding the impact of cancer and chemotherapy on this population. This study assessed baseline cognitive functions (before adjuvant treatment) in elderly early stage breast cancer (EBC) patients.
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Phase behavior of an amphiphilic fluid.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2014
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We invoke mean-field density functional theory (DFT) to investigate the phase behavior of an amphiphilic fluid composed of a hard-sphere core plus a superimposed anisometric Lennard-Jones perturbation. The orientation dependence of the interactions consists of a contribution analogous to the interaction potential between a pair of "spins" in the classical, three-dimensional Heisenberg fluid and another one reminiscent of the interaction between (electric or magnetic) point dipoles. At fixed orientation both contributions are short-range in nature decaying as r-6 (r being the separation between the centers of mass of a pair of amphiphiles). Based upon two mean-field-like approximations for the pair correlation function that differ in the degree of sophistication we derive expressions for the phase boundaries between various isotropic and polar phases that we solve numerically by the Newton-Raphson method. For sufficiently strong coupling between the Heisenberg "spins" both mean-field approximations generate three topologically different and generic types of phase diagrams that are observed in agreement with earlier work [see, for example, Tavares et al., Phys. Rev. E 52, 1915 (1995)]. Whereas the dipolar contribution alone is incapable of stabilizing polar phases on account of its short-range nature it is nevertheless important for details of the phase diagram such as location of the gas-isotropic liquid critical point, triple, and tricritical points. By tuning the dipolar coupling constant suitably one may, in fact, switch between topologically different phase diagrams. Employing also Monte Carlo simulations in the isothermal-isobaric ensemble the general topology of the DFT phase diagrams is confirmed.
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(1)H, (13)C, and (15)N backbone and side-chain chemical shift assignments for the 36 proline-containing, full length 29 kDa human chimera-type galectin-3.
Biomol NMR Assign
PUBLISHED: 01-27-2014
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Galectin-3, an adhesion/growth regulatory lectin, has a unique trimodular design consisting of the canonical carbohydrate recognition domain, a collagen-like tandem-repeat section, and an N-terminal peptide with two sites for Ser phosphorylation. Structural characterization of the full length protein with its non-lectin part (115 of 250 residues total) will help understand the multi functionality of this potent cellular effector. Here, we report (1)H, (13)C, and (15)N chemical shift assignments as determined by heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy .
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Effect of subthalamic stimulation on voice and speech in Parkinson's disease: for the better or worse?
Front Neurol
PUBLISHED: 01-13-2014
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Deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, although highly effective for the treatment of motor impairment in Parkinson's disease (PD), can induce speech deterioration in a subgroup of patients. The aim of the current study was to survey (1) if there are distinctive stimulation effects on the different parameters of voice and speech and (2) if there is a special pattern of preexisting speech abnormalities indicating a risk for further worsening under stimulation.
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Combining glycocluster synthesis with protein engineering: an approach to probe into the significance of linker length in a tandem-repeat-type lectin (galectin-4).
Carbohydr. Res.
PUBLISHED: 01-11-2014
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Complementarity in lectin-glycan interactions in situ is assumed to involve spatial features in both the lectin and the glycan, giving a functional meaning to structural aspects of the lectin beyond its carbohydrate-binding site. In combining protein engineering with glycocluster synthesis, it is shown that the natural linker length of a tandem-repeat-type human lectin (galectin-4) determines binding properties in two binding assays (using surface-presented glycoprotein and cell surface assays). The types of glycocluster tested included bivalent lactosides based on tertiary amides of terephthalic, isophthalic, 2,6-naphthalic and oxalic acids as well as bivalent H(type 2) trisaccharides grafted on secondary/tertiary terephthalamides and two triazole-linker-containing cores. The presented data reveal a marked change in susceptibility to the test compounds when turning the tandem-repeat-type to a proto-type-like display. The testing of glycoclusters is suggested as a general strategy to help to delineate the significance of distinct structural features of lectins beyond their contact sites to the glycan.
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Primary cutaneous aggressive epidermotropic CD8+ T-cell lymphoma?with KIR3DL2 and NKp46 expression in a human immunodeficiency virus carrier.
J. Cutan. Pathol.
PUBLISHED: 01-06-2014
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Primary cutaneous aggressive epidermotropic T-cell lymphoma (PCAETCL) is a very rare lymphoma characterized by rapidly growing necrotic cutaneous lesions with an epidermotropic CD8(+) T-cell neoplastic infiltrate observed histopathologically. It is associated with a very poor outcome, despite aggressive multi-agent chemotherapy. We report a 49-year-old human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patient who developed PCAETCL with associated marked vascular injury leading to diffuse purpuric and necrotic lesions complicated by recalcitrant hemophagocytic activation syndrome. The lymphoma strongly and diffusely expressed CD158k/KIR3DL2 at the protein and transcript level and NKp46 transcripts, in addition to CD8 and cytotoxic proteins. We observed a diffuse CD158k/KIR3DL2 protein expression in another case of PAETCL, not associated with immunodeficiency, which was used as a positive control. PCAETCL can develop in HIV-infected patients and may present in vasculitis-like fashion. The possible role of immunsuppression and/or HIV in oncogenesis can be postulated, as patients with HIV may develop anti-HIV cytotoxic CD8(+) lymphoproliferations. The frequency of CD158k/KIR3DL2 and NKp46 expression in PCAECL remains to be studied in a series of cases, and may represent interesting targets for future treatments.
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Natural single amino acid polymorphism (F19Y) in human galectin-8: detection of structural alterations and increased growth-regulatory activity on tumor cells.
FEBS J.
PUBLISHED: 01-02-2014
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Natural amino acid substitution by single-site nucleotide polymorphism can become a valuable tool for structure-activity correlations, especially if evidence for association to disease parameters exists. Focusing on the F19Y change in human galectin-8, connected clinically to rheumatoid arthritis, we here initiate the study of consequences of a single-site substitution in the carbohydrate recognition domain of this family of cellular effectors. We apply a strategically combined set of structural and cell biological techniques for comparing properties of the wild-type and variant proteins. The overall hydrodynamic behavior of the full-length protein and of the separate N-domain is not noticeably altered, but displacements in the F0 ?-strand of the ?-sandwich fold in the N-domain are induced, as evidenced by protein crystallography. Analysis of thermal stability by circular dichroism spectroscopy revealed perceptible differences for the full-length proteins, pointing to an impact of the substitution beyond the N-domain. In addition, small differences in thermodynamic parameters of carbohydrate binding are detected. On the level of two types of tumor cells, characteristics of binding appeared rather similar. In further comparison of the influence on proliferation, the variant proved to be more active as growth regulator in the six tested lines of neuroblastoma, erythroleukemia and colon adenocarcinoma. The seemingly subtle structural change identified here thus has functional implications in vitro, encouraging further analysis in autoimmune regulation and, in a broad context, in work with other natural single-site variants, using the documented combined strategy.
