The technological advances in real-time ultrasound image guidance for high-dose-rate (HDR) prostate brachytherapy have placed this treatment modality at the forefront of innovation in cancer radiotherapy. Prostate HDR treatment often involves placing the HDR catheters (needles) into the prostate gland under the transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) guidance, then generating a radiation treatment plan based on CT prostate images, and subsequently delivering high dose of radiation through these catheters. The main challenge for this HDR procedure is to accurately segment the prostate volume in the CT images for the radiation treatment planning. In this study, the authors propose a novel approach that integrates the prostate volume from 3D TRUS images into the treatment planning CT images to provide an accurate prostate delineation for prostate HDR treatment.
This study reported a new cyclopeptide alkaloid, justicianene A (1), and a new lignan glycoside, procumbenoside H (2), isolated from Justicia procumbens. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated by means of spectroscopic analysis, including extensive 2D NMR studies and mass spectrometry. Cyclopeptide alkaloids were first observed from the genus Justicia. Compound 2 was cytotoxic against human LoVo colon carcinoma cells with an IC50 value of 17.908 ± 1.949 ?M.
Erbium-doped germanosilicate glasses with various cerium ions contents have been prepared. Optical absorption and 1.53 ?m emission spectra were measured to characterize the spectroscopic performances of prepared samples. A detailed study of 1.53 ?m spectroscopic properties was carried out when pumped by an 808 nm laser diode. Moreover, an energy level diagram and an energy transfer mechanism between Er3+ and Ce3+ were proposed to elucidate the enhanced 1.53 ?m fluorescence. It is found that the prepared samples have optimal spectroscopic properties when the Ce3+ concentration is fixed to 0.5 mol. %. High spontaneous radiative transition probability (172.66??s-1), large effective emission bandwidth (74 nm), and emission cross section (9.49×10-21??cm2 indicate that 808 nm pumped Er3+/Ce3+ codoped germanosilicate glass might be a suitable material for a broadband optical amplifier.
Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping (QSM) is a magnetic resonance imaging technique that reveals tissue magnetic susceptibility. It relies on having a high quality field map, typically acquired with a relatively long echo spacing and long final TE. Applications of QSM outside the brain require the removal of fat contributions to the total signal phase. However, current water/fat separation methods applied on typical data acquired for QSM suffer from three issues: inadequacy when using large echo spacing, over-smoothing of the field maps and high computational cost. In this paper, the general phase wrap and chemical shift problem is formulated using a single species fitting and is solved using graph cuts with conditional jump moves. This method is referred as Simultaneous Phase Unwrapping and Removal of chemical Shift (SPURS). The result from SPURS is then used as the initial guess for a voxel-wise Iterative Decomposition of water and fat with Echo Asymmetric and Least-squares estimation (IDEAL). The estimated three-dimensional field maps are used to compute Quantitative Susceptibility Maps (QSM) in body regions outside of the brain, such as the liver. Experimental results show substantial improvements in field map estimation, water/fat separation and reconstructed QSM compared to two existing water/fat separation methods on 1.5T and 3T magnetic resonance human data with long echo spacing and rapid field map variation.
A new species of the genus Guiodytes Tian, 2013 is described from a limestone cave called Shuiku Dong in Huanjiang County of northernmost Guangxi, southern China. G. deharvengi n. sp. is the first depigmented species of Guiodytes. It is close to G. cavicola Tian, 2013, but easily recognized by its broader and yellowish brown body. In addition, new records for G. cavicola Tian, 2013 are provided from two caves in Du'an County of northern Guangxi, with description of the male genitalia. A key to all three known species and a distributional map of Guiodytes are also given.
Recently, 2 independent studies reported that a rare missense variant, rs75932628 (R47H), in exon 2 of the gene encoding the "triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2" (TREM2) significantly increases the risk of Alzheimer disease (AD) with an effect size comparable to that of the APOE ?4 allele.
The three-dimensional conformations of noncoding RNAs underpin their biochemical functions but have largely eluded experimental characterization. Here, we report that integrating a classic mutation/rescue strategy with high-throughput chemical mapping enables rapid RNA structure inference with unusually strong validation. We revisit a 16S rRNA domain for which SHAPE (selective 2'-hydroxyl acylation with primer extension) and limited mutational analysis suggested a conformational change between apo- and holo-ribosome conformations. Computational support estimates, data from alternative chemical probes, and mutate-and-map (M(2)) experiments highlight issues of prior methodology and instead give a near-crystallographic secondary structure. Systematic interrogation of single base pairs via a high-throughput mutation/rescue approach then permits incisive validation and refinement of the M(2)-based secondary structure. The data further uncover the functional conformation as an excited state (20 ± 10% population) accessible via a single-nucleotide register shift. These results correct an erroneous SHAPE inference of a ribosomal conformational change, expose critical limitations of conventional structure mapping methods, and illustrate practical steps for more incisively dissecting RNA dynamic structure landscapes.
A transition-metal-free direct ?-C-H amination of ketones has been developed using commercially available ammonium iodide as the catalyst and sodium percarbonate as the co-oxidant. A wide range of ketone ((hetero)aromatic or nonaromatic ketones) and amine (primary/secondary amines, anilines, or amides) substrates undergo cross-coupling to generate synthetically useful ?-amino ketones. The mechanistic studies indicated that a radical pathway might be involved in the reaction process. The utility of the method is highlighted through a concise one-step synthesis of the pharmaceutical agent amfepramone.
Selective inhibition of function-specific ?-GlcNAcase has great potential in terms of drug design and biological research. The symmetrical bis-naphthalimide M-31850 was previously obtained by screening for specificity against human glycoconjugate-lytic ?-GlcNAcase. Using protein-ligand co-crystallization and molecular docking, we designed an unsymmetrical dyad of naphthalimide and thiadiazole, Q2, that changes naphthalimide specificity from against a human glycoconjugate-lytic ?-GlcNAcase to against insect and bacterial chitinolytic ?-GlcNAcases. The crystallographic and in silico studies reveal that the naphthalimide ring can be utilized to bind different parts of these enzyme homologs, providing a new starting point to design specific inhibitors. Moreover, Q2-induced closure of the substrate binding pocket is the structural basis for its 13-fold increment in inhibitory potency. Q2 is the first non-carbohydrate inhibitor against chitinolytic ?-GlcNAcases. This study provides a useful example of structure-based rationally designed inhibitors as potential pharmaceuticals or pesticides.
