Science.gov

Sample records for elucidating key factors

  1. [Elucidation of key genes in sex determination in genetics teaching].

    PubMed

    Li, Meng; He, Zhumei

    2014-06-01

    Sex is an important and complex feature of organisms, which is controlled by the genetic and environmental factors. The genetic factors, i.e., genes, are vital in sex determination. However, not all the related genes play the same roles, and some key genes play a vital role in the sex determination and differentiation. With the development of the modern genetics, a great progress on the key genes has been made in sex determination. In this review, we summarize the mechanism of sex determination and the strategy of how to study the key genes in sex determination. It will help us to understand the mechanism of sex determination better in the teaching of genetics.

  2. Transcriptome analysis elucidates key developmental components of bryozoan lophophore development

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Yue Him; Ryu, Taewoo; Seridi, Loqmane; Ghosheh, Yanal; Bougouffa, Salim; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    The most recent phylogenomic study suggested that Bryozoa (Ectoprocta), Brachiopoda, and Phoronida are monophyletic, implying that the lophophore of bryozoans, phoronids and brachiopods is a synapomorphy. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the lophophore development of the Lophophorata clade can therefore provide us a new insight into the formation of the diverse morphological traits in metazoans. In the present study, we profiled the transcriptome of the Bryozoan (Ectoproct) Bugula neritina during the swimming larval stage (SW) and the early (4 h) and late (24 h) metamorphic stages using the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform. Various genes that function in development, the immune response and neurogenesis showed differential expression levels during metamorphosis. In situ hybridization of 23 genes that participate in the Wnt, BMP, Notch, and Hedgehog signaling pathways revealed their regulatory roles in the development of the lophophore and the ancestrula digestive tract. Our findings support the hypothesis that developmental precursors of the lophophore and the ancestrula digestive tract are pre-patterned by the differential expression of key developmental genes according to their fate. This study provides a foundation to better understand the developmental divergence and/or convergence among developmental precursors of the lophophore of bryozoans, branchiopods and phoronids. PMID:25300304

  3. Transcriptome analysis elucidates key developmental components of bryozoan lophophore development.

    PubMed

    Wong, Yue Him; Ryu, Taewoo; Seridi, Loqmane; Ghosheh, Yanal; Bougouffa, Salim; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy

    2014-10-10

    The most recent phylogenomic study suggested that Bryozoa (Ectoprocta), Brachiopoda, and Phoronida are monophyletic, implying that the lophophore of bryozoans, phoronids and brachiopods is a synapomorphy. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the lophophore development of the Lophophorata clade can therefore provide us a new insight into the formation of the diverse morphological traits in metazoans. In the present study, we profiled the transcriptome of the Bryozoan (Ectoproct) Bugula neritina during the swimming larval stage (SW) and the early (4 h) and late (24 h) metamorphic stages using the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform. Various genes that function in development, the immune response and neurogenesis showed differential expression levels during metamorphosis. In situ hybridization of 23 genes that participate in the Wnt, BMP, Notch, and Hedgehog signaling pathways revealed their regulatory roles in the development of the lophophore and the ancestrula digestive tract. Our findings support the hypothesis that developmental precursors of the lophophore and the ancestrula digestive tract are pre-patterned by the differential expression of key developmental genes according to their fate. This study provides a foundation to better understand the developmental divergence and/or convergence among developmental precursors of the lophophore of bryozoans, branchiopods and phoronids.

  4. Transcriptome analysis elucidates key developmental components of bryozoan lophophore development.

    PubMed

    Wong, Yue Him; Ryu, Taewoo; Seridi, Loqmane; Ghosheh, Yanal; Bougouffa, Salim; Qian, Pei-Yuan; Ravasi, Timothy

    2014-01-01

    The most recent phylogenomic study suggested that Bryozoa (Ectoprocta), Brachiopoda, and Phoronida are monophyletic, implying that the lophophore of bryozoans, phoronids and brachiopods is a synapomorphy. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the lophophore development of the Lophophorata clade can therefore provide us a new insight into the formation of the diverse morphological traits in metazoans. In the present study, we profiled the transcriptome of the Bryozoan (Ectoproct) Bugula neritina during the swimming larval stage (SW) and the early (4 h) and late (24 h) metamorphic stages using the Illumina HiSeq2000 platform. Various genes that function in development, the immune response and neurogenesis showed differential expression levels during metamorphosis. In situ hybridization of 23 genes that participate in the Wnt, BMP, Notch, and Hedgehog signaling pathways revealed their regulatory roles in the development of the lophophore and the ancestrula digestive tract. Our findings support the hypothesis that developmental precursors of the lophophore and the ancestrula digestive tract are pre-patterned by the differential expression of key developmental genes according to their fate. This study provides a foundation to better understand the developmental divergence and/or convergence among developmental precursors of the lophophore of bryozoans, branchiopods and phoronids. PMID:25300304

  5. Proteomics elucidates key molecules involved in exsheathment in vitro in Oesophagostomum dentatum

    PubMed Central

    Ondrovics, Martina; Silbermayr, Katja; Mitreva, Makedonka; Young, Neil D.; Gasser, Robin B.; Joachim, Anja

    2014-01-01

    We explored molecules involved in in vitro exsheathment of Oesophagostomum dentatum L3s using a proteomic-transcriptomic-bioinformatic approach. Analysis of L3s before, during and after exsheathment identified 11 proteins that were over-expressed exclusively during exsheathment. These proteins (including key enzymes, heat shock, structural and nematode-specific proteins) were inferred to be involved in development, metabolism, structure, motility and/or host-parasite interactions. Some of these molecules represented homologues linked to entry into and exit from the dauer stage in the free-living nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The approach established here provides a basis for investigations of ecdysis in other strongylid nematodes. PMID:25036992

  6. Overcoming drug crystallization in electrospun fibers--Elucidating key parameters and developing strategies for drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Seif, Salem; Franzen, Lutz; Windbergs, Maike

    2015-01-15

    For the development of novel therapeutics, uncontrolled crystallization of drugs within delivery systems represents a major challenge. Especially for thin and flexible polymeric systems such as oral films or dermal wound dressings, the formation and growth of drug crystals can significantly affect drug distribution and release kinetics as well as physical storage stability. In this context, electrospinning was introduced as a fabrication technique with the potential to encapsulate drugs within ultrafine fibers by rapid solvent evaporation overcoming drug crystallization during fabrication and storage. However, these effects could so far only be shown for specific drug-polymer combinations and an in-depth understanding of the underlying processes of drug-loaded fiber formation and influencing key parameters is still missing. In this study, we systematically investigated crystal formation of caffeine as a model drug in electrospun fibers comparing different polymers. The solvent polarity was found to have a major impact on the drug crystal formation, whereas only a minor effect was attributed to the electrospinning process parameters. Based on an in-depth understanding of the underlying processes determining drug crystallization processes in electrospun fibers, key parameters could be identified which allow for the rational development of drug-loaded electrospun fibers overcoming drug crystallization.

  7. Elucidating a Key Component of Cancer Metastasis: CXCL12 (SDF-1α) Binding to CXCR4

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The chemotactic signaling induced by the binding of chemokine CXCL12 (SDF-1α) to chemokine receptor CXCR4 is of significant biological importance and is a potential therapeutic axis against HIV-1. However, as CXCR4 is overexpressed in certain cancer cells, the CXCL12:CXCR4 signaling is involved in tumor metastasis, progression, angiogenesis, and survival. Motivated by the pivotal role of the CXCL12:CXCR4 axis in cancer, we employed a comprehensive set of computational tools, predominantly based on free energy calculations and molecular dynamics simulations, to obtain insights into the molecular recognition of CXCR4 by CXCL12. We report, what is to our knowledge, the first computationally derived CXCL12:CXCR4 complex structure which is in remarkable agreement with experimental findings and sheds light into the functional role of CXCL12 and CXCR4 residues which are associated with binding and signaling. Our results reveal that the CXCL12 N-terminal domain is firmly bound within the CXCR4 transmembrane domain, and the central 24–50 residue domain of CXCL12 interacts with the upper N-terminal domain of CXCR4. The stability of the CXCL12:CXCR4 complex structure is attributed to an abundance of nonpolar and polar intermolecular interactions, including salt bridges formed between positively charged CXCL12 residues and negatively charged CXCR4 residues. The success of the computational protocol can mainly be attributed to the nearly exhaustive docking conformational search, as well as the heterogeneous dielectric implicit water-membrane-water model used to simulate and select the optimum conformations. We also recently utilized this protocol to elucidate the binding of an HIV-1 gp120 V3 loop in complex with CXCR4, and a comparison between the molecular recognition of CXCR4 by CXCL12 and the HIV-1 gp120 V3 loop shows that both CXCL12 and the HIV-1 gp120 V3 loop share the same CXCR4 binding pocket, as they mostly interact with the same CXCR4 residues. PMID:24660779

  8. SARS: Key factors in crisis management.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Hsin-Chao; Chen, Thai-Form; Chou, Shieu-Ming

    2005-03-01

    This study was conducted at a single hospital selected in Taipei during the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak from March to July, 2003 in Taiwan. During this period of time, 104 SARS patients were admitted to the hospital. There were no negative reports related to the selected hospital despite its being located right in the center of an area struck by the epidemic. The purpose of this study was to identify the key factors enabling the hospital to survive SARS unscathed. Data were collected from in-depth interviews with the nursing directors and nursing managers of the SARS units, along with a review of relevant hospital documents. The five key elements identified as survival factors during this SARS crisis are as follows: 1. good control of timing for crisis management, 2. careful decision-making, 3. thorough implementation, 4. effective communication, and 5. trust between management and employees. The results of this study reconfirmed the selected hospital as a model for good crisis management during the SARS epidemic.

  9. Elucidating Key Motifs Required for Arp2/3-Dependent and Independent Actin Nucleation by Las17/WASP

    PubMed Central

    Urbanek, Agnieszka N.; Smaczynska-de Rooij, Iwona I.

    2016-01-01

    Actin nucleation is the key rate limiting step in the process of actin polymerization, and tight regulation of this process is critical to ensure actin filaments form only at specific times and at defined regions of the cell. Arp2/3 is a well-characterised protein complex that can promote nucleation of new filaments, though its activity requires additional nucleation promotion factors (NPFs). The best recognized of these factors are the WASP family of proteins that contain binding motifs for both monomeric actin and for Arp2/3. Previously we demonstrated that the yeast WASP homologue, Las17, in addition to activating Arp2/3 can also nucleate actin filaments de novo, independently of Arp2/3. This activity is dependent on its polyproline rich region. Through biochemical and in vivo analysis we have now identified key motifs within the polyproline region that are required for nucleation and elongation of actin filaments, and have addressed the role of the WH2 domain in the context of actin nucleation without Arp2/3. We have also demonstrated that full length Las17 is able to bind liposomes giving rise to the possibility of direct linkage of nascent actin filaments to specific membrane sites to which Las17 has been recruited. Overall, we propose that Las17 functions as the key initiator of de novo actin filament formation at endocytic sites by nucleating, elongating and tethering nascent filaments which then serve as a platform for Arp2/3 recruitment and function. PMID:27637067

  10. Elucidating Key Motifs Required for Arp2/3-Dependent and Independent Actin Nucleation by Las17/WASP.

    PubMed

    Allwood, Ellen G; Tyler, Joe J; Urbanek, Agnieszka N; Smaczynska-de Rooij, Iwona I; Ayscough, Kathryn R

    2016-01-01

    Actin nucleation is the key rate limiting step in the process of actin polymerization, and tight regulation of this process is critical to ensure actin filaments form only at specific times and at defined regions of the cell. Arp2/3 is a well-characterised protein complex that can promote nucleation of new filaments, though its activity requires additional nucleation promotion factors (NPFs). The best recognized of these factors are the WASP family of proteins that contain binding motifs for both monomeric actin and for Arp2/3. Previously we demonstrated that the yeast WASP homologue, Las17, in addition to activating Arp2/3 can also nucleate actin filaments de novo, independently of Arp2/3. This activity is dependent on its polyproline rich region. Through biochemical and in vivo analysis we have now identified key motifs within the polyproline region that are required for nucleation and elongation of actin filaments, and have addressed the role of the WH2 domain in the context of actin nucleation without Arp2/3. We have also demonstrated that full length Las17 is able to bind liposomes giving rise to the possibility of direct linkage of nascent actin filaments to specific membrane sites to which Las17 has been recruited. Overall, we propose that Las17 functions as the key initiator of de novo actin filament formation at endocytic sites by nucleating, elongating and tethering nascent filaments which then serve as a platform for Arp2/3 recruitment and function. PMID:27637067

  11. Student Success Factors: Identifying Key Predictors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sulaiman, Ainin; Mohezar, Suhana

    2006-01-01

    The authors' main aim in this study was to identify key predictors of Master of Business Administration (MBA) students' academic performance. The authors measured performance by the students' cumulative grade point average achieved, using data from the Students Information Systems and Application database. The authors found that a student's…

  12. Switchgrass stand establishment: key factors for success

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) is not difficult to establish if precipitation is timely and four key management practices are followed. First, purchase certified seed with excellent seed lot quality. Second, develop a good firm seedbed. Third, plant the seed at the proper time, depth, and rate. F...

  13. Helicopter training simulators: Key market factors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcintosh, John

    1992-01-01

    Simulators will gain an increasingly important role in training helicopter pilots only if the simulators are of sufficient fidelity to provide positive transfer of skills to the aircraft. This must be done within an economic model of return on investment. Although rotor pilot demand is still only a small percentage of overall pilot requirements, it will grow in significance. This presentation described the salient factors influencing the use of helicopter training simulators.

  14. Elucidating Sources and Factors Affecting Delivery of Nitrogen to Surface Waters of New York State

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Golden, H. E.; Boyer, E. W.; Burns, D. A.; Elliott, E.; Kendall, C.; Butler, T.

    2005-12-01

    Rapid changes in power generation, transportation, and agriculture have appreciably altered nitrogen (N) cycling at regional scales, increasing N inputs to landscapes and surface waters. Numerous studies have linked this surplus N to a host of concerns, including eutrophication and violations in drinking water standards. Inputs of N nation-wide have increased during recent decades, primarily from the production and use of fertilizers, the planting of N-fixing crops, and the combustion of fossil fuels. The role of atmospheric N sources is of particular concern in New York, as rates of atmospheric N deposition in the northeast are among the highest in the nation. Our work aims to quantify nitrogen sources and fate in watersheds throughout the state. Further, we intend to elucidate factors controlling the retention and release of N to surface waters. We quantify nitrogen inputs through both measurement data (e.g., from wet and dry atmospheric deposition, precipitation, streamflow, water quality, and isotopic tracers) and from synoptic spatial databases (e.g., of terrain, land use, and fertilizer inputs). We present preliminary results from large catchments in contrasting spatial settings across the state (different land use configurations and atmospheric deposition gradients), illustrating the contribution of nitrogen sources to each region and factors affecting delivery to surface waters. Further, we present 30 years of temporal data from a large watershed (Fall Creek) in the Finger Lakes region of the state to demonstrate how hydrological and biogeochemical factors, over seasons and under varying hydrological regimes, combine to control N dynamics in surface waters. Our collective work provides information that is necessary to develop sound strategies for understanding and managing nutrients at regional scales.

  15. A genetic approach to elucidate the genotoxic pathway of monomethylarsonous acid suggests a key role for catalase

    EPA Science Inventory

    Although it is widely known that arsenic-contaminated drinking water causes many diseases, arsenic's exact mode of action (MOA) is not fully understood. Induction of oxidative stress has been proposed as an important key event in the toxic MOA of arsenic. Our studies are centered...

  16. A genetic approach to elucidate the genotoxic pathway of monomethylarsonousacid (MMAIII) suggests a key role for catalase

    EPA Science Inventory

    Arsenic-contaminated drinking water causes cancer, neuropathy, respiratory effects, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Its exact mode of action (MOA) is not fully understood. Oxidative stress has been proposed as a key event in the toxic MOA of arsenic. Our studies are centere...

  17. Elucidating the transcriptome of Fasciola hepatica - a key to fundamental and biotechnological discoveries for a neglected parasite.

    PubMed

    Young, Neil D; Hall, Ross S; Jex, Aaron R; Cantacessi, Cinzia; Gasser, Robin B

    2010-01-01

    Liver flukes of animals are parasitic flatworms (Platyhelminthes: Digenea) of major socioeconomic importance in many countries. Key representatives, such as Fasciola hepatica and F. gigantica, cause "liver fluke disease" (= fascioliasis), which is of major animal health significance worldwide. In particular, F. hepatica is a leading cause of production losses to the livestock (mainly sheep and cattle) and meat industries due to clinical disease, reduced weight gain and milk production, and deaths. This parasite is also a major food-borne pathogen of humans throughout parts of the Middle East, Asia and South America. Currently, there is a significant focus on the development of new approaches for the prevention and control of fascioliasis in livestock. Recent technological advances in genomics and bioinformatics provide unique opportunities for the identification and prevalidation of drug targets and vaccines through a better understanding of the biology of F. hepatica and related species as well as their relationship with their hosts at the molecular level. Surprisingly, despite the widespread socioeconomic impact of fascioliasis, genomic datasets for F. hepatica are scant, limiting the molecular biological research of this parasite. The present article explores specifically the transcriptome of the adult stage of F. hepatica using an integrated genomic-bioinformatic platform. The analysis of the current data reveals numerous molecules of biological relevance, some of which are inferred to be involved in key biological processes or pathways that could serve as targets for new trematocidal drugs or vaccines. Improved insights into the transcriptome of F. hepatica should pave the way for future, comparative analysis of the transcriptomes of other developmental stages of this and related parasites, such as F. gigantica, cancer-causing flatworms (Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini) and blood flukes (Schistosoma mansoni and S. japonicum). Prediction of the

  18. Discovery of potent cholecystokinin-2 receptor antagonists: elucidation of key pharmacophore elements by X-ray crystallographic and NMR conformational analysis.

    PubMed

    Rosen, Mark D; Hack, Michael D; Allison, Brett D; Phuong, Victor K; Woods, Craig R; Morton, Magda F; Prendergast, Clodagh E; Barrett, Terrance D; Schubert, Carsten; Li, Lina; Wu, Xiaodong; Wu, Jiejun; Freedman, Jamie M; Shankley, Nigel P; Rabinowitz, Michael H

    2008-04-01

    A novel series of cholecystokinin-2 receptor (CCK-2R) antagonists has been identified, as exemplified by anthranilic sulfonamide 1 (pK(i)=7.6). Pharmacokinetic and stability studies indicated that this series of compounds suffered from metabolic degradation, and that both the benzothiadiazole and piperidine rings were rapidly oxidized by liver enzymes. A combination of synthesis, computational methods, (1)H NMR conformational studies, and X-ray crystallographic analyses were applied to elucidate key pharmacophore elements, and to discover analogs with improved pharmacokinetic profiles, and high receptor binding affinity and selectivity.

  19. Key systemic and environmental risk factors for implant failure.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Dolphus R; Jasper, Samuel

    2015-01-01

    Dental implants are an important treatment option for patients interested in replacing lost or missing teeth. Although a robust body of literature has reviewed risk factors for tooth loss, the evidence for risk factors associated with dental implants is less well defined. This article focuses on key systemic risk factors relating to dental implant failure, as well as on perimucositis and peri-implantitis.

  20. Key Factors of Circulation System Analysis and Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGee, Rob

    1972-01-01

    Explained are basic concepts and components that are common to manual, machine-aided, and computer-based systems, and their significance as key factors in the analysis and design of academic library circulation systems is documented. (2 references) (Author)

  1. Desire: A Key Factor for Successful Online GED Adult Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shaw, Donita; Tham, Yuen San Sarah; Hogle, Julie; Koch, Jody

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to analyze the experiences of 12 adult online General Educational Development (GED) students to determine the role of program and personal factors that influenced their successful passing of the GED or their dropping-out of the program. Through surveys and interviews, we discovered that desire was the key factor for…

  2. Key systemic and environmental risk factors for implant failure.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Dolphus R; Jasper, Samuel

    2015-01-01

    Dental implants are an important treatment option for patients interested in replacing lost or missing teeth. Although a robust body of literature has reviewed risk factors for tooth loss, the evidence for risk factors associated with dental implants is less well defined. This article focuses on key systemic risk factors relating to dental implant failure, as well as on perimucositis and peri-implantitis. PMID:25434557

  3. Graduate Entrepreneurship Incubation Environments: A Framework of Key Success Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Dajani, Haya; Dedoussis, Evangelos; Watson, Erika; Tzokas, Nikalaos

    2014-01-01

    The benchmarking framework developed in this study is specifically designed for higher education institutions to consider when developing environments to encourage entrepreneurship among their students, graduates and staff. The objective of the study was to identify key success factors of Graduate Entrepreneurship Incubator Environments (GEIEs)…

  4. Key Factors Affecting Conceptual Gains from CAL Materials.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Barbara

    2001-01-01

    Identifies key factors affecting conceptual gains from using a CAL (computer-assisted learning) package and their application to a college practical laboratory class. Considers students' biographical characteristics, design features of the CAL package, and the way that the CAL was integrated into the curriculum. (Author/LRW)

  5. Elucidating the link between the modifiable risk factors of Alzheimer's disease and neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Schindler, Stephanie M; Klegeris, Andis

    2016-10-01

    Increased worldwide longevity through medical interventions, although beneficial, has allowed the age-related Alzheimer's disease (AD) to become an epidemic of the 21st century. AD pathology involves adverse activation of microglia, the immune cells of the brain and resulting chronic neuroinflammation. Certain diets, physical inactivity and Type 2 diabetes mellitus have been identified as the risk factors for developing AD, which may increase the risk of AD by neuroimmune mechanisms primarily through the overactivation of microglia. Thus, modifying these risk factors may represent an alternative therapeutic strategy for lowering the incidence of AD. We highlight the link between select modifiable risk factors and neuroimmune mechanisms, and demonstrate that by controlling microglial activation and neuroinflammation the prevalence of AD may be decreased.

  6. Faculty perceptions of key factors in interprofessional education.

    PubMed

    Loversidge, Jacqueline; Demb, Ada

    2015-01-01

    Embedding interprofessional education (IPE) into academic programs presents structural, curricular and human factor challenges. Nurses and physicians comprise the dominant dyad in healthcare, and therefore nursing and medical faculty are key in guiding future IPE approaches. However, faculty experiences with IPE are rarely reported. This paper presents perceptions of medical and nursing faculty about key factors related to IPE for pre-licensure medical and nursing students. Semi-structured interviews with 32 faculty from three Midwest universities were analyzed thematically in this phenomenological study based on collaboration and cooperation theories. Findings clustered into six categories. Specific subthemes little discussed in the literature are addressed in detail. Study participants felt the most powerful interprofessional student experiences were authentic and faculty-facilitated, that constructive clinical environments were crucial, that curriculum design challenges included disparities between undergraduate and graduate education, and that leadership commitment to full-time and adjunct faculty engagement and development was imperative. PMID:25495176

  7. Cell division factors from crown gall tumors: a strategy for structural elucidation

    SciTech Connect

    Manning, K.S.

    1985-01-01

    Mitogenic compounds present in extracts of Vinca rosea crown gall tumor tissue were investigated. An isolation procedure, consisting of solvent partitions and reverse phase chromatography, has yielded a group of isomeric compounds which show activity in the tobacco pith bioassay. Initial characterizations revealed an unsaturated base, a sugar residue, a ..beta..-linked glucose, an allylic alcohol, and two methyl groups. A two part strategy of mass spectrometry (MS) in combination with proton nuclear magnetic resonance (/sup 1/H NMR) was envisioned. The aglycone structure would be determined by MS and the regiochemical relationships among the structural units would be defined by /sup 1/H NMR data. The utility of this approach was demonstrated by the structure assignment of a specific inhibitor of ..beta..-D-glucuronidase, 2(S)-carboxy-3(R),4(R),5(S)-trihydroxypiperidine. The relative stereochemistry of the hydroxyls was revealed by /sup 1/H NMR and the absolute configuration was deduced by a comparison of Cotton effects with a model compound. The use of /sup 1/H NMR to establish regiochemical relationships was investigated. Terpenes containing quaternary carbons and methyl groups were excellent models for the regiochemical problems presented by the mitogenic factors. This /sup 1/H NMR spectroscopy has been applied to the cell division factor structure problem. These data, with information from two dimensional nOe experiments, have defined some of the regio-relationships among the structural units present in the isolated factors.

  8. Factors Influencing Oral Bioavailability of Thai Mango Seed Kernel Extract and Its Key Phenolic Principles.

    PubMed

    Jiamboonsri, Pimsumon; Pithayanukul, Pimolpan; Bavovada, Rapepol; Leanpolchareanchai, Jiraporn; Yin, Taijun; Gao, Song; Hu, Ming

    2015-01-01

    Mango seed kernel extract (MSKE) and its key components (gallic acid, GA; methyl gallate, MG; and pentagalloyl glucopyranose, PGG) have generated interest because of their pharmacological activities. To develop the potential use of the key components in MSKE as natural therapeutic agents, their pharmacokinetic data are necessary. Therefore, this study was performed to evaluate the factors affecting their oral bioavailability as pure compounds and as components in MSKE. The in vitro chemical stability, biological stability, and absorption were evaluated in Hanks' Balanced Salt Solution, Caco-2 cell and rat fecal lysates, and the Caco-2 cell model, respectively. The in vivo oral pharmacokinetic behavior was elucidated in Sprague-Dawley rats. The key components were unstable under alkaline conditions and in Caco-2 cell lysates or rat fecal lysates. The absorptive permeability coefficient followed the order MG > GA > PGG. The in vivo results exhibited similar pharmacokinetic trends to the in vitro studies. Additionally, the co-components in MSKE may affect the pharmacokinetic behaviors of the key components in MSKE. In conclusion, chemical degradation under alkaline conditions, biological degradation by intestinal cell and colonic microflora enzymes, and low absorptive permeability could be important factors underlying the oral bioavailability of these polyphenols.

  9. Identifying Key Hospital Service Quality Factors in Online Health Communities

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Yuchul; Hur, Cinyoung; Jung, Dain

    2015-01-01

    Background The volume of health-related user-created content, especially hospital-related questions and answers in online health communities, has rapidly increased. Patients and caregivers participate in online community activities to share their experiences, exchange information, and ask about recommended or discredited hospitals. However, there is little research on how to identify hospital service quality automatically from the online communities. In the past, in-depth analysis of hospitals has used random sampling surveys. However, such surveys are becoming impractical owing to the rapidly increasing volume of online data and the diverse analysis requirements of related stakeholders. Objective As a solution for utilizing large-scale health-related information, we propose a novel approach to identify hospital service quality factors and overtime trends automatically from online health communities, especially hospital-related questions and answers. Methods We defined social media–based key quality factors for hospitals. In addition, we developed text mining techniques to detect such factors that frequently occur in online health communities. After detecting these factors that represent qualitative aspects of hospitals, we applied a sentiment analysis to recognize the types of recommendations in messages posted within online health communities. Korea’s two biggest online portals were used to test the effectiveness of detection of social media–based key quality factors for hospitals. Results To evaluate the proposed text mining techniques, we performed manual evaluations on the extraction and classification results, such as hospital name, service quality factors, and recommendation types using a random sample of messages (ie, 5.44% (9450/173,748) of the total messages). Service quality factor detection and hospital name extraction achieved average F1 scores of 91% and 78%, respectively. In terms of recommendation classification, performance (ie, precision) is

  10. Elucidating the factors influencing the biodegradation of cylindrospermopsin in drinking water sources.

    PubMed

    Smith, Maree J; Shaw, Glen R; Eaglesham, Geoff K; Ho, Lionel; Brookes, Justin D

    2008-06-01

    The cyanotoxin cylindrospermopsin (CYN) is produced by several species of cyanobacteria and can be persistent in drinking waters supplies, which is of major concern to water authorities because of its potential to severely compromise human health. Consequently, there is a need to fully understand the persistence of CYN in water supplies, in particular, to determine whether this toxin is readily degraded by endemic aquatic organisms. This study provides insights into the environmental factors that can influence the biodegradation of this toxin in Australian drinking water supplies. Biodegradation of CYN was only evident in water supplies that had a history of toxic Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii blooms. In addition, lag periods were evident prior to the onset of biodegradation; however, repeated exposure of the endemic organisms to CYN resulted in substantial decreases in the lag periods. Furthermore, the concentration of CYN was shown to influence biodegradation with a near linear relationship (R(2) of 0.9549) existing between the biodegradation rate and the initial CYN concentration. Temperature was also shown to affect the biodegradation of CYN, which is important since CYN is now being detected in more temperate climates. The presence of copper-based algicides inhibited CYN degradation, which has significant implications since copper-based algicides are commonly used to control cyanobacterial growth in water bodies. The results from this study indicate that the biodegradation of CYN in natural water bodies is a complex process that can be influenced by many environmental factors, some of which include CYN concentration, temperature, and the presence of copper-based algicides.

  11. Elucidation of Genetic Interactions in the Yeast GATA-Factor Network Using Bayesian Model Selection

    PubMed Central

    Milias-Argeitis, Andreas; Oliveira, Ana Paula; Gerosa, Luca; Falter, Laura; Sauer, Uwe; Lygeros, John

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the structure and function of complex gene regulatory networks using classical genetic assays is an error-prone procedure that frequently generates ambiguous outcomes. Even some of the best-characterized gene networks contain interactions whose validity is not conclusively proven. Founded on dynamic experimental data, mechanistic mathematical models are able to offer detailed insights that would otherwise require prohibitively large numbers of genetic experiments. Here we attempt mechanistic modeling of the transcriptional network formed by the four GATA-factor proteins, a well-studied system of central importance for nitrogen-source regulation of transcription in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. To resolve ambiguities in the network organization, we encoded a set of five interactions hypothesized in the literature into a set of 32 mathematical models, and employed Bayesian model selection to identify the most plausible set of interactions based on dynamic gene expression data. The top-ranking model was validated on newly generated GFP reporter dynamic data and was subsequently used to gain a better understanding of how yeast cells organize their transcriptional response to dynamic changes of nitrogen sources. Our work constitutes a necessary and important step towards obtaining a holistic view of the yeast nitrogen regulation mechanisms; on the computational side, it provides a demonstration of how powerful Monte Carlo techniques can be creatively combined and used to address the great challenges of large-scale dynamical system inference. PMID:26967983

  12. Key factors of successful JIT integration with IBS - An overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asri, Mohammad Azwanie Naim Mohammad; Nawi, Mohd Nasrun Mohd; Nadarajan, Santhirasegaran

    2016-08-01

    The Just-In-Time (JIT) philosophy has been used for many decades to increase productivity through waste elimination process. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the knowledge by addressing the transportation and material delivery activities in Industrialized Building System (IBS) and integrating JIT to improve the performance of those activities. The literature review has been conducted through relevant database. It was found that there is a need for more holistic approach to be adopted to integrate JIT in IBS project. This paper discusses the key success factors for effective integration between JIT and IBS in the context of transportation and material delivery activities.

  13. Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism

    SciTech Connect

    Buddemeier, B R; Dillon, M B

    2009-01-21

    Despite hundreds of above-ground nuclear tests and data gathered from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the effects of a ground-level, low-yield nuclear detonation in a modern urban environment are still the subject of considerable scientific debate. Extensive review of nuclear weapon effects studies and discussions with nuclear weapon effects experts from various federal agencies, national laboratories, and technical organizations have identified key issues and bounded some of the unknowns required to support response planning for a low-yield, ground-level nuclear detonation in a modern U.S. city. This study, which is focused primarily upon the hazards posed by radioactive fallout, used detailed fallout predictions from the advanced suite of three-dimensional (3-D) meteorology and plume/fallout models developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), including extensive global Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism geographical and real-time meteorological databases to support model calculations. This 3-D modeling system provides detailed simulations that account for complex meteorology and terrain effects. The results of initial modeling and analysis were presented to federal, state, and local working groups to obtain critical, broad-based review and feedback on strategy and messaging. This effort involved a diverse set of communities, including New York City, National Capitol Regions, Charlotte, Houston, Portland, and Los Angeles. The largest potential for reducing casualties during the post-detonation response phase comes from reducing exposure to fallout radiation. This can be accomplished through early, adequate sheltering followed by informed, delayed evacuation.B The response challenges to a nuclear detonation must be solved through multiple approaches of public education, planning, and rapid response actions. Because the successful response will require extensive coordination of a large number of organizations, supplemented by

  14. Determination of specificity influencing residues for key transcription factor families

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Ronak Y.; Garde, Christian; D.Stormo, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) are major modulators of transcription and subsequent cellular processes. The binding of TFs to specific regulatory elements is governed by their specificity. Considering the gap between known TFs sequence and specificity, specificity prediction frameworks are highly desired. Key inputs to such frameworks are protein residues that modulate the specificity of TF under consideration. Simple measures like mutual information (MI) to delineate specificity influencing residues (SIRs) from alignment fail due to structural constraints imposed by the three-dimensional structure of protein. Structural restraints on the evolution of the amino-acid sequence lead to identification of false SIRs. In this manuscript we extended three methods (Direct Information, PSICOV and adjusted mutual information) that have been used to disentangle spurious indirect protein residue-residue contacts from direct contacts, to identify SIRs from joint alignments of amino-acids and specificity. We predicted SIRs forhomeodomain (HD), helix-loop-helix, LacI and GntR families of TFs using these methods and compared to MI. Using various measures, we show that the performance of these three methods is comparable but better than MI. Implication of these methods in specificity prediction framework is discussed. The methods are implemented as an R package and available along with the alignments at stormo.wustl.edu/SpecPred. PMID:26753103

  15. Organization of Anti-Phase Synchronization Pattern in Neural Networks: What are the Key Factors?

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dong; Zhou, Changsong

    2011-01-01

    Anti-phase oscillation has been widely observed in cortical neural network. Elucidating the mechanism underlying the organization of anti-phase pattern is of significance for better understanding more complicated pattern formations in brain networks. In dynamical systems theory, the organization of anti-phase oscillation pattern has usually been considered to relate to time delay in coupling. This is consistent to conduction delays in real neural networks in the brain due to finite propagation velocity of action potentials. However, other structural factors in cortical neural network, such as modular organization (connection density) and the coupling types (excitatory or inhibitory), could also play an important role. In this work, we investigate the anti-phase oscillation pattern organized on a two-module network of either neuronal cell model or neural mass model, and analyze the impact of the conduction delay times, the connection densities, and coupling types. Our results show that delay times and coupling types can play key roles in this organization. The connection densities may have an influence on the stability if an anti-phase pattern exists due to the other factors. Furthermore, we show that anti-phase synchronization of slow oscillations can be achieved with small delay times if there is interaction between slow and fast oscillations. These results are significant for further understanding more realistic spatiotemporal dynamics of cortico-cortical communications. PMID:22232576

  16. Isolation of Montecristin, a Key Metabolite in Biogenesis of Acetogenins from Annona muricata and Its Structure Elucidation by Using Tandem Mass Spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Gleye, C.; Laurens, A.; Hocquemiller, R.; Cavé, A.; Laprévote, O.; Serani, L.

    1997-02-01

    During the course of our continuing search for acetogenins from Annonaceae, a new metabolite, montecristin, possibly involved in the biogenesis of acetogenins, was isolated from the roots of Annona muricata. Its structure was elucidated on the basis of UV, IR, (1)H and (13)C NMR, and mass spectrometry. The identification of the main stuctural features of montecristin (1) was obtained from the NMR spectra whereas their locations on the alkyl chain were evidenced by using mass spectrometry. The attribution of each carbon and location of substituents on the alkyl chain of this fatty acid gamma-lactone was evidenced by using tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) and high-energy collisional activation of [M + Li](+) lithium complexes. Finally, the structure determination of montecristin was strengthened by epoxidation and transformation leading to a known adjacent bis-tetrahydrofuran acetogenin.

  17. Elucidation of Xylem-Specific Transcription Factors and Absolute Quantification of Enzymes Regulating Cellulose Biosynthesis in Populus trichocarpa.

    PubMed

    Loziuk, Philip L; Parker, Jennifer; Li, Wei; Lin, Chien-Yuan; Wang, Jack P; Li, Quanzi; Sederoff, Ronald R; Chiang, Vincent L; Muddiman, David C

    2015-10-01

    Cellulose, the main chemical polymer of wood, is the most abundant polysaccharide in nature.1 The ability to perturb the abundance and structure of cellulose microfibrils is of critical importance to the pulp and paper industry as well as for the textile, wood products, and liquid biofuels industries. Although much has been learned at the transcript level about the biosynthesis of cellulose, a quantitative understanding at the proteome level has yet to be established. The study described herein sought to identify the proteins directly involved in cellulose biosynthesis during wood formation in Populus trichocarpa along with known xylem-specific transcription factors involved in regulating these key proteins. Development of an effective discovery proteomic strategy through a combination of subcellular fractionation of stem differentiating xylem tissue (SDX) with recently optimized FASP digestion protocols, StageTip fractionation, as well as optimized instrument parameters for global proteomic analysis using the quadrupole-orbitrap mass spectrometer resulted in the deepest proteomic coverage of SDX protein from P. trichocarpa with 9,146 protein groups being identified (1% FDR). Of these, 20 cellulosic/hemicellulosic enzymes and 43 xylem-specific transcription factor groups were identified. Finally, selection of surrogate peptides led to an assay for absolute quantification of 14 cellulosic proteins in SDX of P. trichocarpa.

  18. Tendencies and Key Factors in the Health of School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rimashevskaia, N. M.; Shabunova, A. A.

    2013-01-01

    According to research data, in today's Russia 70 percent of children are born with various health risk factors, and this leads to a rapid deterioration of their health during their school years. The health of school students is getting worse as a consequence of the effect of a whole set of social and economic and psychological factors, and…

  19. Succesful Lean Manufacturing Implementation: Internal Key Influencing Factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virginia, Iuga; Claudiu, Kifor

    2015-09-01

    Manufacturing sectors and companies all over the world are successfully implementing lean principles within their processes. Nowadays, lean has become an indispensable part of global players. Companies worldwide need to be aware of multiple factors which weigh heavily on the success or failure of lean implementation. This paper focuses on giving a brief and structured overview over the fundamental organizational factors which play a substantial role for the lean manufacturing (LM) implementation process. The study below focuses on internal factors which are indispensable for a successful LM implementation within organizations. It is imperative that these internal factors are known, recognized and taken into consideration during the whole LM implementation process. Ignoring their influence on the process's implementation may lead to endangering the expected results or to making the process more difficult which could result in much higher human resource consumption.

  20. Elucidating Article 45.6 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature: a dichotomous key for the determination of subspecific or infrasubspecific rank.

    PubMed

    Lingafelter, Steven W; Nearns, Eugenio H

    2013-01-01

    We present an overview of the difficulties sometimes encountered when determining whether a published name following a binomen is available or infrasubspecific and unavailable, following Article 45.6 of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN, 1999). We propose a dichotomous key that facilitates this determination and as a preferable method, given the convoluted and subordinate discussion, exceptions, and qualifications laid out in ICZN (1999: 49-50). Examples and citations are provided for each case one can encounter while making this assessment of availability status of names following the binomen.

  1. Ethylene, a key factor in the regulation of seed dormancy

    PubMed Central

    Corbineau, Françoise; Xia, Qiong; Bailly, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Ethylene is an important component of the gaseous environment, and regulates numerous plant developmental processes including seed germination and seedling establishment. Dormancy, the inability to germinate in apparently favorable conditions, has been demonstrated to be regulated by the hormonal balance between abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellins (GAs). Ethylene plays a key role in dormancy release in numerous species, the effective concentrations allowing the germination of dormant seeds ranging between 0.1 and 200 μL L-1. Studies using inhibitors of ethylene biosynthesis or of ethylene action and analysis of mutant lines altered in genes involved in the ethylene signaling pathway (etr1, ein2, ain1, etr1, and erf1) demonstrate the involvement of ethylene in the regulation of germination and dormancy. Ethylene counteracts ABA effects through a regulation of ABA metabolism and signaling pathways. Moreover, ethylene insensitive mutants in Arabidopsis are more sensitive to ABA and the seeds are more dormant. Numerous data also show an interaction between ABA, GAs and ethylene metabolism and signaling pathways. It has been increasingly demonstrated that reactive oxygen species (ROS) may play a significant role in the regulation of seed germination interacting with hormonal signaling pathways. In the present review the responsiveness of seeds to ethylene will be described, and the key role of ethylene in the regulation of seed dormancy via a crosstalk between hormones and other signals will be discussed. PMID:25346747

  2. Ethylene, a key factor in the regulation of seed dormancy.

    PubMed

    Corbineau, Françoise; Xia, Qiong; Bailly, Christophe; El-Maarouf-Bouteau, Hayat

    2014-01-01

    Ethylene is an important component of the gaseous environment, and regulates numerous plant developmental processes including seed germination and seedling establishment. Dormancy, the inability to germinate in apparently favorable conditions, has been demonstrated to be regulated by the hormonal balance between abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellins (GAs). Ethylene plays a key role in dormancy release in numerous species, the effective concentrations allowing the germination of dormant seeds ranging between 0.1 and 200 μL L(-1). Studies using inhibitors of ethylene biosynthesis or of ethylene action and analysis of mutant lines altered in genes involved in the ethylene signaling pathway (etr1, ein2, ain1, etr1, and erf1) demonstrate the involvement of ethylene in the regulation of germination and dormancy. Ethylene counteracts ABA effects through a regulation of ABA metabolism and signaling pathways. Moreover, ethylene insensitive mutants in Arabidopsis are more sensitive to ABA and the seeds are more dormant. Numerous data also show an interaction between ABA, GAs and ethylene metabolism and signaling pathways. It has been increasingly demonstrated that reactive oxygen species (ROS) may play a significant role in the regulation of seed germination interacting with hormonal signaling pathways. In the present review the responsiveness of seeds to ethylene will be described, and the key role of ethylene in the regulation of seed dormancy via a crosstalk between hormones and other signals will be discussed.

  3. The Human Factor: A Key to Excellence in Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mintzies, Paula; Hare, Isadora

    This document contends that efforts designed to determine how schools can educate children for the nation of tomorrow, by focusing primarily on curriculum issues, instruction, and teachers, may have overlooked the interpersonal factors which contribute to excellence and those human and social forces which may interfere with the attainment of…

  4. Leadership and management quality: key factors in effective health systems.

    PubMed

    Pfeffermann, Guy

    2012-01-01

    The effectiveness of health care systems in the developing world is related to the quality of their leadership and management, yet that factor has been neglected by academics and funders. Based on replicable existing models, the article proposes an approach to strengthening local management training institutions.

  5. Key roles of necroptotic factors in promoting tumor growth

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xinjian; Zhou, Min; Mei, Ling; Ruan, Jiaying; Hu, Qian; Peng, Jing; Su, Hang; Liao, Hong; Liu, Shanling; Liu, WeiPing; Wang, He; Huang, Qian; Li, Fang; Li, Chuan-Yuan

    2016-01-01

    Necroptotic factors are generally assumed to play a positive role in tumor therapy by eliminating damaged tumor cells. Here we show that, contrary to expectation, necroptotic factors RIPK1, RIPK3, and MLKL promote tumor growth. We demonstrate that genetic knockout of necroptotic genes RIPK1, RIPK3, or MLKL in cancer cells significantly attenuated their abilities to grow in an anchorage-independent manner. In addition, they exhibited significantly enhanced radiosensitivity. The knockout cells also showed greatly reduced ability to form tumors in mice. Moreover, necrosulfonamide (NSA), a previously identified chemical inhibitor of necroptosis, could significantly delay tumor growth in a xenograft model. Mechanistically, we show that necroptoic factors play a significant role in maintaining the activity of NF-κB. Finally, we found that high levels of phosphorylated MLKL in human esophageal and colon cancers are associated with poor overall survival. Taken together, we conclude that pro-necroptic factors such as RIPK1, RIPK3, and MLKL may play a role in supporting tumor growth, and MLKL may be a promising target for cancer treatment. PMID:26959742

  6. Key success factors behind electronic medical record adoption in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Narattharaksa, Kanida; Speece, Mark; Newton, Charles; Bulyalert, Damrongsak

    2016-09-19

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the elements that health care personnel in Thailand believe are necessary for successful adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Design/methodology/approach Initial qualitative in-depth interviews with physicians to adapt key elements from the literature to the Thai context. The 12 elements identified included things related to managing the implementation and to IT expertise. The nationwide survey was supported by the Ministry of Public Health and returned 1,069 usable questionnaires (response rate 42 percent) from a range of medical personnel. Findings The key elements clearly separated into a managerial dimension and an IT dimension. All were considered fairly important, but managerial expertise was more critical. In particular, there should be clear EMR project goals and scope, adequate budget allocation, clinical staff must be involved in implementation, and the IT should facilitate good electronic communication. Research limitations/implications Thailand is representative of middle-income developing countries, but there is no guarantee findings can be generalized. National policies differ, as do economic structures of health care industries. The focus is on management at the organizational level, but future research must also examine macro-level issues, as well as gain more depth into thinking of individual health care personnel. Practical implications Technical issues of EMR implementation are certainly important. However, it is clear actual adoption and use of the system also depends very heavily on managerial issues. Originality/value Most research on EMR implementation has been in developed countries, and has often focussed more on technical issues rather than examining managerial issues closely. Health IT is also critical in developing economies, and management of health IT implementation must be well understood. PMID:27681029

  7. Key success factors behind electronic medical record adoption in Thailand.

    PubMed

    Narattharaksa, Kanida; Speece, Mark; Newton, Charles; Bulyalert, Damrongsak

    2016-09-19

    Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the elements that health care personnel in Thailand believe are necessary for successful adoption of electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Design/methodology/approach Initial qualitative in-depth interviews with physicians to adapt key elements from the literature to the Thai context. The 12 elements identified included things related to managing the implementation and to IT expertise. The nationwide survey was supported by the Ministry of Public Health and returned 1,069 usable questionnaires (response rate 42 percent) from a range of medical personnel. Findings The key elements clearly separated into a managerial dimension and an IT dimension. All were considered fairly important, but managerial expertise was more critical. In particular, there should be clear EMR project goals and scope, adequate budget allocation, clinical staff must be involved in implementation, and the IT should facilitate good electronic communication. Research limitations/implications Thailand is representative of middle-income developing countries, but there is no guarantee findings can be generalized. National policies differ, as do economic structures of health care industries. The focus is on management at the organizational level, but future research must also examine macro-level issues, as well as gain more depth into thinking of individual health care personnel. Practical implications Technical issues of EMR implementation are certainly important. However, it is clear actual adoption and use of the system also depends very heavily on managerial issues. Originality/value Most research on EMR implementation has been in developed countries, and has often focussed more on technical issues rather than examining managerial issues closely. Health IT is also critical in developing economies, and management of health IT implementation must be well understood.

  8. Key factors regarding decolorization of synthetic anthraquinone and azo dyes.

    PubMed

    Boonyakamol, A; Imai, T; Chairattanamanokorn, P; Higuchi, T; Sekine, M

    2009-07-01

    The factors affecting decolorization of anthraquinone dye represented by Reactive Blue 4 (RB4) and azo dye represented by Methyl Orange (MO) were studied in batch experiments under mesophilic (35 degrees C) and thermophilic (55 degrees C) anaerobic conditions. The results indicated differences in decolorization properties of the dyes with different chromophore structures. In abiotic conditions, MO could be decolorized by a physicochemical reaction when it was sterilized at 121 degrees C together with sludge cells or glucose. RB4 only showed absorption onto the cell mass. The presence of a redox mediator accelerated the decolorizing reaction when supplied together with glucose in the presence of sterilized sludge cells. In biotic conditions, the results indicated that the biological activity of microorganisms was an important factor in decolorization. The main factor involved in decolorization was the conversion of cosubstrate as electron donor, which reacted with dye as an electron acceptor in electron transfer. Redox mediators, anthraquinone-2-sulfonic acid, and anthraquinone could accelerate decolorization even if a small amount (0.2 mM) was applied. On the other hand, a high concentration of redox mediator (1.0 mM) had an inhibitory effect on decolorization especially under thermophilic conditions. In addition, the decolorization of dye was accelerated by increasing treatment temperature, as shown in biotic treatments. Based on these results, increasing the treatment temperature could be used to improve the decolorizing process of textile dye wastewater treatment, especially for recalcitrant dyes such as anthraquinone.

  9. Endothelin-1: a key pathological factor in pre-eclampsia?

    PubMed

    Jain, Arjun

    2012-11-01

    Endothelin (ET)-1 has been implicated in a diverse range of signalling events in a wide variety of target tissues. Given its potent vasoactive function and the prevalence of hypertension in pre-eclampsia, there has been extensive research on the role of ET-1 in this disorder. Indeed, ET-1 has been suggested to contribute to hypertension in pre-eclampsia. Recently, ET-1 has also been implicated in the induction of both oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress in pre-eclampsia; each of which has been proposed to contribute to many of the clinical manifestations of this disorder. ET-1 has been shown to activate key signalling molecules that lead to induction of these stress pathways. The use of ET-receptor antagonists could block oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Hence, further research into the role of ET-1 in pre-eclampsia may lead to the development of possible strategies to circumvent these stress pathways and the associated pathology that occurs in pre-eclampsia. Endothelin (ET)-1 has been implicated in a diverse range of signalling events in a wide variety of target tissues. Given its potent vasoactive function and the prevalence of hypertension in pre-eclampsia, there has been extensive research on the role of ET-1 in this disorder. Indeed, ET-1 has been suggested to contribute to hypertension in pre-eclampsia. Recently, ET-1 has also been implicated in the induction of both oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress in pre-eclampsia, each of which has been proposed to contribute to many of the clinical manifestations of this disorder. ET-1 has been shown to activate key signalling molecules that lead to induction of these stress pathways. The use of ET-receptor antagonists could block oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Hence, further research into the role of ET-1 in pre-eclampsia may lead to the development of possible strategies to circumvent these stress pathways and the associated pathology that occurs in pre

  10. Key biogeochemical factors affecting soil carbon storage in Posidonia meadows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serrano, Oscar; Ricart, Aurora M.; Lavery, Paul S.; Mateo, Miguel Angel; Arias-Ortiz, Ariane; Masque, Pere; Rozaimi, Mohammad; Steven, Andy; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2016-08-01

    Biotic and abiotic factors influence the accumulation of organic carbon (Corg) in seagrass ecosystems. We surveyed Posidonia sinuosa meadows growing in different water depths to assess the variability in the sources, stocks and accumulation rates of Corg. We show that over the last 500 years, P. sinuosa meadows closer to the upper limit of distribution (at 2-4 m depth) accumulated 3- to 4-fold higher Corg stocks (averaging 6.3 kg Corg m-2) at 3- to 4-fold higher rates (12.8 g Corg m-2 yr-1) compared to meadows closer to the deep limits of distribution (at 6-8 m depth; 1.8 kg Corg m-2 and 3.6 g Corg m-2 yr-1). In shallower meadows, Corg stocks were mostly derived from seagrass detritus (88 % in average) compared to meadows closer to the deep limit of distribution (45 % on average). In addition, soil accumulation rates and fine-grained sediment content (< 0.125 mm) in shallower meadows (2.0 mm yr-1 and 9 %, respectively) were approximately 2-fold higher than in deeper meadows (1.2 mm yr-1 and 5 %, respectively). The Corg stocks and accumulation rates accumulated over the last 500 years in bare sediments (0.6 kg Corg m-2 and 1.2 g Corg m-2 yr-1) were 3- to 11-fold lower than in P. sinuosa meadows, while fine-grained sediment content (1 %) and seagrass detritus contribution to the Corg pool (20 %) were 8- and 3-fold lower than in Posidonia meadows, respectively. The patterns found support the hypothesis that Corg storage in seagrass soils is influenced by interactions of biological (e.g., meadow productivity, cover and density), chemical (e.g., recalcitrance of Corg stocks) and physical (e.g., hydrodynamic energy and soil accumulation rates) factors within the meadow. We conclude that there is a need to improve global estimates of seagrass carbon storage accounting for biogeochemical factors driving variability within habitats.

  11. Key biogeochemical factors affecting soil carbon storage in Posidonia meadows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serrano, O.; Ricart, A. M.; Lavery, P. S.; Mateo, M. A.; Arias-Ortiz, A.; Masque, P.; Steven, A.; Duarte, C. M.

    2015-11-01

    Biotic and abiotic factors influence the accumulation of organic carbon (Corg) in seagrass ecosystems. We surveyed Posidonia sinuosa meadows growing in different water depths to assess the variability in the sources, stocks and accumulation rates of Corg. We show that over the last 500 years, P. sinuosa meadows closer to the upper limit of distribution (at 2-4 m depth) accumulated 3 to 4-fold higher Corg stocks (averaging 6.3 kg Corg m-2) at 3 to 4-fold higher rates (12.8 g Corg m-2 yr-1) compared to meadows closer to the deep limits of distribution (at 6-8 m depth; 1.8 kg Corg m-2 and 3.6 g Corg m-2 yr-1). In shallower meadows, Corg stores were mostly derived from seagrass detritus (88 % in average) compared to meadows closer to the deep limit of distribution (45 % on average). Also, sediment accumulation rates and fine-grained sediment content (< 0.125 mm) in shallower meadows (2.0 mm yr-1 and 9 %, respectively) were approximately 2-fold higher than in deeper meadows (1.2 mm yr-1 and 5 %, respectively). The Corg stocks and accumulation rates accumulated over the last 500 years in bare sediments (0.6 kg Corg m-2 and 1.2 g Corg m-2 yr-1) were 3 to 11-fold lower than in P. sinuosa meadows, while fine-grained sediment content (1 %) and seagrass detritus contribution to the Corg pool (20 %) were 8 and 3-fold lower than in Posidonia meadows, respectively. The patterns found support the hypotheses that Corg storage in seagrass soils is influenced by interactions of biological (e.g. meadow productivity, cover and density), chemical (e.g. recalcitrance of Corg stocks) and physical (e.g. hydrodynamic energy and sediment accumulation rates) factors within the meadow. We conclude that there is a need to improve global estimates of seagrass carbon storage accounting for biogeochemical factors driving variability within habitats.

  12. Clinician acceptance is the key factor for sustainable telehealth services.

    PubMed

    Wade, Victoria A; Eliott, Jaklin A; Hiller, Janet E

    2014-05-01

    Telehealth, the delivery of health care services at a distance using information and communications technology, has been slow to be adopted and difficult to sustain. Researchers developing theories concerning the introduction of complex change into health care usually take a multifactorial approach; we intentionally sought a single point of intervention that would have maximum impact on implementation. We conducted a qualitative interview study of 36 Australian telehealth services, sampled for maximum variation, and used grounded theory methods to develop a model from which we chose the most important factor affecting the success of telehealth. We propose that clinician acceptance explains much of the variation in the uptake, expansion, and sustainability of Australian telehealth services, and that clinician acceptance could, in most circumstances, overcome low demand, technology problems, workforce pressure, and lack of resourcing. We conclude that our model offers practical advice to those seeking to implement change with limited resources.

  13. Etiology of obesity: two "key issues" and other emerging factors.

    PubMed

    Serra-Majem, Lluis; Bautista-Castaño, Inmaculada

    2013-09-01

    The current obesity epidemic is known to have coincided with profound societal changes involving both physical activity levels and food consumption patterns as well as demographic and cultural changes affecting the conduct of human beings in various ways. On the other hand, obesity is a complex and multifactorial chronic disease that usually becomes manifest in child hood and adolescence. Its origin is a genetic and environmental interchange, of which environmental or behavioral factors play the most important role, stemming from an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. Still and all, it is rather simplistic to assume that obesity is only due to excessive consumption and/or deficient physical activity levels. Currently, various lines of investigation have been initiated that evaluate the determinants of obesity, of which nutrigenomics and gut microbiota deserve special attention.

  14. Key factors affecting urban runoff pollution under cold climatic conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valtanen, Marjo; Sillanpää, Nora; Setälä, Heikki

    2015-10-01

    Urban runoff contains various pollutants and has the potential of deteriorating the quality of aquatic ecosystems. In this study our objective is to shed light on the factors that control the runoff water quality in urbanized catchments. The effects of runoff event characteristics, land use type and catchment imperviousness on event mass loads (EML) and event mean concentrations (EMC) were studied during warm and cold periods in three study catchments (6.1, 6.5 and 12.6 ha in size) in the city of Lahti, Finland. Runoff and rainfall were measured continuously for two years at each catchment. Runoff samples were taken for total nutrients (tot-P and tot-N), total suspended solids (TSS), heavy metals (Zn, Cr, Al, Co, Ni, Cu, Pb, Mn) and total organic carbon (TOC). Stepwise multiple linear regression analysis (SMLR) was used to identify general relationships between the following variables: event water quality, runoff event characteristics and catchment characteristics. In general, the studied variables explained 50-90% of the EMLs but only 30-60% of the EMCs, with runoff duration having an important role in most of the SMLR models. Mean runoff intensity or peak flow was also often included in the runoff quality models. Yet, the importance (being the first, second or third best) and role (negative or positive impact) of the explanatory variables varied between the cold and warm period. Land use type often explained cold period concentrations, but imperviousness alone explained EMCs weakly. As for EMLs, the influence of imperviousness and/or land use was season and pollutant dependent. The study suggests that pollutant loads can be - throughout the year - adequately predicted by runoff characteristics given that seasonal differences are taken into account. Although pollutant concentrations were sensitive to variation in seasonal and catchment conditions as well, the accurate estimation of EMCs would require a more complete set of explanatory factors than used in this

  15. A Simple Method for Discovering Druggable, Specific Glycosaminoglycan-Protein Systems. Elucidation of Key Principles from Heparin/Heparan Sulfate-Binding Proteins.

    PubMed

    Sarkar, Aurijit; Desai, Umesh R

    2015-01-01

    Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) affect human physiology and pathology by modulating more than 500 proteins. GAG-protein interactions are generally assumed to be ionic and nonspecific, but specific interactions do exist. Here, we present a simple method to identify the GAG-binding site (GBS) on proteins that in turn helps predict high specific GAG-protein systems. Contrary to contemporary thinking, we found that the electrostatic potential at basic arginine and lysine residues neither identifies the GBS consistently, nor its specificity. GBSs are better identified by considering the potential at neutral hydrogen bond donors such as asparagine or glutamine sidechains. Our studies also reveal that an unusual constellation of ionic and non-ionic residues in the binding site leads to specificity. Nature engineers the local environment of Asn45 of antithrombin, Gln255 of 3-O-sulfotransferase 3, Gln163 and Asn167 of 3-O-sulfotransferase 1 and Asn27 of basic fibroblast growth factor in the respective GBSs to induce specificity. Such residues are distinct from other uncharged residues on the same protein structure in possessing a significantly higher electrostatic potential, resultant from the local topology. In contrast, uncharged residues on nonspecific GBSs such as thrombin and serum albumin possess a diffuse spread of electrostatic potential. Our findings also contradict the paradigm that GAG-binding sites are simply a collection of contiguous Arg/Lys residues. Our work demonstrates the basis for discovering specifically interacting and druggable GAG-protein systems based on the structure of protein alone, without requiring access to any structure-function relationship data.

  16. The Future of Government Funding for Persons with Disabilities: Some Key Factors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, E. Clarke

    1980-01-01

    The paper identifies and discusses key factors associated with government funding for disabled individuals. An introductory section traces the growth of public expenditures in recent years. Five key factors affecting government funding are examined (sample subtopics in parentheses): state government tax and spending limits (Proposition 13 and the…

  17. Key factors in development of man-made and natural ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pechurkin, N S

    1999-01-01

    Key factors of ecosystem functioning are of the same nature for artificial and natural types. An hierarchical approach gives the opportunity for estimation of the quantitative behavior of both individual links and the system as a whole. At the organismic level we can use interactions of studied macroorganisms (man, animal, higher plant) with selected microorganisms as key indicating factors of the organisms immune status. The most informative factor for the population/community level is an age structure of populations and relationships of domination/elimination. The integrated key factors of the ecosystems level are productivity and rates of cycling of the limiting substances. The key factors approach is of great value for growth regulations and monitoring the state of any ecosystem, including the life support system (LSS)-type. PMID:11542547

  18. Identification of key transcription factors in caerulein-induced pancreatitis through expression profiling data.

    PubMed

    Qi, Dachuan; Wu, Bo; Tong, Danian; Pan, Ye; Chen, Wei

    2015-08-01

    The current study aimed to isolate key transcription factors (TFs) in caerulein-induced pancreatitis, and to identify the difference between wild type and Mist1 knockout (KO) mice, in order to elucidate the contribution of Mist1 to pancreatitis. The gene profile of GSE3644 was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus database then analyzed using the t-test. The isolated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were mapped into a transcriptional regulatory network derived from the Integrated Transcription Factor Platform database and in the network, the interaction pairs involving at least one DEG were screened. Fisher's exact test was used to analyze the functional enrichment of the target genes. A total of 1,555 and 3,057 DEGs were identified in the wild type and Mist1KO mice treated with caerulein, respectively. DEGs screened in Mist1KO mice were predominantly enriched in apoptosis, mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and other cancer-associated pathways. A total of 188 and 51 TFs associated with pathopoiesis were isolated in Mist1KO and wild type mice, respectively. Out of the top 10 TFs (ranked by P-value), 7 TFs, including S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (Skp2); minichromosome maintenance complex component 3 (Mcm3); cell division cycle 6 (Cdc6); cyclin B1 (Ccnb1); mutS homolog 6 (Msh6); cyclin A2 (Ccna2); and cyclin B2 (Ccnb2), were expressed in the two types of mouse. These TFs were predominantly involved in phosphorylation, DNA replication, cell division and DNA mismatch repair. In addition, specific TFs, including minichromosome maintenance complex component 7 (Mcm7); lymphoid-specific helicase (Hells); and minichromosome maintenance complex component 6 (Mcm6), that function in the unwinding of DNA were identified to participate in Mist1KO pancreatitis. The DEGs, including Cdc6, Mcm6, Msh6 and Wdr1 are closely associated with the regulation of caerulein-induced pancreatitis. Furthermore, other identified TFs were also involved in this type of

  19. Elucidation of sigma factor-associated networks in Pseudomonas aeruginosa reveals a modular architecture with limited and function-specific crosstalk.

    PubMed

    Schulz, Sebastian; Eckweiler, Denitsa; Bielecka, Agata; Nicolai, Tanja; Franke, Raimo; Dötsch, Andreas; Hornischer, Klaus; Bruchmann, Sebastian; Düvel, Juliane; Häussler, Susanne

    2015-03-01

    Sigma factors are essential global regulators of transcription initiation in bacteria which confer promoter recognition specificity to the RNA polymerase core enzyme. They provide effective mechanisms for simultaneously regulating expression of large numbers of genes in response to challenging conditions, and their presence has been linked to bacterial virulence and pathogenicity. In this study, we constructed nine his-tagged sigma factor expressing and/or deletion mutant strains in the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. To uncover the direct and indirect sigma factor regulons, we performed mRNA profiling, as well as chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled to high-throughput sequencing. We furthermore elucidated the de novo binding motif of each sigma factor, and validated the RNA- and ChIP-seq results by global motif searches in the proximity of transcriptional start sites (TSS). Our integrated approach revealed a highly modular network architecture which is composed of insulated functional sigma factor modules. Analysis of the interconnectivity of the various sigma factor networks uncovered a limited, but highly function-specific, crosstalk which orchestrates complex cellular processes. Our data indicate that the modular structure of sigma factor networks enables P. aeruginosa to function adequately in its environment and at the same time is exploited to build up higher-level functions by specific interconnections that are dominated by a participation of RpoN. PMID:25780925

  20. Elucidating the evolutionary conserved DNA-binding specificities of WRKY transcription factors by molecular dynamics and in vitro binding assays

    PubMed Central

    Brand, Luise H.; Fischer, Nina M.; Harter, Klaus; Kohlbacher, Oliver; Wanke, Dierk

    2013-01-01

    WRKY transcription factors constitute a large protein family in plants that is involved in the regulation of developmental processes and responses to biotic or abiotic stimuli. The question arises how stimulus-specific responses are mediated given that the highly conserved WRKY DNA-binding domain (DBD) exclusively recognizes the ‘TTGACY’ W-box consensus. We speculated that the W-box consensus might be more degenerate and yet undetected differences in the W-box consensus of WRKYs of different evolutionary descent exist. The phylogenetic analysis of WRKY DBDs suggests that they evolved from an ancestral group IIc-like WRKY early in the eukaryote lineage. A direct descent of group IIc WRKYs supports a monophyletic origin of all other group II and III WRKYs from group I by loss of an N-terminal DBD. Group I WRKYs are of paraphyletic descent and evolved multiple times independently. By homology modeling, molecular dynamics simulations and in vitro DNA–protein interaction-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay with AtWRKY50 (IIc), AtWRKY33 (I) and AtWRKY11 (IId) DBDs, we revealed differences in DNA-binding specificities. Our data imply that other components are essentially required besides the W-box-specific binding to DNA to facilitate a stimulus-specific WRKY function. PMID:23975197

  1. Enhanced Two-Factor Authentication and Key Agreement Using Dynamic Identities in Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Chang, I-Pin; Lee, Tian-Fu; Lin, Tsung-Hung; Liu, Chuan-Ming

    2015-11-30

    Key agreements that use only password authentication are convenient in communication networks, but these key agreement schemes often fail to resist possible attacks, and therefore provide poor security compared with some other authentication schemes. To increase security, many authentication and key agreement schemes use smartcard authentication in addition to passwords. Thus, two-factor authentication and key agreement schemes using smartcards and passwords are widely adopted in many applications. Vaidya et al. recently presented a two-factor authentication and key agreement scheme for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). Kim et al. observed that the Vaidya et al. scheme fails to resist gateway node bypassing and user impersonation attacks, and then proposed an improved scheme for WSNs. This study analyzes the weaknesses of the two-factor authentication and key agreement scheme of Kim et al., which include vulnerability to impersonation attacks, lost smartcard attacks and man-in-the-middle attacks, violation of session key security, and failure to protect user privacy. An efficient and secure authentication and key agreement scheme for WSNs based on the scheme of Kim et al. is then proposed. The proposed scheme not only solves the weaknesses of previous approaches, but also increases security requirements while maintaining low computational cost.

  2. Enhanced Two-Factor Authentication and Key Agreement Using Dynamic Identities in Wireless Sensor Networks.

    PubMed

    Chang, I-Pin; Lee, Tian-Fu; Lin, Tsung-Hung; Liu, Chuan-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Key agreements that use only password authentication are convenient in communication networks, but these key agreement schemes often fail to resist possible attacks, and therefore provide poor security compared with some other authentication schemes. To increase security, many authentication and key agreement schemes use smartcard authentication in addition to passwords. Thus, two-factor authentication and key agreement schemes using smartcards and passwords are widely adopted in many applications. Vaidya et al. recently presented a two-factor authentication and key agreement scheme for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). Kim et al. observed that the Vaidya et al. scheme fails to resist gateway node bypassing and user impersonation attacks, and then proposed an improved scheme for WSNs. This study analyzes the weaknesses of the two-factor authentication and key agreement scheme of Kim et al., which include vulnerability to impersonation attacks, lost smartcard attacks and man-in-the-middle attacks, violation of session key security, and failure to protect user privacy. An efficient and secure authentication and key agreement scheme for WSNs based on the scheme of Kim et al. is then proposed. The proposed scheme not only solves the weaknesses of previous approaches, but also increases security requirements while maintaining low computational cost. PMID:26633396

  3. Enhanced Two-Factor Authentication and Key Agreement Using Dynamic Identities in Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Chang, I-Pin; Lee, Tian-Fu; Lin, Tsung-Hung; Liu, Chuan-Ming

    2015-01-01

    Key agreements that use only password authentication are convenient in communication networks, but these key agreement schemes often fail to resist possible attacks, and therefore provide poor security compared with some other authentication schemes. To increase security, many authentication and key agreement schemes use smartcard authentication in addition to passwords. Thus, two-factor authentication and key agreement schemes using smartcards and passwords are widely adopted in many applications. Vaidya et al. recently presented a two-factor authentication and key agreement scheme for wireless sensor networks (WSNs). Kim et al. observed that the Vaidya et al. scheme fails to resist gateway node bypassing and user impersonation attacks, and then proposed an improved scheme for WSNs. This study analyzes the weaknesses of the two-factor authentication and key agreement scheme of Kim et al., which include vulnerability to impersonation attacks, lost smartcard attacks and man-in-the-middle attacks, violation of session key security, and failure to protect user privacy. An efficient and secure authentication and key agreement scheme for WSNs based on the scheme of Kim et al. is then proposed. The proposed scheme not only solves the weaknesses of previous approaches, but also increases security requirements while maintaining low computational cost. PMID:26633396

  4. Part II--Factors Associated with School Nurse Ratios: Key State Informants' Perceptions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maughan, Erin

    2009-01-01

    This paper is the second of a two-part series examining factors influencing school nurse to pupil staffing ratios. The paper reports data from a qualitative study exploring the social and political factors that potentially influence ratios. Interviews were conducted with 30 key state informants from these states. Content analysis of the data…

  5. Key factors, Soil N Processes, and nitrite accumulation affecting nitrous oxide emissions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A better understanding of the key factors affecting nitrous oxide (N2O) emission and potential mitigation strategies is essential for sustainable agriculture. The objective of this study was to examine the important factors affecting N2O emissions, soil processes involved, and potential mitigation s...

  6. Teachers' Professional Development: What Are the Key Change Factors for Mathematics Teachers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pehkonen, Erkki; Torner, Gunter

    1999-01-01

    Surveyed and interviewed 13 experienced German middle school mathematics teachers to examine key factors causing discontinuity in their professional development. Results included 49 statements about change that fell into four categories. Researchers extracted three change factors not reported in earlier literature: experiences and observations…

  7. Elucidation of a key position for acyltransfer activity in Candida parapsilosis lipase/acyltransferase (CpLIP2) and in Pseudozyma antarctica lipase A (CAL-A) by rational design.

    PubMed

    Jan, Anne-Hélène; Subileau, Maeva; Deyrieux, Charlotte; Perrier, Véronique; Dubreucq, Éric

    2016-02-01

    Performing transesterifications in aqueous media is becoming a priority challenge in lipid biotechnology in order to develop more eco-friendly and efficient biocatalytic processes in systems containing both polar and apolar substrates. In this context, our group has explored for several years the high potential of the lipase/acyltransferase CpLIP2 from Candida parapsilosis and of several of its homologs, that catalyze efficiently acyltransfer reactions in lipid/water media with high water activity (aw>0.9). The discovery of a new member of this group, CduLAc from Candida dubliniensis, with a higher acyltransferase activity than CpLIP2, has provided a new insight on structure-function relationships in this group. Indeed, the comparison of sequences and 3D models, especially of CpLIP2 and CduLAc, with those of the phylogenetically related lipase A from Pseudozyma antarctica (CAL-A), allowed elucidating a key structural determinant of the acyltransferase activity: serine S369 in CpLIP2 and its equivalents E370 in CAL-A and A366 in CduLAc. Mutants obtained by rational design at this key position showed significant changes in acyltransfer activity. Whereas mutation S369E resulted in an increase in the hydrolytic activity of CpLIP2, S369A increased alcoholysis. More strikingly, the single E370A mutation in CAL-A drastically increased the acyltransferase activity of this enzyme, giving it the character of a lipase/acyltransferase. Indeed, this single mutation lowered the methanol concentration for which the initial rates of alcoholysis and hydrolysis are equal from 2M in CAL-A down to 0.3M in its mutant, while the exceptional stability of the parental enzyme toward alcohol and temperature was conserved.

  8. Ethylene Response Factors: A Key Regulatory Hub in Hormone and Stress Signaling.

    PubMed

    Müller, Maren; Munné-Bosch, Sergi

    2015-09-01

    Ethylene is essential for many developmental processes and a key mediator of biotic and abiotic stress responses in plants. The ethylene signaling and response pathway includes Ethylene Response Factors (ERFs), which belong to the transcription factor family APETALA2/ERF. It is well known that ERFs regulate molecular response to pathogen attack by binding to sequences containing AGCCGCC motifs (the GCC box), a cis-acting element. However, recent studies suggest that several ERFs also bind to dehydration-responsive elements and act as a key regulatory hub in plant responses to abiotic stresses. Here, we review some of the recent advances in our understanding of the ethylene signaling and response pathway, with emphasis on ERFs and their role in hormone cross talk and redox signaling under abiotic stresses. We conclude that ERFs act as a key regulatory hub, integrating ethylene, abscisic acid, jasmonate, and redox signaling in the plant response to a number of abiotic stresses.

  9. Key Motivational Factors in the Retention of Three Generations of Public High School Mathematics Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pospichal, Wendy

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe and compare the similarities and differences between five key motivational factors: (a) new teacher induction, (b) noninduction mentor support in the early years of teaching, (c) salary and benefits, (d) working conditions, and (e) administrative support influential in retention of employment in…

  10. Understanding Reusability as a Key Factor for Open Education: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chiappe, Andres; Arias, Vivian

    2015-01-01

    This article describes both the process and the results of an extensive literature review on "reusability" as one of the key factors for the creation of open content in the context of open and distance learning. Qualitative analysis of texts was made from 1992 to early 2014 in order to identify meanings associated with reusability and…

  11. Myopic Loss Aversion: Demystifying the Key Factors Influencing Decision Problem Framing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardin, Andrew M.; Looney, Clayton Arlen

    2012-01-01

    Advancement of myopic loss aversion theory has been hamstrung by conflicting results, methodological inconsistencies, and a piecemeal approach toward understanding the key factors influencing decision problem framing. A series of controlled experiments provides a more holistic view of the variables promoting myopia. Extending the information…

  12. Factors that Influence Policy Decisions in Literacy: Perspectives of Key Policy Informants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mraz, Maryann E.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the perspectives of key policy informants on the factors that they believed influence policy decisions in literacy education. Participants were selected because they had significantly influenced, or had attempted to influence, policy decisions in literacy at either the national or state level.…

  13. Agri-Environmental Resource Management by Large-Scale Collective Action: Determining KEY Success Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uetake, Tetsuya

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: Large-scale collective action is necessary when managing agricultural natural resources such as biodiversity and water quality. This paper determines the key factors to the success of such action. Design/Methodology/Approach: This paper analyses four large-scale collective actions used to manage agri-environmental resources in Canada and…

  14. [Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF): a key factor in the onset and progression of kidney damage].

    PubMed

    Sánchez-López, E; Rodrigues Díez, R; Rodríguez Vita, J; Rayego Mateos, S; Rodrigues Díez, R R; Rodríguez García, E; Lavoz Barria, C; Mezzano, S; Egido, J; Ortiz, A; Ruiz-Ortega, M; Selgas, R

    2009-01-01

    Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) is increased in several pathologies associated with fibrosis, including multiple renal diseases. CTGF is involved in biological processes such as cell cycle regulation, migration, adhesion and angiogenesis. Its expression is regulated by various factors involved in renal damage, such as transforming growth factor- , Angiotensin II, high concentrations of glucose and cellular stress. CTGF is involved in the initiation and progression of renal damage to be able to induce an inflammatory response and promote fibrosis, identified as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of kidney diseases. In this paper we review the main actions of CTGF in renal disease, the intracellular action mechanisms and therapeutic strategies for its blocking.

  15. Key factors of readiness in the implementation of industrialised building system (IBS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamrin, Norhidayah; Nawi, Mohd Nasrun Mohd; Nifa, Faizatul Akmar Abdul

    2016-08-01

    Although IBS has been introduced since the 1960, and many advantages that have identified for the implementation of IBS in Malaysia, yet the level of implementation of IBS still did not achieve the government target. Previous studies have been conducted to identify the factors that contribute to the lack of the implementation. From the previous studies, mostly the barriers of IBS implementation are rooted within the several semi-structured lack of readiness among industry players. The interview participants for this study are from the multidisciplinary IBS practitioners. This paper discusses the identified readiness with the objective to determine what the key factor of readiness in IBS implementation is and how far the factors influence the IBS activities. From the finding, the readiness factor was divided into three main factors which are knowledge, ability and planning.

  16. [Sensitivity evaluation and key sensitive factors identification of soil erosion around Hangzhou Bay based on RUSLE].

    PubMed

    Li, Cheng; Li, Jun-Xiang; Zhu, Fei-Ge; Cao, Lu; Chen, Zhu; Wu, Tong; Wu, Ming; Sun, Hai-Jing

    2009-07-01

    By using GIS and RS techniques and RUSLE, the rainfall erosivity (R), soil erodibility (K), vegetation and management factor (C), and slope length and steepness factor (LS) around Hangzhou Bay of Zhejiang Province, China were calculated to make a comprehensive sensitivity evaluation of soil erosion in the study area. In the meantime, the contribution of each natural factor, i. e., rainfall, soil texture, slope, and elevation, was analyzed, and a new approach, overlapping and ordering method, was developed to identify the key affecting factors in the given sensitive areas. In the study area, soil erosion was mainly at non-sensitive and low sensitive levels. The percentages of the areas with different soil erosion sensitivity varied with the strength of the affecting factors. Soil erosion sensitivity increased with increasing rainfall and slope, and the percentage of the area with high soil erosion sensitivity was the largest at elevation 200-500 meters. The overlapping and ordering method was a practicable approach in identifying the key affecting factors in given sensitive areas, being helpful to understand the mechanisms causing soil erosion.