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Phonatory Dysfunction as a Preclinical Symptom of Huntington Disease.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Although dysphonia has been shown to be a common sign of Huntington disease (HD), the extent of phonatory dysfunction in gene positive premanifest HD individuals remains unknown. The aim of the current study was to explore the possible occurrence of phonatory abnormalities in prodromal HD.
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Unusual Ratio between Free Thyroxine and Free Triiodothyronine in a Long-Lived Mole-Rat Species with Bimodal Ageing.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Ansell's mole-rats (Fukomys anselli) are subterranean, long-lived rodents, which live in eusocial families, where the maximum lifespan of breeders is twice as long as that of non-breeders. Their metabolic rate is significantly lower than expected based on allometry, and their retinae show a high density of S-cone opsins. Both features may indicate naturally low thyroid hormone levels. In the present study, we sequenced several major components of the thyroid hormone pathways and analyzed free and total thyroxine and triiodothyronine in serum samples of breeding and non-breeding F. anselli to examine whether a) their thyroid hormone system shows any peculiarities on the genetic level, b) these animals have lower hormone levels compared to euthyroid rodents (rats and guinea pigs), and c) reproductive status, lifespan and free hormone levels are correlated. Genetic analyses confirmed that Ansell's mole-rats have a conserved thyroid hormone system as known from other mammalian species. Interspecific comparisons revealed that free thyroxine levels of F. anselli were about ten times lower than of guinea pigs and rats, whereas the free triiodothyronine levels, the main biologically active form, did not differ significantly amongst species. The resulting fT4:fT3 ratio is unusual for a mammal and potentially represents a case of natural hypothyroxinemia. Comparisons with total thyroxine levels suggest that mole-rats seem to possess two distinct mechanisms that work hand in hand to downregulate fT4 levels reliably. We could not find any correlation between free hormone levels and reproductive status, gender or weight. Free thyroxine may slightly increase with age, based on sub-significant evidence. Hence, thyroid hormones do not seem to explain the different ageing rates of breeders and non-breeders. Further research is required to investigate the regulatory mechanisms responsible for the unusual proportion of free thyroxine and free triiodothyronine.
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Genetic reporter analysis reveals an expandable reservoir of OCT4+ cells in adult skin.
Cell Regen (Lond)
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The transcription factor Oct4 (Pou5f1) is a critical regulator of pluripotency in embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. Therefore, Oct4 expression might identify somatic stem cell populations with inherent multipotent potential or a propensity for facilitated reprogramming. However, analysis of Oct4 expression is confounded by Oct4 pseudogenes or non-pluripotency-related isoforms. Systematic analysis of a transgenic Oct4-EGFP reporter mouse identified testis and skin as two principle sources of Oct4 (+) cells in postnatal mice. While the prevalence of GFP(+) cells in testis rapidly declined with age, the skin-resident GFP(+) population expanded in a cyclical fashion. These cells were identified as epidermal stem cells dwelling in the stem cell niche of the hair follicle, which endogenously expressed all principle reprogramming factors at low levels. Interestingly, skin wounding or non-traumatic hair removal robustly expanded the GFP(+) epidermal cell pool not only locally, but also in uninjured skin areas, demonstrating the existence of a systemic response. Thus, the epithelial stem cell niche of the hair follicle harbors an expandable pool of Oct4+ stem cells, which might be useful for therapeutic cell transfer or facilitated reprogramming.
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Two Cases of Fatal Encephalopathy Related to Ifosfamide: An Adverse Role of Aprepitant?
Case Rep Oncol
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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Ifosfamide is used in the treatment of sarcomas and other tumors. It sometimes provokes encephalopathy, which is a serious complication even if it is usually reversible within 48-72 h after drug cessation. Ifosfamide is required to be activated by hepatic cytochrome P450 (CYP), especially the 3A4 subtype, leading to 4-hydroxy-ifosfamide. Ifosfamide is also converted by CYP3A4 to inactive but neurotoxic metabolites. Aprepitant is a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist that is a potent antiemetic used in combination with 5-HT3 antagonists and corticosteroids. Aprepitant has an inhibitory effect, as well as a possible inductive effect, on CYP3A4. Since ifosfamide and aprepitant are both substrates of CYP3A4, a pharmacokinetic interaction could result in secondary effects such as the potentialization of neurological side effects. In this report, we describe 2 cases of fatal encephalopathy in patients who have received both ifosfamide and aprepitant, and we discuss the mechanisms that could be involved. Our observations draw attention to the fact that aprepitant must be avoided, or at least used with caution, in patients who are receiving ifosfamide due to the risk of severe neurological side effects.
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Dogs are sensitive to small variations of the Earths magnetic field.
Front. Zool.
PUBLISHED: 11-25-2013
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Several mammalian species spontaneously align their body axis with respect to the Earths magnetic field (MF) lines in diverse behavioral contexts. Magnetic alignment is a suitable paradigm to scan for the occurrence of magnetosensitivity across animal taxa with the heuristic potential to contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of magnetoreception and identify further functions of magnetosensation apart from navigation. With this in mind we searched for signs of magnetic alignment in dogs. We measured the direction of the body axis in 70 dogs of 37 breeds during defecation (1,893 observations) and urination (5,582 observations) over a two-year period. After complete sampling, we sorted the data according to the geomagnetic conditions prevailing during the respective sampling periods. Relative declination and intensity changes of the MF during the respective dog walks were calculated from daily magnetograms. Directional preferences of dogs under different MF conditions were analyzed and tested by means of circular statistics.
