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Cytology - Top 30 Publications

Herpesvirus deconjugases inhibit the IFN response by promoting TRIM25 autoubiquitination and functional inactivation of the RIG-I signalosome.

The N-terminal domains of the herpesvirus large tegument proteins encode a conserved cysteine protease with ubiquitin- and NEDD8-specific deconjugase activity. The proteins are expressed during the productive virus cycle and are incorporated into infectious virus particles, being delivered to the target cells upon primary infection. Members of this viral enzyme family were shown to regulate different aspects of the virus life cycle and the innate anti-viral response. However, only few substrates have been identified and the mechanisms of these effects remain largely unknown. In order to gain insights on the substrates and signaling pathways targeted by the viral enzymes, we have used co-immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry to identify cellular proteins that interact with the Epstein-Barr virus encoded homologue BPLF1. Several members of the 14-3-3-family of scaffold proteins were found amongst the top hits of the BPLF1 interactome, suggesting that, through this interaction, BPLF1 may regulate a variety of cellular signaling pathways. Analysis of the shared protein-interaction network revealed that BPLF1 promotes the assembly of a tri-molecular complex including, in addition to 14-3-3, the ubiquitin ligase TRIM25 that participates in the innate immune response via ubiquitination of cytosolic pattern recognition receptor, RIG-I. The involvement of BPLF1 in the regulation of this signaling pathway was confirmed by inhibition of the type-I IFN responses in cells transfected with a catalytically active BPLF1 N-terminal domain or expressing the endogenous protein upon reactivation of the productive virus cycle. We found that the active viral enzyme promotes the dimerization and autoubiquitination of TRIM25. Upon triggering of the IFN response, RIG-I is recruited to the complex but ubiquitination is severely impaired, which functionally inactivates the RIG-I signalosome. The capacity to bind to and functionally inactivate the RIG-I signalosome is shared by the homologues encoded by other human herpesviruses.

Interferon regulatory factor 8 regulates aspase-1 expression to facilitate Epstein-Barr virus reactivation in response to B cell receptor stimulation and chemical induction.

Interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF8), also known as interferon consensus sequence-binding protein (ICSBP), is a transcription factor of the IRF family. IRF8 plays a key role in normal B cell differentiation, a cellular process that is intrinsically associated with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation. However, whether IRF8 regulates EBV lytic replication remains unknown. In this study, we utilized a CRISPR/Cas9 genomic editing approach to deplete IRF8 and found that IRF8 depletion dramatically inhibits the reactivation of EBV upon lytic induction. We demonstrated that IRF8 depletion suppresses the expression of a group of genes involved in apoptosis and thus inhibits apoptosis induction upon lytic induction by B cell receptor (BCR) stimulation or chemical induction. The protein levels of caspase-1, caspase-3 and caspase-8 all dramatically decreased in IRF8-depleted cells, which led to reduced caspase activation and the stabilization of KAP1, PAX5 and DNMT3A upon BCR stimulation. Interestingly, caspase inhibition blocked the degradation of KAP1, PAX5 and DNMT3A, suppressed EBV lytic gene expression and viral DNA replication upon lytic induction, suggesting that the reduced caspase expression in IRF8-depleted cells contributes to the suppression of EBV lytic replication. We further demonstrated that IRF8 directly regulates CASP1 (caspase-1) gene expression through targeting its gene promoter and knockdown of caspase-1 abrogates EBV reactivation upon lytic induction, partially through the stabilization of KAP1. Together our study suggested that, by modulating the activation of caspases and the subsequent cleavage of KAP1 upon lytic induction, IRF8 plays a critical role in EBV lytic reactivation.

Regional and subtype-dependent miRNA signatures in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are accompanied by alterations in miRNA silencing machinery and biogenesis.

Increasing evidence indicates that microRNAs (miRNAs) are contributing factors to neurodegeneration. Alterations in miRNA signatures have been reported in several neurodegenerative dementias, but data in prion diseases are restricted to ex vivo and animal models. The present study identified significant miRNA expression pattern alterations in the frontal cortex and cerebellum of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) patients. These changes display a highly regional and disease subtype-dependent regulation that correlates with brain pathology. We demonstrate that selected miRNAs are enriched in sCJD isolated Argonaute(Ago)-binding complexes in disease, indicating their incorporation into RNA-induced silencing complexes, and further suggesting their contribution to disease-associated gene expression changes. Alterations in the miRNA-mRNA regulatory machinery and perturbed levels of miRNA biogenesis key components in sCJD brain samples reported here further implicate miRNAs in sCJD gene expression (de)regulation. We also show that a subset of sCJD-altered miRNAs are commonly changed in Alzheimer's disease, dementia with Lewy bodies and fatal familial insomnia, suggesting potential common mechanisms underlying these neurodegenerative processes. Additionally, we report no correlation between brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) miRNA-profiles in sCJD, indicating that CSF-miRNA profiles do not faithfully mirror miRNA alterations detected in brain tissue of human prion diseases. Finally, utilizing a sCJD MM1 mouse model, we analyzed the miRNA deregulation patterns observed in sCJD in a temporal manner. While fourteen sCJD-related miRNAs were validated at clinical stages, only two of those were changed at early symptomatic phase, suggesting that the miRNAs altered in sCJD may contribute to later pathogenic processes. Altogether, the present work identifies alterations in the miRNA network, biogenesis and miRNA-mRNA silencing machinery in sCJD, whereby contributions to disease mechanisms deserve further investigation.

