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evidence synthesis - Top 30 Publications

Interleukin-33-Activated Islet-Resident Innate Lymphoid Cells Promote Insulin Secretion through Myeloid Cell Retinoic Acid Production.

Pancreatic-islet inflammation contributes to the failure of β cell insulin secretion during obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, little is known about the nature and function of resident immune cells in this context or in homeostasis. Here we show that interleukin (IL)-33 was produced by islet mesenchymal cells and enhanced by a diabetes milieu (glucose, IL-1β, and palmitate). IL-33 promoted β cell function through islet-resident group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) that elicited retinoic acid (RA)-producing capacities in macrophages and dendritic cells via the secretion of IL-13 and colony-stimulating factor 2. In turn, local RA signaled to the β cells to increase insulin secretion. This IL-33-ILC2 axis was activated after acute β cell stress but was defective during chronic obesity. Accordingly, IL-33 injections rescued islet function in obese mice. Our findings provide evidence that an immunometabolic crosstalk between islet-derived IL-33, ILC2s, and myeloid cells fosters insulin secretion.

Cardiometabolic Impact of Changing Sitting, Standing, and Stepping in the Workplace.

According to cross-sectional and acute experimental evidence, reducing sitting time should improve cardio-metabolic health risk biomarkers. Furthermore, the improvements obtained may depend on whether sitting is replaced with standing or ambulatory activities. Based on data from the Stand Up Victoria multi-component workplace intervention, we examined this issue using compositional data analysis - a method that can examine and compare all activity changes simultaneously.

A Physiological Signature of the Cost of Reproduction Associated with Parental Care.

Costs of reproduction are an integral and long-standing component of life-history theory, but we still know relatively little about the specific physiological mechanisms underlying these trade-offs. We experimentally manipulated workload during parental care in female European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) using attachment of radios and/or wing clipping and assessed measures of workload, current breeding productivity, future fecundity, and survival (local return rate) in relation to treatment. Females with wing clipping and radio attachment paid a clear cost of reproduction compared with all other treatment groups: they had lower future fecundity and lower return rates despite having lower current breeding productivity. We then measured 13 physiological traits, including measures of aerobic/metabolic capacity, oxidative stress and muscle damage, intermediary metabolism and energy supply, and immune function. Our results show that the cost of reproduction in females with wing clipping and radio attachment was associated with lower oxygen-carrying capacity (lower hematocrit and hemoglobin levels), lower energy reserves (plasma nonesterified fatty acid and triglyceride levels), decreased immune function (lower haptoglobin levels), and elevated levels of oxidative stress (higher levels of dROMs [reactive oxygen metabolites] and lower levels of the endogenous antioxidant uric acid). Our study provides evidence that costs of reproduction involve a widespread decline in physiological function across multiple physiological systems consistent with long-standing ideas of cumulative "wear and tear" and allostatic load.

Oral Contraceptives and Cigarette Smoking: A Review of the Literature and Future Directions.

Evidence continues to mount indicating that endogenous sex hormones (e.g., progesterone and estradiol) play a significant role in smoking-related outcomes. Although approximately 1 out of 4 premenopausal smokers use oral contraceptives (OCs), which significantly alter progesterone and estradiol levels, relatively little is known about how OCs may influence smoking-related outcomes. Thus, the goal of this review paper is to describe the state of the literature and offer recommendations for future directions.

Novel phosphate deficiency-responsive long non-coding RNAs in the legume model plant Medicago truncatula.

