In seed plants, a major pathway for sorting of storage proteins to the protein storage vacuole (PSV) depends on the Golgi-derived dense vesicles (DVs). However, the molecular mechanisms regulating the directional trafficking of DVs to PSVs remain largely elusive. Here, we report the functional characterization of the rice (Oryza sativa) glutelin precursor accumulation3 (gpa3) mutant, which exhibits a floury endosperm phenotype and accumulates excess proglutelins in dry seeds. Cytological and immunocytochemistry studies revealed that in the gpa3 mutant, numerous proglutelin-containing DVs are misrouted to the plasma membrane and, via membrane fusion, release their contents into the apoplast to form a new structure named the paramural body. Positional cloning of GPA3 revealed that it encodes a plant-specific kelch-repeat protein that is localized to the trans-Golgi networks, DVs, and PSVs in the developing endosperm. In vitro and in vivo experiments verified that GPA3 directly interacts with the rice Rab5a-guanine exchange factor VPS9a and forms a regulatory complex with Rab5a via VPS9a. Furthermore, our genetic data support the notion that GPA3 acts synergistically with Rab5a and VPS9a to regulate DV-mediated post-Golgi traffic in rice. Our findings provide insights into the molecular mechanisms regulating the plant-specific PSV pathway and expand our knowledge of vesicular trafficking in eukaryotes.
Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has increasingly been studied over the past decade to determine whether it has a therapeutic benefit on focal cerebral ischemia. However, the underlying mechanism of rTMS in this process remains unclear. In the current study, we investigated the effects of rTMS on the proliferation of adult neural stem cells (NSCs) and explored microRNAs (miRNAs) that were affected by rTMS. Our data showed that 10 Hz rTMS significantly increased the proliferation of adult NSCs after focal cerebral ischemia in the subventricular zone (SVZ), and the expression of miR-25 was obviously up-regulated in the ischemic cortex after rTMS. p57, an identified miR-25 target gene that regulates factors linked to NSC proliferation, was also evaluated, and it exhibited down-regulation. To further verify the role of miR-25, rats were injected with a single dose of antagomir-25 and were subjected to focal cerebral ischemia followed by rTMS treatment. The results confirmed that miR-25 could be repressed specifically and could drive the up-regulation of its target gene (p57), which resulted in the inhibition of adult NSC proliferation in the SVZ after rTMS. Thus, our studies strongly indicated that 10 Hz rTMS can promote the proliferation of adult NSCs in the SVZ after focal cerebral ischemia by regulating the miR-25/p57 pathway.
To prepare a new targeted liposome ultrasonic contrast agent with anti-KDR antibody that binds specifically with KDR as the main receptor of VEGF and evaluate its physical characteristics, biological activity and specific binding capability in vitro.
This study was conducted to describe our first experience using transvaginal 4-dimensional (4D) hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography with SonoVue (Bracco International BV, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) for diagnosis of fallopian tube patency. The study was prospective and conducted in a university hospital setting. The sonographic procedures included 2-dimensional transvaginal sonography for evaluating uterine and ovarian mobility, observing intubation, and determining the initial plane and 4D hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography for observing periovarian and pelvic diffusion. Ninety-six outpatients visiting infertility clinics underwent 4D hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography. All patients finished the examination successfully. A total of 192 fallopian tubes were assessed, of which 95 (49.5%) were classified as type A (the tube was patent, and the contrast agent flowed smoothly through it), 72 (37.5%) as type B (the tube was patent, but the contrast agent did not flow smoothly inside it), and 25 (13.0%) as type C (blocked). Sixteen patients underwent laparoscopy or laparoscopy combined with hysteroscopy; 28 tubes (87.5%) were concordant with laparoscopy. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and Youden index for 4D hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography versus laparoscopy were 81.8%, 90.5%, 81.8%, 90.5%, and 0.72 respectively. In total, 92.7% of patients did not require a hospital stay after 4D hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography, and none need resuscitation. The others stayed in the hospital for clinical observation because of a severe vasovagal reaction or severe pain but received only bed rest without any medical treatment. Forty patients (41.7%) felt slight pain; 39 (40.6%) felt moderate pain; and 15 (15.6%) had a vasovagal reaction. No procedure or postprocedure complications occurred in any patient. In conclusion, 4D hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography with SonoVue is an available screening method for assessment of tubal patency and is tolerable for most patients.
