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Sample records for identify active grazers

  1. Reconstructing Grazer Assemblages for Protected Area Restoration

    PubMed Central

    Venter, Jan A.; Prins, Herbert H. T.; Balfour, David A.; Slotow, Rob

    2014-01-01

    Protected area management agencies often struggle to reliably reconstruct grazer assemblages due to a lack of historical distribution data for their regions. Wrong predictions of grazing assemblages could potentially affect biodiversity negatively. The objective of the study was to determine how well grazing herbivores have become established since introduction to the Mkambati Nature Reserve, South Africa, how this was influenced by facilitation and competition, and how indigenous grazer assemblages can best be predicted for effective ecological restoration. Population trends of several grazing species were investigated in in order to determine how well they have become established since introduction. Five different conceivable grazing assemblages reflecting a range of approaches that are commonly encountered during conservation planning and management decision making were assessed. Species packing was used to predict whether facilitation, competition or co-existence were more likely to occur, and the species packing of the different assemblages were assessed using ANCOVA. Reconstructing a species assemblage using biogeographic and biological information provides the opportunity for a grazer assemblage that allows for facilitatory effects, which in turn leads to an ecosystem that is able to maintain its grazer assemblage structure. The strength of this approach lies in the ability to overcome the problem of depauperate grazer assemblages, resulting from a lack of historical data, by using biogeographical and biological processes, to assist in more effectively reconstructing grazer assemblages. Adaptive management of grazer assemblage restoration through reintroduction, using this approach would further mitigate management risks. PMID:24603663

  2. Short-term disturbance of a grazer has long-term effects on bacterial communities--relevance of trophic interactions for recovery from pesticide effects.

    PubMed

    Foit, Kaarina; Chatzinotas, Antonis; Liess, Matthias

    2010-08-15

    Little is known about the transfer of pesticide effects from higher trophic levels to bacterial communities by grazing. We investigated the effects of pulse exposure to the pyrethroid Fenvalerate on a grazer-prey system that comprised populations of Daphnia magna and bacterial communities. We observed the abundance and population size structure of D. magna by image analysis. Aquatic bacteria were monitored with regard to abundance (by cell staining) and community structure (by a 16S ribosomal RNA fingerprinting method). Shortly after exposure (2 days), the abundance of D. magna decreased. In contrast, the abundance of bacteria increased; in particular fast-growing bacteria proliferated, which changed the bacterial community structure. Long after pulse exposure (26 days), the size structure of D. magna was still affected and dominated by a cohort of small individuals. This cohort of small D. magna grazed actively on bacteria, which resulted in low bacterial abundance and low percentage of fast-growing bacteria. We identified grazing pressure as an important mediator for translating long-term pesticide effects from a grazer population on its prey. Hence, bacterial communities are potentially affected throughout the period that their grazers show pesticide effects concerning abundance or population size structure. Owing to interspecific interactions, the recovery of one species can only be assessed by considering its community context. PMID:20554058

  3. Monitoring and Modeling the Impact of Grazers Using Visual, Remote and Traditional Field Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roadknight, C. M.; Marshall, I. W.; Rose, R. J.

    2009-04-01

    The relationship between wild and domestic animals and the landscape they graze upon is important to soil erosion studies because they are a strong influence on vegetation cover (a key control on the rate of overland flow runoff), and also because the grazers contribute directly to sediment transport via carriage and indirectly by exposing fresh soil by trampling and burrowing/excavating. Quantifying the impacts of these effects on soil erosion and their dependence on grazing intensity, in complex semi-natural habitats has proved difficult. This is due to lack of manpower to collect sufficient data and weak standardization of data collection between observers. The advent of cheaper and more sophisticated digital camera technology and GPS tracking devices has lead to an increase in the amount of habitat monitoring information that is being collected. We report on the use of automated trail cameras to continuously capture images of grazer (sheep, rabbits, deer) activity in a variety of habitats at the Moor House nature reserve in northern England. As well as grazer activity these cameras also give valuable information on key climatic soil erosion factors such as snow, rain and wind and plant growth and thus allow the importance of a range of grazer activities and the grazing intensity to be estimated. GPS collars and more well established survey methods (erosion monitoring, dung counting and vegetation surveys) are being used to generate a detailed representation of land usage and plan camera siting. This paper describes the data collection techniques, outlines the quantitative and qualitative data collected and proposes online and offline systems that can reduce the data processing time and increase focus on important subsets in the collected data. We also present a land usage model that estimates grazing intensity, grazer behaviours and their impact on soil coverage at sites where cameras have not been deployed, based on generalising from camera sites to other

  4. Identifying Sexual Harassment: A Classroom Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Madson, Laura; Shoda, Jennifer

    2002-01-01

    We created a classroom activity to illustrate the complexity involved in identifying sexual harassment. In the activity, students decided whether 6 fictional scenarios constituted sexual harassment. The activity stimulates animated discussion, and evaluation data indicate that it received positive feedback from students and refined students'…

  5. Identifying Crucial Parameter Correlations Maintaining Bursting Activity

    PubMed Central

    Doloc-Mihu, Anca; Calabrese, Ronald L.

    2014-01-01

    Recent experimental and computational studies suggest that linearly correlated sets of parameters (intrinsic and synaptic properties of neurons) allow central pattern-generating networks to produce and maintain their rhythmic activity regardless of changing internal and external conditions. To determine the role of correlated conductances in the robust maintenance of functional bursting activity, we used our existing database of half-center oscillator (HCO) model instances of the leech heartbeat CPG. From the database, we identified functional activity groups of burster (isolated neuron) and half-center oscillator model instances and realistic subgroups of each that showed burst characteristics (principally period and spike frequency) similar to the animal. To find linear correlations among the conductance parameters maintaining functional leech bursting activity, we applied Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to each of these four groups. PCA identified a set of three maximal conductances (leak current, Leak; a persistent K current, K2; and of a persistent Na+ current, P) that correlate linearly for the two groups of burster instances but not for the HCO groups. Visualizations of HCO instances in a reduced space suggested that there might be non-linear relationships between these parameters for these instances. Experimental studies have shown that period is a key attribute influenced by modulatory inputs and temperature variations in heart interneurons. Thus, we explored the sensitivity of period to changes in maximal conductances of Leak, K2, and P, and we found that for our realistic bursters the effect of these parameters on period could not be assessed because when varied individually bursting activity was not maintained. PMID:24945358

  6. Dynamics of a producer-grazer model incorporating the effects of excess food nutrient content on grazer's growth.

    PubMed

    Peace, Angela; Wang, Hao; Kuang, Yang

    2014-09-01

    Modeling under the framework of ecological stoichiometric allows the investigation of the effects of food quality on food web population dynamics. Recent discoveries in ecological stoichiometry suggest that grazer dynamics are affected by insufficient food nutrient content (low phosphorus (P)/carbon (C) ratio) as well as excess food nutrient content (high P:C). This phenomenon is known as the "stoichiometric knife edge." While previous models have captured this phenomenon, they do not explicitly track P in the producer or in the media that supports the producer, which brings questions to the validity of their predictions. Here, we extend a Lotka-Volterra-type stoichiometric model by mechanistically deriving and tracking P in the producer and free P in the environment in order to investigate the growth response of Daphnia to algae of varying P:C ratios. Bifurcation analysis and numerical simulations of the full model, that explicitly tracks phosphorus, lead to quantitative different predictions than previous models that neglect to track free nutrients. The full model shows that the fate of the grazer population can be very sensitive to excess nutrient concentrations. Dynamical free nutrient pool seems to induce extreme grazer population density changes when total nutrient is in an intermediate range. PMID:25124765

  7. Grazer Effects on Stream Primary Production and Nitrate Utilization: Estimating Feedbacks Under Reduced Nitrate Levels at High-Temporal Resolutions from the Patch to Reach-Scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reijo, C. J.; Cohen, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    While nutrient enrichment is often identified as the leading cause for changes in stream gross primary production (GPP) and shifts in vegetative communities, other factors such as grazers influence overall stream structure and function. Evidence shows that grazers are a top-down control on algae in streams; however, the specific feedbacks between overall stream metabolism, grazer effects, and nutrient cycling have been variable and little is known about these interactions at nutrient levels below ambient. To further our understanding of these linkages, a nutrient depletion chamber was created and paired with high-resolution in situ sensors to estimate stream metabolism and characterize nitrate uptake (UNO3) pathways (i.e. plant uptake and denitrification). The Plexiglas chamber blocks flow and nutrient supply, inserts into upper sediments, allows light in and sediment-water-air interactions to occur. At Gum Slough Springs, FL, nitrate was reduced from ambient levels (1.40 mg N/L) to below regulatory thresholds (ca. 0.20 mg N/L) within one week. Paired chambers with and without the presence of snails (Elimia floridensis) were deployed across submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV; Vallisneria americana) and algae (Lyngbya) substrates. Results show that GPP and UNO3 were higher under SAV (70 g O2/m2/d and 300 mg NO3/m2/d, respectively) and a general lack of nutrient limitation even at low [NO3]. Grazer effects differed by vegetation type as it alleviated the reduction of NO3 levels and GPP under SAV but enhanced the decrease of algal GPP and NO3 levels over time. Continued work includes estimating grazer effects on denitrification, quantifying snail nutrient excretion contributions, and scaling up all estimates from the patch to reach level. Overall, this study will further our understanding of grazer-production-nutrient interactions within stream systems, making it possible to predict changes in feedbacks when one part of the biotic or abiotic ecosystem is altered.

  8. Identifying an active case of tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Williams, G; Alarcon, E; Jittimanee, S; Walusimbi, M; Sebek, M; Berga, E; Villa, T S

    2008-04-01

    The best practice standards set out in chapter 2 of the Best Practice guide focus on the various aspects of identifying an active case of TB and aim to address some of the challenges associated with case detection. The importance of developing a good relationship with the patient from the start, when he or she is often most vulnerable, is emphasised. The first standard focuses on the assessment of someone who might have TB and the second gives detailed guidance about the collection of sputum for diagnosis. The standards are aimed at the health care worker, who assesses the patient when he or she presents at a health care facility and therefore needs to be familiar with the signs, symptoms and risk factors associated with TB. Having suspected TB, the health care worker then needs to ensure that the correct tests are ordered and procedures are followed so that the best quality samples possible are sent to the laboratory and all documentation is filled out clearly and correctly. The successful implementation of these standards can be measured by the accurate and prompt reporting of results, the registration of every case detected and the continued attendance of every patient who needs treatment. PMID:18371262

  9. Dinosaur coprolites and the early evolution of grasses and grazers.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Vandana; Strömberg, Caroline A E; Alimohammadian, Habib; Sahni, Ashok

    2005-11-18

    Silicified plant tissues (phytoliths) preserved in Late Cretaceous coprolites from India show that at least five taxa from extant grass (Poaceae) subclades were present on the Indian subcontinent during the latest Cretaceous. This taxonomic diversity suggests that crown-group Poaceae had diversified and spread in Gondwana before India became geographically isolated. Other phytoliths extracted from the coprolites (from dicotyledons, conifers, and palms) suggest that the suspected dung producers (titanosaur sauropods) fed indiscriminately on a wide range of plants. These data also make plausible the hypothesis that gondwanatherian mammals with hypsodont cheek teeth were grazers. PMID:16293759

  10. Identifying physical activity gender differences among youth

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Physical activity (PA) is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and reduces risk of certain chronic diseases. Many youth do not currently meet PA guidelines; evidence suggests that girls are less active than boys are at all ages. PA differences need to be understood, so that gender-specific inter...

  11. Identifying Diverse Means for Assessing Physical Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perlman, Dana J.; Pearson, Phil

    2012-01-01

    Physical inactivity is of concern for the majority of age groups within the United States. Limited engagement in physical activity (PA) has been linked with an increased risk for a host of health problems, including but not limited to heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Benefits of PA are widely documented and accepted yet many people, especially…

  12. Interspecific Competition for Shelters in Territorial and Gregarious Intertidal Grazers: Consequences for Individual Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Aguilera, Moisés A.; Navarrete, Sergio A.

    2012-01-01

    Experiments have shown that interspecific interactions within consumer guilds can alter patterns of distribution, abundance and size of species. Plastic behavioural responses can be modulated by agonistic interactions. In many cases, consumers compete for space and shelters, and these interactions change the manner in which they exploit food. This study investigates the consequences of competition in the spatial and temporal organization of behaviour of intertidal grazers, which share algal resources and the use of rock crevices while resting, but exhibit different body sizes, spatial behaviour and foraging modes. We evaluate interaction strength between small gregarious Siphonaria lessoni and the larger territorial keyhole limpet Fissurella crassa and between S. lessoni and the medium-size gregarious chiton Chiton granosus. Using field manipulations and artificial arenas in the laboratory, we tested whether the use of crevices, micro-spatial distribution and activity are modified by the density of conspecifics and the presence of heterospecifics. Our results show that small-scale spatial segregation observed in the field between S. lessoni and C. granosus result from species-specific differences in habitat use. In turn, we found evidence that spatial segregation between F. crassa and S. lessoni results from highly asymmetric interference competition in the use of shelters. The presence of F. crassa reduced the use of crevices and growth rates of S. lessoni. Effects on growth rates are assumed to result from exposure to harsh environmental conditions rather than food limitation. Thus, neither gregarious behaviour nor differences in activity were sufficient to prevent competition with the larger grazer. Our study illustrates the importance of competition for shelters, which results in behavioural changes of the smaller-sized species, and how these plastic responses can translate into differences in growth rates. Use of shelters can thus be modulated by environmental

  13. Experimental Removal and Recovery of Subtidal Grazers Highlights the Importance of Functional Redundancy and Temporal Context

    PubMed Central

    Elahi, Robin; Sebens, Kenneth P.

    2013-01-01

    The extent to which different grazers are functionally redundant has strong implications for the maintenance of community structure and function. Grazing by red urchins (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) on temperate rocky reefs can initiate a switch from invertebrate or macroalgal dominance to an algal crust state, but can also cause increases in the density of molluscan mesograzers. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that red urchins and lined chitons (Tonicella spp.) are redundant in the maintenance of available space, defined as encrusting algae and bare rock. In a factorial field experiment replicated at three sites, we reduced the densities of urchins and chitons on subtidal rock walls for nine months. The effects of grazers were interpreted in the context of natural temporal variation by monitoring the benthic community one year before, during, and after grazer removal. The removal of each grazer in isolation had no effect on the epilithic community, but the removal of both grazers caused an increase in sessile invertebrates. The increase was due primarily to clonal ascidians, which displayed a large (∼75%) relative increase in response to the removal of both grazers. However, the observed non-additive responses to grazer removal were temporary and smaller than seasonal fluctuations. Our data demonstrate that urchins and chitons can be redundant in the maintenance of available space, and highlight the value of drawing conclusions from experimental manipulations within an extended temporal context. PMID:24250819

  14. Effects of grazer presence on genetic structure of a phenotypically diverse diatom population.

    PubMed

    Sjöqvist, C; Kremp, A; Lindehoff, E; Båmstedt, U; Egardt, J; Gross, S; Jönsson, M; Larsson, H; Pohnert, G; Richter, H; Selander, E; Godhe, A

    2014-01-01

    Studies of predator-prey systems in both aquatic and terrestrial environments have shown that grazers structure the intraspecific diversity of prey species, given that the prey populations are phenotypically variable. Populations of phytoplankton have traditionally considered comprising only low intraspecific variation, hence selective grazing as a potentially structuring factor of both genetic and phenotypic diversity has not been comprehensively studied. In this study, we compared strain specific growth rates, production of polyunsaturated aldehydes, and chain length of the marine diatom Skeletonema marinoi in both grazer and non-grazer conditions by conducting monoclonal experiments. Additionally, a mesocosm experiment was performed with multiclonal experimental S. marinoi populations exposed to grazers at different levels of copepod concentration to test effects of grazer presence on diatom diversity in close to natural conditions. Our results show that distinct genotypes of a geographically restricted population exhibit variable phenotypic traits relevant to grazing interactions such as chain length and growth rates. Grazer presence affected clonal richness and evenness of multiclonal Skeletonema populations in the mesocosms, likely in conjunction with intrinsic interactions among the diatom strains. Only the production of polyunsaturated aldehydes was not affected by grazer presence. Our findings suggest that grazing can be an important factor structuring diatom population diversity in the sea and emphasize the importance of considering clonal differences when characterizing species and their role in nature. PMID:24272280

  15. Fungal secondary metabolite dynamics in fungus–grazer interactions: novel insights and unanswered questions

    PubMed Central

    Rohlfs, Marko

    2015-01-01

    In response to fungivore grazing fungi are assumed to have evolved secondary metabolite-based defense mechanisms that harm and repel grazers, and hence provide a benefit to the metabolite producer. However, since research into the ecological meaning of highly diverse fungal secondary metabolites is still in its infancy, many central questions still remain. Which components of the enormous metabolite diversity of fungi act as direct chemical defense mechanisms against grazers? Is the proposed chemical defense of fungi induced by grazer attack? Which role do volatile compounds play in communicating noxiousness to grazers? What is the relative impact of grazers and that of interactions with competing microbes on the evolution of fungal secondary metabolism? Here, I briefly summarize and discuss the results of the very few studies that have tried to tackle some of these questions by (i) using secondary metabolite mutant fungi in controlled experiments with grazers, and by (ii) investigating fungal secondary metabolism as a flexible means to adapt to grazer-rich niches. PMID:25628619

  16. Climatic warming and the future of bison as grazers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craine, Joseph M.; Towne, E. Gene; Miller, Mary; Fierer, Noah

    2015-11-01

    Climatic warming is likely to exacerbate nutritional stress and reduce weight gain in large mammalian herbivores by reducing plant nutritional quality. Yet accurate predictions of the effects of climatic warming on herbivores are limited by a poor understanding of how herbivore diet varies along climate gradients. We utilized DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct seasonal variation in the diet of North American bison (Bison bison) in two grasslands that differ in mean annual temperature by 6 °C. Here, we show that associated with greater nutritional stress in warmer climates, bison consistently consumed fewer graminoids and more shrubs and forbs, i.e. eudicots. Bison in the warmer grassland consumed a lower proportion of C3 grass, but not a greater proportion of C4 grass. Instead, bison diet in the warmer grassland had a greater proportion of N2-fixing eudicots, regularly comprising >60% of their protein intake in spring and fall. Although bison have been considered strict grazers, as climatic warming reduces grass protein concentrations, bison may have to attempt to compensate by grazing less and browsing more. Promotion of high-protein, palatable eudicots or increasing the protein concentrations of grasses will be critical to minimizing warming-imposed nutritional stress for bison and perhaps other large mammalian herbivores.

  17. Climatic warming and the future of bison as grazers

    PubMed Central

    Craine, Joseph M.; Towne, E. Gene; Miller, Mary; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Climatic warming is likely to exacerbate nutritional stress and reduce weight gain in large mammalian herbivores by reducing plant nutritional quality. Yet accurate predictions of the effects of climatic warming on herbivores are limited by a poor understanding of how herbivore diet varies along climate gradients. We utilized DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct seasonal variation in the diet of North American bison (Bison bison) in two grasslands that differ in mean annual temperature by 6 °C. Here, we show that associated with greater nutritional stress in warmer climates, bison consistently consumed fewer graminoids and more shrubs and forbs, i.e. eudicots. Bison in the warmer grassland consumed a lower proportion of C3 grass, but not a greater proportion of C4 grass. Instead, bison diet in the warmer grassland had a greater proportion of N2-fixing eudicots, regularly comprising >60% of their protein intake in spring and fall. Although bison have been considered strict grazers, as climatic warming reduces grass protein concentrations, bison may have to attempt to compensate by grazing less and browsing more. Promotion of high-protein, palatable eudicots or increasing the protein concentrations of grasses will be critical to minimizing warming-imposed nutritional stress for bison and perhaps other large mammalian herbivores. PMID:26567987

  18. Climatic warming and the future of bison as grazers.

    PubMed

    Craine, Joseph M; Towne, E Gene; Miller, Mary; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Climatic warming is likely to exacerbate nutritional stress and reduce weight gain in large mammalian herbivores by reducing plant nutritional quality. Yet accurate predictions of the effects of climatic warming on herbivores are limited by a poor understanding of how herbivore diet varies along climate gradients. We utilized DNA metabarcoding to reconstruct seasonal variation in the diet of North American bison (Bison bison) in two grasslands that differ in mean annual temperature by 6 °C. Here, we show that associated with greater nutritional stress in warmer climates, bison consistently consumed fewer graminoids and more shrubs and forbs, i.e. eudicots. Bison in the warmer grassland consumed a lower proportion of C3 grass, but not a greater proportion of C4 grass. Instead, bison diet in the warmer grassland had a greater proportion of N2-fixing eudicots, regularly comprising >60% of their protein intake in spring and fall. Although bison have been considered strict grazers, as climatic warming reduces grass protein concentrations, bison may have to attempt to compensate by grazing less and browsing more. Promotion of high-protein, palatable eudicots or increasing the protein concentrations of grasses will be critical to minimizing warming-imposed nutritional stress for bison and perhaps other large mammalian herbivores. PMID:26567987

  19. Hydrologic drivers and controls of stream biofilm-grazer interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ceola, S.; Bertuzzo, E.; Mari, L.; Botter, G.; Hödl, I.; Battin, T. J.; Rinaldo, A.

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the dynamics of fluvial ecosystems linked to hydrology is one of the most important challenges of ecohydrology. In fact, streamflow, which chiefly relies on rainfall, climate, land use and geomorphologic properties, plays a fundamental role in sustaining and regulating fluvial ecosystem integrity. To analyze possible implications of hydrological fluctuations on the biofilm-grazer interaction - a major driver for nutrient cycling and metabolism in streams - we experimented with 36 3-m-long flumes. In particular, two distinct discharge treatments (constant and stochastic discharge regimes) coupled with six different light regimes (from natural light conditions to nearly 70% attenuation) have been performed. To complement and analyze the experimental results, a dynamic model, based on the Rosenzweig-MacArthur predator-prey model, is presented. Several relations between the parameters of the aforementioned model and hydrologic and hydraulic properties, such as streamflow, water depth, flow velocity, shear stress, and light availability will be explored to explain ecohydrologic influences on the basic food-web dynamics.

  20. Ocean acidification and rising temperatures may increase biofilm primary productivity but decrease grazer consumption

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Bayden D.; Connell, Sean D.; Findlay, Helen S.; Tait, Karen; Widdicombe, Stephen; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2013-01-01

    Climate change may cause ecosystems to become trophically restructured as a result of primary producers and consumers responding differently to increasing CO2 and temperature. This study used an integrative approach using a controlled microcosm experiment to investigate the combined effects of CO2 and temperature on key components of the intertidal system in the UK, biofilms and their consumers (Littorina littorea). In addition, to identify whether pre-exposure to experimental conditions can alter experimental outcomes we explicitly tested for differential effects on L. littorea pre-exposed to experimental conditions for two weeks and five months. In contrast to predictions based on metabolic theory, the combination of elevated temperature and CO2 over a five-week period caused a decrease in the amount of primary productivity consumed by grazers, while the abundance of biofilms increased. However, long-term pre-exposure to experimental conditions (five months) altered this effect, with grazing rates in these animals being greater than in animals exposed only for two weeks. We suggest that the structure of future ecosystems may not be predictable using short-term laboratory experiments alone owing to potentially confounding effects of exposure time and effects of being held in an artificial environment over prolonged time periods. A combination of laboratory (physiology responses) and large, long-term experiments (ecosystem responses) may therefore be necessary to adequately predict the complex and interactive effects of climate change as organisms may acclimate to conditions over the longer term. PMID:23980241

  1. Ocean acidification and rising temperatures may increase biofilm primary productivity but decrease grazer consumption.

    PubMed

    Russell, Bayden D; Connell, Sean D; Findlay, Helen S; Tait, Karen; Widdicombe, Stephen; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2013-01-01

    Climate change may cause ecosystems to become trophically restructured as a result of primary producers and consumers responding differently to increasing CO2 and temperature. This study used an integrative approach using a controlled microcosm experiment to investigate the combined effects of CO2 and temperature on key components of the intertidal system in the UK, biofilms and their consumers (Littorina littorea). In addition, to identify whether pre-exposure to experimental conditions can alter experimental outcomes we explicitly tested for differential effects on L. littorea pre-exposed to experimental conditions for two weeks and five months. In contrast to predictions based on metabolic theory, the combination of elevated temperature and CO2 over a five-week period caused a decrease in the amount of primary productivity consumed by grazers, while the abundance of biofilms increased. However, long-term pre-exposure to experimental conditions (five months) altered this effect, with grazing rates in these animals being greater than in animals exposed only for two weeks. We suggest that the structure of future ecosystems may not be predictable using short-term laboratory experiments alone owing to potentially confounding effects of exposure time and effects of being held in an artificial environment over prolonged time periods. A combination of laboratory (physiology responses) and large, long-term experiments (ecosystem responses) may therefore be necessary to adequately predict the complex and interactive effects of climate change as organisms may acclimate to conditions over the longer term. PMID:23980241

  2. Effects of road deicer (NaCl) and amphibian grazers on detritus processing in pond mesocosms.

    PubMed

    Van Meter, Robin J; Swan, Christopher M; Trossen, Carrie A

    2012-10-01

    Road deicers have been identified as potential stressors in aquatic habitats throughout the United States, but we know little regarding associated impacts to ecosystem function. A critical component of ecosystem function that has not previously been evaluated with respect to freshwater salinization is the impact on organic matter breakdown. The purpose of this study was to evaluate cumulative effects of road deicers and tadpole grazers on leaf litter breakdown rate (g d(-1) ) and microbial respiration (mg O(2)  g leaf(-1) h(-1) ). To test this interaction, in May 2008 the authors added dry leaf litter (Quercus spp.) to forty 600-L pond mesocosms and inoculated each with algae and zooplankton. In a full-factorial design, they manipulated a realistic level of road salt (ambient or elevated at 645 mg L(-1) Cl(-) ) and tadpole (Hyla versicolor) presence or absence. The elevated chloride treatment reduced microbial respiration by 24% in the presence of tadpoles. The breakdown of leaf litter by tadpoles occurred 9.7% faster under ambient chloride conditions relative to the elevated chloride treatment. Results of the present study suggest that the microbial community is directly impacted by road deicers and heavy tadpole grazing under ambient conditions limits microbial capacity to process detritus. Road salts and tadpoles interact to limit microbial respiration, but to a lesser extent leaf mass loss rate, thereby potentially restricting energy flow from detrital sources in pond ecosystems. PMID:22821388

  3. Identifying Emotions on the Basis of Neural Activation.

    PubMed

    Kassam, Karim S; Markey, Amanda R; Cherkassky, Vladimir L; Loewenstein, George; Just, Marcel Adam

    2013-01-01

    We attempt to determine the discriminability and organization of neural activation corresponding to the experience of specific emotions. Method actors were asked to self-induce nine emotional states (anger, disgust, envy, fear, happiness, lust, pride, sadness, and shame) while in an fMRI scanner. Using a Gaussian Naïve Bayes pooled variance classifier, we demonstrate the ability to identify specific emotions experienced by an individual at well over chance accuracy on the basis of: 1) neural activation of the same individual in other trials, 2) neural activation of other individuals who experienced similar trials, and 3) neural activation of the same individual to a qualitatively different type of emotion induction. Factor analysis identified valence, arousal, sociality, and lust as dimensions underlying the activation patterns. These results suggest a structure for neural representations of emotion and inform theories of emotional processing. PMID:23840392

  4. Modeling substrate-bacteria-grazer interactions coupled to substrate transport in groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajracharya, Bijendra M.; Lu, Chuanhe; Cirpka, Olaf A.

    2014-05-01

    Models of microbial dynamics coupled to solute transport in aquifers typically require the introduction of a bacterial capacity term to prevent excessive microbial growth close to substrate-injection boundaries. The factors controlling this carrying capacity, however, are not fully understood. In this study, we propose that grazers or bacteriophages may control the density of bacterial biomass in continuously fed porous media. We conceptualize the flow-through porous medium as a series of retentostats, in which the dissolved substrate is advected with water flow whereas the biomasses of bacteria and grazers are considered essentially immobile. We first model a single retentostat with Monod kinetics of bacterial growth and a second-order grazing law, which shows that the system oscillates but approaches a stable steady state with nonzero concentrations of substrate, bacteria, and grazers. The steady state concentration of the bacteria biomass is independent of the substrate concentration in the inflow. When coupling several retentostats in a series to mimic a groundwater column, the steady state bacteria concentrations thus remain at a constant level over a significant travel distance. The one-dimensional reactive transport model also accounts for substrate dispersion and a random walk of grazers influenced by the bacteria concentration. These dispersive-diffusive terms affect the oscillations until steady state is reached, but hardly the steady state value itself. We conclude that grazing, or infection by bacteriophages, is a possible explanation of the maximum biomass concentration frequently needed in bioreactive transport models. Its value depends on parameters related to the grazers or bacteriophages and is independent of bacterial growth parameters or substrate concentration, provided that there is enough substrate to sustain bacteria and grazers.

  5. Long-Term Climate Sensitivity of Grazer Performance: A Cross-Site Study

    PubMed Central

    Craine, Joseph M.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change will affect grasslands in a number of ways, but the consequences of a warmer, drier world for grazers is uncertain. Predicting future grazer performance is complex since climate change affects both the quantity and quality of forage through a combination of processes that occur over a range of time scales. To better predict the consequences of climate change for grazer performance, a dataset was compiled of over a quarter million bison weights distributed across 22 US herds that span a large range of climates. Patterns of bison body mass among sites, age classes, and sexes were analyzed with respect to differences in geographic patterns of climate and interannual variation in climate. While short-term effects of climate variability are likely to depend on the magnitude and timing of precipitation during the year, grazers will be negatively affected by sustained hotter, drier conditions most likely associated with reductions in forage quality. Short-term, little effect of high temperatures on bison performance is observed, which suggests that the long-term effects of higher temperatures are likely to accrue over time as nitrogen availability in grasslands is reduced and forage quality declines. If relationships observed for bison are general for cattle, the economic consequences of higher temperatures due to decreased weight gain in US cattle could be on the order of US$1B per 1°C increase in temperature. Long-term monitoring of forage quality as well as native and domesticated grazer performance is recommended to better understand climate change effects on grazers. PMID:23840584

  6. Identifying Clusters of Active Transportation Using Spatial Scan Statistics

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Lan; Stinchcomb, David G.; Pickle, Linda W.; Dill, Jennifer; Berrigan, David

    2009-01-01

    Background There is an intense interest in the possibility that neighborhood characteristics influence active transportation such as walking or biking. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how a spatial cluster identification method can evaluate the geographic variation of active transportation and identify neighborhoods with unusually high/low levels of active transportation. Methods Self-reported walking/biking prevalence, demographic characteristics, street connectivity variables, and neighborhood socioeconomic data were collected from respondents to the 2001 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS; N=10,688) in Los Angeles County (LAC) and San Diego County (SDC). Spatial scan statistics were used to identify clusters of high or low prevalence (with and without age-adjustment) and the quantity of time spent walking and biking. The data, a subset from the 2001 CHIS, were analyzed in 2007–2008. Results Geographic clusters of significantly high or low prevalence of walking and biking were detected in LAC and SDC. Structural variables such as street connectivity and shorter block lengths are consistently associated with higher levels of active transportation, but associations between active transportation and socioeconomic variables at the individual and neighborhood levels are mixed. Only one cluster with less time spent walking and biking among walkers/bikers was detected in LAC, and this was of borderline significance. Age-adjustment affects the clustering pattern of walking/biking prevalence in LAC, but not in SDC. Conclusions The use of spatial scan statistics to identify significant clustering of health behaviors such as active transportation adds to the more traditional regression analysis that examines associations between behavior and environmental factors by identifying specific geographic areas with unusual levels of the behavior independent of predefined administrative units. PMID:19589451

  7. Rapid evolution of tolerance to toxic Microcystis in two cladoceran grazers

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Xiaodong; Gao, Han; Zhang, Lihua; Liang, Huishuang; Zhu, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary adaptation could assist organisms to cope with environmental changes, yet few experimental systems allow us to directly track evolutionary trajectory. Using experimental evolution, evolutionary tolerance to Microcystis aeruginosa was investigated in two cladocerans (Daphnia pulex and Simocephalus vetulus) to test the hypothesis that cladoceran grazers rapidly adapt to toxic cyanobacteria. After exposure for either three or six months, both grazers evolved a higher tolerance. The intrinsic rate of population increases in S. vetulus feeding on cyanobacteria was negatively correlated with that on green algae, which suggests that evolutionary adaptation in tolerance would carry a cost in the absence of cyanobacteria. However, the cyanobacterial selection resulted in a general increase in D. pulex when fed both cyanobacteria and green algae. Following a three-month relaxation of selection, S. vetulus in the selection line exhibited reverse evolution back to their original state when their diets were switched back to pure green algae. The present experimental evolution, both forwards and reverse, not only demonstrates the evolutionary responses of cladoceran grazers to toxic cyanobacterial cells in the laboratory, but also indicates that the grazer-cyanobacteria interaction would be an effective system to empirically study rapid evolution to environmental changes. PMID:27122137

  8. Rapid evolution of tolerance to toxic Microcystis in two cladoceran grazers.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Xiaodong; Gao, Han; Zhang, Lihua; Liang, Huishuang; Zhu, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    Evolutionary adaptation could assist organisms to cope with environmental changes, yet few experimental systems allow us to directly track evolutionary trajectory. Using experimental evolution, evolutionary tolerance to Microcystis aeruginosa was investigated in two cladocerans (Daphnia pulex and Simocephalus vetulus) to test the hypothesis that cladoceran grazers rapidly adapt to toxic cyanobacteria. After exposure for either three or six months, both grazers evolved a higher tolerance. The intrinsic rate of population increases in S. vetulus feeding on cyanobacteria was negatively correlated with that on green algae, which suggests that evolutionary adaptation in tolerance would carry a cost in the absence of cyanobacteria. However, the cyanobacterial selection resulted in a general increase in D. pulex when fed both cyanobacteria and green algae. Following a three-month relaxation of selection, S. vetulus in the selection line exhibited reverse evolution back to their original state when their diets were switched back to pure green algae. The present experimental evolution, both forwards and reverse, not only demonstrates the evolutionary responses of cladoceran grazers to toxic cyanobacterial cells in the laboratory, but also indicates that the grazer-cyanobacteria interaction would be an effective system to empirically study rapid evolution to environmental changes. PMID:27122137

  9. NUTRIENTS, CANOPY COVER, AND GRAZERS: THEIR EFFECTS ON SUMMER PERIPHYTON IN SMALL MIDWESTERN STREAMS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Numerous studies in artificial streams suggest the relationship between nurients and periphyton biomass (AFDM) and chlorophyll a in streams is affected by ambient light, which is influenced by canopy cover, and by grazer densities. To assess the relationships between nutrients a...

  10. Using ILP to Identify Pathway Activation Patterns in Systems Biology

    PubMed Central

    Neaves, Samuel R; Millard, Louise A C; Tsoka, Sophia

    2016-01-01

    We show a logical aggregation method that, combined with propositionalization methods, can construct novel structured biological features from gene expression data. We do this to gain understanding of pathway mechanisms, for instance, those associated with a particular disease. We illustrate this method on the task of distinguishing between two types of lung cancer; Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Adenocarcinoma (AC). We identify pathway activation patterns in pathways previously implicated in the development of cancers. Our method identified a model with comparable predictive performance to the winning algorithm of a recent challenge, while providing biologically relevant explanations that may be useful to a biologist. PMID:27478883

  11. Periphyton As A Source Of Bioavailable Cd and Cu To Invertebrate Benthic Grazers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cain, D.; Croteau, M.; Luoma, S. N.

    2009-12-01

    High metal body burdens observed in invertebrate benthic grazers suggest that periphyton is an important source of bioavailable metals. We conducted comparative studies among five species of stream insects (the mayflies Nixe sp., Epeorus albertae, E. longimanus, Serratella tibialis, and Drunella flavilinea) to quantify dietary and dissolved cadmium (Cd) and copper (Cu) bioaccumulation kinetics as a means of characterizing exposure routes. We labeled artificial stream water and benthic diatoms (Nitzschia palea) with enriched stable metal isotopes and determined physiological rate constants representing metal influx from water (ku), food ingestion rate (IR), metal assimilation from food (AE), and elimination of bioaccumulated metal (ke). The ku varied by more than 4-fold and 10-fold for Cu and Cd, respectively, among species. In all species, AEs of both metals from the diatom were equal to or greater than 75%. Assimilation efficiencies did not appear to vary with differences in ingestion rates among or within species. The ke was variable and appeared to be the principal process controlling inter-specific differences in bioaccumulation. Model simulations of bioaccumulation under the laboratory exposures identified food as the primary exposure pathway at dissolved Cd and Cu concentrations less than 0.5 and 5 µg L-1, respectively. To simulate field conditions, we modeled Cu bioaccumulation from water alone using geochemical data from an uncontaminated site and from a moderately Cu-contaminated site within the same river basin and compared the model predictions to observed bioaccumulated Cu. These results also indicated that food was the principal exposure route. At least for the taxa considered in this study, we conclude that consumption of metal-contaminated periphyton can result in high metal body burdens and increased risk of metal toxicity.

  12. Transient dynamics of pelagic producer-grazer systems in a gradient of nutrients and mixing depths.

    PubMed

    Jäger, Christoph G; Diehl, Sebastian; Matauschek, Christian; Klausmeier, Christopher A; Stibor, Herwig

    2008-05-01

    Phytoplankton-grazer dynamics are often characterized by long transients relative to the length of the growing season. Using a phytoplankton-grazer model parameterized for Daphnia pulex with either flexible or fixed algal carbon:nutrient stoichiometry, we explored how nutrient and light supply (the latter by varying depth of the mixed water column) affect the transient dynamics of the system starting from low densities. The system goes through an initial oscillation across nearly the entire light-nutrient supply space. With flexible (but not with fixed) algal stoichiometry, duration of the initial algal peak, timing and duration of the subsequent grazer peak, and timing of the algal minimum are consistently accelerated by nutrient enrichment but decelerated by light enrichment (decreasing mixing depth) over the range of intermediate to shallow mixing depths. These contrasting effects of nutrient vs. light enrichment are consequences of their opposing influences on food quality (algal nutrient content): algal productivity and food quality are positively related along a nutrient gradient but inversely related along a light gradient. Light enrichment therefore slows down grazer growth relative to algal growth, decelerating oscillatory dynamics; nutrient enrichment has opposite effects. We manipulated nutrient supply and mixing depth in a field enclosure experiment. The experimental results were qualitatively much more consistent with the flexible than with the fixed stoichiometry model. Nutrient enrichment increased Daphnia peak biomass, decreased algal minimum biomass, decreased the seston C:P ratio, and accelerated transient oscillatory dynamics. Light enrichment (decreasing mixing depth) produced the opposite patterns, except that Daphnia peak biomass increased monotonously with light enrichment, too. Thus, while the model predicts the possibility of the "paradox of energy enrichment" (a decrease in grazer biomass with light enrichment) at high light and low

  13. Geometric complexity identifies platelet activation in familial hypercholesterolemic patients.

    PubMed

    Bianciardi, Giorgio; Aglianò, Margherita; Volpi, Nila; Stefanutti, Claudia

    2015-06-01

    Familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a genetic disease, is associated with a severe incidence of athero-thrombotic events, related, also, to platelet hyperreactivity. A plethora of methods have been proposed to identify those activated circulating platelets, none of these has proved really effective. We need efficient methods to identify the circulating platelet status in order to follow the patients after therapeutic procedures. We propose the use of computerized fractal analysis for an objective characterization of the complexity of circulating platelet shapes observed by means of transmission electron microscopy in order to characterize the in vivo hyperactivated platelets of familial hypercholesterolemic patients, distinguishing them from the in vivo resting platelets of healthy individuals. Platelet boundaries were extracted by means of automatically image analysis. Geometric complexity (fractal dimension, D) by box counting was automatically calculated. The platelet boundary observed by electron microscopy is fractal, the shape of the circulating platelets is more complex in FH (n = 6) than healthy subjects (n = 5, P < 0.01), with 100% correct classification in selected individuals. In vitro activated platelets from healthy subjects show an analogous increase of D. The observed high D in the platelet boundary in FH originates from the in vivo platelet activation. Computerized fractal analysis of platelet shape observed by transmission electron microscopy can provide accurate, quantitative data to study platelet activation in familial hypercholesterolemia and after administration of drugs or other therapeutic procedures. PMID:25877374

  14. Body size and the division of niche space: food and predation differentially shape the distribution of Serengeti grazers.

    PubMed

    Hopcraft, J Grant C; Anderson, T Michael; Pérez-Vila, Saleta; Mayemba, Emilian; Olff, Han

    2012-01-01

    1. Theory predicts that small grazers are regulated by the digestive quality of grass, while large grazers extract sufficient nutrients from low-quality forage and are regulated by its abundance instead. In addition, predation potentially affects populations of small grazers more than large grazers, because predators have difficulty capturing and handling large prey. 2. We analyse the spatial distribution of five grazer species of different body size in relation to gradients of food availability and predation risk. Specifically, we investigate how the quality of grass, the abundance of grass biomass and the associated risks of predation affect the habitat use of small, intermediate and large savanna grazers at a landscape level. 3. Resource selection functions of five mammalian grazer species surveyed over a 21-year period in Serengeti are calculated using logistic regressions. Variables included in the analyses are grass nitrogen, rainfall, topographic wetness index, woody cover, drainage lines, landscape curvature, water and human habitation. Structural equation modelling (SEM) is used to aggregate predictor variables into 'composites' representing food quality, food abundance and predation risk. Subsequently, SEM is used to investigate species' habitat use, defined as their recurrence in 5 × 5 km cells across repeated censuses. 4. The distribution of small grazers is constrained by predation and food quality, whereas the distribution of large grazers is relatively unconstrained. The distribution of the largest grazer (African buffalo) is primarily associated with forage abundance but not predation risk, while the distributions of the smallest grazers (Thomson's gazelle and Grant's gazelle) are associated with high grass quality and negatively with the risk of predation. The distributions of intermediate sized grazers (Coke's hartebeest and topi) suggest they optimize access to grass biomass of sufficient quality in relatively predator-safe areas. 5. The results

  15. Descriptive Study of Activities Identified by Principals as Parental Involvement Activities through Survey Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Melinda

    2009-01-01

    This study was designed to identify parental involvement activities used by successful schools. Participating schools were identified as successful by an Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) rating of recognized or exemplary. Using survey methods, data was collected from the principals of the schools about parental involvement activities on…

  16. Diverse protist grazers select for virulence-related traits in Legionella

    PubMed Central

    Amaro, Francisco; Wang, Wen; Gilbert, Jack A; Roger Anderson, O; Shuman, Howard A

    2015-01-01

    It is generally accepted that selection for resistance to grazing by protists has contributed to the evolution of Legionella pneumophila as a pathogen. Grazing resistance is becoming more generally recognized as having an important role in the ecology and evolution of bacterial pathogenesis. However, selection for grazing resistance presupposes the existence of protist grazers that provide the selective pressure. To determine whether there are protists that graze on pathogenic Legionella species, we investigated the existence of such organisms in a variety of environmental samples. We isolated and characterized diverse protists that graze on L. pneumophila and determined the effects of adding L. pneumophila on the protist community structures in microcosms made from these environmental samples. Several unrelated organisms were able to graze efficiently on L. pneumophila. The community structures of all samples were markedly altered by the addition of L. pneumophila. Surprisingly, some of the Legionella grazers were closely related to species that are known hosts for L. pneumophila, indicating the presence of unknown specificity determinants for this interaction. These results provide the first direct support for the hypothesis that protist grazers exert selective pressure on Legionella to acquire and retain adaptations that contribute to survival, and that these properties are relevant to the ability of the bacteria to cause disease in people. We also report a novel mechanism of killing of amoebae by one Legionella species that requires an intact Type IV secretion system but does not involve intracellular replication. We refer to this phenomenon as ‘food poisoning'. PMID:25575308

  17. Predator diversity stabilizes and strengthens trophic control of a keystone grazer.

    PubMed

    Griffin, John N; Silliman, Brian R

    2011-02-23

    Despite the global vulnerability of predators to extinction, and the critical functional role they play in many ecosystems, there have been few realistic tests of the consequences of predator species deletion (conversely, predator diversity) in natural ecosystems. We performed a four-month field experiment in a southeastern United States salt marsh to test the role of predatory crab diversity in regulating populations of a keystone grazer that can decimate marsh vegetation at high densities. Our results revealed that a combination of this system's two resident predator species, in comparison to individual species, both stabilize and strengthen predation rates on the potent grazer. Monthly monitoring of predation rates from intense, hot summer months into the cooler autumn indicate this diversity benefit arises from predators responding differentially to changing environmental conditions across seasons. This study provides some of the first experimental field support for the insurance hypothesis from marine ecosystems, suggests that predator temporal complementarity may be more common than currently perceived, and argues for conservation of predator diversity to ensure reliable and effective control of potentially habitat-destroying grazers. PMID:20739314

  18. Biased and unbiased strategies to identify biologically active small molecules.

    PubMed

    Abet, Valentina; Mariani, Angelica; Truscott, Fiona R; Britton, Sébastien; Rodriguez, Raphaël

    2014-08-15

    Small molecules are central players in chemical biology studies. They promote the perturbation of cellular processes underlying diseases and enable the identification of biological targets that can be validated for therapeutic intervention. Small molecules have been shown to accurately tune a single function of pluripotent proteins in a reversible manner with exceptional temporal resolution. The identification of molecular probes and drugs remains a worthy challenge that can be addressed by the use of biased and unbiased strategies. Hypothesis-driven methodologies employs a known biological target to synthesize complementary hits while discovery-driven strategies offer the additional means of identifying previously unanticipated biological targets. This review article provides a general overview of recent synthetic frameworks that gave rise to an impressive arsenal of biologically active small molecules with unprecedented cellular mechanisms. PMID:24811300

  19. How Can We Identify Ictal and Interictal Abnormal Activity?

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Robert S.; Scharfman, Helen E.; deCurtis, Marco

    2015-01-01

    The International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE) defined a seizure as “a transient occurrence of signs and/or symptoms due to abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain.” This definition has been used since the era of Hughlings Jackson, and does not take into account subsequent advances made in epilepsy and neuroscience research. The clinical diagnosis of a seizure is empirical, based upon constellations of certain signs and symptoms, while simultaneously ruling out a list of potential imitators of seizures. Seizures should be delimited in time, but the borders of ictal (during a seizure), interictal (between seizures) and postictal (after a seizure) often are indistinct. EEG recording is potentially very helpful for confirmation, classification and localization. About a half-dozen common EEG patterns are encountered during seizures. Clinicians rely on researchers to answer such questions as why seizures start, spread and stop, whether seizures involve increased synchrony, the extent to which extra-cortical structures are involved, and how to identify the seizure network and at what points interventions are likely to be helpful. Basic scientists have different challenges in use of the word ‘seizure,’ such as distinguishing seizures from normal behavior, which would seem easy but can be very difficult because some rodents have EEG activity during normal behavior that resembles spike-wave discharge or bursts of rhythmic spiking. It is also important to define when a seizure begins and stops so that seizures can be quantified accurately for pre-clinical studies. When asking what causes seizures, the transition to a seizure and differentiating the pre-ictal, ictal and post-ictal state is also important because what occurs before a seizure could be causal and may warrant further investigation for that reason. These and other issues are discussed by three epilepsy researchers with clinical and basic science expertise. PMID:25012363

  20. Mixotrophic haptophytes are key bacterial grazers in oligotrophic coastal waters

    PubMed Central

    Unrein, Fernando; Gasol, Josep M; Not, Fabrice; Forn, Irene; Massana, Ramon

    2014-01-01

    Grazing rate estimates indicate that approximately half of the bacterivory in oligotrophic oceans is due to mixotrophic flagellates (MFs). However, most estimations have considered algae as a single group. Here we aimed at opening the black-box of the phytoflagellates (PFs) <20 μm. Haptophytes, chlorophytes, cryptophytes and pigmented dinoflagellates were identified using fluorescent in situ hybridization or by standard 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole staining. Their fluctuations in abundance, cell size, biomass and bacterivory rates were measured through an annual cycle in an oligotrophic coastal system. On average, we were able to assign to these groups: 37% of the total pico-PFs and 65% of the nano-PFs composition. Chlorophytes were mostly picoplanktonic and they never ingested fluorescently labeled bacteria. About 50% of the PF <20 μm biomass was represented by mixotrophic algae. Pigmented dinoflagellates were the least abundant group with little impact on bacterioplankton. Cryptophytes were quantitatively important during the coldest periods and explained about 4% of total bacterivory. Haptophytes were the most important mixotrophic group: (i) they were mostly represented by cells 3–5 μm in size present year-round; (ii) cell-specific grazing rates were comparable to those of other bacterivorous non-photosynthetic organisms, regardless of the in situ nutrient availability conditions; (iii) these organisms could acquire a significant portion of their carbon by ingesting bacteria; and (iv) haptophytes explained on average 40% of the bacterivory exerted by MFs and were responsible for 9–27% of total bacterivory at this site. Our results, when considered alongside the widespread distribution of haptophytes in the ocean, indicate that they have a key role as bacterivores in marine ecosystems. PMID:23924785

  1. Functional and ecological consequences of saprotrophic fungus–grazer interactions

    PubMed Central

    Crowther, Thomas W; Boddy, Lynne; Hefin Jones, T

    2012-01-01

    Saprotrophic fungi are key regulators of nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. They are the primary agents of plant litter decomposition and their hyphal networks, which grow throughout the soil–litter interface, represent highly dynamic channels through which nutrients are readily distributed. By ingesting hyphae and dispersing spores, soil invertebrates, including Arthropoda, Oligochaetae and Nematoda, influence fungal-mediated nutrient distribution within soil. Fungal physiological responses to grazing include changes to hydrolytic enzyme production and respiration rates. These directly affect nutrient mineralisation and the flux of CO2 between terrestrial and atmospheric pools. Preferential grazing may also exert selective pressures on saprotrophic communities, driving shifts in fungal succession and community composition. These functional and ecological consequences of grazing are intrinsically linked, and influenced by invertebrate grazing intensity. High-intensity grazing often reduces fungal growth and activity, whereas low-intensity grazing can have stimulatory effects. Grazing intensity is directly related to invertebrate abundance, and varies dramatically between species and functional groups. Invertebrate diversity and community composition, therefore, represent key factors determining the functioning of saprotrophic fungal communities and the services they provide. PMID:22717883

  2. Activation tag screening to identify novel genes for trichothecene resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The goal of our research is to identify plant genes which enhance trichothecene resistance and, ultimately, Fusarium Head Blight resistance in wheat and barley. We are taking a two pronged approach using Arabidopsis to identify plant genes which confer resistance to trichothecenes. The first approac...

  3. Management Development Program. Preliminary Organizing Structure for Identifying Educational Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cloud, Sherrill

    The Management Development Program, which was designed to address the needs of executive-level administrators of higher education, is described. The program was developed by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). Seven limitations of executive-level administrators are identified, along with the capabilities of NCHEMS…

  4. Using perturbations to identify the brain circuits underlying active vision

    PubMed Central

    Wurtz, Robert H.

    2015-01-01

    The visual and oculomotor systems in the brain have been studied extensively in the primate. Together, they can be regarded as a single brain system that underlies active vision—the normal vision that begins with visual processing in the retina and extends through the brain to the generation of eye movement by the brainstem. The system is probably one of the most thoroughly studied brain systems in the primate, and it offers an ideal opportunity to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the series of perturbation techniques that have been used to study it. The perturbations have been critical in moving from correlations between neuronal activity and behaviour closer to a causal relation between neuronal activity and behaviour. The same perturbation techniques have also been used to tease out neuronal circuits that are related to active vision that in turn are driving behaviour. The evolution of perturbation techniques includes ablation of both cortical and subcortical targets, punctate chemical lesions, reversible inactivations, electrical stimulation, and finally the expanding optogenetic techniques. The evolution of perturbation techniques has supported progressively stronger conclusions about what neuronal circuits in the brain underlie active vision and how the circuits themselves might be organized. PMID:26240420

  5. Activation Tagging Identifies a Conserved MYB Regulator of Phenylpropanoid Biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Borevitz, Justin O.; Xia, Yiji; Blount, Jack; Dixon, Richard A.; Lamb, Chris

    2000-01-01

    Plants produce a wide array of natural products, many of which are likely to be useful bioactive structures. Unfortunately, these complex natural products usually occur at very low abundance and with restricted tissue distribution, thereby hindering their evaluation. Here, we report a novel approach for enhancing the accumulation of natural products based on activation tagging by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation with a T-DNA that carries cauliflower mosaic virus 35S enhancer sequences at its right border. Among ∼5000 Arabidopsis activation-tagged lines, we found a plant that exhibited intense purple pigmentation in many vegetative organs throughout development. This upregulation of pigmentation reflected a dominant mutation that resulted in massive activation of phenylpropanoid biosynthetic genes and enhanced accumulation of lignin, hydroxycinnamic acid esters, and flavonoids, including various anthocyanins that were responsible for the purple color. These phenotypes, caused by insertion of the viral enhancer sequences adjacent to an MYB transcription factor gene, indicate that activation tagging can overcome the stringent genetic controls regulating the accumulation of specific natural products during plant development. Our findings suggest a functional genomics approach to the biotechnological evaluation of phytochemical biodiversity through the generation of massively enriched tissue sources for drug screening and for isolating underlying regulatory and biosynthetic genes. PMID:11148285

  6. Loss of a large grazer impacts savanna grassland plant communities similarly in North America and South Africa.

    PubMed

    Eby, Stephanie; Burkepile, Deron E; Fynn, Richard W S; Burns, Catherine E; Govender, Navashni; Hagenah, Nicole; Koerner, Sally E; Matchett, Katherine J; Thompson, Dave I; Wilcox, Kevin R; Collins, Scott L; Kirkman, Kevin P; Knapp, Alan K; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-05-01

    Large herbivore grazing is a widespread disturbance in mesic savanna grasslands which increases herbaceous plant community richness and diversity. However, humans are modifying the impacts of grazing on these ecosystems by removing grazers. A more general understanding of how grazer loss will impact these ecosystems is hampered by differences in the diversity of large herbivore assemblages among savanna grasslands, which can affect the way that grazing influences plant communities. To avoid this we used two unique enclosures each containing a single, functionally similar large herbivore species. Specifically, we studied a bison (Bos bison) enclosure at Konza Prairie Biological Station, USA and an African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) enclosure in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Within these enclosures we erected exclosures in annually burned and unburned sites to determine how grazer loss would impact herbaceous plant communities, while controlling for potential fire-grazing interactions. At both sites, removal of the only grazer decreased grass and forb richness, evenness and diversity, over time. However, in Kruger these changes only occurred with burning. At both sites, changes in plant communities were driven by increased dominance with herbivore exclusion. At Konza, this was caused by increased abundance of one grass species, Andropogon gerardii, while at Kruger, three grasses, Themeda triandra, Panicum coloratum, and Digitaria eriantha increased in abundance. PMID:24554031

  7. Identifying the Main Driver of Active Region Outflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, D.; van Driel-Gesztelyi, L.; Mandrini, C. H.; Démoulin, P.; Murray, M. J.

    2012-08-01

    Hinode's EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) has discovered ubiquitous outflows of a few to 50 km s-1 from active regions (ARs). The characteristics of these outflows are very curious in that they are most prominent at the AR boundary and appear over monopolar magnetic areas. They are linked to strong non-thermal line broadening and are stronger in hotter EUV lines. The outflows persist for at least several days. Whereas red-shifted down flows observed in AR closed loops are well understood, to date there is no general consensus for the mechanism(s) driving blue-shifted AR-related outflows. We use Hinode EIS and X-Ray Telescope observations of AR 10942 coupled with magnetic modeling to demonstrate for the first time that the outflows originate from specific locations of the magnetic topology where field lines display strong gradients of magnetic connectivity, namely quasi-separatrix layers (QSLs), or in the limit of infinitely thin QSLs, separatrices. The strongest AR outflows were found to be in the vicinity of QSL sections located over areas of strong magnetic field. We argue that magnetic reconnection at QSLs, separating closed field lines of the AR and either large-scale externally connected or ‘open’ field lines, is a viable mechanism for driving AR outflows which are potentially sources of the slow solar wind. In fact, magnetic reconnection along QSLs (including separatricies) is the first theory to explain the most puzzling characteristics of the outflows, namely their occurrence over monopolar areas at the periphery of ARs and their longevity.

  8. Genotype × genotype interactions between the toxic cyanobacterium Microcystis and its grazer, the waterflea Daphnia

    PubMed Central

    Lemaire, Veerle; Brusciotti, Silvia; van Gremberghe, Ineke; Vyverman, Wim; Vanoverbeke, Joost; De Meester, Luc

    2012-01-01

    Toxic algal blooms are an important problem worldwide. The literature on toxic cyanobacteria blooms in inland waters reports widely divergent results on whether zooplankton can control cyanobacteria blooms or cyanobacteria suppress zooplankton by their toxins. Here we test whether this may be due to genotype × genotype interactions, in which interactions between the large-bodied and efficient grazer Daphnia and the widespread cyanobacterium Microcystis are not only dependent on Microcystis strain or Daphnia genotype but are specific to genotype × genotype combinations. We show that genotype × genotype interactions are important in explaining mortality in short-time exposures of Daphnia to Microcystis. These genotype × genotype interactions may result in local coadaptation and a geographic mosaic of coevolution. Genotype × genotype interactions can explain why the literature on zooplankton–cyanobacteria interactions is seemingly inconsistent, and provide hope that zooplankton can contribute to the suppression of cyanobacteria blooms in restoration projects. PMID:25568039

  9. Multivariate statistical analysis of stream-sediment geochemistry in the Grazer Paläozoikum, Austria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Weber, L.; Davis, J.C.

    1990-01-01

    The Austrian reconnaissance study of stream-sediment composition — more than 30000 clay-fraction samples collected over an area of 40000 km2 — is summarized in an atlas of regional maps that show the distributions of 35 elements. These maps, rich in information, reveal complicated patterns of element abundance that are difficult to compare on more than a small number of maps at one time. In such a study, multivariate procedures such as simultaneous R-Q mode components analysis may be helpful. They can compress a large number of variables into a much smaller number of independent linear combinations. These composite variables may be mapped and relationships sought between them and geological properties. As an example, R-Q mode components analysis is applied here to the Grazer Paläozoikum, a tectonic unit northeast of the city of Graz, which is composed of diverse lithologies and contains many mineral deposits.

  10. Grazer traits, competition, and carbon sources to a headwater-stream food web.

    PubMed

    McNeely, Camille; Finlay, Jacques C; Power, Mary E

    2007-02-01

    We investigated the effect of grazing by a dominant invertebrate grazer (the caddisfly Glossosoma penitum) on the energy sources used by other consumers in a headwater-stream food web. Stable isotope studies in small, forested streams in northern California have shown that G. penitum larvae derive most of their carbon from algae, despite low algal standing crops. We hypothesized that the caddisfly competes with other primary consumers (including mayflies) for algal food and increases their reliance on terrestrial detritus. Because Glossosoma are abundant and defended from predators by stone cases, their consumption of algal energy may reduce its transfer up the food chain. We removed Glossosoma (natural densities >1000 caddisflies/m2) from five approximately 4 m2) stream sections during the summer of 2000 and measured responses of algae, invertebrate primary consumers, and invertebrate predators. The treatment reduced Glossosoma biomass by 80-90%. We observed a doubling in chlorophyll a per area in sections with reduced Glossosoma abundance and aggregative increases in the biomass of undefended primary consumers. Heptageniid mayfly larvae consumed more algae (as measured by stable carbon isotope ratios and gut content analysis) in caddisfly removal plots at the end of the 60-day experiment, although not after one month. We did not see isotopic evidence of increased algal carbon in invertebrate predators, however. Patterns of caddisfly and mayfly diets in the surrounding watershed suggested that mayfly diets are variable and include algae and detrital carbon in variable proportions, but scraping caddisflies consume primarily algae. Caddisfly and mayfly diets are more similar in larger, more productive streams where the mayflies assimilate more algae. Isotopic analysis, in combination with measurements of macroinvertebrate abundance and biomass in unmanipulated plots, suggested that a substantial portion of the invertebrate community (>50% of biomass) was supported

  11. Using Indices of Fidelity to Intervention Core Components to Identify Program Active Ingredients

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abry, Tashia; Hulleman, Chris S.; Rimm-Kaufman, Sara E.

    2015-01-01

    Identifying the active ingredients of an intervention--intervention-specific components serving as key levers of change--is crucial for unpacking the intervention black box. Measures of intervention fidelity can be used to identify specific active ingredients, yet such applications are rare. We illustrate how fidelity measures can be used to…

  12. A modified reverse one-hybrid screen identifies transcriptional activation in Phyochrome-Interacting Factor 3

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transcriptional activation domains (TAD) are difficult to predict and identify, since they are not conserved and have little consensus. Here, we describe a yeast-based screening method that is able to identify individual amino acid residues involved in transcriptional activation in a high throughput...

  13. Use of component analyses to identify active variables in treatment packages for children with feeding disorders.

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, L J; Wacker, D P; McComas, J J; Brown, K; Peck, S M; Richman, D; Drew, J; Frischmeyer, P; Millard, T

    1995-01-01

    We evaluated the separate components in treatment packages for food refusal of 4 young children. First, treatment packages were implemented until food acceptance improved. Next, a component analysis was conducted within a multielement or reversal design to identify the active components that facilitated food acceptance. The results indicated that escape extinction was always identified as an active variable when assessed; however, other variables, including positive reinforcement and noncontingent play, were also identified as active variables for 2 of the children. The results suggest that the component analysis was useful for identifying variables that affected food acceptance. PMID:7601802

  14. Community context mediates the top-down vs. bottom-up effects of grazers on rocky shores.

    PubMed

    Bracken, Matthew E S; Dolecal, Renee E; Long, Jeremy D

    2014-06-01

    Interactions between grazers and autotrophs are complex, including both top-down consumptive and bottom-up facilitative effects of grazers. Thus, in addition to consuming autotrophs, herbivores can also enhance autotroph biomass by recycling limiting nutrients, thereby increasing nutrient availability. Here, we evaluated these consumptive and facilitative interactions between snails (Littorina littorea) and seaweeds (Fucus vesiculosus and Ulva lactuca) on a rocky shore. We partitioned herbivores' total effects on seaweeds into their consumptive and facilitative effects and evaluated how community context (the presence of another seaweed species) modified the effects of Littorina on a focal seaweed species. Ulva, the more palatable species, enhanced the facilitative effects of Littorina on Fucus. Ulva did not modify the consumptive effect of Littorina on Fucus. Taken together, the consumptive and facilitative effects of snails on Fucus in the presence of Ulva balanced each other, resulting in no net effect of Littorina on Fucus. In contrast, the only effect of Fucus on Ulva was to enhance consumptive effects of Littorina on Ulva. Our results highlight the necessity of considering both consumptive and facilitative effects of herbivores on multiple autotroph species in order to gain a mechanistic understanding of grazers' top-down and bottom-up roles in structuring communities. PMID:25039210

  15. Viral and grazer regulation of prokaryotic growth efficiency in temperate freshwater pelagic environments.

    PubMed

    Pradeep Ram, A S; Colombet, Jonathan; Perriere, Fanny; Thouvenot, Antoine; Sime-Ngando, Telesphore

    2015-02-01

    In aquatic systems, limited data exists on the impact of mortality forces such as viral lysis and flagellate grazing when seeking to explain factors regulating prokaryotic metabolism. We explored the relative influence of top-down factors (viral lysis and heterotrophic nanoflagellate grazing) on prokaryotic mortality and their subsequent impact on their community metabolism in the euphotic zone of 21 temperate freshwater lakes located in the French Massif Central. Prokaryotic growth efficiency (PGE, index of prokaryotic community metabolism) determined from prokaryotic production and respiration measurements varied from 5 to 74% across the lakes. Viral and potential grazer-induced mortality of prokaryotes had contrasting impact on PGE. Potential flagellate grazing was found to enhance PGE whereas viral lysis had antagonistic impacts on PGE. The average PGE value in the grazing and viral lysis dominated lake water samples was 35.4% (±15.2%) and 17.2% (±8.1%), respectively. Selective viral lysis or flagellate grazing on prokaryotes together with the nature of contrasted substrates released through mortality processes can perhaps explain for the observed variation and differences in PGE among the studied lakes. The influences of such specific top-down processes on PGE can have strong implications on the carbon and nutrient fluxes in freshwater pelagic environments. PMID:25764557

  16. Grazer-induced morphological defense in Scenedesmus obliquus is affected by competition against Microcystis aeruginosa

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xuexia; Wang, Jun; Lu, Yichun; Chen, Qinwen; Yang, Zhou

    2015-01-01

    The green alga Scenedesmus is known for its phenotypic plasticity in response to grazing risk. However, the benefits of colony formation induced by infochemicals from zooplankton should come with costs. That is, a tradeoff in benefit-to-cost ratios is likely under complex environmental conditions. In this study, we hypothesized that the coexistence of Scenedesmus and its competitors decreases the formation of anti-grazer colonies in Scenedesmus. Results demonstrated that the presence of a competitor Microcystis aeruginosa inhibited inducible defensive colony formation of Scenedesmus obliquus, and the established defensive colonies negatively affected the competitive ability of S. obliquus. The proportion of induced defensive colonies in cultures was dependent on the relative abundance of competitors. Under low competition intensity, large amount of eight-celled colonies were formed but at the cost of decreased competitive inhibition on M. aeruginosa. By contrast, defensive colony formation of S. obliquus slacked in the presence of high competition intensity to maintain a high displacement rate (competitive ability). In conclusion, S. obliquus exhibited different responses to potential grazing pressure under different intensities of competition, i.e., Scenedesmus morphological response to grazing infochemicals was affected by competition against Microcystis. PMID:26224387

  17. Introduced grazers can restrict potential soil carbon sequestration through impacts on plant community composition.

    PubMed

    Bagchi, Sumanta; Ritchie, Mark E

    2010-08-01

    Grazing occurs over a third of the earth's land surface and may potentially influence the storage of 10(9) Mg year(-1) of greenhouse gases as soil C. Displacement of native herbivores by high densities of livestock has often led to overgrazing and soil C loss. However, it remains unknown whether matching livestock densities to those of native herbivores can yield equivalent soil C sequestration. In the Trans-Himalayas we found that, despite comparable grazing intensities, watersheds converted to pastoralism had 49% lower soil C than watersheds which retain native herbivores. Experimental grazer-exclusion within each watershed type, show that this difference appears to be driven by indirect effects of livestock diet selection, leading to vegetation shifts that lower plant production and reduce likely soil C inputs from vegetation by c. 25 gC m(-2) year(-1). Our results suggest that while accounting for direct impacts (stocking density) is a major step, managing indirect impacts on vegetation composition are equally important in influencing soil C sequestration in grazing ecosystems. PMID:20482575

  18. Plant Trait Assembly Affects Superiority of Grazer's Foraging Strategies in Species-Rich Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Mládek, Jan; Mládková, Pavla; Hejcmanová, Pavla; Dvorský, Miroslav; Pavlu, Vilém; De Bello, Francesco; Duchoslav, Martin; Hejcman, Michal; Pakeman, Robin J.

    2013-01-01

    Background Current plant – herbivore interaction models and experiments with mammalian herbivores grazing plant monocultures show the superiority of a maximizing forage quality strategy (MFQ) over a maximizing intake strategy (MI). However, there is a lack of evidence whether grazers comply with the model predictions under field conditions. Methodology/Findings We assessed diet selection of sheep (Ovis aries) using plant functional traits in productive mesic vs. low-productivity dry species-rich grasslands dominated by resource-exploitative vs. resource-conservative species respectively. Each grassland type was studied in two replicates for two years. We investigated the first grazing cycle in a set of 288 plots with a diameter of 30 cm, i.e. the size of sheep feeding station. In mesic grasslands, high plot defoliation was associated with community weighted means of leaf traits referring to high forage quality, i.e. low leaf dry matter content (LDMC) and high specific leaf area (SLA), with a high proportion of legumes and the most with high community weighted mean of forage indicator value. In contrast in dry grasslands, high community weighted mean of canopy height, an estimate of forage quantity, was the best predictor of plot defoliation. Similar differences in selection on forage quality vs. quantity were detected within plots. Sheep selected plants with higher forage indicator values than the plot specific community weighted mean of forage indicator value in mesic grasslands whereas taller plants were selected in dry grasslands. However, at this scale sheep avoided legumes and plants with higher SLA, preferred plants with higher LDMC while grazing plants with higher forage indicator values in mesic grasslands. Conclusions Our findings indicate that MFQ appears superior over MI only in habitats with a predominance of resource-exploitative species. Furthermore, plant functional traits (LDMC, SLA, nitrogen fixer) seem to be helpful correlates of forage quality

  19. Decoupling of nutrient and grazer impacts on a benthic estuarine diatom assemblage

    PubMed Central

    Armitage, Anna R.; Gonzalez, Vanessa L.; Fong, Peggy

    2014-01-01

    Strong interactions between top-down (consumptive) and bottom-up (resource supply) trophic factors occur in many aquatic communities, but these forces can act independently in some microphytobenthic communities. Within benthic estuarine diatom assemblages, the dynamics of these interactions and how they vary with abiotic environmental conditions are not well understood. We conducted a field experiment at two sites with varying habitat characteristics to investigate the interactive effects of grazers and nutrients on benthic estuarine diatoms. We crossed snail (Cerithidea californica) and nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) addition treatments in enclosures on a restored tidal sandflat and a reference tidal mudflat in Mugu Lagoon, southern California. We repeated the study in summer 2000 and spring 2001 to assess temporal variation in the interactions. Snails caused a large decrease in diatom relative abundance and biomass (estimated as surface area); nutrients increased diatom abundance but did not alter diatom biomass. Snails and nutrients both reduced average diatom length, although the nutrient effect was weaker and temporally variable, occurring in the reference mudflat in the spring. There were few interactions between snail and nutrient addition treatments, suggesting that links between top-down and bottom-up forces on the diatom community were weak. There were no consistent differences in diatom assemblage characteristics between the two study sites, despite marked differences in sediment grain size and other abiotic characteristics between the sites. The strong diatom response to herbivores and weaker responses to enrichment differed from the previous studies where cyanobacteria increased in response to nutrient enrichment, further dissolving the “black box” perception of microphytobenthic communities. PMID:25568503

  20. Functional Brain Activation Differences in Stuttering Identified with a Rapid fMRI Sequence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loucks, Torrey; Kraft, Shelly Jo; Choo, Ai Leen; Sharma, Harish; Ambrose, Nicoline G.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether brain activity related to the presence of stuttering can be identified with rapid functional MRI (fMRI) sequences that involved overt and covert speech processing tasks. The long-term goal is to develop sensitive fMRI approaches with developmentally appropriate tasks to identify deviant speech…

  1. Identifying Facilitators and Barriers to Physical Activity for Adults with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mahy, J.; Shields, N.; Taylor, N. F.; Dodd, K. J.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Adults with Down syndrome are typically sedentary, and many do not participate in the recommended levels of physical activity per week. The aim of this study was to identify the facilitators and barriers to physical activity for this group. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted to elicit the views of adults with Down…

  2. Bayesian Modeling of the Effects of Extreme Flooding and the Grazer Community on Algal Biomass Dynamics in a Monsoonal Taiwan Stream.

    PubMed

    Chiu, Ming-Chih; Kuo, Mei-Hwa; Chang, Hao-Yen; Lin, Hsing-Juh

    2016-08-01

    The effects of grazing and climate change on primary production have been studied widely, but seldom with mechanistic models. We used a Bayesian model to examine the effects of extreme weather and the invertebrate grazer community on epilithic algal biomass dynamics over 10 years (from January 2004 to August 2013). Algal biomass and the invertebrate grazer community were monitored in the upstream drainage of the Dajia River in Taiwan, where extreme floods have been becoming more frequent. The biomass of epilithic algae changed, both seasonally and annually, and extreme flooding changed the growth and resistance to flow detachment of the algae. Invertebrate grazing pressure changes with the structure of the invertebrate grazer community, which, in turn, is affected by the flow regime. Invertebrate grazer community structure and extreme flooding both affected the dynamics of epilithic algae, but in different ways. Awareness of the interactions between algal communities and grazers/abiotic factors can help with the design of future studies and could facilitate the development of management programs for stream ecosystems. PMID:27273089

  3. High Throughput Screening Identifies Novel Lead Compounds with Activity against Larval, Juvenile and Adult Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Mansour, Nuha R; Paveley, Ross; Gardner, J Mark F; Bell, Andrew S; Parkinson, Tanya; Bickle, Quentin

    2016-04-01

    An estimated 600 million people are affected by the helminth disease schistosomiasis caused by parasites of the genus Schistosoma. There is currently only one drug recommended for treating schistosomiasis, praziquantel (PZQ), which is effective against adult worms but not against the juvenile stage. In an attempt to identify improved drugs for treating the disease, we have carried out high throughput screening of a number of small molecule libraries with the aim of identifying lead compounds with balanced activity against all life stages of Schistosoma. A total of almost 300,000 compounds were screened using a high throughput assay based on motility of worm larvae and image analysis of assay plates. Hits were screened against juvenile and adult worms to identify broadly active compounds and against a mammalian cell line to assess cytotoxicity. A number of compounds were identified as promising leads for further chemical optimization. PMID:27128493

  4. High Throughput Screening Identifies Novel Lead Compounds with Activity against Larval, Juvenile and Adult Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, J. Mark F.; Bell, Andrew S.; Parkinson, Tanya; Bickle, Quentin

    2016-01-01

    An estimated 600 million people are affected by the helminth disease schistosomiasis caused by parasites of the genus Schistosoma. There is currently only one drug recommended for treating schistosomiasis, praziquantel (PZQ), which is effective against adult worms but not against the juvenile stage. In an attempt to identify improved drugs for treating the disease, we have carried out high throughput screening of a number of small molecule libraries with the aim of identifying lead compounds with balanced activity against all life stages of Schistosoma. A total of almost 300,000 compounds were screened using a high throughput assay based on motility of worm larvae and image analysis of assay plates. Hits were screened against juvenile and adult worms to identify broadly active compounds and against a mammalian cell line to assess cytotoxicity. A number of compounds were identified as promising leads for further chemical optimization. PMID:27128493

  5. Identifying predictors of activity based anorexia susceptibility in diverse genetic rodent populations.

    PubMed

    Pjetri, Eneda; de Haas, Ria; de Jong, Simone; Gelegen, Cigdem; Oppelaar, Hugo; Verhagen, Linda A W; Eijkemans, Marinus J C; Adan, Roger A; Olivier, Berend; Kas, Martien J

    2012-01-01

    Animal studies are very useful in detection of early disease indicators and in unravelling the pathophysiological processes underlying core psychiatric disorder phenotypes. Early indicators are critical for preventive and efficient treatment of progressive psychiatric disorders like anorexia nervosa. Comparable to physical hyperactivity observed in anorexia nervosa patients, in the activity-based anorexia rodent model, mice and rats express paradoxical high voluntary wheel running activity levels when food restricted. Eleven inbred mouse strains and outbred Wistar WU rats were exposed to the activity-based anorexia model in search of identifying susceptibility predictors. Body weight, food intake and wheel running activity levels of each individual mouse and rat were measured. Mouse strains and rats with high wheel running activity levels during food restriction exhibited accelerated body weight loss. Linear mixed models for repeated measures analysis showed that baseline wheel running activity levels preceding the scheduled food restriction phase strongly predicted activity-based anorexia susceptibility (mice: Beta  =  -0.0158 (±0.003 SE), P<0.0001; rats: Beta  =  -0.0242 (±0.004 SE), P<0.0001) compared to other baseline parameters. These results suggest that physical activity levels play an important role in activity-based anorexia susceptibility in different rodent species with genetically diverse background. These findings support previous retrospective studies on physical activity levels in anorexia nervosa patients and indicate that pre-morbid physical activity levels could reflect an early indicator for disease severity. PMID:23226287

  6. Use of Bromodeoxyuridine Immunocapture To Identify Active Bacteria Associated with Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Hyphae

    PubMed Central

    Artursson, Veronica; Jansson, Janet K.

    2003-01-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizae are beneficial for crops grown under low-till management systems. Increasingly, it is becoming apparent that bacteria associated with mycorrhizae can enhance the beneficial relationship between mycorrhizae and plants. However, it has been difficult to study these relationships by conventional techniques. In this study actively growing bacteria were identified in soil from an undisturbed fallow field known to contain arbuscular mycorrhizae by using molecular tools to eliminate the need for cultivation. A thymidine analog, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), was added to the soil and incubated for 2 days. DNA was extracted, and the newly synthesized DNA was isolated by immunocapture of the BrdU-containing DNA. The active bacteria in the community were identified by 16S rRNA gene PCR amplification and DNA sequence analysis. Based on 16S rRNA gene sequence information, a selective medium was chosen to isolate the corresponding active bacteria. Bacillus cereus strain VA1, one of the bacteria identified by the BrdU method, was isolated from the soil and tagged with green fluorescent protein. By using confocal microscopy, this bacterium was shown to clearly attach to arbuscular mycorrhizal hyphae. This study was the first to use this combination of molecular and traditional approaches to isolate, identify, and visualize a specific bacterium that is active in fallow soil and associates with arbuscular mycorrhizal hyphae. PMID:14532082

  7. Identifying the Common Characteristics of Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs in Louisiana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deslatte, Kyrie'; Carson, Russell L.

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this project was to (a) determine the common characteristics of current comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAP) in Louisiana and (b) identify strategies for implementing a CSPAP. Four individuals (i.e., one physical education teacher, one principal, and two classroom teachers) were recruited from three public schools…

  8. A Virtual Screening Approach For Identifying Plants with Anti H5N1 Neuraminidase Activity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic and occasional drug-resistant influenza strains have highlighted the need to develop novel anti-influenza therapeutics. Here, we report computational and experimental efforts to identify influenza neuraminidase inhibitors from among the 3000 natural compounds in the Malaysian-Plants Natural-Product (NADI) database. These 3000 compounds were first docked into the neuraminidase active site. The five plants with the largest number of top predicted ligands were selected for experimental evaluation. Twelve specific compounds isolated from these five plants were shown to inhibit neuraminidase, including two compounds with IC50 values less than 92 μM. Furthermore, four of the 12 isolated compounds had also been identified in the top 100 compounds from the virtual screen. Together, these results suggest an effective new approach for identifying bioactive plant species that will further the identification of new pharmacologically active compounds from diverse natural-product resources. PMID:25555059

  9. A virtual screening approach for identifying plants with anti H5N1 neuraminidase activity.

    PubMed

    Ikram, Nur Kusaira Khairul; Durrant, Jacob D; Muchtaridi, Muchtaridi; Zalaludin, Ayunni Salihah; Purwitasari, Neny; Mohamed, Nornisah; Rahim, Aisyah Saad Abdul; Lam, Chan Kit; Normi, Yahaya M; Rahman, Noorsaadah Abd; Amaro, Rommie E; Wahab, Habibah A

    2015-02-23

    Recent outbreaks of highly pathogenic and occasional drug-resistant influenza strains have highlighted the need to develop novel anti-influenza therapeutics. Here, we report computational and experimental efforts to identify influenza neuraminidase inhibitors from among the 3000 natural compounds in the Malaysian-Plants Natural-Product (NADI) database. These 3000 compounds were first docked into the neuraminidase active site. The five plants with the largest number of top predicted ligands were selected for experimental evaluation. Twelve specific compounds isolated from these five plants were shown to inhibit neuraminidase, including two compounds with IC50 values less than 92 μM. Furthermore, four of the 12 isolated compounds had also been identified in the top 100 compounds from the virtual screen. Together, these results suggest an effective new approach for identifying bioactive plant species that will further the identification of new pharmacologically active compounds from diverse natural-product resources. PMID:25555059

  10. Whole-organism screening for gluconeogenesis identifies activators of fasting metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Gut, Philipp; Baeza-Raja, Bernat; Andersson, Olov; Hasenkamp, Laura; Hsiao, Joseph; Hesselson, Daniel; Akassoglou, Katerina; Verdin, Eric; Hirschey, Matthew D.; Stainier, Didier Y.R.