Emerging evidence indicates that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play important roles in the regulation of many biological processes. Inhibition of plant growth due to deficiency in soil inorganic phosphate (Pi) occurs widely across natural and agricultural ecosystems; however, we know little about the function of plant lncRNAs in response to Pi deficiency. To address this issue, we first identified 10 785 lncRNAs in the legume model species Medicago truncatula by sequencing eight strand-specific libraries. Out of these lncRNAs, 358 and 224 were responsive to Pi deficiency in the leaves and roots, respectively. We further predicted and classified the putative targets of those lncRNAs and the results revealed that they may be involved in the processes of signal transduction, energy synthesis, detoxification, and Pi transport. Finally, we functionally characterized three Phosphate Deficiency-Induced LncRNAs (PDILs) using their corresponding Tnt1 mutants. The results showed that PDIL1 suppressed degradation of MtPHO2, which encodes a ubiquitin-conjugating E2 enzyme regulated by miR399, while PDIL2 and PDIL3 directly regulated Pi transport at the transcriptional level. These findings demonstrate that PDILs can regulate Pi-deficiency signaling and Pi transport, highlighting the involvement of lncRNAs in the regulation of responses of plants to Pi deficiency.

Clues for Polygenic Inheritance of Pituitary Stalk Interruption Syndrome by Exome Sequencing in 20 Patients.

Pituitary stalk interruption syndrome (PSIS) consists of a small/absent anterior pituitary lobe, interrupted/absent pituitary stalk, and an ectopic posterior pituitary lobe. Mendelian forms of PSIS are detected infrequently (< 5%), and a polygenic etiology has been suggested. GLI2 variants have been reported in a relatively high frequency in PSIS.

Bortezomib in Kidney Transplant: Current use and Perspectives.

Despite major advances in transplant medicine, antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) continues to have severe clinical implications and adversely affect graft survival. Therefore, the search for alternative drugs to treat AMR is widely pursued. The first-in-class proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (BZ) is a selective inhibitor of the 26S proteasome, which was initially approved for the treatment of malignant plasma cell disorders.

Residual renal and cardiovascular disease risk in conventionally-treated patients with type 2 diabetes: the potential of non-traditional biomarkers and treatments related redox metabolism.

Diabetes is a leading cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the developed world. Promoters of the progression of kidney disease include the traditional profile of cardiovascular risk factors. However, the development of CKD and vulnerability to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is highly variable. Determinants of the susceptibility to ESRD may include non-traditional risk factors such as gene-environment interactions, socio-geographic factors and/or treatment strategies. We review the conflicting clinical relevance of studies implicating pathways related to oxidative stress. These pathways are strongly implicated in the phenotype of some groups of high-risk patients and could assume importance in clinical care. Recent clinical trial evidence has shown that newer glucose-lowering agents also have beneficial effects on reducing the incidence of renal dysfunction and cardiovascular events in high-risk patients. Research is required to identify which patients will benefit most from newer approaches to managing diabetes. Understanding the relationship of non-traditional risk factors to renal and cardiovascular disease could help clinicians targeting new therapeutic approaches in the management of type 2 diabetes.

Mechanistic Insights into Growth of Surface-Mounted Metal-Organic Framework Films Resolved by Infrared (Nano-) Spectroscopy.

Control over assembly, orientation, and defect-free growth of metal-organic framework (MOF) films is crucial for their future applications. A layer-by-layer approach is considered a suitable method to synthesize highly oriented films of numerous MOF topologies, but the initial stages of the film growth remain poorly understood. Here we use a combination of infrared (IR) reflection absorption spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM)-IR imaging to investigate the assembly and growth of a surface mounted MOF (SURMOF) film, specifically HKUST-1. IR spectra of the films were measured with monolayer sensitivity and <10 nm spatial resolution. In contrast to the common knowledge of LbL SURMOF synthesis, we find evidence for the surface-hindered growth and large presence of copper acetate precursor species in the produced MOF thin-films. The growth proceeds via a solution-mediated mechanism where the presence of weakly adsorbed copper acetate species leads to the formation of crystalline agglomerates with a size that largely exceeds theoretical growth limits. We report the spectroscopic characterization of physisorbed copper acetate surface species and find evidence for the large presence of unexchanged and mixed copper-paddle-wheels. Based on these insights, we were able to optimize and automatize synthesis methods and produce (100) oriented HKUST-1 thin-films with significantly shorter synthesis times, and additionally use copper nitrate as an effective synthesis precursor.