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Peptides derived from human galectin-3 N-terminal tail interact with its carbohydrate recognition domain in a phosphorylation-dependent manner.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 11-12-2013
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Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a multi-functional effector protein that functions in the cytoplasm and the nucleus, as well as extracellularly following non-classical secretion. Structurally, Gal-3 is unique among galectins with its carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) attached to a rather long N-terminal tail composed mostly of collagen-like repeats (nine in the human protein) and terminating in a short non-collagenous terminal peptide sequence unique in this lectin family and not yet fully explored. Although several Ser and Tyr sites within the N-terminal tail can be phosphorylated, the physiological significance of this post-translational modification remains unclear. Here, we used a series of synthetic (phospho)peptides derived from the tail to assess phosphorylation-mediated interactions with (15)N-labeled Gal-3 CRD. HSQC-derived chemical shift perturbations revealed selective interactions at the backface of the CRD that were attenuated by phosphorylation of Tyr 107 and Tyr 118, while phosphorylation of Ser 6 and Ser 12 was essential. Controls with sequence scrambling underscored inherent specificity. Our studies shed light on how phosphorylation of the N-terminal tail may impact on Gal-3 function and prompt further studies using phosphorylated full-length protein.
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Phosphorylation of multifunctional galectins by protein kinases CK1, CK2, and PKA.
Anal. Biochem.
PUBLISHED: 09-25-2013
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Phosphorylation is known to have a strong impact on protein functions. We analyzed members of the lectin family of multifunctional galectins as targets of the protein kinases CK1, CK2, and PKA. Galectins are potent growth regulators able to bind both glycan and peptide motifs at intra- and extracellular sites. Performing in vitro kinase assays, galectin phosphorylation was detected by phosphoprotein staining and autoradiography. The insertion of phosphoryl groups varied to a large extent depending on the type of kinase applied and the respective galectin substrate. Sites of phosphorylation observed in the recombinant galectins were determined by a strategic combination of phosphopeptide enrichment and nano-ultra-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (nanoUPLC-MS/MS). By in silico modeling, phosphorylation sites were visualized three-dimensionally. Our results reveal galectin-type-specific Ser-/Thr-dependent phosphorylation beyond the known example of galectin-3. These data are the basis for functional studies and also illustrate the analytical sensitivity of the applied methods for further work on human lectins.
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TCP3 interacts with R2R3-MYB proteins, promotes flavonoid biosynthesis and negatively regulates the auxin response in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Plant J.
PUBLISHED: 09-02-2013
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TCP proteins belong to the plant-specific bHLH transcription factor family, and function as key regulators of diverse developmental processes. Functional redundancy amongst family members and post-transcriptional down-regulation by miRJAW of several TCP genes complicate their functional characterization. Here, we explore the role of TCP3 by analyzing transgenic plants expressing miRJAW-resistant mTCP3 and dominant-negative TCP3SRDX. Seedlings and seeds of mTCP3 plants were found to hyper-accumulate flavonols, anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, whereas levels of proanthocyanidins were slightly reduced in TCP3SRDX plants. R2R3-MYB proteins control not only early flavonoid biosynthetic steps but also activate late flavonoid biosynthetic genes by forming ternary R2R3-MYB/bHLH/WD40 (MBW) complexes. TCP3 interacted in yeast with R2R3-MYB proteins, which was further confirmed in planta using BiFC experiments. Yeast three-hybrid assays revealed that TCP3 significantly strengthened the transcriptional activation capacity of R2R3-MYBs bound by the bHLH protein TT8. Transcriptome analysis of mTCP3 and TCP3SRDX plants supported a role for TCP3 in enhancing flavonoid biosynthesis. Moreover, several auxin-related developmental abnormalities were observed in mTCP3 plants. Transcriptome data coupled with studies of an auxin response reporter and auxin efflux carriers showed that TCP3 negatively modulates the auxin response, probably by compromising auxin transport capacity. Genetic experiments revealed that the chalcone synthase mutant tt4-11 lacking flavonoid biosynthesis abrogated the auxin-related defects caused by mTCP3. Together, these data suggest that TCP3 interactions with R2R3-MYBs lead to enhanced flavonoid production, which further negatively modulates the auxin response.
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Tailoring the surface properties of tobacco mosaic virions by the integration of bacterially expressed mutant coat protein.
Virus Res.
PUBLISHED: 08-05-2013
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Due to its small dimensions and high stability, tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) is used as nano-scaffold frequently. Its surface can be engineered to meet specific needs for technical, medical or materials applications. However, not all technically desirable TMV coat protein (CP) mutants can be propagated in plants successfully, if they change the efficiency of virion assembly. In order to circumvent this problem, a novel wild type (wt) CP-assisted and RNA-directed assembly procedure was designed for a recalcitrant CP mutant: Although pure hexahistidine-tagged CP cannot form particles on its own with TMV RNA in vitro, it was integrated into full-length particles if blended with wt CP in different proportions. The resulting rods formed dense monolayers with short range alignment on silicon substrates, substantially different from the largely wavy patterns obtained with wt TMV. Since they also mediated efficient ZnO deposition under mild conditions, the approach has yielded a new class of biotemplates which are amenable to the formation of nanostructured hybrid materials with adjustable texture for various applications.
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The growing galectin network in colon cancer and clinical relevance of cytoplasmic galectin-3 reactivity.
Anticancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 07-31-2013
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Human lectins translate sugar-encoded signals of cell surface glycoconjugates into biological effects, and this is what is known for the adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins. In addition, the multifunctional members of this group can be intracellular, binding to distinct proteins. The presence of galectins and galectin reactivity were exemplarily studied in the present article.
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Impaired motor speech performance in Huntingtons disease.
J Neural Transm
PUBLISHED: 07-21-2013
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Dysarthria is a common symptom of Huntingtons disease and has been reported, besides other features, to be characterized by alterations of speech rate and regularity. However, data on the specific pattern of motor speech impairment and their relationship to other motor and neuropsychological symptoms are sparse. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to describe and objectively analyse different speech parameters with special emphasis on the aspect of speech timing of connected speech and non-speech verbal utterances. 21 patients with manifest Huntingtons disease and 21 age- and gender-matched healthy controls had to perform a reading task and several syllable repetition tasks. Computerized acoustic analysis of different variables for the measurement of speech rate and regularity generated a typical pattern of impaired motor speech performance with a reduction of speech rate, an increase of pauses and a marked disability to steadily repeat single syllables. Abnormalities of speech parameters were more pronounced in the subgroup of patients with Huntingtons disease receiving antidopaminergic medication, but were also present in the drug-naïve patients. Speech rate related to connected speech and parameters of syllable repetition showed correlations to overall motor impairment, capacity of tapping in a quantitative motor assessment and some score of cognitive function. After these preliminary data, further investigations on patients in different stages of disease are warranted to survey if the analysis of speech and non-speech verbal utterances might be a helpful additional tool for the monitoring of functional disability in Huntingtons disease.
