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Sample records for factor mechanistic implications

  1. Outer mitochondrial membrane localization of apoptosis-inducing factor: mechanistic implications for release

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Seong-Woon; Wang, Yingfei; Frydenlund, Didrik S; Ottersen, Ole Petter; Dawson, Valina L; Dawson, Ted M

    2009-01-01

    Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1-dependent cell death (known as parthanatos) plays a pivotal role in many clinically important events including ischaemia/reperfusion injury and glutamate excitotoxicity. A recent study by us has shown that uncleaved AIF (apoptosis-inducing factor), but not calpain-hydrolysed truncated-AIF, was rapidly released from the mitochondria during parthanatos, implicating a second pool of AIF that might be present in brain mitochondria contributing to the rapid release. In the present study, a novel AIF pool is revealed in brain mitochondria by multiple biochemical analyses. Approx. 30% of AIF loosely associates with the outer mitochondrial membrane on the cytosolic side, in addition to its main localization in the mitochondrial intermembrane space attached to the inner membrane. Immunogold electron microscopic analysis of mouse brain further supports AIF association with the outer, as well as the inner, mitochondrial membrane in vivo. In line with these observations, approx. 20% of uncleaved AIF rapidly translocates to the nucleus and functionally causes neuronal death upon NMDA (N-methyl-d-aspartate) treatment. In the present study we show for the first time a second pool of AIF in brain mitochondria and demonstrate that this pool does not require cleavage and that it contributes to the rapid release of AIF. Moreover, these results suggest that this outer mitochondrial pool of AIF is sufficient to cause cell death during parthanatos. Interfering with the release of this outer mitochondrial pool of AIF during cell injury paradigms that use parthanatos hold particular promise for novel therapies to treat neurological disorders. PMID:19863494

  2. Structure and Mechanistic Implications of a Tryptophan Synthase Quinonoid Intermediate

    SciTech Connect

    Barends,T.; Domratcheva, T.; Kulik, V.; Blumenstein, L.; Niks, D.; Dunn, M.; Schlichting, I.

    2008-01-01

    Quinonoid intermediates play a key role in the catalytic mechanism of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzymes. Whereas structures of other PLP-bound reaction intermediates have been determined, a high-quality structure of a quinonoid species has not been reported. We present the crystal structure of the indoline quinonoid intermediate of tryptophan synthase (see figure) and discuss its implications for the enzymatic mechanism and allosteric regulation.

  3. Ferritin Diversity: Mechanistic Studies, Disease Implications, and Materials Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilton, Robert J.

    2011-07-01

    The study of ferritin includes a rich history of discoveries and scientific progress. Initially, the composition of ferritin was determined. Soon, it was shown that ferritin is a spherical, hollow protein. Eventually, over several decades of research, the structure and some function of this interesting protein was elucidated. However, the ferritin field was not completely satisfied. Today, for example, researchers are interested in refining the details of ferritin function, in discovering the role of ferritin in a variety of diseases, and in using ferritin for materials chemistry applications. The work presented in this dissertation highlights the progress that we have made in each of these three areas: (1) Mechanistic studies: The buffer used during horse spleen ferritin iron loading significantly influences the mineralization process and the quantity of iron deposited in ferritin. The ferrihydrite core of ferritin is crystalline and ordered when iron is loaded into ferritin in the presence of imidazole buffer. On the other hand, when iron is loaded into ferritin in the presence of MOPS buffer, the ferrihydrite core is less crystalline and less ordered, and a smaller amount of total iron is loaded in ferritin. We also show that iron can be released from the ferritin core in a non-reductive manner. The rate of Fe3+ release from horse spleen ferritin was measured using the Fe3+-specific chelator desferoxamine. We show that iron release occurs by three kinetic events. (2) Disease studies: In order to better understand iron disruption during disease states, we performed in vitro assays that mimicked chronic kidney disease. We tested the hypothesis that elevated levels of serum phosphate interrupted normal iron binding by transferrin and ferritin. Results show that phosphate competes for iron, forming an iron(III)-phosphate complex that is inaccessible to either transferrin or ferritin. Ferritin samples separated from the iron(III)-phosphate complex shows that as the

  4. Ultrasound and Microbubble Guided Drug Delivery: Mechanistic Understanding and Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tzu-Yin; Wilson, Katheryne E.; Machtaler, Steven; Willmann, Jürgen K.

    2014-01-01

    Ultrasound mediated drug delivery using microbubbles is a safe and noninvasive approach for spatially localized drug administration. This approach can create temporary and reversible openings on cellular membranes and vessel walls (a process called “sonoporation”), allowing for enhanced transport of therapeutic agents across these natural barriers. It is generally believed that the sonoporation process is highly associated with the energetic cavitation activities (volumetric expansion, contraction, fragmentation, and collapse) of the microbubble. However, a thorough understanding of the process was unavailable until recently. Important progress on the mechanistic understanding of sonoporation and the corresponding physiological responses in vitro and in vivo has been made. Specifically, recent research shed light on the cavitation process of microbubbles and fluid motion during insonation of ultrasound, on the spatio-temporal interactions between microbubbles and cells or vessel walls, as well as on the temporal course of the subsequent biological effects. These findings have significant clinical implications on the development of optimal treatment strategies for effective drug delivery. In this article, current progress in the mechanistic understanding of ultrasound and microbubble mediated drug delivery and its implications for clinical translation is discussed. PMID:24372231

  5. Mechanistic duality of transcription factor function in phytochrome signaling

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The phytochrome (phy) family of sensory photoreceptors (phyA–E in Arabidopsis) elicit changes in gene expression after light-induced migration to the nucleus, where they interact with basic helix–loop–helix transcription factors, such as phytochrome-interacting factor 3 (PIF3). The mechanism by whic...

  6. Stoichiometry of proton translocation by respiratory complex I and its mechanistic implications

    PubMed Central

    Wikström, Mårten; Hummer, Gerhard

    2012-01-01

    Complex I (NADH-ubiquinone oxidoreductase) in the respiratory chain of mitochondria and several bacteria functions as a redox-driven proton pump that contributes to the generation of the protonmotive force across the inner mitochondrial or bacterial membrane and thus to the aerobic synthesis of ATP. The stoichiometry of proton translocation is thought to be 4 H+ per NADH oxidized (2 e-). Here we show that a H+/2 e- ratio of 3 appears more likely on the basis of the recently determined H+/ATP ratio of the mitochondrial F1Fo-ATP synthase of animal mitochondria and of a set of carefully determined ATP/2 e- ratios for different segments of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. This lower H+/2 e- ratio of 3 is independently supported by thermodynamic analyses of experiments with both mitochondria and submitochondrial particles. A reduced H+/2 e- stoichiometry of 3 has important mechanistic implications for this proton pump. In a rough mechanistic model, we suggest a concerted proton translocation mechanism in the three homologous and tightly packed antiporter-like subunits L, M, and N of the proton-translocating membrane domain of complex I. PMID:22392981

  7. Pollution and skin: from epidemiological and mechanistic studies to clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Krutmann, Jean; Liu, Wei; Li, Li; Pan, Xiaochuan; Crawford, Martha; Sore, Gabrielle; Seite, Sophie

    2014-12-01

    In recent years, the health effects associated with air pollution have been intensively studied. Most studies focus on air pollution effects on the lung and the cardiovascular system. More recently, however, epidemiological and mechanistic studies suggest that air pollution is also affecting skin integrity. This state-of-the-art review focuses on this latter aspect; it was developed with the collaboration of European and Chinese board of experts with specific interests in environmental health, clinical and basic research in dermatology and cosmetic dermatology. A literature review limited to pollution and health effects and (sensitive) skin was performed using PubMed. Review and original articles were chosen. We summarize the existing scientific evidence that air pollution exerts detrimental effects on human skin, discuss potential clinical implications and suggest specific and unspecific cosmetic protective measures. PMID:25278222

  8. Eukaryotic selenoprotein synthesis: mechanistic insight incorporating new factors and new functions for old factors.

    PubMed

    Squires, Jeffrey E; Berry, Marla J

    2008-04-01

    Selenium is an essential micronutrient that has been linked to various aspects of human health. Selenium exerts its biological activity through the incorporation of the amino acid, selenocysteine (Sec), into a unique class of proteins termed selenoproteins. Sec incorporation occurs cotranslationally at UGA codons in archaea, prokaryotes, and eukaryotes. UGA codons specify Sec coding rather than termination by the presence of specific secondary structures in mRNAs termed selenocysteine insertion (SECIS) elements, and trans-acting factors that associate with SECIS elements. Herein, we discuss the various proteins known to function in eukaryotic selenoprotein biosynthesis, including several players whose roles have only been elucidated very recently. PMID:18344183

  9. Structures of multidrug and toxic compound extrusion transporters and their mechanistic implications.

    PubMed

    Lu, Min

    2016-03-01

    Multidrug resistance poses grand challenges to the effective treatment of infectious diseases and cancers. Integral membrane proteins from the multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) family contribute to multidrug resistance by exporting a wide variety of therapeutic drugs across cell membranes. MATE proteins are conserved from bacteria to humans and can be categorized into the NorM, DinF and eukaryotic subfamilies. MATE transporters hold great appeal as potential therapeutic targets for curbing multidrug resistance, yet their transport mechanism remains elusive. During the past 5 years, X-ray structures of 4 NorM and DinF transporters have been reported and guided biochemical studies to reveal how MATE transporters extrude different drugs. Such advances, although substantial, have yet to be discussed collectively. Herein I review these structures and the unprecedented mechanistic insights that have been garnered from those structure-inspired studies, as well as lay out the outstanding questions that present exciting opportunities for future work. PMID:26488689

  10. Chemiexcitation in the peroxidative metabolism of N-methylcarbazole: mechanistic implications.

    PubMed

    de Melo, M P; Cilento, G

    1994-06-01

    The peroxidative metabolism of N-methylcarbazole emits light independently of the presence of oxygen. It is likely that two chemiexcited transients are formed by electron transfer to the activated peroxidase, the cation radical by one electron transfer and a cation biradical by two electron transfer consistent with the failure to observe horseradish peroxidase-II in the steady state of the reaction. In the spectral range investigated (390-700 nm) the observed emission (570-700 nm) is ascribed to the biradical, as the latter is equivalent to an excited state of the postulated iminium cation. While lipoxygenase has no effect upon N-methylcarbazole, it markedly enhances the emission if peroxidase is present. This effect requires oxygen and is ascribed to an excited product formed by lipoxygenase acting upon an intermediate hydroperoxide of the aerobic process promoted by peroxidase. Our results are of importance on two counts. First they extend to N-methylcarbazole the formation of excited species in the peroxidative metabolism of important xenobiotics. Second, the mechanistic information they provide supports the scheme of metabolism postulated by Kedderis et al. (1986, J. Biol. Chem. 261, 15910-15914). PMID:8066126

  11. Structures of multidrug and toxic compound extrusion transporters and their mechanistic implications

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Min

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Multidrug resistance poses grand challenges to the effective treatment of infectious diseases and cancers. Integral membrane proteins from the multidrug and toxic compound extrusion (MATE) family contribute to multidrug resistance by exporting a wide variety of therapeutic drugs across cell membranes. MATE proteins are conserved from bacteria to humans and can be categorized into the NorM, DinF and eukaryotic subfamilies. MATE transporters hold great appeal as potential therapeutic targets for curbing multidrug resistance, yet their transport mechanism remains elusive. During the past 5 years, X-ray structures of 4 NorM and DinF transporters have been reported and guided biochemical studies to reveal how MATE transporters extrude different drugs. Such advances, although substantial, have yet to be discussed collectively. Herein I review these structures and the unprecedented mechanistic insights that have been garnered from those structure-inspired studies, as well as lay out the outstanding questions that present exciting opportunities for future work. PMID:26488689

  12. Recurrent Glioblastomas Reveal Molecular Subtypes Associated with Mechanistic Implications of Drug-Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Park, Chul-Kee; Jung, Shin; Park, Eun Sung; Lee, Ju-Seog; Kim, Se-Hyuk; Woo, Hyun Goo

    2015-01-01

    Previously, transcriptomic profiling studies have shown distinct molecular subtypes of glioblastomas. It has also been suggested that the recurrence of glioblastomas could be achieved by transcriptomic reprograming of tumors, however, their characteristics are not yet fully understood. Here, to gain the mechanistic insights on the molecular phenotypes of recurrent glioblastomas, gene expression profiling was performed on the 43 cases of glioblastomas including 15 paired primary and recurrent cases. Unsupervised clustering analyses revealed two subtypes of G1 and G2, which were characterized by proliferation and neuron-like gene expression traits, respectively. While the primary tumors were classified as G1 subtype, the recurrent glioblastomas showed two distinct expression types. Compared to paired primary tumors, the recurrent tumors in G1 subtype did not show expression alteration. By contrast, the recurrent tumors in G2 subtype showed expression changes from proliferation type to neuron-like one. We also observed the expression of stemness-related genes in G1 recurrent tumors and the altered expression of DNA-repair genes (i.e., AURK, HOX, MGMT, and MSH6) in the G2 recurrent tumors, which might be responsible for the acquisition of drug resistance mechanism during tumor recurrence in a subtype-specific manner. We suggest that recurrent glioblastomas may choose two different strategies for transcriptomic reprograming to escape the chemotherapeutic treatment during tumor recurrence. Our results might be helpful to determine personalized therapeutic strategy against heterogeneous glioma recurrence. PMID:26466313

  13. Calcium Regulation of Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Budding: Mechanistic Implications for Host-Oriented Therapeutic Intervention.

    PubMed

    Han, Ziying; Madara, Jonathan J; Herbert, Andrew; Prugar, Laura I; Ruthel, Gordon; Lu, Jianhong; Liu, Yuliang; Liu, Wenbo; Liu, Xiaohong; Wrobel, Jay E; Reitz, Allen B; Dye, John M; Harty, Ronald N; Freedman, Bruce D

    2015-10-01

    Hemorrhagic fever viruses, including the filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg) and arenaviruses (Lassa and Junín viruses), are serious human pathogens for which there are currently no FDA approved therapeutics or vaccines. Importantly, transmission of these viruses, and specifically late steps of budding, critically depend upon host cell machinery. Consequently, strategies which target these mechanisms represent potential targets for broad spectrum host oriented therapeutics. An important cellular signal implicated previously in EBOV budding is calcium. Indeed, host cell calcium signals are increasingly being recognized to play a role in steps of entry, replication, and transmission for a range of viruses, but if and how filoviruses and arenaviruses mobilize calcium and the precise stage of virus transmission regulated by calcium have not been defined. Here we demonstrate that expression of matrix proteins from both filoviruses and arenaviruses triggers an increase in host cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration by a mechanism that requires host Orai1 channels. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Orai1 regulates both VLP and infectious filovirus and arenavirus production and spread. Notably, suppression of the protein that triggers Orai activation (Stromal Interaction Molecule 1, STIM1) and genetic inactivation or pharmacological blockade of Orai1 channels inhibits VLP and infectious virus egress. These findings are highly significant as they expand our understanding of host mechanisms that may broadly control enveloped RNA virus budding, and they establish Orai and STIM1 as novel targets for broad-spectrum host-oriented therapeutics to combat these emerging BSL-4 pathogens and potentially other enveloped RNA viruses that bud via similar mechanisms. PMID:26513362

  14. Calcium Regulation of Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Budding: Mechanistic Implications for Host-Oriented Therapeutic Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Han, Ziying; Madara, Jonathan J.; Herbert, Andrew; Prugar, Laura I.; Ruthel, Gordon; Lu, Jianhong; Liu, Yuliang; Liu, Wenbo; Liu, Xiaohong; Wrobel, Jay E.; Reitz, Allen B.; Dye, John M.; Harty, Ronald N.; Freedman, Bruce D.

    2015-01-01

    Hemorrhagic fever viruses, including the filoviruses (Ebola and Marburg) and arenaviruses (Lassa and Junín viruses), are serious human pathogens for which there are currently no FDA approved therapeutics or vaccines. Importantly, transmission of these viruses, and specifically late steps of budding, critically depend upon host cell machinery. Consequently, strategies which target these mechanisms represent potential targets for broad spectrum host oriented therapeutics. An important cellular signal implicated previously in EBOV budding is calcium. Indeed, host cell calcium signals are increasingly being recognized to play a role in steps of entry, replication, and transmission for a range of viruses, but if and how filoviruses and arenaviruses mobilize calcium and the precise stage of virus transmission regulated by calcium have not been defined. Here we demonstrate that expression of matrix proteins from both filoviruses and arenaviruses triggers an increase in host cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration by a mechanism that requires host Orai1 channels. Furthermore, we demonstrate that Orai1 regulates both VLP and infectious filovirus and arenavirus production and spread. Notably, suppression of the protein that triggers Orai activation (Stromal Interaction Molecule 1, STIM1) and genetic inactivation or pharmacological blockade of Orai1 channels inhibits VLP and infectious virus egress. These findings are highly significant as they expand our understanding of host mechanisms that may broadly control enveloped RNA virus budding, and they establish Orai and STIM1 as novel targets for broad-spectrum host-oriented therapeutics to combat these emerging BSL-4 pathogens and potentially other enveloped RNA viruses that bud via similar mechanisms. PMID:26513362

  15. Cellular factors implicated in filovirus entry.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Suchita; Hope, Thomas J

    2013-01-01

    Although filoviral infections are still occurring in different parts of the world, there are no effective preventive or treatment strategies currently available against them. Not only do filoviruses cause a deadly infection, but they also have the potential of being used as biological weapons. This makes it imperative to comprehensively study these viruses in order to devise effective strategies to prevent the occurrence of these infections. Entry is the foremost step in the filoviral replication cycle and different studies have reported the involvement of a myriad of cellular factors including plasma membrane components, cytoskeletal proteins, endosomal components, and cytosolic factors in this process. Signaling molecules such as the TAM family of receptor tyrosine kinases comprising of Tyro3, Axl, and Mer have also been implicated as putative entry factors. Additionally, filoviruses are suggested to bind to a common receptor and recent studies have proposed T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain 1 (TIM-1) and Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) as potential receptor candidates. This paper summarizes the existing literature on filoviral entry with a special focus on cellular factors involved in this process and also highlights some fundamental questions. Future research aimed at answering these questions could be very useful in designing novel antiviral therapeutics. PMID:23365575

  16. The new unified theory of ATP synthesis/hydrolysis and muscle contraction, its manifold fundamental consequences and mechanistic implications and its applications in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Nath, Sunil

    2008-09-01

    Complete details of the thermodynamics and molecular mechanisms of ATP synthesis/hydrolysis and muscle contraction are offered from the standpoint of the torsional mechanism of energy transduction and ATP synthesis and the rotation-uncoiling-tilt (RUT) energy storage mechanism of muscle contraction. The manifold fundamental consequences and mechanistic implications of the unified theory for oxidative phosphorylation and muscle contraction are explained. The consistency of current mechanisms of ATP synthesis and muscle contraction with experiment is assessed, and the novel insights of the unified theory are shown to take us beyond the binding change mechanism, the chemiosmotic theory and the lever arm model. It is shown from first principles how previous theories of ATP synthesis and muscle contraction violate both the first and second laws of thermodynamics, necessitating their revision. It is concluded that the new paradigm, ten years after making its first appearance, is now perfectly poised to replace the older theories. Finally, applications of the unified theory in cell life and cell death are outlined and prospects for future research are explored. While it is impossible to cover each and every specific aspect of the above, an attempt has been made here to address all the pertinent details and what is presented should be sufficient to convince the reader of the novelty, originality, breakthrough nature and power of the unified theory, its manifold fundamental consequences and mechanistic implications, and its applications in health and disease. PMID:19325832

  17. The New Unified Theory of ATP Synthesis/Hydrolysis and Muscle Contraction, Its Manifold Fundamental Consequences and Mechanistic Implications and Its Applications in Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Nath, Sunil

    2008-01-01

    Complete details of the thermodynamics and molecular mechanisms of ATP synthesis/hydrolysis and muscle contraction are offered from the standpoint of the torsional mechanism of energy transduction and ATP synthesis and the rotation-uncoiling-tilt (RUT) energy storage mechanism of muscle contraction. The manifold fundamental consequences and mechanistic implications of the unified theory for oxidative phosphorylation and muscle contraction are explained. The consistency of current mechanisms of ATP synthesis and muscle contraction with experiment is assessed, and the novel insights of the unified theory are shown to take us beyond the binding change mechanism, the chemiosmotic theory and the lever arm model. It is shown from first principles how previous theories of ATP synthesis and muscle contraction violate both the first and second laws of thermodynamics, necessitating their revision. It is concluded that the new paradigm, ten years after making its first appearance, is now perfectly poised to replace the older theories. Finally, applications of the unified theory in cell life and cell death are outlined and prospects for future research are explored. While it is impossible to cover each and every specific aspect of the above, an attempt has been made here to address all the pertinent details and what is presented should be sufficient to convince the reader of the novelty, originality, breakthrough nature and power of the unified theory, its manifold fundamental consequences and mechanistic implications, and its applications in health and disease. PMID:19325832

  18. Mechanistic basis and clinical relevance of the role of transforming growth factor-β in cancer

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Run-Long; Zhao, Lu-Jun

    2015-01-01

    Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a key factor in cancer development and progression. TGF-β can suppress tumorigenesis by inhibiting cell cycle progression and stimulating apoptosis in early stages of cancer progression. However, TGF-β can modulate cancer-related processes, such as cell invasion, distant metastasis, and microenvironment modification that may be used by cancer cells to their advantage in late stages. Corresponding mechanisms include angiogenesis promotion, anti-tumor immunity suppression, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induction. The correlation between TGF-β expression and cancer prognosis has also been extensively investigated. Results suggest that TGF-β pathway can be targeted to treat cancer; as such, the feasibility of this treatment is investigated in clinical trials. PMID:26779375

  19. Computational Identification of Mechanistic Factors That Determine the Timing and Intensity of the Inflammatory Response

    PubMed Central

    Nagaraja, Sridevi; Reifman, Jaques; Mitrophanov, Alexander Y.

    2015-01-01

    Timely resolution of inflammation is critical for the restoration of homeostasis in injured or infected tissue. Chronic inflammation is often characterized by a persistent increase in the concentrations of inflammatory cells and molecular mediators, whose distinct amount and timing characteristics offer an opportunity to identify effective therapeutic regulatory targets. Here, we used our recently developed computational model of local inflammation to identify potential targets for molecular interventions and to investigate the effects of individual and combined inhibition of such targets. This was accomplished via the development and application of computational strategies involving the simulation and analysis of thousands of inflammatory scenarios. We found that modulation of macrophage influx and efflux is an effective potential strategy to regulate the amount of inflammatory cells and molecular mediators in both normal and chronic inflammatory scenarios. We identified three molecular mediators − tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), and the chemokine CXCL8 − as potential molecular targets whose individual or combined inhibition may robustly regulate both the amount and timing properties of the kinetic trajectories for neutrophils and macrophages in chronic inflammation. Modulation of macrophage flux, as well as of the abundance of TNF-α, TGF-β, and CXCL8, may improve the resolution of chronic inflammation. PMID:26633296

  20. Concurrent esterification and N-acetylation of amino acids with orthoesters: A useful reaction with interesting mechanistic implications.

    PubMed

    Gibson, Sarah; Romero, Dickie; Jacobs, Hollie K; Gopalan, Aravamudan S

    2010-12-22

    The concurrent esterification and N-acetylation of amino acids has been studied with triethyl orthoacetate (TEOA) and triethyl orthoformate (TEOF). In a surprising finding, only one equivalent of TEOA in refluxing toluene was necessary to convert L-proline and L-phenylalanine to the corresponding N-acetyl ethyl esters in good yield. The same transformation using TEOF was not effective. Stereochemical outcome and stoichiometric studies as well as structural variation of the amino acids in this reaction provided unexpected mechanistic insight. PMID:21286246

  1. Concurrent esterification and N-acetylation of amino acids with orthoesters: A useful reaction with interesting mechanistic implications

    PubMed Central

    Gibson, Sarah; Romero, Dickie; Jacobs, Hollie K.; Gopalan, Aravamudan S.

    2010-01-01

    The concurrent esterification and N-acetylation of amino acids has been studied with triethyl orthoacetate (TEOA) and triethyl orthoformate (TEOF). In a surprising finding, only one equivalent of TEOA in refluxing toluene was necessary to convert L-proline and L-phenylalanine to the corresponding N-acetyl ethyl esters in good yield. The same transformation using TEOF was not effective. Stereochemical outcome and stoichiometric studies as well as structural variation of the amino acids in this reaction provided unexpected mechanistic insight. PMID:21286246

  2. Network-based discovery through mechanistic systems biology. Implications for applications--SMEs and drug discovery: where the action is.

    PubMed

    Benson, Neil

    2015-08-01

    Phase II attrition remains the most important challenge for drug discovery. Tackling the problem requires improved understanding of the complexity of disease biology. Systems biology approaches to this problem can, in principle, deliver this. This article reviews the reports of the application of mechanistic systems models to drug discovery questions and discusses the added value. Although we are on the journey to the virtual human, the length, path and rate of learning from this remain an open question. Success will be dependent on the will to invest and make the most of the insight generated along the way. PMID:26464089

  3. Computational Modelling Approaches on Epigenetic Factors in Neurodegenerative and Autoimmune Diseases and Their Mechanistic Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Khanam Irin, Afroza; Tom Kodamullil, Alpha; Gündel, Michaela; Hofmann-Apitius, Martin

    2015-01-01

    Neurodegenerative as well as autoimmune diseases have unclear aetiologies, but an increasing number of evidences report for a combination of genetic and epigenetic alterations that predispose for the development of disease. This review examines the major milestones in epigenetics research in the context of diseases and various computational approaches developed in the last decades to unravel new epigenetic modifications. However, there are limited studies that systematically link genetic and epigenetic alterations of DNA to the aetiology of diseases. In this work, we demonstrate how disease-related epigenetic knowledge can be systematically captured and integrated with heterogeneous information into a functional context using Biological Expression Language (BEL). This novel methodology, based on BEL, enables us to integrate epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation or acetylation of histones into a specific disease network. As an example, we depict the integration of epigenetic and genetic factors in a functional context specific to Parkinson's disease (PD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). PMID:26636108

  4. Distinct properties of semiquinone species detected at the ubiquinol oxidation Qo site of cytochrome bc1 and their mechanistic implications

    PubMed Central

    Sarewicz, Marcin

    2016-01-01

    The two-electron ubiquinol oxidation or ubiquinone reduction typically involves semiquinone (SQ) intermediates. Natural engineering of ubiquinone binding sites of bioenergetic enzymes secures that SQ is sufficiently stabilized, so that it does not leave the site to membranous environment before full oxidation/reduction is completed. The ubiquinol oxidation Qo site of cytochrome bc1 (mitochondrial complex III, cytochrome b6f in plants) has been considered an exception with catalytic reactions assumed to involve highly unstable SQ or not to involve any SQ intermediate. This view seemed consistent with long-standing difficulty in detecting any reaction intermediates at the Qo site. New perspective on this issue is now offered by recent, independent reports on detection of SQ in this site. Each of the described SQs seems to have different spectroscopic properties leaving space for various interpretations and mechanistic considerations. Here, we comparatively reflect on those properties and their consequences on the SQ stabilization, the involvement of SQ in catalytic reactions, including proton transfers, and the reactivity of SQ with oxygen associated with superoxide generation activity of the Qo site. PMID:27194483

  5. Mechanistic validation.

    PubMed

    Hartung, Thomas; Hoffmann, Sebastian; Stephens, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Validation of new approaches in regulatory toxicology is commonly defined as the independent assessment of the reproducibility and relevance (the scientific basis and predictive capacity) of a test for a particular purpose. In large ring trials, the emphasis to date has been mainly on reproducibility and predictive capacity (comparison to the traditional test) with less attention given to the scientific or mechanistic basis. Assessing predictive capacity is difficult for novel approaches (which are based on mechanism), such as pathways of toxicity or the complex networks within the organism (systems toxicology). This is highly relevant for implementing Toxicology for the 21st Century, either by high-throughput testing in the ToxCast/Tox21 project or omics-based testing in the Human Toxome Project. This article explores the mostly neglected assessment of a test's scientific basis, which moves mechanism and causality to the foreground when validating/qualifying tests. Such mechanistic validation faces the problem of establishing causality in complex systems. However, pragmatic adaptations of the Bradford Hill criteria, as well as bioinformatic tools, are emerging. As critical infrastructures of the organism are perturbed by a toxic mechanism we argue that by focusing on the target of toxicity and its vulnerability, in addition to the way it is perturbed, we can anchor the identification of the mechanism and its verification. PMID:23665802

  6. A hybrid empirical-mechanistic modeling approach for extrapolating biota-sediment accumulation factors and bioaccumulation factors across species, time, and/or ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Burkhard, Lawrence P; Cook, Philip M; Lukasewycz, Marta T

    2006-07-01

    An approach is presented for extrapolating field-measured biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) across species, time, and/or ecosystems. This approach, called the hybrid bioaccumulation modeling approach, uses mechanistic bioaccumulation models to extrapolate field-measured bioaccumulation data (i.e., BSAFs and BAFs) to new sets of ecological conditions. The hybrid approach predicts relative differences in bioaccumulation using food web models with two sets of ecological conditions and parameters: One set for the ecosystem where the BSAFs and/or BAFs were measured, and the other set for the ecological conditions and parameters for which the extrapolated BSAFs and/or BAFs are desired. The field-measured BSAF (or BAF) is extrapolated by adjusting the measured BSAF (or BAF) by the predicted relative difference, which is derived from two separate solutions of the food web model. Extrapolations of polychlorinated biphenyl BSAFs and BAFs for lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush) from southern Lake Michigan to Green Bay of Lake Michigan (Green Bay, WI, USA) walleye (Stizostedion vitreum) and brown trout (Salmo trutta), as well as Hudson River largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and yellow perch (Perca flavescens), resulted in generally better agreement between measured and predicted BSAFs and BAFs with the hybrid approach. PMID:16833159

  7. The Role of {Ca2+ / CO32-} Ratio in Calcite Dissolution and Growth: Implications for Mechanistic Control of Biomineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvidson, R. S.; Davis, K. J.; Luttge, A.

    2003-12-01

    The hypothesis that secular variations in the Mg/Ca ratio of seawater have exerted a fundamental control over the mineralogy and abundance of both skeletal and nonskeletal carbonates has received substantial support from both experimental and field data. In this context, ongoing efforts directed at understanding the mechanistic basis for interaction of Mg and Sr with carbonate mineral surfaces during growth (e.g., Davis et al. 2000) are of obvious importance. However, a growing body of experimental dissolution data records additional site-specific interactions between the surface and dissolved free carbon species and carbonate complexes. We suggest these data may provide additional insight into mechanisms by which organisms maintain skeletal integrity under variable conditions, including the possible development of surface precursors of mixed carbonate phases. For example, recent data have shown that kink dynamics along the fast, obtuse (+) step directions are highly sensitive to the ratio of magnesium to carbonate ion. We have used these observations as the basis for exploration of the relationship between the simple ratio of dissolved calcium to carbonate ion and surface dynamics. In sets of carefully designed experiments, we sought to maintain (1) a constant distance from equilibrium by varying {Ca2+ / CO32-} ratio at constant IAP, (2) constant {Ca2+ / CO32-} at variable IAP, (3) all under conditions of both over- and undersaturation ranging from far to close to equilibrium. Using an integrated approach, observations were made over a wide range of space and time scales using both AFM and VSI (vertical scanning interferometry). These coupled observations provide resolution of the relationship between the overall rate of reaction (total change in surface topography) and detailed observations of characteristic step dynamics developed during both dissolution and growth. Our preliminary results confirm a strong sensitivity of the conventional fast step direction to

  8. Mechanism of action of adenosylcobalamin: 3-fluoro-1,2-propranediol as substrate for propanediol dehydrase--mechanistic implications.

    PubMed

    Eagar, R G; Bachovchin, W W; Richards, J H

    1975-12-16

    3-Fluro-1,2-propanediol has been found to be a substrate for propanediol dehydrase and has very similar binding and catalytic constants compared to the natural substrate. The only isolable products of the reaction are acrolein and inorganic fluoride; with 3-fluoro-3,3-dideuterio-1,2-propanediol as substrate, only 3,3-dideuterioacrolein is obtained. These results indicate that the primary product of the reaction is 3-fluoropropionaldehyde which spontaneously loses hydrogen fluoride to yield acrolein. The similar kinetic parameters for the fluorinated as compared to the normal substrate suggest that significant charge does not develop on the fluorinated or, by implication, the natural substrate during any rate-limiting steps of the reaction. These results support a radical, as contrasted to an ionic pathway for reactions involving adenosylcobalamin and diol dehydrase. PMID:1201278

  9. Theoretical models on the Cu2O2 torture track: mechanistic implications for oxytyrosinase and small-molecule analogues.

    PubMed

    Cramer, Christopher J; Włoch, Marta; Piecuch, Piotr; Puzzarini, Cristina; Gagliardi, Laura

    2006-02-01

    Accurately describing the relative energetics of alternative bis(mu-oxo) and mu-eta2:eta2 peroxo isomers of Cu2O2 cores supported by 0, 2, 4, and 6 ammonia ligands is remarkably challenging for a wide variety of theoretical models, primarily owing to the difficulty of maintaining a balanced description of rapidly changing dynamical and nondynamical electron correlation effects and a varying degree of biradical character along the isomerization coordinate. The completely renormalized coupled-cluster level of theory including triple excitations and extremely efficient pure density functional levels of theory quantitatively agree with one another and also agree qualitatively with experimental results for Cu2O2 cores supported by analogous but larger ligands. Standard coupled-cluster methods, such as CCSD(T), are in most cases considerably less accurate and exhibit poor convergence in predicted relative energies. Hybrid density functionals significantly underestimate the stability of the bis(mu-oxo) form, with the magnitude of the error being directly proportional to the percentage Hartree-Fock exchange in the functional. Single-root CASPT2 multireference second-order perturbation theory, by contrast, significantly overestimates the stability of bis(mu-oxo) isomers. Implications of these results for modeling the mechanism of C-H bond activation by supported Cu2O2 cores, like that found in the active site of oxytyrosinase, are discussed. PMID:16451035

  10. Hard tick factors implicated in pathogen transmission.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiang Ye; Bonnet, Sarah I

    2014-01-01

    Ticks are the most common arthropod vector, after mosquitoes, and are capable of transmitting the greatest variety of pathogens. For both humans and animals, the worldwide emergence or re-emergence of tick-borne disease is becoming increasingly problematic. Despite being such an important issue, our knowledge of pathogen transmission by ticks is incomplete. Several recent studies, reviewed here, have reported that the expression of some tick factors can be modulated in response to pathogen infection, and that some of these factors can impact on the pathogenic life cycle. Delineating the specific tick factors required for tick-borne pathogen transmission should lead to new strategies in the disruption of pathogen life cycles to combat emerging tick-borne disease. PMID:24498444

  11. Factors impacting bladder underactivity and clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Van Koeveringe, G A; Rademakers, K L J

    2015-06-01

    Lower urinary tract symptoms in the voiding phase can be due to an underactive bladder, but are usually similar to symptoms of infravesical obstruction or dysfunctional voiding. The underactive bladder can be caused by an impaired detrusor contraction but also by a derangement of local and central neuro-cognitive regulatory systems or an impairment of bladder sensation. Potential risk factors of bladder underactivity include: ageing, diabetes, neurogenic disease, cardiovascular disease, obstruction and psychological causes. Comprehensive diagnostic and detection techniques for an underactive detrusor are necessary. To establish the diagnosis and follow up new treatments, useful urodynamic parameters and threshold values have to be determined. As neuro-cognitive regulation plays an important role in the control of voiding, psychological factors have to be taken into account during the assessment in these patients. Ambulatory urodynamic techniques therefore have to be considered. Voiding is determined by the balance of both the detrusor contraction and the resistance of the bladder outlet, a dysfunction in one factor can be compensated by a counter-acting function of the other factor. Therefore, to predict voiding problems in the future, it will be indicated to assess the compensatory capacity of the detrusor contractility, contractile reserve, and the outlet relaxation capacity. If novel treatments and evaluation techniques have become available, it is likely that in the future, many patients that get a TURP now, can be treated by pharmacological agents directed towards increasing the bladder contractility in a balanced combination with medication directed towards lowering the bladder outlet resistance. PMID:25645344

  12. Mechanistic, Mathematical Model to Predict the Dynamics of Tissue Genesis in Bone Defects via Mechanical Feedback and Mediation of Biochemical Factors

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Shannon R.; Saidel, Gerald M.; Knothe, Ulf; Knothe Tate, Melissa L.

    2014-01-01

    The link between mechanics and biology in the generation and the adaptation of bone has been well studied in context of skeletal development and fracture healing. Yet, the prediction of tissue genesis within - and the spatiotemporal healing of - postnatal defects, necessitates a quantitative evaluation of mechano-biological interactions using experimental and clinical parameters. To address this current gap in knowledge, this study aims to develop a mechanistic mathematical model of tissue genesis using bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) to represent of a class of factors that may coordinate bone healing. Specifically, we developed a mechanistic, mathematical model to predict the dynamics of tissue genesis by periosteal progenitor cells within a long bone defect surrounded by periosteum and stabilized via an intramedullary nail. The emergent material properties and mechanical environment associated with nascent tissue genesis influence the strain stimulus sensed by progenitor cells within the periosteum. Using a mechanical finite element model, periosteal surface strains are predicted as a function of emergent, nascent tissue properties. Strains are then input to a mechanistic mathematical model, where mechanical regulation of BMP-2 production mediates rates of cellular proliferation, differentiation and tissue production, to predict healing outcomes. A parametric approach enables the spatial and temporal prediction of endochondral tissue regeneration, assessed as areas of cartilage and mineralized bone, as functions of radial distance from the periosteum and time. Comparing model results to histological outcomes from two previous studies of periosteum-mediated bone regeneration in a common ovine model, it was shown that mechanistic models incorporating mechanical feedback successfully predict patterns (spatial) and trends (temporal) of bone tissue regeneration. The novel model framework presented here integrates a mechanistic feedback system based on the

  13. Involvement in Denitrification is Beneficial to the Biofilm Lifestyle of Comamonas testosteroni: A Mechanistic Study and Its Environmental Implications.

    PubMed

    Wu, Yichao; Shukal, Sudha; Mukherjee, Manisha; Cao, Bin

    2015-10-01

    Comamonas is one of the most abundant microorganisms in biofilm communities driving wastewater treatment. Little has been known about the role of this group of organisms and their biofilm mode of life. In this study, using Comamonas testosteroni as a model organism, we demonstrated the involvement of Comamonas biofilms in denitrification under bulk aerobic conditions and elucidated the influence of nitrate respiration on its biofilm lifestyle. Our results showed that C. testosteroni could use nitrate as the sole electron acceptor for anaerobic growth. Under bulk aerobic condition, biofilms of C. testosteroni were capable of reducing nitrate, and intriguingly, nitrate reduction significantly enhanced viability of the biofilm-cells and reduced cell detachment from the biofilms. Nitrate respiration was further shown to play an essential role in maintaining high cell viability in the biofilms. RNA-seq analysis, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry revealed a higher level of bis(3'-5')-cyclic dimeric guanosine monophosphate (c-di-GMP) in cells respiring on nitrate than those grown aerobically (1.3 × 10(-4) fmol/cell vs 7.9 × 10(-6) fmol/cell; P < 0.01). C-di-GMP is one universal signaling molecule that regulates the biofilm mode of life, and a higher c-di-GMP concentration reduces cell detachment from biofilms. Taking these factors together, this study reveals that nitrate reduction occurs in mature biofilms of C. testosteroni under bulk aerobic conditions, and the respiratory reduction of nitrate is beneficial to the biofilm lifestyle by providing more metabolic energy to maintain high viability and a higher level of c-di-GMP to reduce cell detachment. PMID:26327221

  14. Mechanistic insights into elastin degradation by pseudolysin, the major virulence factor of the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie; Zhao, Hui-Lin; Ran, Li-Yuan; Li, Chun-Yang; Zhang, Xi-Ying; Su, Hai-Nan; Shi, Mei; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Zhang, Yu-Zhong

    2015-01-01

    Pseudolysin is the most abundant protease secreted by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and is the major extracellular virulence factor of this opportunistic human pathogen. Pseudolysin destroys human tissues by solubilizing elastin. However, the mechanisms by which pseudolysin binds to and degrades elastin remain elusive. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of action of pseudolysin on elastin binding and degradation by biochemical assay, microscopy and site-directed mutagenesis. Pseudolysin bound to bovine elastin fibers and preferred to attack peptide bonds with hydrophobic residues at the P1 and P1' positions in the hydrophobic domains of elastin. The time-course degradation processes of both bovine elastin fibers and cross-linked human tropoelastin by pseudolysin were further investigated by microscopy. Altogether, the results indicate that elastin degradation by pseudolysin began with the hydrophobic domains on the fiber surface, followed by the progressive disassembly of macroscopic elastin fibers into primary structural elements. Moreover, our site-directed mutational results indicate that five hydrophobic residues in the S1-S1' sub-sites played key roles in the binding of pseudolysin to elastin. This study sheds lights on the pathogenesis of P. aeruginosa infection. PMID:25905792

  15. Study of Uridine 5'-Diphosphate (UDP)-Galactopyranose Mutase Using UDP-5-Fluorogalactopyranose as a Probe: Incubation Results and Mechanistic Implications.

    PubMed

    Lin, Geng-Min; Sun, He G; Liu, Hung-Wen

    2016-07-15

    Uridine 5'-diphosphate-5-fluorogalactopyranose (UDP-5F-Galp, 7) was synthesized, and its effect on UDP-Galp mutase (UGM) was investigated. UGM facilitated the hydrolysis of 7 to yield UDP and 5-oxogalactose (24), but no 11 was detected. (19)F NMR and trapping experiments demonstrated that the reaction involves the initial formation of a substrate-cofactor adduct followed by decomposition of the resulting C5 gem-fluorohydrin to generate a 5-oxo intermediate (10). The results support the current mechanistic proposal for UGM and suggest new directions for designing mechanism-based inhibitors. PMID:27384425

  16. MECHANISTIC INDICATORS OF CHILDHOOD ASTHMA (MICA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is interested in the interplay of environmental and genetic factors on the development and exacerbation of asthma. The Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA) study will use exposure measurements and markers of environmental ...

  17. The Role of Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein (PTHrP) in Osteoblast Response to Microgravity: Mechanistic Implications for Osteoporosis Development.

    PubMed

    Camirand, Anne; Goltzman, David; Gupta, Ajay; Kaouass, Mohammadi; Panda, Dibyendu; Karaplis, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged skeletal unloading through bedrest results in bone loss similar to that observed in elderly osteoporotic patients, but with an accelerated timeframe. This rapid effect on weight-bearing bones is also observed in astronauts who can lose up to 2% of their bone mass per month spent in Space. Despite the important implications for Spaceflight travelers and bedridden patients, the exact mechanisms involved in disuse osteoporosis have not been elucidated. Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) regulates many physiological processes including skeletal development, and has been proposed as a mechanosensor. To investigate the role of PTHrP in microgravity-induced bone loss, trabecular and calvarial osteoblasts (TOs and COs) from Pthrp +/+ and -/- mice were subjected to actual Spaceflight for 6 days (Foton M3 satellite). Pthrp +/+, +/- and -/- osteoblasts were also exposed to simulated microgravity for periods varying from 6 days to 6 weeks. While COs displayed little change in viability in 0g, viability of all TOs rapidly decreased in inverse proportion to PTHrP expression levels. Furthermore, Pthrp+/+ TOs displayed a sharp viability decline after 2 weeks at 0g. Microarray analysis of Pthrp+/+ TOs after 6 days in simulated 0g revealed expression changes in genes encoding prolactins, apoptosis/survival molecules, bone metabolism and extra-cellular matrix composition proteins, chemokines, insulin-like growth factor family members and Wnt-related signalling molecules. 88% of 0g-induced expression changes in Pthrp+/+ cells overlapped those caused by Pthrp ablation in normal gravity, and pulsatile treatment with PTHrP1-36 not only reversed a large proportion of 0g-induced effects in Pthrp+/+ TOs but maintained viability over 6-week exposure to microgravity. Our results confirm PTHrP efficacy as an anabolic agent to prevent microgravity-induced cell death in TOs. PMID:27463808

  18. The Role of Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein (PTHrP) in Osteoblast Response to Microgravity: Mechanistic Implications for Osteoporosis Development

    PubMed Central

    Camirand, Anne; Goltzman, David; Gupta, Ajay; Kaouass, Mohammadi; Panda, Dibyendu; Karaplis, Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged skeletal unloading through bedrest results in bone loss similar to that observed in elderly osteoporotic patients, but with an accelerated timeframe. This rapid effect on weight-bearing bones is also observed in astronauts who can lose up to 2% of their bone mass per month spent in Space. Despite the important implications for Spaceflight travelers and bedridden patients, the exact mechanisms involved in disuse osteoporosis have not been elucidated. Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) regulates many physiological processes including skeletal development, and has been proposed as a mechanosensor. To investigate the role of PTHrP in microgravity-induced bone loss, trabecular and calvarial osteoblasts (TOs and COs) from Pthrp +/+ and -/- mice were subjected to actual Spaceflight for 6 days (Foton M3 satellite). Pthrp +/+, +/- and -/- osteoblasts were also exposed to simulated microgravity for periods varying from 6 days to 6 weeks. While COs displayed little change in viability in 0g, viability of all TOs rapidly decreased in inverse proportion to PTHrP expression levels. Furthermore, Pthrp+/+ TOs displayed a sharp viability decline after 2 weeks at 0g. Microarray analysis of Pthrp+/+ TOs after 6 days in simulated 0g revealed expression changes in genes encoding prolactins, apoptosis/survival molecules, bone metabolism and extra-cellular matrix composition proteins, chemokines, insulin-like growth factor family members and Wnt-related signalling molecules. 88% of 0g-induced expression changes in Pthrp+/+ cells overlapped those caused by Pthrp ablation in normal gravity, and pulsatile treatment with PTHrP1-36 not only reversed a large proportion of 0g-induced effects in Pthrp+/+ TOs but maintained viability over 6-week exposure to microgravity. Our results confirm PTHrP efficacy as an anabolic agent to prevent microgravity-induced cell death in TOs. PMID:27463808

  19. Overlapping 16p13.11 deletion and gain of copies variations associated with childhood onset psychosis include genes with mechanistic implications for autism associated pathways: Two case reports.

    PubMed

    Brownstein, Catherine A; Kleiman, Robin J; Engle, Elizabeth C; Towne, Meghan C; D'Angelo, Eugene J; Yu, Timothy W; Beggs, Alan H; Picker, Jonathan; Fogler, Jason M; Carroll, Devon; Schmitt, Rachel C O; Wolff, Robert R; Shen, Yiping; Lip, Va; Bilguvar, Kaya; Kim, April; Tembulkar, Sahil; O'Donnell, Kyle; Gonzalez-Heydrich, Joseph

    2016-05-01

    Copy number variability at 16p13.11 has been associated with intellectual disability, autism, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Adolescent/adult- onset psychosis has been reported in a subset of these cases. Here, we report on two children with CNVs in 16p13.11 that developed psychosis before the age of 7. The genotype and neuropsychiatric abnormalities of these patients highlight several overlapping genes that have possible mechanistic relevance to pathways previously implicated in Autism Spectrum Disorders, including the mTOR signaling and the ubiquitin-proteasome cascades. A careful screening of the 16p13.11 region is warranted in patients with childhood onset psychosis. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26887912

  20. Roles of mechanistic target of rapamycin and transforming growth factor-β signaling in the molting gland (Y-organ) of the blackback land crab, Gecarcinus lateralis.

    PubMed

    Abuhagr, Ali M; MacLea, Kyle S; Mudron, Megan R; Chang, Sharon A; Chang, Ernest S; Mykles, Donald L

    2016-08-01

    Molting in decapod crustaceans is controlled by molt-inhibiting hormone (MIH), an eyestalk neuropeptide that suppresses production of ecdysteroids by a pair of molting glands (Y-organs or YOs). Eyestalk ablation (ESA) activates the YOs, which hypertrophy and increase ecdysteroid secretion. At mid premolt, which occurs 7-14days post-ESA, the YO transitions to the committed state; hemolymph ecdysteroid titers increase further and the animal reaches ecdysis ~3weeks post-ESA. Two conserved signaling pathways, mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), are expressed in the Gecarcinus lateralis YO. Rapamycin, an mTOR antagonist, inhibits YO ecdysteroidogenesis in vitro. In this study, rapamycin lowered hemolymph ecdysteroid titer in ESA G. lateralis in vivo; levels were significantly lower than in control animals at all intervals (1-14days post-ESA). Injection of SB431542, an activin TGF-β receptor antagonist, lowered hemolymph ecdysteroid titers 7 and 14days post-ESA, but had no effect on ecdysteroid titers at 1 and 3days post-ESA. mRNA levels of mTOR signaling genes Gl-mTOR, Gl-Akt, and Gl-S6k were increased by 3days post-ESA; the increases in Gl-mTOR and Gl-Akt mRNA levels were blocked by SB431542. Gl-elongation factor 2 and Gl-Rheb mRNA levels were not affected by ESA, but SB431542 lowered mRNA levels at Days 3 and 7 post-ESA. The mRNA level of an activin TGF-β peptide, Gl-myostatin-like factor (Mstn), increased 5.5-fold from 0 to 3days post-ESA, followed by a 50-fold decrease from 3 to 7days post-ESA. These data suggest that (1) YO activation involves an up regulation of the mTOR signaling pathway; (2) mTOR is required for YO commitment; and (3) a Mstn-like factor mediates the transition of the YO from the activated to the committed state. PMID:27040186

  1. Intron mobility in phage T4 is dependent upon a distinctive class of endonucleases and independent of DNA sequences encoding the intron core: mechanistic and evolutionary implications.

    PubMed Central

    Bell-Pedersen, D; Quirk, S; Clyman, J; Belfort, M

    1990-01-01

    Although mobility of the phylogenetically widespread group I introns appears to be mechanistically similar, the phage T4 intron-encoded endonucleases that promote mobility of the td and sunY introns are different from their eukaryotic counterparts. Most notably, they cleave at a distance from the intron insertion sites. The td enzyme was shown to cleave 23-26 nt 5' and the sunY endonuclease 13-15 nt 3' to the intron insertion site to generate 3-nt or 2-nt 3'-OH extensions, respectively. The absolute coconversion of exon markers between the distant cleavage and insertion sites is consistent with the double-strand-break repair model for intron mobility. As a further critical test of the model we have demonstrated that the mobility event is independent of DNA sequences that encode the catalytic intron core structure. Thus, in derivatives in which the lacZ or kanR coding sequences replace the intron, these marker genes are efficiently inserted into intron-minus alleles when the cognate endonuclease is provided in trans. The process is therefore endonuclease-dependent, rather than dependent on the intron per se. These findings, which imply that the endonucleases rather than the introns themselves were the primordial mobile elements, are incorporated into a model for the evolution of mobile introns. Images PMID:2165250

  2. Wild-Type and Mutant Hemagglutinin Fusion Peptides Alter Bilayer Structure as Well as Kinetics and Activation Thermodynamics of Stalk and Pore Formation Differently: Mechanistic Implications

    PubMed Central

    Chakraborty, Hirak; Tarafdar, Pradip K.; Klapper, David G.; Lentz, Barry R.

    2013-01-01

    Viral fusion peptides are short N-terminal regions of type-1 viral fusion proteins that are critical for virus entry. Although the importance of viral fusion peptides in virus-cell membrane fusion is established, little is known about how they function. We report the effects of wild-type (WT) hemagglutinin (HA) fusion peptide and its G1S, G1V, and W14A mutants on the kinetics of poly(ethylene glycol)(PEG)-mediated fusion of small unilamellar vesicles composed of dioleoylphosphatidylcholine, dioleoylphosphatidylethanolamine, sphingomyelin, and cholesterol (molar ratio of 35:30:15:20). Time courses of lipid mixing, content mixing, and content leakage were obtained using fluorescence assays at multiple temperatures and analyzed globally using either a two-step or three-step sequential ensemble model of the fusion process to obtain the rate constant and activation thermodynamics of each step. We also monitored the influence of peptides on bilayer interfacial order, acyl chain order, bilayer free volume, and water penetration. All these data were considered in terms of a recently published mechanistic model for the thermodynamic transition states for each step of the fusion process. We propose that WT peptide catalyzes Step 1 by occupying bilayer regions vacated by acyl chains that protrude into interbilayer space to form the Step 1 transition state. It also uniquely contributes a positive intrinsic curvature to hemi-fused leaflets to eliminate Step 2 and catalyzes Step 3 by destabilizing the highly stressed edges of the hemi-fused microstructures that dominate the ensemble of the intermediate state directly preceding fusion pore formation. Similar arguments explain the catalytic and inhibitory properties of the mutant peptides and support the hypothesis that the membrane-contacting fusion peptide of HA fusion protein is key to its catalytic activity. PMID:24314080

  3. Hierarchical Structure and General Factor Saturation of the Anxiety Sensitivity Index: Evidence and Implications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zinbarg, Richard E.; Barlow, David H.; Brown, Timothy A.

    1997-01-01

    A hierarchical factor model of the Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI) (S. Reiss and others, 1986) was evaluated with 432 psychiatric outpatients and 32 people with no mental disorder. Results support a hierarchical factor structure of three lower order factors and one higher order factor. Implications for the assessment of anxiety sensitivity are…

  4. Development of the Reasonable Accommodation Factor Survey: Results and Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dong, Shengli; MacDonald-Wilson, Kim L.; Fabian, Ellen

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was (a) to explore the latent factors in the "Reasonable Accommodation Factor Survey" (RAFS) instrument and (b) to compare scores on the latent factors of the RAFS by participant's role. Eight latent factors were identified through an exploratory factor analysis with orthogonal rotation. The reliability tests indicated…

  5. Mechanistic Implications of the Unique Structural Features and Dimerization of the Cytoplasmic Domain of the Pseudomonas Sigma Regulator, PupR

    SciTech Connect

    Jensen, Jaime L.; Balbo, Andrea; Neau, David B.; Chakravarthy, Srinivas; Zhao, Huaying; Sinha, Sangita C.; Colbert, Christopher L.

    2015-09-29

    Gram-negative bacteria tightly regulate intracellular levels of iron, an essential nutrient. To ensure this tight regulation, some outer membrane TonB-dependent transporters (TBDTs) that are responsible for iron import stimulate their own transcription in response to extracellular binding by an iron-laden siderophore. This process is mediated by an inner membrane sigma regulator protein (an anti-sigma factor) that transduces an unknown periplasmic signal from the TBDT to release an intracellular sigma factor from the inner membrane, which ultimately upregulates TBDT transcription. Here we use the Pseudomonas putida ferric-pseudobactin BN7/BN8 sigma regulator, PupR, as a model system to understand the molecular mechanism of this conserved class of sigma regulators. We have determined the X-ray crystal structure of the cytoplasmic anti-sigma domain (ASD) of PupR to 2.0 Å. Size exclusion chromatography, small angle X-ray scattering, and sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation, all indicate that in contrast to other ASDs, the PupR-ASD exists as a dimer in solution. Mutagenesis of residues at the dimer interface identified from the crystal structure disrupts dimerization and protein stability, as determined by sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation and thermal denaturation circular dichroism spectroscopy. Lastly, these combined results suggest that this type of inner membrane sigma regulator may utilize an unusual mechanism to sequester their cognate sigma factors and prevent transcription activation.

  6. Mechanistic Implications of the Unique Structural Features and Dimerization of the Cytoplasmic Domain of the Pseudomonas Sigma Regulator, PupR

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Jensen, Jaime L.; Balbo, Andrea; Neau, David B.; Chakravarthy, Srinivas; Zhao, Huaying; Sinha, Sangita C.; Colbert, Christopher L.

    2015-09-29

    Gram-negative bacteria tightly regulate intracellular levels of iron, an essential nutrient. To ensure this tight regulation, some outer membrane TonB-dependent transporters (TBDTs) that are responsible for iron import stimulate their own transcription in response to extracellular binding by an iron-laden siderophore. This process is mediated by an inner membrane sigma regulator protein (an anti-sigma factor) that transduces an unknown periplasmic signal from the TBDT to release an intracellular sigma factor from the inner membrane, which ultimately upregulates TBDT transcription. Here we use the Pseudomonas putida ferric-pseudobactin BN7/BN8 sigma regulator, PupR, as a model system to understand the molecular mechanism ofmore » this conserved class of sigma regulators. We have determined the X-ray crystal structure of the cytoplasmic anti-sigma domain (ASD) of PupR to 2.0 Å. Size exclusion chromatography, small angle X-ray scattering, and sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation, all indicate that in contrast to other ASDs, the PupR-ASD exists as a dimer in solution. Mutagenesis of residues at the dimer interface identified from the crystal structure disrupts dimerization and protein stability, as determined by sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation and thermal denaturation circular dichroism spectroscopy. Lastly, these combined results suggest that this type of inner membrane sigma regulator may utilize an unusual mechanism to sequester their cognate sigma factors and prevent transcription activation.« less

  7. Mechanistic Implications of the Unique Structural Features and Dimerization of the Cytoplasmic Domain of the Pseudomonas Sigma Regulator, PupR.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Jaime L; Balbo, Andrea; Neau, David B; Chakravarthy, Srinivas; Zhao, Huaying; Sinha, Sangita C; Colbert, Christopher L

    2015-09-29

    Gram-negative bacteria tightly regulate intracellular levels of iron, an essential nutrient. To ensure this strict control, some outer membrane TonB-dependent transporters (TBDTs) that are responsible for iron import stimulate their own transcription in response to extracellular binding by an iron-laden siderophore. This process is mediated by an inner membrane sigma regulator protein (an anti-sigma factor) that transduces an unknown periplasmic signal from the TBDT to release an intracellular sigma factor from the inner membrane, which ultimately upregulates TBDT transcription. Here, we use the Pseudomonas putida ferric-pseudobactin BN7/BN8 sigma regulator, PupR, as a model system to understand the molecular mechanism of this conserved class of sigma regulators. We have determined the X-ray crystal structure of the cytoplasmic anti-sigma domain (ASD) of PupR to 2.0 Å. Size exclusion chromatography, small-angle X-ray scattering, and sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation all indicate that, in contrast to other ASDs, the PupR-ASD exists as a dimer in solution. Mutagenesis of residues at the dimer interface identified from the crystal structure disrupts dimerization and protein stability, as determined by sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation and thermal denaturation circular dichroism spectroscopy. These combined results suggest that this type of inner membrane sigma regulator may utilize an unusual mechanism to sequester their cognate sigma factors and prevent transcription activation. PMID:26313375

  8. The mare reproductive loss syndrome and the eastern tent caterpillar: a toxicokinetic/statistical analysis with clinical, epidemiologic, and mechanistic implications.

    PubMed

    Sebastian, Manu; Gantz, Marie G; Tobin, Thomas; Harkins, J Daniel; Bosken, Jeffrey M; Hughes, Charlie; Harrison, Lenn R; Bernard, William V; Richter, Dana L; Fitzgerald, Terrence D

    2003-01-01

    During 2001, central Kentucky experienced acute transient epidemics of early and late fetal losses, pericarditis, and unilateral endophthalmitis, collectively referred to as mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS). A toxicokinetic/statistical analysis of experimental and field MRLS data was conducted using accelerated failure time (AFT) analysis of abortions following administration of Eastern tent caterpillars (ETCs; 100 or 50 g/day or 100 g of irradiated caterpillars/day) to late-term pregnant mares. In addition, 2001 late-term fetal loss field data were used in the analysis. Experimental data were fitted by AFT analysis at a high (P <.0001) significance. Times to first abortion ("lag time") and abortion rates were dose dependent. Lag times decreased and abortion rates increased exponentially with dose. Calculated dose x response data curves allow interpretation of abortion data in terms of "intubated ETC equivalents." Analysis suggested that field exposure to ETCs in 2001 in central Kentucky commenced on approximately April 27, was initially equivalent to approximately 5 g of intubated ETCs/day, and increased to approximately 30 g/day at the outbreak peak. This analysis accounts for many aspects of the epidemiology, clinical presentations, and manifestations of MRLS. It allows quantitative interpretation of experimental and field MRLS data and has implications for the basic mechanisms underlying MRLS. The results support suggestions that MRLS is caused by exposure to or ingestion of ETCs. The results also show that high levels of ETC exposure produce intense, focused outbreaks of MRLS, closely linked in time and place to dispersing ETCs, as occurred in central Kentucky in 2001. With less intense exposure, lag time is longer and abortions tend to spread out over time and may occur out of phase with ETC exposure, obscuring both diagnosis of this syndrome and the role of the caterpillars. PMID:15136975

  9. Problems with Single Interest Scales: Implications of the General Factor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tracey, Terence J. G.

    2012-01-01

    The presence of the general factor in interest and self-efficacy assessment and its meaning are reviewed. The general factor is found in all interest and self-efficacy assessment and has been viewed as (a) a nuisance factor with little effect on assessment, (b) a variable having substantive meaning and thus worthy of including in interpretation,…

  10. Targeted Regulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR/NF-κB Signaling by Indole Compounds and their Derivatives: Mechanistic Details and Biological Implications for Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Aamir; Biersack, Bernhard; Li, Yiwei; Kong, Dejuan; Bao, Bin; Schobert, Rainer; Padhye, Subhash B.; Sarkar, Fazlul H.

    2014-01-01

    Indole compounds, found in cruciferous vegetables, are potent anti-cancer agents. Studies with indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and its dimeric product, 3,3’-diindolylmethane (DIM) suggest that these compounds have the ability to deregulate multiple cellular signaling pathways, including PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway. These natural compounds are also effective modulators of downstream transcription factor NF-κB signaling which might help explain their ability to inhibit invasion and angiogenesis, and the reversal of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype and drug resistance. Signaling through PI3K/Akt/mTOR and NF-κB pathway is increasingly being realized to play important role in EMT through the regulation of novel miRNAs which further validates the importance of this signaling network and its regulations by indole compounds. Here we will review the available literature on the modulation of PI3K/Akt/mTOR/NF-κB signaling by both parental I3C and DIM, as well as their analogs/derivatives, in an attempt to catalog their anticancer activity. PMID:23272910

  11. Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA) Study

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Mechanistic Indicators of Childhood Asthma (MICA) Study has been designed to incorporate state-of-the-art technologies to examine the physiological and environmental factors that interact to increase the risk of asthmatic responses. MICA is primarily a clinically-bases obser...

  12. ABO blood group and von Willebrand factor: biological implications.

    PubMed

    Franchini, Massimo; Crestani, Silvia; Frattini, Francesco; Sissa, Cinzia; Bonfanti, Carlo

    2014-09-01

    ABO blood group antigens are complex carbohydrate molecules expressed on the surface of red blood cells and a variety of human cells and tissues. It is well known that ABO blood type exerts a profound influence on hemostasis, being a major determinant of von Willebrand factor (VWF), and consequently factor VIII, plasma levels. In this review, we will focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction between ABO blood group and VWF in normal and pathological conditions. PMID:24945431

  13. Risk Factors in Adolescent Substance Abuse: Treatment and Management Implications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Connie S.; Schandler, Steven L.

    1996-01-01

    Discusses research on adolescent substance abuse risk factors and their role in the management of adolescent substance abuse disorders. A selective literature review suggests specific intervention strategies; no generic approach fits all adolescent substance-use clients. Effective techniques require individual assessments, including the context in…

  14. Factors modulating fibrates response: therapeutic implications and alternative strategies.

    PubMed

    Panadero, M I; González, M C; Herrera, E; Bocos, C

    2009-09-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPARalpha) regulates transcription of genes involved both in lipid and glucose metabolism as well as in inflammation. Fibrates are PPARalpha ligands used to normalize lipid and glucose parameters and exert antiinflammatory effects. In fact, fibrates have already been demonstrated to benefit metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This article reviews the mechanism of action and the functional roles of fibrates, emphasizing the factors modulating their capacity to activate PPARalpha and affecting their effectiveness. These factors may possibly explain the findings obtained in animal studies and clinical trials with fibrates which showed either untoward effects and/or inefficient hypolipidemic action of PPARalpha activation. We also discuss briefly the natural and synthetic agonists of PPARalphawhich are currently being developed and supposedly display greater effectiveness and fewer adverse effects than fibrates. PMID:19594420

  15. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor and its clinical implications

    PubMed Central

    Bathina, Siresha

    2015-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in neuronal survival and growth, serves as a neurotransmitter modulator, and participates in neuronal plasticity, which is essential for learning and memory. It is widely expressed in the CNS, gut and other tissues. BDNF binds to its high affinity receptor TrkB (tyrosine kinase B) and activates signal transduction cascades (IRS1/2, PI3K, Akt), crucial for CREB and CBP production, that encode proteins involved in β cell survival. BDNF and insulin-like growth factor-1 have similar downstream signaling mechanisms incorporating both p-CAMK and MAPK that increase the expression of pro-survival genes. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor regulates glucose and energy metabolism and prevents exhaustion of β cells. Decreased levels of BDNF are associated with neurodegenerative diseases with neuronal loss, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease. Thus, BDNF may be useful in the prevention and management of several diseases including diabetes mellitus. PMID:26788077

  16. Risk factors for falls among seniors: implications of gender.

    PubMed

    Chang, Vicky C; Do, Minh T

    2015-04-01

    Despite extensive literature on falls among seniors, little is known about gender-specific risk factors. To determine the prevalence of falls by gender and sociodemographic, lifestyle/behavioral, and medical factors, we conducted a cross-sectional study in a nationally representative sample of Canadian adults who were 65 years of age or older (n = 14,881) from the Canadian Community Health Survey-Healthy Aging (2008-2009). Logistic regression models were applied to investigate gender-specific associations between potential risk factors and falls. In men, stroke (odds ratio (OR) = 1.91), nutritional risk (OR = 1.86), post-secondary school degree (OR = 1.68), eye disorder (OR = 1.35), widowed/separated/divorced marital status (OR = 1.28), and arthritis (OR = 1.27) were independently associated with significantly higher odds of falls. In women, significant independent correlates of falls included stroke (OR = 1.53), age of 85 years or older (OR = 1.51), nutritional risk (OR = 1.39), consumption of at least 1 alcoholic drink per week (OR = 1.39), use of 5 or more medications (OR = 1.36), arthritis (OR = 1.36), diabetes (OR = 1.31), and osteoporosis (OR = 1.22). Higher physical activity levels were protective in both genders, and higher household income was protective in women. Gender should be considered when planning fall prevention strategies. PMID:25700887

  17. Factors affecting the initiation of breastfeeding: implications for breastfeeding promotion.

    PubMed

    Earle, Sarah

    2002-09-01

    Breastfeeding rates in the United Kingdom (UK) are one of the lowest in the developed world and certainly the lowest in Europe. There have been numerous studies of breastfeeding in the UK, most of which have adopted a quantitative approach, and they have largely focused on obstetric or socio-demographic factors in the decision to breastfeed. Whilst these studies have an important role to play, this paper draws on a study that adopts a qualitative methodology to explore women's personal experiences and perceptions of breastfeeding. A qualitative study of 19 primagravidae was undertaken and completed in 1998. Participants were recruited to the study via 12 antenatal clinics in the West Midlands, England, UK. Their ages ranged from 16 to 30 years and the majority described themselves as 'white'. The majority of participants were in paid employment in a variety of occupations. The study was prospective in design. Participants were interviewed three times either during pregnancy or after childbirth: the first stage was between 6 and 14 weeks of pregnancy; the second stage was between 34 and 39 weeks; and the third stage was between 6 and 14 weeks after childbirth. The data indicate that there are several factors affecting breastfeeding initiation. First, infant feeding decisions seem to be made prior to, or irrespective of, contact with health professionals. Secondly, the data suggest that health promotion campaigns in the UK have been influential in their ability to educate women about the benefits of breastfeeding. However, this did not dissuade participants from formula feeding once their decision was made. The desire for paternal involvement also seemed to be another influential factor; fathers were either seen as able to alleviate the daily grind of early motherhood, or there was a desire for 'shared parenting'. Finally, some of the formula feeding women expressed a strong desire to re-establish their identities as separate individuals and as 'non-mothers'. PMID

  18. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: review of implicated genetic factors.

    PubMed

    Weese-Mayer, Debra E; Ackerman, Michael J; Marazita, Mary L; Berry-Kravis, Elizabeth M

    2007-04-15

    Genetic studies in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) have been motivated by clinical, epidemiological, and/or neuropathological observations in SIDS victims, with subsequent pursuit of candidate genes in five categories: (1) genes for ion channel proteins based on electrocardiographic evidence of prolonged QT intervals in SIDS victims, (2) gene for serotonin transporter based on decreased serotonergic receptor binding in brainstems of SIDS victims, (3) genes pertinent to the early embryology of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) (and with a link to the 5-HT system) based on reports of ANS dysregulation in SIDS victims, (4) genes for nicotine metabolizing enzymes based on evidence of cigarette smoking as a modifiable risk factor for SIDS, and (5) genes regulating inflammation, energy production, hypoglycemia, and thermal regulation based on reports of postnatal infection, low birth weight, and/or overheating in SIDS victims. Evidence for each of these classes of candidate genes is reviewed in detail. As this review indicates, a number of genetically controlled pathways appear to be involved in at least some cases of SIDS. Given the diversity of results to date, genetic studies support the clinical impression that SIDS is heterogeneous with more than one entity and with more than one possible genetic etiology. Future studies should consider expanded phenotypic features that might help clarify the heterogeneity and improve the predictive value of the identified genetic factors. Such features should be evaluated to the extent possible in both SIDS victims and their family members. With 2,162 infants dying from SIDS in 2003 in the U.S. alone, and improved but still imperfect parent and caretaker compliance with known modifiable risk factors for SIDS, it behooves clinicians, researchers, and parents to combine efforts to reach a common goal. The message of the "Back to Sleep" campaign needs to be re-introduced/re-engineered to reach families and caretakers of all

  19. Snail Family Transcription Factors Are Implicated in Thyroid Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hardy, Robert G.; Vicente-Dueñas, Carolina; González-Herrero, Ines; Anderson, Catriona; Flores, Teresa; Hughes, Sharon; Tselepis, Chris; Ross, James A.; Sánchez-García, Isidro

    2007-01-01

    E-Cadherin (CDH1) expression is reduced in thyroid carcinomas by primarily unknown mechanisms. In several tissues, SNAIL (SNAI1) and SLUG (SNAI2) induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition by altering target gene transcription, including CDH1 repression, but these transcription factors have not been studied in thyroid carcinoma. Recently, our group has provided direct evidence that ectopic SNAI1 expression induces epithelial and mesenchymal mouse tumors. SNAI1, SNAI2, and CDH1 expression were analyzed in thyroid-derived cell lines and samples of human follicular and papillary thyroid carcinoma by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. The effect of SNAI1 expression on CDH1 transcription was analyzed by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting in ori-3 cells. Thyroid carcinoma development was analyzed in CombitTA-Snail mice, in which SNAI1 levels are up-regulated. SNAI1 and SNAI2 were not expressed in cells derived from normal thyroid tissue, or in normal human thyroid samples, but were highly expressed in cell lines derived from thyroid carcinomas, in human thyroid carcinoma samples, and their metastases. SNAI1 expression in ori-3 cells repressed CDH1 transcription. Combi-TA mice developed papillary thyroid carcinomas, the incidence of which was increased by concomitant radiotherapy. In conclusion, SNAI1 and SNAI2 are ectopically expressed in thyroid carcinomas, and aberrant expression in mice is associated with papillary carcinoma development. PMID:17724139

  20. Evidence of Second-Order Factor Structure in a Diagnostic Problem Space: Implications for Medical Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papa, Frank J.; And Others

    1997-01-01

    Chest pain was identified as a specific medical problem space, and disease classes were modeled to define it. Results from a test taken by 628 medical residents indicate a second-order factor structure that suggests that chest pain is a multidimensional problem space. Implications for medical education are discussed. (SLD)

  1. Generation Y Student-Teachers' Motivational Factors: Retention Implications for K-12 Educational Leaders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bontempo, Brian

    2010-01-01

    Generation Y represents a growing number of student-teachers who will impact the future of educational practice, yet little research has been conducted for this demographic group. The purpose of this mixed-method study was to identify motivational factors of neophyte teachers and the retention implications these findings had on Kindergarten…

  2. Implications of epidermal growth factor (EGF) induced egf receptor aggregation.

    PubMed Central

    Wofsy, C; Goldstein, B; Lund, K; Wiley, H S

    1992-01-01

    To investigate the role of receptor aggregation in EGF binding, we construct a mathematical model describing receptor dimerization (and higher levels of aggregation) that permits an analysis of the influence of receptor aggregation on ligand binding. We answer two questions: (a) Can Scatchard plots of EGF binding data be analyzed productively in terms of two noninteracting receptor populations with different affinities if EGF induced receptor aggregation occurs? No. If two affinities characterize aggregated and monomeric EGF receptors, we show that the Scatchard plot should have curvature characteristic of positively cooperative binding, the opposite of that observed. Thus, the interpretation that the high affinity population represents aggregated receptors and the low affinity population nonaggregated receptors is wrong. If the two populations are interpreted without reference to receptor aggregation, an important determinant of Scatchard plot shape is ignored. (b) Can a model for EGF receptor aggregation and EGF binding be consistent with the "negative curvature" (i.e., curvature characteristic of negatively cooperative binding) observed in most Scatchard plots of EGF binding data? Yes. In addition, the restrictions on the model parameters required to obtain negatively curved Scatchard plots provide new information about binding and aggregation. In particular, EGF binding to aggregated receptors must be negatively cooperative, i.e., binding to a receptor in a dimer (or higher oligomer) having one receptor already bound occurs with lower affinity than the initial binding event. A third question we consider is whether the model we present can be used to detect the presence of mechanisms other than receptor aggregation that are contributing to Scatchard plot curvature. For the membrane and cell binding data we analyzed, the best least squares fits of the model to each of the four data sets deviate systematically from the data, indicating that additional factors are

  3. AIR POLLUTION, INFLAMMATION AND PRETERM BIRTH: A POTENTIAL MECHANISTIC LINK

    PubMed Central

    Vadillo-Ortega, Felipe; Osornio-Vargas, Alvaro; Buxton, Miatta A.; Sánchez, Brisa N.; Rojas-Bracho, Leonora; Viveros-Alcaráz, Martin; Castillo-Castrejón, Marisol; Beltrán-Montoya, Jorge; Brown, Daniel G.; O´Neill, Marie S.

    2014-01-01

    Preterm birth is a public health issue of global significance, which may result in mortality during the perinatal period or may lead to major health and financial consequences due to lifelong impacts. Even though several risk factors for preterm birth have been identified, prevention efforts have failed to halt the increasing rates of preterm birth. Epidemiological studies have identified air pollution as an emerging potential risk factor for preterm birth. However, many studies were limited by study design and inadequate exposure assessment. Due to the ubiquitous nature of ambient air pollution and the potential public health significance of any role in causing preterm birth, a novel focus investigating possible causal mechanisms influenced by air pollution is therefore a global health priority. We hypothesize that air pollution may act together with other biological factors to induce systemic inflammation and influence the duration of pregnancy. Evaluation and testing of this hypothesis is currently being conducted in a prospective cohort study in Mexico City and will provide an understanding of the pathways that mediate the effects of air pollution on preterm birth. The important public health implication is that crucial steps in this mechanistic pathway can potentially be acted on early in pregnancy to reduce the risk of preterm birth. PMID:24382337

  4. Implications of Our Developing Understanding of Risk and Protective Factors in the Treatment of Adult Male Sexual Offenders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thornton, David

    2013-01-01

    This paper summarizes our developing knowledge of factors that contribute added risk of sexual recidivism (risk factors) and factors that are associated with a reduced risk of sexual recidivism (protective factors). Specific implications for the design of future treatment programs are drawn. This information is contrasted with the common foci of…

  5. Molecular Motions as a Drug Target: Mechanistic Simulations of Anthrax Toxin Edema Factor Function Led to the Discovery of Novel Allosteric Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Laine, Élodie; Martínez, Leandro; Ladant, Daniel; Malliavin, Thérèse; Blondel, Arnaud

    2012-01-01

    Edema Factor (EF) is a component of Bacillus anthracis toxin essential for virulence. Its adenylyl cyclase activity is induced by complexation with the ubiquitous eukaryotic cellular protein, calmodulin (CaM). EF and its complexes with CaM, nucleotides and/or ions, have been extensively characterized by X-ray crystallography. Those structural data allowed molecular simulations analysis of various aspects of EF action mechanism, including the delineation of EF and CaM domains through their association energetics, the impact of calcium binding on CaM, and the role of catalytic site ions. Furthermore, a transition path connecting the free inactive form to the CaM-complexed active form of EF was built to model the activation mechanism in an attempt to define an inhibition strategy. The cavities at the surface of EF were determined for each path intermediate to identify potential sites where the binding of a ligand could block activation. A non-catalytic cavity (allosteric) was found to shrink rapidly at early stages of the path and was chosen to perform virtual screening. Amongst 18 compounds selected in silico and tested in an enzymatic assay, 6 thiophen ureidoacid derivatives formed a new family of EF allosteric inhibitors with IC50 as low as 2 micromolars. PMID:23012649

  6. Crystal Structure of Human Factor VIII: Implications for the Formation of the Factor IXa-Factor VIIIa Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Ngo, J.C.; Huang, M.; Roth, D.A.; Furie, B.C.; Furie, B.