Cortex Lycii, the root bark of Lycium chinense Mill. or Lycium barbarum L., is a frequently used traditional Chinese medicine. Phytochemical studies have shown that phenolic amides are not only characteristic compounds but also abundant ones in this plant. In the present study, an effective method was developed for structural characterization of phenolic amides from Cortex Lycii by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography coupled with linear ion trap Orbitrap tandem mass spectrometry. The fragmentation of 14 compounds including six cinnamic acid amides, six neolignanamides, and two lignanamides were studied systematically for the first time. It was found that, in the positive ion mode, neutral loss of the tyramide moiety (137 Da) or N-(4-aminobutyl)acetamide moiety (130 Da) were characteristic for these compounds. At least 54 phenolic amides were detected in the extract and 48 of them were characterized, among which 14 known compounds were identified unambiguously by comparing the retention time and mass spectra with those of reference compounds, and 34 components were tentatively identified based on the fragmentation patterns, exact mass, UV spectra, as well as retention time. Fifteen compounds were characterized as potential new ones. Additionally, the developed method was applied to analyze eight batches of samples collected from the northwest of China, and it was found that cinnamic acid amides were the main type of phenolic amides in Cortex Lycii. In conclusion, the identification of these chemicals provided essential data for further phytochemical studies, metabolites identification, and the quality control of Cortex Lycii.
Lactobacillus sakei is a heterofermentative species of lactic acid bacteria that is used in industrial meat fermentation. To investigate adaptation in a meat environment, whole-genome DNA microarrays were used to analyze the gene expression related to growth and survival of L. sakei strain La22 when grown in sarcoplasmic (S-) or myofibrillar (M-) protein-supplemented chemically defined medium (CDM). Differential expression was detected in 551 genes. Genes encoding enzymes involved in peptide hydrolysis were differentially upregulated in M-CDM or/and S-CDM, and only oppB and oppC, involved in the amino acid and peptide transport system, were upregulated. Most genes related to metabolism of peptides, amino acids and related molecules were over-expressed in M-CDM and S-CDM, except for glnA and metK. Expression of certain genes was according to the differential substrate environment. The expression of genes involved in the stress response was not induced by growth in M-CDM.
PD-L1 expression is a feature of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) associated malignancies such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Here, we found that EBV-induced latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) and IFN-? pathways cooperate to regulate programmed cell death protein 1 ligand (PD-L1). Expression of PD-L1 was higher in EBV positive NPC cell lines compared with EBV negative cell lines. PD-L1 expression could be increased by exogenous and endogenous induction of LMP1 induced PD-L1. In agreement, expression of PD-L1 was suppressed by knocking down LMP1 in EBV positive cell lines. We further demonstrated that LMP1 up-regulated PD-L1 through STAT3, AP-1, and NF-?B pathways. Besides, IFN-? was independent of but synergetic with LMP1 in up-regulating PD-L1 in NPC. Furthermore, we showed that PD-L1 was associated with worse disease-free survival in NPC patients. These results imply that blocking both the LMP1 oncogenic pathway and PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoints may be a promising therapeutic approach for EBV positive NPC patients.
This paper deals with a species-group carniolica of the genus Nacerdes from China. This species-group has seven known species/subspecies in the world and two of them are known from China. Nacerdes (Xanthochroa) arcuata sp. n. is a new species belonging to carniolica group. The species were collected from Anhui (Eastern China, 30°02'17.37"N, 118°50'1.72"E). A key to the species of the species-group from China is given along with a distribution map.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the clinicopathologic/prognostic significance of thymidylate synthase (TS), orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRT), and thymidine phosphorylase (TP) proteins in postoperative non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Microarray slides from a set of 178 NSCLC patients were used for the detection of TS, OPRT, and TP expression by immunohistochemistry. The correlation between clinicopathologic factors and protein expression of three proteins was analyzed. Ninety seven carcinomas (57.4%) were TS-positive, 90 carcinomas (53.9%) were OPRT-positive, and 102 carcinomas (69.4%) were TP-positive. Compared with the TS-positive patients, the overall survival (OS) was significantly lower in the TS-negative patients (hazard ratio [HR] =1.766, 95% confidence interval [CI] =1.212-2.573, P=0.003). Significant differences between TS-positive and TS-negative patients was also observed in the following stratified analyses: 1) adenocarcinoma subgroup (HR =2.079, 95% CI =1.235-3.500, P=0.006); 2) less than 60-year-old subgroup (HR =1.890, 95% CI =1.061-3.366, P=0.031); 3) stage II/III subgroup (HR =1.594, 95% CI =1.036-2.453, P=0.034); and 4) surgery plus adjuvant therapy subgroup (HR =1.976, 95% CI =1.226-3.185, P=0.005). However, the OS was not significantly correlated with OPRT or TP protein expression. This study demonstrates that the TS level in tumor tissues may be a useful marker to predict the postoperative OS in NSCLC patients.
Large echo spacing of unipolar readout gradients in current multi-echo gradient-echo (GRE) sequences for mapping fields in quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) can be reduced using bipolar readout gradients thereby improving acquisition efficiency.
The aim of this study was to assess the susceptibility change in medial and lateral globus pallidus (GPm and GPl) related to age separately, using quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) and to determine whether QSM can depict GPm in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients.
