Background: DNA methylation variation has been implicated in memory, cognitive performance, and dementia. Plasma apolipoprotein-A1 (ApoA1) levels may act as a biomarker of age-associated cognitive performance and decline. Objectives: To estimate the heritability of plasma ApoA1 protein levels; to examine DNA methylation variation within the APOA1 gene; and to investigate whether APOA1 methylation is associated with plasma ApoA1 levels and episodic memory performance. Method: Heritability of ApoA1 protein levels in Older Australian Twins Study (OATS) was assessed using structural equation modelling. APOA1 methylation levels were assayed in two cohorts of cognitively normal older individuals. The methylation status of 12 CpGs in 24 twin pairs from OATS was assayed using the Illumina 450K methylation array. Candidate CpGs were assayed in 453 individuals from Sydney Memory and Ageing Study (Sydney MAS) using pyrosequencing. Regression analyses assessed associations between APOA1 methylation levels, ApoA1 plasma levels, and memory performance. Results: No significant heritability was observed for ApoA1 protein levels. APOA1 candidate-gene analyses revealed CpG sites associated with memory performance in the twin study (p < 0.050). Replication of an association between methylation of a specific CpG (cg03010018) in APOA1 and memory performance was observed in Sydney MAS (? = -0.145, p = 0.010). Methylation of this CpG site was also significantly correlated with ApoA1 protein levels (? = 0.161, p = 0.019). However, no relationship between a composite memory domain score and methylation was observed (p = 0.389). Conclusion: Findings demonstrated that epigenetic control of APOA1 expression and DNA methylation levels are associated with episodic memory performance in older adults.
Activated/uninhibited calcineurin is both necessary and sufficient to induce cardiac hypertrophy, a condition that often leads to dilated cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. We expressed constitutively active calcineurin in the adult heart of Drosophila melanogaster and identified enlarged cardiac chamber dimensions and reduced cardiac contractility. In addition, expressing constitutively active calcineurin in the fly heart using the Gal4/UAS system induced an increase in heart wall thickness. We performed a targeted genetic screen for modifiers of calcineurin-induced cardiac enlargement based on previous calcineurin studies in the fly and identified galactokinase as a novel modifier of calcineurin-induced cardiomyopathy. Genomic deficiencies spanning the galactokinase locus, transposable elements that disrupt galactokinase, and cardiac-specific RNAi knockdown of galactokinase suppressed constitutively active calcineurin-induced cardiomyopathy. In addition, in flies expressing constitutively active calcineurin using the Gal4/UAS system, a transposable element in galactokinase suppressed the increase in heart wall thickness. Finally, genetic disruption of galactokinase suppressed calcineurin-induced wing vein abnormalities. Collectively, we generated a model for discovering novel modifiers of calcineurin-induced cardiac enlargement in the fly and identified galactokinase as a previously unknown regulator of calcineurin-induced cardiomyopathy in adult Drosophila.
DHX9 is an ATP-dependent DEXH box helicase with a multitude of cellular functions. Its ability to unwind both DNA and RNA, as well as aberrant, noncanonical polynucleotide structures, has implicated it in transcriptional and translational regulation, DNA replication and repair, and maintenance of genome stability. We report that loss of DHX9 in primary human fibroblasts results in premature senescence, a state of irreversible growth arrest. This is accompanied by morphological defects, elevation of senescence-associated ?-galactosidase levels, and changes in gene expression closely resembling those encountered during replicative (telomere-dependent) senescence. Activation of the p53 signaling pathway was found to be essential to this process. ChIP analysis and investigation of nascent DNA levels revealed that DHX9 is associated with origins of replication and that its suppression leads to a reduction of DNA replication. Our results demonstrate an essential role of DHX9 in DNA replication and normal cell cycle progression.
Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype is a determinant of neurologic recovery after brain ischemia and traumatic brain injury. The APOE ?2 allele has been associated with worse neurodevelopmental (ND) outcome after repair of congenital heart defects (CHD) in infancy. Replication of this finding in an independent cohort is essential to validate the observed genotype-phenotype association.