    2012-01-01

    Improving the control of energy homeostasis can lower cardiovascular risk in metabolically compromised individuals. To identify new regulators of whole-body energy control, we conducted a high-throughput screen in transgenic reporter zebrafish for small molecules that modulate the expression of the fasting-inducible gluconeogenic gene pck1. We show that this in vivo strategy identified several drugs that impact gluconeogenesis in humans, as well as metabolically uncharacterized compounds. Most notably, we find that the Translocator Protein (TSPO) ligands PK 11195 and Ro5-4864 are glucose lowering agents despite a strong inductive effect on pck1 expression. We show that these drugs are activators of a fasting-like energy state, and importantly that they protect high-fat diet induced obese mice from hepatosteatosis and glucose intolerance, two pathological manifestations of metabolic dysregulation. Thus, using a whole-organism screening strategy, this study has identified new small molecule activators of fasting metabolism. PMID:23201900

  11. Identifying the functional contribution of the defatty-acylase activity of SIRT6.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaoyu; Khan, Saba; Jiang, Hong; Antonyak, Marc A; Chen, Xiao; Spiegelman, Nicole A; Shrimp, Jonathan H; Cerione, Richard A; Lin, Hening

    2016-08-01

    Mammalian sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) exhibits many pivotal functions and multiple enzymatic activities, but the contribution of each activity to the various functions is unclear. We identified a SIRT6 mutant (G60A) that possesses efficient defatty-acylase activity but has substantially decreased deacetylase activity in vitro and no detectable deacetylase activity in cells. The G60A mutant has a decreased ability to bind NAD(+), but the presence of fatty-acyl lysine peptides restores NAD(+) binding, explaining the retention of the defatty-acylase activity. Using this mutant, we found that the defatty-acylase activity of SIRT6 regulates the secretion of numerous proteins. Notably, many ribosomal proteins were secreted via exosomes from Sirt6 knockout mouse embryonic fibroblasts, and these exosomes increased NIH 3T3 cell proliferation compared with control exosomes. Our data indicate that distinct activities of SIRT6 regulate different pathways and that the G60A mutant is a useful tool to study the contribution of defatty-acylase activity to SIRT6's various functions. PMID:27322069

  12. Identifying combinations of risk and protective factors predicting physical activity change in high school students.

    PubMed

    Dunton, Genevieve Fridlund; Atienza, Audie A; Tscherne, James; Rodriguez, Daniel

    2011-02-01

    Research sought to identify combinations of risk and protective factors predicting change in physical activity (PA) over one year in high school students. Adolescents (N = 344; M = 15.7 years) participated in a longitudinal study with assessment of demographics, substance use/smoking exposure, height and weight, psychological factors, and PA in 10th and 11th grade. PA participation in 11th grade was greatest for adolescents who engaged in PA and had high sports competence (78%), and least for adolescents who did not engage in or enjoy PA (13%) in 10th grade. Identifying adolescent subgroups at risk for decreasing PA can inform the development of tailored interventions. PMID:21467595

  13. A high-content screening assay in transgenic zebrafish identifies two novel activators of fgf signaling.

    PubMed

    Saydmohammed, Manush; Vollmer, Laura L; Onuoha, Ezenwa Obi; Vogt, Andreas; Tsang, Michael

    2011-09-01

    Zebrafish have become an invaluable vertebrate animal model to interrogate small molecule libraries for modulators of complex biological pathways and phenotypes. We have recently described the implementation of a quantitative, high-content imaging assay in multi-well plates to analyze the effects of small molecules on Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) signaling in vivo. Here we have evaluated the capability of the assay to identify compounds that hyperactivate FGF signaling from a test cassette of agents with known biological activities. Using a transgenic zebrafish reporter line for FGF activity, we screened 1040 compounds from an annotated library of known bioactive agents, including FDA-approved drugs. The assay identified two molecules, 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate and pyrithione zinc, that enhanced FGF signaling in specific areas of the brain. Subsequent studies revealed that both compounds specifically expanded FGF target gene expression. Furthermore, treatment of early stage embryos with either compound resulted in dorsalized phenotypes characteristic of hyperactivation of FGF signaling in early development. Documented activities for both agents included activation of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK), consistent with FGF hyperactivation. To conclude, we demonstrate the power of automated quantitative high-content imaging to identify small molecule modulators of FGF. PMID:21932436

  14. Machine learning models identify molecules active against the Ebola virus in vitro.

    PubMed

    Ekins, Sean; Freundlich, Joel S; Clark, Alex M; Anantpadma, Manu; Davey, Robert A; Madrid, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The search for small molecule inhibitors of Ebola virus (EBOV) has led to several high throughput screens over the past 3 years. These have identified a range of FDA-approved active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) with anti-EBOV activity in vitro and several of which are also active in a mouse infection model. There are millions of additional commercially-available molecules that could be screened for potential activities as anti-EBOV compounds. One way to prioritize compounds for testing is to generate computational models based on the high throughput screening data and then virtually screen compound libraries. In the current study, we have generated Bayesian machine learning models with viral pseudotype entry assay and the EBOV replication assay data. We have validated the models internally and externally. We have also used these models to computationally score the MicroSource library of drugs to select those likely to be potential inhibitors. Three of the highest scoring molecules that were not in the model training sets, quinacrine, pyronaridine and tilorone, were tested in vitro and had EC 50 values of 350, 420 and 230 nM, respectively. Pyronaridine is a component of a combination therapy for malaria that was recently approved by the European Medicines Agency, which may make it more readily accessible for clinical testing. Like other known antimalarial drugs active against EBOV, it shares the 4-aminoquinoline scaffold. Tilorone, is an investigational antiviral agent that has shown a broad array of biological activities including cell growth inhibition in cancer cells, antifibrotic properties, α7 nicotinic receptor agonist activity, radioprotective activity and activation of hypoxia inducible factor-1. Quinacrine is an antimalarial but also has use as an anthelmintic. Our results suggest data sets with less than 1,000 molecules can produce validated machine learning models that can in turn be utilized to identify novel EBOV inhibitors in vitro. PMID:26834994

  15. Machine learning models identify molecules active against the Ebola virus in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Ekins, Sean; Freundlich, Joel S.; Clark, Alex M.; Anantpadma, Manu; Davey, Robert A.; Madrid, Peter

    2016-01-01

    The search for small molecule inhibitors of Ebola virus (EBOV) has led to several high throughput screens over the past 3 years. These have identified a range of FDA-approved active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) with anti-EBOV activity in vitro and several of which are also active in a mouse infection model. There are millions of additional commercially-available molecules that could be screened for potential activities as anti-EBOV compounds. One way to prioritize compounds for testing is to generate computational models based on the high throughput screening data and then virtually screen compound libraries. In the current study, we have generated Bayesian machine learning models with viral pseudotype entry assay and the EBOV replication assay data. We have validated the models internally and externally. We have also used these models to computationally score the MicroSource library of drugs to select those likely to be potential inhibitors. Three of the highest scoring molecules that were not in the model training sets, quinacrine, pyronaridine and tilorone, were tested in vitro and had EC 50 values of 350, 420 and 230 nM, respectively. Pyronaridine is a component of a combination therapy for malaria that was recently approved by the European Medicines Agency, which may make it more readily accessible for clinical testing. Like other known antimalarial drugs active against EBOV, it shares the 4-aminoquinoline scaffold. Tilorone, is an investigational antiviral agent that has shown a broad array of biological activities including cell growth inhibition in cancer cells, antifibrotic properties, α7 nicotinic receptor agonist activity, radioprotective activity and activation of hypoxia inducible factor-1. Quinacrine is an antimalarial but also has use as an anthelmintic. Our results suggest data sets with less than 1,000 molecules can produce validated machine learning models that can in turn be utilized to identify novel EBOV inhibitors in vitro. PMID:26834994

  16. Pharmaceutical screen identifies novel target processes for activation of autophagy with a broad translational potential.

    PubMed

    Chauhan, Santosh; Ahmed, Zahra; Bradfute, Steven B; Arko-Mensah, John; Mandell, Michael A; Won Choi, Seong; Kimura, Tomonori; Blanchet, Fabien; Waller, Anna; Mudd, Michal H; Jiang, Shanya; Sklar, Larry; Timmins, Graham S; Maphis, Nicole; Bhaskar, Kiran; Piguet, Vincent; Deretic, Vojo

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is a conserved homeostatic process active in all human cells and affecting a spectrum of diseases. Here we use a pharmaceutical screen to discover new mechanisms for activation of autophagy. We identify a subset of pharmaceuticals inducing autophagic flux with effects in diverse cellular systems modelling specific stages of several human diseases such as HIV transmission and hyperphosphorylated tau accumulation in Alzheimer's disease. One drug, flubendazole, is a potent inducer of autophagy initiation and flux by affecting acetylated and dynamic microtubules in a reciprocal way. Disruption of dynamic microtubules by flubendazole results in mTOR deactivation and dissociation from lysosomes leading to TFEB (transcription factor EB) nuclear translocation and activation of autophagy. By inducing microtubule acetylation, flubendazole activates JNK1 leading to Bcl-2 phosphorylation, causing release of Beclin1 from Bcl-2-Beclin1 complexes for autophagy induction, thus uncovering a new approach to inducing autophagic flux that may be applicable in disease treatment. PMID:26503418

  17. Pharmaceutical screen identifies novel target processes for activation of autophagy with a broad translational potential

    PubMed Central

    Chauhan, Santosh; Ahmed, Zahra; Bradfute, Steven B.; Arko-Mensah, John; Mandell, Michael A.; Won Choi, Seong; Kimura, Tomonori; Blanchet, Fabien; Waller, Anna; Mudd, Michal H.; Jiang, Shanya; Sklar, Larry; Timmins, Graham S.; Maphis, Nicole; Bhaskar, Kiran; Piguet, Vincent; Deretic, Vojo

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is a conserved homeostatic process active in all human cells and affecting a spectrum of diseases. Here we use a pharmaceutical screen to discover new mechanisms for activation of autophagy. We identify a subset of pharmaceuticals inducing autophagic flux with effects in diverse cellular systems modelling specific stages of several human diseases such as HIV transmission and hyperphosphorylated tau accumulation in Alzheimer's disease. One drug, flubendazole, is a potent inducer of autophagy initiation and flux by affecting acetylated and dynamic microtubules in a reciprocal way. Disruption of dynamic microtubules by flubendazole results in mTOR deactivation and dissociation from lysosomes leading to TFEB (transcription factor EB) nuclear translocation and activation of autophagy. By inducing microtubule acetylation, flubendazole activates JNK1 leading to Bcl-2 phosphorylation, causing release of Beclin1 from Bcl-2-Beclin1 complexes for autophagy induction, thus uncovering a new approach to inducing autophagic flux that may be applicable in disease treatment. PMID:26503418

  18. A novel pattern mining approach for identifying cognitive activity in EEG based functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Thilaga, M; Vijayalakshmi, R; Nadarajan, R; Nandagopal, D

    2016-06-01

    The complex nature of neuronal interactions of the human brain has posed many challenges to the research community. To explore the underlying mechanisms of neuronal activity of cohesive brain regions during different cognitive activities, many innovative mathematical and computational models are required. This paper presents a novel Common Functional Pattern Mining approach to demonstrate the similar patterns of interactions due to common behavior of certain brain regions. The electrode sites of EEG-based functional brain network are modeled as a set of transactions and node-based complex network measures as itemsets. These itemsets are transformed into a graph data structure called Functional Pattern Graph. By mining this Functional Pattern Graph, the common functional patterns due to specific brain functioning can be identified. The empirical analyses show the efficiency of the proposed approach in identifying the extent to which the electrode sites (transactions) are similar during various cognitive load states. PMID:27401999

  19. Identifying Activity Levels and Steps in People with Stroke using a Novel Shoe-Based Sensor

    PubMed Central

    Fulk, George D.; Edgar, S. Ryan; Bierwirth, Rebecca; Hart, Phil; Lopez-Meyer, Paulo; Sazonov, Edward

    2012-01-01

    Background/Purpose Advances in sensory technologies provides a method to accurately assess activity levels of people with stroke in their community. This information could be used to determine the effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions as well as provide behavioral enhancing feedback. The purpose of this study was to assess the accuracy of a novel shoe-based sensor system (SmartShoe) to identify different functional postures and steps in people with stroke. The SmartShoe system consists of five force sensitive resistors built into a flexible insole and an accelerometer on the back of the shoe. Pressure and acceleration data are sent via Bluetooth to a smart phone. Methods Participants with stroke wore the SmartShoe while they performed activities of daily living (ADL) in sitting, standing and walking. Data from four participants were used to develop a multi-layer perceptron artificial neural network (ANN) to identify sitting, standing, and walking. A signal-processing algorithm used data from the pressure sensors to estimate number of steps taken while walking. The accuracy, precision and recall of the ANN for identifying the three functional postures were calculated using data from a different set of participants. Agreement between steps identified by SmartShoe and actual steps taken was analyzed using the Bland Altman method. Results The SmartShoe was able to accurately identify sitting, standing and walking. Accuracy, precision and recall were all greater than 95%. The mean difference between steps identified by SmartShoe and actual steps was less than 1 step. Discussion The SmartShoe was able to accurately identify different functional postures using a unique combination of pressure and acceleration data in people with stroke as they performed different ADLs. There was a strong level of agreement between actual steps taken and steps identified using the SmartShoe. Further study is needed to determine if the SmartShoe could be used to provide valid

  20. Emodin is identified as the active component of ether extracts from Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati, for anti-MRSA activity.

    PubMed

    Cao, Feng; Peng, Wei; Li, Xiaoli; Liu, Ming; Li, Bin; Qin, Rongxin; Jiang, Weiwei; Cen, Yanyan; Pan, Xichun; Yan, Zifei; Xiao, Kangkang; Zhou, Hong

    2015-06-01

    This study investigated the anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (anti-MRSA) activity and chemical compositions of ether extracts from Rhizoma Polygoni Cuspidati (ET-RPC). Significant anti-MRSA activities of ET-RPC against MRSA252 and MRSA clinical strains were tested in in vitro antibacterial experiments, such as inhibition zone diameter test, minimal inhibitory concentration test, and dynamic bacterial growth assay. Subsequently, 7 major compounds of ET-RPC were purified and identified as polydatin, resveratrol-4-O-d-(6'-galloyl)-glucopyranoside, resveratrol, torachryson-8-O-glucoside, emodin-8-O-glucoside, 6-hydroxy-emodin, and emodin using liquid chromatography - electrospray ionization - tandem mass spectrometry. After investigation of anti-MRSA activities of the 7 major compounds, only emodin had significant anti-MRSA activity. Further, transmission electron microscopy was used to observe morphological changes in the cell wall of MRSA252, and the result revealed that emodin could damage the integrity of cell wall, leading to loss of intracellular components. In summary, our results showed ET-RPC could significantly inhibit bacterial growth of MRSA strains. Emodin was identified as the major compound with anti-MRSA activity; this activity was related to destruction of the integrity of the cell wall and cell membrane. PMID:25966789

  1. Activity-based protein profiling identifies a host enzyme, carboxylesterase 1, which is differentially active during hepatitis C virus replication.

    PubMed

    Blais, David R; Lyn, Rodney K; Joyce, Michael A; Rouleau, Yanouchka; Steenbergen, Rineke; Barsby, Nicola; Zhu, Lin-Fu; Pegoraro, Adrian F; Stolow, Albert; Tyrrell, David L; Pezacki, John Paul

    2010-08-13

    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) relies on many interactions with host cell proteins for propagation. Successful HCV infection also requires enzymatic activity of host cell enzymes for key post-translational modifications. To identify such enzymes, we have applied activity-based protein profiling to examine the activity of serine hydrolases during HCV replication. Profiling of hydrolases in Huh7 cells replicating HCV identified CES1 (carboxylesterase 1) as a differentially active enzyme. CES1 is an endogenous liver protein involved in processing of triglycerides and cholesterol. We observe that CES1 expression and activity were altered in the presence of HCV. The knockdown of CES1 with siRNA resulted in lower levels of HCV replication, and up-regulation of CES1 was observed to favor HCV propagation, implying an important role for this host cell protein. Experiments in HCV JFH1-infected cells suggest that CES1 facilitates HCV release because less intracellular HCV core protein was observed, whereas HCV titers remained high. CES1 activity was observed to increase the size and density of lipid droplets, which are necessary for the maturation of very low density lipoproteins, one of the likely vehicles for HCV release. In transgenic mice containing human-mouse chimeric livers, HCV infection also correlates with higher levels of endogenous CES1, providing further evidence that CES1 has an important role in HCV propagation. PMID:20530478

  2. Multiscale responses of soil stability and invasive plants to removal of non-native grazers from an arid conservation reserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Huso, M.; Pyke, D.A.

    2006-01-01

    Disturbances and ecosystem recovery from disturbance both involve numerous processes that operate on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Few studies have investigated how gradients of disturbance intensity and ecosystem responses are distributed across multiple spatial resolutions and also how this relationship changes through time during recovery. We investigated how cover of non-native species and soil-aggregate stability (a measure of vulnerability to erosion by water) in surface and subsurface soils varied spatially during grazing by burros and cattle and whether patterns in these variables changed after grazer removal from Mojave National Preserve, California, USA. We compared distance from water and number of ungulate defecations - metrics of longer-term and recent grazing intensity, respectively, - as predictors of our response variables. We used information-theoretic analyses to compare hierarchical linear models that accounted for important covariates and allowed for interannual variation in the disturbance-response relationship at local and landscape scales. Soil stability was greater under perennial vegetation than in bare interspaces, and surface soil stability decreased with increasing numbers of ungulate defecations. Stability of surface samples was more affected by time since removal of grazers than was stability of subsurface samples, and subsurface soil stability in bare spaces was not related to grazing intensity, time since removal, or any of our other predictors. In the high rainfall year (2003) after cattle had been removed for 1-2 years, cover of all non-native plants averaged nine times higher than in the low-rainfall year (2002). Given the heterogeneity in distribution of large-herbivore impacts that we observed at several resolutions, hierarchical analyses provided a more complete understanding of the spatial and temporal complexities of disturbance and recovery processes in arid ecosystems. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  3. ModuleBlast: identifying activated sub-networks within and across species

    PubMed Central

    Zinman, Guy E.; Naiman, Shoshana; O'Dee, Dawn M.; Kumar, Nishant; Nau, Gerard J.; Cohen, Haim Y.; Bar-Joseph, Ziv

    2015-01-01

    Identifying conserved and divergent response patterns in gene networks is becoming increasingly important. A common approach is integrating expression information with gene association networks in order to find groups of connected genes that are activated or repressed. In many cases, researchers are also interested in comparisons across species (or conditions). Finding an active sub-network is a hard problem and applying it across species requires further considerations (e.g. orthology information, expression data and networks from different sources). To address these challenges we devised ModuleBlast, which uses both expression and network topology to search for highly relevant sub-networks. We have applied ModuleBlast to expression and interaction data from mouse, macaque and human to study immune response and aging. The immune response analysis identified several relevant modules, consistent with recent findings on apoptosis and NFκB activation following infection. Temporal analysis of these data revealed cascades of modules that are dynamically activated within and across species. We have experimentally validated some of the novel hypotheses resulting from the analysis of the ModuleBlast results leading to new insights into the mechanisms used by a key mammalian aging protein. PMID:25428368

  4. ModuleBlast: identifying activated sub-networks within and across species.

    PubMed

    Zinman, Guy E; Naiman, Shoshana; O'Dee, Dawn M; Kumar, Nishant; Nau, Gerard J; Cohen, Haim Y; Bar-Joseph, Ziv

    2015-02-18

    Identifying conserved and divergent response patterns in gene networks is becoming increasingly important. A common approach is integrating expression information with gene association networks in order to find groups of connected genes that are activated or repressed. In many cases, researchers are also interested in comparisons across species (or conditions). Finding an active sub-network is a hard problem and applying it across species requires further considerations (e.g. orthology information, expression data and networks from different sources). To address these challenges we devised ModuleBlast, which uses both expression and network topology to search for highly relevant sub-networks. We have applied ModuleBlast to expression and interaction data from mouse, macaque and human to study immune response and aging. The immune response analysis identified several relevant modules, consistent with recent findings on apoptosis and NFκB activation following infection. Temporal analysis of these data revealed cascades of modules that are dynamically activated within and across species. We have experimentally validated some of the novel hypotheses resulting from the analysis of the ModuleBlast results leading to new insights into the mechanisms used by a key mammalian aging protein. PMID:25428368

  5. Significant Centers of Tectonic Activity as Identified by Wrinkle Ridges for the Western Hemisphere of Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, R.C.; Haldemann, A. F. C.; Golombek, M. P.; Franklin, B. J.; Dohm, J. M.; Lias, J.

    2000-01-01

    The western hemisphere region of Mars has been the site of numerous scientific investigations regarding its tectonic evolution. For this region of Mars, the dominant tectonic region is the Tharsis province. Tharsis is characterized by an enormous system of radiating grabens and a circumferential system of wrinkle ridges. Past investigations of grabens associated with Tharsis have identified specific centers of tectonic activity. A recent structural analysis of the western hemisphere region of Mars which includes the Tharsis region, utilized 25,000 structures to determine the history of local and regional centers of tectonic activity based primarily on the spatial and temporal relationships of extensional features. This investigation revealed that Tharsis is more structurally complex (heterogeneous) than has been previously identified: it consists of numerous regional and local centers of tectonic activity (some are more dominant and/or more long lived than others). Here we use the same approach as Anderson et al. to determine whether the centers of tectonic activity that formed the extensional features also contributed to wrinkle ridge (compressional) formation.

  6. Tumor cell-specific bioluminescence platform to identify stroma-induced changes to anticancer drug activity.

    PubMed

    McMillin, Douglas W; Delmore, Jake; Weisberg, Ellen; Negri, Joseph M; Geer, D Corey; Klippel, Steffen; Mitsiades, Nicholas; Schlossman, Robert L; Munshi, Nikhil C; Kung, Andrew L; Griffin, James D; Richardson, Paul G; Anderson, Kenneth C; Mitsiades, Constantine S

    2010-04-01

    Conventional anticancer drug screening is typically performed in the absence of accessory cells of the tumor microenvironment, which can profoundly alter antitumor drug activity. To address this limitation, we developed the tumor cell-specific in vitro bioluminescence imaging (CS-BLI) assay. Tumor cells (for example, myeloma, leukemia and solid tumors) stably expressing luciferase are cultured with nonmalignant accessory cells (for example, stromal cells) for selective quantification of tumor cell viability, in presence versus absence of stromal cells or drug treatment. CS-BLI is high-throughput scalable and identifies stroma-induced chemoresistance in diverse malignancies, including imatinib resistance in leukemic cells. A stroma-induced signature in tumor cells correlates with adverse clinical prognosis and includes signatures for activated Akt, Ras, NF-kappaB, HIF-1alpha, myc, hTERT and IRF4; for biological aggressiveness; and for self-renewal. Unlike conventional screening, CS-BLI can also identify agents with increased activity against tumor cells interacting with stroma. One such compound, reversine, shows more potent activity in an orthotopic model of diffuse myeloma bone lesions than in conventional subcutaneous xenografts. Use of CS-BLI, therefore, enables refined screening of candidate anticancer agents to enrich preclinical pipelines with potential therapeutics that overcome stroma-mediated drug resistance and can act in a synthetic lethal manner in the context of tumor-stroma interactions. PMID:20228816

  7. Validation of mercury tip-switch and accelerometer activity sensors for identifying resting and active behavior in bears

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jasmine Ware; Rode, Karyn D.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey; Charles T Robbins; Joy Erlenbach; Shannon Jensen; Amy Cutting; Nicole Nicassio-Hiskey; Amy Hash; Owen, Megan A.; Heiko Jansen

    2015-01-01

    Activity sensors are often included in wildlife transmitters and can provide information on the behavior and activity patterns of animals remotely. However, interpreting activity-sensor data relative to animal behavior can be difficult if animals cannot be continuously observed. In this study, we examined the performance of a mercury tip-switch and a tri-axial accelerometer housed in collars to determine whether sensor data can be accurately classified as resting and active behaviors and whether data are comparable for the 2 sensor types. Five captive bears (3 polar [Ursus maritimus] and 2 brown [U. arctos horribilis]) were fitted with a collar specially designed to internally house the sensors. The bears’ behaviors were recorded, classified, and then compared with sensor readings. A separate tri-axial accelerometer that sampled continuously at a higher frequency and provided raw acceleration values from 3 axes was also mounted on the collar to compare with the lower resolution sensors. Both accelerometers more accurately identified resting and active behaviors at time intervals ranging from 1 minute to 1 hour (≥91.1% accuracy) compared with the mercury tip-switch (range = 75.5–86.3%). However, mercury tip-switch accuracy improved when sampled at longer intervals (e.g., 30–60 min). Data from the lower resolution accelerometer, but not the mercury tip-switch, accurately predicted the percentage of time spent resting during an hour. Although the number of bears available for this study was small, our results suggest that these activity sensors can remotely identify resting versus active behaviors across most time intervals. We recommend that investigators consider both study objectives and the variation in accuracy of classifying resting and active behaviors reported here when determining sampling interval.

  8. CETSA screening identifies known and novel thymidylate synthase inhibitors and slow intracellular activation of 5-fluorouracil.

    PubMed

    Almqvist, Helena; Axelsson, Hanna; Jafari, Rozbeh; Dan, Chen; Mateus, André; Haraldsson, Martin; Larsson, Andreas; Martinez Molina, Daniel; Artursson, Per; Lundbäck, Thomas; Nordlund, Pär

    2016-01-01

    Target engagement is a critical factor for therapeutic efficacy. Assessment of compound binding to native target proteins in live cells is therefore highly desirable in all stages of drug discovery. We report here the first compound library screen based on biophysical measurements of intracellular target binding, exemplified by human thymidylate synthase (TS). The screen selected accurately for all the tested known drugs acting on TS. We also identified TS inhibitors with novel chemistry and marketed drugs that were not previously known to target TS, including the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine. By following the cellular uptake and enzymatic conversion of known drugs we correlated the appearance of active metabolites over time with intracellular target engagement. These data distinguished a much slower activation of 5-fluorouracil when compared with nucleoside-based drugs. The approach establishes efficient means to associate drug uptake and activation with target binding during drug discovery. PMID:27010513

  9. CETSA screening identifies known and novel thymidylate synthase inhibitors and slow intracellular activation of 5-fluorouracil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almqvist, Helena; Axelsson, Hanna; Jafari, Rozbeh; Dan, Chen; Mateus, André; Haraldsson, Martin; Larsson, Andreas; Molina, Daniel Martinez; Artursson, Per; Lundbäck, Thomas; Nordlund, Pär

    2016-03-01

    Target engagement is a critical factor for therapeutic efficacy. Assessment of compound binding to native target proteins in live cells is therefore highly desirable in all stages of drug discovery. We report here the first compound library screen based on biophysical measurements of intracellular target binding, exemplified by human thymidylate synthase (TS). The screen selected accurately for all the tested known drugs acting on TS. We also identified TS inhibitors with novel chemistry and marketed drugs that were not previously known to target TS, including the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine. By following the cellular uptake and enzymatic conversion of known drugs we correlated the appearance of active metabolites over time with intracellular target engagement. These data distinguished a much slower activation of 5-fluorouracil when compared with nucleoside-based drugs. The approach establishes efficient means to associate drug uptake and activation with target binding during drug discovery.

  10. CETSA screening identifies known and novel thymidylate synthase inhibitors and slow intracellular activation of 5-fluorouracil

    PubMed Central

    Almqvist, Helena; Axelsson, Hanna; Jafari, Rozbeh; Dan, Chen; Mateus, André; Haraldsson, Martin; Larsson, Andreas; Molina, Daniel Martinez; Artursson, Per; Lundbäck, Thomas; Nordlund, Pär

    2016-01-01

    Target engagement is a critical factor for therapeutic efficacy. Assessment of compound binding to native target proteins in live cells is therefore highly desirable in all stages of drug discovery. We report here the first compound library screen based on biophysical measurements of intracellular target binding, exemplified by human thymidylate synthase (TS). The screen selected accurately for all the tested known drugs acting on TS. We also identified TS inhibitors with novel chemistry and marketed drugs that were not previously known to target TS, including the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor decitabine. By following the cellular uptake and enzymatic conversion of known drugs we correlated the appearance of active metabolites over time with intracellular target engagement. These data distinguished a much slower activation of 5-fluorouracil when compared with nucleoside-based drugs. The approach establishes efficient means to associate drug uptake and activation with target binding during drug discovery. PMID:27010513

  11. Improving assessment of daily energy expenditure by identifying types of physical activity with a single accelerometer.

    PubMed

    Bonomi, A G; Plasqui, G; Goris, A H C; Westerterp, K R

    2009-09-01

    Accelerometers are often used to quantify the acceleration of the body in arbitrary units (counts) to measure physical activity (PA) and to estimate energy expenditure. The present study investigated whether the identification of types of PA with one accelerometer could improve the estimation of energy expenditure compared with activity counts. Total energy expenditure (TEE) of 15 subjects was measured with the use of double-labeled water. The physical activity level (PAL) was derived by dividing TEE by sleeping metabolic rate. Simultaneously, PA was measured with one accelerometer. Accelerometer output was processed to calculate activity counts per day (AC(D)) and to determine the daily duration of six types of common activities identified with a classification tree model. A daily metabolic value (MET(D)) was calculated as mean of the MET compendium value of each activity type weighed by the daily duration. TEE was predicted by AC(D) and body weight and by AC(D) and fat-free mass, with a standard error of estimate (SEE) of 1.47 MJ/day, and 1.2 MJ/day, respectively. The replacement in these models of AC(D) with MET(D) increased the explained variation in TEE by 9%, decreasing SEE by 0.14 MJ/day and 0.18 MJ/day, respectively. The correlation between PAL and MET(D) (R(2) = 51%) was higher than that between PAL and AC(D) (R(2) = 46%). We conclude that identification of activity types combined with MET intensity values improves the assessment of energy expenditure compared with activity counts. Future studies could develop models to objectively assess activity type and intensity to further increase accuracy of the energy expenditure estimation. PMID:19556460

  12. Tracking heavy water (D2O) incorporation for identifying and sorting active microbial cells

    PubMed Central

    Berry, David; Mader, Esther; Lee, Tae Kwon; Woebken, Dagmar; Wang, Yun; Zhu, Di; Palatinszky, Marton; Schintlmeister, Arno; Schmid, Markus C.; Hanson, Buck T.; Shterzer, Naama; Mizrahi, Itzhak; Rauch, Isabella; Decker, Thomas; Bocklitz, Thomas; Popp, Jürgen; Gibson, Christopher M.; Fowler, Patrick W.; Huang, Wei E.; Wagner, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Microbial communities are essential to the function of virtually all ecosystems and eukaryotes, including humans. However, it is still a major challenge to identify microbial cells active under natural conditions in complex systems. In this study, we developed a new method to identify and sort active microbes on the single-cell level in complex samples using stable isotope probing with heavy water (D2O) combined with Raman microspectroscopy. Incorporation of D2O-derived D into the biomass of autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria and archaea could be unambiguously detected via C-D signature peaks in single-cell Raman spectra, and the obtained labeling pattern was confirmed by nanoscale-resolution secondary ion MS. In fast-growing Escherichia coli cells, label detection was already possible after 20 min. For functional analyses of microbial communities, the detection of D incorporation from D2O in individual microbial cells via Raman microspectroscopy can be directly combined with FISH for the identification of active microbes. Applying this approach to mouse cecal microbiota revealed that the host-compound foragers Akkermansia muciniphila and Bacteroides acidifaciens exhibited distinctive response patterns to amendments of mucin and sugars. By Raman-based cell sorting of active (deuterated) cells with optical tweezers and subsequent multiple displacement amplification and DNA sequencing, novel cecal microbes stimulated by mucin and/or glucosamine were identified, demonstrating the potential of the nondestructive D2O-Raman approach for targeted sorting of microbial cells with defined functional properties for single-cell genomics. PMID:25550518

  13. Tracking heavy water (D2O) incorporation for identifying and sorting active microbial cells.

    PubMed

    Berry, David; Mader, Esther; Lee, Tae Kwon; Woebken, Dagmar; Wang, Yun; Zhu, Di; Palatinszky, Marton; Schintlmeister, Arno; Schmid, Markus C; Hanson, Buck T; Shterzer, Naama; Mizrahi, Itzhak; Rauch, Isabella; Decker, Thomas; Bocklitz, Thomas; Popp, Jürgen; Gibson, Christopher M; Fowler, Patrick W; Huang, Wei E; Wagner, Michael

    2015-01-13

    Microbial communities are essential to the function of virtually all ecosystems and eukaryotes, including humans. However, it is still a major challenge to identify microbial cells active under natural conditions in complex systems. In this study, we developed a new method to identify and sort active microbes on the single-cell level in complex samples using stable isotope probing with heavy water (D2O) combined with Raman microspectroscopy. Incorporation of D2O-derived D into the biomass of autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria and archaea could be unambiguously detected via C-D signature peaks in single-cell Raman spectra, and the obtained labeling pattern was confirmed by nanoscale-resolution secondary ion MS. In fast-growing Escherichia coli cells, label detection was already possible after 20 min. For functional analyses of microbial communities, the detection of D incorporation from D2O in individual microbial cells via Raman microspectroscopy can be directly combined with FISH for the identification of active microbes. Applying this approach to mouse cecal microbiota revealed that the host-compound foragers Akkermansia muciniphila and Bacteroides acidifaciens exhibited distinctive response patterns to amendments of mucin and sugars. By Raman-based cell sorting of active (deuterated) cells with optical tweezers and subsequent multiple displacement amplification and DNA sequencing, novel cecal microbes stimulated by mucin and/or glucosamine were identified, demonstrating the potential of the nondestructive D2O-Raman approach for targeted sorting of microbial cells with defined functional properties for single-cell genomics. PMID:25550518

  14. Calcium Imaging of Neuronal Activity in Drosophila Can Identify Anticonvulsive Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Streit, Anne K.; Fan, Yuen Ngan; Masullo, Laura; Baines, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Although there are now a number of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) available, approximately one-third of epilepsy patients respond poorly to drug intervention. The reasons for this are complex, but are probably reflective of the increasing number of identified mutations that predispose individuals to this disease. Thus, there is a clear requirement for the development of novel treatments to address this unmet clinical need. The existence of gene mutations that mimic a seizure-like behaviour in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, offers the possibility to exploit the powerful genetics of this insect to identify novel cellular targets to facilitate design of more effective AEDs. In this study we use neuronal expression of GCaMP, a potent calcium reporter, to image neuronal activity using a non-invasive and rapid method. Expression in motoneurons in the isolated CNS of third instar larvae shows waves of calcium-activity that pass between segments of the ventral nerve cord. Time between calcium peaks, in the same neurons, between adjacent segments usually show a temporal separation of greater than 200 ms. Exposure to proconvulsants (picrotoxin or 4-aminopyridine) reduces separation to below 200 ms showing increased synchrony of activity across adjacent segments. Increased synchrony, characteristic of epilepsy, is similarly observed in genetic seizure mutants: bangsenseless1 (bss1) and paralyticK1270T (paraK1270T). Exposure of bss1 to clinically-used antiepileptic drugs (phenytoin or gabapentin) significantly reduces synchrony. In this study we use the measure of synchronicity to evaluate the effectiveness of known and novel anticonvulsive compounds (antipain, isethionate, etopiside rapamycin and dipyramidole) to reduce seizure-like CNS activity. We further show that such compounds also reduce the Drosophila voltage-gated persistent Na+ current (INaP) in an identified motoneuron (aCC). Our combined assays provide a rapid and reliable method to screen unknown compounds

  15. Potent Plasmodium falciparum gametocytocidal activity of diaminonaphthoquinones, lead antimalarial chemotypes identified in an antimalarial compound screen.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Takeshi Q; Guiguemde, W Armand; Barnett, David S; Maron, Maxim I; Min, Jaeki; Connelly, Michele C; Suryadevara, Praveen Kumar; Guy, R Kiplin; Williamson, Kim C

    2015-03-01

    Forty percent of the world's population is threatened by malaria, which is caused by Plasmodium parasites and results in an estimated 200 million clinical cases and 650,000 deaths each year. Drug resistance has been reported for all commonly used antimalarials and has prompted screens to identify new drug candidates. However, many of these new candidates have not been evaluated against the parasite stage responsible for transmission, gametocytes. If Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes are not eliminated, patients continue to spread malaria for weeks after asexual parasite clearance. Asymptomatic individuals can also harbor gametocyte burdens sufficient for transmission, and a safe, effective gametocytocidal agent could also be used in community-wide malaria control programs. Here, we identify 15 small molecules with nanomolar activity against late-stage gametocytes. Fourteen are diaminonaphthoquinones (DANQs), and one is a 2-imino-benzo[d]imidazole (IBI). One of the DANQs identified, SJ000030570, is a lead antimalarial candidate. In contrast, 94% of the 650 compounds tested are inactive against late-stage gametocytes. Consistent with the ineffectiveness of most approved antimalarials against gametocytes, of the 19 novel compounds with activity against known anti-asexual-stage targets, only 3 had any strong effect on gametocyte viability. These data demonstrate the distinct biology of the transmission stages and emphasize the importance of screening for gametocytocidal activity. The potent gametocytocidal activity of DANQ and IBI coupled with their efficacy against asexual parasites provides leads for the development of antimalarials with the potential to prevent both the symptoms and the spread of malaria. PMID:25512421

  16. Potent Plasmodium falciparum Gametocytocidal Activity of Diaminonaphthoquinones, Lead Antimalarial Chemotypes Identified in an Antimalarial Compound Screen

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Takeshi Q; Guiguemde, W. Armand; Barnett, David S.; Maron, Maxim I.; Min, Jaeki; Connelly, Michele C.; Suryadevara, Praveen Kumar; Guy, R. Kiplin

    2014-01-01

    Forty percent of the world's population is threatened by malaria, which is caused by Plasmodium parasites and results in an estimated 200 million clinical cases and 650,000 deaths each year. Drug resistance has been reported for all commonly used antimalarials and has prompted screens to identify new drug candidates. However, many of these new candidates have not been evaluated against the parasite stage responsible for transmission, gametocytes. If Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes are not eliminated, patients continue to spread malaria for weeks after asexual parasite clearance. Asymptomatic individuals can also harbor gametocyte burdens sufficient for transmission, and a safe, effective gametocytocidal agent could also be used in community-wide malaria control programs. Here, we identify 15 small molecules with nanomolar activity against late-stage gametocytes. Fourteen are diaminonaphthoquinones (DANQs), and one is a 2-imino-benzo[d]imidazole (IBI). One of the DANQs identified, SJ000030570, is a lead antimalarial candidate. In contrast, 94% of the 650 compounds tested are inactive against late-stage gametocytes. Consistent with the ineffectiveness of most approved antimalarials against gametocytes, of the 19 novel compounds with activity against known anti-asexual-stage targets, only 3 had any strong effect on gametocyte viability. These data demonstrate the distinct biology of the transmission stages and emphasize the importance of screening for gametocytocidal activity. The potent gametocytocidal activity of DANQ and IBI coupled with their efficacy against asexual parasites provides leads for the development of antimalarials with the potential to prevent both the symptoms and the spread of malaria. PMID:25512421

  17. Transposon activation mutagenesis as a screening tool for identifying resistance to cancer therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The development of resistance to chemotherapies represents a significant barrier to successful cancer treatment. Resistance mechanisms are complex, can involve diverse and often unexpected cellular processes, and can vary with both the underlying genetic lesion and the origin or type of tumor. For these reasons developing experimental strategies that could be used to understand, identify and predict mechanisms of resistance in different malignant cells would be a major advance. Methods Here we describe a gain-of-function forward genetic approach for identifying mechanisms of resistance. This approach uses a modified piggyBac transposon to generate libraries of mutagenized cells, each containing transposon insertions that randomly activate nearby gene expression. Genes of interest are identified using next-gen high-throughput sequencing and barcode multiplexing is used to reduce experimental cost. Results Using this approach we successfully identify genes involved in paclitaxel resistance in a variety of cancer cell lines, including the multidrug transporter ABCB1, a previously identified major paclitaxel resistance gene. Analysis of co-occurring transposons integration sites in single cell clone allows for the identification of genes that might act cooperatively to produce drug resistance a level of information not accessible using RNAi or ORF expression screening approaches. Conclusion We have developed a powerful pipeline to systematically discover drug resistance in mammalian cells in vitro. This cost-effective approach can be readily applied to different cell lines, to identify canonical or context specific resistance mechanisms. Its ability to probe complex genetic context and non-coding genomic elements as well as cooperative resistance events makes it a good complement to RNAi or ORF expression based screens. PMID:23442791

  18. Identifying induced seismicity in active tectonic regions: A case study of the San Joaquin Basin, California

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aminzadeh, F.; Göbel, T.

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the connection between petroleum-industry activities, and seismic event occurrences is essential to monitor, quantify, and mitigate seismic risk. While many studies identified anthropogenically-induced seismicity in intraplate regions where background seismicity rates are generally low, little is known about how to distinguish naturally occurring from induced seismicity in active tectonic regions. Further, it is not clear how different oil and gas operational parameters impact the frequency and magnitude of the induced seismic events. Here, we examine variations in frequency-size and spatial distributions of seismicity within the Southern Joaquin basin, an area of both active petroleum production and active fault systems. We analyze a newly available, high-quality, relocated earthquake catalog (Hauksson et al. 2012). This catalog includes many seismic events with magnitudes up to M = 4.5 within the study area. We start by analyzing the overall quality and consistence of the seismic catalog, focusing on temporal variations in seismicity rates and catalog completeness which could indicate variations in network sensitivity. This catalog provides relatively homogeneous earthquake recordings after 1981, enabling us to compare seismicity rates before and after the beginning of more pervasive petroleum-industry activities, for example, hydraulic-fracturing and waste-water disposals. We conduct a limited study of waste-water disposal wells to establish a correlation between seismicity statistics (i.e. rate changes, fractal dimension, b-value) within specific regions and anthropogenic influences. We then perform a regional study, to investigate spatial variations in seismicity statistics which are then correlated to oil field locations and well densities. In order to distinguish, predominantly natural seismicity from induced seismicity, we perform a spatial mapping of b-values and fractal dimensions of earthquake hypocenters. Seismic events in the proximity to

  19. Identifying active methane-oxidizers in thawed Arctic permafrost by proteomics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, C. M.; Stackhouse, B. T.; Chourey, K.; Hettich, R. L.; Vishnivetskaya, T. A.; Pfiffner, S. M.; Layton, A. C.; Mykytczuk, N. C.; Whyte, L.; Onstott, T. C.

    2012-12-01

    The rate of CH4 release from thawing permafrost in the Arctic has been regarded as one of the determining factors on future global climate. It is uncertain how indigenous microorganisms would interact with such changing environmental conditions and hence their impact on the fate of carbon compounds that are sequestered in the cryosol. Multitudinous studies of pristine surface cryosol (top 5 cm) and microcosm experiments have provided growing evidence of effective methanotrophy. Cryosol samples corresponding to active layer were sampled from a sparsely vegetated, ice-wedge polygon at the McGill Arctic Research Station at Axel Heiberg Island, Nunavut, Canada (N79°24, W90°45) before the onset of annual thaw. Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA gene indicated the occurrence of methanotroph-containing bacterial families as minor components (~5%) in pristine cryosol including Bradyrhizobiaceae, Methylobacteriaceae and Methylocystaceae within alpha-Proteobacteria, and Methylacidiphilaceae within Verrucomicrobia. The potential of methanotrophy is supported by preliminary analysis of metagenome data, which indicated putative methane monooxygenase gene sequences relating to Bradyrhizobium sp. and Pseudonocardia sp. are present. Proteome profiling in general yielded minute traces of proteins, which likely hints at dormant nature of the soil microbial consortia. The lack of specific protein database for permafrost posted additional challenge to protein identification. Only 35 proteins could be identified in the pristine cryosol and of which 60% belonged to Shewanella sp. Most of the identified proteins are known to be involved in energy metabolism or post-translational modification of proteins. Microcosms amended with sodium acetate exhibited a net methane consumption of ~65 ngC-CH4 per gram (fresh weight) of soil over 16 days of aerobic incubation at room temperature. The pH in microcosm materials remained acidic (decreased from initial 4.7 to 4.5). Protein extraction and

  20. Ectopic Activation of Germline and Placental Genes Identifies Aggressive Metastasis-Prone Lung Cancers

    PubMed Central

    Rousseaux, Sophie; Debernardi, Alexandra; Jacquiau, Baptiste; Vitte, Anne-Laure; Vesin, Aurélien; Nagy-Mignotte, Hélène; Moro-Sibilot, Denis; Brichon, Pierre-Yves; Lantuejoul, Sylvie; Hainaut, Pierre; Laffaire, Julien; de Reyniès, Aurélien; Beer, David G.; Timsit, Jean-François; Brambilla, Christian; Brambilla, Elisabeth; Khochbin, Saadi

    2016-01-01

    Activation of normally silent tissue-specific genes and the resulting cell “identity crisis” are the unexplored consequences of malignant epigenetic reprogramming. We designed a strategy for investigating this reprogramming, which consisted of identifying a large number of tissue-restricted genes that are epigenetically silenced in normal somatic cells and then detecting their expression in cancer. This approach led to the demonstration that large-scale “off-context” gene activations systematically occur in a variety of cancer types. In our series of 293 lung tumors, we identified an ectopic gene expression signature associated with a subset of highly aggressive tumors, which predicted poor prognosis independently of the TNM (tumor size, node positivity, and metastasis) stage or histological subtype. The ability to isolate these tumors allowed us to reveal their common molecular features characterized by the acquisition of embryonic stem cell/germ cell gene expression profiles and the down-regulation of immune response genes. The methodical recognition of ectopic gene activations in cancer cells could serve as a basis for gene signature–guided tumor stratification, as well as for the discovery of oncogenic mechanisms, and expand the understanding of the biology of very aggressive tumors. PMID:23698379

  1. Transcriptional Responses to Estrogen and Progesterone in Mammary Gland Identify Networks Regulating p53 Activity

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Shaolei; Becker, Klaus A.; Hagen, Mary J.; Yan, Haoheng; Roberts, Amy L.; Mathews, Lesley A.; Schneider, Sallie S.; Siegelmann, Hava T.; MacBeth, Kyle J.; Tirrell, Stephen M.; Blanchard, Jeffrey L.; Jerry, D. Joseph

    2008-01-01

    Estrogen and progestins are essential for mammary growth and differentiation but also enhance the activity of the p53 tumor suppressor protein in the mammary epithelium. However, the pathways by which these hormones regulate p53 activity are unknown. Microarrays were used to profile the transcriptional changes within the mammary gland after administration of either vehicle, 17β-estradiol (E), or progesterone (P) individually and combined (EP). Treatment with EP yielded 1182 unique genes that were differentially expressed compared to the vehicle-treated group. Although 30% of genes were responsive to either E or P individually, combined treatment with both EP had a synergistic effect accounting for 60% of the differentially regulated genes. Analysis of protein-protein interactions identified p53, RelA, Snw1, and Igfals as common targets of genes regulated by EP. RelA and p53 form hubs within a network connected by genes that are regulated by EP and that may coordinate the competing functions of RelA and p53 in proliferation and survival of cells. Induction of early growth response 1 (Egr1) and Stratifin (Sfn) (also known as 14–3-3σ) by EP was confirmed by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR and shown to be p53 independent. In luciferase reporter assays, Egr1 was shown to enhance transcriptional activation by p53 and inhibit nuclear factor κB activity. These results identify a gene expression network that provides redundant activation of RelA to support proliferation as well as sensitize p53 to ensure proper surveillance and integration of their competing functions through factors such as Egr1, which both enhance p53 and inhibit RelA. PMID:18556351

  2. Comprehensive profiling analysis of actively resorbing osteoclasts identifies critical signaling pathways regulated by bone substrate

    PubMed Central

    Purdue, P. Edward; Crotti, Tania N.; Shen, Zhenxin; Swantek, Jennifer; Li, Jun; Hill, Jonathan; Hanidu, Adedayo; Dimock, Janice; Nabozny, Gerald; Goldring, Steven R.; McHugh, Kevin P.

    2014-01-01

    As the only cells capable of efficiently resorbing bone, osteoclasts are central mediators of both normal bone remodeling and pathologies associates with excessive bone resorption. However, despite the clear evidence of interplay between osteoclasts and the bone surface in vivo, the role of the bone substrate in regulating osteoclast differentiation and activation at a molecular level has not been fully defined. Here, we present the first comprehensive expression profiles of osteoclasts differentiated on authentic resorbable bone substrates. This analysis has identified numerous critical pathways coordinately regulated by osteoclastogenic cytokines and bone substrate, including the transition from proliferation to differentiation, and sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling. Whilst, as expected, much of this program is dependent upon integrin beta 3, the pre-eminent mediator of osteoclast-bone interaction, a surprisingly significant portion of the bone substrate regulated expression signature is independent of this receptor. Together, these findings identify an important hitherto underappreciated role for bone substrate in osteoclastogenesis. PMID:25534583

  3. Grazer removal and nutrient enrichment as recovery enhancers for overexploited rocky subtidal habitats.

    PubMed

    Guarnieri, Giuseppe; Bevilacqua, Stanislao; Vignes, Fabio; Fraschetti, Simonetta

    2014-07-01

    Increasing anthropogenic pressures are causing long-lasting regime shifts from high-diversity ecosystems to low-diversity degraded ones. Understanding the effects of multiple threats on ecosystems, and identifying processes allowing for the recovery of biodiversity, are the current major challenges in ecology. In several temperate marine areas, large parts of rocky subtidal habitats characterised by high diversity have been completely degraded to barren grounds by overfishing, including illegal date mussel fishing. Bare areas are characterized by the dominance of sea urchins whose grazing perpetuates the impact of overfishing. We investigated experimentally the separate and combined effects of nutrient enrichment and sea urchin exclusion on the recovery of barren grounds. Our results indicate that the two factors have a synergistic effect leading to the re-establishment of erect macroalgal canopies, enhancing the structural complexity of subtidal assemblages. In particular, in the overfished system considered here, the recovery of disturbed assemblages could occur only if sea urchins are removed. However, the recolonization of barren grounds by erect macroalgae is further enhanced under enriched conditions. This study demonstrates that the recovery of dramatically depleted marine habitats is possible, and provides useful indications for specific management actions, which at present are totally lacking, to achieve the restoration of barren grounds caused by human activity. PMID:24748204

  4. Screening of Pharmacologically Active Small Molecule Compounds Identifies Antifungal Agents Against Candida Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Watamoto, Takao; Egusa, Hiroshi; Sawase, Takashi; Yatani, Hirofumi

    2015-01-01

    Candida species have emerged as important and common opportunistic human pathogens, particularly in immunocompromised individuals. The current antifungal therapies either have toxic side effects or are insufficiently effect. The aim of this study is develop new small-molecule antifungal compounds by library screening methods using Candida albicans, and to evaluate their antifungal effects on Candida biofilms and cytotoxic effects on human cells. Wild-type C. albicans strain SC5314 was used in library screening. To identify antifungal compounds, we screened a small-molecule library of 1,280 pharmacologically active compounds (LOPAC1280TM) using an antifungal susceptibility test (AST). To investigate the antifungal effects of the hit compounds, ASTs were conducted using Candida strains in various growth modes, including biofilms. We tested the cytotoxicity of the hit compounds using human gingival fibroblast (hGF) cells to evaluate their clinical safety. Only 35 compounds were identified by screening, which inhibited the metabolic activity of C. albicans by >50%. Of these, 26 compounds had fungistatic effects and nine compounds had fungicidal effects on C. albicans. Five compounds, BAY11-7082, BAY11-7085, sanguinarine chloride hydrate, ellipticine and CV-3988, had strong fungicidal effects and could inhibit the metabolic activity of Candida biofilms. However, BAY11-7082, BAY11-7085, sanguinarine chloride hydrate and ellipticine were cytotoxic to hGF cells at low concentrations. CV-3988 showed no cytotoxicity at a fungicidal concentration. Four of the compounds identified, BAY11-7082, BAY11-7085, sanguinarine chloride hydrate and ellipticine, had toxic effects on Candida strains and hGF cells. In contrast, CV-3988 had fungicidal effects on Candida strains, but low cytotoxic effects on hGF cells. Therefore, this screening reveals agent, CV-3988 that was previously unknown to be antifungal agent, which could be a novel therapies for superficial mucosal candidiasis. PMID

  5. Urban school leadership for elementary science instruction: Identifying and activating resources in an undervalued school subject

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spillane, James P.; Diamond, John B.; Walker, Lisa J.; Halverson, Rich; Jita, Loyiso

    2001-10-01

    This article explores school leadership for elementary school science teaching in an urban setting. We examine how school leaders bring resources together to enhance science instruction when there appear to be relatively few resources available for it. From our study of 13 Chicago elementary (K-8) schools' efforts to lead instructional change in mathematics, language arts, and science education, we show how resources for leading instruction are unequally distributed across subject areas. We also explore how over time leaders in one school successfully identified and activated resources for leading change in science education. The result has been a steady, although not always certain, development of science as an instructional area in the school. We argue that leading change in science education involves the identification and activation of material resources, the development of teachers' and school leaders' human capital, and the development and use of social capital.

  6. Individual Human Brain Areas Can Be Identified from Their Characteristic Spectral Activation Fingerprints.

    PubMed

    Keitel, Anne; Gross, Joachim

    2016-06-01

    The human brain can be parcellated into diverse anatomical areas. We investigated whether rhythmic brain activity in these areas is characteristic and can be used for automatic classification. To this end, resting-state MEG data of 22 healthy adults was analysed. Power spectra of 1-s long data segments for atlas-defined brain areas were clustered into spectral profiles ("fingerprints"), using k-means and Gaussian mixture (GM) modelling. We demonstrate that individual areas can be identified from these spectral profiles with high accuracy. Our results suggest that each brain area engages in different spectral modes that are characteristic for individual areas. Clustering of brain areas according to similarity of spectral profiles reveals well-known brain networks. Furthermore, we demonstrate task-specific modulations of auditory spectral profiles during auditory processing. These findings have important implications for the classification of regional spectral activity and allow for novel approaches in neuroimaging and neurostimulation in health and disease. PMID:27355236

  7. Default-Mode Network Activity Identified by Group Independent Component Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Conghui; Zhuang, Jie; Peng, Danling; Yu, Guoliang; Yang, Yanhui

    Default-mode network activity refers to some regional increase in blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal during baseline than cognitive tasks. Recent functional imaging studies have found co-activation in a distributed network of cortical regions, including ventral anterior cingulate cortex (vACC) and posterior cingulate cortex (PPC) that characterize the default mode of human brain. In this study, general linear model and group independent component analysis (ICA) were utilized to analyze the fMRI data obtained from two language tasks. Both methods yielded similar, but not identical results and detected a resting deactivation network at some midline regions including anterior and posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus. Particularly, the group ICA method segregated functional elements into two separate maps and identified ventral cingulate component and fronto-parietal component. These results suggest that these two components might be linked to different mental function during "resting" baseline.

  8. Using time-driven activity-based costing to identify value improvement opportunities in healthcare.

    PubMed

    Kaplan, Robert S; Witkowski, Mary; Abbott, Megan; Guzman, Alexis Barboza; Higgins, Laurence D; Meara, John G; Padden, Erin; Shah, Apurva S; Waters, Peter; Weidemeier, Marco; Wertheimer, Sam; Feeley, Thomas W

    2014-01-01

    As healthcare providers cope with pricing pressures and increased accountability for performance, they should be rededicating themselves to improving the value they deliver to their patients: better outcomes and lower costs. Time-driven activity-based costing offers the potential for clinicians to redesign their care processes toward that end. This costing approach, however, is new to healthcare and has not yet been systematically implemented and evaluated. This article describes early time-driven activity-based costing work at several leading healthcare organizations in the United States and Europe. It identifies the opportunities they found to improve value for patients and demonstrates how this costing method can serve as the foundation for new bundled payment reimbursement approaches. PMID:25647962

  9. Individual Human Brain Areas Can Be Identified from Their Characteristic Spectral Activation Fingerprints

    PubMed Central

    Keitel, Anne; Gross, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    The human brain can be parcellated into diverse anatomical areas. We investigated whether rhythmic brain activity in these areas is characteristic and can be used for automatic classification. To this end, resting-state MEG data of 22 healthy adults was analysed. Power spectra of 1-s long data segments for atlas-defined brain areas were clustered into spectral profiles (“fingerprints”), using k-means and Gaussian mixture (GM) modelling. We demonstrate that individual areas can be identified from these spectral profiles with high accuracy. Our results suggest that each brain area engages in different spectral modes that are characteristic for individual areas. Clustering of brain areas according to similarity of spectral profiles reveals well-known brain networks. Furthermore, we demonstrate task-specific modulations of auditory spectral profiles during auditory processing. These findings have important implications for the classification of regional spectral activity and allow for novel approaches in neuroimaging and neurostimulation in health and disease. PMID:27355236

  10. Identifying hazard parameter to develop quantitative and dynamic hazard map of an active volcano in Indonesia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suminar, Wulan; Saepuloh, Asep; Meilano, Irwan

    2016-05-01

    Analysis of hazard assessment to active volcanoes is crucial for risk management. The hazard map of volcano provides information to decision makers and communities before, during, and after volcanic crisis. The rapid and accurate hazard assessment, especially to an active volcano is necessary to be developed for better mitigation on the time of volcanic crises in Indonesia. In this paper, we identified the hazard parameters to develop quantitative and dynamic hazard map of an active volcano. The Guntur volcano in Garut Region, West Java, Indonesia was selected as study area due population are resided adjacent to active volcanoes. The development of infrastructures, especially related to tourism at the eastern flank from the Summit, are growing rapidly. The remote sensing and field investigation approaches were used to obtain hazard parameters spatially. We developed a quantitative and dynamic algorithm to map spatially hazard potential of volcano based on index overlay technique. There were identified five volcano hazard parameters based on Landsat 8 and ASTER imageries: volcanic products including pyroclastic fallout, pyroclastic flows, lava and lahar, slope topography, surface brightness temperature, and vegetation density. Following this proposed technique, the hazard parameters were extracted, indexed, and calculated to produce spatial hazard values at and around Guntur Volcano. Based on this method, the hazard potential of low vegetation density is higher than high vegetation density. Furthermore, the slope topography, surface brightness temperature, and fragmental volcanic product such as pyroclastics influenced to the spatial hazard value significantly. Further study to this proposed approach will be aimed for effective and efficient analyses of volcano risk assessment.

  11. Functional analysis of TPM domain containing Rv2345 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis identifies its phosphatase activity.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Avni; Eniyan, Kandasamy; Sinha, Swati; Lynn, Andrew Michael; Bajpai, Urmi

    2015-07-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is the causal agent of tuberculosis, the second largest infectious disease. With the rise of multi-drug resistant strains of M. tuberculosis, serious challenge lies ahead of us in treating the disease. The availability of complete genome sequence of Mtb has improved the scope for identifying new proteins that would not only further our understanding of biology of the organism but could also serve to discover new drug targets. In this study, Rv2345, a hypothetical membrane protein of M. tuberculosis H37Rv, which is reported to be a putative ortholog of ZipA cell division protein has been assigned function through functional annotation using bioinformatics tools followed by experimental validation. Sequence analysis showed Rv2345 to have a TPM domain at its N-terminal region and predicted it to have phosphatase activity. The TPM domain containing region of Rv2345 was cloned and expressed using pET28a vector in Escherichia coli and purified by Nickel affinity chromatography. The purified TPM domain was tested in vitro and our results confirmed it to have phosphatase activity. The enzyme activity was first checked and optimized with pNPP as substrate, followed by using ATP, which was also found to be used as substrate by the purified protein. Hence sequence analysis followed by in vitro studies characterizes TPM domain of Rv2345 to contain phosphatase activity. PMID:25782739

  12. An experimental method to identify neurogenic and myogenic active mechanical states of intestinal motility

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Marcello; Wiklendt, Lukasz; Arkwright, John W.; Spencer, Nicholas J.; Omari, Taher; Brookes, Simon J. H.; Dinning, Phil G.

    2013-01-01

    Excitatory and inhibitory enteric neural input to intestinal muscle acting on ongoing myogenic activity determines the rich repertoire of motor patterns involved in digestive function. The enteric neural activity cannot yet be established during movement of intact intestine in vivo or in vitro. We propose the hypothesis that is possible to deduce indirectly, but reliably, the state of activation of the enteric neural input to the muscle from measurements of the mechanical state of the intestinal muscle. The fundamental biomechanical model on which our hypothesis is based is the “three-element model” proposed by Hill. Our strategy is based on simultaneous video recording of changes in diameters and intraluminal pressure with a fiber-optic manometry in isolated segments of rabbit colon. We created a composite spatiotemporal map (DPMap) from diameter (DMap) and pressure changes (PMaps). In this composite map rhythmic myogenic motor patterns can readily be distinguished from the distension induced neural peristaltic contractions. Plotting the diameter changes against corresponding pressure changes at each location of the segment, generates “orbits” that represent the state of the muscle according to its ability to contract or relax actively or undergoing passive changes. With a software developed in MatLab, we identified twelve possible discrete mechanical states and plotted them showing where the intestine actively contracted and relaxed isometrically, auxotonically or isotonically, as well as where passive changes occurred or was quiescent. Clustering all discrete active contractions and relaxations states generated for the first time a spatio-temporal map of where enteric excitatory and inhibitory neural input to the muscle occurs during physiological movements. Recording internal diameter by an impedance probe proved equivalent to measuring external diameter, making possible to further develop similar strategy in vivo and humans. PMID:23596400

  13. Identifying the structural requirements for chromosomal aberration by incorporating molecular flexibility and metabolic activation of chemicals.

    PubMed

    Mekenyan, Ovanes; Todorov, Milen; Serafimova, Rossitsa; Stoeva, Stoyanka; Aptula, Aynur; Finking, Robert; Jacob, Elard

    2007-12-01

    Modeling the potential of chemicals to induce chromosomal damage has been hampered by the diversity of mechanisms which condition this biological effect. The direct binding of a chemical to DNA is one of the underlying mechanisms that is also responsible for bacterial mutagenicity. Disturbance of DNA synthesis due to inhibition of topoisomerases and interaction of chemicals with nuclear proteins associated with DNA (e.g., histone proteins) were identified as additional mechanisms leading to chromosomal aberrations (CA). A comparative analysis of in vitro genotoxic data for a large number of chemicals revealed that more than 80% of chemicals that elicit bacterial mutagenicity (as indicated by the Ames test) also induce CA; alternatively, only 60% of chemicals that induce CA have been found to be active in the Ames test. In agreement with this relationship, a battery of models is developed for modeling CA. It combines the Ames model for bacterial mutagenicity, which has already been derived and integrated into the Optimized Approach Based on Structural Indices Set (OASIS) tissue metabolic simulator (TIMES) platform, and a newly derived model accounting for additional mechanisms leading to CA. Both models are based on the classical concept of reactive alerts. Some of the specified alerts interact directly with DNA or nuclear proteins, whereas others are applied in a combination of two- or three-dimensional quantitative structure-activity relationship models assessing the degree of activation of the alerts from the rest of the molecules. The use of each of the alerts has been justified by a mechanistic interpretation of the interaction. In combination with a rat liver S9 metabolism simulator, the model explained the CA induced by metabolically activated chemicals that do not elicit activity in the parent form. The model can be applied in two ways: with and without metabolic activation of chemicals. PMID:18052113

  14. Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity Identifies a Population of Human Skeletal Muscle Cells With High Myogenic Capacities

    PubMed Central

    Vauchez, Karine; Marolleau, Jean-Pierre; Schmid, Michel; Khattar, Patricia; Chapel, Alain; Catelain, Cyril; Lecourt, Séverine; Larghéro, Jérôme; Fiszman, Marc; Vilquin, Jean-Thomas

    2009-01-01

    Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1 (ALDH) activity is one hallmark of human bone marrow (BM), umbilical cord blood (UCB), and peripheral blood (PB) primitive progenitors presenting high reconstitution capacities in vivo. In this study, we have identified ALDH+ cells within human skeletal muscles, and have analyzed their phenotypical and functional characteristics. Immunohistofluorescence analysis of human muscle tissue sections revealed rare endomysial cells. Flow cytometry analysis using the fluorescent substrate of ALDH, Aldefluor, identified brightly stained (ALDHbr) cells with low side scatter (SSClo), in enzymatically dissociated muscle biopsies, thereafter abbreviated as SMALD+ (for skeletal muscle ALDH+) cells. Phenotypical analysis discriminated two sub-populations according to CD34 expression: SMALD+/CD34− and SMALD+/CD34+ cells. These sub-populations did not initially express endothelial (CD31), hematopoietic (CD45), and myogenic (CD56) markers. Upon sorting, however, whereas SMALD+/CD34+ cells developed in vitro as a heterogeneous population of CD56− cells able to differentiate in adipoblasts, the SMALD+/CD34− fraction developed in vitro as a highly enriched population of CD56+ myoblasts able to form myotubes. Moreover, only the SMALD+/CD34− population maintained a strong myogenic potential in vivo upon intramuscular transplantation. Our results suggest that ALDH activity is a novel marker for a population of new human skeletal muscle progenitors presenting a potential for cell biology and cell therapy. PMID:19738599

  15. Repurposing of the Open Access Malaria Box for Kinetoplastid Diseases Identifies Novel Active Scaffolds against Trypanosomatids.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Marcel; Maes, Louis; Tadoori, Leela Pavan; Spangenberg, Thomas; Ioset, Jean-Robert

    2015-06-01

    Phenotypic screening had successfully been used for hit generation, especially in the field of neglected diseases, in which feeding the drug pipeline with new chemotypes remains a constant challenge. Here, we catalyze drug discovery research using a publicly available screening tool to boost drug discovery. The Malaria Box, assembled by the Medicines for Malaria Venture, is a structurally diverse set of 200 druglike and 200 probelike compounds distilled from more than 20,000 antimalarial hits from corporate and academic libraries. Repurposing such compounds has already identified new scaffolds against cryptosporidiosis and schistosomiasis. In addition to initiating new hit-to-lead activities, screening the Malaria Box against a plethora of other parasites would enable the community to better understand the similarities and differences between them. We describe the screening of the Malaria Box and triaging of the identified hits against kinetoplastids responsible for human African trypanosomiasis (Trypanosoma brucei), Chagas disease (Trypanosoma cruzi), and visceral leishmaniasis (Leishmania donovani and Leishmania infantum). The in vitro and in vivo profiling of the most promising active compounds with respect to efficacy, toxicity, pharmacokinetics, and complementary druggable properties are presented and a collaborative model used as a way to accelerate the discovery process discussed. PMID:25690568

  16. A molecular approach to identify active microbes in environmental eukaryote clone libraries.

    PubMed

    Stoeck, Thorsten; Zuendorf, Alexandra; Breiner, Hans-Werner; Behnke, Anke

    2007-02-01

    A rapid method for the simultaneous extraction of RNA and DNA from eukaryote plankton samples was developed in order to discriminate between indigenous active cells and signals from inactive or even dead organisms. The method was tested using samples from below the chemocline of an anoxic Danish fjord. The simple protocol yielded RNA and DNA of a purity suitable for amplification by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and PCR, respectively. We constructed an rRNA-derived and an rDNA-derived clone library to assess the composition of the microeukaryote assemblage under study and to identify physiologically active constituents of the community. We retrieved nearly 600 protistan target clones, which grouped into 84 different phylotypes (98% sequence similarity). Of these phylotypes, 27% occurred in both libraries, 25% exclusively in the rRNA library, and 48% exclusively in the rDNA library. Both libraries revealed good correspondence of the general community composition in terms of higher taxonomic ranks. They were dominated by anaerobic ciliates and heterotrophic stramenopile flagellates thriving below the fjord's chemocline. The high abundance of these bacterivore organisms points out their role as a major trophic link in anoxic marine systems. A comparison of the two libraries identified phototrophic dinoflagellates, "uncultured marine alveolates group I," and different parasites, which were exclusively detected with the rDNA-derived library, as nonindigenous members of the anoxic microeukaryote community under study. PMID:17264997

  17. An Active Type I-E CRISPR-Cas System Identified in Streptomyces avermitilis

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Yi; Wang, Shiwei; Chen, Zhi; Guo, Yajie; Song, Yuan

    2016-01-01

    CRISPR-Cas systems, the small RNA-dependent immune systems, are widely distributed in prokaryotes. However, only a small proportion of CRISPR-Cas systems have been identified to be active in bacteria. In this work, a naturally active type I-E CRISPR-Cas system was found in Streptomyces avermitilis. The system shares many common genetic features with the type I-E system of Escherichia coli, and meanwhile shows unique characteristics. It not only degrades plasmid DNA with target protospacers, but also acquires new spacers from the target plasmid DNA. The naive features of spacer acquisition in the type I-E system of S. avermitilis were investigated and a completely conserved PAM 5’-AAG-3’ was identified. Spacer acquisition displayed differential strand bias upstream and downstream of the priming spacer, and irregular integrations of new spacers were observed. In addition, introduction of this system into host conferred phage resistance to some extent. This study will give new insights into adaptation mechanism of the type I-E systems in vivo, and meanwhile provide theoretical foundation for applying this system on the genetic modification of S. avermitilis. PMID:26901661

  18. Balancing Protein Stability and Activity in Cancer: A New Approach for Identifying Driver Mutations Affecting CBL Ubiquitin Ligase Activation.

    PubMed

    Li, Minghui; Kales, Stephen C; Ma, Ke; Shoemaker, Benjamin A; Crespo-Barreto, Juan; Cangelosi, Andrew L; Lipkowitz, Stanley; Panchenko, Anna R

    2016-02-01

    Oncogenic mutations in the monomeric Casitas B-lineage lymphoma (Cbl) gene have been found in many tumors, but their significance remains largely unknown. Several human c-Cbl (CBL) structures have recently been solved, depicting the protein at different stages of its activation cycle and thus providing mechanistic insight underlying how stability-activity tradeoffs in cancer-related proteins-may influence disease onset and progression. In this study, we computationally modeled the effects of missense cancer mutations on structures representing four stages of the CBL activation cycle to identify driver mutations that affect CBL stability, binding, and activity. We found that recurrent, homozygous, and leukemia-specific mutations had greater destabilizing effects on CBL states than random noncancer mutations. We further tested the ability of these computational models, assessing the changes in CBL stability and its binding to ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2, by performing blind CBL-mediated EGFR ubiquitination assays in cells. Experimental CBL ubiquitin ligase activity was in agreement with the predicted changes in CBL stability and, to a lesser extent, with CBL-E2 binding affinity. Two thirds of all experimentally tested mutations affected the ubiquitin ligase activity by either destabilizing CBL or disrupting CBL-E2 binding, whereas about one-third of tested mutations were found to be neutral. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that computational methods incorporating multiple protein conformations and stability and binding affinity evaluations can successfully predict the functional consequences of cancer mutations on protein activity, and provide a proof of concept for mutations in CBL. PMID:26676746

  19. Triptolide, an active compound identified in a traditional Chinese herb, induces apoptosis of rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Kusunoki, Natsuko; Yamazaki, Ryuta; Kitasato, Hidero; Beppu, Moroe; Aoki, Haruhito; Kawai, Shinichi

    2004-01-01

    Background Extracts of Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TWHF), a traditional Chinese herb, have been reported to show efficacy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Since RA is not only characterized by inflammation but also by synovial proliferation in the joints, we examined whether triptolide (a constituent of TWHF) could influence the proliferation of rheumatoid synovial fibroblasts (RSF) by induction of apoptosis. Results RSF were obtained from RA patients during surgery and were treated with triptolide under various conditions. The viability and proliferation of RSF were measured by the 4-[3-(4-iodophenyl)-2-(4-nitrophenyl)-2H-5-tetrazolio]-1,3-benzene disulfonate (WST-1) assay and by 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation, respectively. Apoptosis was identified by detection of DNA fragmentation using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labelling (TUNEL). The role of caspases in apoptosis of RSF was analyzed by measuring caspase-3 activity. Activation of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ was assessed by a luciferase reporter gene assay using RSF transfected with a plasmid containing the peroxisome proliferator response element. Triptolide decreased viability, inhibited proliferation, and induced apoptosis of RSF in a concentration-dependent manner at very low (nM) concentrations. Caspase-3 activity was increased by treatment with triptolide and was suppressed by caspase inhibitors. Although PPARγ activation was induced by 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-prostaglandin J2, triptolide did not induce it under the same experimental conditions. An extract of TWHF also induced DNA fragmentation in RSF. Conclusion The mechanism of action remains to be studied; however, triptolide may possibly have a disease-modifying effect in patients with RA. PMID:15040811

  20. Cluster Analysis of Tumor Suppressor Genes in Canine Leukocytes Identifies Activation State

    PubMed Central

    Daly, Julie-Anne; Mortlock, Sally-Anne; Taylor, Rosanne M.; Williamson, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Cells of the immune system undergo activation and subsequent proliferation in the normal course of an immune response. Infrequently, the molecular and cellular events that underlie the mechanisms of proliferation are dysregulated and may lead to oncogenesis, leading to tumor formation. The most common forms of immunological cancers are lymphomas, which in dogs account for 8%–20% of all cancers, affecting up to 1.2% of the dog population. Key genes involved in negatively regulating proliferation of lymphocytes include a group classified as tumor suppressor genes (TSGs). These genes are also known to be associated with progression of lymphoma in humans, mice, and dogs and are potential candidates for pathological grading and diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to analyze TSG profiles in stimulated leukocytes from dogs to identify genes that discriminate an activated phenotype. A total of 554 TSGs and three gene set collections were analyzed from microarray data. Cluster analysis of three subsets of genes discriminated between stimulated and unstimulated cells. These included 20 most upregulated and downregulated TSGs, TSG in hallmark gene sets significantly enriched in active cells, and a selection of candidate TSGs, p15 (CDKN2B), p18 (CDKN2C), p19 (CDKN1A), p21 (CDKN2A), p27 (CDKN1B), and p53 (TP53) in the third set. Analysis of two subsets suggested that these genes or a subset of these genes may be used as a specialized PCR set for additional analysis. PMID:27478369

  1. In vivo RNAi screen identifies NLK as a negative regulator of mesenchymal activity in glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Hee Jin; Lee, Jin-Ku; Kim, Gi-Soo; Han, Suji; Kim, Woon Jin; Shin, Yong Jae; Joo, Kyeung Min; Paddison, Patrick J.; Ishitani, Tohru; Lee, Jeongwu; Nam, Do-Hyun

    2015-01-01

    Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most lethal brain cancer with profound genomic alterations. While the bona fide tumor suppressor genes such as PTEN, NF1, and TP53 have high frequency of inactivating mutations, there may be the genes with GBM-suppressive roles for which genomic mutation is not a primary cause for inactivation. To identify such genes, we employed in vivo RNAi screening approach using the patient-derived GBM xenograft models. We found that Nemo-Like Kinase (NLK) negatively regulates mesenchymal activities, a characteristic of aggressive GBM, in part via inhibition of WNT/β-catenin signaling. Consistent with this, we found that NLK expression is especially low in a subset of GBMs that harbors high WNT/mesenchymal activities. Restoration of NLK inhibited WNT and mesenchymal activities, decreased clonogenic growth and survival, and impeded tumor growth in vivo. These data unravel a tumor suppressive role of NLK and support the feasibility of combining oncogenomics with in vivo RNAi screen. PMID:26023737

  2. Identifying minimal hepatic encephalopathy in cirrhotic patients by measuring spontaneous brain activity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hua-Jun; Zhang, Ling; Jiang, Long-Feng; Chen, Qiu-Feng; Li, Jun; Shi, Hai-Bin

    2016-08-01

    It has been demonstrated that minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) is associated with aberrant regional intrinsic brain activity in cirrhotic patients. However, few studies have investigated whether altered intrinsic brain activity can be used as a biomarker of MHE among cirrhotic patients. In this study, 36 cirrhotic patients (with MHE, n = 16; without MHE [NHE], n = 20) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Spontaneous brain activity was measured by examining the amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF) in the fMRI signal. MHE was diagnosed based on the Psychometric Hepatic Encephalopathy Score (PHES). A two-sample t-test was used to determine the regions of interest (ROIs) in which ALFF differed significantly between the two groups; then, ALFF values within ROIs were selected as classification features. A linear discriminative analysis was used to differentiate MHE patients from NHE patients. The leave-one-out cross-validation method was used to estimate the performance of the classifier. The classification analysis was 80.6 % accurate (81.3 % sensitivity and 80.0 % specificity) in terms of distinguishing between the two groups. Six ROIs were identified as the most discriminative features, including the bilateral medial frontal cortex/anterior cingulate cortex, posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus, left precentral and postcentral gyrus, right lingual gyrus, middle frontal gyrus, and inferior/superior parietal lobule. The ALFF values within ROIs were correlated with PHES in cirrhotic patients. Our findings suggest that altered regional brain spontaneous activity is a useful biomarker for MHE detection among cirrhotic patients. PMID:26886109

  3. Tetrandrine identified in a small molecule screen to activate mesenchymal stem cells for enhanced immunomodulation

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zijiang; Concannon, John; Ng, Kelvin S.; Seyb, Kathleen; Mortensen, Luke J.; Ranganath, Sudhir; Gu, Fangqi; Levy, Oren; Tong, Zhixiang; Martyn, Keir; Zhao, Weian; Lin, Charles P.; Glicksman, Marcie A.; Karp, Jeffrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Pre-treatment or priming of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) prior to transplantation can significantly augment the immunosuppressive effect of MSC-based therapies. In this study, we screened a library of 1402 FDA-approved bioactive compounds to prime MSC. We identified tetrandrine as a potential hit that activates the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a potent immunosuppressive agent, by MSC. Tetrandrine increased MSC PGE2 secretion through the NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathway. When co-cultured with mouse macrophages (RAW264.7), tetrandrine-primed MSC attenuated the level of TNF-α secreted by RAW264.7. Furthermore, systemic transplantation of primed MSC into a mouse ear skin inflammation model significantly reduced the level of TNF-α in the inflamed ear, compared to unprimed cells. Screening of small molecules to pre-condition cells prior to transplantation represents a promising strategy to boost the therapeutic potential of cell therapy. PMID:27457881

  4. Tetrandrine identified in a small molecule screen to activate mesenchymal stem cells for enhanced immunomodulation.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zijiang; Concannon, John; Ng, Kelvin S; Seyb, Kathleen; Mortensen, Luke J; Ranganath, Sudhir; Gu, Fangqi; Levy, Oren; Tong, Zhixiang; Martyn, Keir; Zhao, Weian; Lin, Charles P; Glicksman, Marcie A; Karp, Jeffrey M

    2016-01-01

    Pre-treatment or priming of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) prior to transplantation can significantly augment the immunosuppressive effect of MSC-based therapies. In this study, we screened a library of 1402 FDA-approved bioactive compounds to prime MSC. We identified tetrandrine as a potential hit that activates the secretion of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a potent immunosuppressive agent, by MSC. Tetrandrine increased MSC PGE2 secretion through the NF-κB/COX-2 signaling pathway. When co-cultured with mouse macrophages (RAW264.7), tetrandrine-primed MSC attenuated the level of TNF-α secreted by RAW264.7. Furthermore, systemic transplantation of primed MSC into a mouse ear skin inflammation model significantly reduced the level of TNF-α in the inflamed ear, compared to unprimed cells. Screening of small molecules to pre-condition cells prior to transplantation represents a promising strategy to boost the therapeutic potential of cell therapy. PMID:27457881

  5. Past Strategies and Future Directions for Identifying AMP-Activated Protein Kinase (AMPK) Modulators

    PubMed Central

    Sinnett, Sarah E.; Brenman, Jay E.