Single domain based bispecific antibody, Muc1-Bi-1, and its humanized form, Muc1-Bi-2, induce potent cancer cell killing in muc1 positive tumor cells.

Muc1 is one of the most studied tumor antigens. However, antibodies or antibody-toxin conjugates against Muc1 have not shown significant efficacy for tumors with Muc1 overexpression. In this study, we employed bispecific antibody approach to target Muc1 positive tumor cells. A novel bispecific antibody, Muc1-Bi-1, was constructed by linking single domain antibodies, anti-Muc1-VHH and anti-CD16-VHH. Muc1-Bi-2, the humanized form of Muc1-Bi-1, was also constructed by grafting. Both Muc1-Bi bispecific antibodies can be efficiently expressed and purified from bacteria. In vitro, the Muc1-Bi bispecific antibodies can recruit Natural Killer (NK) cells to drive potent and specific cell killing of Muc1-overexpressing tumor cells. In xenograft model, the Muc1-Bi bispecific antibodies can suppress tumor growth in the presence of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). These data suggested that the single domain based Muc1-Bi may provide a valid strategy for targeting tumors with Muc1 overexpression.

Defining objective clusters for rabies virus sequences using affinity propagation clustering.

Rabies is caused by lyssaviruses, and is one of the oldest known zoonoses. In recent years, more than 21,000 nucleotide sequences of rabies viruses (RABV), from the prototype species rabies lyssavirus, have been deposited in public databases. Subsequent phylogenetic analyses in combination with metadata suggest geographic distributions of RABV. However, these analyses somewhat experience technical difficulties in defining verifiable criteria for cluster allocations in phylogenetic trees inviting for a more rational approach. Therefore, we applied a relatively new mathematical clustering algorythm named 'affinity propagation clustering' (AP) to propose a standardized sub-species classification utilizing full-genome RABV sequences. Because AP has the advantage that it is computationally fast and works for any meaningful measure of similarity between data samples, it has previously been applied successfully in bioinformatics, for analysis of microarray and gene expression data, however, cluster analysis of sequences is still in its infancy. Existing (516) and original (46) full genome RABV sequences were used to demonstrate the application of AP for RABV clustering. On a global scale, AP proposed four clusters, i.e. New World cluster, Arctic/Arctic-like, Cosmopolitan, and Asian as previously assigned by phylogenetic studies. By combining AP with established phylogenetic analyses, it is possible to resolve phylogenetic relationships between verifiably determined clusters and sequences. This workflow will be useful in confirming cluster distributions in a uniform transparent manner, not only for RABV, but also for other comparative sequence analyses.

Unique properties of TCR-activated p38 are necessary for NFAT-dependent T-cell activation.

Nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transcription factors are required for induction of T-cell cytokine production and effector function. Although it is known that activation via the T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) results in 2 critical steps, calcineurin-mediated NFAT1 dephosphorylation and NFAT2 up-regulation, the molecular mechanisms underlying each are poorly understood. Here we find that T cell p38, which is activated by an alternative pathway independent of the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascade and with different substrate specificities, directly controls these events. First, alternatively (but not classically) activated p38 was required to induce the expression of the AP-1 component c-Fos, which was necessary for NFAT2 expression and cytokine production. Second, alternatively (but not classically) activated p38 phosphorylated NFAT1 on a heretofore unidentified site, S79, and in its absence NFAT1 was unable to interact with calcineurin or migrate to the nucleus. These results demonstrate that the acquisition of unique specificities by TCR-activated p38 orchestrates NFAT-dependent T-cell functions.

Evolution of mitotic spindle behavior during the first asymmetric embryonic division of nematodes.