    2008-06-03

    Factor VIII is a procofactor that plays a critical role in blood coagulation, and is missing or defective in hemophilia A. We determined the X-ray crystal structure of B domain-deleted human factor VIII. This protein is composed of five globular domains and contains one Ca{sup 2+} and two Cu{sup 2+} ions. The three homologous A domains form a triangular heterotrimer where the A1 and A3 domains serve as the base and interact with the C2 and C1 domains, respectively. The structurally homologous C1 and C2 domains reveal membrane binding features. Based on biochemical studies, a model of the factor IXa-factor VIIIa complex was constructed by in silico docking. Factor IXa wraps across the side of factor VIII, and an extended interface spans the factor VIII heavy and light chains. This model provides insight into the activation of factor VIII and the interaction of factor VIIIa with factor IXa on the membrane surface.

  7. Crystal Structure of Human Factor VIII: Implications for the Formation of the Factor IXa-Factor VIIIa Complex

    SciTech Connect

    Chi Ki Ngo,J.; Huang, M.; Roth, D.; Furie, B.; Furie, B.

    2008-01-01

    Factor VIII is a procofactor that plays a critical role in blood coagulation, and is missing or defective in hemophilia A. We determined the X-ray crystal structure of B domain-deleted human factor VIII. This protein is composed of five globular domains and contains one Ca(2+) and two Cu(2+) ions. The three homologous A domains form a triangular heterotrimer where the A1 and A3 domains serve as the base and interact with the C2 and C1 domains, respectively. The structurally homologous C1 and C2 domains reveal membrane binding features. Based on biochemical studies, a model of the factor IXa-factor VIIIa complex was constructed by in silico docking. Factor IXa wraps across the side of factor VIII, and an extended interface spans the factor VIII heavy and light chains. This model provides insight into the activation of factor VIII and the interaction of factor VIIIa with factor IXa on the membrane surface.

  8. Mechanistic links between oxidative/nitrosative stress and tumor necrosis factor alpha in letrozole-induced murine polycystic ovary: biochemical and pathological evidences for beneficial effect of pioglitazone.

    PubMed

    Rezvanfar, M A; Rezvanfar, M A; Ahmadi, A; Saadi, H A Shojaei; Baeeri, M; Abdollahi, M

    2012-09-01

    This study aimed to investigate the possible relationship between ovarian functionality and the oxidative response during cystogenesis induced by hyperandrogenization with letrozole and examine protective effect of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) agonist, pioglitazone (PIO), in polycystic ovary (PCO). Ovarian cysts were induced by oral administration of letrozol (1 mg/kg/day) for 21 consecutive days in the female rats. Effective dose of PIO (20 mg/kg/day) was administrated orally for 21 days. Serum estradiol (E), progesterone (P), testosterone (T), and the ovarian immunomodulator prostaglandin E (PGE) were analyzed as biomarkers of ovarian function. To determine the role of oxidative stress in PCO, the level of cellular lipid peroxidation (LPO), superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and peroxynitrite (ONOO), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) as a marker of inflammation and apoptosis were measured in serum and the ovaries. Letrozole-induced PCO in rats exhibited a significant increase in LPO and ONOO in serum and ovary while significantly decreased serum and ovarian SOD, CAT, and GPx. Serum T and TNF-α, and ovarian PGE were increased in animals with cysts compared with healthy controls, while E and P diminished. When compared to control group, letrozole-treated group showed irregular sexual cycles, polycystic ovaries characterized by high incidence of sub-capsular ovarian cyst with diminished or scant granulosa cell layer, increased number of atretic pre-antral and antral follicles and absence of corpus luteum. There were almost no primary, secondary, and tertiary follicles observed in PCO rats. All measured parameters were improved by PIO and reached close to normal levels. The present study further supports the role of oxidative/nitrosative stress and infiammatory responses in the pathogenesis of letrozole-induced hyperandrogenic PCO rats. Results indicate that PIO is able to exert direct

  9. Human factors in space station architecture 1: Space station program implications for human factors research

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, M. M.

    1985-01-01

    The space station program is based on a set of premises on mission requirements and the operational capabilities of the space shuttle. These premises will influence the human behavioral factors and conditions on board the space station. These include: launch in the STS Orbiter payload bay, orbital characteristics, power supply, microgravity environment, autonomy from the ground, crew make-up and organization, distributed command control, safety, and logistics resupply. The most immediate design impacts of these premises will be upon the architectural organization and internal environment of the space station.

  10. The role of angiogenic factors in fibroid pathogenesis: potential implications for future therapy

    PubMed Central

    Tal, Reshef; Segars, James H.

    2014-01-01

    Background It is well established that tumors are dependent on angiogenesis for their growth and survival. Although uterine fibroids are known to be benign tumors with reduced vascularization, recent work demonstrates that the vasculature of fibroids is grossly and microscopically abnormal. Accumulating evidence suggests that angiogenic growth factor dysregulation may be implicated in these vascular and other features of fibroid pathophysiology. Methods Literature searches were performed in PubMed and Google Scholar for articles with content related to angiogenic growth factors and myometrium/leiomyoma. The findings are hereby reviewed and discussed. Results Multiple growth factors involved in angiogenesis are differentially expressed in leiomyoma compared with myometrium. These include epidermal growth factor (EGF), heparin-binding-EGF, vascular endothelial growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, transforming growth factor-β and adrenomedullin. An important paradox is that although leiomyoma tissues are hypoxic, leiomyoma feature down-regulation of key molecular regulators of the hypoxia response. Furthermore, the hypoxic milieu of leiomyoma may contribute to fibroid development and growth. Notably, common treatments for fibroids such as GnRH agonists and uterine artery embolization (UAE) are shown to work at least partly via anti-angiogenic mechanisms. Conclusions Angiogenic growth factors play an important role in mechanisms of fibroid pathophysiology, including abnormal vasculature and fibroid growth and survival. Moreover, the fibroid's abnormal vasculature together with its aberrant hypoxic and angiogenic response may make it especially vulnerable to disruption of its vascular supply, a feature which could be exploited for treatment. Further experimental studies are required in order to gain a better understanding of the growth factors that are involved in normal and pathological myometrial angiogenesis, and to assess

  11. Sociocultural factors and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa: implications for diagnosis and management.

    PubMed

    Tetteh, Dinah A; Faulkner, Sandra L

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of breast cancer is on the rise in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and efforts at early diagnosis have not been very successful because the public has scant knowledge about the disease, a large percentage of breast cancer cases are diagnosed late and mainly rural SSA women's practice of breast self-examination is poor. In this paper, we argue that an examination of the social and cultural contexts of SSA that influence breast cancer diagnosis and management in the region is needed. We discuss the implications of sociocultural factors, such as gender roles and spirituality, on breast cancer diagnosis and management in SSA. PMID:26757491

  12. Suicidal behavior inLatinas: explanatory cultural factors and implications for intervention.

    PubMed

    Zayas, Luis H; Pilat, Allyson M

    2008-06-01

    We posit that the high rates of suicidal behavior by teenage Hispanic females reported in large-scale surveys can be understood as a cultural phenomenon, a product of specific elements of the history, tradition, ideology, or social norms of a particular society, and that treatment interventions must take family and cultural factors into consideration. For over a decade, surveys have reported that among ethnic and racial minority youth in the United States, Latinas have the highest rates of suicidal behavior compared to African American and non-Hispanic White adolescent females. However, other research shows that the psychological profiles of suicidal Latina adolescent girls and the risk factors for Latina suicidal behavior may not be that different from non-Hispanic suicidal adolescent females. The unique situation of adolescent Latinas involves the convergence of cultural and familial factors (i.e., familism, acculturation, relatedness, autonomy, etc.) with the developmental, social, and individual factors frequently associated with suicidal behaviors. Based on this background, family-oriented interventions appear to be the most appropriate approach to the prevention and treatment of Hispanic suicidal girls. Factors implicated in Latina suicidal behavior and community-based interventions that include the adolescent and her family are suggested. PMID:18611132

  13. Spatialised fate factors for nitrate in catchments: modelling approach and implication for LCA results.

    PubMed

    Basset-Mens, Claudine; Anibar, Lamiaa; Durand, Patrick; van der Werf, Hayo M G

    2006-08-15

    The challenge for environmental assessment tools, such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is to provide a holistic picture of the environmental impacts of a given system, while being relevant both at a global scale, i.e., for global impact categories such as climate change, and at a smaller scale, i.e., for regional impact categories such as aquatic eutrophication. To this end, the environmental mechanisms between emission and impact should be taken into account. For eutrophication in particular, which is one of the main impacts of farming systems, the fate factor of eutrophying pollutants in catchments, and particularly of nitrate, reflects one of these important and complex environmental mechanisms. We define this fate factor as: the ratio of the amount of nitrate at the outlet of the catchment over the nitrate emitted from the catchment's soils. In LCA, this fate factor is most often assumed equal to 1, while the observed fate factor is generally less than 1. A generic approach for estimating the range of variation of nitrate fate factors in a region of intensive agriculture was proposed. This approach was based on the analysis of different catchment scenarios combining different catchment types and different effective rainfalls. The evolution over time of the nitrate fate factor as well as the steady state fate factor for each catchment scenario was obtained using the INCA simulation model. In line with the general LCA model, the implications of the steady state fate factors for nitrate were investigated for the eutrophication impact result in the framework of an LCA of pig production. A sensitivity analysis to the fraction of nitrate lost as N(2)O was presented for the climate change impact category. This study highlighted the difference between the observed fate factor at a given time, which aggregates both storage and transformation processes and a "steady state fate factor", specific to the system considered. The range of steady state fate factors obtained for

  14. Metabolic Risk Factors of Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease: Implications in the Pathology, Pathogenesis and Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Sasanka; Khemka, Vineet Kumar; Banerjee, Anindita; Chatterjee, Gargi; Ganguly, Anirban; Biswas, Atanu

    2015-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the major cause of dementia among the elderly world-wide, manifests in familial and sporadic forms, and the latter variety accounts for the majority of the patients affected by this disease. The etiopathogenesis of sporadic AD is complex and uncertain. The autopsy studies of AD brain have provided limited understanding of the antemortem pathogenesis of the disease. Experimental AD research with transgenic animal or various cell based models has so far failed to explain the complex and varied spectrum of AD dementia. The review, therefore, emphasizes the importance of AD related risk factors, especially those with metabolic implications, identified from various epidemiological studies, in providing clues to the pathogenesis of this complex disorder. Several metabolic risk factors of AD like hypercholesterolemia, hyperhomocysteinemia and type 2 diabetes have been studied extensively both in epidemiology and experimental research, while much less is known about the role of adipokines, pro-inflammatory cytokines and vitamin D in this context. Moreover, the results from many of these studies have shown a degree of variability which has hindered our understanding of the role of AD related risk factors in the disease progression. The review also encompasses the recent recommendations regarding clinical and neuropathological diagnosis of AD and brings out the inherent uncertainty and ambiguity in this area which may have a distinct impact on the outcome of various population-based studies on AD-related risk factors. PMID:26236550

  15. Educational achievement, personality, and behavior: assessment, factor structure and implications for theory and practice.

    PubMed

    Gaffney, Tim W; Perryman, Cassandra

    2012-01-01

    The purposes of this research were to first examine the evidence regarding the factor structure of educational achievement tests in the context of two theoretical models of cognitive ability (psychometric g and mutualism) that have been proposed to explain this structure as well as the underlying processes that may be responsible for its emergence in dimensionality studies. Then, the factor structure underlying a sample of the standardized educational achievement tests used by California in its statewide school accountability program was compared to those emerging from a selection of behavioral and personality assessments. As expected, the educational achievement tests exhibited a strong and uniformly positive manifold resulting in greater unidimensionality as evidenced by a dominant general factor in bi-factor analysis then either the personality or behavioral assessments. The implications of these structural differences are discussed with respect to the two theoretical perspective as well as in the context of formative and summative educational inferences in particular, and the school accountability and reform movement in general. PMID:22805361

  16. Early Health Risk Factors for Violence: Conceptualization, Review of the Evidence, and Implications.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jianghong

    2011-01-01

    Violence and aggression are public health problems that can benefit from ongoing research into risk reduction and prevention. Current developmental theories of violence and aggression emphasize biological and psychosocial factors, particularly during adolescence. However, there has been less focus on understanding the interactive, multiplicative effects of these processes. Furthermore, little attention has been given to the pre-, peri-, and postnatal periods, where prevention and intervention may yield effective results. Early health risk factors that influence negative behavioral outcomes include prenatal and postnatal nutrition, tobacco use during pregnancy, maternal depression, birth complications, traumatic brain injury, lead exposure, and child abuse. There is an ample literature to suggest that these early health risk factors may increase the likelihood of childhood externalizing behaviors, aggression, juvenile delinquency, adult criminal behavior, and/or violence. This paper proposes an early health risk factors framework for violence prediction, built on existing developmental theories of criminal behavior and supported by empirical findings. This framework addresses gaps in the adolescent psychopathology literature and presents a novel conceptualization of behavioral disturbance that emphasizes the pre-, peri-, and post-natal periods, when a child's development is critical and the opportunity for behavioral and environmental modification is high. Implications for such a framework on violence prevention programs are discussed. PMID:21399727

  17. Metabolic Risk Factors of Sporadic Alzheimer's Disease: Implications in the Pathology, Pathogenesis and Treatment.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Sasanka; Khemka, Vineet Kumar; Banerjee, Anindita; Chatterjee, Gargi; Ganguly, Anirban; Biswas, Atanu

    2015-08-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD), the major cause of dementia among the elderly world-wide, manifests in familial and sporadic forms, and the latter variety accounts for the majority of the patients affected by this disease. The etiopathogenesis of sporadic AD is complex and uncertain. The autopsy studies of AD brain have provided limited understanding of the antemortem pathogenesis of the disease. Experimental AD research with transgenic animal or various cell based models has so far failed to explain the complex and varied spectrum of AD dementia. The review, therefore, emphasizes the importance of AD related risk factors, especially those with metabolic implications, identified from various epidemiological studies, in providing clues to the pathogenesis of this complex disorder. Several metabolic risk factors of AD like hypercholesterolemia, hyperhomocysteinemia and type 2 diabetes have been studied extensively both in epidemiology and experimental research, while much less is known about the role of adipokines, pro-inflammatory cytokines and vitamin D in this context. Moreover, the results from many of these studies have shown a degree of variability which has hindered our understanding of the role of AD related risk factors in the disease progression. The review also encompasses the recent recommendations regarding clinical and neuropathological diagnosis of AD and brings out the inherent uncertainty and ambiguity in this area which may have a distinct impact on the outcome of various population-based studies on AD-related risk factors. PMID:26236550

  18. Early Health Risk Factors for Violence: Conceptualization, Review of the Evidence, and Implications

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jianghong

    2010-01-01

    Violence and aggression are public health problems that can benefit from ongoing research into risk reduction and prevention. Current developmental theories of violence and aggression emphasize biological and psychosocial factors, particularly during adolescence. However, there has been less focus on understanding the interactive, multiplicative effects of these processes. Furthermore, little attention has been given to the pre-, peri-, and postnatal periods, where prevention and intervention may yield effective results. Early health risk factors that influence negative behavioral outcomes include prenatal and postnatal nutrition, tobacco use during pregnancy, maternal depression, birth complications, traumatic brain injury, lead exposure, and child abuse. There is an ample literature to suggest that these early health risk factors may increase the likelihood of childhood externalizing behaviors, aggression, juvenile delinquency, adult criminal behavior, and/or violence. This paper proposes an early health risk factors framework for violence prediction, built on existing developmental theories of criminal behavior and supported by empirical findings. This framework addresses gaps in the adolescent psychopathology literature and presents a novel conceptualization of behavioral disturbance that emphasizes the pre-, peri-, and post-natal periods, when a child’s development is critical and the opportunity for behavioral and environmental modification is high. Implications for such a framework on violence prevention programs are discussed. PMID:21399727

  19. Mechanistically Consistent Reduced Models of Synthetic Gene Networks

    PubMed Central

    Mier-y-Terán-Romero, Luis; Silber, Mary; Hatzimanikatis, Vassily

    2013-01-01

    Designing genetic networks with desired functionalities requires an accurate mathematical framework that accounts for the essential mechanistic details of the system. Here, we formulate a time-delay model of protein translation and mRNA degradation by systematically reducing a detailed mechanistic model that explicitly accounts for the ribosomal dynamics and the cleaving of mRNA by endonucleases. We exploit various technical and conceptual advantages that our time-delay model offers over the mechanistic model to probe the behavior of a self-repressing gene over wide regions of parameter space. We show that a heuristic time-delay model of protein synthesis of a commonly used form yields a notably different prediction for the parameter region where sustained oscillations occur. This suggests that such heuristics can lead to erroneous results. The functional forms that arise from our systematic reduction can be used for every system that involves transcription and translation and they could replace the commonly used heuristic time-delay models for these processes. The results from our analysis have important implications for the design of synthetic gene networks and stress that such design must be guided by a combination of heuristic models and mechanistic models that include all relevant details of the process. PMID:23663853

  20. Factors That Influence HIV Risk among Hispanic Female Immigrants and Their Implications for HIV Prevention Interventions

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Amy M.; Zule, William A.; Karg, Rhonda S.; Browne, Felicia A.; Wechsberg, Wendee M.

    2012-01-01

    Hispanics are the fastest growing minority group in North Carolina with increasing incidence of HIV infection. Gender roles, cultural expectations, and acculturation of women may explain some of Hispanic women's risks. The perspectives of Hispanic female immigrants and community-based providers were sought to identify services they offer, understand HIV risk factors, and support the adaptation of a best-evidence HIV behavioural intervention for Hispanic women. Two sets of focus groups were conducted to explicate risks and the opportunities to reach women or couples and the feasibility to conduct HIV prevention in an acceptable manner. Salient findings were that Hispanic female immigrants lacked accurate HIV/AIDS and STI knowledge and that traditional gender roles shaped issues surrounding sexual behaviour and HIV risks, as well as condom use, partner communication, and multiple sexual partnerships. Intervention implications are discussed such as developing and adapting culturally appropriate HIV prevention interventions for Hispanics that address gender roles and partner communication. PMID:22518308

  1. A critical examination of the U.S. nursing shortage: contributing factors, public policy implications.

    PubMed

    Fox, Rebekah L; Abrahamson, Kathleen

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND. Despite short-lived periods of adequacy in nurse availability, the nursing shortage has endured. In order to better understand the myriad factors that influence the current shortage of nurses, as well as possible solutions, this project addresses the influence of social factors and government policy on nurse staffing inadequacy. When the government intervenes in a philosophically free-market economy, the assumption is that a problem, such as the current nursing shortage, could not be solved without such intervention. PURPOSE. Nursing care arguably falls into the realm of protecting the common good, and therefore requires government oversight. We provide a critical analysis of policy intervention efforts into the nursing shortage debate by examining the passage of legislation, the provision of educational assistance, and the establishment of minimum staffing requirements and minimum quality standards for reimbursement, which all impact nursing supply and demand. RESULTS. Arguments supporting and opposing policy intervention in general, and its impact on the overall provision of nursing care in the United States, were examined. Without policy incentive to place financial value on the quality of care provided by nurses, a simple increase in the number of available nurses is unlikely to solve the current problem. IMPLICATIONS. Important considerations that should be factored into policy creation include measurement and compensation for quality care, the nature of recruitment efforts of new nurses, and the complex nature of a nursing work. PMID:19954463

  2. Implications of diesel emissions control failures to emission factors and road transport NOx evolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ntziachristos, Leonidas; Papadimitriou, Giannis; Ligterink, Norbert; Hausberger, Stefan

    2016-09-01

    Diesel NOx emissions have been at the forefront of research and regulation scrutiny as a result of failures of late vehicle technologies to deliver on-road emissions reductions. The current study aims at identifying the actual emissions levels of late light duty vehicle technologies, including Euro 5 and Euro 6 ones. Mean NOx emission factor levels used in the most popular EU vehicle emission models (COPERT, HBEFA and VERSIT+) are compared with latest emission information collected in the laboratory over real-world driving cycles and on the road using portable emissions measurement systems (PEMS). The comparison shows that Euro 5 passenger car (PC) emission factors well reflect on road levels and that recently revealed emissions control failures do not call for any significant corrections. However Euro 5 light commercial vehicles (LCVs) and Euro 6 PCs in the 2014-2016 period exhibit on road emission levels twice as high as used in current models. Moreover, measured levels vary a lot for Euro 6 vehicles. Scenarios for future evolution of Euro 6 emission factors, reflecting different degree of effectiveness of emissions control regulations, show that total NOx emissions from diesel Euro 6 PC and LCV may correspond from 49% up to 83% of total road transport emissions in 2050. Unless upcoming and long term regulations make sure that light duty diesel NOx emissions are effectively addressed, this will have significant implications in meeting future air quality and national emissions ceilings targets.

  3. Clinical implications of insulin-like growth factor 1 system in early-stage cervical cancer

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Y-F; Shen, M-R; Hsu, K-F; Cheng, Y-M; Chou, C-Y

    2008-01-01

    This study was aimed to identify the expression and the correlation of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) system and their prognostic impacts in cervical cancer. Seventy-two patients with early-stage cervical cancer were eligible. We obtained the serum levels of total IGF-1 and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the expression of IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R) in cancerous tissue by immuno-fluorescent (IF) stains. The 5-year recurrence-free and overall survival rates were significantly lower (P=0.003 and P=0.01, respectively) among patients with high-grade expression of tissue IGF-1R, compared with those with low-grade expression. After adjustment for other factors, preoperative serum total IGF-1 or IGFBP-3 levels failed to predict cancer death and recurrence. High-grade expression of IGF-1R and elevated preoperative squamous cell carcinoma antigen level were independent predictors of both death and recurrence, and combination of both factors could further help identify the subgroup of patients at higher death risk. The IF staining indicates the colocalisation of IGF-1 and IGF-1R in the cancerous tissues, whereas the IGF-1R expression is not correlated with circulating levels of IGF-1 or IGFBP-3. In early-stage cervical cancer, IGF-1 system may have a paracrine or autocrine function and the adverse impacts on prognosis by IGF-1R overexpression are implicated. PMID:18781172

  4. Genetic Variation of Goat Interferon Regulatory Factor 3 Gene and Its Implication in Goat Evolution.

    PubMed

    Okpeku, Moses; Esmailizadeh, Ali; Adeola, Adeniyi C; Shu, Liping; Zhang, Yesheng; Wang, Yangzi; Sanni, Timothy M; Imumorin, Ikhide G; Peters, Sunday O; Zhang, Jiajin; Dong, Yang; Wang, Wen

    2016-01-01

    The immune systems are fundamentally vital for evolution and survival of species; as such, selection patterns in innate immune loci are of special interest in molecular evolutionary research. The interferon regulatory factor (IRF) gene family control many different aspects of the innate and adaptive immune responses in vertebrates. Among these, IRF3 is known to take active part in very many biological processes. We assembled and evaluated 1356 base pairs of the IRF3 gene coding region in domesticated goats from Africa (Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa) and Asia (Iran and China) and the wild goat (Capra aegagrus). Five segregating sites with θ value of 0.0009 for this gene demonstrated a low diversity across the goats' populations. Fu and Li tests were significantly positive but Tajima's D test was significantly negative, suggesting its deviation from neutrality. Neighbor joining tree of IRF3 gene in domesticated goats, wild goat and sheep showed that all domesticated goats have a closer relationship than with the wild goat and sheep. Maximum likelihood tree of the gene showed that different domesticated goats share a common ancestor and suggest single origin. Four unique haplotypes were observed across all the sequences, of which, one was particularly common to African goats (MOCH-K14-0425, Poitou and WAD). In assessing the evolution mode of the gene, we found that the codon model dN/dS ratio for all goats was greater than one. Phylogenetic Analysis by Maximum Likelihood (PAML) gave a ω0 (dN/dS) value of 0.067 with LnL value of -6900.3 for the first Model (M1) while ω2 = 1.667 in model M2 with LnL value of -6900.3 with positive selection inferred in 3 codon sites. Mechanistic empirical combination (MEC) model for evaluating adaptive selection pressure on particular codons also confirmed adaptive selection pressure in three codons (207, 358 and 408) in IRF3 gene. Positive diversifying selection inferred with recent evolutionary changes in domesticated goat IRF3

  5. The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution: a mechanistic appraisal.

    PubMed

    Gaston, Kevin J; Bennie, Jonathan; Davies, Thomas W; Hopkins, John

    2013-11-01

    The ecological impacts of nighttime light pollution have been a longstanding source of concern, accentuated by realized and projected growth in electrical lighting. As human communities and lighting technologies develop, artificial light increasingly modifies natural light regimes by encroaching on dark refuges in space, in time, and across wavelengths. A wide variety of ecological implications of artificial light have been identified. However, the primary research to date is largely focused on the disruptive influence of nighttime light on higher vertebrates, and while comprehensive reviews have been compiled along taxonomic lines and within specific research domains, the subject is in need of synthesis within a common mechanistic framework. Here we propose such a framework that focuses on the cross-factoring of the ways in which artificial lighting alters natural light regimes (spatially, temporally, and spectrally), and the ways in which light influences biological systems, particularly the distinction between light as a resource and light as an information source. We review the evidence for each of the combinations of this cross-factoring. As artificial lighting alters natural patterns of light in space, time and across wavelengths, natural patterns of resource use and information flows may be disrupted, with downstream effects to the structure and function of ecosystems. This review highlights: (i) the potential influence of nighttime lighting at all levels of biological organisation (from cell to ecosystem); (ii) the significant impact that even low levels of nighttime light pollution can have; and (iii) the existence of major research gaps, particularly in terms of the impacts of light at population and ecosystem levels, identification of intensity thresholds, and the spatial extent of impacts in the vicinity of artificial lights. PMID:23565807

  6. Modeling Bird Migration under Climate Change: A Mechanistic Approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, James A.

    2009-01-01

    How will migrating birds respond to changes in the environment under climate change? What are the implications for migratory success under the various accelerated climate change scenarios as forecast by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change? How will reductions or increased variability in the number or quality of wetland stop-over sites affect migratory bird species? The answers to these questions have important ramifications for conservation biology and wildlife management. Here, we describe the use of continental scale simulation modeling to explore how spatio-temporal changes along migratory flyways affect en-route migration success. We use an individually based, biophysical, mechanistic, bird migration model to simulate the movement of shorebirds in North America as a tool to study how such factors as drought and wetland loss may impact migratory success and modify migration patterns. Our model is driven by remote sensing and climate data and incorporates important landscape variables. The energy budget components of the model include resting, foraging, and flight, but presently predation is ignored. Results/Conclusions We illustrate our model by studying the spring migration of sandpipers through the Great Plains to their Arctic breeding grounds. Why many species of shorebirds have shown significant declines remains a puzzle. Shorebirds are sensitive to stop-over quality and spacing because of their need for frequent refueling stops and their opportunistic feeding patterns. We predict bird "hydrographs that is, stop-over frequency with latitude, that are in agreement with the literature. Mean stop-over durations predicted from our model for nominal cases also are consistent with the limited, but available data. For the shorebird species simulated, our model predicts that shorebirds exhibit significant plasticity and are able to shift their migration patterns in response to changing drought conditions. However, the question remains as to whether this

  7. Mechanistic investigations of shuttle glow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Caledonia, G. E.; Holtzclaw, K. W.; Krech, R. H.; Sonnenfroh, D. M.; Leone, A.; Blumberg, W. A. M.

    1993-01-01

    A series of laboratory measurements have been performed in order to provide a mechanistic interpretation for the visible shuttle glow. These studies involved interactions of an 8 km/s oxygen atom beam with both contaminant dosed surfaces and gaseous targets. We conclude that visible shuttle glow arises from surface mediated O + NO recombination via a Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism and that the gas-phase exchange reaction O + N2 - NO + N provides a viable source of precursor NO above surfaces oriented in the ram direction.

  8. Mechanistic investigations of shuttle glow

    SciTech Connect

    Caledonia, G.E.; Holtzclaw, K.W.; Krech, R.H.; Sonnenfroh, D.M. ); Leone, A. ); Blumber, W.A.M. )

    1993-03-01

    A series of laboratory measurements have been performed in order to provide a mechanistic interpretation for the visible shuttle glow. These studies involved interactions in an 8 km/s oxygen atom beam with both contaminant dosed surfaces and gaseous targets. The authors conclude that visible shuttle glow arises from surface mediated O + NO recombination via a Langmuir-Hinshelwood mechanism and that the gas-phase exchange reaction O + N[sub 2] [r arrow] NO + N provides a viable source of precursor NO above surfaces oriented in the ram direction. 35 refs., 4 figs.

  9. Implications of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 Receptor Activation in Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Nurwidya, Fariz; Andarini, Sita; Takahashi, Fumiyuki; Syahruddin, Elisna; Takahashi, Kazuhisa

    2016-01-01

    Insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) has been intensively investigated in many preclinical studies using cell lines and animal models, and the results have provided important knowledge to help improve the understanding of cancer biology. IGF1R is highly expressed in patients with lung cancer, and high levels of circulating insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1), the main ligand for IGF1R, increases the risk of developing lung malignancy in the future. Several phase I clinical trials have supported the potential use of an IGF1R-targeted strategy for cancer, including lung cancer. However, the negative results from phase III studies need further attention, especially in selecting patients with specific molecular signatures, who will gain benefits from IGF1R inhibitors with minimal side effects. This review will discuss the basic concept of IGF1R in lung cancer biology, such as epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induction and cancer stem cell (CSC) maintenance, and also the clinical implications of IGF1R for lung cancer patients, such as prognostic value and cancer therapy resistance. PMID:27418865

  10. Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha Converting Enzyme: Implications for Ocular Inflammatory Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Ramana, Kota V

    2010-01-01

    Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) –converting enzyme (TACE), a member of the family of metalloproteinase disintegrin proteins, is responsible for the conversion of inactive TNF-α precursor from to active mature form. TNF-α is a pleiotropic cytokine that contributes to cellular immunity and inflammatory response in wide range of inflammatory pathologies. Although a large number of studies indicate the use of TACE inhibitors, which prevents processing of TNF-α as potential therapeutic drugs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and cancer, very few studies indicate its use in ocular pathologies. It is still not clearly understood how the TACE-mediated shedding of cytokines and growth factors in various ocular tissues plays a critical role in the cytotoxic signals causing tissue dysfunction and damage leading to blindness. Regulation of TACE activity is likely to have wide implications for ocular immunology and inflammatory diseases. Specifically, since anti-TNF-α therapies have been used to prevent ocular inflammatory complications, the use of TACE inhibitors could be a novel therapeutic approach for ocular inflammatory diseases especially uveitis. PMID:20303413

  11. Insulin-like growth factor 1, glycation and bone fragility: implications for fracture resistance of bone.

    PubMed

    Sroga, Grażyna E; Wu, Ping-Cheng; Vashishth, Deepak

    2015-01-01

    Despite our extensive knowledge of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) action on the growing skeleton, its role in skeletal homeostasis during aging and age-related development of certain diseases is still unclear. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) derived from glucose are implicated in osteoporosis and a number of diabetic complications. We hypothesized that because in humans and rodents IGF1 stimulates uptake of glucose (a glycation substrate) from the bloodstream in a dose-dependent manner, the decline of IGF1 could be associated with the accumulation of glycation products and the decreasing resistance of bone to fracture. To test the aforementioned hypotheses, we used human tibial posterior cortex bone samples to perform biochemical (measurement of IGF1, fluorescent AGEs and pentosidine (PEN) contents) and mechanical tests (crack initiation and propagation using compact tension specimens). Our results for the first time show a significant, age-independent association between the levels of IGF1 and AGEs. Furthermore, AGEs (fAGEs, PEN) predict propensity of bone to fracture (initiation and propagation) independently of age in human cortical bone. Based on these results we propose a model of IGF1-based regulation of bone fracture. Because IGF1 level increases postnatally up to the juvenile developmental phase and decreases thereafter with aging, we propose that IGF1 may play a protective role in young skeleton and its age-related decline leads to bone fragility and an increased fracture risk. Our results may also have important implications for current understanding of osteoporosis- and diabetes-related bone fragility as well as in the development of new diagnostic tools to screen for fragile bones. PMID:25629402

  12. Insulin-Like Growth Factor 1, Glycation and Bone Fragility: Implications for Fracture Resistance of Bone

    PubMed Central

    Sroga, Grażyna E.; Wu, Ping-Cheng; Vashishth, Deepak

    2015-01-01

    Despite our extensive knowledge of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) action on the growing skeleton, its role in skeletal homeostasis during aging and age-related development of certain diseases is still unclear. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) derived from glucose are implicated in osteoporosis and a number of diabetic complications. We hypothesized that because in humans and rodents IGF1 stimulates uptake of glucose (a glycation substrate) from the bloodstream in a dose-dependent manner, the decline of IGF1 could be associated with the accumulation of glycation products and the decreasing resistance of bone to fracture. To test the aforementioned hypotheses, we used human tibial posterior cortex bone samples to perform biochemical (measurement of IGF1, fluorescent AGEs and pentosidine (PEN) contents) and mechanical tests (crack initiation and propagation using compact tension specimens). Our results for the first time show a significant, age-independent association between the levels of IGF1 and AGEs. Furthermore, AGEs (fAGEs, PEN) predict propensity of bone to fracture (initiation and propagation) independently of age in human cortical bone. Based on these results we propose a model of IGF1-based regulation of bone fracture. Because IGF1 level increases postnatally up to the juvenile developmental phase and decreases thereafter with aging, we propose that IGF1 may play a protective role in young skeleton and its age-related decline leads to bone fragility and an increased fracture risk. Our results may also have important implications for current understanding of osteoporosis- and diabetes-related bone fragility as well as in the development of new diagnostic tools to screen for fragile bones. PMID:25629402

  13. Food for Thought ... Mechanistic Validation

    PubMed Central

    Hartung, Thomas; Hoffmann, Sebastian; Stephens, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Summary Validation of new approaches in regulatory toxicology is commonly defined as the independent assessment of the reproducibility and relevance (the scientific basis and predictive capacity) of a test for a particular purpose. In large ring trials, the emphasis to date has been mainly on reproducibility and predictive capacity (comparison to the traditional test) with less attention given to the scientific or mechanistic basis. Assessing predictive capacity is difficult for novel approaches (which are based on mechanism), such as pathways of toxicity or the complex networks within the organism (systems toxicology). This is highly relevant for implementing Toxicology for the 21st Century, either by high-throughput testing in the ToxCast/ Tox21 project or omics-based testing in the Human Toxome Project. This article explores the mostly neglected assessment of a test's scientific basis, which moves mechanism and causality to the foreground when validating/qualifying tests. Such mechanistic validation faces the problem of establishing causality in complex systems. However, pragmatic adaptations of the Bradford Hill criteria, as well as bioinformatic tools, are emerging. As critical infrastructures of the organism are perturbed by a toxic mechanism we argue that by focusing on the target of toxicity and its vulnerability, in addition to the way it is perturbed, we can anchor the identification of the mechanism and its verification. PMID:23665802

  14. FACTORS IMPLICATED IN AMPHIBIAN POPULATION DECLINES IN THE US, AND AN EVALUATION OF THE CASE FOR INVASIVE SPECIES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Factors known or suspected to be adversely affecting native amphibian populations in the US were identified using information from 267 species accounts written in a standardized format by multiple authors in a forthcoming book. Land use was the most frequently implicated adverse ...

  15. Structural and mechanistic insights on nitrate reductases.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Catarina; Romão, Maria João

    2015-12-01

    Nitrate reductases (NR) belong to the DMSO reductase family of Mo-containing enzymes and perform key roles in the metabolism of the nitrogen cycle, reducing nitrate to nitrite. Due to variable cell location, structure and function, they have been divided into periplasmic (Nap), cytoplasmic, and membrane-bound (Nar) nitrate reductases. The first crystal structure obtained for a NR was that of the monomeric NapA from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans in 1999. Since then several new crystal structures were solved providing novel insights that led to the revision of the commonly accepted reaction mechanism for periplasmic nitrate reductases. The two crystal structures available for the NarGHI protein are from the same organism (Escherichia coli) and the combination with electrochemical and spectroscopic studies also lead to the proposal of a reaction mechanism for this group of enzymes. Here we present an overview on the current advances in structural and functional aspects of bacterial nitrate reductases, focusing on the mechanistic implications drawn from the crystallographic data. PMID:26362109

  16. Somatodendritic dopamine release: recent mechanistic insights.

    PubMed

    Rice, Margaret E; Patel, Jyoti C

    2015-07-01

    Dopamine (DA) is a key transmitter in motor, reward and cogitative pathways, with DA dysfunction implicated in disorders including Parkinson's disease and addiction. Located in midbrain, DA neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta project via the medial forebrain bundle to the dorsal striatum (caudate putamen), and DA neurons in the adjacent ventral tegmental area project to the ventral striatum (nucleus accumbens) and prefrontal cortex. In addition to classical vesicular release from axons, midbrain DA neurons exhibit DA release from their cell bodies and dendrites. Somatodendritic DA release leads to activation of D2 DA autoreceptors on DA neurons that inhibit their firing via G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying K(+) channels. This helps determine patterns of DA signalling at distant axonal release sites. Somatodendritically released DA also acts via volume transmission to extrasynaptic receptors that modulate local transmitter release and neuronal activity in the midbrain. Thus, somatodendritic release is a pivotal intrinsic feature of DA neurons that must be well defined in order to fully understand the physiology and pathophysiology of DA pathways. Here, we review recent mechanistic aspects of somatodendritic DA release, with particular emphasis on the Ca(2+) dependence of release and the potential role of exocytotic proteins. PMID:26009764

  17. HTGR Mechanistic Source Terms White Paper

    SciTech Connect

    Wayne Moe

    2010-07-01

    The primary purposes of this white paper are: (1) to describe the proposed approach for developing event specific mechanistic source terms for HTGR design and licensing, (2) to describe the technology development programs required to validate the design methods used to predict these mechanistic source terms and (3) to obtain agreement from the NRC that, subject to appropriate validation through the technology development program, the approach for developing event specific mechanistic source terms is acceptable

  18. Do participant, facilitator, or group factors moderate effectiveness of the Body Project? Implications for dissemination.

    PubMed

    Butryn, Meghan L; Rohde, Paul; Marti, C Nathan; Stice, Eric

    2014-10-01

    The Body Project is a dissonance-based selective eating disorder prevention program with a broad evidence-base. The study sought to determine if previous findings regarding participant moderators replicate in an effectiveness trial under more real-world conditions. This study also had the novel aim of examining facilitator characteristics and group-level variables as potential outcome predictors. These aims are critical for understanding when the intervention is most effective and for whom. Participants were 408 young women with body image concerns recruited from seven universities. Change in eating disorder symptoms at 1-year follow-up was the primary outcome. Intervention effects were significant for both participants who had low or high baseline symptom levels, but the effect size was approximately twice as large for participants with high initial symptom levels (d = 0.58 vs. 0.24). Intervention effects were not predicted by facilitator factors (education, age, BMI, sex) or by group size or attendance rate. This study demonstrates that participants with either low or high eating disorder symptoms will benefit from the intervention but if resources are limited, targeting those with elevated eating disorder symptoms may be sensible. Results also suggest that a wide variety of facilitators can effectively deliver the Body Project, which has encouraging implications for dissemination. PMID:25199580

  19. Do Participant, Facilitator, or Group Factors Moderate Effectiveness of the Body Project? Implications for Dissemination

    PubMed Central

    Butryn, Meghan L.; Rohde, Paul; Marti, C. Nathan; Stice, Eric

    2014-01-01

    The Body Project is a dissonance-based a selective eating disorder prevention program with a broad evidence-base. The study sought to determine if previous findings regarding participant moderators replicate in an effectiveness trial under more real-world conditions. This study also had the novel aim of examining facilitator characteristics and group-level variables as potential outcome predictors. These aims are critical for understanding when the intervention is most effective and for whom. Participants were 408 young women with body image concerns recruited from seven universities. Change in eating disorder symptoms at 1-year follow-up was the primary outcome. Intervention effects were significant for both participants who had low or high baseline symptom levels, but the effect size was approximately twice as large for participants with high initial symptom levels (d = 0.58 vs. 0.24). Intervention effects were not predicted by facilitator factors (education, age, BMI, sex) or by group size or attendance rate. This study demonstrates that participants with either low or high eating disorder symptoms will benefit from the intervention but if resources are limited, targeting those with elevated eating disorder symptoms may be sensible. Results also suggest that a wide variety of facilitators can effectively deliver the Body Project, which has encouraging implications for dissemination. PMID:25199580

  20. Tissue factor pathway inhibitor-2 is a novel inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases with implications for atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Herman, Michael P.; Sukhova, Galina K.; Kisiel, Walter; Foster, Don; Kehry, Marilyn R.; Libby, Peter; Schönbeck, Uwe

    2001-01-01

    Degradation of ECM, particularly interstitial collagen, promotes plaque instability, rendering atheroma prone to rupture. Previous studies implicated matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in these processes, suggesting that dysregulated MMP activity, probably due to imbalance with endogenous inhibitors, promotes complications of atherosclerosis. We report here that the serine proteinase inhibitor tissue factor pathway inhibitor-2 (TFPI-2) can function as an MMP inhibitor. TFPI-2 diminished the ability of the interstitial collagenases MMP-1 and MMP-13 to degrade triple-helical collagen, the primary load-bearing molecule of the ECM within human atheroma. In addition, TFPI-2 also reduced the activity of the gelatinases MMP-2 and MMP-9. In contrast to the “classical” tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs), TFPI-2 expression in situ correlated inversely with MMP levels in human atheroma. TFPI-2 colocalized primarily with smooth muscle cells in the normal media as well as the plaque’s fibrous cap. Conversely, the macrophage-enriched shoulder region, the prototypical site of matrix degradation and plaque rupture, stained only weakly for TFPI-2 but intensely for gelatinases and interstitial collagenases. Evidently, human mononuclear phagocytes, an abundant source of MMPs within human atheroma, lost their ability to express this inhibitor during differentiation in vitro. These findings establish a new, anti-inflammatory function of TFPI-2 of potential pathophysiological significance for human diseases, including atherosclerosis. PMID:11342575

  1. Cadmium in edible mushrooms from NW Spain: Bioconcentration factors and consumer health implications.

    PubMed

    Melgar, M Julia; Alonso, Julián; García, M Angeles

    2016-02-01

    Mushrooms do not constitute a significant portion of the human diet, but the consumption of wild and cultivated mushrooms has become increasingly in recent years. Some species accumulate high levels of toxic metals, both in unpolluted and polluted areas. In this study, we examined the accumulation capacity of cadmium in edible mushrooms in relation to certain factors and their possible toxicological implications. Cadmium concentrations were determined by an ICP-MS spectrometer in 238 samples of the fruiting bodies of 28 wild and cultivated growing edible mushrooms species and the underlying soil. The hymenophore (H) and the rest of the fruiting body (RFB) were analysed separately. The highest mean cadmium concentration (mg/kg dry weight) was found in Agaricus macrosporus (52.9 in H and 28.3 in RFB). All mushroom species accumulated cadmium in relation to the underlying soils. There were statistically significant differences between the hymenophore and the rest of the fruiting body (p < 0.001). Cadmium concentrations were compared to data in the literature and to levels set by legislation. It was concluded that consumption of our studied mushrooms is not a toxicological risk as far as cadmium content is concerned, although the species A. macrosporus should not be consumed. PMID:26702984

  2. Inhibition of transcription factors by plant-derived compounds and their implications in inflammation and cancer.

    PubMed

    Ríos, J L; Recio, M C; Escandell, J M; Andújar, I

    2009-01-01

    Inflammation is a general term used to describe various pathological processes with diverse causes that can include infection, trauma, or an autoimmune response. Due to its many causes, the inflammatory response involves multiple and varied mediators, including vasoactive amines, free radicals, and both lipidic and peptidic mediators. Medicinal plants and the compounds derived from them are a good source of new and specific inhibitors of the inflammatory process. The past decade has witnessed many important discoveries in this field, with new findings challenging the more traditional views of pharmacologists. Various studies, for example, have demonstrated the positive effects of plant-derived phenolics, which act as anti-oxidants, free radical scavengers, and inhibitors of nitric-oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase, and lipoxygenase. The anti-inflammatory activity of chalcones has been correlated with the induction of heme oxygenase-1 while phlorotannins have been found to inhibit matrix metalloproteinase, which is implicated in arthritis, chronic inflammation, and wrinkle formation. Sesquiterpene lactones have been studied as inhibitors of NF-kappaB activity and the relationship between their chemical structure and pharmacological activity has been clearly established. Recently, cucurbitacins have been described as inhibitors of JAK -STAT and NF-AT functions related to inflammation; they were also found to induce apoptosis of cells involved in the inflammatory response. This review focuses mainly on the effects of natural products on transcription factors, which are the most promising targets for designing new active drugs against inflammation and cancer. PMID:19355962

  3. Factors that affect the hydraulic performance of raingardens: implications for design and maintenance.

    PubMed

    Virahsawmy, Harry K; Stewardson, Michael J; Vietz, Geoff; Fletcher, Tim D

    2014-01-01

    Raingardens are becoming an increasingly popular technology for urban stormwater treatment. However, their hydraulic performance is known to reduce due to clogging from deposition of fine-grained sediments on the surface. This impacts on their capacity to treat urban runoff. It has been recently hypothesised that plants can help to mitigate the effect of surface clogging on infiltration. A conceptual model is therefore presented to better understand key processes, including those associated with plant cover, which influences surface infiltration mechanisms. Based on this understanding, a field evaluation was carried out to test the hypothesis that plants increase the infiltration rate, and to investigate factors that influence the deposition of fine-grained sediments within raingardens. The results show that infiltration rates around plants are statistically higher than bare areas, irrespective of the degree of surface clogging. This suggests that preferential flow pathways exist around plants. Sediment deposition processes are also influenced by design elements of raingardens such as the inlet configuration. These findings have implications for the design and maintenance of raingardens, in particular the design of the inlet configuration, as well as maintenance of the filter media surface layer and vegetation. PMID:24622546

  4. Explaining the Rapid Increase in Nigeria's Sex Ratio at Birth: Factors and Implications.

    PubMed

    Kaba, Amadu J

    2015-06-01

    This paper examines the rapid increase in Nigeria's sex ratio at birth from 1.03 boys born for every 1 girl born in each year from 1996-2008 to 1.06 in each year from 2009-2014, second only to Tunisia in Africa at 1.07. The average sex ratio at birth in the world in 2014 was 1.07. In most Black African nations or Black majority nations, it is 1.03 or less. Among the factors presented for this development are: historical fluctuations of sex ratio at birth; geography and ethnicity; male preference/chasing a son; Age of parents; high death rates of male infants and males in general; and wealth/socioeconomic status. Among the potential implications are: young and poor men in Nigeria may not be able to find brides and form families due to a potential shortage of females; emigration of young and poor Nigerian men to West (Africa) and elsewhere to seek brides and form families; immigration of marriage age women from West (Africa) and around the world to Nigeria to seek husbands; and low contraceptive use and high fertility rates in Nigeria. PMID:26506655

  5. Natural selection and mechanistic regularity.

    PubMed

    DesAutels, Lane

    2016-06-01

    In this article, I address the question of whether natural selection operates regularly enough to qualify as a mechanism of the sort characterized by Machamer, Darden, and Craver (2000). Contrary to an influential critique by Skipper and Millstein (2005), I argue that natural selection can be seen to be regular enough to qualify as an MDC mechanism just fine-as long as we pay careful attention to some important distinctions regarding mechanistic regularity and abstraction. Specifically, I suggest that when we distinguish between process vs. product regularity, mechanism-internal vs. mechanism-external sources of irregularity, and abstract vs. concrete regularity, we can see that natural selection is only irregular in senses that are unthreatening to its status as an MDC mechanism. PMID:26921876

  6. Induction of proinflammatory cytokines by a soluble factor of Propionibacterium acnes: implications for chronic inflammatory acne.

    PubMed

    Vowels, B R; Yang, S; Leyden, J J

    1995-08-01

    Although many cytokines have been implicated in the development and persistence of inflammatory immune responses, it is unknown if any of these are important in inflammatory acne. This study investigated the production of the proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-8 (IL-8), IL-1 beta, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) by human monocytic cell lines, ThP-1 and U937, and by freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from acne patients. Both Propionibacterium acnes and supernatants obtained from 72-h P. acnes cultures could induce significant concentrations of IL-1 beta, TNF-alpha, and IL-8 by both cell lines and by peripheral blood mononuclear cells as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. There was no significant difference between acne and non-acne subjects. Endotoxin quantification and addition of polymyxin B to assays indicated no lipopolysaccharide (LPS) contamination. P. acnes supernatant was fractionated into components with molecular weights of < 3,000, < 10,000, and < 30,000 and assayed for the ability to induce IL-8 and TNF production in ThP-1 cells. Nearly 90% of the original activity was found in the < 30,000-molecular-weight fraction, 50% was in the < 10,000-molecular-weight fraction, and only 15% remained in the < 3,000-molecular-weight fraction. The effluent from the < 3,000-molecular-weight fraction contained about 70% activity, indicating that the inducing factor was not retained in the membrane. Incubation of P. acnes supernatant with various concentrations of mutanolysin or lysozyme resulted in a loss of 60% of the original activity. The addition of jimson lectin, which binds peptidoglycan, resulted in a loss of 70% of the activity in a dose-response manner, whereas peanut lectin had little or no effect on the activity. Heating of the P. acnes supernatant to 65 degrees C also had no effect on the activity. Blocking of CD14, a receptor for both LPS and peptidoglycan, reduced cytokine production by > 50%, suggesting that

  7. Rational and Mechanistic Perspectives on Reinforcement Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chater, Nick

    2009-01-01

    This special issue describes important recent developments in applying reinforcement learning models to capture neural and cognitive function. But reinforcement learning, as a theoretical framework, can apply at two very different levels of description: "mechanistic" and "rational." Reinforcement learning is often viewed in mechanistic terms--as…

  8. Factors affecting computer mouse use for young children: implications for AAC.

    PubMed

    Costigan, F Aileen; Light, Janice C; Newell, Karl M

    2012-06-01

    More than 12% of preschoolers receiving special education services have complex communication needs, including increasing numbers of children who do not have significant motor impairments (e.g., children with autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, etc.). In order to meet their diverse communication needs (e.g., face-to-face, written, Internet, telecommunication), these children may use mainstream technologies accessed via the mouse, yet little is known about factors that affect the mouse performance of young children. This study used a mixed factorial design to investigate the effects of age, target size, and angle of approach on accuracy and time required for accurate target selection with a mouse for 20 3-year-old and 20 4-year-old children. The 4-year-olds were generally more accurate and faster than the 3-year-olds. Target size and angle mediated differences in performance within age groups. The 3-year-olds were more accurate and faster in selecting the medium and large targets relative to the small target, were faster in selecting the large relative to the medium target, and were faster in selecting targets along the vertical relative to the diagonal angle. The 4-year-olds were faster in selecting the medium and large targets relative to the small target. Implications for improving access to AAC include the preliminary suggestion of age-related threshold target sizes that support sufficient accuracy, the possibility of efficiency benefits when target size is increased up to an age-related threshold, and identification of the potential utility of the vertical angle as a context for training navigational input device use. PMID:22670726

  9. Factors promoting larch dominance in Eastern Siberia: fire versus growth performance and implications for carbon dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze, E.-D.; Wirth, C.; Mollicone, D.; von Lüpke, N.; Ziegler, W.; Achard, F.; Mund, M.; Prokushkin, A.; Scherbina, S.

    2012-01-01

    The relative roles of fire and climate in determining canopy species composition and aboveground carbon stocks were investigated. Measurements were made along a transect extending from the dark taiga zone of Central Siberia, where Picea and Abies dominate the canopy, into the Larix zone of Eastern Siberia. We test the hypotheses that the change in canopy species composition is based (1) on climate-driven performance only, (2) on fire only, or (3) on fire-performance interactions. We show that the evergreen conifers Picea obovata and Abies sibirica are the natural late-successional species both in Central and Eastern Siberia, provided there has been no fire for an extended period of time. There are no changes in the climate-driven performance of the observed species. Fire appears to be the main factor explaining the dominance of Larix. Of lesser influence were longitude, hydrology and active-layer thickness. Stand-replacing fires decreased from 300 to 50 yr between the Yenisei Ridge and the upper Tunguska. Repeated non-stand-replacing surface fires eliminated the regeneration of Abies and Picea. With every 100 yr since the last fire, the percentage of Larix decreased by 20 %. Biomass of stems of single trees did not show signs of age-related decline. Relative diameter increment was 0.41 ± 0.20 % at breast height and stem volume increased linearly over time with a rate of about 0.36 t C ha-1 yr-1 independent of age class and species. Stand volumes reached about 130 t C ha-1 (equivalent to about 520 m3 ha-1). Individual trees of Larix were older than 600 yr. The maximum age and biomass seemed to be limited by fungal rot of heart wood. 60 % of old Larix and Picea and 30 % of Pinus sibirica trees were affected by stem rot. Implications for the future role of fire and of plant diseases are discussed.

  10. Factors Influencing Lava-Substrate Heat Transfer and Implications for Thermomechanical Erosion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fagents, S. A.; Greeley, R.; Lenat, J. F. (Editor)

    2001-01-01

    We develop numerical simulations of basaltic lava flowing laminarly over a basalt substrate in order to examine the details of the lava dynamics and thermal boundary layers and to understand the implications for substrate heating. As the initial stage of a larger study of thermomechanical erosion in different planetary environments, we aim to understand why erosion occurs on Earth, why erosion features are not ubiquitous given the high temperatures involved, and whether it is a plausible mechanism for the formation of planetary channels such as lunar sinuous rilles and Venusian canali. Here we confine our attention to terrestrial lavas with well-known properties and eruption parameters. With relatively simple computational fluid dynamic simulations, most closely representing tube-fed hawaiian basalts (for which erosion has been documented), we demonstrate the importance of incorporating several key factors in models of lava flow/ substrate heat transfer, which have commonly been neglected in previous treatments. By addressing the interaction of the flow dynamics and heat transfer in the lava, our work suggests that the development of a temperature gradient in the base of the lava, even for undeveloped flow, has a significant influence on substrate temperature. The sensitivity of the lava-substrate interface temperature to the thermophysical properties of the lava and substrate suggests that a delicate balance is required for partial melting to occur. Thus, it might take weeks of continuous flow to initiate partial melting of the substrate at distances of several kilometers from the vent. These durations exceed the periods of stability typical of lava flowing in tubes; pauses, blockages, surges, and break-outs frequently disrupt the flow. However, natural irregularities in the flow dynamics or substrate topography might help to initiate and maintain substrate melting on shorter timescales by disturbing the intimately coupled dynamic and thermal boundary layers

  11. Kinetic and Stereochemical Analysis of YwhB, a 4-Oxalocrotonate Tautomerase Homologue in Bacillus subtilis: Mechanistic Implications for the YwhB- and 4-Oxalocrotonate Tautomerase-catalyzed Reactions†

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Susan C; Johnson, William H.; Czerwinski, Robert M.; Stamps, Stacy L.; Whitman, Christian P.

    2008-01-01

    YwhB, a 4-oxalocrotonate tautomerase (4-OT) homologue in Bacillus subtilis, has no known biological role and the gene has no apparent genomic context. The kinetic and stereochemical properties of YwhB have been examined using available enol and dienol compounds. The kinetic analysis shows that YwhB has a relatively non-specific 1,3- and 1,5-keto-enol tautomerase activity, with the former activity prevailing. Replacement of Pro-1 or Arg-11 with an alanine significantly reduces or abolishes these activities, implicating both residues as critical ones for the activities. In D2O, ketonization of two monoacid substrates (2-hydroxy-2,4-pentadienoate and phenylenolpyruvate) produces a mixture of stereoisomers {2-keto-3-[2H]-4-pentenoate and 3-[2H]-phenylpyruvate}, where the (3R)-isomers predominate. Ketonization of 2-hydroxy-2,4-hexadienedioate, a diacid, in D2O affords mostly the opposite enantiomer, (3S)-2-oxo-[3-2H]-4-hexenedioate. The mono- and diacids apparently bind in different orientations in the active site of YwhB, but the highly stereoselective nature of the YwhB reaction using a diacid suggests that the biological substrate for YwhB may be a diacid. Moreover, of the three dienols examined, 1,3- and 1,5-keto-enol tautomerization reactions are only observed for 2-hydroxy-2,4-hexadienedioate, indicating that the C-3 and C-5 positions are accessible for protonation in this compound. Incubation of 4-OT with 2-hydroxy-2,4-hexadienedioate in D2O results in a racemic mixture of 2-oxo-[3-2H]-4-hexenedioate, suggesting that 4-OT may not catalyze a 1,3-keto-enol tautomerization reaction using this dienol. It has previously been shown that 4-OT catalyzes the near stereospecific conversion of 2-hydroxy-2,4-hexadienedioate to (5S)-[5-2H]-2-oxo-3-hexenedioate in D2O. Taken together, these observations suggest that 4-OT might function as a 1,5-keto-enol tautomerase using 2-hydroxy-2,4-hexadienedioate. PMID:17902707

  12. Data graphs and mechanistic explanation.

    PubMed

    Burnston, Daniel C

    2016-06-01

    It is a widespread assumption in philosophy of science that representations of data are not explanatory-that they are mere stepping stones towards an explanation, such as a representation of a mechanism. I draw on instances of representational and explanatory practice from mammalian chronobiology to suggest that this assumption is unsustainable. In many instances, biologists employ representations of data in explanatory ways that are not reducible to constraints on or evidence for representations of mechanisms. Data graphs are used to represent relationships between quantities across conditions, and often these representations are necessary for explaining particular aspects of the phenomena under study. The benefit of the analysis is two-fold. First, it provides a more accurate account of explanatory practice in broadly mechanistic investigation in biology. Second, it suggests that there is not an explanatorily "fundamental" type of representation in biology. Rather, the practice of explanation consists in the construction of different types of representations and their employment for distinct explanatory purposes. PMID:26871740

  13. Predictive toxicodynamics: Empirical/mechanistic approaches.

    PubMed

    Frazier, J M

    1997-10-01

    A major objective of the toxicological sciences is to predict the in vivo toxicological consequences of human exposure to pure chemicals, complex mixtures and commercial formulations. Historically, the experimental approach to this goal has been to investigate toxicological processes in whole animal models and extrapolate the results obtained to predict human risk using various extrapolation procedures (high-dose/low-dose extrapolation, interspecies extrapolation and route-to-route extrapolation). Can in vitro methods be more widely employed in quantitative risk assessment? One major limitation to the broader application of in vitro toxicity testing methods is the lack of validated techniques for the extrapolation of in vitro-derived toxicodynamic data to the in vivo situation. The objective of this paper is to describe some approaches to the development of techniques to extrapolate in vitro toxicity testing data to predict in vivo toxicological responses. An empirical approach within the context of a mechanistic framework is explored. The basic hypothesis is that the in vivo response can be constructed from a cellular toxicity factor that accounts for the cellular response and a toxicodynamic factor that relates toxicological events at the cellular level to the observable in vivo responses. A predictive paradigm to describe the in vivo acute target organ toxicity (hepatotoxicity) of a model chemical (cadmium) is discussed. The cellular toxicity factor is derived from in vitro toxicity testing studies using isolated rat hepatocytes. The toxicodynamic factor is derived through Biologically-Based Response (BBR) modelling techniques to predict target organ toxicity markers (i.e. plasma hepatic enzyme levels as markers for acute hepatotoxicity). The ultimate goal is to develop validated extrapolation procedures that can be applied to predicting target organ toxicity quantitatively in human populations based on in vitro toxicity studies using human cellular models. PMID

  14. Negative mechanistic reasoning in medical intervention assessment.

    PubMed

    Jerkert, Jesper

    2015-12-01

    Traditionally, mechanistic reasoning has been assigned a negligible role in standard EBM (evidence-based medicine) literature, although some recent authors have argued for an upgrade. Even so, the mechanistic reasoning that has received attention has almost exclusively been positive--both in an epistemic sense of claiming that there is a mechanistic chain and in a health-related sense of there being claimed benefits for the patient. Negative mechanistic reasoning has been neglected, both in the epistemic and in the health-related sense. I distinguish three main types of negative mechanistic reasoning and subsume them under a new definition of mechanistic reasoning in the context of assessing medical interventions. This definition is wider than a previous suggestion in the literature. Each negative type corresponds to a range of evidential strengths, and it is argued that there are differences with respect to typical evidential strengths. The variety of negative mechanistic reasoning should be acknowledged in EBM, and it presents a serious challenge to proponents of so-called medical hierarchies of evidence. PMID:26597869

  15. Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors in Youth With Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes: Implications of a Factor Analysis of Clustering

    PubMed Central

    Mayer-Davis, Elizabeth J.; Ma, Bo; Lawson, Andrew; D'Agostino, Ralph B.; Liese, Angela D.; Dabelea, Dana; Dolan, Lawrence; Pettitt, David J.; Rodriguez, Beatriz L.; Williams, Desmond

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background The extent to which cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors cluster in youth with a diagnosis of type 1 (T1DM) or type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is unclear. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate potential clustering of traditional CVD risk factors that may reflect an unmeasured but unifying single pathology that may explain the phenomenon of the metabolic syndrome in these youths. Methods Youths who participated in the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study with diabetes diagnosed <20 years, with current age >10 years (maximum current age, 22 years) were included. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was performed to determine statistical associations among CVD risk factors, including obesity, blood pressure, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). Diabetes type was defined by diabetes autoantibodies (DAA) and fasting C-peptide (FCP); type 1 (T1DM, DAA positive, and FCP <0.8 ng/mL, n = 1198) and type 2 (T2DM, DAA negative, and FCP >2.9 ng/mL, n = 95). For T1DM, the sample was split randomly and analyses were conducted separately in each split sample. Results Among five prespecified data structures ranging from a single underlying factor to a hierarchical structure of factors, the worst-fitting model for both of the T1DM split samples was the single-factor structure and the best-fitting model was a three-correlated-factor structure. The three correlated factors identified were obesity, lipids, and blood pressure. Results were very similar for youths with T2DM. Conclusion There is little evidence that a single factor underlies the CVD risk factor pattern in youths with diabetes. The concept of the metabolic syndrome provides a useful description of clinical characteristics but does not efficiently capture a single target for etiologic research among youths with diabetes. PMID:18847385

  16. Sexual abuse and subsequent suicidal behaviour. Exacerbating factors and implications for recovery.

    PubMed

    Curtis, Cate

    2006-01-01

    Suicidal behaviour is a cause for concern among many western countries; in general, it is most common among young women. This research used qualitative methods to explore the narratives of 24 women, to contextualise their insights, and to examine the meanings of events leading to and implicated in the recovery from suicidal behaviour. The research confirms sexual abuse as a common precursor to suicidal behaviour; several women asserted that they would not have attempted suicide if they did not have a sexual abuse history. The women noted that the effects of sexual abuse were exacerbated by problems with disclosure, linking to issues of control, with implications for intervention and recovery. PMID:16702144

  17. REDUCING UNCERTAINTY IN RISK ASSESSMENT USING MECHANISTIC DATA: ENHANCING THE U.S. EPA DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROTOXICITY TESTING GUIDELINES

    EPA Science Inventory

    SUMMARY: Mechanistic data should provide the Agency with a more accurate basis to estimate risk than do the Agency’s default assumptions (10x uncertainty factors, etc.), thereby improving risk assessment decisions. NTD is providing mechanistic data for toxicant effects on two maj...

  18. Sexual Abuse and Subsequent Suicidal Behaviour: Exacerbating Factors and Implications for Recovery

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curtis, Cate

    2006-01-01

    Suicidal behaviour is a cause for concern among many western countries; in general, it is most common among young women. This research used qualitative methods to explore the narratives of 24 women, to contextualise their insights, and to examine the meanings of events leading to and implicated in the recovery from suicidal behaviour. The research…

  19. The Anthropological Implications of Sex Role Differences: Class and Ethnic Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Jerome W.

    The implications of physical and biological sex differences on sex role behavior cannot be understood without analyzing the complementary role of the sociocultural meaning of sex roles. The normative aspect of gender role behavior is fluid and can be affected by culture, class, and ethnicity. All societies recognize differences between the sexes.…

  20. Black tea polyphenols: a mechanistic treatise.

    PubMed

    Butt, M S; Imran, A; Sharif, M K; Ahmad, Rabia Shabir; Xiao, Hang; Imran, M; Rsool, H A

    2014-01-01

    Dietary interventions are among the emerging trends to curtail physiological malfunctioning like cancer, diabetes, cardiac complications, etc. The essence of phytonutrients has developed the concept of nutraceuticals at the junction of diet health linkages. In this context, theaflavin & thearubigins are the oxidized derivatives of black tea catechins during fermentation having nutraceutical potential owing to esterification of hydroxyl ring with digallate esters. Theaflavin may influence activation of transcription factors such as NFnB or AP-1 that ultimately hinder the formation of nitric oxide expression gene. Likewise, black tea contains a unique amino acid theanine acts as neurotransmitter owing to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Moreover, it boasts immunity by enhancing the disease-fighting ability of gamma delta T cells. Theaflavin & thearubigins act as safeguard against oxidative stress thereby effective in the cardiac functioning. The mechanistic approach of these antioxidants is likely to be associated with inhibition of redox sensitive transcription factors & pro-oxidant enzymes such as xanthine oxidase or nitric oxide synthase. However, their involvement in antioxidative enzyme induction as in glutathione-S-transferases is also well documented. They act as curative agent against numerous pathological disorders by disrupting the electron chain thus inhibiting the progression of certain ailments. Black tea polyphenols established themselves as strong antioxidants due to their standard one-electron potential, and their vitality is dependent on the concentration of polyphenols and pH for their inclusive execution. Present review is an attempt to enrich the readers regarding the health promoting aspects of black tea polyphenols. Concomitantly, it needs core attention of researchers for the exploitations of black tea flavanols as an important dietary constituent for the vulnerable segment. PMID:24499118

  1. Combustion aerosols: factors governing their size and composition and implications to human health.

    PubMed

    Lighty, J S; Veranth, J M; Sarofim, A F

    2000-09-01

    Particulate matter (PM) emissions from stationary combustion sources burning coal, fuel oil, biomass, and waste, and PM from internal combustion (IC) engines burning gasoline and diesel, are a significant source of primary particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) in urban areas. Combustion-generated particles are generally smaller than geologically produced dust and have unique chemical composition and morphology. The fundamental processes affecting formation of combustion PM and the emission characteristics of important applications are reviewed. Particles containing transition metals, ultrafine particles, and soot are emphasized because these types of particles have been studied extensively, and their emissions are controlled by the fuel composition and the oxidant-temperature-mixing history from the flame to the stack. There is a need for better integration of the combustion, air pollution control, atmospheric chemistry, and inhalation health research communities. Epidemiology has demonstrated that susceptible individuals are being harmed by ambient PM. Particle surface area, number of ultrafine particles, bioavailable transition metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and other particle-bound organic compounds are suspected to be more important than particle mass in determining the effects of air pollution. Time- and size-resolved PM measurements are needed for testing mechanistic toxicological hypotheses, for characterizing the relationship between combustion operating conditions and transient emissions, and for source apportionment studies to develop air quality plans. Citations are provided to more specialized reviews, and the concluding comments make suggestions for further research. PMID:11055157

  2. A Mechanistic Proof-of-concept Clinical Trial With JX-594, a Targeted Multi-mechanistic Oncolytic Poxvirus, in Patients With Metastatic Melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Tae-Ho; Moon, Anne; Burke, James; Ribas, Antoni; Stephenson, Joe; Breitbach, Caroline J; Daneshmand, Manijeh; De Silva, Naomi; Parato, Kelley; Diallo, Jean-Simon; Lee, Yeon-Sook; Liu, Ta-Chiang; Bell, John C; Kirn, David H

    2011-01-01

    JX-594 is a targeted and granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-expressing oncolytic poxvirus designed to selectively replicate in and destroy cancer cells through viral oncolysis and tumor-specific immunity. In order to study the mechanisms-of-action (MOA) of JX-594 in humans, a mechanistic proof-of-concept clinical trial was performed at a low dose equivalent to ≤10% of the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) in other clinical trials. Ten patients with previously treated stage IV melanoma were enrolled. Tumors were injected weekly for up to nine total treatments. Blood samples and tumor biopsies were analyzed for evidence of transgene activity, virus replication, and immune stimulation. The β-galactosidase (β-gal) transgene was expressed in all patients as evidenced by antibody induction. Six patients had significant induction of GM-CSF-responsive white blood cell (WBC) subsets such as neutrophils (25–300% increase). JX-594 replication and subsequent shedding into blood was detectable in five patients after cycles 1–9. Tumor biopsies demonstrated JX-594 replication, perivascular lymphocytic infiltration, and diffuse tumor necrosis. Mild flu-like symptoms were the most common adverse events. In sum, JX-594 replication, oncolysis, and expression of both transgenes were demonstrated; replication was still evident after multiple cycles. These findings have implications for further clinical development of JX-594 and other transgene-armed oncolytic viruses. PMID:21772252

  3. PCDD/F TEQ INDICATORS AND THEIR MECHANISTIC IMPLICATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous research studies have been conducted to establish indicator compounds for fast and less costly prediction of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin/dibenzofurans (PCDD/F) toxix equivalent (TEQ) concentrations. Chlorobenzene has been suggested as one potential PCDD/F TEQ predi...

  4. PCDD/F TEQ INDICATORS AND THEIR MECHANISTIC IMPLICATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Stack gas samples from two incinerator facilities with different operating conditions were investigated to find polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin/furan (PCDD/F) toxic equivalent quantity (TEQ) indicators from amongst the 210 PCDD/F isomers. Similarities in isomer patterns were als...

  5. Rotation Criteria and Hypothesis Testing for Exploratory Factor Analysis: Implications for Factor Pattern Loadings and Interfactor Correlations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schmitt, Thomas A.; Sass, Daniel A.

    2011-01-01

    Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) has long been used in the social sciences to depict the relationships between variables/items and latent traits. Researchers face many choices when using EFA, including the choice of rotation criterion, which can be difficult given that few research articles have discussed and/or demonstrated their differences.…

  6. Vascular endothelial growth factor is upregulated by l-dopa in the parkinsonian brain: implications for the development of dyskinesia

    PubMed Central

    Francardo, Veronica; Lindgren, Hanna S.; Sillivan, Stephanie E.; O’Sullivan, Sean S.; Luksik, Andrew S.; Vassoler, Fair M.; Lees, Andrew J.; Konradi, Christine

    2011-01-01

    Angiogenesis and increased permeability of the blood–brain barrier have been reported to occur in animal models of Parkinson’s disease and l-dopa-induced dyskinesia, but the significance of these phenomena has remained unclear. Using a validated rat model of l-dopa-induced dyskinesia, this study demonstrates that chronic treatment with l-dopa dose dependently induces the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in the basal ganglia nuclei. Vascular endothelial growth factor was abundantly expressed in astrocytes and astrocytic processes in the proximity of blood vessels. When co-administered with l-dopa, a small molecule inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor signalling significantly attenuated the development of dyskinesia and completely blocked the angiogenic response and associated increase in blood–brain barrier permeability induced by the treatment. The occurrence of angiogenesis and vascular endothelial growth factor upregulation was verified in post-mortem basal ganglia tissue from patients with Parkinson’s disease with a history of dyskinesia, who exhibited increased microvascular density, microvascular nestin expression and an upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor messenger ribonucleic acid. These congruent findings in the rat model and human patients indicate that vascular endothelial growth factor is implicated in the pathophysiology of l-dopa-induced dyskinesia and emphasize an involvement of the microvascular compartment in the adverse effects of l-dopa pharmacotherapy in Parkinson’s disease. PMID:21771855

  7. Dosage Effects of Cohesin Regulatory Factor PDS5 on Mammalian Development: Implications for Cohesinopathies

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Bin; Chang, Jufang; Fu, Ming; Huang, Jie; Kashyap, Rakesh; Salavaggione, Ezequiel; Jain, Sanjay; Shashikant, Kulkarni; Deardorff, Matthew A.; Uzielli, Maria L. Giovannucci; Dorsett, Dale; Beebe, David C.; Jay, Patrick Y.; Heuckeroth, Robert O.; Krantz, Ian; Milbrandt, Jeffrey

    2009-01-01

    Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS), a disorder caused by mutations in cohesion proteins, is characterized by multisystem developmental abnormalities. PDS5, a cohesion protein, is important for proper chromosome segregation in lower organisms and has two homologues in vertebrates (PDS5A and PDS5B). Pds5B mutant mice have developmental abnormalities resembling CdLS; however the role of Pds5A in mammals and the association of PDS5 proteins with CdLS are unknown. To delineate genetic interactions between Pds5A and Pds5B and explore mechanisms underlying phenotypic variability, we generated Pds5A-deficient mice. Curiously, these mice exhibit multiple abnormalities that were previously observed in Pds5B-deficient mice, including cleft palate, skeletal patterning defects, growth retardation, congenital heart defects and delayed migration of enteric neuron precursors. They also frequently display renal agenesis, an abnormality not observed in Pds5B−/− mice. While Pds5A−/− and Pds5B−/− mice die at birth, embryos harboring 3 mutant Pds5 alleles die between E11.5 and E12.5 most likely of heart failure, indicating that total Pds5 gene dosage is critical for normal development. In addition, characterization of these compound homozygous-heterozygous mice revealed a severe abnormality in lens formation that does not occur in either Pds5A−/− or Pds5B−/− mice. We further identified a functional missense mutation (R1292Q) in the PDS5B DNA-binding domain in a familial case of CdLS, in which affected individuals also develop megacolon. This study shows that PDS5A and PDS5B functions other than those involving chromosomal dynamics are important for normal development, highlights the sensitivity of key developmental processes on PDS5 signaling, and provides mechanistic insights into how PDS5 mutations may lead to CdLS. PMID:19412548

  8. Dosage effects of cohesin regulatory factor PDS5 on mammalian development: implications for cohesinopathies.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bin; Chang, Jufang; Fu, Ming; Huang, Jie; Kashyap, Rakesh; Salavaggione, Ezequiel; Jain, Sanjay; Kulkarni, Shashikant; Shashikant, Kulkarni; Deardorff, Matthew A; Uzielli, Maria L Giovannucci; Dorsett, Dale; Beebe, David C; Jay, Patrick Y; Heuckeroth, Robert O; Krantz, Ian; Milbrandt, Jeffrey

    2009-01-01

    Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS), a disorder caused by mutations in cohesion proteins, is characterized by multisystem developmental abnormalities. PDS5, a cohesion protein, is important for proper chromosome segregation in lower organisms and has two homologues in vertebrates (PDS5A and PDS5B). Pds5B mutant mice have developmental abnormalities resembling CdLS; however the role of Pds5A in mammals and the association of PDS5 proteins with CdLS are unknown. To delineate genetic interactions between Pds5A and Pds5B and explore mechanisms underlying phenotypic variability, we generated Pds5A-deficient mice. Curiously, these mice exhibit multiple abnormalities that were previously observed in Pds5B-deficient mice, including cleft palate, skeletal patterning defects, growth retardation, congenital heart defects and delayed migration of enteric neuron precursors. They also frequently display renal agenesis, an abnormality not observed in Pds5B(-/-) mice. While Pds5A(-/-) and Pds5B(-/-) mice die at birth, embryos harboring 3 mutant Pds5 alleles die between E11.5 and E12.5 most likely of heart failure, indicating that total Pds5 gene dosage is critical for normal development. In addition, characterization of these compound homozygous-heterozygous mice revealed a severe abnormality in lens formation that does not occur in either Pds5A(-/-) or Pds5B(-/-) mice. We further identified a functional missense mutation (R1292Q) in the PDS5B DNA-binding domain in a familial case of CdLS, in which affected individuals also develop megacolon. This study shows that PDS5A and PDS5B functions other than those involving chromosomal dynamics are important for normal development, highlights the sensitivity of key developmental processes on PDS5 signaling, and provides mechanistic insights into how PDS5 mutations may lead to CdLS. PMID:19412548

  9. Targeting transcription factors by small compounds-Current strategies and future implications.

    PubMed

    Hagenbuchner, Judith; Ausserlechner, Michael J

    2016-05-01

    Transcription factors are central regulators of gene expression and critically steer development, differentiation and death. Except for ligand-activated nuclear receptors, direct modulation of transcription factor function by small molecules is still widely regarded as "impossible". This "un-druggability" of non-ligand transcription factors is due to the fact that the interacting surface between transcription factor and DNA is huge and subject to significant changes during DNA-binding. Besides some "success studies" with compounds that directly interfere with DNA binding, drug targeting approaches mostly address protein-protein interfaces with essential co-factors, transcription factor dimerization partners, chaperone proteins or proteins that regulate subcellular shuttling. An alternative strategy represent DNA-intercalating, alkylating or DNA-groove-binding compounds that either block transcription factor-binding or change the 3D-conformation of the consensus DNA-strand. Recently, much interest has been focused on chromatin reader proteins that steer the recruitment and activity of transcription factors to a gene transcription start site. Several small compounds demonstrate that these epigenetic reader proteins are exciting new drug targets for inhibiting lineage-specific transcription in cancer therapy. In this research update we will discuss recent advances in targeting transcription factors with small compounds, the challenges that are related to the complex function and regulation of these proteins and also the possible future directions and applications of transcription factor drug targeting. PMID:26686579

  10. Identifying personality subtypes based on the five-factor model dimensions in male prisoners: implications for psychopathy and criminal offending.

