In this work we investigate the interplay between flow and boundary condition effects on the orientation field of a thermotropic nematic liquid crystal under flow and confinement in a microfluidic device. Two types of experiments were performed using synchrotron small-angle X-ray-scattering (SAXS). In the first, a nematic liquid crystal flows through a square-channel cross section at varying flow rates, while the nematic director orientation projected onto the velocity/velocity gradient plane is measured using a 2D detector. At moderate-to-high flow rates, the nematic director is predominantly aligned in the flow direction, but with a small tilt angle of ?±11° in the velocity gradient direction. The director tilt angle is constant throughout most of the channel width but switches sign when crossing the center of the channel, in agreement with the Ericksen-Leslie-Parodi (ELP) theory. At low flow rates, boundary conditions begin to dominate, and a flow profile resembling the escaped radial director configuration is observed, where the director is seen to vary more smoothly from the edges (with homeotropic alignment) to the center of the channel. In the second experiment, hydrodynamic focusing is employed to confine the nematic phase into a sheet of liquid sandwiched between two layers of Triton X-100 aqueous solutions. The average nematic director orientation shifts to some extent from the flow direction toward the liquid boundaries, although it remains unclear if one tilt angle is dominant through most of the nematic sheet (with abrupt jumps near the boundaries) or if the tilt angle varies smoothly between two extreme values (?90 and 0°). The technique presented here could be applied to perform high-throughput measurements for assessing the influence of different surfactants on the orientation of nematic phases and may lead to further improvements in areas such as boundary lubrication and clarifying the nature of defect structures in LC displays.
The effects of dynamical diffraction in x-ray diffractive optics with large numerical aperture render the wavefront aberrations difficult to describe using the aberration polynomials, yet knowledge of them plays an important role in a vast variety of scientific problems ranging from optical testing to adaptive optics. Although the diffraction theory of optical aberrations was established decades ago, its application in the area of x-ray dynamical diffraction theory (DDT) is still lacking. Here, we conduct a theoretical study on the aberration properties of x-ray dynamical diffraction beams. By treating the modulus of the complex envelope as the amplitude weight function in the orthogonalization procedure, we generalize the nonrecursive matrix method for the determination of orthonormal aberration polynomials, wherein Zernike DDT and Legendre DDT polynomials are proposed. As an example, we investigate the aberration evolution inside a tilted multilayer Laue lens. The corresponding Legendre DDT polynomials are obtained numerically, which represent balanced aberrations yielding minimum variance of the classical aberrations of an anamorphic optical system. The balancing of classical aberrations and their standard deviations are discussed. We also present the Strehl ratio of the primary and secondary balanced aberrations.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a B lymphocyte malignancy that remains incurable despite extensive research efforts. This is due, in part, to frequent disease recurrences associated with the persistence of myeloma cancer stem cells (mCSCs). Bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs) play critical roles in supporting mCSCs through genetic or biochemical alterations. Previously, we identified mechanical distinctions between BMSCs isolated from MM patients (mBMSCs) and those present in the BM of healthy individuals (nBMSCs). These properties of mBMSC contributed to their ability to preferentially support mCSCs. To further illustrate mechanisms underlying the differences between mBMSCs and nBMSCs, here we report that (i) mBMSCs express an abnormal, constitutively high level of phosphorylated Myosin II, which leads to stiffer membrane mechanics, (ii) mBMSCs are more sensitive to SDF-1?-induced activation of MYL2 through the G(i./o) -PI3K-RhoA-ROCK-Myosin II signaling pathway, affecting Young's modulus in BMSCs and (iii) activated Myosin II confers increased cell contractile potential, leading to enhanced collagen matrix remodeling and promoting the cell-cell interaction between mCSCs and mBMSCs. Together, our findings suggest that interfering with SDF-1? signaling may serve as a new therapeutic approach for eliminating mCSCs by disrupting their interaction with mBMSCs.
Activated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) regulates tumor growth, invasion, cell proliferation, angiogenesis, immune response, and survival. Data regarding expression of phosphorylated (activated) STAT3 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and the impact of phosphorylated STAT3 (pSTAT3) on prognosis are limited.
The current antibody-mediated numeration assays of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) require multiple steps and are time-consuming. To overcome these technical limitations, a cancer cell-activatable aptamer-reporter was formulated by conjugating a biomarker-specific aptamer sequence with paired fluorochrome-quencher molecules. In contrast to the antibody probes, the intact aptamer-reporter was optically silent in the absence of cells of interest. However, when used in an assay, the aptamer selectively targeted cancer cells through interaction with a specific surface biomarker, which triggered internalization of the aptamer-reporter and, subsequently, into cell lysosomes. Rapid lysosomal degradation of the aptamer-reporter resulted in separation of the paired fluorochrome-quencher molecules. The released fluorochrome emitted bright fluorescent signals exclusively within the targeted cancer cells, with no background noise in the assay. Thus, the assays could be completed in a single step within minutes. By using this one-step assay, CTCs in whole blood and marrow aspirate samples of patients with lymphoma tumors were selectively highlighted and rapidly detected with no off-target signals from background blood cells. The development of the cancer cell-activatable aptamer-reporter system allows for the possibility of a simple and robust point-of-care test for CTC detection, which is currently unavailable.
Antagonizing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) to block angiogenesis has been applied toward cancer therapy for its role in promoting cancer growth and metastasis. However, most these clinical anticancer drugs have unexpected side effects. Development of novel VEGFR2 inhibitors with less toxicity remains an urgent need. In this study, we describe a novel, well-tolerated, and orally active VEGFR2 inhibitor, YLT192, which inhibits tumor angiogenesis and growth. YLT192 significantly inhibited kinase activity of VEGFR2 and suppressed proliferation, migration, invasion, and tube formation of human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVEC) in vitro. In addition, it inhibited VEGF-induced phosphorylation of VEGFR2 and its downstream signaling regulator in HUVEC. Zebrafish embryonic models and alginate-encapsulated tumor cell assays indicated YLT192 also inhibited angiogenesis in vivo. Moreover, YLT192 could directly inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Oral administration of YLT192 at a dose of 100 mg/kg/day could markedly inhibited human tumor xenograft growth without causing obvious toxicities. It decreased microvessel densities (MVD) in tumor sections. It also shows good safety profiles in the studies with mice and rats. Taken together, these preclinical evaluations suggest that YLT192 inhibits angiogenesis and may be a promising anticancer drug candidate.
Successful single-cell isolation is a primary step for subsequent chemical and biological analyses of single cells. Conventional single-cell isolation methods often encounter operational complexity, limited efficiency, deterioration of cell viability, incompetence in the isolation of a single-cell into nanoliter liquid, and/or inability to select single adherent cells with specific phenotypes. Here, we develop a hand-held single-cell pipet (hSCP) that is rapid, operationally simple, highly efficient, and inexpensive for unbiased isolation of single viable suspended cells directly from submicroliter cell suspensions into nanoliter droplets without the assistance of any additional equipment. An integrated SCP (iSCP) has also been developed for selective isolation of single suspended and adherent cells according to the fluorescence imaging and morphological features. The isolated single cells can be conveniently transferred into standard 96-/384-well plates, Petri dishes, or vials for cloning, PCR, and other single-cell biochemical assays.
Tyrosine kinase receptors including vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) have gained significant attention as pharmacologic targets. However, clinical evaluation of small-molecule drugs or biologics that target these pathways has so far yielded mixed results in a variety of solid tumors. The reasons for response variability remain unknown, including the temporal and spatial patterns of receptor tyrosine kinase expression. Methods to detect and quantify the presence of such cellular receptors would greatly facilitate drug development and therapy response assessment. We aimed to generate specific imaging agents as potential companion diagnostics that could also be used for targeted radionuclide therapy. Here, we report on the synthesis and initial preclinical performance of (64)Cu-labeled probes that were based on the kinase inhibitor already in clinical use, vandetanib (ZD6474), as a VEGFR-selective theranostic radiopharmaceutical.
Heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPGs) exist in pancreatic beta cells, and HS seems to modulate important interactions in the islet microenvironment. However, the intra-islet structures of HS in health or altered glucose homeostasis are currently unknown. Here we show that distinct spatial distribution of HS motifs is present in islets in the adult, that intra-islet HS motifs are mostly conserved between rodents and humans, and that HS is abundant in glucagon producing islet alpha cells. In beta cells HS is characterised by 2-O, 6-O and N-sulphated moieties, whereas HS in alpha cells is N-acetylated, N-, and 2-O sulphated and low in 6-O groups. Differential expression of three HS modifying genes in alpha and beta cells was observed and may account for the different HS patterns. Furthermore, we found that FGF1 and FGF2 were present in alpha cells, whereas functional FGFRs exist in beta cells, but not in the alpha cell line aTC1-6, or in primary alpha cells in islets. FGF1 induced signalling was dependent on 2-O, and 6-O HS sulphation in beta cells, and HS desulphation reduced beta cell proliferation and potentiated oxidant induced apoptosis. In leptin resistant animals and in islets from streptozotocin treated rats there was a reduction in alpha cell HS expression. These data demonstrate the distinct HS expression patterns in alpha and beta islet cells and propose a novel role for alpha cells as a source of paracrine FGF ligands to neighbouring beta cells with specific cell-associated HS domains mediating the activation and diffusion of paracrine ligands.
Aptamers are a class of small nucleic acid ligands that are composed of RNA or single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides and have high specificity and affinity for their targets. Similar to antibodies, aptamers interact with their targets by recognizing a specific three-dimensional structure and are thus termed "chemical antibodies." In contrast to protein antibodies, aptamers offer unique chemical and biological characteristics based on their oligonucleotide properties. Hence, they are more suitable for the development of novel clinical applications. Aptamer technology has been widely investigated in various biomedical fields for biomarker discovery, in vitro diagnosis, in vivo imaging, and targeted therapy. This review will discuss the potential applications of aptamer technology as a new tool for targeted cancer therapy with emphasis on the development of aptamers that are able to specifically target cell surface biomarkers. Additionally, we will describe several approaches for the use of aptamers in targeted therapeutics, including aptamer-drug conjugation, aptamer-nanoparticle conjugation, aptamer-mediated targeted gene therapy, aptamer-mediated immunotherapy, and aptamer-mediated biotherapy.
Multiple myeloma (MM) stem cells, proposed to be responsible for the tumourigenesis, drug resistance and recurrence of this disease, are enriched in the cancer stem cell-like side population (SP). Cancer testis antigens (CTA) are attractive targets for immunotherapy because they are widely expressed in cancers but only in limited types of normal tissues. We designed a high throughput assay, which allowed simultaneous relative quantifying expression of 90 CTA genes associated with MM. In the three MM cell lines tested, six CTA genes were over-expressed in two and LUZP4 and ODF1 were universally up-regulated in all three cell lines. Subsequent study of primary bone marrow (BM) from eight MM patients and four healthy donors revealed that 19 CTA genes were up-regulated in SP of MM compared with mature plasma cells. In contrast, only two CTA genes showed a moderate increase in SP cells of healthy BM. Furthermore, knockdown using small interfering RNA (siRNA) revealed that LUZP4 expression is required for colony-forming ability and drug resistance in MM cells. Our findings indicate that multiple CTA have unique expression profiles in MM SP, suggesting that CTA may serve as targets for immunotherapy that it specific for MM stem cells and which may lead to the long-term cure of MM.
A glassy carbon electrode modified with poly(alizarin red)/electrodeposited graphene (PAR/EGR) composite film was prepared and applied to detect ciprofloxacin (CPFX) in the presence of ascorbic, uric acid and dopamine. The morphology and interface property of PAR/EGR films were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The electrocatalytic oxidation of CPFX on AR/EGR was investigated by cyclic voltammetry (CV) and differential pulse voltammetry (DPV). The linearity ranged from 4 × 10(-8) to 1.2 × 10(-4) M with a detection limit (S/N=3) of 0.01 ?M. The modified electrode could be applied to the individual determination of CPFX as well as the simultaneous determination of CPFX, ascorbic acid, uric acid and dopamine. This method proved to be a simple, selective and rapid way to determine CPFX in pharmaceutical preparation and biological media.
Purpose:Congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH) and split hand/foot malformation (SHFM) are two rare genetic conditions. Here we report a clinical entity comprising the two.Methods:We identified patients with CHH and SHFM through international collaboration. Probands and available family members underwent phenotyping and screening for FGFR1 mutations. The impact of identified mutations was assessed by sequence- and structure-based predictions and/or functional assays.Results:We identified eight probands with CHH with (n = 3; Kallmann syndrome) or without anosmia (n = 5) and SHFM, seven of whom (88%) harbor FGFR1 mutations. Of these seven, one individual is homozygous for p.V429E and six individuals are heterozygous for p.G348R, p.G485R, p.Q594*, p.E670A, p.V688L, or p.L712P. All mutations were predicted by in silico analysis to cause loss of function. Probands with FGFR1 mutations have severe gonadotropin-releasing hormone deficiency (absent puberty and/or cryptorchidism and/or micropenis). SHFM in both hands and feet was observed only in the patient with the homozygous p.V429E mutation; V429 maps to the fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2? binding domain of FGFR1, and functional studies of the p.V429E mutation demonstrated that it decreased recruitment and phosphorylation of fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2? to FGFR1, thereby resulting in reduced mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling.Conclusion:FGFR1 should be prioritized for genetic testing in patients with CHH and SHFM because the likelihood of a mutation increases from 10% in the general CHH population to 88% in these patients.Genet Med advance online publication 13 November 2014Genetics in Medicine (2014); doi:10.1038/gim.2014.166.
Transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI) is the leading cause of transfusion-related mortality and can occur with any type of transfusion. TRALI is thought to be primarily mediated by donor antibodies activating recipient neutrophils resulting in pulmonary endothelial damage. Nonetheless, details regarding the interactions between donor antibodies and recipient factors are unknown. A murine antibody-mediated TRALI model was used to elucidate the roles of the F(ab')2 and Fc regions of a TRALI-inducing immunoglobulin G anti-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I antibody (34.1.2s). Compared with intact antibody, F(ab')2 fragments significantly increased serum levels of the neutrophil chemoattractant macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (MIP-2); however, pulmonary neutrophil levels were only moderately increased, and no pulmonary edema or mortality occurred. Fc fragments did not modulate any of these parameters. TRALI induction by intact antibody was completely abrogated by in vivo peripheral blood monocyte depletion by gadolinium chloride (GdCl3) or chemokine blockade with a MIP-2 receptor antagonist but was restored upon repletion with purified monocytes. The results suggest a two-step process for antibody-mediated TRALI induction: the first step involves antibody binding its cognate antigen on blood monocytes, which generates MIP-2 chemokine production that is correlated with pulmonary neutrophil recruitment; the second step occurs when antibody-coated monocytes increase Fc-dependent lung damage.
A simple and sensitive electrochemical sensor based on poly (l-lysine) modified glassy carbon electrode (PLL/GCE) was developed to sensitively detect methotrexate (MTX) in the presence of sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (SDBS). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry were carried out to characterize PLL film which exhibits excellent electrocatalytic activity toward the oxidation of MTX in 0.1M phosphate buffer solution. In addition, the oxidation peak of MTX remained stable at PLL/GCE in the presence of SDBS and its current increased 8 times compared with that at bare GCE without SDBS. Experimental parameters were optimized with regard to pH, electro-polymerization segment, accumulation time and concentration of SDBS. Under optimum conditions, the square wave voltammograms exhibited that the oxidation peak current was linearly proportional to the concentration of MTX in the range of 5nM - 0.2?M with detection limit of 1.7 (±0.06) nM (S/N=3). Moreover, this method was applied to detect MTX in medicinal tablets with satisfying results.
Epstein-Barr virus-positive (EBV(+)) diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) of the elderly is a variant of DLBCL with worse outcome that occurs most often in East-Asian countries and is uncommon in the Western hemisphere. We studied the largest cohort of EBV(+) DLBCL, independent of age, treated with rituximab combined with CHOP (R-CHOP) in developed Western countries.
To investigate the potential clinical application of aptamers to prevention of HIV infection, single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) aptamers specific for CD4 were developed using the systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment approach and next generation sequencing. In contrast to RNA-based aptamers, the developed ssDNA aptamers were stable in human serum up to 12h. Cell binding assays revealed that the aptamers specifically targeted CD4-expressing cells with high binding affinity (Kd=1.59nM), a concentration within the range required for therapeutic application. Importantly, the aptamers selectively bound CD4 on human cells and disrupted the interaction of viral gp120 to CD4 receptors, which is a prerequisite step of HIV-1 infection. Functional studies showed that the aptamer polymers significantly blocked binding of viral gp120 to CD4-expressing cells by up to 70% inhibition. These findings provide a new approach to prevent HIV-1 transmission using oligonucleotide aptamers.