  17. Key factors of susceptibility to anti-tuberculosis drug-induced hepatotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ru; Wang, Jing; Zhang, Yuan; Tang, Shaowen; Zhan, Siyan

    2015-06-01

    Anti-tuberculosis drug-induced hepatotoxicity (ATDH) is one of the leading adverse drug reactions during the course of tuberculosis treatment and poses a considerable challenge to clinicians and researchers. Previous studies have revealed the important contribution of drug metabolism and transporter enzymes to the complexity of ATDH. The emerging roles of immune response and oxidative stress resulting from reactive metabolite in the development of ATDH have also gained attention recently. Both non-genetic and genetic factors can have a significant impact on the susceptibility to ATDH, consequently altering the risk of hepatotoxicity in susceptible individuals. Non-genetic risk factors associated with ATDH include host factors, environment factors and drug-related factors. Genetic factors contributing to the susceptibility of ATDH involve genetic variations in bioactivation/toxification pathways via the cytochrome P450 enzymes (phase I), detoxification reactions by N-acetyl transferase 2, glutathione S-transferase and uridine diphosphate glucuronosyltransferase (phase II) and hepatic transport (phase III), together with immunological factors and antioxidant response. Better understanding of these factors may help to predict and prevent the occurrence of ATDH and develop more effective treatments. This review focuses on the mechanisms of ATDH and the key factors of susceptibility associated with drug metabolism, hepatic transport, immune response and oxidative stress. PMID:25693865

  18. Three-factor anonymous authentication and key agreement scheme for Telecare Medicine Information Systems.

    PubMed

    Arshad, Hamed; Nikooghadam, Morteza

    2014-12-01

    Nowadays, with comprehensive employment of the internet, healthcare delivery services is provided remotely by telecare medicine information systems (TMISs). A secure mechanism for authentication and key agreement is one of the most important security requirements for TMISs. Recently, Tan proposed a user anonymity preserving three-factor authentication scheme for TMIS. The present paper shows that Tan's scheme is vulnerable to replay attacks and Denial-of-Service attacks. In order to overcome these security flaws, a new and efficient three-factor anonymous authentication and key agreement scheme for TMIS is proposed. Security and performance analysis shows superiority of the proposed scheme in comparison with previously proposed schemes that are related to security of TMISs. PMID:25352490

  19. Key success factors for clinical knowledge management systems: Comparing physician and hospital manager viewpoints.

    PubMed

    Chang, Sho-Fang; Hsieh, Ping-Jung; Chen, Hui-Fang

    2015-01-01

    The study explores the perceptions of physicians and hospital managers regarding the key success factors (KSFs) of a clinical knowledge management system (CKMS). It aims to eliminate the perception gap and gain more insights for a successful CKMS.A survey was conducted in four medical centers in Taiwan. A total of 340 questionnaires, including 15 for hospital managers and 70 for physicians in each hospital, were administered. The effective response rates are 78.3% and 56.1% respectively. Partial least square (PLS) were used to analyze the data.The results identified six KSFs of CKMS including system software and hardware, knowledge quality, system quality, organizational factors, user satisfaction, and policy factors. User satisfaction and policy factors have direct effects on perceived CKMS performance. Knowledge quality is regarded as an antecedent to user satisfaction, while system quality is the antecedent to both user satisfaction and policy factors. System software and hardware was supported only by managers, and organizational factors were supported only by physicians.Among the factors, this study highlighted the policy factor. Besides, the study provides hospital managers additional insights into physician requirements for organizational support. Third, more physician participation and involvement are recommended when introducing and developing a CKMS.

  20. Key success factors for clinical knowledge management systems: Comparing physician and hospital manager viewpoints.

    PubMed

    Chang, Sho-Fang; Hsieh, Ping-Jung; Chen, Hui-Fang

    2015-01-01

    The study explores the perceptions of physicians and hospital managers regarding the key success factors (KSFs) of a clinical knowledge management system (CKMS). It aims to eliminate the perception gap and gain more insights for a successful CKMS.A survey was conducted in four medical centers in Taiwan. A total of 340 questionnaires, including 15 for hospital managers and 70 for physicians in each hospital, were administered. The effective response rates are 78.3% and 56.1% respectively. Partial least square (PLS) were used to analyze the data.The results identified six KSFs of CKMS including system software and hardware, knowledge quality, system quality, organizational factors, user satisfaction, and policy factors. User satisfaction and policy factors have direct effects on perceived CKMS performance. Knowledge quality is regarded as an antecedent to user satisfaction, while system quality is the antecedent to both user satisfaction and policy factors. System software and hardware was supported only by managers, and organizational factors were supported only by physicians.Among the factors, this study highlighted the policy factor. Besides, the study provides hospital managers additional insights into physician requirements for organizational support. Third, more physician participation and involvement are recommended when introducing and developing a CKMS. PMID:26444813

  1. Integrating candidate metabolites and biochemical factors to elucidate the action mechanism of Xue-sai-tong injection based on (1)H NMR metabolomics.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Miaomiao; Zhao, Xiaoping; Wang, Linli; Xu, Lei; Zhang, Yan; Li, Zheng

    2016-07-15

    A strategy of integrating candidate metabolites with crucial biochemical factors was proposed in this study to discover relevant biological functions for interpreting the action mechanism of Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM). This approach was applied to Xue-Sai-Tong injection (XST) to reveal the action mechanism based on the metabolic response in an ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) rat model by analyzing NMR profile. Partial least squares discriminate analysis (PLS-DA) was used to compare metabolic profiles of serum samples and revealed nine metabolites altered by I/R injury could be restored to normal status (sham-operated group) under the therapy of XST. The pathway enrichment analysis suggested the metabolic changes were mainly involved in pyruvate metabolism, glycolysis, and citrate cycle. The functional roles of the candidate metabolites were further identified by Pearson correlation analysis with the key biochemical factors in serum. The results indicated pyruvate, succinate, acetate and lysine showed significant associations with the oxidative stress factors. Elevated level of pyruvate was found as an essential metabolic response for the major effect of XST against I/R injury by enhancing glycolysis and overcoming the induced reactive oxygen species (ROS). This metabolomics approach provides a better understanding of the mechanisms of TCM and helps to develop a holistic view of TCM efficacy. PMID:26862062

  2. ION COMPOSITION ELUCIDATION (ICE)

    EPA Science Inventory



    Ion Composition Elucidation (ICE) utilizes selected ion recording with a double focusing mass spectrometer to simultaneously determine exact masses and relative isotopic abundances from mass peak profiles. These can be determined more accurately and at higher sensitivity ...

  3. Identifying the key factors affecting warning message dissemination in VANET real urban scenarios.

    PubMed

    Fogue, Manuel; Garrido, Piedad; Martinez, Francisco J; Cano, Juan-Carlos; Calafate, Carlos T; Manzoni, Pietro

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, new architectures and technologies have been proposed for Vehicular Ad Hoc networks (VANETs). Due to the cost and complexity of deploying such networks, most of these proposals rely on simulation. However, we find that most of the experiments made to validate these proposals tend to overlook the most important and representative factors. Moreover, the scenarios simulated tend to be very simplistic (highways or Manhattan-based layouts), which could seriously affect the validity of the obtained results. In this paper, we present a statistical analysis based on the 2k factorial methodology to determine the most representative factors affecting traffic safety applications under real roadmaps. Our purpose is to determine which are the key factors affecting Warning Message Dissemination in order to concentrate research tests on such parameters, thus avoiding unnecessary simulations and reducing the amount of simulation time required. Simulation results show that the key factors affecting warning messages delivery are the density of vehicles and the roadmap used. Based on this statistical analysis, we consider that VANET researchers must evaluate the benefits of their proposals using different vehicle densities and city scenarios, to obtain a broad perspective on the effectiveness of their solution. Finally, since city maps can be quite heterogeneous, we propose a roadmap profile classification to further reduce the number of cities evaluated. PMID:23604026

  4. Psychological factors mediate key symptoms of fibromyalgia through their influence on stress.

    PubMed

    Malin, Katrina; Littlejohn, Geoffrey Owen

    2016-09-01

    The clinical features of fibromyalgia are associated with various psychological factors, including stress. We examined the hypothesis that the path that psychological factors follow in influencing fibromyalgia symptoms is through their direct effect on stress. Ninety-eight females with ACR 1990 classified fibromyalgia completed the following questionnaires: The Big 5 Personality Inventory, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Scale, Profile of Mood States, Mastery Scale, and Perceived Control of Internal States Scale. SPSS (PASW version 22) was used to perform basic t tests, means, and standard deviations to show difference between symptom characteristics. Pathway analysis using structural equation modelling (Laavan) examined the effect of stress on the relationships between psychological factors and the elements that define the fibromyalgia phenotype. The preferred model showed that the identified path clearly linked the psychological variables of anxiety, neuroticism and mastery, but not internal control, to the three key elements of fibromyalgia, namely pain, fatigue and sleep (p < 0.001), via the person's perceived stress. Confusion, however, did not fit the preferred model. This study confirms that stress is a necessary link in the pathway between certain identified, established and significant psychological factors and key fibromyalgia symptoms. This has implications for the understanding of contributing mechanisms and the clinical care of patients with fibromyalgia.

  5. Identifying the Key Factors Affecting Warning Message Dissemination in VANET Real Urban Scenarios

    PubMed Central

    Fogue, Manuel; Garrido, Piedad; Martinez, Francisco J.; Cano, Juan-Carlos; Calafate, Carlos T.; Manzoni, Pietro

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, new architectures and technologies have been proposed for Vehicular Ad Hoc networks (VANETs). Due to the cost and complexity of deploying such networks, most of these proposals rely on simulation. However, we find that most of the experiments made to validate these proposals tend to overlook the most important and representative factors. Moreover, the scenarios simulated tend to be very simplistic (highways or Manhattan-based layouts), which could seriously affect the validity of the obtained results. In this paper, we present a statistical analysis based on the 2k factorial methodology to determine the most representative factors affecting traffic safety applications under real roadmaps. Our purpose is to determine which are the key factors affecting Warning Message Dissemination in order to concentrate research tests on such parameters, thus avoiding unnecessary simulations and reducing the amount of simulation time required. Simulation results show that the key factors affecting warning messages delivery are the density of vehicles and the roadmap used. Based on this statistical analysis, we consider that VANET researchers must evaluate the benefits of their proposals using different vehicle densities and city scenarios, to obtain a broad perspective on the effectiveness of their solution. Finally, since city maps can be quite heterogeneous, we propose a roadmap profile classification to further reduce the number of cities evaluated. PMID:23604026

  6. Psychological factors mediate key symptoms of fibromyalgia through their influence on stress.

    PubMed

    Malin, Katrina; Littlejohn, Geoffrey Owen

    2016-09-01

    The clinical features of fibromyalgia are associated with various psychological factors, including stress. We examined the hypothesis that the path that psychological factors follow in influencing fibromyalgia symptoms is through their direct effect on stress. Ninety-eight females with ACR 1990 classified fibromyalgia completed the following questionnaires: The Big 5 Personality Inventory, Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Scale, Profile of Mood States, Mastery Scale, and Perceived Control of Internal States Scale. SPSS (PASW version 22) was used to perform basic t tests, means, and standard deviations to show difference between symptom characteristics. Pathway analysis using structural equation modelling (Laavan) examined the effect of stress on the relationships between psychological factors and the elements that define the fibromyalgia phenotype. The preferred model showed that the identified path clearly linked the psychological variables of anxiety, neuroticism and mastery, but not internal control, to the three key elements of fibromyalgia, namely pain, fatigue and sleep (p < 0.001), via the person's perceived stress. Confusion, however, did not fit the preferred model. This study confirms that stress is a necessary link in the pathway between certain identified, established and significant psychological factors and key fibromyalgia symptoms. This has implications for the understanding of contributing mechanisms and the clinical care of patients with fibromyalgia. PMID:27245234

  7. A key genetic factor for fucosyllactose utilization affects infant gut microbiota development

    PubMed Central

    Matsuki, Takahiro; Yahagi, Kana; Mori, Hiroshi; Matsumoto, Hoshitaka; Hara, Taeko; Tajima, Saya; Ogawa, Eishin; Kodama, Hiroko; Yamamoto, Kazuya; Yamada, Takuji; Matsumoto, Satoshi; Kurokawa, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies have demonstrated that gut microbiota development influences infants' health and subsequent host physiology. However, the factors shaping the development of the microbiota remain poorly understood, and the mechanisms through which these factors affect gut metabolite profiles have not been extensively investigated. Here we analyse gut microbiota development of 27 infants during the first month of life. We find three distinct clusters that transition towards Bifidobacteriaceae-dominant microbiota. We observe considerable differences in human milk oligosaccharide utilization among infant bifidobacteria. Colonization of fucosyllactose (FL)-utilizing bifidobacteria is associated with altered metabolite profiles and microbiota compositions, which have been previously shown to affect infant health. Genome analysis of infants' bifidobacteria reveals an ABC transporter as a key genetic factor for FL utilization. Thus, the ability of bifidobacteria to utilize FL and the presence of FL in breast milk may affect the development of the gut microbiota in infants, and might ultimately have therapeutic implications. PMID:27340092

  8. Factors Affecting the Implementation of Curriculum Reform in Hong Kong: Key Findings from a Large-Scale Survey Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Alan C. K.; Wong, Ping Man

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The objective of this paper was to examine key hindering and facilitating factors in schools during the first stage of the curriculum reform (2001-2006) in Hong Kong and to identify key strategies to address these challenges. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 150 primary and 120 secondary schools with 7,869 key stakeholders…

  9. Review of key factors controlling engineered nanoparticle transport in porous media.

    PubMed

    Wang, Mei; Gao, Bin; Tang, Deshan

    2016-11-15

    Nanotechnology, an emerging technology, has witnessed rapid development in production and application. Engineered nanomaterials revolutionize the industry due to their unique structure and superior performance. The release of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) into the environment, however, may pose risks to the environment and public health. To advance current understanding of environmental behaviors of ENPs, this work provides an introductory overview of ENP fate and transport in porous media. It systematically reviews the key factors controlling their fate and transport in porous media. It first provides a brief overview of common ENPs in the environment and their sources. The key factors that govern ENP transport in porous media are then categorized into three groups: (1) nature of ENPs affecting their transport in porous media, (2) nature of porous media affecting ENP transport, and (3) nature of flow affecting ENP transport in porous media. In each group, findings in recent literature on the specific governing factors of ENP transport in porous media are discussed in details. Finally, this work concludes with remarks on the importance of ENP transport in porous media and directions for future research. PMID:27427890

  10. Key Factors Influencing Rapid Development of Potentially Dune-Stabilizing Moss-Dominated Crusts.

    PubMed

    Bu, Chongfeng; Zhang, Kankan; Zhang, Chunyun; Wu, Shufang

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are a widespread photosynthetic ground cover in arid and semiarid areas. They have many positive ecological functions, such as increasing soil stability, and reducing water and wind erosion. Using artificial technology to achieve the rapid development of BSCs is expected to become a low-cost and highly beneficial ecological restoration measure. In the present study, typical moss-dominated crusts in a region characterized by mobile dunes (Mu Us Sandland, China) were collected, and a 40-day cultivation experiment was performed to investigate key factors, including watering frequency, light intensity and a nutrient addition, which affect the rapid development of moss crusts and their optimal combination. The results demonstrated that watering frequency and illumination had a significant positive effect (P=0.049, three-factor ANOVA) and a highly significant, complicated effect (P=0.000, three-factor ANOVA), respectively, on the plant density of bryophytes, and a highly significant positive effect on the chlorophyll a and exopolysaccharide contents (P=0.000, P=0.000; P=0.000, P=0.000; one-way ANOVA). Knop nutrient solution did not have a significant positive but rather negative effect on the promotion of moss-dominated crust development (P=0.270, three-factor ANOVA). Moss-dominated crusts treated with the combination of moderate-intensity light (6,000 lx) + high watering frequency (1 watering/2 days) - Knop had the highest moss plant densities, while the treatment with high-intensity light (12,000 lx) + high watering frequency (1 watering/2 days) + Knop nutrient solution had higher chlorophyll a contents than that under other treatments. It is entirely feasible to achieve the rapid development of moss crusts under laboratory conditions by regulating key factors and creating the right environment. Future applications may seek to use cultured bryophytes to control erosion in vulnerable areas with urgent needs.

  11. Key Factors Influencing Rapid Development of Potentially Dune-Stabilizing Moss-Dominated Crusts.

    PubMed

    Bu, Chongfeng; Zhang, Kankan; Zhang, Chunyun; Wu, Shufang

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are a widespread photosynthetic ground cover in arid and semiarid areas. They have many positive ecological functions, such as increasing soil stability, and reducing water and wind erosion. Using artificial technology to achieve the rapid development of BSCs is expected to become a low-cost and highly beneficial ecological restoration measure. In the present study, typical moss-dominated crusts in a region characterized by mobile dunes (Mu Us Sandland, China) were collected, and a 40-day cultivation experiment was performed to investigate key factors, including watering frequency, light intensity and a nutrient addition, which affect the rapid development of moss crusts and their optimal combination. The results demonstrated that watering frequency and illumination had a significant positive effect (P=0.049, three-factor ANOVA) and a highly significant, complicated effect (P=0.000, three-factor ANOVA), respectively, on the plant density of bryophytes, and a highly significant positive effect on the chlorophyll a and exopolysaccharide contents (P=0.000, P=0.000; P=0.000, P=0.000; one-way ANOVA). Knop nutrient solution did not have a significant positive but rather negative effect on the promotion of moss-dominated crust development (P=0.270, three-factor ANOVA). Moss-dominated crusts treated with the combination of moderate-intensity light (6,000 lx) + high watering frequency (1 watering/2 days) - Knop had the highest moss plant densities, while the treatment with high-intensity light (12,000 lx) + high watering frequency (1 watering/2 days) + Knop nutrient solution had higher chlorophyll a contents than that under other treatments. It is entirely feasible to achieve the rapid development of moss crusts under laboratory conditions by regulating key factors and creating the right environment. Future applications may seek to use cultured bryophytes to control erosion in vulnerable areas with urgent needs. PMID:26230324

  12. Key Factors Influencing Rapid Development of Potentially Dune-Stabilizing Moss-Dominated Crusts

    PubMed Central

    Bu, Chongfeng; Zhang, Kankan; Zhang, Chunyun; Wu, Shufang

    2015-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are a widespread photosynthetic ground cover in arid and semiarid areas. They have many positive ecological functions, such as increasing soil stability, and reducing water and wind erosion. Using artificial technology to achieve the rapid development of BSCs is expected to become a low-cost and highly beneficial ecological restoration measure. In the present study, typical moss-dominated crusts in a region characterized by mobile dunes (Mu Us Sandland, China) were collected, and a 40-day cultivation experiment was performed to investigate key factors, including watering frequency, light intensity and a nutrient addition, which affect the rapid development of moss crusts and their optimal combination. The results demonstrated that watering frequency and illumination had a significant positive effect (P=0.049, three-factor ANOVA) and a highly significant, complicated effect (P=0.000, three-factor ANOVA), respectively, on the plant density of bryophytes, and a highly significant positive effect on the chlorophyll a and exopolysaccharide contents (P=0.000, P=0.000; P=0.000, P=0.000; one-way ANOVA). Knop nutrient solution did not have a significant positive but rather negative effect on the promotion of moss-dominated crust development (P=0.270, three-factor ANOVA). Moss-dominated crusts treated with the combination of moderate-intensity light (6,000 lx) + high watering frequency (1 watering/2 days) - Knop had the highest moss plant densities, while the treatment with high-intensity light (12,000 lx) + high watering frequency (1 watering/2 days) + Knop nutrient solution had higher chlorophyll a contents than that under other treatments. It is entirely feasible to achieve the rapid development of moss crusts under laboratory conditions by regulating key factors and creating the right environment. Future applications may seek to use cultured bryophytes to control erosion in vulnerable areas with urgent needs. PMID:26230324

  13. Key chemical factors of arginine finger catalysis of F1-ATPase clarified by an unnatural amino acid mutation.

    PubMed

    Yukawa, Ayako; Iino, Ryota; Watanabe, Rikiya; Hayashi, Shigehiko; Noji, Hiroyuki

    2015-01-20

    A catalytically important arginine, called Arg finger, is employed in many enzymes to regulate their functions through enzymatic hydrolysis of nucleotide triphosphates. F1-ATPase (F1), a rotary motor protein, possesses Arg fingers which catalyze hydrolysis of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for efficient chemomechanical energy conversion. In this study, we examined the Arg finger catalysis by single-molecule measurements for a mutant of F1 in which the Arg finger is substituted with an unnatural amino acid of a lysine analogue, 2,7-diaminoheptanoic acid (Lyk). The use of Lyk, of which the side chain is elongated by one CH2 unit so that its chain length to the terminal nitrogen of amine is set to be equal to that of arginine, allowed us to resolve key chemical factors in the Arg finger catalysis, i.e., chain length matching and chemical properties of the terminal groups. Rate measurements by single-molecule observations showed that the chain length matching of the side-chain length is not a sole requirement for the Arg finger to catalyze the ATP hydrolysis reaction step, indicating the crucial importance of chemical properties of the terminal guanidinium group in the Arg finger catalysis. On the other hand, the Lyk mutation prevented severe formation of an ADP inhibited state observed for a lysine mutant and even improved the avoidance of inhibition compared with the wild-type F1. The present study demonstrated that incorporation of unnatural amino acids can widely extend with its high "chemical" resolution biochemical approaches for elucidation of the molecular mechanism of protein functions and furnishing novel characteristics.

  14. The mechanism of sex determination in vertebrates-are sex steroids the key-factor?

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Masahisa

    2010-08-01

    In many vertebrate species, sex is determined at fertilization of zygotes by sex chromosome composition, knows as genotypic sex determination (GSD). But in some species-fish, amphibians and reptiles-sex is determined by environmental factors; in particular by temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). However, little is known about the mechanisms involved in TSD and GSD. How does TSD differ from GSD? As is well known, genes that activated downstream of sex-determining genes are conserved throughout all classes of vertebrates. What is the main factor that determines sex, then? Sex steroids can reverse sex of several species of vertebrate; estrogens induce the male-to-female sex-reversal, whereas androgens do the female-to-male sex-reversal. For such sex-reversal, a functioning sex-determining gene is not required. However, in R. rugosa CYP19 (P450 aromatase) is expressed at high levels in indifferent gonads before phenotypic sex determination, and the gene is also active in the bipotential gonad of females before sex determination. Thus, we may predict that an unknown factor, a common transcription factor locates on the X and/or W chromosome, intervenes directly or indirectly in the transcriptional up-regulation of the CYP19 gene for feminization in species of vertebrates with both TSD and GSD. Similarly, an unknown factor on the Z and/or Y chromosome probably intervenes directly or indirectly in the regulation of androgen biosynthesis for masculinization. In both cases, a sex-determining gene is not always necessary for sex determination. Taken together, sex steroids may be the key-factor for sex determination in some species of vertebrates.

  15. The plant RWP-RK transcription factors: key regulators of nitrogen responses and of gametophyte development.

    PubMed

    Chardin, Camille; Girin, Thomas; Roudier, François; Meyer, Christian; Krapp, Anne

    2014-10-01

    The plant specific RWP-RK family of transcription factors, initially identified in legumes and Chlamydomonas, are found in all vascular plants, green algae, and slime molds. These proteins possess a characteristic RWP-RK motif, which mediates DNA binding. Based on phylogenetic and domain analyses, we classified the RWP-RK proteins of six different species in two subfamilies: the NIN-like proteins (NLPs), which carry an additional PB1 domain at their C-terminus, and the RWP-RK domain proteins (RKDs), which are divided into three subgroups. Although, the functional analysis of this family is still in its infancy, several RWP-RK proteins have a key role in regulating responses to nitrogen availability. The nodulation-specific NIN proteins are involved in nodule organogenesis and rhizobial infection under nitrogen starvation conditions. Arabidopsis NLP7 in particular is a major player in the primary nitrate response. Several RKDs act as transcription factors involved in egg cell specification and differentiation or gametogenesis in algae, the latter modulated by nitrogen availability. Further studies are required to extend the general picture of the functional role of these exciting transcription factors.

  16. Key Factors Controlling the Applicability and Efficiency of Bioremediation of Chlorinated Ethenes In Situ

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, M.; Yoshikawa, M.; Takeuchi, M.; Komai, T.

    2012-12-01

    Bioremediation has been considered as one of environmentally friendly and cost effective approaches for cleaning up the sites polluted by organic contaminants, such as chlorinated ethenes. Although bioremediation, in its widest sense, is not new, and many researches have been performed on bioremediation of different kinds of pollutants, an effective design and implication of in situ bioremediation still remains a challenging problem because of the complexity. Many factors may affect the applicability and efficiency of bioremediation of chlorinated ethenes in situ, which include the type and concentration of contaminants, biological, geological and hydro-geological conditions of the site, physical and chemical characteristics of groundwater and soils to be treated, as well as the constraints in engineering. In this presentation, an overview together with a detailed discussion on each factor will be provided. The influences of individual factors are discussed using the data obtained or cited from different sites and experiments, and thus under different environmental conditions. The results of this study illustrated that 1) the establishment of microbial consortium is of crucial importance for a complete degradation of chlorinated ethenes, 2) in situ control of favorable conditions for increasing microbial activities for bio-degradation through a designed pathway is the key to success, 3) the focus of a successful remediation system is to design an effective delivery process that is capable of producing adequate amendment mixing of contaminant-degrading bacteria, appropriate concentrations of electron acceptors, electron donors, and microbial nutrients in the subsurface treatment area.

  17. Surgical Ventricular Entry is a Key Risk Factor for Leptomeningeal Metastasis of High Grade Gliomas

    PubMed Central

    Roelz, Roland; Reinacher, Peter; Jabbarli, Ramazan; Kraeutle, Rainer; Hippchen, Beate; Egger, Karl; Weyerbrock, Astrid; Machein, Marcia

    2015-01-01

    Leptomeningeal metastasis (LM) of high grade gliomas (HGG) can lead to devastating disease courses. Understanding of risk factors for LM is important to identify patients at risk. We reviewed patient records and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of all patients with a first diagnosis of HGG who underwent surgery in our institution between 2008 and 2012. To assess the influence of potential risk factors for LM and the impact of LM on survival multivariate statistics were performed. 239 patients with a diagnosis of HGG and at least 6 months of MRI and clinical follow-up were included. LM occurred in 27 (11%) patients and was symptomatic in 17 (65%). A strong correlation of surgical entry to the ventricle and LM was found (HR: 8.1). Ventricular entry was documented in 137 patients (57%) and LM ensued in 25 (18%) of these. Only two (2%) of 102 patients without ventricular entry developed LM. Median overall survival of patients after diagnosis of LM (239 days) was significantly shorter compared to patients without LM (626 days). LM is a frequent complication in the course of disease of HGG and is associated with poor survival. Surgical entry to the ventricle is a key risk factor for LM. PMID:26635136

  18. Key factors influencing rates of heterotrophic sulfate reduction in hydrothermal massive sulfide deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, K. L.; Rogers, D.; Girguis, P. R.

    2012-12-01

    Despite sulfate reduction's ubiquity in marine systems, relatively little is known about how environmental or ecological factors influence rates of sulfate reduction. While numerous studies have considered how sulfate reduction and methanogenesis compete for reductants in natural and human-made systems, less is known about how temperature or metabolite concentration, such as sulfate and sulfide concentrations, affects rates of sulfate reduction. Here we use a factorial experimental design to evaluate the effects of key variables on sulfate reduction kinetics in sulfide deposits recovered from hydrothermal vents in the Main Endeavor Field, Juan de Fuca ridge. Microbial sulfate reduction rates were measured by 35-S tracer techniques over a range of environmentally relevant chemical conditions (pH, H2S, SO42-, and organic carbon concentrations) and temperatures (4, 50 and 90°C). Maximum sulfate reduction rates were observed at 50°C, and sulfate reduction rates had significant positive correlations with increasing sulfide, pH and sulfate. However, sulfate reduction rates did not correlate to exogenous dissolved organic carbon, implicating exogenous hydrogen or endogenous organic matter as the reductant (or even sulfur disproportionation). This research presents an opportunity to better understand the key variables that influence the rates of microbial sulfate reduction in hydrothermal environments and provides a framework for modeling sulfate reduction in mid-ocean ridge systems.

  19. A Secure Three-Factor User Authentication and Key Agreement Protocol for TMIS With User Anonymity.

    PubMed

    Amin, Ruhul; Biswas, G P

    2015-08-01

    Telecare medical information system (TMIS) makes an efficient and convenient connection between patient(s)/user(s) and doctor(s) over the insecure internet. Therefore, data security, privacy and user authentication are enormously important for accessing important medical data over insecure communication. Recently, many user authentication protocols for TMIS have been proposed in the literature and it has been observed that most of the protocols cannot achieve complete security requirements. In this paper, we have scrutinized two (Mishra et al., Xu et al.) remote user authentication protocols using smart card and explained that both the protocols are suffering against several security weaknesses. We have then presented three-factor user authentication and key agreement protocol usable for TMIS, which fix the security pitfalls of the above mentioned schemes. The informal cryptanalysis makes certain that the proposed protocol provides well security protection on the relevant security attacks. Furthermore, the simulator AVISPA tool confirms that the protocol is secure against active and passive attacks including replay and man-in-the-middle attacks. The security functionalities and performance comparison analysis confirm that our protocol not only provide strong protection on security attacks, but it also achieves better complexities along with efficient login and password change phase as well as session key verification property.

  20. [Health care networks in Germany: status quo and key success factors].

    PubMed

    Wambach, Veit; Lindenthal, J

    2015-04-01

    One third of all practicing physicians are currently working in one of the 400 German health care networks. These physicians' networks bring together GPs and specialists and cooperate with different partners, for example, nursing homes, hospitals, and self-help groups. To increase the quality and the efficiency of care and patient satisfaction by improving the collaboration and communication between physicians and other health care providers.The example of the accountable care organization "Gesundheitsnetz Qualität und Effizienz" (QuE; Health Quality and Efficiency Network) in Nuremberg is used to show that it is possible to achieve an increase in efficiency while providing above-average quality of care and achieving high patient satisfaction. Additionally, the article deals with the status quo, the core objectives, and the key activities of previous generations of health care networks. Quality indicators, satisfaction surveys, and economic parameters are the basis for measuring and representing the above-average performance of physicians' networks. Regional health care networks offer an entire range of patient care, from outpatients and inpatients to the complementary sector, and thereby have excellent prospects for playing an even more important role in the German health care system. The key success factors are: the consideration of specific regional characteristics, their proximity to the patient, and consistent patient orientation.

  1. Adjuvants are Key Factors for the Development of Future Vaccines: Lessons from the Finlay Adjuvant Platform

    PubMed Central

    Pérez, Oliver; Romeu, Belkis; Cabrera, Osmir; González, Elizabeth; Batista-Duharte, Alexander; Labrada, Alexis; Pérez, Rocmira; Reyes, Laura M.; Ramírez, Wendy; Sifontes, Sergio; Fernández, Nelson; Lastre, Miriam

    2013-01-01

    The development of effective vaccines against neglected diseases, especially those associated with poverty and social deprivation, is urgently needed. Modern vaccine technologies and a better understanding of the immune response have provided scientists with the tools for rational and safer design of subunit vaccines. Often, however, subunit vaccines do not elicit strong immune responses, highlighting the need to incorporate better adjuvants; this step therefore becomes a key factor for vaccine development. In this review we outline some key features of modern vaccinology that are linked with the development of better adjuvants. In line with the increased desire to obtain novel adjuvants for future vaccines, the Finlay Adjuvant Platform offers a novel approach for the development of new and effective adjuvants. The Finlay Adjuvants (AFs), AFPL (proteoliposome), and AFCo (cochleate), were initially designed for parenteral and mucosal applications, and constitute potent adjuvants for the induction of Th1 responses against several antigens. This review summarizes the status of the Finlay technology in producing promising adjuvants for unsolved-vaccine diseases including mucosal approaches and therapeutic vaccines. Ideas related to adjuvant classification, adjuvant selection, and their possible influence on innate recognition via multiple toll-like receptors are also discussed. PMID:24348475

  2. A Secure Three-Factor User Authentication and Key Agreement Protocol for TMIS With User Anonymity.

    PubMed

    Amin, Ruhul; Biswas, G P

    2015-08-01

    Telecare medical information system (TMIS) makes an efficient and convenient connection between patient(s)/user(s) and doctor(s) over the insecure internet. Therefore, data security, privacy and user authentication are enormously important for accessing important medical data over insecure communication. Recently, many user authentication protocols for TMIS have been proposed in the literature and it has been observed that most of the protocols cannot achieve complete security requirements. In this paper, we have scrutinized two (Mishra et al., Xu et al.) remote user authentication protocols using smart card and explained that both the protocols are suffering against several security weaknesses. We have then presented three-factor user authentication and key agreement protocol usable for TMIS, which fix the security pitfalls of the above mentioned schemes. The informal cryptanalysis makes certain that the proposed protocol provides well security protection on the relevant security attacks. Furthermore, the simulator AVISPA tool confirms that the protocol is secure against active and passive attacks including replay and man-in-the-middle attacks. The security functionalities and performance comparison analysis confirm that our protocol not only provide strong protection on security attacks, but it also achieves better complexities along with efficient login and password change phase as well as session key verification property. PMID:26112322

  3. Traumatic Brain Injury as a Risk Factor for Alzheimer's Disease: Is Inflammatory Signaling a Key Player?

    PubMed

    Djordjevic, Jelena; Sabbir, Mohammad Golam; Albensi, Benedict C

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has become a significant medical and social concern within the last 30 years. TBI has acute devastating effects, and in many cases, seems to initiate long-term neurodegeneration. With advances in medical technology, many people are now surviving severe brain injuries and their long term consequences. Post trauma effects include communication problems, sensory deficits, emotional and behavioral problems, physical complications and pain, increased suicide risk, dementia, and an increased risk for chronic CNS diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). In this review, we provide an introduction to TBI and hypothesize how it may lead to neurodegenerative disease in general and AD in particular. In addition, we discuss the evidence that supports the hypothesis that TBI may lead to AD. In particular, we focus on inflammatory responses as key processes in TBI-induced secondary injury, with emphasis on nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling. PMID:26899581

  4. Fructose: A Key Factor in the Development of Metabolic Syndrome and Hypertension

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dong Hyun

    2013-01-01

    Diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome are becoming leading causes of death in the world. Identifying the etiology of diabetes is key to prevention. Despite the similarity in their structures, fructose and glucose are metabolized in different ways. Uric acid, a byproduct of uncontrolled fructose metabolism is known risk factor for hypertension. In the liver, fructose bypasses the two highly regulated steps in glycolysis, glucokinase and phosphofructokinase, both of which are inhibited by increasing concentrations of their byproducts. Fructose is metabolized by fructokinase (KHK). KHK has no negative feedback system, and ATP is used for phosphorylation. This results in intracellular phosphate depletion and the rapid generation of uric acid due to activation of AMP deaminase. Uric acid, a byproduct of this reaction, has been linked to endothelial dysfunction, insulin resistance, and hypertension. We present possible mechanisms by which fructose causes insulin resistance and suggest actions based on this association that have therapeutic implications. PMID:23762544

  5. Vascular endothelial growth factor as a key inducer of angiogenesis in the asthmatic airways.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Norbert; Akdis, Cezmi A

    2013-02-01

    Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by structural airway changes, which are known as airway remodeling, including smooth muscle hypertrophy, goblet cell hyperplasia, subepithelial fibrosis, and angiogenesis. Vascular remodeling in asthmatic lungs results from increased angiogenesis, which is mainly mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF is a key regulator of blood vessel growth in the airways of asthma patients by promoting proliferation and differentiation of endothelial cells and inducing vascular leakage and permeability. In addition, VEGF induces allergic inflammation, enhances allergic sensitization, and has a role in Th2 type inflammatory responses. Specific inhibitors of VEGF and blockers of its receptors might be useful to control chronic airway inflammation and vascular remodeling, and might be a new therapeutic approach for chronic inflammatory airway disease like asthma.

  6. The Angiocrine Factor Rspondin3 Is a Key Determinant of Liver Zonation.

    PubMed

    Rocha, Ana Sofia; Vidal, Valerie; Mertz, Marjolijn; Kendall, Timothy J; Charlet, Aurelie; Okamoto, Hitoshi; Schedl, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    Liver zonation, the spatial separation of different metabolic pathways along the liver sinusoids, is fundamental for proper functioning of this organ, and its disruption can lead to the development of metabolic disorders such as hyperammonemia. Metabolic zonation involves the induction of β-catenin signaling around the central veins, but how this patterned activity is established and maintained is unclear. Here, we show that the signaling molecule Rspondin3 is specifically expressed within the endothelial compartment of the central vein. Conditional deletion of Rspo3 in mice disrupts activation of central fate, demonstrating its crucial role in determining and maintaining β-catenin-dependent zonation. Moreover, ectopic expression of Rspo1, a close family member of Rspo3, induces the expression of pericentral markers, demonstrating Rspondins to be sufficient to imprint a more central fate. Thus, Rspo3 is a key angiocrine factor that controls metabolic zonation of liver hepatocytes.

  7. Key factor in rice husk Ash/CaO sorbent for high flue gas desulfurization activity.

    PubMed

    Dahlan, Irvan; Lee, Keat Teong; Kamaruddin, Azlina Harun; Mohamed, Abdul Rahman

    2006-10-01

    Siliceous materials such as rice husk ash (RHA) have potential to be utilized as high performance sorbents for the flue gas desulfurization process in small-scale industrial boilers. This study presents findings on identifying the key factorfor high desulfurization activity in sorbents prepared from RHA. Initially, a systematic approach using central composite rotatable design was used to develop a mathematical model that correlates the sorbent preparation variables to the desulfurization activity of the sorbent. The sorbent preparation variables studied are hydration period, x1 (6-16 h), amount of RHA, x2 (5-15 g), amount of CaO, x3 (2-6 g), amount of water, x4 (90-110 mL), and hydration temperature, x5 (150-250 degrees C). The mathematical model developed was subjected to statistical tests and the model is adequate for predicting the SO2 desulfurization activity of the sorbent within the range of the sorbent preparation variables studied. Based on the model, the amount of RHA, amount of CaO, and hydration period used in the preparation step significantly influenced the desulfurization activity of the sorbent. The ratio of RHA and CaO used in the preparation mixture was also a significant factor that influenced the desulfurization activity of the sorbent. A RHA to CaO ratio of 2.5 leads to the formation of specific reactive species in the sorbent that are believed to be the key factor responsible for high desulfurization activity in the sorbent. Other physical properties of the sorbent such as pore size distribution and surface morphology were found to have insignificant influence on the desulfurization activity of the sorbent.

  8. Key factors for assessing climate benefits of natural gas versus coal electricity generation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaochun; Myhrvold, Nathan P.; Caldeira, Ken

    2014-11-01

    Assessing potential climate effects of natural gas versus coal electricity generation is complicated by the large number of factors reported in life cycle assessment studies, compounded by the large number of proposed climate metrics. Thus, there is a need to identify the key factors affecting the climate effects of natural gas versus coal electricity production, and to present these climate effects in as clear and transparent a way as possible. Here, we identify power plant efficiencies and methane leakage rates as the factors that explain most of the variance in greenhouse gas emissions by natural gas and coal power plants. Thus, we focus on the role of these factors in determining the relative merits of natural gas versus coal power plants. We develop a simple model estimating CO2 and CH4 emissions from natural gas and coal power plants, and resulting temperature change. Simple underlying physical changes can be obscured by abstract evaluation metrics, thus we focus our analysis on the time evolution of global mean temperature. We find that, during the period of plant operation, if there is substantial methane leakage, natural gas plants can produce greater near-term warming than coal plants with the same power output. However, if methane leakage rates are low and power plant efficiency is high, natural gas plants can produce some reduction in near-term warming. In the long term, natural gas power plants produce less warming than would occur with coal power plants. However, without carbon capture and storage natural gas power plants cannot achieve the deep reductions that would be required to avoid substantial contribution to additional global warming.

  9. Influences of key factors on manganese release from soil of a reservoir shore.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lei; Zheng, Xilai; Wang, Tiejun; Zhang, Junjie

    2015-08-01

    In the summertime, the manganese pollution in moderately deep lakes and reservoirs caused by thermal stratification processes has been a serious problem. To mitigate the issue, understanding the key factors that control manganese releases from reservoir soils is a critical step. To this end, batch experiments and the response surface methodology (RSM) analysis were conducted in this study to investigate the release of Mn(diss) and Mn(III) (0.45 μm filterable) from soil samples collected along a reservoir shore under different combined effects of pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), temperature, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). According to the three-dimensional (3-D) response surfaces plotted from the mathematical model, the highest concentrations of Mn(diss) and Mn(III) released from the studied soils were achieved when the release process was carried out at 30.0 °C using a citric acid solution (10.8 mg/L) of pH 6.0 with the DO concentration of 0.0 mg/L. It was found that pH was the most significant factor affecting the release of Mn(diss) and Mn(III) among the four factors. The combined effect of pH and DOC was also very significant to stimulate Mn(III) releases. In addition, both Mn(diss) and Mn(III) followed the same release principle under the coupled effects of the four factors. A close agreement between experimental and predicted values from the developed models was found.

  10. SOX9 modulates the expression of key transcription factors required for heart valve development.

    PubMed

    Garside, Victoria C; Cullum, Rebecca; Alder, Olivia; Lu, Daphne Y; Vander Werff, Ryan; Bilenky, Mikhail; Zhao, Yongjun; Jones, Steven J M; Marra, Marco A; Underhill, T Michael; Hoodless, Pamela A

    2015-12-15

    Heart valve formation initiates when endothelial cells of the heart transform into mesenchyme and populate the cardiac cushions. The transcription factor SOX9 is highly expressed in the cardiac cushion mesenchyme, and is essential for heart valve development. Loss of Sox9 in mouse cardiac cushion mesenchyme alters cell proliferation, embryonic survival, and valve formation. Despite this important role, little is known about how SOX9 regulates heart valve formation or its transcriptional targets. Therefore, we mapped putative SOX9 binding sites by ChIP-Seq in E12.5 heart valves, a stage at which the valve mesenchyme is actively proliferating and initiating differentiation. Embryonic heart valves have been shown to express a high number of genes that are associated with chondrogenesis, including several extracellular matrix proteins and transcription factors that regulate chondrogenesis. Therefore, we compared regions of putative SOX9 DNA binding between E12.5 heart valves and E12.5 limb buds. We identified context-dependent and context-independent SOX9-interacting regions throughout the genome. Analysis of context-independent SOX9 binding suggests an extensive role for SOX9 across tissues in regulating proliferation-associated genes including key components of the AP-1 complex. Integrative analysis of tissue-specific SOX9-interacting regions and gene expression profiles on Sox9-deficient heart valves demonstrated that SOX9 controls the expression of several transcription factors with previously identified roles in heart valve development, including Twist1, Sox4, Mecom and Pitx2. Together, our data identify SOX9-coordinated transcriptional hierarchies that control cell proliferation and differentiation during valve formation.

  11. Distributions of key exposure factors controlling the uptake of xenobiotic chemicals in an estuarine food web

    SciTech Connect

    Iannuzzi, T.J.; Harrington, N.W.; Shear, N.M.; Curry, C.L.; Carlson-Lynch, H.; Henning, M.H.; Su, S.H.; Rabbe, D.E.

    1996-11-01

    A critical evaluation of literature on the behavior, physiology, and ecology of common estuarine organisms was conducted in an attempt to develop probabilistic distributions for those variables that influence the uptake of xenobiotic chemicals from sediments, water, and food sources. The ranges, central tendencies, and distributions of several key parameter values were identified for dominant organisms from various trophic levels, including the polychaete Nereis virens, mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus), blue crab (Callinectes sapidus), and striped bass (Morone saxatilis). The exposure factors of interest included ingestion rate for various food sources, growth rate, respiration rate, excretion rate, body weight, wet/dry weight ratio, lipid content, chemical assimilation efficiency, and food assimilation efficiency. These exposure factors are critical to the execution of mechanistic food web models, which, when properly calibrated, can be used to estimate tissue concentrations of nonionic chemicals in aquatic organisms based on knowledge of the bioenergetics and feeding interactions within a food web and the sediment and water concentrations of chemicals. In this article the authors describe the use of distributions for various exposure factors in the context of a mechanistic bioaccumulation model that is amenable to probabilistic analyses for multiple organisms within a food web. A case study is provided which compares the estimated versus measured concentrations of five polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners in a representative food web from the tidal portion of the Passaic River, New Jersey, USA. The results suggest that the model is accurate within an order of magnitude or less in estimating the bioaccumulation of PCBs in this food web without calibration. The results of a model sensitivity analysis suggest that the input parameters which most influence the output of the model are both chemical and organism specific.

  12. Loss of delta-6-desaturase activity as a key factor in aging.

    PubMed

    Horrobin, D F

    1981-09-01

    Aging is characterized by a wide variety of defects, particularly in the cardiovascular and immune systems. Cyclic AMP levels fall, especially in lymphocytes. Delta-6-desaturase (D6D) levels have been found to fall rapidly in the testes and more slowly in the liver in aging rats. D6D is an enzyme which converts cis-linoleic acid to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Other factors which inhibit D6D activity are diabetes, alcohol and radiation, all of which may be associated with accelerated aging. In meat eaters or omnivores which can acquire arachidonic acid from food, the main consequences of D6D loss will be deficiencies of GLA, dihomogamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) and prostaglandin (PG) E1. PGE1 activates T lymphocytes, inhibits smooth muscle proliferation and thrombosis, is important in gonadal function and raises cyclic AMP levels in many tissues. It is a good candidate for a key factor lost in aging. Moderate food restriction, the only manoeuvre which consistently slows aging in homoiotherms, raises D6D activity by 300%. Other factors important in regulating D6D and the conversion of GLA to PGE1 are zinc, pyridoxine, ascorbic acid, the pineal hormone, melatonin, and possibly vitamin B3. GLA administration to humans has been found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and to cause clinical improvement in patients with Sjogren's syndrome, scleroderma and alcoholism. These diseases are associated with some features of accelerated aging. The proposition that D6D loss is not only a marker of aging but a cause of some of its major manifestations is amenable to experimental test even in humans. The blocked enzyme can be by-passed by giving GLA directly.

  13. Loss of striatal type 1 cannabinoid receptors is a key pathogenic factor in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Blázquez, Cristina; Chiarlone, Anna; Sagredo, Onintza; Aguado, Tania; Pazos, M Ruth; Resel, Eva; Palazuelos, Javier; Julien, Boris; Salazar, María; Börner, Christine; Benito, Cristina; Carrasco, Carolina; Diez-Zaera, María; Paoletti, Paola; Díaz-Hernández, Miguel; Ruiz, Carolina; Sendtner, Michael; Lucas, José J; de Yébenes, Justo G; Marsicano, Giovanni; Monory, Krisztina; Lutz, Beat; Romero, Julián; Alberch, Jordi; Ginés, Silvia; Kraus, Jürgen; Fernández-Ruiz, Javier; Galve-Roperh, Ismael; Guzmán, Manuel

    2011-01-01

    Endocannabinoids act as neuromodulatory and neuroprotective cues by engaging type 1 cannabinoid receptors. These receptors are highly abundant in the basal ganglia and play a pivotal role in the control of motor behaviour. An early downregulation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors has been documented in the basal ganglia of patients with Huntington's disease and animal models. However, the pathophysiological impact of this loss of receptors in Huntington's disease is as yet unknown. Here, we generated a double-mutant mouse model that expresses human mutant huntingtin exon 1 in a type 1 cannabinoid receptor-null background, and found that receptor deletion aggravates the symptoms, neuropathology and molecular pathology of the disease. Moreover, pharmacological administration of the cannabinoid Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol to mice expressing human mutant huntingtin exon 1 exerted a therapeutic effect and ameliorated those parameters. Experiments conducted in striatal cells show that the mutant huntingtin-dependent downregulation of the receptors involves the control of the type 1 cannabinoid receptor gene promoter by repressor element 1 silencing transcription factor and sensitizes cells to excitotoxic damage. We also provide in vitro and in vivo evidence that supports type 1 cannabinoid receptor control of striatal brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression and the decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels concomitant with type 1 cannabinoid receptor loss, which may contribute significantly to striatal damage in Huntington's disease. Altogether, these results support the notion that downregulation of type 1 cannabinoid receptors is a key pathogenic event in Huntington's disease, and suggest that activation of these receptors in patients with Huntington's disease may attenuate disease progression.

  14. Short-term selective alleviation of glucotoxicity and lipotoxicity ameliorates the suppressed expression of key β-cell factors under diabetic conditions.

    PubMed

    Shimo, Naoki; Matsuoka, Taka-aki; Miyatsuka, Takeshi; Takebe, Satomi; Tochino, Yoshihiro; Takahara, Mitsuyoshi; Kaneto, Hideaki; Shimomura, Iichiro

    2015-11-27

    Alleviation of hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidemia improves pancreatic β-cell function in type 2 diabetes. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are still not well clarified. In this study, we aimed to elucidate how the expression alterations of key β-cell factors are altered by the short-term selective alleviation of glucotoxicity or lipotoxicity. We treated db/db mice for one week with empagliflozin and/or bezafibrate to alleviate glucotoxicity and/or liptotoxicity, respectively. The gene expression levels of Pdx1 and Mafa, and their potential targets, insulin 1, Slc2a2, and Glp1r, were higher in the islets of empagliflozin-treated mice, and levels of insulin 2 were higher in mice treated with both reagents, than in untreated mice. Moreover, compared to the pretreatment levels, Mafa and insulin 1 expression increased in empagliflozin-treated mice, and Slc2a2 increased in combination-treated mice. In addition, empagliflozin treatment enhanced β-cell proliferation assessed by Ki-67 immunostaining. Our date clearly demonstrated that the one-week selective alleviation of glucotoxicity led to the better expression levels of the key β-cell factors critical for β-cell function over pretreatment levels, and that the alleviation of lipotoxicity along with glucotoxicity augmented the favorable effects under diabetic conditions. PMID:26471305

  15. Myocardial ischemia is a key factor in the management of stable coronary artery disease

    PubMed Central

    Iwasaki, Kohichiro

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies demonstrated that coronary revascularization, especially percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), does not significantly decrease the incidence of cardiac death or myocardial infarction in patients with stable coronary artery disease. Many studies using myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) showed that, for patients with moderate to severe ischemia, revascularization is the preferred therapy for survival benefit, whereas for patients with no to mild ischemia, medical therapy is the main choice, and revascularization is associated with increased mortality. There is some evidence that revascularization in patients with no or mild ischemia is likely to result in worsened ischemia, which is associated with increased mortality. Studies using fractional flow reserve (FFR) demonstrate that ischemia-guided PCI is superior to angiography-guided PCI, and the presence of ischemia is the key to decision-making for PCI. Complementary use of noninvasive MPI and invasive FFR would be important to compensate for each method’s limitations. Recent studies of appropriateness criteria showed that, although PCI in the acute setting and coronary bypass surgery are properly performed in most patients, PCI in the non-acute setting is often inappropriate, and stress testing to identify myocardial ischemia is performed in less than half of patients. Also, some studies suggested that revascularization in an inappropriate setting is not associated with improved prognosis. Taken together, the presence and the extent of myocardial ischemia is a key factor in the management of patients with stable coronary artery disease, and coronary revascularization in the absence of myocardial ischemia is associated with worsened prognosis. PMID:24772253

  16. Defining a protective epitope on factor H binding protein, a key meningococcal virulence factor and vaccine antigen.

    PubMed

    Malito, Enrico; Faleri, Agnese; Lo Surdo, Paola; Veggi, Daniele; Maruggi, Giulietta; Grassi, Eva; Cartocci, Elena; Bertoldi, Isabella; Genovese, Alessia; Santini, Laura; Romagnoli, Giacomo; Borgogni, Erica; Brier, Sébastien; Lo Passo, Carla; Domina, Maria; Castellino, Flora; Felici, Franco; van der Veen, Stijn; Johnson, Steven; Lea, Susan M; Tang, Christoph M; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Savino, Silvana; Norais, Nathalie; Rappuoli, Rino; Bottomley, Matthew J; Masignani, Vega

    2013-02-26

    Mapping of epitopes recognized by functional monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is essential for understanding the nature of immune responses and designing improved vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. In recent years, identification of B-cell epitopes targeted by neutralizing antibodies has facilitated the design of peptide-based vaccines against highly variable pathogens like HIV, respiratory syncytial virus, and Helicobacter pylori; however, none of these products has yet progressed into clinical stages. Linear epitopes identified by conventional mapping techniques only partially reflect the immunogenic properties of the epitope in its natural conformation, thus limiting the success of this approach. To investigate antigen-antibody interactions and assess the potential of the most common epitope mapping techniques, we generated a series of mAbs against factor H binding protein (fHbp), a key virulence factor and vaccine antigen of Neisseria meningitidis. The interaction of fHbp with the bactericidal mAb 12C1 was studied by various epitope mapping methods. Although a 12-residue epitope in the C terminus of fHbp was identified by both Peptide Scanning and Phage Display Library screening, other approaches, such as hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (MS) and X-ray crystallography, showed that mAb 12C1 occupies an area of ∼1,000 Å(2) on fHbp, including >20 fHbp residues distributed on both N- and C-terminal domains. Collectively, these data show that linear epitope mapping techniques provide useful but incomplete descriptions of B-cell epitopes, indicating that increased efforts to fully characterize antigen-antibody interfaces are required to understand and design effective immunogens.

  17. Defining a protective epitope on factor H binding protein, a key meningococcal virulence factor and vaccine antigen

    PubMed Central

    Malito, Enrico; Faleri, Agnese; Lo Surdo, Paola; Veggi, Daniele; Maruggi, Giulietta; Grassi, Eva; Cartocci, Elena; Bertoldi, Isabella; Genovese, Alessia; Santini, Laura; Romagnoli, Giacomo; Borgogni, Erica; Brier, Sébastien; Lo Passo, Carla; Domina, Maria; Castellino, Flora; Felici, Franco; van der Veen, Stijn; Johnson, Steven; Lea, Susan M.; Tang, Christoph M.; Pizza, Mariagrazia; Savino, Silvana; Norais, Nathalie; Rappuoli, Rino; Bottomley, Matthew J.; Masignani, Vega

    2013-01-01

    Mapping of epitopes recognized by functional monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) is essential for understanding the nature of immune responses and designing improved vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics. In recent years, identification of B-cell epitopes targeted by neutralizing antibodies has facilitated the design of peptide-based vaccines against highly variable pathogens like HIV, respiratory syncytial virus, and Helicobacter pylori; however, none of these products has yet progressed into clinical stages. Linear epitopes identified by conventional mapping techniques only partially reflect the immunogenic properties of the epitope in its natural conformation, thus limiting the success of this approach. To investigate antigen–antibody interactions and assess the potential of the most common epitope mapping techniques, we generated a series of mAbs against factor H binding protein (fHbp), a key virulence factor and vaccine antigen of Neisseria meningitidis. The interaction of fHbp with the bactericidal mAb 12C1 was studied by various epitope mapping methods. Although a 12-residue epitope in the C terminus of fHbp was identified by both Peptide Scanning and Phage Display Library screening, other approaches, such as hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (MS) and X-ray crystallography, showed that mAb 12C1 occupies an area of ∼1,000 Å2 on fHbp, including >20 fHbp residues distributed on both N- and C-terminal domains. Collectively, these data show that linear epitope mapping techniques provide useful but incomplete descriptions of B-cell epitopes, indicating that increased efforts to fully characterize antigen–antibody interfaces are required to understand and design effective immunogens. PMID:23396847

  18. Modeling and analysis of PM2.5 generation for key factors identification in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Dehong; Jiang, Binfan; Xie, Yulei

    2016-06-01

    Recently, the PM2.5 pollution in China has occurred frequently and caused widely concern. In order to identify the key factors for PM2.5 generation, the formation characteristics of PM2.5 would be revealed. A property of electric neutrality of PM2.5 was proposed under the least-energy principle and verified through electricity-charge calculation in this paper. It indicated that PM2.5 is formed by the effect of electromagnetic force, including the effect of ionic bond, hydrogen bond and polarization. According to the analysis of interactive forces among different chemical components, a simulation model is developed for describing the random process of PM2.5 generation. In addition, an orthogonal test with two levels and four factors has been designed and carried out through the proposed model. From the text analysis, PM2.5 would be looser and suspend longer in atmosphere due to Organic Compound (OC) existing (OC can reduce about 67% of PM2.5 density). Considering that NH4+ is the only cation in the main chemical components of PM2.5, it would be vital for anions (such as SO42- and NO3-) to aggregate together for facilitating PM2.5 growing. Therefore, in order to relieve PM2.5 pollution, control strategies for OC and NH4+ would be enhanced by government through improving the quality of oils and solvent products, decreasing the amount of nitrogenous fertilizer utilization, or changing the fertilizing environment from dry condition to wet condition.

  19. Edoxaban transport via P-glycoprotein is a key factor for the drug's disposition.

    PubMed

    Mikkaichi, Tsuyoshi; Yoshigae, Yasushi; Masumoto, Hiroshi; Imaoka, Tomoki; Rozehnal, Veronika; Fischer, Thomas; Okudaira, Noriko; Izumi, Takashi

    2014-04-01

    Edoxaban (the free base of DU-176b), an oral direct factor Xa inhibitor, is mainly excreted unchanged into urine and feces. Because active membrane transport processes such as active renal secretion, biliary excretion, and/or intestinal secretion, and the incomplete absorption of edoxaban after oral administration have been observed, the involvement of drug transporters in the disposition of edoxaban was investigated. Using a bidirectional transport assay in human colon adenocarcinoma Caco-2 cell monolayers, we observed the vectorial transport of [(14)C]edoxaban, which was completely inhibited by verapamil, a strong P-glycoprotein (P-gp) inhibitor. In an in vivo study, an increased distribution of edoxaban to the brain was observed in Mdr1a/1b knockout mice when compared with wild-type mice, indicating that edoxaban is a substrate for P-gp. However, there have been no observations of significant transport of edoxaban by renal or hepatic uptake transporters, organic anion transporter (OAT)1, OAT3, organic cation transporter (OCT)2, or organic anion transporting polypeptide (OATP)1B1. Edoxaban exhibited no remarkable inhibition of OAT1, OAT3, OCT1, OCT2, OATP1B1, OATP1B3, or P-gp up to 30 μM; therefore, the risk of clinical drug-drug interactions due to any edoxaban-related transporter inhibition seems to be negligible. Our results demonstrate that edoxaban is a substrate of P-gp but not of other major uptake transporters tested. Because metabolism is a minor contributor to the total clearance of edoxaban and strong P-gp inhibitors clearly impact edoxaban transport, the P-gp transport system is a key factor for edoxaban's disposition.

  20. Hepatitis C virus suppresses Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 alpha, a key regulator of hepatocellular carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Vallianou, Ioanna; Dafou, Dimitra; Vassilaki, Niki; Mavromara, Penelope; Hadzopoulou-Cladaras, Margarita

    2016-09-01

    Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection presents with a disturbed lipid profile and can evolve to hepatic steatosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 4 alpha (HNF4α) is the most abundant transcription factor in the liver, a key regulator of hepatic lipid metabolism and a critical determinant of Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition and hepatic development. We have previously shown that transient inhibition of HNF4α initiates transformation of immortalized hepatocytes through a feedback loop consisting of miR-24, IL6 receptor (IL6R), STAT3, miR-124 and miR-629, suggesting a central role of HNF4α in HCC. However, the role of HNF4α in Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)-related hepatocarcinoma has not been evaluated and remains controversial. In this study, we provide strong evidence suggesting that HCV downregulates HNF4α expression at both transcriptional and translational levels. The observed decrease of HNF4α expression correlated with the downregulation of its downstream targets, HNF1α and MTP. Ectopic overexpression of HCV proteins also exhibited an inhibitory effect on HNF4α levels. The inhibition of HNF4α expression by HCV appeared to be mediated at transcriptional level as HCV proteins suppressed HNF4α gene promoter activity. HCV also up-regulated IL6R, activated STAT3 protein phosphorylation and altered the expression of acute phase genes. Furthermore, as HCV triggered the loss of HNF4α a consequent change of miR-24, miR-629 or miR-124 was observed. Our findings demonstrated that HCV-related HCC could be mediated through HNF4α-microRNA deregulation implying a possible role of HNF4α in HCV hepatocarcinogenesis. HCV inhibition of HNF4α could be sustained to promote HCC. PMID:27477312

  1. Human Factors Engineering Program Review Model (NUREG-0711)Revision 3: Update Methodology and Key Revisions

    SciTech Connect

    OHara J. M.; Higgins, J.; Fleger, S.

    2012-07-22

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) reviews the human factors engineering (HFE) programs of applicants for nuclear power plant construction permits, operating licenses, standard design certifications, and combined operating licenses. The purpose of these safety reviews is to help ensure that personnel performance and reliability are appropriately supported. Detailed design review procedures and guidance for the evaluations is provided in three key documents: the Standard Review Plan (NUREG-0800), the HFE Program Review Model (NUREG-0711), and the Human-System Interface Design Review Guidelines (NUREG-0700). These documents were last revised in 2007, 2004 and 2002, respectively. The NRC is committed to the periodic update and improvement of the guidance to ensure that it remains a state-of-the-art design evaluation tool. To this end, the NRC is updating its guidance to stay current with recent research on human performance, advances in HFE methods and tools, and new technology being employed in plant and control room design. NUREG-0711 is the first document to be addressed. We present the methodology used to update NUREG-0711 and summarize the main changes made. Finally, we discuss the current status of the update program and the future plans.

  2. On Key Factors Influencing Ductile Fractures of Dual Phase (DP) Steels

    SciTech Connect

    Sun, Xin; Choi, Kyoo Sil; Soulami, Ayoub; Liu, Wenning N.; Khaleel, Mohammad A.

    2009-11-25

    In this paper, we examine the key factors influencing ductile failure of various grades of dual phase (DP) steels using the microstructure-based modeling approach. Various microstructure-based finite element models are generated based on the actual microstructures of DP steels with different martensite volume fractions. These models are, then, used to investigate the influence of ductility of the constituent ferrite phase and also the influence of voids introduced in the ferrite phase on the overall ductility of DP steels. It is found that with volume fraction of martensite in the microstructure less than 15%, the overall ductility of the DP steels strongly depends on the ductility of the ferrite matrix, hence pre-existing micro voids in the microstructure significantly reduce the overall ductility of the steel. When the volume fraction of martensite is above 15%, the preexisting voids in the ferrite matrix does not significantly reduce the overall ductility of the DP steels, and the overall ductility is more influenced by the mechanical property disparity between the two phases. The applicability of the phase inhomogeneity driven ductile failure of DP steels is then discussed based on the obtained computational results for various grades of DP steels, and the experimentally obtained scanning electron microscopy (SEM) pictures of the corresponding grades of DP steels near fracture surface are used as evidence for result validations.

  3. Hypoxia-inducible factor 2α regulates key neutrophil functions in humans, mice, and zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, A. A. Roger; Elks, Philip M.; Marriott, Helen M.; Eamsamarng, Suttida; Higgins, Kathryn R.; Lewis, Amy; Williams, Lynne; Parmar, Selina; Shaw, Gary; McGrath, Emmet E.; Formenti, Federico; Van Eeden, Fredericus J.; Kinnula, Vuokko L.; Pugh, Christopher W.; Sabroe, Ian; Dockrell, David H.; Chilvers, Edwin R.; Robbins, Peter A.; Percy, Melanie J.; Simon, M. Celeste; Johnson, Randall S.; Renshaw, Stephen A.; Whyte, Moira K. B.

    2014-01-01

    Neutrophil lifespan and function are regulated by hypoxia via components of the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)/von Hippel Lindau/hydroxylase pathway, including specific roles for HIF-1α and prolyl hydroxylase-3. HIF-2α has both distinct and overlapping biological roles with HIF-1α and has not previously been studied in the context of neutrophil biology. We investigated the role of HIF-2α in regulating key neutrophil functions. Human and murine peripheral blood neutrophils expressed HIF-2α, with expression up-regulated by acute and chronic inflammatory stimuli and in disease-associated inflammatory neutrophil. HIF2A gain-of-function mutations resulted in a reduction in neutrophil apoptosis both ex vivo, through the study of patient cells, and in vivo in a zebrafish tail injury model. In contrast, HIF-2α–deficient murine inflammatory neutrophils displayed increased sensitivity to nitrosative stress induced apoptosis ex vivo and increased neutrophil apoptosis in vivo, resulting in a reduction in neutrophilic inflammation and reduced tissue injury. Expression of HIF-2α was temporally dissociated from HIF-1α in vivo and predominated in the resolution phase of inflammation. These data support a critical and selective role for HIF-2α in persistence of neutrophilic inflammation and provide a platform to dissect the therapeutic utility of targeting HIF-2α in chronic inflammatory diseases. PMID:24196071

  4. Molecular mobility of imidazoles in molten state as a key factor to enhance proton conductivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarumaneeroj, Chatchai; Tashiro, Kohji; Chirachanchai, Suwabun

    2014-03-01

    A systematic study on alkyl urocanates related to the proton conductivity performances to clarify the role of molecular mobility and hydrogen bond in proton transfer is carried out. Depending on the methylene units, the melting (Tm) and degradation temperatures (Td) change remarkably. When methylene unit is four, C4U shows the lowest melting point (as low as 46 °C) and this suggests the favorable molecular mobility in the molten state. The short hydrogen bond distance and the short T1 relaxation time lead to a scheme of proton conductivity of C4U to be under a regular imidazole arrangement with highly active alkyl chain molecular motion. When C4U is in molten state, the proton transfer is under vehicle mechanism clarified by Volgel-Tammann-Fulcher (VTF) equation. By applying C4U as a proton conductive additive in a sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK) membrane without any acid dopants, the proton conductivity in the heating process up to 170 °C continuously increases to be ∼104 times higher than that of the neat SPEEK. The present work not only demonstrates the thermal mobility as a key factor to govern the proton conductivity but also proposes the effective proton transfer of heterocyclic compounds based on the molten state.

  5. Quartz dustiness: A key factor in controlling exposure to crystalline silica in the workplace.

    PubMed

    López-Lilao, A; Escrig, A; Orts, M J; Mallol, Gustavo; Monfort, E

    2016-11-01

    The classification of Respirable Crystalline Silica (RCS) as carcinogenic for humans has drawn greater attention to crystalline silica exposure in the workplace in recent years, leading to recommendations by safety and health bodies in Europe and the U.S. for lower occupational exposure limits. In view of this new scenario, the present study examined quartz dustiness, as quartz handling is a major source of crystalline silica in the workplace. The study was conducted on test samples with different mean particle sizes, prepared from several commercial quartzes. The quartz particle samples were characterised and the influence of certain quartz particle parameters on quartz dustiness was determined. The results indicate that quartz dustiness may be significantly affected by mean particle size, specific surface area, the Hausner ratio, and fine particle content. The study shows that, in order to minimise the adverse health effects associated with the inhalation of crystalline silica, quartz dustiness may be deemed a key factor in controlling the generation of fugitive quartz emissions during quartz processing, both into the outside atmosphere (air pollution) and inside the facilities (occupational health).

  6. What to copy: the key factor of observational learning in striped jack (Pseudocaranx dentex) juveniles.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, K; Masuda, R; Yamashita, Y

    2014-03-01

    Animals in social environments can enhance their learning efficiency by observing the behaviour of others. Our previous study showed that learning efficiency of schooling fish increased through the observation of the behaviour of trained demonstrator conspecifics. The present study aimed to verify the key factor of observational learning by investigating what information is important for social transmission of feeding information. A striped jack (Pseudocaranx dentex) observer was provided with one of the five observation treatments: (a) pellets observation, where pellets were dropped near the aeration in an adjacent tank; (b) responding conspecific observation, where a trained conspecific demonstrator responded to the aeration without food in the adjacent tank; (c) foraging conspecific observation, where a conspecific demonstrator foraged near the aeration in the adjacent tank; (d) nearby pellets observation, where pellets were dropped in a transparent column near the aeration in the observer tank; and (e) foraging heterospecific observation, where a filefish (Stephanolepis cirrhifer) demonstrator foraged near the aeration in the adjacent tank. The response to the aeration in these observers was compared with that of controls who did not observe any behaviour. Only individuals who observed foraging conspecifics showed a response to the aeration after observing. These results suggest that observer fish acquire feeding information not through recognition of prey items or through imitation of the demonstrator, but through the vicarious reinforcement of a conspecific for foraging.

  7. Key Factors in the Success of an Organization's Information Security Culture: A Quantitative Study and Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pierce, Robert E.

    2012-01-01

    This research study reviewed relative literature on information security and information security culture within organizations to determine what factors potentially assist an organization in implementing, integrating, and maintaining a successful organizational information security culture. Based on this review of literature, five key factors were…

  8. Environmental impact and risk assessments and key factors contributing to the overall uncertainties.

    PubMed

    Salbu, Brit

    2016-01-01

    , ignoring sensitive history life stages of organisms and transgenerational effects. To link sources, ecosystem transfer and biological effects to future impact and risks, a series of models are usually interfaced, while uncertainty estimates are seldom given. The model predictions are, however, only valid within the boundaries of the overall uncertainties. Furthermore, the model predictions are only useful and relevant when uncertainties are estimated, communicated and understood. Among key factors contributing most to uncertainties, the present paper focuses especially on structure uncertainties (model bias or discrepancies) as aspects such as particle releases, ecosystem dynamics, mixed exposure, sensitive life history stages and transgenerational effects, are usually ignored in assessment models. Research focus on these aspects should significantly reduce the overall uncertainties in the impact and risk assessment of radioactive contaminated ecosystems.

  9. Key Factors Controlling Space- and Time-Linked Rare Earth Element Distribution in Shallow Groundwaters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dia, A.; Gruau, G.; Olivie-Lauquet, G.; Henin, O.; Petitjean, P.; Le Coz-Bouhnik, M.

    2001-12-01

    comparison of the different catchments shows that the spatial variability of the REE signatures between the hillslope DOC-poor groundwaters and the wetland DOC-rich groundwaters has to be the same whatever may be the climatic and geologic context. These results assess the key roles played in the REE transfer to hydrosystems by (i) the occurrence of organic compounds, acting as a trace-element carrier phase and (ii) redox condition changes. Finally, we propose that topography could be the ultimate key factor, through its ability to control the water table depth and therefore the organic colloids enrichment when groundwaters are flowing into organic-rich soil horizons.

  10. Mechanisms of fertilization elucidated by gene-manipulated animals.

    PubMed

    Okabe, Masaru

    2015-01-01

    Capacitation and the acrosome reaction are key phenomena in mammalian fertilization. These phenomena were found more than 60 years ago. However, fundamental questions regarding the nature of capacitation and the timing of the acrosome reaction remain unsolved. Factors were postulated over time, but as their roles were not verified by gene-disruption experiments, widely accepted notions concerning the mechanism of fertilization are facing modifications. Today, although in vitro fertilization systems remain our central research tool, the importance of in vivo observations must be revisited. Here, primarily focusing on our own research, I summarize how in vivo observations using gene-manipulated animals have elucidated new concepts in the mechanisms of fertilization.

  11. Interlocking of chelae is a key factor for dominance hierarchy formation in crayfish.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Ryusuke; Nagayama, Toshiki

    2012-08-15

    We characterized the role of chelae during agonistic encounters of the crayfish Procambarus clarkii. Physical asymmetries in body length, body mass and chelae size were directly related to dominance hierarchy formation. More than 80% of winning crayfish had longer body and chelae lengths, and winners were usually heavier in body mass, even if their differences were less than 3% compared with losing opponents. In mismatched pairings, large crayfish with short chelae were beaten by small crayfish with large chelae. Three physical elements of body length, body mass and chelae length equally affected the outcome of agonistic bouts. Chelae restriction, in which chelae were tightly closed using rubber bands, affected the outcome of agonistic bouts between large and small crayfish. Before chelae restriction, large crayfish won in all pairings. Following chelae restriction for at least 30 days from the first encounters, the winning rate of large crayfish that were previous winners decreased significantly in the second encounters against the same opponents that were previous losers. The handicap of chelae restriction significantly prolonged the time to formation of the winner-loser relationship. Individual fights escalated during agonistic bouts between large crayfish with one chela restricted and small crayfish with intact chelae, whereas the number of fights increased but the duration of individual fights did not increase in large crayfish with both chelae restricted. Furthermore, when the chelae of both large and small crayfish were disabled, the dominance order was frequently not formed during 30 min of agonistic bouts. Preventing chelae from interlocking prevented escalation of agonistic bouts. We show that interlocking of chelae acted as a key factor for the formation of dominance hierarchy.

  12. New insights into the etiology of preeclampsia: identification of key elusive factors for the vascular complications.

    PubMed

    Ahmed, Asif

    2011-02-01

    The incidence of preeclampsia is reduced by a third in smokers, but not in snuff users. Soluble Flt-1 (sFlt-1) and soluble endoglin (sEng) are increased prior to the clinical onset of preeclampsia. Animals exposed to high circulating levels of sFlt-1 and sEng elicit severe preeclampsia-like symptoms. Smokers have reduced circulating sFlt-1 and cigarette smoke extract decreases sFlt-1 release from placental villous explants. An anti-inflammatory enzyme, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and its metabolite carbon monoxide (CO), inhibit sFlt-1 and sEng release. Women with preeclampsia exhale less CO than women with normal pregnancies and HO expression decreases as the severity of preeclampsia increases. In contrast, sFlt-1 levels increase with increasing severity. More importantly, chorionic villous sampling from women at eleven weeks gestation shows that HO-1 mRNA expression is decreased in women who go on to develop preeclampsia. Collectively, these facts provide compelling evidence to support the proposition that the pathogenesis of preeclampsia is largely due to loss of HO activity. This results in an increase in inflammation and excessive elevation of the two key anti-angiogenic factors responsible for the clinical signs of preeclampsia. These findings provide strong evidence for a protective role of HO-1 in pregnancy and identify HO as a target for the treatment of preeclampsia. The cardiovascular drugs, statins, stimulate HO-1 expression and inhibit sFlt-1 release in vivo and in vitro, thus, they have the potential to ameliorate early onset preeclampsia. The StAmP trial is underway to address this and if positive, its outcome will lead to the very first therapeutic intervention to prolong affected pregnancies. PMID:21262447

  13. Process and kinetics of azo dye decolourization in bioelectrochemical systems: effect of several key factors

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Hou-Yun; He, Chuan-Shu; Li, Lei; Zhang, Jie; Shen, Jin-You; Mu, Yang; Yu, Han-Qing

    2016-01-01

    This study explored the influence of several key factors on the process and kinetics of azo dye decolourization in bioelectrochemical systems (BESs), including cathode potential, dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration of catholyte and biofilm formed on the cathode. The results show that azo dye methyl orange (MO) decolourization in the BES could be well described with the pseudo first-order kinetics. The MO decolourization efficiency increased from 0 to 94.90 ± 0.01% and correspondingly the reaction rate constant increased from 0 to 0.503 ± 0.001 h−1 with the decrease in cathodic electrode potential from −0.2 to −0.8 V vs Ag/AgCl. On the contrary, DO concentration of the catholyte had a negative impact on MO decolourization in the BES. When DO concentration increased from zero to 5.80 mg L−1, the MO decolourization efficiency decreased from 87.19 ± 4.73% to 27.77 ± 0.06% and correspondingly the reaction rate constant reduced from 0.207 ± 0.042 to 0.033 ± 0.007 h−1. Additionally, the results suggest that the biofilm formed on the cathode could led to an adverse rather than a positive effect on azo dye decolourization in the BES in terms of efficiency and kinetics. PMID:27270398

  14. Soil physical properties: Key factors for successful reclamation of disturbed landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krümmelbein, Julia; Raab, Thomas

    2013-04-01

    The practice of open cast mining, e.g. for lignite, results in major landscape disturbances and especially affects soils because relocation and subsequent mixing of naturally developed soil horizons leads to areas with extremely altered soil properties compared to the undisturbed conditions. Various reclamation measures are applied to recover the reconstructed landscape for different land use options. Major parts of the post mining landscapes are used for agriculture, agroforestry or silviculture, the remaining voids of the coal mines fill successively with groundwater after mine closure and are or will be used mainly for touristic and leisure purposes. Small proportions of the post mining areas are left for natural succession, or habitats for endangered flora and fauna are initiated. In reclamation research, many studies have focused on soil chemical and biological constraints of post mining substrates and investigated factors such as unsuitable pH, in many cases very low pH, (poor) nutrient contents and (poor) biological activity. But the initial and developing soil physical parameters and functions are also key factors for the success of reclamation practices. The soil water and gas balance influence strongly the suitability of a site for the intended future land use. The mechanical stability of the soil determines the rigidity of the pore system against deforming forces and thereby the persistence of soil functions, such as water and air permeability over time. The amendment of unfavourable (initial) soil physical properties is in most cases more complex and time-consuming than e.g. optimization of pH or fertilization with nutrients. Moreover, regarding the suitability of a site e.g. as a habitat for plants or microorganisms, poor physical pre-conditions can turn substrates with perfect nutrient contents and composition and pH into infertile locations of very low productivity. We show results of an on-going field study where the effects of different

  15. Biological activity in Technosols as a key factor of their structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watteau, Françoise; Villemin, Geneviève; Bouchard, Adeline; Monserié, Marie-France; Séré, Geoffroy; Schwartz, Christophe; Morel, Jean-Louis

    2010-05-01

    )availability. HAP also contributed to the aggregation of technogenic constituents in Technosol 1. The biological activity generated by the presence of exogenous organic matter is thus in short (0-2 years) and mean (30 years) terms, a key factor of the structuration and by there of the pedogenesis of Technosols.