    PubMed

    Claes, Laurence; Tavernier, Geert; Roose, Annelore; Bijttebier, Patricia; Smith, Sarah Francis; Lilienfeld, Scott O

    2014-01-01

    The current study was designed to identify personality subtypes on the basis of the five-factor model dimensions in male prisoners. Participants included 110 Flemish male prisoners assessed by means of the Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness Five Factor Inventory and different symptom, personality, and coping measures. We found two clusters: an emotionally stable/resilient cluster and an aggressive/undercontrolled cluster. Prisoners within the aggressive/undercontrolled cluster scored significantly higher on almost all Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 basic scales, (in)direct aggression measures, and depressive coping scales compared with resilients. They also scored higher on drug abuse and committed more sexual offenses than resilient prisoners. These two personality subtypes bear theoretically and practically important implications for psychopathy subtypes and different pathways to criminal offenses. PMID:23123385

  11. Differential Rac1 signalling by guanine nucleotide exchange factors implicates FLII in regulating Rac1-driven cell migration

    PubMed Central

    Marei, Hadir; Carpy, Alejandro; Woroniuk, Anna; Vennin, Claire; White, Gavin; Timpson, Paul; Macek, Boris; Malliri, Angeliki

    2016-01-01

    The small GTPase Rac1 has been implicated in the formation and dissemination of tumours. Upon activation by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), Rac1 associates with a variety of proteins in the cell thereby regulating various functions, including cell migration. However, activation of Rac1 can lead to opposing migratory phenotypes raising the possibility of exacerbating tumour progression when targeting Rac1 in a clinical setting. This calls for the identification of factors that influence Rac1-driven cell motility. Here we show that Tiam1 and P-Rex1, two Rac GEFs, promote Rac1 anti- and pro-migratory signalling cascades, respectively, through regulating the Rac1 interactome. In particular, we demonstrate that P-Rex1 stimulates migration through enhancing the interaction between Rac1 and the actin-remodelling protein flightless-1 homologue, to modulate cell contraction in a RhoA-ROCK-independent manner. PMID:26887924

  12. Contextual approach to technology assessment: Implications for one-factor fix solutions to complex social problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mayo, L. H.

    1975-01-01

    The contextual approach is discussed which undertakes to demonstrate that technology assessment assists in the identification of the full range of implications of taking a particular action and facilitates the consideration of alternative means by which the total affected social problem context might be changed by available project options. It is found that the social impacts of an application on participants, institutions, processes, and social interests, and the accompanying interactions may not only induce modifications in the problem contest delineated for examination with respect to the design, operations, regulation, and use of the posited application, but also affect related social problem contexts.

  13. Impact of Health-Related Family Factors on School Enrollment in Bolivia: Implications for Health Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madanat, Hala; Dearden, Kirk; Heaton, Tim; Forste, Renata

    2005-01-01

    This study identified the extent to which family factors increase school enrollment in Bolivia, after adjusting for human and financial capital. The sample was drawn from the 1998 Demographic and Health Survey. Logistic regression models were used to determine the effect of human capital, financial capital and family factors on school enrollment.…

  14. Hand factors as regulators of cardiac morphogenesis and implications for congenital heart defects

    PubMed Central

    Vincentz, Joshua W.; Barnes, Ralston M.; Firulli, Anthony B.

    2011-01-01

    Almost 15 years of careful study have established the related bHLH transcription factors Hand1 and Hand2 as critical for heart development across evolution. Hand factors make broad contributions, revealed through animal models, to the development of multiple cellular lineages that ultimately contribute to the heart. They perform critical roles in ventricular cardiomyocyte growth, differentiation, morphogenesis, and conduction. They are also important for the proper development of the cardiac outflow tract, epicardium, and endocardium. Molecularly, they function both through DNA-binding and through protein-protein interactions, which are regulated transcriptionally, post-transcriptionally by microRNAs, and post-translationally through phospho-regulation, Although direct Hand factor transcriptional targets are progressively being identified, confirmed direct targets of Hand factor transcriptional activity in the heart are limited. Identification of these targets will be critical to model the mechanisms by which Hand factor bHLH interactions affect developmental pathways. Improved understanding of Hand factor-mediated transcriptional cascades will be necessary to determine how Hand factor disregulation translates to human disease phenotypes. The following review summarizes the insight animal models have provided into the regulation and function of these factors during heart development, and the recent findings that suggest roles for HAND1 and HAND2 in human congenital heart disease. PMID:21462297

  15. Wellness Factors as Predictors of Alcohol Use among Undergraduates: Implications for Prevention and Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lewis, Todd F.; Myers, Jane E.

    2010-01-01

    A pilot study examining holistic wellness factors and drinking behaviors among undergraduate students revealed several significant relationships. Two second-order wellness factors of the Indivisible Self model of wellness--Coping Self and Essential Self--were negatively associated with both alcohol use intensity and drinking consequences.…

  16. Analysis of Factors and Implications Influencing Leadership Ascension of Female Athletic Directors in Intercollegiate Athletics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burney, Rolanda C.

    2010-01-01

    This narrative analysis/life story study was designed to understand the factors influencing the career trajectory of female athletic directors in National Collegiate Athletic Association affiliated institutions and to discover how those factors functioned as a road map for future female administrators. Both social role and role congruity theories…

  17. Dipole-field sums and Lorentz factors for orthorhombic lattices, and implications for polarizable molecules

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Purvis, C. K.; Taylor, P. L.

    1982-01-01

    A method for computing the Lorentz tensor components in single crystals via rapidly convergent sums of Bessels functions is developed using the relationship between dipole-field sums and the tensor components. The Lorentz factors for simple, body-centered, and base-centered orthorhombic lattices are computed using this method, and the derivative Lorentz factors for simple orthorhombic lattices are also determined. Both the Lorentz factors and their derivatives are shown to be very sensitive to a lattice structure. The equivalent of the Clausius-Mossotti relation for general orthorhombic lattices is derived using the Lorentz-factor formalism, and the permanent molecular dipole moment is related to crystal polarization for the case of a ferroelectric of polarizable point dipoles. It is concluded that the polarization enhancement due to self-polarization familiar from classical theory may actually be a reduction in consequences of negative Lorentz factors in one or two lattice directions for noncubic crystals.

  18. Functional Genomic Screen Identifies Klebsiella pneumoniae Factors Implicated in Blocking Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB) Signaling*

    PubMed Central

    Tomás, Anna; Lery, Leticia; Regueiro, Verónica; Pérez-Gutiérrez, Camino; Martínez, Verónica; Moranta, David; Llobet, Enrique; González-Nicolau, Mar; Insua, Jose L.; Tomas, Juan M.; Sansonetti, Philippe J.; Tournebize, Régis; Bengoechea, José A.

    2015-01-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is an etiologic agent of community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. It has been shown that K. pneumoniae infections are characterized by reduced early inflammatory response. Recently our group has shown that K. pneumoniae dampens the activation of inflammatory responses by antagonizing the activation of the NF-κB canonical pathway. Our results revealed that K. pneumoniae capsule polysaccharide (CPS) was necessary but not sufficient to attenuate inflammation. To identify additional Klebsiella factors required to dampen inflammation, we standardized and applied a high-throughput gain-of-function screen to examine a Klebsiella transposon mutant library. We identified 114 mutants that triggered the activation of NF-κB. Two gene ontology categories accounted for half of the loci identified in the screening: metabolism and transport genes (32% of the mutants) and envelope-related genes (17%). Characterization of the mutants revealed that the lack of the enterobactin siderophore was linked to a reduced CPS expression, which in turn underlined the NF-κB activation induced by the mutant. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-polysaccharide and the pullulanase (PulA) type 2 secretion system (T2SS) are required for full effectiveness of the immune evasion. Importantly, these factors do not play a redundant role. The fact that LPS O-polysaccharide and T2SS mutant-induced responses were dependent on TLR2-TLR4-MyD88 activation suggested that LPS O-polysaccharide and PulA perturbed Toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent recognition of K. pneumoniae. Finally, we demonstrate that LPS O-polysaccharide and pulA mutants are attenuated in the pneumonia mouse model. We propose that LPS O-polysaccharide and PulA T2SS could be new targets for the design of new antimicrobials. Increasing TLR-governed defense responses might provide also selective alternatives for the management of K. pneumoniae pneumonia. PMID:25971969

  19. Functional Genomic Screen Identifies Klebsiella pneumoniae Factors Implicated in Blocking Nuclear Factor κB (NF-κB) Signaling.

    PubMed

    Tomás, Anna; Lery, Leticia; Regueiro, Verónica; Pérez-Gutiérrez, Camino; Martínez, Verónica; Moranta, David; Llobet, Enrique; González-Nicolau, Mar; Insua, Jose L; Tomas, Juan M; Sansonetti, Philippe J; Tournebize, Régis; Bengoechea, José A

    2015-07-01

    Klebsiella pneumoniae is an etiologic agent of community-acquired and nosocomial pneumonia. It has been shown that K. pneumoniae infections are characterized by reduced early inflammatory response. Recently our group has shown that K. pneumoniae dampens the activation of inflammatory responses by antagonizing the activation of the NF-κB canonical pathway. Our results revealed that K. pneumoniae capsule polysaccharide (CPS) was necessary but not sufficient to attenuate inflammation. To identify additional Klebsiella factors required to dampen inflammation, we standardized and applied a high-throughput gain-of-function screen to examine a Klebsiella transposon mutant library. We identified 114 mutants that triggered the activation of NF-κB. Two gene ontology categories accounted for half of the loci identified in the screening: metabolism and transport genes (32% of the mutants) and envelope-related genes (17%). Characterization of the mutants revealed that the lack of the enterobactin siderophore was linked to a reduced CPS expression, which in turn underlined the NF-κB activation induced by the mutant. The lipopolysaccharide (LPS) O-polysaccharide and the pullulanase (PulA) type 2 secretion system (T2SS) are required for full effectiveness of the immune evasion. Importantly, these factors do not play a redundant role. The fact that LPS O-polysaccharide and T2SS mutant-induced responses were dependent on TLR2-TLR4-MyD88 activation suggested that LPS O-polysaccharide and PulA perturbed Toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent recognition of K. pneumoniae. Finally, we demonstrate that LPS O-polysaccharide and pulA mutants are attenuated in the pneumonia mouse model. We propose that LPS O-polysaccharide and PulA T2SS could be new targets for the design of new antimicrobials. Increasing TLR-governed defense responses might provide also selective alternatives for the management of K. pneumoniae pneumonia. PMID:25971969

  20. Mechanistic models in computational social science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holme, Petter; Liljeros, Fredrik

    2015-09-01

    Quantitative social science is not only about regression analysis or, in general, data inference. Computer simulations of social mechanisms have an over 60 years long history. They have been used for many different purposes—to test scenarios, to test the consistency of descriptive theories (proof-of-concept models), to explore emergent phenomena, for forecasting, etc. In this essay, we sketch these historical developments, the role of mechanistic models in the social sciences and the influences from the natural and formal sciences. We argue that mechanistic computational models form a natural common ground for social and natural sciences, and look forward to possible future information flow across the social-natural divide.

  1. Growth factor modulation of fibroblast proliferation, differentiation, and invasion: implications for tissue valve engineering.

    PubMed

    Narine, Kishan; De Wever, Olivier; Van Valckenborgh, Dillis; Francois, Katrien; Bracke, Marc; DeSmet, Stefaan; Mareel, Marc; Van Nooten, Guido

    2006-10-01

    We have previously shown that transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) stimulates transdifferentiation of fibroblasts into smooth muscle alpha-actin (alpha-SMA) positive myofibroblasts. However, TGF-beta, as such, is unsuitable for effective population of a heart valve matrix, because it dose-dependently inhibits growth of fibroblasts. The aim of this study was to investigate combinations of other growth factors with TGF-beta to stimulate the proliferation of suitably differentiated cells and to enhance their invasion into aortic valve matrices. Human dermal mesenchymal cells (hDMC1.1) were treated with combinations of growth factors to stimulate these cells to trans-differentiate into myofibroblasts, to proliferate, and to invade. Growth factors were chosen after expression of their respective receptors was confirmed in hDMC1.1 using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. We combined TGF-beta with several growth factors such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1, IGF-2), epidermal growth factor (EGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB, and PDGFAB). Nuclear Ki67 staining, MTT assay, and cell counting revealed that only EGF and bFGF were capable of overcoming TGF-beta-induced growth inhibition. However, bFGF but not EGF inhibited TGF-beta-induced alpha-SMA expression, as evidenced by immuno-cytochemistry and Western blotting. A growth factor cocktail (TGF-beta, EGF, bFGF) has been established that maintains TGF-beta-induced trans-differentiation but overcomes TGF-beta-induced growth inhibition while stimulating fibroblast proliferation and invasion. PMID:17518640

  2. Implications of Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease in Canada’s Indigenous Population

    PubMed Central

    MacDonald, Julia Petrasek; Barnes, Deborah E.; Middleton, Laura E.

    2015-01-01

    Background Indigenous peoples in Canada have higher prevalence of modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The relative importance of these risk factors on AD risk management is poorly understood. Methods Relative risks from literature and prevalence of risk factors from Statistics Canada or the First Nations Regional Health Survey were used to determine projected population attributable risk (PAR) associated with modifiable risk factors for AD (low education and vascular risk factors) among on- and off-reserve Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada using the Levin formula. Results Physical inactivity had the highest PAR for AD among Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada (32.5% [10.1%–51.1%] and 30.5% [9.2%–48.8%] respectively). The PAR for most modifiable risk factors was higher among Indigenous peoples in Canada, particularly among on-reserve groups. The greatest differences in PAR were for low educational attainment and smoking, which were approximately 10% higher among Indigenous peoples in Canada. The combined PAR for AD for all six modifiable risk factors was 79.6% among on-reserve Indigenous, 74.9% among off-reserve Indigenous, and 67.1% among non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. (All differences significant to p < .001.) Conclusions Modifiable risk factors are responsible for the most AD cases among Indigenous peoples in Canada. Further research is necessary to determine the prevalence of AD and the impact of risk factor modification among Indigenous peoples in Canada. PMID:26495049

  3. Dynamics, mechanisms, and functional implications of transcription factor binding evolution in metazoans

    PubMed Central

    Villar, Diego

    2014-01-01

    Synopsis Transcription factor binding differences can contribute to organismal evolution by altering downstream gene expression programmes. Recent genome-wide studies in Drosophila and mammals have revealed common quantitative and combinatorial properties of in vivo DNA-binding, as well as significant differences in the rate and mechanisms of metazoan transcription factor binding evolution. Here, we review the recently-discovered, rapid re-wiring of in vivo transcription factor binding between related metazoan species and summarize general principles underlying the observed patterns of evolution. We then consider what might explain genome evolution differences between metazoan phyla, and outline the conceptual and technological challenges facing the field. PMID:24590227

  4. Factor Analysis Demonstrates a Common Schizoidal Phenotype within Autistic and Schizotypal Tendency: Implications for Neuroscientific Studies.

    PubMed

    Ford, Talitha C; Crewther, David P

    2014-01-01

    Behavioral and cognitive dysfunction, particularly social and communication impairments, are shared between autism and schizophrenia spectrum disorders, while evidence for a diametric autism-positive schizophrenia symptom profile is inconsistent. We investigated the shared phenotype at a personality trait level, particularly its resemblance to schizoid personality disorder, as well as differential aspects of the autism-schizophrenia model. Items of the autism spectrum quotient (AQ) and schizotypal personality questionnaire (SPQ) were pseudo-randomly combined, and were completed by 449 (162 male, 287 female) non-clinical participants aged 18-40. A factor analysis revealed three factors; the first represented a shared social disorganization phenotype, the second reflected perceptual oddities specific to schizotypy while the third reflected social rigidity specific to autism. The AQ and SPQ were strongly correlated with Factor 1 (AQ: r = 0.75, p < 0.001; SPQ: r = 0.96, p < 0.001), SPQ score was correlated with Factor 2 (r = 0.51, p < 0.001), particularly in cognitive-perceptual features (r = 0.66, p < 0.001), and AQ score was strongly correlated with Factor 3 (r = 0.76, p < 0.001). Furthermore, there was no relationship between Factor 1 and Factor 2. Thus, there is robust evidence for a shared social disorganization phenotype in autistic and schizotypal tendency, which reflects the schizoid phenotype. Discriminating and independent dimensions of schizotypal and autistic tendency exist in Factors 2 and 3, respectively. Current diagnostic protocols could result in different diagnoses depending on the instrument used, suggesting the need for neuromarkers that objectively differentiate autistic and schizotypal traits and resolve the question of commonality versus co-morbidity. PMID:25221527

  5. Analytic model for academic research productivity having factors, interactions and implications

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Financial support is dear in academia and will tighten further. How can the research mission be accomplished within new restraints? A model is presented for evaluating source components of academic research productivity. It comprises six factors: funding; investigator quality; efficiency of the research institution; the research mix of novelty, incremental advancement, and confirmatory studies; analytic accuracy; and passion. Their interactions produce output and patterned influences between factors. Strategies for optimizing output are enabled. PMID:22130145

  6. Risk for anxiety and implications for treatment: developmental, environmental, and genetic factors governing fear regulation

    PubMed Central

    Hartley, Catherine A.; Casey, BJ

    2013-01-01

    Anxiety disorders are the most common of the psychiatric disorders affecting as many as 10% of youth, with a peak during adolescence. A core component of these disorders is an unremitting fear in the absence of present threat. One of the most commonly used therapies to treat these disorders is exposure-based cognitive behavioral therapy that identifies the source of the fear and anxiety and then desensitizes the individual to it. This treatment builds on basic principles of fear extinction learning. A number of patients improve with this therapy, but 40–50% do not. This paper provides an overview of recent empirical studies employing both human imaging and cross-species behavioral genetics to examine how fear regulation varies across individuals and across development, especially during adolescence. These studies have important implications for understanding who may be at risk for anxiety disorders and for whom and when during development exposure-based therapies may be most effective. PMID:24147742

  7. CREB in the Pathophysiology of Cancer: Implications for Targeting Transcription Factors for Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Kathleen M.; Frank, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Transcription factors are key regulators of the pattern of gene expression in a cell and directly control central processes such as proliferation, survival, self-renewal, and invasion. Given this critical role, the function of transcription factors is normally regulated closely, often through transient phosphorylation. Although transcription factors are not often directly modified by mutations in cancer cells, they frequently become activated constitutively through mutations affecting “upstream” pathways. By continually driving the expression of key target genes, these oncogenic transcription factors play a central role in tumor pathogenesis. One such transcription factor is the cAMP-regulatory element-binding protein (CREB), which can be activated through phosphorylation by a number of kinases, including Akt, p90Rsk, protein kinase A, and calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinases and regulates genes whose deregulated expression promotes oncogenesis, including cyclins, Bcl-2 family members, and Egr-1. CREB is overexpressed and constitutively phosphorylated in a number of forms of human cancer, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and non – small cell lung cancer, and appears to play a direct role in disease pathogenesis and prognosis. Although transcription factors have not been a central focus of drug development, recent advances suggest that CREB and other such proteins may be worthwhile targets for cancer therapy. PMID:19351775

  8. Hepatic leukemia factor promotes resistance to cell death: Implications for therapeutics and chronotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Waters, Katrina M.; Sontag, Ryan L.; Weber, Thomas J.

    2013-04-15

    Physiological variation related to circadian rhythms and aberrant gene expression patterns are believed to modulate therapeutic efficacy, but the precise molecular determinants remain unclear. Here we examine the regulation of cell death by hepatic leukemia factor (HLF), which is an output regulator of circadian rhythms and is aberrantly expressed in human cancers, using an ectopic expression strategy in JB6 mouse epidermal cells and human keratinocytes. Ectopic HLF expression inhibited cell death in both JB6 cells and human keratinocytes, as induced by serum-starvation, tumor necrosis factor alpha and ionizing radiation. Microarray analysis indicates that HLF regulates a complex multi-gene transcriptional program encompassing upregulation of anti-apoptotic genes, downregulation of pro-apoptotic genes, and many additional changes that are consistent with an anti-death program. Collectively, our results demonstrate that ectopic expression of HLF, an established transcription factor that cycles with circadian rhythms, can recapitulate many features associated with circadian-dependent physiological variation. - Highlights: ► Circadian-dependent physiological variation impacts therapeutic efficacy. ► Hepatic leukemia factor inhibits cell death and is a candidate circadian factor. ► Hepatic leukemia factor anti-death program is conserved in murine and human cells. ► Transcriptomics indicates the anti-death program results from a systems response.

  9. Development and Predictive Effects of Eating Disorder Risk Factors during Adolescence: Implications for Prevention Efforts

    PubMed Central

    Rohde, Paul; Stice, Eric; Marti, C. Nathan

    2014-01-01

    Objective Although several prospective studies have identified factors that increase risk for eating disorders, little is known about when these risk factors emerge and escalate, or when they begin to predict future eating disorder onset. The objective of this report was to address these key research gaps. Method Data were examined from a prospective study of 496 community female adolescents (M = 13.5, SD = 0.7 at baseline) who completed eight annual assessments of potential risk factors and eating disorders from preadolescence to young adulthood. Results Three variables exhibited positive linear increases: Perceived pressure to be thin, thin-ideal internalization and body dissatisfaction; three were best characterized as quadratic effects: dieting (essentially little change); negative affectivity (overall decrease), and BMI (overall increase). Elevated body dissatisfaction at ages 13, 14, 15, and 16 predicted DSM-5 eating disorders onset in the 4 year period after each assessment, but the predictive effects of other risk factors were largely confined to age 14; BMI did not predict eating disorders at any age. Discussion The results imply that these risk factors are present by early adolescence, though eating disorders tend to emerge in late adolescence and early adulthood. These findings emphasize the need for efficacious eating disorder prevention programs for early adolescent girls, perhaps targeting 14 year olds, when risk factors appear to be most predictive. In early adolescence, it might be fruitful to target girls with body dissatisfaction, as this was the most consistent predictor of early eating disorder onset in this study. PMID:24599841

  10. Mechanistic species distribution modelling as a link between physiology and conservation

    PubMed Central

    Evans, Tyler G.; Diamond, Sarah E.; Kelly, Morgan W.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change conservation planning relies heavily on correlative species distribution models that estimate future areas of occupancy based on environmental conditions encountered in present-day ranges. The approach benefits from rapid assessment of vulnerability over a large number of organisms, but can have poor predictive power when transposed to novel environments and reveals little in the way of causal mechanisms that define changes in species distribution or abundance. Having conservation planning rely largely on this single approach also increases the risk of policy failure. Mechanistic models that are parameterized with physiological information are expected to be more robust when extrapolating distributions to future environmental conditions and can identify physiological processes that set range boundaries. Implementation of mechanistic species distribution models requires knowledge of how environmental change influences physiological performance, and because this information is currently restricted to a comparatively small number of well-studied organisms, use of mechanistic modelling in the context of climate change conservation is limited. In this review, we propose that the need to develop mechanistic models that incorporate physiological data presents an opportunity for physiologists to contribute more directly to climate change conservation and advance the field of conservation physiology. We begin by describing the prevalence of species distribution modelling in climate change conservation, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of both mechanistic and correlative approaches. Next, we emphasize the need to expand mechanistic models and discuss potential metrics of physiological performance suitable for integration into mechanistic models. We conclude by summarizing other factors, such as the need to consider demography, limiting broader application of mechanistic models in climate change conservation. Ideally, modellers, physiologists and

  11. Mechanistic species distribution modelling as a link between physiology and conservation.

    PubMed

    Evans, Tyler G; Diamond, Sarah E; Kelly, Morgan W

    2015-01-01

    Climate change conservation planning relies heavily on correlative species distribution models that estimate future areas of occupancy based on environmental conditions encountered in present-day ranges. The approach benefits from rapid assessment of vulnerability over a large number of organisms, but can have poor predictive power when transposed to novel environments and reveals little in the way of causal mechanisms that define changes in species distribution or abundance. Having conservation planning rely largely on this single approach also increases the risk of policy failure. Mechanistic models that are parameterized with physiological information are expected to be more robust when extrapolating distributions to future environmental conditions and can identify physiological processes that set range boundaries. Implementation of mechanistic species distribution models requires knowledge of how environmental change influences physiological performance, and because this information is currently restricted to a comparatively small number of well-studied organisms, use of mechanistic modelling in the context of climate change conservation is limited. In this review, we propose that the need to develop mechanistic models that incorporate physiological data presents an opportunity for physiologists to contribute more directly to climate change conservation and advance the field of conservation physiology. We begin by describing the prevalence of species distribution modelling in climate change conservation, highlighting the benefits and drawbacks of both mechanistic and correlative approaches. Next, we emphasize the need to expand mechanistic models and discuss potential metrics of physiological performance suitable for integration into mechanistic models. We conclude by summarizing other factors, such as the need to consider demography, limiting broader application of mechanistic models in climate change conservation. Ideally, modellers, physiologists and

  12. Testing mechanistic models of growth in insects.

    PubMed

    Maino, James L; Kearney, Michael R

    2015-11-22

    Insects are typified by their small size, large numbers, impressive reproductive output and rapid growth. However, insect growth is not simply rapid; rather, insects follow a qualitatively distinct trajectory to many other animals. Here we present a mechanistic growth model for insects and show that increasing specific assimilation during the growth phase can explain the near-exponential growth trajectory of insects. The presented model is tested against growth data on 50 insects, and compared against other mechanistic growth models. Unlike the other mechanistic models, our growth model predicts energy reserves per biomass to increase with age, which implies a higher production efficiency and energy density of biomass in later instars. These predictions are tested against data compiled from the literature whereby it is confirmed that insects increase their production efficiency (by 24 percentage points) and energy density (by 4 J mg(-1)) between hatching and the attainment of full size. The model suggests that insects achieve greater production efficiencies and enhanced growth rates by increasing specific assimilation and increasing energy reserves per biomass, which are less costly to maintain than structural biomass. Our findings illustrate how the explanatory and predictive power of mechanistic growth models comes from their grounding in underlying biological processes. PMID:26609084

  13. Exploring Organic Mechanistic Puzzles with Molecular Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horowitz, Gail; Schwartz, Gary

    2004-01-01

    The molecular modeling was used to reinforce more general skills such as deducing and drawing reaction mechanisms, analyzing reaction kinetics and thermodynamics and drawing reaction coordinate energy diagrams. This modeling was done through the design of mechanistic puzzles, involving reactions not familiar to the students.

  14. Memory factors in Rey AVLT: Implications for early staging of cognitive decline.

    PubMed

    Fernaeus, Sven-Erik; Ostberg, Per; Wahlund, Lars-Olof; Hellström, Ake

    2014-12-01

    Supraspan verbal list learning is widely used to assess dementia and related cognitive disorders where declarative memory deficits are a major clinical sign. While the overall learning rate is important for diagnosis, serial position patterns may give insight into more specific memory processes in patients with cognitive impairment. This study explored these patterns in a memory clinic clientele. One hundred eighty three participants took the Rey Auditory-Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). The major groups were patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), Vascular Dementia (VD), Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and Subjective Cognitive Impairment (SCI) as well as healthy controls (HC). Raw scores for the five trials and five serial partitions were factor analysed. Three memory factors were found and interpreted as Primacy, Recency, and Resistance to Interference. AD and MCI patients had impaired scores in all factors. SCI patients were significantly impaired in the Resistance to Interference factor, and in the Recency factor at the first trial. The main conclusion is that serial position data from word list testing reflect specific memory capacities which vary with levels of cognitive impairment. PMID:25112600

  15. Subsite specificity of anthrax lethal factor and its implications for inhibitor development

    PubMed Central

    Li, Feng; Terzyan, Simon; Tang, Jordan

    2011-01-01

    The lethal factor of Bacillus anthracis is a major factor for lethality of anthrax infection by this bacterium. With the aid of the protective antigen, lethal factor gains excess to the cell cytosol where it manifests toxicity as a metalloprotease. For better understanding of its specificity, we have determined its residue preferences of nineteen amino acids in six subsites (from P3 to P3’) as relative kcat/Km values (specificity constants). These results showed that lethal factor has a broad specificity with preference toward hydrophobic residues, but not charged or branched residues. The most preferred residues in these six subsites are, from P1 to P3’, Trp, Leu, Met, Tyr, Pro, and Leu. The result of residue preference was used to design new substrates with superior hydrolytic characteristics and inhibitors with high potency. For better use of the new findings for inhibitor design, we have modeled the most preferred residues in the active site of lethal factor. The observed interactions provide new insights to future inhibitor designs. PMID:21396916

  16. BioAge: Toward A Multi-Determined, Mechanistic Account of Cognitive Aging

    PubMed Central

    DeCarlo, Correne A.; Tuokko, Holly A.; Williams, Dorothy; Dixon, Roger A.; MacDonald, Stuart W.S.

    2014-01-01

    The search for reliable early indicators of age-related cognitive decline represents a critical avenue for progress in aging research. Chronological age is a commonly used developmental index; however, it offers little insight into the mechanisms underlying cognitive decline. In contrast, biological age (BioAge), reflecting the vitality of essential biological systems, represents a promising operationalization of developmental time. Current BioAge models have successfully predicted age-related cognitive deficits. Research on aging-related cognitive function indicates that the interaction of multiple risk and protective factors across the human lifespan confers individual risk for late-life cognitive decline, implicating a multi-causal explanation. In this review, we explore current BioAge models, describe three broad yet pathologically relevant biological processes linked to cognitive decline, and propose a novel operationalization of BioAge accounting for both moderating and causal mechanisms of cognitive decline and dementia. We argue that a multivariate and mechanistic BioAge approach will lead to a greater understanding of disease pathology as well as more accurate prediction and early identification of late-life cognitive decline. PMID:25278166

  17. Hepatic Leukemia Factor Promotes Resistance To Cell Death: Implications For Therapeutics and Chronotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Waters, Katrina M.; Sontag, Ryan L.; Weber, Thomas J.

    2013-04-15

    Physiological variation related to circadian rhythms and aberrant gene expression patterns are believed to modulate therapeutic efficacy, but the precise molecular determinants remain unclear. Here we examine the regulation of cell death by hepatic leukemia factor (HLF), which is an output regulator of circadian rhythms and is aberrantly expressed in human cancers, using an ectopic expression strategy in JB6 mouse epidermal cells and human keratinocytes. Ectopic HLF expression inhibited cell death in both JB6 cells and human keratinocytes, as induced by serum-starvation, tumor necrosis factor alpha and ionizing radiation. Microarray analysis indicates that HLF regulates a complex multi-gene transcriptional program encompassing upregulation of anti-apoptotic genes, downregulation of pro-apoptotic genes, and many additional changes that are consistent with an anti-death program. Collectively, our results demonstrate that ectopic expression of HLF, an established transcription factor that cycles with circadian rhythms, can recapitulate many features associated with circadian-dependent physiological variation.

  18. Factors that influence physical activity for pregnant and postpartum women and implications for primary care.

    PubMed

    Doran, Frances; Davis, Kierrynn

    2011-01-01

    Many pregnant women and women of child-bearing age do not engage in the recommended levels of physical activity despite the well known benefits. Pregnancy and the postpartum period can be a time when inactivity actually increases. Women who experience gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during their pregnancy are often advised to become more active in order to ameliorate their increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Health professionals have an influential role in promoting physical activity, which would be enhanced with an understanding of the factors that positively and negatively influence women's participation in physical activity during pregnancy and in the postpartum period. This research sought to explore these factors with pregnant and postpartum women including those who had experienced GDM and the attention given to physical activity during pregnancy. A survey was developed after a critical review of factors identified from previous studies. Women were recruited from the antenatal clinic, community health centres and the local media. Results from 72 women are reported from a predominately well educated, Caucasian population. Overall, the results were confirmatory of factors previously identified. Lack of child care, time constraints, no time and feeling unwell during pregnancy hindered activity and factors that facilitated activity included family support, enjoyment of activity and to prevent later health problems. It was also found that non-GDM women are given minimal advice about exercise during pregnancy. A checklist has been developed for health professionals, in partnership with women, to direct attention to the factors that enable and hinder participation in physical activity during and after pregnancy. PMID:21616029

  19. N-glycans of growth factor receptors: their role in receptor function and disease implications.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Motoko; Hasegawa, Yoshihiro; Gao, Congxiao; Kuroki, Yoshio; Taniguchi, Naoyuki

    2016-10-01

    Numerous signal-transduction-related molecules are secreted proteins or membrane proteins, and the mechanism by which these molecules are regulated by glycan chains is a very important issue for developing an understanding of the cellular events that transpire. This review covers the functional regulation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), ErbB3 and the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) receptor by N-glycans. This review shows that the N-glycans play important roles in regulating protein conformation and interactions with carbohydrate recognition molecules. These results point to the possibility of a novel strategy for controlling cell signalling and developing novel glycan-based therapeutics. PMID:27612953

  20. Atrial Fibrillation and Hypertension: Mechanistic, Epidemiologic, and Treatment Parallels

    PubMed Central

    Ogunsua, Adedotun A.; Shaikh, Amir Y.; Ahmed, Mohamed; McManus, David D.

    2015-01-01

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasingly prevalent condition and the most common sustained arrhythmia encountered in ambulatory and hospital practice. Several clinical risk factors for AF include age, sex, valvular heart disease, obesity, sleep apnea, heart failure, and hypertension (HTN). Of all the risk factors, HTN is the most commonly encountered condition in patients with incident AF. Hypertension is associated with a 1.8-fold increase in the risk of developing new-onset AF and a 1.5-fold increase in the risk of progression to permanent AF. Hypertension predisposes to cardiac structural changes that influence the development of AF such as atrial remodeling. The renin angiotensin aldosterone system has been demonstrated to be a common mechanistic link in the pathogenesis of HTN and AF. Importantly, HTN is one of the few modifiable AF risk factors, and guideline-directed management of HTN may reduce the incidence of AF. PMID:27057292

  1. Atrial Fibrillation and Hypertension: Mechanistic, Epidemiologic, and Treatment Parallels.

    PubMed

    Ogunsua, Adedotun A; Shaikh, Amir Y; Ahmed, Mohamed; McManus, David D

    2015-01-01

    Atrial fibrillation (AF) is an increasingly prevalent condition and the most common sustained arrhythmia encountered in ambulatory and hospital practice. Several clinical risk factors for AF include age, sex, valvular heart disease, obesity, sleep apnea, heart failure, and hypertension (HTN). Of all the risk factors, HTN is the most commonly encountered condition in patients with incident AF. Hypertension is associated with a 1.8-fold increase in the risk of developing new-onset AF and a 1.5-fold increase in the risk of progression to permanent AF. Hypertension predisposes to cardiac structural changes that influence the development of AF such as atrial remodeling. The renin angiotensin aldosterone system has been demonstrated to be a common mechanistic link in the pathogenesis of HTN and AF. Importantly, HTN is one of the few modifiable AF risk factors, and guideline-directed management of HTN may reduce the incidence of AF. PMID:27057292

  2. Mammalian dwarfins are phosphorylated in response to transforming growth factor beta and are implicated in control of cell growth.

    PubMed Central

    Yingling, J M; Das, P; Savage, C; Zhang, M; Padgett, R W; Wang, X F

    1996-01-01

    The dwarfin protein family has been genetically implicated in transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta)-like signaling pathways in Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans. To investigate the role of these proteins in mammalian signaling pathways, we have isolated and studied two murine dwarfins, dwarfin-A and dwarfin-C. Using antibodies against dwarfin-A and dwarfin-C, we show that these two dwarfins and an immunogenically related protein, presumably also a dwarfin, are phosphorylated in a time- and dose-dependent manner in response to TGF-beta. Bone morphogenetic protein 2, a TGF-beta superfamily ligand, induces phosphorylation of only the related dwarfin protein. Thus, TGF-beta superfamily members may use overlapping yet distinct dwarfins to mediate their intracellular signals. Furthermore, transient overexpression of either dwarfin-A or dwarfin-C causes growth arrest, implicating the dwarfins in growth regulation. This work provides strong biochemical and preliminary functional evidence that dwarfin-A and dwarfin-C represent prototypic members of a family of mammalian proteins that may serve as mediators of signaling pathways for TGF-beta superfamily members. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:8799132

  3. Individual and Contextual Factors for Bullying and Peer Victimization: Implications for Prevention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vivolo, Alana M.; Holt, Melissa K.; Massetti, Greta M.

    2011-01-01

    The Division of Violence Prevention (DVP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is committed to preventing youth violence. For the past decade, DVP has supported research on risk and protective factors associated with youth interpersonal violence and the development and evaluation of prevention programs. This commentary addresses…

  4. Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA010 Proteome Implicates Extracytoplasmic Function Sigma Factor in Stress Response

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, Michael S.; Hurst, Gregory B.; Lu, Tse-Yuan S.; Perry, Leslie M.; Pan, Chongle; Lankford, Patricia K.; Pelletier, Dale A.

    2015-04-08

    Rhodopseudomonas palustris encodes 16 extracytoplasmic function (ECF) σ factors. In this paper, to begin to investigate the regulatory network of one of these ECF σ factors, the whole proteome of R. palustris CGA010 was quantitatively analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry from cultures episomally expressing the ECF σRPA4225 (ecfT) versus a WT control. Among the proteins with the greatest increase in abundance were catalase KatE, trehalose synthase, a DPS-like protein, and several regulatory proteins. Alignment of the cognate promoter regions driving expression of several upregulated proteins suggested a conserved binding motif in the -35 and -10 regions with the consensus sequence GGAAC-18N-TT. Additionally, the putative anti-σ factor RPA4224, whose gene is contained in the same predicted operon as RPA4225, was identified as interacting directly with the predicted response regulator RPA4223 by mass spectrometry of affinity-isolated protein complexes. Furthermore, another gene (RPA4226) coding for a protein that contains a cytoplasmic histidine kinase domain is located immediately upstream of RPA4225. The genomic organization of orthologs for these four genes is conserved in several other strains of R. palustris as well as in closely related α-Proteobacteria. Finally, taken together, these data suggest that ECF σRPA4225 and the three additional genes make up a sigma factor mimicry system in R. palustris.

  5. Survey of piloting factors in V/STOL aircraft with implications for flight control system design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ringland, R. F.; Craig, S. J.

    1977-01-01

    Flight control system design factors involved for pilot workload relief are identified. Major contributors to pilot workload include configuration management and control and aircraft stability and response qualities. A digital fly by wire stability augmentation, configuration management, and configuration control system is suggested for reduction of pilot workload during takeoff, hovering, and approach.

  6. Factors Affecting Students' Choice to Enroll at HCC: Implications for Marketing, Recruitment, and Advising.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quinley, John W.

    A study was conducted to analyze the factors which affect students' decisions to enroll at Harford Community College (HCC), Harford County, Maryland. An entrant follow-up survey was sent in spring 1984 to all students who were enrolled in a Maryland community college for the first time in fall 1982. The survey sought to evaluate the extent to…

  7. Constraints on the form factors for K ---> pi l nu and implications for |V(us)|

    SciTech Connect

    Hill, Richard J.; /Fermilab

    2006-07-01

    Rigorous bounds are established for the expansion coefficients governing the shape of semileptonic K {yields} {pi} form factors. The constraints enforced by experimental data from {tau} {yields} K{pi}{nu} eliminate uncertainties associated with model parameterizations in the determination of |V{sub us}|. The results support the validity of a powerful expansion that can be applied to other semileptonic transitions.

  8. Rhodopseudomonas palustris CGA010 Proteome Implicates Extracytoplasmic Function Sigma Factor in Stress Response

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Allen, Michael S.; Hurst, Gregory B.; Lu, Tse-Yuan S.; Perry, Leslie M.; Pan, Chongle; Lankford, Patricia K.; Pelletier, Dale A.

    2015-04-08

    Rhodopseudomonas palustris encodes 16 extracytoplasmic function (ECF) σ factors. In this paper, to begin to investigate the regulatory network of one of these ECF σ factors, the whole proteome of R. palustris CGA010 was quantitatively analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry from cultures episomally expressing the ECF σRPA4225 (ecfT) versus a WT control. Among the proteins with the greatest increase in abundance were catalase KatE, trehalose synthase, a DPS-like protein, and several regulatory proteins. Alignment of the cognate promoter regions driving expression of several upregulated proteins suggested a conserved binding motif in the -35 and -10 regions with the consensus sequencemore » GGAAC-18N-TT. Additionally, the putative anti-σ factor RPA4224, whose gene is contained in the same predicted operon as RPA4225, was identified as interacting directly with the predicted response regulator RPA4223 by mass spectrometry of affinity-isolated protein complexes. Furthermore, another gene (RPA4226) coding for a protein that contains a cytoplasmic histidine kinase domain is located immediately upstream of RPA4225. The genomic organization of orthologs for these four genes is conserved in several other strains of R. palustris as well as in closely related α-Proteobacteria. Finally, taken together, these data suggest that ECF σRPA4225 and the three additional genes make up a sigma factor mimicry system in R. palustris.« less

  9. Adolescent Girls' Perceptions of Smoking Risk and Protective Factors: Implications for Message Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Curbow, Barbara; Bowie, Janice; Binko, JoAnn; Smith, Stephanie; Dreyling, Erin; McDonnell, Karen A.

    2007-01-01

    Using a snowball technique, in-depth interviews were conducted with 108 girls emanating from seven demographically dissimilar social networks. Girls were asked to classify 58 items as either a risk or protective factor for smoking initiation and then to assign an importance weighting to each. All items except one (worries about her weight) were…

  10. Prognostic clinical factors in pretreated colorectal cancer patients receiving regorafenib: Implications for clinical management

    PubMed Central

    Del Prete, Michela; Giampieri, Riccardo; Loupakis, Fotios; Prochilo, Tiziana; Salvatore, Lisa; Faloppi, Luca; Bianconi, Maristella; Bittoni, Alessandro; Aprile, Giuseppe; Zaniboni, Alberto; Falcone, Alfredo; Scartozzi, Mario; Cascinu, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Background We assessed the impact on survival of angiogenesis and inflammation-related factors, particularly LDH serum levels, platelet, neutrophil and lymphocyte counts, and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), in metastatic colorectal cancer patients receiving regorafenib monotherapy. Methods LDH serum levels, neutrophil, lymphocyte and platelet counts were collected at the start of regorafenib monotherapy. Cut-off values were calculated by ROC curve analysis. Survival analyses were performed by Kaplan-Meier method, and multivariate analysis by Cox method. Results A total of 208 patients were eligible for analysis. Among factors who were related with worse overall survival and who maintained their role at the multivariate analysis, high platelet count (Exp(b):1.4963, 95% CI:1.0130–2.2103, p = 0.0439) and high neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio (Exp(b):1.6963, 95% CI:1.0757–2.6751, p = 0.0237) were those who more deeply were related to worse overall survival. High lymphocyte count (Exp(b):0.4527, 95% CI:0.2801–0.7316, p = 0.0013) was correlated with improved overall survival. Conclusions High neutrophil, high platelet, low lymphocyte count and/or high NLR may represent negative prognostic factors in patients receiving regorafenib monotherapy. It is advisable that these factors are taken into account in the design of subsequent trials in colorectal cancer patients receiving this drug. PMID:26334693

  11. Factors Influencing Self-Esteem among Individuals with Severe Mental Illness: Implications for Social Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kahng, Sang Kyoung; Mowbray, Carol

    2004-01-01

    This study analyzed factors affecting self-esteem among individuals with severe mental illness to identify effective targets for social work interventions. Data were obtained from 290 individuals with psychiatric disability recruited from community-based psychosocial rehabilitation agencies. Analyses using structural equation modeling revealed…

  12. A Study of Societal Factors Influencing the Growth of Castleton State College: Implications for Future Trends.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forest, Robert F.

    Analyzed are certain societal factors--political, demographic, financial, public relations, student profiles, and mission statements as they have influenced the growth of Castleton State College since becoming a member of the Vermont State College system in 1961. Data for the study were gathered from a literature review of one of the daily…

  13. Factors Affecting Faculty Use of Learning Technologies: Implications for Models of Technology Adoption

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buchanan, Tom; Sainter, Phillip; Saunders, Gunter

    2013-01-01

    This study examines factors associated with the use of learning technologies by higher education faculty. In an online survey in a UK university, 114 faculty respondents completed a measure of Internet self-efficacy, and reported on their use of learning technologies along with barriers to their adoption. Principal components analysis suggested…

  14. ANTHRACYCLINE-INDUCED SUPRESSION OF GATA-4 TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR: IMPLICATION REGULATION OF CARDIAC MYOCYTE APOPTOSIS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthracyclines are effective cancer chemotherapeutic agents but can induce serious cardiotoxicity. Understanding the mechanism of cardiac damage by these agents will help in development of better therapeutic strategies against cancer. The GATA-4 transcription factor is an important regulator of ca...

  15. Implications for risk assessment of host factors causing large pharmacokinetic variations

    SciTech Connect

    Vesell, E.S.

    1985-12-01

    Normal human subjects vary widely in their capacity to eliminate many drugs and environmental chemicals. These variations range in magnitude from fourfold to fortyfold depending on the drug and the population studied. Pharmacogenetics deals with only one of many host factors responsible for these large pharmacokinetic differences. Age, sex, diet and exposure to other drugs and chemicals, including oral contraceptives, ethanol and cigarette smoking, can alter the genetically determined rate at which a particular subject eliminates drugs and environmental chemicals. These elimination rates, therefore, are dynamic and change even in the same subject with time and condition. Regulatory legislation has only recently begun to recognize this very broad spectrum of human susceptibility and the existence of multiple special subgroups of particularly sensitive subjects. In setting standards for environmental chemicals, EPA and NIOSH have attempted to protect the most sensitive humans and should be encouraged to continue this policy. For some drugs and environmental chemicals, the commonly used safety factor of 100 may be too low; for these chemicals large, interindividual pharmacokinetic variations produced by pharmacogenetic and other host factors may make a safety factor of 400 or 500 more adequate.

  16. Contextual Factors Affecting Learning in Laos and the Implications for Information Literacy Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dorner, Daniel G.; Gorman, G. E.

    2011-01-01

    Introduction: Laos is used as a case study of how factors such as culture and indigenous knowledge must be considered to plan for information literacy education that is culturally and contextually appropriate. Method: Data were obtained from observations during visits to four Lao schools and from interviews with fourteen teachers at these schools.…

  17. Psychosocial Factors Associated with Depression in Urban Adolescent Females: Implications for Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibbs, Jewelle Taylor

    Despite an increased interest in adolescent depression from theoretical and clinical perspectives, there have been few attempts to investigate depression in non-clinical populations. To identify demographic, sociocultural, and behavioral factors related to adolescent depression in a non-clinical population of urban adolescent females, a racially…

  18. Factor Structure of the Restricted Academic Situation Scale: Implications for ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karama, Sherif; Amor, Leila Ben; Grizenko, Natalie; Ciampi, Antonio; Mbekou, Valentin; Ter-Stepanian, Marina; Lageix, Philippe; Baron, Chantal; Schwartz, George; Joober, Ridha

    2009-01-01

    Background: To study the factor structure of the Restricted Academic Situation Scale (RASS), a psychometric tool used to assess behavior in children with ADHD, 117 boys and 21 girls meeting "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders" (4th ed.; "DSM-IV") criteria for ADHD and aged between 6 and 12 years were recruited. Assessments were…

  19. Biofilm formation by Streptococcus agalactiae: influence of environmental conditions and implicated virulence factors

    PubMed Central

    Rosini, Roberto; Margarit, Immaculada

    2015-01-01

    Streptococcus agalactiae (Group B Streptococcus, GBS) is an important human pathogen that colonizes the urogenital and/or the lower gastro-intestinal tract of up to 40% of healthy women of reproductive age and is a leading cause of sepsis and meningitis in the neonates. GBS can also infect the elderly and immuno-compromised adults, and is responsible for mastitis in bovines. Like other Gram-positive bacteria, GBS can form biofilm-like three-dimensional structures that could enhance its ability to colonize and persist in the host. Biofilm formation by GBS has been investigated in vitro and appears tightly controlled by environmental conditions. Several adhesins have been shown to play a role in the formation of GBS biofilm-like structures, among which are the protein components of pili protruding outside the bacterial surface. Remarkably, antibodies directed against pilus proteins can prevent the formation of biofilms. The implications of biofilm formation in the context of GBS asymptomatic colonization and dissemination to cause invasive disease remain to be investigated in detail. PMID:25699242

  20. Implications of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Man-Made Hazards, Vulnerability Factors, and Risk to Environmental Health.

    PubMed

    Eddy, Christopher; Sase, Eriko

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this article was to examine the environmental health implications of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster from an all-hazards perspective. The authors performed a literature review that included Japanese and international nuclear guidance and policy, scientific papers, and reports on the Chernobyl and Three Mile Island disasters while also considering all-hazards preparedness rubrics in the U.S. The examination of the literature resulted in the following: a) the authors' "All-Hazards Planning Reference Model" that distinguishes three planning categories-Disaster Trigger Event, Man-Made Hazards, and Vulnerability Factors; b) the generalization of their model to other countries; and c) advocacy for environmental health end fate to be considered in planning phases to minimize risk to environmental health. This article discusses inconsistencies in disaster planning and nomenclature existing in the studied materials and international guidance and proposes new opportunity for developing predisaster risk assessment, risk communication, and prevention capacity building. PMID:26427265

  1. New insight in expression, transport, and secretion of brain-derived neurotrophic factor: Implications in brain-related diseases

    PubMed Central

    Adachi, Naoki; Numakawa, Tadahiro; Richards, Misty; Nakajima, Shingo; Kunugi, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) attracts increasing attention from both research and clinical fields because of its important functions in the central nervous system. An adequate amount of BDNF is critical to develop and maintain normal neuronal circuits in the brain. Given that loss of BDNF function has been reported in the brains of patients with neurodegenerative or psychiatric diseases, understanding basic properties of BDNF and associated intracellular processes is imperative. In this review, we revisit the gene structure, transcription, translation, transport and secretion mechanisms of BDNF. We also introduce implications of BDNF in several brain-related diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, depression and schizophrenia. PMID:25426265

  2. Transforming Growth Factor-Beta and Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator: Dangerous Partners in Tumorigenesis—Implications in Skin Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Santibanez, Juan F.

    2013-01-01

    Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) is a pleiotropic factor, with several different roles in health and disease. TGF-β has been postulated as a dual factor in tumor progression, since it represses epithelial tumor development in early stages, whereas it stimulates tumor progression in advanced stages. During tumorigenesis, cancer cells acquire the capacity to migrate and invade surrounding tissues and to metastasize different organs. The urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) system, comprising uPA, the uPA cell surface receptor, and plasminogen-plasmin, is involved in the proteolytic degradation of the extracellular matrix and regulates key cellular events by activating intracellular signal pathways, which together allow cancer cells to survive, thus, enhancing cell malignance during tumor progression. Due to their importance, uPA and its receptor are tightly transcriptionally regulated in normal development, but are deregulated in cancer, when their activity and expression are related to further development of cancer. TGF-β regulates uPA expression in cancer cells, while uPA, by plasminogen activation, may activate the secreted latent TGF-β, thus, producing a pernicious cycle which contributes to the enhancement of tumor progression. Here we review the specific roles and the interplay between TGF-β and uPA system in cancer cells and their implication in skin cancer. PMID:23984088

  3. Human factor implications of the Eurocopter AS332L-1 Super Puma cockpit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Padfield, R. Randall

    1993-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe some of the human factor problems which can occur in the cockpit of a modern civilian helicopter. After examining specific hardware and software problems in the cockpit design of the Eurocopter (Aerospatiale) AS332L-1 Super Puma, the author proposes several principles that can be used to avoid similar human factors problems in the design of future cockpits. These principles relate to the use and function of warning lights, the design of autopilots in two-pilot aircraft, and the labeling of switches and warning lights, specifically with respect to abbreviations and translations from languages other than English. In the final section of the paper, the author describes current trends in society which he suggests should be taken into consideration when designing future aircraft cockpits.

  4. Sleep disturbances in caregivers of persons with dementia: Contributing factors and treatment implications

    PubMed Central

    McCurry, Susan M.; Logsdon, Rebecca G.; Teri, Linda; Vitiello, Michael V.

    2007-01-01

    Estimates suggest that there are more than 10 million adult caregivers of persons with dementia, two-thirds of who experience some form of sleep disturbance during the course of their caregiving career. Health care professionals are in the best position to detect and address this significant public health problem. Three major contributors to caregiver sleep disturbance are discussed in this paper: 1) the presence of caregiver disrupted sleep routines; 2) caregiver burden and depression; and, 3) the caregiver’s physical health status. Successful treatment of a caregiver’s sleep disturbance requires careful consideration of each of these contributors. We review and analyze the scientific literature concerning the multiple complex factors associated with the development and maintenance of sleep disturbances in caregivers. We provide a clinical vignette that illustrates the interplay of these contributing factors, and close by providing recommendations for clinicians and researchers treating and investigating the development and maintenance of sleep problems in family caregivers. PMID:17287134

  5. Host immunity to Bacillus anthracis lethal factor and other immunogens: implications for vaccine design.

    PubMed

    Altmann, Daniel M

    2015-03-01

    Infections of humans with Bacillus anthracis are an issue with respect to the biothreat both to civilians and military personnel, infections of individuals by infected livestock in endemic regions and, recently, infections of intravenous drug users injecting anthrax-contaminated heroin. Existing vaccination regimens are reliant on protective antigen neutralization induced by repeated boosts with the AVA or AVP vaccines. However, there is ongoing interest in updated approaches in light of the intensive booster regime and extent of reactogenicity inherent in the current protocols. Several other immunogens from the B. anthracis proteome have been characterized in recent years, including lethal factor. Lethal factor induces strong CD4 T-cell immunity and encompasses immunodominant epitopes of relevance across diverse HLA polymorphisms. Taken together, recent studies emphasize the potential benefits of vaccines able to confer synergistic immunity to protective antigen and to other immunogens, targeting both B-cell and T-cell repertoires. PMID:25400140

  6. Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2) in Cancers: Overexpression and Therapeutic Implications

    PubMed Central

    Iqbal, Nida; Iqbal, Naveed

    2014-01-01

    Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor family having tyrosine kinase activity. Dimerization of the receptor results in the autophosphorylation of tyrosine residues within the cytoplasmic domain of the receptors and initiates a variety of signaling pathways leading to cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. Amplification or overexpression of HER2 occurs in approximately 15–30% of breast cancers and 10–30% of gastric/gastroesophageal cancers and serves as a prognostic and predictive biomarker. HER2 overexpression has also been seen in other cancers like ovary, endometrium, bladder, lung, colon, and head and neck. The introduction of HER2 directed therapies has dramatically influenced the outcome of patients with HER2 positive breast and gastric/gastroesophageal cancers; however, the results have been proved disappointing in other HER2 overexpressing cancers. This review discusses the role of HER2 in various cancers and therapeutic modalities available targeting HER2. PMID:25276427

  7. Direct calibration in megavoltage photon beams using Monte Carlo conversion factor: validation and clinical implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Tracy; Lye, Jessica E.; Ramanathan, Ganesan; Harty, Peter D.; Oliver, Chris; Webb, David V.; Butler, Duncan J.

    2015-01-01

    The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has established a method for ionisation chamber calibrations using megavoltage photon reference beams. The new method will reduce the calibration uncertainty compared to a 60Co calibration combined with the TRS-398 energy correction factor. The calibration method employs a graphite calorimeter and a Monte Carlo (MC) conversion factor to convert the absolute dose to graphite to absorbed dose to water. EGSnrc is used to model the linac head and doses in the calorimeter and water phantom. The linac model is validated by comparing measured and modelled PDDs and profiles. The relative standard uncertainties in the calibration factors at the ARPANSA beam qualities were found to be 0.47% at 6 MV, 0.51% at 10 MV and 0.46% for the 18 MV beam. A comparison with the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) as part of the key comparison BIPM.RI(I)-K6 gave results of 0.9965(55), 0.9924(60) and 0.9932(59) for the 6, 10 and 18 MV beams, respectively, with all beams within 1σ of the participant average. The measured kQ values for an NE2571 Farmer chamber were found to be lower than those in TRS-398 but are consistent with published measured and modelled values. Users can expect a shift in the calibration factor at user energies of an NE2571 chamber between 0.4-1.1% across the range of calibration energies compared to the current calibration method.

  8. Direct calibration in megavoltage photon beams using Monte Carlo conversion factor: validation and clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Wright, Tracy; Lye, Jessica E; Ramanathan, Ganesan; Harty, Peter D; Oliver, Chris; Webb, David V; Butler, Duncan J

    2015-01-21

    The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) has established a method for ionisation chamber calibrations using megavoltage photon reference beams. The new method will reduce the calibration uncertainty compared to a (60)Co calibration combined with the TRS-398 energy correction factor. The calibration method employs a graphite calorimeter and a Monte Carlo (MC) conversion factor to convert the absolute dose to graphite to absorbed dose to water. EGSnrc is used to model the linac head and doses in the calorimeter and water phantom. The linac model is validated by comparing measured and modelled PDDs and profiles. The relative standard uncertainties in the calibration factors at the ARPANSA beam qualities were found to be 0.47% at 6 MV, 0.51% at 10 MV and 0.46% for the 18 MV beam. A comparison with the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) as part of the key comparison BIPM.RI(I)-K6 gave results of 0.9965(55), 0.9924(60) and 0.9932(59) for the 6, 10 and 18 MV beams, respectively, with all beams within 1σ of the participant average. The measured kQ values for an NE2571 Farmer chamber were found to be lower than those in TRS-398 but are consistent with published measured and modelled values. Users can expect a shift in the calibration factor at user energies of an NE2571 chamber between 0.4-1.1% across the range of calibration energies compared to the current calibration method. PMID:25565406

  9. Clinicopathological implications of vascular endothelial growth factor 165b expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma stroma.

    PubMed

    Nagasaki, Masahiro; Kondo, Seiji; Mukudai, Yoshiki; Kamatani, Takaaki; Akizuki, Ayako; Yaso, Atsushi; Shimane, Toshikazu; Shirota, Tatsuo

    2016-07-01

    Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is one of the most important angiogenic factors. VEGF165b was recently isolated as the anti-angiogenic VEGF splice variant. In the present study, we examined the association between VEGF165b expression and clinicopathological characteristics in order to determine how VEGF165b produced from oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) affects the stromal cell biological activity. We examined the relationships between the expressions of both VEGF isoforms in normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs) and OSCC cell lines (HSC2, 3, 4 and SAS). Our analyses indicated that both the mRNA and protein expression levels of VEGF165b in the HSC2 and SAS cells were higher than those in the NHDFs. VEGF165b did not promote cell growth or invasive capabilities, but it induced the cell adhesive capabilities to ECM. Although strong expression of the VEGF165 isoforms in tumor cells of OSCC tissues was observed, there was no significant difference in the VEGF165b expression level among the various degrees of malignancy. OSCC cells secrete VEGF165b into the stroma, and this factor may contribute to the process of anti-angiogenesis by inhibiting gelatinase-expressing cells and activating cell adhesive capabilities to ECM, such as that of fibroblasts surrounding tumor cells. PMID:27221145

  10. Differential Kinetics of Coagulation Factors and Natural Anticoagulants in Patients with Liver Cirrhosis: Potential Clinical Implications

    PubMed Central

    Tischendorf, Michael; Miesbach, Wolfgang; Chattah, Umer; Chattah, Zenab; Maier, Sebastian; Welsch, Christoph; Zeuzem, Stefan; Lange, Christian M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Advanced liver diseases are associated with profound alterations of the coagulation system increasing the risk not only of bleeding, but also of thromboembolic complications. A recent milestone study has shown that prophylactic anticoagulation in liver cirrhosis patients results in a reduced frequency of hepatic decompensation. Yet, INR measurement, one of the most widely applied tests to assess liver function, only inaccurately predicts the risk of hepatic decompensation related to alterations of the coagulation system. To assess the relationship between selected coagulation factors / natural anticoagulants with INR, MELD score, and hepatic decompensation, we performed the present pilot study. A total number of 92 patients with various stages of liver cirrhosis were included and prospectively followed for at least 6 months. We found that important natural anticoagulants, namely antithrombin and protein C, as well as factor XI (which may also serve as an anticoagulant) decreased earlier and by a larger magnitude than one would expect from classical coagulation test results. The correlation between these factors and INR was only moderate. Importantly, reduced plasma activities of natural anticoagulants but not INR or MELD score were independent predictors of hepatic encephalopathy (P = 0.013 and 0.003 for antithrombin and protein C, respectively). Conclusion In patients with liver cirrhosis plasma activities of several natural anticoagulants are earlier and stronger affected than routine coagulation tests. Reduced activities of natural anticoagulants may be predictive for the development of hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:27171213

  11. Factors associated with uterine endometrial hyperplasia and pyometra in wild canids: implications for fertility.

    PubMed

    Asa, Cheryl S; Bauman, Karen L; Devery, Sarah; Zordan, Martín; Camilo, Gerardo R; Boutelle, Sally; Moresco, Anneke

    2014-01-01

    The ability to safely and effectively manage reproduction is central to the success of AZA captive-breeding programs. Although the AZA Wildlife Contraception Center routinely monitors contraceptive safety, there have been no studies that compare the effects of contraceptive use to separation of males from females, the other option for preventing reproduction. We used retrospective medical records and pathology reports submitted by AZA and related facilities for the seven AZA-managed canid species to assess rates of uterine pathology relative to female reproductive life histories. Our results showed that the prevalence of both pyometra and endometrial hyperplasia (EH) was associated not only with treatment with the two most common contraceptives (Suprelorin® and MGA implants) but also with the number of years barren (i.e., not producing a litter and not contracepted). Rates of pyometra and EH were especially high in African painted dogs and red wolves, but lowest in swift and fennec foxes. The number of years producing a litter had a low association, suggesting it could be protective against uterine pathology. A more recently developed Suprelorin® protocol using Ovaban® to prevent the initial stimulation phase, followed by implant removal when reversal is desired, may be a safer contraceptive option. These results concerning the relationship between reproductive management and uterine health have important implications for AZA-managed programs, since the unsustainability of many captive populations may be due at least in part to infertility. Managing a female's reproductive lifespan to optimize or maintain fertility will require a reconsideration of how breeding recommendations are formulated. PMID:23553688

  12. Designing new β-lactams: implications from their targets, resistance factors and synthesizing enzymes.

    PubMed

    Goo, Kian-Sim; Sim, Tiow-Suan

    2011-03-01

    Penicillins and cephalosporins are β-lactam antibiotics widely used to treat bacterial infectious diseases. They mainly target the cell wall biosynthesis pathway to inhibit bacterial growth. The targets, known as penicillin-binding proteins, are enzymes involved in the polymerization of glycan chains, cross-linking them during bacterial cell wall formation. However, the dispensation of these antibiotics has been concomitant with increasing incidence of resistance to them. Reportedly, this is due to the evolvement of two resistance mechanisms in the bacterial pathogens. One is the production of β -lactamases that cleave the β -lactam rings of penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics, rendering them ineffective against the pathogens. Another is the modification of the targets, resulting in their inability to bind β -lactam antibiotics. Nevertheless, β -lactam antibiotics remain clinically relevant due to their high target specificity in bacteria and low toxicity to humans. Thus, to overcome the continuing emergence of resistance in pathogens, more efficacious β -lactams have to be developed and cephalosporins are often preferred over penicillins due to two alkyl sites in the cephalosporin core structure amenable for modification. Transformed β -lactams are expected to have improved antimicrobial spectra and pharmacokinetics. This is illustrated by the development of two cephalosporins, namely ceftobiprole and ceftaroline, which have shown good antimicrobial activities and are currently undergoing clinical trials. This review will discuss computer-aided studies of three enzymes closely related to cephalosporins: (1) its synthesizing enzyme, deacetoxycephalosporin C synthase, (2) its targets, the penicillin-binding proteins, and (3) its degrading enzyme, the β -lactamases, and their implications in the development of new cephalosporins. PMID:20883204

  13. Different Factors Affecting Human ANP Amyloid Aggregation and Their Implications in Congestive Heart Failure

    PubMed Central

    Millucci, Lia; Paccagnini, Eugenio; Ghezzi, Lorenzo; Bernardini, Giulia; Braconi, Daniela; Laschi, Marcella; Consumi, Marco; Spreafico, Adriano; Tanganelli, Piero; Lupetti, Pietro; Magnani, Agnese; Santucci, Annalisa

    2011-01-01

    Aims Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (ANP)-containing amyloid is frequently found in the elderly heart. No data exist regarding ANP aggregation process and its link to pathologies. Our aims were: i) to experimentally prove the presumptive association of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Isolated Atrial Amyloidosis (IAA); ii) to characterize ANP aggregation, thereby elucidating IAA implication in the CHF pathogenesis. Methods and Results A significant prevalence (85%) of IAA was immunohistochemically proven ex vivo in biopsies from CHF patients. We investigated in vitro (using Congo Red, Thioflavin T, SDS-PAGE, transmission electron microscopy, infrared spectroscopy) ANP fibrillogenesis, starting from α-ANP as well as the ability of dimeric β-ANP to promote amyloid formation. Different conditions were adopted, including those reproducing β-ANP prevalence in CHF. Our results defined the uncommon rapidity of α-ANP self-assembly at acidic pH supporting the hypothesis that such aggregates constitute the onset of a fibrillization process subsequently proceeding at physiological pH. Interestingly, CHF-like conditions induced the production of the most stable and time-resistant ANP fibrils suggesting that CHF affected people may be prone to develop IAA. Conclusions We established a link between IAA and CHF by ex vivo examination and assessed that β-ANP is, in vitro, the seed of ANP fibrils. Our results indicate that β-ANP plays a crucial role in ANP amyloid deposition under physiopathological CHF conditions. Overall, our findings indicate that early IAA-related ANP deposition may occur in CHF and suggest that these latter patients should be monitored for the development of cardiac amyloidosis. PMID:21814559

  14. Mechanistic fracture criteria for the failure of human cortical bone

    SciTech Connect

    Nalla, Ravi K.; Kinney, John H.; Ritchie, Robert O.

    2002-12-13

    A mechanistic understanding of fracture in human bone is critical to predicting fracture risk associated with age and disease. Despite extensive work, a mechanistic framework for describing how the underlying microstructure affects the failure mode in bone is lacking.

  15. A mechanistic insight into a proteasome-independent constitutive inhibitor kappaBalpha (IkappaBalpha) degradation and nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) activation pathway in WEHI-231 B-cells.

    PubMed Central

    Shumway, Stuart D; Miyamoto, Shigeki

    2004-01-01

    Inducible activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB (nuclear factor kappaB) is classically mediated by proteasomal degradation of its associated inhibitors, IkappaBalpha (inhibitory kappaBalpha) and IkappaBbeta. However, certain B-lymphocytes maintain constitutively nuclear NF-kappaB activity (a p50-c-Rel heterodimer) which is resistant to inhibition by proteasome inhibitors. This activity in the WEHI-231 B-cell line is associated with continual and preferential degradation of IkappaBalpha, which is also unaffected by proteasome inhibitors. Pharmacological studies indicated that there was a correlation between inhibition of IkappaBalpha degradation and constitutive p50-c-Rel activity. Domain analysis of IkappaBalpha by deletion mutagenesis demonstrated that an N-terminal 36-amino-acid sequence of IkappaBalpha represented an instability determinant for constitutive degradation. Moreover, domain grafting studies indicated that this sequence was sufficient to cause IkappaBbeta, but not chloramphenicol acetyltransferase, to be rapidly degraded in WEHI-231 B-cells. However, this sequence was insufficient to target IkappaBbeta to the non-proteasome degradation pathway, suggesting that there was an additional cis-element(s) in IkappaBalpha that was required for complete targeting. Nevertheless, the NF-kappaB pool associated with IkappaBbeta now became constitutively active by virtue of IkappaBbeta instability in these cells. These findings further support the notion that IkappaB instability governs the maintenance of constitutive p50-c-Rel activity in certain B-cells via a unique degradation pathway. PMID:14763901

  16. Variability in Isotope Discrimination Factors in Coral Reef Fishes: Implications for Diet and Food Web Reconstruction

    PubMed Central

    Wyatt, Alex S. J.; Waite, Anya M.; Humphries, Stuart

    2010-01-01

    Interpretation of stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen (δ13C and δ15N) is generally based on the assumption that with each trophic level there is a constant enrichment in the heavier isotope, leading to diet-tissue discrimination factors of 3.4‰ for 15N (ΔN) and ∼0.5‰ for 13C (ΔC). Diet-tissue discrimination factors determined from paired tissue and gut samples taken from 152 individuals from 26 fish species at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia demonstrate a large amount of variability around constant values. While caution is necessary in using gut contents to represent diet due to the potential for high temporal variability, there were significant effects of trophic position and season that may also lead to variability in ΔN under natural conditions. Nitrogen enrichment increased significantly at higher trophic levels (higher tissue δ15N), with significantly higher ΔN in carnivorous species. Changes in diet led to significant changes in ΔN, but not tissue δ15N, between seasons for several species: Acanthurus triostegus, Chromis viridis, Parupeneus signatus and Pomacentrus moluccensis. These results confirm that the use of meta-analysis averages for ΔN is likely to be inappropriate for accurately determining diets and trophic relationships using tissue stable isotope ratios. Where feasible, discrimination factors should be directly quantified for each species and trophic link in question, acknowledging the potential for significant variation away from meta-analysis averages and, perhaps, controlled laboratory diets and conditions. PMID:21060681

  17. Summary of factors contributing to falls in older adults and nursing implications.

    PubMed

    Enderlin, Carol; Rooker, Janet; Ball, Susan; Hippensteel, Dawn; Alderman, Joanne; Fisher, Sarah Jean; McLeskey, Nanci; Jordan, Kerry

    2015-01-01

    Falls are a common cause of serious injury and injury-related death in the older adult population, and may be associated with multiple risks such as age, history of falls, impaired mobility, balance and gait problems, and medications. Sensory and environmental factors as well as the fear of falling may also increase the risk of falls. The purpose of this article is to review current best practice on screening fall risks and fear of falling, fall prevention strategies, and fall prevention resources to assist gerontological nurses in reducing falls by their older adult clients. PMID:26343008

  18. Risk factors for secondary transmission of Shigella infection within households: implications for current prevention policy

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Internationally, guidelines to prevent secondary transmission of Shigella infection vary widely. Cases, their contacts with diarrhoea, and those in certain occupational groups are frequently excluded from work, school, or daycare. In the Netherlands, all contacts attending pre-school (age 0–3) and junior classes in primary school (age 4–5), irrespective of symptoms, are also excluded pending microbiological clearance. We identified risk factors for secondary Shigella infection (SSI) within households and evaluated infection control policy in this regard. Methods This retrospective cohort study of households where a laboratory confirmed Shigella case was reported in Amsterdam (2002–2009) included all households at high risk for SSI (i.e. any household member under 16 years). Cases were classified as primary, co-primary or SSIs. Using univariable and multivariable binomial regression with clustered robust standard errors to account for household clustering, we examined case and contact factors (Shigella serotype, ethnicity, age, sex, household size, symptoms) associated with SSI in contacts within households. Results SSI occurred in 25/ 337 contacts (7.4%): 20% were asymptomatic, 68% were female, and median age was 14 years (IQR: 4–38). In a multivariable model adjusted for case and household factors, only diarrhoea in contacts was associated with SSI (IRR 8.0, 95% CI:2.7-23.8). In a second model, factors predictive of SSI in contacts were the age of case (0–3 years (IRRcase≥6 years:2.5, 95% CI:1.1-5.5) and 4–5 years (IRRcase≥6 years:2.2, 95% CI:1.1-4.3)) and household size (>6 persons (IRR2-4 persons 3.4, 95% CI:1.2-9.5)). Conclusions To identify symptomatic and asymptomatic SSI, faecal screening should be targeted at all household contacts of preschool cases (0–3 years) and cases attending junior class in primary school (4–5 years) and any household contact with diarrhoea. If screening was limited to these groups, only one

  19. NDUFA12L mitochondrial complex-I assembly factor: Implications for taupathies

    PubMed Central

    Salama, Mohamed; Mohamed, Wael M.Y.

    2015-01-01

    There is a strong correlation between taupathies and the development and progression of neurodegenerative disorders. Abnormal tau becomes hyperphosphorylated and dissociated from microtubules with the aggregation of intracellular tau aggregates within the patient's brain. The current review is divided into two broad sections. In the first section we discuss the molecular biology and the clinicopathologic features of taupathies. While in the second section we discuss the relationship between mitochondrial complex-I and taupathies. Polymorphism in NDUFA12L may be a crucial factor for development of neurodegenerative taupathies. Thus NDUFA12L screening may be an early biomarker for identifying risk groups for such disorders. PMID:26937358

  20. Sexually transmitted diseases in Ethiopia. Social factors contributing to their spread and implications for developing countries.

    PubMed Central

    Plorde, D S

    1981-01-01

    Sexually transmitted diseases in developing countries are causing concern to those responsible for their control and eradication. To gain a better understanding of the problems involved in a country struggling with development, the economic and psychosocial factors influencing the spread of STD in Ethiopia have been studied. Increased migration and urbanisation and the changing role of women have led to a rise in prostitution. Thus changes in the social structure--particularly in relation to the education and employment of women--and improved medical services are essential for the long-term control of STD. PMID:6895708

  1. Inflammation and cancer-related fatigue: Mechanisms, contributing factors, and treatment implications

    PubMed Central

    Bower, Julienne E.; Lamkin, Donald M.

