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Updated: 2017-12-17T02:45:24Z

 



(XML) Correction: Protocols for the delivery of small molecules to the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Takeshi Suzuki, María Urizarna España, Maria Andreia Nunes, Vladimir Zhurov, Wannes Dermauw, Masahiro Osakabe, Thomas Van Leeuwen, Miodrag Grbic, Vojislava Grbic

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(XML) Fatty acids in non-alcoholic steatohepatitis: Focus on pentadecanoic acid

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Wonbeak Yoo, Donjeta Gjuka, Heather L. Stevenson, Xiaoling Song, Hong Shen, Suk Young Yoo, Jing Wang, Michael Fallon, George N. Ioannou, Stephen A. Harrison, Laura Beretta

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of liver disease and ranges from isolated steatosis to NASH. To determine whether circulating fatty acids could serve as diagnostic markers of NAFLD severity and whether specific fatty acids could contribute to the pathogenesis of NASH, we analyzed two independent NAFLD patient cohorts and used the methionine- and choline-deficient diet (MCD) NASH mouse model. We identified six fatty acids that could serve as non-invasive markers of NASH in patients with NAFLD. Serum levels of 15:0, 17:0 and 16:1n7t negatively correlated with NAFLD activity scores and hepatocyte ballooning scores, while 18:1n7c serum levels strongly correlated with fibrosis stage and liver inflammation. Serum levels of 15:0 and 17:0 also negatively correlated with fasting glucose and AST, while 16:1n7c and 18:1n7c levels positively correlated with AST and ferritin, respectively. Inclusion of demographic and clinical parameters improved the performance of the fatty acid panels in detecting NASH in NAFLD patients. The panel [15:0, 16:1n7t, 18:1n7c, 22:5n3, age, ferritin and APRI] predicted intermediate or advanced fibrosis in NAFLD patients, with 82% sensitivity at 90% specificity [AUROC = 0.92]. 15:0 and 18:1n7c were further selected for functional studies in vivo. Mice treated with 15:0-supplemented MCD diet showed reduced AST levels and hepatic infiltration of ceroid-laden macrophages compared to MCD-treated mice, suggesting that 15:0 deficiency contributes to liver injury in NASH. In contrast, 18:1n7c-supplemented MCD diet didn’t affect liver pathology. In conclusion, 15:0 may serve as a promising biomarker or therapeutic target in NASH, opening avenues for the integration of diagnosis and treatment.(image)



(XML) Treating iron deficiency in patients with gastrointestinal disease: Risk of re-attendance in secondary care

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Susannah Tomkins, Callum Chapman, Melissa Myland, Rachel Tham, Rachael de Nobrega, Brinley Jackson, Satish Keshav

Background

Patients with gastrointestinal disease may have comorbid iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) and an increased risk of hospitalisation and re-attendance in hospital. The purpose of this study was to determine if oral and intravenous (IV) treatment of IDA in patients with gastrointestinal disease attending hospital were associated with differential rates of subsequent re-attendance.

Methods and findings

Data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (primary care) and Hospital Treatment Insights (secondary care) databases in England were used to conduct this retrospective cohort study. Patients with a coded gastrointestinal disease and IDA who attended hospital (inpatient or outpatient) and were dispensed oral or IV iron between 01/01/2010-31/10/2013 were included. Elective and emergency re-attendances in secondary care within 30 days of the initial attendance were determined. Demographics, medical diagnoses and treatments were extracted. Re-attendance rates following oral or IV iron were compared using chi-square tests and a step-wise logistic regression model to adjust for confounders. 2,844 patients contributed 6,294 initial attendances; 80% of patients received oral iron, 14% received intravenous iron, and 6% received both. Of initial attendances recording oral iron, 77% resulted in re-attendance in hospital, compared to 34% of those recording IV iron (unadjusted odds ratio [OR]: 0.16; adjusted OR: 0.52 [95% CI: 0.44–0.61]). Initial attendances using IV treatment were more likely to result in elective re-attendance (84%) than those recording oral treatment (43%) (p<0.001). Median length of stay in hospital tended to be shorter for patients using IV iron (1.4 days; interquartile range 0.5–3.6 days; oral iron: 5.1 days; interquartile range: 2.2–9.6 days).

Conclusions

Patients with gastrointestinal disease and IDA who received IV iron were less likely to re-attend hospital, more likely to re-attend electively, and tended to have a shorter length of stay in hospital. The mode of IDA treatment could have a real-world impact on healthcare utilisation.

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(XML) Effects of mechanical repetitive load on bone quality around implants in rat maxillae

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Yusuke Uto, Shinichiro Kuroshima, Takayoshi Nakano, Takuya Ishimoto, Nao Inaba, Yusuke Uchida, Takashi Sawase

Greater understanding and acceptance of the new concept “bone quality”, which was proposed by the National Institutes of Health and is based on bone cells and collagen fibers, are required. The novel protein Semaphorin3A (Sema3A) is associated with osteoprotection by regulating bone cells. The aims of this study were to investigate the effects of mechanical loads on Sema3A production and bone quality based on bone cells and collagen fibers around implants in rat maxillae. Grade IV-titanium threaded implants were placed at 4 weeks post-extraction in maxillary first molars. Implants received mechanical loads (10 N, 3 Hz for 1800 cycles, 2 days/week) for 5 weeks from 3 weeks post-implant placement to minimize the effects of wound healing processes by implant placement. Bone structures, bone mineral density (BMD), Sema3A production and bone quality based on bone cells and collagen fibers were analyzed using microcomputed tomography, histomorphometry, immunohistomorphometry, polarized light microscopy and birefringence measurement system inside of the first and second thread (designated as thread A and B, respectively), as mechanical stresses are concentrated and differently distributed on the first two threads from the implant neck. Mechanical load significantly increased BMD, but not bone volume around implants. Inside thread B, but not thread A, mechanical load significantly accelerated Sema3A production with increased number of osteoblasts and osteocytes, and enhanced production of both type I and III collagen. Moreover, mechanical load also significantly induced preferential alignment of collagen fibers in the lower flank of thread B. These data demonstrate that mechanical load has different effects on Sema3A production and bone quality based on bone cells and collagen fibers between the inside threads of A and B. Mechanical load-induced Sema3A production may be differentially regulated by the type of bone structure or distinct stress distribution, resulting in control of bone quality around implants in jaw bones.(image)



(XML) Application of system dynamics and participatory spatial group model building in animal health: A case study of East Coast Fever interventions in Lundazi and Monze districts of Zambia

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Chisoni Mumba, Eystein Skjerve, Magda Rich, Karl M. Rich