Lower Serum Zinc Concentration Despite Higher Dietary Zinc Intake in Athletes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.

Zinc is an essential trace element that has been implicated in numerous biological functions, including immunity, energy metabolism and antioxidative processes. Recent evaluations of the literature have provided evidence of significant acute changes in zinc metabolism following a bout of aerobic exercise.

Conformational isomerism in cyclic peptoids and its specification.

Most of the structural studies made on the secondary structure of peptoids describe their geometric attributes in terms of the classic Ramachandran plot (based on the local analysis of ω, ψ, χ, φ dihedral angles). However, little intuitive understanding is available from internal coordinates when stereochemistry is involved. In this contribution we list all the conformationally stable cyclic peptoids reported up to the year 2017 and propose a simple method to define their geometric arrangement in terms of planar chirality. Evidence of conformational isomerism (due to the long average time of single bond rotation) and conformational chirality (induced by the absence of roto-reflection axes) in this promising class of synthetic macrocycles is provided by NMR spectroscopy (using Pirkle's alcohol as chiral solvating agent) and careful evaluation of X-ray crystallographic studies. The full understanding of the oligomeric macrocycles' structural properties and the clear framing of their conformational isomerism in a proper conceptual scheme is fundamental for future application of peptoids in asymmetric synthesis, chiral recognition and supramolecular chemistry.

Glucose variability for cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis.

It is consensus that glucose variability (GV) plays an important role in maccomplications of type 2 diabetes, but whether GV has a causal role is not yet clear for cardiovascular disease (CVD). This study sought to explore the effect on GV for CVD risk factors with type 2 diabetes.

Systemic Responses of Multidrug-Resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii Following Exposure to the Antimicrobial Peptide Cathelicidin-BF Imply Multiple Intracellular Targets.

Cathelicidin-BF, derived from the banded krait (Bungarus fasciatus), is a typically cationic, amphiphilic and α-helical antimicrobial peptide (AMP) with 30 amino acids that exerts powerful effects on multidrug-resistant (MDR) clinical isolates, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Klebsiella pneumoniae, but whether it targets plasma membranes or intracellular targets to kill bacteria is still controversial. In the present study, we demonstrated that the disruption of bacterial membranes with high concentrations of cathelicidin-BF was the cause of bacterial death, as with conventional antibiotics at high concentrations. At lower concentrations, cathelicidin-BF did not cause bacterial plasma membrane disruption, but it was able to cross the membrane and aggregate at the nucleoid regions. Functional proteins of the transcription processes of P. aeruginosa and A. baumannii were affected by sublethal doses of cathelicidin-BF, as demonstrated by comparative proteomics using isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification and subsequent gene ontology (GO) analysis. Analysis using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes showed that cathelicidin-BF mainly interferes with metabolic pathways related to amino acid synthesis, metabolism of cofactors and vitamins, metabolism of purine and energy supply, and other processes. Although specific targets of cathelicidin-BF must still be validated, our study offers strong evidence that cathelicidin-BF may act upon intracellular targets to kill superbugs, which may be helpful for further efforts to discover novel antibiotics to fight against them.

Timing of Decompression in Patients With Acute Spinal Cord Injury: A Systematic Review.

Systematic review.

Association of Glycosylated Hemoglobin Levels With Vitamin D Status.

The discovery of vitamin D is one of medicine's great achievements. Despite all the positive evidence emerging about the beneficial effect of vitamin D, we still find many are vitamin D deficient. The purposes of this study were to examine the association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, to test the hypothesis that lower 25(OH)D levels are associated with poorer glucose control in diabetes mellitus (DM) patients and to investigate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on HbA1c levels.