    2014-01-01

    Fatigue is one of the most common and distressing side effects of cancer and its treatment, and may persist for years after treatment completion in otherwise healthy survivors. Guided by basic research on neuro-immune interactions, a growing body of research has examined the hypothesis that cancer-related fatigue is driven by activation of the pro-inflammatory cytokine network. In this review, we examine the current state of the evidence linking inflammation and cancer-related fatigue, drawing from recent human research and from experimental animal models probing effects of cancer and cancer treatment on inflammation and fatigue. In addition, we consider two key questions that are currently driving research in this area: what are the neural mechanisms of fatigue, and what are the biological and psychological factors that influence the onset and/or persistence of inflammation and fatigue in cancer patients and survivors? Identification of the mechanisms driving cancer-related fatigue and associated risk factors will facilitate the development of targeted interventions for vulnerable patients. PMID:22776268

  2. Fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling in hereditary and neoplastic disease: biologic and clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Helsten, Teresa; Schwaederle, Maria; Kurzrock, Razelle

    2015-09-01

    Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and their receptors (FGFRs) are transmembrane growth factor receptors with wide tissue distribution. FGF/FGFR signaling is involved in neoplastic behavior and also development, differentiation, growth, and survival. FGFR germline mutations (activating) can cause skeletal disorders, primarily dwarfism (generally mutations in FGFR3), and craniofacial malformation syndromes (usually mutations in FGFR1 and FGFR2); intriguingly, some of these activating FGFR mutations are also seen in human cancers. FGF/FGFR aberrations reported in cancers are mainly thought to be gain-of-function changes, and several cancers have high frequencies of FGFR alterations, including breast, bladder, or squamous cell carcinomas (lung and head and neck). FGF ligand aberrations (predominantly gene amplifications) are also frequently seen in cancers, in contrast to hereditary syndromes. There are several pharmacologic agents that have been or are being developed for inhibition of FGFR/FGF signaling. These include both highly selective inhibitors as well as multi-kinase inhibitors. Of note, only four agents (ponatinib, pazopanib, regorafenib, and recently lenvatinib) are FDA-approved for use in cancer, although the approval was not based on their activity against FGFR. Perturbations in the FGFR/FGF signaling are present in both inherited and malignant diseases. The development of potent inhibitors targeting FGF/FGFR may provide new tools against disorders caused by FGF/FGFR alterations. PMID:26224133

  3. Stem CO2 efflux in six co-occurring tree species: underlying factors and ecological implications.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Calcerrada, Jesús; López, Rosana; Salomón, Roberto; Gordaliza, Guillermo G; Valbuena-Carabaña, María; Oleksyn, Jacek; Gil, Luis

    2015-06-01

    Stem respiration plays a role in species coexistence and forest dynamics. Here we examined the intra- and inter-specific variability of stem CO2 efflux (E) in dominant and suppressed trees of six deciduous species in a mixed forest stand: Fagus sylvatica L., Quercus petraea [Matt.] Liebl, Quercus pyrenaica Willd., Prunus avium L., Sorbus aucuparia L. and Crataegus monogyna Jacq. We conducted measurements in late autumn. Within species, dominants had higher E per unit stem surface area (Es ) mainly because sapwood depth was higher than in suppressed trees. Across species, however, differences in Es corresponded with differences in the proportion of living parenchyma in sapwood and concentration of non-structural carbohydrates (NSC). Across species, Es was strongly and NSC marginally positively related with an index of drought tolerance, suggesting that slow growth of drought-tolerant trees is related to higher NSC concentration and Es . We conclude that, during the leafless period, E is indicative of maintenance respiration and is related with some ecological characteristics of the species, such as drought resistance; that sapwood depth is the main factor explaining variability in Es within species; and that the proportion of NSC in the sapwood is the main factor behind variability in Es among species. PMID:25292455

  4. MRN1 Implicates Chromatin Remodeling Complexes and Architectural Factors in mRNA Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Düring, Louis; Thorsen, Michael; Petersen, Darima Sophia Njama; Køster, Brian; Jensen, Torben Heick; Holmberg, Steen

    2012-01-01

    A functional relationship between chromatin structure and mRNA processing events has been suggested, however, so far only a few involved factors have been characterized. Here we show that rsc nhp6ΔΔ mutants, deficient for the function of the chromatin remodeling factor RSC and the chromatin architectural proteins Nhp6A/Nhp6B, accumulate intron-containing pre-mRNA at the restrictive temperature. In addition, we demonstrate that rsc8-ts16 nhp6ΔΔ cells contain low levels of U6 snRNA and U4/U6 di-snRNA that is further exacerbated after two hours growth at the restrictive temperature. This change in U6 snRNA and U4/U6 di-snRNA levels in rsc8-ts16 nhp6ΔΔ cells is indicative of splicing deficient conditions. We identify MRN1 (multi-copy suppressor of rsc nhp6ΔΔ) as a growth suppressor of rsc nhp6ΔΔ synthetic sickness. Mrn1 is an RNA binding protein that localizes both to the nucleus and cytoplasm. Genetic interactions are observed between 2 µm-MRN1 and the splicing deficient mutants snt309Δ, prp3, prp4, and prp22, and additional genetic analyses link MRN1, SNT309, NHP6A/B, SWI/SNF, and RSC supporting the notion of a role of chromatin structure in mRNA processing. PMID:23028530

  5. Mechanistic analysis of challenge-response experiments.

    PubMed

    Shotwell, M S; Drake, K J; Sidorov, V Y; Wikswo, J P

    2013-09-01

    We present an application of mechanistic modeling and nonlinear longitudinal regression in the context of biomedical response-to-challenge experiments, a field where these methods are underutilized. In this type of experiment, a system is studied by imposing an experimental challenge, and then observing its response. The combination of mechanistic modeling and nonlinear longitudinal regression has brought new insight, and revealed an unexpected opportunity for optimal design. Specifically, the mechanistic aspect of our approach enables the optimal design of experimental challenge characteristics (e.g., intensity, duration). This article lays some groundwork for this approach. We consider a series of experiments wherein an isolated rabbit heart is challenged with intermittent anoxia. The heart responds to the challenge onset, and recovers when the challenge ends. The mean response is modeled by a system of differential equations that describe a candidate mechanism for cardiac response to anoxia challenge. The cardiac system behaves more variably when challenged than when at rest. Hence, observations arising from this experiment exhibit complex heteroscedasticity and sharp changes in central tendency. We present evidence that an asymptotic statistical inference strategy may fail to adequately account for statistical uncertainty. Two alternative methods are critiqued qualitatively (i.e., for utility in the current context), and quantitatively using an innovative Monte-Carlo method. We conclude with a discussion of the exciting opportunities in optimal design of response-to-challenge experiments. PMID:23859366

  6. Growth Hormone Induces Transforming Growth Factor-Beta-Induced Protein in Podocytes: Implications for Podocyte Depletion and Proteinuria.

    PubMed

    Chitra, P Swathi; Swathi, T; Sahay, Rakesh; Reddy, G Bhanuprakash; Menon, Ram K; Kumar, P Anil

    2015-09-01

    The glomerular podocytes form a major size selective barrier for the filtration of serum proteins and reduced podocyte number is a critical event in the pathogenesis of proteinuria during diabetic nephropathy (DN). An elevated level of growth hormone (GH) is implicated as a causative factor in the development of nephropathy in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. We have previously shown that podocytes express GH receptor and are a target for GH action. To elucidate the molecular basis for the effects of GH on podocyte depletion, we conducted PCR-array analyses for extracellular matrix and adhesion molecules in podocytes. Our studies reveal that GH increases expression of a gene that encodes transforming growth factor-beta-induced protein (TGFBIp) expression. Similarly, microarray data retrieved from the Nephromine database revealed elevation of TGFBIp in patients with DN. Treatment with GH results in increased secretion of extracellular TGFBIp by podocytes. Both GH and TGFBIp induced apoptosis and epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) of podocytes. Exposure of podocytes to GH and TGFBIp resulted in increased migration of cells and altered podocyte permeability to albumin across podocyte monolayer. Administration of GH to rats induced EMT and apoptosis in the glomerular fraction of the kidney. Therefore, we conclude that the GH-dependent increase in TGFBIp in the podocyte is one of the mechanisms responsible for podocyte depletion in DN. PMID:25740786

  7. Clinical implications of transforming growth factor-beta–induced gene-h3 protein expression in lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    He, Changjun; Sun, Dawei; Bai, Xue; Li, Yingbin; Xu, Hai; Xu, Shidong

    2016-01-01

    Aim The clinical implications of transforming growth factor-beta–induced gene-h3 (beta-IGH3) protein expression in lung cancer remain unclear. This study investigated beta-IGH3 protein expression levels and biological function, as well as lung cancer prognosis. Methods Beta-IGH3 protein expression levels were measured in 236 lung cancers and were matched with adjacent noncancerous tissues by immunohistochemical staining. Subsequently, the relationship between beta-IGH3 protein expression, clinical–pathological parameters, and lung cancer prognosis was evaluated. Results Beta-IGH3 protein expression was significantly higher in lung cancer tissues compared with adjacent noncancerous tissues (61.86% vs 22.88%; P=0.01). Of the 236 enrolled cases, 146 (61.86%) showed high beta-IGH3 levels. Tumor size, clinical stage, and lymph node metastasis were significantly related to beta-IGH3 protein expression in univariate analysis (P=0.001, 0.044, and 0.029, respectively), whereas age, sex, and histological type were not (P=0.038, 0.756, and 0.889, respectively). Finally, a Cox regression model also identified beta-IGH3 as an independent prognostic factor (P=0.01). Conclusion Beta-IGH3 is highly expressed in lung cancers and may be a potential target for lung cancer treatments. PMID:27563252

  8. An evaluation of factors influencing pore pressure in accretionary complexes: Implications for taper angle and wedge mechanics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Saffer, D.M.; Bekins, B.A.

    2006-01-01

    At many subduction zones, accretionary complexes form as sediment is off-scraped from the subducting plate. Mechanical models that treat accretionary complexes as critically tapered wedges of sediment demonstrate that pore pressure controls their taper angle by modifying basal and internal shear strength. Here, we combine a numerical model of groundwater flow with critical taper theory to quantify the effects of sediment and de??collement permeability, sediment thickness, sediment partitioning between accretion and underthrusting, and plate convergence rate on steady state pore pressure. Our results show that pore pressure in accretionary wedges can be viewed as a dynamically maintained response to factors which drive pore pressure (source terms) and those that limit flow (permeability and drainage path length). We find that sediment permeability and incoming sediment thickness are the most important factors, whereas fault permeability and the partitioning of sediment have a small effect. For our base case model scenario, as sediment permeability is increased, pore pressure decreases from near-lithostatic to hydrostatic values and allows stable taper angles to increase from ??? 2.5?? to 8??-12.5??. With increased sediment thickness in our models (from 100 to 8000 m), increased pore pressure drives a decrease in stable taper angle from 8.4??-12.5?? to 15?? to <4??) with increased sediment thickness (from <1 to 7 km). One key implication is that hydrologic properties may strongly influence the strength of the crust in a wide range of geologic settings. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. Estimates of utility weights in hemophilia: implications for cost-utility analysis of clotting factor prophylaxis

    PubMed Central

    Grosse, Scott D; Chaugule, Shraddha S; Hay, Joel W

    2015-01-01

    Estimates of preference-weighted health outcomes or health state utilities are needed to assess improvements in health in terms of quality-adjusted life-years. Gains in quality-adjusted life-years are used to assess the cost–effectiveness of prophylactic use of clotting factor compared with on-demand treatment among people with hemophilia, a congenital bleeding disorder. Published estimates of health utilities for people with hemophilia vary, contributing to uncertainty in the estimates of cost–effectiveness of prophylaxis. Challenges in estimating utility weights for the purpose of evaluating hemophilia treatment include selection bias in observational data, difficulty in adjusting for predictors of health-related quality of life and lack of preference-based data comparing adults with lifetime or primary prophylaxis versus no prophylaxis living within the same country and healthcare system. PMID:25585817

  10. Parastomal hernia: an exploration of the risk factors and the implications.

    PubMed

    McGrath, Anthony; Porrett, Theresa; Heyman, Bob

    Risk may be defined as 'the chance that something may happen to cause loss or an adverse effect' (Concise Oxford Medical Dictionary, 2003). Patients undergoing stoma formation are at risk of developing a wide range of complications following surgery. A parastomal hernia is an adverse effect that can contribute to postoperative morbidity. The risk of developing a parastomal hernia is dependent upon a number of variables, and stoma care nurses need to be aware of these to plan the appropriate care for patients undergoing stoma formation. This article discusses the issues surrounding the development of parastomal hernias and also looks at ways in which the risk factors associated with the development of a parastomal hernia may be minimized. PMID:16628167

  11. Implication of tubby proteins as transcription factors by structure-based functional analysis.

    PubMed

    Boggon, T J; Shan, W S; Santagata, S; Myers, S C; Shapiro, L

    1999-12-10

    Tubby-like proteins (TULPs) are found in a broad range of multicellular organisms. In mammals, genetic mutation of tubby or other TULPs can result in one or more of three disease phenotypes: obesity (from which the name "tubby" is derived), retinal degeneration, and hearing loss. These disease phenotypes indicate a vital role for tubby proteins; however, no biochemical function has yet been ascribed to any member of this protein family. A structure-directed approach was employed to investigate the biological function of these proteins. The crystal structure of the core domain from mouse tubby was determined at a resolution of 1.9 angstroms. From primarily structural clues, experiments were devised, the results of which suggest that TULPs are a unique family of bipartite transcription factors. PMID:10591637

  12. Lead in New York City Community Garden Chicken Eggs: Influential Factors and Health Implications

    PubMed Central

    Spliethoff, Henry M.; Mitchell, Rebecca G.; Ribaudo, Lisa N.; Taylor, Owen; Shayler, Hannah A.; Greene, Virginia; Oglesby, Debra

    2014-01-01

    Raising chickens for eggs in urban areas is becoming increasingly common. Urban chickens may be exposed to lead, a common urban soil contaminant. We measured lead concentrations in chicken eggs from New York City (NYC) community gardens and collected information on factors that might affect those concentrations. Lead was detected between 10 and 167 μg/kg in 48% of NYC eggs. Measures of lead in eggs from a henhouse were significantly associated (p<0.005) with lead concentrations in soil. The association between soil and egg lead has been evaluated only once before, by a study of a rural region in Belgium. In our study, the apparent lead soil-to-egg transfer efficiency was considerably lower than that found in Belgium, suggesting that there may be important geographic differences in this transfer. We developed models that suggested that, for sites like ours, lead concentrations in >50% of eggs from a henhouse would exceed store-bought egg concentrations (<7–13 μg/kg; 3% above detection limit) at soil lead concentrations >120 mg/kg, and that the concentration in one of six eggs from a henhouse would exceed a 100 μg/kg guidance value at soil lead concentrations >410 mg/kg. Our models also suggested that the availability of dietary calcium supplements was another influential factor that reduced egg lead concentrations. Estimates of health risk from consuming eggs with the lead concentrations we measured generally were not significant. However, soil lead concentrations in this study were <600 mg/kg, and considerably higher concentrations are not uncommon. Efforts to reduce lead transfer to chicken eggs and associated exposure are recommended for urban chicken keepers. PMID:24287691

  13. Fine scale spatial variability of microbial pesticide degradation in soil: scales, controlling factors, and implications

    PubMed Central

    Dechesne, Arnaud; Badawi, Nora; Aamand, Jens; Smets, Barth F.

    2014-01-01

    Pesticide biodegradation is a soil microbial function of critical importance for modern agriculture and its environmental impact. While it was once assumed that this activity was homogeneously distributed at the field scale, mounting evidence indicates that this is rarely the case. Here, we critically examine the literature on spatial variability of pesticide biodegradation in agricultural soil. We discuss the motivations, methods, and main findings of the primary literature. We found significant diversity in the approaches used to describe and quantify spatial heterogeneity, which complicates inter-studies comparisons. However, it is clear that the presence and activity of pesticide degraders is often highly spatially variable with coefficients of variation often exceeding 50% and frequently displays non-random spatial patterns. A few controlling factors have tentatively been identified across pesticide classes: they include some soil characteristics (pH) and some agricultural management practices (pesticide application, tillage), while other potential controlling factors have more conflicting effects depending on the site or the pesticide. Evidence demonstrating the importance of spatial heterogeneity on the fate of pesticides in soil has been difficult to obtain but modeling and experimental systems that do not include soil's full complexity reveal that this heterogeneity must be considered to improve prediction of pesticide biodegradation rates or of leaching risks. Overall, studying the spatial heterogeneity of pesticide biodegradation is a relatively new field at the interface of agronomy, microbial ecology, and geosciences and a wealth of novel data is being collected from these different disciplinary perspectives. We make suggestions on possible avenues to take full advantage of these investigations for a better understanding and prediction of the fate of pesticides in soil. PMID:25538691

  14. Factors influencing performance in the Hecht vault and implications for modelling.

    PubMed

    King, Mark A; Yeadon, Maurice R

    2005-01-01

    This paper investigated the factors that influence Hecht vault performance and assessed the level of model complexity required to give an adequate representation of vaulting. A five-segment planar simulation model with a visco-elastic shoulder joint and a torque generator at the shoulder joint was used to simulate the contact phase in vaulting. The model was customized to an elite gymnast by determining subject-specific segmental inertia and joint torque parameters. The simulation model was matched to a performance of the Hecht vault by varying the visco-elastic characteristics of the shoulders and the arm-horse interface and the activation time history of the shoulder torque generator until the best match was found. Perturbing the matching simulation demonstrated that appropriate initial kinematics are necessary for a successful performance. Fixing the hip and knee angles at their initial values had a small effect with 3 degrees less rotation. Applying shoulder torque during the contact phase also had a small effect with only a 7 degrees range in landing angles. Excluding the hand segment from the model was found to have a moderate effect with 15 degrees less rotation and the time of contact reduced by 38%. Removing shoulder elasticity resulted in 50 degrees less rotation. The use of a five-segment simulation model confirmed that the use of shoulder torque plays a minor role in vaulting performance and that having appropriate initial kinematics at touchdown is essential. However, factors such as shoulder elasticity and the hands which have previously been ignored also have a substantial influence on performance. PMID:15519350

  15. Factors associated with early growth in Egyptian infants: implications for addressing the dual burden of malnutrition.

    PubMed

    Kavle, Justine A; Flax, Valerie L; Abdelmegeid, Ali; Salah, Farouk; Hafez, Seham; Ramzy, Magda; Hamed, Doaa; Saleh, Gulsen; Galloway, Rae

    2016-01-01

    Optimal nutrition is critical to the attainment of healthy growth, human capital and sustainable development. In Egypt, infants and young children face overlapping forms of malnutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies, stunting and overweight. Yet, in this setting, little is known about the factors associated with growth during the first year of life. A rise in stunting in Lower Egypt from 2005 to 2008 prompted this implementation research study, which followed a longitudinal cohort of infants from birth to 1 year of age within the context of a USAID-funded maternal and child health integrated programme. We sought to determine if growth patterns and factors related to early growth differed in Lower and Upper Egypt, and examined the relationship between weight loss and subsequent stunting at 12 months of age. Growth patterns revealed that length-for-age z-score (LAZ) decreased and weight-for-length z-score (WLZ) increased from 6 to 12 months of age in both regions. One-quarter of infants were stunted and nearly one-third were overweight by 12 months of age in lower Egypt. Minimum dietary diversity was significantly associated with WLZ in Lower Egypt (β = 0.22, P < 0.05), but not in Upper Egypt. Diarrhoea, fever and programme exposure were not associated with any growth outcome. Weight loss during any period was associated with a twofold likelihood of stunting at 12 months in Lower Egypt, but not Upper Egypt. In countries, like Egypt, facing the nutrition transition, infant and young child nutrition programmes need to address both stunting and overweight through improving dietary quality and reducing reliance on energy-dense foods. PMID:26373408

  16. Imbalance of the Nerve Growth Factor and Its Precursor: Implication in Diabetic Retinopathy

    PubMed Central

    Mohamed, Riyaz; El-Remessy, Azza B

    2015-01-01

    Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in working age in US and worldwide. Neurotrophins including nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) and neurotrophin-4 (NT-4) are known to be essential for growth, differentiation and survival of neurons in the developing and mature retina. Nevertheless, a growing body of evidence supports an emerging role of neurotrophins in retinal diseases and in particular, diabetic retinopathy. Neurotrophins are initially synthesized in a pro-form and undergo proteolytic cleavage to produce the mature form that activates two distinctive receptors, the tyrosine kinase tropomycin receptor (Trk) and, to lesser extent, the common low affinity p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR). Despite tight glycemic and metabolic control, many diabetic patients continue to experience progressive retinal damage. Understanding the molecular events involved in diabetic retinopathy is extremely important to identify novel therapeutic strategies to halt the disease progression. Diabetes induces imbalance in neurotrophins by increasing its proform, which is associated with upregulation of the p75NTR receptor in the retina. A growing body of evidence supports a link between the imbalance of pro-neurotrophins and early retinal inflammation, neuro-and microvascular degeneration. Therefore, examining changes in the levels of neurotrophins and its receptors might provide a therapeutically beneficial target to combat disease progression in diabetic patients. This commentary aims to highlight the impact of diabetes-impaired balance of neurotrophins and in particular, the NGF and its receptors; TrkA and p75NTR in the pathology of DR. PMID:26807305

  17. Factors Affecting Diet Variation in the Pyrenean Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica): Conservation Implications

    PubMed Central

    García-González, Ricardo; Aldezabal, Arantza; Laskurain, Nere Amaia; Margalida, Antoni; Novoa, Claude

    2016-01-01

    The Pyrenean rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica) lives at one of the southernmost limits of the ptarmigan range. Their small population sizes and the impacts of global changes are limiting factors in the conservation of this threatened subspecies. An effective conservation policy requires precise basic knowledge of a species' food and habitat requirements, information that is practically non-existent for this Pyrenean population. Here, we describe the diet of a ptarmigan population in the Eastern Pyrenees, the environmental factors influencing its variability and the relationship between diet floristic composition and quality. Diet composition was determined by microhistological analysis of faeces and diet quality was estimated from free-urate faecal N content. Our results show that grouse diet is based mainly on arctic-alpine shrubs of the Ericaceae family, as well as dwarf willows (Salix spp.) and Dryas octopetala. The most frequently consumed plant species was Rhododendron ferrugineum, but its abundance in the diet was negatively related to the diet nitrogen content. Conversely, the abundance of Salix spp., grass leaves and arthropods increased the nitrogen content of the diet. Seasonality associated with snow-melting contributed the most to variability in the Pyrenean ptarmigan diet, differentiating winter from spring/summer diets. The latter was characterised by a high consumption of dwarf willows, flowers, arthropods and tender forb leaves. Geographic area and sex-age class influenced diet variability to a lesser extent. Current temperature increases in the Pyrenees due to global warming may reduce the persistence and surface area of snow-packs where preferred plants for rock ptarmigan usually grow, thus reducing food availability. The high consumption of Rh. ferrugineum characterised the diet of the Pyrenean population. Given the toxicity of this plant for most herbivores, its potential negative effect on Pyrenean ptarmigan populations should be

  18. Factors Affecting Diet Variation in the Pyrenean Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica): Conservation Implications.

    PubMed

    García-González, Ricardo; Aldezabal, Arantza; Laskurain, Nere Amaia; Margalida, Antoni; Novoa, Claude

    2016-01-01

    The Pyrenean rock ptarmigan (Lagopus muta pyrenaica) lives at one of the southernmost limits of the ptarmigan range. Their small population sizes and the impacts of global changes are limiting factors in the conservation of this threatened subspecies. An effective conservation policy requires precise basic knowledge of a species' food and habitat requirements, information that is practically non-existent for this Pyrenean population. Here, we describe the diet of a ptarmigan population in the Eastern Pyrenees, the environmental factors influencing its variability and the relationship between diet floristic composition and quality. Diet composition was determined by microhistological analysis of faeces and diet quality was estimated from free-urate faecal N content. Our results show that grouse diet is based mainly on arctic-alpine shrubs of the Ericaceae family, as well as dwarf willows (Salix spp.) and Dryas octopetala. The most frequently consumed plant species was Rhododendron ferrugineum, but its abundance in the diet was negatively related to the diet nitrogen content. Conversely, the abundance of Salix spp., grass leaves and arthropods increased the nitrogen content of the diet. Seasonality associated with snow-melting contributed the most to variability in the Pyrenean ptarmigan diet, differentiating winter from spring/summer diets. The latter was characterised by a high consumption of dwarf willows, flowers, arthropods and tender forb leaves. Geographic area and sex-age class influenced diet variability to a lesser extent. Current temperature increases in the Pyrenees due to global warming may reduce the persistence and surface area of snow-packs where preferred plants for rock ptarmigan usually grow, thus reducing food availability. The high consumption of Rh. ferrugineum characterised the diet of the Pyrenean population. Given the toxicity of this plant for most herbivores, its potential negative effect on Pyrenean ptarmigan populations should be

  19. Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Singapore: Its Implications to Cardiovascular Risk Factors

    PubMed Central

    Bi, Xinyan; Tey, Siew Ling; Leong, Claudia; Quek, Rina; Henry, Christiani Jeyakumar

    2016-01-01

    Objective Vitamin D deficiency is a global health challenge and has been linked to type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. However, the relationship between vitamin D status, body composition, and cardiovascular risks has not been well characterized in Asian populations. The objectives of this study were to examine the factors associated with the low vitamin D levels in a sunny tropical region and to assess the role of vitamin D status in cardiovascular risk factors. Design and Methods This was a cross-sectional study. One hundred and fourteen healthy participants (59 males and 55 females) residing in Singapore took part in this study. Plasma 25OH-D3 concentration was measured by using LC-MS/MS. Body fat (%) was measured by using three different techniques including bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), BOD POD, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Basic anthropometric measurements, fasting blood glucose (FBG), fasting serum insulin (FSI), and lipid profiles were obtained using standard protocols. Results Approximately 42% of the participants were vitamin D deficient (< 20 ng/mL). Vitamin D status was inversely associated with body fat (%), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), and total cholesterol/high density lipoprotein (TC/HDL) ratio, while positively associated with lean body mass (LBM) and hand grip strength (HGS). Conclusions The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in a sunny tropical region reinforces the need to recognize that sunlight alone is not the precursor for optimal vitamin D status. This raises the need to investigate public health measures that will encourage exposure to sunlight without overexposure that is harmful to skin. More importantly, vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased cardiovascular risks, i.e. HOMA-IR, TC/HDL, and LDL/HDL. Future studies should attempt to elucidate the potential mechanisms. PMID:26799569

  20. Candidaemia with uncommon Candida species: predisposing factors, outcome, antifungal susceptibility, and implications for management.

    PubMed

    Chen, S C A; Marriott, D; Playford, E G; Nguyen, Q; Ellis, D; Meyer, W; Sorrell, T C; Slavin, M

    2009-07-01

    The risk factors for and clinical features of bloodstream infection with uncommon Candida spp. (species other than C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis, C. tropicals and C. krusei) are incompletely defined. To identify clinical variables associated with these species that might guide management, 57 cases of candidaemia resulting from uncommon Candida spp. were analysed in comparison with 517 episodes of Candida albicans candidaemia (2001-2004). Infection with uncommon Candida spp. (5.3% of candidaemia cases), as compared with C. albicans candidaemia, was significantly more likely to be outpatient-acquired than inpatient-acquired (15 of 57 vs. 65 of 517 episodes, p 0.01). Prior exposure to fluconazole was uncommon (n=1). Candida dubliniensis was the commonest species (n=22, 39%), followed by Candida guilliermondii (n=11, 19%) and Candida lusitaniae (n=7, 12%).C. dubliniensis candidaemia was independently associated with recent intravenous drug use (p 0.01) and chronic liver disease (p 0.03), and infection with species other than C. dubliniensis was independently associated with age<65 years (p 0.02), male sex (p 0.03) and human immunodeficiency virus infection (p 0.05). Presence of sepsis at diagnosis and crude 30-day mortality rates were similar for C. dubliniensis-related, non-C. dubliniensis-related and C. albicans-related candidaemia. Haematological malignancy was the commonest predisposing factor in C. guilliermondii (n=3, 27%) and C. lusitaniae (n=3, 43%) candidaemia. The 30-day mortality rate of C. lusitaniae candidaemia was higher than the overall death rate for all uncommon Candida spp. (42.9% vs. 25%, p not significant). All isolates were susceptible to amphotericin B, voriconazole, posaconazole, and caspofungin; five strains (9%) had fluconazole MIC values of 16-32 mg/L. Candidaemia due to uncommon Candida spp. is emerging among hospital outpatients; certain clinical variables may assist in recognition of this entity. PMID:19614718

  1. HPV Literacy and Associated Factors Among Hmong American Immigrants: Implications for Reducing Cervical Cancer Disparity.

    PubMed

    Beltran, Raiza; Simms, Tina; Lee, Hee Yun; Kwon, Melissa

    2016-06-01

    Previous studies show that certain minority and ethnic communities experience low human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates despite a higher cervical cancer burden. HPV is known to be responsible for almost all cervical cancer cases. Hmong Americans, a growing Asian American population, appear to be at increased risk. The cervical cancer incidence rate among Hmong American women is three times higher than other Asian/Pacific Islanders and more than four times higher than Non-Hispanic Whites. Despite such alarming statistics, there is limited research focusing on HPV literacy and its associated factors in the Hmong American community. This study's objectives are to investigate: (1) the level of HPV knowledge among Hmong Americans; (2) HPV vaccination initiation and completion rates of Hmong Americans; and (3) factors associated with HPV literacy in the Hmong American community. Andersen's Behavioral Model of Health Services Use was used as the study's theoretical framework. A self-administered paper and online health survey was completed by192 Hmong Americans living in a major metropolitan area in Minnesota. Results revealed a mean score of 4.76 (SD 1.67) for the 7-item questionnaire measuring HPV knowledge. The HPV vaccination initiation rate was 46.3 % (n = 56), with 32.7 % completing the recommended three doses. Multiple regression analysis found that participants' level of education, number of doctor visits, and cervical cancer screening literacy were significantly associated with HPV knowledge. This study's results indicate the important role of health providers in educating Hmong Americans patients about HPV and cervical cancer prevention to decrease the cervical cancer burden in this high-risk population. PMID:26696118

  2. Density profiles of CDM microhalos and their implications for annihilation boost factors

    SciTech Connect

    Anderhalden, Donnino; Diemand, Juerg E-mail: diemand@physik.uzh.ch

    2013-04-01

    In a standard cold dark matter (CDM) cosmology, microhalos at the CDM cutoff scale are the first and smallest objects expected to form in the universe. Here we present results of high resolution simulations of three representative roughly Earth-mass microhalos in order to determine their inner density profile. We find that CDM microhalos in simulations without a cutoff in the power spectrum roughly follow the NFW density profile, just like the much larger CDM halos on galaxy and galaxy cluster scales. But having a cutoff in the initial power spectrum at a typical neutralino free streaming scale of 10{sup −7}M{sub s}un makes their inner density profiles considerably steeper, i.e. ρ∝r{sup −(1.3−1.4)}, in good agreement with the results from Ishiyama et al. (2010). An extrapolation of the halo and subhalo mass functions down to the cutoff scale indicates that microhalos are extremely abundant throughout the present day dark matter distribution and might contribute significantly to indirect dark matter detection signals. Assuming a transition from a NFW to a steeper inner profile (ρ∝r{sup −1.4}) two orders of magnitude above the cutoff scale, the total boost factor for a Milky Way sized dark matter halo increases from about 3.5 to 4. We further find that CDM microhalo concentrations are consistent with the Bullock et al. (2001) model and clearly rule out simplistic power law models for the mass dependence of concentrations and subhalo annihilation, which would erroneously lead to very large boost factors (a few hundred for galaxy halos and over 1000 for clusters)

  3. Meningococcal Factor H Binding Proteins in Epidemic Strains from Africa: Implications for Vaccine Development

    PubMed Central

    Pajon, Rolando; Fergus, Andrew M.; Koeberling, Oliver; Caugant, Dominique A.; Granoff, Dan M.

    2011-01-01

    Background Factor H binding protein (fHbp) is an important antigen for vaccines against meningococcal serogroup B disease. The protein binds human factor H (fH), which enables the bacteria to resist serum bactericidal activity. Little is known about the vaccine-potential of fHbp for control of meningococcal epidemics in Africa, which typically are caused by non-group B strains. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated genes encoding fHbp in 106 serogroup A, W-135 and X case isolates from 17 African countries. We determined complement-mediated bactericidal activity of antisera from mice immunized with recombinant fHbp vaccines, or a prototype native outer membrane vesicle (NOMV) vaccine from a serogroup B mutant strain with over-expressed fHbp. Eighty-six of the isolates (81%) had one of four prevalent fHbp sequence variants, ID 4/5 (serogroup A isolates), 9 (W-135), or 74 (X) in variant group 1, or ID 22/23 (W-135) in variant group 2. More than one-third of serogroup A isolates and two-thirds of W-135 isolates tested had low fHbp expression while all X isolates tested had intermediate or high expression. Antisera to the recombinant fHbp vaccines were generally bactericidal only against isolates with fHbp sequence variants that closely matched the respective vaccine ID. Low fHbp expression also contributed to resistance to anti-fHbp bactericidal activity. In contrast to the recombinant vaccines, the NOMV fHbp ID 1 vaccine elicited broad anti-fHbp bactericidal activity, and the antibodies had greater ability to inhibit binding of fH to fHbp than antibodies elicited by the control recombinant fHbp ID 1 vaccine. Conclusion/Significance NOMV vaccines from mutants with increased fHbp expression elicit an antibody repertoire with greater bactericidal activity than recombinant fHbp vaccines. NOMV vaccines are promising for prevention of meningococcal disease in Africa and could be used to supplement coverage conferred by a serogroup A polysaccharide-protein conjugate

  4. Psychological factors influencing adoption of postural training devices: implications for practice.

    PubMed

    Fleiter, Judy; Walsh, Shari; Biggs, Herbert

    2009-01-01

    This paper details an exploratory investigation of psychological factors that may influence the adoption/rejection of postural training devices from the perspectives of two potential user groups (clients and practitioners). The aim was to elicit perceived advantages and disadvantages from potential users and to apply psychological principles to examine, and potentially counter perceived barriers to use. A small sample (50) of general public members, physiotherapists and occupational therapists were surveyed using open-ended questions designed to elicit information about current practices and attitudinal beliefs about postural training. Results suggested that members of the public fall into two categories according to whether they would use the device for prevention or treatment. This group identified issues such as lack of need, time consuming, and motivations to comply. Practitioners highlighted that lack of research, lack of ability to trial a product, and issues of cost and non-compliance by consumers and were seen as prohibitory to use. A number of theoretical principles of behaviour change were then related to the findings including: the stages of change model, behavioural learning, message framing, persuasion, attitude-behaviour relationships, motivations and impression management. Client cost objections to treatments and the need to integrate research findings into practice are also discussed. PMID:19276521

  5. Factors influencing the oxidation of cysteamine and other thiols: implications for hyperthermic sensitization and radiation protection

    SciTech Connect

    Biaglow, J.E.; Issels, R.W.; Gerweck, L.E.; Varnes, M.E.; Jacobson, B.; Mittchell, J.B.; Russo, A.

    1984-11-01

    Some of the factors influencing the oxygen uptake and peroxide formation for cysteamine (MEA) and other thiols in serum-supplemented modified McCoy's 5A, a well-known medium used to cultivate a variety of cells in vitro, have been studied. The oxidation of MEA and cysteine in modified McCoy's 5A has been compared with that in Ham's F-12, MEM, and phosphate-buffered saline. The ability to produce peroxide is dependent upon the temperature, the concentration of thiol, the presence of copper ions, and pH of the medium. Catalase also reduces the oxygen uptake for all thiols. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) was found to stimulate the oxygen uptake in the case of MEA and cysteine, but had little or no effect with DTT and glutathione. The combined presence of SOD and catalase resulted in less inhibition of oxygen uptake than that obtained by catalase alone. Alkaline pH was found to enhance the oxidation of cysteine and MEA. The results indicate that many problems may arise when thiols are added to various media. A major consideration is concerned with the production of peroxide, superoxide, and reduced trace metal intermediates. The presence of these intermediates may result in the production of hydroxyl radical intermediates as well as the eventual oxygen depletion from the medium.

  6. Factors influencing sorption of ciprofloxacin onto activated sludge: experimental assessment and modelling implications.

    PubMed

    Polesel, Fabio; Lehnberg, Kai; Dott, Wolfgang; Trapp, Stefan; Thomas, Kevin V; Plósz, Benedek Gy

    2015-01-01

    Many of the pharmaceuticals and personal care products occurring in municipal sewage are ionizing substances, and their partitioning behaviour is affected by ionic interactions with solid matrices. In activated sludge systems, such interactions have currently not been adequately understood and described, particularly for zwitterionic chemicals. Here we present an assessment of the effects of pH and iron salt dosing on the sorption of ciprofloxacin onto activated sludge using laboratory experiments and full-scale fate modelling. Experimental results were described with Freundlich isotherms and showed that non-linear sorption occurred under all the conditions tested. The greatest sorption potential was measured at pH=7.4, at which ciprofloxacin is speciated mostly as zwitterion. Iron salt dosing increased sorption under aerobic and, to a lesser extent, anoxic conditions, whereas no effect was registered under anaerobic conditions. The activated sludge model for xenobiotics (ASM-X) was extended with Freundlich-based sorption kinetics and used to predict the fate of ciprofloxacin in a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP). Scenario simulations, using experimental Freundlich parameters, were used to identify whether the assessed factors caused a significant increase of aqueous ciprofloxacin concentration in full-scale bioreactors. Simulation results suggest that a pH increase, rather than a reduction in iron salt dosing, could be responsible for a systematic deterioration of sorption of ciprofloxacin in the WWTP. PMID:24972177

  7. Transforming Growth Factor-Beta and Oxidative Stress Interplay: Implications in Tumorigenesis and Cancer Progression

    PubMed Central

    Krstić, Jelena; Trivanović, Drenka; Mojsilović, Slavko; Santibanez, Juan F.

    2015-01-01

    Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) and oxidative stress/Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) both have pivotal roles in health and disease. In this review we are analyzing the interplay between TGF-β and ROS in tumorigenesis and cancer progression. They have contradictory roles in cancer progression since both can have antitumor effects, through the induction of cell death, senescence and cell cycle arrest, and protumor effects by contributing to cancer cell spreading, proliferation, survival, and metastasis. TGF-β can control ROS production directly or by downregulating antioxidative systems. Meanwhile, ROS can influence TGF-β signaling and increase its expression as well as its activation from the latent complex. This way, both are building a strong interplay which can be taken as an advantage by cancer cells in order to increment their malignancy. In addition, both TGF-β and ROS are able to induce cell senescence, which in one way protects damaged cells from neoplastic transformation but also may collaborate in cancer progression. The mutual collaboration of TGF-β and ROS in tumorigenesis is highly complex, and, due to their differential roles in tumor progression, careful consideration should be taken when thinking of combinatorial targeting in cancer therapies. PMID:26078812

  8. [Mechanism of production and release of tumor necrosis factor implicated in inflammatory diseases].

    PubMed

    Hide, Izumi

    2003-03-01

    Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a potent inflammatory cytokine involved in many pathophysiological conditions including rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. Despite recent evidence regarding signal transduction via TNF receptor and its biological actions, the mechanism of TNF release remains poorly understood. To clarify how production and release of TNF are regulated, we focused on mast cells and microglia which are involved in allergic inflammation and brain damage or recovery, respectively. In RBL-2H3 mast cells, anti-allergic drugs including azelastine inhibited the release of TNF more potently than degranulation in response to antigen or ionomycin. It was also demonstrated that TNF releasing steps are regulated via the PKC alpha-dependent pathway. Furthermore, Rho GTPases, possibly Rac, were shown to be involved in antigen-induced TNF transcription through activating PKC beta I. In cultured rat brain microglia, we found that extracellular ATP triggers the release of TNF via the P2X7 receptor. ERK and JNK are also involved in ATP-induced TNF transcription, while p38 regulates the transport of TNF mRNA from the nucleus to the cytosol. Additionally, JNK and p38, but not ERK, are activated via the P2X7 receptor. A better understanding of the specific pathways that regulate TNF release for each effector cell may offer further possible therapeutic targets for inflammatory diseases. PMID:12673950

  9. African Swine Fever Virus Infection Induces Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha Production: Implications in Pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Gómez del Moral, M.; Ortuño, E.; Fernández-Zapatero, P.; Alonso, F.; Alonso, C.; Ezquerra, A.; Domínguez, J.

    1999-01-01

    We have analyzed the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) induced by in vitro infection with African swine fever (ASF) virus (ASFV) and the systemic and local release of this inflammatory cytokine upon in vivo infection. An early increase in TNF-α mRNA expression was detected in ASFV-infected alveolar macrophages, and high levels of TNF-α protein were detected by ELISA in culture supernatants from these cells. When animals were experimentally infected with a virulent isolate (E-75), enhanced TNF-α expression in mainly affected organs correlated with viral protein expression. Finally, elevated levels of TNF-α were detected in serum, corresponding to the onset of clinical signs. TNF-α has been reported to be critically involved in the pathogenesis of major clinical events in ASF, such as intravascular coagulation, tissue injury, apoptosis, and shock. In the present study, TNF-α containing supernatants from ASFV-infected cultures induced apoptosis in uninfected lymphocytes; this effect was partially abrogated by preincubation with an anti-TNF-α specific antibody. These results suggest a relevant role for TNF-α in the pathogenesis of ASF. PMID:9971800

  10. Targeting frequent users of emergency departments: Prominent risk factors and policy implications.

    PubMed

    Leporatti, Lucia; Ameri, Marta; Trinchero, Chiara; Orcamo, Patrizia; Montefiori, Marcello

    2016-05-01

    This study investigates the characteristics of frequent users of accident and emergency departments (AEDs) and recommends alternative medical services for such patients. Prominent demographic and clinical risk factors for individuals accessing seven AEDs located in the metropolitan area of Genoa, Italy are identified and analysed. A truncated count data model is implemented to establish the determinants of access, while a multinomial logistic regression is used to highlight potential differences among different user categories. According to previous studies, empirical findings suggest that despite the relevance of demographic drivers, vulnerability conditions (e.g. abuse of alcohol and drugs, chronic conditions, and psychological distress) are the main reasons behind frequent AED use; the analysis seems to confirm an association between AED frequent use and lower level of urgency. Since frequent and highly frequent users are found responsible for disproportionate resource absorption with respect to total amount of AED costs (they represent roughly 10% of the total number of patients, but contribute to more than 19% of the total annual AED cost), policies aiming to reduce frequent use of AEDs could bring significant savings in economic resources. Thus, efficient actions could be oriented toward extending primary care services outside AED and toward instituting local aid services specifically addressed to people under the influence of substances or in conditions of mental distress. PMID:27033015

  11. Desmoglein 4 is Regulated by Transcription Factors Implicated in Hair Shaft Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Bazzi, Hisham; Demehri, Shadmehr; Potter, Christopher S.; Barber, Alison G.; Awgulewitsch, Alexander; Kopan, Raphael; Christiano, Angela M.

    2010-01-01

    The hair fiber is made of specialized keratinocytes, known as trichocytes, that primarily express hair keratins which are cemented by a multitude of keratin-associated proteins (KAPs). The hair keratins form the intermediate filament cytoskeleton of the trichocytes, which are linked to abundant cell-cell adhesion junctions, called desmosomes. Desmoglein 4 (DSG4) is the major desmosomal cadherin expressed in the hair shaft cortex where the hair keratins are highly expressed. In humans, mutations affecting either the hair keratins or DSG4 lead to beaded hair phenotypes with features of monilethrix. In this work, we postulated that the regulatory pathways governing the expression of hair shaft components, such as hair keratins and DSG4, are similar. Therefore, we studied the transcriptional regulation of DSG4 by transcription factors/pathways that are known regulators of hair keratin or KAP expression. We show that HOXC13, LEF1 and FOXN1 repress DSG4 transcription and provide in vitro and in vivo evidence correlating the Notch pathway with the activation and/or maintenance of DSG4 expression in the hair follicle. PMID:19683850

  12. Stress-Related Factors in Cannabis Use and Misuse: Implications for Prevention and Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Hyman, Scott M.; Sinha, Rajita

    2009-01-01

    We examined the role of stress as a risk factor and motivation for cannabis use/misuse. A systematic review of studies gathered from PsychINFO and MEDLINE databases was conducted. Findings suggest that cannabis is commonly used as a stress-coping strategy. Negative life events, trauma, and maladaptive coping were all related to consumption. Cannabis use for stress-coping purposes was most evident when examining chronic as compared with experimental use. While many individuals may be able to use cannabis without consequences, there appears to be a subset of individuals who experience greater life stress and who may be more likely to use for stress-coping purposes. These individuals may be at greatest risk for addiction. Chronic use may potentiate stress-related motivation to use/abuse cannabis and is associated with decision making deficits and alterations in brain-stress pathways that may exacerbate compulsive drug-seeking and sensitize individuals to stress-related drug use. Overall, stress-coping interventions and harm reduction focused on reducing the amount ingested may facilitate prevention and recovery efforts. PMID:19004601

  13. Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 (FGF-21) in Peritoneal Dialysis Patients: Natural History and Metabolic Implications

    PubMed Central

    González, Elena; Díez, Juan J.; Bajo, M. Auxiliadora; del Peso, Gloria; Grande, Cristina; Rodríguez, Olaia; Díaz-Almirón, Mariana

    2016-01-01

    Background Human fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF-21) is an endocrine liver hormone that stimulates adipocyte glucose uptake independently of insulin, suppresses hepatic glucose production and is involved in the regulation of body fat. Peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients suffer potential interference with FGF-21 status with as yet unknown repercussions. Objectives The aim of this study was to define the natural history of FGF-21 in PD patients, to analyze its relationship with glucose homeostasis parameters and to study the influence of residual renal function and peritoneal functional parameters on FGF-21 levels and their variation over time. Methods We studied 48 patients with uremia undergoing PD. Plasma samples were routinely obtained from each patient at baseline and at 1, 2 and 3 years after starting PD therapy. Results Plasma FGF-21 levels substantially increased over the first year and were maintained at high levels during the remainder of the study period (253 pg/ml (59; 685) at baseline; 582 pg/ml (60.5–949) at first year and 647 pg/ml (120.5–1116.6) at third year) (p<0.01). We found a positive correlation between time on dialysis and FGF-21 levels (p<0.001), and also, those patients with residual renal function (RRF) had significantly lower levels of FGF-21 than those without RRF (ρ -0.484, p<0.05). Lastly, there was also a significant association between FGF-21 levels and peritoneal protein losses (PPL), independent of the time on dialysis (ρ 0.410, p<0.05). Conclusion Our study shows that FGF-21 plasma levels in incident PD patients significantly increase during the first 3 years. This increment is dependent on or is associated with RRF and PPL (higher levels in patients with lower RRF and higher PPL). FGF-21 might be an important endocrine agent in PD patients and could act as hormonal signaling to maintain glucose homeostasis and prevent potential insulin resistance. These preliminary results suggest that FGF-21 might play a protective role as

  14. Mechanistic Modeling of Emergency Events: Assessing the Impact of Hypothetical Releases of Anthrax

    PubMed Central

    Isukapalli, S. S.; Lioy, P. J.; Georgopoulos, P. G.

    2011-01-01

    A modular system for source-to-dose-to-effect modeling analysis has been developed based on the modeling environment for total risk studies (MENTOR),(1) and applied to study the impacts of hypothetical atmospheric releases of anthrax spores. The system, MENTOR-2E (MENTOR for Emergency Events), provides mechanistically consistent analysis of inhalation exposures for various release scenarios, while allowing consideration of specific susceptible subpopulations (such as the elderly) at the resolution of individual census tracts. The MENTOR-2E application presented here includes atmospheric dispersion modeling, statistically representative samples of individuals along with corresponding activity patterns, and population-based dosimetry modeling that accounts for activity and physiological variability. Two hypothetical release scenarios were simulated: a 100 g release of weaponized B. anthracis over a period of (a) one hour and (b) 10 hours, and the impact of these releases on population in the State of New Jersey was studied. Results were compared with those from simplified modeling of population dynamics (location, activities, etc.), and atmospheric dispersion of anthrax spores. The comparisons showed that in the two release scenarios simulated, each major approximation resulted in an overestimation of the number of probable infections by a factor of 5 to 10; these overestimations can have significant public health implications when preparing for and responding effectively to an actual release. This is in addition to uncertainties in dose-response modeling, which result in an additional factor of 5 to 10 variation in estimated casualties. The MENTOR-2E system has been developed in a modular fashion so that improvements in individual modules can be readily made without impacting the other modules, and provides a first step toward the development of models that can be used in supporting real-time decision making. PMID:18643828

  15. Mechanistic study of copper-catalyzed aerobic oxidative coupling of arylboronic esters and methanol: insights into an organometallic oxidase reaction.

    PubMed

    King, Amanda E; Brunold, Thomas C; Stahl, Shannon S

    2009-04-15

    Copper-catalyzed aerobic oxidative coupling of arylboronic acid derivatives and heteroatom nucleophiles is a highly useful method for the formation of aryl-heteroatom bonds. Mechanistic studies reveal that this reaction proceeds via an "oxidase"-style mechanism. Kinetic and spectroscopic studies establish that transmetalation of the aryl group from boron to Cu(II) is the turnover-limiting step and reoxidation of the reduced catalyst by O(2) is rapid. Further mechanistic analysis implicates the involvement of an aryl-copper(III) intermediate that undergoes facile C-O bond formation. PMID:19309072

  16. Tissue factor expression in ovarian cancer: implications for immunotherapy with hI-con1, a factor VII-IgGF(c) chimeric protein targeting tissue factor.

    PubMed

    Cocco, Emiliano; Varughese, Joyce; Buza, Natalia; Bellone, Stefania; Lin, Ken-Yu; Bellone, Marta; Todeschini, Paola; Silasi, Dan-Arin; Azodi, Masoud; Schwartz, Peter E; Rutherford, Thomas J; Carrara, Luisa; Tassi, Renata; Pecorelli, Sergio; Lockwood, Charles J; Santin, Alessandro D

    2011-10-01

    We evaluated the expression of tissue factor (TF) in ovarian cancer (EOC) and the potential of hI-con1, an antibody-like molecule targeting TF, as a novel form of therapy against chemotherapy-resistant ovarian disease. We studied the expression of TF in 88 EOC by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and real-time-PCR (qRT-PCR) and the levels of membrane-bound-complement-regulatory-proteins CD46, CD55 and CD59 in primary EOC cell lines by flow-cytometry. Sensitivity to hI-con1-dependent-cell-mediated-cytotoxicity (IDCC), complement-dependent-cell-cytotoxicity and inhibition of IDCC by γ-immunoglobulin were evaluated in 5-h (51)chromium-release-assays. Cytoplasmic and/or membrane TF expression was observed in 24 out of 25 (96%) of the EOC samples tested by IHC, but not in normal ovarian-tissue. EOC with clear cell histology significantly overexpress TF when compared to serous, endometrioid, or undifferentiated tumors by qRT-PCR. With a single exception, all primary EOC that overexpressed TF demonstrated high levels of CD46, CD55 and CD59 and regardless of their histology or resistance to chemotherapy, were highly sensitive to IDCC. The effect of complement and physiologic doses of γ-immunoglobulin on IDCC in ovarian cancer cell lines overexpressing TF was tumor specific and related to the overexpression of CD59 on tumor cells. Small-interfering-RNA-mediated knockdown of CD59 expression in ovarian tumors significantly increased hI-con1-mediated cytotoxic activity in vitro. Finally, low doses of interleukin-2 further increased the cytotoxic effect induced by hI-con1 (P < 0.01). hI-con1 molecule induces strong cytotoxicity against primary chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer cell lines overexpressing TF and may represent a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of ovarian tumors refractory to standard treatment modalities. PMID:21725665

  17. Tissue factor expression in ovarian cancer: implications for immunotherapy with hI-con1, a factor VII-IgGFc chimeric protein targeting tissue factor

    PubMed Central

    Cocco, Emiliano; Varughese, Joyce; Buza, Natalia; Bellone, Stefania; Lin, Ken-Yu; Bellone, Marta; Todeschini, Paola; Silasi, Dan-Arin; Azodi, Masoud; Schwartz, Peter E.; Rutherford, Thomas J.; Carrara, Luisa; Tassi, Renata; Pecorelli, Sergio; Lockwood, Charles J.

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated the expression of tissue factor (TF) in ovarian cancer (EOC) and the potential of hI-con1, an antibody-like molecule targeting TF, as a novel form of therapy against chemotherapy-resistant ovarian disease. We studied the expression of TF in 88 EOC by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and real-time-PCR (qRT-PCR) and the levels of membrane-bound-complement-regulatory-proteins CD46, CD55 and CD59 in primary EOC cell lines by flow-cytometry. Sensitivity to hI-con1-dependent-cell-mediated-cytotoxicity (IDCC), complement-dependent-cell-cytotoxicity and inhibition of IDCC by γ-immunoglobulin were evaluated in 5-h 51chromium-release-assays. Cytoplasmic and/or membrane TF expression was observed in 24 out of 25 (96%) of the EOC samples tested by IHC, but not in normal ovarian-tissue. EOC with clear cell histology significantly overexpress TF when compared to serous, endometrioid, or undifferentiated tumors by qRT-PCR. With a single exception, all primary EOC that overexpressed TF demonstrated high levels of CD46, CD55 and CD59 and regardless of their histology or resistance to chemotherapy, were highly sensitive to IDCC. The effect of complement and physiologic doses of γ-immunoglobulin on IDCC in ovarian cancer cell lines overexpressing TF was tumor specific and related to the overexpression of CD59 on tumor cells. Small-interfering-RNA-mediated knockdown of CD59 expression in ovarian tumors significantly increased hI-con1-mediated cytotoxic activity in vitro. Finally, low doses of interleukin-2 further increased the cytotoxic effect induced by hI-con1 (P < 0.01). hI-con1 molecule induces strong cytotoxicity against primary chemotherapy-resistant ovarian cancer cell lines overexpressing TF and may represent a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of ovarian tumors refractory to standard treatment modalities. PMID:21725665

  18. Ecological factors influencing HIV sexual risk and resilience among young people in rural Kenya: implications for prevention.

    PubMed

    Harper, Gary W; Riplinger, Andrew J; Neubauer, Leah C; Murphy, Alexandra G; Velcoff, Jessica; Bangi, Audrey K

    2014-02-01

    Most new HIV infections in Kenya occur among young people. The purpose of this study was to understand ecological factors that influence HIV-related sexual risk and resilience among young people in rural Kenya and to elicit their ideas for HIV prevention interventions. Nine focus groups (N = 199) were conducted with both female (55%) and male (45%) participants (ages 14-24 years) living in rural communities in Kenya. Findings were organized into thematic areas related to the following systems of influence: (i) intrapersonal (substance use, HIV knowledge), (ii) interpersonal (peer pressure, lack of parent-child communication, interpersonal sexual violence), (iii) institutional/community (pornography, transactional sex, 'idleness', lack of role models) and (iv) socio-cultural/policy (Kikuyu culture, Western influence, religious beliefs, HIV-related stigma and gendered sexual scripts). Results regarding the types of HIV prevention programs that participants believed should be developed for young people in rural Kenya revealed seven primary themes, including (i) HIV prevention community/group workshops, (ii) condom distribution, (iii) job skills trainings, (iv) athletic and social clubs, (v) HIV-related stigma reduction campaigns, (vi) community-wide demonstrations and (vii) other HIV/AIDS activities led by young people. Implications for the development of culturally and developmentally appropriate HIV prevention interventions for young people in rural Kenya are discussed. PMID:23969629

  19. Factors influencing spatial pattern in tropical forest clearance and stand age: Implications for carbon storage and species diversity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helmer, E. H.; Brandeis, Thomas J.; Lugo, Ariel E.; Kennaway, Todd

    2008-06-01

    Little is known about the tropical forests that undergo clearing as urban/built-up and other developed lands spread. This study uses remote sensing-based maps of Puerto Rico, multinomial logit models and forest inventory data to explain patterns of forest age and the age of forests cleared for land development and assess their implications for forest carbon storage and tree species richness. Accessibility, arability and spatial contagion emerge strongly as overriding spatial controls on tropical forest age, determining (1) the pattern of agricultural abandonment that permits forest regrowth, and (2) where humans leave old-growth forest remnants. Covariation between the factors patterning forest age and land development explains why most forest cleared for land development is younger. Forests are increasingly younger in more accessible and fertile areas where agriculture has lasted longer and land development is most common. All else equal, more species-rich older forest on less arable lands are somewhat less likely to undergo development, but they are still vulnerable to clearing for land development if close to urban centers and unprotected. Accounting for forest age leads to a 19% lower estimate of forest biomass cleared for land development than if forest age is not accounted for.

  20. DNA methylation analysis of Homeobox genes implicates HOXB7 hypomethylation as risk factor for neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Rochtus, Anne; Izzi, Benedetta; Vangeel, Elise; Louwette, Sophie; Wittevrongel, Christine; Lambrechts, Diether; Moreau, Yves; Winand, Raf; Verpoorten, Carla; Jansen, Katrien; Van Geet, Chris; Freson, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common birth defects of complex etiology. Though family- and population-based studies have confirmed a genetic component, the responsible genes for NTDs are still largely unknown. Based on the hypothesis that folic acid prevents NTDs by stimulating methylation reactions, epigenetic factors, such as DNA methylation, are predicted to be involved in NTDs. Homeobox (HOX) genes play a role in spinal cord development and are tightly regulated in a spatiotemporal and collinear manner, partly by epigenetic modifications. We have quantified DNA methylation for the different HOX genes by subtracting values from a genome-wide methylation analysis using leukocyte DNA from 10 myelomeningocele (MMC) patients and 6 healthy controls. From the 1575 CpGs profiled for the 4 HOX clusters, 26 CpGs were differentially methylated (P-value < 0.05; β-difference > 0.05) between MMC patients and controls. Seventy-seven percent of these CpGs were located in the HOXA and HOXB clusters, with the most profound difference for 3 CpGs within the HOXB7 gene body. A validation case-control study including 83 MMC patients and 30 unrelated healthy controls confirmed a significant association between MMC and HOXB7 hypomethylation (-14.4%; 95% CI: 11.9–16.9%; P-value < 0.0001) independent of the MTHFR 667C>T genotype. Significant HOXB7 hypomethylation was also present in 12 unaffected siblings, each related to a MMC patient, suggestive of an epigenetic change induced by the mother. The inclusion of a neural tube formation model using zebrafish showed that Hoxb7a overexpression but not depletion resulted in deformed body axes with dysmorphic neural tube formation. Our results implicate HOXB7 hypomethylation as risk factor for NTDs and highlight the importance for future genome-wide DNA methylation analyses without preselecting candidate pathways. PMID:25565354

  1. DNA methylation analysis of Homeobox genes implicates HOXB7 hypomethylation as risk factor for neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Rochtus, Anne; Izzi, Benedetta; Vangeel, Elise; Louwette, Sophie; Wittevrongel, Christine; Lambrechts, Diether; Moreau, Yves; Winand, Raf; Verpoorten, Carla; Jansen, Katrien; Van Geet, Chris; Freson, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Neural tube defects (NTDs) are common birth defects of complex etiology. Though family- and population-based studies have confirmed a genetic component, the responsible genes for NTDs are still largely unknown. Based on the hypothesis that folic acid prevents NTDs by stimulating methylation reactions, epigenetic factors, such as DNA methylation, are predicted to be involved in NTDs. Homeobox (HOX) genes play a role in spinal cord development and are tightly regulated in a spatiotemporal and collinear manner, partly by epigenetic modifications. We have quantified DNA methylation for the different HOX genes by subtracting values from a genome-wide methylation analysis using leukocyte DNA from 10 myelomeningocele (MMC) patients and 6 healthy controls. From the 1575 CpGs profiled for the 4 HOX clusters, 26 CpGs were differentially methylated (P-value < 0.05; β-difference > 0.05) between MMC patients and controls. Seventy-seven percent of these CpGs were located in the HOXA and HOXB clusters, with the most profound difference for 3 CpGs within the HOXB7 gene body. A validation case-control study including 83 MMC patients and 30 unrelated healthy controls confirmed a significant association between MMC and HOXB7 hypomethylation (-14.4%; 95% CI: 11.9-16.9%; P-value < 0.0001) independent of the MTHFR 667C>T genotype. Significant HOXB7 hypomethylation was also present in 12 unaffected siblings, each related to a MMC patient, suggestive of an epigenetic change induced by the mother. The inclusion of a neural tube formation model using zebrafish showed that Hoxb7a overexpression but not depletion resulted in deformed body axes with dysmorphic neural tube formation. Our results implicate HOXB7 hypomethylation as risk factor for NTDs and highlight the importance for future genome-wide DNA methylation analyses without preselecting candidate pathways. PMID:25565354

  2. Mechanistic facility safety and source term analysis

    SciTech Connect

    PLYS, M.G.

    1999-06-09

    A PC-based computer program was created for facility safety and source term analysis at Hanford The program has been successfully applied to mechanistic prediction of source terms from chemical reactions in underground storage tanks, hydrogen combustion in double contained receiver tanks, and proccss evaluation including the potential for runaway reactions in spent nuclear fuel processing. Model features include user-defined facility room, flow path geometry, and heat conductors, user-defined non-ideal vapor and aerosol species, pressure- and density-driven gas flows, aerosol transport and deposition, and structure to accommodate facility-specific source terms. Example applications are presented here.

  3. Mechanistic studies of carbon monoxide reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Geoffroy, G.L.

    1990-06-12

    The progress made during the current grant period (1 January 1988--1 April 1990) in three different areas of research is summarized. The research areas are: (1) oxidatively-induced double carbonylation reactions to form {alpha}-ketoacyl complexes and studies of the reactivity of the resulting compounds, (2) mechanistic studies of the carbonylation of nitroaromatics to form isocyanates, carbamates, and ureas, and (3) studies of the formation and reactivity of unusual metallacycles and alkylidene ligands supported on binuclear iron carbonyl fragments. 18 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  4. Composite Nanomechanics: A Mechanistic Properties Prediction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamis, Christos C.; Handler, Louis M.; Manderscheid, Jane M.

    2007-01-01

    A unique mechanistic theory is described to predict the properties of nanocomposites. The theory is based on composite micromechanics with progressive substructuring down to a nanoscale slice of a nanofiber where all the governing equations are formulated. These equations hav e been programmed in a computer code. That computer code is used to predict 25 properties of a mononanofiber laminate. The results are pr esented graphically and discussed with respect to their practical sig nificance. Most of the results show smooth distributions. Results for matrix-dependent properties show bimodal through-the-thickness distr ibution with discontinuous changes from mode to mode.

  5. Composite Nanomechanics: A Mechanistic Properties Prediction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chamis, Christos C.; Handler, Louis M.; Manderscheid, Jane M.

    2007-01-01

    A unique mechanistic theory is described to predict the properties of nanocomposites. The theory is based on composite micromechanics with progressive substructuring down to a nanoscale slice of a nanofiber where all the governing equations are formulated. These equations have been programmed in a computer code. That computer code is used to predict 25 properties of a mononanofiber laminate. The results are presented graphically and discussed with respect to their practical significance. Most of the results show smooth distributions. Results for matrix-dependent properties show bimodal through-the-thickness distribution with discontinuous changes from mode to mode.

  6. Appropriateness of mechanistic and non-mechanistic models for the application of ultrafiltration to mixed waste

    SciTech Connect

    Foust, Henry; Ghosehajra, Malay

    2007-07-01

    This study asks two questions: (1) How appropriate is the use of a basic filtration equation to the application of ultrafiltration of mixed waste, and (2) How appropriate are non-parametric models for permeate rates (volumes)? To answer these questions, mechanistic and non-mechanistic approaches are developed for permeate rates and volumes associated with an ultrafiltration/mixed waste system in dia-filtration mode. The mechanistic approach is based on a filtration equation which states that t/V vs. V is a linear relationship. The coefficients associated with this linear regression are composed of physical/chemical parameters of the system and based the mass balance equation associated with the membrane and associated developing cake layer. For several sets of data, a high correlation is shown that supports the assertion that t/V vs. V is a linear relationship. It is also shown that non-mechanistic approaches, i.e., the use of regression models to are not appropriate. One models considered is Q(p) = a*ln(Cb)+b. Regression models are inappropriate because the scale-up from a bench scale (pilot scale) study to full-scale for permeate rates (volumes) is not simply the ratio of the two membrane surface areas. (authors)

  7. Evaluating National Environmental Sustainability: Performance Measures and Influential Factors for OECD-Member Countries featuring Canadian Performance and Policy Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calbick, Kenneth S.

    This research reviews five studies that evaluate national environmental sustainability with composite indices; performs uncertainty and sensitivity analyses of techniques for building a composite index; completes principal components factor analysis to help build subindices measuring waste and pollution, sustainable energy, sustainable food, nature conservation, and sustainable cities (Due to its current importance, the greenhouse gases (GHG) indicator is included individually as another policy measure.); analyses factors that seem to influence performance: climate, population growth, population density, economic output, technological development, industrial structure, energy prices, environmental governance, pollution abatement and control expenditures, and environmental pricing; and explores Canadian policy implications of the results. The techniques to build composite indices include performance indicator selection, missing data treatment, normalisation technique, scale-effect adjustments, weights, and aggregation method. Scale-effect adjustments and normalisation method are significant sources of uncertainty inducing 68% of the observed variation in a country's final rank at the 95% level of confidence. Choice of indicators also introduces substantial variation as well. To compensate for this variation, the current study recommends that a composite index should always be analysed with other policy subindices and individual indicators. Moreover, the connection between population and consumption indicates that per capita scale-effect adjustments should be used for certain indicators. Rather than ranking normalisation, studies should use a method that retains information from the raw indicator values. Multiple regression and cluster analyses indicate economic output, environmental governance, and energy prices are major influential factors, with energy prices the most important. It is statistically significant for five out of seven performance measures at the 95

  8. Pathways to neurodegeneration: mechanistic insights from GWAS in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Ramanan, Vijay K; Saykin, Andrew J

    2013-01-01

    The discovery of causative genetic mutations in affected family members has historically dominated our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Nevertheless, most cases of neurodegenerative disease are not explained by Mendelian inheritance of known genetic variants, but instead are thought to have a complex etiology with numerous genetic and environmental factors contributing to susceptibility. Although unbiased genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified novel associations to neurodegenerative diseases, most of these hits explain only modest fractions of disease heritability. In addition, despite the substantial overlap of clinical and pathologic features among major neurodegenerative diseases, surprisingly few GWAS-implicated variants appear to exhibit cross-disease association. These realities suggest limitations of the focus on individual genetic variants and create challenges for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, which traditionally target an isolated molecule or mechanistic step. Recently, GWAS of complex diseases and traits have focused less on individual susceptibility variants and instead have emphasized the biological pathways and networks revealed by genetic associations. This new paradigm draws on the hypothesis that fundamental disease processes may be influenced on a personalized basis by a combination of variants - some common and others rare, some protective and others deleterious - in key genes and pathways. Here, we review and synthesize the major pathways implicated in neurodegeneration, focusing on GWAS from the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders, AD and PD. Using literature mining, we also discover a novel regulatory network that is enriched with AD- and PD-associated genes and centered on the SP1 and AP-1 (Jun/Fos) transcription factors. Overall, this pathway- and

  9. A brief review of exercise, bipolar disorder, and mechanistic pathways

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, Daniel; Turner, Alyna; Lauder, Sue; Gigler, Margaret E.; Berk, Lesley; Singh, Ajeet B.; Pasco, Julie A.; Berk, Michael; Sylvia, Louisa

    2015-01-01

    Despite evidence that exercise has been found to be effective in the treatment of depression, it is unclear whether these data can be extrapolated to bipolar disorder. Available evidence for bipolar disorder is scant, with no existing randomized controlled trials having tested the impact of exercise on depressive, manic or hypomanic symptomatology. Although exercise is often recommended in bipolar disorder, this is based on extrapolation from the unipolar literature, theory and clinical expertise and not empirical evidence. In addition, there are currently no available empirical data on program variables, with practical implications on frequency, intensity and type of exercise derived from unipolar depression studies. The aim of the current paper is to explore the relationship between exercise and bipolar disorder and potential mechanistic pathways. Given the high rate of medical co-morbidities experienced by people with bipolar disorder, it is possible that exercise is a potentially useful and important intervention with regard to general health benefits; however, further research is required to elucidate the impact of exercise on mood symptomology. PMID:25788889

  10. Mechanistic modeling of aberrant energy metabolism in human disease

    PubMed Central

    Sangar, Vineet; Eddy, James A.; Simeonidis, Evangelos; Price, Nathan D.

    2012-01-01

    Dysfunction in energy metabolism—including in pathways localized to the mitochondria—has been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide array of disorders, ranging from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases to type II diabetes. The inherent complexities of energy and mitochondrial metabolism present a significant obstacle in the effort to understand the role that these molecular processes play in the development of disease. To help unravel these complexities, systems biology methods have been applied to develop an array of computational metabolic models, ranging from mitochondria-specific processes to genome-scale cellular networks. These constraint-based (CB) models can efficiently simulate aspects of normal and aberrant metabolism in various genetic and environmental conditions. Development of these models leverages—and also provides a powerful means to integrate and interpret—information from a wide range of sources including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, and enzyme kinetics. Here, we review a variety of mechanistic modeling studies that explore metabolic functions, deficiency disorders, and aberrant biochemical pathways in mitochondria and related regions in the cell. PMID:23112774

  11. Physical activity and its mechanistic effects on prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Wekesa, A; Harrison, M; Watson, R W

    2015-09-01

    Beneficial effects of physical activity have been illustrated in numerous aspects of health. With the increasing incidence of prostate cancer and changes in physical activity of men, understanding the link between the two has important implications for changing this cancer burden. Both positive and negative associations between physical activity and prostate cancer have been previously demonstrated in observational epidemiological studies. Elucidating the biological mechanisms would lead to a better understanding of how physical activity influences the progression of prostate cancer. This review was undertaken to: (1) identify evidence in literature that demonstrates the effects of physical activity on skeletal muscle secretomes, (2) indicate the plausible signaling pathways these proteins might activate, and (3) identify evidence in literature that demonstrates the roles of the signaling pathways in prostate cancer progression and regression. We also discuss proposed biological mechanisms and signaling pathways by which physical activity may prevent the development and progression of prostate cancer. We discuss proteins involved in the normal and aberrant growth and development of the prostate gland that may be affected by physical activity. We further identify future directions for research, including a better understanding of the biological mechanisms, the need to standardize physical activity and identify mechanistic end points of physical activity that can then be correlated with outcomes. PMID:25800589

  12. Crystal Structure of Human Plasma Platelet-activating Factor Acetylhydrolase: Structural Implication to Liporprotein Binding and Catalysis

    SciTech Connect

    Samanta, Uttamkumar; Bahnson, Brian J.

    2009-02-23

    Human plasma platelet-activating factor (PAF) acetylhydrolase functions by reducing PAF levels as a general anti-inflammatory scavenger and is linked to anaphylactic shock, asthma, and allergic reactions. The enzyme has also been implicated in hydrolytic activities of other pro-inflammatory agents, such as sn-2 oxidatively fragmented phospholipids. This plasma enzyme is tightly bound to low and high density lipoprotein particles and is also referred to as lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2. The crystal structure of this enzyme has been solved from x-ray diffraction data collected to a resolution of 1.5 angstroms. It has a classic lipase alpha/beta-hydrolase fold, and it contains a catalytic triad of Ser273, His351, and Asp296. Two clusters of hydrophobic residues define the probable interface-binding region, and a prediction is given of how the enzyme is bound to lipoproteins. Additionally, an acidic patch of 10 carboxylate residues and a neighboring basic patch of three residues are suggested to play a role in high density lipoprotein/low density lipoprotein partitioning. A crystal structure is also presented of PAF acetylhydrolase reacted with the organophosphate compound paraoxon via its active site Ser273. The resulting diethyl phosphoryl complex was used to model the tetrahedral intermediate of the substrate PAF to the active site. The model of interface binding begins to explain the known specificity of lipoprotein-bound substrates and how the active site can be both close to the hydrophobic-hydrophilic interface and at the same time be accessible to the aqueous phase.

  13. Activation of mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) in rheumatic diseases.

    PubMed

    Perl, Andras

    2016-03-01

    Mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR, also known as mammalian target of rapamycin) is a ubiquitous serine/threonine kinase that regulates cell growth, proliferation and survival. These effects are cell-type-specific, and are elicited in response to stimulation by growth factors, hormones and cytokines, as well as to internal and external metabolic cues. Rapamycin was initially developed as an inhibitor of T-cell proliferation and allograft rejection in the organ transplant setting. Subsequently, its molecular target (mTOR) was identified as a component of two interacting complexes, mTORC1 and mTORC2, that regulate T-cell lineage specification and macrophage differentiation. mTORC1 drives the proinflammatory expansion of T helper (TH) type 1, TH17, and CD4(-)CD8(-) (double-negative, DN) T cells. Both mTORC1 and mTORC2 inhibit the development of CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) T regulatory (TREG) cells and, indirectly, mTORC2 favours the expansion of T follicular helper (TFH) cells which, similarly to DN T cells, promote B-cell activation and autoantibody production. In contrast to this proinflammatory effect of mTORC2, mTORC1 favours, to some extent, an anti-inflammatory macrophage polarization that is protective against infections and tissue inflammation. Outside the immune system, mTORC1 controls fibroblast proliferation and chondrocyte survival, with implications for tissue fibrosis and osteoarthritis, respectively. Rapamycin (which primarily inhibits mTORC1), ATP-competitive, dual mTORC1/mTORC2 inhibitors and upstream regulators of the mTOR pathway are being developed to treat autoimmune, hyperproliferative and degenerative diseases. In this regard, mTOR blockade promises to increase life expectancy through treatment and prevention of rheumatic diseases. PMID:26698023

  14. Reaction Coordinates and Mechanistic Hypothesis Tests.

    PubMed

    Peters, Baron

    2016-05-27

    Reaction coordinates are integral to several classic rate theories that can (a) predict kinetic trends across conditions and homologous reactions, (b) extract activation parameters with a clear physical interpretation from experimental rates, and (c) enable efficient calculations of free energy barriers and rates. New trajectory-based rare events methods can provide rates directly from dynamical trajectories without a reaction coordinate. Trajectory-based frameworks can also generate ideal (but abstract) reaction coordinates such as committors and eigenfunctions of the master equation. However, rates and mechanistic insights obtained from trajectory-based methods and abstract coordinates are not readily generalized across simulation conditions or reaction families. We discuss methods for identifying physically meaningful reaction coordinates, including committor analysis, variational transition state theory, Kramers-Langer-Berezhkovskii-Szabo theory, and statistical inference methods that can use path sampling data to screen, mix, and optimize thousands of trial coordinates. Special focus is given to likelihood maximization and inertial likelihood maximization approaches. PMID:27090846

  15. Reaction Coordinates and Mechanistic Hypothesis Tests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peters, Baron

    2016-05-01

    Reaction coordinates are integral to several classic rate theories that can (a) predict kinetic trends across conditions and homologous reactions, (b) extract activation parameters with a clear physical interpretation from experimental rates, and (c) enable efficient calculations of free energy barriers and rates. New trajectory-based rare events methods can provide rates directly from dynamical trajectories without a reaction coordinate. Trajectory-based frameworks can also generate ideal (but abstract) reaction coordinates such as committors and eigenfunctions of the master equation. However, rates and mechanistic insights obtained from trajectory-based methods and abstract coordinates are not readily generalized across simulation conditions or reaction families. We discuss methods for identifying physically meaningful reaction coordinates, including committor analysis, variational transition state theory, Kramers-Langer-Berezhkovskii-Szabo theory, and statistical inference methods that can use path sampling data to screen, mix, and optimize thousands of trial coordinates. Special focus is given to likelihood maximization and inertial likelihood maximization approaches.

  16. Mechanistic Differences Leading to Infectious and Sterile Inflammation.

    PubMed

    Behnia, Faranak; Sheller, Samantha; Menon, Ramkumar

    2016-05-01

    Inflammation is a physiologic component of pregnancy and parturition. Overwhelming intrauterine inflammatory load promotes quiescent feto-maternal tissues into a contractile phenotype. Like inflammation, oxidative stress is an inevitable component of both pregnancy and parturition. Pathologic activation of host innate immune response to adverse pregnancy conditions can lead to premature activation of inflammatory and oxidative stress. Inflammation and oxidative stress markers seen with both sterile and infectious inflammation are often similar; therefore, it is difficult to understand causality of conditions like spontaneous preterm birth. This review demonstrates potential mechanistic pathways of activation of sterile and infectious inflammation. We demonstrate the activation of two unique pathways of inflammation by factors that are well-documented proxies for oxidative stress (cigarette smoke extract) and infection (lipopolysaccharide). Sterile inflammation seen after exposure to an oxidative stress inducer is due to cellular elemental damage resulting in p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) induced cellular senescence. Infectious inflammation is through activation of transcription factor NF-κB and independent of oxidative stress-associated damages and p38 MAPK-induced senescence. Understanding the differences in the inflammatory pathway activation by various risk factors is important to design better screening, diagnostic and intervention strategies to reduce the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes. PMID:26840942

  17. Predictive mechanistic bioenergetics to model habitat suitability of shellfish culture in coastal lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rinaldi, A.; Montalto, V.; Manganaro, A.; Mazzola, A.; Mirto, S.; Sanfilippo, M.; Sarà, G.

    2014-05-01

    Quantitative tools based on mechanistic modelling of functional traits able to enhance the sustainability of aquaculture and most other human activities (i.e. reducing the likelihood of detrimental impacts optimising productions), are especially important factors in the decision to site aquaculture facilities in coastal lakes, ponds and lagoons and, in the case of detrimental impact, to adopt mitigation measures. We tested the ability of mechanistic functional trait based models to predict life history traits of cultivable shellfish in shallow coastal lakes. Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models were run to generate spatially explicit predictions of Mytilus galloprovincialis life history (LH) traits (e.g. body size and fecundity). Using fortnightly data of food supply and hourly data of body temperatures, and exploiting the power of mechanistic rules, we estimated the amount of faeces ejected by a fixed quantity of organisms cultivated in two shallow Southern Mediterranean (Sicily) lakes. These differed in terms of temperature and food density, implying large differences in life history traits of mussels in the two study areas. This information could help facilitate the selection of sites where environmental conditions are more suitable for aquaculture and contextually compatible with sustainability. The validation exercise obtained by comparing the predicted and observed data was nearly consistent. Therefore, a mechanistic functional traits-based model seems able to capture the link between habitat characteristics and functional traits of organisms, delineating the fundamental portion of an ecological niche, the possibility of predicting LH traits and potential ecological applications in the management of natural coastal resources.