We report the case of a 22-year-old woman who presented with self-poisoning by cyanide ingestion. We have elected to pay particular attention to describing the neuropsychological sequelae of cyanide poisoning, and the evolution of these deficits over a 6-month period. Prominent deficits in episodic memory were noted from an early stage, which were consistent with the findings noted on structural neuroimaging. These deficits remained persistent, although improving in severity over the follow-up period. No focal neurological deficits or abnormal involuntary movements emerged, and the patient's overall functional status remained satisfactory. The patient's psychiatric presentation and background history are briefly discussed.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is characterised by dilation and impaired systolic function. We present the case of a child with dilated cardiomyopathy caused by a 624 kb duplication of 6q22.31, which includes the phospholamban gene. The patient also has failure to thrive and developmental delay due to complex cytogenetic abnormalities including a 5p15 deletion associated with Cri du Chat and an 11p15 duplication associated with Russell-Silver syndrome.
A number of studies of older twins have been published to inform about the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors and their interactions in determining cognitive ageing and dementia. This review attempts to collate the salient findings from these studies.
Tetracycline or doxycycline (dox)-regulated control of genetic elements allows inducible, reversible and tissue specific regulation of gene expression in mice. This approach provides a means to investigate protein function in specific cell lineages and at defined periods of development and disease. Efficient and stable regulation of cDNAs or non-coding elements (e.g. shRNAs) downstream of the tetracycline-regulated element (TRE) requires the robust expression of a tet-transactivator protein, commonly the reverse tet-transactivator, rtTA. Most rtTA strains rely on tissue specific promoters that often do not provide sufficient rtTA levels for optimal inducible expression. Here we describe the generation of two mouse strains that enable Cre-dependent, robust expression of rtTA3, providing tissue-restricted and consistent induction of TRE-controlled transgenes. We show that these transgenic strains can be effectively combined with established mouse models of disease, including both Cre/LoxP-based approaches and non Cre-dependent disease models. The integration of these new tools with established mouse models promises the development of more flexible genetic systems to uncover the mechanisms of development and disease pathogenesis.
Coma, vegetative state (VS) and minimally conscious state (MCS) are disastrous outcomes following severe traumatic brain injury. Due to the extent of the resultant neurological deficits including hemisphere damage, loss of cellular integrity, altered and abnormal movements such as flexor and extensor patterns, and alterations in cranial nerve function, it can become difficult for the interprofessional team to identify when a patient is emerging from their coma. The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), commonly used to assess patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) is not comprehensive or sensitive enough to provide concrete evidence that a patient is emerging from VS to an MCS. The purpose of this paper is to present a case study of a patient who has emerged from a persistent VS to promote a deeper understanding of what is involved when working with this clientele. Challenges in assessment of cognitive functioning, the development of successful communication through the use of technology and the goals of therapy amongst the various health team members will be provided. Collaborative support with the family will also be discussed. Members of the interprofessional team explored the literature to determine coma recovery assessment tools and best evidence guidelines to direct their interventions with this patient.
Limited high-quality research has focused on the efficacy of lymphedema treatments and symptomatic relief. With that in mind, the authors conducted a cross-sectional survey to describe the presentation of breast cancer-related lymphedema, treatment modalities used, and perceived effectiveness. An electronic validated questionnaire to assess the presentation of lymphedema, severity of swelling and discomfort, number of modalities tried, and the benefits gained from treatment was completed by the Review and Survey Group of the Breast Cancer Network of Australia. Thirty-five percent of participants reported the presence of lymphedema, a majority of which reported it to be mild or moderate for magnitude of swelling and for discomfort. The correlation was weak between magnitude of swelling and discomfort. Compression, massage, and exercise were the most commonly used modalities in these patients. Notably, chest wall or breast lymphedema--about which research is lacking--was as common as hand lymphedema. Women experienced discomfort and physical changes, although the severity of the two was not related. Some benefit was reported for all modalities, but no particular modality was considered extremely helpful. Oncology nurses are ideally positioned to monitor women for early signs of swelling and to advise women on the range of treatments available.