Asymmetric cell division is essential to generate cellular diversity. In many animal cells, the cleavage plane lies perpendicular to the mitotic spindle, and it is the spindle positioning that dictates the size of the daughter cells. Although some properties of spindle positioning are conserved between distantly related model species and different cell types, little is known of the evolutionary robustness of the mechanisms underlying this event. We recorded the first embryonic division of 42 species of nematodes closely related to Caenorhabditis elegans, which is an excellent model system to study the biophysical properties of asymmetric spindle positioning. Our recordings, corresponding to 128 strains from 27 Caenorhabditis and 15 non-Caenorhabditis species (accessible at, constitute a powerful collection of subcellular phenotypes to study the evolution of various cellular processes across species. In the present work, we analyzed our collection to the study of asymmetric spindle positioning. Although all the strains underwent an asymmetric first cell division, they exhibited large intra- and inter-species variations in the degree of cell asymmetry and in several parameters controlling spindle movement, including spindle oscillation, elongation, and displacement. Notably, these parameters changed frequently during evolution with no apparent directionality in the species phylogeny, with the exception of spindle transverse oscillations, which were an evolutionary innovation at the base of the Caenorhabditis genus. These changes were also unrelated to evolutionary variations in embryo size. Importantly, spindle elongation, displacement, and oscillation each evolved independently. This finding contrasts starkly with expectations based on C. elegans studies and reveals previously unrecognized evolutionary changes in spindle mechanics. Collectively, these data demonstrate that, while the essential process of asymmetric cell division has been conserved over the course of nematode evolution, the underlying spindle movement parameters can combine in various ways. Like other developmental processes, asymmetric cell division is subject to system drift.

Intermittent intense exercise protects against cognitive decline in a similar manner to moderate exercise in chronically stressed mice.

It is well known that regular low or mild exercise helps to improve and maintain cognition. On the other hand, ever thought many people prefer high-intensity exercise (e.g., running, swimming, biking, soccer, basketball, etc.) to get rid of stress or improve their health, the previous studies reported that intense exercise either impairs cognition or has no effect on cognitive function. However, we previously showed that intermittent intense exercise prevents stress-induced depressive behavior in mice in a similar manner to moderate exercise. On the basis of this finding, we investigated the effect of intermittent intense exercise on cognitive deficit in chronically stressed mice. A total of forty mice were evenly divided into control, stressed, stressed with moderate exercise, and stressed with intense exercise groups. The stressed mice were chronically exposed a restraint stress (10 h/day, 6 days/week for 7 weeks). The exercised mice were subjected to intermittent intense or endurance moderate running on the treadmill three times a week. Cognition was evaluated using the Morris water maze test and the object recognition test. Chronic stress decreased cognition, and newborn cell survival and blood vessel density in the hippocampus. However, both regular intense and moderate exercise prevented decrease of cognition, improved newborn cell survival and blood vessel density. These findings suggest that intermittent intense exercise may protect against decrease of cognition in a similar manner to moderate exercise and that both exercise-induced protection of decrease of cognition is closely related to newborn cell survival and angiogenesis in the hippocampus.

MICAN, a new fluorophore for vital and non-vital staining of human cells.

Fluorescence time-lapse microscopy is in connection with the invasive properties of fluorochrome applied, and with the toxicity of the excitation energy and wavelength of the dye itself. Experiments with the newly synthesized fluorescent dye 1-N-methylamino-5-isocyanonaphthalene (MICAN) served to test its cytotoxicity on human HaCaT keratinocyte cell cultures. Experiments related to staining capability were performed with paraformaldehyde (PFA) fixed cells and observed with fluorescence microscope. It was assumed that the fluorophore 1-amino-5-isocyanonaphthalene (ICAN) and especially its N-methylamino derivative MICAN, containing condensed aromatic rings could serve as a nonselective fluorescent dye capable to stain cellular structures of fixed, living, damaged and dead cells. This notion was confirmed by the MICAN staining of cytoplasmic proteins primarily rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SEM) and less efficiently nuclear proteins suggesting the involvement of staining of subcellular structures involved in protein synthesis. MICAN was not only well tolerated by living cells but turned out to be a strong heterochromatin and RER staining agent. This led to the development of a MICAN staining protocol for native and living samples. Relative to other fluorescent dyes, MICAN is not only useful but also cost-effective. Toxicology tests were performed using 30, 10, 5, 0.5 μg/ml MICAN concentrations. Time-lapse videomicroscopy at near-infrared (NIR) illumination has been used for the examination of MICAN effect on cell division. It was found that MICAN as a vital stain had no significant harmful effect on HaCaT cells. MICAN turned out to be a non-toxic, highly quantum-efficient vital stain with minimal, or no photobleaching, and can be applied to co-stain with propidium-iodide due the strong spectral separation.

Interaction of KRas4B protein with C6-ceramide containing lipid model membranes.

Ras proteins are oncoproteins which play a pivotal role in cellular signaling pathways. All Ras proteins' signaling strongly depends on their correct localization in the cell membrane. Over 30% of cancers are driven by mutant Ras proteins, and KRas4B is the Ras isoform most frequently mutated. C6-ceramide has been shown to inhibit the growth activity of KRas4B mutated cells. However, the mechanism underlying this inhibition remains elusive. Here, we established a heterogeneous model biomembrane containing C6-ceramide. C6-ceramide incorporation does not disrupt the lipid membrane. Addition of KRas4B leads to drastic changes in the lateral membrane organization of the membrane, however. In contrast to the partitioning behavior in other membranes, KRas4B forms small, monodisperse nanoclusters dispersed in a fluid-like environment, in all likelihood induced by some kind of lipid sorting mechanism. Fluorescence cross-correlation data indicate no direct interaction between C6-ceramide and KRas4B, suggesting that KRas4B essentially recruits other lipids. A FRET-based binding assay reveals that the stability of KRas4B proteins inserted into the membrane containing C6-ceramide is reduced. Based on the combined results obtained, we postulate a molecular mechanism for the inhibition of KRas4B mutated cells' activity through C6-ceramide.