  16. On the Security of a Two-Factor Authentication and Key Agreement Scheme for Telecare Medicine Information Systems.

    PubMed

    Arshad, Hamed; Teymoori, Vahid; Nikooghadam, Morteza; Abbassi, Hassan

    2015-08-01

    Telecare medicine information systems (TMISs) aim to deliver appropriate healthcare services in an efficient and secure manner to patients. A secure mechanism for authentication and key agreement is required to provide proper security in these systems. Recently, Bin Muhaya demonstrated some security weaknesses of Zhu's authentication and key agreement scheme and proposed a security enhanced authentication and key agreement scheme for TMISs. However, we show that Bin Muhaya's scheme is vulnerable to off-line password guessing attacks and does not provide perfect forward secrecy. Furthermore, in order to overcome the mentioned weaknesses, we propose a new two-factor anonymous authentication and key agreement scheme using the elliptic curve cryptosystem. Security and performance analyses demonstrate that the proposed scheme not only overcomes the weaknesses of Bin Muhaya's scheme, but also is about 2.73 times faster than Bin Muhaya's scheme.

  17. Problem-Based Learning Environment in Basic Computer Course: Pre-Service Teachers' Achievement and Key Factors for Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Efendioglu, Akin

    2015-01-01

    This experimental study aims to determine pre-service teachers' achievements and key factors that affect the learning process with regard to problem-based learning (PBL) and lecture-based computer course (LBCC) conditions. The research results showed that the pre-service teachers in the PBL group had significantly higher achievement scores than…

  18. A Comprehensive Test of General Strain Theory: Key Strains, Situational- and Trait-Based Negative Emotions, Conditioning Factors, and Delinquency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moon, Byongook; Morash, Merry; McCluskey, Cynthia Perez; Hwang, Hye-Won

    2009-01-01

    Using longitudinal data on South Korean youth, the authors addressed limitations of previous tests of general strain theory (GST), focusing on the relationships among key strains, situational- and trait-based negative emotions, conditioning factors, and delinquency. Eight types of strain previously shown most likely to result in delinquency,…

  19. Key Factors to Instructors' Satisfaction of Learning Management Systems in Blended Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Busaidi, Kamla Ali; Al-Shihi, Hafedh

    2012-01-01

    Learning Management System (LMS) enables institutions to administer their educational resources, and support their traditional classroom education and distance education. LMS survives through instructors' continuous use, which may be to a great extent associated with their satisfaction of the LMS. Consequently, this study examined the key factors…

  20. Local Text Cohesion, Reading Ability and Individual Science Aspirations: Key Factors Influencing Comprehension in Science Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hall, Sophie S.; Kowalski, Rebecca; Paterson, Kevin B.; Basran, Jaskaran; Filik, Ruth; Maltby, John

    2015-01-01

    In response to the concern of the need to improve the scientific skills of school children, this study investigated the influence of text design (in terms of text cohesion) and individual differences, with the aim of identifying pathways to improving science education in early secondary school (Key Stage 3). One hundred and four secondary school…

  1. Key factors influencing ADME properties of therapeutic proteins: A need for ADME characterization in drug discovery and development

    PubMed Central

    Tibbitts, Jay; Canter, David; Graff, Ryan; Smith, Alison; Khawli, Leslie A.

    2016-01-01

    abstract Protein therapeutics represent a diverse array of biologics including antibodies, fusion proteins, and therapeutic replacement enzymes. Since their inception, they have revolutionized the treatment of a wide range of diseases including respiratory, vascular, autoimmune, inflammatory, infectious, and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as cancer. While in vivo pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and efficacy studies are routinely carried out for protein therapeutics, studies that identify key factors governing their absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) properties have not been fully investigated. Thorough characterization and in-depth study of their ADME properties are critical in order to support drug discovery and development processes for the production of safer and more effective biotherapeutics. In this review, we discuss the main factors affecting the ADME characteristics of these large macromolecular therapies. We also give an overview of the current tools, technologies, and approaches available to investigate key factors that influence the ADME of recombinant biotherapeutic drugs, and demonstrate how ADME studies will facilitate their future development. PMID:26636901

  2. Perceived key injury risk factors in World Cup alpine ski racing—an explorative qualitative study with expert stakeholders

    PubMed Central

    Spörri, Jörg; Kröll, Josef; Amesberger, Günter; Blake, Ollie M; Müller, Erich

    2012-01-01

    Background There is limited knowledge about key injury risk factors in alpine ski racing, particularly for World Cup (WC) athletes. Objective This study was undertaken to compile and explore perceived intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors for severe injuries in WC alpine ski racing. Methods Qualitative study. Interviews were conducted with 61 expert stakeholders of the WC ski racing community. Experts’ statements were collected, paraphrased and loaded into a database with inductively derived risk factor categories (Risk Factor Analysis). At the end of the interviews, experts were asked to name those risk factors they believed to have a high potential impact on injury risk and to rank them according to their priority of impact (Risk Factor Rating). Results In total, 32 perceived risk factors categories were derived from the interviews within the basic categories Athlete, Course, Equipment and Snow. Regarding their perceived impact on injury risk, the experts’ top five categories were: system ski, binding, plate and boot; changing snow conditions; physical aspects of the athletes; speed and course setting aspects and speed in general. Conclusions Severe injuries in WC alpine ski racing can have various causes. This study compiled a list of perceived intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors and explored those factors with the highest believed impact on injury risk. Hence, by using more detailed hypotheses derived from this explorative study, further studies should verify the plausibility of these factors as true risk factors for severe injuries in WC alpine ski racing. PMID:22872684

  3. The Promise of Virtual Teams: Identifying Key Factors in Effectiveness and Failure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Horwitz, Frank M.; Bravington, Desmond; Silvis, Ulrik

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The aim of the investigation is to identify enabling and disenabling factors in the development and operation of virtual teams; to evaluate the importance of factors such as team development, cross-cultural variables, leadership, communication and social cohesion as contributors to virtual team effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach:…

  4. Exercise-induced neuroprotective effects on neurodegenerative diseases: the key role of trophic factors.

    PubMed

    Campos, Carlos; Rocha, Nuno Barbosa F; Lattari, Eduardo; Paes, Flávia; Nardi, António E; Machado, Sérgio

    2016-06-01

    Age-related neurodegenerative disorders, like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, are becoming a major issue to public health care. Currently, there is no effective pharmacological treatment to address cognitive impairment in these patients. Here, we aim to explore the role of exercise-induced trophic factor enhancement in the prevention or delay of cognitive decline in patients with neurodegenerative diseases. There is a significant amount of evidence from animal and human studies that links neurodegenerative related cognitive deficits with changes on brain and peripheral trophic factor levels. Several trials with elderly individuals and patients with neurodegenerative diseases report exercise induced cognitive improvements and changes on trophic factor levels including BDNF, IGF-I, among others. Further studies with healthy aging and clinical populations are needed to understand how diverse exercise interventions produce different variations in trophic factor signaling. Genetic profiles and potential confounders regarding trophic factors should also be addressed in future trials. PMID:27086703

  5. Starting a hospital-based home health agency: Part II--Key success factors.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, P

    1993-09-01

    In Part II of a three-part series, the financial, technological and legislative issues of a hospital-based home health-agency are discussed. Beginning a home healthcare service requires intensive research to answer key environmental and operational questions--need, competition, financial projections, initial start-up costs and the impact of delayed depreciation. Assessments involving technology, staffing, legislative and regulatory issues can help project service volume, productivity and cost-control.

  6. The physical size of transcription factors is key to transcriptional regulation in chromatin domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maeshima, Kazuhiro; Kaizu, Kazunari; Tamura, Sachiko; Nozaki, Tadasu; Kokubo, Tetsuro; Takahashi, Koichi

    2015-02-01

    Genetic information, which is stored in the long strand of genomic DNA as chromatin, must be scanned and read out by various transcription factors. First, gene-specific transcription factors, which are relatively small (˜50 kDa), scan the genome and bind regulatory elements. Such factors then recruit general transcription factors, Mediators, RNA polymerases, nucleosome remodellers, and histone modifiers, most of which are large protein complexes of 1-3 MDa in size. Here, we propose a new model for the functional significance of the size of transcription factors (or complexes) for gene regulation of chromatin domains. Recent findings suggest that chromatin consists of irregularly folded nucleosome fibres (10 nm fibres) and forms numerous condensed domains (e.g., topologically associating domains). Although the flexibility and dynamics of chromatin allow repositioning of genes within the condensed domains, the size exclusion effect of the domain may limit accessibility of DNA sequences by transcription factors. We used Monte Carlo computer simulations to determine the physical size limit of transcription factors that can enter condensed chromatin domains. Small gene-specific transcription factors can penetrate into the chromatin domains and search their target sequences, whereas large transcription complexes cannot enter the domain. Due to this property, once a large complex binds its target site via gene-specific factors it can act as a ‘buoy’ to keep the target region on the surface of the condensed domain and maintain transcriptional competency. This size-dependent specialization of target-scanning and surface-tethering functions could provide novel insight into the mechanisms of various DNA transactions, such as DNA replication and repair/recombination.

  7. Enhanced Production of Insulin-like Growth Factor I Protein in Escherichia coli by Optimization of Five Key Factors

    PubMed Central

    Ranjbari, Javad; Babaeipour, Valiollah; Vahidi, Hossein; Moghimi, Hamidreza; Mofid, Mohammad Reza; Namvaran, Mohammad Mehdi; Jafari, Sevda

    2015-01-01

    Human insulin-like growth factor I (hIGF-I) is a kind of growth factor with clinical significance in medicine. Up to now, E. coli expression system has been widely used as a host to produce rhIGF-1 with high yields. Batch cultures as non-continuous fermentations were carried out to overproduce rhIGF-I in E. coli. The major objective of this study is over- production of recombinant human insulin-like growth factor I (rhIGF-I) through a developed process by recruiting effective factors in order to achieve the most recombinant protein. In this study we investigated the effect of culture medium, induction temperature and amount of inducer on cell growth and IGF-1 production. Taguchi design of experiments (DOE) method was used as the statistical method. Analysis of experimental data showed that maximum production of rhIGF-I was occurred in 32y culture medium at 32 °C and 0.05 Mm IPTG. Under this condition, 0.694 g/L of rhIGF-I was produced as the inclusion bodies. Following optimization of these three factors, we have also optimized the amount of glucose and induction time in 5 liter top bench bioreactor. Full factorial design of experiment method was used for these two factors as the statistical method. 10 g/L and OD600=5 were selected as the optimum point of Glucose amount and induction time, respectively. Finally, we reached to a concentration of 1.26 g/L rhIGF-1 at optimum condition. PMID:26330880

  8. Understanding key factors of users' intentions to repurchase and recommend digital items in social virtual worlds.

    PubMed

    Kim, Byoungsoo

    2012-10-01

    Given to the remarkable profitability of digital items in social virtual worlds (SVWs), such as SecondLife, Cyworld, and Habbo Hotel, it has become crucial to understand SVW users' postadoption behaviors toward digital items. This study develops a theoretical framework to examine key antecedents of users' intentions to repurchase and recommend digital items. Data collected from 256 users of digital items were empirically tested against the research model. The analysis results indicate that both user satisfaction and a perceived value play an important role in establishing users' postadoption intentions about digital items. Moreover, the results clearly show what roles perceived usefulness, perceived enjoyment, and perceived fee play in SVW environments. PMID:22924676

  9. Belongingness in Early Secondary School: Key Factors that Primary and Secondary Schools Need to Consider

    PubMed Central

    Vaz, Sharmila; Falkmer, Marita; Ciccarelli, Marina; Passmore, Anne; Parsons, Richard; Black, Melissa; Cuomo, Belinda; Tan, Tele; Falkmer, Torbjörn

    2015-01-01

    It is unknown if, and how, students redefine their sense of school belongingness after negotiating the transition to secondary school. The current study used longitudinal data from 266 students with, and without, disabilities who negotiated the transition from 52 primary schools to 152 secondary schools. The study presents the 13 most significant personal student and contextual factors associated with belongingness in the first year of secondary school. Student perception of school belongingness was found to be stable across the transition. No variability in school belongingness due to gender, disability or household-socio-economic status (SES) was noted. Primary school belongingness accounted for 22% of the variability in secondary school belongingness. Several personal student factors (competence, coping skills) and school factors (low-level classroom task-goal orientation), which influenced belongingness in primary school, continued to influence belongingness in secondary school. In secondary school, effort-goal orientation of the student and perception of their school’s tolerance to disability were each associated with perception of school belongingness. Family factors did not influence belongingness in secondary school. Findings of the current study highlight the need for primary schools to foster belongingness among their students at an early age, and transfer students’ belongingness profiles as part of the hand-over documentation. Most of the factors that influenced school belongingness before and after the transition to secondary are amenable to change. PMID:26372554

  10. Binding Mode Analysis of Zerumbone to Key Signal Proteins in the Tumor Necrosis Factor Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Fatima, Ayesha; Abdul, Ahmad Bustamam Hj.; Abdullah, Rasedee; Karjiban, Roghayeh Abedi; Lee, Vannajan Sanghiran

    2015-01-01

    Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. Several signaling pathways have been implicated as causative and progression agents. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α protein plays a dual role in promoting and inhibiting cancer depending largely on the pathway initiated by the binding of the protein to its receptor. Zerumbone, an active constituent of Zingiber zerumbet, Smith, is known to act on the tumor necrosis factor pathway upregulating tumour necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) death receptors and inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. Zerumbone is a sesquiterpene that is able to penetrate into the hydrophobic pockets of proteins to exert its inhibiting activity with several proteins. We found a good binding with the tumor necrosis factor, kinase κB (IKKβ) and the Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) component proteins along the TNF pathway. Our results suggest that zerumbone can exert its apoptotic activities by inhibiting the cytoplasmic proteins. It inhibits the IKKβ kinase that activates the NF-κB and also binds to the NF-κB complex in the TNF pathway. Blocking both proteins can lead to inhibition of cell proliferating proteins to be downregulated and possibly ultimate induction of apoptosis. PMID:25629232

  11. The T-box transcription factor 3 is a promising biomarker and a key regulator of the oncogenic phenotype of a diverse range of sarcoma subtypes.

    PubMed

    Willmer, T; Cooper, A; Sims, D; Govender, D; Prince, S

    2016-01-01

    Sarcomas represent a complex group of malignant neoplasms of mesenchymal origin and their heterogeneity poses a serious diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. There is therefore a need to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underpinning the pathogenesis of the more than 70 distinguishable sarcoma subtypes. The transcription factor TBX3, a critical developmental regulator, is overexpressed in several cancers of epithelial origin where it contributes to tumorigenesis by different molecular mechanisms. However, the status and role of TBX3 in sarcomas have not been reported. Here we show that a diverse subset of soft tissue and bone sarcoma cell lines and patient-derived sarcoma tissues express high levels of TBX3. We further explore the significance of this overexpression using a small interferring RNA approach and demonstrate that TBX3 promotes the migratory ability of chondrosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma and liposarcoma cells but inhibits fibrosarcoma cell migration. This suggested that TBX3 may play a key role in the development of different sarcoma subtypes by functioning as either an oncoprotein or as a brake to prevent tumour progression. To further explore this, TBX3 knockdown and overexpression cell culture models were established using chondrosarcoma and fibrosarcoma cells as representatives of each scenario, and the resulting cells were characterized with regard to key features of tumorigenesis. Results from in vitro and in vivo assays reveal that, while TBX3 promotes substrate-dependent and -independent cell proliferation, migration and tumour formation in chondrosarcoma cells, it discourages fibrosarcoma formation. Our findings provide novel evidence linking TBX3 to cancers of mesenchymal origin. Furthermore, we show that TBX3 may be a biomarker for the diagnosis of histologically dynamic sarcoma subtypes and that it impacts directly on their oncogenic phenotype. Indeed, we reveal that TBX3 may exhibit oncogene or tumour suppressor activity in sarcomas, which

  12. Museum specimens reveal loss of pollen host plants as key factor driving wild bee decline in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Scheper, Jeroen; Reemer, Menno; van Kats, Ruud; Ozinga, Wim A; van der Linden, Giel T J; Schaminée, Joop H J; Siepel, Henk; Kleijn, David

    2014-12-01

    Evidence for declining populations of both wild and managed bees has raised concern about a potential global pollination crisis. Strategies to mitigate bee loss generally aim to enhance floral resources. However, we do not really know whether loss of preferred floral resources is the key driver of bee decline because accurate assessment of host plant preferences is difficult, particularly for species that have become rare. Here we examine whether population trends of wild bees in The Netherlands can be explained by trends in host plants, and how this relates to other factors such as climate change. We determined host plant preference of bee species using pollen loads on specimens in entomological collections that were collected before the onset of their decline, and used atlas data to quantify population trends of bee species and their host plants. We show that decline of preferred host plant species was one of two main factors associated with bee decline. Bee body size, the other main factor, was negatively related to population trend, which, because larger bee species have larger pollen requirements than smaller species, may also point toward food limitation as a key factor driving wild bee loss. Diet breadth and other potential factors such as length of flight period or climate change sensitivity were not important in explaining twentieth century bee population trends. These results highlight the species-specific nature of wild bee decline and indicate that mitigation strategies will only be effective if they target the specific host plants of declining species.

  13. Museum specimens reveal loss of pollen host plants as key factor driving wild bee decline in The Netherlands

    PubMed Central

    Scheper, Jeroen; Reemer, Menno; van Kats, Ruud; Ozinga, Wim A.; van der Linden, Giel T. J.; Schaminée, Joop H. J.; Siepel, Henk; Kleijn, David

    2014-01-01

    Evidence for declining populations of both wild and managed bees has raised concern about a potential global pollination crisis. Strategies to mitigate bee loss generally aim to enhance floral resources. However, we do not really know whether loss of preferred floral resources is the key driver of bee decline because accurate assessment of host plant preferences is difficult, particularly for species that have become rare. Here we examine whether population trends of wild bees in The Netherlands can be explained by trends in host plants, and how this relates to other factors such as climate change. We determined host plant preference of bee species using pollen loads on specimens in entomological collections that were collected before the onset of their decline, and used atlas data to quantify population trends of bee species and their host plants. We show that decline of preferred host plant species was one of two main factors associated with bee decline. Bee body size, the other main factor, was negatively related to population trend, which, because larger bee species have larger pollen requirements than smaller species, may also point toward food limitation as a key factor driving wild bee loss. Diet breadth and other potential factors such as length of flight period or climate change sensitivity were not important in explaining twentieth century bee population trends. These results highlight the species-specific nature of wild bee decline and indicate that mitigation strategies will only be effective if they target the specific host plants of declining species. PMID:25422416

  14. Museum specimens reveal loss of pollen host plants as key factor driving wild bee decline in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Scheper, Jeroen; Reemer, Menno; van Kats, Ruud; Ozinga, Wim A; van der Linden, Giel T J; Schaminée, Joop H J; Siepel, Henk; Kleijn, David

    2014-12-01

    Evidence for declining populations of both wild and managed bees has raised concern about a potential global pollination crisis. Strategies to mitigate bee loss generally aim to enhance floral resources. However, we do not really know whether loss of preferred floral resources is the key driver of bee decline because accurate assessment of host plant preferences is difficult, particularly for species that have become rare. Here we examine whether population trends of wild bees in The Netherlands can be explained by trends in host plants, and how this relates to other factors such as climate change. We determined host plant preference of bee species using pollen loads on specimens in entomological collections that were collected before the onset of their decline, and used atlas data to quantify population trends of bee species and their host plants. We show that decline of preferred host plant species was one of two main factors associated with bee decline. Bee body size, the other main factor, was negatively related to population trend, which, because larger bee species have larger pollen requirements than smaller species, may also point toward food limitation as a key factor driving wild bee loss. Diet breadth and other potential factors such as length of flight period or climate change sensitivity were not important in explaining twentieth century bee population trends. These results highlight the species-specific nature of wild bee decline and indicate that mitigation strategies will only be effective if they target the specific host plants of declining species. PMID:25422416

  15. The transcription factor Pokemon: a new key player in cancer pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Takahiro; Hobbs, Robin M; Pandolfi, Pier Paolo

    2005-10-01

    Learning how critical cell regulatory pathways are controlled may lead to new opportunities for cancer treatment. We recently identified the transcription factor Pokemon as a central regulator of the important tumor suppressor ARF. Pokemon is overexpressed in multiple human cancers and cells lacking Pokemon are refractory to oncogenic transformation. These findings suggest that Pokemon may offer an effective new target for cancer therapeutics.

  16. Key Factors in Smoking Cessation Intervention among 15-16-Year-Olds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heikkinen, Anna Maria; Broms, Ulla; Pitkaniemi, Janne; Koskenvuo, Markku; Meurman, Jukka

    2009-01-01

    The authors aimed to investigate factors associated with smoking cessation among adolescents after tobacco intervention. They examined smokers (n = 127) from one birth cohort (n = 545) in the city of Kotka in Finland. These smokers were randomized in 3 intervention groups the dentist (n = 44) and the school nurse (n = 42 groups), and a control…

  17. Key factors influencing canine heartworm, Dirofilaria immitis, in the United States

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    An examination of the Companion Animal Parasite Council’s (CAPC) canine heartworm data to clarify the spatial prevalence of heartworm in the United States. Factors thought to influence the spatial risk of disease, as identified in a recent CAPC workshop, are discussed. PMID:23111089

  18. On the Factor Structure of the Beck Depression Inventory-II: G Is the Key

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brouwer, Danny; Meijer, Rob R.; Zevalkink, Jolien

    2013-01-01

    The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II; Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996) is intended to measure severity of depression, and because items represent a broad range of depressive symptoms, some multidimensionality exists. In recent factor-analytic studies, there has been a debate about whether the BDI-II can be considered as one scale or whether…

  19. Significant Racial Differences in the Key Factors Associated with Early Graft Loss in Kidney Transplant Recipients

    PubMed Central

    Taber, David J; Douglass, Kevin; Srinivas, Titte; McGillicuddy, John W; Bratton, Charles F; Chavin, Kenneth D; Baliga, Prabhakar K; Egede, Leonard E

    2014-01-01

    Background There is continued and significant debate regarding the salient etiologies associated with graft loss and racial disparities in kidney transplant (KTX) recipients. Methods This was a longitudinal cohort study of all adult KTX recipients, comparing patients with early graft loss (<5 yrs) to those with graft longevity (surviving graft with at least 5 yrs of follow-up) across racial cohorts (African-American (AA) and non-AA) to discern risk factors. Results 524 patients were included, 55% AA, 151 with early graft loss (29%) and 373 with graft longevity (71%). Consistent within both races, early graft loss was significantly associated with disability income (adjusted odds-ratio [AOR] 2.2, 95% CI: 1.1-4.5), kidney donor risk index (AOR 3.2, 1.4-7.5), rehospitalization (AOR 2.1, 1.0-4.4) and acute rejection (AOR 4.4, 1.7-11.6) Unique risk factors in AAs included Medicare only insurance (AOR 8.0, 2.3-28) and BK infectio (AOR 5.6, 1.3-25). Unique protective factors in AAs included cardiovascular risk factor control: AAs with a mean systolic BP <150 mmHg had 80% lower risk of early graft loss (AOR 0.2, 0.1-0.7), while LDL <100 mg/dL (AOR 0.4, 0.2-0.8), triglycerides <150 mg/dL (AOR 0.4, 0.2-1.0) and HgbA1C <7% (AOR 0.2, 0.1-0.6) were also protective against early graft loss in AA, but no in non-AA recipients. Conclusions AA recipients have a number of unique risk factors for early graft loss, suggesting that controlling cardiovascular comorbidities may be an important mechanism to reduce racial disparities in kidney transplantation. PMID:24969370

  20. Oxidative stress--a key emerging impact factor in health, ageing, lifestyle and aesthetics.

    PubMed

    Kandola, K; Bowman, A; Birch-Machin, M A

    2015-12-01

    Oxidative stress is the resultant damage that arises due to redox imbalances, more specifically an increase in destructive free radicals and reduction in protection from antioxidants and the antioxidant defence pathways. Oxidation of lipids by reactive oxygen species (ROS) can damage cellular structures and result in premature cell death. At low levels, ROS-induced oxidative stress can be prevented through the action of antioxidants, however, when ROS are present in excess, inflammation and cytotoxicity eventually results leading to cellular oxidative stress damage. Increasing evidence for the role of oxidative stress in various diseases including neurological, dermatological, and cardiovascular diseases is now emerging. Mitochondria are the principal source (90%) of ROS in the cell, with superoxide radicals being generated when molecular oxygen is combined with free electrons. Given the key role of mitochondria in the generation of cellular oxidative stress it is worth considering this organelle and the process in more detail and to provide methods of intervention.

  1. Key recovery factors for the August 24, 2014, South Napa earthquake

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hudnut, Kenneth W.; Brocher, Thomas M.; Prentice, Carol S.; Boatwright, John; Brooks, Benjamin A.; Aagaard, Brad T.; Blair, James Luke; Fletcher, Joe B.; Erdem, Jemile E.; Wicks, Charles W.; Murray, Jessica R.; Pollitz, Fred F.; Langbein, John O.; Svarc, Jerry L.; Schwartz, David P.; Ponti, Daniel J.; Hecker, Suzanne; DeLong, Stephen B.; Rosa, Carla M.; Jones, Brenda; Lamb, Rynn M.; Rosinski, Anne M.; McCrink, Timothy P.; Dawson, Timothy E.; Seitz, Gordon G.; Rubin, Ron S.; Glennie, Craig; Hauser, Darren; Ericksen, Todd; Mardock, Dan; Hoirup, Don F.; Bray, Jonathan D.

    2014-01-01

    Through discussions between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) following the South Napa earthquake, it was determined that several key decision points would be faced by FEMA for which additional information should be sought and provided by USGS and its partners. This report addresses the four tasks that were agreed to. These tasks are (1) assessment of ongoing fault movement (called afterslip) especially in the Browns Valley residential neighborhood, (2) assessment of the shaking pattern in the downtown area of the City of Napa, (3) improvement of information on the fault hazards posed by the West Napa Fault System (record of past earthquakes and slip rate, for example), and (4) imagery acquisition and data processing to provide overall geospatial information support to FEMA.

  2. Key factors limiting the open circuit voltage of n(+)pp(+) indium phosphide solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goradia, Chandra; Thesling, William; Weinberg, Irving

    1991-01-01

    Solar cells made from gallium arsenide (GaAs), with a room temperature bandgap of E(sub g) = 1.43 eV have exhibited the best measured open circuit voltage (V sub OC) of 1.05 V at 1 AMO, 25 C. The material InP is in many ways similar to GaAs. A simple calculation comparing InP to GaAs then shows that solar cells made from InP, with E(sub g) = 1.35 at 300 K, should exhibit the best measured (V sub OC) of approximately 950 mV at 1 AMO, 300 K. However, to date, the best measured V(sub OC) for InP solar cells made by any fabrication method is 899 mV at AM1.5, 25 C which would translate to 912 mV at 1 AMO, 25 C. The V(sub OC) of an n(+)pp(+) InP solar cell is governed by several factors. Of these, some factors, such as the thickness and doping of the emitter and base regions, are easily controlled and can be adjusted to desired values dictated by a good performance optimizing model. Such factors were not considered. There are other factors which also govern V(sub OC), and their values are not so easily controlled. The primary ones among these are (1) the indirect or Hall-Shockley-Read lifetimes in the various regions of the cell, (2) the low-doping intrinsic carrier concentration n(sub i) of the InP material, (3) the heavy doping factors in the emitter and BSF regions, and (4) the front surface recombination velocity S(sub F). The influence of these latter factors on the V(sub OC) of the n(+)pp(+) InP solar cell and the results were used to produce a near-optimum design of the n(+)pp(+) InP solar cell.

  3. Key factors limiting the open circuit voltage of n(+)pp(+) indium phosphide solar cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goradia, Chandra; Thesling, William; Weinberg, Irving

    1990-01-01

    Solar cells made from gallium arsenide (Gaas), with a room temperature bandgap of E(sub g) = 1.43 eV have exhibited the best measured open circuit voltage (V sub oc) of 1.05 V at 1 AM0, 25 C. The material InP is in many ways similar to GaAs. A simple calculation comparing InP to GaAs then shows that solar cells made from InP, with E(sub g) = 1.35 at 300 K, should exhibit the best measured V sub oc of approximately 950 mV at 1 AM0, 300 K. However, to date, the best measured V sub oc for InP solar cells made by any fabrication method is 899 mV at AM1.5, 25 C which would translate to 912 mV at 1 AM0, 25 C. The V sub oc of an n(+)pp(+) InP solar cell is governed by several factors. Of these, some factors, such as the thickness and doping of the emitter and base regions, are easily controlled and can be adjusted to desired values dictated by a good performance optimizing model. Such factors were not considered. There are other factors which also govern V sub oc, and their values are not so easily controlled. The primary ones among these are (1) the indirect or Hall-Shockley-Read lifetimes in the various regions of the cell, (2) the low-doping intrinsic carrier concentration n(sub i) of the InP material, (3) the heavy doping factors in the emitter and BSF regions, and (4) the front surface recombination velocity S(sub F). The influence of these latter factors on the V sub oc of the n(+)pp(+) InP solar cell and the results were used to produce a near-optimum design of the n(+)pp(+) InP solar cell.

  4. Negative thinking: a key factor in depressive symptoms in Thai adolescents.

    PubMed

    Charoensuk, Sukjai

    2007-01-01

    Negative thinking, self-esteem, parental bonding, and everyday stressors are factors related to depressive symptoms in studies conducted in the United States, but they have been rarely explored in Thailand. An understanding of factors influencing depressive symptoms in Thai youth will lead to the development of interventions to decrease depressive symptoms among this age group. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of parental bonding, everyday stressors, self-esteem, and negative thinking on depressive symptoms among Thai adolescents. A random sample of 812 high school students in Chon Buri, Thailand, participated in the study. The prevalence of depressive symptoms varied from 20-21% depending on the measures used. Negative thinking was the best predictor of depressive symptoms in Thai adolescents. Negative thinking also mediated the effects of parental bonding, everyday stressors, and self-esteem on depressive symptoms. PMID:17130007

  5. Key factors contributing to accident severity rate in construction industry in Iran: a regression modelling approach.

    PubMed

    Soltanzadeh, Ahmad; Mohammadfam, Iraj; Moghimbeigi, Abbas; Ghiasvand, Reza

    2016-03-01

    Construction industry involves the highest risk of occupational accidents and bodily injuries, which range from mild to very severe. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to identify the factors associated with accident severity rate (ASR) in the largest Iranian construction companies based on data about 500 occupational accidents recorded from 2009 to 2013. We also gathered data on safety and health risk management and training systems. Data were analysed using Pearson's chi-squared coefficient and multiple regression analysis. Median ASR (and the interquartile range) was 107.50 (57.24- 381.25). Fourteen of the 24 studied factors stood out as most affecting construction accident severity (p<0.05). These findings can be applied in the design and implementation of a comprehensive safety and health risk management system to reduce ASR. PMID:27092639

  6. Soil Surface Structure: A key factor for the degree of soil water repellency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, S.; Doerr, S. H.; Douglas, P.; Bryant, R.; Hamlett, C.; McHale, G.; Newton, M.; Shirtcliffe, N.

    2012-04-01

    Despite of considerable efforts, the degree of water repellency has not always been fully explained by chemical property of soil (termed hydrophobicity). That might be because the structure of a soil surface was not considered properly, which is another main factor determining the severity of soil water repellency. Surface structure has only recently been considered in soil science, whilst it has been paid attention for several decades in materials science due to its relevance to industrial applications. In this contribution, comparison of critical contact angles measured on different surface structures (made with glass beads, glass shards and beach sands) is presented and the effect of surface structure on manifestation of soil water repellency is discussed in terms of several different variables such as the individual particles shape, and areal and structural factors of the actual surface.

  7. The transcription factor Pokemon: a new key player in cancer pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Takahiro; Hobbs, Robin M; Pandolfi, Pier Paolo

    2005-10-01

    Learning how critical cell regulatory pathways are controlled may lead to new opportunities for cancer treatment. We recently identified the transcription factor Pokemon as a central regulator of the important tumor suppressor ARF. Pokemon is overexpressed in multiple human cancers and cells lacking Pokemon are refractory to oncogenic transformation. These findings suggest that Pokemon may offer an effective new target for cancer therapeutics. PMID:16204018

  8. A structured elicitation method to identify key direct risk factors for the management of natural resources.

    PubMed

    Smith, Michael; Wallace, Ken; Lewis, Loretta; Wagner, Christian

    2015-11-01

    The high level of uncertainty inherent in natural resource management requires planners to apply comprehensive risk analyses, often in situations where there are few resources. In this paper, we demonstrate a broadly applicable, novel and structured elicitation approach to identify important direct risk factors. This new approach combines expert calibration and fuzzy based mathematics to capture and aggregate subjective expert estimates of the likelihood that a set of direct risk factors will cause management failure. A specific case study is used to demonstrate the approach; however, the described methods are widely applicable in risk analysis. For the case study, the management target was to retain all species that characterise a set of natural biological elements. The analysis was bounded by the spatial distribution of the biological elements under consideration and a 20-year time frame. Fourteen biological elements were expected to be at risk. Eleven important direct risk factors were identified that related to surrounding land use practices, climate change, problem species (e.g., feral predators), fire and hydrological change. In terms of their overall influence, the two most important risk factors were salinisation and a lack of water which together pose a considerable threat to the survival of nine biological elements. The described approach successfully overcame two concerns arising from previous risk analysis work: (1) the lack of an intuitive, yet comprehensive scoring method enabling the detection and clarification of expert agreement and associated levels of uncertainty; and (2) the ease with which results can be interpreted and communicated while preserving a rich level of detail essential for informed decision making.

  9. A structured elicitation method to identify key direct risk factors for the management of natural resources.

    PubMed

    Smith, Michael; Wallace, Ken; Lewis, Loretta; Wagner, Christian

    2015-11-01

    The high level of uncertainty inherent in natural resource management requires planners to apply comprehensive risk analyses, often in situations where there are few resources. In this paper, we demonstrate a broadly applicable, novel and structured elicitation approach to identify important direct risk factors. This new approach combines expert calibration and fuzzy based mathematics to capture and aggregate subjective expert estimates of the likelihood that a set of direct risk factors will cause management failure. A specific case study is used to demonstrate the approach; however, the described methods are widely applicable in risk analysis. For the case study, the management target was to retain all species that characterise a set of natural biological elements. The analysis was bounded by the spatial distribution of the biological elements under consideration and a 20-year time frame. Fourteen biological elements were expected to be at risk. Eleven important direct risk factors were identified that related to surrounding land use practices, climate change, problem species (e.g., feral predators), fire and hydrological change. In terms of their overall influence, the two most important risk factors were salinisation and a lack of water which together pose a considerable threat to the survival of nine biological elements. The described approach successfully overcame two concerns arising from previous risk analysis work: (1) the lack of an intuitive, yet comprehensive scoring method enabling the detection and clarification of expert agreement and associated levels of uncertainty; and (2) the ease with which results can be interpreted and communicated while preserving a rich level of detail essential for informed decision making. PMID:27441228

  10. Key factors for a successful implementation of personalized e-health services.

    PubMed

    Griebel, Lena; Sedlmayr, Brita; Prokosch, Hans-Ulrich; Criegee-Rieck, Manfred; Sedlmayr, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Personalized e-health services hold many promises, e.g. the improvement of health care quality or the reduction of costs. However, such services can't tap their full potential if they will not be used. That's why it is essential to understand what brings potential users to accept them. In the literature many acceptance models exist that predict the usage of innovations, but none of them specifically refers to the adoption of e-health services. Therefore we combined the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) and the e-health literacy concept and enhanced the resulting model with additional factors. MEDLINE® was searched; 75 studies were included for final analysis. Apart from the UTAUT variables and e-health literacy, 10 additional factors were identified: anxiety, trust, attitude toward using, computer self-efficacy, perceived system quality, search strategy, user's condition, health specific knowledge, Internet dependency and satisfaction with medical care. Future research will include the devolvement of an instrument for assessing these factors and testing the initial research model in an international context.

  11. Academic mobility as a key factor of quality assurance in tertiary education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Voroshilova, Anna A.

    2015-01-01

    Academic mobility of both faculty and students forms a critical element of the international dimension of higher education and is one of the most important factors of quality assurance of higher education institutions worldwide. Internationalization and globalization of Russian higher education system is having one of the major impacts on the quality management and assurance. Faculty and student mobility figures are now one of the core factors for obtaining state accreditation for Russian universities as well as an important indicator showing the university success and prestige. The aim of the paper is a closer look at the perspectives and results of the academic mobility, the factors stimulating and discouraging mobility, and the outcomes of the mobility influencing the education in Russian universities. Siberian State Aerospace University has had more than 10 years experience in organizing student mobility. Most of the problems in carrying out international activities are common for the whole Russia but still there are some peculiarities featuring technical universities situated in the centre of Russia.

  12. Functional Characterization of the GATA Transcription Factors GNC and CGA1 Reveals Their Key Role in Chloroplast Development, Growth, and Division in Arabidopsis1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Chiang, Yi-Hsuan; Zubo, Yan O.; Tapken, Wiebke; Kim, Hyo Jung; Lavanway, Ann M.; Howard, Louisa; Pilon, Marinus; Kieber, Joseph J.; Schaller, G. Eric

    2012-01-01

    Chloroplasts develop from proplastids in a process that requires the interplay of nuclear and chloroplast genomes, but key steps in this developmental process have yet to be elucidated. Here, we show that the nucleus-localized transcription factors GATA NITRATE-INDUCIBLE CARBON-METABOLISM-INVOLVED (GNC) and CYTOKININ-RESPONSIVE GATA1 (CGA1) regulate chloroplast development, growth, and division in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). GNC and CGA1 are highly expressed in green tissues, and the phytohormone cytokinin regulates their expression. A gnc cga1 mutant exhibits a reduction in overall chlorophyll levels as well as in chloroplast size in the hypocotyl. Ectopic overexpression of either GNC or CGA1 promotes chloroplast biogenesis in hypocotyl cortex and root pericycle cells, based on increases in the number and size of the chloroplasts, and also results in expanded zones of chloroplast production into the epidermis of hypocotyls and cotyledons and into the cortex of roots. Ectopic overexpression also promotes the development of etioplasts from proplastids in dark-grown seedlings, subsequently enhancing the deetiolation process. Inducible expression of GNC demonstrates that GNC-mediated chloroplast biogenesis can be regulated postembryonically, notably so for chloroplast production in cotyledon epidermal cells. Analysis of the gnc cga1 loss-of-function and overexpression lines supports a role for these transcription factors in regulating the effects of cytokinin on chloroplast division. These data support a model in which GNC and CGA1 serve as two of the master transcriptional regulators of chloroplast biogenesis, acting downstream of cytokinin and mediating the development of chloroplasts from proplastids and enhancing chloroplast growth and division in specific tissues. PMID:22811435

  13. Key Factors and Timing Patterns in the Tennis Forehand of Different Skill Levels

    PubMed Central

    Landlinger, Johannes; Lindinger, Stefan; Stöggl, Thomas; Wagner, Herbert; Müller, Erich

    2010-01-01

    The main purpose of the present study was to quantify and compare selected kinematic variables and their timing during the tennis forehand of different skill levels. An eight-camera 400 Hz, Vicon motion analysis system recorded kinematic data of six ATP- professionals (elite) and seven high performance (HP) players when shots were played cross court and down the line. Timing of the maximum angles, linear and angular velocities was measured prior to and after impact. A total of twelve strokes per subject were analyzed from the beginning to the end of horizontal racquet movement. Significant differences (p < 0.01) and large effect sizes were observed between elite and HP players in the timing of maximum pelvis (-0.075 ± 0.008 vs. -0.093 ± 0.012 s) and trunk angular velocities (-0.057 ± 0.004 vs. -0.075 ± 0.011 s) before impact. The elite group showed a tendency (p < 0.05) towards higher peak horizontal shoulder (3.0 ± 0.4 vs. 2.5 ± 0.4 m·s-1) and racquet velocities (33.1 ± 2.4 vs. 31.1 ± 1.9 m·s-1) compared to the HP players. Depending on the situation (cross court vs. down the line), different peak hip, racquet and separation angles were found for both groups. Similar peak values were detected between groups for maximum angular velocities and displacement of key variables that had been selected for analysis. The findings of this study can be vital for successful player development, improved performance or injury prevention. The later occurrence of maximum angular pelvis and trunk rotations were the main reasons for the tendency towards higher horizontal shoulder and racquet velocities in the elite group. Key points Different timing of maximum angular pelvis and trunk rotations separated the elite from the high performance players. The elite group tended to reach higher horizontal shoulder and racquet velocities than the high performance group. In addition to maximum angular velocities, maximum racquet, shoulder, and hip alignment angles were similar

  14. Interferon regulatory factor 3 is a key regulation factor for inducing the expression of SAMHD1 in antiviral innate immunity

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Shen; Zhan, Yuan; Zhou, Yanjun; Jiang, Yifeng; Zheng, Xuchen; Yu, Lingxue; Tong, Wu; Gao, Fei; Li, Liwei; Huang, Qinfeng; Ma, Zhiyong; Tong, Guangzhi

    2016-01-01

    SAMHD1 is a type I interferon (IFN) inducible host innate immunity restriction factor that inhibits an early step of the viral life cycle. The underlying mechanisms of SAMHD1 transcriptional regulation remains elusive. Here, we report that inducing SAMHD1 upregulation is part of an early intrinsic immune response via TLR3 and RIG-I/MDA5 agonists that ultimately induce the nuclear translocation of the interferon regulation factor 3 (IRF3) protein. Further studies show that IRF3 plays a major role in upregulating endogenous SAMHD1 expression in a mechanism that is independent of the classical IFN-induced JAK-STAT pathway. Both overexpression and activation of IRF3 enhanced the SAMHD1 promoter luciferase activity, and activated IRF3 was necessary for upregulating SAMHD1 expression in a type I IFN cascade. We also show that the SAMHD1 promoter is a direct target of IRF3 and an IRF3 binding site is sufficient to render this promoter responsive to stimulation. Collectively, these findings indicate that upregulation of endogenous SAMHD1 expression is attributed to the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of IRF3 and we suggest that type I IFN induction and induced SAMHD1 expression are coordinated. PMID:27411355

  15. The matricellular protein Cyr61 is a key mediator of platelet-derived growth factor-induced cell migration.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Fuqiang; Hao, Feng; An, Dong; Zeng, Linlin; Wang, Yi; Xu, Xuemin; Cui, Mei-Zhen

    2015-03-27

    Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), a potent chemoattractant, induces cell migration via the MAPK and PI3K/Akt pathways. However, the downstream mediators are still elusive. In particular, the role of extracellular mediators is largely unknown. In this study, we identified the matricellular protein Cyr61, which is de novo synthesized in response to PDGF stimulation, as the key downstream mediator of the ERK and JNK pathways, independent of the p38 MAPK and AKT pathways, and, thereby, it mediates PDGF-induced smooth muscle cell migration but not proliferation. Our results revealed that, when Cyr61 was newly synthesized by PDGF, it was promptly translocated to the extracellular matrix and physically interacted with the plasma membrane integrins α6β1 and αvβ3. We further demonstrate that Cyr61 and integrins are integral components of the PDGF signaling pathway via an "outside-in" signaling route to activate intracellular focal adhesion kinase (FAK), leading to cell migration. Therefore, this study provides the first evidence that the PDGF-induced endogenous extracellular matrix component Cyr61 is a key mediator in modulating cell migration by connecting intracellular PDGF-ERK and JNK signals with integrin/FAK signaling. Therefore, extracellular Cyr61 convergence with growth factor signaling and integrin/FAK signaling is a new concept of growth factor-induced cell migration. The discovered signaling pathway may represent an important therapeutic target in growth factor-mediated cell migration/invasion-related vascular diseases and tumorigenesis.

  16. Crystallographic orientation and electrode nature are key factors for electric current generation by Geobacter sulfurreducens.

    PubMed

    Maestro, Beatriz; Ortiz, Juan M; Schrott, Germán; Busalmen, Juan P; Climent, Víctor; Feliu, Juan M

    2014-08-01

    We have investigated the influence of electrode material and crystallographic structure on electron transfer and biofilm formation of Geobacter sulfurreducens. Single-crystal gold-Au(110), Au(111), Au(210)-and platinum-Pt(100), Pt(110), Pt(111), Pt(210)-electrodes were tested and compared to graphite rods. G. sulfurreducens electrochemically interacts with all these materials with different attachment kinetics and final current production, although redox species involved in the electron transfer to the anode are virtually the same in all cases. Initial bacterial colonization was fastest on graphite up to the monolayer level, whereas gold electrodes led to higher final current densities. Crystal geometry was shown to have an important influence, with Au(210) sustaining a current density of up to 1442±101μAcm(-2) at the steady state, over Au(111) with 961±94μAcm(-2) and Au(110) with 944±89μAcm(-2). On the other hand, the platinum electrodes displayed the lowest performances, including Pt(210). Our results indicate that both crystal geometry and electrode material are key parameters for the efficient interaction of bacteria with the substrate and should be considered for the design of novel materials and microbial devices to optimize energy production.

  17. Key factors limiting carbon nanotube yarn strength: exploring processing-structure-property relationships.

    PubMed

    Beese, Allison M; Wei, Xiaoding; Sarkar, Sourangsu; Ramachandramoorthy, Rajaprakash; Roenbeck, Michael R; Moravsky, Alexander; Ford, Matthew; Yavari, Fazel; Keane, Denis T; Loutfy, Raouf O; Nguyen, SonBinh T; Espinosa, Horacio D

    2014-11-25

    Studies of carbon nanotube (CNT) based composites have been unable to translate the extraordinary load-bearing capabilities of individual CNTs to macroscale composites such as yarns. A key challenge lies in the lack of understanding of how properties of filaments and interfaces across yarn hierarchical levels govern the properties of macroscale yarns. To provide insight required to enable the development of superior CNT yarns, we investigate the fabrication-structure-mechanical property relationships among CNT yarns prepared by different techniques and employ a Monte Carlo based model to predict upper bounds on their mechanical properties. We study the correlations between different levels of alignment and porosity and yarn strengths up to 2.4 GPa. The uniqueness of this experimentally informed modeling approach is the model's ability to predict when filament rupture or interface sliding dominates yarn failure based on constituent mechanical properties and structural organization observed experimentally. By capturing this transition and predicting the yarn strengths that could be obtained under ideal fabrication conditions, the model provides critical insights to guide future efforts to improve the mechanical performance of CNT yarn systems. This multifaceted study provides a new perspective on CNT yarn design that can serve as a foundation for the development of future composites that effectively exploit the superior mechanical performance of CNTs. PMID:25353651

  18. Crystallographic orientation and electrode nature are key factors for electric current generation by Geobacter sulfurreducens.

    PubMed

    Maestro, Beatriz; Ortiz, Juan M; Schrott, Germán; Busalmen, Juan P; Climent, Víctor; Feliu, Juan M

    2014-08-01

    We have investigated the influence of electrode material and crystallographic structure on electron transfer and biofilm formation of Geobacter sulfurreducens. Single-crystal gold-Au(110), Au(111), Au(210)-and platinum-Pt(100), Pt(110), Pt(111), Pt(210)-electrodes were tested and compared to graphite rods. G. sulfurreducens electrochemically interacts with all these materials with different attachment kinetics and final current production, although redox species involved in the electron transfer to the anode are virtually the same in all cases. Initial bacterial colonization was fastest on graphite up to the monolayer level, whereas gold electrodes led to higher final current densities. Crystal geometry was shown to have an important influence, with Au(210) sustaining a current density of up to 1442±101μAcm(-2) at the steady state, over Au(111) with 961±94μAcm(-2) and Au(110) with 944±89μAcm(-2). On the other hand, the platinum electrodes displayed the lowest performances, including Pt(210). Our results indicate that both crystal geometry and electrode material are key parameters for the efficient interaction of bacteria with the substrate and should be considered for the design of novel materials and microbial devices to optimize energy production. PMID:24642203

  19. Key Factors Influencing Rates of Heterotrophic Sulfate Reduction in Hydrothermal Massive Sulfide Deposits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frank, K. L.; Rogers, K. L.; Rogers, D.; Johnston, D. T.; Girguis, P. R.

    2015-12-01

    Hydrothermal vents are thermally and geochemically dynamic habitats, and the organisms therein are subject to steep fluctuations in temperature and chemistry. To date, the influence of these environmental dynamics on microbial sulfate reduction has not been well constrained. Here, via multivariate experiments, we evaluate the effects of key environmental variables (temperature, pH, H2S, SO42-, DOC) on sulfate reduction rates and metabolic energy yields in a hydrothermal flange recovered from the Grotto vent in the Main Endeavor Field, Juan de Fuca ridge. Sulfate reduction was measured in batch reactions across a range of physico-chemical conditions. Temperature and pH were the strongest stimuli and maximum sulfate reduction rates were observed at 50°C and pH 6, suggesting that the in situ community of sulfate reducing organisms at Grotto may be most active in a slightly acidic and moderate thermal/chemical regime. At pH 4, sulfate reduction rates increased with sulfide concentrations most likely due to the mitigation of metal toxicity. While substrate concentrations also influenced sulfate reduction rates, energy-rich conditions muted the effect of metabolic energetics on sulfate reduction rates. We posit that variability in sulfate reduction rates reflect the response of the active microbial consortia to environmental constraints on in situ microbial physiology, toxicity, and the type and extent of energy limitation. These experiments help to constrain models of the spatial contribution of heterotrophic sulfate within the complex gradients inherent to hydrothermal deposits.

  20. Krüppel-like Factor 15 (KLF15) Is a Key Regulator of Podocyte Differentiation*

    PubMed Central

    Mallipattu, Sandeep K.; Liu, Ruijie; Zheng, Feng; Narla, Goutham; Ma'ayan, Avi; Dikman, Steven; Jain, Mukesh K.; Saleem, Moin; D'Agati, Vivette; Klotman, Paul; Chuang, Peter Y.; He, John C.

    2012-01-01

    Podocyte injury resulting from a loss of differentiation is the hallmark of many glomerular diseases. We previously showed that retinoic acid (RA) induces podocyte differentiation via stimulation of the cAMP pathway. However, many podocyte maturity markers lack binding sites for RA-response element or cAMP-response element (CREB) in their promoter regions. We hypothesized that transcription factors induced by RA and downstream of CREB mediate podocyte differentiation. We performed microarray gene expression studies in human podocytes treated with and without RA to identify differentially regulated genes. In comparison with known CREB target genes, we identified Krüppel-like factor 15 (KLF15), a kidney-enriched nuclear transcription factor, that has been previously shown to mediate cell differentiation. We confirmed that RA increased KLF15 expression in both murine and human podocytes. Overexpression of KLF15 stimulated expression of differentiation markers in both wild-type and HIV-1-infected podocytes. Also, KLF15 binding to the promoter regions of nephrin and podocin was increased in RA-treated podocytes. Although KLF15−/− mice at base line had minimal phenotype, lipopolysaccharide- or adriamycin-treated KLF15−/− mice had a significant increase in proteinuria and podocyte foot process effacement with a reduction in the expression of podocyte differentiation markers as compared with the wild-type treated mice. Finally, KLF15 expression was reduced in glomeruli isolated from HIV transgenic mice as well as in kidney biopsies from patients with HIV-associated nephropathy and idiopathic focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. These results indicate a critical role of KLF15 in mediating podocyte differentiation and in protecting podocytes against injury. PMID:22493483

  1. Macrophage Migration Inhibitory Factor (MIF): A Key Player in Protozoan Infections

    PubMed Central

    de Dios Rosado, Juan; Rodriguez-Sosa, Miriam

    2011-01-01

    Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a pleiotropic cytokine produced by the pituitary gland and multiple cell types, including macrophages (Mø), dendritic cells (DC) and T-cells. Upon releases MIF modulates the expression of several inflammatory molecules, such as TNF-α, nitric oxide and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2). These important MIF characteristics have prompted investigators to study its role in parasite infections. Several reports have demonstrated that MIF plays either a protective or deleterious role in the immune response to different pathogens. Here, we review the role of MIF in the host defense response to some important protozoan infections. PMID:22110378

  2. Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha is a key factor related to depression and physiological homeostasis in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Yamanishi, Kyosuke; Doe, Nobutaka; Sumida, Miho; Watanabe, Yuko; Yoshida, Momoko; Yamamoto, Hideyuki; Xu, Yunfeng; Li, Wen; Yamanishi, Hiromichi; Okamura, Haruki; Matsunaga, Hisato

    2015-01-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common psychiatric disorder that involves marked disabilities in global functioning, anorexia, and severe medical comorbidities. MDD is associated with not only psychological and sociocultural problems, but also pervasive physical dysfunctions such as metabolic, neurobiological and immunological abnormalities. Nevertheless, the mechanisms underlying the interactions between these factors have yet to be determined in detail. The aim of the present study was to identify the molecular mechanisms responsible for the interactions between MDD and dysregulation of physiological homeostasis, including immunological function as well as lipid metabolism, coagulation, and hormonal activity in the brain. We generated depression-like behavior in mice using chronic mild stress (CMS) as a model of depression. We compared the gene expression profiles in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of CMS and control mice using microarrays. We subsequently categorized genes using two web-based bioinformatics applications: Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and The Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery. We then confirmed significant group-differences by analyzing mRNA and protein expression levels not only in the PFC, but also in the thalamus and hippocampus. These web tools revealed that hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (Hnf4a) may exert direct effects on various genes specifically associated with amine synthesis, such as genes involved in serotonin metabolism and related immunological functions. Moreover, these genes may influence lipid metabolism, coagulation, and hormonal activity. We also confirmed the significant effects of Hnf4a on both mRNA and protein expression levels in the brain. These results suggest that Hnf4a may have a critical influence on physiological homeostasis under depressive states, and may be associated with the mechanisms responsible for the interactions between MDD and the dysregulation of physiological homeostasis

  3. Identifying Key Factors in Homeowner's Adoption of Water Quality Best Management Practices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brehm, Joan M.; Pasko, Danielle K.; Eisenhauer, Brian W.

    2013-07-01

    The recognition of the significance of the residential environment in contributing to non-point source (NPS) pollution and the inherently dispersed nature of NPS pollution itself that presents significant challenges to effective regulation has led to the creation and dissemination of best management practices (BMPs) that can reduce the impacts of NPS pollution (Environmental Protection Agency US, Protecting water quality from urban runoff, http://www.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/nps_urban-facts_final.pdf, 2003). However, very few studies have examined the factors that influence the adoption of BMPs by residential homeowners, despite the fact that residential environments have been identified as one of the most significant contributors to NPS pollution. Given this need, the purpose of this project was to explore how demographic and knowledge-based factors predict adoption of residential BMPs in an urbanizing watershed in Northern Illinois using statistical analyses of survey data collected as part of a watershed planning process. The findings indicate that broad knowledge of BMPs is the strongest predictor of use for a specific BMP. Knowledge of BMPs is strongly correlated with their use, which reinforces the need for educational programs, even among those assumed to be knowledgeable about BMPs.

  4. The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the Dominican Republic: Key Contributing Factors.

    PubMed

    Rojas, Patria; Malow, Robert; Ruffin, Beverly; Rothe, Eugenio M; Rosenberg, Rhonda

    2011-01-01

    This article reviews HIV/AIDS epidemiological data and recent research conducted in the Dominican Republic, with a focus on explaining the variability in estimated seroincidence and prevalence within the country. HIV seroprevalence estimates range from 1.0% (in the general population) to 11.0% among men who have sex with men (MSM). Some have indicated that the highest HIV seroprevalence occurs in Haitian enclaves called bateyes (US Agency for International Development [USAID], 2008), which are migrant worker shantytowns primarily serving the sugar industry in the Dominican Republic. Others report higher or comparable rates to the bateyes in areas related to the tourism and sex industries. As in other Caribbean and Latin American countries, reported HIV transmission in the Dominican Republic is predominantly due to unprotected heterosexual sex and the infection rate has been increasing disproportionally among women. The Dominican Republic represents two thirds of the Hispaniola island; the western one third is occupied by Haiti, the nation with the highest HIV prevalence in the western hemisphere. Although data is limited, it shows important differences in seroprevalence and incidence between these two countries, but commonalities such as poverty, gender inequalities, and stigma appear to be pivotal factors driving the epidemic. This article will discuss these and other factors that may contribute to the HIV epidemic in the Dominican Republic, as well as highlight the gaps in the literature and provide recommendations to guide further work in this area, particularly in the role of governance in sustainable HIV prevention.

  5. The Grp170 nucleotide exchange factor executes a key role during ERAD of cellular misfolded clients

    PubMed Central

    Inoue, Takamasa; Tsai, Billy

    2016-01-01

    When a protein misfolds in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), it retrotranslocates to the cytosol and is degraded by the proteasome via a pathway called ER-associated degradation (ERAD). To initiate ERAD, ADP-BiP is often recruited to the misfolded client, rendering it soluble and translocation competent. How the misfolded client is subsequently released from BiP so that it undergoes retrotranslocation, however, remains enigmatic. Here we demonstrate that the ER-resident nucleotide exchange factor (NEF) Grp170 plays an important role during ERAD of the misfolded glycosylated client null Hong Kong (NHK). As a NEF, Grp170 triggers nucleotide exchange of BiP to generate ATP-BiP. ATP-BiP disengages from NHK, enabling it to retrotranslocate to the cytosol. We demonstrate that Grp170 binds to Sel1L, an adapter of the transmembrane Hrd1 E3 ubiquitin ligase postulated to be the retrotranslocon, and links this interaction to Grp170’s function during ERAD. More broadly, Grp170 also promotes degradation of the nonglycosylated transthyretin (TTR) D18G misfolded client. Our findings thus establish a general function of Grp170 during ERAD and suggest that positioning this client-release factor at the retrotranslocation site may afford a mechanism to couple client release from BiP and retrotranslocation. PMID:27030672

  6. Investigation of Key Factors for Accident Severity at Railroad Grade Crossings by Using a Logit Model

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shou-Ren; Li, Chin-Shang; Lee, Chi-Kang

    2009-01-01

    Although several studies have used logit or probit models and their variants to fit data of accident severity on roadway segments, few have investigated accident severity at a railroad grade crossing (RGC). Compared to accident risk analysis in terms of accident frequency and severity of a highway system, investigation of the factors contributing to traffic accidents at an RGC may be more complicated because of additional highway–railway interactions. Because the proportional odds assumption was violated while fitting cumulative logit modeled by the proportional odds models with stepwise variable selection to ordinal accident severity data collected at 592 RGCs in Taiwan, as suggested by Strokes et al. (2000, p. 249) a generalized logit model with stepwise variable selection was used instead to identify explanatory variables (factors or covariates) that were significantly associated with the severity of collisions. Hence, the fitted model was used to predict the level of accident severity, given a set of values in the explanatory variables. Number of daily trains, highway separation, number of daily trucks, obstacle detection device, and approaching crossing markings significantly affected levels of accident severity at an RGC (p-value = 0.0009, 0.0008, 0.0112, 0.0017, and 0.0003, respectively). Finally, marginal effect analysis on the number of daily trains and law enforcement camera was conducted to evaluate the effect of the number of daily trains and presence of a law enforcement camera on the potential accident severity. PMID:20161414

  7. Granuloma Encapsulation Is a Key Factor for Containing Tuberculosis Infection in Minipigs

    PubMed Central

    Vilaplana, Cristina; Tapia, Gustavo; Díaz, Jorge; Fort, María; Cáceres, Neus; Pinto, Sergio; Caylà, Joan; Corner, Leigh; Domingo, Mariano; Cardona, Pere-Joan

    2010-01-01

    A transthoracic infection involving a low dose of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been used to establish a new model of infection in minipigs. The 20-week monitoring period showed a marked Th1 response and poor humoral response for the whole infection. A detailed histopathological analysis was performed after slicing the formalin-fixed whole lungs of each animal. All lesions were recorded and classified according to their microscopic aspect, their relationship with the intralobular connective network and their degree of maturity in order to obtain a dissemination ratio (DR) between recent and old lesions. CFU counts and evolution of the DR with time showed that the proposed model correlated with a contained infection, decreasing from week 9 onwards. These findings suggest that the infection induces an initial Th1 response, which is followed by local fibrosis and encapsulation of the granulomas, thereby decreasing the onset of new lesions. Two therapeutic strategies were applied in order to understand how they could influence the model. Thus, chemotherapy with isoniazid alone helped to decrease the total number of lesions, despite the increase in DR after week 9, with similar kinetics to those of the control group, whereas addition of a therapeutic M. tuberculosis fragment-based vaccine after chemotherapy increased the Th1 and humoral responses, as well as the number of lesions, but decreased the DR. By providing a local pulmonary structure similar to that in humans, the mini-pig model highlights new aspects that could be key to a better understanding tuberculosis infection control in humans. PMID:20386605

  8. Key Factors Influencing Rates of Heterotrophic Sulfate Reduction in Active Seafloor Hydrothermal Massive Sulfide Deposits.

    PubMed

    Frank, Kiana L; Rogers, Karyn L; Rogers, Daniel R; Johnston, David T; Girguis, Peter R

    2015-01-01

    Hydrothermal vents are thermally and geochemically dynamic habitats, and the organisms therein are subject to steep gradients in temperature and chemistry. To date, the influence of these environmental dynamics on microbial sulfate reduction has not been well constrained. Here, via multivariate experiments, we evaluate the effects of key environmental variables (temperature, pH, H2S, [Formula: see text], DOC) on sulfate reduction rates and metabolic energy yields in material recovered from a hydrothermal flange from the Grotto edifice in the Main Endeavor Field, Juan de Fuca Ridge. Sulfate reduction was measured in batch reactions across a range of physico-chemical conditions. Temperature and pH were the strongest stimuli, and maximum sulfate reduction rates were observed at 50°C and pH 6, suggesting that the in situ community of sulfate-reducing organisms in Grotto flanges may be most active in a slightly acidic and moderate thermal/chemical regime. At pH 4, sulfate reduction rates increased with sulfide concentrations most likely due to the mitigation of metal toxicity. While substrate concentrations also influenced sulfate reduction rates, energy-rich conditions muted the effect of metabolic energetics on sulfate reduction rates. We posit that variability in sulfate reduction rates reflect the response of the active microbial consortia to environmental constraints on in situ microbial physiology, toxicity, and the type and extent of energy limitation. These experiments help to constrain models of the spatial contribution of heterotrophic sulfate reduction within the complex gradients inherent to seafloor hydrothermal deposits.

  9. Key Factors Influencing Rates of Heterotrophic Sulfate Reduction in Active Seafloor Hydrothermal Massive Sulfide Deposits

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Kiana L.; Rogers, Karyn L.; Rogers, Daniel R.; Johnston, David T.; Girguis, Peter R.

    2015-01-01

    Hydrothermal vents are thermally and geochemically dynamic habitats, and the organisms therein are subject to steep gradients in temperature and chemistry. To date, the influence of these environmental dynamics on microbial sulfate reduction has not been well constrained. Here, via multivariate experiments, we evaluate the effects of key environmental variables (temperature, pH, H2S, SO42−, DOC) on sulfate reduction rates and metabolic energy yields in material recovered from a hydrothermal flange from the Grotto edifice in the Main Endeavor Field, Juan de Fuca Ridge. Sulfate reduction was measured in batch reactions across a range of physico-chemical conditions. Temperature and pH were the strongest stimuli, and maximum sulfate reduction rates were observed at 50°C and pH 6, suggesting that the in situ community of sulfate-reducing organisms in Grotto flanges may be most active in a slightly acidic and moderate thermal/chemical regime. At pH 4, sulfate reduction rates increased with sulfide concentrations most likely due to the mitigation of metal toxicity. While substrate concentrations also influenced sulfate reduction rates, energy-rich conditions muted the effect of metabolic energetics on sulfate reduction rates. We posit that variability in sulfate reduction rates reflect the response of the active microbial consortia to environmental constraints on in situ microbial physiology, toxicity, and the type and extent of energy limitation. These experiments help to constrain models of the spatial contribution of heterotrophic sulfate reduction within the complex gradients inherent to seafloor hydrothermal deposits. PMID:26733984

  10. Maternal effects and range expansion: a key factor in a dynamic process?

    PubMed Central

    Duckworth, Renée A.

    2009-01-01

    generated in newly colonized populations. More generally, these results suggest that, as a key source of variation in colonizing phenotypes, maternal effects are of crucial importance for understanding the dynamics of range expansion. PMID:19324612

  11. Key Factors Influencing Rates of Heterotrophic Sulfate Reduction in Active Seafloor Hydrothermal Massive Sulfide Deposits.

    PubMed

    Frank, Kiana L; Rogers, Karyn L; Rogers, Daniel R; Johnston, David T; Girguis, Peter R

    2015-01-01

    Hydrothermal vents are thermally and geochemically dynamic habitats, and the organisms therein are subject to steep gradients in temperature and chemistry. To date, the influence of these environmental dynamics on microbial sulfate reduction has not been well constrained. Here, via multivariate experiments, we evaluate the effects of key environmental variables (temperature, pH, H2S, [Formula: see text], DOC) on sulfate reduction rates and metabolic energy yields in material recovered from a hydrothermal flange from the Grotto edifice in the Main Endeavor Field, Juan de Fuca Ridge. Sulfate reduction was measured in batch reactions across a range of physico-chemical conditions. Temperature and pH were the strongest stimuli, and maximum sulfate reduction rates were observed at 50°C and pH 6, suggesting that the in situ community of sulfate-reducing organisms in Grotto flanges may be most active in a slightly acidic and moderate thermal/chemical regime. At pH 4, sulfate reduction rates increased with sulfide concentrations most likely due to the mitigation of metal toxicity. While substrate concentrations also influenced sulfate reduction rates, energy-rich conditions muted the effect of metabolic energetics on sulfate reduction rates. We posit that variability in sulfate reduction rates reflect the response of the active microbial consortia to environmental constraints on in situ microbial physiology, toxicity, and the type and extent of energy limitation. These experiments help to constrain models of the spatial contribution of heterotrophic sulfate reduction within the complex gradients inherent to seafloor hydrothermal deposits. PMID:26733984

  12. Hiring and Retention: Key Factors in Increasing Gender Diversity in the Geosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmes, M.; O'Connell, S.; Frey, C.

    2004-12-01

    Graduation and hiring data of geoscientists over the last ten years indicate that the largest leak in the academic pipeline for women geoscientists is at hiring into tenure-track positions. Anecdotal explanations for this leak generally cite a lack of females in the applicant pool, but women in tenure-track positions anecdotally cite a lack of family-friendly practices by academic departments. Both ideas are currently being tested via surveys of geoscience departments. Is there a way to attract more women to the field to increase the applicant pool? Results of focus groups of geoscientists indicate that both men and women are attracted into the field of geosciences by the same types of events: over one-third became a geoscientist by randomly walking into an undergraduate class and finding themselves captivated by the topic and/or a dynamic instructor. The subject matter itself attracts another one-fourth, and family members encourage another one-fifth of geoscientists to initially enter the field. Slightly more women cite the first attractor of undergraduate class, but the principal draw for our future workforce, male and female, is good instruction of freshman courses. Retention of women in academia is another key issue. The proportion that considers leaving after working towards one or more degrees is highly skewed by gender: one-half of female and only one-third of male geoscientists considered leaving the field at some time in their career. The reasons for considering leaving also differ by gender. Males cite financial issues, including an uncertain job market. Females cite two principal reasons for considering leaving: family issues and difficulties with a graduate advisor. Strategies currently exist for "family issues", including stop-the-clock (of tenure for family needs), assignment shift, on-campus daycare facilities, and unflinching administrative support for such practices. Graduate advising is a learnable skill, and more attention needs to be paid to

  13. KEY FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE THE PERFORMANCE PROPERTIES OF ARP/MCU SALTSTONE MIXES

    SciTech Connect

    Harbour, J.; Edwards, T.; Williams, V.

    2009-10-05

    At the Saltstone Production Facility (SPF), decontaminated salt solution (DSS) is combined with premix (a cementitious mixture of portland cement (PC), blast furnace slag (BFS) and Class F fly ash (FA)) in a Readco mixer to produce fresh (uncured) Saltstone. After transfer to the Saltstone Disposal Facility (SDF) the hydration reactions initiated during the contact of the premix and salt solution continue during the curing period to produce the hardened waste form product. The amount of heat generated from hydration and the resultant temperature increase in the vaults depend on the composition of the decontaminated salt solution being dispositioned as well as the grout formulation (mix design). This report details the results from Task 3 of the Saltstone Variability Study for FY09 which was performed to identify, and quantify when possible, those factors that drive the performance properties of the projected ARP/MCU Batches. A baseline ARP/MCU mix (at 0.60 water to cementitious materials (w/cm) ratio) was established and consisted of the normal premix composition and a salt solution that was an average of the projected compositions of the last three ARP/MCU batches developed by T. A. Le. This task introduced significant variation in (1) wt % slag, w/cm ratio, and wt % portland cement about the baseline mix and (2) the temperature of curing in order to better assess the dependence of the performance properties on these factors. Two separate campaigns, designated Phase 10 and Phase 11, were carried out under Task 3. Experimental designs and statistical analyses were used to search for correlation among properties and to develop linear models to predict property values based on factors such as w/cm ratio, slag concentration, and portland cement concentration. It turns out that the projected salt compositions contained relatively high amounts of aluminate (0.22 M) even though no aluminate was introduced due to caustic aluminate removal from High Level Waste. Previous

  14. Lake variability: key factors controlling mercury concentrations in New York State fish.

    PubMed

    Simonin, Howard A; Loukmas, Jefferey J; Skinner, Lawrence C; Roy, Karen M

    2008-07-01

    A 4year study surveyed 131 lakes across New York State beginning in 2003 to improve our understanding of mercury and gather information from previously untested waters. Our study focused on largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye and yellow perch, common piscivorous fish shown to accumulate high mercury concentrations and species important to local fisheries. Fish from Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve lakes generally had higher mercury concentrations than those from lakes in other areas of the state. Variability between nearby individual lakes was observed, and could be due to differences in water chemistry, lake productivity or the abundance of wetlands in the watershed. We found the following factors impact mercury bioaccumulation: fish length, lake pH, specific conductivity, chlorophyll a, mercury concentration in the water, presence of an outlet dam and amount of contiguous wetlands.

  15. Olive (Olea europaea L.) tree nitrogen status is a key factor for olive oil quality.

    PubMed

    Erel, Ran; Kerem, Zohar; Ben-Gal, Alon; Dag, Arnon; Schwartz, Amnon; Zipori, Isaac; Basheer, Loai; Yermiyahu, Uri

    2013-11-27

    The influence of macronutrient status on olive oil properties was studied for three years. Data were analyzed by a multivariate model considering N, P, K, and fruiting year as explanatory factors. Oil quality parameters were primarily associated with N concentration in leaves and fruits which increased with N in irrigation solution. The effect of P on oil quality was mainly indirect since increased P availability increased N accumulation. The potassium level had negligible effects. The oil phenolic content decreased linearly as a function of increased leaf N, indicating protein-phenol competition in leaves. The overall saturation level of the fatty acids decreased with fruit N, resulting in increased polyunsaturated fatty acids. Free fatty acids increased with increased levels of fruit N. High fruit load tended to reduce fruit N and subsequently improve oil quality. The effect of N on oil properties depended solely on its concentration in leaves or fruits, regardless of the cause.

  16. Study on the Key Factor Parameters to Increase Productivity in Construction and Manufacturing Industries.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Almazyed, K.; Alaswad, A.; Olabi, A. G.

    2016-02-01

    Proper management of human and non-human resources in construction and manufacturing projects can give-in considerable savings in time and cost. Construction and Manufacturing industry faces issues in connection with problems related with productivity and the problems are usually connected with performance of employees. The performance of employees is affected by many factors. In this paper a survey was made on respondents who are employed various projects of Saudi Arabia. The researcher developed a theoretical framework from the existing research which was used as a Model to collect and analyze the field data to test the hypothesis. In this research activity three predictors (commitment, job satisfaction and job performance) for determining the change in productivity. The results highlight that commitment and job performance (respectively) are the two predictors which are explaining 37% of variation in the productivity of the companies. The results also show that Job Satisfaction has no role in the prediction of productivity.

  17. Olive (Olea europaea L.) tree nitrogen status is a key factor for olive oil quality.

    PubMed

    Erel, Ran; Kerem, Zohar; Ben-Gal, Alon; Dag, Arnon; Schwartz, Amnon; Zipori, Isaac; Basheer, Loai; Yermiyahu, Uri

    2013-11-27

    The influence of macronutrient status on olive oil properties was studied for three years. Data were analyzed by a multivariate model considering N, P, K, and fruiting year as explanatory factors. Oil quality parameters were primarily associated with N concentration in leaves and fruits which increased with N in irrigation solution. The effect of P on oil quality was mainly indirect since increased P availability increased N accumulation. The potassium level had negligible effects. The oil phenolic content decreased linearly as a function of increased leaf N, indicating protein-phenol competition in leaves. The overall saturation level of the fatty acids decreased with fruit N, resulting in increased polyunsaturated fatty acids. Free fatty acids increased with increased levels of fruit N. High fruit load tended to reduce fruit N and subsequently improve oil quality. The effect of N on oil properties depended solely on its concentration in leaves or fruits, regardless of the cause. PMID:24245487

  18. Identification of Transcriptional Factors and Key Genes in Primary Osteoporosis by DNA Microarray

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Wengui; Ji, Lixin; Zhao, Teng; Gao, Pengfei

    2015-01-01

    Background A number of genes have been identified to be related with primary osteoporosis while less is known about the comprehensive interactions between regulating genes and proteins. We aimed to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and regulatory effects of transcription factors (TFs) involved in primary osteoporosis. Material/Methods The gene expression profile GSE35958 was obtained from Gene Expression Omnibus database, including 5 primary osteoporosis and 4 normal bone tissues. The differentially expressed genes between primary osteoporosis and normal bone tissues were identified by the same package in R language. The TFs of these DEGs were predicted with the Essaghir A method. DAVID (The Database for Annotation, Visualization and Integrated Discovery) was applied to perform the GO (Gene Ontology) and KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathway enrichment analysis of DEGs. After analyzing regulatory effects, a regulatory network was built between TFs and the related DEGs. Results A total of 579 DEGs was screened, including 310 up-regulated genes and 269 down-regulated genes in primary osteoporosis samples. In GO terms, more up-regulated genes were enriched in transcription regulator activity, and secondly in transcription factor activity. A total 10 significant pathways were enriched in KEGG analysis, including colorectal cancer, Wnt signaling pathway, Focal adhesion, and MAPK signaling pathway. Moreover, total 7 TFs were enriched, of which CTNNB1, SP1, and TP53 regulated most up-regulated DEGs. Conclusions The discovery of the enriched TFs might contribute to the understanding of the mechanism of primary osteoporosis. Further research on genes and TFs related to the WNT signaling pathway and MAPK pathway is urgent for clinical diagnosis and directing treatment of primary osteoporosis. PMID:25957414

  19. A Key Role for Leukemia Inhibitory Factor in C26 Cancer Cachexia*

    PubMed Central

    Seto, Danielle N.; Kandarian, Susan C.; Jackman, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    Cachexia is an exacerbating event in many types of cancer that is strongly associated with a poor prognosis. We have identified cytokine, signaling, and transcription factors that are required for cachexia in the mouse C26 colon carcinoma model of cancer. C2C12 myotubes treated with conditioned medium from C26 cancer cells induced atrophy and activated a STAT-dependent reporter gene but not reporter genes dependent on SMAD, FOXO, C/EBP, NF-κB, or AP-1. Of the gp130 family members IL-11, IL-6, oncostatin M (OSM), and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), only OSM and LIF were sufficient to activate the STAT reporter in myotubes. LIF was elevated in C26 conditioned medium (CM), but IL-6, OSM, TNFα, and myostatin were not. A LIF-blocking antibody abolished C26 CM-induced STAT reporter activation, STAT3 phosphorylation, and myotube atrophy but blocking antibodies to IL-6 or OSM did not. JAK2 inhibitors also blocked C26 CM-induced STAT reporter activation, STAT3 phosphorylation, and atrophy in myotubes. LIF at levels found in the C26 CM was sufficient for STAT reporter activation and atrophy in myotubes. In vivo, an increase in serum LIF preceded the increase in IL-6 in mice with C26 tumors. Overexpression of a dominant negative Stat3Cβ-EGFP gene in myotubes and in mouse muscle blocked the atrophy caused by C26 CM or C26 tumors, respectively. Taken together, these data support an important role of LIF-JAK2-STAT3 in C26 cachexia and point to a therapeutic approach for at least some types of cancer cachexia. PMID:26092726

  20. A Key Role for Leukemia Inhibitory Factor in C26 Cancer Cachexia.

    PubMed

    Seto, Danielle N; Kandarian, Susan C; Jackman, Robert W

    2015-08-01

    Cachexia is an exacerbating event in many types of cancer that is strongly associated with a poor prognosis. We have identified cytokine, signaling, and transcription factors that are required for cachexia in the mouse C26 colon carcinoma model of cancer. C2C12 myotubes treated with conditioned medium from C26 cancer cells induced atrophy and activated a STAT-dependent reporter gene but not reporter genes dependent on SMAD, FOXO, C/EBP, NF-κB, or AP-1. Of the gp130 family members IL-11, IL-6, oncostatin M (OSM), and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), only OSM and LIF were sufficient to activate the STAT reporter in myotubes. LIF was elevated in C26 conditioned medium (CM), but IL-6, OSM, TNFα, and myostatin were not. A LIF-blocking antibody abolished C26 CM-induced STAT reporter activation, STAT3 phosphorylation, and myotube atrophy but blocking antibodies to IL-6 or OSM did not. JAK2 inhibitors also blocked C26 CM-induced STAT reporter activation, STAT3 phosphorylation, and atrophy in myotubes. LIF at levels found in the C26 CM was sufficient for STAT reporter activation and atrophy in myotubes. In vivo, an increase in serum LIF preceded the increase in IL-6 in mice with C26 tumors. Overexpression of a dominant negative Stat3Cβ-EGFP gene in myotubes and in mouse muscle blocked the atrophy caused by C26 CM or C26 tumors, respectively. Taken together, these data support an important role of LIF-JAK2-STAT3 in C26 cachexia and point to a therapeutic approach for at least some types of cancer cachexia.