Objectives.We aimed to examine associations between each of three leisure activities (Cognitive, Physical, and Social) and performance in selected cognitive domains (Speed, Memory, Verbal ability, and Executive functions) and global cognition. We also aimed to explore associations between medical and health factors and late-life cognition.Method.Our sample comprised 119 pairs of monozygotic twins from the Older Australian Twins Study. Their mean age was 71 years and 66% were women. We used a discordant co-twin design, with cognitive performance measures as dependent variables and leisure activities as independent variables. Multiple regression analyses were performed, adjusting for potentially relevant medical and health factors. RESULTS: Discordance in Cognitive Activity and Social Activity participation was positively associated with discordance in performance on some cognitive domains. There were no associations between Physical Activity participation and cognition. Discordance in several cardiovascular, frailty, and sensory variables was associated with discordance in cognitive performance measures.Discussion.This study identified lifestyle and health-related influences on late-life cognition. Our findings not only help in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms, they also have practical implications for interventions to prevent or slow age-related cognitive decline.
Orthotopic heart transplantation remains the definitive treatment of choice for patients with end-stage heart failure; however, elevated PVRI is a reported risk factor for mortality after heart transplant and, when severely elevated, is considered an absolute contraindication. Use of a ventricular assist device has been proposed as one treatment for reducing pulmonary vascular resistance index in potential heart transplant candidates refractory to medical vasodilator therapies. We report on a teenage patient with dilated cardiomyopathy and severely elevated PVRI, unresponsive to pulmonary vasodilator therapy, who underwent left ventricular assist device implantation to safely allow for aggressive pulmonary vasodilator therapy and to decrease PVRI. The resulting dramatic improvement in PVRI in a relatively short period of time allowed for successful heart transplantation, avoiding the need for heart-lung transplant.
ABT-737 is a promising chemotherapeutic agent that promotes apoptosis by acting as a selective BH3 mimetic to neutralize Bcl-2-like family members. One shortcoming with its use is that Mcl-1, a member of the Bcl-2 family, is poorly inhibited by ABT-737 and thus is a major cause of resistance. We performed a short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-based drop-out screen to identify novel genes and pathways that could reverse resistance to ABT-737 treatment in Eµ-myc/Bcl-2 lymphoma cells engineered to rely on endogenous Mcl-1 for survival. Several drug-sensitive shRNAs were identified that were selectively depleted in the presence of ABT-737. Of these, 2 independent shRNAs targeting the RNA/DNA helicase Dhx9 were found to sensitize lymphomas to ABT-737 to an extent comparable to control Mcl-1 shRNAs. Although Dhx9 suppression sensitized both mouse and human cells to ABT-737 treatment, it did so without altering MCL-1 levels. Rather, loss of Dhx9 appeared to activate a p53-dependent apoptotic program, through aggravation of replicative stress, which was found to be both necessary and sufficient for the ABT-737-shDhx9 synthetic lethal relationship.
During embryonic development, endothelial precursor cells (angioblasts) migrate relatively long distances to form the primary vascular plexus. The migratory behavior of angioblasts and localization of the primitive blood vessels is tightly regulated by pro-angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors encountered in the embryonic environment. Despite the importance of corneal avascularity to proper vision, it is not known when avascularity is established in the developing cornea and how pro- and anti-angiogenic factors regulate this process.
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most frequent birth defect, affecting 0.8% of live births. Many cases occur sporadically and impair reproductive fitness, suggesting a role for de novo mutations. Here we compare the incidence of de novo mutations in 362 severe CHD cases and 264 controls by analysing exome sequencing of parent-offspring trios. CHD cases show a significant excess of protein-altering de novo mutations in genes expressed in the developing heart, with an odds ratio of 7.5 for damaging (premature termination, frameshift, splice site) mutations. Similar odds ratios are seen across the main classes of severe CHD. We find a marked excess of de novo mutations in genes involved in the production, removal or reading of histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methylation, or ubiquitination of H2BK120, which is required for H3K4 methylation. There are also two de novo mutations in SMAD2, which regulates H3K27 methylation in the embryonic left-right organizer. The combination of both activating (H3K4 methylation) and inactivating (H3K27 methylation) chromatin marks characterizes poised promoters and enhancers, which regulate expression of key developmental genes. These findings implicate de novo point mutations in several hundreds of genes that collectively contribute to approximately 10% of severe CHD.
Serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP) is a standard screening method for detecting monoclonal gammopathies. Presence of fibrinogen, however, can mimic a true monoclonal spike and interfere with accurate monoclonal protein identification. We describe a novel approach for distinguishing fibrinogen spikes from true monoclonal spikes. We classified 600 individual patient samples into four groups: group 1, 58 samples with a fibrinogen spike; group 2, 127 samples with a spike due to a monoclonal gammopathy; group 3, 181 samples with previously established monoclonal gammopathies but resolved posttreatment; and group 4, 234 control samples without monoclonal gammopathies. The value of using a ? region fraction/IgG ratio in distinguishing fibrinogen from true monoclonal spikes was assessed. The ?/IgG ratio in the fibrinogen group is significantly (P<0.0001) higher than this ratio in the other three groups. A ?/IgG ratio cut-off value of 1.13 discriminates true monoclonal gammopathies from fibrinogen. Moreover, exclusion of elevated IgA or IgM cases improves the ratios predictive power. The probability cut-off is 0.756, corresponding to a ?/IgG ratio of 1 (93% sensitivity, 91% specificity). Using the ?/IgG ratio improves the screening power of SPEP and offers a simple and reliable diagnostic tool for distinguishing fibrinogen spikes from true monoclonal spikes.
Two clinically distinct disorders, Wolman disease (WD) and cholesteryl ester storage disease (CESD), are allelic autosomal recessive disorders caused by different mutations in lysosomal acid lipase (LIPA) which encodes for an essential enzyme involved in the hydrolysis of intracellular cholesteryl esters and triglycerides. We describe a case of lysosomal acid lipase deficiency in an infant with WD and report on a novel mutation type, intragenic deletion.
Heterotaxy syndrome is caused by left-right asymmetry disturbances and is associated with abnormal lateralisation of the abdominal and thoracic organs. The heart is frequently involved and the severity of the abnormality usually determines the outcome.
Optic nerve ultrasonography (ONUS) may help identify raised intracranial pressure (ICP). The optimal optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) cut-off for the identification of intracranial hypertension has not been established, with some clinical studies suggesting a higher cut-off than may be expected on the basis of prior laboratory investigation.
We investigated the effect of polymorphisms in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) genes on ventricular remodeling, growth, renal function, and response to enalapril in infants with single ventricle.
Identification and serotyping of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli during foodborne outbreaks can aid in matching clinical, food, and environmental isolates when trying to identify the source of illness and ultimately food contamination. Herein we describe a Luminex microbead-based suspension array to identify the O serogroup of the ten most clinically relevant STECs: O26, O45, O91, O103, O111, O113, O121, O128, O145, and O157. The use of PCR followed by Luminex xMAP® technology enables the detection of multiple analytes in a single multiplex reaction with high throughput capabilities. One hundred and fourteen STEC isolates were correctly identified with no false positives among forty-six other organisms using this assay. Assay performance was tested in multiple laboratories using a panel of eleven different STEC serogroups on the Bio-Plex 200 and MAGPIX instruments. The STEC microbead-based suspension array can be performed in a 96-well plate format for high throughput screening in less than 4h. Furthermore, it is expandable, allowing for the addition of O serogroups should the need arise.
Processing speed (PS) is one of the basic elements of cognitive functions and has been regarded as a "common mechanism" which mediates general cognitive decline in aging. The present study of Australian twins (117 monozygotic pairs, 98 dizygotic pairs, and 42 single twins aged 65 years and over), estimated the genetic influences in five measures of PS: Digit Symbol Coding (DS), Trail Making Test A (TMTA), Stroop color naming and word reading (Stroop), Simple Reaction Time (SRT) and Complex Reaction Time (CRT); and their covariation with general cognitive ability (GCA): reasoning, problem-solving, and memory. Additive genetic factors explained 62% of the variance in DS, 42% in TMTA, 57% in Stroop, and 48% and 35% in SRT and CRT, respectively. Quantitative genetic modeling showed that all of the covariation between the five PS measures and GCA could be explained by one common genetic factor, while the covariation between the PS measures was partly explained by non-shared environmental as well as genetic influences. The genetic correlation among the PS measures was strongest for DS and TMTA, and between the PS measures and GCA was strongest for DS. These findings suggest that the different PS measures, as well as GCA were to a large extent influenced by the same set of genes and that the relationship between PS and GCA is entirely due to shared-genetic influences.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal adult-onset neurodegenerative disease primarily affecting motor neurons. We recently identified intermediate-length polyglutamine (polyQ) expansions (27-33 Qs) in ataxin 2 as a genetic risk factor for sporadic ALS in North American ALS patients. To extend these findings, we assessed the ataxin 2 polyQ repeat length in 1294 European ALS patients and 679 matched healthy controls. We observed a significant association between polyQ expansions and ALS (>30 Qs; P= 6.2 × 10(-3)). Thus, intermediate-length ataxin 2 polyQ repeat expansions are associated with increased risk for ALS also in the European cohort. The specific polyQ length cutoff, however, appears to vary between different populations, with longer repeat lengths showing a clear association. Our findings support the hypothesis that ataxin 2 plays an important role in predisposing to ALS and that polyQ expansions in ataxin 2 are a significant risk factor for the disease.