Exposure to heat stress causes physiological and epigenetic changes in plants, which may also be altered in the progeny. We compared the progeny of stressed and control Arabidopsis thaliana wild type and Dicer-like mutant dcl2, dcl3, and dcl4 plants for variations in physiology and molecular profile, including global genome methylation, mRNA levels, and histone modifications in the subset of differentially expressed genes at normal conditions and in response to heat stress. We found that the immediate progeny of heat-stressed plants had fewer, but larger leaves, and tended to bolt earlier. Transposon expression was elevated in the progeny of heat-stressed plants, and heat stress in the same generation tended to decrease global genome methylation. Progeny of stressed plants had increased expression of HSFA2, and reduction in MSH2, ROS1, and several SUVH genes. Gene expression positively correlated with permissive histone marks and negatively correlated with repressive marks. Overall, the progeny of heat stressed plants varied in both their physiology and epigenome and dcl2 and dcl3 mutants were partially deficient for these changes.
Plant XPD homolog UVH6 is the protein involved in the repair of strand breaks, and the excision repair and uvh6 mutant is not impaired in transgenerational increase in HRF. While analyzing the transgenerational response to stress in plants, we found that the promoter and gene body of Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) XPD homolog UVH6 underwent hypomethylation and showed an increase in the level of transcript. Here, we analyzed the mutant of this gene, uvh6-1, by crossing it to two different reporter lines: one which allows for analysis of homologous recombination frequency (HRF) and another which makes it possible to analyze the frequency of point mutations. We observed that uvh6-1 plants exhibited lower rate of spontaneous homologous recombination but higher frequencies of spontaneous point mutations. The analysis of strand breaks using ROPS and Comet assays showed that the mutant had a much higher level of strand breaks at non-induced conditions. Exposure to stresses such as UVC, heat, cold, flood and drought showed that the mutant was not impaired in an increase in somatic HRF. The analysis of spontaneous HRF in the progeny of control plants compared to that of the progeny of stressed plants demonstrated that uvh6-1 was mildly affected in response to temperature, UV and drought. Our data suggest that UVH6 may be involved in the repair of strand breaks and excision repair, but it is unlikely that UVH6 is required for transgenerational increase in HRF.
Cyclin D1 expression has been reported in a subset of patients with diffuse large B-cell leukemia (DLBCL), but studies have been few and generally small, and they have demonstrated no obvious clinical implications attributable to cyclin D1 expression.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens is a plant pathogen that is widely used in plant transformation. As the process of transgenesis includes the delivery of single-stranded T-DNA molecule, we hypothesized that transformation rate may negatively correlate with the efficiency of the RNA-silencing machinery. Using mutants compromised in either the transcriptional or post-transcriptional gene-silencing pathways, two inhibitors of stable transformation were revealed-AGO2 and NRPD1a. Furthermore, an immunoprecipitation experiment has shown that NRPD1, a subunit of Pol IV, directly interacts with Agrobacterium T-DNA in planta. Using the Tobacco rattle virus (TRV)--based virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) technique, we demonstrated that the transient down-regulation of the expression of either AGO2 or NRPD1a genes in reproductive organs of Arabidopsis, leads to an increase in transformation rate. We observed a 6.0- and 3.5-fold increase in transformation rate upon transient downregulation of either AGO2 or NRPD1a genes, respectively. This is the first report demonstrating the increase in the plant transformation rate via VIGS-mediated transient down-regulation of the components of epigenetic machinery in reproductive tissue.
Bundles of taxol-stabilized microtubules (MTs)--hollow tubules comprised of assembled ??-tubulin heterodimers--spontaneously assemble above a critical concentration of tetravalent spermine and are stable over long times at room temperature. Here we report that at concentrations of spermine several-fold higher the MT bundles (B(MT)) quickly become unstable and undergo a shape transformation to bundles of inverted tubulin tubules (B(ITT)), the outside surface of which corresponds to the inner surface of the B(MT) tubules. Using transmission electron microscopy and synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering, we quantitatively determined both the nature of the B(MT)-to-B(ITT) transformation pathway, which results from a spermine-triggered conformation switch from straight to curved in the constituent taxol-stabilized tubulin oligomers, and the structure of the B(ITT) phase, which is formed of tubules of helical tubulin oligomers. Inverted tubulin tubules provide a platform for studies requiring exposure and availability of the inside, luminal surface of MTs to MT-targeted drugs and MT-associated proteins.
Chronic stress is considered to be one of many causes of human preterm birth (PTB), but no direct evidence has yet been provided. Here we show in rats that stress across generations has downstream effects on endocrine, metabolic and behavioural manifestations of PTB possibly via microRNA (miRNA) regulation.
Cancer stem cells are key drivers of tumor progression and disease recurrence in multiple myeloma (MM). However, little is known about the regulation of MM stem cells. Here, we show that a population of MM cells, known as the side population (SP), exhibits stem-like properties. Cells that constitute the SP in primary MM isolates are negative or seldom expressed for CD138 and CD20 markers. In addition, the SP population contains stem cells that belong to the same lineage as the mature neoplastic plasma cells. Importantly, our data indicate that the SP and nonside population (NSP) percentages in heterogeneous MM cells are balanced, and that this balance can be achieved through a prolonged in vitro culture. Furthermore, we show that SP cells, with confirmed molecular characteristics of MM stem cells, can be regenerated from purified NSP cell populations. We also show that the percentage of SP cells can be enhanced by the hypoxic stress, which is frequently observed within MM tumors. Finally, hypoxic stress enhanced the expression of transforming growth factor ?1 (TGF-?1) and blocking the TGF-?1 signaling pathway inhibited the NSP dedifferentiation. Taken together, these findings indicate that the balance between MM SP and NSP is regulated by environmental factors and TGF-?1 pathway is involved in hypoxia-induced increase of SP population. Understanding the mechanisms that facilitate SP maintenance will accelerate the design of novel therapeutics aimed at controlling these cells in MM.
Although several imaging modalities are widely used for tumor imaging, none are tumor type-specific. Different types of cancer exhibit differential therapeutic responses, thus necessitating development of an imaging modality able to detect various tumor types with high specificity. To illustrate this point, CD30-specific oligonucleotide aptamer in vivo imaging probes were conjugated to the near-infrared IRD800CW reporter. Mice bearing xenografted CD30-positive or control CD30-negative lymphoma tumors on contralateral sides of the same mouse were developed. Following a systemic administration of aptamer probes, whole body imaging of tumor-bearing mice was performed. Imaging signal from tumor sites was analyzed and imaging specificity confirmed by tissue immunostaining. The in vivo biodistribution of aptamer probes was also evaluated. Whole body scans revealed that the RNA-based aptamer probes selectively highlighted CD30-expressing lymphoma tumors immediately after systemic administration, but did not react with control tumors in the same mouse. The resultant imaging signal lasted up to 1 hr and the aptamer probes were rapidly eliminated from the body through urinary and lower intestinal tracts. For more sensitive imaging, biostable CD30-specific ssDNA-based aptamer probes were also generated. Systemic administration of these probes also selectively highlighted the CD30-positive lymphoma tumors, with imaging signal detected 4-5 folds higher than that derived from control tumors in the same animal, and lasted for up to 24hr. This study demonstrates that oligonucleotide aptamer probes can provide tumor type-specific imaging with high sensitivity and a long-lasting signal, indicating their potential for clinical applications.
Prenatal stress (PS) represents a critical variable affecting lifetime health trajectories, metabolic and vascular functions. Beneficial experiences may attenuate the effects of PS and its programming of health outcomes in later life. Here we investigated in a rat model (1) if PS modulates recovery following cortical ischemia in adulthood; (2) if a second hit by adult stress (AS) exaggerates stress responses and ischemic damage; and (3) if tactile stimulation (TS) attenuates the cumulative effects of PS and AS. Prenatally stressed and non-stressed adult male rats underwent focal ischemic motor cortex lesion and were tested in skilled reaching and skilled walking tasks. Two groups of rats experienced recurrent restraint stress in adulthood and one of these groups also underwent daily TS therapy. Animals that experienced both PS and AS displayed the most severe motor disabilities after lesion. By contrast, TS promoted recovery from ischemic lesion and reduced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. The data also showed that cumulative effects of adverse and beneficial lifespan experiences interact with disease outcomes and brain plasticity through the modulation of gene expression. Microarray analysis of the lesion motor cortex revealed that cumulative PS and AS interact with genes related to growth factors and transcription factors, which were not affected by PS or lesion alone. TS in PS+AS animals reverted these changes, suggesting a critical role for these factors in activity-dependent motor cortical reorganization after ischemic lesion. These findings suggest that beneficial experience later in life can moderate adverse consequences of early programming to improve cerebrovascular health.