    2014-01-01

    AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a promising therapeutic target for cancer, type II diabetes, and other illnesses characterized by abnormal energy utilization. During the last decade, numerous labs have published a range of methods for identifying novel AMPK modulators. The current understanding of AMPK structure and regulation, however, has propelled a paradigm shift in which many researchers now consider ADP to be an additional regulatory nucleotide of AMPK. How can the AMPK community apply this new understanding of AMPK signaling to translational research? Recent insights into AMPK structure, regulation, and holoenzyme-sensitive signaling may provide the hindsight needed to clearly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of past AMPK drug discovery efforts. Improving future strategies for AMPK drug discovery will require pairing the current understanding of AMPK signaling with improved experimental designs. PMID:24583089

  6. Transcriptome correlation analysis identifies two unique craniosynostosis subtypes associated with IRS1 activation

    PubMed Central

    Mecham, B.; Park, S. S.; Wilkerson, H.; Farin, F. M.; Beyer, R. P.; Bammler, T. K.; Mangravite, L. M.; Cunningham, M. L.

    2012-01-01

    The discovery of causal mechanisms associated with nonsyndromic craniosynostosis has proven to be a difficult task due to the complex nature of the disease. In this study, differential transcriptome correlation analysis was used to identify two molecularly distinct subtypes of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis, termed subtype A and subtype B. In addition to unique correlation structure, subtype A was also associated with high IGF pathway expression, whereas subtype B was associated with high integrin expression. To identify a pathologic link between altered gene correlation/expression and the disease state, phosphorylation assays were performed on primary osteoblast cell lines derived from cases within subtype A or subtype B, as well as on primary osteoblast cell lines with novel IGF1R variants previously reported by our lab (Cunningham ML, Horst JA, Rieder MJ, Hing AV, Stanaway IB, Park SS, Samudrala R, Speltz ML. Am J Med Genet A 155A: 91–97, 2011). Elevated IRS1 (pan-tyr) and GSK3β (ser-9) phosphorylation were observed in two novel IGF1R variants with receptor L domain mutations. In subtype A, a hypomineralization phenotype coupled with decreased phosphorylation of IRS1 (ser-312), p38 (thr-180/tyr-182), and p70S6K (thr-412) was observed. In subtype B, decreased phosphorylation of IRS1 (ser-312) as well as increased phosphorylation of Akt (ser-473), GSK3β (ser-9), IGF1R (tyr-1135/tyr-1136), JNK (thr-183/tyr-187), p70S6K (thr-412), and pRPS6 (ser-235/ser-236) was observed, thus implicating the activation of IRS1-mediated Akt signaling in potentiating craniosynostosis in this subtype. Taken together, these results suggest that despite the stimulation of different pathways, activating phosphorylation patterns for IRS1 were consistent in cell lines from both subtypes and the IGF1R variants, thus implicating a key role for IRS1 in the pathogenesis of nonsyndromic craniosynostosis. PMID:23073384

  7. Revealing divergent evolution, identifying circular permutations and detecting active-sites by protein structure comparison

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Luonan; Wu, Ling-Yun; Wang, Yong; Zhang, Shihua; Zhang, Xiang-Sun

    2006-01-01

    Background Protein structure comparison is one of the most important problems in computational biology and plays a key role in protein structure prediction, fold family classification, motif finding, phylogenetic tree reconstruction and protein docking. Results We propose a novel method to compare the protein structures in an accurate and efficient manner. Such a method can be used to not only reveal divergent evolution, but also identify circular permutations and further detect active-sites. Specifically, we define the structure alignment as a multi-objective optimization problem, i.e., maximizing the number of aligned atoms and minimizing their root mean square distance. By controlling a single distance-related parameter, theoretically we can obtain a variety of optimal alignments corresponding to different optimal matching patterns, i.e., from a large matching portion to a small matching portion. The number of variables in our algorithm increases with the number of atoms of protein pairs in almost a linear manner. In addition to solid theoretical background, numerical experiments demonstrated significant improvement of our approach over the existing methods in terms of quality and efficiency. In particular, we show that divergent evolution, circular permutations and active-sites (or structural motifs) can be identified by our method. The software SAMO is available upon request from the authors, or from and . Conclusion A novel formulation is proposed to accurately align protein structures in the framework of multi-objective optimization, based on a sequence order-independent strategy. A fast and accurate algorithm based on the bipartite matching algorithm is developed by exploiting the special features. Convergence of computation is shown in experiments and is also theoretically proven. PMID:16948858

  8. Using Light-at-Night (LAN) Satellite Data for Identifying Clusters of Economic Activities in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rybnikova, N. A.; Portnov, B. A.

    2015-04-01

    Enterprises organized in clusters are often efficient in stimulating urban development, productivity and profit outflows. Identifying clusters of economic activities (EAs) thus becomes an important step in devising regional development policies, aimed at facilitating regional economic development. However, a major problem with cluster identification stems from limited reporting of specific EAs by individual countries and administrative entities. Even Eurostat, which maintains most advances regional databases, provides data for less than 50% of all regional subdivisions of the 3rd tier of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS3). Such poor reporting impedes identification of EA clusters and economic forces behind them. In this study, we test a possibility that missing data on geographic concentrations of EAs can be reconstructed using Light-at-Night (LAN) satellite measurements, and that such reconstructed data can then be used for the identification of EA clusters. As we hypothesize, LAN, captured by satellite sensors, is characterized by different intensity, depending on its source - production facilities, services, etc., - and this information can be used for EA identification. The study was carried out in three stages. First, using nighttime satellite images, we determined what types of EAs can be identified, with a sufficient degree of accuracy, by LAN they emit. Second, we calculated multivariate statistical models, linking EAs concentrations with LAN intensities and several locational and development attributes of NUTS3 regions in Europe. Next, using the obtained statistical models, we restored missing data on EAs across NUTS3 regions in Europe and identified clusters of EAs, using spatial analysis tools.

  9. Identifying Feasible Physical Activity Programs for Long-Term Care Homes in the Ontario Context

    PubMed Central

    Shakeel, Saad; Newhouse, Ian; Malik, Ali; Heckman, George

    2015-01-01

    Background Structured exercise programs for frail institutionalized seniors have shown improvement in physical, functional, and psychological health of this population. However, the ‘feasibility’ of implementation of such programs in real settings is seldom discussed. The purpose of this systematic review was to gauge feasibility of exercise and falls prevention programs from the perspective of long-term care homes in Ontario, given the recent changes in funding for publically funded physiotherapy services. Method Six electronic databases were searched by two independent researchers for randomized controlled trials that targeted long-term care residents and included exercise as an independent component of the intervention. Results A total of 39 studies were included in this review. A majority of these interventions were led by physiotherapist(s), carried out three times per week for 30–45 minutes per session. However, a few group-based interventions that were led by long-term care staff, volunteers, or trained non-exercise specialists were identified that also required minimal equipment. Conclusion This systematic review has identified ‘feasible’ physical activity and falls prevention programs that required minimal investment in staff and equipment, and demonstrated positive outcomes. Implementation of such programs represents cost-effective means of providing long-term care residents with meaningful gains in physical, psychological, and social health. PMID:26180563

  10. Identifying non-point sources of endocrine active compounds and their biological impacts in freshwater lakes.

    PubMed

    Baker, Beth H; Martinovic-Weigelt, Dalma; Ferrey, Mark; Barber, Larry B; Writer, Jeffery H; Rosenberry, Donald O; Kiesling, Richard L; Lundy, James R; Schoenfuss, Heiko L

    2014-10-01

    Contaminants of emerging concern, particularly endocrine active compounds (EACs), have been identified as a threat to aquatic wildlife. However, little is known about the impact of EACs on lakes through groundwater from onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS). This study aims to identify specific contributions of OWTS to Sullivan Lake, Minnesota, USA. Lake hydrology, water chemistry, caged bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus), and larval fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) exposures were used to assess whether EACs entered the lake through OWTS inflow and the resultant biological impact on fish. Study areas included two OWTS-influenced near-shore sites with native bluegill spawning habitats and two in-lake control sites without nearby EAC sources. Caged bluegill sunfish were analyzed for plasma vitellogenin concentrations, organosomatic indices, and histological pathologies. Surface and porewater was collected from each site and analyzed for EACs. Porewater was also collected for laboratory exposure of larval fathead minnow, before analysis of predator escape performance and gene expression profiles. Chemical analysis showed EACs present at low concentrations at each study site, whereas discrete variations were reported between sites and between summer and fall samplings. Body condition index and liver vacuolization of sunfish were found to differ among study sites as did gene expression in exposed larval fathead minnows. Interestingly, biological exposure data and water chemistry did not match. Therefore, although results highlight the potential impacts of seepage from OWTS, further investigation of mixture effects and life history factor as well as chemical fate is warranted. PMID:24974177

  11. Temporal population dynamics of dinoflagellate Prorocentrum minimum in a semi-enclosed mariculture pond and its relationship to environmental factors and protozoan grazers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Henglong; Min, Gi-Sik; Choi, Joong-Ki; Zhu, Mingzhuang; Jiang, Yong; Al-Rasheid, Khaled A. S.

    2010-01-01

    The ecological processes and interrelationships between protists, either autotrophic or heterotrophic, and environmental factors in mariculture ponds are largely unknown. This study investigated the temporal dynamics of potentially harmful dinoflagellate, Prorocentrum minimum (Pavillard) Schiller, and its relationship to physico-chemical factors and protozoan grazers over a complete cycle in a semi-enclosed shrimp-farming pond near Qingdao, Northern China. P. minimum occurred frequently in low numbers from June to August, followed by a sharp increase from the middle of August, reaching a single maximum peak value of 2.2×105 cells L-1 in October. Temporal variation in abundance was positively correlated with dissolved nitrogen, but showed a significant inverse relationship to abundance of the dominant ciliates, Tintinnopsis lohmanni and Askenasia stellaris. The results provide statistical evidence that the number of P. minimum increased with increasing nitrogen, and the suppression or shortening of algal bloom may be associated with protozoan grazers, such as Tintinnopsis lohmanni, in mariculture ponds.

  12. Identifying candidate causal variants responsible for altered activity of the ABCB1 multidrug resistance gene.

    PubMed

    Soranzo, Nicole; Cavalleri, Gianpiero L; Weale, Michael E; Wood, Nicholas W; Depondt, Chantal; Marguerie, Richard; Sisodiya, Sanjay M; Goldstein, David B

    2004-07-01

    The difficulty of fine localizing the polymorphisms responsible for genotype-phenotype correlations is emerging as an important constraint in the implementation and interpretation of genetic association studies, and calls for the definition of protocols for the follow-up of associated variants. One recent example is the 3435C>T polymorphism in the multidrug transporter gene ABCB1, associated with protein expression and activity, and with several clinical conditions. Available data suggest that 3435C>T may not directly cause altered transport activity, but may be associated with one or more causal variants in the poorly characterized stretch of linkage disequilibrium (LD) surrounding it. Here we describe a strategy for the follow-up of reported associations, including a Bayesian formalization of the associated interval concept previously described by Goldstein. We focus on the region of high LD around 3435C>T to compile an exhaustive list of variants by (1) using a relatively coarse set of marker typings to assess the pattern of LD, and (2) resequencing derived and ancestral chromosomes at 3435C>T through the associated interval. We identified three intronic sites that are strongly associated with the 3435C>T polymorphism. One of them is associated with multidrug resistance in patients with epilepsy (chi2 = 3.78, P = 0.052), and sits within a stretch of significant evolutionary conservation. We argue that these variants represent additional candidates for influencing multidrug resistance due to P-glycoprotein activity, with the IVS 26+80 T>C being the best candidate among the three intronic sites. Finally, we describe a set of six haplotype tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms that represent common ABCB1 variation surrounding 3435C>T in Europeans. PMID:15197162

  13. Effects of light and nutrients on periphyton and the fatty acid composition and somatic growth of invertebrate grazers in subtropical streams.

    PubMed

    Guo, Fen; Kainz, Martin J; Sheldon, Fran; Bunn, Stuart E

    2016-06-01

    Algal polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), essential for somatic growth and reproduction of aquatic animals, are influenced by ambient environmental conditions, including light and nutrients. Few studies have addressed the extent to which changes in algal PUFA can influence stream herbivore PUFA profiles and the implications for stream food webs. We manipulated subtropical stream periphyton by applying two light levels (open and shaded canopy) and two nutrient regimes (ambient and enriched) to investigate the response of PUFA and somatic growth in stream herbivores. After 6 weeks, the relative content of periphyton PUFA (%) changed distinctly and differed among treatments. Periphyton in the control treatment with open canopy showed a decline in eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) relative to initial conditions, whereas shading increased EPA and total highly unsaturated FA (HUFA), but decreased α-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid and total C18 PUFA. The interaction of open canopy and added nutrients increased periphyton ALA compared with initial conditions, while the combined effects of shading and added nutrients led to greater total HUFA. FA similarity between stream grazers (the mayfly Austrophlebioides and caddisfly Helicopsyche) and periphyton increased with periphyton HUFA content. In addition, the growth of large instars of both grazers also increased in response to increased periphyton HUFA %. Our findings show that environmental changes, associated with riparian canopy and nutrients, can lead to changes in periphyton PUFA composition that in turn affect growth and PUFA composition in stream grazers. PMID:26883960

  14. Large-scale associations between macroalgal cover and grazer biomass on mid-depth reefs in the Caribbean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, I.; Polunin, N.

    2001-05-01

    Since the 1970s, macroalgae have become considerably more abundant on many Caribbean reefs and overfishing of grazing fishes has been implicated as a contributory factor. We explored relationships between algal cover and grazers (biomass of herbivorous fishes and abundance of the sea-urchin Diadema antillarum) on mid-depth reefs (12-15 m) in 19 areas at seven locations in Jamaica, Barbados, Belize, Grand Cayman and Cuba, between April 1997 and April 1998. Diadema antillarum density was never >0.01 m-2, while herbivorous fish biomass (acanthurids and scarids ≥12 cm total length) varied from 2-5 g m-2 in Jamaica to 17.1 g m-2 in Barbados, and was strongly correlated, negatively with macroalgal cover and positively with 'cropped' substratum (sum of 'bare', turf and crustose-coralline substrata) cover. However, overfishing of herbivorous fishes alone cannot explain the widespread abundance of macroalgae, as even on lightly fished reefs, macroalgal cover was mostly >20%. Herbivorous fish populations on those reefs were apparently only able to maintain approximately 40-60% of reef substratum in cropped states, but due to low space-occupation by coral and other invertebrates, 70-90% of substratum was available to algae. The abundance of macroalgae on lightly fished reefs may therefore be a symptom of low coral cover in combination with the continuing absence of Diadema antillarum.

  15. Quantitative High-Throughput Screening Identifies 8-Hydroxyquinolines as Cell-Active Histone Demethylase Inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Kawamura, Akane; Rose, Nathan R.; Ng, Stanley S.; Quinn, Amy M.; Rai, Ganesha; Mott, Bryan T.; Beswick, Paul; Klose, Robert J.; Oppermann, Udo; Jadhav, Ajit; Heightman, Tom D.; Maloney, David J.; Schofield, Christopher J.; Simeonov, Anton

    2010-01-01

    Background Small molecule modulators of epigenetic processes are currently sought as basic probes for biochemical mechanisms, and as starting points for development of therapeutic agents. Nε-Methylation of lysine residues on histone tails is one of a number of post-translational modifications that together enable transcriptional regulation. Histone lysine demethylases antagonize the action of histone methyltransferases in a site- and methylation state-specific manner. Nε-Methyllysine demethylases that use 2-oxoglutarate as co-factor are associated with diverse human diseases, including cancer, inflammation and X-linked mental retardation; they are proposed as targets for the therapeutic modulation of transcription. There are few reports on the identification of templates that are amenable to development as potent inhibitors in vivo and large diverse collections have yet to be exploited for the discovery of demethylase inhibitors. Principal Findings High-throughput screening of a ∼236,000-member collection of diverse molecules arrayed as dilution series was used to identify inhibitors of the JMJD2 (KDM4) family of 2-oxoglutarate-dependent histone demethylases. Initial screening hits were prioritized by a combination of cheminformatics, counterscreening using a coupled assay enzyme, and orthogonal confirmatory detection of inhibition by mass spectrometric assays. Follow-up studies were carried out on one of the series identified, 8-hydroxyquinolines, which were shown by crystallographic analyses to inhibit by binding to the active site Fe(II) and to modulate demethylation at the H3K9 locus in a cell-based assay. Conclusions These studies demonstrate that diverse compound screening can yield novel inhibitors of 2OG dependent histone demethylases and provide starting points for the development of potent and selective agents to interrogate epigenetic regulation. PMID:21124847

  16. Yeast-Based High-Throughput Screens to Identify Novel Compounds Active against Brugia malayi

    PubMed Central

    Bilsland, Elizabeth; Bean, Daniel M.; Devaney, Eileen; Oliver, Stephen G.

    2016-01-01

    Background Lymphatic filariasis is caused by the parasitic worms Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi or B. timori, which are transmitted via the bites from infected mosquitoes. Once in the human body, the parasites develop into adult worms in the lymphatic vessels, causing severe damage and swelling of the affected tissues. According to the World Health Organization, over 1.2 billion people in 58 countries are at risk of contracting lymphatic filariasis. Very few drugs are available to treat patients infected with these parasites, and these have low efficacy against the adult stages of the worms, which can live for 7–15 years in the human body. The requirement for annual treatment increases the risk of drug-resistant worms emerging, making it imperative to develop new drugs against these devastating diseases. Methodology/Principal Findings We have developed a yeast-based, high-throughput screening system whereby essential yeast genes are replaced with their filarial or human counterparts. These strains are labeled with different fluorescent proteins to allow the simultaneous monitoring of strains with parasite or human genes in competition, and hence the identification of compounds that inhibit the parasite target without affecting its human ortholog. We constructed yeast strains expressing eight different Brugia malayi drug targets (as well as seven of their human counterparts), and performed medium-throughput drug screens for compounds that specifically inhibit the parasite enzymes. Using the Malaria Box collection (400 compounds), we identified nine filarial specific inhibitors and confirmed the antifilarial activity of five of these using in vitro assays against Brugia pahangi. Conclusions/Significance We were able to functionally complement yeast deletions with eight different Brugia malayi enzymes that represent potential drug targets. We demonstrated that our yeast-based screening platform is efficient in identifying compounds that can discriminate between

  17. Gametocytocidal Screen Identifies Novel Chemical Classes with Plasmodium falciparum Transmission Blocking Activity

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Natalie G.; Sullivan, David J.; Mlambo, Godfree; Dimopoulos, George; Tripathi, Abhai K.

    2014-01-01

    Discovery of transmission blocking compounds is an important intervention strategy necessary to eliminate and eradicate malaria. To date only a small number of drugs that inhibit gametocyte development and thereby transmission from the mosquito to the human host exist. This limitation is largely due to a lack of screening assays easily adaptable to high throughput because of multiple incubation steps or the requirement for high gametocytemia. Here we report the discovery of new compounds with gametocytocidal activity using a simple and robust SYBR Green I- based DNA assay. Our assay utilizes the exflagellation step in male gametocytes and a background suppressor, which masks the staining of dead cells to achieve healthy signal to noise ratio by increasing signal of viable parasites and subtracting signal from dead parasites. By determining the contribution of exflagellation to fluorescent signal and using appropriate cutoff values, we were able to screen for gametocytocidal compounds. After assay validation and optimization, we screened an FDA approved drug library of approximately 1500 compounds, as well as the 400 compound MMV malaria box and identified 44 gametocytocidal compounds with sub to low micromolar IC50s. Major classes of compounds with gametocytocidal activity included quaternary ammonium compounds with structural similarity to choline, acridine-like compounds similar to quinacrine and pyronaridine, as well as antidepressant, antineoplastic, and anthelminthic compounds. Top drug candidates showed near complete transmission blocking in membrane feeding assays. This assay is simple, reproducible and demonstrated robust Z-factor values at low gametocytemia levels, making it amenable to HTS for identification of novel and potent gametocytocidal compounds. PMID:25157792

  18. Loop substitution as a tool to identify active sites of interleukin-1 beta.

    PubMed

    Palla, E; Bensi, G; Solito, E; Buonamassa, D T; Fassina, G; Raugei, G; Spano, F; Galeotti, C; Mora, M; Domenighini, M

    1993-06-25

    By computer analysis of the amino acid sequence of human interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) and of the human type I IL-1 receptor (IL-1RI), we have identified two hydropathically complementary peptides (Fassina, G., Roller, P. P., Olson, A. D., Thorgeirsson, S. S., and Omichinski, J. G. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 11252-11257) capable of binding to each other. The sequence of the IL-1 beta peptide corresponds to that of residues 88-99 (loop 7 of the crystal structure of mature IL-1 beta) of mature IL-1 beta, one of the exposed and highly charged regions of the molecule. The substitution of this loop with an amino acid sequence of the same length but different hydropathic profile generates a mutant with drastically reduced binding activity to IL-1RI. In contrast, the binding affinity to the type II IL-1R (IL-1RII) is the same as that of wild type IL-1 beta. The results show that 1) loop 7 is part of the binding site of IL-1 beta to IL-1RI, but not to IL-1RII. 2) The structure of the mutant protein is not grossly altered except locally at the position of the substituted loop. 3) The substitution of amino acids by site-directed mutagenesis of the loop 7 region generates mutants with binding affinity constants slightly lower than that of wild type IL-1 beta and not comparable to that of the loop substitution analogue. 4. All mutants analyzed, including the loop substitutions, are biologically active, confirming the structural integrity of the proteins. We propose a binding site in which the cooperation of several low energy bonds extended over a wide area results in a high affinity complex between IL-1 and the type I receptor. PMID:7685764

  19. CD45 Isoform Profile Identifies Natural Killer (NK) Subsets with Differential Activity

    PubMed Central

    Krzywinska, Ewelina; Cornillon, Amelie; Allende-Vega, Nerea; Vo, Dang-Nghiem; Rene, Celine; Lu, Zhao-Yang; Pasero, Christine; Olive, Daniel; Fegueux, Nathalie; Ceballos, Patrick; Hicheri, Yosr; Sobecki, Michal; Rossi, Jean-François; Cartron, Guillaume; Villalba, Martin

    2016-01-01

    The leucocyte-specific phosphatase CD45 is present in two main isoforms: the large CD45RA and the short CD45RO. We have recently shown that distinctive expression of these isoforms distinguishes natural killer (NK) populations. For example, co-expression of both isoforms identifies in vivo the anti tumor NK cells in hematological cancer patients. Here we show that low CD45 expression associates with less mature, CD56bright, NK cells. Most NK cells in healthy human donors are CD45RA+CD45RO-. The CD45RA-RO+ phenotype, CD45RO cells, is extremely uncommon in B or NK cells, in contrast to T cells. However, healthy donors possess CD45RAdimRO- (CD45RAdim cells), which show immature markers and are largely expanded in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients. Blood borne cancer patients also have more CD45RAdim cells that carry several features of immature NK cells. However, and in opposition to their association to NK cell progenitors, they do not proliferate and show low expression of the transferrin receptor protein 1/CD71, suggesting low metabolic activity. Moreover, CD45RAdim cells properly respond to in vitro encounter with target cells by degranulating or gaining CD69 expression. In summary, they are quiescent NK cells, with low metabolic status that can, however, respond after encounter with target cells. PMID:27100180

  20. Host Protein Biomarkers Identify Active Tuberculosis in HIV Uninfected and Co-infected Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Achkar, Jacqueline M.; Cortes, Laetitia; Croteau, Pascal; Yanofsky, Corey; Mentinova, Marija; Rajotte, Isabelle; Schirm, Michael; Zhou, Yiyong; Junqueira-Kipnis, Ana Paula; Kasprowicz, Victoria O.; Larsen, Michelle; Allard, René; Hunter, Joanna; Paramithiotis, Eustache

    2015-01-01

    Biomarkers for active tuberculosis (TB) are urgently needed to improve rapid TB diagnosis. The objective of this study was to identify serum protein expression changes associated with TB but not latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (LTBI), uninfected states, or respiratory diseases other than TB (ORD). Serum samples from 209 HIV uninfected (HIV−) and co-infected (HIV+) individuals were studied. In the discovery phase samples were analyzed via liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, and in the verification phase biologically independent samples were analyzed via a multiplex multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) assay. Compared to LTBI and ORD, host proteins were significantly differentially expressed in TB, and involved in the immune response, tissue repair, and lipid metabolism. Biomarker panels whose composition differed according to HIV status, and consisted of 8 host proteins in HIV− individuals (CD14, SEPP1, SELL, TNXB, LUM, PEPD, QSOX1, COMP, APOC1), or 10 host proteins in HIV+ individuals (CD14, SEPP1, PGLYRP2, PFN1, VASN, CPN2, TAGLN2, IGFBP6), respectively, distinguished TB from ORD with excellent accuracy (AUC = 0.96 for HIV− TB, 0.95 for HIV+ TB). These results warrant validation in larger studies but provide promise that host protein biomarkers could be the basis for a rapid, blood-based test for TB. PMID:26501113

  1. Host Protein Biomarkers Identify Active Tuberculosis in HIV Uninfected and Co-infected Individuals.

    PubMed

    Achkar, Jacqueline M; Cortes, Laetitia; Croteau, Pascal; Yanofsky, Corey; Mentinova, Marija; Rajotte, Isabelle; Schirm, Michael; Zhou, Yiyong; Junqueira-Kipnis, Ana Paula; Kasprowicz, Victoria O; Larsen, Michelle; Allard, René; Hunter, Joanna; Paramithiotis, Eustache

    2015-09-01

    Biomarkers for active tuberculosis (TB) are urgently needed to improve rapid TB diagnosis. The objective of this study was to identify serum protein expression changes associated with TB but not latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection (LTBI), uninfected states, or respiratory diseases other than TB (ORD). Serum samples from 209 HIV uninfected (HIV(-)) and co-infected (HIV(+)) individuals were studied. In the discovery phase samples were analyzed via liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, and in the verification phase biologically independent samples were analyzed via a multiplex multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) assay. Compared to LTBI and ORD, host proteins were significantly differentially expressed in TB, and involved in the immune response, tissue repair, and lipid metabolism. Biomarker panels whose composition differed according to HIV status, and consisted of 8 host proteins in HIV(-) individuals (CD14, SEPP1, SELL, TNXB, LUM, PEPD, QSOX1, COMP, APOC1), or 10 host proteins in HIV(+) individuals (CD14, SEPP1, PGLYRP2, PFN1, VASN, CPN2, TAGLN2, IGFBP6), respectively, distinguished TB from ORD with excellent accuracy (AUC = 0.96 for HIV(-) TB, 0.95 for HIV(+) TB). These results warrant validation in larger studies but provide promise that host protein biomarkers could be the basis for a rapid, blood-based test for TB. PMID:26501113

  2. Anomaly detection driven active learning for identifying suspicious tracks and events in WAMI video

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, David J.; Natraj, Aditya; Hockenbury, Ryler; Dunn, Katherine; Sheffler, Michael; Sullivan, Kevin

    2012-06-01

    We describe a comprehensive system for learning to identify suspicious vehicle tracks from wide-area motion (WAMI) video. First, since the road network for the scene of interest is assumed unknown, agglomerative hierarchical clustering is applied to all spatial vehicle measurements, resulting in spatial cells that largely capture individual road segments. Next, for each track, both at the cell (speed, acceleration, azimuth) and track (range, total distance, duration) levels, extreme value feature statistics are both computed and aggregated, to form summary (p-value based) anomaly statistics for each track. Here, to fairly evaluate tracks that travel across different numbers of spatial cells, for each cell-level feature type, a single (most extreme) statistic is chosen, over all cells traveled. Finally, a novel active learning paradigm, applied to a (logistic regression) track classifier, is invoked to learn to distinguish suspicious from merely anomalous tracks, starting from anomaly-ranked track prioritization, with ground-truth labeling by a human operator. This system has been applied to WAMI video data (ARGUS), with the tracks automatically extracted by a system developed in-house at Toyon Research Corporation. Our system gives promising preliminary results in highly ranking as suspicious aerial vehicles, dismounts, and traffic violators, and in learning which features are most indicative of suspicious tracks.

  3. Identifying active vascular microcalcification by 18F-sodium fluoride positron emission tomography

    PubMed Central

    Irkle, Agnese; Vesey, Alex T.; Lewis, David Y.; Skepper, Jeremy N.; Bird, Joseph L. E.; Dweck, Marc R.; Joshi, Francis R.; Gallagher, Ferdia A.; Warburton, Elizabeth A.; Bennett, Martin R.; Brindle, Kevin M.; Newby, David E.; Rudd, James H.; Davenport, Anthony P.

    2015-01-01

    Vascular calcification is a complex biological process that is a hallmark of atherosclerosis. While macrocalcification confers plaque stability, microcalcification is a key feature of high-risk atheroma and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Positron emission tomography and X-ray computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging of atherosclerosis using 18F-sodium fluoride (18F-NaF) has the potential to identify pathologically high-risk nascent microcalcification. However, the precise molecular mechanism of 18F-NaF vascular uptake is still unknown. Here we use electron microscopy, autoradiography, histology and preclinical and clinical PET/CT to analyse 18F-NaF binding. We show that 18F-NaF adsorbs to calcified deposits within plaque with high affinity and is selective and specific. 18F-NaF PET/CT imaging can distinguish between areas of macro- and microcalcification. This is the only currently available clinical imaging platform that can non-invasively detect microcalcification in active unstable atherosclerosis. The use of 18F-NaF may foster new approaches to developing treatments for vascular calcification. PMID:26151378

  4. A Modified Reverse One-Hybrid Screen Identifies Transcriptional Activation Domains in PHYTOCHROME-INTERACTING FACTOR 3

    PubMed Central

    Dalton, Jutta C.; Bätz, Ulrike; Liu, Jason; Curie, Gemma L.; Quail, Peter H.

    2016-01-01

    Transcriptional activation domains (TADs) are difficult to predict and identify, since they are not conserved and have little consensus. Here, we describe a yeast-based screening method that is able to identify individual amino acid residues involved in transcriptional activation in a high throughput manner. A plant transcriptional activator, PIF3 (phytochrome interacting factor 3), was fused to the yeast GAL4-DNA-binding Domain (BD), driving expression of the URA3 (Orotidine 5′-phosphate decarboxylase) reporter, and used for negative selection on 5-fluroorotic acid (5FOA). Randomly mutagenized variants of PIF3 were then selected for a loss or reduction in transcriptional activation activity by survival on FOA. In the process, we developed a strategy to eliminate false positives from negative selection that can be used for both reverse-1- and 2-hybrid screens. With this method we were able to identify two distinct regions in PIF3 with transcriptional activation activity, both of which are functionally conserved in PIF1, PIF4, and PIF5. Both are collectively necessary for full PIF3 transcriptional activity, but neither is sufficient to induce transcription autonomously. We also found that the TAD appear to overlap physically with other PIF3 functions, such as phyB binding activity and consequent phosphorylation. Our protocol should provide a valuable tool for identifying, analyzing and characterizing novel TADs in eukaryotic transcription factors, and thus potentially contribute to the unraveling of the mechanism underlying transcriptional activation. PMID:27379152

  5. Identifying the controls of wildfire activity in Namibia using multivariate statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayr, Manuel; Le Roux, Johan; Samimi, Cyrus

    2015-04-01

    Despite large areas of Namibia being unaffected by fires due to aridity, substantial burning in the northern and north-eastern parts of the country is observed every year. Within the fire-affected regions, a strong spatial and inter-annual variability characterizes the dry-season fire situation. In order to understand these patterns, it appears critical to identify the causative factors behind fire occurrence and to examine their interactions in detail. Furthermore, most studies dealing with causative factor examination focus either on the local or the regional scale. However, these scales seem to be inappropriate from a management perspective, as fire-related strategic action plans are most often set up nationwide. Here, we will present an examination of the fire regimes of Namibia based on a dataset conducted by Le Roux (2011). A decade-spanning fire record (1994-2003) derived from NOAA's Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) imagery was used to generate four fire regime metrics (Burned Area, Fire Season Length, Month of Peak Fire Season, and Fire Return Period) and quantitative information on vegetation and phenology derived from Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series. Further variables contained by this dataset are related to climate, biodiversity, and human activities. Le Roux (2011) analyzed the correlations between the fire metrics mentioned above and the predictor variables. We hypothesize that linear correlations (as estimated by correlation coefficients) simplify the interactions between response and predictor variables. For instance, moderate population densities could induce the highest number of fires, whereas the complete absence of humans lacks one major source of ignition. Around highly populated areas, in contrary, fuels are usually reduced and space is more fragmented - thus, the initiation and spread of a potential fire could as well be inhibited. From a total of over 40 explanatory variables, we will initially use

  6. In silico identified CCR4 antagonists target regulatory T cells and exert adjuvant activity in vaccination.

    PubMed

    Bayry, Jagadeesh; Tchilian, Elma Z; Davies, Matthew N; Forbes, Emily K; Draper, Simon J; Kaveri, Srini V; Hill, Adrian V S; Kazatchkine, Michel D; Beverley, Peter C L; Flower, Darren R; Tough, David F

    2008-07-22

    Adjuvants are substances that enhance immune responses and thus improve the efficacy of vaccination. Few adjuvants are available for use in humans, and the one that is most commonly used (alum) often induces suboptimal immunity for protection against many pathogens. There is thus an obvious need to develop new and improved adjuvants. We have therefore taken an approach to adjuvant discovery that uses in silico modeling and structure-based drug-design. As proof-of-principle we chose to target the interaction of the chemokines CCL22 and CCL17 with their receptor CCR4. CCR4 was posited as an adjuvant target based on its expression on CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs), which negatively regulate immune responses induced by dendritic cells (DC), whereas CCL17 and CCL22 are chemotactic agents produced by DC, which are crucial in promoting contact between DC and CCR4(+) T cells. Molecules identified by virtual screening and molecular docking as CCR4 antagonists were able to block CCL22- and CCL17-mediated recruitment of human Tregs and Th2 cells. Furthermore, CCR4 antagonists enhanced DC-mediated human CD4(+) T cell proliferation in an in vitro immune response model and amplified cellular and humoral immune responses in vivo in experimental models when injected in combination with either Modified Vaccinia Ankara expressing Ag85A from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MVA85A) or recombinant hepatitis B virus surface antigen (rHBsAg) vaccines. The significant adjuvant activity observed provides good evidence supporting our hypothesis that CCR4 is a viable target for rational adjuvant design. PMID:18621704

  7. IDENTIFYING LUMINOUS ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN DEEP SURVEYS: REVISED IRAC SELECTION CRITERIA

    SciTech Connect

    Donley, J. L.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Brusa, M.; Salvato, M.; Capak, P.; Cardamone, C. N.; Civano, F.; Ilbert, O.; Impey, C. D.; Kartaltepe, J. S.; Miyaji, T.; Sanders, D. B.; Trump, J. R.

    2012-04-01

    Spitzer/IRAC selection is a powerful tool for identifying luminous active galactic nuclei (AGNs). For deep IRAC data, however, the AGN selection wedges currently in use are heavily contaminated by star-forming galaxies, especially at high redshift. Using the large samples of luminous AGNs and high-redshift star-forming galaxies in COSMOS, we redefine the AGN selection criteria for use in deep IRAC surveys. The new IRAC criteria are designed to be both highly complete and reliable, and incorporate the best aspects of the current AGN selection wedges and of infrared power-law selection while excluding high-redshift star-forming galaxies selected via the BzK, distant red galaxy, Lyman-break galaxy, and submillimeter galaxy criteria. At QSO luminosities of log L{sub 2-10keV}(erg s{sup -1}) {>=}44, the new IRAC criteria recover 75% of the hard X-ray and IRAC-detected XMM-COSMOS sample, yet only 38% of the IRAC AGN candidates have X-ray counterparts, a fraction that rises to 52% in regions with Chandra exposures of 50-160 ks. X-ray stacking of the individually X-ray non-detected AGN candidates leads to a hard X-ray signal indicative of heavily obscured to mildly Compton-thick obscuration (log N{sub H} (cm{sup -2}) = 23.5 {+-} 0.4). While IRAC selection recovers a substantial fraction of luminous unobscured and obscured AGNs, it is incomplete to low-luminosity and host-dominated AGNs.

  8. 30 CFR 285.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery... essential fish habitat or habitat areas of particular concern may be adversely affected by your...

  9. 30 CFR 285.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act? (a) If, during the conduct of your approved activities, MMS finds that essential fish habitat...

  10. 30 CFR 585.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act? (a) If, during the conduct of your approved activities, BOEM finds that essential fish habitat...

  11. 30 CFR 585.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act? (a) If, during the conduct of your approved activities, BOEM finds that essential fish habitat...

  12. 30 CFR 585.803 - How must I conduct my approved activities to protect essential fish habitats identified and...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... protect essential fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation... fish habitats identified and described under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act? (a) If, during the conduct of your approved activities, BOEM finds that essential fish habitat...

  13. Involvement in Extracurricular Activities: Identifying Differences in Perceptions of School Climate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinez, Andrew; Coker, Crystal; McMahon, Susan D.; Cohen, Jonathan; Thapa, Amrit

    2016-01-01

    Many youth participate in extracurricular activities, and research has linked activity participation with school engagement and academic success. Social-ecological theory suggests that the social contexts of different types of extracurricular activities may differentially affect student outcomes. Yet, there is scant research examining the relation…

  14. Identifying Key Features of Effective Active Learning: The Effects of Writing and Peer Discussion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linton, Debra L.; Pangle, Wiline M.; Wyatt, Kevin H.; Powell, Karli N.; Sherwood, Rachel E.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated some of the key features of effective active learning by comparing the outcomes of three different methods of implementing active-learning exercises in a majors introductory biology course. Students completed activities in one of three treatments: discussion, writing, and discussion + writing. Treatments were rotated weekly between…

  15. Differences in EEG Alpha Activity between Gifted and Non-Identified Individuals: Insights into Problem Solving.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jausovec, Norbert

    1997-01-01

    This study examined differences in electroencephalography (EEG) alpha activity between gifted and nongifted Slovenian student-teachers (N=17 each). Gifted students showed greater left hemisphere activation than nongifted subjects in relaxed states, but lower activation during problem solving. The same pattern was observed in overall hemispheric…

  16. A Path Analysis to Identify the Psychosocial Factors Influencing Physical Activity and Bone Health in Middle-School Girls

    PubMed Central

    Sharma, Shreela V.; Hoelscher, Deanna M.; Kelder, Steven H.; Diamond, Pamela M.; Day, R. Sue; Hergenroeder, Albert C.

    2011-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study was to identify pathways used by psychosocial factors to influence physical activity and bone health in middle-school girls. Methods Baseline data from the Incorporating More Physical Activity and Calcium in Teens (IMPACT) study collected in 2001 to 2003 were used. IMPACT was a 1 1/2 years nutrition and physical activity intervention study designed to improve bone density in 717 middle-school girls in Texas. Structural Equations Modeling was used to examine the interrelationships and identify the direct and indirect pathways used by various psychosocial and environmental factors to influence physical activity and bone health. Results Results show that physical activity self-efficacy and social support (friend, family engagement, and encouragement in physical activity) had a significant direct and indirect influence on physical activity with participation in sports teams as the mediator. Participation in sports teams had a direct effect on both physical activity (β= 0.20, P < .05) and bone health and (β=0.13, P < .05). Conclusion The current study identified several direct and indirect pathways that psychosocial factors use to influence physical activity and bone health among adolescent girls. These findings are critical for the development of effective interventions for promoting bone health in this population. PMID:19953837

  17. Screening of Transient Receptor Potential Canonical Channel Activators Identifies Novel Neurotrophic Piperazine Compounds.

    PubMed

    Sawamura, Seishiro; Hatano, Masahiko; Takada, Yoshinori; Hino, Kyosuke; Kawamura, Tetsuya; Tanikawa, Jun; Nakagawa, Hiroshi; Hase, Hideharu; Nakao, Akito; Hirano, Mitsuru; Rotrattanadumrong, Rachapun; Kiyonaka, Shigeki; Mori, Masayuki X; Nishida, Motohiro; Hu, Yaopeng; Inoue, Ryuji; Nagata, Ryu; Mori, Yasuo

    2016-03-01

    Transient receptor potential canonical (TRPC) proteins form Ca(2+)-permeable cation channels activated upon stimulation of metabotropic receptors coupled to phospholipase C. Among the TRPC subfamily, TRPC3 and TRPC6 channels activated directly by diacylglycerol (DAG) play important roles in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling, promoting neuronal development and survival. In various disease models, BDNF restores neurologic deficits, but its therapeutic potential is limited by its poor pharmacokinetic profile. Elucidation of a framework for designing small molecules, which elicit BDNF-like activity via TRPC3 and TRPC6, establishes a solid basis to overcome this limitation. We discovered, through library screening, a group of piperazine-derived compounds that activate DAG-activated TRPC3/TRPC6/TRPC7 channels. The compounds [4-(5-chloro-2-methylphenyl)piperazin-1-yl](3-fluorophenyl)methanone (PPZ1) and 2-[4-(2,3-dimethylphenyl)piperazin-1-yl]-N-(2-ethoxyphenyl)acetamide (PPZ2) activated, in a dose-dependent manner, recombinant TRPC3/TRPC6/TRPC7 channels, but not other TRPCs, in human embryonic kidney cells. PPZ2 activated native TRPC6-like channels in smooth muscle cells isolated from rabbit portal vein. Also, PPZ2 evoked cation currents and Ca(2+) influx in rat cultured central neurons. Strikingly, both compounds induced BDNF-like neurite growth and neuroprotection, which were abolished by a knockdown or inhibition of TRPC3/TRPC6/TRPC7 in cultured neurons. Inhibitors of Ca(2+) signaling pathways, except calcineurin, impaired neurite outgrowth promotion induced by PPZ compounds. PPZ2 increased activation of the Ca(2+)-dependent transcription factor, cAMP response element-binding protein. These findings suggest that Ca(2+) signaling mediated by activation of DAG-activated TRPC channels underlies neurotrophic effects of PPZ compounds. Thus, piperazine-derived activators of DAG-activated TRPC channels provide important insights for future development of a

  18. Identifying High School Physical Education Physical Activity Patterns after High School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barney, David; Pleban, Francis T.; Wilkinson, Carol; Prusak, Keven A.

    2015-01-01

    National standards for physical education (PE) encompass five principles for the purpose of defining what high school students should recognize and be able to perform as a result of a quality PE program. The expectation is that youth will develop an active, healthy lifestyle into adulthood from activities and skills taught in PE. Researchers from…

  19. Identifying the Barriers and Facilitators to Participation in Physical Activity for Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barr, M.; Shields, N.

    2011-01-01

    Background: Many children with Down syndrome do not undertake the recommended amount of daily physical activity. The aim of this study was to explore the barriers and facilitators to physical activity for this group. Methods: Eighteen in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 parents (16 mothers, 4 fathers) of children with Down syndrome aged…

  20. Critical narrative review to identify educational strategies promoting physical activity in preschool.

    PubMed

    Kreichauf, S; Wildgruber, A; Krombholz, H; Gibson, E L; Vögele, C; Nixon, C A; Douthwaite, W; Moore, H J; Manios, Y; Summerbell, C D

    2012-03-01

    The aim of this narrative review is critically to evaluate educational strategies promoting physical activity that are used in the preschool setting in the context of obesity prevention programmes. Literature search was conducted between April and August 2010 in English and German databases (PubMED, PsychINFO, PSYNDEX, ERIC, FIS Bildung). Outcomes considered were time and intensity of physical activity, motor skills or measures of body composition. A total of 19 studies were included. Ten studies added physical activity lessons into their curriculum, one study provided more time for free play, eight studies focused on the social and play environment. Studies reporting positive outcomes implemented physical activity sessions that lasted at least 30 min d(-1). Several studies showed that children are most active in the first 10-15 min. The existence or installation of playground markings or fixed play equipment had no effect, whereas the presence or addition of portable play equipment was positively correlated with moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Teacher training may be a key element for successful interventions. To overcome time constraints, a suggested solution is to integrate physical activity into daily routines and other areas of the preschool curriculum. PMID:22309068

  1. Identifying Key Features of Effective Active Learning: The Effects of Writing and Peer Discussion

    PubMed Central

    Pangle, Wiline M.; Wyatt, Kevin H.; Powell, Karli N.; Sherwood, Rachel E.

    2014-01-01

    We investigated some of the key features of effective active learning by comparing the outcomes of three different methods of implementing active-learning exercises in a majors introductory biology course. Students completed activities in one of three treatments: discussion, writing, and discussion + writing. Treatments were rotated weekly between three sections taught by three different instructors in a full factorial design. The data set was analyzed by generalized linear mixed-effect models with three independent variables: student aptitude, treatment, and instructor, and three dependent (assessment) variables: change in score on pre- and postactivity clicker questions, and coding scores on in-class writing and exam essays. All independent variables had significant effects on student performance for at least one of the dependent variables. Students with higher aptitude scored higher on all assessments. Student scores were higher on exam essay questions when the activity was implemented with a writing component compared with peer discussion only. There was a significant effect of instructor, with instructors showing different degrees of effectiveness with active-learning techniques. We suggest that individual writing should be implemented as part of active learning whenever possible and that instructors may need training and practice to become effective with active learning. PMID:25185230

  2. Identifying key features of effective active learning: the effects of writing and peer discussion.

    PubMed

    Linton, Debra L; Pangle, Wiline M; Wyatt, Kevin H; Powell, Karli N; Sherwood, Rachel E

    2014-01-01

    We investigated some of the key features of effective active learning by comparing the outcomes of three different methods of implementing active-learning exercises in a majors introductory biology course. Students completed activities in one of three treatments: discussion, writing, and discussion + writing. Treatments were rotated weekly between three sections taught by three different instructors in a full factorial design. The data set was analyzed by generalized linear mixed-effect models with three independent variables: student aptitude, treatment, and instructor, and three dependent (assessment) variables: change in score on pre- and postactivity clicker questions, and coding scores on in-class writing and exam essays. All independent variables had significant effects on student performance for at least one of the dependent variables. Students with higher aptitude scored higher on all assessments. Student scores were higher on exam essay questions when the activity was implemented with a writing component compared with peer discussion only. There was a significant effect of instructor, with instructors showing different degrees of effectiveness with active-learning techniques. We suggest that individual writing should be implemented as part of active learning whenever possible and that instructors may need training and practice to become effective with active learning. PMID:25185230

  3. Organized Activities During High School and Adjustment One Year Post High School: Identifying Social Mediators.

    PubMed

    Viau, Annie; Denault, Anne-Sophie; Poulin, François

    2015-08-01

    This longitudinal study investigated social capital as a way through which youths' organized activities promote their future adjustment. Specifically, we examined social mediators of the associations between intensity, duration, and breadth of participation from age 14 to 17 and adjustment at age 18. Two social mediators were tested: support from the activity leader and social integration into the activity peer group. In addition, we examined how these mediation effects vary across gender. The sample consisted of 228 French Canadian adolescents (65 % girls). Youths were surveyed yearly from age 12 to 18. Controlling for prior adjustment at age 12, greater duration of participation from age 14 to 17 was associated with lower problematic alcohol use and higher civic engagement at age 18 through support from the activity leader. In addition, for boys only, greater duration of participation was associated with fewer subsequent depressive symptoms through social integration into the activity peer group. Overall, our results suggest that sustained participation allows youths to develop positive social experiences within organized activities, which, in turn, promote their future adjustment. Moreover, boys might benefit more from social experiences in organized activities than girls, at least with respect to depressive symptoms. PMID:25404238

  4. An activation tagging screen to identify novel genes for Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The goal of this project is to identify plant genes that confer resistance against FHB and reduced DON accumulation. The identification of such genes offers the possibility to more fully understand the mechanisms of Fusarium susceptibility and to design transgenic strategies to increase FHB resistan...

  5. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  6. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  7. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  8. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  9. 15 CFR 930.33 - Identifying Federal agency activities affecting any coastal use or resource.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... which has minimal or no environmental effects may still have effects on a coastal use (e.g., effects on public access and recreational opportunities, protection of historic property) or a coastal resource, if... 15 Commerce and Foreign Trade 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Identifying Federal agency...

  10. Mapping present and future potential distribution patterns for a meso-grazer guild in the Baltic Sea

    PubMed Central

    Leidenberger, Sonja; De Giovanni, Renato; Kulawik, Robert; Williams, Alan R; Bourlat, Sarah J; Maggs, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Aim The Baltic Sea is one of the world's largest semi-enclosed brackish water bodies characterized by many special features, including endemic species that may be particularly threatened by climate change. We mapped potential distribution patterns under present and future conditions for a community with three trophic levels. We analysed climate-induced changes in the species' distribution patterns and examined possible consequences for the chosen food web. Location Baltic Sea and northern Europe. Methods We developed two open-source workflow-based analytical tools: one for ecological niche modelling and another for raster layer comparison to compute the extent and intensity of change in species' potential distributions. Individual ecological niche models were generated under present conditions and then projected into a future climate change scenario (2050) for a food web consisting of a guild of meso-grazers (Idotea spp.), their host algae (Fucus vesiculosus and Fucus radicans) and their fish predator (Gasterosteus aculeatus). We used occurrence data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), literature and museum collections, together with five environmental layers at a resolution of 5 and 30 arc-minutes. Results Habitat suitability for Idotea balthica and Idotea chelipes in the Baltic Sea seems to be mostly determined by temperature and ice cover rather than by salinity. 2050 predictions for all modelled species show a northern/north-eastern shift in the Baltic Sea. The distribution ranges for Idotea granulosa and G. aculeatus are predicted to become patchier in the Baltic than in the rest of northern Europe, where the species will gain more suitable habitats. Main conclusions For the Baltic Sea, climate-induced changes resulted in a gain of suitable habitats for F. vesiculosus,I. chelipes and I. balthica, whereas lower habitat suitability was predicted for I. granulosa,F. radicans and G. aculeatus. The predicted north-eastern shift of I. balthica

  11. Visualizing in situ translational activity for identifying and sorting slow-growing archaeal−bacterial consortia

    PubMed Central

    Hatzenpichler, Roland; Connon, Stephanie A.; Goudeau, Danielle; Malmstrom, Rex R.; Woyke, Tanja; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2016-01-01

    To understand the biogeochemical roles of microorganisms in the environment, it is important to determine when and under which conditions they are metabolically active. Bioorthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) can reveal active cells by tracking the incorporation of synthetic amino acids into newly synthesized proteins. The phylogenetic identity of translationally active cells can be determined by combining BONCAT with rRNA-targeted fluorescence in situ hybridization (BONCAT-FISH). In theory, BONCAT-labeled cells could be isolated with fluorescence-activated cell sorting (BONCAT-FACS) for subsequent genetic analyses. Here, in the first application, to our knowledge, of BONCAT-FISH and BONCAT-FACS within an environmental context, we probe the translational activity of microbial consortia catalyzing the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), a dominant sink of methane in the ocean. These consortia, which typically are composed of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria, have been difficult to study due to their slow in situ growth rates, and fundamental questions remain about their ecology and diversity of interactions occurring between ANME and associated partners. Our activity-correlated analyses of >16,400 microbial aggregates provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that AOM consortia affiliated with all five major ANME clades are concurrently active under controlled conditions. Surprisingly, sorting of individual BONCAT-labeled consortia followed by whole-genome amplification and 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed previously unrecognized interactions of ANME with members of the poorly understood phylum Verrucomicrobia. This finding, together with our observation that ANME-associated Verrucomicrobia are found in a variety of geographically distinct methane seep environments, suggests a broader range of symbiotic relationships within AOM consortia than previously thought. PMID:27357680

  12. Visualizing in situ translational activity for identifying and sorting slow-growing archaeal-bacterial consortia.

    PubMed

    Hatzenpichler, Roland; Connon, Stephanie A; Goudeau, Danielle; Malmstrom, Rex R; Woyke, Tanja; Orphan, Victoria J

    2016-07-12

    To understand the biogeochemical roles of microorganisms in the environment, it is important to determine when and under which conditions they are metabolically active. Bioorthogonal noncanonical amino acid tagging (BONCAT) can reveal active cells by tracking the incorporation of synthetic amino acids into newly synthesized proteins. The phylogenetic identity of translationally active cells can be determined by combining BONCAT with rRNA-targeted fluorescence in situ hybridization (BONCAT-FISH). In theory, BONCAT-labeled cells could be isolated with fluorescence-activated cell sorting (BONCAT-FACS) for subsequent genetic analyses. Here, in the first application, to our knowledge, of BONCAT-FISH and BONCAT-FACS within an environmental context, we probe the translational activity of microbial consortia catalyzing the anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM), a dominant sink of methane in the ocean. These consortia, which typically are composed of anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) and sulfate-reducing bacteria, have been difficult to study due to their slow in situ growth rates, and fundamental questions remain about their ecology and diversity of interactions occurring between ANME and associated partners. Our activity-correlated analyses of >16,400 microbial aggregates provide the first evidence, to our knowledge, that AOM consortia affiliated with all five major ANME clades are concurrently active under controlled conditions. Surprisingly, sorting of individual BONCAT-labeled consortia followed by whole-genome amplification and 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed previously unrecognized interactions of ANME with members of the poorly understood phylum Verrucomicrobia This finding, together with our observation that ANME-associated Verrucomicrobia are found in a variety of geographically distinct methane seep environments, suggests a broader range of symbiotic relationships within AOM consortia than previously thought. PMID:27357680

  13. Combined Rational Design and a High Throughput Screening Platform for Identifying Chemical Inhibitors of a Ras-activating Enzyme*

    PubMed Central

    Evelyn, Chris R.; Biesiada, Jacek; Duan, Xin; Tang, Hong; Shang, Xun; Papoian, Ruben; Seibel, William L.; Nelson, Sandra; Meller, Jaroslaw; Zheng, Yi

    2015-01-01

    The Ras family small GTPases regulate multiple cellular processes, including cell growth, survival, movement, and gene expression, and are intimately involved in cancer pathogenesis. Activation of these small GTPases is catalyzed by a special class of enzymes, termed guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). Herein, we developed a small molecule screening platform for identifying lead hits targeting a Ras GEF enzyme, SOS1. We employed an ensemble structure-based virtual screening approach in combination with a multiple tier high throughput experimental screen utilizing two complementary fluorescent guanine nucleotide exchange assays to identify small molecule inhibitors of GEF catalytic activity toward Ras. From a library of 350,000 compounds, we selected a set of 418 candidate compounds predicted to disrupt the GEF-Ras interaction, of which dual wavelength GDP dissociation and GTP-loading experimental screening identified two chemically distinct small molecule inhibitors. Subsequent biochemical validations indicate that they are capable of dose-dependently inhibiting GEF catalytic activity, binding to SOS1 with micromolar affinity, and disrupting GEF-Ras interaction. Mutagenesis studies in conjunction with structure-activity relationship studies mapped both compounds to different sites in the catalytic pocket, and both inhibited Ras signaling in cells. The unique screening platform established here for targeting Ras GEF enzymes could be broadly useful for identifying lead inhibitors for a variety of small GTPase-activating GEF reactions. PMID:25825487

  14. Identifying signatures of plasma waves and reconnection associated with Kelvin-Helmholtz activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Thomas Wesley

    The magnetopause marks the boundary between the shocked solar wind and magnetospheric plasma. Understanding the dynamics of the plasma processes at the magnetopause boundary is crucial to the study of plasma transport into the magnetosphere. Previous studies have shown that there exists a temperature asymmetry in the plasma sheet. During northward IMF, the cold component ions are 30-40% hotter in the dawn flank plasma sheet compared to the dusk flank. However, the mechanisms responsible are still not entirely clear. Recent work has shown that reconnection in Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices can transport plasma into the magnetosphere. Previous studies have also shown that mode conversion at the magnetopause can generate kinetic Alfven wave (KAW) activity. Both magnetic reconnection and plasma wave activity can heat plasma. In this thesis we look for new cases of Kelvin-Helmholtz Instability (KHI) from Cluster spacecraft data and search for signatures of associated magnetic reconnection and plasma wave activity.

  15. Repellent activity of constituents identified in Foeniculum vulgare fruit against Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae).

    PubMed

    Kim, Do-Hyoung; Kim, Soon-Il; Chang, Kyu-Sik; Ahn, Young-Joon

    2002-11-20

    The repellent activity of materials derived from the methanol extract of fruits from Foeniculum vulgareagainst hungry Aedes aegypti females was examined using skin and patch tests and compared with that of the commercial N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (deet) and (Z)-9-octadecenoic acid. The biologically active constituents of the Foeniculum fruits were characterized as (+)-fenchone and (E)-9-octadecenoic acid by spectroscopic analyses. Responses varied according to compound, dose, and exposure time. In a skin test with female mosquitoes, at a dose of 0.4 mg/cm(2), (+)-fenchone and (Z)-9-octadecenoic acid exhibited moderate repellent activity at 30 min after treatment, whereas deet provided >1 h of protection against adult mosquitoes at 0.2 mg/cm(2). (Z)-9-Octadecenoic acid was a more potent repellent agent than (E)-9-octadecenoic acid. (+)-Fenchone and (E)-9-octadecenoic acid merit further study as potential mosquito repellent agents or as lead compounds. PMID:12428949

  16. Triterpenoid resinous metabolites from the genus Boswellia: pharmacological activities and potential species-identifying properties

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    The resinous metabolites commonly known as frankincense or olibanum are produced by trees of the genus Boswellia and have attracted increasing popularity in Western countries in the last decade for their various pharmacological activities. This review described the pharmacological specific details mainly on anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-bacterial and apoptosis-regulating activities of individual triterpenoid together with the relevant mechanism. In addition, species-characterizing triterpenic markers with the methods for their detection, bioavailability, safety and other significant properties were reviewed for further research. PMID:24028654

  17. IDENTIFYING RECENT SURFACE MINING ACTIVITIES USING A NORMALIZED DIFFERENCE VEGETATION INDEX (NDVI) CHANGE DETECTION METHOD

    EPA Science Inventory



    Coal mining is a major resource extraction activity on the Appalachian Mountains. The increased size and frequency of a specific type of surface mining, known as mountain top removal-valley fill, has in recent years raised various environmental concerns. During mountainto...

  18. Using Concept Mapping to Identify Action Steps for Physical Activity Promotion in Cancer Treatment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fitzpatrick, Sean Joseph; Zizzi, Sam J.

    2014-01-01

    Background: The benefits of exercise during and after cancer treatment represent research areas that have received increased attention throughout the past 2 decades. Numerous benefits have been observed for cancer survivors who are physically active, yet oncologists have been slow to incorporate exercise counseling into practice. Purpose: The…

  19. Identifying correlates and determinants of physical activity in youth: How can we advance the field?

    PubMed

    Atkin, Andrew J; van Sluijs, Esther M F; Dollman, James; Taylor, Wendell C; Stanley, Rebecca M

    2016-06-01

    This commentary provides a critical discussion of current research investigating the correlates and determinants of physical activity in young people, with specific focus on conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues. We draw on current child and adolescent literature and our own collective expertise to illustrate our discussion. We conclude with recommendations that will strengthen future research and help to advance the field. PMID:26940254

  20. 3D Printing in Instructional Settings: Identifying a Curricular Hierarchy of Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Abbie

    2015-01-01

    A report of a year-long study in which the author engaged in 3D printing activity in order to determine how to facilitate and support skill building, concept attainment, and increased confidence with its use among teachers. Use of 3D printing tools and their applications in instructional settings are discussed. A hierarchy of 3D printing…

  1. Identifying and Measuring the Activities That Impact Musical Growth from High School through Graduate School.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bobbett, Gordon C.; And Others

    The impact that high school and college experiences and activities have on students' musical independence (MI) was investigated. MI is related to the actual production and performance of music, as opposed to musical achievement or the mastery of any academic skill related to music. Colwell's Musical Achievement Test 3, Musical Achievement Test 4,…

  2. Transcriptome analysis of Pseudomonas syringae identifies new genes, ncRNAs, and antisense activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To fully understand how bacteria respond to their environment, it is essential to assess genome-wide transcriptional activity. New high throughput sequencing technologies make it possible to query the transcriptome of an organism in an efficient unbiased manner. We applied a strand-specific method t...

  3. Zoosporicidal activity of polyflavonoid tannin identified in Lannea coromandelica stem bark against phytopathogenic oomycete Aphanomyces cochlioides.

    PubMed

    Islam, Md Tofazzal; Ito, Toshiaki; Sakasai, Mitsuyoshi; Tahara, Satoshi

    2002-11-01

    In a survey of nonhost plant secondary metabolites regulating motility and viability of zoospores of the Aphanomyces cochlioides, we found that stem bark extracts of Lannea coromandelica remarkably inhibited motility of zoospores followed by lysis. Bioassay-guided fractionation and chemical characterization of Lannea extracts by MALDI-TOF-MS revealed that the active constituents were angular type polyflavonoid tannins. Commercial polyflavonoid tannins, Quebracho and Mimosa, also showed identical zoosporicidal activity. Against zoospores, the motility-inhibiting and lytic activities were more pronounced in Lannea extracts (MIC 0.1 microg/mL) than in Quebracho (MIC 0.5 microg/mL) and Mimosa (MIC 0.5 microg/mL). Scanning electron microscopic observation visualized that both Lannea and commercial tannins caused lysis of cell membrane followed by fragmentation of cellular materials. Naturally occurring polyflavonoid tannin merits further study as potential zoospore regulating agent or as lead compound. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of zoosporicidal activity of natural polyflavonoid tannins against an oomycete phytopathogen. PMID:12405764

  4. Identifying active foraminifera in the Sea of Japan using metatranscriptomic approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lejzerowicz, Franck; Voltsky, Ivan; Pawlowski, Jan

    2013-02-01

    Metagenetics represents an efficient and rapid tool to describe environmental diversity patterns of microbial eukaryotes based on ribosomal DNA sequences. However, the results of metagenetic studies are often biased by the presence of extracellular DNA molecules that are persistent in the environment, especially in deep-sea sediment. As an alternative, short-lived RNA molecules constitute a good proxy for the detection of active species. Here, we used a metatranscriptomic approach based on RNA-derived (cDNA) sequences to study the diversity of the deep-sea benthic foraminifera and compared it to the metagenetic approach. We analyzed 257 ribosomal DNA and cDNA sequences obtained from seven sediments samples collected in the Sea of Japan at depths ranging from 486 to 3665 m. The DNA and RNA-based approaches gave a similar view of the taxonomic composition of foraminiferal assemblage, but differed in some important points. First, the cDNA dataset was dominated by sequences of rotaliids and robertiniids, suggesting that these calcareous species, some of which have been observed in Rose Bengal stained samples, are the most active component of foraminiferal community. Second, the richness of monothalamous (single-chambered) foraminifera was particularly high in DNA extracts from the deepest samples, confirming that this group of foraminifera is abundant but not necessarily very active in the deep-sea sediments. Finally, the high divergence of undetermined sequences in cDNA dataset indicate the limits of our database and lack of knowledge about some active but possibly rare species. Our study demonstrates the capability of the metatranscriptomic approach to detect active foraminiferal species and prompt its use in future high-throughput sequencing-based environmental surveys.

  5. Can the vector space model be used to identify biological entity activities?

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Biological systems are commonly described as networks of entity interactions. Some interactions are already known and integrate the current knowledge in life sciences. Others remain unknown for long periods of time and are frequently discovered by chance. In this work we present a model to predict these unknown interactions from a textual collection using the vector space model (VSM), a well known and established information retrieval model. We have extended the VSM ability to retrieve information using a transitive closure approach. Our objective is to use the VSM to identify the known interactions from the literature and construct a network. Based on interactions established in the network our model applies the transitive closure in order to predict and rank new interactions. Results We have tested and validated our model using a collection of patent claims issued from 1976 to 2005. From 266,528 possible interactions in our network, the model identified 1,027 known interactions and predicted 3,195 new interactions. Iterating the model according to patent issue dates, interactions found in a given past year were often confirmed by patent claims not in the collection and issued in more recent years. Most confirmation patent claims were found at the top 100 new interactions obtained from each subnetwork. We have also found papers on the Web which confirm new inferred interactions. For instance, the best new interaction inferred by our model relates the interaction between the adrenaline neurotransmitter and the androgen receptor gene. We have found a paper that reports the partial dependence of the antiapoptotic effect of adrenaline on androgen receptor. Conclusions The VSM extended with a transitive closure approach provides a good way to identify biological interactions from textual collections. Specifically for the context of literature-based discovery, the extended VSM contributes to identify and rank relevant new interactions even if these

  6. Identifying a Highly Active Copper Catalyst for KA(2) Reaction of Aromatic Ketones.

    PubMed

    Cai, Yujuan; Tang, Xinjun; Ma, Shengming

    2016-02-12

    The well-established A(3) coupling reaction of terminal alkynes, aldehydes, and amines provides the most straightforward approach to propargylic amines. However, the related reaction of ketones, especially aromatic ketones, is still a significant challenge. A highly efficient catalytic protocol has been developed for the coupling of aromatic ketones with amines and terminal alkynes, in which Cu(I) , generated in situ from the reduction of CuBr2 with sodium ascorbate, has been identified as the highly efficient catalyst. Since propargylic amines are versatile synthetic intermediates and important units in pharmaceutical products, such an advance will greatly stimulate research interest involving the previously unavailable propargylic amines. PMID:26660459

  7. Morphological and physiological responses of seagrasses (Alismatales) to grazers (Testudines: Cheloniidae) and the role of these responses as grazing patch abandonment cues.

    PubMed

    Lacey, Elizabeth A; Collado-Vides, Ligia; Fourqurean, James W

    2014-12-01

    Green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, are grazers influencing the distribution of seagrass within shallow coastal ecosystems, yet the drivers behind C. mydas patch use within seagrass beds are largely unknown. Current theories center on food quality (nutrient content) as the plant responds to grazing disturbances; however, no study has monitored these parameters in a natural setting without grazer manipulation. To determine the morphological and physiological responses potentially influencing seagrass recovery from grazing disturbances, seagrasses were monitored for one year under three different grazing scenarios (turtle grazed, fish grazed and ungrazed) in a tropical ecosystem in Akumal Bay, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Significantly less soluble carbohydrates and increased nitrogen and phosphorus content in Thalassia testudinum were indicative of the stresses placed on seagrasses during herbivory. To determine if these physiological responses were the drivers of the heterogeneous grazing behavior by C. mydas recorded in Akumal Bay, patches were mapped and monitored over a six-month interval. The abandoned patches had the lowest standing crop rather than leaf nutrient or rhi- zome soluble carbohydrate content. This suggests a modified Giving Up Density (GUD) behavior: the critical threshold where cost of continued grazing does not provide minimum nutrients, therefore, new patches must be utilized, explains resource abandonment and mechanism behind C. mydas grazing. This study is the first to apply GUD theory, often applied in terrestrial literature, to explain marine herbivore grazing behavior. PMID:25720186

  8. High-content screening identifies kinase inhibitors that overcome venetoclax resistance in activated CLL cells.

    PubMed

    Oppermann, Sina; Ylanko, Jarkko; Shi, Yonghong; Hariharan, Santosh; Oakes, Christopher C; Brauer, Patrick M; Zúñiga-Pflücker, Juan C; Leber, Brian; Spaner, David E; Andrews, David W

    2016-08-18

    Novel agents such as the Bcl-2 inhibitor venetoclax (ABT-199) are changing treatment paradigms for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but important problems remain. Although some patients exhibit deep and durable responses to venetoclax as a single agent, other patients harbor subpopulations of resistant leukemia cells that mediate disease recurrence. One hypothesis for the origin of resistance to venetoclax is by kinase-mediated survival signals encountered in proliferation centers that may be unique for individual patients. An in vitro microenvironment model was developed with primary CLL cells that could be incorporated into an automated high-content microscopy-based screen of kinase inhibitors (KIs) to identify agents that may improve venetoclax therapy in a personalized manner. Marked interpatient variability was noted for which KIs were effective; nevertheless, sunitinib was identified as the most common clinically available KI effective in overcoming venetoclax resistance. Examination of the underlying mechanisms indicated that venetoclax resistance may be induced by microenvironmental signals that upregulate antiapoptotic Bcl-xl, Mcl-1, and A1, which can be counteracted more efficiently by sunitinib than by ibrutinib or idelalisib. Although patient-specific drug responses are common, for many patients, combination therapy with sunitinib may significantly improve the therapeutic efficacy of venetoclax. PMID:27297795

  9. High-content screening identifies kinase inhibitors that overcome venetoclax resistance in activated CLL cells

    PubMed Central

    Oppermann, Sina; Ylanko, Jarkko; Shi, Yonghong; Hariharan, Santosh; Oakes, Christopher C.; Brauer, Patrick M.; Zúñiga-Pflücker, Juan C.; Leber, Brian; Spaner, David E.

    2016-01-01

    Novel agents such as the Bcl-2 inhibitor venetoclax (ABT-199) are changing treatment paradigms for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) but important problems remain. Although some patients exhibit deep and durable responses to venetoclax as a single agent, other patients harbor subpopulations of resistant leukemia cells that mediate disease recurrence. One hypothesis for the origin of resistance to venetoclax is by kinase-mediated survival signals encountered in proliferation centers that may be unique for individual patients. An in vitro microenvironment model was developed with primary CLL cells that could be incorporated into an automated high-content microscopy-based screen of kinase inhibitors (KIs) to identify agents that may improve venetoclax therapy in a personalized manner. Marked interpatient variability was noted for which KIs were effective; nevertheless, sunitinib was identified as the most common clinically available KI effective in overcoming venetoclax resistance. Examination of the underlying mechanisms indicated that venetoclax resistance may be induced by microenvironmental signals that upregulate antiapoptotic Bcl-xl, Mcl-1, and A1, which can be counteracted more efficiently by sunitinib than by ibrutinib or idelalisib. Although patient-specific drug responses are common, for many patients, combination therapy with sunitinib may significantly improve the therapeutic efficacy of venetoclax. PMID:27297795

  10. Identifying and Enhancing the Strengths of Gifted Learners, K-8: Easy-to-Use Activities and Lessons

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maccagnano, Ann Marie

    2007-01-01

    Educators can identify children's strengths early on and gain insight into each student's unique abilities by using the numerous ideas and informal assessments in this exciting guide. Gifted and talented specialist Ann Maccagnano offers K-8 teachers challenging activities and engaging lessons to develop and nurture gifted learners' talents.…

  11. Newly identified essential amino acid residues affecting ^8-sphingolipid desaturase activity revealed by site-directed mutagenesis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In order to identify amino acid residues crucial for the enzymatic activity of ^8-sphingolipid desaturases, a sequence comparison was performed among ^8-sphingolipid desaturases and ^6-fatty acid desaturase from various plants. In addition to the known conserved cytb5 (cytochrome b5) HPGG motif and...

  12. Using Tandem Mass Spectrometry in Targeted Mode to Identify Activators of Class IA PI3K in Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Xuemei; Turke, Alexa B.; Qi, Jie; Song, Youngchul; Rexer, Brent N.; Miller, Todd W.; Jänne, Pasi A.; Arteaga, Carlos L.; Cantley, Lewis C.; Engelman, Jeffrey A.; Asara, John M.

    2011-01-01

    PI3K is activated in some cancers by direct mutation, but it is activated more commonly in cancer by mutation of upstream acting receptor tyrosine kinases (TKs). At present, there is no systematic method to determine which TK signaling cascades activate PI3K in certain cancers, despite the likely utility of such information to help guide selection of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) drug strategies for personalized therapy. Here we present a quantitative tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) approach that identifies upstream activators of PI3K both in vitro and in vivo. Using non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) to illustrate this approach, we demonstrate a correct identification of the mechanism of PI3K activation in several models, thereby identifying the most appropriate TKI to down-regulate PI3K signaling. This approach also determined the molecular mechanisms and adaptors required for PI3K activation following inhibition of the mTOR kinase TORC1. We further validated the approach in breast cancer cells with mutational activation of PIK3CA, where tandem mass spectrometry detected and quantitatively measured the abundance of a helical domain mutant (E545K) of PIK3CA connected to PI3K activation. Overall, our findings establish a mass spectrometric approach to identify functional interactions that govern PI3K regulation in cancer cells. Using this technique to define the pathways which activate PI3K signaling in a given tumor could help inform clinical decision making by helping guide personalized therapeutic strategies for different patients. PMID:21775521

  13. Active-passive correlation spectroscopy - A new technique for identifying ocean color algorithm spectral regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoge, F. E.; Swift, R. N.

    1986-01-01

    A new active-passive airborne data correlation technique has been developed which allows the validation of existing in-water oceoan color algorithms and the rapid search, identification, and evaluation of new sensor band locations and algorithm wavelength intervals. Thus far, applied only in conjunction with the spectral curvature algorithm (SCA), the active-passive correlation spectroscopy (APCS) technique shows that (1) the usual 490-nm (center-band) chlorophyll SCA could satisfactorily be placed anywhere within the nominal 460-510-nm interval, and (2) two other spectral regions, 645-660 and 680-695 nm, show considerable promise for chlorophyll pigment measurement. Additionally, the APCS method reveals potentially useful wavelength regions (at 600 and about 670 nm) of very low chlorophyll-in-water spectral curvature into which accessory pigment algorithms for phycoerythrin might be carefully positioned. In combination, the APCS and SCA methods strongly suggest that significant information content resides within the seemingly featureless ocean color spectrum.

  14. Alternate protein kinase A activity identifies a unique population of stromal cells in adult bone.

    PubMed

    Tsang, Kit Man; Starost, Matthew F; Nesterova, Maria; Boikos, Sosipatros A; Watkins, Tonya; Almeida, Madson Q; Harran, Michelle; Li, Andrew; Collins, Michael T; Cheadle, Christopher; Mertz, Edward L; Leikin, Sergey; Kirschner, Lawrence S; Robey, Pamela; Stratakis, Constantine A

    2010-05-11

    A population of stromal cells that retains osteogenic capacity in adult bone (adult bone stromal cells or aBSCs) exists and is under intense investigation. Mice heterozygous for a null allele of prkar1a (Prkar1a(+/-)), the primary receptor for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and regulator of protein kinase A (PKA) activity, developed bone lesions that were derived from cAMP-responsive osteogenic cells and resembled fibrous dysplasia (FD). Prkar1a(+/-) mice were crossed with mice that were heterozygous for catalytic subunit Calpha (Prkaca(+/-)), the main PKA activity-mediating molecule, to generate a mouse model with double heterozygosity for prkar1a and prkaca (Prkar1a(+/-)Prkaca(+/-)). Unexpectedly, Prkar1a(+/-)Prkaca(+/-) mice developed a greater number of osseous lesions starting at 3 months of age that varied from the rare chondromas in the long bones and the ubiquitous osteochondrodysplasia of vertebral bodies to the occasional sarcoma in older animals. Cells from these lesions originated from an area proximal to the growth plate, expressed osteogenic cell markers, and showed higher PKA activity that was mostly type II (PKA-II) mediated by an alternate pattern of catalytic subunit expression. Gene expression profiling confirmed a preosteoblastic nature for these cells but also showed a signature that was indicative of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition and increased Wnt signaling. These studies show that a specific subpopulation of aBSCs can be stimulated in adult bone by alternate PKA and catalytic subunit activity; abnormal proliferation of these cells leads to skeletal lesions that have similarities to human FD and bone tumors. PMID:20421483

  15. An activation antigen on a subpopulation of B lymphocytes identified by the monoclonal antibody CMRF-17.

    PubMed

    Peach, S F; Davidson, S E; McKenzie, J L; Nimmo, J C; Hart, D N

    1989-07-01

    The identification of membrane molecules expressed on subpopulations of B lymphocytes is of potential significance because these molecules may be candidates for regulating the activation, proliferation and differentiation of B cells. A new monoclonal antibody, CMRF-17, which reacts with a subpopulation of tonsil B lymphocytes has been produced. The antibody did not react with T lymphocytes in tonsil or peripheral blood nor most peripheral blood B lymphocytes but did label erythrocytes and some platelets. In tonsil, the germinal centre cells, cells in the interfollicular region and endothelial cells were positive, but mantle zone B cells were negative. Double labelling experiments showed that CMRF-17 reacted with activated tonsillar lymphocytes. The antigen recognized by CMRF-17 was heat stable, resistant to treatment with proteolytic enzymes and neuraminidase and was shown to be a carbohydrate determinant on one or more glycolipids. These characteristics of the antigen recognized by CMRF-17 and its pattern of reactivity distinguish this antibody from other monoclonal antibodies recognizing B-cell activation markers. It was notable that of the B-lymphoid malignancies tested to date, including those of probable follicular origin, few stained with CMRF-17. PMID:2474491

  16. hTERT promoter activity identifies osteosarcoma cells with increased EMT characteristics

    PubMed Central

    YU, LING; LIU, SHIQING; GUO, WEICHUN; ZHANG, CHUN; ZHANG, BO; YAN, HUICHAO; WU, ZHENG

    2014-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a critical step in order for epithelial-derived malignancies to metastasize, however, its role in mesenchymal-derived tumors, i.e., osteosarcoma, remains unclear. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are enriched with cells that undergo EMT. The activity of telomerase is maintained in normal stem cells and a number of malignant tumors. The current study observed the heterogeneity of telomerase activity among individual osteosarcoma cells. We hypothesized that telomerase-positive (TELpos) cells are enriched for stem cell-like and EMT properties. A human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter-reporter was applied to assess the telomerase activity of individual MG63 osteosarcoma cells and sort them into TELpos and telomerase-negative (TELneg) subpopulations. It was found that the TELpos cells exhibited an enhanced ability to form sarcospheres in vitro. In addition, TELpos cells exhibited a higher expression of vimentin, accompanied by an increased long/short axis ratio. A panel of EMT-related genes was evaluated by quantitative PCR and western blot analysis, and were found to be significantly upregulated in TELpos cells. Next, the in vitro migration capacity was examined by Transwell assay, which confirmed that TELpos cells are more prone to migration (2.6 fold). The results of the present study support the concept that EMT also applies to mesenchymal-derived osteosarcoma and draws a connection between telomerase and EMT characteristics. PMID:24348856

  17. Selective activity of deguelin identifies therapeutic targets for androgen receptor-positive breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Robles, Andrew J; Cai, Shengxin; Cichewicz, Robert H; Mooberry, Susan L

    2016-06-01

    Triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC) are aggressive malignancies with no effective targeted therapies. Recent gene expression profiling of these heterogeneous cancers and the classification of cell line models now allows for the identification of compounds with selective activities against molecular subtypes of TNBC. The natural product deguelin was found to have selective activity against MDA-MB-453 and SUM-185PE cell lines, which both model the luminal androgen receptor (LAR) subtype of TNBC. Deguelin potently inhibited proliferation of these cells with GI50 values of 30 and 61 nM, in MDA-MB-453 and SUM-185PE cells, respectively. Deguelin had exceptionally high selectivity, 197 to 566-fold, for these cell lines compared to cell lines representing other TNBC subtypes. Deguelin's mechanisms of action were investigated to determine how it produced these potent and selective effects. Our results show that deguelin has dual activities, inhibiting PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling, and decreasing androgen receptor levels and nuclear localization. Based on these data, we hypothesized that the combination of the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin and the antiandrogen enzalutamide would have efficacy in LAR models. Rapamycin and enzalutamide showed additive effects in MDA-MB-453 cells, and both drugs had potent antitumor efficacy in a LAR xenograft model. These results suggest that the combination of antiandrogens and mTOR inhibitors might be an effective strategy for the treatment of androgen receptor-expressing TNBC. PMID:27255535

  18. Quantitative Proteomics Identifies Activation of Hallmark Pathways of Cancer in Patient Melanoma

    PubMed Central

    Byrum, Stephanie D.; Larson, Signe K.; Avaritt, Nathan L.; Moreland, Linley E.; Mackintosh, Samuel G.; Cheung, Wang L.; Tackett, Alan J.