Dynamic clustering of dynamin-amphiphysin helices regulates membrane constriction and fission coupled with GTP hydrolysis.

Dynamin is a mechanochemical GTPase essential for membrane fission during clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Dynamin forms helical complexes at the neck of clathrin-coated pits and their structural changes coupled with GTP hydrolysis drive membrane fission. Dynamin and its binding protein amphiphysin cooperatively regulate membrane remodeling during the fission, but its precise mechanism remains elusive. In this study, we analyzed structural changes of dynamin-amphiphysin complexes during the membrane fission using electron microscopy (EM) and high-speed atomic force microscopy (HS-AFM). Interestingly, HS-AFM analyses show that the dynamin-amphiphysin helices are rearranged to form clusters upon GTP hydrolysis and membrane constriction occurs at protein-uncoated regions flanking the clusters. We also show a novel function of amphiphysin in size control of the clusters to enhance biogenesis of endocytic vesicles. Our approaches using combination of EM and HS-AFM clearly demonstrate new mechanistic insights into the dynamics of dynamin-amphiphysin complexes during membrane fission.

Dynamical localization of a thylakoid membrane binding protein is required for acquisition of photosynthetic competency.

Vipp1 is highly conserved and essential for photosynthesis, but its function is unclear as it does not participate directly in light-dependent reactions. We analyzed Vipp1 localization in live cyanobacterial cells and show that Vipp1 is highly dynamic, continuously exchanging between a diffuse fraction that is uniformly distributed throughout the cell and a punctate fraction that is concentrated at high curvature regions of the thylakoid located at the cell periphery. Experimentally perturbing the spatial distribution of Vipp1 by relocalizing it to the nucleoid causes a severe growth defect during the transition from non-photosynthetic (dark) to photosynthetic (light) growth. However, the same perturbation of Vipp1 in dark alone or light alone growth conditions causes no growth or thylakoid morphology defects. We propose that the punctuated dynamics of Vipp1 at the cell periphery in regions of high thylakoid curvature enable acquisition of photosynthetic competency, perhaps by facilitating biogenesis of photosynthetic complexes involved in light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Short-Chain Fatty Acid Transporters: Role in Colonic Homeostasis.

Short-chain fatty acids (SCFA; acetate, propionate, and butyrate) are generated in colon by bacterial fermentation of dietary fiber. Though diffusion in protonated form is a significant route, carrier-mediated mechanisms constitute the major route for the entry of SCFA in their anionic form into colonic epithelium. Several transport systems operate in cellular uptake of SCFA. MCT1 (SLC16A1) and MCT4 (SLC16A3) are H+-coupled and mediate electroneutral transport of SCFA (H+: SCFA stoichiometry; 1:1). MCT1 is expressed both in the apical membrane and basolateral membrane of colonic epithelium whereas MCT4 specifically in the basolateral membrane. SMCT1 (SLC5A8) and SMCT2 (SLC5A12) are Na+-coupled; SMCT1-mediated transport is electrogenic (Na+: SCFA stoichiometry; 2:1) whereas SMCT2-mediated transport is electroneutral (Na+: SCFA stoichiometry; 1:1). SMCT1 and SMCT2 are expressed exclusively in the apical membrane. An anion-exchange mechanism also operates in the apical membrane in which SCFA entry in anionic form is coupled to bicarbonate efflux; the molecular identity of this exchanger however remains unknown. All these transporters are subject to regulation, notably by their substrates themselves; this process involves cell-surface receptors with SCFA as signaling molecules. There are significant alterations in the expression of these transporters in ulcerative colitis and colon cancer. The tumor-associated changes occur via transcriptional regulation by p53 and HIF1α and by promoter methylation. As SCFA are obligatory for optimal colonic health, the transporters responsible for the entry and transcellular transfer of these bacterial products in colonic epithelium are critical determinants of colonic function under physiological conditions and in disease states. © 2018 American Physiological Society. Compr Physiol 8:299-314, 2018.

Molecular Regulation of Sprouting Angiogenesis.