Tumor cells from approximately 40% of patients with Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma express the type II latency Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antigens latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1) and LMP2, which represent attractive targets for immunotherapy. Because T cells specific for these antigens are present with low frequency and may be rendered anergic by the tumors that express them, we expanded LMP-cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) from patients with lymphoma using autologous dendritic cells and EBV-transformed B-lymphoblastoid cell lines transduced with an adenoviral vector expressing either LMP2 alone (n = 17) or both LMP2 and ?LMP1 (n = 33).
As a "chemical antibody", oligonucleotide aptamers can specifically bind to their target molecules. However, clinical potential of aptamers in disease diagnosis is not yet fully explored. Using a tumor cell-based selection protocol, we developed single-stranded DNA aptamers for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) tumor cells. The aptamers specifically bound to HL cells with a high affinity, reaching maximal cell binding at 10 nM final concentration. Importantly, the aptamers were able to selectively detect HL cells and did not react to other tumor or blood cells in mixed samples, indicating that the aptamers can be used as a specific probe for in vitro analysis of HL cells. Moreover, due to the inherent properties of DNA, the aptamers were stable in human serum, suggesting potential for in vivo detection of HL tumor cells.
MDM2 is a key negative regulator of the tumor suppressor p53, however, the prognostic significance of MDM2 overexpression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) has not been defined convincingly. In a p53 genetically-defined large cohort of de novo DLBCL patients treated with rituximab, cyclophosphamide, hydroxydaunorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone (R-CHOP) chemotherapy, we assessed MDM2 and p53 expression by immunohistochemistry (n = 478), MDM2 gene amplification by fluorescence in situ hybridization (n = 364), and a single nucleotide polymorphism in the MDM2 promoter, SNP309, by SNP genotyping assay (n = 108). Our results show that MDM2 overexpression, unlike p53 overexpression, is not a significant prognostic factor in overall DLBCL. Both MDM2 and p53 overexpression do not predict for an adverse clinical outcome in patients with wild-type p53 but predicts for significantly poorer survival in patients with mutated p53. Variable p53 activities may ultimately determine the survival differences, as suggested by the gene expression profiling analysis. MDM2 amplification was observed in 3 of 364 (0.8%) patients with high MDM2 expression. The presence of SNP309 did not correlate with MDM2 expression and survival. This study indicates that evaluation of MDM2 and p53 expression correlating with TP53 genetic status is essential to assess their prognostic significance and is important for designing therapeutic strategies that target the MDM2-p53 interaction.
We present a x-ray microscopy technique based on structured illumination in a microscope that characterizes the size of the subresolution-limit features. The technique is effective for characterizing fine structures substantially beyond the Rayleigh resolution of the microscope. We carried out optical experiments to demonstrate the basic principle of this new technique. Experimental results show good agreement with theoretical predictions. This technique should find a wide range of important imaging applications with a feature size down to nanometer scale, such as oil and gas reservoir rocks, advanced composites, and functional nanodevices and materials.
In this study, a berberine-loaded electrospun poly-(epsilon-caprolactone) nanofibrous membrane (B-NFM) was formulated. The B-NFM was composed of uniform nanofibers with the average diameter of 190 +/- 53 nm. Whole blood assay revealed that the B-NFM had higher absorption capacity than gauze wound dressing (GWD) and non-drug-loaded nanofibrous membrane (NFM). Hemostatic studies showed that the B-NFM was more efficient at promoting blood clotting than GWD and NFM. B-NFM was also demonstrated to possess broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. Biocompatibility studies indicated that B-NFM had good compatibility with skin fibroblast cells. These results suggested that the B-NFM can promote in vitro hemostasis to minimize wound bleeding, absorb biofluid to provide a favorable environment, inhibit on-site microbial agents to prevent wound infection, and support skin cell growth to facilitate wound healing. These data highly suggest a potential clinical use of B-NFM as wound dressing material.
The role of resistance (R) genes in plant pathogen interaction has been studied extensively due to its economical impact on agriculture. Interaction between tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) and the N protein from tobacco is one of the most widely used models to understand various aspects of pathogen resistance. The transcription activity governed by N gene promoter is one of the least understood elements of the model. In this study, the N gene promoter was cloned and fused with two different reporter genes, one encoding ?-glucuronidase (N::GUS) and another, luciferase (N::LUC). Tobacco plants transformed with the N::GUS or N::LUC reporter constructs were screened for homozygosity and stable expression. Histochemical analysis of N::GUS tobacco plants revealed that the expression is organ specific and developmentally regulated. Whereas two week old plants expressed GUS in midveins only, 6-wk-old plants also expressed GUS in leaf lamella. Roots did not show GUS expression at any time during development. Experiments to address effects of external stress were performed using N::LUC tobacco plants. These experiments showed that N gene promoter expression was suppressed when plants were exposed to high but not low temperatures. Expression was also upregulated in response to TMV, but no changes were observed in plants treated with SA.
Isoprenoids are a class of natural products with more than 55,000 members. All isoprenoids are constructed from two precursors, isopentenyl diphosphate and its isomer dimethylallyl diphosphate. Two of the most important discoveries in isoprenoid biosynthetic studies in recent years are the elucidation of a second isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway [the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway] and a modified mevalonic acid (MVA) pathway. In this review, we summarize mechanistic insights on the MEP pathway enzymes. Because many isoprenoids have important biological activities, the need to produce them in sufficient quantities for downstream research efforts or commercial application is apparent. Recent advances in both MVA and MEP pathway-based synthetic biology are also illustrated by reviewing the landmark work of artemisinic acid and taxadien-5?-ol production through microbial fermentations.
Cationic liposome-DNA (CL-DNA) complexes, are regarded as promising materials for safe and efficient delivery of genes for therapeutical applications. In order to be used in vivo, these complexes may be coated with a hydrophilic polymer (e.g. polyethylene-glycol, PEG) that provides steric stabilization towards adhesion of proteins and removal by the immune system. In this work we study the influence of the initial salt concentration (Cs) - which modulates the electrostatic interaction between oppositely charged vesicles and DNA - on the structure and stability of PEGylated CL-DNA particles. Previous small-angle X-ray scattering has shown that if non-PEGylated or PEGylated CL-DNA lamellar complexes are prepared in water, their structure is well defined with a high number of lipid membrane-DNA layers (larger than 20). Here we show that if these complexes are transferred to saline media (150mM NaCl or DMEM, both near physiological conditions), this structure remains nearly unchanged. Conversely, if PEGylated complexes are prepared in saline media, their lamellar structure is much looser, with fewer number of layers. This pathway dependent behavior of PEGylated complex formation in brine is modulated by the liposome membrane charge density and the mole fraction of PEG 2000 in the membranes, with the average number of layers decreasing with increasing Cs and in going from 5mol% to 10mol% PEG-lipid. Each of these structures (high and low number of layers) is stable with time, suggesting that despite complex formation being thermodynamically favored, the complexation process in PEGylated membranes, which determines the number of layers per particle, is kinetically controlled. In the extreme case (when polymer repulsions from 10mol% PEG-lipid are maximized and electrostatic attraction between PEGylated CLs and DNA are minimized at low membrane charge density) complex formation is suppressed at high Cs=150mM.
CD30 is highly expressed on Hodgkins lymphoma and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, making it an attractive target for therapy. We describe the generation of serum-stabilized ssDNA aptamers that bind CD30 via a hybrid SELEX methodology. The selected aptamer bound CD30 with high affinity and specificity. Further optimization of the aptamer led to a short, truncated variant with a 50-fold higher affinity than its longer counterpart. The multivalent aptamer was able to induce oligomerization of CD30 receptors and, in effect, activate downstream signaling, which led to apoptosis of ALCL cells. Immunotherapy using aptamer-based co-stimulation provides an alternative to antibodies, and has potential to transform cancer treatment.
Clathrin and the multi-subunit adaptor protein complex AP2 are central players in clathrin-mediated endocytosis by which the cell selectively internalizes surface materials. Here, we report the essential role of clathrin and AP2 in phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. In Caenorhabditis elegans, depletion of the clathrin heavy chain CHC-1 and individual components of AP2 led to a significant accumulation of germ cell corpses, which resulted from defects in both cell corpse engulfment and phagosome maturation required for corpse removal. CHC-1 and AP2 components associate with phagosomes in an inter-dependent manner. Importantly, we found that the phagocytic receptor CED-1 interacts with the ? subunit of AP2, while the CED-6/Gulp adaptor forms a complex with both CHC-1 and the AP2 complex, which likely mediates the rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton required for cell corpse engulfment triggered by the CED-1 signaling pathway. In addition, CHC-1 and AP2 promote the phagosomal association of LST-4/Snx9/18/33 and DYN-1/dynamin by forming a complex with them, thereby facilitating the maturation of phagosomes necessary for corpse degradation. These findings reveal a non-classical role of clathrin and AP2 and establish them as indispensable regulators in phagocytic receptor-mediated apoptotic cell clearance.