  1. Security analysis and improvements of two-factor mutual authentication with key agreement in wireless sensor networks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jiye; Lee, Donghoon; Jeon, Woongryul; Lee, Youngsook; Won, Dongho

    2014-04-09

    User authentication and key management are two important security issues in WSNs (Wireless Sensor Networks). In WSNs, for some applications, the user needs to obtain real-time data directly from sensors and several user authentication schemes have been recently proposed for this case. We found that a two-factor mutual authentication scheme with key agreement in WSNs is vulnerable to gateway node bypassing attacks and user impersonation attacks using secret data stored in sensor nodes or an attacker's own smart card. In this paper, we propose an improved scheme to overcome these security weaknesses by storing secret data in unique ciphertext form in each node. In addition, our proposed scheme should provide not only security, but also efficiency since sensors in a WSN operate with resource constraints such as limited power, computation, and storage space. Therefore, we also analyze the performance of the proposed scheme by comparing its computation and communication costs with those of other schemes.

  2. Security analysis and improvements of two-factor mutual authentication with key agreement in wireless sensor networks.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jiye; Lee, Donghoon; Jeon, Woongryul; Lee, Youngsook; Won, Dongho

    2014-01-01

    User authentication and key management are two important security issues in WSNs (Wireless Sensor Networks). In WSNs, for some applications, the user needs to obtain real-time data directly from sensors and several user authentication schemes have been recently proposed for this case. We found that a two-factor mutual authentication scheme with key agreement in WSNs is vulnerable to gateway node bypassing attacks and user impersonation attacks using secret data stored in sensor nodes or an attacker's own smart card. In this paper, we propose an improved scheme to overcome these security weaknesses by storing secret data in unique ciphertext form in each node. In addition, our proposed scheme should provide not only security, but also efficiency since sensors in a WSN operate with resource constraints such as limited power, computation, and storage space. Therefore, we also analyze the performance of the proposed scheme by comparing its computation and communication costs with those of other schemes. PMID:24721764

  3. Security Analysis and Improvements of Two-Factor Mutual Authentication with Key Agreement in Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jiye; Lee, Donghoon; Jeon, Woongryul; Lee, Youngsook; Won, Dongho

    2014-01-01

    User authentication and key management are two important security issues in WSNs (Wireless Sensor Networks). In WSNs, for some applications, the user needs to obtain real-time data directly from sensors and several user authentication schemes have been recently proposed for this case. We found that a two-factor mutual authentication scheme with key agreement in WSNs is vulnerable to gateway node bypassing attacks and user impersonation attacks using secret data stored in sensor nodes or an attacker's own smart card. In this paper, we propose an improved scheme to overcome these security weaknesses by storing secret data in unique ciphertext form in each node. In addition, our proposed scheme should provide not only security, but also efficiency since sensors in a WSN operate with resource constraints such as limited power, computation, and storage space. Therefore, we also analyze the performance of the proposed scheme by comparing its computation and communication costs with those of other schemes. PMID:24721764

  4. Key factors controlling microbial community response after a fire: importance of severity and recurrence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lombao, Alba; Barreiro, Ana; Martín, Ángela; Díaz-Raviña, Montserrat

    2015-04-01

    Microorganisms play an important role in forest ecosystems, especially after fire when vegetation is destroyed and soil is bared. Fire severity and recurrence might be one of main factors controlling the microbial response after a wildfire but information about this topic is scarce. The aim of this study is to evaluate the influence of fire regimen (recurrence and severity) on soil microbial community structure by means of the analysis of phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA). The study was performed with unburned and burned samples collected from the top layer of a soil affected by a high severity fire (Laza, NW Spain) heated under laboratory conditions at different temperatures (50°C, 75°C, 100°C, 125°C, 150°C, 175°C, 200°C, 300°C) to simulate different fire intensities; the process was repeated after further soil recovery (1 month incubation) to simulate fire recurrence. The soil temperature was measured with thermocouples and used to calculate the degree-hours as estimation of the amount of heat supplied to the samples (fire severity). The PLFA analysis was used to estimate total biomass and the biomass of specific groups (bacteria, fungi, gram-positive bacteria and gram-negative bacteria) as well as microbial community structure (PLFA pattern) and PLFA data were analyzed by means of principal component analysis (PCA) in order to identify main factors determining microbial community structure. The results of PCA, performed with the whole PLFA data set, showed that first component explained 35% of variation and clearly allow us to differentiate unburned samples from the corresponding burned samples, while the second component, explaining 16% of variation, separated samples according the heating temperature. A marked impact of fire regimen on soil microorganisms was detected; the microbial community response varied depending on previous history of soil heating and the magnitude of changes in the PLFA pattern was related to the amount of heat supplied to the

  5. Physiologically-based toxicokinetic models help identifying the key factors affecting contaminant uptake during flood events.

    PubMed

    Brinkmann, Markus; Eichbaum, Kathrin; Kammann, Ulrike; Hudjetz, Sebastian; Cofalla, Catrina; Buchinger, Sebastian; Reifferscheid, Georg; Schüttrumpf, Holger; Preuss, Thomas; Hollert, Henner

    2014-07-01

    As a consequence of global climate change, we will be likely facing an increasing frequency and intensity of flood events. Thus, the ecotoxicological relevance of sediment re-suspension is of growing concern. It is vital to understand contaminant uptake from suspended sediments and relate it to effects in aquatic biota. Here we report on a computational study that utilizes a physiologically based toxicokinetic model to predict uptake, metabolism and excretion of sediment-borne pyrene in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). To this end, data from two experimental studies were compared with the model predictions: (a) batch re-suspension experiments with constant concentration of suspended particulate matter at two different temperatures (12 and 24°C), and (b) simulated flood events in an annular flume. The model predicted both the final concentrations and the kinetics of 1-hydroxypyrene secretion into the gall bladder of exposed rainbow trout well. We were able to show that exhaustive exercise during exposure in simulated flood events can lead to increased levels of biliary metabolites and identified cardiac output and effective respiratory volume as the two most important factors for contaminant uptake. The results of our study clearly demonstrate the relevance and the necessity to investigate uptake of contaminants from suspended sediments under realistic exposure scenarios.

  6. Trench angle: a key design factor for a deep trench superjunction MOSFET

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Hyemin; Lee, Jaegil; Lee, Kwangwon; Choi, Youngchul

    2015-12-01

    Why is the development of a deep trench superjunction (SJ) MOSFET above 600 V and under 8.0 mohm · cm2 difficult? A deep trench SJ MOSFET is expected to have a low turn-on resistance because the post thermal process after the epitaxial process, which is normally used in a multi-step epitaxy structure, is unnecessary. When designing a deep trench SJ MOSFET, the trench angle is the most important factor because this determines the breakdown voltage (BV) and BV variations. In this paper, we investigated how the trench angle affects the BV and BV window as a condition of the possible thermal process. By employing a physical concept, ΔCharge, we explained why the maximum BV is decreased and the BV window is increased as the trench angle decreases. Also, we systematically scrutinized the transition of the vertical electric field by varying the trench angle. Furthermore, in a real case, the principle of the trench angle which contributes to the deviation of the charge imbalance and specific resistance of SJ is described. Finally, we discuss the challenge of SJ MOSFET development in the industry.

  7. A Robust and Anonymous Two Factor Authentication and Key Agreement Protocol for Telecare Medicine Information Systems.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Hu; Tao, Junyi; Chen, Yanan

    2016-11-01

    Nowadays people can get many services including health-care services from distributed information systems remotely via public network. By considering that these systems are built on public network, they are vulnerable to many malicious attacks. Hence it is necessary to introduce an effective mechanism to protect both users and severs. Recently many two-factor authentication schemes have been proposed to achieve this goal. In 2016, Li et al. demonstrated that Lee et al.'s scheme was not satisfactory to be deployed in practice because of its security weaknesses and then proposed a security enhanced scheme to overcome these drawbacks. In this paper, we analyze Li et al.'s scheme is still not satisfactory to be applied in telecare medicine information systems (TMIS) because it fails to withstand off-line dictionary attack and known session-specific temporary information attack. Moreover, their scheme cannot provide card revocation services for lost smart card. In order to solve these security problems, we propose an improved scheme. Then we analyze our scheme by using BAN-logic model and compare the improved scheme with related schemes to prove that our scheme is advantageous to be applied in practice.

  8. Physiologically-based toxicokinetic models help identifying the key factors affecting contaminant uptake during flood events.

    PubMed

    Brinkmann, Markus; Eichbaum, Kathrin; Kammann, Ulrike; Hudjetz, Sebastian; Cofalla, Catrina; Buchinger, Sebastian; Reifferscheid, Georg; Schüttrumpf, Holger; Preuss, Thomas; Hollert, Henner

    2014-07-01

    As a consequence of global climate change, we will be likely facing an increasing frequency and intensity of flood events. Thus, the ecotoxicological relevance of sediment re-suspension is of growing concern. It is vital to understand contaminant uptake from suspended sediments and relate it to effects in aquatic biota. Here we report on a computational study that utilizes a physiologically based toxicokinetic model to predict uptake, metabolism and excretion of sediment-borne pyrene in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). To this end, data from two experimental studies were compared with the model predictions: (a) batch re-suspension experiments with constant concentration of suspended particulate matter at two different temperatures (12 and 24°C), and (b) simulated flood events in an annular flume. The model predicted both the final concentrations and the kinetics of 1-hydroxypyrene secretion into the gall bladder of exposed rainbow trout well. We were able to show that exhaustive exercise during exposure in simulated flood events can lead to increased levels of biliary metabolites and identified cardiac output and effective respiratory volume as the two most important factors for contaminant uptake. The results of our study clearly demonstrate the relevance and the necessity to investigate uptake of contaminants from suspended sediments under realistic exposure scenarios. PMID:24727214

  9. Zinc regulates a key transcriptional pathway for epileptogenesis via metal-regulatory transcription factor 1

    PubMed Central

    van Loo, Karen M. J.; Schaub, Christina; Pitsch, Julika; Kulbida, Rebecca; Opitz, Thoralf; Ekstein, Dana; Dalal, Adam; Urbach, Horst; Beck, Heinz; Yaari, Yoel; Schoch, Susanne; Becker, Albert J.

    2015-01-01

    Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common focal seizure disorder in adults. In many patients, transient brain insults, including status epilepticus (SE), are followed by a latent period of epileptogenesis, preceding the emergence of clinical seizures. In experimental animals, transcriptional upregulation of CaV3.2 T-type Ca2+-channels, resulting in an increased propensity for burst discharges of hippocampal neurons, is an important trigger for epileptogenesis. Here we provide evidence that the metal-regulatory transcription factor 1 (MTF1) mediates the increase of CaV3.2 mRNA and intrinsic excitability consequent to a rise in intracellular Zn2+ that is associated with SE. Adeno-associated viral (rAAV) transfer of MTF1 into murine hippocampi leads to increased CaV3.2 mRNA. Conversely, rAAV-mediated expression of a dominant-negative MTF1 abolishes SE-induced CaV3.2 mRNA upregulation and attenuates epileptogenesis. Finally, data from resected human hippocampi surgically treated for pharmacoresistant TLE support the Zn2+-MTF1-CaV3.2 cascade, thus providing new vistas for preventing and treating TLE. PMID:26498180

  10. Research on key factors in the digital shearing speckle pattern interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feng, Ziang; Gao, Zhan; Zhang, Xiaoqiong; Wang, Shengjia

    2015-08-01

    Digital shearing speckle pattern interferometry (DSSPI) is a powerful tool in the measurement of strain, residual stress and the non-destructive testing (NDT). It is widely used in the fields of wood testing, tire inspection and aerospace, etc. The DSSPI system based on the Wollaston prism is attractive because of its compact arrangement, high immunity to disturbance, and, most of all, the ability to measure strain directly. It could show the strain distribution of the measured object by producing fringe patterns. In conventional DSSPI systems, phase-shifting devices are commonly adopted to extract phase information from the fringe patterns, which means dynamical measurement cannot be realized. In this paper, the principle of a novel DSSPI system based on the temporal analysis is presented. Phase information is extracted with the Fourier Transform method instead of the phase-shifting devices in this system. In this way, dynamical measurement is realized. The measuring accuracy is mostly determined by the quality of the fringe patterns (the fringe width and the contrast ratio). There are several factors that influence the quality of the fringe patterns. Here we mainly discuss the influence of the shearing distance and the polarization state. The preliminary experiments with different shearing distances and polarization states are conducted. The ideal shearing distance and polarization state are suggested.

  11. Leptin in early life: a key factor for the development of the adult metabolic profile.

    PubMed

    Granado, Miriam; Fuente-Martín, Esther; García-Cáceres, Cristina; Argente, Jesús; Chowen, Julie A

    2012-01-01

    Leptin levels during the perinatal period are important for the development of metabolic systems involved in energy homeostasis. In rodents, there is a postnatal leptin surge, with circulating leptin levels increasing around postnatal day (PND) 5 and peaking between PND 9 and PND 10. At this time circulating leptin acts as an important trophic factor for the development of hypothalamic circuits that control energy homeostasis and food seeking and reward behaviors. Blunting the postnatal leptin surge results in long-term leptin insensitivity and increased susceptibility to diet-induced obesity during adulthood. Pharmacologically increased leptin levels in the postnatal period also have long-term effects on metabolism. Nevertheless, this effect is controversial as postnatal hyperleptinemia is reported to both increase and decrease the predisposition to obesity in adulthood. The different effects reported in the literature could be explained by the different moments at which this hormone was administered, suggesting that modifications of the neonatal leptin surge at specific time points could selectively affect the development of central and peripheral systems that are undergoing modifications at this moment resulting in different metabolic and behavioral outcomes. In addition, maternal nutrition and the hormonal environment during pregnancy and lactation may also modulate the offspring's response to postnatal modifications in leptin levels. This review highlights the importance of leptin levels during the perinatal period in the development of metabolic systems that control energy homeostasis and how modifications of these levels may induce long-lasting and potentially irreversible effects on metabolism.

  12. Key factors in work engagement and job motivation of teaching faculty at a university medical centre.

    PubMed

    van den Berg, B A M; Bakker, Arnold B; Ten Cate, Th J

    2013-11-01

    This study reports about teacher motivation and work engagement in a Dutch University Medical Centre (UMC). We examined factors affecting the motivation for teaching in a UMC, the engagement of UMC Utrecht teaching faculty in their work, and their engagement in teaching compared with engagement in patient care and research. Based on a pilot study within various departments at the UMCU, a survey on teaching motivation and work engagement was developed and sent to over 600 UMCU teachers. About 50 % responded. Work engagement was measured by the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale, included in this survey. From a list of 22 pre-defined items, 5 were marked as most motivating: teaching about my own speciality, noticeable appreciation for teaching by my direct superior, teaching small groups, feedback on my teaching performance, and freedom to determine what I teach. Feedback on my teaching performance showed the strongest predictive value for teaching engagement. Engagement scores were relatively favourable, but engagement with patient care was higher than with research and teaching. Task combinations appear to decrease teaching engagement. Our results match with self-determination theory and the job demands-resources model, and challenge the policy to combine teaching with research and patient care.

  13. A Robust and Anonymous Two Factor Authentication and Key Agreement Protocol for Telecare Medicine Information Systems.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Hu; Tao, Junyi; Chen, Yanan

    2016-11-01

    Nowadays people can get many services including health-care services from distributed information systems remotely via public network. By considering that these systems are built on public network, they are vulnerable to many malicious attacks. Hence it is necessary to introduce an effective mechanism to protect both users and severs. Recently many two-factor authentication schemes have been proposed to achieve this goal. In 2016, Li et al. demonstrated that Lee et al.'s scheme was not satisfactory to be deployed in practice because of its security weaknesses and then proposed a security enhanced scheme to overcome these drawbacks. In this paper, we analyze Li et al.'s scheme is still not satisfactory to be applied in telecare medicine information systems (TMIS) because it fails to withstand off-line dictionary attack and known session-specific temporary information attack. Moreover, their scheme cannot provide card revocation services for lost smart card. In order to solve these security problems, we propose an improved scheme. Then we analyze our scheme by using BAN-logic model and compare the improved scheme with related schemes to prove that our scheme is advantageous to be applied in practice. PMID:27628729

  14. Membrane domain formation—a key factor for targeted intracellular drug delivery

    PubMed Central

    Popov-Čeleketić, Dušan; van Bergen en Henegouwen, Paul M. P.

    2014-01-01

    Protein molecules, toxins and viruses internalize into the cell via receptor-mediated endocytosis (RME) using specific proteins and lipids in the plasma membrane. The plasma membrane is a barrier for many pharmaceutical agents to enter into the cytoplasm of target cells. In the case of cancer cells, tissue-specific biomarkers in the plasma membrane, like cancer-specific growth factor receptors, could be excellent candidates for RME-dependent drug delivery. Recent data suggest that agent binding to these receptors at the cell surface, resulting in membrane domain formation by receptor clustering, can be used for the initiation of RME. As a result, these pharmaceutical agents are internalized into the cells and follow different routes until they reach their final intracellular targets like lysosomes or Golgi. We propose that clustering induced formation of plasma membrane microdomains enriched in receptors, sphingolipids, and inositol lipids, leads to membrane bending which functions as the onset of RME. In this review we will focus on the role of domain formation in RME and discuss potential applications for targeted intracellular drug delivery. PMID:25520666

  15. Laser spark ignition of premixed methane-air mixtures: parameter measurements and determination of key factors for ultimate ignition results.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiaohui; Smith, Benjamin W; Omenetto, Nicoló

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we present an experimental investigation of the parameters of the laser spark ignition of premixed methane-air mixtures and the determination of the key factors for the ultimate ignition result. Ignition is achieved in a mesh honeycomb burner using the 1064 nm output of a neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd : YAG) laser. All pertinent laser ignition parameters, including the minimum ignition energy, the ignition time and blow out time, and the effects that the variation of experimental conditions, such as the spark energy, ignition position, equivalence ratio (ER), and flow rate, have on these parameters have been addressed systematically. To identify the key factors for the ultimate result of laser ignition, several parameters of the ignition processes are measured simultaneously, with an emphasis given to the temporal behavior of the hydroxyl (OH) radicals in relation to the data regarding the spark energy and the local ER. A clear finding of the study is that successful ignition events are always related to higher OH radical photon emissions, considered to be proportional to the concentration level of the OH radicals present, thus indicating a direct link between the OH level at early times (on a microsecond scale) and the ultimate result of laser ignition. Two-dimensional correlation plots of the spark energy, local ER, and OH radical photon count at early times with the ultimate results of laser ignition indicate that the spark energy and local ER do not play a critical role in determining the success or failure of the ignition and that the OH concentration in the early time range is the key factor in determining the final fate of laser ignition. Finally, on the basis of the results obtained here and in the existing literature, some considerations of the mechanism of laser ignition are presented. PMID:25226251

  16. Key geochemical factors regulating Mn(IV)-catalyzed anaerobic nitrification in coastal marine sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Hui; Taillefert, Martial

    2014-05-01

    The reduction of Mn(IV) oxides coupled to the anaerobic oxidation of NH4+ has been proposed for more than a decade to contribute to the fixed nitrogen pool in marine sediments, yet the existence of this process is still under debate. In this study, surface sediments from an intertidal salt marsh were incubated with MnO2 in the presence of elevated concentrations of NH4+ to test the hypothesis that the reduction of Mn(IV) oxides catalyzes anaerobic NH4+ oxidation to NO2- or NO3-. Geochemical factors such as the ratio of Mn(IV) to NH4+, the type of Mn(IV) oxides (amorphous or colloidal MnO2), and the redox potential of the sediment significantly affect the activity of anaerobic nitrification. Incubations show that the net production of NO3- is stimulated under anaerobic conditions with external addition of colloidal but not amorphous MnO2 and is facilitated by the presence of high concentrations of NH4+. Mass balance calculations demonstrate that anaerobic NH4+ oxidation contributes to the net consumption of NH4+, providing another piece of evidence for the occurrence of Mn(IV)-catalyzed anaerobic nitrification in coastal marine sediments. Finally, anaerobic nitrification is stimulated by the amendment of small concentrations of NO3- or the absence of sulfate reduction, suggesting that moderately reducing conditions favor anaerobic NH4+ oxidation. Overall, these findings suggest that Mn(IV)-catalyzed anaerobic nitrification in suboxic sediments with high N/Mn concentration ratios and highly reactive manganese oxides may be an important source of NO2- and NO3- for subsequent marine nitrogen loss via denitrification or anammox.

  17. Transition of basaltic lava from pahoehoe to aa, Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii: Field observations and key factors

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peterson, D.W.; Tilling, R.I.

    1980-01-01

    Nearly all Hawaiian basaltic lava erupts as pahoehoe, and some changes to aa during flowage and cooling; factors governing the transition involve certain critical relations between viscosity and rate of shear strain. If the lava slows, cools, and stops in direct response to concomitant increase in viscosity before these critical relations are reached, it remains pahoehoe. But, if flow mechanics (flow rate, flow dimensions, slope, momentum, etc.) impel the lava to continue to move and deform even after it has become highly viscous, the critical relations may be reached and the lava changes to aa. Typical modes of transition from pahoehoe to aa include: (1) spontaneous formation of relatively stiff clots in parts of the flowing lava where shear rate is highest; these clots grow into discrete, rough, sticky masses to which the remaining fluid lava incrementally adheres; (2) fragmentation and immersion of solid or semi-solid surface crusts of pahoehoe by roiling movements of the flow, forming cores of discrete, tacky masses; (3) sudden renewed movement of lava stored and cooled within surface reservoirs to form clots. The masses, fragments, and clots in these transition modes are characterized by spinose, granulated surfaces; as flow movement continues, the masses and fragments aggregate, fracture, and grind together, completing the transition to aa. Observations show that the critical relation between viscosity and rate of shear strain is inverse: if viscosity is low, a high rate of shear is required to begin the transition to aa; conversely, if viscosity is high, a much lower rate of shear will induce the transition. These relations can be demonstrated qualitatively with simple graphs, which can be used to examine the flow history of any selected finite lava element by tracing the path represented by its changing viscosity and shear rate. A broad, diffuse "transition threshold zone" in these graphs portrays the inverse critical relation between viscosity and shear

  18. Mechanisms of fertilization elucidated by gene-manipulated animals

    PubMed Central

    Okabe, Masaru

    2015-01-01

    Capacitation and the acrosome reaction are key phenomena in mammalian fertilization. These phenomena were found more than 60 years ago. However, fundamental questions regarding the nature of capacitation and the timing of the acrosome reaction remain unsolved. Factors were postulated over time, but as their roles were not verified by gene-disruption experiments, widely accepted notions concerning the mechanism of fertilization are facing modifications. Today, although in vitro fertilization systems remain our central research tool, the importance of in vivo observations must be revisited. Here, primarily focusing on our own research, I summarize how in vivo observations using gene-manipulated animals have elucidated new concepts in the mechanisms of fertilization. PMID:25851662

  19. Variability in the Contribution of Different Life Stages to Population Growth as a Key Factor in the Invasion Success of Pinus strobus

    PubMed Central

    Münzbergová, Zuzana; Hadincová, Věra; Wild, Jan; Kindlmannová, Jana

    2013-01-01

    Background Despite the increasing number of studies attempting to model population growth in various organisms, we still know relatively little about the population dynamics of long-lived species that reproduce only in the later stages of their life cycle, such as trees. Predictions of the dynamics of these species are, however, urgently needed for planning management actions when species are either endangered or invasive. In long-lived species, a single management intervention may have consequences for several decades, and detailed knowledge of long-term performance can therefore elucidate possible outcomes during the management planning phase. Methodology and Principal Findings We studied the population dynamics of an invasive tree species, Pinus strobus, in three habitat types represented by their position along the elevation gradient occupied by the species. In agreement with previous studies on the population dynamics of long-lived perennials, our results show that the survival of the largest trees exhibits the highest elasticity in all of the studied habitats. In contrast, life table response experiments (LTRE) analysis showed that different stages contribute the most to population growth rates in different habitats, with generative reproduction being more important in lower slopes and valley bottoms and survival being more important on rock tops and upper slopes. Conclusions The results indicate that P. strobus exhibits different growth strategies in different habitats that result in similar population growth rates. We propose that this plasticity in growth strategies is a key factor in the invasion success of the white pine. In all of the investigated habitats, the population growth rates are above 1, indicating that the population of the species is still increasing and has the ability to spread and occupy a wide range of habitats. PMID:23468896

  20. Integrated genome-wide chromatin occupancy and expression analyses identify key myeloid pro-differentiation transcription factors repressed by Myb.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Liang; Glazov, Evgeny A; Pattabiraman, Diwakar R; Al-Owaidi, Faisal; Zhang, Ping; Brown, Matthew A; Leo, Paul J; Gonda, Thomas J

    2011-06-01

    To gain insight into the mechanisms by which the Myb transcription factor controls normal hematopoiesis and particularly, how it contributes to leukemogenesis, we mapped the genome-wide occupancy of Myb by chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-Seq) in ERMYB myeloid progenitor cells. By integrating the genome occupancy data with whole genome expression profiling data, we identified a Myb-regulated transcriptional program. Gene signatures for leukemia stem cells, normal hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and myeloid development were overrepresented in 2368 Myb regulated genes. Of these, Myb bound directly near or within 793 genes. Myb directly activates some genes known critical in maintaining hematopoietic stem cells, such as Gfi1 and Cited2. Importantly, we also show that, despite being usually considered as a transactivator, Myb also functions to repress approximately half of its direct targets, including several key regulators of myeloid differentiation, such as Sfpi1 (also known as Pu.1), Runx1, Junb and Cebpb. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that interaction with p300, an established coactivator for Myb, is unexpectedly required for Myb-mediated transcriptional repression. We propose that the repression of the above mentioned key pro-differentiation factors may contribute essentially to Myb's ability to suppress differentiation and promote self-renewal, thus maintaining progenitor cells in an undifferentiated state and promoting leukemic transformation.

  1. An adipoinductive role of inflammation in adipose tissue engineering: key factors in the early development of engineered soft tissues.

    PubMed

    Lilja, Heidi E; Morrison, Wayne A; Han, Xiao-Lian; Palmer, Jason; Taylor, Caroline; Tee, Richard; Möller, Andreas; Thompson, Erik W; Abberton, Keren M

    2013-05-15

    Tissue engineering and cell implantation therapies are gaining popularity because of their potential to repair and regenerate tissues and organs. To investigate the role of inflammatory cytokines in new tissue development in engineered tissues, we have characterized the nature and timing of cell populations forming new adipose tissue in a mouse tissue engineering chamber (TEC) and characterized the gene and protein expression of cytokines in the newly developing tissues. EGFP-labeled bone marrow transplant mice and MacGreen mice were implanted with TEC for periods ranging from 0.5 days to 6 weeks. Tissues were collected at various time points and assessed for cytokine expression through ELISA and mRNA analysis or labeled for specific cell populations in the TEC. Macrophage-derived factors, such as monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), appear to induce adipogenesis by recruiting macrophages and bone marrow-derived precursor cells to the TEC at early time points, with a second wave of nonbone marrow-derived progenitors. Gene expression analysis suggests that TNFα, LCN-2, and Interleukin 1β are important in early stages of neo-adipogenesis. Increasing platelet-derived growth factor and vascular endothelial cell growth factor expression at early time points correlates with preadipocyte proliferation and induction of angiogenesis. This study provides new information about key elements that are involved in early development of new adipose tissue.

  2. CENP-C and CENP-I are key connecting factors for kinetochore and CENP-A assembly.

    PubMed

    Shono, Nobuaki; Ohzeki, Jun-ichirou; Otake, Koichiro; Martins, Nuno M C; Nagase, Takahiro; Kimura, Hiroshi; Larionov, Vladimir; Earnshaw, William C; Masumoto, Hiroshi

    2015-12-15

    Although it is generally accepted that chromatin containing the histone H3 variant CENP-A is an epigenetic mark maintaining centromere identity, the pathways leading to the formation and maintenance of centromere chromatin remain unclear. We previously generated human artificial chromosomes (HACs) whose centromeres contain a synthetic alpha-satellite (alphoid) DNA array containing the tetracycline operator (alphoid(tetO)). We also obtained cell lines bearing the alphoid(tetO) array at ectopic integration sites on chromosomal arms. Here, we have examined the regulation of CENP-A assembly at centromeres as well as de novo assembly on the ectopic arrays by tethering tetracycline repressor (tetR) fusions of substantial centromeric factors and chromatin modifiers. This analysis revealed four classes of factors that influence CENP-A assembly. Interestingly, many kinetochore structural components induced de novo CENP-A assembly at the ectopic site. We showed that these components work by recruiting CENP-C and subsequently recruiting M18BP1. Furthermore, we found that CENP-I can also recruit M18BP1 and, as a consequence, enhances M18BP1 assembly on centromeres in the downstream of CENP-C. Thus, we suggest that CENP-C and CENP-I are key factors connecting kinetochore to CENP-A assembly. PMID:26527398

  3. Elucidation of separate, but collaborative functions of the rRNA methyltransferase-related human mitochondrial transcription factors B1 and B2 in mitochondrial biogenesis reveals new insight into maternally inherited deafness.

    PubMed

    Cotney, Justin; McKay, Sharen E; Shadel, Gerald S

    2009-07-15

    Mitochondrial biogenesis is controlled by signaling networks that relay information to and from the organelles. However, key mitochondrial factors that mediate such pathways and how they contribute to human disease are not understood fully. Here we demonstrate that the rRNA methyltransferase-related human mitochondrial transcription factors B1 and B2 are key downstream effectors of mitochondrial biogenesis that perform unique, yet cooperative functions. The primary function of h-mtTFB2 is mtDNA transcription and maintenance, which is independent of its rRNA methyltransferase activity, while that of h-mtTFB1 is mitochondrial 12S rRNA methylation needed for normal mitochondrial translation, metabolism and cell growth. Over-expression of h-mtTFB1 causes 12S rRNA hypermethylation, aberrant mitochondrial biogenesis and increased sorbitol-induced cell death. These phenotypes are recapitulated in cells harboring the pathogenic A1555G mtDNA mutation, implicating a deleterious rRNA methylation-dependent retrograde signal in maternally inherited deafness pathology and shedding significant insight into how h-mtTFB1 acts as a nuclear modifier of this disease.

  4. Elucidation of separate, but collaborative functions of the rRNA methyltransferase-related human mitochondrial transcription factors B1 and B2 in mitochondrial biogenesis reveals new insight into maternally inherited deafness

    PubMed Central

    Cotney, Justin; McKay, Sharen E.; Shadel, Gerald S.

    2009-01-01

    Mitochondrial biogenesis is controlled by signaling networks that relay information to and from the organelles. However, key mitochondrial factors that mediate such pathways and how they contribute to human disease are not understood fully. Here we demonstrate that the rRNA methyltransferase-related human mitochondrial transcription factors B1 and B2 are key downstream effectors of mitochondrial biogenesis that perform unique, yet cooperative functions. The primary function of h-mtTFB2 is mtDNA transcription and maintenance, which is independent of its rRNA methyltransferase activity, while that of h-mtTFB1 is mitochondrial 12S rRNA methylation needed for normal mitochondrial translation, metabolism and cell growth. Over-expression of h-mtTFB1 causes 12S rRNA hypermethylation, aberrant mitochondrial biogenesis and increased sorbitol-induced cell death. These phenotypes are recapitulated in cells harboring the pathogenic A1555G mtDNA mutation, implicating a deleterious rRNA methylation-dependent retrograde signal in maternally inherited deafness pathology and shedding significant insight into how h-mtTFB1 acts as a nuclear modifier of this disease. PMID:19417006

  5. Capturing the wide variety of impaired fracture healing phenotypes in Neurofibromatosis Type 1 with eight key factors: a computational study.

    PubMed

    Carlier, A; Brems, H; Ashbourn, J M A; Nica, I; Legius, E; Geris, L

    2016-01-01

    Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) is a rare disease which normally presents itself during early childhood by anterolateral bowing of the tibia and spontaneous tibial fractures. Although the exact etiology of CPT is highly debated, 40-80% of CPT patients are carriers of a mutation in the Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) gene, which can potentially result in an altered phenotype of the skeletal cells and impaired bone healing. In this study we use a computational model of bone regeneration to examine the effect of the Nf1 mutation on bone fracture healing by altering the parameter values of eight key factors which describe the aberrant cellular behaviour of Nf1 haploinsufficient and Nf1 bi-allelically inactivated cells. We show that the computational model is able to predict the formation of a hamartoma as well as a wide variety of CPT phenotypes through different combinations of altered parameter values. A sensitivity analysis by "Design of Experiments" identified the impaired endochondral ossification process and increased infiltration of fibroblastic cells as key contributors to the degree of severity of CPT. Hence, the computational model results have added credibility to the experimental hypothesis of a genetic cause (i.e. Nf1 mutation) for CPT. PMID:26822862

  6. Capturing the wide variety of impaired fracture healing phenotypes in Neurofibromatosis Type 1 with eight key factors: a computational study

    PubMed Central

    Carlier, A.; Brems, H.; Ashbourn, J. M. A.; Nica, I.; Legius, E.; Geris, L.

    2016-01-01

    Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) is a rare disease which normally presents itself during early childhood by anterolateral bowing of the tibia and spontaneous tibial fractures. Although the exact etiology of CPT is highly debated, 40–80% of CPT patients are carriers of a mutation in the Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1) gene, which can potentially result in an altered phenotype of the skeletal cells and impaired bone healing. In this study we use a computational model of bone regeneration to examine the effect of the Nf1 mutation on bone fracture healing by altering the parameter values of eight key factors which describe the aberrant cellular behaviour of Nf1 haploinsufficient and Nf1 bi-allelically inactivated cells. We show that the computational model is able to predict the formation of a hamartoma as well as a wide variety of CPT phenotypes through different combinations of altered parameter values. A sensitivity analysis by “Design of Experiments” identified the impaired endochondral ossification process and increased infiltration of fibroblastic cells as key contributors to the degree of severity of CPT. Hence, the computational model results have added credibility to the experimental hypothesis of a genetic cause (i.e. Nf1 mutation) for CPT. PMID:26822862

  7. Spectrin-ankyrin interaction mechanics: A key force balance factor in the red blood cell membrane skeleton.

    PubMed

    Saito, Masakazu; Watanabe-Nakayama, Takahiro; Machida, Shinichi; Osada, Toshiya; Afrin, Rehana; Ikai, Atsushi

    2015-01-01

    As major components of red blood cell (RBC) cytoskeleton, spectrin and F-actin form a network that covers the entire cytoplasmic surface of the plasma membrane. The cross-linked two layered structure, called the membrane skeleton, keeps the structural integrity of RBC under drastically changing mechanical environment during circulation. We performed force spectroscopy experiments on the atomic force microscope (AFM) as a means to clarify the mechanical characteristics of spectrin-ankyrin interaction, a key factor in the force balance of the RBC cytoskeletal structure. An AFM tip was functionalized with ANK1-62k and used to probe spectrin crosslinked to mica surface. A force spectroscopy study gave a mean unbinding force of ~30 pN under our experimental conditions. Two energy barriers were identified in the unbinding process. The result was related to the well-known flexibility of spectrin tetramer and participation of ankyrin 1-spectrin interaction in the overall balance of membrane skeleton dynamics.

  8. Occupancy by key transcription factors is a more accurate predictor of enhancer activity than histone modifications or chromatin accessibility

    SciTech Connect

    Dogan, Nergiz; Wu, Weisheng; Morrissey, Christapher S.; Chen, Kuan-Bei; Stonestrom, Aaron; Long, Maria; Keller, Cheryl A.; Cheng, Yong; Jain, Deepti; Visel, Axel; Pennacchio, Len A.; Weiss, Mitchell J.; Blobel, Gerd A.; Hardison, Ross C.

    2015-04-23

    Regulated gene expression controls organismal development, and variation in regulatory patterns has been implicated in complex traits. Thus accurate prediction of enhancers is important for further understanding of these processes. Genome-wide measurement of epigenetic features, such as histone modifications and occupancy by transcription factors, is improving enhancer predictions, but the contribution of these features to prediction accuracy is not known. Given the importance of the hematopoietic transcription factor TAL1 for erythroid gene activation, we predicted candidate enhancers based on genomic occupancy by TAL1 and measured their activity. Contributions of multiple features to enhancer prediction were evaluated based on the results of these and other studies. Results: TAL1-bound DNA segments were active enhancers at a high rate both in transient transfections of cultured cells (39 of 79, or 56%) and transgenic mice (43 of 66, or 65%). The level of binding signal for TAL1 or GATA1 did not help distinguish TAL1-bound DNA segments as active versus inactive enhancers, nor did the density of regulation-related histone modifications. A meta-analysis of results from this and other studies (273 tested predicted enhancers) showed that the presence of TAL1, GATA1, EP300, SMAD1, H3K4 methylation, H3K27ac, and CAGE tags at DNase hypersensitive sites gave the most accurate predictors of enhancer activity, with a success rate over 80% and a median threefold increase in activity. Chromatin accessibility assays and the histone modifications H3K4me1 and H3K27ac were sensitive for finding enhancers, but they have high false positive rates unless transcription factor occupancy is also included. Conclusions: Occupancy by key transcription factors such as TAL1, GATA1, SMAD1, and EP300, along with evidence of transcription, improves the accuracy of enhancer predictions based on epigenetic features.

  9. Occupancy by key transcription factors is a more accurate predictor of enhancer activity than histone modifications or chromatin accessibility

    DOE PAGES

    Dogan, Nergiz; Wu, Weisheng; Morrissey, Christapher S.; Chen, Kuan-Bei; Stonestrom, Aaron; Long, Maria; Keller, Cheryl A.; Cheng, Yong; Jain, Deepti; Visel, Axel; et al

    2015-04-23

    Regulated gene expression controls organismal development, and variation in regulatory patterns has been implicated in complex traits. Thus accurate prediction of enhancers is important for further understanding of these processes. Genome-wide measurement of epigenetic features, such as histone modifications and occupancy by transcription factors, is improving enhancer predictions, but the contribution of these features to prediction accuracy is not known. Given the importance of the hematopoietic transcription factor TAL1 for erythroid gene activation, we predicted candidate enhancers based on genomic occupancy by TAL1 and measured their activity. Contributions of multiple features to enhancer prediction were evaluated based on the resultsmore » of these and other studies. Results: TAL1-bound DNA segments were active enhancers at a high rate both in transient transfections of cultured cells (39 of 79, or 56%) and transgenic mice (43 of 66, or 65%). The level of binding signal for TAL1 or GATA1 did not help distinguish TAL1-bound DNA segments as active versus inactive enhancers, nor did the density of regulation-related histone modifications. A meta-analysis of results from this and other studies (273 tested predicted enhancers) showed that the presence of TAL1, GATA1, EP300, SMAD1, H3K4 methylation, H3K27ac, and CAGE tags at DNase hypersensitive sites gave the most accurate predictors of enhancer activity, with a success rate over 80% and a median threefold increase in activity. Chromatin accessibility assays and the histone modifications H3K4me1 and H3K27ac were sensitive for finding enhancers, but they have high false positive rates unless transcription factor occupancy is also included. Conclusions: Occupancy by key transcription factors such as TAL1, GATA1, SMAD1, and EP300, along with evidence of transcription, improves the accuracy of enhancer predictions based on epigenetic features.« less

  10. Hyperosmotic stress regulates the distribution and stability of myocardin-related transcription factor, a key modulator of the cytoskeleton

    PubMed Central

    Ly, Donald L.; Waheed, Faiza; Lodyga, Monika; Speight, Pam; Masszi, András; Nakano, Hiroyasu; Hersom, Maria; Pedersen, Stine F.; Szászi, Katalin

    2013-01-01

    Hyperosmotic stress initiates several adaptive responses, including the remodeling of the cytoskeleton. Besides maintaining structural integrity, the cytoskeleton has emerged as an important regulator of gene transcription. Myocardin-related transcription factor (MRTF), an actin-regulated coactivator of serum response factor, is a major link between the actin skeleton and transcriptional control. We therefore investigated whether MRTF is regulated by hyperosmotic stress. Here we show that hypertonicity induces robust, rapid, and transient translocation of MRTF from the cytosol to the nucleus in kidney tubular cells. We found that the hyperosmolarity-triggered MRTF translocation is mediated by the RhoA/Rho kinase (ROK) pathway. Moreover, the Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor GEF-H1 is activated by hyperosmotic stress, and it is a key contributor to the ensuing RhoA activation and MRTF translocation, since siRNA-mediated GEF-H1 downregulation suppresses these responses. While the osmotically induced RhoA activation promotes nuclear MRTF accumulation, the concomitant activation of p38 MAP kinase mitigates this effect. Moderate hyperosmotic stress (600 mosM) drives MRTF-dependent transcription through the cis-element CArG box. Silencing or pharmacological inhibition of MRTF prevents the osmotic stimulation of CArG-dependent transcription and renders the cells susceptible to osmotic shock-induced structural damage. Interestingly, strong hyperosmolarity promotes proteasomal degradation of MRTF, concomitant with apoptosis. Thus, MRTF is an osmosensitive and osmoprotective transcription factor, whose intracellular distribution is regulated by the GEF-H1/RhoA/ROK and p38 pathways. However, strong osmotic stress destabilizes MRTF, concomitant with apoptosis, implying that hyperosmotically induced cell death takes precedence over epithelial-myofibroblast transition, a potential consequence of MRTF-mediated phenotypic reprogramming. PMID:23054059

  11. [Key enzymes of degradation and angiogenesis as a factors of tumor progression in squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix].

    PubMed

    Solov'eva, N I; Timoshenko, O S; Kugaevskaia, E V; Andreeva, Iu Iu; Zavalishina, L E

    2014-01-01

    A key role in tumor progression play two processes--the destruction and angiogenesis. Matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) play a leading role during tissue degradation. Tissue collagenase--MMP-1 and MT1-MMP hydrolyze fibrillar collagens, which are the basis of connective tissue matrix, and ensure the development of an invasive process. Gelatinase A and B (MMP-2 and MMP-9) hydrolyze collagen type IV, which is the basis of the basal membrane, and facilitate the development of metastasis. Endogenous tissue inhibitors TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 are involved in the regulation of MMP expression and activity. It has been established that MMP-9 release vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) associated with the STM--the primary inductor angiogenesis. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) participates in the induction of VEGF synthesis. ACE--a key enzyme of the renin-angiotensin system, forms angiotensin II, which interactes with the receptor ATIR and induces VEGF synthesis, as well as stimulates endothelial cell proliferation. Our experimental studies devoted to the study of particularity expression of key enzymes of destruction and angiogenesis in squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix (SCC). It was studied: MMP-1, MT1-MMP, MMP-2 and MMP-9 and their endogenous regulators: TIMP-1, TIMP-2, and as well as ACE. Work was performed on clinical specimens containing the tumor tissue, taking into account the presence or absence of metastasis to regional lymph nodes and the specimens of adjacent morphologically normal tissue. It was shown that the increase of MMP-1, MT1-MMP and MMP-9 expression and low of TIMP-1 and TIMP-2 expression makes the main contribution to the destructive (invasive) potential of SCC. The change of MMP-2 expression is not so significant and it is less influenced to the destructive potential. It was shown dramatic increasing of MMP-1 and MMP-9 activity in metastasizing tumor tissue ACE activity in a tumor in most of the samples was higher than the activity in normal tissues

  12. Nutrient depletion as a key factor for manipulating gene expression and product formation in different branches of the flavonoid pathway.

    PubMed

    Lillo, Cathrine; Lea, Unni S; Ruoff, Peter

    2008-05-01

    The content of flavonoids increases in response to nitrogen and phosphorus depletion in plants. Manipulation of these macronutrients may therefore be used to control the levels of desirable compounds and improve plant quality. Key enzymes in the shikimate pathway, which feeds precursors into the flavonoid pathway, are regulated post-translationally by feedback from aromatic amino acids, and possibly by redox control through photosynthesis. Use of microarrays for global transcript analysis in Arabidopsis has revealed that transcript levels are less influenced by mineral nutrients in the shikimate pathway compared with the flavonoid pathway. The responses in the shikimate pathway appear complex, whereas in the flavonoid pathway, a single gene often responds similarly to mineral depletion, high light intensity and sucrose. MYB [production of anthocyanin pigment 1 (PAP1)/production of anthocyanin pigment 2 (PAP2)] and bHLH [GLABRA3 (GL3)] transcription factors are important for the nutrient depletion response. PAP1/2 stimulate gross activation of the flavonoid pathway, and different investigations support merging signal transduction chains for various abiotic treatments on PAP1/2. Flavonol synthase is not part of the PAP1/2 regulon, and expression is mainly enhanced by high light intensity and sucrose, not mineral depletion. Nevertheless, both cyanidin and flavonol derivatives increase in response to nitrogen depletion. Kaempferols are the dominating flavonols in Arabidopsis leaves under normal cultivation conditions, but quercetin accumulation can be triggered by nitrogen depletion in combination with other abiotic factors. PMID:18031469

  13. Identification of Key Factors Involved in the Biosorption of Patulin by Inactivated Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) Cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ling; Wang, Zhouli; Yuan, Yahong; Cai, Rui; Niu, Chen; Yue, Tianli

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify the key factors involved in patulin adsorption by heat-inactivated lactic acid bacteria (LAB) cells. For preventing bacterial contamination, a sterilization process was involved in the adsorption process. The effects of various physical, chemical, and enzymatic pre-treatments, simultaneous treatments, and post-treatments on the patulin adsorption performances of six LAB strains were evaluated. The pre-treated cells were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results showed that the removal of patulin by viable cells was mainly based on adsorption or degradation, depending on the specific strain. The adsorption abilities were widely increased by NaOH and esterification pre-treatments, and reduced by trypsin, lipase, iodate, and periodate pre-treatments. Additionally, the adsorption abilities were almost maintained at pH 2.2-4.0, and enhanced significantly at pH 4.0-6.0. The effects of sodium and magnesium ions on the adsorption abilities at pH 4 were slight and strain-specific. A lower proportion of patulin was released from the strain with higher adsorption ability. Analyses revealed that the physical structure of peptidoglycan was not a principal factor. Vicinal OH and carboxyl groups were not involved in patulin adsorption, while alkaline amino acids, thiol and ester compounds were important for patulin adsorption. Additionally, besides hydrophobic interaction, electrostatic interaction also participated in patulin adsorption, which was enhanced with the increase in pH (4.0-6.0).

  14. Ruguo key genes and tumor driving factors identification of bladder cancer based on the RNA-seq profile

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Minglei; Li, Hongyan; Zou, Di; Gao, Ji

    2016-01-01

    Aim This study aimed to select several signature genes associated with bladder cancer, thus to investigate the possible mechanism in bladder cancer. Methods The mRNA expression profile data of GSE31614, including ten bladder tissues and ten control samples, was downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in bladder cancer samples compared with the control samples were screened using the Student’s t-test method. Functional analysis for the DEGs was analyzed using the Database for Annotation, Visualization, and Integrated Discovery from the Gene Ontology database, followed by the transcription function annotation of DEGs from Tumor-Associated Gene database. Motifs of genes that had transcription functions in promoter region were analyzed using the Seqpos. Results A total of 1,571 upregulated and 1,507 downregulated DEGs in the bladder cancer samples were screened. ELF3 and MYBL2 involved in cell cycle and DNA replication were tumor suppressors. MEG3, APEX1, and EZH2 were related with the cell epigenetic regulation in bladder cancer. Moreover, HOXB9 and EN1 that have their own motif were the transcription factors. Conclusion Our study has identified several key genes involved in bladder cancer. ELF3 and MYBL2 are tumor suppressers, HOXB9 and EN1 are the main regulators, while MEG3, APEX1, and EZH2 are driving factors for bladder cancer progression. PMID:27217782

  15. Identifying key processes in the hydrochemistry of a basin through the combined use of factor and regression models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yidana, Sandow Mark; Banoeng-Yakubo, Bruce; Sakyi, Patrick Asamoah

    2012-04-01

    An innovative technique of measuring the intensities of major sources of variation in the hydrochemistry of (ground) water in a basin has been developed. This technique, which is based on the combination of R-mode factor and multiple regression analyses, can be used to measure the degrees of influence of the major sources of variation in the hydrochemistry without measuring the concentrations of the entire set of physico-chemical parameters which are often used to characterize water systems. R-mode factor analysis was applied to the data of 13 physico-chemical parameters and 50 samples in order to determine the major sources of variation in the hydrochemistry of some aquifers in the western region of Ghana. In this study, three sources of variation in the hydrochemistry were distinguished: the dissolution of chlorides and sulfates of the major cations, carbonate mineral dissolution, and silicate mineral weathering. Two key parameters were identified with each of the processes and multiple regression models were developed for each process. These models were tested and found to predict these processes quite accurately, and can be applied anywhere within the terrain. This technique can be reliably applied in areas where logistical constraints limit water sampling for whole basin hydrochemical characterization. Q-mode hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) applied to the data revealed three major groundwater associations distinguished on the basis of the major causes of variation in the hydrochemistry. The three groundwater types represent Na-HCO3, Ca-HCO3, and Na-Cl groundwater types. Silicate stability diagrams suggest that all these groundwater types are mainly stable in the kaolinite and montmorillonite fields suggesting moderately restricted flow conditions.

  16. Determination of key environmental factors responsible for distribution patterns of fiddler crabs in a tropical mangrove ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Mokhtari, Mohammad; Ghaffar, Mazlan Abd; Usup, Gires; Cob, Zaidi Che

    2015-01-01

    In tropical regions, different species of fiddler crabs coexist on the mangrove floor, which sometimes makes it difficult to define species-specific habitat by visual inspection. The aim of this study is to find key environmental parameters which affect the distribution of fiddler crabs and to determine the habitats in which each species was most abundant. Crabs were collected from 19 sites within the mudflats of Sepang-Lukut mangrove forest. Temperature, porewater salinity, organic matter, water content, carbon and nitrogen content, porosity, chlorophyll content, pH, redox potential, sediment texture and heavy metals were determined in each 1 m2 quadrate. Pearson correlation indicated that all sediment properties except pH and redox potential were correlated with sediment grain size. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that Uca paradussumieri was negatively correlated with salinity and redox potential. Sand dwelling species, Uca perplexa and Uca annulipes, were highly dependent on the abundance of 250 μm and 150 μm grain size particles in the sediment. Canonical Discriminative Analysis (CDA) indicated that variation in sediment grain size best explained where each crab species was most abundant. Moreover, U. paradussumieri commonly occupies muddy substrates of low shore, while U. forcipata lives under the shade of mangrove trees. U. annulipes and U. perplexa with the high number of spoon tipped setae on their second maxiliped are specialized to feed on the sandy sediments. U. rosea and U. triangularis are more common on muddy sediment with high sediment density. In conclusion, sediment grain size that influences most sediment properties acts as a main factor responsible for sediment heterogeneity. In this paper, the correlation between fiddler crab species and environmental parameters, as well as the interaction between sediment characteristics, was explained in order to define the important environmental factors in fiddler crab distributions. PMID

  17. Identification of Key Factors Involved in the Biosorption of Patulin by Inactivated Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ling; Wang, Zhouli; Yuan, Yahong; Cai, Rui; Niu, Chen; Yue, Tianli

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to identify the key factors involved in patulin adsorption by heat-inactivated lactic acid bacteria (LAB) cells. For preventing bacterial contamination, a sterilization process was involved in the adsorption process. The effects of various physical, chemical, and enzymatic pre-treatments, simultaneous treatments, and post-treatments on the patulin adsorption performances of six LAB strains were evaluated. The pre-treated cells were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results showed that the removal of patulin by viable cells was mainly based on adsorption or degradation, depending on the specific strain. The adsorption abilities were widely increased by NaOH and esterification pre-treatments, and reduced by trypsin, lipase, iodate, and periodate pre-treatments. Additionally, the adsorption abilities were almost maintained at pH 2.2–4.0, and enhanced significantly at pH 4.0–6.0. The effects of sodium and magnesium ions on the adsorption abilities at pH 4 were slight and strain-specific. A lower proportion of patulin was released from the strain with higher adsorption ability. Analyses revealed that the physical structure of peptidoglycan was not a principal factor. Vicinal OH and carboxyl groups were not involved in patulin adsorption, while alkaline amino acids, thiol and ester compounds were important for patulin adsorption. Additionally, besides hydrophobic interaction, electrostatic interaction also participated in patulin adsorption, which was enhanced with the increase in pH (4.0–6.0). PMID:26581099

  18. WDR82, a key epigenetics-related factor, plays a crucial role in normal early embryonic development in mice.

    PubMed

    Bi, Ye; Lv, Zhuo; Wang, Ying; Hai, Tang; Huo, Ran; Zhou, Zuomin; Zhou, Qi; Sha, Jiahao

    2011-04-01

    Epigenetic regulation is considered one of the most important mechanisms by which changes in gene expression occur without changes in the underlying DNA sequence. More and more studies have shown that this kind of regulation plays a very important role during the process of early embryonic development. Methylation of histones is a special process in epigenetic regulations that plays a dual role: some activate gene expression, while some inhibit it; trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 4 has been shown to be a marker of gene expression activation. Previous research has led us to focus on the role of WDR82, which has been shown to recognize a subunit in the methyltransferases complex that catalyzes H3K4me3 in early embryonic development. Although it has been shown that a defect in WDR82 causes dysfunction of SETD1A/SETD1B and results in loss of H3K4me3 in human cell lines, the exact role of WDR82 in the methyltransferases complex during early embryonic development is not clear. Our study has shown that a defect in WDR82 causes dysfunction of SETD1A/SETD1B and affects the normal H3K4me3 status in the transcription start region of POU5F1, which then causes the down-regulation of POU5F1 as well as its downstream factors STAT3/BIRC5, which are responsible for the extremely high apoptotic rates of blastocysts. Finally, the result of a blocked WDR82 consists of stunted embryonic development and death. Thus, WDR82 can be considered a key epigenetic regulation-related factor crucial in the normal growth and development of embryos. PMID:21123813

  19. Determination of key environmental factors responsible for distribution patterns of fiddler crabs in a tropical mangrove ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Mokhtari, Mohammad; Ghaffar, Mazlan Abd; Usup, Gires; Cob, Zaidi Che

    2015-01-01

    In tropical regions, different species of fiddler crabs coexist on the mangrove floor, which sometimes makes it difficult to define species-specific habitat by visual inspection. The aim of this study is to find key environmental parameters which affect the distribution of fiddler crabs and to determine the habitats in which each species was most abundant. Crabs were collected from 19 sites within the mudflats of Sepang-Lukut mangrove forest. Temperature, porewater salinity, organic matter, water content, carbon and nitrogen content, porosity, chlorophyll content, pH, redox potential, sediment texture and heavy metals were determined in each 1 m2 quadrate. Pearson correlation indicated that all sediment properties except pH and redox potential were correlated with sediment grain size. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that Uca paradussumieri was negatively correlated with salinity and redox potential. Sand dwelling species, Uca perplexa and Uca annulipes, were highly dependent on the abundance of 250 μm and 150 μm grain size particles in the sediment. Canonical Discriminative Analysis (CDA) indicated that variation in sediment grain size best explained where each crab species was most abundant. Moreover, U. paradussumieri commonly occupies muddy substrates of low shore, while U. forcipata lives under the shade of mangrove trees. U. annulipes and U. perplexa with the high number of spoon tipped setae on their second maxiliped are specialized to feed on the sandy sediments. U. rosea and U. triangularis are more common on muddy sediment with high sediment density. In conclusion, sediment grain size that influences most sediment properties acts as a main factor responsible for sediment heterogeneity. In this paper, the correlation between fiddler crab species and environmental parameters, as well as the interaction between sediment characteristics, was explained in order to define the important environmental factors in fiddler crab distributions.

  20. Determination of Key Environmental Factors Responsible for Distribution Patterns of Fiddler Crabs in a Tropical Mangrove Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Mokhtari, Mohammad; Ghaffar, Mazlan Abd; Usup, Gires; Cob, Zaidi Che

    2015-01-01

    In tropical regions, different species of fiddler crabs coexist on the mangrove floor, which sometimes makes it difficult to define species-specific habitat by visual inspection. The aim of this study is to find key environmental parameters which affect the distribution of fiddler crabs and to determine the habitats in which each species was most abundant. Crabs were collected from 19 sites within the mudflats of Sepang-Lukut mangrove forest. Temperature, porewater salinity, organic matter, water content, carbon and nitrogen content, porosity, chlorophyll content, pH, redox potential, sediment texture and heavy metals were determined in each 1 m2 quadrate. Pearson correlation indicated that all sediment properties except pH and redox potential were correlated with sediment grain size. Canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) indicated that Uca paradussumieri was negatively correlated with salinity and redox potential. Sand dwelling species, Uca perplexa and Uca annulipes, were highly dependent on the abundance of 250 μm and 150 μm grain size particles in the sediment. Canonical Discriminative Analysis (CDA) indicated that variation in sediment grain size best explained where each crab species was most abundant. Moreover, U. paradussumieri commonly occupies muddy substrates of low shore, while U. forcipata lives under the shade of mangrove trees. U. annulipes and U. perplexa with the high number of spoon tipped setae on their second maxiliped are specialized to feed on the sandy sediments. U. rosea and U. triangularis are more common on muddy sediment with high sediment density. In conclusion, sediment grain size that influences most sediment properties acts as a main factor responsible for sediment heterogeneity. In this paper, the correlation between fiddler crab species and environmental parameters, as well as the interaction between sediment characteristics, was explained in order to define the important environmental factors in fiddler crab distributions. PMID

  1. A host basal transcription factor is a key component for infection of rice by TALE-carrying bacteria.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Meng; Ke, Yinggen; Huang, Renyan; Ma, Ling; Yang, Zeyu; Chu, Zhaohui; Xiao, Jinghua; Li, Xianghua; Wang, Shiping

    2016-07-29

    Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) are sequence-specific DNA binding proteins found in a range of plant pathogenic bacteria, where they play important roles in host-pathogen interactions. However, it has been unclear how TALEs, after they have been injected into the host cells, activate transcription of host genes required for infection success. Here, we show that the basal transcription factor IIA gamma subunit TFIIAγ5 from rice is a key component for infection by the TALE-carrying bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the causal agent for bacterial blight. Direct interaction of several TALEs with TFIIAγ5 is required for activation of disease susceptibility genes. Conversely, reduced expression of the TFIIAγ5 host gene limits the induction of susceptibility genes and thus decreases bacterial blight symptoms. Suppression or mutation of TFIIAγ5 can also reduce bacterial streak, another devastating disease of rice caused by TALE-carrying X. oryzae pv. oryzicola. These results have important implications for formulating a widely applicable strategy with which to improve resistance of plants to TALE-carrying pathogens.

  2. Proton Gradients as a Key Physical Factor in the Evolution of the Forced Transport Mechanism Across the Lipid Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strbak, Oliver; Kanuchova, Zuzana; Krafcik, Andrej

    2016-04-01

    A critical phase in the transition from prebiotic chemistry to biological evolution was apparently an asymmetric ion flow across the lipid membrane. Due to imbalance in the ion flow, the early lipid vesicles could selectively take the necessary molecules from the environment, and release the side-products from the vesicle. Natural proton gradients played a definitively crucial role in this process, since they remain the basis of energy transfer in the present-day cells. On the basis of this supposition, and the premise of the early vesicle membrane's impermeability to protons, we have shown that the emergence of the proton gradient in the lipid vesicle could be a key physical factor in the evolution of the forced transport mechanism (pore formation and active transport) across the lipid bilayer. This driven flow of protons across the membrane is the result of the electrochemical proton gradient and osmotic pressures on the integrity of the lipid vesicle. At a critical number of new lipid molecules incorporated into the vesicle, the energies associated with the creation of the proton gradient exceed the bending stiffness of the lipid membrane, and overlap the free energy of the lipid bilayer pore formation.

  3. A host basal transcription factor is a key component for infection of rice by TALE-carrying bacteria.

    PubMed

    Yuan, Meng; Ke, Yinggen; Huang, Renyan; Ma, Ling; Yang, Zeyu; Chu, Zhaohui; Xiao, Jinghua; Li, Xianghua; Wang, Shiping

    2016-01-01

    Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) are sequence-specific DNA binding proteins found in a range of plant pathogenic bacteria, where they play important roles in host-pathogen interactions. However, it has been unclear how TALEs, after they have been injected into the host cells, activate transcription of host genes required for infection success. Here, we show that the basal transcription factor IIA gamma subunit TFIIAγ5 from rice is a key component for infection by the TALE-carrying bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the causal agent for bacterial blight. Direct interaction of several TALEs with TFIIAγ5 is required for activation of disease susceptibility genes. Conversely, reduced expression of the TFIIAγ5 host gene limits the induction of susceptibility genes and thus decreases bacterial blight symptoms. Suppression or mutation of TFIIAγ5 can also reduce bacterial streak, another devastating disease of rice caused by TALE-carrying X. oryzae pv. oryzicola. These results have important implications for formulating a widely applicable strategy with which to improve resistance of plants to TALE-carrying pathogens. PMID:27472897

  4. Polyacrylamide grafted cellulose as an eco-friendly flocculant: Key factors optimization of flocculation to surfactant effluent.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Hangcheng; Zhang, Yong; Yang, Xiaogang; Shao, Lan; Zhang, Xiumei; Yao, Juming

    2016-01-01

    The discharge of effluents from surfactant manufacturers is giving rise to increasingly serious environmental problems. In order to develop the eco-friendly flocculation materials to achieve effective removal of pollutants from the surfactant effluents, the bamboo pulp cellulose from Phyllostachys heterocycla is employed as the skeleton material to synthesize an eco-friendly bamboo pulp cellulose-g-polyacrylamide (BPC-g-PAM) for flocculation. The BPC-g-PAM is used with the metal ions as the coagulant to treat the effluent from a surfactant manufacturer. The response surface methodology coupled with Box-behnken design is employed to optimize the key factors of coagulation-flocculation. The results show that the combination of Fe(3+) with BPC-g-PAM achieves the best coagulation-flocculation performance like, the fast treatment time, minimum coagulant and BPC-g-PAM dosages compared with the other two combinations of Al(3+) with BPC-g-PAM and Ca(2+) with BPC-g-PAM. Therefore, the combination of Fe(3+) with BPC-g-PAM is expected to promote its application for the pollution control in the surfactant manufacturers.

  5. Serum and Muscle Metabolomics for the Prediction of Ultimate pH, a Key Factor for Chicken-Meat Quality.

    PubMed

    Beauclercq, Stéphane; Nadal-Desbarats, Lydie; Hennequet-Antier, Christelle; Collin, Anne; Tesseraud, Sophie; Bourin, Marie; Le Bihan-Duval, Elisabeth; Berri, Cécile

    2016-04-01

    Variations in muscle glycogen storage are highly correlated with variations in meat ultimate pH (pHu), a key factor for poultry meat quality. A total of two chicken lines were divergently selected on breast pHu to understand the biological basis for variations in meat quality (i.e., the pHu- and the pHu+ lines that are characterized by a 17% difference in muscle glycogen content). The effects of this selection on bird metabolism were investigated by quantifying muscle metabolites by high-resolution NMR ((1)H and (31)P) and serum metabolites by (1)H NMR. A total of 20 and 26 discriminating metabolites between the two lines were identified by orthogonal partial least-squares discriminant analysis (OPLS-DA) in the serum and muscle, respectively. There was over-representation of carbohydrate metabolites in the serum and muscle of the pHu- line, consistent with its high level of muscle glycogen. However, the pHu+ line was characterized by markers of oxidative stress and muscle catabolism, probably because of its low level of energy substrates. After OPLS-DA multiblock analysis, a metabolic set of 15 high-confidence biomarkers was identified that could be used to predict the quality of poultry meat after validation on an independent population.

  6. Research on key factors and their interaction effects of electromagnetic force of high-speed solenoid valve.

    PubMed

    Liu, Peng; Fan, Liyun; Hayat, Qaisar; Xu, De; Ma, Xiuzhen; Song, Enzhe

    2014-01-01

    Analysis consisting of numerical simulations along with lab experiments of interaction effects between key parameters on the electromagnetic force based on response surface methodology (RSM) has been also proposed to optimize the design of high-speed solenoid valve (HSV) and improve its performance. Numerical simulation model of HSV has been developed in Ansoft Maxwell environment and its accuracy has been validated through lab experiments. Effect of change of core structure, coil structure, armature structure, working air gap, and drive current on the electromagnetic force of HSV has been analyzed through simulation model and influence rules of various parameters on the electromagnetic force have been established. The response surface model of the electromagnetic force has been utilized to analyze the interaction effect between major parameters. It has been concluded that six interaction factors including working air gap with armature radius, drive current with armature thickness, coil turns with side pole radius, armature thickness with its radius, armature thickness with side pole radius, and armature radius with side pole radius have significant influence on the electromagnetic force. Optimal match values between coil turns and side pole radius; armature thickness and side pole radius; and armature radius and side pole radius have also been determined.

  7. Proton Gradients as a Key Physical Factor in the Evolution of the Forced Transport Mechanism Across the Lipid Membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strbak, Oliver; Kanuchova, Zuzana; Krafcik, Andrej

    2016-11-01

    A critical phase in the transition from prebiotic chemistry to biological evolution was apparently an asymmetric ion flow across the lipid membrane. Due to imbalance in the ion flow, the early lipid vesicles could selectively take the necessary molecules from the environment, and release the side-products from the vesicle. Natural proton gradients played a definitively crucial role in this process, since they remain the basis of energy transfer in the present-day cells. On the basis of this supposition, and the premise of the early vesicle membrane's impermeability to protons, we have shown that the emergence of the proton gradient in the lipid vesicle could be a key physical factor in the evolution of the forced transport mechanism (pore formation and active transport) across the lipid bilayer. This driven flow of protons across the membrane is the result of the electrochemical proton gradient and osmotic pressures on the integrity of the lipid vesicle. At a critical number of new lipid molecules incorporated into the vesicle, the energies associated with the creation of the proton gradient exceed the bending stiffness of the lipid membrane, and overlap the free energy of the lipid bilayer pore formation.

  8. A host basal transcription factor is a key component for infection of rice by TALE-carrying bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Meng; Ke, Yinggen; Huang, Renyan; Ma, Ling; Yang, Zeyu; Chu, Zhaohui; Xiao, Jinghua; Li, Xianghua; Wang, Shiping

    2016-01-01

    Transcription activator-like effectors (TALEs) are sequence-specific DNA binding proteins found in a range of plant pathogenic bacteria, where they play important roles in host-pathogen interactions. However, it has been unclear how TALEs, after they have been injected into the host cells, activate transcription of host genes required for infection success. Here, we show that the basal transcription factor IIA gamma subunit TFIIAγ5 from rice is a key component for infection by the TALE-carrying bacterium Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae, the causal agent for bacterial blight. Direct interaction of several TALEs with TFIIAγ5 is required for activation of disease susceptibility genes. Conversely, reduced expression of the TFIIAγ5 host gene limits the induction of susceptibility genes and thus decreases bacterial blight symptoms. Suppression or mutation of TFIIAγ5 can also reduce bacterial streak, another devastating disease of rice caused by TALE-carrying X. oryzae pv. oryzicola. These results have important implications for formulating a widely applicable strategy with which to improve resistance of plants to TALE-carrying pathogens. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19605.001 PMID:27472897

  9. Key Factors in the Rise of Mass Popular Education and Their Relevance for Education in Southern Africa in the Twenty-First Century.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    van Niekerk, E. J.

    This paper identifies the historical factors that played a key role in the rise of mass popular education and describes how these factors relate to education in Southern Africa in the 21st century. The broad overview of developments since the Renaissance begins with the Protestant Reformation, which established a theoretical basis for elementary…

  10. Identification of key factors affecting the water pollutant concentration in the sluice-controlled river reaches of the Shaying River in China via statistical analysis methods.

    PubMed

    Dou, Ming; Zhang, Yan; Zuo, Qiting; Mi, Qingbin

    2015-08-01

    The construction of sluices creates a strong disturbance in water environmental factors within a river. The change in water pollutant concentrations of sluice-controlled river reaches (SCRRs) is more complex than that of natural river segments. To determine the key factors affecting water pollutant concentration changes in SCRRs, river reaches near the Huaidian Sluice in the Shaying River of China were selected as a case study, and water quality monitoring experiments based on different regulating modes were implemented in 2009 and 2010. To identify the key factors affecting the change rates for the chemical oxygen demand of permanganate (CODMn) and ammonia nitrogen (NH3-N) concentrations in the SCRRs of the Huaidian Sluice, partial correlation analysis, principal component analysis and principal factor analysis were used. The results indicate four factors, i.e., the inflow quantity from upper reaches, opening size of sluice gates, water pollutant concentration from upper reaches, and turbidity before the sluice, which are the common key factors for the CODMn and NH3-N concentration change rates. Moreover, the dissolved oxygen before a sluice is a key factor for the permanganate concentration from CODMn change rate, and the water depth before a sluice is a key factor for the NH3-N concentration change rate. Multiple linear regressions between the water pollutant concentration change rate and key factors were established via multiple linear regression analyses, and the quantitative relationship between the CODMn and NH3-N concentration change rates and key affecting factors was analyzed. Finally, the mechanism of action for the key factors affecting the water pollutant concentration changes was analyzed. The results reveal that the inflow quantity from upper reaches, opening size of sluice gates, permanganate concentration from CODMn from upper reaches and dissolved oxygen before the sluice have a negative influence and the turbidity before the sluice has a positive

  11. A large-scale, in vivo transcription factor screen defines bivalent chromatin as a key property of regulatory factors mediating Drosophila wing development

    PubMed Central

    Schertel, Claus; Albarca, Monica; Rockel-Bauer, Claudia; Kelley, Nicholas W.; Bischof, Johannes; Hens, Korneel

    2015-01-01

    Transcription factors (TFs) are key regulators of cell fate. The estimated 755 genes that encode DNA binding domain-containing proteins comprise ∼5% of all Drosophila genes. However, the majority has remained uncharacterized so far due to the lack of proper genetic tools. We generated 594 site-directed transgenic Drosophila lines that contain integrations of individual UAS-TF constructs to facilitate spatiotemporally controlled misexpression in vivo. All transgenes were expressed in the developing wing, and two-thirds induced specific phenotypic defects. In vivo knockdown of the same genes yielded a phenotype for 50%, with both methods indicating a great potential for misexpression to characterize novel functions in wing growth, patterning, and development. Thus, our UAS-TF library provides an important addition to the genetic toolbox of Drosophila research, enabling the identification of several novel wing development-related TFs. In parallel, we established the chromatin landscape of wing imaginal discs by ChIP-seq analyses of five chromatin marks and RNA Pol II. Subsequent clustering revealed six distinct chromatin states, with two clusters showing enrichment for both active and repressive marks. TFs that carry such “bivalent” chromatin are highly enriched for causing misexpression phenotypes in the wing, and analysis of existing expression data shows that these TFs tend to be differentially expressed across the wing disc. Thus, bivalently marked chromatin can be used as a marker for spatially regulated TFs that are functionally relevant in a developing tissue. PMID:25568052

  12. Elucidating novel disease mechanisms in severe asthma.

    PubMed

    Kim, Richard Y; Rae, Brittany; Neal, Rachel; Donovan, Chantal; Pinkerton, James; Balachandran, Lohis; Starkey, Malcolm R; Knight, Darryl A; Horvat, Jay C; Hansbro, Philip M

    2016-07-01

    Corticosteroids are broadly active and potent anti-inflammatory agents that, despite the introduction of biologics, remain as the mainstay therapy for many chronic inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases, nephrotic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Significantly, there are cohorts of these patients with poor sensitivity to steroid treatment even with high doses, which can lead to many iatrogenic side effects. The dose-limiting toxicity of corticosteroids, and the lack of effective therapeutic alternatives, leads to substantial excess morbidity and healthcare expenditure. We have developed novel murine models of respiratory infection-induced, severe, steroid-resistant asthma that recapitulate the hallmark features of the human disease. These models can be used to elucidate novel disease mechanisms and identify new therapeutic targets in severe asthma. Hypothesis-driven studies can elucidate the roles of specific factors and pathways. Alternatively, 'Omics approaches can be used to rapidly generate new targets. Similar approaches can be used in other diseases. PMID:27525064

  13. Elucidating novel disease mechanisms in severe asthma

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Richard Y; Rae, Brittany; Neal, Rachel; Donovan, Chantal; Pinkerton, James; Balachandran, Lohis; Starkey, Malcolm R; Knight, Darryl A; Horvat, Jay C; Hansbro, Philip M

    2016-01-01

    Corticosteroids are broadly active and potent anti-inflammatory agents that, despite the introduction of biologics, remain as the mainstay therapy for many chronic inflammatory diseases, including inflammatory bowel diseases, nephrotic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Significantly, there are cohorts of these patients with poor sensitivity to steroid treatment even with high doses, which can lead to many iatrogenic side effects. The dose-limiting toxicity of corticosteroids, and the lack of effective therapeutic alternatives, leads to substantial excess morbidity and healthcare expenditure. We have developed novel murine models of respiratory infection-induced, severe, steroid-resistant asthma that recapitulate the hallmark features of the human disease. These models can be used to elucidate novel disease mechanisms and identify new therapeutic targets in severe asthma. Hypothesis-driven studies can elucidate the roles of specific factors and pathways. Alternatively, 'Omics approaches can be used to rapidly generate new targets. Similar approaches can be used in other diseases. PMID:27525064

  14. Tartaric acid in red wine as one of the key factors to induce superconductivity in FeTe0.8S0.2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deguchi, Keita; Okuda, Tohru; Hara, Hiroshi; Demura, Satoshi; Watanabe, Tohru; Okazaki, Hiroyuki; Fujioka, Masaya; Denholme, Saleem James; Ozaki, Toshinori; Yamaguchi, Takahide; Takeya, Hiroyuki; Saito, Fumie; Hisamoto, Masashi; Takano, Yoshihiko

    2013-04-01

    We investigated the key factor of superconductivity in FeTe1-xSx induced by alcoholic beverages. To understand the reason why red wine shows larger shielding volume fraction than the other alcoholic beverages, the red wine dependence of superconductivity was performed. All the samples heated in red wine made from different grapes shows large shielding volume fraction compared with the samples heated in water and other alcoholic beverages. The shielding volume fraction of the red wine samples is proportional to the concentration of tartaric acid. We found that tartaric acid is one of the key factors to induce superconductivity in FeTe1-xSx.