Oxidative stress-induced neuronal death plays a pivotal role in pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders. Recently, 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) has been shown to exert neuroprotective effects by acting as a selective tyrosine kinase receptor B (TrkB) agonist. In addition, the antioxidant action of 7,8-DHF may protect neuronal cells against oxidative injury. In the present study, we used PC12 cells, a cell line generally thought to lack TrkB, to investigate the effect of 7,8-DHF on 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced cytotoxicity and the underlying mechanism. We found that 7,8-DHF effectively prevented cell death, apoptosis and mitochondrial dysfunction induced by 6-OHDA. In a cell free system, 7,8-DHF did not slow down extracellular auto-oxidation of 6-OHDA which may generate H2O2. However, We found that 7,8-DHF dramatically reduced cellular malondialdehyde content and phospho-histone H2A.X protein level. 7,8-DHF also elevated total superoxide dismutase activity in 6-OHDA-treated cells. These results indicate that 7,8-DHF might protect PC12 cells against 6-OHDA-induced cytotoxicity through its powerful antioxidant activity. By acting as a potent TrkB agonist and an antioxidant together with its easiness to pass across blood-brain barrier, 7,8-DHF may be developed into a promising candidate in treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Studies have shown that electroacupuncture (EA) ameliorates learning and memory after ischemic injury. However, there have been few studies elucidating the mechanisms of EA on learning and memory in cerebral hypoperfusion. In this study, we explored the cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) signaling pathway-mediated antiapoptotic action involved in EA-induced improvement of learning and memory. EA at GV20 and GV14 acupoints was applied in cerebral hypoperfusion rats. A Morris water maze task was performed, and the immunoreactivities of pCREB, Bcl-2, and Bax in the hippocampal CA1 area were evaluated by the Western blotting technique. Our findings indicated that (1) EA ameliorated spatial learning and memory impairment in cerebral hypoperfusion rats; (2) EA increased the immunoreactivities of pCREB and Bcl-2 and decreased the immunoreactivity of Bax; (3) intracerebroventricular administration of H89 (the inhibitor of protein kinase A) blocked EA-induced, pCREB-mediated antiapoptotic action and improved learning and memory. These results suggest that EA can ameliorate learning and memory via activation of the CREB signaling pathway in the hippocampus to attenuate apoptosis after cerebral hypoperfusion.
Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP) is the most common atypical pathogen that causes respiratory infections in children. Such infections are typically treated by macrolide antibiotics, but the duration of treatment is variable. In this study, we used nested PCR to amplify the 16S rDNA (16S rRNA gene) of MP at different stages of MP pneumonia (MPP) in 100 children who were admitted for lower respiratory tract infections and diagnosed with MPP. Our results indicate that the median duration of MP-DNA positivity was 5 weeks, and 78?% of cases tested positive for 3-6 weeks. Patients with severe disease were positive for MP-DNA for a significantly longer time (median of 6 weeks) than those with mild disease (median of 4 weeks). Thirty-one patients with severe disease who received intravenous immunoglobulin were MP-DNA positive for significantly less time than patients with severe disease who did not receive this treatment. The duration of MP-DNA positivity was prolonged when MP antibody levels were high and treatment was started at a later stage. Therefore, nested PCR can be used for early diagnosis of MP and the duration of MP-DNA reflects the clinical stage of MPP. Early treatment of MPP and the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin during the acute phase of severe MPP shorten the duration of MP-DNA positivity.