East Coast Fever (ECF) is the most economically important production disease among traditional beef cattle farmers in Zambia. Despite the disease control efforts by the government, donors, and farmers, ECF cases are increasing. Why does ECF oscillate over time? Can alternative approaches such as systems thinking contribute solutions to the complex ECF problem, avoid unintended consequences, and achieve sustainable results? To answer these research questions and inform the design and implementation of ECF interventions, we qualitatively investigated the influence of dynamic socio-economic, cultural, and ecological factors. We used system dynamics modelling to specify these dynamics qualitatively, and an innovative participatory framework called spatial group model building (SGMB). SGMB uses participatory geographical information system (GIS) concepts and techniques to capture the role of spatial phenomenon in the context of complex systems, allowing stakeholders to identify spatial phenomenon directly on physical maps and integrate such information in model development. Our SGMB process convened focus groups of beef value chain stakeholders in two distinct production systems. The focus groups helped to jointly construct a series of interrelated system dynamics models that described ECF in a broader systems context. Thus, a complementary objective of this study was to demonstrate the applicability of system dynamics modelling and SGMB in animal health. The SGMB process revealed policy leverage points in the beef cattle value chain that could be targeted to improve ECF control. For example, policies that develop sustainable and stable cattle markets and improve household income availability may have positive feedback effects on investment in animal health. The results obtained from a SGMB process also demonstrated that a “one-size-fits-all” approach may not be equally effective in policing ECF in different agro-ecological zones due to the complex interactions of socio-ecological context with important, and often ignored, spatial patterns.(image)



(XML) Human hepatic lipase overexpression in mice induces hepatic steatosis and obesity through promoting hepatic lipogenesis and white adipose tissue lipolysis and fatty acid uptake

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Lídia Cedó, David Santos, Núria Roglans, Josep Julve, Victor Pallarès, Andrea Rivas-Urbina, Vicenta Llorente-Cortes, Joan Carles Laguna, Francisco Blanco-Vaca, Joan Carles Escolà-Gil

Human hepatic lipase (hHL) is mainly localized on the hepatocyte cell surface where it hydrolyzes lipids from remnant lipoproteins and high density lipoproteins and promotes their hepatic selective uptake. Furthermore, hepatic lipase (HL) is closely associated with obesity in multiple studies. Therefore, HL may play a key role on lipid homeostasis in liver and white adipose tissue (WAT). In the present study, we aimed to evaluate the effects of hHL expression on hepatic and white adipose triglyceride metabolism in vivo. Experiments were carried out in hHL transgenic and wild-type mice fed a Western-type diet. Triglyceride metabolism studies included β-oxidation and de novo lipogenesis in liver and WAT, hepatic triglyceride secretion, and adipose lipoprotein lipase (LPL)-mediated free fatty acid (FFA) lipolysis and influx. The expression of hHL promoted hepatic triglyceride accumulation and de novo lipogenesis without affecting triglyceride secretion, and this was associated with an upregulation of Srebf1 as well as the main genes controlling the synthesis of fatty acids. Transgenic mice also exhibited more adiposity and an increased LPL-mediated FFA influx into the WAT without affecting glucose tolerance. Our results demonstrate that hHL promoted hepatic steatosis in mice mainly by upregulating de novo lipogenesis. HL also upregulated WAT LPL and promoted triglyceride-rich lipoprotein hydrolysis and adipose FFA uptake. These data support the important role of hHL in regulating hepatic lipid homeostasis and confirm the broad cardiometabolic role of HL.(image)



(XML) In vitro anthelmintic effects of Spigelia anthelmia protein fractions against Haemonchus contortus

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Sandra Alves Araújo, Alexandra Martins dos Santos Soares, Carolina Rocha Silva, Eduardo Bezerra Almeida Júnior, Cláudia Quintino Rocha, André Teixeira da Silva Ferreira, Jonas Perales, Livio M. Costa-Júnior

Gastrointestinal nematodes are a significant concern for animal health and well-being, and anthelmintic treatment is mainly performed through the use of chemical products. However, bioactive compounds produced by plants have shown promise for development as novel anthelmintics. The aim of this study is to assess the anthelmintic activity of protein fractions from Spigelia anthelmia on the gastrointestinal nematode Haemonchus contortus. Plant parts were separated into leaves, stems and roots, washed with distilled water, freeze-dried and ground into a fine powder. Protein extraction was performed with sodium phosphate buffer (75 mM, pH 7.0). The extract was fractionated using ammonium sulfate (0–90%) and extensively dialyzed. The resulting fractions were named LPF (leaf protein fraction), SPF (stem protein fraction) and RPF (root protein fraction), and the protein contents and activities of the fractions were analyzed. H. contortus egg hatching (EHA), larval exsheathment inhibition (LEIA) and larval migration inhibition (LMIA) assays were performed. Proteomic analysis was conducted, and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) chromatographic profiles of the fractions were established to identify proteins and possible secondary metabolites. S. anthelmia fractions inhibited H. contortus egg hatching, with LPF having the most potent effects (EC50 0.17 mg mL-1). During LEIA, SPF presented greater efficiency than the other fractions (EC50 0.25 mg mL-1). According to LMIA, the fractions from roots, stems and leaves also reduced the number of larvae, with EC50 values of 0.11, 0.14 and 0.21 mg mL-1, respectively. Protein analysis indicated the presence of plant defense proteins in the S. anthelmia fractions, including protease, protease inhibitor, chitinase and others. Conversely, secondary metabolites were absent in the S. anthemia fractions. These results suggest that S. anthelmia proteins are promising for the control of the gastrointestinal nematode H. contortus.(image)



(XML) Limited detection of small (≤ 10 mm) colorectal liver metastasis at preoperative CT in patients undergoing liver resection

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Yousun Ko, Jihang Kim, Joseph Kyu-Hyung Park, Haeryoung Kim, Jai Young Cho, Sung-Bum Kang, Soyeon Ahn, Kyong Joon Lee, Kyoung Ho Lee

Objective

To retrospectively determine the sensitivity of preoperative CT in the detection of small (≤ 10 mm) colorectal liver metastasis (CRLM) nodules in patients undergoing liver resection.

Methods

The institutional review board approved the study and waived informed consent. We included 461 pathologically confirmed CRLM nodules in 211 patients (including 71 women; mean age, 66.4 years) who underwent 229 liver resections following abdominal CT. Prior to 163 resections, gadoxetic acid-enhanced liver MR imaging was also performed. Nodules were matched between pathology reports and prospective CT reports following a predefined algorithm. Per-nodule sensitivity of CT was calculated by nodule-size category. Generalized estimating equations were used to adjust for within-case correlation.