  15. Key design factors affecting microbial community composition and pathogenic organism removal in horizontal subsurface flow constructed wetlands.

    PubMed

    Morató, Jordi; Codony, Francesc; Sánchez, Olga; Pérez, Leonardo Martín; García, Joan; Mas, Jordi

    2014-05-15

    Constructed wetlands constitute an interesting option for wastewater reuse since high concentrations of contaminants and pathogenic microorganisms can be removed with these natural treatment systems. In this work, the role of key design factors which could affect microbial removal and wetland performance, such as granular media, water depth and season effect was evaluated in a pilot system consisting of eight parallel horizontal subsurface flow (HSSF) constructed wetlands treating urban wastewater from Les Franqueses del Vallès (Barcelona, Spain). Gravel biofilm as well as influent and effluent water samples of these systems were taken in order to detect the presence of bacterial indicators such as total coliforms (TC), Escherichia coli, fecal enterococci (FE), Clostridium perfringens, and other microbial groups such as Pseudomonas and Aeromonas. The overall microbial inactivation ratio ranged between 1.4 and 2.9 log-units for heterotrophic plate counts (HPC), from 1.2 to 2.2 log units for total coliforms (TC) and from 1.4 to 2.3 log units for E. coli. The presence of fine granulometry strongly influenced the removal of all the bacterial groups analyzed. This effect was significant for TC (p=0.009), E. coli (p=0.004), and FE (p=0.012). Shallow HSSF constructed wetlands were more effective for removing Clostridium spores (p=0.039), and were also more efficient for removing TC (p=0.011) and E. coli (p=0.013) when fine granulometry was used. On the other hand, changes in the total bacterial community from gravel biofilm were examined by using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and sequencing of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified fragments of the 16S rRNA gene recovered from DGGE bands. Cluster analysis of the DGGE banding pattern from the different wetlands showed that microbial assemblages separated according to water depth, and sequences of different phylogenetic groups, such as Alpha, Beta and Delta-Proteobacteria, Nitrospirae, Bacteroidetes

  16. Digital telecommunications are a key development factor: Integration of satellite into overall telecommunication networks as a way to harmonize social and economic implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caracciolo, Raffaele

    Viewgraphs and discussions on digital telecommunications - a key development factor: integration of satellite into overall telecommunication networks as a way to harmonize social and economic implications are presented. Topics covered include: analysis of correlation between gross national product (GNP) and telephone density; analysis of potential lines increases vs. GNP; SESNET; corporate networks; and an integrated network concept.

  17. Dynamic C and N stocks - key factors controlling the C gas exchange of maize in heterogenous peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, M.; Hoffmann, M.; Hagemann, U.; Giebels, M.; Albiac Borraz, E.; Sommer, M.; Augustin, J.

    2015-05-01

    The drainage and cultivation of fen peatlands create complex small-scale mosaics of soils with extremely variable soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and groundwater levels (GWLs). To date, the significance of such sites as sources or sinks for greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4 is still unclear, especially if the sites are used for cropland. As individual control factors such as GWL fail to account for this complexity, holistic approaches combining gas fluxes with the underlying processes are required to understand the carbon (C) gas exchange of drained fens. It can be assumed that the stocks of SOC and N located above the variable GWL - defined as dynamic C and N stocks - play a key role in the regulation of the plant- and microbially mediated CO2 fluxes in these soils and, inversely, for CH4. To test this assumption, the present study analysed the C gas exchange (gross primary production - GPP; ecosystem respiration - Reco; net ecosystem exchange - NEE; CH4) of maize using manual chambers for 4 years. The study sites were located near Paulinenaue, Germany, where we selected three soil types representing the full gradient of GWL and SOC stocks (0-1 m) of the landscape: (a) Haplic Arenosol (AR; 8 kg C m-2); (b) Mollic Gleysol (GL; 38 kg C m-2); and (c) Hemic Histosol (HS; 87 kg C m-2). Daily GWL data were used to calculate dynamic SOC (SOCdyn) and N (Ndyn) stocks. Average annual NEE differed considerably among sites, ranging from 47 ± 30 g C m-2 yr-1 in AR to -305 ± 123 g C m-2 yr-1 in GL and -127 ± 212 g C m-2 yr-1 in HS. While static SOC and N stocks showed no significant effect on C fluxes, SOCdyn and Ndyn and their interaction with GWL strongly influenced the C gas exchange, particularly NEE and the GPP : Reco ratio. Moreover, based on nonlinear regression analysis, 86% of NEE variability was explained by GWL and SOCdyn. The observed high relevance of dynamic SOC and N stocks in the aerobic zone for plant and soil gas exchange likely originates from the

  18. Dynamic C and N stocks - key factors controlling the C gas exchange of maize in a heterogenous peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pohl, M.; Hoffmann, M.; Hagemann, U.; Giebels, M.; Albiac Borraz, E.; Sommer, M.; Augustin, J.

    2014-11-01

    Drainage and cultivation of fen peatlands creates complex small-scale mosaics of soils with extremely variable soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and groundwater-level (GWL). To date, it remains unclear if such sites are sources or sinks for greenhouse gases like CO2 and CH4, especially if used for cropland. As individual control factors like GWL fail to account for this complexity, holistic approaches combining gas fluxes with the underlying processes are required to understand the carbon (C) gas exchange of drained fens. It can be assumed that the stocks of SOC and N located above the variable GWL - defined as dynamic C and N stocks - play a key role in the regulation of plant- and microbially mediated C gas fluxes of these soils. To test this assumption, the present study analysed the C gas exchange (gross primary production - GPP, ecosystem respiration - Reco, net ecosystem exchange - NEE, CH4) of maize using manual chambers for four years. The study sites were located near Paulinenaue, Germany. Here we selected three soils, which represent the full gradient in pedogenesis, GWL and SOC stocks (0-1 m) of the fen peatland: (a) Haplic Arenosol (AR; 8 kg C m-2); (b) Mollic Gleysol (GL; 38 kg C m-2); and (c) Hemic Histosol (HS; 87 kg C m-2). Daily GWL data was used to calculate dynamic SOC (SOCdyn) and N (Ndyn) stocks. Average annual NEE differed considerably among sites, ranging from 47 ± 30 g C m-2 a-1 at AR to -305 ± 123 g C m-2 a-1 at GL and -127 ± 212 g C m-2 a-1 at HS. While static SOC and N stocks showed no significant effect on C fluxes, SOCdyn and Ndyn and their interaction with GWL strongly influenced the C gas exchange, particularly NEE and the GPP:Reco ratio. Moreover, based on nonlinear regression analysis, 86% of NEE variability was explained by GWL and SOCdyn. The observed high relevance of dynamic SOC and N stocks in the aerobic zone for plant and soil gas exchange likely originates from the effects of GWL-dependent N availability on C formation and

  19. The key factor limiting plant growth in cold and humid alpine areas also plays a dominant role in plant carbon isotope discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Meng; Wang, Guoan; Li, Xiaoliang; Cai, Xiaobu; Li, Xiaolin; Christie, Peter; Zhang, Junling

    2015-01-01

    Many environmental factors affect carbon isotope discrimination in plants, yet the predominant factor influencing this process is generally assumed to be the key growth-limiting factor. However, to our knowledge this hypothesis has not been confirmed. We therefore determined the carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of plants growing in two cold and humid mountain regions where temperature is considered to be the key growth-limiting factor. Mean annual temperature (MAT) showed a significant impact on variation in carbon isotope discrimination value (Δ) irrespective of study area or plant functional type with either partial correlation or regression analysis, but the correlation between Δ and soil water content (SWC) was usually not significant. In multiple stepwise regression analysis, MAT was either the first or the only variable selected into the prediction model of Δ against MAT and SWC, indicating that the effect of temperature on carbon isotope discrimination was predominant. The results therefore provide evidence that the key growth-limiting factor is also crucial for plant carbon isotope discrimination. Changes in leaf morphology, water viscosity and carboxylation efficiency with temperature may be responsible for the observed positive correlation between Δ and temperature. PMID:26579188

  20. Decreased Levels of Proapoptotic Factors and Increased Key Regulators of Mitochondrial Biogenesis Constitute New Potential Beneficial Features of Long-lived Growth Hormone Receptor Gene–Disrupted Mice

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Decreased somatotrophic signaling is among the most important mechanisms associated with extended longevity. Mice homozygous for the targeted disruption of the growth hormone (GH) receptor gene (GH receptor knockout; GHRKO) are obese and dwarf, are characterized by a reduced weight and body size, undetectable levels of GH receptor, high concentration of serum GH, and greatly reduced plasma levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor-I, and are remarkably long lived. Recent results suggest new features of GHRKO mice that may positively affect longevity—decreased levels of proapoptotic factors and increased levels of key regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis. The alterations in levels of the proapoptotic factors and key regulators of mitochondrial biogenesis were not further improved by two other potential life-extending interventions—calorie restriction and visceral fat removal. This may attribute the primary role to GH resistance in the regulation of apoptosis and mitochondrial biogenesis in GHRKO mice in terms of increased life span. PMID:23197187

  1. Alginate synthesis by Pseudomonas aeruginosa: a key pathogenic factor in chronic pulmonary infections of cystic fibrosis patients.

    PubMed Central

    May, T B; Shinabarger, D; Maharaj, R; Kato, J; Chu, L; DeVault, J D; Roychoudhury, S; Zielinski, N A; Berry, A; Rothmel, R K

    1991-01-01

    Pulmonary infection by mucoid, alginate-producing Pseudomonas aeruginosa is the leading cause of mortality among patients suffering from cystic fibrosis. Alginate-producing P. aeruginosa is uniquely associated with the environment of the cystic fibrosis-affected lung, where alginate is believed to increase resistance to both the host immune system and antibiotic therapy. Recent evidence indicates that P. aeruginosa is most resistant to antibiotics when the infecting cells are present as a biofilm, as they appear to be in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. Inhibition of the protective alginate barrier with nontoxic compounds targeted against alginate biosynthetic and regulatory proteins may prove useful in eradicating P. aeruginosa from this environment. Our research has dealt with elucidating the biosynthetic pathway and regulatory mechanism(s) responsible for alginate synthesis by P. aeruginosa. This review summarizes reports on the role of alginate in cystic fibrosis-associated pulmonary infections caused by P. aeruginosa and provides details about the biosynthesis and regulation of this exopolysaccharide. PMID:1906371

  2. Transdiagnostic factors across fibromyalgia and mental disorders: sleep disturbances may play a key role. A clinical review.

    PubMed

    Palagini, Laura; Carmassi, Claudia; Conversano, Ciro; Gesi, Camilla; Bazzichi, Laura; Giacomelli, Camillo; Dell'Osso, Liliana

    2016-01-01

    Sleep disturbances, affective disorders, pain and fatigue are often present in individuals affected by fibromyalgia (FM). The pathophysiology of FM is not yet well understood and, to date, no treatment has been proven to be fully effective in alleviating all symptoms. Adopting a transdiagnostic perspective could thus be useful for clinicians: treatment would target a transdiagnostic process across a range of disturbances, not just a single disorder. The aim of this review is to revise the available literature about the potential role of sleep disturbances as a transdiagnostic process in FM symptomatology and mood or anxiety disorders comorbidity. We are proposing a model under which sleep disturbances can play a central role. Because conditions of sleep loss are related to the activation of the stress system, including the activation of the inflammation system, we propose this mechanism as a key one: it can be shared by mental, sleep disturbances and pain in FM and it may explain, in part, the high levels of comorbidity between them. In this frame-work sleep disturbances may play a key role and be the target of therapeutic strategies across FM symptomatology and mental disorders. PMID:27157399

  3. Elucidating the mysteries of wetting.

    SciTech Connect

    Webb, Edmund Blackburn, III; Bourdon, Christopher Jay; Grillet, Anne Mary; Sackinger, Philip A.; Grest, Gary Stephen; Emerson, John Allen; Ash, Benjamin Jesse; Heine, David R.; Brooks, Carlton, F.; Gorby, Allen D.

    2005-11-01

    Nearly every manufacturing and many technologies central to Sandia's business involve physical processes controlled by interfacial wetting. Interfacial forces, e.g. conjoining/disjoining pressure, electrostatics, and capillary condensation, are ubiquitous and can surpass and even dominate bulk inertial or viscous effects on a continuum level. Moreover, the statics and dynamics of three-phase contact lines exhibit a wide range of complex behavior, such as contact angle hysteresis due to surface roughness, surface reaction, or compositional heterogeneities. These thermodynamically and kinetically driven interactions are essential to the development of new materials and processes. A detailed understanding was developed for the factors controlling wettability in multicomponent systems from computational modeling tools, and experimental diagnostics for systems, and processes dominated by interfacial effects. Wettability probed by dynamic advancing and receding contact angle measurements, ellipsometry, and direct determination of the capillary and disjoining forces. Molecular scale experiments determined the relationships between the fundamental interactions between molecular species and with the substrate. Atomistic simulations studied the equilibrium concentration profiles near the solid and vapor interfaces and tested the basic assumptions used in the continuum approaches. These simulations provide guidance in developing constitutive equations, which more accurately take into account the effects of surface induced phase separation and concentration gradients near the three-phase contact line. The development of these accurate models for dynamic multicomponent wetting allows improvement in science based engineering of manufacturing processes previously developed through costly trial and error by varying material formulation and geometry modification.

  4. A systematic review of the key factors affecting tissue viability and rehabilitation outcomes of the residual limb in lower extremity traumatic amputees.

    PubMed

    Butler, Katrina; Bowen, Catherine; Hughes, Ann-Marie; Torah, Russel; Ayala, Ivo; Tudor, John; Metcalf, Cheryl D

    2014-08-01

    Most traumatic lower limb amputees ambulate using a prosthetic limb. Comfort, appearance of the missing limb and function are confirmed as being important during rehabilitation post-amputation. Emerging evidence suggests that impaired tissue viability of the stump affects rehabilitation and thus clinical ability to provide optimum care. The primary objective of this systematic review was to identify key factors relating to tissue viability of the residual limb in lower extremity traumatic amputees. A secondary objective was to identify factors that affect rehabilitation post-amputation. In total, 218 studies were assessed; 37 met pre-determined criteria. Studies were classified according to the WHO ICF framework and the NHMRC level of evidence. Five key themes emerged; Prosthetic Fit; The Residuum; Quality of Life; Amputee Care and Prosthetic Use. The evidence indicates that high frequencies of skin problems affecting tissue viability within this population are inherently linked to intolerance of the prosthesis. Stump integrity, amputee care regimen and pain were also identified as impacting on quality of life, affecting rehabilitation and the ability to become independently mobile. Levels of evidence within all studies were low and indicative of the majority being non-randomised cohort studies or case-control studies. As there are a limited number of interventional studies, further development of robust outcome measures, clinical trials and prospective studies are of utmost importance to unravel the links between tissue viability and the other key factors. This will inform clinical management strategies and help develop targeted therapies and care pathways. PMID:25193657

  5. Factors Impacting Student Service Utilization at Ontario Colleges: Key Performance Indicators as a Measure of Success: A Niagara College View

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Veres, David

    2015-01-01

    Student success in Ontario College is significantly influenced by the utilization of student services. At Niagara College there has been a significant investment in student services as a strategy to support student success. Utilizing existing KPI data, this quantitative research project is aimed at measuring factors that influence both the use of…

  6. Life cycle assessment of lignocellulosic ethanol: a review of key factors and methods affecting calculated GHG emissions and energy use.

    PubMed

    Gerbrandt, Kelsey; Chu, Pei Lin; Simmonds, Allison; Mullins, Kimberley A; MacLean, Heather L; Griffin, W Michael; Saville, Bradley A

    2016-04-01

    Lignocellulosic ethanol has potential for lower life cycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline and conventional grain-based ethanol. Ethanol production 'pathways' need to meet economic and environmental goals. Numerous life cycle assessments of lignocellulosic ethanol have been published over the last 15 years, but gaps remain in understanding life cycle performance due to insufficient data, and model and methodological issues. We highlight key aspects of these issues, drawing on literature and a case study of corn stover ethanol. Challenges include the complexity of feedstock/ecosystems and market-mediated aspects and the short history of commercial lignocellulosic ethanol facilities, which collectively have led to uncertainty in GHG emissions estimates, and to debates on LCA methods and the role of uncertainty in decision making. PMID:26807514

  7. Life cycle assessment of lignocellulosic ethanol: a review of key factors and methods affecting calculated GHG emissions and energy use.

    PubMed

    Gerbrandt, Kelsey; Chu, Pei Lin; Simmonds, Allison; Mullins, Kimberley A; MacLean, Heather L; Griffin, W Michael; Saville, Bradley A

    2016-04-01

    Lignocellulosic ethanol has potential for lower life cycle greenhouse gas emissions compared to gasoline and conventional grain-based ethanol. Ethanol production 'pathways' need to meet economic and environmental goals. Numerous life cycle assessments of lignocellulosic ethanol have been published over the last 15 years, but gaps remain in understanding life cycle performance due to insufficient data, and model and methodological issues. We highlight key aspects of these issues, drawing on literature and a case study of corn stover ethanol. Challenges include the complexity of feedstock/ecosystems and market-mediated aspects and the short history of commercial lignocellulosic ethanol facilities, which collectively have led to uncertainty in GHG emissions estimates, and to debates on LCA methods and the role of uncertainty in decision making.

  8. Aging is a primary risk factor for cardiac arrhythmias: disruption of intracellular Ca2+ regulation as a key suspect.

    PubMed

    Hatch, Fiona; Lancaster, Matthew K; Jones, Sandra A

    2011-08-01

    Aging is an inevitable time-dependent progression associated with a functional decline of the cardiovascular system even in 'healthy' individuals. Age positively correlates with an increasing risk of cardiac problems including arrhythmias. Not only the prevalence but also the severity of arrhythmias escalates with age. The reasons for this are multifactorial but dysregulation of intracellular calcium within the heart is likely to play a key role in initiating and perpetuating these life-threatening events. We now know that several aspects of cardiac calcium regulation significantly change with advancing age - changes that could produce electrical instability. Further development of knowledge of the mechanisms underlying these changes will allow us to reduce what currently is an inevitable increase in the incidence of arrhythmias in the elderly.

  9. Where to Forage in the Absence of Sea Ice? Bathymetry As a Key Factor for an Arctic Seabird.

    PubMed

    Amélineau, Françoise; Grémillet, David; Bonnet, Delphine; Le Bot, Tangi; Fort, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    The earth is warming at an alarming rate, especially in the Arctic, where a marked decline in sea ice cover may have far-ranging consequences for endemic species. Little auks, endemic Arctic seabirds, are key bioindicators as they forage in the marginal ice zone and feed preferentially on lipid-rich Arctic copepods and ice-associated amphipods sensitive to the consequences of global warming. We tested how little auks cope with an ice-free foraging environment during the breeding season. To this end, we took advantage of natural variation in sea ice concentration along the east coast of Greenland. We compared foraging and diving behaviour, chick diet and growth and adult body condition between two years, in the presence versus nearby absence of sea ice in the vicinity of their breeding site. Moreover, we sampled zooplankton at sea when sea ice was absent to evaluate prey location and little auk dietary preferences. Little auks foraged in the same areas both years, irrespective of sea ice presence/concentration, and targeted the shelf break and the continental shelf. We confirmed that breeding little auks showed a clear preference for larger copepod species to feed their chick, but caught smaller copepods and nearly no ice-associated amphipod when sea ice was absent. Nevertheless, these dietary changes had no impact on chick growth and adult body condition. Our findings demonstrate the importance of bathymetry for profitable little auk foraging, whatever the sea-ice conditions. Our investigations, along with recent studies, also confirm more flexibility than previously predicted for this key species in a warming Arctic. PMID:27438790

  10. Where to Forage in the Absence of Sea Ice? Bathymetry As a Key Factor for an Arctic Seabird

    PubMed Central

    Amélineau, Françoise; Grémillet, David; Bonnet, Delphine; Le Bot, Tangi; Fort, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    The earth is warming at an alarming rate, especially in the Arctic, where a marked decline in sea ice cover may have far-ranging consequences for endemic species. Little auks, endemic Arctic seabirds, are key bioindicators as they forage in the marginal ice zone and feed preferentially on lipid-rich Arctic copepods and ice-associated amphipods sensitive to the consequences of global warming. We tested how little auks cope with an ice-free foraging environment during the breeding season. To this end, we took advantage of natural variation in sea ice concentration along the east coast of Greenland. We compared foraging and diving behaviour, chick diet and growth and adult body condition between two years, in the presence versus nearby absence of sea ice in the vicinity of their breeding site. Moreover, we sampled zooplankton at sea when sea ice was absent to evaluate prey location and little auk dietary preferences. Little auks foraged in the same areas both years, irrespective of sea ice presence/concentration, and targeted the shelf break and the continental shelf. We confirmed that breeding little auks showed a clear preference for larger copepod species to feed their chick, but caught smaller copepods and nearly no ice-associated amphipod when sea ice was absent. Nevertheless, these dietary changes had no impact on chick growth and adult body condition. Our findings demonstrate the importance of bathymetry for profitable little auk foraging, whatever the sea-ice conditions. Our investigations, along with recent studies, also confirm more flexibility than previously predicted for this key species in a warming Arctic. PMID:27438790

  11. Where to Forage in the Absence of Sea Ice? Bathymetry As a Key Factor for an Arctic Seabird.

    PubMed

    Amélineau, Françoise; Grémillet, David; Bonnet, Delphine; Le Bot, Tangi; Fort, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    The earth is warming at an alarming rate, especially in the Arctic, where a marked decline in sea ice cover may have far-ranging consequences for endemic species. Little auks, endemic Arctic seabirds, are key bioindicators as they forage in the marginal ice zone and feed preferentially on lipid-rich Arctic copepods and ice-associated amphipods sensitive to the consequences of global warming. We tested how little auks cope with an ice-free foraging environment during the breeding season. To this end, we took advantage of natural variation in sea ice concentration along the east coast of Greenland. We compared foraging and diving behaviour, chick diet and growth and adult body condition between two years, in the presence versus nearby absence of sea ice in the vicinity of their breeding site. Moreover, we sampled zooplankton at sea when sea ice was absent to evaluate prey location and little auk dietary preferences. Little auks foraged in the same areas both years, irrespective of sea ice presence/concentration, and targeted the shelf break and the continental shelf. We confirmed that breeding little auks showed a clear preference for larger copepod species to feed their chick, but caught smaller copepods and nearly no ice-associated amphipod when sea ice was absent. Nevertheless, these dietary changes had no impact on chick growth and adult body condition. Our findings demonstrate the importance of bathymetry for profitable little auk foraging, whatever the sea-ice conditions. Our investigations, along with recent studies, also confirm more flexibility than previously predicted for this key species in a warming Arctic.

  12. Structural elucidation of rabeprazole sodium photodegradation products.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Cássia V; Nudelman, Norma S; Steppe, Martin; Schapoval, Elfrides E S

    2008-01-01

    Rabeprazole sodium is a proton pump inhibitor, used in acid-related disorders, like peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux. It is known to be an acid-labile drug, however, few data about its stability under other factors are available. The aim of this work was to study the photodegradation of rabeprazole, to determine its kinetics and to elucidate the structures of the main degradation products. UVC-254 nm and metal-halide lamps were used. The analysis of the samples was carried out by HPLC. When the drug was in methanol solution, one main degradation product was formed; the degradation rate followed zero-order kinetics. The (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopic determinations revealed the product was the benzimidazolone. Another isolated product was identified as benzimidazole. The latter was confirmed against an authentic sample. A third photodegradation product was identified as the [4-(3-methoxy-propoxy)-3-methyl-pyridin-2-yl]methanol, by (1)H and (13)C NMR of the reaction mixture in chloroform-d. When powdered commercial tablets were exposed to UVC irradiation, they showed the same degradation products along with other unidentified, which appeared as traces; the degradation rate was slower than in solution. The intact tablets were stable after 50 days of exposition to the same light source. PMID:17945453

  13. The basic helix-loop-helix, leucine zipper transcription factor, USF (upstream stimulatory factor), is a key regulator of SF-1 (steroidogenic factor-1) gene expression in pituitary gonadotrope and steroidogenic cells.

    PubMed

    Harris, A N; Mellon, P L

    1998-05-01

    Tissue-specific expression of the mammalian FTZ-F1 gene is essential for adrenal and gonadal development and sexual differentiation. The FTZ-F1 gene encodes an orphan nuclear receptor, termed SF-1 (steroidogenic factor-1) or Ad4BP, which is a primary transcriptional regulator of several hormone and steroidogenic enzyme genes that are critical for normal physiological function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in reproduction. The objective of the current study is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying transcriptional regulation of SF-1 gene expression in the pituitary. We have studied a series of deletion and point mutations in the SF-1 promoter region for transcriptional activity in alphaT3-1 and L/betaT2 (pituitary gonadotrope), CV-1, JEG-3, and Y1 (adrenocortical) cell lines. Our results indicate that maximal expression of the SF-1 promoter in all cell types requires an E box element at -82/-77. This E box sequence (CACGTG) is identical to the binding element for USF (upstream stimulatory factor), a member of the helix-loop-helix family of transcription factors. Studies of the SF-1 gene E box element using gel mobility shift and antibody supershift assays indicate that USF may be a key transcriptional regulator of SF-1 gene expression.

  14. Individual and Population Level Impact of Key HIV Risk Factors on HIV Incidence Rates in Durban, South Africa

    PubMed Central

    Ramjee, Gita; Moonsamy, Suri; Abbai, Nathlee Samantha; Wand, Handan

    2016-01-01

    We aimed to estimate the individual and joint impact of age, marital status and diagnosis with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on HIV acquisition among young women at a population level in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. A total of 3,978 HIV seronegative women were recruited for four biomedical intervention trials from 2002–2009. Point and interval estimates of partial population attributable risk (PAR) were used to quantify the proportion of HIV seroconversions which can be prevented if a combination of risk factors is eliminated from a target population. More than 70% of the observed HIV acquisitions were collectively attributed to the three risk factors: younger age (<25 years old), unmarried and not cohabiting with a stable/regular partner and diagnosis with STIs. Addressing these risks requires targeted structural, behavioural, biomedical and cultural interventions in order to impact on unacceptably high HIV incidence rates among young women and the population as a whole. PMID:27104835

  15. Key Factors Controlling the Growth of Biological Soil Crusts: Towards a Protocol to Produce Biocrusts in Greenhouse Facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velasco Ayuso, Sergio; María Giraldo Silva, Ana; Nelson, Corey; Barger, Nichole; Antoninka, Anita; Bowker, Matthew; Garcia-Pichel, Ferran

    2016-04-01

    Biological soil crusts (= biocrusts) are topsoil communities comprise of, but not limited to, cyanobacteria, algae, lichens, and mosses that grow intimately associated with soil particles in drylands. Biocrusts have central ecological roles in these areas as sources of carbon and nutrients, and efficiently retain water and prevent soil erosion, which improves soil structure and promotes soil fertility. However, human activities, such as cattle grazing, hiking or military training, are rapidly striking biocrusts. Although it is well known that the inoculation with cyanobacteria or lichens can enhance the recovery of biocrusts in degraded soils, little is known about the factors that control their growth rates. Using soil and inocula from four different sites located in one cold desert (Utah) and in one hot desert (New Mexico), we performed a fractional factorial experiment involving seven factors (water, light, P, N, calcium carbonate, trace metals and type of inoculum) to screen their effects on the growth of biocrusts. After four months, we measured the concentration of chlorophyll a, and we discovered that water, light and P, N or P+N were the most important factors controlling the growth of biocrusts. In the experimental treatments involving these three factors we measured a similar concentration of chlorophyll a (or even higher) to this found in the field locations. Amplification of the 16S rRNA gene segment using universal bacteria primers revealed a microbial community composition in the biocrusts grown that closely corresponds to initial measurements made on inocula. In summary, based on our success in obtaining biocrust biomass from natural communities in greenhouse facilities, without significantly changing its community composition at the phylum and cyanobacterial level, we are paving the road to propose a protocol to produce a high quality-nursed inoculum aiming to assist restoration of arid and semi-arid ecosystems affected by large-scale disturbances.

  16. STAT5 is a key transcription factor for IL-3-mediated inhibition of RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jongwon; Seong, Semun; Kim, Jung Ha; Kim, Kabsun; Kim, Inyoung; Jeong, Byung-chul; Nam, Kwang-Il; Kim, Kyung Keun; Hennighausen, Lothar; Kim, Nacksung

    2016-01-01

    Among the diverse cytokines involved in osteoclast differentiation, interleukin (IL)-3 inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis. However, the mechanism underlying IL-3-mediated inhibition of osteoclast differentiation is not fully understood. Here we demonstrate that the activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 5 (STAT5) by IL-3 inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis through the induction of the expression of Id genes. We found that STAT5 overexpression inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis. However, RANKL did not regulate the expression or activation of STAT5 during osteoclast differentiation. STAT5 deficiency prevented IL-3-mediated inhibition of osteoclastogenesis, suggesting a key role of STAT5 in IL-3-mediated inhibition of osteoclast differentiation. In addition, IL-3-induced STAT5 activation upregulated the expression of Id1 and Id2, which are negative regulators of osteoclastogenesis. Overexpression of ID1 or ID2 in STAT5-deficient cells reversed osteoclast development recovered from IL-3-mediated inhibition. Importantly, microcomputed tomography and histomorphometric analysis revealed that STAT5 conditional knockout mice showed reduced bone mass, with an increased number of osteoclasts. Furthermore, IL-3 inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation less effectively in the STAT5 conditional knockout mice than in the wild-type mice after RANKL injection. Taken together, our findings indicate that STAT5 contributes to the remarkable IL-3-mediated inhibition of RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis by activating Id genes and their associated pathways. PMID:27485735

  17. STAT5 is a key transcription factor for IL-3-mediated inhibition of RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jongwon; Seong, Semun; Kim, Jung Ha; Kim, Kabsun; Kim, Inyoung; Jeong, Byung-Chul; Nam, Kwang-Il; Kim, Kyung Keun; Hennighausen, Lothar; Kim, Nacksung

    2016-01-01

    Among the diverse cytokines involved in osteoclast differentiation, interleukin (IL)-3 inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis. However, the mechanism underlying IL-3-mediated inhibition of osteoclast differentiation is not fully understood. Here we demonstrate that the activation of signal transducers and activators of transcription 5 (STAT5) by IL-3 inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis through the induction of the expression of Id genes. We found that STAT5 overexpression inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis. However, RANKL did not regulate the expression or activation of STAT5 during osteoclast differentiation. STAT5 deficiency prevented IL-3-mediated inhibition of osteoclastogenesis, suggesting a key role of STAT5 in IL-3-mediated inhibition of osteoclast differentiation. In addition, IL-3-induced STAT5 activation upregulated the expression of Id1 and Id2, which are negative regulators of osteoclastogenesis. Overexpression of ID1 or ID2 in STAT5-deficient cells reversed osteoclast development recovered from IL-3-mediated inhibition. Importantly, microcomputed tomography and histomorphometric analysis revealed that STAT5 conditional knockout mice showed reduced bone mass, with an increased number of osteoclasts. Furthermore, IL-3 inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation less effectively in the STAT5 conditional knockout mice than in the wild-type mice after RANKL injection. Taken together, our findings indicate that STAT5 contributes to the remarkable IL-3-mediated inhibition of RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis by activating Id genes and their associated pathways. PMID:27485735

  18. PLASMINOGEN ACTIVATOR INHIBITOR-1 (PAI-1): A KEY FACTOR LINKING FIBRINOLYSIS AND AGE-RELATED SUBCLINICAL AND CLINICAL CONDITIONS

    PubMed Central

    Cesari, Matteo; Pahor, Marco; Incalzi, Raffaele Antonelli

    2010-01-01

    The close relationship existing between aging and thrombosis has growingly been studied in this last decade. The age-related development of a pro-thrombotic imbalance in the fibrinolysis homeostasis has been hypothesized at the basis of this increased cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk. Fibrinolysis is the resulting of the interactions among multiple plasminogen activators and inhibitors constituing the enzymatic cascade, and ultimately leading to the degradation of fibrin. The plasminogen activator system plays a key role in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is a member of the superfamily of serine-protease inhibitors (or serpins), and the principal inhibitor of both the tissue-type and the urinary-type plasminogen activator, the two plasminogen activators able to activate plasminogen. In this review, current evidence describing the central role played by PAI-1 in a number of age-related subclinical (i.e., inflammation, atherosclerosis, insulin resistance) and clinical (i.e., obesity, comorbidities, Werner syndrome) conditions is presented. Despite some controversial and unclear issues, PAI-1 represents an extremely promising marker which may become a biological parameter to be growingly considered in the prognostic evaluation, in the disease monitoring, and as treatment target of age-related conditions in the next future. PMID:20626406

  19. Selenium deficiency and thyroid fibrosis. A key role for macrophages and transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta).

    PubMed

    Contempre, B; Le Moine, O; Dumont, J E; Denef, J F; Many, M C

    1996-11-29

    Free radical damage and fibrosis caused by selenium deficiency are thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of myxoedematous cretinism. So far, no pathway explains the link between selenium deficiency and tissue fibrosis. Pharmacological doses of iodine induce necrosis in iodine-deficient thyroids. Necrosis is much increased if the glands are also selenium-deficient, which then evolve to fibrosis. This rat model was reproduced to explore the role of selenium deficiency in defective tissue repair. At first, proliferation indexes of epithelial cells and fibroblasts were comparable between selenium-deficient and control groups. Then, in selenium-deficient thyroids the inflammatory reaction was more marked being mainly composed of macrophages. The proliferation index of the epithelial cells decreased, while that of the fibroblasts increased. These thyroids evolved to fibrosis. TGF-beta immunostaining was prominent in the macrophages of selenium-deficient rats. Anti TGF-beta antibodies restored the proliferation indexes, and blocked the evolution to fibrosis. In selenium deficiency, an active fibrotic process occurs in the thyroid, in which the inflammatory reaction and an excess of TGF-beta play a key role. PMID:9027319

  20. Identification of the key weather factors affecting overwintering success of Apolygus lucorum eggs in dead host tree branches.

    PubMed

    Pan, Hongsheng; Liu, Bing; Lu, Yanhui; Desneux, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of weather on insect population dynamics is crucial to simulate and forecast pest outbreaks, which is becoming increasingly important with the effects of climate change. The mirid bug Apolygus lucorum is an important pest on cotton, fruit trees and other crops in China, and primarily lays its eggs on dead parts of tree branches in the fall for subsequent overwintering. As such, the eggs that hatch the following spring are most strongly affected by ambient weather factors, rather than by host plant biology. In this study, we investigated the effects of three major weather factors: temperature, relative humidity and rainfall, on the hatching rate of A. lucorum eggs overwintering on dead branches of Chinese date tree (Ziziphus jujuba). Under laboratory conditions, rainfall (simulated via soaking) was necessary for the hatching of overwintering A. lucorum eggs. In the absence of rainfall (unsoaked branches), very few nymphs successfully emerged under any of the tested combinations of temperature and relative humidity. In contrast, following simulated rainfall, the hatching rate of the overwintering eggs increased dramatically. Hatching rate and developmental rate were positively correlated with relative humidity and temperature, respectively. Under field conditions, the abundance of nymphs derived from overwintering eggs was positively correlated with rainfall amount during the spring seasons of 2009-2013, while the same was not true for temperature and relative humidity. Overall, our findings indicate that rainfall is the most important factor affecting the hatching rate of overwintering A. lucorum eggs on dead plant parts and nymph population levels during the spring season. It provides the basic information for precisely forecasting the emergence of A. lucorum and subsequently timely managing its population in spring, which will make it possible to regional control of this insect pest widely occurring in multiple crops in summer.

  1. Identification of the Key Weather Factors Affecting Overwintering Success of Apolygus lucorum Eggs in Dead Host Tree Branches

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Hongsheng; Liu, Bing; Lu, Yanhui; Desneux, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the effects of weather on insect population dynamics is crucial to simulate and forecast pest outbreaks, which is becoming increasingly important with the effects of climate change. The mirid bug Apolygus lucorum is an important pest on cotton, fruit trees and other crops in China, and primarily lays its eggs on dead parts of tree branches in the fall for subsequent overwintering. As such, the eggs that hatch the following spring are most strongly affected by ambient weather factors, rather than by host plant biology. In this study, we investigated the effects of three major weather factors: temperature, relative humidity and rainfall, on the hatching rate of A. lucorum eggs overwintering on dead branches of Chinese date tree (Ziziphus jujuba). Under laboratory conditions, rainfall (simulated via soaking) was necessary for the hatching of overwintering A. lucorum eggs. In the absence of rainfall (unsoaked branches), very few nymphs successfully emerged under any of the tested combinations of temperature and relative humidity. In contrast, following simulated rainfall, the hatching rate of the overwintering eggs increased dramatically. Hatching rate and developmental rate were positively correlated with relative humidity and temperature, respectively. Under field conditions, the abundance of nymphs derived from overwintering eggs was positively correlated with rainfall amount during the spring seasons of 2009–2013, while the same was not true for temperature and relative humidity. Overall, our findings indicate that rainfall is the most important factor affecting the hatching rate of overwintering A. lucorum eggs on dead plant parts and nymph population levels during the spring season. It provides the basic information for precisely forecasting the emergence of A. lucorum and subsequently timely managing its population in spring, which will make it possible to regional control of this insect pest widely occurring in multiple crops in summer. PMID

  2. Identification of key factors influencing primary productivity in two river-type reservoirs by using principal component regression analysis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yeonjung; Ha, Sun-Yong; Park, Hae-Kyung; Han, Myung-Soo; Shin, Kyung-Hoon

    2015-04-01

    To understand the factors controlling algal production in two lakes located on the Han River in South Korea, Lake Cheongpyeong and Lake Paldang, a principal component regression model study was conducted using environmental monitoring and primary productivity data. Although the two lakes were geographically close and located along the same river system, the main factors controlling primary productivity in each lake were different: hydraulic retention time and light conditions predominantly influenced algal productivity in Lake Cheongpyeong, while hydraulic retention time, chlorophyll a-specific productivity, and zooplankton grazing rate were most important in Lake Paldang. This investigation confirmed the utility of principal component regression analysis using environmental monitoring data for predicting complex biological processes such as primary productivity; in addition, the study also increased the understanding of explicit interactions between environmental variables. The findings obtained in this research will be useful for the adaptive management of water reservoirs. The results will also aid in the development of management strategies for water resources, thereby improving total environmental conservation.

  3. Participation a Key Factor for Life Recovery After Disaster: A Grounded Theory Study in an Iranian Context

    PubMed Central

    Nakhaei, Maryam; Khankeh, Hamid Reza; Masoumi, Gholam Reza; Hosseini, Mohammad Ali; Parsa-Yekta, Zohreh

    2016-01-01

    Background Since life recovery after disasters is a subjective and multifaceted construct influenced by different factors, and survivors’ main concerns and experiences are not clear, the researchers intended to explore this process. Materials and Methods This study was conducted in 2011 - 2014 based on the grounded theory approach. Participants were selected by purposeful sampling followed by theoretical sampling to achieve conceptual and theoretical saturation. Data were collected through interviews, observation, focus group discussion, and document reviews. Data were analyzed by Strauss and Corbin’s (2008) recommended approach. Results Transcribed data from 26 interviews (managers, health care providers, and receivers), field notes, and other documents were analyzed, and 1,652 open codes were identified. The codes were categorized, using constant comparative analysis, into five main categories including reactive exposure, subsiding emotions, need for comprehensive health recovery, improvement of normalization (new normality achievement), and contextual factors. The process of life recovery after disaster was also explored. Conclusions The results clarified a deep perception of participants’ experiences after disaster. The path of life recovery after disasters involves participants’ striving to achieve a comprehensive health recovery, which starts with the need for all-inclusive health recovery as a main concern; this is the motivator for a responding strategy. This strategy is participatory, and the process is progressive; achievement of a new normality is the final goal, with new development and levels of empowerment. PMID:27703797

  4. The physical environment as a key factor in assessing the eutrophication status and vulnerability of shallow seas: PSA and EUTRISK

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Druon, J.-N.; Schrimpf, W.; Dobricic, S.; Stips, A.; Vogt, P.

    2003-04-01

    Two spatial eutrophication indices of shallow marine ecosystems are proposed using hydrodynamic modelling and satellite remote sensing of ocean colour. The indices are derived in European Seas characterized by different physical regimes. The Physically Sensitive Area index (PSA) integrates the various supporting factors of eutrophication, i.e. the physical conditions that influences the upper layer primary production and the oxygen availability near the bottom. The PSA index portrays the location of oxygen deficiencies if both the nutrient distribution and the primary production would be uniformly distributed. The EUTrophication RISK index (EUTRISK) represents the spatial distribution of potential hypoxia for a given month integrating the physical supporting factors and the flux of organic matter estimated from satellite-derived chlorophyll-a maps, with an oxygen budget estimated on a monthly basis. The indices identify three main types of eutrophied waters: 1) eutrophic and sensitive, 2) eutrophic and resistant and 3) mesotrophic and sensitive. PSA and EUTRISK should provide assistance to policy makers to improve the ecological management of coastal marine waters and the scientific community to identify the impacted areas and the main mechanisms involved.

  5. IGF-I: A Key Growth Factor that Regulates Neurogenesis and Synaptogenesis from Embryonic to Adult Stages of the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Nieto-Estévez, Vanesa; Defterali, Çağla; Vicario-Abejón, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    The generation of neurons in the adult mammalian brain requires the activation of quiescent neural stem cells (NSCs). This activation and the sequential steps of neuron formation from NSCs are regulated by a number of stimuli, which include growth factors. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) exert pleiotropic effects, regulating multiple cellular processes depending on their concentration, cell type, and the developmental stage of the animal. Although IGF-I expression is relatively high in the embryonic brain its levels drop sharply in the adult brain except in neurogenic regions, i.e., the hippocampus (HP) and the subventricular zone-olfactory bulb (SVZ-OB). By contrast, the expression of IGF-IR remains relatively high in the brain irrespective of the age of the animal. Evidence indicates that IGF-I influences NSC proliferation and differentiation into neurons and glia as well as neuronal maturation including synapse formation. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that IGF-I not only promote adult neurogenesis by regulating NSC number and differentiation but also by influencing neuronal positioning and migration as described during SVZ-OB neurogenesis. In this article we will revise and discuss the actions reported for IGF-I signaling in a variety of in vitro and in vivo models, focusing on the maintenance and proliferation of NSCs/progenitors, neurogenesis, and neuron integration in synaptic circuits. PMID:26941597

  6. Widespread pain and depression are key modifiable risk factors associated with reduced social participation in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Wilkie, Ross; Blagojevic-Bucknall, Milisa; Belcher, John; Chew-Graham, Carolyn; Lacey, Rosie J.; McBeth, John

    2016-01-01

    Abstract In older adults, reduced social participation increases the risk of poor health-related quality of life, increased levels of inflammatory markers and cardiovascular disease, and increased mortality. Older adults frequently present to primary care, which offers the potential to deliver interventions at the point of care to increase social participation. The aim of this prospective study was to identify the key modifiable exposures that were associated with reduced social participation in a primary care population of older adults. The study was a population-based prospective cohort study. Participants (n = 1991) were those aged ≥65 years who had completed questionnaires at baseline, and 3 and 6-year follow-ups. Generalized linear mixed modeling framework was used to test for associations between exposures and decreasing social participation over 6 years. At baseline, 44% of participants reported reduced social participation, increasing to 49% and 55% at 3 and 6-year follow-up. Widespread pain and depression had the strongest independent association with reduced social participation over the 6-year follow-up period. The prevalence of reduced social participation for those with widespread pain was 106% (adjusted incidence rate ratio 2.06, 95% confidence interval 1.72, 2.46), higher than for those with no pain. Those with depression had an increased prevalence of 82% (adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.82, 95% confidence interval 1.62, 2.06). These associations persisted in multivariate analysis. Population ageing will be accompanied by increasing numbers of older adults with pain and depression. Future trials should assess whether screening for widespread pain and depression, and targeting appropriate treatment in primary care, increase social participation in older people. PMID:27495019

  7. Paradigm of Professional Integration for Disabled People in Fundació Integralia Vallès: Key Success Factors.

    PubMed

    Gil, Ma Emilia; De Oña, Javier; Picola, Esteve

    2016-01-01

    Fundació Integralia Vallès is a pioneer contact center in Europe that has involved the creation of a healthcare reference center managed exclusively by people with disabilities and degenerative diseases to enable their professional development and ultimately integration into the labour market. The environment created under this project enables effective training and building of skills, capacity and work experience as well as promoting social responsibility among a population group that is at risk of exclusion. The major differentiating factor in Fundació Integralia Vallés is the quality of service provided by its staff, who are particularly sensitive to the issues of health, and who provide professional and human dimension in every attention. PMID:27180471

  8. The bHLH transcription factor SPATULA is a key regulator of organ size in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Makkena, Srilakshmi; Lamb, Rebecca S.

    2013-01-01

    Plant organ size and thus plant size is determined by both cell proliferation and cell expansion. The bHLH transcription factor SPATULA (SPT) was originally identified as a regulator of carpel patterning. It has subsequently been found to control growth of the organs of the shoot. It does this at least in part by controlling the size of meristematic regions of organs in parallel to gibberellic acid (GA). It also acts downstream of several environmental signals, influencing growth in response to light and temperature. We have recently demonstrated that SPT functions to repress the size of the root meristem and thus root growth and size. It appears to do this using a similar mechanism to its control of leaf size. Based on the recent work on SPT, we propose that it is a growth repressor that acts to limit the size of meristems in response to environmental signals, perhaps by regulating auxin transport. PMID:23470719

  9. Surface freezing and surface coverage as key factors for spontaneous formation of colloidal fibers in vacuum drying of colloidal suspensions.

    PubMed

    Inasawa, S; Katayama, T; Yamaguchi, Y

    2016-09-28

    In this study, we investigated vacuum drying of droplets of colloidal suspension. Because of the loss of the latent heat of vaporization, the drying droplet was cooled and then formed ice. Colloidal fibers consisting of packed particles spontaneously formed when the droplet froze from the gas-liquid interface. Conversely, we observed formation of sponge-like porous structures of particles when the whole droplet almost simultaneously froze. However, the freezing mode was not the only factor for formation of colloidal fibers. We found that the surface coverage of particles on the gas-liquid interface was also important. Owing to drying, some particles accumulated at the interface before freezing. When the surface coverage was higher than a threshold value, formation of fibers was severely restricted even in the surface freezing mode. Our results clearly show the important roles of surface freezing and the surface coverage of particles on the gas-liquid interface in formation of colloidal fibers. PMID:27550740

  10. Identification of key factors in Accelerated Low Water Corrosion through experimental simulation of tidal conditions: influence of stimulated indigenous microbiota.

    PubMed

    Marty, Florence; Gueuné, Hervé; Malard, Emilie; Sánchez-Amaya, José M; Sjögren, Lena; Abbas, Ben; Quillet, Laurent; van Loosdrecht, Mark C M; Muyzer, Gerard

    2014-01-01

    Biotic and abiotic factors favoring Accelerated Low Water Corrosion (ALWC) on harbor steel structures remain unclear warranting their study under controlled experimental tidal conditions. Initial stimulation of marine microbial consortia by a pulse of organic matter resulted in localized corrosion and the highest corrosion rates (up to 12-times higher than non-stimulated conditions) in the low water zone, persisting after nine months exposure to natural seawater. Correlations between corrosion severity and the abundance and composition of metabolically active sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) indicated the importance and persistence of specific bacterial populations in accelerated corrosion. One phylotype related to the electrogenic SRB Desulfopila corrodens appeared as the major causative agent of the accelerated corrosion. The similarity of bacterial populations related to sulfur and iron cycles, mineral and tuberculation with those identified in ALWC support the relevance of experimental simulation of tidal conditions in the management of steel corrosion exposed to harbor environments.

  11. Replication and extension of a hierarchical model of social anxiety and depression: fear of positive evaluation as a key unique factor in social anxiety.

    PubMed

    Weeks, Justin W

    2015-01-01

    Wang, Hsu, Chiu, and Liang (2012, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 26, 215-224) recently proposed a hierarchical model of social interaction anxiety and depression to account for both the commonalities and distinctions between these conditions. In the present paper, this model was extended to more broadly encompass the symptoms of social anxiety disorder, and replicated in a large unselected, undergraduate sample (n = 585). Structural equation modeling (SEM) and hierarchical regression analyses were employed. Negative affect and positive affect were conceptualized as general factors shared by social anxiety and depression; fear of negative evaluation (FNE) and disqualification of positive social outcomes were operationalized as specific factors, and fear of positive evaluation (FPE) was operationalized as a factor unique to social anxiety. This extended hierarchical model explicates structural relationships among these factors, in which the higher-level, general factors (i.e., high negative affect and low positive affect) represent vulnerability markers of both social anxiety and depression, and the lower-level factors (i.e., FNE, disqualification of positive social outcomes, and FPE) are the dimensions of specific cognitive features. Results from SEM and hierarchical regression analyses converged in support of the extended model. FPE is further supported as a key symptom that differentiates social anxiety from depression.

  12. Transcriptome Analysis of Sexually Dimorphic Chinese White Wax Scale Insects Reveals Key Differences in Developmental Programs and Transcription Factor Expression

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Pu; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Wei-Wei; Feng, Ying; Sun, Tao

    2015-01-01

    The Chinese white wax scale insect, Ericerus pela, represents one of the most dramatic examples of sexual dimorphism in any insect species. In this study, we showed that although E. pela males display complete metamorphosis similar to holometabolous insects, the species forms the sister group to Acyrthosiphon pisum and cluster with hemimetabolous insects. The gene expression profile and Gene Ontology (GO) analyses revealed that the two sexes engaged in distinct developmental programs. In particular, female development appeared to prioritize the expression of genes related to cellular, metabolic, and developmental processes and to anatomical structure formation in nymphs. By contrast, male nymphal development is characterized by the significant down-regulation of genes involved in chitin, the respiratory system, and neurons. The wing and appendage morphogenesis, anatomical and tissue structure morphogenesis programs activated after male nymphal development. Transcription factors (that convey juvenile hormone or ecdysone signals, and Hox genes) and DNA methyltransferase were also differentially expressed between females and males. These results may indicate the roles that these differentially expressed genes play in regulating sexual dimorphism through orchestrating complex genetic programs. This differential expression was particularly prominent for processes linked to female development and wing development in males. PMID:25634031

  13. Searching for a Role of Nursing Personnel in Developing Landscape of Ehealth: Factors Determining Attitudes toward Key Patient Empowering Applications

    PubMed Central

    Duplaga, Mariusz

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Nurses may play an important role in the delivery of medical services based on the use of ehealth tools. Nevertheless, their taking an active role in an ehealth environment depends on their possessing the appropriate skills and mindset. The main objective of this paper was to assess nurses’ opinions and to analyze the predictors of their acceptance of ehealth features relevant to patient empowerment with a strong focus on chronic care. Methods A survey was conducted among nurses from hospital centers of south-eastern Poland based on a questionnaire designed to assess their attitudes toward the ehealth domain. The predictors of the nurses’ acceptance of ehealth usage within specific contexts were assessed with uni- and multivariate logistic regression. Results An analysis was performed on data from 648 questionnaires retained after a quality check. The duration of Internet use was consistently related to higher acceptance of ehealth applications and more certainty regarding the reliability of health-related information available on the Internet. Nurses from urban medical centers were more skeptical about the use of specific ehealth solutions. Conclusion Previous experience in using information technologies is the main factor influencing the acceptance of specific ehealth solutions relevant for care provided to patients suffering from chronic conditions. PMID:27049525

  14. Transcriptome analysis of sexually dimorphic Chinese white wax scale insects reveals key differences in developmental programs and transcription factor expression.

    PubMed

    Yang, Pu; Chen, Xiao-Ming; Liu, Wei-Wei; Feng, Ying; Sun, Tao

    2015-01-30

    The Chinese white wax scale insect, Ericerus pela, represents one of the most dramatic examples of sexual dimorphism in any insect species. In this study, we showed that although E. pela males display complete metamorphosis similar to holometabolous insects, the species forms the sister group to Acyrthosiphon pisum and cluster with hemimetabolous insects. The gene expression profile and Gene Ontology (GO) analyses revealed that the two sexes engaged in distinct developmental programs. In particular, female development appeared to prioritize the expression of genes related to cellular, metabolic, and developmental processes and to anatomical structure formation in nymphs. By contrast, male nymphal development is characterized by the significant down-regulation of genes involved in chitin, the respiratory system, and neurons. The wing and appendage morphogenesis, anatomical and tissue structure morphogenesis programs activated after male nymphal development. Transcription factors (that convey juvenile hormone or ecdysone signals, and Hox genes) and DNA methyltransferase were also differentially expressed between females and males. These results may indicate the roles that these differentially expressed genes play in regulating sexual dimorphism through orchestrating complex genetic programs. This differential expression was particularly prominent for processes linked to female development and wing development in males.

  15. Low cost, small form factor, and integration as the key features for the optical component industry takeoff

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schiattone, Francesco; Bonino, Stefano; Gobbi, Luigi; Groppi, Angelamaria; Marazzi, Marco; Musio, Maurizio

    2003-04-01

    In the past the optical component market has been mainly driven by performances. Today, as the number of competitors has drastically increased, the system integrators have a wide range of possible suppliers and solutions giving them the possibility to be more focused on cost and also on footprint reduction. So, if performances are still essential, low cost and Small Form Factor issues are becoming more and more crucial in selecting components. Another evolution in the market is the current request of the optical system companies to simplify the supply chain in order to reduce the assembling and testing steps at system level. This corresponds to a growing demand in providing subassemblies, modules or hybrid integrated components: that means also Integration will be an issue in which all the optical component companies will compete to gain market shares. As we can see looking several examples offered by electronic market, to combine low cost and SFF is a very challenging task but Integration can help in achieving both features. In this work we present how these issues could be approached giving examples of some advanced solutions applied to LiNbO3 modulators. In particular we describe the progress made on automation, new materials and low cost fabrication methods for the parts. We also introduce an approach in integrating optical and electrical functionality on LiNbO3 modulators including RF driver, bias control loop, attenuator and photodiode integrated in a single device.

  16. Tannin is a key factor in the determination and prediction of energy content in sorghum grains fed to growing pigs.

    PubMed

    Pan, L; Li, P; Ma, X K; Xu, Y T; Tian, Q Y; Liu, L; Li, D F; Piao, X S

    2016-07-01

    DE and 3,973 - (262 × % tannin) - (27.24 × % ADF) for ME. Our results strongly indicate that the DE and ME content of sorghum grains are related to their chemical composition, especially their tannin content. The DE and ME content could decrease by more than 200 kcal/kg when the tannin content is increased by 1% in the sorghum grain. Overall, tannin is a key predictor for the DE and ME content as well as the ATTD of GE in sorghum grains, and the potent antinutritive properties from tannin should not be ignored when sorghum is used as an energy source for pigs. PMID:27482674

  17. Growing Season Length as a Key Factor of Cumulative Net Ecosystem Exchange Over the Pine Forest Ecosystems in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Danielewska, Alina; Urbaniak, Marek; Olejnik, Janusz

    2015-04-01

    The Scots pine is one of the most important species in European and Asian forests. Due to a widespread occurrence of pine forests, their significance in the energy and mass exchange between the Earth surface and the atmosphere is also important, particularly in the context of climate change and greenhouse gases balance. The aim of this work is to present the relationship between the average annual net ecosystem productivity and growing season length, latitude and air temperature (tay) over Europe. Therefore, CO2 flux measurement data from eight European pine dominated forests were used. The observations suggest that there is a correlation between the intensity of CO2 uptake or emission by a forest stand and the above mentioned parameters. Based on the obtained results, all of the selected pine forest stands were CO2 sinks, except a site in northern Finland. The carbon dioxide uptake increased proportionally with the increase of growing season length (9.212 g C m-2 y-1 per day of growing season, R2 = 0.53, p = 0.0399). This dependency showed stronger correlation and higher statistical significance than both relationships between annual net ecosystem productivity and air temperature (R2 = 0.39, p = 0.096) and annual net ecosystem productivity and latitude (R2 = 0.47, p = 0.058). The CO2 emission surpassed assimilation in winter, early spring and late autumn. Moreover, the appearance of late, cold spring and early winter, reduced annual net ecosystem productivity. Therefore, the growing season length can be considered as one of the main factor affecting the annual carbon budget of pine forests.

  18. Stature and jumping height are required in female volleyball, but motor coordination is a key factor for future elite success.

    PubMed

    Pion, Johan A; Fransen, Job; Deprez, Dieter N; Segers, Veerle I; Vaeyens, Roel; Philippaerts, Renaat M; Lenoir, Matthieu

    2015-06-01

    It was hypothesized that differences in anthropometry, physical performance, and motor coordination would be found between Belgian elite and sub-elite level female volleyball players using a retrospective analysis of test results gathered over a 5-year period. The test sample in this study consisted of 21 young female volleyball players (15.3 ± 1.5 years) who were selected to train at the Flemish Top Sports Academy for Volleyball in 2008. All players (elite, n = 13; sub-elite, n = 8) were included in the same talent development program, and the elite-level athletes were of a high to very high performance levels according to European competition level in 2013. Five multivariate analyses of variance were used. There was no significant effect of playing level on measures of anthropometry (F = 0.455, p = 0.718, (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.07), flexibility (F = 1.861, p = 0.188, (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.19), strength (F = 1.218, p = 0.355, (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.32); and speed and agility (F = 1.176, p = 0.350, (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.18). Multivariate analyses of variance revealed significant multivariate effects between playing levels for motor coordination (F = 3.470, p = 0.036, (Equation is included in full-text article.)= 0.59). A Mann-Whitney U test and a sequential discriminant analysis confirmed these results. Previous research revealed that stature and jump height are prerequisites for talent identification in female volleyball. In addition, the results show that motor coordination is an important factor in determining inclusion into the elite level in female volleyball. PMID:25436627

  19. DNA Polymerase κ Is a Key Cellular Factor for the Formation of Covalently Closed Circular DNA of Hepatitis B Virus

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Yonghe; Gao, Zhenchao; Peng, Bo; Yan, Huan; Tang, Dingbin; Song, Zilin; He, Wenhui; Sun, Yinyan; Guo, Ju-Tao; Li, Wenhui

    2016-01-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection of hepatocytes begins by binding to its cellular receptor sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP), followed by the internalization of viral nucleocapsid into the cytoplasm. The viral relaxed circular (rc) DNA genome in nucleocapsid is transported into the nucleus and converted into covalently closed circular (ccc) DNA to serve as a viral persistence reservoir that is refractory to current antiviral therapies. Host DNA repair enzymes have been speculated to catalyze the conversion of rcDNA to cccDNA, however, the DNA polymerase(s) that fills the gap in the plus strand of rcDNA remains to be determined. Here we conducted targeted genetic screening in combination with chemical inhibition to identify the cellular DNA polymerase(s) responsible for cccDNA formation, and exploited recombinant HBV with capsid coding deficiency which infects HepG2-NTCP cells with similar efficiency of wild-type HBV to assure cccDNA synthesis is exclusively from de novo HBV infection. We found that DNA polymerase κ (POLK), a Y-family DNA polymerase with maximum activity in non-dividing cells, substantially contributes to cccDNA formation during de novo HBV infection. Depleting gene expression of POLK in HepG2-NTCP cells by either siRNA knockdown or CRISPR/Cas9 knockout inhibited the conversion of rcDNA into cccDNA, while the diminished cccDNA formation in, and hence the viral infection of, the knockout cells could be effectively rescued by ectopic expression of POLK. These studies revealed that POLK is a crucial host factor required for cccDNA formation during a de novo HBV infection and suggest that POLK may be a potential target for developing antivirals against HBV. PMID:27783675

  20. Nitrous oxide emissions from intensive agricultural systems: Variations between crops and seasons, key driving variables, and mean emission factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobbie, K. E.; McTaggart, I. P.; Smith, K. A.

    1999-11-01

    Emissions of nitrous oxide from intensively managed agricultural fields were measured over 3 years. Exponential increases in flux occurred with increasing soil water- filled pore space (WFPS) and temperature; increases in soil mineral N content due to fertilizer application also stimulated emissions. Fluxes were low when any of these variables was below a critical value. The largest fluxes occurred when WFPS values were very high (70-90%), indicating that denitrification was the major process responsible. The relationships with the driving variables showed strong similarities to those reported for very different environments: irrigated sugar cane crops, pastures, and forest in the tropics. Annual emissions varied widely (0.3-18.4 kg N2O-N ha-1). These variations were principally due to the degree of coincidence of fertilizer application and major rainfall events. It is concluded therefore that several years' data are required from any agricultural ecosystem in a variable climate to obtain a robust estimate of mean N2O fluxes. The emissions from small-grain cereals (winter wheat and spring barley) were consistently lower (0.2-0.7 kg N2O-N per 100 kg N applied) than from cut grassland (0.3-5.8 kg N2O- N per 100 kg N). Crops such as broccoli and potatoes gave emissions of the same order as those from the grassland. Although these differences between crop types are not apparent in general data comparisons, there may well be distinct regional differences in the relative and absolute emissions from different crops, due to local factors relating to soil type, weather patterns, and agricultural management practices. This will only be determined by more detailed comparative studies.

  1. Statistical study to identify the key factors governing ground water recharge in the watersheds of the arid Central Asia.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Binq-Qi; Wang, Yue-Ling

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the source and recharge of ground waters is of great significance to our knowledge in hydrological cycles in arid environments over the world. Northern Xinjiang in northwestern China is a significant repository of information relating to the hydrological evolution and climatic changes in central Asia. In this study, two multivariate statistical techniques, hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA), were used to assess the ground water recharge and its governing factors, with the principal idea of exploring the above techniques to utilize all available hydrogeochemical variables in the quality assessment, which are not considered in the conventional techniques like Stiff and Piper diagrams. Q-mode HCA and R-mode PCA were combined to partition the water samples into seven major water clusters (C1-C7) and three principal components (PC1-PC3, PC1 salinity, PC2 hydroclimate, PC3 contaminant). The water samples C1 + C4 were classified as recharge area waters (Ca-HCO3 water), C2 + C3 as transitional zone waters (Ca-Mg-HCO3-SO4 water), and C5 + C6 + C7 as discharge area waters (Na-SO4 water). Based on the Q-mode PCA scores, three groups of geochemical processes influencing recharge regimes were identified: geogenic (i.e., caused by natural geochemical processes), geomorphoclimatic (caused by topography and climate), and anthropogenic (caused by ground water contamination). It is proposed that differences in recharge mechanism and ground water evolution, and possible bedrock composition difference, are responsible for the chemical genesis of these waters. These will continue to influence the geochemistry of the northern Xinjiang drainage system for a long time due to its steady tectonics and arid climate. This study proved that the chemistry differentiation of ground water can effectively support the identification of ground water recharge and evolution patterns.

  2. Statistical study to identify the key factors governing ground water recharge in the watersheds of the arid Central Asia.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Binq-Qi; Wang, Yue-Ling

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the source and recharge of ground waters is of great significance to our knowledge in hydrological cycles in arid environments over the world. Northern Xinjiang in northwestern China is a significant repository of information relating to the hydrological evolution and climatic changes in central Asia. In this study, two multivariate statistical techniques, hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principal component analysis (PCA), were used to assess the ground water recharge and its governing factors, with the principal idea of exploring the above techniques to utilize all available hydrogeochemical variables in the quality assessment, which are not considered in the conventional techniques like Stiff and Piper diagrams. Q-mode HCA and R-mode PCA were combined to partition the water samples into seven major water clusters (C1-C7) and three principal components (PC1-PC3, PC1 salinity, PC2 hydroclimate, PC3 contaminant). The water samples C1 + C4 were classified as recharge area waters (Ca-HCO3 water), C2 + C3 as transitional zone waters (Ca-Mg-HCO3-SO4 water), and C5 + C6 + C7 as discharge area waters (Na-SO4 water). Based on the Q-mode PCA scores, three groups of geochemical processes influencing recharge regimes were identified: geogenic (i.e., caused by natural geochemical processes), geomorphoclimatic (caused by topography and climate), and anthropogenic (caused by ground water contamination). It is proposed that differences in recharge mechanism and ground water evolution, and possible bedrock composition difference, are responsible for the chemical genesis of these waters. These will continue to influence the geochemistry of the northern Xinjiang drainage system for a long time due to its steady tectonics and arid climate. This study proved that the chemistry differentiation of ground water can effectively support the identification of ground water recharge and evolution patterns. PMID:26718947

  3. Vascular endothelial growth factor-D is a key molecule that enhances lymphatic metastasis of soft tissue sarcomas

    SciTech Connect

    Yanagawa, Takashi; Shinozaki, Tetsuya; Watanabe, Hideomi; Saito, Kenichi; Raz, Avraham; Takagishi, Kenji

    2012-04-15

    Studies on lymph node metastasis of soft tissue sarcomas are insufficient because of its rarity. In this study, we examined the expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C and VEGF-D in soft tissue sarcomas metastasized to lymph nodes. In addition, the effects of the two molecules on the barrier function of a lymphatic endothelial cell monolayer against sarcoma cells were analyzed. We examined 7 patients who had soft tissue sarcomas with lymph node metastases and who had undergone neither chemotherapy nor radiotherapy before lymphadenectomy. Immunohistochemistry revealed that 2 of 7 sarcomas that metastasized to lymph nodes expressed VEGF-C both in primary and metastatic lesions. On the other hand, VEGF-D expression was detected in 4 of 7 primary and 7 of 7 metastatic lesions, respectively. Interestingly, 3 cases that showed no VEGF-D expression at primary sites expressed VEGF-D in metastatic lesions. Recombinant VEGF-C at 10{sup -8} and VEGF-D at 10{sup -7}and 10{sup -8} g/ml significantly increased the random motility of lymphatic endothelial cells compared with controls. VEGF-D significantly increased the migration of sarcoma cells through lymphatic endothelial monolayers. The fact that VEGF-D induced the migration of fibrosarcomas through the lymphatic endothelial monolayer is the probable reason for the strong relationship between VEGF-D expression and lymph node metastasis in soft tissue sarcomas. The important propensities of this molecule for the increase of lymph node metastases are not only lymphangiogenesis but also down-regulation of the barrier function of lymphatic endothelial monolayers, which facilitates sarcoma cells entering the lymphatic circulation.

  4. The Cytosolic pH of Individual Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cells Is a Key Factor in Acetic Acid Tolerance.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Niño, Miguel; Marquina, Maribel; Swinnen, Steve; Rodríguez-Porrata, Boris; Nevoigt, Elke; Ariño, Joaquín

    2015-11-01

    It was shown recently that individual cells of an isogenic Saccharomyces cerevisiae population show variability in acetic acid tolerance, and this variability affects the quantitative manifestation of the trait at the population level. In the current study, we investigated whether cell-to-cell variability in acetic acid tolerance could be explained by the observed differences in the cytosolic pHs of individual cells immediately before exposure to the acid. Results obtained with cells of the strain CEN.PK113-7D in synthetic medium containing 96 mM acetic acid (pH 4.5) showed a direct correlation between the initial cytosolic pH and the cytosolic pH drop after exposure to the acid. Moreover, only cells with a low initial cytosolic pH, which experienced a less severe drop in cytosolic pH, were able to proliferate. A similar correlation between initial cytosolic pH and cytosolic pH drop was also observed in the more acid-tolerant strain MUCL 11987-9. Interestingly, a fraction of cells in the MUCL 11987-9 population showed initial cytosolic pH values below the minimal cytosolic pH detected in cells of the strain CEN.PK113-7D; consequently, these cells experienced less severe drops in cytosolic pH. Although this might explain in part the difference between the two strains with regard to the number of cells that resumed proliferation, it was observed that all cells from strain MUCL 11987-9 were able to proliferate, independently of their initial cytosolic pH. Therefore, other factors must also be involved in the greater ability of MUCL 11987-9 cells to endure strong drops in cytosolic pH.

  5. Transcription Factor ATAF1 in Arabidopsis Promotes Senescence by Direct Regulation of Key Chloroplast Maintenance and Senescence Transcriptional Cascades1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Garapati, Prashanth; Xue, Gang-Ping

    2015-01-01

    Senescence represents a fundamental process of late leaf development. Transcription factors (TFs) play an important role for expression reprogramming during senescence; however, the gene regulatory networks through which they exert their functions, and their physiological integration, are still largely unknown. Here, we identify the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) abscisic acid (ABA)- and hydrogen peroxide-activated TF Arabidopsis thaliana ACTIVATING FACTOR1 (ATAF1) as a novel upstream regulator of senescence. ATAF1 executes its physiological role by affecting both key chloroplast maintenance and senescence-promoting TFs, namely GOLDEN2-LIKE1 (GLK1) and ORESARA1 (ARABIDOPSIS NAC092), respectively. Notably, while ATAF1 activates ORESARA1, it represses GLK1 expression by directly binding to their promoters, thereby generating a transcriptional output that shifts the physiological balance toward the progression of senescence. We furthermore demonstrate a key role of ATAF1 for ABA- and hydrogen peroxide-induced senescence, in accordance with a direct regulatory effect on ABA homeostasis genes, including NINE-CIS-EPOXYCAROTENOID DIOXYGENASE3 involved in ABA biosynthesis and ABC TRANSPORTER G FAMILY MEMBER40, encoding an ABA transport protein. Thus, ATAF1 serves as a core transcriptional activator of senescence by coupling stress-related signaling with photosynthesis- and senescence-related transcriptional cascades. PMID:25953103

  6. TT Mutant Homozygote of Kruppel-like Factor 5 Is a Key Factor for Increasing Basal Metabolic Rate and Resting Metabolic Rate in Korean Elementary School Children.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jung Ran; Kwon, In-Su; Kwon, Dae Young; Kim, Myung-Sunny; Lee, Myoungsook

    2013-12-01

    We investigated the contribution of genetic variations of KLF5 to basal metabolic rate (BMR) and resting metabolic rate (RMR) and the inhibition of obesity in Korean children. A variation of KLF5 (rs3782933) was genotyped in 62 Korean children. Using multiple linear regression analysis, we developed a model to predict BMR in children. We divided them into several groups; normal versus overweight by body mass index (BMI) and low BMR versus high BMR by BMR. There were no differences in the distributions of alleles and genotypes between each group. The genetic variation of KLF5 gene showed a significant correlation with several clinical factors, such as BMR, muscle, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and insulin. Children with the TT had significantly higher BMR than those with CC (p = 0.030). The highest muscle was observed in the children with TT compared with CC (p = 0.032). The insulin and C-peptide values were higher in children with TT than those with CC (p= 0.029 vs. p = 0.004, respectively). In linear regression analysis, BMI and muscle mass were correlated with BMR, whereas insulin and C-peptide were not associated with BMR. In the high-BMR group, we observed that higher muscle, fat mass, and C-peptide affect the increase of BMR in children with TT (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p = 0.018, respectively), while Rohrer's index could explain the usual decrease in BMR (adjust r(2) = 1.000, p < 0.001, respectively). We identified a novel association between TT of KLF5 rs3782933 and BMR in Korean children. We could make better use of the variation within KLF5 in a future clinical intervention study of obesity.

  7. The Transcription Factor Interferon Regulatory Factor-1 (IRF1) Plays a Key Role in the Terminal Effector Pathways of Human Preterm Labor.

    PubMed

    Lim, Ratana; Tran, Ha Thi; Liong, Stella; Barker, Gillian; Lappas, Martha

    2016-02-01

    Preterm birth is the largest single cause of neonatal death and morbidity. By activating cytokine- and Toll-like receptor (TLR)-signaling pathways, infection and/or inflammation are strongly associated with preterm delivery. Interferon regulatory factor-1 (IRF1) is an important regulator of the inflammatory response. The aims of this study were to establish the effect of 1) labor on IRF1 expression in human fetal membranes and myometrium, 2) prolabor mediators on IRF1 expression and activity, and 3) IRF1 small interfering RNA on the expression of prolabor mediators. IRF1 expression was higher in fetal membranes and myometrium after spontaneous term labor and in preterm fetal membranes with infection. The proinflammatory cytokine IL1B, the bacterial product fsl-1, and viral analog polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly [I:C]) significantly increased IRF1 mRNA expression and transcriptional activity in human primary myometrial cells. In addition, IL1B increased IRF1 activity in primary amnion cells. IRF1 silencing in myometrial cells decreased IL1B-, fsl-1-, and poly (I:C)-induced cytokine (IL6, TNF, IL1B) and chemokine (CXCL8, CCL2) mRNA expression and IL6, CXCL8, and CCL2 release. IL1B-, fsl-1-, and poly (I:C)-induced PTGS2 mRNA expression and IL1B-induced prostaglandin release was also decreased by IRF1 silencing. In conclusion, IRF1 upregulation in fetal membranes and myometrium after term labor indicates a proinflammatory role for IRF1 in human parturition. IRF1 is involved in TLR- and cytokine-mediated signaling in human myometrium. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms associated with inflammation- and infection-associated preterm birth. IRF1 inhibitors as therapeutics for the management of spontaneous preterm birth warrants further investigation. PMID:26674566

  8. Understanding Mathematics: Some Key Factors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ali, Asma Amanat; Reid, Norman

    2012-01-01

    Mathematics is well known as a subject area where there can be problems in terms of understanding as well as retaining positive attitudes. In a large study involving 813 school students (ages approximately 10-12) drawn from two different school systems in Pakistan, the effect of limited working memory capacity on performance in mathematics was…

  9. Does Pictorial Elucidation Foster Recollection of Idioms?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boers, Frank; Piquer Piriz, Ana Maria; Stengers, Helene; Eyckmans, June

    2009-01-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that pictorial elucidation helps learners comprehend and remember the meaning of second language (L2) idioms. In this article we address the question whether it also helps retention of the form of idioms, i.e. their precise lexical composition. In a small-scale experiment, the meaning of English idioms was clarified…

  10. Elucidation of wear mechanisms by ferrographic analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, W. R., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    The use of ferrographic analysis in conjunction with light and scanning electron microscopy is described for the elucidation of wear mechanisms taking place in operating equipment. Example of adhesive wear, abrasive wear, corrosive wear, rolling element fatigue, lubricant breakdown, and other wear modes are illustrated. In addition, the use of magnetic solutions to precipitate nonmagnetic debris from aqueous and nonaqueous fluids is described.

  11. Homocysteine and the C677T Gene Polymorphism of Its Key Metabolic Enzyme MTHFR Are Risk Factors of Early Renal Damage in Hypertension in a Chinese Han Population.

    PubMed

    Yun, Lin; Xu, Rui; Li, Guohua; Yao, Yucai; Li, Jiamin; Cong, Dehong; Xu, Xingshun; Zhang, Lihua

    2015-12-01

    The combined hyperhomocysteinemia condition is a feature of the Chinese hypertensive population. This study used the case-control method to investigate the association between plasma homocysteine and the C677T gene polymorphism of its key metabolic enzyme, 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), and early renal damage in a hypertensive Chinese Han population.A total of 379 adult essential hypertensive patients were selected as the study subjects. The personal information, clinical indicators, and the C677T gene polymorphism of MTHFR were texted. This study used the urine microalbumin/urine creatinine ratio (UACR) as a grouping basis: the hypertension without renal damage group (NRD group) and the hypertension combined with early renal damage group (ERD group).Early renal damage in the Chinese hypertensive population was associated with body weight, systolic pressure, diastolic pressure, urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, cystatin C, uric acid, aldosterone, and glomerular filtration rate. The homocysteine level and the UACR in the TT genotype group were higher than those in the CC genotype group. The binary logistic regression analysis results showed that after sex and age were adjusted, the MTHFR C677T gene polymorphism was correlated with early renal damage in hypertension in both the recessive model and in the additive model.Plasma homocysteine and the C677T gene polymorphism of its key metabolic enzyme MTHFR might be independent risk factors of early renal damage in the hypertensive Chinese Han population.