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COMMD1 modulates noxious inflammation in cystic fibrosis.
Int. J. Biochem. Cell Biol.
PUBLISHED: 07-12-2013
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Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene, which encodes an epithelial anion channel. Morbidity is mainly due to lung disease, which is characterized by chronic neutrophilic inflammation. Deregulation of inflammatory pathways is observed in the airways of CF patients, as evidenced by exaggerated NF-?B activity, causing an increase in the local release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-8. COMMD1, a pleiotropic protein, was recently shown to interact with CFTR and to promote CFTR cell surface expression. The effect of COMMD1 on the NF-?B pathway was assessed in CF and non-CF bronchial epithelial cells by knockdown and overexpression experiments. Results showed that (i) COMMD1 knockdown induced NF-?B-dependent transcription, (ii) COMMD1 overexpression inhibited NF-?B activity and was associated with a decrease in IL-8 transcript level and protein secretion. These data demonstrate the anti-inflammatory properties of COMMD1 in bronchial epithelial cells and open new therapeutic avenues in CF.
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Modular synthesis of amphiphilic Janus glycodendrimers and their self-assembly into glycodendrimersomes and other complex architectures with bioactivity to biomedically relevant lectins.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 06-06-2013
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The modular synthesis of 7 libraries containing 51 self-assembling amphiphilic Janus dendrimers with the monosaccharides D-mannose and D-galactose and the disaccharide D-lactose in their hydrophilic part is reported. These unprecedented sugar-containing dendrimers are named amphiphilic Janus glycodendrimers. Their self-assembly by simple injection of THF or ethanol solution into water or buffer and by hydration was analyzed by a combination of methods including dynamic light scattering, confocal microscopy, cryogenic transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform analysis, and micropipet-aspiration experiments to assess mechanical properties. These libraries revealed a diversity of hard and soft assemblies, including unilamellar spherical, polygonal, and tubular vesicles denoted glycodendrimersomes, aggregates of Janus glycodendrimers and rodlike micelles named glycodendrimer aggregates and glycodendrimermicelles, cubosomes denoted glycodendrimercubosomes, and solid lamellae. These assemblies are stable over time in water and in buffer, exhibit narrow molecular-weight distribution, and display dimensions that are programmable by the concentration of the solution from which they are injected. This study elaborated the molecular principles leading to single-type soft glycodendrimersomes assembled from amphiphilic Janus glycodendrimers. The multivalency of glycodendrimersomes with different sizes and their ligand bioactivity were demonstrated by selective agglutination with a diversity of sugar-binding protein receptors such as the plant lectins concanavalin A and the highly toxic mistletoe Viscum album L. agglutinin, the bacterial lectin PA-IL from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and, of special biomedical relevance, human adhesion/growth-regulatory galectin-3 and galectin-4. These results demonstrated the candidacy of glycodendrimersomes as new mimics of biological membranes with programmable glycan ligand presentations, as supramolecular lectin blockers, vaccines, and targeted delivery devices.
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Nonequilibrium dynamics of a confined colloidal bilayer in a planar shear flow.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2013
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Using Brownian dynamics (BD) simulations we investigate the impact of shear flow on structural and dynamical properties of a system of charged colloids confined to a narrow slit pore. Our model consists of spherical microions interacting through a Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) and a soft-sphere potential. The DLVO parameters were chosen according to a system of moderately charged silica particles (with valence Z?35) in a solvent of low ionic strength. At the confinement conditions considered, the colloids form two well-pronounced layers. In the present study we investigate shear-induced transitions of the translational order and dynamics in the layers, including a discussion of the translational diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion in the shear-melted state can be described by an analytical model involving a single shear-driven particle in a harmonic trap. We also explore the emergence of zigzag motion characterized by spatiotemporal oscillations of the particles in the layers in the vorticity direction. Similar behavior has been recently observed in experiments of much thicker colloidal films.
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Single-site mutational engineering and following monoPEGylation of the human lectin galectin-2: effects on ligand binding, functional aspects, and clearance from serum.
Mol. Pharm.
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2013
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The emerging insights into the physiological significance of endogenous lectins prompted us to characterize the effect of monosubstitution with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG; 5 kDa) on a human lectin. As role model, we used a member of the galectin family, that is, galectin-2, the Cys57Met (single-site) mutant and its monoPEGylated derivative. The activities of these three proteins were comparatively studied by biochemical, cell biological, and histochemical methods, using surface-immobilized glycoproteins, different types of cells presenting gangliosides or (glyco)proteins as counterreceptors in vitro and tissue sections. PEGylation led to decreases in affinity/signal intensity with context dependence. The introduction of the mutation, too, can influence reactivity. Assays on haemagglutination and inhibition of cell proliferation underscored that mutational engineering and substitution can (but must not necessarily) affect this proteins activity. Serum clearance in rats was markedly retarded by PEGylation. Overall, the bulky substitution, spatially comparable to N-glycans, can markedly reduce binding of the galectin to physiological binding sites.
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Dynamics of cluster formation in driven magnetic colloids dispersed on a monolayer.
J Phys Condens Matter
PUBLISHED: 04-16-2013
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We report computer simulation results on the cluster formation of dipolar colloidal particles driven by a rotating external field in a quasi-two-dimensional setup. We focus on the interplay between permanent dipolar and hydrodynamic interactions and its influence on the dynamic behavior of the particles. This includes their individual as well as their collective motion. To investigate these characteristics, we employ Brownian dynamics simulations of a finite system with and without hydrodynamic interactions. Our results indicate that hydrodynamic interactions have a profound impact on the dynamic behavior of the clusters and the dynamics of the clustering process.
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Directional compass preference for landing in water birds.
Front. Zool.
PUBLISHED: 04-04-2013
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Landing flight in birds is demanding on visual control of velocity, distance to target, and slope of descent. Birds flying in flocks must also keep a common course of landing in order to avoid collisions. Whereas the wind direction may provide a cue for landing, the nature of the landing direction indicator under windless conditions has been unknown. We recorded and analysed landing directions of 3,338 flocks in 14 species of water birds in eight countries.
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Conformational selection in glycomimetics: human galectin-1 only recognizes syn-?-type conformations of ?-1,3-linked lactose and its C-glycosyl derivative.