Results

Fourteen nodule sizes were missing in the pathology report. Nodules of 1–5 mm and 6–10 mm accounted for 8.1% (n = 36) and 23.5% (n = 105) of the remaining 447 nodules, and the number of nodules gradually decreased as nodule size increased beyond 10 mm. The overall sensitivity of CT was 81.2% (95% confidence interval, 77.1%, 85.2%; 365/461). The sensitivity was 8% (0%, 17%; 3/36), 55% (45%, 65%; 59/105), 91%, 95%, and 100% for nodules of 1–5 mm, 6–10 mm, 11–15 mm, 16–20 mm, and >20 mm, respectively. The nodule-size distribution was similar between resections undergoing gadoxetic acid-enhanced MR imaging and those not undergoing the MR imaging.

Conclusion

CT has limited sensitivity for nodules of ≤ 10 mm and particularly of ≤ 5 mm.

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(XML) The Arabidopsis thaliana F-box gene HAWAIIAN SKIRT is a new player in the microRNA pathway

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Xuebin Zhang, Dasuni Jayaweera, Janny L. Peters, Judit Szecsi, Mohammed Bendahmane, Jeremy A. Roberts, Zinnia H. González-Carranza

In Arabidopsis, the F-box HAWAIIAN SKIRT (HWS) protein is important for organ growth. Loss of function of HWS exhibits pleiotropic phenotypes including sepal fusion. To dissect the HWS role, we EMS-mutagenized hws-1 seeds and screened for mutations that suppress hws-1 associated phenotypes. We identified shs-2 and shs-3 (suppressor of hws-2 and 3) mutants in which the sepal fusion phenotype of hws-1 was suppressed. shs-2 and shs-3 (renamed hst-23/hws-1 and hst-24/hws-1) carry transition mutations that result in premature terminations in the plant homolog of Exportin-5 HASTY (HST), known to be important in miRNA biogenesis, function and transport. Genetic crosses between hws-1 and mutant lines for genes in the miRNA pathway also suppress the phenotypes associated with HWS loss of function, corroborating epistatic relations between the miRNA pathway genes and HWS. In agreement with these data, accumulation of miRNA is modified in HWS loss or gain of function mutants. Our data propose HWS as a new player in the miRNA pathway, important for plant growth.(image)



(XML) Resistant and susceptible responses in alfalfa (Medicago sativa) to bacterial stem blight caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Lev G. Nemchinov, Jonathan Shao, Maya N. Lee, Olga A. Postnikova, Deborah A. Samac

Bacterial stem blight caused by Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae is a common disease of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L). Little is known about host-pathogen interactions and host defense mechanisms. Here, individual resistant and susceptible plants were selected from cultivars Maverick and ZG9830 and used for transcript profiling at 24 and 72 hours after inoculation (hai) with the isolate PssALF3. Bioinformatic analysis revealed a number of differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in resistant and susceptible genotypes. Although resistant plants from each cultivar produced a hypersensitive response, transcriptome analyses indicated that they respond differently at the molecular level. The number of DEGs was higher in resistant plants of ZG9830 at 24 hai than in Maverick, suggesting that ZG9830 plants had a more rapid effector triggered immune response. Unique up-regulated genes in resistant ZG9830 plants included genes encoding putative nematode resistance HSPRO2-like proteins, orthologs for the rice Xa21 and soybean Rpg1-b resistance genes, and TIR-containing R genes lacking both NBS and LRR domains. The suite of R genes up-regulated in resistant Maverick plants had an over-representation of R genes in the CC-NBS-LRR family including two genes for atypical CCR domains and a putative ortholog of the Arabidopsis RPM1 gene. Resistance in both cultivars appears to be mediated primarily by WRKY family transcription factors and expression of genes involved in protein phosphorylation, regulation of transcription, defense response including synthesis of isoflavonoids, and oxidation-reduction processes. These results will further the identification of mechanisms involved in resistance to facilitate selection of parent populations and development of commercial varieties.(image)



(XML) Cyclodextrin-containing hydrogels as an intraocular lens for sustained drug release

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Xiao Li, Yang Zhao, Kaijie Wang, Lei Wang, Xiaohui Yang, Siquan Zhu

To improve the efficacy of anti-inflammatory factors in patients who undergo cataract surgery, poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate-co-methyl methacrylate) (p(HEMA-co-MMA)) hydrogels containing β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) (pHEMA/MMA/β-CD) were designed and prepared as intraocular lens (IOLs) biomaterials that could be loaded with and achieve the sustained release of dexamethasone. A series of pHEMA/MMA/β-CD copolymers containing different ratios of β-CD (range, 2.77 to 10.24 wt.%) were obtained using thermal polymerization. The polymers had high transmittance at visible wavelengths and good biocompatibility with mouse connective tissue fibroblasts. Drug loading and release studies demonstrated that introducing β-CD into hydrogels increased loading efficiency and achieved the sustained release of the drug. Administering β-CD via hydrogels increased the equilibrium swelling ratio, elastic modulus and tensile strength. In addition, β-CD increased the hydrophilicity of the hydrogels, resulting in a lower water contact angle and higher cellular adhesion to the hydrogels. In summary, pHEMA/MMA/β-CD hydrogels show great potential as IOL biomaterials that are capable of maintaining the sustained release of anti-inflammatory drugs after cataract surgery.(image)



(XML) Reliability of the parameters of the power-duration relationship using maximal effort time-trials under laboratory conditions

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Christoph Triska, Bettina Karsten, Bernd Heidegger, Bernhard Koller-Zeisler, Bernhard Prinz, Alfred Nimmerichter, Harald Tschan

The purpose of this study was to assess the reliability of critical power (CP) and the total amount of work accomplished above CP () across repeated tests using ecologically valid maximal effort time-trials (TT) under laboratory conditions. After an initial incremental exercise test, ten well-trained male triathletes (age: 28.5 ± 4.7 years; body mass: 73.3 ± 7.9 kg; height: 1.80 ± 0.07 m; maximal aerobic power [MAP]: 329 ± 41 W) performed three testing sessions (Familiarization, Test I and Test II) each comprising three TT (12, 7, and 3 min with a passive recovery of 60 min between trials). CP and were determined using a linear regression of power vs. the inverse of time (1/t) (P = ∙ 1/t + CP). A repeated-measures ANOVA was used to detect differences in CP and and reliability was assessed using the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and the coefficient of variation (CoV). CP and values were not significantly different between repeated tests (P = 0.171 and P = 0.078 for CP and , respectively). The ICC between Familiarization and Test I was r = 0.86 (CP) and r = 0.58 () and between Tests I and II it was r = 0.94 (CP) and r = 0.95 (). The CoV notably decreased from 4.1% to 2.6% and from 25.3% to 8.2% for CP and , respectively. Despite the non-significant differences for both parameter estimates between Familiarization, Test I, and Test II, ICC and CoV values improved notably after the familiarization trial. Our novel findings indicate that for both, CP and a familiarization trial increased reliability. It is therefore advisable to familiarize well-trained athletes when determining the power-duration relationship using TT under laboratory conditions.(image)