  12. Calcitonin gene-related peptide is a key factor in the homing of transplanted human MSCs to sites of spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yu; Yang, Jinhua; Zhang, Peng; Liu, Tao; Xu, Jianwei; Fan, Zhihai; Shen, Yixin; Li, Wenjie; Zhang, Huanxiang

    2016-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be used to treat many diseases, including spinal cord injury (SCI). Treatment relies mostly on the precise navigation of cells to the injury site for rebuilding the damaged spinal cord. However, the key factors guiding MSCs to the epicenter of SCI remain unknown. Here, we demonstrated that calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neural peptide synthesized in spinal cord, can dramatically aid the homing of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (HUMSCs) in spinal cord-transected SCI rats. First, HUMSCs exhibited chemotactic responses in vitro to CGRP. By time-lapse video analysis, increased chemotactic index (CMI), forward migration index (FMI) and speed contributed to this observed migration. Then, through enzyme immunoassay, higher CGRP concentrations at the lesion site were observed after injury. The release of CGRP directed HUMSCs to the injury site, which was suppressed by CGRP 8-37, a CGRP antagonist. We also verified that the PI3K/Akt and p38MAPK signaling pathways played a critical role in the CGRP-induced chemotactic migration of HUMSCs. Collectively, our data reveal that CGRP is a key chemokine that helps HUMSCs migrate to the lesion site and thereby can be used as a model molecule to study MSCs homing after SCI. PMID:27296555

  13. Calcitonin gene-related peptide is a key factor in the homing of transplanted human MSCs to sites of spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yu; Yang, Jinhua; Zhang, Peng; Liu, Tao; Xu, Jianwei; Fan, Zhihai; Shen, Yixin; Li, Wenjie; Zhang, Huanxiang

    2016-01-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be used to treat many diseases, including spinal cord injury (SCI). Treatment relies mostly on the precise navigation of cells to the injury site for rebuilding the damaged spinal cord. However, the key factors guiding MSCs to the epicenter of SCI remain unknown. Here, we demonstrated that calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neural peptide synthesized in spinal cord, can dramatically aid the homing of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (HUMSCs) in spinal cord-transected SCI rats. First, HUMSCs exhibited chemotactic responses in vitro to CGRP. By time-lapse video analysis, increased chemotactic index (CMI), forward migration index (FMI) and speed contributed to this observed migration. Then, through enzyme immunoassay, higher CGRP concentrations at the lesion site were observed after injury. The release of CGRP directed HUMSCs to the injury site, which was suppressed by CGRP 8–37, a CGRP antagonist. We also verified that the PI3K/Akt and p38MAPK signaling pathways played a critical role in the CGRP-induced chemotactic migration of HUMSCs. Collectively, our data reveal that CGRP is a key chemokine that helps HUMSCs migrate to the lesion site and thereby can be used as a model molecule to study MSCs homing after SCI. PMID:27296555

  14. Florida Keys

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    The Florida Keys are a chain of islands, islets and reefs extending from Virginia Key to the Dry Tortugas for about 309 kilometers (192 miles). The keys are chiefly limestone and coral formations. The larger islands of the group are Key West (with its airport), Key Largo, Sugarloaf Key, and Boca Chica Key. A causeway extends from the mainland to Key West.

    This image was acquired on October 28, 2001, by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER images Earth to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet.

    ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products.

    The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER will provide scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping, and monitoring of dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.

    Dr. Anne Kahle at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., is the U.S. Science team leader; Bjorn Eng of JPL is the project manager. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, a long- term research effort to understand and protect our home planet. Through the study of Earth, NASA will help to provide sound science to policy and economic

  15. Effect of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor on behavior and key members of the brain serotonin system in mouse strains genetically predisposed to behavioral disorders.

    PubMed

    Naumenko, Vladimir S; Bazovkina, Daria V; Semenova, Alina A; Tsybko, Anton S; Il'chibaeva, Tatyana V; Kondaurova, Elena M; Popova, Nina K

    2013-12-01

    The effect of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) on behavior and on the serotonin (5-HT) system of a mouse strain predisposed to depressive-like behavior, ASC/Icg (Antidepressant Sensitive Cataleptics), in comparison with the parental "nondepressive" CBA/Lac mice was studied. Within 7 days after acute administration, GDNF (800 ng, i.c.v.) decreased cataleptic immobility but increased depressive-like behavioral traits in both investigated mouse strains and produced anxiolytic effects in ASC mice. The expression of the gene encoding the key enzyme for 5-HT biosynthesis in the brain, tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (Tph-2), and 5-HT1A receptor gene in the midbrain as well as 5-HT2A receptor gene in the frontal cortex were increased in GDNF-treated ASC mice. At the same time, GDNF decreased 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptor gene expression in the hippocampus of ASC mice. GDNF failed to change Tph2, 5-HT1A , or 5-HT2A receptor mRNA levels in CBA mice as well as 5-HT transporter gene expression and 5-HT1A and 5-HT2A receptor functional activity in both investigated mouse strains. The results show 1) a GDNF-induced increase in the expression of key genes of the brain 5-HT system, Tph2, 5-HT1A , and 5-HT2A receptors, and 2) significant genotype-dependent differences in the 5-HT system response to GDNF treatment. The data suggest that genetically defined cross-talk between neurotrophic factors and the brain 5-HT system underlies the variability in behavioral response to GDNF.

  16. Key Nutrients.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Federal Extension Service (USDA), Washington, DC.

    Lessons written to help trainer agents prepare aides for work with families in the Food and Nutrition Program are presented in this booklet. The key nutrients discussed in the 10 lessons are protein, carbohydrates, fat, calcium, iron, iodine, and Vitamins A, B, C, and D. the format of each lesson is as follows: Purpose, Presentation, Application…

  17. Transcription initiation complex structures elucidate DNA opening.

    PubMed

    Plaschka, C; Hantsche, M; Dienemann, C; Burzinski, C; Plitzko, J; Cramer, P

    2016-05-19

    Transcription of eukaryotic protein-coding genes begins with assembly of the RNA polymerase (Pol) II initiation complex and promoter DNA opening. Here we report cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structures of yeast initiation complexes containing closed and open DNA at resolutions of 8.8 Å and 3.6 Å, respectively. DNA is positioned and retained over the Pol II cleft by a network of interactions between the TATA-box-binding protein TBP and transcription factors TFIIA, TFIIB, TFIIE, and TFIIF. DNA opening occurs around the tip of the Pol II clamp and the TFIIE 'extended winged helix' domain, and can occur in the absence of TFIIH. Loading of the DNA template strand into the active centre may be facilitated by movements of obstructing protein elements triggered by allosteric binding of the TFIIE 'E-ribbon' domain. The results suggest a unified model for transcription initiation with a key event, the trapping of open promoter DNA by extended protein-protein and protein-DNA contacts.

  18. The automation of natural product structure elucidation.

    PubMed

    Steinbeck, C

    2001-05-01

    The last two or three years have seen exciting developments in the field of computer-assisted structure elucidation (CASE) with a number of programs becoming commercially or freely available. This was the conditio sine qua non for CASE to be widely applied in the daily work of bench chemists and spectroscopists. A number of promising applications have been published in the area of structure generators, deterministic and stochastic CASE tools and property predictions, including the automatic distinction between natural products and artificial compounds, as well as the determination of 3-D structure from a connection table based on IR spectroscopy. Advancements in coupling techniques between chromatographic and spectroscopic methods demonstrate progress towards a fully automated structure elucidation or identification process starting at the earliest steps of obtaining crude extracts.

  19. Using Genomics for Natural Product Structure Elucidation.

    PubMed

    Tietz, Jonathan I; Mitchell, Douglas A

    2016-01-01

    Natural products (NPs) are the most historically bountiful source of chemical matter for drug development-especially for anti-infectives. With insights gleaned from genome mining, interest in natural product discovery has been reinvigorated. An essential stage in NP discovery is structural elucidation, which sheds light not only on the chemical composition of a molecule but also its novelty, properties, and derivatization potential. The history of structure elucidation is replete with techniquebased revolutions: combustion analysis, crystallography, UV, IR, MS, and NMR have each provided game-changing advances; the latest such advance is genomics. All natural products have a genetic basis, and the ability to obtain and interpret genomic information for structure elucidation is increasingly available at low cost to non-specialists. In this review, we describe the value of genomics as a structural elucidation technique, especially from the perspective of the natural product chemist approaching an unknown metabolite. Herein we first introduce the databases and programs of interest to the natural products chemist, with an emphasis on those currently most suited for general usability. We describe strategies for linking observed natural product-linked phenotypes to their corresponding gene clusters. We then discuss techniques for extracting structural information from genes, illustrated with numerous case examples. We also provide an analysis of the biases and limitations of the field with recommendations for future development. Our overview is not only aimed at biologically-oriented researchers already at ease with bioinformatic techniques, but also, in particular, at natural product, organic, and/or medicinal chemists not previously familiar with genomic techniques.

  20. Tobacco Nicotine Uptake Permease Regulates the Expression of a Key Transcription Factor Gene in the Nicotine Biosynthesis Pathway1[C][W

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    The down-regulation of a tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) plasma membrane-localized nicotine uptake permease, NUP1, was previously reported to reduce total alkaloid levels in tobacco plants. However, it was unclear how this nicotine transporter affected the biosynthesis of the alkaloid nicotine. When NUP1 expression was suppressed in cultured tobacco cells treated with jasmonate, which induces nicotine biosynthesis, the NICOTINE2-locus transcription factor gene ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR189 (ERF189) and its target structural genes, which function in nicotine biosynthesis and transport, were strongly suppressed, resulting in decreased total alkaloid levels. Conversely, NUP1 overexpression had the opposite effect. In these experiments, the expression levels of the MYC2 transcription factor gene and its jasmonate-inducible target gene were not altered. Inhibiting tobacco alkaloid biosynthesis by suppressing the expression of genes encoding enzymes in the nicotine pathway did not affect the expression of ERF189 and other nicotine pathway genes, indicating that ERF189 is not regulated by cellular alkaloid levels. Suppressing the expression of jasmonate signaling components in cultured tobacco cells showed that NUP1 acts downstream of the CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1 receptor and MYC2, but upstream of ERF189. These results suggest that although jasmonate-activated expression of MYC2 induces the expression of both NUP1 and ERF189, expression of ERF189 may actually be mediated by NUP1. Furthermore, NUP1 overexpression in tobacco plants inhibited the long-range transport of nicotine from the roots to the aerial parts. Thus, NUP1 not only mediates the uptake of tobacco alkaloids into root cells, but also positively controls the expression of ERF189, a key gene in the biosynthesis of these alkaloids. PMID:25344505

  1. Cortistatin Is a Key Factor Regulating the Sex-Dependent Response of the GH and Stress Axes to Fasting in Mice.

    PubMed

    Cordoba-Chacón, José; Gahete, Manuel D; Pozo-Salas, Ana I; de Lecea, Luis; Castaño, Justo P; Luque, Raúl M

    2016-07-01

    Cortistatin (CORT) shares high structural and functional similarities with somatostatin (SST) but displays unique sex-dependent pituitary actions. Indeed, although female CORT-knockout (CORT-KO) mice exhibit enhanced GH expression/secretion, Proopiomelanocortin expression, and circulating ACTH/corticosterone/ghrelin levels, male CORT-KO mice only display increased plasma GH/corticosterone levels. Changes in peripheral ghrelin and SST (rather than hypothalamic levels) seem to regulate GH/ACTH axes in CORT-KOs under fed conditions. Because changes in GH/ACTH axes during fasting provide important adaptive mechanisms, we sought to determine whether CORT absence influences GH/ACTH axes during fasting. Accordingly, fed and fasted male/female CORT-KO were compared with littermate controls. Fasting increased circulating GH levels in male/female controls but not in CORT-KO, suggesting that CORT can be a relevant regulator of GH secretion during fasting. However, GH levels were already higher in CORT-KO than in controls in fed state, which might preclude a further elevation in GH levels. Interestingly, although fasting-induced pituitary GH expression was elevated in both male/female controls, GH expression only increased in fasted female CORT-KOs, likely owing to specific changes observed in key factors controlling somatotrope responsiveness (ie, circulating ghrelin and IGF-1, and pituitary GHRH and ghrelin receptor expression). Fasting increased corticosterone levels in control and, most prominently, in CORT-KO mice, which might be associated with a desensitization to SST signaling and to an augmentation in CRH and ghrelin-signaling regulating corticotrope function. Altogether, these results provide compelling evidence that CORT plays a key, sex-dependent role in the regulation of the GH/ACTH axes in response to fasting. PMID:27175972

  2. Higher thermostability of l-lactate dehydrogenases is a key factor in decreasing the optical purity of d-lactic acid produced from Lactobacillus coryniformis.

    PubMed

    Gu, Sol-A; Jun, Chanha; Joo, Jeong Chan; Kim, Seil; Lee, Seung Hwan; Kim, Yong Hwan

    2014-05-10

    Lactobacillus coryniformis is known to produce d-lactic acid as a dominant fermentation product at a cultivation temperature of approximately 30°C. However, the considerable production of l-lactic acid is observed when the fermentation temperature is greater than 40°C. Because optically pure lactates are synthesized from pyruvate by the catalysis of chiral-specific d- or l-lactate dehydrogenase, the higher thermostability of l-LDHs is assumed to be one of the key factors decreasing the optical purity of d-lactic acid produced from L. coryniformis at high temperature. To verify this hypothesis, two types of d-ldh genes and six types of l-ldh genes based on the genomic information of L. coryniformis were synthesized and expressed in Escherichia coli. Among the LDHs tested, five LDHs showed activity and were used to construct polyclonal antibodies. d-LDH1, l-LDH2, and l-LDH3 were found to be expressed in L. coryniformis by Western blotting analysis. The half-life values (t1/2) of the LDHs at 40°C were estimated to be 10.50, 41.76, and 2311min, and the T50(10) values were 39.50, 39.90, and 58.60°C, respectively. In addition, the Tm values were 36.0, 41.0, and 62.4°C, respectively, which indicates that l-LDH has greater thermostability than d-LDH. The higher thermostability of l-LDHs compared with that of d-LDH1 may be a major reason why the enantiopurity of d-lactic acid is decreased at high fermentation temperatures. The key enzymes characterized will suggest a direction for the design of genetically modified lactic acid bacteria to produce optically pure d-lactic acid.

  3. Review: An urgent need for research on factors impacting adherence to and retention in care among HIV-positive youth and adolescents from key populations

    PubMed Central

    Lall, Priya; Lim, Sin How; Khairuddin, Norliana; Kamarulzaman, Adeeba

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The 50% increase in HIV-related deaths in youth and adolescents (aged 10–24) from 2005 to 2012 highlights the need to improve HIV treatment and care in this population, including treatment adherence and retention. Youth and adolescents from key populations or young key populations (YKP) in particular are highly stigmatized and may face additional barrier(s) in adhering to HIV treatment and services. We reviewed the current knowledge on treatment adherence and retention in HIV care among YKP to identify gaps in the literature and suggest future directions to improve HIV care for YKP. Methods We conducted a comprehensive literature search for YKP and their adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and retention in HIV care on PsycInfo (Ovid), PubMed and Google Scholar using combinations of the keywords HIV/AIDS, ART, adolescents, young adults, adherence (or compliance), retention, men who have sex with men, transgender, injection drug users, people who inject drugs and prisoners. We included empirical studies on key populations defined by WHO; included the terms youth and adolescents and/or aged between 10 and 24; examined adherence to or retention in HIV care; and published in English-language journals. All articles were coded using NVivo. Results and discussion The systematic search yielded 10 articles on YKP and 16 articles on behaviourally infected youth and adolescents from 1999 to 2014. We found no studies reporting on youth and adolescents identified as sex workers, transgender people and prisoners. From existing literature, adherence to ART was reported to be influenced by age, access to healthcare, the burden of multiple vulnerabilities, policy involving risk behaviours and mental health. A combination of two or more of these factors negatively impacted adherence to ART among YKP. Collectively, these studies demonstrated that future programmes need to be tailored specifically to YKP to ensure adherence. Conclusions There is an urgent need for

  4. S100A13-C2A binary complex structure-a key component in the acidic fibroblast growth factor for the non-classical pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Mohan, Sepuru K.; Rani, Sandhya G.; Kumar, Sriramoju M.; Yu Chin

    2009-03-13

    Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are key regulators of cell proliferation, differentiation, tumor-induced angiogenesis and migration. FGFs are essential for early embryonic development, organ formation and angiogenesis. They play important roles in tumor formation, inflammation, wound healing and restenosis. The biological effects of FGFs are mediated through the activation of the four transmembrane phosphotyrosine kinase receptors (FGFRs) in the presence of heparin sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) and therefore require the release of FGFs into the extracellular space. However, FGF-1 lacks the signal peptide required for the releasing of these proteins through the classical endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi secretary pathway. Maciag et al. demonstrated that FGF-1 is exported through a non-classical release pathway involving the formation of a specific multiprotein complex [M. Landriscina, R. Soldi, C. Bagala, I. Micucci, S. Bellum, F. Tarantini, I. Prudovsky, T. Maciag, S100A13 participates in the release of fibroblast growth factor 1 in response to heat shock in vitro, J. Biol. Chem. 276 (2001) 22544-22552; C.M. Carreira, T.M. LaVallee, F. Tarantini, A. Jackson, J.T. Lathrop, B. Hampton, W.H. Burgess, T. Maciag, S100A13 is involved in the regulation of fibroblast growth factor-1 and p40 synaptotagmin-1 release in vitro, J. Biol. Chem. 273 (1998) 22224-22231; T.M. LaValle, F. Tarantini, S. Gamble, C.M. Carreira, A. Jackson, T. Maciag, Synaptotagmin-1 is required for fibroblast growth factor-1 release, J. Biol. Chem. 273 (1998) 22217-22223; C. Bagala, V. Kolev, A. Mandinova, R. Soldi, C. Mouta, I. Graziani, I, Prudovsky, T. Maciag, The alternative translation of synaptotagmin 1 mediates the non-classical release of FGF1, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 310 (2003) 1041-1047]. The protein constituents of this complex include FGF-1, S100A13 (a Ca{sup 2+}-binding protein), and the p40 form of synaptotagmin 1 (Syt1). To understand the molecular events in the FGF-1 releasing

  5. Association, intrinsic shape, and molecular recognition: Elucidating DNA biophysics through coarse-grained simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, Gordon Samuel

    DNA is of central importance in biology as it is responsible for carrying, copying, and translating the genetic code into the building blocks that comprise life. In order to accomplish these tasks, the DNA molecule must be versatile and robust. Indeed, the underlying molecular interactions that allow DNA to execute these tasks are complex and their origins are only beginning to be understood. While experiments are able to elucidate many key biophysical phenomena, there remain many unanswered questions. Molecular simulation is able to shed light on phenomena at the molecular scale and provide information that is missing from experimental views of DNA behavior. In this dissertation I use state-of-the-art coarse-grained DNA models to address two key problems. In the first, metadynamics calculations are employed to uncover the free energy surface of two complimentary DNA strands. This free energy surface takes on the appearance of a hybridization funnel and reveals candidates for intermediate states in the hybridization of short DNA oligomers. Such short oligomers are important building blocks for DNA-driven self-assembly and the mechanism of hybridization in this regime is not well understood. The second problem is that of nucleosome formation. Nucleosomes are the fundamental subunit of genome compaction in the nucleus of a cell. As such, nucleosomes are a key epigenetic factor and affect gene expression and the ability of DNA-binding proteins to locate and bind to the appropriate position in the genome. However, the factors that drive nucleosome positioning are not well understood. While DNA sequence is known to affect nucleosome formation, the mechanism by which it does so has not been established and a number of hypotheses explaining this sequence-dependence exist in the literature. I demonstrate that DNA shape dominates this process with contributions arising from both intrinsic DNA curvature as well as DNA-protein interactions driven by sequence

  6. Projecting distribution of the overwintering population of Sogatella furcifera (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), in Yunnan, China with analysis on key influencing climatic factors.

    PubMed

    Hu, Shao-Ji; Liu, Xiao-Fei; Fu, Da-Ying; Huang, Wei; Wang, Xue-Ying; Liu, Xiao-Jun; Lü, Jian-Ping; Ye, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Sogatella furcifera (Horváth) is the most threatening migratory rice pest in Yunnan, China. S. furcifera overwinters in low- altitude basins and valleys in southern Yunnan and migrates northward in spring and summer of the following year, causing serious damage during migration. The overwintering distribution, areas, and spatial pattern of S. furcifera are relevant to the migration and outbreak of this pest. Based on a 4-yr field survey (2010-2013), this study projected areas suitable for S. furcifera to overwinter using a species distribution model, and analyzed the key influencing climatic factors using principal component analysis (PCA) and ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA). Our field survey showed that the northern latitudinal- and upper elevation limits of overwintering S. furcifera was 25.4° N and 1,608 m in western Yunnan and 24.2° N and 1,563 m in eastern Yunnan. The species distribution model produced a fragmented distribution pattern, with most of which in western Yunnan and only a few in eastern Yunnan. The PCA and ENFA analyses showed that the mean temperature of the driest quarter and the precipitation of the coldest quarter significantly influenced the distribution of S. furcifera in winter. The results suggested that the complex topography, spatial differences in winter temperatures, and host availability altogether determined the distribution of overwintering S. furcifera. Compared with previous surveys, the northern latitudinal- and upper elevation limits of overwintering S. furcifera were higher, while the population became rarer in some suitable areas due to change of farmland utilization in winter and possibly climate change. PMID:26494777

  7. Projecting Distribution of the Overwintering Population of Sogatella furcifera (Hemiptera: Delphacidae), in Yunnan, China With Analysis on Key Influencing Climatic Factors

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shao-Ji; Liu, Xiao-Fei; Fu, Da-Ying; Huang, Wei; Wang, Xue-Ying; Liu, Xiao-Jun; Lü, Jian-Ping; Ye, Hui

    2015-01-01

    Sogatella furcifera (Horváth) is the most threatening migratory rice pest in Yunnan, China. S. furcifera overwinters in low- altitude basins and valleys in southern Yunnan and migrates northward in spring and summer of the following year, causing serious damage during migration. The overwintering distribution, areas, and spatial pattern of S. furcifera are relevant to the migration and outbreak of this pest. Based on a 4-yr field survey (2010–2013), this study projected areas suitable for S. furcifera to overwinter using a species distribution model, and analyzed the key influencing climatic factors using principal component analysis (PCA) and ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA). Our field survey showed that the northern latitudinal- and upper elevation limits of overwintering S. furcifera was 25.4° N and 1,608 m in western Yunnan and 24.2° N and 1,563 m in eastern Yunnan. The species distribution model produced a fragmented distribution pattern, with most of which in western Yunnan and only a few in eastern Yunnan. The PCA and ENFA analyses showed that the mean temperature of the driest quarter and the precipitation of the coldest quarter significantly influenced the distribution of S. furcifera in winter. The results suggested that the complex topography, spatial differences in winter temperatures, and host availability altogether determined the distribution of overwintering S. furcifera. Compared with previous surveys, the northern latitudinal- and upper elevation limits of overwintering S. furcifera were higher, while the population became rarer in some suitable areas due to change of farmland utilization in winter and possibly climate change. PMID:26494777

  8. Identification of key factors conquering developmental arrest of somatic cell cloned embryos by combining embryo biopsy and single-cell sequencing

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Wenqiang; Liu, Xiaoyu; Wang, Chenfei; Gao, Yawei; Gao, Rui; Kou, Xiaochen; Zhao, Yanhong; Li, Jingyi; Wu, You; Xiu, Wenchao; Wang, Su; Yin, Jiqing; Liu, Wei; Cai, Tao; Wang, Hong; Zhang, Yong; Gao, Shaorong

    2016-01-01

    Differentiated somatic cells can be reprogrammed into totipotent embryos through somatic cell nuclear transfer. However, most cloned embryos arrest at early stages and the underlying molecular mechanism remains largely unexplored. Here, we first developed a somatic cell nuclear transfer embryo biopsy system at two- or four-cell stage, which allows us to trace the developmental fate of the biopsied embryos precisely. Then, through single-cell transcriptome sequencing of somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos with different developmental fates, we identified that inactivation of Kdm4b, a histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation demethylase, functions as a barrier for two-cell arrest of cloned embryos. Moreover, we discovered that inactivation of another histone demethylase Kdm5b accounts for the arrest of cloned embryos at the four-cell stage through single-cell analysis. Co-injection of Kdm4b and Kdm5b can restore transcriptional profiles of somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos and greatly improve the blastocyst development (over 95%) as well as the production of cloned mice. Our study therefore provides an effective approach to identify key factors responsible for the developmental arrest of somatic cell cloned embryos. PMID:27462457

  9. Integrated analysis of miRNA/mRNA network in placenta identifies key factors associated with labor onset of Large White and Qingping sows

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huanan; Wu, Bin; Geng, Junnan; Zhou, Jiawei; Zheng, Rong; Chai, Jin; Li, Fenge; Peng, Jian; Jiang, Siwen

    2015-01-01

    Labour onset is a very complex physiological process, and its mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we obtained the mRNA and miRNA expression profiles from the placentas of four groups of sows: Qingping sows 112 days after insemination with signs of labour onset (QS), Qingping sows 114 days after insemination with signs of labour onset (QL), Large White sows 114 days after insemination with signs of labour onset (LL) and Large White sows 112 days after insemination without signs of labour onset (LN). A set of differentially expressed genes, including 2164 mRNAs and 39 miRNAs, were found. A DAVID analysis of these differentially expressed genes revealed their critical roles in response to hormone stimulus, immune response. Cytoscape Network analysis of the functional genes found node mRNAs and that the regulatory network between the node mRNAs and miRNAs was established. A comparison of the sequencing data from the shorter gestation period (QS) and the normal gestation period (QL) indicated that these genes were responsible for the quicker and more sensitive reaction to the regulation of labour onset. This research not only detected the key factors that were involved in labour onset but also provided useful information for the research of gynaecological diseases. PMID:26272496

  10. Identification of key factors conquering developmental arrest of somatic cell cloned embryos by combining embryo biopsy and single-cell sequencing.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wenqiang; Liu, Xiaoyu; Wang, Chenfei; Gao, Yawei; Gao, Rui; Kou, Xiaochen; Zhao, Yanhong; Li, Jingyi; Wu, You; Xiu, Wenchao; Wang, Su; Yin, Jiqing; Liu, Wei; Cai, Tao; Wang, Hong; Zhang, Yong; Gao, Shaorong

    2016-01-01

    Differentiated somatic cells can be reprogrammed into totipotent embryos through somatic cell nuclear transfer. However, most cloned embryos arrest at early stages and the underlying molecular mechanism remains largely unexplored. Here, we first developed a somatic cell nuclear transfer embryo biopsy system at two- or four-cell stage, which allows us to trace the developmental fate of the biopsied embryos precisely. Then, through single-cell transcriptome sequencing of somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos with different developmental fates, we identified that inactivation of Kdm4b, a histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation demethylase, functions as a barrier for two-cell arrest of cloned embryos. Moreover, we discovered that inactivation of another histone demethylase Kdm5b accounts for the arrest of cloned embryos at the four-cell stage through single-cell analysis. Co-injection of Kdm4b and Kdm5b can restore transcriptional profiles of somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos and greatly improve the blastocyst development (over 95%) as well as the production of cloned mice. Our study therefore provides an effective approach to identify key factors responsible for the developmental arrest of somatic cell cloned embryos. PMID:27462457

  11. KONJAC1 and 2 Are Key Factors for GDP-Mannose Generation and Affect l-Ascorbic Acid and Glucomannan Biosynthesis in Arabidopsis.

    PubMed

    Sawake, Shota; Tajima, Noriaki; Mortimer, Jenny C; Lao, Jeemeng; Ishikawa, Toshiki; Yu, Xiaolan; Yamanashi, Yukiko; Yoshimi, Yoshihisa; Kawai-Yamada, Maki; Dupree, Paul; Tsumuraya, Yoichi; Kotake, Toshihisa

    2015-12-01

    Humans are unable to synthesize l-ascorbic acid (AsA), yet it is required as a cofactor in many critical biochemical reactions. The majority of human dietary AsA is obtained from plants. In Arabidopsis thaliana, a GDP-mannose pyrophosphorylase (GMPP), VITAMIN C DEFECTIVE1 (VTC1), catalyzes a rate-limiting step in AsA synthesis: the formation of GDP-Man. In this study, we identified two nucleotide sugar pyrophosphorylase-like proteins, KONJAC1 (KJC1) and KJC2, which stimulate the activity of VTC1. The kjc1kjc2 double mutant exhibited severe dwarfism, indicating that KJC proteins are important for growth and development. The kjc1 mutation reduced GMPP activity to 10% of wild-type levels, leading to a 60% reduction in AsA levels. On the contrary, overexpression of KJC1 significantly increased GMPP activity. The kjc1 and kjc1kjc2 mutants also exhibited significantly reduced levels of glucomannan, which is also synthesized from GDP-Man. Recombinant KJC1 and KJC2 enhanced the GMPP activity of recombinant VTC1 in vitro, while KJCs did not show GMPP activity. Yeast two-hybrid assays suggested that the stimulation of GMPP activity occurs via interaction of KJCs with VTC1. These results suggest that KJCs are key factors for the generation of GDP-Man and affect AsA level and glucomannan accumulation through the stimulation of VTC1 GMPP activity.

  12. Stability of the Transthyretin Molecule as a Key Factor in the Interaction with A-Beta Peptide - Relevance in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Carlos A.; Saraiva, Maria João; Cardoso, Isabel

    2012-01-01

    Transthyretin (TTR) protects against A-Beta toxicity by binding the peptide thus inhibiting its aggregation. Previous work showed different TTR mutations interact differently with A-Beta, with increasing affinities correlating with decreasing amyloidogenecity of the TTR mutant; this did not impact on the levels of inhibition of A-Beta aggregation, as assessed by transmission electron microscopy. Our work aimed at probing differences in binding to A-Beta by WT, T119M and L55P TTR using quantitative assays, and at identifying factors affecting this interaction. We addressed the impact of such factors in TTR ability to degrade A-Beta. Using a dot blot approach with the anti-oligomeric antibody A11, we showed that A-Beta formed oligomers transiently, indicating aggregation and fibril formation, whereas in the presence of WT and T119M TTR the oligomers persisted longer, indicative that these variants avoided further aggregation into fibrils. In contrast, L55PTTR was not able to inhibit oligomerization or to prevent evolution to aggregates and fibrils. Furthermore, apoptosis assessment showed WT and T119M TTR were able to protect against A-Beta toxicity. Because the amyloidogenic potential of TTR is inversely correlated with its stability, the use of drugs able to stabilize TTR tetrameric fold could result in increased TTR/A-Beta binding. Here we showed that iododiflunisal, 3-dinitrophenol, resveratrol, [2-(3,5-dichlorophenyl)amino] (DCPA) and [4-(3,5-difluorophenyl)] (DFPB) were able to increase TTR binding to A-Beta; however only DCPA and DFPB improved TTR proteolytic activity. Thyroxine, a TTR ligand, did not influence TTR/A-Beta interaction and A-Beta degradation by TTR, whereas RBP, another TTR ligand, not only obstructed the interaction but also inhibited TTR proteolytic activity. Our results showed differences between WT and T119M TTR, and L55PTTR mutant regarding their interaction with A-Beta and prompt the stability of TTR as a key factor in this interaction

  13. Key respiratory genes elucidate bacterial community respiration in a seasonally anoxic estuary.

    PubMed

    Eggleston, Erin M; Lee, Dong Y; Owens, Michael S; Cornwell, Jeffrey C; Crump, Byron C; Hewson, Ian

    2015-07-01

    Intense annual spring phytoplankton blooms and thermohaline stratification lead to anoxia in Chesapeake Bay bottom waters. Once oxygen becomes depleted in the system, microbial communities use energetically favourable alternative electron acceptors for respiration. The extent to which changes in respiration are reflected in community gene expression have only recently been investigated. Metatranscriptomes prepared from near-bottom water plankton over a 4-month time series in central Chesapeake Bay demonstrated changes consistent with terminal electron acceptor availability. The frequency of respiration-related genes in metatranscriptomes was examined by BLASTx against curated databases of genes intimately and exclusively involved in specific electron acceptor utilization pathways. The relative expression of genes involved in denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium were coincident with changes in nitrate, nitrite and ammonium concentrations. Dissimilatory iron and manganese reduction transcript ratios increase during anoxic conditions and corresponded with the highest soluble reactive phosphate and manganese concentrations. The sulfide concentration peaked in late July and early August and also matched dissimilatory sulfate reduction transcript ratios. We show that rather than abrupt transitions between terminal electron acceptors, there is substantial overlap in time and space of these various anaerobic respiratory processes in Chesapeake Bay.

  14. Key respiratory genes elucidate bacterial community respiration in a seasonally anoxic estuary.

    PubMed

    Eggleston, Erin M; Lee, Dong Y; Owens, Michael S; Cornwell, Jeffrey C; Crump, Byron C; Hewson, Ian

    2015-07-01

    Intense annual spring phytoplankton blooms and thermohaline stratification lead to anoxia in Chesapeake Bay bottom waters. Once oxygen becomes depleted in the system, microbial communities use energetically favourable alternative electron acceptors for respiration. The extent to which changes in respiration are reflected in community gene expression have only recently been investigated. Metatranscriptomes prepared from near-bottom water plankton over a 4-month time series in central Chesapeake Bay demonstrated changes consistent with terminal electron acceptor availability. The frequency of respiration-related genes in metatranscriptomes was examined by BLASTx against curated databases of genes intimately and exclusively involved in specific electron acceptor utilization pathways. The relative expression of genes involved in denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium were coincident with changes in nitrate, nitrite and ammonium concentrations. Dissimilatory iron and manganese reduction transcript ratios increase during anoxic conditions and corresponded with the highest soluble reactive phosphate and manganese concentrations. The sulfide concentration peaked in late July and early August and also matched dissimilatory sulfate reduction transcript ratios. We show that rather than abrupt transitions between terminal electron acceptors, there is substantial overlap in time and space of these various anaerobic respiratory processes in Chesapeake Bay. PMID:25470994

  15. Structural elucidation of gemifloxacin mesylate degradation product.

    PubMed

    Paim, Clésio Soldateli; Führ, Fernanda; Martins, Magda Targa; Gnoatto, Simone; Bajerski, Lisiane; Garcia, Cássia Virginia; Steppe, Martin; Schapoval, Elfrides Eva Scherman

    2016-03-01

    Gemifloxacin mesylate (GFM), chemically (R,S)-7-[(4Z)-3-(aminomethyl)-4-(methoxyimino)-1-pyrrolidinyl]-1-cyclopropyl-6-fluoro-1,4-dihydro-4-oxo-1,8-naphthyridine-3-carboxylic acid methanesulfonate, is a synthetic broad-spectrum antibacterial agent. Although many papers have been published in the literature describing the stability of fluorquinolones, little is known about the degradation products of GFM. Forced degradation studies of GFM were performed using radiation (UV-A), acid (1 mol L(-1) HCl) and alkaline conditions (0.2 mol L(-1) NaOH). The main degradation product, formed under alkaline conditions, was isolated using semi-preparative LC and structurally elucidated by nuclear magnetic resonance (proton - (1) H; carbon - (13) C; correlate spectroscopy - COSY; heteronuclear single quantum coherence - HSQC; heteronuclear multiple-bond correlation - HMBC; spectroscopy - infrared, atomic emission and mass spectrometry techniques). The degradation product isolated was characterized as sodium 7-amino-1-pyrrolidinyl-1-cyclopropyl-6-fluoro-1,4-dihydro-4-oxo-1,8-naphthyridine-3-carboxylate, which was formed by loss of the 3-(aminomethyl)-4-(methoxyimino)-1-pyrrolidinyl ring and formation of the sodium carboxylate. The structural characterization of the degradation product was very important to understand the degradation mechanism of the GFM under alkaline conditions. In addition, the results highlight the importance of appropriate protection against hydrolysis and UV radiation during the drug-development process, storage, handling and quality control.

  16. [Elucidating hypoglycemic mechanism of Dendrobium nobile through auxiliary elucidation system for traditional Chinese medicine mechanism].

    PubMed

    Li, Man-man; Zhang, Bai-xia; He, Shuai-bing; Zheng, Rao; Zhang, Yan-ling; Wang, Yun

    2015-10-01

    To build the Dendrobium nobile -T2DM network, and elucidate the molecular mechanism of D. nobile to type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Collect the chemical composition of D. nobile and the targets on T2DM by retrieving database and documents, build the network of D. nobile to T2DM using the entity grammar systems inference rules. The molecular mechanism of D. nobile to T2DM includes: (1) regulating lipid metabolism by lowering triglyceride; (2) reducing insulin resistance; (3) protecting islet cells; (4) promoting the glucose-dependent insulin tropic peptide (GIP) secretion; (5) inhibiting calcium channel. Under the guidance of network pharmacology, through entity grammar systems inference rules we elucidate the molecular mechanism of D. nobile to T2DM, and provide the basis for the further development of health care products based on D. nobile. PMID:26975089

  17. X-ray structure of dopamine transporter elucidates antidepressant mechanism.

    PubMed

    Penmatsa, Aravind; Wang, Kevin H; Gouaux, Eric

    2013-11-01

    Antidepressants targeting Na(+)/Cl(-)-coupled neurotransmitter uptake define a key therapeutic strategy to treat clinical depression and neuropathic pain. However, identifying the molecular interactions that underlie the pharmacological activity of these transport inhibitors, and thus the mechanism by which the inhibitors lead to increased synaptic neurotransmitter levels, has proven elusive. Here we present the crystal structure of the Drosophila melanogaster dopamine transporter at 3.0 Å resolution bound to the tricyclic antidepressant nortriptyline. The transporter is locked in an outward-open conformation with nortriptyline wedged between transmembrane helices 1, 3, 6 and 8, blocking the transporter from binding substrate and from isomerizing to an inward-facing conformation. Although the overall structure of the dopamine transporter is similar to that of its prokaryotic relative LeuT, there are multiple distinctions, including a kink in transmembrane helix 12 halfway across the membrane bilayer, a latch-like carboxy-terminal helix that caps the cytoplasmic gate, and a cholesterol molecule wedged within a groove formed by transmembrane helices 1a, 5 and 7. Taken together, the dopamine transporter structure reveals the molecular basis for antidepressant action on sodium-coupled neurotransmitter symporters and elucidates critical elements of eukaryotic transporter structure and modulation by lipids, thus expanding our understanding of the mechanism and regulation of neurotransmitter uptake at chemical synapses.

  18. X-ray structure of dopamine transporter elucidates antidepressant mechanism.

    PubMed

    Penmatsa, Aravind; Wang, Kevin H; Gouaux, Eric

    2013-11-01

    Antidepressants targeting Na(+)/Cl(-)-coupled neurotransmitter uptake define a key therapeutic strategy to treat clinical depression and neuropathic pain. However, identifying the molecular interactions that underlie the pharmacological activity of these transport inhibitors, and thus the mechanism by which the inhibitors lead to increased synaptic neurotransmitter levels, has proven elusive. Here we present the crystal structure of the Drosophila melanogaster dopamine transporter at 3.0 Å resolution bound to the tricyclic antidepressant nortriptyline. The transporter is locked in an outward-open conformation with nortriptyline wedged between transmembrane helices 1, 3, 6 and 8, blocking the transporter from binding substrate and from isomerizing to an inward-facing conformation. Although the overall structure of the dopamine transporter is similar to that of its prokaryotic relative LeuT, there are multiple distinctions, including a kink in transmembrane helix 12 halfway across the membrane bilayer, a latch-like carboxy-terminal helix that caps the cytoplasmic gate, and a cholesterol molecule wedged within a groove formed by transmembrane helices 1a, 5 and 7. Taken together, the dopamine transporter structure reveals the molecular basis for antidepressant action on sodium-coupled neurotransmitter symporters and elucidates critical elements of eukaryotic transporter structure and modulation by lipids, thus expanding our understanding of the mechanism and regulation of neurotransmitter uptake at chemical synapses. PMID:24037379

  19. Exposure to leachate from municipal battery recycling site: implication as key inhibitor of steroidogenic enzymes and risk factor of prostate damage in rats.

    PubMed

    Akintunde, Jacob K; Oboh, G

    2013-01-01

    Few or no studies have measured the effect of short- and long-term exposure to industrial leachate. Mature male Wistar strain albino rats (175-220 g) underwent sub-chronic exposure to leachate from the Elewi Odo municipal battery recycling site (EOMABRL) via oral administration for a period of 60 days at different doses (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100%) per kilogram of body weight to evaluate the toxic effects of the leachate on male reproductive function using steroidogenic enzymes and biomarkers of prostate damage. Control groups were treated equally but were given distilled water instead of the leachate. After the treatment periods, results showed that the treatment induced systemic toxicity at the doses tested by causing a significant (p<0.05) loss in absolute body weight and decline in growth rate. There was a marked significant decrease (p<0.05) in testicular activities of Δ(5)-3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Conversely, the activity of prostatic acid phosphatase, a key marker enzyme for prostrate damage was significantly (p<0.05) elevated in the treated rats. Similarly, the administration of EOMABRL significantly (p<0.05) exacerbated the activity of total acid phosphatase with concomitant increase in the activity of prostatic alkaline phosphatase. These findings conclude that exposure to leachate from a battery recycling site induces sub-chronic testicular toxicity by inhibiting key steroidogenic enzymes and activating key markers linked with prostate damage/cancer in rats.

  20. Elucidating severe urban haze formation in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Song; Hu, Min; Zamora, Misti L.; Peng, Jianfei; Shang, Dongjie; Zheng, Jing; Du, Zhuofei; Wu, Zhijun; Shao, Min; Zeng, Limin; Molina, Mario J.; Zhang, Renyi

    2014-12-01

    As the world's second largest economy, China has experienced severe haze pollution, with fine particulate matter (PM) recently reaching unprecedentedly high levels across many cities, and an understanding of the PM formation mechanism is critical in the development of efficient mediation policies to minimize its regional to global impacts. We demonstrate a periodic cycle of PM episodes in Beijing that is governed by meteorological conditions and characterized by two distinct aerosol formation processes of nucleation and growth, but with a small contribution from primary emissions and regional transport of particles. Nucleation consistently precedes a polluted period, producing a high number concentration of nano-sized particles under clean conditions. Accumulation of the particle mass concentration exceeding several hundred micrograms per cubic meter is accompanied by a continuous size growth from the nucleation-mode particles over multiple days to yield numerous larger particles, distinctive from the aerosol formation typically observed in other regions worldwide. The particle compositions in Beijing, on the other hand, exhibit a similarity to those commonly measured in many global areas, consistent with the chemical constituents dominated by secondary aerosol formation. Our results highlight that regulatory controls of gaseous emissions for volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides from local transportation and sulfur dioxide from regional industrial sources represent the key steps to reduce the urban PM level in China.

  1. Elucidating severe urban haze formation in China

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Song; Hu, Min; Zamora, Misti L.; Peng, Jianfei; Shang, Dongjie; Zheng, Jing; Du, Zhuofei; Wu, Zhijun; Shao, Min; Zeng, Limin; Molina, Mario J.; Zhang, Renyi

    2014-01-01

    As the world’s second largest economy, China has experienced severe haze pollution, with fine particulate matter (PM) recently reaching unprecedentedly high levels across many cities, and an understanding of the PM formation mechanism is critical in the development of efficient mediation policies to minimize its regional to global impacts. We demonstrate a periodic cycle of PM episodes in Beijing that is governed by meteorological conditions and characterized by two distinct aerosol formation processes of nucleation and growth, but with a small contribution from primary emissions and regional transport of particles. Nucleation consistently precedes a polluted period, producing a high number concentration of nano-sized particles under clean conditions. Accumulation of the particle mass concentration exceeding several hundred micrograms per cubic meter is accompanied by a continuous size growth from the nucleation-mode particles over multiple days to yield numerous larger particles, distinctive from the aerosol formation typically observed in other regions worldwide. The particle compositions in Beijing, on the other hand, exhibit a similarity to those commonly measured in many global areas, consistent with the chemical constituents dominated by secondary aerosol formation. Our results highlight that regulatory controls of gaseous emissions for volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides from local transportation and sulfur dioxide from regional industrial sources represent the key steps to reduce the urban PM level in China. PMID:25422462

  2. Elucidating the cyclization cascades in xiamycin biosynthesis by substrate synthesis and enzyme characterizations.

    PubMed

    Li, Huixian; Sun, Yu; Zhang, Qingbo; Zhu, Yiguang; Li, Shu-Ming; Li, Ang; Zhang, Changsheng

    2015-01-16

    Indolosesquiterpene xiamycin A features a pentacyclic core structure. The chemical synthesis of two key precursors, 3-farnesylindole and 3-(epoxyfarnesyl)-indole, allowed elucidation of the enzymatic cascades forming the pentacyclic ring system of xiamycin A by XiaO-catalyzed epoxidation and the membrane protein XiaH-catalyzed terpene cyclization. The substrate flexibility of XiaI, an indole oxygenase for assembly of the central ring, was also demonstrated.

  3. Gene Regulatory Networks Elucidating Huanglongbing Disease Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Martinelli, Federico; Reagan, Russell L.; Uratsu, Sandra L.; Phu, My L.; Albrecht, Ute; Zhao, Weixiang; Davis, Cristina E.; Bowman, Kim D.; Dandekar, Abhaya M.

    2013-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing was exploited to gain deeper insight into the response to infection by Candidatus liberibacter asiaticus (CaLas), especially the immune disregulation and metabolic dysfunction caused by source-sink disruption. Previous fruit transcriptome data were compared with additional RNA-Seq data in three tissues: immature fruit, and young and mature leaves. Four categories of orchard trees were studied: symptomatic, asymptomatic, apparently healthy, and healthy. Principal component analysis found distinct expression patterns between immature and mature fruits and leaf samples for all four categories of trees. A predicted protein – protein interaction network identified HLB-regulated genes for sugar transporters playing key roles in the overall plant responses. Gene set and pathway enrichment analyses highlight the role of sucrose and starch metabolism in disease symptom development in all tissues. HLB-regulated genes (glucose-phosphate-transporter, invertase, starch-related genes) would likely determine the source-sink relationship disruption. In infected leaves, transcriptomic changes were observed for light reactions genes (downregulation), sucrose metabolism (upregulation), and starch biosynthesis (upregulation). In parallel, symptomatic fruits over-expressed genes involved in photosynthesis, sucrose and raffinose metabolism, and downregulated starch biosynthesis. We visualized gene networks between tissues inducing a source-sink shift. CaLas alters the hormone crosstalk, resulting in weak and ineffective tissue-specific plant immune responses necessary for bacterial clearance. Accordingly, expression of WRKYs (including WRKY70) was higher in fruits than in leaves. Systemic acquired responses were inadequately activated in young leaves, generally considered the sites where most new infections occur. PMID:24086326

  4. Communication-oriented person-organization fit as a key factor of job-seeking behaviors: millennials' social media use and attitudes toward organizational social media policies.

    PubMed

    Cho, Jaehee; Park, Dong Jin; Ordonez, Zoa

    2013-11-01

    The main goal of this study was to assess how the millennial generation perceives companies that have different social media policies and how such perception influences key variables for job-seeking behaviors, including perceived person-organization fit (POF), organizational attraction, and job pursuit intention. Results from a univariate general linear model and path analysis supported all of the established hypotheses. In particular, the results revealed that millennials perceived higher POF for a company with organizational policies supporting employees' social media use. Further, organizational attractiveness significantly mediated the relationship between communication-oriented POF and job pursuit intention.

  5. Communication-oriented person-organization fit as a key factor of job-seeking behaviors: millennials' social media use and attitudes toward organizational social media policies.

    PubMed

    Cho, Jaehee; Park, Dong Jin; Ordonez, Zoa

    2013-11-01

    The main goal of this study was to assess how the millennial generation perceives companies that have different social media policies and how such perception influences key variables for job-seeking behaviors, including perceived person-organization fit (POF), organizational attraction, and job pursuit intention. Results from a univariate general linear model and path analysis supported all of the established hypotheses. In particular, the results revealed that millennials perceived higher POF for a company with organizational policies supporting employees' social media use. Further, organizational attractiveness significantly mediated the relationship between communication-oriented POF and job pursuit intention. PMID:23848961

  6. Sequential hepatogenic transdifferentiation of adipose tissue-derived stem cells: relevance of different extracellular signaling molecules, transcription factors involved, and expression of new key marker genes.

    PubMed

    Bonora-Centelles, A; Jover, R; Mirabet, V; Lahoz, A; Carbonell, F; Castell, J V; Gómez-Lechón, M J

    2009-01-01

    Adipose tissue contains a mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) population known as adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) capable of differentiating into different cell types. Our aim was to induce hepatic transdifferentiation of ASCs by sequential exposure to several combinations of cytokines, growth factors, and hormones. The most efficient hepatogenic protocol includes fibroblastic growth factors (FGF) 2 and 4 and epidermal growth factor (EGF) (step 1), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), FGF2, FGF4, and nicotinamide (Nic) (step 2), and oncostatin M (OSM), dexamethasone (Dex), and insulin-tranferrin-selenium (step 3). This protocol activated transcription factors [GATA6, Hex, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein alpha and beta (CEBPalpha and beta), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, coactivator 1 alpha (PGC1alpha), and hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4alpha)], which promoted a characteristic hepatic phenotype, as assessed by new informative markers for the step-by-step hepatic transdifferentiation of hMSC [early markers: albumin (ALB), alpha-2-macroglobuline (alpha2M), complement protein C3 (C3), and selenoprotein P1 (SEPP1); late markers: cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4), apolipoprotein E (APOE), acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 1 (ACSL1), and angiotensin II receptor, type 1 (AGTR1)]. The loss of adipose adult stem cell phenotype was detected by losing expression of Thy1 and inhibitor of DNA binding 3 (Id3). The reexpression of phosphoenolpyruvate corboxykinase (PEPCK), apolipoprotein C3 (APOCIII), aldolase B (ALDOB), and cytochrome P450 1A2 (CYP1A2) was achieved by transduction with a recombinant adenovirus for HNF4alpha and finally hepatic functionality was also assessed by analyzing specific biochemical markers. We conclude that ASCs could represent an alternative tool in clinical therapy for liver dysfunction and regenerative medicine.

  7. Expression of Wnt and TGF-β pathway components and key adrenal transcription factors in adrenocortical tumors: association to carcinoma aggressiveness.

    PubMed

    Parviainen, Helka; Schrade, Anja; Kiiveri, Sanne; Prunskaite-Hyyryläinen, Renata; Haglund, Caj; Vainio, Seppo; Wilson, David B; Arola, Johanna; Heikinheimo, Markku

    2013-08-01

    Factors controlling benign and malignant adrenocortical tumorigenesis are largely unknown, but several mouse models suggest an important role for inhibin-alpha (INHA). To show that findings in the mouse are relevant to human tumors and clinical outcome, we investigated the expression of signaling proteins and transcription factors involved in the regulation of INHA in human tumor samples⋅ Thirty-one adrenocortical tumor samples, including 13 adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs), were categorized according to Weiss score, hormonal profile, and patient survival data and analyzed using immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Expression of the TGF-β signaling mediator SMAD3 varied inversely with Weiss score, so that SMAD3 expression was lowest in the most malignant tumors. By contrast, SMAD2 expression was upregulated in most malignant tumors. Wnt pathway co-receptors LRP5 and LRP6 were predominantly expressed in benign adrenocortical tumors. In ACCs, expression of transcription factors GATA-6 and SF-1 correlated with that of their target gene INHA. Moreover, the diminished expression of GATA-6 and SF-1 in ACCs correlated with poor outcome. We conclude that the factors driving INHA expression are reduced in ACCs with poor outcome, implicating a role for INHA as a tumor suppressor in humans.

  8. Expression of Wnt and TGF-β pathway components and key adrenal transcription factors in adrenocortical tumors – association to carcinoma aggressiveness

    PubMed Central

    Parviainen, Helka; Schrade, Anja; Kiiveri, Sanne; Prunskaite-Hyyryläinen, Renata; Haglund, Caj; Vainio, Seppo; Wilson, David B.; Arola, Johanna; Heikinheimo, Markku

    2013-01-01

    Factors controlling benign and malignant adrenocortical tumorigenesis are largely unknown, but several mouse models suggest an important role for inhibin-alpha (INHA). To show that findings in the mouse are relevant to human tumors and clinical outcome, we investigated the expression of signaling proteins and transcription factors involved in the regulation of INHA in human tumor samples. Thirty-one adrenocortical tumor samples, including 13 adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs), were categorized according to Weiss score, hormonal profile, and patient survival data and analyzed using immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Expression of the TGF-β signaling mediator SMAD3 varied inversely with Weiss score, so that SMAD3 expression was lowest in the most malignant tumors. By contrast, SMAD2 expression was upregulated in most malignant tumors. Wnt pathway co-receptors LRP5 and LRP6 were predominantly expressed in benign adrenocortical tumors. In ACCs, expression of transcription factors GATA-6 and SF-1 correlated with that of their target gene INHA. Moreover, the diminished expression of GATA-6 and SF-1 in ACCs correlated with poor outcome. We conclude that the factors driving INHA expression are reduced in ACCs with poor outcome, implicating a role for INHAas a tumor suppressor in humans. PMID:23866946

  9. Oral hygiene status in a general population of Iran, 2011: a key lifestyle marker in relation to common risk factors of non-communicable diseases

    PubMed Central

    Asgari, Fereshteh; Majidi, Azam; Koohpayehzadeh, Jalil; Etemad, Koorosh; Rafei, Ali

    2015-01-01

    Background: To estimate Oral Hygiene (OH) status in the Iranian population in 2011, and to determine the influence of socio-economic characteristics on OH, and its interrelation with common risk factors of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs). Methods: Data including a total of 12,105 individuals aged 6-70 years were obtained from the sixth round of the surveys of NCDs risk factors in Iran. OH was recorded through a structured questionnaire measuring daily frequencies of tooth brushing and dental flossing. Descriptive analyses were performed on demographic characteristics in the complex sample survey setting. We also employed weighted binary logistic regression to compute Odds Ratio (OR) as a measure of association between the response and explanatory factors. Furthermore, to construct an asset index, we utilized Principal Component Analysis (PCA). Results: The percentage with minimum recommended daily OH practices was 3.7% among men and 7.7% among women (OR= 2.3; P< 0.001). Urban citizens were more likely to have their teeth cleaned compared to rural people (OR= 2.8; P< 0.001). For both genders, a relatively better condition was observed in the 25–34 age group (male: 5.6%; female: 10.3%). In addition, OH status improved significantly by increase in both level of education (P< 0.001) and economic status (P< 0.001). There were also apparent associations between self-care practices and specific behavioral risk factors, though the correlation with dietary habits and tobacco use could be largely explained by socio-economic factors. Conclusion: OH situation in Iran calls for urgent need to assign proper interventions and strategies toward raising public awareness and reducing disparities in access to health facilities. PMID:26029893

  10. Spatial and seasonal factors are key determinants in the aggregation of helminths in their definitive hosts: Pseudamphistomum truncatum in otters (Lutra lutra).

    PubMed

    Sherrard-Smith, E; Perkins, S E; Chadwick, E A; Cable, J

    2015-01-01

    Parasites are typically aggregated within their host populations. The most heavily infected hosts are frequently cited as targets for optimal disease control. Yet a heavily infected individual is not necessarily highly infective and does not automatically contribute a higher proportion of infective parasitic stages than a host with fewer parasites. Here, Pseudamphistomum truncatum (Opisthorchiida) parasitic infection within the definitive otter host (Lutra lutra) is used as a model system. The hypothesis tested is that variation in parasite abundance, aggregation and egg production (fecundity, as a proxy of host infectivity) can be explained by abiotic (season and region) or biotic (host age, sex and body condition) factors. Parasite abundance was affected most strongly by the biotic factors of age and body condition, such that adults and otters with a higher condition index had heavier infections than sub-adults or those with a lower condition index, whilst there were no significant differences in parasite abundance among the seasons, regions (ecological regions defined by river catchment boundaries) or host sexes. Conversely, parasite aggregation was affected most strongly by the abiotic factors of season and region, which were supported by four different measures of parasite aggregation (the corrected moment estimate k, Taylor's Power Law, the Index of Discrepancy D, and Boulinier's J). Pseudamphistomum truncatum was highly aggregated within otters, with aggregation stronger in the Midlands (England) and Wales than in the southwestern region of the United Kingdom. Overall, more parasites were found in fewer hosts during the summer, which coincides with the summer peak in parasite fecundity. Combined, these data suggest that (i) few otters carry the majority of P. truncatum parasites and that there are more infective stages (eggs) produced during summer; and (ii) abiotic factors are most influential when describing parasite aggregation whilst biotic factors have

  11. Spatial and seasonal factors are key determinants in the aggregation of helminths in their definitive hosts: Pseudamphistomum truncatum in otters (Lutra lutra).

    PubMed

    Sherrard-Smith, E; Perkins, S E; Chadwick, E A; Cable, J

    2015-01-01

    Parasites are typically aggregated within their host populations. The most heavily infected hosts are frequently cited as targets for optimal disease control. Yet a heavily infected individual is not necessarily highly infective and does not automatically contribute a higher proportion of infective parasitic stages than a host with fewer parasites. Here, Pseudamphistomum truncatum (Opisthorchiida) parasitic infection within the definitive otter host (Lutra lutra) is used as a model system. The hypothesis tested is that variation in parasite abundance, aggregation and egg production (fecundity, as a proxy of host infectivity) can be explained by abiotic (season and region) or biotic (host age, sex and body condition) factors. Parasite abundance was affected most strongly by the biotic factors of age and body condition, such that adults and otters with a higher condition index had heavier infections than sub-adults or those with a lower condition index, whilst there were no significant differences in parasite abundance among the seasons, regions (ecological regions defined by river catchment boundaries) or host sexes. Conversely, parasite aggregation was affected most strongly by the abiotic factors of season and region, which were supported by four different measures of parasite aggregation (the corrected moment estimate k, Taylor's Power Law, the Index of Discrepancy D, and Boulinier's J). Pseudamphistomum truncatum was highly aggregated within otters, with aggregation stronger in the Midlands (England) and Wales than in the southwestern region of the United Kingdom. Overall, more parasites were found in fewer hosts during the summer, which coincides with the summer peak in parasite fecundity. Combined, these data suggest that (i) few otters carry the majority of P. truncatum parasites and that there are more infective stages (eggs) produced during summer; and (ii) abiotic factors are most influential when describing parasite aggregation whilst biotic factors have

  12. Comprehensive Profiling of Ethylene Response Factor Expression Identifies Ripening-Associated ERF Genes and Their Link to Key Regulators of Fruit Ripening in Tomato1[OPEN

    PubMed Central

    Gomes, Bruna Lima; Mila, Isabelle; Frasse, Pierre; Zouine, Mohamed; Bouzayen, Mondher

    2016-01-01

    Our knowledge of the factors mediating ethylene-dependent ripening of climacteric fruit remains limited. The transcription of ethylene-regulated genes is mediated by ethylene response factors (ERFs), but mutants providing information on the specific role of the ERFs in fruit ripening are still lacking, likely due to functional redundancy among this large multigene family of transcription factors. We present here a comprehensive expression profiling of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) ERFs in wild-type and tomato ripening-impaired tomato mutants (Never-ripe [Nr], ripening-inhibitor [rin], and non-ripening [nor]), indicating that out of the 77 ERFs present in the tomato genome, 27 show enhanced expression at the onset of ripening while 28 display a ripening-associated decrease in expression, suggesting that different ERFs may have contrasting roles in fruit ripening. Among the 19 ERFs exhibiting the most consistent up-regulation during ripening, the expression of 11 ERFs is strongly down-regulated in rin, nor, and Nr tomato ripening mutants, while only three are consistently up-regulated. Members of subclass E, SlERF.E1, SlERF.E2, and SlERF.E4, show dramatic down-regulation in the ripening mutants, suggesting that their expression might be instrumental in fruit ripening. This study illustrates the high complexity of the regulatory network connecting RIN and ERFs and identifies subclass E members as the most active ERFs in ethylene- and RIN/NOR-dependent ripening. PMID:26739234

  13. Comprehensive Profiling of Ethylene Response Factor Expression Identifies Ripening-Associated ERF Genes and Their Link to Key Regulators of Fruit Ripening in Tomato.

    PubMed

    Liu, Mingchun; Gomes, Bruna Lima; Mila, Isabelle; Purgatto, Eduardo; Peres, Lázaro E P; Frasse, Pierre; Maza, Elie; Zouine, Mohamed; Roustan, Jean-Paul; Bouzayen, Mondher; Pirrello, Julien

    2016-03-01

    Our knowledge of the factors mediating ethylene-dependent ripening of climacteric fruit remains limited. The transcription of ethylene-regulated genes is mediated by ethylene response factors (ERFs), but mutants providing information on the specific role of the ERFs in fruit ripening are still lacking, likely due to functional redundancy among this large multigene family of transcription factors. We present here a comprehensive expression profiling of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) ERFs in wild-type and tomato ripening-impaired tomato mutants (Never-ripe [Nr], ripening-inhibitor [rin], and non-ripening [nor]), indicating that out of the 77 ERFs present in the tomato genome, 27 show enhanced expression at the onset of ripening while 28 display a ripening-associated decrease in expression, suggesting that different ERFs may have contrasting roles in fruit ripening. Among the 19 ERFs exhibiting the most consistent up-regulation during ripening, the expression of 11 ERFs is strongly down-regulated in rin, nor, and Nr tomato ripening mutants, while only three are consistently up-regulated. Members of subclass E, SlERF.E1, SlERF.E2, and SlERF.E4, show dramatic down-regulation in the ripening mutants, suggesting that their expression might be instrumental in fruit ripening. This study illustrates the high complexity of the regulatory network connecting RIN and ERFs and identifies subclass E members as the most active ERFs in ethylene- and RIN/NOR-dependent ripening.

  14. Elucidating the role of Early Maladaptive Schemas for psychotic symptomatology.

    PubMed

    Sundag, Johanna; Ascone, Leonie; de Matos Marques, Anna; Moritz, Steffen; Lincoln, Tania M

    2016-04-30

    Although cognitive accounts postulate negative self-concepts as a causal factor in the emergence of psychotic symptoms, little is known about the role of specific self-schemas for psychotic symptomatology. Building on a differentiated and treatment-informed schema model, we aimed to elucidate the role of Early Maladaptive Schemas (EMS) for psychotic symptomatology, particularly their specificity to patients with psychosis and their association with positive versus negative symptoms. We assessed EMS with the Young Schema Questionnaire in patients with psychosis (n=81), patients with depression (n=28) as well as healthy participants (n=60). In the psychosis sample symptoms were rated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. In comparison to healthy participants, patients with either psychosis or depression showed a higher overall number and intensity of EMS whereas the psychosis and the depression sample did not significantly differ. The overall number and intensity of EMS were significantly associated with positive but not with negative symptoms. Contrary to previous findings, patients with psychosis and patients with depression did not differ in the EMS subscale Mistrust/Abuse. The results suggest that EMS are particularly relevant to positive symptoms. Our findings imply that addressing maladaptive schemas in patients with psychosis by making use of the schema-concept holds potential. PMID:27086211

  15. Molecular mechanism of monoamine oxidase A gene regulation under inflammation and ischemia-like conditions: key roles of the transcription factors GATA2, Sp1 and TBP.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Vinayak; Khan, Abrar A; Sasi, Binu K; Mahapatra, Nitish R

    2015-07-01

    Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) plays important roles in the pathogenesis of several neurological and cardiovascular disorders. The mechanism of transcriptional regulation of MAOA under basal and pathological conditions, however, remains incompletely understood. Here, we report systematic identification and characterization of cis elements and transcription factors that govern the expression of MAOA gene. Extensive computational analysis of MAOA promoter, followed by 5'-promoter deletion/reporter assays, revealed that the -71/-40 bp domain was sufficient for its basal transcription. Gel-shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays provided evidence of interactions of the transcription factors GATA-binding protein 2 (GATA2), Sp1 and TATA-binding protein (TBP) with this proximal promoter region. Consistently, over-expression of GATA2, Sp1 and TBP augmented MAOA promoter activity in a coordinated manner. In corroboration, siRNA-mediated down-regulation of GATA2/Sp1/TBP repressed the endogenous MAOA expression as well as transfected MAOA promoter activity. Tumor necrosis factor-α and forskolin activated MAOA transcription that was reversed by Sp1 siRNA; in support, tumor necrosis factor-α- and forskolin-induced activities were enhanced by ectopic over-expression of Sp1. On the other hand, MAOA transcription was diminished upon exposure of neuroblasts or cardiac myoblasts to ischemia-like conditions because of reduced binding of GATA2/Sp1/TBP with MAOA promoter. In conclusion, this study revealed previously unknown roles of GATA2, Sp1 and TBP in modulating MAOA expression under basal as well as pathophysiological conditions such as inflammation and ischemia, thus providing new insights into the molecular basis of aberrant MAOA expression in neuronal/cardiovascular disease states. Dysregulation of monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) have been implicated in several behavioral and neuronal disease states. Here, we identified three crucial transcription factors (GATA2, Sp1 and TBP

  16. Activating and Elucidating Metabolism of Complex Sugars in Yarrowia lipolytica

    PubMed Central

    Ryu, Seunghyun; Hipp, Julie

    2015-01-01

    The oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica is an industrially important host for production of organic acids, oleochemicals, lipids, and proteins with broad biotechnological applications. Albeit known for decades, the unique native metabolism of Y. lipolytica for using complex fermentable sugars, which are abundant in lignocellulosic biomass, is poorly understood. In this study, we activated and elucidated the native sugar metabolism in Y. lipolytica for cell growth on xylose and cellobiose as well as their mixtures with glucose through comprehensive metabolic and transcriptomic analyses. We identified 7 putative glucose-specific transporters, 16 putative xylose-specific transporters, and 4 putative cellobiose-specific transporters that are transcriptionally upregulated for growth on respective single sugars. Y. lipolytica is capable of using xylose as a carbon source, but xylose dehydrogenase is the key bottleneck of xylose assimilation and is transcriptionally repressed by glucose. Y. lipolytica has a set of 5 extracellular and 6 intracellular β-glucosidases and is capable of assimilating cellobiose via extra- and intracellular mechanisms, the latter being dominant for growth on cellobiose as a sole carbon source. Strikingly, Y. lipolytica exhibited enhanced sugar utilization for growth in mixed sugars, with strong carbon catabolite activation for growth on the mixture of xylose and cellobiose and with mild carbon catabolite repression of glucose on xylose and cellobiose. The results of this study shed light on fundamental understanding of the complex native sugar metabolism of Y. lipolytica and will help guide inverse metabolic engineering of Y. lipolytica for enhanced conversion of biomass-derived fermentable sugars to chemicals and fuels. PMID:26682853

  17. Activating and Elucidating Metabolism of Complex Sugars in Yarrowia lipolytica.

    PubMed

    Ryu, Seunghyun; Hipp, Julie; Trinh, Cong T

    2016-02-01

    The oleaginous yeast Yarrowia lipolytica is an industrially important host for production of organic acids, oleochemicals, lipids, and proteins with broad biotechnological applications. Albeit known for decades, the unique native metabolism of Y. lipolytica for using complex fermentable sugars, which are abundant in lignocellulosic biomass, is poorly understood. In this study, we activated and elucidated the native sugar metabolism in Y. lipolytica for cell growth on xylose and cellobiose as well as their mixtures with glucose through comprehensive metabolic and transcriptomic analyses. We identified 7 putative glucose-specific transporters, 16 putative xylose-specific transporters, and 4 putative cellobiose-specific transporters that are transcriptionally upregulated for growth on respective single sugars. Y. lipolytica is capable of using xylose as a carbon source, but xylose dehydrogenase is the key bottleneck of xylose assimilation and is transcriptionally repressed by glucose. Y. lipolytica has a set of 5 extracellular and 6 intracellular β-glucosidases and is capable of assimilating cellobiose via extra- and intracellular mechanisms, the latter being dominant for growth on cellobiose as a sole carbon source. Strikingly, Y. lipolytica exhibited enhanced sugar utilization for growth in mixed sugars, with strong carbon catabolite activation for growth on the mixture of xylose and cellobiose and with mild carbon catabolite repression of glucose on xylose and cellobiose. The results of this study shed light on fundamental understanding of the complex native sugar metabolism of Y. lipolytica and will help guide inverse metabolic engineering of Y. lipolytica for enhanced conversion of biomass-derived fermentable sugars to chemicals and fuels. PMID:26682853

  18. Elucidation of operon structures across closely related bacterial genomes.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chuan; Ma, Qin; Li, Guojun

    2014-01-01

    About half of the protein-coding genes in prokaryotic genomes are organized into operons to facilitate co-regulation during transcription. With the evolution of genomes, operon structures are undergoing changes which could coordinate diverse gene expression patterns in response to various stimuli during the life cycle of a bacterial cell. Here we developed a graph-based model to elucidate the diversity of operon structures across a set of closely related bacterial genomes. In the constructed graph, each node represents one orthologous gene group (OGG) and a pair of nodes will be connected if any two genes, from the corresponding two OGGs respectively, are located in the same operon as immediate neighbors in any of the considered genomes. Through identifying the connected components in the above graph, we found that genes in a connected component are likely to be functionally related and these identified components tend to form treelike topology, such as paths and stars, corresponding to different biological mechanisms in transcriptional regulation as follows. Specifically, (i) a path-structure component integrates genes encoding a protein complex, such as ribosome; and (ii) a star-structure component not only groups related genes together, but also reflects the key functional roles of the central node of this component, such as the ABC transporter with a transporter permease and substrate-binding proteins surrounding it. Most interestingly, the genes from organisms with highly diverse living environments, i.e., biomass degraders and animal pathogens of clostridia in our study, can be clearly classified into different topological groups on some connected components.

  19. Elucidation of operon structures across closely related bacterial genomes.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Chuan; Ma, Qin; Li, Guojun

    2014-01-01

    About half of the protein-coding genes in prokaryotic genomes are organized into operons to facilitate co-regulation during transcription. With the evolution of genomes, operon structures are undergoing changes which could coordinate diverse gene expression patterns in response to various stimuli during the life cycle of a bacterial cell. Here we developed a graph-based model to elucidate the diversity of operon structures across a set of closely related bacterial genomes. In the constructed graph, each node represents one orthologous gene group (OGG) and a pair of nodes will be connected if any two genes, from the corresponding two OGGs respectively, are located in the same operon as immediate neighbors in any of the considered genomes. Through identifying the connected components in the above graph, we found that genes in a connected component are likely to be functionally related and these identified components tend to form treelike topology, such as paths and stars, corresponding to different biological mechanisms in transcriptional regulation as follows. Specifically, (i) a path-structure component integrates genes encoding a protein complex, such as ribosome; and (ii) a star-structure component not only groups related genes together, but also reflects the key functional roles of the central node of this component, such as the ABC transporter with a transporter permease and substrate-binding proteins surrounding it. Most interestingly, the genes from organisms with highly diverse living environments, i.e., biomass degraders and animal pathogens of clostridia in our study, can be clearly classified into different topological groups on some connected components. PMID:24959722

  20. Key factors for optimum performance in phosphate removal from contaminated water by a Fe-Mg-La tri-metal composite sorbent.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yang; Chen, J Paul

    2015-05-01

    Eutrophication is typically due to excessive discharge of phosphate-containing wastewater into natural waters. In this study, a novel Fe-Mg-La trimetal composite sorbent with a Fe:Mg:La molar ratio of 2:1:1 was developed through a cost-effective co-precipitation approach for phosphate removal in contaminated water. It was found that the adsorption was greatly affected by solution pH. The experimental data was better described by Langmuir isotherm model, and the maximum adsorption capacity of 415.2 mg-P/g was achieved under pH 6.0, much higher than most of sorbents previously reported. Nitrate, sulfate, bicarbonate, fluoride and humic acid widely exist in natural water, and their presences would slightly retard the adsorption of phosphate. The adsorption kinetics experiment showed that most of adsorption occurred in the first 1h and the adsorption equilibrium was achieved in 10h; the adsorption history was well described by the intraparticle diffusion model. The performance of sorbent was further confirmed by treating phosphate contaminated lake water. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) analysis indicated that hydroxyl group on the sorbent surface (M-OH) played the most key role in the phosphate adsorption. The presence of sulfate group was important in the uptake as well.

  1. The nucleotide exchange factor MGE exerts a key function in the ATP-dependent cycle of mt-Hsp70-Tim44 interaction driving mitochondrial protein import.

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, H C; Westermann, B; Neupert, W; Brunner, M

    1996-01-01

    Import of preproteins into the mitochondrial matrix is driven by the ATP-dependent interaction of mt-Hsp70 with the peripheral inner membrane import protein Tim44 and the preprotein in transit. We show that Mge1p, a co-chaperone of mt-Hsp70, plays a key role in the ATP-dependent import reaction cycle in yeast. Our data suggest a cycle in which the mt-Hsp70-Tim44 complex forms with ATP: Mge1p promotes assembly of the complex in the presence of ATP. Hydrolysis of ATP by mt-Hsp70 occurs in complex with Tim44. Mge1p is then required for the dissociation of the ADP form of mt-Hsp70 from Tim44 after release of inorganic phosphate but before release of ADP. ATP hydrolysis and complex dissociation are accompanied by tight binding of mt-Hsp70 to the preprotein in transit. Subsequently, the release of mt-Hsp70 from the polypeptide chain is triggered by Mge1p which promotes release of ADP from mt-Hsp70. Rebinding of ATP to mt-Hsp70 completes the reaction cycle. Images PMID:8918457

  2. The mechanisms involved in seed dormancy alleviation by hydrogen cyanide unravel the role of reactive oxygen species as key factors of cellular signaling during germination.

    PubMed

    Oracz, Krystyna; El-Maarouf-Bouteau, Hayat; Kranner, Ilse; Bogatek, Renata; Corbineau, Françoise; Bailly, Christophe

    2009-05-01

    The physiological dormancy of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) embryos can be overcome during dry storage (after-ripening) or by applying exogenous ethylene or hydrogen cyanide (HCN) during imbibition. The aim of this work was to provide a comprehensive model, based on oxidative signaling by reactive oxygen species (ROS), for explaining the cellular mode of action of HCN in dormancy alleviation. Beneficial HCN effect on germination of dormant embryos is associated with a marked increase in hydrogen peroxide and superoxide anion generation in the embryonic axes. It is mimicked by the ROS-generating compounds methylviologen and menadione but suppressed by ROS scavengers. This increase results from an inhibition of catalase and superoxide dismutase activities and also involves activation of NADPH oxidase. However, it is not related to lipid reserve degradation or gluconeogenesis and not associated with marked changes in the cellular redox status controlled by the glutathione/glutathione disulfide couple. The expression of genes related to ROS production (NADPHox, POX, AO1, and AO2) and signaling (MAPK6, Ser/ThrPK, CaM, and PTP) is differentially affected by dormancy alleviation either during after-ripening or by HCN treatment, and the effect of cyanide on gene expression is likely to be mediated by ROS. It is also demonstrated that HCN and ROS both activate similarly ERF1, a component of the ethylene signaling pathway. We propose that ROS play a key role in the control of sunflower seed germination and are second messengers of cyanide in seed dormancy release.