Chemistry
PUBLISHED: 04-02-2013
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The human lectin galectin-1 (hGal-1) translates sugar signals, that is, ?-galactosides, into effects on the level of cells, for example, growth regulation, and has become a model for studying binding of biopharmaceutically relevant derivatives. Bound-state conformations of Gal?-C-(1?3)-Glc?-OMe (1) and its ?Gal-(1?3)-?Glc-OMe disaccharide parent compound were studied by using NMR spectroscopy (transferred (TR)-NOESY data), assisted by docking experiments and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The molecular recognition process involves a conformational selection event. Although free C-glycoside access four distinct conformers in solution, hGal-1 recognizes shape of a local minimum of compound 1, the syn-?/syn-? conformer, not the structure at global minimum. MD simulations were run to explain, in structural terms, the observed geometry of the complex.
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Oscillatory motion of sheared nanorods beyond the nematic phase.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PUBLISHED: 03-25-2013
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We study the role of the control parameter triggering nematic order (temperature or concentration) on the dynamical behavior of a system of nanorods under shear. Our study is based on a set of mesoscopic equations of motion for the components of the tensorial orientational order parameter. We investigate these equations via a systematic bifurcation analysis based on a numerical continuation technique, focusing on spatially homogeneous states. Exploring a wide range of parameters we find, unexpectedly, that states with oscillatory motion can exist even under conditions where the equilibrium system is isotropic. These oscillatory states are characterized by a wagging motion of the paranematic director, and they occur if the tumbling parameter is sufficiently small. We also present full nonequilibrium phase diagrams in the plane spanned by the concentration and the shear rate.
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TMV nanorods with programmed longitudinal domains of differently addressable coat proteins.
Nanoscale
PUBLISHED: 03-21-2013
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The spacing of functional nanoscopic elements may play a fundamental role in nanotechnological and biomedical applications, but is so far rarely achieved on this scale. In this study we show that tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and the RNA-guided self-assembly process of its coat protein (CP) can be used to establish new nanorod scaffolds that can be loaded not only with homogeneously distributed functionalities, but with distinct molecule species grouped and ordered along the longitudinal axis. The arrangement of the resulting domains and final carrier rod length both were governed by RNA-templated two-step in vitro assembly. Two selectively addressable TMV CP mutants carrying either thiol (TMVCys) or amino (TMVLys) groups on the exposed surface were engineered and shown to retain reactivity towards maleimides or NHS esters, respectively, after acetic acid-based purification and re-assembly to novel carrier rod types. Stepwise combination of CP(Cys) and CP(Lys) with RNA allowed fabrication of TMV-like nanorods with a controlled total length of 300 or 330 nm, respectively, consisting of adjacent longitudinal 100-to-200 nm domains of differently addressable CP species. This technology paves the way towards rod-shaped scaffolds with pre-defined, selectively reactive barcode patterns on the nanometer scale.
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The third dimension of reading the sugar code by lectins: design of glycoclusters with cyclic scaffolds as tools with the aim to define correlations between spatial presentation and activity.
Molecules
PUBLISHED: 03-11-2013
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Coding of biological information is not confined to nucleic acids and proteins. Endowed with the highest level of structural versatility among biomolecules, the glycan chains of cellular glycoconjugates are well-suited to generate molecular messages/signals in a minimum of space. The sequence and shape of oligosaccharides as well as spatial aspects of multivalent presentation are assumed to underlie the natural specificity/selectivity that cellular glycans have for endogenous lectins. In order to eventually unravel structure-activity profiles cyclic scaffolds have been used as platforms to produce glycoclusters and afford valuable tools. Using adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins and the pan-galectin ligand lactose as a model, emerging insights into the potential of cyclodextrins, cyclic peptides, calixarenes and glycophanes for this purpose are presented herein. The systematic testing of lectin panels with spatially defined ligand presentations can be considered as a biomimetic means to help clarify the mechanisms, which lead to the exquisite accuracy at which endogenous lectins select their physiological counterreceptors from the complexity of the cellular glycome.
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Fine-tuning of prototype chicken galectins: structure of CG-2 and structure-activity correlations.
Acta Crystallogr. D Biol. Crystallogr.
PUBLISHED: 03-07-2013
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The comparatively small number of members of the family of adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins in chicken predestines this system as an attractive model to study the divergence of these lectins after gene duplication. Expression profiling of the three homodimeric (prototype) chicken galectins (CG-1A, CG-1B and CG-2) has raised evidence of distinct functionalities, explaining the interest in a detailed crystallographic analysis of CG-2. As revealed here, marked differences are found in the ligand-binding site and in the contact pattern within the homodimer interface, underlying a characteristic orientation of the two subunits. Notably, a distinctive trimer of dimers that is unique in all galectin crystal structures reported to date forms the core unit of the crystallographic assembly. Combination with spectroscopic and thermodynamic measurements, and comparisons with CG-1A and CG-1B, identify differential changes in the circular-dichroism spectra in the presence of lactose, reflecting the far-reaching impact of the ligand on hydrodynamic behaviour, and inter-galectin differences in both the entropy and the enthalpy of binding. This structural information is a salient step to complete the analysis of the full set of galectins from this model organism.
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Percolation transition of short-ranged square well fluids in bulk and confinement.
J Chem Phys
PUBLISHED: 02-22-2013
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Using grand canonical Monte Carlo simulations, we investigate the percolation behavior of a square-well fluid with an ultra-short range of attraction in three dimension (3D) and in confined geometry. The latter is defined through two parallel and structureless walls (slit-pore). We focus on temperatures above the critical temperature of the (metastable) condensation transition of the 3D system. Investigating a broad range of systems sizes, we first determine the percolation thresholds, i.e., the critical packing fraction for percolation ?(c). For the slit-pore systems, ?(c) is found to vary with the wall separation L(z) in a continuous but non-monotonic way, ?(c)(L(z)??)=?(c)(3D). We also report results for critical exponents of the percolation transition, specifically, the exponent ? of the correlation length ? and the two fisher exponents ? and ? of the cluster-size distribution. These exponents are obtained from a finite-size analysis involving the cluster-size distribution and the radii of gyration distribution at the percolation threshold. Within the accuracy of our simulations, the values of the critical exponents of our 3D system are comparable to those of 3D random percolation theory. For narrow slit-pores, the estimated exponents are found to be close to those obtained from the random percolation theory in two dimensions.
