Int. J. Mol. Sci.2013, 14(12), 23872-23892; doi:10.3390/ijms141223872 - published online 6 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The Maize Wip1 gene encodes a wound-induced Bowman-Birk inhibitor (BBI) protein which is a type of serine protease inhibitor, and its expression is induced by wounding or infection, conferring resistance against pathogens and pests. In this study, the maize Wip1 promoter was isolated and its function was analyzed. Different truncated Wip1 promoters were fused upstream of the GUS reporter gene and transformed into Arabidopsis, tobacco and rice plants. We found that (1) several truncated maize Wip1 promoters led to strong GUS activities in both transgenic Arabidopsis and tobacco leaves, whereas low GUS activity was detected in transgenic rice leaves; (2) the Wip1 promoter was not wound-induced in transgenic tobacco leaves, but was induced by wounding in transgenic rice leaves; (3) the truncated Wip1 promoter had different activity in different organs of transgenic tobacco plants; (4) the transgenic plant leaves containing different truncated Wip1 promoters had low GUS transcripts, even though high GUS protein level and GUS activities were observed; (5) there was one transcription start site of Wip1 gene in maize and two transcription start sites of GUS in Wip1::GUS transgenic lines; (6) the adjacent 35S promoter which is present in the transformation vectors enhanced the activity of the truncated Wip1 promoters in transgenic tobacco leaves, but did not influence the disability of truncated Wip1231 promoter to respond to wounding signals. We speculate that an ACAAAA hexamer, several CAA trimers and several elements similar to ACAATTAC octamer in the 5'-untranslated region might contribute to the strong GUS activity in Wip1231 transgenic lines, meanwhile, compared to the 5'-untranslated region from Wip1231 transgenic lines, the additional upstream open reading frames (uORFs) in the 5'-untranslated region from Wip1737 transgenic lines might contribute to the lower level of GUS transcript and GUS activity.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2013, 14(12), 23858-23871; doi:10.3390/ijms141223858 - published online 6 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Sarcoidosis, a chronic granulomatous disease of unknown cause, has been linked to several environmental risk factors, among which are some that may favor carbon nanotube formation. Using gene array data, we initially observed that bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells from sarcoidosis patients displayed elevated mRNA of the transcription factor, Twist1, among many M1-associated genes compared to healthy controls. Based on this observation we hypothesized that Twist1 mRNA and protein expression might become elevated in alveolar macrophages from animals bearing granulomas induced by carbon nanotube instillation. To address this hypothesis, wild-type and macrophage-specific peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) knock out mice were given oropharyngeal instillation of multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). BAL cells obtained 60 days later exhibited significantly elevated Twist1 mRNA expression in granuloma-bearing wild-type or PPARγ knock out alveolar macrophages compared to sham controls. Overall, Twist1 expression levels in PPARγ knock out mice were higher than those of wild-type. Concurrently, BAL cells obtained from sarcoidosis patients and healthy controls validated gene array data: qPCR and protein analysis showed significantly elevated Twist1 in sarcoidosis compared to healthy controls. In vitro studies of alveolar macrophages from healthy controls indicated that Twist1 was inducible by classical (M1) macrophage activation stimuli (LPS, TNFα) but not by IL-4, an inducer of alternative (M2) macrophage activation. Findings suggest that Twist1 represents a PPARγ-sensitive alveolar macrophage M1 biomarker which is induced by inflammatory granulomatous disease in the MWCNT model and in human sarcoidosis.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2013, 14(12), 23842-23857; doi:10.3390/ijms141223842 - published online 6 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The liquid crystalline state is a universal phenomenon involving the formation of an ordered structure via a self-assembly process that has attracted attention from numerous scientists. In this study, the dinoflagellate histone-like protein HCcp3 is shown to induce super-coiled pUC18 plasmid DNA to enter a liquid crystalline state in vitro, and the role of HCcp3 in gene condensation in vivo is also presented. The plasmid DNA (pDNA)-HCcp3 complex formed birefringent spherical particles with a semi-crystalline selected area electronic diffraction (SAED) pattern. Circular dichroism (CD) titrations of pDNA and HCcp3 were performed. Without HCcp3, pUC18 showed the characteristic B conformation. As the HCcp3 concentration increased, the 273 nm band sharply shifted to 282 nm. When the HCcp3 concentration became high, the base pair (bp)/dimer ratio fell below 42/1, and the CD spectra of the pDNA-HCcp3 complexes became similar to that of dehydrated A-form DNA. Microscopy results showed that HCcp3 compacted the super-coiled gene into a condensed state and that inclusion bodies were formed. Our results indicated that HCcp3 has significant roles in gene condensation both in vitro and in histone-less eukaryotes in vivo. The present study indicates that HCcp3 has great potential for applications in non-viral gene delivery systems, where HCcp3 may compact genetic material to form liquid crystals.