Transcriptome and Metabolome Analyses Provide Insights into the Occurrence of Peel Roughing Disorder on Satsuma Mandarin (Citrus unshiu Marc.) Fruit.

Roughing disorder (RD) is a significant quality barrier in citrus fruit, prevalent on easy-peeling mandarins. As RD is not yet well-understood, this study aimed to examine the changes and synergic molecular processes involved in peel RD. Peel with RD was induced by severely defruiting Satsuma mandarin trees. Morphology observations, RNA-sequencing, and targeted and untargeted metabolic analyses were conducted. The results showed that the primary metabolites of sugars, organic acids and amino acids are dramatically changed in RD peel. The RD peel was always characterized by higher magnesium content during development. Comparative transcriptome profiling was performed for CK and RD peels at 30, 80, and 170 days after full bloom (DAFB) which represented fruit at cell division stage, cell enlargement stage and fruit maturity stage, respectively. Physiological and molecular biological evidence suggested that the month after full bloom is a crucial stage for RD initiation. A total of 4,855 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in RD peel, relative to CK peel were detected at cell division stage, about 2 to 4-fold more than other stages had. Among the differentially expressed transcription factors, the bHLH family were affected most by RD, and six bHLH transcription factors functionally involved in GA metabolism were assessed to associate with RD occurrence. Gene set enrichment analysis suggested that RD significantly altered starch and GA metabolism in peel. Higher starch content and hydrolysed chain status were found in RD peel at cell division stage. RD occurrence on the peel was influenced significantly by GA, especially abundant GA before July. These changes may mean a significant alteration in sink strength of RD peel. The findings of this study provide insights into the emergence, development and molecular mechanisms of RD.

The Kynurenine Pathway As a Novel Link between Allergy and the Gut Microbiome.

In the past few decades, the indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) subset of the kynurenine (KYN) pathway of tryptophan (TRP) metabolism has been the subject of much research in the area of immune tolerance. In this review, we aim to incorporate new findings on this pathway in relation to allergy and the gut microbiome, while providing a comprehensive overview of the pathway itself. Stimulated by interferon gamma, IDO acts as a tolerogenic, immunosuppressive enzyme to attenuate allergic responses by the induction of the KYN-IDO pathway, resultant depletion of TRP, and elevation in KYN metabolites. Acting through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, KYN metabolites cause T-cell anergy and apoptosis, proliferation of Treg and Th17 cells, and deviation of the Th1/Th2 response, although the outcome is highly dependent on the microenvironment. Moreover, new evidence from germ-free mice and human infants shows that gut microbiota and breast milk are key in determining the functioning of the KYN-IDO pathway. As such, we recommend further research on how this pathway may be a critical link between the microbiome and development of allergy.

Focused Review: Cytotoxic and Antioxidant Potentials of Mangrove-Derived Streptomyces.

Human life expectancy is rapidly increasing with an associated increasing burden of chronic diseases, such as neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. However, there is limited progress in finding effective treatment for these conditions. For this reason, members of the genus Streptomyces have been explored extensively over the past decades as these filamentous bacteria are highly efficient in producing bioactive compounds with human health benefits. Being ubiquitous in nature, streptomycetes can be found in both terrestrial and marine environments. Previously, two Streptomyces strains (MUSC 137(T) and MUM 256) isolated from mangrove sediments in Peninsular Malaysia demonstrated potent antioxidant and cytotoxic activities against several human cancer cell lines on bioactivity screening. These results illustrate the importance of streptomycetes from underexplored regions aside from the terrestrial ecosystem. Here we provide the insights and significance of Streptomyces species in the search of anticancer and/or chemopreventive agents and highlight the impact of next generation sequencing on drug discovery from the Streptomyces arsenal.

Hyperglycemia Promotes TMPRSS2-ERG Gene Fusion in Prostate Cancer Cells via Upregulating Insulin-Like Growth Factor-Binding Protein-2.