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Mechanical thrombectomy - an alternative treatment option in a patient with acute ischemic stroke and multiple contraindications for systemic thrombolysis: a case report.
J Med Case Rep
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2013
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Acute ischemic stroke is a common cause of disability and death in developed countries. Standard therapy for patients who present within 4.5 hours from the onset of symptoms is intravenous thrombolysis if contraindications such as oral anticoagulation, cancer or recent surgery are ruled out. Apart from that, mechanical recanalization is a new treatment option for patients with occlusion of major cerebral arteries as a cause of ischemic stroke.
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Molecular recognition of complex-type biantennary N-glycans by protein receptors: a three-dimensional view on epitope selection by NMR.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2013
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The current surge in defining glycobiomarkers by applying lectins rekindles interest in definition of the sugar-binding sites of lectins at high resolution. Natural complex-type N-glycans can present more than one potential binding motif, posing the question of the actual mode of interaction when interpreting, for example, lectin array data. By strategically combining N-glycan preparation with saturation-transfer difference NMR and modeling, we illustrate that epitope recognition depends on the structural context of both the sugar and the lectin (here, wheat germ agglutinin and a single hevein domain) and cannot always be predicted from simplified model systems studied in the solid state. We also monitor branch-end substitutions by this strategy and describe a three-dimensional structure that accounts for the accommodation of the ?2,6-sialylated terminus of a biantennary N-glycan by viscumin. In addition, we provide a structural explanation for the role of terminal ?2,6-sialylation in precluding the interaction of natural N-glycans with lectin from Maackia amurensis . The approach described is thus capable of pinpointing lectin-binding motifs in natural N-glycans and providing detailed structural explanations for lectin selectivity.
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Isotropic-polar phase transitions in an amphiphilic fluid: density functional theory versus computer simulations.
Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2013
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We investigate the critical line separating isotropic from polar phases in an amphiphilic bulk fluid by means of density functional theory (DFT) and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations in the isothermal-isobaric ensemble. The intermolecular interactions are described by a Lennard-Jones potential in which the attractive contribution is modified by an orientation-dependent function. The latter consists of two terms: The first one has the orientation dependence of a classical three-dimensional Heisenberg interaction, whereas, the second one has the orientation dependence of a classical dipole-dipole interaction. However, both contributions are short range. Employing DFT together with a modified mean-field (MMF) approximation for the orientation-dependent pair correlation function, we derive an analytical expression for the critical line separating isotropic from polar liquidlike phases. In parallel MC simulations, we locate the line of critical points through an analysis of Binders second-order cumulant of the polar-order parameter. Comparison with DFT shows that the dipolelike contribution is irrelevant for the isotropic-polar phase transition. As far as the Heisenberg contribution is concerned, the MC data are in semiquantitative agreement with the DFT predictions for sufficiently strong coupling between molecular orientations. For weaker coupling, the variation in the ratio of critical density and temperature ?(c)/T(c) with the Heisenberg coupling constant ?(H) is underestimated by the MMF treatment. The MC results suggest that this is because ?(c) increases with decreasing ?(H) such that the assumption on which the MMF approach rests becomes less applicable in the weaker-coupling limit.
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Lactose binding to human galectin-7 (p53-induced gene 1) induces long-range effects through the protein resulting in increased dimer stability and evidence for positive cooperativity.
Glycobiology
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2013
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The product of p53-induced gene 1 is a member of the galectin family, i.e., galectin-7 (Gal-7). To move beyond structural data by X-ray diffraction, we initiated the study of the lectin by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and circular dichroism spectroscopies, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. In concert, our results indicate that lactose binding to human Gal-7 induces long-range effects (minor conformational shifts and changes in structural dynamics) throughout the protein that result in stabilization of the dimer state, with evidence for positive cooperativity. Monte Carlo fits of (15)N-Gal-7 HSQC titrations with lactose using a two-site model yield K1 = 0.9 ± 0.6 × 10(3) M(-1) and K2 = 3.4 ± 0.8 × 10(3) M(-1). Ligand binding-induced stabilization of the Gal-7 dimer was supported by several lines of evidence: MD-based calculations of interaction energies between ligand-loaded and ligand-free states, gel filtration data and hetero-FRET spectroscopy that indicate a highly reduced tendency for dimer dissociation in the presence of lactose, CD-based thermal denaturation showing that the transition temperature of the lectin is significantly increased in the presence of lactose, and saturation transfer difference (STD) NMR using a molecular probe of the monomer state whose presence is diminished in the presence of lactose. MD simulations with the half-loaded ligand-bound state also provided insight into how allosteric signaling may occur. Overall, our results reveal long-range effects on Gal-7 structure and dynamics, which factor into entropic contributions to ligand binding and allow further comparisons with other members of the galectin family.
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The cyclooxygenase-2-prostaglandin E2 pathway maintains senescence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease fibroblasts.
Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med.
PUBLISHED: 01-19-2013
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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is associated with lung fibroblast senescence, a process characterized by the irreversible loss of replicative capacity associated with the secretion of inflammatory mediators. However, the mechanisms of this phenomenon remain poorly defined.
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Fluorinated carbohydrates as lectin ligands: dissecting glycan-cyanovirin interactions by using 19F?NMR spectroscopy.
Chemistry
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2013
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NMR spectroscopy and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) are powerful methods to investigate ligand-protein interactions. Here, we present a versatile and sensitive fluorine NMR spectroscopic approach that exploits the (19)F nucleus of (19)F-labeled carbohydrates as a sensor to study glycan binding to lectins. Our approach is illustrated with the 11?kDa Cyanovirin-N, a mannose binding anti-HIV lectin. Two fluoro-deoxy sugar derivatives, methyl 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-?-D-mannopyranosyl-(1?2)-?-D-mannopyranoside and methyl 2-deoxy-2-fluoro-?-D-mannopyranosyl-(1?2)-?-D-mannopyranosyl-(1?2)-?-D-mannopyranoside were utilized. Binding was studied by (19)F?NMR spectroscopy of the ligand and (1)H-(15)N HSQC?NMR spectroscopy of the protein. The NMR data agree well with those obtained from the equivalent reciprocal and direct ITC titrations. Our study shows that the strategic design of fluorinated ligands and fluorine NMR spectroscopy for ligand screening holds great promise for easy and fast identification of glycan binding, as well as for their use in reporting structural and/or electronic perturbations that ensue upon interaction with a cognate lectin.
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Context-dependent multifunctionality of galectin-1: a challenge for defining the lectin as therapeutic target.