    2013-01-01

    Molecular pathways regulating melanoma initiation and progression are potential targets of therapeutic development for this aggressive cancer. Identification and molecular analysis of these pathways in patients has been primarily restricted to targeted studies on individual proteins. Here, we report the most comprehensive analysis of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded human melanoma tissues using quantitative proteomics. From 61 patient samples, we identified 171 proteins varying in abundance among benign nevi, primary melanoma, and metastatic melanoma. Seventy-three percent of these proteins were validated by immunohistochemistry staining of malignant melanoma tissues from the Human Protein Atlas database. Our results reveal that molecular pathways involved with tumor cell proliferation, motility, and apoptosis are mis-regulated in melanoma. These data provide the most comprehensive proteome resource on patient melanoma and reveal insight into the molecular mechanisms driving melanoma progression. PMID:23976835

  19. Identifying water on our Moon and organics in the outer Solar System with active reflectance spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hibbitts, C. A.; Spiers, G. D.; Hansen, G. B.

    2005-08-01

    Infrared reflectance spectroscopy has successfully characterized H2O and identified organic molecules on many Solar System objects. However, passive reflectance spectroscopy cannot detect water in the permanently shadowed regions of the Moon. Similarly, the mid-IR fingerprints of organics on the surfaces of outer solar system objects cannot be detected passively because the sunlight is too dim and the surfaces are too cold. The strongest absorption band for condensed water and ice is near 3 microns. Organic molecules have strong absorptions near 3.4 microns, with spectral fingerprints necessary for unique identification present from approximately 5 to 10 microns. Given a sufficiently strong source of illumination, water hidden in shadows on the Moon and organic molecules in the outer solar system would be detectable and identifiable. Quantum Cascade (QC) laser technology is now becoming sufficiently capable to support reflectance spectroscopy at some of these wavelengths from orbit. Conceived under the HCIPE program in support of Prometheus missions, this technique is intrinsically very scalable. For instance, water can be detected using only two wavelengths and its physical state can be characterized with only five. Requiring an optical power of 2W per wavelength for sufficient signal-to-noise, the total power consumption by the lasing system would be approximately 80 and 200W, respectively. Currently, a continuous power output at 3 μm of 200 mWatts has been demonstrated. With beam combining, an optical power of 2 Watts is currently achievable. On the Moon, this would enable the detection of as little as 100ppm water. Radar and neutron spectroscopy measurements suggest there may be > 1000 ppm of water-ice present in permanent crater shadows on the Moon [Feldman et al., 1998; 2000; Nozette et al., 1996] which, if present the surface regolith would stabily exist adsorbed on the grains [Hodges, 2002; Cocks et al., 2002].

  20. Quantitative high-throughput screening: A titration-based approach that efficiently identifies biological activities in large chemical libraries

    PubMed Central

    Inglese, James; Auld, Douglas S.; Jadhav, Ajit; Johnson, Ronald L.; Simeonov, Anton; Yasgar, Adam; Zheng, Wei; Austin, Christopher P.

    2006-01-01

    High-throughput screening (HTS) of chemical compounds to identify modulators of molecular targets is a mainstay of pharmaceutical development. Increasingly, HTS is being used to identify chemical probes of gene, pathway, and cell functions, with the ultimate goal of comprehensively delineating relationships between chemical structures and biological activities. Achieving this goal will require methodologies that efficiently generate pharmacological data from the primary screen and reliably profile the range of biological activities associated with large chemical libraries. Traditional HTS, which tests compounds at a single concentration, is not suited to this task, because HTS is burdened by frequent false positives and false negatives and requires extensive follow-up testing. We have developed a paradigm, quantitative HTS (qHTS), tested with the enzyme pyruvate kinase, to generate concentration–response curves for >60,000 compounds in a single experiment. We show that this method is precise, refractory to variations in sample preparation, and identifies compounds with a wide range of activities. Concentration–response curves were classified to rapidly identify pyruvate kinase activators and inhibitors with a variety of potencies and efficacies and elucidate structure–activity relationships directly from the primary screen. Comparison of qHTS with traditional single-concentration HTS revealed a high prevalence of false negatives in the single-point screen. This study demonstrates the feasibility of qHTS for accurately profiling every compound in large chemical libraries (>105 compounds). qHTS produces rich data sets that can be immediately mined for reliable biological activities, thereby providing a platform for chemical genomics and accelerating the identification of leads for drug discovery. PMID:16864780

  1. Multi-scale surface electromyography modeling to identify changes in neuromuscular activation with myofascial pain.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Ching-Fen; Lin, Yu-Ching; Yu, Nan-Ying

    2013-01-01

    To solve the limitations in using the conventional parametric measures to define myofascial pain, a 3-D multi-scale wavelet energy variation graph is proposed as a way to inspect the pattern of surface electromyography (SEMG) variation between the dominant and nondominant sides at different frequency scales during a muscle contraction cycle and the associated changes with the upper-back myofascial pain. The model was developed based on the property of the wavelet energy of the SEMG signal revealing the degree of correspondence between the shape of the motor unit action potential and the wavelet waveform at a certain scale in terms of the frequency band. The characteristic pattern of the graph for each group (30 normal and 26 patient subjects) was first derived and revealed the dominant-hand effect and the changes with myofascial pain. Through comparison of individual graphs across subjects, we found that the graph pattern reveals a sensitivity of 53.85% at a specificity of 83.33% in the identification of myofascial pain. The changes in these patterns provide insight into the transformation between different fiber recruitment, which cannot be explored using conventional SEMG features. Therefore, this multi-scale analysis model could provide a reliable SEMG features to identify myofascial pain. PMID:23070369

  2. Assessment of the in vitro antimicrobial activity of Lactobacillus species for identifying new potential antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Dubourg, Grégory; Elsawi, Ziena; Raoult, Didier

    2015-11-01

    The bacteriocin-mediated antimicrobial properties of Lactobacillus spp. have been widely studied, leading to the use of these micro-organisms in the food industry as preservative agents against foodborne pathogens. In an era in which antibiotic resistance is becoming a public health issue, the antimicrobial activity of Lactobacillus spp. could be used for the discovery of new potential antibiotics. Thus, it is essential to have an accurate method of screening the production of antimicrobial agents by prokaryotes. Many in vitro assays have been published to date, largely concerning but not limited to Lactobacillus spp. However, these methods mainly use the spot-on-the-lawn method, which is prone to contamination during the overlay stage, with protocols using methanol vapours or the reverse side agar technique being applied to avoid such contamination. In this study, a method combining the spot-on-the-lawn and well diffusion methods was tested, permitting clear identification of inhibition zones from eight Lactobacillus spp. towards clinical isolates of 12 species (11 bacteria and 1 yeast) commonly found in human pathology. Lactobacillus plantarum CIP 106786 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus CSUR P567 exhibited the widest antimicrobial activity, whereas Lactobacillus acidophilus strain DSM 20079 was relatively inactive. In addition, the putative MIC(50) of L. rhamnosus against Proteus mirabilis was estimated at 1.1×10(9)CFU/mL using culture broth dilution. In conclusion, considering the increasing cultivable bacterial human repertoire, these findings open the way of an effective method to screen in vitro for the production of potential antimicrobial compounds. PMID:26163158

  3. A highly selective, reversible inhibitor identified by comparative chemoproteomics modulates diacylglycerol lipase activity in neurons

    PubMed Central

    Baggelaar, Marc P.; Chameau, Pascal J. P.; Kantae, Vasudev; Hummel, Jessica; Hsu, Ku-Lung; Janssen, Freek; van der Wel, Tom; Soethoudt, Marjolein; Deng, Hui; den Dulk, Hans; Allarà, Marco; Florea, Bogdan I.; Di Marzo, Vincenzo; Wadman, Wytse J.; Kruse, Chris G.; Overkleeft, Herman S.; Hankemeier, Thomas; Werkman, Taco R.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.; van der Stelt, Mario

    2016-01-01

    Diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL)-α and -β are enzymes responsible for the biosynthesis of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG). Selective and reversible inhibitors are required to study the function of DAGLs in neuronal cells in an acute and temporal fashion, but they are currently lacking. Here, we describe the identification of a highly selective DAGL inhibitor using structure-guided and a chemoproteomics strategy to characterize the selectivity of the inhibitor in complex proteomes. Key to the success of this approach is the use of comparative and competitive activity-based proteome profiling (ABPP), in which broad-spectrum and tailor-made activity-based probes are combined to report on the inhibition of a protein family in its native environment. Competitive ABPP with broad-spectrum fluorophosphonate-based probes and specific β-lactone-based probes led to the discovery of α-ketoheterocycle LEI105 as a potent, highly selective and reversible dual DAGL-α/DAGL-β inhibitor. LEI105 did not affect other enzymes involved in endocannabinoid metabolism including abhydrolase domain-containing protein 6, abhydrolase domain-containing protein 12, monoacylglycerol lipase and fatty acid amide hydrolase and did not display affinity for the cannabinoid CB1 receptor. Targeted lipidomics revealed that LEI105 concentration-dependently reduced 2-AG levels, but not anandamide levels, in Neuro2A cells. We show that cannabinoid CB1-receptor-mediated short-term synaptic plasticity in a mouse hippocampal slice model can be reduced by LEI105. Thus, we have developed a highly selective DAGL inhibitor and provide new pharmacological evidence to support the hypothesis that ‘on demand biosynthesis’ of 2-AG is responsible for retrograde signaling. PMID:26083464

  4. Mitochondrial impairment by PPAR agonists and statins identified via immunocaptured OXPHOS complex activities and respiration.

    PubMed

    Nadanaciva, Sashi; Dykens, James A; Bernal, Autumn; Capaldi, Roderick A; Will, Yvonne

    2007-09-15

    Mitochondrial impairment is increasingly implicated in the etiology of toxicity caused by some thiazolidinediones, fibrates, and statins. We examined the effects of members of these drug classes on respiration of isolated rat liver mitochondria using a phosphorescent oxygen sensitive probe and on the activity of individual oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes using a recently developed immunocapture technique. Of the six thiazolidinediones examined, ciglitazone, troglitazone, and darglitazone potently disrupted mitochondrial respiration. In accord with these data, ciglitazone and troglitazone were also potent inhibitors of Complexes II+III, IV, and V, while darglitazone predominantly inhibited Complex IV. Of the six statins evaluated, lovastatin, simvastatin, and cerivastatin impaired mitochondrial respiration the most, with simvastatin and lovastatin impairing multiple OXPHOS Complexes. Within the class of fibrates, gemfibrozil more potently impaired respiration than fenofibrate, clofibrate, or ciprofibrate. Gemfibrozil only modestly inhibited Complex I, fenofibrate inhibited Complexes I, II+III, and V, and clofibrate inhibited Complex V. Our findings with the two complementary methods indicate that (1) some members of each class impair mitochondrial respiration, whereas others have little or no effect, and (2) the rank order of mitochondrial impairment accords with clinical adverse events observed with these drugs. Since the statins are frequently co-prescribed with the fibrates or thiazolidinediones, various combinations of these three drug classes were also analyzed for their mitochondrial effects. In several cases, the combination additively uncoupled or inhibited respiration, suggesting that some combinations are more likely to yield clinically relevant drug-induced mitochondrial side effects than others. PMID:17658574

  5. Mitochondrial impairment by PPAR agonists and statins identified via immunocaptured OXPHOS complex activities and respiration

    SciTech Connect

    Nadanaciva, Sashi; Dykens, James A.; Bernal, Autumn; Capaldi, Roderick A.; Will, Yvonne

    2007-09-15

    Mitochondrial impairment is increasingly implicated in the etiology of toxicity caused by some thiazolidinediones, fibrates, and statins. We examined the effects of members of these drug classes on respiration of isolated rat liver mitochondria using a phosphorescent oxygen sensitive probe and on the activity of individual oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes using a recently developed immunocapture technique. Of the six thiazolidinediones examined, ciglitazone, troglitazone, and darglitazone potently disrupted mitochondrial respiration. In accord with these data, ciglitazone and troglitazone were also potent inhibitors of Complexes II + III, IV, and V, while darglitazone predominantly inhibited Complex IV. Of the six statins evaluated, lovastatin, simvastatin, and cerivastatin impaired mitochondrial respiration the most, with simvastatin and lovastatin impairing multiple OXPHOS Complexes. Within the class of fibrates, gemfibrozil more potently impaired respiration than fenofibrate, clofibrate, or ciprofibrate. Gemfibrozil only modestly inhibited Complex I, fenofibrate inhibited Complexes I, II + III, and V, and clofibrate inhibited Complex V. Our findings with the two complementary methods indicate that (1) some members of each class impair mitochondrial respiration, whereas others have little or no effect, and (2) the rank order of mitochondrial impairment accords with clinical adverse events observed with these drugs. Since the statins are frequently co-prescribed with the fibrates or thiazolidinediones, various combinations of these three drug classes were also analyzed for their mitochondrial effects. In several cases, the combination additively uncoupled or inhibited respiration, suggesting that some combinations are more likely to yield clinically relevant drug-induced mitochondrial side effects than others.

  6. Using Hydrothermal Plumes and Their Chemical Composition to Identify and Understand Hydrothermal Activity at Explorer Ridge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Resing, J.; Lebon, G.; Baker, E.; Walker, S.; Nakamura, K.; Silvers, B.

    2002-12-01

    During June and July, 2002, an extensive survey of the hydrothermal systems of the Explorer Ridge was made aboard the R/V Thomas Thompson. This survey employed hydrocasts and the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) to locate and map hydrothermal vent fields. A total of 28 hydrocasts (17 verticals and 11 tow-yos) were used to search for hydrothermal activity from 49.5°N to 50.3°N on the Explorer Ridge. During the hydrocasts continuous measurements were made of conductivity, temperature, pressure, light backscatter, eH, Fe, Mn, and pH. Discrete samples were collected for total dissolved Fe and Mn, methane, pH, total CO2, and particulate matter. Most of the strong hydrothermal venting was near the Magic Mountain area of the Explorer Ridge at ~49.76° N, 130.26° W, where strong particulate backscatter signals (~0.130 NTUs) and moderate temperature anomalies (~ 0.05 °C) were detected. The particulate matter causing the backscatter was made up primarily of volatile particulate sulfur (PS) with little to no hydrothermal PFe. PS:PFe ratios exceeded 25 in the areas of most intense venting, . These PFe and PS data suggest that the hydrothermal Fe, if any, is deposited as sulfide minerals beneath the sea floor and that S is far in excess of Fe in the hydrothermal fluids. In the most intense plumes,total dissolvable Fe and Mn were between 20 and 30 nM, pH anomalies exceeded 0.025 pH units (indicating an increase of ~10uM CO2), and methane reached 16nM. These results suggest that the fluids exiting the sea floor are metal-poor and moderately gas-rich.

  7. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a tool to predict chemical activity on mammalian development and identify mechanisms influencing toxicological outcome

    PubMed Central

    Harlow, Philippa H.; Perry, Simon J.; Widdison, Stephanie; Daniels, Shannon; Bondo, Eddie; Lamberth, Clemens; Currie, Richard A.; Flemming, Anthony J.

    2016-01-01

    To determine whether a C. elegans bioassay could predict mammalian developmental activity, we selected diverse compounds known and known not to elicit such activity and measured their effect on C. elegans egg viability. 89% of compounds that reduced C. elegans egg viability also had mammalian developmental activity. Conversely only 25% of compounds found not to reduce egg viability in C. elegans were also inactive in mammals. We conclude that the C. elegans egg viability assay is an accurate positive predictor, but an inaccurate negative predictor, of mammalian developmental activity. We then evaluated C. elegans as a tool to identify mechanisms affecting toxicological outcomes among related compounds. The difference in developmental activity of structurally related fungicides in C. elegans correlated with their rate of metabolism. Knockdown of the cytochrome P450s cyp-35A3 and cyp-35A4 increased the toxicity to C. elegans of the least developmentally active compounds to the level of the most developmentally active. This indicated that these P450s were involved in the greater rate of metabolism of the less toxic of these compounds. We conclude that C. elegans based approaches can predict mammalian developmental activity and can yield plausible hypotheses for factors affecting the biological potency of compounds in mammals. PMID:26987796

  8. A Newly Identified Extrinsic Input Triggers a Distinct Gastric Mill Rhythm via Activation of Modulatory Projection Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Blitz, Dawn M.; White, Rachel S.; Saideman, Shari R.; Cook, Aaron; Christie, Andrew E.; Nadim, Farzan; Nusbaum, Michael P.

    2008-01-01

    Neuronal network flexibility enables animals to respond appropriately to changes in their internal and external states. We are using the isolated crab stomatogastric nervous system to determine how extrinsic inputs contribute to network flexibility. The stomatogastric system includes the well-characterized gastric mill (chewing) and pyloric (filtering of chewed food) motor circuits in the stomatogastric ganglion. Projection neurons with somata in the commissural ganglia (CoGs) regulate these rhythms. Previous work characterized a unique gastric mill rhythm that occurred spontaneously in some preparations, but whose origin remained undetermined. This rhythm includes a distinct protractor phase activity pattern, during which all active gastric mill circuit and projection neurons fire in a pyloric rhythm-timed activity pattern instead of the tonic firing pattern exhibited by these neurons during previously studied gastric mill rhythms. Here we identify a new extrinsic input, the post-oesophageal commissure (POC) neurons, relatively brief stimulation (30 sec) of which triggers a long-lasting (tens of minutes) activation of this novel gastric mill rhythm at least in part via its lasting activation of CoG projection neurons, including the previously identified MCN1 and CPN2. Immunocytochemical and electrophysiological data suggest that the POC neurons excite MCN1 and CPN2 by release of the neuropeptide Cancer borealis tachykinin-related peptide Ia (CabTRP Ia). These data further suggest that the CoG arborization of the POC neurons comprises the previously identified anterior commissural organ (ACO), a CabTRP Ia-containing neurohemal organ. This endocrine pathway thus appears to also have paracrine actions that include activation of a novel and lasting gastric mill rhythm. PMID:18310125

  9. Teachers' instructional goals for science practice: Identifying knowledge gaps using cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farrar, Cynthia Hamen

    In AP Biology, the course goal, with respect to scientific acts and reasoning, has recently shifted toward a reform goal of science practice, where the goal is for students to have a scientific perspective that views science as a practice of a community rather than a body of knowledge. Given this recent shift, this study is interested in the gaps that may exist between an individual teacher's instructional goal and the goals of the AP Biology course. A Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) methodology and perspective is used to analyze four teachers' knowledge, practice, and learning. Teachers have content knowledge for teaching, a form of knowledge that is unique for teaching called specialized content knowledge. This specialized content knowledge (SCK) defines their instructional goals, the student outcomes they ultimately aim to achieve with their students. The study employs a cultural-historical continuum of scientific acts and reasoning, which represents the development of the AP Biology goal over time, to study gaps in their instructional goal. The study also analyzes the contradictions within their teaching practice and how teachers address those contradictions to shift their instructional practice and learn. The findings suggest that teachers have different interpretations of the AP Biology goals of science practice, placing their instructional goal at different points along the continuum. Based on the location of their instructional goal, different micro-communities of teachers exist along the continuum, comprised of teachers with a shared goal, language, and culture of their AP Biology teaching. The in-depth study of one teacher's AP Biology teaching, using a CHAT perspective, provides a means for studying the mechanisms that connect SCK to classroom actions and ultimately to instructional practice. CHAT also reveals the nature and importance of contradictions or cognitive dissonance in teacher learning and the types of support teachers need to

  10. Battle between influenza A virus and a newly identified antiviral activity of the PARP-containing ZAPL protein.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chien-Hung; Zhou, Ligang; Chen, Guifang; Krug, Robert M

    2015-11-10

    Previous studies showed that ZAPL (PARP-13.1) exerts its antiviral activity via its N-terminal zinc fingers that bind the mRNAs of some viruses, leading to mRNA degradation. Here we identify a different antiviral activity of ZAPL that is directed against influenza A virus. This ZAPL antiviral activity involves its C-terminal PARP domain, which binds the viral PB2 and PA polymerase proteins, leading to their proteasomal degradation. After the PB2 and PA proteins are poly(ADP-ribosylated), they are associated with the region of ZAPL that includes both the PARP domain and the adjacent WWE domain that is known to bind poly(ADP-ribose) chains. These ZAPL-associated PB2 and PA proteins are then ubiquitinated, followed by proteasomal degradation. This antiviral activity is counteracted by the viral PB1 polymerase protein, which binds close to the PARP domain and causes PB2 and PA to dissociate from ZAPL and escape degradation, explaining why ZAPL only moderately inhibits influenza A virus replication. Hence influenza A virus has partially won the battle against this newly identified ZAPL antiviral activity. Eliminating PB1 binding to ZAPL would be expected to substantially increase the inhibition of influenza A virus replication, so that the PB1 interface with ZAPL is a potential target for antiviral development. PMID:26504237

  11. A high-content EMT screen identifies multiple receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors with activity on TGFβ receptor.

    PubMed

    Lotz-Jenne, Carina; Lüthi, Urs; Ackerknecht, Sabine; Lehembre, François; Fink, Tobias; Stritt, Manuel; Wirth, Matthias; Pavan, Simona; Bill, Ruben; Regenass, Urs; Christofori, Gerhard; Meyer-Schaller, Nathalie

    2016-05-01

    An epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) enables epithelial tumor cells to break out of the primary tumor mass and to metastasize. Understanding the molecular mechanisms driving EMT in more detail will provide important tools to interfere with the metastatic process. To identify pharmacological modulators and druggable targets of EMT, we have established a novel multi-parameter, high-content, microscopy-based assay and screened chemical compounds with activities against known targets. Out of 3423 compounds, we have identified 19 drugs that block transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ)-induced EMT in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells (NMuMG). The active compounds include inhibitors against TGFβ receptors (TGFBR), Rho-associated protein kinases (ROCK), myosin II, SRC kinase and uridine analogues. Among the EMT-repressing compounds, we identified a group of inhibitors targeting multiple receptor tyrosine kinases, and biochemical profiling of these multi-kinase inhibitors reveals TGFBR as a thus far unknown target of their inhibitory spectrum. These findings demonstrate the feasibility of a multi-parameter, high-content microscopy screen to identify modulators and druggable targets of EMT. Moreover, the newly discovered "off-target" effects of several receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors have important consequences for in vitro and in vivo studies and might beneficially contribute to the therapeutic effects observed in vivo. PMID:27036020

  12. Larvicidal activity of medicinal plant extracts and lignan identified in Phryma leptostachya var. asiatica roots against housefly (Musca domestica L.).

    PubMed

    Seo, Seon-Mi; Park, Il-Kwon

    2012-05-01

    Medicinal plant extracts from 27 plant species in 20 families were tested for their larvicidal activity against housefly, Musca domestica (L.). Responses varied with plant material and concentration. Among plant species tested, Phryma leptostachya var. asiatica showed 100% larvicidal activity against M. domestica at 10 mg/g concentration. Larvicidal activities of Atractylodes japonica, Saussurea lappa, Asiasarum sieboldi, and Gleditsia japonica var. koraiensis were 89.3%, 85.3%, 93.3%, and 96.6% at 10 mg/g concentration, respectively. Extracts of Prunus persica, Curcuma longa, and Paeonia moutan produced moderate activity. Larvicidal activity of other plant extracts was less than 50%. Among test plant species, P. leptostachya var. asiatica showed the most potent larvicidal activity. The active constituent of P. leptostachya var. asiatica roots was identified as the leptostachyol acetate by spectroscopic analysis. The LC(50) values of leptostachyol acetate against M. domestica larvae were 0.039 mg/g. Naturally occurring medicinal plant extracts and P. leptostachya var. asiatica root-derived compounds merit further study as potential housefly larval control agents or lead compounds. PMID:22065063

  13. Structural Dissection of the Active Site of Thermotoga maritima β-Galactosidase Identifies Key Residues for Transglycosylating Activity.

    PubMed

    Talens-Perales, David; Polaina, Julio; Marín-Navarro, Julia

    2016-04-13

    Glycoside hydrolases, specifically β-galactosidases, can be used to synthesize galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) due to the transglycosylating (secondary) activity of these enzymes. Site-directed mutagenesis of a thermoresistant β-galactosidase from Thermotoga maritima has been carried out to study the structural basis of transgalactosylation and to obtain enzymatic variants with better performance for GOS biosynthesis. Rational design of mutations was based on homologous sequence analysis and structural modeling. Analysis of mutant enzymes indicated that residue W959, or an alternative aromatic residue at this position, is critical for the synthesis of β-3'-galactosyl-lactose, the major GOS obtained with the wild-type enzyme. Mutants W959A and W959C, but not W959F, showed an 80% reduced synthesis of this GOS. Other substitutions, N574S, N574A, and F571L, increased the synthesis of β-3'-galactosyl-lactose about 40%. Double mutants F571L/N574S and F571L/N574A showed an increase of about 2-fold. PMID:26998654

  14. Synthetic Lethality Screen Identifies RPS6KA2 as Modifier of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Activity in Pancreatic Cancer12

    PubMed Central

    Milosevic, Nada; Kühnemuth, Benjamin; Mühlberg, Leonie; Ripka, Stefanie; Griesmann, Heidi; Lölkes, Carolin; Buchholz, Malte; Aust, Daniela; Pilarsky, Christian; Krug, Sebastian; Gress, Thomas; Michl, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer is characterized by a high degree of resistance to chemotherapy. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition using the small-molecule inhibitor erlotinib was shown to provide a small survival benefit in a subgroup of patients. To identify kinases whose inhibition acts synergistically with erlotinib, we employed a kinome-wide small-interfering RNA (siRNA)-based loss-of-function screen in the presence of erlotinib. Of 779 tested kinases, we identified several targets whose inhibition acted synergistically lethal with EGFR inhibition by erlotinib, among them the S6 kinase ribosomal protein S6 kinase 2 (RPS6KA2)/ribosomal S6 kinase 3. Activated RPS6KA2 was expressed in approximately 40% of 123 human pancreatic cancer tissues. RPS6KA2 was shown to act downstream of EGFR/RAS/mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK)/extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK) signaling and was activated by EGF independently of the presence of KRAS mutations. Knockdown of RPS6KA2 by siRNA led to increased apoptosis only in the presence of erlotinib, whereas RPS6KA2 activation or overexpression rescued from erlotinib- and gemcitabine-induced apoptosis. This effect was at least in part mediated by downstream activation of ribosomal protein S6. Genetic as well as pharmacological inhibition of RPS6KA2 by the inhibitor BI-D1870 acted synergistically with erlotinib. By applying this synergistic lethality screen using a kinome-wide RNA interference-library approach, we identified RPS6KA2 as potential drug target whose inhibition synergistically enhanced the effect of erlotinib on tumor cell survival. This kinase therefore represents a promising drug candidate suitable for the development of novel inhibitors for pancreatic cancer therapy. PMID:24403857

  15. Sleeping Beauty transposon screen identifies signaling modules that cooperate with STAT5 activation to induce B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Heltemes-Harris, Lynn M.; Larson, Jon D.; Starr, Timothy K.; Hubbard, Gregory K.; Sarver, Aaron L.; Largaespada, David A.; Farrar, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    STAT5 activation occurs frequently in human progenitor B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). To identify gene alterations that cooperate with STAT5 activation to initiate leukemia we crossed mice expressing a constitutively active form of STAT5 (Stat5b-CA) to mice in which a mutagenic Sleeping Beauty transposon (T2/Onc) was mobilized only in B cells. Stat5b-CA mice typically do not develop B-ALL (<2% penetrance); in contrast, 89% of Stat5b–CA mice in which the T2/Onc transposon had been mobilized died of B-ALL by 3 months of age. High-throughput sequencing approaches were used to identify genes frequently targeted by the T2/Onc transposon; these included Sos1 (74%), Kdm2a (35%), Jak1 (26%), Bmi1 (19%), Prdm14 or Ncoa2 (13%), Cdkn2a (10%), Ikzf1 (8%), Caap1 (6%) and Klf3 (6%). Collectively, these mutations target three major cellular processes: (i) the JAK/STAT5 pathway (ii) progenitor B cell differentiation and (iii) the CDKN2A tumor suppressor pathway. Transposon insertions typically resulted in altered expression of these genes, as well as downstream pathways including STAT5, ERK and p38. Importantly, expression of Sos1 and Kdm2a, and activation of p38, correlated with survival, further underscoring the role these genes and associated pathways play in B-ALL. PMID:26500062

  16. Complexes between tissue-type plasminogen activator and proteinase inhibitors in human plasma, identified with an immunoradiometric assay

    SciTech Connect

    Rijken, D.C.; Juhan-Vague, I.; Collen, D.

    1983-02-01

    Extrinsic (tissue-type) plasminogen activator antigen in human plasma, as measured by a two-site immunoradiometric assay, is composed of a fibrin-adsorbable and a nonadsorbable fraction. Gel filtration on Ultrogel AcA 44 in 1.6M KSCN of the fibrin-adsorbable fraction showed a peak with M/sub r/ approx. =70,000, which contained plasminogen activator activity and was assumed to represent free extrinsic plasminogen activator. The nonadsorbable fraction showed a broad peak with M/sub r/ approx. =140,000 without plasminogen activator activity. Overnight incubation at 37/sup 0/C of postexercise plasma revealed a shift of the M/sub r/ approx. =70,000 peak to the M/sub r/ approx. =140,000 position, suggesting that the M/sub r/ approx. =140,000 peak consists of extrinsic plasminogen activator-protease inhibitor complex(es). ..cap alpha../sub 2/-Antiplasmin is the main inhibitor of extrinsic plasminogen activator in plasma and is probably responsible for the generation of the M/sub r/ approx. =140,000 component. A possible involvement of other plasma proteinase inhibitors was explored by incubation of /sup 125/I-labeled extrinsic plasminogen activator in ..cap alpha../sub 2/-antiplasmin-depleted plasma. A complex was formed with a t1/2 of about 1 hr, which was identified by immunoprecipitation as extrinsic plasminogen activator-..cap alpha../sub 2/-antiplasmin complex. Additional evidence for the presence of extrinsic plasminogen activator complexes with ..cap alpha../sub 2/-antiplasmin and ..cap alpha../sub 1/-antitrypsin in plasma was obtained from two-site immunoradiometric assays. It was concluded that plasma contains both free extrinsic plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator complexes with ..cap alpha../sub 2/-antiplasmin and ..cap alpha../sub 1/-antitrypsin. These complexes are also present in plasma collected on the active site inhibitor, D-Phe-Pro-Arg-CH/sub 2/Cl, at rest and after exercise and are therefore assumed to circulate in vivo. (JMT)

  17. Thick-shelled, grazer-protected diatoms decouple ocean carbon and silicon cycles in the iron-limited Antarctic Circumpolar Current.

    PubMed

    Assmy, Philipp; Smetacek, Victor; Montresor, Marina; Klaas, Christine; Henjes, Joachim; Strass, Volker H; Arrieta, Jesús M; Bathmann, Ulrich; Berg, Gry M; Breitbarth, Eike; Cisewski, Boris; Friedrichs, Lars; Fuchs, Nike; Herndl, Gerhard J; Jansen, Sandra; Krägefsky, Sören; Latasa, Mikel; Peeken, Ilka; Röttgers, Rüdiger; Scharek, Renate; Schüller, Susanne E; Steigenberger, Sebastian; Webb, Adrian; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter

    2013-12-17

    Diatoms of the iron-replete continental margins and North Atlantic are key exporters of organic carbon. In contrast, diatoms of the iron-limited Antarctic Circumpolar Current sequester silicon, but comparatively little carbon, in the underlying deep ocean and sediments. Because the Southern Ocean is the major hub of oceanic nutrient distribution, selective silicon sequestration there limits diatom blooms elsewhere and consequently the biotic carbon sequestration potential of the entire ocean. We investigated this paradox in an in situ iron fertilization experiment by comparing accumulation and sinking of diatom populations inside and outside the iron-fertilized patch over 5 wk. A bloom comprising various thin- and thick-shelled diatom species developed inside the patch despite the presence of large grazer populations. After the third week, most of the thinner-shelled diatom species underwent mass mortality, formed large, mucous aggregates, and sank out en masse (carbon sinkers). In contrast, thicker-shelled species, in particular Fragilariopsis kerguelensis, persisted in the surface layers, sank mainly empty shells continuously, and reduced silicate concentrations to similar levels both inside and outside the patch (silica sinkers). These patterns imply that thick-shelled, hence grazer-protected, diatom species evolved in response to heavy copepod grazing pressure in the presence of an abundant silicate supply. The ecology of these silica-sinking species decouples silicon and carbon cycles in the iron-limited Southern Ocean, whereas carbon-sinking species, when stimulated by iron fertilization, export more carbon per silicon. Our results suggest that large-scale iron fertilization of the silicate-rich Southern Ocean will not change silicon sequestration but will add carbon to the sinking silica flux. PMID:24248337

  18. Multi-scale responses of soil stability and invasive plants to removal of non-native grazers from an arid conservation reserve

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Beever, E.A.; Huso, M.; Pyke, D.A.

    2006-01-01

    Disturbances and ecosystem recovery from disturbance both involve numerous processes that operate on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Few studies have investigated how gradients of disturbance intensity and ecosystem responses are distributed across multiple spatial resolutions and also how this relationship changes through time during recovery. We investigated how cover of non-native species and soil-aggregate stability (a measure of vulnerability to erosion by water) in surface and subsurface soils varied spatially during grazing by burros and cattle and whether patterns in these variables changed after grazer removal from Mojave National Preserve, California, USA. We compared distance from water and number of ungulate defecations — metrics of longer-term and recent grazing intensity, respectively, — as predictors of our response variables. We used information-theoretic analyses to compare hierarchical linear models that accounted for important covariates and allowed for interannual variation in the disturbance–response relationship at local and landscape scales. Soil stability was greater under perennial vegetation than in bare interspaces, and surface soil stability decreased with increasing numbers of ungulate defecations. Stability of surface samples was more affected by time since removal of grazers than was stability of subsurface samples, and subsurface soil stability in bare spaces was not related to grazing intensity, time since removal, or any of our other predictors. In the high rainfall year (2003) after cattle had been removed for 1–2 years, cover of all non-native plants averaged nine times higher than in the low-rainfall year (2002). Given the heterogeneity in distribution of large-herbivore impacts that we observed at several resolutions, hierarchical analyses provided a more complete understanding of the spatial and temporal complexities of disturbance and recovery processes in arid ecosystems.

  19. Thick-shelled, grazer-protected diatoms decouple ocean carbon and silicon cycles in the iron-limited Antarctic Circumpolar Current

    PubMed Central

    Assmy, Philipp; Smetacek, Victor; Montresor, Marina; Klaas, Christine; Henjes, Joachim; Strass, Volker H.; Arrieta, Jesús M.; Bathmann, Ulrich; Berg, Gry M.; Breitbarth, Eike; Cisewski, Boris; Friedrichs, Lars; Fuchs, Nike; Herndl, Gerhard J.; Jansen, Sandra; Krägefsky, Sören; Latasa, Mikel; Peeken, Ilka; Röttgers, Rüdiger; Scharek, Renate; Schüller, Susanne E.; Steigenberger, Sebastian; Webb, Adrian; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter

    2013-01-01

    Diatoms of the iron-replete continental margins and North Atlantic are key exporters of organic carbon. In contrast, diatoms of the iron-limited Antarctic Circumpolar Current sequester silicon, but comparatively little carbon, in the underlying deep ocean and sediments. Because the Southern Ocean is the major hub of oceanic nutrient distribution, selective silicon sequestration there limits diatom blooms elsewhere and consequently the biotic carbon sequestration potential of the entire ocean. We investigated this paradox in an in situ iron fertilization experiment by comparing accumulation and sinking of diatom populations inside and outside the iron-fertilized patch over 5 wk. A bloom comprising various thin- and thick-shelled diatom species developed inside the patch despite the presence of large grazer populations. After the third week, most of the thinner-shelled diatom species underwent mass mortality, formed large, mucous aggregates, and sank out en masse (carbon sinkers). In contrast, thicker-shelled species, in particular Fragilariopsis kerguelensis, persisted in the surface layers, sank mainly empty shells continuously, and reduced silicate concentrations to similar levels both inside and outside the patch (silica sinkers). These patterns imply that thick-shelled, hence grazer-protected, diatom species evolved in response to heavy copepod grazing pressure in the presence of an abundant silicate supply. The ecology of these silica-sinking species decouples silicon and carbon cycles in the iron-limited Southern Ocean, whereas carbon-sinking species, when stimulated by iron fertilization, export more carbon per silicon. Our results suggest that large-scale iron fertilization of the silicate-rich Southern Ocean will not change silicon sequestration but will add carbon to the sinking silica flux. PMID:24248337

  20. Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)-Activated ATM-Dependent Phosphorylation of Cytoplasmic Substrates Identified by Large-Scale Phosphoproteomics Screen.

    PubMed

    Kozlov, Sergei V; Waardenberg, Ashley J; Engholm-Keller, Kasper; Arthur, Jonathan W; Graham, Mark E; Lavin, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Ataxia-telangiectasia, mutated (ATM) protein plays a central role in phosphorylating a network of proteins in response to DNA damage. These proteins function in signaling pathways designed to maintain the stability of the genome and minimize the risk of disease by controlling cell cycle checkpoints, initiating DNA repair, and regulating gene expression. ATM kinase can be activated by a variety of stimuli, including oxidative stress. Here, we confirmed activation of cytoplasmic ATM by autophosphorylation at multiple sites. Then we employed a global quantitative phosphoproteomics approach to identify cytoplasmic proteins altered in their phosphorylation state in control and ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T) cells in response to oxidative damage. We demonstrated that ATM was activated by oxidative damage in the cytoplasm as well as in the nucleus and identified a total of 9,833 phosphorylation sites, including 6,686 high-confidence sites mapping to 2,536 unique proteins. A total of 62 differentially phosphorylated peptides were identified; of these, 43 were phosphorylated in control but not in A-T cells, and 19 varied in their level of phosphorylation. Motif enrichment analysis of phosphopeptides revealed that consensus ATM serine glutamine sites were overrepresented. When considering phosphorylation events, only observed in control cells (not observed in A-T cells), with predicted ATM sites phosphoSerine/phosphoThreonine glutamine, we narrowed this list to 11 candidate ATM-dependent cytoplasmic proteins. Two of these 11 were previously described as ATM substrates (HMGA1 and UIMCI/RAP80), another five were identified in a whole cell extract phosphoproteomic screens, and the remaining four proteins had not been identified previously in DNA damage response screens. We validated the phosphorylation of three of these proteins (oxidative stress responsive 1 (OSR1), HDGF, and ccdc82) as ATM dependent after H2O2 exposure, and another protein (S100A11) demonstrated ATM

  1. Identifying New Drug Targets for Potent Phospholipase D Inhibitors: Combining Sequence Alignment, Molecular Docking, and Enzyme Activity/Binding Assays.

    PubMed

    Djakpa, Helene; Kulkarni, Aditya; Barrows-Murphy, Scheneque; Miller, Greg; Zhou, Weihong; Cho, Hyejin; Török, Béla; Stieglitz, Kimberly

    2016-05-01

    Phospholipase D enzymes cleave phospholipid substrates generating choline and phosphatidic acid. Phospholipase D from Streptomyces chromofuscus is a non-HKD (histidine, lysine, and aspartic acid) phospholipase D as the enzyme is more similar to members of the diverse family of metallo-phosphodiesterase/phosphatase enzymes than phospholipase D enzymes with active site HKD repeats. A highly efficient library of phospholipase D inhibitors based on 1,3-disubstituted-4-amino-pyrazolopyrimidine core structure was utilized to evaluate the inhibition of purified S. chromofuscus phospholipase D. The molecules exhibited inhibition of phospholipase D activity (IC50 ) in the nanomolar range with monomeric substrate diC4 PC and micromolar range with phospholipid micelles and vesicles. Binding studies with vesicle substrate and phospholipase D strongly indicate that these inhibitors directly block enzyme vesicle binding. Following these compelling results as a starting point, sequence searches and alignments with S. chromofuscus phospholipase D have identified potential new drug targets. Using AutoDock, inhibitors were docked into the enzymes selected from sequence searches and alignments (when 3D co-ordinates were available) and results analyzed to develop next-generation inhibitors for new targets. In vitro enzyme activity assays with several human phosphatases demonstrated that the predictive protocol was accurate. The strategy of combining sequence comparison, docking, and high-throughput screening assays has helped to identify new drug targets and provided some insight into how to make potential inhibitors more specific to desired targets. PMID:26691755

  2. High-resolution water column survey to identify active sublacustrine hydrothermal discharge zones within Lake Rotomahana, North Island, New Zealand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Sharon L.; de Ronde, Cornel E. J.; Fornari, Daniel; Tivey, Maurice A.; Stucker, Valerie K.

    2016-03-01

    Autonomous underwater vehicles were used to conduct a high-resolution water column survey of Lake Rotomahana using temperature, pH, turbidity, and oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) to identify active hydrothermal discharge zones within the lake. Five areas with active sublacustrine venting were identified: (1) the area of the historic Pink Terraces; (2) adjacent to the western shoreline subaerial "Steaming Cliffs," boiling springs and geyser; (3) along the northern shoreline to the east of the Pink Terrace site; (4) the newly discovered Patiti hydrothermal system along the south margin of the 1886 Tarawera eruption rift zone; and (5) a location in the east basin (northeast of Patiti Island). The Pink Terrace hydrothermal system was active prior to the 1886 eruption of Mount Tarawera, but venting along the western shoreline, in the east basin, and the Patiti hydrothermal system appear to have been initiated in the aftermath of the eruption, similar to Waimangu Valley to the southwest. Different combinations of turbidity, pH anomalies (both positive and negative), and ORP responses suggest vent fluid compositions vary over short distances within the lake. The seasonal period of stratification limits vertical transport of heat to the surface layer and the hypolimnion temperature of Lake Rotomahana consequently increases with an average warming rate of ~ 0.010 °C/day due to both convective hydrothermal discharge and conductive geothermal heating. A sudden temperature increase occurred during our 2011 survey and was likely the response to an earthquake swarm just 11 days prior.

  3. An In Vivo Selection Identifies Listeria monocytogenes Genes Required to Sense the Intracellular Environment and Activate Virulence Factor Expression

    PubMed Central

    Portnoy, Daniel A.

    2016-01-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen with a well-defined life-cycle that involves escape from a phagosome, rapid cytosolic growth, and ActA-dependent cell-to-cell spread, all of which are dependent on the master transcriptional regulator PrfA. The environmental cues that lead to temporal and spatial control of L. monocytogenes virulence gene expression are poorly understood. In this study, we took advantage of the robust up-regulation of ActA that occurs intracellularly and expressed Cre recombinase from the actA promoter and 5’ untranslated region in a strain in which loxP sites flanked essential genes, so that activation of actA led to bacterial death. Upon screening for transposon mutants that survived intracellularly, six genes were identified as necessary for ActA expression. Strikingly, most of the genes, including gshF, spxA1, yjbH, and ohrA, are predicted to play important roles in bacterial redox regulation. The mutants identified in the genetic selection fell into three broad categories: (1) those that failed to reach the cytosolic compartment; (2) mutants that entered the cytosol, but failed to activate the master virulence regulator PrfA; and (3) mutants that entered the cytosol and activated transcription of actA, but failed to synthesize it. The identification of mutants defective in vacuolar escape suggests that up-regulation of ActA occurs in the host cytosol and not the vacuole. Moreover, these results provide evidence for two non-redundant cytosolic cues; the first results in allosteric activation of PrfA via increased glutathione levels and transcriptional activation of actA while the second results in translational activation of actA and requires yjbH. Although the precise host cues have not yet been identified, we suggest that intracellular redox stress occurs as a consequence of both host and pathogen remodeling their metabolism upon infection. PMID:27414028

  4. An In Vivo Selection Identifies Listeria monocytogenes Genes Required to Sense the Intracellular Environment and Activate Virulence Factor Expression.

    PubMed

    Reniere, Michelle L; Whiteley, Aaron T; Portnoy, Daniel A

    2016-07-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is an environmental saprophyte and facultative intracellular bacterial pathogen with a well-defined life-cycle that involves escape from a phagosome, rapid cytosolic growth, and ActA-dependent cell-to-cell spread, all of which are dependent on the master transcriptional regulator PrfA. The environmental cues that lead to temporal and spatial control of L. monocytogenes virulence gene expression are poorly understood. In this study, we took advantage of the robust up-regulation of ActA that occurs intracellularly and expressed Cre recombinase from the actA promoter and 5' untranslated region in a strain in which loxP sites flanked essential genes, so that activation of actA led to bacterial death. Upon screening for transposon mutants that survived intracellularly, six genes were identified as necessary for ActA expression. Strikingly, most of the genes, including gshF, spxA1, yjbH, and ohrA, are predicted to play important roles in bacterial redox regulation. The mutants identified in the genetic selection fell into three broad categories: (1) those that failed to reach the cytosolic compartment; (2) mutants that entered the cytosol, but failed to activate the master virulence regulator PrfA; and (3) mutants that entered the cytosol and activated transcription of actA, but failed to synthesize it. The identification of mutants defective in vacuolar escape suggests that up-regulation of ActA occurs in the host cytosol and not the vacuole. Moreover, these results provide evidence for two non-redundant cytosolic cues; the first results in allosteric activation of PrfA via increased glutathione levels and transcriptional activation of actA while the second results in translational activation of actA and requires yjbH. Although the precise host cues have not yet been identified, we suggest that intracellular redox stress occurs as a consequence of both host and pathogen remodeling their metabolism upon infection. PMID:27414028

  5. High Throughput Kinomic Profiling of Human Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma Identifies Kinase Activity Dependent Molecular Subtypes

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Amitkumar; Welaya, Karim; Chen, Dongquan; Duarte, Christine W.; Ghatalia, Pooja; Arafat, Waleed; Madan, Ankit; Sudarshan, Sunil; Naik, Gurudatta; Grizzle, William E.; Choueiri, Toni K.; Sonpavde, Guru

    2015-01-01

    Despite the widespread use of kinase-targeted agents in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (CC-RCC), comprehensive kinase activity evaluation (kinomic profiling) of these tumors is lacking. Thus, kinomic profiling of CC-RCC may assist in devising a classification system associated with clinical outcomes, and help identify potential therapeutic targets. Fresh frozen CC-RCC tumor lysates from 41 clinically annotated patients who had localized disease at diagnosis were kinomically profiled using the PamStation®12 high-content phospho-peptide substrate microarray system (PamGene International). Twelve of these patients also had matched normal kidneys available that were also profiled. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering and supervised comparisons based on tumor vs. normal kidney and clinical outcome (tumor recurrence) were performed and coupled with advanced network modeling and upstream kinase prediction methods. Unsupervised clustering analysis of localized CC-RCC tumors identified 3 major kinomic groups associated with inflammation (A), translation initiation (B), and immune response and cell adhesions (C) processes. Potential driver kinases implicated include PFTAIRE (PFTK1), PKG1, and SRC, which were identified in groups A, B, and C, respectively. Of the 9 patients who had tumor recurrence, only one was found in Group B. Supervised analysis showed decreased kinase activity of CDK1 and RSK1-4 substrates in those which progressed compared to others. Twelve tumors with matching normal renal tissue implicated increased PIM’s and MAPKAPK’s in tumors compared to adjacent normal renal tissue. As such, comprehensive kinase profiling of CC-RCC tumors could provide a functional classification strategy for patients with localized disease and identify potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26406598

  6. An Action Research Inquiry into the Relationship Among Aerobic Activities, Memory, and Stress with Students Identified as Gifted

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ford, Denise Marie

    Students identified as gifted come from varying socio-economic strata and nationalities with a range of talents and temperaments comprising a diverse community. They may experience stress for a variety of reasons. Although a certain amount of stress can enhance the learning process, too much stress can impede learning, especially memory. Strategies have been offered for relieving stress, yet the benefits of physical activities as stress reducers for the gifted have frequently been overlooked. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship among aerobic activity, stress, and memory ability in students in an elementary school gifted program. An exceptional aspect of this research was that the students were an integral part of their own study. As co-researchers they had a vested interest in what they were doing, enhancing the significance of the experience and heightening learning. This action research project conducted in a mid-western school district with fourth and fifth grade students examined the impact of aerobic movement on physical indicators of stress and memory. The study lasted twelve weeks with data collected on physical indicators of stress, memory test scores, parent observations, interviews with students, a parent focus group session, observational data, student comments, and investigator/teacher journal. By infusing regular exercise into curricula, stress levels in students identified as gifted were examined. Students' scores on declarative memory tasks conducted with and without an accompanying aerobic activity were documented. Students learned of the delicate relationship between stress and memory as they studied the physiology of the brain. Twenty-four hour retention rates of declarative memory items were higher when a 20-minute aerobic activity intervention preceded the memory activity. Perceived stress levels were lowered for 14 of the 16 co-researchers. Students indicated a positive attitude toward physical activity and its

  7. Phosphoproteomic analysis of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) downstream signaling pathways identifies signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 as a functional target of activated ALK in neuroblastoma cells

    PubMed Central

    Sattu, Kamaraj; Hochgräfe, Falko; Wu, Jianmin; Umapathy, Ganesh; Schönherr, Christina; Ruuth, Kristina; Chand, Damini; Witek, Barbara; Fuchs, James; Li, Pui-Kai; Hugosson, Fredrik; Daly, Roger J; Palmer, Ruth H; Hallberg, Bengt

    2013-01-01

    Activation of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) receptor tyrosine kinase is a key oncogenic mechanism in a growing number of tumor types. In the majority of cases, ALK is activated by fusion with a dimerizing partner protein as a result of chromosomal translocation events, most studied in the case of the nucleophosmin–ALK and echinoderm microtubule-associated protein-like 4–ALK oncoproteins. It is now also appreciated that the full-length ALK receptor can be activated by point mutations and by deletions within the extracellular domain, such as those observed in neuroblastoma. Several studies have employed phosphoproteomics approaches to find substrates of ALK fusion proteins. In this study, we used MS-based phosphotyrosine profiling to characterize phosphotyrosine signaling events associated with the full-length ALK receptor. A number of previously identified and novel targets were identified. One of these, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), has previously been observed to be activated in response to oncogenic ALK signaling, but the significance of this in signaling from the full-length ALK receptor has not been explored further. We show here that activated ALK robustly activates STAT3 on Tyr705 in a number of independent neuroblastoma cell lines. Furthermore, knockdown of STAT3 by RNA interference resulted in a reduction in myelocytomatosis neuroblastom (MYCN) protein levels downstream of ALK signaling. These observations, together with a decreased level of MYCN and inhibition of neuroblastoma cell growth in the presence of STAT3 inhibitors, suggest that activation of STAT3 is important for ALK signaling activity in neuroblastoma. PMID:23889739

  8. Identifying activating mutations in the EGFR gene: prognostic and therapeutic implications in non-small cell lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Gabriel Lima; Vattimo, Edoardo Filippo de Queiroz; Castro Junior, Gilberto de

    2015-01-01

    Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Promising new therapies have recently emerged from the development of molecular targeted drugs; particularly promising are those blocking the signal transduction machinery of cancer cells. One of the most widely studied cell signaling pathways is that of EGFR, which leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation, increased cell angiogenesis, and greater cell invasiveness. Activating mutations in the EGFR gene (deletions in exon 19 and mutation L858R in exon 21), first described in 2004, have been detected in approximately 10% of all non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in Western countries and are the most important predictors of a response to EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs). Studies of the EGFR-TKIs gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib, in comparison with platinum-based regimens, as first-line treatments in chemotherapy-naïve patients have shown that the EGFR-TKIs produce gains in progression-free survival and overall response rates, although only in patients whose tumors harbor activating mutations in the EGFR gene. Clinical trials have also shown EGFR-TKIs to be effective as second- and third-line therapies in advanced NSCLC. Here, we review the main aspects of EGFR pathway activation in NSCLC, underscore the importance of correctly identifying activating mutations in the EGFR gene, and discuss the main outcomes of EGFR-TKI treatment in NSCLC. PMID:26398757

  9. Identifying activating mutations in the EGFR gene: prognostic and therapeutic implications in non-small cell lung cancer *

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Gabriel Lima; Vattimo, Edoardo Filippo de Queiroz; de Castro, Gilberto

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Promising new therapies have recently emerged from the development of molecular targeted drugs; particularly promising are those blocking the signal transduction machinery of cancer cells. One of the most widely studied cell signaling pathways is that of EGFR, which leads to uncontrolled cell proliferation, increased cell angiogenesis, and greater cell invasiveness. Activating mutations in the EGFR gene (deletions in exon 19 and mutation L858R in exon 21), first described in 2004, have been detected in approximately 10% of all non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in Western countries and are the most important predictors of a response to EGFR tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs). Studies of the EGFR-TKIs gefitinib, erlotinib, and afatinib, in comparison with platinum-based regimens, as first-line treatments in chemotherapy-naïve patients have shown that the EGFR-TKIs produce gains in progression-free survival and overall response rates, although only in patients whose tumors harbor activating mutations in the EGFR gene. Clinical trials have also shown EGFR-TKIs to be effective as second- and third-line therapies in advanced NSCLC. Here, we review the main aspects of EGFR pathway activation in NSCLC, underscore the importance of correctly identifying activating mutations in the EGFR gene, and discuss the main outcomes of EGFR-TKI treatment in NSCLC. PMID:26398757

  10. In silico repositioning-chemogenomics strategy identifies new drugs with potential activity against multiple life stages of Schistosoma mansoni.

    PubMed

    Neves, Bruno J; Braga, Rodolpho C; Bezerra, José C B; Cravo, Pedro V L; Andrade, Carolina H

    2015-01-01

    Morbidity and mortality caused by schistosomiasis are serious public health problems in developing countries. Because praziquantel is the only drug in therapeutic use, the risk of drug resistance is a concern. In the search for new schistosomicidal drugs, we performed a target-based chemogenomics screen of a dataset of 2,114 proteins to identify drugs that are approved for clinical use in humans that may be active against multiple life stages of Schistosoma mansoni. Each of these proteins was treated as a potential drug target, and its amino acid sequence was used to interrogate three databases: Therapeutic Target Database (TTD), DrugBank and STITCH. Predicted drug-target interactions were refined using a combination of approaches, including pairwise alignment, conservation state of functional regions and chemical space analysis. To validate our strategy, several drugs previously shown to be active against Schistosoma species were correctly predicted, such as clonazepam, auranofin, nifedipine, and artesunate. We were also able to identify 115 drugs that have not yet been experimentally tested against schistosomes and that require further assessment. Some examples are aprindine, gentamicin, clotrimazole, tetrabenazine, griseofulvin, and cinnarizine. In conclusion, we have developed a systematic and focused computer-aided approach to propose approved drugs that may warrant testing and/or serve as lead compounds for the design of new drugs against schistosomes. PMID:25569258

  11. In Silico Repositioning-Chemogenomics Strategy Identifies New Drugs with Potential Activity against Multiple Life Stages of Schistosoma mansoni

    PubMed Central

    Neves, Bruno J.; Braga, Rodolpho C.; Bezerra, José C. B.; Cravo, Pedro V. L.; Andrade, Carolina H.

    2015-01-01

    Morbidity and mortality caused by schistosomiasis are serious public health problems in developing countries. Because praziquantel is the only drug in therapeutic use, the risk of drug resistance is a concern. In the search for new schistosomicidal drugs, we performed a target-based chemogenomics screen of a dataset of 2,114 proteins to identify drugs that are approved for clinical use in humans that may be active against multiple life stages of Schistosoma mansoni. Each of these proteins was treated as a potential drug target, and its amino acid sequence was used to interrogate three databases: Therapeutic Target Database (TTD), DrugBank and STITCH. Predicted drug-target interactions were refined using a combination of approaches, including pairwise alignment, conservation state of functional regions and chemical space analysis. To validate our strategy, several drugs previously shown to be active against Schistosoma species were correctly predicted, such as clonazepam, auranofin, nifedipine, and artesunate. We were also able to identify 115 drugs that have not yet been experimentally tested against schistosomes and that require further assessment. Some examples are aprindine, gentamicin, clotrimazole, tetrabenazine, griseofulvin, and cinnarizine. In conclusion, we have developed a systematic and focused computer-aided approach to propose approved drugs that may warrant testing and/or serve as lead compounds for the design of new drugs against schistosomes. PMID:25569258

  12. A systematic method to identify modulation of transcriptional regulation via chromatin activity reveals regulatory network during mESC differentiation.

    PubMed

    Duren, Zhana; Wang, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin regulators (CRs) are crucial for connecting the chromatin level and transcriptome level by modulating chromatin structures, establishing, and maintaining epigenetic modifications. We present a systematic method to identify MOdulation of transcriptional regulation via CHromatin Activity (MOCHA) from gene expression data and demonstrate its advantage in associating CRs to their chromatin localization and understand CRs' function. We first re-construct the CRs modulation network by integrating the correlation and conditional correlation concepts. Then we quantify the chromatin activity as hidden variable in network by integrating the upstream and downstream information. We applied MOCHA to systematically explore the interplay of CRs, TFs, and target genes in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC). As a result, MOCHA identified 420 chromatin regulators with modulation preference, including Pou5f1 and Eed. We found that BAF complex, NuRD complex, and polycomb-group proteins, regulate the delicate balance between pluripotency and differentiation by modulating key TFs including Klf4, Tcf3, and Max; NuRD complex members Mbd3 and Hdac1 may modulate Klf4 to achieve its dual functional roles in pluripotent and differentiation stages;Imprinted gene H19 and Igf2 are modulated by DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and insulator CTCF. Finally, we analyzed CR's combinational modulation pattern by constructing a CR-CR interaction network. PMID:26949222

  13. A systematic method to identify modulation of transcriptional regulation via chromatin activity reveals regulatory network during mESC differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Duren, Zhana; Wang, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Chromatin regulators (CRs) are crucial for connecting the chromatin level and transcriptome level by modulating chromatin structures, establishing, and maintaining epigenetic modifications. We present a systematic method to identify MOdulation of transcriptional regulation via CHromatin Activity (MOCHA) from gene expression data and demonstrate its advantage in associating CRs to their chromatin localization and understand CRs’ function. We first re-construct the CRs modulation network by integrating the correlation and conditional correlation concepts. Then we quantify the chromatin activity as hidden variable in network by integrating the upstream and downstream information. We applied MOCHA to systematically explore the interplay of CRs, TFs, and target genes in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC). As a result, MOCHA identified 420 chromatin regulators with modulation preference, including Pou5f1 and Eed. We found that BAF complex, NuRD complex, and polycomb-group proteins, regulate the delicate balance between pluripotency and differentiation by modulating key TFs including Klf4, Tcf3, and Max; NuRD complex members Mbd3 and Hdac1 may modulate Klf4 to achieve its dual functional roles in pluripotent and differentiation stages;Imprinted gene H19 and Igf2 are modulated by DNA methylation, histone acetylation, and insulator CTCF. Finally, we analyzed CR’s combinational modulation pattern by constructing a CR-CR interaction network. PMID:26949222

  14. Drug-repositioning screening identified piperlongumine as a direct STAT3 inhibitor with potent activity against breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Bharadwaj, U; Eckols, T K; Kolosov, M; Kasembeli, M M; Adam, A; Torres, D; Zhang, X; Dobrolecki, L E; Wei, W; Lewis, M T; Dave, B; Chang, J C; Landis, M D; Creighton, C J; Mancini, M A; Tweardy, D J

    2015-03-12

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) 3 regulates many cardinal features of cancer including cancer cell growth, apoptosis resistance, DNA damage response, metastasis, immune escape, tumor angiogenesis, the Warburg effect and oncogene addiction and has been validated as a drug target for cancer therapy. Several strategies have been used to identify agents that target Stat3 in breast cancer but none has yet entered into clinical use. We used a high-throughput fluorescence microscopy search strategy to identify compounds in a drug-repositioning library (Prestwick library) that block ligand-induced nuclear translocation of Stat3 and identified piperlongumine (PL), a natural product isolated from the fruit of the pepper Piper longum. PL inhibited Stat3 nuclear translocation, inhibited ligand-induced and constitutive Stat3 phosphorylation, and modulated expression of multiple Stat3-regulated genes. Surface plasmon resonance assay revealed that PL directly inhibited binding of Stat3 to its phosphotyrosyl peptide ligand. Phosphoprotein antibody array analysis revealed that PL does not modulate kinases known to activate Stat3 such as Janus kinases, Src kinase family members or receptor tyrosine kinases. PL inhibited anchorage-independent and anchorage-dependent growth of multiple breast cancer cell lines having increased pStat3 or total Stat3, and induced apoptosis. PL also inhibited mammosphere formation by tumor cells from patient-derived xenografts. PL's antitumorigenic function was causally linked to its Stat3-inhibitory effect. PL was non-toxic in mice up to a dose of 30 mg/kg/day for 14 days and caused regression of breast cancer cell line xenografts in nude mice. Thus, PL represents a promising new agent for rapid entry into the clinic for use in treating breast cancer, as well as other cancers in which Stat3 has a role. PMID:24681959

  15. A high-content, multiplexed screen in human breast cancer cells identifies profilin-1 inducers with anti-migratory activities.

    PubMed

    Joy, Marion E; Vollmer, Laura L; Hulkower, Keren; Stern, Andrew M; Peterson, Cameron K; Boltz, R C Dutch; Roy, Partha; Vogt, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Profilin-1 (Pfn-1) is a ubiquitously expressed actin-binding protein that is essential for normal cell proliferation and migration. In breast cancer and several other adenocarcinomas, Pfn-1 expression is downregulated when compared to normal tissues. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that genetically modulating Pfn-1 expression significantly impacts proliferation, migration, and invasion of breast cancer cells in vitro, and mammary tumor growth, dissemination, and metastatic colonization in vivo. Therefore, small molecules that can modulate Pfn-1 expression could have therapeutic potential in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. The overall goal of this study was to perform a multiplexed phenotypic screen to identify compounds that inhibit cell motility through upregulation of Pfn-1. Screening of a test cassette of 1280 compounds with known biological activities on an Oris™ Pro 384 cell migration platform identified several agents that increased Pfn-1 expression greater than two-fold over vehicle controls and exerted anti-migratory effects in the absence of overt cytotoxicity in MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. Concentration-response confirmation and orthogonal follow-up assays identified two bona fide inducers of Pfn-1, purvalanol and tyrphostin A9, that confirmed in single-cell motility assays and Western blot analyses. SiRNA-mediated knockdown of Pfn-1 abrogated the inhibitory effect of tyrphostin A9 on cell migration, suggesting Pfn-1 is mechanistically linked to tyrphostin A9's anti-migratory activity. The data illustrate the utility of the high-content cell motility assay to discover novel targeted anti-migratory agents by integrating functional phenotypic analyses with target-specific readouts in a single assay platform. PMID:24520372

  16. Altered Secretory Activity of APE1/Ref-1 D148E Variants Identified in Human Patients With Bladder Cancer

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1/redox factor-1 (APE1/Ref-1) is a multifunctional protein involved in DNA repair and redox modulation. Recently, serum and urinary APE1/Ref-1 levels were reported to be increased in patients with bladder cancer. Genetic variations of APE/Ref-1 are associated with the risk of cancer. However, the effect of APE1/Ref-1 variants on its secretory activity is yet unknown. Methods: APE1/Ref-1 variants were evaluated by DNA sequencing analysis of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction products in coding DNA sequences (CDS) of APE1/Ref-1 in bladder tissue samples from patients with bladder cancer (n=10). Secretory activity of APE1/Ref-1 variants was evaluated with immunoblot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of the culture medium supernatants. Results: Four different substitution mutants (D148E, I64V/D148E, W67R/D148E, and E86G/D148E) of APE1/Ref-1 were identified in bladder cancer specimens. However, deletion mutants of APE1/Ref-1 CDS were not found. The secretory activity of the APE1/Ref-1 variants (D148E, I64V/D148E, and E86G/D148E) was increased compared to that of wild type APE1/Ref-1. Furthermore, the secretory activity in basal or hyperacetylated conditions was much higher than that in APE1/Ref-1 D148E-transfected HEK293 cells. Conclusions: Taken together, our data suggest that the increased secretory activity of D148E might contribute to increased serum levels of APE1/Ref-1 in patients with bladder cancer. PMID:27230458

  17. A Clinical Algorithm to Identify HIV Patients at High Risk for Incident Active Tuberculosis: A Prospective 5-Year Cohort Study

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Susan Shin-Jung; Lin, Hsi-Hsun; Tsai, Hung-Chin; Su, Ih-Jen; Yang, Chin-Hui; Sun, Hsin-Yun; Hung, Chien-Chin; Sy, Cheng-Len; Wu, Kuan-Sheng; Chen, Jui-Kuang; Chen, Yao-Shen; Fang, Chi-Tai

    2015-01-01

    Background Predicting the risk of tuberculosis (TB) in people living with HIV (PLHIV) using a single test is currently not possible. We aimed to develop and validate a clinical algorithm, using baseline CD4 cell counts, HIV viral load (pVL), and interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA), to identify PLHIV who are at high risk for incident active TB in low-to-moderate TB burden settings where highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is routinely provided. Materials and Methods A prospective, 5-year, cohort study of adult PLHIV was conducted from 2006 to 2012 in two hospitals in Taiwan. HAART was initiated based on contemporary guidelines (CD4 count < = 350/μL). Cox regression was used to identify the predictors of active TB and to construct the algorithm. The validation cohorts included 1455 HIV-infected individuals from previous published studies. Area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was calculated. Results Seventeen of 772 participants developed active TB during a median follow-up period of 5.21 years. Baseline CD4 < 350/μL or pVL ≥ 100,000/mL was a predictor of active TB (adjusted HR 4.87, 95% CI 1.49–15.90, P = 0.009). A positive baseline IGRA predicted TB in patients with baseline CD4 ≥ 350/μL and pVL < 100,000/mL (adjusted HR 6.09, 95% CI 1.52–24.40, P = 0.01). Compared with an IGRA-alone strategy, the algorithm improved the sensitivity from 37.5% to 76.5%, the negative predictive value from 98.5% to 99.2%. Compared with an untargeted strategy, the algorithm spared 468 (60.6%) from unnecessary TB preventive treatment. Area under the ROC curve was 0.692 (95% CI: 0.587–0.798) for the study cohort and 0.792 (95% CI: 0.776–0.808) and 0.766 in the 2 validation cohorts. Conclusions A validated algorithm incorporating the baseline CD4 cell count, HIV viral load, and IGRA status can be used to guide targeted TB preventive treatment in PLHIV in low-to-moderate TB burden settings where HAART is routinely provided to all PLHIV. The

  18. A three-dimensional human model of the fibroblast activation that accompanies bronchopulmonary dysplasia identifies Notch-mediated pathophysiology.

    PubMed

    Sucre, Jennifer M S; Wilkinson, Dan; Vijayaraj, Preethi; Paul, Manash; Dunn, Bruce; Alva-Ornelas, Jackelyn A; Gomperts, Brigitte N

    2016-05-15

    Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a leading complication of premature birth and occurs primarily in infants delivered during the saccular stage of lung development. Histopathology shows decreased alveolarization and a pattern of fibroblast proliferation and differentiation to the myofibroblast phenotype. Little is known about the molecular pathways and cellular mechanisms that define BPD pathophysiology and progression. We have developed a novel three-dimensional human model of the fibroblast activation associated with BPD, and using this model we have identified the Notch pathway as a key driver of fibroblast activation and proliferation in response to changes in oxygen. Fetal lung fibroblasts were cultured on sodium alginate beads to generate lung organoids. After exposure to alternating hypoxia and hyperoxia, the organoids developed a phenotypic response characterized by increased α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) expression and other genes known to be upregulated in BPD and also demonstrated increased expression of downstream effectors of the Notch pathway. Inhibition of Notch with a γ-secretase inhibitor prevented the development of the pattern of cellular proliferation and α-SMA expression in our model. Analysis of human autopsy tissue from the lungs of infants who expired with BPD demonstrated evidence of Notch activation within fibrotic areas of the alveolar septae, suggesting that Notch may be a key driver of BPD pathophysiology. PMID:26968771

  19. Summing Up Hours of Any Type of Practice Versus Identifying Optimal Practice Activities: Commentary on Macnamara, Moreau, & Hambrick (2016).

    PubMed

    Ericsson, K Anders

    2016-05-01

    In their original article, Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Römer (1993) reviewed the evidence concerning the conditions of optimal learning and found that individualized practice with training tasks (selected by a supervising teacher) with a clear performance goal and immediate informative feedback was associated with marked improvement. We found that this type of deliberate practice was prevalent when advanced musicians practice alone and found its accumulated duration related to attained music performance. In contrast, Macnamara, Moreau, and Hambrick's (2016, this issue) main meta-analysis examines the use of the term deliberate practice to refer to a much broader and less defined concept including virtually any type of sport-specific activity, such as group activities, watching games on television, and even play and competitions. Summing up every hour of any type of practice during an individual's career implies that the impact of all types of practice activity on performance is equal-an assumption that I show is inconsistent with the evidence. Future research should collect objective measures of representative performance with a longitudinal description of all the changes in different aspects of the performance so that any proximal conditions of deliberate practice related to effective improvements can be identified and analyzed experimentally. PMID:27217247

  20. Molecular and Functional Analyses of a Maize Autoactive NB-LRR Protein Identify Precise Structural Requirements for Activity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Guan-Feng; Ji, Jiabing; EI-Kasmi, Farid; Dangl, Jeffery L.; Johal, Guri; Balint-Kurti, Peter J.

    2015-01-01

    Plant disease resistance is often mediated by nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (NLR) proteins which remain auto-inhibited until recognition of specific pathogen-derived molecules causes their activation, triggering a rapid, localized cell death called a hypersensitive response (HR). Three domains are recognized in one of the major classes of NLR proteins: a coiled-coil (CC), a nucleotide binding (NB-ARC) and a leucine rich repeat (LRR) domains. The maize NLR gene Rp1-D21 derives from an intergenic recombination event between two NLR genes, Rp1-D and Rp1-dp2 and confers an autoactive HR. We report systematic structural and functional analyses of Rp1 proteins in maize and N. benthamiana to characterize the molecular mechanism of NLR activation/auto-inhibition. We derive a model comprising the following three main features: Rp1 proteins appear to self-associate to become competent for activity. The CC domain is signaling-competent and is sufficient to induce HR. This can be suppressed by the NB-ARC domain through direct interaction. In autoactive proteins, the interaction of the LRR domain with the NB-ARC domain causes de-repression and thus disrupts the inhibition of HR. Further, we identify specific amino acids and combinations thereof that are important for the auto-inhibition/activity of Rp1 proteins. We also provide evidence for the function of MHD2, a previously uncharacterized, though widely conserved NLR motif. This work reports several novel insights into the precise structural requirement for NLR function and informs efforts towards utilizing these proteins for engineering disease resistance. PMID:25719542

  1. Molecular and functional analyses of a maize autoactive NB-LRR protein identify precise structural requirements for activity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Guan-Feng; Ji, Jiabing; El-Kasmi, Farid; Dangl, Jeffery L; Johal, Guri; Balint-Kurti, Peter J

    2015-02-01

    Plant disease resistance is often mediated by nucleotide binding-leucine rich repeat (NLR) proteins which remain auto-inhibited until recognition of specific pathogen-derived molecules causes their activation, triggering a rapid, localized cell death called a hypersensitive response (HR). Three domains are recognized in one of the major classes of NLR proteins: a coiled-coil (CC), a nucleotide binding (NB-ARC) and a leucine rich repeat (LRR) domains. The maize NLR gene Rp1-D21 derives from an intergenic recombination event between two NLR genes, Rp1-D and Rp1-dp2 and confers an autoactive HR. We report systematic structural and functional analyses of Rp1 proteins in maize and N. benthamiana to characterize the molecular mechanism of NLR activation/auto-inhibition. We derive a model comprising the following three main features: Rp1 proteins appear to self-associate to become competent for activity. The CC domain is signaling-competent and is sufficient to induce HR. This can be suppressed by the NB-ARC domain through direct interaction. In autoactive proteins, the interaction of the LRR domain with the NB-ARC domain causes de-repression and thus disrupts the inhibition of HR. Further, we identify specific amino acids and combinations thereof that are important for the auto-inhibition/activity of Rp1 proteins. We also provide evidence for the function of MHD2, a previously uncharacterized, though widely conserved NLR motif. This work reports several novel insights into the precise structural requirement for NLR function and informs efforts towards utilizing these proteins for engineering disease resistance. PMID:25719542

  2. Gap-junctional channel and hemichannel activity of two recently identified connexin 26 mutants associated with deafness.

    PubMed

    Dalamon, Viviana; Fiori, Mariana C; Figueroa, Vania A; Oliva, Carolina A; Del Rio, Rodrigo; Gonzalez, Wendy; Canan, Jonathan; Elgoyhen, Ana B; Altenberg, Guillermo A; Retamal, Mauricio A

    2016-05-01

    Gap-junction channels (GJCs) are formed by head-to-head association of two hemichannels (HCs, connexin hexamers). HCs and GJCs are permeable to ions and hydrophilic molecules of up to Mr ~1 kDa. Hearing impairment of genetic origin is common, and mutations of connexin 26 (Cx26) are its major cause. We recently identified two novel Cx26 mutations in hearing-impaired subjects, L10P and G109V. L10P forms functional GJCs with slightly altered voltage dependence and HCs with decrease ATP/cationic dye selectivity. G109V does not form functional GJCs, but forms functional HCs with enhanced extracellular Ca(2+) sensitivity and subtle alterations in voltage dependence and ATP/cationic dye selectivity. Deafness associated with G109V could result from decreased GJCs activity, whereas deafness associated to L10P may have a more complex mechanism that involves changes in HC permeability. PMID:26769242

  3. Identifying state-level policy and provision domains for physical education and physical activity in high school

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background It is important to quickly and efficiently identify policies that are effective at changing behavior; therefore, we must be able to quantify and evaluate the effect of those policies and of changes to those policies. The purpose of this study was to develop state-level physical education (PE) and physical activity (PA) policy domain scores at the high-school level. Policy domain scores were developed with a focus on measuring policy change. Methods Exploratory factor analysis was used to group items from the state-level School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) into policy domains. Items that related to PA or PE at the High School level were identified from the 7 SHPPS health program surveys. Data from 2000 and 2006 were used in the factor analysis. RESULTS: From the 98 items identified, 17 policy domains were extracted. Average policy domain change scores were positive for 12 policy domains, with the largest increases for “Discouraging PA as Punishment”, “Collaboration”, and “Staff Development Opportunities”. On average, states increased scores in 4.94 ± 2.76 policy domains, decreased in 3.53 ± 2.03, and had no change in 7.69 ± 2.09 policy domains. Significant correlations were found between several policy domain scores. Conclusions Quantifying policy change and its impact is integral to the policy making and revision process. Our results build on previous research offering a way to examine changes in state-level policies related to PE and PA of high-school students and the faculty and staff who serve them. This work provides methods for combining state-level policies relevant to PE or PA in youth for studies of their impact. PMID:23815860

  4. Exome sequencing of desmoplastic melanoma identifies recurrent NFKBIE promoter mutations and diverse activating mutations in the MAPK pathway.

    PubMed

    Shain, A Hunter; Garrido, Maria; Botton, Thomas; Talevich, Eric; Yeh, Iwei; Sanborn, J Zachary; Chung, Jongsuk; Wang, Nicholas J; Kakavand, Hojabr; Mann, Graham J; Thompson, John F; Wiesner, Thomas; Roy, Ritu; Olshen, Adam B; Gagnon, Alexander; Gray, Joe W; Huh, Nam; Hur, Joe S; Busam, Klaus J; Scolyer, Richard A; Cho, Raymond J; Murali, Rajmohan; Bastian, Boris C

    2015-10-01

    Desmoplastic melanoma is an uncommon variant of melanoma with sarcomatous histology, distinct clinical behavior and unknown pathogenesis. We performed low-coverage genome and high-coverage exome sequencing of 20 desmoplastic melanomas, followed by targeted sequencing of 293 genes in a validation cohort of 42 cases. A high mutation burden (median of 62 mutations/Mb) ranked desmoplastic melanoma among the most highly mutated cancers. Mutation patterns strongly implicate ultraviolet radiation as the dominant mutagen, indicating a superficially located cell of origin. Newly identified alterations included recurrent promoter mutations of NFKBIE, encoding NF-κB inhibitor ɛ (IκBɛ), in 14.5% of samples. Common oncogenic mutations in melanomas, in particular in BRAF (encoding p.Val600Glu) and NRAS (encoding p.Gln61Lys or p.Gln61Arg), were absent. Instead, other genetic alterations known to activate the MAPK and PI3K signaling cascades were identified in 73% of samples, affecting NF1, CBL, ERBB2, MAP2K1, MAP3K1, BRAF, EGFR, PTPN11, MET, RAC1, SOS2, NRAS and PIK3CA, some of which are candidates for targeted therapies. PMID:26343386

  5. MYD88 L265P and CXCR4 mutations in lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma identify cases with high disease activity.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Janine; Federmann, Birgit; Schindler, Natalie; Steinhilber, Julia; Bonzheim, Irina; Fend, Falko; Quintanilla-Martinez, Leticia

    2015-06-01

    Recurrent mutations in MYD88 have been identified in >90% of lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (LPL). Recently, WHIM (warts, hypogammaglobulinaemia, infections, myelokathexis) syndrome-like mutations in CXCR4 have been described in 28% of LPL cases, and seem to impact clinical presentation and response to therapy. We investigated the presence of the MYD88 L265P mutation in 90 decalcified, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) bone marrow (BM) biopsies, including 51 cases of LPL, 14 cases of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL), 13 cases of marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) and 12 normal controls. In addition, the C-terminal domain of CXCR4 was sequenced in LPL cases. MYD88 L265P was found in 49/51 (96%) LPL cases and in 1/13 (7·6%) MZL (splenic type), whereas all CLL samples remained negative. The two MYD88 wild type LPL cases were associated with cold agglutinin disease. Mutations in CXCR4 were detected in 17/47 (36·2%) LPL cases, which showed a higher extent of BM infiltration and lower leucocyte counts (P = 0·02), haemoglobin (P = 0·05) and platelet counts (P = 0·01). In conclusion the detection of MYD88 L265P mutation in FFPE samples is reliable and useful for subtyping small B-cell lymphomas in BM biopsies. In addition, the presence of CXCR4 mutations identifies a subgroup of LPL patients with higher disease activity. PMID:25819228

  6. Sub-arctic Wetland Greenhouse Gases (CO2, CH4 & N2O) Emissions are Driven by Interactions of Environmental Controls and Herbivore Grazers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelsey, K.; Leffler, A. J.; Beard, K. H.; Choi, R. T.; Welker, J. M.