Epidemiologic evidence shows that obesity is associated with a greater risk of aggressive prostate cancer (PCa) and PCa-specific mortality and this is observed mainly in men with the TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion. Obesity is often associated with comorbid conditions such as type 2 diabetes and hyperglycemia: we investigated whether some of the exposures associated with disturbed metabolism can also affect the frequency of this gene fusion.

Cofactors As Metabolic Sensors Driving Cell Adaptation in Physiology and Disease.

Chromatin architectures and epigenetic fingerprint regulation are fundamental for genetically determined biological processes. Chemical modifications of the chromatin template sensitize the genome to intracellular metabolism changes to set up diverse functional adaptive states. Accumulated evidence suggests that the action of epigenetic modifiers is sensitive to changes in dietary components and cellular metabolism intermediates, linking nutrition and energy metabolism to gene expression plasticity. Histone posttranslational modifications create a code that acts as a metabolic sensor, translating changes in metabolism into stable gene expression patterns. These observations support the notion that epigenetic reprograming-linked energy input is connected to the etiology of metabolic diseases and cancer. In the present review, we introduce the role of epigenetic cofactors and their relation with nutrient intake and we question the links between epigenetic regulation and the development of metabolic diseases.

Clinical Use of Cerebral Microdialysis in Patients with Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage-State of the Art.

To review the published literature on the clinical application of cerebral microdialysis (CMD) in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) patients and to summarize the evidence relating cerebral metabolism to pathophysiology, secondary brain injury, and outcome.

Neuroprotective Effect of Ligustilide through Induction of α-Secretase Processing of Both APP and Klotho in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease.

Emerging evidence suggests that alpha-processing single transmembrane proteins, amyloid precursor protein (APP) and anti-aging protein Klotho, are likely to be involved in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The natural phthalide Ligustilide (LIG) has been demonstrated to protect against aging- and amyloid-β (Aβ)-induced brain dysfunction in animal models. The present study is to investigate the effects of LIG on cognitive deficits and metabolism of both APP and Klotho and its underlying mechanism in AD double-transgenic (APP/PS1) mice and cultured human cells. Our results show that treatment with LIG significantly ameliorated memory impairment and Aβ levels and plaques burden. Specifically, LIG might act as a potent enhancer of α-secretase, disintegrin, and metalloprotease 10 (ADAM10), leading to upregulation of alpha-processing of both APP and Klotho and subsequent increases in the levels of both soluble APP fragment (sAPPα) and soluble Klotho (sKL) with inhibition of IGF-1/Akt/mTOR signaling in AD mice and cultured cells. Moreover, the specific ADAM10 inhibitor (G1254023X) effectively reversed LIG-induced alpha-processing of both APP and Klotho in vitro, while Klotho gene knockdown by small interfering RNA significantly blunted LIG-mediated inhibition of IGF-1/Akt/mTOR signaling in vitro. Taken together with the reported neuroprotective effects of both sAPPα and sKL as well as autophagy induction by Akt/mTOR pathway inhibition, our findings suggest that neuroprotection of LIG against AD is associated with induction alpha-processing of APP and Klotho and potential Aβ clearance. Whether LIG might induce Aβ autophagic clearance and the underlying mechanisms need to be further studied.

Insulin Resistance and Alzheimer's Disease: Bioenergetic Linkages.

Metabolic dysfunction is a well-established feature of Alzheimer's disease (AD), evidenced by brain glucose hypometabolism that can be observed potentially decades prior to the development of AD symptoms. Furthermore, there is mounting support for an association between metabolic disease and the development of AD and related dementias. Individuals with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D), hyperlipidemia, obesity, or other metabolic disease may have increased risk for the development of AD and similar conditions, such as vascular dementia. This association may in part be due to the systemic mitochondrial dysfunction that is common to these pathologies. Accumulating evidence suggests that mitochondrial dysfunction is a significant feature of AD and may play a fundamental role in its pathogenesis. In fact, aging itself presents a unique challenge due to inherent mitochondrial dysfunction and prevalence of chronic metabolic disease. Despite the progress made in understanding the pathogenesis of AD and in the development of potential therapies, at present we remain without a disease-modifying treatment. In this review, we will discuss insulin resistance as a contributing factor to the pathogenesis of AD, as well as the metabolic and bioenergetic disruptions linking insulin resistance and AD. We will also focus on potential neuroimaging tools for the study of the metabolic dysfunction commonly seen in AD with hopes of developing therapeutic and preventative targets.