The accessory protein RAMP2 is a component of the CLR/RAMP2 dimeric adrenomedullin (AM) receptor and is the primary determinant of the vascular functionality of AM. RAMP2 is highly expressed in the brain; however, its function there remains unclear. We therefore used heterozygous RAMP2 knockout (RAMP2+/-) mice, in which RAMP2 expression was reduced by half, to examine the actions of the endogenous AM-RAMP2 system in cerebral ischemia. To induce acute or chronic ischemia, mice were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) or bilateral common carotid artery stenosis (BCAS), respectively. In RAMP2+/- mice subjected to MCAO, recovery of cerebral blood flow (CBF) was slower than in WT mice. AM gene expression was upregulated after infarction in both genotypes, but the increase was greater in RAMP2+/- mice. Pathological analysis revealed severe nerve cell death and demyelination, and a higher level of oxidative stress in RAMP2+/- mice. In RAMP2+/- mice subjected to BCAS, recovery of cerebral perfusion was slower and less complete than in WT mice. In an 8-arm radial maze test, RAMP2+/- mice required more time to solve the maze and showed poorer reference memory. They also showed greater reductions in nerve cells and less compensatory capillary growth than WT mice. These results indicate the AM-RAMP2 system works to protect nerve cells from both acute and chronic cerebral ischemia by maintaining CBF, suppressing oxidative stress, and in the case of chronic ischemia, enhancing capillary growth.
The CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) of clear cell renal cell carcinomas (ccRCCs) is characterized by accumulation of DNA methylation at CpG islands and poorer patient outcome. The aim of this study was to establish criteria for prognostication of patients with ccRCCs using the ccRCC-specific CIMP marker genes.
Two new flavonols, 6-p-hydroxybenzyl kaempferol (1) and 6-p-hydroxybenzyl quercetin (2), together with six known compounds were isolated from the roots of Cudrania cochinchinensis and their structures elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic methods. Their antioxidant capacities were evaluated by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl and 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) radical-scavenging assays. The results suggested that compounds 2, 4, and 7 showed significant radical-scavenging activities.
To quantitatively map cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen ( CMRO2) and oxygen extraction fraction ( OEF) in human brains using quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) and arterial spin labeling-measured cerebral blood flow (CBF) before and after caffeine vasoconstriction.
The prevalence and incidence of Parkinson's disease (PD) is increasing due to a prolonged life expectancy. This highlights the need for a better mechanistic understanding and new therapeutic approaches. However, traditional in vitro and in vivo experimental models to study PD are suboptimal, thus hampering the progress in the field. The epigenetic reprogramming of somatic cells to induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offers a unique way to overcome this problem, as these cells share many properties of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) including the potential to be transformed into different lineages. PD modeling with iPSCs is nowadays facilitated by the growing availability of high-efficiency neural-specific differentiation protocols and the possibility to correct or induce mutations as well as creating marker cell lines using designer nucleases. These technologies, together with steady advances in human genetics, will likely introduce profound changes in the way we interpret PD and develop new treatments. Here, we summarize the different PD iPSCs reported so far and discuss the challenges for disease modeling using these cell lines.
The coexistence of both electric and magnetic orders in some metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) has yielded a new class of multiferroics beyond inorganic materials. However, the coupling between two orders in multiferroic MOFs has not been convincingly verified yet. Here we present clear experimental evidences of cross coupling between electric and magnetic orders in a multiferroic MOF [(CH3)2NH2]Fe(HCOO)3 with a perovskite structure. The dielelectric constant exhibit a hump just at the magnetic ordering temperature TN. Moreover, both the direct (magnetic field control of dielectric properties) and converse (electric field control of magnetization) magnetoelectric effects have been observed in the multiferroic state. This work opens up new insights on the origin of ferroelectricity in MOFs and highlights their promise as magnetoelectric multiferroics.
Adrenomedullin (AM) is a vasoactive peptide that possesses various bioactivities. AM receptors are dimers consisting of CLR with one of two accessory proteins, RAMP2 or RAMP3. The functional difference between CLR/RAMP2 and CLR/RAMP3 and the relationship between the two receptors remain unclear. To address these issues, we generated RAMP2 and RAMP3 knockout (-/-) mice and have been studying their physiological activities in the vascular system. AM-/- and RAMP2-/- mice die in utero due to blood vessel abnormalities, which is indicative of their essential roles in vascular development. In contrast, RAMP3-/- mice were born normally without any major abnormalities. In adult RAMP3-/- mice, postnatal angiogenesis was normal, but lymphangiography using indocyanine green (ICG) showed delayed drainage of subcutaneous lymphatic vessels. Moreover, chyle transport by intestinal lymphatics was delayed in RAMP3-/- mice, which also showed more severe interstitial edema than wild-type mice in a tail lymphedema model, with characteristic dilatation of lymphatic capillaries and accumulation of inflammatory cells. In scratch-wound assays, migration of isolated RAMP3-/- lymphatic endothelial cells was delayed as compared to wild-type cells, and AM administration failed to enhance the re-endothelialization. The delay in re-endothelialization was due to a primary migration defect rather than a decrease in proliferation. These results suggest that RAMP3 regulates drainage through lymphatic vessels, and that the AM-RAMP3 system could be a novel therapeutic target for controlling postoperative lymphedema.
Er(3+) doped Y2O3 and Nb2O5 modified germanate glasses with different Er(3+) concentrations were prepared. J-O intensity parameters were computed to estimate the structural changes due to the additions of Y2O3 and Nb2O5. The main mid-infrared spectroscopic features were investigated. To shed light on the observed mid-infrared radiative behavior, 975?nm and 1.53??m emission spectra along with their decay lifetimes were also discussed. Moreover, the energy transfer processes of (4)I11/2 and (4)I13/2 level were quantitatively analyzed. In view of the experimental lifetimes, the simplified rate equation was utilized to calculate the energy transfer upconversion processes of upper and lower laser level of 2.7??m emission. The theoretical calculations are in good agreement with the observed 2.7??m fluorescence phenomena. Finally, the stimulated emission and gain cross sections were calculated and the results indicate that Er(3+) doped germanate glasses have great potential for mid-infrared application.