Nanotechnology has often been applied in the development of targeted drug-delivery systems for the treatment of cancer. An ideal nanoscale system for drug delivery should be able to selectively deliver and rapidly release the carried therapeutic drug(s) in cancer cells and, more importantly, not react to off-target cells so as to eliminate unwanted toxicity on normal tissues. To reach this goal, a selective chemotherapeutic is formulated using a hollow gold nanosphere (HAuNS) equipped with a biomarker-specific aptamer (Apt), and loaded with the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin (DOX). The formed Apt-HAuNS-Dox, approximately 42 nm in diameter, specifically binds to lymphoma tumor cells and does not react to control cells that do not express the biomarker. Through aptamer-mediated selective cell binding, the Apt-HAuNS-Dox is internalized exclusively into the targeted tumor cells, and then released the DOX intracellularly. Of note, although the formed Apt-HAuNS-Dox is stable under normal biological conditions (pH 7.4), it appears ultrasensitive to pH change and rapidly releases 80% of the loaded DOX within 2 h at pH 5.0, a condition seen in cell lysosomes. Functional assays using cell mixtures show that the Apt-HAuNS-Dox selectively kills lymphoma tumor cells, but has no effect on the growth of the off-target cells in the same cultures, indicating that this ultra pH-sensitive Apt-HAuNS-Dox can selectively treat cancer through specific aptamer guidance, and will have minimal side effects on normal tissue.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can be repaired via two main mechanisms: non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR). Our previous work showed that exposure to abiotic stresses resulted in an increase in point mutation frequency (PMF) and homologous recombination frequency (HRF), and these changes were heritable. We hypothesized that mutants impaired in DSB recognition and repair would also be deficient in somatic and transgenerational changes in PMF and HRF. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the genome stability of the Arabidopsis thaliana mutants deficient in ATM (communication between DNA strand break recognition and the repair machinery), KU80 (deficient in NHEJ) and RAD51B (deficient in HR repair) genes. We found that all three mutants exhibited higher levels of DSBs. Plants impaired in ATM had a lower spontaneous PMF and HRF, whereas ku80 plants had higher frequencies. Plants impaired in RAD51B had a lower HRF. HRF in wild-type, atm and rad51b plants increased in response to several abiotic stressors, whereas it did not increase in ku80 plants. The progeny of stressed wild-type and ku80 plants exhibited an increase in HRF in response to all stresses, and the increase was higher in ku80 plants. The progeny of atm plants showed an increase in HRF only when the parental generation was exposed to cold or flood, whereas the progeny of rad51b plants completely lacked a transgenerational increase in HRF. Our experiments showed that mutants impaired in the recognition and repair of DSBs exhibited changes in the efficiency of DNA repair as reflected by changes in strand breaks, point mutation and HRF. They also showed that the HR RAD51B protein and the protein ATM that recognized damaged DNA might play an important role in transgenerational changes in HRF.
We identified multiple single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in the TP53 3 untranslated region (3UTR) in tumor specimens from 244 patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Patients carrying a wild-type TP53 coding sequence (CDS) and 1 or more 3UTR SNVs had a better 5-year survival rate than patients carrying a wild-type CDS and the reference 3UTR, yet there is no statistically significance difference in overall survival (OS). In contrast, 3UTR variation predicted poorer OS for patients with a mutant TP53 CDS. We then sequenced TP53 3UTR in 247 additional DLBCL patients as a validation set. Altogether, we identified 187 novel SNVs; 36 occurred at least twice. Most of the newly identified 3UTR SNVs were located at sites that are complementary to seed sequences of microRNAs (miRNAs) that are predicted or experimentally known to target TP53. Three SNVs disrupt the seed match between miR-125b and the TP53 3UTR, thereby impeding suppression of p53 by this miRNA. In addition, a germline SNV (rs78378222) located in the TP53 polyadenylation signal resulted in downregulation of both p53 messenger RNA and protein levels and reduction of cellular apoptosis. This study is the first to demonstrate the prognostic value of the TP53 3UTR in cancer.
In the past, we showed that local infection of tobacco leaves with either tobacco mosaic virus or oilseed rape mosaic virus (ORMV) resulted in a systemic increase in the homologous recombination frequency (HRF). Later on, we showed that a similar phenomenon occurs in Arabidopsis thaliana plants infected with ORMV. Here, we tested whether the time of removing the infected leaves as well as viral titer have any effect on the degree of changes in HRF in systemic tissues. An increase in HRF in systemic non-infected tissues was more pronounced when the infected leaves were detached from the infected plants at 60-96 h post-infection, rather than at earlier time. Next, we found that exposure to higher concentrations of inoculum was much more efficient in triggering an increase in HRF than exposure to lower concentrations. Finally, we showed that older plants exhibited a higher increase in HRF than younger plants. We found that an increase in genome instability in systemic tissues of locally infected plants depends on plant age, the concentration of initial inoculums and the time of viral replication.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is stratified into prognostically favorable germinal center B-cell (GCB)-like and unfavorable activated B-cell (ABC)-like subtypes based on gene expression signatures. In this study, we analyzed 893 de novo DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone). We show that MYC/BCL2 protein coexpression occurred significantly more commonly in the ABC subtype. Patients with the ABC or GCB subtype of DLBCL had similar prognoses with MYC/BCL2 coexpression and without MYC/BCL2 coexpression. Consistent with the notion that the prognostic difference between the 2 subtypes is attributable to MYC/BCL2 coexpression, there is no difference in gene expression signatures between the 2 subtypes in the absence of MYC/BCL2 coexpression. DLBCL with MYC/BCL2 coexpression demonstrated a signature of marked downregulation of genes encoding extracellular matrix proteins, those involving matrix deposition/remodeling and cell adhesion, and upregulation of proliferation-associated genes. We conclude that MYC/BCL2 coexpression in DLBCL is associated with an aggressive clinical course, is more common in the ABC subtype, and contributes to the overall inferior prognosis of patients with ABC-DLBCL. In conclusion, the data suggest that MYC/BCL2 coexpression, rather than cell-of-origin classification, is a better predictor of prognosis in patients with DLBCL treated with R-CHOP.
The negative feedback mechanism is essential to maintain effective immunity and tissue homeostasis. 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25[OH]2D3) modulates innate immune response, but the mechanism remains poorly understood. In this article, we report that vitamin D receptor signaling attenuates TLR-mediated inflammation by enhancing the negative feedback inhibition. Vitamin D receptor inactivation leads to hyperinflammatory response in mice and macrophage cultures when challenged with LPS, because of microRNA-155 (miR-155) overproduction that excessively suppresses suppressor of cytokine signaling 1, a key regulator that enhances the negative feedback loop. Deletion of miR-155 attenuates vitamin D suppression of LPS-induced inflammation, confirming that 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulates suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 by downregulating miR-155. 1,25(OH)2D3 downregulates bic transcription by inhibiting NF-?B activation, which is mediated by a ?B cis-DNA element located within the first intron of the bic gene. Together, these data identify a novel regulatory mechanism for vitamin D to control innate immunity.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the role of NK4, an antagonist for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and the Met receptor, in regulating the response of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) cells to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). We established the CCA cell line, HuCC-T1, to produce abundant NK4 (Hu-NK4). Cell proliferation, cell cycle distribution, apoptosis, 5-FU metabolism and intracellular signaling were examined. There were no significant differences in the mRNA levels of thymidylate synthase, thymidine phosphorylase and dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase between the mock-transfected control Hu-Em cells and Hu-NK4 cells, suggesting that NK4 expression does not alter 5-FU metabolism. Moreover, cell cycle analysis showed that 5-FU treatment caused a decrease in the proportion of cells in the G2/M phase while NK4 gene expression had little effect on the cell cycle distribution. However, 5-FU-induced apoptosis was significantly increased in the Hu-NK4 cells when compared to that in the Hu-Em cells. Further investigation revealed that NK4 gene expression enhanced 5-FU-induced caspase-3 and caspase-9 activation, and that the apoptosis of cells was associated with modulation of expression of the Bcl-2 family members. Furthermore, western blot analysis revealed that both NK4 and 5-FU were inhibitors for HGF-induced phosphorylation of Met, but they may be independent factors. Collectively, these results suggest that following 5-FU treatment in CCA cell lines, NK4 was involved in apoptosis induction through the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway. This indicates that NK4 may be an important mediator of 5-FU-induced cell death. Moreover, downregulation of NK4 in response to 5-FU may represent an intrinsic mechanism of resistance to this anticancer drug.