Expert Opin. Ther. Targets
PUBLISHED: 01-06-2013
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One route of translating the information encoded in the glycan chains of cellular glycoconjugates into physiological effects is via receptor (lectin) binding. A family of endogenous lectins, sharing folding, a distinct sequence signature and affinity for ?-galactosides (thus termed galectins), does so effectively in a context-dependent manner.
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Neuronal Galectin-4 is required for axon growth and for the organization of axonal membrane L1 delivery and clustering.
J. Neurochem.
PUBLISHED: 01-05-2013
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Axon membrane glycoproteins are essential for neuronal differentiation, although the mechanisms underlying their polarized sorting and organization are poorly understood. We describe here that galectin-4 (Gal-4), a lectin highly expressed in gastrointestinal tissues and involved in epithelial glycoprotein transport, is expressed by hippocampal and cortical neurons where it is sorted to discrete segments of the axonal membrane in a microtubule- and sulfatide-dependent manner. Gal-4 knockdown retards axon growth, an effect that can be rescued by recombinant Gal-4 addition. This Gal-4 reduction, as inhibition of sulfatide synthesis does, lowers the presence and clustered organization of axon growth-promoting molecule NCAM L1 at the axon membrane. Furthermore, we find that Gal-4 interacts with L1 by specifically binding to LacNAc branch ends of L1 N-glycans. Impairing the maturation of these N-glycans precludes Gal-4/L1 association resulting in a failure of L1 membrane cluster organization. In all, Gal-4 sorts to axon plasma membrane segments by binding to sulfatide-containing microtubule-associated carriers and being bivalent, it organizes the transport of L1, and likely other axonal glycoproteins, by attaching them to the carriers through their LacNAc termini. This mechanism would underlie L1 functional organization on the plasma membrane, required for proper axon growth.
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Human CD90 identifies Th17/Tc17 T cell subsets that are depleted in HIV-infected patients.
J. Immunol.
PUBLISHED: 12-19-2011
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By revisiting CD90, a GPI-anchored glycoprotein, we show that CD90 is expressed by a subset of CD4(+) and CD8(+) human T cells. CD4(+)CD90(+) cells share similarities with Th17 cells because they express the Th17-specific transcription factor RORC2 and produce IL-17A. CD4(+)CD90(+) cells are activated memory T cells that express the gut mucosal markers CCR6, CD161, and the ?(4) and ?(7) integrins. Compared with CD90-depleted CCR6(+) memory Th17 cells, CD4(+)CD90(+) cells express higher levels of IL-22 and proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-? and GM-CSF), but they produce lower levels of IL-21 and no IL-9. Analyses of CD8(+)CD90(+) cells reveal that they express RORC2 and are able to produce higher levels of IL-17A, IL-22, and CCL20 compared with CD90-depleted CD8(+) cells. These data show that CD90 identifies Th17 and Tc17 cells with a peculiar cytokine profile. Studies of circulating CD90(+) cells in HIV patients show that CD90(+) cells are decreased with an imbalance of the CD4(+)CD90(+)/regulatory T cell ratio in nontreated patients compared with treated patients and healthy donors. Overall, human CD90 identifies a subset of Th17 and Tc17 cells within CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, respectively, which are depleted during HIV infection.
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Advanced glycation end-products as markers of aging and longevity in the long-lived Ansells mole-rat (Fukomys anselli).
J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci.
PUBLISHED: 12-09-2011
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Mole-rat of the genus Fukomys are mammals whose life span is strongly influenced by reproductive status with breeders far outliving nonbreeders. This raises the important question of whether increased longevity of the breeders is reflected in atypical expression of biochemical markers of aging. Here, we measured markers of glycation and advanced glycation end-products formed in insoluble skin collagen of Ansells mole-rat Fukomys anselli as a function of age and breeding status. Glucosepane, pentosidine, and total advanced glycation end-product content significantly increased with age after correction for breeder status and sex. Unexpectedly, total advanced glycation end-products, glucosepane, and carboxymethyl-lysine (CML) were significantly higher in breeders versus nonbreeders suggesting that breeders have evolved powerful defenses against combined oxidant and carbonyl stress compared with nonbreeders. Most interestingly, when compared with other mammals, pentosidine formation rate was lower in mole-rat compared with other short-lived rodents confirming previous observations of an inverse relationship between longevity and pentosidine formation rates in skin collagen.
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Corolla monosymmetry: evolution of a morphological novelty in the Brassicaceae family.
Mol. Biol. Evol.
PUBLISHED: 11-30-2011
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Evolution of floral monosymmetry is thought to be a major driving force of angiosperm radiation, making angiosperms the most successful land plant group in terms of species richness. Monosymmetry evolved from a polysymmetric ancestor repeatedly in different angiosperm lineages, where it likely facilitated diversification through the interaction with insects. Most monosymmetric taxa are thus dominated by monosymmetric members. However, in the Brassicaceae, only few members develop a monosymmetric corolla with two petal pairs of unequal size, making them an ideal system to study the evolution of molecular mechanisms enhancing flower complexity. Monosymmetry is controlled by the TCP transcription factors that belong to the CYC2 clade in distantly related taxa. In Iberis amara, the first crucifer analyzed in terms of monosymmetry development, unequal corolla formation is due to a stronger CYC2 clade gene expression in the smaller adaxial petals compared with the larger abaxial ones. Phylogenetic reconstruction of the crucifer family reveals that the monosymmetric genera Iberis, Calepina, and Teesdalia belong to one major crucifer lineage. Monosymmetry is most pronounced in Iberis and less so in Calepina and Teesdalia, with a positive dosage-dependent correlation between the strength of a CYC2 expression difference and the extent of monosymmetry formation. An early adaxial CYC2 expression in floral meristems, observed in many distantly related taxa, might have facilitated the repeated evolution of CYC2-controlled monosymmetry. Comparison of early and late CYC2 expression in monosymmetric and polysymmetric crucifers representative for the four major crucifer lineages reveals that an adaxial CYC2 expression in floral meristems is likely ancestral for the Brassicaceae. However, it got lost in all analyzed monosymmetric members and is, as such, not a prerequisite for the establishment of corolla monosymmetry in crucifers. Here, monosymmetry evolved via a heterochronic CYC2 expression shift from an ancestral early adaxial expression in floral meristems to an adaxial CYC2 transcript accumulation later in petal development. This study emphasizes the potential of regulatory changes in the evolution of morphological novelties, like corolla monosymmetry in the Brassicaceae. In combination with a corymboid inflorescence, monosymmetry might have served as a key invention driving diversification in the genus Iberis comprising more than 20 monosymmetric species.