  18. Mutations in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene in triple negative breast cancer: possible implications for targeted therapy

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction Triple negative breast cancer is associated with poorer prognosis and unresponsiveness to endocrine and anti-HER2 directed agents. Despite emerging data supporting the use of polyADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, complete and durable responses are rare and exploration of additional targeted therapies is needed. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is expressed in triple negative breast cancer and several clinical trials are testing the role of anti-EGFR directed therapy. However, the rate of EGFR mutations is poorly defined. We, therefore, sought to characterize EGFR mutations in triple negative breast cancers. Methods Seventy samples were randomly chosen from a cohort of 653 triple negative breast tumours for EGFR mutation analysis. These samples were immunostained for EGFR protein expression and consisted of negatively stained and positively stained cases. DNA was extracted from paraffin blocks and polymerase chain reaction was performed to amplify exon regions 18 to 21 of the EGFR gene. Direct sequencing of the purified PCR products was performed. Results EGFR mutations were found in 8 of 70 samples (11.4%). Mutations were predominantly exon 19 deletions (4 of 70 samples, 5.7%), which clustered in the region spanning codons 746 to 759 within the kinase domain of EGFR. Two types of exon 19 deletions were seen: a 15 nucleotide deletion (del E746-A750) (2 of 70 samples) and a 24 nucleotide deletion (del S752 - I759) (2 of 70 samples). Other exon 19 mutations observed were the inversion of the complementary strand (1 of 70 samples). Exon 21 mutations included missense substitution, L858R (1 of 70 samples) and T847I (2 of 70 samples). Mutations observed were independent of EGFR protein expression determined by immunohistochemical staining. Conclusions This study is among the first to document the presence and estimate the prevalence of EGFR mutations in triple negative breast cancer. These findings have potential implications for the design of

  19. Integrating mechanistic and polymorphism data to characterize human genetic susceptibility for environmental chemical risk assessment in the 21st century.

    PubMed

    Mortensen, Holly M; Euling, Susan Y

    2013-09-15

    Response to environmental chemicals can vary widely among individuals and between population groups. In human health risk assessment, data on susceptibility can be utilized by deriving risk levels based on a study of a susceptible population and/or an uncertainty factor may be applied to account for the lack of information about susceptibility. Defining genetic susceptibility in response to environmental chemicals across human populations is an area of interest in the NAS' new paradigm of toxicity pathway-based risk assessment. Data from high-throughput/high content (HT/HC), including -omics (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) technologies, have been integral to the identification and characterization of drug target and disease loci, and have been successfully utilized to inform the mechanism of action for numerous environmental chemicals. Large-scale population genotyping studies may help to characterize levels of variability across human populations at identified target loci implicated in response to environmental chemicals. By combining mechanistic data for a given environmental chemical with next generation sequencing data that provides human population variation information, one can begin to characterize differential susceptibility due to genetic variability to environmental chemicals within and across genetically heterogeneous human populations. The integration of such data sources will be informative to human health risk assessment. PMID:21291902

  20. Integrating mechanistic and polymorphism data to characterize human genetic susceptibility for environmental chemical risk assessment in the 21st century

    SciTech Connect

    Mortensen, Holly M.; Euling, Susan Y.

    2013-09-15

    Response to environmental chemicals can vary widely among individuals and between population groups. In human health risk assessment, data on susceptibility can be utilized by deriving risk levels based on a study of a susceptible population and/or an uncertainty factor may be applied to account for the lack of information about susceptibility. Defining genetic susceptibility in response to environmental chemicals across human populations is an area of interest in the NAS' new paradigm of toxicity pathway-based risk assessment. Data from high-throughput/high content (HT/HC), including -omics (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) technologies, have been integral to the identification and characterization of drug target and disease loci, and have been successfully utilized to inform the mechanism of action for numerous environmental chemicals. Large-scale population genotyping studies may help to characterize levels of variability across human populations at identified target loci implicated in response to environmental chemicals. By combining mechanistic data for a given environmental chemical with next generation sequencing data that provides human population variation information, one can begin to characterize differential susceptibility due to genetic variability to environmental chemicals within and across genetically heterogeneous human populations. The integration of such data sources will be informative to human health risk assessment.

  1. Equation-free mechanistic ecosystem forecasting using empirical dynamic modeling

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Hao; Beamish, Richard J.; Glaser, Sarah M.; Grant, Sue C. H.; Hsieh, Chih-hao; Richards, Laura J.; Schnute, Jon T.; Sugihara, George

    2015-01-01

    It is well known that current equilibrium-based models fall short as predictive descriptions of natural ecosystems, and particularly of fisheries systems that exhibit nonlinear dynamics. For example, model parameters assumed to be fixed constants may actually vary in time, models may fit well to existing data but lack out-of-sample predictive skill, and key driving variables may be misidentified due to transient (mirage) correlations that are common in nonlinear systems. With these frailties, it is somewhat surprising that static equilibrium models continue to be widely used. Here, we examine empirical dynamic modeling (EDM) as an alternative to imposed model equations and that accommodates both nonequilibrium dynamics and nonlinearity. Using time series from nine stocks of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) from the Fraser River system in British Columbia, Canada, we perform, for the the first time to our knowledge, real-data comparison of contemporary fisheries models with equivalent EDM formulations that explicitly use spawning stock and environmental variables to forecast recruitment. We find that EDM models produce more accurate and precise forecasts, and unlike extensions of the classic Ricker spawner–recruit equation, they show significant improvements when environmental factors are included. Our analysis demonstrates the strategic utility of EDM for incorporating environmental influences into fisheries forecasts and, more generally, for providing insight into how environmental factors can operate in forecast models, thus paving the way for equation-free mechanistic forecasting to be applied in management contexts. PMID:25733874

  2. Equation-free mechanistic ecosystem forecasting using empirical dynamic modeling.

    PubMed

    Ye, Hao; Beamish, Richard J; Glaser, Sarah M; Grant, Sue C H; Hsieh, Chih-Hao; Richards, Laura J; Schnute, Jon T; Sugihara, George

    2015-03-31

    It is well known that current equilibrium-based models fall short as predictive descriptions of natural ecosystems, and particularly of fisheries systems that exhibit nonlinear dynamics. For example, model parameters assumed to be fixed constants may actually vary in time, models may fit well to existing data but lack out-of-sample predictive skill, and key driving variables may be misidentified due to transient (mirage) correlations that are common in nonlinear systems. With these frailties, it is somewhat surprising that static equilibrium models continue to be widely used. Here, we examine empirical dynamic modeling (EDM) as an alternative to imposed model equations and that accommodates both nonequilibrium dynamics and nonlinearity. Using time series from nine stocks of sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) from the Fraser River system in British Columbia, Canada, we perform, for the the first time to our knowledge, real-data comparison of contemporary fisheries models with equivalent EDM formulations that explicitly use spawning stock and environmental variables to forecast recruitment. We find that EDM models produce more accurate and precise forecasts, and unlike extensions of the classic Ricker spawner-recruit equation, they show significant improvements when environmental factors are included. Our analysis demonstrates the strategic utility of EDM for incorporating environmental influences into fisheries forecasts and, more generally, for providing insight into how environmental factors can operate in forecast models, thus paving the way for equation-free mechanistic forecasting to be applied in management contexts. PMID:25733874

  3. Mechanistic Studies on Au(I)-Catalyzed [3,3]-Sigmatropic Rearrangements using Cyclopropane Probes

    PubMed Central

    Mauleón, Pablo; Krinsky, Jamin L.

    2009-01-01

    A comparative study of the Au(I)-catalyzed [3,3]-sigmatropic rearrangement of propargylic esters and propargyl vinyl ethers is described. Stereochemically defined cyclopropanes are employed as mechanistic probes to provide new synthetic and theoretical data concerning the reversibility of this type of rearrangement. Factors controlling the structure-reactivity relationship of Au(I)-coordinated allenes have been examined, thereby allowing for controlled access to orthogonal reactivity. PMID:19275228

  4. Mechanistically based mapping of human cardiac fibrillation

    PubMed Central

    Zaman, Junaid A. B.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The mechanisms underpinning human cardiac fibrillation remain elusive. In his 1913 paper ‘On dynamic equilibrium in the heart’, Mines proposed that an activation wave front could propagate repeatedly in a circle, initiated by a stimulus in the vulnerable period. While the dynamics of activation and recovery are central to cardiac fibrillation, these physiological data are rarely used in clinical mapping. Fibrillation is a rapid irregular rhythm with spatiotemporal disorder resulting from two fundamental mechanisms – sources in preferred cardiac regions or spatially diffuse self‐sustaining activity, i.e. with no preferred source. On close inspection, however, this debate may also reflect mapping technique. Fibrillation is initiated from triggers by regional dispersion in repolarization, slow conduction and wavebreak, then sustained by non‐uniform interactions of these mechanisms. Notably, optical mapping of action potentials in atrial fibrillation (AF) show spiral wave sources (rotors) in nearly all studies including humans, while most traditional electrogram analyses of AF do not. Techniques may diverge in fibrillation because electrograms summate non‐coherent waves within an undefined field whereas optical maps define waves with a visually defined field. Also fibrillation operates at the limits of activation and recovery, which are well represented by action potentials while fibrillatory electrograms poorly represent repolarization. We conclude by suggesting areas for study that may be used, until such time as optical mapping is clinically feasible, to improve mechanistic understanding and therapy of human cardiac fibrillation. PMID:26607671

  5. Mechanistic chemical perspective of hydrogen sulfide signaling.

    PubMed

    Nagy, Péter

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide is now a well-appreciated master regulator in a diverse array of physiological processes. However, as a consequence of the rapid growth of the area, sulfide biology suffers from an increasing number of controversial observations and interpretations. A better understanding of the underlying molecular pathways of sulfide's actions is key to reconcile controversial issues, which calls for rigorous chemical/biochemical investigations. Protein sulfhydration and coordination/redox chemical interactions of sulfide with heme proteins are the two most extensively studied pathways in sulfide biochemistry. These pathways are important mediators of protein functions, generate bioactive sulfide metabolites, contribute to sulfide storage/trafficking and carry antioxidant functions. In addition, inorganic polysulfides, which are oxidative sulfide metabolites, are increasingly recognized as important players in sulfide biology. This chapter provides an overview of our mechanistic perspective on the reactions that govern (i) sulfide's bioavailability (including the delicate enzyme machineries that orchestrate sulfide production and consumption and the roles of the large sulfide-storing pools as biological buffers), (ii) biological significance and mechanisms of persulfide formation (including the reduction of disulfides, condensation with sulfenic acids, oxidation of thiols with polysulfides and radical-mediated pathways), (iii) coordination and redox chemical interactions of sulfide with heme proteins (including cytochrome c oxidase, hemoglobins, myoglobins and peroxidases), and (iv) the chemistry of polysulfides. PMID:25725513

  6. Mechanistically based mapping of human cardiac fibrillation.

    PubMed

    Narayan, Sanjiv M; Zaman, Junaid A B

    2016-05-01

    The mechanisms underpinning human cardiac fibrillation remain elusive. In his 1913 paper 'On dynamic equilibrium in the heart', Mines proposed that an activation wave front could propagate repeatedly in a circle, initiated by a stimulus in the vulnerable period. While the dynamics of activation and recovery are central to cardiac fibrillation, these physiological data are rarely used in clinical mapping. Fibrillation is a rapid irregular rhythm with spatiotemporal disorder resulting from two fundamental mechanisms - sources in preferred cardiac regions or spatially diffuse self-sustaining activity, i.e. with no preferred source. On close inspection, however, this debate may also reflect mapping technique. Fibrillation is initiated from triggers by regional dispersion in repolarization, slow conduction and wavebreak, then sustained by non-uniform interactions of these mechanisms. Notably, optical mapping of action potentials in atrial fibrillation (AF) show spiral wave sources (rotors) in nearly all studies including humans, while most traditional electrogram analyses of AF do not. Techniques may diverge in fibrillation because electrograms summate non-coherent waves within an undefined field whereas optical maps define waves with a visually defined field. Also fibrillation operates at the limits of activation and recovery, which are well represented by action potentials while fibrillatory electrograms poorly represent repolarization. We conclude by suggesting areas for study that may be used, until such time as optical mapping is clinically feasible, to improve mechanistic understanding and therapy of human cardiac fibrillation. PMID:26607671

  7. The Continuum of Disclosure: Exploring Factors Predicting Tentative Disclosure of Child Sexual Abuse Allegations During Forensic Interviews and the Implications for Practice, Policy, and Future Research.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Gwendolyn D

    2016-01-01

    When a child sexual abuse investigation ensues, many children do not disclose readily to professionals. Defining disclosure beyond the disclosure versus nondisclosure dichotomy is essential, yet little research exists on factors associated with a continuum of disclosure, including active and tentative disclosure. Through the coding of 196 forensic interviews using content analysis and subsequent regression analysis, findings suggest that children of color, children abused by adults, unintentional initial disclosure, and those lacking family support were more likely to tentatively disclose in this study. Implications include a need to understand tentative disclosure as part of a normal continuum of disclosure within court proceedings and investigations of abuse allegations. PMID:27266535

  8. Water in Photosystem II: structural, functional and mechanistic considerations.

    PubMed

    Linke, Katrin; Ho, Felix M

    2014-01-01

    Water is clearly important for the functioning of Photosystem II (PSII). Apart from being the very substrate that needs to be transported in this water oxidation enzyme, water is also vital for the transport of protons to and from the catalytic center as well as other important co-factors and key residues in the enzyme. The latest crystal structural data of PSII have enabled detailed analyses of the location and possible function of water molecules in the enzyme. Significant progress has also been made recently in the investigation of channels and pathways through the protein complex. Through these studies, the mechanistic significance of water for PSII is becoming increasingly clear. An overview and discussion of key aspects of the current research on water in PSII is presented here. The role of water in three other systems (aquaporin, bacteriorhodopsin and cytochrome P450) is also outlined to illustrate further points concerning the central significance that water can have, and potential applications of these ideas for continued research on PSII. It is advocated that water be seen as an integral part of the protein and far from a mere solvent. PMID:23978393

  9. Mechanistic evaluation of virus clearance by depth filtration.

    PubMed

    Venkiteshwaran, Adith; Fogle, Jace; Patnaik, Purbasa; Kowle, Ron; Chen, Dayue

    2015-01-01

    Virus clearance by depth filtration has not been well-understood mechanistically due to lack of quantitative data on filter charge characteristics and absence of systematic studies. It is generally believed that both electrostatic interactions and sized based mechanical entrapment contribute to virus clearance by depth filtration. In order to establish whether the effectiveness of virus clearance correlates with the charge characteristics of a given depth filter, a counter-ion displacement technique was employed to determine the ionic capacity for several depth filters. Two depth filters (Millipore B1HC and X0HC) with significant differences in ionic capacities were selected and evaluated for their ability to eliminate viruses. The high ionic capacity X0HC filter showed complete porcine parvovirus (PPV) clearance (eliminating the spiked viruses to below the limit of detection) under low conductivity conditions (≤2.5 mS/cm), achieving a log10 reduction factor (LRF) of > 4.8. On the other hand, the low ionic capacity B1HC filter achieved only ∼2.1-3.0 LRF of PPV clearance under the same conditions. These results indicate that parvovirus clearance by these two depth filters are mainly achieved via electrostatic interactions between the filters and PPV. When much larger xenotropic murine leukemia virus (XMuLV) was used as the model virus, complete retrovirus clearance was obtained under all conditions evaluated for both depth filters, suggesting the involvement of mechanisms other than just electrostatic interactions in XMuLV clearance. PMID:25683459

  10. Mechanistic Enzymology of the Radical SAM Enzyme DesII

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    DesII is a member of the radical SAM family of enzymes that catalyzes radical-mediated transformations of TDP-4-amino-4,6-didexoy-D-glucose as well as other sugar nucleotide diphosphates. Like nearly all radical SAM enzymes, the reactions begin with the reductive homolysis of SAM to produce a 5′-deoxyadenosyl radical which is followed by regiospecific hydrogen atom abstraction from the substrate. What happens next, however, depends on the nature of the substrate radical so produced. In the case of the biosynthetically relevant substrate, a radical-mediated deamination ensues; however, when this amino group is replaced with a hydroxyl, one instead observes dehydrogenation. The factors that govern the fate of the initially generated substrate radical as well as the mechanistic details underlying these transformations have been a key focus of research into the chemistry of DesII. This review will discuss recent discoveries pertaining to the enzymology of DesII, how it may relate to understanding other radical-mediated lyases and dehydrogenases and the working hypotheses currently being investigated regarding the mechanism of DesII catalysis.

  11. Bioavailability and Pharmacokinetics of Genistein: Mechanistic Studies on its ADME

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhen; Kulkarni, Kaustubh; Zhu, Wei; Hu, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Genistein, one of the most active natural flavonoids, exerts various biological effects including chemoprevention, antioxidation, antiproliferation and anticancer. More than 30 clinical trials of genistein with various disease indications have been conducted to evaluate its clinical efficacy. Based on many animals and human pharmacokinetic studies, it is well known that the most challenge issue for developing genistein as a chemoprevention agent is the low oral bioavailability, which may be the major reason relating to its ambiguous therapeutic effects and large interindividual variations in clinical trials. In order to better correlate pharmacokinetic to pharmacodynamics results in animals and clinical studies, an in-depth understanding of pharmacokinetic behavior of genistein and its ADME properties are needed. Numerous in vitro/in vivo ADME studies had been conducted to reveal the main factors contributing to the low oral bioavailability of genistein. Therefore, this review focuses on summarizing the most recent progress on mechanistic studies of genistein ADME and provides a systemic view of these processes to explain genistein pharmacokinetic behaviors in vivo. The better understanding of genistein ADME property may lead to development of proper strategy to improve genistein oral bioavailability via mechanism-based approaches. PMID:22583407

  12. Stem cell guidance through the mechanistic target of rapamycin

    PubMed Central

    Maiese, Kenneth

    2015-01-01

    Stem cells offer great promise for the treatment of multiple disorders throughout the body. Critical to this premise is the ability to govern stem cell pluripotency, proliferation, and differentiation. The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), 289-kDa serine/threonine protein kinase, that is a vital component of mTOR Complex 1 and mTOR Complex 2 represents a critical pathway for the oversight of stem cell maintenance. mTOR can control the programmed cell death pathways of autophagy and apoptosis that can yield variable outcomes in stem cell survival and be reliant upon proliferative pathways that include Wnt signaling, Wnt1 inducible signaling pathway protein 1 (WISP1), silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 1 (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) (SIRT1), and trophic factors. mTOR also is a necessary component for the early development and establishment of stem cells as well as having a significant impact in the regulation of the maturation of specific cell phenotypes. Yet, as a proliferative agent, mTOR can not only foster cancer stem cell development and tumorigenesis, but also mediate cell senescence under certain conditions to limit invasive cancer growth. mTOR offers an exciting target for the oversight of stem cell therapies but requires careful consideration of the diverse clinical outcomes that can be fueled by mTOR signaling pathways. PMID:26328016

  13. Mechanistic Perspectives of Maslinic Acid in Targeting Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Yap, Wei Hsum; Lim, Yang Mooi

    2015-01-01

    Chronic inflammation drives the development of various pathological diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. The arachidonic acid pathway represents one of the major mechanisms for inflammation. Prostaglandins (PGs) are lipid products generated from arachidonic acid by the action of cyclooxygenase (COX) enzymes and their activity is blocked by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The use of natural compounds in regulation of COX activity/prostaglandins production is receiving increasing attention. In Mediterranean diet, olive oil and table olives contain significant dietary sources of maslinic acid. Maslinic acid is arising as a safe and novel natural pentacyclic triterpene which has protective effects against chronic inflammatory diseases in various in vivo and in vitro experimental models. Understanding the anti-inflammatory mechanism of maslinic acid is crucial for its development as a potential dietary nutraceutical. This review focuses on the mechanistic action of maslinic acid in regulating the inflammation pathways through modulation of the arachidonic acid metabolism including the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)/COX-2 expression, upstream protein kinase signaling, and phospholipase A2 enzyme activity. Further investigations may provide insight into the mechanism of maslinic acid in regulating the molecular targets and their associated pathways in response to specific inflammatory stimuli. PMID:26491566

  14. Application of Mechanistic Toxicology Data to Ecological Risk Assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    The ongoing evolution of knowledge and tools in the areas of molecular biology, bioinformatics, and systems biology holds significant promise for reducing uncertainties associated with ecological risk assessment. As our understanding of the mechanistic basis of responses of organ...

  15. MECHANISTIC DOSIMETRY MODELS OF NANOMATERIAL DEPOSITION IN THE RESPIRATORY TRACT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Accurate health risk assessments of inhalation exposure to nanomaterials will require dosimetry models that account for interspecies differences in dose delivered to the respiratory tract. Mechanistic models offer the advantage to interspecies extrapolation that physicochemica...

  16. Role of the Transforming-Growth-Factor-β1 Gene in Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease: Implications for the Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Bosco, Paolo; Ferri, Raffaele; Salluzzo, Maria Grazia; Castellano, Sabrina; Signorelli, Maria; Nicoletti, Ferdinando; Nuovo, Santo Di; Drago, Filippo; Caraci, Filippo

    2013-01-01

    Late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is the most common form of dementia in the elderly. LOAD has a complex and largely unknown etiology with strong genetic determinants. Genetics of LOAD is known to involve several genetic risk factors among which the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene seems to be the major recognized genetic determinant. Recent efforts have been made to identify other genetic factors involved in the pathophysiology of LOAD such as genes associated with a deficit of neurotrophic factors in the AD brain. Genetic variations of neurotrophic factors, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and transforming-growth-factor-β1 (TGF-β1) are known to increase the risk to develop LOAD and have also been related to depression susceptibility in LOAD. Transforming-Growth-Factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is a neurotrophic factor that exerts neuroprotective effects against ß-amyloid-induced neurodegeneration. Recent evidence suggests that a specific impairment in the signaling of TGF-β is an early event in the pathogenesis of AD. TGF-β1 protein levels are predominantly under genetic control, and the TGF-β1 gene, located on chromosome 19q13.1–3, con-tains several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) upstream and in the transcript region, such as the SNP at codon +10 (T/C) and +25 (G/C), which is known to influence the level of expression of TGF-β1. In the present review, we summarize the current literature on genetic risk factors for LOAD, focusing on the role of the TGF-β1 gene, finally discussing the possible implications of these genetic studies for the selection of patients eligible for neuroprotective strategies in AD. PMID:24082824

  17. Bridging paradigms: hybrid mechanistic-discriminative predictive models.

    PubMed

    Doyle, Orla M; Tsaneva-Atansaova, Krasimira; Harte, James; Tiffin, Paul A; Tino, Peter; Díaz-Zuccarini, Vanessa

    2013-03-01

    Many disease processes are extremely complex and characterized by multiple stochastic processes interacting simultaneously. Current analytical approaches have included mechanistic models and machine learning (ML), which are often treated as orthogonal viewpoints. However, to facilitate truly personalized medicine, new perspectives may be required. This paper reviews the use of both mechanistic models and ML in healthcare as well as emerging hybrid methods, which are an exciting and promising approach for biologically based, yet data-driven advanced intelligent systems. PMID:23392334

  18. Structural and Mechanistic Roles of Novel Chemical Ligands on the SdiA Quorum-Sensing Transcription Regulator

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Nguyen, Y.; Nguyen, Nam X.; Rogers, Jamie L.; Liao, Jun; MacMillan, John B.; Jiang, Youxing; Sperandio, Vanessa

    2015-05-19

    Bacteria engage in chemical signaling, termed quorum sensing (QS), to mediate intercellular communication, mimicking multicellular organisms. The LuxR family of QS transcription factors regulates gene expression, coordinating population behavior by sensing endogenous acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs). However, some bacteria (such as Escherichia coli) do not produce AHLs. These LuxR orphans sense exogenous AHLs but also regulate transcription in the absence of AHLs. Importantly, this AHL-independent regulatory mechanism is still largely unknown. Here we present several structures of one such orphan LuxR-type protein, SdiA, from enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), in the presence and absence of AHL. SdiA is actually not inmore » an apo state without AHL but is regulated by a previously unknown endogenous ligand, 1-octanoyl-rac-glycerol (OCL), which is ubiquitously found throughout the tree of life and serves as an energy source, signaling molecule, and substrate for membrane biogenesis. While exogenous AHL renders to SdiA higher stability and DNA binding affinity, OCL may function as a chemical chaperone placeholder that stabilizes SdiA, allowing for basal activity. Structural comparison between SdiA-AHL and SdiA-OCL complexes provides crucial mechanistic insights into the ligand regulation of AHL-dependent and -independent function of LuxR-type proteins. Importantly, in addition to its contribution to basic science, this work has implications for public health, inasmuch as the SdiA signaling system aids the deadly human pathogen EHEC to adapt to a commensal lifestyle in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of cattle, its main reservoir. These studies open exciting and novel avenues to control shedding of this human pathogen in the environment. IMPORTANCE Quorum sensing refers to bacterial chemical signaling. The QS acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) signals are recognized by LuxR-type receptors that regulate gene transcription. However, some bacteria have orphan Lux

  19. Structural and Mechanistic Roles of Novel Chemical Ligands on the SdiA Quorum-Sensing Transcription Regulator

    SciTech Connect

    Nguyen, Y.; Nguyen, Nam X.; Rogers, Jamie L.; Liao, Jun; MacMillan, John B.; Jiang, Youxing; Sperandio, Vanessa

    2015-05-19

    Bacteria engage in chemical signaling, termed quorum sensing (QS), to mediate intercellular communication, mimicking multicellular organisms. The LuxR family of QS transcription factors regulates gene expression, coordinating population behavior by sensing endogenous acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs). However, some bacteria (such as Escherichia coli) do not produce AHLs. These LuxR orphans sense exogenous AHLs but also regulate transcription in the absence of AHLs. Importantly, this AHL-independent regulatory mechanism is still largely unknown. Here we present several structures of one such orphan LuxR-type protein, SdiA, from enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), in the presence and absence of AHL. SdiA is actually not in an apo state without AHL but is regulated by a previously unknown endogenous ligand, 1-octanoyl-rac-glycerol (OCL), which is ubiquitously found throughout the tree of life and serves as an energy source, signaling molecule, and substrate for membrane biogenesis. While exogenous AHL renders to SdiA higher stability and DNA binding affinity, OCL may function as a chemical chaperone placeholder that stabilizes SdiA, allowing for basal activity. Structural comparison between SdiA-AHL and SdiA-OCL complexes provides crucial mechanistic insights into the ligand regulation of AHL-dependent and -independent function of LuxR-type proteins. Importantly, in addition to its contribution to basic science, this work has implications for public health, inasmuch as the SdiA signaling system aids the deadly human pathogen EHEC to adapt to a commensal lifestyle in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of cattle, its main reservoir. These studies open exciting and novel avenues to control shedding of this human pathogen in the environment. IMPORTANCE Quorum sensing refers to bacterial chemical signaling. The QS acyl homoserine lactone (AHL) signals are recognized by LuxR-type receptors that regulate gene transcription. However, some bacteria have orphan LuxR-type receptors and

  20. Vitamins C and E: Beneficial effects from a mechanistic perspective

    PubMed Central

    Traber, Maret G.; Stevens, Jan F.

    2011-01-01

    The mechanistic properties of two dietary antioxidants that are required by humans, vitamins C and E, are discussed relative to their biological effects. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential cofactor for α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenases. Examples are prolyl hydroxylases, which play a role in the biosynthesis of collagen and in down-regulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1, a transcription factor that regulates many genes responsible for tumor growth, energy metabolism, and neutrophil function and apoptosis. Vitamin C-dependent inhibition of the HIF pathway may provide alternative or additional approaches for controlling tumor progression, infections and inflammation. Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) functions as an essential lipid soluble antioxidant, scavenging hydroperoxyl radicals in lipid milieu. Human symptoms of vitamin E deficiency suggest that its antioxidant properties play a major role in protecting erythrocyte membranes and nervous tissues. As an antioxidant, vitamin C provides protection against oxidative stress-induced cellular damage by scavenging of reactive oxygen species, vitamin E-dependent neutralization of lipid hydroperoxyl radicals, and by protecting proteins from alkylation by electrophilic lipid peroxidation products. These bioactivities bear relevance to inflammatory disorders. Vitamin C plays also a role in the function of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) by recycling the eNOS cofactor, tetrahydrobiopterin, which is relevant to arterial elasticity and blood pressure regulation. Evidence from plants supports a role for vitamin C in the formation of covalent adducts with electrophilic secondary metabolites. Mechanism-based effects of vitamin C and E supplementation on biomarkers and on clinical outcomes from randomized, placebo-controlled trials are emphasized in this review. PMID:21664268

  1. Gender Differences in Factor Scores of Anxiety and Depression among Australian University Students: Implications for Counselling Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bitsika, Vicki; Sharpley, Chris F.; Melham, Therese C.

    2010-01-01

    Anxiety and depression inventory scores from 200 male and female university students attending a private university in Australia were examined for their factor structure. Once established, the two sets of factors were tested for gender-based differences, revealing that females were more likely than males to report symptomatology associated with…

  2. Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among human immunodeficiency virus-infected adults: differences in risk factors and their implications.

    PubMed

    Kang, Cho Ryok; Bang, Ji Hwan; Cho, Sung-Il; Kim, Kui Nam; Lee, Hee-Jin; Ryu, Bo Yeong; Cho, Soo Kyung; Lee, Young Hwa; Oh, Myoung-Don; Lee, Jong-Koo

    2016-01-01

    Many studies have investigated risk factors for suicidal ideation and suicide attempt; however, most have failed to show differences in risk factors between suicidal ideation and suicide attempt among the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected population. This study was designed to identify differences in risk factors between suicidal ideation and suicide attempts among HIV-infected adults in Seoul. A face-to-face survey of 457 HIV-infected adults was conducted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2013. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempt. Among 422 participants, 44% had suicidal ideation, and 11% had suicide attempts. The independent risk factors for suicidal ideation were young and middle age, living with someone, history of AIDS-defining opportunistic disease, history of treatment for depression, lower social support, and psychological status. Beneficiaries of National Medical Aid, economic barriers to treatment, history of treatment for depression, and lower psychological status were independently associated with suicide attempts. Patients with HIV in Korea were treated without cost in some centers. Thus, experiencing an economic barrier to treatment might be due in part to ignorance of HIV care policies. Our findings indicate that suicide attempts are associated with socioeconomic factors and information inequality regarding medical care. In conclusion, suicidal ideation closely associated with the psychosocial factors, whereas suicide attempt demonstrates a stronger association with socioeconomic factors. Suicide prevention measures should be implemented to provide information to help HIV-infected patients. PMID:26444525

  3. Gender and factor-level interactions in psychopathy: implications for self-directed violence risk and borderline personality disorder symptoms.

    PubMed

    Verona, Edelyn; Sprague, Jenessa; Javdani, Shabnam

    2012-07-01

    Women with antisocial and psychopathic traits have a more extensive history of self-directed violence, as well as borderline personality disorder (BPD) symptoms, than their male counterparts (Chapman, Specht, & Cellucci, 2005; Warren et al., 2003). To inform this area of research, we examined gender differences in the relationship between psychopathy factors and risk for self-directed violence, as measured by a history of suicidal ideation, self-harm, and suicide attempts, across 2 studies. In both studies, we found that the interaction of the interpersonal-affective (Factor 1) and impulsive-antisocial traits (Factor 2) of psychopathy, a combination considered to exemplify high psychopathy, was associated with ideation, self-harm, and suicide attempt histories specifically in women. In men, Factor 2 traits were associated with these risk indices for self-directed violence, regardless of Factor 1. In Study 2, we extended our analysis to examine whether BPD accounted for the relationship between psychopathy and self-directed violence differentially in women and men. Results suggested that BPD symptoms partially accounted for the effects of Factor 2 on self-directed violence (both self-harm and attempts) in both genders but fully accounted for Factor 1 protective effects only in men. These findings underscore the notion that the same psychopathic trait liabilities, at least as they are currently assessed, may confer risk for different forms of behavioral maladjustment in women versus men. PMID:22452771

  4. Chemical Specific Adjustment Factors Workshop

    EPA Science Inventory

    The World Health Organization, through the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), has established guidance on the use of mechanistic data to replace default uncertainty factors for interspecies extrapolation and intraspecies variability in deriving risk values such as...

  5. Thermal degradation events as health hazards: particle vs gas phase effects, mechanistic studies with particles.

    PubMed

    Oberdörster, G; Ferin, J; Finkelstein, J; Soderholm, S

    1992-01-01

    Exposure to thermal degradation products arising from fire or smoke could be a major concern for manned space missions. Severe acute lung damage has been reported in people after accidental exposure to fumes from plastic materials, and animal studies revealed the extremely high toxicity of freshly generated fumes whereas a decrease in toxicity of aged fumes has been found. This and the fact that toxicity of the freshly generated fumes can be prevented with filters raises the question whether the toxicity may be due to the particulate rather than the gas phase components of the thermodegradation products. Indeed, results from recent studies implicate ultrafine particles (particle diameter in the nm range) as potential severe pulmonary toxicants. We have conducted a number of in vivo (inhalation and instillation studies in rats) and in vitro studies to test the hypothesis that ultrafine particles possess an increased potential to injure the lung compared to larger-sized particles. We used as surrogate particles ultrafine TiO2 particles (12 and 20 nm diameter). Results in exposed rats showed that the ultrafine TiO2 particles not only induce a greater acute inflammatory reaction in the lung than larger-sized TiO2 particles, but can also lead to persistent chronic effects, as indicated by an adverse effect on alveolar macrophage mediated clearance function of particles. Release of mediators from alveolar macrophages during phagocytosis of the ultrafine particles and an increased access of the ultrafine particles to the pulmonary interstitium are likely factors contributing to their pulmonary toxicity. In vitro studies with lung cells (alveolar macrophages) showed, in addition, that ultrafine TiO2 particles have a greater potential to induce cytokines than larger-sized particles. We conclude from our present studies that ultrafine particles have a significant potential to injure the lung and that their occurrence in thermal degradation events can play a major role in the

  6. MECHANISTIC STUDIES OF IMPROVED FOAM EOR PROCESSES

    SciTech Connect

    William R. Rossen

    2003-03-31

    . We find that such behavior is consistent with earlier models of foam viscosity in tubes, and a modified model for the low-quality regime can account for this behavior. It is not yet clear why this new regime appears in some cases and not in others. Simple modeling suggests that the answer may have to do with the sensitivity of gas trapping to pressure gradient. Research on Task 3 continued to focus on foam generation at limited pressure gradient in sandpacks. We investigated the effects of permeability, surfactant concentration and liquid injection rates on foam generation. In addition, a careful review of published studies showed that repeated snap-off is not a plausible mechanism of foam generation in homogeneous porous media beyond the stage of initial drainage from a fully liquid-saturated state. Snap-off has been the focus of much research on foam generation and is incorporated into most mechanistic foam simulators. This finding should force a reconsideration of its role in foam generation and properties in porous media.

  7. Mechanistic analytical models for long-distance seed dispersal by wind.

    PubMed

    Katul, G G; Porporato, A; Nathan, R; Siqueira, M; Soons, M B; Poggi, D; Horn, H S; Levin, S A

    2005-09-01

    We introduce an analytical model, the Wald analytical long-distance dispersal (WALD) model, for estimating dispersal kernels of wind-dispersed seeds and their escape probability from the canopy. The model is based on simplifications to well-established three-dimensional Lagrangian stochastic approaches for turbulent scalar transport resulting in a two-parameter Wald (or inverse Gaussian) distribution. Unlike commonly used phenomenological models, WALD's parameters can be estimated from the key factors affecting wind dispersal--wind statistics, seed release height, and seed terminal velocity--determined independently of dispersal data. WALD's asymptotic power-law tail has an exponent of -3/2, a limiting value verified by a meta-analysis for a wide variety of measured dispersal kernels and larger than the exponent of the bivariate Student t-test (2Dt). We tested WALD using three dispersal data sets on forest trees, heathland shrubs, and grassland forbs and compared WALD's performance with that of other analytical mechanistic models (revised versions of the tilted Gaussian Plume model and the advection-diffusion equation), revealing fairest agreement between WALD predictions and measurements. Analytical mechanistic models, such as WALD, combine the advantages of simplicity and mechanistic understanding and are valuable tools for modeling large-scale, long-term plant population dynamics. PMID:16224691

  8. Mechanistic Modelling of DNA Repair and Cellular Survival Following Radiation-Induced DNA Damage.

    PubMed

    McMahon, Stephen J; Schuemann, Jan; Paganetti, Harald; Prise, Kevin M

    2016-01-01

    Characterising and predicting the effects of ionising radiation on cells remains challenging, with the lack of robust models of the underlying mechanism of radiation responses providing a significant limitation to the development of personalised radiotherapy. In this paper we present a mechanistic model of cellular response to radiation that incorporates the kinetics of different DNA repair processes, the spatial distribution of double strand breaks and the resulting probability and severity of misrepair. This model enables predictions to be made of a range of key biological endpoints (DNA repair kinetics, chromosome aberration and mutation formation, survival) across a range of cell types based on a set of 11 mechanistic fitting parameters that are common across all cells. Applying this model to cellular survival showed its capacity to stratify the radiosensitivity of cells based on aspects of their phenotype and experimental conditions such as cell cycle phase and plating delay (correlation between modelled and observed Mean Inactivation Doses R(2) > 0.9). By explicitly incorporating underlying mechanistic factors, this model can integrate knowledge from a wide range of biological studies to provide robust predictions and may act as a foundation for future calculations of individualised radiosensitivity. PMID:27624453

  9. Shared Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer: Implications for Preventive Health and Clinical Care in Oncology Patients.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Christopher B; Davis, Margot K; Law, Angeline; Sulpher, Jeffrey

    2016-07-01

    The cardiovascular toxicity of cancer therapy has raised awareness of the importance of heart disease in cancer care among oncologists and cardiologists, leading to the new interdisciplinary field of cardio-oncology. Evidence is accumulating to suggest that risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease are also related to an increased incidence of cancer and excess cancer mortality. We review the epidemiologic evidence that smoking, obesity, poor diet, and inactivity can cause both heart disease and cancer. The importance of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular risk factors in adversely affecting oncological outcomes and leading to increased cancer mortality is discussed. Cardiotoxicity prediction tools that incorporate cardiac disease and risk factors are described. Raising awareness about shared risk factors for cancer and heart disease may result in more effective advocacy to promote healthy lifestyle changes through the combined efforts of the historically separate specialties of cardiology and oncology. PMID:27343745

  10. The Krüppel-like Factor 15 as a Molecular Link between Myogenic Factors and a Chromosome 4q Transcriptional Enhancer Implicated in Facioscapulohumeral Dystrophy*

    PubMed Central

    Dmitriev, Petr; Petrov, Andrei; Ansseau, Eugenie; Stankevicins, Luiza; Charron, Sébastien; Kim, Elena; Bos, Tomas Jan; Robert, Thomas; Turki, Ahmed; Coppée, Frédérique; Belayew, Alexandra; Lazar, Vladimir; Carnac, Gilles; Laoudj, Dalila; Lipinski, Marc; Vassetzky, Yegor S.

    2011-01-01

    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a dominant hereditary disease with a prevalence of 7 per 100,000 individuals, is associated with a partial deletion in the subtelomeric D4Z4 repeat array on chromosome 4q. The D4Z4 repeat contains a strong transcriptional enhancer that activates promoters of several FSHD-related genes. We report here that the enhancer within the D4Z4 repeat binds the Krüppel-like factor KLF15. KLF15 was found to be up-regulated during myogenic differentiation induced by serum starvation or by overexpression of the myogenic differentiation factor MYOD. When overexpressed, KLF15 activated the D4Z4 enhancer and led to overexpression of DUX4c (Double homeobox 4, centromeric) and FRG2 (FSHD region gene 2) genes, whereas its silencing caused inactivation of the D4Z4 enhancer. In immortalized human myoblasts, the D4Z4 enhancer was activated by the myogenic factor MYOD, an effect that was abolished upon KLF15 silencing or when the KLF15-binding sites within the D4Z4 enhancer were mutated, indicating that the myogenesis-related activation of the D4Z4 enhancer was mediated by KLF15. KLF15 and several myogenesis-related factors were found to be expressed at higher levels in myoblasts, myotubes, and muscle biopsies from FSHD patients than in healthy controls. We propose that KLF15 serves as a molecular link between myogenic factors and the activity of the D4Z4 enhancer, and it thus contributes to the overexpression of the DUX4c and FRG2 genes during normal myogenic differentiation and in FSHD. PMID:21937448

  11. Assessment of economic factors affecting the satellite power system. Volume 2: The systems implications of rectenna siting issues

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chapman, P. K.; Bugos, B. J.; Csigi, K. I.; Glaser, P. E.; Schimke, G. R.; Thomas, R. G.

    1979-01-01

    The feasibility was evaluated of finding potential sites for Solar Power Satellite (SPS) receiving antennas (rectennas) in the continental United States, in sufficient numbers to permit the SPS to make a major contribution to U.S. generating facilities, and to give statistical validity to an assessment of the characteristics of such sites and their implications for the design of the SPS system. It is found that the cost-optimum power output of the SPS does not depend on the particular value assigned to the cost per unit area of a rectenna and its site, as long as it is independent of rectenna area. Many characteristics of the sites chosen affect the optimum design of the rectenna itself.

  12. Examining the Use of a Mechanistic Model to Generate an In Vivo/In Vitro Correlation: Journey Through a Thought Process.

    PubMed

    Mistry, Bipin; Patel, Nikunjkumar; Jamei, Masoud; Rostami-Hodjegan, Amin; Martinez, Marilyn N

    2016-09-01

    The attention and interest in establishing in vivo/in vitro correlations (IVIVCs) is grounded in its tremendous utility as a prognostic tool. It can be used to support formulation optimization, predict in vivo drug exposure across a potential patient population, select a biologically relevant in vitro dissolution test condition, and support the use of in vitro dissolution data as a surrogate for in vivo bioequivalence trials. The pharmacological and statistical implications of this correlation are linked to the method by which the IVIVC was determined and to the assumptions and optimization approaches integrated into the estimation procedure. Using previously published data generated in normal healthy volunteers, an IVIVC for metoprolol was established using a mechanistic modeling approach. Within that framework, we explored the consequences of (1) our method of fitting a single Weibull function to the in vivo dissolution, (2) our selection of weighting scheme and optimization approaches, (3) the impact of applying a fixed versus fitted gastric emptying time, and 4) the importance of factoring population variability into our IVIVC estimation and profile reconvolution. We identified those factors found to be critical in terms of their influence on the accuracy of our predicted systemic metoprolol concentration-time profiles. We considered the strengths and weaknesses of our approach and discussed how the results of this study may impact efforts to generate IVIVCs with compounds presenting physicochemical characteristics different from that of metoprolol. PMID:27312260

  13. Stress-Induced EGFR Trafficking: Mechanisms, Functions, and Therapeutic Implications.

    PubMed

    Tan, Xiaojun; Lambert, Paul F; Rapraeger, Alan C; Anderson, Richard A

    2016-05-01

    Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has fundamental roles in normal physiology and cancer, making it a rational target for cancer therapy. Surprisingly, however, inhibitors that target canonical, ligand-stimulated EGFR signaling have proven to be largely ineffective in treating many EGFR-dependent cancers. Recent evidence indicates that both intrinsic and therapy-induced cellular stress triggers robust, noncanonical pathways of ligand-independent EGFR trafficking and signaling, which provides cancer cells with a survival advantage and resistance to therapeutics. Here, we review the mechanistic regulation of noncanonical EGFR trafficking and signaling, and the pathological and therapeutic stresses that activate it. We also discuss the implications of this pathway in clinical treatment of EGFR-overexpressing cancers. PMID:26827089

  14. From formamide to purine: an energetically viable mechanistic reaction pathway.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Gu, Jiande; Nguyen, Minh Tho; Springsteen, Greg; Leszczynski, Jerzy

    2013-02-28

    A step-by-step mechanistic pathway following the transformation of formamide to purine through a five-membered ring intermediate has been explored by density functional theory computations. The highlight of the mechanistic route detailed here is that the proposed pathway represents the simplest reaction pathway. All necessary reactants are generated from a single starting compound, formamide, through energetically viable reactions. Several important reaction steps are involved in this mechanistic route: formylation-dehydration, Leuckart reduction, five- and six-membered ring-closure, and deamination. On the basis of the study of noncatalytic pathways, catalytic water has been found to provide energetically viable step-by-step mechanistic pathways. Among these reaction steps, five-member ring-closure is the rate-determining step. The energy barrier (ca. 42 kcal/mol) of this rate-control step is somewhat lower than the rate-determining step (ca. 44 kcal/mol) for a pyrimidine-based pathway reported previously. The mechanistic pathway reported herein is less energetically demanding than for previously proposed routes to adenine. PMID:23347082

  15. Explanation and inference: mechanistic and functional explanations guide property generalization

    PubMed Central

    Lombrozo, Tania; Gwynne, Nicholas Z.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to generalize from the known to the unknown is central to learning and inference. Two experiments explore the relationship between how a property is explained and how that property is generalized to novel species and artifacts. The experiments contrast the consequences of explaining a property mechanistically, by appeal to parts and processes, with the consequences of explaining the property functionally, by appeal to functions and goals. The findings suggest that properties that are explained functionally are more likely to be generalized on the basis of shared functions, with a weaker relationship between mechanistic explanations and generalization on the basis of shared parts and processes. The influence of explanation type on generalization holds even though all participants are provided with the same mechanistic and functional information, and whether an explanation type is freely generated (Experiment 1), experimentally provided (Experiment 2), or experimentally induced (Experiment 2). The experiments also demonstrate that explanations and generalizations of a particular type (mechanistic or functional) can be experimentally induced by providing sample explanations of that type, with a comparable effect when the sample explanations come from the same domain or from a different domains. These results suggest that explanations serve as a guide to generalization, and contribute to a growing body of work supporting the value of distinguishing mechanistic and functional explanations. PMID:25309384

  16. Growth factors mediated cell signalling in prostate cancer progression: Implications in discovery of anti-prostate cancer agents.

    PubMed

    Joshi, Gaurav; Singh, Pankaj Kumar; Negi, Arvind; Rana, Anil; Singh, Sandeep; Kumar, Raj

    2015-10-01

    Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality amongst world's population, in which prostate cancer is one of the most encountered malignancies among men. Globally, it is the sixth leading cause of cancer-related death in men. Prostate cancer is more prevalent in the developed world and is increasing at alarming rates in the developing countries. Prostate cancer is mostly a very sluggish progressing disease, caused by the overproduction of steroidal hormones like dihydrotestosterone or due to over-expression of enzymes such as 5-α-reductase. Various studies have revealed that growth factors play a crucial role in the progression of prostate cancer as they act either by directly elevating the level of steroidal hormones or upregulating enzyme efficacy by the active feedback mechanism. Presently, treatment options for prostate cancer include radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy. If treatment is done with prevailing traditional chemotherapy; it leads to resistance and development of androgen-independent prostate cancer that further complicates the situation with no cure option left. The current review article is an attempt to cover and establish an understanding of some major signalling pathways intervened through survival factors (IGF-1R), growth factors (TGF-α, EGF), Wnt, Hedgehog, interleukin, cytokinins and death factor receptor which are frequently dysregulated in prostate cancer. This will enable the researchers to design and develop better therapeutic strategies targeting growth factors and their cross talks mediated prostate cancer cell signalling. PMID:26297992

  17. Modeling the Influence of Local Environmental Factors on Malaria Transmission in Benin and Its Implications for Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Pierrat, Charlotte; le Port, Agnès; Bouraïma, Aziz; Fonton, Noël; Hounkonnou, Mahouton Norbert; Massougbodji, Achille; Corbel, Vincent; Garcia, André

    2012-01-01

    Malaria remains endemic in tropical areas, especially in Africa. For the evaluation of new tools and to further our understanding of host-parasite interactions, knowing the environmental risk of transmission—even at a very local scale—is essential. The aim of this study was to assess how malaria transmission is influenced and can be predicted by local climatic and environmental factors. As the entomological part of a cohort study of 650 newborn babies in nine villages in the Tori Bossito district of Southern Benin between June 2007 and February 2010, human landing catches were performed to assess the density of malaria vectors and transmission intensity. Climatic factors as well as household characteristics were recorded throughout the study. Statistical correlations between Anopheles density and environmental and climatic factors were tested using a three-level Poisson mixed regression model. The results showed both temporal variations in vector density (related to season and rainfall), and spatial variations at the level of both village and house. These spatial variations could be largely explained by factors associated with the house's immediate surroundings, namely soil type, vegetation index and the proximity of a watercourse. Based on these results, a predictive regression model was developed using a leave-one-out method, to predict the spatiotemporal variability of malaria transmission in the nine villages. This study points up the importance of local environmental factors in malaria transmission and describes a model to predict the transmission risk of individual children, based on environmental and behavioral characteristics. PMID:22238582

  18. Genetic Factors Involved in Fumonisin Accumulation in Maize Kernels and Their Implications in Maize Agronomic Management and Breeding.

    PubMed

    Santiago, Rogelio; Cao, Ana; Butrón, Ana

    2015-08-01

    Contamination of maize with fumonisins depends on the environmental conditions; the maize resistance to contamination and the interaction between both factors. Although the effect of environmental factors is a determinant for establishing the risk of kernel contamination in a region, there is sufficient genetic variability among maize to develop resistance to fumonisin contamination and to breed varieties with contamination at safe levels. In addition, ascertaining which environmental factors are the most important in a region will allow the implementation of risk monitoring programs and suitable cultural practices to reduce the impact of such environmental variables. The current paper reviews all works done to address the influence of environmental variables on fumonisin accumulation, the genetics of maize resistance to fumonisin accumulation, and the search for the biochemical and/or structural mechanisms of the maize plant that could be involved in resistance to fumonisin contamination. We also explore the outcomes of breeding programs and risk monitoring of undertaken projects. PMID:26308050

  19. Genetic Factors Involved in Fumonisin Accumulation in Maize Kernels and Their Implications in Maize Agronomic Management and Breeding

    PubMed Central

    Santiago, Rogelio; Cao, Ana; Butrón, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Contamination of maize with fumonisins depends on the environmental conditions; the maize resistance to contamination and the interaction between both factors. Although the effect of environmental factors is a determinant for establishing the risk of kernel contamination in a region, there is sufficient genetic variability among maize to develop resistance to fumonisin contamination and to breed varieties with contamination at safe levels. In addition, ascertaining which environmental factors are the most important in a region will allow the implementation of risk monitoring programs and suitable cultural practices to reduce the impact of such environmental variables. The current paper reviews all works done to address the influence of environmental variables on fumonisin accumulation, the genetics of maize resistance to fumonisin accumulation, and the search for the biochemical and/or structural mechanisms of the maize plant that could be involved in resistance to fumonisin contamination. We also explore the outcomes of breeding programs and risk monitoring of undertaken projects. PMID:26308050

  20. A mechanistic accounting of SOM speciation and kinetics in soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maggi, F.; Riley, W. J.; Guerry, N.; Torn, M. S.; Kleber, M.

    2012-12-01

    The nature and dynamics of soil organic matter (SOM) are arguably far from being understood and accurately represented in current site, regional, and global land use and climate models. Whereas consolidated models make use of aggregated pools describing SOM with characteristic turnover times such as inert, passive, slow cycling, and fast cycling, or linking the turnover time to the molecular weight of the compound, recent analyses of SOM below the top soil suggest that those approaches only partially capture SOM dynamics, and that SOM stability may largely be determined by biological and chemical protection as well as other environmental factors rather than the molecular structure of the compound and its molecular weight. We introduce here a new paradigm of SOM speciation and kinetics that explicitly decouples the assumed recalcitrance and turnover time from the SOM molecular density and structure in favour of a mechanistic accounting of microbially mediated processes and chemo-physical interactions among the various SOM species and soil environment. These processes include microbial assimilation, respiration and C recycling; depolymerization of solid litter, root exudates, and dead cells into various decomposed SOM groups; and incorporation of soluble SOM species into a protected phase not available to chemical and biological agents. SOM was described by means of functional compounds including mono- and polysaccharides, lignin, amino compounds, organic acids, nucleic acids, lipids, and phenols, each being accounted for by one or more representative species in the model. Fungal and bacterial microbial functional groups were used to characterize depolymerization and respiration rates. The SOM reaction network and characteristics, its mathematical inclusion within the TOUGHREACT framework, and some preliminary results of modeling grasslands and forested ecosystems are presented here. Biogeochemical reaction network of SOC pathways. Steady state vertical contentration

  1. Up-regulation of neurotrophic factors by cinnamon and its metabolite sodium benzoate: therapeutic implications for neurodegenerative disorders.

    PubMed

    Jana, Arundhati; Modi, Khushbu K; Roy, Avik; Anderson, John A; van Breemen, Richard B; Pahan, Kalipada

    2013-06-01

    This study underlines the importance of cinnamon, a widely-used food spice and flavoring material, and its metabolite sodium benzoate (NaB), a widely-used food preservative and a FDA-approved drug against urea cycle disorders in humans, in increasing the levels of neurotrophic factors [e.g., brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3)] in the CNS. NaB, but not sodium formate (NaFO), dose-dependently induced the expression of BDNF and NT-3 in primary human neurons and astrocytes. Interestingly, oral administration of ground cinnamon increased the level of NaB in serum and brain and upregulated the levels of these neurotrophic factors in vivo in mouse CNS. Accordingly, oral feeding of NaB, but not NaFO, also increased the level of these neurotrophic factors in vivo in the CNS of mice. NaB induced the activation of protein kinase A (PKA), but not protein kinase C (PKC), and H-89, an inhibitor of PKA, abrogated NaB-induced increase in neurotrophic factors. Furthermore, activation of cAMP response element binding (CREB) protein, but not NF-κB, by NaB, abrogation of NaB-induced expression of neurotrophic factors by siRNA knockdown of CREB and the recruitment of CREB and CREB-binding protein to the BDNF promoter by NaB suggest that NaB exerts its neurotrophic effect through the activation of CREB. Accordingly, cinnamon feeding also increased the activity of PKA and the level of phospho-CREB in vivo in the CNS. These results highlight a novel neutrophic property of cinnamon and its metabolite NaB via PKA - CREB pathway, which may be of benefit for various neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23475543

  2. Up-regulation of neurotrophic factors by cinnamon and its metabolite sodium benzoate: Therapeutic implications for neurodegenerative disorders

    PubMed Central

    Jana, Arundhati; Modi, Khushbu K.; Roy, Avik; Anderson, John A.; van Breemen, Richard B.; Pahan, Kalipada

    2013-01-01

    This study underlines the importance of cinnamon, a widely-used food spice and flavoring material, and its metabolite sodium benzoate (NaB), a widely-used food preservative and a FDA-approved drug against urea cycle disorders in humans, in increasing the levels of neurotrophic factors [e.g., brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3)] in the CNS. NaB, but not sodium formate (NaFO), dose-dependently induced the expression of BDNF and NT-3 in primary human neurons and astrocytes. Interestingly, oral administration of ground cinnamon increased the level of NaB in serum and brain and upregulated the levels of these neurotrophic factors in vivo in mouse CNS. Accordingly, oral feeding of NaB, but not NaFO, also increased the level of these neurotrophic factors in vivo in the CNS of mice. NaB induced the activation of protein kinase A (PKA), but not protein kinase C (PKC), and H-89, an inhibitor of PKA, abrogated NaB-induced increase in neurotrophic factors. Furthermore, activation of cAMP response element binding (CREB) protein, but not NF-κB, by NaB, abrogation of NaB-induced expression of neurotrophic factors by siRNA knockdown of CREB and the recruitment of CREB and CREB-binding protein to the BDNF promoter by NaB suggest that NaB exerts its neurotrophic effect through the activation of CREB. Accordingly, cinnamon feeding also increased the activity of PKA and the level of phospho-CREB in vivo in the CNS. These results highlight a novel neutrophic property of cinnamon and its metabolite NaB via PKA – CREB pathway, which may be of benefit for various neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:23475543

  3. Pathways to neurodegeneration: mechanistic insights from GWAS in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and related disorders

    PubMed Central

    Ramanan, Vijay K; Saykin, Andrew J

    2013-01-01

    The discovery of causative genetic mutations in affected family members has historically dominated our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Nevertheless, most cases of neurodegenerative disease are not explained by Mendelian inheritance of known genetic variants, but instead are thought to have a complex etiology with numerous genetic and environmental factors contributing to susceptibility. Although unbiased genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified novel associations to neurodegenerative diseases, most of these hits explain only modest fractions of disease heritability. In addition, despite the substantial overlap of clinical and pathologic features among major neurodegenerative diseases, surprisingly few GWAS-implicated variants appear to exhibit cross-disease association. These realities suggest limitations of the focus on individual genetic variants and create challenges for the development of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies, which traditionally target an isolated molecule or mechanistic step. Recently, GWAS of complex diseases and traits have focused less on individual susceptibility variants and instead have emphasized the biological pathways and networks revealed by genetic associations. This new paradigm draws on the hypothesis that fundamental disease processes may be influenced on a personalized basis by a combination of variants – some common and others rare, some protective and others deleterious – in key genes and pathways. Here, we review and synthesize the major pathways implicated in neurodegeneration, focusing on GWAS from the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorders, AD and PD. Using literature mining, we also discover a novel regulatory network that is enriched with AD- and PD-associated genes and centered on the SP1 and AP-1 (Jun/Fos) transcription factors. Overall, this pathway

  4. An Assessment of the Predictive Validity of Impact Factor Scores: Implications for Academic Employment Decisions in Social Work

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holden, Gary; Rosenberg, Gary; Barker, Kathleen; Onghena, Patrick

    2006-01-01

    Objective: Bibliometrics is a method of examining scholarly communications. Concerns regarding the use of bibliometrics in general, and the impact factor score (IFS) in particular, have been discussed across disciplines including social work. Although there are frequent mentions in the literature of the IFS as an indicator of the impact or quality…

  5. Factors Impacting Job Performance and Role Attractiveness in Academic Directors and Their Implications for Policy and Practice in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vilkinas, Tricia; Ladyshewsky, Richard K.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify factors that impacted on the performance and attractiveness of the Academic Director's role. Academic Directors are responsible for leading and managing an academic qualification. Academic Directors (n = 101) participating in a leadership development programme were invited to respond to an online 360…

  6. Factors Associated with Participation in Work-Site Wellness Programs: Implications for Increasing Willingness among Rural Service Employees

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middlestadt, Susan E.; Sheats, Jylana L.; Geshnizjani, Alireza; Sullivan, Margaret R.; Arvin, Christopher S.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify factors underlying decisions to participate in work-site wellness programs. A sample of 279 full-time workers from a service division of a rural Midwestern university completed a survey assessing demographic and job characteristics, health status and health behaviors, and Reasoned Action Approach (RAA)…

  7. Anger, Anxiety, and Depression as Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease: The Problems and Implications of Overlapping Affective Dispositions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sul, Jerry; Bunde, James

    2005-01-01

    Several recent reviews (e.g., L. C. Gallo & K. Matthews, 2003; A. Rozanski, J. A. Blumenthal, & J. Kaplan, 1999; R. Rugulies, 2002) have identified 3 affective dispositions--depression, anxiety, and anger-hostility--as putative risk factors for coronary heart disease. There are, however, mixed and negative results. Following a critical summary of…

  8. The Role of Community, Family, Peer, and School Factors in Group Bullying: Implications for School-Based Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mann, Michael J.; Kristjansson, Alfgeir L.; Sigfusdottir, Inga Dora; Smith, Megan L.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Although an ecological perspective suggests the importance of multiple levels of intervention, most bullying research has emphasized individual- and school-focused strategies. This study investigated community and family factors that influence school efforts to reduce odds of group bullying behavior and victimization. Methods: We used…

  9. Soluble factors secreted by glioblastoma cell lines facilitate recruitment, survival, and expansion of regulatory T cells: implications for immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Crane, Courtney A.; Ahn, Brian J.; Han, Seunggu J.; Parsa, Andrew T.

    2012-01-01

    In patients with glioma, the tumor microenvironment can significantly impact pro-inflammatory immune cell functions. However, the mechanisms by which this occurs are poorly defined. Because immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Treg) are over represented in the tumor microenvironment compared with peripheral blood, we hypothesized that the tumor may have an effect on Treg survival, migration, expansion, and/or induction of a regulatory phenotype from non-Treg conventional CD4+ T cells. We defined the impact of soluble factors produced by tumor cells on Treg from healthy patients in vitro to determine mechanisms by which gliomas influence T cell populations. We found that tumor-derived soluble factors allowed for preferential proliferation and increased chemotaxis of Treg, compared with conventional T cells, indicating that these mechanisms may contribute to the increased Treg in the tumor microenvironment. Conventional T cells also exhibited a significantly increased expression of pro-apoptotic transcripts in the presence of tumor-derived factors, indicating that survival of Treg in the tumor site is driven by exposure to soluble factors produced by the tumor. Together, these data suggest that tumor burden may induce increased Treg infiltration, proliferation, and survival, negating productive anti-tumor immune responses in patients treated with immunotherapies. Collectively, our data indicate that several mechanisms of Treg recruitment and retention in the tumor microenvironment exist and may need to be addressed to improve the specificity of immunotherapies seeking to eliminate Treg in patients with glioma. PMID:22406925

  10. A Comparison of Institutional Factors and Student Satisfaction: Retention Implications in a Hispanic-Serving Community College.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elrod, Michael R.

    The purpose of this study was to investigate and examine the relationship of institutional factors students perceived to be important while enrolled in a community college. A student satisfaction inventory was administered on campus to collect data on first-time students perceptions of their college experiences. Results of the study indicated…

  11. Factors that influence VSV-G pseudotyping and transduction efficiency of lentiviral vectors-in vitro and in vivo implications.

    PubMed

    Farley, Daniel C; Iqball, Sharifah; Smith, Joanne C; Miskin, James E; Kingsman, Susan M; Mitrophanous, Kyriacos A

    2007-05-01

    Pseudotyping viral vectors with vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSV-G) enables the transduction of an extensive range of cell types from different species. We have discovered two important parameters of the VSV-G-pseudotyping phenomenon that relate directly to the transduction potential of lentiviral vectors: (1) the glycosylation status of VSV-G, and (2) the quantity of glycoprotein associated with virions. We measured production-cell and virion-associated quantities of two isoform variants of VSV-G, which differ in their glycosylation status, VSV-G1 and VSV-G2, and assessed the impact of this difference on the efficiency of mammalian cell transduction by lentiviral vectors. The glycosylation of VSV-G at N336 allowed greater maximal expression of VSV-G in HEK293T cells, thus facilitating vector pseudotyping. The transduction of primate cell lines was substantially affected (up to 50-fold) by the degree of VSV-G1 or VSV-G2 incorporation, whereas other cell lines, such as D17 (canine), were less sensitive to virion-associated VSV-G1/2 quantities. These data indicate that the minimum required concentration of virion-associated VSV-G differs substantially between cell species/types. The implications of these data with regard to VSV-G-pseudotyped vector production, titration, and use in host-cell restriction studies, are discussed. PMID:17366519

  12. Processes influencing chemical biomagnification and trophic magnification factors in aquatic ecosystems: Implications for chemical hazard and risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Mackay, Donald; Celsie, Alena K D; Arnot, Jon A; Powell, David E

    2016-07-01

    Bioconcentration factors (BCFs) and bioaccumulation factors (BAFs) are widely used in scientific and regulatory programs to assess chemical hazards. There is increasing interest in also using biomagnification factors (BMFs) and trophic magnification factors (TMFs) for this purpose, especially for highly hydrophobic substances that may reach high concentrations in predatory species that occupy high trophic level positions in ecosystems. Measurements of TMFs in specific ecosystems can provide invaluable confirmation that biomagnification or biodilution has occurred across food webs, but their use in a regulatory context can be controversial because of uncertainties related to the reliability of measurements and their regulatory interpretation. The objective of this study is to explore some of the recognized uncertainties and dependencies in field BMFs and TMFs. This is accomplished by compiling a set of three simple food web models (pelagic, demersal and combined pelagic-demersal) consisting of up to seven species to simulate field BMFs and TMFs and to explore their dependences on hydrophobicity (expressed as log KOW), rates of biotransformation and growth, sediment-water fugacity ratios, and extent of food web omnivory and issues that arise when chemical concentration gradients exist in aquatic ecosystems. It is shown that empirical TMFs can be highly sensitive to these factors, thus the use of TMFs in a regulatory context must recognize these sensitivities. It is suggested that simple but realistic evaluative food web models could be used to extend BCF and BAF assessments to include BMFs and TMFs, thus providing a tool to address bioaccumulation hazard and the potential risk of exposures to elevated chemical concentrations in organisms at high trophic levels. PMID:27038905

  13. Mechanistic Effects of Calcitriol in Cancer Biology

    PubMed Central

    Díaz, Lorenza; Díaz-Muñoz, Mauricio; García-Gaytán, Ana Cristina; Méndez, Isabel

    2015-01-01

    Besides its classical biological effects on calcium and phosphorus homeostasis, calcitriol, the active vitamin D metabolite, has a broad variety of actions including anticancer effects that are mediated either transcriptionally and/or via non-genomic pathways. In the context of cancer, calcitriol regulates the cell cycle, induces apoptosis, promotes cell differentiation and acts as anti-inflammatory factor within the tumor microenvironment. In this review, we address the different mechanisms of action involved in the antineoplastic effects of calcitriol. PMID:26102214

  14. Structural and Mechanistic Roles of Novel Chemical Ligands on the SdiA Quorum-Sensing Transcription Regulator

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Y; Nguyen, Nam X.; Rogers, Jamie L.; Liao, Jun; MacMillan, John B.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Bacteria engage in chemical signaling, termed quorum sensing (QS), to mediate intercellular communication, mimicking multicellular organisms. The LuxR family of QS transcription factors regulates gene expression, coordinating population behavior by sensing endogenous acyl homoserine lactones (AHLs). However, some bacteria (such as Escherichia coli) do not produce AHLs. These LuxR orphans sense exogenous AHLs but also regulate transcription in the absence of AHLs. Importantly, this AHL-independent regulatory mechanism is still largely unknown. Here we present several structures of one such orphan LuxR-type protein, SdiA, from enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), in the presence and absence of AHL. SdiA is actually not in an apo state without AHL but is regulated by a previously unknown endogenous ligand, 1-octanoyl-rac-glycerol (OCL), which is ubiquitously found throughout the tree of life and serves as an energy source, signaling molecule, and substrate for membrane biogenesis. While exogenous AHL renders to SdiA higher stability and DNA binding affinity, OCL may function as a chemical chaperone placeholder that stabilizes SdiA, allowing for basal activity. Structural comparison between SdiA-AHL and SdiA-OCL complexes provides crucial mechanistic insights into the ligand regulation of AHL-dependent and -independent function of LuxR-type proteins. Importantly, in addition to its contribution to basic science, this work has implications for public health, inasmuch as the SdiA signaling system aids the deadly human pathogen EHEC to adapt to a commensal lifestyle in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of cattle, its main reservoir. These studies open exciting and novel avenues to control shedding of this human pathogen in the environment. PMID:25827420

  15. In vitro effects of heparin and tissue factor pathway inhibitor on factor VII assays. possible implications for measurements in vivo after heparin therapy.

    PubMed

    Bladbjerg, E M; Larsen, L F; Ostergaard, P; Jespersen, J

    2000-12-01

    The coagulant activity of blood coagulation factor VII (FVII:C) can be lowered by changes in lifestyle and by therapeutic intervention, e.g. heparin infusion. The question is, however, whether FVII:C determined ex vivo is a valid measure of the FVII activity in vivo. We measured plasma FVII:C, activated FVII (FVIIa), FVII protein (FVII:Ag), tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI), triglycerides, and free fatty acids (FFA) before and 15 min after infusion of a bolus of unfractionated heparin (50 IU/kg body weight) in 12 healthy subjects. Additionally, we conducted in vitro experiments to investigate the effect of unfractionated heparin and TFPI, which is released from the endothelium by heparin, on FVII:C, FVIIa, and FVII:Ag. Heparin infusion decreased triglycerides and increased FFA and TFPI. This was accompanied by significant reductions in FVIIa, FVII:C and FVII:Ag. In vitro, anti-TFPI antibodies increased FVIIa and FVII:C, and heparin reduced FVIIa. The heparinase Hepzyme was unable to abolish the effect of heparin. There were no in vitro effects on FVII:Ag. We conclude that, due to interference by TFPI and heparin in post-heparin plasma, it is impossible to measure the in vivo FVII activity by means of FVII clotting assays. These assays should therefore not be used to measure the coagulation status of patients in heparin therapy, unless extraordinary precautions are taken to eliminate TFPI and heparin effects ex vivo. The observed effect of heparin on FVII:Ag should be investigated further. PMID:11132652

  16. Mechanistic studies related to the safety of Li/SOCl2 cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, B. J.; Williams, R. M.; Tsay, F. D.; Rodriguez, A.; Kim, S.; Evans, M. M.; Frank, H.

    1985-01-01

    Mechanistic studies of the reactions in Li-SOCl2 cells have been undertaken to improve understanding of the safety problems of these cells. The electrochemical reduction of 1.5M LiAlCl4/SOCl2 has been investigated using gas chromatography, electron spin resonance spectroscopy, and infrared spectroscopy. Cl2 and S2Cl2 have been identified as intermediates in the reduction of SOCl2, along with a radical species (g/xx/ = 2.004, g/yy/ = 2.016, g/zz/ = 2.008) and the proposed triplet ground-state dimer of this radical. SO2 and sulfur have been identified as products. Based upon these findings, a mechanism for the electrochemical reduction of 1.5M LiAlCl4/SOCl2 has been proposed, and its implications for safety of Li-SOCl2 cells during discharge to +0.5V at 25-30 C are discussed.

  17. New Measurement of Parity Violation in Elastic Electron-Proton Scattering and Implications for Strange Form Factors

    SciTech Connect

    Konrad Aniol; David Armstrong; Todd Averett; Maud Baylac; Etienne Burtin; John Calarco; Gordon Cates; Christian Cavata; Zhengwei Chai; C. Chang; Jian-Ping Chen; Eugene Chudakov; Evaristo Cisbani; Marius Coman; Daniel Dale; Alexandre Deur; Pibero Djawotho; Martin Epstein; Stephanie Escoffier; Lars Ewell; Nicolas Falletto; John Finn; A. Fleck; Bernard Frois; Salvatore Frullani; Juncai Gao; Franco Garibaldi; Ashot Gasparian; G. M. Gerstner; Ronald Gilman; Oleksandr Glamazdin; Javier Gomez; Viktor Gorbenko; Jens-ole Hansen; F. Hersman; Douglas Higinbotham; Richard Holmes; Maurik Holtrop; Thomas Humensky; Sebastien Incerti; Mauro Iodice; Cornelis De Jager; Johann Jardillier; Xiaodong Jiang; Mark Jones; J. Jorda; Christophe Jutier; W. Kahl; James Kelly; Donghee Kim; M. -J. Kim; Minsuk Kim; Ioannis Kominis; Edgar Kooijman; Kevin Kramer; Krishna Kumar; Michael Kuss; John LeRose; Raffaele De Leo; M. Leuschner; David Lhuillier; Meihua Liang; Nilanga Liyanage; R. Lourie; Richard Madey; Sergey Malov; Demetrius Margaziotis; Frederic Marie; Pete Markowitz; Jacques Martino; Peter Mastromarino; Kathy McCormick; Justin McIntyre; Zein-Eddine Meziani; Robert Michaels; Brian Milbrath; Gerald Miller; Joseph Mitchell; Ludyvine Morand; Damien Neyret; Gerassimos Petratos; Roman Pomatsalyuk; John Price; David Prout; Thierry Pussieux; Gilles Quemener; Ronald Ransome; David Relyea; Yves Roblin; Julie Roche; Gary Rutledge; Paul Rutt; Marat Rvachev; Franck Sabatie; Arunava Saha; Paul Souder; Marcus Spradlin; Steffen Strauch; Riad Suleiman; Jeffrey Templon; T. Teresawa; James Thompson; Raphael Tieulent; Luminita Todor; Baris Tonguc; Paul Ulmer; Guido Urciuoli; Branislav Vlahovic; Krishni Wijesooriya; R. Wilson; Bogdan Wojtsekhowski; Rhett Woo; Wang Xu; Imran Younus; C. Zhang

    2001-06-01

    We have measured the parity-violating electroweak asymmetry in the elastic scattering of polarized electrons from the proton. The result is A = -15.05 +- 0.98(stat) {+-} 0.56(syst) ppm at the kinematic point theta{sub lab} = 12.3 degrees and Q{sup 2} = 0.477 (GeV/c){sup 2}. The measurement implies that the value for the strange form factor (G{sub E}{sup s} + 0.392 G{sub M}{sup s})/(G{sub M}{sup p} {mu}{sub p}) = 0.069 +- 0.056 +- 0.039, where the first error is experimental and the second arises from the uncertainties in electromagnetic form factors. This measurement is the first fixed-target parity violation experiment that used either a ''strained'' GaAs photocathode to produce highly polarized electrons or a Compton polarimeter to continuously monitor the electron beam polarization.

  18. Protein kinases as switches for the function of upstream stimulatory factors: implications for tissue injury and cancer

    PubMed Central

    Horbach, Tina; Götz, Claudia; Kietzmann, Thomas; Dimova, Elitsa Y.

    2015-01-01

    The upstream stimulatory factors (USFs) are regulators of important cellular processes. Both USF1 and USF2 are supposed to have major roles in metabolism, tissue protection and tumor development. However, the knowledge about the mechanisms that control the function of USFs, in particular in tissue protection and cancer, is limited. Phosphorylation is a versatile tool to regulate protein functions. Thereby, phosphorylation can positively or negatively affect different aspects of transcription factor function including protein stability, protein–protein interaction, cellular localization, or DNA binding. The present review aims to summarize the current knowledge about the regulation of USFs by direct phosphorylation and the consequences for USF functions in tissue protection and cancer. PMID:25741280

  19. Nitrous oxide exchanges with the atmosphere of a constructed wetland treating wastewater. Parameters and implications for emission factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johansson, A. E.; Kasimir Klemedtsson, Å.; Klemedtsson, L.; Svensson, B. H.

    2003-07-01

    Static chamber measurements of N2O fluxes were taken during the 1998 and 1999 growth seasons in a Swedish constructed wetland receiving wastewater. The dominating plant species in different parts of the wetland were Lemna minor L., Typha latifolia L., Spirogyra sp. and Glyceria maxima (Hartm.) and Phalaris arundinacea (L.), respectively. There were large temporal and spatial variations in N2O fluxes, which ranged from consumption at -350 to emissions at 1791 μg N2O m-2 h-1. The largest positive flux occurred in October 1999 and the lowest in the middle of July 1999. The average N2O flux for the two years was 130 μg N2O m-2 h-1 (SD = 220). No significant differences in N2O fluxes were found between the years, even though the two growing seasons differed considerably with respect to both air temperature and precipitation. 15% of the fluxes were negative, showing a consumption of N2O. Consumption occurred on a few occasions at most measurement sites and ranged from 1-350 μg N2O m-2 h-1. 13-43% of the variation in N2O fluxes was explained by multiple linear regression analysis including principal components. Emission factors were calculated according to IPCC methods from the N2O fluxes in the constructed wetland. The calculated emission factors were always lower (0.02-0.27%) compared to the default factor provided by the IPCC (0.75%). Thus, direct application of the IPCC default factor may lead to overestimation of N2O fluxes from constructed wastewater-treating wetlands.

  20. Consequences of nocturnal water loss: a synthesis of regulating factors and implications for capacitance, embolism and use in models.