CD30, originally identified as a cell-surface marker of Reed-Sternberg and Hodgkin cells of classical Hodgkin lymphoma, is also expressed by several types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including a subset of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). However, the prognostic and biological importance of CD30 expression in DLBCL is unknown. Here we report that CD30 expression is a favorable prognostic factor in a cohort of 903 de novo DLBCL patients. CD30 was expressed in ?14% of DLBCL patients. Patients with CD30(+) DLBCL had superior 5-year overall survival (CD30(+), 79% vs CD30(-), 59%; P = .001) and progression-free survival (P = .003). The favorable outcome of CD30 expression was maintained in both the germinal center B-cell and activated B-cell subtypes. Gene expression profiling revealed the upregulation of genes encoding negative regulators of nuclear factor ?B activation and lymphocyte survival, and downregulation of genes encoding B-cell receptor signaling and proliferation, as well as prominent cytokine and stromal signatures in CD30(+) DLBCL patients, suggesting a distinct molecular basis for its favorable outcome. Given the superior prognostic value, unique gene expression signature, and significant value of CD30 as a therapeutic target for brentuximab vedotin in ongoing successful clinical trials, it seems appropriate to consider CD30(+) DLBCL as a distinct subgroup of DLBCL.
The gestational state is a period of particular vulnerability to diseases that affect maternal and fetal health. Stress during gestation may represent a powerful influence on maternal mental health and offspring brain plasticity and development. Here we show that the fetal transcriptome, through microRNA (miRNA) regulation, responds to prenatal stress in association with epigenetic signatures of psychiatric and neurological diseases. Pregnant Long-Evans rats were assigned to stress from gestational days 12 to 18 while others served as handled controls. Gestational stress in the dam disrupted parturient maternal behaviour and was accompanied by characteristic brain miRNA profiles in the mother and her offspring, and altered transcriptomic brain profiles in the offspring. In the offspring brains, prenatal stress upregulated miR-103, which is involved in brain pathologies, and downregulated its potential gene target Ptplb. Prenatal stress downregulated miR-145, a marker of multiple sclerosis in humans. Prenatal stress also upregulated miR-323 and miR-98, which may alter inflammatory responses in the brain. Furthermore, prenatal stress upregulated miR-219, which targets the gene Dazap1. Both miR-219 and Dazap1 are putative markers of schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder in humans. Offspring transcriptomic changes included genes related to development, axonal guidance and neuropathology. These findings indicate that prenatal stress modifies epigenetic signatures linked to disease during critical periods of fetal brain development. These observations provide a new mechanistic association between environmental and genetic risk factors in psychiatric and neurological disease.
NK4, a competitive antagonist for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and the Met receptor, is a bifunctional molecule that acts as an HGF antagonist and an angiogenesis inhibitor. The objective of this study was to investigate the anti-tumor effects of NK4 on the cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) cell line HuCC-T1.
Hedgehog signaling plays critical roles in drug resistance of PDAC. We demonstrate that SHH is highly expressed in PDAC patients and cell lines. SHH signaling protects PDAC cells against gemcitabine induced apoptosis, because either over-expression or knockdown of SHH in PDAC cells affects the sensitivity to gemcitabine. Mechanistic studies show that ABCB2 serves as the downstream target of SHH signaling, leading to the drug resistance of PDAC cells. Combinational treatments with gemcitabine and cyclopamine yield synergistic antitumor effects in vitro and in vivo. Our study suggests that inhibiting SHH signaling or targeting ABCB2 gene improves the efficacy of chemotherapy in patients with PDAC.
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood stream play a critical role in establishing metastases. The clinical value of CTCs as a biomarker for early cancer detection, diagnosis, prognosis, prediction, stratification, and pharmacodynamics have been widely explored in recent years. However, the clinical utility of current CTC tests is limited mainly due to methodological constraints. In this review, the pros and cons of the reported CTC assays are comprehensively discussed. In addition, the potential of tumor cell-derived materials as new targets for CTC detection, including circulating tumor microemboli, cell fragments, and circulating DNA, is evaluated. Finally, emerging approaches for CTC detection, including telomerase-based or aptamer-based assays and cell functional analysis, are also assessed. Expectantly, a thorough review of the current knowledge and technology of CTC detection will assist the scientific community in the development of more efficient CTC assay systems.
We have previously shown that local exposure of plants to stress results in a systemic increase in genome instability. Here, we show that UV-C-irradiated plants produce a volatile signal that triggers an increase in genome instability in neighboring nonirradiated Arabidopsis thaliana plants. This volatile signal is interspecific, as UV-C-irradiated Arabidopsis plants transmit genome destabilization to naive tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plants and vice versa. We report that plants exposed to the volatile hormones methyl salicylate (MeSA) or methyl jasmonate (MeJA) exhibit a similar level of genome destabilization as UV-C-irradiated plants. We also found that irradiated Arabidopsis plants produce MeSA and MeJA. The analysis of mutants impaired in the synthesis and/or response to salicylic acid (SA) and/or jasmonic acid showed that at least one other volatile compound besides MeSA and MeJA can communicate interplant genome instability. The NONEXPRESSOR OF PATHOGENESIS-RELATED GENES1 (npr1) mutant, defective in SA signaling, is impaired in both the production and the perception of the volatile signals, demonstrating a key role for NPR1 as a central regulator of genome stability. Finally, various forms of stress resulting in the formation of necrotic lesions also generate a volatile signal that leads to genomic instability.
IspH, a [4Fe-4S]-cluster-containing enzyme, catalyzes the reductive dehydroxylation of 4-hydroxy-3-methyl-butenyl diphosphate (HMBPP) to isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) in the methylerythritol phosphate pathway. Studies of IspH using fluoro-substituted substrate analogues to dissect the contributions of several factors to IspH catalysis, including the coordination of the HMBPP C(4)-OH group to the iron-sulfur cluster, the H-bonding network in the active site, and the electronic properties of the substrates, are reported.
Nephrin plays a key role in maintaining the structure of the slit diaphragm in the glomerular filtration barrier. Our previous studies have demonstrated potent renoprotective activity for 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)). Here we showed that in podocytes 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) markedly stimulated nephrin mRNA and protein expression. ChIP scan of the 6-kb 5 upstream region of the mouse nephrin gene identified several putative vitamin D response elements (VDREs), and EMSA confirmed that the VDRE at -312 (a DR4-type VDRE) could be bound by vitamin D receptor (VDR)/retinoid X receptor. Luciferase reporter assays of the proximal nephrin promoter fragment (-427 to +173) showed strong induction of luciferase activity upon 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) treatment, and the induction was abolished by mutations within -312VDRE. ChIP assays showed that, upon 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) activation, VDR bound to this VDRE leading to recruitment of DRIP205 and RNA polymerase II and histone 4 acetylation. Treatment of mice with a vitamin D analog induced nephrin mRNA and protein in the kidney, accompanied by increased VDR binding to the -312VDRE and histone 4 acetylation. 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) reversed high glucose-induced nephrin reduction in podocytes, and vitamin D analogs prevented nephrin decline in both type 1 and 2 diabetic mice. Together these data demonstrate that 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) stimulates nephrin expression in podocytes by acting on a VDRE in the proximal nephrin promoter. Nephrin up-regulation likely accounts for part of the renoprotective activity of vitamin D.
VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) inhibitors, as efficient antiangiogenesis agents, have been applied in the cancer treatment. However, currently most of these anticancer drugs suffer some adverse effects. Discovery of novel VEGFR2 inhibitors as anticancer drug candidates is still needed.
The recent use of a one-dimensional (1D) X-ray Talbot interferometer has triggered great interest in X-ray differential phase contrast imaging. As an improved version of a 1D interferometer, the development of two-dimensional (2D) grating interferometry strongly stimulated applications of grating-based imaging. In the framework of Fresnel diffraction theory, we investigated the self-image of 2D-phase gratings under partially coherent illumination. The fringe visibility of the self-image has been analyzed as a function of the spatial coherence length. From the viewpoint of self-image visibility, it is possible to find the optimal 2D grid for 2D X-ray grating interferometer imaging. Numerical simulations have been also carried out for quantitative evaluation. Results, in good agreement with theoretical analysis, indicate the spatial coherence requirements of the radiation illuminating a 2D grating interferometer. Moreover, our results can be used to optimize performances of a 2D grating interferometer and for further theoretical and experimental research on grating-based imaging systems.