Glycogen storage diseases (GSDs) comprise a large, heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by abnormal glycogen deposition. Multiple cases in the literature have demonstrated an association between GSD type I and pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). We now also report on two patients with GSD type III and PAH, a novel association. The first patient was a 16-year-old girl of Nicaraguan descent with a history of hepatomegaly and growth retardation. Molecular testing identified a homozygous 17delAG mutation in AGL consistent with GSD type IIIb. At the age of 16, she was found to have PAH and was started on medical therapy. Two years later, she developed acute chest pain and died shortly thereafter. The second patient is a 13-year-old girl of Colombian descent homozygous for the c.3911dupA mutation consistent with GSD IIIa. An echocardiogram at age 2 showed left ventricular hypertrophy, which resolved following the institution of a high protein, moderate carbohydrate diet during the day and continuous gastric-tube feeding overnight. At the age of 12, she was found to have pulmonary hypertension. She was started on sildenafil, and her clinical status has shown marked improvement including normalization of her elevated transaminases. PAH may be a rare association in patients with GSD IIIa and IIIb and should be evaluated with screening echocardiograms for cardiac hypertrophy or if they present with symptoms of right-sided heart failure such as shortness of breath, chest pain, cyanosis, fatigue, dizziness, syncope, or edema. Early diagnosis of PAH is important as increasingly effective treatments are now available.
Cerebral malaria (CM) is a major complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection, particularly in children. The pathogenesis of cerebral malaria involves parasitized red blood cell (RBC)-mediated vascular inflammation, immune stimulation, loss of blood-brain barrier integrity, and obstruction of cerebral capillaries. Therefore, blunting vascular inflammation and immune cell recruitment is crucial in limiting the disease course. Beta interferon (IFN-?) has been used in the treatment of diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) but has not yet been explored in the treatment of CM. Therefore, we sought to determine whether IFN-? also limits disease progression in experimental cerebral malaria (ECM). Plasmodium berghei-infected mice treated with IFN-? died later and showed increased survival, with improved blood-brain barrier function, compared to infected mice. IFN-? did not alter systemic parasitemia. However, we identified multiple action sites that were modified by IFN-? administration. P. berghei infection resulted in increased expression of chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 9 (CXCL9) in brain vascular endothelial cells that attract T cells to the brain, as well as increased T-cell chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 3 (CXCR3) expression. The infection also increased the cellular content of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), a molecule important for attachment of parasitized RBCs to the endothelial cell. In this article, we report that IFN-? treatment leads to reduction of CXCL9 and ICAM-1 in the brain, reduction of T-cell CXCR3 expression, and downregulation of serum tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?). In addition, IFN-?-treated P. berghei-infected mice also had fewer brain T-cell infiltrates, further demonstrating its protective effects. Hence, IFN-? has important anti-inflammatory properties that ameliorate the severity of ECM and prolong mouse survival.