    2015-12-01

    Climate change is increasing temperatures, altering precipitation regimes and causing earlier growing seasons, particularly at northern latitudes. Such changes in local environmental conditions have the potential to affect biogeochemical cycling including the exchange of greenhouses gases between the atmosphere and the terrestrial biosphere. In addition to the effects of these environmental controls, animals such as migratory geese also influence biogeochemical cycles through grazing, trampling and delivering nutrient-rich fecal matter. In this work we aimed to quantify how local environmental conditions and the presence of grazing interact as drivers of emissions of three key greenhouse gases, CO2, CH4 and N2O, in coastal wetlands of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. We explored the magnitude of emissions across gradients of soil temperature and water table depth, and across vegetation types related to the presence of grazing, ranging from no vegetation through grazed and ungrazed vegetation. We also investigated emissions from grazed areas using experimental manipulations of the timing of grazing and advancement of the growing season. We found that local environmental conditions and use by grazers exert interacting controls on emissions of CO2, CH4 and N2O. Emissions of CO2 and CH4 were positively related to soil temperature and CH4 emissions were inversely related to water table depth, but the relationship varied by vegetation type. Net emissions of CO2 were greatest in ungrazed vegetation types (6.62 umols CO2 m-2 sec-1; p=0.0007) whereas CH4 emissions were greatest in the grazed vegetation (122.56 nmols CH4 m-2 sec-1; p=0.037). Flux of N2O was less than 1 nmol N2O m-2 sec-1 across all landscape positions under typical grazing and temperature conditions, but emissions were stimulated to over 10 nmols m-2 sec-1 when grazing occurred early relative to a typical season. Our results indicate that environmental conditions and the presence of migratory herbivores are both

  7. Combining proteomics and transcriptome sequencing to identify active plant-cell-wall-degrading enzymes in a leaf beetle

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The primary plant cell wall is a complex mixture of polysaccharides and proteins encasing living plant cells. Among these polysaccharides, cellulose is the most abundant and useful biopolymer present on earth. These polysaccharides also represent a rich source of energy for organisms which have evolved the ability to degrade them. A growing body of evidence suggests that phytophagous beetles, mainly species from the superfamilies Chrysomeloidea and Curculionoidea, possess endogenous genes encoding complex and diverse families of so-called plant cell wall degrading enzymes (PCWDEs). The presence of these genes in phytophagous beetles may have been a key element in their success as herbivores. Here, we combined a proteomics approach and transcriptome sequencing to identify PCWDEs present in larval gut contents of the mustard leaf beetle, Phaedon cochleariae. Results Using a two-dimensional proteomics approach, we recovered 11 protein bands, isolated using activity assays targeting cellulose-, pectin- and xylan-degrading enzymes. After mass spectrometry analyses, a total of 13 proteins putatively responsible for degrading plant cell wall polysaccharides were identified; these proteins belong to three glycoside hydrolase (GH) families: GH11 (xylanases), GH28 (polygalacturonases or pectinases), and GH45 (β-1,4-glucanases or cellulases). Additionally, highly stable and proteolysis-resistant host plant-derived proteins from various pathogenesis-related protein (PRs) families as well as polygalacturonase-inhibiting proteins (PGIPs) were also identified from the gut contents proteome. In parallel, transcriptome sequencing revealed the presence of at least 19 putative PCWDE transcripts encoded by the P. cochleariae genome. All of these were specifically expressed in the insect gut rather than the rest of the body, and in adults as well as larvae. The discrepancy observed in the number of putative PCWDEs between transcriptome and proteome analyses could be

  8. Global and structured waves of rs-fMRI signal identified as putative propagation of spontaneous neural activity.

    PubMed

    Amemiya, Shiori; Takao, Hidemasa; Hanaoka, Shohei; Ohtomo, Kuni

    2016-06-01

    Conventional resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) studies have focused on investigating the synchronous neural activity in functionally relevant distant regions that are termed as resting-state networks. On the other hand, less is known about the spatiotemporal dynamics of the spontaneous activity of the brain. By examining the characteristics of both rs-fMRI and vascular time lag that was measured using dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced perfusion weighted imaging, the present study identifies several structured propagation of the rs-fMRI signal as putative neural streams. Temporal shift of both rs-fMRI and perfusion imaging data in each voxel compared with the averaged whole-brain signal was computed using cross-correlation analysis. In contrast to the uniformity of the vascular time lag across subjects, whole-brain rs-fMRI time lag was estimated to be composed of three independent components. After regression of vascular time lag, independent component analysis was applied to rs-fMRI data. The putative neural streams showed slow propagation of the signal from task-positive regions to main nodes of the default mode network, which may represent a mode of transmission underlying the interactions among the resting-state networks. PMID:27012499

  9. Fine Time Course Expression Analysis Identifies Cascades of Activation and Repression and Maps a Putative Regulator of Mammalian Sex Determination

    PubMed Central

    Looger, Loren L.; Ohler, Uwe; Capel, Blanche

    2013-01-01

    In vertebrates, primary sex determination refers to the decision within a bipotential organ precursor to differentiate as a testis or ovary. Bifurcation of organ fate begins between embryonic day (E) 11.0–E12.0 in mice and likely involves a dynamic transcription network that is poorly understood. To elucidate the first steps of sexual fate specification, we profiled the XX and XY gonad transcriptomes at fine granularity during this period and resolved cascades of gene activation and repression. C57BL/6J (B6) XY gonads showed a consistent ∼5-hour delay in the activation of most male pathway genes and repression of female pathway genes relative to 129S1/SvImJ, which likely explains the sensitivity of the B6 strain to male-to-female sex reversal. Using this fine time course data, we predicted novel regulatory genes underlying expression QTLs (eQTLs) mapped in a previous study. To test predictions, we developed an in vitro gonad primary cell assay and optimized a lentivirus-based shRNA delivery method to silence candidate genes and quantify effects on putative targets. We provide strong evidence that Lmo4 (Lim-domain only 4) is a novel regulator of sex determination upstream of SF1 (Nr5a1), Sox9, Fgf9, and Col9a3. This approach can be readily applied to identify regulatory interactions in other systems. PMID:23874228

  10. Activity-guided purification identifies lupeol, a pentacyclic triterpene, as a therapeutic agent multiple pathogenic factors of acne.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Hyuck Hoon; Yoon, Ji Young; Park, Seon Yong; Min, Seonguk; Kim, Yong-il; Park, Ji Yong; Lee, Yun-Sang; Thiboutot, Diane M; Suh, Dae Hun

    2015-06-01

    Acne vulgaris is a nearly universal cutaneous disease characterized by multifactorial pathogenic processes. Because current acne medications have various side effects, investigating new pharmacologically active molecules is important for treating acne. As natural products generally provide various classes of relatively safe compounds with medicinal potentials, we performed activity-guided purification after a series of screenings from the extracts of five medicinal plants to explore alternative acne medications. Lupeol, a pentacyclic triterpene, from the hexane extract of Solanum melongena L. (SM) was identified after instrumental analysis. Lupeol targeted most of the major pathogenic features of acne with desired physicochemical traits. It strongly suppressed lipogenesis by modulating the IGF-1R/phosphatidylinositide 3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt/sterol response element-binding protein-1 (SREBP-1) signaling pathway in SEB-1 sebocytes, and reduced inflammation by suppressing the NF-κB pathway in SEB-1 sebocytes and HaCaT keratinocytes. Lupeol exhibited a marginal effect on cell viability and may have modulated dyskeratosis of the epidermis. Subsequently, histopathological analysis of human patients' acne tissues after applying lupeol for 4 weeks demonstrated that lupeol markedly attenuated the levels of both the number of infiltrated cells and major pathogenic proteins examined in vitro around comedones or sebaceous glands, providing solid evidence for suggested therapeutic mechanisms. These results demonstrate the clinical feasibility of applying lupeol for the treatment of acne. PMID:25647437

  11. Two types of antiprogestins identified by their differential action in transcriptionally active extracts from T47D cells.

    PubMed Central

    Klein-Hitpass, L; Cato, A C; Henderson, D; Ryffel, G U

    1991-01-01

    Transcriptionally active nuclear extracts from human breast carcinoma cells (T47D) were used to compare the action of progestins and several antiprogestins of the 11 beta-aryl substituted steroid series on the DNA-binding properties and the trans-activating potential of progesterone receptor (PR) in vitro. Using the gel-shift assay we identified a novel type of antiprogestin (ZK98299, type I), which in contrast to type II antiprogestins, including RU486, does not induce binding of PR to progesterone response elements (PREs). In competition experiments excess of type I antiprogestin inhibits induction of DNA binding of PR by progestins and type II antiprogestins suggesting that its binding to PR interferes with the formation of stable receptor dimers. Moreover, we demonstrate that the antagonistic action of ZK98299 can be fully mimicked in vitro by using cell-free nuclear extracts from T47D cells and a 'simple' test promoter. In contrast, type II antiprogestins known to induce certain promoters in vivo exert strong agonistic effects on in vitro transcription of the test template used. Images PMID:2030942

  12. Variomics Screen Identifies the Re-entrant Loop of the Calcium-activated Chloride Channel ANO1 That Facilitates Channel Activation*

    PubMed Central

    Bill, Anke; Popa, M. Oana; van Diepen, Michiel T.; Gutierrez, Abraham; Lilley, Sarah; Velkova, Maria; Acheson, Kathryn; Choudhury, Hedaythul; Renaud, Nicole A.; Auld, Douglas S.; Gosling, Martin; Groot-Kormelink, Paul J.; Gaither, L. Alex

    2015-01-01

    The calcium-activated chloride channel ANO1 regulates multiple physiological processes. However, little is known about the mechanism of channel gating and regulation of ANO1 activity. Using a high-throughput, random mutagenesis-based variomics screen, we generated and functionally characterized ∼6000 ANO1 mutants and identified novel mutations that affected channel activity, intracellular trafficking, or localization of ANO1. Mutations such as S741T increased ANO1 calcium sensitivity and rendered ANO1 calcium gating voltage-independent, demonstrating a critical role of the re-entrant loop in coupling calcium and voltage sensitivity of ANO1 and hence in regulating ANO1 activation. Our data present the first unbiased and comprehensive study of the structure-function relationship of ANO1. The novel ANO1 mutants reported have diverse functional characteristics, providing new tools to study ANO1 function in biological systems, paving the path for a better understanding of the function of ANO1 and its role in health and diseases. PMID:25425649

  13. Pre-Chemoradiotherapy FDG PET/CT cannot Identify Residual Metabolically-Active Volumes within Individual Esophageal Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Lu, W; Tan, S; Chen, W; Kligerman, S; Feigenberg, SJ; Zhang, H; Suntharalingam, M; Kang, M; D’Souza, WD

    2015-01-01

    Objective To study whether subvolumes with a high pre-chemoradiotherapy (CRT) FDG uptake could identify residual metabolically-active volumes (MAVs) post-CRT within individual esophageal tumors. Accurate identification will allow simultaneous integrated boost to these subvolumes at higher risk to improve clinical outcomes. Methods Twenty patients with esophageal cancer were treated with CRT plus surgery and underwent FDG PET/CT scans before and after CRT. The two scans were rigidly registered. Seven MAVs pre-CRT and four MAVs post-CRT within a tumor were defined with various SUV thresholds. The similarity and proximity between the MAVs pre-CRT and post-CRT were quantified with three metrics: fraction of post-CRT MAV included in pre-CRT MAV, volume overlap and centroid distance. Results Eight patients had no residual MAV. Six patients had local residual MAV (SUV ≥2.5 post-CRT) within or adjoining the original MAV (SUV ≥2.5 pre-CRT). On average, less than 65% of any post-CRT MAVs was included in any pre-CRT MAVs, with a low volume overlap <45%, and large centroid distance >8.6 mm. In general, subvolumes with higher FDG-uptake pre-CRT or post-CRT had lower volume overlap and larger centroid distance. Six patients had new distant MAVs that were determined to be inflammation from radiation therapy. Conclusions Pre-CRT PET/CT cannot reliably identify the residual MAVs within individual esophageal tumors. Simultaneous integrated boost to subvolumes with high FDG uptake pre-CRT may not be feasible. PMID:26594591

  14. Identifying solutions to increase participation in physical activity interventions within a socio-economically disadvantaged community: a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background There is an urgent need to increase population levels of physical activity, particularly amongst those who are socio-economically disadvantaged. Multiple factors influence physical activity behaviour but the generalisability of current evidence to such ‘hard-to-reach’ population subgroups is limited by difficulties in recruiting them into studies. Also, rigorous qualitative studies of lay perceptions and perceptions of community leaders about public health efforts to increase physical activity are sparse. We sought to explore, within a socio-economically disadvantaged community, residents’ and community leaders’ perceptions of physical activity (PA) interventions and issues regarding their implementation, in order to improve understanding of needs, expectations, and social/environmental factors relevant to future interventions. Methods Within an ongoing regeneration project (Connswater Community Greenway), in a socio-economically disadvantaged community in Belfast, we collaborated with a Community Development Agency to purposively sample leaders from public- and voluntary-sector community groups and residents. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 leaders. Residents (n = 113), of both genders and a range of ages (14 to 86 years) participated in focus groups (n = 14) in local facilities. Interviews and focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic framework. Results Three main themes were identified: awareness of PA interventions; factors contributing to intervention effectiveness; and barriers to participation in PA interventions. Participants reported awareness only of interventions in which they were involved directly, highlighting a need for better communications, both inter- and intra-sectoral, and with residents. Meaningful engagement of residents in planning/organisation, tailoring to local context, supporting volunteers, providing relevant resources and an ‘exit strategy

  15. Phylogenetic relationships elucidate colonization patterns in the intertidal grazers Osilinus Philippi, 1847 and Phorcus Risso, 1826 (Gastropoda: Trochidae) in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea.

    PubMed

    Donald, Kirsten M; Preston, Joanne; Williams, Suzanne T; Reid, David G; Winter, David; Alvarez, Raquel; Buge, Barbara; Hawkins, Stephen J; Templado, Jose; Spencer, Hamish G

    2012-01-01

    Snails in the closely related trochid genera Phorcus Risso, 1826 and Osilinus Philippi, 1847 are ecologically important algal grazers in the intertidal zone of the northeastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Here we present the first complete molecular phylogeny for these genera, based on the nuclear 28S rRNA gene and the mitochondrial 16S rRNA and COI genes, and show that the current classification is erroneous. We recognize nine species in a single genus, Phorcus: estimated by BEAST analysis, this arose 30 (± 10) Ma; it consists of two subgenera, Phorcus and Osilinus, which we estimate diverged 14 (± 4.5) Ma. Osilinus kotschyi, from the Arabian and Red Seas, is not closely related and is tentatively referred to Priotrochus Fischer, 1879. Our phylogeny allows us to address biogeographical questions concerning the origins of the Mediterranean and Macaronesian species of this group. The former appear to have evolved from Atlantic ancestors that invaded the Mediterranean on several occasions after the Zanclean Flood, which ended the Messinian Salinity Crisis 5.3 Ma; whereas the latter arose from several colonizations of mainland Atlantic ancestors within the last 3 (± 1.5) Ma. PMID:21945534

  16. Dietary Uptake of Cu Sorbed to Hydrous Iron Oxide is Linked to Cellular Toxicity and Feeding Inhibition in a Benthic Grazer.

    PubMed

    Cain, Daniel J; Croteau, Marie-Noële; Fuller, Christopher C; Ringwood, Amy H

    2016-02-01

    Whereas feeding inhibition caused by exposure to contaminants has been extensively documented, the underlying mechanism(s) are less well understood. For this study, the behavior of several key feeding processes, including ingestion rate and assimilation efficiency, that affect the dietary uptake of Cu were evaluated in the benthic grazer Lymnaea stagnalis following 4-5 h exposures to Cu adsorbed to synthetic hydrous ferric oxide (Cu-HFO). The particles were mixed with a cultured alga to create algal mats with Cu exposures spanning nearly 3 orders of magnitude at variable or constant Fe concentrations, thereby allowing first order and interactive effects of Cu and Fe to be evaluated. Results showed that Cu influx rates and ingestion rates decreased as Cu exposures of the algal mat mixture exceeded 10(4) nmol/g. Ingestion rate appeared to exert primary control on the Cu influx rate. Lysosomal destabilization rates increased directly with Cu influx rates. At the highest Cu exposure where the incidence of lysosomal membrane damage was greatest (51%), the ingestion rate was suppressed 80%. The findings suggested that feeding inhibition was a stress response emanating from excessive uptake of dietary Cu and cellular toxicity. PMID:26698541

  17. Dietary uptake of Cu sorbed to hydrous iron oxide is linked to cellular toxicity and feeding inhibition in a benthic grazer

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cain, Daniel J.; Croteau, Marie-Noele; Fuller, Christopher C.; Ringwood, Amy H.

    2016-01-01

    Whereas feeding inhibition caused by exposure to contaminants has been extensively documented, the underlying mechanism(s) are less well understood. For this study, the behavior of several key feeding processes, including ingestion rate and assimilation efficiency, that affect the dietary uptake of Cu were evaluated in the benthic grazer Lymnaea stagnalis following 4–5 h exposures to Cu adsorbed to synthetic hydrous ferric oxide (Cu–HFO). The particles were mixed with a cultured alga to create algal mats with Cu exposures spanning nearly 3 orders of magnitude at variable or constant Fe concentrations, thereby allowing first order and interactive effects of Cu and Fe to be evaluated. Results showed that Cu influx rates and ingestion rates decreased as Cu exposures of the algal mat mixture exceeded 104 nmol/g. Ingestion rate appeared to exert primary control on the Cu influx rate. Lysosomal destabilization rates increased directly with Cu influx rates. At the highest Cu exposure where the incidence of lysosomal membrane damage was greatest (51%), the ingestion rate was suppressed 80%. The findings suggested that feeding inhibition was a stress response emanating from excessive uptake of dietary Cu and cellular toxicity.

  18. Tooth wear in captive giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis): mesowear analysis classifies free-ranging specimens as browsers but captive ones as grazers.

    PubMed

    Clauss, Marcus; Franz-Odendaal, Tamara A; Brasch, Juliane; Castell, Johanna C; Kaiser, Thomas

    2007-09-01

    Captive giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) mostly do not attain the longevity possible for this species and frequently have problems associated with low energy intake and fat storage mobilization. Abnormal tooth wear has been among the causes suggested as an underlying problem. This study utilizes a tooth wear scoring method ("mesowear") primarily used in paleobiology. This scoring method was applied to museum specimens of free-ranging (n=20) and captive (n=41) giraffes. The scoring system allows for the differentiation between attrition--(typical for browsers, as browse contains little abrasive silica) and abrasion--(typical for grazers, as grass contains abrasive silica) dominated tooth wear. The dental wear pattern of the free-ranging population is dominated by attrition, resembles that previously published for free-ranging giraffe, and clusters within browsing herbivores in comparative analysis. In contrast, the wear pattern of the captive population is dominated by abrasion and clusters among grazing herbivores in comparative analyses. A potential explanation for this difference in tooth wear is likely related to the content of abrasive elements in zoo diets. Silica content (measured as acid insoluble ash) is low in browse and alfalfa. However, grass hay and the majority of pelleted compound feeds contain higher amounts of silica. It can be speculated that the abnormal wear pattern in captivity compromises tooth function in captive giraffe, with deleterious long-term consequences. PMID:17939353

  19. Implementation of a physiologically identified PD feedback controller for regulating the active ankle torque during quiet stance.

    PubMed

    Vette, Albert H; Masani, Kei; Popovic, Milos R

    2007-06-01

    Our studies have recently demonstrated that a proportional and derivative (PD) feedback controller, which takes advantage of the body's position and velocity information to regulate balance during quiet standing, can compensate for long neurological time delays and generate a control command that precedes body sway by 100-200 ms. Furthermore, PD gain pairs were identified that ensure a robust system behavior and at the same time generate dynamic responses as observed in quiet standing experiments with able-bodied subjects. The purpose of the present study was to experimentally verify that the PD controller identified in our previous study can: 1) regulate the active ankle torque to stabilize the body during quiet standing in spite of long neurological time delays and 2) generate system dynamics, i.e., a motor command and body sway fluctuation, that successfully mimic those of the physiologic system of quiet standing. Our real-time closed-loop feedback circuit consisted of a center of mass position sensor and a functional electrical stimulator that elicited contractions of the plantar flexors as determined by the aforementioned PD controller. The control system regulated upright stance of a subject who was partially de-afferented and de-efferented due to a neurological disorder called von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome (McCormick Grade III). While the subject was able to generate a motor command for the ankle joints, he could not regulate the resulting torque sufficiently due to a lack of sensory feedback and motor control. It is important to mention that a time delay was included in the closed-loop circuit of the PD controller to mimic the actual neurological time delay observed in able-bodied individuals. The experimental results of this case study suggest that the proposed PD controller in combination with a functional electrical stimulation system can regulate the active ankle torque during quiet stance and generate the same system dynamics as observed in healthy

  20. Identifying Active Faults in Northeast North America Using Hypocenters and Multiscale Edge Wavelet Analyses of Potential Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carpenter, K.; Horowitz, F.; Ebinger, C. J.; Navarrete, L. C.; Diaz-Etchevehere, D.

    2015-12-01

    Multiscale edge Poisson wavelet analyses of potential field data ("worms") have a physical interpretation as the locations of lateral boundaries in a source distribution that exactly generates the observed field. The worm technique is therefore well-suited to analyses of crustal-scale stuctures that could be reactivated by tectonic stress or by fluid injection processes, providing new tools to analyze existing continental-scale data sets. Northeastern North America (US, Canada) hosts potentially damaging intraplate earthquakes, yet many of the Proterozoic structures are covered by thick sedimentary sequences or dense vegetation, and crustal structure is relatively poorly known.For the purpose of extending basement structure beneath the Appalachian basin and establishing a consistent regional basis for comparison, we use worms to identify steeply dipping structures in compiled gravity and magnetic anomaly data sets. We compare results to intraplate earthquake locations to assess seismic hazards. Clearly, not all locations of lateral boundaries are faults, and we do not expect all faults to have shown activity in the ~50 years of seismic records available. However, proximity statistics between hypocenters and worms are of interest since they assist in the identification and location of a subset of potentially active faults. We compare structures of lateral mass-density or magnetization contrast with locations of earthquake hypocenters cataloged from the ISC, the NEIC, and the ANF from the EarthScope Transportable Array. We develop a GIS based method for calculating hypocenter/worm proximity, and we will show statistics and maps from this method for the region at the meeting.

  1. A newly identified anti-lipopolysaccharide factor from the swimming crab Portunus trituberculatus with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; Cui, Zhaoxia; Li, Xihong; Song, Chengwen; Shi, Guohui

    2013-02-01

    Anti-lipopolysaccharide factors (ALFs), exhibiting binding and neutralizing activities to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), are the potent antimicrobial peptides of innate immunity in crustaceans. In this study, a unique isoform of ALF (PtALF6) was identified from eyestalk cDNA library of the swimming crab Portunus trituberculatus. The full-length cDNA of PtALF6 was 669 bp encoding 115 amino acids, relatively short to other known ALFs. The deduced peptide of PtALF6 was conserved; it contained the signal peptide and LPS-binding domain, especially the two conserved cysteine residues at both ends of the domain. Predicted tertiary structures of PtALF6 containing four β-strands and three α-helices were similar to that described in Limulus polyphemus. The genomic fragment of PtALF6 contained three exons separated by two introns. Unlike most ALFs expressed in hemocytes, PtALF6 transcript was predominantly detected in gill with 14.05-fold higher than that in hemocytes. After challenge with Vibrio alginolyticus, the temporal expression level of PtALF6 transcript in hemocytes showed a clear time-dependent response expression pattern with two significant peaks at 12 h and 32 h post-injection. The recombinant PtALF6 protein revealed antimicrobial activity against the test Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, but did not inhibit the growth of fungus Pichia pastoris. These results together indicate that PtALF6 is a potential antimicrobial protein against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria infection, and may play an important role in innate immune response of P. trituberculatus. PMID:23257203

  2. Murine and Human Myogenic Cells Identified by Elevated Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activity: Implications for Muscle Regeneration and Repair

    PubMed Central

    Vella, Joseph B.; Thompson, Seth D.; Bucsek, Mark J.; Song, Minjung; Huard, Johnny

    2011-01-01

    Background Despite the initial promise of myoblast transfer therapy to restore dystrophin in Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients, clinical efficacy has been limited, primarily by poor cell survival post-transplantation. Murine muscle derived stem cells (MDSCs) isolated from slowly adhering cells (SACs) via the preplate technique, induce greater muscle regeneration than murine myoblasts, primarily due to improved post-transplantation survival, which is conferred by their increased stress resistance capacity. Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) represents a family of enzymes with important morphogenic as well as oxidative damage mitigating roles and has been found to be a marker of stem cells in both normal and malignant tissue. In this study, we hypothesized that elevated ALDH levels could identify murine and human muscle derived cell (hMDC) progenitors, endowed with enhanced stress resistance and muscle regeneration capacity. Methodology/Principal Findings Skeletal muscle progenitors were isolated from murine and human skeletal muscle by a modified preplate technique and unfractionated enzymatic digestion, respectively. ALDHhi subpopulations isolated by fluorescence activate cell sorting demonstrated increased proliferation and myogenic differentiation capacities compared to their ALDHlo counterparts when cultivated in oxidative and inflammatory stress media conditions. This behavior correlated with increased intracellular levels of reduced glutathione and superoxide dismutase. ALDHhi murine myoblasts were observed to exhibit an increased muscle regenerative potential compared to ALDHlo myoblasts, undergo multipotent differentiation (osteogenic and chondrogenic), and were found predominately in the SAC fraction, characteristics that are also observed in murine MDSCs. Likewise, human ALDHhi hMDCs demonstrated superior muscle regenerative capacity compared to ALDHlo hMDCs. Conclusions The methodology of isolating myogenic cells on the basis of elevated ALDH activity

  3. Phenotypic assays identify azoramide as a small-molecule modulator of the unfolded protein response with antidiabetic activity.

    PubMed

    Fu, Suneng; Yalcin, Abdullah; Lee, Grace Y; Li, Ping; Fan, Jason; Arruda, Ana Paula; Pers, Benedicte M; Yilmaz, Mustafa; Eguchi, Kosei; Hotamisligil, Gökhan S

    2015-06-17

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) plays a critical role in protein, lipid, and glucose metabolism as well as cellular calcium signaling and homeostasis. Perturbation of ER function and chronic ER stress are associated with many pathologies ranging from diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases to cancer and inflammation. Although ER targeting shows therapeutic promise in preclinical models of obesity and other pathologies, the available chemical entities generally lack the specificity and other pharmacological properties required for effective clinical translation. To overcome these challenges and identify new potential therapeutic candidates, we first designed and chemically and genetically validated two high-throughput functional screening systems that independently measure the free chaperone content and protein-folding capacity of the ER. With these quantitative platforms, we characterized a small-molecule compound, azoramide, that improves ER protein-folding ability and activates ER chaperone capacity to protect cells against ER stress in multiple systems. This compound also exhibited potent antidiabetic efficacy in two independent mouse models of obesity by improving insulin sensitivity and pancreatic β cell function. Together, these results demonstrate the utility of this functional, phenotypic assay platform for ER-targeted drug discovery and provide proof of principle for the notion that specific ER modulators can be potential drug candidates for type 2 diabetes. PMID:26084805

  4. Epirubicin, Identified Using a Novel Luciferase Reporter Assay for Foxp3 Inhibitors, Inhibits Regulatory T Cell Activity

    PubMed Central

    Kashima, Hajime; Momose, Fumiyasu; Umehara, Hiroshi; Miyoshi, Nao; Ogo, Naohisa; Muraoka, Daisuke; Shiku, Hiroshi; Harada, Naozumi; Asai, Akira

    2016-01-01

    Forkhead box protein p3 (Foxp3) is crucial to the development and suppressor function of regulatory T cells (Tregs) that have a significant role in tumor-associated immune suppression. Development of small molecule inhibitors of Foxp3 function is therefore considered a promising strategy to enhance anti-tumor immunity. In this study, we developed a novel cell-based assay system in which the NF-κB luciferase reporter signal is suppressed by the co-expressed Foxp3 protein. Using this system, we screened our chemical library consisting of approximately 2,100 compounds and discovered that a cancer chemotherapeutic drug epirubicin restored the Foxp3-inhibited NF-κB activity in a concentration-dependent manner without influencing cell viability. Using immunoprecipitation assay in a Treg-like cell line Karpas-299, we found that epirubicin inhibited the interaction between Foxp3 and p65. In addition, epirubicin inhibited the suppressor function of murine Tregs and thereby improved effector T cell stimulation in vitro. Administration of low dose epirubicin into tumor-bearing mice modulated the function of immune cells at the tumor site and promoted their IFN-γ production without direct cytotoxicity. In summary, we identified the novel action of epirubicin as a Foxp3 inhibitor using a newly established luciferase-based cellular screen. Our work also demonstrated our screen system is useful in accelerating discovery of Foxp3 inhibitors. PMID:27284967

  5. Activated iron-containing microglia in the human hippocampus identified by magnetic resonance imaging in Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Zeineh, Michael M; Chen, Yuanxin; Kitzler, Hagen H; Hammond, Robert; Vogel, Hannes; Rutt, Brian K

    2015-09-01

    Although amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary pathology play important roles in Alzheimer disease (AD), our understanding of AD is incomplete, and the contribution of microglia and iron to neurodegeneration is unknown. High-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is exquisitely sensitive to microscopic iron. To explore iron-associated neuroinflammatory AD pathology, we studied AD and control human brain specimens by (1) performing ultra-high resolution ex vivo 7 Tesla MRI, (2) coregistering the MRI with successive histologic staining for iron, microglia, amyloid beta, and tau, and (3) quantifying the relationship between magnetic resonance signal intensity and histological staining. In AD, we identified numerous small MR hypointensities primarily within the subiculum that were best explained by the combination of microscopic iron and activated microglia (p = 0.025), in contradistinction to the relatively lesser contribution of tau or amyloid. Neuropathologically, this suggests that microglial-mediated neurodegeneration may occur in the hippocampal formation in AD and is detectable by ultra-high resolution MRI. PMID:26190634

  6. Activated iron-containing microglia in the human hippocampus identified by magnetic resonance imaging in Alzheimer disease

    PubMed Central

    Zeineh, Michael M.; Chen, Yuanxin; Kitzler, Hagen H.; Hammond, Robert; Vogel, Hannes; Rutt, Brian K.

    2016-01-01

    Although amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary pathology play important roles in Alzheimer disease (AD), our understanding of AD is incomplete, and the contribution of microglia and iron to neurodegeneration is unknown. High-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is exquisitely sensitive to microscopic iron. To explore iron-associated neuroinflammatory AD pathology, we studied AD and control human brain specimens by (1) performing ultra-high resolution ex vivo 7 Tesla MRI, (2) coregistering the MRI with successive histologic staining for iron, microglia, amyloid beta, and tau, and (3) quantifying the relationship between magnetic resonance signal intensity and histological staining. In AD, we identified numerous small MR hypointensities primarily within the subiculum that were best explained by the combination of microscopic iron and activated microglia (p = 0.025), in contradistinction to the relatively lesser contribution of tau or amyloid. Neuropathologically, this suggests that microglial-mediated neurodegeneration may occur in the hippocampal formation in AD and is detectable by ultra-high resolution MRI. PMID:26190634

  7. A continuous active monitoring approach to identify cross-connections between potable water and effluent distribution systems.

    PubMed

    Friedler, E; Alfiya, Y; Shaviv, A; Gilboa, Y; Harussi, Y; Raize, O

    2015-03-01

    A continuous active monitoring approach was developed for identification of cross-connections between potable water supply systems and treated wastewater effluent reuse distribution systems. The approach is based on monitoring the oxidation reduction potential (ORP) at the potable water system while injecting sulfite (a reducing agent) into the effluent line. A sharp decrease in the ORP of the potable water would indicate a cross-connection event. The approach was tested in batch experiments on treated municipal wastewater effluent of varying degree of treatment, and at dilution ratios of up to 1:100 (effluent/potable). The approach was then examined under continuous flow conditions, which simulated cross-connection events at various dilution ratios (up to 1:100). In the continuous runs, differences between the potable water ORP and the effluent-potable water mixture (containing sulfite as sodium bisulfite (SBS)) ORP were 450-630 mV. This suggests high potential for identifying a cross-connection event. Implementation of the approach includes adding sulfite to effluent used for agricultural irrigation; hence, possible effects on soil and on crops were studied in soil columns and pots planted with basil (Ocimum basilicum) as a model plant. No negative effects of sulfite addition to the irrigation effluent were observed in the irrigated soils and plants, and therefore, it could be safely implemented also in agricultural applications. PMID:25701471

  8. Identifying parents' perceptions about physical activity: a qualitative exploration of salient behavioural, normative and control beliefs among mothers and fathers of young children.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Kyra; White, Katherine M

    2010-11-01

    Drawing on the belief-based framework of the Theory of Planned Behaviour, this study employs qualitative methodology involving individual and group interviews to examine the beliefs associated with regular physical activity performance among parents of young children (N = 40). The data were analysed using thematic content analysis. A range of advantages (e.g. improves parenting practices), disadvantages (e.g. interferes with commitments), barriers (e.g. time), and facilitators (e.g. social support) to performing physical activity are identified. Normative pressures are also identified as affecting parents' activity behaviour. These identified beliefs can be used to inform interventions to challenge inactivity among this at-risk group. PMID:20472605

  9. Identifying the Influence of Variable Ice Types on Passive and Active Microwave Measurements for the Purpose of SWE Retrieval

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunn, G. E.; Duguay, C. R.; Derksen, C.

    2010-12-01

    ) over freshwater ice (Sitidgi Lake) with the highest R coefficient noticed in the H pol for 6.9 and 19 GHz emissions (R = 0.84 and 0.58 respectively). In brackish water, 6.9 and 19 GHz PM Tbs exhibited a negative relationship as a result of a high concentration of bubbles at the ice/water interface, and the incorporation of lossy brine pockets into the ice medium. This study identifies congruency between passive and active microwave measurements over lake ice for the purpose of improving SWE retrieval algorithms. Further quantification of passive microwave emission is needed for unique ice types, however it has been established that cross-polarised X-band backscatter can be utilized as a priori information for spaceborne PM algorithms, providing information on ice type, characteristics (floating, frozen to bed), and the presence of bubbles at the ice/water interface.

  10. Managing the Risk of Triggered Seismicity: Can We Identify (and Avoid) Potentially Active Faults? - A Practical Case Study in Oklahoma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zoback, M. D.; Alt, R. C., II; Walsh, F. R.; Walters, R. J.

    2014-12-01

    It is well known that throughout the central and eastern U.S. there has been a marked increase in seismicity since 2009, at least some of which appears to increased wastewater injection. No area has seen a greater increase in seismicity than Oklahoma. In this paper, we utilize newly available information on in situ stress orientation and relative magnitudes, the distribution of high volume injection wells and knowledge of the intervals used for waste water disposal to identify the factors potentially contributing to the occurrence of triggered seismicity. While there are a number of sites where in situ stress data has been successfully used to identify potentially active faults, we are investigating whether this methodology can be implemented throughout a state utilizing the types of information frequently available in areas of oil and gas development. As an initial test of this concept, we have been compiling stress orientation data from wells throughout Oklahoma provided by private industry. Over fifty new high quality data points, principally drilling-induced tensile fractures observed in image logs, result in a greatly improved understanding of the stress field in much of the state. A relatively uniform ENE direction of maximum compressive stress is observed, although stress orientations (and possibly relative stress magnitudes) differ in the southern and southwestern parts of the state. The proposed methodology can be tested in the area of the NE-trending fault that produced the M 5+ earthquakes in the Prague, OK sequence in 2011, and the Meers fault in southwestern OK, that produced a M~7 reverse faulting earthquake about 1100 years ago. This methodology can also be used to essentially rule out slip on other major faults in the area, such as the ~N-S trending Nemaha fault system. Additional factors leading to the occurrence of relatively large triggered earthquakes in Oklahoma are 1) the overall increase in injection volumes throughout the state in recent

  11. Screening for phenotype selective activity in multidrug resistant cells identifies a novel tubulin active agent insensitive to common forms of cancer drug resistance

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Drug resistance is a common cause of treatment failure in cancer patients and encompasses a multitude of different mechanisms. The aim of the present study was to identify drugs effective on multidrug resistant cells. Methods The RPMI 8226 myeloma cell line and its multidrug resistant subline 8226/Dox40 was screened for cytotoxicity in response to 3,000 chemically diverse compounds using a fluorometric cytotoxicity assay (FMCA). Follow-up profiling was subsequently performed using various cellular and biochemical assays. Results One compound, designated VLX40, demonstrated a higher activity against 8226/Dox40 cells compared to its parental counterpart. VLX40 induced delayed cell death with apoptotic features. Mechanistic exploration was performed using gene expression analysis of drug exposed tumor cells to generate a drug-specific signature. Strong connections to tubulin inhibitors and microtubule cytoskeleton were retrieved. The mechanistic hypothesis of VLX40 acting as a tubulin inhibitor was confirmed by direct measurements of interaction with tubulin polymerization using a biochemical assay and supported by demonstration of G2/M cell cycle arrest. When tested against a broad panel of primary cultures of patient tumor cells (PCPTC) representing different forms of leukemia and solid tumors, VLX40 displayed high activity against both myeloid and lymphoid leukemias in contrast to the reference compound vincristine to which myeloid blast cells are often insensitive. Significant in vivo activity was confirmed in myeloid U-937 cells implanted subcutaneously in mice using the hollow fiber model. Conclusions The results indicate that VLX40 may be a useful prototype for development of novel tubulin active agents that are insensitive to common mechanisms of cancer drug resistance. PMID:23919498

  12. Identifying Effective Strategies for Climate Change Education: The Coastal Areas Climate Change Education (CACCE) Partnership Audiences and Activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryan, J. G.; Feldman, A.; Muller-Karger, F. E.; Gilbes, F.; Stone, D.; Plank, L.; Reynolds, C. J.

    2011-12-01

    Many past educational initiatives focused on global climate change have foundered on public skepticism and disbelief. Some key reasons for these past failures can be drawn directly from recognized best practices in STEM education - specifically, the necessity to help learners connect new knowledge with their own experiences and perspectives, and the need to create linkages with issues or concerns that are both important for and relevant to the audiences to be educated. The Coastal Areas Climate Change Education (CACCE) partnership has sought to follow these tenets as guiding principles in identifying critical audiences and developing new strategies for educating the public living in the low-lying coastal areas of Florida and the Caribbean on the realities, risks, and adaptation and mitigation strategies for dealing with the regional impacts of global climate change. CACCE is currently focused on three key learner audiences: a) The formal education spectrum, targeting K-12 curricula through middle school marine science courses, and student and educator audiences through coursework and participatory research strategies engaging participants in a range of climate-related investigations. b) Informal science educators and outlets, in particular aquaria and nature centers, as an avenue toward K-12 teacher professional development as well as for public education. c) Regional planning, regulatory and business professionals focused on the built environment along the coasts, many of whom require continuing education to maintain licensing and/or other professional certifications. Our current activities are focused on bringing together an effective set of educational, public- and private-sector partners to target the varied needs of these audiences in Florida and the U.S. Caribbean, and tailoring an educational plan aimed at these stakeholder audiences that starts with the regionally and topically relevant impacts of climate change, and strategies for effective adaptation and

  13. What Would You Like? Identifying the Required Characteristics of an Industry-Wide Incident Reporting and Learning System for the Led Outdoor Activity Sector

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goode, Natassia; Finch, Caroline F.; Cassell, Erin; Lenne, Michael G.; Salmon, Paul M.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify the characteristics that led outdoor activity providers agree are necessary for the development of a new industry-wide incident reporting and learning system (UPLOADS). The study involved: 1) a literature review to identify a set of characteristics that are considered to be hallmarks of successful reporting…

  14. Identifying cold-water coral ecosystem by using benthic foraminiferal indicators: from active reefs to the geological record

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Margreth, Stephan; Rüggeberg, Andres; Gennari, Giordana; Spezzaferri, Silvia

    2010-05-01

    Cold-water coral ecosystems dominated by the species Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata, as well as cold-water coral carbonate mounds (fossils and/or active) occur worldwide and are especially developed along the European margin, from northern Norway to the Gulf of Cadiz and into the Alboran Sea. Their discovery is a major achievement of the last few decades and their widespread occurrence presents a challenge to understand their development, preservation and possible importance in the geologic record. On the Norwegian shelf active/living reefs are developed on elevated hard substrata. Along the Irish margin L. pertusa builds large fossil and/or active carbonate mounds. In the Gulf of Cadiz and in the Alboran Sea buried reefs and patch reefs are generally found in association with mud volcanoes. In modern oceans, they provide important ecological niches for the marine benthic fauna in the deep-sea. In comparison to the macrofauna the microfauna, particularly the foraminifera associated to these systems, are poorly known. We present here a detailed study based on quantitative analyses of benthic and planktonic foraminifera together with the statistical treatment of assemblage data collected along the Norwegian margin, in the Porcupine-Rockall region and in the Alboran Sea. The three regions were and/or are site of cold-water coral ecosystems settlements. Our study reveals that in the Porcupine/Rockall region benthic foraminiferal assemblages are strictly related to the distribution of facies. On the Norwegian margin, benthic foraminiferal habitats are weakly defined and grade one into the other preventing the sharp facies separation observed along the Irish margin (Margreth et al., 2009). In the Alboran Sea cold-water coral ecosystems and cold-water carbonate mounds are presently buried and corals are generally fragmented. However, benthic assemblages from coral-rich layers in the Alboran Sea and those from Porcupine/Rockall and Norway show remarkable

  15. Response to dietary tannin challenges in view of the browser/grazer dichotomy in an Ethiopian setting: Bonga sheep versus Kaffa goats.

    PubMed

    Yisehak, Kechero; Kibreab, Yoseph; Taye, Tolemariam; Lourenço, Marta Ribeiro Alves; Janssens, Geert Paul Jules

    2016-01-01

    It has been suggested that goats (typical browser) are better adapted to digest tannin-rich diets than sheep (typical grazer). To evaluate this, Bonga sheep and Kaffa goats were used in a 2 × 3 randomized crossover design with two species, three diets, and three periods (15-day adaptation + 7-day collection). The dietary treatments consisted of grass-based hay only (tannin-free diet = FT), a high-tannin diet (36% Albizia schimperiana (AS) + 9% Ficus elastica (FE) + 55% FT (HT)), and HT + polyethylene glycol 6000 (PEG). Animals were individually fed at 50 g dry matter (DM)/kg body weight (BW) and had free access to clean drinking water and mineralized salt licks. Nutrient intake, apparent nutrient digestibility, nutrient conversion ratios, and live weight changes were determined. Condensed tannin concentrations in AS and FE were 110 and 191 g/kg DM, respectively. Both sheep and goats ate 47% more of HT than FT, and dry matter intake further increased by 9% when PEG was added, with clear difference in effect size between goats and sheep (P < 0.001). The effects of the tannin-rich diet and PEG addition were similarly positive for DM digestibility between sheep and goats, but crude protein (CP) digestibility was higher in HT + PEG-fed goats than in sheep fed the same diet. However, PEG addition induced a larger improvement in growth performance and feed efficiency ratio in sheep than in goat (P < 0.001). The addition of PEG as a tannin binder improved digestion and performance in both species, but with the highest effect size in sheep. PMID:26519145

  16. Mechanism-Based Screen for G1/S Checkpoint Activators Identifies a Selective Activator of EIF2AK3/PERK Signalling

    PubMed Central

    Barrie, S. Elaine; Zoumpoulidou, Georgia; te Poele, Robert H.; Aherne, G. Wynne; Wilson, Stuart C.; Sheldrake, Peter; McDonald, Edward; Venet, Mathilde; Soudy, Christelle; Elustondo, Frédéric; Rigoreau, Laurent; Blagg, Julian; Workman, Paul; Garrett, Michelle D.; Mittnacht, Sibylle

    2012-01-01

    Human cancers often contain genetic alterations that disable G1/S checkpoint control and loss of this checkpoint is thought to critically contribute to cancer generation by permitting inappropriate proliferation and distorting fate-driven cell cycle exit. The identification of cell permeable small molecules that activate the G1/S checkpoint may therefore represent a broadly applicable and clinically effective strategy for the treatment of cancer. Here we describe the identification of several novel small molecules that trigger G1/S checkpoint activation and characterise the mechanism of action for one, CCT020312, in detail. Transcriptional profiling by cDNA microarray combined with reverse genetics revealed phosphorylation of the eukaryotic initiation factor 2-alpha (EIF2A) through the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2-alpha kinase 3 (EIF2AK3/PERK) as the mechanism of action of this compound. While EIF2AK3/PERK activation classically follows endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signalling that sets off a range of different cellular responses, CCT020312 does not trigger these other cellular responses but instead selectively elicits EIF2AK3/PERK signalling. Phosphorylation of EIF2A by EIF2A kinases is a known means to block protein translation and hence restriction point transit in G1, but further supports apoptosis in specific contexts. Significantly, EIF2AK3/PERK signalling has previously been linked to the resistance of cancer cells to multiple anticancer chemotherapeutic agents, including drugs that target the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and taxanes. Consistent with such findings CCT020312 sensitizes cancer cells with defective taxane-induced EIF2A phosphorylation to paclitaxel treatment. Our work therefore identifies CCT020312 as a novel small molecule chemical tool for the selective activation of EIF2A-mediated translation control with utility for proof-of-concept applications in EIF2A-centered therapeutic approaches, and as a chemical starting point for

  17. Native and domestic browsers and grazers reduce fuels, fire temperatures, and acacia ant mortality in an African savanna.

    PubMed

    Kimuyu, Duncan M; Sensenig, Ryan L; Riginos, Corinna; Veblen, Kari E; Young, Truman P

    2014-06-01

    Despite the importance of fire and herbivory in structuring savanna systems, few replicated experiments have examined the interactive effects of herbivory and fire on plant dynamics. In addition, the effects of fire on associated ant-tree mutualisms have been largely unexplored. We carried out small controlled burns in each of 18 herbivore treatment plots of the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE), where experimentally excluding elephants has resulted in 42% greater tree densities. The KLEE design includes six different herbivore treatments that allowed us to examine how different combinations of megaherbivore wildlife, mesoherbivore wildlife, and cattle affect fire temperatures and subsequent loss of ant symbionts from Acacia trees. Before burning, we quantified herbaceous fuel loads and plant community composition. We tagged all trees, measured their height and basal diameter, and identified the resident ant species on each. We recorded weather conditions during the burns and used ceramic tiles painted with fire-sensitive paints to estimate fire temperatures at different heights and in different microsites (under vs. between trees). Across all treatments, fire temperatures were highest at 0-50 cm off the ground and hotter in the grass under trees than in the grassy areas between trees. Plots with more trees burned hotter than plots with fewer trees, perhaps because of greater fine woody debris. Plots grazed by wildlife and by cattle prior to burning had lower herbaceous fuel loads and experienced lower burn temperatures than ungrazed plots. Many trees lost their ant colonies during the burns. Ant survivorship differed by ant species and at the plot level was positively associated with previous herbivory (and lower fire temperatures). Across all treatments, ant colonies on taller trees were more likely to survive, but even some of the tallest trees lost their ant colonies. Our study marks a significant step in understanding the mechanisms that underlie the

  18. Community-identified strategies to increase physical activity during elementary school recess on an American Indian reservation: A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Grant, Vernon; Brown, Blakely; Swaney, Gyda; Hollist, Dusten; Harris, Kari Jo; Noonan, Curtis W.; Gaskill, Steve

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effect of an 8-week recess intervention on physical activity levels in children attending elementary school on an American Indian reservation during fall 2013. Physical activity was measured with direct observation in three zones on the playground. Lines were painted on existing pavement in zone 1. Zone 2 had permanent playground equipment and was unchanged. Zone 3 contained fields where bi-weekly facilitators led activities and provided equipment. Pre- to post-changes during recess in sedentary, moderate physical activity, moderate-to-vigorous, and vigorous physical activities were compared within zones. Females physical activity increased in Zone 1 (moderate: 100% increase; moderate-to-vigorous: 83%; vigorous: 74%, p < 0.01 for all) and Zone 3 (moderate: 54% increase, p < 0.01; moderate-to-vigorous: 48%, p < 0.01; vigorous: 40%, p < 0.05). Male sedentary activity decreased in Zone 2 (161%, p < 0.01). Physical activity changes in Zone 3 were not dependent upon the presence of a facilitator. Simple and low-cost strategies were effective at increasing recess physical activity in females. The findings also suggest that providing children games that are led by a facilitator is not necessary to increase physical activity as long as proper equipment is provided. PMID:26844133

  19. Relevance of macrozoobenthic grazers to understand the dynamic behaviour of sediment erodibility and microphytobenthos resuspension in sunny summer conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orvain, Francis; Guizien, Katell; Lefebvre, Sébastien; Bréret, Martine; Dupuy, Christine

    2014-09-01

    The quantification of overall microphytobenthos productivity should include the export of biomass from the intertidal zone during high tides, which implies refined estimates and concepts of erosion parameters. For the first time, the export of microphytobenthic cells was assessed over an intertidal mudflat in the Marennes-Oléron Bay, France, during a complete spring/neap tide modulation. In the summer of 2008, resuspension rates of chl-a exported only reached 2.5% of the standing stock of benthic diatoms on each day. Sedimentary factors failed to explain any variation regarding bed and microphytobenthos erodibility. During the early fluff layer erosion phase, there were negative effects of grazing activities exerted by motile infauna (Peringia ulvae) on erosion fluxes of chl-a, while there was a related positive correlation with pheopigment proportion. The erosion process plays an important role in this vegetal-herbivore interaction by reinforcing the decline of the microphytobenthic biomass and provoking a catastrophic shift to mass erosion after a sequence of several days of co-occurring intense grazing by snails and chl-a decline. During mass erosion, the biofilm decline explained the variations of sediment erodibility, with a marked negative correlation between bound extracellular polymeric substance (EPS) proteins and critical threshold for bed erosion, in contrast with the commonly observed positive influence of EPS secretion on bed resistance. The complex nature of the effects of EPS by microphytobenthos must be further investigated to unravel their complex role in bioengineering sediments. The increase of protein proportion in EPS could provide specific properties related to hydrophilic features. Nevertheless, the level of grazing pressure by P. ulvae should be so intense that the top-down control must explain this original finding, since there was a positive correlation of proteins in EPS and snail density that could be related to mucus secretion (as a

  20. IDENTIFYING AND PREDICTING DIVING PLUME BEHAVIOR AT GROUNDWATER SITES CONTAINING MTBE: PART 1 SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING FOR ACTIVITIES IN FY 2002

    EPA Science Inventory

    This work will complete work began under Identifying and Predicting Plume Diving Behavior at Groundwater Sites Containing MTBE: Part 1. As of September 2001, ORD Staff and ORD Contractors have characterized dividing MTBE plumes at Spring Green, Wisconsin; Milford, Michigan; and ...

  1. VLA observations identify the currently active source in Terzan 5 as the neutron star transient EXO 1745-248

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremou, E.; Sivakoff, G.; Bahramian, A.; Heinke, C.; Tetarenko, A.; Wijnands, R.; Degenaar, N.; Linares, M.; Miller-Jones, J.; Patruno, A.; Chomiuk, L.; Strader, J.; Altamirano, D.; Maccarone, T.; Sanna, A.

    2015-03-01

    Following the recent detection of a transient outburst in Terzan 5, and initial Swift X-ray follow-up (ATels #7240, #7242, #7247), we triggered radio observations with the VLA to identify and classify the source via its radio emission.

  2. In Vitro Activity of Ceftolozane-Tazobactam against Anaerobic Organisms Identified during the ASPECT-cIAI Study

    PubMed Central

    Farrell, David J.; Palchak, Melissa; Steenbergen, Judith N.

    2015-01-01

    The in vitro activities of ceftolozane-tazobactam, meropenem, and metronidazole were determined against anaerobic organisms isolated from patients with complicated intraabdominal infections (cIAI) in global phase III studies. Ceftolozane-tazobactam activity was highly variable among different species of the Bacteroides fragilis group, with MIC90 values ranging from 2 to 64 μg/ml. More-potent in vitro activity was observed against selected Gram-positive anaerobic organisms; however, small numbers of isolates were available, and, therefore, the clinical significance of these results is unknown. Variable activity of ceftolozane-tazobactam against anaerobic organisms necessitates use in combination with metronidazole for the treatment of cIAI. PMID:26552971

  3. Identifying the role of N-heteroatom location in the activity of metal catalysts for alcohol oxidation

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Chan-Thaw, Carine E.; Veith, Gabriel M.; Villa, Alberto; Prati, Laura

    2015-04-02

    Here, this work focuses on understanding how the bonding of nitrogen heteroatoms contained on/in a activated carbon support influence the stability and reactivity of a supported Pd catalyst for the oxidation of alcohols in solution. The results show that simply adding N groups via solution chemistry is insufficient to improve catalytic properties. Instead a strongly bound N moiety is required to activate the catalyst and stabilize the metal particles.

  4. Identifying the Role of N-Heteroatom Location in the Activity of Metal Catalysts for Alcohol Oxidation

    SciTech Connect

    Chan-Thaw, Carine E.; Veith, Gabriel M; Villa, Alberto; Prati, Laura

    2015-01-01

    This work focuses on understanding how the bonding of nitrogen heteroatoms contained on/in a activated carbon support influence the stability and reactivity of a supported Pd catalyst for the oxidation of alcohols in solution. The results show that simply adding N groups via solution chemistry is insufficient to improve catalytic properties. Instead a strongly bound N moiety is required to activate the catalyst and stabilize the metal particles.

  5. Water-Borne Cues of a Non-Indigenous Seaweed Mediate Grazer-Deterrent Responses in Native Seaweeds, but Not Vice Versa

    PubMed Central

    Yun, Hee Young; Engelen, Aschwin H.; Santos, Rui O.; Molis, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Plants optimise their resistance to herbivores by regulating deterrent responses on demand. Induction of anti-herbivory defences can occur directly in grazed plants or from emission of risk cues to the environment, which modifies interactions of adjacent plants with, for instance, their consumers. This study confirmed the induction of anti-herbivory responses by water-borne risk cues between adjoining con-specific seaweeds and firstly examined whether plant-plant signalling also exists among adjacent hetero-specific seaweeds. Furthermore, differential abilities and geographic variation in plant-plant signalling by a non-indigenous seaweed as well as native seaweeds were assessed. Twelve-day induction experiments using the non-indigenous seaweed Sargassum muticum were conducted in the laboratory in Portugal and Germany with one local con-familiar (Portugal: Cystoseira humilis, Germany: Halidrys siliquosa) and hetero-familiar native species (Portugal: Fucus spiralis, Germany: F. vesiculosus). All seaweeds were grazed by a local isopod species (Portugal: Stenosoma nadejda, Germany: Idotea baltica) and were positioned upstream of con- and hetero-specific seaweeds. Grazing-induced modification in seaweed traits were tested in three-day feeding assays between cue-exposed and cue-free ( = control) pieces of both fresh and reconstituted seaweeds. Both Fucus species reduced their palatability when positioned downstream of isopod-grazed con-specifics. Yet, the palatability of non-indigenous S. muticum remained constant in the presence of upstream grazed con-specifics and native hetero-specifics. In contrast, both con-familiar (but neither hetero-familiar) native species reduced palatability when located downstream of grazed S. muticum. Similar patterns of grazer-deterrent responses to water-borne cues were observed on both European shores, and were almost identical between assays using fresh and reconstituted seaweeds. Hence, seaweeds may use plant-plant signalling to

  6. Micro-grazer biomass, composition and distribution across prey resource and dissolved oxygen gradients in the far eastern tropical north Pacific Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brady Olson, M.; Daly, Kendra L.

    2013-05-01

    The ecology of micro-grazers (Mg) was investigated across prey and dissolved oxygen (DO) gradients in the eastern tropical north Pacific Ocean (ETNP) during October-November 2007. Surface (<200 m) chlorophyll a (Chl a) across a ˜1700 km north-south transect ranged between the seasonal average of 0.2 μg Chl a L-1 to 1.8 μg Chl a L-1 in an extensive Chl a-rich patch in the center of the transect. Limiting (<20 μmol kg-1 O2) DO concentrations were encountered as shallow as 24 m. Biomass of Mg in waters above the upper oxycline (UO) ranged between 5.6 μg C L-1 and 36.6 μg C L-1, with highest Mg biomass observed in locations with highest Chl a. Heterotrophic dinoflagellates contributed most, on average, to Mg biomass (41% to 53%), followed by aloricate spirotrich ciliates (24% to 29%) and heterotrophic nanoflagellates (11% to 33%). Biomass of Mg decreased, on average, over 96% in waters below the UO, but this decrease did not appear to be regulated by DO; Mg biomass more strongly correlated with Chl a (r=0.83, P<0.001) and temperature (r=0.76, P<0.001) at discrete depths than with DO (r=0.67, P<0.001). Using a multiple stepwise regression model, Chl a alone accounted for 68% Mg biomass variability, whereas Chl a and temperature combined accounted for 84%. In two Mg grazing experiments we found that Mg removed 33% and 108% of surface primary production in the upper mixed layer. These estimates of Mg grazing, while limited in scope, fall within estimates from other regions of the equatorial Pacific Ocean, and help reinforce the paradigm that Mg are influential in regulating organic carbon dynamics in the eastern tropical Pacific. A primary finding from this study was that observations of Mg biomass are higher than previously reported for the ETNP. This observation suggests that the region's complex air-sea interactions and the resultant positive influence on primary production and phytoplankton biomass can episodically support high biomass of a diverse Mg community.

  7. Genetic and Biochemical Dissection of a HisKA Domain Identifies Residues Required Exclusively for Kinase and Phosphatase Activities

    PubMed Central

    Willett, Jonathan W.; Kirby, John R.

    2012-01-01

    Two-component signal transduction systems, composed of histidine kinases (HK) and response regulators (RR), allow bacteria to respond to diverse environmental stimuli. The HK can control both phosphorylation and subsequent dephosphorylation of its cognate RR. The majority of HKs utilize the HisKA subfamily of dimerization and histidine phosphotransfer (DHp) domains, which contain the phospho-accepting histidine and directly contact the RR. Extensive genetics, biochemistry, and structural biology on several prototypical TCS systems including NtrB-NtrC and EnvZ-OmpR have provided a solid basis for understanding the function of HK–RR signaling. Recently, work on NarX, a HisKA_3 subfamily protein, indicated that two residues in the highly conserved region of the DHp domain are responsible for phosphatase activity. In this study we have carried out both genetic and biochemical analyses on Myxococcus xanthus CrdS, a member of the HisKA subfamily of bacterial HKs. CrdS is required for the regulation of spore formation in response to environmental stress. Following alanine-scanning mutagenesis of the α1 helix of the DHp domain of CrdS, we determined the role for each mutant protein for both kinase and phosphatase activity. Our results indicate that the conserved acidic residue (E372) immediately adjacent to the site of autophosphorylation (H371) is specifically required for kinase activity but not for phosphatase activity. Conversely, we found that the conserved Thr/Asn residue (N375) was required for phosphatase activity but not for kinase activity. We extended our biochemical analyses to two CrdS homologs from M. xanthus, HK1190 and HK4262, as well as Thermotoga maritima HK853. The results were similar for each HisKA family protein where the conserved acidic residue is required for kinase activity while the conserved Thr/Asn residue is required for phosphatase activity. These data are consistent with conserved mechanisms for kinase and phosphatase activities in the

  8. ISD97, a computer program to analyze data from a series of in situ measurements on a grid and identify potential localized areas of elevated activity

    SciTech Connect

    Reginatto, M.; Shebell, P.; Miller, K.M.

    1997-10-01

    A computer program, ISD97, was developed to analyze data from a series of in situ measurements on a grid and identify potential localized areas of elevated activity. The ISD97 code operates using a two-step process. A deconvolution of the data is carried out using the maximum entropy method, and a map of activity on the ground that fits the data within experimental error is generated. This maximum entropy map is then analyzed to determine the locations and magnitudes of potential areas of elevated activity that are consistent with the data. New deconvolutions are then carried out for each potential area of elevated activity identified by the code. Properties of the algorithm are demonstrated using data from actual field measurements.

  9. Activated-ion electron transfer dissociation improves the ability of electron transfer dissociation to identify peptides in a complex mixture.

    PubMed

    Ledvina, Aaron R; Beauchene, Nicole A; McAlister, Graeme C; Syka, John E P; Schwartz, Jae C; Griep-Raming, Jens; Westphall, Michael S; Coon, Joshua J

    2010-12-15

    Using a modified electron transfer dissociation (ETD)-enabled quadrupole linear ion trap (QLT) mass spectrometer, we demonstrate the utility of IR activation concomitant with ETD ion-ion reactions (activated-ion ETD, AI-ETD). Analyzing 12 strong cation exchanged (SCX) fractions of a LysC digest of human cell protein extract using ETD, collision-activated dissociation (CAD), and AI-ETD, we find that AI-ETD generates 13 405 peptide spectral matches (PSMs) at a 1% false-discovery rate (1% FDR), surpassing both ETD (7 968) and CAD (10 904). We also analyze 12 SCX fractions of a tryptic digest of human cell protein extract and find that ETD produces 6 234 PSMs, AI-ETD 9 130 PSMs, and CAD 15 209 PSMs. Compared to ETD with supplemental collisional activation (ETcaD), AI-ETD generates ∼80% more PSMs for the whole cell lysate digested with trypsin and ∼50% more PSMs for the whole cell lysate digested with LysC. PMID:21062032

  10. A Repurposing Approach Identifies Off-Patent Drugs with Fungicidal Cryptococcal Activity, a Common Structural Chemotype, and Pharmacological Properties Relevant to the Treatment of Cryptococcosis

    PubMed Central

    Butts, Arielle; DiDone, Louis; Koselny, Kristy; Baxter, Bonnie K.; Chabrier-Rosello, Yeissa; Wellington, Melanie

    2013-01-01

    New, more accessible therapies for cryptococcosis represent an unmet clinical need of global importance. We took a repurposing approach to identify previously developed drugs with fungicidal activity toward Cryptococcus neoformans, using a high-throughput screening assay designed to detect drugs that directly kill fungi. From a set of 1,120 off-patent medications and bioactive molecules, we identified 31 drugs/molecules with fungicidal activity, including 15 drugs for which direct antifungal activity had not previously been reported. A significant portion of the drugs are orally bioavailable and cross the blood-brain barrier, features key to the development of a widely applicable anticryptococcal agent. Structural analysis of this set revealed a common chemotype consisting of a hydrophobic moiety linked to a basic amine, features that are common to drugs that cross the blood-brain barrier and access the phagolysosome, two important niches of C. neoformans. Consistent with their fungicidal activity, the set contains eight drugs that are either additive or synergistic in combination with fluconazole. Importantly, we identified two drugs, amiodarone and thioridazine, with activity against intraphagocytic C. neoformans. Finally, the set of drugs is also enriched for molecules that inhibit calmodulin, and we have confirmed that seven drugs directly bind C. neoformans calmodulin, providing a molecular target that may contribute to the mechanism of antifungal activity. Taken together, these studies provide a foundation for the optimization of the antifungal properties of a set of pharmacologically attractive scaffolds for the development of novel anticryptococcal therapies. PMID:23243064

  11. In vivo modulation of vagal-identified dorsal medullary neurones by activation of different 5-Hydroxytryptamine2 receptors in rats

    PubMed Central

    Sévoz-Couche, Caroline; Spyer, K Michael; Jordan, David

    2000-01-01

    In in vivo experiments, DOI (a 5-HT2 receptor agonist), MK-212 (a 5-HT2C receptor agonist), and BW-723C86 (a 5-HT2B receptor agonist) were applied by ionophoresis to neurones in the rat nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) receiving vagal afferent input. The majority of the putative ‘monosynaptically' vagal activated cells were inhibited by both MK-212 (4/6) and DOI (2/4), but unaffected by BW-723C86 (12/14). In contrast, ‘polysynaptically' activated NTS cells were excited by both BW-723C86 (13/19) and DOI (9/10). Inactive ‘intermediate' cells were inhibited by BW-723C86 (9/12), MK-212 (5/6) and DOI (3/4), whilst active cells of this group were excited by BW-723C86 (7/13) and DOI (5/5). The selective 5-HT2B receptor antagonist LY-202715 significantly reduced the excitatory actions of BW-723C86 on ‘intermediate' and ‘polysynaptic' cells (13/13), but not the inhibitory effects observed on inactive Group 2 cells (n=5) whereas the selective 5-HT2C receptor antagonist RS-102221 reversed the inhibitory effects of MK-212 and DOI on ‘monosynaptic and ‘intermediate' neurones. Cardio-pulmonary afferent stimulation inhibited two of four putative ‘monosynaptically' activated calls and all four inactive intermediate cells. These were also inhibited by DOI and MK-212. In contrast, cardio-pulmonary afferents excited all five active intermediate cells and all six putative ‘polysynaptically' activated NTS cells, while all were also previously excited by BW-723C86 and/or DOI. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that neurones in the NTS are affected differently by 5-HT2 receptor ligands, in regard of their vagal postsynaptic location, the type of cardio-pulmonary afferent they receive and the different 5-HT2 receptors activated. PMID:11090119

  12. Identifying Drug (Cocaine) Intake Events from Acute Physiological Response in the Presence of Free-living Physical Activity

    PubMed Central

    Hossain, Syed Monowar; Ali, Amin Ahsan; Rahman, Mahbubur; Ertin, Emre; Epstein, David; Kennedy, Ashley; Preston, Kenzie; Umbricht, Annie; Chen, Yixin; Kumar, Santosh

    2014-01-01

    A variety of health and behavioral states can potentially be inferred from physiological measurements that can now be collected in the natural free-living environment. The major challenge, however, is to develop computational models for automated detection of health events that can work reliably in the natural field environment. In this paper, we develop a physiologically-informed model to automatically detect drug (cocaine) use events in the free-living environment of participants from their electrocardiogram (ECG) measurements. The key to reliably detecting drug use events in the field is to incorporate the knowledge of autonomic nervous system (ANS) behavior in the model development so as to decompose the activation effect of cocaine from the natural recovery behavior of the parasympathetic nervous system (after an episode of physical activity). We collect 89 days of data from 9 active drug users in two residential lab environments and 922 days of data from 42 active drug users in the field environment, for a total of 11,283 hours. We develop a model that tracks the natural recovery by the parasympathetic nervous system and then estimates the dampening caused to the recovery by the activation of the sympathetic nervous system due to cocaine. We develop efficient methods to screen and clean the ECG time series data and extract candidate windows to assess for potential drug use. We then apply our model on the recovery segments from these windows. Our model achieves 100% true positive rate while keeping the false positive rate to 0.87/day over (9+ hours/day of) lab data and to 1.13/day over (11+ hours/day of) field data. PMID:25531010

  13. Identifying qualitative effects of different grazing types on below-ground communities and function in a long-term field experiment.

    PubMed

    Macdonald, Catriona A; Crawley, Michael J; Wright, Denis J; Kuczynski, Justin; Robinson, Lucinda; Knight, Rob; Al-Soud, Waleed Abu; Sørensen, Søren J; Deng, Ye; Zhou, Jizhong; Singh, Brajesh K

    2015-03-01

    Herbivory is an important modulator of plant biodiversity and productivity in grasslands, but our understanding of herbivore-induced changes on below-ground processes and communities is limited. Using a long-term (17 years) experimental site, we evaluated impacts of rabbit and invertebrate grazers on some soil functions involved in carbon cycling, microbial diversity, structure and functional composition. Both rabbit and invertebrate grazing impacted soil functions and microbial community structure. All functional community measures (functions, biogeochemical cycling genes, network association between different taxa) were more strongly affected by invertebrate grazers than rabbits. Furthermore, our results suggest that exclusion of invertebrate grazers decreases both microbial biomass and abundance of genes associated with key biogeochemical cycles, and could thus have long-term consequences for ecosystem functions. The mechanism behind these impacts are likely to be driven by both direct effects of grazing altering the pattern of nutrient inputs and by indirect effects through changes in plant species composition. However, we could not entirely discount that the pesticide used to exclude invertebrates may have affected some microbial community measures. Nevertheless, our work illustrates that human activity that affects grazing intensity may affect ecosystem functioning and sustainability, as regulated by multi-trophic interactions between above- and below-ground communities. PMID:24935069

  14. An Investigation of Adolescent Girls' Global Self-Concept, Physical Self-Concept, Identified Regulation, and Leisure-Time Physical Activity in Physical Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beasley, Emily Kristin; Garn, Alex C.

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the relationships among identified regulation, physical self-concept, global self-concept, and leisure-time physical activity with a sample of middle and high school girls (N = 319) enrolled in physical education. Based on Marsh's theory of self-concept, it was hypothesized that a) physical self-concept would mediate the…

  15. Activated-Ion ETD (AI-ETD) Improves the Ability of ETD to Identify Peptides in a Complex Mixture

    PubMed Central

    Ledvina, Aaron R.; Beauchene, Nicole A.; McAlister, Graeme C.; Syka, John E. P.; Schwartz, Jae C.; Griep-Raming, Jens; Westphall, Michael S.; Coon, Joshua J.

    2010-01-01

    Using a modified ETD-enabled QLT mass spectrometer, we demonstrate the utility of IR activation concomitant with ETD ion-ion reactions (activated-ion ETD, AI-ETD). Analyzing 12 SCX fractions of a LysC digest of human cells (HS) using ETD, CAD, and AI-ETD, we find that AI-ETD generates 13,405 peptide spectral matches (PSMs) at a 1% false-discovery rate (1% FDR), surpassing both ETD (7,968) and CAD (10,904). We also analyze 12 SCX fractions of a tryptic HS digest and find that ETD produces 6,234 PSMs, AI-ETD 9,130 PSMs, and CAD 15,209 PSMs. Compared to ETcaD, AI-ETD generates ~80% more PSMs for tryptic whole cell lysate and ~50% more PSMs for LysC whole cell lysate. PMID:21062032

  16. Actively bleeding Dieulafoy’s lesion of the small bowel identified by capsule endoscopy and treated by push enteroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Palma, Giovanni D De; Patrone, Francesco; Rega, Maria; Simeoli, Immacolata; Masone, Stefania; Persico, Giovanni

    2006-01-01

    Dieulafoy’s lesion is an unusual cause of recurrent GI bleeding. This report describes a case of actively bleeding Dieulafoy’s lesion of the small bowel in which the diagnosis was made by capsule endoscopy, followed by treatment with the use of push enteroscopy. The case illustrates that capsule endoscopy and enteroscopy are highly complementary in patients with small bowel diseases. PMID:16804987

  17. Identifying risk factors of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome in AIDS patients receiving highly active anti-retroviral therapy.

    PubMed

    He, Bo; Zheng, Yuhuang; Liu, Meng; Zhou, Guoqiang; Chen, Xia; Mamadou, Diallo; He, Yan; Zhou, Huaying; Chen, Zi

    2013-01-01

    Immune reconstitution inflammation syndrome typically occurs within days after patients undergo highly active anti-retroviral therapy and is a big hurdle for effective treatment of AIDS patients. In this study, we monitored immune reconstitution inflammation syndrome occurrence in 238 AIDS patients treated with highly active anti-retroviral therapy. Among them, immune reconstitution inflammation syndrome occurred in 47 cases (19.7%). Immune reconstitution inflammation syndrome patients had significantly higher rate of opportunistic infection (p<0.001) and persistently lower CD4(+) cell count (p<0.001) compared to the non-immune reconstitution inflammation syndrome patients. In contrast, no significant differences in HIV RNA loads were observed between the immune reconstitution inflammation syndrome group and non-immune reconstitution inflammation syndrome group. These data suggest that a history of opportunistic infection and CD4(+) cell counts at baseline may function as risk factors for immune reconstitution inflammation syndrome occurrence in AIDS patients as well as potential prognostic markers. These findings will improve the management of AIDS with highly active anti-retroviral therapy. PMID:23434049

  18. Fine-Mapping Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Gene: Separate QTLs Identified for Hypertension and for ACE Activity

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Chia-Min; Wang, Ruey-Yun; Fann, Cathy S. J.; Chen, Jaw-Wen; Jong, Yuh-Shiun; Jou, Yuh-Shan; Yang, Hsin-Chou; Kang, Chih-Sen; Chen, Chien-Chung; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Pan, Wen-Harn

    2013-01-01

    Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) has been implicated in multiple biological system, particularly cardiovascular diseases. However, findings associating ACE insertion/deletion polymorphism with hypertension or other related traits are inconsistent. Therefore, in a two-stage approach, we aimed to fine-map ACE in order to narrow-down the function-specific locations. We genotyped 31 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of ACE from 1168 individuals from 305 young-onset (age ≤40) hypertension pedigrees, and found four linkage disequilibrium (LD) blocks. A tag-SNP, rs1800764 on LD block 2, upstream of and near the ACE promoter, was significantly associated with young-onset hypertension (p = 0.04). Tag-SNPs on all LD blocks were significantly associated with ACE activity (p-value: 10–16 to <10–33). The two regions most associated with ACE activity were found between exon13 and intron18 and between intron 20 and 3′UTR, as revealed by measured haplotype analysis. These two major QTLs of ACE activity and the moderate effect variant upstream of ACE promoter for young-onset hypertension were replicated by another independent association study with 842 subjects. PMID:23469169

  19. Antioxidants and α-glucosidase inhibitors from Ipomoea batatas leaves identified by bioassay-guided approach and structure-activity relationships.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lu; Tu, Zong-Cai; Yuan, Tao; Wang, Hui; Xie, Xing; Fu, Zhi-Feng

    2016-10-01

    Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) leaf (SPL) is an underused commercial vegetable with considerable bio-activities. By means of DPPH scavenging ability and α-glucosidase inhibitory oriented isolation, 9 and 7 compounds were isolated and identified, respectively. Among them, trans-N-(p-coumaroyl)tyramine (1), trans-N-feruloyltyramine (2), cis-N-feruloyltyramine (3), 4,5-feruloylcourmaoylquinic acid (8), caffeic acid ethyl ester (10), 7-hydroxy-5-methoxycoumarin (11), 7,3'-dimethylquercetin (13) and indole-3-carboxaldehyde (15), were firstly identified from SPL, and four of them (1, 2, 3 and 10) were firstly identified from genus Ipomoea. Phenethyl cinnamides and 3,4,5-triCQA exhibited the strongest α-glucosidase inhibition, while 3,4,5-triCQA and diCQAs were the dominant antioxidants. Structure-activity relationship revealed that higher caffeoylation of quinic acid and lower methoxylation of flavonols resulted in stronger antioxidant activity, and methylation and cis-configuration structure of phenethyl cinnamides weaken the α-glucosidase inhibition. Aforementioned results could help to explain the antioxidant activity and anti-diabetic activity of SPL, and provide theoretical basis for its further application. PMID:27132824

  20. Development and application of a sensitive, phenotypic, high-throughput image-based assay to identify compound activity against Trypanosoma cruzi amastigotes

    PubMed Central

    Sykes, Melissa L.; Avery, Vicky M.

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a high content 384-well, image-based assay to estimate the effect of compound treatment on Trypanosoma cruzi amastigotes in 3T3 fibroblasts. In the same well, the effect of compound activity on host cells can also be determined, as an initial indicator of cytotoxicity. This assay has been used to identify active compounds from an in-house library of compounds with either known biological activity or that are FDA approved, and separately, from the Medicines for Malaria Venture Malaria Box collection. Active compounds were screened against T. cruzi trypomastigotes, utilising an assay developed with the viability dye resazurin. Twelve compounds with reconfirmed solid sample activity, with IC50 values of less than 10 μM and selectivity indices to T. cruzi amastigotes over 3T3 host cells of between >22 and 319 times were identified from these libraries. As 3T3 cells are contact inhibited, with limited proliferation in the assay, selective compounds of interest were profiled in a separate assay to estimate the viability of compound treated, replicating HEK293 cells. Selective compounds that were not previously reported in the literature were further profiled by extending the incubation time against amastigote infected 3T3 cells to determine if there were residual amastigotes post-treatment, important for the consideration of the exposure time required for further biological characterisation. The assay development process and the suitability of identified compounds as hit molecules for Chagas disease research are discussed. PMID:27120069

  1. Estimating cotinine associations and a saliva cotinine level to identify active cigarette smoking in alaska native pregnant women.