  3. Reproductive and Obstetric Factors Are Key Predictors of Maternal Anemia during Pregnancy in Ethiopia: Evidence from Demographic and Health Survey (2011)

    PubMed Central

    Alemu, Taddese; Umeta, Melaku

    2015-01-01

    Anemia is a major public health problem worldwide. In Ethiopia, a nationally representative and consistent evidence is lacking on the prevalence and determinants during pregnancy. We conducted an in-depth analysis of demographic and health survey for the year 2011 which is a representative data collected from all regions in Ethiopia. Considering maternal anemia as an outcome variable, predicting variables from sociodemographic, household, and reproductive/obstetric characteristics were identified for analyses. Logistic regression model was applied to identify predictors at P < 0.05. The prevalence of anemia among pregnant women was 23%. Maternal age, region, pregnancy trimester, number of under five children, previous history of abortion (termination of pregnancy), breastfeeding practices, and number of antenatal care visits were key independent predictors of anemia during pregnancy. In conclusion, the level of anemia during pregnancy is a moderate public health problem in Ethiopia. Yet, special preventive measures should be undertaken for pregnant women who are older in age and having too many under five children and previous history of abortion. Further evidence is expected to be generated concerning why pregnant mothers from the eastern part of the country and those with better access to radio disproportionately develop anemia more than their counterparts. PMID:26417454

  4. Perceived Threat and Corroboration: Key Factors That Improve a Predictive Model of Trust in Internet-based Health Information and Advice

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Peter R; Briggs, Pam

    2011-01-01

    Background How do people decide which sites to use when seeking health advice online? We can assume, from related work in e-commerce, that general design factors known to affect trust in the site are important, but in this paper we also address the impact of factors specific to the health domain. Objective The current study aimed to (1) assess the factorial structure of a general measure of Web trust, (2) model how the resultant factors predicted trust in, and readiness to act on, the advice found on health-related websites, and (3) test whether adding variables from social cognition models to capture elements of the response to threatening, online health-risk information enhanced the prediction of these outcomes. Methods Participants were asked to recall a site they had used to search for health-related information and to think of that site when answering an online questionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of a general Web trust questionnaire plus items assessing appraisals of the site, including threat appraisals, information checking, and corroboration. It was promoted on the hungersite.com website. The URL was distributed via Yahoo and local print media. We assessed the factorial structure of the measures using principal components analysis and modeled how well they predicted the outcome measures using structural equation modeling (SEM) with EQS software. Results We report an analysis of the responses of participants who searched for health advice for themselves (N = 561). Analysis of the general Web trust questionnaire revealed 4 factors: information quality, personalization, impartiality, and credible design. In the final SEM model, information quality and impartiality were direct predictors of trust. However, variables specific to eHealth (perceived threat, coping, and corroboration) added substantially to the ability of the model to predict variance in trust and readiness to act on advice on the site. The final model achieved a satisfactory fit: χ2 5 = 10

  5. Molecular cloning, expression and characterization of cDNA encoding cis-prenyltransferases from Hevea brasiliensis. A key factor participating in natural rubber biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Asawatreratanakul, Kasem; Zhang, Yuan-Wei; Wititsuwannakul, Dhirayos; Wititsuwannakul, Rapepun; Takahashi, Seiji; Rattanapittayaporn, Atiya; Koyama, Tanetoshi

    2003-12-01

    Natural rubber from Hevea brasiliensis is a high molecular mass polymer of isoprene units with cis-configuration. The enzyme responsible for the cis-1,4-polymerization of isoprene units has been idengified as a particle-bound rubber transferase, but no gene encoding this enzyme has been cloned from rubber-producing plants. By using sequence information from the conserved regions of cis-prenyl chain elongating enzymes that were cloned recently, we have isolated and characterized cDNAs from H. brasiliensis for a functional factor participating in natural rubber biosynthesis. Sequence analysis revealed that all of the five highly conserved regions among cis-prenyl chain elongating enzymes were found in the protein sequences of the Hevea cis-prenyltransferase. Northern blot analysis indicated that the transcript(s) of the Hevea cis-prenyltransferase were expressed predominantly in the latex as compared with other Hevea tissues examined. In vitro rubber transferase assays using the recombinant gene product overexpressed in Escherichia coli revealed that the enzyme catalyzed the formation of long chain polyprenyl products with approximate sizes of 2 x 103-1 x 104 Da. Moreover, in the presence of washed bottom fraction particles from latex, the rubber transferase activity producing rubber product of high molecular size was increased. These results suggest that the Hevea cis-prenyltransferase might require certain activation factors in the washed bottom fraction particles for the production of high molecular mass rubber.

  6. Quantitative Phosphoproteomics Analysis Reveals a Key Role of Insulin Growth Factor 1 Receptor (IGF1R) Tyrosine Kinase in Human Sperm Capacitation*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing; Qi, Lin; Huang, Shaoping; Zhou, Tao; Guo, Yueshuai; Wang, Gaigai; Guo, Xuejiang; Zhou, Zuomin; Sha, Jiahao

    2015-01-01

    One of the most important changes during sperm capacitation is the enhancement of tyrosine phosphorylation. However, the mechanisms of protein tyrosine phosphorylation during sperm capacitation are not well studied. We used label-free quantitative phosphoproteomics to investigate the overall phosphorylation events during sperm capacitation in humans and identified 231 sites with increased phosphorylation levels. Motif analysis using the NetworKIN algorithm revealed that the activity of tyrosine phosphorylation kinases insulin growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R)/insulin receptor is significantly enriched among the up-regulated phosphorylation substrates during capacitation. Western blotting further confirmed inhibition of IGF1R with inhibitors GSK1904529A and NVP-AEW541, which inhibited the increase in tyrosine phosphorylation levels during sperm capacitation. Additionally, sperm hyperactivated motility was also inhibited by GSK1904529A and NVP-AEW541 but could be up-regulated by insulin growth factor 1, the ligand of IGF1R. Thus, the IGF1R-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation pathway may play important roles in the regulation of sperm capacitation in humans and could be a target for improvement in sperm functions in infertile men. PMID:25693802

  7. Quantitative phosphoproteomics analysis reveals a key role of insulin growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) tyrosine kinase in human sperm capacitation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jing; Qi, Lin; Huang, Shaoping; Zhou, Tao; Guo, Yueshuai; Wang, Gaigai; Guo, Xuejiang; Zhou, Zuomin; Sha, Jiahao

    2015-04-01

    One of the most important changes during sperm capacitation is the enhancement of tyrosine phosphorylation. However, the mechanisms of protein tyrosine phosphorylation during sperm capacitation are not well studied. We used label-free quantitative phosphoproteomics to investigate the overall phosphorylation events during sperm capacitation in humans and identified 231 sites with increased phosphorylation levels. Motif analysis using the NetworKIN algorithm revealed that the activity of tyrosine phosphorylation kinases insulin growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R)/insulin receptor is significantly enriched among the up-regulated phosphorylation substrates during capacitation. Western blotting further confirmed inhibition of IGF1R with inhibitors GSK1904529A and NVP-AEW541, which inhibited the increase in tyrosine phosphorylation levels during sperm capacitation. Additionally, sperm hyperactivated motility was also inhibited by GSK1904529A and NVP-AEW541 but could be up-regulated by insulin growth factor 1, the ligand of IGF1R. Thus, the IGF1R-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation pathway may play important roles in the regulation of sperm capacitation in humans and could be a target for improvement in sperm functions in infertile men.

  8. The rules of gene expression in plants: Organ identity and gene body methylation are key factors for regulation of gene expression in Arabidopsis thaliana

    PubMed Central

    Aceituno, Felipe F; Moseyko, Nick; Rhee, Seung Y; Gutiérrez, Rodrigo A

    2008-01-01

    Background Microarray technology is a widely used approach for monitoring genome-wide gene expression. For Arabidopsis, there are over 1,800 microarray hybridizations representing many different experimental conditions on Affymetrix™ ATH1 gene chips alone. This huge amount of data offers a unique opportunity to infer the principles that govern the regulation of gene expression in plants. Results We used bioinformatics methods to analyze publicly available data obtained using the ATH1 chip from Affymetrix. A total of 1887 ATH1 hybridizations were normalized and filtered to eliminate low-quality hybridizations. We classified and compared control and treatment hybridizations and determined differential gene expression. The largest differences in gene expression were observed when comparing samples obtained from different organs. On average, ten-fold more genes were differentially expressed between organs as compared to any other experimental variable. We defined "gene responsiveness" as the number of comparisons in which a gene changed its expression significantly. We defined genes with the highest and lowest responsiveness levels as hypervariable and housekeeping genes, respectively. Remarkably, housekeeping genes were best distinguished from hypervariable genes by differences in methylation status in their transcribed regions. Moreover, methylation in the transcribed region was inversely correlated (R2 = 0.8) with gene responsiveness on a genome-wide scale. We provide an example of this negative relationship using genes encoding TCA cycle enzymes, by contrasting their regulatory responsiveness to nitrate and methylation status in their transcribed regions. Conclusion Our results indicate that the Arabidopsis transcriptome is largely established during development and is comparatively stable when faced with external perturbations. We suggest a novel functional role for DNA methylation in the transcribed region as a key determinant capable of restraining the

  9. Prolactin increases the synthesis of 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone, a key factor for induction of locomotor activity, in breeding male Newts.

    PubMed

    Haraguchi, Shogo; Koyama, Teppei; Hasunuma, Itaru; Vaudry, Hubert; Tsutsui, Kazuyoshi

    2010-05-01

    We recently found that the Japanese red-bellied newt, Cynops pyrrhogaster, actively produces 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone, a previously undescribed amphibian neurosteroid. 7alpha-Hydroxypregnenolone stimulates locomotor activity of male newts. Locomotor activity of male newts increases during the breeding period as in other wild animals, but the molecular mechanism for such a change in locomotor activity is poorly understood. Here we show that the adenohypophyseal hormone prolactin (PRL) stimulates 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis in the brain, thus increasing locomotor activity of breeding male newts. In this study, cytochrome P450(7alpha) (CYP7B), a steroidogenic enzyme catalyzing the formation of 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone, was first identified to analyze seasonal changes in 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis. Only males exhibited marked seasonal changes in 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis and CYP7B expression in the brain, with a maximum level in the spring breeding period when locomotor activity of males increases. Subsequently we identified PRL as a key component of the mechanism regulating 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis. Hypophysectomy decreased 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis in the male brain, whereas administration of PRL but not gonadotropins to hypophysectomized males caused a dose-dependent increase in 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis. To analyze the mode of PRL action, CYP7B and the receptor for PRL were localized in the male brain. PRL receptor was expressed in the neurons expressing CYP7B in the magnocellular preoptic nucleus. Thus, PRL appears to act directly on neurosteroidogenic magnocellular preoptic nucleus neurons to regulate 7alpha-hydroxypregnenolone synthesis, thus inducing seasonal locomotor changes in male newts. This is the first report describing the regulation of neurosteroidogenesis in the brain by an adenohypophyseal hormone in any vertebrate.

  10. "Disease entity" as the key theoretical concept of medicine.

    PubMed

    Hucklenbroich, Peter

    2014-12-01

    Philosophical debates about the concept of disease, particularly of mental disease, might benefit from reconsideration and a closer look at the established terminology and conceptual structure of contemporary medical pathology and clinical nosology. The concepts and principles of medicine differ, to a considerable extent, from the ideas and notions of philosophical theories of disease. In medical theory, the concepts of disease entity and pathologicity are, besides the concept of disease itself, of fundamental importance, and they are essentially connected to the concepts cause of disease or etiological factor, natural course or natural history of disease, and pathological disposition. It is the concept of disease entity that is of key importance for understanding medical pathology and theory of disease. Its central role is shown by a short reconstruction of its main features and its intrinsic connection to the concept of pathologicity. The meaning of pathologicity is elucidated by explicating the underlying criteria.

  11. Fitting in or opting out: A review of key social-psychological factors influencing a sense of belonging for women in physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lewis, Karyn L.; Stout, Jane G.; Pollock, Steven J.; Finkelstein, Noah D.; Ito, Tiffany A.

    2016-12-01

    [This paper is part of the Focused Collection on Gender in Physics.] A number of cultural, social, environmental, and biological factors have been suggested to explain women's relatively lower representation in physics and other science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Given its persistence, the causes of gender disparities are likely to be complex and multiply determined. In this review paper, we discuss how a sense of belonging relates to women's interest, persistence, and achievement in physics. We explore what it means to "fit in" and belong in academic contexts, the situational and interpersonal antecedents to belonging, and the consequences of a lack of belonging. We review the empirical evidence for the efficacy of interventions designed to bolster a sense of belonging. Based on these interventions we conclude the paper with a number of practical recommendations to affirm women's sense of belonging and create more welcoming and inclusive physics environments for all students.

  12. A Major Latex-Like Protein Is a Key Factor in Crop Contamination by Persistent Organic Pollutants1[W][OA

    PubMed Central

    Inui, Hideyuki; Sawada, Mami; Goto, Junya; Yamazaki, Kiyoshi; Kodama, Noriko; Tsuruta, Hiroki; Eun, Heesoo

    2013-01-01

    This is the first report, to our knowledge, to reveal important factors by which members of the Cucurbitaceae family, such as cucumber (Cucumis sativus), watermelon (Citrullus lanatus), melon (Cucumis melo), pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo), squash (C. pepo), and zucchini (C. pepo), are selectively polluted with highly toxic hydrophobic contaminants, including organochlorine insecticides and dioxins. Xylem sap of C. pepo ssp. pepo, which is a high accumulator of hydrophobic compounds, solubilized the hydrophobic compound pyrene into the aqueous phase via some protein(s). Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of xylem sap of two C. pepo subspecies revealed that the amount of 17-kD proteins in C. pepo ssp. pepo was larger than that in C. pepo ssp. ovifera, a low accumulator, suggesting that these proteins may be related to the translocation of hydrophobic compounds. The protein bands at 17 kD contained major latex-like proteins (MLPs), and the corresponding genes MLP-PG1, MLP-GR1, and MLP-GR3 were cloned from the C. pepo cultivars Patty Green and Gold Rush. Expression of the MLP-GR3 gene in C. pepo cultivars was positively correlated with the band intensity of 17-kD proteins and bioconcentration factors toward dioxins and dioxin-like compounds. Recombinant MLP-GR3 bound polychlorinated biphenyls immobilized on magnetic beads, whereas recombinant MLP-PG1 and MLP-GR1 did not. These results indicate that the high expression of MLP-GR3 in C. pepo ssp. pepo plants and the existence of MLP-GR3 in their xylem sap are related to the efficient translocation of hydrophobic contaminants. These findings should be useful for decreasing the contamination of fruit of the Cucurbitaceae family as well as the phytoremediation of hydrophobic contaminants. PMID:23404917

  13. Metabolomic Elucidation of the Effects of Curcumin on Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Joong Kyong; Kim, Sooah; Hwang, Jiwon; Kim, Jungyeon; Lee, You Sun; Koh, Eun-Mi; Kim, Kyoung Heon; Cha, Hoon-Suk

    2015-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease characterized by synovial inflammation and joint disability. Curcumin is known to be effective in ameliorating joint inflammation in RA. To obtain new insights into the effect of curcumin on primary fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS, N = 3), which are key effector cells in RA, we employed gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC/TOF-MS)-based metabolomics. Metabolomic profiling of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-stimulated and curcumin-treated FLS was performed using GC/TOF-MS in conjunction with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses. A total of 119 metabolites were identified. Metabolomic analysis revealed that metabolite profiles were clearly distinct between TNF-α-stimulated vs. the control group (not stimulated by TNF-α or curcumin). Treatment of FLS with curcumin showed that the metabolic perturbation by TNF-α could be reversed to that of the control group to a considerable extent. Curcumin-treated FLS had higher restoration of amino acid and fatty acid metabolism, as indicated by the prominent metabolic restoration of intermediates of amino acid and fatty acid metabolism, compared with that observed in TNF-α-stimulated FLS. In particular, the abundance of glycine, citrulline, arachidonic acid, and saturated fatty acids in TNF-α-stimulated FLS was restored to the control level after treatment with curcumin, suggesting that the effect of curcumin on preventing joint inflammation may be elucidated with the levels of these metabolites. Our results suggest that GC/TOF-MS-based metabolomic investigation using FLS has the potential for discovering the mechanism of action of curcumin and new targets for therapeutic drugs in RA. PMID:26716989

  14. Metabolomic Elucidation of the Effects of Curcumin on Fibroblast-Like Synoviocytes in Rheumatoid Arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Jiwon; Kim, Jungyeon; Lee, You Sun; Koh, Eun-Mi; Kim, Kyoung Heon; Cha, Hoon-Suk

    2015-01-01

    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease characterized by synovial inflammation and joint disability. Curcumin is known to be effective in ameliorating joint inflammation in RA. To obtain new insights into the effect of curcumin on primary fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS, N = 3), which are key effector cells in RA, we employed gas chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC/TOF-MS)-based metabolomics. Metabolomic profiling of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α-stimulated and curcumin-treated FLS was performed using GC/TOF-MS in conjunction with univariate and multivariate statistical analyses. A total of 119 metabolites were identified. Metabolomic analysis revealed that metabolite profiles were clearly distinct between TNF-α-stimulated vs. the control group (not stimulated by TNF-α or curcumin). Treatment of FLS with curcumin showed that the metabolic perturbation by TNF-α could be reversed to that of the control group to a considerable extent. Curcumin-treated FLS had higher restoration of amino acid and fatty acid metabolism, as indicated by the prominent metabolic restoration of intermediates of amino acid and fatty acid metabolism, compared with that observed in TNF-α-stimulated FLS. In particular, the abundance of glycine, citrulline, arachidonic acid, and saturated fatty acids in TNF-α-stimulated FLS was restored to the control level after treatment with curcumin, suggesting that the effect of curcumin on preventing joint inflammation may be elucidated with the levels of these metabolites. Our results suggest that GC/TOF-MS-based metabolomic investigation using FLS has the potential for discovering the mechanism of action of curcumin and new targets for therapeutic drugs in RA. PMID:26716989

  15. Elucidating determinants of aerosol composition through particle-type-based receptor modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, M. L.; Jeong, C.-H.; Slowik, J. G.; Chang, R. Y.-W.; Corbin, J. C.; Lu, G.; Mihele, C.; Rehbein, P. J. G.; Sills, D. M. L.; Abbatt, J. P. D.; Brook, J. R.; Evans, G. J.

    2011-08-01

    An aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS) was deployed at a semi-rural site in southern Ontario to characterize the size and chemical composition of individual particles. Particle-type-based receptor modelling of these data was used to investigate the determinants of aerosol chemical composition in this region. Individual particles were classified into particle-types and positive matrix factorization (PMF) was applied to their temporal trends to separate and cross-apportion particle-types to factors. The extent of chemical processing for each factor was assessed by evaluating the internal and external mixing state of the characteristic particle-types. The nine factors identified helped to elucidate the coupled interactions of these determinants. Nitrate-laden dust was found to be the dominant type of locally emitted particles measured by ATOFMS. Several factors associated with aerosol transported to the site from intermediate local-to-regional distances were identified: the Organic factor was associated with a combustion source to the north-west; the ECOC Day factor was characterized by nearby local-to-regional carbonaceous emissions transported from the south-west during the daytime; and the Fireworks factor consisted of pyrotechnic particles from the Detroit region following holiday fireworks displays. Regional aerosol from farther emissions sources was reflected through three factors: two Biomass Burning factors and a highly chemically processed Long Range Transport factor. The Biomass Burning factors were separated by PMF due to differences in chemical processing which were in part elucidated by the passage of two thunderstorm gust fronts with different air mass histories. The remaining two factors, ECOC Night and Nitrate Background, represented the night-time partitioning of nitrate to pre-existing particles of different origins. The distinct meteorological conditions observed during this month-long study in the summer of 2007 provided a unique

  16. The key role of socio-demographic and socio-environmental factors in urban malaria occurrence and control - An illustration using the city of Yaoundé.

    PubMed

    Ngom, Roland; Siegmund, Alexander

    2015-05-01

    Cities in developing countries are experiencing an unprecedented population growth that illustrates a demographic transition and a shift towards modernization with consequences on their epidemiological profiles. However, this change is characterized by an important rural-to-urban social and cultural transfer that can bias the expected epidemiological transition; at the same time, this transfer renders the understanding of the occurrence of communicable diseases more complex than it appears. Urban malaria occurrence was modeled for the city of Yaoundé in Cameroon. Retrospective interviews were conducted to describe a variety of epidemiological, social and environmental variables at the household level. Various ecological variables originating from remote sensing data were also integrated. Multivariate multilevel negative binomial analyses were developed to evaluate the distinct contributions of explanatory social and ecological variables. Spatial models based on the level of urbanity were implemented to understand the intelligence of urban malaria as characterized by those variables. The results showed an overall higher statistical importance of socio-environmental variables, particularly those describing rural origin socio-cultural features in terms of non-conventional housing types and urban agriculture (UA). The spatial patterns of the urban malaria occurrences displayed a complex combination of population density gradients and socio-environmental factors, illustrating the importance of conventional urban features over rural/non-conventional features in reducing the occurrence of urban malaria.

  17. Assessing the Potential Content of Ethyl Carbamate in White, Red, and Rosé Wines as a Key Factor for Pursuing Urea Degradation by Purified Acid Urease.

    PubMed

    Cerreti, Martina; Fidaleo, Marcello; Benucci, Ilaria; Liburdi, Katia; Tamborra, Pasquale; Moresi, Mauro

    2016-07-01

    The ethyl carbamate (EC) content of a wine after a given temperature-time storage was theoretically predicted from the potential concentration of ethyl carbamate (PEC), as determined via an accelerated EC formation test. Such information was used to decide whether an enzymatic treatment was needed to reduce the wine urea level before bottling/aging. To this end, 6 white, red, and rosé wines, manufactured in Italy as such or enriched with urea, were tested for their PEC content either before or after enzymatic treatment using a purified acid urease preparation derived from Lactobacillus fermentum. The treatment was severely affected by the total phenolic content (TP) of the wine, the estimated pseudo-first-order kinetic rate constant for NH3 formation reducing by a factor of approximately 2000 as the TP increased from 0 to 1.64 g L(-1) . Such a sensitivity to TP was by far greater than that pertaining to a killed cell-based enzyme preparation used previously. Urea hydrolysis was successful at reducing EC concentration in wines with low levels of TP and other EC precursors.

  18. Identifying key climate and environmental factors affecting rates of post-fire big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) recovery in the northern Columbia Basin, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shinneman, Douglas; McIlroy, Susan

    2016-01-01

    Sagebrush steppe of North America is considered highly imperilled, in part owing to increased fire frequency. Sagebrush ecosystems support numerous species, and it is important to understand those factors that affect rates of post-fire sagebrush recovery. We explored recovery of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp.wyomingensis) and basin big sagebrush (A. tridentata ssp. tridentata) communities following fire in the northern Columbia Basin (Washington, USA). We sampled plots across 16 fires that burned in big sagebrush communities from 5 to 28 years ago, and also sampled nearby unburned locations. Mixed-effects models demonstrated that density of large–mature big sagebrush plants and percentage cover of big sagebrush were higher with time since fire and in plots with more precipitation during the winter immediately following fire, but were lower when precipitation the next winter was higher than average, especially on soils with higher available water supply, and with greater post-fire mortality of mature big sagebrush plants. Bunchgrass cover 5 to 28 years after fire was predicted to be lower with higher cover of both shrubs and non-native herbaceous species, and only slightly higher with time. Post-fire recovery of big sagebrush in the northern Columbia Basin is a slow process that may require several decades on average, but faster recovery rates may occur under specific site and climate conditions.

  19. Site Selection for Mars Surveyor Landing Sites: Some Key Factors for 2001 and Relation to Long-Term Exploration of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, James W.

    1999-01-01

    The Site Selection Process: Site selection as a process can be subdivided into several main elements and these can be represented as the corners of a tetrahedron. Successful site selection outcome requires the interactions between these elements or corners, and should also take into account several other external factors or considerations. In principle, elements should be defined in approximately the following order: (1) major scientific and programmatic goals and objectives: What are the major questions that are being asked, goals that should be achieved, and objectives that must be accomplished. Do programmatic goals (e.g., sample return) differ from mission goals (e.g., precursor to sample return)? It is most helpful if these questions can be placed in the context of site characterization and hypothesis testing (e.g., Was Mars warm and wet in the Noachian? Land at a Noachian-aged site that shows evidence of surface water and characterize it specifically to address this question). Goals and objectives, then, help define important engineering factors such as type of payload, landing regions of interest (highlands, lowlands, smooth, rough, etc.), mobility, mission duration, etc. Goals and objectives then lead to: (2) spacecraft design and engineering landing site constraints: the spacecraft is designed to optimize the areas that will meet the goals and objectives, but this in turn introduces constraints that must be met in the selection of a landing site. Scientific and programmatic goals and objectives also help to define (3), the specific lander scientific payload requirements and capabilities. For example, what observations and experiments are required to address the major questions? How do we characterize the site in reference to the specific questions? Is mobility required and if so, how much? Which experiments are on the spacecraft, which on the rover? The results of these deliberations should lead to a surface exploration strategy, in which the goals and

  20. Site Selection for Mars Surveyor Landing Sites: Some Key Factors for 2001 and Relation to Long-Term Exploration of Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Head, James W.

    1999-01-01

    The Site Selection Process: Site selection as a process can be subdivided into several main elements and these can be represented as the corners of a tetrahedron. Successful site selection outcome requires the interactions between these elements or corners, and should also take into account several other external factors or considerations. In principle, elements should be defined in approximately the following order: (1) major scientific and programmatic goals and objectives: What are the major questions that are being asked, goals that should be achieved, and objectives that must be accomplished. Do programmatic goals (e.g., sample return) differ from mission goals (e.g., precursor to sample return)? It is most helpful if these questions can be placed in the context of site characterization and hypothesis testing (e.g., Was Mars warm and wet in the Noachian? Land at a Noachian-aged site that shows evidence of surface water and characterize it specifically to address this question). Goals and objectives, then, help define important engineering factors such as type of payload, landing regions of interest (highlands, lowlands, smooth, rough, etc.), mobility, mission duration, etc. Goals and objectives then lead to: (2) spacecraft design and engineering landing site constraints: the spacecraft is designed to optimize the areas that will meet the goals and objectives, but this in turn introduces constraints that must be met in the selection of a landing site. Scientific and programmatic goals and objectives also help to define (3), the specific lander scientific payload requirements and capabilities. For example, what observations and experiments are required to address the major questions? How do we characterize the site in reference to the specific questions? Is mobility required and if so, how much? Which experiments are on the spacecraft, which on the rover? The results of these deliberations should lead to a surface exploration strategy, in which the goals and

  1. Effect of thallium fractions in the soil and pollution origins on Tl uptake by hyperaccumulator plants: a key factor for the assessment of phytoextraction.

    PubMed

    Al-Najar, H; Kaschl, A; Schulz, R; Römheld, V

    2005-01-01

    Phytoremediation is often discussed as a means of extracting trace metals in excess in the soil, but to increase its efficiency a better understanding of the factors controlling plant uptake is required. The main objective of this study was to examine the effect of origin (anthropogenic vs. geogenic) and mobility of thallium (Tl) in the rhizosphere on Tl uptake. Two Tl-hyperaccumulating Brassicaceae species, kale (Brassica oleracea acephala L. cv. Winterbor F1) and candytuft (Iberis intermedia Guers.), were grown in a rhizobox system to investigate the dynamics of Tl in the rhizosphere soil. Four different soils were used. Two soils contained high Tl amounts due to anthropogenic sources (emissions from a cement plant and mining activities). High Tl content in the two other soils was due to a high rock content (geogenic origin). On completion of growth in the rhizoboxes, the depletion of Tl in seven different chemical fractions, determined by sequential extraction, was compared to the plant uptake. Most of the Tl taken up was derived from the so-called "easily accessible" fractions in both soils with geogenic Tl as well as in the soils polluted by mining activities. Due to the small amounts of easily accessible Tl in the geogenic soils, Tl uptake by Brassicaceae was low. On the other hand, for the air emission-polluted soil, a high depletion of Tl from "less accessible" fractions was observed in addition to depletion of the easily accessible fractions. Hence, the latter soil demonstrated the highest potential for effective soil decontamination by phytoextraction within an appropriate time frame.

  2. C55 bacteriocin produced by ETB-plasmid positive Staphylococcus aureus strains is a key factor for competition with S. aureus strains.

    PubMed

    Kawada-Matsuo, Miki; Shammi, Fariha; Oogai, Yuichi; Nakamura, Norifumi; Sugai, Motoyuki; Komatsuzawa, Hitoshi

    2016-03-01

    Exfoliative toxin (ET) produced by Staphylococcus aureus is closely associated with the onset of bullous impetigo. To date, three ETs (ETA, ETB and ETD) have been identified. The gene encoding ETB is located in a plasmid designated pETB. Bacteriocin synthesis genes are also located in this plasmid and pETB-positive strains reportedly produce the C55 bacteriocin. In this study, the antibacterial activity against S. aureus strains of the bacteriocin produced by the pETB-positive strain TY4 was investigated. This bacteriocin demonstrated antibacterial activity against all pETB-negative but not pETB-positive strains, including TY4. Additionally, a TY4- strain from which the pETB plasmid had been deleted exhibited susceptibility to the bacteriocin. Further experiments revealed that two immunity factors (orf 46-47 and orf 48) downstream of the bacteriocin synthesis genes in the pETB plasmid are associated with immunity against the bacteriocin produced by TY4. The TY4- with orf46-47 strain exhibited complete resistance to bacteriocin, whereas the TY4- with orf48 strain exhibited partial resistance. Whether bacteriocin affects the proportion of each strain when co-cultured with S. aureus strains was also investigated. When TY4 or TY4- was co-cultured with 209P strain, which is susceptible to the bacteriocin, the proportion of 209P co-cultured with TY4 was significantly less than when 209P was co-cultured with TY4-, whereas the proportion of TY4- with orf46-48 co-cultured with TY4 was greater than with TY4-. These results suggest that the C55 bacteriocin produced by pETB-positive strains affects the proportion of each strain when pETB-positive and -negative strains co-exist. PMID:26801833

  3. Effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor on behavior and key members of the brain serotonin system in genetically predisposed to behavioral disorders mouse strains.

    PubMed

    Naumenko, V S; Kondaurova, E M; Bazovkina, D V; Tsybko, A S; Tikhonova, M A; Kulikov, A V; Popova, N K

    2012-07-12

    The effect of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on depressive-like behavior and serotonin (5-HT) system in the brain of antidepressant sensitive cataleptics (ASC)/Icg mouse strain, characterized by depressive-like behavior, in comparison with the parental nondepressive CBA/Lac mouse strain was examined. Significant decrease of catalepsy and tail suspension test (TST) immobility was shown 17days after acute central BDNF administration (300ng i.c.v.) in ASC mice. In CBA mouse strain, BDNF moderately decreased catalepsy without any effect on TST immobility time. Significant difference between ASC and CBA mice in the effect of BDNF on 5-HT system was revealed. It was shown that central administration of BDNF led to increase of 5-HT(1A) receptor gene expression but not 5-HT(1A) functional activity in ASC mice. Increased tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (Tph-2) and 5-HT(2A) receptor genes expression accompanied by 5-HT(2A) receptor sensitization was shown in BDNF-treated ASC but not in CBA mouse strain, suggesting BDNF-induced increase of the brain 5-HT system functional activity and activation of neurogenesis in "depressive" ASC mice. There were no changes found in the 5-HT transporter mRNA level in BDNF-treated ASC and CBA mice. In conclusion, central administration of BDNF produced prolonged ameliorative effect on depressive-like behavior accompanied by increase of the Tph-2, 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A) genes expression and 5-HT(2A) receptor functional activity in animal model of hereditary behavior disorders.

  4. Analysis of NHANES measured blood PCBs in the general US population and application of SHEDS model to identify key exposure factors.

    PubMed

    Xue, Jianping; Liu, Shi V; Zartarian, Valerie G; Geller, Andrew M; Schultz, Bradley D

    2014-11-01

    Studies have shown that the US population continues to be exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), despite their ban more than three decades ago, but the reasons are not fully understood. The objectives of this paper are to characterize patterns of PCBs in blood by age, gender, and ethnicity, and identify major exposure factors. EPA's Stochastic Human Exposure and Dose Simulation (SHEDS)-dietary exposure model was applied, combining fish tissue PCB levels from a NYC Asian Market survey with National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) dietary consumption data, and then linked with blood biomarkers for the same NHANES study subjects. Results reveal that the mean concentration of total PCBs in blood was higher with increasing age; however, for the same age, gender, and ethnicity, the blood PCB concentrations measured in the later NHANES survey were significantly lower than those in the earlier one. The decrease within an age group between the two survey periods lessened with increasing age. Blood PCBs among different ethnicities ranked differently between the older and the younger age groups within each survey. Non-Hispanic Blacks had significantly higher blood PCBs for the >30 year age group. For the 12 to ≤30 year age group, the "Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American or multiracial" group had the highest values, with patterns fairly consistent with fish consumption and modeled PCB exposure patterns. We conclude that for younger people, patterns correspond to reduced environmental contamination over time, and are strongly associated with fish consumption and dietary exposures. Higher PCB concentrations in blood of the older population may partially reflect past exposures to higher environmental PCB concentrations, particularly before the ban.

  5. Key factors in the acceptability of treatment as prevention (TasP) in Scotland: a qualitative study with communities affected by HIV

    PubMed Central

    Young, I; Flowers, P; McDaid, L M

    2015-01-01

    Objectives There is a clear need to understand the factors that might prevent and/or facilitate the effective use of HIV treatment as prevention (TasP) at an individual level. This paper reports on findings from the first qualitative study in the UK exploring the acceptability of TasP among gay, bisexual and/or men who have sex with men (MSM) and migrant African communities in Scotland. Methods We conducted seven exploratory focus group discussions (FGDs) with convenience samples of MSM (five FGDs, n=22) and mixed-gender African (two FGDs, n=11) participants. Of these, three FGDs were conducted with HIV-positive MSM (n=14) and one FGD with HIV-positive Africans (n=8). We then conducted 34 in-depth interviews (IDIs) with a purposive sample of MSM (n=20) and Africans (n=14, women=10). Half were HIV-positive (MSM, n=10; African, n=7). FGD and IDI data were analysed thematically drawing on predetermined and emergent themes. Results We found that inequalities in HIV literacy could be a barrier to TasP, as could social constraints, such as criminalisation of transmission, increased risk of sexually transmitted infection and increased burden of treatment. We also identified psychological barriers such as perceptions of risk. However, relationships and shared decision making were identified as potential facilitators for TasP. Conclusions Our results suggest that potential use and management of TasP may not be straightforward. It could be contingent on reducing inequalities in HIV literacy, minimising the perceived burden of treatment and other potential risks, and addressing the dynamics of existing and socially acceptable risk management strategies, especially in relation to long-term serodiscordant relationships. PMID:25482649

  6. Identification of key factors governing chemistry in groundwater near the water course recharged by reclaimed water at Miyun County, Northern China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yilei; Song, Xianfang; Zhang, Yinghua; Zheng, Fandong; Liang, Ji; Han, Dongmei; Ma, Ying; Bu, Hongmei

    2013-09-01

    Reclaimed water was successfully used to recover the dry Chaobai River in Northern China, but groundwater may be polluted. To ensure groundwater protection, it is therefore critical to identify the governing factors of groundwater chemistry. Samples of reclaimed water, river and groundwater were collected monthly at Chaobai River from January to September in 2010. Fifteen water parameters were analyzed. Two kinds of reclaimed water were different in type (Na-Ca-Mg-Cl-HCO3 or Na-Ca-Cl-HCO3) and concentration of nitrogen. The ionic concentration and type in river were similar to reclaimed water. Some shallow wells near the river bed had the same type (Na-Ca-Mg-Cl-HCO3) and high concentration as reclaimed water, but others were consistent with the deep wells (Ca-Mg-HCO3). Using cluster analysis, the 9 months were divided into two periods (dry and wet seasons), and all samples were grouped into several spatial clusters, indicating different controlling mechanisms. Principal component analysis and conventional ionic plots showed that calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate were controlled by water-rock interaction in all deep and some shallow wells. This included the dissolution of calcite and carbonate weathering. Sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfate in river and some shallow wells recharged by river were governed by evaporation crystallization and mixing of reclaimed water. But groundwater chemistry was not controlled by precipitation. During the infiltration of reclaimed water, cation exchange took place between (sodium, potassium) and (calcium, magnesium). Nitrification and denitrification both happened in most shallow groundwater, but only denitrification in deep groundwater. PMID:24520717

  7. Differential oxidant tolerance determined by the key transcription factor Yap1 is controlled by levels of the Yap1-binding protein, Ybp1.

    PubMed

    Gulshan, Kailash; Lee, Stella S; Moye-Rowley, W Scott

    2011-09-30

    The Saccharomyces cerevisiae transcription factor Yap1 is a central determinant of oxidative stress tolerance. This protein is found primarily in the cytoplasm in the absence of oxidative stress but, upon exposure to oxidants, rapidly translocates to the nucleus and activates expression of target genes. Although both diamide and H(2)O(2) have been used to impose oxidative stress on cells, these different oxidants trigger Yap1 nuclear localization in distinctly different ways. Diamide appears to oxidize particular cysteine residues on Yap1, leading to inhibition of association of Yap1 with the nuclear exportin Crm1. Crm1 would normally transport Yap1 out of the nucleus. H(2)O(2) activation of Yap1 nuclear localization requires the participation of the glutathione peroxidase Gpx3 and the Yap1-binding protein Ybp1. H(2)O(2) exposure triggers formation of a dual disulfide bonded Yap1 that is catalyzed by the presence of Gpx3 and Ybp1. In the current study, we have determined that two distinct pools of Yap1 exist in the cell. These pools are designated by the level of Ybp1. Ybp1 interacts directly with Yap1 and these proteins form a stable complex in vivo. Genetic and biochemical experiments indicate that Ybp1 is rate-limiting for Yap1 oxidative folding during H(2)O(2) stress. The fungal pathogen Candida glabrata expresses a protein homologous to Ybp1 called CgYbp1. Overproduction of CgYbp1 elevated H(2)O(2) tolerance in this pathogen indicating that the determinative role of Ybp1 in setting the level of H(2)O(2) resistance has been evolutionarily conserved. PMID:21844193

  8. Key Role for the Alternative Sigma Factor, SigH, in the Intracellular Life of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis during Macrophage Stress

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh, Pallab; Wu, Chia-wei

    2013-01-01

    Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis causes Johne's disease, an enteric infection in cattle and other ruminants, greatly afflicting the dairy industry worldwide. Once inside the cell, M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis is known to survive harsh microenvironments, especially those inside activated macrophages. To improve our understanding of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis pathogenesis, we examined phagosome maturation associated with transcriptional responses of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis during macrophage infection. Monitoring cellular markers, only live M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis bacilli were able to prevent phagosome maturation and reduce its acidification. On the transcriptional level, over 300 M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis genes were significantly and differentially regulated in both naive and IFN-γ-activated macrophages. These genes include the sigma factor H (sigH) that was shown to be important for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis survival inside gamma interferon (IFN-γ)-activated bovine macrophages. Interestingly, an sigH-knockout mutant showed increased sensitivity to a sustained level of thiol-specific oxidative stress. Large-scale RNA sequence analysis revealed that a large number of genes belong to the sigH regulon, especially following diamide stress. Genes involved in oxidative stress and virulence were among the induced genes in the sigH regulon with a putative consensus sequence for SigH binding that was recognized in a subset of these genes (n = 30), suggesting direct regulation by SigH. Finally, mice infections showed a significant attenuation of the ΔsigH mutant compared to its parental strain, suggesting a role for sigH in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis virulence. Such analysis could identify potential targets for further testing as vaccine candidates against Johne's disease. PMID:23569115

  9. Comparative proteomic analysis reveals that T3SS, Tfp, and xanthan gum are key factors in initial stages of Citrus sinensis infection by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri.

    PubMed

    Facincani, Agda P; Moreira, Leandro M; Soares, Márcia R; Ferreira, Cristiano B; Ferreira, Rafael M; Ferro, Maria I T; Ferro, Jesus A; Gozzo, Fabio C; de Oliveira, Julio C F

    2014-03-01

    The bacteria Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xac) is the causal agent of citrus canker. The disease symptoms are characterized by localized host cell hyperplasia followed by tissue necrosis at the infected area. An arsenal of bacterial pathogenicity- and virulence-related proteins is expressed to ensure a successful infection process. At the post-genomic stage of Xac, we used a proteomic approach to analyze the proteins that are displayed differentially over time when the pathogen attacks the host plant. Protein extracts were prepared from infectious Xac grown in inducing medium (XAM1) for 24 h or from host citrus plants for 3 or 5 days after infection, detached times to evaluate the adaptation and virulence of the pathogen. The protein extracts were proteolyzed, and the peptides derived from tryptic digestion were investigated using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Changes in the protein expression profile were compared with the Xac genome and the proteome recently described under non-infectious conditions. An analysis of the proteome of Xac under infectious conditions revealed proteins directly involved in virulence such as the type III secretion system (T3SS) and effector proteins (T3SS-e), the type IV pilus (Tfp), and xanthan gum biosynthesis. Moreover, four new mutants related to proteins detected in the proteome and with different functions exhibited reduced virulence relative to the wild-type proteins. The results of the proteome analysis of infectious Xac define the processes of adaptation to the host and demonstrate the induction of the virulence factors of Xac involved in plant-pathogen interactions.

  10. Identification of key factors governing chemistry in groundwater near the water course recharged by reclaimed water at Miyun County, Northern China.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yilei; Song, Xianfang; Zhang, Yinghua; Zheng, Fandong; Liang, Ji; Han, Dongmei; Ma, Ying; Bu, Hongmei

    2013-09-01

    Reclaimed water was successfully used to recover the dry Chaobai River in Northern China, but groundwater may be polluted. To ensure groundwater protection, it is therefore critical to identify the governing factors of groundwater chemistry. Samples of reclaimed water, river and groundwater were collected monthly at Chaobai River from January to September in 2010. Fifteen water parameters were analyzed. Two kinds of reclaimed water were different in type (Na-Ca-Mg-Cl-HCO3 or Na-Ca-Cl-HCO3) and concentration of nitrogen. The ionic concentration and type in river were similar to reclaimed water. Some shallow wells near the river bed had the same type (Na-Ca-Mg-Cl-HCO3) and high concentration as reclaimed water, but others were consistent with the deep wells (Ca-Mg-HCO3). Using cluster analysis, the 9 months were divided into two periods (dry and wet seasons), and all samples were grouped into several spatial clusters, indicating different controlling mechanisms. Principal component analysis and conventional ionic plots showed that calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate were controlled by water-rock interaction in all deep and some shallow wells. This included the dissolution of calcite and carbonate weathering. Sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfate in river and some shallow wells recharged by river were governed by evaporation crystallization and mixing of reclaimed water. But groundwater chemistry was not controlled by precipitation. During the infiltration of reclaimed water, cation exchange took place between (sodium, potassium) and (calcium, magnesium). Nitrification and denitrification both happened in most shallow groundwater, but only denitrification in deep groundwater.

  11. Key Role of the Adenylate Moiety and Integrity of the Adenylate-Binding Site for the NAD(+)/H Binding to Mitochondrial Apoptosis-Inducing Factor.

    PubMed

    Sorrentino, Luca; Calogero, Alessandra Maria; Pandini, Vittorio; Vanoni, Maria Antonietta; Sevrioukova, Irina F; Aliverti, Alessandro

    2015-12-01

    Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) is a mitochondrial flavoprotein with pro-life and pro-death activities, which plays critical roles in mitochondrial energy metabolism and caspase-independent apoptosis. Defects in AIF structure or expression can cause mitochondrial abnormalities leading to mitochondrial defects and neurodegeneration. The mechanism of AIF-induced apoptosis was extensively investigated, whereas the mitochondrial function of AIF is poorly understood. A unique feature of AIF is the ability to form a tight, air-stable charge-transfer (CT) complex upon reaction with NADH and to undergo a conformational switch leading to dimerization, proposed to be important for its vital and lethal functions. Although some aspects of interaction of AIF with NAD(+)/H have been analyzed, its precise mechanism is not fully understood. We investigated how the oxidized and photoreduced wild-type and G307A and -E variants of murine AIF associate with NAD(+)/H and nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN(+)/H) to determine the role of the adenylate moiety in the binding process. Our results indicate that (i) the adenylate moiety of NAD(+)/H is crucial for the association with AIF and for the subsequent structural reorganization of the complex, but not for protein dimerization, (ii) FAD reduction rather than binding of NAD(+)/H to AIF initiates conformational rearrangement, and (iii) alteration of the adenylate-binding site by the G307E (equivalent to a pathological G308E mutation in human AIF) or G307A replacements decrease the affinity and association rate of NAD(+)/H, which, in turn, perturbs CT complex formation and protein dimerization but has no influence on the conformational switch in the regulatory peptide.

  12. Why is tick-borne encephalitis increasing? A review of the key factors causing the increasing incidence of human TBE in Swedena

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    to quest for hosts nearly all days of that year. These weather conditions stimulated many people to spend time outdoors in areas where they were at risk of being attacked by infective nymphs. This resulted in at least 284 human cases of overt TBE. The tick season of 2012 also started early with an exceptionally warm March. The abundance of TBEV-infective “hungry” ticks was presumably still relatively high. Precipitation during June and July was rich and will lead to a “good mushroom season”. These factors together are likely to result in a TBE incidence of 2012 similar to or higher than that of 2011. PMID:22937961

  13. Paediatric pharmacokinetics: key considerations

    PubMed Central

    Batchelor, Hannah Katharine; Marriott, John Francis

    2015-01-01

    A number of anatomical and physiological factors determine the pharmacokinetic profile of a drug. Differences in physiology in paediatric populations compared with adults can influence the concentration of drug within the plasma or tissue. Healthcare professionals need to be aware of anatomical and physiological changes that affect pharmacokinetic profiles of drugs to understand consequences of dose adjustments in infants and children. Pharmacokinetic clinical trials in children are complicated owing to the limitations on blood sample volumes and perception of pain in children resulting from blood sampling. There are alternative sampling techniques that can minimize the invasive nature of such trials. Population based models can also limit the sampling required from each individual by increasing the overall sample size to generate robust pharmacokinetic data. This review details key considerations in the design and development of paediatric pharmacokinetic clinical trials. PMID:25855821

  14. Optimizing Requirements Decisions with KEYS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jalali, Omid; Menzies, Tim; Feather, Martin

    2008-01-01

    Recent work with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has allowed for external access to five of JPL's real-world requirements models, anonymized to conceal proprietary information, but retaining their computational nature. Experimentation with these models, reported herein, demonstrates a dramatic speedup in the computations performed on them. These models have a well defined goal: select mitigations that retire risks which, in turn, increases the number of attainable requirements. Such a non-linear optimization is a well-studied problem. However identification of not only (a) the optimal solution(s) but also (b) the key factors leading to them is less well studied. Our technique, called KEYS, shows a rapid way of simultaneously identifying the solutions and their key factors. KEYS improves on prior work by several orders of magnitude. Prior experiments with simulated annealing or treatment learning took tens of minutes to hours to terminate. KEYS runs much faster than that; e.g for one model, KEYS ran 13,000 times faster than treatment learning (40 minutes versus 0.18 seconds). Processing these JPL models is a non-linear optimization problem: the fewest mitigations must be selected while achieving the most requirements. Non-linear optimization is a well studied problem. With this paper, we challenge other members of the PROMISE community to improve on our results with other techniques.

  15. Some Key Factors in Policy Implementation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rowen, Henry

    Business policy texts identify numerous steps that make up the policy implementation process for private firms. On the surface, these steps also appear applicable to the implementation of public policies. However, the problems of carrying out these implementing steps in the public sector are significantly different than in the private sector due…

  16. Group key management

    SciTech Connect

    Dunigan, T.; Cao, C.

    1997-08-01

    This report describes an architecture and implementation for doing group key management over a data communications network. The architecture describes a protocol for establishing a shared encryption key among an authenticated and authorized collection of network entities. Group access requires one or more authorization certificates. The implementation includes a simple public key and certificate infrastructure. Multicast is used for some of the key management messages. An application programming interface multiplexes key management and user application messages. An implementation using the new IP security protocols is postulated. The architecture is compared with other group key management proposals, and the performance and the limitations of the implementation are described.

  17. Molecular characterization and mRNA expression of two key enzymes of hypoxia-sensing pathways in eastern oysters Crassostrea virginica (Gmelin): Hypoxia-inducible factor α (HIF-α) and HIF-prolyl hydroxylase (PHD)

    PubMed Central

    Piontkivska, Helen; Chung, J. Sook; Ivanina, Anna V.; Sokolov, Eugene P.; Techa, Sirinart; Sokolova, Inna M.

    2010-01-01

    Oxygen homeostasis is crucial for development, survival and normal function of all metazoans. A family of transcription factors called hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) is critical in mediating the adaptive responses to reduced oxygen availability. The HIF transcription factor consists of a constitutively expressed β subunit and an oxygen-dependent α subunit; the abundance of the latter determines the activity of HIF and is regulated by a family of O2- and Fe2+-dependent enzymes prolyl hydroxylases (PHDs). Currently very little is known about the function of this important pathway and the molecular structure of its key players in hypoxia-tolerant intertidal mollusks including oysters, which are among the animal champions of anoxic and hypoxic tolerance and thus can serve as excellent models to study the role of HIF cascade in adaptations to oxygen deficiency. We have isolated transcripts of two key components of the oxygen sensing pathway - the oxygen-regulated HIF-α subunit and PHD - from an intertidal mollusk, the eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica, and determined the transcriptional responses of these two genes to anoxia, hypoxia and cadmium (Cd) stress. HIF-α and PHD homologs from eastern oysters C. virginica show significant sequence similarity and share key functional domains with the earlier described isoforms from vertebrates and invertebrates. Phylogenetic analysis shows that genetic diversification of HIF and PHD isoforms occurred within the vertebrate lineage indicating functional diversification and specialization of the oxygen-sensing pathways in this group, which parallels situation observed for many other important genes. HIF-α and PHD homologs are broadly expressed at the mRNA level in different oyster tissues and show transcriptional responses to prolonged hypoxia in the gills consistent with their putative role in oxygen sensing and the adaptive response to hypoxia. Similarity in amino acid sequence, domain structure and transcriptional

  18. Public Key Cryptography.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tapson, Frank

    1996-01-01

    Describes public key cryptography, also known as RSA, which is a system using two keys, one used to put a message into cipher and another used to decipher the message. Presents examples using small prime numbers. (MKR)

  19. A platform for actively loading cargo RNA to elucidate limiting steps in EV-mediated delivery.

    PubMed

    Hung, Michelle E; Leonard, Joshua N

    2016-01-01

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) mediate intercellular communication through transfer of RNA and protein between cells. Thus, understanding how cargo molecules are loaded and delivered by EVs is of central importance for elucidating the biological roles of EVs and developing EV-based therapeutics. While some motifs modulating the loading of biomolecular cargo into EVs have been elucidated, the general rules governing cargo loading and delivery remain poorly understood. To investigate how general biophysical properties impact loading and delivery of RNA by EVs, we developed a platform for actively loading engineered cargo RNAs into EVs. In our system, the MS2 bacteriophage coat protein was fused to EV-associated proteins, and the cognate MS2 stem loop was engineered into cargo RNAs. Using this Targeted and Modular EV Loading (TAMEL) approach, we identified a configuration that substantially enhanced cargo RNA loading (up to 6-fold) into EVs. When applied to vesicles expressing the vesicular stomatitis virus glycoprotein (VSVG) - gesicles - we observed a 40-fold enrichment in cargo RNA loading. While active loading of mRNA-length (>1.5 kb) cargo molecules was possible, active loading was much more efficient for smaller (~0.5 kb) RNA molecules. We next leveraged the TAMEL platform to elucidate the limiting steps in EV-mediated delivery of mRNA and protein to prostate cancer cells, as a model system. Overall, most cargo was rapidly degraded in recipient cells, despite high EV-loading efficiencies and substantial EV uptake by recipient cells. While gesicles were efficiently internalized via a VSVG-mediated mechanism, most cargo molecules were rapidly degraded. Thus, in this model system, inefficient endosomal fusion or escape likely represents a limiting barrier to EV-mediated transfer. Altogether, the TAMEL platform enabled a comparative analysis elucidating a key opportunity for enhancing EV-mediated delivery to prostate cancer cells, and this technology should be of

  20. Keys to Scholarship

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hebert, Terri

    2011-01-01

    Up ahead, a foreboding wooden door showing wear from passage of earlier travelers is spotted. As the old porch light emits a pale yellow glow, a key ring emerges from deep inside the coat pocket. Searching for just the right key, the voyager settles on one that also shows age. As the key enters its receptacle and begins to turn, a clicking noise…

  1. Work Keys USA.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Work Keys USA, 1998

    1998-01-01

    "Work Keys" is a comprehensive program for assessing and teaching workplace skills. This serial "special issue" features 18 first-hand reports on Work Keys projects in action in states across North America. They show how the Work Keys is helping businesses and educators solve the challenge of building a world-class work force. The reports are as…

  2. A R2R3-MYB transcription factor, GmMYB12B2, affects the expression levels of flavonoid biosynthesis genes encoding key enzymes in transgenic Arabidopsis plants.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Wei; Li, Jing-Wen; Zhai, Ying; Zhao, Yan; Zhao, Xu; Zhang, Hai-Jun; Su, Lian-Tai; Wang, Ying; Wang, Qing-Yu

    2013-12-10

    Isoflavones play diverse roles in plant-microbe interactions and are potentially important for human nutrition and health. To study the regulation of isoflavonoid synthesis in soybean, the R2R3-MYB transcription factor GmMYB12B2 was isolated and characterized. Yeast expression experiments demonstrated that GmMYB12B2 showed transcriptional activity. GmMYB12B2 was localized in the nucleus when it was transiently expressed in onion epidermal cells. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis revealed that GmMYB12B2 transcription was increased in roots and mature seeds compared with other organs. The gene expression level in immature embryos was consistent with the accumulation of isoflavones. CHS8 is a key enzyme in plant flavonoid biosynthesis. Transient expression experiments in soybean calli demonstrated that CHS8 was regulated by GmMYB12B2 and produced more fluorescence. The expression levels of some key enzymes in flavonoid biosynthesis were examined in transgenic Arabidopsis lines. The results showed that the expression levels of PAL1, CHS and FLS in transgenic plants were significantly higher than those in wild type plants. However, the expression level of DFR was lower, and the expression levels of CHI, F3H and F3'H were the same in all lines. GmMYB12B2 expression caused a constitutive increase in the accumulation of flavonoids in transgenic Arabidopsis lines compared with wild type plants. PMID:24060295

  3. A R2R3-MYB transcription factor, GmMYB12B2, affects the expression levels of flavonoid biosynthesis genes encoding key enzymes in transgenic Arabidopsis plants.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Wei; Li, Jing-Wen; Zhai, Ying; Zhao, Yan; Zhao, Xu; Zhang, Hai-Jun; Su, Lian-Tai; Wang, Ying; Wang, Qing-Yu

    2013-12-10

    Isoflavones play diverse roles in plant-microbe interactions and are potentially important for human nutrition and health. To study the regulation of isoflavonoid synthesis in soybean, the R2R3-MYB transcription factor GmMYB12B2 was isolated and characterized. Yeast expression experiments demonstrated that GmMYB12B2 showed transcriptional activity. GmMYB12B2 was localized in the nucleus when it was transiently expressed in onion epidermal cells. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis revealed that GmMYB12B2 transcription was increased in roots and mature seeds compared with other organs. The gene expression level in immature embryos was consistent with the accumulation of isoflavones. CHS8 is a key enzyme in plant flavonoid biosynthesis. Transient expression experiments in soybean calli demonstrated that CHS8 was regulated by GmMYB12B2 and produced more fluorescence. The expression levels of some key enzymes in flavonoid biosynthesis were examined in transgenic Arabidopsis lines. The results showed that the expression levels of PAL1, CHS and FLS in transgenic plants were significantly higher than those in wild type plants. However, the expression level of DFR was lower, and the expression levels of CHI, F3H and F3'H were the same in all lines. GmMYB12B2 expression caused a constitutive increase in the accumulation of flavonoids in transgenic Arabidopsis lines compared with wild type plants.

  4. Key regulators control distinct transcriptional programmes in blood progenitor and mast cells

    PubMed Central

    Calero-Nieto, Fernando J; Ng, Felicia S; Wilson, Nicola K; Hannah, Rebecca; Moignard, Victoria; Leal-Cervantes, Ana I; Jimenez-Madrid, Isabel; Diamanti, Evangelia; Wernisch, Lorenz; Göttgens, Berthold

    2014-01-01

    Despite major advances in the generation of genome-wide binding maps, the mechanisms by which transcription factors (TFs) regulate cell type identity have remained largely obscure. Through comparative analysis of 10 key haematopoietic TFs in both mast cells and blood progenitors, we demonstrate that the largely cell type-specific binding profiles are not opportunistic, but instead contribute to cell type-specific transcriptional control, because (i) mathematical modelling of differential binding of shared TFs can explain differential gene expression, (ii) consensus binding sites are important for cell type-specific binding and (iii) knock-down of blood stem cell regulators in mast cells reveals mast cell-specific genes as direct targets. Finally, we show that the known mast cell regulators Mitf and c-fos likely contribute to the global reorganisation of TF binding profiles. Taken together therefore, our study elucidates how key regulatory TFs contribute to transcriptional programmes in several distinct mammalian cell types. PMID:24760698

  5. LIM-homeodomain transcription factor Awh is a key component activating all three fibroin genes, fibH, fibL and fhx, in the silk gland of the silkworm, Bombyx mori.

    PubMed

    Kimoto, Mai; Tsubota, Takuya; Uchino, Keiro; Sezutsu, Hideki; Takiya, Shigeharu

    2015-01-01

    In the silkworm Bombyx mori, three fibroin genes, fibroin-heavy-chain (fibH), fibroin-light-chain (fibL) and fibrohexamerin (fhx), are coexpressed only in the posterior silk gland (PSG) cells, while the sericin genes encoding silk glue proteins are expressed in the middle silk gland (MSG) cells. Silk gland factor-2 (SGF-2) is a PSG-specific activator complex of fibH, composed of a LIM-homeodomain protein, Awh, and its cofactors, Ldb and Lcaf. We investigated whether SGF-2 can activate other fibroin genes using transgenic silkworms. The genes for Ldb and Lcaf were expressed ubiquitously in various tissues, while the gene for Awh was expressed strictly specific in PSG of the wild type silkworms. Misexpression of Awh in transgenic silkworms induced ectopic expression of fibL and fhx as well as fibH in MSG. Coincidently with the induction of fibL and fhx by Awh, binding of SGF-2 to the promoter of fibL and fhx was detected in vitro, and SGF-2 binds directly to the fhx core promoter. Ectopic expression of the fibroin genes was observed at high levels in the middle part of MSG. Moreover, fibL and fhx were induced in the anterior silk gland (ASG) of the transgenic silkworms, but fibH was not. These results indicate that Awh is a key activator of all three fibroin genes, and the activity is probably regulated in conjunction with additional factors.

  6. Challenges in elucidating the genetics of diabetic retinopathy

    PubMed Central

    Kuo, Jane Z.; Wong, Tien Y.; Rotter, Jerome I.

    2014-01-01

    Importance In the past decade, significant progress in genomic medicine and technological advances have revolutionized our approach to common complex disorders in many areas of medicine, including ophthalmology. A major disorder that still needs major genetic progress is diabetic retinopathy (DR), one of the leading causes of blindness in adults. Objective To perform a literature review, present the current findings, and highlight some key challenges. Methods Thorough literature review of the genetic factors for DR, including heritability scores, twin studies, family studies, candidate gene studies, linkage studies, and genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Results While there is clear demonstration of a genetic contribution in the development and progression of DR, the identification of susceptibility loci through candidate gene approaches, linkage studies, and GWAS is still in its infancy. The greatest obstacles remain a lack of power due to small sample size of available studies and a lack of phenotype standardization. In this review, we also discuss novel technologies and novel approaches, such as intermediate phenotypes for biomarkers, proteomics, metabolomics, exome chips, and next-generation sequencing that may facilitate future studies of DR. Conclusions and Relevance The field of the genetics of DR is still in its infancy and is a challenge due to the complexity of the disease itself. This review outlines some strategies and lessons for future investigation to improve our understanding of this most complex of genetic disorders. PMID:24201651

  7. Structure Elucidation of Nigricanoside A Through Enantioselective Total Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jie; Koswatta, Panduka; DeBergh, J. Robb; Fu, Peng; Pan, Ende; MacMillan, John B.; Ready, Joseph M.

    2016-01-01

    Nigricanoside A was isolated from green alga, and its dimethyl ester was found to display potent cytotoxicity. Its scarcity prevented a full structure elucidation, leaving total synthesis as the only means to determine its relative and absolute stereochemistry and to explore its biological activity. Here we assign the stereochemistry of the natural product through enantioselective total synthesis and provide initial studies of its cytotoxicity. PMID:26877863

  8. Isolation and Structure Elucidation of Pentahydroxyscirpene, a Trichothecene Fusarium Mycotoxin

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Pentahydroxyscirpene, a novel trichothecene-type compound, was isolated from Fusarium-inoculated rice. The structure of pentahydroxyscirpene was elucidated by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy and X-ray single-crystal diffraction. The conformation in solution was determined by NOESY experiments supported by quantum chemical calculations. In vitro toxicity tests showed that pentahydroxyscirpene inhibits protein synthesis as do other trichothecenes. PMID:24367932

  9. Elucidation of Reaction Mechanisms Far from Thermodynamic Equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Nagao, Raphael

    2016-04-01

    Far from equilibrium: This thesis provides a deep mechanistic analysis of the electrooxidation of methanol when the system is kept far from the thermodynamic equilibrium. Under an oscillatory regime, interesting characteristics between the elementary reaction steps were observed. We were able to elucidate the effect of the intrinsic drift in a potential time-series responsible for spontaneous transition of temporal patterns and the carbon dioxide decoupling from direct and indirect pathways.

  10. Elucidation of Reaction Mechanisms Far from Thermodynamic Equilibrium.

    PubMed

    Nagao, Raphael

    2016-04-01

    Far from equilibrium: This thesis provides a deep mechanistic analysis of the electrooxidation of methanol when the system is kept far from the thermodynamic equilibrium. Under an oscillatory regime, interesting characteristics between the elementary reaction steps were observed. We were able to elucidate the effect of the intrinsic drift in a potential time-series responsible for spontaneous transition of temporal patterns and the carbon dioxide decoupling from direct and indirect pathways. PMID:27308227

  11. Elucidating hydroxylation and methylation steps tailoring piericidin A1 biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yaolong; Zhang, Wenjun; Zhu, Yiguang; Zhang, Qingbo; Tian, Xinpeng; Zhang, Si; Zhang, Changsheng

    2014-02-01

    The piericidin A1 (1) gene cluster was identified from the deep-sea derived Streptomyces sp. SCSIO 03032. Our in vivo and in vitro experiments verified PieE as a 4'-hydroxylase and PieB2 as a 4'-O-methyltransferase, allowing the elucidation of the post-PKS modification steps involved in 1 biosynthesis. In addition, the shunt metabolite piericidin E1 (7) was identified as a novel analogue featuring a C-2/C-3 epoxy ring.

  12. Elucidating the key role of the fungal mycelium on the biodegradation of n-pentane as a model hydrophobic VOC.

    PubMed

    Vergara-Fernández, Alberto; Scott, Felipe; Moreno-Casas, Patricio; Díaz-Robles, Luis; Muñoz, Raúl

    2016-08-01

    The role of the aerial mycelium of the fungus Fusarium solani in the biodegradation of n-pentane was evaluated in a continuous fungal bioreactor (FB) to determine the contribution of the aerial (hyphae) and non-aerial (monolayer) fungal biomass. The experimental results showed that although the aerial biomass fraction represented only 25.9(±3)% on a dry weight basis, it was responsible for 71.6(±4)% of n-pentane removal. The FB attained a maximum elimination capacity (ECmax) of 680(±30) g m(-3) h(-1) in the presence of fungal hyphae (which supported an interfacial area of 5.5(±1.5) × 10(6) m(2) m(-3)). In addition, a mathematical model capable of describing n-pentane biodegradation by the filamentous fungus was also developed and validated against the experimental data. This model successfully predicted the influence of the aerial biomass fraction and its partition coefficient on the n-pentane removal, with EC decreasing from 680(±30) g m(-3) h(-1) to values of 200(±14) g m(-3) h(-1) when the dimensionless partition coefficient increased from 0.21(±0.09) with aerial biomass to 0.88(±0.06) without aerial biomass.

  13. Elucidating the key role of the fungal mycelium on the biodegradation of n-pentane as a model hydrophobic VOC.

    PubMed

    Vergara-Fernández, Alberto; Scott, Felipe; Moreno-Casas, Patricio; Díaz-Robles, Luis; Muñoz, Raúl

    2016-08-01

    The role of the aerial mycelium of the fungus Fusarium solani in the biodegradation of n-pentane was evaluated in a continuous fungal bioreactor (FB) to determine the contribution of the aerial (hyphae) and non-aerial (monolayer) fungal biomass. The experimental results showed that although the aerial biomass fraction represented only 25.9(±3)% on a dry weight basis, it was responsible for 71.6(±4)% of n-pentane removal. The FB attained a maximum elimination capacity (ECmax) of 680(±30) g m(-3) h(-1) in the presence of fungal hyphae (which supported an interfacial area of 5.5(±1.5) × 10(6) m(2) m(-3)). In addition, a mathematical model capable of describing n-pentane biodegradation by the filamentous fungus was also developed and validated against the experimental data. This model successfully predicted the influence of the aerial biomass fraction and its partition coefficient on the n-pentane removal, with EC decreasing from 680(±30) g m(-3) h(-1) to values of 200(±14) g m(-3) h(-1) when the dimensionless partition coefficient increased from 0.21(±0.09) with aerial biomass to 0.88(±0.06) without aerial biomass. PMID:27209557

  14. Social Work Practice with Latinos: Key Issues for Social Workers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furman, Rich; Negi, Nalini Junko; Iwamoto, Derek Kenji; Rowan, Diana; Shukraft, Allison; Gragg, Jennifer

    2009-01-01

    The Latino population is the fastest growing group in the United States; thus, it is imperative that social workers and other mental health practitioners be knowledgeable about the current literature on how to effectively serve this population. This article elucidates key issues and knowledge, such as immigration and migration concerns; discusses…

  15. Elucidating determinants of aerosol composition through particle-type-based receptor modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGuire, M. L.; Jeong, C.-H.; Slowik, J. G.; Chang, R. Y.-W.; Corbin, J. C.; Lu, G.; Mihele, C.; Rehbein, P. J. G.; Sills, D. M. L.; Abbatt, J. P. D.; Brook, J. R.; Evans, G. J.

    2011-03-01

    An aerosol time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ATOFMS) was deployed at a semi-rural site in Southern Ontario to characterize the size and chemical composition of individual particles. Particle-type-based receptor modelling of these data was used to investigate the determinants of aerosol chemical composition in this region. Individual particles were classified into particle-types and positive matrix factorization (PMF) was applied to their temporal trends to separate and cross-apportion particle-types to factors. The extent of chemical processing for each factor was assessed by evaluating the internal and external mixing state of the characteristic particle-types. The nine factors identified helped to elucidate the coupled interactions of these determinants. Nitrate-laden dust was found to be the dominant type of locally emitted particles measured by ATOFMS. Several factors associated with aerosol transported to the site from intermediate local-to-regional distances were identified: the Organic factor was associated with a combustion source to the north-west; the ECOC Day factor was characterized by nearby local-to-regional carbonaceous emissions transported from the south-west during the daytime; and the Fireworks factor consisted of pyrotechnic particles from the Detroit region following holiday fireworks displays. Regional aerosol from farther emissions sources were reflected through three factors: two biomass burning factors and a highly chemically processed long range transport factor. The biomass burning factors were separated by PMF due to differences in chemical processing which were caused in part by the passage of two thunderstorm gust fronts with different air mass histories. The remaining two factors, ECOC Night and Nitrate Background, represented the night-time partitioning of nitrate to pre-existing particles of different origins. The distinct meteorological conditions observed during this month-long study in the summer of 2007 provided a unique range

  16. Optical key system

    DOEpatents

    Hagans, Karla G.; Clough, Robert E.

    2000-01-01

    An optical key system comprises a battery-operated optical key and an isolated lock that derives both its operating power and unlock signals from the correct optical key. A light emitting diode or laser diode is included within the optical key and is connected to transmit a bit-serial password. The key user physically enters either the code-to-transmit directly, or an index to a pseudorandom number code, in the key. Such person identification numbers can be retained permanently, or ephemeral. When a send button is pressed, the key transmits a beam of light modulated with the password information. The modulated beam of light is received by a corresponding optical lock with a photovoltaic cell that produces enough power from the beam of light to operate a password-screen digital logic. In one application, an acceptable password allows a two watt power laser diode to pump ignition and timing information over a fiberoptic cable into a sealed engine compartment. The receipt of a good password allows the fuel pump, spark, and starter systems to each operate. Therefore, bypassing the lock mechanism as is now routine with automobile thieves is pointless because the engine is so thoroughly disabled.

  17. Elucidating the role of interfacial materials properties in microfluidic packages.

    SciTech Connect

    Edwards, Thayne L.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this work was to discover a method to investigate the properties of interfaces as described by a numerical physical model. The model used was adopted from literature and applied to a commercially available multiphysics software package. By doing this the internal properties of simple structures could be elucidated and then readily applied to more complex structures such as valves and pumps in laminate microfluidic structures. A numerical finite element multi-scale model of a cohesive interface comprised of heterogeneous material properties was used to elucidate irreversible damage from applied strain energy. An unknown internal state variable was applied to characterize the damage process. Using a constrained blister test, this unknown internal state variable could be determined for an adherend/adhesive/adherend body. This is particularly interesting for laminate systems with microfluidic and microstructures contained within the body. A laminate structure was designed and fabricated that could accommodate a variety of binary systems joined using nearly any technique such as adhesive, welding (solvent, laser, ultrasonic, RF, etc.), or thermal. The adhesive method was the most successful and easy to implement but also one of the more difficult to understand, especially over long periods of time. Welding methods are meant to achieve a bond that is similar to bulk properties and so are easier to predict. However, methods of welding often produce defects in the bonds.. Examples of the test structures used to elucidate the internal properties of the model were shown and demonstrated. The real life examples used this research to improve upon current designs and aided in creating complex structures for sensor and other applications.

  18. [Peptide synthesis aiming at elucidation and creation of protein functions].

    PubMed

    Futaki, S

    1998-11-01

    The recent development of molecular biology has been elucidating outlines of the cross-talk of biomolecules. The understanding of the function of these biomolecules from the viewpoint of chemistry is now demanded not only for the understanding of biological systems but also for the creation of novel functional molecules. Here two topics are described about peptide synthesis aiming at the elucidation and the creation of protein functions. The first topic is the development of approaches for the synthesis of Tyr (SO3H)-containing peptides. Tyrosine sulfation is one of the most popular protein post-translational modifications. Synthetic peptides are of great help for the elucidation of the biological significance of tyrosine sulfation. We have developed two approaches for the efficient synthesis of tyrosine sulfate [Tyr (SO3H)]-containing peptides. The first approach employs a dimethylformamide-sulfur trioxide (DMF-SO3) complex as a sulfating agent and safety-catch protecting groups for the selective sulfation of tyrosine in the presence of serine. The second approach employs the direct introduction of Tyr(SO3H) into the peptide chain in the form of Fmoc-Tyr(SO3Na) followed by deprotection at 4 degrees C in trifluoroacetic acid. These approaches were successfully applied for the synthesis of cholecystokinin (CCK)-related peptides. The second topic deals with new approaches for the creation of artificial proteins through assembling alpha-helical peptides via selective disulfide or thioether formation. Approaches to assemble individual peptide segments on a peptide template were also developed. Four peptides corresponding to the transmembrane segments of the sodium channel (S4 in repeat I-IV) were assembled on a peptide template to give a protein having ion channel activity with rectification.

  19. Toward structural elucidation of the gamma-secretase complex

    SciTech Connect

    Li, H.; Wolfe, M. S.; Selkoe, D. J.

    2009-03-11

    {gamma}-Secretase is an intramembrane protease complex that mediates the Notch signaling pathway and the production of amyloid {beta}-proteins. As such, this enzyme has emerged as an important target for development of novel therapeutics for Alzheimer disease and cancer. Great progress has been made in the identification and characterization of the membrane complex and its biological functions. One major challenge now is to illuminate the structure of this fascinating and important protease at atomic resolution. Here, we review recent progress on biochemical and biophysical probing of the structure of the four-component complex and discuss obstacles and potential pathways toward elucidating its detailed structure.

  20. Elucidation and Structural Analysis of Conserved Pools for Genome-Scale Metabolic Reconstructions

    PubMed Central

    Nikolaev, Evgeni V.; Burgard, Anthony P.; Maranas, Costas D.

    2005-01-01

    In this article, we introduce metabolite concentration coupling analysis (MCCA) to study conservation relationships for metabolite concentrations in genome-scale metabolic networks. The analysis allows the global identification of subsets of metabolites whose concentrations are always coupled within common conserved pools. Also, the minimal conserved pool identification (MCPI) procedure is developed for elucidating conserved pools for targeted metabolites without computing the entire basis conservation relationships. The approaches are demonstrated on genome-scale metabolic reconstructions of Helicobacter pylori, Escherichia coli, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Despite significant differences in the size and complexity of the examined organism's models, we find that the concentrations of nearly all metabolites are coupled within a relatively small number of subsets. These correspond to the overall exchange of carbon molecules into and out of the networks, interconversion of energy and redox cofactors, and the transfer of nitrogen, sulfur, phosphate, coenzyme A, and acyl carrier protein moieties among metabolites. The presence of large conserved pools can be viewed as global biophysical barriers protecting cellular systems from stresses, maintaining coordinated interconversions between key metabolites, and providing an additional mode of global metabolic regulation. The developed approaches thus provide novel and versatile tools for elucidating coupling relationships between metabolite concentrations with implications in biotechnological and medical applications. PMID:15489308

  1. An Alternative to Keys

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Hagan, James

    1977-01-01

    For the secondary school, the author discourages the use of dichotomous keys in favor of a punch-card system. The system is readily constructed by students for use in plant and animal classification. (CP)

  2. Elucidation of pathophysiology and treatment of neuropathic pain.

    PubMed

    Vranken, Jan H

    2012-12-01

    Neuropathic pain, pain arising as a direct consequence of a lesion or disease affecting the somatosensory system, is relatively common, occurring in about 1% of the population. Studies in animal models describe a number of peripheral and central pathophysiological processes after nerve injury that would be the basis of underlying neuropathic pain mechanism. Additionally, neuro-imaging (positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging) provides insights in brain mechanisms corresponding with mechanistic processes including allodynia, hyperalgesia, altered sensation, and spontaneous pain. A change in function, chemistry, and structures of neurons (neural plasticity) underlie the production of the altered sensitivity characteristics of neuropathic pain. Peripheral processes in neuropathic pain involve production of mediators (cytokines, protons, nerve growth factor), alterations in calcium channels, sodium channels, hyperpolarisation-activated nucleotide-gated ion channels, and potassium channels, phenotypic switches and sprouting of nerves endings, and involvement of the sympathetic nervous system. Stimulation of the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate receptor, activation of microglia, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes, increased production of nerve growth factor and brain-derived neurotrophic factor together with loss of spinal inhibitory control are responsible for central neuron hyperexcitability and maintenance of neuropathic pain. Recent advances, including functional imaging techniques, in identification of peripheral and central sensitization mechanisms related to nervous system injury have increased potential for affecting pain research from both diagnostic as well as therapeutic view. Key brain regions involved in generating pharmacologically induced analgesia may be identified. Despite the progress in pain research, neuropathic pain is challenge to manage. Although numerous treatment options are available for relieving neuropathic pain, there is no

  3. Public Key FPGA Software

    SciTech Connect

    Hymel, Ross

    2013-07-25

    The Public Key (PK) FPGA software performs asymmetric authentication using the 163-bit Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) on an embedded FPGA platform. A digital signature is created on user-supplied data, and communication with a host system is performed via a Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) bus. Software includes all components necessary for signing, including custom random number generator for key creation and SHA-256 for data hashing.

  4. Structure-based elucidation of the regulatory mechanism for aminopeptidase activity.

    PubMed

    Ta, Hai Minh; Bae, Sangsu; Han, Seungsu; Song, Jihyuck; Ahn, Tae Kyu; Hohng, Sungchul; Lee, Sangho; Kim, Kyeong Kyu

    2013-09-01

    The specificity of proteases for the residues in and length of substrates is key to understanding their regulatory mechanism, but little is known about length selectivity. Crystal structure analyses of the bacterial aminopeptidase PepS, combined with functional and single-molecule FRET assays, have elucidated a molecular basis for length selectivity. PepS exists in open and closed conformations. Substrates can access the binding hole in the open conformation, but catalytic competency is only achieved in the closed conformation by formation of the S1 binding pocket and proximal movement of Glu343, a general base, to the cleavage site. Hence, peptides longer than the depth of the binding hole block the transition from the open to the closed conformation, and thus length selection is a prerequisite for catalytic activation. A triple-sieve interlock mechanism is proposed featuring the coupling of length selectivity with residue specificity and active-site positioning.

  5. Environmental metabolomics: Elucidating the metabolic reactions that link the "bio" and "geo" in biogeochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Higgins, M. B.

    2012-12-01

    One goal of environmental microbiology is to gain a quantitative knowledge of chemical processes that occur within individual microbes and microbial ecosystems. While recent advances in techniques that combine stable isotope measurements with phylogenetic identification have been able to link key microbial players to biogeochemical processes, the precise details of metabolic pathways and their kinetics under various environmental conditions remain a challenge to measure. "Omics" approaches that focus on gene and transcript identification elucidate the biological potential for biochemical reactions but not their cellular rates. The emerging field of environmental metabolomics uses high-resolution mass spectrometry for high-throughput quantitation of large suites of cellular metabolites. Using stable-isotope labeling of microbial samples, such an approach enables both the identification of metabolites involved in biochemical pathways and an estimate of changes in cellular metabolite pool sizes under different environmental conditions, as well as kinetic measurements of biochemical fluxes.