A Complex Interplay of Vitamin B1 and B6 Metabolism with Cognition, Brain Structure, and Functional Connectivity in Older Adults.

Aging is associated with brain atrophy, functional brain network reorganization and decline of cognitive performance, albeit characterized by high interindividual variability. Among environmental influencing factors accounting for this variability, nutrition and particularly vitamin supply is thought to play an important role. While evidence exists that supplementation of vitamins B6 and B1 might be beneficial for cognition and brain structure, at least in deficient states and neurodegenerative diseases, little is known about this relation during healthy aging and in relation to reorganization of functional brain networks. We thus assessed the relation between blood levels of vitamins B1 and B6 and cognitive performance, cortical folding, and functional resting-state connectivity in a large sample of older adults (N > 600; age: 55-85 years), drawn from the population-based 1000BRAINS study. In addition to blood sampling, subjects underwent structural and functional resting-state neuroimaging as well as extensive neuropsychological testing in the domains of executive functions, (working) memory, attention, and language. Brain regions showing changes in the local gyrification index as calculated using FreeSurfer in relation to vitamin levels were used for subsequent seed-based resting-state functional connectivity analysis. For B6, a positive correlation with local cortical folding was found throughout the brain, while only slight changes in functional connectivity were observed. Contrarily, for B1, a negative correlation with cortical folding as well as problem solving and visuo-spatial working memory performance was found, which was accompanied by pronounced increases of interhemispheric and decreases of intrahemispheric functional connectivity. While the effects for B6 expand previous knowledge on beneficial effects of B6 supplementation on brain structure, they also showed that additional effects on cognition might not be recognizable in healthy older subjects with normal B6 blood levels. The cortical atrophy and pronounced functional reorganization associated with B1, contrarily, was more in line with the theory of a disturbed B1 metabolism in older adults, leading to B1 utilization deficits, and thus, an effective B1 deficiency in the brain, despite normal to high-normal blood levels.

Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation for Treatment of Muscle Impairment: Critical Review and Recommendations for Clinical Practice.

Purpose: In response to requests from physiotherapists for guidance on optimal stimulation of muscle using neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), a review, synthesis, and extraction of key data from the literature was undertaken by six Canadian physical therapy (PT) educators, clinicians, and researchers in the field of electrophysical agents. The objective was to identify commonly treated conditions for which there was a substantial body of literature from which to draw conclusions regarding the effectiveness of NMES. Included studies had to apply NMES with visible and tetanic muscle contractions. Method: Four electronic databases (CINAHL, Embase, PUBMED, and SCOPUS) were searched for relevant literature published between database inceptions until May 2015. Additional articles were identified from bibliographies of the systematic reviews and from personal collections. Results: The extracted data were synthesized using a consensus process among the authors to provide recommendations for optimal stimulation parameters and application techniques to address muscle impairments associated with the following conditions: stroke (upper or lower extremity; both acute and chronic), anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, patellofemoral pain syndrome, knee osteoarthritis, and total knee arthroplasty as well as critical illness and advanced disease states. Summaries of key details from each study incorporated into the review were also developed. The final sections of the article outline the recommended terminology for describing practice using electrical currents and provide tips for safe and effective clinical practice using NMES. Conclusion: This article provides physiotherapists with a resource to enable evidence-informed, effective use of NMES for PT practice.