(XML) Maternal plasma angiogenic and inflammatory factor profiling in foetal Down syndrome

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Monika Zbucka-Kretowska, Karol Charkiewicz, Joanna Goscik, Slawomir Wolczynski, Piotr Laudanski

Objective and design

Angiogenic factors are proteins that are related to certain foetal chromosomal abnormalities. The aim of this study was to determine the concentration of 60 angiogenic factors in the plasma of women with offspring possessing trisomy 21/Down syndrome (DS).

Method

After analysing karyotyping results, we selected 20 patients with foetuses possessing DS, and for the control group, we selected 28 healthy patients with uncomplicated pregnancies who delivered healthy newborns at term (i.e., 15–18 weeks of gestation). To assess the concentration of proteins in the blood plasma, we used a protein macroarray which enabled simultaneous determination of 60 angiogenic factors per sample.

Results

We observed a statistically significant increase in the concentration of these five angiogenic and inflammatory factors: TGFb1 (p = 0.039), angiostatin (p = 0.0142), I-309 (p = 0.0476), TGFb3 (p = 0.0395), and VEGF-D (p = 0.0173)—compared to concentrations in patients with healthy foetuses.

Conclusion

Our findings suggest that angiogenic factors may play role in DS pathogenesis.

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(XML) Comparative study of qualitative and quantitative methods to determine toxicity level of Aspergillus flavus isolates in maize

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Meena Shekhar, Nirupma Singh, Ram Dutta, Shrvan Kumar, Vinay Mahajan

An attempt was made to compare between easy and inexpensive qualitative method (ammonia vapour test) and analytical methods (thin layer chromatography and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) for identification of aflatoxigenic isolates of Aspergillus flavus in maize. In this comparative study the toxicity level of A. flavus isolates exhibited 100% agreement among ammonia vapour test, ELISA and TLC for highly toxigenic (>2000 ppb) and toxigenic (501–2000 ppb) isolates while 88.5% agreement observed for least toxic (<20 ppb) isolates. In ammonia vapour test 51% of A. flavus isolates showed creamish or no colour change corresponding to least toxic/atoxic (<20ppb) category estimated by ELISA. Similarly 22% highly toxic isolates exhibited plum red colour, 12% moderately toxic indicated pink colour and 10% toxic isolates showed red colour. However, 11.5% isolates were found to be false positive in cream colour category (least toxic) and 28.5% false negatives in pink colour (moderately toxic) category. The isolates from different agroclimatic zones of maize in India showed high variability for aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) production potential ranging from 0.214–8116.61 ppb. Toxigenic potential of Aspergillus flavus isolates in culture was further validated by inoculating maize grain sample with four different isolates with varied toxin producing ability. With good agreement percentage between cultural and analytical methods the study concludes the ammonia vapour test to be easy, inexpensive, reliable and time saving method that can be used for segregating or pre-screening of contaminated samples from bulk food/feed stock.(image)



(XML) Isolation and functional analysis of fatty acid desaturase genes from peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.)

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Xiaoyuan Chi, Zhimeng Zhang, Na Chen, Xiaowen Zhang, Mian Wang, Mingna Chen, Tong Wang, Lijuan Pan, Jing Chen, Zhen Yang, Xiangyu Guan, Shanlin Yu

Background

Fatty acid desaturases are enzymes that introduce double bonds into fatty acyl chains. Extensive studies of fatty acid desaturases have been done in many plants. However, less is known about the diversity of this gene family in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), an important oilseed crop that is cultivated worldwide.

Results

In this study, twelve novel AhFADs genes were identified and isolated from peanut. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis indicated that the transcript abundances of AhFAB2-2 and AhFAD3-1 were higher in seeds than in other tissues examined, whereas the AhADS and AhFAD7-1 transcripts were more abundant in leaves. AhFAB2-3, AhFAD3-2, AhFAD4, AhSLD-4, and AhDES genes were highly expressed in flowers, whereas AhFAD7-2, AhSLD-2, and AhSLD-3 were expressed most strongly in stems. During seed development, the expressions of AhFAB2-2, AhFAD3-1, AhFAD7-1, and AhSLD-3 gradually increased in abundance, reached a maximum expression level, and then decreased. The AhFAB2-3, AhFAD3-2, AhFAD4, AhADS, and AhDES transcript levels remained relatively high at the initial stage of seed development, but decreased thereafter. The AhSLD-4 transcript level remained relatively low at the initial stage of seed development, but showed a dramatic increase in abundance at the final stage. The AhFAD7-2 and AhSLD-2 transcript levels remained relatively high at the initial stage of seed development, but then decreased, and finally increased again. The AhFAD transcripts were differentially expressed following exposure to abiotic stresses or abscisic acid. Moreover, the functions of one AhFAD6 and four AhSLD genes were confirmed by heterologous expression in Synechococcus elongates or Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Conclusions

The present study provides valuable information that improves understanding of the biological roles of FAD genes in fatty acid synthesis, and will help peanut breeders improve the quality of peanut oil via molecular design breeding.

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(XML) Cost-effectiveness analysis of introducing malaria diagnostic testing in drug shops: A cluster-randomised trial in Uganda

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Kristian Schultz Hansen, Siân E. Clarke, Sham Lal, Pascal Magnussen, Anthony K. Mbonye

Background

Private sector drug shops are an important source of malaria treatment in Africa, yet diagnosis without parasitological testing is common among these providers. Accurate rapid diagnostic tests for malaria (mRDTs) require limited training and present an opportunity to increase access to correct diagnosis. The present study was a cost-effectiveness analysis of the introduction of mRDTs in Ugandan drug shops.

Methods

Drug shop vendors were trained to perform and sell subsidised mRDTs and artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) in the intervention arm while vendors offered ACTs following presumptive diagnosis of malaria in the control arm. The effect on the proportion of customers with fever ‘appropriately treated of malaria with ACT’ was captured during a randomised trial in drug shops in Mukono District, Uganda. Health sector costs included: training of drug shop vendors, community sensitisation, supervision and provision of mRDTs and ACTs to drug shops. Household costs of treatment-seeking were captured in a representative sample of drug shop customers.