    PubMed

    Zeppel, M J B; Lewis, J D; Phillips, N G; Tissue, D T

    2014-10-01

    Total daily water use is a key factor influencing the growth of many terrestrial plants, and reflects both day-time and nocturnal water fluxes. However, while nocturnal sap flow (En) and stomatal conductance (gs,n) have been reported across a range of species, ecosystems and microclimatic conditions, the regulation of these fluxes remains poorly understood. Here, we present a framework describing the role of abiotic and biotic factors in regulating En and gs,n highlighting recent developments in this field. Across ecosystems, En and gs,n generally increased with increasing soil water content and vapor pressure deficit, but the interactive effects of these factors and the potential roles of wind speed and other abiotic factors remain unclear. On average, gs,n and En are higher in broad-leaved compared with needle-leaved plants, in C3 compared with C4 plants, and in tropical compared with temperate species. We discuss the impacts of leaf age, elevated [CO2] and refilling of capacitance on night-time water loss, and how nocturnal gs,n may be included in vegetation models. Younger leaves may have higher gs,n than older leaves. Embolism refilling and recharge of capacitance may affect sap flow such that total plant water loss at night may be less than estimated solely from En measurements. Our estimates of gs,n for typical plant functional types, based on the published literature, suggest that nocturnal water loss may be a significant fraction (10-25%) of total daily water loss. Counter-intuitively, elevated [CO2] may increase nocturnal water loss. Assumptions in process-based ecophysiological models and dynamic global vegetation models that gs is zero when solar radiation is zero are likely to be incorrect. Consequently, failure to adequately consider nocturnal water loss may lead to substantial under-estimation of total plant water use and inaccurate estimation of ecosystem level water balance. PMID:25413023

  1. Gemcitabine-Related Pneumonitis in Pancreas Adenocarcinoma—An Infrequent Event: Elucidation of Risk Factors and Management Implications

    PubMed Central

    Sahin, Ibrahim Halil; Geyer, Alexander I.; Kelly, Daniel W.; O’Reilly, Eileen Mary

    2016-01-01

    A total of 2440 pancreatic cancer patients who received gemcitabine treatment were screened for gemcitabine-related pneumonitis (GRP). The observed rate of GRP was 1.1%. History of smoking, alcohol use, and history of underlying lung disease were identified as possible risk factors of GRP. Early pulmonary consult and cessation of gemcitabine is recommended once clinical suspicion arises. Background Gemcitabine-related pneumonitis (GRP) has been reported relatively frequently for pancreas cancer in the literature; however, underlying risk factors and optimal management remain to be defined. We studied a cohort of patients with GRP and investigated potential predisposing factors in pancreatic cancer patients. Patients and Methods A total 2440 patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center were identified between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2012, and were screened for grade 2 or higher GRP in an institutional tumor registry and using an ICD billing code database. Demographic and clinical information was extracted by electronic chart review. Results A total of 28 patients (1.1%) with GRP were identified. Incidence of grade 2, 3, and 4 reactions were 7 (25%), 18 (64%), and 3 (11%), respectively. No GRP-related mortality was observed. Twenty-one patients (75%) reported a history of cigarette smoking. Seventeen patients (61%) were alcohol users. Six patients (21%) were either regular or heavy drinkers. Most patients (93%) had either locally advanced or metastatic disease. Three patients (11%) underwent a diagnostic bronchoscopy, and in 1 patient a diagnosis of organizing pneumonia was established. Morbidity was significant; 3 patients (11%) required treatment in the intensive care unit. All hospitalized patients received steroid treatment. Conclusion GRP is relatively uncommon but incurs significant morbidity. Potential risk factors include advanced-stage disease, along with smoking and alcohol consumption and possibly underlying lung disease. We recommend a

  2. Religion as a Support Factor for Women of Color Pursuing Science Degrees: Implications for Science Teacher Educators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceglie, Robert

    2013-02-01

    This study explores the influence of religion as a support factor for a group of Latina and African-American women majoring in science. The current project is a part of a larger study that investigated persistence factors of underrepresented woman who were enrolled as science majors at United States colleges and universities. This paper focuses on one theme that emerged among six participants who disclosed how religion was a significant influence on their persistence in science fields. The strength and support offered by religious values is certainly not specific to science content; however, the support received from their beliefs highlights a potential area for further exploration. Given the importance of increasing participation by students from diverse backgrounds into science fields, it is critical to recognize how some of these differences may be the key factors influencing the way these students look at the world. This study offers evidence that science educators need to consider what role religious beliefs have for students who may be considering science or science education as a future career, particularly for those students from underrepresented groups.

  3. Clinical implications of the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation: inter-relationships between symptoms, psychosocial factors and cardiovascular outcomes.

    PubMed

    Handberg, Eileen M; Eastwood, Jo-Ann; Eteiba, Wafia; Johnson, B Delia; Krantz, David S; Thompson, Diane V; Vaccarino, Viola; Bittner, Vera; Sopko, George; Pepine, Carl J; Merz, Noel Bairey; Rutledge, Thomas R

    2013-09-01

    Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the USA and is associated with several modifiable (hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, tobacco use, physical inactivity, obesity and unhealthy diet) and nonmodifiable (age, gender and family history) risk factors. The role of psychosocial risk factors in the development of cardiovascular disease has a growing body of literature, and differences in men and women have been identified. The Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation provides insight into psychosocial risk factors in a cohort of women presenting with chest pain who had a comprehensive battery of psychosocial assessments and long-term follow-up. This review focuses on symptom presentation for chest pain and its relationship to cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality, quality of life, healthcare costs and psychosocial predictor variables, including anxiety, depression, hostility and social networks. In the Women's Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation, persistent chest pain was associated with an increased rate of adverse events and relatively high rates of depression and anxiety, with reduced functional capacity and impaired quality of life, over a median of 6 years of follow-up. More research is needed to better understand the relationships between symptoms and negative emotions and to determine whether psychological (pharmacologic and/or cognitive) interventions might impact both psychological and cardiovascular outcomes. PMID:24007253

  4. Teachers' beliefs about science teaching and context factors: Implications for teaching and learning science at the middle school level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pea, Celeste H.

    Current research shows that teachers' beliefs have been virtually ignored in science education reform efforts spearheaded by the development of national, state, and local standards. Since the aim of science education reform is to improve scientific literacy for all students, increasingly, researchers are questioning the lack of attention to teachers' beliefs and are calling for more research to examine teachers' beliefs and the influence of school environmental factors on their classroom practices. The purpose of this study was to explore, investigate, and analyze data that might reveal middle school science teachers' beliefs about science teaching and how school environmental factors influence their classroom behavior. The mixed methods study was conducted in a large urban/suburban county in an eastern state in the United States. Data were collected through a Likert-style survey and interview and observation sessions. Ninety-one middle school science teachers completed the survey. Three teachers from the survey sample also participated in the interview and observation sessions. The findings from the quantitative and qualitative data indicated that most of the middle school science teachers in this study believed that science teaching should be student-centered, and science instruction should be based on an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. They also believed that the state and county standards were the most important factors in helping teachers to use inquiry-based instructional strategies to teach science. In addition to the science standards, the middle school science teachers believed that peer and principal support were critical to their success as teachers, and that instructional materials and supplies were readily available to help them teach science. The findings from the study indicated that few school environmental factors affected the middle school teachers' classroom practices. However, time (to participate in more professional activities

  5. MECHANISTIC STUDIES OF IMPROVED FOAM EOR PROCESSES

    SciTech Connect

    William R. Rossen

    2004-06-14

    The objective of this research is to widen the application of foam to enhanced oil recovery (EOR) by investigating fundamental mechanisms of foams in porous media. This research will lay the groundwork for more applied research on foams for improved sweep efficiency in miscible gas, steam and surfactant-based EOR. Task 1 investigates the pore-scale interactions between foam bubbles and polymer molecules. Task 2 examines the mechanisms of gas trapping, and interaction between gas trapping and foam effectiveness. Task 3 investigates mechanisms of foam generation in porous media. Significant progress was made during this period on all three Tasks. Regarding Task 1, we continued comparisons of foam behavior in sandpacks with and without polymer and oil. As in our previous results, decane was moderately destabilizing to foam. Xanthan polymer did not stabilize foam in the presence of decane in this case. Rather, it appears to have destabilized foam, so that pressure gradient decreased in spite of the increase in aqueous-phase viscosity. Research on Task 2 included the first shake-down experiments with our new apparatus for gas-phase tracer tests for direct measurement of trapped-gas saturation with foam. In addition, we began to analyze CT images of gas-phase tracer in foam displacements, which offers an independent measure of trapped-gas fraction and insights into the roles of convection of tracer in flowing gas and diffusion into trapped gas. Research on Task 3 included foam generation experiments in heterogeneous sandpacks and beadpacks and modeling of discontinuous changes in state such as foam generation. The experiments found the same three regimes (coarse foam, strong foam, and intermediate regime) in heterogeneous sandpacks previously identified in homogeneous porous media. One implication is that there may be a minimum flow rate required for foam generation in even heterogeneous porous media. The dynamics in SAG foam processes in heterogeneous media are complex

  6. Key to Opening Kidney for In Vitro-In Vivo Extrapolation Entrance in Health and Disease: Part II: Mechanistic Models and In Vitro-In Vivo Extrapolation.

    PubMed

    Scotcher, Daniel; Jones, Christopher; Posada, Maria; Galetin, Aleksandra; Rostami-Hodjegan, Amin

    2016-09-01

    It is envisaged that application of mechanistic models will improve prediction of changes in renal disposition due to drug-drug interactions, genetic polymorphism in enzymes and transporters and/or renal impairment. However, developing and validating mechanistic kidney models is challenging due to the number of processes that may occur (filtration, secretion, reabsorption and metabolism) in this complex organ. Prediction of human renal drug disposition from preclinical species may be hampered by species differences in the expression and activity of drug metabolising enzymes and transporters. A proposed solution is bottom-up prediction of pharmacokinetic parameters based on in vitro-in vivo extrapolation (IVIVE), mediated by recent advances in in vitro experimental techniques and application of relevant scaling factors. This review is a follow-up to the Part I of the report from the 2015 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exhibition (Orlando, FL; 25th-29th October 2015) which focuses on IVIVE and mechanistic prediction of renal drug disposition. It describes the various mechanistic kidney models that may be used to investigate renal drug disposition. Particular attention is given to efforts that have attempted to incorporate elements of IVIVE. In addition, the use of mechanistic models in prediction of renal drug-drug interactions and potential for application in determining suitable adjustment of dose in kidney disease are discussed. The need for suitable clinical pharmacokinetics data for the purposes of delineating mechanistic aspects of kidney models in various scenarios is highlighted. PMID:27506526

  7. Soluble and pelletable factors in porcine, canine and human notochordal cell-conditioned medium: implications for IVD regeneration.

    PubMed

    Bach, F C; de Vries, S A; Riemers, F M; Boere, J; van Heel, F W; van Doeselaar, M; Goerdaya, S S; Nikkels, P G; Benz, K; Creemers, L B; Maarten Altelaar, A F; Meij, B P; Ito, K; Tryfonidou, M A

    2016-01-01

    During intervertebral disc (IVD) maturation, notochordal cells (NCs) are replaced by chondrocyte-like cells (CLCs) in the nucleus pulposus, suggesting that NCs play a role in maintaining tissue health. Affirmatively, NC-conditioned medium (NCCM) exerts regenerative effects on CLC proliferation and extracellular matrix (ECM) production. The aim of this study was to identify NC-secreted substances that stimulate IVD regeneration. By mass spectrometry of porcine, canine and human NCCM, 149, 170 and 217 proteins were identified, respectively, with 66 proteins in common. Mainly ECM-related proteins were identified, but also organelle-derived and membrane-bound vesicle proteins. To determine whether the effect of NCCM was mediated by soluble and/or pelletable factors, porcine and canine NCCM were separated into a soluble (NCCM-S; peptides and proteins) and pelletable (NCCM-P; protein aggregates and extracellular vesicles) fraction by ultracentrifugation, and tested on bovine and canine CLCs in vitro, respectively. In each model, NCCM-S exerted a more pronounced anabolic effect than NCCM-P. However, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) uptake from the medium into the carrier gel prevented more definite conclusions. While the effect of porcine NCCM-P on bovine CLCs was negligible, canine NCCM-P appeared to enhance GAG and collagen type II deposition by canine CLCs. In conclusion, porcine and canine NCCM exerted their anabolic effects mainly through soluble factors, but also the pelletable NCCM factors showed moderate regenerative potential. Although the regenerative potential of NCCM-P should not be overlooked, future studies should focus on unraveling the protein-based regenerative mechanism from NCCM produced from isolated NCs, e.g. by NCCM fractionation and pathway blocking studies. PMID:27572543

  8. Risk Factors for Invasive Mold Infections and Implications for Choice of Prophylaxis after Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplantation.

    PubMed

    Blennow, Ola; Remberger, Mats; Törlén, Johan; Szakos, Attila; Ljungman, Per; Mattsson, Jonas

    2016-09-01

    Invasive mold infections (IMIs) are major complications after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) with high mortality. We retrospectively investigated incidence and risk factors for IMI after 797 HSCTs in a center with high autopsy frequency, trying to identify patient groups that would potentially benefit from mold-active prophylaxis. The cumulative 1-year incidence of IMI was 2.1% in patients aged 21 to 40, 7.1% in patients aged 41 to 60, and 16.4% in patients > 60 years of age (P < .01 for patients aged 21 to 40 versus 41 to 60, P < .001 for patients aged 21 to 40 versus patients > 60). Risk factors for a new IMI in multivariate analysis were older age, grades II to IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) (risk hazard, 4.1; 95% CI, 1.9 to 8.8; P < .001), treatment with mesenchymal stromal cells (risk hazard, 4.0; 95% CI, 2.1 to 7.8; P < .001), transplantation with female donor to male recipient (risk hazard, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.1 to 4.3; P = .02), and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation-specific comorbidity index over 5 (risk hazard, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.1 to 6.8; P = .03). In patients with grade II acute GVHD, no IMI was seen after onset of acute GVHD in 109 HSCTs performed in patients < 40 years of age, as compared with 14 IMIs in 97 HSCTs (14%) performed in patients > 40 years of age (P < .001). To conclude, older age is an important risk factor for developing IMIs, and patients < 40 years of age with grade II acute GVHD do not appear to need mold-active prophylaxis unless receiving prolonged treatment with corticosteroids. PMID:27311967

  9. The roles of the classical and alternative nuclear factor-kappaB pathways: potential implications for autoimmunity and rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Keith D; Claudio, Estefania; Siebenlist, Ulrich

    2008-01-01

    Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is an inducible transcription factor controlled by two principal signaling cascades, each activated by a set of signal ligands: the classical/canonical NF-κB activation pathway and the alternative/noncanonical pathway. The former pathway proceeds via phosphorylation and degradation of inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB) and leads most commonly to activation of the heterodimer RelA/NF-κB1(p50). The latter pathway proceeds via phosphorylation and proteolytic processing of NF-κB2 (p100) and leads to activation, most commonly, of the heterodimer RelB/NF-κB2 (p52). Both pathways play critical roles at multiple levels of the immune system in both health and disease, including the autoimmune inflammatory response. These roles include cell cycle progression, cell survival, adhesion, and inhibition of apoptosis. NF-κB is constitutively activated in many autoimmune diseases, including diabetes type 1, systemic lupus erythematosus, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In this review we survey recent developments in the involvement of the classical and alternative pathways of NF-κB activation in autoimmunity, focusing particularly on RA. We discuss the involvement of NF-κB in self-reactive T and B lymphocyte development, survival and proliferation, and the maintenance of chronic inflammation due to cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1, IL-6, and IL-8. We discuss the roles played by IL-17 and T-helper-17 cells in the inflammatory process; in the activation, maturation, and proliferation of RA fibroblast-like synovial cells; and differentiation and activation of osteoclast bone-resorbing activity. The prospects of therapeutic intervention to block activation of the NF-κB signaling pathways in RA are also discussed. PMID:18771589

  10. Expression of ADAM15 in rheumatoid synovium: up-regulation by vascular endothelial growth factor and possible implications for angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Komiya, Koichiro; Enomoto, Hiroyuki; Inoki, Isao; Okazaki, Satoko; Fujita, Yoshinari; Ikeda, Eiji; Ohuchi, Eiko; Matsumoto, Hideo; Toyama, Yoshiaki; Okada, Yasunori

    2005-01-01

    ADAMs (a disintegrin and metalloproteinases) comprise a new gene family of metalloproteinases, and may play roles in cell-cell interaction, cell migration, signal transduction, shedding of membrane-anchored proteins and degradation of extracellular matrix. We screened the mRNA expression of 10 different ADAMs with a putative metalloproteinase motif in synovial tissues from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis (OA). Reverse transcription PCR and real-time quantitative PCR analyses indicated that among the ADAMs, ADAM15 mRNA was more frequently expressed in the RA samples and its expression level was significantly 3.8-fold higher in RA than in OA (p < 0.01). In situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting demonstrated that ADAM15 is expressed in active and precursor forms in the synovial lining cells, endothelial cells of blood vessels and macrophage-like cells in the sublining layer of RA synovium. There was a direct correlation between ADAM15 mRNA expression levels and vascular density in the synovial tissues (r = 0.907, p < 0.001; n = 20). ADAM15 was constitutively expressed in RA synovial fibroblasts and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and the expression level was increased in HUVECs by treatment with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)165. On the other hand, ADAM15 expression in RA synovial fibroblasts was enhanced with VEGF165 only if vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2 expression was induced by treatment with tumor necrosis factor-α, and the expression was blocked with SU1498, a specific inhibitor of VEGFR-2. These data demonstrate that ADAM15 is overexpressed in RA synovium and its expression is up-regulated by the action of VEGF165 through VEGFR-2, and suggest the possibility that ADAM15 is involved in angiogenesis in RA synovium. PMID:16277668

  11. The zinc finger transcription factor Gfi1, implicated in lymphomagenesis, is required for inner ear hair cell differentiation and survival

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wallis, Deeann; Hamblen, Melanie; Zhou, Yi; Venken, Koen J T.; Schumacher, Armin; Grimes, H. Leighton; Zoghbi, Huda Y.; Orkin, Stuart H.; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2003-01-01

    Gfi1 was first identified as causing interleukin 2-independent growth in T cells and lymphomagenesis in mice. Much work has shown that Gfi1 and Gfi1b, a second mouse homolog, play pivotal roles in blood cell lineage differentiation. However, neither Gfi1 nor Gfi1b has been implicated in nervous system development, even though their invertebrate homologues, senseless in Drosophila and pag-3 in C. elegans are expressed and required in the nervous system. We show that Gfi1 mRNA is expressed in many areas that give rise to neuronal cells during embryonic development in mouse, and that Gfi1 protein has a more restricted expression pattern. By E12.5 Gfi1 mRNA is expressed in both the CNS and PNS as well as in many sensory epithelia including the developing inner ear epithelia. At later developmental stages, Gfi1 expression in the ear is refined to the hair cells and neurons throughout the inner ear. Gfi1 protein is expressed in a more restricted pattern in specialized sensory cells of the PNS, including the eye, presumptive Merkel cells, the lung and hair cells of the inner ear. Gfi1 mutant mice display behavioral defects that are consistent with inner ear anomalies, as they are ataxic, circle, display head tilting behavior and do not respond to noise. They have a unique inner ear phenotype in that the vestibular and cochlear hair cells are differentially affected. Although Gfi1-deficient mice initially specify inner ear hair cells, these hair cells are disorganized in both the vestibule and cochlea. The outer hair cells of the cochlea are improperly innervated and express neuronal markers that are not normally expressed in these cells. Furthermore, Gfi1 mutant mice lose all cochlear hair cells just prior to and soon after birth through apoptosis. Finally, by five months of age there is also a dramatic reduction in the number of cochlear neurons. Hence, Gfi1 is expressed in the developing nervous system, is required for inner ear hair cell differentiation, and its loss

  12. Mechanistic interpretation of nondestructive pavement testing deflections

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffman, M. S.

    1980-06-01

    A method is proposed for the backcalculation of material properties in flexible pavements based on the interpretation of surface deflection measurements. ILLI-PAVE, a stress dependent finite element pavement model, was used to generate data for developing algorithms and nomographs for deflection basin interpretation. Over 11,000 deflection measurements for 24 different flexible pavement sections were collected and analyzed. Deflections were measured using the Benkelman Beam, the IDOT Road Rater, the Falling Weight Deflectometer, and an accelerometer to measure deflections under moving trucks. Loading mode effects on pavement response were investigated using dynamic and viscous pavement models. The factors controlling the pavement response to different loading modes were explained and identified. Correlations between different devices were developed. The proposed evaluation procedure is illustrated for three different flexible pavements using deflection data collected on several testing dates.

  13. Characteristic Features and Contributory Factors in Fatal Ciguatera Fish Poisoning-Implications for Prevention and Public Education.

    PubMed

    Chan, Thomas Y K

    2016-04-01

    In this review, the main objective was to describe the characteristic features of fatal ciguatera fish poisoning and identify contributory factors, with a view to promote prevention and public education. Ciguatera-related deaths, although rare, have been reported from the Pacific, Caribbean, and Indian Ocean regions. The clinical features were generally dominated by convulsions and coma, with various focal neurological signs. Several contributory factors could be identified, including consumption of ciguatoxin (CTX)-rich fish parts (viscera and head) in larger amounts, the most ciguatoxic fish species (e.g.,Gymnothorax flavimarginatus) and reef fish collected after storms and individuals' susceptibility. Mass ciguatera fish poisoning with mortalities also occurred whenG. flavimarginatusand other ciguatoxic fish species were shared in gatherings and parties. The characteristic features of fatal ciguatera fish poisoning must be recognized early. The public should be repeatedly reminded to avoid eating the most ciguatoxic fish species and the CTX-rich parts of reef fish. To prevent mass poisoning in gatherings and parties, the most ciguatoxic fish species and potentially toxic fish species must be avoided. Particularly after hits by disastrous storms, it is important to monitor the toxicity of reef fish and the incidence rates of ciguatera. PMID:26787145

  14. Pathophysiological roles of microvascular alterations in pulmonary inflammatory diseases: possible implications of tumor necrosis factor-alpha and CXC chemokines

    PubMed Central

    Orihara, Kanami; Matsuda, Akio

    2008-01-01

    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchial asthma are common respiratory diseases that are caused by chronic inflammation of the airways. Although these diseases are mediated by substantially distinct immunological reactions, especially in mild cases, they both show increased numbers of neutrophils, increased production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and poor responses to corticosteroids, particularly in patients with severe diseases. These immunological alterations may contribute strongly to airway structural changes, commonly referred to as airway remodeling. Microvascular alterations, a component of airway remodeling and caused by chronic inflammation, are observed and appear to be clinically involved in both diseases. It has been well established that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays important roles in the airway microvascular alterations in mild and moderate cases of both diseases, but any role that VEGF might play in severe cases of these diseases remains unclear. Here, we review recent research findings, including our own data, and discuss the possibility that TNF-α and its associated CXC chemokines play roles in microvascular alterations that are even more crucial than those of VEGF in patients with severe COPD or asthma. PMID:19281078

  15. In vivo antitumor efficacy of STAT3 blockade using a transcription factor decoy approach: implications for cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Xi, Sichuan; Gooding, William E; Grandis, Jennifer Rubin

    2005-02-01

    The development of more effective prevention and treatment strategies for solid tumors is limited by an incomplete understanding of the critical growth pathways that are activated in carcinogenesis. Signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) proteins have been linked to transformation and tumor progression. Several approaches have been used to block STAT3 in cancer cells resulting in reduced proliferation and apoptosis. We tested the hypothesis that blocking STAT3 activation using a transcription factor decoy approach would decrease tumor growth and STAT3 target gene expression in vivo. In a xenograft model of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN), daily administration of the STAT3 decoy (25 microg) resulted in decreased tumor volumes, abrogation of STAT3 activation, and decreased expression of STAT3 target genes (VEGF, Bcl-xL, and cyclin D1) compared to treatment with a mutant control decoy. Blockade of STAT3 with the STAT3 decoy also induced apoptosis and decreased proliferation, an effect that was augmented when the STAT3 decoy was combined with cisplatin, both in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that a transcription factor decoy approach may be used to target STAT3 in cancers that demonstrate increased STAT3 activation including SCCHN. PMID:15592503

  16. Reproductive Performance of a Declining Forest Passerine in Relation to Environmental and Social Factors: Implications for Species Conservation

    PubMed Central

    Grendelmeier, Alex; Arlettaz, Raphaël; Gerber, Michael; Pasinelli, Gilberto

    2015-01-01

    Identifying factors influencing a species' ecological niche and demography is a prerequisite for species conservation. However, our understanding of the interplay between demographic rates and biotic/abiotic factors is still poor for most species of conservation concern. We evaluated relevance of eight hypotheses relating to timing of breeding, temporal nest exposure, nest concealment, topography, tree structure, predation risk and disturbance, density dependence and weather for explaining variation in reproductive performance of the declining wood warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix in northern Switzerland. Reproductive performance was monitored with cameras at 136 nests from 2010 to 2012 and was associated to temporal exposure, timing of breeding and concealment of nests. Daily nest survival was positively related to the number of grass and sedge tussocks, nest concealment and nest age. Clutch size and number of fledglings decreased, the later in the season a nest was initiated. Nest survival over an average nesting period of 31 days was 46.9 ± 0.07% (mean ± SE), daily nest survival rate was 0.976 ± 0.002. As for many ground-breeding birds, nest predation was the principal cause of nest failure, accounting for 79% of all nest losses. Conservation measures should aim at increasing the area of relatively homogenous forest stands featuring suitable habitats characterized by abundant and accessible grass and sedge tussocks. In managed forests, such conditions can be found in stands of middle age (i.e. pole wood) with little to no shrub layer. PMID:26172954

  17. A Systematic Review of Built Environment Factors Related to Physical Activity and Obesity Risk: Implications for Smart Growth Urban Planning

    PubMed Central

    Durand, Casey P.; Andalib, Mohammad; Dunton, Genevieve F.; Wolch, Jennifer; Pentz, Mary Ann

    2010-01-01

    Introduction Smart growth is an approach to urban planning that provides a framework for making community development decisions. Despite its growing use, it is not known whether smart growth can impact physical activity. This review utilizes existing built environment research on factors that have been used in smart growth planning to determine whether they are associated with physical activity or body mass. Methods Searching the MEDLINE, Psycinfo and Web-of-Knowledge databases, 204 articles were identified for descriptive review, and 44 for a more in-depth review of studies that evaluated four or more smart growth planning principles. Results Five smart growth factors (diverse housing types, mixed land use, housing density, compact development patterns, and levels of open space) were associated with increased levels of physical activity and walking. Results varied by gender and method of environmental assessment. Body mass was largely unaffected. Discussion This review suggests that several features of the built environment that are typically associated with smart growth planning may promote physical activity. Future smart growth community planning could be modified to include a dedicated focus on health, and future research should explore whether combinations or a critical mass of smart growth features is associated with better population health outcomes. PMID:21348918

  18. A review of factors affecting productivity of bald eagles in the Great Lakes region: implications for recovery.

    PubMed

    Bowerman, W W; Giesy, J P; Best, D A; Kramer, V J

    1995-05-01

    The bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) population in North America declined greatly after World War II due primarily to the eggshell thinning effects of p,p'-DDE, a biodegradation product of DDT. After the banning of DDT in the United States and Canada during the early 1970s, the bald eagle population started to increase. However, this population recovery has not been uniform. Eagles nesting along the shorelines of the North American Great Lakes and rivers open to spawning runs of anadromous fishes from the Great Lakes still exhibit impaired reproduction. We have explored both ecological and toxicological factors that would limit reproduction of bald eagles in the Great Lakes region. Based on our studies, the most critical factors influencing eagle populations are concentrations of environmental toxicants. While there might be some continuing effects of DDE, total PCBs and most importantly 2,3,7,8-tetrachlordibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TCDD-EQ) in fishes from the Great Lakes and rivers open to spawning runs of anadromous fishes from the Great Lakes currently represent a significant hazard to bald eagles living along these shorelines or near these rivers and are most likely related to the impaired reproduction in bald eagles living there. PMID:7556024

  19. Factors influencing the selection of delivery with no one present in Northern Nigeria: implications for policy and programs

    PubMed Central

    Fapohunda, Bolaji; Orobaton, Nosakhare

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the effects of demographic, socioeconomic, and women’s autonomy factors on the utilization of delivery assistance in Sokoto State, Nigeria. Data were obtained from the Nigeria 2008 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Bivariate analysis and logistic regression procedures were conducted. The study revealed that delivery with no one present and with unskilled attendance accounted for roughly 95% of all births in Sokoto State. Mothers with existing high risk factors, including higher parity, were more likely to select unsafe/unskilled delivery practices than younger, lower-parity mothers. Evidenced by the high prevalence of delivery with traditional birth attendants, this study demonstrates that expectant mothers are willing to obtain care from a provider, and their odds of using accessible, affordable, skilled delivery is high, should such an option be presented. This conclusion is supported by the high correlation between a mother’s socioeconomic status and the likelihood of using skilled attendance. To improve the access to, and increase the affordability of, skilled health attendants, we recommended two solutions: 1) the use of cash subsidies to augment women’s incomes in order to reduce finance-related barriers in the use of formal health services, thus increasing demand; and 2) a structural improvement that will increase women’s economic security by improving their access to higher education, income, and urban ideation. PMID:24516341

  20. Lipid metabolism and the risk factors of cardiovascular disease: implication of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.

    PubMed

    Balogun, Kayode A

    2016-02-01

    Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a complicated and multifarious disease, and is the number one cause of mortality worldwide. The pathogenesis of CVD is attributed to the interaction between genetics and environment. There are numerous data that support the cardioprotective properties of omega (n)-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA); however, there are also controversial reports. Considering the reported sex and age differences in the pathophysiology of CVD and the metabolism of n-3 PUFA, it is imperative to consider these factors in the cardioprotective effects of n-3 PUFA. The current thesis investigated the effects of n-3 PUFA on the risk factors of CVD, such as dyslipidemia and obesity, with a particular focus on how sex, age, and dose of n-3 PUFA affect lipid and lipoprotein metabolism. The plasma concentrations of lipids and lipoproteins of C57BL/6 mice offspring at weaning and 16 weeks postweaning were chosen as study outcomes to assess the sex, age, and dose-specific effects of n-3 PUFA on markers of dyslipidemia, a well-known risk factor of CVD. A longer exposure to a postnatal diet high in n-3 PUFA increased plasma concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the offspring in a sex-specific manner; however, the profile of this increase was less atherogenic, as the high n-3 PUFA group had a lower plasma concentration of very small LDL particles in both males and females. There was no effect of high n-3 PUFA diet observed on plasma concentration of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; however, the high n-3 PUFA group had a higher cholesterol efflux in the male offspring but not in female offspring. Lipidomic analyses revealed that high n-3 PUFA diet led to higher hepatic and plasma concentrations of n-3 PUFA-containing bioactive lipids, such a phosphatidylcholine, lysophosphatidylcholine and free fatty acids, which could positively influence pathways involved in cardioprotection. The effects of dietary n-3 PUFA on obesity at the cellular

  1. DEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF A MECHANISTIC GROUND SPRAYER MODEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the last ten years the Spray Drift Task Force (SDTF), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Agricultural Research Service, and USDA Forest Service cooperated in the refinement and evaluation of a mechanistically-based aerial spray model (contained within AGDISP and ...

  2. MECHANISTIC AND SOURCE UNDERSTANDING OF PCDD/F FORMATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper discusses mechanistic and source understanding of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin and dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) formation. (NOTE: Considerable research effort has been expended over the last 15-plus years to understand how combustion sources result in formation of PCDDs/F...

  3. MECHANISTIC-BASED DISINFECTION AND DISINFECTION BYPRODUCT MODELS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We propose developing a mechanistic-based numerical model for chlorine decay and regulated DBP (THM and HAA) formation derived from (free) chlorination; the model framework will allow future modifications for other DBPs and chloramination. Predicted chlorine residual and DBP r...

  4. Does Mechanistic Thinking Improve Student Success in Organic Chemistry?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grove, Nathaniel P.; Cooper, Melanie M.; Cox, Elizabeth L.

    2012-01-01

    The use of the curved-arrow notation to depict electron flow during mechanistic processes is one of the most important representational conventions in the organic chemistry curriculum. Our previous research documented a disturbing trend: when asked to predict the products of a series of reactions, many students do not spontaneously engage in…

  5. Bridging Mechanistic and Phenomenological Models of Complex Biological Systems

    PubMed Central

    Transtrum, Mark K.; Qiu, Peng

    2016-01-01

    The inherent complexity of biological systems gives rise to complicated mechanistic models with a large number of parameters. On the other hand, the collective behavior of these systems can often be characterized by a relatively small number of phenomenological parameters. We use the Manifold Boundary Approximation Method (MBAM) as a tool for deriving simple phenomenological models from complicated mechanistic models. The resulting models are not black boxes, but remain expressed in terms of the microscopic parameters. In this way, we explicitly connect the macroscopic and microscopic descriptions, characterize the equivalence class of distinct systems exhibiting the same range of collective behavior, and identify the combinations of components that function as tunable control knobs for the behavior. We demonstrate the procedure for adaptation behavior exhibited by the EGFR pathway. From a 48 parameter mechanistic model, the system can be effectively described by a single adaptation parameter τ characterizing the ratio of time scales for the initial response and recovery time of the system which can in turn be expressed as a combination of microscopic reaction rates, Michaelis-Menten constants, and biochemical concentrations. The situation is not unlike modeling in physics in which microscopically complex processes can often be renormalized into simple phenomenological models with only a few effective parameters. The proposed method additionally provides a mechanistic explanation for non-universal features of the behavior. PMID:27187545

  6. THYROID FOLLICULAR CELL CARCINOGENESIS: MECHANISTIC AND SCIENCE POLICY CONSIDERATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA's Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment call for use of mechanistic and other relevant information in making choices about the models to be used in extrapolating hazard estimates from high to low exposures. The Forum report on thyroid neoplasia proposes that, under clearl...

  7. Rearrangements of Allylic Sulfinates to Sulfones: A Mechanistic Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ball, David B.; Mollard, Paul; Voigtritter, Karl R.; Ball, Jenelle L.

    2010-01-01

    Most current organic chemistry textbooks are organized by functional groups and those of us who teach organic chemistry use functional-group organization in our courses but ask students to learn organic chemistry from a mechanistic approach. To enrich and extend the chemical understanding and knowledge of pericyclic-type reactions for chemistry…

  8. Bridging Mechanistic and Phenomenological Models of Complex Biological Systems.

    PubMed

    Transtrum, Mark K; Qiu, Peng

    2016-05-01

    The inherent complexity of biological systems gives rise to complicated mechanistic models with a large number of parameters. On the other hand, the collective behavior of these systems can often be characterized by a relatively small number of phenomenological parameters. We use the Manifold Boundary Approximation Method (MBAM) as a tool for deriving simple phenomenological models from complicated mechanistic models. The resulting models are not black boxes, but remain expressed in terms of the microscopic parameters. In this way, we explicitly connect the macroscopic and microscopic descriptions, characterize the equivalence class of distinct systems exhibiting the same range of collective behavior, and identify the combinations of components that function as tunable control knobs for the behavior. We demonstrate the procedure for adaptation behavior exhibited by the EGFR pathway. From a 48 parameter mechanistic model, the system can be effectively described by a single adaptation parameter τ characterizing the ratio of time scales for the initial response and recovery time of the system which can in turn be expressed as a combination of microscopic reaction rates, Michaelis-Menten constants, and biochemical concentrations. The situation is not unlike modeling in physics in which microscopically complex processes can often be renormalized into simple phenomenological models with only a few effective parameters. The proposed method additionally provides a mechanistic explanation for non-universal features of the behavior. PMID:27187545

  9. Methanosarcina acetivorans 16S rRNA and transcription factor nucleotide fluctuation with implications in exobiology and pathology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holden, Todd; Tremberger, G., Jr.; Cheung, E.; Subramaniam, R.; Sullivan, R.; Schneider, P.; Flamholz, A.; Marchese, P.; Hiciano, O.; Yao, H.; Lieberman, D.; Cheung, T.

    2008-08-01

    Cultures of the methane-producing archaea Methanosarcina, have recently been isolated from Alaskan sediments. It has been proposed that methanogens are strong candidates for exobiological life in extreme conditions. The spatial environmental gradients, such as those associated with the polygons on Mars' surface, could have been produced by past methanogenesis activity. The 16S rRNA gene has been used routinely to classify phenotypes. Using the fractal dimension of nucleotide fluctuation, a comparative study of the 16S rRNA nucleotide fluctuation in Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A, Deinococcus radiodurans, and E. coli was conducted. The results suggest that Methanosarcina acetivorans has the lowest fractal dimension, consistent with its ancestral position in evolution. Variation in fluctuation complexity was also detected in the transcription factors. The transcription factor B (TFB) was found to have a higher fractal dimension as compared to transcription factor E (TFE), consistent with the fact that a single TFB in Methanosarcina acetivorans can code three different TATA box proteins. The average nucleotide pair-wise free energy of the DNA repair genes was found to be highest for Methanosarcina acetivorans, suggesting a relatively weak bonding, which is consistent with its low prevalence in pathology. Multitasking capacity comparison of type-I and type-II topoisomerases has been shown to correlate with fractal dimension using the methicillin-resistant strain MRSA 252. The analysis suggests that gene adaptation in a changing chemical environment can be measured in terms of bioinformatics. Given that the radiation resistant Deinococcus radiodurans is a strong candidate for an extraterrestrial origin and that the cold temperature Psychrobacter cryohalolentis K5 can function in Siberian permafrost, the fractal dimension comparison in this study suggests that a chemical resistant methanogen could exist in extremely cold conditions (such as that which existed on early

  10. The distal enhancer implicated in the developmental regulation of the tyrosine aminotransferase gene is bound by liver-specific and ubiquitous factors.

    PubMed Central

    Nitsch, D; Schütz, G

    1993-01-01

    Tyrosine aminotransferase gene expression is confined to parenchymal cells of the liver, is inducible by glucocorticoids and glucagon, and is repressed by insulin. Three enhancers control this tissue-specific and hormone-dependent activity, one of which, located at -11 kb, is implicated in establishing an active expression domain. We have studied in detail this important regulatory element and have identified a 221-bp fragment containing critical enhancer sequences which stimulated the heterologous thymidine kinase promoter more than 100-fold in hepatoma cells. Within this region, we have characterized two essential liver-specific enhancer domains, one of which was bound by proteins of the hepatocyte nuclear factor 3 (HNF3) family. Analyses with the dedifferentiated hepatoma cell line HTC suggested that HNF3 alpha and/or -gamma, but not HNF3 beta, are involved in activating the tyrosine aminotransferase gene via the -11-kb enhancer. Genomic footprinting and in vitro protein-DNA binding studies documented cell-type-specific binding of ubiquitous factors to the second essential enhancer domain, which by itself stimulated the thymidine kinase promoter preferentially in hepatoma cells. These results will allow further characterization of the role of these enhancer sequences in developmental activation of the tyrosine aminotransferase gene. Images PMID:8101632

  11. Field enhancement factor dependence on electric field and implications on microscale gas breakdown: Theory and experimental interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alejandro Buendia, Jose; Venkattraman, Ayyaswamy

    2015-12-01

    In this letter, we obtain a better understanding of effective field enhancement factors (β eff) in the context of microscale gas breakdown with specific emphasis on its dependence on applied electric field. The theoretical dependence of β eff on electric field for various hemi-ellipsoidal asperities indicates that the value of β eff decreases with increasing electric field. The interpretation of experimental data using a typical one-dimensional modified Paschen law indicates a qualitatively similar electric field dependence even though the data could not be completely explained using a single effective asperity size. The values of β eff extracted from seven independent experimental datasets for microscale breakdown of argon and air are shown to be consistent and an empirical dependence on electric field is determined.

  12. Calcitriol reduces thrombospondin-1 and increases vascular endothelial growth factor in breast cancer cells: implications for tumor angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    García-Quiroz, Janice; Rivas-Suárez, Mariana; García-Becerra, Rocío; Barrera, David; Martínez-Reza, Isela; Ordaz-Rosado, David; Santos-Martinez, Nancy; Villanueva, Octavio; Santos-Cuevas, Clara L; Avila, Euclides; Gamboa-Domínguez, Armando; Halhali, Ali; Larrea, Fernando; Díaz, Lorenza

    2014-10-01

    Calcitriol, a potent antineoplastic vitamin D metabolite, inhibits proliferation, induces apoptosis and slows the growth of tumors. Calcitriol also may exert either antiangiogenic or proangiogenic effects depending on the tissue. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and thrombospondin-1 (Tsp-1) are key factors involved in promoting and inhibiting angiogenesis, respectively. The effects of calcitriol on Tsp-1 have not been studied in the mammary gland, while VEGF regulation is not clear, since opposite outcomes have been demonstrated. Therefore, the present study was undertaken to investigate the effects of calcitriol on VEGF and Tsp-1 expression in primary breast tumor-derived cells and a panel of established breast cancer cell lines. In vivo studies in athymic mice were also performed in order to gain further insight into the biological effects of calcitriol on angiogenesis. Real time-PCR and ELISA analyses showed that calcitriol stimulated VEGF mRNA expression and protein secretion while elicited the opposite effect on Tsp-1 in 7 out of 8 cell lines studied, independently of the cell phenotype (P<0.05 in n=5). In vivo, calcitriol significantly inhibited the relative tumoral volume after 4 weeks of treatment; however, serum VEGF was higher in calcitriol-treated animals compared to controls (P<0.05). The integrated fluorescence intensity analysis of CD31, a vessel marker, showed that xenografted breast cancer cells developed tumors with similar vascular density regardless of the treatment. Nevertheless, larger necrotic areas were observed in the tumors of calcitriol-treated mice compared to controls. Since the antineoplastic activity of calcitriol has been consistently demonstrated in several studies including this one, our results suggest that the antitumoral effect of calcitriol in vivo involve different mechanisms not necessarily related to the inhibition of tumor vascularization. Overall, our findings indicate that calcitriol can impact the angiogenic

  13. Comparative Genomics of NAC Transcriptional Factors in Angiosperms: Implications for the Adaptation and Diversification of Flowering Plants.

    PubMed

    Pereira-Santana, Alejandro; Alcaraz, Luis David; Castaño, Enrique; Sanchez-Calderon, Lenin; Sanchez-Teyer, Felipe; Rodriguez-Zapata, Luis

    2015-01-01

    NAC proteins constitute one of the largest groups of plant-specific transcription factors and are known to play essential roles in various developmental processes. They are also important in plant responses to stresses such as drought, soil salinity, cold, and heat, which adversely affect growth. The current knowledge regarding the distribution of NAC proteins in plant lineages comes from relatively small samplings from the available data. In the present study, we broadened the number of plant species containing the NAC family origin and evolution to shed new light on the evolutionary history of this family in angiosperms. A comparative genome analysis was performed on 24 land plant species, and NAC ortholog groups were identified by means of bidirectional BLAST hits. Large NAC gene families are found in those species that have experienced more whole-genome duplication events, pointing to an expansion of the NAC family with divergent functions in flowering plants. A total of 3,187 NAC transcription factors that clustered into six major groups were used in the phylogenetic analysis. Many orthologous groups were found in the monocot and eudicot lineages, but only five orthologous groups were found between P. patens and each representative taxa of flowering plants. These groups were called basal orthologous groups and likely expanded into more recent taxa to cope with their environmental needs. This analysis on the angiosperm NAC family represents an effort to grasp the evolutionary and functional diversity within this gene family while providing a basis for further functional research on vascular plant gene families. PMID:26569117

  14. Comparative Genomics of NAC Transcriptional Factors in Angiosperms: Implications for the Adaptation and Diversification of Flowering Plants

    PubMed Central

    Pereira-Santana, Alejandro; Alcaraz, Luis David; Castaño, Enrique; Sanchez-Calderon, Lenin; Sanchez-Teyer, Felipe; Rodriguez-Zapata, Luis

    2015-01-01

    NAC proteins constitute one of the largest groups of plant-specific transcription factors and are known to play essential roles in various developmental processes. They are also important in plant responses to stresses such as drought, soil salinity, cold, and heat, which adversely affect growth. The current knowledge regarding the distribution of NAC proteins in plant lineages comes from relatively small samplings from the available data. In the present study, we broadened the number of plant species containing the NAC family origin and evolution to shed new light on the evolutionary history of this family in angiosperms. A comparative genome analysis was performed on 24 land plant species, and NAC ortholog groups were identified by means of bidirectional BLAST hits. Large NAC gene families are found in those species that have experienced more whole-genome duplication events, pointing to an expansion of the NAC family with divergent functions in flowering plants. A total of 3,187 NAC transcription factors that clustered into six major groups were used in the phylogenetic analysis. Many orthologous groups were found in the monocot and eudicot lineages, but only five orthologous groups were found between P. patens and each representative taxa of flowering plants. These groups were called basal orthologous groups and likely expanded into more recent taxa to cope with their environmental needs. This analysis on the angiosperm NAC family represents an effort to grasp the evolutionary and functional diversity within this gene family while providing a basis for further functional research on vascular plant gene families. PMID:26569117

  15. Equilibrium and kinetic Si isotope fractionation factors and their implications on Si isotope distributions in the Earth's surface environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, M.; Zhang, S.; Liu, Y.

    2015-12-01

    Several important equilibrium Si isotope fractionation factors among minerals, organic molecules and the H4SiO4 solution are complemented to facilitate explanation of distributions of Si isotope in the Earth's surface environments. The results reveal that heavy Si isotopes will be significantly enriched in the secondary silicate minerals in comparison to aqueous H4SiO4. On the contrary, quadra-coordinated organosilicon complexes are enriched in light silicon isotope relative to the solution. The extent of 28Si-enrichment in hyper-coordinated organosilicon complexes is found the largest. In addition, the large kinetic isotope effect associated with the polymerization of monosilicic acid and dimer is calculated and the result supports previous statement that highly 28Si-enrichment in the formation of amorphous quartz precursor contributes to the discrepancy between theoretical calculations and field observations. With equilibrium Si isotope fractionation factors provided here, Si isotope distributions in many surface systems of the Earth can be explained. For example, the change of bulk soil δ30Si can be predicted as a concave pattern with respect to weathering degree, with the minimum value where allophane completely dissolves and the total amount of sesqui-oxides and poorly crystalline minerals reaches its maximum. When well-crystallized clays start to precipitate from pore solutions under equilibrium conditions, the bulk soil δ30Si will increase again and reach a constant value. Similarly, the precipitation of crystalline smectite and the dissolution of poorly crystalline kaolinite may explain δ30Si variations in the ground water profile. Equilibrium Si isotope fractionations among quadra-coordinated organosilicon complexes and the H4SiO4 solution may also shed the light on the Si isotope distributions in Si-accumulating plants.

  16. Application of ensemble back trajectory and factor analysis methods to aerosol data from Fort Meade, MD: Implications for sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, L. A.; Doddridge, B. G.; Dickerson, R. R.

    2001-12-01

    As the primary field experiment for Maryland Aerosol Research and CHaracterization (MARCH-Atlantic) study, chemically speciated PM2.5 has been sampled at Fort Meade (FME, 39.10° N 76.74° W) since July 1999. FME is suburban, located in the middle of the bustling Baltimore-Washington corridor, which is generally downwind of the highly industrialized Midwest. Due to this unique sampling location, the PM2.5 observed at FME is expected to be of both local and regional sources, with relative contributions varying temporally. This variation, believed to be largely controlled by the meteorology, influences day-to-day or seasonal profiles of PM2.5 mass concentration and chemical composition. Air parcel back trajectories, which describe the path of air parcels traveling backward in time from site (receptor), reflect changes in the synoptic meteorological conditions. In this paper, an ensemble back trajectory method is employed to study the meteorology associated with each high/low PM2.5 episode in different seasons. For every sampling day, the residence time of air parcels within the eastern US at a 1° x 1° x 500 m geographic resolution can be estimated in order to resolve areas likely dominating the production of various PM2.5 components. Local sources are found to be more dominant in winter than in summer. "Factor analysis" is based on mass balance approach, providing useful insights on air pollution data. Here, a newly developed factor analysis model (UNMIX) is used to extract source profiles and contributions from the speciated PM2.5 data. Combing the model results with ensemble back trajectory method improves the understanding of the source regions and helps partition the contributions from local or more distant areas. >http://www.meto.umd.edu/~bruce/MARCH-Atl.html

  17. Redox-based epigenetic status in drug addiction: a potential contributor to gene priming and a mechanistic rationale for metabolic intervention

    PubMed Central

    Trivedi, Malav S.; Deth, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol and other drugs of abuse, including psychostimulants and opioids, can induce epigenetic changes: a contributing factor for drug addiction, tolerance, and associated withdrawal symptoms. DNA methylation is a major epigenetic mechanism and it is one of more than 200 methylation reactions supported by methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Levels of SAM are controlled by cellular redox status via the folate and vitamin B12-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS). For example, under oxidative conditions MS is inhibited, diverting its substrate homocysteine (HCY) to the trans sulfuration pathway. Alcohol, dopamine, and morphine, can alter intracellular levels of glutathione (GSH)-based cellular redox status, subsequently affecting SAM levels and DNA methylation status. Here, existing evidence is presented in a coherent manner to propose a novel hypothesis implicating the involvement of redox-based epigenetic changes in drug addiction. Further, we discuss how a “gene priming” phenomenon can contribute to the maintenance of redox and methylation status homeostasis under various stimuli including drugs of abuse. Additionally, a new mechanistic rationale for the use of metabolic interventions/redox-replenishers as symptomatic treatment of alcohol and other drug addiction and associated withdrawal symptoms is also provided. Hence, the current review article strengthens the hypothesis that neuronal metabolism has a critical bidirectional coupling with epigenetic changes in drug addiction exemplified by the link between redox-based metabolic changes and resultant epigenetic consequences under the effect of drugs of abuse. PMID:25657617

  18. Redox-based epigenetic status in drug addiction: a potential contributor to gene priming and a mechanistic rationale for metabolic intervention.

    PubMed

    Trivedi, Malav S; Deth, Richard

    2014-01-01

    Alcohol and other drugs of abuse, including psychostimulants and opioids, can induce epigenetic changes: a contributing factor for drug addiction, tolerance, and associated withdrawal symptoms. DNA methylation is a major epigenetic mechanism and it is one of more than 200 methylation reactions supported by methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Levels of SAM are controlled by cellular redox status via the folate and vitamin B12-dependent enzyme methionine synthase (MS). For example, under oxidative conditions MS is inhibited, diverting its substrate homocysteine (HCY) to the trans sulfuration pathway. Alcohol, dopamine, and morphine, can alter intracellular levels of glutathione (GSH)-based cellular redox status, subsequently affecting SAM levels and DNA methylation status. Here, existing evidence is presented in a coherent manner to propose a novel hypothesis implicating the involvement of redox-based epigenetic changes in drug addiction. Further, we discuss how a "gene priming" phenomenon can contribute to the maintenance of redox and methylation status homeostasis under various stimuli including drugs of abuse. Additionally, a new mechanistic rationale for the use of metabolic interventions/redox-replenishers as symptomatic treatment of alcohol and other drug addiction and associated withdrawal symptoms is also provided. Hence, the current review article strengthens the hypothesis that neuronal metabolism has a critical bidirectional coupling with epigenetic changes in drug addiction exemplified by the link between redox-based metabolic changes and resultant epigenetic consequences under the effect of drugs of abuse. PMID:25657617

  19. A mechanistic view of drying suspension droplets.

    PubMed

    van der Kooij, Hanne M; van de Kerkhof, Gea T; Sprakel, Joris

    2016-03-21

    When a dispersion droplet dries, a rich variety of spatial and temporal heterogeneities emerge. Controlling these phenomena is essential for many applications yet requires a thorough understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Although the process of film formation from initially dispersed polymer particles is well documented and is known to involve three main stages - evaporation, particle deformation and coalescence - it is impossible to fully disentangle the effects of particle deformation and coalescence, as these stages are closely linked. We circumvent this problem by studying suspensions of colloidal rubber particles that are incapable of coalescing. Varying the crosslink density allows us to tune the particle deformability in a controlled manner. We develop a theoretical framework of the main regimes and stresses in drying droplets of these suspensions, and validate this framework experimentally. Specifically, we show that changing the particle modulus by less than an order of magnitude can completely alter the stress development and resulting instabilities. Scanning electron microscopy reveals that particle deformability is a key factor in stress mitigation. Our model is the suspension equivalent of the widely used Routh-Russel model for film formation in drying dispersions, with additional focus on lateral nonuniformities such as cracking and wrinkling inherent to the droplet geometry, thus adding a new dimension to the conventional view of particle deformation. PMID:26843025

  20. A mechanistic approach to blood flow occlusion.

    PubMed

    Loenneke, J P; Wilson, G J; Wilson, J M

    2010-01-01

    Low-Intensity occlusion training provides a unique beneficial training mode for promoting muscle hypertrophy. Training at intensities as low as 20% 1RM with moderate vascular occlusion results in muscle hypertrophy in as little as three weeks. The primary mechanisms by which occlusion training is thought to stimulate growth include, metabolic accumulation, which stimulates a subsequent increase in anabolic growth factors, fast-twitch fiber recruitment (FT), and increased protein synthesis through the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. Heat shock proteins, Nitric oxide synthase-1 (NOS-1) and Myostatin have also been shown to be affected by an occlusion stimulus. In conclusion, low-intensity occlusion training appears to work through a variety of mechanisms. The research behind these mechanisms is incomplete thus far, and requires further examination, primarily to identify the actual metabolite responsible for the increase in GH with occlusion, and determine which mechanisms are associated to a greater degree with the hypertrophic/anti-catabolic changes seen with blood flow restriction. PMID:19885776

  1. Mechanistic Studies of Planetary Haze Formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hicks, Raea Kay

    2015-10-01

    controlling the total mass produced depends on pressure. We also report an overall increase with pressure in the N/C ratio, which supports the importance of a pressure- dependent mechanism for nitrogen incorporation. In order to understand carbon incorporation into early Earth aerosols, we devised an analysis technique that allows retrieval of the elemental analysis from unit-mass resolution (UMR) mass spectra of isotopically-labeled data. A quadrupole aerosol mass spectrometer (Q-AMS) was used to obtain UMR data of 13C-labeled and unlabeled aerosol generated by FUV photochemistry of gas mixtures containing 0.1% of either CH4 or 13CH 4 in N2. In this method, the differences in the positions of ion groups in the resulting spectra are used to estimate the mass fraction of carbon in the aerosol, and estimation of the remaining elements follows. Analysis of the UMR data yields an elemental composition of 63+/-7% C, 8+/-1% H, and 29+/-7% N by mass. Unlabeled aerosols formed under the same conditions are found by the HR-ToF-AMS to have an elemental composition of 63+/-3% C, 8+/-1% H, 20+/-4% N, and 9+/-3% O by mass, in good agreement with the UMR method. This favorable comparison verifies the method, which expands the UMR mass spectrometry toolkit. Chemical mechanisms posited to explain the aerosol-forming chemistry treat CH4 as carbon source in these hazes and treat CO2 as a source of oxygen only. We have generated early Earth aerosol analogs in the laboratory by FUV irradiation of gas mixtures containing isotopically-labeled permutations of 1,000 ppmv unlabeled and 13C-labeled CH 4 and CO2 in N2. Products in the particle phase were analyzed by the Q-AMS and the HR-ToF-AMS. Results indicate that CH 4 can account for 100% of the total carbon contained in the hazes. These results have implications for the geochemical interpretations of inclusions found in Archaean rocks on Earth, and for the astrobiological potential of other planetary atmospheres.

  2. Hazard assessment of metals in invasive fish species of the Yamuna River, India in relation to bioaccumulation factor and exposure concentration for human health implications.

    PubMed

    Singh, Atul K; Srivastava, Sharad C; Verma, Pankaj; Ansari, Abubakar; Verma, Ambrish

    2014-06-01

    Monitoring of heavy metals was conducted in the Yamuna River considering bioaccumulation factor, exposure concentration, and human health implications which showed contamination levels of copper (Cu), lead (Pb), nickel (Ni), and chromium (Cr) and their dispersion patterns along the river. Largest concentration of Pb in river water was 392 μg L(-1); Cu was 392 μg L(-1) at the extreme downstream, Allahabad and Ni was 146 μg L(-1) at midstream, Agra. Largest concentration of Cu was 617 μg kg(-1), Ni 1,621 μg kg(-1) at midstream while Pb was 1,214 μg kg(-1) at Allahabad in surface sediment. The bioconcentration of Cu, Pb, Ni, and Cr was observed where the largest accumulation of Pb was 2.29 μg kg(-1) in Oreochromis niloticus and 1.55 μg kg(-1) in Cyprinus carpio invaded at Allahabad while largest concentration of Ni was 174 μg kg(-1) in O. niloticus and 124 μg kg(-1) in C. carpio in the midstream of the river. The calculated values of hazard index (HI) for Pb was found more than one which indicated human health concern. Carcinogenic risk value for Ni was again high i.e., 17.02 × 10(-4) which was larger than all other metals studied. The results of this study indicated bioconcentration in fish due to their exposures to heavy metals from different routes which had human health risk implications. Thus, regular environmental monitoring of heavy metal contamination in fish is advocated for assessing food safety since health risk may be associated with the consumption of fish contaminated through exposure to a degraded environment. PMID:24526612

  3. Regulated proteolysis of the alternative sigma factor SigX in Streptococcus mutans: implication in the escape from competence

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background SigX (σX), the alternative sigma factor of Streptococcus mutans, is the key regulator for transcriptional activation of late competence genes essential for taking up exogenous DNA. Recent studies reveal that adaptor protein MecA and the protease ClpC act as negative regulators of competence by a mechanism that involves MecA-mediated proteolysis of SigX by the ClpC in S. mutans. However, the molecular detail how MecA and ClpC negatively regulate competence in this species remains to be determined. Here, we provide evidence that adaptor protein MecA targets SigX for degradation by the protease complex ClpC/ClpP when S. mutans is grown in a complex medium. Results By analyzing the cellular levels of SigX, we demonstrate that the synthesis of SigX is transiently induced by competence-stimulating peptide (CSP), but the SigX is rapidly degraded during the escape from competence. A deletion of MecA, ClpC or ClpP results in the cellular accumulation of SigX and a prolonged competence state, while an overexpression of MecA enhances proteolysis of SigX and accelerates the escape from competence. In vitro protein-protein interaction assays confirm that MecA interacts with SigX via its N-terminal domain (NTD1–82) and with ClpC via its C-terminal domain (CTD123–240). Such an interaction mediates the formation of a ternary SigX-MecA-ClpC complex, triggering the ATP-dependent degradation of SigX in the presence of ClpP. A deletion of the N-terminal or C-terminal domain of MecA abolishes its binding to SigX or ClpC. We have also found that MecA-regulated proteolysis of SigX appears to be ineffective when S. mutans is grown in a chemically defined medium (CDM), suggesting the possibility that an unknown mechanism may be involved in negative regulation of MecA-mediated proteolysis of SigX under this condition. Conclusion Adaptor protein MecA in S. mutans plays a crucial role in recognizing and targeting SigX for degradation by the protease ClpC/ClpP. Thus, Mec

  4. Low-wind and other microclimatic factors in near-road black carbon variability: A case study and assessment implications

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Marissa S.; Keener, Timothy C.; Birch, M. Eileen; Baldauf, Richard; Neal, Jill; Yang, Y. Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    Airborne black carbon from urban traffic is a climate forcing agent and has been associated with health risks to near-road populations. In this paper, we describe a case study of black carbon concentration and compositional variability at and near a traffic-laden multi-lane highway in Cincinnati, Ohio, using an onsite aethalometer and filter-based NIOSH Method 5040 measurements; the former measured 1-min average black carbon concentrations and the latter determined the levels of organic and elemental carbon (OC and EC) averaged over an approximately 2-h time interval. The results show significant wind and temperature effects on black carbon concentration and composition in a way more complex than predicted by Gaussian dispersion models. Under oblique low winds, namely ux[= u × sin(g=q)]~ (0,−0.5 m s−1), which mostly occurred during morning hours, black carbon concentrations per unit traffic flow were highest and had large variation. The variability did not always follow Gaussian dispersion but was characteristic of a uniform distribution at a near-road distance. Under all other wind conditions, the near-road black carbon variation met Gaussian dispersion characteristics. Significant differences in roadside dispersion are observed between OC and EC fractions, between PM2.5 and PM10–2.5, and between the morning period and rest of the day. In a general case, the overall black carbon variability at the multi-lane highway can be stated as bimodal consisting of Gaussian dispersion and non-Gaussian uniform distribution. Transition between the two types depends on wind velocity and wind angle to the traffic flow. In the order of decreasing importance, the microclimatic controlling factors over the black carbon variability are: 1) wind velocity and the angle with traffic; 2) diurnal temperature variations due to thermal buoyancy; and 3) downwind Gaussian dispersion. Combinations of these factors may have created various traffic–microclimate interactions that have

  5. Measurements of black and organic carbon emission factors for household coal combustion in China: implication for emission reduction.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yingjun; Zhi, Guorui; Feng, Yanli; Liu, Dongyan; Zhang, Gan; Li, Jun; Sheng, Guoying; Fu, Jiamo

    2009-12-15

    Household coal combustion is considered as the greatest emission source for black carbon (BC) and an important source for organic carbon (OC) in China. However, measurements on BC and OC emission factors (EF(BC) and EF(OC)) are still scarce, which result in large uncertainties in emission estimates. In this study, a detailed data set of EF(BC) and EF(OC) for household coal burning was presented on the basis of 38 coal/stove combination experiments. These experiments included 13 coals with a wide coverage of geological maturity which were tested in honeycomb-coal-briquette and raw-coal-chunk forms in three typical coal stoves. Averaged values of EF(BC) are 0.004 and 0.007 g/kg for anthracite in briquette and chunk forms and 0.09 and 3.05 g/kg for bituminous coal, respectively; EF(OC) are 0.06 and 0.10 g/kg for anthracite and 3.74 and 5.50 g/kg for bituminous coal in both forms, respectively. Coal maturity was found to be the most important influencing factor relative to coal's burning forms and the stove's burning efficiency, and when medium-volatile bituminous coals (MVB) are excluded from use, averaged EF(BC) and EF(OC) for bituminous coal decrease by 50% and 30%, respectively. According to these EFs, China's BC and OC emissions from the household sector in 2000 were 94 and 244 gigagrams (Gg), respectively. Compared with previous BC emission estimates for this sector (e.g., 465 Gg by Ohara et al., Atmos. Chem. Phys. 2007, 7, 4419-4444), a dramatic decrease was observed and was mainly attributed to the update of EFs. As suggested by this study, if MVB is prohibited as household fuel together with further promotion of briquettes, BC and OC emissions in this sector will be reduced by 80% and 34%, respectively, and then carbonaceous emissions can be controlled to a large extent in China. PMID:20000546

  6. Neuropeptide Y receptor Y5 as an inducible pro-survival factor in neuroblastoma: implications for tumor chemoresistance.

    PubMed

    Czarnecka, M; Trinh, E; Lu, C; Kuan-Celarier, A; Galli, S; Hong, S-H; Tilan, J U; Talisman, N; Izycka-Swieszewska, E; Tsuei, J; Yang, C; Martin, S; Horton, M; Christian, D; Everhart, L; Maheswaran, I; Kitlinska, J

    2015-06-11

    Neuroblastoma (NB) is a pediatric tumor of neural crest origin with heterogeneous phenotypes. Although low-stage tumors carry a favorable prognosis, >50% of high-risk NB relapses after treatment with a fatal outcome. Thus developing therapies targeting refractory NB remains an unsolved clinical problem. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its TrkB receptor are known to protect NB cells from chemotherapy-induced cell death, while neuropeptide Y (NPY), acting via its Y2 receptor (Y2R), is an autocrine proliferative and angiogenic factor crucial for maintaining NB tumor growth. Here we show that in NB cells, BDNF stimulates the synthesis of NPY and induces expression of another one of its receptors, Y5R. In human NB tissues, the expression of NPY and Y5R positively correlated with the expression of BDNF and TrkB. Functionally, BDNF triggered Y5R internalization in NB cells, whereas Y5R antagonist inhibited BDNF-induced p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase activation and its pro-survival activity. These observations suggested TrkB-Y5R transactivation that resulted in cross-talk between their signaling pathways. Additionally, NPY and Y5R were upregulated in a BDNF-independent manner in NB cells under pro-apoptotic conditions, such as serum deprivation and chemotherapy, as well as in cell lines and tissues derived from posttreatment NB tumors. Blocking Y5R in chemoresistant NB cells rich in this receptor sensitized them to chemotherapy-induced apoptosis and inhibited their growth in vivo by augmenting cell death. In summary, the NPY/Y5R axis is an inducible survival pathway activated in NB by BDNF or cellular stress. Upon such activation, Y5R augments the pro-survival effect of BDNF via its interactions with TrkB receptor and exerts an additional BDNF-independent anti-apoptotic effect, both of which contribute to NB chemoresistance. Therefore, the NPY/Y5R pathway may become a novel therapeutic target for patients with refractory NB, thus far an incurable form

  7. Yin Yang 1 is associated with cancer stem cell transcription factors (SOX2, OCT4, BMI1) and clinical implication.

    PubMed

    Kaufhold, Samantha; Garbán, Hermes; Bonavida, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    The transcription factor Yin Yang 1 (YY1) is frequently overexpressed in cancerous tissues compared to normal tissues and has regulatory roles in cell proliferation, cell viability, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, metastasis and drug/immune resistance. YY1 shares many properties with cancer stem cells (CSCs) that drive tumorigenesis, metastasis and drug resistance and are regulated by overexpression of certain transcription factors, including SOX2, OCT4 (POU5F1), BMI1 and NANOG. Based on these similarities, it was expected that YY1 expression would be associated with SOX2, OCT4, BMI1, and NANOG's expressions and activities. Data mining from the proteomic tissue-based datasets from the Human Protein Atlas were used for protein expression patterns of YY1 and the four CSC markers in 17 types of cancer, including both solid and hematological malignancies. A close association was revealed between the frequency of expressions of YY1 and SOX2 as well as SOX2 and OCT4 in all cancers analyzed. Two types of dynamics were identified based on the nature of their association, namely, inverse or direct, between YY1 and SOX2. These two dynamics define distinctive patterns of BMI1 and OCT4 expressions. The relationship between YY1 and SOX2 expressions as well as the expressions of BMI1 and OCT4 resulted in the classification of four groups of cancers with distinct molecular signatures: 1) Prostate, lung, cervical, endometrial, ovarian and glioma cancers (YY1(lo)SOX2(hi)BMI1(hi)OCT4(hi)) 2) Skin, testis and breast cancers (YY1(hi)SOX2(lo)BMI1(hi)OCT4(hi)) 3) Liver, stomach, renal, pancreatic and urothelial cancers (YY1(lo)SOX2(lo)BMI1(hi)OCT4(hi)) and 4) Colorectal cancer, lymphoma and melanoma (YY1(hi)SOX2(hi)BMI1(lo)OCT4(hi)). A regulatory loop is proposed consisting of the cross-talk between the NF-kB/PI3K/AKT pathways and the downstream inter-regulation of target gene products YY1, OCT4, SOX2 and BMI1. PMID:27225481

  8. Cataract surgery: factors influencing decision to treat and implications for training (south-east Scotland 2008–2014)

    PubMed Central

    Sniatecki, Jan J; Styles, Caroline; Boyle, Natalie; Sanders, Roshini

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To describe the population referred for cataract surgery, identify factors that influenced decision to treat, and patients suitable for ophthalmic training. Patients and methods A total of 2,693 consecutive referrals over 6 years were interrogated using Business Objects software on cataract electronic patient records. Results A total of 2,693 patients were referred for cataract surgery (group A). Of these patients 2,132 (79%) had surgery (group B) and 561 (21%) did not (group C). Age for group B vs group C: 672 (32%) vs 115 (20%) ≤69 years, P<0.001; 803 (38%) vs 225 (40%) 70–79 years, P=0.48; 586 (27%) vs 203 (36%) 80–89 years, P<0.05; 71 (3%) vs 18 (3%) ≥90 years, P=1.0. Visual acuity, group B vs group C: 556 (26%) vs 664 (59%) 6/12 or better; 1,275 (60%) vs 367 (33%) 6/18–6/60; 266 (12%) vs 64 (6%) counting fingers or worse, P<0.05. Medical history for group B vs C: cognitive impairment: 55 (2.6%) vs 29 (5.2%), P<0.05; cardiovascular accident: 158 (7.4%) vs 60 (10.7%), P<0.05; diabetes: 372 (17.4%) vs 96 (17.1%), P=0.87; COPD/asthma: 382 (17.9%) vs 93 (16.6%), P=0.53; heart disease: 535 (25.1%) vs 155 (27.6%), P=0.35; hypertension: 971 (45.5%) vs 263 (46.9%), P=0.73. Ocular history for group B vs C was significant (P<0.05) for age-related macular degeneration 255 (12.0%) vs 93 (16.6%), other macular pathology 38 (1.8%) vs 25 (4.5%), corneal pathology 92 (4.3%) vs 36 (6.4%), amblyopia 37 (1.7%) vs 22 (3.9%). Detailed data on presenting complaint, ophthalmic history, and social status is discussed. Conclusion We observed that surgery at a younger age with good levels of visual acuity was a factor in deferring cataract surgery. Cognitive impairment, cardiovascular accident, amblyopia, corneal and macular pathology significantly affected decision not to operate. We estimate that 80% of patients would be suitable for ophthalmic training. PMID:26491242

  9. Oxidation of coal: a mechanistic puzzle

    SciTech Connect

    Chakrabartty, S.K.

    1981-03-29

    The mechanism of coal oxidation was investigated by two-phase oxidation of hvb and lvb coals. The oxidants used were commercial bleach, tetrabutylammonium fluoroborate and tetrabutylammonium permanganate. After extraction, the compounds were characterized by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy. Coal-oxidation is much more complicated than would be expected from oxidations of standard organic compounds. It is reasonable to assume that aliphatic structures, particularly benzylic methyl, methylene or methine groups, or carbon adjacent to hetero-atoms are the most reactive, and are oxidized to ketones or carboxylic acids. In order to degrade coal to CO/sub 2/ and water-soluble low-molecular-weight compounds by mild oxidants, an abundance of these functional groups must be assumed. However, the stability of ethyl-polyvinylbenzene polymer towards hypochlorite oxidant indicates that activation of coal-carbon for oxidation results from features other than electronegativity of aromatic rings. The uniqueness of the coal-oxidation has to rest on a destabilizing factor which makes even aromatic sites vulnerable. One may speculate that mineral matter in coal is coordinated with aromatic structures, and that the resultant complexes are destabilized by electrophilic attack. If a coal is an entangled interpenetrating macromolecular mixture, the destabilizing effect would decrease with increasing compactness of the physical structure which accompanies increase in rank;higher rank coals would therefore be less reactive. However, if the oxidant can also, like mineral matter, intercalate, it would open the structure up, and produce destabilization. The success of wet oxidation would then depend less on the oxidation potential than on the ability of the oxidant to intercalate. The oxidation of lvb coal with assistance from phase-transfer catalysts in a two-phase system is consistent with this view.

  10. Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in public and private wells in New Hampshire: Occurrence, factors, and possible implications

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ayotte, J.D.; Argue, D.M.; McGarry, F.J.; Degnan, J.R.; Hayes, L.; Flanagan, S.M.; Helsel, D.R.

    2008-01-01

    Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) concentrations ???0.2 ??g/L were found in samples of untreated water in 18% of public-supply wells (n = 284) and 9.1% of private domestic wells (n = 264) sampled in 2005 and 2006 in New Hampshire. In counties that used reformulated gasoline (RFG), MTBE occurred at or above 0.2 ??g/L in 30% of public- and 17% of private-supply wells. Additionally, 52% of public-supply wells collocated with fuel storage and 71% of mobile home park wells had MTBE. MTBE occurrence in public-supply wells was predicted by factors such as proximity to sources of fuel, land use, and population density, as well as low pH and distance from mapped lineaments. RFG use, land-use variables, and pH were important predictors of private-well MTBE occurrence. Variables representing sources of MTBE, such as the distance to known fuel sources, were not significant predictors of MTBE occurrence in private-supply wells. It is hypothesized that private wells may become contaminated from the collective effects of sources in high population areas and from undocumented incidental releases from onsite or proximal gasoline use. From 2003 to 2005, MTBE occurrence decreased in 63 public-supply wells and increased in 60 private-supply wells, but neither trend was statistically significant. ?? 2008 American Chemical Society.

  11. Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) in public and private wells in New Hampshire: occurrence, factors, and possible implications.

    PubMed

    Ayotte, Joseph D; Argue, Denise M; McGarry, Frederick J; Degnan, James R; Hayes, Laura; Flanagan, Sarah M; Helsel, Dennis R

    2008-02-01

    Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE) concentrations > or = 0.2 /microg/L were found in samples of untreated water in 18% of public-supply wells (n = 284) and 9.1% of private domestic wells (n = 264) sampled in 2005 and 2006 in New Hampshire. In counties that used reformulated gasoline (RFG), MTBE occurred at or above 0.2 microg/L in 30% of public- and 17% of private-supply wells. Additionally, 52% of public-supply wells collocated with fuel storage and 71% of mobile home park wells had MTBE. MTBE occurrence in public-supply wells was predicted by factors such as proximity to sources of fuel, land use, and population density, as well as low pH and distance from mapped lineaments. RFG use, land-use variables, and pH were important predictors of private-well MTBE occurrence. Variables representing sources of MTBE, such as the distance to known fuel sources, were not significant predictors of MTBE occurrence in private-supply wells. It is hypothesized that private wells may become contaminated from the collective effects of sources in high population areas and from undocumented incidental releases from onsite or proximal gasoline use. From 2003 to 2005, MTBE occurrence decreased in 63 public-supply wells and increased in 60 private-supply wells, but neither trend was statistically significant. PMID:18323087

  12. Role of India's wildlife in the emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic pathogens, risk factors and public health implications.