Drosophila is a well recognized model of several human diseases, and recent investigations have demonstrated that Drosophila can be used as a model of human heart failure. Previously, we described that optical coherence tomography (OCT) can be used to rapidly examine the cardiac function in adult, awake flies. This technique provides images that are similar to echocardiography in humans, and therefore we postulated that this approach could be combined with the vast resources that are available in the fly community to identify new mutants that have abnormal heart function, a hallmark of certain cardiovascular diseases. Using OCT to examine the cardiac function in adult Drosophila from a set of molecularly-defined genomic deficiencies from the DrosDel and Exelixis collections, we identified an abnormally enlarged cardiac chamber in a series of deficiency mutants spanning the rhomboid 3 locus. Rhomboid 3 is a member of a highly conserved family of intramembrane serine proteases and processes Spitz, an epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like ligand. Using multiple approaches based on the examination of deficiency stocks, a series of mutants in the rhomboid-Spitz-EGF receptor pathway, and cardiac-specific transgenic rescue or dominant-negative repression of EGFR, we demonstrate that rhomboid 3 mediated activation of the EGF receptor pathway is necessary for proper adult cardiac function. The importance of EGF receptor signaling in the adult Drosophila heart underscores the concept that evolutionarily conserved signaling mechanisms are required to maintain normal myocardial function. Interestingly, prior work showing the inhibition of ErbB2, a member of the EGF receptor family, in transgenic knock-out mice or individuals that received herceptin chemotherapy is associated with the development of dilated cardiomyopathy. Our results, in conjunction with the demonstration that altered ErbB2 signaling underlies certain forms of mammalian cardiomyopathy, suggest that an evolutionarily conserved signaling mechanism may be necessary to maintain post-developmental cardiac function.
Pharmacists access to user-friendly electronic drug information databases that can quickly provide accurate, up-to-date information has become increasingly important. Unfortunately, decisions about purchasing subscriptions to such services are not always made objectively. Previously published studies have compared drug information databases, but there are no recent analyses from the perspective of Canadian hospital pharmacists.
In this review, we examined the published reports on the heritability of cognitive functioning in old age. Twenty-four papers from five study centers, comprising of participants with a mean age of 65 years and above were examined. The comparability of findings from different studies was compromised by the use of different measures for the same cognitive domain, and with large scale twin studies in cognitive aging limited to a few Scandinavian countries. While the results from cross-sectional samples appear to lend support for the notion that heritability of cognitive functions decreases in the elderly, the findings are best considered inconclusive. Longitudinal reports show little evidence for genetic effects, but an increase in unique environmental influences on the rate of cognitive change as age increases. In relation to the two prominent theories of cognitive aging, the genetic influence on processing speed as a major contributor to cognitive aging has been indicated in three reports, whereas the genetic relationship between executive functions and other cognitive functions has not been explored. Only two studies have focused on sex difference and did not find sex-specific genetic influence in cognitive abilities. This review indicates that there are complex relationships between heritability, environmental influence, and cognitive functions in the elderly. It highlights the need for more research, with consistent and appropriate cognitive measures, with data obtained from larger and more geographically and culturally diverse twin samples.
The Older Australian Twins Study (OATS) was recently initiated to investigate genetic and environmental factors and their associations and interactions in healthy brain ageing and ageing-related neurocognitive disorders. The study extends the classic MZ-DZ design to include one or two equivalently aged siblings for each twin pair and utilizes the rich resources of the Australian Twin Registry. The study has a number of distinguishing features including comprehensive psychiatric, neuropsychological, cardiovascular, metabolic, and neuroimaging assessments, a longitudinal design and links with a brain donor program. The study measures many behavioral and environmental factors, but in particular lifetime physical and mental activity, physical and psychological trauma, loss of parent early in life, later losses and life events, early-life socioeconomic environment, alcohol and drug use, occupational exposure, and nutrition. It also includes comprehensive cardiovascular assessment, blood biochemistry, genetics and proteomics. The socio-demographic and health data on the first 172 pairs of twins participating in this study are presented. Prevalence of mild cognitive impairment is 12.8% and of dementia 1.5% in the sample. The target sample size is 1000, with at least 400 pairs of twins aged 65-90 years. The cohort will be assessed every two years, with in-depth assessments being repeated. OATS offers an excellent opportunity for collaboration with other similar studies as well as researchers who share the same interests.