Findings

The introduction of mRDTs in drug shops was associated with a large improvement of diagnosis and treatment of malaria, resulting in low incremental costs for the health sector at US$0.55 per patient appropriately treated of malaria. High expenditure on non-ACT drugs by households contributed to higher incremental societal costs of US$3.83. Sensitivity analysis showed that mRDTs would become less cost-effective compared to presumptive diagnosis with increasing malaria prevalence and lower adherence to negative mRDT results.

Conclusion

mRDTs in drug shops improved the targeting of ACTs to malaria patients and are likely to be considered cost-effective compared to presumptive diagnosis, although the increased costs borne by households when the test result is negative are a concern.

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(XML) The ubiquitin-proteasome system is required for African swine fever replication

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Lucía Barrado-Gil, Inmaculada Galindo, Diego Martínez-Alonso, Sergio Viedma, Covadonga Alonso

Several viruses manipulate the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) to initiate a productive infection. Determined viral proteins are able to change the host’s ubiquitin machinery and some viruses even encode their own ubiquitinating or deubiquitinating enzymes. African swine fever virus (ASFV) encodes a gene homologous to the E2 ubiquitin conjugating (UBC) enzyme. The viral ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (UBCv1) is expressed throughout ASFV infection and accumulates at late times post infection. UBCv is also present in the viral particle suggesting that the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway could play an important role at early ASFV infection. We determined that inhibition of the final stage of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway blocked a post-internalization step in ASFV replication in Vero cells. Under proteasome inhibition, ASF viral genome replication, late gene expression and viral production were severely reduced. Also, ASFV enhanced proteasome activity at late times and the accumulation of polyubiquitinated proteins surrounding viral factories. Core-associated and/or viral proteins involved in DNA replication may be targets for the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway that could possibly assist virus uncoating at final core breakdown and viral DNA release. At later steps, polyubiquitinated proteins at viral factories could exert regulatory roles in cell signaling.(image)



(XML) Intensity matters: Therapist-dependent dose of spinal transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Diego Serrano-Muñoz, Julio Gómez-Soriano, Elisabeth Bravo-Esteban, María Vázquez-Fariñas, Julian Taylor, Juan Avendaño-Coy

The intensity used during transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) in both, clinical practice and research studies, is often based on subjective commands such as “strong but comfortable sensation”. There is no consensus regarding the effectiveness dose of TENS. The objective was to determine the difference in the effect of spinal TENS on soleus H-reflex modulation when applied by two therapists instructed to apply the stimulation at a “strong but comfortable” intensity. Twenty healthy volunteers divided into two groups: Therapist 1 (n = 10) and Therapist 2 (n = 10). Both therapist applied spinal TENS and sham stimulation at the T10–12 spinal level for 40min in random order to each subject, at an intensity designed to produce a “strong but comfortable” sensation. To avoid habituation, the intensity was adjusted every 2min. Soleus H-reflex was recorded before, during, and 10min after TENS by an observer blinded to the stimulus applied. Despite the instruction to apply TENS at a “strong comfortable” level, a significant difference in current density was identified: Therapist 1 (0.67mA/cm2, SD 0.54) applied more than Therapist 2 (0.53mA/cm2, SD 0.57; p<0.001) at the onset of the intervention. Maximal peak-to-peak H-reflex amplitude was inhibited significantly more 10min following TENS applied by Therapist 1 (-0.15mV, SD 0.16) compared with Therapist 2 (0.04mV, SD 0.16; p = 0.03). Furthermore, current density significantly correlated with the inhibitory effect on peak-to-peak Soleus H-reflex amplitude 10 min after stimulation (Rho = -0.38; p = 0.04). TENS intensity dosage by the therapist based on the subjective perception of the participants alone is unreliable and requires objective standardization. In addition, higher current density TENS produced greater inhibition of the Soleus H-reflex.(image)



(XML) Antimicrobial susceptibility and molecular epidemiology of clinical Enterobacter cloacae bloodstream isolates in Shanghai, China

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Su Wang, Shu-Zhen Xiao, Fei-Fei Gu, Jin Tang, Xiao-Kui Guo, Yu-Xing Ni, Jie-Ming Qu, Li-Zhong Han

Background

Enterobacter cloacae is a major nosocomial pathogen causing bloodstream infections. We retrospectively conducted a study to assess antimicrobial susceptibility and phylogenetic relationships of E. cloacae bloodstream isolates in two tertiary university-affiliated hospitals in Shanghai, in order to facilitate managements of E. cloacae bloodstream infections and highlight some unknowns for future prevention.

Methods

Fifty-three non-duplicate E. cloacae bloodstream isolates were consecutively collected from 2013 to 2016. Antimicrobial susceptibility was determined by disk diffusion. PCR was performed to detect extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL), carbapenemase and colistin resistance (MCR-1) gene. Plasmid-mediated AmpC β-lactamase (pAmpC) genes were detected using a multiplex PCR assay targeting MIR/ACT gene (closely related to chromosomal EBC family gene) and other plasmid-mediated genes, including DHA, MOX, CMY, ACC, and FOX. eBURST was applied to analyze multi-locus sequence typing (MLST).

Results

The rates of resistance to all tested antibiotics were <40%. Among 53 E. cloacae isolates, 8(15.1%) were ESBL producers, 3(5.7%) were carbapenemase producers and 18(34.0%) were pAmpC producers. ESBL producers bear significantly higher resistance to cefotaxime (100.0%), ceftazidime (100.0%), aztreonam (100.0%), piperacillin (87.5%), tetracycline (75.0%), and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (62.5%) than non-producers (p<0.05). PAmpC- and non-producers both presented low resistance rates (<40%) to all antibiotics (p>0.05). SHV (6/8, 75.0%) and MIR/ACT (15/18, 83.3%) predominated in ESBL and pAmpC producers respectively. Moreover, 2 isolates co-carried TEM-1, SHV-12, IMP-26 and DHA-1. MLST analysis distinguished the 53 isolates into 51 STs and only ST414 and ST520 were assigned two isolates of each (2/53).

Conclusion

The antimicrobial resistance rates were low among 53 E. cloacae bloodstream isolates in the two hospitals. Multiclonality disclosed no evidence on spread of these isolates in Shanghai. The simultaneous presence of ESBL, carbapenemase and pAmpC detected in 2 isolates was firstly reported in Shanghai, which necessitated active ongoing surveillances and consistent prevention and control of E. cloacae.