We report the formation of liquid crystalline (LC) phases of short double-stranded DNA with nonpairing (nonsticky) overhangs, confined between two-dimensional (2D) lipid bilayers of cationic liposome-DNA complexes. In a landmark study (Science2007, 318, 1276), Nakata et al. reported on the discovery of strong end-to-end stacking interactions between short DNAs (sDNAs) with blunt ends, leading to the formation of 3D nematic (N) and columnar LC phases. Employing synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering, we have studied the interplay between shape anisotropy-induced and DNA end-to-end interaction-induced N ordering for 11, 24, and 48 bp sDNA rods with single-stranded oligo-thymine (T) overhangs modulating the end-to-end interactions. For suppressed stacking interactions with 10-T overhangs, the volume fraction of sDNA at which the 2D isotropic (I)-to-N transition occurs for 24 and 48 bp sDNA rods depended on their length-to-width (L/D) shape anisotropy, qualitatively consistent with Onsagers theory for the entropic alignment of rigid rods. As the overhang length is reduced from 10 to 5 and 2 T for 24 and 48 bp sDNA, the N-to-I transition occurs at lower volume fractions, indicating the onset of some degree of end-to-end stacking interactions. The 11 bp sDNA rods with 5- and 10-T overhangs remain in the I phase, consistent with their small shape anisotropy (L/D ? 1.9) below the limit for Onsager LC ordering. Unexpectedly, in contrast to the behavior of 24 and 48 bp sDNA, the end-to-end interactions between 11 bp sDNA rods with 2-T overhangs set in dramatically, and a novel 2D columnar N phase (N(C)) with finite-length columns formed. The building blocks of this phase are comprised of 1D stacks of (on average) four 11 bp DNA-2T rods with an effective L(stacked)/D ? 8.2. Our findings have implications for the DNA-directed assembly of nanoparticles on 2D platforms via end-to-end interactions and in designing optimally packed LC phases of short anisotropic biomolecules (such as peptides and short-interfering RNAs) on nanoparticle membranes, which are used in gene silencing and chemical delivery.
The review will describe experiments inspired by the rich variety of bundles and networks of interacting microtubules (MT), neurofilaments, and filamentous-actin in neurons where the nature of the interactions, structures, and structure-function correlations remain poorly understood. We describe how three-dimensional (3D) MT bundles and 2D MT bundles may assemble, in cell free systems in the presence of counter-ions, revealing structures not predicted by polyelectrolyte theories. Interestingly, experiments reveal that the neuronal protein tau, an abundant MT-associated-protein in axons, modulates the MT diameter providing insight for the control of geometric parameters in bio- nanotechnology. In another set of experiments we describe lipid-protein-nanotubes, and lipid nano-tubes and rods, resulting from membrane shape evolution processes involving protein templates and curvature stabilizing lipids. Similar membrane shape changes, occurring in cells for the purpose of specific functions, are induced by interactions between membranes and proteins. The biological materials systems described have applications in bio-nanotechnology.
This study aims to develop an accessibility index to illustrate the status of the accessibility of primary health care workers in remote and rural areas in China. Relevant county-level data were used to analyze the number and distribution of primary health care workforce in rural China, and relevant provincial-level data were used to analyze the accessibility index. The study found that the development of rural primary health care workers is suboptimal. The rural Primary Health Care Worker Accessibility index shows that the accessibility to primary health care workers in western rural areas is poor. The correlation between PHCWA index and maternal mortality rate is more significant than that between primary health care workers density and maternal mortality rate. In addition to increasing the number of primary health care workers, strategies addressing the challenge of distance are also required.
The gene for X-linked Kallmanns syndrome (KAL-1, encoding anosmin-1) was cloned in 1991. Over a decade elapsed before autosomal forms of KS and most of other genetic forms of isolated hypogonadotrophic hypogonadism (IHH) became characterized, and the genetic diversity of these disorders fully appreciated. Although KAL-1 mutations appear to cause a more severe reproductive phenotype than other IHH genes, the biology of this multidomain extracellular matrix protein has only been partially characterized. Initial studies suggested a central role of anosmin-1, in GnRH neuron ontogeny - specifically in GnRH neuronal migration from the cribriform plate area into the brain - as well as in olfactory bulb development. Anosmin-1 is expressed extracellularly, with high affinity binding to cell membrane heparan sulphate proteoglycans. It is expressed in the outer layers of the developing olfactory bulb, the neuroretina, the cerebellum, spinal cord and developing kidney. Recent observations have demonstrated an anosmin-1 heparan sulphate dependent functional interaction with the product of the autosomal dominant KAL-2 (FGFR1: anosmin-2) gene, thereby modulating FGFR1 signalling. Although these genes are frequently co-expressed in developing tissues, this may not represent the sole mode of action of anosmin-1, and FGFR1 independent actions of the protein have also been identified. Structural and in vitro functional studies have shown that anosmin-1 may have complex biological actions. Anosmin-1 interactions with FGFR1 have however been best characterized and represent the dominant focus of this chapter.
Three water-soluble polysaccharides (CTPS-1A, CTPS-2B, and CTPS-3A) were obtained from roots of Cudrania tricuspidata (Carr.) Bur. in this study. The homogeneity of polysaccharides was determined, and the average molecular weight, ultraviolet, infrared, monosaccharide composition, and methylation analyses were carried out. Immunomodulatory activity assays in vitro showed that the three polysaccharides could directly stimulate the proliferation of mouse splenocytes alone or combining with concanavalin A or lipopolysaccharide. Furthermore, their stimulating activities were higher than that of the widely clinically used lentinan at optimal concentrations. CTPS-1A and CTPS-2B also enhanced the pinocytic activity of mouse peritoneal macrophages.
In addition to intrinsic genetic alterations, the effects of the extrinsic microenvironment also play a pathological role in cancer development. Altered chemokine/cytokine networks in the tumor microenvironment may contribute to the dysregulation of cellular functions in cancer cells. Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) is an aggressive T-cell lymphoma caused by abnormal expression of anaplastic lymphoma kinase due to a chromosomal translocation. Notably, ALCL cells are also characterized by high-level expression of the high-affinity IL-2 receptor subunit CD25 on the cell surface. However, whether the IL-2/IL-2 receptor functions in ALCL cells and how this signaling affects the tumor remain unclear. In this study, we treated cultured ALCL cells with exogenous IL-2 and examined changes in cellular function and signaling pathways. IL-2 stimulated cell growth and augmented activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) pathway. Additionally, IL-2 enhanced lymphoma cell survival by overcoming kinase inhibitor U0126-induced growth arrest and apoptosis. Subsequently, to identify the potential source of IL-2 for lymphoma cells in vivo, we performed gene expression and immunochemical analyses. RT-PCR revealed no IL-2 gene expression in cultured ALCL cells and ruled out the possibility of an IL-2 autocrine loop. Interestingly, immunostaining of lymphoma tumor tissues showed IL-2 protein expression in background cells within tumor tissue, but not in ALCL cells. Our findings demonstrate that IL-2 signaling plays a functional role in ALCL cells, and enhances lymphoma cell survival by increasing activation of the ERK1/2 pathway.
Ethyl piperate is an effective lipid-lowering drug candidate synthesized from piperine. However, its pharmacokinetic characteristics and oral absorption process remain unclear. A liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method was applied to determine the oral bioavailability of ethyl piperate. Simulated gastrointestinal pH conditions and intestinal washings were prepared to investigate their contributions to the loss of ethyl piperate. Hydrolysis by carboxylesterase (CES) was evaluated in vitro using microsomes and S9 fractions. In situ intestinal single-pass perfusion experiments were performed to estimate the role of CES in ethyl piperate absorption. The bioavailability of ethyl piperate was extremely low (0.47%) in hamster independent of gastrointestinal environmental effects. Ethyl piperate was a typical substrate of CES with kinetic parameters K(m) and V(max) of 7.56 ± 1.491 ?M and 0.16 ± 0.008 nmol · min(-1) · mg protein(-1), respectively. CES was responsible for 85.8% of the intestinal hydrolysis of ethyl piperate. Specific inhibition of CES with bis-p-nitrophenyl phosphate (BNPP), decreased degradation clearance to 36% of control with no significant change in absorption clearance. This contrasted with the results of Caco-2 monolayer experiments, which showed a dramatic increase in the apparent permeability coefficient after BNPP treatment. mRNA levels for the CES isozyme, CES2A3, were similar among the three regions of hamster intestine and 60% less than those in liver; CES1B1 mRNA levels were even lower in the intestine and showed a proximal-to-distal decrease. In conclusion, CES markedly contributes to intestinal first-pass hydrolysis of ethyl piperate that is sufficient, but not necessary, to cause the observed extremely low bioavailability.