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2013, 14(12), 23828-23841; doi:10.3390/ijms141223828 - published online 6 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The plant-specific NAC transcription factors play important roles in plant response to drought stress. Here, we have compared the expression levels of a subset of GmNAC genes in drought-tolerant DT51 and drought-sensitive MTD720 under both normal and drought stress conditions aimed at identifying correlation between GmNAC expression levels and drought tolerance degree, as well as potential GmNAC candidates for genetic engineering. The expression of 23 selected dehydration-responsive GmNACs was assessed in both stressed and unstressed root tissues of DT51 and MTD720 using real-time quantitative PCR. The results indicated that expression of GmNACs was genotype-dependent. Seven and 13 of 23 tested GmNACs showed higher expression levels in roots of DT51 in comparison with MTD720 under normal and drought stress conditions, respectively, whereas none of them displayed lower transcript levels under any conditions. This finding suggests that the higher drought tolerance of DT51 might be positively correlated with the higher induction of the GmNAC genes during water deficit. The drought-inducible GmNAC011 needs to be mentioned as its transcript accumulation was more than 76-fold higher in drought-stressed DT51 roots relative to MTD720 roots. Additionally, among the GmNAC genes examined, GmNAC085, 092, 095, 101 and 109 were not only drought-inducible but also more highly up-regulated in DT51 roots than in that of MTD720 under both treatment conditions. These data together suggest that GmNAC011, 085, 092, 095, 101 and 109 might be promising candidates for improvement of drought tolerance in soybean by biotechnological approaches.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2013, 14(12), 23801-23827; doi:10.3390/ijms141223801 - published online 6 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The ultimate fate of drugs and chemicals in the body is largely regulated by hepatic uptake, metabolism, and excretion. The liver acquires the functional ability to metabolize and transport chemicals during the perinatal period of development. Research using livers from fetal and juvenile rodents and humans has begun to reveal the timing, key enzymes and transporters, and regulatory factors that are responsible for the establishment of hepatic phase I and II metabolism as well as transport. The majority of this research has been limited to relative mRNA and protein quantification. However, the recent utilization of novel technology, such as RNA-Sequencing, and the improved availability and refinement of functional activity assays, has begun to provide more definitive information regarding the extent of hepatic drug disposition in the developing fetus. The goals of this review are to provide an overview of the early regulation of the major phase I and II enzymes and transporters in rodent and human livers and to highlight potential mechanisms that control the ontogeny of chemical metabolism and excretion pathways.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2013, 14(12), 23791-23800; doi:10.3390/ijms141223791 - published online 5 December 2013 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Health effects of tritium, a β-emitter and a by-product of the nuclear industry, is a subject of significant controversy. This mouse in vivo study was undertaken to monitor biological effects of low level tritium exposure. Mice were exposed to tritiated drinking water (HTO) at 10 KBq/L, 1 MBq/L and 20 MBq/L concentrations for one month. The treatment did not result in a significant increase of apoptosis in splenocytes. To examine if this low level tritium exposure alters radiosensitivity, the extracted splenocytes were challenged in vitro with 2 Gy γ-radiation, and apoptotic responses at 1 and 24 h were measured. No alterations in the radiosensitivity were detected in cells from mice exposed to tritium compared to sham-treated mice. In contrast, low dose γ-irradiation at 20 or 100 mGy, resulted in a significant increase in resistance to apoptotic cell death after 2 Gy irradiation; an indication of the radioadaptive response. Overall, our data suggest that low concentrations of tritium given to mice as HTO in drinking water do not exert cytotoxic effect in splenocytes, nor do they change cellular sensitivity to additional high dose γ-radiation. The latter may be considered as the lack of a radioadaptive response, typically observed after low dose γ-irradiation.