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(XML) LSPR-mediated high axial-resolution fluorescence imaging on a silver nanoparticle sheet

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Eiji Usukura, Yuhki Yanase, Ayumi Ishijima, Thasaneeya Kuboki, Satoru Kidoaki, Koichi Okamoto, Kaoru Tamada

This paper reports our original technique for visualizing cell-attached nanointerfaces with extremely high axial resolution using homogeneously excited localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) on self-assembled silver nanoparticle sheets. The LSPR sheet can confine and enhance the fluorescence at the nanointerface, which provides high signal-to-noise ratio images of focal adhesion at the cell-attached interface. The advantage of this LSPR-assisted technique is its usability, which provides comparable or higher-quality nanointerfacial images than TIRF microscopy, even under epifluorescence microscopy. We also report the cytotoxicity of silver nanoparticles, as determined via morphological analysis of adherent cells on the sheet.(image)



(XML) Genomic characterization and molecular evolution analysis of subtype B and BF recombinant HIV-1 strains among Argentinean men who have sex with men reveal a complex scenario

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Cintia G. Cevallos, Leandro R. Jones, Maria A. Pando, Jean K. Carr, Maria M. Avila, Jorge Quarleri

Currently, data on HIV-1 circulating strains among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Argentina is scarce. In South America, the distribution and the prevalence of BF recombinants are dissimilar and exhibit an underappreciated heterogeneity of recombinant structures. Here, we studied for the first time the genetic diversity of HIV-1 BF recombinants and their evolution over time through in-depth phylogenetic analysis and multiple recombination detection methods involving 337 HIV-1 nucleotide sequences (25 near full-length (NFL) and 312 partial pol gene) obtained from Argentinean MSM. The recombination profiles were studied using multiple in silico tools to characterize the genetic mosaicism, and phylogenetic approaches to infer their relationships. The evolutionary history of BF recombinants and subtype B sequences was reconstructed by a Bayesian coalescent-based method. By phylogenetic inference, 81/312 pol sequences clustered within BF clade. Of them, 46 sequences showed a genetic mosaic with CRF12_BF-like patterns, including plausible second-generation recombinants. Other CRFs_BF like (CRF17, 28, 29, 39, 42, 44, 47) and probable URFs_BF were less frequently found. Phylogenetic and recombination analyses on NFL sequences allowed a meticulous definition of new BF mosaics of genomic patterns. The Bayesian analyses pointed out quite consistent onset dates for the CRFs_BF clade based on B and F gene datasets (~1986 and ~1991 respectively). These results indicate that the CRFs_BF variants have been circulating among Argentinean MSM for about 30 years. This study reveals, through growing evidence showing the importance of MSM in the dynamics of the HIV-1 epidemic in Argentina, the coexistence of CRF12_BF-like and high diversity of strains exhibiting several BF mosaic patterns, including non-reported URFs that may reflect active clusters as potential intervention targets to hinder HIV-1 transmission.(image)



(XML) Tumor suppressor protein p53-mediated repression of human mitotic centromere-associated kinesin gene expression is exerted via down-regulation of Sp1 level

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Do Youn Jun, Ji Young Lee, Hae Sun Park, Yun Han Lee, Young Ho Kim

The repressive role of p53 on the human mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) core promoter from ‒266 to +54, relative to the transcription start site, has been determined. The MCAK mRNA and protein levels were 2.1- and 3.0-fold higher, respectively, in HCT116 (p53‒/‒) than in HCT116 (p53+/+) cells. Enforced down-regulation of p53 levels either in HCT116 (p53+/+) cells by p53 RNAi treatment or in MCF-7 cells using shRNA for p53 (shp53) resulted in a remarkable increase in the MCAK protein level. Site-directed mutagenesis and ChIP analyses showed that p53-mediated repression of the MCAK core promoter activity was not directly exerted by p53-binding to putative p53-response elements (p53-RE1 at −173/−166 and p53-RE2 at −245/−238), but indirectly by attenuating Sp1 binding to GC-motifs (GC1 at −93/−84 and GC2 at −119/−110). Treatment of HEK-293 cells bearing the MCAK core promoter-reporter (pGL2-320-Luc) with mithramycin A, which down-regulates Sp1 gene expression, reduced the promoter activity as well as endogenous MCAK levels. Exposure of HCT116 (p53+/+) cells to nutlin-3a, a validated activator of p53, caused a simultaneous reduction in Sp1 and MCAK protein levels, but not in HCT116 (p53−/−) cells. In contrast to wild-type (wt)-p53, tumor-derived p53 mutants (p53V143A, p53R248W, and p53R273H) failed to repress the Sp1-dependent activation of the MCAK promoter and to down-regulate endogenous levels of Sp1 and MCAK proteins. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that p53 can repress MCAK promoter activity indirectly via down-regulation of Sp1 expression level, and suggest that MCAK elevation in human tumor cells might be due to p53 mutation.(image)



(XML) Diet and stable isotope analyses reveal the feeding ecology of the orangeback squid Sthenoteuthis pteropus (Steenstrup 1855) (Mollusca, Ommastrephidae) in the eastern tropical Atlantic

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Véronique Merten, Bernd Christiansen, Jamileh Javidpour, Uwe Piatkowski, Oscar Puebla, Rebeca Gasca, Henk-Jan T. Hoving

In the eastern tropical Atlantic, the orangeback flying squid Sthenoteuthis pteropus (Steenstrup 1855) (Cephalopoda, Ommastrephidae) is a dominant species of the epipelagic nekton community. This carnivore squid has a short lifespan and is one of the fastest-growing squids. In this study, we characterise the role of S. pteropus in the pelagic food web of the eastern tropical Atlantic by investigating its diet and the dynamics of its feeding habits throughout its ontogeny and migration. During three expeditions in the eastern tropical Atlantic in 2015, 129 specimens were caught by hand jigging. Stomach content analyses (via visual identification and DNA barcoding) were combined with stable isotope data (∂15N and ∂13C) of muscle tissue to describe diet, feeding habits and trophic ecology of S. pteropus. Additionally, stable isotope analyses of incremental samples along the squid’s gladius—the chitinous spiniform structure supporting the muscles and organs—were carried out to explore possible diet shifts through ontogeny and migration. Our results show that S. pteropus preys mainly on myctophid fishes (e.g. Myctophum asperum, Myctophum nitidulum, Vinciguerria spp.), but also on other teleost species, cephalopods (e.g. Enoploteuthidae, Bolitinidae, Ommastrephidae), crustaceans and possibly on gelatinous zooplankton as well. The squid shows a highly opportunistic feeding behaviour that includes cannibalism. Our study indicates that the trophic position of S. pteropus may increase by approximately one trophic level from a mantle length of 15 cm to 47 cm. The reconstructed isotope-based feeding chronologies of the gladii revealed high intra- and inter-individual variability in the squid’s trophic position and foraging area. These findings are not revealed by diet or muscle tissue stable isotope analysis. This suggests a variable and complex life history involving individual variation and migration. The role of S. pteropus in transferring energy and nutrients from lower to higher trophic levels may be underestimated and important for understanding how a changing ocean impacts food webs in the eastern Atlantic.(image)