To improve cancer pain management, the Medical Oncology Department of Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center (SYSUCC) launched the Good Pain Management (GPM) Ward Program, which has been recognized by the Chinese Ministry of Health and promoted throughout the nation. This retrospective case-control study was designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Patients diagnosed with malignant solid tumors with bone metastasis were eligible. Patients who were admitted 6 months before the initiation of the GPM program were used as the control group, and patients admitted 6 months after the initiation of the program were used as the GPM group. The pain-reporting rate and pain management index (PMI) were calculated. The pain levels before and after pain management were compared. A total of 475 patients (244 in the control group and 231 in the GPM group) were analyzed. The pain-reporting rate of the GPM group was significantly higher than that of the control group (62.8% vs. 37.7%, P < 0.001). The PMI of the GPM group was significantly higher than that of the control group (0.083 vs. -0.261, P < 0.001). Therefore, the GPM Ward Program improved the pain management of cancer patients and provided experience for improving cancer pain management in the future.
Chemical mapping experiments offer powerful information about RNA structure but currently involve ad hoc assumptions in data processing. We show that simple dilutions, referencing standards (GAGUA hairpins), and HiTRACE/MAPseeker analysis allow rigorous overmodification correction, background subtraction, and normalization for electrophoretic data and a ligation bias correction needed for accurate deep sequencing data. Comparisons across six noncoding RNAs stringently test the proposed standardization of dimethyl sulfate (DMS), 2'-OH acylation (SHAPE), and carbodiimide measurements. Identification of new signatures for extrahelical bulges and DMS "hot spot" pockets (including tRNA A58, methylated in vivo) illustrates the utility and necessity of standardization for quantitative RNA mapping.
The accuracy of scalar diffraction theory (SDT) and effective medium theory (EMT) for analyzing a blazed grating is quantitatively demonstrated by making a comparison of diffraction efficiencies calculated by the two simplified methods to exact results from the Fourier modal method (FMM). It is found that when the normalized period is more than fivefold wavelength of incident light at normal incidence and is more than about tenfold wavelength at larger incident angle, SDT can be used to easily analyze effectively the transmittance characteristics of a blazed grating with divergence less than 1%. Particularly, for zeroth-order diffraction when the groove depth is less than threefold wavelength, the transmittance calculated by SDT with refractive index of 1.5 and normalized period of 5.0 agrees well with that of FMM at normal incidence. But, for ±1 orders, the validity of SDT is degraded from that for zeroth order. Generally, the deviation of transmittances between the SDT and the FMM increases as the incident angle and refractive index augment. Furthermore, when higher diffraction orders other than zeroth order are not propagating, the EMT is valid to evaluate the transmittance of a blazed grating at normal incidence. Similarly, the error of transmittances between the EMT and the FMM increases with the increase of incident angle and refractive index. The effectiveness of the SDT and the EMT for analyzing a blazed grating in the range of the normalized period far more than and less than the wavelength of incident light, respectively, is dependent on the parameters including incident angle, refractive index, normalized period, and normalized groove depth.
CTP:phosphoethanolamine cytidylyltransferase (ECT) is a key enzyme in the CDP-ethanolamine branch of the Kennedy pathway, which is the primary pathway of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) synthesis in mammalian cells. Here, the enzymatic properties of recombinant human ECT (hECT) were characterized. The catalytic reaction of hECT obeyed Michaelis-Menten kinetics with respect to both CTP and phosphoethanolamine. hECT is composed of two tandem cytidylyltransferase (CT) domains as ECTs of other organisms. The histidines, especially the first histidine, in the CTP-binding motif HxGH in the N-terminal CT domain were critical for its catalytic activity in vitro, while those in the C-terminal CT domain were not. Overexpression of the wild-type hECT and hECT mutants containing amino acid substitutions in the HxGH motif in the C-terminal CT domain suppressed the growth defect of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutant of ECT1 encoding ECT in the absence of a PE supply via the decarboxylation of phosphatidylserine, but overexpression of hECT mutants of the N-terminal CT domain did not. These results suggest that the N-terminal CT domain of hECT contributes to its catalytic reaction, but C-terminal CT domain does not.
Probe substrates for, and inhibitors of, specific transporters are desired to evaluate quantitatively the in vivo functions of transporters in humans. Based on published data, adefovir and benzylpenicillin were selected as organic anion transporter (OAT) 1- and OAT3-selective probe substrates, respectively. In human kidney slices, probenecid potently inhibited the uptake of both adefovir and benzylpenicillin with inhibition constant (Ki) values of 18.6±5.1 and 12.6±4.2?M, respectively, whereas p-aminohippurate (PAH) preferentially inhibited adefovir uptake. A clinical drug-interaction study involving healthy subjects was performed to investigate the dose-dependent inhibition potencies of probenecid and PAH on the renal clearance of the probe substrates. Adefovir or benzylpenicillin was coadministered with different oral doses of probenecid (500, 750, or 1500mg) or intravenous PAH infusion rates (70, 120, or 210mg/min/person) to the same subject using a crossover design. The renal clearance of adefovir was reduced by 45% and 46% in the subjects treated with the maximum dose of probenecid and PAH, respectively, which was in accordance with the results of in vitro inhibition study. On the other hand, renal clearance of benzylpenicillin was reduced by 78% in the subjects treated with the maximum dose of probenecid (1500mg), which could be explained by its in vitro Ki values. However, PAH unexpectedly increased the renal clearance of benzylpenicillin by 47%. These results suggest that adefovir and benzylpenicillin can be used as probe drugs for OAT1 and OAT3, respectively, and that PAH can be used to investigate the role of OAT1 in the urinary excretion of drugs in humans, whereas it may modulate other transport processes in the kidney.