We have previously shown that local infection of tobacco plants with tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) or oilseed rape mosaic virus (ORMV) results in a systemic increase in the homologous recombination frequency (HRF). Here, we analyzed what other changes in the genome are triggered by pathogen infection. For the analysis of HRF, mutation frequency (MF) and microsatellite instability (MI), we used three different transgenic Arabidopsis lines carrying ?-glucuronidase (GUS)-based substrates in their genome. We found that local infection of Arabidopsis with ORMV resulted in an increase of all three frequencies, albeit to differing degrees. The most prominent increase was observed in microsatellite instability. The increase in HRF was the lowest, although still statistically significant. The analysis of methylation of the 35S promoter and transgene expression showed that the greater instability of the transgene was not attributed to these changes. Strand breaks brought about a significant increase in non-treated tissues of infected plants. The expression of genes associated with various repair processes, such as KU70, RAD51, MSH2, DNA POL ? and DNA POL ?, was also increased. To summarize, our data demonstrate that local ORMV infection destabilizes the genome in systemic tissues of Arabidopsis plants in various ways resulting in large rearrangements, point mutations and microsatellite instability.
We describe methodology for producing highly uniform, ordered and reproducible superstructures of surfactant-coated ZnS nanorod and nanowire assemblies, and propose a predictive multiscale "packing model" for superstructure formation based on electron microscopy and powder X-ray diffraction data on the superstructure, as well as on individual components of the nanostructured system. The studied nanoparticles showed a hierarchical structure starting from the individual faceted ZnS inorganic cores, onto which the crystalline surfactant molecules are adsorbed, to the superstructure of the nanoparticle arrays. Our results point out the critical role of the surfactant headgroup and polarity in nanoparticle assembly, and demonstrate the relationship between the molecular structure of the surfactant and the resulting superstructure of the nanoparticle assemblies.
Many in vitro studies have demonstrated that silencing of cancerous genes by siRNAs is a potential therapeutic approach for blocking tumor growth. However, siRNAs are not cell type-selective, cannot specifically target tumor cells, and therefore have limited in vivo application for siRNA-mediated gene therapy.
H(2)(18)O under the bridge: Recently, the deoxyxylulose phosphate (DXP) pathway was discovered to be a second pathway supplying isoprenoid biosynthetic precursors. One of steps is an IspG-catalyzed reductive deoxygenation of methylerythritol cyclodiphosphate (MEcPP) to 4-hydroxyl-3-methyl-2-(E)-1-diphosphate (HMBPP). Using [2-(13) C,(18) O]-MEcPP, we detected the positional isotopic exchange for the bridging oxygen in MEcPP.
Retroviruses need to bud from producer cells to spread infection. To facilitate its budding, some virus hijacks the multivesicular body (MVB) pathway that is normally used to cargo and degrade ubiquitylated cellular proteins, through interaction between the late domain of Gag polyproteins and the components of MVB machinery. In this study, we demonstrated that TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) directly interacted with VPS37C, a subunit of endosomal sorting complex required for transport-I (ESCRT-I) in the MVB pathway, without affecting the ultrastructure or general function of MVB. Interestingly, overexpression of TBK1 attenuated, whereas short hairpin RNA interference of TBK1 enhanced HIV-1 pseudovirus release from Vero cells in type I IFN (IFN-I)-independent manner. Down-regulation of TBK1 by short hairpin RNA in TZM-bl cells also enhanced live HIV-1 NL4-3 or JR-CSF virus budding without involvement of IFN-I induction. Furthermore, infection of TBK1-deficient mouse embryonic fibroblast cells with a chimeric murine leukemia virus/p6, whose PPPY motif was replaced by PTAP motif of HIV-1, showed that lack of TBK1 significantly enhanced PTAP-dependent, but not PPPY-dependent retrovirus budding. Finally, phosphorylation of VPS37C by TBK1 might regulate the viral budding efficiency, because overexpression of the kinase-inactive mutant of TBK1 (TBK1-K38A) in Vero cells accelerated HIV-1 pseudovirus budding. Therefore, through tethering to VPS37C of the ESCRT-I complex, TBK1 controlled the speed of PTAP-dependent retroviral budding through phosphorylation of VPS37C, which would serve as a novel mechanism of host cell defense independent of IFN-I signaling.
Impressive developments in X-ray imaging are associated with X-ray phase contrast computed tomography based on grating interferometry, a technique that provides increased contrast compared with conventional absorption-based imaging. A new "single-step" method capable of separating phase information from other contributions has been recently proposed. This approach not only simplifies data-acquisition procedures, but, compared with the existing phase step approach, significantly reduces the dose delivered to a sample. However, the image reconstruction procedure is more demanding than for traditional methods and new algorithms have to be developed to take advantage of the "single-step" method. In the work discussed in this paper, a fast iterative image reconstruction method named OSEM (ordered subsets expectation maximization) was applied to experimental data to evaluate its performance and range of applicability. The OSEM algorithm with different subsets was also characterized by comparison of reconstruction image quality and convergence speed. Computer simulations and experimental results confirm the reliability of this new algorithm for phase-contrast computed tomography applications. Compared with the traditional filtered back projection algorithm, in particular in the presence of a noisy acquisition, it furnishes better images at a higher spatial resolution and with lower noise. We emphasize that the method is highly compatible with future X-ray phase contrast imaging clinical applications.
In earlier studies, we showed that abiotic stresses, such as ionizing radiation, heavy metals, temperature and water, trigger an increase in homologous recombination frequency (HRF). We also demonstrated that many of these stresses led to inheritance of high-frequency homologous recombination, HRF. Although an increase in recombination frequency is an important indicator of genome rearrangements, it only represents a minor portion of possible stress-induced mutations. Here, we analyzed the influence of heat, cold, drought, flood and UVC abiotic stresses on two major types of mutations in the genome, point mutations and small deletions/insertions. We used two transgenic lines of Arabidopsis thaliana, one allowing an analysis of reversions in a stop codon-containing inactivated ?-glucuronidase transgene and another one allowing an analysis of repeat stability in a microsatellite-interrupted ?-glucuronidase transgene. The transgenic Arabidopsis line carrying the ?-glucuronidase-based homologous recombination substrate was used as a positive control. We showed that the majority of stresses increased the frequency of point mutations, homologous recombination and microsatellite instability in somatic cells, with the frequency of homologous recombination being affected the most. The analysis of transgenerational changes showed an increase in HRF to be the most prominent effect observed in progeny. Significant changes in recombination frequency were observed upon exposure to all types of stress except drought, whereas changes in microsatellite instability were observed upon exposure to UVC, heat and cold. The frequency of point mutations in the progeny of stress-exposed plants was the least affected; an increase in mutation frequency was observed only in the progeny of plants exposed to UVC. We thus conclude that transgenerational changes in genome stability in response to stress primarily involve an increase in recombination frequency.
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of an luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH)-I antagonist, Cetrorelix, on human multiple myeloma (MM) cells and to elucidate the mechanisms of action. We showed that LHRH-I and LHRHR-I genes were expressed in MM cell lines and primary MM cells. Treatment with Cetrorelix inhibited growth and colony-forming ability of myeloma cells, including cell lines resistant to arsenic trioxide, bortezomib, or lenalidomide. Cetrorelix induced apoptosis in myeloma cells including primary myeloma cells. In addition, Cetrorelix inhibited the growth of human myeloma cells xenografted into mice without any apparent side effects. Cetrorelix downregulated the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-?B) pathway activity and the expression of cytokines, including interleukin 6, insulin-like growth factor 1, VEGF-A, and stromal-derived factor 1, important for myeloma cell growth and survival in myeloma cells and/or marrow stromal cells from myeloma patients. Cetrorelix decreased the phosphorylation of extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 and STAT3 in myeloma cells, two crucial pathways for myeloma cells growth and survival. Moreover, the expression of p21 and p53 was increased, whereas that of antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-x(L) was reduced by Cetrorelix. Our findings indicate that Cetrorelix induces cytotoxicity in myeloma cells through various mechanisms and provide a rationale for investigating Cetrorelix for the treatment of MM.
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