The cadA gene in Dictyostelium encodes a Ca(2+)-dependent cell adhesion molecule DdCAD-1 that contains two beta-sandwich domains. DdCAD-1 is synthesized in the cytoplasm as a soluble protein and then transported by contractile vacuoles to the plasma membrane for surface presentation or secretion. DdCAD-1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion protein was expressed in cadA-null cells for further investigation of this unconventional protein transport pathway. Both morphological and biochemical characterizations showed that DdCAD-1-GFP was imported into contractile vacuoles. Time-lapse microscopy of transfectants revealed the transient appearance of DdCAD-1-GFP-filled vesicular structures in the lumen of contractile vacuoles, suggesting that DdCAD-1 could be imported by invagination of contractile vacuole membrane. To assess the structural requirements in this transport process, the N-terminal and C-terminal domains of DdCAD-1 were expressed separately in cells as GFP fusion proteins. Both fusion proteins failed to enter the contractile vacuole, suggesting that the integrity of DdCAD-1 is required for import. Such a requirement was also observed in in vitro reconstitution assays using His(6)-tagged fusion proteins and purified contractile vacuoles. Import of DdCAD-1 was compromised when two of its three Ca(2+)-binding sites were mutated, indicating a role for Ca(2+) in the import process. Spectral analysis showed that mutations in the Ca(2+)-binding sites resulted in subtle conformational changes. Indeed, proteins with altered conformation failed to enter the contractile vacuole, suggesting that the import signal is somehow integrated in the three-dimensional structure of DdCAD-1.
The postsynaptic membrane of the embryonic neuromuscular junction undergoes a dramatic expansion during later development to facilitate the depolarization of larger muscles. In C. elegans, the postsynaptic membrane resides at the termini of plasma membrane extensions called muscle arms. Membrane extension to the motor axons during larval development doubles the number of muscle arms, making them a tractable model to investigate both postsynaptic membrane expansion and guided membrane extension. To identify genes required for muscle arm extension, we performed a forward screen for mutants with fewer muscle arms. We isolated 23 mutations in 14 genes, including unc-40/Dcc, which encodes a transmembrane receptor that guides the migration of cells and extending axons in response to the secreted UNC-6/Netrin spatial cue. We discovered that UNC-40 is enriched at muscle arm termini and functions cell-autonomously to direct arm extension to the motor axons. Surprisingly, UNC-6 is dispensable for muscle arm extension, suggesting that UNC-40 relies on other spatial cues to direct arm extension. We provide the first evidence that the guanine-nucleotide exchange factor UNC-73/Trio, members of the WAVE actin-polymerization complex, and a homolog of the focal adhesion complex can function downstream of UNC-40 to direct membrane extension. Our work is the first to define a pathway for directed muscle membrane extension and illustrates that axon guidance components can play key roles in postsynaptic membrane expansion.
According to data from the World Health Organization and UNICEF from year 2009, iron deficiency is the most widespread nutritional deficiency worldwide. This deficiency causes an imbalance between needs and iron supply, which consequently results in anemia. Around the world, two million people suffer from anemia, half of which is due to iron deficiency. The most impacted groups are children and teenagers, due to their highest requirements derived from the growing process, and women in their reproductive age, due to their loss of iron derived from menstruating or to their highest iron needs during pregnancy. This increase in needs is not satisfied by the regular diet, since it includes an insufficient amount and/or low bioavailability of iron.
The endoribonuclease RNase-L is the terminal component of an interferon-regulated RNA decay pathway known as the 2-5-oligoadenylate (2-5A) system, whose established functions include antimicrobial and tumor suppressive activities. RNase-L activity requires binding of the small molecule 2-5A, leading to RNase-L dimerization and cleavage of single-stranded RNA. RNase-L expression is controlled post-transcriptionally by its 3-untranslated region (3 UTR), which exerts a strong negative effect on RNase-L levels. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNAs that repress expression of target genes by binding to regions of complementarity often in the 3 UTR. The miR-29 family acts as a tumor suppressor in several cancers, including acute and chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), and has many oncogenic targets. We report that the miR-29 family represses RNase-L protein expression across several cell types. Using a luciferase reporter, we showed that miR-29 acts via 4 target sites within the RNASEL 3 UTR. Mutation of all sites is required for abrogation of miR-29 repression. In light of the reported tumor suppressive role of miR-29 in K562 CML cells and miR-29 repression of RNase-L in these cells, we generated K562 cells with stable RNase-L knockdown and demonstrated that loss of RNase-L inhibits proliferation in vitro as well as tumor growth in a xenograft model. Our findings identify a previously unknown miRNA regulator of RNase-L expression and support a novel oncogenic role for RNase-L in CML and potentially other hematopoietic malignancies.