(XML) Involvement of phenoloxidase in browning during grinding of Tenebrio molitor larvae

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Renske H. Janssen, Catriona M. M. Lakemond, Vincenzo Fogliano, Giovanni Renzone, Andrea Scaloni, Jean-Paul Vincken

Insects are investigated as alternative protein source to meet the increasing demand for proteins in the future. Enzymatic browning occurring during grinding of insect and subsequent extraction of proteins can influence the proteins’ properties, but it is unclear which enzymes are responsible for this phenomenon. This study was performed on larvae of three commonly used insect species, namely Tenebrio molitor, Alphitobius diaperinus and Hermetia illucens. Oxygen consumption measurements on protein extracts showed activity on L-tyrosine, L-3,4-di-hydroxy-phenylalanine (L-DOPA) and L-dopamine, indicating phenoloxidase as a key player in browning. Furthermore, no reaction on 2,2'-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonic acid) was observed, ruling out an important contribution of laccase to browning. The browning reaction was most prominent at pH 6 for T. molitor and A. diaperinus, and 7 for H. illucens. As the enzyme activity of H. illucens was the lowest with the darkest color formation, this was likely caused by another factor. The activity of phenoloxidase was confirmed for T. molitor and A. diaperinus by activity measurements after fractionation by anion-exchange chromatography. Color measurements showed the presence of activity on both L-DOPA and L-tyrosine in the same fractions. Both substrates were converted into dopachrome after incubation with enzyme-enriched fractions. No DOPA-decarboxylase, tyrosine hydroxylase and peroxidase activities were observed. By using native PAGE with L-DOPA as staining-solution, active T. molitor protein bands were resolved and characterized, identifying a tyrosinase/phenoloxidase as the active enzyme species. All together, these data confirmed that tyrosinase is an important enzyme in causing enzymatic browning in T. molitor and likely in A. diaperinus.(image)



(XML) Cognitive failures in late adulthood: The role of age, social context and depressive symptoms

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Paul Kenneth Hitchcott, Maria Chiara Fastame, Dalila Langiu, Maria Pietronilla Penna

The incidence of self-reported cognitive failures among older adults may be an index of successful cognitive aging. However, self-reported cognitive failures are biased by variation in depressive symptomatology. This study examined age-related and socio-cultural context effects on cognitive failures while controlling for depressive symptoms. Both overall and specific factors of cognitive failures were determined. A further goal was to investigate the relationship between working memory and cognitive efficiency measures and cognitive failures. One hundred and thirty-nine cognitively healthy adults were recruited from two populations known to differ in their dispositions toward cognitive failures and depressive symptoms (Sardinia and northern Italy). The participants were assigned to Young Old (65–74 years old), Old (75–84 years of age) or Oldest Old (≥85 years of age) groups, and individually presented with a test battery including the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire, the Centre for Epidemiological Studies of Depression Scale, and Forward and Backward Digit Span tests. Specific factors of cognitive failures were differentially associated with measures of depression and working memory. While age had no impact on any aspect of cognitive failures, overall and specific dispositions varied between the two populations. The overall liability to cognitive failure was lower in participants from Sardinia, however, this group also had a higher liability to lapses of action (Blunders factor). Overall, these findings highlight that richer information about cognitive failures may be revealed through the investigation of specific factors of cognitive failures. They also confirm that the absence of changes in cognitive failures across old age is independent of variation in depressive symptoms, at least among cognitively healthy elders.(image)



(XML) Factors influencing psychological well-being in patients with Parkinson’s disease

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Alessandra Nicoletti, Giovanni Mostile, Fabrizio Stocchi, Giovanni Abbruzzese, Roberto Ceravolo, Pietro Cortelli, Marco D’Amelio, Maria F. De Pandis, Giovanni Fabbrini, Claudio Pacchetti, Gianni Pezzoli, Alessandro Tessitore, Margherita Canesi, Mario Zappia

Background

Both motor and non-motor symptoms could contribute to significant deterioration of psychological well-being in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, its assessment has been only indirectly evaluated using tools based on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), such as the PDQ-39 scale.

Objectives

To evaluate psychological well-being in PD using a specific tool of assessment, the Psychological Well-being Scale (PWS), and its clinical correlates.

Methods

This article reports data of patients’ perception of health state, as measured by means of the PWS, from an epidemiological, cross-sectional study conducted in Italian PD patients (FORTE Study). We tested possible relationship between well-being and clinical characteristics including fatigue, depression, sleep disruption and HRQoL.

Results

272 patients completed the PWS questionnaire. Significant and clinically-relevant correlations were found between PWS total score and Parkinson’s Fatigue Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, UPDRS Section I, PD Sleep Scale and PDQ-39 for HRQoL scores. Only clinically negligible correlations were found between PWS and motor scores.

Conclusions

Non-motor symptoms have a significant impact on psychological well-being in PD patients.

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(XML) High expression of lncRNA PVT1 independently predicts poor overall survival in patients with primary uveal melanoma

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Haiming Xu, Jingwen Gong, Hui Liu

The plasmacytoma variant translocation 1 gene (PVT1) plays an oncogenic role in the initiation and progression of multiple cancers. In this study, by using deep-sequencing data and follow-up data in the Cancer Genome Atlas-Uveal melanomas (TCGA-UVM), we assessed the association between the expression of PVT1 and clinicopathological characteristics of patients with uveal melanoma, the mechanism of its dysregulation and its prognostic value. Results showed that high PVT1 expression group had a higher proportion of epithelioid cell dominant disease (a more malignant histological subtype than spindle cell dominant disease) and more cases of extrascleral extension (a risk factor for metastasis) compared with the low PVT1 expression group. 61 out of 80 cases (76.3%) of primary uveal melanoma had PVT1 amplification in TCGA-UVM. In addition, PVT1 expression was strongly and negatively correlated with its methylation status (Pearson's r = -0.712, Spearman’s r = -0.806). By performing univariate and multivariate analysis, we found that high PVT1 expression was an independent predictor of poor OS in patients with uveal melanoma (HR: 12.015, 95%CI: 1.854–77.876, p = 0.009). Based on these findings, we infer that PVT1 expression is modulated by both DNA amplification and methylation and its expression might serve as a valuable and specific prognostic biomarker in terms of OS in uveal melanoma.(image)