Emerging evidence suggests that the ribosome has a regulatory function in directing how the genome is translated in time and space. However, how this regulation is encoded in the messenger RNA sequence remains largely unknown. Here we uncover unique RNA regulons embedded in homeobox (Hox) 5' untranslated regions (UTRs) that confer ribosome-mediated control of gene expression. These structured RNA elements, resembling viral internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs), are found in subsets of Hox mRNAs. They facilitate ribosome recruitment and require the ribosomal protein RPL38 for their activity. Despite numerous layers of Hox gene regulation, these IRES elements are essential for converting Hox transcripts into proteins to pattern the mammalian body plan. This specialized mode of IRES-dependent translation is enabled by an additional regulatory element that we term the translation inhibitory element (TIE), which blocks cap-dependent translation of transcripts. Together, these data uncover a new paradigm for ribosome-mediated control of gene expression and organismal development.
To investigate the diagnostic accuracy of ultrasound histogram features in the quantitative assessment of radiation-induced parotid gland injury and to identify potential imaging biomarkers for radiation-induced xerostomia (dry mouth)-the most common and debilitating side effect after head-and-neck radiotherapy (RT).
Reactivation of the pluripotency network during somatic cell reprogramming by exogenous transcription factors involves chromatin remodeling and the recruitment of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) to target loci. Here, we report that Pol II is engaged at pluripotency promoters in reprogramming but remains paused and inefficiently released. We also show that bromodomain-containing protein 4 (BRD4) stimulates productive transcriptional elongation of pluripotency genes by dissociating the pause release factor P-TEFb from an inactive complex containing HEXIM1. Consequently, BRD4 overexpression enhances reprogramming efficiency and HEXIM1 suppresses it, whereas Brd4 and Hexim1 knockdown do the opposite. We further demonstrate that the reprogramming factor KLF4 helps recruit P-TEFb to pluripotency promoters. Our work thus provides a mechanism for explaining the reactivation of pluripotency genes in reprogramming and unveils an unanticipated role for KLF4 in transcriptional pause release.
To accurately and easily design the diffraction characteristics of a rectangular transmission grating under the illumination of Littrow mounting, the validity and limitation of the simplified modal method is evaluated by a comparison of diffraction efficiencies predicted by the modal approach to exact results calculated with rigorous coupled-wave analysis. The influence of the grating normalized period, the normalized groove depth, and the fill factor on the accuracy of the modal method is quantitatively determined. More importantly, the reflection effect of two propagating grating modes with the optical thin-film model and the nonsymmetrical Fabry-Perot model is proposed and applied in the modal method to improve the accuracy of the calculated diffraction efficiencies. Generally, it is found that the thin-film model of reflection loss is valid at the smaller normalized period, but the Fabry-Perot model can exactly calculate the reflection loss of grating modes at the larger normalized period. Based on the fact that the validity of the modal approach is determined independently of the incident wavelength, the exact design and analysis of grating diffraction elements can be implemented at different wavelengths by simply scaling the grating parameters. Moreover, the polarization effect of diffraction properties on the limitation of the modal method without and with the reflection loss of grating modes is clearly demonstrated.
Manganese (Mn) is an essential mineral nutrient in mammals. The physiological role of Mn in animal models is well documented, but little is known about the adverse effects of Mn deficiency or overexposure in humans, including pregnancy outcomes such as birth weight. We examined the relationship of the maternal and cord blood Mn levels with birth weight in a cohort of 172 mother-infant pairs born in Shanghai, China. Non-linear spline and quadratic regression models were used to test the hypothesis of an inverted U-shaped association between the Mn levels and birth weight. The median (range) levels of Mn in the maternal and cord blood were 5.38 (2.34-30.37) ?g/dL and 7.66 (2.57-34.23) ?g/dL, respectively. An inverted U-shaped relationship was observed between maternal Mn and birth weight after adjusting for potential confounders. The birth weight increased with Mn levels up to 4.18 ?g/dL, and a slight reduction in weight was observed at higher levels. The cord blood Mn levels were not found to be associated with birth weight. Both lower and higher Mn exposures are associated with lower birth weight, which may influence important developmental parameters; the association of higher Mn levels with lower weight was weak and imprecise.
There is currently no reference for intake of lysine for Chinese people; therefore, the present study was conducted to determine the lysine requirement of Chinese young male adults on a habitual Chinese mixed diet based on the modified indicator amino acid oxidation method. Seven young men with a mean age of 23.7 ± 2.2 years that were healthy based on questionnaire, physical examinations and screening tests were evaluated. Subjects were evaluated over five consecutive 7 day periods, during which time they were administered decreasing amounts of lysine via the diet (65, 55, 45, 35, 25 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)). Subjects were allowed to adapt from day 1 to 6 and the isotopes were measured on day 7 in each period. The subjects' body weights, body compositions and plasma proteins were also examined during the study. Amino acid kinetics were measured based on the indicator amino acid oxidation technique using the (13)CO2 release rate and phenylalanine oxidation rate to estimate lysine requirements. Body weights, body compositions, and plasma proteins of subjects did not change significantly relative to those at baseline. The mean and the upper 95% CI of lysine requirements of Chinese habitual diets were determined to be 58.41 and 70.09 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), respectively, based on the (13)CO2 release rate and 54.28 and 65.14 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), respectively, based on the phenylalanine oxidation rate.
Three new lignans, Pronaphthalide A (1), Procumbiene (2), and Procumbenoside J (3), along with a novel natural product Juspurpudin (4), and twelve other known lignans were isolated from Justicia procumbens. The structures of the new compounds were elucidated by extensive spectroscopic analyses and the data of 3 provided insight into the conformational equilibria existing in it. All compounds were evaluated for their in vitro cytotoxic activity against Human LoVo and BGC-823 cell lines except for compound 2, and eight of them were found to possess potent cytotoxicity. The structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis revealed that (i) the parent structure of 2-carbonyl arylnaphthalide lactone attached with 6 and 7-OMe was the essential element; (ii) the polarity of substituents on C-4 might significantly affect the activity; (iii) a proper cyclic lipophilic group at the C-3? and C-5? of apiofuranose on C-4 might enhance the activity, which could optimize the application of 3 similar to VP-16.