The term angiogenesis arose in the 18th century. Several studies over the next 100 years laid the groundwork for initial studies performed by the Folkman laboratory, which were at first met with some opposition. Once overcome, the angiogenesis field has flourished due to studies on tumor angiogenesis and various developmental models that can be genetically manipulated, including mice and zebrafish. In addition, new discoveries have been aided by the ability to isolate primary endothelial cells, which has allowed dissection of various steps within angiogenesis. This review will summarize the molecular events that control angiogenesis downstream of biochemical factors such as growth factors, cytokines, chemokines, hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), and lipids. These and other stimuli have been linked to regulation of junctional molecules and cell surface receptors. In addition, the contribution of cytoskeletal elements and regulatory proteins has revealed an intricate role for mobilization of actin, microtubules, and intermediate filaments in response to cues that activate the endothelium. Activating stimuli also affect various focal adhesion proteins, scaffold proteins, intracellular kinases, and second messengers. Finally, metalloproteinases, which facilitate matrix degradation and the formation of new blood vessels, are discussed, along with our knowledge of crosstalk between the various subclasses of these molecules throughout the text. Compr Physiol 8:153-235, 2018.

Cyclin E Deregulation and Genomic Instability.

Precise replication of genetic material and its equal distribution to daughter cells are essential to maintain genome stability. In eukaryotes, chromosome replication and segregation are temporally uncoupled, occurring in distinct intervals of the cell cycle, S and M phases, respectively. Cyclin E accumulates at the G1/S transition, where it promotes S phase entry and progression by binding to and activating CDK2. Several lines of evidence from different models indicate that cyclin E/CDK2 deregulation causes replication stress in S phase and chromosome segregation errors in M phase, leading to genomic instability and cancer. In this chapter, we will discuss the main findings that link cyclin E/CDK2 deregulation to genomic instability and the molecular mechanisms by which cyclin E/CDK2 induces replication stress and chromosome aberrations during carcinogenesis.

Roles of SUMO in Replication Initiation, Progression, and Termination.

Accurate genome duplication during cell division is essential for life. This process is accomplished by the close collaboration between replication factors and many additional proteins that provide assistant roles. Replication factors establish the replication machineries capable of copying billions of nucleotides, while regulatory proteins help to achieve accuracy and efficiency of replication. Among regulatory proteins, protein modification enzymes can bestow fast and reversible changes to many targets, leading to coordinated effects on replication. Recent studies have begun to elucidate how one type of protein modification, sumoylation, can modify replication proteins and regulate genome duplication through multiple mechanisms. This chapter summarizes these new findings, and how they can integrate with the known regulatory circuitries of replication. As this area of research is still at its infancy, many outstanding questions remain to be explored, and we discuss these issues in light of the new advances.

Rif1-Dependent Regulation of Genome Replication in Mammals.

Eukaryotic genomes are replicated starting from multiple origins of replication. Their usage is tightly regulated, and not all the potential origins are activated during a single cell cycle. In addition, the ones that are activated are activated in a sequential order. Why don't origins of replication normally all fire together? Is this important? And if so, why? Would any order of firing do, or does the specific sequence matter? How is this process regulated? These questions concern all eukaryotes but have proven extremely hard to address because replication timing is a process intricately connected with multiple aspects of nuclear function.

Functions of Multiple Clamp and Clamp-Loader Complexes in Eukaryotic DNA Replication.

Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and replication factor C (RFC) were identified in the late 1980s as essential factors for replication of simian virus 40 DNA in human cells, by reconstitution of the reaction in vitro. Initially, they were only thought to be involved in the elongation stage of DNA replication. Subsequent studies have demonstrated that PCNA functions as more than a replication factor, through its involvement in multiple protein-protein interactions. PCNA appears as a functional hub on replicating and replicated chromosomal DNA and has an essential role in the maintenance genome integrity in proliferating cells.Eukaryotes have multiple paralogues of sliding clamp, PCNA and its loader, RFC. The PCNA paralogues, RAD9, HUS1, and RAD1 form the heterotrimeric 9-1-1 ring that is similar to the PCNA homotrimeric ring, and the 9-1-1 clamp complex is loaded onto sites of DNA damage by its specific loader RAD17-RFC. This alternative clamp-loader system transmits DNA-damage signals in genomic DNA to the checkpoint-activation network and the DNA-repair apparatus.Another two alternative loader complexes, CTF18-RFC and ELG1-RFC, have roles that are distinguishable from the role of the canonical loader, RFC. CTF18-RFC interacts with one of the replicative DNA polymerases, Polε, and loads PCNA onto leading-strand DNA, and ELG1-RFC unloads PCNA after ligation of lagging-strand DNA. In the progression of S phase, these alternative PCNA loaders maintain appropriate amounts of PCNA on the replicating sister DNAs to ensure that specific enzymes are tethered at specific chromosomal locations.

Initiation of DNA Replication at the Chromosomal Origin of E. coli, oriC.