(XML) Transcriptome profiling identifies regulators of pathogenesis in collagen VI related muscular dystrophy

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Russell J. Butterfield, Diane M. Dunn, Ying Hu, Kory Johnson, Carsten G. Bönnemann, Robert B. Weiss

Objectives

The collagen VI related muscular dystrophies (COL6-RD), Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy (UCMD) and Bethlem myopathy (BM) are among the most common congenital muscular dystrophies and are characterized by distal joint laxity and a combination of distal and proximal joint contractures. Inheritance can be dominant negative (DN) or recessive depending on the type and location of the mutation. DN mutations allow incorporation of abnormal chains into secreted tetramers and are the most commonly identified mutation type in COL6-RD. Null alleles (nonsense, frameshift, and large deletions) do not allow incorporation of abnormal chains and act recessively. To better define the pathways disrupted by mutations in collagen VI, we have used a transcriptional profiling approach with RNA-Seq to identify differentially expressed genes in COL6-RD individuals from controls.

Methods

RNA-Seq allows precise detection of all expressed transcripts in a sample and provides a tool for quantification of expression data on a genomic scale. We have used RNA-Seq to identify differentially expressed genes in cultured dermal fibroblasts from 13 COL6-RD individuals (8 dominant negative and 5 null) and 6 controls. To better assess the transcriptional changes induced by abnormal collagen VI in the extracellular matrix (ECM); we compared transcriptional profiles from subjects with DN mutations and subjects with null mutations to transcriptional profiles from controls.

Results

Differentially expressed transcripts between COL6-RD and control fibroblasts include upregulation of ECM components and downregulation of factors controlling matrix remodeling and repair. DN and null samples are differentiated by downregulation of genes involved with DNA replication and repair in null samples.

Conclusions

Differentially expressed genes identified here may help identify new targets for development of therapies and biomarkers to assess the efficacy of treatments.

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(XML) Neuroligin 4X overexpression in human breast cancer is associated with poor relapse-free survival

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Henry J. Henderson, Balasubramanyam Karanam, Rajeev Samant, Komal Vig, Shree R. Singh, Clayton Yates, Deepa Bedi

The molecular mechanisms involved in breast cancer progression and metastasis still remain unclear to date. It is a heterogeneous disease featuring several different phenotypes with consistently different biological characteristics. Neuroligins are neural cell adhesion molecules that have been implicated in heterotopic cell adhesion. In humans, alterations in neuroligin genes are implicated in autism and other cognitive diseases. Until recently, neuroligins have been shown to be abundantly expressed in blood vessels and also play a role implicated in the growth of glioma cells. Here we report increased expression of neuroligin 4X (NLGN4X) in breast cancer. We found NLGN4X was abundantly expressed in breast cancer tissues. NLGN4X expression data for all breast cancer cell lines in the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE) was analyzed. Correlation between NLGN4X levels and clinicopathologic parameters were analyzed within Oncomine datasets. Evaluation of these bioinfomatic datasets results revealed that NLGN4X expression was higher in triple negative breast cancer cells, particularly the basal subtype and tissues versus non-triple-negative sets. Its level was also observed to be higher in metastatic tissues. RT-PCR, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence study of MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 breast cancer cells validated that NLGN4X was increased in MDA-MB-231. Knockdown of NLGN4X expression by siRNA decreased cell proliferation and migration significantly in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. NLGN4X knockdown in MDA-MB-231 cells resulted in induction of apoptosis as determined by annexin staining, elevated caspase 3/7 and cleaved PARP by flow cytometry. High NLGN4X expression highly correlated with decrease in relapse free-survival in TNBC. NLGN4X might represent novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for breast cancer. Inhibition of NLGN4X may be a new target for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.(image)



(XML) Frailty and quality of life among older people with and without a cancer diagnosis: Findings from TOPICS-MDS

2017-12-15T22:00:00Z

by Noralie Geessink, Yvonne Schoon, Harry van Goor, Marcel Olde Rikkert, René Melis, on behalf of the TOPICS-MDS consortium

Background

The number of older cancer patients is rising. Especially in older people, treatment considerations should balance the impact of disease and treatment on quality of life (QOL) and survival. How a cancer diagnosis in older people interacts with concomitant frailty to impact on QOL is largely unknown. We aimed to determine the association between frailty and QOL among community-dwelling older people aged 65 years or above with and without a cancer diagnosis cross-sectionally and at 12 months follow-up.

Methods

Data were derived from the TOPICS-MDS database. Frailty was quantified by a frailty index (FI). QOL was measured with the subjective Cantril’s Self Anchoring Ladder (CSAL, range: 0–10) and the health-related EuroQol-5D (EQ-5D, range:-0.33–1.00) at baseline and after 12 months. To determine associations, linear mixed models were used.

Results

7493 older people (78.6±6.4 years, 58.4% female) were included. Dealing with a cancer diagnosis (n = 751) was associated with worse QOL both at baseline (CSAL:-0.25 (95%-CI:-0.36;-0.14), EQ-5D:-0.03 (95%-CI:-0.05;-0.02)) and at follow-up (CSAL:-0.13 (95%-CI:-0.24;-0.02), EQ-5D:-0.02 (95%-CI:-0.03;-0.00)). A ten percent increase in frailty was also associated with a decrease in QOL at baseline (CSAL:-0.35 (95%-CI:-0.38;-0.32), EQ-5D:-0.12 (95%-CI:-0.12;-0.11)) and follow-up (CSAL:-0.27 (95%-CI:-0.30;-0.24), EQ-5D:-0.07 (95%-CI:-0.07;-0.06)). When mutually adjusting for frailty and a cancer diagnosis, associations between a cancer diagnosis and QOL only remained significant for CSAL at baseline (-0.14 (95%-CI:-0.25;-0.03)), whereas associations between frailty and QOL remained significant for all QOL outcomes at baseline and follow-up. No statistical interactions between cancer and frailty in their combined impact on QOL were found.

Conclusions

Cancer diagnosis and frailty were associated with worse health-related and self-perceived QOL both at baseline and at follow-up. Differences in QOL between older people with and without a cancer diagnosis were explained to a large extent by differences in frailty levels. This stresses the importance to take into account frailty in routine oncologic care.

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