    PubMed

    Smith, Julia J; Robinson, Renee F; Khan, Burhan A; Sosnoff, Connie S; Dillard, Denise A

    2014-01-01

    Studies indicate nicotine metabolism varies by race and can change during pregnancy. Given high rates of tobacco use and limited studies among Alaska Native (AN) women, we estimated associations of saliva cotinine levels with cigarette use and second-hand smoke (SHS) exposure and estimated a saliva cotinine cutoff to distinguish smoking from non-smoking pregnant AN women. Using questionnaire data and saliva cotinine, we utilized multi-variable linear regression (n = 370) to estimate cotinine associations with tobacco use, SHS exposure, demographic, and pregnancy-related factors. Additionally, we estimated an optimal saliva cotinine cutoff for indication of active cigarette use in AN pregnant women using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis (n = 377). Saliva cotinine significantly decreased with maternal age and significantly increased with cigarettes smoked per day, SHS exposure, and number of previous full term pregnancies. Using self-reported cigarette use in the past 7 days as indication of active smoking, the area under the ROC curve was 0.975 (95 % CI: 0.960-0.990). The point closest to 100 % specificity and sensitivity occurred with a cotinine concentration of 1.07 ng/mL, which corresponded to sensitivity of 94 % and specificity of 94 %. We recommend using a saliva cotinine cutoff of 1 ng/mL to distinguish active smoking in pregnant AN women. This cutoff is lower than used in other studies with pregnant women, most likely due to high prevalence of light or intermittent smoking in the AN population. Continued study of cotinine levels in diverse populations is needed. PMID:23423858

  2. Identifying Effective Enzyme Activity Targets for Recombinant Class I and Class II Collagenase for Successful Human Islet Isolation

    PubMed Central

    Balamurugan, Appakalai N.; Green, Michael L.; Breite, Andrew G.; Loganathan, Gopalakrishnan; Wilhelm, Joshua J.; Tweed, Benjamin; Vargova, Lenka; Lockridge, Amber; Kuriti, Manikya; Hughes, Michael G.; Williams, Stuart K.; Hering, Bernhard J.; Dwulet, Francis E.; McCarthy, Robert C.

    2016-01-01

    Background Isolation following a good manufacturing practice-compliant, human islet product requires development of a robust islet isolation procedure where effective limits of key reagents are known. The enzymes used for islet isolation are critical but little is known about the doses of class I and class II collagenase required for successful islet isolation. Methods We used a factorial approach to evaluate the effect of high and low target activities of recombinant class I (rC1) and class II (rC2) collagenase on human islet yield. Consequently, 4 different enzyme formulations with divergent C1:C2 collagenase mass ratios were assessed, each supplemented with the same dose of neutral protease. Both split pancreas and whole pancreas models were used to test enzyme targets (n = 20). Islet yield/g pancreas was compared with historical enzymes (n = 42). Results Varying the Wunsch (rC2) and collagen degradation activity (CDA, rC1) target dose, and consequently the C1:C2 mass ratio, had no significant effect on tissue digestion. Digestions using higher doses of Wunsch and CDA resulted in comparable islet yields to those obtained with 60% and 50% of those activities, respectively. Factorial analysis revealed no significant main effect of Wunsch activity or CDA for any parameter measured. Aggregate results from 4 different collagenase formulations gave 44% higher islet yield (>5000 islet equivalents/g) in the body/tail of the pancreas (n = 12) when compared with those from the same segment using a standard natural collagenase/protease mixture (n = 6). Additionally, islet yields greater than 5000 islet equivalents/g pancreas were also obtained in whole human pancreas. Conclusions A broader C1:C2 ratio can be used for human islet isolation than has been used in the past. Recombinant collagenase is an effective replacement for the natural enzyme and we have determined that high islet yield can be obtained even with low doses of rC1:rC2, which is beneficial for the survival

  3. Systematic Expression Profiling Analysis Identifies Specific MicroRNA-Gene Interactions that May Differentiate between Active and Latent Tuberculosis Infection

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Lawrence Shih-Hsin; Huang, Kai-Yao; Lee, Tzong-Yi; Hsu, Paul Wei-Che

    2014-01-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) is the second most common cause of death from infectious diseases. About 90% of those infected are asymptomatic—the so-called latent TB infections (LTBI), with a 10% lifetime chance of progressing to active TB. To further understand the molecular pathogenesis of TB, several molecular studies have attempted to compare the expression profiles between healthy controls and active TB or LTBI patients. However, the results vary due to diverse genetic backgrounds and study designs and the inherent complexity of the disease process. Thus, developing a sensitive and efficient method for the detection of LTBI is both crucial and challenging. For the present study, we performed a systematic analysis of the gene and microRNA profiles of healthy individuals versus those affected with TB or LTBI. Combined with a series of in silico analysis utilizing publicly available microRNA knowledge bases and published literature data, we have uncovered several microRNA-gene interactions that specifically target both the blood and lungs. Some of these molecular interactions are novel and may serve as potential biomarkers of TB and LTBI, facilitating the development for a more sensitive, efficient, and cost-effective diagnostic assay for TB and LTBI for the Taiwanese population. PMID:25276827

  4. Genomic analysis of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas identifies three molecular subgroups and recurrent activating ACVR1 mutations

    PubMed Central

    Buczkowicz, Pawel; Hoeman, Christine; Rakopoulos, Patricia; Pajovic, Sanja; Letourneau, Louis; Dzamba, Misko; Morrison, Andrew; Lewis, Peter; Bouffet, Eric; Bartels, Ute; Zuccaro, Jennifer; Agnihotri, Sameer; Ryall, Scott; Barszczyk, Mark; Chornenkyy, Yevgen; Bourgey, Mathieu; Bourque, Guillaume; Montpetit, Alexandre; Cordero, Francisco; Castelo-Branco, Pedro; Mangerel, Joshua; Tabori, Uri; Ho, King Ching; Huang, Annie; Taylor, Kathryn R.; Mackay, Alan; Bendel, Anne E; Nazarian, Javad; Fangusaro, Jason R; Karajannis, Matthias A.; Zagzag, David; Foreman, Nicholas K.; Donson, Andrew; Hegert, Julia V.; Smith, Amy; Chan, Jennifer; Lafay-Cousin, Lucy; Dunn, Sandra; Hukin, Juliette; Dunham, Chris; Scheinemann, Katrin; Michaud, Jean; Zelcer, Shayna; Ramsay, David; Cain, Jason; Brennan, Cameron; Souweidane, Mark M.; Jones, Chris; Allis, C. David; Brudno, Michael; Becher, Oren; Hawkins, Cynthia

    2014-01-01

    Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) is a fatal brain cancer that arises in the brainstem of children with no effective treatment and near 100% fatality. The failure of most therapies can be attributed to the delicate location of these tumors and choosing therapies based on assumptions that DIPGs are molecularly similar to adult disease. Recent studies have unraveled the unique genetic make-up of this brain cancer with nearly 80% harboring a K27M-H3.3 or K27M-H3.1 mutation. However, DIPGs are still thought of as one disease with limited understanding of the genetic drivers of these tumors. To understand what drives DIPGs we integrated whole-genome-sequencing with methylation, expression and copy-number profiling, discovering that DIPGs are three molecularly distinct subgroups (H3-K27M, Silent, MYCN) and uncovering a novel recurrent activating mutation in the activin receptor ACVR1, in 20% of DIPGs. Mutations in ACVR1 were constitutively activating, leading to SMAD phosphorylation and increased expression of downstream activin signaling targets ID1 and ID2. Our results highlight distinct molecular subgroups and novel therapeutic targets for this incurable pediatric cancer. PMID:24705254

  5. Genomic analysis of diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas identifies three molecular subgroups and recurrent activating ACVR1 mutations.

    PubMed

    Buczkowicz, Pawel; Hoeman, Christine; Rakopoulos, Patricia; Pajovic, Sanja; Letourneau, Louis; Dzamba, Misko; Morrison, Andrew; Lewis, Peter; Bouffet, Eric; Bartels, Ute; Zuccaro, Jennifer; Agnihotri, Sameer; Ryall, Scott; Barszczyk, Mark; Chornenkyy, Yevgen; Bourgey, Mathieu; Bourque, Guillaume; Montpetit, Alexandre; Cordero, Francisco; Castelo-Branco, Pedro; Mangerel, Joshua; Tabori, Uri; Ho, King Ching; Huang, Annie; Taylor, Kathryn R; Mackay, Alan; Bendel, Anne E; Nazarian, Javad; Fangusaro, Jason R; Karajannis, Matthias A; Zagzag, David; Foreman, Nicholas K; Donson, Andrew; Hegert, Julia V; Smith, Amy; Chan, Jennifer; Lafay-Cousin, Lucy; Dunn, Sandra; Hukin, Juliette; Dunham, Chris; Scheinemann, Katrin; Michaud, Jean; Zelcer, Shayna; Ramsay, David; Cain, Jason; Brennan, Cameron; Souweidane, Mark M; Jones, Chris; Allis, C David; Brudno, Michael; Becher, Oren; Hawkins, Cynthia

    2014-05-01

    Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is a fatal brain cancer that arises in the brainstem of children, with no effective treatment and near 100% fatality. The failure of most therapies can be attributed to the delicate location of these tumors and to the selection of therapies on the basis of assumptions that DIPGs are molecularly similar to adult disease. Recent studies have unraveled the unique genetic makeup of this brain cancer, with nearly 80% found to harbor a p.Lys27Met histone H3.3 or p.Lys27Met histone H3.1 alteration. However, DIPGs are still thought of as one disease, with limited understanding of the genetic drivers of these tumors. To understand what drives DIPGs, we integrated whole-genome sequencing with methylation, expression and copy number profiling, discovering that DIPGs comprise three molecularly distinct subgroups (H3-K27M, silent and MYCN) and uncovering a new recurrent activating mutation affecting the activin receptor gene ACVR1 in 20% of DIPGs. Mutations in ACVR1 were constitutively activating, leading to SMAD phosphorylation and increased expression of the downstream activin signaling targets ID1 and ID2. Our results highlight distinct molecular subgroups and novel therapeutic targets for this incurable pediatric cancer. PMID:24705254

  6. Comparative epigenomics in distantly related teleost species identifies conserved cis-regulatory nodes active during the vertebrate phylotypic period

    PubMed Central

    Tena, Juan J.; González-Aguilera, Cristina; Fernández-Miñán, Ana; Vázquez-Marín, Javier; Parra-Acero, Helena; Cross, Joe W.; Rigby, Peter W.J.; Carvajal, Jaime J.; Wittbrodt, Joachim; Gómez-Skarmeta, José L.; Martínez-Morales, Juan R.

    2014-01-01

    The complex relationship between ontogeny and phylogeny has been the subject of attention and controversy since von Baer’s formulations in the 19th century. The classic concept that embryogenesis progresses from clade general features to species-specific characters has often been revisited. It has become accepted that embryos from a clade show maximum morphological similarity at the so-called phylotypic period (i.e., during mid-embryogenesis). According to the hourglass model, body plan conservation would depend on constrained molecular mechanisms operating at this period. More recently, comparative transcriptomic analyses have provided conclusive evidence that such molecular constraints exist. Examining cis-regulatory architecture during the phylotypic period is essential to understand the evolutionary source of body plan stability. Here we compare transcriptomes and key epigenetic marks (H3K4me3 and H3K27ac) from medaka (Oryzias latipes) and zebrafish (Danio rerio), two distantly related teleosts separated by an evolutionary distance of 115–200 Myr. We show that comparison of transcriptome profiles correlates with anatomical similarities and heterochronies observed at the phylotypic stage. Through comparative epigenomics, we uncover a pool of conserved regulatory regions (≈700), which are active during the vertebrate phylotypic period in both species. Moreover, we show that their neighboring genes encode mainly transcription factors with fundamental roles in tissue specification. We postulate that these regulatory regions, active in both teleost genomes, represent key constrained nodes of the gene networks that sustain the vertebrate body plan. PMID:24709821

  7. Multistep Molecular Dynamics Simulations Identify the Highly Cooperative Activity of Melittin in Recognizing and Stabilizing Membrane Pores.

    PubMed

    Sun, Delin; Forsman, Jan; Woodward, Clifford E

    2015-09-01

    The prototypical antimicrobial peptide, melittin, is well-known for its ability to induce pores in zwitterionic model lipid membranes. However, the mechanism by which melittin accomplishes this is not fully understood. We have conducted all-atom and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations which suggest that melittin employs a highly cooperative mechanism for the induction of both small and large membrane pores. The process by which this peptide induces membrane pores appears to be driven by its affinity to membrane defects via its N-terminus region. In our simulations, a membrane defect was deliberately created through either lipid flip-flop or the reorientation of one adsorbed melittin peptide. In a cooperative response, other melittin molecules also inserted their N-termini into the created defect, thus lowering the overall free energy. The insertion of these peptide molecules ultimately allowed the defect to develop into a small transmembrane pore, with an estimated diameter of ∼1.5 nm and a lifetime of the order of tens of milliseconds. In the presence of a finite membrane tension, we show that this small pore can act as a nucleation site for the stochastic rupture of the lipid bilayer, so as to create a much larger pore. We found that a threshold membrane tension of 25 mN/m was needed to create a ruptured pore. Furthermore, by actively accumulating at its edge, adsorbed peptides are able to cooperatively stabilize this larger pore. The defect-mediated pore formation mechanism revealed in this work may also apply to other amphipathic membrane-active peptides. PMID:26267389

  8. Clinicians’ guide to the use of fecal calprotectin to identify and monitor disease activity in inflammatory bowel disease

    PubMed Central

    Bressler, Brian; Panaccione, Remo; Fedorak, Richard N; Seidman, Ernest G

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Objective monitoring of the severity of inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an essential part of disease management. However, repeat endoscopy to define extent and severity of inflammation is not practical. Fecal calprotectin (FC) is a biomarker that can be used as a surrogate test to distinguish inflammatory from noninflammatory gastrointestinal disease. METHODS: A targeted search of the literature regarding FC, focusing primarily on the past three years, was conducted to develop practical clinical guidance on the current utility of FC in the routine management of IBD patients. RESULTS: It is recommended that samples for FC testing be obtained from the first bowel excretion of the day. FC testing should be used as standard of care to accurately confirm inflammation and ‘real-time’ disease activity when a clinician suspects an IBD flare. Although FC is a reliable marker of inflammation, its role in routine monitoring in improving long-term outcomes has not yet been fully assessed. Based on available evidence, the authors suggest the following cut-off values and management strategies: when FC levels are <50 μg/g to 100 μg/g, quiescent disease is likely and therapy should be continued; when FC levels are >100 μg/g to 250 μg/g, inflammation is possible and further testing (eg, colonoscopy) is required to confirm inflammation; and when FC levels are >250 μg/g, active inflammation is likely and strategies to control inflammation should be initiated (eg, optimizing current therapies or switching to an alternative therapy). DISCUSSION: FC is a useful biomarker to accurately assess the degree of inflammation and should be incorporated into the management of patients with IBD. PMID:26125109

  9. Transcript Profiling of Paoenia ostii during Artificial Chilling Induced Dormancy Release Identifies Activation of GA Pathway and Carbohydrate Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chunying; Zhang, Yang; Zheng, Guosheng

    2013-01-01

    Endo-dormant flower buds must pass through a period of chilling to reinitiate growth and subsequent flowering, which is a major obstacle to the forcing culture of tree peony in winter. Customized cDNA microarray (8×15 K element) was used to investigate gene expression profiling in tree peony ‘Feng Dan Bai’ buds during 24 d chilling treatment at 0–4°C. According to the morphological changes after the whole plants were transferred to green house, endo-dormancy was released after 18 d chilling treatment, and prolonged chilling treatment increased bud break rate. Pearson correlation hierarchical clustering of sample groups was highly consistent with the dormancy transitions revealed by morphological changes. Totally 3,174 significantly differentially-expressed genes (P<0.05) were observed through endo-dormancy release process, of which the number of up-regulated (1,611) and that of down-regulated (1,563) was almost the same. Functional annotation of differentially-expressed genes revealed that cellular process, metabolic process, response to stimulus, regulation of biological process and development process were well-represented. Hierarchical clustering indicated that activation of genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism (Glycolysis, Citrate cycle and Pentose phosphate pathway), energy metabolism and cell growth. Based on the results of GO analysis, totally 51 probes presented in the microarray were associated with GA response and GA signaling pathway, and 22 of them were differently expressed. The expression profiles also revealed that the genes of GA biosynthesis, signaling and response involved in endo-dormancy release. We hypothesized that activation of GA pathway played a central role in the regulation of dormancy release in tree peony. PMID:23405132

  10. Biological activities of some Acacia spp. (Fabaceae) against new clinical isolates identified by ribosomal RNA gene-based phylogenetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Mahmoud Fawzy; Alrumman, Sulaiman Abdullah; Hesham, Abd El-Latif

    2016-01-01

    Nowadays,most of the pathogenic bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. Therefore,the pharmaceutical properties of the natural plant extracts have become of interest to researchers as alternative antimicrobial agents. In this study,antibacterial activities of extract gained from Acacia etbaica, Acacia laeta, Acacia origena and Acacia pycnantha have been evaluated against isolated pathogenic bacteria (Strains MFM-01, MFM-10 and AH-09) using agar well diffusion methods.The bacterial strains were isolated from infected individuals,and their exact identification was detected on the basis of 16S rRNA gene amplification and sequence determination. Alignment results and the comparison of 16 SrRN A gene sequences of the isolates to 16 SrRN A gene sequences available in Gen Bank data base as well as the phylogenetic analysis confirmed the accurate position of the isolates as Klebsiella oxytoca strain MFM-01, Staphylococcus aureus strain MFM-10 and Klebsiella pneumoniae strain AH-09. Except for cold water, all tested solvents (Chloroform, petroleum ether, methanol, diethyl ether, and acetone) showed variation in their activity against studied bacteria. GC-MS analysis of ethanol extracts showed that four investigated Acacia species have different phyto components. Eight important pharmaceutical components were found in the legume of Acacia etbaica, seven in the legume of Acacia laeta, fifteen in the legume of Acacia origena and nine in the leaves of Acacia pycnantha. A dendrogram was constructed based on chemical composition, revealed that Acacia laeta is more closely related to Acacia etbaica forming on eclade, whereas Acacia origena less similar to other species. Our results demonstrated that, investigated plants and chemical compounds present could be used as promising antibacterial agents. PMID:26826814

  11. A Drug Combination Screen Identifies Drugs Active against Amoxicillin-Induced Round Bodies of In Vitro Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters from an FDA Drug Library

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Jie; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Sullivan, David; Auwaerter, Paul G.; Zhang, Ying

    2016-01-01

    Although currently recommended antibiotics for Lyme disease such as doxycycline or amoxicillin cure the majority of the patients, about 10–20% of patients treated for Lyme disease may experience lingering symptoms including fatigue, pain, or joint and muscle aches. Under experimental stress conditions such as starvation or antibiotic exposure, Borrelia burgdorferi can develop round body forms, which are a type of persister bacteria that appear resistant in vitro to customary first-line antibiotics for Lyme disease. To identify more effective drugs with activity against the round body form of B. burgdorferi, we established a round body persister model induced by exposure to amoxicillin (50 μg/ml) and then screened the Food and Drug Administration drug library consisting of 1581 drug compounds and also 22 drug combinations using the SYBR Green I/propidium iodide viability assay. We identified 23 drug candidates that have higher activity against the round bodies of B. burgdorferi than either amoxicillin or doxycycline. Eleven individual drugs scored better than metronidazole and tinidazole which have been previously described to be active against round bodies. In this amoxicillin-induced round body model, some drug candidates such as daptomycin and clofazimine also displayed enhanced activity which was similar to a previous screen against stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters not exposure to amoxicillin. Additional candidate drugs active against round bodies identified include artemisinin, ciprofloxacin, nifuroxime, fosfomycin, chlortetracycline, sulfacetamide, sulfamethoxypyridazine and sulfathiozole. Two triple drug combinations had the highest activity against amoxicillin-induced round bodies and stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters: artemisinin/cefoperazone/doxycycline and sulfachlorpyridazine/daptomycin/doxycycline. These findings confirm and extend previous findings that certain drug combinations have superior activity against B. burgdorferi

  12. A Drug Combination Screen Identifies Drugs Active against Amoxicillin-Induced Round Bodies of In Vitro Borrelia burgdorferi Persisters from an FDA Drug Library.

    PubMed

    Feng, Jie; Shi, Wanliang; Zhang, Shuo; Sullivan, David; Auwaerter, Paul G; Zhang, Ying

    2016-01-01

    Although currently recommended antibiotics for Lyme disease such as doxycycline or amoxicillin cure the majority of the patients, about 10-20% of patients treated for Lyme disease may experience lingering symptoms including fatigue, pain, or joint and muscle aches. Under experimental stress conditions such as starvation or antibiotic exposure, Borrelia burgdorferi can develop round body forms, which are a type of persister bacteria that appear resistant in vitro to customary first-line antibiotics for Lyme disease. To identify more effective drugs with activity against the round body form of B. burgdorferi, we established a round body persister model induced by exposure to amoxicillin (50 μg/ml) and then screened the Food and Drug Administration drug library consisting of 1581 drug compounds and also 22 drug combinations using the SYBR Green I/propidium iodide viability assay. We identified 23 drug candidates that have higher activity against the round bodies of B. burgdorferi than either amoxicillin or doxycycline. Eleven individual drugs scored better than metronidazole and tinidazole which have been previously described to be active against round bodies. In this amoxicillin-induced round body model, some drug candidates such as daptomycin and clofazimine also displayed enhanced activity which was similar to a previous screen against stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters not exposure to amoxicillin. Additional candidate drugs active against round bodies identified include artemisinin, ciprofloxacin, nifuroxime, fosfomycin, chlortetracycline, sulfacetamide, sulfamethoxypyridazine and sulfathiozole. Two triple drug combinations had the highest activity against amoxicillin-induced round bodies and stationary phase B. burgdorferi persisters: artemisinin/cefoperazone/doxycycline and sulfachlorpyridazine/daptomycin/doxycycline. These findings confirm and extend previous findings that certain drug combinations have superior activity against B. burgdorferi

  13. An HSV-based library screen identifies PP1α as a negative TRPV1 regulator with analgesic activity in models of pain

    PubMed Central

    Reinhart, Bonnie; Goins, William F; Harel, Asaff; Chaudhry, Suchita; Goss, James R; Yoshimura, Naoki; de Groat, William C; Cohen, Justus B; Glorioso, Joseph C

    2016-01-01

    Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a pronociceptive cation channel involved in persistent inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) vector expression of TRPV1 causes cell death in the presence of capsaicin, thereby completely blocking virus replication. Here we describe a selection system for negative regulators of TRPV1 based on rescue of virus replication. HSV-based coexpression of TRPV1 and a PC12 cell-derived cDNA library identified protein phosphatase 1α (PP1α) as a negative regulator of TRPV1, mimicking the activity of “poreless” (PL), a dominant-negative mutant of TRPV1. Vectors expressing PP1α or PL reduced thermal sensitivity following virus injection into rat footpads, but failed to reduce the nocifensive responses to menthol/icilin-activated cold pain or formalin, demonstrating that the activity identified in vitro is functional in vivo with a degree of specificity. This system should prove powerful for identifying other cellular factors that can inhibit ion channel activity. PMID:27382601

  14. An HSV-based library screen identifies PP1α as a negative TRPV1 regulator with analgesic activity in models of pain.

    PubMed

    Reinhart, Bonnie; Goins, William F; Harel, Asaff; Chaudhry, Suchita; Goss, James R; Yoshimura, Naoki; de Groat, William C; Cohen, Justus B; Glorioso, Joseph C

    2016-01-01

    Transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) is a pronociceptive cation channel involved in persistent inflammatory and neuropathic pain. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) vector expression of TRPV1 causes cell death in the presence of capsaicin, thereby completely blocking virus replication. Here we describe a selection system for negative regulators of TRPV1 based on rescue of virus replication. HSV-based coexpression of TRPV1 and a PC12 cell-derived cDNA library identified protein phosphatase 1α (PP1α) as a negative regulator of TRPV1, mimicking the activity of "poreless" (PL), a dominant-negative mutant of TRPV1. Vectors expressing PP1α or PL reduced thermal sensitivity following virus injection into rat footpads, but failed to reduce the nocifensive responses to menthol/icilin-activated cold pain or formalin, demonstrating that the activity identified in vitro is functional in vivo with a degree of specificity. This system should prove powerful for identifying other cellular factors that can inhibit ion channel activity. PMID:27382601

  15. Antiviral Activity and Possible Mechanism of Action of Constituents Identified in Paeonia lactiflora Root toward Human Rhinoviruses

    PubMed Central

    Ngan, Luong Thi My; Jang, Myeong Jin; Kwon, Min Jung; Ahn, Young Joon

    2015-01-01

    Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are responsible for more than half of all cases of the common cold and cost billions of USD annually in medical visits and missed school and work. An assessment was made of the antiviral activities and mechanisms of action of paeonol (PA) and 1,2,3,4,6-penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucopyranose (PGG) from Paeonia lactiflora root toward HRV-2 and HRV-4 in MRC5 cells using a tetrazolium method and real-time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results were compared with those of a reference control ribavirin. Based on 50% inhibitory concentration values, PGG was 13.4 and 18.0 times more active toward HRV-2 (17.89 μM) and HRV-4 (17.33 μM) in MRC5 cells, respectively, than ribavirin. The constituents had relatively high selective index values (3.3–>8.5). The 100 μg/mL PA and 20 μg/mL PGG did not interact with the HRV-4 particles. These constituents inhibited HRV-4 infection only when they were added during the virus inoculation (0 h), the adsorption period of HRVs, but not after 1 h or later. Moreover, the RNA replication levels of HRVs were remarkably reduced in the MRC5 cultures treated with these constituents. These findings suggest that PGG and PA may block or reduce the entry of the viruses into the cells to protect the cells from the virus destruction and abate virus replication, which may play an important role in interfering with expressions of rhinovirus receptors (intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and low-density lipoprotein receptor), inflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, tumor necrosis factor, interferon beta, and IL-1β), and Toll-like receptor, which resulted in diminishing symptoms induced by HRV. Global efforts to reduce the level of synthetic drugs justify further studies on P. lactiflora root-derived materials as potential anti-HRV products or lead molecules for the prevention or treatment of HRV. PMID:25860871

  16. Competitive Activity-Based Protein Profiling Identifies Aza-β-Lactams as a Versatile Chemotype for Serine Hydrolase Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Zuhl, Andrea M.; Mohr, Justin T.; Bachovchin, Daniel A.; Niessen, Sherry; Hsu, Ku-Lung; Berlin, Jacob M.; Dochnahl, Maximilian; López-Alberca, María P.; Fu, Gregory C.; Cravatt, Benjamin F.

    2012-01-01

    Serine hydrolases are one of the largest and most diverse enzyme classes in Nature. Most serine hydrolases lack selective inhibitors, which are needed for assigning functions to these enzymes. We recently discovered a set of aza-β-lactams (ABLs) that act as potent and selective inhibitors of the mammalian serine hydrolase protein-phosphatase methylesterase-1 (PME-1). The ABLs inactivate PME-1 by covalent acylation of the enzyme’s serine nucleophile, suggesting that they could offer a general scaffold for serine hydrolase inhibitor discovery. Here, we have tested this hypothesis by screening ABLs more broadly against cell and tissue proteomes by competitive activity-based protein profiling (ABPP), leading to the discovery of lead inhibitors for several serine hydrolases, including the uncharacterized enzyme alpha, beta-hydrolase-10 (ABHD10). ABPP-guided medicinal chemistry yielded a compound ABL303 that potently (IC50 value ~ 30 nM) and selectively inactivated ABHD10 in vitro and in living cells. A comparison of optimized inhibitors for PME-1 and ABHD10 indicates that modest structural changes that alter steric bulk can tailor the ABL to selectively react with distinct, sequence-unrelated serine hydrolases. Our findings, taken together, designate the ABL as a versatile reactive group for creating first-in-class serine hydrolase inhibitors. PMID:22400490

  17. Competitive activity-based protein profiling identifies aza-β-lactams as a versatile chemotype for serine hydrolase inhibition.

    PubMed

    Zuhl, Andrea M; Mohr, Justin T; Bachovchin, Daniel A; Niessen, Sherry; Hsu, Ku-Lung; Berlin, Jacob M; Dochnahl, Maximilian; López-Alberca, María P; Fu, Gregory C; Cravatt, Benjamin F

    2012-03-21

    Serine hydrolases are one of the largest and most diverse enzyme classes in Nature. Most serine hydrolases lack selective inhibitors, which are valuable probes for assigning functions to these enzymes. We recently discovered a set of aza-β-lactams (ABLs) that act as potent and selective inhibitors of the mammalian serine hydrolase protein-phosphatase methylesterase-1 (PME-1). The ABLs inactivate PME-1 by covalent acylation of the enzyme's serine nucleophile, suggesting that they could offer a general scaffold for serine hydrolase inhibitor discovery. Here, we have tested this hypothesis by screening ABLs more broadly against cell and tissue proteomes by competitive activity-based protein profiling (ABPP), leading to the discovery of lead inhibitors for several serine hydrolases, including the uncharacterized enzyme α,β-hydrolase domain-containing 10 (ABHD10). ABPP-guided medicinal chemistry yielded a compound ABL303 that potently (IC(50) ≈ 30 nM) and selectively inactivated ABHD10 in vitro and in living cells. A comparison of optimized inhibitors for PME-1 and ABHD10 indicates that modest structural changes that alter steric bulk can tailor the ABL to selectively react with distinct, distantly related serine hydrolases. Our findings, taken together, designate the ABL as a versatile reactive group for creating first-in-class serine hydrolase inhibitors. PMID:22400490

  18. Identifying the Atomic-Level Effects of Metal Composition on the Structure and Catalytic Activity of Peptide-Templated Materials.

    PubMed

    Merrill, Nicholas A; McKee, Erik M; Merino, Kyle C; Drummy, Lawrence F; Lee, Sungsik; Reinhart, Benjamin; Ren, Yang; Frenkel, Anatoly I; Naik, Rajesh R; Bedford, Nicholas M; Knecht, Marc R

    2015-12-22

    Bioinspired approaches for the formation of metallic nanomaterials have been extensively employed for a diverse range of applications including diagnostics and catalysis. These materials can often be used under sustainable conditions; however, it is challenging to control the material size, morphology, and composition simultaneously. Here we have employed the R5 peptide, which forms a 3D scaffold to direct the size and linear shape of bimetallic PdAu nanomaterials for catalysis. The materials were prepared at varying Pd:Au ratios to probe optimal compositions to achieve maximal catalytic efficiency. These materials were extensively characterized at the atomic level using transmission electron microscopy, extended X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy, and atomic pair distribution function analysis derived from high-energy X-ray diffraction patterns to provide highly resolved structural information. The results confirmed PdAu alloy formation, but also demonstrated that significant surface structural disorder was present. The catalytic activity of the materials was studied for olefin hydrogenation, which demonstrated enhanced reactivity from the bimetallic structures. These results present a pathway to the bioinspired production of multimetallic materials with enhanced properties, which can be assessed via a suite of characterization methods to fully ascertain structure/function relationships. PMID:26497843

  19. Identifying the redox activity of cation-disordered Li-Fe-V-Ti oxide cathodes for Li-ion batteries.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ruiyong; Witte, Ralf; Heinzmann, Ralf; Ren, Shuhua; Mangold, Stefan; Hahn, Horst; Hempelmann, Rolf; Ehrenberg, Helmut; Indris, Sylvio

    2016-03-01

    Cation-disordered oxides have recently shown promising properties on the way to explore high-performance intercalation cathode materials for rechargeable Li-ion batteries. Here, stoichiometric cation-disordered Li2FeVyTi1-yO4 (y = 0, 0.2, 0.5) nanoparticles are studied. The substitution of V for Ti in Li2FeVyTi1-yO4 increases the content of active transition metals (Fe and V) and accordingly the amount of Li(+) (about (1 + y)Li(+) capacity per formula unit) that can be reversibly intercalated. It is found that Fe(3+)/Fe(2+) and V(4+)/V(3+) redox couples contribute to the overall capacity performance, whereas Ti(4+) remains mainly inert. There is no evidence for the presence of Fe(4+) species after charging to 4.8 V, as confirmed from the ex situ(57)Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy and the Fe K-edge absorption spectra. The redox couple reactions for iron and vanadium are examined by performing in situ synchrotron X-ray absorption spectroscopy. During charging/discharging, the spectral evolution of the K-edges for Fe and V confirms the reversible Fe(3+)/Fe(2+) and V(4+)/V(3+) redox reactions during cycling between 1.5 and 4.8 V. PMID:26907961

  20. High ALDH Activity Identifies Chemotherapy-Resistant Ewing's Sarcoma Stem Cells That Retain Sensitivity to EWS-FLI1 Inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Gul, Naheed; Katuri, Varalakshmi; O'Neill, Alison; Kong, Yali; Brown, Milton L.; Toretsky, Jeffrey A.; Loeb, David M.

    2010-01-01

    Background Cancer stem cells are a chemotherapy-resistant population capable of self-renewal and of regenerating the bulk tumor, thereby causing relapse and patient death. Ewing's sarcoma, the second most common form of bone tumor in adolescents and young adults, follows a clinical pattern consistent with the Cancer Stem Cell model – remission is easily achieved, even for patients with metastatic disease, but relapse remains frequent and is usually fatal. Methodology/Principal Findings We have isolated a subpopulation of Ewing's sarcoma cells, from both human cell lines and human xenografts grown in immune deficient mice, which express high aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDHhigh) activity and are enriched for clonogenicity, sphere-formation, and tumor initiation. The ALDHhigh cells are resistant to chemotherapy in vitro, but this can be overcome by the ATP binding cassette transport protein inhibitor, verapamil. Importantly, these cells are not resistant to YK-4-279, a small molecule inhibitor of EWS-FLI1 that is selectively toxic to Ewing's sarcoma cells both in vitro and in vivo. Conclusions/Significance Ewing's sarcoma contains an ALDHhigh stem-like population of chemotherapy-resistant cells that retain sensitivity to EWS-FLI1 inhibition. Inhibiting the EWS-FLI1 oncoprotein may prove to be an effective means of improving patient outcomes by targeting Ewing's sarcoma stem cells that survive standard chemotherapy. PMID:21085683

  1. Collisionally activated dissociation and electron capture dissociation of several mass spectrometry-identifiable chemical cross-linkers.

    PubMed

    Chowdhury, Saiful M; Munske, Gerhard R; Tang, Xiaoting; Bruce, James E

    2006-12-15

    One of the challenges in protein interaction studies with chemical cross-linking stems from the complexity of intra-, inter-, and dead-end cross-linked peptide mixtures. We have developed new cross-linkers to study protein-protein interactions with mass spectrometry to improve the ability to deal with this complexity. Even the accurate mass capabilities of FTICR-MS alone cannot unambiguously identify cross-linked peptides from cell-labeling experiments due to the complexity of these mixtures resultant from the enormous number of possible cross-linked species. We have developed novel cross-linkers that have unique fragmentation features in the gas phase. The characteristics of these cross-linkers combined with the accurate mass capability of FTICR-MS can help distinguish cross-linking reaction products and assign protein identities. These cross-linkers that we call protein interaction reporters (PIRs) have been constructed with two reactive groups attached through two bonds that can be preferentially cleaved by low-energy CID of the respective protonated precursor ions. After cleavage of the labile bonds, the middle part of the linker serves as a reporter ion to aid identification of cross-linked peptides. This report highlights three new PIRs with new features that have been developed to improve the efficiency of release of reporter ions. The new cross-linkers reported here were tuned with the addition of an affinity tag, a hydrophilic group, a photocleavable group, and new low-energy MS/MS cleavable bonds. This report presents our investigation of the MSMS fragmentation behavior of selected protonated ions of the new compounds. The comprehensive fragmentation of these PIRs and PIR-labeled cross-linked peptides with low-energy collisions and an example of electron capture dissociation in FTICR-MS is presented. These new cross-linkers will contribute to current systems biology research by allowing acquisition of global or large-scale data on protein

  2. Persistent Long-Term Facilitation at an Identified Synapse Becomes Labile with Activation of Short-Term Heterosynaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Schacher, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    Short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity are cellular correlates of learning and memory of different durations. Little is known, however, how these two forms of plasticity interact at the same synaptic connection. We examined the reciprocal impact of short-term heterosynaptic or homosynaptic plasticity at sensorimotor synapses of Aplysia in cell culture when expressing persistent long-term facilitation (P-LTF) evoked by serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)]. Short-term heterosynaptic plasticity induced by 5-HT (facilitation) or the neuropeptide FMRFa (depression) and short-term homosynaptic plasticity induced by tetanus [post-tetanic potentiation (PTP)] or low-frequency stimulation [homosynaptic depression (HSD)] of the sensory neuron were expressed in both control synapses and synapses expressing P-LTF in the absence or presence of protein synthesis inhibitors. All forms of short-term plasticity failed to significantly affect ongoing P-LTF in the absence of protein synthesis inhibitors. However, P-LTF reversed to control levels when either 5-HT or FMRFa was applied in the presence of rapamycin. In contrast, P-LTF was unaffected when either PTP or HSD was evoked in the presence of either rapamycin or anisomycin. These results indicate that synapses expressing persistent plasticity acquire a “new” baseline and functionally express short-term changes as naive synapses, but the new baseline becomes labile following selective activations—heterosynaptic stimuli that evoke opposite forms of plasticity—such that when presented in the presence of protein synthesis inhibitors produce a rapid reversal of the persistent plasticity. Activity-selective induction of a labile state at synapses expressing persistent plasticity may facilitate the development of therapies for reversing inappropriate memories. PMID:24695698

  3. Twitter as a Potential Disaster Risk Reduction Tool. Part II: Descriptive Analysis of Identified Twitter Activity during the 2013 Hattiesburg F4 Tornado

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Guy Paul; Yeager, Violet; Burkle, Frederick M.; Subbarao, Italo

    2015-01-01

    Background: This article describes a novel triangulation methodological approach for identifying twitter activity of regional active twitter users during the 2013 Hattiesburg EF-4 Tornado. Methodology: A data extraction and geographically centered filtration approach was utilized to generate Twitter data for 48 hrs pre- and post-Tornado. The data was further validated using six sigma approach utilizing GPS data. Results: The regional analysis revealed a total of 81,441 tweets, 10,646 Twitter users, 27,309 retweets and 2637 tweets with GPS coordinates. Conclusions: Twitter tweet activity increased 5 fold during the response to the Hattiesburg Tornado.  Retweeting activity increased 2.2 fold. Tweets with a hashtag increased 1.4 fold. Twitter was an effective disaster risk reduction tool for the Hattiesburg EF-4 Tornado 2013.  PMID:26203396

  4. Antiviral activity and possible mode of action of ellagic acid identified in Lagerstroemia speciosa leaves toward human rhinoviruses

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Human rhinoviruses (HRVs) are responsible for more than half of all cases of the common cold and cause billions of USD annually in medical visits and school and work absenteeism. An assessment was made of the cytotoxic and antiviral activities and possible mode of action of the tannin ellagic acid from the leaves of Lagerstroemia speciosa toward HeLa cells and three rhinoviruses, HRV-2, -3, and -4. Methods The antiviral property and mechanism of action of ellagic acid were evaluated using a sulforhodamine B assay and real-time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) with SYBR Green dye. Results were compared with those of the currently used broad-spectrum antiviral agent, ribavirin. Results As judged by 50% inhibitory concentration values, natural ellagic acid was 1.8, 2.3, and 2.2 times more toxic toward HRV-2 (38 μg/mL), HRV-3 (31 μg/mL), and HRV-4 (29 μg/mL) than ribavirin, respectively. The inhibition rate of preincubation with 50 μg/mL ellagic acid was 17%, whereas continuous presence of ellagic acid during infection led to a significant increase in the inhibition (70%). Treatment with 50 μg/mL ellagic acid considerably suppressed HRV-4 infection only when added just after the virus inoculation (0 h) (87% inhibition), but not before -1 h or after 1 h or later (<20% inhibition). These findings suggest that ellagic acid does not interact with the HRV-4 particles and may directly interact with the human cells in the early stage of HRV infections to protect the cells from the virus destruction. Furthermore, RT-PCR analysis revealed that 50 μg/mL ellagic acid strongly inhibited the RNA replication of HRV-4 in HeLa cells, suggesting that ellagic acid inhibits virus replication by targeting on cellular molecules, rather than virus molecules. Conclusions Global efforts to reduce the level of antibiotics justify further studies on L. speciosa leaf-derived materials containing ellagic acid as potential anti-HRV products or a lead molecule for the

  5. Novel anti-Cryptosporidium activity of known drugs identified by high-throughput screening against parasite fatty acyl-CoA binding protein (ACBP)

    PubMed Central

    Fritzler, Jason M.; Zhu, Guan

    2012-01-01

    Background Cryptosporidium parvum causes an opportunistic infection in AIDS patients, and no effective treatments are yet available. This parasite possesses a single fatty acyl-CoA binding protein (CpACBP1) that is localized to the unique parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM). The major goal of this study was to identify inhibitors from known drugs against CpACBP1 as potential new anti-Cryptosporidium agents. Methods A fluorescence assay was developed to detect CpACBP1 activity and to identify inhibitors by screening known drugs. Efficacies of top CpACBP1 inhibitors against Cryptosporidium growth in vitro were evaluated using a quantitative RT–PCR assay. Results Nitrobenzoxadiazole-labelled palmitoyl-CoA significantly increased the fluorescent emission upon binding to CpACBP1 (excitation/emission 460/538 nm), which was quantified to determine the CpACBP1 activity and binding kinetics. The fluorescence assay was used to screen a collection of 1040 compounds containing mostly known drugs, and identified the 28 most active compounds that could inhibit CpACBP1 activity with sub-micromolar IC50 values. Among them, four compounds displayed efficacies against parasite growth in vitro with low micromolar IC50 values. The effective compounds were broxyquinoline (IC50 64.9 μM), cloxyquin (IC50 25.1 μM), cloxacillin sodium (IC50 36.2 μM) and sodium dehydrocholate (IC50 53.2 μM). Conclusions The fluorescence ACBP assay can be effectively used to screen known drugs or other compound libraries. Novel anti-Cryptosporidium activity was observed in four top CpACBP1 inhibitors, which may be further investigated for their potential to be repurposed to treat cryptosporidiosis and to serve as leads for drug development. PMID:22167242

  6. A specific screen for oligosaccharyltransferase mutations identifies the 9 kDa OST5 protein required for optimal activity in vivo and in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Reiss, G; te Heesen, S; Gilmore, R; Zufferey, R; Aebi, M

    1997-01-01

    The central reaction in the process of N-linked protein glycosylation in eukaryotic cells, the transfer of the oligosaccharide Glc(3)Man(9)GlcNAc(2) from the lipid dolicholpyrophosphate to selected asparagine residues, is catalyzed by the oligosaccharyltransferase (OTase). This enzyme consists of multiple subunits; however, purification of the complex has revealed different results with respect to its protein composition. To determine how many different loci are required for OTase activity in vivo, we performed a novel, specific screen for mutants with altered OTase activity. Based on the synthetic lethal phenotype of OTase mutants in combination with a deficiency of dolicholphosphoglucose biosynthesis which results in non-glucosylated lipid-linked oligosaccharide, we identified seven complementation groups with decreased OTase activity. Beside the known OTase loci, STT3, OST1, WBP1, OST3, SWP1 and OST2, a novel locus, OST5, was identified. OST5 is an intron-containing gene encoding a putative membrane protein of 9.5 kDa present in highly purified OTase preparations. OST5 protein is not essential for growth but its depletion results in a reduced OTase activity. Suppression of an ost1 mutation by overexpression of OST5 indicates that this small membrane protein directly interacts with other OTase components, most likely with Ost1p. A strong genetic interaction with a stt3 mutation implies a role in complex assembly. PMID:9135133

  7. Identifying buried segments of active faults in the northern Rio Grande Rift using aeromagnetic, LiDAR,and gravity data, south-central Colorado, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruleman, Cal; Grauch, V. J.

    2013-01-01

    Combined interpretation of aeromagnetic and LiDAR data builds on the strength of the aeromagnetic method to locate normal faults with significant offset under cover and the strength of LiDAR interpretation to identify the age and sense of motion of faults. Each data set helps resolve ambiguities in interpreting the other. In addition, gravity data can be used to infer the sense of motion for totally buried faults inferred solely from aeromagnetic data. Combined interpretation to identify active faults at the northern end of the San Luis Basin of the northern Rio Grande rift has confirmed general aspects of previous geologic mapping but has also provided significant improvements. The interpretation revises and extends mapped fault traces, confirms tectonic versus fluvial origins of steep stream banks, and gains additional information on the nature of active and potentially active partially and totally buried faults. Detailed morphology of surfaces mapped from the LiDAR data helps constrain ages of the faults that displace the deposits. The aeromagnetic data provide additional information about their extents in between discontinuous scarps and suggest that several totally buried, potentially active faults are present on both sides of the valley.

  8. Use of an Activated Beta-Catenin to Identify Wnt Pathway Target Genes in Caenorhabditis elegans, Including a Subset of Collagen Genes Expressed in Late Larval Development

    PubMed Central

    Jackson, Belinda M.; Abete-Luzi, Patricia; Krause, Michael W.; Eisenmann, David M.

    2014-01-01

    The Wnt signaling pathway plays a fundamental role during metazoan development, where it regulates diverse processes, including cell fate specification, cell migration, and stem cell renewal. Activation of the beta-catenin−dependent/canonical Wnt pathway up-regulates expression of Wnt target genes to mediate a cellular response. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, a canonical Wnt signaling pathway regulates several processes during larval development; however, few target genes of this pathway have been identified. To address this deficit, we used a novel approach of conditionally activated Wnt signaling during a defined stage of larval life by overexpressing an activated beta-catenin protein, then used microarray analysis to identify genes showing altered expression compared with control animals. We identified 166 differentially expressed genes, of which 104 were up-regulated. A subset of the up-regulated genes was shown to have altered expression in mutants with decreased or increased Wnt signaling; we consider these genes to be bona fide C. elegans Wnt pathway targets. Among these was a group of six genes, including the cuticular collagen genes, bli-1col-38, col-49, and col-71. These genes show a peak of expression in the mid L4 stage during normal development, suggesting a role in adult cuticle formation. Consistent with this finding, reduction of function for several of the genes causes phenotypes suggestive of defects in cuticle function or integrity. Therefore, this work has identified a large number of putative Wnt pathway target genes during larval life, including a small subset of Wnt-regulated collagen genes that may function in synthesis of the adult cuticle. PMID:24569038

  9. Transcriptome Profiling Identifies Multiplexin as a Target of SAGA Deubiquitinase Activity in Glia Required for Precise Axon Guidance During Drosophila Visual Development

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Jingqun; Brennan, Kaelan J.; D’Aloia, Mitch R.; Pascuzzi, Pete E.; Weake, Vikki M.

    2016-01-01

    The Spt-Ada-Gcn5 Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex is a transcriptional coactivator with histone acetylase and deubiquitinase activities that plays an important role in visual development and function. In Drosophila melanogaster, four SAGA subunits are required for the deubiquitination of monoubiquitinated histone H2B (ubH2B): Nonstop, Sgf11, E(y)2, and Ataxin 7. Mutations that disrupt SAGA deubiquitinase activity cause defects in neuronal connectivity in the developing Drosophila visual system. In addition, mutations in SAGA result in the human progressive visual disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7). Glial cells play a crucial role in both the neuronal connectivity defect in nonstop and sgf11 flies, and in the retinal degeneration observed in SCA7 patients. Thus, we sought to identify the gene targets of SAGA deubiquitinase activity in glia in the Drosophila larval central nervous system. To do this, we enriched glia from wild-type, nonstop, and sgf11 larval optic lobes using affinity-purification of KASH-GFP tagged nuclei, and then examined each transcriptome using RNA-seq. Our analysis showed that SAGA deubiquitinase activity is required for proper expression of 16% of actively transcribed genes in glia, especially genes involved in proteasome function, protein folding and axon guidance. We further show that the SAGA deubiquitinase-activated gene Multiplexin (Mp) is required in glia for proper photoreceptor axon targeting. Mutations in the human ortholog of Mp, COL18A1, have been identified in a family with a SCA7-like progressive visual disorder, suggesting that defects in the expression of this gene in SCA7 patients could play a role in the retinal degeneration that is unique to this ataxia. PMID:27261002

  10. Transcriptome Profiling Identifies Multiplexin as a Target of SAGA Deubiquitinase Activity in Glia Required for Precise Axon Guidance During Drosophila Visual Development.

    PubMed

    Ma, Jingqun; Brennan, Kaelan J; D'Aloia, Mitch R; Pascuzzi, Pete E; Weake, Vikki M

    2016-01-01

    The Spt-Ada-Gcn5 Acetyltransferase (SAGA) complex is a transcriptional coactivator with histone acetylase and deubiquitinase activities that plays an important role in visual development and function. In Drosophila melanogaster, four SAGA subunits are required for the deubiquitination of monoubiquitinated histone H2B (ubH2B): Nonstop, Sgf11, E(y)2, and Ataxin 7. Mutations that disrupt SAGA deubiquitinase activity cause defects in neuronal connectivity in the developing Drosophila visual system. In addition, mutations in SAGA result in the human progressive visual disorder spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7). Glial cells play a crucial role in both the neuronal connectivity defect in nonstop and sgf11 flies, and in the retinal degeneration observed in SCA7 patients. Thus, we sought to identify the gene targets of SAGA deubiquitinase activity in glia in the Drosophila larval central nervous system. To do this, we enriched glia from wild-type, nonstop, and sgf11 larval optic lobes using affinity-purification of KASH-GFP tagged nuclei, and then examined each transcriptome using RNA-seq. Our analysis showed that SAGA deubiquitinase activity is required for proper expression of 16% of actively transcribed genes in glia, especially genes involved in proteasome function, protein folding and axon guidance. We further show that the SAGA deubiquitinase-activated gene Multiplexin (Mp) is required in glia for proper photoreceptor axon targeting. Mutations in the human ortholog of Mp, COL18A1, have been identified in a family with a SCA7-like progressive visual disorder, suggesting that defects in the expression of this gene in SCA7 patients could play a role in the retinal degeneration that is unique to this ataxia. PMID:27261002

  11. Whole genome sequencing in Drosophila virilis identifies Polyphemus, a recently activated Tc1-like transposon with a possible role in hybrid dysgenesis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Hybrid dysgenic syndromes in Drosophila have been critical for characterizing host mechanisms of transposable element (TE) regulation. This is because a common feature of hybrid dysgenesis is germline TE mobilization that occurs when paternally inherited TEs are not matched with a maternal pool of silencing RNAs that maintain transgenerational TE control. In the face of this imbalance TEs become activated in the germline and can cause F1 sterility. The syndrome of hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila virilis was the first to show that the mobilization of one dominant TE, the Penelope retrotransposon, may lead to the mobilization of other unrelated elements. However, it is not known how many different elements contribute and no exhaustive search has been performed to identify additional ones. To identify additional TEs that may contribute to hybrid dysgenesis in Drosophila virilis, I analyzed repeat content in genome sequences of inducer and non-inducer lines. Results Here I describe Polyphemus, a novel Tc1-like DNA transposon, which is abundant in the inducer strain of D. virilis but highly degraded in the non-inducer strain. Polyphemus expression is also increased in the germline of progeny of the dysgenic cross relative to reciprocal progeny. Interestingly, like the Penelope element, it has experienced recent re-activation within the D. virilis lineage. Conclusions Here I present the results of a comprehensive search to identify additional factors that may cause hybrid dysgenesis in D. virilis. Polyphemus, a novel Tc1-like DNA transposon, has recently become re-activated in Drosophila virilis and likely contributes to the hybrid dysgenesis syndrome. It has been previously shown that the Penelope element has also been re-activated in the inducer strain. This suggests that TE co-reactivation within species may synergistically contribute to syndromes of hybrid dysgenesis. PMID:24555450

  12. A Newly Identified CG301269 Improves Lipid and Glucose Metabolism Without Body Weight Gain Through Activation of Peroxisome Proliferator–Activated Receptor α and γ

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Hyun Woo; Lee, Joo-Won; Kim, Woo Sik; Choe, Sung Sik; Kim, Kyung-Hee; Park, Ho Seon; Shin, Hyun Jung; Lee, Gha Young; Shin, Dongkyu; Lee, Hanjae; Lee, Jun Hee; Choi, Eun Bok; Lee, Hyeon Kyu; Chung, Heekyoung; Park, Seung Bum; Park, Kyong Soo; Kim, Hyo-Soo; Ro, Seonggu; Kim, Jae Bum

    2011-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor (PPAR)-α/γ dual agonists have been developed to alleviate metabolic disorders. However, several PPARα/γ dual agonists are accompanied with unwanted side effects, including body weight gain, edema, and tissue failure. This study investigated the effects of a novel PPARα/γ dual agonist, CG301269, on metabolic disorders both in vitro and in vivo. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Function of CG301269 as a PPARα/γ dual agonist was assessed in vitro by luciferase reporter assay, mammalian one-hybrid assay, and analyses of PPAR target genes. In vitro profiles on fatty acid oxidation and inflammatory responses were acquired by fatty acid oxidation assay and quantitative (q)RT-PCR of proinflammatory genes. In vivo effect of CG301269 was examined in db/db mice. Total body weight and various tissue weights were measured, and hepatic lipid profiles were analyzed. Systemic glucose and insulin tolerance were measured, and the in vivo effect of CG301269 on metabolic genes and proinflammatory genes was examined by qRT-PCR. RESULTS CG301269 selectively stimulated the transcriptional activities of PPARα and PPARγ. CG301269 enhanced fatty acid oxidation in vitro and ameliorated insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia in vivo. In db/db mice, CG301269 reduced inflammatory responses and fatty liver, without body weight gain. CONCLUSIONS We demonstrate that CG301269 exhibits beneficial effects on glucose and lipid metabolism by simultaneous activation of both PPARα and PPARγ. Our data suggest that CG301269 would be a potential lead compound against obesity and related metabolic disorders. PMID:21270261

  13. Tracer (18O, 3H, 3H/3He, CFC and SF6) and hydrochemistry to elucidate processes and mean residence times in porous aquifers in the South-East of Austria (Grazer and Leibnitzer Feld)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kralik, M.; Humer, F.; Darling, G.; Sültenfuß, J.; Wyhlidal, S.

    2012-04-01

    The European Water Framework Directive requires the surface and groundwater bodies in the EU to be back to good quality conditions by 2015. To elucidate the mean residence time (MRT), the recharge area and the potential source of contaminations in particular monitoring wells a combination of several tracers has to be applied at least over one year to answer these questions with confidence. For the implementation of this goal it is necessary that any measures to improve groundwater quality show an impact depending on the MRT. The two groundwater bodies "Grazer Feld" and "Leibnitzer Feld" in the southern part of Styria, Austria stretch out along the river Mur in the N - S direction and covers an area of 166 and 103 km2. The porous aquifer of 10 - 20 m (Grazer Feld) of 6 - 10 m (Leibnitzer Feld) thickness consists of sandy gravel and boulders. In both groundwater bodies are about 2/3 of the aquifer is covered by loam of variable thickness. The depth to water varies between 2 - 20 and 2 - 8 m, respectively. The mean precipitation rate is 900 mm/a. The groundwater runs more or less along the river Mur with a small gradient. The northern part of the Grazer Feld groundwater body is dominated by the urban structure of the city of Graz. The southern part and the groundwater body Leibnitzer Feld is impacted intensively by agricultural use. Due to the extensive agricultural use it contains high concentrations of nitrate and pesticides and shows other hydrochemical changes caused by urbanisation and industrial use. In 33 monitoring wells delta oxygen-18 was analysed four times during one year within the framework of the Austrian hydrochemical groundwater monitoring system. During one campaign 3H, 3H/3He, CFCs and SF6 was analysed in all wells. In addition, the same methods were applied on depth-resolved groundwater samples at selected wells (Kralik et al. 2011). The results of the 3H-input and 3H/3He-models support in both groundwater bodies the rapid water circulation (<5

  14. Identifying panaxynol, a natural activator of nuclear factor erythroid-2 related factor 2 (Nrf2) from American ginseng as a suppressor of inflamed macrophage-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Chen; Li, Bin; Lai, Yimu; Li, Hechu; Windust, Anthony; Hofseth, Lorne J.; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash; Wang, Xing Li; Tang, Dongqi; Janicki, Joseph S.; Tian, Xingsong; Cui, Taixing

    2015-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance American ginseng is capable of ameliorating cardiac dysfunction and activating Nrf2, a master regulator of antioxidant defense, in the heart. This study was designed to isolate compounds from American ginseng and to determine those responsible for the Nrf2-mediated resolution of inflamed macrophage-induced cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Materials and methods A standardized crude extract of American ginseng was supplied by the National Research Council of Canada, Institute for National Measurement Standards. A bioassay-based fractionization of American ginseng was performed to identify the putative substances which could activate Nrf2-mediated suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in macrophages and macrophage-mediated pro-hypertrophic growth in cardiomyocytes. Results A hexane fraction of an anti-inflammatory crude extract of American ginseng was found to be most effective in suppressing the inflammatory responses in macrophages. Preparative, reverse-phase HPLC and a comparative analysis by analytical scale LC–UV/MS revealed the hexane fraction contains predominantly C17 polyacetylenes and linolenic acid. Panaxynol, one of the major polyacetylenes, was found to be a potent Nrf2 activator. Panaxynol posttranscriptionally activated Nrf2 by inhibiting Kelch-like ECH-associated protein (Keap) 1-mediated degradation without affecting the binding of Keap1 and Nrf2. Moreover, panaxynol suppressed a selected set of cytokine expression via the activation of Nrf2 while minimally regulating nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB)-mediated cytokine expression in macrophages. It also dramatically inhibited the inflamed macrophage-mediated cardiomyocyte death and hypertrophy by activating Nrf2 in macrophages. Conclusions These results demonstrate that American ginseng-derived panaxynol is a specific Nrf2 activator and panaxynol-activated Nrf2 signaling is at least partly responsible for American ginseng-induced health benefit in the heart. PMID

  15. Investigating mitochondrial metabolism in contracting HL-1 cardiomyocytes following hypoxia and pharmacological HIF activation identifies HIF-dependent and independent mechanisms of regulation.

    PubMed

    Ambrose, Lucy J A; Abd-Jamil, Amira H; Gomes, Renata S M; Carter, Emma E; Carr, Carolyn A; Clarke, Kieran; Heather, Lisa C

    2014-11-01

    Hypoxia is a consequence of cardiac disease and downregulates mitochondrial metabolism, yet the molecular mechanisms through which this occurs in the heart are incompletely characterized. Therefore, we aimed to use a contracting HL-1 cardiomyocyte model to investigate the effects of hypoxia on mitochondrial metabolism. Cells were exposed to hypoxia (2% O2) for 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours to characterize the metabolic response. Cells were subsequently treated with the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-activating compound, dimethyloxalylglycine (DMOG), to determine whether hypoxia-induced mitochondrial changes were HIF dependent or independent, and to assess the suitability of this cultured cardiac cell line for cardiovascular pharmacological studies. Hypoxic cells had increased glycolysis after 24 hours, with glucose transporter 1 and lactate levels increased 5-fold and 15-fold, respectively. After 24 hours of hypoxia, mitochondrial networks were more fragmented but there was no change in citrate synthase activity, indicating that mitochondrial content was unchanged. Cellular oxygen consumption was 30% lower, accompanied by decreases in the enzymatic activities of electron transport chain (ETC) complexes I and IV, and aconitase by 81%, 96%, and 72%, relative to controls. Pharmacological HIF activation with DMOG decreased cellular oxygen consumption by 43%, coincident with decreases in the activities of aconitase and complex I by 26% and 30%, indicating that these adaptations were HIF mediated. In contrast, the hypoxia-mediated decrease in complex IV activity was not replicated by DMOG treatment, suggesting HIF-independent regulation of this complex. In conclusion, 24 hours of hypoxia increased anaerobic glycolysis and decreased mitochondrial respiration, which was associated with changes in ETC and tricarboxylic acid cycle enzyme activities in contracting HL-1 cells. Pharmacological HIF activation in this cardiac cell line allowed both HIF-dependent and independent

  16. Identifying Mechanisms by Which Escherichia coli O157:H7 Subverts Interferon-γ Mediated Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription-1 Activation

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Nathan K.; Crandall, Ian; Sherman, Philip M.

    2012-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 is a food borne enteric bacterial pathogen that causes significant morbidity and mortality in both developing and industrialized nations. E. coli O157:H7 infection of host epithelial cells inhibits the interferon gamma pro-inflammatory signaling pathway, which is important for host defense against microbial pathogens, through the inhibition of Stat-1 tyrosine phosphorylation. The aim of this study was to determine which bacterial factors are involved in the inhibition of Stat-1 tyrosine phosphorylation. Human epithelial cells were challenged with either live bacteria or bacterial-derived culture supernatants, stimulated with interferon-gamma, and epithelial cell protein extracts were then analyzed by immunoblotting. The results show that Stat-1 tyrosine phosphorylation was inhibited by E. coli O157:H7 secreted proteins. Using sequential anion exchange and size exclusion chromatography, YodA was identified, but not confirmed to mediate subversion of the Stat-1 signaling pathway using isogenic mutants. We conclude that E. coli O157:H7 subverts Stat-1 tyrosine phosphorylation in response to interferon-gamma through a still as yet unidentified secreted bacterial protein. PMID:22253910

  17. Identifying mechanisms by which Escherichia coli O157:H7 subverts interferon-γ mediated signal transducer and activator of transcription-1 activation.

    PubMed

    Ho, Nathan K; Crandall, Ian; Sherman, Philip M

    2012-01-01

    Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 is a food borne enteric bacterial pathogen that causes significant morbidity and mortality in both developing and industrialized nations. E. coli O157:H7 infection of host epithelial cells inhibits the interferon gamma pro-inflammatory signaling pathway, which is important for host defense against microbial pathogens, through the inhibition of Stat-1 tyrosine phosphorylation. The aim of this study was to determine which bacterial factors are involved in the inhibition of Stat-1 tyrosine phosphorylation. Human epithelial cells were challenged with either live bacteria or bacterial-derived culture supernatants, stimulated with interferon-gamma, and epithelial cell protein extracts were then analyzed by immunoblotting. The results show that Stat-1 tyrosine phosphorylation was inhibited by E. coli O157:H7 secreted proteins. Using sequential anion exchange and size exclusion chromatography, YodA was identified, but not confirmed to mediate subversion of the Stat-1 signaling pathway using isogenic mutants. We conclude that E. coli O157:H7 subverts Stat-1 tyrosine phosphorylation in response to interferon-gamma through a still as yet unidentified secreted bacterial protein. PMID:22253910

  18. Sleeping Beauty transposon screen identifies signaling modules that cooperate with STAT5 activation to induce B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

    PubMed

    Heltemes-Harris, L M; Larson, J D; Starr, T K; Hubbard, G K; Sarver, A L; Largaespada, D A; Farrar, M A

    2016-06-30

    Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) activation occurs frequently in human progenitor B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). To identify gene alterations that cooperate with STAT5 activation to initiate leukemia, we crossed mice expressing a constitutively active form of STAT5 (Stat5b-CA) with mice in which a mutagenic Sleeping Beauty transposon (T2/Onc) was mobilized only in B cells. Stat5b-CA mice typically do not develop B-ALL (<2% penetrance); in contrast, 89% of Stat5b-CA mice in which the T2/Onc transposon had been mobilized died of B-ALL by 3 months of age. High-throughput sequencing approaches were used to identify genes frequently targeted by the T2/Onc transposon; these included Sos1 (74%), Kdm2a (35%), Jak1 (26%), Bmi1 (19%), Prdm14 or Ncoa2 (13%), Cdkn2a (10%), Ikzf1 (8%), Caap1 (6%) and Klf3 (6%). Collectively, these mutations target three major cellular processes: (i) the Janus kinase/STAT5 pathway (ii) progenitor B-cell differentiation and (iii) the CDKN2A tumor-suppressor pathway. Transposon insertions typically resulted in altered expression of these genes, as well as downstream pathways including STAT5, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) and p38. Importantly, expression of Sos1 and Kdm2a, and activation of p38, correlated with survival, further underscoring the role these genes and associated pathways have in B-ALL. PMID:26500062

  19. Structure-Based Mutational Analysis of the Bovine Papillomavirus E1 Helicase Domain Identifies Residues Involved in the Nonspecific DNA Binding Activity Required for Double Trimer Formation ▿

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaofei; Schuck, Stephen; Stenlund, Arne

    2010-01-01

    The papillomavirus E1 protein is a multifunctional initiator protein responsible for preparing the viral DNA template for initiation of DNA replication. The E1 protein encodes two DNA binding activities that are required for initiation of DNA replication. A well-characterized sequence-specific DNA binding activity resides in the E1 DBD and is used to tether E1 to the papillomavirus ori. A non-sequence-specific DNA binding activity is also required for formation of the E1 double trimer (DT) complex, which is responsible for the local template melting that precedes loading of the E1 helicase. This DNA binding activity is very poorly understood. We use a structure-based mutagenesis approach to identify residues in the E1 helicase domain that are required for the non-sequence-specific DNA binding and DT formation. We found that three groups of residues are involved in nonspecific DNA binding: the E1 β-hairpin structure containing R505, K506, and H507; a hydrophobic loop containing F464; and a charged loop containing K461 together generate the binding surface involved in nonspecific DNA binding. These residues are well conserved in the T antigens from the polyomaviruses, indicating that the polyomaviruses share this nonspecific DNA binding activity. PMID:20147403

  20. Screen of FDA-approved drug library identifies maprotiline, an antibiofilm and antivirulence compound with QseC sensor-kinase dependent activity in Francisella novicida

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Scott N; van Hoek, Monique L

    2015-01-01

    Development of new therapeutics against Select Agents such as Francisella is critical preparation in the event of bioterrorism. Testing FDA-approved drugs for this purpose may yield new activities unrelated to their intended purpose and may hasten the discovery of new therapeutics. A library of 420 FDA-approved drugs was screened for antibiofilm activity against a model organism for human tularemia, Francisella (F.) novicida, excluding drugs that significantly inhibited growth. The initial screen was based on the 2-component system (TCS) dependent biofilm effect, thus, the QseC dependence of maprotiline anti-biofilm action was demonstrated. By comparing their FDA-approved uses, chemical structures, and other properties of active drugs, toremifene and polycyclic antidepressants maprotiline and chlorpromazine were identified as being highly active against F. novicida biofilm formation. Further down-selection excluded toremifene for its membrane active activity and chlorpromazine for its high antimicrobial activity. The mode of action of maprotiline against F. novicida was sought. It was demonstrated that maprotiline was able to significantly down-regulate the expression of the virulence factor IglC, encoded on the Francisella Pathogenicity Island (FPI), suggesting that maprotiline is exerting an effect on bacterial virulence. Further studies showed that maprotiline significantly rescued F. novicida infected wax worm larvae. In vivo studies demonstrated that maprotiline treatment could prolong time to disease onset and survival in F. novicida infected mice. These results suggest that an FDA-approved drug such as maprotiline has the potential to combat Francisella infection as an antivirulence agent, and may have utility in combination with antibiotics. PMID:26155740

  1. Rhodium(II) Proximity-Labeling Identifies a Novel Target Site on STAT3 for Inhibitors with Potent Anti-Leukemia Activity.

    PubMed

    Minus, Matthew B; Liu, Wei; Vohidov, Farrukh; Kasembeli, Moses M; Long, Xin; Krueger, Michael J; Stevens, Alexandra; Kolosov, Mikhail I; Tweardy, David J; Sison, Edward Allan R; Redell, Michele S; Ball, Zachary T

    2015-10-26

    Nearly 40 % of children with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) suffer relapse arising from chemoresistance, often involving upregulation of the oncoprotein STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3). Herein, rhodium(II)-catalyzed, proximity-driven modification identifies the STAT3 coiled-coil domain (CCD) as a novel ligand-binding site, and we describe a new naphthalene sulfonamide inhibitor that targets the CCD, blocks STAT3 function, and halts its disease-promoting effects in vitro, in tumor growth models, and in a leukemia mouse model, validating this new therapeutic target for resistant AML. PMID:26480340

  2. Identifying and applying a highly selective probe to simultaneously determine the O-glucuronidation activity of human UGT1A3 and UGT1A4

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Li; Liang, Si-Cheng; Wang, Chao; Ge, Guang-Bo; Huo, Xiao-Kui; Qi, Xiao-Yi; Deng, Sa; Liu, Ke-Xin; Ma, Xiao-Chi

    2015-01-01

    Glucuronidation mediated by uridine 5′-diphospho (UDP)-glucuronosyltransferase is an important detoxification pathway. However, identifying a selective probe of UDP- glucuronosyltransferase is complicated because of the significant overlapping substrate specificity displayed by the enzyme. In this paper, desacetylcinobufagin (DACB) 3-O- and 16-O-glucuronidation were found to be isoform-specific probe reactions for UGT1A4 and UGT1A3, respectively. DACB was well characterized as a probe for simultaneously determining the catalytic activities of O-glucuronidation mediated by UGT1A3 and UGT1A4 from various enzyme sources, through a sensitive analysis method. PMID:25884245

  3. Artemisinin activity-based probes identify multiple molecular targets within the asexual stage of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum 3D7

    PubMed Central

    Ismail, Hanafy M.; Barton, Victoria; Phanchana, Matthew; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Wong, Michael H. L.; Hemingway, Janet; Biagini, Giancarlo A.; O’Neill, Paul M.; Ward, Stephen A.

    2016-01-01

    The artemisinin (ART)-based antimalarials have contributed significantly to reducing global malaria deaths over the past decade, but we still do not know how they kill parasites. To gain greater insight into the potential mechanisms of ART drug action, we developed a suite of ART activity-based protein profiling probes to identify parasite protein drug targets in situ. Probes were designed to retain biological activity and alkylate the molecular target(s) of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 parasites in situ. Proteins tagged with the ART probe can then be isolated using click chemistry before identification by liquid chromatography–MS/MS. Using these probes, we define an ART proteome that shows alkylated targets in the glycolytic, hemoglobin degradation, antioxidant defense, and protein synthesis pathways, processes essential for parasite survival. This work reveals the pleiotropic nature of the biological functions targeted by this important class of antimalarial drugs. PMID:26858419

  4. Artemisinin activity-based probes identify multiple molecular targets within the asexual stage of the malaria parasites Plasmodium falciparum 3D7.

    PubMed

    Ismail, Hanafy M; Barton, Victoria; Phanchana, Matthew; Charoensutthivarakul, Sitthivut; Wong, Michael H L; Hemingway, Janet; Biagini, Giancarlo A; O'Neill, Paul M; Ward, Stephen A

    2016-02-23

    The artemisinin (ART)-based antimalarials have contributed significantly to reducing global malaria deaths over the past decade, but we still do not know how they kill parasites. To gain greater insight into the potential mechanisms of ART drug action, we developed a suite of ART activity-based protein profiling probes to identify parasite protein drug targets in situ. Probes were designed to retain biological activity and alkylate the molecular target(s) of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7 parasites in situ. Proteins tagged with the ART probe can then be isolated using click chemistry before identification by liquid chromatography-MS/MS. Using these probes, we define an ART proteome that shows alkylated targets in the glycolytic, hemoglobin degradation, antioxidant defense, and protein synthesis pathways, processes essential for parasite survival. This work reveals the pleiotropic nature of the biological functions targeted by this important class of antimalarial drugs. PMID:26858419

  5. Identifying active surface phases for metal oxide electrocatalysts: a study of manganese oxide bi-functional catalysts for oxygen reduction and water oxidation catalysis.

    PubMed

    Su, Hai-Yan; Gorlin, Yelena; Man, Isabela C; Calle-Vallejo, Federico; Nørskov, Jens K; Jaramillo, Thomas F; Rossmeisl, Jan

    2012-10-28

    Progress in the field of electrocatalysis is often hampered by the difficulty in identifying the active site on an electrode surface. Herein we combine theoretical analysis and electrochemical methods to identify the active surfaces in a manganese oxide bi-functional catalyst for the oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) and the oxygen evolution reaction (OER). First, we electrochemically characterize the nanostructured α-Mn(2)O(3) and find that it undergoes oxidation in two potential regions: initially, between 0.5 V and 0.8 V, a potential region relevant to the ORR and, subsequently, between 0.8 V and 1.0 V, a potential region between the ORR and the OER relevant conditions. Next, we perform density function theory (DFT) calculations to understand the changes in the MnO(x) surface as a function of potential and to elucidate reaction mechanisms that lead to high activities observed in the experiments. Using DFT, we construct surface Pourbaix and free energy diagrams of three different MnO(x) surfaces and identify 1/2 ML HO* covered Mn(2)O(3) and O* covered MnO(2), as the active surfaces for the ORR and the OER, respectively. Additionally, we find that the ORR occurs through an associative mechanism and that its overpotential is highly dependent on the stabilization of intermediates through hydrogen bonds with water molecules. We also determine that OER occurs through direct recombination mechanism and that its major source of overpotential is the scaling relationship between HOO* and HO* surface intermediates. Using a previously developed Sabatier model we show that the theoretical predictions of catalytic activities match the experimentally determined onset potentials for the ORR and the OER, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Consequently, the combination of first-principles theoretical analysis and experimental methods offers an understanding of manganese oxide oxygen electrocatalysis at the atomic level, achieving fundamental insight that can potentially be

  6. Use of DEAD-box polypeptide-4 (Ddx4) gene promoter-driven fluorescent reporter mice to identify mitotically active germ cells in post-natal mouse ovaries.

    PubMed

    Park, Eun-Sil; Tilly, Jonathan L

    2015-01-01

    Several laboratories have independently isolated mitotically active germ cells, termed female germline stem cells or oogonial stem cells (OSCs), from adult mouse ovaries. However, a recent study using Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice concluded that such germ cells do not exist. Given the disparity in conclusions drawn in this study compared with others, we felt it was important to re-assess the utility of Ddx4-Cre;Rosa26 reporter mice for identification of OSCs in adult mouse ovaries. Transgenic Ddx4-Cre mice were crossed with Rosa26(tdTm/tdTm) mice to drive restricted tomato red (tdTm) gene expression in cells in which the Ddx4 gene promoter has been activated. Crude dispersion of ovaries from recombined offspring generated cell fractions containing tdTm-positive immature oocytes, which are incapable of proliferation and thus probably represent the uncharacterized reporter-positive ovarian cells identified in the paper Zhang et al. (2012) as being mitotically inactive. Dispersed ovaries further subjected to fluorescence-activated cell sorting yielded a large population of non-germline tdTm-positive cells, indicative of promoter 'leakiness' in the Ddx4-Cre mouse line. Nonetheless, a small percentage of these tdTm-positive cells exhibited externalized (extracellular, ec) expression of Ddx4 protein (ecDdx4-positive), expressed markers of primitive germ cells but not of oocytes, and actively proliferated in culture, all of which are characteristic features of OSCs. Thus, crude dispersion of ovaries collected from Ddx4 gene promoter-driven reporter mice is not, by itself, a reliable approach to identify OSCs, whereas the same ovarian dispersates further subjected to cell sorting strategies yield purified OSCs that can be expanded in culture. PMID:25147160

  7. Recurrent TERT promoter mutations identified in a large-scale study of multiple tumor types are associated with increased TERT expression and telomerase activation

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Dong-Sheng; Wang, Zhaohui; He, Xu-Jun; Diplas, Bill H.; Yang, Rui; Killela, Patrick J.; Liang, Junbo; Meng, Qun; Ye, Zai-Yuan; Wang, Wei; Jiang, Xiao-Ting; Xu, Li; He, Xiang-Lei; Zhao, Zhong-Sheng; Xu, Wen-Juan; Wang, Hui-Ju; Ma, Ying-Yu; Xia, Ying-Jie; Li, Li; Zhang, Ru-Xuan; Jin, Tao; Zhao, Zhong-Kuo; Xu, Ji; Yu, Sheng; Wu, Fang; Wang, Si-Zhen; Jiao, Yu-Chen; Yan, Hai; Tao, Hou-Quan

    2015-01-01

    Background Several somatic mutation hotspots were recently identified in the TERT promoter region in human cancers. Large scale studies of these mutations in multiple tumor types are limited, in particular in Asian populations. This study aimed to: analyze TERT promoter mutations in multiple tumor types in a large Chinese patient cohort, investigate novel tumor types and assess the functional significance of the mutations. Methods TERT promoter mutation status was assessed by Sanger sequencing for 13 different tumor types and 799 tumor tissues from Chinese cancer patients. Thymic epithelial tumors, gastrointestinal leiomyoma, and gastric schwannoma were included, for which the TERT promoter has not been previously sequenced. Functional studies included TERT expression by RT-qPCR, telomerase activity by the TRAP assay, and promoter activity by the luciferase reporter assay. Results TERT promoter mutations were highly frequent in glioblastoma (83.9%), urothelial carcinoma (64.5%), oligodendroglioma (70.0%), medulloblastoma (33.3%), and hepatocellular carcinoma (31.4%). C228T and C250T were the most common mutations. In urothelial carcinoma, several novel rare mutations were identified. TERT promoter mutations were absent in GIST, thymic epithelial tumors, gastrointestinal leiomyoma, gastric schwannoma, cholangiocarcinoma, gastric and pancreatic cancer. TERT promoter mutations highly correlated with upregulated TERT mRNA expression and telomerase activity in adult gliomas. These mutations differentially enhanced the transcriptional activity of the TERT core promoter. Conclusions TERT promoter mutations are frequent in multiple tumor types and have similar distributions in Chinese cancer patients. The functional significance of these mutations reflect the importance to telomere maintenance and hence tumorigenesis, making them potential therapeutic targets. PMID:25843513

  8. Reduction in hepatic drug metabolizing CYP3A4 activities caused by P450 oxidoreductase mutations identified in patients with disordered steroid metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Flueck, Christa E.; Mullis, Primus E.; Pandey, Amit V.

    2010-10-08

    Research highlights: {yields} Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), metabolizes 50% of drugs in clinical use and requires NADPH-P450 reductase (POR). {yields} Mutations in human POR cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia from diminished activities of steroid metabolizing P450s. {yields} We are reporting that mutations in POR may reduce CYP3A4 activity. {yields} POR mutants Y181D, A457H, Y459H, V492E and R616X lost 99%, while A287P, C569Y and V608F lost 60-85% CYP3A4 activity. {yields} Reduction of CYP3A4 activity may cause increased risk of drug toxicities/adverse drug reactions in patients with POR mutations. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), the major P450 present in human liver metabolizes approximately half the drugs in clinical use and requires electrons supplied from NADPH through NADPH-P450 reductase (POR, CPR). Mutations in human POR cause a rare form of congenital adrenal hyperplasia from diminished activities of steroid metabolizing P450s. In this study we examined the effect of mutations in POR on CYP3A4 activity. We used purified preparations of wild type and mutant human POR and in vitro reconstitution with purified CYP3A4 to perform kinetic studies. We are reporting that mutations in POR identified in patients with disordered steroidogenesis/Antley-Bixler syndrome (ABS) may reduce CYP3A4 activity, potentially affecting drug metabolism in individuals carrying mutant POR alleles. POR mutants Y181D, A457H, Y459H, V492E and R616X had more than 99% loss of CYP3A4 activity, while POR mutations A287P, C569Y and V608F lost 60-85% activity. Loss of CYP3A4 activity may result in increased risk of drug toxicities and adverse drug reactions in patients with POR mutations.