The Escherichia coli chromosomal origin consists of a duplex-unwinding region and a region bearing a DNA-bending protein, IHF-binding site, and clusters of binding sites for the initiator protein DnaA. ATP-DnaA molecules form highly organized oligomers in a process stimulated by DiaA, a DnaA-binding protein. The resultant ATP-DnaA complexes promote local unwinding of oriC with the aid of IHF, for which specific interaction of DnaA with the single-stranded DNA is crucial. DnaA complexes also interact with DnaB helicases bound to DnaC loaders, promoting loading of DnaB onto the unwound DNA strands for bidirectional replication. Initiation of replication is strictly regulated during the cell cycle by multiple regulatory systems for oriC and DnaA. The activity of oriC is regulated by its methylation state, whereas that of DnaA depends on the form of the bound nucleotide. ATP-DnaA can be yielded from initiation-inactive ADP-DnaA in a timely manner depending on specific chromosomal DNA elements termed DARS (DnaA-reactivating sequences). After initiation, DnaA-bound ATP is hydrolyzed by two systems, yielding ADP-DnaA. In this review, these and other mechanisms of initiation and its regulation in E. coli are described.

Runx2, an inducer of osteoblast and chondrocyte differentiation.

Runx2 is a transcription factor that is essential for osteoblast differentiation and chondrocyte maturation. Ihh, expressed in prehypertrophic and hypertrophic chondrocytes, is required for the specification of Runx2+ osteoprogenitors in endochondral bone development. Runx2 induces Sp7, an essential transcription factor for osteoblast differentiation. Canonical Wnt signaling is also required for osteoblast differentiation. Runx2+ osteoprogenitors retain the capacity to differentiate into chondrocytes, and Sp7 and canonical Wnt signaling direct cells to osteoblasts, thereby inhibiting chondrocyte differentiation. The function of Runx2 after the commitment to osteoblasts remains controversial. Runx3 has a redundant function with Runx2 in chondrocyte maturation. Runx2 regulates the expression of Ihh, Col10a1, Spp1, Ibsp, Mmp13, and Vegfa in the respective layers in growth plates. Runx2 enhances chondrocyte proliferation through the induction of Ihh. Ihh induces Pthlh, which inhibits Runx2 and chondrocyte maturation, forming a negative feedback loop for chondrocyte maturation. Runx2 is one of the genes responsible for the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA) because RUNX2 is up-regulated in chondrocytes in OA cartilage and a germline haplodeficiency or deletion of Runx2 in articular chondrocytes decelerates OA progression. Runx2 plays an important role in the bone metastasis of breast and prostate cancers by up-regulating Spp1, Ibsp, Mmp9, Mmp13, Vegfa, Tnfsf11, and Ihh expression and down-regulating Tnfrsf11b expression. Cbfb forms a heterodimer with Runx2 and is required for the efficient DNA binding of Runx2. Cbfb stabilizes Runx proteins at different levels among Runx family proteins by inhibiting their ubiquitination-mediated degradation. Cbfb plays more important roles in endochondral ossification than in intramembranous ossification.

Development of Thinopyrum ponticum-specific molecular markers and FISH probes based on SLAF-seq technology.

Based on SLAF-seq, 67 Thinopyrum ponticum-specific markers and eight Th. ponticum-specific FISH probes were developed, and these markers and probes could be used for detection of alien chromatin in a wheat background. Decaploid Thinopyrum ponticum (2n = 10x = 70) is a valuable gene reservoir for wheat improvement. Identification of Th. ponticum introgression would facilitate its transfer into diverse wheat genetic backgrounds and its practical utilization in wheat improvement. Based on specific-locus-amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) technology, 67 new Th. ponticum-specific molecular markers and eight Th. ponticum-specific fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) probes have been developed from a tiny wheat-Th. ponticum translocation line. These newly developed molecular markers allowed the detection of Th. ponticum DNA in a variety of materials specifically and steadily at high throughput. According to the hybridization signal pattern, the eight Th. ponticum-specific probes could be divided into two groups. The first group including five dispersed repetitive sequence probes could identify Th. ponticum chromatin more sensitively and accurately than genomic in situ hybridization (GISH). Whereas the second group having three tandem repetitive sequence probes enabled the discrimination of Th. ponticum chromosomes together with another clone pAs1 in wheat-Th. ponticum partial amphiploid Xiaoyan 68.

Cervical Cancer Induction Enhancement Potential of Chlamydia Trachomatis: A Systematic Review.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) persistent infection is the necessary but not sufficient cause of cervical cancer. Other co-factors are required to induce cell transformation that will evolve to malignant cervical cancer. These co-factors include physical elements, other sexually transmitted infections, and immune response. Chlamydia trachomatis the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection is often asymptomatic but causes various syndromes such as cervicitis, endometritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and infertility. It is established that this bacterium is involved in cell proliferation process and inhibit apoptosis. Furthermore, C. trachomatis may induce chronic inflammation, interfere with immune response by decreasing the number of antigen presenting cells, and reduce the cell-mediated immunity allowing the persistence of HPV. However, it is unclear whether this bacterium plays a particular role in cervical cancer induction. We therefore aimed at enlightening the actual knowledge about the relationship between C. trachomatis and cervical cancer or precursor lesions through a systematic literature review. We summarized and analyzed the epidemiological data on C. trachomatis and its co-infection with HPV and their association to cervical cancer.