    PubMed

    Singh, B B; Gajadhar, A A

    2014-10-01

    Evolving land use practices have led to an increase in interactions at the human/wildlife interface. The presence and poor knowledge of zoonotic pathogens in India's wildlife and the occurrence of enormous human populations interfacing with, and critically linked to, forest ecosystems warrant attention. Factors such as diverse migratory bird populations, climate change, expanding human population and shrinking wildlife habitats play a significant role in the emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic pathogens from India's wildlife. The introduction of a novel Kyasanur forest disease virus (family flaviviridae) into human populations in 1957 and subsequent occurrence of seasonal outbreaks illustrate the key role that India's wild animals play in the emergence and reemergence of zoonotic pathogens. Other high priority zoonotic diseases of wildlife origin which could affect both livestock and humans include influenza, Nipah, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, plague, leptospirosis, anthrax and leishmaniasis. Continuous monitoring of India's extensively diverse and dispersed wildlife is challenging, but their use as indicators should facilitate efficient and rapid disease-outbreak response across the region and occasionally the globe. Defining and prioritizing research on zoonotic pathogens in wildlife are essential, particularly in a multidisciplinary one-world one-health approach which includes human and veterinary medical studies at the wildlife-livestock-human interfaces. This review indicates that wild animals play an important role in the emergence and re-emergence of zoonotic pathogens and provides brief summaries of the zoonotic diseases that have occurred in wild animals in India. PMID:24983511

  13. Herbal preparations affect the kinetic factors of calcium oxalate crystallization in synthetic urine: implications for kidney stone therapy.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, Allen L; Webber, Dawn; Ramsout, Ronica; Gohel, Mayur Danny I

    2014-06-01

    Herbal remedies are increasingly being considered as suitable long-term treatments for renal dysfunction. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effect of some herbal extracts, all previously identified in published studies as influencing kidney stone formation, on the crystallization characteristics of calcium oxalate (CaOx) in synthetic urine (SU). Five herbal extracts were selected for the study: Folium pyrrosiae, Desmodium styracifolium, Phyllanthus niruri, Orthosiphon stamineus and Cystone(®). Concentrated stock solutions of each herbal extract were prepared and were tested at their recommended dosages in in vitro crystallization studies in SU. CaOx crystallization experiments were performed in which the metastable limit (MSL), average particle size, and nucleation and growth rates were determined. The CaOx MSL of SU was unaltered by the five herbal extracts. Three of the herbs (Desmodium styracifolium, Orthosiphon stamineus and Cystone(®)) significantly reduced the average particle size of precipitated crystals relative to undosed SU. All of the extracts increased the rate of nucleation and decreased the rate of growth significantly in SU. Cystone(®) showed the greatest effect on the measured risk factors. It is concluded that all of the herbs have the potential to serve as inhibitors of calcium oxalate stone formation and warrant investigation in clinical trials. PMID:24648109

  14. A narrative review of exercise-associated muscle cramps: Factors that contribute to neuromuscular fatigue and management implications.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Nicole L; Churilla, James R

    2016-08-01

    Although exercise-associated muscle cramps (EAMC) are highly prevalent among athletic populations, the etiology and most effective management strategies are still unclear. The aims of this narrative review are 3-fold: (1) briefly summarize the evidence regarding EAMC etiology; (2) describe the risk factors and possible physiological mechanisms associated with neuromuscular fatigue and EAMC; and (3) report the current evidence regarding prevention of, and treatment for, EAMC. Based on the findings of several large prospective and experimental investigations, the available evidence indicates that EAMC is multifactorial in nature and stems from an imbalance between excitatory drive from muscle spindles and inhibitory drive from Golgi tendon organs to the alpha motor neurons rather than dehydration or electrolyte deficits. This imbalance is believed to stem from neuromuscular overload and fatigue. In concert with these findings, the most successful treatment for an acute bout of EAMC is stretching, whereas auspicious methods of prevention include efforts that delay exercise-induced fatigue. Muscle Nerve 54: 177-185, 2016. PMID:27159592

  15. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in Arterial Baroreceptor Pathways: Implications for Activity-Dependent Plasticity at Baroafferent Synapses

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Jessica L.; Jenkins, Victoria K.; Hsieh, Hui-ya; Balkowiec, Agnieszka

    2008-01-01

    Functional characteristics of the arterial baroreceptor reflex change throughout ontogenesis, including perinatal adjustments of the reflex gain and adult resetting during hypertension. However, the cellular mechanisms that underlie these functional changes are not completely understood. Here, we provide evidence that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin with a well-established role in activity-dependent neuronal plasticity, is abundantly expressed in vivo by a large subset of developing and adult rat baroreceptor afferents. Immunoreactivity to BDNF is present in the cell bodies of baroafferent neurons in the nodose ganglion (NG), their central projections in the solitary tract, and terminal-like structures in the lower brainstem nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS). Using ELISA in situ combined with electrical field stimulation, we show that native BDNF is released from cultured newborn NG neurons in response to patterns that mimic the in vivo activity of baroreceptor afferents. In particular, high-frequency bursting patterns of baroreceptor firing, which are known to evoke plastic changes at baroreceptor synapses, are significantly more effective at releasing BDNF than tonic patterns of the same average frequency. Together, our study indicates that BDNF expressed by first-order baroreceptor neurons is a likely mediator of both developmental and post-developmental modifications at first-order synapses in arterial baroreceptor pathways. PMID:19054281

  16. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor in arterial baroreceptor pathways: implications for activity-dependent plasticity at baroafferent synapses.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jessica L; Jenkins, Victoria K; Hsieh, Hui-ya; Balkowiec, Agnieszka

    2009-01-01

    Functional characteristics of the arterial baroreceptor reflex change throughout ontogenesis, including perinatal adjustments of the reflex gain and adult resetting during hypertension. However, the cellular mechanisms that underlie these functional changes are not completely understood. Here, we provide evidence that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin with a well-established role in activity-dependent neuronal plasticity, is abundantly expressed in vivo by a large subset of developing and adult rat baroreceptor afferents. Immunoreactivity to BDNF is present in the cell bodies of baroafferent neurons in the nodose ganglion, their central projections in the solitary tract, and terminal-like structures in the lower brainstem nucleus tractus solitarius. Using ELISA in situ combined with electrical field stimulation, we show that native BDNF is released from cultured newborn nodose ganglion neurons in response to patterns that mimic the in vivo activity of baroreceptor afferents. In particular, high-frequency bursting patterns of baroreceptor firing, which are known to evoke plastic changes at baroreceptor synapses, are significantly more effective at releasing BDNF than tonic patterns of the same average frequency. Together, our study indicates that BDNF expressed by first-order baroreceptor neurons is a likely mediator of both developmental and post-developmental modifications at first-order synapses in arterial baroreceptor pathways. PMID:19054281

  17. Anti-tumor effects of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF): implication for cancer therapy. A mini-review.

    PubMed

    Belkacemi, Louiza; Zhang, Shaun Xiaoliu

    2016-01-01

    Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a secreted glycoprotein and a non-inhibitory member of the serine protease inhibitor (serpin) family. It is widely expressed in human fetal and adult tissues but its expression decreases with age and in malignant tissues. The main anti-cancer activities of PEDF derive from its dual effects, either indirectly on the tumor microenvironment (indirect antitumor action) or directly on the tumor itself (direct antitumor influence). The indirect antitumor activities of PEDF were uncovered from the early findings that it stimulates retinoblastoma cell differentiation and that additionally it possesses anti-angiogenic, anti-tumorigenic and anti-metastatic properties. The mechanisms of its direct antitumor effect, however, have not been fully elucidated. This review highlights recent progress in our understanding of the multifunctional activities of PEDF and, in particular, its anti-cancer signaling mechanisms. Additionally, we discuss the possibility of using novel phosphaplatin compounds that can upregulate PEDF expression as a chemotherapy for cancer treatment. PMID:26746675

  18. Review of Critical Factors Related to Employment After Spinal Cord Injury: Implications for Research and Vocational Services

    PubMed Central

    Ottomanelli, Lisa; Lind, Lisa

    2009-01-01

    Background/Objective: Employment rates after spinal cord injury (SCI) vary widely because of discrepancies in studies' definition of employment and time of measurement. The objective of this study was to provide a comprehensive summary of the literature on employment rates, predictors of employment, and the benefits and barriers involved. Methods: A search using the terms spinal cord injury and employment in the databases PubMed, PsycINFO, and MEDLINE. The search included a review of published manuscripts from1978 through 2008. Results: A total of 579 articles were found and reviewed to determine the presence of reported employment rates. Of these, 60 articles were found to include a report of employment rates for individuals with SCI. Results indicated that, in studies that examined paid employment, the average rate of any employment after SCI was approximately 35%. Conclusions: Characteristics associated with employment after SCI include demographic variables, injury-related factors, employment history, psychosocial issues, and disability benefit status. It is recommended that researchers studying employment after SCI use common outcome measures such as competitive employment rates, duration of employment, and job tenure. Empirical evidence is lacking in regard to the most effective methods of vocational rehabilitation among this population. Evidence-based supported employment practices seem to be the most applicable model for assisting persons with SCI in restoring meaningful employment. Controlled studies are needed to test this assumption. PMID:20025147

  19. Implications of Web of Science journal impact factor for scientific output evaluation in 16 institutions and investigators' opinion.

    PubMed

    Wáng, Yì-Xiáng J; Arora, Richa; Choi, Yongdoo; Chung, Hsiao-Wen; Egorov, Vyacheslav I; Frahm, Jens; Kudo, Hiroyuki; Kuyumcu, Suleyman; Laurent, Sophie; Loffroy, Romaric; Maurea, Simone; Morcos, Sameh K; Ni, Yicheng; Oei, Edwin H G; Sabarudin, Akmal; Yu, Xin

    2014-12-01

    Journal based metrics is known not to be ideal for the measurement of the quality of individual researcher's scientific output. In the current report 16 contributors from Hong Kong SAR, India, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Belgium, France, Italy, UK, The Netherlands, Malaysia, and USA are invited. The following six questions were asked: (I) is Web of Sciences journal impact factor (IF) and Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) citation the main academic output performance evaluation tool in your institution? and your country? (II) How does Google citation count in your institution? and your country? (III) If paper is published in a non-SCI journal but it is included in PubMed and searchable by Google scholar, how it is valued when compared with a paper published in a journal with an IF? (IV) Do you value to publish a piece of your work in a non-SCI journal as much as a paper published in a journal with an IF? (V) What is your personal view on the metric measurement of scientific output? (VI) Overall, do you think Web of Sciences journal IF is beneficial, or actually it is doing more harm? The results show that IF and ISI citation is heavily affecting the academic life in most of the institutions. Google citation and evaluation, while is being used and convenient and speedy, has not gain wide 'official' recognition as a tool for scientific output evaluation. PMID:25525577

  20. Recurrent copy number variations as risk factors for neurodevelopmental disorders: critical overview and analysis of clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Torres, Fátima; Barbosa, Mafalda; Maciel, Patrícia

    2016-02-01

    Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDs) encompass a spectrum of neuropsychiatric manifestations. Chromosomal regions 1q21.1, 3q29, 15q11.2, 15q13.3, 16p11.2, 16p13.1 and 22q11 harbour rare but recurrent CNVs that have been uncovered as being important risk factors for several of these disorders. These rearrangements may underlie a broad phenotypical spectrum, ranging from normal development, to learning problems, intellectual disability (ID), epilepsy and psychiatric diseases, such as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and schizophrenia (SZ). The highly increased risk of developing neurodevelopmental phenotypes associated with some of these CNVs makes them an unavoidable element in the clinical context in paediatrics, neurology and psychiatry. However, and although finding these risk loci has been the goal of neuropsychiatric genetics for many years, the translation of this recent knowledge into clinical practice has not been trivial. In this article, we will: (1) review the state of the art on recurrent CNVs associated with NDs, namely ASD, ID, epilepsy and SZ; (2) discuss the models used to dissect the underlying neurobiology of disease, (3) discuss how this knowledge can be used in clinical practice. PMID:26502893

  1. Activation of an imprinted allele of the insulin-like growth factor II gene implicated in rhabdomyosarcoma.

    PubMed Central

    Zhan, S; Shapiro, D N; Helman, L J

    1994-01-01

    The insulin-like growth factor II (IGF2) gene is exclusively silent at the maternal allele in the mouse as well as in normal human tissues and is expressed at a high level in rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). We report here that the normally imprinted allele of the IGF2 gene is activated in RMS tumors as well as in one RMS cell line. Since overexpression of IGF2 has been shown to be important in the pathogenesis of RMS, our data suggest that loss of imprinting (LOI) may lead to overexpression of IGF2 and play an important role in the onset of RMS. Furthermore, embryonal RMS usually has loss of heterozygosity (LOH) with paternal disomy of the IGF2 locus. One informative embryonal RMS tumor evaluated in this study was heterozygous at the IGF2 allele and had LOI, raising the possibility that LOI may be the functional equivalent of LOH in this tumor with both events leading to overexpression of IGF2. Images PMID:8040287

  2. Implications of Web of Science journal impact factor for scientific output evaluation in 16 institutions and investigators’ opinion

    PubMed Central

    Arora, Richa; Choi, Yongdoo; Chung, Hsiao-Wen; Egorov, Vyacheslav I.; Frahm, Jens; Kudo, Hiroyuki; Kuyumcu, Suleyman; Laurent, Sophie; Loffroy, Romaric; Maurea, Simone; Morcos, Sameh K.; Ni, Yicheng; Oei, Edwin H.G.; Sabarudin, Akmal; Yu, Xin

    2014-01-01

    Journal based metrics is known not to be ideal for the measurement of the quality of individual researcher’s scientific output. In the current report 16 contributors from Hong Kong SAR, India, Korea, Taiwan, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Belgium, France, Italy, UK, The Netherlands, Malaysia, and USA are invited. The following six questions were asked: (I) is Web of Sciences journal impact factor (IF) and Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) citation the main academic output performance evaluation tool in your institution? and your country? (II) How does Google citation count in your institution? and your country? (III) If paper is published in a non-SCI journal but it is included in PubMed and searchable by Google scholar, how it is valued when compared with a paper published in a journal with an IF? (IV) Do you value to publish a piece of your work in a non-SCI journal as much as a paper published in a journal with an IF? (V) What is your personal view on the metric measurement of scientific output? (VI) Overall, do you think Web of Sciences journal IF is beneficial, or actually it is doing more harm? The results show that IF and ISI citation is heavily affecting the academic life in most of the institutions. Google citation and evaluation, while is being used and convenient and speedy, has not gain wide ‘official’ recognition as a tool for scientific output evaluation. PMID:25525577

  3. Toward a mechanistic modeling of nitrogen limitation for photosynthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, C.; Fisher, R. A.; Travis, B. J.; Wilson, C. J.; McDowell, N. G.

    2011-12-01

    The nitrogen limitation is an important regulator for vegetation growth and global carbon cycle. Most current ecosystem process models simulate nitrogen effects on photosynthesis based on a prescribed relationship between leaf nitrogen and photosynthesis; however, there is a large amount of variability in this relationship with different light, temperature, nitrogen availability and CO2 conditions, which can affect the reliability of photosynthesis prediction under future climate conditions. To account for the variability in nitrogen-photosynthesis relationship under different environmental conditions, in this study, we developed a mechanistic model of nitrogen limitation for photosynthesis based on nitrogen trade-offs among light absorption, electron transport, carboxylization and carbon sink. Our model shows that strategies of nitrogen storage allocation as determined by tradeoff among growth and persistence is a key factor contributing to the variability in relationship between leaf nitrogen and photosynthesis. Nitrogen fertilization substantially increases the proportion of nitrogen in storage for coniferous trees but much less for deciduous trees, suggesting that coniferous trees allocate more nitrogen toward persistence compared to deciduous trees. The CO2 fertilization will cause lower nitrogen allocation for carboxylization but higher nitrogen allocation for storage, which leads to a weaker relationship between leaf nitrogen and maximum photosynthesis rate. Lower radiation will cause higher nitrogen allocation for light absorption and electron transport but less nitrogen allocation for carboxylyzation and storage, which also leads to weaker relationship between leaf nitrogen and maximum photosynthesis rate. At the same time, lower growing temperature will cause higher nitrogen allocation for carboxylyzation but lower allocation for light absorption, electron transport and storage, which leads to a stronger relationship between leaf nitrogen and maximum

  4. Evaluation of the biological differences of canine and human factor VIII in gene delivery: implications in human hemophilia treatment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Q; Dong, B; Firrman, J; Wu, W; Roberts, S; Moore, A R; Liu, L S; Chin, M P S; Diao, Y; Kost, J; Xiao, W

    2016-07-01

    The canine is the most important large animal model for testing novel hemophilia A (HA) treatment. It is often necessary to use canine factor VIII (cFIII) gene or protein for the evaluation of HA treatment in the canine model. However, different biological properties between cFVIII and human FVIII (hFVIII) indicated that the development of novel HA treatment may require careful characterization of non-human FVIII. To investigate whether the data obtained using cFVIII can translate to HA treatment in human, we analyzed the differential biological properties of canine heavy chain (cHC) and light chain (cLC) by comparing with human heavy chain (hHC) and light chain (hLC). The secretion of cHC was 5-30-fold higher than hHC, with or without light chains (LCs). cHC+hLC group exhibited ~18-fold increase in coagulation activity compared with hHC+hLC delivery by recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors. Unlike hHC, the secretion of cHC was independent of LCs. cLC improves the specific activity of FVIII by two- to threefold compared with hLC. Moreover, the cLC, but not cHC, contributes to the higher stability of cFVIII. Our results suggested that the cFVIII expression results in the canine model should be interpreted with caution as the cHC secreted more efficiently than hHC and cLC exhibited a more active and stable phenotype than hLC. PMID:27064790

  5. Brown carbon aerosols from burning of boreal peatlands: microphysical properties, emission factors, and implications for direct radiative forcing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakrabarty, Rajan K.; Gyawali, Madhu; Yatavelli, Reddy L. N.; Pandey, Apoorva; Watts, Adam C.; Knue, Joseph; Chen, Lung-Wen A.; Pattison, Robert R.; Tsibart, Anna; Samburova, Vera; Moosmüller, Hans

    2016-03-01

    The surface air warming over the Arctic has been almost twice as much as the global average in recent decades. In this region, unprecedented amounts of smoldering peat fires have been identified as a major emission source of climate-warming agents. While much is known about greenhouse gas emissions from these fires, there is a knowledge gap on the nature of particulate emissions and their potential role in atmospheric warming. Here, we show that aerosols emitted from burning of Alaskan and Siberian peatlands are predominantly brown carbon (BrC) - a class of visible light-absorbing organic carbon (OC) - with a negligible amount of black carbon content. The mean fuel-based emission factors for OC aerosols ranged from 3.8 to 16.6 g kg-1. Their mass absorption efficiencies were in the range of 0.2-0.8 m2 g-1 at 405 nm (violet) and dropped sharply to 0.03-0.07 m2 g-1 at 532 nm (green), characterized by a mean Ångström exponent of ≈ 9. Electron microscopy images of the particles revealed their morphologies to be either single sphere or agglomerated "tar balls". The shortwave top-of-atmosphere aerosol radiative forcing per unit optical depth under clear-sky conditions was estimated as a function of surface albedo. Only over bright surfaces with albedo greater than 0.6, such as snow cover and low-level clouds, the emitted aerosols could result in a net warming (positive forcing) of the atmosphere.

  6. Individual and Family Factors Associated with Intention to Quit among Male Vietnamese American Smokers: Implications for Intervention Development

    PubMed Central

    Tsoh, Janice Y.; Tong, Elisa K.; Gildengorin, Ginny; Nguyen, Tung T.; Modayil, Mary V.; Wong, Ching; McPhee, Stephen J.

    2011-01-01

    Smoking prevalence among Vietnamese American males remains higher than the U.S. general population. This study examined the associations of individual and family factors with quit intention among Vietnamese male smokers in California to guide intervention development to reduce their smoking prevalence. Data for Vietnamese male current smokers (n = 234) in the 2008 California Vietnamese Adult Tobacco Use Survey (N=1,101 males) were analyzed to describe quit intention and previous quit attempts. One-third of Vietnamese male smokers (33%) had no intention to quit at any time, 36% intended to quit soon (in the next 30 days), and 31% intended to quit later (beyond the next 30 days). Half (51.7%) of the sample was in “precontemplation,” indicating no intention to quit within 6 months. Many (71%) had made a serious quit attempt in the past year, but 68% of those who tried to quit used no cessation assistance. Multivariate logistic regression adjusting for age, depression, smoking intensity, nicotine dependence, health knowledge, children in the household and home smoking ban revealed that having smoking-related family conflicts and a quit attempt in the past year with or without assistance were independently associated with an intention to quit either in the next 30 days or later. Higher education was associated with no intention to quit. Findings underscore the importance of designing strategic interventions that meet the needs of smokers at both individual and family levels to promote quit intention and to facilitate successful quitting in this population. PMID:21177041

  7. Immune-Modulation by Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Inhibitors: Implication on Anti-Tumor Immunity in Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Herrmann, Amanda C.; Bernatchez, Chantale; Haymaker, Cara; Molldrem, Jeffrey J.; Hong, Waun Ki; Perez-Soler, Roman

    2016-01-01

    Skin toxicity is the most common toxicity caused by Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) inhibitors, and has been associated with clinical efficacy. As EGFR inhibitors enhance the expression of antigen presenting molecules in affected skin keratinocytes, they may concurrently facilitate neo-antigen presentation in lung cancer tumor cells contributing to anti-tumor immunity. Here, we investigated the modulatory effect of the EGFR inhibitor, erlotinib on antigen presenting molecules and PD-L1, prominent immune checkpoint protein, of skin keratinocytes and lung cancer cell lines to delineate the link between EGFR signaling pathway inhibition and potential anti-tumor immunity. Erlotinib up-regulated MHC-I and MHC-II proteins on IFNγ treated keratinocytes but abrogated IFNγ-induced expression of PD-L1, suggesting the potential role of infiltrating autoreactive T cells in the damage of keratinocytes in affected skin. Interestingly, the surface expression of MHC-I, MHC-II, and PD-L1 was up-regulated in response to IFNγ more often in lung cancer cell lines sensitive to erlotinib, but only expression of PD-L1 was inhibited by erlotinib. Further, erlotinib significantly increased T cell mediated cytotoxicity on lung cancer cells. Lastly, the analysis of gene expression dataset of 186 lung cancer cell lines from Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia demonstrated that overexpression of PD-L1 was associated with sensitivity to erlotinib and higher expression of genes related to antigen presenting pathways and IFNγ signaling pathway. Our findings suggest that the EGFR inhibitors can facilitate anti-tumor adaptive immune responses by breaking tolerance especially in EGFR driven lung cancer that are associated with overexpression of PD-L1 and genes related to antigen presentation and inflammation. PMID:27467256

  8. An insulin-like growth factor found in hepatopancreas implicates carbohydrate metabolism of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus.

    PubMed

    Chung, J Sook

    2014-04-01

    Hyperglycemia that is caused by the release of crustacean hyperglycemic hormone (CHH) from the sinus gland to hemolymph is one of the hallmark physiological phenomena, occurring in decapod crustaceans experiencing stressful conditions. However, the mechanism(s) by which such elevated glucose levels return to resting levels is still unknown. Interestingly, noted is a difference in the clearance rate of hemolymph glucose between adult females and adult males of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus: the former with more rapid clearance than the latter. The presence of an endogenous-insulin-like molecule is suggested in C. sapidus because an injection of bovine insulin, significantly reduces the levels of hemolymph glucose that were previously elevated by emersion stress or the glucose injection. Using 5' and 3' RACE, the full-length cDNA of an insulin-like molecule is isolated from the hepatopancreas of an adult female C. sapidus and shows the same putative sequence of an insulin-like androgenic gland factor (IAG) but differs in 5' and 3' UTR sequences. A knock-down study using five injections of double-stranded RNA of CasIAG-hep (dsRNA-CasIAG-hep, 10μg/injection) over a 10-day period reduces CasIAG-hep expression by ∼50%. The levels of hemolymph glucose are also kept higher in dsRNA-CasIAG-hep injected group than those treated with dsRNA-green fluorescent protein (dsRNA-IAG-hep) or saline. Most importantly, the hepatopancreas of dsRNA-CasIAG-hep injected animals contains amounts of carbohydrate (glucose, trehalose, and glycogen) significantly lower than those of control groups, indicating that the function of CasIAG-hep in carbohydrate metabolism in crustaceans is similar to carbohydrate metabolism in vertebrates. PMID:24503150

  9. Complement Evasion Mediated by Enhancement of Captured Factor H: Implications for Protection of Self-Surfaces from Complement

    PubMed Central

    Herbert, Andrew P.; Makou, Elisavet; Chen, Zhuo A.; Kerr, Heather; Richards, Anna; Rappsilber, Juri

    2015-01-01

    In an attempt to evade annihilation by the vertebrate complement system, many microbes capture factor H (FH), the key soluble complement-regulating protein in human plasma. However, FH is normally an active complement suppressor exclusively on self-surfaces and this selective action of FH is pivotal to self versus non-self discrimination by the complement system. We investigated whether the bacterially captured FH becomes functionally enhanced and, if so, how this is achieved at a structural level. We found, using site-directed and truncation mutagenesis, surface plasmon resonance, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and cross-linking and mass spectrometry, that the N-terminal domain of Streptococcus pneumoniae protein PspC (PspCN) not only binds FH extraordinarily tightly but also holds it in a previously uncharacterized conformation. Functional enhancement arises from exposure of a C-terminal cryptic second binding site in FH for C3b, the activation-specific fragment of the pivotal complement component, C3. This conformational change of FH doubles its affinity for C3b and increases 5-fold its ability to accelerate decay of the binary enzyme (C3bBb) responsible for converting C3 to C3b in an amplification loop. Despite not sharing critical FH-binding residues, PspCNs from D39 and Tigr4 S. pneumoniae exhibit similar FH-anchoring and enhancing properties. We propose that these bacterial proteins mimic molecular markers of self-surfaces, providing a compelling hypothesis for how FH prevents complement-mediated injury to host tissue while lacking efficacy on virtually all other surfaces. In hemolysis assays with 2-aminoethylisothiouronium bromide–treated erythrocytes that recapitulate paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, PspCN enhanced protection of cells by FH, suggesting a new paradigm for therapeutic complement suppression. PMID:26459349

  10. Toll-like receptor 9 regulates tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression by different mechanisms. Implications for osteoclastogenesis.

    PubMed

    Amcheslavsky, Alla; Zou, Wei; Bar-Shavit, Zvi

    2004-12-24

    CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODNs), mimicking bacterial DNA, stimulate osteoclastogenesis via Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) in receptor activator of NF-kappa B ligand (RANKL)-primed osteoclast precursors. This activity is mediated via tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha induction by CpG-ODN. To further reveal the role of the cytokine in TLR9-mediated osteoclastogenesis, we compared the ability of CpG-ODN to induce osteoclastogenesis in two murine strains, BALB/c and C57BL/6, expressing different TNF-alpha alleles. The induction of osteoclastogenesis and TNF-alpha release by CpG-ODN was by far more noticeable in BALB/c-derived than in C57BL/6-derived osteoclast precursors. Unexpectedly, as revealed by Northern analysis, CpG-ODN induction of TNF-alpha mRNA increase was more efficient in C57BL/6-derived cells. The cytokine transcript abundance was increased due to both increased message stability and rate of transcription. The difference between the two cell types was the result of a higher transcription rate in CpG-ODN-induced C57BL/6-derived cells caused by a single nucleotide polymorphism in kappa B2a site within the TNF-alpha promoter sequence. CpG-ODN enhanced the rate of the cytokine translation in BALB/c-derived cells. Thus, CpG-ODN modulated both transcription and translation of TNF-alpha. The induction of transcription was more evident in C57BL/6-derived cells, while the induction of translation took place only in BALB/c-derived osteoclast precursors. Altogether the cytokine was induced to a larger extent in BALB/c-derived osteoclast precursors, consistent with the increased CpG-ODN osteoclastogenic effect in these cells. PMID:15485822

  11. Complement Evasion Mediated by Enhancement of Captured Factor H: Implications for Protection of Self-Surfaces from Complement.

    PubMed

    Herbert, Andrew P; Makou, Elisavet; Chen, Zhuo A; Kerr, Heather; Richards, Anna; Rappsilber, Juri; Barlow, Paul N

    2015-11-15

    In an attempt to evade annihilation by the vertebrate complement system, many microbes capture factor H (FH), the key soluble complement-regulating protein in human plasma. However, FH is normally an active complement suppressor exclusively on self-surfaces and this selective action of FH is pivotal to self versus non-self discrimination by the complement system. We investigated whether the bacterially captured FH becomes functionally enhanced and, if so, how this is achieved at a structural level. We found, using site-directed and truncation mutagenesis, surface plasmon resonance, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and cross-linking and mass spectrometry, that the N-terminal domain of Streptococcus pneumoniae protein PspC (PspCN) not only binds FH extraordinarily tightly but also holds it in a previously uncharacterized conformation. Functional enhancement arises from exposure of a C-terminal cryptic second binding site in FH for C3b, the activation-specific fragment of the pivotal complement component, C3. This conformational change of FH doubles its affinity for C3b and increases 5-fold its ability to accelerate decay of the binary enzyme (C3bBb) responsible for converting C3 to C3b in an amplification loop. Despite not sharing critical FH-binding residues, PspCNs from D39 and Tigr4 S. pneumoniae exhibit similar FH-anchoring and enhancing properties. We propose that these bacterial proteins mimic molecular markers of self-surfaces, providing a compelling hypothesis for how FH prevents complement-mediated injury to host tissue while lacking efficacy on virtually all other surfaces. In hemolysis assays with 2-aminoethylisothiouronium bromide-treated erythrocytes that recapitulate paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, PspCN enhanced protection of cells by FH, suggesting a new paradigm for therapeutic complement suppression. PMID:26459349

  12. Projecting Future Land Use Changes in West Africa Driven by Climate and Socioeconomic Factors: Uncertainties and Implications for Adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, G.; Ahmed, K. F.; You, L.

    2015-12-01

    Land use changes constitute an important regional climate change forcing in West Africa, a region of strong land-atmosphere coupling. At the same time, climate change can be an important driver for land use, although its importance relative to the impact of socio-economic factors may vary significant from region to region. This study compares the contributions of climate change and socioeconomic development to potential future changes of agricultural land use in West Africa and examines various sources of uncertainty using a land use projection model (LandPro) that accounts for the impact of socioeconomic drivers on the demand side and the impact of climate-induced crop yield changes on the supply side. Future crop yield changes were simulated by a process-based crop model driven with future climate projections from a regional climate model, and future changes of food demand is projected using a model for policy analysis of agricultural commodities and trade. The impact of human decision-making on land use was explicitly considered through multiple "what-if" scenarios to examine the range of uncertainties in projecting future land use. Without agricultural intensification, the climate-induced decrease of crop yield together with increase of food demand are found to cause a significant increase in agricultural land use at the expense of forest and grassland by the mid-century, and the resulting land use land cover changes are found to feed back to the regional climate in a way that exacerbates the negative impact of climate on crop yield. Analysis of results from multiple decision-making scenarios suggests that human adaptation characterized by science-informed decision making to minimize land use could be very effective in many parts of the region.

  13. Stromal cell-derived factor 1 polymorphism in patients infected with HIV and implications for AIDS progression in Tunisia

    PubMed Central

    Amara, Sameh; Domenech, Jorge; Jenhani, Faouzi

    2010-01-01

    Background An interesting finding in the epidemiology of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is that certain mutations in genes coding for chemokines, and their receptors and ligands, may confer resistance or susceptibility to HIV-1 infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) progression. The mutation most frequently studied is stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)1-3′A, a single nucleotide polymorphism in the 3′ untranslated region at the 801 position of the SDF1 gene, which seems to be associated with susceptibility or resistance to diseases, including AIDS. We examined the frequency of the above polymorphisms in the Tunisian population, and evaluated their contribution to a protective genetic background against HIV infection and progression. Methods and materials One hundred forty blood samples from HIV-infected patients from the Cellular Immunology Research Laboratory at the National Blood Transfusion Center were compared with those of 164 random blood donors from the same center. Genotyping was initially performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. SDF1 PCR product genomic regions were further subjected to restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis for genotype determination. Screening for the SDF1 polymorphism in the HIV-infected population yielded 56 heterozygous (40%), 52 mutation homozygous (37.1%), and 32 wild-type homozygous (22.8%) subjects. In contrast, in our healthy population, we found 70/164 heterozygous (42.6%), nine mutation homozygous (5.4%), and 85 wild-type homozygous (51.8%) subjects. The allele frequencies in the HIV-infected and healthy populations were f(SD1 3′A) = 57.1%, f(SDF1) = 42.8%, f(SDF1 3′A) = 26.8%, and f(SDF1) = 73.1%, respectively. The allelic and genotypic frequencies of the SDF1 3′A in our population show significantly higher distribution profiles compared with those observed in other Caucasian, European, and African American populations. Our results were examined by χ2 test and

  14. Persistence factors among engineering students at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico: Student perceptions and curricular implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez Juarbe, Juan M.

    Various persistence studies demonstrate that there is a direct correlation between college or university academic program completion and the amount of students' involvement in the college or university on a social, academic, and institutional level. These studies suggest that, over the course of time, the greater the level of involvement the greater the probability of increased persistence towards program completion. Student persistence among Hispanic engineering students was researched at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico during the period of January 2002 to April 2003. Persistence factors lead students to either one of the following behaviors: (1) to re-enroll, (2) to switch to another educational program, or (3) to depart from the institution. Increased student persistence is the result of recurring decisions to re-enroll each trimester. Decreased student persistence is the outcome associated with a decision to either depart or switch to another educational vocation. Early departure at the institution is linked to perceptions formed day-to-day as the student experiences the educational environment. These perceptions inspire behavioral outcomes to either persist or depart the education process. Desirable behavioral outcomes are closely related with educational commitments leading to increased persistence. Likewise, undesirable behavioral outcomes are those resulting in decreased persistence. Satisfactory student experiences in successfully achieving social, academic, and institutional responsibilities set the course towards increased persistence. In the research undertaken, student and faculty educational experiences were analyzed and documented. This was accomplished by the use of a combined quantitative and qualitative research methodology. The volunteer participants in this study included: six full time professors, eight part time professors, eighty-one students at a job fair, and seven individual student participants. Personal data on the participants

  15. Evaluation of Cucurbita maxima extract against scopolamine-induced amnesia in rats: implication of tumour necrosis factor alpha.

    PubMed

    Jawaid, Talha; Shakya, Ashok K; Siddiqui, Hefazat Hussain; Kamal, Mehnaz

    2014-01-01

    Cucurbita maxima (CM) seed oil is commonly used in Indian folk medicine to treat various ailments. We have investigated the effect of CM seed oil on memory impairment induced by scopolamine in rats. Male adult Wistar rats were administered scopolamine 1 mg/kg body weight, i.p. or 1.25 mg/kg body weight, s.c. to induce memory impairment. The nootropic agent piracetam 100 mg/kg body weight, i.p. and CM seed oil 100 and 200 mg/kg body weight, p.o. were administered daily for five consecutive days. The memory function was evaluated in the Morris water maze (MWM) test, the social recognition test (SRT), the elevated plus maze (EPM) test, and the pole climbing test (PCT). Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity and oxidative stress parameters were estimated in the cortex, hippocampus, and cerebellum of the brains after completion of the behavioural studies. The effects of scopolamine on the levels of the tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) transcript were also investigated. Scopolamine caused memory impairment in all the behavioural paradigms along with a significant increase in the AChE activity and oxidative stress in the brain. Scopolamine also caused a significant increase in the expression of TNF-α in the hippocampus. CM seed oil exhibited antiamnesic activity as indicated by a significant reduction in the latency time in the MWM test and decreased social interaction during trial 2 in the SRT. Further, treatment with CM seed oil significantly decreased the AChE activity and malondialdehyde levels and increased the glutathione level in brain regions. CM seed oil also significantly decreased the expression of TNF-α in the hippocampus. The effect of CM seed oil on behavioural and biochemical parameters was comparable to that observed in rats treated with piracetam. These results indicate that CM seed oil may exert antiamnesic activity which may be attributed to the inhibition of AChE and inflammation as well as its antioxidant activity in the brain. PMID:25711042

  16. Hydatidosis of camel (Camelus dromedarius) at Jijiga municipal abattoir, Eastern Ethiopia: prevalence, associated risk factors and financial implication.

    PubMed

    Debela, Etana; Abdulahi, Buckhary; Megersa, Bekele; Kumsa, Bersissa; Abunna, Fufa; Sheferaw, Desie; Regassa, Alemayehu

    2015-12-01

    A cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2010 to May 2011 to estimate the prevalence of camel hydatidosis, associated risk factors and financial loss in Jijiga municipal abattoir, Somali Regional State, Eastern Ethiopia. Accordingly, of the total 400 inspected camel, 92 (23 %) camels and 109 organs were positive for hydatid cyst with the highest proportion recorded in lung (56 %) followed by liver (33.9 %), spleen (7.3 %) and kidneys (2.8 %). The prevalence of hydatidosis significantly varied among age categories (P < 0.05), sex (P < 0.05) and body condition score (P < 0.05) of camels. Hence, there is higher likelihood for occurrence of camel hydatidosis among the older age groups (OR 1.8, 95 % CI 1.2, 3.3), in female camels (OR 2.8, 95 % CI 1.7, 4.7) and in poor body conditioned camels (OR 4.1, 95 % CI 2.2, 7.9) than younger camels, males and camels with good body condition score, respectively. Of the total 288 examined cysts for fertility and viability, 59.7 % (172/288) were fertile while the rest 24.0 % (69/288) cysts were sterile. Of the 172 fertile cysts 69.8 % (n = 120) were viable and 30.2 % (n = 52) were non-viable. The rest 16.3 % (47/288) cysts were found dead. It was also observed that the pulmonary and hepatic cysts had fertility rate of 63.7 % (116/182) and 57.4 % (54/94), respectively. The total annual direct financial loss recorded in this study as result of organs condemnation due to hydatid cyst, was 12,147.75 Ethiopian birrs ($714.57 or $7.77/camel). If this value could be extrapolated to the infected camel population of the region, financial loss due to hydatidosis could be enormous. In conclusion, this study showed the importance of hydatidosis and the associated direct financial loss due to the condemnation of organs affected by hydatid cyst in the study area. PMID:26688643

  17. The rise of electric two-wheelers in China: Factors for their success and implications for the future

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weinert, Jonathan Xavier

    This dissertation examines the rise, present use, and future growth of the electric two-wheeler (E2W, a.k.a. E2W or e-scooter) in China, the world's most successful electric-drive vehicle. The E2W market has been experiencing tremendous growth with over 30 million now in regular use on Chinese streets. The adoption of E2W technology is significant because, along with their air quality and energy (low-carbon) benefits compared to gasoline powered motorcycles, E2Ws are driving the development of improved and lower cost batteries and may lead to a shift toward larger three-and four-wheel electric vehicles (EV). This dissertation explores three questions: why the E2W market grew so rapidly in China, what factors are driving and resisting its growth, and how future growth might impact the adoption of electric vehicles. In Chapter 1, the context for this analysis is built by describing China's transportation past, present, and future challenges. E2Ws are also introduced and compared with gasoline-powered motorcycles on several metrics, such as performance, air emissions, and energy use. In Chapter 2, data from the literature was collected and analyzed to understand the history and important reasons for E2W growth in China. To supplement these data, the author and colleagues interviewed leaders of E2W and battery companies and toured several manufacturing plants. In Chapter 3, E2W and bicycles users were surveyed to understand how and why they use (or don't use) E2Ws. In Chapter 4, valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries commonly used in today's E2Ws were laboratory tested to determine their performance characteristics. Data were also compiled on their cost, and on the cost and performance of Li-ion batteries. In Chapter 5, the future of E2Ws in China was assessed by integrating data from the previous three chapters and from the literature to create a force-field analysis of the E2W market. This chapter concludes by examining the spillover effects E2W market growth may

  18. Variable δ15N Diet-Tissue Discrimination Factors among Sharks: Implications for Trophic Position, Diet and Food Web Models

    PubMed Central

    Olin, Jill A.; Hussey, Nigel E.; Grgicak-Mannion, Alice; Fritts, Mark W.; Wintner, Sabine P.; Fisk, Aaron T.

    2013-01-01

    The application of stable isotopes to characterize the complexities of a species foraging behavior and trophic relationships is dependent on assumptions of δ15N diet-tissue discrimination factors (∆15N). As ∆15N values have been experimentally shown to vary amongst consumers, tissues and diet composition, resolving appropriate species-specific ∆15N values can be complex. Given the logistical and ethical challenges of controlled feeding experiments for determining ∆15N values for large and/or endangered species, our objective was to conduct an assessment of a range of reported ∆15N values that can hypothetically serve as surrogates for describing the predator-prey relationships of four shark species that feed on prey from different trophic levels (i.e., different mean δ15N dietary values). Overall, the most suitable species-specific ∆15N values decreased with increasing dietary-δ15N values based on stable isotope Bayesian ellipse overlap estimates of shark and the principal prey functional groups contributing to the diet determined from stomach content analyses. Thus, a single ∆15N value was not supported for this speciose group of marine predatory fishes. For example, the ∆15N value of 3.7‰ provided the highest percent overlap between prey and predator isotope ellipses for the bonnethead shark (mean diet δ15N = 9‰) whereas a ∆15N value < 2.3‰ provided the highest percent overlap between prey and predator isotope ellipses for the white shark (mean diet δ15N = 15‰). These data corroborate the previously reported inverse ∆15N-dietary δ15N relationship when both isotope ellipses of principal prey functional groups and the broader identified diet of each species were considered supporting the adoption of different ∆15N values that reflect the predators’ δ15N-dietary value. These findings are critical for refining the application of stable isotope modeling approaches as inferences regarding a species’ ecological role in their

  19. The Risk Factors of Symptomatic Communicating Hydrocephalus After Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Unilateral Vestibular Schwannoma: The Implication of Brain Atrophy

    SciTech Connect

    Han, Jung Ho; Kim, Dong Gyu; Chung, Hyun-Tai; Paek, Sun Ha; Park, Chul-Kee; Kim, Chae-Yong; Hwang, Seung-Sik; Park, Jeong-Hoon; Kim, Young-Hoon; Kim, Jin Wook; Kim, Yong Hwy; Song, Sang Woo; Kim, In Kyung; Jung, Hee-Won

    2012-11-15

    Purpose: To identify the effect of brain atrophy on the development of symptomatic communicating hydrocephalus (SCHCP) after stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for sporadic unilateral vestibular schwannomas (VS). Methods and Materials: A total of 444 patients with VS were treated with SRS as a primary treatment. One hundred eighty-one patients (40.8%) were male, and the mean age of the patients was 53 {+-} 13 years (range, 11-81 years). The mean follow-up duration was 56.8 {+-} 35.8 months (range, 12-160 months). The mean tumor volume was 2.78 {+-} 3.33 cm{sup 3} (range, 0.03-23.30 cm{sup 3}). The cross-sectional area of the lateral ventricles (CALV), defined as the combined area of the lateral ventricles at the level of the mammillary body, was measured on coronal T1-weighted magnetic resonance images as an indicator of brain atrophy. Results: At distant follow-up, a total of 25 (5.6%) patients had SCHCP. The median time to symptom development was 7 months (range, 1-48 months). The mean CALV was 334.0 {+-} 194.0 mm{sup 2} (range, 44.70-1170 mm{sup 2}). The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.988 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.976-0.994; p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, the CALV had a significant relationship with the development of SCHCP (p < 0.001; odds ration [OR] = 1.005; 95% CI, 1.002-1.007). Tumor volume and female sex also had a significant association (p < 0.001; OR = 1.246; 95% CI, 1.103-1.409; p < 0.009; OR = 7.256; 95% CI, 1.656-31.797, respectively). However, age failed to show any relationship with the development of SCHCP (p = 0.364). Conclusion: Brain atrophy may be related to de novo SCHCP after SRS, especially in female patients with a large VS. Follow-up surveillance should be individualized, considering the risk factors involved for each patient, for prompt diagnosis of SCHCP.

  20. MRI Predictive Factors for Tumor Response in Rectal Cancer Following Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation Therapy - Implications for Induction Chemotherapy?

    SciTech Connect

    Yu, Stanley K.T.; Tait, Diana

    2013-11-01

    predictive factors could be taken into account in the pursuit of individualized neoadjuvant treatments for patients with rectal cancer.

  1. Variable δ(15)N diet-tissue discrimination factors among sharks: implications for trophic position, diet and food web models.

    PubMed

    Olin, Jill A; Hussey, Nigel E; Grgicak-Mannion, Alice; Fritts, Mark W; Wintner, Sabine P; Fisk, Aaron T

    2013-01-01

    The application of stable isotopes to characterize the complexities of a species foraging behavior and trophic relationships is dependent on assumptions of δ(15)N diet-tissue discrimination factors (∆(15)N). As ∆(15)N values have been experimentally shown to vary amongst consumers, tissues and diet composition, resolving appropriate species-specific ∆(15)N values can be complex. Given the logistical and ethical challenges of controlled feeding experiments for determining ∆(15)N values for large and/or endangered species, our objective was to conduct an assessment of a range of reported ∆(15)N values that can hypothetically serve as surrogates for describing the predator-prey relationships of four shark species that feed on prey from different trophic levels (i.e., different mean δ(15)N dietary values). Overall, the most suitable species-specific ∆(15)N values decreased with increasing dietary-δ(15)N values based on stable isotope Bayesian ellipse overlap estimates of shark and the principal prey functional groups contributing to the diet determined from stomach content analyses. Thus, a single ∆(15)N value was not supported for this speciose group of marine predatory fishes. For example, the ∆(15)N value of 3.7‰ provided the highest percent overlap between prey and predator isotope ellipses for the bonnethead shark (mean diet δ(15)N = 9‰) whereas a ∆(15)N value < 2.3‰ provided the highest percent overlap between prey and predator isotope ellipses for the white shark (mean diet δ(15)N = 15‰). These data corroborate the previously reported inverse ∆(15)N-dietary δ(15)N relationship when both isotope ellipses of principal prey functional groups and the broader identified diet of each species were considered supporting the adoption of different ∆(15)N values that reflect the predators' δ(15)N-dietary value. These findings are critical for refining the application of stable isotope modeling approaches as inferences regarding a

  2. A framework for recognizing mechanistic reasoning in student scientific inquiry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russ, Rosemary S.

    A central ambition of science education reform is to help students develop abilities for scientific inquiry. Education research is thus rightly focused on defining what constitutes "inquiry" and developing tools for assessing it. There has been progress with respect to particular aspects of inquiry, namely student abilities for controlled experimentation and scientific argumentation. However, we suggest that in addition to these frameworks for assessing the structure of inquiry we need frameworks for analyzing the substance of that inquiry. In this work we draw attention to and evaluate the substance of student mechanistic reasoning. Both within the history and philosophy of science and within science education research, scientific inquiry is characterized in part as understanding the causal mechanisms that underlie natural phenomena. The challenge for science education, however, is that there has not been the same progress with respect to making explicit what constitutes mechanistic reasoning as there has been in making explicit other aspects of inquiry. This dissertation attempts to address this challenge. We adapt an account of mechanism in professional research science to develop a framework for reliably recognizing mechanistic reasoning in student discourse. The coding scheme articulates seven specific aspects of mechanistic reasoning and can be used to systematically analyze narrative data for patterns in student thinking. It provides a tool for detecting quality reasoning that may be overlooked by more traditional assessments. We apply the mechanism coding scheme to video and written data from a range of student inquiries, from large group discussions among first grade students to the individual problem solving of graduate students. While the primary result of this work is the coding scheme itself and the finding that it provides a reliable means of analyzing transcript data for evidence of mechanistic thinking, the rich descriptions we develop in each case

  3. The iron isotope composition of enstatite meteorites: Implications for their origin and the metal/sulfide Fe isotopic fractionation factor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Kun; Savage, Paul S.; Moynier, Frédéric

    2014-10-01

    due to intensive impact-induced shearing stress, or the ultimate destruction of the Shallowater parent body. Analysis of separated enstatite meteorite mineral phases show that the magnetic phase (Fe metal) is systematically enriched in the heavier Fe isotopes when compared to non-magnetic phases (Fe hosted in troilite), which agrees with previous experimental observations and theoretical calculations. The difference between magnetic and non-magnetic phases from enstatite achondrites provides an equilibrium metal-sulfide Fe isotopic fractionation factor of Δ56Femetal-troilite = δ56Femetal - δ56Fetroilite of 0.129 ± 0.060‰ (2 SE) at 1060 ± 80 K, which confirms the predictions of previous theoretical calculations.

  4. A dynamic and mechanistic model of PCB bioaccumulation in the European hake ( Merluccius merluccius)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodiguel, Xavier; Maury, Olivier; Mellon-Duval, Capucine; Roupsard, François; Le Guellec, Anne-Marie; Loizeau, Véronique

    2009-08-01

    Bioaccumulation is difficult to document because responses differ among chemical compounds, with environmental conditions, and physiological processes characteristic of each species. We use a mechanistic model, based on the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory, to take into account this complexity and study factors impacting accumulation of organic pollutants in fish through ontogeny. The bioaccumulation model proposed is a comprehensive approach that relates evolution of hake PCB contamination to physiological information about the fish, such as diet, metabolism, reserve and reproduction status. The species studied is the European hake ( Merluccius merluccius, L. 1758). The model is applied to study the total concentration and the lipid normalised concentration of 4 PCB congeners in male and female hakes from the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean sea) and the Bay of Biscay (NE Atlantic ocean). Outputs of the model compare consistently to measurements over the life span of fish. Simulation results clearly demonstrate the relative effects of food contamination, growth and reproduction on the PCB bioaccumulation in hake. The same species living in different habitats and exposed to different PCB prey concentrations exhibit marked difference in the body accumulation of PCBs. At the adult stage, female hakes have a lower PCB concentration compared to males for a given length. We successfully simulated these sex-specific PCB concentrations by considering two mechanisms: a higher energy allocation to growth for females and a transfer of PCBs from the female to its eggs when allocating lipids from reserve to eggs. Finally, by its mechanistic description of physiological processes, the model is relevant for other species and sets the stage for a mechanistic understanding of toxicity and ecological effects of organic contaminants in marine organisms.

  5. Mechanistic model for catalytic recombination during aerobraking maneuvers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Willey, Ronald J.

    1989-01-01

    Several mechanistic models are developed to predict recombination coefficients for use in heat shield design for reusable surface insulation (RSI) on aerobraking vehicles such as space shuttles. The models are applied over a temperature range of 300 to 1800 K and a stagnation pressure range of 0 to 3,000 Pa. A four parameter model in temperature was found to work best; however, several models (including those with atom concentrations at the surface) were also investigated. Mechanistic models developed with atom concentration terms may be applicable when sufficient data becomes available. The requirement is shown for recombination experiments in the 300 to 1000 K and 1500 to 1850 K temperature range, with deliberate concentration variations.

  6. Answering evolutionary questions: A guide for mechanistic biologists.

    PubMed

    Masel, Joanna; Promislow, Daniel E L

    2016-07-01

    The questions and methods of molecular biology and evolutionary biology are clearly distinct, yet a unified approach can lead to deep insights. Unfortunately, attempts to unify these approaches are fraught with pitfalls. In this informal series of questions and answers, we offer the mechanistically oriented biologist a set of steps to come up with evolutionarily reasonable and meaningful hypotheses. We emphasize the critical power and importance of carefully constructed null hypotheses, and we illustrate our ideas with examples representing a range of topics, from the biology of aging, to protein structure, to speciation, and more. We also stress the importance of mathematics as the lingua franca for biologists of all stripes, and encourage mechanistic biologists to seek out quantitative collaborators to build explicit mathematical models, making their assumptions explicit, and their logic clear and testable. Biologists in all realms of inquiry stand to gain from strong bridges between our disciplines. PMID:27151396

  7. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB-mediated induction of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 in human astrocytes: implications for HIV-associated neuroinflammation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2, also known as monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) is an important factor for the pathogenesis of HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). The mechanisms of MCP-1-mediated neuropathogenesis, in part, revolve around its neuroinflammatory role and the recruitment of monocytes into the central nervous system (CNS) via the disrupted blood-brain barrier (BBB). We have previously demonstrated that HIV-1/HIV-1 Tat upregulate platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB, a known cerebrovascular permeant; subsequently, the present study was aimed at exploring the regulation of MCP-1 by PDGF-BB in astrocytes with implications in HAND. Specifically, the data herein demonstrate that exposure of human astrocytes to HIV-1 LAI elevated PDGF-B and MCP-1 levels. Furthermore, treating astrocytes with the human recombinant PDGF-BB protein significantly increased the production and release of MCP-1 at both the RNA and protein levels. MCP-1 induction was regulated by activation of extracellular-signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathways and the downstream transcription factor, nuclear factor κB (NFκB). Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays demonstrated increased binding of NFκB to the human MCP-1 promoter following PDGF-BB exposure. Conditioned media from PDGF-BB-treated astrocytes increased monocyte transmigration through human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs), an effect that was blocked by STI-571, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (PDGF receptor (PDGF-R) blocker). PDGF-BB-mediated release of MCP-1 was critical for increased permeability in an in vitro BBB model as evidenced by blocking antibody assays. Since MCP-1 is linked to disease severity, understanding its modulation by PDGF-BB could aid in understanding the proinflammatory responses in HAND. These results suggest that astrocyte activation by PDGF

  8. Localization of type I procollagen gene expression in silica-induced granulomatous lung disease and implication of transforming growth factor-beta as a mediator of fibrosis.

    PubMed Central

    Mariani, T. J.; Roby, J. D.; Mecham, R. P.; Parks, W. C.; Crouch, E.; Pierce, R. A.

    1996-01-01

    We have used the silica-induced model of pulmonary injury in the rat to study the pattern of collagen expression in granulomatous lung inflammation. A single intratracheal instillation of silica into adult rats resulted in granulomatous inflammation leading to fibrosis and alveolar proteinosis. The development of disease in these animals was characterized over a 27-day period after treatment by means of histological, biochemical, and molecular analyses. Biochemical analyses indicated that significant increases in the weights of silicotic lungs were due to elevated amounts of DNA and total protein. Analysis of hydroxyproline content showed a 15-fold increase in this amino acid in silicotic lungs, confirming the development of a fibrotic reaction. In situ hybridization for type I procollagen mRNA displayed increased gene expression in the parenchyma, conducting airways, and vasculature of silicotic rats. Within the parenchyma, type I procollagen was expressed uniquely within granulomatous lesions. Immunohistochemistry indicated type I procollagen was being expressed by an alpha-smooth muscle actin-negative population of cells. Immunolocalization of extra-cellular transforming growth factor-beta showed coincident temporal and spatial overlap with type I procollagen expression, implicating this cytokine as a mediator of collagen gene expression in this model. Images Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 PMID:8546202

  9. Administration of L-arginine reduces the delay of the healing process caused by ibuprofen. Implication of COX and growth factors expression.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Fidalgo, S; Martín-Lacave, I; Illanes, M; Bruseghini, L; Esteras, A; Motilva, V

    2005-04-01

    The objective of the present study has been to advance knowledge of the gastric role played by the amino acid L-Arginine (L-Arg) in the evolution of a chronic gastric ulcer. In order to clarify it, L-Arg alone or together with Ibuprofen have been administrated in an experimental acetic acid chronic ulcer, analysing characteristic parameters of an active curative process, such as PGE2 production, COX expression, and also angiogenesis, proliferation/apoptosis and growth factors expression. Our results reveal that L-Arg is favourable in the healing process improving the curative course. Ibuprofen caused a delay in ulcer healing, more evident 14 days after ulcer induction; COX-2 expression was increased at the 7th day although no signal of protein could be detected after 14 days; PGE2 production was inhibited in intact and ulcerated areas at both times assayed. In contrast, treatment with L-Arg reduced the delay of the lesion, the increment in COX-2 expression induced by Ibuprofen, and was able to maintain PGE2 levels similar to the control group after 14 days. Additionally, the histological study showed that the healing effects of L-Arg might be associated with an increased angiogenesis and FGF-2 expression. These actions could be considered key factors in the healing response associated with L-Arg administration. However, the proliferation study assayed with the PCNA-immunostaining method did not reveal significant differences, as the same as the apoptosis analysis. In conclusion, the coupling of L-Arg to Ibuprofen is an attractive alternative to Ibuprofen administration alone because it not only attenuates but also improves the evolution of chronic lesions through mechanisms that implicate endogenous PG and FGF-2-associated pathways, which allow an increase of angiogenesis process. PMID:15736048

  10. Millifluidics for Chemical Synthesis and Time-resolved Mechanistic Studies

    PubMed Central

    Krishna, Katla Sai; Biswas, Sanchita; Navin, Chelliah V.; Yamane, Dawit G.; Miller, Jeffrey T.; Kumar, Challa S.S.R.

    2013-01-01

    Procedures utilizing millifluidic devices for chemical synthesis and time-resolved mechanistic studies are described by taking three examples. In the first, synthesis of ultra-small copper nanoclusters is described. The second example provides their utility for investigating time resolved kinetics of chemical reactions by analyzing gold nanoparticle formation using in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The final example demonstrates continuous flow catalysis of reactions inside millifluidic channel coated with nanostructured catalyst. PMID:24327099

  11. Millifluidics for chemical synthesis and time-resolved mechanistic studies.

    PubMed

    Krishna, Katla Sai; Biswas, Sanchita; Navin, Chelliah V; Yamane, Dawit G; Miller, Jeffrey T; Kumar, Challa S S R

    2013-01-01

    Procedures utilizing millifluidic devices for chemical synthesis and time-resolved mechanistic studies are described by taking three examples. In the first, synthesis of ultra-small copper nanoclusters is described. The second example provides their utility for investigating time resolved kinetics of chemical reactions by analyzing gold nanoparticle formation using in situ X-ray absorption spectroscopy. The final example demonstrates continuous flow catalysis of reactions inside millifluidic channel coated with nanostructured catalyst. PMID:24327099

  12. Underreliance on mechanistic models: Comment on Ferguson (2015).

    PubMed

    Tryon, Warren W

    2016-09-01

    Ferguson (see record ) proposed that our overreliance on mechanistic models is responsible for the public's negative view of psychology. On the contrary, I claim that our explanations do not actually explain because they lack mechanism information and that is why the public has a negative view of psychology. Some of the mechanism information required to move from interpretations to explanations can be found in parallel distributed processing connectionist neural network models of psychology and behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27571530

  13. Mechanistic model and analysis of doxorubicin release from liposomal formulations.

    PubMed

    Fugit, Kyle D; Xiang, Tian-Xiang; Choi, Du H; Kangarlou, Sogol; Csuhai, Eva; Bummer, Paul M; Anderson, Bradley D

    2015-11-10

    Reliable and predictive models of drug release kinetics in vitro and in vivo are still lacking for liposomal formulations. Developing robust, predictive release models requires systematic, quantitative characterization of these complex drug delivery systems with respect to the physicochemical properties governing the driving force for release. These models must also incorporate changes in release due to the dissolution media and methods employed to monitor release. This paper demonstrates the successful development and application of a mathematical mechanistic model capable of predicting doxorubicin (DXR) release kinetics from liposomal formulations resembling the FDA-approved nanoformulation DOXIL® using dynamic dialysis. The model accounts for DXR equilibria (e.g. self-association, precipitation, ionization), the change in intravesicular pH due to ammonia release, and dialysis membrane transport of DXR. The model was tested using a Box-Behnken experimental design in which release conditions including extravesicular pH, ammonia concentration in the release medium, and the dilution of the formulation (i.e. suspension concentration) were varied. Mechanistic model predictions agreed with observed DXR release up to 19h. The predictions were similar to a computer fit of the release data using an empirical model often employed for analyzing data generated from this type of experimental design. Unlike the empirical model, the mechanistic model was also able to provide reasonable predictions of release outside the tested design space. These results illustrate the usefulness of mechanistic modeling to predict drug release from liposomal formulations in vitro and its potential for future development of in vitro - in vivo correlations for complex nanoformulations. PMID:26310713

  14. Dual effect of red wine on liver redox status: a concise and mechanistic review.

    PubMed

    Silva, Paula; Fernandes, Eduarda; Carvalho, Félix

    2015-10-01

    Chronic ethanol consumption is a strong risk factor for the development of liver disease. Multiple mechanisms are involved in ethanol-mediated liver injury; oxidative stress being pointed has an important factor. However, it should be noted that moderate consumption of red wine has been associated with hepatoprotective effects, mainly due to the antioxidant effect of resveratrol, one of its polyphenolic compounds. In this paper, the potential molecular mechanisms through which the protective effects of resveratrol counteract the oxidative effect of ethanol and the way as this dual effect impacts liver oxidative stress are reviewed. Mechanistic evaluation of modulation of oxidative signaling pathways by ethanol and resveratrol may explain the pathogenesis of various liver diseases and ultimately to disclose possible pharmacological therapies. PMID:26026610

  15. Home range analysis using a mechanistic home range model

    SciTech Connect

    Moorcroft, P.R. . Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology); Lewis, M.A. . Dept. of Mathematics) Crabtree, R.L. . Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources)

    1999-07-01

    The traditional models used to characterize animal home ranges have no mechanistic basis underlying their descriptions of space use, and as a result, the analysis of animal home ranges has primarily been a descriptive endeavor. In this paper, the authors characterize coyote (Canis latrans) home range patterns using partial differential equations for expected space use that are formally derived from underlying descriptions of individual movement behavior. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first time that mechanistic models have been used to characterize animal home ranges. The results provide empirical support for a model formulation of movement response to scent marks, and suggest that having relocation data for individuals in adjacent groups is necessary to capture the spatial arrangement of home range boundaries. The authors then show how the model fits can be used to obtain predictions for individual movement and scent marking behavior and to predict changes in home range patterns. More generally, the findings illustrate how mechanistic models permit the development of a predictive theory for the relationship between movement behavior and animal spatial distribution.

  16. Bird Migration Under Climate Change - A Mechanistic Approach Using Remote Sensing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, James A.; Blattner, Tim; Messmer, Peter

    2010-01-01

    migratory shorebirds in the central fly ways of North America. We demonstrated the phenotypic plasticity of a migratory population of Pectoral sandpipers consisting of an ensemble of 10,000 individual birds in response to changes in stopover locations using an individual based migration model driven by remotely sensed land surface data, climate data and biological field data. With the advent of new computing capabilities enabled hy recent GPU-GP computing paradigms and commodity hardware, it now is possible to simulate both larger ensemble populations and to incorporate more realistic mechanistic factors into migration models. Here, we take our first steps use these tools to study the impact of long-term drought variability on shorebird survival.

  17. Induced polarization dependence on pore space geometry: Empirical observations and mechanistic predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weller, A.; Slater, L. D.

    2015-12-01

    We use an extensive database to compare empirical observations and previously proposed empirical models against recently developed mechanistic formulations for the induced polarization (IP) response in porous media as a function of pore space geometry and interfacial chemistry. These comparisons support the argument that the pore-volume normalized internal surface (Spor) is the most important geometric parameter influencing the polarization. The specific polarizability derived from the empirical relationship between imaginary conductivity σ″ and Spor is independent of the porosity. By contrast, equivalent specific polarizability terms in recently proposed mechanistic models are found to be significantly correlated with porosity, and thus do not appear to represent an interfacial chemistry factor independent of the pore space geometry. Furthermore, the database shows no evidence for a significant decrease in the counterion mobility of clayey materials relative to clay-free materials, as postulated in recent studies. On the contrary, a single value of cp is consistent with no significant differences in ionic mobility given that all samples were saturated with a NaCl solution close to a common salinity of about 100 mS/m.

  18. Non-destructive estimation of root pressure using sap flow, stem diameter measurements and mechanistic modelling

    PubMed Central

    De Swaef, Tom; Hanssens, Jochen; Cornelis, Annelies; Steppe, Kathy

    2013-01-01

    Background Upward water movement in plants via the xylem is generally attributed to the cohesion–tension theory, as a response to transpiration. Under certain environmental conditions, root pressure can also contribute to upward xylem water flow. Although the occurrence of root pressure is widely recognized, ambiguity exists about the exact mechanism behind root pressure, the main influencing factors and the consequences of root pressure. In horticultural crops, such as tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), root pressure is thought to cause cells to burst, and to have an important impact on the marketable yield. Despite the challenges of root pressure research, progress in this area is limited, probably because of difficulties with direct measurement of root pressure, prompting the need for indirect and non-destructive measurement techniques. Methods A new approach to allow non-destructive and non-invasive estimation of root pressure is presented, using continuous measurements of sap flow and stem diameter variation in tomato combined with a mechanistic flow and storage model, based on cohesion–tension principles. Key Results Transpiration-driven sap flow rates are typically inversely related to stem diameter changes; however, this inverse relationship was no longer valid under conditions of low transpiration. This decoupling between sap flow rates and stem diameter variations was mathematically related to root pressure. Conclusions Root pressure can be estimated in a non-destructive, repeatable manner, using only external plant sensors and a mechanistic model. PMID:23211757

  19. Assessment of mechanistic multiphase methods against independent experiments at large pipe diameter

    SciTech Connect

    Crowley, C.J. )

    1990-02-01

    Previously, the mechanistic multiphase methods for pipelines which have been documented in state of the art reports have been compared extensively with laboratory data from Creare/PRC experiments in pipes at 3.5 and 7 inches diameter. The multiphase methods have also been assessed against field data from 17 pipelines. In order to provide the broadest possible assessment of the methods, this report compares the multiphase methods against independent laboratory data at large pipe diameter from the IFP (Boussens), SINTEF (Trondheim), and Harwell facilities at 6, 8, and 12 inch diameters, respectively. The SINTEF and IFP facilities operate at elevated pressure (high gas density) while the Harwell facility operates at low pressures, near one atmosphere. Selected data from each facility have been published in the open literature. These data are primarily for horizontal pipes, although the IFP data include upward and downward inclinations. The mechanistic multiphase methods are in substantial agreement with most of the data from these facilities (especially at high gas density), including the flow regime maps from each facility, pressure drop and holdup data for the stratified flow regime in the SINTEF facility, and flow characteristics in the slug flow regime for the IFP facility. The agreement with the pressure drop in the Harwell facility is not as good as expected, being a factor of two low. 15 figs.

  20. Metabolite Signatures of Metabolic Risk Factors and their Longitudinal Changes.

    PubMed

    Yin, Xiaoyan; Subramanian, Subha; Willinger, Christine M; Chen, George; Juhasz, Peter; Courchesne, Paul; Chen, Brian H; Li, Xiaohang; Hwang, Shih-Jen; Fox, Caroline S; O'Donnell, Christopher J; Muntendam, Pieter; Fuster, Valentin; Bobeldijk-Pastorova, Ivana; Sookoian, Silvia C; Pirola, Carlos J; Gordon, Neal; Adourian, Aram; Larson, Martin G; Levy, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    This study tested metabolite associations with risk factors cross-sectionally and with risk factor changes over time to uncover mechanistic links between metabolomics dysregulation and metabolic risk. PMID:26908103

  1. Cathepsin D: an Mϕ-derived factor mediating increased endothelial cell permeability with implications for alteration of the blood-retinal barrier in diabetic retinopathy.

    PubMed

    Monickaraj, Finny; McGuire, Paul G; Nitta, Carolina Franco; Ghosh, Kaustabh; Das, Arup

    2016-04-01

    Inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy (DR). We have previously reported increased monocyte (Mono) trafficking into the retinas of diabetic animals. In this study, we have examined the effect of activated Monos on retinal endothelial cells (ECs). The U937 Mϕ-conditioned medium (CM) significantly decreased the transendothelial resistance of EC monolayers as measured by electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (P= 0.007). The CM was fractioned, and the effective fraction (30-100 kDa) was analyzed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, and cathepsin D (CD) was identified as a major secreted product. Immunoprecipitated CD resulted in decreased resistance in ECs (P= 0.006). The specificity of CD in mediating alterations of the EC barrier was confirmed using small interfering RNA. The decreased resistance correlated with a significantly increased gap between ECs. CD altered the Ras homolog gene family, member A/Rho-associated kinase pathway with increased stress actin filament formation in the EC layer. Increased CD levels were found in the retinas of diabetic mice (3-fold) and serum samples of patients with diabetic macular edema (1.6-fold) measured by Western blot and ELISA. These findings suggest an important role for Mϕ-derived CD in altering the blood-retinal barrier and reveal a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of DR.-Monickaraj, F., McGuire, P. G., Nitta, C. F., Ghosh, K., Das, A. Cathepsin D: an Mϕ-derived factor mediating increased endothelial cell permeability with implications for alteration of the blood-retinal barrier in diabetic retinopathy. PMID:26718887

  2. Stressor and glucocorticoid-dependent induction of the immediate early gene kruppel-like factor 9: implications for neural development and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Bonett, Ronald M; Hu, Fang; Bagamasbad, Pia; Denver, Robert J

    2009-04-01

    Krüppel-like factor 9 (KLF9) is a thyroid hormone-induced, immediate early gene implicated in neural development in vertebrates. We analyzed stressor and glucocorticoid (GC)-dependent regulation of KLF9 expression in the brain of the frog Xenopus laevis, and investigated a possible role for KLF9 in neuronal differentiation. Exposure to shaking/confinement stressor increased plasma corticosterone (CORT) concentration, and KLF9 immunoreactivity in several brain regions, which included the medial amygdala and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, anterior preoptic area (homologous to the mammalian paraventricular nucleus), and optic tectum (homologous to the mammalian superior colliculus). The stressor-induced KLF9 mRNA expression in the brain was blocked by pretreatment with the GC receptor antagonist RU486, or mimicked by injection of CORT. Treatment with CORT also caused a rapid and dose-dependent increase in KLF9 mRNA in X. laevis XTC-2 cells that was resistant to inhibition of protein synthesis. The action of CORT on KLF9 expression in XTC-2 cells was blocked by RU486, but not by the mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist spironolactone. To test for functional consequences of up-regulation of KLF9, we introduced a KLF9 expression plasmid into living tadpole brain by electroporation-mediated gene transfer. Forced expression of KLF9 in tadpole brain caused an increase in Golgi-stained cells, reflective of neuronal differentiation/maturation. Our results support that KLF9 is a direct, GC receptor target gene that is induced by stress, and functions as an intermediary in the actions of GCs on brain gene expression and neuronal structure. PMID:19036875

  3. Enhanced motivation for food reward induced by stress and attenuation by corticotrophin-releasing factor receptor antagonism in rats: implications for overeating and obesity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiu

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Overeating beyond individuals’ homeostatic needs critically contributes to obesity. The neurobehavioral mechanisms underlying the motivation to consume excessive foods with high calories are not fully understood. Objective The present study examined whether a pharmacological stressor, yohimbine enhances the motivation to procure food reward with an emphasis on comparisons between standard lab chow and high-fat foods. The effects of corticotropin-releasing factor receptor (CRF1) blockade by a CFR1 selective antagonist NBI on the stress-enhanced motivation for food reward were also assessed. Methods Male Sprague-Dawley rats with chow available ad libitum in their home cages were trained to press a lever under a progressive-ratio schedule for deliveries of either standard or high-fat food pellets. For testing yohimbine stress effects, rats received an intraperitoneal administration of yohimbine 10 min before start of the test sessions. For testing effects of CRF1 receptor blockade on stress responses, NBI was administered 20 min prior to yohimbine challenge. Results The rats emitted higher levels of lever responses to procure the high-fat food pellets compared with their counterparts on standard food pellets. Yohimbine challenge facilitated lever responses for the reward in all of the rats, whereas the effect was more robust in the rats on high-fat food pellets compared with their counterparts on standard food pellets. An inhibitory effect of pretreatment with NBI was observed on the enhancing effect of yohimbine challenge but not on the responses under baseline condition without yohimbine administration. Conclusions Stress challenge significantly enhanced the motivation of satiated rats to procure extra food reward, especially the high-fat food pellets. Activation of CRF1 receptors is required for the stress-enhanced motivation for food reward. These results may have implications for our better understanding of the biobehavioral mechanisms of overeating

  4. Identification of Keratinocyte Growth Factor as a Target of microRNA-155 in Lung Fibroblasts: Implication in Epithelial-Mesenchymal Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Chevalier, Benoit; Puisségur, Marie-Pierre; Lebrigand, Kevin; Robbe-Sermesant, Karine; Bertero, Thomas; Lino Cardenas, Christian L.; Courcot, Elisabeth; Rios, Géraldine; Fourre, Sandra; Lo-Guidice, Jean-Marc; Marcet, Brice; Cardinaud, Bruno; Barbry, Pascal; Mari, Bernard

    2009-01-01

    Background Epithelial-mesenchymal interactions are critical in regulating many aspects of vertebrate embryo development, and for the maintenance of homeostatic equilibrium in adult tissues. The interactions between epithelium and mesenchyme are believed to be mediated by paracrine signals such as cytokines and extracellular matrix components secreted from fibroblasts that affect adjacent epithelia. In this study, we sought to identify the repertoire of microRNAs (miRNAs) in normal lung human fibroblasts and their potential regulation by the cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β and TGF-β. Methodology/Principal Findings MiR-155 was significantly induced by inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β while it was down-regulated by TGF-β. Ectopic expression of miR-155 in human fibroblasts induced modulation of a large set of genes related to “cell to cell signalling”, “cell morphology” and “cellular movement”. This was consistent with an induction of caspase-3 activity and with an increase in cell migration in fibroblasts tranfected with miR-155. Using different miRNA bioinformatic target prediction tools, we found a specific enrichment for miR-155 predicted targets among the population of down-regulated transcripts. Among fibroblast-selective targets, one interesting hit was keratinocyte growth factor (KGF, FGF-7), a member of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family, which owns two potential binding sites for miR-155 in its 3′-UTR. Luciferase assays experimentally validated that miR-155 can efficiently target KGF 3′-UTR. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that only one out of the 2 potential sites was truly functional. Functional in vitro assays experimentally validated that miR-155 can efficiently target KGF 3′-UTR. Furthermore, in vivo experiments using a mouse model of lung fibrosis showed that miR-155 expression level was correlated with the degree of lung fibrosis. Conclusions/Significance Our results strongly suggest a physiological function of miR-155 in

  5. Factors associated with physical and sexual violence by police among people who inject drugs in Ukraine: implications for retention on opioid agonist therapy

    PubMed Central

    Kutsa, Oksana; Marcus, Ruthanne; Bojko, Martha J; Zelenev, Alexei; Mazhnaya, Alyona; Dvoriak, Sergii; Filippovych, Sergii; Altice, Frederick L

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Ukraine's volatile HIV epidemic, one of the largest in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, remains concentrated in people who inject drugs (PWID). HIV prevalence is high (21.3% to 41.8%) among the estimated 310,000 PWID. Opioid agonist therapy (OAT) is the most cost-effective HIV prevention strategy there, yet OAT services are hampered by negative attitudes and frequent harassment of OAT clients and site personnel by law enforcement. This paper examines the various types of police violence that Ukrainian PWID experience and factors associated with the different types of violence, as well as the possible implications of police harassment on OAT retention. Methods In 2014 to 2015, we conducted a cross-sectional survey in five Ukrainian cities with 1613 PWID currently, previously and never on OAT, using a combination of respondent-driven sampling, as well as random sampling. We analysed correlates of police violence by multiple factors, including by gender, and their effects on duration of OAT retention. Self-reported physical and sexual violence by police were the two primary outcomes, while retention on OAT was used as a secondary outcome. Results Overall, 1033 (64.0%) PWID reported being physically assaulted by police, which was positively correlated with currently or previously being on OAT (69.1% vs. 60.2%; p<0.01). HIV prevalence rates were higher in those receiving OAT than those not on OAT (47.6% vs. 36.1%; p<0.01). Police violence experiences differed by sex, with men experiencing significantly more physical violence, while women experienced more sexual violence (65.9% vs. 42.6%; p<0.01). For PWID who had successfully accessed OAT, longer OAT retention was significantly correlated both with sexual assault by police and fewer non-fatal overdoses. Conclusions Police violence is a frequent experience among PWID in Ukraine, particularly for those accessing OAT, an evidence-based primary and secondary HIV prevention strategy. Police violence experiences

  6. Mechanistic implications from structures of yeast alcohol dehydrogenase complexed with coenzyme and an alcohol.

    PubMed

    Plapp, Bryce V; Charlier, Henry A; Ramaswamy, S

    2016-02-01

    Yeast alcohol dehydrogenase I is a homotetramer of subunits with 347 amino acid residues, catalyzing the oxidation of alcohols using NAD(+) as coenzyme. A new X-ray structure was determined at 3.0 Å where both subunits of an asymmetric dimer bind coenzyme and trifluoroethanol. The tetramer is a pair of back-to-back dimers. Subunit A has a closed conformation and can represent a Michaelis complex with an appropriate geometry for hydride transfer between coenzyme and alcohol, with the oxygen of 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol ligated at 2.1 Å to the catalytic zinc in the classical tetrahedral coordination with Cys-43, Cys-153, and His-66. Subunit B has an open conformation, and the coenzyme interacts with amino acid residues from the coenzyme binding domain, but not with residues from the catalytic domain. Coenzyme appears to bind to and dissociate from the open conformation. The catalytic zinc in subunit B has an alternative, inverted coordination with Cys-43, Cys-153, His-66 and the carboxylate of Glu-67, while the oxygen of trifluoroethanol is 3.5 Å from the zinc. Subunit B may represent an intermediate in the mechanism after coenzyme and alcohol bind and before the conformation changes to the closed form and the alcohol oxygen binds to the zinc and displaces Glu-67. PMID:26743849

  7. Surface energetics and protein-protein interactions: analysis and mechanistic implications.

    PubMed

    Peri, Claudio; Morra, Giulia; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    Understanding protein-protein interactions (PPI) at the molecular level is a fundamental task in the design of new drugs, the prediction of protein function and the clarification of the mechanisms of (dis)regulation of biochemical pathways. In this study, we use a novel computational approach to investigate the energetics of aminoacid networks located on the surface of proteins, isolated and in complex with their respective partners. Interestingly, the analysis of individual proteins identifies patches of surface residues that, when mapped on the structure of their respective complexes, reveal regions of residue-pair couplings that extend across the binding interfaces, forming continuous motifs. An enhanced effect is visible across the proteins of the dataset forming larger quaternary assemblies. The method indicates the presence of energetic signatures in the isolated proteins that are retained in the bound form, which we hypothesize to determine binding orientation upon complex formation. We propose our method, BLUEPRINT, as a complement to different approaches ranging from the ab-initio characterization of PPIs, to protein-protein docking algorithms, for the physico-chemical and functional investigation of protein-protein interactions. PMID:27050828

  8. Reaction of C-type cytochromes with the iron hexacyanides. Mechanistic implications.

    PubMed

    Ohno, N; Cusanovich, M A

    1981-12-01

    The reaction of c-cytochromes with iron hexacyanides is similar in mechanism to the interaction of cytochromes with their physiological oxidants and reductants in that the formation of complexes precedes electron transfer. Analysis of the kinetics of oxidation and reduction of a number of c-cytochromes by solving the simultaneous differential equations defining the mechanism is possible, and allows assignment of all six rate constants describing a minimum three-step mechanism [cyto(Fe(+3)) + Fe(+2) right harpoon over left harpoon cyto (Fe(+3)) - Fe(+2) right harpoon over left harpoon cyto(Fe(+2)) - Fe(+3) right harpoon over left harpoon cyto(Fe(+2)) + Fe(+3)]. We find that the usual steady-state approximations are not valid. Furthermore, the ratio of first-order rate constants for electron transfer was approximately 1.0, and no correlation was found between any of the six rate constants and the differences in oxidation-reduction potential of the iron-hexacyanides and different cytochromes c. However, it was found that the ratio of the rate constants for complex formation between ferricytochrome c and potassium ferrocyanide and ferrocytochrome c and potassium ferricyanide was proportional to the difference in oxidation-reduction potentials. Thus the minimum three-step mechanism given above accurately describes the observed kinetic data. However, this mechanism leads to a number of conceptual difficulties. Specifically, the mechanism requires that the collision complexes formed [cyto(Fe(+3)) - Fe(CN)(6) (-4) and cyto(Fe(+2)) - Fe(CN)(6) (-3)] have very different equilibrium constants, and further requires that formation of the collision complexes be accompanied by "chemistry" to make the intermediates isoenergetic. A more complex five-step mechanism which requires that the reactants [Fe(CN)(6) (-4) and ferricytochrome c or Fe(CN)(6) (-3) and ferrocytochrome c] form a collision complex followed by a first-order process before electron transfer, was found to yield results similar to those of the three-step mechanism. However, describing the formation of the collision complex in terms of a rapid equilibrium circumvents conceptual difficulties and leads to a physically reasonable mechanism. In this mechanism the reactants are in rapid equilibrium with the collision complexes and the rate constants for complex formation are controlled by diffusion and accessibility. The collision complexes then rearrange, possibly through conformational changes and/or solvent reorganization, to yield isoenergetic intermediates that can undergo rapid reversible electron transfer. The five-step mechanism can be described by the same rate constants obtained from the three-step mechanism with the appropriate adjustments to account for rapid equilibrium. This more complex analysis associates the oxidation-reduction potential of a particular cytochrome with the relative magnitude of the first-order conversion of the oxidant and reductant collision complexes to their respective intermediates. Thus the cytochromes c control their oxidation-reduction potential by chemical and/or structural alterations. This mechanism appears to be general in that it is consistent with the observed kinetics of 11 different cytochromes c from a wide variety of sources with a range of oxidation-reduction potentials. PMID:6275920

  9. Phosphodiesterase 10A inhibitor MP-10 effects in primates: Comparison with risperidone and mechanistic implications

    PubMed Central

    Uthayathas, Subramaniam; Masilamoni, Gunasingh J.; Shaffer, Christopher L.; Schmidt, Christopher J.; Menniti, Frank S.; Papa, Stella M.