  9. Transposon Mutagenesis of Probiotic Lactobacillus casei Identifies asnH, an Asparagine Synthetase Gene Involved in Its Immune-Activating Capacity

    PubMed Central

    Ito, Masahiro; Kim, Yun-Gi; Tsuji, Hirokazu; Takahashi, Takuya; Kiwaki, Mayumi; Nomoto, Koji; Danbara, Hirofumi; Okada, Nobuhiko

    2014-01-01

    Lactobacillus casei ATCC 27139 enhances host innate immunity, and the J1 phage-resistant mutants of this strain lose the activity. A transposon insertion mutant library of L. casei ATCC 27139 was constructed, and nine J1 phage-resistant mutants out of them were obtained. Cloning and sequencing analyses identified three independent genes that were disrupted by insertion of the transposon element: asnH, encoding asparagine synthetase, and dnaJ and dnaK, encoding the molecular chaperones DnaJ and DnaK, respectively. Using an in vivo mouse model of Listeria infection, only asnH mutant showed deficiency in their ability to enhance host innate immunity, and complementation of the mutation by introduction of the wild-type asnH in the mutant strain recovered the immuno-augmenting activity. AsnH protein exhibited asparagine synthetase activity when the lysozyme-treated cell wall extracts of L. casei ATCC 27139 was added as substrate. The asnH mutants lost the thick and rigid peptidoglycan features that are characteristic to the wild-type cells, indicating that AsnH of L. casei is involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. These results indicate that asnH is required for the construction of the peptidoglycan composition involved in the immune-activating capacity of L. casei ATCC 27139. PMID:24416179

  10. New glucosidase activities identified by functional screening of a genomic DNA library from the gut microbiota of the termite Reticulitermes santonensis.

    PubMed

    Mattéotti, Christel; Thonart, Philippe; Francis, Frédéric; Haubruge, Eric; Destain, Jacqueline; Brasseur, Catherine; Bauwens, Julien; De Pauw, Edwin; Portetelle, Daniel; Vandenbol, Micheline

    2011-12-20

    β-Glucosidases are widely distributed in living organisms and play a major role in the degradation of wood, hydrolysing cellobiose or cello-oligosaccharides to glucose. Termites are among the rare animals capable of digesting wood, thanks to enzyme activities of their own and to enzymes produced by their gut microbiota. Many bacteria have been identified in the guts of lower termites, some of which possess cellulolytic or/and hemicellulolytic activity, required for digesting wood. Here, having isolated bacterial colonies from the gut of Reticulitermes santonensis, we constructed in Escherichia coli a genomic DNA library corresponding to all of the colonies obtained and screened the library for clones displaying β-glucosidase activity. This screen revealed 8 positive clones. Sequence analysis with the BLASTX program revealed putative enzymes belonging to three glycoside hydrolase families (GH1, GH3 and GH4). Agar-plate tests and enzymatic assays revealed differences between the GH1- and GH3-type enzymes (as regards substrate specificity and regulation) and a difference in substrate specificity within the GH3 group. The substrate specificities and characteristic activities of these enzymes suggest that they may intervene in the depolymerisation of cellulose and hemicellulose. PMID:21324659

  11. Peptide Array on Cellulose Support—A Screening Tool to Identify Peptides with Dipeptidyl-Peptidase IV Inhibitory Activity within the Sequence of α-Lactalbumin

    PubMed Central

    Lacroix, Isabelle M. E.; Li-Chan, Eunice C. Y.

    2014-01-01

    The inhibition of the enzyme dipeptidyl-peptidase IV (DPP-IV) is an effective pharmacotherapeutic approach for the management of type 2 diabetes. Recent findings have suggested that dietary proteins, including bovine α-lactalbumin, could be precursors of peptides able to inhibit DPP-IV. However, information on the location of active peptide sequences within the proteins is far from being comprehensive. Moreover, the traditional approach to identify bioactive peptides from foods can be tedious and long. Therefore, the objective of this study was to use peptide arrays to screen α-lactalbumin-derived peptides for their interaction with DPP-IV. Deca-peptides spanning the entire α-lactalbumin sequence, with a frame shift of 1 amino acid between successive sequences, were synthesized on cellulose membranes using “SPOT” technology, and their binding to and inhibition of DPP-IV was studied. Among the 114 α-lactalbumin-derived decamers investigated, the peptides 60WCKDDQNPHS69 (αKi = 76 µM), 105LAHKALCSEK114 (Ki = 217 µM) and 110LCSEKLDQWL119 (Ki = 217 µM) were among the strongest DPP-IV inhibitors. While the SPOT- and traditionally-synthesized peptides showed consistent trends in DPP-IV inhibitory activity, the cellulose-bound peptides’ binding behavior was not correlated to their ability to inhibit the enzyme. This research showed, for the first time, that peptide arrays are useful screening tools to identify DPP-IV inhibitory peptides from dietary proteins. PMID:25402645

  12. A proposed approach to systematically identify and monitor the corporate political activity of the food industry with respect to public health using publicly available information.

    PubMed

    Mialon, M; Swinburn, B; Sacks, G

    2015-07-01

    Unhealthy diets represent one of the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases. There is currently a risk that the political influence of the food industry results in public health policies that do not adequately balance public and commercial interests. This paper aims to develop a framework for categorizing the corporate political activity of the food industry with respect to public health and proposes an approach to systematically identify and monitor it. The proposed framework includes six strategies used by the food industry to influence public health policies and outcomes: information and messaging; financial incentive; constituency building; legal; policy substitution; opposition fragmentation and destabilization. The corporate political activity of the food industry could be identified and monitored through publicly available data sourced from the industry itself, governments, the media and other sources. Steps for country-level monitoring include identification of key food industry actors and related sources of information, followed by systematic data collection and analysis of relevant documents, using the proposed framework as a basis for classification of results. The proposed monitoring approach should be pilot tested in different countries as part of efforts to increase the transparency and accountability of the food industry. This approach has the potential to help redress any imbalance of interests and thereby contribute to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. PMID:25988272

  13. Permutation of the active site of putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase in a newly identified species of plant alpha-like virus.

    PubMed

    Sabanadzovic, Sead; Ghanem-Sabanadzovic, Nina Abou; Gorbalenya, Alexander E

    2009-11-10

    To direct the genome synthesis, RNA viruses without a DNA stage in the replication cycle use RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). All RdRps have conserved right hand-like shape that includes characteristic A-->B-->C sequence motifs forming the active site. Recently, the structural permutation of the RdRp active site (C-->A-->B) has been described in few double-stranded RNA birnaviruses and a subset of positive-stranded RNA tetraviruses distantly related to Picorna-like viruses. Here we describe a permuted RdRp in the newly identified plant alpha-like virus with 6.5 kb-long polyadenylated genome, dubbed Grapevine virus Q (GVQ). The multi-domain layout and sequence similarities place GVQ into the genus Marafivirus of the family Tymoviridae. In contrast to other tymovirids, GVQ has 21 amino acid residues corresponding to the motif C relocated upstream of the motif A in the putative RdRp. This unique sequence characteristic was extensively verified and identified in several GVQ isolates infecting wild and cultivated Vitis and Rubus spp. PMID:19793602

  14. A High-Throughput Cell-Based Screen Identified a 2-[(E)-2-Phenylvinyl]-8-Quinolinol Core Structure That Activates p53.

    PubMed

    Bechill, John; Zhong, Rong; Zhang, Chen; Solomaha, Elena; Spiotto, Michael T

    2016-01-01

    p53 function is frequently inhibited in cancer either through mutations or by increased degradation via MDM2 and/or E6AP E3-ubiquitin ligases. Most agents that restore p53 expression act by binding MDM2 or E6AP to prevent p53 degradation. However, fewer compounds directly bind to and activate p53. Here, we identified compounds that shared a core structure that bound p53, caused nuclear localization of p53 and caused cell death. To identify these compounds, we developed a novel cell-based screen to redirect p53 degradation to the Skip-Cullin-F-box (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex in cells expressing high levels of p53. In a multiplexed assay, we coupled p53 targeted degradation with Rb1 targeted degradation in order to identify compounds that prevented p53 degradation while not inhibiting degradation through the SCF complex or other proteolytic machinery. High-throughput screening identified several leads that shared a common 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that stabilized p53. Surface plasmon resonance analysis indicated that these compounds bound p53 with a KD of 200 ± 52 nM. Furthermore, these compounds increased p53 nuclear localization and transcription of the p53 target genes PUMA, BAX, p21 and FAS in cancer cells. Although p53-null cells had a 2.5±0.5-fold greater viability compared to p53 wild type cells after treatment with core compounds, loss of p53 did not completely rescue cell viability suggesting that compounds may target both p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways to inhibit cell proliferation. Thus, we present a novel, cell-based high-throughput screen to identify a 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that bound to p53 and increased p53 activity in cancer cells. These compounds may serve as anti-neoplastic agents in part by targeting p53 as well as other potential pathways. PMID:27124407

  15. A High-Throughput Cell-Based Screen Identified a 2-[(E)-2-Phenylvinyl]-8-Quinolinol Core Structure That Activates p53

    PubMed Central

    Bechill, John; Zhong, Rong; Zhang, Chen; Solomaha, Elena

    2016-01-01

    p53 function is frequently inhibited in cancer either through mutations or by increased degradation via MDM2 and/or E6AP E3-ubiquitin ligases. Most agents that restore p53 expression act by binding MDM2 or E6AP to prevent p53 degradation. However, fewer compounds directly bind to and activate p53. Here, we identified compounds that shared a core structure that bound p53, caused nuclear localization of p53 and caused cell death. To identify these compounds, we developed a novel cell-based screen to redirect p53 degradation to the Skip-Cullin-F-box (SCF) ubiquitin ligase complex in cells expressing high levels of p53. In a multiplexed assay, we coupled p53 targeted degradation with Rb1 targeted degradation in order to identify compounds that prevented p53 degradation while not inhibiting degradation through the SCF complex or other proteolytic machinery. High-throughput screening identified several leads that shared a common 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that stabilized p53. Surface plasmon resonance analysis indicated that these compounds bound p53 with a KD of 200 ± 52 nM. Furthermore, these compounds increased p53 nuclear localization and transcription of the p53 target genes PUMA, BAX, p21 and FAS in cancer cells. Although p53-null cells had a 2.5±0.5-fold greater viability compared to p53 wild type cells after treatment with core compounds, loss of p53 did not completely rescue cell viability suggesting that compounds may target both p53-dependent and p53-independent pathways to inhibit cell proliferation. Thus, we present a novel, cell-based high-throughput screen to identify a 2-[(E)-2-phenylvinyl]-8-quinolinol core structure that bound to p53 and increased p53 activity in cancer cells. These compounds may serve as anti-neoplastic agents in part by targeting p53 as well as other potential pathways. PMID:27124407

  16. Characterization of Ca(2+)-activated 86Rb+ fluxes in rat C6 glioma cells: a system for identifying novel IKCa-channel toxins.

    PubMed Central

    de-Allie, F. A.; Bolsover, S. R.; Nowicky, A. V.; Strong, P. N.

    1996-01-01

    1. The pharmacological characteristics of a putative Ca2+ activated K+ channel (IKCa channel) in rat glioma C6 cells were studied in the presence of the Ca2+ ionophore, ionomycin and various K+ channel blockers, 86Rb+ being used as a radioisotopic tracer for K+. 2. The resting 86Rb+ influx into C6 cells was 318 +/- 20 pmol s-1. The threshold for ionomycin activation of 86Rb+ influx was approx. 100 nM. At ionomycin concentrations above the activation threshold, the initial rate of 86Rb+ influx was proportional to ionophore concentration. Ionomycin-activated 86Rb+ flux was saturable (EC50 = 0.62 +/- 0.03 microM) and was not inhibited by ouabain. 3. Intracellular Ca2+ increased within 30 s from a basal level of 42 +/- 2 nM to 233 +/- 17 nM, after addition of 2 microM ionomycin. During this period, intracellular pH fell from 7.03 +/- 0.04 to 6.87 +/- 0.03 and the cell hyperpolarized from -34 +/- 10 mV to -76 +/- 2 mV. 4. Single channel conductance measurements on inside-out patches in physiological K+ solutions identified a 14 +/- 3 pS CA(2+)-activated K+ current between -25 mV and +50 mV. In symmetrical (100 mM) K+, the single channel conductance was 26 pS. 5. Externally applied quinine (IC50 = 0.12 +/- 0.34 mM) and tetraethylammonium chloride (IC50 = 10 +/- 1.9 mM) inhibited 86Rb+ influx into C6 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Charybdotoxin (IC50 = 0.5 +/- 0.02 nM) and iberiotoxin (IC50 = 800 +/- 150 nM), as well as the crude venoms from the scorpions Leiurus quinquestriatus and Mesobuthus tamulus, also inhibited 86Rb+ influx. In contrast, apamin and toxin I had no inhibitory effects on 86Rb+ flux. A screen of fractions from cation exchange h.p.l.c. of Mesob. tamulus venom revealed the presence of at least four charybdotoxin-like peptides. One of these was iberiotoxin; the other three are novel toxins. 6. The ionomycin-activated 86Rb+ influx into rat C6 glioma cells has proved to be a valuable pharmacological assay for the screening of toxins and crude

  17. The Inhibition of Mast Cell Activation of Radix Paeoniae alba Extraction Identified by TCRP Based and Conventional Cell Function Assay Systems

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Huiying; Cheng, Hongqiang; Cao, Gang; Zhang, Xingde; Tu, Jue; Sun, Mingjiao; Mou, Xiaozhou; Shou, Qiyang; Ke, Yuehai

    2016-01-01

    Chinese herbs have long been used to treat allergic disease, but recently the development was greatly impeded by the lack of good methods to explore the mechanism of action. Here, we showed the effects of Chinese herb Radix Paeoniae alba were identified and characterized by a mast cell activation assay that involves electronic impedance readouts for dynamic monitoring of cellular responses to produce time-dependent cell responding profiles (TCRPs), and the anti-allergic activities were further confirmed with various conventional molecular and cell biology tools. We found Radix P. alba can dose-dependently inhibit TCPRs, and have anti-allergic function in vitro and in vivo. Radix P. alba suppressed mast cell degranulation not only inhibiting the translocation of granules to the plasma membrane, but also blocking membrane fusion and exocytosis; and that there may be other anti-allergic components in addition to paeoniflorin. Our results suggest that Radix P. alba regulated mast cell activation with multiple targets, and this approach is also suitable for discovering other mast cell degranulation-targeting Chinese herbs and their potential multi-target mechanisms. PMID:27195739

  18. Bioisosteric transformations and permutations in the triazolopyrimidine scaffold to identify the minimum pharmacophore required for inhibitory activity against Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase

    PubMed Central

    Marwaha, Alka; White, John; El_Mazouni, Farah; Creason, Sharon A; Kokkonda, Sreekanth; Buckner, Frederick S.; Charman, Susan A.; Phillips, Margaret A.; Rathod, Pradipsinh K.

    2012-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum causes approximately 1 million deaths annually. However increasing resistance imposes a continuous threat to existing drug therapies. We previously reported a number of potent and selective triazolopyrimidine-based inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase that inhibit parasite in vitro growth with similar activity. Lead optimization of this series led to the recent identification of a preclinical candidate, showing good activity against P. falciparum in mice. As part of a backup program around this scaffold, we explored heteroatom rearrangement and substitution in the triazolopyrimidine ring and have identified several other ring configurations that are active as PfDHODH inhibitors. The imidazo[1,2-α]pyrimidines were shown to bind somewhat more potently than the triazolopyrimidines depending on the nature of the amino aniline substitution. DSM151, the best candidate in this series, binds with 4-fold better affinity (PfDHODH IC50 = 0.077 μM) than the equivalent triazolopyrimidine and suppresses parasites in vivo in the P. berghei model. PMID:22877245

  19. Dominant Mutations in S. cerevisiae PMS1 Identify the Mlh1-Pms1 Endonuclease Active Site and an Exonuclease 1-Independent Mismatch Repair Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Catherine E.; Mendillo, Marc L.; Bowen, Nikki; Hombauer, Hans; Campbell, Christopher S.; Desai, Arshad; Putnam, Christopher D.; Kolodner, Richard D.

    2013-01-01

    Lynch syndrome (hereditary nonpolypsis colorectal cancer or HNPCC) is a common cancer predisposition syndrome. Predisposition to cancer in this syndrome results from increased accumulation of mutations due to defective mismatch repair (MMR) caused by a mutation in one of the mismatch repair genes MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 or PMS2/scPMS1. To better understand the function of Mlh1-Pms1 in MMR, we used Saccharomyces cerevisiae to identify six pms1 mutations (pms1-G683E, pms1-C817R, pms1-C848S, pms1-H850R, pms1-H703A and pms1-E707A) that were weakly dominant in wild-type cells, which surprisingly caused a strong MMR defect when present on low copy plasmids in an exo1Δ mutant. Molecular modeling showed these mutations caused amino acid substitutions in the metal coordination pocket of the Pms1 endonuclease active site and biochemical studies showed that they inactivated the endonuclease activity. This model of Mlh1-Pms1 suggested that the Mlh1-FERC motif contributes to the endonuclease active site. Consistent with this, the mlh1-E767stp mutation caused both MMR and endonuclease defects similar to those caused by the dominant pms1 mutations whereas mutations affecting the predicted metal coordinating residue Mlh1-C769 had no effect. These studies establish that the Mlh1-Pms1 endonuclease is required for MMR in a previously uncharacterized Exo1-independent MMR pathway. PMID:24204293

  20. Identifying Factors Associated With Dropout During Prerandomization Run-in Period From an mHealth Physical Activity Education Study: The mPED Trial

    PubMed Central

    Gay, Caryl; Haskell, William; Arai, Shoshana; Vittinghoff, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Background The mobile phone-based physical activity education (mPED) trial is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating a mobile phone-delivered physical activity intervention for women. The study includes a run-in period to maximize the internal validity of the intervention trial, but little is known about factors related to successful run-in completion, and thus about potential threats to external validity. Objective Objectives of this study are (1) to determine the timing of dropout during the run-in period, reasons for dropout, optimum run-in duration, and relevant run-in components, and (2) to identify predictors of failure to complete the run-in period. Methods A total of 318 physically inactive women met preliminary eligibility criteria and were enrolled in the study between May 2011 and April 2014. A 3-week run-in period was required prior to randomization and included using a mobile phone app and wearing a pedometer. Cross-sectional analysis identified predictors of dropout. Results Out of 318 participants, 108 (34.0%) dropped out prior to randomization, with poor adherence using the study equipment being the most common reason. Median failure time was 17 days into the run-in period. In univariate analyses, nonrandomized participants were younger, had lower income, were less likely to drive regularly, were less likely to have used a pedometer prior to the study, were generally less healthy, had less self-efficacy for physical activity, and reported more depressive symptoms than randomized participants. In multivariate competing risks models, not driving regularly in the past month and not having used a pedometer prior to the study were significantly associated with failure to be randomized (P=.04 and .006, respectively), controlling for age, race/ethnicity, education, shift work, and use of a study-provided mobile phone. Conclusions Regular driving and past pedometer use were associated with reduced dropout during the prerandomization run-in period

  1. Solving the confusion of gnaphaliin structure: gnaphaliin A and gnaphaliin B identified as active principles of Gnaphalium liebmannii with tracheal smooth muscle relaxant properties.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Ramos, Fernando; Navarrete, Andrés

    2009-06-01

    Inflorescences of Gnaphalium liebmannii, commonly known as "Gordolobo", is the most important remedy in Mexican traditional medicine to treat respiratory diseases, including asthma. By a bioguided fractionation of the n-hexane extract of this plant, following the relaxant effect on guinea pig tracheal smooth muscle, the flavones 5,7-dihydroxy-3,8-dimethoxyflavone (1) and 3,5-dihydroxy-7,8-dimethoxyflavone (2) were identified as the active relaxant compounds. Compounds 1 and 2 showed more potent relaxant properties than aminophylline in this model. Both 1 and 2 have been described as gnaphaliin in the past; here EIMS data, NMR experiments for both compounds, and X-ray diffraction analysis for 1 provided structural information to suggest that 1 and 2 should be named gnaphaliins A and B, respectively. PMID:19505084

  2. A genomic region encompassing a newly identified exon provides enhancing activity sufficient for normal myo7aa expression in zebrafish sensory hair cells.

    PubMed

    Ernest, Sylvain; Rosa, Frédéric M

    2015-09-01

    MYO7A is an unconventional myosin involved in the structural organization of hair bundles at the apex of sensory hair cells (SHCs) where it serves mechanotransduction in the process of hearing and balance. Mutations of MYO7A are responsible for abnormal shaping of hair bundles, resulting in human deafness and murine deafness/circling behavior. Myo7aa, expressed in SHCs of the inner ear and lateral line of zebrafish, causes circling behavior and abnormal hair cell function when deficient in mariner mutant. This work identifies a new hair cell-specific enhancer, highly conserved between species, located within Intron 2-3 of zebrafish myosin 7a (myo7aa) gene. This enhancer is contained within a 761-bp DNA fragment that encompasses a newly identified Exon of myo7aa and whose activity does not depend on orientation. Compensation of mariner mutation by expression of mCherry-Myo7aa fusion protein under the control of this 761-bp DNA fragment results in recovery of balance, normal hair bundle shape and restored hair cell function. Two smaller adjacent fragments (344-bp and 431-bp), extracted from the 761-bp fragment, both show hair cell-specific enhancing activity, with apparently reduced intensity and coverage. These data should help understand the role of Myo7aa in sensory hair cell differentiation and function. They provide tools to decipher how myo7aa gene is expressed and regulated in SHCs by allowing the identification of potential transcription factors involved in this process. The discovered enhancer could represent a new target for the identification of deafness-causing mutations affecting human MYO7A. PMID:25556989

  3. Nbs1 ChIP-Seq Identifies Off-Target DNA Double-Strand Breaks Induced by AID in Activated Splenic B Cells

    PubMed Central

    Linehan, Erin K.; Schrader, Carol E.; Stavnezer, Janet

    2015-01-01

    Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is required for initiation of Ig class switch recombination (CSR) and somatic hypermutation (SHM) of antibody genes during immune responses. AID has also been shown to induce chromosomal translocations, mutations, and DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) involving non-Ig genes in activated B cells. To determine what makes a DNA site a target for AID-induced DSBs, we identify off-target DSBs induced by AID by performing chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) for Nbs1, a protein that binds DSBs, followed by deep sequencing (ChIP-Seq). We detect and characterize hundreds of off-target AID-dependent DSBs. Two types of tandem repeats are highly enriched within the Nbs1-binding sites: long CA repeats, which can form Z-DNA, and tandem pentamers containing the AID target hotspot WGCW. These tandem repeats are not nearly as enriched at AID-independent DSBs, which we also identified. Msh2, a component of the mismatch repair pathway and important for genome stability, increases off-target DSBs, similar to its effect on Ig switch region DSBs, which are required intermediates during CSR. Most of the off-target DSBs are two-ended, consistent with generation during G1 phase, similar to DSBs in Ig switch regions. However, a minority are one-ended, presumably due to conversion of single-strand breaks to DSBs during replication. One-ended DSBs are repaired by processes involving homologous recombination, including break-induced replication repair, which can lead to genome instability. Off-target DSBs, especially those present during S phase, can lead to chromosomal translocations, deletions and gene amplifications, resulting in the high frequency of B cell lymphomas derived from cells that express or have expressed AID. PMID:26263206

  4. Peroxidases identified in a subtractive cDNA library approach show tissue-specific transcript abundance and enzyme activity during seed germination of Lepidium sativum

    PubMed Central

    Linkies, Ada; Schuster-Sherpa, Uta; Tintelnot, Stefanie; Leubner-Metzger, Gerhard; Müller, Kerstin

    2010-01-01

    The micropylar endosperm is a major regulator of seed germination in endospermic species, to which the close Brassicaceae relatives Arabidopsis thaliana and Lepidium sativum (cress) belong. Cress seeds are about 20 times larger than the seeds of Arabidopsis. This advantage was used to construct a tissue-specific subtractive cDNA library of transcripts that are up-regulated late in the germination process specifically in the micropylar endosperm of cress seeds. The library showed that a number of transcripts known to be up-regulated late during germination are up-regulated in the micropylar endosperm cap. Detailed germination kinetics of SALK lines carrying insertions in genes present in our library showed that the identified transcripts do indeed play roles during germination. Three peroxidases were present in the library. These peroxidases were identified as orthologues of Arabidopsis AtAPX01, AtPrx16, and AtPrxIIE. The corresponding SALK lines displayed significant germination phenotypes. Their transcripts were quantified in specific cress seed tissues during germination in the presence and absence of ABA and they were found to be regulated in a tissue-specific manner. Peroxidase activity, and particularly its regulation by ABA, also differed between radicles and micropylar endosperm caps. Possible implications of this tissue-specificity are discussed. PMID:19884228

  5. Application of structure-based drug design and parallel chemistry to identify selective, brain penetrant, in vivo active phosphodiesterase 9A inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Claffey, Michelle M; Helal, Christopher J; Verhoest, Patrick R; Kang, Zhijun; Fors, Kristina S; Jung, Stanley; Zhong, Jiaying; Bundesmann, Mark W; Hou, Xinjun; Lui, Shenping; Kleiman, Robin J; Vanase-Frawley, Michelle; Schmidt, Anne W; Menniti, Frank; Schmidt, Christopher J; Hoffman, William E; Hajos, Mihaly; McDowell, Laura; O'Connor, Rebecca E; Macdougall-Murphy, Mary; Fonseca, Kari R; Becker, Stacey L; Nelson, Frederick R; Liras, Spiros

    2012-11-01

    Phosphodiesterase 9A inhibitors have shown activity in preclinical models of cognition with potential application as novel therapies for treating Alzheimer's disease. Our clinical candidate, PF-04447943 (2), demonstrated acceptable CNS permeability in rats with modest asymmetry between central and peripheral compartments (free brain/free plasma = 0.32; CSF/free plasma = 0.19) yet had physicochemical properties outside the range associated with traditional CNS drugs. To address the potential risk of restricted CNS penetration with 2 in human clinical trials, we sought to identify a preclinical candidate with no asymmetry in rat brain penetration and that could advance into development. Merging the medicinal chemistry strategies of structure-based design with parallel chemistry, a novel series of PDE9A inhibitors was identified that showed improved selectivity over PDE1C. Optimization afforded preclinical candidate 19 that demonstrated free brain/free plasma ≥ 1 in rat and reduced microsomal clearance along with the ability to increase cyclic guanosine monophosphosphate levels in rat CSF. PMID:23025719

  6. Integrated genomic analyses identify KDM1A's role in cell proliferation via modulating E2F signaling activity and associate with poor clinical outcome in oral cancer.

    PubMed

    Narayanan, Sathiya Pandi; Singh, Smriti; Gupta, Amit; Yadav, Sandhya; Singh, Shree Ram; Shukla, Sanjeev

    2015-10-28

    The histone demethylase KDM1A specifically demethylates lysine residues and its deregulation has been implicated in the initiation and progression of various cancers. However, KDM1A's molecular role and its pathological consequences, and prognostic significance in oral cancer remain less understood. In the present study, we sought to investigate the expression of KDM1A and its downstream role in oral cancer pathogenesis. By comparing mRNA expression profiles, we identified an elevated KDM1A expression in oral tumors when compared to normal oral tissues. In silico pathway prediction identified the association between KDM1A and E2F1 signaling in oral cancer. Pathway scanning, functional annotation analysis and In vitro assays showed the KDM1A's involvement in oral cancer cell proliferation and the cell cycle. Moreover, real time PCR and luciferase assays confirmed KDM1A's role in regulation of E2F1 signaling activity in oral cancer. Elevated KDM1A expression is associated with poor clinical outcome in oral cancer. Our data indicate that deregulated KDM1A expression is positively associated with proliferative phenotype of oral cancer and confers poor clinical outcome. These cumulative data suggest that KDM1A might be a potential diagnostic and therapeutic target for oral cancer. PMID:26225839

  7. Alanine Scanning of Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV) 2B Protein Identifies Different Positions for Cell-To-Cell Movement and Gene Silencing Suppressor Activity

    PubMed Central

    Nemes, Katalin; Gellért, Ákos; Balázs, Ervin; Salánki, Katalin

    2014-01-01

    The multifunctional 2b protein of CMV has a role in the long distance and local movement of the virus, in symptom formation, in evasion of defense mediated by salicylic acid as well as in suppression of RNA silencing. The role of conserved amino acid sequence domains were analyzed previously in the protein function, but comprehensive analysis of this protein was not carried out until recently. We have analyzed all over the 2b protein by alanine scanning mutagenesis changing three consecutive amino acids (aa) to alanine. We have identified eight aa triplets as key determinants of the 2b protein function in virus infection. Four of them (KKQ/22-24/AAA, QNR/31-33/AAA, RER/34-36/AAA, SPS/40-42/AAA) overlap with previously determined regions indispensable in gene silencing suppressor function. We have identified two additional triplets necessary for the suppressor function of the 2b protein (LPF/55-57/AAA, NVE/10-12/AAA), and two other positions were required for cell-to-cell movement of the virus (MEL/1-3/AAA, RHV/70-72/AAA), which are not essential for suppressor activity. PMID:25380036

  8. A CACNA1F mutation identified in an X-linked retinal disorder shifts the voltage dependence of Cav1.4 channel activation

    PubMed Central

    Hemara-Wahanui, Ariana; Berjukow, Stanislav; Hope, Carolyn I.; Dearden, Peter K.; Wu, Shu-Biao; Wilson-Wheeler, Jane; Sharp, Dianne M.; Lundon-Treweek, Patricia; Clover, Gillian M.; Hoda, Jean-Charles; Striessnig, Jörg; Marksteiner, Rainer; Hering, Steffen; Maw, Marion A.

    2005-01-01

    Light stimuli produce graded hyperpolarizations of the photoreceptor plasma membrane and an associated decrease in a voltagegated calcium channel conductance that mediates release of glutamate neurotransmitter. The Cav1.4 channel is thought to be involved in this process. The CACNA1F gene encodes the poreforming subunit of the Cav1.4 channel and various mutations in CACNA1F cause X-linked incomplete congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB2). The molecular mechanism of the pathology underlying the CSNB2 phenotype remains to be established. Recent clinical investigations of a New Zealand family found a severe visual disorder that has some clinical similarities to, but is clearly distinct from, CSNB2. Here, we report investigations into the molecular mechanism of the pathology of this condition. Molecular genetic analyses identified a previously undescribed nucleotide substitution in CACNA1F that is predicted to encode an isoleucine to threonine substitution at CACNA1F residue 745. The I745T CACNA1F allele produced a remarkable approximately –30-mV shift in the voltage dependence of Cav1.4 channel activation and significantly slower inactivation kinetics in an expression system. These findings imply that substitution of this wild-type residue in transmembrane segment IIS6 may have decreased the energy required to open the channel. Collectively, these findings suggest that a gain-of-function mechanism involving increased Cav1.4 channel activity is likely to cause the unusual phenotype. PMID:15897456

  9. High-throughput combinatorial screening identifies drugs that cooperate with ibrutinib to kill activated B-cell-like diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cells.

    PubMed

    Mathews Griner, Lesley A; Guha, Rajarshi; Shinn, Paul; Young, Ryan M; Keller, Jonathan M; Liu, Dongbo; Goldlust, Ian S; Yasgar, Adam; McKnight, Crystal; Boxer, Matthew B; Duveau, Damien Y; Jiang, Jian-Kang; Michael, Sam; Mierzwa, Tim; Huang, Wenwei; Walsh, Martin J; Mott, Bryan T; Patel, Paresma; Leister, William; Maloney, David J; Leclair, Christopher A; Rai, Ganesha; Jadhav, Ajit; Peyser, Brian D; Austin, Christopher P; Martin, Scott E; Simeonov, Anton; Ferrer, Marc; Staudt, Louis M; Thomas, Craig J

    2014-02-11

    The clinical development of drug combinations is typically achieved through trial-and-error or via insight gained through a detailed molecular understanding of dysregulated signaling pathways in a specific cancer type. Unbiased small-molecule combination (matrix) screening represents a high-throughput means to explore hundreds and even thousands of drug-drug pairs for potential investigation and translation. Here, we describe a high-throughput screening platform capable of testing compounds in pairwise matrix blocks for the rapid and systematic identification of synergistic, additive, and antagonistic drug combinations. We use this platform to define potential therapeutic combinations for the activated B-cell-like subtype (ABC) of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). We identify drugs with synergy, additivity, and antagonism with the Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitor ibrutinib, which targets the chronic active B-cell receptor signaling that characterizes ABC DLBCL. Ibrutinib interacted favorably with a wide range of compounds, including inhibitors of the PI3K-AKT-mammalian target of rapamycin signaling cascade, other B-cell receptor pathway inhibitors, Bcl-2 family inhibitors, and several components of chemotherapy that is the standard of care for DLBCL. PMID:24469833

  10. Cell-Based Screening Identifies the Active Ingredients from Traditional Chinese Medicine Formula Shixiao San as the Inhibitors of Atherosclerotic Endothelial Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xiaofan; Zhang, Ruowen; Gu, Liqiang; Zhang, Yuanyuan; Zhao, Xu; Bi, Kaishun; Chen, Xiaohui

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we performed a phenotypic screening in human endothelial cells exposed to oxidized low density lipoprotein (an in vitro model of atherosclerotic endothelial dysfunction) to identify the effective compounds in Shixiao San. After investigating the suitability and reliability of the cell-based screening method using atorvastatin as the positive control drug, this method was applied in screening Shixiao San and its extracts. The treatment of n-butanol fraction on endothelial cells exhibited stronger healing effects against oxidized low density lipoprotein-induced insult when compared with other fractions. Cell viability, the level of nitric oxide, endothelial nitric oxide synthase and endothelin-1 were measured, respectively. The assays revealed n-butanol fraction significantly elevated the survival ratio of impaired cells in culture. In parallel, n-butanol fraction exhibited the highest inhibition of inflammation. The generation of prostaglandin-2 and adhesion molecule (soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1) was obviously declined. Furthermore, n-butanol fraction suppressed the production of reactive oxygen species and malondialdehyde, and restored the activity of superoxide dismutase. Compounds identification of the n-butanol fraction was carried out by ultra high liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry. The active ingredients including quercetin-3-O-(2G-α-l-rhamnosyl)-rutinoside, quercetin-3-O-neohesperidoside, isorhamnetin-3-O-neohesperidoside and isorhamnetin-3-O-rutinoside revealed the ability of anti-atherosclerosis after exposing on endothelial cells. The current work illustrated the pharmacology effect of Shixiao San and clearly indicated the major active components in Shixiao San. More importantly, the proposed cell-based screening method might be particularly suitable for fast evaluating the anti-atherosclerosis efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicines and screening out the interesting

  11. Disulfide-Trapping Identifies a New, Effective Chemical Probe for Activating the Nuclear Receptor Human LRH-1 (NR5A2)

    PubMed Central

    de Jesus Cortez, Felipe; Suzawa, Miyuki; Irvy, Sam; Bruning, John M.; Sablin, Elena; Jacobson, Matthew P.; Fletterick, Robert J.; Ingraham, Holly A.

    2016-01-01

    Conventional efforts relying on high-throughput physical and virtual screening of large compound libraries have failed to yield high-efficiency chemical probes for many of the 48 human nuclear receptors. Here, we investigated whether disulfide-trapping, an approach new to nuclear receptors, would provide effective lead compounds targeting human liver receptor homolog 1 (hLRH-1, NR5A2). Despite the fact that hLRH-1 contains a large ligand binding pocket and binds phospholipids with high affinity, existing synthetic hLRH-1 ligands are of limited utility due to poor solubility, low efficacy or significant off-target effects. Using disulfide-trapping, we identified a lead compound that conjugates with remarkably high-efficiency to a native cysteine residue (Cys346) lining the hydrophobic cavity in the ligand binding domain of hLRH-1. Guided by computational modeling and cellular assays, the lead compound was elaborated into ligands PME8 and PME9 that bind hLRH-1 reversibly (no cysteine reactivity) and increase hLRH-1 activity in cells. When compared with the existing hLRH-1 synthetic agonist RJW100, both PME8 and PME9 showed comparable induction of the LRH-1 dependent target gene CYP24A1 in human HepG2 cells, beginning as early as 3 h after drug treatment. The induction is specific as siRNA-mediated knock-down of hLRH-1 renders both PME8 and PME9 ineffective. These data show that PME8 and PME9 are potent activators of hLRH-1 and suggest that with further development this lead series may yield useful chemical probes for manipulating LRH-1 activity in vivo. PMID:27467220

  12. The individual-cell-based cryo-chip for the cryopreservation, manipulation and observation of spatially identifiable cells. II: Functional activity of cryopreserved cells

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The cryopreservation and thawing processes are known to induce many deleterious effects in cells and might be detrimental to several cell types. There is an inherent variability in cellular responses among cell types and within individual cells of a given population with regard to their ability to endure the freezing and thawing process. The aim of this study was to evaluate the fate of cryopreserved cells within an optical cryo apparatus, the individual-cell-based cryo-chip (i3C), by monitoring several basic cellular functional activities at the resolution of individual cells. Results In the present study, U937 cells underwent the freezing and thawing cycle in the i3C device. Then a panel of vital tests was performed, including the number of dead cells (PI staining), apoptotic rate (Annexin V staining), mitochondrial membrane potential (TMRM staining), cytoplasm membrane integrity and intracellular metabolism (FDA staining), as well as post-thawing cell proliferation assays. Cells that underwent the freezing - thawing cycle in i3C devices exhibited the same functional activity as control cells. Moreover, the combination of the multi-parametric analysis at a single cell resolution and the optical and biological features of the device enable an accurate determination of the functional status of individual cells and subsequent retrieval and utilization of the most valuable cells. Conclusions The means and methodologies described here enable the freezing and thawing of spatially identifiable cells, as well as the efficient detection of viable, specific, highly biologically active cells for future applications. PMID:20973993

  13. Identifying the computational requirements of an integrated top-down-bottom-up model for overt visual attention within an active vision system.

    PubMed

    McBride, Sebastian; Huelse, Martin; Lee, Mark

    2013-01-01

    Computational visual attention systems have been constructed in order for robots and other devices to detect and locate regions of interest in their visual world. Such systems often attempt to take account of what is known of the human visual system and employ concepts, such as 'active vision', to gain various perceived advantages. However, despite the potential for gaining insights from such experiments, the computational requirements for visual attention processing are often not clearly presented from a biological perspective. This was the primary objective of this study, attained through two specific phases of investigation: 1) conceptual modeling of a top-down-bottom-up framework through critical analysis of the psychophysical and neurophysiological literature, 2) implementation and validation of the model into robotic hardware (as a representative of an active vision system). Seven computational requirements were identified: 1) transformation of retinotopic to egocentric mappings, 2) spatial memory for the purposes of medium-term inhibition of return, 3) synchronization of 'where' and 'what' information from the two visual streams, 4) convergence of top-down and bottom-up information to a centralized point of information processing, 5) a threshold function to elicit saccade action, 6) a function to represent task relevance as a ratio of excitation and inhibition, and 7) derivation of excitation and inhibition values from object-associated feature classes. The model provides further insight into the nature of data representation and transfer between brain regions associated with the vertebrate 'active' visual attention system. In particular, the model lends strong support to the functional role of the lateral intraparietal region of the brain as a primary area of information consolidation that directs putative action through the use of a 'priority map'. PMID:23437044

  14. Evaluation of Changes in Ghanaian Students’ Attitudes Towards Science Following Neuroscience Outreach Activities: A Means to Identify Effective Ways to Inspire Interest in Science Careers

    PubMed Central

    Yawson, Nat Ato; Amankwaa, Aaron Opoku; Tali, Bernice; Shang, Velma Owusua; Batu, Emmanuella Nsenbah; Asiemoah, Kwame; Fuseini, Ahmed Denkeri; Tene, Louis Nana; Angaandi, Leticia; Blewusi, Isaac; Borbi, Makafui; Aduku, Linda Nana Esi; Badu, Pheonah; Abbey, Henrietta; Karikari, Thomas K.

    2016-01-01

    The scientific capacity in many African countries is low. Ghana, for example, is estimated to have approximately twenty-three researchers per a million inhabitants. In order to improve interest in science among future professionals, appropriate techniques should be developed and employed to identify barriers and correlates of science education among pre-university students. Young students’ attitudes towards science may affect their future career choices. However, these attitudes may change with new experiences. It is, therefore, important to evaluate potential changes in students’ attitudes towards science after their exposure to experiences such as science outreach activities. Through this, more effective means of inspiring and mentoring young students to choose science subjects can be developed. This approach would be particularly beneficial in countries such as Ghana, where: (i) documented impacts of outreach activities are lacking; and (ii) effective means to develop scientist-school educational partnerships are needed. We have established an outreach scheme, aimed at helping to improve interaction between scientists and pre-university students (and their teachers). Outreach activities are designed and implemented by undergraduate students and graduate teaching assistants, with support from faculty members and technical staff. Through this, we aim to build a team of trainee scientists and graduates who will become ambassadors of science in their future professional endeavors. Here, we describe an approach for assessing changes in junior high school students’ attitudes towards science following classroom neuroscience outreach activities. We show that while students tended to agree more with questions concerning their perceptions about science learning after the delivery of outreach activities, significant improvements were obtained for only two questions, namely “I enjoy science lessons” and “I want to be a scientist in the future.” Furthermore

  15. Evaluation of Changes in Ghanaian Students' Attitudes Towards Science Following Neuroscience Outreach Activities: A Means to Identify Effective Ways to Inspire Interest in Science Careers.

    PubMed

    Yawson, Nat Ato; Amankwaa, Aaron Opoku; Tali, Bernice; Shang, Velma Owusua; Batu, Emmanuella Nsenbah; Asiemoah, Kwame; Fuseini, Ahmed Denkeri; Tene, Louis Nana; Angaandi, Leticia; Blewusi, Isaac; Borbi, Makafui; Aduku, Linda Nana Esi; Badu, Pheonah; Abbey, Henrietta; Karikari, Thomas K

    2016-01-01

    The scientific capacity in many African countries is low. Ghana, for example, is estimated to have approximately twenty-three researchers per a million inhabitants. In order to improve interest in science among future professionals, appropriate techniques should be developed and employed to identify barriers and correlates of science education among pre-university students. Young students' attitudes towards science may affect their future career choices. However, these attitudes may change with new experiences. It is, therefore, important to evaluate potential changes in students' attitudes towards science after their exposure to experiences such as science outreach activities. Through this, more effective means of inspiring and mentoring young students to choose science subjects can be developed. This approach would be particularly beneficial in countries such as Ghana, where: (i) documented impacts of outreach activities are lacking; and (ii) effective means to develop scientist-school educational partnerships are needed. We have established an outreach scheme, aimed at helping to improve interaction between scientists and pre-university students (and their teachers). Outreach activities are designed and implemented by undergraduate students and graduate teaching assistants, with support from faculty members and technical staff. Through this, we aim to build a team of trainee scientists and graduates who will become ambassadors of science in their future professional endeavors. Here, we describe an approach for assessing changes in junior high school students' attitudes towards science following classroom neuroscience outreach activities. We show that while students tended to agree more with questions concerning their perceptions about science learning after the delivery of outreach activities, significant improvements were obtained for only two questions, namely "I enjoy science lessons" and "I want to be a scientist in the future." Furthermore, there was a

  16. Genome-wide DNA methylation identifies trophoblast invasion-related genes: Claudin-4 and Fucosyltransferase IV control mobility via altering matrix metalloproteinase activity.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yuxiang; Blair, John D; Yuen, Ryan K C; Robinson, Wendy P; von Dadelszen, Peter

    2015-05-01

    Previously we showed that extravillous cytotrophoblast (EVT) outgrowth and migration on a collagen gel explant model were affected by exposure to decidual natural killer cells (dNK). This study investigates the molecular causes behind this phenomenon. Genome wide DNA methylation of exposed and unexposed EVT was assessed using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array (450 K array). We identified 444 differentially methylated CpG loci in dNK-treated EVT compared with medium control (P < 0.05). The genes associated with these loci had critical biological roles in cellular development, cellular growth and proliferation, cell signaling, cellular assembly and organization by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA). Furthermore, 23 mobility-related genes were identified by IPA from dNK-treated EVT. Among these genes, CLDN4 (encoding claudin-4) and FUT4 (encoding fucosyltransferase IV) were chosen for follow-up studies because of their biological relevance from research on tumor cells. The results showed that the mRNA and protein expressions of both CLDN4 and FUT4 in dNK-treated EVT were significantly reduced compared with control (P < 0.01 for both CLDN4 and FUT4 mRNA expression; P < 0.001 for CLDN4 and P < 0.01 for FUT4 protein expression), and were inversely correlated with DNA methylation. Knocking down CLDN4 and FUT4 by small interfering RNA reduced trophoblast invasion, possibly through the altered matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and/or MMP-9 expression and activity. Taken together, dNK alter EVT mobility at least partially in association with an alteration of DNA methylation profile. Hypermethylation of CLDN4 and FUT4 reduces protein expression. CLDN4 and FUT4 are representative genes that participate in modulating trophoblast mobility. PMID:25697377

  17. Metabolomic Assessment of Induced and Activated Chemical Defence in the Invasive Red Alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla

    PubMed Central

    Nylund, Göran M.; Weinberger, Florian; Rempt, Martin; Pohnert, Georg

    2011-01-01

    In comparison with terrestrial plants the mechanistic knowledge of chemical defences is poor for marine macroalgae. This restricts our understanding in the chemically mediated interactions that take place between algae and other organisms. Technical advances such as metabolomics, however, enable new approaches towards the characterisation of the chemically mediated interactions of organisms with their environment. We address defence responses in the red alga Gracilaria vermiculophylla using mass spectrometry based metabolomics in combination with bioassays. Being invasive in the north Atlantic this alga is likely to possess chemical defences according to the prediction that well-defended exotics are most likely to become successful invaders in systems dominated by generalist grazers, such as marine macroalgal communities. We investigated the effect of intense herbivore feeding and simulated herbivory by mechanical wounding of the algae. Both processes led to similar changes in the metabolic profile. Feeding experiments with the generalist isopod grazer Idotea baltica showed that mechanical wounding caused a significant increase in grazer resistance. Structure elucidation of the metabolites of which some were up-regulated more than 100 times in the wounded tissue, revealed known and novel eicosanoids as major components. Among these were prostaglandins, hydroxylated fatty acids and arachidonic acid derived conjugated lactones. Bioassays with pure metabolites showed that these eicosanoids are part of the innate defence system of macroalgae, similarly to animal systems. In accordance with an induced defence mechanism application of extracts from wounded tissue caused a significant increase in grazer resistance and the up-regulation of other pathways than in the activated defence. Thus, this study suggests that G. vermiculophylla chemically deters herbivory by two lines of defence, a rapid wound-activated process followed by a slower inducible defence. By unravelling

  18. Can We Identify the Active Ingredients of Behaviour Change Interventions for Coronary Heart Disease Patients? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Goodwin, Laura; Ostuzzi, Giovanni; Khan, Nadia; Hotopf, Matthew H.; Moss-Morris, Rona

    2016-01-01

    Background The main behaviour change intervention available for coronary heart disease (CHD) patients is cardiac rehabilitation. There is little recognition of what the active ingredients of behavioural interventions for CHD might be. Using a behaviour change technique (BCT) framework to code existing interventions may help to identify this. The objectives of this systematic review are to determine the effectiveness of CHD behaviour change interventions and how this may be explained by BCT content and structure. Methods and Findings A systematic search of Medline, EMBASE and PsycInfo electronic databases was conducted over a twelve year period (2003–2015) to identify studies which reported on behaviour change interventions for CHD patients. The content of the behaviour change interventions was coded using the Coventry Aberdeen and London—Refined (CALO-RE) taxonomy. Meta-regression analyses examined the BCT content as a predictor of mortality. Twenty two papers met the criteria for this review, reporting data on 16,766 participants. The most commonly included BCTs were providing information, and goal setting. There was a small but significant effect of the interventions on smoking (risk ratio (RR) = 0.89, 95% CI 0.81–0.97). The interventions did not reduce the risk of CHD events (RR = 0.86, 95% CI 0.68, 1.09), but significantly reduced the risk of mortality (RR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.69, 0.97). Sensitivity analyses did not find that any of the BCT variables predicted mortality and the number of BCTs included in an intervention was not associated with mortality (β = -0.02, 95% CI -0.06–0.03). Conclusions Behaviour change interventions for CHD patients appear to have a positive impact on a number of outcomes. Using an existing BCT taxonomy to code the interventions helped us to understand which were the most commonly used techniques, providing information and goal setting, but not the active components of these complex interventions. PMID:27105435

  19. Activity-based and fraction-guided analysis of Phyllanthus urinaria identifies loliolide as a potent inhibitor of hepatitis C virus entry.

    PubMed

    Chung, Chueh-Yao; Liu, Ching-Hsuan; Burnouf, Thierry; Wang, Guey-Horng; Chang, Shun-Pang; Jassey, Alagie; Tai, Chen-Jei; Tai, Cheng-Jeng; Huang, Ching-Jang; Richardson, Christopher D; Yen, Ming-Hong; Lin, Chun-Ching; Lin, Liang-Tzung

    2016-06-01

    Without a vaccine, hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains a global medical and socio-economic burden, predisposing about 170 million carriers worldwide to end-stage liver diseases including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Although the recently developed direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) have revolutionized hepatitis C treatment, most of them are unsuitable for monotherapy due to risks of resistance, thus necessitating combination with interferon (IFN)-alpha, ribavirin, or additional DAAs. More importantly, the high cost associated with the DAAs restricts their accessibility to most parts of the world. Developing novel cost-effective anti-HCV therapeutics may help expand the scope of antivirals and treatment strategies against hepatitis C. Herein, we applied an activity-based and fraction-guided analysis of extracts from the medicinal plant Phyllanthus urinaria (P. urinaria), which yielded fraction 13 (F13) as possessing the most potent inhibitory activity against early viral entry of cell-culture HCV infection. Chemical analysis (silica gel chromatography followed by ESI LC-MS plus (1)H and (13)C NMR) of F13 identified loliolide (LOD), a monoterpenoid lactone, as a novel inhibitor of HCV entry. Specifically, LOD could efficiently inactivate HCV free virus particles, abrogate viral attachment, and impede viral entry/fusion, with minimal effect on viral replication/translation, particle production, and induction of type I IFN host antiviral immune response. ELISA-based binding analysis confirmed the monoterpenoid's ability in efficiently blocking HCV particle attachment to the host cell surface. Furthermore, LOD could inhibit infection by several genotypic strains of HCV. This is the first report characterizing P. urinaria and its bioactive compound LOD as potent HCV entry inhibitors, which merit further evaluation for development as candidate antiviral agents against hepatitis C. PMID:27012176

  20. Novel activator of mannose-specific phosphotransferase system permease expression in Listeria innocua, identified by screening for pediocin AcH resistance.

    PubMed

    Xue, Junfeng; Hunter, Ian; Steinmetz, Tori; Peters, Adam; Ray, Bibek; Miller, Kurt W

    2005-03-01

    To identify genes that are important for class IIa bacteriocin interaction and resistance in Listeria species, transposon Tn917 knockout libraries were constructed for Listeria innocua strain Lin11 and screened for mutants that are resistant to pediocin AcH. A highly resistant mutant (G7) (MIC > 20 microg/ml; 1,000-fold less susceptible than the wild type), in which the transposon integrated into the putative promoter of the lin0142 gene, was isolated. lin0142 is located immediately upstream of the mpt operon (mptA/mptC/mptD) that encodes the mannose-specific phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase system permease EIItMan, which serves as a docking protein for class IIa bacteriocins. The transcription of the mpt operon is known to be positively controlled by sigma54 factor and ManR (a sigma54-associated activator). Transcripts for lin0142 and mpt were undetectable in the G7 mutant, based on quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR analysis. When the wild-type lin0142 gene was expressed at a 7.9-fold-elevated level in the mutant via a multicopy-number plasmid, the level of mpt mRNA became 70% higher than that in the wild-type strain. In addition, the complementation strain reverted back to the pediocin AcH-susceptible phenotype. The levels of manR and rpoN (sigma54) mRNAs were not directly influenced by the level of lin0142 transcription. lin0142 is the only one of the three mpt regulatory genes whose transcription is induced, albeit slightly (1.2-fold), by glucose. The combined results show that the lin0142 gene encodes a novel activator of the mpt operon. The Lin0142 protein contains a winged-helix DNA-binding motif and is distantly related to the Crp-Fnr family of transcription regulators. PMID:15746330

  1. Crystal structures of two monomeric triosephosphate isomerase variants identified via a directed-evolution protocol selecting for L-arabinose isomerase activity.

    PubMed

    Krause, Mirja; Kiema, Tiila Riikka; Neubauer, Peter; Wierenga, Rik K

    2016-06-01

    The crystal structures are described of two variants of A-TIM: Ma18 (2.7 Å resolution) and Ma21 (1.55 Å resolution). A-TIM is a monomeric loop-deletion variant of triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) which has lost the TIM catalytic properties. Ma18 and Ma21 were identified after extensive directed-evolution selection experiments using an Escherichia coli L-arabinose isomerase knockout strain expressing a randomly mutated A-TIM gene. These variants facilitate better growth of the Escherichia coli selection strain in medium supplemented with 40 mM L-arabinose. Ma18 and Ma21 differ from A-TIM by four and one point mutations, respectively. Ma18 and Ma21 are more stable proteins than A-TIM, as judged from CD melting experiments. Like A-TIM, both proteins are monomeric in solution. In the Ma18 crystal structure loop 6 is open and in the Ma21 crystal structure loop 6 is closed, being stabilized by a bound glycolate molecule. The crystal structures show only small differences in the active site compared with A-TIM. In the case of Ma21 it is observed that the point mutation (Q65L) contributes to small structural rearrangements near Asn11 of loop 1, which correlate with different ligand-binding properties such as a loss of citrate binding in the active site. The Ma21 structure also shows that its Leu65 side chain is involved in van der Waals interactions with neighbouring hydrophobic side-chain moieties, correlating with its increased stability. The experimental data suggest that the increased stability and solubility properties of Ma21 and Ma18 compared with A-TIM cause better growth of the selection strain when coexpressing Ma21 and Ma18 instead of A-TIM. PMID:27303904

  2. Time-driven activity-based costing of multivessel coronary artery bypass grafting across national boundaries to identify improvement opportunities: study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Erhun, F; Mistry, B; Platchek, T; Milstein, A; Narayanan, V G; Kaplan, R S

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery is a well-established, commonly performed treatment for coronary artery disease—a disease that affects over 10% of US adults and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. In 2005, the mean cost for a CABG procedure among Medicare beneficiaries in the USA was $32 201±$23 059. The same operation reportedly costs less than $2000 to produce in India. The goals of the proposed study are to (1) identify the difference in the costs incurred to perform CABG surgery by three Joint Commission accredited hospitals with reputations for high quality and efficiency and (2) characterise the opportunity to reduce the cost of performing CABG surgery. Methods and analysis We use time-driven activity-based costing (TDABC) to quantify the hospitals’ costs of producing elective, multivessel CABG. TDABC estimates the costs of a given clinical service by combining information about the process of patient care delivery (specifically, the time and quantity of labour and non-labour resources utilised to perform each activity) with the unit cost of each resource used to provide the care. Resource utilisation was estimated by constructing CABG process maps for each site based on observation of care and staff interviews. Unit costs were calculated as a capacity cost rate, measured as a $/min, for each resource consumed in CABG production. Multiplying together the unit costs and resource quantities and summing across all resources used will produce the average cost of CABG production at each site. We will conclude by conducting a variance analysis of labour costs to reveal opportunities to bend the cost curve for CABG production in the USA. Ethics and dissemination All our methods were exempted from review by the Stanford Institutional Review Board. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at scientific meetings. PMID:26307621

  3. Genome-wide lentiviral shRNA screen identifies serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 2 as a determinant of oncolytic virus activity in breast cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Workenhe, S T; Ketela, T; Moffat, J; Cuddington, B P; Mossman, K L

    2016-05-12

    Oncolytic human herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) shows promising treatment efficacy in late-stage clinical trials. The anticancer activity of oncolytic viruses relies on deregulated pathways in cancer cells, which make them permissive to oncolysis. To identify pathways that restrict HSV-1 KM100-mediated oncolysis, this study used a pooled genome-wide short hairpin RNA library and found that depletion of the splicing factor arginine-rich splicing factor 2 (SRSF2) leads to enhanced cytotoxicity of breast cancer cells by KM100. Serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins are a family of RNA-binding phosphoproteins that control both constitutive and alternative pre-mRNA splicing. Further characterization showed that KM100 infection of HS578T cells under conditions of low SRSF2 leads to pronounced apoptosis without a corresponding increase in virus replication. As DNA topoisomerase I inhibitors can limit the phosphorylation of SRSF2, we combined a topoisomerase I inhibitor chemotherapeutic with KM100 and observed synergistic anticancer effect in vitro and prolonged survival of tumor-bearing mice in vivo. PMID:26257065

  4. RNA-seq-mediated transcriptome analysis of actively growing and winter dormant shoots identifies non-deciduous habit of evergreen tree tea during winters

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Asosii; Jha, Ashwani; Bhardwaj, Shruti; Singh, Sewa; Shankar, Ravi; Kumar, Sanjay

    2014-01-01

    Tea [Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze] is a perennial tree which undergoes winter dormancy and unlike deciduous trees, the species does not shed its leaves during winters. The present work dissected the molecular processes operating in the leaves during the period of active growth and winter dormancy through transcriptome analysis to understand a long-standing question: why should tea be a non-deciduous species? Analyses of 24,700 unigenes obtained from 57,767 primarily assembled transcripts showed (i) operation of mechanisms of winter tolerance, (ii) down-regulation of genes involved in growth, development, protein synthesis and cell division, and (iii) inhibition of leaf abscission due to modulation of senescence related processes during winter dormancy in tea. These senescence related processes exhibited modulation to favour leaf abscission (i) in deciduous Populus tremula during winters, and (ii) also in tea but under osmotic stress during which leaves also abscise. These results validated the relevance of the identified senescence related processes for leaf abscission and suggested their operation when in need in tea. PMID:25090269

  5. A National Case-Control Study Identifies Human Socio-Economic Status and Activities as Risk Factors for Tick-Borne Encephalitis in Poland

    PubMed Central

    Stefanoff, Pawel; Rosinska, Magdalena; Samuels, Steven; White, Dennis J.; Morse, Dale L.; Randolph, Sarah E.

    2012-01-01

    Background Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is endemic to Europe and medically highly significant. This study, focused on Poland, investigated individual risk factors for TBE symptomatic infection. Methods and Findings In a nation-wide population-based case-control study, of the 351 TBE cases reported to local health departments in Poland in 2009, 178 were included in the analysis. For controls, of 2704 subjects (matched to cases by age, sex, district of residence) selected at random from the national population register, two were interviewed for each case and a total of 327 were suitable for the analysis. Questionnaires yielded information on potential exposure to ticks during the six weeks (maximum incubation period) preceding disease onset in each case. Independent associations between disease and socio-economic factors and occupational or recreational exposure were assessed by conditional logistic regression, stratified according to residence in known endemic and non-endemic areas. Adjusted population attributable fractions (PAF) were computed for significant variables. In endemic areas, highest TBE risk was associated with spending ≥10 hours/week in mixed forests and harvesting forest foods (adjusted odds ratio 19.19 [95% CI: 1.72–214.32]; PAF 0.127 [0.064–0.193]), being unemployed (11.51 [2.84–46.59]; 0.109 [0.046–0.174]), or employed as a forester (8.96 [1.58–50.77]; 0.053 [0.011–0.100]) or non-specialized worker (5.39 [2.21–13.16]; 0.202 [0.090–0.282]). Other activities (swimming, camping and travel to non-endemic regions) reduced risk. Outside TBE endemic areas, risk was greater for those who spent ≥10 hours/week on recreation in mixed forests (7.18 [1.90–27.08]; 0.191 [0.065–0.304]) and visited known TBE endemic areas (4.65 [0.59–36.50]; 0.058 [−0.007–0.144]), while travel to other non-endemic areas reduced risk. Conclusions These socio-economic factors and associated human activities identified as risk factors for symptomatic

  6. An integrative genomic approach identifies p73 and p63 as activators of miR-200 microRNA family transcription

    PubMed Central

    Knouf, Emily C.; Garg, Kavita; Arroyo, Jason D.; Correa, Yesenia; Sarkar, Deepayan; Parkin, Rachael K.; Wurz, Kaitlyn; O’Briant, Kathy C.; Godwin, Andrew K.; Urban, Nicole D.; Ruzzo, Walter L.; Gentleman, Robert; Drescher, Charles W.; Swisher, Elizabeth M.; Tewari, Muneesh

    2012-01-01

    Although microRNAs (miRNAs) are important regulators of gene expression, the transcriptional regulation of miRNAs themselves is not well understood. We employed an integrative computational pipeline to dissect the transcription factors (TFs) responsible for altered miRNA expression in ovarian carcinoma. Using experimental data and computational predictions to define miRNA promoters across the human genome, we identified TFs with binding sites significantly overrepresented among miRNA genes overexpressed in ovarian carcinoma. This pipeline nominated TFs of the p53/p63/p73 family as candidate drivers of miRNA overexpression. Analysis of data from an independent set of 253 ovarian carcinomas in The Cancer Genome Atlas showed that p73 and p63 expression is significantly correlated with expression of miRNAs whose promoters contain p53/p63/p73 family binding sites. In experimental validation of specific miRNAs predicted by the analysis to be regulated by p73 and p63, we found that p53/p63/p73 family binding sites modulate promoter activity of miRNAs of the miR-200 family, which are known regulators of cancer stem cells and epithelial–mesenchymal transitions. Furthermore, in chromatin immunoprecipitation studies both p73 and p63 directly associated with the miR-200b/a/429 promoter. This study delineates an integrative approach that can be applied to discover transcriptional regulatory mechanisms in other biological settings where analogous genomic data are available. PMID:21917857

  7. [Prokaryotic expression and antigenic activity analysis on the matrix protein genes of two strains of human metapneumovirus recently identified in Beijing].

    PubMed

    Cao, Shou-Chun; Qian, Yuan; Li, Guo-Hua; Zhu, Ru-Nan; Zhao, Lin-Qing; Ding, Ya-Xin

    2007-01-01

    Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a recently identified respiratory virus more like human respiratory syncytial virus in clinical symptoms. Matrix protein (M) is one of the most important structural proteins. For further studying of hMPV, the full length of M genes from the recombinant plasmid pUCm-M1816 and pUCmM1817 were cloned by PCR and sub-cloned into the pET30a(+) vector, which is a prokaryotic expression vector, after dual-enzyme digestion with Bam HI and Xho I. The positive recombinated plasmids were transformed into E. coli BL21 (DE3) and expressed under the inducing of IPTG. Target proteins were characterized by SDS-PAGE and Western blotting. In this article, we' ve successfully constructed the recombinated plasmids pET30a-M1816 and pET30a-M1817 which have correct open reading frames confirmed by dual-enzyme digestion analysis and sequencing. The fusion proteins with 6 x His-N were highly produced after inducing by 1mmol/ L IPTG at 37 degrees C. A unique protein band with approximate 27.6 kD was characterized by SDS-PAGE. Most of the target protein existed in inclusion body. Western blot analysis showed that the target protein has specific binding reaction to rabbit antiserum against polypeptides of the matrix protein of hMPV. So the M genes were highly expressed in the prokaryotic system and the expressed M proteins have specific antigenic activities. It can be used for further studying of hMPV infections in Beijing. PMID:17886723

  8. A genome-wide identified risk variant for PTSD is a methylation quantitative trait locus and confers decreased cortical activation to fearful faces.

    PubMed

    Almli, Lynn M; Stevens, Jennifer S; Smith, Alicia K; Kilaru, Varun; Meng, Qian; Flory, Janine; Abu-Amara, Duna; Hammamieh, Rasha; Yang, Ruoting; Mercer, Kristina B; Binder, Elizabeth B; Bradley, Bekh; Hamilton, Steven; Jett, Marti; Yehuda, Rachel; Marmar, Charles R; Ressler, Kerry J

    2015-07-01

    Genetic factors appear to be highly relevant to predicting differential risk for the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a discovery sample, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for PTSD using a small military cohort (Systems Biology PTSD Biomarkers Consortium; SBPBC, N = 147) that was designed as a case-controlled sample of highly exposed, recently returning veterans with and without combat-related PTSD. A genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs717947, at chromosome 4p15 (N = 147, β = 31.34, P = 1.28 × 10(-8) ) was found to associate with the gold-standard diagnostic measure for PTSD (the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale). We conducted replication and follow-up studies in an external sample, a larger urban community cohort (Grady Trauma Project, GTP, N = 2006), to determine the robustness and putative functionality of this risk variant. In the GTP replication sample, SNP rs717947 associated with PTSD diagnosis in females (N = 2006, P = 0.005), but not males. SNP rs717947 was also found to be a methylation quantitative trait locus (meQTL) in the GTP replication sample (N = 157, P = 0.002). Further, the risk allele of rs717947 was associated with decreased medial and dorsolateral cortical activation to fearful faces (N = 53, P < 0.05) in the GTP replication sample. These data identify a genome-wide significant polymorphism conferring risk for PTSD, which was associated with differential epigenetic regulation and with differential cortical responses to fear in a replication sample. These results may provide new insight into understanding genetic and epigenetic regulation of PTSD and intermediate phenotypes that contribute to this disorder. PMID:25988933

  9. Elevated urinary levels of urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma identify a clinically high-risk group

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The urokinase plasminogen activator receptor is highly expressed and its gene is amplified in about 50% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas; this last feature is associated with worse prognosis. It is unknown whether the level of its soluble form (suPAR) in urine may be a diagnostic-prognostic marker in these patients. Methods The urinary level of suPAR was measured in 146 patients, 94 pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and 52 chronic pancreatitis. Urine from 104 healthy subjects with similar age and gender distribution served as controls. suPAR levels were normalized with creatinine levels (suPAR/creatinine, ng/mg) to remove urine dilution effect. Results Urinary suPAR/creatinine values of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma patients were significantly higher (median 9.8; 25th-75th percentiles 5.3-20.7) than those of either healthy donors (median 0; 0-0.5) or chronic pancreatitis patients (median 2.7; 0.9-4.7). The distribution of values among cancer patients was widespread and asymmetric, 53% subjects having values beyond the 95th percentile of healthy donors. The values of suPAR/creatinine did not correlate with tumour stage, Ca19-9 or CEA levels. Higher values correlated with poor prognosis among non-resected patients at univariate analysis; multivariate Cox regression identified high urinary suPAR/creatinine as an independent predictor of poor survival among all cancer patients (odds ratio 2.10, p = 0.0023), together with tumour stage (stage III odds ratio 2.65, p = 0.0017; stage IV odds ratio 4.61, p < 0.0001) and female gender (odds ratio 1.85, p = 0.01). Conclusions A high urinary suPAR/creatinine ratio represents a useful marker for the identification of a subset of patients with poorer outcome. PMID:21999221

  10. KV1 channels identified in rodent myelinated axons, linked to Cx29 in innermost myelin: support for electrically active myelin in mammalian saltatory conduction.

    PubMed

    Rash, John E; Vanderpool, Kimberly G; Yasumura, Thomas; Hickman, Jordan; Beatty, Jonathan T; Nagy, James I

    2016-04-01

    Saltatory conduction in mammalian myelinated axons was thought to be well understood before recent discoveries revealed unexpected subcellular distributions and molecular identities of the K(+)-conductance pathways that provide for rapid axonal repolarization. In this study, we visualize, identify, localize, quantify, and ultrastructurally characterize axonal KV1.1/KV1.2 channels in sciatic nerves of rodents. With the use of light microscopic immunocytochemistry and freeze-fracture replica immunogold labeling electron microscopy, KV1.1/KV1.2 channels are localized to three anatomically and compositionally distinct domains in the internodal axolemmas of large myelinated axons, where they form densely packed "rosettes" of 9-nm intramembrane particles. These axolemmal KV1.1/KV1.2 rosettes are precisely aligned with and ultrastructurally coupled to connexin29 (Cx29) channels, also in matching rosettes, in the surrounding juxtaparanodal myelin collars and along the inner mesaxon. As >98% of transmembrane proteins large enough to represent ion channels in these specialized domains, ∼500,000 KV1.1/KV1.2 channels define the paired juxtaparanodal regions as exclusive membrane domains for the voltage-gated K(+)conductance that underlies rapid axonal repolarization in mammals. The 1:1 molecular linkage of KV1 channels to Cx29 channels in the apposed juxtaparanodal collars, plus their linkage to an additional 250,000-400,000 Cx29 channels along each inner mesaxon in every large-diameter myelinated axon examined, supports previously proposed K(+)conductance directly from juxtaparanodal axoplasm into juxtaparanodal myeloplasm in mammalian axons. With neither Cx29 protein nor myelin rosettes detectable in frog myelinated axons, these data showing axon-to-myelin linkage by abundant KV1/Cx29 channels in rodent axons support renewed consideration of an electrically active role for myelin in increasing both saltatory conduction velocity and maximum propagation frequency in

  11. A Global Genomic and Genetic Strategy to Identify, Validate and Use Gene Signatures of Xenobiotic-Responsive Transcription Factors in Prediction of Pathway Activation in the Mouse Liver

    EPA Science Inventory

    Many drugs and environmentally-relevant chemicals activate xenobiotic-responsive transcription factors. Identification of target genes of these factors would be useful in predicting pathway activation in in vitro chemical screening as well as their involvement in disease states. ...

  12. Proton NMR-Based Metabolite Analyses of Archived Serial Paired Serum and Urine Samples from Myeloma Patients at Different Stages of Disease Activity Identifies Acetylcarnitine as a Novel Marker of Active Disease

    PubMed Central

    Khanim, Farhat L.; Günther, Ulrich L.; Viant, Mark R.; Morgan, Gareth J.; Bunce, Christopher M.; Drayson, Mark T.

    2013-01-01

    Background Biomarker identification is becoming increasingly important for the development of personalized or stratified therapies. Metabolomics yields biomarkers indicative of phenotype that can be used to characterize transitions between health and disease, disease progression and therapeutic responses. The desire to reproducibly detect ever greater numbers of metabolites at ever diminishing levels has naturally nurtured advances in best practice for sample procurement, storage and analysis. Reciprocally, since many of the available extensive clinical archives were established prior to the metabolomics era and were not processed in such an ‘ideal’ fashion, considerable scepticism has arisen as to their value for metabolomic analysis. Here we have challenged that paradigm. Methods We performed proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy-based metabolomics on blood serum and urine samples from 32 patients representative of a total cohort of 1970 multiple myeloma patients entered into the United Kingdom Medical Research Council Myeloma IX trial. Findings Using serial paired blood and urine samples we detected metabolite profiles that associated with diagnosis, post-treatment remission and disease progression. These studies identified carnitine and acetylcarnitine as novel potential biomarkers of active disease both at diagnosis and relapse and as a mediator of disease associated pathologies. Conclusions These findings show that samples conventionally processed and archived can provide useful metabolomic information that has important implications for understanding the biology of myeloma, discovering new therapies and identifying biomarkers potentially useful in deciding the choice and application of therapy. PMID:23431376

  13. Identifying pyroclastic and lahar deposits and assessing erosion and lahar hazards at active volcanoes using multi-temporal HSR image analysis and techniques for change detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kassouk, Zeineb; Thouret, Jean-Claude; Oehler, Jean-François; Solikhin, Akhmad

    2014-05-01

    The increasing availability of high-spatial resolution (HSR) remote sensing images leads to new opportunities for hazard assessment in the case of active volcanoes. Object-oriented analysis (OOA) of HSR images helps to simultaneously exploit spatial, spectral and contextual information. Here, we identify and delineate pyroclastic density current (PDC) and post-eruption lahar deposits on the south flank of Merapi volcano, Indonesia, after the large 2010 eruption. GeoEye-1 (2010 and 2011) and Pleiades (2012) images were analyzed with an adjusted object-oriented method. The PDC deposits include valley-confined block-and-ash flows (BAFs), unconfined, overbank pyroclastic flows (OPFs), and high-energy surges or ash-cloud surges. We follow up the evolution of the pyroclastic and lahar deposits through changes in the spectral indices calculated in segmented features, which represent the principal units of deposits and devastated areas. The object-oriented analysis has been applied to the pseudo image comprising of three spectral indices (NDWI water index; NDVI vegetation index; and NDRSI Red Soil Index). This pseudo image has enabled us to delineate fifteen units of PDC and lahar deposits, and damaged forests and settlements in the Gendol-Opak catchment (c.80 sqkm). The units represent 75% of classes obtained by photointerpretation of the same image and supported by field observations. A combination of NDWI and NDVI helps to separate areas affected by surges (NDWI <0.2 and 0.1 0.3 and NDWI<0.1). NDRSI values close to 0 are assigned to scoria-rich PFs darker than other PF deposits. Bivariate analyses of three spectral indices, NDWI, NDVI and NDRSI, show the temporal evolution of the delineated deposits and areas between 2010 and 2012. The NDVI/NDWI 2010 plot shows two clusters: NDVI and NDWI close to 0

  14. Identifying Barriers, Perceptions and Motivations Related to Healthy Eating and Physical Activity among 6th to 8th Grade, Rural, Limited-Resource Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kumar, Janavi; Adhikari, Koushik; Li, Yijing; Lindshield, Erika; Muturi, Nancy; Kidd, Tandalayo

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to enable community members to discuss their perceptions of eating habits and physical activity in relation to sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, and reveal facilitators and barriers to healthy eating behavior and physical activity engagement. Design/methodology/approach: Nine focus groups, which included six…

  15. Identifying the activation motif in the N-terminal of rainbow trout and zebrafish melanocortin-2 receptor accessory protein 1 (MRAP1) orthologs.

    PubMed

    Dores, Robert M; Liang, Liang; Hollmann, Rebecca E; Sandhu, Navdeep; Vijayan, Mathilakath M

    2016-08-01

    The activation of mammalian melanocortin-2 receptor (MC2R) orthologs is dependent on a four-amino acid activation motif (LDYL/I) located in the N-terminal of mammalian MRAP1 (melanocortin-2 receptor accessory protein). Previous alanine substitution analysis had shown that the Y residue in this motif appears to be the most important for mediating the activation of mammalian MC2R orthologs. Similar, but not identical amino acid motifs were detected in rainbow trout MRAP1 (YDYL) and zebrafish MRAP1 (YDYV). To determine the importance of these residues in the putative activation motifs, rainbow trout and zebrafish MRAP1 orthologs were individually co-expressed in CHO cells with rainbow trout MC2R, and the activation of this receptor with either the wild-type MRAP1 ortholog or alanine-substituted analogs of the two teleost MRAP1s was analyzed. Alanine substitutions at all four amino acid positions in rainbow trout MRAP1 blocked activation of the rainbow trout MC2R. Single alanine substitutions of the D and Y residues in rainbow trout and zebrafish MRAP1 indicate that these two residues play a significant role in the activation of rainbow trout MC2R. These observations indicate that there are subtle differences in the way that teleost and mammalian MRAPs are involved in the activation of their corresponding MC2R orthologs. PMID:26752246

  16. Development and validation of a high-throughput cell-based screen to identify activators of a bacterial two-component signal transduction system.

    PubMed

    van Rensburg, Julia J; Fortney, Kate R; Chen, Lan; Krieger, Andrew J; Lima, Bruno P; Wolfe, Alan J; Katz, Barry P; Zhang, Zhong-Yin; Spinola, Stanley M

    2015-07-01

    CpxRA is a two-component signal transduction system (2CSTS) found in many drug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. In response to periplasmic stress, CpxA autophosphorylates and donates a phosphoryl group to its cognate response regulator, CpxR. Phosphorylated CpxR (CpxR-P) upregulates genes involved in membrane repair and downregulates multiple genes that encode virulence factors, which are trafficked across the cell membrane. Mutants that constitutively activate CpxRA in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Haemophilus ducreyi are avirulent in mice and humans, respectively. Thus, the activation of CpxRA has high potential as a novel antimicrobial/antivirulence strategy. Using a series of Escherichia coli strains containing a CpxR-P-responsive lacZ reporter and deletions in genes encoding CpxRA system components, we developed and validated a novel cell-based high-throughput screen (HTS) for CpxRA activators. A screen of 36,000 compounds yielded one hit compound that increased reporter activity in wild-type cells. This is the first report of a compound that activates, rather than inhibits, a 2CSTS. The activity profile of the compound against CpxRA pathway mutants in the presence of glucose suggested that the compound inhibits CpxA phosphatase activity. We confirmed that the compound induced the accumulation of CpxR-P in treated cells. Although the hit compound contained a nitro group, a derivative lacking this group retained activity in serum and had lower cytotoxicity than that of the initial hit. This HTS is amenable for the screening of larger libraries to find compounds that activate CpxRA by other mechanisms, and it could be adapted to find activators of other two-component systems. PMID:25870061

  17. Systematic screening of glycosylation- and trafficking-associated gene knockouts in Saccharomyces cerevisiae identifies mutants with improved heterologous exocellulase activity and host secretion

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background As a strong fermentator, Saccharomyces cerevisiae has the potential to be an excellent host for ethanol production by consolidated bioprocessing. For this purpose, it is necessary to transform cellulose genes into the yeast genome because it contains no cellulose genes. However, heterologous protein expression in S. cerevisiae often suffers from hyper-glycosylation and/or poor secretion. Thus, there is a need to genetically engineer the yeast to reduce its glycosylation strength and to increase its secretion ability. Results Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene-knockout strains were screened for improved extracellular activity of a recombinant exocellulase (PCX) from the cellulose digesting fungus Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Knockout mutants of 47 glycosylation-related genes and 10 protein-trafficking-related genes were transformed with a PCX expression construct and screened for extracellular cellulase activity. Twelve of the screened mutants were found to have a more than 2-fold increase in extracellular PCX activity in comparison with the wild type. The extracellular PCX activities in the glycosylation-related mnn10 and pmt5 null mutants were, respectively, 6 and 4 times higher than that of the wild type; and the extracellular PCX activities in 9 protein-trafficking-related mutants, especially in the chc1, clc1 and vps21 null mutants, were at least 1.5 times higher than the parental strains. Site-directed mutagenesis studies further revealed that the degree of N-glycosylation also plays an important role in heterologous cellulase activity in S. cerevisiae. Conclusions Systematic screening of knockout mutants of glycosylation- and protein trafficking-associated genes in S. cerevisiae revealed that: (1) blocking Golgi-to-endosome transport may force S. cerevisiae to export cellulases; and (2) both over- and under-glycosylation may alter the enzyme activity of cellulases. This systematic gene-knockout screening approach may serve as a convenient means for

  18. Integrative analysis of the transcriptome and targetome identifies the regulatory network of miR-16: an inhibitory role against the activation of hepatic stellate cells.