Identification of approved drugs as potent inhibitors of pregnane X receptor activation with differential receptor interaction profiles.

Activation of pregnane X receptor (PXR) results in the induction of first-pass metabolism and drug efflux. Hereby, PXR may cause adverse drug reactions or therapeutic failure of drugs. PXR inhibition is thus an attractive option to minimise adverse effects or to improve therapeutic efficiencies; however, only a limited number of antagonists have been identified so far. We performed a cell-based high-throughput screen to identify PXR antagonists, using a library of approved and investigational drugs. Two approved drugs, pimecrolimus and pazopanib, emerged as novel potent antagonists of PXR activation, with IC50 values of 1.2 and 4.1 µM, respectively. We further characterised these with respect to receptor specificity, assembly of the PXR ligand-binding domain (LBD) and interactions with co-factors. In vitro and in silico assays were carried out to identify the site(s) of interaction with the PXR LBD. Primary human hepatocytes were used to investigate antagonism of the induction of endogenous PXR target genes. Pimecrolimus and pazopanib did not affect the transcriptional activity of other nuclear receptors. Both induced the release of co-repressor from PXR and likewise interfered with agonist-induced recruitment of co-activator. Cumulative evidence from cellular and in vitro assays, as well as molecular docking, suggested additional or exclusive binding outside the PXR ligand-binding pocket for both. The compounds differentially antagonised the induction of PXR-regulated genes by rifampicin in primary human hepatocytes. In conclusion, we here have identified two approved drugs as novel potent PXR inhibitors with differential receptor interaction profiles and gene selectivity in primary human hepatocytes.

Targeting LSD2 in breast cancer.

Proteomics of the Human Olfactory Tract.

Human olfactory tract plays a fundamental role in health and disease. Proteomic analysis of the olfactory tract therefore bears fundamental importance for integrative biology and clinical medicine. For example, olfactory dysfunction is one of the earliest findings in neurodegenerative disorders. The objective of the present study was to build the proteome data from human olfactory tract using a mass spectrometry-based approach. We performed a shotgun proteomic analysis of the human olfactory tract obtained from three healthy adult male subjects. The proteomics workflow consisted of fractionation based on high pH reverse phase liquid chromatography and SDS-PAGE, followed by liquid chromatography tandem-mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis on high-resolution mass spectrometer. In total, 6055 proteins were identified, which were further subjected to bioinformatics analysis and contextualization to identify the associated biological processes and molecular functions. We found the identified proteins involved in processes and functions related to olfactory perception, cell to cell adhesion, cellular and G-coupled receptor activity, axonal growth, and transportation. Importantly, we report the identification of 83 olfactory tract-restricted proteins, 4 seven-transmembrane proteins, and 14 protein kinases. Pathway analysis of the restricted proteins revealed the enrichment of olfactory transduction, adherens junction, taste transduction, and neurotropic signaling pathways. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to report the human olfactory tract proteome. The study contributes to the knowledge of the human brain proteome and forms a crucial knowledge base for future applications in basic and clinical research, especially in olfactory sensation and neurodegenerative human disorders.

Using Zebrafish to Bring Hands-On Laboratory Experiences to Urban Classrooms.

Zebrafish are widely used as a model organism for research. Zebrafish embryos are also a useful resource for teaching students about vertebrate development. Here we describe a collaboration between two high school teachers and two university professors that used zebrafish to bring hands-on laboratory experiences to inner-city students, with the aim of increasing tangibility, and improving student understanding and retention, of several fundamental scientific concepts, such as the scientific method, cell division, mitosis, and Mendelian genetics. We describe and provide supporting material for each of the four laboratory modules that we developed. We also discuss the obstacles that we encountered and include suggestions of ways to overcome these. This collaboration provides an example of how high school teachers with very little zebrafish experience can gain the knowledge and confidence to develop and implement modules such as these in a relatively short period of time. Owing to the wide availability of zebrafish resources, these laboratories should provide a useful resource for other teachers who are interested in integrating more hands-on, inquiry-based investigations using live animals into their classes. We also hope to encourage other zebrafish researchers to collaborate with local teachers in similar projects.

Epidemiologic Evidence That Excess Body Weight Increases Risk of Cervical Cancer by Decreased Detection of Precancer.