Aerobic performance in tinamous is limited by their small heart. A novel hypothesis in the evolution of avian flight.

Some biomechanical studies from fossil specimens suggest that sustained flapping flight of birds could have appeared in their Mesozoic ancestors. We challenge this idea because a suitable musculoskeletal anatomy is not the only requirement for sustained flapping flight. We propose the "heart to fly" hypothesis that states that sustained flapping flight in modern birds required an enlargement of the heart for the aerobic performance of the flight muscles and test it experimentally by studying tinamous, the living birds with the smallest hearts. The small ventricular size of tinamous reduces cardiac output without limiting perfusion pressures, but when challenged to fly, the heart is unable to support aerobic metabolism (quick exhaustion, larger lactates and post-exercise oxygen consumption and compromised thermoregulation). At the same time, cardiac growth shows a crocodilian-like pattern and is correlated with differential gene expression in MAPK kinases. We integrate this physiological evidence in a new evolutionary scenario in which the ground-up, short and not sustained flapping flight displayed by tinamous represents an intermediate step in the evolution of the aerobic sustained flapping flight of modern birds.

In vivo evidence for possible up-regulating roles of lysophosphatidic acid around fertilization in rats.

Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) produced by autotaxin (ATX) is recognized as a multi-functional mediator in mammalian reproduction. This study focused on possible effect(s) of LPA on ovulated cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) around fertilization in rats in vivo. Immunohistochemistry revealed the cell-type-dependent localization of candidates of synthetic enzymes, ATX and two phospholipases A2 isofroms, and LPA receptors LPA1~4 in ovulated COCs and in oviductal epithelium. The eggs ovulated with a form of COCs became denuded of cumulus cells and underwent fragmentation in the absence of fertilization. In vivo experiments of local administration in non-copulated rats demonstrated that eggs denudation was increased by LPA and decreased by anti-ATX antibody and that fragmentation was inhibited by LPA and stimulated by an ATX chemical inhibitor. Furthermore, LPA administration in adult copulated rats increased the rate of cleaved embryos significantly. Obtained results suggest the presence of LPA synthesis and action system in ovulated COCs within the oviductal ampulla and positive actions of LPA possibly at multiple sites around fertilization in rats.

Expression and Cleavage of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus nsp3-4 Polyprotein Induce the Formation of Double-Membrane Vesicles That Mimic Those Associated with Coronaviral RNA Replication.

Betacoronaviruses, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), are important pathogens causing potentially lethal infections in humans and animals. Coronavirus RNA synthesis is thought to be associated with replication organelles (ROs) consisting of modified endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes. These are transformed into double-membrane vesicles (DMVs) containing viral double-stranded RNA and into other membranous elements such as convoluted membranes, together forming a reticulovesicular network. Previous evidence suggested that the nonstructural proteins (nsp's) 3, 4, and 6 of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which contain transmembrane domains, would all be required for DMV formation. We have now expressed MERS-CoV replicase self-cleaving polyprotein fragments encompassing nsp3-4 or nsp3-6, as well as coexpressed nsp3 and nsp4 of either MERS-CoV or SARS-CoV, to characterize the membrane structures induced. Using electron tomography, we demonstrate that for both MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV coexpression of nsp3 and nsp4 is required and sufficient to induce DMVs. Coexpression of MERS-CoV nsp3 and nsp4 either as individual proteins or as a self-cleaving nsp3-4 precursor resulted in very similar DMVs, and in both setups we observed proliferation of zippered ER that appeared to wrap into nascent DMVs. Moreover, when inactivating nsp3-4 polyprotein cleavage by mutagenesis, we established that cleavage of the nsp3/nsp4 junction is essential for MERS-CoV DMV formation. Addition of the third MERS-CoV transmembrane protein, nsp6, did not noticeably affect DMV formation. These findings provide important insight into the biogenesis of coronavirus DMVs, establish strong similarities with other nidoviruses (specifically, the arteriviruses), and highlight possible general principles in viral DMV formation.IMPORTANCE The RNA replication of positive stranded RNA viruses of eukaryotes is thought to take place at cytoplasmic membranous replication organelles (ROs). Double-membrane vesicles are a prominent type of viral ROs. They are induced by coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, as well as by a number of other important pathogens, yet little is known about their biogenesis. In this study, we explored the viral protein requirements for the formation of MERS-CoV- and SARS-CoV-induced DMVs and established that coexpression of two of the three transmembrane subunits of the coronavirus replicase polyprotein, nonstructural proteins (nsp's) 3 and 4, is required and sufficient to induce DMV formation. Moreover, release of nsp3 and nsp4 from the polyprotein by proteolytic maturation is essential for this process. These findings provide a strong basis for further research on the biogenesis and functionality of coronavirus ROs and may point to more general principles of viral DMV formation.