    PubMed

    Pan, Qin; Guo, Canjie; Sun, Chao; Fan, Jiangao; Fang, Chunhua

    2014-01-01

    Hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation is the critical event of liver fibrosis. Abnormality of miR-16 expression induces their activation. However, the action model of miR-16 remains to be elucidated because of its multiple-targeted manner. Here, we report that miR-16 restoration exerted a wide-range impact on transcriptome (2,082 differentially expressed transcripts) of activated HSCs. Integrative analysis of both targetome (1,195 targets) and transcriptome uncovered the miR-16 regulatory network based upon bio-molecular interaction databases (BIND, BioGrid, Tranfac, and KEGG), cross database searching with iterative algorithm, Dijkstra's algorithm with greedy method, etc. Eight targets in the targetome (Map2k1, Bmpr1b, Nf1, Pik3r3, Ppp2r1a, Prkca, Smad2, and Sos2) served as key regulatory network nodes that mediate miR-16 action. A set of TFs (Sp1, Jun, Crebl, Arnt, Fos, and Nf1) was recognized to be the functional layer of key nodes, which mapped the signal of miR-16 to transcriptome. In result, the comprehensive action of miR-16 abrogated transcriptomic characteristics that determined the phenotypes of activated HSCs, including active proliferation, ECM deposition, and apoptosis resistance. Therefore, a multi-layer regulatory network based upon the integration of targetome and transcriptome may underlie the global action of miR-16, which suggesting it plays an inhibitory role in HSC activation. PMID:25227104

  19. Flip flops, dress clothes, and no coat: clothing barriers to children's physical activity in child-care centers identified from a qualitative study

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Three-quarters of 3-6 year-old children in the U.S. spend time in childcare; many spend most of their waking hours in these settings. Daily physical activity offers numerous health benefits, but activity levels vary widely across centers. This study was undertaken to explore reasons why physical activity levels may vary. The purpose of this paper is to summarize an unexpected finding that child-care providers cited was a key barrier to children's physical activity. Methods Nine focus groups with 49 child-care providers (55% black) from 34 centers (including inner-city, suburban, Head Start and Montessori) were conducted in Cincinnati, OH. Three independent raters analyzed verbatim transcripts for themes. Several techniques were used to increase credibility of findings, including interviews with 13 caregivers. Results Two major themes about clothing were: 1) children's clothing was a barrier to children's physical activity in child-care, and 2) clothing choices were a significant source of conflict between parents and child-care providers. Inappropriate clothing items included: no coat/hat/gloves in the wintertime, flip flops or sandals, dress/expensive clothes, jewelry, and clothes that were either too loose or too tight. Child-care providers explained that unless there were enough extra coats at the center, a single child without a coat could prevent the entire class from going outside. Caregivers suggested several reasons why parents may dress their child inappropriately, including forgetfulness, a rushed morning routine, limited income to buy clothes, a child's preference for a favorite item, and parents not understanding the importance of outdoor play. Several child-care providers favored specific policies prohibiting inappropriate clothing, as many reported limited success with verbal or written reminders to bring appropriate clothing. Conclusion Inappropriate clothing may be an important barrier to children's physical activity in child

  20. The Thief With a Thousand Faces and the Victim With None: Identifying Determinants for Online Identity Theft Victimization With Routine Activity Theory.

    PubMed

    Reyns, Bradford W; Henson, Billy

    2016-08-01

    Available evidence suggests that identity theft is a growing problem that has significant consequences for victims, not the least of which is billions of dollars in financial losses. However, very little is known about the correlates or causes of identity theft victimization. Utilizing a nationally representative sample of individuals from the Canadian General Social Survey, the current study attempts to address this deficiency by examining the link between victims' online routine activities and their online identity theft victimization. It was found that certain routine activities directly influence the likelihood of experiencing identity theft. Potential research and policy implications also are discussed. PMID:25733745

  1. Evaluation of insect CAP2b analogs with either an (E)-alkene, cis- or a trans-Pro isostere identifies the Pro orientation of antidiuretic activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The CAP2b neuropeptide family plays an important role in the regulation of the processes of diuresis and/or antidiuresis in a vareity of insects. In particulare, CAP2b (pELYAFPRVamide) has been shown to elicit antidiuretic activity in the green stink bug Acrostemum hilare, an important pest of cott...

  2. Mutant α-galactosidase A enzymes identified in Fabry disease patients with residual enzyme activity: biochemical characterization and restoration of normal intracellular processing by 1-deoxygalactonojirimycin

    PubMed Central

    Ishii, Satoshi; Chang, Hui-Hwa; Kawasaki, Kunito; Yasuda, Kayo; Wu, Hui-Li; Garman, Scott C.; Fan, Jian-Qiang

    2007-01-01

    Fabry disease is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by the deficiency of α-Gal A (α-galactosidase A) activity. In order to understand the molecular mechanism underlying α-Gal A deficiency in Fabry disease patients with residual enzyme activity, enzymes with different missense mutations were purified from transfected COS-7 cells and the biochemical properties were characterized. The mutant enzymes detected in variant patients (A20P, E66Q, M72V, I91T, R112H, F113L, N215S, Q279E, M296I, M296V and R301Q), and those found mostly in mild classic patients (A97V, A156V, L166V and R356W) appeared to have normal Km and Vmax values. The degradation of all mutants (except E59K) was partially inhibited by treatment with kifunensine, a selective inhibitor of ER (endoplasmic reticulum) α-mannosidase I. Metabolic labelling and subcellular fractionation studies in COS-7 cells expressing the L166V and R301Q α-Gal A mutants indicated that the mutant protein was retained in the ER and degraded without processing. Addition of DGJ (1-deoxygalactonojirimycin) to the culture medium of COS-7 cells transfected with a large set of missense mutant α-Gal A cDNAs effectively increased both enzyme activity and protein yield. DGJ was capable of normalizing intracellular processing of mutant α-Gal A found in both classic (L166V) and variant (R301Q) Fabry disease patients. In addition, the residual enzyme activity in fibroblasts or lymphoblasts from both classic and variant hemizygous Fabry disease patients carrying a variety of missense mutations could be substantially increased by cultivation of the cells with DGJ. These results indicate that a large proportion of mutant enzymes in patients with residual enzyme activity are kinetically active. Excessive degradation in the ER could be responsible for the deficiency of enzyme activity in vivo, and the DGJ approach may be broadly applicable to Fabry disease patients with missense mutations. PMID:17555407

  3. Anticancer activity of pyrithione zinc in oral cancer cells identified in small molecule screens and xenograft model: Implications for oral cancer therapy.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Gunjan; Matta, Ajay; Fu, Guodong; Somasundaram, Raj Thani; Datti, Alessandro; Walfish, Paul G; Ralhan, Ranju

    2015-10-01

    Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients diagnosed in late stages have limited chemotherapeutic options, underscoring the great need for development of new anticancer agents for more effective disease management. We aimed to identify novel anticancer agents for OSCC using quantitative high throughput assays for screening six chemical libraries consisting of 5170 small molecule inhibitors. In depth characterization resulted in identification of pyrithione zinc (PYZ) as the most effective cytotoxic agent inhibiting cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis in OSCC cells in vitro. Further, treatment with PYZ reduced colony forming, migration and invasion potential of oral cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. PYZ treatment also led to altered expression of several key components of the major signaling pathways including PI3K/AKT/mTOR and WNT/β-catenin in OSCC cells. In addition, treatment with PYZ also reduced expression of 14-3-3ζ, 14-3-3σ, cyclin D1, c-Myc and pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), proteins identified in our earlier studies to be involved in development and progression of OSCCs. Importantly, PYZ treatment significantly reduced tumor xenograft volume in immunocompromised NOD/SCID/Crl mice without causing apparent toxicity to normal tissues. Taken together, we demonstrate in vitro and in vivo efficacy of PYZ in OSCC. In conclusion, we identified PYZ in HTS assays and demonstrated in vitro and in vivo pre-clinical efficacy of PYZ as a novel anticancer therapeutic candidate in OSCC. PMID:26115765

  4. Identifying host sources, human health risk and indicators of Cryptosporidium and Giardia in a Canadian watershed influenced by urban and rural activities.

    PubMed

    Van Dyke, Michele I; Ong, Corinne S L; Prystajecky, Natalie A; Isaac-Renton, Judith L; Huck, Peter M

    2012-06-01

    Cryptosporidium and Giardia were characterized in a watershed in southern Ontario, Canada, over a 2½ year period. River samples were collected every two weeks, primarily near a municipal drinking water treatment plant intake. Cryptosporidium and Giardia were frequently detected with an overall occurrence rate of 88 and 97%, respectively. Giardia concentrations were higher than Cryptosporidium, with median values of 80 cysts 100 L(-1) and 12 oocysts 100 L(-1), respectively. Although pathogens rarely show a significant relationship with fecal or water quality indicators, this study determined that Cryptosporidium, but not Giardia, was significantly correlated with Escherichia coli, turbidity and river flow. There was no correlation between the two types of protozoa, and only Giardia showed a seasonal trend with higher concentrations at cold water temperatures. Cryptosporidium genotyping of all samples found that farm animals and wildlife were an important contributor of oocysts in the watershed, and that Cryptosporidium strains/genotypes of medium to high risk for human infection (C. hominis, C. parvum and C. ubiquitum) were detected in 16% of samples. This study was able to identify Cryptosporidium host sources and human health risk, and to identify differences between Cryptosporidium and Giardia occurrence in the watershed. PMID:22717756

  5. Grazers: biocatalysts of terrestrial silica cycling

    PubMed Central

    Vandevenne, Floor Ina; Barão, Ana Lúcia; Schoelynck, Jonas; Smis, Adriaan; Ryken, Nick; Van Damme, Stefan; Meire, Patrick; Struyf, Eric

    2013-01-01

    Silica is well known for its role as inducible defence mechanism countering herbivore attack, mainly through precipitation of opaline, biogenic silica (BSi) bodies (phytoliths) in plant epidermal tissues. Even though grazing strongly interacts with other element cycles, its impact on terrestrial silica cycling has never been thoroughly considered. Here, BSi content of ingested grass, hay and faeces of large herbivores was quantified by performing multiple chemical extraction procedures for BSi, allowing the assessment of chemical reactivity. Dissolution experiments with grass and faeces were carried out to measure direct availability of BSi for dissolution. Average BSi and readily soluble silica numbers were higher in faeces as compared with grass or hay, and differences between herbivores could be related to distinct digestive strategies. Reactivity and dissolvability of BSi increases after digestion, mainly due to degradation of organic matrices, resulting in higher silica turnover rates and mobilization potential from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems in non-grazed versus grazed pasture systems (2 versus 20 kg Si ha−1 y−1). Our results suggest a crucial yet currently unexplored role of herbivores in determining silica export from land to ocean, where its availability is linked to eutrophication events and carbon sequestration through C–Si diatom interactions. PMID:24107532

  6. Grazers: biocatalysts of terrestrial silica cycling.

    PubMed

    Vandevenne, Floor Ina; Barão, Ana Lúcia; Schoelynck, Jonas; Smis, Adriaan; Ryken, Nick; Van Damme, Stefan; Meire, Patrick; Struyf, Eric

    2013-12-01

    Silica is well known for its role as inducible defence mechanism countering herbivore attack, mainly through precipitation of opaline, biogenic silica (BSi) bodies (phytoliths) in plant epidermal tissues. Even though grazing strongly interacts with other element cycles, its impact on terrestrial silica cycling has never been thoroughly considered. Here, BSi content of ingested grass, hay and faeces of large herbivores was quantified by performing multiple chemical extraction procedures for BSi, allowing the assessment of chemical reactivity. Dissolution experiments with grass and faeces were carried out to measure direct availability of BSi for dissolution. Average BSi and readily soluble silica numbers were higher in faeces as compared with grass or hay, and differences between herbivores could be related to distinct digestive strategies. Reactivity and dissolvability of BSi increases after digestion, mainly due to degradation of organic matrices, resulting in higher silica turnover rates and mobilization potential from terrestrial to aquatic ecosystems in non-grazed versus grazed pasture systems (2 versus 20 kg Si ha(-1) y(-1)). Our results suggest a crucial yet currently unexplored role of herbivores in determining silica export from land to ocean, where its availability is linked to eutrophication events and carbon sequestration through C-Si diatom interactions. PMID:24107532

  7. Mostly Plants. Individualized Biology Activities on: I. Investigating Bread Mold; II. Transpiration; III. Botany Project; IV. Collecting/Preserving/Identifying Leaves; [and] V. Student Science Laboratory Write-Ups.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gibson, Paul R.

    Individualized biology activities for secondary students are presented in this teaching guide. The guide is divided into five sections: (1) investigating bread mold; (2) investigating transpiration; (3) completing a botany project; (4) collecting, preserving, and identifying leaves; and (5) writing up science laboratory investigations. The…

  8. Identifying Information Behavior in Information Search and Retrieval through Learning Activities Using an E-learning Platform Case: Interamerican School of Library and Information Science at the University of Antioquia (Medellin-Colombia)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tirado, Alejandro Uribe; Munoz, Wilson Castano

    2011-01-01

    This text presents the future of librarian education as exemplified by the Interamerican School of Library and Information Science at the University of Antioquia (Medellin-Colombia), using an online learning platform-LMS (Moodle) and through different personalized and collaborative learning activities and tools that help students identify their…

  9. A prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled study to identify biomarkers associated with active treatment in psoriatic arthritis: effects of adalimumab treatment on synovial tissue

    PubMed Central

    van Kuijk, A W R; Gerlag, D M; Vos, K; Wolbink, G; de Groot, M; de Rie, M A; Zwinderman, A H; Dijkmans, B A C; Tak, P P

    2009-01-01

    Objective: To determine which of the changes in synovial tissue correlates best with clinical response associated with effective therapy (adalimumab) to facilitate the planning of future studies with therapeutic agents for psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Methods: A total of 24 patients with active PsA were randomised to receive adalimumab (n = 12) or placebo (n = 12) for 4 weeks. Synovial biopsies were obtained before and after 4 weeks of treatment. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to characterise the cell infiltrate, expression of cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and vascularity. Sections were analysed by digital image analysis. Statistical analysis was performed using covariance analysis. Results: The mean Disease Activity Score in 28 joints (DAS28) after 4 weeks was 1.92 units lower (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.07 to 2.77) after adalimumab therapy compared with placebo. Paired pretreatment and post-treatment synovial samples were available from 19 patients. Many cell types were reduced after adalimumab treatment compared to placebo. After applying a ranked analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) model to correct for baseline imbalances, a significant effect of treatment was observed on CD3-positive cells: there was a median reduction of 248 cells/mm2 after adalimumab versus placebo treatment (p = 0.035). In addition, the expression of MMP13 was significantly reduced after active treatment: the integrated optical density (IOD)/mm2 was 18 190 lower after adalimumab treatment as compared to placebo (p = 0.033). Conclusion: Adalimumab therapy in PsA is associated with a marked reduction in T cell infiltration and MMP13 expression in synovial tissue, suggesting that these parameters could be used as biomarkers that are sensitive to change after active treatment in small proof of concept studies in PsA. PMID:18647851

  10. Comparative Gene Expression Profiling Identifies Common Molecular Signatures of NF-κB Activation in Canine and Human Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL)

    PubMed Central

    Mudaliar, Manikhandan A. V.; Haggart, Ross D.; Miele, Gino; Sellar, Grant; Tan, Karen A. L.; Goodlad, John R.; Milne, Elspeth; Vail, David M.; Kurzman, Ilene

    2013-01-01

    We present the first comparison of global transcriptional changes in canine and human diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), with particular reference to the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) pathway. Microarray data generated from canine DLBCL and normal lymph nodes were used for differential expression, co-expression and pathway analyses, and compared with analysis of microarray data from human healthy and DLBCL lymph nodes. The comparisons at gene level were performed by mapping the probesets in canine microarrays to orthologous genes in humans and vice versa. A considerable number of differentially expressed genes between canine lymphoma and healthy lymph node samples were also found differentially expressed between human DLBCL and healthy lymph node samples. Principal component analysis using a literature-derived NF-κB target gene set mapped to orthologous canine array probesets and human array probesets clearly separated the healthy and cancer samples in both datasets. The analysis demonstrated that for both human and canine DLBCL there is activation of the NF-κB/p65 canonical pathway, indicating that canine lymphoma could be used as a model to study NF-κB-targeted therapeutics for human lymphoma. To validate this, tissue arrays were generated for canine and human NHL and immunohistochemistry was employed to assess NF-κB activation status. In addition, human and canine B-cell lymphoma lines were assessed for NF-κB activity and the effects of NF-κB inhibition. PMID:24023754

  11. Detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity identifies neuronal integrity in damaged rat central nervous system after application of bacterial melanin

    PubMed Central

    Petrosyan, Tigran R.; Ter-Markosyan, Anna S.; Hovsepyan, Anna S.

    2016-01-01

    The study aims to confirm the neuroregenerative effects of bacterial melanin (BM) on central nervous system injury using a special staining method based on the detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity. Twenty-four rats were randomly assigned to undergo either unilateral destruction of sensorimotor cortex (group I; n = 12) or unilateral rubrospinal tract transection at the cervical level (C3–4) (group II; n = 12). In each group, six rats were randomly selected after surgery to undergo intramuscular injection of BM solution (BM subgroup) and the remaining six rats were intramuscularly injected with saline (saline subgroup). Neurological testing confirmed that BM accelerated the recovery of motor function in rats from both BM and saline subgroups. Two months after surgery, Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity detection in combination with Chilingarian’s calcium adenoside triphosphate method revealed that BM stimulated the sprouting of fibers and dilated the capillaries in the brain and spinal cord. These results suggest that BM can promote the recovery of motor function of rats with central nervous system injury; and detection of Ca2+-dependent acid phosphatase activity is a fast and easy method used to study the regeneration-promoting effects of BM on the injured central nervous system.

  12. A large-scale chemical modification screen identifies design rules to generate siRNAs with high activity, high stability and low toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Bramsen, Jesper B.; Laursen, Maria B.; Nielsen, Anne F.; Hansen, Thomas B.; Bus, Claus; Langkjær, Niels; Babu, B. Ravindra; Højland, Torben; Abramov, Mikhail; Van Aerschot, Arthur; Odadzic, Dalibor; Smicius, Romualdas; Haas, Jens; Andree, Cordula; Barman, Jharna; Wenska, Malgorzata; Srivastava, Puneet; Zhou, Chuanzheng; Honcharenko, Dmytro; Hess, Simone; Müller, Elke; Bobkov, Georgii V.; Mikhailov, Sergey N.; Fava, Eugenio; Meyer, Thomas F.; Chattopadhyaya, Jyoti; Zerial, Marino; Engels, Joachim W.; Herdewijn, Piet; Wengel, Jesper; Kjems, Jørgen

    2009-01-01

    The use of chemically synthesized short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) is currently the method of choice to manipulate gene expression in mammalian cell culture, yet improvements of siRNA design is expectably required for successful application in vivo. Several studies have aimed at improving siRNA performance through the introduction of chemical modifications but a direct comparison of these results is difficult. We have directly compared the effect of 21 types of chemical modifications on siRNA activity and toxicity in a total of 2160 siRNA duplexes. We demonstrate that siRNA activity is primarily enhanced by favouring the incorporation of the intended antisense strand during RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) loading by modulation of siRNA thermodynamic asymmetry and engineering of siRNA 3′-overhangs. Collectively, our results provide unique insights into the tolerance for chemical modifications and provide a simple guide to successful chemical modification of siRNAs with improved activity, stability and low toxicity. PMID:19282453

  13. Effects of curcuminoids identified in rhizomes of Curcuma longa on BACE-1 inhibitory and behavioral activity and lifespan of Alzheimer’s disease Drosophila models

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common type of presenile and senile dementia. The human β-amyloid precursor cleavage enzyme (BACE-1) is a key enzyme responsible for amyloid plaque production, which implicates the progress and symptoms of AD. Here we assessed the anti-BACE-1 and behavioral activities of curcuminoids from rhizomes of Curcuma longa (Zingiberaceae), diarylalkyls curcumin (CCN), demethoxycurcumin (DMCCN), and bisdemethoxycurcumin (BDMCCN) against AD Drosophila melanogaster models. Methods Neuro-protective ability of the curcuminoids was assessed using Drosophila melanogaster model system overexpressing BACE-1 and its substrate APP in compound eyes and entire neurons. Feeding and climbing activity, lifespan, and morphostructural changes in fly eyes also were evaluated. Results BDMCCN has the strongest inhibitory activity toward BACE-1 with 17 μM IC50, which was 20 and 13 times lower than those of CCN and DMCCN respectively. Overexpression of APP/BACE-1 resulted in the progressive and measurable defects in morphology of eyes and locomotion. Remarkably, supplementing diet with either 1 mM BDMCCN or 1 mM CCN rescued APP/BACE1-expressing flies and kept them from developing both morphological and behavioral defects. Our results suggest that structural characteristics, such as degrees of saturation, types of carbon skeleton and functional group, and hydrophobicity appear to play a role in determining inhibitory potency of curcuminoids on BACE-1. Conclusion Further studies will warrant possible applications of curcuminoids as therapeutic BACE-1 blockers. PMID:24597901

  14. List identifies threatened ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced on 9 September that it will develop a new Red List of Ecosystems that will identify which ecosystems are vulnerable or endangered. The list, which is modeled on the group's Red List of Threatened Species™, could help to guide conservation activities and influence policy processes such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, according to the group. “We will assess the status of marine, terrestrial, freshwater, and subterranean ecosystems at local, regional, and global levels,” stated Jon Paul Rodriguez, leader of IUCN's Ecosystems Red List Thematic Group. “The assessment can then form the basis for concerted implementation action so that we can manage them sustainably if their risk of collapse is low or restore them if they are threatened and then monitor their recovery.”

  15. Kinetic Analysis of Membrane Potential Dye Response to NaV1.7 Channel Activation Identifies Antagonists with Pharmacological Selectivity against NaV1.5.

    PubMed

    Finley, Michael; Cassaday, Jason; Kreamer, Tony; Li, Xinnian; Solly, Kelli; O'Donnell, Greg; Clements, Michelle; Converso, Antonella; Cook, Sean; Daley, Chris; Kraus, Richard; Lai, Ming-Tain; Layton, Mark; Lemaire, Wei; Staas, Donnette; Wang, Jixin

    2016-06-01

    The NaV1.7 voltage-gated sodium channel is a highly valued target for the treatment of neuropathic pain due to its expression in pain-sensing neurons and human genetic mutations in the gene encoding NaV1.7, resulting in either loss-of-function (e.g., congenital analgesia) or gain-of-function (e.g., paroxysmal extreme pain disorder) pain phenotypes. We exploited existing technologies in a novel manner to identify selective antagonists of NaV1.7. A full-deck high-throughput screen was developed for both NaV1.7 and cardiac NaV1.5 channels using a cell-based membrane potential dye FLIPR assay. In assay development, known local anesthetic site inhibitors produced a decrease in maximal response; however, a subset of compounds exhibited a concentration-dependent delay in the onset of the response with little change in the peak of the response at any concentration. Therefore, two methods of analysis were employed for the screen: one to measure peak response and another to measure area under the curve, which would capture the delay-to-onset phenotype. Although a number of compounds were identified by a selective reduction in peak response in NaV1.7 relative to 1.5, the AUC measurement and a subsequent refinement of this measurement were able to differentiate compounds with NaV1.7 pharmacological selectivity over NaV1.5 as confirmed in electrophysiology. PMID:26861708

  16. In Vitro and In Vivo Antimalarial Activity of Ficus thonningii Blume (Moraceae) and Lophira alata Banks (Ochnaceae), Identified from the Ethnomedicine of the Nigerian Middle Belt

    PubMed Central

    Falade, M. O.; Akinboye, D. O.; Gbotosho, G. O.; Ajaiyeoba, E. O.; Happi, T. C.; Abiodun, O. O.; Oduola, A. M. J.

    2014-01-01

    Drug resistance in Plasmodium falciparum requires that new drugs must be developed. Plants are a potential source for drug discovery and development. Two plants that used to treat febrile illnesses in Nigeria were tested for in vitro and in vivo antimalarial activity and cytotoxicity in cancer cell lines. Methanol, hexane, and ethyl acetate leaf extracts of Ficus thonningii and Lophira alata were active in in vitro assays against P. falciparum NF54 (sensitive) and K1 (multiresistant) strains. Hexane extracts of F. thonningii and L. alata were the most effective extracts in in vitro assays with IC50 of 2.7 ± 1.6 μg/mL and 2.5 ± 0.3 μg/mL for NF54 and 10.4 ± 1.6 μg/mL and 2.5 ± 2.1 μg/mL for K1 strain. All extracts were nontoxic in cytotoxicity assays against KB human cell line with IC50 of over 20 μg/mL, demonstrating selectivity against P. falciparum. In vivo analysis shows that hexane extracts of both plants reduced parasitaemia. At the maximum dose tested, L. alata had a 74.4% reduction of parasitaemia while F. thonningii had a reduction of 84.5%, both extracts prolonged animal survival in mice infected with P. berghei NK65 when compared with vehicle treated controls. The antiplasmodial activity observed justifies the use of both plants in treating febrile conditions. PMID:24955248

  17. Identifying active structures in the Kayak Island and Pamplona Zones: Implications for offshore tectonics of the Yakutat Microplate, Gulf of Alaska

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Worthington, Lindsay L.; Gulick, Sean P. S.; Pavlis, Terry L.

    Within the northern Gulf of Alaska, the Yakutat (YAK) microplate obliquely collides with and subducts beneath the North American (NA) continent at near-Pacific plate velocities. We investigate the extent that thin-skinned deformation on offshore structures located within the western portion of the unsubducted YAK block accommodates YAK-NA convergence. We compare faulting and folding observed on high-resolution and basin-scale multichannel seismic (MCS) reflection data with earthquake locations and surface ruptures observed on high-resolution bathymetric data. Holocene sediments overlying the Kayak Island fault zone (KIZ), previously interpreted as a region of active contraction, are relatively flat-lying, suggesting that active convergence within the KIZ is waning. Seismic reflection profiles east of KIZ show up to ˜200 m of undisturbed sediments overlying older folds in the Bering Trough, indicating that this area has been tectonically inactive since at least the last ˜1.3 Ma. Farther east, MCS profiles image active deformation in surface sediments along the eastern edge of the Pamplona zone (PZ) fold-and-thrust belt, that are collocated with a concentration of earthquake events that continues southwest to Khitrov Ridge and onshore through Icy Bay. These observations suggest that during the late Quaternary offshore shallow deformation style changed from distributed across the western Yakutat block to localized at the eastern edge of the PZ with extrusion of sediments southwest through the Khitrov Ridge area to the Aleutian Trench. This shallow deformation is interpreted as deformation of an accretionary complex above a shallow decollement.

  18. The Structure and Function of an Arabinan-specific [alpha]-1,2-Arabinofuranosidase Identified from Screening the Activities of Bacterial GH43 Glycoside Hydrolases

    SciTech Connect

    Cartmell, Alan; McKee, Lauren S.; Pena, Maria J.; Larsbrink, Johan; Brumer, Harry; Kaneko, Satoshi; Ichinose, Hitomi; Lewis, Richard J.; Vikso-Nielsen, Anders; Gilbert, Harry; Marles-Wright, Jon

    2012-03-26

    Reflecting the diverse chemistry of plant cell walls, microorganisms that degrade these composite structures synthesize an array of glycoside hydrolases. These enzymes are organized into sequence-, mechanism-, and structure-based families. Genomic data have shown that several organisms that degrade the plant cell wall contain a large number of genes encoding family 43 (GH43) glycoside hydrolases. Here we report the biochemical properties of the GH43 enzymes of a saprophytic soil bacterium, Cellvibrio japonicus, and a human colonic symbiont, Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron. The data show that C. japonicus uses predominantly exo-acting enzymes to degrade arabinan into arabinose, whereas B. thetaiotaomicron deploys a combination of endo- and side chain-cleaving glycoside hydrolases. Both organisms, however, utilize an arabinan-specific {alpha}-1,2-arabinofuranosidase in the degradative process, an activity that has not previously been reported. The enzyme can cleave {alpha}-1,2-arabinofuranose decorations in single or double substitutions, the latter being recalcitrant to the action of other arabinofuranosidases. The crystal structure of the C. japonicus arabinan-specific {alpha}-1,2-arabinofuranosidase, CjAbf43A, displays a five-bladed {beta}-propeller fold. The specificity of the enzyme for arabinan is conferred by a surface cleft that is complementary to the helical backbone of the polysaccharide. The specificity of CjAbf43A for {alpha}-1,2-L-arabinofuranose side chains is conferred by a polar residue that orientates the arabinan backbone such that O2 arabinose decorations are directed into the active site pocket. A shelflike structure adjacent to the active site pocket accommodates O3 arabinose side chains, explaining how the enzyme can target O2 linkages that are components of single or double substitutions.

  19. Componential Granger causality, and its application to identifying the source and mechanisms of the top-down biased activation that controls attention to affective vs sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Ge, Tian; Feng, Jianfeng; Grabenhorst, Fabian; Rolls, Edmund T

    2012-01-16

    We describe a new measure of Granger causality, componential Granger causality, and show how it can be applied to the identification of the directionality of influences between brain areas with functional neuroimaging data. Componential Granger causality measures the effect of y on x, but allows interaction effects between y and x to be measured. In addition, the terms in componential Granger causality sum to 1, allowing causal effects to be directly compared between systems. We show using componential Granger causality analysis applied to an fMRI investigation that there is a top-down attentional effect from the anterior dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to the orbitofrontal cortex when attention is paid to the pleasantness of a taste, and that this effect depends on the activity in the orbitofrontal cortex as shown by the interaction term. Correspondingly there is a top-down attentional effect from the posterior dorsolateral prefrontal cortex to the insular primary taste cortex when attention is paid to the intensity of a taste, and this effect depends on the activity of the insular primary taste cortex as shown by the interaction term. Componential Granger causality thus not only can reveal the directionality of effects between areas (and these can be bidirectional), but also allows the mechanisms to be understood in terms of whether the causal influence of one system on another depends on the state of the system being causally influenced. Componential Granger causality measures the full effects of second order statistics by including variance and covariance effects between each time series, thus allowing interaction effects to be measured, and also provides a systematic framework within which to measure the effects of cross, self, and noise contributions to causality. The findings reveal some of the mechanisms involved in a biased activation theory of selective attention. PMID:21888980

  20. The 1995 Mw 7.2 Gulf of Aqaba Earthquake revisited: Identifying active fault segments by joint inversion of geodetic and teleseismic data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bathke, H.; Feng, G.; Heimann, S.; Jonsson, S.; Mai, P. M.; Nikkhoo, M.

    2015-12-01

    The largest earthquakes in Saudi Arabia occur at the northwestern boundary of the Arabian plate on a system of left-lateral transform faults extending from the Red Sea in the South and North through the Gulf of Aqaba. The last major earthquake along this boundary occurred in November 1995 and in a complex tectonic setting offshore in the Gulf of Aqaba, consisting of several transform faults and pull-apart basins. Various authors have studied this earthquake in the past, either by using geodetic radar (InSAR) or teleseismic (P and S waves) data, and several source models of the earthquake rupture and the active fault segments have been proposed. However, these source models differ significantly from each other and it still remains unclear which fault segments within the Gulf were activated during the event. There are various reasons for these differences. Teleseismic data alone cannot locate the event well, whereas the lack of near field co-seismic displacement data (due to the event's offshore location) and the quasi north-south oriented strike-slip faulting of the earthquake result in a low SNR in the radar data. Consequently, the uncertainties of inferred model parameters are large and have not been properly estimated so far. In this work, we use radar data from two additional tracks that have not been used before, which provides a more complete displacement field of the earthquake. By using multiple aperture radar interferometry it is possible to better constrain the south-north oriented strike-slip component. In addition, we include both the geodetic data and the teleseismic data in a joint inversion setup allowing combining the strengths of each dataset to constrain the model parameters. By including the full data-variance covariance-matrixes in Bayesian inference sampling, we estimate the model-uncertainties and the related range of likely source models. Consequently, we re-evaluate, which fault segments were activated during the earthquake in the Gulf of

  1. Deep sequencing reveals the complete genome and evidence for transcriptional activity of the first virus-like sequences identified in Aristotelia chilensis (Maqui Berry).

    PubMed

    Villacreses, Javier; Rojas-Herrera, Marcelo; Sánchez, Carolina; Hewstone, Nicole; Undurraga, Soledad F; Alzate, Juan F; Manque, Patricio; Maracaja-Coutinho, Vinicius; Polanco, Victor

    2015-04-01

    Here, we report the genome sequence and evidence for transcriptional activity of a virus-like element in the native Chilean berry tree Aristotelia chilensis. We propose to name the endogenous sequence as Aristotelia chilensis Virus 1 (AcV1). High-throughput sequencing of the genome of this tree uncovered an endogenous viral element, with a size of 7122 bp, corresponding to the complete genome of AcV1. Its sequence contains three open reading frames (ORFs): ORFs 1 and 2 shares 66%-73% amino acid similarity with members of the Caulimoviridae virus family, especially the Petunia vein clearing virus (PVCV), Petuvirus genus. ORF1 encodes a movement protein (MP); ORF2 a Reverse Transcriptase (RT) and a Ribonuclease H (RNase H) domain; and ORF3 showed no amino acid sequence similarity with any other known virus proteins. Analogous to other known endogenous pararetrovirus sequences (EPRVs), AcV1 is integrated in the genome of Maqui Berry and showed low viral transcriptional activity, which was detected by deep sequencing technology (DNA and RNA-seq). Phylogenetic analysis of AcV1 and other pararetroviruses revealed a closer resemblance with Petuvirus. Overall, our data suggests that AcV1 could be a new member of Caulimoviridae family, genus Petuvirus, and the first evidence of this kind of virus in a fruit plant. PMID:25855242

  2. Identifying the target cell in primary simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection: highly activated memory CD4(+) T cells are rapidly eliminated in early SIV infection in vivo.

    PubMed

    Veazey, R S; Tham, I C; Mansfield, K G; DeMaria, M; Forand, A E; Shvetz, D E; Chalifoux, L V; Sehgal, P K; Lackner, A A

    2000-01-01

    It has recently been shown that rapid and profound CD4(+) T-cell depletion occurs almost exclusively within the intestinal tract of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected macaques within days of infection. Here we demonstrate (by three- and four-color flow cytometry) that this depletion is specific to a definable subset of CD4(+) T cells, namely, those having both a highly and/or acutely activated (CD69(+) CD38(+) HLA-DR(+)) and memory (CD45RA(-) Leu8(-)) phenotype. Moreover, we demonstrate that this subset of helper T cells is found primarily within the intestinal lamina propria. Viral tropism for this particular cell type (which has been previously suggested by various studies in vitro) could explain why profound CD4(+) T-cell depletion occurs in the intestine and not in peripheral lymphoid tissues in early SIV infection. Furthermore, we demonstrate that an acute loss of this specific subset of activated memory CD4(+) T cells may also be detected in peripheral blood and lymph nodes in early SIV infection. However, since this particular cell type is present in such small numbers in circulation, its loss does not significantly affect total CD4(+) T cell counts. This finding suggests that SIV and, presumably, human immunodeficiency virus specifically infect, replicate in, and eliminate definable subsets of CD4(+) T cells in vivo. PMID:10590091

  3. Deep Sequencing Reveals the Complete Genome and Evidence for Transcriptional Activity of the First Virus-Like Sequences Identified in Aristotelia chilensis (Maqui Berry)

    PubMed Central

    Villacreses, Javier; Rojas-Herrera, Marcelo; Sánchez, Carolina; Hewstone, Nicole; Undurraga, Soledad F.; Alzate, Juan F.; Manque, Patricio; Maracaja-Coutinho, Vinicius; Polanco, Victor

    2015-01-01

    Here, we report the genome sequence and evidence for transcriptional activity of a virus-like element in the native Chilean berry tree Aristotelia chilensis. We propose to name the endogenous sequence as Aristotelia chilensis Virus 1 (AcV1). High-throughput sequencing of the genome of this tree uncovered an endogenous viral element, with a size of 7122 bp, corresponding to the complete genome of AcV1. Its sequence contains three open reading frames (ORFs): ORFs 1 and 2 shares 66%–73% amino acid similarity with members of the Caulimoviridae virus family, especially the Petunia vein clearing virus (PVCV), Petuvirus genus. ORF1 encodes a movement protein (MP); ORF2 a Reverse Transcriptase (RT) and a Ribonuclease H (RNase H) domain; and ORF3 showed no amino acid sequence similarity with any other known virus proteins. Analogous to other known endogenous pararetrovirus sequences (EPRVs), AcV1 is integrated in the genome of Maqui Berry and showed low viral transcriptional activity, which was detected by deep sequencing technology (DNA and RNA-seq). Phylogenetic analysis of AcV1 and other pararetroviruses revealed a closer resemblance with Petuvirus. Overall, our data suggests that AcV1 could be a new member of Caulimoviridae family, genus Petuvirus, and the first evidence of this kind of virus in a fruit plant. PMID:25855242

  4. Structures of the Apo and FAD-Bound Forms of 2-Hydroxybiphenyl 3-monooxygenase (HbpA) Locate Activity Hotspots Identified by Using Directed Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Jensen, Chantel N; Mielke, Tamara; Farrugia, Joseph E; Frank, Annika; Man, Henry; Hart, Sam; Turkenburg, Johan P; Grogan, Gideon

    2015-01-01

    The FAD-dependent monooxygenase HbpA from Pseudomonas azelaica HBP1 catalyses the hydroxylation of 2-hydroxybiphenyl (2HBP) to 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl (23DHBP). HbpA has been used extensively as a model for studying flavoprotein hydroxylases under process conditions, and has also been subjected to directed-evolution experiments that altered its catalytic properties. The structure of HbpA has been determined in its apo and FAD-complex forms to resolutions of 2.76 and 2.03 Å, respectively. Comparisons of the HbpA structure with those of homologues, in conjunction with a model of the reaction product in the active site, reveal His48 as the most likely acid/base residue to be involved in the hydroxylation mechanism. Mutation of His48 to Ala resulted in an inactive enzyme. The structures of HbpA also provide evidence that mutants achieved by directed evolution that altered activity are comparatively remote from the substrate-binding site. PMID:25737306

  5. Structures of the Apo and FAD-bound forms of 2-hydroxybiphenyl 3-monooxygenase (HbpA) locate activity hotspots identified by using directed evolution.

    PubMed

    Jensen, Chantel N; Mielke, Tamara; Farrugia, Joseph E; Frank, Annika; Man, Henry; Hart, Sam; Turkenburg, Johan P; Grogan, Gideon

    2015-04-13

    The FAD-dependent monooxygenase HbpA from Pseudomonas azelaica HBP1 catalyses the hydroxylation of 2-hydroxybiphenyl (2HBP) to 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl (23DHBP). HbpA has been used extensively as a model for studying flavoprotein hydroxylases under process conditions, and has also been subjected to directed-evolution experiments that altered its catalytic properties. The structure of HbpA has been determined in its apo and FAD-complex forms to resolutions of 2.76 and 2.03 Å, respectively. Comparisons of the HbpA structure with those of homologues, in conjunction with a model of the reaction product in the active site, reveal His48 as the most likely acid/base residue to be involved in the hydroxylation mechanism. Mutation of His48 to Ala resulted in an inactive enzyme. The structures of HbpA also provide evidence that mutants achieved by directed evolution that altered activity are comparatively remote from the substrate-binding site. PMID:25737306

  6. Halorhabdus tiamatea: proteogenomics and glycosidase activity measurements identify the first cultivated euryarchaeon from a deep-sea anoxic brine lake as potential polysaccharide degrader

    PubMed Central

    Werner, Johannes; Ferrer, Manuel; Michel, Gurvan; Mann, Alexander J; Huang, Sixing; Juarez, Silvia; Ciordia, Sergio; Albar, Juan P; Alcaide, María; La Cono, Violetta; Yakimov, Michail M; Antunes, André; Taborda, Marco; da Costa, Milton S; Hai, Tran; Glöckner, Frank Oliver; Golyshina, Olga V; Golyshin, Peter N; Teeling, Hanno; The MAMBA Consortium

    2014-01-01

    Euryarchaea from the genus Halorhabdus have been found in hypersaline habitats worldwide, yet are represented by only two isolates: Halorhabdus utahensis AX-2T from the shallow Great Salt Lake of Utah, and Halorhabdus tiamatea SARL4BT from the Shaban deep-sea hypersaline anoxic lake (DHAL) in the Red Sea. We sequenced the H. tiamatea genome to elucidate its niche adaptations. Among sequenced archaea, H. tiamatea features the highest number of glycoside hydrolases, the majority of which were expressed in proteome experiments. Annotations and glycosidase activity measurements suggested an adaptation towards recalcitrant algal and plant-derived hemicelluloses. Glycosidase activities were higher at 2% than at 0% or 5% oxygen, supporting a preference for low-oxygen conditions. Likewise, proteomics indicated quinone-mediated electron transport at 2% oxygen, but a notable stress response at 5% oxygen. Halorhabdus tiamatea furthermore encodes proteins characteristic for thermophiles and light-dependent enzymes (e.g. bacteriorhodopsin), suggesting that H. tiamatea evolution was mostly not governed by a cold, dark, anoxic deep-sea habitat. Using enrichment and metagenomics, we could demonstrate presence of similar glycoside hydrolase-rich Halorhabdus members in the Mediterranean DHAL Medee, which supports that Halorhabdus species can occupy a distinct niche as polysaccharide degraders in hypersaline environments. PMID:24428220

  7. Loss-of-function screening to identify miRNAs involved in senescence: tumor suppressor activity of miRNA-335 and its new target CARF.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yue; Gao, Ran; Kaul, Zeenia; Li, Ling; Kato, Yoshio; Zhang, Zhenya; Groden, Joanna; Kaul, Sunil C; Wadhwa, Renu

    2016-01-01

    Significance of microRNAs (miRs), small non-coding molecules, has been implicated in a variety of biological processes. Here, we recruited retroviral insertional mutagenesis to obtain induction of an arbitrary noncoding RNAs, and coupled it with a cell based loss-of-function (5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5Aza-dC)-induced senescence bypass) screening system. Cells that escaped 5-Aza-dC-induced senescence were subjected to miR-microarray analysis with respect to the untreated control. We identified miR-335 as one of the upregulated miRs. In order to characterize the functional significance, we overexpressed miR-335 in human cancer cells and found that it caused growth suppression. We demonstrate that the latter accounted for inhibition of 5-Aza-dC incorporation into the cell genome, enabling them to escape from induction of senescence. We also report that CARF (Collaborator of ARF) is a new target of miR-335 that regulates its growth suppressor function by complex crosstalk with other proteins including p16(INK4A), pRB, HDM2 and p21(WAF1). PMID:27457128

  8. Loss-of-function screening to identify miRNAs involved in senescence: tumor suppressor activity of miRNA-335 and its new target CARF

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yue; Gao, Ran; Kaul, Zeenia; Li, Ling; Kato, Yoshio; Zhang, Zhenya; Groden, Joanna; Kaul, Sunil C; Wadhwa, Renu

    2016-01-01

    Significance of microRNAs (miRs), small non-coding molecules, has been implicated in a variety of biological processes. Here, we recruited retroviral insertional mutagenesis to obtain induction of an arbitrary noncoding RNAs, and coupled it with a cell based loss-of-function (5-Aza-2′-deoxycytidine (5Aza-dC)-induced senescence bypass) screening system. Cells that escaped 5-Aza-dC-induced senescence were subjected to miR-microarray analysis with respect to the untreated control. We identified miR-335 as one of the upregulated miRs. In order to characterize the functional significance, we overexpressed miR-335 in human cancer cells and found that it caused growth suppression. We demonstrate that the latter accounted for inhibition of 5-Aza-dC incorporation into the cell genome, enabling them to escape from induction of senescence. We also report that CARF (Collaborator of ARF) is a new target of miR-335 that regulates its growth suppressor function by complex crosstalk with other proteins including p16INK4A, pRB, HDM2 and p21WAF1. PMID:27457128

  9. Translocations activating IRF4 identify a subtype of germinal center-derived B-cell lymphoma affecting predominantly children and young adults.

    PubMed

    Salaverria, Itziar; Philipp, Claudia; Oschlies, Ilske; Kohler, Christian W; Kreuz, Markus; Szczepanowski, Monika; Burkhardt, Birgit; Trautmann, Heiko; Gesk, Stefan; Andrusiewicz, Miroslaw; Berger, Hilmar; Fey, Miriam; Harder, Lana; Hasenclever, Dirk; Hummel, Michael; Loeffler, Markus; Mahn, Friederike; Martin-Guerrero, Idoia; Pellissery, Shoji; Pott, Christiane; Pfreundschuh, Michael; Reiter, Alfred; Richter, Julia; Rosolowski, Maciej; Schwaenen, Carsten; Stein, Harald; Trümper, Lorenz; Wessendorf, Swen; Spang, Rainer; Küppers, Ralf; Klapper, Wolfram; Siebert, Reiner

    2011-07-01

    The prognosis of germinal center-derived B-cell (GCB) lymphomas, including follicular lymphoma and diffuse large-B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), strongly depends on age. Children have a more favorable outcome than adults. It is not known whether this is because of differences in host characteristics, treatment protocols, or tumor biology, including the presence of chromosomal alterations. By screening for novel IGH translocation partners in pediatric and adult lymphomas, we identified chromosomal translocations juxtaposing the IRF4 oncogene next to one of the immunoglobulin (IG) loci as a novel recurrent aberration in mature B-cell lymphoma. FISH revealed 20 of 427 lymphomas to carry an IG/IRF4-fusion. Those were predominantly GCB-type DLBCL or follicular lymphoma grade 3, shared strong expression of IRF4/MUM1 and BCL6, and lacked PRDM1/BLIMP1 expression and t(14;18)/BCL2 breaks. BCL6 aberrations were common. The gene expression profile of IG/IRF4-positive lymphomas differed from other subtypes of DLBCL. A classifier for IG/IRF4 positivity containing 27 genes allowed accurate prediction. IG/IRF4 positivity was associated with young age and a favorable outcome. Our results suggest IRF4 translocations to be primary alterations in a molecularly defined subset of GCB-derived lymphomas. The probability for this subtype of lymphoma significantly decreases with age, suggesting that diversity in tumor biology might contribute to the age-dependent differences in prognosis of lymphoma. PMID:21487109

  10. Identifying Low pH Active and Lactate-Utilizing Taxa within Oral Microbiome Communities from Healthy Children Using Stable Isotope Probing Techniques

    PubMed Central

    McLean, Jeffrey S.; Fansler, Sarah J.; Majors, Paul D.; McAteer, Kathleen; Allen, Lisa Z.; Shirtliff, Mark E.; Lux, Renate; Shi, Wenyuan

    2012-01-01

    Background Many human microbial infectious diseases including dental caries are polymicrobial in nature. How these complex multi-species communities evolve from a healthy to a diseased state is not well understood. Although many health- or disease-associated oral bacteria have been characterized in vitro, their physiology within the complex oral microbiome is difficult to determine with current approaches. In addition, about half of these species remain uncultivated to date with little known besides their 16S rRNA sequence. Lacking culture-based physiological analyses, the functional roles of uncultivated species will remain enigmatic despite their apparent disease correlation. To start addressing these knowledge gaps, we applied a combination of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) with RNA and DNA based Stable Isotope Probing (SIP) to oral plaque communities from healthy children for in vitro temporal monitoring of metabolites and identification of metabolically active and inactive bacterial species. Methodology/Principal Findings Supragingival plaque samples from caries-free children incubated with 13C-substrates under imposed healthy (buffered, pH 7) and diseased states (pH 5.5 and pH 4.5) produced lactate as the dominant organic acid from glucose metabolism. Rapid lactate utilization upon glucose depletion was observed under pH 7 conditions. SIP analyses revealed a number of genera containing cultured and uncultivated taxa with metabolic capabilities at pH 5.5. The diversity of active species decreased significantly at pH 4.5 and was dominated by Lactobacillus and Propionibacterium species, both of which have been previously found within carious lesions from children. Conclusions/Significance Our approach allowed for identification of species that metabolize carbohydrates under different pH conditions and supports the importance of Lactobacilli and Propionibacterium in the development of childhood caries. Identification of species within healthy subjects that

  11. Selective imaging of presynaptic activity in the mouse olfactory bulb shows concentration and structure dependence of odor responses in identified glomeruli

    PubMed Central

    Fried, Hans U.; Fuss, Stefan H.; Korsching, Sigrun I.

    2002-01-01

    More chemicals can be smelled than there are olfactory receptors for them, necessitating a combinatorial representation by somewhat broadly tuned receptors. To understand the perception of odor quality and concentration, it is essential to establish the nature of the receptor repertoires that are activated by particular odorants at particular concentrations. We have taken advantage of the one-to-one correspondence of glomeruli and olfactory receptor molecules in the mouse olfactory bulb to analyze the tuning properties of a major receptor population by high resolution calcium imaging of odor responses selectively in the presynaptic compartment of glomeruli. We show that eighty different olfactory receptors projecting to the dorsal olfactory bulb respond to high concentrations of aldehydes with limited specificity. Varying ensembles of about 10 to 20 receptors encode any particular aldehyde at low stimulus concentrations with high specificity. Even normalized odor response patterns are markedly concentration dependent, caused by pronounced differences in affinity within the aldehyde receptor repertoire. PMID:11854464

  12. Identifying Low pH Active and Lactate-Utilizing Taxa within Oral Microbiome Communities from Healthy Children Using Stable Isotope Probing Techniques

    SciTech Connect

    McLean, Jeffrey S.; Fansler, Sarah J.; Majors, Paul D.; Mcateer, Kathleen; Allen, Lisa Z.; Shirtliff, Mark E.; Lux, Renate; Shi, Wenyuan

    2012-03-05

    Many human microbial infectious diseases including dental caries are polymicrobial in nature and how these complex multi-species communities evolve from a healthy to a diseased state is not well understood. Although many health- or disease-associated oral microbes have been characterized in vitro, their physiology in vivo in the presence of the complex oral microbiome is difficult to determine with current approaches. In addition, about half of these oral species remain uncultivated to date and little is known except their 16S rRNA sequence. Lacking culture-based physiological analyses, the functional roles of uncultivated microorganisms will remain enigmatic despite their apparent disease correlation. To start addressing these knowledge gaps, we applied a novel combination of in vivo Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) with RNA and DNA based Stable Isotope Probing (SIP) to oral plaque communities from healthy children for temporal monitoring of carbohydrate utilization, organic acid production and identification of metabolically active and inactive bacterial species.

  13. Molecular profiling of a case of advanced pancreatic cancer identifies an active and tolerable combination of targeted therapy with backbone chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Benny; Vanderwalde, Ari; Javadi, Nader; Feldman, Rebecca; Reddy, Sandeep Bobby

    2016-04-01

    Typical survival with common 1(st)-line regimens for pancreatic cancer range from 6-11 months. We report a case of a patient with stage IVB pancreatic adenocarcinoma treated with gemcitabine and erlotinib who stopped therapy after 3 months without achieving a response due to intolerance. To decide upon additional treatment options, molecular analysis was performed on liver metastasis which revealed KRAS, FBXW7, APC, and ATM mutations, with thymidylate synthase (TS) negativity and PD-1 positivity. Based on this profile of TS negativity and ATM mutation, a combination strategy was devised consisting of capecitabine, oxaliplatin, bevacizumab and vorinostat. The patient had a near complete response to therapy with this regimen. In refractory metastatic pancreatic cancer, responses of this magnitude are rarely seen. To our knowledge, this represents the first demonstrated activity of this combination in the metastatic setting which could prompt further investigation of its use in large scale clinical trials. PMID:27034805

  14. Molecular profiling of a case of advanced pancreatic cancer identifies an active and tolerable combination of targeted therapy with backbone chemotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Vanderwalde, Ari; Javadi, Nader; Feldman, Rebecca; Reddy, Sandeep Bobby

    2016-01-01

    Typical survival with common 1st-line regimens for pancreatic cancer range from 6-11 months. We report a case of a patient with stage IVB pancreatic adenocarcinoma treated with gemcitabine and erlotinib who stopped therapy after 3 months without achieving a response due to intolerance. To decide upon additional treatment options, molecular analysis was performed on liver metastasis which revealed KRAS, FBXW7, APC, and ATM mutations, with thymidylate synthase (TS) negativity and PD-1 positivity. Based on this profile of TS negativity and ATM mutation, a combination strategy was devised consisting of capecitabine, oxaliplatin, bevacizumab and vorinostat. The patient had a near complete response to therapy with this regimen. In refractory metastatic pancreatic cancer, responses of this magnitude are rarely seen. To our knowledge, this represents the first demonstrated activity of this combination in the metastatic setting which could prompt further investigation of its use in large scale clinical trials. PMID:27034805

  15. Active moss monitoring allows to identify and track distribution of metal(loid)s emitted from fumaroles on Vulcano Island, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arndt, Julia; Calabrese, Sergio; D'Alessandro, Walter; Planer-Friedrich, Britta

    2014-06-01

    Volatile metal(loid)s are known to be emitted from volcanoes worldwide. We tested the suitability of active moss monitoring for tracking volatile metal(loid)s released from the fumarolic field on Vulcano Island, Italy, and differentiated fumaroles from other sources of gaseous and particulate trace elements such as sea spray and soil. Metal(loid) accumulation on the mosses per day did depend neither on the state of the exposed moss (dead or living) nor exposure time (3, 6, or 9 weeks). After collection, mosses were digested with either HNO3/H2O2 or deionized water and analyzed by ICP-MS. While for most elements both extraction methods yielded similar concentrations, higher concentrations were observed e.g. for Pb in the stronger HNO3/H2O2 extracts, indicating the presence of particles, which were not digested and removed by filtration in deionized water extracts. Due to their ubiquitous detection in comparable concentrations at all 23 moss monitoring stations all over the island, Li, Mg and Sr were attributed to sea spray origin. Iron, Co, W, V, Pb, Cr, Mo, and Ba occurred predominantly at the crater, where the soil was not covered by vegetation, and thus likely represent soil-borne particulate transport. Arsenic, Sb, S, Se, Tl, Bi, and I showed a clear concentration maximum within the fumarolic field. Concentrations gradually decreased along a transect in wind direction from the fumaroles, which confirms their volcanic origin. Active moss monitoring thus proved to be an inexpensive and easy-to-apply tool for investigations of volcanic metal(loid) emissions and distributions enabling differentiation of trapped elements by their source of origin.

  16. A rice transient assay system identifies a novel domain in NRR required for interaction with NH1/OsNPR1 and inhibition of NH1-mediated transcriptional activation

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Arabidopsis NPR1 is a master regulator of systemic acquired resistance. NPR1 binds to TGA transcription factors and functions as a transcriptional co-activator. In rice, NH1/OsNPR1 functions to enhance innate immunity. NRR disrupts NH1 function, when over-expressed. Results We have established a rice transient protoplast assay to demonstrate that NH1 is a transcriptional co-activator and that NRR represses NH1-mediated activation. We identified three NRR homologues (RH1, RH2, and RH3). RH1 and RH3, but not RH2, also effectively repress NH1-mediated transcriptional activation. NRR, RH1, RH2, and RH3 share sequence similarity in a region beyond the previously identified NPR1-interacting domain. This region is required for strong interaction with NH1. A double point mutation, W66A/F70A, in this novel NH1-interacting domain severely reduces interaction with NH1. Mutation W66A/F70A also greatly reduces the ability of NRR to repress NH1-mediated activation. RH2 carries a deviation (amino acids AV) in this region as compared to consensus sequences (amino acids ED) among NRR, RH1, and RH3. A substitution (AV to ED) in RH2 results in strong binding of mutant RH2ED to NH1 and effective repression of NH1-mediated activation. Conclusions The protoplast-based transient system can be used to dissect protein domains associated with their functions. Our results demonstrate that the ability of NRR and its homologues to repress NH1-mediated transcriptional activation is tightly correlated with their ability to bind to NH1. Furthermore, a sequence is identified as a novel NH1-interacting domain. Importantly, this novel sequence is widely present in plant species, from cereals to castor bean plants, to poplar trees, to Arabidopsis, indicating its significance in plants. PMID:22353606

  17. Multidrug-Resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis of the Latin American Mediterranean Lineage, Wrongly Identified as Mycobacterium pinnipedii (Spoligotype International Type 863 [SIT863]), Causing Active Tuberculosis in South Brazil

    PubMed Central

    Vasconcelos, Sidra E. G.; Esteves, Leonardo S.; Gomes, Harrison M.; Almeida da Silva, Pedro; Perdigão, João; Portugal, Isabel; Viveiros, Miguel; McNerney, Ruth; Pain, Arnab; Clark, Taane G.; Rastogi, Nalin; Unis, Gisela; Rossetti, Maria Lucia R.

    2015-01-01

    We recently detected the spoligotype patterns of strains of Mycobacterium pinnipedii, a species of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex, in sputum samples from nine cases with pulmonary tuberculosis residing in Porto Alegre, South Brazil. Because this species is rarely encountered in humans, we further characterized these nine isolates by additional genotyping techniques, including 24-locus mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit–variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) typing, verification of the loci TbD1, RD9, pks15/1, RDRio, and fbpC, the insertion of IS6110 at a site specific to the M. tuberculosis Latin American Mediterranean (LAM) lineage, and whole-genome sequencing. The combined analysis of these markers revealed that the isolates are in fact M. tuberculosis and more specifically belong to the LAM genotype. Most of these isolates (n = 8) were shown to be multidrug resistant (MDR), which prompted us to perform partial sequencing of the rpoA, rpoB, rpoC, katG, and inhA genes. Seven isolates (77.8%) carried the S315T mutation in katG, and one of these (11%) also presented the C(−17)T single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in inhA. Interestingly, six of the MDR isolates also presented an undescribed insertion of 12 nucleotides (CCA GAA CAA CCC) in codon 516 of rpoB. No putative compensatory mutation was found in either rpoA or rpoC. This is the first report of an M. tuberculosis LAM family strain with a convergent M. pinnipedii spoligotype. These spoligotypes are observed in genotype databases at a modest frequency, highlighting that care must be taken when identifying isolates in the M. tuberculosis complex on the basis of single genetic markers. PMID:26400784

  18. Icelandic Volcanoes Geohazard Supersite and FUTUREVOLC: role of interferometric synthetic aperture radar to identify renewed unrest and track magma movement beneath the most active volcanoes in Iceland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parks, Michelle; Dumont, Stéphanie; Spaans, Karsten; Drouin, Vincent; Sigmundsson, Freysteinn; Hooper, Andrew; Michalczewska, Karolina; Ófeigsson, Benedikt

    2014-05-01

    FUTUREVOLC is an integrated volcano monitoring project, funded by the European Commission (FP7) and led by the University of Iceland and the Icelandic Meteorological Office (IMO). The project is a European collaborative effort, comprising 26 partners, aimed at integrating ground based and satellite observations for improved monitoring and evaluation of volcanic hazards. Iceland has also recently been declared a Geohazard Supersite by the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites, based on its propensity for relatively frequent eruptions and their potentially hazardous, long ranging effects. Generating a long-term time series of ground displacements is key to gaining a better understanding of sub-volcanic processes, including the detection of new melt and migration of magma within the crust. The focus of the FUTUREVOLC deformation team is to generate and interpret an extended time series of high resolution deformation measurements derived from InSAR observations, in the vicinity of the four most active volcanoes in Iceland: Grímsvötn, Katla, Hekla and Bárdarbunga. A comprehensive network of continuous deformation monitoring equipment, led by IMO and collaborators, is already deployed at these volcanoes, including GPS, tilt and borehole strainmeters. InSAR observations are complementary to field based measurements and their high spatial resolution assists in resolving the geometry and location of the source of the deformation. InSAR and tilt measurements at Hekla indicate renewed melt supply to a sub-volcanic reservoir after the last eruption in 2000. Recent deformation studies utilising data spanning this eruption, have provided insight into the shallow plumbing system which may explain the large reduction in eruption repose interval following the 1970 eruption. Although InSAR and GPS observations at Katla volcano (between 2001 and 2009) suggest no indication of magma induced deformation outside the ice-cap, it is possible that a small flood at Mýrdalsjökull in

  19. A rapid kinetic dye test to predict the adsorption of 2-methylisoborneol onto granular activated carbons and to identify the influence of pore volume distributions.

    PubMed

    Greenwald, Michael J; Redding, Adam M; Cannon, Fred S

    2015-01-01

    The authors have developed a kinetic dye test protocol that aims to predict the competitive adsorption of 2-methylisoborneol (MIB) to granular activated carbons (GACs). The kinetic dye test takes about two hours to perform, and produces a quantitative result, fitted to a model to yield an Intraparticle Diffusion Constant (IDC) during the earlier times of dye sorption. The dye xylenol orange was probed into six coconut-based GACs and five bituminous-based GACs that hosted varied pore distributions. Correlations between xylenol orange IDCs and breakthrough of MIB at 4 ppt in rapid small-scale column tests (RSSCTs) were found with R²s of 0.85 and 0.95 for coconut carbons that processed waters with total organic carbon (TOCs) of 1.9 and 2.2 ppm, respectively, and with an R² of 0.94 for bituminous carbons that processed waters with a TOC of 2.5 ppm. The author sought to study the influence of the pore sizes, which provide the adsorption sites and the diffusion conduits that are necessary for the removal of those compounds. For coconut carbons, a linear correlation was established between the xylenol orange IDCs and the volume of pores in the range of 23.4-31.8 Å widths (R² = 0.98). For bituminous carbons, best correlation was to pores ranging from 74 to 93 Å widths (R² = 0.94). The differences in adsorption between coconut carbons and bituminous carbons have been attributed to the inherently dissimilar graphene layering resulting from the parent materials and the activation processes. When fluorescein dye was employed in the kinetic dye tests, the correlations to RSSCT-MIB performance were not as high as when xylenol orange was used. Intriguingly, it was the same pore size ranges that exhibited the strongest correlation for MIB RSSCT's, xylenol orange kinetics, and fluoroscein kinetics. When methylene blue dye was used, sorption occurred so rapidly as to be out of the scope of the IDC model. PMID:25462782

  20. Structure-activity relationship study of non-steroidal NPC1L1 ligands identified through cell-based assay using pharmacological chaperone effect as a readout.

    PubMed

    Karaki, Fumika; Ohgane, Kenji; Fukuda, Hiromitsu; Nakamura, Masahiko; Dodo, Kosuke; Hashimoto, Yuichi

    2014-07-15

    Niemann-Pick type C1-like 1 (NPC1L1) is an intestinal cholesterol transporter that is known to be the target of the cholesterol absorption inhibitor ezetimibe. We previously discovered steroidal NPC1L1 ligands by using a novel cell-based assay that employs pharmacological chaperone effect as a readout. Those steroid derivatives bound to a site different from both the sterol-binding domain and the ezetimibe-binding site, implying that they may be a novel class of NPC1L1 inhibitors with a distinct mode of action. As an extension of that work, we aimed here to find non-steroidal NPC1L1 ligands, which may be better candidates for clinical application than steroidal ligands, by using the same assay to screen our focused library of ligands for liver X receptor (LXR), a nuclear receptor that recognizes oxysterols as endogenous ligands. Here we describe identification of a novel class of NPC1L1 ligands with a ring-fused quinolinone scaffold, and an analysis of the structure-activity relationships of their derivatives as NPC1L1 ligands. PMID:24906511

  1. Review of quantitative phase-digital holographic microscopy: promising novel imaging technique to resolve neuronal network activity and identify cellular biomarkers of psychiatric disorders

    PubMed Central

    Marquet, Pierre; Depeursinge, Christian; Magistretti, Pierre J.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract. Quantitative phase microscopy (QPM) has recently emerged as a new powerful quantitative imaging technique well suited to noninvasively explore a transparent specimen with a nanometric axial sensitivity. In this review, we expose the recent developments of quantitative phase-digital holographic microscopy (QP-DHM). Quantitative phase-digital holographic microscopy (QP-DHM) represents an important and efficient quantitative phase method to explore cell structure and dynamics. In a second part, the most relevant QPM applications in the field of cell biology are summarized. A particular emphasis is placed on the original biological information, which can be derived from the quantitative phase signal. In a third part, recent applications obtained, with QP-DHM in the field of cellular neuroscience, namely the possibility to optically resolve neuronal network activity and spine dynamics, are presented. Furthermore, potential applications of QPM related to psychiatry through the identification of new and original cell biomarkers that, when combined with a range of other biomarkers, could significantly contribute to the determination of high risk developmental trajectories for psychiatric disorders, are discussed. PMID:26157976

  2. Heterologous expression of newly identified galectin-8 from sea urchin embryos produces recombinant protein with lactose binding specificity and anti-adhesive activity

    PubMed Central

    Karakostis, Kostantinos; Costa, Caterina; Zito, Francesca; Matranga, Valeria

    2015-01-01

    Galectin family members specifically bind beta-galactoside derivatives and are involved in different cellular events, including cell communication, signalling, apoptosis, and immune responses. Here, we report a tandem-repeat type galectin from the Paracentrotus lividus sea urchin embryo, referred to as Pl-GAL-8. The 933nt sequence encodes a protein of 34.73 kDa, containing the conserved HFNPRF and WGxExR motifs in the two highly similar carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRD). The three-dimensional protein structure model of the N-CRD confirms the high evolutionary conservation of carbohydrate binding sites. The temporal gene expression is regulated during development and transcripts localize at the tip of the archenteron at gastrula stage, in a subset of the secondary mesenchyme cells that differentiate into blastocoelar (immune) cells. Functional studies using a recombinant Pl-GAL-8 expressed in bacteria demonstrate its hemo-agglutinating activity on human red blood cells through the binding to lactose, as well as its ability in inhibiting the adhesion of human Hep-G2 cells to the substrate. The recent implications in autoimmune diseases and inflammatory disorders make Gal-8 an attractive candidate for therapeutic purposes. Our results offer a solid basis for addressing the use of the new Pl-GAL-8 in functional and applicative studies, respectively in the developmental and biomedical fields. PMID:26640155

  3. Health Monitoring for Reliability Testing of Metallic Sandwich Panels Using Integrated Active Sensing with Dual Actuator-Sensor Pairs and the Method of Virtual Forces to Identify Damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellmer, Claudia; Adams, Douglas E.; White, Jonathan R.; Jata, Kumar

    2008-02-01

    A vibration-based health monitoring technique is implemented to detect simulated damage in a sandwich metallic honeycomb under combined acoustic and thermal loading. Two types of damage are introduced into a gamma titanium aluminide panel; simulated oxidation damage in the form of a local mass addition and simulated bolt damage with a change in bolt torque. An active sensing approach is used to measure frequency response functions between a piezo-stack actuator with force measurement and high-frequency accelerometers. The measured frequency response function matrix is then used to estimate the virtual force due to damage. Temperatures up to 300 °F and sound pressures up to 110 dB are considered. It is shown that the measurement of damage changes with combined loading. For example, temperature changes cause bolt damage to be more apparent in the virtual force due to the effects of temperature on the attachment boundary conditions and to the temperature gradient across the panel causing global bending. Similarly, acoustic loading is shown to enhance the detection of simulated mass damage due to larger motions produced on the panel.

  4. The relationship between fatty acid profiles in milk identified by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and onset of luteal activity in Norwegian dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Martin, A D; Afseth, N K; Kohler, A; Randby, Å; Eknæs, M; Waldmann, A; Dørum, G; Måge, I; Reksen, O

    2015-08-01

    To investigate the feasibility of milk fatty acids as predictors of onset of luteal activity (OLA), 87 lactations taken from 73 healthy Norwegian Red cattle were surveyed over 2 winter housing seasons. The feasibility of using frozen milk samples for dry-film Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) determination of milk samples was also tested. Morning milk samples were collected thrice weekly (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) for the first 10 wk in milk (WIM). These samples had bronopol (2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol) added to them before being frozen at -20°C, thawed, and analyzed by ELISA to determine progesterone concentration and the concentrations of the milk fatty acids C4:0, C14:0, C16:0, C18:0, and cis-9 C18:1 as a proportion of total milk fatty acid content using dry-film FTIR, and averaged by WIM. Onset of luteal activity was defined as the first day that milk progesterone concentrations were >3 ng/mL for 2 successive measurements; the study population was categorized as early (n=47) or late (n=40) OLA, using the median value of 21 DIM as the cutoff. Further milk samples were collected 6 times weekly, from morning and afternoon milkings, these were pooled by WIM, and one proportional sample was analyzed fresh for fat, protein, and lactose content by the dairy company Tine SA, using traditional FTIR spectrography in the wet phase of milk. Daily energy-balance calculations were performed in 42 lactations and averaged by WIM. Animals experiencing late OLA had a more negative energy balance in WIM 1, 3, 4, and 5, with the greatest differences been seen in WIM 3 and 4. A higher proportion of the fatty acids were medium chained, C14:0 and C16:0, in the early than in the late OLA group from WIM 1. In WIM 4, the proportion of total fatty acid content that was C16:0 predicted late OLA, with 74% sensitivity and 80% specificity. The long-chain proportion of the fatty acids C18:0 and cis-9 C18:1 were lower in the early than in the late OLA group. Differences were greatest in

  5. Zebrafish Seizure Model Identifies p,p′-DDE as the Dominant Contaminant of Fetal California Sea Lions That Accounts for Synergistic Activity with Domoic Acid

    PubMed Central

    Tiedeken, Jessica A.; Ramsdell, John S.

    2010-01-01

    Background Fetal poisoning of California sea lions (CSLs; Zalophus californianus) has been associated with exposure to the algal toxin domoic acid. These same sea lions accumulate a mixture of persistent environmental contaminants including pesticides and industrial products such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Developmental exposure to the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its stable metabolite 1,1-bis-(4-chlorophenyl)-2,2-dichloroethene (p,p′-DDE) has been shown to enhance domoic acid–induced seizures in zebrafish; however, the contribution of other co-occurring contaminants is unknown. Objective We formulated a mixture of contaminants to include PCBs, PBDEs, hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), and chlordane at levels matching those reported for fetal CSL blubber to determine the impact of co-occurring persistent contaminants with p,p′-DDE on chemically induced seizures in zebrafish as a model for the CSLs. Methods Embryos were exposed (6–30 hr postfertilization) to p,p′-DDE in the presence or absence of a defined contaminant mixture prior to neurodevelopment via either bath exposure or embryo yolk sac microinjection. After brain maturation (7 days postfertilization), fish were exposed to a chemical convulsant, either pentylenetetrazole or domoic acid; resulting seizure behavior was then monitored and analyzed for changes, using cameras and behavioral tracking software. Results Induced seizure behavior did not differ significantly between subjects with embryonic exposure to a contaminant mixture and those exposed to p,p′-DDE only. Conclusion These studies demonstrate that p,p′-DDE—in the absence of PCBs, HCH, chlordane, and PBDEs that co-occur in fetal sea lions—accounts for the synergistic activity that leads to greater sensitivity to domoic acid seizures. PMID:20368122

  6. A High-Throughput Screen Identifies 2,9-Diazaspiro[5.5]Undecanes as Inducers of the Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Response with Cytotoxic Activity in 3D Glioma Cell Models

    PubMed Central

    Yasgar, Adam; Lea, Wendy A.; Sun, Hongmao; Wang, Yuhong; Luci, Diane K.; Yang, Shyh-Ming; Nishihara, Kana; Takeda, Shunichi; Sagor, Mohiuddin; Earnshaw, Irina; Okada, Tetsuya; Mori, Kazutoshi; Wilson, Kelli; Riggins, Gregory J.; Xia, Menghang; Grimaldi, Maurizio; Jadhav, Ajit; Maloney, David J.; Simeonov, Anton

    2016-01-01

    The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is involved in Ca2+ signaling and protein folding. ER Ca2+ depletion and accumulation of unfolded proteins activate the molecular chaperone GRP78 (glucose-regulated protein 78) which in turn triggers the ER stress response (ERSR) pathway aimed to restore ER homeostasis. Failure to adapt to stress, however, results in apoptosis. We and others have shown that malignant cells are more susceptible to ERSR-induced apoptosis than their normal counterparts, implicating the ERSR as a potential target for cancer therapeutics. Predicated on these findings, we developed an assay that uses a GRP78 biosensor to identify small molecule activators of ERSR in glioma cells. We performed a quantitative high-throughput screen (qHTS) against a collection of ~425,000 compounds and a comprehensive panel of orthogonal secondary assays was formulated for stringent compound validation. We identified novel activators of ERSR, including a compound with a 2,9-diazaspiro[5.5]undecane core, which depletes intracellular Ca2+ stores and induces apoptosis-mediated cell death in several cancer cell lines, including patient-derived and 3D cultures of glioma cells. This study demonstrates that our screening platform enables the identification and profiling of ERSR inducers with cytotoxic activity and advocates for characterization of these compound in in vivo models. PMID:27570969

  7. Identifying Young, Nearby Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Webb, Rich; Song, Inseok; Zuckerman, Ben; Bessell, Mike

    2001-01-01

    Young stars have certain characteristics, e.g., high atmospheric abundance of lithium and chromospheric activity, fast rotation, distinctive space motion and strong X-ray flux compared to that of older main sequence stars. We have selected a list of candidate young (<100Myr) and nearby (<60pc) stars based on their space motion and/or strong X-ray flux. To determine space motion of a star, one needs to know its coordinates (RA, DEC), proper motion, distance, and radial velocity. The Hipparcos and Tycho catalogues provide all this information except radial velocities. We anticipate eventually searching approx. 1000 nearby stars for signs of extreme youth. Future studies of the young stars so identified will help clarify the formation of planetary systems for times between 10 and 100 million years. Certainly, the final output of this study will be a very useful resource, especially for adaptive optics and space based searches for Jupiter-mass planets and dusty proto-planetary disks. We have begun spectroscopic observations in January, 2001 with the 2.3 m telescope at Siding Spring Observatory (SSO) in New South Wales, Australia. These spectra will be used to determine radial velocities and other youth indicators such as Li 6708A absorption strength and Hydrogen Balmer line intensity. Additional observations of southern hemisphere stars from SSO are scheduled in April and northern hemisphere observations will take place in May and July at the Lick Observatory of the University of California. AT SSO, to date, we have observed about 100 stars with a high resolution spectrometer (echelle) and about 50 stars with a medium spectral resolution spectrometer (the "DBS"). About 20% of these stars turn out to be young stars. Among these, two especially noteworthy stars appear to be the closest T-Tauri stars ever identified. Interestingly, these stars share the same space motions as that of a very famous star with a dusty circumstellar disk--beta Pictoris. This new finding better

  8. A Human Platelet Receptor Protein Microarray Identifies the High Affinity Immunoglobulin E Receptor Subunit α (FcεR1α) as an Activating Platelet Endothelium Aggregation Receptor 1 (PEAR1) Ligand*

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Yi; Vandenbriele, Christophe; Kauskot, Alexandre; Verhamme, Peter; Hoylaerts, Marc F.; Wright, Gavin J.

    2015-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies to identify loci responsible for platelet function and cardiovascular disease susceptibility have repeatedly identified polymorphisms linked to a gene encoding platelet endothelium aggregation receptor 1 (PEAR1), an “orphan” cell surface receptor that is activated to stabilize platelet aggregates. To investigate how PEAR1 signaling is initiated, we sought to identify its extracellular ligand by creating a protein microarray representing the secretome and receptor repertoire of the human platelet. Using an avid soluble recombinant PEAR1 protein and a systematic screening assay designed to detect extracellular interactions, we identified the high affinity immunoglobulin E (IgE) receptor subunit α (FcεR1α) as a PEAR1 ligand. FcεR1α and PEAR1 directly interacted through their membrane-proximal Ig-like and 13th epidermal growth factor domains with a relatively strong affinity (KD ∼ 30 nm). Precomplexing FcεR1α with IgE potently inhibited the FcεR1α-PEAR1 interaction, and this was relieved by the anti-IgE therapeutic omalizumab. Oligomerized FcεR1α potentiated platelet aggregation and led to PEAR1 phosphorylation, an effect that was also inhibited by IgE. These findings demonstrate how a protein microarray resource can be used to gain important insight into the function of platelet receptors and provide a mechanistic basis for the initiation of PEAR1 signaling in platelet aggregation. PMID:25713122

  9. New aQTL SNPs for the CYP2D6 Identified by a Novel Mediation Analysis of Genome-Wide SNP Arrays, Gene Expression Arrays, and CYP2D6 Activity

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhiping; Boustani, Malaz; Liu, Yunlong; Skaar, Todd; Li, Lang

    2013-01-01

    Background. The genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successful during the last few years. A key challenge is that the interpretation of the results is not straightforward, especially for transacting SNPs. Integration of transcriptome data into GWAS may provide clues elucidating the mechanisms by which a genetic variant leads to a disease. Methods. Here, we developed a novel mediation analysis approach to identify new expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) driving CYP2D6 activity by combining genotype, gene expression, and enzyme activity data. Results. 389,573 and 1,214,416 SNP-transcript-CYP2D6 activity trios are found strongly associated (P < 10−5, FDR = 16.6% and 11.7%) for two different genotype platforms, namely, Affymetrix and Illumina, respectively. The majority of eQTLs are trans-SNPs. A single polymorphism leads to widespread downstream changes in the expression of distant genes by affecting major regulators or transcription factors (TFs), which would be visible as an eQTL hotspot and can lead to large and consistent biological effects. Overlapped eQTL hotspots with the mediators lead to the discovery of 64 TFs. Conclusions. Our mediation analysis is a powerful approach in identifying the trans-QTL-phenotype associations. It improves our understanding of the functional genetic variations for the liver metabolism mechanisms. PMID:24232670

  10. Interactome-wide Analysis Identifies End-binding Protein 1 as a Crucial Component for the Speck-like Particle Formation of Activated Absence in Melanoma 2 (AIM2) Inflammasomes*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Li-Jie; Hsu, Chia-Wei; Chen, Chiu-Chin; Liang, Ying; Chen, Lih-Chyang; Ojcius, David M.; Tsang, Ngan-Ming; Hsueh, Chuen; Wu, Chih-Ching; Chang, Yu-Sun

    2012-01-01

    Inflammasomes are cytoplasmic receptors that can recognize intracellular pathogens or danger signals and are critical for interleukin 1β production. Although several key components of inflammasome activation have been identified, there has not been a systematic analysis of the protein components found in the stimulated complex. In this study, we used the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification approach to systemically analyze the interactomes of the NLRP3, AIM2, and RIG-I inflammasomes in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells treated with specific stimuli of these interactomes (H2O2, poly (dA:dT), and EBV noncoding RNA, respectively). We identified a number of proteins that appeared to be involved in the interactomes and also could be precipitated with anti-apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing caspase activation and recruitment domain antibodies after stimulation. Among them, end binding protein 1 was an interacting component in all three interactomes. Silencing of end binding protein 1 expression by small interfering RNA inhibited the activation of the three inflammasomes, as indicated by reduced levels of interleukin 1β secretion. We confirmed that end binding protein 1 directly interacted with AIM2 and ASC in vitro and in vivo. Most importantly, fluorescence confocal microscopy showed that end binding protein 1 was required for formation of the speck-like particles that represent activation of the AIM2 inflammasome. In nasopharyngeal carcinoma tissues, immunohistochemical staining showed that end binding protein 1 expression was elevated and significantly correlated with AIM2 and ASC expression in nasopharyngeal carcinoma tumor cells. In sum, we profiled the interactome components of three inflammasomes and show for the first time that end binding protein 1 is crucial for the speck-like particle formation that represents activated inflammasomes. PMID:22869553

  11. Novel amino-carbonitrile-pyrazole identified in a small molecule screen activates wild-type and ΔF508 cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator in the absence of a cAMP agonist.

    PubMed

    Namkung, Wan; Park, Jinhong; Seo, Yohan; Verkman, A S

    2013-09-01

    Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl⁻ channel. We developed a phenotype-based high-throughput screen to identify small-molecule activators of human airway epithelial Ca²⁺-activated Cl⁻ channels (CaCCs) for CF thera