Purpose Obesity has been inconsistently linked to increased cervical cancer incidence and mortality; however, the effect of obesity on cervical screening has not been explored. We investigated the hypothesis that increased body mass might decrease detection of cervical precancer and increase risk of cervical cancer even in women undergoing state-of-the-art screening. Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 944,227 women age 30 to 64 years who underwent cytology and human papillomavirus DNA testing (ie, cotesting) at Kaiser Permanente Northern California (January 2003 to December 2015). Body mass index was categorized as normal/underweight (< 25 kg/m2), overweight (25 to < 30 kg/m2), or obese (≥ 30 kg/m2). We estimated 5-year cumulative risks of cervical precancer and cancer by category of body mass index using logistic Weibull survival models. Results We observed lower risk of cervical precancer (n = 4,489) and higher risk of cervical cancer (n = 490) with increasing body mass index. Specifically, obese women had the lowest 5-year risk of precancer (0.51%; 95% CI, 0.48% to 0.54% v 0.73%; 95% CI, 0.70% to 0.76% in normal/underweight women; P trend < .001). In contrast, obese women had the highest 5-year risk of cancer (0.083%; 95% CI, 0.072% to 0.096% v 0.056%; 95% CI, 0.048% to 0.066% in normal/underweight women; P trend < .001). Results were consistent in subgroups defined by age (30 to 49 v 50 to 64 years), human papillomavirus status (positive v negative), and histologic subtype (glandular v squamous). Approximately 20% of cervical cancers could be attributed to overweight or obesity in the women in our study who underwent routine cervical screening. Conclusion In this large, screened population, overweight and obese women had an increased risk of cervical cancer, likely because of underdiagnosis of cervical precancer. Improvements in equipment and/or technique to assure adequate sampling and visualization of women with elevated body mass might reduce cervical cancer incidence.

Local and systemic immune responses to different types of phytohemagglutinin in the green anole: Lessons for field ecoimmunologists.

The phytohemagglutinin (PHA) skin test is commonly used by ecologists to assess cell-mediated immune function of wild animals. It can be performed quickly and easily in the field, involving injection of PHA and measurement of the resultant swelling. There are multiple formulations of PHA used in ecological studies, with potentially differing outcomes that could produce inconsistent results. We tested two common types of PHA in the green anole (Anolis carolinensis) to identify local and systemic immune responses underlying the resultant swelling at 6, 18, 24, and 48 hr post injection. There were differences in both local (injection site) and systemic (blood) leukocyte responses to PHA-L versus PHA-P. PHA-P injection produced a greater overall increase in local heterophil count at the injection site compared with PHA-L, and this response was greatest at 6 and 24 hr post injection. Systemically, heterophil percentage was higher in the blood of PHA-P- versus PHA-L-injected anoles at 24 hr post injection; the time point at which heterophil percentage peaked in PHA-P-injected anoles. These results indicate that although both PHA types are effective tests of immune function in green anoles, the PHA-P swelling response invokes a much stronger heterophilic response. PHA-L is a more specific test of lymphocyte function, particularly at 24 hr post injection, making it preferable for ecoimmunology studies.

Precision Fluorescent Labeling of an Adeno-Associated Virus Vector to Monitor the Viral Infection Pathway.

Adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) is a common vehicle for the delivery of a variety of therapeutic genes. A better understanding of the process of infection of AAV2 will advance our knowledge of AAV2 biology and allow for the optimization of AAV2 capsids with favorable transduction profiles. However, the precise fluorescent labeling of an AAV2 vector for probing virus tracking without affecting the nature of the virus remains a challenge. In this study, we precisely displayed lab-synthesized azide-moieties on the viral capsid at modifiable sites. Upon bioorthogonal copper-less click reaction, fluorophores were subsequently conjugated to AAV2 vectors for visualization of particles. Using this principle, we demonstrated that it could be used for visibly studying the cell entry, and intracellular trafficking of AAV2 particles, enabling the monitoring of the intracellular dynamics of AAV2 infection. This study provides new insights into the precision labeling of AAV2 particles with important implications for a better understanding of the molecular mechanism of therapeutic gene delivery.

Environmental calcium regulates gill remodeling in a euryhaline teleost fish.

Some cyprindid and cyprinidontiform fishes undergo gill remodeling via the proliferation or regression of an interlamellar cell mass (ILCM), resulting in the modification of gill surface area in response to environmental hypoxia or ion levels. We hypothesized that ion-related gill remodeling is regulated by water hardness through the interactions of Ca2+ with tight junctions, predicting that gills will exhibit a lower ILCM and more surface area in a high Ca2+ environment than in a low Ca2+ environment. To test this hypothesis, we acclimated euryhaline mangrove rivulus (Kryptolebias marmoratus) to natural hard water ([Ca2+] = 2.77 mmol/L), low Ca2+ ([Ca2+] = 0.13 mmol/L) freshwater, or high Ca2+ water (5.88 mmol/L). Fish exposed to hard water had a significantly lower ILCM height than fish exposed to low Ca2+ water. The addition of Ca2+ to low Ca2+ water restored gill surface area. Plasma Ca2+ activity was not significantly different between groups. This study provides support for an influence of external Ca2+ on gill remodeling and represents the first evidence of an ionic trigger (Ca2+) for gill remodeling in teleost fishes.