Er(3+) doped and Er(3+)/Ce(3+) co-doped silica-germanate glasses were synthesized by high-temperature melt-quenching technique. A detailed study of the 1.53?m spectroscopic properties and thermal stability was presented in this work. The absorption spectra, 1.53?m emission spectra and fluorescence lifetimes were measured and investigated, along with the quantitative calculations and analyses of Judd-Ofelt intensity parameters, stimulated absorption and emission cross-sections and the product of FWHM×?em(p). It was found that the prepared samples have outstanding thermal stability (Tg=585°C), large FWHM (77nm and 108nm) and high stimulated emission cross-sections (9.55×10(-28)cm(3) and 8.72×10(-28)cm(3)) of Er(3+). The 1.53?m fluorescence intensity improved significantly with the introduction of Ce(3+). Furthermore, the wavelength dependent gain coefficient G(?) of (4)I13/2?(4)I15/2 transition of Er(3+) was determined by means of the absorption and emission cross-sections. The results indicate that the developed glass co-doped with Er(3+)/Ce(3+) is a promising gain medium applied for broadband amplifier pumped with a 980nm laser diode.
We investigated the association between indoor air pollutants and childhood acute leukemia (AL). A total of 105 newly diagnosed cases and 105 1:1 gender-, age-, and hospital-matched controls were included. Measurements of indoor pollutants (including nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and 17 types of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)) were taken with diffusive samplers for 64 pairs of cases and controls. Higher concentrations of NO2 and almost half of VOCs were observed in the cases than in the controls and were associated with the increased risk of childhood AL. The use of synthetic materials for wall decoration and furniture in bedroom was related to the risk of childhood AL. Renovating the house in the last 5 years, changing furniture in the last 5 years, closing the doors and windows overnight in the winter and/or summer, paternal smoking history and outdoor pollutants affected VOC concentrations. Our results support the association between childhood AL and indoor air pollution.
The effects of simulated heat waves on body weight, body temperature, and biomarkers of cardiac function in ApoE-/- mice were investigated. Heat waves were simulated in a meteorological environment simulation chamber according to data from a heat wave that occurred in July 2001 in Nanjing, China. Eighteen ApoE-/- mice were divided into control group, heat wave group, and heat wave BH4 group. Mice in the heat wave and BH4 groups were exposed to simulated heat waves in the simulation chamber. Mice in BH4 group were treated with gastric lavage with BH4 2 h prior to heat wave exposure. Results showed that the heat waves did not significantly affect body weight or ET-1 levels. However, mice in the heat wave group had significantly higher rectal temperature and NO level and lower SOD activity compared with mice in the control group (p < 0.01), indicating that heat wave had negative effects on cardiac function in ApoE-/- mice. Gastric lavage with BH4 prior to heat wave exposure significantly reduced heat wave-induced increases in rectal temperature and decreases in SOD activity. Additionally, pretreatment with BH4 further increased NO level in plasma. Collectively, these beneficial effects demonstrate that BH4 may potentially mitigate the risk of coronary heart disease in mice under heat wave exposure. These results may be useful when studying the effects of heat waves on humans.
The near infrared luminescence properties of Yb(3+)-Er(3+) co-doped fluorophosphate glasses have been investigated. The various effects on structure and 1.53 ?m emission were analyzed as a function of Yb(3+) concentration. The energy transfer mechanism was proposed. High measured lifetime (10.75 ms), large effective full widths at half maximum (73.71 nm) and large gain per unit length (62.8 × 10(-)(24)cm(2)s) have been achieved in prepared glass. The present glass co-doped with 6mol% YbF3 and 2 mol% ErF3 showed magnificent luminescence properties for telecommunication application.
Resonant quantum tunneling of magnetization has been observed in a hybrid metal-organic framework where an intrinsic magnetic phase separation leads to the coexistence of long-range canted antiferromagnetic order and isolated single-ion quantum magnets. This unusual magnetic phenomenon is well interpreted based on a selective long-distance superexchange model in which the exchange interaction between transition metal ions through an organic linker depends on the position of hydrogen bonds. Our work not only extends the resonant quantum tunneling of magnetization to a new class of materials but also evokes the important role of hydrogen bonding in organic magnetism.
Zinc-finger nucleases and transcription activator-like effector nucleases are novel gene-editing platforms contributing to redefine the boundaries of modern biological research. They are composed of a non-specific cleavage domain and a tailor made DNA-binding module, which enables a broad range of genetic modifications by inducing efficient DNA double-strand breaks at desired loci. Among other remarkable uses, these nucleases have been employed to produce gene knockouts in mid-size and large animals, such as rabbits and pigs, respectively. This approach is cost effective, relatively quick, and can produce invaluable models for human disease studies, biotechnology or agricultural purposes. Here we describe a protocol for the efficient generation of knockout rabbits using transcription activator-like effector nucleases, and a perspective of the field.
Four new species of Desmoxytes are described from southern China: Desmoxyteslingulata sp. n., Desmoxytesparvula sp. n., and Desmoxytesnodulosa sp. n., from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, and Desmoxytesgetuhensis sp. n. from Guizhou Province. In addition, new records of Desmoxytesscutigeroides Golovatch, Geoffroy & Mauriès, 2010 and Desmoxytesscolopendroides Golovatch, Geoffroy & Mauriès, 2010 are provided, with a modified key to Desmoxytes species currently known to occur in China. Two of the new species, Desmoxytesnodulosa sp. n. and Desmoxytesgetuhensis sp. n., seem to be troglobites.
Protein kinase B (AKT) signaling frequently is deregulated in human cancers and plays an important role in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). This preclinical study investigated the effect of MK-2206, a potent allosteric AKT inhibitor, on human NPC cells in vitro and in vivo.