Caenorhabditis elegans DBL-1/BMP Regulates Lipid Accumulation via Interaction with Insulin Signaling.

Metabolic homeostasis is coordinately controlled by diverse inputs. Understanding these regulatory networks is vital to combating metabolic disorders. The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans has emerged as a powerful, genetically tractable model system for the discovery of lipid regulatory mechanisms. Here we introduce DBL-1, the C. elegans homolog of bone morphogenetic protein 2/4 (BMP2/4), as a significant regulator of lipid homeostasis. We used neutral lipid staining and a lipid droplet marker to demonstrate that both increases and decreases in DBL-1/BMP signaling result in reduced lipid stores and lipid droplet count. We find that lipid droplet size, however, correlates positively with the level of DBL 1/BMP signaling. Regulation of lipid accumulation in the intestine occurs through non-cell-autonomous signaling, since expression of SMA-3, a Smad signal transducer, in the epidermis (hypodermis) is sufficient to rescue the loss of lipid accumulation. Finally, genetic evidence indicates that DBL-1/BMP functions upstream of Insulin/IGF-1 Signaling in lipid metabolism. We conclude that BMP signaling regulates lipid metabolism in C. elegans through inter-organ signaling to the Insulin pathway, shedding light on a less well-studied regulatory mechanism for metabolic homeostasis.

Leishmania LABCG2 transporter is involved in ATP-dependent transport of thiols.

The Leishmania LABCG2 transporter has a key role in the redox metabolism of these protozoan parasites. Recently, it has been described the involvement of LABCG2 in virulence, autophagy and oxidative stress. Null mutant parasites for LABCG2 present an increase in the intracellular levels of glutathione (GSH) and trypanothione [T(SH)2]. On the other hand, parasites overexpressing LABCG2 transporter export non-protein thiols to the extracellular medium. In order to explore if LABCG2 may mediate an active transport of non-protein thiols, the effect of these molecules on ATPase activity of LABCG2 as well as the ability of LABCG2 to transport them was determined using a baculovirus-Sf9 insect cell system. Our results indicate that all thiols tested [GSH, T(SH)2] as well as their oxidized forms GSSG and TS2 stimulate LABCG2-ATPase basal activity. We have measured the transport of [(3)H]-GSH in inside-out Sf9 cells membrane vesicles expressing LABCG2-GFP finding that LABCG2 was able to mediate a rapid and concentration dependent uptake of [(3)H]-GSH in presence of ATP. Finally, we have analyzed the ability of different thiol species to compete for this uptake, being the best competitors T(SH)2 and TS2 IC50 value for [(3)H]-GSH uptake in presence of increasing concentrations of T(SH)2 was less than 100 mM, highlighting the affinity of this thiol for LABCG2. These results provide the first direct evidence that LABCG2 is an ABC transporter of reduced and oxidized non-protein thiols in Leishmania , suggesting that this transporter can play a role in the redox metabolism and related processes in this protozoan parasite.