    2013-01-01

    Phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A) is highly expressed in striatal medium spiny neurons of both the direct and indirect output pathways. Similar to dopamine D2 receptor antagonists acting on indirect pathway neurons, PDE10A inhibitors have shown behavioral effects in rodent models that predict antipsychotic efficacy. These findings have supported the clinical investigation of PDE10A inhibitors as a new treatment for schizophrenia. However, PDE10A inhibitors and D2 antagonists differ in effects on direct pathway and other neurons of the basal ganglia, indicating that these two drug classes may have divergent antipsychotic efficacy and side effect profile. In the present study, we compare the behavioral effects of the selective PDE10A inhibitor MP-10 to those of the clinical standard D2 antagonist risperidone in rhesus monkeys using a standardized motor disability scale for parkinsonian primates and a newly designed “Drug Effects on Nervous System” scale to assess non-motor effects. Behavioral effects of MP-10 correlated with its plasma levels and its regulation of metabolic activity in striatal and cortical regions as measured by FDG-PET imaging. While MP-10 and risperidone broadly impacted similar behavioral domains in the primate, their effects had a different underlying basis. MP-10-treated animals retained the ability to respond but did not engage tasks, whereas risperidone-treated animals retained the motivation to respond but were unable to perform the intended actions. These findings are discussed in light of what is currently known about the modulation of striatal circuitry by these two classes of compounds, and provide insight into interpreting emerging clinical data with PDE10A inhibitors for the treatment of psychotic symptoms. PMID:24490227

  10. Surface energetics and protein-protein interactions: analysis and mechanistic implications

    PubMed Central

    Peri, Claudio; Morra, Giulia; Colombo, Giorgio

    2016-01-01

    Understanding protein-protein interactions (PPI) at the molecular level is a fundamental task in the design of new drugs, the prediction of protein function and the clarification of the mechanisms of (dis)regulation of biochemical pathways. In this study, we use a novel computational approach to investigate the energetics of aminoacid networks located on the surface of proteins, isolated and in complex with their respective partners. Interestingly, the analysis of individual proteins identifies patches of surface residues that, when mapped on the structure of their respective complexes, reveal regions of residue-pair couplings that extend across the binding interfaces, forming continuous motifs. An enhanced effect is visible across the proteins of the dataset forming larger quaternary assemblies. The method indicates the presence of energetic signatures in the isolated proteins that are retained in the bound form, which we hypothesize to determine binding orientation upon complex formation. We propose our method, BLUEPRINT, as a complement to different approaches ranging from the ab-initio characterization of PPIs, to protein-protein docking algorithms, for the physico-chemical and functional investigation of protein-protein interactions. PMID:27050828

  11. Pyrolysis of surface-immobilized model compounds: Mechanistic implications for the thermal chemistry of coal

    SciTech Connect

    Britt, P F; Poutsma, M L

    1990-01-01

    Our research has been investigating the potential role that the cross-linked network structure of coal may play in perturbing free-radical reactions associated with coal thermolysis. This may be particularly important in the thermal conversion of coal at low temperatures, e.g., 350--400{degree}C, where bonds begin to break but most of the residual framework is retained. In order to assess the potential impact of restricted transport on thermal reaction pathways, we have modeled the phenomenon experimentally by studying organic model compounds that are covalently linked to an inert silica surface. The experimental methodology and significant results from studies of the thermolysis of surface-attached Ph(CH{sub 2}){sub n}Ph (n = 0--4) at 345--400{degree}C will be briefly surveyed. Initial results from studies of two-component surfaces will also be presented that reveal the role of radical migration, via facile hydrogen shuttling, in modifying the effects of diffusional constraints. 13 refs., 5 figs.

  12. ON THE INTERACTION OF ADENINE WITH IONIZING RADIATION: MECHANISTICAL STUDIES AND ASTROBIOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, Nicholas L.; Ullrich, Susanne; Bennett, Chris J.; Kaiser, Ralf I.

    2011-04-01

    The molecular inventory available on the prebiotic Earth was likely derived from both terrestrial and extraterrestrial sources. A complete description of which extraterrestrial molecules may have seeded early Earth is therefore necessary to fully understand the prebiotic evolution which led to life. Galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) are expected to cause both the formation and destruction of important biomolecules-including nucleic acid bases such as adenine-in the interstellar medium within the ices condensed on interstellar grains. The interstellar ultraviolet (UV) component is expected to photochemically degrade gas-phase adenine on a short timescale of only several years. However, the destruction rate is expected to be significantly reduced when adenine is shielded in dense molecular clouds or even within the ices of interstellar grains. Here, biomolecule destruction by the energetic charged particle component of the GCR becomes important as it is not fully attenuated. Presented here are results on the destruction rate of the nucleobase adenine in the solid state at 10 K by energetic electrons, as generated in the track of cosmic ray particles as they penetrate ices. When both UV and energetic charged particle destructive processes are taken into account, the half-life of adenine within dense interstellar clouds is found to be {approx}6 Myr, which is on the order of a star-forming molecular cloud. We also discuss chemical reaction pathways within the ices to explain the production of observed species, including the formation of nitriles (R-C{identical_to}N), epoxides (C-O-C), and carbonyl functions (R-C=O).

  13. Amplified interactive toxicity of chemicals at nontoxic levels: Mechanistic considerations and implications to public health

    SciTech Connect

    Mehendale, H.M.

    1994-11-01

    It is widely recognized that exposure to combinations or mixtures of chemicals may result in highly exaggerated toxicity even though the individual chemicals might not be toxic. Assessment of risk from exposure to combinations of chemicals requires the knowledge of the underlying mechanism(s). Dietary exposure to a nontoxic dose of chlordecone (CD; 10 ppm, 15 days) results in a 67-fold increase in lethality of an ordinarily inconsequential dose of CCl{sub 4} (100 {mu}l/kg, ip). Toxicity of closely related CHCl{sub 3} and BrCCl{sub 3} is also enhanced. Phenobarbital (PB, 225 ppm, 15 days) and mirex (10 ppm, 15 days) do not share the propensity of CD in this regard. Exposure to PB + CCl{sub 4} results in enhanced liver injury similar to that observed with CD, but the animals recover and survive in contrast to the greatly amplified lethality of CD + CCl{sub 4}. Investigations have revealed that neither enhanced bioactivation of CCl{sub 4} nor increased lipid peroxidation offers a satisfactory explanation of these findings. Additional studies indicate that exposure to a low dose of CCl{sub 4} (100 {mu}l/kg, ip) results in limited jury, which is accompanied by a biphasic response of hepatocellular regeneration (6 and 36 hr) and tissue repair, which enables the animals to recover from injury. Exposure to CD + CCl{sub 4} results in suppressed tissue repair owing to an energy deficit in hepatocytes as a consequence of excessive intracellular influx of Ca{sup 2+} leading initially to a precipitous decline in glycogen and ultimately to hypoglycemia. Supplementation of cellular energy results in restoration of the tissue repair and complete recovery from the toxicity of CD + CCl{sub 4} combination. In contrast, only the early-phase hepatic tissue repair (6 hr) is affected in PB + CCl{sub 4} treatment, but this is compensated for by a greater stimulation of tissue repair at 24 and 48 hr resulting in recovery from liver and animal survival. 85 refs., 7 figs., 7 tabs.

  14. Nickel Alloy Primary Water Bulk Surface and SCC Corrosion Film Analytical Characterization and SCC Mechanistic Implications

    SciTech Connect

    Morton, D.; Lewis, N.; Hanson, M.; Rice, S.; Sanders, P.

    2007-04-18

    Alloy 600 corrosion coupon tests were performed: (1) to quantify the temperature dependency of general corrosion and (2) to characterize the composition and structure of bulk surface corrosion films for comparison with ongoing primary water SCC (PWSCC) crack tip corrosion film analyses. Results suggest that the thermal activation energy of Alloy 600 corrosion is consistent with the thermal activation energy of nickel alloy PWSCC. Analytical investigations of the structure and composition of Alloy 600 bulk surface corrosion oxides revealed a duplex (inner and outer) oxide layer structure. The outer layer is discontinuous and comprised of relatively large (1 to 3 {micro}m) nickel ferrite crystals and smaller ({approx}0.1 {micro}m) chromium containing nickel ferrite crystals. The inner layer consists of a relatively continuous chromite spinel (major phase) and chromia (Cr{sub 2}O{sub 3} minor phase) which formed through non-selective oxidation. Chromia and dealloyed Alloy 600 (highly Ni enriched metal) were only observed at 337 C (640 F) and only along the boundaries of deformation induced fine grains and subcells. Specimens having deformation free surfaces exhibited continuous uniform inner chromite spinel oxide layers. Specimens with machining induced surface deformation produced non-uniform inner layer oxides (chromite spinel, Cr{sub 2}O{sub 3} and unoxidized material). PWSCC crack tip oxides, in contrast, were fine grain (no duplex structure) and consisted of both chromium rich spinels and ''NiO'' structure oxides. Generally, nickel rich oxides were more abundant under more oxidized conditions (reduced coolant hydrogen) and spinel rich crack tip oxides were favored under more reducing conditions (increased coolant hydrogen). Bulk surface corrosion film thickness did not correlate with observed SCC growth rates. These results suggest that corrosion is not the rate controlling step of PWSCC but rather that PWSCC and corrosion have a common rate controlling sub process (e.g., cation diffusion, oxygen ingress).

  15. Turbulent Flow Enhancement by Polyelectrolyte Additives: Mechanistic Implications for Drag Reduction.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagger, David Leonard

    1992-01-01

    The drag reduction phenomenon was experimentally studied in two pipes, of diameters 1.46 and 1.02 cm, using seven polyelectrolytic HPAM additives, with molecular weights from 1 to 20 times 10^6 g/mole and degree of backbone hydrolysis from 8 to 60%, at concentrations from 1 to 1000 wppm, in saline solutions containing from 0.3 to 0.00001 N NaCl. Both laminar and turbulent flow behavior were greatly influenced by salinity-induced changes in the initial conformation of the HPAM additives. Initially collapsed, random-coiling conformations exhibited Newtonian laminar flow and Type-A turbulent drag reduction, while initially extended conformations exhibited shear-thinning in laminar flow and Type-B turbulent drag reduction. The gross-flow physics of Type-B drag reduction were delineated. A characteristic "ladder" structure prevailed, with polymeric regime segments that were roughly parallel to, but shifted upward from, the Prandtl-Karman line. In the polymeric regime, both Type-A fan and Type -B ladder structures were essentially independent of pipe diameter, and were scaled by the wall shear stress. The wall shear stress also scaled degradation during drag reduction. New onset and slope increment correlations were presented for Type-A drag reduction by HPAM additives. In Type-B drag reduction, flow enhancement was found proportional to additive concentration, and the intrinsic slip, Sigma = S^'/(c/M _{rm w}), varied roughly as the third power of backbone chain links N_ {rm bb}. New intrinsic slip and retro-onset correlations were presented for Type-B drag reduction by HPAM additives. Analysis of Type-B literature revealed a wide range of additive efficacies, with specific slips S^'/c from 0.0001 to 4. For the most effective additives, HPAM and asbestos fibers, the additive-pervaded volume fraction per unit flow enhancement, X_{rm v} /S^' ~ 3000, implied that these additives align during drag reduction. The slip ratio R_{rm sc}, which is the relative flow enhancement induced in Type-A and Type-B drag reduction at constant additive concentration, was found to be a universal function of the normalized turbulent flow strength (Re_ {rm s}sqrtf/Re_ {rm s}sqrtf*). The extension of initially collapsed, random-coiling, HPAM macromolecules by the turbulent flow field thus seems independent of additive parameters and absolute wall shear stress levels. Gross flow additive equivalence was detected at iso-slip points, where different polymer solutions induced equal flow enhancements. At numerous such points, the collapsed to extended slip ratio at constant concentration, R_{rm sc}, was essentially equal to the extended to collapsed concentration ratio at constant slip, R _{rm cs}. Thus, for fixed total additive concentration, the R_{ rm sc} observed at any Re_ {rm s}sqrtf simply represents the fraction of originally collapsed macromolecules that have become extended in the flow, and thence effective in drag reduction. (Copies available exclusively from MIT Libraries, Rm. 14-0551, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307. Ph. 617 -253-5668; Fax 617-253-1690.).

  16. Mass Spectrometry Based Mechanistic Insights into Formation of Tris Conjugates: Implications on Protein Biopharmaceutics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kabadi, Pradeep G.; Sankaran, Praveen Kallamvalliillam; Palanivelu, Dinesh V.; Adhikary, Laxmi; Khedkar, Anand; Chatterjee, Amarnath

    2016-08-01

    We present here extensive mass spectrometric studies on the formation of a Tris conjugate with a therapeutic monoclonal antibody. The results not only demonstrate the reactive nature of the Tris molecule but also the sequence and reaction conditions that trigger this reactivity. The results corroborate the fact that proteins are, in general, prone to conjugation and/or adduct formation reactions and any modification due to this essentially leads to formation of impurities in a protein sample. Further, the results demonstrate that the conjugation reaction happens via a succinimide intermediate and has sequence specificity. Additionally, the data presented in this study also shows that the Tris formation is produced in-solution and is not an in-source phenomenon. We believe that the facts given here will open further avenues on exploration of Tris as a conjugating agent as well as ensure that the use of Tris or any ionic buffer in the process of producing a biopharmaceutical drug is monitored closely for the presence of such conjugate formation.

  17. NMR determination of lysine pKa values in the Pol lambda lyase domain: mechanistic implications.

    PubMed

    Gao, Guanghua; DeRose, Eugene F; Kirby, Thomas W; London, Robert E

    2006-02-14

    The base excision repair (BER) process requires removal of an abasic deoxyribose-5-phosphate group, a catalytic activity that has been demonstrated for the N-terminal 8 kDa domain of DNA polymerase beta (Pol beta), and for the homologous domain of DNA polymerase lambda (Pol lambda). Previous studies have demonstrated that this activity results from formation of a Schiff base adduct of the abasic deoxyribose C-1' with a lysine residue (K312 in the case of Pol lambda), followed by a beta-elimination reaction. To better understand the underlying chemistry, we have determined pKa values for the lysine residues in the Pol lambda lyase domain labeled with [epsilon-13C]lysine. At neutral pH, the H(epsilon) protons on 3 of the 10 lysine residues in this domain, K287, K291, and K312, exhibit chemical shift inequivalence that results from immobilization of the lysyl side chains. For K287 and K291, this results from the K287-E261 and K291-E298 salt bridge interactions, while for K312, immobilization apparently results from steric and hydrogen-bonding interactions that constrain the position of the lysine side chain. The pKa value of K312 is depressed to 9.58, a value indicating that at physiological pH K312 will exist predominantly in the protonated form. Titration of the domain with hairpin DNA containing a 5'-tetrahydrofuran terminus to model the abasic site produced shifts of the labeled lysine resonances that were in fast exchange but appeared to be complete at a stoichiometry of approximately 1:1.3, consistent with a dissociation constant of approximately 1 microM. The epsilon-proton shifts of K273 were the most sensitive to the addition of the DNA, apparently due to changes in the relative orientation between K273 and W274 in the DNA complex. The average pKa values increased by 0.55, consistent with the formation of some DNA-lysine salt bridges and with the general pH increase expected to result from a reduction in the net positive charge of the complex. A general increase in the Hill coefficients observed in the complex is consistent with the screening of the interacting lysine residues by the DNA. The pKa of K312 residue increased to 10.58 in the complex, probably due to salt bridge formation with the 5'-phosphate group of the DNA. The pKa values obtained for the lyase domain of Pol lambda in the present study are consistent with recent crystallographic studies of Pol beta complexed with 5-phosphorylated abasic sugar analogues in nicked DNA which reveal an open site with no obvious interactions that would significantly depress the pK value for the active site lysine residue. It is suggested that due to the heterogeneity of the damaged DNA substrates with which Pol lambda as well as other related polymerases may be required to bind, the unexpectedly poor optimization of the lyase catalytic site may reflect a compromise of flexibility with catalytic efficiency. PMID:16460025

  18. Reduced DHA transfer in diabetic pregnancies: mechanistic basis and long-term neurodevelopmental implications.

    PubMed

    Judge, Michelle P; Casavant, Sharon G; Dias, Juliana A M; McGrath, Jacqueline M

    2016-06-01

    Infants born to diabetic mothers have a higher frequency of impaired neurodevelopment. The omega-3 or n-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is an important structural component of neural tissue and is critical for fetal brain development. Maternal DHA supplementation during pregnancy is linked to better infant neurodevelopment; however, maternal-fetal transfer of DHA is reduced in women with diabetes. Evidence of mechanisms explaining altered maternal-fetal DHA transfer in this population is limited. This review explores existing evidence underpinning reduced maternal-fetal DHA transfer in maternal fuel metabolism in this population. Further research is necessary to evaluate the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in modulating placental fatty acid binding and maternal-fetal DHA transfer. Considerations for clinical practice include a diet high in DHA and/or provision of supplemental DHA to obstetric diabetic patients within minimum guidelines. PMID:27142302

  19. Kinetic and Mechanistic Characterization and Versatile Catalytic Properties of Mammalian Glutaredoxin 2: Implications for Intracellular Roles†

    PubMed Central

    Gallogly, Molly M.; Starke, David W.; Leonberg, Amanda K.; Ospina, Susan M. English; Mieyal, John J.

    2013-01-01

    Glutaredoxin (Grx)-catalyzed deglutathionylation of protein–glutathione mixed disulfides (protein-SSG) serves important roles in redox homeostasis and signal transduction, regulating diverse physiological and pathophysiological events. Mammalian cells have two Grx isoforms: Grx1, localized to the cytosol and mitochondrial intermembrane space, and Grx2, localized primarily to the mitochondrial matrix [Pai, H. V., et al. (2007) Antioxid. Redox Signaling 9, 2027–2033]. The catalytic behavior of Grx1 has been characterized extensively, whereas Grx2 catalysis is less well understood. We observed that human Grx1 and Grx2 exhibit key catalytic similarities, including selectivity for protein-SSG substrates and a nucleophilic, double-displacement, monothiol mechanism exhibiting a strong commitment to catalysis. A key distinction between Grx1- and Grx2-mediated deglutathionylation is decreased catalytic efficiency (kcat/KM) of Grx2 for protein deglutathionylation (due primarily to a decreased kcat), reflecting a higher pKa of its catalytic cysteine, as well as a decreased enhancement of nucleophilicity of the second substrate, GSH. As documented previously for hGrx1 [Starke, D. W., et al. (2003) J. Biol. Chem. 278, 14607–14613], hGrx2 catalyzes glutathione-thiyl radical (GS•) scavenging, and it also mediates GS transfer (protein S-glutathionylation) reactions, where GS• serves as a superior glutathionyl donor substrate for formation of GAPDH-SSG, compared to GSNO and GSSG. In contrast to its lower kcat for deglutathionylation reactions, Grx2 promotes GS-transfer to the model protein substrate GAPDH at rates equivalent to those of Grx1. Estimation of Grx1 and Grx2 concentrations within mitochondria predicts comparable deglutathionylation activities within the mitochondrial subcompartments, suggesting localized regulatory functions for both isozymes. PMID:18816065

  20. Mechanistic Investigation of Acid-Catalyzed Cleavage of Aryl-Ether Linkages: Implications for Lignin Depolymerization

    SciTech Connect

    Sturgeon, M. R.; Kim, S.; Chmely, S. C.; Foust, T. D.; Beckham, G. T.

    2013-01-01

    Carbon-oxygen bonds are the primary inter-monomer linkages lignin polymers in plant cell walls, and as such, catalyst development to cleave these linkages is of paramount importance to deconstruct biomass to its constituent monomers for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals. For many decades, acid catalysis has been used to depolymerize lignin. Lignin is a primary component of plant cell walls, which is connected primarily by aryl-ether linkages, and the mechanism of its deconstruction by acid is not well understood, likely due to its heterogeneous and complex nature compared to cellulose. For effective biomass conversion strategies, utilization of lignin is of significant relevance and as such understanding the mechanisms of catalytic lignin deconstruction to constituent monomers and oligomers is of keen interest. Here, we present a comprehensive experimental and theoretical study of the acid catalysis of a range of dimeric species exhibiting the b-O-4 linkage, the most common inter-monomer linkage in lignin. We demonstrate that the presence of a phenolic species dramatically increases the rate of cleavage in acid at 150 degrees C. Quantum mechanical calculations on dimers with the para-hydroxyl group demonstrate that this acid-catalyzed pathway differs from the nonphenolic dimmers. Importantly, this result implies that depolymerization of native lignin in the plant cell wall will proceed via an unzipping mechanism wherein b-O-4 linkages will be cleaved from the ends of the branched, polymer chains inwards toward the center of the polymer. To test this hypothesis further, we synthesized a homopolymer of b-O-4 with a phenolic hydroxyl group, and demonstrate that it is cleaved in acid from the end containing the phenolic hydroxyl group. This result suggests that genetic modifications to lignin biosynthesis pathways in plants that will enable lower severity processes to fractionate lignin for upgrading and for easier access to the carbohydrate fraction of the plant cell wall.

  1. Environmental Factors, Toxicants and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

    PubMed Central

    Mak, Anselm; Tay, Sen Hee

    2014-01-01

    Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an immune-complex-mediated multi-systemic autoimmune condition of multifactorial etiology, which mainly affects young women. It is currently believed that the onset of SLE and lupus flares are triggered by various environmental factors in genetically susceptible individuals. Various environmental agents and toxicants, such as cigarette smoke, alcohol, occupationally- and non-occupationally-related chemicals, ultraviolet light, infections, sex hormones and certain medications and vaccines, have been implicated to induce SLE onset or flares in a number case series, case-control and population-based cohort studies and very few randomized controlled trials. Here, we will describe some of these recognized environmental lupus triggering and perpetuating factors and explain how these factors potentially bias the immune system towards autoimmunity through their interactions with genetic and epigenetic alterations. Further in-depth exploration of how potentially important environmental factors mechanistically interact with the immune system and the genome, which trigger the onset of SLE and lupus flares, will certainly be one of the plausible steps to prevent the onset and to decelerate the progress of the disease. PMID:25216337

  2. (Mechanistic examination of organometallic electron transfer reactions: Annual report, 1989)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-01-01

    Our mechanistic examination of electron transfer reactions between organometallic complexes has required data from our stopped-flow infrared spectrophotometer that was constructed in the first year. Our research on organometallic electron transfer reaction mechanisms was recognized by an invitation to the Symposium on Organometallic Reaction Mechanisms at the National ACS meeting in Miami. We have obtained a reasonable understanding of the electron transfer reactions between metal cations and anions and between metal carbonyl anions and metal carbonyl dimers. In addition we have begun to obtain data on the outer sphere electron transfer between metal carbonyl anions and coordination complexes and on reactions involving cluster anions.

  3. Mechanistic systems modeling to guide drug discovery and development

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Brian J.; Papin, Jason A.; Musante, Cynthia J.

    2013-01-01

    A crucial question that must be addressed in the drug development process is whether the proposed therapeutic target will yield the desired effect in the clinical population. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies place a large investment on research and development, long before confirmatory data are available from human trials. Basic science has greatly expanded the computable knowledge of disease processes, both through the generation of large omics data sets and a compendium of studies assessing cellular and systemic responses to physiologic and pathophysiologic stimuli. Given inherent uncertainties in drug development, mechanistic systems models can better inform target selection and the decision process for advancing compounds through preclinical and clinical research. PMID:22999913

  4. [Mechanistic examination of organometallic electron transfer reactions: Annual report, 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1989-12-31

    Our mechanistic examination of electron transfer reactions between organometallic complexes has required data from our stopped-flow infrared spectrophotometer that was constructed in the first year. Our research on organometallic electron transfer reaction mechanisms was recognized by an invitation to the Symposium on Organometallic Reaction Mechanisms at the National ACS meeting in Miami. We have obtained a reasonable understanding of the electron transfer reactions between metal cations and anions and between metal carbonyl anions and metal carbonyl dimers. In addition we have begun to obtain data on the outer sphere electron transfer between metal carbonyl anions and coordination complexes and on reactions involving cluster anions.

  5. Natural killer group 2D and CD28 receptors differentially activate mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin to alter murine effector CD8+ T-cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    McQueen, Bryan; Trace, Kelsey; Whitman, Emily; Bedsworth, Taylor; Barber, Amorette

    2016-03-01

    Memory CD8+ T cells are an essential component of anti-tumour and anti-viral immunity. Activation of the mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway has been implicated in regulating the differentiation of effector and memory T cells. However, the mechanisms that control mTOR activity during immunity to tumours and infections are not well known. Activation of co-stimulatory receptors, including CD28 and natural killer group 2D (NKG2D), activate phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase and subsequently may activate the mTOR pathway in CD8+ T cells. This study compared the activation of the mTOR signalling pathway after co-stimulation through CD28 or NKG2D receptors in murine effector CD8+ T cells. Compared with CD28 co-stimulation, activation through CD3 and NKG2D receptors had weaker activation of mTORc1, as shown by decreased phosphorylation of mTORc1 targets S6K1, ribosomal protein S6 and eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1. NKG2D co-stimulation also showed increased gene expression of tuberous sclerosis protein 2, a negative regulator of mTORc1, whereas CD28 co-stimulation increased gene expression of Ras homologue enriched in brain, an activator of mTORc1, and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor-α, pro-angiogenic factors downstream of mTORc1. Strong mTORc1 activation in CD28-co-stimulated cells also increased expression of transcription factors that support effector cell differentiation, namely T-bet, B lymphocyte-induced maturation protein (BLIMP-1), interferon regulatory factor 4, and inhibitor of DNA binding 2, whereas low levels of mTORc1 activation allowed for the expression of Eomes, B-cell lymphoma 6 (BCL6), and inhibitor of DNA binding 3 during NKG2D stimulation, and increased expression of memory markers CD62 ligand and CD127. These data show that compared with CD28, co-stimulation through the NKG2D receptor leads to the differential activation of the mTOR signalling pathway and potentially supports

  6. Phase Stability of t;#8242;-Zirconia-Based Thermal Barrier Coatings: Mechanistic Insights

    SciTech Connect

    Krogstad, Jessica A.; Krämer, Stephan; Lipkin, Don M.; Johnson, Curtis A.; Mitchell, David R.G.; Cairney, Julie M.; Levi, Carlos G.

    2011-11-07

    The temperature capability of yttria-stabilized zirconia thermal barrier coatings (TBCs) is ultimately tied to the rate of evolution of the 'nontransformable' t' phase into a depleted tetragonal form predisposed to the monoclinic transformation on cooling. The t' phase, however, has been shown to decompose in a small fraction of the time necessary to form the monoclinic phase. Instead, a modulated microstructure consisting of a coherent array of Y-rich and Y-lean lamellar phases develops early in the process, with mechanistic features suggestive of spinodal decomposition. Coarsening of this microstructure leads to loss of coherency and ultimately transformation into the monoclinic form, making the kinetics of this process, and not the initial decomposition, the critical factor in determining the phase stability of TBCs. Transmission electron microscopy is shown to be essential not only for characterizing the microstructure but also for proper interpretation of X-ray diffraction analysis.

  7. Combating Pathogenic Microorganisms Using Plant-Derived Antimicrobials: A Minireview of the Mechanistic Basis

    PubMed Central

    Upadhyaya, Indu; Kollanoor-Johny, Anup

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria has led to renewed interest in exploring the potential of plant-derived antimicrobials (PDAs) as an alternative therapeutic strategy to combat microbial infections. Historically, plant extracts have been used as a safe, effective, and natural remedy for ailments and diseases in traditional medicine. Extensive research in the last two decades has identified a plethora of PDAs with a wide spectrum of activity against a variety of fungal and bacterial pathogens causing infections in humans and animals. Active components of many plant extracts have been characterized and are commercially available; however, research delineating the mechanistic basis of their antimicrobial action is scanty. This review highlights the potential of various plant-derived compounds to control pathogenic bacteria, especially the diverse effects exerted by plant compounds on various virulence factors that are critical for pathogenicity inside the host. In addition, the potential effect of PDAs on gut microbiota is discussed. PMID:25298964

  8. Mechanistic study of synthesis of gold nanoparticles using multi-functional polymer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Taekyung; Kim, Rayoung; Park, Hoseok; Yi, Jonghyup; Kim, Woo-Sik

    2014-01-01

    This Letter presents a mechanistic study of the large-scale synthesis of Au nanoparticles when using branched polyethyleneimine (BPEI) as a multi-functional reducing agent, capping agent, and stabilizer. During the synthesis, the molar ratio of BPEI/HAuCl4, reaction temperature, and pH of the reacting solution were all found to be important factors in the formation, size control, and stabilization of the Au nanoparticles. The proposed synthetic route provided a highly concentrated product of Au nanoparticles (above 40 g/L), at least 10- to 200-fold more than previous methods, and can be readily applied to a large-scale process due to its simple and mild reaction conditions.

  9. Infection control implications of heterogeneous resistance mechanisms in carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE).

    PubMed

    Goodman, K E; Simner, P J; Tamma, P D; Milstone, A M

    2016-01-01

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) based upon a phenotypic demonstration of carbapenem resistance. However, considerable heterogeneity exists within this definitional umbrella. CRE may mechanistically differ by whether they do or do not produce carbapenemases. Moreover, patients can acquire CRE through multiple pathways: endogenously through antibiotic selective pressure on intestinal microbiota, exogenously through horizontal transmission or through a combination of these factors. Some evidence suggests that non-carbapenemase-producing CRE may be more frequently acquired by antibiotic exposure and carbapenemase-producing CRE via horizontal transmission, but definitive data are lacking. This review examines types of CRE resistance mechanisms, antibiotic exposure and horizontal transmission pathways of CRE acquisition, and the implications of these heterogeneities to the development of evidence-based CRE healthcare epidemiology policies. In our Expert Commentary & Five-Year View, we outline specific nosocomial CRE knowledge gaps and potential methodological approaches for their resolution. PMID:26535959

  10. Mechanistic study of a diazo dye degradation by Soybean Peroxidase

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Enzyme based remediation of wastewater is emerging as a novel, efficient and environmentally-friendlier approach. However, studies showing detailed mechanisms of enzyme mediated degradation of organic pollutants are not widely published. Results The present report describes a detailed study on the use of Soybean Peroxidase to efficiently degrade Trypan Blue, a diazo dye. In addition to examining various parameters that can affect the dye degradation ability of the enzyme, such as enzyme and H2O2 concentration, reaction pH and temperature, we carried out a detailed mechanistic study of Trypan Blue degradation. HPLC-DAD and LC-MS/MS studies were carried out to confirm dye degradation and analyze the intermediate metabolites and develop a detailed mechanistic dye degradation pathway. Conclusion We report that Soybean peroxidase causes Trypan Blue degradation via symmetrical azo bond cleavage and subsequent radical-initiated ring opening of the metabolites. Interestingly, our results also show that no high molecular weight polymers were produced during the peroxidase-H2O2 mediated degradation of the phenolic Trypan Blue. PMID:23711110

  11. Surgery for malignant gliomas: mechanistic reasoning and slippery statistics.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Patrick; Ellison, David W; Mendelow, A David

    2005-07-01

    Current surgical treatment of malignant gliomas largely depends on mechanistic reasoning and data collected in non-randomised studies. Technological advance has enabled more accurate resection of tumours and preservation of eloquent brain areas but ethical considerations have restricted randomised trials on the efficacy of surgery to one small trial that found a 3 month survival advantage for patients over age 65 years who received surgery and interim analysis of a larger trial. There is an argument for surgery as a palliative measure in patients with symptoms caused by mechanisms that are surgically remediable. Whether there is any survival advantage from surgery in patients other than those with immediately life-threatening, surgically remediable complications, such as raised intracranial pressure, is unclear. The available data show that if such an advantage does exist, it is modest at best. Adjuvant treatments given surgically are being studied. Chemotherapy wafers are the most prominent of the adjuvant treatments but the evidence available is insufficient to recommend their use in routine practice. In this review we examine the prevailing mechanistic model and observational data; we assess how these are applied and the priorities they indicate for future research. PMID:15963444

  12. From data patterns to mechanistic models in acute critical illness.

    PubMed

    Aerts, Jean-Marie; Haddad, Wassim M; An, Gary; Vodovotz, Yoram

    2014-08-01

    The complexity of the physiologic and inflammatory response in acute critical illness has stymied the accurate diagnosis and development of therapies. The Society for Complex Acute Illness was formed a decade ago with the goal of leveraging multiple complex systems approaches to address this unmet need. Two main paths of development have characterized the society's approach: (i) data pattern analysis, either defining the diagnostic/prognostic utility of complexity metrics of physiologic signals or multivariate analyses of molecular and genetic data and (ii) mechanistic mathematical and computational modeling, all being performed with an explicit translational goal. Here, we summarize the progress to date on each of these approaches, along with pitfalls inherent in the use of each approach alone. We suggest that the next decade holds the potential to merge these approaches, connecting patient diagnosis to treatment via mechanism-based dynamical system modeling and feedback control and allowing extrapolation from physiologic signals to biomarkers to novel drug candidates. As a predicate example, we focus on the role of data-driven and mechanistic models in neuroscience and the impact that merging these modeling approaches can have on general anesthesia. PMID:24768566

  13. Discerning mechanistically rewired biological pathways by cumulative interaction heterogeneity statistics

    PubMed Central

    Cotton, Travis B.; Nguyen, Hien H.; Said, Joseph I.; Ouyang, Zhengyu; Zhang, Jinfa; Song, Mingzhou

    2015-01-01

    Changes in response of a biological pathway could be a consequence of either pathway rewiring, changed input, or a combination of both. Most pathway analysis methods are not designed for mechanistic rewiring such as regulatory element variations. This limits our understanding of biological pathway evolution. Here we present a Q-method to discern whether changed pathway response is caused by mechanistic rewiring of pathways due to evolution. The main innovation is a cumulative pathway interaction heterogeneity statistic accounting for rewiring-specific effects on the rate of change of each molecular variable across conditions. The Q-method remarkably outperformed differential-correlation based approaches on data from diverse biological processes. Strikingly, it also worked well in differentiating rewired chaotic systems, whose dynamics are notoriously difficult to predict. Applying the Q-method on transcriptome data of four yeasts, we show that pathway interaction heterogeneity for known metabolic and signaling pathways is indeed a predictor of interspecies genetic rewiring due to unbalanced TATA box-containing genes among the yeasts. The demonstrated effectiveness of the Q-method paves the way to understanding network evolution at the resolution of functional biological pathways. PMID:25921728

  14. Trichloroethylene: Mechanistic, Epidemiologic and Other Supporting Evidence of Carcinogenic Hazard

    PubMed Central

    Rusyn, Ivan; Chiu, Weihsueh A.; Lash, Lawrence H.; Kromhout, Hans; Hansen, Johnni; Guyton, Kathryn Z.

    2013-01-01

    The chlorinated solvent trichloroethylene (TCE) is a ubiquitous environmental pollutant. The carcinogenic hazard of TCE was the subject of a 2012 evaluation by a Working Group of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Information on exposures, relevant data from epidemiologic studies, bioassays in experimental animals, and toxicity and mechanism of action studies was used to conclude that TCE is carcinogenic to humans (Group 1). This article summarizes the key evidence forming the scientific bases for the IARC classification. Exposure to TCE from environmental sources (including from hazardous waste sites and contaminated water) is common throughout the world. While workplace use of TCE has been declining, occupational exposures remain of concern, especially in developing countries. Strongest human evidence is from studies of occupational TCE exposure and kidney cancer. Positive, although less consistent, associations were reported for liver cancer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. TCE is carcinogenic at multiple sites in multiple species and strains of experimental animals. The mechanistic evidence includes extensive data on the toxicokinetics and genotoxicity of TCE and its metabolites. Together, available evidence provided a cohesive database supporting the human cancer hazard of TCE, particularly in the kidney. For other target sites of carcinogenicity, mechanistic and other data were found to be more limited. Important sources of susceptibility to TCE toxicity and carcinogenicity were also reviewed by the Working Group. In all, consideration of the multiple evidence streams presented herein informed the IARC conclusions regarding the carcinogenicity of TCE. PMID:23973663

  15. Discerning mechanistically rewired biological pathways by cumulative interaction heterogeneity statistics.

    PubMed

    Cotton, Travis B; Nguyen, Hien H; Said, Joseph I; Ouyang, Zhengyu; Zhang, Jinfa; Song, Mingzhou

    2015-01-01

    Changes in response of a biological pathway could be a consequence of either pathway rewiring, changed input, or a combination of both. Most pathway analysis methods are not designed for mechanistic rewiring such as regulatory element variations. This limits our understanding of biological pathway evolution. Here we present a Q-method to discern whether changed pathway response is caused by mechanistic rewiring of pathways due to evolution. The main innovation is a cumulative pathway interaction heterogeneity statistic accounting for rewiring-specific effects on the rate of change of each molecular variable across conditions. The Q-method remarkably outperformed differential-correlation based approaches on data from diverse biological processes. Strikingly, it also worked well in differentiating rewired chaotic systems, whose dynamics are notoriously difficult to predict. Applying the Q-method on transcriptome data of four yeasts, we show that pathway interaction heterogeneity for known metabolic and signaling pathways is indeed a predictor of interspecies genetic rewiring due to unbalanced TATA box-containing genes among the yeasts. The demonstrated effectiveness of the Q-method paves the way to understanding network evolution at the resolution of functional biological pathways. PMID:25921728

  16. Factors promoting larch dominance in central Siberia: fire versus growth performance and implications for carbon dynamics at the boundary of evergreen and deciduous conifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulze, E.-D.; Wirth, C.; Mollicone, D.; von Lüpke, N.; Ziegler, W.; Achard, F.; Mund, M.; Prokushkin, A.; Scherbina, S.

    2012-04-01

    The relative role of fire and of climate in determining canopy species composition and aboveground carbon stocks were investigated. Measurements were made along a transect extending from the dark taiga zone of central Siberia, where Picea and Abies dominate the canopy, into the Larix zone of eastern Siberia. We test the hypotheses that the change in canopy species composition is based (1) on climate-driven performance only, (2) on fire only, or (3) on fire-performance interactions. We show that the evergreen conifers Picea obovata and Abies sibirica are the natural late-successional species both in central and eastern Siberia, provided there has been no fire for an extended period of time. There are no changes in performance of the observed species along the transect. Fire appears to be the main factor explaining the dominance of Larix and of soil carbon. Of lesser influence were longitude as a proxy for climate, local hydrology and active-layer thickness. We can only partially explain fire return frequency, which is not only related to climate and land cover, but also to human behavior. Stand-replacing fires decreased from 300 to 50 yrs between the Yenisei Ridge and the upper Tunguska. Repeated non-stand-replacing surface fires eliminated the regeneration of Abies and Picea. With every 100 yrs since the last fire, the percentage of Larix decreased by 20%. Biomass of stems of single trees did not show signs of age-related decline. Relative diameter increment was 0.41 ± 0.20% at breast height and stem volume increased linearly over time with a rate of about 0.36 t C ha-1 yr-1 independent of age class and species. Stand biomass reached about 130 t C ha-1(equivalent to about 520 m3 ha-1). Individual trees of Larix were older than 600 yrs. The maximum age and biomass seemed to be limited by fungal rot of heart wood. 60% of old Larix and Picea and 30% of Pinus sibirica trees were affected by stem rot. Implications for the future role of fire and of plant diseases are

  17. Expression of Tissue factor in Adenocarcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Uterine Cervix: Implications for immunotherapy with hI-con1, a factor VII-IgGFc chimeric protein targeting tissue factor

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Cervical cancer continues to be an important worldwide health problem for women. Up to 35% of patients who are diagnosed with and appropriately treated for cervical cancer will recur and treatment results are poor for recurrent disease. Given these sobering statistics, development of novel therapies for cervical cancer remains a high priority. We evaluated the expression of Tissue Factor (TF) in cervical cancer and the potential of hI-con1, an antibody-like-molecule targeted against TF, as a novel form of immunotherapy against multiple primary cervical carcinoma cell lines with squamous- and adenocarcinoma histology. Methods Because TF is a transmembrane receptor for coagulation factor VII/VIIa (fVII), in this study we evaluated the in vitro expression of TF in cervical carcinoma cell lines by immunohistochemistry (IHC), real time-PCR (qRT-PCR) and flow cytometry. Sensitivity to hI-con1-dependent cell-mediated-cytotoxicity (IDCC) was evaluated in 5-hrs-51chromium-release-assays against cervical cancer cell lines in vitro. Results Cytoplasmic and/or membrane TF expression was observed in 8 out of 8 (100%) of the tumor tissues tested by IHC and in 100% (11 out of 11) of the cervical carcinoma cell lines tested by real-time-PCR and flow cytometry but not in normal cervical keratinocytes (p = 0.0023 qRT-PCR; p = 0.0042 flow cytometry). All primary cervical cancer cell lines tested overexpressing TF, regardless of their histology, were highly sensitive to IDCC (mean killing ± SD, 56.2% ± 15.9%, range, 32.4%-76.9%, p < 0.001), while negligible cytotoxicity was seen in the absence of hI-con1 or in the presence of rituximab-control-antibody. Low doses of interleukin-2 further increased the cytotoxic effect induced by hI-con1 (p = 0.025) while human serum did not significantly decrease IDCC against cervical cancer cell lines (p = 0.597). Conclusions TF is highly expressed in squamous and adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix. hI-con1 induces strong cytotoxicity

  18. Pain, Nicotine, and Smoking: Research Findings and Mechanistic Considerations

    PubMed Central

    Ditre, Joseph W.; Brandon, Thomas H.; Zale, Emily L.; Meagher, Mary M.

    2011-01-01

    Tobacco addiction and chronic pain represent two highly prevalent and comorbid conditions that engender substantial burdens upon individuals and systems. Although interrelations between pain and smoking have been of clinical and empirical interest for decades, research on the topic of pain, nicotine, and tobacco smoking has increased dramatically over the past five years. We conceptualize the interaction of pain and smoking as a prototypical example of the biopsychosocial model. Accordingly, the current review extrapolated from behavioral, cognitive, affective, biomedical, and social perspectives to propose causal mechanisms that may contribute to the observed comorbidity between these two conditions. Research in the broad area of pain and smoking was first dichotomized into investigations of either "effects of smoking on pain" or "effects of pain on smoking." We then integrated the extant literature to present a reciprocal model of pain and smoking that is hypothesized to interact in the manner of a positive feedback loop, resulting in greater pain, increased smoking, and the maintenance of tobacco addiction. Finally, we proposed directions for future research, and discussed clinical implications for smokers with comorbid pain disorders. We observed modest evidence to support the notions that smoking may be a risk factor in the multifactorial etiology of some chronically painful conditions, and that the experience of pain may come to serve as a potent motivator of smoking. We also found that whereas animal studies yielded consistent support for direct pain-inhibitory effects of nicotine and tobacco smoke, results from human studies were much less consistent. Future research in the emerging area of pain and smoking has the potential to inform theoretical and clinical applications with respect to tobacco smoking, chronic pain, and their comorbid presentation. PMID:21967450

  19. Immunosuppressive potency of mechanistic target of rapamycin inhibitors in solid-organ transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Baroja-Mazo, Alberto; Revilla-Nuin, Beatriz; Ramírez, Pablo; Pons, José A

    2016-01-01

    Mammalian target of rapamycin, also known as mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a protein kinase that belongs to the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway, which is involved in several fundamental cellular functions such as cell growth, proliferation, and survival. This protein and its associated pathway have been implicated in cancer development and the regulation of immune responses, including the rejection response generated following allograft transplantation. Inhibitors of mTOR (mTORi) such as rapamycin and its derivative everolimus are potent immunosuppressive drugs that both maintain similar rates of efficacy and could optimize the renal function and diminish the side effects compared with calcineurin inhibitors. These drugs are used in solid-organ transplantationtoinduceimmunosuppression while also promoting the expansion of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ regulatory T-cells that could favor a scenery of immunological tolerance. In this review, we describe the mechanisms by which inhibitors of mTOR induce suppression by regulation of these pathways at different levels of the immune response. In addition, we particularly emphasize about the main methods that are used to assess the potency of immunosuppressive drugs, highlighting the studies carried out about immunosuppressive potency of inhibitors of mTOR. PMID:27011916

  20. Mechanistic aspects of sodium-binding sites in LeuT-like fold symporters.

    PubMed

    Perez, Camilo; Ziegler, Christine

    2013-05-01

    Secondary active transporters are of paramount biological impact in all living cells, facilitating the movement of many different substrates across the membrane against a concentration gradient. The uphill transport of one substrate is coupled to the downhill transport of another and driven by the electrochemical gradient. In the last decade, an increasing number of atomic structures of secondary transporters have been reported, confirming a very fundamental mechanistic concept known as the alternating-access cycle. The wealth of structures of transporters sharing the so-called LeuT-like fold that is characterized by two five-transmembrane-helix repeats sharing a 2-fold inverted pseudo symmetry has raised big hopes to finally describe alternating access on a molecular level. Although comparing the individual transporter states of different LeuT-like fold transporters revealed striking similarities, the coupling process, which represents the heart of secondary transport, is far from being understood. Here, we review the structural, functional, and biophysical validation of sodium-binding sites in four different LeuT-like fold transporters. The conservation of sodium sites is discussed in light of their role as key elements connecting symmetry-related structural domains, which are involved in substrate translocation. Moreover, we highlight their crucial roles in conformational changes of LeuT-like fold transporters and their implication on a unifying mechanism in secondary transport. PMID:23362203

  1. Crystal structure of the sodium–proton antiporter NhaA dimer and new mechanistic insights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Chiara; Yashiro, Shoko; Dotson, David L.; Uzdavinys, Povilas; Iwata, So; Sansom, Mark S.P.; von Ballmoos, Christoph

    2014-01-01

    Sodium–proton antiporters rapidly exchange protons and sodium ions across the membrane to regulate intracellular pH, cell volume, and sodium concentration. How ion binding and release is coupled to the conformational changes associated with transport is not clear. Here, we report a crystal form of the prototypical sodium–proton antiporter NhaA from Escherichia coli in which the protein is seen as a dimer. In this new structure, we observe a salt bridge between an essential aspartic acid (Asp163) and a conserved lysine (Lys300). An equivalent salt bridge is present in the homologous transporter NapA, but not in the only other known crystal structure of NhaA, which provides the foundation of most existing structural models of electrogenic sodium–proton antiport. Molecular dynamics simulations show that the stability of the salt bridge is weakened by sodium ions binding to Asp164 and the neighboring Asp163. This suggests that the transport mechanism involves Asp163 switching between forming a salt bridge with Lys300 and interacting with the sodium ion. pKa calculations suggest that Asp163 is highly unlikely to be protonated when involved in the salt bridge. As it has been previously suggested that Asp163 is one of the two residues through which proton transport occurs, these results have clear implications to the current mechanistic models of sodium–proton antiport in NhaA. PMID:25422503

  2. Siderophilic Cyanobacteria: Implications for Early Earth.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brown, I. I.; Mummey, D.; Sarkisova, S.; Shen, G.; Bryant, D. A.; Lindsay, J.; Garrison, D.; McKay, D. S.

    2006-01-01

    Of all extant environs, iron-depositing hot springs (IDHS) may exhibit the greatest similarity to late Precambrian shallow warm oceans in regards to temperature, O2 gradients and dissolved iron and H2S concentrations. Despite the insights into the ecology, evolutionary biology, paleogeobiochemistry, and astrobiology examination of IDHS could potentially provide, very few studies dedicated to the physiology and diversity of cyanobacteria (CB) inhabiting IDHS have been conducted. Results. Here we describe the phylogeny, physiology, ultrastructure and biogeochemical activity of several recent CB isolates from two different greater Yellowstone area IDHS, LaDuke and Chocolate Pots. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA genes indicated that 6 of 12 new isolates examined couldn't be placed within established CB genera. Some of the isolates exhibited pronounced requirements for elevated iron concentrations, with maximum growth rates observed when 0.4-1 mM Fe(3+) was present in the media. In light of "typical" CB iron requirements, our results indicate that elevated iron likely represents a salient factor selecting for "siderophilicM CB species in IDHS. A universal feature of our new isolates is their ability to produce thick EPS layers in which iron accumulates resulting in the generation of well preserved signatures. In parallel, siderophilic CB show enhanced ability to etch the analogs of iron-rich lunar regolith minerals and impact glasses. Despite that iron deposition by CB is not well understood mechanistically, we recently obtained evidence that the PS I:PS II ratio is higher in one of our isolates than for other CB. Although still preliminary, this finding is in direct support of the Y. Cohen hypothesis that PSI can directly oxidize Fe(2+). Conclusion. Our results may have implications for factors driving CB evolutionary relationships and biogeochemical processes on early Earth and probably Mars.

  3. Perspectives on the Application of Mechanistic Information in Chemical Hazard and Dose-Response Assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    This overview summarizes several EPA Assessment publications reviewing approaches for applying mechanistic information in human health risk assessment and exploring opportunities for progress in this area.

  4. A reductionist mechanistic model for bioconcentration of neutral and weakly polar organic compounds in fish.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Dave T F; Di Toro, Dominic M

    2013-09-01

    The bioconcentration factor (BCF) of neutral and weakly polar organic chemicals in fish is modeled using independently calibrated models of chemical partitioning (freely dissolved fraction of chemical in the aqueous phase [φsys ] and wet-weight fish-water partition coefficient [KFW ]), respiratory exchange (respiratory update rate constant [k1 ], and respiratory elimination rate constant [k2  = k1 /KFW ]), and biotransformation (whole-body biotransformation rate constant [kM ]) as BCF = φsys KFW /(1 + kM /k2 ). Existing k1 models tend to overestimate for chemicals with log KOW  < 3.5, which constituted 30% to 50% of the examined chemicals. A revised k1 model covering a wider log KOW range (0-8.5) is presented k1  = (5.46 × 10(-6) MW + 0.261/KOW )(-1) , where MW is the molecular weight. The biotransformation rate constant kM is modeled using biota internal partitioning and Abraham parameters as reactivity descriptors. The reductionist model was tested using 3 different BCF data sets (US Environmental Protection Agency's Estimation Programs Interface [EPI], n = 548; Hertfordshire, n = 210; Arnot-Gobas, n = 1855) and compared with the following 3 state-of-the-art models: 1) the EPI Suite BCFBAF module, 2) the European Commision's Computer Assisted Evaluation of industrial chemical Substances According to Regulations (CAESAR), and 3) the EPI/Arnot mechanistic kinetic model. The reductionist model performed comparably with the alternative models (root mean square errors [RMSEs] = 0.72-0.77), with only 5 fitting parameters and no training against experimental BCFs. Respiratory elimination and biotransformation dominate the total depuration (i.e., [k2  + kM ]/kT  ≥ 0.8) for approximately 98% of the data entries, thus validating the reductionist approximation. Mechanistic models provide greater insights into bioaccumulation and are more sensitive to biological variation. All three BCF data sets and relevant

  5. Mechanistic models of plant seed dispersal by wind in heterogeneous landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trakhtenbrot, A.; Katul, G. G.; Nathan, R.

    2010-12-01

    Seed dispersal, and especially long-distance dispersal (LDD), is a key process in plant population survival, colonization, and gene flow. Its importance is amplified by the man-induced habitat fragmentation, climate change and invasions of exotic species. Mechanistic seed dispersal models are central to quantitative prediction of dispersal patterns and understanding their underlying mechanisms. For wind dispersal, most current mechanistic models assume homogenous environment. Although both topography and sharp transitions in vegetation stature profoundly affect wind flow, accounting for these effects via simplified models remains a vexing research problem. Such simplified models are needed to inform ecosystem managers about consequences of landscape fragmentation. We modified the Coupled Eulerian-Lagrangian closure (CELC) mechanistic dispersal model to represent scenarios of wind flow over a sharp transition from short to tall vegetation or over forested hilly terrain, and predicted the resulting dispersal distances and direction. We parameterized the wind and vegetation factors using measurements taken on a hill with short height Mediterranean shrubland and pine forest vegetation at Mt. Pithulim, Israel. For the short-to-tall vegetation transition scenario, the main feature of the modeled wind field is an exponential decay of the mean horizontal wind velocity, assuming that the mean momentum equation simplifies to a balance between the advective acceleration and the drag force terms. As a consequence of the incompressibility condition, this exponential decay leads to strong upward mean vertical velocity component. We found that for seed release downwind of the edge, the simulated median (short) and 99-th percentile (long) distances were longer than those for the homogeneous tall vegetation scenario. For seed release upwind of the edge the effect on dispersal distance was more complex and depended on the release height and he seed terminal velocity of the seeds

  6. A new mechanistic framework to predict OCS fluxes in soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauze, Joana; Ogee, Jérôme; Launois, Thomas; Kesselmeier, Jürgen; Van Diest, Heidi; Wingate, Lisa

    2015-04-01

    A better description of the amplitude of photosynthetic and respiratory gross CO2 fluxes at large scales is needed to improve our predictions of the current and future global CO2 cycle. Carbonyl sulfide (COS) is the most abundant sulphur gas in the atmosphere and has been proposed as a new tracer of gross photosynthesis, as the uptake of COS from the atmosphere is dominated by the activity of carbonic anhydrase (CA), an enzyme abundant in leaves that also catalyses CO2 hydration during photosynthesis. However, soils also exchange COS with the atmosphere and there is growing evidence that this flux must also be accounted for in atmospheric budgets. In this context a new mechanistic description of soil-atmosphere COS exchange is clearly needed. Soils can take up COS from the atmosphere as the soil biota also contain CA, and COS emissions from soils have also been reported in agricultural fields or anoxic soils. Previous studies have also shown that soil COS fluxes present an optimum soil water content and soil temperature. Here we propose a new mechanistic framework to predict the fluxes of COS between the soils and the atmosphere. We describe the COS soil budget by a first-order reaction-diffusion-production equation, assuming that the hydrolysis of COS by CA is total and irreversible. To describe COS diffusion through the soil matrix, we use different formulations of soil air-filled pore space and temperature, depending on the turbulence level above the soil surface. Using this model we are able to explain the observed presence of an optimum temperature for soil COS uptake and show how this optimum can shift to cooler temperatures in the presence of soil COS emissions. Our model can also explain the observed optimum with soil moisture content previously described in the literature (e.g. Van Diest & Kesselmeier, 2008) as a result of diffusional constraints on COS hydrolysis. These diffusional constraints are also responsible for the response of COS uptake to soil

  7. Conservative or reactive? Mechanistic chemical perspectives on organic matter stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koch, Boris

    2016-04-01

    Carbon fixation by terrestrial and marine primary production has a fundamental seasonal effect on the atmospheric carbon content and it profoundly contributes to long-term carbon storage in form of organic matter (OM) in soils, water, and sediments. The efficacy of this sequestration process strongly depends on the degree of OM persistence. Therefore, one of the key issues in dissolved and particulate OM research is to assess the stability of reservoirs and to quantify their contribution to global carbon fluxes. Incubation experiments are helpful to assess OM stability during the first, early diagenetic turnover induced by sunlight or microbes. However, net carbon fluxes within the global carbon cycle also act on much longer time scales, which are not amenable in experiments. It is therefore critical to improve our mechanistic understanding to be able to assess potential future changes in the organic matter cycle. This session contribution highlights some achievements and open questions in the field. An improved mechanistic understanding of OM turnover particularly depends on the molecular characterization of biogeochemical processes and their kinetics: (i) in soils and sediments, aggregation/disaggregation of OM is primarily controlled by its molecular composition. Hence, the chemical composition determines the transfer of organic carbon from the large particulate to the small dissolved organic matter reservoir - an important substrate for microbial metabolism. (ii) In estuaries, dissolved organic carbon gradients usually suggest conservative behavior, whereas molecular-level studies reveal a substantial chemical modification of terrestrial DOM along the land-ocean interface. (iii) In the ocean, previous studies have shown that the recalcitrance of OM depends on bulk concentration and energy yield. However, ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometry in combination with radiocarbon analyses also emphasized that stability is tightly connected to molecular composition

  8. Mechanistic views on aromatic substitution reactions by gaseous cations.

    PubMed

    Fornarini, S

    1996-01-01

    Recent advances in the understanding of the gas-phase reaction of aromatics with cationic electrophiles in a thermally equilibrated domain are described. The overall substitution reaction is analyzed in terms of its elementary steps. Their contribution to the overall reactivity pattern is dissected by the use of selected systems, which allowed one to highlight the kinetic role of single elementary events. Mechanistic studies have focused on the structure and reactivity of covalent and non-covalent ionic intermediates, which display a rich chemistry and provide benchmark reactivity models. Particular interest has been devoted to proton transfer reactions, which may occur in either an intra- or intermolecular fashion in arenium intermediates. A quantitative study of their rates and associated kinetic isotope effects is reported. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Mass Spectrom Rev 15(6), 365-389, 1997. PMID:27082944

  9. Mechanistic failure mode investigation and resolution of parvovirus retentive filters.

    PubMed

    LaCasse, Daniel; Lute, Scott; Fiadeiro, Marcus; Basha, Jonida; Stork, Matthew; Brorson, Kurt; Godavarti, Ranga; Gallo, Chris

    2016-07-01

    Virus retentive filters are a key product safety measure for biopharmaceuticals. A simplistic perception is that they function solely based on a size-based particle removal mechanism of mechanical sieving and retention of particles based on their hydrodynamic size. Recent observations have revealed a more nuanced picture, indicating that changes in viral particle retention can result from process pressure and/or flow interruptions. In this study, a mechanistic investigation was performed to help identify a potential mechanism leading to the reported reduced particle retention in small virus filters. Permeate flow rate or permeate driving force were varied and analyzed for their impact on particle retention in three commercially available small virus retentive filters. © 2016 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Biotechnol. Prog., 32:959-970, 2016. PMID:27160325

  10. Mechanistic insights into selective autophagy pathways: lessons from yeast.

    PubMed

    Farré, Jean-Claude; Subramani, Suresh

    2016-09-01

    Autophagy has burgeoned rapidly as a field of study because of its evolutionary conservation, the diversity of intracellular cargoes degraded and recycled by this machinery, the mechanisms involved, as well as its physiological relevance to human health and disease. This self-eating process was initially viewed as a non-selective mechanism used by eukaryotic cells to degrade and recycle macromolecules in response to stress; we now know that various cellular constituents, as well as pathogens, can also undergo selective autophagy. In contrast to non-selective autophagy, selective autophagy pathways rely on a plethora of selective autophagy receptors (SARs) that recognize and direct intracellular protein aggregates, organelles and pathogens for specific degradation. Although SARs themselves are not highly conserved, their modes of action and the signalling cascades that activate and regulate them are. Recent yeast studies have provided novel mechanistic insights into selective autophagy pathways, revealing principles of how various cargoes can be marked and targeted for selective degradation. PMID:27381245

  11. Mechanistic Investigations into the Application of Sulfoxides in Carbohydrate Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Brabham, Robin

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The utility of sulfoxides in a diverse range of transformations in the field of carbohydrate chemistry has seen rapid growth since the first introduction of a sulfoxide as a glycosyl donor in 1989. Sulfoxides have since developed into more than just anomeric leaving groups, and today have multiple roles in glycosylation reactions. These include as activators for thioglycosides, hemiacetals, and glycals, and as precursors to glycosyl triflates, which are essential for stereoselective β‐mannoside synthesis, and bicyclic sulfonium ions that facilitate the stereoselective synthesis of α‐glycosides. In this review we highlight the mechanistic investigations undertaken in this area, often outlining strategies employed to differentiate between multiple proposed reaction pathways, and how the conclusions of these investigations have and continue to inform upon the development of more efficient transformations in sulfoxide‐based carbohydrate synthesis. PMID:26744250

  12. The unique enzymatic and mechanistic properties of plant myosins.

    PubMed

    Henn, Arnon; Sadot, Einat

    2014-12-01

    Myosins are molecular motors that move along actin-filament tracks. Plants express two main classes of myosins, myosin VIII and myosin XI. Along with their relatively conserved sequence and functions, plant myosins have acquired some unique features. Myosin VIII has the enzymatic characteristics of a tension sensor and/or a tension generator, similar to functions found in other eukaryotes. Interestingly, class XI plant myosins have gained a novel function that consists of propelling the exceptionally rapid cytoplasmic streaming. This specific class includes the fastest known translocating molecular motors, which can reach an extremely high velocity of about 60μms(-1). However, the enzymatic properties and mechanistic basis for these remarkable manifestations are not yet fully understood. Here we review recent progress in understanding the uniqueness of plant myosins, while emphasizing the unanswered questions. PMID:25435181

  13. Mechanistic modeling confronts the complexity of molecular cell biology.

    PubMed

    Phair, Robert D

    2014-11-01

    Mechanistic modeling has the potential to transform how cell biologists contend with the inescapable complexity of modern biology. I am a physiologist-electrical engineer-systems biologist who has been working at the level of cell biology for the past 24 years. This perspective aims 1) to convey why we build models, 2) to enumerate the major approaches to modeling and their philosophical differences, 3) to address some recurrent concerns raised by experimentalists, and then 4) to imagine a future in which teams of experimentalists and modelers build-and subject to exhaustive experimental tests-models covering the entire spectrum from molecular cell biology to human pathophysiology. There is, in my view, no technical obstacle to this future, but it will require some plasticity in the biological research mind-set. PMID:25368428

  14. A mechanistic interpretation of the resonant wave-particle interaction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chim, Chi Yung; O'Neil, Thomas M.

    2016-05-01

    This paper provides a simple mechanistic interpretation of the resonant wave-particle interaction of Landau. For the simple case of a Langmuir wave in a Vlasov plasma, the non-resonant electrons satisfy an oscillator equation that is driven resonantly by the bare electric field from the resonant electrons, and in the case of wave damping, this complex driver field is of a phase to reduce the oscillation amplitude. The wave-particle resonant interaction also occurs in waves governed by 2D E × B drift dynamics, such as a diocotron wave. In this case, the bare electric field from the resonant electrons causes E × B drift motion back in the core plasma, reducing the amplitude of the wave.

  15. Mechanistic model for void distribution in flashing flow

    SciTech Connect

    Riznic, J.; Ishii, M.; Afgan, N.

    1987-01-01

    A problem of discharging of an initially subcooled liquid from a high pressure condition into a low pressure environment is quite important in several industrial systems such as nuclear reactors and chemical reactors. A new model for the flashing process is proposed here based on the wall nucleation theory, bubble growth model and drift-flux bubble transport model. In order to calculate the bubble number density, the bubble number transport equation with a distributed source from the wall nucleation sites is used. The model predictions in terms of the void fraction are compared to Moby Dick and BNL experimental data. It shows that satisfactory agreements could be obtained from the present model without any floating parameter to be adjusted with data. This result indicates that, at least for the experimental conditions considered here, the mechanistic prediction of the flashing phenomenon is possible based on the present wall nucleation based model. 43 refs., 4 figs.

  16. Mechanistic model for void distribution in flashing flow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riznic, J.; Ishii, M.; Afgan, N.

    A problem of discharging of an initially subcooled liquid from a high pressure condition into a low pressure environment is quite important in several industrial systems such as nuclear reactors and chemical reactors. A new model for the flashing process is proposed here based on the wall nucleation theory, bubble growth model and drift-flux bubble transport model. In order to calculate the bubble number density, the bubble number transport equation with a distributed source from the wall nucleation sites is used. The model predictions in terms of the void fraction are compared to Moby Dick and BNL experimental data. It shows that satisfactory agreements could be obtained from the present model without any floating parameter to be adjusted with data. This result indicates that, at least for the experimental conditions considered here, the mechanistic prediction of the flashing phenomenon is possible based on the present wall nucleation based model.

  17. Effects of alcohol on folate metabolism: implications for carcinogenesis.

    PubMed

    Mason, Joel B; Choi, Sang-Woon

    2005-04-01

    Epidemiologic observations implicate excess ethanol ingestion as well as low dietary folate intake as risk factors for several cancers. Moreover, the epidemiologic observations support the concept of a synergistic effect between these two factors. Such a relation is biologically plausible because ethanol impedes the bioavailability of dietary folate and is known to inhibit select folate-dependent biochemical reactions. For example, alcohol ingestion in animals is known to inhibit folate-mediated methionine synthesis and thereby may interrupt critical methylation processes that are mediated by the activated form of methionine that provides substrate for biologic methylation, S-adenosylmethionine. Consistent with this observed inhibition of methionine synthesis is the observation that chronic alcohol ingestion in laboratory animals is known to produce hypomethylation of DNA in the colonic mucosa, a constant feature of early colorectal neoplasia. Inhibition of methionine synthase also creates a "methylfolate trap," analogous to what occurs in vitamin B12 deficiency. In addition, some evidence indicates that alcohol may redirect the utilization of folate toward serine synthesis and thereby may interfere with a critical function of methylenetetrahydrofolate, thymidine synthesis. Although a mechanistic link between alcohol and impaired folate metabolism in the genesis of cancer is still not definitively established, such a link should be pursued in future studies because of the intimate metabolic relation between alcohol and folate metabolism. PMID:16054985

  18. Mechanistic Variants in Gas-Phase Metal-Oxide Mediated Activation of Methane at Ambient Conditions.

    PubMed

    Li, Jilai; Zhou, Shaodong; Zhang, Jun; Schlangen, Maria; Usharani, Dandamudi; Shaik, Sason; Schwarz, Helmut

    2016-09-01

    The C-H bond activation of methane mediated by a prototypical heteronuclear metal-oxide cluster, [Al2Mg2O5](•+), was investigated by using Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS) in conjunction with high-level quantum mechanical calculations. Experimentally, hydrogen-atom abstraction from methane by the cluster ion [Al2Mg2O5](•+) takes place at ambient conditions. As to the mechanism, according to our computational findings, both the proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) and the conventional hydrogen-atom transfer (HAT) are feasible and compete with each other. This is in distinct contrast to the [XYO2](+) (X, Y = Mg, Al, Si) cluster oxide ions which activate methane exclusively via the PCET route (Li, J.; Zhou, S.; Zhang, J.; Schlangen, M.; Weiske, T.; Usharani, D.; Shaik, S.; Schwarz, H. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 7973-7981). The electronic origins of the mechanistically rather complex reactivity scenarios of the [Al2Mg2O5](•+)/CH4 couple were elucidated. For the PCET mechanism, in which the Lewis acid-base pair [Al(+)-O(-)] of the cluster acts as the active site, a clear correlation has been established between the nature of the transition state, the corresponding barrier height, the Lewis acidity-basicity of the [M(+)-O(-)] unit, as well as the bond order of the M(+)-O(-) bond. Also addressed is the role of the spin and charge distributions of a terminal oxygen radical site in the direct HAT route. The knowledge of the factors that control the reactivity of PCET and HAT pathways not only deepens our mechanistic understanding of metal-oxide mediated C-H bond activation but may also provide guidance for the rational design of catalysts. PMID:27518766

  19. Parameter and uncertainty estimation for mechanistic, spatially explicit epidemiological models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finger, Flavio; Schaefli, Bettina; Bertuzzo, Enrico; Mari, Lorenzo; Rinaldo, Andrea

    2014-05-01

    Epidemiological models can be a crucially important tool for decision-making during disease outbreaks. The range of possible applications spans from real-time forecasting and allocation of health-care resources to testing alternative intervention mechanisms such as vaccines, antibiotics or the improvement of sanitary conditions. Our spatially explicit, mechanistic models for cholera epidemics have been successfully applied to several epidemics including, the one that struck Haiti in late 2010 and is still ongoing. Calibration and parameter estimation of such models represents a major challenge because of properties unusual in traditional geoscientific domains such as hydrology. Firstly, the epidemiological data available might be subject to high uncertainties due to error-prone diagnosis as well as manual (and possibly incomplete) data collection. Secondly, long-term time-series of epidemiological data are often unavailable. Finally, the spatially explicit character of the models requires the comparison of several time-series of model outputs with their real-world counterparts, which calls for an appropriate weighting scheme. It follows that the usual assumption of a homoscedastic Gaussian error distribution, used in combination with classical calibration techniques based on Markov chain Monte Carlo algorithms, is likely to be violated, whereas the construction of an appropriate formal likelihood function seems close to impossible. Alternative calibration methods, which allow for accurate estimation of total model uncertainty, particularly regarding the envisaged use of the models for decision-making, are thus needed. Here we present the most recent developments regarding methods for parameter and uncertainty estimation to be used with our mechanistic, spatially explicit models for cholera epidemics, based on informal measures of goodness of fit.

  20. Mechanistic information from analysis of molecular weight distributions of starch.

    PubMed

    Castro, Jeffrey V; Dumas, Céline; Chiou, Herbert; Fitzgerald, Melissa A; Gilbert, Robert G

    2005-01-01

    A methodology is developed for interpreting the molecular weight distributions of debranched amylopectin, based on techniques developed for quantitatively and qualitatively finding mechanistic information from the molecular weight distributions of synthetic polymers. If the only events occurring are random chain growth and stoppage (i.e., the rates are independent of degree of polymerization over the range in question), then the number of chains of degree of polymerization N, P(N), is linear in ln P(N) with a negative slope, where the slope gives the ratio of the stoppage and growth rates. This starting point suggests that mechanistic inferences can be made from a plot of lnP against N. Application to capillary electrophoresis data for the P(N) of debranched starch from across the major taxa, from bacteria (Escherichia coli), green algae (Chlamydomonas reinhardtii), mammals (Bos), and flowering plants (Oryza sativa, rice; Zea mays, maize; Triticum aestivum, wheat; Hordeum vulgare, barley; and Solanum tuberosum, potato), gives insights into the biosynthetic pathways, showing the differences and similarities of the alpha-1,4-glucans produced by the various species. Four characteristic regions for storage starch from the higher plants are revealed: (1) an initial increasing region corresponding to the formation of new branches, (2) a linear ln P region with negative slope, indicating random growth and stoppage, (3) a region corresponding to the formation of the crystalline lamellae and subsequent elongation of chains, and (4) a second linear ln P with negative slope region. Each region can be assigned to specific enzymatic processes in starch synthesis, including determining the ranges of degrees of polymerization which are subject to random and nonrandom processes. PMID:16004469

  1. Mechanistic models of biofilm growth in porous media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaiswal, Priyank; Al-Hadrami, Fathiya; Atekwana, Estella A.; Atekwana, Eliot A.

    2014-07-01

    Nondestructive acoustics methods can be used to monitor in situ biofilm growth in porous media. In practice, however, acoustic methods remain underutilized due to the lack of models that can translate acoustic data into rock properties in the context of biofilm. In this paper we present mechanistic models of biofilm growth in porous media. The models are used to quantitatively interpret arrival times and amplitudes recorded in the 29 day long Davis et al. (2010) physical scale biostimulation experiment in terms of biofilm morphologies and saturation. The model pivots on addressing the sediment elastic behavior using the lower Hashin-Shtrikman bounds for grain mixing and Gassmann substitution for fluid saturation. The time-lapse P wave velocity (VP; a function of arrival times) is explained by a combination of two rock models (morphologies); "load bearing" which assumes the biofilm as an additional mineral in the rock matrix and "pore filling" which assumes the biofilm as an additional fluid phase in the pores. The time-lapse attenuation (QP-1; a function of amplitudes), on the other hand, can be explained adequately in two ways; first, through squirt flow where energy is lost from relative motion between rock matrix and pore fluid, and second, through an empirical function of porosity (φ), permeability (κ), and grain size. The squirt flow model-fitting results in higher internal φ (7% versus 5%) and more oblate pores (0.33 versus 0.67 aspect ratio) for the load-bearing morphology versus the pore-filling morphology. The empirical model-fitting results in up to 10% increase in κ at the initial stages of the load-bearing morphology. The two morphologies which exhibit distinct mechanical and hydraulic behavior could be a function of pore throat size. The biofilm mechanistic models developed in this study can be used for the interpretation of seismic data critical for the evaluation of biobarriers in bioremediation, microbial enhanced oil recovery, and CO2

  2. Assembly Line Polyketide Synthases: Mechanistic Insights and Unsolved Problems

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Two hallmarks of assembly line polyketide synthases have motivated an interest in these unusual multienzyme systems, their stereospecificity and their capacity for directional biosynthesis. In this review, we summarize the state of knowledge regarding the mechanistic origins of these two remarkable features, using the 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase as a prototype. Of the 10 stereocenters in 6-deoxyerythronolide B, the stereochemistry of nine carbon atoms is directly set by ketoreductase domains, which catalyze epimerization and/or diastereospecific reduction reactions. The 10th stereocenter is established by the sequential action of three enzymatic domains. Thus, the problem has been reduced to a challenge in mainstream enzymology, where fundamental gaps remain in our understanding of the structural basis for this exquisite stereochemical control by relatively well-defined active sites. In contrast, testable mechanistic hypotheses for the phenomenon of vectorial biosynthesis are only just beginning to emerge. Starting from an elegant theoretical framework for understanding coupled vectorial processes in biology [Jencks, W. P. (1980) Adv. Enzymol. Relat. Areas Mol. Biol. 51, 75–106], we present a simple model that can explain assembly line polyketide biosynthesis as a coupled vectorial process. Our model, which highlights the important role of domain–domain interactions, not only is consistent with recent observations but also is amenable to further experimental verification and refinement. Ultimately, a definitive view of the coordinated motions within and between polyketide synthase modules will require a combination of structural, kinetic, spectroscopic, and computational tools and could be one of the most exciting frontiers in 21st Century enzymology. PMID:24779441

  3. Adverse metabolic effects of dietary fructose: Results from recent epidemiological, clinical, and mechanistic studies

    PubMed Central

    Stanhope, Kimber L.; Schwarz, Jean-Marc; Havel, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review The effects of dietary sugar on risk factors and processes associated with metabolic disease remains a controversial topic, with recent reviews of the available evidence arriving at widely discrepant conclusions. Recent findings There are many recently published epidemiological studies that provide evidence that sugar consumption is associated with metabolic disease. Three recent clinical studies, which investigated the effects of consuming relevant doses of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup along with ad libitum diets, provide evidence that consumption of these sugars increase risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and metabolic syndrome. Mechanistic studies suggest that these effects result from the rapid hepatic metabolism of fructose catalyzed by fructokinase C, which generates substrate for de novo lipogenesis and leads to increased uric acid levels. Recent clinical studies investigating the effects of consuming less sugar, via educational interventions or by substitution of sugar-sweetened beverages for non-calorically sweetened beverages, provide evidence that such strategies have beneficial effects on risk factors