The rice somaclonal mutant T3612 produces small grains with a floury endosperm, caused by the loose packing of starch granules. The positional cloning of the mutation revealed a deletion in a gene encoding a protein disulphide isomerase-like enzyme (PDIL1-1). In the wild type, PDIL1-1 was expressed throughout the plant, but most intensely in the developing grain. In T3612, its expression was abolished, resulting in a decrease in the activity of plastidial phosphorylase and pullulanase, and an increase in that of soluble starch synthase I and ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase. The amylopectin in the T3612 endosperm showed an increase in chains with a degree of polymerization 8-13 compared with the wild type. The expression in the mutants endosperm of certain endoplasmic reticulum stress-responsive genes was noticeably elevated. PDIL1-1 appears to play an important role in starch synthesis. Its absence is associated with endoplasmic reticulum stress in the endosperm, which is likely to underlie the formation of the floury endosperm in the T3612 mutant.
Rice glutelins are synthesized at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) as precursors (pro-glutelins), and are transported to protein storage vacuoles, where they are processed into mature proteins. The molecular basis of this process is largely unknown. Here, we report the isolation of a rice mutant, gpa1, that accumulates 57 kDa pro-glutelins in seeds and whose endosperm has a floury appearance. Transmission electron microscopy analysis showed that the gpa1 endosperm cells have an enlarged ER lumen and a smaller protein body II (PBII), and accumulated three types of newly generated subcellular structures. Moreover, a proportion of glutelins in the gpa1 endosperm cells were not delivered to PBII, and instead were mis-targeted to two of the newly generated structures or secreted. The gene corresponding to the gpa1 mutation was found to be OsRab5a, which encodes a small GTPase. In Arabidopsis protoplasts, OsRab5a protein was found to co-localize predominantly with AtVSR2, a molecular marker for the pre-vacuolar compartments (PVC). We conclude that OsRab5a plays an essential role in trafficking of storage protein to PBII, possibly as part of its function in organizing the endomembrane system in developing endosperm cells of rice.
To investigate the effects of electroacupuncture (EA) on the activation of astrocytes (AST) in the periinfarct region after cerebral ischemia, as well as to evaluate potential behavioural improvement after EA treatment.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) accumulates prolamines and glutelins as its major storage proteins. Glutelins are synthesized on rough endoplasmic reticulum as 57-kDa precursors; they are then sorted into protein storage vacuoles where they are processed into acidic and basic subunits. We report a novel rice glutelin mutant, W379, which accumulates higher levels of the 57-kDa glutelin precursor. Genetic analysis revealed that the W379 phenotype is controlled by a single recessive nuclear gene. Using a map-based cloning strategy, we identified this gene, OsVPE1, which is a homolog of the Arabidopsis betaVPE gene. OsVPE1 encodes a 497-amino-acid polypeptide. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed a missense mutation in W379 that changes Cys269 to Gly. Like the wild-type protein, the mutant protein is sorted into vacuoles; however, the enzymatic activity of the mutant OsVPE1 is almost completely eliminated. Further, we show that OsVPE1 is incorrectly cleaved, resulting in a mature protein that is smaller than the wild-type mature protein. Taken together, these results demonstrate that OsVPE1 is a cysteine protease that plays a crucial role in the maturation of rice glutelins. Further, OsVPE1 Cys269 is a key residue for maintaining the Asn-specific cleavage activity of OsVPE1.
Bestrophin 3 (Best3), a member of the bestrophin Cl(-) channel family, is a candidate of cGMP-sensitive, Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) channel in vascular smooth muscle cells. The Best3 channel was recently found to play an important role in vasomotion. However, the mechanism for its activation has not been clarified. In previous studies, we found that a Best3 C-terminal sequence (amino acids 353-404) was associated with the cellular membrane. The sequence includes an autoinhibitory domain ((356)IPSFLGS(362)) and a downstream basic residue domain (amino acids 384-397). In this study, we found that the sequence (368-383) between the two domains is actually a determinant for Best3 C-terminal membrane associability. Deletion of the sequence almost abolished the membrane association but did not activate the Best3 channel. Treatment of Best3-expressing HEK293 cells with the PI3K? inhibitor IV (a Best3 activator) could not abolish but weakened the Best3 membrane association. The result supports the assumption that the positively charged basic residues in the Best3 C terminus are likely associated with the membranous negatively charged phospholipids, which plays a role in the regulation of Best3 activation. But the relationship between membrane associability and Best3 activation seems more complicated than expected.
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