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Sensing ligand binding to a clinically relevant lectin by tryptophan fluorescence anisotropy.
Analyst
PUBLISHED: 10-20-2011
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Increasing insights into the involvement of endogenous lectins in disease processes fuel the interest to develop potent inhibitors. As a consequence, robust assay procedures are required. Due to their activity as adhesion/growth-regulatory effectors this study focussed on galectins. The human proto-type galectin-1 was selected as representative of this family with conserved presence of a tryptophan moiety in the binding site. This structural feature was taken advantage of to establish its use as reporter for ligand contact measuring polarized fluorescence emission. The experimentally determined anisotropy r(0) was about 0.2, altered by about 5% in the presence of the cognate disaccharide lactose. This parameter change enabled calculating the equilibrium binding constant and kinetic rate constants. The detailed analysis of the depolarization process further indicated fast conformational dynamics within the binding site. Since an inherent property of the protein was exploited, no labeling is needed. Owing to tryptophans presence in carbohydrate-binding sites, also in other classes of lectins as well as in carbohydrate-binding modules and glycoenzymes (glycosyltransferases, glycosidases), this assay procedure can have relevance beyond galectins.
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String formation and demixing in monolayers of dipolar colloidal mixtures.
J Chem Phys
PUBLISHED: 10-14-2011
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Employing hypernetted chain (HNC) integral equations and a stability analysis we investigate the structure and phase behavior of bidisperse mixtures of dipolar hard spheres with different size ratios s=?(S)/?(L) confined to a plane. The dipole moments of the particles are perfectly ordered along an in-plane direction, yielding anisotropic interactions favoring chain formation. Exploring a range of size ratios and compositions, our study predicts a complex interplay between aggregation phenomena, on the one hand, and volume phase transitions, on the other hand. In dilute, strongly asymmetric systems (s = 0.5), our HNC analysis indicates chain formation of the large particles, while the small particles act as a weakly correlated background. According to our fluctuation analysis, this aggregation behavior results in combined condensation-demixing transitions, with a trend towards pure demixing when the concentration of the large particles, c(L), becomes small. In dense systems, the most interesting results are found for intermediate size ratios, s ~ 0.7-0.8. Here we find signatures of a concentration-driven transition from pure chains of large particles (large c(L)) to mixed chains with alternating order of large and small particles (small c(L)). The two regimes are separated by a characteristic "jump" in the HNC non-solution line.
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The ROXY1 C-terminal L**LL motif is essential for the interaction with TGA transcription factors.
Plant Physiol.
PUBLISHED: 09-29-2011
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Glutaredoxins (GRXs) are small, ubiquitous, glutathione-dependent oxidoreductases that participate in redox-regulated processes associated with stress responses. Recently, GRXs have been shown to exert crucial functions during flower developmental processes. GRXs modulate their target protein activities by the reduction of protein disulfide bonds or deglutathionylation reactions. The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) GRX ROXY1 participates in petal primordia initiation and further petal morphogenesis. ROXY1 belongs to a land plant-specific class of GRXs with a CC-type active site motif, deviating from the ubiquitously occurring CPYC and CGFS GRX classes. ROXY1 was previously shown to interact with floral TGA transcription factors in the nucleus, and this interaction is a prerequisite for ROXY1 to exert its activity required for Arabidopsis petal development. Deletion analysis further identified the importance of the ROXY1 C terminus for the ROXY1/TGA protein interactions and for the ROXY1 function in petal development. Here, by dissecting the ROXY1 C terminus, an ?-helical L**LL motif immediately adjacent to the ROXY1 C-terminal eight amino acids was identified that is essential for the interaction with TGA transcription factors and crucial for the ROXY1 function in planta. Similar to the ?-helical L**LL motifs binding to transcriptional coactivators with liganded nuclear receptors in animals, a hydrophobic face formed by the conserved leucines in the L**LL motif of ROXY1 possibly mediates the interaction with TGA transcription factors. Thus, the ?-helical L**LL sequence is a conserved protein-protein interaction motif in both animals and plants. Furthermore, two separate TGA domains were identified by deletion experiments as being essential for mediating TGA protein interactions with ROXYs.
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Synthesis of bivalent lactosides and their activity as sensors for differences between lectins in inter- and intrafamily comparisons.
Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett.
PUBLISHED: 09-18-2011
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The synthesis of nine bivalent lactosides (based on ditriazoles, diamides, a glycocyclophane and an acyclic analogue of the glycocyclophane) and one monovalent lactosyl triazole facilitated the assessment of the sensitivity of plant/animal lectins to this type of ligand display. The inhibitory potency of the compounds was determined in two assays of increasing biorelevance. These were solid-phase and cell binding set-ups. Hereby, the ability of the compounds to inhibit the binding of two plant agglutinins and the entire set of adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins from one organism (chicken) to a glycoprotein or to cell surfaces was systematically evaluated. Differential sensitivities were detected between plant and animal lectins and also between distinct galectin forms within the chicken series. Two of the bivalent probes can be considered as sensors for interlectin differences. Most pronounced were the selectivities of N-glycosyl 1,2,3-triazole derivatives for the chimera-type galectin and its proteolytically truncated version.
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Toward bioinspired galectin mimetics: identification of ligand-contacting peptides by proteolytic-excision mass spectrometry.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 08-31-2011
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Clinically relevant bioactivities of human galectins (adhesion/growth-regulatory galactoside-specific lectins) inspired the design of peptides as new tools to elicit favorable effects (e.g., in growth control) or block harmful binding (e.g., in tissue invasion). To obtain the bioinspired lead compounds, we combined a proteolytic fragmentation approach without/with ligand contact (excision) with mass spectrometric identification of affinity-bound protein fragments, using galectin-1 and -3 as models. Two peptides from the carbohydrate recognition domains were obtained in each case in experimental series rigorously controlled for specificity, and the [157-162] peptide of galectin-3 proved to be active in blocking lectin binding to a neoglycoprotein and to tumor cell surfaces. This approach affords peptide sequences for structural optimization and intrafamily/phylogenetic galectin comparison at the binding-site level with a minimal requirement of protein quantity, and it is even amenable to mixtures.
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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.