Genetic factors underlie a substantial proportion of individual differences in cognitive functions in humans, including processes related to episodic and working memory. While genetic association studies have proposed several candidate "memory genes," these currently explain only a minor fraction of the phenotypic variance. Here, we performed genome-wide screening on 13 episodic and working memory phenotypes in 1318 participants of the Berlin Aging Study II aged 60 years or older. The analyses highlight a number of novel single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with memory performance, including one located in a putative regulatory region of microRNA (miRNA) hsa-mir-138-5p (rs9882688, P-value = 7.8 × 10(-9)). Expression quantitative trait locus analyses on next-generation RNA-sequencing data revealed that rs9882688 genotypes show a significant correlation with the expression levels of this miRNA in 309 human lymphoblastoid cell lines (P-value = 5 × 10(-4)). In silico modeling of other top-ranking GWAS signals identified an additional memory-associated SNP in the 3' untranslated region (3' UTR) of DCP1B, a gene encoding a core component of the mRNA decapping complex in humans, predicted to interfere with hsa-mir-138-5p binding. This prediction was confirmed in vitro by luciferase assays showing differential binding of hsa-mir-138-5p to 3' UTR reporter constructs in two human cell lines (HEK293: P-value = 0.0470; SH-SY5Y: P-value = 0.0866). Finally, expression profiling of hsa-mir-138-5p and DCP1B mRNA in human post-mortem brain tissue revealed that both molecules are expressed simultaneously in frontal cortex and hippocampus, suggesting that the proposed interaction between hsa-mir-138-5p and DCP1B may also take place in vivo. In summary, by combining unbiased genome-wide screening with extensive in silico modeling, in vitro functional assays, and gene expression profiling, our study identified miRNA-138 as a potential molecular regulator of human memory function.
Emerging evidence suggests anti-cancer immunity is involved in the therapeutic effect induced by oncolytic viruses. Here we investigate the effect of Delta-24-RGD oncolytic adenovirus on innate and adaptive anti-glioma immunity.
Morimotoidius zhushandong sp. n. is described and illustrated from a limestone cave called Zhushan Dong II in Wanzhai Xian (=County) of western Jiangxi Province, eastern China. This species is the most modified species within the tribe Platynini in China by having very slender body and appendages, extremely elongated head, and especially, narrowed and barrel-liked pronotum which is as wide as head. However, the above derived characters are autapomorphies to adapt the subterranean environment. M. zhushandong sp. n. must be a troglobite though it has well pigmented body and flat eyes.
A large amount of organophosphate pesticides (OPs) are used in agriculture in China every year, contributing to exposure of OPs through dietary consumption among the general population. However, the level of exposure to OPs in China is still uncertain.
Several EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) including erlotinib, gefitinib, afatinib and icotinib are currently available as treatment for patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who harbor EGFR mutations. However, no head to head trials between these TKIs in mutated populations have been reported, which provides room for indirect and integrated comparisons.
Megadose vitamin C (Vc) is one of the most enduring alternative treatments for diverse human diseases and is deeply engrafted in popular culture. Preliminary studies in the 1970s described potent effects of Vc on prolonging the survival of patients with terminal cancer, but these claims were later criticized. An improved knowledge of Vcs pharmacokinetics and recent reports using cancer cell lines, have renewed the interest in this subject. Despite these findings, using Vc as an adjuvant for anticancer therapy remains questionable, among other things because there is no proper mechanistic understanding. Here, we show that a Warburg effect triggered by activation of the hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway greatly enhances Vc-induced toxicity in multiple cancer cell lines, including von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) defective renal cancer cells. HIF increases the intracellular uptake of oxidized Vc through its transcriptional target glucose-transporter 1 (GLUT1), synergizing with the uptake of its reduced form through sodium-dependent Vc transporters (SVCTs). The resulting high levels of intracellular Vc induce oxidative stress and massive DNA damage, which then causes metabolic exhaustion by depleting cellular ATP reserves. HIF positive cells are particularly sensitive to Vc-induced ATP reduction because they mostly rely on the rather inefficient, glycolytic pathway for energy production. Our experiments thus link Vc-induced toxicity and cancer metabolism, providing a new explanation for Vcs preferential effect on cancer cells.
Hyperpermeability and iron deposition are 2 central pathophysiological phenomena in human cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) disease. Here, we used 2 novel MRI techniques to establish a relationship between these phenomena.
Two new coumarins, (E)-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene)-5-methoxy-2H-[1,4]dioxino[2,3-h]chromene-3,9-dione (indicumin E, 1) and 7-hydroxy-6,8-dimethoxy-3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-coumarin (2), together with two known coumarins isofraxidin (3) and fraxetin (4), were isolated from the Solanum indicum seeds. Their structures were established on the basis of 1D and 2D spectroscopic data. Compound 1 was the rarest coumarinolignoid known to date.
Three new germacrane-type sesquiterpenoids, volvalerenal F (1), volvalerenal G (2) and volvalerenic acid D (3), along with five known compounds 4-8, were isolated from the CHCl? soluble partition of the ethanol extract of Valeriana officinalis var. latiofolia. The structures of the new compounds were determined on the basis of spectroscopic evidence, including their 1D- and 2D-NMR spectra, as well as mass spectrometry. The eight germacrane-type sesquiterpenoids showed nerve growth factor (NGF) potentiating activity, which mediates the neurite outgrowth in PC 12D cells. This study intends to reveal the chemical basis of the use of V. officinalis var. latiofolia as a dietary supplement.
Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are ideal nanocarriers that have recently gained attention in important bioapplications such as drug, gene, and protein delivery. The efficacy of endocytosis greatly affects the biological functions of MSNs. In the present study, we investigated the effect of cationic liposomes of Lipofectamine 2000 on cellular uptake of MSNs and the cytotoxicity of cationic liposomes combining with MSNs both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, mesoporous silica nanoparticles with an average diameter of 130 nm and negative surface charge were synthesized and characterized. The possible role of Lipofectamine 2000 in cellular uptake of MSNs was evaluated in human embryonic kidney cell line 293T cells by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and with inductively coupled plasma (ICP) analysis. The toxicities of liposomes combining with MSNs were tested in vitro via cell apoptosis assay and MTT cell viability assay, and in vivo by histological examination of six organs of mice after intravenous injection. The endocytosis efficiency of MSNs in human embryonic kidney 293T cells was greatly increased using Lipofectamine 2000 compared with controls (P < 0.001). No apparent in vitro or in vivo cytotoxicity was found for Lipofectamine 2000 combining with MSNs. Our data indicate that cationic liposomes of Lipofectamine 2000 has the potential to greatly increase cellular uptake of MSNs with negative surface charge in human renal 293T cells without apparent toxicity.
Depression is a common and debilitating mental illness and is often comorbid with anxiety disorders. Altered synaptic plasticity is considered to be an important mechanism underlying antidepressant drug action. It has been reported that hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the third gaseous transmitter, facilitates the induction of hippocampal long-term potentiation and augments synaptic neurotransmission, involved in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. The aim of this study was to clarify the antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of H2S. H2S (NaHS, 1.68 or 5.6 mg/kg, intraperitoneally, for 7 days) exerts a specific antidepressant-like effect in the forced swimming test of mice and rats and the tail suspension test of mice, and reduces the anxiety-like behaviors of both mice and rats in the elevated plus-maze test. These results reveal a unique antagonistic action of H2S in depressive-like and anxiety-like behaviors and suggest that elevating H2S signaling in the brain may represent a novel approach for the treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders.
High frequency millimeter-wave (MMW) radar-like sensors enable the detection of speech signals. This novel non-acoustic speech detection method has some special advantages not offered by traditional microphones, such as preventing strong-acoustic interference, high directional sensitivity with penetration, and long detection distance. A 94-GHz MMW radar sensor was employed in this study to test its speech acquisition ability. A 34-GHz zero intermediate frequency radar, a 34-GHz superheterodyne radar, and a microphone were also used for comparison purposes. A short-time phase-spectrum-compensation algorithm was used to enhance the detected speech. The results reveal that the 94-GHz radar sensor showed the highest sensitivity and obtained the highest speech quality subjective measurement score. This result suggests that the MMW radar sensor has better performance than a traditional microphone in terms of speech detection for detection distances longer than 1 m. As a substitute for the traditional speech acquisition method, this novel speech acquisition method demonstrates a large potential for many speech related applications.
A retrospective, case-control study to investigate the J wave, a J-point elevation on resting 12-lead electrocardiograms, as a risk factor for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in patients diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
The transcription factor E2F1 has both oncogenic and tumour suppressor properties, depending on the context. Clarifying the function of E2F1 in different types of cancer is relevant because in those situations in which it acts as an oncogene there may be a route for therapeutic interference. Renal cell carcinoma is the most frequent form of kidney cancer in adults and inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene underlies most cases. This malignancy represents a challenge for standard therapies due to drug- and radio-resistance, effects that fit well within the scope of functions of E2F1. A new report by Mans et al postulates that up-regulation of E2F1 in VHL-defective renal cell carcinoma induces cell senescence and can thus be considered a good prognostic factor. Here we discuss these findings in a wider context and propose that E2F1 may actually not play a uniform role in renal cell carcinoma but rather an ambiguous one whose deeper understanding could have practical implications.
The Chinese lantern phenotype or inflated calyx syndrome (ICS) is a postfloral morphological novelty in Physalis. Its origin is associated with the heterotopic expression of the MADS box gene 2 from Physalis floridana (MPF2) in floral organs, yet the process underlying its identity remains elusive. Here, we show that MPF3, which is expressed specifically in floral tissues, encodes a core eudicot APETALA1-like (euAP1) MADS-domain protein. MPF3 was primarily localized to the nucleus, and it interacted with MPF2 and some floral MADS-domain proteins to selectively bind the CC-A-rich-GG (CArG) boxes in the MPF2 promoter. Downregulating MPF3 resulted in a dramatic elevation in MPF2 in the calyces and androecium, leading to enlarged and leaf-like floral calyces; however, the postfloral lantern was smaller and deformed. Starch accumulation in pollen was blocked. MPF3 MPF2 double knockdowns showed normal floral calyces and more mature pollen than those found in plants in which either MPF3 or MPF2 was downregulated. Therefore, MPF3 specifies calyx identity and regulates ICS formation and male fertility through interactions with MPF2/MPF2. Furthermore, both genes were found to activate Physalis floridana invertase gene 4 homolog, which encodes an invertase cleaving Suc, a putative key gene in sugar partitioning. The novel role of the MPF3-MPF2 regulatory circuit in male fertility is integral to the origin of ICS. Our results shed light on the evolution and development of ICS in Physalis and on the functional evolution of euAP1s in angiosperms.
Co-development of the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems is a recent evolutionary adaption to terrestrial life that couples cardiac output with the gas exchange function of the lung. Here we show that the murine pulmonary vasculature develops even in the absence of lung development. We have identified a population of multipotent cardiopulmonary mesoderm progenitors (CPPs) within the posterior pole of the heart that are marked by the expression of Wnt2, Gli1 and Isl1. We show that CPPs arise from cardiac progenitors before lung development. Lineage tracing and clonal analysis demonstrates that CPPs generate the mesoderm lineages within the cardiac inflow tract and lung including cardiomyocytes, pulmonary vascular and airway smooth muscle, proximal vascular endothelium, and pericyte-like cells. CPPs are regulated by hedgehog expression from the foregut endoderm, which is required for connection of the pulmonary vasculature to the heart. Together, these studies identify a novel population of multipotent cardiopulmonary progenitors that coordinates heart and lung co-development that is required for adaptation to terrestrial existence.
Rapid changes in socioeconomic environment and their diverse patterns in China raise a question: how socio-environmental factors affect childhood asthma in China. We performed a multilevel analysis based on a 2005 national survey to understand the association between environmental factors and asthma, and to provide insights on developing prevention strategies.
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