Age differences in episodic memory (memory) have been attributed to a general reduction in processing speed (the "speed mediation hypothesis"), but also to declines in the efficiency of executive functions operations ("executive decline hypothesis"). To test predictions from these competing models, we examined the mediating effects of processing speed (speed) and executive functions (executive) on age and episodic memory in three older adult cohorts.
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Optic nerve sheath diameter (ONSD) measurement with bedside ultrasound has been shown in many studies to accurately detect high intracranial pressure (ICP). The accuracy of point-in-time ONSD measurement in the presence of ongoing fluctuation of ICP between high and normal is not known. Recent laboratory investigation suggests that reversal of optic nerve sheath distension may be impaired following bouts of intracranial hypertension. Our objective was to compare the accuracy of ONSD measurement in the setting of fluctuating versus stable ICP. METHODS: This was a retrospective analysis of data from prospective study comparing ONSD to invasive ICP. Patients with invasive ICP monitors in the ICU underwent ONSD measurement with simultaneous blinded recording of ICP from the invasive monitor. Three measurements were made in each eye. Significant acute ICP fluctuation (SAIF) was defined in two different ways; as the presence of ICP both above and below 20 mmHg within a cluster of six measurements (Definition 1) and as a magnitude of fluctuation >10 mmHg within the cluster (Definition 2). The accuracy of point-in-time ONSD measurements for the detection of concurrent ICP >20 mmHg within clusters fulfilling a specific definition of SAIF was compared to the accuracy of ONSD measurements within clusters not fulfilling the particular definition by comparison of independent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves. RESULTS: A total of 613 concurrent ONSD-ICP measurements in 109 clusters were made in 73 patients. Twenty-three (21%) clusters fulfilled SAIF Definition 1 and 17 (16%) SAIF Definition 2. For Definition 1, the difference in the area under the curve (AUC) of ROC curves for groups with and without fluctuation was 0.10 (P = 0.0001). There was a fall in the specificity from 98% (95% CI 96 to 99%) to 74% (63 to 83%) and in the positive predictive value from 89% (80 to 95%) to 76% (66 to 84%) with fluctuation. For Definition 2, also, there was a significant difference between the AUC of ROC curves of groups with fluctuation-magnitude >10 mmHg and those with fluctuation-magnitude 5 to 10 mmHg (0.06, P = 0.04) as well as <5 mmHg (0.07, P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Specificity and PPV of ONSD for ICP >20 mmHg are substantially decreased in patients demonstrating acute fluctuation of ICP between high and normal. This may be because of delayed reversal of nerve sheath distension.
Type-specific serologic tests for human herpes simplex virus (HSV) are critically important for sexually transmitted disease evaluation. We compared the LIAISON® HSV-1 and HSV-2 Type Specific assays relative to an established commercial ELISA. The overall agreement of the chemiluminescence immunoassay versus the ELISA assay was 99.6% (HSV-1) and 100% (HSV-2). The LIAISON® methodology has several advantages.
"Executive functions" (EF) is a multidimensional construct which encompasses many higher-order cognitive control operations, and is considered a potential mediator of age-associated changes in other cognitive domains. Here we examine the heritability of four measures of EF, and the genetic influences on their covariation with general cognitive abilities (GCA) from the Older Australian Twins Study. Participants included 117 pairs of monozygotic twins, 98 pairs of dizygotic twins, and 42 single twins, with a mean age of 71. Genetic modeling showed that additive genetic factors contributed to 59, 63,29, and 31% of the variance in the four measures: working memory, verbal fluency, response inhibition and cognitive flexibility, respectively. The phenotypic associations among the four EF measures were modest, which is in line with other evidence that EF is a multi-dimensional construct.All of the covariation between the EF measures was attributable to a common genetic factor. Similarly, all of the covariation between EF and General Cognitive Ability was explained by a common genetic factor, with no significant covariance due to environmental (E) factors. The genetic correlations between the measures were moderately high, suggesting that they may have common biological underpinnings. The genetic influence in the covariation of the EF measures and GCA also suggests that some aspects of EF and GCA share the same genes or same set of genes.
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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.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
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.