  6. Key drivers of airline loyalty

    PubMed Central

    Dolnicar, Sara; Grabler, Klaus; Grün, Bettina; Kulnig, Anna

    2011-01-01

    This study investigates drivers of airline loyalty. It contributes to the body of knowledge in the area by investigating loyalty for a number of a priori market segments identified by airline management and by using a method which accounts for the multi-step nature of the airline choice process. The study is based on responses from 687 passengers. Results indicate that, at aggregate level, frequent flyer membership, price, the status of being a national carrier and the reputation of the airline as perceived by friends are the variables which best discriminate between travellers loyal to the airline and those who are not. Differences in drivers of airline loyalty for a number of segments were identified. For example, loyalty programs play a key role for business travellers whereas airline loyalty of leisure travellers is difficult to trace back to single factors. For none of the calculated models satisfaction emerged as a key driver of airline loyalty. PMID:27064618

  7. Elucidation of the distal convoluted tubule transcriptome identifies new candidate genes involved in renal Mg(2+) handling.

    PubMed

    de Baaij, Jeroen H F; Groot Koerkamp, Marian J; Lavrijsen, Marla; van Zeeland, Femke; Meijer, Hans; Holstege, Frank C P; Bindels, René J M; Hoenderop, Joost G J

    2013-12-01

    The kidney plays a key role in the maintenance of Mg(2+) homeostasis. Specifically, the distal convoluted tubule (DCT) is instrumental in the fine-tuning of renal Mg(2+) handling. In recent years, hereditary Mg(2+) transport disorders have helped to identify important players in DCT Mg(2+) homeostasis. Nevertheless, several proteins involved in DCT-mediated Mg(2+) reabsorption remain to be discovered, and a full expression profile of this complex nephron segment may facilitate the discovery of new Mg(2+)-related genes. Here, we report Mg(2+)-sensitive expression of the DCT transcriptome. To this end, transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein under a DCT-specific parvalbumin promoter were subjected to Mg(2+)-deficient or Mg(2+)-enriched diets. Subsequently, the Complex Object Parametric Analyzer and Sorter allowed, for the first time, isolation of enhanced green fluorescent protein-positive DCT cells. RNA extracts thereof were analyzed by DNA microarrays comparing high versus low Mg(2+) to identify Mg(2+) regulatory genes. Based on statistical significance and a fold change of at least 2, 46 genes showed differential expression. Several known magnesiotropic genes, such as transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily M, member 6 (Trpm6), and Parvalbumin, were upregulated under low dietary Mg(2+). Moreover, new genes were identified that are potentially involved in renal Mg(2+) handling. To confirm that the selected candidate genes were regulated by dietary Mg(2+) availability, the expression levels of solute carrier family 41, member 3 (Slc41a3), pterin-4 α-carbinolamine dehydratase/dimerization cofactor of hepatocyte nuclear factor-1α (Pcbd1), TBC1 domain family, member 4 (Tbc1d4), and uromodulin (Umod) were determined by RT-PCR analysis. Indeed, all four genes show significant upregulation in the DCT of mice fed a Mg(2+)-deficient diet. By elucidating the Mg(2+)-sensitive DCT transcriptome, new candidate genes in renal Mg(2

  8. Vascular endothelial growth factor is a key mediator in the development of T cell priming and its polarization to type 1 and type 17 T helper cells in the airways.

    PubMed

    Kim, You-Sun; Hong, Sung-Wook; Choi, Jun-Pyo; Shin, Tae-Seop; Moon, Hyung-Geun; Choi, Eun-Jung; Jeon, Seong Gyu; Oh, Sun-Young; Gho, Yong Song; Zhu, Zhou; Kim, Yoon-Keun

    2009-10-15

    Chronic inflammatory airway diseases including asthma are characterized by immune dysfunction to inhaled allergens. Our previous studies demonstrated that T cell priming to inhaled allergens requires LPS, which is ubiquitously present in household dust allergens. In this study, we evaluated the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the development of T cell priming and its polarization to Th1 or Th17 cells when exposed to LPS-contaminated allergens. An asthma mouse model was induced by airway sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens and then challenged with allergens alone. Therapeutic intervention was performed during allergen sensitization. The present study showed that lung inflammation induced by sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens was decreased in mice with homozygous disruption of the IL-17 gene; in addition, allergen-specific Th17 immune response was abolished in IL-6 knockout mice. Meanwhile, in vivo production of VEGF was up-regulated by airway exposure of LPS. In addition, airway sensitization of allergen plus recombinant VEGF induced both type 1 and type 17 Th cell (Th1 and Th17) responses. Th1 and Th17 responses induced by airway sensitization with LPS-contaminated allergens were blocked by treatment with a pan-VEGF receptor (VEGFR; VEGFR-1 plus VEGFR-2) inhibitor during sensitization. These effects were accompanied by inhibition of the production of Th1 and Th17 polarizing cytokines, IL-12p70 and IL-6, respectively. These findings indicate that VEGF produced by LPS plays a key role in activation of naive T cells and subsequent polarization to Th1 and Th17 cells.

  9. Systems pharmacology of the nerve growth factor pathway: use of a systems biology model for the identification of key drug targets using sensitivity analysis and the integration of physiology and pharmacology.

    PubMed

    Benson, Neil; Matsuura, Tomomi; Smirnov, Sergey; Demin, Oleg; Jones, Hannah M; Dua, Pinky; van der Graaf, Piet H

    2013-04-01

    The nerve growth factor (NGF) pathway is of great interest as a potential source of drug targets, for example in the management of certain types of pain. However, selecting targets from this pathway either by intuition or by non-contextual measures is likely to be challenging. An alternative approach is to construct a mathematical model of the system and via sensitivity analysis rank order the targets in the known pathway, with respect to an endpoint such as the diphosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase concentration in the nucleus. Using the published literature, a model was created and, via sensitivity analysis, it was concluded that, after NGF itself, tropomyosin receptor kinase A (TrkA) was one of the most sensitive druggable targets. This initial model was subsequently used to develop a further model incorporating physiological and pharmacological parameters. This allowed the exploration of the characteristics required for a successful hypothetical TrkA inhibitor. Using these systems models, we were able to identify candidates for the optimal drug targets in the known pathway. These conclusions were consistent with clinical and human genetic data. We also found that incorporating appropriate physiological context was essential to drawing accurate conclusions about important parameters such as the drug dose required to give pathway inhibition. Furthermore, the importance of the concentration of key reactants such as TrkA kinase means that appropriate contextual data are required before clear conclusions can be drawn. Such models could be of great utility in selecting optimal targets and in the clinical evaluation of novel drugs.

  10. Mediated semiquantum key distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krawec, Walter O.

    2015-03-01

    In this work, we design a quantum key distribution protocol, allowing two limited semiquantum or "classical" users to establish a shared secret key with the help of a fully quantum server. A semiquantum user can prepare and measure qubits only in the computational basis and so must rely on this quantum server to produce qubits in alternative bases and also to perform alternative measurements. However, we assume that the server is untrusted and we prove the unconditional security of our protocol even in the worst case: when this quantum server is an all-powerful adversary. We also compute a lower bound of the key rate of our protocol, in the asymptotic scenario, as a function of the observed error rate in the channel, allowing us to compute the maximally tolerated error of our protocol. Our results show that a semiquantum protocol may hold similar security to a fully quantum one.

  11. Carnosic acid biosynthesis elucidated by a synthetic biology platform.

    PubMed

    Ignea, Codruta; Athanasakoglou, Anastasia; Ioannou, Efstathia; Georgantea, Panagiota; Trikka, Fotini A; Loupassaki, Sofia; Roussis, Vassilios; Makris, Antonios M; Kampranis, Sotirios C

    2016-03-29

    Synthetic biology approaches achieving the reconstruction of specific plant natural product biosynthetic pathways in dedicated microbial "chassis" have provided access to important industrial compounds (e.g., artemisinin, resveratrol, vanillin). However, the potential of such production systems to facilitate elucidation of plant biosynthetic pathways has been underexplored. Here we report on the application of a modular terpene production platform in the characterization of the biosynthetic pathway leading to the potent antioxidant carnosic acid and related diterpenes in Salvia pomifera and Rosmarinus officinalis.Four cytochrome P450 enzymes are identified (CYP76AH24, CYP71BE52, CYP76AK6, and CYP76AK8), the combined activities of which account for all of the oxidation events leading to the biosynthesis of the major diterpenes produced in these plants. This approach develops yeast as an efficient tool to harness the biotechnological potential of the numerous sequencing datasets that are increasingly becoming available through transcriptomic or genomic studies. PMID:26976595

  12. Morphological elucidation of basal ganglia circuits contributing reward prediction

    PubMed Central

    Fujiyama, Fumino; Takahashi, Susumu; Karube, Fuyuki

    2015-01-01

    Electrophysiological studies in monkeys have shown that dopaminergic neurons respond to the reward prediction error. In addition, striatal neurons alter their responsiveness to cortical or thalamic inputs in response to the dopamine signal, via the mechanism of dopamine-regulated synaptic plasticity. These findings have led to the hypothesis that the striatum exhibits synaptic plasticity under the influence of the reward prediction error and conduct reinforcement learning throughout the basal ganglia circuits. The reinforcement learning model is useful; however, the mechanism by which such a process emerges in the basal ganglia needs to be anatomically explained. The actor–critic model has been previously proposed and extended by the existence of role sharing within the striatum, focusing on the striosome/matrix compartments. However, this hypothesis has been difficult to confirm morphologically, partly because of the complex structure of the striosome/matrix compartments. Here, we review recent morphological studies that elucidate the input/output organization of the striatal compartments. PMID:25698913

  13. Morphological elucidation of basal ganglia circuits contributing reward prediction.

    PubMed

    Fujiyama, Fumino; Takahashi, Susumu; Karube, Fuyuki

    2015-01-01

    Electrophysiological studies in monkeys have shown that dopaminergic neurons respond to the reward prediction error. In addition, striatal neurons alter their responsiveness to cortical or thalamic inputs in response to the dopamine signal, via the mechanism of dopamine-regulated synaptic plasticity. These findings have led to the hypothesis that the striatum exhibits synaptic plasticity under the influence of the reward prediction error and conduct reinforcement learning throughout the basal ganglia circuits. The reinforcement learning model is useful; however, the mechanism by which such a process emerges in the basal ganglia needs to be anatomically explained. The actor-critic model has been previously proposed and extended by the existence of role sharing within the striatum, focusing on the striosome/matrix compartments. However, this hypothesis has been difficult to confirm morphologically, partly because of the complex structure of the striosome/matrix compartments. Here, we review recent morphological studies that elucidate the input/output organization of the striatal compartments. PMID:25698913

  14. Elucidating the stop bands of structurally colored systems through recursion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amir, Ariel; Vukusic, Peter

    2013-04-01

    Interference is the source of some of the spectacular colors of animals and plants in nature. In some of these systems, the physical structure consists of an ordered array of layers with alternating high and low refractive indices. This periodicity leads to an optical band structure that is analogous to the electronic band structure encountered in semiconductor physics: specific bands of wavelengths (the stop bands) are perfectly reflected. Here, we present a minimal model for optical band structure in a periodic multilayer structure and solve it using recursion relations. The stop bands emerge in the limit of an infinite number of layers by finding the fixed point of the recursion. We compare to experimental data for various beetles, whose optical structure resembles the proposed model. Thus, using only the phenomenon of interference and the idea of recursion, we are able to elucidate the concept of band structure in the context of the experimentally observed high reflectance and iridescent appearance of structurally colored beetles.

  15. Key paediatric messages from Amsterdam

    PubMed Central

    Barben, Jürg; Bohlin, Kajsa; Everard, Mark L.; Hall, Graham; Pijnenburg, Mariëlle; Priftis, Kostas N.; Rusconi, Franca; Midulla, Fabio

    2016-01-01

    The Paediatric Assembly of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) maintained its high profile at the 2015 ERS International Congress in Amsterdam. There were symposia on preschool wheeze, respiratory sounds and cystic fibrosis; an educational skills workshop on paediatric respiratory resuscitation; a hot topic session on risk factors and early origins of respiratory diseases; a meet the expert session on paediatric lung function test reference values; and the annual paediatric grand round. In this report the Chairs of the Paediatric Assembly's Groups highlight the key messages from the abstracts presented at the Congress. PMID:27730186

  16. Advances in structure elucidation of small molecules using mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Fiehn, Oliver

    2010-01-01

    The structural elucidation of small molecules using mass spectrometry plays an important role in modern life sciences and bioanalytical approaches. This review covers different soft and hard ionization techniques and figures of merit for modern mass spectrometers, such as mass resolving power, mass accuracy, isotopic abundance accuracy, accurate mass multiple-stage MS(n) capability, as well as hybrid mass spectrometric and orthogonal chromatographic approaches. The latter part discusses mass spectral data handling strategies, which includes background and noise subtraction, adduct formation and detection, charge state determination, accurate mass measurements, elemental composition determinations, and complex data-dependent setups with ion maps and ion trees. The importance of mass spectral library search algorithms for tandem mass spectra and multiple-stage MS(n) mass spectra as well as mass spectral tree libraries that combine multiple-stage mass spectra are outlined. The successive chapter discusses mass spectral fragmentation pathways, biotransformation reactions and drug metabolism studies, the mass spectral simulation and generation of in silico mass spectra, expert systems for mass spectral interpretation, and the use of computational chemistry to explain gas-phase phenomena. A single chapter discusses data handling for hyphenated approaches including mass spectral deconvolution for clean mass spectra, cheminformatics approaches and structure retention relationships, and retention index predictions for gas and liquid chromatography. The last section reviews the current state of electronic data sharing of mass spectra and discusses the importance of software development for the advancement of structure elucidation of small molecules. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s12566-010-0015-9) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users. PMID:21289855

  17. Elucidating Mechanisms of Toxicity Using Phenotypic Data from Primary Human Cell Systems—A Chemical Biology Approach for Thrombosis-Related Side Effects

    PubMed Central

    Berg, Ellen L.; Polokoff, Mark A.; O’Mahony, Alison; Nguyen, Dat; Li, Xitong

    2015-01-01

    Here we describe a chemical biology approach for elucidating potential toxicity mechanisms for thrombosis-related side effects. This work takes advantage of a large chemical biology data set comprising the effects of known, well-characterized reference agents on the cell surface levels of tissue factor (TF) in a primary human endothelial cell-based model of vascular inflammation, the BioMAP® 3C system. In previous work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the ToxCast™ program, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists and estrogen receptor (ER) antagonists were found to share an usual activity, that of increasing TF levels in this system. Since human exposure to compounds in both chemical classes is associated with increased incidence of thrombosis-related side effects, we expanded this analysis with a large number of well-characterized reference compounds in order to better understand the underlying mechanisms. As a result, mechanisms for increasing (AhR, histamine H1 receptor, histone deacetylase or HDAC, hsp90, nuclear factor kappa B or NFκB, MEK, oncostatin M receptor, Jak kinase, and p38 MAPK) and decreasing (vacuolar ATPase or V-ATPase) and mTOR) TF expression levels were uncovered. These data identify the nutrient, lipid, bacterial, and hypoxia sensing functions of autophagy as potential key regulatory points controlling cell surface TF levels in endothelial cells and support the mechanistic hypothesis that these functions are associated with thrombosis-related side effects in vivo. PMID:25569083

  18. Cryptographic Key Management System

    SciTech Connect

    No, author

    2014-02-21

    This report summarizes the outcome of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contract DE-OE0000543, requesting the design of a Cryptographic Key Management System (CKMS) for the secure management of cryptographic keys for the energy sector infrastructure. Prime contractor Sypris Electronics, in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratories (ORNL), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Valicore Technologies, and Purdue University's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) and Smart Meter Integration Laboratory (SMIL), has designed, developed and evaluated the CKMS solution. We provide an overview of the project in Section 3, review the core contributions of all contractors in Section 4, and discuss bene ts to the DOE in Section 5. In Section 6 we describe the technical construction of the CKMS solution, and review its key contributions in Section 6.9. Section 7 describes the evaluation and demonstration of the CKMS solution in different environments. We summarize the key project objectives in Section 8, list publications resulting from the project in Section 9, and conclude with a discussion on commercialization in Section 10 and future work in Section 11.

  19. Commentary: Elucidating the Neural Correlates of Early Childhood Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mullally, Sinead L.

    2015-01-01

    Both episodic memory and the key neural structure believed to support it, namely the hippocampus, are believed to undergo protracted periods of postnatal developmental. Critically however, the hippocampus is comprised of distinct subfields and circuits, and these circuits appear to mature at different rates (Lavenex and Banta Lavenex, 2013).…

  20. Elucidations on the Reciprocal Lattice and the Ewald Sphere

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foadi, J.; Evans, G.

    2008-01-01

    The reciprocal lattice is derived through the Fourier transform of a generic crystal lattice, as done previously in the literature. A few key derivations are this time handled in detail, and the connection with x-ray diffraction is clearly pointed out. The Ewald sphere is subsequently thoroughly explained and a few comments on its representation…

  1. Methodology for Localized and Accessible Image Formation and Elucidation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patil, Sandeep R.; Katiyar, Manish

    2009-01-01

    Accessibility is one of the key checkpoints in all software products, applications, and Web sites. Accessibility with digital images has always been a major challenge for the industry. Images form an integral part of certain type of documents and most Web 2.0-compliant Web sites. Individuals challenged with blindness and many dyslexics only make…

  2. Elucidation of Adverse Bioactivity Profiles as Predictors of Toxicity Potential

    EPA Science Inventory

    Toxicity testing in vitro remains a formidable challenge due to lack of understanding of key molecular targets and pathways underlying many pathological events. The combination of genome sequencing and widespread application of high-throughput screening tools have provided the me...

  3. The role of cellular senescence during vascular calcification: a key paradigm in aging research.

    PubMed

    Mackenzie, N C W; MacRae, V E

    2011-07-01

    Vascular calcification has severe clinical consequences and is considered an accurate predictor of future adverse cardiovascular events. Vascular calcification refers to the deposition of calcium phosphate mineral, most often hydroxyapatite, in arteries. Extensive calcification of the vascular system is a key characteristic of aging. In this article, we outline the mechanisms governing vascular calcification and highlight its association with cellular senescence. This review discusses the molecular mechanisms of cellular senescence and its affect on calcification of vascular cells, the relevance of phosphate regulation and the function of FGF23 and Klotho proteins. The association of vascular calcification and cellular senescence with the rare human aging disorder Hutchison-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS) is highlighted and the mouse models used to try to determine the underlying pathways are discussed. By understanding the pathways involved in these processes novel drug targets may be elucidated in an effort to reduce the effects of cellular aging as a risk factor in cardiovascular disease.

  4. Elucidating pharmacodynamic interaction of silver nanoparticle - topical deliverable antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Thirumurugan, G; Seshagiri Rao, J V L N; Dhanaraju, M D

    2016-01-01

    In order to exploit the potential benefits of antimicrobial combination therapy, we need a better understanding of the circumstances under which pharmacodynamic interactions expected. In this study, Pharmacodynamic interactions between silver nanoparticle (SNP) and topical antibiotics such as Cefazolin (CEF), Mupirocin (MUP), Gentamycin (GEN), Neomycin (NEO), Tetracycline (TET), Vancomycin (VAN) were investigated using the MIC test, Combination assay followed by Fractional Inhibitory concentration Index and Agar well diffusion method. SNP + MUP, SNP + NEO, SNP + VAN combinations showed Synergism (SN) and SNP + CEF, SNP + GEN, SNP + TET showed Partial synergism (PS) against Staphylococcus aureus. Four combinations (SNP + CEF, SNP + MUP, SNP + GEN, SNP + VAN) showed SN, SNP + TET showed PS and Indifferent effect (ID) were observed for SNP + NEO against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. SN was observed for SNP + CEF, SNP + GEN, SNP + NEO, SNP + TET and SNP + MUP showed ID, SNP + VAN showed PS against Escherichia coli. In addition, we elucidated the possible mechanism involved in the pharmacodynamic interaction between SNP-topical antibiotics by increased ROS level, membrane damage following protein release, K(+) leakage and biofilm inhibition. Thus, our findings support that conjugation of the SNP with topical antibiotics have great potential in the topical formulation when treating complex resistant bacterial infections and where there is a need of more concentration to kill pathogenic bacteria. PMID:27427207

  5. Elucidating Polypharmacological Mechanisms of Polyphenols by Gene Module Profile Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Bin; Xiong, Min; Zhang, Hong-Yu

    2014-01-01

    Due to the diverse medicinal effects, polyphenols are among the most intensively studied natural products. However, it is a great challenge to elucidate the polypharmacological mechanisms of polyphenols. To address this challenge, we establish a method for identifying multiple targets of chemical agents through analyzing the module profiles of gene expression upon chemical treatments. By using FABIA algorithm, we have performed a biclustering analysis of gene expression profiles derived from Connectivity Map (cMap), and clustered the profiles into 49 gene modules. This allowed us to define a 49 dimensional binary vector to characterize the gene module profiles, by which we can compare the expression profiles for each pair of chemical agents with Tanimoto coefficient. For the agent pairs with similar gene expression profiles, we can predict the target of one agent from the other. Drug target enrichment analysis indicated that this method is efficient to predict the multiple targets of chemical agents. By using this method, we identify 148 targets for 20 polyphenols derived from cMap. A large part of the targets are validated by experimental observations. The results show that the medicinal effects of polyphenols are far beyond their well-known antioxidant activities. This method is also applicable to dissect the polypharmacology of other natural products. PMID:24968267

  6. Harnessing Evolution to Elucidate the Consequences of Symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Gerardo, Nicole M.

    2015-01-01

    Many organisms harbor microbial associates that have profound impacts on host traits. The phenotypic effect of symbionts on their hosts may include changes in development, reproduction, longevity, and defense against natural enemies. Determining the consequences of associating with a microbial symbiont requires experimental comparison of hosts with and without symbionts. Then, determining the mechanism by which symbionts alter these phenotypes can involve genomic, genetic, and evolutionary approaches; however, many host-associated symbionts are not amenable to genetic approaches that require cultivation of the microbe outside the host. In the current issue of PLOS Biology, Chrostek and Teixeira highlight an elegant approach to studying functional mechanisms of symbiont-conferred traits. They used directed experimental evolution to select for strains of Wolbachia wMelPop (a bacterial symbiont of fruit flies) that differed in copy number of a region of the genome suspected to underlie virulence. Copy number evolved rapidly when under selection, and wMelPop strains with more copies of the region shortened the lives of their Drosophila hosts more than symbionts with fewer copies. Interestingly, the wMelPop strains with more copies also increase host resistance to viruses compared to symbionts with fewer copies. Their study highlights the power of exploiting alternative approaches when elucidating the functional impacts of symbiotic associations. PMID:25668183

  7. Saturnian magnetospheric dynamics: Elucidation of a camshaft model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Southwood, D. J.; Kivelson, M. G.

    2007-12-01

    Periodic modulation of magnetospheric phenomena at Earth and Jupiter results principally from the tilt of the dipole axis relative to the rotation axis. Saturn's nearly aligned dipole moment is tilted by less than 0.5° from the spin axis, yet the power of radio-frequency emissions, the orientation of the magnetic field, and many properties of the magnetospheric plasma vary periodically at the approximate rate of Saturn's rotation. Here we examine properties of the periodic magnetic signal detected in the magnetospheric regions inside ~12-15 R S . We show that it is associated with a rotating nonaxisymmetric system of field-aligned currents flowing on magnetic shells bounding the region where the signals are seen. Magnetohydrodynamic ideas suggest that these currents would drive rotating plasma flow patterns in the northern and southern ionospheres, with the flows oppositely directed in the two hemispheres. On magnetic shells beyond the sheets of field-aligned current, the magnetic perturbations generate an effective rotating equatorial dipole moment that when added to the planetary dipole moment, produces a dipole moment tilted relative to the spin axis at an angle of order 12-15°. The overt source of the north-south asymmetric ionospheric circulation could link to different ionospheric conductances that result from nonuniform solar illumination. Other possible sources are discussed but, although we can elucidate much, the origin of the cam signal (as well as other phenomena such as the Saturn kilometric radio emission with close to the same period) remains enigmatic.

  8. [Neuropsychological approach to elucidating delusion and psychotic symptoms].

    PubMed

    Kato, Motoichiro

    2012-01-01

    Neuropsychological symptom-oriented approach is a critical method to elucidate delusion and psychotic symptoms in patients with focal brain damages and schizophrenia. In Capgras delusion (CD), the delusional misidentification of familiar people disguised as others, the patients with right amygdala damage and bilateral ventromedial prefrontal lesions have a deficient or reduced emotional valence of the person with intact configurational processes of the face. Reduplicative paramnesia (RP) is a specific phenomenon characterized by subjective certainty that a familiar place or person has been duplicated. Clinical evidences indicated that the patient with RP following right prefrontal damages showed the lack of emotional valence for the present hospital. This abnormal sense of familiarity triggered the deficits of the orientation of self to the outside world, that is, double orientation, resulting in the development of geographical reduplicative paramnesia. In line with the pathogenesis of CD and RP after brain damages, the delusion in schizophrenia may have a germ as developmental origins, which include the aberrant or salient perceptual experiences and abnormal sense of agency, and might be further aggravated by the impairment of causal reasoning process such as the jumping-to-conclusions bias.

  9. Elucidation of cell secretion: pancreas led the way.

    PubMed

    Craciun, Constantin

    2004-01-01

    Secretion is a basic process in all cells and is required for several important functions such as neurotransmission, the secretion of digestive juices from the exocrine pancreas and the release of hormones from endocrine and neuroendocrine cells. Due to these important functions, the mechanism of cell secretion has been intensely investigated for over half a century. However, it is only in the last decade, with the discovery of a new cellular structure, the 'porosome' or 'fusion pore', and the elucidation of SNARE-induced membrane fusion, that has finally provided us with an understanding of cell secretion at the molecular level. The 'porosome', a supramolecular structure at the cell plasma membrane, was first discovered in the exocrine pancreas, and subsequently in endocrine/neuroendocrine cells and in neurons. The structure and dynamics of the 'porosome' in live cells at nanometer resolution and in real-time, its composition and functional reconstitution in lipid membrane, have all been determined. These findings have fundamentally changed our understanding of cell secretion and provide a clear understanding of this highly regulated process in cells.

  10. Elucidating Interactions between DMSO and Chelate-Based Ionic Liquids.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hang; Wang, Xinyu; Yao, Jia; Chen, Kexian; Guo, Yan; Zhang, Pengfei; Li, Haoran

    2015-12-21

    The C-D bond stretching vibrations of deuterated dimethyl sulfoxide ([D6 ]DMSO) and the C2 -H bond stretching vibrations of 1,1,1,5,5,5-hexafluoropentane-2,4-dione (hfac) ligand in anion are chosen as probes to elucidate the solvent-solute interaction between chelate-based ionic liquids (ILs) and DMSO by vibrational spectroscopic studies. The indirect effect from the interaction of the adjacent S=O functional group of DMSO with the cation [C10 mim](+) and anion [Mn(hfac)3 ](-) of the ILs leads to the blue-shift of the C-D stretching vibrations of DMSO. The C2 -H bond stretching vibrations in hfac ligand is closely related to the ionic hydrogen bond strength between the cation and anion of chelate-based ILs. EPR studies reveal that the crystal field of the central metal is kept when the chelate-based ILs are in different microstructure environment in the solution.

  11. Elucidating pharmacodynamic interaction of silver nanoparticle - topical deliverable antibiotics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thirumurugan, G.; Seshagiri Rao, J. V. L. N.; Dhanaraju, M. D.

    2016-07-01

    In order to exploit the potential benefits of antimicrobial combination therapy, we need a better understanding of the circumstances under which pharmacodynamic interactions expected. In this study, Pharmacodynamic interactions between silver nanoparticle (SNP) and topical antibiotics such as Cefazolin (CEF), Mupirocin (MUP), Gentamycin (GEN), Neomycin (NEO), Tetracycline (TET), Vancomycin (VAN) were investigated using the MIC test, Combination assay followed by Fractional Inhibitory concentration Index and Agar well diffusion method. SNP + MUP, SNP + NEO, SNP + VAN combinations showed Synergism (SN) and SNP + CEF, SNP + GEN, SNP + TET showed Partial synergism (PS) against Staphylococcus aureus. Four combinations (SNP + CEF, SNP + MUP, SNP + GEN, SNP + VAN) showed SN, SNP + TET showed PS and Indifferent effect (ID) were observed for SNP + NEO against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. SN was observed for SNP + CEF, SNP + GEN, SNP + NEO, SNP + TET and SNP + MUP showed ID, SNP + VAN showed PS against Escherichia coli. In addition, we elucidated the possible mechanism involved in the pharmacodynamic interaction between SNP-topical antibiotics by increased ROS level, membrane damage following protein release, K+ leakage and biofilm inhibition. Thus, our findings support that conjugation of the SNP with topical antibiotics have great potential in the topical formulation when treating complex resistant bacterial infections and where there is a need of more concentration to kill pathogenic bacteria.

  12. Elucidation of gene function using C-5 propyne antisense oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Flanagan, W M; Su, L L; Wagner, R W

    1996-09-01

    Identification of human disease-causing genes continues to be an intense area of research. While cloning of genes may lead to diagnostic tests, development of a cure requires an understanding of the gene's function in both normal and diseased cells. Thus, there exists a need for a reproducible and simple method to elucidate gene function. We evaluate C-5 propyne pyrimidine modified phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotides (ONs) targeted against two human cell cycle proteins that are aberrantly expressed in breast cancer: p34cdc2 kinase and cyclin B1. Dose-dependent, sequence-specific, and gene-specific inhibition of both proteins was achieved at nanomolar concentrations of ONs in normal and breast cancer cells. Precise binding of the antisense ONs to their target RNA was absolutely required for antisense activity. Four or six base-mismatched ONs eliminated antisense activity confirming the sequence specificity of the antisense ONs. Antisense inhibition of p34cdc2 kinase resulted in a significant accumulation of cells in the Gap2/mitosis phase of the cell cycle in normal cells, but caused little effect on cell cycle progression in breast cancer cells. These data demonstrate the potency, specificity, and utility of C-5 propyne modified antisense ONs as biological tools and illustrate the redundancy of cell cycle protein function that can occur in cancer cells. PMID:9631067

  13. Elucidating Genetic Counseling Outcomes from the Perspective of Genetic Counselors.

    PubMed

    Zierhut, Heather A; Shannon, K M; Cragun, D L; Cohen, S A

    2016-10-01

    Outcomes in the field of genetic counseling have not been well-defined or categorized, despite pressures to provide evidence-based measures in all areas of healthcare. This study describes a process to elucidate and categorize a wide-ranging set of outcomes as characterized by diverse groups of practicing genetic counselors. Semi-structured focus groups were conducted at the National Society of Genetic Counselors 2013 NSGC Annual Education Conference during an educational breakout session. A general inductive qualitative research approach was utilized to code focus group notes, categorize them into themes, and compare them across specialty groups. A total of 107 individuals participated in 14 focus groups, consisting of specialists in cancer (n = 20), general genetics (n = 40), prenatal genetics (n = 11), and "other" (n = 36). Of the twelve genetic counseling outcomes themes identified, the most common across focus groups included: 1) appropriateness of testing and accuracy of results interpretation; 2) psychosocial outcomes; 3) adherence to or receipt of appropriate medical management; and 4) patient and provider knowledge. Data assessed by specialty demonstrated similarities in outcomes themes, suggesting that a common set of genetic counseling outcomes would likely be appropriate to cover the majority of needs for the profession. Results can serve as a platform from which to build a more well-defined and comprehensive set of outcomes.

  14. Elucidating the Ticking of an In Vitro Circadian Clockwork

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Ximing; Egli, Martin; Mchaourab, Hassane S; Stewart, Phoebe L; Johnson, Carl Hirschie

    2007-01-01

    A biochemical oscillator can be reconstituted in vitro with three purified proteins, that displays the salient properties of circadian (daily) rhythms, including self-sustained 24-h periodicity that is temperature compensated. We analyze the biochemical basis of this oscillator by quantifying the time-dependent interactions of the three proteins (KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC) by electron microscopy and native gel electrophoresis to elucidate the timing of the formation of complexes among the Kai proteins. The data are used to derive a dynamic model for the in vitro oscillator that accurately reproduces the rhythms of KaiABC complexes and of KaiC phosphorylation, and is consistent with biophysical observations of individual Kai protein interactions. We use fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to confirm that monomer exchange among KaiC hexamers occurs. The model demonstrates that the function of this monomer exchange may be to maintain synchrony among the KaiC hexamers in the reaction, thereby sustaining a high-amplitude oscillation. Finally, we apply the first perturbation analyses of an in vitro oscillator by using temperature pulses to reset the phase of the KaiABC oscillator, thereby testing the resetting characteristics of this unique circadian oscillator. This study analyzes a circadian clockwork to an unprecedented level of molecular detail. PMID:17388688

  15. Elucidating pharmacodynamic interaction of silver nanoparticle - topical deliverable antibiotics

    PubMed Central

    Thirumurugan, G.; Seshagiri Rao, J. V. L. N.; Dhanaraju, M. D.

    2016-01-01

    In order to exploit the potential benefits of antimicrobial combination therapy, we need a better understanding of the circumstances under which pharmacodynamic interactions expected. In this study, Pharmacodynamic interactions between silver nanoparticle (SNP) and topical antibiotics such as Cefazolin (CEF), Mupirocin (MUP), Gentamycin (GEN), Neomycin (NEO), Tetracycline (TET), Vancomycin (VAN) were investigated using the MIC test, Combination assay followed by Fractional Inhibitory concentration Index and Agar well diffusion method. SNP + MUP, SNP + NEO, SNP + VAN combinations showed Synergism (SN) and SNP + CEF, SNP + GEN, SNP + TET showed Partial synergism (PS) against Staphylococcus aureus. Four combinations (SNP + CEF, SNP + MUP, SNP + GEN, SNP + VAN) showed SN, SNP + TET showed PS and Indifferent effect (ID) were observed for SNP + NEO against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. SN was observed for SNP + CEF, SNP + GEN, SNP + NEO, SNP + TET and SNP + MUP showed ID, SNP + VAN showed PS against Escherichia coli. In addition, we elucidated the possible mechanism involved in the pharmacodynamic interaction between SNP-topical antibiotics by increased ROS level, membrane damage following protein release, K+ leakage and biofilm inhibition. Thus, our findings support that conjugation of the SNP with topical antibiotics have great potential in the topical formulation when treating complex resistant bacterial infections and where there is a need of more concentration to kill pathogenic bacteria. PMID:27427207

  16. Synthesis and structural elucidation of a novel polymorph of alcaftadine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pansuriya, Pramod B.; Maguire, Glenn E. M.; Friedrich, Holger B.

    2015-05-01

    In this study, we have synthesized and elucidated the structure of the H1 histamine antagonist, 2-(1-methylpiperidin-4-ylidene)-4,7-diazatricyclo[8.4.0.0(3,7)]tetradeca-1(14),3,5,10,12-pentaene-6-carbaldehyde in the solution and solid-state. We have also studied the thermal dilapidation of the compound. Solution structure analysis was achieved by employing NMR spectroscopy including 2D experiments NOESY, HSQC and HMBC, while solid state investigations were undertaken using SXRD, PXRD, TGA, DSC, and IR spectroscopy. For the first time the single crystal structure of alcaftadine has now been solved. Crystallographic data are as follows: monoclinic, Cc, a = 11.5694(6) Å, b = 14.5864(6) Å, c = 10.2688(4) Å, α = 90°, β = 111.793(3)°, γ = 90°, V = 1609.07(13) Å3, Z = 4. The Hirshfeld surface analyses also have been performed using the crystal structure.

  17. Insilico docking study of compounds elucidated from helicteres isora fruits with ampkinase- insulin receptor.

    PubMed

    Vennila, Subramanium; Bupesh, Giridharan; Saravanamurali, Krishnan; SenthilKumar, Viajayan; SenthilRaja, Ramalingam; Saran, Natarajan; Magesh, Sachidanandam

    2014-01-01

    Insulin receptor (IR) proteins were essential intracellular signaling peptides in the insulin action cascade. Insulin receptor substrate proteins (IRS-1and IRS-2) serve and regulate the insulin level in the normal insulin action. The broad role of IRS-1 and IRS-2 in cell growth and survival reveals a common regulatory pathway linking development, somatic growth, fertility, neuronal proliferation, and aging to the core mechanisms used by vertebrates for nutrient sensing. Such type of proteins were cyclic adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, this proteins play a key role in the insulin response and regulation. Type -2 Diabetes mellitus occurs during prolonged periods of peripheral insulin resistance due to inactivation of IRS proteins. The compounds isolated from the medicinal plants were safer than synthetic drugs and possess high bio activity. In the present study, four compounds were elucidated from fruits of Helicteres isora. The elucidated compounds were evaluated for the antidiabetic activity using in silico docking study. The receptor was analyzed for the active site and pocket finder tools. The aminoacids such as Phenylalanine, Lysine, Glutamic acid and Asparigine were predicted as active site binding residues. Docking studies were done through Autodock 4 software. All the compounds from fruits of Helicteres isora showed good docking profiles with AMP Kinase, except compound-3 (1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1,5,6,8-tetramethyl-7-(2-methylprop-1-enylnaphthalene-4-ylpivalate). Finally the result from the study demonstrates that the HS-1, HS-2 and HS-4 posses potent anti diabetic activity against type-2 diabetes mellitus through drug action on AMP kinase cascade system. PMID:24966532

  18. Insilico docking study of compounds elucidated from helicteres isora fruits with ampkinase- insulin receptor

    PubMed Central

    Vennila, Subramanium; Bupesh, Giridharan; Saravanamurali, Krishnan; SenthilKumar, Viajayan; SenthilRaja, Ramalingam; Saran, Natarajan; Magesh, Sachidanandam

    2014-01-01

    Insulin receptor (IR) proteins were essential intracellular signaling peptides in the insulin action cascade. Insulin receptor substrate proteins (IRS-1and IRS-2) serve and regulate the insulin level in the normal insulin action. The broad role of IRS-1 and IRS-2 in cell growth and survival reveals a common regulatory pathway linking development, somatic growth, fertility, neuronal proliferation, and aging to the core mechanisms used by vertebrates for nutrient sensing. Such type of proteins were cyclic adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, this proteins play a key role in the insulin response and regulation. Type -2 Diabetes mellitus occurs during prolonged periods of peripheral insulin resistance due to inactivation of IRS proteins. The compounds isolated from the medicinal plants were safer than synthetic drugs and possess high bio activity. In the present study, four compounds were elucidated from fruits of Helicteres isora. The elucidated compounds were evaluated for the antidiabetic activity using in silico docking study. The receptor was analyzed for the active site and pocket finder tools. The aminoacids such as Phenylalanine, Lysine, Glutamic acid and Asparigine were predicted as active site binding residues. Docking studies were done through Autodock 4 software. All the compounds from fruits of Helicteres isora showed good docking profiles with AMP Kinase, except compound-3 (1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-1,5,6,8-tetramethyl-7-(2-methylprop-1-enylnaphthalene-4-ylpivalate). Finally the result from the study demonstrates that the HS-1, HS-2 and HS-4 posses potent anti diabetic activity against type-2 diabetes mellitus through drug action on AMP kinase cascade system. PMID:24966532

  19. Fungal model systems and the elucidation of pathogenicity determinants

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Nadales, Elena; Almeida Nogueira, Maria Filomena; Baldin, Clara; Castanheira, Sónia; El Ghalid, Mennat; Grund, Elisabeth; Lengeler, Klaus; Marchegiani, Elisabetta; Mehrotra, Pankaj Vinod; Moretti, Marino; Naik, Vikram; Oses-Ruiz, Miriam; Oskarsson, Therese; Schäfer, Katja; Wasserstrom, Lisa; Brakhage, Axel A.; Gow, Neil A.R.; Kahmann, Regine; Lebrun, Marc-Henri; Perez-Martin, José; Di Pietro, Antonio; Talbot, Nicholas J.; Toquin, Valerie; Walther, Andrea; Wendland, Jürgen

    2014-01-01

    Fungi have the capacity to cause devastating diseases of both plants and animals, causing significant harvest losses that threaten food security and human mycoses with high mortality rates. As a consequence, there is a critical need to promote development of new antifungal drugs, which requires a comprehensive molecular knowledge of fungal pathogenesis. In this review, we critically evaluate current knowledge of seven fungal organisms used as major research models for fungal pathogenesis. These include pathogens of both animals and plants; Ashbya gossypii, Aspergillus fumigatus, Candida albicans, Fusarium oxysporum, Magnaporthe oryzae, Ustilago maydis and Zymoseptoria tritici. We present key insights into the virulence mechanisms deployed by each species and a comparative overview of key insights obtained from genomic analysis. We then consider current trends and future challenges associated with the study of fungal pathogenicity. PMID:25011008

  20. Pooled-DNA Sequencing for Elucidating New Genomic Risk Factors, Rare Variants Underlying Alzheimer's Disease.

    PubMed

    Jin, Sheng Chih; Benitez, Bruno A; Deming, Yuetiva; Cruchaga, Carlos

    2016-01-01

    Analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for complex disorders usually identify common variants with a relatively small effect size that only explain a small proportion of phenotypic heritability. Several studies have suggested that a significant fraction of heritability may be explained by low-frequency (minor allele frequency (MAF) of 1-5 %) and rare-variants that are not contained in the commercial GWAS genotyping arrays (Schork et al., Curr Opin Genet Dev 19:212, 2009). Rare variants can also have relatively large effects on risk for developing human diseases or disease phenotype (Cruchaga et al., PLoS One 7:e31039, 2012). However, it is necessary to perform next-generation sequencing (NGS) studies in a large population (>4,000 samples) to detect a significant rare-variant association. Several NGS methods, such as custom capture sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing, are designed to screen a small proportion of the genome, but most of these methods are limited in the number of samples that can be multiplexed (i.e. most sequencing kits only provide 96 distinct index). Additionally, the sequencing library preparation for 4,000 samples remains expensive and thus conducting NGS studies with the aforementioned methods are not feasible for most research laboratories.The need for low-cost large scale rare-variant detection makes pooled-DNA sequencing an ideally efficient and cost-effective technique to identify rare variants in target regions by sequencing hundreds to thousands of samples. Our recent work has demonstrated that pooled-DNA sequencing can accurately detect rare variants in targeted regions in multiple DNA samples with high sensitivity and specificity (Jin et al., Alzheimers Res Ther 4:34, 2012). In these studies we used a well-established pooled-DNA sequencing approach and a computational package, SPLINTER (short indel prediction by large deviation inference and nonlinear true frequency estimation by recursion) (Vallania et al., Genome Res 20:1711, 2010), for accurate identification of rare variants in large DNA pools. Given an average sequencing coverage of 30× per haploid genome, SPLINTER can detect rare variants and short indels up to 4 base pairs (bp) with high sensitivity and specificity (up to 1 haploid allele in a pool as large as 500 individuals). Step-by-step instructions on how to conduct pooled-DNA sequencing experiments and data analyses are described in this chapter. PMID:26235075

  1. The Bremner factor for elucidation of nitrous oxide evolution from soils

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    It is well established that agricultural emissions of nitrous oxide are an important source of atmospheric green house gas loading implicated in global climate change. The atmospheric concentration of nitrous oxide has increased by 17% since the 1800’s and continues to increase at an exponential r...

  2. Elucidating the Factors that Determine the Open Circuit Voltage in Discrete Heterojunction Organic Photovoltaic Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Chauhan, V.; Hatton, R; Sullivan, P; Jones, T; Cho, S; Piper, L; DeMasi, A; Smith, K

    2010-01-01

    The operation of discrete heterojunction organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells employing chloro-aluminium phthalocyanine (ClAlPc) as the electron donor and C{sub 60} as the electron acceptor is reported and the characteristics are correlated with the energy level structure of the devices determined using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. The results give new insight into the origin of the open circuit voltage (V{sub oc}) in discrete heterojunction OPVs. The measured V{sub oc} in this system is found to be determined by: (i) the frontier orbital energy offsets between the donor and acceptor materials, accounting for the likely formation of an abrupt vacuum level shift at the heterojunction interface and (ii) the degree of alignment between the hole-extracting electrode Fermi level and the highest occupied molecular orbital energy of the electron donor material. The generality of the findings is demonstrated by rationalising the V{sub oc} in OPVs employing the archetypal electron donor, copper phthalocyanine.

  3. Atomic structure of anthrax protective antigen pore elucidates toxin translocation.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Jiansen; Pentelute, Bradley L; Collier, R John; Zhou, Z Hong

    2015-05-28

    Anthrax toxin, comprising protective antigen, lethal factor, and oedema factor, is the major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, an agent that causes high mortality in humans and animals. Protective antigen forms oligomeric prepores that undergo conversion to membrane-spanning pores by endosomal acidification, and these pores translocate the enzymes lethal factor and oedema factor into the cytosol of target cells. Protective antigen is not only a vaccine component and therapeutic target for anthrax infections but also an excellent model system for understanding the mechanism of protein translocation. On the basis of biochemical and electrophysiological results, researchers have proposed that a phi (Φ)-clamp composed of phenylalanine (Phe)427 residues of protective antigen catalyses protein translocation via a charge-state-dependent Brownian ratchet. Although atomic structures of protective antigen prepores are available, how protective antigen senses low pH, converts to active pore, and translocates lethal factor and oedema factor are not well defined without an atomic model of its pore. Here, by cryo-electron microscopy with direct electron counting, we determine the protective antigen pore structure at 2.9-Å resolution. The structure reveals the long-sought-after catalytic Φ-clamp and the membrane-spanning translocation channel, and supports the Brownian ratchet model for protein translocation. Comparisons of four structures reveal conformational changes in prepore to pore conversion that support a multi-step mechanism by which low pH is sensed and the membrane-spanning channel is formed.

  4. Key Points Concerning Amyloid Infectivity and Prion-Like Neuronal Invasion.

    PubMed

    Espargaró, Alba; Busquets, Maria Antònia; Estelrich, Joan; Sabate, Raimon

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid aggregation has been related to an increasing number of human illnesses, from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases (AD/PD) to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Commonly, only prions have been considered as infectious agents with a high capacity of propagation. However, recent publications have shown that many amyloid proteins, including amyloid β-peptide, α-synuclein (α-syn) and tau protein, also propagate in a "prion-like" manner. Meanwhile, no link between propagation of pathological proteins and neurotoxicity has been demonstrated. The extremely low infectivity under natural conditions of most non-prion amyloids is far below the capacity to spread exhibited by prions. Nonetheless, it is important to elucidate the key factors that cause non-prion amyloids to become infectious agents. In recent years, important advances in our understanding of the amyloid processes of amyloid-like proteins and unrelated prions (i.e., yeast and fungal prions) have yielded essential information that can shed light on the prion phenomenon in mammals and humans. As shown in this review, recent evidence suggests that there are key factors that could dramatically modulate the prion capacity of proteins in the amyloid conformation. The concentration of nuclei, the presence of oligomers, and the toxicity, resistance and localization of these aggregates could all be key factors affecting their spread. In short, those factors that favor the high concentration of extracellular nuclei or oligomers, characterized by small size, with a low toxicity could dramatically increase prion propensity; whereas low concentrations of highly toxic intracellular amyloids, with a large size, would effectively prevent infectivity. PMID:27147962

  5. Key Points Concerning Amyloid Infectivity and Prion-Like Neuronal Invasion

    PubMed Central

    Espargaró, Alba; Busquets, Maria Antònia; Estelrich, Joan; Sabate, Raimon

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid aggregation has been related to an increasing number of human illnesses, from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases (AD/PD) to Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Commonly, only prions have been considered as infectious agents with a high capacity of propagation. However, recent publications have shown that many amyloid proteins, including amyloid β-peptide, α-synuclein (α-syn) and tau protein, also propagate in a “prion-like” manner. Meanwhile, no link between propagation of pathological proteins and neurotoxicity has been demonstrated. The extremely low infectivity under natural conditions of most non-prion amyloids is far below the capacity to spread exhibited by prions. Nonetheless, it is important to elucidate the key factors that cause non-prion amyloids to become infectious agents. In recent years, important advances in our understanding of the amyloid processes of amyloid-like proteins and unrelated prions (i.e., yeast and fungal prions) have yielded essential information that can shed light on the prion phenomenon in mammals and humans. As shown in this review, recent evidence suggests that there are key factors that could dramatically modulate the prion capacity of proteins in the amyloid conformation. The concentration of nuclei, the presence of oligomers, and the toxicity, resistance and localization of these aggregates could all be key factors affecting their spread. In short, those factors that favor the high concentration of extracellular nuclei or oligomers, characterized by small size, with a low toxicity could dramatically increase prion propensity; whereas low concentrations of highly toxic intracellular amyloids, with a large size, would effectively prevent infectivity. PMID:27147962

  6. Wrangling Phosphoproteomic Data to Elucidate Cancer Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Grimes, Mark L.; Lee, Wan-Jui; van der Maaten, Laurens; Shannon, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The interpretation of biological data sets is essential for generating hypotheses that guide research, yet modern methods of global analysis challenge our ability to discern meaningful patterns and then convey results in a way that can be easily appreciated. Proteomic data is especially challenging because mass spectrometry detectors often miss peptides in complex samples, resulting in sparsely populated data sets. Using the R programming language and techniques from the field of pattern recognition, we have devised methods to resolve and evaluate clusters of proteins related by their pattern of expression in different samples in proteomic data sets. We examined tyrosine phosphoproteomic data from lung cancer samples. We calculated dissimilarities between the proteins based on Pearson or Spearman correlations and on Euclidean distances, whilst dealing with large amounts of missing data. The dissimilarities were then used as feature vectors in clustering and visualization algorithms. The quality of the clusterings and visualizations were evaluated internally based on the primary data and externally based on gene ontology and protein interaction networks. The results show that t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE) followed by minimum spanning tree methods groups sparse proteomic data into meaningful clusters more effectively than other methods such as k-means and classical multidimensional scaling. Furthermore, our results show that using a combination of Spearman correlation and Euclidean distance as a dissimilarity representation increases the resolution of clusters. Our analyses show that many clusters contain one or more tyrosine kinases and include known effectors as well as proteins with no known interactions. Visualizing these clusters as networks elucidated previously unknown tyrosine kinase signal transduction pathways that drive cancer. Our approach can be applied to other data types, and can be easily adopted because open source software

  7. Analyzing stochastic transcription to elucidate the nucleoid's organization

    PubMed Central

    Riva, Alessandra; Carpentier, Anne-Sophie; Barloy-Hubler, Frédérique; Chéron, Angélique; Hénaut, Alain

    2008-01-01

    Background The processes of gene transcription, translation, as well as the reactions taking place between gene products, are subject to stochastic fluctuations. These stochastic events are being increasingly examined as it emerges that they can be crucial in the cell's survival. In a previous study we had examined the transcription patterns of two bacterial species (Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis) to elucidate the nucleoid's organization. The basic idea is that genes that share transcription patterns, must share some sort of spatial relationship, even if they are not close to each other on the chromosome. We had found that picking any gene at random, its transcription will be correlated with genes at well-defined short – as well as long-range distances, leaving the explanation of the latter an open question. In this paper we study the transcription correlations when the only transcription taking place is stochastic, in other words, no active or "deterministic" transcription takes place. To this purpose we use transcription data of Sinorhizobium meliloti. Results Even when only stochastic transcription takes place, the co-expression of genes varies as a function of the distance between genes: we observe again the short-range as well as the regular, long-range correlation patterns. Conclusion We explain these latter with a model based on the physical constraints acting on the DNA, forcing it into a conformation of groups of a few successive large and transcribed loops, which are evenly spaced along the chromosome and separated by small, non-transcribed loops. We discuss the question about the link between shared transcription patterns and physiological relationship and come to the conclusion that when genes are distantly placed along the chromosome, the transcription correlation does not imply a physiological relationship. PMID:18331647

  8. [Elucidation of mechanisms underlying docosahexaenoic acid-induced antinociception].

    PubMed

    Nishinaka, Takashi; Matsumoto, Kengo; Nakamoto, Kazuo; Anbo, Akihiro; Mankura, Mitsumasa; Koyama, Yutaka; Tokuyama, Shogo

    2013-01-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a predominant of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFA), has numerous beneficial physiological effects, including neuroprotection and cardiovascular protection. Recently, a possible involvement of n-3 PUFA in pain control has gathered considerable attention because numerous studies have reported a regulatory role of n-3 PUFAs. However, the mechanisms underlying how DHA exerts antinociceptive effect remain unknown. Here, we performed elucidation of mechanisms underlying DHA-induced antinociception. DHA administration dose-dependently exerted an antinociceptive effect. This effect was abolished by pretreated with the β-funaltrexamine (β-FNA), a μ-opioid receptor antagonist, and the nartrindole (NTI), a δ-opioid receptor antagonist, but not by the nor-binaltorphimine (nor-BNI), a κ-opioid receptor antagonist. In the radioligand binding assay, DHA itself did not have the affinity for μ-, δ- and κ- opioid receptor. Furthermore, the pretreatment of anti β-endorphin antiserum inhibited DHA-induced antinociception. The plasma levels of β-endorphin increased 30 min after DHA administration. The β-endorphin immunoreactivity in the brain increased at 30 min after DHA treatment. Expression of GPR40 protein was widely observed in the brain as well as the spinal cord. The intracerebroventricular but not intrathecal injection of DHA and GW9508, a GPR40/GPR120 agonist, significantly reduced formalin-induced pain behavior. The β-endorphin immunoreactivity in the brain increased at 10 and 20 min after intracerebroventricular injection of DHA and GW9508. These findings suggest that DHA-induced antinociception via β-endorphin release may be mediated through GPR40 signaling in the supraspinal area. PMID:23649389

  9. Identification and structural elucidation of ozonation transformation products of estrone

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Quantitative methods for the analysis of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are abundant in the scientific literature. However, there are few reports on systematic methods of identification and structural identification of transformation products. For this reason, a new method based on high-resolution mass spectrometry and differential analysis was developed in order to facilitate and accelerate the process of identification and structural elucidation of transformation products CECs. This method was applied to the study of ozonation transformation products (OTPs) of the natural hormone estrone (E1). Results A control compare trend experiment consisting in the comparison of a control sample to several samples having been exposed to decreasing concentrations of O3(aq) indicated that 593 peaks could be associated with OTPs. After applying various filters to remove background noise, sample contaminants and signal spikes, this data set was reduced to 16 candidate peaks. By inspection of the shape of these peaks, only two compounds OTP-276 (m/z 275.12930) and OTP-318 (m/z 317.14008) were considered as good candidates for further study. Multi-stage tandem mass spectrometry (MSn) experiments of SPE extracts of the ozonated samples of E1 and of a deuterium-labeled analogue (E1-d4) showed that OTP-276 and OTP-318 had carboxylic acid and hydroxyl functional groups, as previously reported for OTPs of other hormones. Structures for these two compounds were proposed based on their MSn spectra. Conclusion These results indicate that the method proposed is a systematic and rapid approach to study transformation products of CECs. PMID:23618537

  10. Adipokines and proinflammatory cytokines, the key mediators in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

    PubMed Central

    Stojsavljević, Sanja; Gomerčić Palčić, Marija; Virović Jukić, Lucija; Smirčić Duvnjak, Lea; Duvnjak, Marko

    2014-01-01

    Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a condition in which excess fat accumulates in the liver of a patient with no history of alcohol abuse or other causes for secondary hepatic steatosis. The pathogenesis of NAFLD and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) has not been fully elucidated. The “two-hit“ hypothesis is probably a too simplified model to elaborate complex pathogenetic events occurring in patients with NASH. It should be better regarded as a multiple step process, with accumulation of liver fat being the first step, followed by the development of necroinflammation and fibrosis. Adipose tissue, which has emerged as an endocrine organ with a key role in energy homeostasis, is responsive to both central and peripheral metabolic signals and is itself capable of secreting a number of proteins. These adipocyte-specific or enriched proteins, termed adipokines, have been shown to have a variety of local, peripheral, and central effects. In the current review, we explore the role of adipocytokines and proinflammatory cytokines in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. We particularly focus on adiponectin, leptin and ghrelin, with a brief mention of resistin, visfatin and retinol-binding protein 4 among adipokines, and tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin (IL)-6, IL-1, and briefly IL-18 among proinflammatory cytokines. We update their role in NAFLD, as elucidated in experimental models and clinical practice. PMID:25561778

  11. Astrocytes: Key Regulators of Neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Colombo, Emanuela; Farina, Cinthia

    2016-09-01

    Astrocytes are crucial regulators of innate and adaptive immune responses in the injured central nervous system. Depending on timing and context, astrocyte activity may exacerbate inflammatory reactions and tissue damage, or promote immunosuppression and tissue repair. Recent literature has unveiled key factors and intracellular signaling pathways that govern astrocyte behavior during neuroinflammation. Here we have re-visited in vivo studies on astrocyte signaling in neuroinflammatory models focusing on evidences obtained from the analysis of transgenic mice where distinct genes involved in ligand binding, transcriptional regulation and cell communication have been manipulated in astrocytes. The integration of in vivo observations with in vitro data clarifies precise signaling steps, highlights the crosstalk among pathways and identifies shared effector mechanisms in neuroinflammation.

  12. Effects of MacroH2A and H2A.Z on Nucleosome Dynamics as Elucidated by Molecular Dynamics Simulations.

    PubMed

    Bowerman, Samuel; Wereszczynski, Jeff

    2016-01-19

    Eukaryotes tune the transcriptional activity of their genome by altering the nucleosome core particle through multiple chemical processes. In particular, replacement of the canonical H2A histone with the variants macroH2A and H2A.Z has been shown to affect DNA accessibility and nucleosome stability; however, the processes by which this occurs remain poorly understood. In this study, we elucidate the molecular mechanisms of these variants with an extensive molecular dynamics study of the canonical nucleosome along with three variant-containing structures: H2A.Z, macroH2A, and an H2A mutant with macroH2A-like L1 loops. Simulation results show that variant L1 loops play a pivotal role in stabilizing DNA binding to the octamer through direct interactions, core structural rearrangements, and altered allosteric networks in the nucleosome. All variants influence dynamics; however, macroH2A-like systems have the largest effect on energetics. In addition, we provide a comprehensive analysis of allosteric networks in the nucleosome and demonstrate that variants take advantage of stronger interactions between L1 loops to propagate dynamics throughout the complex. Furthermore, we show that posttranslational modifications are enriched at key locations in these networks. Taken together, these results provide, to our knowledge, new insights into the relationship between the structure, dynamics, and function of the nucleosome core particle and chromatin fibers, and how they are influenced by chromatin remodeling factors.

  13. Elucidating the Landscape of Aberrant DNA Methylation in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Song, Min-Ae; Tiirikainen, Maarit; Kwee, Sandi; Okimoto, Gordon; Yu, Herbert; Wong, Linda L.

    2013-01-01

    Background Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers and frequently presents with an advanced disease at diagnosis. There is only limited knowledge of genome-scale methylation changes in HCC. Methods and Findings We performed genome-wide methylation profiling in a total of 47 samples including 27 HCC and 20 adjacent normal liver tissues using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. We focused on differential methylation patterns in the promoter CpG islands as well as in various less studied genomic regions such as those surrounding the CpG islands, i.e. shores and shelves. Of the 485,577 loci studied, significant differential methylation (DM) was observed between HCC and adjacent normal tissues at 62,692 loci or 13% (p<1.03e-07). Of them, 61,058 loci (97%) were hypomethylated and most of these loci were located in the intergenic regions (43%) or gene bodies (33%). Our analysis also identified 10,775 differentially methylated (DM) loci (17% out of 62,692 loci) located in or surrounding the gene promoters, 4% of which reside in known Differentially Methylated Regions (DMRs) including reprogramming specific DMRs and cancer specific DMRs, while the rest (10,315) involving 4,106 genes could be potential new HCC DMR loci. Interestingly, the promoter-related DM loci occurred twice as frequently in the shores than in the actual CpG islands. We further characterized 982 DM loci in the promoter CpG islands to evaluate their potential biological function and found that the methylation changes could have effect on the signaling networks of Cellular development, Gene expression and Cell death (p = 1.0e-38), with BMP4, CDKN2A, GSTP1, and NFATC1 on the top of the gene list. Conclusion Substantial changes of DNA methylation at a genome-wide level were observed in HCC. Understanding epigenetic changes in HCC will help to elucidate the pathogenesis and may eventually lead to identification of molecular markers for liver cancer diagnosis, treatment and

  14. Elucidation of denitrification mechanism in karstic Ryukyu limestone aquifer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hijikawa, K.

    2014-12-01

    Nitrate (NO3-) concentrations in public water supplies have risen above acceptable levels in many areas of the world including Japan, largely as a result of contamination by human and animal waste and overuse of fertilizers. A previous study has characterized nitrate concentrations in groundwater in this area is a higher than the upper value (44mgL-1) of environmental quality criteria on one hands. On the other hand, there exists points where the concentration of nitric acid is not detected, which suggests the possibility of denitrification. During early 2000, a new analytical procedure for nitrate isotopic measurement, termed the "denitrifier method", was established. With the development of the nitrate isotope tracer method, much research has been reported detailing sources of groundwater nitrate and denitrification mechanisms. This study presents a pilot case study (in the southern part of Okinawa Main Island, Japan, where Ryukyu limestone is extensively distributed) using the combined stable isotope ratios of major elements (C, N and S) as net recorders of the biogeochemical reactions with the aim of elucidation of denitrification mechanism in Ryukyu limestone aquifer. As a result, significant decreases in nitrate concentrations due to denitrification were observed in groundwater at some locations, which induced increases in isotope ratios up to 59.7‰ for δ15NNO3. These points of groundwater were located above the cutoff wall of the underground dam and near the fault. It is considered that the residence time of the groundwater is longer than the other points at these denitrification points, and that reduction condition tends to be formed in the groundwater. However, the rapid rise of the groundwater level due to rainfall is likely to occur in the Ryukyu limestone aquifer, where the ground water was found to have changed dynamically from the reduction condition to the oxidation condition which a denitrification (has not occured)does not occur. Moreover, the

  15. Nanofluids Research: Key Issues

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Nanofluids are a new class of fluids engineered by dispersing nanometer-size structures (particles, fibers, tubes, droplets) in base fluids. The very essence of nanofluids research and development is to enhance fluid macroscopic and megascale properties such as thermal conductivity through manipulating microscopic physics (structures, properties and activities). Therefore, the success of nanofluid technology depends very much on how well we can address issues like effective means of microscale manipulation, interplays among physics at different scales and optimization of microscale physics for the optimal megascale properties. In this work, we take heat-conduction nanofluids as examples to review methodologies available to effectively tackle these key but difficult problems and identify the future research needs as well. The reviewed techniques include nanofluids synthesis through liquid-phase chemical reactions in continuous-flow microfluidic microreactors, scaling-up by the volume averaging and constructal design with the constructal theory. The identified areas of future research contain microfluidic nanofluids, thermal waves and constructal nanofluids. PMID:20676214

  16. Functional Genomic Strategies for Elucidating Human-Virus Interactions: Will CRISPR Knockout RNAi and Haploid Cells?

    PubMed

    Perreira, Jill M; Meraner, Paul; Brass, Abraham L

    2016-01-01

    Over the last several years a wealth of transformative human-virus interaction discoveries have been produced using loss-of-function functional genomics. These insights have greatly expanded our understanding of how human pathogenic viruses exploit our cells to replicate. Two technologies have been at the forefront of this genetic revolution, RNA interference (RNAi) and random retroviral insertional mutagenesis using haploid cell lines (haploid cell screening), with the former technology largely predominating. Now the cutting edge gene editing of the CRISPR/Cas9 system has also been harnessed for large-scale functional genomics and is poised to possibly displace these earlier methods. Here we compare and contrast these three screening approaches for elucidating host-virus interactions, outline their key strengths and weaknesses including a comparison of an arrayed multiple orthologous RNAi reagent screen to a pooled CRISPR/Cas9 human rhinovirus 14-human cell interaction screen, and recount some notable insights made possible by each. We conclude with a brief perspective on what might lie ahead for the fast evolving field of human-virus functional genomics.

  17. Elucidating the magnetic and superconducting phases in the alkali metal intercalated iron chalcogenides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Meng; Yi, Ming; Tian, Wei; Bourret-Courchesne, Edith; Birgeneau, Robert J.

    2016-02-01

    The complex interdigitated phases have greatly frustrated attempts to document the basic features of the superconductivity in the alkali metal intercalated iron chalcogenides. Here, using elastic neutron scattering, energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy, and resistivity measurements, we elucidate the relations of these phases in RbxFeySe2 -zSz . We find (i) the iron content is crucial in stabilizing the stripe antiferromagnetic (AF) phase with rhombic iron vacancy order (y ≈1.5 ) , the block AF phase with √{5 }×√{5 } iron vacancy order (y ≈1.6 ) , and the iron vacancy-free phase (y ≈2 ) ; and (ii) the iron vacancy-free superconducting phase (z =0 ) evolves into an iron vacancy-free metallic phase with sulfur substitution (z >1.5 ) due to the progressive decrease of the electronic correlation strength. Both the stripe AF phase and the block AF phase are Mott insulators. The iron-rich compounds (y >1.6 ) undergo a first order transition from an iron vacancy disordered phase at high temperatures into the √{5 }×√{5 } iron vacancy ordered phase and the iron vacancy-free phase below Ts. Our data demonstrate that there are miscibility gaps between these three phases. The existence of the miscibility gaps in the iron content is a key to understanding the relationship between these complicated phases.

  18. Elucidating dominant pathways of the nano-particle self-assembly process.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Xiangze; Li, Bin; Qiao, Qin; Zhu, Lizhe; Lu, Zhong-Yuan; Huang, Xuhui

    2016-09-14

    Self-assembly processes play a key role in the fabrication of functional nano-structures with widespread application in drug delivery and micro-reactors. In addition to the thermodynamics, the kinetics of the self-assembled nano-structures also play an important role in determining the formed structures. However, as the self-assembly process is often highly heterogeneous, systematic elucidation of the dominant kinetic pathways of self-assembly is challenging. Here, based on mass flow, we developed a new method for the construction of kinetic network models and applied it to identify the dominant kinetic pathways for the self-assembly of star-like block copolymers. We found that the dominant pathways are controlled by two competing kinetic parameters: the encounter time Te, characterizing the frequency of collision and the transition time Tt for the aggregate morphology change from rod to sphere. Interestingly, two distinct self-assembly mechanisms, diffusion of an individual copolymer into the aggregate core and membrane closure, both appear at different stages (with different values of Tt) of a single self-assembly process. In particular, the diffusion mechanism dominates the middle-sized semi-vesicle formation stage (with large Tt), while the membrane closure mechanism dominates the large-sized vesicle formation stage (with small Tt). Through the rational design of the hydrophibicity of the copolymer, we successfully tuned the transition time Tt and altered the dominant self-assembly pathways.

  19. Elucidating Microbial Adaptation Dynamics via Autonomous Exposure and Sampling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grace, J. M.; Verseux, C.; Gentry, D.; Moffet, A.; Thayabaran, R.; Wong, N.; Rothschild, L.

    2013-12-01

    The adaptation of micro-organisms to their environments is a complex process of interaction between the pressures of the environment and of competition. Reducing this multifactorial process to environmental exposure in the laboratory is a common tool for elucidating individual mechanisms of evolution, such as mutation rates[Wielgoss et al., 2013]. Although such studies inform fundamental questions about the way adaptation and even speciation occur, they are often limited by labor-intensive manual techniques[Wassmann et al., 2010]. Current methods for controlled study of microbial adaptation limit the length of time, the depth of collected data, and the breadth of applied environmental conditions. Small idiosyncrasies in manual techniques can have large effects on outcomes; for example, there are significant variations in induced radiation resistances following similar repeated exposure protocols[Alcántara-Díaz et al., 2004; Goldman and Travisano, 2011]. We describe here a project under development to allow rapid cycling of multiple types of microbial environmental exposure. The system allows continuous autonomous monitoring and data collection of both single species and sampled communities, independently and concurrently providing multiple types of controlled environmental pressure (temperature, radiation, chemical presence or absence, and so on) to a microbial community in dynamic response to the ecosystem's current status. When combined with DNA sequencing and extraction, such a controlled environment can cast light on microbial functional development, population dynamics, inter- and intra-species competition, and microbe-environment interaction. The project's goal is to allow rapid, repeatable iteration of studies of both natural and artificial microbial adaptation. As an example, the same system can be used both to increase the pH of a wet soil aliquot over time while periodically sampling it for genetic activity analysis, or to repeatedly expose a culture of

  20. Atomic structure of anthrax PA pore elucidates toxin translocation

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jiansen; Pentelute, Bradley L.; Collier, R. John; Zhou, Z. Hong

    2015-01-01

    Summary Anthrax toxin, comprising protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF), is the major virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis, an agent that causes high mortality in human and animals. PA forms oligomeric prepores that undergo conversion to membrane-spanning pores by endosomal acidification, and these pores translocate the enzymes LF and EF into the cytosol of target cells1. PA is not only a vaccine component and therapeutic target for anthrax infections but also an excellent model system for understanding the mechanism of protein translocation. Based on biochemical and electrophysiological results, researchers have proposed that a Φ-clamp composed of Phe427 residues of PA catalyzes protein translocation via a charge-state dependent Brownian ratchet2–9. Although atomic structures of PA prepores are available10–14, how PA senses low pH, converts to active pore and translocates LF and EF are not well defined without an atomic model of the PA pore. Here, by cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM) with direct electron counting, we have determined the PA pore structure at 2.9-Å resolution. The structure reveals the long-sought-after catalytic Φ-clamp and the membrane-spanning translocation channel, and supports the Brownian ratchet model for protein translocation. Comparisons of four structures reveal conformational changes in prepore to pore conversion that support a multi-step mechanism by which low-pH is sensed and the membrane-spanning channel is formed. PMID:25778700

  1. Reaction products in mass spectrometry elucidated with infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Polfer, Nick C; Oomens, Jos

    2007-08-01

    Determining the structure and dynamics of large biologically relevant molecules is one of the key challenges facing biology. Although X-ray crystallography (XRD) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) yield accurate structural information, they are of limited use when sample quantities are low. Mass spectrometry (MS) on the other hand has been very successful in analyzing biological molecules down to atto-mole quantities and has hence begun to challenge XRD and NMR as the key technology in the life sciences. This trend has been further assisted by the development of MS techniques that yield structural information on biomolecules. Of these techniques, collision-induced dissociation (CID) and hydrogen/deuterium exchange (HDX) are among the most popular. Despite advances in applying these techniques, little direct experimental evidence had been available until recently to verify their proposed underlying reaction mechanisms. The possibility to record infrared spectra of mass-selected molecular ions has opened up a novel avenue in the structural characterization of ions and their reaction products. On account of its high pulse energies and wide wavelength tunability, the free electron laser for infrared experiments (FELIX) at FOM Rijnhuizen has been shown to be ideally suited to study trapped molecular ions with infrared photo-dissociation spectroscopy. In this paper, we review recent experiments in our laboratory on the infrared spectroscopic characterization of reaction products from CID and HDX, thereby corroborating some of the reaction mechanisms that have been proposed. In particular, it is shown that CID gives rise to linear fragment ion structures which have been proposed for some time, but also yields fully cyclical ring structures. These latter structures present a possible challenge for using tandem MS in the sequencing of peptides/proteins, as they can lead to a scrambling of the amino acid sequence information. In gas-phase HDX of an amino acid it is shown

  2. A single cell bioengineering approach to elucidate mechanisms of adult stem cell self-renewal.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, Penney M; Corbel, Stephane; Doyonnas, Regis; Havenstrite, Karen; Magnusson, Klas E G; Blau, Helen M

    2012-04-01

    The goal of regenerative medicine is to restore form and function to damaged and aging tissues. Adult stem cells, present in tissues such as skeletal muscle, comprise a reservoir of cells with a remarkable capacity to proliferate and repair tissue damage. Muscle stem cells, known as satellite cells, reside in a quiescent state in an anatomically distinct compartment, or niche, ensheathed between the membrane of the myofiber and the basal lamina. Recently, procedures for isolating satellite cells were developed and experiments testing their function upon transplantation into muscles revealed an extraordinary potential to contribute to muscle fibers and access and replenish the satellite cell compartment. However, these properties are rapidly lost once satellite cells are plated in culture. Accordingly, elucidating the role of extrinsic factors in controlling muscle stem cell fate, in particular self-renewal, is critical. Through careful design of bioengineered culture platforms, analysis of specific proteins presented to stem cells is possible. Critical to the success of the approach is single cell analysis, as more rapidly proliferating progenitors may mask the behavior of stem cells that proliferate slowly. Bioengineering approaches provide a potent means of gaining insight into the role of extrinsic factors in the stem cell microenvironment on stem cell function and the mechanisms that control their diverse fates. Ultimately, the multidisciplinary approach presented here will lead to novel therapeutic strategies for degenerative diseases. PMID:22327505

  3. Transposon mouse models to elucidate the genetic mechanisms of hepatitis B viral induced hepatocellular carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Amy P; Tschida, Barbara R; Lo, Lilian H; Moriarity, Branden S; Rowlands, Dewi K; Largaespada, David A; Keng, Vincent W

    2015-01-01

    The major type of human liver cancer is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and there are currently many risk factors that contribute to this deadly disease. The majority of HCC occurrences are associated with chronic hepatitis viral infection, and hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection is currently a major health problem in Eastern Asia. Elucidating the genetic mechanisms associated with HBV-induced HCC has been difficult due to the heterogeneity and genetic complexity associated with this disease. A repertoire of animal models has been broadly used to study the pathophysiology and to develop potential treatment regimens for HBV-associated HCC. The use of these animal models has provided valuable genetic information and has been an important contributor to uncovering the factors involved in liver malignant transformation, invasion and metastasis. Recently, transposon-based mouse models are becoming more widely used in liver cancer research to interrogate the genome by forward genetics and also used to validate genes rapidly in a reverse genetic manner. Importantly, these transposon-based rapid reverse genetic mouse models could become crucial in testing potential therapeutic agents before proceeding to clinical trials in human. Therefore, this review will cover the use of transposon-based mouse models to address the problems of liver cancer, especially HBV-associated HCC occurrences in Asia. PMID:26576100

  4. Elucidating the role of genomics in neonatal sepsis.

    PubMed

    Srinivasan, Lakshmi; Kirpalani, Haresh; Cotten, Charles Michael

    2015-12-01

    Sepsis is a major cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality, especially in vulnerable preterm populations. Immature immune defenses, and environmental and maternal factors contribute to this risk, with as many as a third of very preterm infants experiencing sepsis during their stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Epidemiologic and twin studies have suggested that there is a genetic contribution to sepsis predilection. Several investigators have conducted candidate gene association studies on variants of specific interest and potential functional significance in neonatal sepsis. In this review, we describe details of studies that have evaluated genetic susceptibility in neonatal sepsis, and summarize findings from a review of candidate gene association studies.

  5. Elucidating and mining the Tulipa and Lilium transcriptomes.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Pachon, Natalia M; Leeggangers, Hendrika A C F; Nijveen, Harm; Severing, Edouard; Hilhorst, Henk; Immink, Richard G H

    2016-10-01

    Genome sequencing remains a challenge for species with large and complex genomes containing extensive repetitive sequences, of which the bulbous and monocotyledonous plants tulip and lily are examples. In such a case, sequencing of only the active part of the genome, represented by the transcriptome, is a good alternative to obtain information about gene content. In this study we aimed to generate a high quality transcriptome of tulip and lily and to make this data available as an open-access resource via a user-friendly web-based interface. The Illumina HiSeq 2000 platform was applied and the transcribed RNA was sequenced from a collection of different lily and tulip tissues, respectively. In order to obtain good transcriptome coverage and to facilitate effective data mining, assembly was done using different filtering parameters for clearing out contamination and noise of the RNAseq datasets. This analysis revealed limitations of commonly applied methods and parameter settings used in de novo transcriptome assembly. The final created transcriptomes are publicly available via a user friendly Transcriptome browser ( http://www.bioinformatics.nl/bulbs/db/species/index ). The usefulness of this resource has been exemplified by a search for all potential transcription factors in lily and tulip, with special focus on the TCP transcription factor family. This analysis and other quality parameters point out the quality of the transcriptomes, which can serve as a basis for further genomics studies in lily, tulip, and bulbous plants in general. PMID:27387304

  6. Elucidating and mining the Tulipa and Lilium transcriptomes.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Pachon, Natalia M; Leeggangers, Hendrika A C F; Nijveen, Harm; Severing, Edouard; Hilhorst, Henk; Immink, Richard G H

    2016-10-01

    Genome sequencing remains a challenge for species with large and complex genomes containing extensive repetitive sequences, of which the bulbous and monocotyledonous plants tulip and lily are examples. In such a case, sequencing of only the active part of the genome, represented by the transcriptome, is a good alternative to obtain information about gene content. In this study we aimed to generate a high quality transc